Commentary by Richard Lang
Point with one index finger outwards at the world, and with your other index finger point inwards towards your no-face.
The finger pointing outwards points at a scene full of countless shapes and colours. It’s a complicated picture. The more time you spend looking at it, the more there is to see. And most of it is hidden – obscured by other things in one way or another.
The view in is different. Here the space is not hidden at all. You can see it all, all at once. In the photograph I can see only part of the room in the distance, but here I see all of the space. There is nothing more to view here, nothing concealed. Nor is this being that I am here – and that you are here (I suggest) - remote in any way. It is right here, it is what I am. It is the ‘part’ of me that I can never lose. What could be simpler than seeing this – and being this? It is uncomplicated, transparent, open to inspection, nearer than near, given in its entirety…
Is this Who you really are? Are you empty of everything, and at the same time capacity for this endlessly changing view out, room for this amazing world? To find out, just look. Seeing the space here is simpler than simple.
Application in lifeHaving seen that you are capacity for the world, the next time you are in a complicated or confusing situation, attend to that situation from this capacity, this clearness. Two-way attention: confusing situation there to clarity here. You are not a thing caught up in the situation but are capacity for everything going on. The clarity here is not affected by the confusion there. You can be awake to and rest in the clearness and simplicity that is your innermost being. As you attend to situations from this clarity, the right responses will flow. Gradually, through experience, you come to trust this depth that you are. Appearances are set against other appearances, and are so limited in their resources, but you – Who you really are – are not an appearance. You are not a thing up against other things but the space that takes all things in, the depth from which the world flows.
Begin to develop the habit of being awake to the space you are looking out of, the space you are in fact already living from. In challenging situations, notice you are room for those situations. Give your True Identity the opportunity to come up with a response.
Two-way attention is practical. The solution to challenging situations or problems comes from being consciously open to the One who, after all, invented those challenging situations!
Douglas Harding:You have actually seen, by carrying out such exercises in basic attention, what it is to be 1st-person singular - the No-thing that is nevertheless keenly aware of Itself as the Container or Ground of the whole display. This seeing is believing. Altogether unmystical (in the popular sense), it is a precise, total, all-or-nothing experience admitting of no degrees - so long as it lasts. Now your task is to go on seeing your Absence/Presence in all situations, till the seeing becomes quite natural and continuous. This is neither to lose yourself in your Emptiness nor in what fills it, but simultaneously to view the thing you are looking at and the No-thing you are looking out of. There will be found no times when this two-way attention is out of place or can safely be dispensed with. The price of sanity is vigilance. The Science of the 1st Person, Douglas Harding
See Solving Problems by Douglas Harding
& Handling Problems by David Lang
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Comments on this experiment
QuotationsThere is a place where all problems have but one universal solution. Anandamayi Ma
The answer to your problem is to see who has it. Ramana Maharshi
Above all, this meditation, Janus-like, faces both ways. Simultaneously looking in at the Seer and out at the seen, it takes in and makes sense of the seen because it puts No-thing in its way - and gives priority to this No-thing. Seek the 1st person and the 3rd shall be added. Seek the 3rd, and even that shall be taken away. D.E. Harding
Most of our tensions and frustrations stem from the compulsive need to act the role of someone we are not. Dr. Hans Selye
CommentsSeeing is simple - it is looking simultaneously into the nothingness where one is and into the world. These words appear to break up and complicate something which is simpler than simple. It is so simple that anyone can 'do' it - because we are already living from this. It's a matter of noticing it. R.L. UK
Just notice what is visible, and what is not visible, and stay with that for a while. Be curious about the "invisible" part, which is the part that feels like "I". Don't expect an emotional state shift (though there could be one, but it's not necessary). J.A. USA
You asked whether I use a particular technique when 'expanding attention to include the source'. For me, this means looking into the nothingness again. And how do I do that?
I look at that place above my chest where others see my face. 'The place I'm looking out of'. And I keep looking. I notice I am not looking out of anything. No eyes here, nothing at all.
Simplicity itself. It's an overlooked place, a 'terra incognita'. Seeing is about re-awakening to this 'place'. Sometimes a phrase might help me - 'the single eye', 'two-way looking', 'being nothing', 'being capacity'. It changes from time to time, and often I have no particular phrase.
I don't make an effort to stop thinking. The nothingness is empty of everything, including thought, and awakening to it means awakening to absolutely quiet 'mind', to no-mind. It is absolutely peaceful here. Then what usually happens is that my unquiet mind naturally settles down. Not because I'm trying to manipulate it. I'm simply awake to this absolutely peaceful place, and this has an effect on my mind.
In fact, the nothingness and thinking go together well. Thoughts, after all, come out of the nothingness.
Am I 'doing' something when I see? It's a matter of language, of words. I am not overlooking the nothingness. I am directly looking here into this 'space'. But, of course, who is seeing the nothingness? The nothingness itself! R.L. UK
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