Before we go into the post, let me say that the live, worldwide audio broadcast I’m doing through San Francisco’s Open Circle Group is on the 19th of January. Anyone can join in. It starts at 1:00 pm EST, which is 10:00 am on the West Coast. I expect the session to last for roughly two hours. One thing I can promise is that no one goes to sleep during one of my talks!
I’m very much hoping that a lot of you show up so that we can get to know each other in yet another way. It would be nice if most of it is going to be question and answer, a really interactive meeting. You’ll be able to ask questions via Skype. I’m not sure how all of this works, but the people who are hosting me do, and the rest of us can learn as we go.
The cost is just $10. You can register here: Open Circle Meeting.
There has been a lot of interest in the Writings page, whose link can be found in the footer. That and my YouTube channel are typically where I send people who’ve just had an Awakening Session. The bulk of both of those resources address life in post-awakening. There’s no real point in my doing a bunch of articles on “How-to Wake Up.” 🙂 Tonight I’ve updated the Writings link to include every post I’ve written since moving to this new website.
[If you’re reading this line, it means John has not yet edited this post, so please forgive the presence of typos, and errors of grammar and syntax that he’s so good at finding and correcting.]
LIVING METHOD UPDATE
Waking up first and then gradually clearing instead of gradually clearing while we’re hoping and praying that at some point we’ll hit the awakening lottery is exactly the opposite of what we’ve been doing for thousands of years. In one view, it seems crazy.
However, spiritual truth works exactly 180 degrees from the way we think it does, and thus a new approach, from an entirely different direction, in some bizarre way, makes sense.
Our view of the world is essentially an optical illusion. We are constantly focused on one half of reality. When we “wake up,” we can suddenly see the other view, as well as our original view. It’s very much like this:
WORKING WITH OUR SECRET TEACHER
- Our secret teacher is our own inner teacher, what the Hindus call sat-guru, or sad-guru. Each of us has one. It’s a permanent resident, and it’s always working for us, but we’re usually creating and living in too much noise to hear it. Those of us who have done extensive meditation may very well discover this teacher prior to awakening. For the slugs like me, even though I did some serious meditation along the way, it may take quite some time even after the commencement of enlightenment that an awakening heralds.
- In my case, I can look back and see my inner teacher at work at a number of critical junctures. Each of these points were huge breaks in the ruling chain of logic of my life and helped me narrowly avert disaster. I don’t want to imply that the first five decades of my life were logical: those years were inevitably chaotic. Yet whatever mad scheme I was engaged in always seemed logical to me.
- In these desperate times to which I refer, it would be more accurate to say that my sat-guru forcefully overruled me rather than whispering sweetly. For most of my life, study and meditation or not, I would not have had the presence of mind to notice anything more subtle in the way of life guidance than a sledge hammer blow. In most cases, things turned out well in spite of me. Perhaps you can spot a few of your own moments of guidance, whether subtle or forceful.
- What I’m really talking about here, however, is consciously, knowingly, hearing, feeling, dreaming, or otherwise sensing direction. I first began to take notice of my inner teacher in December of 2009. It had been just over three years since my initial large awakening, and precisely two since my second.
The volume and frequency of my tortured thoughts had begun to lower from the first day that I woke up. The voice in my head, that I had long mistaken to be my trustworthy inner teacher, was slowly shown to be not only a charlatan, but a damn fool as well. It would get me in trouble, and then I’d turn to it to get me out. When we’re unconscious, it takes more than a lifetime to spot an unskillful life pattern in ourselves that everyone else in the world has long been either weeping or guffawing about.
I began to consciously notice this secret direction in little things. I noticed that my resentment toward the large Golden Retriever made a regular home in the small doorway to my kitchen could only be caused by the believed thought that it was my world, and not his, or not the shared world which we coinhabited.
My reactions were coming from a “me,” a me that I already knew full well was false. The unit was simply dancing out its conditioning—as all units must—and my Inner Teacher was quietly giving me the opportunity to shorten that dance by making me consciously aware of what the problem was—me.
Once I could truly see that the mistake was in my thinking and not the dog’s behavior, that resentment dropped like a stone in a well. It took me a couple of times of going through the pattern of getting annoyed and seeing the annoyance arise—I call this seeing through the pattern—but once I did, it was cooked. That pattern went away and has never returned. The dog obstructing the kitchen door no longer gets my goat.
I don’t have a fixed habit of meditation—or anything else these days—but my inner teacher will allow me to see that my thinking is beginning to turn serious. I don’t mean that we need to laugh all the time—although veteran video viewers will know that I laugh a lot. What I mean is that I’m fully capable of starting to take myself seriously, and that’s always an error. The teaching that flows through this husk has almost nothing to do with Fredness, I promise you.
Not taking myself seriously doesn’t mean not taking others seriously, or ignoring the gravity of the current arising, whether it’s the mounting dust in my house or an earthquake in a village in China. It doesn’t mean that at all. It means approaching these things thoughtfully, carefully, responsibly, but never with the idea that I’m looking at an actual problem. Enlightenment doesn’t make us blind, stupid, or ineffective. On the contrary, it makes us more discerning, wiser, and far more skillful.
When my thinking gets serious about Fredness’ life situation—money, business, relationship—or perhaps just cloudy or gloomy for the hell of it, I sit. My inner teacher doesn’t throw me in the chair, it simply whispers something telling like, “You know all of these issues are really high quality problems for a guy who should have died in drunk in a park years ago, do you not?” I see the error, have instant gratitude for things being exactly as they are, and then I sit and marinate in that glow. I make myself available.
Enlightenment doesn’t mean we’re incapable of slipping back into believing our thoughts. It means we don’t have to stay there. With enlightenment we are granted the first real choice we’ve ever had: Where to view the world from. I can view the world from the eyes of God, or the eyes of Fredness, and the world will rise to reach whoever it is that’s looking. It’s a weird truth, but it’s a truth nonetheless.
In another example, I could be in great spirits, then walk to my mailbox, find a bill from the IRS for $5,000, and immediately go into misidentification. But as sure as I did, I can virtually guarantee that my inner teacher would offer up in a soft voice, “You’re suffering…” I’ve worked with adverse conditions so many times, that even in an extreme like that, I’m pretty sure I’d respond to that warning by immediately seeing through the story, and dropping the “me,” thus dropping the suffering. I’d then come inside and take prudent action: call the IRS, hunt up records, or do whatever made sense at the time.
I remember talking to Adyashanti about my inner teacher back in the spring of 2010, just as it was beginning to come online on a regular basis, and in a clear way. I called it the “Explainer,” which he thought was hilarious. All I could report was that I was seeing a great many things in a whole new way, and that it clearly wasn’t “me” that was causing this. The voice wasn’t actually audible, but it was unmistakable. He helpfully clued me in to what was going on, just as I’m doing with you. It’s funny how the yin-yang turns round and round.
The best advice I can give you is to learn to listen. If you don’t already have a meditation practice, why not take one up, even if it’s only for ten minutes a day? It won’t kill you and it could really be a big boon. Try unmeditation:
1) Sit comfortably; no specific posture or cushion is required.
2) Close your eyes.
3) Listen. Be alert to the current arising. If noticing the aliveness of your inner body helps hold you in alertness, do that. But don’t do anything else. Don’t try to get somewhere else. Don’t wait for another state to appear. Sit without expectation, and as much as possible, sit without purpose. See what happens.
That’s it! Good luck!
Fred Davis 12.28.13