Burning house, under construction...
Actual life is infinitely greater than any idea of “divinity.”
Impermanence was Gotama’s greatest discovery or rediscovery. (Synonyms by implication: nothingness, absolute absence, emptiness, nonduality, dependent origination, non-origination, selflessness…)
Life is impermanence. This is inconceivable.
“I am That,” “not-two,” “namu-amida-butsu,” and Ati Dzogchen are synonymous.
“You are not your body” is Nisargadatta’s most important koan.
My truth: (1) My eyes are open. (2) What I see requires no path or accomplishment. (3) What I see is a transparent wall of light.
(As a so-called entity, I am not improved by this; my so-called “me” is still a fool. Happily, that’s irrelevant.)
In this vastness
…there's a rigid glass cone in front of me. The mouth of the cone covers my face. It’s like a megaphone, backwards, and the tapered end is my point of fixation.
The thickness of the cone’s glass and the sharpness of its tip are determined by the level of tension in my chest. Constriction of chest determines rigidness of cone.
This constriction itself is determined by thought-emotion, so the mechanism cycles perpetually. Until noticed.
When noticed, the narrowing cone of my fixation is seen through. It softens. The tension softens. In this vastness…
I am the producer, not the consumer, of light.
I am the force that blocks that light.
This blocking force is light.
Life, every facet, is nondual. Nondual means without separation. No separation means no self-entity. No self-entity means absence only. Absence only means the painful problem is nothing.
This nothing is too much for me. This nondual me.
The day begins with self-examination, self-awareness, self-release.
The days ends with the same.
The day itself is one of self-examination, self-awareness, self-release.
These three are the same.
Attempting to capture useful words is like trying to read a road map inside your head. You’ll sprain your sockets and crash into things.
Everything the brain says about what you are is a mirror trick.
The eyelids are mirrors. Lift them.
Is it your duty to serve the agitated state? Are you that kind of servant?
No state has standing here. No servant has standing. No person.
This instant of suffering is still this instant of suffering. Don't bullshit yourself or anyone else.
There's no permanent transformation to be hoped for. No final cure for suffering.
There is recognition of self-suffering, and a simultaneous recognition of Context.
But don't be a false prophet leading co-sufferers to the promised land. This land is broken. We are not required to fix it.
Look up, and out, at brilliant life:
Move your gaze from 45 degrees to 90, even once. And exhale.
Now, when you return to the downcast state, your peripheral vision still knows where you are.
(This is an anonymous instant, not for others, or for posterity. It's simple, free, and true. Don't make a big deal out of it.)
Yes and No
Nothing has to fall into place for Yes to prevail. Yes is unconditional and prior.
In other words, you can stay broken. Yes contains you.
Is Yes death? Yes. Death, again and again, of this instant of suffering.
At every turn, the No is cut through. It’s cut through when seen for what it is: instinctive, vestigial fear-greed.
When the No is seen, Yes is also seen.
Yes contains No. No's body consists of Yes.
(The more I catch myself deluded about this the better. And I am deluded all the time, so life is good.)
This is ‘spiritual’ recognition in the face of the predominant ‘secular’ assumption that the separate self exists, is autonomous, and must be preserved, protected, improved and rewarded every minute.
The eyes open and thoughts are behind me.
This is non-pathological disassociation. It's true detachment, but not as attributable to the apparent entity. Rather, detachment is discovered to be the ocean in which the attaching entity always swims.
There's a world out there I hadn't noticed!
Looking in, I'm dreaming. Looking out, I'm awake.
The light we see, everyone sees. We're not grateful for it because we don't acknowledge it.
That doesn't mean it's not cooking everyone equally.
Lessons from namu-amida-butsu
“Feeling is everything”
This is torso-awareness. Note the self-imposed tension, the fear-greed contraction, the chronic seeking for certainty and pleasure.
...is self-power observed; an awareness of mental grasping; awareness that vaporizes, for an instant, the delusory conceptualizer.
Awakening to the false self and awakening to the true self are simultaneous. Awakening to the lie is awakening to the truth. And the true self—reality—is prior, is always already true, and right in front of your face.
...leaves you with only this, now. Welcome to the “easy path” where you “transcend crosswise.” Self-improvement is hell. Non-self-improvement is fun. Fun? How frivolous! Seriousness is frivolous, a total waste. Grimness reaps itself. Avoid even grimness about grimness. “Do what you want to do.”
Don’t dispute, especially your "self" and its nonsense. Because “all matters, without exception, are lies and gibberish…” Only the buddha-reality that contains your delusory self is true—now, always. This is, of course, a grotesque reification.
“Life is impermanent, impermanence is life”
Breathe, and see/know impermanence with the body; know the nullity of everything, even (or primarily) the nullity, emptiness, absence of what's called "clinging." Clinging, too, is unborn. This is a fact; it’s true prior to discovery by that nullity called the mind.
At this point in the fork you’ve got inside vs. outside, conceptual vs. non-conceptual.
Desire (fear-greed) pulls in; it has all the momentum, and it’s crowded.
Outside has no pull at all and no traffic.
By pausing, you find yourself thrust onto the outside path, alone.
Will you trust, for a split second, that the thoughtless space around you is no threat?
1. Don’t fetishize non-language and silence, or do; it amounts to the same.
2. Absolute equalness means what it sounds like: it equals non-equalness.
3. Impermanence strips fear-greed of its name. Now you can’t call it anything.
The wheel hub is a donut hole, the same space in which the wheel turns. The spokes are arrows flying in both directions. The tire’s nose is flat against the earth as it moons the cosmos...
The slightest inclination inward is where books and dogmas and all your bitchiness start to cycle.
The inward gate is the mystical trap of bullshit where your struggles and your gurus duke it out, until a face-slap in the dream wakes you up with a “whah?!”
Because you will slap out of it sooner or later, why not skip it and just stay planted outside?
The inward gate is thought-tangent. OK even this is thought-tangent, but look at where your eyes go when the words die: they look out. When the brain rests (wakes up from itself) the eyes can only look one way.
Which way does the captured bird fly when you open the cage? So why bother with the cage? Why volunteer for trouble?
It’ll happen, this tangential-izing. It’s as natural as eating. But do you have to eat all day long? Take a break.
All language is reifying.
You will find, or sense, the contradiction.
When you do, take a risk and speak to it.
Let’s agree that we’re in this together,
that our words are sacrificed,
and that their sacrifice is their contribution.
In other words, put it out there.
Of course it’s wrong,
Because this fellow is hopeless (that finality is seen with clarity) hopelessness becomes the meditation partner not the focus; it sits with him.
Together, their open-eyed meditation bridges the gap between snooze and struggle.
The bridge leads to the bridge itself; it's the goal, the end.
When the goal is beyond, that’s called samsara.
NIRVANA IS IN THE NOSTRILS NOW as bridge, as breath.
Uncrimping the wire
Avoiding death-fear like the plague is deadly behavior.
What to do? Be honest, confess your fear. Don’t hide your hiding.
Self-dishonesty and fear-repression crimp the wire. Self-honesty completes the circuit and the lights come back on.
Don’t make a big deal out of it, just confess it. Confess the fear that you are.
This praxis is unconditional self-acceptance. But not acceptance on the part of the so-called (conditioned) “self.” That thing accepts nothing.
This is a leap into the open arms of unconditional, selfless life.
Acceptance is its only function.
Do the math
Count the number of events that comprise one small event; that number is equal to the number of points contained in a point.
Most of us have more than ten thousand desires left in dog years even on dog days because the bodymind is a galaxy of interpenetrating howls.
With more groins than moons.
You don’t have to find the Yes. Locate the No. This is called “the negative way.”
Find the No loudly; when you do, easily, note the silence it shouts within.
“Note” means notice not keep.
A flash in the brain pan
No, as aversion, is really Yes, as in: “Yes, I want something else.”
I hate this I crave that. I crave the end of this.
Until I wake up, in a flash, to my craving – until I count the poisons – I’m a sizzling corpse.
(Because the self is dying in a wide-open field that doesn’t die, it dies of jealousy.)
The inner outer
“When you realize that the distinction between inner and outer is in the mind only you are no longer afraid.” Nisargadatta
‘A’ would have you realize, would have you become realized, which means free. Realize what? That you are already free.
‘B’ says realization and nonrealization are identical in their absence. This equalness is always already the case. It is reality.
Then you chime in and ask about your personal suffering. No one cares about that. It’s as if you aren’t even in the room.
“Realize,” “understand,” are impossible imperatives.
Not difficult. Impossible.
Who would realize or understand what? When?
These teachers are zoo animals.
Free confession of nonrealization is wild.
Materialist tells me I am the body.
Guru tells me I am not the body.
I know that I am not what I am, which is completely full of shit.
What you discover when you turn inward is the futility, the pointlessness of turning inward.
So turn inward until you stop.
Zange is the ultimate—weakness and strength confessed. And infinity, and eternity, and dead ends.
Failure and error and emptiness.
No accomplishment here.
Not even no-accomplishment is possible.
Too bad it’s not all bad.
Failed but not spectacular.
Dying not dead.
The difficult “path of sages” works on the apparent entity, on its hangups and traumas, buffing itself compulsively.
The easy non-path just looks and listens…
The hung-up, traumatic blockage appears noun-like but it’s a verb, a movement. The effort to unblock is the same movement with a different name.
All self-liberation strategies are binding.
Or maybe you’re different, Houdini.
Listen to it
At the death-moment agony is released once and for all.
Agony has to be released! What does that tell you?
The holder, the retainer of agony is agony.
The attempt by agony to release agony—is agony.
What does that tell you?
The big little secret
You’ve got to come to this yourself but it’s the most immediate thing.
Make a simple comparison: Is there more self-confusion within or without?
The only reason sages say “look within” is so you can locate the source of confusion and drop it.
When you simply point your eyes outward it’s clear.
When no one’s watching, sneak a peek. Try it. Look out!
Just once, then snap back. It doesn't matter. You can’t unsee it.
The spiritual seeker feels a tug that the non-seeker, the dullard, doesn’t feel, or doesn’t feel much.
The seeker still identifies with ego, but is (poor thing) attracted to infinity. While the dullard blinks and chews.
…Identical twins in Mother’s womb.
Fear-greed at the gut level or the brainstem level at the base of thought: when it lingers it hurts so the base enlists the brain’s higher regions for help.
The higher regions usually muck it up because they are merely the higher of the lower regions.
The higher-higher region is just outside the bodymind. This impersonal savior models the complete indifference—the free position—you adopt or bow down to.
It doesn’t change anything it just reminds you that you’re space.
Reserve a holding area for your questions and doubts. Of course they are valuable, worthy of serious consideration, the product of years of study and contemplation and experience. But—if you’re willing—put them all in that holding area for a moment. Relax, this is only temporary.
Now—for no apparent reason, and without external permission or authorization from anything or anyone in the holding area or elsewhere—look up at the light and shadow of the space you’re in…
Does your first impression have any element of completeness or incompleteness? Your second impression does, obviously. But I’m asking about your first impression.
You may suddenly find yourself appearing, like magic, in that crowded holding area of yours with all those questions and doubts. You set it up over there, but now you’re in the thick of it, drawn to it, dropped into it in an instant. How did that happen? How did you land so quickly in your second impression?
Put those questions as well in the holding area, and look again at the space you’re in.
Like an outlaw, willfully postpone your return to doubt.
When the friend says “This is it, this is the place, you arrived before you left,” the fiend says “Not so! There’s a path to tread first!”
The fiend is doubt. But by making itself visible to you, the fiend is the true friend.
It must not be said
What you are trying to accomplish on your behalf has already been accomplished on your behalf—without you in mind.
You are an accidental beneficiary.
So quit working today.
"Light flows out, from you."
“Light flow” is a nonlinear chain with no links. It’s prior.
Something that’s prior can’t be brought about over time and can’t be instantaneous.
This is inconceivable, so thinking about it is spontaneously relaxed, physically-mentally renounced...
After you’ve hitched a ride on epiphany, revelation—where does it drop you off?
Do you want to get back on?
It’s enlightening to discover that you want to get back on.
You’ve awakened—to desire.
Intense cognitive inwardness breaks like a fever dream.
Dorothy clicks her heels and wakes up, but this time she’s alone.
In the simplest of observations just beneath the thinking-error, as inner light pushes out to join its parent, watch the fear-greed membrane catch, and release:
Two, not-two…two, not-two…
Fear-greed isn’t cured it’s contextualized.
Mindfulness, mantras, self-inquiry, are all about catching the implosion-compulsion red-handed.
As entropy builds the structure, a mountain of disintegration protects you.
A structure with water for timbers, space for walls, abyss for foundation, and light for its roof.
Suddenly “angst” is called “excitement” as the gate opens even to your vileness and shame.
Don’t read anything but your own bodymind. Watch it. Listen to it. Now. This is not a process.
You’ll find that the habituated effort-toward-fixation called “self” is the only book, the only teacher, the only teaching you need.
And look! There’s something else!
My own teaching
“My own teaching” means the teaching I exist in, the teaching that contains me, the unbinding-blinding vastness I dissolve into...
Here, there's a light recognition of the inherited compulsion to pull back from what is, to close my eyes, to return to the inner nightmare.
This is not deep self-examination, it's a spontaneous instant of recognition of the fear-greed movement called "self."
It's not a therapeutic effort, it's a flash of insight into the non-therapeutic nature of effort; it's effortless (prior) freedom.
If the recognition is heavy, I'm identifying with that which is recognized, but identifying and identifying with are polar opposites here, and the difference between these two—the space between these two—is freedom, open-eyed awakeness.
There's just one eye. It has always been wide open. This is obvious Now no matter my mood or state of mind. This obviousness was not blocked, it was just not acknowledged, or it was misnamed.
Illusion visits Dr. Illusion and begs to be made well, happy, less incomplete.
Dr. Illusion in turn is made less incomplete by the status-reinforcement (a fringe benefit) that comes with every patient, and by the transference of funds.
Meanwhile, completeness contains them both indifferently.
Awareness of fixation
If/when fixation is seen, it’s cut through.
Fixation is self-power, delusion.
In open-eyed, effortless, constant meditation, awareness of self-power unbinds the unbound.
You are aware of your own fixations, an endless train.
Fixations fly by because they themselves are unfixed.
They’re empty. Is there more than one kind of emptiness?
As emptiness, fixation and non-fixation are identical.
Your awful, congenital, relentless tendency to doubt and suffer and mope in self-pity is liberated only by its incurability.
So – what – right – now – ?
Hey distracted one, scrounging around in thought – look up! At your vastness!
This fear-greed blob with buzzing ears
is nothing but a “selfish gene,”
stand back as it self-propagates.
Block, break, field
Block is blockage, fixation.
Break is breakthrough, seeing and seeing through the block.
Field is boundless context and the true nature of block and break.
An agonizing strategy for getting rid of agony is to stop trying to get rid of agony.
It's all self-power and self-power is doomed, agony or no agony.
Effort to kill existential agony can't work, especially effort disguised as non-effort.
My mistake was expecting nirvana to be big but it’s very, very small.
My mistake was expecting it to be intoxicating but it’s sobering.
It coats things like a thin puff of air, it doesn’t get rid of them.
That was a surprise.
Also, I thought it would be mine but it’s yours.
The only location
Small self—the ego, the “me”—is actual illusion.
Big Self—the universal boundless context—is nonactual reality.
Which means “self-actualization” is (would be) regression and “Self-nonactualization” was (always has been) the only possible location.
In therapeutic terms: Congratulations.
As I stare at this “internal” (i) gut-tension, choking on thought-fumes, that “external” (e) vastness stares at me; it pulls as I unconsciously resist. Yet e is the harmonious field of all i-disharmonies!
i is effort-making, dying for an excuse to self-renounce. e is the actual condition of i, proof that non-renunciation is impossible.
e is life, i is futile life-resistance.
i is one with its boundless context; even as it struggles, it manifests its own dissolution; it is its first and final resting place.
Icchantika’s confession is liberation
I’m free! …to confess my absolute, abject bondage.
When I do, Boundless Context shows its face.
A spiritual-psychological disaster blooms as a result of self-power (fear-greed).
Then self-power sprays its toxic herbicide.
I'm one of those irredeemable souls, an icchantika, a permanently unintegrated tangle of conflicts, contradictions, hypocrisies, and failures.
I do have profound flashes of insight. Deep!
But only into my shallowness, my meanness.
In its Boundless Context.
The person in crisis is in a privileged position. Everyone else is only half-awake to their primal fear.
The person in crisis teaches me that chicken-soup words are conventionally egocentric—soothing, maybe, to the child, but impotent when reaching into the edge-realm between “selves”.
Death is so close. I don’t have time to make my life better. I have five seconds, or three. Just enough time to take a breath. How greedy I have been to demand more!
I have just enough time to confess my primal fear. To spit it out.
It’s stunning to find that this confession exists within a field of no-fear.
He was five feet away talking.
I had both eyes and both ears open.
Then my attention switched to his fuzzy backdrop.
His backdrop cleared and became our field of play.
We two, the speaker and the listener, were suddenly quantitatively overwhelmed by our context.
And the horizontal (isolated) "person-to-person" hologram was exposed as verticality within verticality, timeless empty light without subject or object...
I wanted to improve, and the teacher was telling me how to improve, and then I saw the context that contains us.
I shouted "Teach this!"
One look outside your
...head hints that
there's no end to it
outward in the "ten directions" there's
vastness is unimpeded by bodies and boundaries
which means you are
one look inside your
tells you in a flash
time is a lie and
that that "That" that
you are is
what time could it possibly be?
The Dharma is informed by me. I am what the teachings point to.
Your doubt—of me, of you—is the same: a tube that cracks in half and spills.
The mind seeks entanglement even though entanglement is unentangled. So the mind knows, after all.
Against the wall, two absences.
Please, please, please, make mistakes. Prove it.
Losing my grip: Conscious Awakespletives
A Tether Tied To Space: Epigrams and Subversions
Is Never Was: Secular Buddhist Confessions
Goat-Goat-Paragoat (lunatic poetry)
Bloodshot Onions (nontraditional haiku)