We first spoke about the Twelve Steps, commonly referred to in A.A. Meetings, that describe so well the non dual aspect of total powerlessness.
“We suffer from the most insidious kind of addiction, one we don't even realize we have. It is the addiction to power itself. Powerlessness is the secret to genuine strength.”~ Wayne Liquorman - “The way of powerlessness – Advaita and the 12 steps of recovery”
Next we went along Rupert Spira’s description of the 3 essential steps on the spiritual path. Incidentally these steps took him more than 20 years to climb !
“The first is to notice that one is not a body or a mind, but rather the Awareness in which these appear, and with which they are known; the second is to explore the nature of Awareness and discover that it doesn’t share the destiny or the limits of the body and mind – that is, to discover its eternal, infinite nature; and the third is to live a life that is consistent with this understanding."
- Step 1: What am I? I am that which is aware of my experience. I am aware pervades in all experience.
- Step 2: What is the nature of this Awareness? Awareness appears to be located in time and space sharing the temporary and finite limits of the body but we find no evidence of this. It is not an object, it has no objective qualities for it has no limits, no duration, hence the falling away of the sense of lack, the dropping of the fear of death… and the end of seeking.
- Step 3 How to live this Understanding? It is simply the Art of Life in time and space.
For those who hold on to the “witness” or “witnessing”, we heard that it is only the first step. ~ Randall Friend extract adapted from “Urban Guru cafe program 4”
“There's no one or person to gain or attain enlightenment. We are what we seek, we already are that. So any movement, word, belief in an attempt to find “this” is one step too far. The witness is useful in seeing through that belief system of a person. We look at knowing this as “I am knowing that, I am the witness to the body mind”. There is a resting in knowing this. This is the first step, the detachment of identification from the body-mind. Yet that's still duality, there's still a subject and an object. As we continue to discard these things, we go prior and find nothingness. But we protest,“How can I identify with nothing? How can I be nothing? Where do I rest my identification with now?” Advaita is great to hold onto for years as our new identification, but even that has to be discarded in the end, recognised and thrown away as words pointing to other words. Nothingness is prior to language, it is not anything to grab onto.”
Now for those of us who are ready for a simple and clear ultimate shortcut, this is always the already and always “zero step” by John Wheeler - Awakening to the Natural State
"Basically, there is nothing apart from the presence-awareness that you are right now. All seeking and understanding comes back to the seeing of this. Approaching this involves no time, path or practice. And, contrary to popular belief, there is no deepening or improving. Nor is there any need for awakening or embodying. What you are is fully present or awake now. Since there is no individual, as such, there is no one who needs to embody anything or bring the understanding into life. There is nothing to surrender or let go of because there is really no one or nothing present who can do any such thing. It is just a simple recognition of the obvious that was overlooked. That is about it in a nutshell."
As a closing step, you may enjoy to hear this piece again and again by Adyashanti:
“99% of what the people are doing to wake up is reinforcing the dream state, it is shocking! All paths do not all lead to the truth. All paths lead away from the truth, what about that? The path is already here!”