We often begin our spiritual journey because we’re at the end of our rope. We seek ways to avoid our discomfort. Unfortunately, when our practice centers itself around seeking we find that our progress along the path is continually blocked.
Authentic spiritual work helps us shift our perspective in radical ways, especially when it comes to seeking. Rather than our meditation helping us to develop the strength necessary to hang to our rope, so to speak, with greater efficiency, we find that our sitting practice helps us let go of the rope entirely. This isn’t comfortable. But all awakened beings have developed a quiet peace around this letting go as they’ve dealt with their tendency to cling. Awakened beings see that seeking itself presupposes a loss of something. Awakened beings know that nothing has ever been missing.
As this process unfolds we begin to see that certain guideposts show up. First, we see that our practice unfolds as an expression of our identity. We look to become “good Buddhists” or “good Christians,” rather than being Buddhas or Christs. This orientation is about safety and understanding and manifests as the surface of our personal consciousness. Second, we uncover varying degrees of resistance. It’s here that we can begin to actually feel our preferences and attachments. This level of our awareness shows us the interior of our personal consciousness. Third, we begin to lose our need to understand, to gain anything, or avoid anything. There is a peace and an openness that arises out of a felt sense of being rather than a conceptual framework for uncovering some kind of gain.
Integrating all of this allows us to begin to reorient ourselves, and our living, from a place of release rather than from a place of certitude. Seeking ends here allowing us to rest as finders.