Guided Nondual Meditation by Michael Taft
Welcome to guided meditation tonight with me, what’s my name? Michael Taft.
All right now we’re going to do guided meditation, it’s going to go on for an hour and the idea is to sit still for an hour, okay? A couple of things; turn off your phone if it’s in this room and you haven’t checked turn it off, make sure it’s off, the other thing is; there’s a couple things one, again, try not to move and basically you don’t have to follow the guidance, right, as long as you sit still and meditate. You can do whatever you want in your mind, do whatever meditation feels good to you. We’re gonna do something kind of challenging tonight so if you’re into what I’m leading then, by all means, get into it but if you’re like, ‘whoa, not for me,’ then just sit and do your own meditation and completely ignore the guidance, okay?
So, the first half, or whatever, will not be the challenging part. So at least for the first half hour we could probably all sit together but you’re never required to follow the guidance at any part, okay? So if you just want to sit with a group and do your own thing, as long as it’s silent and motionless, you’re very, very welcome to do that.
All right, so let’s begin as usual by checking in with ourselves just how are you doing right now? Notice the thoughts in the mind, notice the feelings in the body, notice just the general temperature and texture of your existence, and however that is, just let that be okay. In other words, there’s no state we’re trying to achieve that is the right state, rather, however you feel is fine, however your mind is right now, however your emotions are, even if it’s very chaotic, even if it’s very unpleasant, that’s the way it is right now and so that’s perfect. So just tune in to whatever’s going on and just let it be however it is. If you just had a giant temper tantrum about not having enough time then that’s how you feel. If you feel deeply ashamed about that then that’s how you feel, right? That’s okay. On the other hand, if you’re experiencing total joy that’s okay too. All good.
What if we just start out with the attitude that there’s nothing to change, that everything is fine, that we’re able to totally accept whatever’s happening just the way it is, even the state of not being able to accept? We can accept that and just allow whatever is to be the way it is. Notice how different this is than the typical attitude of our society which is very aggressive towards our own experience, very aggressive towards having to change the way we feel, and change the way we are, and change what’s going on with our thoughts, and change everything. It’s very aggressive and judgmental but what if it’s all okay? Our mind is might be just a sewer full of chaos and our emotions might be deeply upsetting and random-seeming. What if that, for now, is okay? And we just allow the space for that to be?
And now, I want you to take the mood or attitude the bhavana to use the sanskrit word, use the mood, the bhavana, of the sky. So take the mood of the sky, being tremendously vast without boundaries, tremendously open, tremendously accepting. Sky welcomes everything, everything can move through the sky, tremendously welcoming or accepting and, in a way, totally impervious, totally undamageable. The sky is fine no matter what happens in the sky. Planes can go through, clouds can go through, birds. Everything happens in the sky but the sky is not damaged, sky remains just fine, just the way it is.
So take this mood of vast boundlessness and openness and acceptance and even centerlessness. What is the center of the sky? There isn’t one, it’s just–every part of it is the center. The sky is the closest thing to our own deepest awareness, space, openness, clarity. The only differences are; the sky of the mind, the sky of our own awareness is awake, it’s cognizant, it’s gnostic, it has knowing, it’s not like a rock or a chunk of cement, it has experience. So it’s the sky and experience, be that sky. You can’t help but be that sky since that is your own deepest nature, it’s open awareness, vast spacious awareness.
Now, I want you to picture something rising in the sky from the horizon and it’s a beautiful full moon. If you’re not good at picturing, then just feel the full moon. See this full moon, which is that beautiful cool white against dark, dark, dark blue, rising–effulgent, bright, cool, calm and clear. And just picture it, just now, above the horizon, right in the center of imagination, this perfect circle of a bright white moon against dark, dark blue background. And let’s just stay with that for a little while together.
So the meditation object is that bright white circle against the infinite blue sky background. If you lose it just bring it back up. Remember you don’t need your physical eyes to do this. So there’s no need to strain or try to focus. It’s happening in the mind’s eye. If you want to make it a little more challenging and a little stronger of a meditative focus see if you can notice the curvature, the dimensionality of the sphere of the moon
as well as the depth of the sky, so it’s not a flat visualization. Now imagine that this moon is the light of your own awake awareness and picture a beam of light coming from the moon into your belly and this beam of white light is bringing energy and playfulness and spontaneity into the body. Filling the entire body with this moonlight brings the entire body into balance, brings tremendous life force and uplift and energy to the body, regulates the body, uplifts the body, turning the body into almost like a crystal bottle filled with light or a tent, a white tent filled with light. It feels very, very good. Lovely energy that feels healing and soothing and loving in the body.
If you feel sleepy open your eyes. Do the meditation–even the visualization–with your eyes open so you stay awake. It’s important to stay awake. And now see a second beam of light coming from this moon of awareness into the heart center allowing it to blossom into full openness, wide openness, feeling kindness, feeling caring, feeling joy, feeling love beaming into the heart causing all the metaphoric petals of the heart to open wide and filling the entire body with even more of this soothing light.
You may notice quite a bit of energy in the body as you do this, especially as these positive emotions of joy and kindness and caring and love really start to glow in the heart. Just relax and let that energy just beam out as light. Clear, crystal body lit up with light. Really feel that joy, that love, that caring kindness radiating out from the heart center and radiating into the heart, from this moon of awareness, of your own deepest awake awareness.
Good and now a third light beams out from the moon into the center of the forehead and into the brain filling the entire mind with wisdom and clarity and, most importantly, confidence, a tremendous sense of confidence, which is not arrogance but a sense of knowing, wisdom, clarity. Confidence in the mind radiating out like a bright lamp, bright shining light in the mind filling the body with even more light, our own deepest wisdom.
Now the three lights in the body come together so the light in the belly moves up to the heart. The light in the mind moves down into the heart so that the heart becomes its own bright moon of awake awareness. And then, on an in-breath, the moon in the sky comes into the heart as well, bringing the wisdom and clarity and confidence into the heart, bringing the spontaneity and playfulness and energy and healing into the heart as well as the love and kindness and compassion and joy. All of these qualities shining bright. And the form of the body drops away so the entire body is, instead, just the sky with the moon in the sky, nothing but sky with this moon of bright awareness shining within it. Stay with that now.
Somebody’s psychic powers are messing with the lights. So, that’s cool.
Now let go of the visualization and just stay with the mood, a vast space filled with this
awake awareness or we would just say; a vast space of awake awareness, tremendously clear, vibrant, awake, kind, joyous, playful, most importantly confident.
Just rest as that sky. No visualization, the sky of awareness is always there, it’s just a sense of openness and clarity–utterly simple, already present without any effort.
Now let go of time entirely, any thought of the future vanishes upon arising, any thought of the past vanishes upon arising. Even thoughts of the present are still thoughts of time they vanish upon arising and we rest in timelessness, which is not a time at all. We rest in just openness. Without time boundlessness is a kind of spaciousness but without the boundaries of space, timelessness without any boundaries of time. If that seems hard to do just ask yourself the question how long has this awake awareness been here? And then look and any sense of future past or even now will vanish into timelessness. Just pure wakefulness in time, pure awakeness, primordial perfection, pristine primordial perfection, just awakeness outside of time and space.
Now, we’re going to begin doing the challenging part. So if you’re not feeling up for a challenge then just rest as this primordial awareness. It’s a very powerful meditation to just continue with. If you feel up for some intense tantric stuff, that’s what we’re going to do next but it will be challenging. So if it becomes too challenging for you come back to this moon, come back to space, come back to just resting with this resource space, okay? You’re always welcome to bail on it, back to this.
But for those of you who want to take awake awareness for a little spin I’m going to do that now. So the first thing we’re going to do this is a kind of trigger practice. We’re going to be really feeling some strong emotions and allowing those emotions to just be in this space but we’re bringing them up on purpose. So, again, if that doesn’t sound like what you want to do right now don’t do it, just keep with this basic space because we can be in the primordial purity like this. But now we’re going to make make a further move which is moving into spontaneous presence. That is the form that can arise out of this awareness. And these forms are like rainbows, they’re real experiences but if you try to hang on to them there’s nothing there. It’s very important to understand that out of the primordial emptiness basic space experiences arise but they’re also empty.
So here’s the first thing I want you to do, it’s simple, I want you to get in touch with sorrow, your deepest sorrow. And it doesn’t have to just be one, it’s things that bring up tremendous sadness, tremendous broken brokenheartedness, all the suffering you’ve endured, all the suffering of people you love, the truly sad things that have occurred. I want you to bring that up as strongly as you can and then allow that experience of this sadness to shine like a rainbow in space. It just shines as an experience in space, we’re not negating it, we’re not pretending it’s not there, we’re actually amping it up and allowing it to be there, very strongly. But at the same time noticing its dreamlike property there–but not there vivid, bright, clear and yet intangible. Don’t hold back I want you to really dig into the deepest sorrow you can find and then stay with it. We keep ourselves armored away from this sorrow, trying to keep it at bay but now we’re going to completely open to it all the way. All the thought of all the murdered children, starving children, the stupidity that causes cruelty that hurts everybody not only our own suffering but the suffering of all beings is tremendously sad. Feel that sadness as sharply as you can now while at the same time noticing that it’s like an appearance in the sky, the sky of awareness itself is not harmed in any way. And we’re not blanking out our thoughts here. We’re really working on bringing the sadness up on purpose. Awareness is very confident, very brave, and it cannot be harmed so there’s room for this sadness, let it break you open now.
Good, now just spend a moment back with the rainbow, let the image of sadness recede and just rest as this vast spacious awareness, the primordial purity, the pristine emptiness but notice how your presence has deepened. Notice how your connection with openness has deepened. Because it’s armoring ourselves against these feelings that keeps us out of our own deepest awakeness.
Good, next let’s bring up rage, anger, the images, the thoughts that make you the most enraged, all the things you’d like to smash, that sense of tremendous energy that’s there in anger. Don’t hold back. This is the opposite of going in, feel the anger as intensely as you can, as truly as you can. What are you really mad about today? Feel it, feel the rage.
And notice that this rage is a rainbow in the sky, its spontaneous presence, its form arising in emptiness, a vivid bright clear form of rage and yet intangible, not disturbing the sky of awareness at all, and in fact, if we go right into the white-hot core of the rage delivering us back into pristine awareness over and over again. But don’t shortcut it, feel the rage, don’t be afraid of it. Again, this is a very challenging way to meditate, so if it’s too much just come back to just resting as the sky. Feel that intensity of rage and notice how it actually sharpens the clarity of awake awareness, feel the power of the dark side,
it’s pure form arising in the vast empty space of awareness, harming nothing at all, simply another kind of energy, another color in the rainbow.
Good, now let’s let go of that. Coming back to just space, all form dissolving back into pristine open space. Notice that the space is just fine. Space is unmoved and tremendously open. And notice that it’s even more open than it was and just rest as space for another moment.
Good, again, take a break if you need a break, otherwise, I want you to bring up into this vast space of awareness the form, the shimmering rainbow of fear. This can be just all the stuff you’re worried about and anxious about, all the stuff that you don’t want to have happen, all the way to the fact that the earth is on fire and polluted and dying, everywhere is war, we’re all getting older, there’s a pandemic, there’s many things to be afraid of. Tap into that raw cutting edge of fear and feel it shining in awareness, bring up whatever it takes to actually feel some real fear. What do you really hope isn’t going to happen? Notice how tremendously energizing, fears brings lots of energy into awareness. The rainbow of fear shines bright in the sky of awareness. We’re not resisting it, we’re not trying to control it, we’re letting it shine as intensely and brightly as it wants, not holding it back. Let the real fear of fear–just let that go and let the fear be as huge and as terrifying and out of control as it wants to be, don’t hold back. The sky of awareness is more than big enough.All those thoughts you’re afraid of having, all those feelings you’re afraid of having, just let it all happen. Don’t hold back. This meditation is all about not holding back. Notice, no matter how afraid you become, the sky of awareness is uninjured, unconcerned, just as interested in fear as anything else, wide open, wide awake. But our contact with this awake awareness may even be deeper, much deeper because we’re not holding back, we’re not trying to not have this experience. Letting go.
Good, now let’s take a break again, just resting as pristine awareness, just the vast sky with nothing in it utterly pure, utterly pristine empty.
Okay, last one. This might be the hardest one. Again, if you’re overwhelmed, just keep resting as sky, let the vast sky just bring its own peace. But if you’re ready for more I want you to bring up shame and self-loathing, all the ways you feel stupid, ugly, undeserving, broken, fucked up, a worthless piece of shit. Bring that up as truly and deeply as you can, all the things you’ve done wrong, that only an idiot could have done wrong, all the ways you’ve let people down, all the bad actions you’ve done, that sense of real shame and self-loathing, and notice that too is like a rainbow shining in the sky, vivid, intense, powerful and yet intangible, almost just a reflection or a mirage and yet vividly there like a scene in a mirror which you can brightly clearly see and yet never touch. Just shining in the sky of awareness, reflected in the mirror of awareness, and awareness is never harmed, the mirror is never harmed by what it reflects, in the same way the sky of awareness can experience this deep, deep shame and be just fine with it, feel kindness and acceptance and caring towards it because it doesn’t harm awareness, this awake awareness that we truly are at all times, it’s just another experience.
Notice how much deeper that takes you into this awake awareness because you’re not avoiding anything, all the things you don’t want to feel you’re open to feeling and it allows you to settle into the tremendous, deep, vast, timeless, pristine awareness.
So you can let go of this cloud in the sky of shame and just come back to this beautiful clear open awareness, completely unsullied, pure, unharmed, undisturbed, vast timeless spaciousness. Notice how much more deeply you’re resting in that without any effort. This is the primordial purity, the basic awakeness, unstained, clear, and bright. And then feel and see again the moon shining in the center of the heart. This sky in the heart beaming out confidence and clarity and wisdom, suffused with kindness and caring and love, shot through with vibrancy and spontaneity and energy, shining bright in the sky of awareness, radiating out healing and caring to everyone in this room, shining out wisdom and confidence and nobility to all the beings everywhere, not just on earth but all other planets and all other universes. Really feel that shining moon suffusing all of the multiverse with joy and love and kindness and wisdom and energy
Very good, so let’s let go of the meditation now. Feel free to move and stretch.
Dharma Talk Q & A
All right, that was–for those of you who took part in that second part of the meditation–that was…that’s real meditation, that’s the good stuff, right? That’s where we are not simply gathering resource, right? Gathering resource is important but we’re not just only gathering resource when we meditate we’re using that resource to transform.
And so we did some real–that’s some very adult industrial strength meditation, touching the magic, right? Really getting in there. So good on you for doing that. If you do that in your own practice every day that would be good, right? Really overcoming the barriers, overcoming our barriers of feeling like we–there’s just so much we want to avoid, right? But instead what we’re doing here is taking the view of awake awareness seriously, taking the view of the bodhisattva seriously, taking the view of the buddha nature seriously. Our awake awareness really is indestructible and really is unafraid and utterly confident and totally welcoming, really welcoming of anything that arises in the sky. Welcomes everything into it and so we’re taking that at face value and then noticing that wow, there’s all these experiences that I try to avoid, there’s all these experiences that are unpleasant. And there’s such a strange alchemy to life because if we keep trying to avoid internal unpleasantness life will just get smaller and smaller and smaller, and more and more flat, and more and more dull, and more and more concrete, and eventually we’re essentially dead. It’s like a Princess and the Pea phenomenon, just get more and more sensitive to what you don’t want to feel, and everything just gets smaller and more fragile, and smaller and more fragile, until we’re so small and so fragile we can’t do anything.
And so this tantric mood is the opposite, where we go into it–whatever is arising, we welcome and go into it and recognize that awareness is big enough to handle it, big enough to be with it, and big enough to be confident with it. That confidence is tremendously important. Always sit with supreme confidence. Why? Because inside we’re already a buddha. Buddhas are tremendously confident. What do they have to be afraid of? And so we take on that mood of the inner buddha and sit with confidence and
notice that whatever comes up awareness can handle it. That, of course, doesn’t mean we’re always ready to do such a meditation. We might need some preparation, we might find ourselves in a bit over our heads, which is why you always have the in-case-of-emergency-break-glass thing you can pull and just come out and come back to just awake awareness and don’t continue with the practice if it’s too intense.
But over time you’ll notice a strange thing; you get very good at handling the inner intensity even when it’s really unpleasant. But also life starts shifting, external life starts shifting quite a bit. So we want to look into our own awake awareness, look into our own shining core of wakefulness. This is the only thing we know that we’ve got, right? If you come back to first principles like what do you actually know? There’s only one thing you actually know and that is you’re having an experience right now, that’s it. That is the only knowledge. The lights are on in your mind, you’re having an experience, everything else is–could be wrong, everything else could be a fantasy, everything else could be, you know, data being pumped into the brain in the fish tank, or whatever, it could all be just totally false. But the fact that you’re having an experience is absolutely the one thing that you know.
So look into that experience right now. That’s it. Everything else is thoughts and feelings and so on, which is fine. That’s all the form arising, but the wakefulness itself, the experience itself, that’s it. That’s the true knowledge. What do we call this awakeness in Tibetan? We would call it rigpa, right? What does rigpa mean? Knowledge. If we were talking in Sanskrit, we call it vidya. What is vidya? Knowledge, right? It’s just the one thing we know. It doesn’t mean knowledge like stuff out of an encyclopedia. It means Oh! The one real thing or the one sure thing having an experience right now. Look at that right now, that’s it.
And this is not to somehow make the world seem insignificant. But the stuff that’s arising in experience–experiences becomes even more fascinating, even more bright, crisp, clear, interesting, salient because we’re seeing it as if for the first time. It’s not all this stale, known, predictable, quotidian mundanity that we’re just slogging through. It’s the only thing that’s experiencing, being experienced right now. It’s right there like a lightning bolt in the darkest night or some kind of, again, shining rainbow right in the middle of the rain, right? It’s as fresh and crisp and clear as anything could ever be. And that’s the perspective from which we don’t want to hold back, ‘oh, I want to see that one rainbow but not the other one,’ or ‘I want…’
We don’t have to take this idea of awareness, or the idea of the buddha nature, as some kind of belief system or fantasy or an idea. Please don’t have it as an idea that you, you know, like look at. It’s just this fact of your own awareness right now, that is the one fact. There it is, look at it now, it’s undeniable. It’s the one undeniable thing. There it is.
And if we take that at face value, because well, how else can you possibly take it? Then you’ll notice yourself developing tremendous confidence and tremendous fearlessness and tremendous openness. It’s not an arrogant, armored confidence. It’s a wide-open, broken-hearted, loving kind of confidence that says yes.
So again, kudos for having gone there with that kind of meditation. That’s not the kind of meditation that tends to fill meditation halls. If we were only visualizing cute bunnies or whatever, which–that’s fine nothing wrong with visualizing cute bunny’s noses, you know, it’s all good but that only gets you so far. And eventually, we have to do this. So what do you–it doesn’t have to be emotions, we only worked with emotions, but what are you avoiding? And does the awareness again, look into it right now, it’s the thing that’s awake right now, it’s not even a thing, it’s just awake awakeness. What is that avoiding? Hint; it’s not avoiding anything. It has the opposite impulse. It wants to contain everything.
Questions? Comments? Reports?
Questioner 1: Report. That was powerful shit.
Michael: That is powerful shit. That is true.
Questioner 1: So, I was struck by the last emotion that you had, shame.
Michael: That’s not a problem for any of us.
Questioner 1: It felt so constricting. I just felt like there was this force around me that was just squeezing me down and there wasn’t a rainbow of any type whatsoever.
I noticed the sort of super high-profile teeny little rainbow, I think it was in rage or anger, but this one just felt like this strong powerful thing and it was just, I was just in that place. And then I stayed with it and I was just feeling it, I was in it. And then you said, ‘okay, now it’s time to go back to the openness,’ and I felt lost. I didn’t know where I was and thank goodness you said ‘the moon,’ and I was able to go back to that open place. And I just…there was no sense of…I just dropped into it like the bottom went out. I was like, what the fuck just happened? I’m still in that open place.
Michael: That’s right. What the fuck did just happen? So again, this is–when we try not to feel that all the time, and it’s a feature of our society, it’s not the feature of all societies. It’s a feature of our society that there’s this core layer of shame and self-loathing that gets embedded. And so, if we’re always trying to not feel that, there’s a whole part of like there’s a bottom on experience, we’re constrained. But when we allow that in, it might be very intense, right, very intense, but then a breakthrough will occur. It doesn’t mean it went away, you know. It’s still there. We’re not–this isn’t like, oh
it all goes away and then you feel like a happy bunny forever. The point is that all of these things can be experienced and that openness just gets more open, and as you notice that it’s like the bottom went out, right?
So if you want to like, if you feel stuck in your practice or I’ve been meditating for so long and I just don’t seem to get any further, or it’s kind of like there’s some kind of weird magnetic force field holding me back, it’s not a weird force field. It’s the constriction. It’s the desire to not feel something. There’s something that we’re holding back from and the sky of awareness does not hold back, right? So we look for the terrible thing, look for the terrible thing in there, the thing that you really don’t want to notice inside, and it’s going to feel bad, it doesn’t–it’s not like it magically feels good.There’s a reason you’re avoiding it, you know. It feels like shit.
However, once you allow it, again, if you have enough resource. You don’t want to do this from an unresourced place, or if you’re already feeling overwhelmed, but under the right conditions you go into that and expose it to this sky of awareness. And then, like you said, suddenly it’s like open wide and we drop into a completely deeper level of our practice because we aren’t avoiding that anymore.
Am I just saying the same thing every week? Okay, yeah I’ll get this, you know, these things come in waves, so this is the month of non-avoidance.
Other questions or reports? That’s fucking fabulous by the way.
Questioner 2: What I found really interesting was just noticing the different way
each of those four flow through me. I felt almost no constriction around sorrow it was just like oh this is just flowing, and then I noticed with anger and with shame I noticed a lot of the constriction. There I was like, oh these two, I like sorrow I’m like letting flow, and these two I’m not really wanting to be there as much. And then I also noticed, really interestingly, with fear that the things that I’m most fearful of, when I invite them and are just so much less intense than when I’m resisting them. And so it was interesting that that one actually wasn’t as like–it was like more scary off the cushion than on the cushion because I was just like, all right, I’m going to think of all the things, pull in all the things that make me the most afraid and then they’re just there.
Michael: This is the secret to working with fear, right? Most of the fear is the fear of fear. So we let it in and then suddenly it’s not that big of a deal. Yeah, that’s awesome.
Other reports or questions? What’s s on your mind here about this?
Questioner 3: I have a question. I guess my question since now a lot of people are talking about yeah like recession and also like two years of Covid how would you
juxtapose this kind of meditation with stoicism? That’s very popular right now in certain circles or just in general.
Michael: I mean all these things share some stuff in common, right? I think the main thing with this is that we’re open to life, right? I mean we’re really looking at the true terror of being alive and the fact that, you know, we’re falling through space, and who knows what the fuck? And all we’ve got is awakeness. That’s it and nothing is going to save you. We’re still all going to get old, we’re all going to get–I mean if you’re lucky you get old–we’re gonna get sick. Terrible shit is gonna happen to us and to people we love. And, you know, on a good day then you die.
So this is the situation in which we find ourselves, right? If you’re lucky, you just croak. But who knows? Does the awareness actually go away? We don’t know. So this is the situation in which we find ourselves and it’s odd because somehow that sounds pessimistic or like really morbid but it’s just like a basic fact. Like no one’s ever supposed to say this but it’s just a basic fact. You cannot deny it. So let’s start from the basic fact. Start with awareness itself, which is the one basic fact, and then start engaging with life from the understanding that this is an intense experience.This is really intense.And yet it’s really fascinating how the awareness itself is into it. The awareness itself loves it. The intenser the better, you know in terms of the setup. It’s just as into peace as it is to intensity. But what I mean is the fact that there are kind of no guarantees is great for awake awareness.
So I’m not really answering your question but this is what’s coming to mind. I mean I’m not gonna sit there and compare it point by point with stoicism or something. But I feel like this is the tantric mood. The tantric mood–go into it. Whatever the problem is, go directly into it. And it’s really amazing practice and it’s not just emotional, it’s problems in life. What’s the hardest thing you have to do right now? Go into it. What’s the thing you’re the most afraid of doing? Do it.
That’s the mood and it starts to strip away the layers of mummification and necrotic, you know, cement-mind and complete checked-outness that we tend to gather to try to insulate ourselves from the basic fact.
You notice that you did that to feel comfortable but the more comfortable you
feel in that one particular way the more dead you are. It’s like a bad trade and yet everything tells us to do that, like that’s the smart thing to do and, in fact, I’ll sell you some stuff that’ll help you do that better. That’s our whole society. and so we’re just unraveling that. Throw off the mattresses that we covered ourselves with, throw away the numbness of the necrotic flesh, and come back into vibrant awakeness and awareness right now. I don’t know what else to say. Any other angle on the question?
Questioner 3: No, I mean that was beautiful commentary and actually, I had a similar
experience with going deep into shame and kind of falling way too deep into it. When I just didn’t know what to do and it felt like being thrown out of the helicopter with
no parachute or a parachute that didn’t…
Michael: That’s the right feeling. That’s tantric.
Questioner 3: Yeah and then I realized that there is no ground, so then the fear like you know falling and dying disappeared because there is no ground. There’s no way for me to die because I’m just endlessly falling. But then if I’m honestly falling am I actually falling? Or just suspended in place?
Michael: So then, how did that feel?
Questioner 3: It felt very good. It felt empty and neutral.
Michael: Right, then just come back to that sky, super bright clear sky. The mistake, besides avoidance, that people make is to only go into the emptiness, right? Like you gotta start out going into the emptiness because it’s a contrast to being attached to everything in the world, and so it’s like a big miracle to find the emptiness. And that is very, very cool but the mistake people make is just to stay there. I’m just going to keep going into voidic cessation. That feels great but then that’s another trap like now you just got to go sit in a meditation cave for the rest of your life because that’s the place you’re finding. You’re in your groove.
So once we’ve got the sky of pure awakeness then we notice the spontaneous presence,
the stuff that arises in experience. It’s probably even the case that we tend to make an object out of that pure awareness, but it’s not an object, right? It’s empty just like anything else but furthermore, it probably doesn’t exist without the stuff that’s arising. It’s probably like that the awakeness and this perceptive stuff, the perceived stuff, the spontaneous presence, the rainbows, the peacock tails cauda pavonis here in our alembic, that stuff is all just co-arising with the awareness. They need each other. They invite each other. They come together and, in fact, awareness is empty, the stuff that’s arising is empty but the perception is empty too. But that’s what’s really going on. That’s all there is. So we don’t stay in our void. We come into being and come into experience and come into what’s happening in the fullness of it, okay?