What is Nonduality
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Highlights Issue #1021
Wednesday, March 27, 2002
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from the I Am list
tonight it's the magic night of passover,
traditional celebration of release from slavery; and
spring's new beginnings... i wish us all freedom from
fear, lots of joy and happiness, and may the spring
showers wash all suffering away.
by Nathan Gill
Free online book
from The Mediation Society of America List
"Hi, I am a student at Saint Mary's University I am
writting a paper on meditation and I am looking for info
on the effect it has on athletes and anything else that
is related to this subject."
Answer: Actually, all the martial arts are
meditation-based methods of gaining self control.
Similarly, Zen meditation techniques are found in
archery and in the 70's one of the best selling books
was a book dealing with Zen and tennis. Chico Resch was
a great hockey goalie and he attributed his being able
to pay perfect attention on his success. He said that he
could see the puck coming at him in slow motion. Such is
the power of concentration, and concentration is the
basic start of attaining a meditative state. Similarly,
Ted Williams, the Hall of Fame baseball player has said
that he was able to concentrate so intensely on the
thrown pitch, that he was able to see the seams of the
ball as it rotated. Many swimmers visualize every dive,
and many golfers visualize every shot. These are
meditation skills. I would suggest checking out any
Karate, Aikido, or Tae Chi site and you will surely find
a meditation factor in gaining mastery of these athletic
Bob Rose, President,
Meditation Society of America
from the Yearnings list
(with someone else's dialogue interspersed but not identified.)
Another conclusion was to only give help when it's asked
Whether asked for or not, what prevents you from helping
in whatever manner you are moved to. Your help may get
thrown on your face. So what?
Do whatsoever you wish to.
Without the righteous glow when something got done, or
the guilt when nothing got done, or what got done was
I repeat, what you do or not do (not just for the
subject in question), is hardly of any import.
The gestalt through which "you" view the doing
/non-doing, that is the key.
Just few days I was commenting.
Thousands of lemmings washed ashore by a big wave.
Struggling to crawl back to the waters, most dying in
You walking on the beach, start picking up some of the
lemmings and throwing them back to the sea. You look
around after 3 hours of back-breaking bending and
getting up and see that maybe 100 times more of the
lemmings have washed ashore, in tht 3 hours.
And you cry what difference did it make
It did. To that lemming which you threw into the sea.
So pick up lemmings.
Or do not.
The perfection of the moment, in EITHER case, is not
I am reminded of Christian missionaries who land down in
thrid world countries proclaiming "Here we are to save
the day!" when no one asked them to come.
Now it's no longer salavation that is promised, but if
you convert, food and clothes and hard cash. But for the
food and clothes and cash, you need to kiss Jesus's ass.
Once I was approached by a group of familes, faced with
Christian missionaries. These were very poor families,
and born "Hindu". They told me all about the promised
mazumas by the Christian Church, if they got baptised,
but were worried what would happen to their Hindu soul
I told them, forget the Hindu soul, go get baptised, get
all the mazummas and build your huts.
Then when the Hindu zealots, hear about the
"conversions" and come running, because they need your
votes for the upcoming elections, go do the Agni Puja,
take their Hindu money and buy a cow.
When the Christians come to check for further
dispensations of wordly goods, put up the cross of Jesus
on the hut and when the Hindu leaders come, out goes
Jesus and in comes Ganesh with some burning incense.
I am told, that the next genration of that entire
village today are studying in colleges, some of them
have jobs, there are some 125 cows in the village, with
a small milk refrigeration system, which enables them to
collect and store milk to send to the local dairy.
Both the missionary sect, claim ownership of the hand of
Jesus/Ganesh in the prosperity.
Providing food and helping the sick is one thing, but
along with that comes the religion bit. Anyone read "The
Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver?
Whose intention is it that we are examining?
I find that what arises most naturally for me to do is
tonglen....having compassion for obvious physical kinds
of suffering...i'm not out to "fix anything".
It is said that there is enough abundance in the
universe for everyone to have everything they need want
and desire, and then some. And by "having pity" or
feeling sorry for poor folk, this reinforces this whole
And yet that "having pity" may move you to do
Look to the stake in that pity.
I think it is best for me to do what's in front of me to
do.... and if somehow it helps another, it is divine
will that it happen that way.
And if nothing gets done by you, have no guilt
from Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/eremon
A friend suggests that 'gravity well' describes
dreaming more than knowing. No doubt the
gravity well is more readily recognized in sleeping
dreaming than in waking dreaming, though both
are equivalent. Waking dreaming is, of course,
regarded as knowing.
Bottom line, I now prefer the simplicity of 'gravity well.'
This brings to mind Bell's Theorem,
a mathematical demonstration
of the non-locality of events.
Every representation of the universe
is rendered in consciousness.
Consciousness bestows locality
by tabulating and correlating
the many flavors of events.
Here's a delightful piece received today...
Gems from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's Conversations
"If you want to sin, sin wholeheartedly and openly.
Sins too have their lessons to teach the earnest sinner,
as virtues the earnest saint.
It is the mixing up of the two that is so disastrous.
Nothing can block you so effectively as compromise,
for it shows lack of earnestness, without which nothing can be done."
Deliver us from lack of earnestness.
Nisargadatta died in 1982. In life he appeared as a minimally
educated proprietor of a small tobacco shop in Bombay, living
a simple family life and rearing children. Without presumption
or pretense, he spoke what came to him. The brilliance of his
expression both then and now attracts people throughout the
What you truly are is ease. Floating on
this river of
life free and easy and interested to see what comes
next. You are not some story of what you think you are,
not your accumulated pain, not some imagined nirvana,
not some teacher's idea of right, not some progress on a
path, not awake, not asleep, not enlightend or
unenlightened, not anything at all. Just a gentle ease
of being. That's all :-)
(for some of Amber's writings put into Flash -- animated words and sound -- click on the following link and scroll to the bottom of the page: http://www.sentient.org/amber0/index.htm)
Gene Poole and Nina
Link: A Way with Words
This may be of interest to someone
(Well, it would be,
if there were anyone).
Language may be universal, hardwired
into human brains;
metaphoric equivalencies may be rooted in boolean
logic-chains; and the relationship between speech and
thought is being considered once again.
Response from Nina:
Thanks, Gene, this was indeed of
interest to at least
"Not everyone buys into the
inferred direction of cause
and effect in some of these studies. Lila Gleitman, for
one, of the University of Pennsylvania, has argued
strongly against the Whorfian revival. She and coworkers
have found that speakers of languages with different
ways of expressing orientation in space, as well as how
people and objects move, seem to think alike if given
the chance or the right cue. Language may have trivial
effects on memory akin to speaking a phone number aloud
as you go from Yellow Pages to phone, Gleitman adds. But
the curious relationships between speaking and thinking
exist, she says, because we devise language to express
the thoughts we have about our culture, geography and so
on. "People develop language that's useful given those
circumstances. That's why you always find a tight
relationship between language and thought."
Cause and effect, chicken and egg.
The really amazing thing is the
flexibility of the mind
to take on new language, the idioms of new languages, as
a means of expansion of a "conceptual base". Even more
interesting: the creation of a language to express a
conceptual base that has no direct means of "getting
out". Language, not limited to spoken or written words.
One might say we are fully composed of languages. Codes
of concepts, concepts of codes.
In one of the earlier introduction
exercises at the
Bauhaus, students were given a sheet of newspaper and a
certain amount of time. Nothing else. The teacher left
the room and returned at the appointed time. What a
confrontation! No direction! No rules! No words
describing what one had to do, what one had to 'match up
to'! What to do? Successful solutions were the solutions
that looked deeply into the inherent nature of the
newspaper. Crumples, holds form when folded, etc. The
most successful solutions were the solutions that
produced a "conversation" with this inherent nature of
newspaper with the simplest possible means. Beauty
The Bauhaus had a profound effect on art
architectural pedagogy and expression. The principles
put forth by the original teachers at the Bauhaus
disseminated throughout Europe and into the United
In the United States, this influence
combined in Chicago
(and New York) with the concurrency and bravado of
building ever taller skyscrapers (thanks to the inherent
nature of steel skeleton frames) to produce buildings
such as the Lakeshore Drive Apartment Towers.
Unfortunately, capitalist currents picked up on this
simplified language as a cheap way of building "more for
less"! It was this coopted use of this architectural
language (combined with cheap and easy car travel on
swelling miles of roadways, combined with the tendency
to segregate home and work during that time, combined
with...) that radically altered the urban form
(language) of cities in the US. Language has a way of
getting away from us...
Most directly, the stream inhabited by
approach to education is still inhabited by many schools
of architecture. My ears perk every time I hear an
academic say that the goal of the program is to "teach
students to think". I wonder, then, how they propose to
do this... the answer is typically found in the
particular approach to getting the student out of their
patterns of conversing with and in form, space, color,
light, etc. To have the student transcend their
conditioning, so to speak.
(At the Bauhaus, this was a political
connected to a visionary, better designed, future
available to all, even the "middle- class". <g>)
What I have personally discovered is
that such a push to
transform one's language can have profound effects on
one's inner landscape. During the time that I was most
intensively studying under this approach, my ability to
see spaceformlightcolorenergy (oftimeandmovement) was
drastically enhanced. It was as though a whole area of
neural pathways was suddenly opened up for use. Visuo-
spatial concentration by day and highly detailed
carnival rides by night.
I suspect that any such reconfiguration
concentration on language can have similar effects. Of
course, if you keep it up, you go mad, and if you stop
it, you miss the madness. <g>
Well, thanks again, Gene, for the
Issues of Identity, Entity, Entropy
Performing my periodic ritual of Google
new findings appear. Here is a page of interest, to
those who rigorously parse the nomenclature of
(If the above link 'breaks' in email, be
highlight all of it before clicking)
Note that the link is to a 'cached'
page. This is
because the primary link was unresponsive:
My search in Google was for keywords:
"Vajrayana" and "display"
I am always hoping that someone, an
author, will save me
the work of having to state (if I desire to state, for
purposes of communication) what is 'Display', as defined
by certain sources within the Vajrayana (Tibetan
Why? What makes it important to me, is
that my own
experiences (strikingly similar to the those of the
person which Jerry linked to the other day)
have led me to a vastly simplified body
concerning the nature of 'reality', and I would like to
share my point of view, as it may be of benefit to
I have written of this here before, from
time to time,
but have not noted a great deal of interest in the topic
(apparent reality as 'display'), based upon the lack of
responses from my fellow list members. I fault myself
for this, failing to incite sufficient interest to get
the ball rolling, so to speak.
It is possible that the utter lack of
drama around this
topic, is what makes it so much less compelling than the
postings which are slathered with gobs of gut-tightening
'morality' issues. How can a value- neutral subject,
such as the 'ultimate nature of reality', compete with
such identity-reinforcing pronouncements as those?
Here is a quote from the above-linked website:
"The internal conduct of chod
practice is the
development of the compassionate aspect of bodhicitta as
a result of realizing identitylessness. At this time,
compassion is constantly present and wells up as one
sees the sufferings and predicaments of all sentient
beings who have not realized identitylessness. This is
known as great compassion. It is also the essence of
dharmakaya or nature "as it is."
The secret conduct of chod practice is
or uncontrived conduct. This means fearlessness and
abstinence from expectation and disappointment, even the
hope for enlightenment and realization of
identitylessness; also, the fear of falling into lower
samsaric realms. When "thulsuk" is perfected, the
practitioner is known as a thoroughly pure practitioner
of secret chod." [endquote]
Here we have the essence of the remedy
(so to speak) to
the endless ping-pong game of intersocial morality-
competitions. By helping others to become aware of their
'identitylessness', they fall out of the sphere of
influence of the (seemingly) provocative aspects of
'Display'. If this occurs, the essential 'value-neutral'
nature of 'everything' may eventually be seen. It is at
this point of occurrence, that actual choice may be had
and applied. Before this point, there is only the
possibility of mechanical reaction.
Now, I ask, is not 'escape' from
reaction (of oneself) a fair definition of
Therefore, I have come to equate
familiarity with the
concept of 'Display' with 'getting an edge' toward
'enlightenment'. And my perception of this is reinforced
by the many accounts of spontaneous 'awakening' which
have taken place for so many people, especially those
accounts which reveal that there has been no deliberate
study or practice designed to lead to 'awakening', by
the individuals involved.
In these special accounts of
'awakening', it is noted
that the appearance of 'everything' changed to resemble
that of a movie. The nature of the 'movie' was such,
that participation in the 'plot' was clearly voluntary.
In other words, these 'spontaneous realizers' found
themselves in a position to have actual 'choice'. This
is to say, that there becomes apparent to a person, the
question of volition, and also the answer. This event
clearly transcends the usual philosophical arguments
about 'free will'; it is now a matter of direct
Forgive me for playing fast and loose
with words and
definitions, here. Certainly, those who read for
purposes of disqualifying, will easily throw this whole
thing out the window, based upon my use of
conditionally-qualified words, in reference to the
unconditional. Still, I do have something to say, and in
this email medium, I will say it in words, aside from
the pontifical pronouncements of those who
(conditionally) advocate that 'silence' is the only
valid way to communicate.
Not that I think that there is really
anything to do.
But there is the possibility of sharpening at least my
own wits, in this ongoing effort of communication. The
discerning reader (yes, I know you are there!) will,
hopefully, glean from this mass of verbiage, something
For myself, it has been a matter of
first, having an
experience, and then, setting about to the task of
finding evidence that others have had the same or
similar experience. I have done this with deep and great
exactitude, and have come to the tentative conclusion
that of all 'paths', Vajrayana has aggregated within
itself, the most accurate and useful of all viewpoints,
concepts, methods, and tools. This is of course an
'after the fact' sort of finding, and a mere
approximation of what I myself have gone through. But I
offer this, in hope that my task of 'reverse-engineering
of 'enlightenment'' can be of aid to someone, somewhere,
sometime. If the reader finds this to be nourishing is
some way, so much the better.
Discussion with Dan Berkow and Gene Poole
What you've shared here is interesting and
enjoyable, like other pieces you've written about
nonidentity, as well as display.
Thanks! Wonderful teachings ...
I wonder, is something being advocated?
None of this
sounds as much like a way that is being advocated as it
sounds like an expression 'after the fact,' not just
your words, but translations of 'original writings'
about nonidentification, chod, or display ...
Indeed, so it is... If I could just get a handle
on that elusive 'before the fact' stuff...
What can bring the pearl of great price to
fruitfully bear itself? Only itself, as it is ...
As it is...
What I mean is, if there is something to advocate,
one might advocate opening through and beyond sheer
terror and formlessness, however that takes place, and
finding oneself nonidentified, as peace?
Yes, well said.
I perceive that the sheer terror of
really, the sheer terror of sudden confrontation with
what has been successfully 'blanked' (or as some would
say, 'repressed' or maybe 'denied') and that when the
dynamically allocated energies applied as 'blanking' are
suddenly re-allocated by an unexpected event, that it is
what has been 'blanked' that springs forth, but we must
understand that the 'blanked' contents of consciousness
have been there, but made inaccessible via the dynamic
process of 'blanking'.
So as I see it, 'the unknown'
'nothingness' 'void' 'the
great beyond' have gotten a bad rap and a bad rep,
because lurking there, behind the expensive walls of
psychic compartmentalization, is that stuff that scared
the living hell out of a tiny child... and further,
everything which (later) was connected with it, by
But to continue... !
I also wonder, if the language of display while
precise and thus useful, as you say -- isn't
necessarily, and not just for you, "after the fact," and
thus, a way to hone the intellectual expression of what
was not found through an intellectual process?
Yes, of course. I try to find the most useful and
precise terms in which to express what I consider to be
'helpful'. It is apparent that many people have become
immune to the constant sets of terms and jargon, which
have filled the space in which awareness would function,
unimpeded, if it were not for the terrible exigencies of
being a human Being alive on Planet Urth.
(I imagine that the person to whom I am
hear their own voice as they read my words, if I can
accurately assess somehow, how that could be done. I
have read several authors who succeed in this, and I
enjoy the experience.)
The language of 'Display' is in fact,
ongoing whelm of events of this moment; it speaks to me,
describing in incredible detail, what it is, and it
speaks as that, while at the same time letting me know
that it is not really 'that', but instead, this.
And it is as this, that I write, or try,
the permissions, and finding the blocks in myself which
I did not know that I had, until I assumed that I could
go where I thought I saw.
I allow the words which describe, to
describe not only
what is described, but also to reveal or even describe,
what is doing the describing.
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What is Nonduality
Experience Nonduality via Yoga Nidra
Starting February 1, 2018, Nonduality.com will operated by James Traverse.