VISITING VOICES: J C Tefft, Awakening unto the Presence of Pure Awareness
A former athlete, teacher, and entrepreneur, JC is a critically acclaimed author, video producer, and spiritual teacher who corresponds with students worldwide. His insights will go well with a warm cuppa! 🙂
INQUIRY FROM A DEAR FRIEND: As you know we were in each other’s presence back in the ‘70’s when you had your first significant awakening. And for you there’s been many more since. For me, however, awakening has been a slow and gradual process that guides and provides opportunities at the time of need. Your appearance in my life back then was one of those provided and welcome occasions. More recently I have been led to various other teachings and perceptive individuals who have proven beneficial on the path.
Increasingly I find that I’m able to live in the Now and to realize that the mind has a life of its own that is not the true me. I am nourished by silence and the natural world. From meditation I learned to travel from the mind as center to the heart as center. I am becoming increasingly grounded and secure in my being. Although progress is slow, it is a sure calling that never leaves.
I have chosen a mantra to follow this year. It is “release and receive.” I hope to release that which constrains and to fall into the depth and silence of the real, the present, and thus be lost in the Nowness of God’s love.
With respect to awakening you recently summed it up well when you wrote: “When it’s all said and done, awakening unto that which lies beyond mind is not about adding anything to one’s experience or state of mind, but about the falling away or disintegration of attachments to any and all experiences and states of mind – end of story.”
Is it really the end of the story? Or is that when the new story begins? So much to learn.
JCT RESPONSE: So, dear one, I must now confess that when we were corresponding last spring the question arose, “I wonder if while working with LB I could facilitate a meaningful Awakening,” based on your comment that you wanted to “immerse yourself in Pure Consciousness.” I was sort of challenged, one might say, to see if I could move the awakening needle, so-to-speak, in LB. I thus proceeded accordingly, knowing full well that Awakenings do not occur at the imagined will of a so-called teacher or facilitator, but at the Will of the Source of All that arises in Consciousness (for lack of better phrasing). Even so, when two or three are gathered together, as the ancient saying goes, the Energy brought to bear in the Present Moment of that engagement might possibly trigger an Awakening or at least so one thought.
What I’ve come to realize more deeply than before, as we learn together in this regard, is that Being in Pure Presence is less (if at all) about spoken or written words, which are concepts of Mind, and more (if not totally) about the Actual Realization of indescribable Silence in the Present Moment that, in effect, brings about a separation or detachment, if you will, from that which is Aware and that which arises in Consciousness, a.k.a thoughts, concepts, emotions, and the like.
Words are not the Actual. Nor do words adequately describe that which is being pointed to here. Consequently, dialogues, such as the ones we’re engaged in now, are far less meaningful and less powerful than Actual Silence in the Present Moment out of which the movement of Life appears. The only true teacher or guide, therefore, is quite simply the Silent Presence of Pure Awareness, not words that are spoken or written on a page.
As regards Awakening unto the Presence of Pure Awareness, which is a genuine Realization that this is so, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, an Advaita Sage, pointed to the essence of this Truth in this way: “To be aware is to be awake. Unaware means asleep…. What is needed is to be aware of being aware.”
The Buddha similarly pointed to this Truth in this way: When a disciple asked, “Are you a God?” “No,” the Buddha replied. “Are you an angel?” “No.” “Are you a Saint?” “No.” “Well, what are you then?” the disciple finally asked. “I am Awake.”
To be Purely Aware or Awake in the Present Moment is the same as “Being Aware of Being Aware” in the Silence of the Present Moment, absent attachment to concepts of Mind that arise in Consciousness. And in that Silence that underlies the movement of Life, the living Truth of Life is revealed.
This being so, your observations in this regard, ignoring how such is articulated, suggest that you are more Aware than you might think, as regards living in the Present Moment. In other words, you are more Aware than you Realize you are Aware. This lack of Realization might be so because, as you indicate, the Awakening process seems a “slow and gradual process” in LB, which frankly is so for most of us, including JC. In JC’s case, however, as you likewise noted above, there have been significant “moments,” one might say, of notable Awakenings, of notable separations or detachments from Mind, such as the “moment” you cited above, as a result of the Power of Pure Presence and not the power of concepts or words.
The single, most formidable obstacle to Realizing living Truth in the Present Moment is the illusion that inevitably exists in all humankind to varying degrees that makes it seem as if there is a separate and distinct person living life as “you” or as “me” in a dualistically perceived world, as conceived by the thinking Mind of humankind. For one to “Be Aware of Being Aware,” this illusion of separateness, of a dualistically perceived universe, MUST CEASE to be so. And in this absence of attachments to appearances of Mind, Pure Awareness is revealed to be All that truly IS – thus, the One in the many and the many in the One, as the ancient saying goes.
It is extremely rare for what I sometimes call a “Grand” Awakening to occur (as in the likes of the Buddha, Jesus, etc.), but even when such do occur a “workout” continues to play out (for lack of better words), as the respective Human Energy Field is harmonically transformed, one might say, by means of the Music of the Spheres. Not a workout from an egocentric point of view, as if a separate entity is gaining ground toward enlightenment, but a transformational recasting, if you will, of the Human Energy Field (some more, some less) of all human beings, as deep-seated behavioral patterns that have developed over millennia ultimately let go, release, and die away.
Enlightenment or perhaps better said, enlightened living, is not a one-time Realization that occurs in one’s lifetime, but rather, is a lifetime of Realizations, one might say, as the movement of Life arises and expresses in its many and varied forms in and through all humankind, as a Whole. And throughout this process, as you rightly point out, varying forms of guidance, teachings and teachers appear to facilitate the Awakening process that ultimately unveils the Presence of Pure Awareness within humankind, as a Whole.
And as this illusion of separateness disintegrates and dies away, bit by bit, one is, as you rightly point out, “increasingly … able to live in the Now and (thereby) realize that the mind has a life of its own that is not the true me,” which, if you will allow, I might restate in this way: One increasingly lives in the Present Moment and out of that Presence comes a Realization (meaning, becomes Real in you) that for greater Awareness to come to Light one must cease to identify with concepts of Mind, as such arise in Consciousness in the Present Moment, not only Now, but also forevermore.
Or stated in other words, to see “me” as “LB” is not to be Aware of the living Truth of LB, but to Realize the living Truth of LB is to Be Aware of Being Aware, which is to be Aware in the Present Moment – Now.
This being so, when LB says: “From meditation I learned to travel from the mind as center to the heart as center,” I ask, who (a concept) is traveling (a concept) from here (a concept) to there (a concept), from mind (a concept) to heart (a concept)? What is the mind and what is the heart and who is doing the traveling?
To hold to a conceptualized distinction between mind and heart, aware and not aware, you and me, and so on and so forth, regardless of what that distinction might be, is a continuation of the behavioral practice of identifying with evermore concepts of Mind arising in Consciousness.
So, the Realization that is wanting to occur in the Human Energy Field of LB is rooted in the question, Who or What is Aware of thoughts, concepts, and emotions AS such arise in Consciousness in the Present Moment – Now? As long as one identifies with and thereby holds to concepts that arise of Mind, one is not Being in the Present Moment and thus is not Aware of Being Aware. On the other hand, as one ceases to identify with concepts that arise in the Present Moment, one begins to “increasingly” BE AWARE that in Truth one IS that Awareness and not a concept of Mind. Such a Realization, in the absence of attachments to concepts of Mind, as such arise in the Present Moment, is nothing less than enlightenment.
Moreover, as you read these words or listen to enlightened teachers or practice meditation in whatever forms such appear, rather than “seeking” to find Pure Presence in the spoken word or words of a book or the formal practice of meditation, instead, simply remain open to the question throughout every day of living, “what is the underlying Truth to which such words and/or practices point?” Be open, Be vulnerable, Be Aware and thereby prepared – “For ye never know when your Father might come” (to quote an ancient biblical phrase) – for hours, for days, for weeks, for as long as it takes – until the underlying Truth of such is Revealed from within.
On the other hand, do not look for a vision or an image to “enlighten” you, for such is nothing more than a concept of Mind arising in Consciousness and Truth cannot be encapsulated within a concept of Mind. But instead, allow attachments to concepts that arise in Consciousness to dissipate and pass away, which allows for the sense of separation to pass away, as well, and in its stead, Realize the Silent Presence of everyday Awareness is, in fact, the totality of Who You truly are.
Such a Realization most often occurs when one least expects it in the Present Moment – in a moment of passive tranquility, while watering plants, when looking at the mountains or walking in the woods or driving a car long distance – in moments when you are disengaged from concepts of Mind, as such arise. In that Silence, that Peace – suddenly, Ah … that’s what THIS is. Joy! Liberation, Non-Duality in which freedom from the known, which is freedom from attachments to Mind, simply IS.
In the end one discovers that in Truth, there is no one to “release” and no one to “receive,” there is only YOU, standing as Pure Awareness, realizing that the notion of the existence of separate entities traveling from here to there is nothing more than an illusion of Mind fostered by attachments to the duality of Mind. Absent attachment to this illusion, You are nothing but Aware.
No more story, which is rooted in concepts of Mind, but only Life living in the Present Moment, as a human being we singularly, but erroneously call LB.
About J.C. Tefft
A student, himself, first of his enlightened father, and later of world-renowned teachers Jiddu Krishnamurti and Eckhart Tolle, JC’s investigation into the nature of Life and the universe led to realizations in Pure Consciousness that ultimately led to the writing of his first book, “The Christ is NOT a Person: The Evolution of Consciousness and the Destiny of Man.” He has since completed a series of video presentations entitled, “Pure Consciousness: The Last Frontier” along with a book by the same name, all of which can be viewed and reviewed online at www.jctefft.com