Q: I’ve been in nonduality for a over year now and my expectations were that I’d be done with old patterns and conditioning. But after a year I seem to be faced with the same conditioning that caused me suffering, although it’s less and I’m not attached to it. With awakening there’s been a purification and expansion of the mind, so that patterns are embraced and aren’t a focus of attention anymore. I realize now I had a lot of expectations about how this would be. Can you speak to this a bit?
Awakening may be an end point, but it’s only the end of being asleep, being unaware. What follows is the ongoing relationship of life with itself; a continuous deepening and unfoldment of the experience of being. Recently I’ve found my awareness and attention being called to more fully experience the feeling field of my own energetic body. ‘Feel’ has become the more dominant mode of experiencing. I have some theories about why this is and what this shift is about.
But it’s worth mentioning that I’ve more or less had to throw out all teachings and teachers and rely on my own ever-unfolding experience to reveal to me what’s real and true. I’ve found no spiritual maps that match my experience, and so I’m walking the terrain and trying to map as I go.
I’ve come to be confirmed in the sense that looking to external authorities to provide answers (and legitimacy) is a regressive tendency that needed to be excised. We stand alone as consciousness manifesting our nature as the field of duality. And that path of self-revelation is unique to each of us.
Doing happens even though there’s no doer, the sense of doing is there, and that’s fine. No need for conflict of understanding or confusion.
To you my friend I say respectfully, a year is just the beginning. Awakening is like the ‘death’ of a caterpillar, and so the end. But more importantly it’s the birth of a butterfly which now has to learn to live as a butterfly, and any reference to its previous life as a caterpillar is of no use to it. The new being has to trust its own nature to reveal and deepen into itself as it goes. Fortunately it’s innate, natural and instinctive; trust that. Once you’re a butterfly there’s no going back to being a caterpillar.
I’ve found that all ‘this’ is really beyond spiritual teachings as such, which after all are just the first-hand accounts and interpretations of the experiences of beings just like ourselves, nothing more. It’s easy to think they’re special or have unique status as truth, but this view just feeds the reliance and deference to ‘outer’ authorities.
Trusting one’s own intrinsic nature is best. Be your own guru. I’m glad to hear that much is cracking open for you actually. I know it can be troubling. I really know, I’ve had some really difficult shit go down in the last few years. Enough to know its part and parcel of life. The difference is in being awake to it all. The simplicity of that.
But the deepening and embodiment do need to occur. This necessary and inevitable process of reclaiming our humanity and all else is, in my opinion, largely brushed over by most (but not all) nondual teachers. So much unwinding of conditioning and releasing of embodied stress and trauma has been happening in me all along. In the 4 years post-awakening it’s continued unabated. That said it is ‘better’ now than it was at say 12 months. More mature maybe, more embodied I guess. But not final, and I suspect never final in terms of deepening and unfolding and embodying.
Perhaps another part of the puzzle was/is to stop wanting some final sense of confirmation of ‘done-ness’. Just be the awakened self (that you are) and dance with the world as the world dances with you. And yes, the nondualists would say “who is there to dance with who?”. But fuck them with their certainties and narrow idiotic language policing. Pay them no heed.
As I mentioned I believe that the felt aspect of being is vastly overlooked in favour the consciousness aspect in nonduality. I guess this would be more tantra but I’m not versed in that tradition so I can only speak from my own experience. For what it’s worth I suggest that you connect deeply with this somatic/energetic field of your being moment-to-moment and this will help with the embodiment and energetic unwinding that needs to occur.
I feel that final answers, conclusions, definiteness, certainty, etc. are all bullshit. It’s tempting to want them, to feel we need them. Stay open I say, remain undecided, suspend all judgement, forever. And just be a stupid, mindless butterfly. 🙂
Anyway, these are just some thoughts, let me know what you think.
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