March 16, 2005

Already Whole

You are already whole and complete, just as you are at this moment. What are you after? What are you afraid of? We preoccupy ourselves for lifetimes with such things. You will not find salvation or redemption outside. Turn within, empty your self and you will see your original face shining. It is here shining now. You do not need to develop further, or purify further. It is here now.

Release this hankering after something and realize you have everything you need right here and now, in full measure. If you turn within you will realize who you are, you will find that which you have been searching for your whole life. All the pain and misery will not have been for nothing. It has ripened you, softened you, so you are able finally to drop your striving, turn in and awaken, right here and now, on the spot, with no further preparation whatsoever.

Are you willing to be a nothingness? Your church or sacred scripture is just old wine in new bottles. The vessels, new and old, need to be broken again and again, and the wine allowed to flow from your own heart -- here is the sacred source, the wellspring of the divine, not in some tabernacle somewhere or in some scripture. The sacred temple is within, on your spot. At best a scripture may be encouraging, at worst a harmful impediment. Who is nurturing your wellspring within, your own sacred source of consciousness? Definitely not organized religion. This is a journey one has to go on alone, utterly alone. You have to walk the path alone. No one can walk it for you. It is particular to you and unfolds uniquely as you walk it, not before. It can't be laid out for you in a series of steps that fits everyone. You walk it alone, opening up and emptying out as you go. You become lighter as you go on losing, dropping excess baggage. You have been carrying so much baggage you can hardly move. Leave it behind. Where you're going, none of it is necessary. You've picked up all this stuff from others along the way. Drop it. It just clouds your seeing, the authentic insight that can actually lead you home. Rumi says,
"become seeing, seeing, seeing!"

We don't acquire anything on this path. Instead we release things that burden us, lightening up as we go. We let go and find ourselves not holding on, find ourselves increasingly naked. We see that it is possible to live a rich life without all this excess baggage; not only is it possible but it is a life that is blissful and intuitive beyond our imagination. At some point you realize all at once that you are nothing but naked consciousness itself. This insight might be painful initially as you see all you have invested in and attached yourself to and identified with is impermanent, temporary and provisional. This can be excruciating, fearsome at first, but it passes as you get familiar living your life naked, out in the open.

Realizing authentic naked being, God within your very own heart, can be daunting given the breadth and depth of our conditioning. Your confidence in this flame of authentic presence will grow and before long it will be a wildfire, consuming all your transparent attempts at putting on an artificial face, a mask on your vast, empty godliness. It's like trying to put the vast African savanna into a diorama at the Museum of Natural History. Under artificial light it is pale, gray and dead. While the real thing is alive, fresh, wild and uncontrollable, uncontainable, living and breathing, an interconnected unity of birth and death, wholeness. You cannot decorate, dress-up or improve upon naked nature, whether a grassland or the vast landscape of your heart. Adam and Eve were beautiful in their raw nakedness, their authenticity. In shame they felt the need to clothe themselves after eating from the tree of knowledge. That's what religion does, gives you knowledge so you feel ashamed of your original nakedness. And to realize that original nakedness again requires no religious mediation whatsoever. Religion just muddies the water, taking you further from the source within.

Naked is naked -- no religion, sex, color, nationality, class or age. When you are naked consciousness, are you a man or woman, adult or child, rich or poor, Christian or Muslim; are you your mind, your thought-stream, your feelings or body sensations; are you your body? Looking within, you fall into outer space, naked space. Not clinging to an identity, you turn into empty space, nothingness, conscious vastness; unidentified, a nonentity, boundary-less and uncontained. Looking within you fall into beauty and warmth and love. And it is so close, as close as this breath going inside right this second. It is the same breath going into you, that goes into me. It is the breathing of existence itself. You can realize this right here and now. It is possible, just open your hand. Release your clenched fist and it turns into an open hand which receives the benediction. When you come upon this happening it is unmistakable. It emerges from within and the whole of earth and sky beat with one heartbeat.

One sign of opening is overflowing gratitude. This gratitude is nonspecific and causeless. It is not based on anything, just flowing thankfulness with no object. It is love, warmth extending as a fragrance in all directions; bliss, an unmoored joy that comes from within -- again, not based on anything at all. Who you are is unbounded happiness itself. Enlightenment is not far off. It is as close as your heartbeat. Tennyson writes, "Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet." Religious thought places this at such a distance because it does not realize it. A religious institution can not realize anything. Only a person, an individual can realize his or her original nature. And when they realize it, the song that comes from their heart is the sweetest song in all of existence, unlike any song or Psalm in scripture. The song that comes from an awakened heart is beauty and love, alive and fresh, authentic. Religious thought is dead tissue, no blood flows through it. It just has the appearance of a living thing, but it is just form not substance. It is not breathing. Religion puts rituals around authentic being, but that doesn't help, it doesn't show us where the gate is. And the gate is very, very close. It is in your own breath, it throbs in your chest just as it pulses in a distant star.

Post by Akilesh


Ruthie said...

This speaks to me beyond words...

Thank you for posting.


tamingthemind said...

I imagine butterflies, pulsating hearts, floating flowers. It's freedom, it's expansive, it's beautiful, it's honest.

It's also attainable. Thank you for the reminder.