Journey


Someone asked me to write something about the flowering of awakening in me. It's a long story, since it started in 1966 in Japan, and indeed, after the fact, it doesn't seem that relevant. Certainly it's not a template for anyone else since it's different for everyone. But maybe it will be useful to someone else, or even to me, to describe what I would call the climax of my search. The following events happened after quite a few earlier openings in which the bottom had dropped out of consciousness – or, another way I like to put it, in which the thought-wall between inside and outside had disappeared.

In 2006, I was at a retreat led by Adyashanti. He was speaking and, looking at him, I saw that he was me. That is the only way to say it: I looked at him and saw myself. Then, I looked around at the other people in the room, and it was the same: they were all me. After the satsang was over, I went out into the garden, and – the same thing: all of the plants and flowers were also me!

I experienced this as so true that I couldn't imagine ever “losing” it, but in fact in a day or two, it seemed just a memory. Although I knew it had to still be true on some level, I couldn't feel it. Then, a couple of months later, I went to another retreat, this one led by two women. One of those women, Dorothy Hunt, had been one of my teachers for several years.

The two women teachers took turns leading the group, and on the last morning of the retreat, while the other teacher was doing so, a participant asked a question about something Dorothy had said earlier. The other teacher hadn't, it appeared, actually heard what Dorothy said and couldn't give a good reply. I had understood what Dorothy had said, so I raised my hand to explain, but I wasn't called on. Later on, when Dorothy got the floor again, she came back to that question and answered it – so the person who had posed the question got the explanation she needed. But I realized that what I felt at that moment was disappointment – because I had wanted to be the one who demonstrated what I knew and hadn't had the chance! I wanted to be the one to say what Dorothy had.

After the retreat, we all had lunch together, and I was relating all of this to another participant. Dorothy was sitting at the far end of my table, but she evidently heard what I said because she said, “You did say it.” “Huh?” I didn't get it. “You did say it,” she repeated. This time, it went straight to my gut. I almost keeled over in ecstasy. I said it. It came out of her mouth but I said it. I knew it was true, but obviously, this was a different “I” than I usually thought myself to be.

It seemed as though is realization completely by-passed my mind and was heard directly by my body. In any case, my mind was still puzzled. For a year and a half, I kept wondering how it could be that I said something that came out of Dorothy's mouth.

Then, one day I was having dinner with a friend at a restaurant. We were talking about the role of the body in awakening. I don't remember my friend's position, but I know it was different from mine, which was that the body itself is Truth – not that the body embodies Truth but that it is itself Truth. I couldn't explain how this could be – I'd never heard anyone else say it – but I had a sense that that was right. (See note below for a more detailed explanation of this.)

During this dialog, suddenly everything shifted. I noticed that I had become very large – infinitely large, in fact. I asked my friend to be quiet so that I could observe what was happening inside. My question was answered finally: of course I said what came out of Dorothy's mouth because I am everything and everyone, always.

Note: I recently read an interview with Eckhart Tolle in which he describes what I have sensed:

You mentioned in your book that 'transformation is through the body, not away from it.' Does that imply that the formless makes itself known through the form of the body, which by its nature is constantly changing and not ultimately real?
“That's right. Within every illusion there must be something real because even the illusion could not exist without some reality somewhere, which then turns out to be consciousness itself appearing as the body. So look for the real that is concealed within that fleeting phenomenon we call 'body.' And to go beyond the appearance of consciousness, you can simply feel the inner-body as emanating presence within you, and so go beyond the form of the body, to its formless essence.

Is the inner body the unmanifest aspect of the body?
“Yes. That is the doorway. You go through the body. The doorway into the unmanifested is through the inner-body.”

From Dialogues with Emerging Spiritual Teachers, by John W. Parker (Sagewood Press, 2000).

July 28, 2013 update.

This week-end a more comprehensive seeing happened.  I had seen before, as described above, that I am identical with the forms, with manifest life, and that those forms are "empty" -- that is, that they have no substantiality -- they only seem to be because thought gives them substance.  But what I didn't see before is that the unmoving emptiness that I see behind the manifest reality is actually myself as well.  It's not just that I see it but that Life appears in it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to get comments from readers who want to mutually explore Truth as we at the same time remember that the words are just fingers pointing...