Suffering is the result of a fundamental misunderstanding of who we are as human beings. Who are we? We are beings who know the mind, body and world through a pure and simple knowing. In other words, all that we know is known through the knowing of it. Take a moment to see that you know nothing outside this aware presence that knows everything. For example, right now the words on the screen are known through seeing them—and the essential nature of seeing is the knowing of what is seen. And we can experiment and see that all of our senses have this essential knowing element through which everything is known. The hearing that we are knows sounds. The seeing knows the seen. The sensing that we are, knows sensation.
Continuing this line of experiencing everything through the knowing of it, we know our thoughts through this awareness that knows them. I invite you to take a moment to see if this is true in your experience. Wait now for the next thought that will arise….How did you know that thought? You knew it through the awareness that you are and the knowing element of awareness that is already and always present, aware and knowing. Could you know any thought outside of this knowing presence that knows thoughts as they arise in you, awareness? No. Every thought we know is known by this knowing awareness. No other way.
Now that we see and feel who we truly are—this knowing awareness—see that there is no suffering in the simple knowing of all experience. Whether it is feeling sad, the pain of a toothache or laughing at your dog playing in the snow. The knowing awareness that you are knows all these experiences with no suffering. Awareness knows the entire and full range of all experience AND has no agenda, no preference, no resistance, no story. So, see that there is no suffering in this knowing awareness that we are.
Why, then, do we suffering? Because we don’t walk through the day’s experience abiding as this open, no-preference awareness that is our essential nature. No, we walk through our day–and our entire life–in a false identity that can only suffer. It’s this misidentification of who we are in our essential nature that is the root of suffering.
We suffer because the awareness that we are gets mixed with thoughts. Thoughts have long ago created a “me” that we have mistaken ourselves to be. We have an idea, a concept that who we are is a story, a history, a separate object, a self that is living this life. Once we take on this “me identity” it brings into us–pure and knowing experiencing–the agenda, preferences, resistance and story that make up suffering and make us suffer.
If we lift off this false self called me and abide as the aware presence we are, then life lightens and thoughts are experienced as thoughts and not truth. This is the liberation that an examined (spiritual) life offers.
So, relax, breathe deeper, and let go of who you have taken yourself to be and fall into the unbound, spacious, quiet awareness that knows all experiences as they arise in us, awareness. Abide here as the awareness you are and enjoy living beyond the unnecessary habit of suffering.