The Hugeness of our Divinity

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Can we step into the Hugeness of Divinity that we are and meet ourselves, our relationships and our lives from the strength and totality of this embodiment. To do this we must be willing to stop believing in the movement of our minds and their story of reality, and see that there is one here who is noticing the story, one here who is outside of the story witnessing life. And this one has no age, no gender, and is not aligned with any wounds or beliefs; this one is already complete and totally free. When we step into this as ourselves, we can meet all the painful and wounded aspects of our ego, with the healing space of Love. And as the Love, that we are, touches the painful, hurt and wounded places within us, we heal.

So this is our invitation, can we align with the boundless perspective of the witness that we are and our Divinity as us.  And as we do this can we meet fear, and misperception, misrepresentation, anger, hostility, emotional vulnerability and the impermanence of life from the spacious Divinity that we are? Can we allow our pain to heal in the Hugeness of our Divinity? Can we allow ourselves to be touched by our Love?

To the degree that we meet these things in ourselves, is to the same degree that we can meet this in others; our invitation is to take care of ourselves first. Because if we do not first heal ourselves; we will not be able to be fully present to those around us and to the healing of our world.  And yet as we heal ourselves, we heal the world; because we are not separate from Life, we are not separate from anyone or anything; we are one with all of existence as this Existence. 

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How Deep Can We Surrender?

Surrender to our DivinityHow deep can we surrender beyond fear, beyond doubt, beyond the constant insanity of our minds; into the Beauty and depth of Peace that we are? This is our constant invitation, and our life gives us numerous opportunities throughout our day to live in our habitual mentality and suffer; or to step into the huge Reality of our Divinity.
Tonight at Satsang, I invited all of us to look directly into a mirror and notice the incredible Beauty and Aliveness pouring out of our eyes. Our mind may comment that we look this way or that way, but if we look directly into our own eyes, and let go of the commenting of our egoic nature, what we will find is this incredible Beauty and Mystery that we are. And this Beauty has been with us our entire life, yet we mistakenly align with the judgmental and divisive thoughts of our minds, and miss this Divinity that we are, that we have always been.

Who needs to be Enlightened?

MonkIt occurred to me when I was quite young that I must know what Enlightenment was. From deep within this aspiration arose. It was a totally irrational and impersonal impulse toward freedom. This type of deep yearning for Truth, for Freedom can come from no other place. Enlightenment, in the end, takes everything from our ego, it is a total stripping down of the narcissistic self. No ego could ever want this, to want this, would be wanting one’s own death.

But what I found somewhere along the way, was that my ego also, wanted freedom, because it thought that there was something to be gained. I thought enlightenment meant to be free from suffering and that I would finally get to rest. As I inquired more and more into this, I saw that this is what the ego wants; to rest, and that this was a very innocent request. In a sense, we all want to stop fighting against the movement of Life. And there is a tremendous relief when we finally let go. But ironically, our ego will only let go for a period of time, before it reasserts its drama. Because our narcissistic sense of self, maintains itself from creating drama. So even after we fully surrender, and deeply let go into our freedom, our mind will rise again; this is normal. Yet, we remain free as long as we resist the temptation to engage in our ego’s neurotic dance.

But as I was inquiring into this seeking for enlightenment, what I also found was a part of me that wanted to be able to claim enlightenment for my own self validation. As I looked deeply at this I saw there was still a part of me that did not feel whole, and felt that if I could claim enlightenment or hold onto to it, that somehow I would be saved. That somehow I would be a better, fuller version of myself. This is again, another dance of the narcissistic ego, it is always trying to improve upon itself as a way of fully feeling better about oneself, yet it never gets there.

It is almost as if, I were enlightened, then everyone would know how lovable I am. But again this is another dance of ego. If we truly wake up, then we know we are lovable. We know that we are complete, right here, right now, even with all of our deficiencies. And we have some work to do. What begins to dawn on us, is that we are perfect; that we all are the living embodiment of the Divine just as we are. The thought that we are less than, comes from our ego which operates out of deficiency. In a sense without deficiency, the ego may not exist. But as long as we believe that we are deficient, then our ego has plenty of room to struggle against life, and recreate itself again and again. When we are seeking to be free, it may be helpful to ask, who needs to be Free? Am I following a deep impulse for Truth from within, or am I following and my ego’s need to be somebody important? Who needs to claim Enlightenment? If we are truly free, we do not need to claim anything, because we know who we Are, and we can rest in our Divinity, and we relax in relationship to our shortcomings. As we do this, miraculously many, not all, of our short comings begin to fall away.

 

 

 

Letting Go into the Mystery We Are

To be awake, it is necessary to investigate the various parts of our self that make up our humanity; because our humanity is often where we become deluded into believing we are something, that we are not. Our will is one of the major areas where we quickly become unconscious or lost in egoic identification. Yet, our personal will is a fundamental building block of our ego. Our will is most basically, the psychological force or program within us that wants to survive, maintain, assert itself, fight against, or fundamentally separate itself in order to create a separate sense of identity. In a healthy way, our will is what makes us want to have a career or have a family or be a part of a political party; our will is what drives us to succeed at sports or want to be right. From a psychological perspective, having a good strong will, creates a healthy sense of self from which an individual operates in the world.

Yet if we believe too much in our will, and mistake it for who and what we truly are, this will lead to more delusion within ourselves. We all have known times when we have fought persistently to be right, and as a result experienced intense separation. If we give our will too much power or authority over ourselves, then we will end up believing in it’s point of view exclusively. This point of view is generally some version of me against the world. And if we see the world from this perspective we will not be seeing Life from the perspective of Unity, of Oneness.

Naturally our relationship with our will must be investigated if we are going to be free. There are many spiritual practices and ascetic techniques that work to break down our will such as hours and hours of meditation, difficult yogic asanas; many spiritual traditions prescribe difficult labor without purpose or aim, such as racking gravel in one direction and then the other. These may be helpful if done with sincerity, but if they are done from the perspective of the will, they can actually reinforce the will, not exhaust it. But a wonderful space opens when the will is exhausted, and we become so open and raw that we have no choice but to surrender. This is where most spiritual practices try to bring us, to this point of exhaustion and eventual surrender. Although, we are welcome at any point, to fully surrender our will and to let go; right here, right now. This is the direct path; to step onto the direct path, we must be deeply sincere; and be more sincere than our attachment to our own will. Sincere surrender is by far the most direct way to let go of the will and to step into this huge Mystery that we are.

Staying Awake

[Fakelvis]

One afternoon, I found myself listening on the web to interviews with many spiritual Masters and their students. As I listened to the stories of these great awakened ones, I began to ask myself, what is the difference between being awakened and being a Master or put a different way, what is the difference between being awake and being enlightened? It seemed that I had experienced a powerful and profound awakening, but I was not living up to the Truth that had been filling me. I could see that my inner life was rich and wonderful. My mind and desires have greatly calmed. Fortunately, I haven’t gotten in nearly as much trouble as I did in the past. But with many of the teachers that I studied with, it seemed as if they had two qualities that most of us lack, their actions followed their words and they were no longer fooled by their own minds.

When I am deeply honest, I see I have a great deal of work to do in these departments. What most of us find is that the habits of the mind are deep and when it comes to our outward expression; I, like many others often, habitually choose to live from the past.  Which leads to this confusing experience of feeling and experiencing great freedom, yet being drawn back into the habitual nature of mind. As a teacher, I meet more and more individuals who are having deep spiritual experiences and yet still remain deeply entranced in their own personal delusion. This can be quite confusing for someone to be on the path and wake up to a vast perspective of Beauty, Oneness and Radiance, and yet to lose that vision and again struggle with the limited perspective of our habitual minds. Many deeply struggle with this, and experience a huge feeling of lose, as they find themselves being deluded again. Life can even be more painful to wake up to the ultimate Reality, and then find oneself back where we used to be. I often laugh at myself and this wonderful awakened perspective I have been given, and how quickly I choose to again act like an idiot.

What is more surprising than seeing myself fall into delusion; is how great spiritual Masters’ fall off the path or make painful mistakes like sleeping with their students, having affairs, or becoming power hungry. It wasn’t until I realized that they are human as well, that I understood. Because we are all human, which means we all have minds with habitual thoughts and desires and conditioning. This habitual nature, can come forward in any of us, and when it does, we act habitually or unconsciously. If we are honest, we can see that every way in which we are deluded comes from misinterpreting our thoughts as Reality.

Ultimately there is only one human mind and all of us, have this mind. And in this mind lives all the various thoughts of evolution, from fight and flight, to wanting to have a family, to desiring more power, and every imaginable thought. And because of this, all of us can fall prey at any moment to being deluded to mistake our thoughts for Reality. When we wake up, we see clearly the nature of things; we see clearly the nature of the mind. But this does not mean that all delusion will disappear from our being. The very programs of delusion are in our biology: fight and flight, desire, anger, jealously, all forms of  ignorance, etc. When we wake up, we gain a vast perspective. But this does not mean that these drives spontaneously and completely disappear from our being.

Often with a powerful awakening or shift in perspective, various programs of the ego simply fall away. This is one of the wonderful graces of awakening. Yet for most individuals, much of the ego, if not all of it remains untouched and as the awakened perspective fades, delusion creeps back in its place. But what waking up can gives us is a wonderful new space to work with delusion from the outside; instead of being stuck in it and trying to fix or heal our ego with the ego. To have this vast perspective stay vast or become more permanent, we must be willing to resist the temptation to believe what we think. And this is precisely how we unenlighten ourselves; by believing the stories in our heads. And this can happen to anyone, who believes the next thought that is not the truth; whether they are a Master Being or simply us.

Our challenge here is to live up to our realization. To walk the razor’s edge of freedom, which means to not give into the habitual nature of our mind. It means that we resist the temptation of taking our thoughts and feelings to be true; to be Reality. It is a big job to live up to our realization and to not give into egoic games or programs. To walk this razor’s edge, we do not do this from the self-righteousness of the ego; it has to come from the sincerity, strength and humility of our True Self or it will just be another movement we are deluded by. And so this is our challenge, can we embody the Truth of who we are as us, instead of embodying the past as us, instead of embodying an unconscious habit of mind as us? Can we give ourselves to this and allow the Truth to live us, as Us?

Freedom takes everything.

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When most of us think of freedom we think of being able to do what ever it is that we want. This is the kind of freedom that the ego wants. If left unchecked, the ego wants to be able to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants to. But spiritual freedom is vastly different. Spiritual freedom is about giving up ego, (our wants, desires, opinions, beliefs) and being in total alignment with who and what we are, which in our deepest sense, means being in alignment with the will of the Divine. Spiritual Freedom ironically, is the giving up of all our egoic wants, desires and agendas. Our ego actually gets nothing out of the deal, except its own disillusionment; and when we allow ourselves to be disillusioned, we begin to see clearly for the first time. We begin to see the True nature of Reality, and we wake up and see that we are one with all of Life. We experience this Beautiful oneness, when we stop believing in the dividing nature of ego. Because when we allow the walls of ego to drop or put a different way, when we stop believing in any thought or feeling as the truth of our direct experience, and simply begin to directly experience life outside the lens of egoic division; we discover that we are one with all of life.

But to allow for the great disillusionment of our self created reality of our minds, we must be willing to let go of everything we hold onto and believe in. We must be willing to let go of our cherished ideas and opinions, our likes and dislikes, and our self image. Most of us though, are unwilling to give up all of this. For most of us our thoughts and ideas and self image are what we think we are. But this is not the Truth of what we are. And when we hold on to these things, what we get in return is a limited self created by the mind and a limited experience.  This is what our mind does; it creates itself again and again through building a world—a self—out of thoughts and ideas.  When we believe this image or movement of thoughts to be ourselves, we suffer.  We suffer because we go from being big, open spaciousness to being a conditioned movement of mind, a limited image; a me who doesn’t like this person or that person.  We go from silent and free awareness to “Look at me. Look how successful I am. Don’t I look good in this new car?”   And when the new car doesn’t drive in the snow, or rusts, we suffer.

As long as we identify with the contents of our minds as reality we will experience pain. But if we are willing to live and be more than the contents of our minds, we can be free. We become free when we identify with the hugeness of Reality instead of the coming and goings of our mind. When we identify with our sky like perspective, it is much more difficult to identify with having a problem or with wanting this or that. The sky is open to everything and does not complain if this comes or that goes. Our mind, on the other hand is made up of dualistic right and wrong, good and bad thinking. As we step into our true nature, we step into an all embracing unity. As we step into our minds, we step into divisiveness and as a result we suffer. In a sense the more meness we have or the more self we have, the more we suffer; because there is more self present to argue with what is. We have all seen individuals with big egos, they tend to suffer more. And the opposite is true; the less ego or self or meness we have, the less we suffer. Ironically the less self we have, the vaster we become. It is actually that we are already vast, yet our vast or sky like nature is covered up, by our egoic sense of self. The good news is that we are already this, and as we let go of ego, our hugeness is what is already here, and has always been here. Our freedom comes from stepping out of our self created illusion of mind and into who and what we are.