Nondual Zen Article:

The Stateless State

nondual title

The Stateless State
by Kathleen Sutherland

True awakening is the freedom from the need to have any particular experience or to feel any particular way. It is the freedom to be with whatever arises here and now. It is not dependent upon a sense of expansion or unity consciousness, nor upon any level of serenity. It is a stateless state!

But this stateless state is still a state, though a profoundly subtle one. It still requires something: the simple recognition that this is it. Acceptance of what arises is often cited as a part of awakening. But this is only true in the sense of acceptance as recognition. We simply see what presents itself to us. We need not understand nor welcome it. But we do see, undeniably, that it is here with us in this moment.

Acceptance in the sense of not resisting what arises, i.e., surrender, is not essential to clear abidance. This has more to do with living in peace, as the character. Surrender for the character does come more easily when we see that there is no alternative to This. We naturally resist less and feel more serene. But we will still at times find ourselves resisting feelings, events or circumstances. We don’t need to overcome or change that; we only need to see it. However the character might react to any given circumstance is just part of what is. If I experience fear, then this is simply a part of my awake experience, and will remain so, until it passes. My true self does not even resist resistance.

How simple it is to be in this primordial stateless state! But then isn't that what we've heard all along? Simply see that what is here is what is here. Without any need for my experience or understanding to be different, I rest securely in what arises—my reactions, thoughts and feelings included.

Welcome and fully enjoy those feelings of unity, love and bliss which will flow more often and readily in this stateless state. But they don't have to be there. They are simply a fringe benefit for the character, who, nonetheless, will still routinely experience a sense of separation, a lack of acceptance or peace, and the usual full range of emotions, good and bad. But by recognizing that we don’t need the more pleasurable states—they will come when they come—we remain awake and free, open to what is. Every moment is full of grace, for this is where we find ourselves. And we are that which we are looking for. We are that.

This is the "great okayness," which has no opposite. It’s always here. You are steeped in this moment, and cannot help but be awake. Because all that it offers is so openly displayed before us, only the subtlest of shifts is required to step through that gateless gate into our pristine stateless state. You are already there. You are already free. You are that.