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#1913 - Monday, September 6, 2004 - Editor: Jerry    

Featured is Part 13 of 13 of the review/summary of The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy, edited by John J. Prendergast, Peter Fenner, and Sheila Krystal. Information about this book is available at  

The Yoga magazine Namarupa is introduced.  

There are portions of a free online book entitled Who Am I?    

The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy  

Chapter 13  

Dancing with Form and Emptiness in Intimate Relationship  

by Jennifer Welwood  

Jennifer Welwood is a psychotherapist in private practice and teaches workshops in the U.S. and Europe. She has specialized in working with groups and couples since 1988.    

~ ~ ~    

"In the Heart Sutra of the prajnaparamita tradition, one of Buddhism's most renowned teachings, the great bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara says to Shariputra:  

Form is emptiness; emptiness itself is form; Emptiness is no other than form; Form is no other than emptiness.  

"His words, which may seem incomprehensible at first, point to the nondual nature of reality. But what do they actually mean? Are they something that can be understood in terms of our everyday human experience rather than as an abstract, esoteric philosophy? And what does understanding nonduality have to do with relatinship dynamics?"  

Thus opens this chapter.  

The author explains the sutra for a couple of pages. She points out that emptiness is any threat to the form we hold onto at the moment. She arrives naturally to the statement: "So when we fail to recognize our nature as nondual, not only do form and emptiness become divided, but each also becomes a distorted version of itself. Rather than emptiness being an open expanse whose natural potency generates form, it becomes a negative deficiency that we have to work against in order to maintain form. And rather than form being that which arises naturally out of emptiness, it becomes something that we have to fabricate as an avoidance of emptiness. If we don't make form arise, it won't arise naturally as an expression of emptiness. Emptiness has to be avoided as a threat to form, and form has to be fabricated in opposition to emptiness. And we can see that this is a state of suffering."  

Further, Welwood explains, the activity of grasping onto form undermines the form, resulting in greater activity toward grasping that form. This cycling is self-undermining and self-perpetuating. This entrapment in the samsaric loop -- whose exit is not seen or known -- manifests in relationship dynamics.  

The Psychodynamics of Samsara  

The author describes how we develop a conditioned identity. She states, "We lose the true support of our deeper nature and seek refuge in the false support of our conditioned identities. This is how our samsaric confusion manifests at the level of psychodynamics."  

Further, Welwood explains, every conditioned identity is known by two poles: "the pole of who we're hoping we are, and the deeper pole of who we're fearing we are." She explains that this is an unstable situation because these are polarities that do not support each other. She says, "There is nothing we can ever do to prove that we are something as long as our deeper belief is that we really are not that -- especially when our activity to disprove that deeper belief only reinforces it." This dynamic is self-undermining -- because there is no support from the deeper pole -- and self-perpetuating, because there is actual resort to the deeper pole. The mental energy that feeds this loop is inexhaustible and if freed only be bringing awareness to it.  

The Samsara of Relationship Dynamics  

This is a brilliantly told section in which the author reveals her work with a couple in their forties who had been together for about two years. Welwood's introductory statement to this section I found enticing and she delivers the goods: "While our own personal samsaric loops can create tremendous suffering and bring us to the outer layers of hell, to really go all the way down into hell requires another human being. So we'll look at what happens in a relationship when two partners' intrapsychic samsaric loops interact to create an interpersonal samsaric loop."  

Here is a statement that concludes this section: "For Linda and Greg then, we could say that they were caught in their samsaric predicament as long as they believed that their nature was really a deficient emptiness. And they became freer as they began to experience their nature as nondual... . The true resolution of their relational difficulties was to become more porous to their deeper nature, which then also gave them a basis for discovering real intimacy."    

~ ~ ~    

This concludes the summary of The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy. For more information and to order this book, please visit  

A unified review of the whole book will appear on The Highlights in the next few weeks.      

Devaprayag, Himlayas, India
Photo by
Martin Brading  

The photo above is the back cover of the current issue of Namarupa   NAMARUPA, Categories of Indian Thought, is a new journal that conveys the vast scope of sacred philosophical thought that has emanated from the land and people of India over many millennia.  

During the past few hundred years, these inspiring and soul elevating ideas have been wending their way west, through returning visitors as well as migrating Indian adepts and practitioners, who have journeyed far across the world.  

NAMARUPA takes its name from a well known mantra in the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad  

"At that time the world here was not unfolded;it [then] unfolded itself into names {NAMA} and forms {RUPA}."1:4:7  

‘Name and Form’ has become a general term in Indian philosophies used to refer to the infinite manifest universe, cognized through the senses. The term asserts that though seemingly diverse, from the minutest particle to the gods themselves, essentially names and forms are just various aspects of Being, and as such hold the clue to their own origin, the Self.      

Dear Jerry:  

Please accept the following book  

t is free on the web along with many others.  


WHO AM I ?  


There is more to life than just living. There has got to be more to life than to just
live. There should be a higher purpose in life. The purpose of life is to come to the
real answer of ‘Who am I?’ This is the unanswered question of infinite previous lives.
The missing links of the search for ‘Who am I?’ are now being provided through the words
of the Gnani Purush (The One who is completely Self-realized). These words are edited for
the purpose of comprehension.  

Who am I? What am I not? Who is the Self? What is mine? What is not mine? What is
bondage? What is moksha(liberation)? Is there a God? What is God? Who is the ‘doer’ in
the world? Is God the ‘doer’ or not? What is the real nature of God? What is the nature
of the real ‘doer’ in this world? Who runs the world? How does it function? What is the
real nature of illusion? Whatever one knows, is it real or is it an illusion? Will one
become free or remain bound with the knowledge one has?  

This book will give the precise understanding of the truth behind these questions. In
addition, the reader of these pages is introduced to the essence of Akram Vignan(the
direct approach to liberation).  

Dr. Niruben Amin   1986    

~ ~ ~    


All the religions of the world are correct by their viewpoint. The religion which
investigates, ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Who is the doer?’ is the final religion. This is the
absolute religion. Absolute religion imparts liberation.  

Once the wrong belief that ‘I am the doer’ is destroyed and the nature of the real doer
is known, all our puzzles are solved.  

Gnan is knowing ‘Who am I’ and ‘Who I am not’.  

‘I’ and ‘My’ are always separate. There is not a single characteristic of ‘I’ in ‘My’,
and ‘My’ in ‘’I’.  

‘My’ can only be understood exactly once ‘I’ is realized.  

The slightest element of ‘My’ is an illusion.  

Knowing ‘Who am I?’ results in loss of ego. Otherwise it is not possible.  

t is impossible to know the Self through one’s own efforts. This is because ego is
required to make any effort.  

It is not important to make one realize that ‘I am not the doer’. It is important to
realize that ‘I am pure Self’.  

For Self-realization, a Gnani Purush is needed. The Gnani Purush is able to dissolve your
ego because he is completely devoid of ego.  

Jai Sat Chit Anand    

~ ~ ~    

WHO AM I ?  

(1) WHO AM I ?  


Dadashri: What is your name?  

Questioner: My name is Chandulal.  

Dadashri: Are you really Chandulal?  

Questioner: Yes.  

Dadashri: Chandulal is your name. Is Chandulal not your name? Are you yourself Chandulal
or is your name Chandulal?  

Questioner: It is my name.  

Dadashri: Then who are you? If Chandulal is your name then who are you? Are you and your
name not separate? If you are separate from your name, then who are you? Do you
understand what I am trying to say? If you say, "These are my eye-glasses," then you and
the glasses are separate, right? Similarly, do you not feel that you are separate from
your name?  

In the same token there is nothing wrong with naming a shop ‘General Traders’. If we were
to call out to the shop owner, "Hey! General Traders ...come here!” he would reply, "My
name is Jayantilal, General Traders is the name of my shop". The owner, the shop and the
merchandise inside the shop, are all separate entities. What do you think?  

Questioner: That makes sense.  

Dadashri: People insist, “No, I am Chandulal”. That means, ‘I am the owner of the shop
and I am also the sign on the shop.’ ‘Chandulal’ is just a means for identification.  

From your very childhood, people kept calling you ‘Chandu’ and you have come to believe,
‘I am Chandu’. You believe this name to be you. In reality you are not that, but you
insist that you are Chandulal because everyone tells you so. Since you do not know who
you really are, you believe yourself to be the name that you have been given. This has
had a very powerful psychological effect on you. This effect is so deeply ingrained
within you, that you believe that you are Chandulal. This belief is wrong. As a result of
this wrong belief, you have experienced countless lives ‘sleeping with your eyes open’.  


Dadashri: Will you not have to investigate who you really are? How long can you go on
being in the dark unaware of your Self? Do you not think it is ignorance to not
investigate your true identity?  

Until you realize who you really are, everything proves to be wrong and incorrect.  

Even before you purchased this watch, did you not inquire about its make, quality, price,
warranty, etc.? Then, is it not ironic that you have not made inquires about your own
Self yet? Who are you? You have no knowledge about your true identity, where you come
from and where you are. You know none of these things and even without knowing the answer
to this one vital question, Who am I?; you complicate your life further by actively
participating in this relative world. In this state of ignorance you further complicate
your life by getting married, having a family, etc, etc. This is how confusion and
puzzles arise in the relative world.  

Even when you fall asleep at night, you do so as Chandulal. All night long this wrong
belief reinforces itself, becoming stronger and stronger. Only when you realize the
answer to ‘Who am I?’ does your wrong belief stop. It is because of this wrong belief;
that you have been wandering from one life to another. You do not know your true identity
and furthermore you impress upon yourself the belief of that which you are not. You have
imposed this wrong belief on your Real Self. Not only this, but you have accepted that 'I
am Chandulal' and have behaved accordingly. This false accusation is a blunder. This
blunder is the root cause of all suffering. This suffering is in the form of inner
restlessness, misery and discontent. At the moment, you have so many worries because of
your belief that ‘I am Chandulal’. This false imposition on the Self, is ignorance and
brings forth suffering.

~ ~ ~    

To read more, please visit

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