Since you’re reading this, I’m going to make an assumption. I’m going to assume that you’re searching for something. Perhaps you’re searching for peace. Some of you are searching for spiritual enlightenment. Some of you are searching for an end to suffering. But whatever you are searching for – even if you aren’t quite certain what you are searching for – there is one certainty; all searches involve the pursuit of something other than what is. Or, put another way, all searches are the search for something hidden.
If you know where something is, you don’t search for it. If you know where your car keys are, you don’t look for them. There is no need, and to do so would be absurd. So inherent in the nature of a search is the assumption that something is lost or hidden.
I have a radical proposal for you: nothing is hidden. There is nothing that can be found. What you most truly seek will never be had for one simple reason; what you most truly seek – whether we call it peace, freedom, awakeness, joy, emptiness, fullness, or love – is already what is perfectly obvious.
When I propose this to most people, they immediately reject what I have just offered. And that is probably for a very simple reason, because if you truly take my proposal to heart then that is the complete undoing of the whole identity.
Identity is always the identity of a seeker. The terms “identity” and “seeker” are synonyms. So when I propose that seeking can be cast aside, I am also proposing that identity be cast aside. And this can leave a vast (infinitely vast, in fact) sense of insecurity and vulnerability.
If we tell the truth, all of our seeking/identity is intended to provide a sense of security or power. Although we say that we want peace or freedom, we overlook the immediate reality of peace and freedom in search of a feeling of security or power. The actuality of peace and freedom is always simply what is, which is totally insecure and totally powerless.
Let’s get “down and dirty” for a moment. Right now, just for one second, soften. Whatever doubts or objections may arise, let go. Just for one second. Don’t worry about whether you’re doing it right. Don’t try to do it. Don’t try to get anywhere. Don’t try to get rid of anything. Allow whatever is happening, including the feelings, thoughts, sensations, concepts, images, and so forth. Allow it all, but don’t give any attention to it. Just for one second. Soften. Be lazy. Be so lazy that you cannot be bothered to put any effort into anything – not even enough to focus on anything. Let the focus be totally lazy. Nothing needs attention for now. Just for a second.
In this second of complete letting go, what is needed? Is anything missing? is anything hidden? See how effort and focus are necessary in order to search. But when you cease to search, just for a second, there is nothing missing. Nothing needs to be searched for. All that is, is perfectly obvious.
Of course in this second of letting go nothing is known either. At least, not in the conventional sense of being conceptualized. That’s because everything is let go. All the objects and concepts are diffuse and ungraspable. Even the imaginary center goes missing. There’s nothing graspable in this moment of letting go. So nothing is knowable, and yet it turns out that is fine because everything is obvious!
Knowledge is only seemingly necessary because it appears to offer some sort of protection or security. If we know things, we imagine that we have some power to protect ourselves. So to abandon identity/knowledge/seeking is to abandon any ability to defend ourselves. And that leaves us totally vulnerable.
The vulnerability of our true nature can initially be uncomfortable simply because we’ve imagined that we are something defendable. So for just a second, let go once more. Let go thoroughly. If doubts arise as to whether you’re letting go enough, let go of those doubts. Let go so thoroughly that whatever appears is welcome, even uncomfortable feelings. Even fear.
Notice that the vulnerable feeling assumes that there is a center here that needs to be or that can be protected. Remaining totally soft and lazy, refusing to invest even so much effort as would be necessary to give any attention to a thought or concept, is there anything here at the center? Is there actually something that needs to be defended? Don’t answer this conceptually. Don’t invest that much effort. Stay totally lazy. See what is actually here without having to conjure anything. Is there anything here that can be defined?
If it’s possible to see that there’s nothing here – at least nothing definable – then what does that suggest about the vulnerability? All along we imagined that it was ourvulnerability. We assumed that it meant that we were vulnerable and that we needed to protect ourselves. But without a center, without a reference point, we’re left with only vulnerability.
Without a reference point, does vulnerability have any meaning? If there is no center, is there anything to protect? Instead, we’re left with just the rawness of vulnerability, and that rawness is so raw, so immediate, so unbounded, that we cannot even rightfully say that it is actually vulnerability. It’s just what is.
The habit for most of us is to believe the storyline that suggests that something is missing – something is hidden – and that all of this belongs to some imaginary center (the experiencer). And so we set about trying to solve the perceived problem by seeking an answer or solution. What is sought is, by definition, always something other than what is obvious. But since what is obvious is all that is, we are essentially seeking for what is not. This creates a vicious cycle of suffering.
Yet in a moment it is possible to simply abandon the search/identity. This is discovered by softening the compulsion to figure anything out or protect oneself. This is done right now. And it is not about achieving a permanent state. The pursuit of or concern for a permanent state is the compulsion in a different guise. So soften. Let the compulsion dissolve and reveal its true nature as simply what is, which has no meaning, center, or value. Whatever doubts or objections may arise, let them. Soften. Remain completely lazy, and discover directly that what is requires no effort and that what is, is all that is; nothing is hidden.
You can learn more about Joey Lott on his website, www.joeylott.com