Who thinks?

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A thought arises–any thought–and the perspective of an individual self nods and thinks, “That thought is mine.”

Obviously, the seemingly-separate individual self thinks the thought appeared in the brain attached to the neck attached to my two waggling arms and these sturdy long legs. The person has been conditioned since wee babyhood to equate thoughts to a personal self.

To our seemingly-separate self the idea that thoughts are “common domain” of the flow of life seems bizarre, unreal, absolutely untrue.  To even contemplate that thoughts are not attached to the body/mind reeks of heresy!  No, no, no, my individual separate self proclaims–my thoughts are obviously mine because…well, because my friend Susan isn’t thinking the same thing.  She’s obviously got her thoughts and I’ve got mine.  End of story.

One vase, two profiles?

Perspective

When and if the perspective of a separate self falls away, for a moment, hour, day or lifetime, a different perspective appears.  In this viewpoint exists only Flow, or Source, or Oneness, or God, or Life, or All, or Whatever-the-heck-you-call-it-because-it-doesn’t-have-a-name-and-can’t-be-defined-by-words.

When everything reveals itself to be One, who’s thinking?  Where do thoughts come from?  Suddenly it’s crystal clear that thoughts are the domain of the One.  Thoughts arise from the field.  Thoughts are common property, somehow channeled into this constantly-changing moment.

A thought now arises and one realizes it’s not personal.  It’s part of the flotsam and jetsam of the brain, the field, the One.  It’s not seen as particularly “true”.  It could be utilized by the flow in the next moment, or it could be discarded.

A thought appears:  I want to read this blog.  Did you think it? Or did it just appear in consciousness, in flow?  The “I” rushes in to claim it so often.  It says–I thought, I decided, I read.  But what if it’s just consciousness that decided?  The flow moved toward the blog.  You’re here reading because that’s where the the river flowed around the bend and paused here just for an instant…

Doesn’t it become harder to judge one’s neighbor with this realization?  Doesn’t it become almost impossible?

 

 

The inner place that scared me most

 

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It’s early, so early in the morning and I want to write a personal blog here on Simply Here, a place where personal blogs don’t usually appear because the fingers are too busy delightedly typing about non-duality and awareness and Oneness.

For most of my life this ego-personality has felt very restless, unsettled, a bit uncomfortable and confused.  A spiritual journey ignited early in life as a quest to *find myself*.  To learn to deeply settle into this skin, to collapse into the solidity of these bones, to breathe clearly from these lungs, to beat upon the earth in full cooperation with these feet.

It felt like the journey to truly claim the self would somehow serve others, in the same way the action of a single bird serves the entire flock.

 

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Consciousness after slipping out of the womb

This.  Here.  Now.

This. Here. Now.

Pretend you just slipped out of the womb.  You peer around at the glaring hospital lights, feeling a cool breeze on your naked belly.  Faces appear before your interested gaze. (Unless, of course, you’re annoyed to be here, frustrated and uncomfortable, wondering what the heck just happened.)

You look around.  You have no words for anything.  It’s all shape, movement, texture, energy.  A world sparkles around you, an entire dream filled with the five senses and consciousness.

Consciousness is!  It looks out your eyes and envelopes the entire room.  It doesn’t create a separate self yet.  Everything dances together and apart.  It’s all simply presence, or now.  It isn’t really aware of itself AS awareness.  It’s undefined, non-conceptualized, simply what is, without boundaries, without limits.  It’s free.

Now imagine yourself fifteen months later when Mama has called, “Annie!” or “Susan!” or “John!” sixteen thousand times.  Every time you’ve focused on Mama’s face and lips she’s pointing at you and calling you a name.

That’s when a kind of pretending starts.  Something dawns:  “Ahhh, when she calls Annie she means ME!  She means this body, these thoughts.”

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Does it matter if anyone shares your spiritual perspective?

Our creations

Many faces

Does it matter if your best friend understands or cares about your spiritual viewpoint (or lack thereof?)  Does it matter one iota if your husband or wife understands he/she is not a separate self?  Do you ever need to convince a single other person about the validity of your worldview (or non-existence thereof?)

I don’t know about you, but most of my friends do not care at ALL about non-duality or non-separation or Oneness or whatever.  Some of them seem politely interested.  Some of them are even intrigued.  But on a fierce and passionate search to discover THE TRUTH?  I think not.  Believing it’s even possible? Wanting to think about it or live it 24/7?  Nahhh.

And how many people have you met who have sought and sought and sought and sought and sought until giving up in exhaustion before realizing THE TRUTHLESS TRUTH which existed all along?  Have you met one person?  Six?  A baker’s dozen?

More importantly, does it matter?

My husband has five percent interest in discussing spirituality.  A very few friends exist with a moment-to-moment understanding of flowing as the river of life.  A handful of friends like to ponder spirituality, what makes the personal self tick, the meaning of the Universe.

And isn’t it all fun to ponder this and that?  To dissect the motives and actions and thoughts and intentions of the separate self?  It can be a blast doing that for most of this lifetime.  There’s always the possibility that we’ll figure ourselves out and finally be happy and content and peaceful and satisfied, right?

Or one can simply jump off the wheel of self altogether, the mandala of spirituality or philosophy or psychology.  What’s left after the jump?  Anything one can discuss with another living soul as you free-fall without a net?

Years ago I talked about spirituality with every Tammy, Dianne and Harriet. Every Tom, Dick and Harry.  You want to talk about Native American spirituality?  Kundalini energy?  Buddhist meditation?  C’mon, friend, let’s GO!

(This blog is really the only quiet corner of Universe where these typing fingers decide to share about “spirituality” any more…although the word spirituality does not begin to describe what *simply is*.)  And perhaps they only type because someone may be suffering, may feel a passionate desire to KNOW THE TRUTH, thereby starting the endless seeking…which eventually may lead to giving up…catapulting one into the endless now…which has always existed as the only truth, always available, always present, always whole.

But does it matter if your significant other or best friend cares about non-duality?

ABSOLUTELY NOT.  (Excuse that dualistic pronouncement, but does it really matter one iota?)

Everyone believes what they believes, inspired by what inspires.  I used to think it was important to be surrounded by friends with similar interests and spiritual inclinations.  But isn’t life more exciting with simply everyone and everything appearing with their own seemingly separate views and likes and dislikes?

Everyone is the Absolute appearing as a temporary separate self, an illusion, a trick of Maya with her twinkling wink.

Everyone reflecting a different diamond reflection of the whole.  You, and you, and you, spinning into existence and out again.

 

 

Simply here once again

Riipples

Ripples

Don’t we just laugh at ourselves, these strange seemingly-solid creatures who change our minds again and again and again?

One minute we’re coming and the next we’re leaving.  One minute we’re writing and the next we’re swearing never to write again.  One minute we’re attempting to hold together a solid sense of self and the next…well, does it matter any more?

We’re Life.

We’re Life moving, changing, dancing, singing, drinking tea, making mistakes, laughing, frowning, feeling deep-down pain or embarrassment, skipping, wielding a cane, tasting an oh-so-delicious banana split.

We’re LIFE!  This is amazing when you start to grok it with your whole being.

Within Life, thoughts come and go.  Within Life, feelings arise and fall away.  Within Life, actions appear.  Choosing appears.  Decisions happen.

But who is this phantom Chooser, Doer, Decision-maker?  I used to think it was me.  A thought appeared in the brain and a mini-me existing inside this head would ponder all the alternatives.  Should I, shouldn’t I?  Yes, no or maybe so?  An endless cycle of trying-to-figure it out ensued.

Then a decision appeared and a thought accompanied it, “I decided to write a blog again!” or “I will never write a blog here again!” and the inner-me ascertained so certainly, “I made that decision, of course I did.”

It’s the way separate selves view themselves.  As somehow apart from the river of life, as somehow independent creatures making independent decisions.

How interesting to discover that in direct experience (without the reference of the mind) it doesn’t appear to happen that way.  Thoughts arise.  Feelings appear.  And yet no doer or thinker or chooser or decider can be located.  Look inside, right now, and see, if you’re inclined.  (If you’re not inclined, never-you-mind, because are you choosing that either?)

It’s such a relief to drop away from all that sense of responsibility and to discover that something already exists prior to the separate decision-maker.  Something that can be so fully trusted and allowed and embraced.  Something that IS in every single waltz and tango and goodbye and hug and weeping tears.  Something that has never deserted us since the moment we birthed unto the planet, and maybe before, and always after.

I stand in awe and prickling tears before this truth–which can never be fully explained or made into an object–and who knows which way the river flows now and now and now again?

 

 

 

 

Simply not here

One

One

The flowing appearances of life are impermanent.

They arise briefly (sometimes for a millennium in the appearance of a white-capped mountain) and then they disappear.

One moment we’re cuddling our fuzzy-headed cooing infant; the next moment she’s walking down the aisle in a wedding gown.

One moment we’re throwing a football with Dad; the next he’s dozing in an overstuffed chair meeting death’s gaze.

A frozen snow-capped apple hangs precariously from a winter branch.  Wind arises; apple drops to the earth. Last year’s fawn eats it.  So precious; so fleeting.

Everything that appears disappears.  We tend to forget this in our desire to keep life stable and secure.

Our friends come and go.  Our interests rise, peak and wane. A thunderstorm shatters the heavens; sunshine drenches the meadows.  Breath rises and falls.  We try to grasp these flowing appearances in our hand, but they’re so often gone, gone, gone…

It’s time for this little blog, Simply Here, to melt back into the nothing & everything that birthed her.

Words can be the most fragile of fleeting appearances, can’t they?

Thank you for reading these past five or six years.  May you be blessed by what never changes, never disappears, never births.  May each of us learn the truth of what we are, if Life nudges us in this directionless direction.

Much love…

Fondly, yet another mask of your very own self

 

Stop, drop & roll (awareness-style)

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Today we’re talking practical.

Enough poetry!

Today we’re talking stop, drop and roll.  You know, the old fire escape safety technique.  Let’s say one awakes in bed to a burning fire.  The victim then ceases movement which may fan flames, drops to the ground, and rolls to assist extinguishing the fire.

All you non-duality awareness fans probably don’t realize a stop, drop & roll technique also exists to assist in awakening beyond the thought-identified mind.

As most of you might know, we often identify with a sense of “me” which exists between our ears, maybe in the forehead area.  That’s where “I” talk to myself endlessly, story after story, hashing and re-hashing, planning and organizing, judging and deciding, you know, all the monkey-mind activities we intimately engage during the day.

Nothing necessarily wrong with those activities!  But identity can become enmeshed between the ears without any larger perspective.  Suffering may arise.  The fire of ego burns!  (Who said no more poetry?)  We may choose to “put it out”.  (Actually what we’re choosing is to notice a larger field which already exists, even though the darn fire seems to prevent larger identification, because perhaps we’re mortally afraid.)

STOP.  Simply notice that you’re caught in thought and emotion.  You’re cycling in a closed loop.  Awareness has velcroed itself to the space behind the forehead, metaphorically speaking.  It has attached itself to thought and imagination, past and future, the individual ego.  It’s perhaps fascinated with the story of a separate human life.  Just notice.

DROP.  Feel your chest, your belly, perhaps even those wiggly toes.  Notice that awareness drops or descends into the body.  Feel the differences in awareness identified between the ears, versus awareness in the belly.  Feel awareness as the body.  Linger here for a while, perhaps, noticing breathing moving in and out, in and out.  Notice that thoughts may still arise, but the velcro loosens as awareness explores itself in the heart area, in the pinky finger.  Emotions still may arise, but they appear as sensations in the body instead of glued to thought-identity.

ROLL.  Notice the room where you sit.  Let awareness roll or travel around the room, briefly noticing chair, couch, cup of tea, computer.  Notice that awareness rolls or flows easily and effortlessly, encompassing everything in the room, even the empty space.  Feel that awareness can not be separated from anything–everything IS awareness.  That floor?  Awareness.  It’s not separate from what is seeing.  That furnace motor?  Awareness.  Not separate from hearing.  It’s ALL awareness.  What else could it be?  That thought or emotion rising?  You’ve got it.  Awareness, of course!

This teeny-tiny technique of Stop, Drop and Roll contains the potential to move awareness from its focused limitation between the ears into a larger field of inclusion.  It can be especially instructive just upon awakening, before leaping out of bed into the fire of life.  I often lie quietly noticing the thoughts and identification, then the body in bed, followed by the dark shadows on the wall.  Until empty space feels like my true identity, oh yes, how could it be otherwise?