Ever notice that the brain is nearly constantly "talking to itself" so to speak "in your head?" Have you ever asked your "self" WHO is speaking to WHOM? And WHO is listening to WHOM?
Consider this: If you ask the question (and please do this now): "Who is thinking?" (i.e. speaking-in-my-head as it is assumed)? "WHO is thinking now"? You will notice that the brain is pre-programmed to answer, "I Am". Now ask "Who is listening"? Same response, isn't it? "I AM". Now to just read this will never produce the available insight: To get that you have to DO it.
(And before the "Advaita Cops" jump all over this with "well WHO is supposed to do that? There is no one!" pause a moment, let that go, and realize that the one who does that is the one who asked THAT question! To dismiss the possibility of freedom out of some stupid dogma of so-called teachers who assert there is no one but will still pass the salt if asked, is to reject a profound possibility for absolute freedom from the tyranny of ALL beliefs, "holy" or no!
Anyway, if you DO this little exercise you will experience FOR YOURSELF that the only "thing" either listening or thinking (or speaking out loud for that matter) is, "I AM".
So if that one and the same I AM is BOTH the listener and the speaker, WHERE is any DUALITY!?
Now expand the exercise by finding a friend to speak with, in person or by telephone or Skype. Ask them to speak about whatever they like. Then when they are done ask them "Who is speaking?" They will answer from pre-programming, "Me". Then ask who is thinking and speaking now?" They will respond (given a little time to look) "I AM". Then invite you friend to ask YOU those same questions. Notice the automatic answer aloud is "I AM". Then you can say "Well over here, I AM speaking and I AM listening; yet you are also saying "I AM speaking and I AM listening. Yet don't we think that the I AM I say I am and the I AM you say you are two separate and different I AM's?" Isn't that weird?
Now can you see that "I AM" is an IMPERSONAL and totally OBVIOUS "Awareness-Of-BEING"? And that the WORDS "I am" are no more the REAL I AM of Naked Open Awareness of Being which EVERY human being shares, than the word Sky is the Open Empty Space we LABEL sky? And that no label is the actual phenomenon labeled!? The word fire won't burn you or anyone else no matter how loud you shout it!
As John Greven points out in his wonderful book, "Oneness":
“The simple and obvious is frequently overlooked or taken for granted by the mind. You look at a page and see the words, but not the space between them. You watch a movie or television program without noticing the light changing to form the images. You mentally talk to yourself and assume that someone is listening. The mind is trained to focus on content. While reading this paragraph, the mind sorted, labeled, and tossed out what it did not consider valuable. Perhaps the mind is looking for something within these words. Perhaps there is an expectation to be fulfilled. Yet, if someone were to go back and point something out in the paragraph, it is possible that you would see something that was there all the time, just overlooked. Perhaps the answer is right in front of us all the time.”
In fact the "answer is SO obvious and clean and clear that it is (UN)naturally overlooked as we are programmed to believe that labels are more real than the Space-Awareness-Presence IN which the labels appear (to POINT, not describe or represent what is). But IS THAT TRUE? Are YOU a "label"?
Looking into this you can discover for yourself what IS REAL and distinguish That from what is merely words, labels, thoughts etc. That distinguishing is what Adi Shankara called "Viveka Chudamani", The Crest Jewel of Discrimination. And when this is seen (and it is always seen NOW) then the emptiness we are falls in love with ItSelf in Natural Wonder ... and The Self which was never not already Here Present-yet-overlooked becomes the foreground as all the words and pictures move to the background in the merging of Knowledge and Love (Jnana and Bhakti).
That is about all there is to this. A little questioning in these ways ends the seeking (and obliterates the assumed speaker-listener duality and annihilates the seeker him- or herself) because it gets crystal clear that the Self is the only Reality and that all there is, IS That Self, appearing as Emptiness and Fullness, Clear and Clean ... and That is the Perfect Peace we ALL are.
Charlie Hayes met John Wheeler and 'Sailor' Bob Adamson in 2004-2005; he also spoke with Tony Parsons about nonduality. Bob, Tony, and John provided simple pointers that let the the remaining subtle vestiges of seeking (and mental suffering) fade and end. Gratitude! Charlie offers spiritual consultations by phone, on Skype, and in person at his home in Oklahoma. Visit his blog.