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You are not a drop in the ocean.
You are the entire ocean, in a drop.
Mevlânâ Celaleddin-i Rumi
What is our True nature?
For centuries the realisation of our true nature has been considered the heart of our liberation - transcendence of our suffering. Enlightened sages, philosophers, artists and poets from a wide range of spiritual traditions and geographic origins throughout history, taught us that the recognition of our Nondual nature allows us to remove our ignorance, and awaken us into the truth of our reality. This is known as “Self-Realisation” in Eastern spiritual traditions. The Self-Realisation is an experiential recognition of our True Self that is unbounded by our conditions and fixations.
Nondual means "not two", or "one without a second'' in Sanskrit. The simplest term would be "Unconditioned". The direct recognition of our unconditioned nature allows us to realise the most liberated dimension of ourselves, where we are complete as we are, beyond our judgments, preferences and aversions.
As human beings, we naturally have our conditioning. It is a necessary function of our mind to insure our physiological survival, but when it comes to the survival of our sense of self (known as ego), things can become a bit tricky. Our conditioning consists of ideas, concepts and judgments. They manifest as unconscious thought patterns and create reactions to our experience. They also present themselves as our characteristics and fuel our behaviour. These patterns are like filters that interpret our experience in our own unique way and create narratives to our lives. Our experience is heavily conditioned by our unconscious patterns.
So which part of us is unconditioned?
It is our awareness.
When we are resting in our Unconditioned awareness*, we know we are complete as we are. Nothing is missing. This dimension of consciousness is also called "ultimate medicine" in Buddhism, because it is a dimension of ourselves in which nothing needs to be changed. In other words, there is nothing that needs to be healed.
There is nothing that needs to be worked on or maintained. No pressure. We are totally at ease with what is, in the moment we live in.
You are where your goal is - simply content as you are.
When we are resting in our unconditioned awareness, we are simply being present with any phenomena we experience, whether thoughts, feelings, sensations or perceptions, regardless of their quality. Some call this “a witness presence”. In this pure witnessing, we realise that our experience itself is actually neutral, but our interpretation of the experience is conditioned. The more we familiarise ourselves with this unconditioned witnessing, the more we become aware of our own interpretations. Our unconscious patterns become conscious. As the light of our pure awareness starts to shine upon our conditioning, our reactivity starts to ease off, as if the rigid cast around our freedom starts to melt away. Our capacity somehow expands and we can let go of our thoughts & feelings much more easily, rather than identifying with them. Our reactions to avoid, deny and manipulate our feelings and thoughts, in an attempt to eliminate our suffering start to drop off.
Instead, some kind of fundamental ease arises within us and we realise that we are the unconditioned awareness in which our thoughts and feelings appear and disappear. Resting in Unconditioned awareness allows us to recognise the impermanent nature of our feelings and thoughts. This recognition helps them to lose their potency. Our identification with them starts to loosen and we start to see their transient nature against our ever present awareness. This gives a wonderful opportunity to inquire who we truly are, rather than who we “think” we are.
Whilst it might be uncommon to be immersed in unconditioned awareness at all times like enlightened sages, we can certainly have a taste of it from time to time. As we get familiar with this dimension of ourselves that is inherent within us, fundamental trust in our life process emerges, empowered by the most nurturing resource within. It is my hope to share this timeless wisdom, that you don’t need to go anywhere to obtain because it’s already in you!
*: It is also known as Nondual awareness, No-boundary Awareness, Buddhamind, Shiva, Christ consciousness, No-mind, Mind-itself, Nothingness, Centeredness, Suchness, That which is prior, Ultimate state of evolution, "Self" as "non-personal, all-inclusive awareness", etc.
"Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside."
Sri Ramana Maharshi
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