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Big oak tree in sun - Go ask the oak tree

All ideas are mind-made concepts

All our thoughts and ideas about mindfulness are mind-made concepts and ideas that have nothing whatsoever to do with mindful awareness.

All ideas are mind-made concepts. A thought turns into an idea, which turns into a belief. Whatever you think about mindfulness, you’re believing your own ideas about it, which are almost certainly influenced by the thoughts, ideas and beliefs of others. I realize that my own thoughts, ideas and beliefs about mindfulness and unconditional awareness are just like yours: mind-made concepts.

So don’t believe me, don’t believe anyone else and don’t believe yourself. Don’t believe in beliefs because there’s nothing to believe in. Even believing there’s nothing to believe in is a belief, so you can’t even believe that. There is just this, now, that’s all, and we don’t know what this “now” is.

You can’t escape your beliefs, but can be aware of them

We can’t even decide to not believe our beliefs because then that becomes a brand-new belief. You can’t escape your beliefs, and you can’t be free of them, but you can become aware of them and know them for what they are.

I’m someone who believes in not believing in my beliefs. I’m someone who believes in not-knowing, who believes in being open to my present-moment experience and who believes that the here and now is all there is. I believe in all of that. Wow, for someone who doesn’t believe in beliefs, that’s a lot to believe in, isn’t it?

Don’t believe any of that. Don’t believe in anything. Don’t even believe in not believing in anything! Thought thinking about thought and coming to conclusions with certainty can’t be trusted or believed, ever.

Awareness has no questions or answers

Thankfully, awareness doesn’t think and therefore is free of opinions and beliefs. Are you thought or are you awareness? Who wants to know that? Thought, of course! Every question comes from thought and ever answer is given by thought. There are no questions or answers outside of thought. Awareness has no questions and no answers, it just is.

Go and sit awhile, alone, by a big, wise old oak tree and then ask it if it has any questions. Take your time and listen carefully to how it responds. Then ask the tree a question, any question you like. Wait and listen with attentive care for its answer. You are now communicating with awareness, with the unconditional, with spacious emptiness, with silence, with nothingness and with “everythingness.”

Listening to oak trees, that’s mindfulness.

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