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EFF FOSTER SHORT AND SNAPPY POINTERS TO THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU REALLY ARE

Im not interested in the story of your incredible awakening. Im not interested in how much youve read and learnt about enlightenment. Im not interested in your spiritual attainments. No, no. I love you too much for that. I am deeply interested in who you really are, right now before all stories. Even this one. In the beginning, I strongly believed that there was something wrong with me. Later on, I acquired the spiritual concept that there was something wrong with being or having a me in the first place! Double trouble! These days, I realise that theres nothing wrong with me, AND nothing wrong with me. The ocean dances as the wave, in all its extraordinarily perfect imperfection. What freedom! I confess, Im officially a failure at speaking the unspeakable, at effing the uneffable. There. You got me. Im a failed ineffable effabler. Yes, as the one who knows, as the authority on life, as the one who has the answers, I suck, big time. I may just pass as some kind of second-rate poet. But as a friend who loves you totally, without wanting anything from you in this moment, well, there I cannot fail. Nobody can. And so I meet you there, in that strange place beyond words, beyond worlds. We say I am afraid. But are you really the one who is afraid? Are you really the fearful one? Or are you simply the capacity for fear, the vastness in which fear comes and goes? Sweet friend, dont be afraid to admit who you really are. To say there is no separation or there is only Oneness is easy. To believe there is no self or the I doesnt exist is easy. Anyone can mechanically repeat the words there is nobody here or free will is an illusion. But to deeply recognise what these koans are pointing to, rather than merely understanding them intellectually well, thats what this awakening adventure is really about. Do you fear losing control of your life? What if you were never really in control in the first place? What if it was never really your life? True silence is not the opposite of noise. True silence, the silence that you are, the allpervading stillness at the heart of life itself, is not at war with anything, just as the ocean is not at war with any of its waves. In the story of time and personal identity, youve been breathing your whole life. But in reality, each breath is a brand new breath, the first breath, the miraculous breath of Life itself. Spiritual awakening is the easy part. Realising there is no separate self, recognising who you really are, is just the beginning. Really LIVING that realisation, not losing it in the midst of the undeniable realities of human existence, in the midst of intimate human relationships, grief, physical pain, cancer, loss, in all the beauty and mess and wonder of everyday life; discovering acceptance in the parts of experience that previously seemed unacceptable; unravelling suffering that previously seemed impossible to unravel thats the ongoing adventure, for everyone. Nobody is immune from this never-ending grace. We can talk and

talk and debate and argue about spiritual awakening all we want to. But going beyond mere mental understanding and really LIVING this, and truly discovering where suffering ends thats the never-ending adventure. Yes, here is the gorgeous paradox of spiritual awakening: nobody awakens, and yet this ever-unfolding awakening never ends. If you think awakening has finished oh, my friend! its only just begun. I used to believe that I was enlightened (and others werent). I used to know that I was noone, that I had no self (while others still had a self). I used to be so certain that I had found the truth (and others were still lost in ignorance). And I was so certain that there was were no others. Can you see the delicious irony and innocence in this? Without reference to the past, without quoting your favourite teachers or books or external authority, without words or language, without thought, without memory, in this moment, exactly where you are, what do you know for sure? Thoughts about the past are present thoughts. Thoughts about the future are present thoughts. The past didnt happen in the past it happens now. The future doesnt happen in the future it happens now. Even the most convincing dreams of the past and future, happen here in this vast, open space which is never caught up in dreams. Beyond all past and future dreams, what you are is always deeply at rest. The deeper message of the crucifixion: Pain, deeply accepted, breaks the heart wide open. Are you the one in pain, the hurt one, the victim of this moment, trapped in the story of time, or are you the spacious capacity for pain, the vast and timeless clearing in which pain arises and dissolves? Just to sit, without expectation, with someone who is in pain or grief or fear, without trying to fix them, or manipulate their experience in any way; just to listen, without trying to make things better in the moment, without playing the role of the one who knows; just to be totally available to them and then, on a practical level, to do whats necessary and natural in the moment this can be the most healing thing. Its in the not-knowing, beyond our roles, unprotected, undefended, that we truly meet Bones can be broken, possessions can be lost, self-images can fall apart, stories can be forgotten but what you are remains present, intact, complete, whole, always. This moment cannot die. Stop trying to embrace this moment and notice that true embrace is really more effortless than anything you could possibly imagine. What you are naturally and effortlessly embraces all thoughts, images, sensations, sounds, as they come and go in you. Even pain, sadness and fear even those poor, rejected, unloved, orphan waves in the ocean of consciousness are allowed to freely move through. You are unprejudiced in that way. You are the home for the homeless the love that knows no bounds. You are the unlimited capacity for all life You dont have thoughts. You are not the thinker of thoughts. You are the wide, clear and open sky of awareness in which all thought-clouds are continually allowed to appear and disappear. And the vastness of what you are remains, always. There is a Knowing that goes beyond all knowledge. There is a Love that goes beyond all

understanding. There is a Peace that cannot be disturbed. Im not talking about a superhuman achievement. Im talking about who and what you already are, in this very moment. The discovery of who you really are brings peace in the midst of the storm of life. For what you are cannot fall apart, even when things fall apart. What you are cannot break or decay, even when the body breaks or decays. What you are is always Home, even when youre far away from home. What you are has no interest in becoming enlightened in the future, and no interest in telling a story about my enlightenment (or lack of it!) in the past. For what you are is the light of life, ever-present, always on, forever en-lightening this moment, exactly as it is. Even in pain, even in boredom, even in grief, this en-lightenment is always here. It is and excuse the poetic license your most intimate friend. Life doesnt ask for your acceptance. In this moment life accepts you totally, exactly as you are, exactly as you are not, and asks nothing in return. This is unconditional love, beyond the speaking of it and its discovery ends the search for love outside of yourself once and for all. Life will wake you up from every dream, including the dream of your own awakening, for what you are is beyond all dreams Were not seekers, were finders. We constantly find life, right in front of us, here and now, always. Its simply a case of mistaken identity True Freedom has nothing to do with getting rid of our humanness and our humanity its a total embrace of it. Your imperfections are so perfect, seen in the light of who you really are. You may be the ocean, but you are also a wave, a divinely unique, quirky, singular, never-tobe-repeated expression of that ocean. Water that is too pure, has no fish, as they say in Zen. So dance, baby, dance. As two somethings, two stories of personal identity, we are separate, lost in our differences, fragmented by our concepts of deficiency, specialness, superiority and inferiority. But as nothing, as the no-thing that allows everything to appear, what could possibly separate us? As consciousness meeting itself, can we really ever be apart? In reality, can there be two consciousnesses? Or is that just how it appears? Beyond the appearance, are we not in love, always? What you are has already said YES to this moment as it is. YES to these thoughts, these sensations, sounds, feelings, however unacceptable they seem right now. What seems unacceptable to you, has already been accepted by what you are. Life is the acceptance we seek. This Deep Acceptance, as I call it, is not something you do its what you are. What you are cannot resist any thought, sensation, sound, or feeling appearing now however painful or intense. If its appearing, its already been allowed in, so to speak its already been admitted. Youll never find anything that is not allowed in what you are after all, if you find it, its already here. Your acceptance or rejection, your allowing or disallowing, comes too late! We try to cultivate qualities in ourselves such as love, peace, acceptance and non-attachment. We exhaust ourselves trying to love, trying to accept, trying to relax, and even trying to stop

seeking. But in discovering who we really are, we come to recognise that these qualities are not the result of the effort of a separate person, but naturally present in who we are before identification as that person. Who we are is naturally loving, accepting, deeply relaxed and always at peace, never attached to any form or outcome and has never been seeking anything. It is the ocean, always at rest even the midst of the storm of life, always already complete in itself. All your problems are just thoughts and thoughts are not a problem. Are thoughts arising? Are sensations dancing? Are sounds appearing? Is breathing happening? Is the heart beating? Then the miracle has already happened. We try so hard to accept life, to be present or conscious in the face of challenges, to be okay yet the reality is that we often fail to accept, fail to allow, fail to feel okay. But there is an acceptance far deeper than anything the individual could do this is the deep acceptance of Life itself. As the ocean unconditionally accepts every wave, so consciousness already accepts everything that appears in consciousness, because it IS everything that appears. Consciousness is in love with (inseparable from) all of its appearances. What you are cannot resist this moment. The sky cannot resist the clouds. The ocean cannot resist any wave. Awareness cannot resist anything that appears in awareness. Life is totally irresistible to who you really are. Its a secret love affair for no-one. You cannot stop seeking. Simply, gently, effortlessly notice that what you are in this moment, as the wide open, intimate space in which all experience happens, is not, and never has been, seeking anything, since it IS all that appears now. It is always at rest, even in the midst of the storm of life. This moment doesnt need your permission to be as it is. Your acceptance or rejection of this moment is already too late! Nisargadatta Maharaj made this beautiful statement: Wisdom says I am nothing. Love says I am everything. Between the two my life flows. As the vast ocean of Being, you are no thing in particular. You are not a me or a you. What you are is the vast open space in which everything happens, and the recognition of that brings clarity and wisdom. But clarity and wisdom are not complete without their reflection, love. And love comes from the recognition that, as open space, as the ocean, what you are deeply accepts all of the waves that appear all of the sights and sounds and smells and sensations appearing now. I find that many spiritual seekers get stuck in the nothing aspect of realisation, and are left with only an intellectual understanding of awakening, which does not bring total freedom. The true end of suffering comes from the recognition of this total intimacy with life itself in other words, the deep acceptance of everything appearing in experience. In this deep acceptance, mind and heart are one. Nothing is everything they were never two. Mental clarity and certainty give way to deep acceptance of this moment. And there, the war ends. Seeking peace outside of present moment experience is where the war with life begins. What you are does not need to seek peace in the future, for it is already deeply at rest in this moment, even in the midst of struggle, just as the oceans silent depths are at rest even in the midst of a storm. Peace does not reject the storm it is there IN the storm. This vibrantly

alive peace is ever-present, and has no opposite. What we call suffering is not a curse, a punishment, an aberration, or a sign of your failure in any way. Suffering is merely a word that points to lifes constant invitation to discover that whats happening in this moment is ultimately beyond your control. It is an invitation to discover a deep acceptance of present experience to discover that every thought, sensation, feeling, sound appearing presently has ALREADY been allowed in. The floodgates are already open this moment is already as it is. Thy Will Be Done. Already, Done. Stop trying to accept this moment and effortlessly notice that this moment has already been accepted as it is, because it IS as it is and this isness is the acceptance youve always been seeking. And notice that this deeper acceptance actually includes any non-acceptance, in this moment. Even non-acceptance is forgiven here. Stop trying to accept and simply relax into the acceptance that is already here, even in the midst of fear, frustration, pain, sadness. This is radical acceptance, right at the heart of all experience. Radical awakening, in the midst of an ordinary life. It is everyones birthright. What does it mean to deeply accept the present moment as it is? It means to effortlessly notice that every thought, sensation, feeling, appearing now, has already been accepted into present awareness, otherwise it wouldnt be appearing as it is. Its not a doing, but a seeing a simple recognition of what is true and present and alive. This deep acceptance does not mean that you become passive, powerless, inactive and disengaged from the realities of life. Quite the opposite. Deep acceptance is the source of all intelligent, creative action. Our of deep acceptance, right action (as they say in Buddhism) flows naturally. This is life without a centre. Simply noticing what is already present, here and now, is not a doing. It is effortless. It is prior to effort, since effort is noticed in it. It has no goal and there is no expectation in it, no seeking in it. Even the seeking can be noticed. One could say this noticing is what you are. Present, complete, always, even in the midst of discomfort. What awesome freedom you are in your essence. What deep peace you are, even in the midst of the noise of life. Always Home, even in homesickness. Always at rest, even in struggle. This moment is the only possibility. There is no escape from it. And yet, anything is possible in this moment. It is the source of all creativity. In the all-consuming fire of life, even our precious stories of my awakening or my enlightenment burn up. Every story about a past shrivels in the sheer wonder of this moment. Burn baby, burn! Does the writer write? Does the singer sing? Does the painter paint? Does the dancer dance? Does the actor act? Does the listener listen? Does the speaker speak? Does the meditator meditate? Does the breather breathe? Can this moment be accepted, just as it is? That question already comes too late! What you are has already accepted this moment, just as it is. It has already allowed this moment these thoughts, these sensations, these feelings, these sounds to be here. Not My Will, But Thy Will. This is acceptance beyond belief, and it is where the war with present experience ends.

The end of violence is closer than we think. Contained in every experience of loss is an invitation to discover that which cannot be lost. Discovering who you are is the easy part. Discovering who you are in the midst of lifes challenges pain, loss, relationship, addictions is lifes constant invitation. Everything that happens to you is an invitation to discover that nothing ever happens to you. Beyond the time-bound story of our relationship, there is this timeless, fearless, intimate relating, here and now. The end of suffering is always infinitely closer than you think. What you are never suffers, even in the midst of pain, is never afraid, even in the midst of fear, and never wants more than what is, as it is. What you are has no interest in becoming enlightened, rich or successful, and has no story about itself as being unenlightened, poor, or a failure. All suffering is for an apparent I, all suffering is in the story of me, all suffering is essentially a fight against this moment. But what you are cannot fight in this way, for it IS all that appears, including all the stuff you dont want or like. And so this message does not deny human suffering, but points to the possibility of it ending where it begins here and now. Allowing is not a doing it is the simple but radical recognition that everything appearing in awareness right now everything sound, every thought, every sensation, every feeling is already allowed in. Life in its fullness has already been admitted. So stop trying to allow, and simply admit that what you are has already admitted this thought, this sensation, this feeling. My story is never complete. You could always be more, or have more. Better, faster, richer, bigger, more knowledgeable, more intelligent, more enlightened, more spiritually evolved, more free, more something! that is the dream of the story machine. It thrives on conflict, judgement and comparison. But what you are, as the vast ocean in which all waves of experience come and go, is always already complete in this moment. What you are needs nothing, for it is already everything that appears. It is simply beyond compare. When all worldly riches and spiritual highs have come and gone, what remains? That which is present then, is present now. Even when things fall apart, who you really are cannot fall apart. What you are is simply the ocean which allows every wave of experience to arise and fall. Waves of fear, grief, pain, weakness, frustration, helplessness, and even heartbreak are not a problem for what you are. It is all simply the ocean breathing in and out. In the oceans depths, there is a peace beyond understanding. Thoughts appear and disappear, but who thinks them? Sounds come and go, but who hears them? Feelings arise and pass, but who feels them? Does the dancer dance? Does the actor act? Does the singer sing? Or is there simply intimacy with all experience?

My guru is this moment. My lineage is this moment. My spiritual path is this moment. And my home is this moment. Life is non-stop meditation. The meditator does not meditate. The image of the meditator (the one who meditates) appears and disappears in meditation. Nobody ever meditates meditation is not something that you do. Its what you already are. What you are, as the open space in which all thoughts, sensations, feelings appear, is always in meditation. It is meditation itself. Within this ever-present meditation, the idea Im meditating is allowed to appear and disappear. But what you are never stops meditating. You cannot escape from what appears as present experience, for who would escape? We dont escape TO freedom the freedom is IN our total inability to escape. Who would escape from this moment exactly as it is (including any idea of the one who can or cannot escape)? The love you seek is closer than breathing. When its recognised that, in this moment, any feeling of being unloved is deeply embraced in the open space that you are, who can be unloved? And who needs to seek love? Even the feeling of being unloved is loved here this is love beyond understanding, love without an opposite. In the beginning, I found myself lost in the relative perspective (Im a separate person desperately trying to fix myself, to become perfect, pure, enlightened, whole.). Later on, I got stuck in the absolute perspective (Theres no world, no time, no me and no perspectives!). These days, whats seen is this: The absolute dances AS the relative. The ocean dances AS the waves. And so the words absolute and relative melt away. And the dance goes on What I am is identical with this moment perhaps that is the true meaning of identity A simple investigation: Thoughts come and go. Are you the thoughts that come and go? Sensations appear and disappear. Are you those sensations? Sounds, feelings, smells, dance. Are you those sounds, feelings, smells? And keep looking: do you have any way of actually separating what you are from these thoughts, sensations, feelings? Is there any gap between what you are and all that appears? Or is there simply intimacy with all life? Dont jump to yes or no. Dont look to the mind (thought) for answers mind comes and goes. Look to what is actually happening. When present experience is admitted fully, present experience is fully admitted. ['To admit' means both 'to confess (the truth)' and 'to allow in'. What a neat word!] Life is here to break your heart over and over again until you realise that heartbreak is life too. And then your heart can no longer be broken. Or fixed. And you stand naked in front of life, moment by moment, knowing that whatever happens is totally okay even in the midst of perfect devastation, which, of course, is devastating perfection. This is freedom beyond the speaking of it. Homesick? You need look no further than present experience. Everything appearing here and now points back home every thought, every sensation, every smell, every feeling even

pain, even sadness, even fear. Everything has its roots in presence, everything calls you back to the truth. The absence of a separate self is the presence of the world, and so the great search for home ends where it began. The Ocean is not at war with its waves. No wave can threaten the totality of the Ocean. Light is not at war with darkness darkness cannot threaten light. Consciousness is not at war with anything. It is not opposed to anything it is not the opposite of anything only thought sees opposites. All is allowed to arise and dissolve in the vast, oceanic, open space that you are, just as all waves are allowed to arise and fall in the Ocean, which remains undisturbed, always. The waves may rise and crash but in the Oceans depths, there is silence. Silence, and knowing. You do not, you cannot, exist as a separate entity for me. And that is precisely why I can love you so completely, so fearlessly, exactly as you are, without expectation. Whoever said love and death were two? I am enlightened is an image. I am not enlightened is another image. I am a teacher is an image. I am a student is another image. I am ugly is an image. I am beautiful is another image. I know, I dont know. I am happy, I am sad. I am right, I am wrong. I am a success, I am a failure. I am, I am not. I. I. I. And what you are, as the wide open space that embraces all images as they come and go, cannot be defined by any image, not even this image! You are not the dream, nor the dreamer of the dream, but the vastness in which the appearance of dreamer and dream arise and fall. So goodnight, sweet non-existent dreamer Can a thought-created story about who you are, really tell the truth about who you are? Where is my true Home? When will my pain end?, the homesick seeker asks. You are already home, answers Life, even in the midst of your pain. But I cannot see that right now!, replies the seeker. Of course you cant', replies Life. So forget trying to see it in the future. Simply rest in this present moment experience of being unable to see it. Discover that you are Home even in this present feeling of homesickness, even in this frustration, even in your failure to escape this moment. To whom is this all appearing right now? What is the end of seeking?, the seeker asks. Life as it already is, answers Life, before the question is even asked. When I do not recognise who I am, I look to the world (time, space, objects, substances, people) to complete something called a me, and I reject everything that I see as a threat to that completeness. In other words, I go to war with present experience in the hope of a future salvation. But in recognising myself as the vast open space that unconditionally embraces all form, I see that the world cannot complete me and it can no longer make me incomplete either. And so I am finally free to fearlessly love the appearance of things for what they are, not what I hoped or wanted them to be and I discover true completeness to be this moment, exactly as it is. We arent guaranteed a tomorrow. So can we meet here, beyond our story of time, beyond our plans and prayers, beyond all hope of a future salvation, and discover what is true and present NOW? If tomorrow never comes, and it may or may not, can THIS be enough? Do we really need time to be fully what we are? The death of seeking is the death of time, and

we could call it love. Breathing is holy. Raindrops are holy. Flowers are holy. Dog shit on the pavement is holy. Thoughts are holy. Pain is holy. All of life is wholly an expression of wholeness the sacred as much as the profane even if it doesnt seem that way to the seeker, who, in their pursuit of a future wholeness, misses the holiness in all things. Whats wrong with falling apart? Why not fall apart so completely that theres nothing left? And then keep falling apart for the rest of your life and recognise yourself as the wide open space that cannot fall apart, but allows all falling apart to play itself out. And then can you really call it falling apart at all? Thoroughly fallen apart, thoroughly One. Your imperfections are perfect. They are there to wake you up from your dream of perfection without imperfection. And beyond imperfection and perfection, what shines? All thoughts, images, all ideas about yourself and the world, all judgements good and bad, all memories, come and go in the vast open space that you are, which itself is not a thought, image, idea, judgement or memory. What you are embraces all forms as they float here, and float away.. How to accept life? Firstly, realise that you cant. And then discover that life, appearing as this moment, is already accepted, as it is. This Deeper Acceptance goes beyond the dualistic opposites of acceptance and non-acceptance All ideas about yourself come and go. You think youre enlightened, you think youre unenlightened. Okay. You think you know everything, you think you know nothing. Okay. You think youre a teacher, you think youre a student. Okay. And all these ideas float by, like leaves in the wind, like clouds in the sky. What remains? I have worked with many people who say I am dying which simply means I have lost all hope of a future. But strip away future, all hope and hopelessness, and what is the difference between living and dying? Strip away time, and there is only THIS. And here, nobody lives and nobody dies. Those are still just stories. Beyond all stories, there is only whats happening presently. Radical simplicity. Unknowable. Present. Nobody gets healed. Nobody heals anybody else. Healing does not happen in time. Healing (wholeness) is already present, in the midst of everything you are trying to heal yourself from, just as the ocean is already present in and as every wave. A wave is healed even in its failed attempt to reach the ocean. Beyond the story, you are already healed. And you just forget, sometimes. Which is part of the healing too. Love can take everything into itself and remain complete it can take in heartbreak, pain, fear, anger, sadness, total devastation. It can be crucified over and over again, and still remain whole. It knows no opposite, no enemy, no other. Only itself. Eternally, timelessly, Now. What you are seeking is there in every breath, every heartbeat, every thought, every sensation, just as the ocean is there in every wave. If you want a future, go seek enlightenment.

Nothing is not nothing, not the absence of all things, but no-thing, the absence of the separation of all things, which is love. So this absence, this no-thing, is actually the perfect presence of everything. And so the search ends not in nihilism and detachment, in a dead state of nobody here and nothing to do, but in wonder, in fascination, in the kind of gratitude that breaks your non-existent heart. There are no negative thoughts. We call a thought negative when we dont like what it says about us in other words, when we are defending an image. We dont have a future together. We only have right here, right now. This moment is all we have together. To the seeker, thats incredibly depressing. But to recognise the utter preciousness of this moment liberates me from the need to complete myself in the future, and liberates you from having to provide that completion. In this timelessness, we truly meet. Love is the disappearance of time, the disappearance of the story of relationship, and true relationship is possible here. Every thought, every sensation, every feeling, every story, every dream of past and future appears here, in this timeless, wide open space. Consciousness embraces all, as a mother embraces her newborn baby it embraces all, and is all. Ordinary life is the vastness we seek and so ordinary life ceases to be ordinary at all. All thats left is to be here, totally. As if there were any other possibility You dream the perfect dream its the dream you need to dream to wake yourself up. At its root the word home means lie down or rest. Home is not a place, a thing, or a person it is rest. No two people have ever fallen in love. Love is the death of two. When you are seeking something from someone a lover, a friend, a guru, a teacher you stop SEEING who and what is actually there. We are encouraged to be present, and maybe that is a useful practice, for a while. But then you go deeper, and ask, what is this me that can be present, or not be present? and you discover that you are that very presence present in the midst of being present AND not being present. Give yourself the greatest present of all the freedom to not be present and discover presence even there. You cannot return home if you never left home in the first place. Enlightenment is nothing more than the discovery of the non-existence of the one seeking it. It is as simple as this moment, as obvious as breathing, as present as the sound of the bird singing but nearly always ignored in our pursuit of something more. Acceptance is not something that you do although it seems that way at first. It can only be discovered that every thought, every sensation, every feeling appearing now is already accepted by awareness not because awareness chooses to accept everything, but because every form that appears is inseparable from that very awareness. On the deepest level, you have already said YES to whats appearing right now. Separation never disappears how can something that isnt here in the first place

disappear? What you are has always been intimate with life with every thought, sound, sensation, image. Awareness and contents of awareness were always one. This intimacy doesnt come and go though it may be apparently overlooked in our search for it. And yet its always here, appearing as this, this, this. You are the perfect guru, and life is the perfect disciple it follows you wherever you go, without conditions. You can try to shut yourself off from life, and life will still be there, in that very shutting off. The guru and disciple are inseparable and that is enlightenment. True compassion means to meet others beyond their story, and to see that there are no others. Love can take everything into itself and remain complete it can take in heartbreak, pain, fear, anger, sadness, total devastation. It can be crucified over and over again, and still remain whole. It knows no opposite, no enemy, no other. Only itself. Eternally, timelessly, Now. We say One day, one day. But there is only One Day. Today. Father forgive them, they know not what they do. Translation: Father forgive them they dont SEE. They think that killing me will bring them wholeness but it wont. Killing me a thousand times wont bring them what they truly long for. What they truly long for is what I am. And I am what they are. They are already whole but do not realise it. Maybe one day they will see Nothing I say is the gospel truth. I am just a bird singing my song, for the sheer joy of it. That is my freedom. My song is neither true nor false it is merely music. You are free to listen to this music, or walk away. To agree or disagree. To sing your song back to me, or not. Either way, this singing goes on until it doesnt. The universe sings to itself. Tweet Tweet! THIS its what everyone is seeking, but nobody can find, because its everything and everywhere, the most ingenious place to hide! The cat has no idea that she will die tomorrow. She sleeps soundly anyway. Creation, destruction, the preciousness and fragility of life, the non-existence of the separate self, the illusion of time and space, the mystery of love and the mystery of death, the intimacy of human experience and the incomprehensible vastness of the universe. And all of this in a cup of tea! The miracle of the ordinary. Love is all thats left when all else has fallen away. Its not a feeling, not a state, not a passing experience. It is the ground of all things, the open space that holds all forms as they arise and pass. It has no opposite it holds all apparent opposites, allows them all to be. You cant say what it is you cant say what it is not. In the end, you cant say anything. And yet all words are held here too At first, I was lost in the relative perspective (Im a person desperately trying to fix myself, to become perfect, pure, enlightened.). Later, I was lost in the absolute perspective (Theres no me, no world, no time and no perspectives!). These days, whats seen is this: The absolute dances AS the relative. And so the words absolute and relative dissolve into silence.

Illusion simply means deceptive appearance not non-existence. The self, the me, is an illusion, not because it doesnt exist, but because it doesnt exist in the way we imagine it to. It seems to be solid and separate there seems to be a wave separate from the ocean but upon investigation, those assumptions crumble. The illusion is seen through the wave is inseparable from the ocean. Its easy to be awakened, to be blissed out, to speak convincingly about the non-existence of choice and individuality when life is going your way. And then a loved one drops dead, or youre given three days to live, or you lose everything. Then you get to really find out what concepts and images youre still holding onto. In the face of life itself, our precious beliefs turn to dust. THIS is the only authority. Everything is holy everything is wholeness appearing just as every wave is inseparable from the ocean. Even the most extreme suffering is a perfect expression of wholeness, and also a call back to it. Life is a never-ending invitation to discover freedom in everything youre running from. And then you cant call suffering suffering at all. Because, in this freedom, who suffers? Trying to fall in love is like trying to make your heart beat backwards. It cant be done. I am already what you are. And so we dont fall in love; we simply notice that we are in love already, and always have been. We dont fall in love; it is the we, the me and the you, the inbetween, that falls away in love, revealing the intimacy of our own absence. We are all so deeply in love that we dont realise it. Every wave of experience (thought, feeling, emotion) that we call negative, sinful or dark is simply a wave thats not being recognised as being part of the ocean (light). In reality, theres never any absence of light even the darkest wave is 100% ocean. Everything youre running away from, everything you see as a block to freedom in other words, your shadow is simply freedom in disguise. Walking home, rain lashing down; strip away the story and the tears of a newborn baby are the tears of childbirth are the tears of a spiritual seeker discovering the miracle of existence are the tears of an old man on his deathbed. They are all the same tears my tears, your tears just as all the raindrops are rain, inescapably so. And the tears run into the gutter, and we walk home, alone, together I dont know. Ive never known. And in that not-knowing there is a knowing that cannot die. One day Ill find what Im looking for love, success, enlightenment and Ill be complete. We seek completeness in the future, and this gives other people and objects money, lovers, gurus, alcohol an apparent power over us the power to complete us. But no person or drug has power in the real sense of the word the power to end seeking, which is what we truly long for. For the end of seeking is NOW. We seek a particular state, a special feeling happiness, success, peace, bliss but all states and feelings are fleeting, and what we truly long for is not fleeting. What we truly long for is intimately here, always, in the midst of every passing experience. It is not something, some of the time it is everything, all of the time. And so it cannot be lost. Little waves of experience thoughts, sensations, sounds, feelings forever appearing and

disappearing in this sea of silence. The sea is their home and their source, inseperable from what they are. See, sea, everything is collapsing into you, moment by precious moment Listen to life and you will hear it always the gentle hum of mystery. My mother once said to me, Jeff, no matter how enlightened you are, you should still iron your shirts! For-give literally means give completely. See this moment is forgiveness. Because, right here, right now, everything is given, completely. My tip for today: Resist life as much as you can. Fight this moment. Exhaust yourself in trying to escape what is. And see where it gets you Suffering is the birth pains of freedom. Pain is an illusion easy words. But try saying this under torture, or as the cancer gnaws away at your lungs. The pain is not the illusion. The illusion is that, in THIS moment, the pain should not be happening. The illusion is that the pain is divided from what you are. Even the most painful pain dances in intimacy. Oneness aint just the pleasant stuff and here lies unbelievable freedom. Life isnt supposed to be peaceful all of the time. Life isnt supposed to be pleasurable all of the time. Life isnt supposed to be perfect all of the time. Life isnt supposed to be anything all of the time. Supposed to and all of the time are the biggest illusions of all. Right now things may not be peaceful, pleasureable, or perfect but life is absolutely complete in itself. It knows what Its doing. You dont need a GPS system. Life will bring you Home in any way it can. Is there something to do or nothing to do? Well, life is already complete, no matter what you do and the completeness appears as THIS. At the same time, every appearance is a little invitation to SEE this completeness in the incompleteness. Theres nothing to do, but lots to see! And even when the completeness is not seen, life is still complete. Completeness in doing, completeness in not doing what grace! Life itself is the greatest act of unconditional love. It gives itself for free and asks nothing in return. As I honour the play of duality (the astonishing variety of waves in the ocean) more and more in my talks and writings, some people are now saying that Im a bad nonduality teacher that Im less clear than I used to be, because Im talking about duality, and duality is not real. But since when did the ocean separate itself from the waves? Can you see the joke here? Suffering begins when the sacred is split from the profane, the spiritual is split from the material, the personal is split from the impersonal, the acceptable is split from the unacceptable and you are split from me. Suffering ends where it begins at the non existent core of these illusory divisions. The impersonal ocean expresses itself perfectly as the personal wave and the ocean

doesnt need to get rid of a wave in order to be the ocean! In other words, the impersonal dances in and as the appearance of this very personal experience of life. The impersonal IS the personal and thus endeth the holy war. What is a negative thought? It is always a thought which threatens an image you hold of yourself. For example, if you hold an image of yourself as successful (Im a success) the balancing thought im a failure becomes a threat and is labelled negative and rejected. Defend any image of yourself and it will inevitably be threatened! When no image is being defended, all thoughts are allowed to be there. In the beginning, I strongly believed that there was something wrong with me. Later on, I acquired the spiritual belief that there was something wrong with being or having a me in the first place! Double trouble! These days, I realise that theres nothing wrong with me, AND nothing wrong with me. The ocean dances as the wave, in its perfect imperfection. What freedom!! We seek because we feel separate. We feel separate, but ARE we separate? To whom does the feeling of being separate appear? Does anybody own the feeling of being separate? Even the feeling of being separate is inseperable from what you are. Freedom from separation within the very experience of separation. Stunning! I used to exhaust myself trying to accept life until I discovered that the acceptance that I sought WAS the very life Id been trying to accept. Life itself is grace. Death is not an experience within life. It is not something that happens to you in time. Death is the absence of the separate experiencer which is already, timelessly, the case. Already, there is no separate entity to be found here. Dont believe me Go, look, now, see if any gap can be found between you and the world. Who, then, dies? I was a nonduality teacher . then I woke up from that dream. What a relief. Life doesnt need you to accept it. Life accepts you totally including your non-acceptance of life, just as the ocean accepts every wave. Stop trying to accept, and sink into the deep acceptance of life itself which is what you are. The deepest acceptance has already been done. Even the experience of total failure, total devastation, total helplessness in other words total incompleteness is a complete experience. Every experience is already complete in itself. Experience incompleteness completely in this moment experience wholly your unholiness and suffering dissolves. This is the completeness you seek. We search for love out there in the world, only to discover that we never lacked love, and there is no out there. I will never be able to put life into words. There are no words for this wordlessness, no sounds for the soundless. And yet, I do not value silence over noise. Both are equally life true silence is there in the noise, too. I love attempting to share this in words and I know that all of my words are lies. Loving, compassionate lies, perhaps but lies all the same. Thankyou for listening to my lies.

In seeking love, success, or spiritual enlightenment in the future, we miss whats here right now. We stop seeing the grace and bittersweet beauty of life itself, the wonder of every sight, sound and smell. This moment becomes a means to an end, and we end up WAITING for life to complete itself. We miss life, which IS the completeness we seek. The mantra of the seeker is Never enough, never enough Understanding intellectually that there is no me or suffering is an illusion or everything is Oneness doesnt necessarily help when a loved one suddenly dies in a car crash, or your partner walks out on you. Platitudes and easy answers are simply Band-Aids that life, in its infinite compassion, will peel off. Seeking that isnt cut at its roots seems to return with a vengeance. Lets explore those roots. Its true that I never had a formal teacher. I never sat in a gurus presence, attended a satsang or retreat, or received a transmission. But its untrue to say that I never had a teacher. Life was my teacher. Every book I read, every relationship I had was my teacher. My cat was my teacher. Intense suffering was my teacher. And so my guru is Experience, and my lineage is Life. Forever and ever, Amen. Life doesnt give you anything you cannot handle including the feeling of not being able to handle life. Because life is what you are. You attend a satsang and feel spacious, peaceful, high, for a while. The high wears off and sadness, grief, guilt, despair, re-appear. The real Satsang (literally, being with truth, being with what is) begins now. Satsang isnt just in satsang If you seek completeness (love, success, enlightenment) in the future, you experience yourself as incomplete now. You think that finding completeness will be the solution to the present problem of incompleteness, but you dont see that this search IS the very problem of incompleteness that you experience! The search for a future wholeness is not the solution. And, in seeing this, theres no problem. Because the ocean IS every wave that appears, you could say that it deeply accepts every wave. The appearance of a wave IS its acceptance. In the same way, consciousness already deeply accepts every thought, every sensation, every feeling, because it IS That, already. Your attempt to accept, and your failure to accept, are also embraced in this radical, unconditional acceptance that this you cannnot do Intimacy is the death of the one who is looking for it. The seeker is destroyed by love. At the root of much of our suffering regarding bodily pain and illness is the idea that our bodies are somehow against us. My body has betrayed me but that is not possible, when you realise that you are not in a body at all. The mass of ever-changing sensations we call body simply appears in what you are, and cannot act against you. Out of freedom we create a prison, and then spend our lives trying to escape that prison. only to come to realise that there is no prison and nobody to be imprisoned. The freedom that you are cannot be imprisoned. Enlightenment is not a special state or experience reserved for special people, or a goal to be reached by spiritual high acheivers. It is simply life, as it is, lit up (en-lightened) by what

you truly are the light of awareness, the light of consciousness itself. Life goes on being life but it is simply seen for what it is. Nothing special, as they say in Zen. And yet, utterly extraordinary at the same time. I used to proclaim, Suffering happens to no-one! and secretly Id still be suffering. Its just suffering happening! Id tell myself and yes this was ultimately true, but it didnt help to end the suffering! The end of suffering was only found through a radical embrace of all experience and Jeffs resistance to it the embrace of Consciousness itself. Its not a doing, its a seeing that happens now, now What interests me these days is not radical Advaita but a radically honest exploration of human experience and the possibility of finding total freedom within that experience even in the midst of what we call suffering. Its not about fixing experience, its about exploring it in total honesty. And no matter what the experience, painful or blissful, the freedom that you are embraces it as it comes and goes. Its one thing to understand intellectually that everything is One, or that there is no self, or that all suffering is a story. Its another thing to see this clearly in the midst of every experience. So lets meet in the play, and dance there, together, until this freedom shines. And even if it doesnt shine, its still there so lets dance together anyway. The secret of spiritual awakening finally revealed: G.U.R.U. = Gee, you are you! If I have you, I can lose you. If you can be mine, you can stop being mine. If you can give me love, you have the power to withdraw it. If I can feel loved, I can also feel unloved. If I feel unloved by you, I can also blame you for withdrawing love. But is love a commodity? Is it a thing to be gained and lost? Or is it what you already are? that which cannot be owned, withdrawn. or lost. Ever. True therapy has nothing to do with fixing yourself. The word therapy simply means healing, and heal means whole. True therapy exposes the ways in which you are already trying and failing to fix yourself. In other words, it exposes the seeker. Then there is nothing left to fix, since that which remains is already healed (whole). I am walking down the street. WHO is walking? Upon direct observation, all that can be found is walking, and nobody doing it. Just walking happening. Feet tapping, pavement moving, and a story I am walking. Nobody walks. There is no walker, but walking is happening and I am that. I am not the walker I am the walking. I am walking. I *am* walking itself. I am walking down the street Im here. Im always here. Even when Im there, Im here. I cant get away from here. Even when I try to escape here, I find myself here. Once I even managed to arrive there, but then I took a fresh look, and I was still here. Here follows me wherever I go. Its just always here, wherever I am. Hmm. Perhaps I am here. I mean, perhaps I *am* here! Perhaps here is what I actually am. Thats why Im always here Love sees that the one who loves is identical with the one who is loved. Both are the one, so there is no both. One love, playing at being two. Can I love you even though you disagree with what I say and how I say it? Can I really hear

what youre saying, even if I disagree? Can I understand why you say it that way and understand what you mean? Can I see my own position? Can I see what Im defending? Can I see that you are what I am, beyond the story? Can it be okay for things to be as they are? Yes. Of course it can. It is already so. My dear, sweet, seventy-nine-year-old father asks me for the fifth time where I live. Its okay dad, no need to worry, I am what you are. I live here, now, with you, in this intimacy. This is my home, our home, beyond the story of us. And still, for the fifth time, I tell him where I live, and what I really mean is I love you, dad, and the conversation goes on. If you have spiritual philosophy in your head including the most advanced, refined, nondualistic philosophy but no LOVE in your heart, your philosophy is worthless. You may respond love is just a concept or there is only pure awareness or all words are dualistic or there is no me, and there may be truth to be found in all these statements but then, my goodness, youre missing the point. To see life as it actually is, beyond what I think it is or should be or should have been; to see others as innocent dreamers in this cosmic dream of separation; to know that Life is not separate from what I am, and what I am is total intimacy this is the adventure, and this is the forgiveness. I sing a love song to the divine, and the divine is in the ordinary, and the ordinary isnt ordinary at all. You cannot fall in love. It can be noticed, however, that you have already fallen. The illusion of a separate you has already fallen away (it was never really there), and all thats left is Being. Being in love! What happens when we fall in love? In love, we fall away. Everything that apparently comes between us falls away (it was never really there). And all thats left is love, way beyond the concept love. No separation. This is the love that never came, the love that never left. The love that IS. Falling in love is falling into life. Alone, together. FaILing in illusion, faLLing in love. Falling, endlessly. What is grace? Where is it? It is here. It is each and every moment, seen for what it is. It is not in the future it is now. It is the gift of breathing, talking or not talking, watching a sunset or lying in bed in excruciating pain. All is life. All is given for free. All is grace. Never forget this. Even in the midst of your greatest suffering, never forget this. Hearts broken open, minds blown open, eyes open wide, we meet, face-to-face, space-tospace, here and now and the search for love is always already over, before its even begun. Anything that appears within awareness is already welcome, already accepted, already okay. No extra acceptance needs to be attempted. And even if it is, your attempt to accept is already accepted, as is your failure to accept, and any non-acceptance or rejection which will inevitably appear in the play of opposites. All is radically embraced here. Healing has nothing to do with fixing something thats broken. Healing is the rediscovery of wholeness (heal = whole) in the midst of the very experience of brokenness. Can anything in present experience be broken or incomplete? Can a sound be incomplete? Can a

sensation be incomplete? Can a thought be broken? Can what you are be broken? In seeing that present experience is always complete, what needs fixing? As an Advaita teacher, I used to mechanically repeat phrases like there is no me (and I still phrase things like that, sometimes, but only in certain contexts.) These days, Im far more likely to say Take a look now, can you find a separate person? Its an invitation to explore present experience, not with hope of fixing it, or becoming enlightened its an exploration borne of fascination, curiosity, love. Unconditional love embraces both pain and the image of the one who is trying and failing to escape it. This love is so fiercely unconditional that it even embraces your resistance to life, and in that embrace, melts it. Nothing false survives this intimacy. We are already embraced by a love with no name The word boring also means drilling (as in drilling a hole). When you say I am bored, what is really happening? Life is drilling through the facade of you, threatening to reveal the non-existence of the seeker. Even deathly boredom is an invitation to this freedom! Bones can be broken. Life what you are beyond your story- cannot. Let your heart break into a million pieces today. Allow yourself to cry today. Be vulnerable today. Feel gratitude today for the smallest and most insignificant things. A taste. A glance. A breath. On this day of all days your first day, and your last day. Life is absolutely dependable: its always exactly as it is, not always as you think it should be, and never as it isnt. Dear One, I dont mind if you hold satsangs or not. If you think of yourself as enlightened, or awakened, or fully present, or not. If youve written a book or not. If you talk about your experiences in public, or you keep quiet about it all, or something inbetween. If you think of yourself as no-one or as someone or as anything else. Those stories becomes totally irrelevant when we meet for the first time. Nothing I say is the gospel truth. I am just a bird singing my song, for the sheer joy of it. That is my freedom. My song is neither true nor false it is merely music. You are free to listen to this music, or walk away. To sing your song back to me, or not. That is your freedom. Either way, this singing goes on until it doesnt. The universe sings to itself. Tweet Tweet! The wave in the ocean, experiencing itself as broken and incomplete, seeks wholeness. Experiencing homesickness, it seeks home. And all the while, the wave is a perfect expression of the very wholeness it is seeking. There is no wave separate from the ocean. Already being home, we seek home. And the play goes on. Im not present enough, Im not relaxed enough, I have too much ego, I dont have an ego, Im not clear enough, Im too much in my story, I have too many thoughts, my mind should be quieter, Im enlightened, Ill never be enlightened, I dont know, I know too much, I suffer too much, there is no me, there is still a me and on and on. And its still supremely, cosmos-shatteringly, breathtakingly okay.

I am unloved, I am loved. I am misunderstood, I am understood. I am unappreciated, I am appreciated. Im successful, I am a failure. Either way, and in all cases, its always deeply, fundamentally, earth-shatteringly okay. What I am is prior to all stories, including this one. We long for total intimacy as much as we fear it. We long to be stripped of our stories, our defences, all those projections which keep us (apparently) at a distance. And then to meet each other, to really meet, face to face, space to space, with nothing to fear anymore, and nothing to lose. That is love and that is death. And yet this longing is already fulfilled. You are its fulfilment. Now. You are the dream of yourself. Others are simply characters appearing in the dream. But this dream has no separate dreamer the dreamer IS the dream. This is total intimacy, beyond the speaking of it. What an astonishing mystery, for nobody at all An Advaita teacher says to me: You are not a person. There is only Oneness. I find the truth in that. Somebody else says to me: There is no Oneness. You ARE a person. I find the truth in that, too. Its so beautiful, finding the truth in every belief, and not having to believe in any of it. Beyond the story, behind the mask, there is only intimacy. Beyond the story of your past, the story of your imagined future, the story of your frustrations, your sorrows, your fears what is actually here? Beyond the dream of tomorrow, what shines today? This LIFE offering itself in all its fullness. Flowering as every thought, every sound, every sensation. Only one word: Gratitude. I used to be so stuck in the everything is perfect trap. Id suffer tremendously, and Id say to myself my suffering is perfect (which WAS true in an absolute sense) and do nothing and then fight with anyone who suggested I could DO anything! I was blind to this total perfection which INCLUDES our ability to take a fresh look at what we experience (perfectly!) as suffering. Everything is already perfect as it is. But this is not a call to passivity. Part of this unconditional perfection is that within our dream we appear to have the freedom to see what needs changing and change it. Seeing perfection, and moving to improve an already-perfect world, are not-two. You are the world you cannot pretend it doesnt exist. This is the mystery. Whatever it is, it is appearing as this. Thats it. And its all inclusive, this mystery. It includes everything, thats the beauty of it like the simplicity of sitting on this chair, this thought, this breath Jeff, your message is all about just being in the moment, sitting back from life, doing nothing and being totally passive. No. Thats detachment. Thats somebody being detached. Thats separation. This message is about total intimacy, which is your fundamental inseperablity from life. Detachment is only possible in the dream. Life itself is wide open. Space to space, face to face we are all in love with (inseperable from) each other, but dont realise it Nobody here, nobody there can sound so cold, empty and heartless. But nobody here is the vastness in which the world arises. It is wide open to all phenomena, and is not separate

from those phenomena. Nobody here means intimacy. Space to space, face to face this is the origin of real, heartbreaking compassion (for no-one, as they say.). The recognition of nonduality is not the end of compassion. Compassion IS the recognition of nonduality. When its seen that theres nobody here i.e. there is simply this open, intimate space in which everything appears, theres enough room for everyone and everything, including you. I can no longer shut you out. This is why compassion is possible at all. We are looking for what we already are. And thats precisely why were looking. I love you, I miss you, I cant live without you, you complete me, we are one, I am lost without you, dont ever leave me, baby come back to me, Ive been looking for you my whole life sentimental, cheesy, superficial pop lyrics or expressions of a primal longing to be whole again? Instant Compassion: Others are not others at all, they are what you are only the stories differ. They are already home AND trying desperately to return home, not knowing how to get there, experiencing a primal homesickness, longing to rest. Their wrong behaviour is perfectly right in their dream. This isnt to condone violence but to SEE it for what it is. Compassion begins here. What you are is the answer. Then you start learning the questions Seeking is not a mistake it is inevitable, natural, built in. The newborn baby, ejected from the womb, is faced with the pre-verbal strangeness and overwhelmingness of life (the NOT OKAY) and seeks safety, the total embrace of the womb, externalised, at first, as mother (the OKAY). We want wealth, power, success, popularity, enlightenment, perfect relationship these become symbols of OKAY in our world. Thought cannot comprehend what I Am, because what I Am is prior to thought, and therefore has no opposite. Desperately trying to capture this no-thing beyond no-thing, thought invents words like Oneness, God, Spirit, Nonduality, Being, even Enlightenment (and their corresponding opposites), and the search is on. A work of genius! And so finally, the world is a giant womb, in which we seek to return to the womb. There is only wholeness, and we seek wholeness. Only Oneness, and we seek Oneness. Only THIS, and we seek THAT. Life and death are absolutely one. What astonishing, mysterious, hilarious, tragic, beautiful creatures we are, and what absolute compassion for humanity this understanding brings. And what a wonderful story Ive just told! We seek Oneness not the abstract concept Oneness, but the actual sense of Home-WithNo-Opposite that we all knew in the womb. Of course, we didnt know it, we WERE it. Thats the point! You were not IN the womb. You ARE the womb. Womb Home One. Its so primal, thought cannot grasp it thought came later. You are what you seek, not in some mystical shmystical way, but in actual, grounded, earthy reality. Nobody was in the womb nobody was separate from the womb. In the womb, prethought, there was no threat of womb-absence. Only later, the story appeared I was born I came out of mothers womb. With the appearance of abstract thought you were now an entity that was born and could die. There was womb (safety, life), and womb-absence

(abandonment, danger, death). And the game of opposites began. Oneness a vague remembrance of a pre-language, pre-sense (presence) state of being totally whole, embraced, safe, with no threat of absence (since thought had not yet split reality there was no experiencer yet). A memory of the womb, so to speak. So primal. In a million different ways we try to return to that wholeness, through relationship, spiritual seeking, sex, drugs, meditation, nonduality teachings Freedom is not an experience you cant find it and cant lose it. Why? Because freedom is in every experience or, rather, every experience appears in freedom, no matter what the content, no matter what the story. And so every single experience IS freedom, AND an invitation to discover freedom. Life is already complete AND everything that appears is an invitation to recognise that completeness in every thought, in every sensation, in every feeling. What we call resistance is simply an invitation to let go and let in the experience being resisted. Everyone resists in different ways what you resist is also your own personal invitation to completeness so to speak. Even your resistance is perfect! Conditional love is really our search for unconditional love. Even conditional love, then, is seen to be unconditional in essence. Unconditional love is so unconditional it even embraces our failure to love unconditionally. We are already Home, AND everything that happens in the dream is an invitation to recognise that we are already Home. Whether or not the invitations are noticed, let alone accepted, we are still Home. And the invitations keep coming When youre really living, when youre really dancing, who cares if the world is real or if its a dream? If the world is a dream, then I am a dream too, and so I and the world are nottwo. If the world is real, then I am real too, and so I and the world are one. Either way, there is only intimacy. And the dance goes on. We try so hard to be open to life, to open up to every experience, only to discover who we really are: Being, already fully open to life, already fully open to every experience. In a way, these four words summarise the entire spiritual search, and the end of that search: Being Open To Life Intimacy it is the death of the seeker, and we seem to long for it as much as we fear it. To be totally exposed and without defences in your eyes is to see that your eyes are my eyes. Then there is nothing to fear because there is nothing to lose. Throughout the day, all sorts of phenomena thoughts, feelings, sensations, sounds appear spontaneously in this space. Can you ever find a division between inside and outside? A sensation does it happen in the body? Or does it simply appear spontaneously in this space, along with a thought that says this sensation is happening within something called my body Mystery is the only certainty. Beyond belief, beyond doubt. Mystery is not ignorance, nor is it naivet. It is not confusion, nor is it hedging ones bets. It is absolute groundedness,

wonder, childlike simplicity. Mystery is indestructible. It is not knowing, and in that, knowing all you need to know. If you are here to read this, you have survived. The simple, ordinary feeling of being here, now, is the miracle to end all miracles, and it still remains, even after everything else has been stripped away. Only one thing left to say: Thankyou. No need to wait for grace. Its already here: breathing, heart beating, sounds appearing, sensations A spontaneous play of emptiness, a dance of the formless as form, and theres nobody here separate from this Never-Ending Dance of Completeness. Its the dance that you are, the dance that life is, and it all appears now, offering itself in its fullness, asking nothing in return. Do you see what youve been given? We tend to be happy when things are going our way, and unhappy when things arent. Its natural. But what we are pointing to here is a freedom that exists despite, not because of, circumstances. Freedom in the midst of pain, sadness, even devastation. Not freedom FROM, but freedom IN. Unconditionally so. Awareness and its contents are inseparable. They are already in love, so to speak. And so our very nature calls us back to deep gratitude for this messy, beautiful, sometimes painful human existence even when it seems impossible to love it, even like it even when our best laid plans dont work out at all. Freedom beyond the speaking of it lies hidden, unhidden, in THIS moment, in THIS place, and nowhere else. Walking along Worthing seafront, cold cheeks, icy fingers, this is life in all its glory, this is grace beyond measure, this is all given for free, and theres nobody here to accept or reject any of it. It simply IS. And it is always enough, even when its not, and it is always home, even when it doesnt seem like home. What is pain, before it is owned, before it becomes my pain? Who am I, prior to the arising of the thought I am the one in pain? Who, exactly, is in the pain? Is there not just pain appearing in this vast space of awareness, along with thoughts: This is my pain When will it go away? What did I do to deserve this? I cant stand it much longer, etc? There is a deep okayness right in the midst of pain There is a beautiful truth to the path of Advaita it apparently takes time and effort to see through various aspects of human illusion. There is also a beautiful truth to the non-path of neo-Advaita there is no person here, no time and nothing to be done life is exactly as it is right now. Do you see that these two opposing viewpoints are really pointing to the same place? They arent opposing at all. Nothing I say about nonduality is true. All lies. Beautiful lies. The moment I take any of this seriously, I disappear up my own backside. Sound of traffic. Thought about dinner. Shoulder pain. All appearing on the pristine screen of awareness. Yet screen of awareness is really just another thought appearing in this nameless space. THAT in which everything appears cannot be named by any of the things that appear. In the end, we cant speak of awareness vs. contents of awareness. But its fun to talk, when talking and not talking are equal

The artist doesnt say the only beauty in the world, is in my art. The musician doesnt say my music is the only authentic music, the only true music. The dancer doesnt say my dancing is the only dancing in the world that can move you to tears. In true love, we dont say there is no love in the world except for mine. So why does the guru, teacher or believer say my path is the only path to freedom? We are already dead. Stone cold dead. The worst has already happened. Now we are free, and THIS is heaven. THIS present sights, sounds, smells, feelings, all arising spontaneously in the vastness of Being, which was never born and cannot die. Yes, to be dead means to see what is really here, beyond past and future and the dream of yourself. Nothing to fear, sweet dreamer you are already dead and cannot die again. There is no evidence of a self as a solid, independent entity that endures in time. That much is clear with a little honest investigation. But then, saying there is no self is just another belief more dogma, more religion. What there appears to be is the simple activity of selfing the spontaneous arising and dissolving of thought within awareness. Who could deny that? What is humility? Perhaps it is the recognition of ones ultimate inability to control this moment your ultimate powerlessness in the face of the rawness of existence. Your absence in the face of the presence of things, and ultimately, the inseparability of this absence and the worlds presence. You are the world, in the most intimate sense. Perhaps humility is another word for freedom. And another word for love. I cant say that I am enlightened. I cant say that I am not. Why? Because I dont find any solid, independent entity here that could ever be one or the other. All I find here is a wide open space in which the scenery of life plays out a space inseparable from that very scenery. Any claim of enlightenment or its absence is wonderfully irrelevant, here in this already-enlightened vastness that belongs to no-one. Without referring to the past, who are you? Without your mental conclusions (I am the Self, I have no self, I am Spirit, I am not the body, I am no-one, I am pure awareness, etc.), who are you? Without simply parroting your favourite teacher or gurus answer, who are you? Without answering the question with another question (Who asks?), who are you? Without answering the question at all, who are you? For a while, it seems that the hungry seeker is approaching something called enlightenment. But then the seeker himself is exposed as a fraud, a phantom, a thought bubble. No seeker has ever become enlightened, for the enlightenment of the phantom seeker (in other words, his exposure in the blinding light of truth) is the death of that very search, leaving only simplicity, and nobody to claim enlightenment. The seeming paradox: You search for enlightenment, until its discovered that theres no you to find it and therefore there is no enlightenment outside of whats presently happening. All thats left is life, as it is. The way its always been but now seen for what it is. Who discovers this? Who knows this? The non-existent answer will blow your absent mind. All spiritual experiences however blissful, powerful, or life-changing come and go. They have a beginning and an end. After each experience, thought says Ive got it now! Its

over! Im finished! Now I know!. But when all the dust has settled, when the drama has died down, there is still only THIS, which no time-bound experience could ever begin to touch. Life, as it is, in its brilliant simplicity. Where is the entity called mind? Search for a million years, and you will never find it. There is no separate entity called mind. All you will ever find is presently-arising thought (which you can call mind, if you like!) Now, to WHOM is thought arising? Search for a million years and you will never find the thinker. The thinker is another thought, appearing in this wide open space, this vastness beyond time Many people are running around these days claiming that they are free from the me. Dont they know that this very movement IS the me, badly disguised? What is the sound of a bird singing before we call it birdsong? What is the world before it is named? What is this moment before time? Who am I before the question Who am I?. The answer is not of the mind. Throughout the day, all sorts of thoughts, sounds, sensations arise in awareness. The whole of human experience anything anyone has ever thought, heard, felt, experienced is available right here. Yes, the world meets you in the intimacy that you are. The world is not out there it is here. And so no human experience is alien to you. This is the origin of heartbreaking compassion No path can take you to where you are. Wherever you think you are along your path, Being is already fully present and paradoxically, this is the discovery which renders that very path obsolete. This is not a rejection of paths but a movement beyond them. Paths are helpful, perhaps necessary until their root assumptions crumble, and life in all its raw glory reveals itself. Then there is no protection Sounds appear. But who hears them? Thoughts appear. But who thinks them? We say: I hear the sounds. I think the thoughts. But what is this I who hears and thinks? Are there really TWO things you and life? Or is there simply the unitary movement of Life, which has no opposite? Is there just the ONE thing, which is no-thing at all? Does Life have a centre or was it all a dream? Are you responsible for becoming a you in the first place? Or was the original sin (separation) simply an innocent response to life? If nobody does separation then there is no original sin, and your guilt isnt really yours. Ive been a successful spiritual seeker, a desperate, failed spiritual seeker, an enlightened being, a transcendent no-one, a pure awareness, an arrogant nonduality teacher stuck in the (non-existent) impersonal void and now Ive gone right back to being what I always was a human being, engaged with life. What a fascinating trip its been. And what a relief to wind up back here, the Home I never left!! Life is here to break your heart over and over again until you realise that heartbreak is life too and then your heart can no longer be broken, or fixed. And you stand naked in front of life, moment by moment, knowing that whatever happens is totally okay even in the midst of perfect devastation, which, of course, is devastating perfection. This is freedom beyond the

speaking of it. Nothing matters. In other words, nothing takes form as matter. Nothing, no-thing, appears as everything. Emptiness dances as form. And beyond both these concepts, life is, beyond emptiness and form. Nothing matters. yet everything matters, absolutely, because everything is all there is. This is why each breath, each sensation, each thought is so very intimate, and infinitely precious. Im interested in your stories. They fascinate me. But I have no interest in them. In other words, I have no interest in using them for my own advantage. Interest, and no interest, without contradiction. Nobody suffers! Everything is just a thought! Life is an illusion! Suffering is a dream! Easy words to memorise and repeat. Harder to say when your partner has just left you. Or your kids have just been given a few days to live. Or you are in extreme physical agony. Is Advaita merely a word game for you, a conveniently life-denying, detached philosophy? Dont worry. No answer required. Life will show you. What does the absence of suffering look like? It looks like whatevers appearing. Suffering would be the attempt to escape whats appearing. Who would you be, in your pain, without suffering? There would just be pain, felt totally. Suffering is the story of my pain, in time, and the story of someone trying to escape pain, in time. Suffering is the ownership of pain which is the identity. All identity is thought. Do you really believe that there is no self? That there is nothing you can do? That there is no doer? That everything is a concept? That there is only Absolute, Unchanging, Ever-Present Awareness and all else is dualistic? That there is no you? Then Advaita has become your new religion, your new belief system, your new ideology and you have become blind to this. Sorry to point out the obvious. The search for freedom from the prison of suffering creates the illusion of a prisoner trapped inside. When there is no attempt to escape (or even when there is), there is no prison, and no prisoner inside there is only whats happening in the moment be it pain, fear, or sadness. Not happening to anyone just arising in the vastness, complete in itself. We seek because we feel separate. We feel separate, but are we separate? To whom does the feeling of being separate appear? Does anybody own the feeling of being separate? Even the feeling of being separate is not separate from what you are. Freedom from separation within the experience of separation. Stunning! The end of seeking cannot be found by the seeker in the future. The end of seeking is seeing life as it is. It is the rediscovery (by no-one) of the absence of the seeker, which is identical to the present appearance of life. In that rediscovery, there is no seeking to end, and no seeker who disappears. It is not a special experience or event. And here, language disintegrates into simplicity and laughter. Awareness and its contents are inseparable. They are intimate. They are in love. *Tweet tweet!* The sound of that bird singing do you hear it? Or is it simply heard? Does hearing simply happen, effortlessly? Is that hearing separate from the bird singing? Are there two things? Or is there simply this boundless, unitary movement? Is there simply intimacy with

the birdsong? Listen. For-giveness means given everything. Has life not already given everything? Has it not already given itself completely? Is this present appearance not complete? Was there ever a you separate from this completeness? In that case. are you not already forgiven? In other words, what is there to forgive? Even your lack of forgiveness is forgiven here The thought something is missing is not missing. The thought I am seeking is not itself seeking anything it simply appears in the fullness of life. The thought I am separate cannot separate it simply dances in boundless space. The sense of I is just a sense what is the problem with a sense? Who takes it seriously? An experience of the absence of something (lack) happens presently is anything lacking? A popular spiritual teaching: Stop thinking, and pure awareness will remain. Beautiful. But I used to drive myself mad trying to stop thinking. I had many no thought experiences. But I was subtly making thought into the enemy. What was eventually recognised is this: All thoughts are welcome here, in this awareness. The desire to stop thinking fell away. What simplicity! What is the end of seeking?, the seeker asks. Life as it already is, answers Life, before the question is even asked. Beyond any notion of nirvikalpa sam dhi, there is only THIS, in all its simplicity: Sitting in a seaside cafe, drinking tea. Chinking of glasses, muffled conversations. Biscuit crumbs falling onto T-shirt. Milks a little off. Pain in the shoulder. And all Life is here. What unadulterated perfection what stunning imperfection. Who is waiting at the bus stop for the Enlightenment Bus? A non-existent bus that never arrives (and even if it does, it only brings you back to where you already are). Simply read the sign: BUS NOT IN SERVICE and the waiting ends. In the face of the miracle, your story simply melts. Faced with everything, you are the open space holding it all, lovingly, without question. What crushing humility. You thought you were so important in fact you were equal to a chair. Sorry, no room for specialness here. All thats left is gratitude for each and every single thing. In this dream, dreamt up by no-one at all. So goodnight, sweet dreamer. In the end, you cannot talk about nonduality as separate from duality, so you cannot talk about nonduality at all. The absence of the seeker appears as the seeker, seeking his own absence. The duelling non-dualists: YOU are stuck in identification! No, YOU are stuck in identification! Walking around the Imperial War Museum with my dear, elderly dad, and there is only this. Stories or no stories, past or no past, there is a love here that cannot be named. I am the open space, the vastness in which all of this appears, and all of this appears as that same vastness. Jesus said I and the father are One, and yes, yes, its true.

Many people are waiting for a future energetic shift to end their seeking. But this very waiting IS the seeking that the energetic shift is supposed to eventually destroy. The gap between now and the shift is time, which IS the seeker. In other words, the seeker waits for a shift in order to stay alive. What an ingenious ploy, by no-one! I have no ego is this the ultimate claim of the ego? I love you. What are you in love with? A conditioned, time-bound image of me? Sacrifice the image discover a love that cannot die. There is no such thing as a teaching free of hidden assumptions. Including this one. Emptiness and form are not two. Everything melts into everything else. Everything melts into THIS. And THIS is Home. Forever, always, Home. Has there ever been anyone here separate from all of this? Was there ever a seeker? There is only the question, which melts away too. leaving only. It all ends here: Sitting, breathing, sounds happening, feelings in the body happening. Television buzzing. Cat screeching outside. Just the simple, present appearance of life itself. Just life, as it is. Yes, here is where it ends. And here is where it all begins. The ending IS the beginning, the beginning IS the ending. And so in the end, all there is, is simplicity, friendship, and laughter. And even that is saying too much. So it all fades back into the silence. Am I a teacher? Perhaps, perhaps not. It doesnt matter in the end. In the end, I can only be a friend, reminding you of what you already know. I am what you are. This this is you, reminding yourself, as if you needed to be reminded, of what you already are. Beyond the teacher-student and guru-disciple dream roles and relationships, there is only unconditional love, beyond the concept of it and You Are That. When speaking of THIS, all language is temporary. Words appear to be needed until its seen that words are not needed. and were never needed. This is the dance. In the falling-away of time and effort, which is the seeing-through of time and effort, the timeless and effortless presence that you are in your essence reveals itself and in that revelation, what is seen is that THIS was never for one moment absent. What is present is always present. Unconditional love cannot be reached through time and effort it is simply there at the foundation of what you call your experience, waiting to be uncovered, discovered, met by nobody. Life is a bonfire, burning up all concepts about life. Nothing can be said about this burning, because even the attempt to talk about the burning burns up in this! And yet, words continue to come, and life continues to unfold, and its quite clear that we are not in control of this astonishing dream world, and that we are constantly being embraced by Oneness, in each and every moment What you are (beyond the story) is identical with what life is (beyond the story). They are not

two separate movements. There is only One Unconditional love is so radically unconditional, it ultimately even embraces what we call conditional love