Before the first move, we’re typically preoccupied with trying to get what we think we want from the things “out there.” We try to change our circumstances, our partner, our work, our house, etc., to conform to our desires.
Unfortunately, no matter what we do, our ever-shifting desires keep moving satisfaction seemingly beyond our reach. We inevitably find ourselves suffering anxiety and frustration as we struggle with our lives.
Then we may ask “what causes different people to experience similar circumstances so differently?” “Why do I get upset at some event this time but not another time?” We might start to realize that it’s not “the world out there” that is really causing us to suffer or be content.
This fundamental realization is the first move toward liberation, and inspires spiritual and psychological work. We start to move our attention within and explore how we might bring more peace, love, and satisfaction to life. Changing ourselves becomes the new priority. This work can profoundly transform our experience of life as we become more self-aware.
However, we also find our habits of dissatisfaction, frustration, and anxiety show up in this new arena. We can’t seem to make “negative” thoughts stop or uncomfortable feelings disappear. We might even find ourselves becoming more self-conscious rather than self-aware.
Then we might ask “how can I expect to control the flow of thoughts and feelings when I can’t find their source?” “Also, where is the damage when a thought or feeling moves through awareness?”
We start to realize that we can directly experience whatever thoughts and feelings show up without needing to make a problem out of them. This nondual realization liberates us from the struggle of self-improvement.
This second move immediately dissolves the experience of a spiritual path and brings us to the end of our seeking. We find ourselves perfectly at ease in this moment, in our natural state, with no need to get anywhere.
Maybe in another moment we find ourselves thinking once again “that things need to be different,” but now we can allow that thought to just happen as it does, offering no resistance, even to any thought or feeling we might call “resistance.” We find ourselves falling open, completely available to whatever is happening, free of any need or compulsion.
~ by Adam Chacksfield, of the Center for Nondual Awareness.