Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Just stop!" But before, or after awakening?

Perhaps the number one mantra in all of modern Western spiritual teaching is: "You are already awake, you just don't know it. Stop everything and let go,
and you will realize that!" And of course there are many variations of this theme, some forming the basis for an entire "teaching."
So the question is, dear teachers: Did you let go and stop, and awaken? Or did you stop, let go, and then awaken?
Some teach both, at some times one, at other times the other. This is clear with Adyashanti, Shantimayi, and perhaps also Osho, Ramana, and Nisargadatta. I have read their words enough to back it up. More exact to point at teachers than teachings, which go all over the map and depend on things like translation, which school we are talking about, and what quotes the reader takes most to.
I say never stop. Like Osho said in "My Awakening," exert all humanly possible effort until the day comes when letting go occurs. Like Adya has said "I sweated blood" for it. His descriptions of awakening do not describe a voluntary stopping or letting go of anything. It could be said that one "becomes empty" - but that is not a conscious will or effort just to stop.
I never knew when an experience of awakening would come. It just happened in the middle of everything, or following days in a row of meditating 10 times each day, or a day on the couch not caring about anything, or a week after having my heart pulled open by an enlightened teacher, or after two years of being consumed by desire for it. It just happens. There was never anything close to an act of stopping or letting go. It was only afterwards that the recognition came that the mind had "let go" or in my case experienced a shift in what was dominating awareness, and a realignment of physical body energies.

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