The fact of your own being is what needs to be investigated. You can’t negate your own being, yet without a clear seeing into and deeper knowing of the true nature of this being you will not be able to free yourself of psychological suffering. How did I come to be? From non being to being, and then back to non being again? Who am I ? What is truth or that which is imperishable? There may not be a verbal or conceptual answer to these questions, yet an authentic resolution of them must be found if one is to abide as the peace that passes all understanding.
Unenlightened existence is inherently unsatisfactory as the Buddha discovered. It is unsatisfactory because it is time-bound, and what we call in Advaita, Maya or illusion. Advaita means non duality, not two, only That, as it is pointed to by Nisargadatta Maharaj and other Self-realized beings down throughout the ages. This time bound way of thinking leads to the bondage of self and is self-destructive when persisted in. Thinking when it is not understood is dualistic and operates in the pairs of opposites – I, and other than I, good and bad, happy and sad and so on.
Even after Self-knowledge dawns the mind still operates in the same way and it cannot operate in any other way, yet it loses its sting, it loses its power to cause psychological suffering. ‘The sense of “me” and “mine” is the natural characteristic of consciousness. Catch hold of this quality of knowingness. If you live life without expectations, the feeling of “mineness” will automatically fall away. Catch hold of the knower of mind, If you believe your thoughts, you will be disappointed. Be the witness of thoughts. Remain as the seer. (Nisargadatta Mahara)
There is an innate silence and stillness at the very core of being, your own true being, that is indomitable, fearless, ever victorious and which you already are. This being that you are is effortlessly expressing through the acquired mind as the word, thought or concept I am. I am is a verb not a noun, and is the spontaneous activity of knowing. I am, is not I was or I will be, so it is an indication of infinite, timeless, eternal being – I am That I am.
You are infinite being, bodiless, mindless, birth less, deathless, timeless and spaceless and the discovery, or rediscovery and authentic knowing and seeing of this very fact of your own true being is Self-realization. You must SEE this for yourself, no one else can see this for you and this is essential to see and realize, otherwise you will go on forever seeing one teacher after another endlessly. “Compared to Self-realization, all else is meaningless. Without faith in this truth, you will wander about, going to various teachers and holy places.”
Seeing is the primary function and sages are seers. The most direct way of dispelling this delusion that you are what you appear to be as this limited, miserable, person or human being is to reverse the arrow of your attention and look steadily within and take what you find. As soon as you do this you will see suddenly and easily and to perfection, that you are Empty, Formless, Void. Directly you see your Emptiness, you will see its Filling and how they come together in perfect unity. Because you are free of the world you are the world — a case of having your cake and eating it too. At last you see the world in all its splendor, because fundamentally you are uninvolved.
Notice on present evidence, that the very first thing you are seeing is empty space with objects appearing a little further out so to speak. Space does not stand out because it is nothing at all, just emptiness. Basically you are space but you may not have noticed it because the objects, sights, sounds, sensations, and experiences appearing in it are more interesting and attractive, yet nothing could happen at all without this basic space, the basic space of phenomena. What could be more simple and obvious than this when you pause a thought briefly, ignore the chattering mind and just Look at ‘what is’, as it is, unaltered. unmodified and uncorrected.
This space that you are primarily is all encompassing, there are no boundaries to this naked space of knowing where you always and ever are. This space has no center or circumference, and you cannot find any fixed point in space where you can say this is where it begins or this is where I began. When it is seen that there is no static point in this space, this limitless capacity or essence that everything is appearing in and on then all imagined limitations fall away naturally and spontaneously. These limitations and boundaries were never there in the first place, they only appeared to be there after the acquisition of the language, which is the words and concepts that were introduced to you by the parents, teachers and society around the age of two or three years when the reasoning capacity became active.
You have no memory of being born because there were no words available to you at that so-called point, and you will not know when you have taken your last breath, that is when you have died. Birth and death are only conceptual and you are eternal as this ever present, unborn, naked, non conceptual awareness. Time is only a mental concept, it is not actual. When does time begin? It begins now and when you are saying that it has already ended, and when it has ended it is beginning again as now. So there is no real beginning or ending that you can pinpoint, just a spontaneous vibration, a throb or spanda, somewhat of a movement of the infinite energy of intelligence, this living activity of knowing – awareness that is with you right now.
Are you unaware right now? Of course not, you are quite obviously aware and naturally knowing that you are aware. Awareness is non conceptual and you don’t need a mirror to know that you are aware. Non conceptual , ever fresh, presence awareness is what you are. Choice less, effortless awareness is Self-realization. You are not making an effort to be aware, to beat your heart, to grow your hair and fingernails, to circulate your blood etc, all that is happening quite naturally and spontaneously.
This is what we mean by the natural state, as in nature, and nature has no ego or fixed reference point that all the dead past is constantly being referred back to. There is no static point in nature and you are That. I am That, is the great word or mantra of Advaita meaning non duality. The Great Perfection of Dzogchen in Buddhism, the very highest and clearest expression of Buddhism is pointed to as ‘non conceptual awareness’. The Great Perfection is non conceptual awareness – full stop, pause the thinking briefly and what can you say about THIS without a word or thought? You can’t say anything without a word or thought, yet you have not ceased to be, to be aware and knowing.
What does this tell you? It tells you that you are being lived effortlessly and spontaneously and that you as the imagined separate entity So and So are not running the show, you are not doing anything and you have never done anything in that sense. You are not the doer, and you never have been the doer of your actions and furthermore nothing has ever happened, nothing being no thing, awareness-emptiness has not been touched or affected by any of the changes that appear to occur in the empty world. Karma means cause and effect and if the cause, the “me” is seen to be false or imagined, created by acquired words, memory and concepts, then the effects of this cause – anger, fear, psychological suffering, depression etc, must fall away by themselves without you having to do anything about them. Whatever you do as a separate entity will only increase the suffering, limitation and depression.
Understanding is all, see that your separation from nature or God is only imagined and nor real or actual. You can’t be separate from space, from the air you’re breathing and from the water you are drinking. This is just so obvious yet because of conditioning and the holding on to past events that have seemingly occurred it is being ignored. You can’t fill up empty space and it is already spontaneously full with its changing content. “My silence sings, my emptiness is full.” This must be seen for one’s self, not through or by another, otherwise you are back in duality again. “Just simply say when doubts arise, “not two”. In this “not two” nothing is separate, nothing is excluded. No matter when or where , enlightenment means entering this truth.”
Homage to the perfection of wisdom…..”Perfection of wisdom” is the translation for Prajnaparamita. Prajna means wisdom in the Sanskrit version of the heart sutra of Buddha. Remember, it does not mean knowledge, it is wisdom that comes when you move into the beyond. Prajna is neither knowledge nor wisdom as ordinarily understood. It is a flowering within – not through experience, not through others, not through life and life’s encounters, no, but just by going within in utter silence, and allowing that which is hidden there to explode. You are carrying wisdom as a seed within you; it just needs a right soil so that it can sprout. Wisdom is always original, it is always yours, and only yours.
Homage to the perfection of wisdom, the lovely, the holy! Satyam, shivam, sunderam: it is true, it is good, it is beautiful. These are the three qualities. Homage to the perfection of wisdom…..Truth…..That’s what truth is: the perfection of wisdom, the lovely, the beautiful, the holy, the good. It is the womb of the tathagata, Tathagatagarbha or the embryo of Buddha hood, and Buddhas are born out of it. It is the womb of the Buddhas and what we are saying here is to realize, to re-cognize fundamentally that you are That already so that all seeking and unnecessary effort and struggle are to be let go of spontaneously and so there is a natural abiding as That non dual absolute. Absolute means absolute, to which nothing can be added or taken away.
“Recognize the Truth and leave aside all concepts. One who does so goes beyond birth and death. Know what you are before knowing anything else. Have the firm conviction that you are pure Consciousness. This should be done spontaneously; it is the only way.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj
If you are That non dual absolute as sages and the wise have pointed out, then the search or the very seeking itself is the problem. The trying and constant effort are then obscuring this space-like essence that you are, thus causing this psychological suffering which is unnecessary. This crisis of self created suffering could bring about a necessary inquiry or investigation as to how and why this has occurred. The false, the ego, this sense of separation can’t stand up to investigation. Ask yourself over and over again for as long as it is necessary, who is this happening to? When you see that there is on one there that it could happen to, only this intangible, formless, impersonal presence of awareness, there is relief from this bondage of self.
What is the relation between desirelessness and wisdom? Desirelessness is wisdom. The two are not different; they are the same. Desirelessness is refraining from turning the mind towards any object. Wisdom means the appearance of no object. In other words, not seeking what is other than the Self is detachment or desirelessness, not leaving the Self is wisdom. What is the difference between inquiry and meditation? Inquiry consists in retaining the mind in the Self. Meditation consists in thinking that one’s self is Brahman, Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. If you are going to meditate it still indicates that there is an entity there who can meditate, and so you are still in duality.
Whereas in truth there is no one to meditate and nothing to meditate on. This is undistracted non meditation which is the highest; utterly awake with the five senses wide open, utterly open with unfixating awareness. What then is liberation? Inquiring into the nature of one’s self that is in bondage and realizing one’s true nature is liberation. If there is no one in bondage when inquired into , the “me”, So and So is a total phantom, the child of a barren woman, a mirage or Maya, appearance only, then who needs to be liberated? Bondage and liberation are only conceptual, they are nothing but concepts so what remains is THAT non conceptual naked unborn awareness, the unborn Buddha Mind and you are That. There is only That, this fact of non duality. It must follow then that “I am That.”