We are so conditioned to make efforts. We think we can make efforts to change ourselves. We want to affirm and we do so with the pushing force. And what does that do? Look into it. You can see that it defeats itself. Can you jump over your own knees?
Let us go by way of the negative, shall we? A somersault rather than a jump.
Let’s consider fixation. What could be more ‘me’ than fixation? I’m always compulsively thinking about something so I miss much of what’s going on. My attention is forever being attracted to something or other, either because I like it (and therefore cling to it), or dislike it (and therefore avert it, push it away). My attention may skip from one thing to another but is it not always fixated one something, somewhere?
What would it be like to be unfixated? Well, that would mean seeing/hearing/sensing everything around me. Immediately my affirming self jumps to the fore. “I can do that,’ says me. Wrong step. Let’s start again. If I am not clinging or averting, what is going on? What is the gesture that is neither? A gesture that is neutral, unattached.
I have such a gesture, one that does not arise automatically, a conscious gesture therefore seldom arising. This gesture is releasing, allowing everything to be exactly as it is without my engagement.
My eyes are open. I see. I notice that I am looking at something and my field of vision is narrowed. Can I release this something and temporarily see everything?
There are two steps…noticing the fixation and releasing it. Affirming that I can see everything is not a step, it is a fixation.
Can I learn to notice and release fixation? Find out. There are many fixations, of thought, of sensation. Can I notice and release them all as they arise? What happens if I do?
Here’s the real secret. Skillful releasing offers up a direct perception of emptiness, not the emptiness of depression but rather the emptiness of pure consciousness, consciousness unattached and able to sense/glimpse itself. In Buddhist terms, you have experienced Sunyata and the spontaneous response is very joyous, a momentary freedom known as the first Bhumi. Bet you didn’t see that coming. No one does.