The discovery that you are not your mind is the dawn of spirituality. You are not your thoughts, memories, beliefs, or desires.
You are boundless clarity untainted by concepts. You are the self-luminosity of pure awareness. But when your limitless Am contracts into a point of view, it becomes i. And this little i begins to think.
Then it cries, "How did i become so small, so miserable, so lost? i need to be saved." So the little i looks for someone else to save it from itself. Yet what the little i really needs is simply to relax, expand, and dissolve back into Am.
A mirror remains spotless no matter what it reflects. Even reflecting a lump of dirt, the mirror is untainted. The most vile image, the most lovely image, are of equal disinterest to the mirror. Fleeting, dream-like insubstantial reflections, our thoughts leave no impression on the glass. Their appearance in the mirror does not alter its essential emptiness.
In the blue sky, clouds precipitate and evaporate; yet the sky remains ever the same space whether stormy or clear. When the clouds move, the sky does not move. So our thoughts precipitate and evaporate in pure awareness. "Right" and "wrong" points of view appear and disappear in the vast space of consciousness that contains all possible perspectives.
But no point of view contains awareness itself, just as no passing cloud contains the whole sky. Who we really are remains timeless, limitless and still, even when a thousand thoughts storm through the mind. Whether positive or negative, horrific or soothing, the thoughts that pass over this mirror have nothing to do with our fathomless clarity.
Therefor, why struggle to replace "bad" thoughts with "good" ones, or to change "wrong" viewpoints to "right" ones? Points of view are right or wrong only in relation to each other; but in relation to the pointless space that contains them, all points have equal weight. And that weight is zero.
Our real responsibility is not to be right or wrong, but to wake up as boundless space. The only instruction we will ever need in dealing with our own mind is: "Let thoughts think themselves and dissolve, without any i in them."
O mind, give yourself permission to rest as awareness. Rest as who you are when you aren't trying to be "right." Don't be a cloud, be the sky!
An Effortless Practice
Witness your thoughts without grasping or entering them. This shift from doing to witnessing is always delightful, life-giving, energizing, even if the thought you witness is disturbing or dreary. The falsest opinion or most negative image may be the graceful means of liberation, the moment you cease grasping it. And as Rumi wrote, "Your grief may be the garden of compassion."
Thinking a thought never provides energy. But dropping a thought provides instant energy, returning us to crystal-clear awareness. In letting go of a thought, the boundless void gushes back to fill itself with emptiness, bringing an explosion of ananda, bliss.
Dropping thoughts requires no energy because it is not doing. In fact, dropping thoughts restores energy. This is the immediate pathless path to liberation. And the content of the mind is irrelevant to success in the path. We can practice this non-practice with any thought, trivial or profound, at any moment of the day, by simply letting the thought go.
Right now, surrender this thought and watch the blissful surge of awareness from within, a round wave that rolls outward to encompass the stars. As thought, you are very small. As awareness, you encircle galaxies.
Actually, your thoughts constantly dissolve. You don't notice this because you grasp another thought as soon as this one passes. But when you just watch the death of that thought, the birth of this one, without expending the energy to hold one and grasp the other, you notice the truth: you are not your thoughts. You are the Witness, an ocean of awareness surging with ananda. And what is this ananda, this bliss made of? Waves of emptiness.
Every thought has an opposite and wants to contend against it. What has no opposite is the Great Space of awareness. The unchanging untainted clarity of this Great Space is not only within you, it is you. Enfolding your darkest fear, your hardest pain, your birth and your death, Great Space is pure compassion. All that is required to attain it is: to relinquish being right or wrong. There is no need even to believe this. Just rest.
Posted by AKL at 5:51 AM