The movie ‘The Secret’ proposes that one can get one wants by applying ‘the law of attraction’. ‘Ask, believe and receive’ is the motto of those that wish to create abundance by applying the power of their mind and positive thinking. However there is a much more fundamental secret by which one can realize that one is, at the deepest level, totally abundant and lacking nothing … even if it appears this is not the case at the surface level of body/mind. When this realization kicks in one finds that ‘each moment is enough, or perfect, in itself’ and this leaves one truly ‘wanting nothing’, in both senses of the phrase! Then ‘asking, believing and receiving’ is truly too much effort, and even the thought of ‘positive thinking’ seems positively exhausting!
This ‘deeper level’ is always present, for it is within this that the body/mind appear, and can be readily discovered by direct investigation into one’s moment to moment experience:
1. Consider the following statement: ‘Life, for each of us, is just a series of moment-to-moment experiences’. These experiences start when we are born and continue until we die, rushing headlong after each other, so that they seem to merge into a whole that we call ‘my life’. However, if we stop to look we can readily see that, for each of us, every moment is just an experience.
2. Any moment of experience has only three elements: thoughts (including all mental images), sensations (everything sensed by the body and its sense organs) and awareness of these thoughts and sensations. Emotions and feelings are a combination of thought and sensation.
3. Thoughts and sensations are ephemeral, that is they come and go, and are objects, i.e. ‘things’ that are perceived.
4. Awareness is the constant subject, the ‘perceiver’ of thoughts and sensations and that which is always present. Even during sleep there is awareness of dreams and of the quality of that sleep; and there is also awareness of sensations; if a sensation becomes strong enough, such as a sound or uncomfortable sensation, one will wake up.
5. All thoughts and sensations appear in awareness, exist in awareness, and subside back into awareness. Before any particular thought or sensation there is effortless awareness of ‘what is’: the sum of all thoughts and sensations occurring at any given instant. During the thought or sensation in question there is effortless awareness of it within ‘what is’. Then when it has gone there is still effortless awareness of ‘what is’.
6. So the body/mind is experienced as a flow of ephemeral objects appearing in this awareness, the ever present subject. For each of us any external object or thing is experienced as a combination of thought and sensation, i.e. you may see it, touch it, know what it is called, and so on. The point is that for us to be aware of anything, real or imaginary, requires thought about and/or sensation of that thing and it is awareness of these thoughts and sensations that constitutes our experience.
7. Therefore this awareness is the constant substratum in which all things appear to arise, exist and subside. In addition, all living things rely on awareness of their environment to exist and their behaviour is directly affected by this. At the level of living cells and above this is self-evident, but it has been shown that even electrons change their behaviour when (aware of) being observed! Thus this awareness exists at a deeper level than body/mind (and matter/energy) and we are this awareness!
8. This does not mean that at a surface level we are not the mind and body, for they arise in, are perceived by and subside back into awareness, which is the deepest and most fundamental level of our being. However, if we choose to identify with this deepest level – awareness – (the perceiver) rather than the surface level, mind/body (the perceived), then thoughts and sensations are seen for what they truly are, just ephemeral objects which come and go, leaving awareness itself totally unaffected.
This awareness is always present, for without it we would not be aware of our own thoughts and sensations. Once we see this, and can identify with this deeper level of awareness, then it can be readily realised that ‘each moment is enough, or perfect, in itself’, for awareness just witnesses ‘what is’ at any given moment without wishing to achieve or change anything. Then this ‘each moment is enough’ becomes a powerful tool to overcome boredom, insomnia, mental restlessness, mind created suffering etc… For awareness itself is never afflicted by these problems, and identification with this gives perfect peace for awareness is always still and silent, which is perfect peace.
I have found that ‘each moment is enough’, and identification with this deeper level, is a marvellous way to overcome boredom whilst on long flights, as the time seems to pass miraculously and boredom completely vanishes for awareness itself is never bored. In fact boredom is a property of the mind caused by it judging every moment and seeking to change ‘what is’ to suit its own preferences, whereas awareness itself is always content and at peace.
This ‘each moment is enough’ is also a great way to overcome insomnia, for once the mind identifies with awareness it stops worrying about sleeplessness. When this occurs sleep automatically takes over if the mind is tired, and if not the peace provided by identifying with awareness provides refreshment and relaxation.
So for me ‘each moment is enough’, which implies identification with the pure awareness that one already is at the deepest level, is the fundamental secret. This leaves one ‘wanting no thing’ and ‘being nothing’ for awareness is not a thing, but is the constant conscious field of subjectivity which sees, or witnesses, everything appearing in it.
In fact ‘each moment is enough’ can be a ‘magic bullet’ to remove all mental anxiety and agitation. If these do occur then they too can be a wake up call to the fact that we have stopped identifying at the deeper level and are back at the surface level of body/mind.