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Being Where You Are

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Being Where You Are

Disconnecting From Where You Are

I’m trying to clarify what we are doing when we inquire, what we are engaged in. I am not making value judgments about other practices, and I think that many people here are starting to see that. Value judgment can be part of the problem in inquiry, as we will see later. There is something, however, that is more immediate in our consideration. We are concerned with what happens when you take a position that a certain state is reality, when you say, “That is the truth, and we are going to go there.” The moment you take a position, you lose your thread. You go toward a goal instead of being where you are in the moment. This will tend to disconnect you from where you are, which will disconnect you from the true guidance, which will disconnect you from the optimizing dynamism of Being. I am not saying that one cannot do spiritual practice in other ways, but I am saying that in the kind of practice we are studying, this disconnection will happen whenever you are after some goal. We said earlier that adopting a position from a certain teaching, teacher, or philosophy is one form of goal orientation to avoid. I will continue to delineate some of the other ways in which you can disconnect from your personal thread. These situations are all problematic for your inquiry because they go counter to the natural unfoldment of Being.

From the Perspective of Totality all You Need to do is Be Where You Are

From the perspective of nonhierarchy and the view of totality, we can see the wisdom of this practice in a new way. Wherever we are, wherever we happen to find ourselves, is a manifestation of true nature and contains all of reality. There is no point in striving to be anywhere else. So even if this shift in the teaching seems inaccessible, even if it seems improbable or outlandish, from the perspective of totality, all you need to do is be where you are. You can receive the benefit of this wisdom simply by allowing yourself—your heart and your mind and your body—to be impacted by this teaching. When first receiving a subtle teaching, it’s important to listen with your heart and with your being. If the mind understands the teaching, that can help open up your experience, but the openness and receptivity of the heart is foremost. Should you feel that these ideas are over your head or are too radical to accept, you can let that be and allow yourself to simply feel whatever is here. There is plenty of time to work everything out and understand more about the perspective that I am presenting in this book.

Inquiring to Find out What is Happening, What the Truth of a Situation Is

So what does that tell us about how to approach our work? As we have seen, our practice of learning to be where we are is a matter of inquiring to find out what is happening, what the truth of a situation is. To ask, “Where am I?” means, “What is the truth of my experience?” And to ask, “What is the truth of my experience?” means, “I want to understand it in a way that is meaningful to my heart, that nourishes my heart and my soul; I don’t just want an explanation.” An explanation that is not felt can be exact without being meaningful, in which case, it doesn’t nourish us. As we work with our experience—inquiring and delving into it, being present with it—the presence and the awareness that pervades our experience reveals itself to be that underlying truth, or True Nature, that we have been seeking. And as our understanding unfolds, the harmony of the various elements of our experience is a felt harmony of connectedness. That experience is closer to the inherent, original, primordial harmony that reveals —and actually is—the oneness of all things.

Living the Essential Life

The understanding of inquiry we are discussing highlights the integration of true nature and everyday life through finding your thread—being where you are, moment to moment, and following your immediate experience. As this luminous thread, which is the center of your life, manifests and unfolds, your daily life becomes an appreciation and celebration of the continuing manifestation of true nature in its various qualities, colors, and forms. This flow of experience, of manifestations, is what we call living the essential personal life, in which the various situations of personal life become the context for Being to manifest its many possibilities.

Most of the Time We Don’t Know Exactly What’s Happening With Us

By now, you probably have experienced various types of obstacles and impediments arising as you continue your inner practice of finding where you are and abiding there. You may be coming to the understanding that the obstacles to being where you are turn out to be the same as the obstacles to being yourself and that those are the same as the obstacles to reality and to
realization. Understanding how these obstacles arise within your experience is a major factor in our practice. But there are additional factors that, once understood, can also make our practice simpler and easier. As we have seen, most of the time we don’t know exactly what’s happening with us. We know scattered bits and pieces, but it is difficult to see how they fit into one coherent manifestation. And we notice that even when we pay attention and are aware of our experience, we don’t automatically know where we are. Knowing where we are requires some clarity. It takes some inquiry. To further our understanding, a specific discrimination can be made to support our practice of finding where we are and letting ourselves be. That is, we can
learn how to differentiate our experience into two parts: the primary component and the secondary components.

Most of the Time You do not Know Where You Are

Practices that aim to put you in a particular state have a whole mind-set attached to them, which is the mind-set of that particular state. The problem is that this can become your mind-set, providing you with a mental framework, which means a particular orientation toward your experience. And we want to be free from any mental framework. So true meditation, true practice, according to the Diamond Approach, consists of following your thread, which means being where you are and continuing to be where you are without trying to make your experience go in any particular way. This requires practice because most of the time, you do not know where you are, you do not understand where you are, or you are fighting and rejecting where you are. This is the normal state of the ego-self, for the ego is always trying to get someplace, to make itself be a certain way. The ego-self is constantly judging and rejecting its arising state and trying to fit itself into a certain ideal. It is not just being where it is and allowing itself to unfold freely. As a result, it does not understand where it is, for it is invested in being somewhere in particular, being a certain way, or i satisfying a particular ideal. And even if this ideal is taken from spiritual teachings, the same mechanism of ego activity is in operation. Trapped in the ego-self, you do not trust that Being itself will take you where you need to go.

This Process of Locating Yourself is a Profoundly Personal One

This process of locating yourself is a profoundly personal one, a subtle and sensitive unfolding of inner awareness that does not use obvious external signposts to tell you where you are at any given time. It requires discipline and patience, gentleness and attunement, because the only one who can know where your consciousness is is you. To truly be where you are requires a capacity for listening, a willingness to be open, and a curiosity about your own experience that most likely few people have ever shown toward you. What this calls for is the development of your ability to truly witness yourself, to be a pure and undistorted mirror for where and how you are appearing in the moment. Ultimately, this means seeing yourself without the aid of anyone else’s perspective, anyone else’s experience, or anyone else’s beliefs and judgments. It means not seeing yourself from the outside or locating yourself by where you are relative to external criteria. It is by seeing yourself from inside, from the center of your own experience, that you can discover your own truth, the untouched True Nature of what you are.

To Be Where We are is Really a Form of Surrender to Whatever is Happening

To be where we are really is a form of surrender to whatever is happening. And that surrender is an awareness that embraces whatever our experience is. If I am feeling something and I see that I don’t like it, then I embrace that I am feeling something and I embrace the fact that I don’t like it. I don’t take the position that I shouldn’t have a negative response to what I am feeling. This implies a certain trust and confidence in our nature. Usually we don’t have that trust, so we want to take things into our own hands and twist them and turn them the way we want them to be. True Nature shows us that we have another option, which is to align with it in allowing our experience to be what it is.

We Need to Recognize the Changeable, Slippery, Transforming, Morphing Quality of Our Being and of Reality

To be where we are, then, we need to recognize the changeable, slippery, transforming, morphing quality of our being and of reality. That means we have to recognize our attachments, our identifications, the ways we try to hold on, which requires appreciating what we have taken to be permanent features of reality. Have you ever thought about what things you believe to be permanent? For example, don’t you think that you are always going to be you? Almost everyone believes, “I can change, but it is always going to be me who is experiencing those changes.” We can’t imagine waking up one morning and discovering that somebody else is experiencing them! But if, instead of our usual self, we experience pure awareness as that which is experiencing things, it feels as though it is not us. That’s because we have been accustomed to experiencing everything through our usual self-identity. But now it is just experience happening without that usual self; it is just the light, and because that light is luminous, it is aware of what is happening.

What is Happening Right Now, Whatever it is, is Reality

We see that even enlightenment is a dynamic flow moving from one thing to another. Living enlightenment is an expression of being where we are, and seeing where we are, and allowing where we are to move. So being where we are, fully experiencing it, and fully understanding it allows experience to dynamically move through all the possibilities reality has to offer, regardless of whether it is illumination, awakening, realization, or enlightenment. As the heart ripens, the freedom of nonhierarchy can appear as a divine indifference, a disinterested enthusiasm for the truth. Our consciousness is not interested in having anything in particular happen. We are so free of the orientations of time and space that we are not focused on getting anywhere, on being anywhere. What is happening right now, whatever it is, is reality, and we are not comparing it with anything that happened in the past or could happen in the future.

When We Don’t See where We are We are Abandoning Ourselves

When we don’t see where we are, we can be in the moment, but we are not seeing it clearly; we are running away from it, we are distracted, we are abandoning ourselves. When we are real, we let ourselves be where we are. And when we recognize where we are—for where we are is the moment as it is appearing clearly—we are allowing ourselves to be suffused by the teaching. And the more we recognize the value of the moment, the more our heart will open, revealing its depth, its fullness, its richness. At first, our mind tries to explain why we love recognizing the truth, why we value reality and True Nature, why we think it is wonderful, beautiful, supportive, and something that liberates us. But all these are just conceptual stories we tell ourselves. The fact is that True Nature’s value is inherent, beyond the mind, and we are just feeling it. And there is no reason for it. It is, and that is the way it is. So, as you see, the teaching has that value because it arises from True Nature; it is the message of True Nature. And our learning is not restricted to what comes through a particular logos—although specific, defined channels of teaching do exist and can be helpful. The real teaching of True Nature is every moment.

You are Intimate with Yourself When You’re Simply Being Where You Are

When you really like to discover the truth, when you just like to see and feel what’s true, this indicates that you like being yourself. It is lovely to be where one is without rejection, without the need to be somewhere else to be okay. In this place, the heart opens up, and there is enough space to feel joy. There’s contentment and peacefulness, and a personalness to the contentment and peace that gives the feeling of intimacy. You are intimate with yourself when you’re simply being where you are.

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