(Continued from Part 1.)
Discovering the “Open Secret”
In this Awakening, I discovered that my restless seeking and ceaseless longing were suddenly and completely resolved in the Perfection of the present moment. With a sense of indescribable delight and relief, I discovered that my search for meaning and purpose was finally over.
I realized that our common, “ordinary” human experience is indistinguishable from the Fullness and Essence of Reality.
And, I finally understood that nothing ever needs to be done to achieve or obtain this Great Perfection. It is already absolute, complete and inherent within the present moment.
I realized that this shift in Awareness is not about a change in perspective or position: it is simply a Recognition of our fundamental and essential nature.
I realized this shift is both gradual and sudden: it emerges gradually, both in and over time — and it can flash suddenly, extending beyond and outside of time.
I also realized that this shift is not about arriving somewhere; it is simply borne of a contentment that no longer feels the need to go anywhere.
I realized that throughout history, humanity’s saints and sages have always supported and encouraged us until this experience of Awareness and insight is one we recognize, and accept, as our own.
I realized that part of the Great Mystery of the universe is that the Infinite is continuously manifesting in and through our individual, personal experiences of the finite.
I also realized that this discovery was simply a pure expression of my own truth, not an absolute “Truth.” At the same time, I knew that a larger Truth and deeper meaning were revealed within and through my individual experience.
I realized that each experience of “awakening,” each Realization, each discovery of That which is Real, is unique to each individual. At the same time, I understood that we all ultimately “break through” into a recognition of the same essential Presence: a vast and spacious background of whole, integrated and natural Awareness.
I was also delightfully surprised to discover, in this moment of exquisite euphoria, that “I” – the little identity I recognize as “me” – did not disappear or extinguish! I was astonished that “I” didn’t have to die in order to “experience” this magnificent Wholeness! The Realization of this incredible integration occurred, and yet “I” still remained conscious and aware. The personality remained intact: “I” was still “me,” and “I” was still here, but “I” was now contained within, and not separate from, the Presence and Essence of vast and integrated Wholeness.
Initial Reflections on Awakening
I do not know what, if any, specific factors triggered this Awakening. The emergence of the epiphany felt like pure, unadulterated Grace. I suspect, however, that during the months preceding this experience, a groundwork may have been laid, at least in part: (1) through an increasing trust in my own intuitive potential, and (2) through an intensification of my ongoing search for answers to some of life’s most compelling questions about the nature, meaning and purpose of existence.
I also do not know what essential conditions would be necessary in order to initiate a similar experience within another individual,
but I have begun to believe that:
- Everything within our lives – without exception – is a revelation and expression of That which is the Source
of our own inevitable Awakening.
- Each of us is already gradually “ripening” into a recognition of our own innate Awareness and Essence.
- In its own unique way and appropriate time, each individual experience of Awakening occurs quite naturally, unpredictably and with absolute spontaneity.
Since the epiphany, I have discovered that the background of spacious, natural Awareness revealed within this experience of “awakening” has remained the frame of reference for all my experience of being human. And, I have found that as a result of this revelation, my understanding and experience of life have gradually, and irrevocably, begun to change. I have discovered that now there can be no turning back: That which has been Seen cannot be Unseen, and with this epiphany, my life will never be the same again….
With the epiphany, it has also become clear to me is that we do not need to pursue or cultivate a spiritual hunger for experiences such as this awakening, simply because even the “highest” of mystical experiences is still just that: another experience. Rather, I believe we are best served by beginning to recognize that our own immediate, present moment reality is not separate from, or other than, the larger Truth or Reality for which we have been searching.
I believe that when we finally release our attachment to the misconception that “This moment, or this experience, is not It,” we will suddenly realize, with an exquisite and overwhelming delight, that we already are That for which we have been seeking….
This “Awakening into Awareness,” this view of Reality, is no place at which you can arrive, no accomplishment you can achieve, no goal you can attain. It is your Original Nature, which you simply recognize in a profound and stunning moment of rediscovery and Realization.
It is a subtle shift in perception, a refocusing of attention and perception. It begins with considering the radical possibility that the saints and sages of years gone by might actually be right: that This — your immediate experience and “ordinary” awareness, exactly as they appear within the present moment — might actually be “It,” i.e., the elusive goal for which you have so long been seeking.
Then, as you begin to consider this possibility, and as you allow the focus of your attention begins to shift, you begin to see and recognize that within the center of your immediate experience, within the deep center of your whirling thoughts, emotions, and sensations, there is a still point — a Clear Seeing — a Spacious Space which contains all THIS, a vastness within which all of THIS appears. And, you realize that “you” — your most fundamental sense of identity and self — is inextricably linked to this Spacious Awareness which is the background, context and framework for everything you experience.
When you discover (uncover) this Awareness — this Clear Seeing at your Perceptual Center — then you begin to realize that you are That. You are now, and have been always. In fact, there is no always — there is only Now.
And, with this subtle shift in perception, you now realize how limited your previous sense of identity has been. Yes, the body, mind, and emotions exist, and you experience the profound beauty and suffering of Life in and through them, but you — the essential and fundamental you — are so much more.
Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you are limited by thought, belief, experience and sensation — you are, instead, the dynamic spaciousness within which all these phenomena appear. You are the Awareness of these phenomena, not the phenomena themselves. The truth of this can be discovered easily and immediately simply by observing your own experience: the phenomena change, while your Awareness of them does not.
Ultimately, and in the face of these ever changing phenomena, your identity remains in the Center — seated and grounded in the clear, vast spaciousness of this present moment Awareness, in this Ground of Being.
When you discover this, when you discover the Fullness of this empty space, then you also Recognize the absolute miracle of its innate completeness. And in this completeness, in this Wholeness which is inherent within the Infinite Present, you finally rest and find peace.
Meanwhile, the process of discovery and unfolding continues as the Infinite continues to manifest in and through the finite, Here and Now, within the immediacy of the present moment. It is the movement and flow of this Life energy which animates us, which we experience as the visible and physical world, and through which we read and understand these words.
Your restless seeking will not end until you begin seriously considering the radical possibility that THAT which you are seeking is inseparable from THIS — the reality of your own immediate and intimate experience within the present moment.
Every experience in life is an invitation — an invitation to awaken into an Awareness of the essential nature of Reality — and who you really are.
– Metta Zetty