Pointers to Awakening
Bits and pieces from various dialogues.
- You just have to keep marinating in both modes, selfless and self-based, one at a time. The idea of the self-affirmation mode is to meet it, experience it, be aware of it, be aware of how the I feels like, what it is and how it exists. It is simply looking, seeing, feeling, perceiving, tasting how the "me" feels like. You know, just being aware of it, from the selfless space. Zoom into the I-sensations and zoom out, zoom in, zoom out. Just looking at it, not blankly, but with interest like a scientist investigates an organism under a microscope. See what is this "I" that I've thought myself to be. I am saying "What is this "I"?" This means that the I/self is being objectified. The subject self is being objectified so that it can be seen as an object in the space of awareness. It is very simple, nothing complex. It's just that this study has to be done carefully and fully through, util there is no more doubt or unclarity. There is nothing solid or permanent about the "I". It's just sensations and impressions, stuff. What is found from the center of the strongest I-sensation after affirmation? Is there anything there? Look straight into the bull's eye. This is complete instruction. Just continue.
- The thing is that selfless awareness cognises itself. There is no me, I, self or anyone there. OK. This selfless awareness is in connection with the body and mind. Through the body and mind it can feel and act. But for action it doesn't need an "I". In essence we are selfless awareness, brimming with life and aliveness, expressing itself through this vehicle of human body. Awakening is a glimpse to that but it can take a good while to actually get to this experience 100%, so that it is uninterrupted.
- No hurry. Being in a hurry is a great evil. Hopes and desires are useless as well. This formula will do it's thing when you keep applying it. Twist the steel wire, make these questions clear to yourself by studying what you experience.
- Sometimes people don't notice a special event of awakening, they just realise that "Oh, it's a bit different now. Simple. Easy". See how it is, apply the formula.
- While using the first selfless mode, it assures that there is clarity of mind, at moments it might get quite dark and uncomfortable. This happens because the formula digs into the core of self-delusion which is a dark place. But no problemo, just be aware of whatever comes along. One small moment and observation at a time.
- Good. The tension in the head, perceiving of that, is crucial. "Me" or "I" sits behind the eyes, inside the head, looking out through the eyes and hearing out through the ears. Be aware of that, and doing just this you objectify your "I". As this is done (or conventionally put: when you do this, although it is not really "you" who does this) revelations about the nature of this self start coming.
- Don't try too much. An observation can be made just in few seconds. Small moments, small observations. It's sort of like taking down a pyramid one stone at a time. A mature craftsman does things one things at a time, not all at once.
- For an awakened person, saying the "I" or "me" doesn't do anything, energies don't get stirred up, and particularly the tension inside the head behind the eyes. That simply does not arise no matter how hard you summon the self. Do this: Relax thoroughly, marinate in the selfless space with time, without hurry. Then as your mind is clear like the surface of a still mountain pond, introduce the affirmation. Do this carefully, in detail, to find out whether this tension comes up or not. If it doesn't you might be awakened already.
- You will never get awakened. "You" will not. The awakened state is already here and there and everywhere. There is no place where wakefulness is not, except in the mnd that goes around in circles. Are you getting my point? In one sense you are your history and persona but in other sense you are not. We get fooled by appearances. You-are-awareness-without-location... "You" exist only on the level of thought. "You" are a thought! A thought! Hahaha... Isn't that funny!? Listening... no location, unbounded awareness... Seeing... so free, so direct, so immanent, so intimate! Yes?
- Stop trying to "get it". Become a fool instead. What we are doing is not highly intelligent or sophisticated. We cannot figure out our being, because being is not thinking. OK?
- I think that you are quite used to, or have become a bit attached to sitting practice. I am like that too. But both, recognition of the selfless state as well as self-based state can be done any time. It is smal observation of a split second or few seconds that matter. Yes, we use concentration and mindfulness in this processing but it's not like one has to stare one's breath or navel as in common meditation. Do the analysis, observe the modes a bit by bit, moment by moment. 2-3 minutes is a long time when doing this practice correctly, and such a short period can be all that is required. It is a matter of processing, keeping the water on heater for it to become warm and to start boiling. This means digging the subject-self out into open so that it can be seen in a correct way. What is the correct way? "I" doesn't stay and it doesn't have a fixed, firm, solid shape. "I" is just a bundle of stuff, emotions and impressions on top of each other. "I" is deeply imprinted contiuous associations and we *believe* it. We have a fixed belief in this entity. "I can not do this... I can do this! I am poor. I am great!" and what thought-associations have we. But this is just being identified as concepts and thoughts... Are "you" anythign else than a stubborn idea? Look at yourself and find out.
- Reg. "more of selfless space". You are talking about three dimensional space, that between your head and pelvis. Yes, we observe the bodyspace, 3d space, but actually selfless space is zero-dimensional, non-dimensional. Selflessness means non-locational, not located in three dimensional space or time. Thoughts, such as the I-thought on the other hand are very much located in time and space. If you affirm the "I/me", make the self apparent momentarily on purpose and watch the clock, you can observe through, or based, on this illusory self, until after a moment it again disappears. So, through this experiement we can see that the "I" is bound to time and place. And yet we are dealing with a phantom because it always mysteriously disappears when it is sought after.
- We can talk about other stuff later but now we need to take a gun, fix the aim and pull the trigger. Go back to instructions that I have given you in the first message. Then take the Awake-book and read a few dialogues from there. Then shut the door, sit down and do the two part formula. First, relax, relax, relax and recognise the open mind space... See if there is a me there or not. Look ahead and behind, left and right, up and down and the center. Am I here? Check. Then marinate in that like a piece of meat in bbq marinad. Then after the selfless is thoroughly felt through your whole body, muscles and bones, bring in the self by doing the affirmation. Punch it in: "I! I! I! I!"..." Me! Me! Me! Me!"... Some sensations will come up, then don't try to do anything, only watch at the sensations. Don't watch away from these sensations! What is this I-stuff? And where? Be deeply aware of that. Deeply! Alert! Right in the center of the strongest I-sense... Drill, drill, drill. Eventually the sensations will subside. Then start over.
- There is this thing called "work horse mentality" which means that some people, like you and me (before), when we learn a practice or a new thing we start working with it brutely like an animal, forgetting that we can also use reason and think logically which is the faculty that separates us from animals. I've sometimes seen people with this work horse mentality practice the Two-Part Formula until they overdo it and get stuck. And its always men, never women. So what needs to be corrected is the view and understanding of the practice. First we need to have experiential context for the technique to work properly. That is the space of mind that is selfless, me-less. You relax your body and nerves thoroughly and at some point this spaciousness reveals itself. If relaxation is not enough, jump up and down, shake it off physically, and yell loudly for a few minutes and then suddenly stop moving... And it's there. Impossible to miss it like this.Vipashyana means liberation through seeing things as they are, not as how we think or interpret they are. The sense of me-ness is a tight bundle of thoughts, impressions and emotions. The sharpest tip of it, subject-self, you bring up purposefully by doing the affirmation, "I,I,I, me, me, me" and it comes up. And when it does, you locate it, you feel its location, by pointing with a finger if wanted and you try to get a sense of it's shape, colour and feel of it. At this point, you will feel narrowing of vision, tightening of chest, the classic signs of the self-based mode. All this is OK, it should happen. That is what the self and self-delusion is. It feels like shit. So you bring it up, without loosing the spaciousness, locate it and then you compare the two: the space and the knot. See and feel the space.. See and feel the knot in the space... See the different feel of the two... How do they feel together? Feel the edge of the knot. Feel the open space immediately around the knot... From spacious awareness, probing into, inside the knot, right at the heart of it.In the beginning of the process, the subject-self may rise as sensations all around the body but eventually everyone ends up with a knot behind the eyes, inside the head. That's how we subconsciously feel, that we are this being or a little man sinde our heads, looking out through the eyes, listening through the ears and living through the body that is down there, below our sense of "I". So, at some point through doing this practice, you end up with the know in the head. This applies to what I have said above. Spaciousness is not located in the body space, nor defined by the body space. It does not have a location, shape, colour or self, me, in it. But the "I", on the other hand, is there inside the head, behind the eyes. Bring your attention there, together with the spaciousness, and repeat, work it out constructively and creatively, not like a work horse. Use muscle, yor body but also have intelligence. "Me" or "I" is jst a belief but stubborn one! Beocming aware of it like this wears off the belief. Eventually the belief, the energy bound in to the knot will release, and there will be an insight, aha... And you will see clearly. This is the outcome of vipashyana meditation getting liberated by the force of samsaric thinking. Simple as that.
- Awareness is present by itself. It is said to be self-cognizant which means that it cognizes itself, it knows itself, it perceives itself. This means that there is no entity, "me" or "I" to recognise it. In fact, the I, or self, cannot recognise it. Recognition of awareness/buddhanature/rigpa takes place when the self is absent and when there is knowing of that awareness. Recognition of the natural state does not happen in deep sleep because that cognizant, knowing aspect is switched off, although the usual sense of self is absent too. So, this knowingness is the most important thing. Putting one's attention to the space behind the eyes inside the head is the easiest location to get this through experience because the center of cognition is located in between our primary sense organs, namely eyes and ears. That is where it is easiest to recognise the I-less, selfless awareness, or to be exact there the sense of entityness drops off and the selfless cognizance can recognise itself. This might sound complex but actually its the simplest thing. Once you get it, there is nothing more obvious than this.
- Here's a little exercise for you: Look at some external object in front of you. What happens here is that your attention becomes extended to that object, sort of like the energy from your eyeballs extends, reaches out to attend the chosen object. Its like aiming a spotlight on the object. It travels fast, at the speed of light to its destination, so fast that its challenging to discern it but if you get the idea, that's enough. We are very accustomed to doing this. Usually our attention constantly seeks and looks for something outside ourselves. This strikes right at the core of the way how samsaric mind works, looking for happiness from outside of us with the miserable outcome of always getting disappointed and more bound to the sense of self. But, the beam of attention can be aimed back at its source, instead of it running around in external things. Where is the source of the attention? Its behind the eyes. So do this: Instead of actively looking, actively attending that object in front of you, imagine that the beam of attention returns to the source behind the eyeballs. Then let it rest there. How is it? How does it feel? What is the condition of your "I" when you do this? How does doing this affect the mind made of thoughts and ideas? When you learn to return your attention to the space behind your eyes, and its not at all difficult to learn that, you can relax the attentiveness, relax that sharpness, relax the looking and hearing with attention. What happens with that release? We land on plain awareness, the selfless mind that is wide awake. Utter clarity, immaculate purity that is alive. Do this exercise, as many times as necessary to get to your own conclusion.
- Thoughts are no problem as long as we know the nature of them. Verbal inquiry about the object is fine if it helps us to understand the nature of what we are studying. Thoughts are not the enemy, you know. When it comes to the I-thought which is what we are dealing here it is the distancing from it that causes spiritual bypassing, bypassing it again and again. The outcome of this is duality between the I-less and I-based. However, if you do the 2PF properly the charge from the I becomes emptined like a ballon is emptied of air. So you need to engage with the "I" and probe into it, go into the heart of it and light a match, figuratively speaking. What is there at the center of it?- When you read my instructions, let them speak to you, let them sink through your body and mind, not only mentally reading or repeating my words and then try ing to figure it out in your head. Use your body made of flesh and bones. Do the practice with your body.
- This is vipashyana practice. It means investigation of the mind, investigating the knots that cause us to regard ourselves as separate entities, or beings. It is essential to understand that no one can "get rid of the I-feeling" like discarding clothes off. The only way to come to satisfaction is through looking into, investigating and making observations. That is the only way. So stop all that wishful thinking and gigantic expectations because they do not help. When I say to get serious about the process I mean becoming one-pointed and committed about it, you know, cutting everything else and making it a priority. I certainly don't mean loosing calmness or becoming highly emotional.
Guidance to Awakening: http://www.en.openheart.fi/101How to Become Awakened: http://www.en.openheart.fi/113