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About Rupert Spira
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Everybody is aware, all seven billion of us. We are aware of thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions. All people share the experience of being aware, but relatively few people are aware that they are aware. Most people’s lives consist of a flow of thoughts, images, ideas, feelings, sensations, sights, sounds, and so on. Very few people ask, 'What is it that knows this flow of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions? With what am I aware of my experience?'
The knowing of our being—or rather, awareness’s knowing of its own being in us—is our primary, fundamental and most intimate experience. It is in this experience that the peace, happiness and love for which all people long reside. The happiness we have sought so long outside of ourselves, in situations, objects and relationships, turns out to be always present and available in the simple knowing of our own being as it truly is.
The knowing of our own being shines in each of us as the experience ‘I am’ or ‘I am aware’, or simply the knowledge ‘I’. This obvious, familiar and intimate experience has no objective qualities and is, therefore, overlooked or ignored by the majority of people. This overlooking of our own being is the ultimate cause of unhappiness. What is the nature of the experience of being aware or awareness itself? The exploration of this question is the subject matter of this book and the essence of the Direct Path to peace and happiness.
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The Essence of Meditation Series presents meditations on the essential, non-dual understanding that lies at the heart of all the great religious and spiritual traditions, compiled from contemplations led by Rupert Spira at his meetings and retreats. This simple, contemplative approach, which encourages a clear seeing of one’s experience rather than any kind of effort or discipline, leads the reader to an experiential understanding of their own essential being and the peace and fulfillment that are inherent within it. Being Aware of Being Aware is the first and introductory volume in The Essence of Meditation Series.
“I’ve gained deeper understanding listening to Rupert Spira than I have from any other exponent of modern spirituality. Reality is sending us a message we desperately need to hear, and at this moment no messenger surpasses Spira and the transformative words in his essays.”
—Deepak Chopra, author of You Are the Universe, Spiritual Solutions, and Super Brain
Our world culture is founded on the assumption that the Big Bang gave rise to matter, which in time evolved into the world, into which the body was born, inside which a brain appeared, out of which consciousness at some late stage developed. As a result of this “matter model,” most of us believe that consciousness is a property of the body. We feel that it is “I,” this body, that knows or is aware of the world. We believe and feel that the knowing with which we are aware of our experience is located in and shares the limits and destiny of the body. This is the fundamental presumption of mind and matter that underpins almost all our thoughts and feelings and is expressed in our activities and relationships. The Nature of Consciousness suggests that the matter model has outlived its function and is now destroying the very values it once sought to promote.
For many people, the debate as to the ultimate reality of the universe is an academic one, far removed from the concerns and demands of everyday life. After all, life happens independently of our models of it. However, The Nature of Consciousness will clearly show that the materialist paradigm is a philosophy of despair and, as such, the root cause of unhappiness in individuals. It is a philosophy of conflict and, as such, the root cause of hostilities between families, communities, and nations. Far from being abstract and philosophical, its implications touch each one of us directly and intimately.
An exploration of the nature of consciousness has the power to reveal the peace and happiness that truly lie at the heart of experience. Our experience never ceases to change, but the knowing element in all experience—consciousness, or what we call “I”—itself never changes. The knowing with which all experience is known is always the same knowing. Being the common, unchanging element in all experience, consciousness does not share the qualities of any particular experience: it is not qualified, conditioned, or limited by experience. The knowing with which a feeling of loneliness or sorrow is known is the same knowing with which the thought of a friend, the sight of a sunset, or the taste of ice cream is known. Just as a screen is never disturbed by the action in a movie, so consciousness is never disturbed by experience; thus it is inherently peaceful. The peace that is inherent in us—indeed that is us—is not dependent on the situations or conditions we find ourselves in.
In a series of essays that draw you, through your own direct experience, into an exploration of the nature of this knowing element that each of us calls “I,” The Nature of Consciousness posits that consciousness is the fundamental reality of the apparent duality of mind and matter. It shows that the overlooking or ignoring of this reality is the root cause of the existential unhappiness that pervades and motivates most people’s lives, as well as the wider conflicts that exist between communities and nations. Conversely, the book suggests that the recognition of the fundamental reality of consciousness is the first step in the quest for lasting happiness and the foundation for world peace.
The purpose of The Transparency of Things is to look clearly and simply at the nature of experience, without any attempt to change it.
A series of contemplations leads us gently but directly to see that our essential nature is neither a body nor a mind. It is the conscious Presence that is aware of this current experience. As such, it is nothing that can be experienced as an object, and yet it is undeniably present.
However, these contemplations go much further than this. As we take our stand knowingly as this conscious Presence that we always already are, and reconsider the objects of the body, mind, and world, we find that they do not simply appear to this Presence; they appear within it. And further exploration reveals that they do not simply appear within this Presence but as this Presence.
Finally, we are led to see that it is in fact this very Presence that takes the shape of our experience from moment to moment while always remaining only itself. We see that our experience is and has only ever been one seamless totality, with no separate entities, objects, or parts anywhere to be found.
“Rupert Spira is one of the great souls. Read his books, and be clarified.”
—Coleman Barks, translator of Rumi, including Soul Fury
A contemplative poem about the intimate, impersonal, infinite nature of being.
In A Meditation on I Am, Rupert Spira contemplates the essential nature of our self before it has been conditioned or qualified by the content of experience. It is a poem, a prayer and a hymn of praise to the simple fact of being that is the source of the peace and happiness for which we long above all else.
For seasoned spiritual seekers and newcomers alike, this meditative poem explores and celebrates the truth of what we essentially are: the awareness of being that shines in each of our minds as the knowledge “I am,” which is temporarily coloured by experience but is never modified, changed or harmed by it.
wird klar, dass es nur Bewusstsein gibt und nichts außerhalb von Bewusstsein. Ob Christentum, Hinduismus,
Buddhismus, Zen, Sufismus, Judentum oder Advaita-Vedanta - allen großen spirituellen Traditionen ist dieses Prinzip gemeinsam: Bewusstsein ist alles. Und diese Erkenntnis - sobald sie konkret erlebt und erfahren
werden kann - schafft Raum im persönlichen Erleben und befreit unmittelbar von Ballast und Beschränkungen. Alle, die tiefer einsteigen wollen, lernen hier ein neues Herangehen kennen: Wenn unsere Identifizierung mit dem, was wir "Ich" nennen, sich auflöst, wenn unser Bewusstsein sich in diesem Sinne erweitert, entfaltet sich unser Leben mit innerem Frieden und Leichtigkeit.