sleepwalk waking

Just another sleepwalker, living a dream, dreaming a life, wanting to wake up.

Not The Thoughts

First thing this morning,
another dream, this more like a vision.
Maybe I was awake, maybe I was asleep.
It was sort of visual, but sort of pre-visual.
It’s hard to explain.

There was something like a diagram,
showing thoughts represented as points along a line.
Then the space between the thoughts was circled.

It was clear that the line was not representing
linear sequencing or time, merely indicating
here are thoughts.

And the circling of the space
was simply as if to say,
here, look here.

Between the thoughts
…wait, no, it is not spacial.
Before the thoughts.
…wait, no, it is not sequential.
Outside of the thoughts.
…wait, no, it is not about boundaries.

Just, not the thoughts.

There is no illusion.

What an absurd joke!  Even the illusion is an illusion.

A quote from Huang Po:
The arising and the elimination of illusion are both illusory. Illusion is not something rooted in Reality; it exists because of your dualistic thinking. If you will only cease to indulge in opposed concepts such as ‘ordinary’ and ‘Enlightened’, illusion will cease of itself.

Discovering Ramana

It’s interesting that I am only now starting to read a little of Ramana Maharshi’s words (or translations thereof); only now, after I have already begun to engage in this search.  Interesting that I didn’t start reading his words before engaging in the search, or as the first step of that engagement.  It’s not as if I haven’t heard of him.  And actually, I have read some quotes of his in the past, and they were interesting, but didn’t really mean anything to me.  Clearly, the actual experience of this search is crucial for the words to have any meaning.  And there is a sense that the meaning of these words is barely beginning to be seen, and that a vast depth remains yet undiscovered.

A quote from Ramana:
What is called mind is a wondrous power existing in Self. It projects all thoughts. If we set aside all thoughts and see, there will be no such thing as mind remaining separate; therefore, thought itself is the form of the mind. Other than thoughts, there is no such thing as the mind.

And from Wikipedia:
Ramana warned against considering self-enquiry as an intellectual exercise. Properly done, it involves fixing the attention firmly and intensely on the feeling of ‘I’, without thinking. It is perhaps more helpful to see it as ‘Self-attention’ or ‘Self-abiding’ (cf. Sri Sadhu Om – The Path of Sri Ramana Part I). The clue to this is in Ramana’s own death experience when he was 16. After raising the question ‘Who am I?’ he “turned his attention very keenly towards himself” (cf. description above). Attention must be fixed on the ‘I’ until the feeling of duality disappears.

So What?

On a walk today, a new level of honesty and acceptance came.

There arose a recognition
of the experience of being not-enlightened,
and so what?  Why not just accept that?

Then other truths connected to this life:
regrets over past choices,
negative feelings about
this imperfect body,
etcetera.

In the past, even if these things were seen,
they were not really accepted,
they were reasoned away.

For instance, a past train of thought has often been:
Regret?  What regret?  There are no regrets!
Everything is perfect just as it is.
All past choices have led me to where I am now,
all past mistakes were just learning experiences
and I would not change any of it
for to do so would be to discard the wisdom
that each experience has brought.
And it wasn’t just wishful thinking or fantasy, either;
I truly knew the truth of those words, and embraced it.
But there was also something else going on,
there was a dismissal of the experience of regret,
the experience which is itself at the very root
of all the subsequent reasoning, however true.

Another example, the perception of flaws in the body:
Flaws?  What flaws?  There are no flaws.
Everything is imperfect,
and perfect in its imperfection.
My imperfect body is just as it should be,
and worthy of love just as it is.
…all true, and yet also an elaborate way
to dismiss the underlying root experience
of negative feelings and emotions
associated with the perception of flaws.

But today, something different was going on.
Those root experiences were being recognized,
honored somehow, openly admitted.
All leading to a declarative “So what?

This is just the experience that is happening.
What is the use of denying any of it?
No use.

And denial also happens,
attempts to suppress
and deceive
and excuse…
So what?

All that is just what is happening, too.

Lost in thought…

I was given this exercise to practice:
Close eyes. Reach out and touch fingertip to table. Now screen. Prior to the labeling, what is perceived?

What first came up when I closed my eyes and touched my finger to the table was the sensation “pressure“.  That was the first thing noticed.  However, the instruction for the exercise was to be aware of what is perceived prior to the first thought, and there arose a question as to whether or not the “sensation of pressure” is pre-thought.

The thought came,
perhaps ‘sensation‘ could be said to be pre-thought, but ‘pressure‘ is just a thought, a label placed upon pure sensation, in comparison to those sensations that could be better categorized under some other label.

Then another thought followed,
perhaps ‘sensation‘ is also a thought, after all is it not also a label?  A comparison to other experience that is ‘not-sensation‘?

Now another thought comes,
Could it not then also be true that ‘experience’ is just another thought?

All these thoughts!
Is there anything other than thought?
No end can be found to this conundrum.
No thing can be identified that could convincingly be said to be pre-thought.

Mind fuck.

What if there really is nothing but thought?
But then that thought itself seems totally empty.
It’s as if, if only thought exists,
then there is no existence on/in which thought can be based,
therefore thought cannot exist.

Does that make any sense?

If only thought exists, then thought does not exist.
WTF?  This is perplexing.
But beyond that, it is terrifying.

Nothing exists.
That seems fundamentally different than saying something like “it’s all just a dream, an illusion”, which is what I had hoped to discover through some direct experience.  We’re talking more along the lines of black-pit-of-despair-why-don’t-I-just-kill-myself kind of conclusion here.  Fuck.  (not that I am feeling suicidal, though, don’t get the wrong idea)

And yet, after all that, it’s like
la-dee-daa, I’m just going about my day like everything is fine,
hum-diddly-dee, I guess I’ll do some dishes now, as if the
ENTIRE FUCKING GROUND OF EXISTENCE DIDN’T JUST FALL OUT FROM UNDER ME


The Waiting Room

An image came today, a metaphor;
I feel as though I am stuck in a waiting room
on the way to truth.

I saw a sign above a doorway:
TRUTH.  Enter here.”

I stepped inside.
I saw a waiting room.
I took a number.
I sat down.

Then I saw another sign:
No need to wait.  Go right ahead.*

and in small text below,
“*Notice – self control no longer applies.”

Relieved to know that I didn’t have to wait,
I tried to get up, and found myself paralyzed.
Completely unable to do anything.

And now I’m just sitting here,
seeing the open doorway beckoning,
knowing that waiting is unnecessary,
yet unable to do anything about it.

Waves of thought/experience come:
Frustration.
Confusion.
Sorrow.
Anger.
Awe.
Hilarious!

Now what?

Lucid Dream

I had a very interesting experience today.  I was listening to my iPod and drifted off to sleep, then found myself immersed in a dream, and it was a dream which I was rather enjoying and wished to continue.  Somehow I was partially aware that it was a dream experience and that there was another state of consciousness from which I had come; and thus aware that this experience could potentially end, or could be continued.  I could still hear the iPod playing and wished to turn it off, because at the very least it was an annoying distraction, and at the most it might bring me out of the dream entirely.  So I began searching, in my dream, for a way to turn it off.  Into the dream entered an iPod, and I began attempts to turn off the music on the dreamed-up-device.  All attempts were futile and I had a hell of a time trying to use the damn thing, which was all sorts of confusing and would not work properly as I knew an iPod should.  It was very frustrating.  The recognition of this experience as a dream — and the memory of some other realm of waking consciousness — was fading, if not gone altogether.  And yet there was still this understanding that the iPod needed to be turned off in order for the “dream” to continue, even though I had obviously lost sight of what the “dream” concept actually meant.

Finally I just snapped out of it, and I couldn’t tell you what was at the source of that happening because it was so fast; it could have been a result of a thought or realization within the dream, or it could have been a completely spontaneous occurrence not linked to anything within the dream itself.  Whatever the case, I had the “ah-hah!” moment and knew that the physical iPod must be physically turned off using my physical body in the physical world , and I woke up.  I turned off the iPod, but then that whole dream world was instantly gone, only a memory remained, and no re-entry appeared possible.  A mild disappointment arose, but overpowering it was this profound fascination and amazement with what had just happened, and gratitude for the experience.

And it made me wonder.  Is this what is going on in this physical reality “dream”?  Am I looking for tools within the dream itself that do not exist here, but rather are only accessed from that other realm?  In this case, rather than trying to find a way to “keep dreaming”, I am trying to find a way to “wake up”.  And, like in the dream experience I just described, I am vaguely aware that it is not just my dream-self that wants this, it is my awake-self.  And yet all of my searching for strategies to awaken are just dream-thoughts of dream-doings, and none have any effect.

So, if it is true that the required action to awaken must come from the “awake me”, and that in fact the “awake me” desires this, how the hell is that process engaged?  Because there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do from this place.

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