Excerpts About Realization

Every realized human being continues to work on inner development. There is no end to the development and unfolding of Essence. This development proceeds by exposing more and more, perhaps in time very subtle aspects of the personality.
Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, p. 47   •  discuss »
Our potential is infinite, inexhaustible; hence there is always realization after any realization. You'll have all kinds of experiences, states, and conditions that may feel like an ultimate state of realization, but then that too keeps changing. In my understanding, the truest state of realization is that in which whenever you realize something, no matter what it is, you go beyond it. The moment you say this is it, you will get stuck with a concept, and tomorrow there will be something else. So the true state of realization is more of a lack of attachment to realization.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 78   •  discuss »
When the Absolute is realized, is really established, you can see the whole Universe emerge again, but emerge in a more real, more living, more organic way. The mind comes back, but comes back in true thinking. For the first time you understand what thinking is. The thinking, the mind that we thought was a problem for spiritual realization, which it was, is now redeemed and functions in a real way. We realize that there is true thinking, liberated mentation, where the thoughts themselves are an expression of love and peace and harmony. Then there is true feeling. There is true action. True thought. All redeemed.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 303   •  discuss »

Yet, from the realized point of view, all experiences, including the physical, are just waves in the ocean. From our limited view, spiritual experiences are miracles that come from some other, invisible dimension, but when we know the ocean—when we know reality directly and fully—we see how much more fundamentally real it is. This exposes the flimsiness of the ideas we have and reveals the truth that the individual consciousness is actually a personal expression of a vast ocean of reality. But to the person who is truncated from her essential ground, it seems like a miracle: “Oh, I had this opening . . . this amazing presence of light came, and I felt so wonderful . . .” We believe that it was an unusual event, that it was something other than what we are. The wave can awaken to her wateriness and the source of her existence in a more complete way. Experiencing the light is one thing. To awaken to it and recognize it as true, and to know it as one’s nature, is quite another. When the wave knows that the ocean is the source, this is realization. When the wave feels the ocean and experiences the wetness without knowing it and recognizing it, this is a spiritual experience that remains unexplainable, unknown, and unrealized. It is still part of the dream. It is not yet an awakening.


The Power of Divine Eros, p. 110   •  discuss »

We will begin by examining the dynamic of realization, which is the relationship between the practice of the individual and the unfolding of reality. Following this line of inquiry reveals various delusions of practice, each of which we will explore at some length. But in order to fully understand the significance of practice and realization, we need to look at the dynamic from both perspectives—that of the individual practicing and also that of reality living its life as individual practice. What allows our inquiry to become nimble enough to consider both perspectives at once is the view of totality, one of the wisdoms that emerges from the fourth turning of the wheel. The view of totality, which can entertain multiple views without having to attach to or be constrained by any of them, expands exponentially the power and the freedom of our inquiry.


Runaway Realization, p. 8   •  discuss »

What do we mean by realization? Generally, realization suggests progress on the path; more specifically, it refers to the nondual experience of our nature by being our nature, by recognizing that I and my nature are not two things, by knowing that I and my nature are one and the same. Many of the teachings of the Diamond Approach explore different facets of realization. We can experience our true nature, the purest nature of reality, as being authentic, being real, being what we are, being where we are, or being in the enlightened condition. For some years now, our teaching has been emphasizing that realization is not simply a matter of arriving at the condition of Being, arriving at the condition of being our true nature, arriving at the condition of pure presence or pure awareness or emptiness. Realization is not only a matter of learning about and experiencing the depth of true nature; it comprises how to live what we know, how to express it fully, and how to bring it to life. Living our realization is not other than realization. When we really learn to live our realization, we find that living our realization is not different from realization. Living the truth is not separate from the enlightenment or the awakening or the beingness. Living our realization is simply extending our realization into greater areas and further circumstances, moving from an experience to a lived actuality. So living our realization is realization realizing further and deeper and more complete realization.


Runaway Realization, p. 14   •  discuss »

When we fully explore what it means to live our realization, we discover that it means to practice uninterruptedly, to engage the work without cessation. Many people believe that realization signals the end of practice, the end of doing the work. We might think, “When I am realized, I won’t need to practice any longer; I can simply be.” When we are not realized, the situation appears that way. But from the perspective of realization, living is a matter of continual practice and continual engagement. This raises the question of the relationship between what we do on the path and the experience or the manifestation of freedom—in other words, the relationship between practice and realization. In this teaching that I am presenting, we want to understand practice from the perspective of realization, not from the perspective of nonrealization. Living our realization will bring about the recognition of continual practice from the perspective of realization. In the condition of realization, we discover that whenever we truly practice, our practice expresses realization even when we are not in the condition of realization, even before we consider ourselves realized, even before we have understood or recognized realization. This is the mystery at the heart of the relationship between the one who inquires and meditates and the beingness that simply erupts and says, “Here I am.”


Runaway Realization, p. 15   •  discuss »

There is a mysterious relationship between realization and the various activities that we engage in, the various postures that we take and practices that we do. We want to see and understand the relationship of practice to realization and, more fundamentally, to true nature and to reality in its totality. We want to understand the relationship of practice to reality as a whole, to reality in its completeness. To truly understand the relationship of practice and realization, we need to understand it from the perspective of total reality. One of the ways that the understanding of the relationship between practice and realization begins to unfold is through the recognition and appreciation that practice needs to be continual.


Runaway Realization, p. 25   •  discuss »

Love, compassion, kindness, and generosity change their function from being motivations for practice to becoming expressions of realization. They don’t disappear, they don’t lose their value; they simply become the way realization expresses itself. When we are realized, when we are in the condition of being truly what we are, we can’t help but be kind and loving and selfless. It is natural. It is not because we want to be that way or we think it’s a good idea—it just happens. Love and compassion are not what motivates us, not because there is no love and compassion, but because there is no motivation and no need for it. Action and functioning do not rely on any principle of motivation. The flow of the dynamism of reality happens naturally and is revealed as what we are.


Runaway Realization, p. 49   •  discuss »

So as I was asking questions and getting interested in studying various things, I believed that I was getting interested and that I was doing the inquiry. It turns out that the whole thing was the other way around. So my familiar idea of cause and effect was turned on its head. what is causing what? When I began, I felt that my practice, my work, was leading to realization and, at some point, I saw that it was the other way around—the realization was causing the practice. The realization, as it approaches consciousness, appears first as a practice that will realize the realization because that is how realization realizes itself. Even though now my view of reality was more accurate because of the realization, deeper inquiry showed that I had been appropriating not only the enlightenment drive but also the practice. And further, that I had been appropriating the realization by thinking that I was the cause of realization, that it was my efforts that led to realization. I saw that it was exactly the opposite—the realization caused the practice. The realization generated the questions and the issues and even the life situations and, not only that, but also the people I met and the books I read and the influences that appeared in my life. I saw that the enlightenment drive was what was making me interested in enlightenment, that it truly was the drive of enlightenment expressing itself as my particular practice, whether the practice was of meditation or inquiry. Enlightenment arises and, as it arises, it appears as a drive. The enlightenment drive embodies enlightenment, embodies realization. We get interested in realization precisely because realization is approaching, precisely because realization is manifesting itself.


Runaway Realization, p. 63   •  discuss »

On this path, many of the realizations that we learn about seem similar to the realizations of other teachings. We might begin to compare: “This teaching is deeper; that teaching has a different understanding of this dimension; this teaching is a more complete expression of that state.” These discriminations may be true and may contain useful knowledge but, at some point, we understand that it is not up to the individual to choose where to land or where to abide or what realization should manifest. Reality is bigger than the individual. Reality is an immensity, is a mystery, is a Living Beingness that is constantly manifesting and revealing its possibilities. This is why in the view of totality we see the different realizations as way stations. Saying that they are way stations is also not entirely accurate. It’s a useful formulation but, after a while, it is deceptive because it implies going toward a finite end. We might assume that the different realizations are stations on the way to some final destination. But the destination itself turns out to be a way station. All realizations are in fact way stations.


Runaway Realization, p. 82   •  discuss »

The individual soul matures and develops through life and experience and understanding. Its maturation reveals the essential person we call the pearl beyond price, the manifestation of the true individual instead of the ego individual. There is an essential person, and the essential person is a person of presence, a manifestation of presence. But the individual is a much bigger mystery than we know. There are realizations and truths about reality that are not apparent in the nondual condition. As we investigate and see the implications of the nondual dimension, we can transition to other forms of realization, which not only reveal the importance of the individual for any realization, but also reveal the intrinsic importance of the individual. It’s not only living presence and total nondual reality that need to be realized. That is not all of realization. The individual has his or her own importance. The view of totality shows that other forms of realization can reveal the individual in a different light, which is not evident in most teachings or most states of nonduality.


Runaway Realization, p. 108   •  discuss »

It is your realization and it is not your realization. It is not your realization because it is the realization of Living Being. It is your realization because you are practicing and it is your experience, not someone else’s. But you cannot own it or appropriate it. If you do, you disconnect yourself from the grace that gives you the capacity to practice. This appears as a paradox when you are standing on one end or the other—on the end of the individual or the end of Living Being. But the individual and living reality are two sides of one thing. So the practice moves from being practice that is self-centered and externally motivated, to practice with selfless motivation, to practice without any motivation at all. When you practice without any motivation, you naturally practice when living authentically and when engaging specific formal practices, and you come to recognize that it is not your realization. This is a very subtle and delicate recognition. You do need to acknowledge that it is your realization and, at the same time, you cannot appropriate that realization as the individual self.


Runaway Realization, p. 116   •  discuss »

As we understand this dynamic of realization, as we recognize and understand that our practice is the whole universe practicing, we begin to appreciate more directly the importance of not interfering with our experience, the importance of nondoing. It is not the individual who practices nondoing—it is reality itself. As Living Being perceives itself as an individual functioning, it misidentifies its own dynamism with individual activity. When it sees that this confusion has disconnected it from itself, Living Being simply ceases identifying with individual activity. Functioning happens without identification with a centered self. This is nondoing. As you see, I keep talking about a dynamic. This is because the view of totality is not a particular state; it is an understanding that can arise in many states, many dimensions, many kinds of realization. So we are exploring the living dynamic of realization. When I say “living,” it is because reality is dynamic and it is more than dynamic—it is alive. Alive means there is intelligence and growth and evolution. We are talking about force. We are talking about dialectic. Realization won’t happen without you practicing. I don’t necessarily mean sitting and meditating; I mean being open and interested in reality. When you are learning and evolving and maturing, that is practice. At the same time, realization won’t happen simply through practice. Practice and grace, the two sides of realization, both have to be there. And yet, they are not exactly two, nor are they simply one. What do you call the view that as you practice as an individual, the reality that pervades all time and all space is manifesting its truth? What do you call the view that your taking responsibility for your practice is reality intensifying its dynamism to reveal itself? Is it dual? Is it nondual? Which is more important, the individual or grace?


Runaway Realization, p. 119   •  discuss »

It is your realization and it is not your realization. It is not your realization because it is the realization of Living Being. It is your realization because you are practicing and it is your experience, not someone else’s. But you cannot own it or appropriate it. If you do, you disconnect yourself from the grace that gives you the capacity to practice. This appears as a paradox when you are standing on one end or the other—on the end of the individual or the end of Living Being. But the individual and living reality are two sides of one thing. So the practice moves from being practice that is self-centered and externally motivated, to practice with selfless motivation, to practice without any motivation at all. When you practice without any motivation, you naturally practice when living authentically and when engaging specific formal practices, and you come to recognize that it is not your realization. This is a very subtle and delicate recognition. You do need to acknowledge that it is your realization and, at the same time, you cannot appropriate that realization as the individual self.


Runaway Realization, p. 106   •  discuss »

We are seeing that realization doesn’t mean the end of delusion and, actually, that realization is not interested in believing that there is an end to delusions. True enlightenment recognizes that obscuration, ignorance, and delusion are always a part and a potential of reality. Being enlightened doesn’t mean that we know everything; it doesn’t mean that there is no further enlightenment. The dynamism of reality reveals further realizations by revealing ever-subtler delusions. runaway realization is the magic of reality beholding its own mysteries as possibilities of further realization. The view of totality engages everything and excludes nothing, not even delusion and ignorance.


Runaway Realization, p. 163   •  discuss »

So, which one is it? Is it you practicing and attaining realization or is it Living Being practicing and attaining realization? As you see, they are two sides of the same thing or, more precisely, one thing seen from two views. The individual needs to practice and, at some point, also needs to recognize that when he is practicing, it is living reality—Living Being—practicing, it is living reality applying its intelligence. Living reality is actually what manifests the individual soul. Living reality is what develops the individual soul, what ripens the individual soul. And it is what opens the individual soul to recognize its own realization. By opening the individual soul to recognize realization, Living Being lives its enlightenment consciously, with full awareness. It is your realization and it is not your realization. It is not your realization because it is the realization of Living Being. It is your realization because you are practicing and it is your experience, not someone else’s. But you cannot own it or appropriate it. If you do, you disconnect yourself from the grace that gives you the capacity to practice. This appears as a paradox when you are standing on one end or the other—on the end of the individual or the end of Living Being. But the individual and living reality are two sides of one thing. So the practice moves from being practice that is self-centered and externally motivated, to practice with selfless motivation, to practice without any motivation at all. When you practice without any motivation, you naturally practice when living authentically and when engaging specific formal practices, and you come to recognize that it is not your realization. This is a very subtle and delicate recognition. You do need to acknowledge that it is your realization and, at the same time, you cannot appropriate that realization as the individual self.


Runaway Realization, p. 116   •  discuss »

When we recognize and learn about this unstoppable activation, when our being is finally liberated and our consciousness freed, we see that living our realization means something entirely different from what we thought. In the beginning stages of awakening, living our realization has mostly to do with how we can bring the qualities and dimensions of being into our life, with how we can bring the features of our awakened condition to everyday life situations. But from the perspective of essential activation, living our realization is not a matter of bringing our particular mode of realization into our life or of integrating our life into it. It is more that realization itself can’t help but continue to live however it wants. Living realization means that realization continues to live, continues to grow and develop, and what realization is continues to change—it reveals new meanings and new content. The life of realization is runaway realization—realization realizing further realization.


The Alchemy of Freedom, p. 19   •  discuss »

This radically changes our view and understanding of realization. You are just as realized if you realize personal presence as you are if you realize the absolute emptiness of reality. Realizing pure presence is as significant as realizing love. Realizing personal will is as profound as realizing the essence of intelligence. Although seeing manifestations of true nature as hierarchical is easier for the human mind, once we experience the truth of nonhierarchy, reality opens in unimaginable ways. Nonhierarchy is definitely more difficult to understand and to experience, but it also carries the possibility of greater freedom. It not only allows us to feel the personal freedom of enlightenment, but it also frees enlightenment itself to discover further kinds of enlightenment.


The Alchemy of Freedom, p. 59   •  discuss »

We can also see that the full realization of any condition, such as presence or love or awareness—if it is complete and if we do not take the position that that is where we need to be—naturally moves on to another realization because of the inherent dynamism of true nature. So even though nothing else needs to happen, it can happen. And frequently, realization moves to further realization by revealing another facet of the self that hasn’t yet been recognized or by revealing our delusions or fixed ideas about reality. This might leave us wondering, “What does it mean for realization to be complete when it can move to another realization?” When I say that a realization can be complete, I mean that our experience and recognition and understanding of that one facet of reality is full and thoroughgoing; I don’t mean that it is complete in the sense that it is final and it is all there is to know about reality.


The Alchemy of Freedom, p. 131   •  discuss »

As we work with these and other nondual realizations in the first and second turnings of this teaching, it is important to learn each one of them and to establish them. To establish a particular realization or awakening or dimension basically means to be free from the obstacles that hinder our being in that condition and to integrate the support of true nature for that condition of realization. We don’t establish realization by thinking about it, concentrating on it, or doing practices that always evoke it. Our work is more about seeing the obstacles to realization, making them transparent by recognizing and understanding each one of them. And because the individual consciousness does not have the inner support to allow itself to be present in a way that can recognize realization for what it is, we also work to integrate the support for the realization. So establishing a realization or a dimension of awakening means that it becomes a station, it becomes permanently available to us.


The Alchemy of Freedom, p. 133   •  discuss »

Our human tendency to regard whatever realization we are experiencing as the ultimate truth is natural. And many spiritual teachers and practitioners take their particular awakening to be the final one. As I said, many traditions posit different final states ranging from Brahman, Tao, and Dharmakaya to Divine Essence, the Godhead, and Shiva. When we know these states experientially, we find that they are not simply different names for the same realization; each is unique even though there are commonalities. In this teaching, we encounter many different kinds of realization—some of them similar to those posited by other traditions—and we consider them all different faces of one truth. We see these different realizations as equal, even though other teachings might posit one or another of them as the ultimate and true liberation. And, of course, we don’t have any beef with that. We also see that each one of these realizations is true liberation.


The Alchemy of Freedom, p. 134   •  discuss »

Realization, in other words, is the movement from necessary awakening to primary awakening. It means not only realizing that true nature is what we are but also living that realization in our expressions and communication, in our actions and life. We can come to realize that true nature is what lives, is what communicates. So in realization, the center of gravity moves from the ego self to true nature itself. And here true nature can assume any form or manifestation—bounded, boundless, or even something other than that dichotomy. We recognize in realization that we are not the usual self, the ordinary self, or what is sometimes called the small self or the ego self.


The Alchemy of Freedom, p. 154   •  discuss »

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