JdR Podcast 290

The Sweet Ache of Profound Change

This questioner had an awakening which he hoped his Buddhist spiritual practice would open further. He feels stuck and wants to know how he can move forward. John explains that his awakening caused a shift in orientation that does not yet match the self that he has, the result being an ache felt deeply in his heart. John shows him the shift that is needed: a surrender beyond his understanding to the knowing in his heart.

"The sudden and immediate change that you’re able to make isn’t as a self. The shift is in you, as awareness, despite what kind of self you have."

—John de Ruiter

This dialogue also appeared on VOD-000

Podcast Transcript

With John de Ruiter from the October 31, 2011, Munich, Germany Event

Q: Many years ago there was a deep opening that lasted some hours and then, after that, many years of meditation training in different Buddhist traditions. It’s become so clear to me that this training alone won’t take me where I wish to go, so even though there’s a quite solid knowing, there’s also a lot of resistance and much anxiety.

John: Understandably. Your present self isn’t made for what you, as awareness, are able to enter, so as you begin to enter what you’re knowing, within, the reality of that is difficult for your self. It’s difficult for the makeup of your self, and your self is able to change, so it’s not really a problem.

You have ground in your self that this which is occurring in you has nothing to do with. As this moves within, by your own knowing and by the openness of your heart, the ground in your self becomes profoundly disturbed. The shaking of the ground in your self enables you to realize deeper ground, within, than you had in your self.

There’s much more to you than what your self is, and than what you have in your self.
Your self isn’t bad: it just doesn’t, at present, have the capacity that you have, so when you’re profoundly opening within, that puts your self into what is profoundly not familiar, but it is for you, aside from your self, profoundly familiar.

Q: My challenge is to gradually change this self and I had also hoped for a more sudden change. It seems I’m simply not brave enough to let go of the self there. I’m not able to do it.

John: The sudden and immediate change that you’re able to make isn’t as a self. The shift is in you, as awareness, despite what kind of self you have.

Q: How do I move on? How do I put my focus on that priority?

John: By … as surrender in your heart to what you are knowing the truth of in your heart. That part has nothing to do with your self. It doesn’t require a shift or a change in your self. Those shifts, the shifts and the changes in your self, will come later.

The shift of awareness is a shift of orientation. Instead of, as awareness, being oriented to your self, you become oriented as awareness to what you know, even if you can’t see or understand what you know. It’s enough for you to surrender to what you know that you are knowing, within. The ground in that doesn’t come from your self. You won’t find it in your self. You don’t need your self for this.

The shift of orientation as awareness will cause your heart to ache. It’s a goodness ache. It’s because of your knowing, within, that your real ground, within, has little to do with what your self is, and in coming from that new ground, the ground in your self will heave. The ground in your self will break up and your ground, within – your ground of knowing as awareness – will replace the ground in your self, and from that your self will change.

The ache in the heart comes from awareness knowing so deeply … really knowing, without being able to see or understand, from the perspective that you have in your self, what that knowing even means. All that you know is that it’s real, it’s good and it’s there.

And as you’re realizing, you have support in that. In your self you can be quite alone in this, but in this you’re not alone.

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