teisho 1313 -2013
It is important for us to take stock of what we are doing. We can get into a habitual routine. The sense of self gets into habits, patterns, ruts. How many times have you chanted: ‘the cause of our sorrow is ego delusion’? but how many times have you asked yourself, ‘what does this mean?’ And we also chant, ‘true self is no self.’ what does this mean? Examine this carefully, what does it mean?
If there is any door into the enigma of being, it is through allowing. Non-interference, just total vigilance. Whatever is there, one allows to be there. Anything that you do is going to be an illusion pitting itself against another illusion. There is no reward to practice, there is no winning, no line to step across. But one does not need a reward. How can you give something to someone who has it all already?
‘The great way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.’ The preferences being referred to here are the preference for comfort over discomfort, for security over insecurity, peace over conflict, certainty over uncertainty. The preference is a continuation of the illusion ‘I can do’, and that is a continuation of the ego delusion that causes all our suffering. This is not to say it all happens mechanically. On the contrary, there is a profound awareness out of which all our actions emerge. And this is made up of all our past experiences; this is why karma is important. What you are is the result of all you have done, all you have thought, all that you have hoped for. When you allow you no longer add to this accumulation. Allowing means you are no longer contributing to the karmic unfolding that you call your life. The belief that ‘I can do’ is the main distorting influence.
Nisargadatta says: ‘Keep very still and be aware of what comes to the surface of the mind’. This does not mean just keep your body still, although that, of course, is necessary. Keep still and be aware, keep still and allow – these two statements are not different. Allowing is pure awareness. Awareness is the basis of all; knowing is the foundation of all that is.
If you sit still and allow, the first thing that comes to the surface is tension, discomfort. We look around for ‘something’ to cling to. This is why vigilance is needed. It is not in experience that we will find what we are looking for. You believe in the illusion of being something and that is all the difference between you and Buddha. Let go, let go of clinging to something. It is because you prefer this rather than that that things come into being that appear to be separate from knowing. ‘Even slight distinctions’ set knowing and being far apart. To know by being is direct knowledge, it is based on the identity of the seer and the seen. As you sit now, there is awareness where there is no differentiation between awareness and the subject of awareness, they are one. The sense of self drops away, and awareness and subject are one.
True happiness is uncaused and does not disappear for lack of stimulation. It is not the opposite of sorrow, it includes sorrow and suffering. Once you see into this you no longer prefer joy to suffering, peace over conflict. When you allow something to happen, it is the allowing that is happiness, it is the letting go.