Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Not Complicated

I'd like you to try an experiment.

First, stand still. Then, lift your left foot up slightly. Lean forward just a bit, until you feel yourself begin to lose your balance. At that precise moment, place your left foot out and down about 24 inches from your right foot and in line with your left shoulder and hip. While you are doing this, swing your right arm out from your body, keeping it in line with your right shoulder (forming a continuous right angle with your trunk).

As you land on your left foot, begin to shift your weight from your right foot to your left. Once your weight is fully shifted onto your left foot, use your knee and hip to lift your right foot from the ground as you begin to activate your left hand. Swing your right foot and left hand forward together, again until you feel yourself lose your balance. Use your right foot to catch your weight, again about 24 inches from where your left foot is, in line with your right shoulder and hip. And while you are doing this, simultaneously swing your left hand forward, keeping it in line with your left shoulder.

Repeat these movements, alternating sides, left and right, left and right.

I hope you figured out by now that this experiment is called "walking." I also hope you figured out that describing walking is not very helpful to someone who is trying to walk. (Nor is it easy--I'm still not sure that I described it even close to correctly.)

So it is with unconditioned awareness. The mind wants to make it complicated. It wants to build a model. It wants to explain exactly what it is doing.

But if the mind is explaining, it's the left hemisphere that is in control. If you are following a model, you are not resting in unconditioned awareness.

Resting in unconditioned awareness is, first and foremost, rest. It's resting in the present moment, with no need to be doing anything, no need for anything to be different. Language is completely inadequate because it is so simple. It is the very essence of just being, without any preferences or needs.

Our minds want to make this into something. But unconditioned awareness isn't anything. And models only take us away from that.


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