Douglas Harding discovered who he really was in 1942. You will find a brief biography
of him on the website, plus the first chapter of On Having No Head
where he describes his first Seeing – in the Himalayas. Although in an interview I did with him in 2000 he commented:
“This business of having seen It first in the Himalayas is formalistic nonsense. (I was writing this for The Saturday Evening Post
and its millions of readers.) The mark of people who really see Who they are here is that when they see it they say, Gosh, of course, I know this, this isn’t the first time
, this is natural, this is obvious. This isn’t the first time. You can’t remember the first time because this is your natural state - to be capacious for what’s going on.”
Isn’t this true? Take a long, relaxed, steady look at your no-face
. Although this space is fresh and new, isn’t it also, in a way, the most familiar thing – well, no-thing
– that there is? You have always been looking out of this
. It’s what you are, now and forever. It has never changed and it will never change - because there’s nothing here to change. What you’re looking at changes all the time but what you’re looking out of is beyond change.
Attending to this changeless Depth within you, you are awake to a peace that can never be disturbed. Your innermost being is totally stress-free. This peace doesn’t depend on how you feel or what you are doing. Awareness of this is so useful in times of stress. You can cope so much better with difficult situations when you are conscious you are looking out of, you are living from, this stillness where you are. Test this out in your daily life. See how practical it is to live consciously from who you really are.
I once asked Douglas Harding if seeing who he really was gave him peace. “No,” he replied, “it doesn’t give me peace – it shows me that I am peace!”
Oh Richard, this reflection was sooooooo beautiful. I especially loved when you asked Douglas if seeing what he really was gave him peace. And he said, "No, it shows me that I am peace!" I've found that it is the only thing I can count on to be true to me. Whenever I am in distress I can ask myself if my peace is still there, and without a doubt it always proves to be there. The distress disolves and I know it wasn't real. Only the peace is real. It requires nothing to maintain it. And what a great reminder that awareness of this peace doesn't depend on how you feel or what you are doing. Thanks for sharing. With Love, Linda.
For someone like myself who has over the years been exposed to some form of Seeing in myriads of ways and who has indeed on many an occasion found the simplicity of looking myself, the question is no longer where to look, or what to look for. Still I find that in my so-called life the simplicity does get snowed under, not only by daily events and actions, but also by what I would call 'spiritual baggage' which in subtle ways may give the impression that a 'further awakening' is required. Which on enquiry always points back to some requirement for ownership. How refreshing, then, while perusing your Reflections, to see for the zillionst time, and indeed, for the very first and only time, that I am utterly empty-handed or empty-headed as Douglas would have it. I just put on the Douglas DVD where he explains it all for the first time and found the tears running down my cheeks being No Face to this utterly delightful exponent of pointing to the truth; being No Face to my own recognition of No-Faceness. Josh.
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