Enza Vita

Q: How do I realize my true spiritual self?

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A: The conscious awareness that reads this page is your actual true being, the one and only true self that can see through every eye, hear with every ear and feel with every heart.

Once you realize this, you naturally begin to shift, from being constantly in your head thinking all the time to finding yourself simply abiding as awareness, your true identity. Once it’s pointed out to you, you will find yourself entirely here and entirely aware.

All that has occurred is that you’ve simply recognized the obviousness of this aware presence that you already are, and the obviousness that it has always been here. This is what is meant by the words, “I know that I am.” This natural obviousness of your true nature, the truth of your being, is all the support that is needed. Truly.

Your assumption that you are an independent entity is only an automatic projection of your ego. Recognizing your true self, being as you are, is not about achieving a goal or reaching a certain point. It’s about being present in this moment, and nothing else. Everything is encompassed in that simple act. From there, everything else happens effortlessly.

Keep it simple. You are present and aware of your existence right now. Everything else is thinking and belief that will take you away from this doubtless unavoidable aware presence. When attention wanders into thoughts and then imagines a “me,” a conglomerate of beliefs is born, and like a cloud hides the sun, so those ideas hide this aware presence.

Be what you are.

Anything else, all concepts of what we are, are only thoughts appearing and disappearing in the brightly aware space that you are.

Q: How do you define Enlightenment ?

Enlightenment is not a special experience. We’re always looking for that special experience in the midst of our ordinary life like looking for diamonds in the mud, but the mud itself is pretty interesting. Remember when we were kids? Who cared about the diamonds right? Give me the mud, much much more fun…

And when we really see the mud, our ordinary life just as it is, that very seeing is the Love, Peace, Joy and Freedom that we have been looking for.

What we are in essence includes everything. It also includes our humanity and being human involves having thoughts and feelings. This is not something to be abolished but something to be fully experienced. Realization does not abolish one’s humanity but it actually makes us more human because nothing is resisted.

Enlightenment is not like a perpetually sunny day or being “in the zone” 24 hours a day or having a sustained experience of any kind but it’s more about seeing the face of God, the Beloved in everything as everything and knowing that everything is an expression of That – winning, losing, being in the zone, being out of the zone, falling flat on our face and resting as That which includes and transcends all duality.

True Realization is seeing God, or the play of Consciousness, not just in the transcendental state but in and as the physical world, in and as all these other beings, and in and as us. And the realization is that God, the source the Absolute is everywhere and everything including our ordinary life as it is moment to moment. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes messy and even terrible.But always, always deeply miraculous.

Q: What happens when someone reaches enlightenment, liberation, realization? A lot of people talk about it, but they don’t define it.

A: Since writing “Instant Presence” quite a few people have asked me the same question “What has happened”?

One of the main things that has actually happened is that I have lost interest in continually talking about, thinking about, or in any way making spirituality a central aspect of my life.

When you learn to walk, you just walk! There’s no need to keep talking about it. You just walk… And when you stop talking, you discover that you can walk without having to think about it all the time. This frees up so much energy for other things in life!

At the same time, because I live with others, who sometimes ask questions, I notice that whenever topics arise, there are answers as a natural part of the flow. But when it is done it is finished.

Unless the question is there, there is no answer. There’s nothing to say and you just be what you are, naturally, and just get on with living life as it is.

Q: What is the difference between experience and realization?

A: The experience is when you experience being awareness. Realization is when you experience nothing else.

If everything is an illusion, why bother trying, improving or aspiring? Some teachings encourage us to identify as awareness and detach ourselves from the messiness of ordinary life. I prefer to see our everyday life as the all-inclusive Awareness and I encourage the deep descent into the ordinariness of our life so that we can realize that enlightenment doesn’t exist just up there in the Sacred World but right here in every experience of our sometimes messy life.

Enlightenment is the realization that the True Self, the Ultimate Source is always present in and as EVERY experience and it is the actual dissolving of the imaginary separation between transcendental and ordinary, between us and IT.

As the metaphor of the Ocean and the wave, feelings, thoughts, objects, subjects, including this body-mind we believe to be, is nothing other than the movement, the wave of the one, whole, undivided Ocean.

With the Ocean, we can easily see that every wave IS the Ocean, and that no wave could possibly be better or closer to the Ocean than any other wave. We can also see that the Ocean is always changing: calm placid waves can quickly change into violent stormy ones but everything is the Ocean.

There are different waves that we call Enza or John or computer or desk but there’s no permanent, solid independent separate wave: it’s all one Ocean, one seamless whole.

For the wave, the Ocean is inescapable. There’s no need to find it, remember it, become it.

Every wave is the Ocean. Everything right here now is the Ocean. These words are the Ocean. You are the Ocean. There is only the Ocean.

Q: Can a teacher or guru help to realize our true nature, and if so, how do we go about choosing one?

A: The true guru is actually you made manifest, not as you think you are but the real you, presence/awareness itself. Since who you truly are is the totality of being, you are capable of generating many forms, both human and non-human, to bring the focus of the illusory seeker back to itself. “Guru” is really another word for awareness.

In regard to the human teacher, if one day you meet someone in whose company you find you can be yourself, and if you feel clear, peaceful, happy, and your mind becomes calm for no apparent reason, you may like to keep his or her company from time to time.

Jean Klein, a well-known speaker and author on the subject of non-duality, said, “You will know a true teacher because you will feel yourself, in your autonomy, in his or her presence.”

With the true teacher you are free to be yourself rather than bound by rules and agendas. The true teacher doesn’t take the identity and role of the teacher seriously and has no need for his/her students to feel complete.

The greatness of a teacher is not in psychic powers, lineages, or credentials, in the numbers of followers or eloquence or intellect or charisma. Greatness is in the extent to which the vehicle has been taken over by the realization.

In reality there is no difference between you and the guru, as there is no difference between the space in this cup and the space in that cup. The cup cannot limit the all-pervasive space.

Ultimately, there are no teachers or teachings because there aren’t any students. There is only ever unconditional presence—Oneness meeting Itself as That.

Q: Even though I can access awareness, and I do experience its vast, spacious, blissful nature, it never seems to last long before my thoughts begin to intrude again...

A: As you already know, thought will never liberate you and the challenge you are now facing is the same one we all face when we come to the threshold of pure beingness. As soon as we say “ I see but” we are right back in again. You cannot end the story in the mind

When you “see”, relax and allow the natural realization of pure beingness to just be. If we want more light in a room, we switch on the light and when the light is on we don’t have to do any¬thing else. If we keep pressing the switch, we will be turning the light on and off continuously. The same with the practice, once we “see” if we don’t let go and we keep thinking ‘I want the light on, I want to keep on seeing” or even “Now I see”, then it has become a “mind” act.

So when you “experience” awareness, don’t do anything more with the seeing, just let it be seen. Don’t make anything more out of it, don’t be tempted to “dance with thoughts”, just see it and let it go.

At first the “seeing” may not last very long at all so when a thought distracts us, we simply recognize the thinker of that thought and then we watch the thought disappear. Then we have arrived again and so we relax and let it go without trying to prolong the “seeing”.

The problem is not that it is complicated, but that it is too simple and we don’t trust it or think, “This doesn’t feel very special … this can’t possibly be it”, but if we chase after something different, some altered state instead of the natural awareness that is right here, then it becomes difficult to recognize it when it appears.

When we dream, our thoughts create pain and suffering, enemies and friends, but at the moment we wake up, everything disappears, gone without a trace. These same thoughts create the whole drama of life and all suffering will also cease the very moment you see the “dancing with thought”.

As you said, “it’s very easy to fool oneself into thinking we are watching the thoughts and sensations, but in reality we are thinking about it”. This statement is key to your liberation.

The “thinking we are watching” is the “dancing with thought” again. Notice how easy it is to see it, then how we create a problem around what is seen. This is the only subtlety that needs to be witnessed.

Thought needs a dancing partner, so simply refuse to dance. When you do this, spacious, clear, natural awareness will be seen as the only true reality.

End the search by refusing to dance with thought and you will be free.

Q: How can I work with chronic pain? If everything is “perfect as it is,” how could a body be created that does not function perfectly all the time?

A: Awareness itself is a limitless ocean of eternal perfection but our present bodies are just one object that rises like a wave, stays for a while, and then falls back into the awareness that we are, just as everything else does.

The body is a transient form, made of matter, and it is not permanent and yes, our physical form is subject to change, to disease, to injury, old age, and death. This is the natural order of the universe, and as such it is neither good nor bad, perfect nor imperfect. It’s just the natural cycle and flow of existence.

When we work with pain, first we need to make the distinction between physical pain that is the body’s response to some outside stimulus and psychological pain or suffering.

Physical pain

If we are in any kind of physical pain, there is no need to masochistically grin and bear it. We want to do whatever we can in the moment to lessen the pain. Whether the pain is acute or chronic, the wise course of action would be to do whatever we can to alleviate it, including seeking prompt medical care.

Psychological pain

Psychological pain or suffering, arises out of the false belief that one is a separate self, and this belief results in all kinds of fears, worries, conflicts, problems, and doubts. This type of suffering can be eradicated by recognizing the cause of that suffering, which is a false sense of self.

Accepting what we cannot change

If our pain is psychological or if physical pain persists after medical care has been sought, then we must try to gratefully accept what we cannot change. Instead of fearing the pain and trying to push it away, we focus intently upon it, especially when the pain is intense, because this offers us a spiritual practice that can help us realize what we are.

We observe the strong sensations that are occurring in our body.

To whom do they occur? Who is the experiencer, the sensor, that perceives these sensations? Who is the one suffering? We look very carefully and see if we can find that one. Is there actually anyone there that we can point to?

These simple exercises teach two extremely powerful lessons: First, if I am the awareness that perceives the one who is suffering, then I can’t be that suffering someone! Secondly, if I am what is aware of the object, then I cannot be that object! Whatever it is, if I am aware of it, it cannot be me. This is the most fundamental step toward liberation that anybody can take.