Discover more from Timeless Luminosity Newsletter
2022, October, Issue 15
Sometimes people have amazing spiritual experiences that can change their lives completely. With my Near Death Experience in 2016, that was the case. With my Near Death Experience in 2021, that was not the case. Why is this?
As a Spiritual Practitioner, my NDE in 2016 came at the perfect time. In my life, I had always been very interested in science, religion and spirituality. At every turn, I plunged in completely, wanting to learn to the full extent of what was being taught. I carefully examined everything that came my way, discarding some things, adopting others as they proved to be true or useful. An appreciation of all religions and science developed. I was interested in truth. I wanted to know where I was and what would happen with this life, and eventual death. Eventually, this led to Buddhism.
I had prepared myself for death in this way, by relentless spiritual inquiry and meditation. I found myself studying books on every subject, attending many Buddhist retreats, learning how to practice meditation, looking at mind, preparing for death in that way. I wanted to know just what is going on here. Chaos theory, the quantum, mystical texts, all became essential, not just a passing curiosity. Some of the retreats that I attended involved Phowa or Guru Yoga, involving some very essential knowledge for what happens when we die, or when we live. In time, I had become a Dzogchen practitioner; however, I had not yet attained great confidence in that. This needed to happen through direct experience, not concept or belief. I suppose this is why I point to belief and intellect as something that gets in the way, not as something we need.
So, with Dzogchen, the principle is for mind getting into the Nature of Mind. It’s not a philosophy, a religion or a school. The practice is 24/7, where the practitioner becomes more and more accustomed to awakening. This starts when someone first recognizes the Nature of Mind through direct experience, then spends time practicing with this knowledge. It’s not conceptual practice, it’s being present in this realization of our real condition, directly experiencing our Real Nature.
This differs from other forms of meditation, because we don’t really do anything. We simply acknowledge appearances or experiences, being present in that awareness. We remain in that condition, for a little while or more, depending upon our capacity, increasing that awareness as our capacity increases. We remain in that, not clinging to any thought or idea, or belief. It is not a practice of mind, it is a practice of the Nature of Mind.
Mind is anything that we might think. The Nature of Mind is our real condition. All Buddhist practices lead to awakening equally, even though there is much debate and confusion about it, even among many Buddhists. I should add that all spiritual traditions actually help us to awaken, as well, if the foundational structure of those traditions are love and compassion. Awakening is not dependent upon any tradition in particular. It is only dependent upon each of us simply opening our heart and mind completely to what is, as it is.
So, when I died in 2016, what remained in my Spiritual Practice was attaining great confidence. I had already recognized the Nature of Mind. I had definitively decided upon this unique state. What remained was becoming unshakably certain of this condition. When I died, this became obvious, beyond any shadow of a doubt, I became certain.
When I died in 2021, while undergoing another heart procedure, I simply remained present in the energetic dimension, aware of my body, not concerned in the least. I would accept whatever happened. This second experience did not change my life in the least. I was already completely confident about our real condition. I simply remained present amid these appearances of mind.
This is the proper attitude to take with all appearances. Maybe we have some amazing mystical experience in our dreams or daily life. Instead of clinging to that, simply acknowledge that experience, sort of matter-of-factually, and keep going with your Spiritual Practice. There’s no need to try to recreate such experiences, just be glad that they happened, and continue. It is your own mind that created this for you. Feel good about that, but don’t let it become an obstruction. No matter how profound something might seem, it is still only mind.
If our goal is to awaken, or to discover truth, then clinging to an experience is to remain in doubt. Experiences of mind can only ever be something we fabricate, something we create for the purposes of reifying reality. This is not the same as having the direct experience of the Nature of Mind. If we reify our experiences, we miss what is, as it is.
Contemplate mind as you awaken. It is important to realize how we think, just what that might be, as it is. As it is. Awakening is possible when we become open to what is, as it is.