look for yourself

The first and last instruction of this pathless-path is to look for yourself. No one else can tell you or show you. It is possible to point in the general direction, but the work of unlearning, and looking again and again and yet again, is up to each individual.

I know how much this instruction has frustrated me! And yet my hunger and drive for truth compels me. This looking does become second nature.

Our minds are trained from the earliest age to look outward. My mother used to point out things around me and have me name them. I remember this from the earliest age; she was always busy engaging my mind outwardly. For example, as a child,  I always noticed the sharp-cornered glass coffee table in the living room or the dogs romping outside rather than focusing on the space in which the objects abide. Like any habit, this habit of noticing objects has been engrained from decades of application.

Right now, try looking inward rather than outward. Unlearning takes time. A new muscle has to be identified and strengthened. Actually turn your mind’s eye—this is a metaphor, the mind cannot actually be located—around 180 degrees and look to the root of thought, the root of perception, instead of focusing outward. This noticing takes no effort; noticing happens naturally. That is awareness’s natural state.

Here are questions that you can ask yourself: where is the sense of “I” located? Can you find it? Look, again and again.

Can you find the location or start of a thought? Do you have any control over that thought, when it starts or ends? Repeatedly stretch this muscle.

Notice native awareness, minus the overlays of thoughts or emotions. Head upstream of the overlays and look unrelentingly for “the root of the root of yourself.” This unchanging ground of being is always present. It’s an anchor you can return to again and again.

© Skye Blaine, 2011

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