You want freedom. From your self. That pesky self that berates you when you get it wrong. Nags you for not being perfect enough. Condemns you for not living up to expectations. Yours or others.

That annoying self that coils into a tight ball of defense when it feels rejected. Lashes out like a scorpion’s tail when it feels attacked. That arrogant self that musters up all its strength to make things go according to its own wishes. And then rails against the world when it doesn’t quite go that way. The self that coerces, cajoles, seduces and begs. And then collapses into a heap of ‘poor me’ when the strategy doesn't work.


Awakening, you understand there is ultimately no self. You know there is really nobody here. You get it that time is only now and space is only here. You are empty, still, silent. You are unbounded awareness, and there is no suffering. You are free.

Until something happens. You get pulled back into the world. You get sick and experience excruciating pain. You fall in love, you fall out of love, you get triggered. Your parents don’t see how free you are, they continue to treat you like a child, and you feel angry.


Does awakening erase the personality? Do all personal traits, tendencies, and idiosyncrasies get wiped away in one fell swoop? Does our astrological imprint become obsolete? Do we transcend our conditioning completely? Do we return to some kind of innocent tabula rasa?

It boggles the mind to decipher what happens to the self after awakening out of the dream of self.


You cannot be more present. You cannot practice presence, or try being more present, or learn how to be present. You cannot lose presence, move away from it, find it, or move towards it.

Presence is not a thing, or a commodity you can possess, or a state of mind.

It can, however, dawn on you that presence is always here, that you are always here, that there cannot be anything else but presence, that you are presence, and that everything is contained in presence.


Friend, do you run away from your pain, your shame, your secret rage and private grief?

Do you stuff those unwanted feelings into the dark recesses of your belly, cover them over with things to do, things to get, things to eat?

Do you turn away from disappointment, rejection, failure and regret, pretending they do not visit you in the dark of night?