Asheville Sangha

Supporting the Awakening of Consciousness in Asheville and Beyond

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III.13 “By the apprehension of the perceived or the knowable, consciousness becomes the living soul and is apparently involved in repetitive history.  When the false notion of a knowable apart from the knower (consciousness) ceases, it regains its equilibrium.”

The soul, or the jiva, is the result of identifying with the world-appearance. Soul freedom results by letting go of the false idea that you are or have a soul, not by becoming aware of your soul. Being or having a soul is just another story we can tell our selves, to keep the game of “repetitive history” or karma going.

The world-appearance, is anything that is perceivable. Perception is defined as, “the act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition.” The taste of your food, the smell of incense, the feeling of your clothes on your body, the sound of the wind through pine trees, and the sight of the book in your hand is perceivable. Also, the thoughts in your mind, the memories of your dreams, the feeling of safety, the emotions of anger and love, all these are perceivable too, and so are equally a facet of the world appearance.

To realize that what is seen is the same as the seer promotes equilibrium and clarity in consciousness.

At first this can be a mental exercise. We can tell our selves (our personality or the soul), that everything we see and experience is a direct reflection of our Self. The person across the street is us. The anger that our father shared, is us.  The love we feel being around friends or our spouse, is us. The sky above and the ground below, is us. The stars thousands of light years away, are also our very being. We mentally affirm this. It is a beginning practice.

Then, by intentional meditation, we can encourage direct experience of this truth. Meditation or other effective spiritual practices, help to calm the mind, and balance the nervous system. This way we can sit still and tune into the infinite, which I like to call “the rest of us”. It makes it easier to release attachment to the confined sense of self, that the personality is used to experiencing. Flowing our attention into a boundless thought free state, we contemplate that which we want to know.

Contemplation does not require thought. It only requires curiosity. Calm and centered, we can keep our attention in the higher brain centers, at the crown or the frontal lobe region, and wonder, “What am I that is aware of all of these experiences, both external and internal?” Then we sit and wait. Wondering and contemplating in a state of interested curiosity stimulates “the rest of us” or the infinite portion of our self, to respond. It is like running to get your heart rate up. You begin to run, and your body will respond by quickening your pulse. When you are curious and interested in something, and begin to contemplate that which you want to know, the body of your consciousness, or the infinite, responds by arranging the direct experience or realization of that contemplation.

When this direct experience finally dawns, false notions are seen for what they are, just like on waking up from a dream, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it was only a dream. By direct experience of what you are, beyond thought and identification with only the perceivable, consciousness knows its peace, and the ever present equilibrium is realized.

Then as you sit on your friend’s porch, you hear the birds singing summer songs. You see the light reflecting off the lake. You feel the breeze cooling your skin, and it is all your very Self, not something happening outside of you.  There is no need for thought. For the seer and the seen are one, and all is happening of its own accord.

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