It all began when, quite casually, I happened to take a look at the spot I occupy, and found it unoccupied. At once I saw how crazy I had been to superimpose what I look like upon what I am, and then to lock onto that fictional superimposition for dear life. How refreshing it was, how good even for the body, to relax one’s stranglehold on it and let it go to where it belongs! Nor was this a partial seeing-off of the incubus from here to there. Of this absence there are no degrees.
Need I add that this seeing-off was at first momentary, and that it took many years and much practice
before it became habitual? By practice I mean renewal of the original experience and not – repeat not
– adding anything to it. And by habitual I mean remaining in contact with one’s central clarity and not – repeat not
– clinging to it. Not demanding that it should remain in the forefront of one’s attention in all the changing circumstances of life. Much of the time it has to be – it needs to be – in the background, and, like one’s friends, neither lost nor inescapable and always on the agenda, on hold but not hung onto. The alternative is a crippling obsession. “In darkness are they who only look outwards, but in thicker darkness are they who only look within.” The seer who said that said a true thing. I’m reminded, too, of Wodehouse on the subject of holidays: their healing charm is fresh air and fresh faces and fresh scenery – and the absence of loved ones! (Look For Yourself
, Douglas Harding)
I find Seeing grows and grows. The more I am awake to it, the more it is awake in me. I have found going to workshops helpful - more ‘practice time’ so to speak, and inspiring. Being with friends who share Seeing is inspiring. Other things remind me of it too - almost everything in the end. I suppose it’s the question: How do you remember to remember? How do you remember to wake up in the morning? It just happens, or you put the alarm on, or you ask someone to wake you, or there is an unexpected loud noise! Sometimes I just find myself ‘seeing’, out of the blue. Sometimes I fall down, metaphorically, and bruise myself, and this awakens me to who I am! And sometimes the fact that I really do want to be awake more of the time (I know it’s timeless!), the desire deep down, is the inbuilt mysterious momentum that awakens me.
What helps you remember to see who you really are?
Thanks so much for sending me the Reflections. I do find them and the
headless way very helpful. I thought it was time to share some of the
details with you. I've been into Advaita and Buddhism for many years
and I tend to have a very eclectic path. Advaita, particularly Ramana
Maharshi and later, Nisargadatta, have always been my most constant
touchstone. I first heard about the headless way about 3 or 4 years
ago. I bought the book On Having No Head
and looked at it a few
times, but I don't think I did the exercises wholeheartedly enough, So
I didn't get a huge amount out of it then. But about a month ago I
picked it up again and this time gave the exercises a good chance and
this time it "clicked" in a way that it never had before. I realized
I'd "seen" this before but the exercises give me a handy way to turn my
attention back to the source easily and more predictably. Vicki.
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