Whatever ideas I have of awakening, can I notice they are images – reflecting what’s already here now, alive in awareness?
What are my ideas of awakening? What images of awakening do I put “out there” in the past, on others, in the future? What do I hope it will fix in my life?
It is better to awaken. I need to awaken. Awakening will take care of my problems. Awakening will give a deep sense of rightness. Awakening will fill a hole in me. Awakening will be an exiting adventure. Awakening will facilitate my development. It is possible to awaken. It is possible to not awaken. It is possible to be awake. It is possible to not be awake.
Some of these feels more true for me, such as a few of the last ones. Others don’t feel as true, but they are still good to explore further – also because they are common in our culture.
Here are some questions to explore this further, each one a pointer into a wordless inquiry I can allow to stay with me in daily life.
Is there another way to bring this into my life? How can I bring it more into my life, in a very practical way? (Common sense, pragmatic approach.)
Is it true?
What happens when I believe this thought? Do I rely on something in the future to save me? If so, what happens when I do that?
Who would I be without this thought? Who am I here now? How would I live my life?
What is the validity in each of the turnarounds? How would it be to live from the most juicy turnaround? (These are from The Work.)
What do I hope to get from it? What is the underlying wish?
Is it true that what I seek is not already here? (From Adyashanti.)
When I explore this through the sense fields, what do I find in each sense field? Can I find the thought outside of the mental field? What is in the other sense fields? What happens when these combine into a gestalt? How is it when I take the gestalt as real and solid? How is it when I recognize it as a gestalt? (From Therevada.)
Source of this post: A conversation with a friend last night. He had ideas that awakening would fix his problems. I asked, can you know it is true? What happens when you rely on awakening “out there” – in the future – to save you? Is it true that what you seek is not here already?
Here is a thought I take more as true:
Awakening will fill a hole in me.
Is there another way to bring what I seek into my life? How can I bring it more into my life?
Hm. I seek to fill a hole, to satisfy a sense of longing. I find that this is temporarily filled through satisfying connections with others. I can find ways to have more satisfying connections, and more of those connections with more people. I would like that in any case. And it happens through being more openly and honestly as I am, revealing more as it feels appropriate – often as a confession.
And yet, I know that is only a temporary fix. A more complete fix comes through inquiry.
Awakening will fill a hole in me.
Is it true?
Hm. It feels true, yes.
Can I be certain it is true?
No. It is an expectation. A hope. A wish. Reality is not obliged to align with my expectations.
What happens when I take that thought as true?
I feel that without awakening, I am missing out of something essential, something very important to me. I may even be a failure. I will never be completely happy or satisfied. There will always be something missing.
Who would I be without it?
Curious. Interested. Exploring.
Exploring it more for it’s own sake, to see what’s revealed. Open to whatever it may be.
Awakening will not fill a hole in me.
Hm. That could be true.
The “hole” I experience may well be from very early childhood, missing a more satisfying connection with others and myself. And there is no reason that wouldn’t still be there, waiting to be seen and felt at it’s own level.
Awakening will make/reveal a hole in me.
Yes, that’s also possible. It may reveal all (even more) as insubstantial, ephemeral.
Also, it may well bring up whatever holes are still here at a human level, inviting these to be seen, felt, loved.
My thoughts will fill a hole in me.
Hm. They do in my imagination. I have images of awakening filling a hole in me, so that’s my feeling in that moment. I have a taste of it, even if it is created by my imagination.
What do I hope to get out of it? What is the underlying wish?
To find a sense of wholeness. A sense of deep rightness.
Is it true it is not already here?
Is it true that what I seek – absence of holes, a sense of nothing missing – is not already here?
Hm. When I look, I find only a sense of wholeness.
The sense of a “hole” is really just a feeling, an emotion. It happens within and as that sense of fullness and wholeness.
How does it look when I explore it through the sense fields?
I see the thought of awakening as an image.
I see the thought of a hole, overlaid on a feeling. (In the stomach area.)
I see the image of filling the hole as an image, connected with another feeling. A sense of fullness and sweetness in the chest and above.
When this is taken as real, there is an experience of a future where there may be an awakening, and a hole being filled.
When this is recognized as happening in the sense fields, that’s all there is. It is just images connected with feelings. That’s all. There is a sense of curiosity and interest.
Liberation from taking the gestalt as real and true.
I see that there is an image of time and future. There is an image of a hole here. An image of awakening in the future. An image of filling the hole in the future.
There is a feeling reflected in an image of a hole, placed in the present within that image of time.
I see that the image of a hole as an interpretation, one of infinitely many possible. It seems comical to be so convinced it is a hole.
There is a sense of fullness and sweetness reflected in an image, and that image placed in the future.
I notice the initial thought doesn’t ring as true. There is a shift. A little more clarity.
At ordinary human level, I can bring what I seek into my life through satisfying connections with others.
And there is a sense of fullness and wholeness here now. What I seek is already here.
- projection of awakening
- see it out there – in others, past, future – whatever ideas/hopes/fears i have about awakening
- the qualities/characteristics are here now, but may not notice or trust – is it true …. is not already here?
- look at beliefs around awakening – what ideas do I have about it? what do I think/hope it will fix in my life?
- it’s better to awaken, i need to awaken
- awakening will take care of my problems
- also, may rely on “awakening” to provide what i wish for, while other approaches may be simpler and more practical/effective (the work, gratitude practice etc.)
- doesn’t really matter what project into awakening – can find it here now anyway
- and yet, also good to differentiate myths/wishful thinking with the reality of it, at least at some point, demystify, more sober
- in general, take a practical sober(ing) approach
- reminder: conversation w. a friend, a mirror for myself
As soon as I have ideas of awakening, and don’t recognize them as (a) images and (b) reflecting what’s already here now, alive in awareness, I am caught up in projections.