It is easy to become engrossed in ourselves for days, weeks or even months. We either forget about nondual awareness completely, or “know that it’s there” but are unable experience nondual awareness even for a few seconds. Perhaps we are identified with a thought for just a few seconds. Or the journey might take several weeks.
The challenge is to take the journey we are on, knowing it is a “story” we have created. We might think, “I know there is no one making this journey. I know (intellectually) that there is no one who suffers.” But still we ache and suffer. It is the story of “suffering”. If access to the nondual seems closed, we accept the first noble truth of the Buddha. We suffer.
If we have needs and preferences we are bound to suffer. “Clearly, what’s happening for me now isn’t what I want to be happening. That’s the problem. That’s why I’m suffering. And there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it.” So, we suffer. We accept the inevitability that we will suffer for as long as we can’t accept things as they are. Until the story ends.