Well, you see that the conditioned idea of who you are isn’t true.
You know that who you are is aware presence.
You recognise the freedom of living as though other than yourself includes the aching beauty of the dance, and also includes the risk of stagnation – the acquired solidity of being sure who you are is this imagined other.
You probably still hit moments of profound discordance, where an old habitual belief keeps you stuck – for nothing is more discordant than believing yourself to be other than who you are, like an actor locked in the character they play full out.
Throughout April, we’ve been talking every Tuesday and Thursday in small groups. Last week we talked about the “non-dual body”, and I wanted to bring some of that discussion to a wider audience. This week the topic is “heart”, and I may write about it for next week’s article.
The non-dual body. What do I even mean?
The “neti neti” (“not this, not that”) process of the direct path is like the dance of the seven veils. A white light, burning away layers of belief in who we are. I am not my mother… I am not this room… I am not my possessions… I am not my actions… I am not my thoughts… I am not my feelings… I am not my body… Until who we are, simple aware presence, is all that is left, what cannot be removed from me because it is me, and I am it. The white light of this inquiry reaches what cannot be burnt away. And that light is absorbed, fully.
Now what? “I’m not the body”. If you have in some way felt disappointed by your body, that it isn’t the right shape, colour, prettiness, fitness, health, this might bring welcome relief. If you have beasted your body all your life, pushed and pushed it to be how you think it should be, here’s maybe a chance to see it was never going to fulfill you.
The neti neti process is followed by a post-awakening sadhana. A chance to integrate this higher seeing into who were are in the world. And this must include body. We can’t leave it behind, like some organic robot, wandering about, carrying us around the planet.
I’ve describe before the reclaiming the body for Awareness. Our true and only body is Awareness. And the truth of who we are appears as though body. To “reclaim” the body means to know the sensation and perception of “body” as the appearance of awareness, seeing our own Self as though other.
“Body” provides a language for describing sensation and perception. Experience shows up as seeing, hearing, tasting touching smelling. Experience is the dance of the Self.
The body does not need to disappear for us to know ourself as Awareness. The appearance of the body is not a limitation, definition, projection, reflection, or creation of Self. It doesn’t channel experience, filter experience or create experience. It’s simply “I” appearing as though other.
The non-dual body is HERE, NOW. It is not outside of ourself. The non-dual body is known transcendentally as the undivided and indivisible appearance of Awareness, of our essential Being. The non-dual body is known as intimately “me”. Not other. Not needing to be other.
Know yourself, know yourself in the world, reclaim the body for that knowing. This is the non-dual body. Now live it.