When we break through the artificial barriers between self and other, and our awareness somehow leaps forward, out beyond our natural attachment to ego identity, then immediately we realize that consciousness or awareness is not limited to a particular point… it’s not you or me… it’s everywhere, permeating everything. We come to see that there is nothing to attain, there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do. Wow! It’s just all here, It’s all out, It’s all manifest and It’s all shining. And at the same time we realize that all this fleeting world is like a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream, a dew drop, a flash of lightening in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom and a dream … these are the words of any Awakened Mind.
Whether it happens because we were doing Sufi Dancing, or transcending the Torah, or doing deep zazen, when we become free of our attachment to our separated sense of ego identity the Awakened Mind always has the same realization. It doesn’t matter where or when this realization comes. It doesn’t matter what continent, planet or galaxy this realization arises. Once where ready to let our attachment to our personal identity die, anyone and everybody can have this kind of intimate experience of Universal Mind.
I call this the “Penultimate Experience of the Awakened Mind.” Penultimate means it’s prior to ultimate… laughing… The Ultimate experience is to have this realization, get up from this cushion and Live It!
To live in this world, with this kind of awareness and freedom and open-heartedness, and therefore meet the trials and tribulations of living this particular and peculiar life, with so much more spaciousness means that we are free to be caring, mindful and loving in our daily lives… that’s the ultimate.
So how do we get to the penultimate of the awakened mind by using this particular path of zazen? It’s really simple and yet hard to do.