Many of us on a “spiritual path” have had many moments of “awakening" – little openings that allow us to *see* the Truth of Existence. I wrote the insights, that eventually became this blog, on scratch paper last December as I sat in a doctor’s office waiting for my appointment. Insights, or “awakenings” can come anywhere at any time. As I waited in the waiting room I reflected on how it seemed that I had been very *invested* in my spiritual search for “enlightenment” – for many, many years. It had been my life’s work, so-to-speak. In a sense I gave up “my life” (or what I call “my life”) for the search – *believing* the search for finding “awakening” was all that mattered.
There is an abundance of Non-Duality teachers and teachings out there, and what appears to be a lot of wrangling over semantics. Last Fall I was drawn to read Scott Kiloby and Jeff Foster – two of the top Non-Duality teachers. In doing so yet another door opened in this life-long search for Truth, except that it wasn’t what I expected. They revealed what I had heard from other spiritual teachers, like Adyashanti, Ganagaji, Eckhart Tolle, and Jack Kornfield – that there is just ‘This’ – Life living Itself in this present moment as it is. That there is no need to seek for“enlightenment” because it’s all just ‘This’ (Consciousness, Presence, Awareness, the One) *in* everything. And yet - we seek - until we don't need to seek anymore.
When I heard it this time I felt the full realization of it, as if for the first time. Something opened up and let it in. And, at the same time, I felt like a child that had been told there is no Santa Claus – well not quite as devastated, but certainly there was an impact that is difficult to articulate. I became unsettled, unnerved because the illusion had been shattered. If there is just ‘This’ and if I’m not *searching* for “It”, I thought, what will I *do*? My *mind* wanted to stay in search mode, after all that had been its “job” for quite some time. It had *identified* with the role and story of a “me” searching for "It."
In the past when I had heard spiritual teachers say – It’s just ‘This’ – I internally responded with: You’ve got to be kidding! That can’t be true! There has to be more than This! This can’t be it! I thought for sure that “enlightenment” had to be a big deal with Light shining everywhere, blinding me. But when I *heard* Scott and Jeff say, it’s just ‘This’ – Life living Itself, on some level I knew it was the Truth. It was taken in and absorbed like a healing elixir. Something inside awakened.
The word “ubiquitous” arose while I was sitting there in my seat, waiting, jotting notes. I didn’t know what it meant, so I made a note to look it up when I got home. (For those like me who don’t know, it means being everywhere at the same time; omnipresent). After reading the definition I realized that what I had been searching for is ubiquitous – always there, everywhere – right here. ‘It’ was never anywhere *else* needing to be found. ‘It’ just needed to be *seen.*
And so it appears that “awakening” is in some sense very ordinary, especially when one *expects* there to be some kind of transcendence into Light – ascension into an ideal Divine state of another worldly nature - a future arrival at an end reward for all the searching. It also seems that we can have many wonderful “awakening” *experiences* and still not realize the Truth. I know. :) The “final realization” (if there is one) it seems, is more like a discovery of something we already know. Oh – ‘This’! There’s a realization that the search doesn’t matter anymore. All the wrangling over concepts like “self or no-self”, “path or no-path”, “duality or non-duality”, “enlightenment or no enlightenment” just doesn’t matter. I realized that the “spiritual search”, which had started as a longing in my heart, had become a delusion of the dream mind. And, that the ‘This’ that I was searching for *is* revealing Itself *in* the dream of existence everyday… It was like a subtle awareness – a quiet knowing awareness that the dream continues even after “awakening.” Eventually there was a peace in realizing this – a deep serenity.
While writing my notes I remembered the words to an old Peggy Lee song (well that dates me doesn’t it!): “Is that all there is? If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing.” But I wasn’t feeling a sense of resignation. It was more of a sense of rest, a resting in this new awareness.
I realized that when we really *see* that ‘This’ is all there is – the ever-present Presence living in form *as us*, we keep dancing - maybe to a slightly different tune, but we keep dancing in the dream - *aware* that it is the dream of Existence, dreaming Itself, playing the song. Life living Itself.
Just keep dancing with Life!
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