Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:

Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day

Nondual Highlights Issue #1794 Saturday, May 15, 2004 Editor: Mark


This is where a further dimension comes into one's love which seems to represent a tendency in the opposite direction:


There is something of the hermit and something of the knight in each and every sensitive person. The detachment of the hermit gives a freedom of action to the knight in us which offsets the stalemate in which life can paralyze one in its grip.

One is called upon to be prepared to accept that the one whom one thought loved one does not really love one or has ceased to love one whether this is so or not:


It is the satisfaction of being loved that one has to give up for the inner independence is


that will relieve the one who loves one from the unbearable encumbrance of having to love one because one depends upon it. And then both can love again in splendid freedom."

- Pir Vilayat Khan from the page, "The Relationship of Love," on the web site, "DGsangha,"

More here:

- Painting by Yves Tanguy

"The experiencing of the manifold dharmas through using oneself (doing) is delusion; the experiencing of oneself through the arising of the manifold dharmas ("allowing", or as Jean Klein says, "Welcoming") is satori."

- Dogen, submitted by Robert O'Hearn to AdyshantiSatsang


Noticing requires allowing. To really be aware of your experience as it is, you can't be busy trying to change it. If you're trying to change it, you are not noticing the way it is. However, we tend to go beyond noticing whatever is happening to trying to fix it or change it. We treat our experience as a project - the "me" project. We are always looking to make whatever is happening more, different, or better than it is. We don't just allow whatever is to just be the way it is. But if whatever is happening is the right experience, that implies allowing it just the way it is.

Once you allow everything to be the way it is, then you can get curious about what is really going on. What is this mystery called awareness or thinking or doing? When you just notice without trying to change anything, it is possible for your awareness to include more of an experience of the
whole mystery rather than just some of the objects within it.

A funny thing can happen with allowing: we can become complacent. We not only take our hands off the steering wheel but close our eyes and go to sleep to our experience - we disconnect from our experience. We become too passive. One way this manifests is through indulgence. For example, if an emotion like anger is arising, rather than just allowing ourselves to have the experience of anger, we indulge it and express it. We dump our anger on someone or something else. Another way we indulge is by rationalizing: if my experience is always the right experience, then I'll just have another beer or eat some more cookies.

What's missing when this is happening is noticing and really being curious about your experience. Just as noticing requires allowing, allowing requires noticing to stay balanced. You not only allow anger, for example, but you get curious about it before it gets to the point of being expressed or repressed. Both are necessary: noticing your experience as it is and allowing it - not doing anything to change it and not doing anything to move away from it. Both allowing it and being curious about it are necessary. The arising of something like anger or fear or doubt is not a problem, but if you don't become curious about it you will tend to express it.

One way to suffer is to try to fix the moment. Another way is to try to escape the moment. The good news is that in the very next breath, if you become curious about that effort to fix or that attempt to escape, you won't be suffering anymore. You don't have to undo anything or do penance; you only have to be curious about what it is like to try to change the moment or try to escape from it and then allow the whole of that experience. Whenever you are really present and curious about your experience, you are free. Your suffering is gone.

We all have moments when we neither struggle with the moment nor try to escape it. Often this is when everything is going great. Who wouldn't pay attention then? Who wouldn't allow it then? Whenever there is a meeting of the moment with open eyes and an open heart, the moment opens up and becomes fuller and richer. When you are
there in the moment, the truth reveals itself. All you have to do is show up in the moment. But when you try to change or get away from the moment, the opposite happens. Your experience gets smaller, tighter, more constricted, and less satisfying.

All that matters is that you meet your experience with everything you've got - an open mind, an open heart, and a surrendered attitude. You surrender to whatever is going on. Eventually you discover that true liberation is in the inquiry, iteslf, and not in the place that it takes you to. The true joy is the inquiry itself, and that joy comes whether the inquiry is into something profound and wonderful or something not so pretty. The true joy is in seeing the truth. The only thing that really satisfies is uncovering the truth of this moment. What I mean by truth is what is present right here and right now that opens the heart. Until you find that, nothing else will satisfy.

If you meet every experience, nothing can make you suffer. Find out if there is something rich and true in even the most painful moments. Find out what happens if you are intensely curious about your experience just the way it is. Find out what that can unlock and reveal.

- nirmala from his book
nothing personal: seeing beyond the illusion of a separate self , published by Endless Satsang Press.

- Painting by Max Ernst

Chickpea to Cook

A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot
where it's being boiled.

"Why are you doing this to me?"

The cook knocks him down with the ladle.

"Don't you try to jump out.
You think I'm torturing you.
I'm giving you flavor,
so you can mix with spices and rice
and be the lovely vitality of a human being.
Remember when you drank rain in the garden.
That was for this."

Grace first. Sexual pleasure,
then a boiling new life beings,
and the Friend has something good to eat.

Eventually the chickpea
will say to the cook,
"Boil me some more.
Hit me with the skimming spoon.
I can't do this by myself.

I'm like an elephant that dreams of gardens
back in Hindustan and doesn't pay attention
to his driver. You're my cook, my driver,
my way into existence. I love your cooking."

The cook says,
"I was once like you,
fresh from the ground. Then I boiled in time,
and boiled in the body, two fierce boilings.

My animal soul grew powerful.
I controlled it with practices,
and boiled some more, and boiled
once beyond that,
and became your teacher."

- Mathnawi III, 4160-68, 4197-4208 Version by Coleman Barks
The Essential Rumi Castle Books, 1997, submitted to Sunlight

One early morning Sri Bhagavan explained how we have a glimpse of the real Self every day. Between sleep and waking there is a momentary twilight. The waking consciousness begins with the "I" thought. Just before the up-surge of the "I" thought, there is a split second of undifferentiated, pure consciousness. First unconsciousness, then the light of pure consciousness, then the "I" thought with which the world-consciousness floods in, this is the order. The middle state is Self-awareness. We can sense it if we are sufficiently alert and watchful.

- from Sri Ramana Reminiscences G.V. SUBBARAMAYYA second edition , Sri Ramanasramam , 1973 submitted to HarshaSatsang by viorica weissman

Yet drenched in the deep of sleep
A soft liquid depth
A pool of stillness consciousness-depth

Why say "I am"?
That is only froth on the surface
Here in the deep sombre silence
So quiet

Thank you for this post, which inspired the above poem.

- Bill Rishel on HarshaSatsang in response to viorica weissman

Martin Luther King's
Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
December 10, 1964
Oslo, Norway

I accept the Nobel Prize for Peace at a moment when twenty-two million Negroes of the United States of America are engaged in a creative battle to end the long night of racial injustice. I accept this award in behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination and a majestic scorn for risk and danger to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice.

I am mindful that only yesterday in Birmingham, Alabama, our children, crying out for brotherhood, were answered with fire hoses, snarling dogs and even death. I am mindful that only yesterday in Philadelphia, Mississippi, young people seeing to secure the right to vote were brutalized and murdered. And only yesterday more than 40 houses of worship in the State of Mississippi alone were bombed or burned because they offered a sunctuary to those who would not accept segregation.

I am mindful that debilitating and grinding poverty afflicts my people and chains them to the lowest rung of the economic ladder.

Therefore, I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize.

After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time -- the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.

Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.

If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. The tortuous road which has led from Montgomery, Alabama, to Oslo bears witness to this truth. This is a road over which millions of Negroes are travelling to find a new sense of dignity.

This same road has opened for all Americans a new ear of progress and hope. It has led to a new Civil Rights bill, and it will, I am convinced, be widened and lengthened into a superhighway of justice as Negro and white men in increasing numbers create alliances to overcome their common problems.

I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the "isness" of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal "oughtness" that forever confronts him.

I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.

I believe that even amid today's motor bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men.

I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.

"And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid."

I still believe that we shall overcome.

This faith can give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future. It will give our tired feet new strength as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom. When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born.

Today I come to Oslo as a trustee, inspired and with renewed dedication to humanity. I accept this prize on behalf of all men who love peace and brotherhood. I say I come as a trustee, for in the depths of my heart I am aware that this prize is much more than an honor to me personally.

Every time I take a flight I am always mindful of the man people who make a successful journey possible -- the known pilots and the unknown ground crew.

So you honor the dedicated pilots of our struggle who have sat at the controls as the freedom movement soared into orbit. You honor, once again, Chief (Albert) Luthuli of South Africa, whose struggles with and for his people, are still met with the most brutal expression of man's inhumanity to man.

You honor the ground crew without whose labor and sacrifices the jet flights to freedom could never have left the earth.

Most of these people will never make the headlines and their names will not appear in Who's Who. Yet when years have rolled past and when the blazing light of truth is focused on this marvelous age in which we live -- men and women will know and children will be taught that we have a finer land, a better people, a more noble civilization -- because these humble children of God were willing to suffer for righteousness' sake.

I think Alfred Nobel would know what I mean when I say that I accept this award in the spirit of a curator of some precious heirloom which he holds in trust for its true owners -- all those to whom beauty is truth and truth beauty -- and in whose eyes the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.


Painting by Yves Klein

Ed. note: In this culture, there are quite a number of conditions that "we" have historically had difficulty accepting, and there are those who have accepted the challenge of changing that... here are some of those brave people:

"I am out to sing songs that will prove to you
that this is your world
and that if it has hit you pretty hard
and knocked you for a dozen loops,
no matter how hard it's run you down,
and rolled over you,
no matter what color, what size you are,
how you are built; I am out to sing the songs
that will make you take pride in yourself
and in your work."

- Woody Guthrie

I can't carry a tune in a bucket, so this is my song.

I'm a veteran of the war on fat (and fat people). How I survived and got where I am, battle scars and all, is kind of a long story (but it's here if you'd like to read it).

But here I am...fat, forty-five, and more at peace with my body that I've ever been. It's been a tough fight, and it's not altogether over--I still have twinges of doubt and self-reproach every now and then--but mostly I like how I look and what I'm able to do with my body. I'm certainly a lot less willing to passively accept all the crap--the fat jokes, the lack of public accommodations and products and services that meet my needs, the misinformation, the discrimination that fat people face every day--than I used to be. I guess I just must be an educator and an agitator by nature, because it only feels right for me stand up against injustice and ignorance, and to work to empower other people stand up for themselves, too.

So here are some links and sources of information on size acceptance, starting with the basics, and ranging through tools for fat activists aiming to change the world. There's also a list of links to fat arts and artists, and some sources for larger-size clothing and accessories. I hope you'll find some things of interest and of use to you here!

From this site:


Poetic Acceptance was founded in hopes of providing parents and family members who have experienced the loss of a child a gathering place where no aspect or phase of grief is inappropriate. Though each loss is a separate and distinctly different experience, bereaved family members share the core of grief that can only be quelled by the knowledge that despite the feeling of being so - you are not alone.

At Poetic-Acceptance we encourage healing through the process of sharing. We promote the use of the written word, and other artistic outlets, as well as discussion and support through our forum boards, and chat rooms. We hope that you find solace, understanding, and acceptance within the safety of this site.

From this site:

Here is an inspirational site for survivors of traumatic head injuries...

And of course,acceptance of one's sexuality is not alway trivial. Here's an interesting perspective:


... in a vision I beheld the fullness of God in which I beheld and comprehended the whole creation, that is, what is on this side and what is beyond the sea, the abyss, the sea itself, and everything else. And in everything that I saw, I could perceive nothing except the presence of the power of God, and in a manner totally indescribable. And my soul in an excess of wonder cried out: "This world is pregnant with God!" Wherefore I understood how small is the whole of creation -- that is, what is on this side and what is beyond the sea, the abyss, the sea itself, and everything else -- but the power of God fills it all to overflowing.

... God presents himself in the inmost depths of my soul. I understand not only that he is present, but also how he is present in every creature and in everything that has being, in a devil and a good angel, in heaven and hell, in good deeds and in adultery or homicide, in all things, finally, which exist or have some degree of being, whether beautiful or ugly. She further said: I also understand that he is no less present in a devil than a good angel. Therefore, while I am in this truth, I take no less delight in seeing or understanding his presence in a devil or in an act of adultery than I do in a good angel or in a good deed. This mode of divine presence in my soul has become almost habitual. Moreover, this mode of God's presence illuminates my soul with such great truth and bestows on it such divine graces that when my soul is in this mode it cannot commit any offense, and it receives an abundance of divine gifts. Because of this understanding of God's presence my soul is greatly humiliated and ashamed of its sins. It is also granted deep wisdom, great divine consolation, and joy.

Beyond human knowledge and understanding The joy of the saints is a joy of incomprehension; they understand that they cannot understand.

No matter how far the understanding of the soul is able to stretch itself, that is nothing in comparison to what it experiences when it is lifted beyond itself and placed in the bosom of God. Then the soul understands, finds its delight, and rests in the divine goodness; it cannot bring back any report of this, because it is completely beyond what the intelligence can conceive, and beyond words; but in this state the soul swims.

And immediately upon presenting himself to the soul, God likewise discloses himself and expands the soul and gives it gifts and consolations which the soul has never before experienced, and which are far more profound than earlier ones. In this state, the soul is drawn out of all darkness and granted a greater awareness of God than I would have thought possible. This awareness is of such clarity, certitude, and abysmal profundity that there is no heart in the world that can ever in any way understand it or even conceive it. Even my own heart cannot think about it by itself, or ever return to it to understand or even conceive anything about it. This state occurs only when God, as a gift, elevates the soul to himself, for no heart by itself can in any way expand itself to attain it. Therefore, there is absolutely nothing that can be said about this experience, for no words can be found or invented to express or explain it; no expansion of thought or mind can possibly reach to those things, they are so far beyond everything -- for there is nothing which can explain God. I repeat there is absolutely nothing which can explain God. Christ's faithful one affirmed with utmost certitude and wanted it understood that there is absolutely nothing which can explain God.

... the soul sees, knows, feels, and comprehends God as invisible light, incomprehensible and unknown good. Comprehending, seeing, knowing, and feeling God, the soul, according to its capacity, expands in him and becomes filled with him through love... The soul, then, experiences and possesses God's sweetness more from what it does not comprehend than from what it comprehends, more from what it does not see than from what it sees, more from what it does not feel than from what it feels, more finally, from what it does not know than from what it knows. It seems to me that this is the reason that no matter how perfect the soul, even if it is as perfect as that of the Blessed Virgin, it comprehends nothing of God, the ordainer, uncreated and infinite. From looking at what it sees, feels and knows, it sees, feels, and knows that it cannot see, feel, and know.

- Angela Foligno, submitted to AdyashantiSatsang by Mazie Lane

Painting by Georgia O'Keefe

top of page