It has been almost forty days now since I woke up, or the unreal me died. Yet each day I rise in the morning with a curious wondering: Is Awareness still here? Or is the old monkey-mind back and running the show? And the day unfolds again in an inner stillness that is like the surface of a pond on a windless day. No ripples or waves but rather a motionless quietude that simply reflects back all that is.
And today, I understood in an email conversation with a friend that the house has burned down and is not about to be rebuilt. The house of the mind is what was cindered in the conflaguration of waking up.
This house, like most minds, used to shelter a motley bunch of house guests–angsty thoughts and uncomfortable feelings, rigid ideas and unconscious beliefs, subtle judgments and unexamined conditionings. Yet also residing there were lofty ideals and spiritual aspiration, high-minded goals and a desire to wake up.
What happens when that house burns down, all at once? The ground beneath the house remains. It is the ground that was there all along. This is your true self. My true self. This is the ground of being.
I used to be a seeker and so I invested energy and time in renovating that house. I continually decluttered it with new meditation or visualization practices. I repainted it inside and out with new knowledge, to make it more beautiful and give it curbside appeal. I threw out the junk as best I could, so that my house would be spacious, simple and Zen like. I wanted that house of my mind to be a place of stillness, equanimity and joy.
I worked really hard to make it all of those things though yoga, tantra, self-improvement books and psychological house cleaning. And yet always, hidden dirt under the carpet or a skeleton in the closet would emerge to reveal that stillness was not here. Only the unstable illusion of stillness was here.
I invite you to consider this: Just stop fixing, refurbishing, and decorating your house. Realize that this house of your mind will never be, can never be, the ground beneath. Instead, just allow your house to be as it is–messy or tidy, noisy or quiet, tattered or pretty. Just let it be. Stop working on the unreal and instead realize that this cherished house will burn one day, and no amount of renovation will ultimately matter. A well constructued mansion of an ego is no more real than a shanty of one.
That might scare the house renovator in you, the busy ego who loves its domicile so dearly. But trust me. I am living this truth or this truth is living me–the ground beneath the house is friendly ground. It takes those ashes of who-you-thought-you-were, and it embraces them.
And yes, like the Phoenix, something does arise from the ashes of the burned-down you. What rises is a new Self, one without the limits of the mind, a boundless free self that can soar to infinite heights and depths. You are that freedom. You are that awareness that delights in flight. You are unconstructed truth, vastness without walls. You are homeless.
So, in the spirit of inviting you to Truth: May your house burn down.
Awareness is Here!
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