Want to get enlightened? Want to know how? Are you thinking: enough of this suffering already, just give me the prescription, recipe or detailed map to the gateless gate. There’s gotta be an easier way than years on the meditation cushion, yoga mat or at the feet of a guru.
Well, good news, there is a more economical way than a never-ending spiritual practice. It’s called direct pointing, and it’s a simple matter of someone who has been liberated from the illusion of self (even recently), pointing you in the direction of truth. Direct pointing is the flipside of inquiry. Where inquiry poses the question “Who (or what) am I?” direct pointing asks you to investigate who you are not. Like peeling the onion only to find there is no core, this approach strips away the layers of thoughts and belief about self until you see the inevitable: there is no separate self; there is no “I.”
Ever since spontaneously waking up to no-self (http://theawakeneddreamer.com/2011/11/17/hello-world/), I’ve discovered there’s plenty of material on the internet about non-duality, Advaita and enlightenment, literally thousands of websites and facebook groups devoted to this stuff. I’ve also realized that there seem to be awake folk blogging everywhere (see my blogroll), an apparent tidal wave of everyday people seeing through the illusion in what Adyashanti calls a “shift of perception.” Most websites are devoted to enlightenment theory and opinion, but very few are about applied enlightenment. A lot of them tell, but few of them show.
One of these practical sites, Liberation Unleashed (http://www.liberationunleashed.com/), offers a free ticket through the gate. Run by “awake” international volunteers, the Liberation Nation Forum provides one-on-one guidance in several languages. The forum works like dokusans (private meetings with a teacher for satsang inquiry) but it happens online and in plain sight, in a thread devoted to you and your guide. The interesting thing is that this experiment is working. People are waking up every day through the site and then going on to become guides themselves.
Now, I can hear protests from the hardcore Zen, Advaita and Yogic types. What about the wisdom of a guru? What about the need for discipline and years of effort? All I know is my own waking up was gentle, simple, profound, unexpected and undeserved (if measured by disciplined spiritual practice).
What some enlightenment experts will try to tell you is that these easy awakenings will not last (non-abiding in their lingo), and are just peak experiences. Or they will say it’s not the real deal, it’s enlightenment ‘lite’. But consider the possibility we’ve had an uptick in awakened teachers, that this last century alone has produced Yogananda Paramahansa, Osho, Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Ganga-ji, Mooji, Shinzen Young, Byron Katie and many more. American teacher Adyashanti noted that when he began teaching he imagined having at most one student wake up. Instead it has numbered in the hundreds.
So, if you are curious about waking up, entertain a visit to Liberation Unleashed. As Rumi says so beautifully, “Be crumbled. So wild flowers will come up where you are. You have been stony for too many years. Try something different. Surrender.”
At the very least, you’ll take a trip on the pathless path up to the gateless gate. And all you have to lose by trying, is you.
Awareness is Here!
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