Spiritual Transmission and Life After Awakening–nondual retreat | Jon Bernie

What are you gonna do about the fact that the mind wants to know? What are you gonna do about that? We were thinking, maybe, of offering discounts on pre-frontal lobotomies, but… [laughter] …I don’t know if they are reversible… [laughter] “Just free me from my mind until I’m liberated, then you can give it back to me.” “Then I can use it.” What did they used to say? “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Remember that? Actually, the mind can be liberated too. It doesn’t have to be trashed or rejected, but just seen clearly. But you know, it really likes to create beliefs. It really likes to… it feels secure in thinking it knows what is happening. Doesn’t it? Or insecure if it’s not sure what is happening. Welcome. I’m very glad you could be here and allow
whatever is going to happen to happen. Or not allow, as the case may be. [laughter] Or resist, or reject, or… struggle or condemn. Whatever your thing is. But ultimately, you might find, that you are just here to be here. Not for a reason, really. Freedom is… also free of reason. It’s just being. Which really is open-minded, open-hearted open-bodied too: embodied awareness. Really alive. Fully alive. No matter how things are in the sort of relative sense. Even if you are tired or… hungry or irritated or longing… in pain. You can still return to a place that’s centered and aligned. And that’s really what we’re here for, is to return back to that alignment that centered balance point that is effortless, even when it’s been heavy. Or even if you feel compressed, pulled down, or distracted. Because awareness is already the essence of this life force that we are. It’s not, like, something you get if you you know, win the race or “get enlightened.” That sounds like something you’d do at the department store. “We’re having a 20 percent discount on
enlightenment this week. [laughter] Come and get it!” “I’m gonna get it.” [laughter] People tell me that sometimes. It’s really funny actually. “I’m going to get it!” [laughter] Right. [laughter continues] It’s amazing how creative we are in our suffering. [laughter] Ahh…yeah…oh well. I just want to welcome this chicken that’s sitting here [laughter] As I often say, you know, eventually all
the chickens come home to roost and [laughter] you just have to welcome the chicken. All the parts of ourselves that we’ve become disconnected from or unconscious about. You know, you awaken… which means you all have awakened or tasted or glimpsed the light, the presence, the truth that you are. That’s why you’re here. That’s why we’re hanging out. To deepen that and cultivate that and allow that to become what we are… to realize that that’s what we are. And as I’ve often said, you know, that glimpse, that awakening is usually followed
by the the ‘rude awakening.’ [laughter] That’s when the chickens start coming home. “I thought I cleared that in the EST training.” [laughter] “All that anger.” “I’m not an angry person!!” [laughter] “I thought I healed my father wounds!” Oh gosh. Don’t get me going. No, we actually welcome all the parts, all the arisings, all of the movement with, eventually with gratitude. And with love and compassion and forgiveness. So that they can let go of their identity. Because identity is just a construct. It’s a belief actually. And it becomes kind of a thing that runs us–that can run us. So, when you awaken or begin the process of awakening… because I like to think of it as an ongoing awakening, not some finish line… forget that. How could there be a finish line in an infinite, unknowable universe? That’s ridiculous. [laughs] That’s just a belief. So in this awakening movement
process there’s healing, there’s the arising of what has been cut off, or split off or hidden away. So as Rob pointed out in Molokai recently, you can start getting triggered. You can become more sensitive actually, as you awaken. Have you noticed that? That reminds me of kind of a funny story. You may have heard this one. Actually, it was a cartoon. Cartoonist Gahan Wilson. Remember him? [the cartoon may have actually been by Scott Breier] He did a series of Zen cartoons a long time ago–back when I was a monk, I think, in the early 70’s. They were really funny. And um… One of them…there were all these little scenes with the disciple and the Zen master, having little chats. And one of them is the student sitting there with the teacher, saying, you know, “I’ve had a really, really stressful day. There was a breeze, a bell rang, and a butterfly landed on my shoulder.” [laughter] You get really sensitive. [laughter] “That person’s breathing!” “Please don’t breathe so loud!” Truth is we’re connected, actually. That sounds like, some cool thing, you know, a belief maybe or some…whatever. But, that’s what I perceive– that’s what I’m living in. This undulation of beingness that we are. [sighs] Being here is just really like a soup of awareness that you can actually simmer in. You can kind of steep in it. Kind of let yourself soften, unwind. It might rattle the cage a little bit, being here. But there is nothing you have to do. In case you were thinking, “Well, what am I supposed to do?” Like, I don’t know if you were wondering that while we were sitting there for awhile. Like, “Well…should I follow my breath?” “Count my breaths? Or, should I do my mantra?” “Do my visualizations? Or should I just be Presence?!” “That’s it! I’ll just be Presence.” [laughter] [long laughter] [silence] So because there is nothing you have to do and nothing you have to understand, I simply recommend paying attention to how you are struggling with what the actual energetic or physical or emotional quality of the struggle is. In other words what’s trying to get something? Feel the trying or the wanting, the longing. Or, what’s trying to get rid of something? The fear. The distraction. The mental busyness. So you notice: not the arising of the condition– because that’s ongoing, changing, the movement of life, the movement of our bodies, our minds, our hearts–you don’t have to worry about that. Like emotions–they are just rivers that move unless we dam them up with our resistance. So all you need to pay attention to is whatever may be not wanting what’s happening. Or, what’s wanting something to be happening. So that pulling towards or that pushing away, or that trying to figure out what the heck’s going on. And if you bring awareness to THAT, freedom is just a breath away. We don’t become free. Freedom is what we are. It almost just shows up… like… Aahhh. How did that happen? Just all of a sudden: peacefulness or or equanimity, or love, compassion, connectedness. Or maybe then it’s gone and, “Oh no! I want that back!” “I want the awake…I want that back!” That’s the struggle. After awhile, as you become more established in awareness, that fear, just, you don’t care anymore whether you’re feeling connected or not. Doesn’t matter. Because there is a deeper emerging trust that begins to develop. But when that’s not there, I get it. It’s hard. You know, it can be scary or frustrating or like, “Oh my god, how long am I gonna have
to keep coming to these things?!” [laughter] “I could be shopping at Macy’s. They’re having a big sale.” [laughter] I’m sure you all know this too: that
the other kinda cool thing about how, what this is what this is here, is that it, um…. It’s almost like a very quiet, resonant communication. It just permeates everything. You know, there’s a beautiful…I think it was Suzuki Roshi who said, “It’s like walking in the fog. “You walk in the fog and eventually “you are soaked through and you didn’t even know what happened.” So, that’s like it is here. There’s a kind of permeation that’s just happening, even if you are not aware of it. Even if you’re in complete shut-down, tight, resistance. This stuff doesn’t care. This presence that we are is like, “Pfff! No problem.” Because, you know, our atoms, which make up our cells, and these bodies, are actually just space and energy. Mostly space and energy. How far out is that?! That’s mind-blowing isn’t it?! And awareness is that space and energy. And when you become that, you permeate everything. You are the permeable beingness. So, if you don’t know what I’m talking
about. You think, “What the heck?!” “What the [bleep] is he talking about?!” It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to learn anything or believe anything. We’re not into peddling beliefs. So if you think I am just come up and ask me about it and we’ll clear it up when we have our little dialogue soon. But allow yourself, or notice if you are allowing a kind of vulnerability, a kind of receptivity. Or if you’re like, “No! That’s too much energy.” “That’s too much love. I can’t handle it.” People say that. They come, and “I just want to be love. Then whoa! Wait a minute. No, no no.” “That’s too much. Stop.” [laughter] I had that too. I remember that. You know, “I love the shakti–no, no, no! Not that much!” [laughter] And finally went right over the waterfall. That was a night…I remember that quite well…that evening. It just happens by itself, you know. So, freedom is our natural state, you could say. And being here just naturally– like the grass and the trees–it just grows. And this environment is kind of very
fertile ground for growing into the freedom of being.

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