Excerpt About Insight

We Never Arrive at True Spiritual Insight or Understanding by Simply Thinking

Each of us is different. Everybody has their history, capacities, and situations and, as we do our work, each of us will need to use whatever resources we have. But one thing we have in common—which I have observed both in my own experience and in the experience of others—is that when there is a true breakthrough, when there is a new knowledge about reality, when there is experience of reality that brings in new dimensions, it is always because of true nature. As we have seen, it is never because of our own individual efforts. It is never because of what we think we’re doing. This is a central insight of the dynamic of realization: In our practice, it is Total Being practicing. Whatever insight we have is because the depth of true nature, the sense of the purity of reality, has touched our mind and sparked an insight or an idea or a revelation. That is to say, we never arrive at true spiritual insight or understanding by simply thinking. Just as thinking alone will not do it, neither will doing anything in particular or feeling anything in particular. The realm of realization, the spiritual realm that brings about freedom, is not accessible to the intentions or efforts of our individual consciousness regardless of how heartfelt or intelligent or skillful they are. From the beginning of this teaching, it was always essential presence, spiritual presence—that purity of awareness or consciousness that is independent of thought, feeling, and sensation—that brought about both the realization and the teaching at the same time.

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