Let’s say – for the sake of argument – that what you want is spiritual enlightenment.
It sounds promising. The answer to all your problems. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want that?
Great. So we’ve established that you’re sane. You want the answer to all your problems.
Now, at first, you’re all gung ho. You’re going to get this enlightenment thing. You’re going to give it your all. You read lots of books. You start meditating. You go to a teacher who gives you a mantra. You chant “Hare Krishna”. You count with your mala beads. The whole nine yards. Whether the Hindu version, the Buddhist version, the New Age version, whatever.
After a while, you encounter so-called radical non-duality. And you hear “there’s nothing to do, nowhere to go, yada yada”. Something about this rings true. You really have been trying too hard. And you realize it.
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Like all things, this will be co-opted by the mind as yet another understanding – another thing to protect yourself.
It turns into, “There is no truth. There’s only [my ideas about] what is. And anyway, even if there was truth, there’s nothing I can do to know it.”
This is the postmodern trap. Life is meaningless. There is no truth.
That is wrong.
There is truth. There is more than just my ideas about what is. And there is something I can do to know truth.
The trouble is that we look in the wrong way. We keep looking to thought to define truth. We keep thinking that understanding is the way.
Truth is immediate and absolutely intimate.
Grasping it with thought is like grasping the ocean with your hands.
You don’t need to grasp it. And grasping it only makes it seem impossible to know.
It is not impossible to know. You can know it when you stop grasping. Right now. The knowing is complete and instantaneous.
That is what you can do to know truth: stop grasping.
Of course, the next thought will attempt to give you or find a technique for stopping grasping. Which is just more of the same. More grasping.
But don’t believe the next thought. Don’t grasp it. Just remain still.
This is what you can do: stop doing. All doing is grasping. All movement is movement away from.
The doing you can do is not the usual kind of doing. Don’t consult thought. Don’t try to understand. Just look. Feel.
Notice that you are looking, feeling. You are aware. Don’t overlook that.
Remain still. An open stillness. It doesn’t matter what agitation arises. Just remain still.
Don’t believe the next thought. Believing a thought requires movement. It requires effort, grasping.
If you make the effort and move, you are grasping at the ocean. You will be disappointed.
Remain as the ocean. Remain still. Prior to thought.
This isn’t difficult. It is not special. It is absolutely mundane. It is the very basis of existence. It is plainly ordinary. Do not look for something special. If it is something that is not absolutely obvious and something so simple that you habitually overlook it, it’s not what I am talking about.
I really am talking about something that is always the case. You are aware. That is it. Don’t overlook it. Don’t complicate it. Don’t dismiss it.
And don’t be so enamored of thought that you overlook the source and substance of all thought and the space in which thought arises, exists, and disappears.
Seriously, don’t grasp the next thought. It cannot give you what you seek.
You want the answer to all your problems.
Here it is. It answers all your problems.
Look from here. Not from thought. From what is prior to thought. What contains thought. What you are before you grasp a thought.
And this is instantaneous. Do not put it off. Don’t wait for it to happen in the future. It is right now.
Don’t look to thought to give you the answer. The answer is before thought. It is right now.
Let thought be. Don’t get involved with it for now. Don’t make it your enemy. Don’t give it another thought.
Fall in love with what is prior. What is obvious. And what is always here.
If you look for experiences that come and go, you will be disappointed. Don’t do that.
What is prior is always here. Simple. Simple. Simple. Don’t over-complicate it. Don’t consult thought.
Simply remain here.
But be gentle. Open. Relaxed about it. This isn’t about rigidity. It’s about recognition. You already are here. You cannot go anywhere else. Do you don’t need to force anything. You don’t need to scrunch up your face or grit your teeth.
In fact, don’t make any effort. See how much effort you make, and make less effort. See what is here. What is prior to effort.
Again, this is instantaneous. And it is complete. This “enlightenment” is 100%.
But…remain here. If you try to claim this “enlightenment” for yourself, you are grasping the ocean with your hands again. It is futile. And frustrating.
Remain still. Don’t grasp.
This “enlightenment” doesn’t solve problems at the level of the problem. It meets the problems prior to their existence. It welcomes all problems home to the source of existence.
If you want enlightenment to make you perfect and to make you feel good all the time, you’re grasping thought yet again. Don’t grasp.
Just remain here. Don’t claim this for yourself. All your life to come home to this. Allow your life to be welcomed by its source.