Excerpt from: Without You There: The Zen of Unity by Paramananda Ishaya
Excerpt from Chapter 1: The End
Okay we have made it to the end; we can all go home now. Unlike a normal book we are starting from the end because Unity works backwards to the usual forward thinking of the world. We want to go back to the source, back to where we came from do we not?
This is like sitting in your favorite chair at home and dreaming of a tropical vacation paradise on a beach; you are not aware you are sitting on the chair anymore… you are no longer aware you are in your home… you are swimming in the ocean and feeling the warm sand on your feet. Suddenly the phone rings and you snap out of it. ‘You’ get called back and realize that you are still sitting on the chair in your home. You left home to go to the beach, but did you actually leave? No of course not. You are already home.
Unity is seeing that you are already home and having the same satisfaction of the warm sand on your feet and the ocean on your side without having to get up from your chair.
We become so accustomed to thinking in certain ways that we tend to let it color every area of life. This way of thinking is reinforced by a variety of worldly programs, such as those seen on TV. Some of them we are aware of and others remain hidden until the obvious is seen. This thinking-ness – which obscures the obvious – then gets projected onto achieving the highest goal of Unity.
Unity is the dismantling of this way of thinking to reveal what is already here, there, everywhere and nowhere. By seeing the obvious we automatically see through these programs. This does not make them disappear in a cloud of dust necessarily but lessens their stranglehold over our Bliss.
These programs are not ‘bad’, some of them can even be entertaining, but being at the mercy of these we appear to be lost.
Have you watched the TV series Lost? I don’t want to give it away but basically you are entertained but lost, just like reality, which is perhaps why the program was so successful. Yep that’s me, lost. At least we can laugh about it.
Unity is not grey, blue, or even white; it is colorless and works in the opposite direction to what we think it would. Even if we have been trained in all the ancient knowledge and by the greatest of teachers, it still is not what we think it is. It is in another realm altogether, which is why the program is called Lost, not found.
In the realm of spirituality we soon discover that the ways of the past are no longer useful. To explore another possibility becomes not only exciting but also necessary if we are to see through the old habits and tricks of the mind.
The question is: Are you willing to see differently or to be wrong even if you strongly think you are right? If you knew that you would have everything you ever wanted, I am sure you would gladly be wrong. Most of us, however, stubbornly cling to our positions and beliefs because to us they represent truth, and over time these ‘truths’ become valued treasures. Reality does not work like this because it has nothing to do with belief or ‘perceived’ truths. It does not care what you think! It does not care whether or not you are close to your goal. It does not care if you understand a single thing!
A rare few see that this way of holding positions and beliefs no longer serves our interests or is even possible if we are to see into the true nature of things.
The possibility of Unity is hardly ever seen even though it is in plain sight.
Excerpt from Chapter 4: In Sight
How can you see the obviousness of the fact that what is seeing is insight? In Unity there is no separation from insight, they are one and the same.
What are you seeing from?
Everything you need to see (not with the eyes but with insight) you are already seeing in Unity. Nothing is hidden. Seeing this is Unity. Who is it that has something missing from their divine sight? Insight is already happening now. Seeing is current – not something arising in the future. It is the re-recognition of this fact that this is the goal of spirituality. Our Being is not missing anything from this view because it is the entire view itself. What we are is this totality of wisdom that cannot be acquired. This is wonderful news for anyone who can’t seem to get enough wisdom.
I am not saying it is bad to learn things and study. (I still go to school once in a while.) Even reading about Unity you might learn a thing or two (hopefully that you have no clue about anything at all). When seen in the clear light of Being, learning is a tool or even a kind of hobby. Some people are just interested in certain topics, like fishing, or law or nothingness. Preferences are a part of our character.
When it comes to the spiritual quest, however, certain people can become obsessed with gaining wisdom, which is like adding spiritual dust particles to your already-clean glasses.
The problem is that the separate individual does not see that the insight they seek is already happening. Insight is something he or she feels they need to get in order for the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place. The only step or piece that can be missing is the awareness of Silence. There is no other step to insight or Unity other than this.
Insight is not another object to be attained, but is the spontaneous recognition that there is only Unity. This is seeing.
From this perspective we can still put together the puzzle, but out of the sheer joy of doing a puzzle, not for what we will see in the end. Just look on the box the puzzle comes in. There it is, there is the picture. Now what?
Simply have fun exploring.
You are not the separate individual that seems to be missing something. This does not mean to deny being you and all that you appear to be, however. Yes, you have a sense of self. So What? Who doesn’t? The point is that you are not a separate self.
Being separate is what seems to make the difference. To try to change yourself in any way is pointless and only can aggravate the problem of ‘the search’. A path of Joy is not about changing you, but about seeing what is already happening. The insight allows you to see the truth of what is happening even now as you read these words in your head.
What can happen in moments is that you melt into the Silence and allow all that is to shine. Do you need to flip a switch in your head for this to happen?
You need do so little in this process because allowing is our natural way of being anyway. Allowing is already happening effortlessly from being what you are. This insight is a natural function of consciousness exploring the absolute. It is playing a game of discovery to prove its existence to itself. Learning to have fun within the game makes all the difference. Then the puzzle puts itself together before your cosmic eye. Now you can see the picture and not just a memory of what was on the box.
Whether or not the sense of self is there is irrelevant in this playing. It is simply a function of what is happening and ironically this ‘you’ center has nothing to do with the BIG you. The process of playing can be effortless with a little insight.
The funny thing about this whole enlightenment thing is that it would be unnecessary if we were just okay with ourselves.
This is impossible for the spiritual seeker, because it seeks what it thinks it is missing. The irony is that if we were content with our self in ignorance there would be no problem; we simply would go about our day. This is ‘ignorance is bliss’ in full operation. I used to think, “Everyone else is so lucky, because they don’t care about enlightenment.” They worry about money, or relationships. We get to worry about that plus being spiritual.
I know that it sucks to have one more thing to worry about, but I didn’t make up the rules.
I remember very clearly, wishing I could go back and forget about all this spiritual crap. Insight, enlightenment and meditation, who needs all of this? Throw it away because it just seems to hurt. I want to go back to the good old days when all I was thinking about was my next hamburger and Coke. (I still think like this… nothing and snacks… mmmm… snacks – that’s how my brain functions.)
This is the problem with being the chosen one. Once you have been bitten by Unity, there is no choice but to go for it. The sooner we get over this limbo between ignorance and knowledge, separation and freedom, the better. So let’s bring it on and get over it quickly so we can get back to enjoying the burger. (A veggie burger if you are Vegan.)
Visit Paramananda at:
To learn more about the practice of the Bright Path visit:
Paramananda was born in Calgary Alberta in 1975 and currently lives in Vancouver British Columbia where he works as an electrician.
He first learned how to meditate in 1999. Since then he has dedicated his life to exploring and sharing the freedom of this path. In 2003 he began to teach meditation and offer retreats based on the teachings of The Bright Path. These teachings reveal all that is required to walk this path with joy. He teaches that the silence and the humility of not taking yourself seriously are the foundations to seeing that you are already free.
He is the author of A Path of Joy, The Way of Nothing and the forthcoming Without You There. Published by Mantra Books, May 2014. ISBN: 978-1-78279-479-0 (Paperback) £11.99 $19.95. EISBN: 978-1-78279-480-6 (eBook) £6.99 $9.99.