I’ve heard this question different ways and sometimes with additional information. For example, the Self is always Awake, and there is only the Self & the Self has always been free.
Let’s start with the Self is always Awake. The massive fallacy with this concept is that we experience directly that this is not the case. This is not even the case when you are dreaming at night. You are asleep in your bed and a world is created from the mind. You see other people, trees, rocks, etc. It is all from one mind. There is no other. All in the dream is only you. Continue reading Isn’t Enlightenment the realization that there is no such thing as Enlightenment?
Whether in the dreaming or waking world, I hope we can agree that there is a happening and events. I do not deny the world’s existence (or the existence of dreams…they happen). Those events are not predetermined and it is not fate and it is not clockwork/mechanical. There is a will creating what is in the moment…ad-libbing and doing improv. There is only the eternal now, which is the Self, and even the Self does not know what will happen. Continue reading Is there free will or is there no free will?
Sitting and being present (as I described in my prior post – What do you mean when you say “be present”?) is not the only option. You can mow the lawn while being present, wash the dishes while being present, eat supper while being present, etc. You can even do work while being present. There is no reason why you could not do things (even work) and not also be present.
Sitting and doing nothing (i.e. meditation) for periods of time can be done too, but you can eat while being present, shower while being present, get dressed while being present…and continue on the whole day being present while doing things. Continue reading How do you “be present” while doing things?
Motivation is something the ego wants. Ego needs motivation and drive to do things it doesn’t really want to do. Motivation is something you need in order to do work. Ask a child “what is your motivation or drive for playing?”…and you will have a very confused child. Or you might get the simple reply…”because it is fun.” What is play, really, but to have fun. So what is being said is “I’m having fun to have fun.” It is having fun for its own sake. This is play…no motivation needed. Continue reading What keeps you motivated after awakening?
I hear many variations of this question and so I hope to answer the spirit of the question instead of each variation. Doesn’t it take time after awakening? Time for the ego to drop away or time for suffering to end or time for conditioning to fall away or time for the realization to take hold or settle in.
Unfortunately, this is the ego looking for a back door so that the illusion can continue for a bit longer. Can “I” have more time to battle the ego, suffering, conditioning, etc.? It doesn’t have to happen now…because it takes time (or so the myth goes). Continue reading Doesn’t it take time for ego, suffering, and/or conditioning to fall away?
There is an appearance of different enlightenments because everyone is not using the same definition of enlightenment. You have to first define enlightenment. I define it as a radical and permanent change of our identification. Basically, we see through the mirage called “ego” and are never fooled by the mirage again. With seeing through this illusion and seeing it for what it is, there is an end to seeking and suffering (like problems, fear/worries, guilt, etc).
In my case, I awakened and it was unlike anything I had read about or studied prior. After awakening, I read works by Ramana Maharshi, H.W.L. Poonja, Nisargatta Maharaj, Ramesh Balsekar, Zen Master Bankei, Huang Po, Bodhidharma, Robert Adams, Gangaji, Adyashanti, and more. Continue reading Is enlightenment different for everyone?
No, nothing leads to spiritual awakening…including meditation.
There is a famous Zen story of a monk sitting all day in meditation. The master comes along one day and asks, “What are doing?” The monk replies, “I’m meditating so I can become a Buddha” (i.e. awakened one). The master sits down nearby, picks up a brick laying on the ground, and starts rubbing it. The monk is confused and asks, “master, what are you doing?” The master replies, “I’m polishing this brick to make it into a mirror.” The monk laughs and says, “no amount of rubbing a brick can turn it into a mirror.” To which the master replies, “And no amount of meditation will turn you into a Buddha.” Continue reading Can regular meditation lead to spiritual awakening?
What do you think that would mean? When people speak of pure nonduality, they often talk as if there would be an absolute nothingness/oneness or absolute non-differentiation. That they would not be aware of the appearances of the world or something or other. They don’t seem to catch the fact that the idea of “pure nonduality” is just another form of duality. There is not such thing as pure versus not-pure nonduality. There is just nonduality.
Life and the world itself is not dualistic…it has always been nondual. It is our minds that believe in separation. It is a mental fiction. There never was otherness. There is only the mistaken idea of otherness, because there is a perception of many things (that we then assume are separate). Continue reading Is there such a thing as living in pure nonduality?
There really isn’t a good word for the happening.
I still sometimes say it is an understanding, but the two issues that I see arising from this are people considering it a mental understanding (grasped mentally) and/or an understanding that takes time to get (like accumulating knowledge does).
I still say it is a realization, but the main issue I see arising from this is people saying they had “realized” when it was just mental knowledge or belief derived from a passing spiritual experience. They thought it was some sort of mental realization (again grasped mentally). Continue reading Why do you call awakening or enlightenment an insight?
Enlightenment is also called liberation, but enlightenment is realizing that you were never bound to begin with. So although nothing was gained by enlightenment, what was lost was the delusion of bondage (an illusion of the mind). In losing the delusions and illusions, we realize our natural state.
As there is nothing to be gained, that is why I think some people mistakenly say “everyone is enlightened.” Or some mistakenly say “everyone is enlightened” because “enlightenment is out natural state.” This too is mistaken because enlightenment is realizing our natural state instead of continuing to think who we think we are…with all of our problems and suffering. Continue reading Isn’t everyone enlightened?