Excerpts About Experience
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 14 • discuss »
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 63 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 15 • discuss »
Inner Journey Home, p. 50 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 60 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 132 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 348 • discuss »
During the course of engaging the spiritual path, it is difficult to practice without a goal and without motivation. But as the practice becomes subtler and deeper, we realize that intention is not necessary, a goal is not necessary, motive is not necessary. Not only are they not necessary, but if they remain, they will obstruct the arising of reality. Recognizing the ways in which our practice is limited by our aims reveals further subtleties of practice. In this teaching, we come to understand, especially in the nondoing practice, that we don’t want to do anything to our experience. It is not only that we don’t orient toward some goal but also that we don’t act on that orientation. To do something to our experience means that we have some idea or hope or desire for something different to happen. We don’t want to do anything to our experience because our true nature is presence, is Being. Being doesn’t do anything to itself—it simply is. So when we recognize that our nature simply is, that our nature doesn’t divide itself such that something does something to another part of itself, we see that to take the position of doing anything to ourselves in order to get someplace contradicts our true nature. When we recognize that contradiction, we see the folly and the misalignment of our normal sense of doing.
Runaway Realization, p. 52 • discuss »
The experience of featureless reality is quite ordinary; everything is simple. Life goes on as usual, except there is no fixation on or stuckness in one view or another—existence or nonexistence, self or no self, dual or nondual, happening or not happening. We are just not concerned about these kinds of determinations. We live our usual life without the Velcro of attaching or fixating in any ultimate way. The total openness of featurelessness is a kind of pure not knowing. The experience is “I know. I know that I know. But I do not know what I know.” Reality is not ultimately determined by any feature, which allows it the freedom to experience all features. The experience of featureless consciousness is timeless and spaceless in the sense that it is not patterned by concepts of either time/no time or space/no space. We perceive the passage of events without having to identify with the concept of time. We experience dimensions of space without any persisting sense of here and there. Our experience has no sense of size or location, quality or color. Featureless true nature reveals a consciousness that is conscious of itself but devoid of thought, differentiation, conceptualization, and recognition. It is a pure and undefined consciousness that is free of the concept of consciousness. By calling it “consciousness,” I am referring to the fact that there is experience, which is so indefinable that we cannot refer to it as either presence or emptiness. How can there be consciousness of something that has no definable features except for consciousness itself? It is a pure and complete absence of mind. Although featurelessness is friendly to features—which can be and ordinarily are present—they do not pattern the featurelessness. Featurelessness is both beyond mind and can coexist easily with mind, because it does not have any feature that opposes or negates mind.
Runaway Realization, p. 212 • discuss »
We might think that nondual experience is the real thing because it seems to have no conditions, and is free. We can experience the nondual condition as one field that is manifesting everything, as one field that is being aware of everything, as a pure awareness or presence that experiences everything as its own luminosity and presence. The nondual condition, also called the enlightened condition, is free in terms of being free of suffering, but it is not free, as we have already seen, of certain positions or concepts. In other words, we can experience true nature fully without necessarily being free of all delusion and ignorance. We can experience the nondual condition and, at the same time, ignorance or delusions can persist as concepts we do not recognize that are patterning the experience. And the primary concept that patterns the nondual condition and makes us think that the nondual condition is the true condition of reality is the concept of nonduality itself.
Runaway Realization, p. 220 • discuss »
Our experience of what is happening is not of what is actually happening. Actually when you perceive, the impressions, sounds, sights, or sensations are new—they’re one hundred percent new as they happen. But we don’t see them in their newness, we see them through our concepts about the various kinds of impressions. Not only do we see them through those concepts, those concepts automatically evoke emotional associations and feeling tones. So our experience is not a pure perception, but the thoughts, feelings, and memories that our concepts bring in. We have an experience only in the present moment, but that experience is not really an experience of the moment. Your experience is already your own interpretation of the moment. This happens every second. We never, or rarely, allow ourselves simply to perceive. These associations arise simultaneously with the concept, projecting a past situation onto the present and conditioning how we view an experience. We do not necessarily respond to the immediate experience, but to the experience as it is filtered through concepts, memories, images and associations. Seeing a present situation as similar to a past one, we tend to react automatically, decreasing our ability to assess the present situation freshly. Bound to the past in this way, we cannot perceive the vast range of alternatives available in the present and so diminish our options for action.
Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 281 • discuss »
And the way to this simplicity is to recognize the centrality and the significance of true nature. Whether we recognize it as presence or awareness or emptiness, true nature is crucial to the process of awakening, realization, enlightenment, and liberation. It is the source of all spiritual experiences, insights, and transformations. There is no other source. Nothing can happen without it. All our various experiences are nothing but true nature manifesting in one way or another. This is one of the most important wisdoms that arises in the third and fourth turnings of the wheel.
The Alchemy of Freedom, p. 4 • discuss »