Objects only come in and out of existence from the point of view of a subject, whilst I, Awareness, who am neither a subject nor an object and yet the reality of both, am eternally present.

Taking One's Stand As Awareness

Is this what you mean when you suggest we stand as awareness....That a person repeatedly attends to the sense of ‘I am’ or being?

Dear Rupert,

I hope I am not distracting you from other people’s questions. You time is much appreciated. However, put my questions on the back burner if there are others waiting.

In the moment of looking I recognise the open spacious being or presence as
the basis of my experience.

My iden
tity as awareness is noticed in each moment of looking.  That is,
when I look I find. When there is noticing, there is the awareness of being,
of presence.

However this is just a taste, and I have noticed very few appear to
completely a
nd persistently recognise this at all times.  Hence one of
my initial questions to you, is this your experience? I ask this as I want
to be reassured you are able to answer my questions from your experience.
There are those who wish to be recognised as teachers but they are simply
misguided and do not possess the ability to help earnest seekers go ‘all the
way.’

Many seekers awaken a little.  Just like first thing in the morning when we
start to wake up.  This experience is different from being asleep but is not
the full blown wakefulness of the day.

Or to use another metaphor, the morning sunlight begins to outshine the
stars and it gently warms the skin.  At midday all the stars are outshone
and the heat of the sun permeates all our experience.

If one repeats this looking and looks again, we can repeat this recognition
& forgetting cycle.  We inspect the basis of our experience and we notice
presence or being. Then we forget, we are distracted.  Then we remember and
notice again.

From my talks with those investigating the non dual teachings and teachers,
from many different traditions and backgrounds,  I note that it is a most
common position for many seekers.

While writing this post I thought of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. I remember
him saying he took 2-3 years after his initial meeting with his guru.  His
guru told him, “You are not what you take yourself to be…”.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj :-My Guru ordered me to attend to the sense ‘I am’
and to give attention to nothing else. I just obeyed. I did not follow any
particular course of breathing, or meditation, or study of scriptures.
Whatever happened, I would turn away my attention from it and remain with
the sense ‘I am’. It may look too simple, even crude. My only reason for
doing it was that my Guru told me so. Yet it worked!”

Is this what you mean when you suggest we stand as awareness?  That a person repeatedly attends t
o the sense of ‘I am’ or being.  In so doing, as this is
repeated many times, he no longer requires any effort to remain fully aware
of his true nature, the basis of all experience, as with the cas
e of Sri
Nisargadatta?

Rupert ‘
To take our stand as Awareness means to be knowingly the Aware
Presenc
e that you always already are.’

Question:- This answer does not really describe the practical side or how to
apply this to everyday life.  I mean when does one stand, is this done at
all times, what about sleeping? What about when is busy with working or
c
oncentrating on something else.


Many thanks to you,

Jasper Wu


 
Dear Jasper,

Jasper: ......Hence one of my initial questions to you, is this your experience?

Rupert: I am speaking and writing from experience.

Jasper: I ask this as I want to be reassured you are able to answer my questions from your experience.

Rupert: If you are looking for security or guarantees, you will be disappointed. The only real security and guarantee is that unmistakable ‘Yes’ when you see for yourself the truth of what is being pointed out.

Your statement, “My identity as awareness is noticed in each moment of looking….” comes from this ‘Yes,’ from this certainty. Rely only on that ‘Yes.’

It is your own love, sincerity and integrity that is the light that will see you through, not the sincerity or otherwise of the teacher. If you are with a teacher who is not able to take you ‘all the way,’ sooner or later this will become clear and you will move on, grateful for what has been received so far and, at the same time, glad to be moving on.

Jasper: There are those who wish to be recognised as teachers but they are simply misguided and do not possess the ability to help earnest seekers go ‘all the way.’

Rupert: That may be so, but it is not the case here. I do not wished to be recognised as a teacher or indeed as anything else. I wish the reality that is being pointed to in these communications to be recognised.

Jasper: Many seekers awaken a little.  Just like first thing in the morning when we start to wake up.  This experience is different from being asleep but is not the full blown wakefulness of the day. If one repeats this looking and looks again, we can repeat this recognition & forgetting cycle.  We inspect the basis of our experience and we notice presence or being. Then we forget, we are distracted.  Then we remember and notice again. From my talks with those investigating the non dual teachings and teachers, from many different traditions and backgrounds,  I note that it is a most common position for many seekers.

Rupert: I agree entirely with your observation. The recognition of Being that you describe (which, as you say, is sometimes mistaken for full realisation) is simply the first step. However, it is no small step. It is like lighting a match in a barn full of straw…..

The next step is to explore this Being or Consciousness to see if there is any justification for the belief that it is personal or limited. The experiential discovery that there is no such evidence is sometimes called enlightenment or awakening and is, likewise, sometimes mistaken for full realisation.

The next and final step is to transpose this clear seeing to the realms of the body and the world – a process that culminates in what is sometimes called self-realsation. It is a process in which the body and the world are explored in relation to the experiential understanding that we are this unlimited Knowing Presence and are discovered, as a result, to be made only out of this Presence itself.

This process of self-realsation starts with setting the match to the straw. It ends with a small heap of ash.

Lighting the match takes a moment. Burning down the barn takes time.

Jasper: Is this what you mean when you suggest we stand as awareness….that a person repeatedly attends to the sense of ‘I am’ or being.  In so doing, as this is repeated many times, he no longer requires any effort to remain fully aware of his true nature…

Rupert: If by ‘the sense of I am’ you mean a feeling in the mind or body, then no, this is not what I mean. If by attending to ‘the sense of I am’ you mean abiding as or attending to the knowing of our own being, then yes.

If we take ourselves to be a person then, as that apparent person, I recommend turning one’s attention towards whatever it is that knows or experiences the objects of the body, mind and world that are present at any moment. That is, turn your attention towards Knowing Presence or Awareness.

As we try to do so, it becomes obvious at some point that this Presence, whilst undeniably present and knowing, cannot be found as an object. As a result of this experiential understanding the search for Presence as an object dissolves and it becomes clear at the same time that this Presence is what we are. It is ‘I’ that is seeing these words. It is too close to be known as such because it is what we already are. It is already knowing itself, not as an object, but rather ‘in identity.’ We become aware that we are already that which we were searching for.

At this point we no longer consider ourselves to be a person who does an activity called meditation from time to time. Rather we consider ourselves to be this space of Awareness in which an activity called ‘the person’ (that is the activity of thinking and feeling we are a separate entity) appears from time to time.

Meditation is not something we do. It is what we are. The person is not what we are. It is something we do.

Knowing now that we are this Presence, we simply abide as that. We do not take ourselves to be a person any longer. That is what is meant by taking one’s stand as Awareness. To begin with it seems to be an effort that is made by a person. Later on it is understood to be what we naturally, effortlessly are.

If this is not obvious, I recommend making the effort. It if it obvious, the question does not arise.

Jasper: Rupert ‘To take our stand as Awareness means to be knowingly the Aware Presence that you always already are.’ Question:- This answer does not really describe the practical side or how to apply this to everyday life.  I mean when does one stand, is this done at all times…. What about when is busy with working or concentrating on something else.

Rupert: I hope the answer above is practical enough for you. As to when or how often….the answer is whenever you are invited, whenever you remember, whenever the current circumstances allow. To begin with it may seem to be an effort that is made by a person from time to time….so be it. Frequently this apparent person will seem to forget this abidance in Presence, this standing as Awareness, and revert instead to standing as a body.

In time however, as it becomes more natural and effortless to remain knowingly as Awareness, we will more and more frequently forget to take our stand as a person. As the process of self-realisation described above takes this understanding deeply into our felt and lived experience, we no longer recreate the apparent person as the thinker, the feeler, the doer, the lover, the chooser etc.

Rather it becomes natural and effortless to remain knowingly as this Presence. We no longer loose our self so readily to the objects of the mind, body and world. We simply, naturally, effortlessly take our stand as Awareness and watch this Awareness, our Self, taking the shape of the objects of the mind, body and world. In between the appearances of these objects, that is whenever a thought, sensation, perception or activity comes to an end, we do not recreate the separate entity to fill the gap before the next appearance. We do not recreate the separate ‘I,’ but rather simply remain as we are.

For a while it seems possible to abide knowingly as our Self only when we are not engaged in thinking, sensing and perceiving, that is, in quiet moments set aside especially for this remembrance. In time this remembrance remains with us not just in between activities but during their appearance also.

If we get drawn out again into the belief and feeling that we are a person, then we gently take our attention back to our Self, to Presence. As you say, the process oscillates for some time. To begin with long periods of forgetting are punctuated by brief moments of remembering. However, in time we find that long periods of remembering are punctuated by brief moments of forgetting.

In due course it becomes clear that these ‘periods of remembering’ are not in fact in time. Remembrance is ever-present. It is within this ever-presentness of Awareness (and made out of it) that the mind, the body and the world appear.

Another way of saying this would be to say that periods of investigation and exploration, that is, periods of tracing the belief and feeling of a separate ‘me’ back to its source, alternate with simply abiding knowingly as this source. In fact both the former and the latter are modes of this abidance in and as our Self.

The reason I say this is that even the apparent process of investigation and exploration is not really undertaken by the person or by the mind. It is rather Presence itself that is gathering the person, the mind and the body (and the world) back into itself.

Please come back to me if anything is not clear.

With kind regards,

Rupert