The complete freedom of what is

 

When there is a Ground awakening, there is a complete freedom to allow what is.

Of course, Ground always allows what is. The only difference is that sometimes, it is identified with its content, and tries to resist other content, which creates a sense of struggle. When it awakens to itself, it sees that it always and already allows any and all content. It is effortless. It is what already is.

It is a no-thing allowing any thing. A void allowing any content. Space, not resisting anything happening within it.

Ultimately, it allows it all because “it all” is no other than itself. It is awake emptiness allowing content, because this content is no other than awake emptiness itself.

Forms of awakening: ordinary, amazing and neutral

 

Sometimes I wonder if these large-themed posts have much value. But then I notice that although these themes have to do with the big picture, they also reflect what is alive here now, in immediate awareness.

The human self, yes, right here, with its thoughts, sensations, emotions, actions in the world. The soul, yes, also right here, as the alive presence (more or less in the foreground, and filtered in different ways.) The spirit, yes, also right here, as the stainless awareness all of this is happening within and to, and even as. Even if it is temporarily identified with its content, forgetting about itself, the spirit level is still here. It is just spirit temporarily forgetting about itself.

One of the big picture themes is the different forms of awakenings… to our human self, to the soul, and to spirit.

An awakening to our human self is an awakening to the evolving whole of who we are as a human. This whole which is reflected in everything in the wider world. All I see out there, I can find in here.

An awakening to the soul is an awakening to the alive presence, filtered in innumerable ways, yet always with a sense of aliveness, vibrancy, timelessness, transparency into the void.

An awakening to the spirit is an awakening not only to, but as emptiness, as the void, the ground of all form. It is an awakening as the void, which is the same everywhere and always. To the awake void, which is timeless and spaceless, pure seeing. To the awake void which is no other than form, absent of a separate self anywhere.

The first type of awakening is a deepening into our humanity, a healing, development and maturing into becoming a more whole and mature human being. It is a deepening into our individual humanity, which is also a deepening into our shared humanity, opening for a real sense of intimacy, recognition, fellowship, empathy, compassion, and understanding. I recognize in myself what I see in you, and in you what I recognize in myself. In many ways, it is a deepening into ordinariness, becoming a more thoroughly ordinary human being, to whom nothing human is foreign.

The second form of awakening is an awakening into the extraordinary… into the alive presence, the luminous blackness, the fertile darkness, the indwelling god with is infinite love, intelligence, receptivity and its guidance, the alive luminosity, the brilliancy… all of this, which seems to extraordinary when we are used to identifying exclusively as a human being.

And the third form of awakening is a strange one. It is an awakening into and as void. As the void all form, all content of awareness, anything at the soul and human levels, arises within and as. In some ways, it is completely neutral. There is, literally, nothing there. No content needs to change for this awakening. Pain, fine. Bliss, fine. Even confusion, fine. It can all be there. The void can still awaken to itself, as void, and as emptiness dancing as all these temporary forms.

Together, there is the deepening into the fullness and ordinariness of a human life, the amazing qualities of the soul level, and the utter neutrality of the ground.

A tough one III: the dark nights of the soul and senses

 

There are many forms of dark nights… In a more technical sense, there are two of them, and in a loose – daily – sense, lots of them.

The two formal ones are…

  • The dark night of the senses, which is an initial stripping away of beliefs and identities, enough to notice all as God, to notice that everything is a field of awakeness, of consciousness, even of awake emptiness. It can be painful, maybe an experience of being pulled apart, dismembered, even of dying. What dies is really only beliefs and identities, but when we are identified with these, when we take ourselves as that, the experience is of being dismembered and dying. For me, this was a very intense time, but there were lots of rewards in the middle of it as well. It was painful, but also immensely blissful.
  • The dark night of the soul, which is similar but goes more to our core beliefs and identities, and specifically the one of a separate self, of someone that this is all happening to. Here, any and all beliefs are stripped away, and it often happens through a profound disillusionment. Everything that we found comfort in is stripped away, taken away from us, and none of our practices have meaning or even work anymore. Nothing is left. God is gone. Any sense of accomplishment is gone. Any ideas of being special, or chosen, are gone. There is no place to anchor any of those beliefs anymore. They get stripped away, whether we want or not, and most often we desperately cling to them as long as we can, making the torment even stronger for ourselves.

Having cleared out some space through the dark night of the senses, the soul realm is revealed. Bliss, clarity, alive presence, all as God, inspiration, luminosity, and so on.

And having cleared out even more, including the sense of a separate self, through the dark night of the soul, the emptiness is revealed in its completeness. When I am gone, emptiness is revealed, as the Ground of it all… of awakeness itself, of the soul level, of mind, of form. It is all emptiness dancing, already and always absent of any trace of any separate self anywhere.

Our core belief, and core identity, of a separate self is greatly diminished through the dark night of the senses, and that is exactly what allows the soul realm to be noticed and come more into the foreground. Here, there can be a sense of no separation, of all – absolutely all – as God, as divine, as consciousness, as the divine mind, there can even be a sense of oneness, but there is still a trace of a sense of a separate self here. And this serves as an anchor for a sense of being special, privileged, of having accomplished something, of being chosen.

The dark night of the soul takes care of that. Every reason for feeling special, privileged, of having accomplished something, of being chosen, is taken away. And none of the practices or tools that at one point work so easily and so well, have any use anymore. They are all broken.

Where the dark night of the senses is more of a dismemberment and a sense of dying as a human being, the dark night of the soul is a deep existential falling away… my most core identity of being something at all, separate from anything else, is wrestled away… leaving just emptiness. No angels. No luminosity. No bliss. Nothing special. Just emptiness. The emptiness that allows, and is, the dance of everything.

The dark night of the senses leads into an amazing awakening, with lots of bells and whistles… God in all its glory. Alive luminosity. Guidance. Inner God, and all as God. Amazing insights. Amazing abilities to do things in the world. Amazing energies.

The dark night of the soul leads into nothing at all. At the threshold of it, it appears thoroughly boring, neutral, like nothing. And inside of it, there is the Ground of all, that which allows the dance of everything. It is nothing special. Just what is, here and now, always.

The void that never changes, and allows all change. The no-thing that allows all things. The absence of everything which allows the fullness of everything. The groundless ground, which already and always allows every fruit.

The bottom falls out of everything. Leaving only the dance of emptiness, with no separate I anywhere.

Amazingly wonderful, awful, and ground

 

In looking at my own path, I recognize a pattern (which is pretty obvious) that is similar to what I have heard from many others…

  • First, a normal life. I was an atheist and very science oriented. For me, this lasted until my mid-teens.
  • Then, an awakening. For me, it came out of the blue, and although intense also amazing and amazingly wonderful.
  • Then, a dark night, as awful and the previous period was wonderful,
  • And then, the Ground, finding oneself as the Ground of all of this, the play of form.

In this case, the awakening period, where everything was easy and I seemed to have a superhuman energy and clarity, lasted for almost exactly as long as the dark night has lasted, several years each. And I am still at the tail end of this dark night, there is still more to burn through… more beliefs, identifications, more boxes I have made for myself and existence that needs to go.

At times, it is a painful process. And at times, with a sense of ease and even bliss. But there is always the same ground, the same void it is all coming out of, the same void within it, the same void it is happening to.

And after having gone through the extremes of ups and downs, the amazingly wonderful and amazingly awful, I am ready for the Ground. The Ground allowing it all. The Ground of emptiness that cannot be reduced to anything else. The Ground which is the nothingness allowing all things.

Freefall

 

Two nights ago, there was another “journey” that happened on its own as I was about to fall asleep…

I am falling, a free fall – with no end, just the falling. Then, it shifts into an experience of weightlessness. I am reminded that free fall is really just weightlessness (and the other way around.)

When there is a release of identification with form, it is experienced as a free fall. There are no beliefs anymore, and no anchors for these beliefs in sensations. Beliefs in ideas as absolutely true go, including the sense of a separate self, and with them any sense of a fixed point of reference.

Right away, it can be experienced as falling – as having the ground pulled out from under ones feet. It can be disorienting and bring up fear.

But after a while, when we get more used to it, there is more of a sense of weightlessness. Of no ground, and being OK with no ground, even enjoying the freedom it gives.

Now, any view and perspective is OK. There is a fluidity among them. A receptivity to and curiosity about each of them. What is the grain of truth in each? How do they fit together in a bigger picture? They are each revealed as just containing relative truth, so none are held onto as a fixed point of reference.

This goes for any abstractions – any ideas, stories and identities – including the core one of a separate self, as well as identities as a human being, male or female, being of a certain age, and so on.

These identities are all useful and even true in terms of describing this human individual, and essential for navigating in the world. They hold a relative truth. But they do not have any absolute truth. They do not describe what I am – or what is – absolutely, which is this ground of awake emptiness, and form arising within, to and as this awake emptiness, with no separate self anywhere.

As they say in the headless world, right here – at zero distance – I am awake void full of the world, no thing for all things, no color allowing any color, no identity allowing any identity. Here, in my first person identity, I am awake void and the world happening within and as this awake void – including all my third person identities: a human being seen at a few feet away, molecules much closer in, the earth farther out, and the whole of the universe even farther out.

Fully allowing a sense of a separate self

 

Any sense of a separate self comes from resistance to experience.

Through resistance to experience, we identify with an aspect of the content of awareness, and we split the content into I and Other, which in turns creates a sense of struggle, drama, and wanting something else than what is.

When we realize this, it is easy to start resist the sense of a separate self, of wanting that one to go away, of hoping for something better just on the other side of this. And this is just another way to identify with an aspect of content of awareness and pitting it against other aspects of the content. There is an identification with wanting the content to be different from what it is.

(In this case, an identification with wanting of this sense of a separate self to go away, an identification with the corresponding belief that it would be better if it wasn’t there, and an identification as someone who wants it to go away – all of which places our identification firmly within one part of the content of awareness, pitted against other parts of the content.)

The trick here is to allow it all: the sense of a separate self, any resistance to it, any wanting of it to be different, any strategies to change it, and anything else. To allow it, embrace, see it, feel it, and then to love it, as it is. This shifts the identification out of content and into its ground of awake emptiness.

In this, there is indeed a release from being caught up in any sense of a separate self – even when it is there.

We find ourselves as the ground allowing it all, as it already does.

As long as there is identification with particular content of awareness, there is a split and we don’t notice this ground, or ourselves as this ground. We find ourselves as a region of the content, pitted against other regions of the content, and in the ensuing drama the ground is not noticed. As soon as there is a being with what arises, a full allowing of it, identification goes out of content and we find this ground of awake emptiness allowing it all.

Gratitude and stories we tell ourselves

 

The most profound truths are often the simplest ones as well, and sometimes the most difficult ones to realize (such as selflessness) and practice.

One of these simple truths is gratitude: practice gratitude, and you’ll be happy. Practice ingratitude, and you’ll make yourself miserable.

It is the power of the stories we tell ourselves.

Stories we tell ourselves, bringing misery or happiness

I can tell myself stories of how what I have is less good than how it used to be, how it can or could be, how it is for others, and so on. I can compare my intelligence to the most intelligent, my money to the most wealthy, my house to the most elegant homes, my education to the best education, my looks to the most beautiful, my skills to the most skillful, and I am bound to find myself lacking and make myself miserable.

Or I can reverse it by looking at what I can be grateful for. I can be grateful for health, friends, family, community, house, food, education, free time, access to nature, peace in my community, and so on.

A daily practice

Just as I can easily find a million reasons to make myself miserable, I can find infinite reasons for gratitude. There is always one more, and one more.

Making ingratitude into a practice, I find contraction, anger, resentment, guilt, shame, fear, depression, fatigue, holding on, and misery.

Making gratitude into a practice, I find receptivity, joy, peace, appreciation, well-being, passion, letting go, and happiness.

It is as easy as taking time to look for what I can be thankful for, throughout my day, and it is easy to find.

Why stories work: because I believe in them

Whether I tell myself stories of ingratitude or gratitude, one is as true or untrue as the other. The reason they impact me as they do, is that I believe in them to a certain extent, and I believe in stories about what they mean.

I have money, and that means that …, and that is good. I have less money than many others, and that means that …, and that is not good.

The core belief: the idea of I

Ultimately, the stories have power because of the core belief in each of our lives: the belief in the idea of I, as separate from others, as a unit in space and time, subject to birth and death, joy and happiness, health and disease, fortune and misfortune.

What is already alive in our immediate awareness is simply the field of seeing and seen, inherently absent of any I anywhere, yet also with an overlay of a sense of I placed on this human self.

And this overlay, this belief in the idea of I placed on just a segment of this field, is the root of the misery, and it is the reason why stories of ingratitude create misery and stories of gratitude create happiness.

When Ground awakens to itself, the belief in the idea of I falls away

When this field awakens to itself as a field, absent of I anywhere, with no center, with no subject and no object, with everything as subject and object, then these stories are seen as what they are – just stories, with no substance, absent of any absolute truth in them.

It is all Spirit, in all its many forms, and Spirit is in the foreground independent of what particular form it takes. It is Spirit experiencing Spirit. There is only a quiet joy, along with whatever else arises.

There is natural gratitude, independent of stories.

Time out of the timeless, space out of the spaceless

 

I noticed the DVD set of Cosmos at the library a few days ago, and thought it would be fun to watch one or two episodes again (it made a big impact on me when I watched it as a kid.)

The episode I watched was The Edge of Forever where Carl Sagan explores some of the most basic and universal questions about our existence, such as where does the universe come from? When did it start, or did it have a beginning? How will it end, or will it end? Does it have an edge or boundary? What happens if we continue infinitely in one direction? Will we end up where we started?

He spends a great deal of time on the Vedic cosmology, which in many ways parallels modern scientific cosmology.

So how did the universe, or space and time, begin?

Emptiness, awakeness and form

When I look at it for myself, right here now, I find that space and time arise within and as the timeless.

There is empty awakeness here, which time and space and all forms arise within, to and as. And this empty awakeness has a definite sense of timelessness and spacelessness. It is distinct from time and space, not touched by time and space, which is why it can allow time and space and any forms to arise within, to and as itself.

It is very simple, and (most likely) alive in the immediate awareness of all of us, yet we typically don’t notice it, or we only notice it as a glimpse, which is then covered up by attachment to the many different stories about who we are and how the world is.

And I also notice that the world of form is in flux. Nothing stays the same. It is always fresh, new and different, and that is especially alive when the empty awakeness is aware of itself. When timelessness comes more to the foreground, the transient nature of forms similarly comes to the foreground.

So in a sense, the universe is born right here now. It continuously dies as it was, and is reborn in a fresh and different way. (There is obviously enough continuity in the processes of the world of form so we can use ideas to orient, make models, predict and analyze what is going on.)

If we assume that the universe as a whole, as it unfolds in space and time, follows a similar process, then there are two pretty obvious options for how form relates to the formless.

Existence “started” with this timeless empty awakeness as a “ground” state. Then, the form aspect emerged from it and the universe was born. At the large scale, form was birthed from the formless, as it is right here now in immediate awareness. Here, there was of course not any “before” because form (and space and time) did not exist then.

Or, emptiness, awakeness and form have always been. The timeless and time, the spaceless and space, the changeless and changing, the formless and form, the empty awakeness arising as the world of phenomena, always are, as two aspects of the same whole, beyond and including all polarities.

Both of these versions are independent on any specifics about how the form aspect unfolds. Today, the Big Bang (or inflation) models are most frequently used, and these easily fits into both of the views mentioned above.

In both versions, we account for the empty and awake and the form aspects of Existence, which is beyond and includes any and all polarities.

And in both versions, we extrapolate from what is alive in immediate awareness to the larger scale, here the birth and cycles of the universe as a whole. (This is of course what many of the spiritual and mystical traditions do, in many more areas than just cosmology.)

Spirit pretending twice: first to be a segment of itself, then imitating what is really is

 

Another symmetry, this one of Spirit pretending in two different ways.

Spirit pretending to believe in ideas

Spirit, as emptiness, awakeness and form, pretends to believe in ideas and makes a limited identity for itself. The field of seeing and seen makes itself appear as a segment of itself, it makes itself appear as I and Other. Its true nature, as the Ground of seeing and seen absent of I anywhere, is still alive in immediate awareness, but ignored due to the beliefs. And it is really just pretending to believe, although it makes it seem very real to itself.

The core belief is in the idea of I as a segment of the field of seeing and seen, and the peripheral beliefs are all the ones that makes up identity: human being, Asian, five foot six, libertarian, heterosexual, likes to drink beer, roots for the Wildcats, a computer programmer, and so on. (That is not me, by the way…!)

Spirit pretending to be what it really is

Through this first level of pretending, Spirit makes itself appear as a segment of itself, in our case, as a human being. I am this human self, and Other is the rest of the world, other people, nature, awareness, God, Spirit, and so on.

As there is still the immediate awareness of being the Ground of seeing and seen, absent of I anywhere, there is a longing for coming home – for this “unity” absent of the boundaries of I and Other. And this plays itself out in innumerable ways, in any of the ways we see in human seeking for approval, money, status, relationships, happiness, freedom from suffering, and so on.

One of the ways it plays itself out is in longing for God, for Spirit, for truly coming Home.

And at some point, this longing takes the form of practice, spiritual practice: prayer, meditation, compassion, ethical behavior.

And the funny thing is, each of these practices is just another form of pretending. It is Spirit pretending to be who it really is…!

Or more precisely, it is Spirit imitating what comes naturally when it lives through a human life and has awakened to itself. And through this imitation, it allows its human self to reorganize so the real shift can happen spontaneously, in its own time.

Through prayer, we seek to dissolve the separation of I and Other, or to allow (the sense of) I to dissolve so God can be. We taste, over and over, how it is when God is and “I” am not. When Spirit has awakened to itself, and there is no sense of I and Other anymore.

Through meditation, we seek to allow anything to come and go on its own, as Ground already does. We try to imitate Ground.

Through ethical behavior, we seek to mimic how Spirit lives through a human live when it has awakened to itself. By effort and imitation, we seek to find what is effortless and spontaneous when Spirit has awakened to itself.

All of this imitation and mimicking is essential. As silly as it is from one perspective, it is also essential in another way. It does prepare the ground for a more real awakening. It does allow our human self to reorganize and realign so Spirit can more easily awaken to itself, and more easily live from that awakening through this one particular human life.

:: Pretending, yet experienced as very real

There is a pretending involved. First in Spirit pretending to be just a segment of itself, and then imitating itself as it functions through a human life when it has awakened to itself. Yet, it all also becomes very real in immediate experience.

The identification as a human self appears very real, and gives birth of the whole sense of drama in our lives – in longing, seeking, avoiding, surviving, finding joy, avoiding suffering.

And the seeking of God appears just as real, because it is a part of the same drama. It is the final phase of the drama, and involves the drama of the spiritual seeker and its adventures, misadventures and final release from the drama.

The split covering up the ground

 

From the previous post:

………………

If the world of form is split into good and bad, and the division is seen as real and important, the drama will hinder us in recognizing the ground that is always there. The fascination with the drama itself distracts us from noticing the ground. The dust kicked up in the drama of pushing some aspects of form away and holding onto other aspects, covers up the ground.

It covers up the Ground of seeing and seen, it covers up the fertile dark ground of form, and it covers up the inherent absence of an I anywhere in these grounds and all form.

………………

Or put another way…

When there is a belief in the idea of I, the world is split into I and Other. And in the ensuing drama, we just don’t notice what is always already here: the Ground of seeing and seen, and the fertile ground of form, and the inherent absence of I anywhere in all of this.

The field of seeing-seen temporarily identifies with just an aspect of itself, creates a drama for itself, and temporarily forgets that it is the Ground of seeing and seen, absent of I anywhere.

The drama draws our attention to it, not leaving much space for noticing the ground. And even if the Ground is noticed, it is not taken seriously. It does not fit our conscious view, our beliefs, our worldview. It just cannot be, according to our stories about it. There has to be an I here, as an aspect of what is. There has to be some anchor point in the world of form.

But there isn’t, and the world of form is a stream in flux, so the drama goes on.

A sequence of forgetting

Here is one take on the sequence of forgetting….

There is the Ground of seeing-seen, a seamless field of seeing and seen absent of I anywhere. Spirit arising as emptiness, wakefulness and always changing forms.

Then, two things seems to happen:

It somehow forgets about its own nature, absent of I anywhere. It creates a sense of I and places it on something in the world of form. The seamless field of seeing-seen, absent of I anywhere, filters itself through a sense of I and Other, and identifies as a segment of the field.

And somehow, even more mysteriously, it gets functionally connected with a human self (or any other being arising as part of this field).

So there is a sense of I, and this human self seems the best candidate to place this sense of I on.

Or there is this human self, which the field is clearly functionally connected with, so then a sense of I is created and placed on it.

Or maybe it is both.

A sequence of awakening

First, the field is completely absorbed in the drama and it seems very real. It may also have glimpses of itself as a field, absent of I anywhere, maybe filtered and interpreted as a taste of no separation.

Then, the sense of I may weaken and be gradually placed on fewer and fewer phenomena in the world of form. Here, there is simultaneously an experience of the seamless field of seeing-seen, yet also with a vague sense of I floating around. There is I and Other, and no separation between the two. There is a sense, intuition, or even direct experience of all as Spirit, an early taste of One Taste.

Finally, the Ground of seeing-seen awakens to its own nature, absent of I anywhere. Even the sense of I is revealed as always already being absent of any I.

And the funny thing is that there seems to be changes within what the sense of I is placed, on within this human self, that sets the stage for Ground to awaken to itself. Changes within the world of form, pointing Ground back to itself, allowing it to notice itself, to awaken to its nature as Ground of seeing and seen, inherently absent of I.

Micro and macro: forgetting and awakening, involution and evolution

This is of course the process of forgetting and awakening occurring at an (apparent) individual level, that so many have talked about. And it also seem to parallel a larger scale involution and evolution which seems to be happening through the evolution of this universe, the earth and humanity. The small mirrors the large.

And while the big picture evolution may remain more theoretical, the process of forgetting and awakening, paralleling involution and evolution, happens right here now in immediate awareness:

The Ground of emptiness and awakeness allows form to arise here now, within and as itself. It believes in the idea of I, and places it on a segment of this form, on this human self. This is the forgetting, and parallels involution.

And the Ground may have glimpses of itself, intuitions about itself, tastes of itself, as the Ground of seeing and seen, absent of I. Eventually, it awakens in a stable way to its own nature. This is the remembering, and parallels evolution.

(It is Ground awakening to itself, so no evolution is really necessary – or possible – there. In its emptiness and wakefulness aspect, the field is timeless and stays the same.

At the same time, this awakening appears to be dependent on a certain level of evolution in the vehicle the field is functionally connected with, at the very least for consciously working towards awakening, and for a conscious reflection on and exploration of living from awakening. Ground may awaken to itself, accidentally, while functionally connected with a mouse. But, as far as we know, only humans can systematically work towards setting the stage for awakening, and consciously explore how and what it means to live from this awakening.)

Field of seeing-seen

 

The Ground of seeing and seen is of course really one field.

It is the field of seeing-seen, or even the field of Ground-seeing-seen…!

It is seamless. It is absent of I anywhere. It is simultaneously, and as a whole, subject and object.

And yet, it can be talked about in all of these ways – and many more – when a layer of abstraction in placed on top of it. When various aspects of this field is filtered out and the relationships between these are explored. But this is merely a way of talking about it. As anything expressed, it immediately goes into the realm of the relative, and has no absolute truth to it. It is merely a finger pointing.

The funny thing is that all of this is alive in immediate awareness to all of us. It is only the filter of the temporary belief in the idea of I which (again temporarily) makes it appear differently. The field of seeing-seen temporarily splits itself into I and Other, and our human self then acts as if it is true.

Different grounds II – Ground, fertile darkness, bliss, love and wisdom

 

OK – so there are of course more “grounds” that can be alive in immediate awareness..

There is the Ground of seeing and seen, absent of I anywhere.

There is the fertile darkness, ground of form.

There is bliss, a ground of experience uncovered when resistance to experience falls away.

There is love, another ground of experience uncovered in a stable way when the sense of I falls away.

And there is wisdom, yet another ground of experience uncovered in a stable way when the sense of I falls away.

The Ground of seeing and seen is that which is always here, the awake emptiness everything arises within, to and as. When there is identification with an aspect of form, this Ground tends to go into the background and not be noticed much. But at some point, it awakens to its own nature as the Ground of seeing and seen, and the field of seeing and seen, absent of I anywhere. When Ground awakens to itself while still functionally connected with a human self, it seems that the awakening it centered in the head.

The fertile darkness seems to be the ground of form. This awakening seems to be centered in the belly.

Bliss is a stream of quiet joy, in the midst of any experience. It surfaces when resistance to experience falls away, it is noticed in the absence of the drama of fighting the content of experience. In my experience, this one seems to be an aspect of the heart awakening.

Love and compassion is Spirit relating to itself as second person, in the form of another being. When Spirit recognizes all form as itself, and also allows for a transparent overlay of I and other, there is love and compassion. This is an heart awakening.

Wisdom is the immediate recognition of the Ground of seeing and seen, inherently absent of I anywhere. It is Spirit recognizing itself as the field of seeing and seen, absent of I. It is also Spirit arising as form, functionally connected with a particular human self, and able to function effectively in the world of form as and through this human self.

One Taste and an infinite variety of tastes

 

When Ground awakens to itself – as the Ground of seeing and seen, absent of I anywhere – it comes into the foreground to itself.

Ground in the foreground: One Taste

Whatever arises in form is then recognized primarily as Ground itself, as emptiness and awareness, so have One Taste. There is an infinite variety of form, of content of experience, yet always primarily as Ground itself, as Spirit, as the Divine Mind.

Form in the foreground: many tastes

Prior to this, when there is identification with aspects of the seamless field of seeing and seen, it is different.

If there is identification with an aspect of form, then form is is the foreground and the Ground (emptiness and awareness) is in the background. The many tastes of the infinite variety of form is in the foreground, and the Ground remains in the background, maybe not even noticed apart from in glimpses, and even then often not taken very seriously. It is always there, so taken for granted. It is so inconspicuous, so not paid attention to. It is in the background, so its potential for transformation – when allowed into the foreground, is not known. It is Other, so not explored as a possible I.

Seeing in the foreground: a taste of One Taste

If there is identification with the seeing itself, then the content of experience, the world of form, is revealed as a seamless whole, as one field, so this is the first taste of One Taste, it is the beginnings of One Taste. And as the world of form is recognized as no other than Ground itself, the Ground of seeing and seen, there is a deepening into this One Taste.

One Taste and an infinite variety of tastes

Since the Ground awakening includes form – the content of experience, and the formless – emptiness and awareness, it is more accurate to say that there is One Taste, and within this, an infinite variety of tastes.

Nothing is lost, apart from the not noticing of Ground. And much is gained, as everything is now recognized as primarily Spirit, yet retaining its infinite variety of tastes.

Different grounds: Ground, fertile darkness and bliss

 

Three different grounds I am noticing in immediate awareness right now…

The first is the Ground of seeing and seen, absent of any I anywhere (not fully awakened to itself, but clearly noticeable.) Awakening to Ground seems centered in the head.

The second is the ground of fertile darkness, the ground of form. Awakening to the fertile darkness, the black loamy soil allowing any form to emerge from it, seems centered in the belly.

The third is the ground of bliss, a ground of experience. This seems to be the ground or nature of any experience when it is allowed to be as it is. When it is free from the drama of trying to hold onto it or pushing away. When the center of gravity shifts out of the particulars of the experience and into the seeing of it or the Ground. Awakening to the ground of bliss seems centered in the heart, it is a quiet joy of simply experiencing – independent of what is experienced. (A heart awakening brings of course far more than just that.)

The Ground of seeing and seen is the Ground of the two other ones, although there is certainly a sense of emptiness, void and pure potentiality in the fertile darkness. The ground of bliss is clearly within the seen, within form, within what comes and goes.

And as with anything else here, this is completely provisional, completely open for revision (and revolution), and coming from very limited experience. It is just how it appears right now.

Meditation: Ground revealed to itself

 

I notice that a part of me wants to sensor much of this, because it either seems to simple and obvious, or too confused. But I know of course that all this are relative and provisional truths at most, as anything expressed in words or any other way. Relative truths, in this case coming from a not clear awakening, and written down so they can be let go of more easily.

Allowing content to come and go on its own

So in basic meditation, such as Shikantaza, everything is allowed to be as it is. Sights, sounds, tastes, smells, sensations, thoughts arise. They come and go on their own. They live their own life. If there is an impulse to change any of it, then that is included as well. That too is just noticed. It is all fed to awareness, simply, with ease.

Initial mimicking of Ground

In this, there is initially a conscious mimicking of what Ground already does: allowing all content to come and go on its own, freely. It is the seeing (or more accurately emptiness) inherently free from the always changing content, and naturally and effortlessly allowing the seen to live its own life.

Ground shifts into foreground

After a while, Ground tends to shift into the foreground. It notices itself, becomes aware of itself, brings itself into the foreground of awareness. The shifting content falls into the background, and may be recognized as no different and no other than Ground itself.

There is just the Ground of seeing and seen, inherently absent of I anywhere.

Ground recognizing itself

So by mimicking Ground, allowing content to come and go on its own, Ground is allowed to more easily recognize itself, to bring itself into awareness, as the Ground of seeing and seen inherently absent of I anywhere.

Layering of beliefs, the quiet little voice, bliss, and clarity

 

Since a long time back, I have noticed this layering…

Surface layer of thoughts and beliefs

There is the layer of thoughts coming and going on their own. This layer is innocent and very useful in daily life (essential for our human life).

To the extent these thoughts are believed in and attached to, they morph into something quite different. Now they shout, whisper, should, lure, talk into, contradict and confuse. They guide by fear, and this (false) guidance tend to bring only more confusion.

Quiet little voice

There is the quiet little voice – the inner voice, intuition, which calmly gives advice. It is always available, even if ignored or clouded over by the confusion from beliefs. It also always gets the last word without seeking it, because life validates it, the proof is in the pudding.

This is the quiet voice of the soul, the quiet guidance. If followed, it brings a sense of fullness and flowering. If not followed, there may be stress and a sense of something being off, derailed. (And even here, it is readily available, allowing us to get back on track.)

Although it is always available, it may be temporarily clouded over by the confusion of beliefs. It may be hidden within the drama from beliefs, or beliefs may contradict it which makes a choice difficult. As the noise from the beliefs fall away, the quiet voice emerge more into the foreground and it becomes easier to act on its guidance. The more clarity and the less attachment to thoughts, the easier and more effortlessly we live from this guidance.

Quiet stream of bliss

There is the always present quiet stream of joy and bliss, independent of any content of experience, any content of experience, of any situation, whether there is chatter of beliefs or not, whether the quiet voice is followed or not, whether there is suffering or joy at these more transient layers.

This is the stream of joy and bliss that is always here, the bliss of Spirit unfolding and experiencing itself, independent of any content of experience.

As the quiet voice, the quiet bliss is always available.

When there is resistance to experience, the struggle of the resistance goes to the foreground and the layer of quiet bliss goes into the background and may be hidden. When resistance to experience falls away, this stream of quiet bliss emerges to the foreground.

Ground clarity

Then there is the Ground clarity, the awakeness and brilliance that any content arises within and as. It is the Ground clarity that thoughts, beliefs, confusion, the quiet voice and the steady stream of bliss arises within and as. That which all this arises within and as. The Ground of emptiness, awareness and the stream of forms.

Combined

So there is the layer of thoughts, living their own life, serving us very well through innocent questions about the world.

Believed in, there is stress and confusion, and this may cloud up or make it difficult to act on the guidance from the quiet voice.

As beliefs fall away, the clarity allows the quiet voice to emerge into the foreground, and it can be acted on with more ease.

Independent of all this, there is a layer of quiet bliss, the bliss of Spirit experiencing itself independent of the particulars of experience.

And all this unfolds within and as the Ground awakeness and clarity, the Ground of seeing and seen.

All this is alive in immediate awareness, right here now.