Friday, August 2, 2013

A Day in the Life of Awakeness

I got an email from a friend of mine asking me to write a piece on my post-awakening perceptions compared to how they used to be.  It set me to pondering about how things in general used to be in comparison to how they are now. To be perfectly candid, I can't remember a lot of what it used to be like. I know there was a lot of confusion and suffering. Today there is no pull toward actively remembering that, or referencing it. That was then, and This is Now. 

Of course I see a reflection of myself as I was in my clients all the time, so the memory is certainly still there within, and sometimes comparison happens, but it's completely passive, never active. What I mean is that those memories can be tapped by some arising that stimulates specific bubbles to float to the top, but in my day-to-day life, I don't consciously compare this current experience to any other time or place. I see that comparison sometimes happens, but it's generally brief, and is not taken seriously.

One of the key reasons for this present focus is that there isn't anything elseno other time, no other place, no alternatives to What Is, and no exceptions to that rule. The living truth of right here, right now is what is seen and experienced. Reality is simple. The dream is both involved and involving.

Prior to measurement, judgement, or argument there is just This. Upon this simple background of unity we invent a center (the personal me), and then project a world (our own), which houses genuine diversity, but only apparent division. Buying into the separation thing is actually optional. Our suffering is always trying to tell us that. As bizarre as it seems, suffering is our friend. It's our cue that we're not awake.

The first large psychological move that a baby human takes is the acceptance of the story of division. We're told that there's a me over here, and a world over there. The moment we accept that agreement, and we all do, then we set ourselves up to ride the roller coaster of our newly forming dream. Next comes classification and valuation, which we commonly refer to as judgement. Judgement is the tool we use to evaluate the world we just invented.

I no longer spend my time in the dream. I chiefly live in This, as This with occasional forays into the dream of self and suffering. I'm still perfectly capable of identifying with the human unit and falling back into the dream; I just don't stay there very long when I do. So far.

What about tomorrow? Who knows? I am not a subscriber to the idea of permanent enlightenment. Who would have that? A me? What I see is the opportunity for ongoing enlightenment, to be awake to this moment, and this arising, and then the next, and the next, and the next.

Meanwhile, this unit does what it does, and I stand helplessly by while it does it. I can see that the unit is a whole lot more skillful than it used to be. I always welcome progress, and I never scold What Is for being as it is. Positive reinforcement is the only way to promote positive change without raising new judgements and resistance to get hung up in. I catch myself doing stuff right and then I celebrate it.

But enough generalities; let me get to specifics.


When I wake up in the morning, it feels very much as it always did, except that I'm neither hungover, nor in trouble, and my mind is not relentlessly playing the single reel movie of the Awful Story of Fred. There is no sense of either Fred or dread.

Instead, I open my eyes to find a little white dog and a small tabby cat curled up on either side. They are lovely, free beings. I saw long ago that I was their caretaker, not their owner. They have taught me a lot about love and poop. There's no such thing as a one-ended stick: it's all or nothing.

We have another cat as well, and all three animals each have their personal issuesas do Betsy and I. But none of us requires another to change in order to be accepted or valued. If change happens in, or to, one of us, we all immediately incorporate it. If it doesn't, that's fine too.

You get to be yourself here. It's not a plan, or an open agreement; it's just what happens. It always has been, even in pre-awakening. But don't think awakening won't change your relationship with animals. They feel it faster than we doand they like it! A lot.

It's quite difficult for me to get out of bed in the morning, and it's not just because of the boys, or my typical late-night hours. Most mornings I wake up with waves of energy rolling up through my feet and legs, sometimes through my whole body. I won't lie: it is entirely delicious. Energy has been a big factor in my spiritual story since well prior to my first large awakening in 2006.

Some mornings I just can't come up with a good reason as to why I should ever again move, so I lie there completely powerless until the body finally gets up of its own accord.

I stumble downstairs to the kitchen, whereupon it is immediately obvious that I'm in a stage set. This is true 100% of the time, of course, but I usually notice it most profoundly in my kitchen, in the morning, or if I'm down there alone late at night. I think it's the special light in the morning and my typically wide-open state at night. 

Shakespeare was spot on about stages and plays (and a great deal more): 

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts...

Anyway, back in the kitchen, I move on about fixing a cup of coffeeexcept when I don't.
Sometimes an object, or a portion of the set will catch my attention, and I am frozen. In that moment of sudden brightness, I have no clue what it is that I'm looking at, and I am riveted, stunned, nailed to the floor. Call it awe. And then the body fixes coffee. It's easy to get lost in a mug of coffee, too, what with the steam rising from the black pool of endless depth and mystery.

On a good morning, meaning a morning when my schedule isn't screaming for me, I sit in my big chair in the living room, drink coffee, and either pet whichever animal hops up, or simply stare softly out the window. It is heaven. I then read from Emerson,  Nisargadatta, or a scripture of some sort, or better yet, all three when I have the time. Often I will close my eyes and sit quietly for a few minutes. I don't do it in the hope of making something happen; I do it to help me deeply notice what's already happening.

On many mornings I'll have either a Direct Pointing Session, or a Clarity Session beginning at either 10:00 or 11:00. I'm never prepared to teach during these sessions, but I am absolutely open to sitting in front of the computer, watching and learning. I pull up my background Skype screen, cut on my stage lights, dial somebody up, and then talking happensor at least it has so far.

But I didn't earn this gift, and I certainly don't control it. I don't use it; it uses me. 

What comes out of my mouth is as fresh to my ear as it is to the client's. While there is a general direction to every session, each one is unique. They tailor themselves to meet the client precisely where he or she is. I have no idea how any of it works. With my track record being what it is, if it's a DPS, I foolishly expect the miraclefor my client to awaken, and they almost always do.

How? I don't know. Interestingly the unit thinks this is all cut and dryit's completely underwhelmed by this show of apparent magic. It just wants me to hurry so that it doesn't miss lunch!

If it's a weekend, I may have someone coming to my house for a meeting. I like these most. Often a current client, or student, or friend, depending upon how they refer to themselves, will accompany a friend to make the introduction, and to piggy-back on the DPS. The new person hears everything for the first time while the established client sits quietly and hears everything for the next time. That's a good thing.

Repetition is the mother of clarity.

So far, every in-the-flesh client I've had has woken up. I seriously doubt that streak will last forever, but it's a pleasant one for everyone concerned while it lasts. However, the unit figures it will continue indefinitelyafter all, what's the big deal? It thinks it's all a parlor trick anyway.

I welcome my guests, perhaps we get something to drink, sit down, and then I have them tell me the five-minute version of their spiritual story to give me an idea of where I'm starting from. We then launch right in. Two hours later the freshly awakened client, the established client, and I all go to lunch. The unit is still not impressed, because it knows it's not the one doing it. It is rather jealous, I think.

Sounds just like a unit, does it not?

Lunch lasts an hour or more, and it's always enjoyable. I hold forth, talking about the ramifications of awakening, or I answer questions, tell stories or something, and then they go home. I head upstairs to my study where I go to work either catching up on my ever-neglected online book business, or perhaps I turn to teaching chores, such as answering email, writing for or making adjustments and improvements to Awakening Clarity, or perhaps I'll work on a book-in-progress.

I have to tell you, it's all quite weird to have this thing thrust on you. It's not a bad gig, but it drives me from morning to midnight. The energy I had as a seeker was transferred to my search for greater clarity in post-awakening, and has now found a home in taking this teaching out into the world.

I don't feel a special need to wake everybody up, but I do feel a certain responsibility. What I do is new, and it's working. It's my job to at least offer it. What happens from there is none of my business.

Back to the amazing mundane.

I usually shower in the afternoons, and when I do, it's always a dice roll. I never know how long it's going to take. Sometimes I step in, become totally lost in the sensations of heat and water and closeness, and stay until the water begins to cool. I frequently get out having no clue if I ever fully bathed or not, but it's always a beautiful experience. Yet when I dry my hair I sometimes discover that I haven't shampooed it.

Betsy usually comes home from work about 6:30 during the week, earlier on weekends. If it's a weekday, I will typically not have seen anyone in the flesh all day. We have dinner together and talk excitedly. We never tire of each others' company, we never argue, and we are almost always like a pair of enthusiastic chipmunks who've just run into a large field of ripe nuts.

We take nothing for granted, especially not each other. We light candles every night, and play music such as solo piano or guitar in the background. We say grace at every in-house meal, because it's a lovely human thing to do. It's a way of expressing gratitude, and it's a ritual that brings us closer together. And we always slip the animals some of our food.

After dinner we then read or watch an hour-long DVD of something very English while lying in bed holding hands. We are both hopeless anglophiles. She's asleep by 8:30 or 9:00, and I'm back to being on my own. I often do a second shift of writing. That's what's happening right now. It's 12:30 a.m., and I'm determined to get this post out tonight. I will. Ours is a small, quiet life, but it is a deep one.

Most days, other than session work, I'm by myself 21 hours a day, which is lovely. Don't get me wrongI'm crazy about my wife, but I also love being alone. So does she. That's a good thing, because we don't get to spend all that much time with each other. She is a selfless worker bee, and I, in effect, am a married hermit with a webcam.

I get lost a lot during the day. The extraordinary ordinary is endlessly fascinating. Anything can capture my attention. For example, whenever I look at a ceiling, any ceiling, I am instantly enchanted. It's a world I don't usually pay much attention to, but when I do focus on it, it briefly grabs my full attention.

There is a huge Yellow Jessamine vine on my porch. Sometimes I step outside and am completely taken by the winding stems and arching leaves. Fantastic. I feed the birds up front and out back, and they are forever stealing my focus. I know some of their proper names, but I'm not much of a birder; I'm just a lover of birds. I just gawk at the ones I don't recognize, wondering how anything can be so perfect.

I used to drive a lot. I traveled three states looking for good books to buy but things have changed since I woke up. For the past several years, I've managed to turn my business into an Internet-only thing. I buy there, have it shipped to me, reprice them, and put them back up for sale on the Web. You have to know what you're doing to pull that off, but it's worked for me for a number of years.

That's changing now, as the book business is slowing down just as this teaching is heating up. It's pretty obvious that the universe would rather me serve as a spiritual teacher instead of a bookseller.  I'm happy to serve in any capacity I'm pulled toward.

About that driving. When I go to the post office, or the dentist, or the grocery store, I am always captivated by how I am driving through myself. The car and the unit move, spaciousness stays reliably still, and I am the whole kit and kaboodle. I actually don't need a car at all unless I want to pretend that I'm in motion. As it so happens, I like to pretend that nearly every day, so I'd better hang onto it.

I forget to eat a lot of meals, and I get too busy to sleep as much as the body needs. So the unit finally went on strike this July after years of general overwork, and two years of burning the candle at both ends to get this teaching established. It wasn't my idea, but it's my responsibility.

I lost a lot of weight, looked haggard, began to get confused and forgetful, and could sense that I was dwindling in a serious way. I went to the doctor and had a full battery of tests; I suspected cancer, just as I always do when I'm losing weight. The unit knows it's a miracle that it's lived this long, and it's always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Luck has been with me so far, and I came out clean.

I would like to live a long time, but only if I do. I don't want Betsy to be alone. I want the animals to be taken good care of. But from my own perspective, when the unit wants to check out, I'm fine with it. I'm still fond of this unit, and still very interested in it, and it's quite a funny little duck on the oddest of trails, but I'm not particularly attached to it.

Betsy is. 

Thus doctor and wife joined ranks and have made me slow down. There will be changes to how session work will be handled on the Internet. I don't know that I'm going to be able to work with so many clients much longer; I just can't pull the hours, and there's an energy component to DPS sessions that really sucks it out of me. All of that will have to be looked at. There's also a lot of stuff going on in the background that I can't yet share.

Once it's fully seen that the unit is not us, and that we are not it, one's wishes and dreams are seen to be rather hollow, if still a whole lot of fun. Better to focus on right now, whether it's living fully or dying consciously. When I drop my opinions, which I do most of the time, I notice that everything is always going along splendidly, however Life is displaying itself.

Now let me share some of what I've learned from my own experience and the many people I've worked with.  This is a little dicey, because when we begin the spiritual path, we really have no idea whatsoever where it's going to lead us. Some of it will probably be beautiful. Some of it will surely be ugly. And where we end upcherished as the Buddha was, tormented like Jesus, or somewhere in the middle, is anyone's guess.

What I can tell you is that both of those extremes are rare.  There may be unpleasant stages, but in the end I can report that I'm tickled to death to have had the great blessing of coming to consciously know myself. So far as I know, I don't have any unhappy clients who've woken upwhich doesn't mean I couldn't.  I'm always reporting on current arisings.

Spiritual awakening is the single most important thing that can ever happen to, or more accurately, happen through, a human being.  It is the apex of human experience. A radical transformation takes place in an instant—and that transformation continues so long as we are open and willing. Awakening is both event and process.

It is sometimes said that there's nothing in it for the ego when we awaken. That statement may indeed be true, but even so, it's not referring to us. It's not referring to the human beings who are utilized so that Being can have the incredible experience of watching itself unfold in and as the manifested world. Metamorphosis is the whole point, so to speak. 

Absolutely anything can happen in the dream at absolutely any time, and there are no guarantees. Yet there can be, and typically are, both broad and deep practical benefits for the people who come to Self-realization—especially those who successfully orient and become reasonably stable within the new apparent state. Opening to truth is forever—we never graduate—and everyone's realization is different, but here are some of the more common positive changes people report.

Not everyone is going to experience all of these side effects, but everyone will experience at least some of them.   

We begin to:

1.    Drop our endless spiritual seeking.
2.    Discover who we really are.
3.    Live free.
4.    Find out our real identity.
5.    Inherit peace of mind and heart.
6.    Uncover a calm center that we never knew existed.
7.    Begin to see things as they really are.
8.    Learn to embrace life as it really is, right here, right now.
9.    Experience greatly diminished psychological suffering.
10.    Lower daily stresses significantly.
11.    Become willing to live life fully.
12.    Drop the fears of failure and success.
13.    Lose our anxiety over death.
14.    Overcome many common fears.
15.    Open to the secret of Oneness.
16.    Lower or eliminate our innate sense of lack.
17.    Unleash an unexplainable inner joy.
18.    See incredible beauty in common objects and ordinary events.
19.    Enjoy improved relationships.
20.    Learn to control the one thing we can control.
21.    Cease to resist life's current.
22.    Notice our life patterns.
23.    Solve life's deepest mysteries.
24.    Get rid of old anger and resentments.
25.    Learn to more easily forgive and accept ourselves and others.
26.    Live in gratitude.
27.    See through the disabling trinity of guilt, shame, and blame.
28.    Dump our victim persona.
29.    Stop rehearsing the future.
30.    Stop reliving the past.

I hope this has been helpful.  If not, there'll be another post along before too long.  Everything comes and goes.  Except, of course, You.

~Fred Davis 8.2.13

ROAD NOTES:  I will be in Charleston, SC on Monday night, August 5, to give a short talk to a non-aligned Twelve Step group called the Awakening Group at the Unity Church in North Charleston.  Following that first meeting I'll be holding satsang for those who wish to go deeper.  I'll be back a second time in October to close their twelve-week series.  Those interested in details can contact my friend Duke at

THE COMPANY I'M KEEPING: I stumbled onto this the other day when I was looking for something else.  It's a full circle event in that Greg and Rupert were two of my closest teachers.

Nonjudgmental Spirituality

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