The great teachings unanimously emphasize that all the peace, wisdom, and joy in the universe are already within us; we don't have to gain, develop, or attain them. Like a child standing in a beautiful park with his eyes shut tight, there's no need to imagine trees, flowers, deer, birds and sky; we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, who we already are—as soon as we stop pretending we're small or unholy. I could characterize nearly any spiritual practice as simply being: identify and stop, identify and stop, identify and stop. Identify the myriad forms of delusion we place upon ourselves, and muster the courage to stop each one. Little by little deep inside us, the diamond shines, the eyes open, the dawn rises, we become what we already are. Tat Twam Asi (Thou Art That). —Bo Lozoff, from 365 Nirvana, Here and Now by Josh Baran.I think that's fine. But I also think it's confusingly poetic and etherial. What he's really talking about in my opinion is the simple fact that all subjective experience is just that: subjective experience. By its very definition, every subjective experience—peace, wisdom, joy, etc.— happens inside ourselves.
When looking for a picture of Josh Baran, I found this profile.
Josh Baran is a former Zen priest, a contributor to Tricycle: the Buddhist Review, and currently a strategic communications consultant in New York City. His clients have included Amnesty International, Earth Day, Rock the Vote, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Special Olympics, Universal Pictures, Miramax Films, Time Magazine, Warner Records, Oracle and Microsoft. For many years, he has managed media relations for the Dalai Lama's visits to the Eastern United States. In addition, he is a longtime student of the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and now works closely with Byron Katie.
I gather that the extract above is really Baran quoting Lazoff. In fact, I found it on this page. Here's a more complete (and more meaningful) extract.
In fact, most of the great spiritual commandments, precepts and teachings throughout history have been merely guidelines for what we should stop doing. Most of the ten commandments start with "Thou Shalt Not…"; the Buddhist precepts and Hindu Yamas and Niyamas start with "Non…," as in "non-killing, non-stealing, non-lying," etc. Many contemporary people have complained about such overwhelmingly negative wording in the ancient teachings, but there is a good reason for it: There really isn’t anything to do in order to realize the Divine Presence, the natural Holiness which life offers. We have merely to stop thinking and acting in ways which are harmful or selfish. Think about your own life for a moment, and the main improvements you would like to make: Don’t most of them involve stopping — smoking, drinking, drug use, uncontrolled lust, anger, fear, self-hatred, etc.; just stopping what keeps you bound?
The Great Teachings unanimously emphasize that all the peace, wisdom and joy in the universe are already within us; we don’t have to gain, develop, or attain them. Like a child standing in a beautiful park with his eyes shut tight, there’s no need to imagine trees, flowers, deer, birds and sky, we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, whom we already are — as soon as we stop pretending we’re small or unholy. This is not a philosophy; this is the way things are.
I could characterize nearly any spiritual practice as simply being: Identify and Stop. Identify the myriad forms of limitation and delusion we place upon ourselves, and muster the courage to stop perpetuating each one. Little by little, deep inside of us, the diamond shines, the eyes open, the dawn rises, we become what we already are. Tat Twam Asi — Thou Art That (as soon as Thou stops pretending otherwise).
The final invitation from the saints and sages is to stop even the last sense of self — true ego-death, to leap into the volcano as a human sacrifice, followed by a resurrection from the ashes as a Perfect One. The BIG Stopping! The consequence of this ultimate stopping is pithily described in a little story by Father Theophane in his book, Tales of a Magic Monastery:I sat there in awe as the old monk answered our questions. Though I’m usually shy, I felt so comfortable in his presence that I found myself raising my hand. "Father, could you tell us something about yourself? He leaned back. "Myself?" He mused. There was a long pause. "My name … used to be … Me. But now … it’s you."