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  • Writer's pictureJen

Buddha and the Boring Dinner Guest

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

As we move into the possibility of a completely new experience of Reality, it can be helpful to examine some of the terms that we become attached to that block our ability to make this shift. This leads to a new type of language based in a different way of connecting. For example, a good first step is to open our minds beyond a “spiritual”understanding of “God” or Reality (which are actually one and the same) to an understanding that is rooted in the experience of Reality as it actually is. The reason that this is important is even a well-intentioned term like “spirit” or “spiritual” can end up becoming a concept that blocks our ability to experience Reality with our senses instead of our minds. This is all about moving beyond experiencing everything (even ourselves) mainly through the lenses of concept, expectation, and assumption - all activities of the intellect.

Many have transitioned from considering themselves “religious” to considering themselves “spiritual” as they move to a truer understanding of themselves. This transition has been a solid step towards greater awareness. Now, as we continue on this progression, it can be helpful to release attachment to the term “spirituality” and learn how to be more focused on experience and less focused on language.

The reason this can be a good evolutionary step is that the use of the term “spiritual”, although it comes with a lot of enjoyable things, also tends to come with baggage - leftovers from our old habits of thought that were based in religious principles. So, in this movement from one understanding to another (from the “religious” to the “spiritual” and possibly now to “consciousness”), it is helpful to keep the enjoyable and root out and leave behind the baggage. Like the term “religious”, “spiritual” has started to invite certain habits prevalent in the old dualistic reality (illusion) that actually preclude us from being able to experience the truth of Reality/God.

An example of one of these old habits is feeling as though the “spiritual” is separate from everyday activities. Once we understand that this whole Reality is created in the substance of consciousness, it becomes impossible to separate everyday reality from the “spiritual” since the “spiritual” *is* consciousness - it is all one and the same. No one/nothing escapes consciousness (even if there is little to no awareness) because everything is consciousness. An integration of everyday activities with this kind of awareness is one of the bigger challenges of the transition that we are currently undergoing.

Another example of the old habits of religiosity that have carried forward into spirituality is feeling as though we are part of a “special” group if we are “spiritual” or feeling as though we are more “enlightened” (thus supporting the dualistic principle of superior/inferior). This, too, becomes bizarre when we realize that everything is happening in consciousness. The journey we are really on is not to be more spiritual or religious than everyone else - but to learn how to fully allow the experience of who and what we really are. To awaken to Reality’s true nature. And to be able to experience that (and ourselves) in a completely different way - through senses that have been dormant for some time and so feel new to us. When we do this, the whole idea of duality in any form (enlightened/unenlightened, superior/inferior) falls away because duality does not exist at a different level of awareness and experience. When we do this, our ways of communicating will also change.

Which brings us to conceptions of “God” that still persist in spirituality-based paradigms (even “New Age” paradigms). Conceptions that are reflected in questions like: If there’s a God, why didn’t “He” interrupt the Holocaust? Why doesn’t “He” interrupt other forms of suffering? Inherent in these questions are assumptions about “God”, about ourselves, and about Reality itself. These assumptions preclude us from even asking the right questions because the questions themselves become limited and defined by our conceptions about what we believe Reality (God, Source) is. This means that the best that we can do is to experience God (and Reality and ourselves) through projection of the assumptions that we hold in the intellect. We think things like, “No decent human being would allow that suffering to continue if they felt they could do anything about it”. So, since “God” does allow it, we are left with limited options like: 1) God doesn’t care, 2) God doesn’t exist, or 3) God is so mysterious and above it all that we can’t possibly know how He makes decisions like this. However, these limited options are not real experiences of God or Reality. They are once again rooted in assumptions, expectations, and conceptions, which only exist in the mind. In other words, our experience and understanding of God will be limited by our own level of awareness, and we will continue to limit our experience and understanding through this projection. It all becomes a giant self-sustaining feedback loop and blinds us to the part that we play in experiencing and creating our own Reality. We interact with and experience our projections instead of Reality/God itself.

It is also easy to fall into old habits when we think our ourselves as spiritual when it comes to deciding what it would be like to meet an “advanced being”. This reminds me of an acquaintance who once said that although they admired the Buddha, they could never have him over for dinner because it would be so boring. This is, of course, a common perception of “God” or “Buddha” - based on a perpetuation of limited allowance of the experience of these types of beings. And, this limitation of experience would extend to the experience of Reality (in its purest form) as well.

In other words, a boring dinner with the Buddha would be the result of a person trapped in their limited and limiting echo chamber of conception, expectation, and assumption about what it means to be the Buddha. It speaks to a conception of the experience of “good” beings as beings who follow certain rules of “goodness” instead of an actual experience of those beings. And following rules is indeed quite boring - but following rules is not how a being steps into full experience and becomes a “Buddha”. In other words, this person would be experiencing their expectations of what the Buddha would be like rather than actually experiencing the Buddha. This would also likely reflect how they predominantly experience themselves, others, and any other parts of Reality.

Overall, when we start to step away from spiritual or religious conceptions of God, Buddha (or your preferred terms), and Reality, we can start to open ourselves up to the actual experience of these topics. And, that actual experience takes place in and arises from consciousness. It is the stuff of which everything we observe is made. This is why we are being invited to step into practices like mindfulness and meditation - so that we are able to learn how to allow the flow of experience more easily and more naturally through our lives - so that we can reacquaint ourselves with the senses that this requires. When we do this, we will see how there is a constant, dynamic flow of experience at all times - that this is the purest form of consciousness that we can experience. It is our presence in this way, based in a different connection to Reality, that can end up changing everything for ourselves and for others.

When we are in touch with ourselves in this way, assumptions, conceptions, and expectations fall away. When we are in touch with ourselves in this way, having the Buddha over to dinner would be anything but boring. In fact, if we were in touch with ourselves in this way, we’d be the Buddha, too. And then again, no one would be “the Buddha” because that, too, is a kind of conception. So, that conception would fade and anyone meeting anyone else would just be in each other’s company - experiencing the All-That-Is through each other. This kind of experience requires no terms because it takes place outside of conception - outside of anything that could be described. This is the new type of communication. With all of the people seeking amazing experiences, this is the one that at heart, we are all truly desperately craving - the experience of the dynamic flow of consciousness in its purest form through our awareness - through our new senses. This is how we get to know who we really are.

Ultimately, there never will be a term that will be *the* definitive term to describe what we typically think of as the religious, the spiritual, and consciousness. Spoken and written language is limited in its ability to describe these phenomena because it attempts to describe these through conception. When we see past conception, we are grounded in pure experience of Reality - which is its own type of language. Terms can be convenient for communication, but when we replace experience of reality with terms, we have now limited our experience of All-That-Is. So, each time we let go of a term, we get a little closer to this realization. We learn how to hold terms lightly on our journey to allowing the full experience of this Reality we are living - or the full experience of any Buddha we might happen to meet, including, perhaps, ourselves.


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