All That Is Required by Susan Telford

rupert spira susan telford May 24, 2022


Whenever someone utters the words, “all that is required”, my ears prick up!.

I have been on a spiritual path since I was 16 years old (44 years!!) and have studied many spiritual paths and been a devoted practitioner of Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism, A Course in Miracles and the direct path of nonduality.

But lately I have been drawn more and more to the clarity and simplicity of Rupert Spira’s teachings.

At the Know Thyself Conference in April, Rupert was the opening speaker and part of the description of his talk was,

“Rupert explores the perennial, nondual understanding that lies at the heart of all the great religious and spiritual traditions …….and which is also the direct, ever-present reality of our own experience.

All that is required is an interest in the essential nature of experience and in the longing for love, peace and happiness around which most of our lives revolve.”

I certainly have an interest in the essential nature of experience, having devoted many years to exploring it and I recognise in myself and others that the underlying motivating force for everything is the longing for permanent love, peace and happiness.

In his Conference talk, Rupert pointed to 2 fundamental truths:

  1. What is essential to me is that which does not change, even as everything inside me, thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations fluctuate constantly. It is this awareness of being that is the source of peace and happiness.
  2.  I share my being with everyone and everything else and this is the source of love.

Rupert’s advice was to

“know the ten thousand things with your mind, know One Being with your heart”.

The ten thousand things is a reference from Taoism and refers to everything that can be named, what Rupert often refers to as the “multiplicity and diversity of things.”

"The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth
The named is the mother of ten thousand things"

I was left with a felt sense of Being, tasting again the joy of my true nature, the happiness that does not depend on the ten thousand things!

Shortly after the Conference, I attended an online weekend retreat with Rupert entitled The Practice of the Presence of God: The Path of Christian Mysticism. I wanted to attend because having been a committed Christian in my teens and early twenties and having developed an interest in various mystical traditions, I was keen to hear how Rupert pointed to how the nondual understanding is expressed in Christian Mysticism.

What I experienced was so far beyond a mere intellectual understanding!  Again, I fell headlong into the simplicity and joy of Being.

It felt as though I was seeing with fresh eyes, hearing through unfiltered ears quotes such as

“God expects but one thing of you, and that is that you should come out of yourself in so far as you are a created being made and let God be God in you.”

What does this mean?

It means to recognise that the woman I think I am is one of the ten thousand things, “a created being made” and to live as aware Being is to “let God be God in [me]”.

Or as Rupert so eloquently and succinctly put it,

“Let your being be God’s infinite Being.”

How do we do that? Is it a “doing”?

Rupert said,

“In everyday life, our awareness of things obscures our awareness of being.”

Check for youself - on an average day, do you spend more time focussed on “things”, objects, people, thoughts, feelings, sense perceptions than you do aware of simply being?

And yet, Grace (which Rupert described as “the magnetic pull of God’s being on our limited self” is constantly pulling us back, reminding us over and over that we are ever-present, luminous Being. This is not some high spiritual state, way out of our reach. It is the familiar sense of self we have always had.

Call me by my true name
Luminous Awareness
Pristine Presence
Silent Stillness
Aware Being
Joyful Existence

©Susan Telford 2022

Where is your attention?

Rupert taught us at his retreat that

“In practicing the presence of God, our awareness of being outshines our awareness of things.”

As we practice in this way, we feel for ourselves that the nature of being is profound peace, the “peace that passes understanding”, as Jesus described it.

As the recognition of our shared being dawns on us, we feel the arising of love, the only sane response to those “others” we now recognise as our very self!

Then, there is the realization of what devotion actually means. It is as Ramana Maharshi said,

“To simply abide in and as being is the ultimate devotion to God.”

It is to live the Namaste, in every encounter, in every relationship, in all our endeavors in the world.

And while for some that may mean spending time in extended states of blissful samadhi, for me it is to live in the world and allow actions (and words) to flow through me, as worship of and service to the One.

I could withdraw from the world
But I choose to love it

I could retreat into bliss
But I choose to serve

The paradox of awakening
Never for oneself
Always for One Self

As soon as I see
I see you/me
Same, same

I could sit for aeons
In blissful silent joy
But I choose to make my life
An endless Namaste

©Susan Telford 2022

This week, I am co-hosting the Rupert Spira Book Study on his latest book, You are the Happiness You Seek: Uncovering the Awareness of Being, with Bill Free.

We are going to discuss Chapter 2, Know Thyself.

This last month feels like preparation for this discussion, a lived experience of the themes in this book and in this chapter:

  • We all long for happiness
  • Happiness is our true nature, it’s not “out there”
  • We are all aware and we know it (are you aware you are reading these words?)
  • Things come and go and what remains is who I am!
  • There is nothing I have to do to be who I am!
  • When I know myself, I know peace and happiness

And that, my friends, is all that is required!

If you would like to listen to Rupert’s Conference talk entitled Know Thyself, a replay package is available.

If you would like to join Bill and me for the Rupert Spira Book Study, you can register here.

If you would like to join a global spiritual community devoted to integrating awakening in everyday life, check out Evolve. (I am the Community Manager)

If you would like to connect with me, send an email to [email protected]