The Awakening of Greg Goode
Years ago, there was lots and lots of vigilance in my life. Before and during spiritual seeking, I wasn’t badly suffering or in pain or unhappy with circumstances in life or stuck in dysfunctional patterns. Instead, I felt a deep sense of loneliness, alienation, lack of fulfillment, and a strong yearning from the heart and mind to know “What is it all about? What is the purpose of life? What happens after? What are all these mystical truths that are spoken of? Where is fulfillment to be found?” I was very vigilant about it.
Going back 30+ years, I tried many, many different paths, from Ayn Rand’s icy “Rational Selfishness” to the strictness and ecstasy of Born-Again Pentacostal Christianity. Years later, this all settled down to an intense inquiry.
For about 5 years, one question kept itself rooted in front of me. “What is the core of me?” I couldn’t help it – I’d ponder this in every spare moment the mind wasn’t engaged in something else. It was a sweet and relentless yearning. I really wanted to burrow into the deepest secrets of this. After a few years, the question refined itself. “What or where is this choosing, willing entity that seems to be in evidence?” “Is that the me?” “But where is it?”
The answer came one day while I was reading a book about consciousness. I was standing on the Grand Central subway platform during the evening rush hour, and the answer came. It didn’t come as a conceptual statement like “It is ABC.” Rather, it came by way of the world and the body imploding into a brilliant light, and the willing, phenomenal self thinning out, disappearing in a blaze of the same light. No separation was experienced; no time or space was experienced, yet I knew myself as the seeing itself. All “willings,” “desirings,” “thoughts” and other mentations were deeply experienced as spontaneous arisings in awareness, happening around no fixed point or location. And it wasn’t personal. Not only the entity “Greg,” but all apparent personal entities dissolved.
Out of nowhere, lightness, sweetness, brightness, and a fluidity of the world became qualities of everything, and became one with all experiences. My long-standing question had vanished along with what I had believed was “me.” There arose resiliency, joy, and an untouchable happiness.
This experience uncovered the realization that without the conceptual structures that make things seem real, there is no presumption of a separate center. There is no suffering and no basis for suffering. There is no feeling that things should be different than they are. This is a sense of peace far beyond what happens when we get what we dream about.
Original article here
The Search for a Teacher
My interest in self inquiry was sudden and unexpected: during an extreme "dark night of the soul" experience, I had a massive, catastrophic collapse which left me spent and speechless, praying fervently to a God I did not believe in, the only honest prayer there is: "Please help me!"
This collapse was sudden, left me completely empty, with not even one ounce of resistance left in me, with no more answers of any sort, in a sort of cathartic and limp state.
Pulling myself up from the floor, where I had been curled in fetal position, still sobbing, I poured what was left of me into a wing back chair.
While I sat in this darkened, private library in the middle of the night, mentally and spiritually exhausted, in final despair, with absolutely no clue on what to do with my next breath, much less the rest of my life, a most peculiar phenomena occured: sitting in absolute silence, I noticed my thoughts arising to me.
Mind you: these were no longer "my thoughts".
For some peculiar reason, in this stillness, it was spectacularly clear to me that these thoughts, which were arising in the stillness of "me", were not me at all, or, more specifically, that what I was had to be something quite separate from these thoughts. For, it was clear that, if I observed these thoughts arising, then, who was observing them, if not me? And, if it was what I call "me" that was observing these thoughts, then, what exactly was this "me" which so clearly did not include these thoughts?
This was a profoundly unsettling awareness; in fact, it completely shattered my world. Everything that I had taken for granted up to this point came roaring back into question: my career, my marriage, every decison supporting the entire direction of "my" life. The only thing I was certain about was that I was uncertain about everything.
In this space of not knowing, of complete uncertainty about everything, I began to reach out for help.Desperately, I searched for any clue as to what I was experiencing. For better than a year, I locked myself in an apartment, meditating, journalling, reading everything I could locate, leaving my residence only when I uncovered authentic teachers who might offer me direction.
This journey was exceptionally lonely and frustrating, and I vowed to leave a trail which might make the journey easier for any who might follow me.
The listings of teachers on this site is merely one guide for those on the lonely journey of self inquiry. It is not meant to be comprehensive, for as difficult as discovering authentic teachings and teachers was for me, the longer I have been on this path, the more bona fide material continues to be revealed to me.
I offer this incomplete guide to the seeker. To it, I offer the greatest mystery of all: as this inquiry proceeds, you will discover that there truly is only one teacher and that teacher can ultimately be found within. I humbly pray you find that teacher now.
From Stillnessspeaks - a guide to finding a teacher