I have spent a lot of my life seeking to discover who I am, what I am, and if I will continue on after this life, or simply end. I have pursued this from a very young age and most times it has been extremely frustrating, difficult, overwhelming, depressing and at other times it has been, beautiful, blissful, and indescribably breath-taking.

I have sought for truth, not belief, and that has had me questioning every experience I have had along the way. I never wanted to accept anything as a belief because it felt disingenuous and fake. And so, no matter what I experienced in the many years through my life in meditation, contemplation and indeed physical encounters that would not be considered possible in this life, I have always asked for evidence to support anything I have experienced, and at every turn the irrefutable evidence came. Still, I looked deeper to know more, and to experience more.

Today, people speak of spiritual journeys, spiritual paths and so on, and all this talk about such things, as well as meditation and mindfulness, has continued to lead people away from what they seek instead of towards it. The modern teachings of today around all of this are nothing more than religions disguised as spirituality. In truth, there is no journey, there is no path, there is just self-realization. It is unfortunate that so many deep-rooted ancient practices and teachings have become watered down, packaged up, and served in one-hour classes, or some fast tracked certification course.

Of course, I understand the searching and seeking people are doing and that is a good thing. However, the problem is they are seeking out those popular teachers who become somewhat famous, recognizable, and adored, why? because they are popular. Most everyone has heard of Bruce Lee, but how many reading this have heard of Gou Ming Xu? Bruce Lee was an amateur at best compared to the skill and knowledge of Master Xu. This is true as well with so called spiritual teachers today who are popular but are mere amateurs in the spiritual realm.

There remains a truth that the true masters are mostly living quiet lives and teach very few the authentic ways and practices. This was true with Jesus. Jesus was not immortal; he didn’t teach many people and most of those he taught got it wrong anyway. Those who glorified him and turned him into the son of God never heard a word of his teachings, they simply made him into a popular figure after he died for their own purposes. All teachings, at their essence and core are very simple, but we don’t want simple or practical, we want mystery and magic, we want to be wowed and made to feel special.

There is nothing special about seeking truth, there is no mystery to it and no certifications or awards for knowing it. It isn’t about feeling good, nor is it about suffering. You don’t need a meditation cushion, you don’t need fancy decorations, nor any special crystals. All you really need to do is sit down, shut up and pay inward attention to yourself. That’s not hip though, it’s not cool or mysterious, it doesn’t have the awe of modern spiritual ethereal fluff.

Ask any true enlightened being what it was like when they reached realization and they will tell you the place and situation had nothing to do with the experience, and it most likely happened when they least expected it and it was the actual realization itself was all that mattered. Where they were, what they were wearing, who was around, what the situation was, had no bearing at all on their enlightenment. What did matter was their genuine pursuit in a humble way, for truth, in this life or even the ones before.

To truly seek for truth, you must ask yourself if you are willing to give up all the nonsense and beliefs you have. If you are willing to put aside what you think you know and let go of any notions you have of spirituality or meditation. Then you will have begun to open to knowing yourself. All you need to know is yourself anyway, because the knowledge of the universe resides within you. So, are you willing to become ordinary, humble, and quiet? No journey is needed, no path is necessary, just let go, and know.

Ed Williamson