There is nothing to do when talking about enlightenment and awakening. People will ask, “What do I need to do to wake up or become enlightened?” and that is totally the wrong question. If we define enlightenment, awakening, or self-realization as waking up and no longer be fooled by the ego, then what can the ego do to wake up? Because anything done is going to be done with the ego, there is nothing to do. There never was anything to do, and there never will be anything to do for the ego to achieve or gain enlightenment.

Enlightenment is waking up and seeing through the mirage of the ego and the “me.” In order for that to occur, there has to be a ceasing to do any doing, as I said would be done by the ego. And the ego cannot escape the ego; it’s a never-ending cycle and chain that cannot be broken. People will spend years— I’ve met spiritual seekers who have been on the paths for 10, 20, 30, and 40 years, and they’re still seeking. The trick is to stop seeking, to simply stop. There’s a certain amount of maturity, some would call it when you’re tired of seeking and you’re willing to give it all up. It’s almost an addiction of its own accord. It’s not something that should be carried on forever. You can’t realise you’re already here as long as you’re looking around and seeking.

So, I recommend that we cease to do this, just be still, be quiet, and do nothing. Cease to do, cease making the effort. Enlightenment truly is effortless. There is nothing we can do for it to occur. Any effort we make will hinder because it’s only perpetuating and strengthening the sense of “I,” the doer, the ego, and it doesn’t weaken it at all.

So, cease doing, cease making the effort. Can you see that this constant search and seeking reinforces the “I,” the “me,” the ego? It’s a very important point that should be recognized deeply. And I find that even in my own conversations over the years, people look at it too shallowly and continue on to the next thing before they deeply understand this. There is nothing for the ego to do. There’s nothing I can do to awaken. It happens, but it’s not a willed action.

Just like when you’re going to bed in the evening and you want to go to sleep, there’s nothing you can willfully do. You can’t will yourself asleep. There’s no way to willfully go to sleep. The more you try to fall asleep, the more likely you’re going to stay awake. If you’ve ever watched yourself and just observed what’s going on, you let the day go, you release, and you just start drifting off, and you let it happen. Next thing you know, you’re out cold. And then morning comes the same thing. We need to fall awake. There’s nothing we can do.

We can’t wilfully wake up, and yet there are hundreds, thousands of seekers out there still convinced they can do something. They believe there’s a book, a teacher, an audiotape, a videotape, a podcast, or something out there that will give them that little something they need to wake up. But, of course, there’s nothing out there that will do this. It is more of a Eureka moment—it just happens, it occurs.

When we try to surprise ourselves, it’s impossible. You can’t surprise yourself. People can surprise you, and situations can occur that surprise you, but it’s nothing that you do that will make you surprised. Yet, we’re convinced we can do something, and that’s one of the biggest obstacles. We need to finally realize deeply, not just in the head. The head can say we believe, but if the heart’s not in it, it doesn’t really do anything.

It’s like someone who claims to believe in something or fight for a cause, but you can tell their heart’s not in it. They’re not really motivated, they’re not really trying. There’s something to the phrase “the heart’s not in it.” The head may be in it, and it may sound like a good idea, but now it’s going nowhere. The heart is really in control here. So, it requires a deeper understanding, a realization not so much in the head, but out of the head and in the body—a deep, deep knowing that there’s nothing to find, nothing to get, nothing to acquire that will cause awakening.

There’s nothing I can do, nothing you can do, nothing anyone can do that will cause you, me, or anybody else to wake up. So, stop, stop it all, cease it all, stop seeking, stop searching. The answer is here, so close that you can’t see it. Just stop. There’s no need to go anywhere, just stop. Stay still, be silent, and see what is here. It doesn’t require going anywhere.

Another book won’t help you find it. Going to another video, another audio, or another podcast won’t do it for you. It’s just stopping, just ceasing and looking. It’s almost a turning within instead of looking out. Look within and see what is there. That is the real key—stop and turn within. But so few want to do this. They want to keep moving on to the next thing and hope something will happen. But nothing’s going to happen.

The next thing you find may provide some neat experiences, and for a while, it may entertain you. But eventually, it will be unsatisfactory, and you’ll just move on to the next thing. It’s an unending chain. There’s nothing in the world that will provide awakening or enlightenment. It’s a turning inward, a looking within to see who and what we are. “Who are you? What are you?” These are the fundamental questions in many traditions of non-duality, including Advaita Vedanta, Zen Buddhism, Jnana Yoga, and more. There’s always this fundamental question of who and what we are, and that is the question to answer. No other question is worth answering or looking for an answer for. So, look within. I invite you to look and figure out who and what you are.

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