When I look outward I AM Multiplicity;
when I look inward I AM Unity.
When I look outward I AM Separation;
when I look inward I AM Wholeness.
When I look outward I AM many;
when I look inward I AM One.
No matter where I look, I AM.
“What I liked about working with Michael is that the focus is always on the present moment and not on the ‘next’ thing.” -Tom Bunzel
I really appreciate Tom’s unsolicited testimonial, and it does highlight one of the differences between myself and many other “spiritual teachers.” The NOW is truly all that IS. Unfortunately, most of us are addicted to our thoughts, whose content is past-future, and so we are rarely as present as we could be.
And so when working with people, I listen. And rather quickly I can see/feel the stories that the person is still identified with. Being attached to a story is not right or wrong, but it does open up the door for suffering. Why? Because they are identifying with something that they are not.
And so, together, we put the story under a “microscope” to see if it truly defines them in anyway. And when the story is seen through/begins to thin out, a space within them opens up that was once occupied by the story. And that space is NOT filled up with a “better story,” but rather left empty! With the result being the person has a direct experience of their own timeless/intrinsically peaceful nature. It’s obvious when this happens, because we both fall into silence.
It is always Now. The Now never changes. The Now is still. The Now never moves. The Now has no limitations. (Apparent limitations are due to identification with what you are not, with what comes and goes: THOUGHT).
You cannot think about the Now as it has no objective qualities. There are not two Now’s. Past is an illusion. Future is an illusion. You have only ever experienced the eternal Now. When the mind reminisces about the past, it does so when? Now. When the mind fantasizes about the future, it does so when? Now. YOU = NOW, NOW = YOU.
Suddenly it becomes clear why resistance to the Now brings suffering. We are in resistance with ourselves. Once we deeply see, in our own direct experience, that the eternal Now is what we have always been, the urge to attempt to escape it falls away naturally, leaving the elegant simplicity of whatever is presently happening. You see clearly that nothing IN the Now has ever been You. The content of the Now is endlessly changing, but not You, not the eternal Now itself.
Consciousness doesn’t sleep! When “you” go to sleep at night, it’s the body that sleeps, not Awareness. How do you know this? Because you are aware of your dreams, are you not? Yet, the body is asleep. How is this possible? It’s because Consciousness, Awareness, Knowingness doesn’t have an off button. It’s always aware of whatever is happening. (And if you didn’t dream last night, you are AWARE that you didn’t dream!)
Whether you are happy or sad, joyful or depressed, are you not what is aware of these various states as they come and go? If you are happy you are aware of that. If you are sad you are aware of that. So, you, Consciousness don’t come and go.
This is why when you identify with/as something that comes and goes you suffer. Because you are identifying with something that is not your true nature, since your true nature doesn’t come and go.
If you are suffering, it’s because You are IDENTIFYING with what You’re not. Some temporary form or appearance. You are mistaking the appearance in the “movie” as You. If You are what is seeing an appearance, than that appearance CANNOT actually be YOU. (Full stop!)
What You are is always here and always free. Seeing this with perfect clarity reveals the inherent freedom in every moment. You can never NOT be the seeing, but you can be unclear about your actual position and believe that the “movie” has to do with You, try to fix or change the “movie,” and thus continue to suffer.
Where is Your allegiance? Where is Your attention? Involved in the “movie,” or in that which is AWARE of it? You can’t serve two masters. As long as you are unclear, you are still divided and with inner-division comes suffering.
-Michael Jeffreys & Daniel Litvak
QUESTION from The West LA Satsang: Would Michael or Dan speak to the use of the terms Vertical and Horizontal in Non-Dual teachings? -Carol Ring
ANSWER: Yes. These are two extremely important concepts which most people are unaware. Think of a cross. The horizontal axis represents time-space. It’s where the life of the action figure, your body, does whatever it does. Without time-space, the horizontal, nothing could happen, as all action requires a “place” to unfold and requires time to unfold.
The vertical axis represents the timeless. It’s your true nature, that which does not come and go. It’s the unborn. You are always seeing from this timeless place, but don’t realize it. How do you know this? Because You don’t come and go. You are always here. You never move.
The “place” where the two points intersect is the Now. The one who is awakened sees this with perfect clarity and is no longer fooled by the mind’s imaginings/stories, which are always rooted in past-future, always about what’s NOT happening. Now is all there ever truly IS. Whatever is happening. Just THIS.
EVERYTHING is God, which leaves nothing out, including You. Seeing/realizing this is the end of the notion of separation.
SEPARATION is an idea that when believed in/identified with automatically brings suffering. Why? Because while on the surface things may appear to be “different,” in Reality nothing is separate from ALL that IS.
“Every effect is the cause, as THAT.” -Swami Chinmayananda
This is why talking about or “believing” in Oneness doesn’t work. Because an intellectual understanding doesn’t go deep enough, is not potent enough, doesn’t have enough juice to “do the business.” You have to see/realize it with every cell of your being. It’s deeper than thought… it’s a direct “knowing.”
When this happens, a release or feeling of relaxation can happen resulting in an experience of “traveling lighter,” as Paul Hedderman says.
One way to speak of awakening is the spontaneous realization that you were suffering from a severe case of “mistaken identity.” To wit, because you identified with/as the false, you didn’t realize you have been the Real all along!
You have never come or gone… you simply are. That which you identified with, that which comes and goes, no longer feels like you. It feels like a story or a costume or role, but never you. A hallucination, a life long assumption, that felt very real is suddenly seen through.
When this “release” happens, you physically feel lighter, freer, more expansive, more loving and more compassionate. You recognize your true nature to be something that has always been right here, looking out your eyes, for every moment of your existence.
In other words, it suddenly dawns on You that You are Reality, You are God, You are Universal Consciousness, You are alive Awareness, You are pure Being, You are Truth itself. And you deeply get this, not as a word or concept or intellectual understanding, but as a stone cold fact! More real than anything else.