Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Back To Basics

Enlightenment is possible once we drop the baggage which this word has picked up over the last few thousands years and understand what mystics and spiritual teachers throughout history have actually been talking about. I prefer to use the word “awakening” as it’s more direct and expresses the truth about spiritual realization which is more like waking up from a dream, the dream that we have a separate and permanent self. Once we understand this misperception and stop creating a self out of transient, empty sensations we can begin to live in the moment as it is, drop all the storytelling and fulfil our potential as human beings.

Someone said that enlightenment is an accident and meditation just makes us more accident prone. Meditation is one way to wake up, my own preference is the vipassana technique, which translates as “clear seeing”, where we observe and objectify any sensation which arises in awareness, realizing that by being able to observe it, it cannot be that which is observing. We see that these selfless sensations only exist for an instant before it is replaced by another one, and gradually strip back to the bare level of experience and see that what we thought was a self is really nothing more than a bunch of empty vibrations.

It’s easy to read those words and think that you can understand it, but this is something which is beyond thought and has to be experienced. It’s entirely possible for this to happen and I disagree strongly with those who would suggest otherwise, once we understand what this perspective actually is we can bring it down to earth and talk about it in realistic terms rather than have to dress it up in esoteric language. At the same time, these esoteric languages and symbols are immensely useful when it comes to discussing awakening as they provide us with maps of the territory which have been walked by countless others before us. However it’s possible to get too hung up when trying to understand exactly what a specific term is referring to, particularly when we’re working from translations which may be incorrect, or written by someone with no real insight into the subject and so being able to discuss these things in down to earth terms could be useful to many.

This is what I would like to achieve with this project, a down to earth approach to awakening to the moment as it is. There’s no reason I can give as to why you should wake up, it changes everything while changing nothing at all but you need to see it for yourself otherwise it’s just words on a page. My aim is to help others to wake up, to show people that this isn’t something which needs to be discussed in hushed terms or assigned to any specific tradition but something which is a natural part of human development and which should be positively encouraged.

Too much bullshit has been written about this, it’s time to make a change and try a more pragmatic approach to awakening. You don’t need to go to a monastery for years, although there’s no reason why you shouldn’t if that’s what you want to do, you don’t need to sell off all your worldly goods and become a hermit, but again there’s nothing stopping you if that’s your thing. Just know that this is possible, you can do this and hopefully this project will be able to point out a few things along the way which can help out.



  1. Hi there, it's me again. Just wanted to say thank you, and here's why. I can point to a number of major milestones in my life, and I mentioned a couple of dharma-related ones in my comment on your previous blog. Since then I've been looking at some of the links you provided there (to wit, Kenneth Folk's site and a bunch of stuff by Daniel Ingram, including his buddhist geeks interviews), and something tells me that may yet amount to another major milestone for me. So, thanks for those links. Oh and of course thanks for stopping by on my blog, for what it's worth.


  2. I'm looking forward to reading about your approach in more detail - for instance, I'm wondering how you feel the Western Mystery Traditions affected your vipassana technique. Be well mate! Liam