Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nobody is running this show

One thing that's been coming into view lately in meditation is how my common sense notions that 'I' am somehow taking the decisions and choices and thereby the active agent of my life is not actually backed up by experience.

My conventional notion is that, for example, when I decide to switch my focus in meditation, say, to being aware of my physical sensations, rather than what is going on at the 'story' level, that it's somehow 'me' that is taking that decision, and that it's the result of some sort of continuity of purpose, which is what allows me to have a general aim to the meditation, and that somehow that carries through whatever is coming and going in appearances.

Knowing reveals something quite different.

I cannot find any 'me' that resides throughout the mediation, and which is making those decisions. Any sense of 'me' that does arise is momentary, and not continuous. So it's just another arising of appearances, like any other, rather than a glimpse into something deep and hidden, and lurking 'behind' everything else.

Moreover, when I allow the process of 'choice' to come into awareness, the actual moments of choice themselves, what do I 'see'?

Well, I see nothing, can't find anything that corresponds to that at all. Choice takes place, quite clearly, yet no location for choice is revealed to awareness, neither location in time, nor in place. It seems to happen, yet it's as if it's a living dream .... it's not happening at all when I turn knowing directly 'towards' it.

"where is this choice" .... I might ask ... and rest in the response - the opening that follows this question, not any answer, any rush to conceptualise or answer or fill that gap or opening with understanding, but just resting in the opening there .... resting in that opening and then taking a choice, doing, acting, creating karma through exercising will .... nothing is there, nothing is revealed, nothing whatsoever is findable .. and yet ... the action occurs.

So where is the agent in all these empty arisings, this luminous emptiness?

When awareness knows, it's clear that there isn't really any agent, no agency. These seeming actions occur, these appearances of action take place, yet nobody is really bringing them about. Similarly, when I don't act, when I decide to act, then stop that and don't follow through on that .... there isn't really an agent which doesn't act. The not acting takes place without 'me'. Not only is there no 'me' there with the doing and deciding not to do, but there's no action or non-action either. Nothing transpires, and nothing is guiding this action.

Woh! .... to my common sense view of myself, my ability to guide my life, to make choices, to direct my life in a way that seems valuable and meaningful is one of my most treasured abilities.

But actually, I'm not running this show at all!

Stuff seems to take place, and choices seem to be made, which attempt to guide my life in useful directions.

Yet knowing reveals nobody there, as well as nothing happening.

There's nobody home.

There's nobody in charge.

The lights are indeed on, yet nobody is home!

Mahamudra has indeed taken 'me' to a strange land, where everything I used to 'know' is no longer true, and what I now actually know is ... well .... nothing! .... but nothing which is truly known, rather than a whole bunch of something which I believed in and thought that I actually knew.

How do I actually take a decision, or act? Where does this take place? What makes it happen, at that time, that place?

Hard to see is this 'acting' (to paraphrase Yoda) - actually, not hard, but impossible thus far.

Actions seem as though they well up, from where? no-where. For what reason? It's hard to say. Most assuredly, it doesn't emanate from any 'me' or locus which is somehow directing this show.

Actorless and actionless.

1 comment:

NamuNamuNamu said...

Hoy my first time on this blog.

Wow i had the same experience you just described. Ah it so hard to present it in words to other people and share the experience/knowing. That night i had the most strange sensation of warmth and energy. I was in bed and this experience just came during one my internal conversations. I could not sleep, for like hours.

Anyway enjoy. And you can reach me at