Category Archives for "Uncategorized"
I remember struggling to let go. Looking back now, it’s almost comical, except for the suffering, of course. I knew that letting go was what I needed. I just didn’t know how to do it.
Enough people have reported this same struggle with letting go to me for me to suspect that this is a common problem. And so I would like to share some of the insights that came to me upon discovering the secret to letting go. I hope this will be helpful to you.
The first insight is that letting go is not something that you can do. When you see this clearly then you’ll see how completely impossible it is to let go when you try. Please understand that no amount of trying will ever result in letting go. That’s because letting go is precisely the natural happening in the absence of all trying. Or, conversely, trying is completely in opposition to letting go. (Strictly-speaking, there is only letting go. However, trying appears to be the opposite, and therefore opposes the experience of letting go. Actually, more precisely, trying reinforces the sense of separation, which creates the illusion of holding on. In truth there is no one separate to hold on and nothing separate to be held.)
I often ask people to do a simple exercise that is sometimes illuminating. So do this: grasp a small object that won’t break if you drop it. Make sure it is something that fits nicely into a closed fist. A pencil or cheap ballpoint pen often works well for this.
Hold the object in a closed fist. Place your fist directly out in front of your body, knuckles up.
Now. Let go of the object.
How much effort was involved? How much trying?
Can you see that the holding on is the action. Holding on requires effort, trying, doing, etc.
Letting go is effortless. You cannot try to let go. You cannot do letting go. Letting go happens when you cease to effort, try, and do.
The second insight is that letting go is not an abstract, conceptual thing. Often times I was trying to puzzle out what it means to let go. Yet this is just a way to do more and effort more and try more. It’s the way to try to let go – to try and figure it out and understand it.
Yet in reality, letting go results in resting in silence. It is entirely non-conceptual. In many respects it is accurate to say that letting go is an end to the conceptual.
However, in my experience, letting go can be felt. And you can feel it in your body (where else?)
So my suggestion is that you start to notice right now where in your body you sense tension. Notice your forehead. Your eyes. Your jaw. Tongue. Shoulders. Hands. Feet. Belly. Really notice. Explore. Don’t accept a thought or an idea for an answer. Test out to see if there is actually tension – holding on – in any place in your body.
I used to shy away from suggesting that one can let go of these physical tensions. However, in my own experience, it is possible. Just like letting go of the object in the fist. That simple. Just letting go.
However, initially, the instruction to let go works for some and not for others. So for those who find the letting go instruction to be ineffective, then I suggest that you are probably trying to let go, in which case things probably get more tense. So, in that case, don’t do that. Instead, just use attention to notice without trying to change the sensations. And most of the time people report that they discover that mere attention tends to result in letting go.
To be clear, both of these instructions are actually the same. In neither case should there be any attempt to change the sensation. Letting go is not changing. It is just letting go. Just as letting go of a pen or pencil doesn’t attempt to change the pen or pencil. Letting go is merely letting go.
I’ve started to see that there are steps that one can take toward a complete letting go. This is strange because the tendency is more to see a more absolute perspective: there is only letting go. And from that perspective, all notions of steps seem rather ridiculous.
Yet in my experience the invitation to letting go is something that can be received on many “levels.” There are no levels, of course. There is only letting go. Yet there are also levels. And the easiest entry point that I’ve yet found is to explore the physical sensations and discover letting go in this way. Eventually, it is seen that this is precisely the same as letting go of all illusion and suffering. Yet it also appears as levels.
So, my invitation to you is to explore this. Right now.
I’ve got a new book in the works on the subject of discovering freedom from the past. The book itself is a collection of simple, yet profound explorations into the present experience with an emphasis on discovering the true nature of the past and one’s relationship with the past. The hopeful outcome is, of course, that the reader gets to discover that he or she truly is free from the past – not just in an intellectual fashion, but in a felt sense.
The motivation for the book (in as much as there is such a thing) came from my work with others. I work with people in person as well as by phone or Skype. And while the presenting problems are varied (health problems, “spiritual” problems, anxiety, and so forth,) almost inevitably, the conversation quickly turns to perceived and felt bondage from the past.
The bondage often involves truly horrific stories from the past. Betrayals of childhood innocence. Violence. Cruelty. And on and on.
I have a rare approach because I have a rare perspective. And my experience is that this perspective is tremendously valuable in that it offers the possibility of discovering true freedom right here in the present.
The perspective is this: it is absolutely clear to me that the past is over. Completely. Utterly. No more. Not only that. In a very real sense, the past is merely a thought arising presently. The past has no real substance. It has no independent existence.
This is, of course, not how most of us feel most of the time. I can truly appreciate that because I certainly used to feel that the past, despite its rather phantom-like nature, had a real hold on me. I definitely felt bound by the past. So I can be sensitive to this way of seeing.
And yet, the question is: do you want to be bound by the past?
If you do, then no problem; just keep believing as you do and don’t challenge it.
If you don’t, then I’ve got good news for you. Simple exploration into your present experience can reveal the unreality of the past as anything more than a thought arising in this present moment.
Of course, some people will challenge this by countering with examples where the past seems to have present reality. For example, if a person commits violent crime and lands in prison, then he or she may seem to be very much bound by the past. These sorts of examples offer for what some may perceive to be interesting philosophical debate. Yet it distracts from the direct, real exploration of present experience, which is what is being offered here.
So please understand that I’m not trying to argue philosophy or suggest that there may not be a convincing appearance of seeming cause and effect.
Rather, I am offering to you the opportunity to explore present, direct experience in order to discover the direct, felt truth of the matter for yourself. Not a thought. Not a theory. Not a philosophy. Just what is directly knowable.
And in my experience, this sort of exploration reveals freedom. In the light of direct experience then the past is seen to be nothing more than a thought arising presently. And in direct experience there is pure potentiality. This is before cause and effect. This is prior. And it is accessible to each of us right now. No matter what.
Here are a few simple explorations.
Right now, can you find the location of the past? Can you locate an actual, graspable, findable thing that is the past?
This is not something to do in thought. Thought will spin around and around this as it always does. That is what thought does. So instead, explore in direct experience. Refuse to accept any thought as an answer.
Now, recall a memory of the past. Preferably make it a memory that is fairly neutral in terms of emotional response.
And now notice how you typically look to the content of the memory. However, right now, instead, explore the nature of the memory itself. Can you see the actual memory? Where does it exist? How do you sense the memory? What is the substance of memory?
As you explore in this way, do you start to see the past in a different light?
What I’ve noticed is that many of us fixate a great deal on thoughts of the past. In fact, even thoughts of the future are, in my view, nothing more than thoughts of the past. We tend to project our thoughts of the past into an imaginary future.
But when you live in this way, where is the possibility of spontaneity? Where it the possibility of true aliveness?
I will suggest to you that the only possibility of true spontaneity and aliveness is to be found prior to all thought, prior to all time, and prior to all sense of separation. Here, which is the very source of life, is the only chance for spontaneity.
The good news is that in my experience it is supremely simple to discover the true source of life and spontaneity, which is true freedom. Because it is so much closer than anything. It is completely effortless.
And all it requires is earnest exploration of what is, to simply see what is real and what is unreal.
In fact, I will suggest that all that is truly necessary in order to discover the supreme source of life and spontaneity is to stop for just one instant. Right now, just for one instant, refuse to follow a thought. Allow your attention to turn 180 degrees to your source. See your own eyes as you actually sense them directly – not as you imagine.
Anyone can do this. It is instant. it is effortless.
What do you find?
You cannot put a word to this. It is before words. It is utterly simple.
Then, the invitation is to remain here.
Of course, this is not what usually happens. More often, people start following thoughts again.
And the thoughts will say “that was too simple.” Or “it couldn’t be that, because I was expecting something more.” Or “nothing happened.” Or “I didn’t do it right.”
Supreme reality isn’t sexy like that. The mind cannot perceive it. It is too simple. It is prior to creation.
Yet it is undeniable.
And here all past, present, and future collapse into nothingness/pure, undifferentiated love. This is even prior to potentiality. This is silence.
And strangely, there is a choice. The choice is simply this: remain here or follow thought.
From here it becomes obvious that all past, present, and future are happening here in this vastness. They are tiny and insignificant. There is only pure, undifferentiated love.
It is not difficult. Strange as it may seem, you can taste this right now. Just for an instant, follow no thoughts. Turn attention to its source.
My book, Healing Chronic Lyme Disease Naturally, is available as a free download from Amazon.com for the next 5 days (December 7 – December 11.) The link to the Amazon page for the book is http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HI35NQI.
If you know anyone who suffers from chronic Lyme or if you are a member of any communities – online or offline – that discuss Lyme disease, then please share this information.
This book offers a truly unique view of chronic Lyme disease. The information in this book is what helped me to recover after years of being horrifically sick. And so far, everyone that I have shared this information with has experienced health improvements. So I would very much like to get this information into the hands of the millions of people suffering from this condition.
The suggestions in the book are all easy to do and require no additional cost. No exotic herbs. No harsh drugs. No expensive machines or treatments. And yet, everything I share in the book is 100% compatible with other treatments.
Again, if you know anyone who suffers from chronic Lyme, then please share this information.
My observation is that much, if not all of human misery is due to a mistaken sense of identity. We imagine ourselves to be someone separate, someone limited, someone in need of protection. And then we invest huge amounts of energy and anxiety into our endeavors to keep this separate someone from death or harm.
My biggest passion at present is discovering ways to help end much of this unnecessary misery and suffering. Hence much of what you read on this blog.
We each are different, unique expressions of life. There are no two people that I’ve ever met who respond to the same things in exactly the same way. And this, I believe is one of the major shortcomings of many of the teachings that suggest how to discover true freedom and peace. All too often the teachings present a one-size-fits all approach. And, I too am guilty of this!
Ultimately, no teaching or pointing or technique is “it” anyway. At best they merely point someone to see the ever-present simplicity of being for herself or himself. That is all. And the ever-present simplicity of being is so completely simple that it’s impossible to describe it accurately with words. It’s just something that one may discover. And upon discovering it, then it is obvious.
By and large, I believe (at least as of right now) that it is only our adherence to concepts that seemingly obscures what is completely unavoidable. Upon seeing what is as it is, then it is obvious that most people are imagining themselves to be someone or something that simply isn’t true. Most people imagine themselves to be definable, particularly by their past or their appearance or their personality. Yet it is completely evident from here that no such definitions exist. The definitions are mere fantasy.
In working with people, this is the challenge: simply to play with all of the definitions and self-images and self-concepts until they all loosen up enough and one sees that there is only just this. Nothing separate. No conceptual objects. Just this present happening, which is what you truly are. Or, sometimes it seems more accurate to say the spaciousness in which this is happening.
Both are pointing to the same, of course. And neither is precisely correct. It’s just pointing.
So I experiment with ways to point and dance around this in hopes of dislodging the concepts that obscure clarity. And I may well post more of these little exercises and explorations here over time. For today, I want to share with you one curious exploration that I happened upon just by chance (hah!) yesterday.
I have been experimenting with various ways of playing with perception that can be useful. Seeing what is as it is, it is perfectly evident that all objects, including thought objects and sense objects, are merely conceptual. There are no “real” objects. It’s just a very persuasive illusion. There is, of course, nothing wrong with the illusion. It is quite beautiful. It’s just that when one believes in the illusion of separate objects, it can be painful.
So I was playing with this last night, and I found an interesting experiment. Try this for yourself.
Notice what is just behind your eyes. Do this with direct experience. Often times there is a habit of looking to thought to give you an answer. And then you come up with things like “my brain” or “the backs of my eyes” or something like that. But notice that in actual experience you don’t perceive those things. So notice what it is that you actually perceive.
I’ll tell you what I perceive: spaciousness. Right behind my eyes is alive, awake, spaciousness.
Now, what do you find in direct experience? Don’t look for spaciousness. Don’t look for anything. Because then you’ll just find a concept. Instead, see what you actually find there. Notice that you cannot see any form behind your eyes. Thought will tell you that you cannot see at all behind your eyes. And yet, what is your actual experience? Is there not formlessness seen behind the eyes? It’s just that you are accustomed to looking only for objects.
Next, look to this screen. And then notice the space between your eyes and the screen.
Is this space in front of your eyes different from what is just behind your eyes?
Now, allow yourself to perceive what you find behind your eyes and in front of your eyes at the same time. Don’t try to do this by thinking about it. Just allow it to happen effortlessly.
I would very much like to hear your experience with this exploration. Whatever your experience, it is only an experience, of course. It is not “the truth.” However, I believe that this curious exploration may be a useful pointer. I find it to be quite an enjoyable experience.
Today I took a look at what John Sherman is up to these days. Upon doing so, my heart began overflowing. I am truly amazed at John’s consistent authenticity, honesty, humanity, and generosity. And if you have not yet, then I encourage you to head over to justonelook.org. There you can find out more about what John and Carla are doing with Just One Look.
I first learned of John through a friend of mine, Brian Marc Zimberg, over a decade ago. John lives in Ojai, California. I was living in the San Fernando Valley. And when Gangaji would come to town, John was usually at the events. He always had a humble, quiet presence that drew my curiosity in him.
I only ever attended one meeting with John. I don’t recall the exact year, though I suspect it was 2003. There was always something about him that was clearly genuine. Yet the meeting didn’t give me the “high” that I was looking for. It didn’t give me the “high” I got from a Gangaji meeting. Which is, of course, one of John’s tremendous gifts, and one of the things that I now so appreciate about him and his message. It is something that I hope to communicate to others as well. That you don’t need the high. You don’t need something extraordinary. That all the search for something extraordinary is what composes much of the suffering.
But I didn’t see that then.
Over the years I heard this and that about John. I was always glad to hear that he was still sharing. Because John is one of the rare people who shares so simply and authentically. He is one of the rare people who demystifies. And that is a gift.
Only today did I check out what John’s been up to. And it’s awesome! Since 2010 he’s vastly simplified and demystified even more. He has a simple message that I know can change lives. I know it because I experience it.
That message (and I’m paraphrasing here, so you’ll have to visit justonelook.org for his wording) is:
Turn your attention to the direct experience of what it is to be you. Not the you that you think you are. Just the direct experience of yourself as you are. As you always have been. That which does not change. That which does not come and go. Just turn your attention to that, and catch a glimpse of yourself as you are with the intention to see yourself directly and clearly.
John and Carla have set a goal of getting this simple message to at least 700 million people across the globe. John believes that this can form a critical mass that can turn the tide of insanity to sanity.
John’s language is very different from my own. And at the surface there are many things that could seem to be in contradiction. But the beautiful thing about the simplicity of being is that it welcomes everything. This is always it. Always this. And this takes many expressions. All always this.
So I am excited by seeing what John and Carla are doing. I encourage you to take a look. First, take a look for yourself at yourself as you are – that sense of yourself that is always here. See this first. Then take a look at justonelook.org. And if you feel moved, please consider donating to their organization. They are a non-profit organization with a tremendous heart. They have been changing lives in a very real, very simple, very honest way for many years now, and every dollar helps. They make all their meetings, recordings, and so forth free to all. You can donate at their website here.
For those of you who have become fans of this site for the nonduality writings, then I encourage you to read this anyway. Freedom is freedom. It’s the freedom to be who you are. Unafraid. Willing to say yes to everything. The ultimate recognition that there is only ever just this.
I notice that so many people fear food. I was one of them. Discovering true freedom to eat what you desire is liberating. And, it has health benefits too!
Ever since recovering from decades of anorexia and related restrictive eating disorders, I have been a huge fan of 180 Degree Health. Well, I should qualify that. I have been a huge fan of Matt Stone’s research and the information that he publishes about metabolism and diet recovery. Frankly, much of the rest of what appears on the site regarding mental and emotional health isn’t my cup of tea.
But really, I should say much of what used to appear on that site. Why? Because recently 180 Degree Health has gone subscription-only. It’s still free. In fact, in some ways it’s even better than it was before. However, (and this is a big however) with 180 Degree Health as it is now, it seems unlikely that anyone will stumble upon the potentially life-changing information on the site.
(I’ve studied enough about internet marketing to understand and respect some of the decisions to make 180dh subscription-only. I merely want to make the essential information available in a search-engine-friendly format here. And if you want more information, then go to 180dh and subscribe for free to get the newsletter and information for how to download Matt’s books for free.)
So in this post I want to share some of what I believe is the most important information in regard to metabolism and diet recovery.
I work with a fair number of people who have chronic Lyme disease. And I have yet to meet a single person with chronic Lyme disease who is eating enough.
180 Degree Health was what first really opened my eyes to the reality that I wasn’t eating enough. And had I not gotten that important information, I may well have remained sick.
People with chronic Lyme disease aren’t the only ones who don’t eat enough.
Lots of people don’t eat enough.
If you are on a GAPS diet or any sort of selective carbohydrate diet or a low carbohydrate diet or a paleo diet or a primal diet or an auto-immune paleo diet or a zero carbohydrate diet or a raw vegan diet or an 80/10/10 diet or a fruititarian diet or a (non-raw) vegan diet. Or even if you’re slamming green smoothies like there’s no tomorrow. Or if you’re on a diet that your naturopath or your chiropractor or your alternative MD or your mainstream MD put you on because you tested to be sensitive or intolerant or genetically predisposed to be unable to eat certain foods. If you’re on a grain-free diet. Or a gluten-free diet. Or if you’re trying to lose weight by restricting calories. Or any other sort of diet.
Then chances are, you’re not eating enough.
If you’re like 99% of the people I talk to, then you find this hard to believe.
But if you’re like 99% of the people I talk to, then when you start eating enough, you’ll feel better.
It may not happen overnight that everything will get better. In fact, some aspects of eating enough may be uncomfortable for a while.
But 99% of the people I communicate with about this feel WAY better when they eat enough.
How much is enough?
Way more than you think.
I spoke with a woman with chronic Lyme disease a few months ago. She was eating 1200 calories a day. She knew that was too little. She knew she should be eating 1600 calories a day.
Try 2500. Minimum.
Weightwatchers lies. The USDA lies. The dieticians lie. The nutritionists lie. The gurus lie. Your mind lies.
If you feel fatigued or if you have cold hands and feet or if you have insomnia or if you experience mood swings or if you experience anxiety or if you have frequent urination or if you have cold intolerance then you may well not be eating enough.
Eating enough is important. Way more important than you’ve imagined.
And the primary problem with all the diets is that it’s nearly impossible to eat enough calories on those diets.
Yes, you can come up with arguments as to why this is not true or why it is suspect. You can hold to your ideologies and your beliefs in whole grains and spinach and kale juice or a strict low carb paleo diet as the perfect diet.
But eat enough calories from highly-palatable sources for a few months and see if you don’t feel better. And then, maybe all the ideologies can go out the window.
I like the numbers from Youreatopia.com. Minimums. 2500 calories a day for females over 25. 3000 calories for <25 females and 25+ males. 3500 calories a day for pregnant or lactating women and males <25.
And those are the minimums. I personally was eating close to 5000 calories a day for a while during my own healing. I hear reports from people who eat far more than that. I hear reports from 5′ women who eat 10,000 calories a day during healing. There is no upper limit as long as there is an appetite.
When I suggest this to people they tend to fall into one of two categories. There are those who embrace this and start eating enough. And there are those who hold to ideologies and refuse to eat enough.
In my experience, those who eat enough feel better. Those who don’t eat enough keep searching for answers as to why they feel so terrible.
Is eating enough a panacea? No. Sometimes people have other problems. But no matter what, eating enough seems to support better health.
And sometimes, it’s the answer to the long list of health complaints.
I make these suggestions in my book, Healing Chronic Lyme Disease Naturally (which is going to be free on December 7 – December 11!,) along with some other suggestions. And I truly believe that this is one of the big missing pieces of what keeps people stuck in chronic Lyme: not eating enough. So I cannot emphasize enough now important I think this is.
And, as I’ve already suggested, it’s really hard to eat enough when eating only “healthy” foods. Ironically, I see people feeling better and regaining health by eating the foods that they thought they weren’t supposed to eat: ice cream, hot dogs, sugar, chocolate, caramel, cookies, cake, fried foods, white rice, white pasta, bread, cheese, whole milk, and so on.
At first, if you’re really sick, then it may require a commitment to eating enough even if you don’t have an appetite for it. Just focus on the most calorie-dense foods that you can stomach.
Eventually, ideally, let your appetite be your guide. If you’re hungry, eat. Eat whatever you want. Whatever sounds appetizing. Whatever you crave. As long as you are eating at least the minimums.
And you’ll probably gain weight.
My suggestion is that you get over it. Seriously. Because an extra 10, 20, 30, 50, 100 pounds is easily worth it if you get to enjoy life again and have energy and sleep through the night and go for walks and do things without feeling panic and exhaustion and anxiety and fear.
I know that sounds easier said than done.
But actually. It’s easier done than said.
I welcome your comments as always.
My latest book, No One Home: a Guidebook to Discovering the Simplicity of Being, is now available for purchase from Amazon.com here.
As with all my books, I will be running a 5-day promotion in the very near future during which the book will be available for free. Until then, it’s just $0.99. After the promotion I’ll likely be increasing the price. In other words, I encourage you to sign up on my mailing list to get notified when I’m running the promotion. (You can sign up over to the right -> )
This is a short book. It’s just 42 pages. And in my opinion it packs a wallop. I write all my books as though I would be sending them back in time to myself some 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years ago. These are the books that I wish I could have read back then.
I honestly don’t know of any book that does what this book does. I walk you through self-inquiry relentlessly. I reveal the common pitfalls – the places where I got blocked and where I see lots of people stumbling and falling and getting stuck. And I endeavor to clarify these points and move you through them to discover the utter simplicity of being.
I truly believe that this is the most useful book on self-inquiry anywhere. I’d be glad to hear your feedback.
As with all my books, your feedback is helpful in making them even better. One of the wonderful things about Kindle publishing and print-on-demand print publishing is that I can make updates to the text rather easily. So any time that you offer insightful feedback – things that need clarification or questions that you have – that helps make the books even better. My goal is to publish the very best books in the world on the subjects that I write about. And your feedback helps ensure that is the case.
Most of you know my story. So you know that I suffered from severe restrictive eating disorders for a long time, starting when I was around 11 years old.
Anorexia is a delusional state. Hence the title of this post.
I maintain that many more people suffer from the anorexia delusion than fit into the clinical category of anorexia nervosa. And my hope with this post is to share with you a snapshot of what the anorexia delusion is as well as how to see through the delusion to a life of peace and freedom.
The common myth about anorexia nervosa is that it is about food.
In my experience it is not. It manifests as a dysfunctional relationship with food. But food is not the heart of it.
The second common myth about anorexia nervosa is that it is about control.
In my experience it is not. It manifests as an seeming need to control. But control is not the heart of it.
So what is the anorexia delusion? What is the experience? I’ll share with you my own experiences briefly to explain my view.
When I was coming of age I began to notice that I had breasts. I don’t recall any specific incident in which anyone told me that was shameful. But I felt shameful about it.
I tried to change my body in various ways. None of it worked. And after a few years, I arrived at the idea that I needed to lose weight in order to solve my problem.
Thus began a 20 year fixation. But what is important to note is that the fixation itself morphed until it had very little, if anything, to do with the original causes. Instead, it became an conceptual identity. It was a habit. And it was entirely based upon a mistaken sense of self.
Everyone’s specific story is different. But after communicating with people with a variety of eating disorders – whether categorized as anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS, or even binge eating (believe it or not) – I have noticed a pattern.
The superficial specifics differ. But the underlying problem is living a delusion.
A delusion is defined as a firmly held belief or impression that contradicts rational argument or consensus reality.
And that wasn’t even the worst of it. At that point in my life I was able to walk. I was able to sleep. I had digestive problems, but nothing compared to what followed for the next four years.
I had extremely low energy. And I had no idea why. I was completely in the dark about it. I had no idea that I was starving. If my shirt was off in this photo you would be able to see all of my ribs in detail.
But I didn’t see that. I had no clue.
This is delusion.
When you are starving and you don’t recognize it, that is delusion.
When you are chronically over-exercising and you can’t understand why you feel so exhausted and anxious and fearful, that is delusion.
And this delusion is fundamentally rooted in a false sense of self.
So right now, do this exercise. Imagine that you are seeing yourself as an observer might. See your body as an observer might. See your behavior as an observer might. And what do you notice?
Is there a discrepancy between what you normally see and what an observer sees?
Now, once a person sees that he or she is living a delusion, the next thing that can happen is that he or she will either feel overwhelmed or resolve to fight against the delusion.
Either way is more delusion.
And more delusion only serves to maintain the suffering.
The solution is to see through the delusion.
The quickest and most direct way I know of to do this is to see through the fundamental confusion in regard to who you are.
Notice that all the thoughts and habits and patterns and beliefs center around one character: you.
Yet notice that this central you character is merely an idea, a concept. It’s not the reality.
This is easy to see when someone points it out to you. So let me give you an example of what I mean from my own experience.
I used to have an idea of who I was. And that idea involved a very limited set of possible experiences. “Me” only involved calm sensations. Pleasant sensations. Calm thoughts. Pleasant thoughts.
If I experienced anxious or unpleasant sensations or thoughts then I felt that those were not me. They were intruding on me. I had to get rid of them.
For me thoughts about sugar or McDonald’s seemed to provoke anxious and unpleasant sensations. So sugar and McDonald’s were no allowed.
There was me. The real me. The calm and pleasant me.
And then there was sugar and McDonald’s. Anxious and unpleasant. Not me.
So I was constantly struggling with this conflict.
Here’s the thing: the reality was that sometimes I felt anxious and unpleasant. So in actual, direct experience there was anxiety and unpleasantness.
That was the reality.
My idea of myself was in conflict with the reality.
The delusion was to try to alter reality to fit my concept of myself. That was the mistake.
Can you see how this sort of conflict can only ever result in suffering? Reality will not conform to my concepts. Reality is primary.
This is why seeing through the limited, false self-concept is liberating.
So right now, take a look and see if you can find the character that you call yourself. Refuse to settle for any concept. Refuse to settle for an idea. Refuse to settle for a thought.
Remain with direct experience. And see if you can find anything separate from what is happening right now. Before you apply names or labels to what is happening, simply remain with what is directly.
Can you see that reality, direct experience, is all that is? There isn’t something separate from this. The ideas and concepts about something else seem to reference things, but upon closer inspection these ideas and concepts are merely ideas and concepts – nothing more.
The ideas about what you are allowed to feel and experience and think are merely ideas. Let them go. Let them happen. See them for what they are, and recognize that you are free.
Then, choosing behavior that supports your well-being and health is natural and effortless.
I’m not suggesting that the problem of anorexia nervosa will be instantly and forever changed by seeing through the delusion of a separate self. Because the problem or anorexia nervosa also requires some behavioral changes. For example, it requires that the person begins to consistently eat when hungry and eat in an unrestricted fashion based on true intuitive need and desire rather than concepts and ideas.
Yet seeing through the delusion of the separate self can, in my experience, liberate the mind-body to tune into and act upon intuitive cues with greater ease.
And furthermore, seeing through the delusion of the separate self liberates the mind-body from suffering more broadly.
As always, I welcome your questions and comments. I enjoy hearing from you.
My latest book, “Discovering Freedom from Obsession and Compulsion” is now available from Amazon.com. Please do NOT purchase this book yet. It is currently priced at just $0.99 USD. However, I will be running a promotion in a few weeks, and it will be free to download. So if you can hold off for a few weeks, you can get it for free.
I’ll post here when I’m running that promotion. I’ll also send out an email to my mailing list. So if you want to get an email notification, then sign up.[yks-mailchimp-list id=”c9020440d0″]
I’ve got a few more books in the works, and I’ll post updates when those are available.
Also, I’m not sure I ever mentioned here that I’ve got two other fairly recent books up on Amazon. Already Awake, Already Free and Healing Chronic Lyme Disease Naturally are both available as ebooks. Both are priced at $0.99. However, as with Discovering Freedom from Obsession and Compulsion, I’ll be running promotions for these books too in the coming weeks. So hold off on purchasing them because they’ll be free during a 5-day period in the next few weeks.
In my experience suffering is complicated. Anorexia is complicated. Depression is complicated. Obsessive thinking is complicated. Compulsive behavior is complicated. Chronic Lyme disease is complicated.
But meeting what is directly as it is, in my experience, is utterly simple. It’s so simple that it’s effortless. There’s no doing whatsoever.
And in my experience, this is the end of suffering.
Does it mean that there’s no longer any pain? No thoughts? No loss? No sadness? No fear? No compulsions? No sickness?
No. Of course not.
But the direct, immediate simplicity of being is so utterly simple that there’s no room for any complications whatsoever.
So everything that happens is seen to be simply what is. Thoughts aren’t so much thoughts. Loss isn’t so much loss. Fear isn’t so much fear. It is just what is.
Which doesn’t mean that I’m indifferent.
It just means that none of it is happening to me. It’s not about me. The one who is supposed to be at the center of it all isn’t there. Never was.
There is this. Being. Happening.
Which may appear to be personal. It may appear to be about someone.
But upon looking, it is evident that there is only this.
So it is puzzling that there are so many complicated teachings. Even teachings of supposed non-duality and self-realization are often extremely complicated.
But there’s no complication in direct experience.
Whatever anyone else says, no matter how complicated they make it out to be, no matter how much you want to figure it out, no matter how afraid you are of not figuring it out…
Just become simple. Utterly simple. Just for one moment.
Let all of the rest of it go.
And become curious.
Look for yourself. Really. Literally. Look for the one you call yourself.
And see what you find.
It’s that simple.