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Nondual Highlights Issue #1958 Saturday, October 23, 2004 Editor: Mark

Editor's note: This is my last highlights edition for awhile. I'm moving from Taos, but I'm not yet sure where I'm heading. I hope to see you again soon.


If all there is is Consciousness, if there is only Consciousness, then why or for what are you still seeking? If there is only Consciousness then right now you must be That and everything else that appears in and as awareness must also be That, including any sense of separate self. Any appearance of mundane, ordinary existence can be no less of Consciousness than any appearance of unconditional love, wholness, bliss, stillness, silence or anything else. Does anything really need to be transcended, found or let go of?

- Nathan Gill

More here:

15. The Jivan-Mukta is a person liberated during his life-time who continues to have consciousness of the body and the world along with his firm abidance in his Siva-Self. He ever abides in the blissful peace of Sat-Chit-Ananda. He is poised rock-firm in the conviction that he is not the body, and that his being is the sole existence, the sole alert-awareness-bliss of Siva-Self-Supreme.

- from
The Essence of Ribhu Gita, free English translation by prof. N.R. Krishnamoorthi Aiyer, posted to MillionPaths by Viorica Weissman

The mind turned inwards is the Self, turned outwards, it becomes the ego and all the world. But the mind does not exist apart from the Self, i.e., it has no independent existence. The self exists without the mind, but never the mind without the Self.

Q. When we enquire within 'Who am I?' who enquires?

Ramana Maharshi:

It is the ego. It is only that which makes the vichara also. The Self has no vichara. That which makes the enquiry is the ego. The 'I' about which the enquiry is made is also the ego. As a result of the enquiry the ego ceases to exist and only the Self is found to exist.

M. Everything we see is changing, always changing. There must be something unchanging as the basis and source of all this. It is the Self.

- Ramana Maharshi, posted to meditationsocietyofamerica by Era

What is the nature of the event that must occur before we can make the 'transition' from an intellectual acceptance of who we really are to full liberation?

I am not asking 'what do I have to do' or anything similar - I know that there is nothing that 'I' can do; indeed nothing that 'I' do at all. It has also been said that enlightenment is rather a 'non-event'. What I am interested in is the 'lead up' for want of a better phrase to the 'paradigm-shift' of realisation.

The lead-up is quite often a two-phase process.

The first phase is often a very strong desire to know the Truth, to finally BE it. This desire is sweet and benevolent, not agitated. It is stronger than anything else, and it places itself in the background behind all other thoughts and feelings. Whenever you are not thinking about the business of the day, you will think of getting at least a tiny glimpse of this Truth. Your mind will just be there, aligned with that desire to Know/Be. The strength will develop so that it's more important than life itself.

The second phase, closer to the 'non-event', is often an indescribably sweet feeling of being summoned home. Of being beckoned back to a place that you can't describe phenomenally, but which feels soft and inviting and altogether familiar nevertheless. And as time goes on, there is a greater and greater feeling of confidence and realisation that this will happen. From this perspective, it is probably considered a real and quite momentous phenomenal event, but the feeling of momentousness and reality attributed to this event also softens with time.

Some of the new, 'neo-advaitin' teachers are saying that no 'event' need actually occur. Once we have an intellectual appreciation of the truth, the seeking can effectively end and we should simply wait for this knowledge to 'sink in', as it were. What do you say to these claims?

Definitions such as 'Enlightenment = the end of seeking!' are a logical misunderstanding, and even a trivialization of enlightenment, compared to its articulation in the great traditions such as Advaita Vedanta.

If we propose two definitions:

(A) If Enlightenment, then no seeking.
(B) If no seeking, then Enlightenment.

The logical misunderstanding consists partly in confusing (A) with (B). According to most time-honoured definitions of enlightenment, something like (A) would be true, whereas (B) would be false.

Incidentally, one thing that modern interpreters of Advaita do is to attribute a lion's share of suffering to the seeking itself. I've heard many spokespeople say: "Enlightenment = the end of seeking!" This is quite a psychological definition of enlightenment, together with a personalized preoccupation with one's feeling states and one's progress on the path.

This kind of seeking-based suffering is often a self-indulgent and intellectually-acquired thing. There are lots of other kinds of suffering that can remain even when seeking ends. E.g., I know one lady whose seeking ended, but in despair. She even had a mild resentment towards what she considered the charlatanry of some modern teachers, and went on to live her life doing other things. No more seeking, but still various kinds of suffering.
But what about the actual transition?

I mentioned, before, the idea of a paradigm shift. I suppose it must be something like the change that came about when man, originally believing that the earth was the centre of the universe, suddenly understood the implications of Copernicus. And yet there, the event that tipped the balance was the assimilation of new knowledge. Is this all (!) that is happening here? In fact, could it happen without the knowledge of the shruti (direct or indirect)?

What 'sort of' event is it, in vyaavahhaarika terms? Is the elusiveness caused by trying to describe the indescribable again, because the 'event' is a sort of intersection of noumenal and phenomenal?

In the same terms as your question -- It's the transition between seeing it as an event, and not seeing it as an event. It's the transition between seeming to experience a real difference between the noumenal and the phenomenal, and not.

As seen from 'before'", there's a before and after, and an imagined phenomenal distinction. As seen from 'after', there is not.

- Greg Goode

Greg's site:


One of the fundamental teachings... is that we are all Buddha, we are already Buddha. Suzuki Roshi said, ' be a human being is to be a Buddha. Buddha nature is just another name for human nature - true human nature.' This means that being Buddha is intrinsic or essential to being human. If we weren't Buddha, we couldn't be human.

The word 'Buddha' means 'an awakened one,' one who is awake to things as they really are without the coloring and attachments of our individual conditioning. So another meaning of Buddha is 'unconditioned nature.' Our basic, original nature is unconditioned; but at the same time, most of us are ignorant of our unconditioned being. Our habits, our thoughts, and conditioning hang like a cloud covering our unconditioned nature."

- Taitaku Pat Phelan

We just have to look at our conditioning, dears, bring it into the light of awareness. It is painful at first - we run when our secrets are gonna be pulled from their hiding places, but boy oh boy! it feels so darn good when we surrender and let them be exposed to the light! Then like throwin' water on the witch in the Wizard of Oz, those little dickens dissolve into a puddle at our feet. And lordy, lordy we are free!

Buddhist practice is not always a joy ride! We have to be willing to go over some pretty swift and scary rapids!

Well, that's enough metaphors for one day. hoho! Have a great one - peaceful and full of joy! ~dg

Quote from teaching "Buddha Nature,", posted to DailyDharma by Dharma Grandmother

If you want to wake me up from my dreams
do it only if you love me
so that when I open my eyes
I will not be separate
I will not ask who is the Lover
and who is the Beloved.

If your eyes see me
I see myself
if your love is here
I am here

- Emanuele De Benedetti, on AdyashantiSatsang

This moment this love
comes to rest in me,
many beings in one being.
In one wheat-grain
a thousand sheaf stacks.
Inside the needle's eye,
a turning night of stars.

- Rumi, posted to AdyashantiSatsang by Mazie Lane

Sayings and Doings of Pai-Chang, the 9th Ch’an patriarch

This principle is originally present in everyone. All the Buddhas and bodhisattvas may be called people pointing out a jewel. Fundamentally it is not a thing - you don't need to know or understand it, you don't need to affirm or deny it. Just cut off dualism; cut off the supposition "it exists" and the supposition "it does not exist." Cut off the supposition "it is nonexistent" and the supposition "it is not nonexistent." When traces do not appear on either side, then neither lack nor sufficiency, neither profane nor holy, not light or dark. This is not having knowledge, yet not lacking knowledge, not bondage, not liberation. It is not any name or category at all. Why is this not true speech? How can you carve and polish emptiness to make an image of Buddha? How can you say that emptiness is blue, yellow, red or white?

As it is said, "Reality has no comparison, because there is nothing to which it may be likened; the body or reality is not constructed and does not fall within the scope of any classification." That is why it is said, "The substance of the sage is nameless and cannot be spoken of; the empty door of truth as it really is cannot be tarried in." It is like the case of insects being able to alight anywhere, only they can't alight on the flames of a fire - sentient beings' minds are also like this in that they can form relations anywhere, only they cannot relate to transcendent wisdom.

"No ability, no sagacity - this is enlightened sagehood." -Bodhidharma

- posted to awakenedawareness by Ben Hassine


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