Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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nothing there except thoughts

It's been awhile since I've reposted highlights from the excellent daily newsletter The Nonduality Highlights, but I've just recently started reading these messages again and was struck by the last quote presented by editor Mark Otter in the most recent issue.

The quote is classically nondual. It has a clear overlap with some good Buddhist teachings, also. Once we stop attaching so much importance and meaning to the content of our thoughts, we can glimpse (and in time, hopefully spend more time residing in) pure, unfettered Awareness. I think that suggested meditation on "what is holding me back" would be a good one, too. I'm just trying to put together my first regular sitting meditation practice right now, and that might be a good inquiry to work on once I get underway. My first technique will be focused simply on awareness of my breath and my body though, until I start to get the hang of sitting in relatively thought-free silence for extended periods. I might start to add some other stuff after that, but what I'm yearning for most right now is simply thought-free, silent awareness.

Anyway, here's the quote for you to enjoy.
If we are still wondering how to awaken, I suggest that we meditate now and then and focus on the following question: "What is holding me back from realizing my true nature, my Buddha Nature?" This is a very powerful inquiry. I am sharing this based on my own meditation practice. This is one of my favorite meditations because it always takes me to the place where I cannot blame anybody or anything for my lack of awakening.

When we open our hearts and let go of all of our theories and speculations, when we are not distracted even by spiritual fantasies, when we simply wholeheartedly and courageously inquire into what is holding us back, that is all that we need to do. Sometimes it is good when we are by ourselves to.. shout loudly to the sky, "Who is holding me back from awakening right now?" Or we can just ask the truth, "What is holding me back from awakening right now?" Either way we can't find any answer because there is nobody there. There is nothing holding us back and that's why we never really find any answers.

If anybody tells us that they have the answer, they are obviously lying because there isn't any answer. Next we might ask, "If there are no obstacles holding me back, then why am I not awakened right now?" And when we look we realize that we are attached to our thoughts. That's all that is happening. Samsara is nothing more than our identification with thoughts. That's all there is. There is nothing there except thoughts.

- Anam Thubten, from No Self, No Problem

(x-posted here to nonduality )


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