Methods for Recognizing our True Nature


The two most common methods for directly recognizing our true nature are the looking method and the resting method. The Christian mystical tradition calls these two approaches Via Positiva (the looking method) and Via Negativa (the resting method). Via Positiva suggests: “Seek and you will find.” Via Negativa suggests: “Give up seeking, and you will find.” Most meditation paths include aspects of both these styles. In addition, both Via Positiva and Via Negativa agree that ego-identification is the obstacle to awakening.

Via Negativa does not mean being negative. It is a way of negating all the many things that obscure the living truth of our being. It is the spiritual practice of deconstructing, dissolving, and letting go of what is not our true nature. We learn how to rest until what binds and blinds us naturally relaxes. The search for who you are begins with letting go of everything and seeing who or what is left. The most common form of this experience is sitting meditation.

Via Positiva, or the looking method, is the way of seeking spirit, reality, awake awareness, or true nature as simply and directly as possible. The particular looking method that I explore in my book, Shift Into Freedom, is a form of inquiry in which we intentionally and directly turn awareness around to find that awareness is the source of mind and our ground of being.

Learn more about Via Positiva in my books and audio guides »

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