The Loop

The waves are the ocean, and the ocean manifests as waves. The ocean is water. Water is wet. How does water know its wetness?

We are the consciousness in which experience arises, and experience arises from consciousness. Consciousness is an expression of awareness. What is the essence of awareness?

Awakening is to experience our essence, but our mind can’t comprehend what it’s made of or comes from, like the wetness of water. A revelation of our essence, as a direct experience, can only be experienced, not understood by the mind or expressed in thought or captured by a concept.

Still, the mind reaches for the brass ring, chases its tail, runs another lap around the never-ending track. The loop continues until it’s interrupted by a direct experience.

Even after a deep and profound awakening experience, the loop resumes, as it must. That is life. The waves go in and out. The cycles of life, birth, and death, happiness, and sadness come and go. Life is our essence manifest. That is what it is to be wet water. It is a loop by nature. It is the cycling of experience, another lap on the track. But for the seeker, it can be frustrating, stuck in a loop with no way out, no way to stop, no finish line.

But what if we could know the loop for what it is? What if a wave could infer an ocean and an ocean could know water as itself and know the wetness of water just is as it is, not as an experience but as the wetness that is? What if the wetness of water is self-evident and an attempt to objectify it is to miss it.

These are the games of the mind of the seeker. Like an eyeball that can’t see itself, the mind that looks for what it is will never find itself? In our frustration, we think it might be better to forget about loops and seeking and wetness to go back and be lost to the dream where we had no thought of the illusory nature of our existence. We think not knowing about our loop was a peaceful innocence. But the loop brought us to this point anyway, causing our suffering, spinning around, trying to find some peace, some happiness by creating a better loop with a better person to no avail.

So what do we do about the loop?


It is our practice to do nothing or, better said, surrender. In surrender, we see the loop as it is and experience life as what we are. There are many tools of doing nothing like meditation, zen koans, mantras, retreats, prayer, liturgy… and even headlessness. Surrender is the only option. Letting go, dying to self, being like a child, discovering our emptiness at the center are all forms of surrender.

You are taking a family trip to grandmas for the holidays. You and your brother are in the back of the station wagon (before seatbelts), and you have a few options. You can worry about how long and how far it is to the destination or be lost in your fantastic world of station wagon. This is surrendering to the loop of life.

When I’m watching the mile markers go by and am counting the seconds tick, tick, tick, it’s time for a reminder. When I’m frustrated trying to find my awakened self like an eyeball looking for itself, it’s time to step back and surrender to the empty spaciousness I am. The headless experiments are good tools for me. Find what works for you. From spaciousness, we are the water which is wet, and we don’t need to look any further. From the wetness of water, the loop is pretty cool, a great adventure, a life worth living.

Oh by the way, you can’t unsee what has been seen. Even the briefest of awakening experiences changes us forever. The truth of our essence grows from within, in the background, underneath, behind, and through. We can have faith that the loop, life itself, is the opportunity for the truth to present itself.

So surrender to the loop, and if you feel stuck, frustrated, and dizzy from the race, it’s OK. It is just the loop doing what it does, preparing you for a deeper experience of what you are.

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