July 30

TANTRA, NON-DUALITY AND THE PRACTICE OF NO PROBLEM: PART 3

One of the miracles of meditation is the recognition that contentment is not just a feeling. We can be content even when we feel discontent. We can be happy even when we feel unhappy. I realize that this may sound nonsensical, but it is the key to spiritual freedom. As long as you believe that your contentment is dependent on having a particular feeling you will always be chasing after that feeling.

When you realize what true contentment is you can choose to be content anytime under any circumstances. In fact, the energetic shock of this recognition can be so powerful that it shifts your nervous system into a state of ongoing contentment. Not an ongoing feeling of contentment, but an ongoing sense of being at home and at peace no matter what you are experiencing.

The Practice of No Problem eventually asks us for everything that we have thought ourselves to be. When we are perfectly content with everything as it is, even with feeling discontent, we have to give up all preference whatsoever. When we have no preference we stop doing anything at all. To have no problem means to have no preference, and to have no preference means to do nothing because doing anything at all is always an expression of preference.

If we persist with the practice meticulously we will eventually start to loose track of ourselves because we normally experience ourselves through our preferences. I like this, not that. I am going in this direction, not that direction. This makes me happy; this makes me unhappy. This is good; this is bad. My goal is over here, not over there.

As all preferences fall away we don’t know who we are anymore. We are free from identity and self-concern. We have disappeared. This is the dissolution into emptiness that is the source of freedom that many spiritual paths describe. It takes tremendous courage to keep letting go once we start to feel our identity falling away. Only those who truly and deeply want to be free will be willing to keep going and let it all go.

What we discover is that we don’t disappear. All of our ideas about who we are fall away, but even when we don’t know anything about ourselves we are still here. What we give up is any sense of separation from ourselves. We lose the external vantage point from which we have always looked back at ourselves. We simply are who we are. We are home.

We enter into a place where there is just experience and no one experiencing it. The sense of ‘me’ being someone who is separate from the experience I am having vanishes.  There is a sense of total connection and boundless freedom. We extend in all directions simultaneously. We are nowhere and everywhere always at once. There is nothing we need to do because we are already home and always have been.