Keystones to Awakening

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Many spiritual aspirants feel that pursuing their spiritual practices are the prescriptive methods by which they will one day attain.  On a very relative, mind and time-oriented level, this is true.  But the whole secret is to spark spontaneous realizations in the moment that have nothing to do with the mind or identifications as a seeker.  Those fleeting flashes are then felt into, and we use those as inroads to meditatively sink in.

We have hours in the waking day that we fill with activities.  Those activities can either be conducive, like sadhana, or not, like eating chocolate cake and watching a tik tok videos.  It becomes less about a goal-oriented seeker who believes they have yet to awaken, trying hard to “get there” and more about just an organic choice about what activity to engage in at any given moment without regard for outcome.

So, then how do we orient ourselves towards grace?  First, we need to let go of our self-narrative.  That refers to literally every description you can come up with, to describe yourself to someone.  Pretend you had an hour to introduce yourself to a new acquaintance and make a list of everything you would say about yourself.  To awaken, we need to first recognize that we are not any of these things – are you ready to let all of that go?  All of it – including the spiritual ego, and all beliefs around your particular brand of religiosity.  Letting go of identifying as a Buddhist doesn’t mean you stop practicing Buddhism.  It just means you drop the self-label and just practice as a spontaneous natural expression of your system and not to chase another illusive label called “enlightened.”

Our inability to perceive the absolute is due to our fixations in the relative.  Primarily, we are fixated in a self-narrative mind.  As we loosen that fixation, the first layers of separation ebb away and we begin to perceive our connection to all that is.  We move into that and perhaps begin to perceive early stages of non-duality.  Spiritual ego sneaks in and declares we have arrived, and we fixate again.  Always remember that existence is infinite and there is no arrival.  Perception evolves through many layers and levels, shifting between associations with divinity, or the universe, to a feeling of oneness, to the loss of a sense of agency, to places where time loses any meaning where one only sees potentiality rather than a hard material reality.  It doesn’t stop there either; along these series of openings, the next level of perception is only imperceptible because of a fixation at the current level of perception.

The mystery is truly wonderous beyond that which can be expressed in words.  The intrepid will always bring their focus back to that which perceives.  Sink into that which is aware of the awareness.  Rest when fear arises and sit with love at the edge of that fear until it dissipates.  Face each living vibrant moment with curiosity on direct experience and without analysis, imagination, or fixation.  The adventure of being has just begun.

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