Suffering is part of the human experience, and everyone in the world is seeking relief. But there is something greater, something that we all share, indeed something that we all are, that can alleviate that pain: it is the formless presence—the loving, boundless awareness—at the heart of all experience. This book, Boundless Awareness, cuts through the esotericism surrounding spiritual awakening to help you realize your true nature and show you how to integrate that realization into everyday life.
In life, there is turmoil and inevitable pain. There is war, hunger, failure, heartbreak, and trauma. We struggle in relationships and with our attachments, thoughts, feelings, and memories, trapped in the prison of psychological self-consciousness. Most of us have been conditioned to believe that we are all separate individuals to whom uncomfortable or upsetting things happen. We feel alone and isolated from the world, and convince ourselves that the beauty, truth, and goodness we long for are out of our reach. Really, it’s this imaginary division that causes us to suffer.
Boundless Awareness seeks to relieve this suffering by drawing attention to the beautiful, encompassing, cohesive nature of awareness itself, as found in your direct experience. Using practical, contemplative exercises and brief meditations, the author guides you along a broad path of spiritual awakening, deconstructing your delusions of self and separation and integrating a concept of existence that is free from the suffering of individual selfhood, but which acknowledges the attachments, traumatic experiences, and emotional pain of being human.
With this book, you’ll come to realize your innate perfection as the uncreated light of boundless awareness, and soften into the open, spacious, and unconditionally loving essence of existence. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of pain and attachments, and learn to meet these experiences with a new resilience. Most importantly, you’ll find guidance on how to embody and express this awakening as love, joy, service, and creativity in your daily life.
—Bruce Joel Rubin, Academy Award–winning screenwriter of Ghost, Jacob’s Ladder, My Life, Deep Impact, Stuart Little 2, The Last Mimzy, and The Time Traveler’s Wife
(Bruce Joel Rubin)
—Loch Kelly, author of Shift Into Freedom
—Stephan Bodian, founder and teacher at the School for Awakening, and author of Wake UpNow and Beyond Mindfulness
—John J. Prendergast, PhD, retired adjunct professor of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and author of In Touch
(John J. Prendergast, PhD)
—Amoda Maa, author of Embodied Enlightenment
—Susanne Marie, spiritual teacher, speaker, and group facilitator of Life Living Itself
—Renate McNay, www.conscious.tv
—Rick Archer, founder and host of Buddha at the Gas Pump
—Julian Noyce, founder of Non-Duality Press
About the Author
Michael A. Rodriguez is a spiritual teacher who works with people in meetings, retreats, and private sessions on a full-time basis in the United States and abroad. He holds four academic degrees, including a master’s degree in comparative religion from Harvard and a PhD in English literature from Florida State University; taught at the university level for well over a decade; and has lived long-term in two monasteries. Drawing always from his direct experience, Michael illuminates the undivided nature of Life or Consciousness with great clarity and compassion, pointing to reality in a way that is free from dogma, ritual, or adherence to any particular tradition. He draws skillfully from the world’s wisdom traditions and also integrates Jungian psychology, literature, music, and art into his work to address the full range of human potential. All his work, including his interviews, can be accessed via his website at www.boundlessawareness.org.
Foreword writer Joan Tollifson is author of Nothing to Grasp, Painting the Sidewalk with Water, Awake in the Heartland, and Bare-Bones Meditation. Tollifson writes and talks with people about the living reality here and now. She has an affinity with both Buddhism and Advaita, but belongs to no formal tradition. Her approach is simple and down-to-earth, pointing beyond concepts and beliefs to the immediacy of direct knowing and being. Tollifson has lived in Northern California; rural New York; Chicago, IL; and Southern Oregon. Her main teacher was Toni Packer, but she spent time with many other teachers as well.