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Practice #1      
	Spiritual Practices and the Acausal Nature of Awakening
	"Everything is the cause of everything."  (Nisargadatta)
	Spiritual practice and the illusion of achievement (Suzanne Segal)
	Exploring the "Given Conditions" of being human
	Focusing and clarifying attention

Reader: In what I've looked at so far, you make no mention of what went into the "search" that is now over -- practices, reading, whatever. I assume that at least some of the literature you quote was part of it. Have you given any thought to writing about that, or do you think that doing so would seem to conflict with the acausal nature of the awakening? Reply: You got it! The only sense of causality to which I can refer is that which Nisargadatta describes in this way: "A thing is as it is because the universe is as it is. "Considering the endless list of factors required for anything to happen, one can only admit that everything is responsible for everything, however remote." The profound sense that I had during the epiphany (and since) is that *everything* within the universe participates in and supports the moment of Recognition, and that it is actually a "mistaken" assumption to believe that any one thing has more causal influence than another. I also believe that our attachment to specific "spiritual practices" is based upon this assumption, and that in the end, we will recognize that there is nothing that does not support the experience of Awakening. Suzanne Segal, in Collision with the Infinite has articulated this very well: "Behind most spiritual practices is the belief that you have to get someplace you're not -- a destination called realization or enlightenment. But realization isn't someplace else; it's the naturally occurring human state. It doesn't belong to anybody. It's who we all are." p. 159 "...most spiritual practices presume that awakening is someplace else and must be reached or attained. But we are always the vastness -- always! It is the naturally occurring human state. Where would the vastness go? Where could the infinite hide? What could we possible need to do to become vastness, when we already are it? "Many techniques also suggest that something must be eliminated, stopped or purified in order for us to become who we really are. But the vastness is everything at all times. Nothing exists outside it, and nothing needs to be excluded from it. After all, we are talking about the infinite here." p. 145-146 "Since I followed no prescribed technique to realize the absence of the personal self, I cannot now encourage the practice of them. Strict practices may encourage the creation of more ideas about what the awakened state looks like as the mind attempts to figure out or approximate it. But how can the mind approximate what it cannot grasp? The vastness is unimaginable. Although it is always present, the mind cannot recognize it because the infinite is not perceived through the mind. The infinite perceives itself." p. 146 In my own case, I could not, realistically, look back at my own life preceding the epiphany and point to any single factor that triggered or encouraged the awakening. As Suzanne said, "...the vastness [simply] showed itself in a mysterious manner." p. 146 So, all I can do is encourage people to: -- Trust your own impulses with regard to spiritual practice. Do that to which you feel most drawn, and do not do anything which holds no heart or meaning for you. -- Pay attention to, and inquire into, the nature of your own immediate experience. Become the Witness, or Observer, of your own experience, and pay attention to the "Given Conditions" of being human: (1) the sense of being at the center of your own experience as "I am." (2) the Awareness through which you perceive everything within and around you. (3) the immediacy and Infinity of Now. It is my belief that these 3 basic conditions of being human are profound pointers to our True Nature. And, we simply overlook them in our rush to identify ourselves with "outward" conditions, i.e., a body, memory, personality and the illusion of time. Simply looking at and remembering these basic, essential conditions is enough, for they are the vehicle through we experience, and Recognize, this vast and Infinite Reality. And, trusting the movement of this Reality in and through our own experience allows each of us to Recognize It within the immediacy of every present moment....

Spiritual Practice Spiritual practice is exactly that: the practice of focusing and clarifying the quality of our attention. The ultimate irony is that there is nothing to practice. We already are that which we are seeking.

1999, Metta Zetty
All Rights Reserved.

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