All too often our yearning for something to alleviate the inner suffering gets in the way of deep inquiry. Rather than asking, ‘What is enlightenment?’ can we question our inner feeling of insufficiency? We have tried to fill it with fantasies of all descriptions, with entertainment, acquisitions, achievements, relationships, spiritual searching, and solemn vows – anything to fill the aching void. But have we ever really explored it directly, unconditionally?
Becoming conscious of it … can we be with the ache of emptiness, not calling it by any name? Let all labels fly into thin air and stay with what is here, discomfort without calling it discomfort. Staying here with what’s indefinable. Not resisting, not fighting, not looking for anything else. Just letting what is here be here in its entirely, physically, mentally, totally. Letting it be without knowing. Not becoming the doer for or against it. Just this quiet presence in the midst of the silence of chaos. In this there is an unfolding transparency. It happens when one sits patiently, silently, unconditionally. By ‘sitting’ I simply mean being totally with what is here. Not moving away or toward something else, just remaining with the whole thing – an intense presence that includes all the bodily sensations, breathing, wind-storming, raining, sunning, birding, coughing, fans humming – everything right here, all at once, without a seam. Observing thoughts coming up, emotions, feelings, sensations arising and more thoughts, emotions, feelings, sensations unfolding and abating – being with it all. There isn’t any place to escape to. Everything is here without separation.”
Packer T. “The Wonder of Presence and the Way of Meditative Inquiry.” Shambhala, Boston, 2002.