Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

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 #1812 Saturday, May 29, 2004 Editor: Mark

Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.

This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.

At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.

Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.

-Excerpt from
Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore

More here:


A Story

A story has a beginning and end.
I don't have a beginning and end.

A story describes things.
I'm not describable.

If I tell you a story about this,
I lie - it's not a story.

You want to have self-disclosure,
meaning; you want stories
that appeal to your story, so
that you feel you have received
something meaningful.

When you have no story, when you
have nothing meaningful,
unsplit reality opens.

To want the description, the story,
to want to get others' stories,
that is human.

Beyond the storied, beyond the human
perspective, lives Reality.
The Reality that is wholly other
than the human framework,
the Reality that is not one
centimeter away from where
and who you are.

I will give a brief version of
my story, although it is

I went through a great deal of
seeking for truth. I took
risks, I reached a point
where I didn't care what
happened to me.

I lost my mind, my senses,
my reality.

I reintegrated.
I was no one, living
as someone, but
no one was here.

This made no sense,
yet it did make sense:
the sense it
made was poetic,
Gradually, little
by little, it became
more "functional"
in the day to day
It led me to study
certain things,
to unfold a certain

I kept a low profile.
I put one foot in front
of the other.
I didn't advertise
my awareness.
I felt humbled by
"all this," and
I tread carefully
through the maze
constructed on
this planet.

Now, here I am.
I never left.
I am where I never
left, and never
What else is there?

- Dan Berkow from:

A lasting marriage
when devotion has claimed you for its own
no longer any chance to stray
a brief fling with illusion no longer satisfies
the truth demands utter fidelity
with no possibility of divorce

All pain must be faced
and embraced as the true countenance of
your beloved

All fear must be met
and recognized as the thrill of tasting
the unknowable

All joy must be surrendered
and acknowledged as a gift with
no giver

This union only requires telling the truth
even when the truth shatters your dreams
even when the truth leaves you emptied out
even when the truth reveals your counterfeit existence
then there is no other possibility
then happily ever after.

- Nirmala:

"Your awareness is the truth about God."

- Lalla, translated by Coleman Barks


In the recesses of the
lotus-shaped hearts
of all, there shines as
pure intellect
Consciousness )the
Paramatman, who is
the same as
Arunachala Ramana.
When the mind melts
with love of Him, and
reaches the inmost
recess of the Heart
wherein He dwells as
the Beloved, the
subtle eye of pure
intellect opens and
He reveals himself as
Pure Consciousness.

~Ramana Maharshi quote and image, submitted to AdyashantiSatsang by Robert O'Hearn



The bell tolls at four in the morning.
I stand by the window,
barefoot on the cool floor.
The garden is still dark.
I wait for the mountains and rivers to reclaim their shapes.
There is no light in the deepest hours of the night.
Yet, I know you are there
in the depth of the night,
the immeasurable world of the mind.
You, the known, have been there
ever since the knower has been.

The dawn will come soon,
and you will see
that you and the rosy horizon
are within my two eyes.
It is for me that the horizon is rosy
and the sky blue.
Looking at your image in the clear stream,
you answer the question by your very presence.
Life is humming the song of the non-dual marvel.
I suddenly find myself smiling
in the presence of this immaculate night.
I know because I am here that you are there,
and your being has returned to show itself
in the wonder of tonight's smile.
In the quiet stream,
I swim gently.
The murmur of the water lulls my heart.
A wave serves as a pillow
I look up and see
a white cloud against the blue sky,
the sound of Autumn leaves,
the fragrance of hay-
each one a sign of eternity.
A bright star helps me find my way back to myself.

I know because you are there that I am here.
The stretching arm of cognition
in a lightning flash,
joining together a million eons of distance,
joining together birth and death,
joining together the known and the knower.

In the depth of the night,
as in the immeasurable realm of consciousness,
the garden of life and I
remain each other's objects.
The flower of being is singing the song of emptiness.

The night is still immaculate,
but sounds and images from you
have returned and fill the pure night.
I feel their presence.
By the window, with my bare feet on the cool floor,
I know I am here
for you to be.

- Thich Nhat Hanh from Allspirit:


Our true nature is a pure, calm, clear, open, awareness. It is the one true source of absolute happiness, love, peace, wisdom and harmony. It is absolute existence, consciousness and bliss, the end of suffering, the source of all creation, and the primal state of pure energy. It is beyond time, no past or future, non-dualistic, no here or there or you and me. It is nowhere [here-now] so it is everywhere and contains all things, (including time and relative reality).

We always and already have everything we need within us, it is simply a matter of realizing it. Our true nature exists within us now, just an absolute conscious prescence: no "I" or "you" or anything. This doesn't mean that we are already enlightened, but the potential is there.

"Your duty is to be, not to be this or that." - Ramana Maharshi

"If your mind is empty it is ready for anything, it is open to everything... and includes everything".- Shunryu Suzuki

Our true nature entails letting go of the need to know everything and opening our hearts to the unknown, thus increasing our capacity for love and freedom in every moment of life. Be here now in the present eternal moment, clear, awake, accepting everything, rejecting nothing; free of ego games. When your mind is clear and your heart is open you are free to be fully attentive to whatever you are doing with a sense of profound intimacy and love and will naturally do it well. There is nothing to be attained, sought after, clung to, grasped at or rejected. There is no need for complex intellectual understanding just the freshness of being in each new moment. To be in our true nature means to die to our ego mind, our independent sense of a self, moment after moment. We can only awaken to love, peace, understanding, wisdom and compassion within ourselves and the world in the present moment.

"God does not reserve the "lofty hights" for certain souls only. On the contrary, He is willing that all shall embrace it. But He finds few who permit Him to work such sublime things for them."- St. John of the Cross

- Tom Adams:

Feelings and Temperament

Awakening to the emotions means to feel them - nothing less, nothing more. It does not require changing our feelings - feelings change all the time on their own. Nor does it mean changing our temperament. If we are an introvert or an extrovert, a joyful person or a melancholic one, that will likely remain the same. One Buddhist teacher said that he had expected awakening to bring a "personal transformation," only to be surprised that it was actually an "impersonal transformation." The transformation is the opening of the heart, not a personality change.

We fear our emotions when we haven’t seen them for what they really are. We confuse allowing ourselves to be aware of them with the necessity to act them out. But to include our full selves in our journey, we need to understand how we have been entangled by and identified with our emotions. We need to see how the hurt and frustration of childhood, the forces of anger, greed, pride, sexual longing and need have been conditioned in us. Experiencing the full range of our feelings as they come and go in our consciousness, we can begin to ask of each the question, "Is this who I am?" If we can hold our feelings in a spacious and fearless heart, the lonely, broken, spiteful, confused feelings arise in a new way, transformed by our acceptance.

- excerpt from
After the Ecstasy, the Laundry by Jack Kornfield

Are we not wasps who spend all day in a fruitless attempt to traverse a window-pane - while the other half of the window is wide open?

- Wei Wu Wei

top of page