Transparency, Popping & Beliefs

At times when there is transparency or it has popped, I see that some beliefs are still strong and solid enough to bring it back to identification with content.

Transparency and popping

Transparency here means that our human self is mostly transparent to the Ground, yet with a vague sense of I floating around somewhere. There is partly a seamless field of what is inner and outer to the human self, yet also the remains of a habitual identification with this human self – or maybe pure awareness. There is a subtle sense of I and Other still.

And popping means that the Ground has moved from being background to the foreground. It has popped into the foreground, and it is abundantly clear that there is no I anywhere. I and Other is not inherent in anything, yet can still be used in a conventional way to navigate in the world.

Remaining beliefs

In either case, some beliefs may be strong enough to lead to blind identification with them. They appear true, real and important. Important enough to temporarily abandon the transparency or the popping and go into the blind identification.

There is a sense of having to take care of “it” – whatever the belief says is going on – exactly because it seems so real, true and important.

From seeing the field of content as seamless and with no I inherent anywhere, it becomes split into right and wrong, true and false, good and bad, I and Other.

This brings discomfort and stress, which is a reminder of attaching to thoughts we at some level know are not true.

Shifting as invitation to clarity

So it may shift between transparency and/or popping and attachment to beliefs, over and over, until the last remains of attachments to thoughts are worn out and seen through. (Or maybe more precisely the attachment to the attachments.)

Each time of shifting into attachment to beliefs is an opportunity to explore and examine what is happening. It is an invitation to getting a little more familiar with the mechanisms of samsara.

And when there is a greater familiarity with and clarity around these mechanisms of samsara, they loose their power. There is no longer any attachment to this process of delving into duality.

Veils and Crystal Clear


Right now, the center of gravity is mostly in transparency.

There is the familiar vague sense of an I placed on parts of my human self – usually a “tube” from the crown down to the throat area of sensations, feelings, emotions, thoughts and attention, and also vaguely on the seeing of it all, the pure awareness. But when I look, when I examine it, there is no I inherent in any of that – or anything else. It is all just happening.


So when the center of gravity is in transparency, I also notice a veil of fuzziness in my experience. There is a layer of fuzziness on top of everything.

There is the noticing of what is happening – of everything arising in the present, in the field of what is outside and inside of my human self. And it is all arising within a fog, a substantial atmosphere of some kind. Contractions still happen here of course, and there may or may not be an identification with them – depending on how much clarity is present.

Fog and sense of I

My sense is that this cloudiness, this fog, this denser atmosphere, goes with the transparency. It comes from – and is in a sense, the vague sense of I, the habitual belief in I placed on a segment of what arises.

I also see that this fog can be taken as the ground, in this state. It is all pervasive, and everything seems to arise within it. But this fog too is within the world of phenomena. It is all-present, but no ground.

Fog and identifications

And this fog also allows for temporary and exclusive identifications with contractions. Habitual contractions come up. Sometimes, when there is more clarity, they just come and go within the field of what is. They are just part of the landscape. No need to identify with them more than anything else. Other times, there may be less clarity and the vague sense of I sharpen and is placed on the contraction. “I” go on the inside of the contraction, and the sense of I and Other appear in a sharper way.

Popped ground/selflessness

The popping of the ground last fall – for a couple of months – allowed some further explorations of this.

The center of gravity was shifted from a vague sense of I to a clear realization of selflessness and the groundless ground. Everything was just happening, with not even a trace of I anywhere. Every forms was revealed as the groundless ground forming itself into all these things. Emptiness dancing.

All of this was familiar to me from my initial awakening, but two aspects were new to me.


One was the sense of it being completely ordinary. There were no bells and whistles. No nothing. Just a shift in context from a vague sense of I to the complete absence of it.

There was no need to talk about it. No need to do anything about it. Everything just happened. My human self continued to operate just as before, and others probably did not notice much or any difference. The only difference was that there was a complete absence of any doer (apart from the whole of what is).

Crystal clear

The other difference was the crystal clarity of it all. The ground was revealed as being a diamond clarity. As diamond space.

And the usual fog, typical for transparency as described above, was revealed as clearly belonging to the world of phenomena. Temporary. Just one form among many.

There was just the crystal clear ground beneath all forms. That from, in, and as the world of phenomena arises.

Contacting it

After these two or three months, the vague sense of I returned. It seems that these waves are quite typical, and just part of the exploration process and the unfolding. There may be things in the transparency to learn more about and explore. Then other shifts into the popping of the ground, and then back, until the center of gravity shifts more stably into the popped ground/selflessness.

When attention is brought to the crystal quality of space, as I can easily do in transparency, I see that it is always there, always available. It has just not popped into the foreground and remains more as a background to everything happening in the present.

More on opaqueness, transparency and popping

Here is some text deleted from a previous post on this topic…

For me

For me, even within the last several months, there has been a fluid movement among all of these three [opaqueness, transparency and popping].

Last summer, there was a period of transparency and glimpses of popping. Then last fall, there were some weeks where it popped. Then, a period of transparency again. Then, a period of mostly opaqueness with some phases of transparency. And so on.

There are waves within waves. A fluid process.

When I believe in an idea of how it should be, there is suffering because what is is always different. When the belief drops away, I am free to enjoy the always changing process. It becomes an adventure – sometimes unpleasant, sometimes unpleasant, sometimes liberated. But always an adventure.


Within each of these, there is also a deepening possible. We can deepen into our exploration of opacity. We can deepen into our exploration of transparency. And we can deepen into the popping, into explorations of the ground and the dance of God.

Freedom to explore

In the awakening to the dance, the two others are present as well.

There is the exploration of how it is to function as a human being from selflessness, and to deepen into this. And there is the continuing development of skills, knowledge, information and everything else. There is the continuing development and maturation of our human self, within the context of selflessness.

But there is also the freedom to explore of how it is to function with a temporary identity as something finite. To taste this again, to deepen our connection with others and our compassion and humility. And there is the freedom to similarly explore transparency, functioning as a human being transparent to the ground.

There is the freedom to explore all of these, which parallels – or rather is a tapping into – the freedom of what is.

God is free to explore all of this – opacity, transparency and popping.


So if there is an identification with any position, with any realization, with any state, there is stuckness. There is an identification with a segment of what is, an identification with something finite within the context of the infinite. There is a holding onto a position, and this brings suffering since what is is more fluid than this position.

And this suffering is a reminder of the identification, the holding onto. It is God’s way of telling itself that this too is a position, a narrowing of what is, an identification with something finite within the context of the infinite. The suffering is an incentive to inquire into it a little further, to gain a little more clarity about it.

It is an incentive for God to bring more of itself into awareness.

And this never ends, as the unfolding of the form aspect of God may never end. God is pouring itself forth, in always new and different ways. Any holding onto anything is a sure recipe for suffering.

Opaque, Transparent, Popped

Here is a slightly different take on the opaque, transparent and popped process (see previous postings).


Here, there is an unexamined belief in the idea of “I”, typically placed on any number of aspects of our human self. It may also be placed on pure awareness, but then the transparency starts coming in.


We realize or have a glimpse of selflessness. Nothing has any inherent I in it. It all comes from a belief in the idea of I put on top of what is. There may still be a vague and habitual sense of I, placed on our human self or pure awareness, and we may still sometimes habitually act as if that is true, but when we look – we cannot find any I anywhere.

We see, or intuit to various degrees, how the groundless ground forms itself into all these forms – our human self and the rest of the world of phenomena, and there is no “I” inherent in any of it. It all just is.

So our human self is transparent to this ground. There is a vague sense of I, yet also the realization that there is no inherent I there.

Another way this may show up is to place the belief in I on pure awareness, which also gives a sense of transparency to our human self. At some point, we realize that we are still places the idea of I on an aspect of what is, and that even awareness has no inherent I in it.


Then, the groundless ground may pop. Become crystal clear. Obvious. It comes to the foreground and the world of phenomena is just the play of the ground. It is the ground forming itself into the myriad forms, always fresh and new.

And here, there is a different form of transparency. Here, all forms become transparent to the ground. Obviously transparent to the ground. They are all emptiness dancing.


I am interested in the process from opacity to transparency to popping.

More precisely, from an opaque and unquestioned self of a separate self, to a glimpse of selflessness and a vague sense of self transparent to the ground, to a realization of selflessness that pops into the foreground.


First, there is an unquestioned self of self. What do you mean, of course there is a self here! Isn’t that obvious?


Then, we may have a glimpse of selflessness – of the divine mind, Big Mind, Buddha Mind, Dao, Brahman, God, Spirit. We realize that everything arises within and as the divine mind, and that this human self is just a pattern of the tapestry. Or at least we have a taste of it, an intuition of it, a sense of it.

And here, our habitual and vague sense of self can become transparent to this ground – to everything as Spirit, as God. There is a habitual vague sense of self, which comes up stronger some times and less strong other times.

When we look, when we inquire into it, we see that it only comes from a belief in the thought “I”. It is not really there. What we placed it on – sensations, feelings, emotions, thoughts, attention, awareness, are all just parts of the infinitely much larger tapestry. There is no “I” inherent in any of it. Or we can say that the whole of it, beyond and including all polarities, is the only “I”. Although not even that is really an “I” as there is no “other”.


Then, this realization of selflessness may pop. It pops into the foreground. It is obvious. Crystal clear. No question about it. No need to look for it. Everything is the divine mind. The groundless ground forming itself into this temporary and fluid play of forms. Emptiness dancing.

The human self is still there. The only difference is that there is no longer any exclusive identification with it, or anything else. Nothing has any inherent “I” in it.

There is the realization that our human self is the local manifestation of the movements of the whole. The whole functions temporarily through and as this human self. There is no hint of any separate doer, only the doing.

Center of gravity

Throughout this process, the center of gravity moves along the continuum from opaqueness, via transparency, to popping. And then back to opacity again for all I know – just to make it more interesting.

And there is fluidity within this process as well. Anyone may come up within a period where another one is more stable. And there may also be fluctuations between two for a while as well, or even among all three.


What is awakening? Is it when we have a glimpse and transparency? Is it when it pops? It is even when there is the awakening to opacity?

To me, they are all awakenings.

First, there is an awakening to opacity. An awakening to how it is to function as and through a human self, in the world of phenomena. An also an awakening to how it is to experience an identity with the finite, as separate, and the suffering coming alive through that.

Then, a middle ground of awakening to the transparency of the self. There is still the residue of habit, of a habitual sense of self. But there is also an early realization of selflessness. The self is transparent to the ground.

Then, the divine mind awakens more fully to itself. Selflessness pops. The ground pops. It is all revealed, clearly, beyond any question, as the divine mind. As the play of God. As emptiness dancing.


I went to a Sat Nam Rasayan practice group tonight, and found it very rewarding. The approach is very similar to the way I have done healing since my teens, and also quite similar to Big Mind and Breema.

I went into Big Mind quite easily, supported by the atmosphere there. And experienced again the clear figure-ground shifts that occur.

Opaque, transparent, and popping

First, there is an identification with something finite. In my case, a habitual identification with things that appear to occur in my head/throat area – sensations, emotions, thoughts, attention to these, and the awareness it all occurs within. At the same time, there is a transparency to all of this. If I look, I find that none of these have any “I” inherent in it. And there is also a sense of no separation to anything else. Even here, it is all transparent to the ground.

Then, there is a shift to this ground within and as which everything arises – the sounds of the cars going by, the room, the people in the room, the voice of the instructor, the sensations, emotions, thoughts, focus, and the awareness it all unfolds within. It is all revealed as a seamless field, with no “I” inherent in any of it. It all just happens.


So it is a figure-ground shift in a quite literal sense. First, there is a vague sense of self habitually places on certain phenomena arising in the present. And all this occurs against the ground of space and everything else happening. Then, this ground pops out into the foreground and all the figures are revealed as just occurrences within, from and as this ground.


It is also interesting to note the continuum here. There may be an opaque identification with something finite, not questioned at all. Then, there may be a glimpse of selflessness, and still a vague habitual sense of self placed on something finite, but transparent to the ground – especially when attention is brought to it. And finally, the ground may pop into the foreground and all the finite forms are revealed as the temporary forms within this ground, as emptiness dancing.


In the shift from one to the next, there seems to usually be an extended period of fluctuation between the two, often starting with brief glimpses of the next one, then longer periods shifted into it, and then shifting the center of gravity into it in a more stable way.

This allows for an easing into it and gradual familiarity with the new way of experiencing the self – from opaque and unquestioned, through transparent and not really real, to not existing other than as a label of temporary, limited and practical use only.