• April 8, 2017

    I think I understand what it means to be asleep. What does it mean to be awake?

    Do you think it would be helpful to try to describe this state?

    In Vajrayana, they sometimes give what they call the view, a description of the end state, just in case the practitioner is able to spontaneously recognize it.

    True. Let us go on a journey together. I will talk along the way and we will see where we go.

    I have the sensations of sitting. (Pause in this experience for several minutes)

    I have the sensations of breathing. (Pause for several minutes)

    I have the sensations of energy moving in the body. (Pause for several minutes)

    I have the sensation of being spacious. (Pause for several minutes)

    I sense the unnecessary tensions of the body and I release them. (Pause for several minutes)

    I invoke the presence of my presence into the present. (Pause for several minutes)

    I have the sensation of remembering myself. (Pause for several minutes)

    My presence cognizes its presentness. (Pause for several minutes)

    Remaining present, I awaken.

    *   *   *   *   *   *   *

    The state of being awake is unimpeded, luminous, highly active but relaxed, entirely without agitation, precise and joyful. My Vajrayana friend would say that its essence is empty, its nature is luminous, its expression unimpeded. I would say its underlying quality is one of bliss.

    When you are not identified, presence is naturally awake; it is the doorway to the waking state. What sleeps is body and mind. They must be energized and brought into harmony with presence. The method is to voluntarize what is and rely upon attention and presence to bring unity and clarity.

    What does unimpeded mean?

    Non-dual. There is no otherness to oppose.

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  • February 21, 2016

    I sit in the meditation chamber. I agree to wait. I am not waiting for anything, just waiting. I am content with whatever happens. I am content with whatever will happen. It is enough to wait.

    Since I am waiting and there is nothing in particular to do, I ask to be alert. Can I be alert? Alert but not tense, alert but also relaxed.

    While I am in this state of waiting, not for anything in particular, just waiting, I invoke attention. Attention engages sensation as I wait. I summon a field of attention which surrounds me. I ask that attention penetrate my heart. I sit with this. There is no move to make. I can wait, not moving on.

    Energy arises. My body is intensely sensitized. Can I awaken now, physically, mentally, all that I am? Can I simply be?

     * * *

     The awakened state can be discovered in meditation. It does not require special efforts.

    What awakens? The parts of me that sleep. Which parts are sleeping? My physical organism, my mind and heart. They stumble about in confused darkness, enmeshed in dream-fragments, unable to gather the energy to awaken. Presence is always able to participate, waiting, willing to enter when called to take its place as vice-regent of the city of my being. But presence cannot enter when my city is sleeping and the dominion of presence is denied by my identification with other roles and aims.

    What is awakening? Lighting up the city with the correct energetic charge, harmonizing its different departments and stopping up the leaks. Who is to accomplish this work? Voluntary, impartial attention. It arouses energy and activates the heart, unifying the city, enabling presence to enter. The city awakens.

    But, before the desirable can be accomplished, the undesirable must be relinquished.

    Can the usual efforts to do something be abandoned?

    Can ordinary thinking be released?

    Can involuntary attention on habit-formed boundaries be withdrawn?

    Removing limits opens the way to a real encounter with the miracle of being.

    The city’s defenses fall away and sleep is overwhelmed.

    The secret is in the asking.

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  • October 23, 2015

    But what are the practical requirements for awakening?

    The first requirement is need. Perhaps that should be Need. Curiosity may work once or twice. Self enhancement or other ambitions are not likely to work at all. For whom do you wish to be present? Who needs you to awaken and why?

    The process begins with voluntary attention followed by impartial attention. Observe self objectively. Know that you are asleep and see the patterns of your sleep, in real time. Then you are ready to take the next step.

    You need a great deal of energy to awaken the machine. In this moment, can you stop wasting energy? Can you reverse the flow of energy from down and out of the body to up and in? Your sleeping machine is probably reacting to something and harbors ordinary emotions. Knowing the exact formulation of your reaction in physical terms, can you withhold the expression of it? No judgement. Please understand this is not a general condemnation of expression. This is about gathering the energy to awaken at this time.

    Now, what will you do with this emotional energy? Can you invoke impartial attention or presence to digest and transform it? Can you at the same time release the associated tensions and sensations so that you are not dragged into identification? Attention and presence are energies of a higher order; invoking them initiates energy generation, upgrading sensation into conscious energy. Can this process continue?  Can presence see and counter the tendency to fall into identification?

    Does your heart now awaken? Conscious energy makes this possible. Perhaps you can voluntarize a feeling that is essentially part of you…reverence, objective sorrow, glorification…whatever is natural to your being. Perhaps you can invoke the feeling that is most accessible in the space where you are. Some spaces are aligned with specific feelings, making them ‘sacred’. Perhaps you have discovered that all the requirements of awakening are contained in genuine prayer. Feeling brings more energy of a higher kind. Body, mind and heart working together intensify the energy. Perhaps your machine now awakens.

    To remember (re-member) is first to bring together all the disparate parts of your being into being. For whom do you do make this effort? For whom do you wish to awaken? Then, in turn, you may be remembered as one of the Work community.

    Related Posts:

    Awake (3) – Oct 16, 2015

    Awake (2) – Oct 10, 2015

    Awake – Oct 7, 2015

    Mastery (2) – June 3, 2015

    Observe What Exactly? – Mar 12, 2015

    Observing self/self-observation – Mar 10, 2015

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  • October 16, 2015

    So you are really proposing a kind of hierarchy of possible states, from sleep to presence to awakening.

    Yes. Actually, it starts with voluntary attention, which establishes a separation in sleep between the machine and something not of the machine. This separation is very important. Voluntary attention, which we might call mindfulness, already introduces a restless quality to the sleep state. The machine still operates on automatic but it is observed.

    If the attention is impartial, meaning not directed by the head brain, that is another step, which is only a hair’s breadth from presence, the source of voluntary, impartial attention. Presence completes the process of dis-identification with something added…a sense of existing as something unidentifiable, ineffable, unboundaried, another kind of ‘I’.

    In presence, movement into voluntary states of invocation becomes possible, but these states are easily interrupted by the momentum of sleep in the machine. Nonetheless, these transitory engagements weaken the conditioning of the machine over time.

    Finally, we come to the awakened state. The machine is sufficiently energized by voluntary efforts of attention and presence that the heart awakens, providing the additional energy and assistance required to unite all the provinces of human nature into one kingdom, subject to one ‘I’. The awakened human is now a human being, occupying its intended place at the nexus between higher and lower, where matter becomes spirit and spirit becomes matter. This is where the Work begins.

    Now, I have made this seem a logical progression because our simple minds like to operate in this way. But the relationship between these states is often non-sequential and may involve help from unusual sources. The steps are a dance which covers the same ground in many different ways. Do not assume you can accomplish this path through your own efforts. Great humility is required. You will likely need a motive outside of your own enhancement.

    Perhaps I will regret this simplification which could encourage you to look ahead and fantasize about your status. However, Vajrayana teachers I have known occasionally introduced their students to the ‘view’ as they called it, and they did not seem to regret it.
    To Be Continued…

    Related Posts:

    Awake (2) – Oct 10, 2015

    Awake – Oct 7, 2015

    Illusion of ‘I’ – Sept 19, 2015

    Invocation – June 10, 2015

    Mastery (1) – May 15, 2015

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  • October 10, 2015

    I am often embarrassed by my sleep behavior which gives me the motivation to stay awake.

    Yes, sleep can be embarrassing .  The energetic charge of embarrassment can be useful. However, do not make the mistake of assuming that being present means being awake. Presence is an intermediate state between sleeping and waking. In presence, the momentum of sleep continues in the machine. The charging/discharging mechanism remains potentially active, leaving you open to the full range of negative emotions if the ‘right’ stimulus comes along. Identification then follows. At best, the machine is temporarily neutral when you are in a state of presence.

    To awaken is to awaken the machine, in which case there are no negative emotions and no possibility of a charge/discharge cycle. In the waking state, the circuitry of energy generation and transformation is fully engaged, sensing/feeling/thinking are integrated and operate without interference from conditioning.

    Awakening is not some sort of metaphysical state. It is not Samadhi. It is not withdrawal from sense-experience. Awakening is embodied.

    Presence and attention are catalysts for awakening but awakening itself encompasses and harmonizes all the functions humans are capable of. This is a state of real being. Life is real only then, as Mr. G would say.
    To Be Continued…

    Related Posts:

    Awake – Oct 7, 2015

    The Capacity of Feeling – Aug 22, 2015

     Three Centered Beings – Apr 6, 2015

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