“Cease to Cherish Opinion” – 6th Awakening is Simple book excerpt

“Cease to Cherish Opinion”

When we have the insight we are not our thoughts, we do we not awaken instantly?

It’s because we cling to concepts.

Clinging to concepts is the biggest obstacle to awakening. It can be a very obvious or a very subtle obstacle. It shows up in many ways:

Resistance to starting: “I will become emotion-less”, “I need to understand completely first”. “What will I be without thoughts?” “I am not ready.” “I will start tomorrow.” The resistance can show up as frustration, anger and irritation. Awakening is Now or never.

Attachment to awakening: We form all sorts of concepts about what awakening is and how we will get there.

Attachment to gurus: devotion is not awakening.

Attachment to practices: The phantom in us looks immediately for answers in external authorities. We chase the answers, typically through religion, philosophy, spirituality, meditation, traditions, self-improvement, books, and we adapt others’ ideas and beliefs, and revelations.

Attachment to “me”: We are convinced that this story will finally end all the other stories, at some future date. In our minds we form ideas. Your idea may be enlightenment or awakening or the purpose of life or natural being or flow or God or reincarnation or some sort of new-age thing. We enshrine the simplicity of the unknown and call it enlightenment.Practicing is not living.

Attachment to effort: do you listen to or read Eckhart Tolle  or Adyashanti or some other favorite guru over and over and over again?

Spiritualized Ego: Do you believe yourself to be on a mission to awaken—a sensitive, mature, spiritual, noble mission which is better than the pedestrian desires of chasing money, power, relationships and happiness? Examine this fiction.

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

Can it be seen that these are just thoughts? Can it be seen that the ideas are not the same as being? Can it be seen that there never can be a satisfying end to all the mental stories? Thought-stories are not looking for an end, they are constantly looking for continuation. The mind has a strong tendency to believe and categorize, codify, organize into hierarchies, cling to ideas of priests, lineages, traditions, right and wrong, higher and lower and so on. Beliefs-all beliefs—are a heavy obstacle to direct experience of Truth. This formation of ideas and beliefs leads to a frustrating, futile chase.

“You impose limits to your true nature of infinite being, then, you get displeased to be only a limited creature, then you begin spiritual practices to transcend these non-existing limits. But if your practice itself implies the existence of these limits, how could they allow you transcend them?”
Ramana Mahirishi

In a poem Seng-ts’an writes: “Do not seek the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.”

Rely only on direct experience. It may feel little uncomfortable to rely only direct experience, because what do we really know from direct experience? If you go into it, there isn’t much we can be sure of. “I exist,” there is Awareness, and all experience is in the Now. That’s about it.

Get comfortable with the emptiness of no beliefs, no ideas, no concepts, no knowing, no desires, no anticipation, no system, and no future.

“When you demand nothing of the world, nor of God, when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing, then the Supreme State will come to you uninvited and unexpected.” -Nisgardatta

“Do not seek the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.”

9 thoughts on ““Cease to Cherish Opinion” – 6th Awakening is Simple book excerpt

  1. Brenda

    Hi Kaushik

    I’ve just read all six excerpts and wanted to thank you for making these available. I read your comments on nadia’s and other blogs and notice how you keep repeating, Release and be aware. Please keep repeating this because repetition promotes learning. Your voice stands out for me in the blog comments — it seems older or wiser or more mature somehow. Maybe you are just more enlightened. Whatever the case I am happy to read your writing. I put the Nisgardatta quote on my blog today with a link to your site. I hope that’s alright. I also loved the Anais Nin quote. I’m following you on Twitter. Best of everything.

    Brenda’s last blog post..Supreme State

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Brenda,

      Your comment is synchronicity! I am so glad you expressed your feelings. I was wondering just today if my comments on other blogs were perhaps a little too rebellious. Now I don’t have to wonder. Thank you!

      Yes, use whatever you want from this website. I have not published it yet, but I have decided on an Open Heart policy. Use the material, quote, reference it…there is no copyright on Truth.

      Thank you for visiting and thank you for your remarkable support. I hope to hear more from you.


  2. whoami

    Hi Kaushik,

    Just stumbled upon your site. I am partly amazed that you noted the ‘cease to cherish opinions’. Presently, it seems to be the most striking line from the poem to me. In some ways summarizes Zen practice similar to letting go. Ramana would say – summa iru

    ‘That’s a hard conclusion to accept for most people because it undercuts and negates all their mental activities that are optimistically geared towards realising the Self. The solution, as both Bhagavan and Papaji pointed out on many occasions is ‘being still’ (summa iruttal). When Bhagavan gives out the instruction ‘Summa iru’ (be still), he is not telling us to practise being still – that would just be more ‘doing’ – he is telling us desist from all mental activity, even meditation. ‘Being still’ is not something you accomplish by effort; it is what remains when all effort ceases.’

    1. Kaushik Post author

      You’re absolutely right, being still, without the effort of being still is it. It takes some practice to release effort. In the beginning there is effort to remain still, and it’s glorious day when effort is released and awareness is “choiceless.”

      Thanks for the clarification.


  3. Steve Mays

    >>>Get comfortable with the emptiness of no beliefs, no ideas, no concepts, no knowing, no desires, no anticipation, no system, and no future.<<<

    Thank you for an inspiring post. I have grown more comfortable with the idea of no beliefs, desires, anticipation and future. But would appreciate more of your thoughts on: ideas and system. Or am I being too literal?

    1. Kaushik Post author

      You’re not being too literal at all. It may seem impossible to at first to get comfortable with the emptiness of no beliefs and no ideas. The mind rebels. But it’s a very natural thing. Developing awareness (meditation, presence, witnessing, observing), releasing, seeing through the false I, abiding in the sense of “I am”–all of these have helped release the mind.

      1. Steve Mays

        Much good has come from “ideas.” Small pox vaccine, for example. Should I try to avoid HAVING ideas or is it more about not becoming ATTACHED to ideas? Cease to cherish ideas.

        1. Kaushik Post author

          Yes, the attachment. The attachment to ideas. The identification with ideas and beliefs. It’s the thought that all there is, is thinking. The attachment to thinking makes thinking compulsive and exclusive. By thinking, I mean thought and emotion and ideas and beliefs–the mind.

          Cease to cherish ideas and beliefs.

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