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In the Moment

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is In the Moment?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: In the Moment

Being Absolutely in the Moment, Beyond All Mind and Speaking

Since pure awareness is beyond knowing, the experience is totally nonconceptual. There is awareness of awareness, which is the presence of awareness, but this presence is not felt as presence. Nonconceptual awareness is beyond the concept of being, so we cannot experience or describe it as being or presence. We might then think that it must be nonbeing, but nonbeing is also a concept, the opposite of being. Being and nonbeing constitute a pair of mutually defining concepts; like all conceptual pairs, neither exists without the other. Experientially, being is presence and nonbeing is absence; the latter is often referred to as emptiness. Because pure awareness is free from the cognitive element, it transcends all concepts, but it is specifically the transcendence of the concept of being. By transcending being it also transcends nonbeing, emptiness. Experientially we feel it as simultaneous presence and absence, being and nonbeing. But this is only when we begin to view it conceptually. When the experience is full and complete we cannot say it is both presence and absence, nor neither. In fact, it does not occur to us to say anything about it, for to speak is to conceptualize, while here we are absolutely in the moment, beyond all mind and speaking.

Being Will Present Exactly What is Needed in the Moment

The question of whether the truth is going to feel overwhelming to us is sometimes a realistic concern. For some people, recognizing certain truths might be too much due to their lack of inner strength and development. And left to itself, the soul tends not to open up to such an overwhelming truth. Usually the soul has built-in defenses to prevent what is overwhelming from arising, unless life presents it with a situation where it can’t use these defenses. Sometimes the truth might arise as overwhelming, but that’s not generally the natural process of the unfoldment. Usually, if we are attuned to the truth in our own experience, our inquiry will tend to reveal things in a way that is exactly what we need and what we can handle in the moment. Guidance never reveals things to us that we don’t need. The revelation of truth is what Being presents in our experience, and Being is intelligent, compassionate, and loving. It will present exactly what is needed in the moment. That is why inquiry is generally a much safer approach than many other methods we can use. It follows what arises, it does not push, because it is not trying to get somewhere or achieve some goal.

Diamond Consciousness has the Capacity to Use Knowledge from Memory and . . .

This Diamond Consciousness is a certain integration of all essential aspects, which can exist in a dimension that is more refined and more objective than the usual, most recognizable one. This dimension is that of the existence of all aspects of Essence as aspects of understanding. All aspects of Essence function in this dimension in the service of understanding. For instance, the aspect of compassion does not exist in this dimension only as the presence of the state of compassion, but also as the precise understanding of compassion and its relation to objective understanding. Compassion is experienced as a warmth and an empathic desire to help. At the beginning it is experienced as a desire or movement to relieve an individual of his suffering. When compassion reaches the dimension of objective understanding, it will emerge with the precise understanding that it is the quality that allows the individual to experience the pain without rejection, and hence will make it possible to perceive the truth in the situation. So Compassion becomes an aspect in the service of truth, and not simply a way to eliminate suffering, in the narrow sense of the word. In some sense, the Diamond Consciousness is the integration of the mental faculties—intelligence, discrimination, synthesis, understanding and so on—Into Being, just as the Personal Essence is the integration of another level of qualities. This aspect of Essence is the source of true insight, intuition, knowledge and understanding. It functions through a capacity of simultaneous analysis and synthesis. Its capacity for analysis is stupendous; it can move in closer and closer, its perception becoming sharper and sharper, and its understanding more and more precise, as one contemplates any subject. It synthesizes all that is available to the consciousness of the individual, making its analysis ever more precise. And it can reverse the whole process, using the insights and perceptions arising from the analysis for greater synthesis. Unlike all other aspects of Being, it has the capacity to use knowledge from memory and synthesize it with immediate knowledge in the moment, thus utilizing both mind and Being. This capacity is functioning to some extent in the normal experience of insight, but can operate as Diamond Consciousness only when it is recognized and integrated. 

Diamond Guidance Can Guide the Soul . . . to the Discernment of the Inherent Discrimination in Reality

This inherent discriminating knowingness of true nature encompasses the content of all that exists, all that can possibly exist, and all that has ever existed. While it transcends the experience of the human soul, it nevertheless appears within our individual consciousness in a specific essential form. More precisely, this knowingness, which is itself the knowledge of everything, manifests in the soul as the specific capacity of discrimination. In other words, the Divine Mind can manifest in the soul in miniature form—a microcosm of that macrocosm. We call this microcosm the Diamond Guidance. The label “Diamond Guidance” reflects the way this essential manifestation of true nature functions, as it reveals the inherent discrimination in experience. When this essential presence manifests in the soul, she can discriminate with the clarity, precision, and penetration of a diamond what is actually present in her field of awareness. The Diamond Guidance can guide the soul all the way from recognizing an emotional truth in the moment to the discernment of the inherent discrimination in reality. That is why I said before that a spaceship that originates from the star system we are traveling to is the most reliable vehicle we can use to go there. So the Diamond Guidance is the specific manifestation of the Divine Mind arising in our soul as a personal capacity. It is what gives our soul the ability to know exactly what is going on and to understand our experience. Understanding our experience is knowing what it is, directly feeling it, and having insight into that feeling, all as part of the immediate experience. Because it is a reflection, an emanation, or a particularization of the Divine Mind, the Diamond Guidance has the capacity to reveal our experience, to penetrate its obscurations all the way to clarity and truth. I call the Diamond Guidance a vehicle of real knowledge because its specific capacity is to make it possible for the soul to know herself. And if you know yourself, then you know your source, because this source is your ultimate identity. 

Essence is Presence in the Moment; It is Actually the Ontological Ground of the Soul, Her True Beingness

Furthermore, the overall self-representation, with all of its underlying ego structures, patterns the soul by impressing her field with the content of her history. The past ends up determining the forms the soul experiences in herself, conditioning her dynamic creativity to flow in largely predetermined grooves. This again means the soul’s experience of herself is not immediately in the present, but mediated through past experience. This is both a mediation through the past, and a direct loss of the immediacy of the experience of the present moment. Essential presence is both an immediacy of consciousness and a completely present centered consciousness of oneself. This again dissociates the soul’s experience from her essential ground of presence. This dissociation is made even more complete by the phenomenology of essential presence. Because it is total immediacy and nowness, its principal feature, presence, cannot be captured in a representation, any kind of representation. A representation is particularly antithetical to that of the intimate and immediate presence of essence. Essence is presence in the moment; it is actually the ontological ground of the soul, her true beingness. A representation is a purely mental construction, regardless of how charged it is with affect, even when it is an attempt to represent essence. Hence any representation can capture only some of essence’s qualitative and quantitative characteristics, but not its nature, which is Being. We cannot put a conceptual boundary around presence and retain the resulting mental object in memory. Hence, presence cannot be included in the identity that develops through ego development, which is the normal identity of the soul.

In the Moment of Insight, Your Head Feels Expanded, Something Lets Go in Your Body

Let’s take something even less precise, less verifiable, yet where the sense of truth, the sense of conviction, is stronger. Let’s say you have a conviction about an insight. Maybe you’re meditating, considering something, or working with somebody, and suddenly something pops up and you know. Suddenly there’s an insight, a knowing. “Yes. That’s it.” It’s direct, certain. I think everybody here knows the experience of insight because you’ve had many insights. “Aha! That’s what it is!” When you have an “aha” do you question it? Do you ever say, “Wait a minute. There’s an “aha,” but let’s try to prove it”? Why don’t you question it? What makes you so certain it is the truth? In the moment of insight, your head feels expanded, something lets go in your body, and you say, “That’s it.” After a while, you may get all kinds of corroboration, perhaps a bigger picture that corroborates the truth of your insight. However, at the moment of the insight itself, there was no proof. What made you believe it? Sometimes, a few minutes after the insight, another part of you might question; but at the moment the insight is there, the moment that explosion inside you happens, there really is no questioning. There is certainty. You know, if only for a split second, that your perception is true. You’re so certain that the question of whether it is true or not is not even an issue. It is so. What is it in the insight that gives you that certainty, that conviction, that there is truth there?

Inquiry is an Investigation of Reality in One’s Personal Experience in the Moment

The method of inquiry is an investigation and exploration of reality in one’s personal experience in the moment. This exploration uses the mind—which is not only our intellectual capacity but also all the knowledge we have accumulated from the past—yet we are free from the mind at the same time. The advantage of inquiry, compared to many other methods—which also possess their advantages and disadvantages—is that inquiry can use the knowledge you already have. We do not have to invent the wheel every time we inquire. Yet there needs to be a freedom from this ordinary knowledge, because if we are not free from it, we will not ask questions. We will think we already know. So the questioning in inquiry needs to be intelligent, needs to embody the openness of true nature that can use whatever we know. You know, for instance, that you have an unconscious. You do not have to discover it every time you inquire. So if you have an experience and you are seeing something about it, the fact that you know you have an unconscious makes you suspect that there may be more to what you see. If you say, “Let’s not use the knowledge of the mind at all,” and then begin to look at what is present in experience, you might have to go through a long process before recognizing that there is a psychodynamic cause for what is arising in your experience. But the fact that you know there is an unconscious, and that psychodynamics exist, opens the inquiry in a whole new way.

Inquiry is Responsive to Your Needs in the Moment

The process of inquiry, on the other hand, is one of the safest methods of spiritual revelation. What determines your inner movement is your own openness, your own application of your will, and the fact that you are not trying to get anywhere. Since you are just trying to see where you are, inquiry is responsive to your own needs in the moment and is naturally considerate of your own capacities and limitations. Inquiry is a gradual, guided approach that each does at his or her own pace. And because the guidance is attuned to you personally, what will arise and how much your true nature will reveal to you at any particular time will depend on your capacity and your situation. Nobody is pushing you to experience something in particular. And you are not trying to manipulate your own experience to channel it one way or another. These are the safeguards implicit in methods such as inquiry that are not oriented toward a particular goal and that are responsive to minute-to-minute changes in personal experience.

Involvement in the Moment and Penetrating Thought Can Lead to Thinking as a Creative Process

Analysis is not the same thing as the practice of meditation itself. You do the meditation, you have some experiences and then, of course, you can analyze in the sense of understanding it. In time you understand what causes what, what actually happens . . . . . .. . At the beginning we see thoughts in our minds and at some point, there’s a gap, maybe lightness, openness, or space. But there are still subliminal thoughts, in some sense, happening there, determining our experience. I realize I’m in a thought, and I’m watching it, and suddenly I realize you arise as a thought. In time this process might go as far as seeing that everything arises as a thought, even your external perceptions. That’s what I mean by creativity. What arises is absolutely brand new. It will happen only if there’s a freshness in the moment, if the mind is being touched by the now. But if it’s just putting two old things together, you don’t really get anything new, just a combination of the old. So for there to be insight, there has to be in-touchness with the beingness itself, with the energy that’s there in the moment. That combines the concepts in a fresh way. So you get a new insight that is not just a logical combination. It is the difference between a recollection and an insight. Recollection is remembering something that happened; you can think about it and make connections. But that’s not exactly an insight. Insight is an explosion. It will produce thoughts but it is truly creative. Something actually new arises, not merely a combination of old things. This process can go deeper and deeper. I’m just describing some examples of what we mean by creativity—in this case, how involvement in the moment and penetrating thought can lead to thinking as a creative process.

Joy Has to do with Openness in the Moment, with Not Choosing One Thing Over Another

What does the joy have to do with the pain or no pain? Joy is different from pleasure in the sense that joy has nothing to do with pain or pleasure. We think pleasure is happiness, but it’s not happiness. Joy is happiness. Pleasure is opposed to pain; joy is not. It is possible to have pain and joy at the same time. So why block your joy just because there’s going to be some pain? I’m not saying that you should push yourself to be joyful, but if it is possible for it to be there, allow it. Joy has to do with openness in the moment, with not choosing one thing over another. When there is no prejudice about what should happen, there is joy. Joy is openness to experience. There is no striving. Joy is not the result of anything. If you are yourself, there is joy. If you are accepting and open to your experience, if you’re being yourself, you’re naturally joyful because you are the source of the joy.

Knowing the Answer to “Who Am I?” Happens Only in the Moment

Knowing the answer to “Who am I?” happens only in the moment. The answer has nothing to do with the past. If the past determines the answer now, then it is obviously not a correct answer, since the past no longer exists. To really answer the question requires that we see that we don’t know, and also that we don’t know how to find out. Is it possible to let yourself see that you don’t know the answer and don’t know how to find it, and still let the question burn in you? “Who am I?” “Who am I?” Can we allow ourselves to see that we don’t know? If we assume we know, then we stop the inquiry. If we assume we know how to go about it, we assume we know what the answer is, that we know what we are looking for. Perhaps not knowing is the real knowing. If you allow yourself to see that you don’t really know and you don’t know how to know, something can happen. Maybe this is your first chance of really knowing something. Assuming that you know and assuming that you know what to do are barriers to true knowing. When you finally know that you don’t know, you finally have absolute knowledge. Complete ignorance is what will bring true knowledge. You see, the mind can’t function here. This has nothing to do with your mind. Your mind can only answer the question and say that some of the answers are not the answers. The only thing we can do is to eliminate what we believe we know and see that we really don’t know. That’s all we can do. We cannot do anything positive to begin finding out because the moment we do that we’re assuming that we know where we’re going. How do you know what should happen? That knowledge is inferred from memory, from past experience. When you see that you don’t know and don’t know how to know, you may stop all the activities that you do to try to know, and then maybe something will happen. Maybe there is a possibility of a different kind of knowing, a knowing that is completely fresh. It’s also possible that the knowing will just be that you don’t know. Maybe you’ll just know that you are not defined by anything that you usually define yourself with, and that there’s no way to define yourself. You may only know that you’re undefinable, and that knowing you are undefinable is freedom. So maybe that is the final definition of you. But this is an experience, a realization, and not merely a logical conclusion.

Liberation is Really Nothing but the Personality Becoming Free in the Moment

Liberation is really nothing but the personality becoming free in the moment; the personality loosens its grip, lets itself just relax. When your personality hangs loose you become like a child and you enter paradise. In Arabic, Ridhwan is the name for the angel guardian of paradise. But it is also the condition, the actual essential aspect of contentment, satisfaction and fulfillment. Many systems don’t discuss this, for good reason: talking about it to someone who hasn’t experienced this liberation increases attachment and the attitude of grasping. In fact, describing how wonderful it is, describing heaven, can increase the misery and stuckness. This is why many systems just talk about learning how to hang loose. You might be in paradise, but if you don’t know how to hang loose, you won’t enjoy it.

Open-Endedness that Respects How Reality is Presenting Itself Through You

In the Diamond Approach, the central practice of inquiry embodies this open-ended view of reality. From the beginning of doing this work, we find where we are, recognize where we are, and understand where we are. This wholehearted exploration of “where I am” includes exploring the “where,” the “I,” and the “am.” All of them are up for grabs. Proceeding with this kind of open-endedness respects how reality is presenting itself through you, to you, and as you in the moment, and, at the same time, it embraces the particularity of what is happening in your location. True practice means letting ourselves explore what is happening in this moment. For a long time, we can’t help thinking that exploration will take us deeper and will reveal more. And it does reveal more and more until, at some point, we might recognize that the revelation is not headed in any particular direction or to any specific place. We might recognize that whatever is being revealed at any moment, from the very first moment we practice, is realization, is reality manifesting itself. What else could it be? Who else would be doing it? Practice fully realized is mature enough to accept the ordinary simplicity of whatever is happening as what realization is at the moment. But it takes a great deal of work to develop that kind of maturity. We have to fully exhaust all other possibilities for that simplicity to manifest. We have to experience and understand and embody all kinds of spiritual dimensions and all kinds of enlightenment in order to be free and to accept our everyday ordinariness without it having to be anything else. We cannot one day decide to be simple and ordinary. We need only to live each moment as it is, to live each moment fully and authentically without rejection or acceptance, without commentary or second guessing. With such total practice, we begin to live the mystery of the paradox of practice and grace.

Presence Exists Only in the Moment and Not in the Past or the Future

The most central and basic insight is that of Holy Truth: that the totality of the cosmos is pure existence, pure Being. This means recognizing not only that presence is Essence inside of you, but recognizing that everything is presence. This is what is meant by stating that reality is existence, is Being, is presence. Presence is directly experiential; this presence in the present, in the now, is the meaning of Being. This presence in the now is not the juncture between the past and the future; the present moment is the entry into the presence of Being, but it is not time. Presence exists only in the moment and not in the past or the future. Even physical reality is presence, but we do not ordinarily perceive this because we are looking only at its surface without perceiving its other levels. It is like perceiving only the skin of an onion and eliminating the rest of it, so you take an onion to be brittle and stiff and believe that it has no soft and juicy part. It is interesting that presence or Being is experienced as a nowness, but that this nowness is not a moment of time. The nowness is more of a medium, more of the actual presence, the actual consciousness, the actual substance, of Being. When we realize it is everything that exists, we see that it includes all time. We see, in fact, that it is beyond time, and that time is merely a concept that exists within it.

Facets of Unity, pg. 169

Seeing the “Isness” of What is Here

If you experience things in the moment, without thinking in terms of the past and the future, just right here in the now, and see the isness of what is here, you will recognize the perfection we’re talking about. You won’t be looking at what is here through the filter of your ideas, which are the result of what you heard or saw in the past or what you think is going to happen in the future. Holy Perfection is the perfection of what is, and reality exists only now, only in this moment—without the concept of time, without your ideas about what’s going to happen tomorrow or what’s not going to happen tomorrow, without your ideas about what should or shouldn’t happen, without judgments of good and bad—just the experience of the isness of the now. If we see reality the way it is right now, we see that everything we perceive is coemergent with Being, everything is made up of Essence. Everything—your body, your mind, your feelings, your thoughts, physical objects—everything is made out of that complete pure beingness of presence. This is the experience of Holy Perfection. When you experience an essential state fully, you can recognize that it has a quality of perfection. You can’t say that it needs something or that it is lacking anything. If you are experiencing love or compassion, for instance, you perceive it as pure and complete just the way it is. Holy Perfection tells us that everything has that quality of rightness, and not only certain essential states. We saw that from the perspective of Holy Truth, everything is one, an undivided wholeness. Your body, your essence, the world, God, are not separate things; they are all one thing, and that one thing, which is not a thing, is the presence of Essence. Because everything is ultimately essential, it follows that everything is inherently perfect.

Facets of Unity, pg. 143

The Pearl Beyond Price is the Result of Living in the Moment

The Pearl Beyond Price is the connection between this genuine center and all the capacities, skills, and understanding that are a part of your growth as a human being. It allows your capacities, functions and accomplishments to develop in a genuine way as an outgrowth of your spontaneous unfoldment. It is the result of living in the moment, living in a way that is true to who you are. This is your genuine personal life, your own development, your own growth. The pearl is the actualized individuation of your Soul. So the personal essence is connected with your unique function, your unique work in this life. To actualize your particular unique work in this life means to be your personal essence. It is the essence of all that you have developed and integrated in your soul as you live a real life. Everyone is born with the true self, with the point. Although we feel that the point is unique in each of us, the quality of the point is universal. Then how do people become so different in their personal lives? This is due to the particular development of their personal essence. Your unique contribution, your unique personal actualization of your self, your unique understanding, your unique work, and your unique style of life all have to do with the personal essence. The personal essence is the person, actualized in his or her life, while the essential self—the point—is beyond this life and, in a sense, does not need a body. It is always the same; it never changes.

To Be in the Moment We Have to Be in Touch with Our Presence

Even if I am remembering and reliving something that happened to me in my childhood, I can do that in the moment. In fact, the more I am in the moment, the more real, the more alive, that reliving is. If I relive an incident in my mind, it is more like a thought, a memory; but if I am really in my body, in my sensations, in my presence, in the immediacy, I am in a sense experiencing the now-ness of that past because I am in the now-ness now. But it is the same now-ness. Remember that light from a distant star is not moving in time; that is, no passage of time is involved in its journey. As we are seeing it, it is the same light that was there billions of years ago. It hasn’t aged a minute, even a second. It is always now, and in this now-ness we can experience the past as much as we like—fully, completely—and really process it. Because that is true reliving; it is not just remembering. But we have to be in the moment, we have to be in touch with our presence. This is one reason the practice of presence is often referred to as self-remembering, or simply as remembering. We do not mean remembering in the ordinary, cerebral way that memory usually functions. We mean the remembering of our presence, remembering it in the sense of reliving the presence—which is reliving the now, which is the now of the present moment. In other words, self-remembering works as a practice of presence if and when we can do it in this fullness of being in the now, in the full experience of true reliving.

Understanding Love is to be Love in the Moment, to Feel What It’s Like

Understanding, then, includes the mind becoming an expression or a channel for Being. Mind becomes connected to Being, not separate from it like it was when you were a child, or like it was when you were an adult just seeing your issues. At this level understanding becomes the unity, the interface, the meeting of Being and mind. You are Being, but there is also awareness of the beingness. This consciousness of beingness is understanding. So, then you might say that you understand yourself. But this is not a description of who you are. It’s not the understanding. Understanding is not “I am such and such. I am joy.” A statement is not understanding. Understanding is the actual embodiment of the state, the insightful beingness of it. Understanding is the unity of Being and insight. Understanding love, then, doesn’t mean knowing love is this or that, love is good, love is sweet, love affects you in this warm way, love nourishes you. Understanding love is to be love in the moment, to feel what it’s like. If you understand this completely, which means that you are completely and totally love, with a discriminating consciousness of the state, understanding automatically moves the state to a deeper level. The moment there is completeness in that state, the insight is there—insight is the union of your mind and your Being at that moment.

When We are Willing to be Completely in the Moment We have a Better Chance of Seeing What is Actually There

So when we are willing to be completely in the moment, we have a better chance of seeing what is actually there, what is actually happening. If we are saying, “No, I don’t want this, I want it to be different,” that blocks the experience and gives us less chance of seeing the truth clearly. So when true will is operating, it enhances our awareness of what is there. It allows us to have a more complete and full perception. Only when we have this complete perception can we truly understand what is there. This understanding of what is happening is in itself a discharge, a regulation. When such insight happens it is like an orgasm—it is a release of tension. Just as your mother released your tension when you were hungry or in pain as an infant, allowing a relaxation, the process of simply seeing what is there and understanding it releases what is false in us. Discontent, pain and conflict are not part of our natural state. When you see and release what is false, it goes away. This is the discharge, the regulation. And what remains is what is real.

When You are in the Moment, Being the Presence that is Unfolding, Your Actions are the Unfoldment of Being

We ordinarily think that a sense of orientation comes through knowing what to do, which direction to take. This implies that you know where you are going. True orientation, from the perspective of Being, however, is just presence itself. The now is orientation; the only real possible orientation is presence in the nowness. We cannot orient ourselves to the future because we don’t know where our experience is going to go. If we are present in the moment, that presence will unfold from instant to instant, thereby creating its own direction. When you are in the moment, being the presence that is unfolding, that unfoldment determines your actions, and your actions will feel just right, right to the point, because you are not separate from your Being and your action is completely unified with the presence itself. Your actions then are nothing but the unfoldment of Being. Since presence is everything and all of you, it is not as though you are moving your hand from here to there; presence is unfolding in this moment and in this moment and in this moment. The presence has unfolded like successive frames in a film. When this is your state, you feel like you are right on the mark, knowing what you are doing and where you are going. What happens within you and through your actions occurs spontaneously, naturally, effortlessly, because you are not separate from who you are. The moment you say, “I don’t want to go that way,” or “It would be better this way,” you are separating yourself from the presence that is unfolding. When you do that, your action does not have a sense of exactness or of appropriateness; it does not feel “on.”

Facets of Unity, pg. 179

When You Know in the Moment Without Any Influence then You Can Completely Be Alone with Your Own Truth

You might do some work on yourself and have a wonderful experience, a great insight or state. But how do you know that this wonderful experience is what is needed right now? How do you know that the knowledge you think you’re getting will resolve your situation? The flame must continue. The fire of inquiry needs to be fed, needs to grow, to intensify, to deepen. Our inquiry needs to be directed not at trying to reduce it, but to letting it grow. The flame needs to burn away all the rest, to grow until it answers itself by itself becoming the fulfillment. The fire of that inquiry can burn away all the dross, all the resistance, all the ideas, all the accumulation of the past so you can actually see what is really there, the whole picture in the present moment without needing to depend on anything from the past or on anyone else’s experience. When you know in the moment without any influence, then you can completely be alone with your own truth. Without that, it’s obvious that you can’t know with certainty. Only with that certainty can life become significant. If you know, for yourself, who you are, you will know where you are going, and you will be fulfilled. Yes, there are guidance and help here, but not to give answers, only to help you inquire. This Work is to encourage your own inner development, whatever that may be, to help you remain alone with your inquiry. It can be difficult to be alone with yourself. We are not usually supported or encouraged to let our being just be, to be authentic, and not an imitation or a reaction. You can be open, listening to what others suggest, but these things are only possibilities; you still need to inquire by yourself within the intimacy of your own heart. Is this answer your own experience, your answer? You need to be completely open, and not use what you hear to comfort yourself. You need to use it to add fuel to your inquiry.

You Cannot Change How You Feel in the Moment

We are seeing that our exploration of will has led us back to the perspective of truth. The truth will set you free. Will means staying with the truth. Will functions in the service of truth. And for truth to manifest you don’t need effort. Truth is what is there. You need only stop the effort of avoiding seeing what is there. You are always exerting effort, using your will to push something away, to make things different. This is how you stop your will. This understanding is why many spiritual disciplines state that you must surrender your will. It is true that you must surrender what most people think of as will. But what is usually not seen is that true will exists, and that it is the same thing that most people call surrender. But it’s not a sense of surrender to someone or something else. You are surrendering to the truth. What other choice do you have? However painful or pleasurable the experience happens to be, if you stay with it you might discover a deeper truth in it. Actually, when you look fully, squarely at the situation, you see that you have no alternative, except running away. You either experience what is so, or you try to avoid it. And trying to avoid it can only lead to suffering. You cannot change how you feel in the moment. Trying to change what you feel in the moment is like looking at a tree which has green leaves, and saying, “No, I like yellow leaves, I want it to have yellow leaves.” But it’s not the season for yellow leaves, and you can’t change that.

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