Hello, today I would like to discuss the topic of ceasing the attempt to escape. Over the years, I have had conversations with numerous individuals, and I have noticed a recurring theme among many of them: their study of non-duality and pursuit of enlightenment is driven by a desire to escape. They seek a remedy for their afflictions. For instance, someone who is experiencing depression, perhaps even taking medication for it, may turn to non-duality and enlightenment in the hope of curing their depression. Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t yield the desired results for two main reasons that come to mind.

Firstly, there is no escape or avoidance. The only viable option is to fully delve into the emotions and experiences, to genuinely feel them, and to stop attempting to evade them. By immersing oneself in depression, truly experiencing it, and refraining from trying to escape its grasp, one becomes aware of what lies within. Furthermore, while exploring these feelings, one instinctively searches for the underlying causes. It is through this understanding that changes may occur naturally. One might discover that preconceived notions or beliefs, often conditioned from an early age, lie at the root of the issue. When this root cause becomes conscious, it can be examined critically to determine its validity.

Secondly, trying to escape through non-duality or enlightenment is futile. Personal gain cannot be achieved by utilizing enlightenment in this manner. True enlightenment involves seeing beyond the confines of the self, shattering the identification with the ego. However, as long as one seeks enlightenment for personal benefit or to alleviate suffering, they are reinforcing the illusion of the self. Additionally, by fixating on the idea of enlightenment as a means of cure, one inherently opposes the present moment. This constant awareness of suffering perpetuates a destructive cycle where the ego tries to escape, seeks enlightenment, and further strengthens its presence. Enlightenment cannot be pursued for personal gain since doing so pushes it further away. It simply does not work in that way.

Therefore, the message I aim to convey today is to cease attempting to escape or transcend. Enlightenment is not about evading reality. Non-duality does not offer an alternative destination to strive for because there is no other place to go. There is only this present moment. The sooner we come to terms with this truth, the sooner we cease resisting, denying, and struggling against what is, resulting in a decrease in suffering.

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