your self-shining magnificence

This beautiful piece of wisdom was written by Michael A. Rodriguez, and published on his new website/blog at boundless awareness.com under the title One Bright Pearl. Please check out Michael’s site – his approach honours “both radical non-duality and the paths that emphasize the evolution of consciousness.” There’s a refreshing inclusivity, authenticity and articulate clarity about his writing. Highly recommended.


One Bright Pearl - http://www.boundlessawareness.org

One Bright Pearl

 
One of my favorite Zen sayings was by Hsuan-sha: “The whole universe is one bright pearl.” Another translation runs like this: “The entire world of the ten directions is a single shining [or ‘luminous’] jewel.” There are other versions, but I like these two variations the best.

I often think the entire dharma – and perhaps drama – is contained in this expression. It speaks to me. That statement could only have arisen from the awakened state, and in fact, most people are asleep precisely to the reality to which this statement points. If you could wake up to this one truth, you would wake up altogether.

Somehow, by the mysterious mechanism of memory, the unknowable self-luminous jewel of awareness seems to become shrouded by what we take to be the known. We essentially come to live in a claustrophobic prison of the known and do not see the absurdly obvious fact that the reality of boundless experience could not possibly be shining more luminously. As the writer Samuel Beckett once wrote, “habit is a great deadener.” Because of habit, which functions by way of the veiling power of memory, we start to live within the narrow confines of our routines and fall asleep to the radiance of Mind. Actually, Mind falls asleep and dreams within itself a limited world made of habit. It’s not personal. This falling asleep happens slowly over many years, and it begins to happen before we are conscious of the fact. Because of conditioning and education from the moment we’re born (and even before that in terms of cell memory), it creeps up on us below the threshold of conscious awareness and solidifies as cognitive structures of experience in exactly the same way that hypnotic suggestion works.

The other main problem is that you, boundless awareness, have been conditioned to dwell with your attention in the human world of limited concepts. To wake up to the fact that you are already limitlessly shining in all directions as one bright pearl, try taking your attention off the human realm and contemplate, instead, the fact that “the universe” literally has no beginning or end. Ever since I was a child, this contemplation has always produced in me a rapturous wonder. Just think about it. Right now, human beings are running around as though they know what this whole thing is, as though we exist in a limited world that has boundaries and borders and edges. But it doesn’t! I’m not speaking mystically or poetically here. It’s literal. How could there possibly be more freedom? The universe (from which your body-mind is not separate) does not begin or end somewhere. It’s immensurable in exactly the same way that a nighttime dream is immeasurable. How much “space” does a nighttime dream take up? I hope you got the point with my rhetorical question!

Now, whatever this is obviously has a self-aware quality that shines as the fact of conscious knowing. I say “self-aware” because since it does not have any limits, there can’t be anything “outside” it to be aware of it. The limitless totality, therefore, is simply self-aware and shining as the limitless totality of experience. In other words, it’s a limitless subjective experience to awareness itself that does not contain a single object. Not one. Why? Because “objects” have to have limits (otherwise they would not be knowable), but objects are inseparable from the limitless environment. “Objects” are illusions of memory.

The fact is that you only ever experience yourself as one bright pearl. You as boundless awareness are the most precious jewel that could ever be. Try contemplating this fact over and over again until you wake up to your self-shining magnificence. To say that “it’s not far from you” is a severe understatement; it is you.

– Michael A. Rodriguez


Image and text from boundlessawareness.org

Gratitude!


 

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7 thoughts on “your self-shining magnificence

    • Roger – thank you for your generous comment! I bow in our mutuality…
      And thank you too, for sharing Michael’s wisdom on your own beautiful cyber garden.
      Love and blessings always – ml

  1. Michael Rodriguez’s words ring true — “Somehow, by the mysterious mechanism of memory, the unknowable self-luminous jewel of awareness seems to become shrouded by what we take to be the known.”

    I read the following just recently, from Nisagadatta Maharaj, which echoes Rodriguez’s words — “What prevents you from knowing yourself as all and beyond all, is the mind based on memory… It is memory and anticipation that create problems of attainment and avoidance, colored by like and dislike.”

    Here is another bit from Nis that resonates: “Each seeker accepts, or invents, a method which suits him, applies it to himself with some earnestness and effort, obtains results according to his temperament and expectations, casts them into the mould of words, builds them into a system, establishes a tradition and begins to admit others into his ‘school of Yoga.’ It is all built on memory and imagination. No such school is valueless, nor indispensable; in each one can progress up to a point, when all desire for progress must be abandoned to make further progress possible. Then all schools are given up, all effort ceases; in solitude and darkness the last step is made which ends ignorance and fear forever.”

    • Bev – thank you for your rich contribution! The last sentence … such powerful truth – “Then all schools are given up, all effort ceases; in solitude and darkness the last step is made which ends ignorance and fear forever.” Just so.
      Love and blessings always…

  2. Joan Tollifson writes:
    I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce all of you to a dear friend of mine, Michael A. Rodriguez, who has just started teaching. He has made some videos that I find very powerful which you can find on his website, and he is now offering private meetings and on-line group events. He points you directly to your True Nature as nondual boundless awareness, and his expression includes both the path of negation and the path of inclusion, recognizing and honoring both the absolute truth of what is always whole and complete and the relative truth of the progressive or evolutionary journey. He beautifully illuminates the emptiness and the fullness, the oneness and the uniqueness of everything. Michael has been on a long spiritual journey that has included Zen Buddhist practice, retreats with Toni Packer, working with a Sufi teacher, a long-time resonance with Nisargadatta Maharaj and with the Christian mystics, living for several years in a Christian monastery while earning a degree in theology and comparative religion, and in more recent years, deep encounters with the teachings of Rupert Spira and Mooji—and above all, his own firsthand exploration and discovery. Michael now lives in California, in the Bay Area. I recommend him highly and encourage all of you to check out his website: http://www.boundlessawareness.org/.

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