Are You Just Following a Teacher or Investigating Your Own Experience?
What a good teacher or facilitator does is show people how to look at experience differently.
There is nothing that will happen in a session with a teacher or at a satsang that will insure against the later arising of a story or trigger or urge to use. Teachers don’t have the capacity to doll out insurance. There is no magic bullet. Leaving your awakening solely in the hands of a teacher is not a good idea. They can help you know how to look. But they can’t fix you. A good teacher or facilitator doesn’t even see you as broken.
This work is a game of being conscious. And being conscious is not something that happens just in sessions or satsangs or while reading a book or meditating. Its not about the next method, even though methods can help. But good methods just provide a way to be conscious presently. That’s all. Being conscious happens while you are shopping, sitting in front of your computer, spending time with family, driving your car and falling asleep at night. It’s moment by moment resting, looking and sometimes inquiring. A great majority of the deep work happens through being with emotions or sensations just as they are.
I’m so glad that there are a lot of good teachings and methods out there. But in 2015, I want to continue posting and sharing about how being conscious is up to you. Remember the phrase, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans?” With this subject, consciousness is what happens when you are planning that next satsang.
Even if one teaching or method doesn’t resonate and you move to a different approach, it’s still going to be about being conscious, just with another tool, teaching or method. In this game of awakening, nothing relieves us of the responsibility to be conscious in our own lives. Examine your desire to fix yourself more than anything. I’ve seen people get really frustrated because they thought that the Inquiries would give them a long term fix. There are no long term fixes in presence. Presence is simply being with what is arising now. “Long term” and “short term” “fixes” for a “self” can all be examined as arisings now.
Even if you have had a recognition of awareness as being like the space in which everything is happening, life still includes the arisings because they are inseparable from awareness. A recognition of awareness doesn’t fix people or insure against painful arisings happening later. It merely shows up as a stable space from which to explore the stuff that is still being believed, the addictions that are still running the show, the anxieties that still bring about the fight, flight, freeze response. Recognize that stable space but then don’t absolutize it. How do we absolutize something that isn’t separate from anything else? Move beyond holding onto some safe space. Dive into and explore the danger of the arisings as they arise. We are not here on this earth to pontificate about awareness only as some unchanging space. Life contains all the vibrancy, movement and change of phenomena. We don’t have to settle for any lines of division, no matter how profound they seem.
Try to find awareness. How is awareness divided off from the present color you see or the present thought? Where is the dividing line? Once you see you can’t find the dividing line, it becomes impossible to say that awareness is all there is, unless you include it all – the thoughts, emotions, sensations, situations, experiences. And it is in those thoughts, emotions, and sensations that you will find the unexamined stuff that continues to cause suffering. Hoping to turn away from the stuff that is arising is turning away from life itself.
How do we do that when life is constantly happening? Would we even want to do that if we discovered a way to be with everything? And isn’t being with everything as it arises what awakening is really about? We are still human, through and through, no matter how what experiences we have had, no matter what profound realizations have come.
Every moment is the opportunity to be with life. There is no other opportunity. This is why this work is really not about the latest teacher, teaching or method ultimately. It’s about stopping now to look, again and again. Once you begin doing this it becomes automatic. It is no longer work. It is simply the way you experience life.
Being conscious is what happens while you are planning to be conscious in the New Year, while you are planning your agreement or disagreement with this post, while you are searching youtube for the next great video from that new teacher. Why not start now. Look at that thought that wants to agree or disagree, that wants this to be more than about being aware now, that believes that there must be something more than what Scott is saying.