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November 2015

one awareness

Truth-Seeking no 1: One Awareness

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One Awareness, The Source, The All That is, God, call it what you will, my life’s work of teaching yoga and practising healing has been oriented around my search for the truth, which now seeps into my writing. We truth-seekers know somewhere deep inside that service to others is the key. I believe it’s because we know, but have ‘forgotten’ that others are no different to us.

Ancient wisdom asserts that we are all One; one love, one spirit, one awareness. To  understand this better I sometimes look at life like a 3D game of dungeons and  dragons.

Somehow we have agreed to take part in a game where we inhabit individual characters; these characters are then put somewhere down a blind alley and are given no instructions or clues about how to get out of it or find their way home. The aim of the game is to see if the characters can remember who they really are. The blind alley however, is very enticing and rich with wonderful experiences.

We want to help the personalities that we inhabit to find their way home, but they can’t hear us because of the constant noise from the thoughts that go round and round in their heads. Worse still, they believe that the thoughts are who they are. Some characters become completely immersed in the game of life and forget why they came. Some have a memory of something, but don’t know what it is. Others decide to find out what that ‘something’ is.

In this game, our characters are given the five senses to experience ‘reality’. We may then see our character watching a mind-bending film that shows someone experiencing a virtual reality life-time, wearing a head-set that plugs them in, while their body is still sitting in a chair. Which life-time experience is the real one? All of them or none of them? What, though, is common to all? Awareness. Whatever part we happen to be playing in the game of life, everyone has the same all-pervading consciousness or awareness.

Years ago I took a correspondence course from a spiritual foundation. I read: ‘you are the seer, not the seen’. It said the awareness that looks out from my eyes, is the same awareness that looks out from yours. Our individual personalities think they are separate, but the awareness is the same and is experiencing itself in different forms.

I always used to finish teaching my yoga classes by saying ‘namaste’, which I explained means: ‘the divine in me greets the divine in you’. The Maya also have a saying: ‘you are another me’. It’s just another way of saying all of the above. It’s funny how we can make simple things so complicated – it’s all to do with an operating system that we call our mind. It’s full of thoughts. Nothing wrong with that, if we just let them be what they are: thoughts.

Our minds are very full because our environment conditions our minds to attack us. Just watching a few advertisements on the television will confirm this: we need the latest gadget to keep our houses clean; our sofa is not new enough; we need to have the latest make of car to improve our status; we need to use the right sort of toothpaste; and on and on…

It’s an irrefutable fact of life that we get caught up in our thoughts, and believe that the constant internal dialogue in our heads is who we are. I have forgotten this truth countless times myself and become embroiled in my negative thoughts and emotions. I remember once when I was teaching yoga to young offenders, a boy of eighteen in my class was consumed with anger about his life. He said it was the cause of him being inside. I told him that I knew his anger was not who he was, and to watch it instead of acting upon it. He seemed confused, and then quietened down. I believe in that moment I may have witnessed a seed of change taking root.

So many times when I’m looking for something I’ve lost, it’s in an obvious place. For most of my life I’ve been looking for something that was always there. As a small child in school I would gaze out of the window. Nothing that was happening in the classroom seemed to be anything to do with me. I was where I wanted to be: peaceful and still. I shaped up though as I got older and joined the race; but it wasn’t until much later in my life that my meditation teachers confirmed to me that I was ‘there’, had always been, and in fact had never left.

Somehow I had come to think that enlightenment was an event, something that happened after you had worked incredibly hard on the spiritual path over several lifetimes. Once you had achieved it, you were somehow elevated to a god-like state and floated around or something. I’m glad to say I’m not floating around. I’m not saying I’m
enlightened either, because now I see enlightenment as an unending, ever growing peace that surrounds us all. No matter what happens in our lives and in the world, the peace is always there. Just breathe deep, and be here now.