What is Nonduality
Experience Nonduality via Yoga Nidra
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- Friday, July 5, 2002 - Editor: Jerry
Bob Rose [email protected]
The Hardest Meditation Technique
In our classes, one of the only "homework assignments"
we directly give is to try to abstain from expressing
negativity for either 2 hours on one day, or for a
whole day, or for 2 weeks, or for a lifetime. Everyone
(except the truly saintly) who does this reports that
they have learned a tremendous amount about their
habitual negative responses to life. This is a great
opportunity to stop "going there". One warning - be
gentle and forgiving to yourself when you see how
negative you are. No being negative about being
negative! This technique will also kick up your
self-control. As you refrain from saying negative
things with words or body language, you start seeing
that you really need not get upset/negative about
things. You will also automatically gain greater
dispassion and discrimination. These are the basic
building blocks for having a meditative basis for your
life. Perhaps most importantly, it is your inner Witness
that will be aware of your physical, emotional, and
mental actions and reactions, and being at one with the
Witness is Being at One with your Real Self. When you
remain at One with your Witness, you will never again
squander a moment in negativity, and you will live
happily ever after. Of This, I am positive!
Jan Sultan [email protected] "I am Not" not "I am"
AN ACCOUNT OF
"REALISATION OF EMPTINESS" By Dr Ann
'I fell asleep one night in October 1985 and woke next
morning without a self' All my thoughts, hopes and fears
about the future have changed radically since I fell
asleep one night in October 1985 and woke next morning
without a self. I don't know what happened to it, but
it never returned.
This should have been an occasion for some regret, since
I quite liked myself - a self born long ago when I
first discovered that other people didn't automatically
share my private inner space and couldn't intrude upon
it without my permission. Since then I'd worked hard on
myself to make it a good one, mainly by praying to God
to remove the bad thoughts and feelings surrounding it.
I soon came to think in terms of my Higher self and
lower self - and hoped that God would always love me
and forgive me so long as I at least aspired towards
the Higher and abjured the lower. The Higher Self, I
decided, was probably my soul which would eventually
unite with God and live happily ever after.
So it came as somewhat of a surprise in later life to
learn that the Soul is not to be sought in the heavens
but in the depths of the psyche, especially in the
lower or shadow part which I'd tried to disown. Through
psychotherapy and dream-work, I discovered that far from
diminishing myself, all those buried fears, guilts and
weaknesses brought a welcome softness and subtlety to
life. In fact they led me on to even deeper archetypal
encounters which expanded the boundaries of self in to
the greater collective psyche of humankind. What had
begun as a journey of purification had become one of
completion or individuation, and I looked forward to
attaining what Jung called Wholeness, the Self or God
before too long; all I needed, or so I thought, were
just a few finishing touches. 'All those buried fears,
guilts and weaknesses brought a welcome softness and
subtlety to life'
In the meantime, in true Human Potential fashion, I was
furthering all this growth by 'taking care of' and
'looking after' whichever self I happened to be into at
the time. I no longer berated myself for making mistakes
and was usually able to say "no" without feeling
guilty. All things considered, including many years of
meditation practice, I rated myself at around 3.5 on
the Transpersonal Ladder of Enlightenment.
It was at this point in my imagined psycho-spiritual
development that I lost myself. To compound the irony,
before going to sleep that night in October 1985, I'd
actually done a 'self-remembering' exercise for
precisely the opposite purpose - to centre my energies
in such a firm and clear sense of self that it would
continue into the dreaming process instead of getting
lost in it, thereby giving me a lucid dream in which I
was aware of dreaming. I went off dutifully repeating
the words "I am, I am, I am, ...", and was more than a
little astonished to awaken some hours later, laughing
because the pundits had got it wrong: the truth was much
more like "I am not." I was emerging from a state of
consciousness without any I or self at all, a state
that can only be described as pure consciousness. I
can't even say I experienced it, because there was no
experiencer and nothing to experience.
And far from being a matter of regret, this loss of self
came as a distinct relief. In fact when bits and pieces
of my old identity - hopes, fears, goals, memories,
spiritual aspirations and all the rest - began to
recollect as I awoke, I tried to fight them off, in much
the same way, perhaps, as the reluctant survivors of
Near-Death Experiences resist the return to life's
little boxes. But unlike those survivors, I brought back
no blissful sense of divine presence or of a mission to
accomplish, nor even intimations of immortality - just
a total inner and outer Empty-ness which has remained
This may not sound like a happy state of affairs to a
psychotherapist, who would probably see in it evidence
of a mid-life crisis or incipient psychosis. But it is
far more interesting than that. I experience this
Empty-ness as a boundless arena in which life
continually manifests and plays, rising and falling,
constantly changing, always changing and therefore ever
new. Sometimes I feel I could sit forever, knowing
myself as not only a fluid manifestation of life within
the arena, but also as the Empty-ness which holds it.
If this is psychosis, everyone should have one, and the
world would be a far more serene place for it.
After all this, I see no special significance in the
approach of a new millennium, but as a psychologist, my
hopes are something like this: - I would challenge the
ancient creed that developing a strong self-sense is
essential in rearing children with adequate strength for
living. Surely it is possible to encourage them to find
a fluid identity within the constantly-changing play of
life, not seeking permanence of any kind, particularly
that of self. Perhaps we could even teach them to see
and enjoy themselves as unique 'nonentities', instead
of separate hidebound selves obsessed with survival.
- In psychotherapy, I would hope for a radically new
approach to those who suffer from inner emptiness.
Instead of working towards filling that void with new
purpose, direction and meaning, I would aim to assist
sufferers to go even deeper into Empty-ness and
discover its true nature. I would actively discourage
all ideas of inner-journeying towards wholeness or
paths to enlightenment. These serve merely to postpone
happiness here and now, and they build up the
- In the spiritual domain, I would fire all gurus and
transpersonal psychologists who use stage-by-stage
models of self-development ( explaining experiences
like mine as fifth level transient nirvikalpa samadhi -
or whatever). And I would like to see the term Self with
a capital S: Self-actualisation, Self-realisation,
Self-transcendence - expunged from psychological and
spiritual literature, reserving the word strictly for
the empirical self of everyday life. It is the whole
obfuscating concept of self which needs to be
transcended, for in my experience there has never
really been any self to transform, actualise, realise
Adapted extracts from an article entitled 'Towards a
No-Self Psychology' in the Australian magazine,
Consciousness (June '93).
Tykal [email protected]
sun opens the book of day.
night sneaks a flashlight under the covers
so the child can still read the magic
written in the weavings of its fibers,
its hand bloodred against the light,
flushed of darkness save a few deep veins
that will not be stripped of their secret
no matter how bright the shine
that envelops them
Kheyala [email protected] Adventures at Rasa
The Angel and the Grouch
I was awful today. I mean, really a big grouch. At one
point I snapped at something really insignificant and
Ananda said, "Mommy, did you have a bad thought?" I
didn't answer. I was too grumpy. Then she came over and
said, "What is it? Tell me your thought." I told her to
leave me alone. She went over to her dad and I heard
her say, "I am going to help Mommy because she is sad."
I called out to her that I didn't need her help because
I was fine. Then I made myself scarce.
I wasn't gone for very long but when I came back Ananda
was sitting there in tears. "Why did you fool me? Why
did you tell me you were fine? I know you weren't
fine." I sat down beside her, put my hand on her back
and said, "You are right. I didn't fool you, did I?"
She shook her head and said no. She asked me again
about what my bad thought was but I just shrugged and
admitted that I couldn't find it. Then I started to
cry. She said, "It's okay, Mommy. I will hold you."
She wrapped her arms around my neck and squeezed her
whole little body against me like she really meant it,
with everything she had. Then she put the softest,
plumpest hands on my face and kissed it in a couple of
spots with a sweetness that I can't even begin to
describe. My tears of sadness had shifted into tears of
wonder and she noticed that right away, saying, "Is that
what you needed, Mommy?" So I sniffed and chuckled a
little, wiped the remaining tear away and said, "I
guess that was exactly what I needed!" Then she jumped
up and declared that she was going to go play....and
then she was gone.
NINA [email protected]
It is interesting to note what people (myself included)
take as the essence of any passage.
I think back on the college admission tests where one is
asked to select the main point of a reading selection.
As there were never more than 5 multiple choice answers
to select from, the task was fairly simple. Two to
three of the answers would invariably be illogical and
the remaining answers a matter of fine point. So,
essentially, for any writing, there would be two main
points to choose from. That is so easy.
Now, though, the answers are infinite and utterly
illogical, befitting the infinitely illogical
lifestories we write.
When reading Kheyala's writings, I wonder: what is
tugging at her heart, asking to be formed such that it
may be shared?
Upon reading these writings, does one respond based on
what one may grok of Kheyala's heart tugger, or based
on that invariably different tugger of one's own heart?
Yesterday I realized again, with quiet surprise and some
relief, that I never NEVER know exactly what another
person means. Well, maybe not never, never, but you
know, rarely. And even if I think I know, I might be
wrong, or projecting or identifying in just another way
with myself. So it must not be necessary to know if one
knows what another means. The relief came from realizing
that I don't need to "know" with certainty what another
person means. I need only to attend. Words can so
mislead...yet they are what we have to work with...but
only a part of what we have to work with.
For myself, the words that come out of my mouth or my
pen, rarely reflect what is exactly in my heart. I
assume that is true for others also. Right speech for me
is staying tuned to my authentic experience and
allowing that to arise in speech, hopefully in a simple
way. Or tucking it away in silence if that seems more
consistent with the wholeness of my experience of that
moment.......I find that when I do this....I am
satisfied with whatever level of "understanding" the
other person shows or doesn't show to what I am
saying...and that I remain more open to the gaps in
their words, their body language and subtle
communication cues that help me to better understand (I
think) what lies in their heart.
I also find when I do this...a curious opening and
lightness in my heart and boyuancy in my acceptance of
Of course, some days I don't do this at all...and I just
prattle on and blunder through the universe thinking I
understand when I don't and feeling clueless when I'm
actually absolutely clear. And so it goes. :)
Nina, I think it was you, gently challenged me to think
about the time referencing of some statements I made.
This was a couple of weeks ago and it had to do with the
language of "getting there," "journeying," etc.
What are we to do with time? How to discuss this
process, this finding the rabbit, without referencing
those aspects of time that suggest Now I have it, Now I
don't, even though I always Have It, I'm not always
aware I have it....yada, yada.....and then maybe a
You are so right, Nina...the time thing can lead us to
language that distorts the authentic topogrophy of the
process that allows us to come nearer and nearer to our
own hearts, and nearer and nearer to One, which is
I am thinking that a very simple way to describe the
process and the result (an inference here, since I do
not claim enlightenment)....awareness, awakening,
enlightenment, is as a simple shift in our perception of
and orientation towards time.
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What is Nonduality
Experience Nonduality via Yoga Nidra
Starting February 1, 2018, Nonduality.com will operated by James Traverse.