Essential Teachings

Ways of Knowing: The Four Points of Perennial Wisdom

  1. All life arises in and is an expression of the nondual Infinite Life that is called by many names: Ultimate Reality, God, Tao, Mother, Allah, YHVH, Dharmakaya, Brahman, and Great Spirit among others.
  2. You contain two ways of knowing the world: a greater knowing (called Atman, Soul, Self, Spirit, Presence, etc.) that intuitively knows each finite life as a unique manifestation of Infinite Life, and a lesser knowing (called self, ego, personality, etc.) that mistakes uniqueness for separateness and imagines itself apart from, rather than a part of Infinite Life.
  3. Awakening the Self and knowing the interconnectedness of all life in the singular Life carries with it a universal ethic that expresses compassion and justice toward all beings.
  4. Awakening to the Self and living this ethic is your Sacred Purpose.

The ordinary, familiar self with its lesser knowing can’t reliably allow or receive, release or surrender, behold or bless, forgive or show mercy. The greater knowing of the Self naturally receives and releases, beholds and blesses, forgives and is full of mercy. The Self is variously called Witnessing Awareness, the Natural State, True Nature. YOU ARE THIS. THIS PRESENCE awakens to itself in YOU.

Three Steps into the Greater Knowing of Witnessing Awareness:

  • First, Unhook from the foreground contents of consciousness and Step Back into the background spaciousness that receives these contents, Witnessing Awareness. This unhooking and stepping back from sensory or psychological content into Witnessing Awareness is the initial step of Mindfulness.
  • Second, Tune In through your bodily sensations to the Sacred Gaze, the Silence, the Space of Witnessing. Relax and Rest in this Awareness. This relaxed, embodied Awareness calms the lesser knowing of the egoic personality.
  • Third, rotate consciousness and invite the contents of consciousness to Turn and Look back at You. This rotation of consciousness, this turning and looking invites a realization of the Self, the opening of the Compassionate Heart. This realization takes place through Grace.
  • In summary: Unhook and Step Back, Tune In, Turn and Look.

Keep rotating consciousness, turning around from foreground contents to background Awareness. Be more interested in the silence and stillness of ever-receptive Awareness than the ever-changing content in the foreground of consciousness.

Recognize THIS AWARENESS AS WHO YOU ARE. Persevere in this recognition throughout the day: small moments, many times a day. Tune In and ask the body, “How is Awareness relating to the contents of this moment?” Recognize how this Inquiry calms the mind and opens the Heart.

This Awareness, this Presence is always already here; it’s within you, you’re within it. You don’t have to go anywhere, practice anything, or search to find it.

Awareness is the Silent Watcher, the Silent Listener, the Background Presence holding all foreground content, however difficult or delightful. THIS PRESENCE IS YOU. Unhook and Step Back, Tune In, Turn and Look into the greater knowing of this Presence. Let your Predicament look back at YOU. Let your Sorrow, your Fear, your Anger look at YOU. Let Failure, Guilt, or Shame look at YOU. Let each of the Joys and Delights of your life look at YOU. Everything Belongs in this Presence, without exception. In this Presence the greater knowing of the Compassionate Heart opens to THIS THAT YOU ARE.