Archive for the ‘spirituality’ Category

There is no one to become enlightened. New MJ Awakening Blog
August 11, 2019



“There is no such thing as an enlightened person. There never has been. No person has ever become enlightened. Because the whole idea of a person becoming enlightened is a total contradiction, it’s a total ignorance.

Awakening is the realization that there is no one. When the seeker drops away, that which is sought becomes apparent. But it becomes apparent to no one… it just is apparent.

That which we seek is always present, is totally constant. That which we long for is already this.”

-Tony Parsons

MICHAEL: You didn’t create the “me” and you can’t make it go away… the activity of trying to stop your thoughts or make the “me” go away is simply more “me” activity. Trying to get rid of an illusion just reinforces it. It would be like trying to get rid of the Boogey man in the closet.


The seeker is a rejection of what is… what it longs for is its own absence. New MJ Awakening Blog
August 9, 2019



“Nothing that the seeker does brings them nearer to that which is already free. Everything the seeker does is a sort of an effective way of avoiding freedom. The seeker is desperately afraid of its own absence, and it’s the one thing it longs for.”

-Tony Parsons

MICHAEL: There’s just what’s happening and it doesn’t have an owner. It’s the illusory “me’s” attempt to control the uncontrollable that is its suffering. Indeed, “me” and “control” are synonyms, as one never shows up without the other.


Me is a story and story is not what is drinking the water. New MJ Awakening Blog
August 6, 2019

lab loving water


Trying to improve, fix, or get rid of the me only attempts to reinforce a story about that which has never actually existed.

For example, a dog doesn’t think, “I am thirsty. But I notice the bowl is only half full. What happens when I run out? Then what? Maybe I’ll die of dehydration. This is terrible!”

Rather, it just finds itself going to the water and lapping up the cool liquid. It doesn’t need a story to do this. But to the human, the story seems very important to the “me.” And that’s the cause of our suffering.

Whereas the dog inherently trusts life, we don’t. Because we are too fixated on our stories, rather than what’s actually happening, which no words can contain or truly explain.

Michael Jeffreys

Aliveness cannot be put into words… New MJ Awakening Blog
August 5, 2019


Aliveness cannot be put into words, which are old, limited, dead.

Michael Jeffreys


Words to describe words to describe words, ad infinitum… New MJ Awakening Blog
August 2, 2019



And yet, is there any word what-so-ever that can actually adequately explain ANY of this?

The birth, the pain, the laughter, the heart breaks, the love, the horror, the joy, the sadness, the fulfillment, the confusion, the suffering, the insights, the peace, the disappointments, the triumphs, the tragedies, the contentment, the death?

“The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”
-Muriel Rukeyser

Like many, I used to use words like “consciousness” and “awareness” and “nonduality” as if I actually knew what they meant, but now I realize I haven’t a clue. For example, we often hear the expression, “My awareness.” So there is this me that has something called awareness? Really? But if I look now, directly into this moment, I cannot locate an actual “me” anywhere nor can I locate an actual “awareness” that it possesses.

It seems that ALL words (including these) are inherently empty.

Thus “The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao” suddenly deeply resonates.

And that leaves nothing to say about any of this that could possibly be true.

Therefore, SILENCE seems the most honest thing I can “say” in this moment.

Michael Jeffreys

Nonduality: Intellectual Understanding vs Direct Experience. New MJ Awakening Blog
July 28, 2019

knife in electric socket


Intellectual understanding is when your mother tells you when you’re a kid not to put any metal objects into an electric socket because you’ll get shocked. Direct experience is when your mother is not around and you go ahead and stick a knife into the electric socket and get knocked on your ass as your whole body receives a powerful and painful white hot jolt of unforgiving electricity.

With the former, your understanding was conceptual. It had not penetrated your being. But with the latter, no words are ever again necessary because now you know from direct experience the dangers of sticking a fork or knife into an electric socket.

The same is true for Nonduality. You can read dozens of books and watch hundreds of youtube videos on Nonduality, but your understanding will remain intellectual. You understand that the “me” is an illusion, but only as a concept. And thus you find you’re still suffering. And so you look for another video, hoping the next one will do the trick.

But the truth is until you actually see this for yourself, the suffering will continue because the “me” hasn’t been fully realized to be a phantom. It seems like it’s there, but when looked for can never be found. And that’s the key, you have to actually look for this “me.” Meaning, the next time you’re suffering, instead of trying to think of a way out, you hit the pause button and take time to actually look for the one who claims to be suffering. I mean really look!

You’re looking for the entity inside you that claims to be suffering or annoyed or hurt or upset or whatever. Because if you can’t actually find it, i.e., there’s literally nothing there (and you’re willing to be honest with what you actually find… or don’t find in this case), then the whole thing collapses as the house of cards it actually is. This is the practice of “self-inquiry” in action. But few actually do it, and yet it’s the key to ending this business of seeking once and for all.

You have to actually do the looking for yourself (no one can do it for you), which is direct experience and goes deeper than just intellectually agreeing with the concept that there’s no “me.”

Michael Jeffreys

THE MIND – Zen Master Bankei New MJ Awakening Blog
July 19, 2019


Zen Master Bankei (1622-1693)


“The mind, as Bankei describes it, is a dynamic mechanism, reflecting, recording and recalling our impressions of the world, a kind of living mirror that is always in motion, never the same from one instant to the next. Within this mirror mind, thoughts and feelings come and go, appearing, vanishing and reappearing in response to circumstances, neither good nor bad in themselves.

Unlike the man of the Unborn, however, the impulsive person suffers from attachment. He is never natural because he is a slave to his responses, which he fails to realize are only passing reflections. As a result, he is continually “hung up,” entangled in particular thoughts and sensations, obstructing the free flow of the mind. Everything will operate smoothly, Bankei insists, if we only step aside and let it do so.

He illustrates this to the members of his audience by pointing out that, even while engrossed in listening to his talk, they automatically register and identify everything else around them—the calls of crows and sparrows, the various colors and aromas, the different sorts of people in the room. No one is deliberately trying to do this; it simply happens. That, Bankei says, is how the Unborn functions.

For Bankei, the important thing is letting go, breaking the mold of our self-centeredness (mi no hiiki) and bad habits (kiguse). These are familiar Japanese terms that Bankei used to describe the chief components of delusion. Self-centeredness is the basis of the false self. It is “ego” in the pejorative sense, the reflex that leads us to judge everything from a narrowly selfish viewpoint.

What fuels and informs this attitude is bad habits, character flaws that, like self centeredness, are the result of conditioning. We grow up imitating the people around us, Bankei says, and in the process acquire certain failings which finally become so ingrained that we mistake them for our real selves.

Unlike the Unborn Buddha Mind, however, neither bad habits nor self-centeredness is innate; both are assimilated from outside after birth. When we become deluded, we temporarily forfeit the Buddha Mind we started out with, exchanging it for these learned responses.

The only way out of this dilemma, Bankei maintains, is to go back the way we came, to return to the unconditioned, the uncreated, the unborn.”

-Peter Haskel (from the Introduction to BANKEI ZEN)


Silent Illumination. New MJ Awakening Blog
July 17, 2019

moss on log


Quiescence refers to the practice of silencing the mind,
and clarity refers to contemplation, illuminating the mind
with the light of awareness.

Hongzhi himself described the “silent sitting” as
thus: ‘Your body sits silently; your mind is quiescent,
unmoving. This is genuine effort in practice. Body and
mind are at complete rest. The mouth is so still that
moss grows around it. Grass sprouts from the tongue.
Do this without ceasing, cleansing the mind until it
gains the clarity of an autumn pool, bright as the moon
illuminating the evening sky.’

In this state, the mind is without form or feature. Power is
present, but its function is to fill the mind with illumination,
like the sun shining everywhere. Hence, Silent llumination
is the practice in which there is nothing moving, but
the mind is bright and illuminating.”

-Ven. Sheng Yen

A CLEAR MIND is Wisdom & Compassion. New MJ Awakening Blog
July 16, 2019



“The primary obstacle to attaining wisdom is
attachment to the self. When you face people, things,
and situations, the notion of “I” arises immediately.
When you attach to this “I”, you categorize and judge
everything else accordingly: “This is mine; that is not.
This is good for me; that is not. I like this; I hate that.”
Attachment to the idea of self makes true clarity impossible.

But how might we define non-attachment?
According to Chan, non-attachment means that when
you face circumstances and deal with other people,
there is no “I” in relation to whatever may appear in
front of you. Things are as they are, vivid and clear.
You can respond appropriately and give whatever is

Clear awareness of things as they are, in this
state of selflessness, is what Chan calls wisdom.
Giving whatever others may need with no thought of
the self is what Chan calls compassion. Wisdom and
compassion describe the awareness and function of the
enlightened mind. In Chan, these two cannot be
separated, and both depend on putting down the
attachment to self.”

-Ven. Sheng Yen

“…because once you are Real you can’t be ugly…” New MJ Awakening Blog
July 15, 2019

velveteen rabit

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