Seven Billion Pathless Paths To Enlightenment
If we’ve been bitten by the curious yearning for Truth, for enlightenment, we can find ourselves irresistibly drawn to exploring how enlightenment should unfold for us.
Perhaps we read about how a sage woke up, and we think, “that’s the way.”
Or we study with a teacher and hear about how she awakened or what she says awakening is, and we conclude, “that’s the way.”
Maybe we are drawn to doing lots of meditation and so believe that’s the way. Or we are drawn to doing nothing at all, making no effort, and so we trust those who say nothing can be done to awaken, meanwhile overlooking their decades of practise.
We might study countless teachers and accounts of awakening until it begins to dawn there is no single way that is true for everyone. Yet still we unconsciously exclude from our sampling those whose unfolding includes elements we believe could not possibly be the way.
Additionally, we have no idea how awakening unfolded for any individual we have studied or sat with, though we surely believe otherwise. We may think we understand precisely what a teacher has said. But how often have we discovered our misunderstanding? Even the teacher himself may have a faulty memory, a confirmation bias of recall, as she narrates her experience. The little bio is not a full account of an awakening!
The idea that we can discover in thought how our own unfolding should come about is laughable.
Moreover, any conceptual map we might decide on would be challenged by paradoxes we are likely to encounter – doing a lot to arrive at non-doing, a gradual awakening dotted with singular moments of insight and shifts in perspective, and the timeless presenting within time.
This, all this right now, whatever and however it is, is precisely the entirety of how your awakening should look. There is none other here than a precisely crafted, certain to succeed, succession of prompts and invitations to realize what you are, to die to what you are not.
In a moment we can get the joke: that awakened consciousness is, and always was; the great change, and yet everything remains as it already was.
Let it all in. Quit the insane game of telling God what grace should look like. Be still and know, I am God.