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Essays listed in chronological order starting with most recent. For archives, please see previous volumes below.
  • Writer's pictureRudy Bauer

Embodiment of Awareness as Light

In this practice of becoming aware of our own awareness, the qualities of this awareness, of this field become more and more manifest...more known and more felt as a felt sense. The felt sense of the presence of awareness becomes embodied, becomes flesh, becoming luminous flesh. Awakened awareness!

As the experience of awareness unfolds, and the qualities of awareness become experienced and become embodied, the quality of spaciousness or primordial openness unfolds. The quality of light, the quality of being light, the felt sense of light, the experience of radiance, the radiance of the field flows beyond one’s body boundary.  This quality of light and radiance can also be experienced as energy, as Shakti, as chi or as sublime vibrations.  The undulation of the primordial pulsation, as bliss, as Maha Suka overcomes suffering in its fullness, completeness and enough-ness. This light as radiance manifests the bringing forth of the quality of compassionate resonance and knowingness as light.  The quality of non-duality, of oneness, of indivisibility, arises, inside to inside, directly, as unmediated primordial boundedness, primordial at home-ness.  The Self arises as well as Self-liberation.

This unfolding process of embodiment of the foundational state manifests over time and through time as timeless awareness in time.  In the beginning we may feel that we are holding the experience and holding this awareness.  Then one day we begin to experience it as if we are entering into this awareness as the field above us and below us, in front us, behind us and through us.  We enter the field and are surrounded by a sphere of awareness.  We are in the qualities of space, light, energy and resonance. Then one moment in time, one day, we become this field of energy.  We become the field of light.  We become spaciousness.  We become openness.  We become resonance.  We become non-duality within duality. Aham Ah.  I am becoming what I am and who I am.  Aham Ah.

As this experience unfolds, we begin to feel these qualities not only as the qualities of our own innermost awareness as lucidity, as light, but we begin to experience the quality of the lucidity in phenomena, in the light of appearances. We experience lucidity in otherness, for example, lucidity in people, in our animals, and in things like houses, buildings and gardens. The appearance of phenomena is lucent unto itself with light emanating from within the phenomena.

We begin to experience this light, this lucidity not only within our own being, within our own bodies, within our own innermost awareness but also within the bodies of others, within the being of human beings.  In this way our innermost lucidity meets the lucidity of phenomena.  Our innermost energy meets energy of others.  The spaciousness of our sense of openness     meets the spaciousness inherent in everything and anything.  One space is opened, an unbounded space.

The sense of non-duality within us and the non-duality permeating through us meets non-duality beyond us.  Within the duality of phenomena non-duality manifests.  As the Dakini said to Dudjom Lingpa, “You and I are invisible”.  There is ‘you’ and there is ‘I’.  There is oneness within difference and there is difference with the oneness.”  As Heraclitus said nearly two thousand years ago in the market place, the world is absolute oneness and the world is absolute difference.

Actually these qualities are the qualities of human love.  The sense of love within the sense of humanness is actually the great compassion. The sense of humanness is the great compassion, which is the light as humanness and humanness as light.  

When we experience the lucidity of appearance in the human face and as the human face some would suggest that this human experience is a delusion. This unhappy and distorting suggestion is itself delusional.  It is an invalidation of what is obvious and what is luminously present. The light of appearance, the light of manifestation and the divinity of appearance is negated by this dissociative assumption as to the unreality of human experience. This is an invalidation of natural experience, of direct knowingness and the unhappy invalidation of the manifestation of phenomena as the Dharmakaya of pure potentiality. This invalidation of perceptual experience may be seen as mystical nihilism.  What you see is not!

The qualities of awareness are completely immanent as is the radiance of the light, completely immanent within everything and anything.  This radiance radiates from within to within, inside to inside.  It is naturally present simultaneously within us and between, always in every context and within every circumstance.  As Swami Mukatananda would say so often, “God dwells within us as us.”  For Baba, awareness is God. This is mystic humanism.  It is the mysticism of being in human consciousness, which is consciousness itself and humanness as light.

Swami Muktananda would also say, “No one owns this understanding, no religion, no culture nor any group.  This experience can not be institutionalized.”  Namkhai Norbu, the great Dzogchen master, would say the same.  This experience of awareness as awareness is beyond any religion, beyond any culture, beyond East and beyond West, beyond all the various forms of corporate religious ownership and corporate religious maintenance of the truth.

The guru is the process of self-revelation.  This logos is a natural unfolding of experience as primordial awareness manifesting the light as the light in everyone.  The radiance of experience and the radiance of phenomena and appearance are intrinsically present within everyone and within everything. The guru is this radiance, this light of awareness and the light within every circumstance and every drama.  So the radiance within us experiences the radiance within all phenomena and all appearance.  Again non-duality within duality arises, and duality within non-duality becomes felt and known.  Self-liberation, ever so briefly at times, is true.  All liberation is self-liberation for the light liberates the light.

Here is a Dzogchen instruction:  Given that appearances are lucid unto themselves like a face within a mirror, this liberation is liberation itself. Appearances are lucid unto themselves.  Phenomena are the radiance of awareness unto itself.  Appearance is the expanse of the Dharmakaya.  We can take or receive the lucidity of phenomena as our companion of radiance.

Actually the guru is radiance of the innermost awareness revealing itself in everything and anything, and as the grace bestowing power of the divine ground of being.

Actually for Swami Muktananda, the guru was a function.  The guru is not person, he participated in this function just like you and I participate in this wondrous function of the radiance, which is the light of awareness. The guru is a relational metaphor.  This is the process of self-revelation, of the light taking place within us and between us.  It is like there is  ‘me’ and there is ‘you’.  Within us and between us is the manifestation of awareness, as radiance becoming visible.  Gratitude sustains everything. 

Gratitude sustains the experience of self-revelation, of the invisible becoming visible. So gratitude to the guru and for the guru is gratitude to, and for this mysterious function that we all participate in.  It is the radiance of awareness manifesting in everything and anything as everything and as anything.

It is important to take ownership of self-liberation.  If not you will be waiting and waiting for Godot, You will be waiting to be liberated from the outside of your own innate awareness.  Lord Buddha reminded us of this as he was dying.

Equal vision is the experience of the equality of awareness in everything and everyone.  Equal vision invokes self-liberation.  Equal vision undoes forms of spiritual hierarchy.  Equal vision dismantles theocracy. Equal vision dismantles the infinite forms of caste systems.  Rig pa (awareness) is the great eraser.  Rig pa dismantles the union of royalty and spirituality.

Lineage and tradition

In the Treasury of Dharmadhatu of Longchenpa, Longchenpa makes the distinction between tradition and lineage.  Tradition is the articulation of how various people experience the light of awareness as method and practice.  Lineage is more personal.  It is the drama of your own direct connection to primordial field of awareness as ground awareness.  There are those who have been the vehicle and doorway.  The drama of self-recognition is played through the mirror of others.  As the scripture say, the mother is first guru.  If not the historical mother then the mother as her archetypal manifestation.

The Washington Center for Consciousness Studies and the Washington Center for Phenomenological and Existential Psychotherapy Studies

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