Spiritual practice can become just another distraction from realizing the truth of what you already are
by Brian Thompson, published on Zen Thinking, on March 15, 2017
Words and image design by Brian Thompson.
Be mindful of not turning your spiritual practice into just another conceptual effort that only distracts you from realizing the very thing you are seeking.
Such activity is just another obstacle from the egoic mind, one of additional distraction and delusion.
The truth is this—your presence requires no practice whatsoever. There’s nothing you can do to create more awareness within you. All that is needed is to let go of all preconceptions, assumptions, and expectations and abide in the present moment without thinking about the psychological entity you have created for yourself, which you call, ‘I’.
If you continue striving to attain something that you already are, then you will forever be occupied with needless busy-work which will only obscure the Truth that is always here and now.
No effort is required to realize your Self—it is the very essence of your beingness which enables this very moment to be perceived.
You are aware. You exist. Just leave that already-obvious realization to be as it is, being empty of anything additional from the mind.
You are the field of infinite consciousness which silently rests underneath each and every sensation. No search can ever locate you, for you are everywhere and everything. You cannot be found, for you are the alert aliveness that knows this present-moment—forever fresh and flowing, never still nor stagnant.
The ultimate realization is that there is no “you” whose efforts you need to control through a strict practice, or whose activities you need to manipulate or correct.
You only need to awaken to that which is already here. You only need to stop imagining yourself to be something you are not. All else will naturally fall into place once you align your conviction of the truth with your undeniable selfless presence of undivided Being.
Drop all opinions and simply be judgement-free. No longer busy yourself with discriminating notions of person, place, or thing. No longer concern yourself with this concept called ‘me’.
What you believe yourself to be is not what you are. Attach yourself to nothing, for you are not a thing. You are That which watches the appearance of all forms and things, while you remain free from them all as the formless presence of absolute nothing.
Abandon all belief and just quietly observe your body, your mind, and the world without giving your energy of attention away to any of the thoughts arising within consciousness.
Be more concerned with the blissful emptiness in which each perception appears, rather than with the objects of perception themselves—this is enlightenment.
Maintain focus on the aware presence which seems to accompany you wherever you go. Know that you are this alive emptiness—the space of consciousness that envelops your entire beingness wherever you go, wherever you are.
As this understanding becomes more clear and vibrant within present consciousness you will realize that in truth, you don’t move anywhere, ever—the world moves within you. You, Awareness, remain forever motionless—still, unchanging, deathless, timeless and eternal.
You are Peace itself.
Don’t allow your spiritual practice of meditation, mantra, mindfulness, or self-inquiry to become yet another obstacle to self-realization. While all such activities are of great benefit to the body and mind, if you imbue them too much conceptual effort they will become just another thing you will need to transcend.
Awaken to the effortless simplicity of spontaneity—this is what it means to awaken.
There is no strategy or action plan required. Surrender every idea you have of yourself. Let go of everything (conceptually). Know nothing, believe nothing, and just Be as you already are.
As many teachers have said before, self-realization is simple—just do nothing. If ‘you’ are doing something then you are missing the entire point! There is no ‘one’ to do anything at all—there is no one home! There are only things that appear to be happening, but they remain as nothing but an appearance arising within the awareness that you are, which is your Self.
Notice that every sensation and perception is nothing but a reminder that you are here, that you are now, and that you are the invisible selfless presence which enables all of this to be.