Issue #1 - Awakening into Awareness - October, 1998
A free ezine dedicated to
exploring the nature of Reality and
the experience of Realization
Metta Zetty, Editor email: AIA@awakening.net
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* "So Who Are You?" by Ken Wilber, an essay/excerpt
from his upcoming book: _One Taste_.
* Wisdom and Insights
- Richard Moss in his book:
_The Black Butterfly_
- A. H. Almaas in his book:
_The Elixir of Enlightenment_
- Ngakpa Chogyam in his book:
_Rainbow of Liberated Energy_
- Garab Dorje on Self-liberation in
_Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State_
by Namkhai Norbu
- Brian Swimme on "allurement" in his book:
_The Universe is a Green Dragon_
- Spiritual Evolution
- Doing Nothing
- Fascination with the "Fireworks"
- "Those who know do not say...."
* Metta's Reflections
- Soft Eyes
- No Rules
* Reader Resources
- _What is Enlightenment?_
- Center for Traditional Wisdom
- Spiritual Wisdom and Mental Health
- International Association of Spiritual Psychiatry
* General Information
- About Awakening into Awareness
- Ezine Subscriptions
- Back Issues, Copies and Reprints
- AIA Mailing Lists
- Insight Mentoring
- Support AIA
Welcome to the first issue of the new
Awakening into Awareness ezine!
I appreciate your interest, and will welcome your reflections
as we begin exploring the nature of Reality and the experience
of Realization together.
For those of you who have not yet visited the Awakening into
Awareness web page, and who are not familiar with the advent
of this web page and ezine, a brief bit of background
information may be helpful:
In February of 1997 I had an extraordinary experience
of spontaneous "awakening" or "clear seeing" which
arrived suddenly and completely without warning. This
"epiphany" is described in greater depth at:
The Awakening into Awareness web page and ezine have
emerged as a result this remarkable realization.
It is my sincere hope that this ezine will now nourish
your own interest in experiences of "awakening," and
that it may serve us all:
* as a forum for continuing conversation, and
* as a catalyst for our on-going exploration of the
nature of Reality and the experience of Realization.
With deep appreciation,
Please feel free to share this ezine with others, as
long as it is distributed in its entirety. Thanks.
"So Who Are You?" by Ken Wilber
The witnessing of awareness can persist through waking,
dreaming and deep sleep. The Witness is fully available in any
state, including your own present state of awareness right now.
So I'm going to talk you into this state, or try to, using what
are known in Buddhism as "pointing out instructions." I am not
going to try to get you into a different state of consciousness,
or an altered state of consciousness, or a non-ordinary state.
I am going to simply point out something that is already
occurring in your own present, ordinary, natural state.
So let's start by just being aware of the world around us.
Look out there at the sky, and just relax your mind; let your
mind and the sky mingle. Notice the clouds floating by. Notice
that this takes no effort on your part. Your present awareness,
in which these clouds are floating, is very simple, very easy,
effortless, spontaneous. You simply notice that there is an
effortless awareness of the clouds. The same is true of those
trees, and those birds, and those rocks. You simply and
effortlessly witness them.
Look now at the sensations in your own body. You can be aware
of whatever bodily feelings are present -- perhaps pressure
where you are sitting, perhaps warmth in your tummy, maybe
tightness in your neck. But even if these feelings are tight
and tense, you can easily be aware of them. These feelings
arise in your present awareness, and that awareness is very
simple, easy, effortless, spontaneous. You simply and
effortlessly witness them.
Look at the thoughts arising in your mind. You might notice
various images, symbols, concepts, desires, hopes and fears,
all spontaneously arising in your awareness. They arise, stay
a bit, and pass. These thoughts and feelings arise in your
present awareness, and that awareness is very simple,
effortless, spontaneous. You simply and effortlessly witness
So notice: you can see the clouds float by because you are
not those clouds-you are the witness of those clouds. You can
feel bodily feelings because you are not those feelings --
you are the witness of those feelings. You can see thoughts
float by because you are not those thoughts -- you are the
witness of those thoughts. Spontaneously and naturally, these
things all arise, on their own, in your present, effortless
So who are you? You are not objects out there, you are not
feelings, you are not thoughts -- you are effortlessly aware
of all those, so you are not those. Who or what are you?
Say it this way to yourself: I have feelings, but I am not
those feelings. Who am I? I have thoughts, but I am not those
thoughts. Who am I? I have desires, but I am not those desires.
Who am I?
So you push back into the source of your own awareness.
You push back into the Witness, and you rest in the Witness.
I am not objects, not feelings, not desires, not thoughts.
But then people usually make a big mistake. They think that
if they rest in the Witness, they are going to see something
or feel something -- something really neat and special. But
you won't see anything. If you see something, that is just
another object -- another feeling, another thought, another
sensation, another image. But those are all objects; those
are what you are not.
No, as you rest in the Witness -- realizing, I am not objects,
I am not feelings, I am not thoughts -- all you will notice is
a sense of freedom, a sense of liberation, a sense of release --
release from the terrible constriction of identifying with
these puny little finite objects, your little body and little
mind and little ego, all of which are objects that can be seen,
and thus are not the true Seer, the real Self, the pure Witness,
which is what you really are.
So you won't see anything in particular. Whatever is arising is
fine. Clouds float by in the sky, feelings float by in the body,
thoughts float by in the mind -- and you can effortlessly
witness all of them. They all spontaneously arise in your own
present, easy, effortless awareness. And this witnessing
awareness is not itself anything specific you can see. It is
just a vast, background sense of freedom -- or pure emptiness --
and in that pure emptiness, which you are, the entire manifest
world arises. You are that freedom, openness, emptiness -- and
not any itty bitty thing that arises in it.
Resting in that empty, free, easy, effortless witnessing, notice
that the clouds are arising in the vast space of your awareness.
The clouds are arising within you -- so much so, you can taste
the clouds, you are one with the clouds. It is as if they are
on this side of your skin, they are so close. The sky and your
awareness have become one, and all things in the sky are
floating effortlessly through your own awareness. You can kiss
the sun, swallow the mountain, they are that close. Zen says
"Swallow the Pacific Ocean in a single gulp," and that's the
easiest thing in the world, when inside and outside are no
longer two, when subject and object are nondual, when the
looker and looked at are One Taste. You see?
* * * * *
From ONE TASTE by Ken Wilber © 1998. Reprinted by arrangement
with Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston.
This article will also be available soon on the Ken Wilber
web site at http://wilber.shambhala.com/
Wisdom and Insights http://awakening.net/Wisdom.html
Richard Moss' work has been extremely influential in my
exploration of the experience of Awakening. I highly
recommend his most recent book,
_The Second Miracle: Intimacy, Spirituality,
and Conscious Relationships_.
For those who are interested, his previous book,
_The Black Butterfly_
...describes his own experience of spontaneous Realization.
"It is time that we begin to honor this dimension
and stop apologizing because we can't prove its
value or adequately find a way to express it."
_The Black Butterfly_, p. 6.
"...reaching up into a higher state is one half of
the process; the other half is bringing the higher
energy back. Thus, an important mastery is to begin
to learn to speak right out of the immediacy of these
_The Black Butterfly_, p. 111
A. H. Almaas
The following explanation from A. H. Almaas helps to clarify
the distinction he sees between the rising of Kundalini energy
and the descent of luminescent Essence.
"...Kundalini is an aspect of essence. This is true,
but in a very specific way -- in the sense that
Kundalini is a true energy, the energy of essence.
However, Kundalini is usually not seen [or recognized]
as an aspect of essence because it is energy.
Essence, in the strict sense of the word, is our
being. It is the very substance of existence.
Essential aspects exist on the being level and not
on the energy level.
(Kundalini is usually known as the ascending force,
distinguishing it from the descending force. The
descending force through which people like Aurobindo
attained their realization, is nothing but essence
_The Elixir of Enlightenment_
A. H. Almaas, p. 40
The Realization of the "Open Secret" is based upon a
profound recognition that Reality, exactly as it manifests
within our ordinary Awareness in the present moment, is
none other than THAT which we have been seeking. It is a
realization that Enlightenment is not separate from or
other than THIS!
"Good and evil as totally separate fields of energy
do not exist. This means that *every* state of mind
is open to liberation -- no one is too good or too
bad. Every moment is a possibility, every negative
state of mind has something of the quality of an
aspect of our naturally liberated state. Every
thought, every feeling, every sensation or action
*is* enlightenment -- but we do not realise it.
When we drink a glass of wine, eat a piece of cheese,
wash the dishes, cook food, make love, go shopping or
hit our thumb with a hammer, enlightenment *is there*
-- we are never separated from it. There is no need
at all to look for enlightenment in any other place
than where we are. It is there unrecognized in the
_Rainbow of Liberated Energy_
by Ngakpa Chogyam, p.7
Garab Dorje, the first Dzogchen Master
Directly discover your state.
Don't remain in doubt.
Gain confidence in self-liberation.
_Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State_
by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, p. 130
In _The Universe is a Green Dragon_, Brian Swimme describes
the fundamental "allurement" inherent within the universe
-- the absolute, irresistible power of attraction that draws
all manifest things together. It shows up as the gravity
between stars, as the passion between lovers, as the love of
a parent for a child....
In this sense, "allurement" is the profound and compelling
Desire that gives birth to the universe within the present
moment. And, it is the deepest of all energies moving within
and motivating each of us throughout our daily lives:
"You do not know what you can do, or who you are
in your fullest significance, or what powers are
hiding within you. All exists in the emptiness
of your potentiality, a realm that cannot be seen
or tasted or touched. How will you bring these
powers forth? How will you awaken your creativity?
By responding to the allurements that beckon to you,
by following your passions and interests. Alluring
activity draws you into being, just as it drew the
star into being. Our life and powers come forth
through our response to allurement." (p. 51)
The following exchange is an expanded excerpt from recent
correspondence with an AIA reader, who had a remarkable
experience of awakening into a Recognition of "no self"
several years ago. (Thanks, E.T., for all the delightful
letters you've shared!)
I congratulate you on your "spiritual" evolutionary
Thanks! Actually, the epiphany I experienced felt like
pure, unadulterated Grace, and truthfully, there was
*nothing* I did, either to warrant congratulations, or to
"earn" or "deserve" this incredible experience of Recognition.
It simply arrived spontaneously, and without warning.
Also, I'm not sure just how "evolutionary" the experience
actually was. I know there's lots of talk these days about
"spiritual evolution," but there was nothing inherent
within my epiphany that suggested any sort of
"progressive" development, above and beyond the natural
unfolding of manifest things within the present moment.
I just can't presume to say on this point, simply because
an awareness of "spiritual evolution" is not a part of my
own immediate experience.....
You write that "I need do nothing" (as is quoted in several
other sources, including "A Course In Miracles"), yet I am
invited to pursue intuitive development into the ultimate
reality via workshops, etc. This is a contradiction that is
rather easily explained when considering the mind/body/spirit
combo, but a contradiction, nonetheless, that invites
Indeed! An apparent contradiction may arise here for the
logical, rational mind, but "not doing" really is just
"not blocking" what already is -- *including* your own
desire to pursue spiritual/intuitive development!
Alan Watts captured the essence of this beautifully in his
essay "Sitting Quietly, Doing Nothing:"
"The simplest cure is to feel free to block [i.e., react],
so that one does not block at blocking. When one feels
free to block, the blocking automatically eliminates
itself [and then action -- or nonaction -- arises
spontaneously]....The principle here is, of course, the
same as getting out of the contradiction of 'trying to
be spontaneous' through accepting the 'trying' as
'spontaneous' [in and of itself]...."
_The Way of Zen_,
I am also reminded of the "guru/disciple" story about the
student who approached the master with excitement, relating
the "revelations" he had experienced. The guru replied,
quietly, "Never mind. Just get back to your meditation,
and they will go away."
Yes. This is a wonderful story, isn't it?!
Truthfully, all along I've wanted to avoid an inordinate
fascination with the "fireworks" of my own epiphany. At
the same time, though, I cannot ignore the absolutely
tremendous impact this "event" has had in my life.
So far I've made my peace with this, and with my desire
to continue to share this experience with others, by
simply recognizing that:
* At the very least, the epiphany can serve as a
starting point for conversations, such as the one
we are now having...conversations that may gradually
begin to open us to the larger Reality in which we
* A full and whole-hearted acceptance of such
"revelations" is essential for recognizing the
larger Reality that is inherent within both our
ordinary and non-ordinary experience.
Also apropos is the story of Thomas Aquinas (of Summa Theologica
fame) who said -- circa 12th century -- "Such things have been
revealed to me that I shall write no more."
Indeed! In my own case, I was intrigued to discover that even
the Buddha himself is reputedly said to have considered *not*
teaching, but "the gods" implored him to reconsider, and after
40 days of contemplation in the forest, he said, "O.K."
(Loosely translated, of course.)
I guess I have simply accepted the presence of this desire to
write as one of the emergent "after-effects" of the epiphany,
and I simply "decided" that I will continue writing and sharing
this with others as long as there is an interest and a desire
to do so. Then, when this desire fades, I'll just naturally
Somebody wrote or said: "Those who know don't speak or write;
those who speak or write don't know." Now I wonder who
My sentiments exactly! ;~)
Actually, it was Lao Tsu, the Chinese Taoist sage who said:
"Those who say do not know.
Those who know do not say."
Truthfully, I've thought about this one a lot, puzzled over it,
and still do. (The mind still loves to run its traps, doesn't
I've looked at this several ways:
On the one hand, I agree that if any of us attempts to "say"
with any degree of finality and definitiveness what "IT" is
(The Tao, Reality, Truth, God, etc.), the limits of language
and our forms of verbal expression will not be adequate to
fully contain or convey the Essence or extent of whatever
Then there is, of course, the sense in which I think you've
shared this quotation, that those who really "Know" are wise
enough not to even engage in saying, "I know...."
I suspect there is wisdom and truth in both of these
interpretations of Lao Tsu's words. At the same time,
though, my simple conclusion has been if words were
good enough for Lao Tsu, they'll be good enough for me
-- at least for the time being!
| If you have any reflections or questions about the |
| experience of Awakening you would like to share, |
| please feel free to send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org. |
| In addition: your feedback and reflections about the |
| AIA ezine and website are always welcome. I will |
| look forward to hearing from you! - Metta |
Metta's Reflections http://awakening.net/Reflections.html
Through soft eyes I see the world,
Perceiving, not judging,
Accepting, embracing the gift of the moment.
there is nothing
to do or achieve.
The river flows to the sea,
Timeless, Immortal, Infinite.
Oh, the delight of such boundless joy!
To have no rules at all.
To be present with your genuine personality, and
to have no technique, no formula to superimpose -- nothing.
Permit the deepest part of who you are to take the lead!
Take time to understand your dreams and intuitions,
instead of flippantly dismissing them.
Teach one another, through your own actions, to trust yourselves,
and to trust the marvel of this gradual, unfolding process....
Adapted from a quotation by Marie Louise von Franz
in an interview for _Psychological Perspectives_
Reader Resources http://awakening.net/Links.html
_What is Enlightenment?_ Tel: 800-376-3210
http://www.moksha.org/wie/ Tel: 413-637-6040
E-mail: email@example.com Fax: 413-637-6015
P.O. Box 2360
Lenox, MA 01240
Readers who are interested in exploring more about the nature
of Enlightenment may be interested in the current Fall/Winter
issue of _What is Enlightenment?_, a bi-annual publication
about experiences of awakening. I found this particular issue
to be especially intriguing. It was, coincidentally, entitled:
"What IS Enlightenment?
Does ANYBODY really know what they're TALKING about?"
This series of 6 interviews with various "realized"/"awakened"
individuals attempts to address the apparent contradictions
and paradoxes in various interpretations and "explanations"
of Enlightenment (including Advaitan, Buddhist, etc.), and it
makes for some *very* thought-provoking and enticing reading....
The following three affiliate organizations offer a tremendous
wealth of wisdom and insight (including numerous articles)
related to Awakening and the development of mature mental
health. I extend my thanks, in particular, to Jean-Marc Mantel
for his invaluable networking support, and to Penny Fenner
for her thoughtful correspondence.
Center for Timeless Wisdom
Penny and Peter Fenner
In the United States:
555 Bryant Street, #302 Tel: 415-488 4988
Palo Alto CA 94301 USA Fax: 415-488-9819
23a Britten St., Tel: 011 613 9885 0119
Glen Iris Fax: 011 613 9885 3939
Victoria 3146, Australia
Spiritual Wisdom and Mental Health
5150 Fair Oaks Blvd. #101-130 Tel: 916-485-1049
Carmichael, CA 95608 USA Fax: 916-481-5486
International Association of Spiritual Psychology
Jean-Marc Mantel, M.D. Tel: +972-4-8262843
Sweden St. 30, Haifa 34980 Fax: +972-4-8251395
------------------ | General Information | -------------------
About Awakening into Awareness
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Awakening into Awareness
Reflections on Reality and
The Experience of Realization
Insight Mentoring Metta Zetty
http://awakening.net P.O. Box 781955
email: AIA@awakening.net San Antonio TX 78278
©1997-2000, Metta Zetty
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