If we want to maintain a true and lasting sense of peace in our lives we have to keep on surrendering our sensations, our feelings & our momentary responses to life’s craziness to that place-less place that contains and creates them all. If we don’t know how to do this then we surely need to develop a recognition of that mystery and learn how to allow everything to be offered and surrendered. That is really what I am doing when I teach – I am teaching people how to recognise this mystery and I am teaching us how to have the surrender be increasingly natural. If we don’t learn how to surrender then the only other option we have is to get caught in the endless cycles of ups and downs, in which we find ourselves desperately trying to establish a lasting peace and happiness by looking everywhere that doesn’t work. What doesn’t work is looking to the world of phenomena for this peace. Yet paradoxically we must first look to this world to have any hope of finding the way inwards, because it’s likely the only place we know to search. We have to seek and continue seeking until the seeking comes to end by itself, through the realisation that we are not a separate entity that seeks.
It really helps to have an open mind if we are truly to find ultimate truth or lasting happiness. It also helps to have a relaxed mind. A closed or tense mind will be seduced into thinking that it is thinks its own thoughts rather than accepting that the thoughts are simply arising. The mind of course cannot think or look outside of itself to any bigger picture so is subject to its own limitations. The mind of course doesn’t like this information, and will probably try and sabotage the invitation I am giving you to seek further! If we are tense, some simple dualistic meditation is valuable. Just putting our attention on anything that isn’t the busy mind is valuable for sure. Yet it is not going to produce the lasting happiness that we really want. It is unlikely to open up the ultimately liberating experiential realisation that we are freedom and love itself, dressed up in a costume of ‘separation’. It’s unlikely to take us out of the cycle of suffering that is caused by our mistaken view buried within our psyche that we are separate beings with separate awarenesses located in a separate body that has given rise to this awareness, this consciousness. It’s unlikely to break us open to the truth of our being, unless we infuse it with a real understanding that comes through genuine enquiry into the one who appears to be aware or conscious.
We probably have no idea how caught up in the illusion of separation we have become. When we start to get a glimpse of how deep we’ve bought the illusion we may begin thinking why on earth we’ve bought this lie so readily. It’s actually perfectly natural that we have seen our self as separate. We do it as young children to individuate from our mothers and build an identity. The problem is that our culture has forgotten to also separate ourselves out from our thoughts, feelings and perceptions. And consequently we buy the assumption that we are a collection of these things. We think that our awareness of the world is created by our brain, despite scientists not finding any proof of this. The scientists won’t ever find this proof. Yet all it takes to prove that we are not separate is to go to the experience of being aware and ask ourselves whether that experience has any boundaries, any edges, any starts or stops. When we find that it is infinite, eternal and in fact the very same self that we have spent our lives thinking that we are, the only reason we might return to buying the illusion of separation as truth is ‘force of habit’.
All it takes to see that you are not a separate entity is to genuinely look for the one who thinks he or she is. Through genuine experiential enquiry we find that there is only one awareness and that the being that has discovered this is not a separate being but rather a brilliant process created by and made of awareness itself. Go within and look for the I that thinks he or she was born, that he or she will die, that he or she has an age, a gender etc. What do you find? It’s nothing but a dance of consciousness, made of indivisible consciousness.
Contrary to many people’s belief. this understanding doesn’t turn us into zombies with nothing to live or fight for. On the contrary it infuses our being with an undeniable sense of connection and compassion. We still live in a world that separates out things from others things, that separates out good from bad, and right from wrong, but we no longer buy these separations as ultimately true. A sense of peace has infused us, a peace that is not dependent upon any phenomena, a peace that we cannot describe, yet it is felt through the intricate connections of the bodymind system. And it is a peace that we should not take for granted because if we do so then the old patterns of believing in our separation may resurface. Stay curious about our true nature. If we are to find lasting peace then we have to humbly open our minds to possibilities that lie beyond it.