Paradise Found

“Yes, we love to go into this timeless background of consciousness and awareness absolutely. Very liberating, isn’t it? It’s very, very freeing; very profound and very beautiful. And yet, if taken in and of itself, all we’ve done is switched sides of an illusion. We’ve gone from form and time, to formlessness and timelessness, and we say: ‘Well, this state must be more true,’ because it’s more comfortable, basically. It just feels better.
But the truth is that it’s only when these two sides collapse together – that this world of form is the timeless – that what we call form is emptiness, it is consciousness, that’s what it is. Then, there’s no stance anymore, is there? There’s no more the sense that ‘I have to remain as awareness’. We only have to remain as awareness if we don’t really know that this wall is awareness, that your car is awareness, that this entire existence is awareness. Once we know that, then we are we finally freed, are we not? We are finally freed from the need for the ‘me’ to get into the right state, and stay there. Then, and only then, the duality of our experience finally collapses.” ~ Adyashanti

This ordinary, everyday experience that you(we) take so much for granted is the whole truth, the total perfection – right here, right now, always. There is no path that can bring you to the ‘final perfection’. You can, in fact, never leave it – except, of course, in your imagination. It has frequently been described as being ‘Awake’, which is in fact the exact meaning of the sanskrit word ‘buddha.’ [Being awake, just normally awake, is in fact all that is truly required. It has also been often referred to as ’the end of seeking,’ or ‘seeing what’s here’. However, our conditioning and our beliefs, our filters and projections, only permit us to see what we ‘think’ is here. That is problem one. Problem two is that we don’t know there’s a problem one. We assume the reality of our experience to be ‘Reality’; as in ‘Really Real.’]

Probably the most profound and generally inscrutable statement of the Buddha comes from the Prajna Paramita, or ‘Heart Sutra:’ “O Sariputra, form does not differ from emptiness and emptiness does not differ from form. Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form.”

This ‘enlightenment process’, if there is one, often called ’awakening’ or ‘the unobstructed clear seeing of reality’, is reflected in the famous Zen Buddhist maxim:  “First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.”  It points to the non-dual nature of all things.  It cannot be seen, felt, experienced or understood by the mind – that would, of course require an observer who was separate, and there isn’t one.  It is always and inevitably only ‘this’ – formless emptiness appearing as everything (including ‘us’, of course, and all of our stories of birth, death, separation, redemption, salvation and ‘re-union’ with the Absolute).  If ‘There Is Only God’, where could a separate one possibly be found to ‘return to Him’?  In the end, there is in fact, only Paradise – just ‘this’.               [Sorry if it may not seem quite like ‘you’ imagined!]

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About Les Collins

Lifelong student of world spirituality, the perennial philosophy, and eastern religions. Facilitator of "There Is Only God" weekly non-duality discussion group which meets in Rochester, New York, USA. For more info on meetings, click on ABOUT section.
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