In my post “How It All Works” I described what I called the ‘Point of Surrender’. I really struggled with describing this state of being. In one post I spoke of “standing above” the experiences of life. In other posts I described it as an inward focus of attention. I think I’ve came across a better description of it while reading Sogyal Rinpoche’s “The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying”.
“Though different forms are perceived, they are in essence empty; yet in the emptiness one perceives forms. Though different sounds are heard, they are empty; yet in the emptiness one perceives sounds. Also different thoughts arise; they are empty, yet in the emptiness one perceives thoughts.” Whatever you see, whatever you hear, leave it as it is, without grasping. Leave the hearing in the hearing, leave the seeing in the seeing, without letting your attachment enter into the perception.”
– Sogyal Rinpoche, talking about finding peace of mind
That’s the state of mind where where I feel profound peace, and I’ve been working everyday to stay in this state for longer and longer periods. I still am aware of objects, a flow of time, the world, having thoughts, emotions, etc., but I abide in this changeless, timeless place. When you’re around “me”, you may think there is this independent existence “Jason” talking to you, but there is no such thing. My false identity has dissolved into the substratum of existence. The focus of my awareness is elsewhere. I exist as some greater awareness just watching it from above.
Here is a passage from Ramana Maharshi, talking about this same ‘Point of Surrender’.
Q: How is realization made possible?
A: There is an absolute Self from which a spark proceeds as from a fire. The spark is called the ego. In the case of an ignorant man it identifies with an object simultaneously with its rise. It cannot remain independent of such association with objects. The association is ajnana or ignorance and its destruction is the object of our efforts. If its objectifying tendency is killed it remains pure, and also merges into the source. […]
Only if that first person, the ego, in the form ‘I am the body’, exists will the second and third persons [you, he they, etc.] exist. If by one’s scrutinizing the truth of the first person the first person is destroyed, the second and third persons will cease to exist and one’s own nature which will then shine as one will truly be the state of the Self.
Q: There must be something that I can do to reach this state [of Self-Realization]…
A: The conception that there is a goal and a path to it is wrong. We are the goal or peace always. To get rid of the notion that we are not peace is all that is required.
– Ramana Maharshi, answering questions asked of him