What is life when seeking ends?
Just what is, nothing more or less—
an ordinary person doing ordinary things,
not wishing to be more or less,
content to simply be herSelf.
—Dorothy Hunt, Only This
Do you ever feel as if your spiritual search is getting you nowhere? That despite sincere intention and effort, you’re reaping frustration instead of fruit? In Ending the Search, Dorothy Hunt unravels a dilemma that has vexed countless people on a spiritual path. “You may have tried all manner of practices, meditation, guru shopping, chanting, prayer, and still you have not attained your heart’s desire,” she writes. “This book is about the ego’s spiritual ambition, its search for its idea of ‘enlightenment,’ its struggles and its eventual fate as seeker becomes the sought.”
Ending the Search explores the deep spiritual impulse to awaken and the ways a future-focused mind “co-opts” or veils what is timelessly free, loving, and ever present. Dorothy invites us to follow our longing for truth, love, or enlightenment back to their source—the Heart that is beckoning us beyond separation. While describing and honoring different practices and paths taken in one’s search for Truth, she emphasizes the practice of self-inquiry as taught by Ramana Maharshi. We are invited to search not for an idea of something “out there,” but for the true identity of the seeker, the unnamable Mystery that is compassionately aware, existing right now in each of us. The book also looks at the processes of embodiment and surrender, the need for “ruthless honesty” without self-judgment, and in its concluding section, shares a vision of life lived authentically.
“The spiritual search is a call to remember who or what you essentially are,” explains Dorothy Hunt. “What ends the search is actually present from the very beginning, beckoning you to come Home. In truth, you are what you seek, yet you must make the discovery for yourself.” This is your invitation, with Ending the Search.
• The nature of spiritual ambition
• When practice becomes problematic
• How the thinking mind separates us from the moment
• Silence and stillness, our greatest teachers
• Ego and the trance of separation
• The human heart as a doorway to the infinite
• The freedom of Presence
• The price of Realization
• Gurus, spiritual teachers, and charlatans
• Undoing core egoic beliefs
• Resting the mind in the Heart of Awareness
Hunt (Leaves from Moon Mountain), spiritual director of Moon Mountain Sangha and founder of the San Francisco Center for Meditation and Psychotherapy, shares her broad spiritual wisdom in this unwieldy book on fighting the ego in order to live a fulfilling spiritual life. Writing for those who feel the "spiritual impulse" toward enlightenment she calls this by many names, including "truth, love, God, Self, Buddha-nature, freedom" Hunt begins with a Sufi fable of a stream wishing to cross a desert. The wind offers to transport the stream, but only if the stream agrees to an identity transformation. This circular evolution (stream to rain to stream) is a metaphor for a person's spiritual journey: "We begin the search from the end and end the search where it begins." To demonstrate her points, Hunt frenetically crisscrosses traditions and quotes liberally from spiritual teachers (particularly Ramana Maharshi and Ramesh Balsekar). "One has only to taste the words of the ancient Indian Rishis, the Taoist sage Lao-tzu, the Buddha, Jesus... to begin to resonate somewhere to that unspoken truth that touches the heart," she writes. Although Hunt's freewheeling text will disappoint readers looking for a more formalized method, the book effectively considers how different spiritual traditions confront negative, ego-driven attitudes.