Tag Archives: Awakening

What is Awareness and What is it Good For?

When you feel depressed, awareness does not cheer you up.

When you screw up at work, awareness does not say you’ll do better next time.

When you yell at your kids, awareness does not help you calm down.

When hit a car in parking lot and drive away, awareness does not forgive you.

When you are unfaithful to your spouse, awareness does not justify it.

When you steal some bread from the grocery store, awareness does not take away the guilt.

When you lose a loved one to cancer, awareness does not bring them back.

When you have spent your last penny, awareness does not put money in your account.

When your desperate for a spiritual awakening, awareness does not make it happen.

Awareness is always just…..there.

Doing nothing. Helping no one. Changing nothing for the better.

It is the source of all inaction.

Instead it is infinitely loyal. It will never leave you no matter what despicable act emerges from you. It knows nothing about judgement. It knows nothing of worthiness. It knows nothing about evil. It knows nothing of heaven or hell. It knows nothing about death. It knows nothing about suffering.

It knows nothing.

Absolutely squat.

It is not there to heal you. It is not there to make you live longer. It is not there to make others love you.

So what in the world is awareness good for.

There is one way to find out. And that is to align with it. Be a witness to your perceptions. Open yourself up to feel whatever is brought to the forefront in the field of your observation. Let it wander. Do not focus on any witnessed feeling as more important than another. Allow this freedom to dwell in your mind and body.

If you are walking, listen to the pebbles crunch on the ground as feel the pressure of each step. Notice your head moving from side to side looking at the trees. All of a sudden you turn off the road and onto a walking path. Why did you do that? You don’t recall making that choice. Now you notice each leg moving one after the other. You’re not actively choosing that either.  A random thought pops into your head that you should eat healthier.

Why?

You didn’t decide to think that. Things are happening and you don’t seem to be involved in any part of the process.

Soon you start to notice everything. The way your tongue is resting in your mouth. The way the cool spring breeze is making your eyes water just ever so slightly. The rising of your stomach with every breath.

Then it suddenly strikes you.

I am none of this.

Such intense witnessing has released you. You begin the understand the role of the witness. Your dreams. Your hopes. Your struggles. Your judgement. Your accomplishments. Your failures. Your suffering. All of these things are not “You”. They have simply been witnessed by “You”.

Now, even more dramatically. All of the ways in which you have defined who “You” are begins to fade away. The simple gap between something being inherent to your identity, to simply being observed, causes a cascading avalanche of the former self into oblivion.

Ultimately the realization hits. The me that has ruled this life, does not exist. There is no meat to this ego. There are no obstacles for me to overcome. There are no requirements for my existence. There is nothing that was there before.

There is only awareness.

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The Last Poem

I need a poem so stunningly beautiful

That it self-destructs

I would guzzle such a poison that annihilates the reader

Where each verse joyfully burns away my weathered skin

Leaving no aspect of this reality unchallenged

Upon reading such a creation I rise above this body

And witness the mortal me

As the entirety of his existence

Dissolves into nonsense

Quickly, a desperate escalation of his pace

As the emptiness hunts for him

With each step he pushes against crumbling stones

His fingers claw into the earth with all that he can muster

Still, he falls into that unrelenting blackness

Wailing and Flailing

The pounding wind from the decent

Soon becomes as still as a vacuum

All perceptions are left floating

Empty and resting

His surroundings become irrelevant

And I can’t tell if he’s still falling

Nor can he

Differences dissolve

And our true nature resolves

It is the merging of that which was never apart

Oh to have such a poem

Freedom packed into rhyme

Infinity captured within time

What does it feel like to be me?

Honestly, I have no idea.

In examining this issue closely I wonder if the question itself is even valid. If I were to actually FEEL my own self, it would be implying a duality that negates the entire experience.

For example if I were to come to believe that it feels peaceful to be me, there are actually two things occurring. There is the peaceful feeling, and there is the noticing of that peaceful feeling. Which one is me? Now I could then move on and say that I am the noticer. But again there are two things happening. There is the noticing, and then there is the awareness of the noticer.So which one of those is me? On and on and on it goes.

Every experience requires a duality. In the quest for the true self our attention is always placed on the flavor of the experience. We want to EXPERIENCE our true selves. We want to somehow watch it from afar, see that it is beautiful, and then take solace in that beauty. We want that beauty to be eternal and never leave us. My spiritual journey is packed with attempts at searching for the perfect experience that is infinite and blissful.

But now knowing that no experience will ever show me my true self where does that leave me. It is pointless, or even insane, to keep searching for bliss, or joy, or peace. I know these only as different kinds of experiences. On the flip side it is also pointless to avoid those undesirable experiences such as fear, shame, and guilt. These must also be irrelevant and not indicative of WHO I am.

My true self is not something I can run toward or run away from. I can’t find it. I can’t avoid it. I can’t use words to describe it. It is not a song or a painting. It is not love or hate. It is not happiness or sadness. I am left with nothing but a blank space.

There is no next step. There is nothing to do to finally get it.

* I was about to write that I don’t need any time but i felt a huge panic attack sweep over me. On a deeper level I know this means I am on to something but the feeling is quite overwhelming. Like I am about to pass out at a moments notice and maybe not wake up again. Perhaps that is enough for one day 🙂 

“Hey” I said “You can keep my things, they’ve come to take me home.”

I have always loved the song “Solsbury Hill” by Peter Gabriel but it was only this morning that I learned it was about a spiritual experience that Peter had. Many people still contend that it was primarily about his departure from Genesis and heading out on his own but reading the lyrics from a spiritual perspective makes the song much more powerful. The song lyrics read like a poem and the melody feels like freedom. It was a great way to start the day!

 Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Eagle flew out of the night
He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing stretching every nerve
Had to listen had no choice
I did not believe the information
(I) just had to trust imagination
My heart going boom boom boom
“Son,” he said “Grab your things,
I’ve come to take you home.”

To keep in silence I resigned
My friends would think I was a nut
Turning water into wine
Open doors would soon be shut
So I went from day to day
Tho’ my life was in a rut
“Till I thought of what I’d say
Which connection I should cut
I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery
My heart going boom boom boom
“Hey” he said “Grab your things
I’ve come to take you home.”
(Back home.)

When illusion spin her net
I’m never where I want to be
And liberty she pirouette
When I think that I am free
Watched by empty silhouettes
Who close their eyes but still can see
No one taught them etiquette
I will show another me
Today I don’t need a replacement
I’ll tell them what the smile on my face meant
My heart going boom boom boom
“Hey” I said “You can keep my things,
they’ve come to take me home.”