Looking in the Wrong Direction

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The Understandascope, by Michael Leunig

“The refusal to see the snake in the rope is the necessary condition for seeing the rope.”

“Somebody likes a particular concept and passes it on to his disciples, and he gets a following. But with that, they cannot get eternal peace or satisfaction. In order to get that satisfaction, you must find the source of this primary concept “I am.” And once you know that, you can transcend it. Then you do not have anything to tell the world, because the world wants only fragmentary modifications. They want activities. So this knowledge will remain only with yourself, and there will not be any customers for it.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The spiritual marketplace is experience driven. One wants to feel good or just better, get a buzz, an insight, improve the life experience, and most of all, to understand–what cannot be grasped by the mind.

Turn around and see what’s behind it all, prior to experience. You can’t make sense of, or solve a problem within, the context of a dream. There is a whole lot of dream-fixing going on when really,  isn’t it much simpler to simply wake up from the dream? Isn’t manipulating images within the illusions ultimately futile and tiresome? Doesn’t it surprisingly and constantly shift and become something else, requiring more fixing, manipulation, and adjustment?

If I was observing you in the midst of a dream of being chased by a bear, would it make sense to tell you to run faster, or talk about bear safety? Wouldn’t it be kinder to jostle you out of sleep–so you’d just wake up and see there was no bear, literally never had been a threat at all, while you slept?

Can a problem be solved by moving images around or barking orders in a hologram? What does this mean? It is opposite land, literally. Instead of looking “out there” and relating to experience as a problem to solve, or something to find and gain there, how about looking in the opposite direction? The lens of the telescope is what distorts or enhances the experience, is what creates the images with which you seem to struggle. What is behind the lens, and looking through? 

Notice that something is in front of you on the screen now. Before you even read the words, or try to understand what they mean, what you truly need to know, is this awareness that comes to the page, that is already always here. Not one word that you read or see or hear is more important than that awake, alert, awareness that attends to everything that is read or seen or heard. There is no need to read a book about consciousness, or attend a spiritual event, if the awareness that precedes it–as in aware that the book is there in your hand, as in the same awareness of walking into a room and hearing noises, as in this same awareness of the screen in front of you–is simply recognized.

If you don’t come to know that, you will know nothing, no matter how many words you read or hear. If that is seen and brought to the forefront, then the Source of everything is known. What you are precedes all that is experienced. All questions dissolve here, not “out there.” And here and there merge as one.

“Deny illusions, but accept the truth.” ~ A Course in Miracles

 

 

 

 

Context: Many Teacups for Sipping Sweetness

il_340x270.478965392_iar6In a prior post, I wrote, the “seeing becomes the teaching,” meaning that what is experienced goes beyond any teaching. Experience here, is the thing–not the context, the words, the method, or the framework. We can read Wu Hsin, the Bible, Adyashanti, Nisargadatta, or any contemporary teacher, and what we have is context, the shell around the kernel. All of this, as experienced, is outside of and in many ways, limited by, context.

What is the experience of watching a radiant sunset? Of spending time in play and foolishness with children? Of reading a finely-crafted poem? The intoxicating smell of lilacs? These are the true pointers. In fact, they are not even pointers, but the experience of–what seems to be something other than self, but is nothing but Self, knowing ItSelf.

Words may point to this, but too often the mind, or the me gets involved, a context is created and appended to, and the experience is overlooked. The experience of knowing the words, not understanding, but being in that place where something is touched, where any sense of division falls away, if only for the moment:  Seek no further. Continue reading

By Way of Introduction: Beginnings

There really is no teaching, no philosophical or religious “truth” to be imparted. There are only ways of looking, of inquiring. What is already known, but perhaps forgotten or obscured, is simply remembered. All that needs to be known, or recalled, is in the question, in the looking that the questions evoke.

The response is then often, “Oh, yes…” Or even an occasional “duh…” And then we go about our business. Yet this “busyness” is seen and engaged in, in a whole new way. Ideas of how things are, or should be, no longer create the tendency of willfulness, want, need (suffering, in a word) the way they used to. You come to see that you are the web, not that which is caught in it.

Hope you enjoy this. iMovie is being learned on the fly, so enjoy the “limits” of technological ignorance, if you’re so inclined.

Thank you!

Mechanics of Mind Revealed~Look-See

Fleeting Flotsam of the Floating World by Matthew Carver

“Hold on to the sense ‘I am’ to the exclusion of everything else. When thus the mind becomes completely silent, it shines with a new light and vibrates with new knowledge. It all comes spontaneously, you need only hold on to the ‘I am’…be silent and watch it expressing itself in action.” ~ Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta

“If you can recognize, even occasionally, the thoughts that go through your mind as simply thoughts, if you can witness your own mental-emotional reactive patterns as they happen, then that dimension is already emerging in you as the awareness in which thoughts and emotions happen — the timeless inner space in which the content of your life unfolds. The stream of thinking has enormous momentum that can easily drag you along with it.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

These are pointers—only until they become lived experience. If they are merely understood, then they are just more thoughts amongst many random thoughts that can “easily drag you along” in conceptual, mind-created activity. No pointer, no matter how eloquent, or how deep the resonance, conveys any kind of knowing, unless and until it is a lived experience.

So if the above quotes are familiar—seem to make sense—but the experience, the knowing of that to which they point, is not forthcoming, is there a way to take the pointer all the way home to the felt, lived experience? Can one stay with the looking, observing, “be silent and watch it” and finally see?

In the Look-Sees, what we’re doing seems to bridge the difference between understanding the pointer conceptually and seeing, or apprehending, the experience. The suggestion here is guided looking. When you simply point to the observing, the capacity to watch, there is a glimpse, and then mind steps in, oftentimes instantly, without noticing that one has gone back into the conceptual. When a facilitator is there, looking right along with you, the thought-train can be stopped, so to speak, and bring you right back to looking.

I used to watch my daughter taking piano lessons when she was younger. The piano teacher would sit on the bench with her, and as my daughter played, her teacher would occasionally touch her back, and she would sit straighter. She would touch her hands, and she’d remember to go lightly on the keys. She would even touch her cheek and the tension in her face would relax (she’d stop trying so hard). So my daughter would get the experience of playing better–and eventually, the better posture, lighter fingers, and relaxed face would become an integral part of the playing. The body, the playing would correct on its own, based on the persistence of these gentle reminders.

This is what guided looking is like—a few consistent, gentle reminders, or light taps, and one becomes the looking, the seeing. Mind can actually be seen for the habitual tendency, the tyranny, it seems to assume. When mind is put at this subtle distance (purely metaphorical, there is no distance), it seems as if there is room for genuine insight, or clear seeing (IN-sight), regardless of where the insight is spoken, whether seemingly from the facilitator or facilitated.

In this way, self-ing, other-ing, world-ing can actually be seen in action—the process, the mechanism of the mind constructing and maintaining a self, and the world and relations that keep it in place. And it can be seen, like a mirage appeals to the thirsty, the fascination, the lure of this self-ing activity. (Maya, the seductress) Once this attraction is seen, the gig is up; the curtain has been pulled back on the wizard, revealing the mechanics behind the smoke and mirrors. There were no armies, no tactics, no strategy required to expose the wizard–he was simply seen, the mechanics behind his power revealed.

The facilitator is not the expert in this equation. Facilitator obsolescence is built in, as the habit of observing thoughts eventually supercedes the habitual identification with thoughts. Thoughts, stories, tend to disperse as they are noticed. The seeing itself takes over, and the illusion of duality is exposed as the ultimate misapprehension. It “…all comes spontaneously.”

We invite you to look, and simply see—to go beyond the pointer to the knowing itself, to where the pointer is lived, and becomes clear. This seeing becomes the teaching (no dogma, or need to take, preach, or defend any position), and the attraction becomes greater to stay to stay in the seeing, rather than to be pulled in by the movie. It is both Self-nourishing and concurrently self-effacing. It all takes care of Itself; the pointing is in the seeing. It’s so appallingly simple. Have a look and see.

“The only way out is to simply observe. This allows us to take note of our physical reactions, our mental attitudes and patterns and our motivations at the exact moment they appear.” ~ Jean Klein