Awake Awareness

I recently attended the 16th annual Science and Nonduality Conference in San Jose ( As the name suggests, many speakers were scientists researching the nature of consciousness, many were teachers of “nondual” approaches drawn from a variety of ancient spiritual traditions. One thing that came through from many of the workshops is that awakening, realization, enlightenment – and many other terms like these – represent dimensions of consciousness that are immanent, natural, and within reach of us all.

This poem by Kabir, a 15th-century Indian mystic poet and saint, coveys some of the intimate quality of these profound and life changing realizations.

Are You Looking For Me?

“Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat. My shoulder is against yours.
You will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals:
not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables.

When you really look for me, you will see me instantly — you will find me in the tiniest house of time.

Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath.”

A member of our Monday evening Mindful Meditation for Recovery group said that after we studied the Buddhist teachings about the insubstantial, dependent nature of “self”, he experiences greater detachment from things that would normally upset him, and greater “fluidity” of self that allows him to accept and adapt to circumstances. When we discover the natural background awareness that lies “behind” the objects of awareness, the “big sky” mind through which thoughts and emotions pass easily, we find a unique kind of freedom – freedom not just from the impact of passing perceptions and reactions, but freedom from the egoic mind that had formerly driven us into so many dead ends.

About Fran D.