All of existence comes alive in us.  When you really contemplate it isn’t it true?  It is the Awareness that we are which perceives the heat of the sun, the smell of freshly blossomed lilacs, the glorious flavor of Haagen Dazs ice cream on our palate.  In awareness the inner world bursts forth as well.  The perception of hunger, the heat of our passions, the heaviness of our grief.  All of life, internal and external, become illuminated by the light of Awareness.  In the asmitamaya kosha we come to know ourselves as this Awareness.  We see that it’s not that awareness is in the person but that the person is experienced in Awareness.   All our thoughts, feelings and perceptions do not really have a center.  There is no “me” that can be found at the whirling center of all of life arising and dissolving.  There is no me that can define an other, and therefore our separate existence from all of life cannot be proven.  When we allow ideas of who and what we think we are or should be fall away there is simply Openness left.  We Fall Open.  In this Openness the wall of ideas that used to block our fluid and everchanging experiences of life crumbles.  Concepts of right and wrong, good and bad no longer maintain a foothold in this expansion and life is allowed to simply be.  We come to know that everything that we once labelled as good or bad is made up of the same stuff.  All of it having a right to it’s sacred expression.   During a retreat with Richard Miller I was in a gazing meditation with a partner.  Initially intimidating, the practice of looking into another person’s eyes for 30 or more minutes allowed me to recognize that the same Awareness that was looking through my eyes was looking through my partner’s as well.  Awareness was looking at itself.  I felt that very distinctly.  I, as Awareness, was looking at Me.  And not only that, but I was looking at Me, through Me.  I was both Awareness and the Object of Awareness.  I was both the Light of the Divine and the Immanence of the Human form.  This is Pure Being.  This didn’t feel at all like a shift in consciousness, like in the use of psychedelic drugs.   It just felt like everything I once knew fell away for a moment.  Everything fell and what was left was Being, being.  Jean Klein, modern non-dual teacher said:  “When you know all that you are not, all that you are appears instantaneously and is not a thought”.  

After the realization during the retreat, the filmline of my day to day activities didn’t end but it felt stripped of personal agenda.   The inner critic that has so fervently run my life at times was on vacation.  I was hanging out in life; spurred to action by something other than my head and it’s neurosis.  There was no yip yapping from the should’s and ought to’s in my mind.

And then, one day, it all came back. The little commentator within came barreling back and I was as fascinated by it’s return as I was by it’s sudden disappearence a month prior.  This commentator started being awefully bossy very quickly, controlling this, liking or hating that.  My mind had slipped back into a separate self sense.  Part of me felt so disappointed (my ego wanted to grasp this freedom and keep it forever!) and another part of me knew this was a natural movement.  We fall in and out of remembering our self as Everything.  But that’s just part of the Everything too. 
 
Even though I continue to fall in and out of this remembering, life changed for me after that retreat with Richard, as it had after other non-dual experiences growing up.  As with every other Falling Open in my life, a little bit of my personal motivation to control my life (and everything else!) dissipated.  Now, I find myself more in tune with the rhythm of those around me, the cycles of seasons and emotions and all other wonders and less entranced by my own self contracted stories.  I’m not enlightened, whatever that means.  But, despite sometimes acting to the contrary, I have known myself as Light – and You as nothing less than the same.