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Welcome Back to the Grandaddy of All Teachings
Kim: I’ve been doing some Buddhist meditations that focus on concentration and mindfulness. I was able to focus on a particular topic for more than a week, but it didn’t seem to resolve any problems.
Daniel: Certain meditative techniques may be helpful in the sense that they cultivate sattva (a peaceful mind suitable for self-inquiry), but they ain’t going to resolve that seeking sensation. On the contrary, they could create more agitation, as they’re experience-orientated.
Kim: Now I’ve got back to Vedanta… and it seems clearer than ever.
Daniel: I’m not sure why you would even leave Vedanta in the first place. But welcome back to the grandaddy of all teachings.
Kim: I see that my own opinions about reality are faulty, and instead take up Vedanta as the truth. I used to think Vedanta was something I, me, owned.
But without Vedanta I wouldn’t even know about my true nature, which goes to show that Vedanta comes “to” me, not “from” me.
Daniel: Yup, Vedanta comes from you, awareness, and is revealed to the jiva. It’s the science of you.
Kim: I tried to fit Vedanta into my own opinions, and, well, that doesn’t work. I see that I know nothing, however clever I thought myself to be.
Daniel: You’re clever to realise that you’re not so clever. ☺
Kim: I thought I had it all figured out. I wasn’t able to be humble enough to admit that Vedanta wasn’t mine. Like James says, you are the last person to be an expert on who you are.
Daniel: Exactly. Humbleness is a brother quality of good manners. And nothing beats good manners.
Kim: So I just threw all these judgments and opinions out. There’s only one thing I’m kind of struggling with. I think I know the answer, and I think you can help me out here.
Daniel: The mere application of the teachings get rid of unnecessary judgments and opinions. The knowledge does the work.
Kim: I’ve told you before that I thought I had “gained” enlightenment two years ago. I see the problem with this. Every object is being witnessed by awareness, so also epiphanies and objective “destinations.”
I really for a long time thought enlightenment was an event, like something that happens to you and then for the rest of your life you are “enlightened,” but that event was being witnessed by awareness, so that would just be like any other experience. I (Kim) never became enlightened, because it was being witnessed by awareness, just as any other experience of Kim’s life. Right?
Daniel: Yup, enlightenment ain’t an event but simply the removal of ignorance along with the firm conviction that you are limitless, unborn, actionless, ever-present, unchanging, non-dual awareness.
You talk of awareness as an object, something other than you. So let’s rephrase your comment to “every object is being witnessed by me, awareness.”
You, awareness, have never not been enlightened. You are the light.
Kim: These are just my own opinions I had, and I need to get rid of those, right? Because if I need to trust myself, I’m still unworthy, inadequate and incomplete.
Daniel: Again, if the mind is qualified, the mere application of the teachings will get rid of whatever needs to be trashed. Once self-knowledge is firm all thoughts that are not in harmony with the nature of reality (non-dual thinking) will be burnt up.
Kim: I should be thankful for Vedanta, that it has come to me, and that it’s shown me my true nature. I don’t need to claim it, because it came to me.
Daniel: Yup, nothing beats an attitude of gratitude.
Kim: When I discard my “special” experiences, I can see that I’m just a normal chap, who hasn’t “become” enlightened, but who was shown a very important thing: that I shouldn’t trust my own experiences. If I want to get this clear for myself, I should trust Vedanta.
Daniel: Yup, you can trust Vedanta because it’s a complete, non-personal and proven methodology. As our homeboy J.C. once said, “…and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” When you build your life on the rock of self-knowledge nothing can shake or fool you.
Kim: It feels incredibly freeing!
Daniel: Of course it does!