Q: Given your non-dual realisation, can you identify what was the essential factor, method or practice that allowed you to notice or realise your natural, non-dual state of being or realisation in a permanent way? Does remaining in non-dual awareness, for you, require effort, or is it effortlessly spontaneous? I have practiced meditation and studied in many traditions for many years. I have made good progress, with many non-dual realisations through time. However, I have not been able to realise my essential nature in a permanent, stable manner. Buddhist meditation is my main practice, however, I am very interested to [know] how I can permanently realise Self with instruction from any and all traditions and those who are awake. How to do this?
A: Of the many dozens of persons I've had one-on-one discussions with, your questions are typical. And the vast majority, like you (and I), were seekers for decades and had practiced meditation.
Most everyone who has any kind of a "practice" supposes that if they practice correctly and diligently, they will as some future time experience the Absolute presence.
Every spiritual or religious tradition asserts that the Absolute is omnipresent. Therefore, it must be here (whenever you are). The notion that sustains your practice can only lead your attention away from the Absolute presence.
If the Absolute is truly omnipresent, as the enlightened sages maintain, there is no way in which you can possibly be apart from that which is always everywhere. We do not come to "encounter" the Absolute, as if "I" and "It" are suddenly to become co-joined (despite the fact that this is your assumption). We can only recognize that the Absolute presence which we seek is utterly inescapable.
As long as you think of "I" on the one hand (a separate form) and the Absolute presence on the other hand (a form which the seeker is apart from), there will be separation. Transcend your conceptions of "this" and "that"--dualistic subject/object perception--and what remains is the non-dual awareness that is being sought.
Do not expect that Self-realization, or awakening, will be a "dramatic event." (When you awaken from sleep in the morning, it is not a dramatic event.) Phenomenal conditions or experiences come and go; what you are seeking is undramatically always ever present--it is not a "special experience."
Lastly, because Absolute presence is always ever present, abiding in awareness of it is effortless. We exert effort when we hope to gain something; you cannot gain something which you have, in actuality, never been apart from.
So, as long as you continue in the mode of "practice," you may have further "insights." But complete nondual clarity is not a matter of periodic "glimpses," it is a matter of seeing, once and for all, to the bottom of the (bottomless) well. Seeking ends, and "insights" are superfluous, because you recognize that "I" and Absolute presence are merely two ways of saying the same thing.
The Absolute and I
by Robert Wolfe on August 4th, 2011
Posted in Living Nonduality, Questions Tagged with seeking, meditation, practice, Awaken, insight
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