Now What?

by Eva
(USA)

Question:

I have a couple:

1. I can see, feel and know (in moments of clarity at least) that I am the awareness and the space in which everything happens. Untouched by either peace or disturbance that are both experiences in the awareness that I am. And now what? :) I still suffer. Knowing/feeling myself as the space for suffering, does not relieve it. I hear you talk about being at ease and at peace once you see who you really are, and there's a wanting happening in me to experience that ease and peace.

2. Is there a way to know that what you are saying is the truth? 100000 teachers offer 100000 teachings and techniques, it is very difficult to know which one cuts through all the rest. It is unclear which of those thousands of teachings is not just another illusion in mind. 


Response:

1) After reading your question, I had nothing. Normally an answer seems to come straight out onto the page, but with this…nothing. I re-read, and feel as if your question comes from two different levels, like two different energies are speaking:

Awareness expresses: “I can see, feel and know that I am the awareness and the space in which everything happens. Untouched by either peace or disturbance that are both experiences in the awareness that I am.” 

Then the Person (the ego) says: “And now what? :) I still suffer. Knowing/feeling myself as the space for suffering, does not relieve it. I hear you talk about being at ease and at peace once you see who you really are, and there's a wanting happening in me to experience that ease and peace.”

Would you agree it seems as if half the question emanates from truth, and the second half has a different, more limited quality?

The limitation is from the “I” that arises in awareness as a “me”, a separate person and identity. The awareness is here, as you say. This is original. It is what you are, which you feel is true from your experience….

Is there also an “I” apart from this awareness? It may even take credit and say “I can feel myself as the awareness”? If this is the case, is this extra “I” real, or just a thought? Can you witness it arise and speak?

Suffering may still arise for a while. Usually it is the old energies coming up and being dissolved. Do not identify. Don’t take it personally. If you are the untouched awareness, who suffers? The “I” that suffers all of this is also in your awareness, it is not who you are. Can awareness actually suffer?

If you expect suffering to leave, and want it to leave, it still has a hold on you. It can still disturb you. If you allow it to the extent that you do not mind whether it stays or goes, then you no longer feed it or maintain it. Be very alert to any resistance that arises – then allow the resistance to be as it is, without labelling it.  

You, the awareness, do not suffer, as you have alluded to in the first part of your question. So you need not give suffering any attention or importance. Let it take care of itself and leave when it wishes. You are unaffected, so it is not your concern, nor your burden to bear.

If you still feel a sense of “now what?”, watch this feeling. Listen to the voice that comments from it. Let it be, do not interfere. You are listening, you are not the voice.

Be aware of the desire for peace and ease. It is fine, but do not identify with it. The quickest way to feel at ease, is to fully allow yourself to not feel at ease. To feel peace, even if very subtle at first, totally allow the existence of non-peace.

It is difficult to gauge how helpful these words will be for you, so feel free to ask follow-ups below if you wish.


2) How to know if this is truth? You mean that you are awareness? Ultimately only you can tell. But you seem to have already experienced that you are awareness. It seems that from your seeing of truth, your mind has come in to produce doubts and distractions.

In terms of what other traditions or teachers say – is this not the underlying truth? You being formless awareness, not a person, not a voice, beyond time, beyond the concept of death – is surely the most common truth shared amongst many spiritual teachers and traditions. What varies is how to see it, how to enquire etc. Some may say meditate every morning for 20 years. Another may say give up every belief you have ever held about anything, including the idea of yourself. Another may say simply do nothing but feel your own presence, your sense of existence. Another would say surrender to the will of God, the supreme being.  

Follow what resonates with you, what you know to be helpful and true. You may be attracted to various approaches. All effort will take you beyond effort, so enjoy it all. Do not take it to be a personal quest. It is not personal at all. You know truth when you hear it, but your mind may have other opinions.

Is it not clear that all you can feel and perceive must be secondary to you, that the truth of what you are must be the perceiver of all phenomena, including thoughts, doubts, questions, confusion etc? If so – since you are nothing you can perceive, things like thoughts and emotions are not your property, not even worth your attention. They are there when needed, but they need no personal regulation.  

Hope that has helped somehow, thanks for your questions.

Adam