Why and What are you seeking?
The Buddha is reported to have said that 'life is suffering' (or discontentment), and it seems that many people begin their spiritual journey in an attempt to alleviate some form of suffering, discontent, or feelings of a lack of love or happiness. Most people, however, are unaware of their personal suffering; their sense of deficiency, their loss of value or purpose, their hurtful beliefs, and their disconnection from their true self. Often it takes a great loss, depression, or other shock to provoke the active process of spiritual seeking.
But to the seeker who is still asleep, and in their sleep is searching restlessly for an end to the sense of separation, there appears to be a chasm between that state and liberation. Liberation seems like a marvelous prize to be attained, promising blissful feelings, freedom from pain and suffering, an end to all problems, perhaps magical powers and of course the jealous admiration of your friends. This is why the search for liberation can be so desperate and the question 'Will I get it?' so powerful.
~ Pamela Wilson
But suffering is just one way to understand the impetus for seeking. Many folks simply sense that there's something more, beyond the familiar world of personality and material existence or perhaps they've had a direct personal moment outside of the realm of ordinary human experience. Genuine curiosity to know the truth of who you are, the truth about reality, may evidence a more instinctual drive for enlightenment or evolution. Sufi poets often point to listening to the constant call from the Beloved to return home, to respond to love's call, the call of God. So all of you who are reading these words are part of a small minority of folks who started seeking. If your motivation isn't yet clear this might be an opportune time for reflection.
If you ARE a spiritual seeker then chances are very good that you have read numerous spiritual books by numerous spiritual teachers. You have probably attended Talks, satsangs, retreats, conferences and meetings of various kinds.
If you have a computer you will have undoubtedly surfed to websites, YouTube videos and webcasts. The result of all this is a dizzying cacophony of conflicting claims, concepts and ideologies.
There are literally thousands of teachers, some living, others long dead. One tells you it is all a dream, another assures you it is the only reality. One says you don't exist, another says you absolutely do. One tells you you can do nothing, another insists you create everything and yet another slides in between to confidently explain you can only do one thing...wake up.
Some take spiritual sounding names while others keep the names they were born with. Some dress in flowing, spiritual garb and others dress like ordinary people. Some are charismatic and charming, others are surly and unexceptional. Some insist that you must use your heart while others exhort you to use your mind. Some come from long established lineages, others assert that Enlightenment is a con. Nearly all warn about the dangers of the others.
Of course, as a spiritual seeker, you have already seen all this. You don't need me to tell you it is a jungle out there. You have likely wrestled with the questions of who is telling the truth and who isn't? Who is a genuine teacher and who is a poser? In the hope that you may derive the same benefit I received, I offer you the words of my guru, Ramesh S. Balsekar. He said, "the false guru and the genuine guru arise from the same Source." For me it was a potent pointer to the underlying perfection of it All.
~ Wayne Liquorman
The world is full of seekers whose identity is wrapped up in seeking wisdom, truth, or enlightenment. This is basically the same as seeking riches, beauty, fame, love, or recognition. The purpose of all of these identifications is to fill emptiness. But if you could look at the situation with complete sincerity, if you could just see what is really there without the props, you would give yourself a little chance of finding true intrinsic meaning.
~ A.H. Almaas
Seeking ends when the fish understand the folly of searching for the ocean.
~ Wu Hsin
The guest is inside you, and also inside me; you know how the sprout is hidden inside the seed. We are all struggling; none of us has gone too far. Let your arrogance go, and look around inside.
God dwells in you, as you, and you don't have to 'do' anything to be God-realized or Self-realized, it is already your true and natural state. Just drop all seeking, turn your attention inward, and sacrifice your mind to the One Self radiating in the Heart of your very being.
~ Ramana Maharshi
Love is like Mercury - Ungraspable. It rests in the silence of the Heart like the Sun at the core of the galaxy. Be quiet and It seeks you until there is no difference between seeker and sought. Only the thrill of Oneness remains. So ask it, "Who are you?"
~ Pamela Wilson
The very desire to seek spiritual enlightenment is in fact nothing but the grasping tendency of the ego itself, and thus the very search for enlightenment prevents it. The "perfect practice" is therefore not to search for enlightenment, but to inquire into the motive for seeking itself. You obviously seek in oder to avoid the present, and yet the present alone holds the answer: to seek forever is to miss the point forever. You always already are enlightened Spirit, and therefore to seek Spirit is simply to deny Spirit. You can no more attain Spirit than you can attain your feet or acquire your lungs.
~ Ken Wilber
A spiritual person and a materialistic person are both seeking the same infinite. One is seeking it consciously, the other unconsciously.
You stop seeking when you realize that you already have what you’re looking for.
~ Francis Lucille
There seem to two kinds of searchers: those who seek to make their ego something other than it is, i.e. holy, happy, unselfish (as though you could make a fish unfish), and those who understand that all such attempts are just gesticulation and play-acting, that there is only one thing that can be done, which is to disidentify themselves with the ego, by realizing its unreality, and by becoming aware of their eternal identity with pure being.
After we have been on the path for a while, we discover that we have signed up, perhaps unwittingly, for a loss that will eclipse all of our losses: the death of our conditioned identities, which we have taken to be who we are. Not trusting yet that this death is the vehicle for the very transformation we long for, we flee from it in terror.
~ Jennifer Welwood
An impasse? Not really. How can there not be a seeker in this life? All living ordinarily means a seeker seeking something in life. How can there be an absence of a seeker? That is the problem. It is indeed the problem which is based on the illusion that one lives one's life, whereas the ineluctable fact is that 'we' are all being lived by life! Do we choose to be born, to grow old, to be well or ill, or to die? Do we choose to be born to particular parents, in a particular environment, with particular physical, mental and temperamental characteristics which factored together will determine the way we live? Of course not. Why then do we have the tenacity to believe that we live our lives the way we 'choose' to do? Do we really have any kind of volition? Or, are we being lived?
~ Ramesh Balsekar
Aesthetics wander shrine to shrine, looking for what can only come from visiting the soul. Study the mystery you embody.
~ Lalla (14th century)
I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teachings of my soul.
~ Rumi (13th century)
The biggest challenge for most spiritual seekers is to surrender their self importance, and see the emptiness of their own personal story. It is your personal story that you need to awaken from in order to be free.
First there is a seeker, a body-mind, a false I. Then there is a finder, a witness, universal consciousness. Finally what is revealed is what you are before being either.
~ Enza Vita
Peace is not some arduous journey but the instantaneous realization that there is nothing to get, nothing to change, nowhere at all to go. You are already there and the seeking of it is the obstacle.
~ Randall Friend
Seekers continue to practice all kinds of self-torture without realizing that such 'spiritual practice' is a reinforcement of the very ego that prevents them from their natural, free state.
~ Ramesh Balsekar
Some of us are seeking happiness where it is and as a result are becoming happier. And others are seeking it blindly in the world where it is not and are becoming more frustrated.
~ Lester Levenson
A general longing for liberation is only the beginning; to find the proper means and use them is the next step. The seeker has only one goal in view: to find his own true being. Of all desires it is the most ambitious, for nothing and nobody can satisfy it; the seeker and the sought are one, and the search alone matters.
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
All that is necessary to awaken to yourself as the radiant emptiness of spirit is to stop seeking something more or better or different, and to turn your attention inward to the awake silence that you are.
The true seeker never tires of being in satsang. They enjoy being vigilant and thus shine brighter and brighter as their being continue to absorb subtler and subtler truths. They delight in this inner refining until the ego is genuinely transcended. They alone secure their ever-lasting freedom.
We don't choose to be seekers; seeking chooses us, whether we like it or not. And then it makes of us what it will.
~ Fred Davis
My method has
You need only to stop.
Stop all your strategies and lastly,
Stop giving your thoughts
The authority to define
Who you are.
Simply allow what remains to
~ Wu Hsin
The seeker seeks unconditional love, believing that it's missing, and all the while this seeker is unconditionally loved.
~ Jeff Foster
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they have gotten lost.
~ Dalai Lama
Now don't think that awakening is the end. Awakening is the end of seeking, the end of the seeker, but it is the beginning of a life lived from your true nature.
Being pure openness
The search is over when you say so. You may think it comes from somewhere else but, really, the search is over when you say so; when you have had enough searching and you know that no matter what you achieve, it doesn’t give you the satisfaction you hoped it would. You may come to the conclusion that you ARE what you are searching for. And then, you may even settle in to it. And then you may even identify as that.
You have to see how strongly and how fervently you act out your beliefs of who you think you are; your behavior of what’s true and what’s not true. You have to see that what you’re saying all of the time is what you believe to be true. And then you have to realize that what you’re saying, you believe is more true than the absolute silence.
You’re saying the war is more true than the truth. You’re saying that everything that is obvious is more true than the silence. All the complaining, all the yearning, all the desire, all of the fulfillment, is more important and more true than God itself.
You could also say that all of our behavior, everything that we think is so true about the Life opposes, absolutely opposes, who we really are. As long as we are holding onto stuff that we think will get us somewhere, it’s actually opposing the clarity of being.
Always bring it back to who believes; who is holding this, who wants to cling to this, good and bad things. We cling to our self-improvement, we cling to our intelligence, we cling to the idea of security. And all of it opposes pure openness.
The person is in opposition to who you really are. That’s why I suggest noticing the person and leaving the person, in that moment. Which really means that in this particular moment I’m not really interested in what the mind is telling me I’m supposed to be interested in. I’m not interested in fixing the world, I’m not interested in being a better person, I’m not interested in being more spiritual. Let yourself rest. Let yourself be. Let yourself know that you are an infinite being, protected and loved. That’s real rest, knowing that you’re loved and protected, constantly. Just like the breath, every moment fresh, now and now and now. That’s connection. And it makes no difference in the world what the mind thinks about any of it.
~ Stuart Schwartz