Carry these 10 attributes to aid you in the discovery of Truth.
We exercise the power of choice all the time. In a worldly setting, discrimination is the act of choosing between two apparent realities, such as buying one product over another, or any example of choice. But there is another form of discrimination that is vital to the Awakening mind. This is the discrimination between identity and non-identity, change and changeless, and ephemeral and eternal.
In this discrimination, we achieve the necessary separation between limitless non-dual awareness and everything else. We practice this discrimination to shift our identity from/as the limited person (who you think you are) to the limitless awareness that is aware of the person.
Your thoughts observe the world, yet the world must have an observer. Neither exists without the other, thus they are one Being. And if nothing exists without an observer, what observes the observer?
It can only be a stateless energy of 3: creation, destruction, and continuation. It is circular nothingness, a pattern repeating without beginning or end. See it with the Light that you are, and shine onto the Silence, which has no form.
The Seer observes the observer. The Seer sees the thoughts, feelings, and actions of the Being.
But the Seer is not the Being. The Seer is free of the Being, and all the Being’s thoughts and actions become formless when Seen. The Seer is free of form.
Life is full of transitory states and objects of desire. It can even be said that change is the essence of living, and that it’s only natural to long for impermanent things.
Dispassion is the absence of attachment to impermanent things. It does not mean you are cold, apathetic, or numb. Instead, it means you approach things with the acceptance that all is temporary, and that ultimately, you are not in control of life, but you can exist awake and aware of it. It does not mean that you want nothing. What it means is that you can pursue something, but not getting it will not give you sorrow, nor will you miss it when it’s gone. I am happy with it, I am happy without.
As one can imagine, dispassion is a rare and tricky quality. A dispassionate mind does not act for fullness, but rather, it acts from fullness.
3. Control of Mind
The mind cannot be controlled by force. It cannot be premeditated or control itself. For example, can you say exactly what you will think in five minutes? No, it is not truthfully possible.
The power of controlling the mind only exists in understanding that the mind is not you.
Thoughts and feelings are a force of their own, they are not awareness. They come and go. They are as transient as the clouds in the sky.
In this realisation, you are empowered. This understanding helps you examine your values, and See the bad values as they wither away, leaving the good values for your mind to grasp. And this in turn influences your thoughts and feelings. This is control.
Observe a thought that wants to be free, and you are free from that thought. By letting go of the thought, the thought of you flows elsewhere, as if on a river of energy where thoughts are only temporary ripples.
If you feel that your mind is not controllable, worry not. You may still control your senses, and your mind will follow.
4. Control of Senses
The mind can be a volatile place. It can be overactive, sensitive, and complicated. Every mind is unique. Fortunately, the senses have a more arranged pattern. If the mind is an inner experience, then the senses are an outer experience that we share.
The wonderful thing is that when your senses are in line with the cosmic order (our true nature), the inner experience tends to follow. When thoughts and feelings become actions, they are acknowledged by the senses, and it creates a feedback loop that can alter those thoughts and feelings.
For the same reason, attachment to the senses can mislead and distort the mind. One of the most important senses to control is the ability to speak. As they say, words cannot return once they are spoken. We can speak our feelings and we can speak our thoughts, but remember, what we say can come back to us in the same form.
5. Doing What is Appropriate to your Nature
When we say this, we are speaking of your duty to yourself, and we refer to the relative nature of a person. This is the person that you think you are. Who are you without your thoughts and story?
The world relies on so many different kinds of people, capable of so many different kinds of things. Knowing your nature allows you to respond appropriately at a given place or situation, to ‘fit in’ and belong in the world. If a person does not follow their nature, they feel out of place, lost.
Awakening is not about transcending or denying your ‘little self’. It is about acceptance of the self, and this refers to the thought/action of acceptance. If you’ve made mistakes, don’t punish yourself here and now, instead, understand that you were ignorant of yourself at the time, and ignorance is to blame. This makes forgiveness possible.
Ignorance steers us away from our nature, and to become our essential nature as limitless awareness, we must also overcome ignorance of our relative self.
The mind wanders. It is curious. But it also has the tendency to have too many interests and want to achieve them all. There is a touch of greed in this tendency, and it is not always helpful to our curiosity, especially in the case of self-inquiry.
In self-inquiry, we must be able to focus our minds on a single thing, the self. To achieve this, daily life and all its microtasks must conform to the moment of inquiry. We must not regard self-inquiry as an occasional activity, because it is all-important. Through this practice, focus begins to have an existence of its own. Your mind acquires a supreme vision, and your wisdom rises above your ignorance. You begin to understand your true nature, and clear answers appear from another plane. You begin to See the subtle levels of consciousness, here and now, not as a place in time.
When we prioritise things, we focus on them entirely. For those of us seeking true freedom, we need not look anywhere but the self, which is the only thing that is free. If this is your priority, total concentration follows, and what you seek reveals itself. And this knowledge will be remembered should your mind ever become deluded by thoughts, feelings, and senses. It is permanent and timeless.
It is our relative nature to act appropriately, but we are not in control of life. Understanding the difference lets you objectively withstand pain or difficulty without anxiety, complaint, or vengeance.
Forbearance may involve giving others freedom to be themselves, while still setting boundaries in duty to our nature. Today, society is overly complicated and neurotic. The sense of entitlement knows no bounds. We are empowered to whine about petty things endlessly. We prefer this, or we don’t prefer that, on all scales of life. Luxuries are necessities. Life is complicated by drama and irrelevant things. Our minds are shattered.
These small things are not worthy of attention. Suffering them in good humour is necessary to achieve clarity.
Devotion is the love of truth and knowledge. You must be as devoted to inquiry as a loving parent is to their child: patiently, unconditionally, and immovably.
Devotion is love. It knows no pain, only the self knows pain. In devotion to truth, we discover we are not the self, and that there is no pain in devotion.
Devotion is to See that giving is receiving. Your act is the gift. Each movement is self-revealing, like taking your hands into prayer, or lifting a teacup, already tasting what has not touched your lips. Believe only what your thoughts say, and you will always only be your feelings. Know that you are not the self, and set your thoughts free from pain.
Some believe this to be the single most important attribute. Faith in self-inquiry is never blind.
You are only asked to believe that you are pure and perfect. In reality, you may feel like you are chained. But if you live as if you are free, reality may bend and break to your faith. If you continually doubt, you may be unable to hear, reflect, and assimilate teachings. There is no happiness for doubters.
Faith is what you know without having to believe. You know that everything changes. But do you create the change, or do you discover it? Are you the creator of your thoughts, or have you found them? Who are you without your thoughts? What is the world without concepts and descriptions? Can there be another world? Can there be another you? Say your name slowly in your mind 3 times. What is left? The Being.
10. Burning Desire for Freedom
When you want something more than anything, and you want nothing else, it is a burning desire.
It is like being underwater, and wanting to rise to the surface for air. There is nothing more important. It cancels all needs. It is the one true focus.
Everyone says they want to be free, but you must be honest with yourself… how strong is your desire?
You only realise what you want when you hear it, taste it, and understand it. And when you want it, you cannot stop yourself from wanting it. But what if you know you have an ultimate state, which you are currently not? What if you know it is a stateless state, free of all states?
How do you seek it?
You will swim to the surface for air. You will be guided by knowledge, teachings, and techniques to See that you are not seeking a state at all. You will let go of your story, because through clarity, you will see that your story is only a state. Suddenly you See that everything described by what you seek is what you already have. You will meet your Light for the first time. You will learn that you already know. You do not need a story, or experience, or joy.
True Silence reveals itself as the Awakening from sleep. And you cannot leave the majestic Silence once you hear it, because you hear it for the first time in this lifetime, but your true nature hears it forever. And the burning desire for freedom consumes all that you are, until your energy shines as the first Light
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