Advaitism In A Nutshell
There's nothing that can be done because there's no one to do anything. Awakening is simply the realisation that there is no separate individual. The illusion of the separate 'me' drops away and there is what already is -- what always is ... the one, the absolute.
So what is happening here is actually very ordinary; what is available here is very natural and simple. It's as simple as sitting on a seat.
In sitting on a seat, let there just be sitting on a seat. There's no one sitting on the seat, but sitting on the seat is happening. Seeing is no one seeing -- there's just seeing. Hearing -- no one's hearing; there is just hearing. All the senses are just happening; ... So let there just be seeing, let there just be hearing, let there just be sitting on a seat. Let there just be feelings -- feelings of boredom, feelings of frustration ... Let there be thoughts -- 'I don't get this', 'What's this guy talking about?' Let that be there.
You can't escape what you are ... You are the absolute, you are the source, you are the nothing from which everything arises. And everything includes that body / mind, that person you thought you were, or you still think you are. It includes that idea that there's an individual there. The drama of this manifestation is only the search to discover that there's no one.
Once that's seen, then that's the beginning of the great adventure, that's the freedom, and then it expands ... At first it's seen that I am the awareness that arises, and then something else is embraced, something else is integrated, and then there is no longer any identification of any sort. There is only that which is beyond words.
There's nothing happening anymore -- just life, being life, with no questions about that, with no judgement of it.
It's very simple and it's totally immediate. It's right here. It is all there is.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 206-207
Presence is our constant nature but most of the time we are interrupting it by living in a state of expectation, motivation or interpretation. We are hardly ever at home. In order to rediscover our freedom we need to let go of these projections and allow the possibility of presence. Its real discovery, or our access to it, can only be made within the essence of what is. This is where spontaneous aliveness resides and where we can openly welcome the unknown.
Only here, in present awareness of simply what is, can there be freedom from self-image.
To live passionately is to let go of everything for the wonder of timeless presence. When this apparently happens, there is a residing in the source of nothing and everything.
Presence is not to be confused with "being here now" which is a continuous process of the separate self and has no direct relevance to liberation.
Presence is a quality of welcoming, open awareness which is dedicated to simply what is. There can still be someone who is aware and there is that of which they are conscious ... the sound of running water, the taste of tea, the feeling of fear, or the weight and texture of sitting on a seat. And then there can be a letting go of the one who is aware, and all that remains is presencce. All of this is totally without judgement, analysis, wish to reach conclusions or to become. There is no traffic and no expectation. There is simply what is.
I cannot 'do' presence, simply because I am presence. So there is no process to learn because I cannot learn or achieve something that I already am.
Presence is totally effortless and is nearer to me than breathing. Presence can only be allowed and recognised. What I tend to do most of the time is sidestep or interrupt it.
In allowing presence, however, we embrace a kind of death. What dies is all expectation,, judgement and effort to become. What dies is the stuff of separation, the sense of self-identity, which can only function in the illusory world of past and future, memory and expectation. For it will be found that if we let go into simply what is, we will be in a place of unknowing.
That is how the embracing of presence is a kind of death. What dies is the dream of individuality. What we let go of is our incessant need to feel that we are a separate entity ... that we will continue as a fraction of the whole. And in that letting go we come to see that all death is rebirth into liberation.
When there is presence the self is no more. We stand astride the living paradox and allow the emergence of freedom from the incessant traffic of becoming. It is a welcoming of the open secret.
There is never any situation in which we cannot be united with the present. Isn't that wonderful?! I will say it again. Presence is available in any situation, or put another way, freedom is already continuously available.
... presence is not a task, and it cannot be used by my will. It is not a spiritual exercise or a tool to get somewhere, like prayer or formal meditation. Directly I attempt to harness it to a task [and] I have already tried to constrain that which is beyond limitation.
Presence is all-encompassing and is its own reward. It isn't trying to get anywhere, and if I am, I have already interrupted it.
However, when there is presence the whole being relaxes into its embrace. There are no more questions and there is no more striving. The mind departs the throne, the body relaxes, the breathing evens out and the perception becomes global. I rest in that which never comes and never goes away.
When there is presence, all that is illusory falls away, and what is left is real, vital and passionately alive. Life is full on ... not my life, not anyone's life, but simply life.
Presence does not bring heaven down to earth or raise earth up to heaven. All is one.
In presence I see that I have never chosen or done anything, but have only been lived through.
In accepting my divine helplessness I enjoy the freedom of never having a past or futre I could call my own.
-- Tony Parsons in The Open Secret, pg 23=29
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