Pointers

John’s website was called thenaturalstate.info, it is no longer active, but can be found using the wayback machine. https://web.archive.org/web/20120726032917/http://www.thenaturalstate.info/

Many pointers, suggestions and indications can and have been given from me and other sources. At the end of the day, it is important for you to get your own specific doubts, questions and concerns resolved. For this, there is no real substitute for getting the basic points introduced in person and having ample opportunity for dialogue regarding issues that are bound to arise in the course of coming to clarity and confidence in your own direct recognition.

This is a time-tested approach that has worked very well for centuries. It is also the same approach taken by Siddharameshwar Maharaj, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Bob Adamson, and myself.  I cannot speak for others, but I have full confidence that the experience of genuine freedom and the resolution of seeking, suffering, and doubts has been potently and competently shared and lived in this particular line of approach.

Beyond the basic pointers and general teachings, there is the unique aspect of a heart-to-heart, direct connection that is a very important component of what is being shared. This is not and never has been mere intellectual understanding by any means.

Fortunately, the source of these teachings is actively available in India, Australia and elsewhere, so if you feel a resonance and interest in what is being shared, I encourage you to seek out a direct connection with these teachings. In this way, you can ensure that your understanding and experience is clear and complete in all respects.

You already are what you have been seeking. This is what we overlook.

Thoughts come and go, images come and go, even the idea of “I” comes and goes. It is all mental content, without substance and transient in nature. It is all simply an appearance in consciousness. Seeing this, then any more mucking around in the mind stuff, digging for answers and solutions is a fool’s game. There is a completely different direction to be looking at this point. There is something present that is not coming and going, totally unaffected by the content of the mind. This is what is being pointed to by terms such as “your real nature,” “being,” “awareness,” etc. Have you come to terms with this principle, this factor? Once there is looking in this direction, you are totally out of the mind. See if you can spot what I am talking about here. This is what I call the positive side of the equation. Negating the mind contents and conceptual constructions, such as the “I” thought, only takes one so far. You must acknowledge that which is present and which is entirely non-conceptual and completely untouched by the appearances. What have you seen of this?

There is something here that never changes. It is in fact what you are. It is here as clear as day and totally inescapable. But we overlook what is clear and obvious. We look at everything but we don’t look at what we are. Can you deny your being? No. So what have your learned and seen about this doubtless being that you are? There is no going into an “infinite regress,” because it is here, front and center. It is the most obvious thing, the “elephant in the room.” So what have you learned about this ever-present fact of your own being? This is what we overlook for a time. Go by your direct experience and see what you find about yourself. Everything that appears, that comes and goes, is not yourself. So you can factor out those things immediately.

How can things that come and go be you, since they disappear and you remain? So emphasize this being, your own nature. What have you discovered about this being, your abiding nature? That is the direction of understanding.

Before the next doubt appears, you are already there. Your being is present and beyond doubt. This is it.

Now that you know that you are that which is being pointed to, have a look and be clear about this that you already are. It is shining in plain view.

The traditional approach keeps the individual and his or her separation from reality intact. Non-duality ends up transcending the assumptions of traditional paths ultimately. But in the absence of any higher light or aspiration, the traditional approach is suitable for those still committed to the view of being an individual person in the world of appearances. The germs of the non-dual view are sprinkled throughout the traditional approaches, no doubt. The bread crumbs are there for those inclined to follow them.

As long as the individual is assumed as true, then things play out at that level, including responsibility, guilt, sin, etc. Once the individuality view is transcended, all of these issues dissolve because they are all extensions of that view. The separate self and its troubles rise and fall together.

Your being is not imaginary, is it? This is what we overlook. This is the direction to consider. What is the nature of this being that is present now and cannot be escaped? No theory or mental analysis is possible, really. One thing that strikes one upon a bit of looking is that what you are is not a concept or object. This is why the senses and mind are not really involved in this. Still, whatever you are is here as plain as day and can’t be denied. You cannot negate your existence. Whatever its qualities (your qualities) are must be as simple and evident as the fact of being itself. This is approached through non-conceptual, immediate seeing. So what have you seen about this true nature that you are? This is the point. And, yes, there is something to do — clear up who and what you are. Otherwise, the false identity constructed in the mind continues to thrive and be believed in (due to lack of clarity on who we are). That is why all the great teachers and traditions advocate inquiry, investigation, self discovery, etc. Those dubious teachers who say there is nothing to do have erred on this point, because if the core points are not investigated and clarified the false notions just continue. That is good for the professional spirituality business, but bad for the poor seekers!

How can “you” be a seeker, when you already are that? Drink this in and appreciate what it means to already be that. Of course, this is what the sages were talking about all along. But then it suddenly makes perfect sense. The root of all seeking, suffering and doubt is the notion of being something apart, something other than what is present and real. But a bit of looking shows that the separation never happened. You are the “tenth man,” here and now. There is nothing progressive about it, because there was never any entity to progress anywhere. The false reference point is exposed and the game is up!

These teachings cannot be sold in the spiritual market place or distributed on a teaching circuit. They are beyond what can be bought and sold. My sharing of the pointers is only a form of gratitude for what was shared with me.

Once the correct view is in place, the thoughts, ideas and activities find their natural harmony and balance, because they are no longer dominated by the fictitious self reference point.

The phrase “I am-ness” is a way of pointing to your natural state. In fact, you are there with or without any experience, even of “I am.” But the words are really inadequate. Before all thoughts, experiences, ideas, states, etc., you are. That cannot really be described. “I am” is about the closest pointer, but in the end you can drop that also. Even the sense of consciousness, or “knowing that you are,” is an appearance. In fact, it is the first appearance and the beginning of duality. Because consciousness comes and goes, you must be prior to it, as the ever-present background. This can only be pointed to, but not really verbalized. You certainly are not a defective, limited self, which is only a concept appearing later in the consciousness (which is itself an appearance). That supreme, prior-to-consciousness reality is what you are, now and always. This is what we missed.

What’s wrong with right now without the concepts? Nothing! You are that. Don’t overstate your experience. Don’t claim to be “done” or “have the understanding.” All these are mere concepts. Drop the mind and be what you are. This is the highest approach. You are not a seeker who has understood the absolute. You are that. All those who claim to “be done” are still playing with concepts. That is still a self-centered concept, a subtle ego position. You are neither done nor not done. You are that!! If you let the mind start running the show and evaluating things, you will be back assuming yourself as some separate, limited being in the appearance.

Part one is getting your real being pointed out. Part two is exposing any potential for suffering and doubt. There is no part three! If you drift back to emphasizing the mind and getting involved in its conceptualizing, the feeling of limitation is reactivated. Clear understanding resolves this once and for good. It is up to you to implement and verify. Once this last bit is understood and resolved, the root of seeking, suffering and doubt is nipped in the bud, never to bother again. Keep in mind that even through this, you are still the ever-free reality.

Don’t get into looking for subtle states, experiences, body/mind manifestations, feelings of bliss, mystical and exotic states, etc. This is a total trap. Reality is ever-present, non-experiential, changeless. To the mind it is totally boring and “no thing.” That is why the mind hates these teachings. Everything it expects is negated.

Do not analyze body, mind and phenomenal states and use these as a yardstick for your real state. Body/mind come and go in consciousness. Consciousness arises and sets in your timeless being. You are that timeless absolute. Stand here. Look, talk and evaluate always from this position, not from an identity as body/mind. I am giving you the highest and final teachings. Your heart must rise to the occasion and embrace what is being pointed out. If so, you cannot help but be established in and as the final reality, the absolute. If not, you may continue to cycle in appearances, concepts and erroneous identities.

If you look at consciousness and its source, it is totally brilliant, dynamic and alive.

You have received the injection, the push to see what you are. Let it work. Go about your life naturally. From time to time, you may think of the pointers. But don’t over medicate and get too analytical. It is pointless, because that is all being done by the mind anyhow. It is not really significant.

Just let the body/mind orient and experience naturally. No need to be concerned or even interested.

See the body and mind as appearances in consciousness. Let consciousness deal with them! You are not even the consciousness. So rest in your real being beyond manifestation.

The “I am-ness” is consciousness, which is “being-consciousness-bliss.” It is an intensely blissful state. But this is the first and most powerful concept. You stand beyond. If you miss this, you miss everything.

No doubts are deep rooted. They are only presently arising notions coming and going in the ever-luminous presence of timeless being. All the power comes from the interest we place on them. In the luminous being which you truly are, there has never even been one doubt. Does the sun have any shadows in it? Is the sky touched by clouds?

There is no sense in “working on” the states of body/mind (save in a practical utilitarian sense for health or other reasons). They will go on based on circumstances and as long as breath remains in the body. Body/mind was never the issue, only identification with it. One does not “work on” the body/mind appearing in a dream, once one sees it for what it is. One simply lets it be, because in essence it is actually nothing!

One does not need to analyze the states, experiences, thoughts, and progress of a figure in a dream, does one? Nor does one need to renounce it, devalue it, or denigrate it. Both responses are still giving emphasis to the shadow. But you are the sun, the light of reality, that outshines the shadow. Does the sun focus on, analyze and deal with the temporary clouds that come and go? Only if it forsakes its real status and imagines itself to be one among the clouds. This would be the root error. At the end of the day, this is the basic ignorance that is corrected. If this is digested properly, all subsequent “issues” are checkmated. If the seeker is not, then who has a problem?

There is no seeker. There is only that. And you are that.

The non-existence of the seeker and “you are that” mean the same thing.

Use a bit of vigilance to root out any habitual tendency to reoccupy the reference point of the separate self notion. That may come up from time to time due to past association of the mind having occupied that position for so long. No harm. The game has been exposed. But you can use a bit of active inquiry, as needed, to contradict any such residual tendencies. Why not? There is no problem. This does not imply a separate self doing this. It is only intelligence and wisdom at work. In fact, even the seeing and wisdom is not being done by anyone, because there is no personal reference point in the equation. (There is doing, just no entity doing the doing!) In fact, it is good and necessary to be very clear on how this residual suffering arises and what sustains it. The thorough understanding of this is what resolves it. We are victims of what we don’t understand.

You say: “One needs to just merge into the present moment, fearlessly….” This is a noble sentiment for that one who still conceives of himself as separate from the moment! If all there is IS that, no merging is required. There is simply being what one is and has always been. No more approaches, analysis, justifications, steps or descriptions are needed. The most penetrating response to a statement like this would be: “Just who is it who needs to merge?” In the vision of non-duality, all the subtle reference points are incinerated, even the spiritual ones!

The identity and interest has been going to the mind. Now it is time to see that who and what you are is not in the mind. Then the interest leaves the mind.

Stop fighting with the mind. Leave it alone. Simply get curious about what is aware of the mind. This is not a fight. Be intensely interested in discovering your nature. Once you see your real being is not in the mind, all interest in, and contention with, the mind ceases.

The mind is an appearance IN this which is non-conceptual. The mind has NO ABILITY to describe, understand, or “get” this at all. See this, and be done with dancing with the mind.

The love affair with the intellect must come to a close. The lingering enchantment with the mind is what keeps the duality in spin. The answer is not in the mind. If you are looking for the sunlight, you don’t go into a cave and find it there! Step out of the cave of the intellect and behold the brilliant, luminous presence of your self-nature, the ever-present sun of non-conceptual reality.

Your own being is self-knowing, self-aware, immediate non-conceptual knowing. It is not an object known. It is non-dual being or awareness. It is totally beyond all attempts to grasp in concepts. Your being is self-evident and clearly present. Also, all of its characteristics are self-evident. At the end of the day, it is only being what you are and simply dropping all concepts about it. It is perfect peace and clarity always. The doubts and questions are only coming in at the mind level, correct? All descriptions also are only at the mind level. All the pointers are only at the mind level and ultimately fall away. Be what you are. It is doubtless, ever-present peace and clarity. You are THAT.

A million arrows can be shot into the sky, but the sky always remains untouched! You are THAT sky, the expanse of the true Self. It is perfect clarity and peace always.

When the self-entity is seen through, what remains is a basic, incontrovertible sense of well-being, clarity and peace — totally without cause or conditions.

Negating the false is not the same recognizing the true.

Basically, the clarification of who and what we are is what it gets down to. The rest is window dressing. Most of the trappings around this stuff are a waste of time. Usually, I find that those who are playing teacher or seeker roles are operating under their own assumptions, blind spots and concepts. Often, they are not keen to probe into this, as there is income and self-esteem at stake, rather than strict alignment with the intent of the message. Anyway, that is up to them to work out, if and when the contradictions become apparent. In the meantime, what to do but stick to the tried and true? You ARE THAT. And as that, you are in need of nothing and no one. Sticking to this basic point alone, your view will be more clear and direct than 99.99% of whatever you may encounter. In fact, you will not be seeking anything from anyone. If anyone needs or wants a clarification, you can do it yourself rather than directing them to another source. Your confidence in the above is a good inner verification to see where you stand and what you really know. If it is solid, the above will make perfect sense. If there is some wavering, questions or doubts, then all of one’s energy should go into getting those resolved. And, generally, that DOES NOT involve wandering around the aisles of the spiritual supermarket as a shopper!

Clearly, you can affirm that you know you exist, that you recognize your very being. This is basic but it is the key. Get curious about what it is that you are recognizing. You are not actually talking about thoughts, feelings, perceptions, outer objects, etc. You don’t refer to those at all when you note your own being. In fact, you don’t even think or reason at all. You simply immediately acknowledge the very FACT of being (your being) itself. Notice how clear, solid and certain this recognition is. What you are recognizing IS EXACTLY what I am pointing to. If all this is clear, then you will know exactly where to look. It is not a looking to FIND something that is not present. It is a looking to simply SEE the nature of what is already present and already recognized.

Recognizing your real nature is something like skimming away the moss on the surface of a pond. What was always there (the water) is simply seen and noticed as it is. It is does not come into being. It is not alternating with ignorance. All (including the ignorance) is coming and going on this ever-present, unconditioned state of being, your natural state. Try to discard notion that this is a “happening”. It puts a time limit on it. Time is happening in it! See it (reality) as it is — always present and unconditioned by time, space and events.

At the end of the day, you want to see and recognize what you are. The whole trouble is being confused on this matter. Your being is there. So what is your actual experience and understanding of this based on your actual looking? On the flip side, it would be interesting to ferret out what is your day-to-day view of yourself. How would you characterize your present state of being and self-understanding? We need to get these practical issues out on the table for inspection. How you respond will determine what to look at. That is why, ultimately, the doctrinal systems, even non-dual ones, fail us. Taking on board a new “ism” is not the same as clarifying who and what we are, nor does it necessarily identify the residual self-concepts that may still be hanging us up.

Teachings that emphasize “waking up” or having a “shift” tend to put an accent on an event happening in time as a measure of freedom. Seekers start imagining something needs to, or will, happen. They also tend to assume that unless something dramatic happens, one is not “there”. For many who have had such shifts, often the whole focus goes onto talking about the event, rather than seeing what is fully present all the time. There is a tendency to leave the personal in place in the form of someone who has had a shift or attained an awakening.

The falling away of the false, is not really the same as knowing fully and clearly one’s real nature. This is a critical point. The falling away of some aspect of false identity does NOT necessarily equate with having an accurate understanding of one’s real nature. Often a dramatic, personal event has been equated with genuine self understanding. The residual view, which is still tinged with the personal perspective, is being promoted as understanding, when in fact the actual clarification of reality did not happen. Usually, subtle personal and egoic views are still in play but not recognized.

There are many pitfalls and blind spots to deal with if you start talking in terms of awakenings and shifts. That paradigm has been promoted for about 15 years now on the popular spiritual circuit. Many have been led down this blind alley. At the end of the day, who and what you are must be clear. This is the essence of it. In this, there is no awakening, shifting, event, etc., needed. Of course one’s identity will be clarified, the needless suffering will fall away, ignorance will be overcome, etc., as a matter of course. Life goes on just as before, only without the seeking, suffering and doubts. I find this approach more balanced, mature and consistent with the non-dual view. The awakening and shifting perspective tends to be interesting to immature seekers and professional gurus who are trying to sell something sensational. Putting the focus on what is unconditional, true, not event oriented, and ever-present avoids many pitfalls.

You say, “So the key is living in that AWARENESS and I guess the ‘I’ will drop.” “Who” is going to be living in that “awareness”? Isn’t this still in dualism? Why does an “I” have to drop if there is no-doer? Don’t get lost in these half-baked guesses! People have tried to integrate these types of spiritual concepts for ages and never really gotten anywhere, because the assumed duality is still being believed. The dropping of the “me” reference is good because it clears up the view and allows you see what you really are. Don’t leave that out of the mix!

Projecting a state of “being awake” on other people is a trap. That is what we were doing all along. It is always someone else who “has it”, not us. This notion that there are awake beings “out there” who have it is ignorance and a total disregard of everything this is about. There is ONLY ONE place reality lives — that is in yourself, as yourself. If there is any doubt or lack of confidence about this, then all one’s energy should be focused on clearing that up. There are very few who can really talk about it in a helpful way because they are still holding onto concepts of being awake, embodying it, guiding others for a fee, and what have you. All of this is moving in ignorance ultimately.

Essentially, what you recognize is that consciousness arises and sets. That is very clearly known, for lack of a better word. Your unconditioned being is there before, during and after the coming and going of phenomenal or manifested consciousness. That unconditional reality is the source and ground of consciousness and all that subsequently appears in the consciousness. That state without consciousness might be termed as nothingness or emptiness, but it is only emptiness OF objects and consciousness, but not your being itself. That which recognizes the coming and going of consciousness, might be termed a very subtle awareness that can’t rightly be called conscious or unconscious, as it transcends and includes both. As always, if there is any tendency to define oneself, even as “I am that which is neither conscious or unconscious”, then see that is also a reference point, a concept and don’t cling to that either. You are prior to even that stand or reference point. You are not consciousness, unconsciousness, both or neither! In ancient scriptures they said the best definition was “not this, not this”. But even that is not adequate because your being is not simply a negation. In some traditions, it is called “non-conceptual awareness”. But I am less and less inclined to use “awareness”, as it is often confused with consciousness or perception. Perhaps, non-conceptual reality is less apt to trigger wrong associations. But any word is only suggestive. In truth, it is entirely non-conceptual and wordless.

Clearing away the false “I” reference point is good, but is NOT the real point of this. You want to know what your nature is. Previously most of the energy was getting siphoned off into the false identity. If you have seen through this, you are now in a position to get down to seeing what you actually are, independent of that false identity. To say “present and aware” is fine, but it is only an initial pointer to get you LOOKING for yourself. Dispense with all the pointers and non-dual concepts and get down to looking and discovering for yourself what your nature is.

Keep in mind that your true nature is here, obvious, clearly in plain view at all times. It is so easy to see and speak about it any time at all with no effort or struggle. All of its characteristics and qualities are self-evident, whether we speak negatively (what it is not) or positively (what it is). I could rattle off a hundred statements about it right now, as could you. So don’t get into a box and think there is anything difficult or problematic about this subject at all. It is the easiest of the easy, the clearest of the clear. Once there is no looking for identity in the mind, there is just simple freedom, ever-present and unconditional. When I say your being is not a concept, that is a perfectly self-evident fact, is it not? So is anything else you want to say about it. Because you are not speaking from the mind, but from immediate non-conceptual recognition. Of course your very being is not a concept, but you can use any concepts you want to talk about it and point to it.

I would drop all such notions such as “There may come a time in the future when I have to talk of such things, who knows?” This is just a concept anyhow, a shadow in the mind. It is totally irrelevant to present moment life. Who is this “I”?  When is this “time”? As always, life unfolds spontaneously in the moment, totally free of concepts and reference points. When there is a need for talking, that will arise. It will not be done by “you”, any more than anything else ever was. So, the point is just about being in one’s natural state and not running life through artificial reference points.

The spiritual terminology just gets down to pointing out that what you are is not a concept, however glorious such a concept might be. It is natural, unconditional, ever-present life in freedom. When it comes time to share this, if it does, it is not by putting this in concepts, but simply being what you are. Words naturally come as an expression of your experience. The words are not important, only what the words are pointing to.

The key is that any sharing happens naturally. It is NOT about talking ABOUT non-duality, but only pointing in whatever way naturally comes up for you to something that is already clear and obvious. You are only describing or talking about what is presently clear and true. It is never about words, so you don’t have to worry about words. It is about a heart to heart sharing of something that is already direct and immediate experience. If it stays like this, it is all very simple.

Just stick with the basic point of gaining confidence and clarity in your true nature. Searching for one’s identity in the mind is like an echo from the past. It may come up from time to time, just due to the habit of mind, but you can be assured it naturally settles down of itself. In your heart of hearts you know that you are not a conceptual entity constructed only in thought. That belief is snapped. So now the positive truth of what you are is clear and available for you to see, know and be. The whole gist of it is right here.

Consciousness comes and goes. You ARE. You remain what you are always, unconditionally. Samadhi, deep sleep, absence of consciousness, etc. are all still time-bound states. Your being is not a time-bound state, is it? All the discussions about states sleep, etc. are theoretical because they are being raised presently in the waking state and by the mind. In deep sleep you don’t have any of these questions or problems. If they come up in deep sleep, you can raise them then! Anyway, you don’t have to go to any other state to see what you presently are. If think you do, that will just delay looking into what needs to be seen NOW. So give up these delaying tactics and see what you are presently. That is the quickest and best way.

Start with the fact of your being. Start to look at that and see what it is. Keep in mind that “your being” means basically what you ARE. Being is not a thought, feeling, perception or object — but is clearly evident. So get curious about what this is — going by direct experience.

After clarifying the truth of what your nature is, there may be various nuances and issues that present themselves, but generally they are all from a conceptual level and only arise through trying to grasp what is real in the mind. So it is only the same old song over and over. At some point, you just stop singing along, and simply settle down with being what you are and always have been!

You say, “It is weird how something so close and obvious can be so elusive.” It only appears so. But it really is not. It is only seeing something so present that we never really took notice of it!

You don’t need to “know about” your true nature. You ARE your true nature. Don’t try to grasp this at a mental level, and then come up thinking “you” are “ignorant”. Your nature is doubtless, clear, present and utterly free of problems and suffering. If this is clear, you are doing well. If you start conceptualizing about “not knowing anything”, being ignorant, and start to believe that type of thing, it will be drifting in the mind. Never put yourself down and minimize your experience or knowledge. That is not needed and is only a concept. This knowledge is powerful, liberating, clear, intense and solid. It puts you into a doubtless state of understanding and experience that holds true in life and death. You should walk proudly in life like the son or daughter of a world monarch, full to the brim with precious knowledge and direct experience of freedom. It is not personal pride, but confidence born of the reality of the understanding and the value of the teachings.

What you are, what your natural state is, is not a concept, not even a happening or experience. Happenings or experiences are time-bound, but your natural existence is not time-bound. In getting to the root of this, various experiences and insights may come through. No harm with that. But still, what is present and ultimately real about your true Self remains unconditionally present.

It is not the body that is the bondage, but the identification with it. This is the key point. With that cleared up, any amount of other health or healing work can also be done if it comes up to do so. There is no real conflict. But the point is that you are not looking for your ultimate freedom through fixing the body/mind.

As you come to see more clearly what you are dealing with (which is in fact your own abiding natural state), it dawns that that is not variable. It is the overlooking it and/or taking yourself to be what you are not that is the variable part. That settles down with the clarification of what you really are.

All troubles are for, by and about the presumed “me”. A direct investigation shows that you are not this presumed “me”. What you are is the problem-free reality prior to concepts. One doesn’t need more concepts to see what is prior to concepts!

The point is that your being is. If you watch the sense of “knowing that” of “being aware of being”, that is actually an experiential component. That “knowing that you are” is not always present, so it is a concept, experience, or state ON the pure being. It is like a ripple on the surface of the ocean of pure, non-dual being. That is why some teachings talk about tracing the “I am” sense to its source.

Existence is a pointer to your real nature. But the point is to really see, know and be what you are. You should not miss the fullness of it. Most are not really looking into this at all. I don’t want you to be one who ends up missing the real meaning of this. Get to know the real nature of what is present. Again, “existence” is a label, a pointer. I want you to really become acquainted with what is being pointed to.

Your natural being appears as a void or nothing FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE MIND only. Mind deals in concepts and objects, but you are not an concept or object. So the mind perceives pure being or reality as a void or a vacuum. But your natural state or being is not a pure, empty vacuum. It is the fullness of reality, the source of life, consciousness, etc. Experienced directly, not through the mind, it is perfectly whole and complete.

Realize that the being is not an attainment. It is an ever-present fact. That is why there is no special moment required. You are only getting to know that which was always here and which, in fact, you have always been. Hence, the natural state. Any number of states and experiences of energy may come and go within this space of your real being. There is no problem for that, is there? States will come and go. There is nothing one is “supposed to do” with the energy. And who is this “one” thinking they have to do something? Is that not another passing ripple of energy? So instead of getting into “how do I … ?”, let it naturally turn you back to looking at “who am I?”. Responding in relation to the “I” just validates the concept of being the limited “I”. Asking “who am I?” undermines the reference point and immediately highlights the non-conceptual being, or “brings it to the forefront”, as you say. It is not in back or front, really, but it seems to emerge in the field of appreciation and recognition.

You HAVE thoughts, but you are not a thought, are you?

The immediate and non-conceptual recognition of your true nature undercuts and exposes the emptiness of returning to the mind and the dualistic concepts for obtaining reality. This would be like returning to seeking water in a mirage when you are already drinking water at an oasis. The old notions may arise due to a bit of momentum, but there is no real fulfillment in following them, in trying to “work things out” in terms of the conceptual view. It is about as satisfying as trying to eat the picture of food, instead of food itself. So this lesson naturally reveals itself and all attempts at looking for what you are in the mind trend out the picture. There is no harm in this activity happening, as it helps in confirming the understanding and seeing what is what. It is quite right and good for these things to appear because it only shows over and over the basic truth of things. So welcome anything that arises. This is how the concepts reveal their total emptiness (in terms of reality and self-knowledge).

Before the next thought appears all is already full and complete. Overlooking this was the oversight. Once this is clear, any amount of activities can and will occur. They will all have the perfume of fullness and completeness from which they arise.

Seeking, suffering and doubt is only possible as long as there is a lack of self-knowledge. Clear and direct self-knowledge brings an end to all of these once and for good. Saying “I know I am THAT” is good enough for a start, but really knowing what THAT is, what the true nature of oneself is, is the fruit of deep and sincere inquiry and investigation. Don’t just leave it as aspiration or assertion. Really get to know what is being pointed to as THAT. I meet very few who give real attention to this. And that is why it is such a circus in the spiritual market place currently.

Not being troubled by doubts and questions is the essence of it. As Nisargadatta Maharaj once said, “There is nothing wrong anymore.” Nothing is attained or asserted, no state is maintained, no position is claimed. You are as you are and nothing is wrong with you. That is the peace that passes all understanding (reality prior to concepts). The belief in the “I” as a valid reference point for oneself has ebbed away. There is no “I” left to make any personal statement about! What can be said about the barren woman’s son? Such is the fate of the presumed separate self.

Doubts may come and go. But your own natural self, the one for whom the doubts appear, is present and clear and not subject to any of the doubts. That fact of being, which is the substratum of the doubts, is the doubt-free reality. Seeing this, you easily slip free of any and all possible doubts raised by the mind. The mind may have its doubts, but your being is there beyond any doubt.

Your present BEING is IT. All else, even life and death, comes and goes in THIS

The mind is not the enemy. It is a good servant but a bad master. You make it a master by granting it reality, particularly in expecting it to tell you who you are. Once you learn this lesson, there is no more trouble.

Following the questions is continuing to search in the mind. Is your true nature “troubled” by questions?

Our conversation is the revelation of Self to itself. The conversation drops away, but the essence of what is pointed out remains ever as it is.

The real issue at hand is seeing, knowing and being what you are. All the mental commentary and analysis must be left behind, because the real answer is not in the mind. Period. The only hang up we ever have is looking for answers there (regarding who and what we are).

It is the interest in appearances that keeps one from looking at the source. Many people hear non-dual teachings, but few really see for themselves, because they are too interested in other things.

The key insight is to understand the futility of seeking reality, identity and happiness where they do not really exist. If you are looking for your being, for example, in passing phenomena, how can you find it there? So there naturally arises a certain dispassion towards things with which you were previously identified.

To be free of suffering, you must know what it is. Otherwise, you are struggling in vain, and your efforts may be wasted in chasing false solutions. Have you learned what suffering is and what is the root of it (the real cause)? “Conditioning” is not a correct answer, because that concept does not really expose the nature and root of suffering.

The “I am”, or the observer, is limited. You say “I have discovered the sense of ‘I am’”. So evidently what you truly are is beyond even that. You are actually prior to the “I am”. This is the actual point about this, which many don’t fully understand. What is prior to the “I am” is prior to consciousness, space, time, location, etc. Consciousness appears in the body. But that consciousness is appearing in you.

The point is to see who and what you are. Basically, you know what your being is or you do not. If you do not, there will still be seeking, suffering and doubt. So the only question is, what is your direct knowledge and experience of your true nature?

As long as you don’t know what you are, you will keep seeking answers in the mind.

Your real nature is prior to consciousness and non-conceptual. So look directly into this non-conceptual reality, which is in truth your very Self, and make sure you see it as it is. This is called Self-Knowledge. A question is only coming at the mind level, only when you think about it. You exist beyond the mind. So do you actually have any questions or problems in your real nature? Why go back into the mind and follow the questions? See, know and be what you are. That is the point.

The personal beliefs are held together by a core belief. When you look into the core belief, it has no substance, reality or independent nature. You say: “So then what is actually here? I could say that a person impersonally appears (or not), but that implies another belief system…?” But isn’t this just taking another spin back down into the non-existent web? Suffering has a cause, but when you look for the cause you find it doesn’t exist. Anything more that perpetuates looking after that is really just ephemeral mind stuff. At some point (now!), you see the game is up and you simply stop dancing with the mind. Your attempt to frame the understanding in words is only a subtle grasping at the mind level, isn’t it? What is happening if you simply let the mind be and stop dancing? Is anything wrong? Does anything need to be framed? Do you need a belief to BE what you are? Without the concepts, are you a separate person with problems? What are problems when you are not thinking about them? If you do not pay attention to a daydream, where does it go? Were the contents of the dream really there as realities? If all is only THAT and nothing else, is any more answer really needed?

The word “presence” is only a word. You are not even that word! See, know and be what you are prior to the word “presence”. The truth is that even the feeling of “presence” comes and goes.

You need to see the truth of what you are, what your real being IS. This is more important and comes first. Looking for the false self and negating it is only negating a phantom anyway. There is no real gain. Besides, who is doing this anyway? Is it not activity being done by the false reference point anyway? Start with the positive side. See what your being is. Then everything makes more sense. A man may negate a mirage but still not have any water. The point is to find the water not just negate the mirage.

Basically, thoughts, feelings, sensations and events arise and pass. If things are allowed to be, without identification (that is, attempting to define oneself by them), what can be wrong or problematic? The hitch was looking for reality, identity and happiness in the appearances. On the other hand, make sure that the full impact and depth of what is being pointed to as your non-conceptual nature is really appreciated. It is more than silence, awareness, being or what have you. These are only pointers. To really appreciate fully the nature and depth of what is present outside of the concepts is vast and profound beyond words. My sense is that many in spiritual circles are not really recognizing this positive side fully and deeply. It is so deeply profound! This positive knowledge really blows out any tendency to return to the mind and look for something more.

Look more and more deeply and fully into what this true nature of yours is. See what you can see about its qualities, characteristics, nature. These insights can be both positive (what it is) or negative (what it is not). Strangely, most seekers are not spending too much time really getting familiar with what their being is. In this regard, they are shortchanging themselves and really missing the heart essence of this. There is some acknowledgment of who and what they are but not a real embrace and full appreciation. This means that the identity and full clarification of it is not solid and utterly clear. This leaves unresolved loose ends and, past a point, the old tendency to engage and identify with the mind will start spinning up again. Discovering your true nature is quite joyous. It is like getting to know someone whom you already know, or like falling in love with someone you are already in love with, like seeing more deeply what is already being seen. Anyway, don’t deny yourself this rich fruit, the culmination of the spiritual quest.

Sharing with others is largely dependent upon their readiness to hear and their inner motivation. That can’t be drummed up from the outside. If that is not there, the non-duality message will likely not resonate. It is very radical. It works for those who are already starting to doubt their assumed identity and are actively looking for answers. Otherwise, it is best to meet people where they stand and share with them in ways they can relate to. You will find a few along the way that are interested in a more direct message. And then the sharing works well. It will happen naturally.

Reality is what you are, call it being, Self, awareness or any other term. You are that. Clearly there are no degrees in being what you already are. The issue of degrees and levels is one of the false notions you see through as the basics of this strike home. Degrees implies levels of reality, someone to traverse those levels, and time in which to do all that. But it is not really applicable to the actual case. So, such discussions are still moving in the domain of ignorance.

The body, states of body and mind, etc. are all appearances in your real being or natural state. That is pointed to by words like being, awareness, etc. Even those words are appearances in the mind. Your real being is not really awake or asleep, as these are only experiences rotating through your changeless presence. Your being IS what is the changeless truth. It is not so much that you are to look FOR it, but rather to simply notice the nature of what you already are. You can now shift from trying to find it to noticing what it is. It is a lot simpler that way. In non-duality, the nature of what is ultimately real is pointed out as the very fact of your own nature or being itself. This is the key message.

Mere death without understanding leads nowhere, anymore than simply going to sleep would free one of one’s problems upon subsequent waking.

I would say not to view this as an event, such as “now I have seen my nature and it is accomplished”. This is only a thought anyway. It would be totally conceptual and dualistic, and might even bring in a subtle self position — an “I” who has accomplished some goal. On the other hand, your real nature is ever-fresh, ever-new and never in the bounds of conceptual thought. It is always appreciated freshly in the moment. New facets, angles and pointers will emerge regarding the timeless and fully present reality. But they will be arising in the moment and let go of in the seeing that they are expressions and reflections. Like all else in manifestation they are to be enjoyed but not clung to, not made into reference points for some non-existent self. Anyway, I find that many tend to stagnate in conceptual definitions and very limited “experiences” of who they are. At some point these eventually become memories and thoughts “of” reality, rather than an expansive and alive recognition that is ever-fresh yet timeless. People I know who have a solid sense of this are still marveling in the depth and wonder of what they have found, even 40, 50 or 60 years after being introduced to it. So as long as you are keeping with direct and non-conceptual nature of who and what you are, there will always be that depth of wonder, freshness, joy and aliveness that is streaming through from beyond the domain of the mind. It is not a “one-time event” because your very being is not a one-time event either. It is the ever-fresh and living reality of things that is constantly available in immediate, present moment experience. I just wanted to emphasize this aspect because I do find that few are really seeing this fully. And in not doing so, there is a tendency for the energy of identity to reformulate at a conceptual level, although it is often framed in high-sounding spiritual concepts. But that is only a pale reflection, not the vibrant presence of non-conceptual reality.

In the end, there is a strong component of trust and heart-felt devotion that carries one over any residual doubts and questions. It is not blind faith, but a clear and conscious faith based on knowledge and direct experience. Ultimately, we suffer through ignoring our true nature and seeking a substitute identity in the conceptual mind. This only leads to suffering. The more clear and confident we are in the truth of our real nature and the more clear is our understanding of the mechanism of suffering, the less we are inclined to seek reality in the mind. In the end, it gets down to this. Particular experiences may recede, but you cannot say that your own presence as non-conceptual awareness or being is receding, can you? That is the essence of it. The only thing that can recede is the false or temporary. Reality cannot recede. It is ever-present and undeniable. Be always rooted in this through experience, knowledge and heart’s faith.

It is important to get some solid experience in seeing the real nature of what you are. All the other issues and problems tend to derive from lack of clarity on this. To the extent that this “positive” knowledge of what you are is clear, other issues tend to resolve themselves. Starting with the fact of your being as the initial point of the inquiry, you can immediately begin to observe what this being, which is actually your own nature, really is. Ultimately, this is what is being pointed to. And it is what you are being encourage to see for yourself. Without a good sense of this, trying to tackle other questions will not be conclusive. So why don’t you start with that and see what you come up with?

Start with the one fact you cannot deny: you are. Your being is there. Ultimately, that is what is being pointed to. So that is where to look. See what you can see about this ever-present being of yours. This is seeing, this is recognition, this is understanding. Overlooking this and taking yourself to be something you are not is the root of the trouble.

Mind is only thoughts, empty appearances with no substance. There is really no happiness or reality in it, any more than there is water in a mirage. Not find any happiness in it, we presume that the happiness lies in the past or future, not realizing these are only thoughts also. Seeing all this, you stop looking in the mind and things settle down.

The seeking continues because the answer being sought where it doesn’t exist.

You say, “I’ve heard it said that there is nothing we can do to cause the final recognition.” I would avoid this line entirely. There are already too many dubious concepts in play, such as “we”, “final recognition”, etc. Pause these concepts and what are you? Therefore, this whole concept can be thrown overboard.

The real issue is having not seeing your REAL nature clearly. This ignorance is at the root of seeking what you are in something you are not.

I never said you need a teacher. I said you need to understand what your real nature is. That being clear, all is clear. That being unclear, the seeking, suffering and doubt continue. So what have you discovered so far about this true nature of yours? That is the point.

Start with a couple of points: 1. The fact of your being, your existence itself. Ultimately, this is what is being pointed out and discussed. Your existence is clear and certain. Look into that more closely. 2. Whatever you ARE must be always present and always with you. The things that come and go (perceptions, thoughts, feelings, experiences, etc.) are not what you are in essence. So you can factor those out for the time being. See what remains that is not these things. That should get you looking in the right direction.

It is interesting how much activity there is in the “spiritual marketplace”, but it only goes up to a certain level. Beyond that, practical experience shows that few are committed to pursuing self-knowledge to its roots. Even many who are involved in so-called “non-duality” (popularized interpretations) are usually satisfied with a certain level of acquaintance with some general pointers. But generally I find people are mainly interested in social interactions, and if they are bit more serious, they may be attracted to some types of “spiritual” experiences, like feeling energy or temporary states of peace. This is equated with recognition of reality. So they are involved in trying to get those states to be permanent, which is not really possible. As a secondary compensation, they run after various events, “charismatic” teachers, and exotic environments, hoping to recapture past experiences or states.

At the end of the day, the nature of who and what you are is clear to yourself … or not. That is what it gets down to. If that nature is clear and you are confident in that understanding or recognition, all is well. If not, there will be continued seeking for identity in the self-centered concepts, however spiritual and sophisticated that may be. Awakenings, gurus, experiences and whatever else it may be are still stories in the mind. Even what people are taking as reality, such as consciousness, presence, bliss, etc. are also part and parcel of the false and imaginary. It is no wonder the few people are getting anywhere with their seeking. It is a bit of a closed loop. You up come for air years later and realize you got nowhere at all. It is all water under the bridge. Then it dawns, you have been looking in the wrong direction, and another possibility opens up — if you are ready to hear it and see it ….

Any residual seeking, suffering and doubt only goes on due to a few minor blind spots. If you hold your thumb in front of one of your eyes it seems to block the sun. But the sun doesn’t really disappear, does it? So the best attitude is not to put up with the blind spots, but to bring a bit of fire and intensity to dissolve any last traces of suffering. Suffering is not really needed any longer. It has a very specific cause and resolution. But it must be actively addressed and resolved. It is not just an assertion or catch phrase. You need to exercise the “wisdom muscle” a bit until the traces and roots of the imagined bondage are no longer in play. This is what I am constantly doing with people in my meetings and personal talks. The resolution is easy, in fact, but people are generally not motivated or interested to do it because of being more interested in other things which they feel are going to deliver happiness. Or else they are not really applying themselves to anything in particular and drifting along day to day, apparently satisfied with their lot. This is where some of the traditional meditations on the value and purpose of life, the preciousness of the opportunities, and the impermanence and fragility of appearances help to kindle the fire a bit.

In general, many people miss out on the full potential available by a deep and penetrating understanding of their real being. The knowing of what it is not is important. But that is like seeing the mirage is not water. It is good, but not the fullness of the experience available. The stunning, overwhelming and mind boggling impact of what is true and real outside of the false reference points is largely being missed. This is much more than just negating the false. It is a full recognition and embrace of reality, which is the real point after all. I am constantly talking about this in my meetings because I see most people are settling for very pale imitations or partial and limited views and experiences, even if they have been involved in spiritual pursuits for years.

The desire to be done with the “me” is a noble sentiment, no doubt. But it still contains a the scent of the assumption that there is something even present to be done with. Simply look with naked and honest awareness to see if there IS any such entity in experience. Other than awareness and few thoughts, feelings and perceptions passing through, what else is present on direct evidence? The real resolution of the dance with the ego is to see that is WAS NEVER PRESENT IN THE FIRST PLACE. That is full stop, game over. What is to be overcome when there is really nothing there to overcome? This approach is emphatic and leaves no loose threads in the game. That is why I recommend it.

You say, “I want nothing but my eternal Self”. But there are just one too many selves in the game! Even the “I” that wants the eternal Self is the false reference point, the non-existent, assumed, separate entity. With that dissolved through looking, and thus finding its absence, you ARE the eternal Self.

I will never let you settle for anything less than total and unconditioned freedom based on the unshakable conviction that you ARE the final reality you have been seeking.

The vast majority of seekers I meet are making several key errors.

  • Waiting for something to happen, rather than seeing what is already here.
  • Visiting other people who they believe “have the understanding”, rather than looking into their own being to see what it is.
  • Being fascinated by emotional and psychological drama of themselves and others, rather than being sincerely interested in what is present and free of the personality.
  • Mistaking spiritual concepts for actual non-conceptual recognition of what is being pointed to.
  • Naively trusting the counsel of professional teachers who are offering dualistic teachings (albeit with a thin veneer of non-duality concepts) for financial and personal gain.
  • Giving the separate self or individual reference point most of the emphasis or reality, in spite of whatever else has been recognized.

Examine your experience to see if any of these faulty views are still flying under the radar. If so, you can see them and discard them.

At the end of the day, your nature is clear to yourself or not. If that is not emphatic, there will be continued seeking and suffering. So you can’t really accept anything less than a clear resolution. This is what Bob Adamson was able to help me with directly and in person. Just reading about non-duality concepts and accumulating the “right” pointers is not really enough, clearly. I don’t know what others speak about, but I know this has been very true for my own direct experience. I can only share that. So if I can share a few pointers, I am happy to do so.

A note of caution is in order regarding the attitude that self-knowledge is not of much importance, not spectacular, boring, etc. Such views are coming from a mind evaluation, not from the immediate experience of what your nature IS. From the mind’s perspective, your nature is nothing perceivable or conceivable, so it appears as nothing. So the mind is apt to discount it. But from within itself, it is perfectly whole and complete in all respects. Sages have been singing the glories of this timeless reality for centuries and have never run out of praises for it. Sometimes, I have noticed in cases where people feel like the understanding is nothing too significant, the mind will gradually start reforming and subtly seeking once again in the appearances. That is one reason why there is a strong tradition in the line of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and Sri Siddharameswar of what they called “devotion AFTER realization”. The image given was like a “jilebi” (Indian sweet) that is soaked in sugar syrup after being fried so that it is saturated through and through with sweetness. This type of devotion was (and is) done in their tradition through remembrance of the guru, singing bhajans, discoursing on non-dual scriptures, gathering with co-disciples, visiting shrines connected with the lineage, etc. Anyway, that was their way, and there is some deep truth in it. So let the jilebi soak and marinate in the rich nectar of blissful immortality always!

Once the saving pointer has struck home, which is the emphatic revelation that the separate “I” has never existed and all there is is THAT reality, then all comes to peace and resolution. The “I” and the “you” have merged into one and the same doubtless reality. You are I and I am you; there is no difference. You have been communicating with yourself; and I have been communicating with myself. The Self created a pretext to recognize itself through the pointers of a seeming “other”. Like two eyes appear as separate, but there is only one vision, one seeing — thus are you and I seeming separate but really one being. Now, there is just simple delight in the ever-present and inescapable presence of THAT. It is wordless joy, now and ever. You are that. That is …. that!

Always remain in this beautiful space of the heart you have found. This celebration of the heart IS nothing less than the non-dual understanding itself. By grace of the lineage and the inherent power of these teachings, the storehouse of the heart has been filled to the brim and the doors have been thrown open so that the riches can be freely enjoyed and shared. It is a bottomless well of joy that only increases in appreciating it and sharing it. So let the light of your freedom shine and illuminate your life and touch all whom you meet. It may be simply a look of understanding, a moment of compassion, a sense of detachment in the face of a challenging situation, or a seeing the infinite beauty underlying all of life. Reality constantly reveals itself in 1001 expressions. Sometimes, you might find another heart open and able to hear the direct revelation of the nature of the Self. You can easily point this out now, because it is your own direct experience. It is not a teaching ABOUT the Self, but a direct pointing from the Self to the Self. Whatever may be the particular expression, it will be infused with this silent joy that is now your abiding and unshakable experience — because it is nothing other than your own true Self.

There is no boredom or loneliness in your real being. Those are only creations in conceptual thought. The more closely you are identified with (for lack of a better word) what you ARE, all the limiting conceptual states based on the separation idea simply fade due to having no basis.

The sharing in words and other forms naturally emerges. It does not have to be words, but can be gesture, sympathy, understanding, moral support or other ways. Non-duality is only recognizing the inherent nature and freedom of all. From that recognition, the appropriate expression will emerge. Not all will be interested in the verbal pointers of non-duality. But all can appreciate love, care and support within forms that are meaningful for them. The wisdom and intelligence in you will naturally find a way to make the connection if the situation arises. Nor do you have to be concerned about “what” you say. In the end, words are irrelevant. It is what is being pointed TO. You will find the right words based on your experience and also in a style that will be appropriate for whom you are speaking with. There is no “right” pointer. There are only effective and meaningful pointers based on the present situation. It does not have to be non-duality style verbiage and discussion — and usually will not be with most people who are not actively seeking their true nature. So you will find a way to share in a way that is meaningful for the one you are speaking with, in the terms they can relate to. The good teachers in history could do this. It is an art in itself that naturally develops through doing it. So do not be quick to judge or evaluate. Simply share what comes up and move on to the next interaction without bringing in the past. Each moment is fresh and new. Life is too quick to be caught in a fixed pattern or expression.

Emotions follow thoughts. Sensations follow emotions. Once the train gets rolling, you are heading down the tracks. But only at a conceptual level. Your real nature has never left the station!

Your real being is here, completely untouched by the ebb and flow of thoughts, doubts and fears.

Words like “awareness” or “space” are used to point TO what you are. They are only pointers. Now that you know the mind is not you and that your natural state is here, you can see exactly what it is going by direct experience. There are many pointers used. Now you can see for yourself what your nature is. It is very simple when you are looking in the right direction, which is right where you are.

You ARE this. How can “you” relax into what you actually are? That idea may keep a bit of dualism going. What will happen, though, is the identity going to the mind will naturally fall away. That activity will relax of itself. You don’t have to relax, because you ARE THAT. Now that you know what you are, you only need to BE WHAT YOU ARE. See the contrary ideas as false and naturally they fall away, leaving you are and have always been. I have known people trying to relax into awareness for years but not really making any progress. This is the because some dualism is retained. I don’t want you to do this. Without the concepts and searching for identity in them, do you have to relax into your true being? Or are you THAT? This is a more direct understanding and gets to the root of the imagined dualism. You are that now and always.

People often miss that the real meaning of non-duality is a matter of the heart. People sit in meetings, hear teachings and wait for something to happen. But the real communication is a movement of the heart, a nonverbal, intensely intimate recognition at the very center of one’s being, call that love or anything else. Love is the heart, or one’s most intimate true Self, simply recognizing and being itself. Standing free of any veils of concepts or limiting definitions put on by the mind, your natural being shines as unconditioned love and beauty beyond space and time. That is what is meant by THAT. And this is why the final pointer that strikes home and eliminates all of the imagined duality is: YOU ARE THAT. You are that, this is that, all is that, I am that. What can you and I be other than that same timeless essence? It is perfectly full and complete now and always.

Whatever you are with or without that thought is …. IT. It can only be pointed to, but you ARE that which is being pointed to. Based on this, you can confirm your own insights about this stuff. I cannot confirm the fact of your being, can I? Does anyone, or can anyone, confirm that YOU ARE?

Your being is here. There is nothing attained or that needs to be waited for. By “being”, I am not talking about thoughts, perceptions, feelings, states, etc., all of which are appearances or experiences. Your being is there all the way through, just that sense of being present and aware of all that is happening. Note the presence of that fact or principle, whatever you want to call it. Lock in on that and check it out by your direct experience to learn about it and become more familiar with it. You already are what you have been seeking. But most people are overlooking what they already are because they have not paid any attention to it.

The real Self is recognized and a natural renunciation happens of itself. Those who try to renounce the world to “reach” the Self are starting off with a misperception. Seeing the Self as one’s own true being and the true being of everything else, there is no more separation. It is a renunciation, through knowledge, of the imagined separation. Without that concept, all is THAT, and there is nothing left to renounce. That is the real renunciation!

Leaving aside your mind, your own being or innate presence is here in all its immediacy and clarity, isn’t it? Just have a look and see what this naked being is. Most people are missing this. Keep in mind, this is your own nature, what you are. There is no awakening or attainment involved, because your being is already here.

The separate self is notional. It is there when you are thinking about it. Your natural being is not a separate self, is it? The basic error we made was overlooking the open, clear presence of our true being and taking ourselves to be a conceptual entity spun up at a conceptual level. We refer to “I” this and “I” that, but apart from those thoughts, is there really any “thing” present that is the “I” itself? Other than a few thoughts, perceptions and feelings moving through the sky of aware-presence, our natural state, is there really anything in the picture like a defective, limited self? Seeing this is the end of all suffering, because suffering (seeking, limitations, etc.) is based on belief in being such a limited self.

The “me” is notional. One has effectively been identified with a mental concept DUE TO not being clear on the truth of what one is. The “me” is let go of naturally in seeing what you are. This is the positive side, which must be emphasized as the top priority. If this is not done, no one can really let go of what they are taking as true. So don’t get the cart before the horse. Focus on clarifying what you are, and the “me” will take care of itself.

The point of non-duality is to know about, recognize, see and BE what you really are. All else is secondary. What have you seen with this, most important, aspect? This not being nailed down is the real root of the seeking, suffering and doubt.

If we miss our true nature, the energy tends to go to the mind seeking self at a conceptual level. This will go on until you come to terms with the basic points once and for good.

Instead of speculating, guessing, and theorizing about this and that, why not simply get down to the task at hand? The way has been given. Your real being is there and beyond doubt. This, you know. But what that is, is for you to see now. There is no need for delays and comparisons with other teachings and teachers. These are all thoughts, doubts and concepts. In other words, these are all products of the mind. But can the mind really know what is prior to the mind? So drop these speculations. Instead, embrace the opportunity to see for yourself what is present. What is it that you are now coming to see about this glorious true nature of yours? Is there any issue of importance greater than this?

You speak of the attention going outward or inward. Who or what is making the distinction of “in” and “out”? Are these really valid reference points? Are you ever in or out of your true nature? Nail this down. You ARE your real being. This being clear, make sure you understand that what appears is also non-separate. The notion that there is THIS (true nature) and THAT (external world) as valid or real entities is only a concept. It is this concept that is the hang up. So this is not really an issue of some type of dichotomy between “in here” and “out there”. It is a matter of whether or not we are grasping at subtle dualistic conceptions as real. Once you see that the notions of “in” and “out” are only provisional concepts, not actual realities, then these concepts are released. The seeming content of experience is of the same nature as the nature of the one perceiving it. Both are one. Furthermore, the actual essence of reality transcends both. It is neither inside nor outside. The point is to release these dualistic notions and simply BE the non-conceptual itself, which is never bothered by artificial dualistic conceptions. Waves are seemingly something separate from the ocean. But in truth they are not divided. At the level of the element of water, the notions such as “waves” and “ocean” are not applicable, and there is no separation at all. The nature of the conceptual mind is to divide. But at the level of non-conceptual reality, no division is possible.

Keep in mind that reality does not depend on the focus of your attention! Wherever the attention might happen to be, you are still what you are, and the nature of things is still what it is. Clouds may wander to any location in the sky, but the sky remains exactly what it is. Let the body/mind do its thing, but you have not left your real nature at any time. Don’t leave the appearances intact as some kind of separate reality unto themselves. Just as YOU are THAT, so are the appearances. This is an important aspect of non-duality — the non-separation of appearances also. If all the appearances are also THAT, then who or what is ever leaving oneness? Is any drop of ocean water ever outside of the ocean, except notionally? Even to discuss appearances AND reality is a concept ultimately. For are not these only notional and being asserted conceptually? Apart from the notions of “appearance” and “reality”, what is really present without the concepts? Only THAT, the undivided reality. The point of all this is that the mind creates dualistic reference points and then starts seeking reality within that framework. But it is only seeking within its own conceptual divisions. Reality is not available in that framework, but precedes the artificial dualistic separation. Seeing this, there is simply a release of the conceptual division. Psychologically, that release or relaxation of attempting to grasp reality through the concepts is what peace or freedom is. It is not a new state or achievement, but the very texture of the non-conceptual, ever-present reality.

Keep in mind that all changes can only be in the mind content. You are not in the mind content. This is the simple secret of everything. Looking straight at the basic being-knowing of your real nature, you see that it is ever-free. It is never touched or compromised in the slightest. Overlooking this simple point was the root of all the seeking, suffering and doubt.

Resolving suffering won’t necessarily happen by simply “seeing circumstances as rising and falling in awareness”. It is certainly true that circumstances come and go in awareness, but this does not really explain the nature and cause of suffering, nor how to deal with it and resolve it. So these latter points must be understood also. It is unlikely that simply seeing things come and go in awareness would really address one’s suffering. One is going to have to look a bit deeper to see how suffering is created through identifying with self-centered concepts based on an erroneous sense of self, etc.

Be clear that there is no reality, happiness or identity in thoughts. Then you stop looking there. Thoughts are not the problem. But looking for yourself in them was the error.

You are your true nature always. It is not a matter of being aware “of” it. You “are” it. The thoughts, feelings and experiences are appearing “in” it. That is the only point to see.

The real point of all this is seeing what you ARE. In missing this, the mind has created a false image, identity or reference point. That is the false person idea. It is only a wrong assumption. There is nothing you must “do” with it. You don’t need to let it go or overcome it. It falls off naturally in seeing your real nature. So focus on the positive part, what you are. Then the issue of the wrong identity takes care of itself.

Keep in mind that just knowing there is “no self” is not the full answer. You must know and be clear on what you really are. The coin has two sides, resolution of the false and clarification of the true. Both are needed.

The real issue is you don’t know what your nature is. All problems will continue until that is resolved. Don’t deal with secondary issues. Raise the question “what am I?” and don’t stop till this is fully resolved.

Pointers only point. Your own being is what is being pointed to (at least by those who are straight and clear on this). So once you know where to look, the pointers are a bit redundant. Look at yourself for yourself and see for yourself. If any comments or questions come up about that, that is the purpose of dialog. Engaging in dialog regarding questions and experiences based on your own understanding is helpful. It is not passively listening to pointers, but clarifying and solidifying your own direct experience. At this point, you can drop theoretical matters. All discussions and questions (if any) should be about what you are finding out by your own looking and investigation.

At the end of the day, one’s “positive” identity must be clear. Knowing what I am not is good, but not enough, really. Note that you already are whatever you are. We just don’t want to be under any misapprehensions about what that is (you are).

What you are IS NOT in the mind, because the mind is in you. You must learn the art of seeing who and what you are without relying on the mind.

Of what value are so-called “spiritual” retreats? They are totally unnecessary to understand this stuff. They are primarily for the benefit of professional teachers as a means to raise more money! Turning this stuff into a profession puts a very unnatural spin on things. What are you really paying for, when your true nature is inherently present and available?

All manifestation appears in the mind; mind appears in consciousness; consciousness subsides leaving zero, or nothing; your real nature is prior to nothing.

As is sometimes said, you are “no thing” but you are not nothing! Your being is there, so you cannot really call it “nothing”, can you? You are present, aware, clear, unmoving, unaffected by the coming and going of thought, etc. These are just some pointers to get you rolling. There are many qualities and characteristics of your natural being. So don’t be seduced by the mind’s label of “nothing”. Of course, to the mind it appears as nothing, because the mind knows only concepts. But you are not a concept. You don’t really use the mind to be and know what you are anyhow.

Your nature is the basic space in which all experiences occur. But even external space is in that “space”. It is the space of consciousness within which all experiencing happens. The content is changing (body, mind, objects). But that conscious space is foundational. Clearly, you are not the objects in consciousness because they are coming and going. So at this level of looking, you must be the consciousness. That is not a thing you can grasp or see as an object, is it? Yet it cannot be denied, for it is a fact. So, a very powerful step is to notice this and let your sense of being return to the consciousness, rather than the objects we have assumed ourselves to be. Later, when you have stabilized a bit with this sense of consciousness, we can look more penetratingly into that also to see what is true or lasting about that. But that is not the final word either. You real nature is neither conscious nor unconscious, for both of these states happen to you, or within you, also. That is why all attempts to label and define your natural being finally must be let go of. You simply remain as what you are without the label.

Self-centered thinking drives the fear, worry, etc. The self-centered thinking is sustained by belief in the notional “self”. That is the cause. If the cause is active, you will have effects, such as the various self-centered fears. It is all mechanical. Without belief in the “I” reference point, the whole mechanism doesn’t really take flight. Once you look into this a bit, it should make sense. Without belief in the limited “I” at the root of the mind stories, how are you going to have the fears, anxieties, worries, seeking, etc. that arise based on those ideas? Many or most people in spiritual circles, even teachers, do not really address this issue accurately. That is why you see people with SOME aspects of clarity, but also obvious self-centered activity in play also.

Yes, there is “no person” here. But that is only negating what was never present anyway. All the self-centered mind states hung on that belief. So those are resolved. Still, your real nature is there. Make sure that is clear (as to what that is, what its nature is). If that is not fully nailed down, it will be easy for the mind to start going into subtle self-centered beliefs again. People often negate obvious reference points, but slip into other ones without seeing it. This is because the nature of the reality has not been clarified, and the mind is still attempting to grasp some conceptual identity. Anyway, there is a potential for confusion on both sides of the equation, that is, what we are not and what we are. So don’t settle for partial knowledge or understanding, as many do.

There is no need to try to cancel every concept. The core point that you are not a concept covers everything. However, there is a consciousness prior to concepts also. But you are still prior to that. There is that “nothingness” which is present in absence of consciousness. You are prior to that also! Reality is prior to the zero or no thing. These are all pointers. Use them and drop them! Basically, you cannot even frame a definition of yourself as the presence or absence of consciousness, much less any other grosser concept. For the record, Buddha used to teach that belief in a self is concept, but also that belief in no self is a concept. Both views are traps and lead to conceptual bondage and limitation. So it is funny when you hear people turning “no one here” into a new doctrine! It only shows that the subtleties of this stuff are being missed.

Essentially you lose interest in trying to verbalize what you are, because you see it is not available in language. You are, but you can’t say what you are. Many spiritual people are still engaged in defining reality in concepts and getting enamored with the concepts.

We are really talking about your being, your own existence. That is the basis that must be before any other thought or experience appears. Thoughts, feelings, objects, experiences, etc. are appearances. But you, your being, is something quite different. Look into what this being is.

Past a certain point, looking for practices and approaches is going back into the mind stuff, really. You speak of putting your attention on the thought “I am”. You said it: the thought “I am” is a thought. It is coming and going in consciousness. Why would you put your attention on a thought? That’s what you have been doing all these years and suffering on account of! You are aware of thought. In truth, that consciousness-presence which is aware of thought is the “I am”. It is really your consciousness. But even that is not what you finally are, because you are there in all conscious states and also the absence of them. In any case, this is NOT about putting your attention ON something. It is about UNDERSTANDING what you are. What you should be doing, if you care to do anything, is understand what you are more and more clearly. And also see what you are not (that is, the assumed separate “I” reference point). This is not some mechanical meditation of focusing on something, which would not get too far. But you must clarify and understand these points to your own satisfaction. If you find yourself returning again and again to the self-centered mind stories and concepts, then get to the root. The absence of seeking, suffering and doubt is the natural outcome of clear self-knowledge, because your real being has none of those.

There are different ways of pointing to what you are. But basically, if something comes and goes, changes in anyway, is dependent, is an object, is an experience, or is some type of state, it is not the abiding truth of what you are. What you are must be ever-present and always with you.

If the thoughts and concepts are not causing a problem, what is to worry about? Thoughts come and go, but you are. The mind has no idea of what you are, so its commentary about this is not important, is it? Reality is non-conceptual, so the mind is totally incapable of understanding what is being pointed to.

The mind may get “spaced out”, but you are still what you are. So don’t assume the mind’s activities as a description of your state or nature.

At the end of the day, it is our own interest and identification with thoughts that is the tie to them. The clarification about one’s real identity is what resolves it.

You are what you are. Mystical phenomena, “spiritual” experiences, “high” states, profound feelings, deep insights, — anything may arise. And they will pass also at some point. The considered wisdom on things like this is to not give them attention or interest. Sometimes when the old thought patterns and concepts are lifted, various energies are released at physical and/or subtle levels to express and harmonize in different ways. From the perspective of oneness, they are all patterns, like waves moving in the sea. From the perspective of the forms or patterns, there are seeming differences, but from the perspective of the ocean or the pure water, it is all the same essence, however things move. The potential pitfall with something like this is if the mind begins to subtly start creating evaluations, reference points, interpretations, etc. Best is to be bland and unconcerned. When you consider that all of manifestation appears and disappears in the “speck of consciousness” and that the speck of consciousness is like the light of a firefly flickering off and on in the space of the infinite being, experiences are not particularly interesting! Seeing the nature of what is, all experiences lose their boundaries, leaving just THAT and nothing else.

The mind is only concepts. Trying “work it out” at a mental level is not really what this is about. Basically, it just perpetuates the suffering. Clear self-knowledge and understanding is the point. You exist prior to the mind. That is why the mind is not used in seeing what you are.

Perusing books and podcasts is actually going back into the mind level. Why not follow the pointers and see what you are? Once you understand the need for this, you must move beyond pointers. Sitting around reading maps will never get you to your destination.

Thoughts are entirely passive and have no ability to grasp anything. The grasping is your own interest and identity with them. That ends when you really know who and what you are.

You may have questions or doubts about this subject. But with or without such questions, you still ARE. Your presence or being is evident. You are there, present and aware of the mind. The mind comes and goes TO you. It is an appearance. Basically, it is not what you are. It is not your abiding nature or presence. How can it be, when it is constantly changing all the time? Certainly, you cannot look into the mind to find yourself. See that you are present and aware of the mind. Establish this as a direct and evident fact. Once you have a feel for this point, then the thing to do will be to get curious to explore this fact of your own being to see what it really is. This is the looking I am talking about. It is not mental at all, and does not proceed by mental questioning.

Start with the universal factor that precedes all possible experiences — your own being. This is what is being pointed to. But you must explore it and see what it is for yourself. It is direct looking in experience to see what your being IS. It is not thinking or analyzing, but direct seeing.

The main point is seeing and being what you are. If you get dragged into the mind a bit, some inquiry is helpful to see what is going on and expose the identification. Then it (the identification and the inquiry also) naturally falls away, leaving you in your natural state. The more clearly you see what this natural state really is, the less energy will be going into the mind, because that activity is only driven by looking for yourself there.

When you have negated the false self, you have only negated something that was not there to begin with! But the discovery of what you really are, which has not been negated, is needed. The real point, after all, is who and what are you really? This aspect is different than just negating the false identity.

We often have a blind spot with seeing our true nature. Reading and thinking about it rarely resolves the issue, because those activities are at the mind level, and what is being pointed to is not at the mind level. It is, in fact, your own being, but this is too simple to be approached through thought. It is often easier grasp through dialog or direct pointing. On the other hand, you will laugh later when you see the simplicity of it all!

No matter what has been negated, you still are. Your being, nature, essence or whatever you wish to call it is there. It is not a thing or object that you can grasp, but it cannot be denied. Get into looking into this and seeing what it is. At the end of the day, this is the real point of it all.

Keep things in perspective. Whatever thoughts, feelings, perceptions, experiences, state, etc., may appear — all is only a vibration, an appearance in, on and of the non-conceptual reality. There is really nothing else present except THAT. In the sea, millions of waves arise and fall, but in the end there is nothing present except for the one substance of water itself. From that point of view, there is no separation — and in fact nothing has really happened at all. Any perception of separation, limitation, problem, duality, etc. is only put on at the conceptual level in the final analysis. Any expression of love (or anything at all really) without the conceptual interpretation is — in essence — only reality, which is your true being, what you are. Love free of labels is your own true Self. Here is the place where nothing is wrong and nothing needs to be modified, altered or corrected. Just “let it be” and all is perfect fullness and peace.

The point is to challenge the assumed identification, such as “I am the body”. In the end, you see that “I am the body” or “I am not the body” are both ideas. One cancels the other and they both fall away.

Which object are you prepared to grasp and say “this is what I am”? If you think so, just wait a few seconds and watch it disappear. Then see if you are still there, even without the object. This is not theory or ideas only. If so, it is still being evaluated at the mind level.

A concept (which is all an identity is), is a bounded, limited appearance. Your actual real state is not bounded and not limited. Therefore, the mismatch creates a discord or “pinch”. To equate yourself with an idea is a problem, because this is a false equation. At an emotional level this false equation is what is experienced as limitation or suffering.

Your being is there and beyond any doubt. Simply turn your consideration to this and see what its qualities are. It is actually very easy, although many people miss the simplicity of it.

Even negating what we are not implies some intuition of what we are; otherwise, how do we know that what we are not is what we are not? Those who stick exclusively to the negation path usually end up subtly misidentifying with some other concept or notion because the positive side is still not precisely clear.

YOU do not have any doubts, problems or questions. It is the mind alone that has such things. Actually you are simply standing in the peace and clarity of the non-conceptual the whole time. See where you are standing, not where the mind is telling you you are standing.

The mind deals in concepts. You are not a concept. Seeing this, you and the mind can part ways and call it a day. You can still use it for daily life, but not as a means to know yourself.

There is no “waking up” needed. You are already awake. These are the types of nonsensical ideas you get from books and half-baked gurus!

The mind will keep dancing with you if you keep dancing with it.

All experiences are coming and going in consciousness/presence. No consciousness, no experience. Consciousness is also arising and setting in the space of your non-conceptual nature. This is only pointed out as evident fact. Is it true or false, based on experience? Anyway, you can see what is the nature of your being by simple introspection now. Dream and waking states arise and set. Clearly, you are there in both (as the pure being). That can be pointed to as pure awareness, pure being, empty awareness or any other term. Words can only point. But you ARE IT.

Non-conceptual reality IS the answer. Everything else is only an approximate pointer to encourage recognition of that. Calling it “awareness” is still a concept and is only a pointer also.

So don’t leave this as some vague, future process or attainment. That will not nail this down. See the wavering as the interest/identity going to the mind, particularly the self-centered concepts. The residual belief in the validity of the “I” concept as 1) real and 2) your identity is what keeps the mechanism in spin. Be very, very clear that the “I” is an empty concept and not what you are. In fact, there is no actual “I”, only the notion of it. Then how can there be any belief, interest, or identity in it (if it is seen really to be non-existent)? The resolution of this is due to the clear and direct seeing of it, not waiting around for something to happen. Nothing “happens”. This just needs to be understood. If this is the case, then even if such thoughts come up, and even if some interest were to go to them, which is unlikely, there is still no wavering, no loss, no limitation. It is not about having such thoughts go away, but the clarity of understanding. Then there is no hooking in, regardless of whether they are there or not.

Pause the concepts. That doubtless being, knowing and peace is very much present. We are looking at the waves (thoughts) and missing the ocean.

Mind appears TO you. Thus whatever you are transcends the categories/activities of the mind. This is not a negation of the mind at its own level, but is highlighting the impossibility of truly locating and recognizing your true nature in and through the mind. This understanding is a necessary step that clears the way for a direct approach to self-recognition.

You will ALWAYS be at a loss to SAY anything about it (your true nature). However, your being is present, clearly recognized, and available. Whatever its qualities, they are here for you to see right now. This seeing is possible. Do not confuse the inability to frame something in concepts as its absence or unreality. This is NON-CONCEPTUAL understanding. It is not done through the mind at all.

In the end, it is your own direct experience that counts. Freedom is freedom. Peace is peace. All the pointers are provisional and aim to point out the availability of this in life. Many are the points of view on this. In the end, they are all dropped. Why? Because what you are is not a pointer, a concept, a word, or a system of thought. No one else has your being. No one else can grant you your own experience. It stands on its own and validates itself. I am happy to share a few pointers along the way, but the seeing, knowing and being what you are is your own most intimate knowledge and experience. There is no external expert. You are the subject matter expert and also the subject being investigated.

Just make sure that the nature, mechanism and root of suffering is very clear, based on applying these pointers to your own experience. This is the point that very, very few really address. You will see the fruit of this by the total incapacity of such self-centered thoughts to throw you for a loop or pull you into them. Make sure that this is clear to the extent that even if the thoughts do arise, there is no real belief or substance given to them. This is what ends the “wavering”, not some future event. Use any arising of seeking, suffering and doubt to confirm these points. That way, it is actually very good if such thoughts arise. When that stuff arises and there is no sense of losing your ground or true nature at any point, even while the thoughts are present, then you have taken this to the roots. Again, this is accomplished by clear understanding, not a process or some vaguely defined future event. If you fall for those imprecise explanations, there will not be a looking at how the mechanism is presenting itself in experience. And the needed understanding will not be there, due to having not really explored it.

Suffering is only for, by and about the “I” entity, not for you (your actual being or true nature). To see yourself very clearly as not represented by the “I” concept, which is the central reference point of the mind-stories, is to very directly address the lingering tie into the mind and hence the identification. This is to be done now, based on understanding this. Why wait, when the whole issue can be resolved now through a thorough understanding of this? I did not wait for this to “settle in”, but found it to be addressed as soon as it was clearly pointed out and understood.

Concepts go dead, even if they sound good. The natural, non-conceptual reality is vivid, clear and powerful. It shines outside of words about it.

Are you still looking for some result, some state, some attainment? But is your being, your present existence, a result?

If you can see something come and go, then there is a point when it is no longer there, but you are still present. Essentially, everything phenomenal is like this. However, your actual being is not phenomenal and is not coming and going. Whatever you innately are must be always with you. These are some reasons why these pointers are used. In truth, permanent and impermanent are also concepts. But what you really are is not a concept. So technically and in truth what you are is neither impermanent or permanent. These are just ways to get you to drop the concepts and see what is really here. In the end, the pointers are also not true. But they may have some value along the way, like a thorn used to remove another thorn. But then they are both discarded.

Be crystal clear on what your nature is. This takes active looking and engagement. It is not just being familiar with non-duality pointers, such as “you are awareness”. That is one suggestive pointer only. But if you go by direct experience, you will SEE for yourself. What you find is so astounding and overwhelming that all tendency to be involved in the mind is annihilated. All I can do is encourage you to do this. Most people, including apparently dedicated seekers, are not doing this. In spite of the acquaintance with the various teachings and professional gurus, they really are not looking and understanding who they are. So the same seeking identity in the mind is going on pretty much as before. It is just some high-sounding wall-paper covering the same basic sense of unexamined self. Basically, it gets down to being more interested in the mind due to continued identity with it. Put aside the non-duality pointers and proceed with intense and naked looking into the reality of what you are prior to the mind.

Whatever you are is always with you, always present. Start by noticing that which does not change. Once that is discovered, look closely to see what that really is or what its inherent characteristics are. Do this based on direct evidence, not thinking about it.

Are you not aware of thoughts? A particular thought will come and go. Do you disappear when the thought vanishes? That is not experience. So that being/awareness which is cognizant of thought is there. You don’t have to be aware of it, or try to see it, which would be redundant and useless. Besides, that is not an object, is it? Once you have zeroed in on what I am talking about, it is very easy to see what that is. It is non-conceptual, non-objective. Still, your being is there and completely evident and beyond any doubt. Even to doubt it only PROVES its presence. Make sure these points are clear.

Of course attachment to thoughts CAN be avoided. Such attachment is only due to some lingering seeking of reality, identity or happiness in the mind. When it is very clear that there is no reality, identity or happiness in thought, the last vestige of attachment entirely drops away. Thoroughly understanding the nature and root of suffering resolves this last bit naturally.

At the end of the day, you need to know what your true nature is. And if you instinctively come out with some non-duality concept like “awareness” or “presence”, that is likely only a retreaded concept you have picked up from the internet! So don’t be satisfied with such “canned” answers. You must buckle down and understand for yourself by your own direct looking and examination. Probably 1 in 10,000 seekers or less is doing anything near what I am suggesting here. And of those who do, most are settling for partial insights and conceptual knowledge, not solid experience. Generally what hangs people up is that they are really interested in other things, not in knowing who they are. How you approach this is based on your own earnestness and determination to see to the bottom of things.

The main pointer is to start with the undeniable fact of your own being. That is not an experience, a state, a feeling, a non-duality concept, etc. It is a fact. But it is up to you to find out for yourself, by active, engaged and focused looking just exactly what this really is. Wall-papering over it with quick and easy non-duality concepts is not enough. Generally, that is what people are doing. They are not LOOKING, but are only parroting acquired concepts. Once you see the trap of that, you can get down to seeing what needs to be seen. The pointers can get you moving in the right direction, but they can only point. You must see for yourself.

Even the notion “we are awareness” is coming and going. Pause all the concepts, labels, descriptions, approaches. Notice the nature of what is without the concepts. This is not about remembering something (even yourself), but being what you are. Quit chasing concepts, even spiritual concepts and where are you?

Questions are only thoughts. Your real being is there before the thoughts (or with or without the thoughts). It is up to you to find out what is the nature of what you really are prior to thoughts. THAT reality or fact is not properly to be termed by any concept or idea. “Self”, “no self”, etc., are only ideas. So don’t get lost chasing ideas. Get down to seeing and knowing beyond doubt what you are. You can look for yourself and find out what that is. At that point you are off the level of concepts, so the questions dissolve.

“Ordinary mind” and “big mind” are only conceptual distinctions. You can skip over all this type of thing. Once you turn to the fact of your being, you are not dealing with psychological or phenomenal appearances. This is not to deny the value of psychology or phenomenological analysis at its own level. But that is not what we are dealing with in self-knowledge. You must have seen by now that there are endless descriptive systems to attempt to categorize and explain phenomena. They are only provisional, not absolute. Once you turn to your real being prior to thought, you are out of that loop entirely. You can use that information for the world of appearances, but it does not apply to your non-conceptual true nature. That is why you don’t use the mind for knowing and being what you are.

Is your own existence inferred or self-evident? Even though your non-conceptual reality (presence or being) is not available to the senses or mind, it is still self-evident and beyond doubt. It is does not even need to be proved or asserted, because it is the self-evident requirement for even those activities. The recognition of your own being is non-conceptual, immediate knowledge that is not going through subject/object knowledge. This is why we overlook our own presence in the equation. It is so given and obvious that we are apt to overlook what is being pointed to.

Leave the pondering behind. Your being is there. See what it is. SEE what it is — not think about it!

Did your being or awareness stay attached to the dream figure you were inhabiting in last night’s dream? Find out if what you really are is rightly associated with the body. If the being/awareness transcends the dream character, then why not this body also?

See if you can find the someone who is present to need liberation. If you can’t find a limited self, then is liberation even needed?

Your real state is unbounded, non-conceptual freedom and is presently attained. The trouble starts with the conceptual “I”, which is only a construct. All limiting experience is just self-centered conceptualizing that is based on the assumed validity of this reference point. This only sustains due to ignorance. Once exposed, the game is over, along with all seeking, suffering and doubt.

Get acquainted with and stabilize in and as that which you really are, which is prior to thought. Words are used to point to that, such as being, awareness, natural state, etc. Those are only words. It is called “awareness” by convention but is not really awareness. It is called being, but is not really being. Basically it is beyond framing in concepts. It actually transcends being and awareness, although this is not commonly discussed due to people not probing deeply into this.

If someone thinks “I am defective”, this is an idea. This idea is actually for the “I” thought or assumed individual. So if you look, you find that the assumed individual is not really present except notionally. That is, there really is no actual entity or reference point present to be the recipient of the identification. The actual presence of your real being is there no doubt. But that is not a defective person. It is helpful to see that all limited concepts are in reference to the conceptual “I”, not your real nature. That is the point of it. All seeking, suffering and doubt comes from taking the conceptual “I” to be your identity and overlooking the natural reality of what you really are. That is why for someone who is genuinely suffering, the pointer to investigate the “I” can be used to 1) challenge the assumed reality of the individual, and 2) to uncover the real nature of who they are.

The outer world is never the challenge, really. As Nisargadatta Maharaj used to say, “The only thing that can trouble you is your own imagination”. Just use whatever experiences appear as a means to confirm and clarify your real nature and as fruitful opportunities to better understand the nature and root of suffering. Then, it is all good, even the assumed challenges.

Following other peoples’ pointers will lead back to concepts. Stay with your own direct experience. Your BEING is there and is what this is pointing to. It is not an object, but is certainly not nothing. To the mind it may seem as nothing, but that is only for the mind. That awake, existent, non-conceptual reality is there even prior to seeking or trying to understand it. Don’t guess at it, look and see for yourself and have confidence in your own direct experience.

What is wrong (separate, divided, limited, etc.) without a concept defining it so? Seeing this, then even with concepts, there is still knowing what is what. The root of all the limiting concepts was the separate self reference point, the one to whom the troubles applied. Seeing this as a mere false assumption, a substanceless reference point, then the hook into the game dissolves. Life in appearances may go on, including the mind activities, but there is no one left to be stuck or hooked. Clarity and peace reigns, in spite the presence or absence of appearances. Life is seen as what it is and always was — a display in, on and of the non-conceptual reality of your innate true nature. Some call that being, awareness, emptiness or whatever, but even those are mere words and concepts. What you really are is not even captured by such concepts.

The old self-centered beliefs and reference points may come up in the mind. But since they have been seen through and are no longer believed as before, they eventually pass like everything else. Clouds don’t stick to the sky and no concepts can stay with you either. Your own knowing and seeing shows that you are not a limited self concept. What must you then be? Can you be anything other than that non-conceptual reality which precedes every concept? And as that, do you really have any problems, questions or doubts? Not at all! This is the key insight that unravels all the knots quite nicely.

We tend to get caught up in the appearances and keep trying to “figure it out” because the simple truth of who we are is in some doubt. With that really clear and solid, there is no more looking elsewhere to find or know or figure anything out. The appearance is only appearance. It is an appearance in, on and of the constant and real, which is your own true nature. The mind can’t really understand the appearance, because the mind is also a part of the appearance. Seeing what you are prior to appearance, there is nothing to understand because there is no separation and no concepts. It is perfectly whole and complete. Pause the attempt to figure out the appearances at a mental level and recognize what you are. This is really the way the mind settles down. The philosophers have been trying to figure out appearances for thousands of years and there is no real, final conclusion — as it is all concepts and guesswork. It is all speculation and provisional answers. This really means that it is a blind alley with no finality. “The answer is not in the mind”. But prior to the mind, which is your own native ground, there has never been a problem or a question!

You are present before concepts, correct? After death, deep sleep, etc. are only present notions. Therefore, it is better just to “full stop”. What is wrong if you are not thinking all these concepts? Nothing! Still your real being is there, is it not? Sleep, death, etc., are only appearances, events that come and go. Even consciousness rises and sets. You are there before, during and after all that. This is all that is being pointed to in different ways. That is all you need to know. At that point, what is the use of pointers and thinking about everything? 

All suffering or sense of limitation is rooted in an unquestioned assumption of existing independent and isolated as a separate self. Upon investigation this turns out to be a concept, not a reality. The relinquishment of this concept, through understanding, results in unconditioned freedom, in which the root of the suffering is undermined. This is to reclaim the natural state that was really never lost. 

The mind is an appearance of yours, so clearly the mind comes and goes to you. What is continuous and natural is something other than the mind. The mind is not the enemy, so you can use it when you need to. Just don’t define your identity, your true nature, by the contents of the mind. It is that simple!

Death is only a presently arising notion. Don’t forget also that death is only referring to the body, which you are not anyhow. The whole universe is rising and setting in consciousness. That consciousness itself is coming and going in your real being. So what is death even referring to, from that perspective? Clearly, when people start talking of death, they are referring to the fate of the physical body. If there is some identification with this (“I am the body”), then this concept triggers all types of further doubts and questions. But if the body is not who and what I am, these issues become moot. The body, like all else, comes and goes. You are still what you are. So the issue of death resolves into a non-issue. Are you concerned with the “birth” and “death” of your shoes, for example? It makes no sense, because you clearly know that they are not you. So there is no need for further discussion about it. It is the same with the body. The only reason the discussion even arises is due to some identification with the body. Without that notion, there is no trouble to speak of.

The thoughts, feelings, experiences, concepts, etc. may change. And these changes may affect your experiences. But you remain exactly what you are. This is the final point. In all of this, you have not changed at all. Seeing this simple point is the key.

If everything is in and of consciousness, what is separate? Think of the dream case, in which everything is an appearance of consciousness. Do those “other people” (seen in the dream) exist with separate minds, consciousnesses, etc.? It appears so, but this is appearance, not final reality. Why is it not the same in the waking state also? There appear to be others with separate minds, etc. But, still, they are appearances in and of consciousness. Keep in mind that consciousness is also an appearance in your real being. To see yourself and all others as consciousness is a good and necessary insight. But then see that consciousness also appears.

You precede all questions. There is no question about that fact, is there? Questions are in the mind, but your real being is not in the mind. This is a key point. All doubts and questions are at the mental level. But you are there independent of that activity.

All concepts are provisional. They are useful but not ultimate. As long as there is a seeing of this distinction, all is well. Problems come from seeing concepts as realities. What is non-conceptual cannot really be captured by any labels. So finally they are all dropped. Something yet remains, which is what this is about.

The reality, what I am talking about, has nothing to do with the mind, attention, focusing, recognition, etc. Waving your hand in space does not bring you closer to space! Like this, mental activity does not bring you closer to what is non-conceptual and ever-present. However, there is a skillful use of the mind to usher in this understanding. One pointer is to notice that there is something aware of the mind. You may call it the space in which the mind appears. That space is not dependent on the mind contents at all. Also, if you are subtly seeking reality, identity and happiness in the mind contents, it will be hard to really understand all this beyond a superficial conceptual level. That is why there are pointers exposing the transiency of the appearances, their inability to deliver lasting happiness, the absence of a phenomenal self, etc. It all goes together and is of one fabric. 

The basic point is to have a look and clarify who and what your abiding nature is. Start with the one fact you are absolutely sure of: you are. You cannot deny that you exist. So you are looking to see what is the nature of that existence, your own doubtless presence. You will quickly see that that is not any appearance, such as thoughts, feelings, experiences, states or any other appearances that are arising and setting. Then you can get down to looking at what it is that is still here beyond any doubt. We are generally overlooking this, our own self, and so are mixing up what we are with something we are not. This is the root of suffering; it is basically a wrong identification. So the looking clears up this basic confusion and restores the true identity and simultaneously ends all suffering in life.

Pause all conceptualizing and realize you ARE already pure non-conceptuality.

Where do you actually stand right now? Are you IN the mind content or are you aware of the mind content? This is the basic confusion. Resolve it right now in direct experience. Pause the concepts and where are you? What are you right now? Can you say that you are something other than non-conceptual being and knowing prior to thoughts?

The real teaching is the direct sharing of lived freedom. It is not a method. The methods go stale pretty quickly — because they are all only temporary and provisional. Living in and as that freedom, you don’t need any methods, really.

On investigation, the “I” is not found. Therefore the root of the conceptual illusion and bondage does not exist. But still your natural state of being is there. This is the positive side of the equation, what you ARE.

Subject and object are both appearances and mutually dependent. Reality is prior to subject and object.

To the mind, reality seems to be not existent. That is why the answer is not in the mind and you cannot really use the mind for this. This basic point must be understood.

All the pointers are concepts and moving in duality. There is no finality in them. But there is something here that is not a concept. It is not a proposition. It is an outright fact that is so obvious that we miss the simplicity of it. But as long as we are trying to grasp it in the mind, it will appear elusive.

To the “me” everything is appearance. Without the “me”, all that there is, is reality.

Suffering arises when reality, identity or happiness is sought in self-centered concepts.

Do not make this too difficult. Your being, your own existence, is here presently and beyond doubt. This is what you should be looking into, not imagining other states in the future (such as deep sleep, death, etc.). Once the present being that you are is understood, then its nature in other states and conditions can be considered. At that point, it will not be hypothetical as it is now. At this stage, these types of questions only entice the mind and keep you looking away from what you actually are. Seeing this, you can drop such speculations and get down to having a look at the nature of the being, your own existence, that is here now beyond doubt. Then if you want to answer any questions, you can examine your real nature now and see what the actual answer is based on direct experience instead of speculation. Start with the recognition that what you are is already present and beyond doubt. That is actually what I am pointing to. The questions about deep sleep and death (or any state that is not present now) are raised by the mind and are conceptual, not actual. Following the mind is the trap we fall into. Your being is not in the mind, even now.

You may have picked up an idea that you need to get rid of mental conditioning. This is not the main point. The main point is to be clear on the nature of your being, your real self. If there is any conditioning, it is only concepts that have been acquired as a result of not being clear on this. When that is clear, the issue of conditioning takes care of itself. Why not start with the most important part first? Then you can deal with secondary issues. People who get to work on secondary issues rarely get around to resolving the main issue. By the way, your real being has no conditioning. This is what you find.

Your real nature is already present and precedes any questions. In a way, the questions only pull us away from what is being pointed to. As is often said, the answer is not in the mind. But clearly, the questions ARE in the mind. So there is no real conclusion in the questions. Questions are only appearances. Your real being is here before the questions. That is present without any doubt or question. Even to doubt your being requires that you are present and existing to raise the question. So the being is not subject to questions and doubts. This is what gets us out of the endless doubts raised by the mind. If you are in a pit of alligators, the best way to get free quickly is step out of the pit if you can, not struggle with the alligators. Same with the mind. Don’t wrestle with it, just step out of it. You can, because you are out of it already.

The pointer “nothing to do” is not really conclusive, certainly not while there are doubts, questions and unresolved suffering. “Nothing to do” implies that all the investigation and understanding has been done to resolve those things. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing to do to be what you already are. Or, in other words, reality is not a result of a doing. But to see, understand and appreciate does take some application. All the bona fide teachers and traditions have said so. It is so self-evident that it almost needs no comment. In the end, our experience confirms this. No matter what we think or say, if the doubts are not resolved, they simply continue unaddressed. That is not really acceptable. So just saying “nothing to do” is really a non-statement. At best it must be appreciated in proper context. The problem is that often the pointer is being used out of context and without proper understanding by both teachers and seekers.

Consciousness subsides with the body. That is why the word “awareness”, if used as a pointer, must be understood and used in its proper context. This is not usually being done. But in fact consciousness is already coming and going all the time, even on a daily basis. But something is being pointed to other than this. So to equate unconditioned reality with “awareness” indiscriminatingly is a fatal error. Like anything else, “awareness” is at best a pointer to something. It is a bridge to cross the river of understanding. But you don’t want to build your house on a bridge. I myself have used the “awareness” pointer. But I find that many are not really going behind and beyond the pointer, so I am disinclined to used that particular pointer much. Keep in mind that all pointers ultimately fail. So rule number one is: don’t get stuck on pointers!

It is not the outer environment, objects or people that cause our troubles. It is our ideas, concepts, beliefs, notions of identity, etc. More specifically, the troubles come from identifying and believing the self-referring beliefs the we have picked up about who we are. This is the real issue. The key to freedom is a very thorough and clear understanding of all this. There is no other way. It is good that such ideas come up to be seen and understood. If not, how would we be able to understand all of this and discover freedom? So if these are getting triggered by your daily life, this is fine. Use it as a chance to clarify your understanding and to confirm the pointers. Do not take on board the idea that it is the outer situations that are causing suffering. This is not true. If you do not see this point, you will think that running away from life and living in a monastery is the path to freedom. But this would be a huge misunderstanding.

Awareness is pointer to what you are, your being. So don’t get too hung up on “awareness”. It is so much more than this. Plus, awareness is not constant anyhow. It may be a pointer to get us aligned to see what we are. But if you go around with a new concept “I am awareness”, like many do, you are only buying into another idea! Go beyond the pointers, even spiritual pointers. You are not a pointer!

What is being pointed to as your real being is clear, present, doubtless, free, and beyond duality and suffering already — by nature. This is the “radical” perspective of which I am speaking. I am not just speaking, but communicating what the experience actually is. This was clear for me since meeting “Sailor” Bob Adamson in 2003. Since then nothing has changed at all! I am still what I am and always will be.

Listening to teachers and comparing them is a totally different activity than looking at your own self and being clear about your own mind and how it works.

The mind can be a bit a tricky. So you have to be trickier than the mind!

Nothing can be held or retained. But even when everything disappears from view, what is truly worthwhile still remains. That is what we cherish in every experience. The particular content of the moment will fade, but not the essence. Wherever and whenever we meet, we must come together in the here and now, in the source that constantly wells up freshly as present experience. Whatever may be happening, I am always available to meet you there. It is where you are right now, where I am right now. Though we may appear to be separate, in substance we have never been two. With a bit of looking, you will find this oneness is ever present. In fact, it is all that is present.

To see that the “I” is a fiction and you are already what you have been seeking, the supreme reality itself, brings more than relief. It brings complete liberation, here and now.

Anyone who assumes they have conditioning never gets free of it. How can you bail water out of a mirage? Real freedom is seeing that conditioning is just another baseless assumption. This is something like a person saying “Someday I will be free of my imagined handcuffs.”

What are you? What is your constant and abiding nature? This is what is being pointed to. What are you doing now to see this for yourself? We are not talking about body, mind, concepts, or the “I” — but your doubtless being. Until you begin to look in this direction, there will be doubts, because this is the point of everything.

Many so-called spiritual teachers are very confused and mainly propagating their own ignorant concepts. So be careful whom you follow and what teachings you are listening to. Most are clearly out for money and to collect a following.

Who is this “I” who will help “others”? Treat this as any other self-centered thought and let it dissolve in the seeing of ever-present, ever-fresh reality in which there is no self or others. From there, that space of non-dual, immaculate freedom, any amount of sharing may happen spontaneously. In fact, your very being is the highest gift. It will share itself as and when circumstances demand. That cannot be helped or hindered.

Recognize that which never changes. That is a universal and time-tested pointer. Yes, the mind cannot find that. But whoever said to use the mind? The real looking does not involve the mind at all. You are present before thought appears, as the one to whom thought arises. So look into that which is aware of thought. Clearly, the mind is not going to be useful or needed for this. How can the mind look into that which is prior to the mind? This does not mean to stop looking. That would be a wrong assumption!

That which is present and independent of the “me” is the positive reality being pointed to. This being understood, you then recognize that it remains with or without the “me” or any other concept. This is what I am talking about by “the natural state”.

There is certainly nothing wrong with asking the question “Who am I?”. Otherwise countless sages would not have proposed it. In fact, it is the necessary and final question to ask. Without wondering about and examining the nature of what oneself is, how would anyone ever overcome the basic ignorance? It is a medicine to be applied at the right time. Once the results are found, it is not needed. For one apparently in bondage to the false self, the question is absolutely necessary and relevant. Remember, it is not the medicines that are the problem! It is the lack of clarity about who and what we are that is the problem. The question is the exact remedy to address that ignorance at a certain stage. Many people make too lightly of these things without really understanding some of the nuances.

Looking at your own being means to inquire, look into and investigate what it is that you are, what your abiding nature is. It is a deep, honest and heartfelt inquiry to get to the bottom of what it is that is being referred to when you say “I am”. It turns out that we are not talking about our body, mind, senses or objects. But our own being is there, so we must be clear what it is if it is none of those things. Simultaneously, the roots and nature of suffering need to be understood and resolved. Normal daily life and work can and should go on smoothly while clarifying one’s understanding of these points. This is not a path for those who are running away from the world. The world is not the problem at all. It is our ignorance of who we are that is the problem. This is not resolved by simply turning away from the world.

The point is to know beyond any doubt what your nature is. The “me” comes and goes like all else. Even when the “me” is gone, your natural being is there. The point is to be familiar with THAT which is always present. Other insights and experiences will come and go and eventually lose their meaning. You will still be left with the first and last question. Who and what are you?

Waiting for a “shift” is just another needless concept. While you are waiting for a shift, the real nature is already present and beyond doubt. That is the point overlooked.

Don’t worry about what others say. That is only THEIR pointers. You must look for yourself to understand what you are for yourself. Nothing else matters. If you only read and think about what others say, you end up with a lot of conceptual information but no direct experience. Basically, you end up where you started. Actually you are worse off, because then you are burdened with years of wasted effort and a load of second-hand pointers, which are only concepts after all.

Make your own efforts to see for yourself. This is the key step and the direction you must continue with. Clarifying what you are based on your own seeing is the point of it all. You must carry this out until your knowledge is clear, firm and complete. It is a joyous, exciting and liberating experience if approached in the right spirit. This is because as you recognize and understand what you truly are, you find something of immense value and worth, more valuable than all riches and all worldly happiness. Also, the real nature of what you are is entirely free and beyond suffering, so in coming to see this more and more clearly, that freedom and happiness is recognized as your own nature.

The insights about who and what you are really start flowing when you are looking in the right direction. The insights can be phrased negatively (what my true being is not), as well positively (what it is). Both are possible and helpful in clarifying things. For example, what I am (or what the real nature is) is not a thought. If so, which one? What is truly present cannot be equated with any particular thought. This point of view when seen and applied will carry through to all other possible temporary objects, appearances and states, etc. Knowing what you are and what you are not are different ways of approaching the same thing (clarifying what you, in fact, really are).

The idea of an appearance is just another idea. The one looking for explanations (the mind) is also an appearance. The one source is appearing as all things (that is, all apparent things).

What “happened” in last night’s dream? What REALLY happened? Nothing happened. Nothing – happened!

You already are what you have been seeking. This is what we overlook.

Thoughts come and go, images come and go, even the idea of “I” comes and goes. It is all mental content, without substance and transient in nature. It is all simply an appearance in consciousness. Seeing this, then any more mucking around in the mind stuff, digging for answers and solutions is a fool’s game. There is a completely different direction to be looking at this point. There is something present that is not coming and going, totally unaffected by the content of the mind. This is what is being pointed to by terms such as “your real nature,” “being,” “awareness,” etc. Have you come to terms with this principle, this factor? Once there is looking in this direction, you are totally out of the mind. See if you can spot what I am talking about here. This is what I call the positive side of the equation. Negating the mind contents and conceptual constructions, such as the “I” thought, only takes one so far. You must acknowledge that which is present and which is entirely non-conceptual and completely untouched by the appearances. What have you seen of this?

There is something here that never changes. It is in fact what you are. It is here as clear as day and totally inescapable. But we overlook what is clear and obvious. We look at everything but we don’t look at what we are. Can you deny your being? No. So what have your learned and seen about this doubtless being that you are? There is no going into an “infinite regress,” because it is here, front and center. It is the most obvious thing, the “elephant in the room.” So what have you learned about this ever-present fact of your own being? This is what we overlook for a time. Go by your direct experience and see what you find about yourself. Everything that appears, that comes and goes, is not yourself. So you can factor out those things immediately.

How can things that come and go be you, since they disappear and you remain? So emphasize this being, your own nature. What have you discovered about this being, your abiding nature? That is the direction of understanding.

Before the next doubt appears, you are already there. Your being is present and beyond doubt. This is it.

Now that you know that you are that which is being pointed to, have a look and be clear about this that you already are. It is shining in plain view.

The traditional approach keeps the individual and his or her separation from reality intact. Non-duality ends up transcending the assumptions of traditional paths ultimately. But in the absence of any higher light or aspiration, the traditional approach is suitable for those still committed to the view of being an individual person in the world of appearances. The germs of the non-dual view are sprinkled throughout the traditional approaches, no doubt. The bread crumbs are there for those inclined to follow them.

As long as the individual is assumed as true, then things play out at that level, including responsibility, guilt, sin, etc. Once the individuality view is transcended, all of these issues dissolve because they are all extensions of that view. The separate self and its troubles rise and fall together.

Your being is not imaginary, is it? This is what we overlook. This is the direction to consider. What is the nature of this being that is present now and cannot be escaped? No theory or mental analysis is possible, really. One thing that strikes one upon a bit of looking is that what you are is not a concept or object. This is why the senses and mind are not really involved in this. Still, whatever you are is here as plain as day and can’t be denied. You cannot negate your existence. Whatever its qualities (your qualities) are must be as simple and evident as the fact of being itself. This is approached through non-conceptual, immediate seeing. So what have you seen about this true nature that you are? This is the point. And, yes, there is something to do — clear up who and what you are. Otherwise, the false identity constructed in the mind continues to thrive and be believed in (due to lack of clarity on who we are). That is why all the great teachers and traditions advocate inquiry, investigation, self discovery, etc. Those dubious teachers who say there is nothing to do have erred on this point, because if the core points are not investigated and clarified the false notions just continue. That is good for the professional spirituality business, but bad for the poor seekers!

How can “you” be a seeker, when you already are that? Drink this in and appreciate what it means to already be that. Of course, this is what the sages were talking about all along. But then it suddenly makes perfect sense. The root of all seeking, suffering and doubt is the notion of being something apart, something other than what is present and real. But a bit of looking shows that the separation never happened. You are the “tenth man,” here and now. There is nothing progressive about it, because there was never any entity to progress anywhere. The false reference point is exposed and the game is up!

These teachings cannot be sold in the spiritual market place or distributed on a teaching circuit. They are beyond what can be bought and sold. My sharing of the pointers is only a form of gratitude for what was shared with me.

Once the correct view is in place, the thoughts, ideas and activities find their natural harmony and balance, because they are no longer dominated by the fictitious self reference point.

The phrase “I am-ness” is a way of pointing to your natural state. In fact, you are there with or without any experience, even of “I am.” But the words are really inadequate. Before all thoughts, experiences, ideas, states, etc., you are. That cannot really be described. “I am” is about the closest pointer, but in the end you can drop that also. Even the sense of consciousness, or “knowing that you are,” is an appearance. In fact, it is the first appearance and the beginning of duality. Because consciousness comes and goes, you must be prior to it, as the ever-present background. This can only be pointed to, but not really verbalized. You certainly are not a defective, limited self, which is only a concept appearing later in the consciousness (which is itself an appearance). That supreme, prior-to-consciousness reality is what you are, now and always. This is what we missed.

What’s wrong with right now without the concepts? Nothing! You are that. Don’t overstate your experience. Don’t claim to be “done” or “have the understanding.” All these are mere concepts. Drop the mind and be what you are. This is the highest approach. You are not a seeker who has understood the absolute. You are that. All those who claim to “be done” are still playing with concepts. That is still a self-centered concept, a subtle ego position. You are neither done nor not done. You are that!! If you let the mind start running the show and evaluating things, you will be back assuming yourself as some separate, limited being in the appearance.

Part one is getting your real being pointed out. Part two is exposing any potential for suffering and doubt. There is no part three! If you drift back to emphasizing the mind and getting involved in its conceptualizing, the feeling of limitation is reactivated. Clear understanding resolves this once and for good. It is up to you to implement and verify. Once this last bit is understood and resolved, the root of seeking, suffering and doubt is nipped in the bud, never to bother again. Keep in mind that even through this, you are still the ever-free reality.

Don’t get into looking for subtle states, experiences, body/mind manifestations, feelings of bliss, mystical and exotic states, etc. This is a total trap. Reality is ever-present, non-experiential, changeless. To the mind it is totally boring and “no thing.” That is why the mind hates these teachings. Everything it expects is negated.

Do not analyze body, mind and phenomenal states and use these as a yardstick for your real state. Body/mind come and go in consciousness. Consciousness arises and sets in your timeless being. You are that timeless absolute. Stand here. Look, talk and evaluate always from this position, not from an identity as body/mind. I am giving you the highest and final teachings. Your heart must rise to the occasion and embrace what is being pointed out. If so, you cannot help but be established in and as the final reality, the absolute. If not, you may continue to cycle in appearances, concepts and erroneous identities.

If you look at consciousness and its source, it is totally brilliant, dynamic and alive.

You have received the injection, the push to see what you are. Let it work. Go about your life naturally. From time to time, you may think of the pointers. But don’t over medicate and get too analytical. It is pointless, because that is all being done by the mind anyhow. It is not really significant.

Just let the body/mind orient and experience naturally. No need to be concerned or even interested.

See the body and mind as appearances in consciousness. Let consciousness deal with them! You are not even the consciousness. So rest in your real being beyond manifestation.

The “I am-ness” is consciousness, which is “being-consciousness-bliss.” It is an intensely blissful state. But this is the first and most powerful concept. You stand beyond. If you miss this, you miss everything.

No doubts are deep rooted. They are only presently arising notions coming and going in the ever-luminous presence of timeless being. All the power comes from the interest we place on them. In the luminous being which you truly are, there has never even been one doubt. Does the sun have any shadows in it? Is the sky touched by clouds?

There is no sense in “working on” the states of body/mind (save in a practical utilitarian sense for health or other reasons). They will go on based on circumstances and as long as breath remains in the body. Body/mind was never the issue, only identification with it. One does not “work on” the body/mind appearing in a dream, once one sees it for what it is. One simply lets it be, because in essence it is actually nothing!

One does not need to analyze the states, experiences, thoughts, and progress of a figure in a dream, does one? Nor does one need to renounce it, devalue it, or denigrate it. Both responses are still giving emphasis to the shadow. But you are the sun, the light of reality, that outshines the shadow. Does the sun focus on, analyze and deal with the temporary clouds that come and go? Only if it forsakes its real status and imagines itself to be one among the clouds. This would be the root error. At the end of the day, this is the basic ignorance that is corrected. If this is digested properly, all subsequent “issues” are checkmated. If the seeker is not, then who has a problem?

There is no seeker. There is only that. And you are that.

The non-existence of the seeker and “you are that” mean the same thing.

Use a bit of vigilance to root out any habitual tendency to reoccupy the reference point of the separate self notion. That may come up from time to time due to past association of the mind having occupied that position for so long. No harm. The game has been exposed. But you can use a bit of active inquiry, as needed, to contradict any such residual tendencies. Why not? There is no problem. This does not imply a separate self doing this. It is only intelligence and wisdom at work. In fact, even the seeing and wisdom is not being done by anyone, because there is no personal reference point in the equation. (There is doing, just no entity doing the doing!) In fact, it is good and necessary to be very clear on how this residual suffering arises and what sustains it. The thorough understanding of this is what resolves it. We are victims of what we don’t understand.

Most manifestations of suffering are sustained by identification with the body/mind. These are resolved with clear self-knowledge and the cancellation of that identification.

The term “awareness” can be ambiguous. What exactly is meant by “awareness” in a given context? Don’t confuse the pointer with reality.

As Buddha said, there is thinking but no thinker, feeling but no feeler, doing but no doer, etc. But in fact there are choices, will power, actions done, etc. This is not the point. The point is clarifying what you are (not equating what you are as a phenomenal thinker, doer, etc.).

Phenomenal consciousness is also impermanent and rises and sets with body.

When the body dies consciousness disappears. This is the truth of it. So we are really talking about something else as what you are (something other than the rising and setting consciousness).

Your being is ever there, whether consciousness arises or not.

You ARE. That is the starting point — and ending point.

If you are getting hooked into and identified with unresolved thoughts, that is a matter for inquiry and understanding from the perspective of self-knowledge. In other words, there is residual identification with the concepts and self-centered images. This is possible due to some unclarity or blind spots about basic self-knowledge, or what your real nature is. We identify with the mind if there is any potential to be confused about who we are. In that case, it is necessary to re-examine the basics along these lines.

Your experience and understanding of your true nature is what it gets back to in the end. This is always the final piece of the puzzle.

The problem with all the “systems”, be they Vedantic, Buddhist or whatever, is that the original insight, which must be nonconceptual and beyond language (if it is to be of the unconditioned reality), ends up getting confused with the pointers and concepts. Subsequently, such recorded teachings are studied by seekers and the whole undertaking gets pulled down to the conceptual level. While that may have its merits, it has virtually nothing to do with actual self-knowledge.

It is true that there are worthwhile preliminaries that can help “purify” or “harmonize” the body/mind and lessen the background noise of conceptual thought so that the intent of the message can be heard and the reality can be appreciated. All the traditions have these and they can be useful under certain conditions, for some people who might need them. If they get turned into hard and fast ”requirements”, this goes astray. In the end, each case must be taken individually. That is why there can never be any “canned”, one-size-fits-all method. The great teachers like Buddha, etc., always adjusted the message to the listener. For some seekers, no preparation is needed. For others, extensive teaching, association with the teacher, study, meditation, etc., is needed.

My pointers are remnants of specific dialogues I have had. They don’t represent any definitive or systematic approach. I am not the slightest bit interested in promoting a systematic or consistent message. Nor do the pointers on these pages represent my own final view (if I have one!). What I am doing is standing as reality and pointing to the reality in you. That is all. It is not a system, philosophy, doctrine or teaching. I am not aligned with any school, “ism” or cult. I don’t advocate any particular path or approach. Basically, due to the pointers shared with me, I found myself free and beyond the need for further help. If that message resonates, people are free to come and talk with me. If not, I have nothing particular to promote or share, nor any motivation to do so. In the proper season the fruit ripens. Some may make use of it or not. That is up to them.

In my experience, contact and dialogue is usually helpful, in order to expose any blind spots. Most teachers I met in my years of seeking had many blind spots and residual concepts in play, because they often had not checked out their understanding with anyone else. They were often enamored by the role of being a teacher and motivated by having a career and income from their teaching activities. This is the case presently also.

Your being cannot be grasped. Before you attempt to grasp it, you are already present and beyond doubt. Note this fact. You ARE, prior to all thoughts and doubts. This is beyond doubt!

What you are is not a thing. Yet, still you are. The problem is you are continuing to try to grasp with the mind, instead of simply recognizing that what you are is not in the mind. Then you stop looking there.

Once the basic points are grasped, it is a matter of earnest application of what you know so that the understanding is firm and you have solid conviction that holds up in the face of challenges (which are primarily one’s own residual doubts and concepts).

Don’t misunderstand the non-dual message and get into the “nothing to do, nothing to attain” attitude. The point is to clarify who and what you are and resolve the roots of suffering. Sure, once this is clear, there is technically “nothing to do.” But to take on this attitude while still in doubt is totally contrary to common sense. There is a lot of such misapplication of pointers going on due to laziness and ignorance.

An issue that is sometimes raised is about “how to be aware in deep sleep.” Actually, it is a non-issue! In actual sleep you don’t have any problems or questions! The questions are arising now, not in that state, so they are more theoretical than actual. The whole topic has little if anything to do with looking at what you are. Your actual being is here beyond any doubt now. But instead of looking at this, we are off in the imagination cogitating about non-present states. This topic usually comes up from acquired knowledge from reading obscure philosophy books. If I ask you if you had any dreams or problems in deep sleep last night, you will say with all confidence “No”. So, in fact, you were there and still quite cognizant of those facts. That is what is meant by the original point. This is your experience even NOW.

Stay with direct experience and don’t conceptualize too much!

The pointers are concepts. If you hang on to them, you are hanging on to the false and perpetuating the identification with the mind. The point is to follow the pointers to what is being pointed TO.

Anxieties arise and set with the mental activity. In truth, the actual anxiety arises from identification with the self-centered concepts. Your real being or true nature has no thoughts, anxieties or problems. The recognition of and conviction in this point ends the identification with the mind and hence the anxiety. With self-knowledge, all seeking, suffering and doubts are resolved.

“I am” is the articulation in words of the sense of presence or experience of being. But even that is not what is actually being pointed to as YOU. Your natural being or state is so evident and invariable that we are apt to overlook it.

The witness is still experiential and in duality. What is non-conceptual is not a witness.

Consciousness and its objects are mutually interdependent. But the reality I am talking about is beyond both.

Content and consciousness are a dualistic pair. Who can have objects without consciousness? But what I am talking about is something entirely different.

The whole point is to clarify and understand what you are. The pointers are only for encouraging you to do that. One of the best pointers is to see that whatever you are must be always present, always with you. You cannot lose your own being. When you examine your own experience, you can quickly eliminate all that changes, all that comes and goes. The purpose of this is to “clear the decks”, in order to more clearly see that which is present and beyond change. That is what is being pointed to by the various pointers. But don’t get too hung up on the pointers, because the pointers are not “it”. That is why they are called “pointers”. They are pointers TO what you are.