The single most important step in your journey toward enlightenment is to learn to dis-identify from your thinking mind.
The thinking mind is a very busy component of our consciousness. It’s constantly labeling, judging, defining, conceptualizing, covering the world up with words rather than allowing you to experience the world directly through presence.
The thinking mind is a chatterbox that is constantly making commentary on every little detail of our experience, robbing us of a still and receptive state of being that experiences life with an open curiosity that makes the world a living reality that is miraculous and magnificent.
When we are identified with our thinking mind, our experience of life is constricted and limited to an opaque screen of words, images, concepts and labels – second-hand representations of life that might as well be a movie on a screen.
When you create even a momentary gap in the incessant thinking and chatter taking place in your mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger. The world around you becomes more vibrant and real.
Your experience of life is direct and alive, you are present in your experience, and thus you are able to touch life directly. This is called direct experience. Experience without words or labels.
Make a practice to create these momentary gaps in thinking as many times a day as you can. It doesn’t matter of your gap is long. One minute is good enough. It’s the number of times you cease the chatter and noise of the thinking mind that matters. The more you do this, the more you dis-identify.
One day you may even find yourself smiling at this voice in your head as though it were a child misbehaving. This is good, it means you are taking the content of your mind less seriously. And you are recognizing that the content of your mind is not you.
You don’t depend on it for your sense of self. You are beginning to identify with something else within your consciousness, with your source and essence, with the presence of your being.
This is the state we wish to cultivate.
~ by Eckhart Tolle, www.tolleteachings.com/
My partner and I reconnected two years ago after being lost to each other for 30 years. We’ve known since that moment that we are what others call “Twin Flames”: a single soul expressing itself in two bodies. Last night as we were preparing to sleep, we had a simultaneous realization that finally cast that awareness in terms of our own spiritual path.
She said, “You know, I just realized that our relationship is a perfect expression of …”
I heard the final word in her mind and we both said in unison, “Advaita.”
Since Advaita is the path we are both on, the realization was quite profound.
Here’s a quick description of Advaita:
“Advaita” means nondual or “not two.” This oneness is a fundamental quality of everything. Although everything in the world appears to be separate and different, it’s all a part of and made of one nondual consciousness. Common analogies are the fingers on your hand, or waves on the ocean. Although they appear different — separate and unique — they all come from the same source.
This one Being has an infinite number of expressions that we experience as separate objects — or people. The delicious paradox is that both the appearance of multiplicity and the underlying Oneness are true. If we think of reality as a coin, it cannot exist without these two sides.
The gift of our relationship has made it possible for us to experience this paradox directly. Our obvious differences allow each of us to offer our particular flavor to the other. Our inherent Oneness allows us to see the other as clearly we see ourselves.
This awareness of “not two” flows naturally into all our actions and thoughts. It acts as a standing invitation to remember who we are, and as a constant reminder that we are participating with all of you in the divine dance of Lila: reality at play with itself.
Before the first move, we’re typically preoccupied with trying to get what we think we want from the things “out there.” We try to change our circumstances, our partner, our work, our house, etc., to conform to our desires.
Unfortunately, no matter what we do, our ever-shifting desires keep moving satisfaction seemingly beyond our reach. We inevitably find ourselves suffering anxiety and frustration as we struggle with our lives.
Then we may ask “what causes different people to experience similar circumstances so differently?” “Why do I get upset at some event this time but not another time?” We might start to realize that it’s not “the world out there” that is really causing us to suffer or be content.
This fundamental realization is the first move toward liberation, and inspires spiritual and psychological work. We start to move our attention within and explore how we might bring more peace, love, and satisfaction to life. Changing ourselves becomes the new priority. This work can profoundly transform our experience of life as we become more self-aware.
However, we also find our habits of dissatisfaction, frustration, and anxiety show up in this new arena. We can’t seem to make “negative” thoughts stop or uncomfortable feelings disappear. We might even find ourselves becoming more self-conscious rather than self-aware.
Then we might ask “how can I expect to control the flow of thoughts and feelings when I can’t find their source?” “Also, where is the damage when a thought or feeling moves through awareness?”
We start to realize that we can directly experience whatever thoughts and feelings show up without needing to make a problem out of them. This nondual realization liberates us from the struggle of self-improvement.
This second move immediately dissolves the experience of a spiritual path and brings us to the end of our seeking. We find ourselves perfectly at ease in this moment, in our natural state, with no need to get anywhere.
Maybe in another moment we find ourselves thinking once again “that things need to be different,” but now we can allow that thought to just happen as it does, offering no resistance, even to any thought or feeling we might call “resistance.” We find ourselves falling open, completely available to whatever is happening, free of any need or compulsion.
~ by Adam Chacksfield, of the Center for Nondual Awareness.
What are you when the world is considered as a whole of which you form a minuscule but essential part? What will “you” appear to be when viewed from longer and longer distances? What happens then is that the “you” first merges into the room you stand in, then to the house, then to the city and so on, until you are the world, until you are the universe from the viewpoint of infinitude.
The whole point is that “you” just do not exist as an individual entity. You are either “nothing” or “everything”. Either way, the startling conclusion is inescapable: I am not what I appear to be; I am not what I thought I was.
Acceptance of this conclusion, even at the intellectual level to start with, will lead to a lasting faith if you take the time, as often as possible, to sit for a while quietly. Let your body relax, let your mind cease its usual chatter, and turn your mental gaze inward.
If you do this, there may occur realization (if there is Grace, if this fits in with the divine plan of the functioning of the totality), realization that the nothingness that you are is not the emptiness of the void but the fullness of the plenum, realization that “your” body is but an instrument (with eyes, ears and brains) which Consciousness uses in its functioning.
Such a realization of one’s phenomenal absence as a separate entity is tantamount to the realization of our subjective noumenal presence with the whole universe as our objective body. And such realization, say the Masters (the Sufi — the Advaitan — the Taoist), is Enlightenment: I exist as phenomenal absence, but the phenomenal appearance is my Self.
Such realization translates itself in actual life as the actionless action of pure witnessing. Pure witnessing is of a dimension radically different from space-time, and is clearly to be distinguished from a mere movement in mind because: a) there is in witnessing no “witnesser” as an individual entity, b) there is no judging of what is witnessed as being “good” or “bad”, and therefore, c) there is no desire to change “What-Is” in any shape or form.
In other words, such realization leads to an effortless gliding through life with a willing acceptance of whatever life might bring.
The final truth, therefore, is that the subjective “I” is all that exists. It witnesses the phenomenal manifestation (including all the me’s) and its functioning, and is not aware of Itself when there is no phenomenal manifestation to witness.
~ From: The Final Truth, by Ramesh Balsekar.