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From the Guide - May 2013

Many of us began our exploration of what we now call awareness practice because we, very likely unconsciously, had a sense something more was possible for us than the life we were living. We started opening to new information, read philosophers and spiritual types we hadn’t thought about in years, heard snippets of conversation we would previously have ignored, noticed that even billboards and tea bags seemed to be pointing us toward spiritual notions.

We felt a quickening, a heightened sense of aliveness, a familiarity or resonance with each insight, excitement, anticipation, delight. “On the trail of” doesn’t quite capture it, but it comes close. I can feel it. I can feel I’m closing in on something big.

Most of you reading this intuitively sensed that just reading about awareness wasn’t going to take you where you wanted to go—the “ah has” were ceasing to thrill in the same way—and you began to look for a practice. If ours was the one you took up earnestly and sincerely, you no doubt recall the renewed thrill of “seeing how it all works.” Finally, a road map! Ah, yes, I have conditioned beliefs and assumptions that result in a projected “reality” kept in place by voices in my head that are working for their wellbeing and not mine, from which I can disidentify, come to center, let go the illusion of a self that is separate from Life, and live in the joy of Life living a “me.” Whew. Fabulous. What a relief!

But then, for an awful lot of folks, the road map to freedom morphed into an imaginary map drawn by egocentric karmic conditioning that ended in a cul-de-sac of self-hate, and “practice” became an endless examination of and conversation with the voices of egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate.

The good news is that our journey contains no “mistakes.” Liberation, freedom, is larger than our typical beliefs and assumptions about liberation/freedom. There is no limit to the freedom we seek. We are working diligently to free ourselves from any and all fetters. This translates into ending our relationship with egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate completelywhich means we don’t even look at it!

How do we do that? No watching what it’s doing? No listening for its tricks? How can we be sure it won’t grab us, fool us, toss us back into the cul-de-sac?

The answer: We close the loop. We “arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” We recall, and re-enter, that which caused us to begin our seeking in the first place. We find and feel again that quickening, the delight, the excitement of resonating with That Which Animates. We return to that which we did not recognize and so left in order to seek it. We know that place for the first time, we realize we are home, and we give home all our time, our energy, our love—all our attention. And we live in the joy of Life living.

In gasshō,