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There is no self. Those whose illusion of ‘self’ has collapsed – from Buddha through Ramana and Tony Parsons – confirm there is no continuous ‘self’ in these body-minds. What does life without a self feel like, and how does one dissolve into that?

’Self’ is but an illusory temporary mechanism, useful for a particular way of knowing. It is no more or less than that “ – Bernadette Roberts

Life without a self is very amazing, and amazingly ordinary.

In our upcoming retreat, we will explore the lives & transformations of seven who “died before they died”…and had a full collapse of the ‘self’ identity. Through their stories and insights, all answers and wisdom about Life Without A Self will be revealed, and we will fully experience the illusory nature of the self and the way to live without it, with love & compassion. All are Welcome.

”Life Without A Self” Online Retreat, April 20–21
For more nformation and registration email teja@tejaanand.com

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So Incredibly Simple

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So Incredibly simple

 

It’s so incredibly simple.

 

This is it!

 

There is nothing to attain and no one to attain it

Since  we are dream-characters, functioning in & as the dream of separateness, this answer is unsatisfying to the dreamer.

 

Dreaming in ‘separateness’ includes all the feelings & sensations that go along with being convinced you are a separate entity – an innate sense of loss or abandonment, an aimless uncertainty about your purpose and direction, and a constant chasing some happiness or spiritual ‘unity’ “you” never seem to reach or fulfill. So the dream “me” looks for ways to fill this constant feeling of restlessness, discontent and fear. If material abundance or sense gratification doesn’t fulfill it, “we” turn to ‘spiritual’ pursuits & paths.

 

All of those pursuits – yes, even those that appear as ancient, revered spiritual paths or noble pursuits of selflessness & compassion, are still pursuits in the dream.

 

That’s it!

 

And  it’s merely the dream of separation. In reality, there are no separate entities. Only The One or Being. There’s nothing to accomplish or attain, because there is no separate ones to do that. There’s nowhere to ‘get to,’ because there’s only This Everything. Where would “you go outside of It. There’s nothing to find because nothing has ever been lost. There’s no need to reconnect or re-unify with Source or Being, because there has never been an ‘individual entity’ that got ‘broken-off’ or separated from That.

 

Beyond the noisy, restless mind, when You are simply Being with This, with What Is, your are home. You are free. 

It’s that simple. Telling the dream-mind that This is it and there’s nothing to do but Be with What Is totally confounds it. It’s too close, too simple, too obvious. So mind cannot see it. Thus, the mind of the apparent ‘separate dreamer’ becomes the seeker, and in seeking That which the dream-character can never awaken to, it makes it so confoundingly complicated. 

 

The illusory dream-self can never get this, because “you” are there looking for it.

 

But You can. And you know it really is that simple. 

 

This is it! 

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Do we need to find a guru or spiritual teacher?

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To get the fully honest answer to this question, we first must ask who is this “we,” and who or what is the “guru” or spiritual teacher.


in this dream of separateness (the relative level,) there appears to be separate characters, some who are more ‘spiritually advanced’ than others. At this level, there appears to be somewhere to ‘get to,’ something to ‘attain,’ and some ‘special’ dream-characters who you call teacher or ‘guru,’ that can get you there, guide you, or even bestow shaktipat for some instant transformation.


As dream–characters, it’s fine to believe in and pursue these illusions. To believe there’s a separate “you” who can get some thing you never lost from someone else who ‘has it.’ The function of the dream-character is to dream in separateness.

In reality there is no one. No separate entities. Only Being. There is nothing “you“ need to attain because there is no one to attain it. Nor any ‘special‘ more-advanced “someone” you ever need, to help ‘no one’ attain it.


All such pursuances and hierarchies of ‘advancement’ ‘teacher’ and ‘student’ are only in the dream.

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The Folly of Enlightenment – Part 1

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So, a funny thing happened” back in 2019 when the book Watching Your Life came through, I made a promise to all of myfrends that I would work on a new book called The “Folly of Enlightenment,” which would be out within a year or so. And then I discovered that the ‘folly’ that is enlightenment also confirms the folly of writing a book about it. So it was never written or completed. Then I was posting an answer on Quora, and I noticed I had written the entire “Folly of Enlightenment.” Except it was only one page long…which is great, because who needs another whole thick book about enlightenment! 🙂

So instead of publishing a book, I figured I would share the folly of enlightenment, the open secret about enlightenment, right here, transcribed from the video.

 

No human can attain, or has I ever attained, enlightenment.

Yes, this does include all the apparent ancient spiritual sages and revered religious figures who claimed enlightenment and then offered a path, any path, for all non-enlightened ’humans’ to follow, practice and ‘attain enlightenment, too.’

Personal enlightenment is an oxymoron, because there never was a ‘separate person,’ separate from Wholeness (or Oneness, or the Self, or the Beloved, whatever you like) who had to ‘attain’ or ‘reunify with’ Wholeness.

 

Ramana Maharshi said it best. “The Self is always the Self and there is no such thing as ‘attaining it.’ “Who” is to ‘attain’ what, and how, when all that exists is the Self?”

 

The collapsing of that false construct of a ‘separate me’ is what some me-minds have called ‘liberation’ or ‘enlightenment,’ but nothing actually happened because that which collapsed was only an illusion, and that which it appeared to have collapsed into was just reality, the natural reality.

 

So the whole “I’m enlightened, you are not yet, but you should be (it’s your ‘purpose’ in life,) and here’s a ‘path’ or set of practices to ‘attain’ what ‘I’ have ‘attained,” is total bullocks, total illusion within the dream.

 

And if enlightenment was supposed to be a concept to give humanity a sense of purpose, boy, did it fail miserably! 🙂

 

At any given point in the illusion of ‘human history,’ no more than 1% have ever even set the ‘goal’ of enlightenment as their sole purpose, and of those, less than .01% (probably less than .0001%) have ever ‘experienced’ the illusory dissolution of the false “me” identity, such that someone other illusory “me’s” would call them liberated or ‘enlightened.’

 

The only thing that gives the dream “me” (humanity) a sense of purpose is perpetuating the myth of “me,” survival, and trying to negotiate a better ‘life-experience.’ That’s it.

 

Here’s how that illusory sense of purpose appears to come about:

When we are a baby, there is only Oneness, this Everything, no separation from the Wholeness.

Then somebody calls us a name, tells us we are an individual, and must live a worthy life, be a good student, parent, provider, etc. Thus, we form a false center called “me,” which is ‘separate’ from everything and every other “me” outside it, and from which we constantly attempt to negotiate life with an imagined ‘free will.’

 

But in the end, there’s Nothing happening. Just Nothing appearing as Everything. Just an appearance.

Now, mind cannot “get” this, so it will argue we are real and have to strive to attain this Wholeness/Nothingness that we never lost, that we already are.

 

If, as a “me-mind,” you want to argue the “we” must do something, attain something, go ahead, pick a path, find a teacher/guru/ and practice like hell to ‘attain enlightenment. The “me” loves it’s ‘seeking,’ and its story.

 

Perhaps at one moment in the imagined ‘future,’ you will see through the illusory Everything to the No-thing that only appears to be ‘projecting’ it. At that moment, your entire path, practice and world will crumble.

 

And perhaps in that moment you will see the whole thing was a charade. A causeless, purposeless Is-ness and a dream.

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How We Awaken

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OK, so you’ve read the home-page post To Awaken and perhaps other awakening information, and it resonates with you. You get it! You’ve seen the non-existing writing on the illusion of a wall, understood the Truth of non-dual Creation, so now you want to awaken. “Sign me up! Where do I start?” Ahh, yes, the how to, the “technique.” Before discovering which practices or techniques may help us awaken, we need to be clear about the paradox of our seemingly-separate individual identities (we’ll call this the ‘ego’ for short) wanting to awaken, even though we’re not separate at all, and even though that awakening means our ego must see itself as an illusion that must willingly dissolve itself to experience the only real Reality behind it. Who wants to awaken? Who wants to know how it’s done? Why do we want to awaken? Is it because ‘we’ are tired of this world of suffering, and want liberation for our self? Even though there is no separate self? If our ego-identity is the very part of us that must be recognized as unreal and dropped, in order for awakening to dawn, then how could we possibly reach awakening by pursuing the ego’s wants. Would that not merely fortify the ego’s false existence, instead of transcending it? It’s important to do this deep inquiry of our ego-motivation before embarking upon any path or technique to awaken…and frequently afterwards, too. The very ego that desperately desires to ‘attain enlightenment’ can become it’s own biggest impediment. But fear not. It’s OK to start longing for the Truth from the ego’s or suffering’s vantage point – most of us do – and there are real practices we do as we open up to Spirit’s already-present perfection. So as you feel the desire to awaken, and start sorting through paths & practices to ‘get you there,’ remember these Truths and hold them in your awareness: – Pure Awareness, or Spirit, or the One Reality, is already fully awake. It doesn’t need to awaken or do anything to realize it’s Oneness. Since You are really Pure Awareness or Spirit, not an individual ego, You don’t need to do anything to awaken. Your seemingly-separate ego may do things to awaken, but it doesn’t have to, and there’s nothing superior about treading a spiritual path versus living an ‘ordinary’ life. It’s all Spirit awakening to Spirit. – In truth, this personal “you” that wants to awaken, can’t. We don’t awaken; awakening wakes up through us, when It’s ready. It just the One Reality expressing itself through this illusory temporary identity you call you…and that One is already, well, One! Already fully Awake. Not in need of any alterations or improvements like “becoming awake.” Not in need of getting to any state that’s ‘better’ than Its current state. Our seeking ‘how to awaken’ is usually driven by us wanting things to be ‘better,’ and thinking that things as they are is a problem. – Since the One, or Awareness, is already fully Awakened and perfect, It doesn’t see our ego’s ‘plight’- “I am unenlightened, suffering and desperately want to awaken” – as a problem. It knows only It’s own perfect, completely-fulfilled Self. monks beaming faceYou can’t become awakened, or even accelerate awakening waking up through you, through any ego-based effort on your part. Any effort. Hours of meditation and deep quieting of your busy mind; submitting to a Guru or Deity or any outside authority and praying fervently for release; years of self-sacrifice and selfless service; reams of journaling and inquiry to arrive at the core Truth. Burn it all. As long as you are doing those things to “reach enlightenment”or awakening, as a ‘future’ goal for yourself, none of that can work. Because every effort made to “get somewhere you are not already” comes, by its very nature, from your ego-mind. That’s the only part that ever feels things need to ‘change’ or be better. Spirit doesn’t long for that. Because where you are already – this instant – is Reality, is things as they are. Resting in the Truth of that, the flow of that, is being Awake. Resisting or arguing with Reality, that life is not good enough now and should be better, less painful, more wealthy or fully Enlightened, is being not-Awake. Arguing with, and not accepting Reality is what ego-minds do. Indeed, it is their very definition and what forms them in the first place. Because ego-minds think of themselves as separate entities, not already part of the One and complete in that Oneness. So they are constantly busy trying to protect & survive that illusory “separate being” and keep it feeling “good.” The ego-mind tells you to compete & struggle against others to ensure your survival; to experience fear & defensiveness whenever it seems like something is threatening your survival (even just the survival of your self-image;) and it directs you to reach for pleasures and, yes, even spiritual attainments like “Enlightenment” and “Awakening” to make you feel “happy” and avoid feeling the very fear & struggle it lives in all its life! Let the truth of that really sink in. We go deeper into this paradox of the ego in all the Pathways To Awakening posts. For now, it’s enough to realize that, as Spirit, you are already whole & complete; as an ego, life is always scary, out-of-control, and in need of improvement. So if you can’t use your ego-mind’s desire for peace & enlightenment to propel you towards awakening, because it’s that very ego-mind causing you to feel you don’t already have peace & enlightenment, then, what can you do? One of the most powerful “techniques” you can practice is to “sense” and feel that you already have all the enlightenment, peace, completeness and Awakening that you want and need. The great sage Ramana Maharshi said, “Feel you are in bondage, and you are in bondage; feel that you are free, and you are free.” And our wonderful friend & living Awakened teacher, Adyashanti, encourages students to “allow everything to be exactly as it is.” He advocates a form of meditation where, instead of sitting down, closing your eyes and practicing a technique to “accomplish” something, like stilling your thoughts or attaining mystical states or Enlightenment, you simply allow everything to be exactly as it is, you don’t manipulate your mind or try to enhance your experience in any way. He recommends you start with this brilliant question: “The peace & awareness that I’m seeking as I sit for meditation, is it not already here, already present?” Yes, it is. Of course it is. Now just notice that peace, and experience it. Give yourself over to it. Simple. You’re there! Awareness is Here When you sit in this non-manipulative way, you just watch Awareness falling wherever it wants to – on the sounds of a bird or the wind outside, or some sensations in your body or thoughts in your mind, on pure silence. If you are just “aware” of Awareness, rather than trying to direct or control it, you notice that Awareness is pretty fluid, moving around many senses & objects at will, and if you just stay quiet and stay watching it’s movements, you will notice two wonderful things happen. The first is that you will see that you are “aware” of Pure Awareness, which is actually who you really are, so you will be getting your first glimpses of what it feels like when you’re identified with your Awareness rather than with your mind. It feels playful, peaceful and…like nothing needs to change; in short, perfect and enlightened as it is. The second thing you will notice is that, without any mind-controlling from you, Awareness will eventually stop falling on all the various senses & objects in your field – sounds, smells, body feelings, thoughts & memories – and become very aware and interested in Itself, pure Unmanifested Is-Ness, Pure Silence. Your ego & mind will not follow Awareness there, because they can’t, so you will just be…Aware! But your mind will play an important role by ceasing focusing outward, as minds constantly do, and focus inward. “Who is that, in there? What is that part of me that is just purely aware of everything, peaceful, dispassionate and non-judgmental? Let me investigate that, instead of investigating all these thought-forms and objects like I usually do.” That is a magic moment! Turning inward, you will come face to face with pure Awareness. Eventually, even any sense of “you being aware” will drop away, and there will just be…Awareness. No you, no meditator or experiencer, just Pure Awareness, all that ever was or will be. Practice sitting regularly, sensing into this perfect peace and neutral Awareness that’s already there, always. Practice it knowing that you can always access that, and that when you are resting ‘there,’ fully at peace with everything, you are as enlightened as you’re ever going to be, because you are experiencing the One that’s already awake & enlightened…not just having one more ego experience. We will continue our journey onward with more ways to allow awakening to blossom, naturally, in the next posts.
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Love

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With all this guidance about inquiry, meditation, and non-dual wisdom, a question that often arises is, where does love fit into all this? How about a Path of Love?

Great question! When will you know you have awakened? When all you see, in this world, and the next, and everywhere you turn, is love. Because, ultimately, Spirit or Pure Awareness did not have to manifest anything into existence, whether real or illusory, permanent or impermanent. So if It did, it could only be an act of Pure Love.

How do we awaken? Well, how do we fall in love? It just happens!

We can’t prepare for it. Oh sure, we can do some ‘practices’ or ‘inquiry’ or ‘praying’ or ‘techniques.’ If we’re trying to ‘prepare for awakening,’ we can do some focused meditation or some questioning what is our True Nature, or some chanting to try to open our hearts wide to the Divine. If trying to attract more love into our life, we can focus on available love partners and the places to meet them, or commune with and feel our great love for Nature, or doing some psychological relationships work to remove any ‘blocks’ we might have to being open to new love.

And in the end, when the truest love of our lives appears, it just happens, it’s nothing like you thought it would be, and you just know it had nothing to do with any of the carefully planned steps or actions you took leading up to it. Just like awakening.

heart rock

That’s because love isn’t a thing. Love is not a thought, although we express many beautiful thoughts & words about love. Love is not the heightening of certain chemicals or hormones in our blood & brain, although we may feel high and mood-elevated from it. Love is not a feeling, an emotion, or a ‘state,’ although we talk about ‘falling in love’ or may feel swept up in the most delicious and strong emotions when we feel its power.

Love does not exist in time or place.

Love is the no-thing ‘thing,’ the pure loving Awareness, that contains all our thoughts, words, emotions, lives, even time & space. And ‘falling’ in love just means our Spirit has, at that moment, hooked back into Itself, has stopped denying that we are Everything, vastly more than just this body, mind and personality, that we are Love Itself. Some think that the path and key to ‘attaining’ that Realization, and constantly dwelling in state of complete Love for everyone & everything, requires a great deal of keen intelligence, deep meditation and unwavering spiritual commitment, seemingly reserved only for special masters or saintly people. But in fact, Love is the path, and Love is the key. No special insight, abilities or ascetic practices are required. Just Love.

What do you think it is that makes any person stop thinking of themselves just as an ordinary body living an ordinary life, and makes them turn their gaze towards Spirit, towards investigating the larger Reality? Is it fear? Is is suffering? No. Seven billion people feel fear & suffering every day, and though it may make them pray to some Deity to please end their suffering or grant them longer life, it causes very few of them to look behind the curtain or ceaselessly inquire about the true nature of life. What makes you finally turn fully toward spiritual life is simply Love – Spirit – calling Itself back into Love. What causes you to look at an ‘other,’ your lover, your friend, a tree or a blade of grass, with such utter adoration that you feel like you melt into them, is the fact that Spirit, Awareness, All That Is, The Underlying Reality, or whatever you like to call it – is Love. It’s Love looking at Love. This Universe, this Spirit-manifesting-to-know-Itself-consciously, was created in Love, out of Love, using Love as it’s only raw material, and it is the greatest act of love that will ever be expressed.

jew:muslin togetherWhen ‘we’ love all of it, when we include everything, when our eyes reach out to the eyes of the most ‘evil’ gun-toting terrorist, when our senses reach into the cancer in our bodies that’s killing us, when we watch our cherished lover leave us, and all we can see is love, and two seemingly separate ‘entities’ merge as One in love, and we know that it’s real, and it’s perfectthen we are dwelling in Spirit. We are in love, the greatest Love we will ever be in, and we are as Awake as we will ever be.

bb love thy neighbor

loving couple bxw

When we assign love to only certain things and people and events in our life, but not to others, or love that occurs in a certain place & time, but not this place & time, we are out of Love, even if we are currently feeling deeply in love with our friend or lover. That is the love of the mind, the body and the emotions, and there’s nothing wrong with it – it can feel so rich & sweet. But then we notice how those loves always change. Because the mind & body changes, and eventually disappears, and romantic love must end with it. Ever notice how when you fall in romantic love, you gaze around and seem to have fallen in love with everything? That’s ’cause you have! You’ve temporarily re-connected with, re-become the One who loves it All.

But more importantly, it’s because we didn’t love the changes, love change itself. Because we didn’t include it all.  Because we loved selectively, and Spirit doesn’t love selectively. It Loves all of It, because it Is all of It. It created all of it for Its Experience, not our mind’s. Our minds cannot possibly understand this – cannot possibly understand or love a terrorist of a cancer or a broken relationship – so don’t even try.

But if we actually were that Spirit, that Everything and Creator of Everything, we would love it all unequivocally, judge none of it, delight in all of it, and hold all of it as Our Story of The One.

Good news – we are That One.

Allow yourself to feel that level of Love for It All. Love your joy, love your pain; love your kindly, sensible Sister, love your misguided, hating brother; love the fullness of life, love the dissolution of death. The next time you feel that wonderful feeling of Love for anything, dive deep into it, and allow it to expand out and encompass Everything. It’s irresistible; it’s undeniable. Unless of course you are committed to staying asleep. Now love your desire to stay separate, judgmental and asleep. And love your desire to wake up. And choose!

loving difficulty

 

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