Q.: What comes after the realization that there is no separate self? There still seem to be all the traumas and unresolved issues pulling the strings behind the scenes. It seems that whilst I haven’t got right to the heart of my wounds and get these healed, the suffering still goes on!
After seeing ‘no self’, life will continue to present us with the opportunities to recognize the reality of ‘being-ness and ‘no self’ IN ACTION – that is in the midth of all types of data (experiences, states, thoughts, perceptions, sensations, emotions, people, places, etc.) – including those perceived as ‘afflictive’. We don’t have to go looking for them to deal with them; they will find us – or, more accurately, they will simply arise. If we want to give meaning to this ‘process’, we could say ‘so that they can get seen through’…
MOMENT BY MOMENT there is this opportunity for the clear recognition that all data streams are essentially equal in nature – they all arise and disappear spontaneously (without anybody here or there to manage them) – and that they do not in any shape or form affect the presence or awareness (or however we want to put it) that is – inseparably and undeniably – ALSO present.
So life (‘the only guru you will ever need’) simply keeps providing opportunities for clear seeing. In fact everything that arrises IS this opportunity. Our suffering is, first and foremost, the residual tendency of resisting what IS. This resisting has been our very trying to manage our experiences – avoiding some, clinging to others – which is exactly the energy that keeps them ‘alive and looping’: Nothing can exist without energy.
What is being recognized is that there is another way: we can settle into the flow of life and allow everything to be as it is; as it comes and goes. Concepts that have been suggested in relation to this, such as ‘acceptance’, ‘non-resistance’, ‘surrender’ or ‘equanimity’ aren’t states to be cultivated – they arise naturally out of Clear Seeing. In the end, isn’t clear seeing all there really is?
We are likely to perceive that ‘afflictive states’ start to loose their grip, and that they appear to not hang around for so long. Life will continue to present these opportunities, self-releasing and resolving all energies. There is no getting out of it – we may as well enjoy the ride. There comes a point in this where we can’t really talk about ‘there being suffering’ anymore (to do so would be just an outdated way of looking), because everything just IS what it IS. And even if the idea of suffering should ever come up, it is simply seen for what it is. The label ‘suffering’ is seen as empty. And life is just happening.
“There’s just a mysterious, tacid understanding, and no more.” – Huang Po