There is a profoundly simple truth – it’s the golden key to spiritual awakening – and once realised, it will make you giggle uncontrollably at the absurdity of it, or boil with anger at the absurdity of it, or wallow in despair at the absurdity of it.
Either way, the simple truth is this…
The only thing stopping you from awakening… is you.
And this truth manifests in two ways…
Firstly, when you (a separate ‘self’) seeks awakening, you can only ever approach it with a belief that there must be something in it for ‘you’ – that there is some goal or prize at the end, some great discovery or answer, some elusive promise of a better existence with less suffering. This belief might be subtle or unconscious, but it is always there, lurking deep inside ‘you’, because seeking can only ever be goal-oriented. It’s impossible for ‘you’ as a separate ‘self’ to seek awakening in any other way.
But hoping that awakening will somehow give something to ‘you’ is exactly what is stopping you from awakening. Because, in awakening, there is no ‘you’ at all.
And, secondly, this means that literally everything you do, think, feel and believe… everything that makes you a ‘you’… everything that your ‘self’ does – it is all stopping you from awakening to truth.
Especially your belief that ‘you’ need to awaken, heal, evolve, transcend suffering or find oneness.
Especially your belief that ‘you’ need to work towards self-realisation, enlightenment or liberation.
And this means, that everything you do to try and reach self-realisation, awakening, enlightenment or liberation – all your spiritual practices – none of them will help ‘you’ to awaken.
So, you can spend 30 years meditating, chanting, practising mindfulness, and experimenting with different techniques to see through the mind and its stories.
You can practise yoga diligently, until you reach perfect physical alignment, finding stillness, healing and release from within your physical form.
You can carefully cultivate your Kundalini energy, in the hope of a more aggressive and powerful blast into awakening.
Any of these practices can be very beneficial, and can be immensely healing, insightful and liberating… but only to the self – only to ‘you’. These spiritual practices may give you the most intense, expansive and beautiful spiritual experiences. You may wander around in a haze of bliss for weeks on end, radiating unconditional love and acceptance. You may have all sorts of profound and core-shaking realisations and insights.
But none of these experiences has anything to do with awakening. None of them.
Because you are experiencing them all as a separate self – as ‘you’.
And, the only thing stopping you from awakening… is you.
I know… It’s enough to make you giggle, rage or despair at the paradox of it all.
Because, once seen, awakening is the most simple and ordinary thing in the world.
And it takes no time at all.
One minute, you are sitting there, a separate ‘self’, wrapped up in all your thoughts, emotions, stories, memories, worries and fears. You are a person, with a clear idea of who you are, what you believe, and what you seek.
You blink your eyes, and in an instant, ‘you’ are gone.
Your ‘self’ evaporates, instantly – with no great fanfare of blissful spiritual experience, with no great culmination of intense spiritual practice.
Awakening happens when ‘you’ are gone.
So ‘you’ can never get there. ‘You’ can never awaken.
And once ‘you’ are seen through, there is only life, arising, now, in this eternal present moment.
Thoughts may still arise, feelings may still arise, but there is no ‘you’ to identify with any of them. They simply arise and fade in the endless space of awareness that you are… the endless space of awareness that is nothing, becoming everything, always.
And yes, it is unconditional love and acceptance, but it’s simple… so simple, without ‘you’ there to experience it, label it and create stories about it. There is only life, being, continuously unfolding as one, no separation, in the eternal present moment.
And then, just when ‘you’ grab hold of an arising thought that you have finally awakened… with another blink of an eye, ‘you’ come back, to embody your separate self once again. All your beliefs, ideas, worries and fears instantly flood back into existence. The whole mechanical structure of your ego and personality instantly rebuild themselves, cementing around your soul with unyielding rigidity.
And then you may really giggle, rage or despair at the absurdity of it all, as you find yourself once again seeking… trying to get back there – as your ‘self’ tries once again to go beyond its ‘self’, to find that elusive taste of awakening once again.
But now you’ve seen the deeper truth – now you know that no amount of seeking will ‘get you there’ – now you know that none of your cherished spiritual practices have anything to do with awakening.
Now you know. The only thing stopping you from awakening… is you.
And all it takes to let go of ‘you’ … is the blink of your eye … becoming the the blink of an eye.