Thoughts Dissolving into the Self

A close friend of mine urged me to share on this blog the following true story of my own deepening understanding of the authentic self. Some who read this will understand the nature of my inquiry, others will not. However, all can enjoy a good laugh happily at my expense.

The context of the story is understanding the nature of the authentic Self (Atman, Buddha nature) about which I have written previously (see here). Beneath the almost infinite and ceaselessly changing thoughts, feelings, sensations, and experiences each of us has lived, there is one constant: the Self which is the knowing awareness without which we could not experience life.

Some see the end of “spiritual” efforting as learning to shift identity from the ego, the everyday way in which we typically know ourselves, to simply relaxing into and resting as experiencing awareness. Until our resting as awareness is stable, thoughts can occur with a sensed importance which may tempt us into egoic activity. And so my story begins…

Not too many months ago, I was on the phone having a session with my own teacher of the Self (sometimes known as nondual awareness. For quite some time, we both rested in silence.

After a while, a question arose in my awareness. Something which seemed important enough to break the silent resting as awareness and to ask my teacher.

In reply, my teacher said nothing. There was only continuing silence.

As I rested, awaiting his reply, the silence on the phone line seemed to permeate my question and me, until the question itself and its presumed importance dissolved leaving only resting again in Being.

We continued in silence. After a number of minutes, a second question arose in my consciousness. Its seeming importance impelled me from just Being to needing to disturb the silence by asking the question of my teacher.

Yet again, my question was met with a continued silence, a silence so sweet that again the question was liberated of importance, and it and I dissolved into inner silence and resting in just Being.

The silence continued until near the end of our allotted time. Noting we had only a few minutes left, I stirred to confirm with my teacher when we would next meet.

And, there was silence! Asking him again, I soon discovered that our phones had been disconnected from about 5 minutes into the call!

I took away from this experience two things: a laughable tale and a magnificent teaching that is indelibly written into my core.

The teaching? Aside from the thoughts which we need for functioning such as knowing how to get home tonight, thoughts are like seductive wriggling worms on a hook. They wriggle and wriggle with an oh-so-tempting sense of importance. If we believe that importance, we bite into the hook, and get yanked into the lines of ego thinking with which we are all too familiar.

But, if we don’t believe the thought and its importance, the thought dissolves or self-liberates into nothing, allowing just resting, in Being.

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