I was always a truth seeker. In my youth I was drawn to all things spiritual, religious, esoteric or philosophical – anything that spoke to the mystery of life. For a long time these interests were very eclectic, but in my teens I discovered the teachings of the Buddha and the concept of spiritual enlightenment which became the focus of my search.
In my early twenties an intractable dilemma in my personal life triggered an profound insight to the non-conceptual nature of Truth and demonstrated the limitations of the intellectual pursuit of knowledge. In the wake of this I began what turned out to be a 20+ year practice of Transcendental Meditation and marked a period of intense spiritual growth.
Throughout these years I meditated daily, attended countless retreats and lived, worked, and studied at meditation centres and ashrams, essentially devoting my life to the pursuit of spiritual knowledge and experience. This was a spiritually fruitful time for me, bringing about ever-deepening understanding and insight about my essential nature and the nature of reality. Even so, I still experienced periods of depression and was afflicted by feelings of incompleteness.
Around 2008 I found myself being increasingly drawn to Advaita, Satsang and Self-inquiry which I felt were more direct approaches to Self knowledge. And over the next few years I was fortunate enough to discover and recognise teachings and teachers such as Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Papaji, and many more who spoke to my deepening intuitive understanding. With the help of contemporary awakened teachers such Adyashanti, Mooji, Pema Chödrön, Eckhart Tolle, Gangaji, Wayne Liquorman, and many others, falsehoods fell away and I increasingly came to recognise the ubiquity of awareness in each and every moment.
But in early 2015 after decades of spiritual seeking and practice, I came to understand that despite it all I was powerless to bring about my own liberation. I found myself in a place of profound but unsatisfactory surrender.
At this time, after receiving a spiritual transmission, a radical shift occurred in my awareness. Suddenly I found that I was free from the delusion of separation and the constant seeking. I felt like I was seeing the world as it was for the first time, in its raw, naked state. The mental and conceptual filter through which I’d experienced life was gone, and with it all ‘knowing’.
Since then it’s been the obvious fact of my existence that the “I” that I am is consciousness, I am the Self; that I am, in fact, as we all are, the very thing that was being sought! There’s no individual being here, no separate self, no doer. As awareness itself I experience all phenomena rising and falling spontaneously in and as my own Being.
And yet, as they say, life goes on. The story continues, and events continue to unfold in unpredictable ways. Even though I know myself as formless, unconditioned awareness, this human body-mind has been adjusting, reorienting, integrating, healing…
Even now, perhaps especially now, the mystery and miracle of What Is is apparent. That this should be, fills me with wonder, gratitude and love. Even several years on, the implications of this liberation are still unfolding. This reality wasn’t at all what I anticipated. The simplicity and obviousness of it were unexpected. How could it be that the hardest thing in the world to recognise is that what we are seeking is simply this?