|What Am I? Galen Sharp
H I G H L I G H T S
The Best of the Internet's Nonduality Email Lists, Forums, Web sites, and More
Editors: Jerry Katz, Gloria Lee, Christiana Duranczyk, Michael Read, John Metzger
Highlights Issue #1060
Friday, May 3, 2002
Today's Highlights compiled, edited and designed by Gloria Lee
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Gems from Sri
Nisargadatta Maharaj's Conversations
"Nobody ever fails in Yoga...
It is slow in the beginning and rapid in the end.
When one is fully matured, realization is explosive."
Manuel Hernadez posted on A Net of Jewels
VIORICA WEISSMAN from Million Paths
Eckhart's Spiritual Transformation
The story which I describe briefly in the introduction to the book is that for many years I lived in a state of great fear and continuous fluctuation between states of depression and high anxiety. This was to the point of becoming almost unbearable. One night I woke up in the middle of the night, as I had many times before, in a state of even more intense dread and fear. The mind had lots of reasons why I was feeling fearful, and yet that state was continuous no matter what my external situation was. It became so unbearable that suddenly the thought occurred to me, "I cannot live with myself any longer." That thought was the trigger for a transformation. The thought kept repeating itself many times in my head and then suddenly there was a stepping back from the thought and a looking at the thought. I asked, "Who is the 'I' and who is the self that I cannot live with?"
In Zen they have koans and it's almost as if a koan spontaneously appeared in my mind. A koan's purpose is to destroy conceptual thinking because it has no answer on a conceptual level. So, I asked, "Who is the self that I cannot live with? Are there one or two? If I cannot live with my self, who is that self?" And then, beyond thought, there was a recognition of the "unhappy me," as I later called it, as being something completely non-substantial and fictional. Then consciousness withdrew completely from identification with that "unhappy me." At that moment the whole structure of the "unhappy me" and its pain collapsed because the withdrawal of identification was so complete. What was left was simply beingness or presence. There was still a moment of fear. It felt like being drawn into a hole within myself, a vast whirlpool, and a realization arose in my chest, "Resist nothing." That was the key. Then resistance was relinquished and I don't know what happened after that.
All I do know is that the next morning I woke up and even before opening my eyes I heard the sounds of birds and it was so precious; everything was so precious. Then I opened my eyes and everything was alive and new and fresh as if I had never seen it before. And I walked around and picked up things and looked at them. I was amazed at everything. There was no understanding of it. I was not even trying to understand anything. It was just so beautiful. Then I walked around the city in the same state, even in the midst of traffic. I was in a state of amazement and it was all so beautiful.
from : Introduction to The Power of Now
JOYCE SHORT from Million Paths
Today's Jean Klein for a lovely spring day
Having often sat at the feet of
various teachers, listening to them talk
about "enlightenment" and wondering what this might be "like" - although it
cannot be like anything...here is a short bit from Jean Klein, from his
book, "Transmission of the Flame", that perhaps gives a sense of it, a
"Student: And during this stay there was a moment of enlightenment?
Jean Klein: Yes, it was a total
switch-over from the residual conditioned
state to the unconditioned state. Awareness expanded completely and I felt
myself in globality.
Student: Had this ever happened before?
Jean Klein: No. There had
been glimpses, but this was more than a glimpse.
There was no going back. I had found my real ground.
Student: Did you know in
the moment that it would be permanent or did you
discover this in the days that followed?
Jean Klein: Because of
the quality of the switch-over there was no doubt
that I could be taken again by duality, and this was confirmed in the days
and weeks that followed. I felt a rectification in my body and in my
brain, as if all the parts had found their right place, their most
comfortable position. I saw all events spontaneously appearing in the
non-state, in my total Absence, real Presence.
Student: Could you say
what were the exact conditions, physical and mental,
before this moment?
Jean Klein: There had
been, for two years, a retreat of all the energy
commonly used in becoming, so that when some birds crossed my horizon,
instead of becoming lost in them, they were lost in me and I found myself in
awareness free from all objects. This time, what I admired, the birds,
dissolved in my admiring, in Presence. And admiring dissolved in the
Admired. Before the birds appeared, I had been in a profound and prolonged
state of being open to openness. Now I found myself AS the openness,
identical with the openness. Openness was my being. There was no more
Student: Was there any other
difference between this time and other times
when you had looked at birds?
Jean Klein: Before, there was a
looker looking at something. This was a
moment when there was simply looking without a looker. Previously, it had
been my nature to live in pure perception with objects, not living in the
divided mind. I had for a long time ignored the arising of all
Jean Klein: It belongs to
the traditional approach, and so that of my
teacher, never to refuse or indulge in the coming up of qualifications, but
simply to ignore, and eventually forget about them. neither to look for
freedom nor avoid non-freedom. The mind simply ceased to play a role except
in a purely functional way.
Student: How is life different now?
Jean Klein: There is no more
identification with time and space, body,
senses and mind. All events simply happen in awareness.
Student: Did your relationships change?
Jean Klein: There was no more
relationship. As there's no longer an "I",
there is not another.
Student: Can this non-dual state be described at all?
Jean Klein: It is love
where the mind is dissolved in love. The seeker IS
the sought, and is always so very, very near.
VIORICA WEISSMAN from Million Paths
Nisargadatta- to know is to love and to love is to know.
There is in you the core of being which is beyond analysis, beyond the mind. . . . It is simple, open, clear, and kind, beautiful and joyous. . . Know yourself to be the changeless witness of the changeful mind. Mind is interested in what happens, while awareness is interested in the mind itself. The child is after the toy, but the mother watches the child, not the toy.
When you realize that you are the light of the world, you will also realize that you are the love of it; that to know is to love and to love is to know.
Do not be afraid of freedom from desire and fear. It enables you to live a life so different from all you know, So much more interesting and intense, that, Truly by losing all, you gain all.
M J GILBERT from Along the Way
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
When you see a pearl on the bottom,
you reach through the foam and broken sticks
on the surface. When the sun comes up, you forget
about locating the constellation of Scorpio.
When you see the splendor of union,
the attractions of duality seem poignant
and lovely, but much less interesting.
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
BEING IS DOING from NDS
If living in the Now is just a byproduct of enlightenment what is the
similarity in being and doing?
Doing is Being's puppet show.
How can what we call time be anyting else than every thing moving? The present, or living in the in the now must be a 'byproduct' of being caught in the movement of forms.
ON THINKING from NDS
"The supreme paradox of all thought is the attempt to discover something
that thought cannot think." S°ren Kierkegaard
Ironically, one could derive a version of 'Who Am I'
from this quote.
think that which cannot be thought.
Has a similar effect, no?
GABRIELE EBERT from Harsha Satsangh
this question Who am I? is raised, what results
is silence, an ending of the entire thought-process.
Be watchful: cling to this silence. This silence, though
temporary, is the link between the 'I' and the Self. "True
Silence where no thoughts exist, is the real state of
Realisation," says Sri Bhagavan. The 'I' is a distortion
of this state of quietude, being a movement, a wave in
the ocean of stillness.
Ramana, the Self Supreme by K. Swaminathan,
pp. 113 - 14.
VIORICA WEISSMAN from NDS
are those sleeping who are awake ,
and others awake who are sound asleep.
of those bathing in sacred pools
will never get clean.
there are others
doing household chores
who are free of any action.
MICHAEL READ posted on several lists
Selection from Wide Open Windows
If any path is true it must
have the seeds of its own destruction immediately available to
That is, the only true path would be one that would immediately show its followers why and how it is NOT true, since Truth--as such, or God as such--could not be conveyed by the limitations of its revelations.
Or, if we may invoke a Buddhistic Koan to get our point across. If you see a "True" Path
Don't Walk on it.
Because to the degree a path is "true" is directly proportional to the ways and means that it illustrates why and how it is false.
Following is reproduced from the site of Stanley Sobottka: A Course in Consciousness.
At this point, I will list some observations I have made about teachers and practices. However, be warned that this is not science, and others may disagree, so you should make your own observations and draw your own conclusions.
1. Teachers teach what worked for them. It may not work for you.
2. It is unlikely that a teacher who never engaged in spiritual practice will be able to suggest a spiritual practice to help you to end your suffering, no matter how genuine his enlightenment. (An exemplary exception to this was Ramana Maharshi.) The same thing is probably true of a teacher who has never suffered to any significant degree.
3. Some intentional spiritual practices can and do relieve suffering, even though they may not lead to enlightenment. An analogy is that aspirin may relieve a headache even though it may not remove the cause. (Of course, we must remain aware that it is not the practice that relieves suffering. If suffering is supposed to stop, it will stop, though practice may or may not precede it.)
4. At some point, disidentification requires going inward far enough to be able to see every object of awareness. It then becomes clear that I am not an object of awareness, but pure Awareness itself, as discussed in section 2 above. This may have to be repeated many times.
5. The teachings of teachers who have responsibility for managing and maintaining ashrams or spiritual centers are likely to appeal to a larger audience than those who do not, because supporting an ashram requires large amounts of volunteer effort and substantial financial commitments from the disciples. Consequently, such teachings will generally be designed for maximum acceptability. On the other hand, the purest teachings usually come from teachers who are not surrounded and supported by an organization. A good example of such a teaching is Wei Wu Weis books which focus on one point and one point only--the absence of the individual I. As a teacher, he led an obscure life, and his books have never had a wide audience. Compare this to Sai Baba who has many tens of thousands of disciples and several ashrams, and who utilizes materializations to attract attention. His teaching emphasizes discipline and selfless service (karma yoga). This is more acceptable and understandable to large numbers of people than is the teaching that there is no individual.
6. In the course of investigating various spiritual teachings, the seeker will find that a teaching and teacher must be acceptable if they are to be helpful. The natural inclinations of each personality will self-select between the enormous variety of teachings and teachers. A person who is naturally service oriented will probably be moved to do karma yoga in an ashram or spiritual center. A person who is devotional by nature will probably find a teacher who can symbolize God for him or her. The intellectual will probably be drawn to a jnani whose intellect matches his or her own. Of course, personalities come in all forms and mixtures, so who will be attracted to what or whom is an individual matter. Furthermore, a particular teaching and teacher need not be a lifetime choice for a person. As Ramesh says, it is perfectly all right to shop around and to go "guru hopping."
7. Very few teachers give their teaching a metaphysical basis. Of the ones that I know, only Ramesh and Wei Wu Wei consistently do. For those who appreciate metaphysics, its logical and intellectual structure makes the teaching more understandable and therefore more acceptable. For that reason, a teaching with a metaphysical basis is generally more suitable for an academic course than one without it. However, this in no way implies that a metaphysically based teaching is best for everybody or even for most.
8. The occurrence of awakening in a given body-mind organism leaves the conditioning of the organism essentially the same. In other words, the basic personality is unchanged by awakening. Hence, if the organism was "not nice" before awakening, it also will probably not be nice after awakening. If it was not a good teacher before, it likely will not be a good teacher after. This makes finding an acceptable teacher all the more difficult. However, all genuinely enlightened beings have compassion for all of their fellow beings because they see no separation between them.
9. Some teachers, particularly a bhakta like Gangaji, emphasize the value or even necessity of spending time (sometimes called darshan) in the presence of the guru in order for "transmission" to occur. Other teachers, particularly a jnani like Russell Smith or Nome, say this is not necessary because transmission can add nothing to our already complete true nature. My own intuition is that, if the necessity of being with a guru seems like a "should" to you and feels like an obligation, it will not help you and will only increase your suffering, but if it feels like an opportunity to stop stagnating and to experience love and joy, it will help you towards liberation. If it is a mixture, just remember there is no "you" that ever decides anything.
10. Some spiritual organizations require secrecy pledges and/or teach proprietary systems of thought and practice. While proprietary techniques may yield some benefit, one suspects that exclusionary policies are designed more for the power and privilege of the teacher than for the enlightenment of the student. Such strictures seem contrary to our intrinsic freedom, and there are plenty of legitimate teachers who do not impose them. Your true nature cannot be a secret, and Self realization cannot be bought or sold.
FROG JUMPS IN
THE SOUND OF WATER ...
|What Am I? Galen Sharp