This post is primarily in response to Anand’s recent comment:
“From the standpoint of Consciousness, it would seem that enlightenment is a myth and so the search can end–nothing to do and no one to do anything. I get this intellectually but the seeking goes on and despair and frustration are the only outcomes…”
This is a good comment, something “each of us” seems to face at one time or another.
Anand, it sounds as if there is an identification with thoughts about Awareness, rather than identifying as, or simply being, Pure Awareness Itself. It also sounds as if “you” have done a lot of sincere studying and hard work on this.
Now it’s time to “rest” and enjoy. Why?
Who alone is aware right there as You? Awareness or Self Itself is the only One being aware, conscious. It already is “at” Itself; It already is fully being Itself (and there is no other) so the “work” already is “done.” Any continued attempt is actually futile. It sounds as if this is clear, too–no becoming and no other to become.
Let’s call this already-present Awareness the New You, or Real You–which, again, is the Presence of Awareness Itself–and which NEVER fails to be present, to perfectly be what It is, and does not require any “work” to be present.
The New You is effortless. And this is your new homework assignment, given to You by Your Self: Make no effort at all. That means no more thinking about Awareness, no more thinking about enlightenment–because after all, New You (Pure Awareness) doesn’t think. Stop reading. Stop looking on the computer for awhile. Stop trying.
Notice that, even while doing the new homework assignment of goofing off as Pure Awareness, You remain perfectly aware even though none of that extra mental activity is going on! (This does not mean one will “goof off” in what appears as daily affairs, or at one’s job–but one will completely goof off as far trying to become Awareness.)
The “old seeker-you” was merely just some thoughts–and the feelings that come up as a result of those thoughts–frustration, groping, annoyance, dissatisfaction, and a feeling of “I’ll never get there.” Just notice those feelings and thoughts–notice that they’re not New You, Awareness, and they don’t even belong to You because New You doesn’t need them to be the Awareness It already is being.
It also sounds as if thinking (not New You) keeps imagining that “enlightenment” is some special kind of state, afar off, and that it’s definitely not what simply is already present here, now.
Do you know what “enlightenment” really is? It’s simply the cessation of trying to imagine what enlightenment is!
Don’t try to stop thoughts either. Don’t worry whether they come or not. Just peacefully, calmly, put “attention” on how effortlessly Awareness is aware, whether thinking thinks or not.
Stay busy noticing or “feeling” how soft Pure Presence is. What does that “feel” like right where you are? This doesn’t mean think about the softness of Presence, or what’s going to happen as a result of doing this–but just continually “feeling” or being It. You are now in the “feeling” business, not in the thinking business. This really is not a matter of a separate “you” feeling “an” Awareness–but simply the Presence of Alive Awareness Itself, being Itself right there, without a secondary thinker-self.
It may seem to take a while–but just keep “returning” to how good the softness and ease of Awareness feels because It is the Real You, without any super-imposed mental/emotional burden (and which Real You never had in the first place). As long as one is “resting here” or being this ease of Presence–the would-be thoughts of frustration and feelings of despair simply cannot take over and run the show.
Keep noticing how light and easy Awareness is–how Awareness Itself has no weight at all. Feel what this is, for this Weightlessness is Real You; It is All That Is.
Again, this calm, easy peacefulness may seem to come and go for awhile; and It may even seem to be absent for long stretches. If so, rather than struggling or trying to “get back” to Awareness–stop! Ask if Awareness can EVER be made to go away or be absent. It can’t! Awareness never is absent–and the entire “responsibility” of being Awareness is up to Awareness Itself. Don’t let a would-be Anand ego try to do it. It may seem necessary to persist–but persist in not making any effort, persist in being effortless, rather than mentally making effort.
In one sense, Pure Awareness as It is simply being could be called a synonym for Enlightenment Itself. It is already here. Every time a thought comes about “what you need to do” or that “I’ve become separate again,” say, “Yes, that’s right! You always will be separate because you’re just a passing thought. And isn’t it great that Enlightenment already is here, as this very Awareness!”