There is nothing you need to do to acheive enlightenment.
The question to examine is: "How can this be?"
Since existence is non-dual, you are already what you seek.
You and what you seek are not really separate.
The separateness of subject and object are just the illusion of duality.
Subject and Object are not really two separate things.
Thus, you already are what you seek, even if that be enlightenment.
I would say that all you need to do to be enlightened is to know you are,
but knowing it is no requirement to being enlightened.
You are whether you know it or not.
That is the meaning behind the saying:
"we are riding an elephant while in search of an elephant".
To find the elephant we only need to realize that we already have the elephant.
But even if we never figure out that we already have the elephant,
we already have it anyway.
-- Brian William Drisko, 03-Dec-2010 0916 email@example.com
You might not find the above very useful. That is because enlightenment is not a tool to be used for your own personal benefit. If you want to be enlightened in order to reduce the personal suffering of yourself or others, it might not serve that purpose for you. But enlightenment itself is not a tool.
If you are seeking to end your own personal suffering or the suffering of others, then just understanding that you are already enlightened may not be enough for you.
As I've mentioned elsewhere in this website, "It isn't about you". Existence and enlightenment have nothing to do with reducing your own personal suffering or the suffering of others. But, if you want to try to use enlightenment as a tool to benefit your own personal life or those that you love, then you might want to read: "How To Attain Enlightenment, The Vision of Nonduality" by James Swartz. I like the book, but he has a lot of harsh things to say about Neo-Advaitism. I certainly agree with his criticism of self-appointed Gurus that have preached their way to fame and fortune. But I don't agree with his criticism of the Neo-Advaitists that have devoted themselves to just trying to discover the true nature of reality.
Existence isn't here to serve your pleasures or even your self discovery. The neo-advaitists that I follow are trying to point out that you are already where you are trying to get to. When you realize this, it might not make you a better person, but there is no need to be a better person. "How To Attain Enlightenment, The Vision of Nonduality" both recognizes you are already where you need to get to but also tries to show you the path to where you are already located. The Neo-Advaitists just realize you are already where you are trying to reach and need no path to get there. But if your goal is to reduce your own suffering or those of others, then this book is probably helpful. I don't believe the reduction of suffering of anyone is the point of existence, but it is certainly nice to do in my view, which is what makes books like this useful.
-- Brian William Drisko, 05-Dec-2010 1052 firstname.lastname@example.org
In "How To Attain Enlightenment, The Vision of Nonduality", James Swartz explains Enlightenment this way: "An enlightened being is one that knows, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, that it is not separate from consciousness, assuming as always that this knowledge has neutralized its binding likes and dislikes. An unenlightened being is someone who takes the appearance of separation to be real and is at the mercy of his or her binding likes and dislikes."
With that definition of Enlightenment, you might find it surprising when I say that definition isn't in conflict at all with the view that the Self is already Enlightened. For a moment assume that the above definition of Enlightenment is correct AND that the view that the Self is already Enlightened is also correct. With both being true, then it may seem the path to Enlightenment is just to seek out how it can be that you are already Enlightened.
But you can't get there from here ... because you are already there! Or as Gary Crowley titled his book: "From Here to Here: Turning Toward Enlightenment". Again it is back to the elephant analogy: if you mount the elephant to go in search for the elephant you will never find the elephant. You just have to understand that you already have the elephant. But even if you never find the elephant, you still already have the elephant anyway! Hence the lack of any contradiction between the above definition of Enlightenment and the concept that the Self is already Enlightened.
You can seek Enlightenment all you want but you will never find what you are seeking because you are already that which you are seeking. This is what the sages of the ages have been trying to point out to us.
-- Brian William Drisko, 05-Dec-2010 0912 email@example.com
We usually think of a coin as being either "heads" or "tails".
That is dualistic thinking.
When we realize that a coin actually always has both a "heads" and a "tails"
then we are thinking non-dualistic.
However, even once we realize this,
we still can only view one side or the other at a time.
We can not escape looking at the coin from a dualistic viewpoint
even when we know it always has both a "heads" and a "tails".
A coin always "appears to be"
either 100% "heads" or 100% "tails",
but in reality, it is actually always
both 100% "heads" AND 100% "tails" simultaneously.
-- Brian William Drisko, 08-Dec-2010 0601 firstname.lastname@example.org
In seeking Enlightenment we try to go beyond our limited concept of existence.
It seems like we are inside a box and we want to get outside the box
to see existence for what it really is.
We think that achieving Enlightenment will bring us outside the box and
allow us to finally see the box for what it really is.
But achieving Enlightenment, getting outside the box,
we find there is no "inside" or "outside" the box.
"Inside" and "outside" were just an illusion
of the creatures that live inside the box and think dualistically.
Once outside you realize there never was an "inside" or an "outside"
nor was there ever a "you" to be "inside" or "outside".
Literally, there actually never was even an "inside" or "outside" to you
which is the very definition of the "Self".
Without an "inside" and an "outside"
the "Self" is not separate from "everything else".
You discover that even your own concept of "I" is an illusion of duality.
We are back to the "Gateless Gate"
where once you go through the gate
you realize there never was a gate
and there never was a you
to go through the gate.
-- Brian William Drisko, 08-Dec-2010 0629 email@example.com
Don't take anything stated below literally. Standard definitions of words do not work very well for non-duality. Words often do more to create confusion than to bring clarity when talking about non-duality. Much of that is because the closest words that can be found to express topics in non-duality are the same words that represent the concepts that are delusions. Some of the most troublesome words are "I", "you", "self", "mind", "awake" and "consciousness" among others. Let me just provide a forewarning that when you see any of these words used below, especially the word "you", it does and it doesn't mean what you think it does. With luck, or maybe with "grace", why that is so may eventually become clear.
-- Brian William Drisko, 07-Jul-2010 1034 firstname.lastname@example.org
You are already awake.
I'm not going to ask you to take that on "faith".
Rather I ask you to make it your hypothesis.
Just assume it is true for the moment.
Work your way back and figure out how it could possibly be true,
and what the implications of it being true are.
It will be a lot easier for you to see clearly if you start with that hypothesis,
than if you start by assuming you are not already awake
and then try to figure out what you need to do in order to become awake.
Trying to figure out what you need to do to become awake is a dead end.
How does a person who is not in a hole figure out how to climb out of the hole?
Would it not be better to first assume you are not in a hole, despite appearances,
and then figure out how it could be that you aren't actually in a hole?
It may be easier to see the delusion for what it is
if you first assume it to be a delusion
and then explore how that could be so.
That is at the core of non-duality.
There is absolutely nothing that you need to do,
absolutely nothing you can do, to be become awake,
for awake is already "as it is".
The key to the puzzle box is understanding that you are already awake,
and then seeing how this can be so.
But don't confuse this with the purpose of life.
Nobody needs to figure any of this out to be awake.
You are just one of those odd people
who needed to know what "it" is all about.
And figuring "it" out and waking up to it
became part of your personal delusion.
Start by assuming you are already awake,
and work your way backwards from there.
If nothing else, it may at least prove to be a new approach
to your thirst to find the answers,
despite there being no answers needed to be found.
-- Brian William Drisko, 07-Jul-2010 1054 email@example.com
Awakeness Already Is, but we overlook it.
It's not usually stated as "I am already awake" or "We are already awake"
as the concept of a "self" separate from everything is considered a delusion.
But you are certainly "Already Awake"
as much as anyone or anything else in existence is!
-- Brian William Drisko, 21-Jun-2010 1545 firstname.lastname@example.org
How can one awaken or find enlightenment?
Can a character in a novel find the ink on the paper?
In the story of the novel a person goes up to a Sage and asks: "How can I find the ink on the paper?" The Sage replies: "You ARE the ink on the paper."
-- Brian William Drisko, 17-Dec-2009 1600 email@example.com
What is the sound of one hand clapping?
It is the color of the ink.
In the story of a novel a person goes up to a Sage and asks: "How can I find the ink on the paper?" The Sage replies: "You ARE the ink on the paper."
Then the Sage asks: "What is the color of the ink?"
-- Brian William Drisko, 25-Dec-2009 0210 firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd like to learn to enjoy more of the ink. But then I realize "I" am already enjoying the ink to the fullest. Then I'd like to appreciate my enjoyment of the ink to the fullest. But then I realize that "I" am already appreciating my enjoyment of the ink to the fullest. And round and round we go dancing with the illusion of the "I"!
-- Brian William Drisko, 28-Dec-2009 0010 email@example.com
This rock is as awake or enlightened as anyone ever will be.
To have a better understanding of awakening or enlightenment, it may be best to start with trying to understannd the above statement and work your way back from that. If this rock is "already awake" as much as anyone ever will be, then what does it mean to be "already awake"?
-- Brian William Drisko, 11-Jan-2010 0251 firstname.lastname@example.org
I could say this cup is blue. I could say blue is this cup.
The first statement goes without objection. Many would object to the second statement with challenges like: "I know of other things that are blue that are not that cup." That is true. There are things other than that cup that are blue. So there is something not quite right about the "blue is this cup" statement. Yet is seems to be trying to express some aspect of truth.
In a similar way, there is something not quite right with the statement: "I am already awake". The problem isn't so much with the "already awake" part of that statement as with the "I am" part of that statement. Who is the "I" in that statement that is "already awake"? The statement "I am already awake" also seems to be trying to express some aspect of truth.
Don't assume that statement is not true. It may be better to accept that statement as true, like accepting the statement "blue is this cup" as true, but then look for what is really being said by that statement and what has been unintentionally left out of it.
-- Brian William Drisko, 11-Jan-2010 1504 email@example.com
The DVD analogy of reality can be a good example of seeing how both duality and non-duality are part of the one single non-duality, how illusion is one with reality. If you look at the DVD itself as being the one true reality, the movie on the DVD is an illusion containing many characters, many parts to the story, much drama, many choices, many possibilities. But yet, the DVD is just one. You can hold it in your hand. You can feel the DVD. There is no duality there. There is just one DVD in your hand, not multiple items. The multiple characters, the choices, and all the drama are just an illusion contained within the tracks of that one DVD. Just in the same way that all the illusion, drama, multiple characters, even the sense of time and duality itself are all contained within non-duality.
-- Brian William Drisko, 11-Jan-2010 1516 firstname.lastname@example.org
... this book will not offer the individual - that is, you - any new beliefs, nor will it attempt to destroy any present ones. Nothing ever needs to be denied or rejected for liberation to be, because in this moment, as life plays out, there is always already liberation, and anything we do to achieve liberation is simply misguided, but nonetheless perfectly acceptable.
Already nobody is running this show, already nobody is suffering and already nobody longs to be free. There is simply the present appearance of it all. Simply this, and nothing more. It's so simple, so obvious.
The heart beats, and you are not doing it.
Breathing happens, and you are not doing it.
Sounds in the room happen, and you are not doing them.
Pain arises, and you are not causing it. Joy happens, and you have no choice. The sun rises and sets, flowers grow and wither and die, seasons change in the blink of an eye, and you are not in charge of this dream world. The play of opposites plays itself out, and there is an undetectable Silence that continuously embraces it all, allowing everything to arise exactly as it is.
-- Jeff Foster in LIFE WITHOUT A CENTRE - Awakening From the Dream of Separation, pg 3
When the search for enlightenment collapses, when the mind exhausts itself and gives up, it is clearly seen: enlightenment can never be found, because it was never lost.
This ordinary life is already what we are looking for, and already, in this moment, there is a perfection that could never be seen by the seeking mind. ... truth is a pathless land.
... this is it. What is happening presently is all that could possibly be happening.
And so these days, there is just the living of a very ordinary life, with no desire to reach some higher plane of existence, find my True Self, or become one with God.
And it's so obvious now: This ordinary life is all there is, or ever was. And in this ordinary life, there is such an extraordinary presence, an openness, an aliveness which means that nothing is ever really ordinary at all. It's all God. Freedom. Perfect in its imperfection.
-- Jeff Foster in LIFE WITHOUT A CENTRE - Awakening From the Dream of Separation, pg 13-15
When the search for enlightenment collapses, when the mind exhausts itself and gives up, it is clearly seen: enlightenment can never be found, because it was never lost.
-- Jeff Foster in LIFE WITHOUT A CENTRE - Awakening From the Dream of Separation, pg 13
What is Englightenment or Awakening?
... enlightenment is a sudden, direct and energetic illumination that is continuously available. It is the open secret which reveals itself in every part of our lives. No effort, path of purification,, process or teaching of any kind can take us there. For the open secret is not about our effort to change the way we live. It is about the rediscovery of what it is that lives.
-- Tony Parsons in The Open Secret, pg 49
Awakening is the realisation that there is no one and nothing that needs awakening. Therefore there is no one and nothing that needs to be awakened and there is no one who has anything.
So after awakening it isn't that one's life is suddenly wonderful and there are no problems. The apparent life of that character continues just as it always did, with the same sort of apparent difficulties. But there is no one there anymore. There never was anyone there. Before awakening, there is an idea that there is someone there who has problems, who suffers, who owns pain. Afterwards there is no one.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 162
In all truth, there is really no awakening or enlightenment at all. This is one of the last concepts that the mind hangs on to. So forget about that completely!
-- John Wheeler in Shining in Plain View, pg 111
Awakening is like going to sleep. You can't will yourself to go to sleep. It just happens. Waking up is very much like going to sleep. The harder you try, the more it doesn't happen. We wake up spiritually the same way we go to sleep at night. We just let ourselves go to sleep. How do you wake up? You just let yourself wake up. And you don't know how you do it.
-- Adyashanti in Spontaneous Awakening, CD Disk 1 Track 3
True enlightenment is already fully present, but as long as the mind thinks it's some kind of an experience, it gets overlooked.
Your true identity is the ultimate subject and it is effortlessly aware of everything. To this ultimate subject -- to this witnessing presence -- everything that appears is an object, including thoughts, the ego and the mind.
-- Leo Hartong in From Self to Self, pg 229
... enlightenment is absolutely beyond my effort to change the way I live, or even of changing life at all. It has to do with a total shift in the realization of "who" it is that lives.
For I am already that which I seek. Whatever I seek or think I want, however long the shopping list may be, all of my desires are only a reflection of my longing to come home. And home is oneness; home is my original nature. It is right here, simply in "what is". There is nowhere else I have to go, and nothing else I have to become.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 8
For the sake of clarity, the terms enlightenment, liberation, fulfillment, freedom, oneness, and so on, are all seen here as being the same as the absolute realization by anyone of what they really are.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 9
One of the things I came to see is that enlightenment only becomes available when it has been accepted that it cannot be achieved.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 11
Life is not a task. There is absolutely nothing to attain except the realization that there is absolutely nothing to attain.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 12
... there have been, and still are, many who seek to encourage such beliefs [that enlightenment is something to be achieved] and who have actually claimed to have become enlightened. I now see that this is as pointless a declaration as someone proclaiming to the world that they can breath.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 15
... there is no one and nothing to be enlightened. Enlightenment simply is.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 16
[Enlightenment is] something that is as natural, simple, and available as breathing.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 17
... there is no process to learn because I cannot learn to achieve something that I already am.
Presence is totally effortless and is nearer to me than breathing. Presence can only be allowed and recognized.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 38
In speaking of liberation, with clarity, we are talking about something that is beyond the mind's capacity to understand. As liberation brings with it the realization that there has never been anyone to liberate, the mind perceives an increasing threat. Consequently, it will use its considerable guile to find a way to convince us that it first fully understands what is being suggested and, secondly, that it will gladly assist in delivering whatever fulfillment seems to be offered. This assistance will immediately be translated into a process. It needs to be stressed, again and again, that personal processes cannot open us to enlightenment.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 77
What would you say about choice?
When awakening happens, it is seen that there was never anyone to achieve that awakening.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 98
But how do I pay the mortgage?
It need not be a problem. The way in which the body/mind functions simply continues. Nothing apparently changes, but everything is transformed. In spontaneous creativity, without fear can come a deep harmony with what is happening. But this always has to be a secondary consideration and is never guaranteed.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 99
Be open to the idea of living the rest of your life in chaos; giving up having to know anything anymore.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 99
... once awakening happens, there is no longer anything to believe in or doubt. It is the ending of all questioning. From then on, everything is simply "as it is". There is no longer a wondering why, having to judge or wishing to change anything.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 1150
Once awakening happens, there is simply and absolutely nothing one needs to possess anymore -- it is the end of all need. It is total fulfillment, but it is an ever-changing and alive fulfillment, not a fixed perfect bliss as some would have us believe.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 119
From the point of view of the separate individual everything seems unfair, but from the awakened point of view, everything is appropriate.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 121
When awakening happens, then everything is seen as absolutely fine just the way it is. The mind, which is only really a collection of thoughts, simply goes on in its own sweet and often silly way, but there is no longer any identification with it. The ego tends to diminish in effect as the gaze of presence evaporates its illusory identity. Usually the ego demands full attention, like a child, and when it is simply gazed upon without any interest, it tends to dry up and die.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 125
No questions, no judgments, no wish to change anything or make it better.
Fall in love with this. Fall in love with it intimately and everything else will emerge. And don't stay fixed with one thing. Let whatever arises come to the forefront and fall away back into the emptiness.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 127
Simply give up your attachment and fascination with the story and let life happen. Something else of immense significance will take the place of all your worries, and you will be overrun by a new sense of wonder. Everything will reflect the quality of benevolence. This is the natural way for life to be.
... there is a kind of childlike innocence and a readiness to wonder.
You can ... come to see that there is no such thing as truth, there is only "what is, as it is" right now. Whoever you meet along the way, that's how it's meant to be.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 128
Enlightenment is our natural and ordinary way of being. In comparison with separation, awakening is extraordinary. Suddenly there is no longer a feeling of alienation. Nothing in particular changes in one's life except the perception of everything.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 129
You are the divine manifestation, so where is learning needed? You don't need me or anyone or anything. If someone suggests to you that they can take you to awakening, then simply walk away. Where do they have to take you when you are already that illumination?
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 130
There are no words that can describe enlightenment. It brings with it, however, the realization that there was never anybody or anything to be enlightened.
There is no "person" that is enlightened; that is a contradiction in terms. There is no separate self ... Simply drop seeking and there it is. There is absolutely nothing to look for.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 131
... in what is seen is also the "is-ness" off unconditional love, the ground of being. It is seen in all and everything, be it a so-called beautiful sunset or a trashcan. ... There is absolutely nothing that doesn't generate this ground of being. All is sacred, and we walk and talk and have our time in that which is no less than heaven.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 132
I don't have anything that you don't have. The difference is that I am no longer looking for anything. That is it, and that's the end of it. Give up the search for something to happen and fall in love, fall intimately in love with the gift of presence in "what is".
Here, right here, is the seat of all that you will ever long for. It is simple and ordinary and magnificent. You see, you are aleady home.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 138
Realize that resting in your true nature does not have to do with having a still mind or not experiencing the desires and interests of the body and mind.
-- John Wheeler in Shining in Plain View, pg 172
... the great difficulty people have with, let's call it enlightenment, is that they've been conditioned to think they've got to go somewhere or become something for that to happen. And what's being said directly now is that that isn't the case. It's got absolutely nothing to do with you at all, or you going anywhere or anything happening to you in that way.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 13
There is only one clear seeing, that can happen, and when it happens, there's a knowing; there's no question about the nature of that. Afterwards, there is a return to the 'me' - there has to be to protect the body /mind. There is no such thing as a transcendental experience. There is, however, a transcendental happening and thereafter the perception changes.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 16
When one is oneness or has recognised it, is the play still ongoing or is one in that position of the child in the joy and wonder of it?
The play still goes on, but no longer is there any idea that it's going anywhere or has any purpose. It's just the play of manifestation; it's one playing the game of twoness. Whereas before that, there was the journey to find that. That's why it is that when the seeker drops away there's often a lot of laughter that happens - suddenly realising that what you're seeking is already right in front of you and seeing how you were going all over the place looking for the joy and wonder of that which already is.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 18
Awakening has nothing to do with goodness or bliss - awakening is the realisation that there is only oneness and twoness arises in that, including Tony Parsons.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 21
Who is in there that can choose to free themselves? What you will realise is that awakening is the dropping of the sense of 'me', and the last thing 'me' wants to do is drop. So 'me' can't choose to kill itself.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 32
'Ah! At last, I realise that after all these years of struggle and endeavour to be better or still or drop the ego - suddenly I see it's utterlly pointless'. There is just this, the seeing of this.
It's the dropping of 'me', and no one can do that. But once the seed has been planted, in a way suddenly everything starts to change. People give up the idea that they can get anywhere and something now takes over. It's happening.
... what you are knows. When you say 'know', I use the word in the sense of 'seeing', not 'knowledge'. What you are sees what is, and in the end sees itself.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 33
What is being talked about here is beyond the mind and heart of man. It's beyond understanding, it can't be understood. And it can't be related to goodness or badness. It's beyond all of that. But it also embraces all of that.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 34
... there just is seeing. In very practical terms, in terms of looking through the eyes, there's no one in this room seeing me - there is only seeing. The seeing that you think is going on from you is actually simply seeing. See from nothing - just let there be seeing. The strange thing is that that actually is all there is anyway. All that's over the top of it is some idea that you're there, that there is a person there.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 35
The mind will never comprehend it because the mind is the tool of oneness to split everything into separation, into two.
... awakening is the marriage of all of that in oneness. The mind is only an instrument and can never get anywhere near what we're talking about. It isn't meant to get near what we're talking about. That's why it's a good idea not to try to remember anything that's being said here, or even to listen. You don't need to listen - you are this.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 36
It's the letting go of the idea that there's anything to find and it's the letting go of the one in there who's looking around looking for something. It's just simply letting there be seeing, letting there be hearing, letting there be smelling, letting there be touching, letting there be recognition of feelings ... Letting the feelings simply be seen without any sense that they need to change; they just are what is.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 38
When awakening happens (as it does quite a lot now), one thing people say more than anything else is that what is now seen is totally obvious. It is so obvious. It is right next door to what you think is going on right now. You think that you are seeing me - in fact all that is really happening is that there is the seeing of me, or whatever it is that's arising. The difference between awakening and not awakening - between seeing and not seeing - is simply the seeing that there is no one there. There is no 'me'.
If you want to, you can close your eyes and try and find 'me'. What arises in awareness are sensations. There can be feelings in the body, thoughts ... It doesn't matter what it is that arises - a 'me' can't be found in there. Look for 'me' - it's not possible to find a fixed place, a fixed point that is 'me'. Where is your 'me'? Go on looking for 'me' and all that is actually found is sensations, bodily sensations, awarreness of body, awareness of the thought 'I can't find me' ...
In fact, what we look for is the loss of the idea of a 'me'. It is simply the loss of personal identity - which never was a reality anyway. We look for the loss of an unreality. Everything is lost, and in a way the 'me' is everything. We are rich people tryiing to find the kingdom of heaven. All the time there is a 'me' that has concepts about itself, the importance of life and the importance of finding enlightenment, we are rich people.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 42
And all of that falls away, and there is nothing left but the seeing of this; just the clear seeing of sensations, of life apparently happening. That clear seeing comes out of nothing. It is as though there is nothingthere, seeing life happening. Without any sense that what is happening needs to change, to be better or worse; without any judgement at all, or any sense that what is seen is going anywhere. And beyond clear seeing resides. unicity.
So what you are looking for already is. What you are looking for is already this. Actually, all your life there has been clear seeing. What overlays that is the identification, as though there is a separate seer.
It is just a shift in perception from that to this. It is utterly simple, utterly direct and available. Enlightenment is totally available. Light is all there is. All these ideas that you have about climbing a mountain and meditating for twenty years, giving up desire ... Awakening has nothing to do with any of that. Light is all there is. There is nothing that has to be done, simply because it is just the seeing of this. Who has to do anything about that? There is always this, there is only ever this. Wherever you go, there is only this.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 43
... without all the effort of seeking, it sounds like a lottery.
... awakening doesn't happen to anyone. ... People appear to do the lottery and win it, but nobody does 'become awakened'.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 44
It's nobody's play - it's just play. There is no one - there is no one out there! There really isn't - there's no one. There's just play.
It is both something and nothing. It's this. It isn't a consciousness from somewhere - this is, if you like, consciousness. This is life. There is simply life playing life, and there's nothing that's directing that and nothing that's choosing anything. There is no destiny. There's nothing going anywhere at all. This is simply life playing life.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 45
Although people don't necessarily come here thinking that they're ready to give up everything, that's actually what is going to happenn in the end. This is about giving up everything. Or you could say it's about giving up investment in an appearance. But it is a kind of death, and it seems like a threat because we're so used to living in this thing we think we know, the 'me'. So it feels like more than giving up an appearance.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 48
What we're talking about here is something that actually already is the case. What we're talking about here is something that has neve come and never goes away. It is presence, it is stillness ... The words don't express it, but it's not a state and it's not something that is here and then isn't here. It is actually all there is.
What's in the way of knowing that is you, is the mind, is the 'me', the 'me' that wants to find that state. And no amount of meditation, no amount of sacrifice or purification, nothing of that sort will ever allow that to emerge, because that doesn't need to emerge. And no amount of meditation or effort or purification will ever destroy the illusion of 'me', because the whole effort of trying to destroy the illusion of 'me' continues to reinforce 'me-ing'.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 49
... there's no way you can creep up on yourself; you can't creep up on awakening. There is no method that allows you to go on a journey towards what already is the case.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 50
The idea of somebody having a quieter mind bears no relationship to awakening. There's no relevance; there's just no connection between the two. It's like therapy. You can go into therapy and forgive your mother, so then you're a person who's apparently forgiven your mother. Or you can go and meditate for years and have a quiet mind - then you're a person who apparently has a quieter mind. Both of these are possessions. Awakening brings total poverty and absolute wealth.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 51
... it isn't really a personalized thing. Being in presence is being everything, so if it is being everything, then obviously need arises. And not just in this body/mind but in every other body/mind that happens to be present, that happens to be in that awareness. So I am everything in this room ... There is only oneness, therefore what I am - which is oneness - is everything in this room.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 53
Tony Parsons isn't enlightened - nobody is. It's not a state; it's not something that is like something. In fact, the nearest you can get to it is to say it's like nothing. It's nothing.
... awakening is nothing, but when you're on the other side, you want to know what it's like. And there's no way you can ever know what it's like. And when it is there, there's no one to know what it's like.
You see, the answer to all questions really is 'There is only this, the seeing of this, just as it is'. ... The mind always wants more. But if you can just stop the world and see what it is, and then also see that the mind comes in and says, 'It's got to be more than this', then you see the basic drama, let's say, that's going on all the time, the play of just seeing this and then the mind saying, 'This isn't enough - I want more. This isn't enlightenment - I want more'.
... as the agitation of the mind is seen, that agitation begins to dissipate in that seeing. Just seeing the mind coming in and saying, 'There's more - there's got to be more than just sitting on a seat'. That's when that agitation begins to dissipate, because simply seeing the mind's activity gradually slows down.
Then there's just the seeing of this, and there's a taste of sweetness about just seeing this. There's a sweetness about it because time has actually stopped - there is no time, there's just seeing this, the sitting in this. This sounds like a process, but it is only ever apparent time meeting the timeless.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 60
Nisargadatta said, 'Knowing that I am nothing is wisdom... Knowing I am everything is love' - that is the total disintegration of any sense of a permanent fixed 'me'.
When love appears and it shatters that glass box ['me'] and there is simply love, then there is no way that there is any communication to anyone or that there's any way you can teach anybody anything. Because what is seen is that they are absolutely divine as they are. This is unconditional love.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 66
So how can anyone tell you to meditate or sing mantras or be serious or be honest or any of those things? How can anyone tell you that, when already you are that? All that's going on here is that I'm telling you it's already like that; you already are oneness; you are already that.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 67
Awakening ... is only about dropping of the one that's looking for something.
As a little child, you weren't looking for anything. As a little child, you were in total love. Everything was just what it was. And then the game of separation began. And from that very moment of separation, you were looking - 'Oh, I've lost it! Where's it gone?' You were looking for love; you were looking for what you are. And now you've come to discover that you don't need to look anymore because everything you're looking at is that. It's absolutely as simple as that, and there's no one there who can do anything about that.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 70
The whole thing about awakening is not getting something. We grow up wanting to get things; the mind always wants to get things. It's a bottomless pit. When we hear about enlightenment, we think it's something we can get. And enlightenment or awakening is not getting anything - it's actually losing everything.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 74
... it is quite common to hear so-called 'teachers' using non-dualistic language and then directly contradicting the real meaning of non-dualism by recommending processes and practices to presumed individuals. Many highly revered gurus and teachers, past and present, are classified as communicators of the advaita-vendata tradition by the so-called experts and the general public, when in reality their teaching is dualistic.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 75
There are actually people communicating about awakening who are ordinary, who are not trying to sell anything, who are just friends. Friendship is happening in this whole thing, and that's because, somewhere the people who are coming to hear about this wonderful news are beginning to see that it's their own message; it's theirs. They're beginning to see that they don't need a guru, they don't need a spiritual teacher. There's an opening in people's awareness, in people's understanding, where they are beginning to see ... and are ready to see ... and are ready to open to the possibility that they don't need anyone or anything.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 77
... Nobody needs ever to come here again - really. You don't need to come to anybody to hear that you are the divine expression just as you are. Simply as you are - that is the divine expression. It doesn't need to change, it doesn't need to be better or worse or different - it is exactly as you are. That is the light manifesting. That is oneness being you, living through you.
So forget about the neurosis that you think you have, forget about the feelings of inadequacy that you have. I'm no more inadequate than you are. I'm no different than you. The only difference is that there is a seeing that there's nothing to ask. There's seeing that there is no separate 'me' here, and that there's nowhere to go. There's a seeing that this is it.
And it's not special or exclusive, this awakening ... it is the natural way.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 78
No one wakes up. Awakening is not actually anything that happens to anybody; clear seeing becomes apparent when there is nobody. Awakening is the dropping of the sense that there is anyone. The illusion of the separate entity drops, then there is what is already the case -- light. It is then seen - by no one - that there is no one and nothing that needs to become liberated.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 81
It's often been said that there is a seer behind everything, or that's how people have viewed it. That still gives the idea that there is something there. But occasionally, with a bit more clarity, it's been described as 'There is only seeing'. There isn't a seer but just seeing.
That's it. Or being - there is only seeing or being. That's all there is.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 81
This is about children. What we're talking about here is the wonder of this. We've put it on a shelf somewhere and taken down another thing from the shelf called adulthood. That's all right, that's absolutely how it should be. But at some point or another a lot of people have the courage to take that other thing off the shelf again -- the childhood, the wonder -- and give up this idea of adulthood.
In these terms, adulthood is the idea of somebody quite important who's fascinated by the idea that they have a life which they can change by their own choice aand make better or worse. The idea of separate individuality is what for me adulthood is about. Childhood is about childlikeness, which is the wonder of this.
This is wonderful -- you're sitting on a miracle, you drink and breathe and wonder. That's all that's happening. That's all that's always happening.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 81
... traditional teachers tell us that one of the barriers to awareness is the runaway mind going into the past and into the future.
There is no barrier. The mind is only a collection of thoughts, and thoughts are not the barrier. Nothing is the barrier -- except the idea that there is a barrier.
They're not carrying one away from the present?
They are just thoughts. You can't be carried away from this -- you are this, and what arises in this is the thought about what's going to happen in ten years' time.
It's really very different to other teachers.
It is totally different. Let's be very clear about this -- that sort of teaching comes from the misunderstanding that there is someone there who thinks, and that thinking takes them away from what they are. There is no one there, and there is also no one there who can choose to think or not to think. There is simply no one; there is only awareness. And anything can arise in that awareness, including the thought of what's going to happen in ten years' time.
The trouble with the mind is that it's very tricky, and the guru mind will convince people -- and it's a fascinating idea -- that thoughts are like the devil. Thoughts are oneness, thought-ing.
[Eckhart Tolle's teaching is] a dualistic teaching -- it's a teaching about the idea that there is someone there who can do something about not being there.
There is no 'I am aware' in awareness.
No, there is just awareness.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 90-91
... there are no levels of enlightenment. There is just seeing and not seeing. There is absolute unicity, or these is apparent separation.
... this is not a state. These isn't anybody who's watching or not watching, and there isn't anybody who's accepting or not accepting. There simply is what is arising. And in that what-is-arising, there can be anger, resistance or anything you'd like to name, but there is no longer anyone here. I am this, and in this there can be resistance, anger, ego, all sorts, which arise. That's what arises and that is celebrated. There isn't anybody doing anything.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 95
... you never have been safe actually, but you think you have. Let go of that and you let go of everything. 'What does it profit a man that he gains the world and suffers the loss of his soul?' There is no soul, but this is about total and utter poverty. The kingdom of heaven is like a pearl in the field, and the farmer gives up everything for that. We have to give up absolutely everything for this -- everything. But we can't do it! So that's a relief, isn't it! But somewhere we know that, and when that's opened to, then it can happen.
And to the mind, that's really frightening because everything falls away. Everything that you think you are falls away -- time, deals ... all fall away. There is juust this. So you are left with absolutely nothing. And you have absolutely everything. Because you are absolutely everything. It's very simple!
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 98
What this is -- right at this moment -- is it. Just sit there and be life.
... not wanting it is getting very close. ... somebody else, in Bombay says, 'If you don't care and you give up the whole idea of it, then it's available' ... All that's happening here right now is that you're sitting on a chair. That's all there is. There is only this. It's so utterly simple.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 100
Go on feeling that whatever's felt in the body or whatever thoughts arise are absolutely fine. There's nothing wrong with thinking. There's nothing wrong with time-thinking, with planning, with worrying, with feeling fear -- with feeling anything. Just begin to try and let that just be there on its own, as something that's happening, without any sense of judgement, without trying to look for any sort of meaning at all. Just forget about looking for meaning, and let what's happening just be there, the feelings, the thoughts ... Even the pusshing away or the resistance to what's happening is, again, something that's just happening.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 101
Awakening doesn't come down to you -- there is simply light. The apparent darkness that overlays the light is the idea that there's a person there, which has been reinforced during what seems like a process of years. But that feeling of there being a person can drop away instantaneously. It does every night anyway, but it can drop away in your conscious day just like that -- because it's simply an idea.
And that is what awakening is -- the realisation that there is no one to awaken. Liberation arises when it's discovered that there is no one to liberate.
... whatever is happening is simply happening, and it's happening to no one. It's utterly, utterly simple. In other words, instead of there being a person there, let there be nothing there but what is.
... all there actually is is activity. And there's no way I can make anybody see this and there's no way you can make it happen. But it's happening here and it's happening elsewhere.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 106
... it has nothing to do with who you think you are. You are just a character in a play. The play is not going to change -- nothing is going to get better or worse -- but what emerges is the one that sees. Clear seeing is simply seeing without anyone being there.
In clear seeing there is no one there who wants anything, and so what is seen is the reality. The reality is that there iss only oneness.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 109
You can't drop 'you'. There is no one there - there has never been anyone there who could drop or chose anything, so there is nothing that can be done.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 110
As far as I'm concerned, there is no such thing as now. 'Now' implies there is a then -- you're back in time. 'Now' is this moment -- but there is no moment. There is only this. It's timeless. It isn't now and it wasn't then. There is an abyss between the two concepts.
It is not leading you to awakening -- there is no way that you can be led to what already is.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 114
The mind is always looking for something more -- 'What's going to happen next?' What we long for, we think we can get through the mind. So the mind is continually throwing up all sorts of riches and none of them ever satisfies. When you go and see people teaching about what is said to be the nature of enlightenment, the ones who teach some sort of process are still coming from the mind. It is very popular.
The nature of what we are is totally and utterly simple. It's here right now. It's this, the seeing of this. There is nothing complicated, there is nothing that needs to be done. But the mind wants the process of discovering our own nature to be complicated so that we don't find it. The mind wants to continue being employed. And it will go on and on and on forever. We go on filling the bowl with our mind's activity, and never ever will it be filled.
The crazy thing about it is that what is being looked for is right in front of us. What we are looking for is what is right in this.
The only thing that is constant, the only thing that never leaves, is this. You can go out of here and go down the road and there will still be this. It doesn't matter what you do or where you go, there'll always be this. ... You can never ecape the one, becaue you already are the one. The one is all there is.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 122
... searching for truth is denying it. Searching for one is a continual denial of the realisation that one is all there is.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 124
... the final understanding is the realisation that there is nothing to understand.
There is only one communication, and that is nothing to nothing. Any idea that there are different levels at which you speak to people is just ignorance or arrogance.
... it is all totally regulated -- there is only so much oneness that the body can stand, and then it needs to go back into contraction, until the time comes when that can be totally accepted by the body. It's a very energetic thing.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 132
It's a dropping of all concepts about becoming anything or about being on a path. Basically, all there is is this -- there is just this.
Enlightenment has nothing to do with you. It has nothing to do with personal change.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 136
... you have to come to some sort of understanding that there is nothing to understand.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 149
Whatever arises is the gift -- sitting on a chair, drinking water, holding somebody's hand, hearing the car go by, feeling the heat in the body ... It's a gift.
There is always one thing. If you really stop, there is only one thing -- rubbing your brow, having a sip of tea, a feeling of anger ... I'm talking about something absolutely immediate and direct.
... the energy from which everything arises ... is the constant -- it is the only constant. It is the unchanging constant silence of what we are. Everything arises out of that.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 152-153
Awakening brings a totally different perception. It is not you who has that perception -- it is no one who has that perception. Awakening is the realization that there is no one there. And when there is no one, all that has been talked about is seen by no one, including the character Bill or Mary; they arise in that.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 157
Never forget you are talking about an eternal drama. Always this drama includes what you would call unawakened people. (As far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing -- I don't see anybody awakened or unawakened.)
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 158
... this is heaven -- this is the kingdm of heaven. You walk in heaven. You can never ever not be walking in heaven. You are walking in the absolute all the time. There is always this -- eternally there is only this -- and this is paradise.
Awakening is the realisation that there is no one and nothing that needs awakening. Therefore there is no one to be awakened and there is no one who has anything..
What we are talking about here is total liberation, is total poverty, utter poverty. It's the same as humility. Humility isn't 'I am less than you'. Real humility is 'There is no one'. Poverty is that nothing is owned, including fear, suffering, anger ... Nothing is owned but fear can arise.
So after awakening it isn't that one's life is suddenly wonderful and there are no problems. The apparent life of that character continues as it always did, with the same sort of apparent difficulties. But there is no one there anymore. There never was anyone there. Before awakening, there is an idea that there is someone there who has problems, who suffers, who owns pain. Afterward there is no one.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 162
What is communicated here is that nobody can become enlightened. There is no such thing as an object called enlightenment, and no person has ever become enlightened. There is no singular separate person sitting here. There is no one!
Awakening is simply the dropping away of the seeker, the seeker who looks for something out there and goes on looking. It is the dropping away of the one who wants something. When that drops away, there is what is already always there -- simply light, the absolute, the source appearing as this .. It is not attained or owned by anyone or anything. It simply is that which is the only constant.
All of this is just the source appearing. It's the one appearing as two ... The one playing the game of being the wall ... And you are playing the game of believing that you are a person -- the only problem is that you take the game seriously.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 168
Awakening is that there is no one. What arises is seen by no one. There is nothing that anyone can do about being no one.
'How can there be anything to seek when what is happening here is it?' There is nothing to find because this is it.
The liberation we seek is the dropping away of the one that is looking for something over there. When it becomes apparent that this is it, then that effort to find the treasure is no longer there. After that, desires can still be there -- like the desire to eat spaghetti rather than watercress ... That can still be there, but there is no longer anyone who invests in that. It is a game. It is a wonderful drama. And nothing matters.
There is only the light. You are all awakened. All of you are awake, believing that you aren't.
After awakening ambitions can still arise, goals can still arise. Before awakening, the whole idea of a goal is that somehow it will finally fulfil you. Afterwards, it is known that it won't. Then that goal is just another part of the play -- there is a joy in running faster or further, or in painting a better painting ... There is a joy in it because there is no neurotic drive to fill a sense of loss.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 170
There isn't anything that is not the souce, including separation, including neurosis, including suffering. It is all simply the souce appearing.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 172
Life. Awakening or oneness isn't really being intimate -- it is simply that everthing is what it is.
Relationship is between one and another. But there is only one. You can't relate to one because you already are one.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 191
... ignorance comes out of the presumption that the mind can and must understand something in order for awakening to happen -- this is generated out of a deep ignorance. What is being communicated here is totally beyond the mind and heart. It is speaking directly to the wisdon we all already are.It is far easier for an utterly simple person to see this than it is for a person loaded with the luggage of so-called spiritual knowledge.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 192
I'm not telling you anything. What is being given to you is absolutely nothing. This communication is dissolving the idea that there is anyone there who can do anything. That is the parable; that is the story. And it's so convincing! Most people are totally convinced that this is real; that there is cause and effect. 'I am a real person!' In the dream it appears to be real, to the one who is separate. Awakening is simply the dropping of that idea. It's as simple as that.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 193
The invitation is ... another part of the parable. There is an invitation but it is only the appearance of an invitation. Once the invitation card is accepted -- by no one -- then there is no invitation, because there is no one to invite.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 194
So if I understand it rightly, you feel you are the one. That sounds rather abstract.
To the mind it sounds abstract, but it's more real than anything else. It is the only real thing, the oneness. Whilst we are separate wee live in an abstract world; we live in a world of escaping life. ... In separation, we do live in an abstract world; we live in this thought world. In naturally being at one, there is nothing abstract. It is very immediate, very direct. It is being in love with this. There is nothing else but this.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 198
'Wisdom is knowing that you are nothing -- love is knowing you are everything.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 199
When oneness is embraced or embodied, there is no question of helping anybody -- there is nobody who needs help.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 201
The mind is always making up a list of things -- 'Two or three steps have to happen before this takes place'.
Actually, nothing has to happen at all.
Whilst there is a sense of being a separate individual, then there is a sense that there is something to learn. All you're really learning actually is that there is nothing to learn.... once the invitation is taken up, then there's no invitation. I don't live in invitation because there's no one here who needs an invitation. In fact, there is no one here who needs anything. There is simply no separate entity.
... no one becomes awakened -- no person. There's nobody. There is no one. There is no will; there is no God or God's will. There is no such thing as choice anywhere -- anywhere at all. The whole idea of choice or will -- which is totally a construct of the mind -- implies a motive, implies that there's something going somewhere. There isn't anything going anywhere. Choice and will are as much appearances as karma or rebirth or reincarnation. It's simply an idea made up through the mind which maintains the apparent continuance of the drama of the search.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 227-330
This whole idea we have that once awakening happens, somehow you're in a fixed state of blissful goodness comes out of a deep ignorance.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 232
The traditional teachings which recommend meditation, stilling the mind, killing the ego, are nothing more than a conversation in the mind between an artificial spiritual ego and an artificial ordinary ego. It is pure dualism.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 236
... enlightenment only becomes available when it has been accepted that it cannot be achieved.
-- Tony Parsons in The Open Secret, pg 4
Enlightenment is devastatingly simple. Although questions regarding enlightenment often become complicated, the answer always remains simple: awakening to enlightenment is the direct result of freedom from the illusion of a separate self. A profound understanding of this ultimate simplicity provides all that is required for an awakening to enlightenment.
Enlightenment is what we are. There is nothing to gain, only its recognition.
... you are always already enlightened.
Awakening to enlightenment is a journey from here to here, not from here to there. There is nowhere to go and nothing to be attained. Enlightenment is simply an awakening to what has always been the case. ... at the finish, one experiences the same world from an entirely different perspective. As a result, your case of mistaken identity effortlessly dissolves.
The release of an illusary separate self occurs effortlessly through understanding what was never really there.
The masterpiece of enlightenment is already here. There is only the awakening to it. ... Upon awakening, one sage purportedly exclaimed, "Is that all it is?" He then laughed and went about his daily business.
Seeking enlightenment is like searching for a pair of glasses that are perched on top of your head. All efforts to find the glasses are seen as ridiculous once one understands the situation. How humorous it is to discover what was there all along!
-- Gary Crowley in From Here To Here, Turning Toward Enlightenment, pgs 1-4
We see ourselves separate and removed from the Whole -- and from everything else "out there". Thus we feel compelled to do something about our situation, which only furthers our discontent.
We feel we have to protect this well-loved thing we call "me" or "I". And we also want to please this I-creature. And so we find ourselves filled with longing and loathing.
This is delusion. It's what most often characterizes our minds. We don't recognize that our way out of such sorrow is simply to see -- not to fix something "out there".
If we would wake up and see, we'd call this seeing enlightened Mind. But we shouldn't think we can retain our separate identity and have this kind of Mind.
In fact, the enlightened Mind has us. Even now, it has us all. It already holds everything that we see, hear, feel, and think. It is the Mind of the Whole, of Reality itself.
There is nothing outside this Mind. Hence, unlike our personal minds, which are so filled with longing and loathing, it doesn't lean toward or away from anything. It doesn't try to bring about anything in particular. Unlike our egoistically created notions of God, the Mind of the Whole -- that is, Reality -- is without will.
As things rise up out of this world in difference and separation -- things that can seem threatening and displeasing to the ordinary human mind -- just see ... that there is nothing you need to reach for and nothing you need to recoil from.
... we're caught up in our petty thoughts -- our likes, our dislikes, our preoccupations, our prejudices -- busily brooding over all the things that displease us or that we feel we must have.
To the extent that we can remove ourselves from this world of longing and loathing that we create for ourselves, we make it easier to see how we get caught up in our own spinning minds. We can then begin to realize that Zen practice has to do with simplifying our lives, with not being taken in by this or tossed about by that. We can start to see that it's not in the world "out there" that we get caught, but in our own minds -- within our own attitudes and assumptions and emotions.
-- Steve Hagen in Buddhism Is Not What You Think, pgs 76 & 77
... no amount of meditating will turn you into a buddha. How could it? You're already Buddha -- that is, inseparable from Reality and Truth. Yet we ignore this and carry on as though we're all missing or lacking something.
... there's no gaining idea in Zen practice. It there is, it's not practice.
Zen is never a matter of adding something to your mind or removing something from it or denying how it functions.
Do you really think that there's something "out there" -- enlightenment, Nirvana, some special insight -- that's ever going to satisfy? ... As long as you hold yourself apart, there's always something you have to get or get away from. The supply of such things is endless. ...
What you are truly after ... cannot be grasped or attained or obtained or conceptualized or even described.
... our life can't be separated from Reality -- from the life of the world as a Whole, from the lives of others. In other words, there's nothing to get. ...
... We can realize, right up front, that this very restless, itching mind that asks, "What am I getting out of this?" and "What's best for me?" is already the paid and the confusion we wish to free ourselves from.
-- Steve Hagen in Buddhism Is Not What You Think, pg 24 - 27
You're already here, We're already here In fact, you can't leave.
There's no trail to this place. We're already here. All of us.
To be here is freedom from insanity, fear, worry, struggle, striving, the urgent desire to control, and the habitual yearning for sedurity and escape from pain.
-- Steve Hagen in Buddhism Is Not What You Think, pg 33 & 35
There's nothing you must learn or believe.
-- Wayne Liquorman in Never Mind - A Journey into Non-duality, pg 14
The ultimate goal or prize turns out to be what already is. ... All along You have been the butt of Your own cosmic joke. ... You are, and always have been, completely awake, aware and present, but merely mesmerised by Your own cosmic play.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 28
After the 'penny drops' the body-mind mechanism experiences phenomenality directly, according to its nature, according to the conditioning both genetic and psychological and environmental. And thus, it reacts according to its nature just as it did before. What is absent is any sense of personal doership.
-- Wayne Liquorman in Acceptance of What Is -- A Book About Nothing, pgs 219-220
This teaching has no effectiveness in terms of getting you enlightenment because you are never going to get enlightened! And this is not because of some limitation on your part, or on the part of the teaching, but rather because NO ONE IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE has ever been enlightened. There are no enlightened people.
Enlightenment is an impersonal event in phenomenality. ... when enlightenment happens through the body-mind mechanism, that the net effect of this event is that the body-mind mechanism through which it happens knows that there is no such thing as personal enlightenment!
-- Wayne Liquorman in Acceptance of What Is -- A Book About Nothing, pgs 52-53 ??
... there is only awakeness. There is only ever awakeness, but within awakeness, there is this mesmerisation as 'I'. When it is simply recognized that 'I' is just another thought, it's not required that 'I' completely or permanently disappeears, and it's perfectly OK for this 'I' to come and go. It doesn't matter any longer. There's no longer seeking for the marvellous or for blissfulness because all is already OK. The ease that is revealed in seeing through the 'I' is enough.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 75
As knowing is revealed, then understanding is unnecessary, and it's seen that there's never any need for understanding, ... and that none of this actually matters anyway. So there is no need for understanding. Understanding is the play.
When there is the present recognition of your true nature as oneness -- simple presence -- then what understanding is needed for that? There is presence -- everything as it is: characters appearings, stories going on, earthquakes happening and tragedies, great joy, and all the rest of it. It's the play. Within the play, when there is identification as the character, all sorts of things can seem important but nothing actually is important. It's only important from the point of view of the play itself.
Anything that's about the working out of this life as the character becomes obsolete. There's life as it is, and trying to work it out in any way is the seeking by the identified character. There's nothing to be worked out. There's simply the movie appearing on the screen.
In a practical way, though, if we talk of hobbies -- like needlework or gardening or archaeology or something like that -- then that will likely continue; the character has certain tendencies. But these things aren't about trying to find some way out of the play -- they're about entertainment within the play. All of the stuff about trying to escape from the play, though, and trying to make it work becomes obsolete. There is a loss of interest in it.
But the play is still all there, because it cannot be otherwise.
Yes, a story may even still be running -- but it's seen through, the mesmerisation is seen through. There is still the life of this character appearing, but the motive to escape from it is gone. It's seen for what it is. There's already oneness whether or not there is a story running within it. The story can still run but the story is known to be a story, and so an ordinary life appears.
In what now appears as the ordinary, through, there's no longer the motive to seek bliss or anything else -- it's seen through. It's all just part of the play. There is an ease that doesn't require any seeking.
All is already OK as it is. The 'I' that would do something is seen through. As the search to do something to try to change it in any way, falls away, then ease or peace is not manufactured or created -- it's what is already the case anyway and is simply obscured by the mesmerisation.
The relaxing into ease seems to bring a spontaneity without too much thinking 'Can I do this or should I do this?' (The stopping of the spinning gears)
This 'me' saying 'I can't do it' is the story that's running alongside what's actually happening. And when we see through the thought story, the story may continue to arise but it's no longer believed, and so everything appears more spontaneous.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pgs 77-78
Any movement to explain to 'others' requires an investment in the story of a character here, and when that is seen through, stuff like that is no longer important.
'Wow this is revolutionary! This is absolutely amazing! I must tell everybody about this!' But hardly any of the characters are interested. Why should they be? Consciousness is already awake as every character and has no investment or special interest in the recognition of itself as Consciousness.
As the 'I' is seen through, all of the precious seeking drama dies a natural death.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 80-81
There is seeking for some kind of ultimate knower -- whereas, in fact, all there is is knowing. It's always immediate, always right now. If it is projected as an awakening that's going to happen in the future, then something is being overlooked.
... all that is going on here is a description, not a prescription.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 86
... the 'me' can't do it because the 'me' is what is seen through. All that can be said is that within the play of life, the mesmerisation with the thought story is gradually -- or suddenly -- seen through.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 88
When thoughts are seen for what they are -- including the 'I' thought -- then the play is lived in an ordinary fashion, so that there is no longer concern with 'inside' and 'outside' and all the rest of it. There is simply presence, and the play unfolds. But it's no longer mesmerising, it's no longer taken seriously.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 97
This play seems to be about the recognition of oneness, about relaxing into the ease of being -- which is actually already the case anyway, but is simply recognized via the medium of the play.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 100
It would be a bit like watching East Enders with all the cameras showing. It would be very difficult to take it seriously.
Yes, that's right, that's a good way of describing what's happening at a talk such as this: the cameras are on show.
So in the play it's a bit like a process of discovery of the scenery, noticing that it is actually a stage set with props.
Yes, that's right. Everything is the scenery: all thoughts, all feelings, all visual images are the scenery.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 107
There's no longer any concern about forgetting. There's no longer an investment in the play. The play unfolds but the story loses its mesmerising capacity.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 128
When there is recognition of our true nature, that oneness or Consciousness is presently appearing as this character, there's no walking around saying, 'I am Consciousness appearing as this character' -- there is simply an ordinary life.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 129
... there is already one hundred percent awakeness. Most of the time, for most of the characters in the play, there is the assumption of being a 'someone'. Therefore, recognising our true nature as oneness cannot be a special or important scene because there are a whole lot more characters -- a lot more 'someones' -- watching the football today than there are in this room listening to this message.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 132
What initially arises as understanding in the play dissolves in knowing, and there is no longer any need for analogies or understanding of any kind. There is the direct, immediate, thought-free recognition of our true nature.
The old tool-bag gets left behind at some stage.
Yes, and there is the recognition that there has only ever been wholeness or oneness.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 134
There is no mind, ... the apparent stream of thoughts (which you are referring to as 'mind') seems to be less mesmerising; the play is seen through, and there is resting as oneness.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 135
... there is only already awakeness. ... no awakening can possibly ever happen because there is only ever awakeness.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 141
Recognising your true nature is not an advantage -- that is the seeker's assumption and is what appears to keep the whole seeking drama in place, the idea that there will be an advantage.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 142
Oneness or wholeness has already been the case all along -- it's merely that it's been overlooked. There has only ever been awakeness, simply not recognized. So with this continual reminding of your true nature, then the thoughts that arise as questions are seen through and need no answers. There is still the appearance of the character but it is presently seen through, and tension subsides.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 145
If, for a particular character, the play of focusing attention is how oneness is revealed, then that's the way it is. But your true nature is always presently, immediately, the case -- which could be revealed by countlless different ways or by no way at all. Nothing whatsoever is required to be what you already are.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 147
When this happens -- the seeing through of the 'I' -- it kind of undermines this whole story that's being played here, the story of the life of the apparent character, where this 'I' must keep busy doing stuff, achieving and all the rest of it. Maybe a liking for simplicity -- just hanging out -- arises.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 155
When there is identification as 'I', there is a sense of separation and, simultaneously, the intuiting or innate knowledge of our true nature as oneness. This disparity appears as tension or agitation, manifesting as the search to be free of 'I', to escape from 'I'. But there is no escape. 'I' is simply an image, and either the hearing of a message such as this or maybe the appearance in the play of some form of enquiry, some examining of the 'I', may appear to lead to seeing it for what it is.
But there is only already oneness, only already awakeness, whether there is mesmerisation as the 'I' or whether there is the seeing of it as merely another image.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 159
What initially appears as understanding dissolves into knowing, and it is seen that there is no awakening -- there is simply awakeness; and that the play of identification as the character appears as a kind of a mesmerisation. The awakening that has been sought for is, in fact, rather the recognition, presently that there is already awakeness.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 165
There is already awareness, whether or not there is recognition of that -- everything is already being registered. Usually this simple fact is overlooked in the exclusive identification with the content. When there is, in the play, the beginnings of this recognition, then it can seem like a struggle by the characteer to try to do something about being aware. This is the play: the permeation into the life of the apparent character of this initial seeing through of the story.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 171
There is already registering, and then there is this mesmerisation whereby a story arises that 'I' need to be aware of awareness. But in fact, as the mesmerisation is seen through, the struggle to be aware as the 'I' becomes obsolete. It naturally drops away.
It just is, OK. So nothing at all arises of any kind, subtle or not subtle, that is not part of the play -- nothing?
All that appears, all that arises, is the content being presently registered. That's all that is happening. And all attempts and ideas of struggling to be free of identification, to be aware of awareness, all of this is the play.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 172
... there's no longer the whole story of it extending into past and future, all relating to a central 'me' or an 'I'. So the images continue to appear but there's no longer the mesmerisation whereby the focus in the thought story is taken to be real.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 187
There is only oneness, only already awakeness; Consciousness appearing immanently as everything.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 191
The 'I' is seen through and an ordinary life is lived. And all of this -- which before seemed so profound, the whole seeking for enlightenment drama -- is just seen as a pile of crack.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 198
... from an absolute point of view, where there is the constant undermining of the 'I', then any idea of future events or of anything needing to be other than what it is is simply unnecessary. There is only Consciousness playing the whole game.
As we've said, when the seeking drama collapses there is relaxing into an ordinary life, and all is simply as it is. The play continues but without the tension of seeking.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 200-201
Quotes About Advaitism:
The Aim Of Inquiry / The Inadequacy Of Words / Suffering
What Am I? / The Illusion / Purpose / Seeking / Awakening / Acceptance
Science & Nonduality / Books, Video, Audio, Podcasts
A Skeptics Approach To Non-Duality / On Being Adopted
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