The only reality is this moment. Presence. Here. Now. This. (Every word fails to describe It. Yet It shines as the foundation which exists as Everything.)
This is the answer to all questions. This is the question to all answers. It obliterates questions and answers. Simultaneously, it embraces them. It solves everything simply by existing.
Understanding this with the mind is one thing. Embracing it with the heart and body is another.
Surrendering in faith to This sometimes feels impossible.
How do we surrender to anger, illness, broken hearts and machinery and bodies?
When someone slaps our face, how do we turn the other cheek? What secret did Jesus know?
In moments when This appears untarnished and clear, it makes perfect sense. This reveals no separation between self and other. Nothing to resist against. Nothing to push. Nothing to defend. No points to gain.
Only a flowing river of experience revealing This, This and now This.
The mind constantly does its job of storytelling: placing interpretation on what’s arising. The mind creates worlds upon worlds, personalities upon personalities, separation upon separation. It judges, discerns, chit-chats, squawks, approves, fusses, fears, decries.
Either in this moment we see This or we’re spinning a story. We’re either awake in this moment or we’re caught trying to solve the story, fix it, resist it, cheer on the separate characters, behead them.
How do we wake up from the dream of our storytelling? I could tell you that no “I” exists to wake up. That Life, itself, will reveal the mirage, the novel.
But many of us, from the perspective of “I”, want to do something to realize what we already are.
What can we do?
1. Witness the storytellers of our thoughts. Witness what’s arising. Over and over again return to This through direct perception, direct experience. This is not something elusive, something you’ve never known. It’s your most intimate sense of self, without a story.
2. Notice where the story differs from direct experience. Our stories are often quite different from actual experience. When we look directly (without our contextual interpretation of separation) it’s startlingly clear that Oneness has always existed.
3. Inquire. Every time a thought arises, simply see if it’s true. See if it’s true–not in the story–but in direct experience. In the story it may seem definitively true. In direct experience, one often sees that it’s not.
4. Meditate. Although many non-dualist will decry meditation, it can be helpful to break through the pattern of storytelling. What is meditation? Simply witnessing what is arising without following it into the story. In some moments, identification as the witness dissolves, as well. Don’t try to figure that one out with the mind; it’s a waste of time. Just watch. One moment you’ll notice the contraction of the witness has dissolved. It’s a good starting point for some.
5. FEEL what arises. This has been the most helpful and most challenging practice. We humans have stuffed unconscious so many emotions from the time we learned to compartmentalize in an attempt to save ourselves from Life’s disappointments. Unconscious (and conscious) feelings sometimes keep us trapped in contextual battles trying to resolve instead of simply perceiving directly “what is”.
6. This is a moment-t0-moment unfolding. Don’t expect to awaken to This and always recognize it. Maybe that will happen. But for many of us, it’s a river of unfolding. One moment This is all there is. The next moment, identification with thought and emotion will seemingly happen. Don’t beat yourself up–that simply prolongs the dream.
7. For so many years I wavered between control and surrender. Trying to control my actions. Trying to do this, trying to do that. Using personal will to attain. Perhaps every seeming individual seeks to find her own balance between these seeming opposites. Lately, it feels like a huge trust in This is arising. Thoughts and emotions still arise sometimes with such lack of faith and compassion. During times of surrender, though, waves of bliss arise. Or waves of pain. And no distinction exists. It’s like holding a baby. Something cradles all of This, simply all of it, without ever letting go. Conversely, letting go is all that ever happens.
8. Disregard all this advice, return to what exists in you before you or I told a story, and listen to what Life wants to do next through the ocean that you are. Trust that. Trust THIS with everything you are.