I started “What Never Changes” in 2006 after coming across the idea of non-duality in the course of my spiritual search. My influences were mainly John Wheeler and other Bob Adamson disciples. In 2010, I came across James Swartz, a teacher of traditional Vedanta, the science of non-duality. While the “direct pointing” of my early teachers was very helpful, it failed to address the persistent experience of being a human being in a body. Vedanta addresses that experience fully and completely, and answers every imaginable question. I was very grateful for coming across this exceptional teaching and teacher.

Now the question is, when has it all done its job? When do we stop? When is the search over? Is there some kind of dramatic shift or change in perception to let us know? Is there a subtle but unmistakable “click,” as we sometimes read about? It’s certainly an appealing notion, and it keeps us striving for that finality, but I don’t think it holds water, and does us harm in the end.

Is there a final door through which we walk, which when we turn around to see where we came from, we see that there was never a door to begin with? In my experience, there were dozens of those doors. Every door felt like the final door, but there was always another door. Why? Because it is the nature of the mind to look for doors, to look for mysteries and try to solve them.

When does it end? I found that it ended when I stopped looking for doors. Of course, this took a lot of preparation, but I believe that if you are reading this website, you yourself have already had years, perhaps decades, of preparation. It may be that for you, the only thing standing between you and the end of seeking is simply not knowing you can stop.

The act of stopping is an important one. Stopping is letting go of resistance to what is, right now. Resistance is painful, and yet we hang on to it, in the belief that there is more, there is better – some final, perfect, permanent knowledge or state, and we will find it, if only we keep looking. And we feel we are close – oh so close!

But “close” is the epitome of the pain of separation. Just out of my reach. “Close” says “I am not that.”

It’s important to stop feeding this painful misconception. Stopping is an act of faith. It’s stepping off the edge of the cliff, and seeing if our wings will carry us. It may be that this is not even a choice that we make ourselves. We might get pushed.

It’s funny that when we jump off this cliff, we’re actually jumping back into the world. What we are is evidenced here in the world. The holy Presence that is our true nature is here, in the infinite variety of expression, and we are privileged to enjoy the fullness of this expression in every moment. It is in this fullness that our true nature is known, when the resistance to it is abandoned. Our wings are fully extended, are proving themselves to be strong and trustworthy, and are carrying us to new heights indeed.

There is an irony to this, and a sense of coming full circle – what we wanted so badly to transcend in the first place becomes the heaven we were looking for all along.

I welcome your comments and questions. You can email me at annette@whatneverchanges.com. No email will be posted without your consent.

Annette Nibley
February 2017
Mill Valley, California