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It's Not About Getting Something | The Truth Is You

It’s Not About Getting Something

hidden treasure
There are many traps and stumbling blocks in the awakening game. Some are blatant. Some are subtle. 
One of the more subtle ones is the idea that by awakening you get something. That's not the case. What awakening amounts to is dissolving the lies you've inherited about what you are, and coming to rest as what you really are. Obviously you already are what you are. That seems pretty obvious, right? So, clearing up any lies about what you are will not give you anything more, you'll just be left with that which you already were the whole time.
Despite this seeming so obvious, it gets more subtle as time goes on. At first you know that you are just looking for yourself, and that you are already there, being you. Then you look. And then you wait for some sign that it's working. Right there you are into this trap. Because change is not what we are after with this simple looking at you. What we are after is looking at the truth of you, against which any falseness cannot stand.
However, we are all goal oriented, aren't we? When we undertake an action, we expect to see a result to confirm the validity of our action. It's perfectly normal, and it's perfectly in error when it comes to the looking.
Awakening is not like that. That takes some getting used to. I find this to be a recurring, and ever deepening trap myself. When I first got into the looking as a mechanism for awakening, I ran into this trap headlong. Repeatedly. Even after it faded (and shortly thereafter the practice of looking faded), the same trap showed up in my meditation practice. This is probably in part due to my Western-style goal-oriented upbringing. It's also probably dues in part to my love of the scientific method. With any experiment, you check for results, and then compares to previous experiments, and try to repeat them. 
That is the wrong way to go about it. Each and every time you are looking to see if there has been a shift, or vast insight, what are you not looking at? You. When you get distracted from that you are not looking at you. Not directly.
That is not a terrible thing, mind you. I love looking at things other than me! Keeps my time here interesting. In fact it's incredibly difficult for looking at you to be anything other than a fleeting thing. The body-brain is built to pay attention to things. That's it's job. Being a thing, in a world of things, things are of primary importance. It can be argued that the body-brain can only pay attention to things, but that is a matter for another post. 
Because of the nature of the body-brain it gets drawn to look at things, especially when you put that tendency on hold for a moment. This means that when you take a moment to look at you, you should not only not expect to see anything, or for anything to happen, but you should also not expect it to last very long.
If you go into a moment of looking for you with an assumption, or desire that there will be some confirming shift, I would submit that you will be aiming off target. This usually shows up after the fact by being disappointed that nothing "happened", or by a building doubt that the looking is not being effective. I humbly suggest using these signs as an opportunity to be honest with yourself and check in if you have been looking for getting something. You then have the chance to re-aim and get on with it. 

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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)

  1. Gavin George Doig
    5 years ago

    My looking produces phenomena: Peacefulness of mind and pleasant sensation in body. I'm not sure if I'm going into a cul-de sac of sensation or if these are flags saying rest attention here and bring it back if it strays?

    • Travis
      5 years ago

      I would say there is nothing wrong with peacefulness and pleasant sensations. We could all use more of those! The issue is getting into the habit of trying to reproduce those rather than doing the looking. That is a sidetrack, in my book.