My main practice is to simply be with what is… to fully allow it, as it is. This automatically shifts identification out of content and more into the field of awareness and its content.
Resistance = suffering, being with = Big Mind
As long as there is identification with content, there is also resistance to other parts of content, and not an allowing of all there is. I am and want this, so resist what does not fit. An allowing shifts the center of gravity more towards headlessness and Big Mind.
When this happens, there is also a sense of release… a release of grasping, of contraction, of being blindly caught up in the drama of being an object in an immensely large world with lots of very unpredictable other objects (who I need, or can harm me, or sometimes both.) There is a new freedom in this. A freedom to allow content to be as it is. A freedom to allow God’s, or reality’s, or life’s will be done, as it unfolds here and now.
A secret hidden in plain sight
When we discover this, one of life’s secrets hidden in plain view, right in front of our nose, there is almost inevitably also a thought that ha! now I know how to release suffering! I’ll use this as my practice to avoid suffering and find happiness.
Wanting to change it
But what is happening there? Exactly what is creating suffering in the first place: an identification with content, seeing myself as an object here wanting this and to avoid that. I’ll engage in being with what is, so I can change what is.
The solution is to be with even this. The impulse to avoid suffering and seek happiness, or at least contentment, is something arising as content, and I can be with even that. And this in turn releases some of the identification with it. It arises, as anything else, coming and going on its own.
All of this also goes for the practice of self-inquiry. I may discover that certain practices of self-inquiry releases, or at least lessens, stress and suffering, so I use it as a way to manipulate the content of my experiences. I inquire to be free from suffering and find happiness.
But again, this is a trap. In this case, it adds a motivation to the inquiry which makes it less sincere and open-ended. I think I know what will bring about a release, so I try to direct the inquiry in that direction. I have a goal, created from memories of past experiences, and try to recreate what brought me there in the past, or try to manufacture something that brings me there.
Being with, for its own sake
The only real solution to all of this is to be with what is happening, just to be with it, just to experience it fully, without getting caught up in resistance and holding onto parts of the content. To find myself as the ground of awareness, which already and always allows it all. Just for its own sake.
Inquiry, to see what is already more true for us
And with inquiries, to use them as a tool to see what is. To find what is already more true for me than what I believe. To dive down below beliefs, to what is alive in immediate awareness.
A discovery of what already is
In both cases, it is a discovery of what already is, without knowing in advance what we will find, apart from that it will be different from any memory or expectation. It is always fresh, new and different.
A note: allowing activity, even more of it
And just for the sake of making it a little more complete: allowing our experiences more fully does not mean being passive in the world. If anything, it frees this human self up to be more active and engaged, free from any holding back coming from self-consciousness. Free from the burden of being taken as an I, it can function more freely, richly and fully.