Simplicity of What Is
What is life all about? Does it mean anything? Where are we looking for
happiness or liberation? Do we have free will? What
is enlightenment and how can I get it? Can anything be done to free ourselves
from depression, anxiety, compulsive behavior, wars, holocausts, prejudices?
What is spiritual (and what isn't)? What happens when we die?
The thinking mind wants to find answers to questions. When you're trying to
find out which bus to take or how to build a house, this ability to find
answers is a useful function. But the thinking mind doesn't know when to stop
thinking or when thinking is useful and when it isn't. And so, as we grow up,
we live more and more in a conceptual world trying to think our way to
happiness. We lose touch with the immediacy and wonder we had as children.
Very often when we come to spirituality, even when it's supposedly all about
waking up from this story of me, it morphs into it's own new version of this
same story, focused now on how successfully I'm waking up, how well I'm
meditating, whether I'm enlightened or not. Oddly enough, this me that we're so
concerned about may be nothing more than a kind of mirage or mental image, the
central character in a movie story generated by thought and imagination,
nothing real at all.
How can we find out? Is it possible to wake up from this mental mirage, this
entrancement in thought? What is it that would wake up? Is it "me"?
Or is it something else?
Again, the thinking mind looks immediately for answers. We seek out authorities
and adopt their views. We cling to ideas and explanations, and seek bigger and
Liberation is not about having the answers, or
having some particular experience, or being in some special state of
consciousness that lasts forever. Liberation has nothing to do with belief, but
is rather the freedom from belief (recognizing belief, questioning beliefs,
holding all functional beliefs tentatively, seeing through false beliefs,
seeing clearly that no belief is absolutely true). Waking up does not happen in
the past or the future, only Now. Here / Now is the only eternity that actually
exists. Liberation or enlightenment is not something you find or acquire like a
new car. It is not some dazzling or exotic experience like being permanently
high on ecstasy or LSD. Liberation is seeing through or waking up from
entrancement in the ubiquitous fabrications and mirages of conceptual thought,
including the whole idea of being a separate someone who supposedly needs to be
liberated. Liberation is being just this moment, recognizing the simplicity of
what is and being awake to the undivided unicity that is ever-present and
ever-changing. Liberation is the absence of the belief that "this isn't
it," and the falling away of the search for enlightenment "out
there" somewhere in the future. Liberation is realizing the emptiness (the
fluidity, the interdependence, the relativity, the impermanence) of every
apparent form and the unbound openness that is always Here / Now even in the
midst of apparent contraction or resistance.