“By simply doing less, you are cultivating awareness”
These cracked and weakened hands
Wringing this worn out cloth
For every last drop
That wasn’t already there
A desperate search for purity
Yields not but the divine nature of futility
Becoming brilliantly careless
An effortless smile
Erupts into laughter
A servant of humility
Discarded notions of ability
A hint of there-ness
Tickling this moment from beneath my skin
The once cursed silent dialogue of truth
Bathes me in a pool of the senses
Softening my pursuit
So I may be pursued
Hand in hand with my soul
Onwards we march
I recently found a new spiritual teacher whose teachings deeply resonate with me. Her name is Jac O’Keeffe, she’s irish, and she has a wonderful way about her. In this video below she is talking with a man who has achieved a successful practice of resting in awareness but feels there is more. Her advice is the title of this post.
I will also attach a link to her website and her awakening story below:
She is going to be in Toronto this April and I am seriously considering going to see her.
Everything in my world felt like noise.
Every day and every experience just seemed to be adding layers of noise. They were adding complexity to the already complex. Whether it is thoughts about money, relationships, my job, my purpose and even spirituality, it all still felt like noise distracting me from me real self. My problems were all layers, and even the solutions to those problems became a layer on top of that.
Peace was a layer.
Fulfillment was a layer.
Freedom was a layer.
Love was a layer.
Maybe not experientially, but as long as I only knew them conceptually they were layers. I was overflowing with content as I got more and more lost in this ever increasing pile of things. I was hidden beneath it all and the only way to access it was to become completely silent. And to listen. But actually, even the idea of listening became another layer. I was thus forced to surrender and let go. But I could only think about surrender conceptually and it became another ‘thing’ to let go of. Eventually I fell back in my chair and just stopped. Suddenly and mercifully.
My mind can not narrate this spiritual journey. I must go alone.
Leading up to this moment I had been desperately searching for my purpose. Digging deep into my past. Looking at all of the things that I love doing, things that I hate doing, things that seem to come naturally, and things I have to work to make happen. I have read Start With Why, The Secret, A New Earth, & Steve Jobs’ Biography to name a few. These are all books that deal with purpose to some extent. And after all of that, and hours of contemplation, I came to one stark realization:
Life has no purpose. We are simply here because we are here.
This is not a depressing revelation. It is only the ego that must have a reason for being. Purpose, as grand and wonderful as it seems is just another limitation. As is everything that you use to try and define yourself. My only freedom is to become purposeless.
I am here. That is all I know. That is all that matters.
Honestly, I have no idea.
In examining this issue closely I wonder if the question itself is even valid. If I were to actually FEEL my own self, it would be implying a duality that negates the entire experience.
For example if I were to come to believe that it feels peaceful to be me, there are actually two things occurring. There is the peaceful feeling, and there is the noticing of that peaceful feeling. Which one is me? Now I could then move on and say that I am the noticer. But again there are two things happening. There is the noticing, and then there is the awareness of the noticer.So which one of those is me? On and on and on it goes.
Every experience requires a duality. In the quest for the true self our attention is always placed on the flavor of the experience. We want to EXPERIENCE our true selves. We want to somehow watch it from afar, see that it is beautiful, and then take solace in that beauty. We want that beauty to be eternal and never leave us. My spiritual journey is packed with attempts at searching for the perfect experience that is infinite and blissful.
But now knowing that no experience will ever show me my true self where does that leave me. It is pointless, or even insane, to keep searching for bliss, or joy, or peace. I know these only as different kinds of experiences. On the flip side it is also pointless to avoid those undesirable experiences such as fear, shame, and guilt. These must also be irrelevant and not indicative of WHO I am.
My true self is not something I can run toward or run away from. I can’t find it. I can’t avoid it. I can’t use words to describe it. It is not a song or a painting. It is not love or hate. It is not happiness or sadness. I am left with nothing but a blank space.
There is no next step. There is nothing to do to finally get it.
* I was about to write that I don’t need any time but i felt a huge panic attack sweep over me. On a deeper level I know this means I am on to something but the feeling is quite overwhelming. Like I am about to pass out at a moments notice and maybe not wake up again. Perhaps that is enough for one day 🙂
I have recently connected with the spiritual teacher Tathina and wanted to share her message. She talks about all of the topics we have heard many times before but it is the way she talks that has truly impacted me. Here is a talk by Tathina on a number of spiritual reminders for us on our journey. Enjoy!
“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go.”
– Abraham Lincoln
It’s the dreaded thought that I am completely alone in the universe that leads me to take action on my own behalf. My greatest fear is that there is no hidden force in life guiding me, making decisions for me, or taking care of me. Thus I have embarked on a seemingly eternal mission to hack the purpose of life. To learn the techniques that will make me happy, bring me success, and bring me love. But having been guided by fear I was always bound to fail, and bound to suffer.
I dig deep inside myself to find the strength and courage it takes to admit that I can’t do it. That I can’t figure it out, I don’t know how to live, and I don’t know how to be happy. That even to take the next step right in front of me paralyzes me with fear. It has been such a heavy burden attempting to outsmart life. To learn the secret code of living so I can finally be at peace.
In the ruins of such a catastrophic failure I am left with no choice but to scream out to God for help. Over and over the thought repeats “I need your help!”. It feels like belief in God is secondary at this point. Desperation has made me ripe. As this phrase repeats, and softens, I begin to relax. It may be the most authentic act of surrender I have ever made.
The words in my head change. I repeat the phrases “I need your grace” & “I need your love”.
My body releases the anxiety I have been holding on to but those words in my thoughts continue. It strikes me odd as I am no longer suffering but still repeating my call to God. I recognize it through spiritual teachings as a separation between my thoughts and my self. The distinction has become much more apparent in my unusual calmness. Surrender, I am learning, is not a milestone in the spiritual journey. It is a permanent state.
This life is not my own. And it is not a riddle. I don’t need to develop the skills to figure it out some day in the distant future. This beautiful life is for everyone and it does not discriminate.
Peace & Love