I am and cannot not be

Magdi Badawy, 02-29-2024

Welcome, everyone.
Lovely to be with you.

Just a reminder that, we will start this meeting
with a brief, guided meditation,
and then we can follow with a discussion,
whatever questions you may have.

So just for now,
for the duration of this meeting,
you can let go of, the past,
like suspend whatever you needed to do
or you must do or you had on your mind,
just suspend.

Suspend the past and simply be.

You are welcome to either close your eyes
or turn your gaze inward.

And, let things be as they are.
Simply notice your experience without interfering.

Notice, the breath
without trying to change anything.

Maybe a gentle vibration within the body.

Whatever thoughts are appearing to you.
And invite yourself to sink
deeper and deeper effortlessly
in this relaxation without seeking goals.

All is well as it is.

Notice how awareness is effortless.
There is nothing you need to do to be aware.

You cannot separate yourself from awareness.
And this effortless awareness is peaceful.

Awareness is not trying to change anything.
It’s not arguing with anything.

And although there is
a flow of perceptions,
a flow of thoughts,
a flow of bodily sensations.
Awareness is the same,
the same presence,
unaffected and undisturbed.

Notice how awareness is not visible to the senses.
You cannot perceive it or hear it like you hear these words.
And yet it is undeniable.

And in the most simple way, this awareness is I.

I am aware.
I, awareness, am aware.

But we cannot distinguish experientially
between I and awareness.

There is a reality right now
which perceives this perception.
There is something rather than nothing.

It is reality.
We refer to it sometimes as
or amness.

The I am.

Notice how this effortless awareness,
this the reality of consciousness,
the reality of awareness
is neither male nor female,
has no gender,
no age, no phenomenal form.

And yet it is undeniable.
Awareness is its own evidence, its own proof.
That which is and cannot not be.

Everything else,
thoughts, perceptions, sensations,
appear and disappear,
like in your night dream.

In the waking state, similarly,
the world-body-mind appears
and disappears constantly changing.

The body is 12 year old, and next day it is 30.
The world is at peace today, tomorrow turmoil.

And yet there is the changeless aspect
in your experience,
which is consciousness,
the unmanifest.

That out of which and to which
all manifestations arises and appears.
Like the giant oak tree out of the acorn.

Mistakenly, we know ourself as a body-mind,
a male, female, or whatever.
We know ourself as a mortal entity, as somebody.

This identification is simply mind activity, body-mind activity.
Which appears within consciousness, within awareness.

But this identity is an image on the screen.
And the image on the screen does not define the screen.
But we define ourself via the me-story:
my body,
my health,
my family,
my tribe,
all of that being the body-mind.

The body-mind has a family,
it’s part of a tribe.
There’s a history to the body-mind.

But this history is simply a narrative
appearing to you,
you being this awareness,
the reality that right now is hearing these words.
Right now, that which hears these words
is invisible to the senses.

You perceive, thoughts and images and memories.
But do you perceive the perceiver?

And although you do not perceive the perceiver,
can you deny awareness?

In the scriptures, it is said that form arises out of formlessness.
And that this house, the true I,
our essential nature, our reality is formless.

Taking on the form of the world,
the body, and the mind,
and myriad other forms,
which we, as a limited human body-mind, are not privy to.

So can we relax, release gently
our tendency to identify ourself
via our thoughts,
our experiences,
our sensations,
our feelings.

Not to deny anything,
but to relax the identification.

The tendencies to perceive ourselves
as mothers and fathers and sons and daughters
and so many other forms of identification.

So that our true self,
our true nature can arise to the forefront
so that we can meet each other
not as separate entities,
but as that same consciousness,
same reality.

And this meeting of sameness is love.

Which is different from I love you
because of this or that.

It is always in this moment,
that everything is settled in this instant.
Not born of of time.
But how we are meeting our experience
moment by moment.

Our children,
our partners,
our family,
people who we relate to at work,
in the marketplace,
our relationship with ourself,
images that we hold on to about ourselves and about others.

Is it necessary to relate image to image?

Can we trust being meeting itself,
this fresh, open, innocent, childlike.

Meeting the other as oneself.

Because there is peace in such a meeting.
Peace and love.

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