THE LITTLE BOOK OF AWARE LIVING, AS IT HAPPENS.
~ Introduction: Perhaps these days are an especially good time to find an inner quiet place on the sunny side of being. To rest here, in our peaceful nature. To pause and look a little closer perhaps, at the news stories we’ve been culturally and socially conditioned to believe and consume over breakfast that poison our living all day, that feed our inner conditioned and habitual conflicts, fears and desires. Perhaps now is the timeless time and here is the placeless place, to allow our self to wonder if all that conflict and stress is necessary.
In truth, what is necessary after all?
Well, perhaps the best tip on that eternal existential question may well be from Nisargadatta: “It is necessary to grow. It is necessary to outgrow.” Indeed, that’s an essential movement in the direction of real inner peace, yes 🙂
Aware living is kinda like opening a new book every day – it’s about change, about life’s constant turning to new, mostly blank pages in every moment. It’s a book that somehow functions as a necessarily vague but serviceable map. This book does not provide an opined overview of life – an established and accrued knowledge/experience/memory base. Indeed, in aware living – in reality- you never know. The present offers neither a known past nor a unknown future for ones personal preferrences and hopeful prospects. There’s not much of a story here. In reality, the book of life has little to no time for stories. It’s only content is a nowness that’s keen to reveal facts, not fantasies.
Aware living is a candid, intimate, lovingly attentive presence that’s as breezy as any summer day, as brisk as any windy Fall evening; as penetrating as any cold winter wind and as delightful as any newborn spring. It’s about living life in season, in harmony, rain or shine, exactly as it happens.
It’s a wholly lived book about everyday happenings, about love, beauty and destruction aka creation…moment-to-moment, so to speak. There’s a freshly emerging new rhythm, a harmonic, richly toned pattern, but (usually) not a plan. There rarely is, but may be, some apparent ‘future’ details written in as ‘planned’ here and there, but always and only they’re lightly sketched proposals about the territory and subject to constant revisions according to the situation as it spontaneously unfolds on the ground – the real terrain.
A LIVING BOOK WRITES ITSELF.
So, let’s play a little with this book theme just to see what happens.. 🙂 Looking out my window, I’m moved to simply title it as true-to-life as what awareness sees now, say:
LIFE IS A HUMMING BIRD…
There’s Nothing to Know, Everything to Be.’
That sounds about right, but it could change…it’s a title that’s immediately inspired by what I’m watching now; there’s a sense of contentment, of enough, of plenty; all four Hummers seem playful and quite collegial.. Anyway, the book would be more like a pamphlet – very very thin.. spare and brief. There’s say, two parts to it, with headings, that may or may not spawn numerous nameless chapters.
Part One: Discovering what we’re not.
Part Two: Uncovering what we are.
DISCOVERING WHAT WE’RE NOT.
WE DO NOT KNOW – AND CAN NEVER HAVE – ANY ‘KNOWLEDGE’ ABOUT THIS THAT WE ARE; ALL KNOWING IS A LABELING THAT BELONGS TO THOUGHTS THAT ARE BELIEVED TO BE ACTUALLY REAL – FACTUALLY ‘TRUE’. WE’LL CALL IT ‘BOOK KNOWLEDGE’ – THE STUFF OF MIND THAT’S FUNCTIONALLY USEFUL FOR TECHNICAL MATTERS. AND THE ORIGIN OF MOST OF OUR SUFFERING WHEN BELIEVED.
THOUGHTS ARE CONCEPTUAL, SYMBOLIC, MIND-MADE, MEMORY-STORED REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT OUR LIVE, DIRECT EXPERIENCE OF THINGS AND EVENTS – THEY’RE WORDED, FRACTIONAL DESCRIPTIONS AND FEELINGS ABOUT REALITY.
AWARENESS, HERE AND NOW, IS THE UNCHANGING ALERTNESS THAT’S NOW READING THESE NOTIONS ABOUT WHAT CHANGING THOUGHT IS CURRENTLY THINKING. THOUGHTS ARE VIBRATIONS THAT GIVE US A LABELED INTERPRETATION OF WHAT’S REALLY HAPPENING, HERE AND NOW. THE KNOWING OF THIS AWARENESS IS NOT MENTAL, NOT IMAGINED, NOT ENVISIONED, NOT EXPERIENCED. IT’S A KNOWING THAT IS NONE THE LESS, FULLY, FACTUALLY, RECOGNIZED AS ONE’S ESSENTIAL SELF-NATURE.
UNCOVERING WHAT WE ARE:
THIS DOUBT-FREE KNOWING IS WHAT WE ARE – AWARENESS – BOTH IN ITS MANIFESTED FINITE FORM AND ITS UNMANIFESTED INFINITE FORMLESSNESS. THIS AWARENESS IS CHOCK FULL OF PARADOX, BUT NEVER CONTRADICTION, WHICH IS THE DOMAIN OF THE BINARY MIND. THIS KNOWING HAS NO KNOWER AND THERE’S NOTHING THAT IS ‘KNOWN’. IT’S A NON-SENTIENT KNOWING THAT KNOWS ONLY ITSELF…BY ITSELF. TO KNOW IT IS TO BE IT.
THAT KNOWING INCLUDES ALL THAT WE HUMANS THINK AND FEEL AND BELIEVE WE KNOW. ALL THE MIND’S MOVEMENTS: THOUGHTS, PERCEPTIONS AND SENSATIONS. ALL THAT’S FINITE IS BEHELD BY THE INFINITE. OF COURSE, ALL THAT’S POINTED TO HERE WITH WORDS IS SUBJECT TO DEEPENING AND WIDENING OUR OWN KNOWING; TO OUR WILLINGNESS TO ‘POP THE HOOD’ AND HAVE A GOOD LOOK INSIDE AT THE MACHINATIONS OF THE MIND. IN THAT LOOKING, IN THAT FULLER SEEING, WE MAY COME TO RECOGNIZE – AT LEAST PROVISIONALLY – WHO OR WHAT WE ARE NOT.
WELL, WHAT ARE WE THEN?
NOTHING AND EVERYTHING.
Uncovering what we are gets written only by a new character that’s not ‘you.’ A whole being that’s no longer limited and personal. That’s no longer conflicted with former personal desires and fears. That’s open, fearless and free to simply, fully be – like a hummingbird.
The writing of Part Two happens only here and now. It might be – it will be – whatever happens, like sipping tea, or getting up to go to the kitchen, or maybe for a walk, – indeed, in aware living, you never know what you’re going to ‘do’; you find out as you go, so to speak. Aware living is spontaneous, without motive. As Papaji used to say as he walked around paths with friends and was asked why he went another way each time: “I don’t have a reason for anything I do.”
Indeed, in the natural flow of aware living, there’s not much call for plans, motives and ambitions; not much interest in pre-determining. Of course, there may be pattern, but the rythm varies.
There’s just a simple abiding, a living-in this abundant here/now. A watching and acting in an appropriate accordance with the demands of the moment. An in-dwelling that’s always unknown, always fresh, always beginning. There’s a gentle curiosity mixed with wonder and delight. Indeed, this Book of Living writes itself.
That’s the beauty of it all; aware living is not so much like DIY ‘Do It Yourself’..it’s more accurately described as a LIBD – a relaxed ‘Letting It Be Done’.. no doer and, what’s more, the doing is an engaged following of a perfume that’s fragrantly full of the Unknown, of timeless subtle surprises way beyond imagining. There’s no Secret, no requirements, rituals and preconditions. In fine, in dropping all knowing, all beliefs that separate, this whole universe instantly and also perhaps gradually, reveals its Self to its Self.
To be what you are, is to simply see that one is already aware (of awareness.) That awareness is aware of all body/mind experience. And there’s no telling of the wonders of that endless mystery – only the living of it.
That sunny little sunny spot is awareness, in fact: the life of a hummingbird is what one is.
Love and Enjoy your Self-nature. 🙂