This is a book to reveal your true being. By using a system of pointing the author questions the questioner's question. The idea is to reach a point where its impossible to find the 'I', or 'me' we refer to every day. Most of what we assume to be I can be skilfully pointed out to not be a strong case for identification. For instance, thoughts just pop into the mind. The phrase 'I had a thought' is not technically correct. A 'thought' popped in. But the 'I' had no control of that thought popping in. Perhaps the vibration at the time attracted the thought. Humans and more specifically, minds, identify itself with these thoughts. If a finger is lost off the body, the mind might say 'I lost my finger'. In six months time that same expression might be used. Yet where is the finger in six months? Its no longer attached to the body. Its probably been incinerated. So the finger now exists in another form. There is now no finger yet still inside the consciousness remains untouched. Now extend that to the whole body. This can include the brain as well. Half the brain could be lost yet consciousness still remains(that's probably not scientifically true but it illustrates the point). So where is this 'I' Person? The identification should be with consciousness, with pure awareness.
So if you look out at an 'apple' the consciousness and awareness sees the apple. Mind identifies the apple. Oh 'this is an apple' or 'there's an apple in my hand. When we just look at the apple, especially if one of those rare moments occurs where you just look, almost a frozen staring with complete awareness, instead of daydream energy, that's who you are. A popping of recognition occurs and you're left with 'oh so that's it'.
Several things might occur after this moment. Questioning might begin again and the circle begins. Perhaps one moves a bit closer. What might also happen is this popping is permanent. There is now a shift. All identification is lost with the mind.
Here's a beautiful quote from the book(P.43):
'Peace does not lie in a peaceful mind, but in establishing your identity in that which is deeper than the mind'
Although something like Zen Zazen is most useful in reaching a state of tranquil peace within stillness in breath, this will not bring about a permanent peace of mind. Stop practice for 4-5 days and the old irritability starts creeping back. What it is most useful in pointing out is this ability to be still, this awareness in stillness. Although there is still a lack of connecting with the awareness as the true being.
After a settling in period of Zazen meditation, one can really accept that this is really helpful to inducing a state of peacefulness and stillness. Its about no bell and whistles, no chasing after psychic powers or amazing mind blowing connections with the universe. Just plain sitting in awareness within breathing. Then along comes a turn of phrase, or a particular moment when you just #get# that you are that pure infinite awareness. Being timeless with no further levels above it.
Zazen, Tai Chi, Non-duality pointing are all techniques to lead to a moment of clarity. A permanent connection is made. The mind should not attach any of these techniques to being what the #moment# is all about. I've seen in a few books that the #mind# of some of the writers of enlightenment, start to go back to the pointers and talk about the techniques or writings as if they are where one goes next. What happens is there is a 10-20 year apprenticeship of following non-duality, Buddhism or something else. Then whenever the clear consciousness dips a connection into the mind all this history comes out. I can say clearly that there really is no #absolute# path. What I also see is that although there is a connection made to the infinite awareness, there remains attachment to the history that got the mind to the point of 'popping clarity'. So we have a re-enforcement of the path.
When that path has taken many others 20 years, this whole process of 'the natural recognition of awareness recognising its natural condition' seems to have an unattainability to it. This non-duality line of enquiry is most powerful. It doesn't have to have a long history of usage though. Within the right conditions instant recognition can take place. Certain conditions are known to be useful. A 'dark night of the soul' seems to make acceptance very easy. By this I mean a complete letting go of one's life and all the goals, attachments, reaching and even seeking. This state is most useful to have gone through. So when presented with the right conditions one can just walk right in, embrace and connect.
John Wheeler has produced this book in a question and answer format. I found the opening 27 pages most useful and was all that was needed to #connect#. To be more accurate the first 16 pages. All in all 94 questions with John answering back. A good primer before I read this was 'Finding Reality: Awakening to Spiritual Freedom
'. Perhaps there are other books better than 'finding reality' but it was really useful in pointing out that there's a world of difference to 'seeking reality' and chasing about alien life, psychic powers, auras, Qi. The latter can be side-tracking.
Creator of the [...]