I heard one of my teachers say, “Always stick to your experience.”
So that is what I’m doing.
When I first began reading non-dual teachings, I soaked in the concepts at first. And frankly, all that gave me were ideas about what awakening really is. At some point, I stopped trying to learn more concepts and just started resting.
I rested as awareness as often as possible, throughout the day. Rest is the felt sense of openness that is available at all times.
To rest as awareness simply means to stop, take a moment, as often as possible throughout the day, and rest without labels about what is happening. This means to gently allow all thoughts about yourself, others, and the world to come to rest. Then just rest in and as that awareness of the present moment as it is, without a story.
How long should a moment of rest be? No more than five seconds in the beginning. Just rest for a few seconds, repeatedly, throughout the day. The moments will naturally become longer the more you rest.
In that rest, an openness to all thoughts, emotions, states, sensations, and experiences is available. In that rest, these appearances are seen to come and go temporarily. There is naturally less need to cling to any of them or make a sense of self out of them.
I rested as awareness repeatedly until it dawned on me that my story is not what I really am. Then I quickly found myself wanting to put some other concept in the place of that story, like awareness, oneness, presence or rest. But those are just labels. Repeating them didn’t make the rest more restful. So I began to drop even those labels and enjoy moments of complete unknowing. Just _____________________. Ahhhh, that was nice, not to have to put a substitute concept in there anymore. So today I use the word “rest” very loosely and lightly, not as a final conclusion or absolute truth, but more like an invitation to experience life without story.
This was my method, if you want to call it a method. The main one. It was only later that I developed the Living Inquiries to help see through some of the stickier self-beliefs and emotional triggers. Those inquiries can also be very helpful.
But before you start the inquiries, and even after you begin trying those out, stick with simple rest. Rest at all times. Rest whenever it is convenient, and even when it isn’t convenient. That was a doorway to freedom for me, so I’m sharing it with you.