Purpose

Awakening is paradoxical, I think, and resists description by its very nature. There are as many ways of talking about practice as there are practitioners, and in the end experiences of it are private and hard to compare. There’s not even a consensus on where we’re headed. It’s a bugger at times.

xkcd #927 by Randall Monroe

It’s therefore in the spirit of openness, service, fun and with the urge to share that I add my voice to the existing cacophony. I offer no unified theory of awakening and I have not reached any end goal. However, I do know that different voices have spoken to me in ways that made sense at different points in my practice. It is my hope that mine will be of some use to others for this reason.

As such, I will try to write in ways that are honest, real and personal about practice. Various people have asked me for clear descriptions of practice fundamentals and their rationale, so I will do my best to cram as much information into my posts as possible to make them resources, not declarations. There seem to be various common pitfalls and misunderstandings that come somewhere between ‘essential life lessons’ and ‘just unnecessary suffering’ that are worth discussing.

It is important to me to omit no details that are important, no matter how unsellable or uncomfortable, without euphemism or paternalism. I try to be honest about what experiences really meant for me, and to give what I think will be of help in a time when spiritual experience is often mistrusted. Inevitably there will be people seeking with as much of a thirst as I have, and I would very much like to empower them if I can.

I will write in a way that presumes the reader has started practicing and wants to do it, even if the road is hard at times, as I would prefer not to proselytise. I am trying to write, if not non-denominationally, then in ways that take in various approaches and are hopefully transferable. I am heavily indebted to the Buddhist, Christian and existential traditions and this comes out in my writing quite obviously.

Writing about my own practice rather than in an abstract fashion will hopefully demonstrate that it continues to be an exploration into the unknown, pulling the rug out from under me at the best of times; but also that it is a very practical and everyday experiment into what works, expressing itself in whatever is in front of me, getting stuck in and making mistakes.

You will therefore find two general kinds of posts here: the first, a more technical opining, reflecting that awakening is simple, everyday, is there to be tinkered with, and is not terribly dramatic close up. On the other hand, awakening is also mysterious, nonconceptual, and based in intuition, if not naked faith at the same time, and I will wax a little more lyrical at times. Despite the looks of it initially, I reckon both approaches are useful to beginners and can be engaged with actively.