Jerry Katz
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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #218

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I am a new member and I haven't yet
found out who Im
addressing so please forgive me. I am
interested in
speaking with an enlightened being. I
was hoping, That
would be you. Its funny but when I
begin to think of what I
want to ask or say, I have nothing to
say. I have been
reading books by Ramesh, Nisargadatta,
Ram tzu and some
others. I do intellectually understand
that the me I
thought myself to be is a figment and that there is nothing
I can do to bring about a change toward enlightenment. I
guess I just need some guidance. Perhaps I should answer my
own question and say, "Who needs guidance?" But generally
If I had someone to speak to, had a dialog going from time
to time, I believe that would be helpful. Enlightened or
not. I appreciate your time in responding to this letter.
Thank you Dan [email protected]


Why not simply consider the list as whole as your longed-for
"enlightened being?" It's a bit of a crapshoot (what
as to who will answer, but the chance of your wish coming
true is as good or better here than any other Internet venue
I know of.


Thanks for sharing your candor and openness here.

One thing that Ramesh, Wayne and Nisargadatta's line of
teaching is unambiguous about is that there ain't no entity
that becomes enlightened!
There's never an entity in the first place, but until what
these writers call "The Understanding" dawns, there will be
thoughts of being an independent entity with the power of
independent doership. After the Understanding, these
entity-thoughts and feelings, along with the pride and
anguish that accompany them, no longer arise.

As one non-entity to another, I'd be glad to speak with


How would you recognize an enlightened being? Walking on
water, healing the sick or laser-powered eyes? Those things
are but siddhis and on a mailing list that would be
difficult. So it would depend on belief and beliefs are the
crutches one wants to hold in order to prevent the "free
fall" away from beliefs and concepts. The analogy of
recognizing "who you are" is that of the big pond, covered
with decaying leaves and the heavy wind is causing waves.
Only when the waves reside and enough leaves are removed,
the bottom can be seen. Sometimes the pond is muddy too and
the mud has to precipitate first...

In a recent satsang with Amber she said, "You are doing all
these things with your mind because you are afraid of being
nothing." (Infinite nothing)


Resonating with you and Amber here. The poor little old
mind, seems to get blamed for everything wrong in the human
world. And yet, I can't find that mind anywhere! Drummer
Drumming - only Silence is the drumstick, only Nothing is
the skin of the drum, only Emptiness is the infinite Song --
singing in chorus with Xan and Amber -- with Love


Ransacking my memory, fear is based on previous experience.
As a child, not having fear of dogs, being bitten for the
first time revealed that from then on, encounters with dogs
would be tainted by this event. So the remembrance remained
but the result of the impression (blind fear) could be
overcome by being more cautious (observing dog's body

This as an intro to the question "how can one be afraid of
the unknown?".
One cannot, the fear is caused by the experience of
pain/loss. This fits in nicely when entering nirvikalpa
samadhi for the first time, not being familiar with it. The
(subtle) fear is losing identity. Once identifications have
been (unknowingly) made, losing them is the cause for fear.
The first obstacle is the "I", next comes the impersonal
"I", then the causal body or the potential to feel with its
biological conditioning like the urge to breathe. Because
one cannot know the fear of losing unless once experienced,
it is difficult to imagine one is born as a blank.


KRISTI: During the last few nights I have encountered my
vampire self......the one that sucks the life from others in
order to live....I have faced, in the microseconds that I
could stand.......the profound awareness of how totally
selfish and self-centerd every "loving" act is that I have
ever "performed."

Hi Skye,

I've been interested in Goenkaji for some time but have
never done the program. Could you give us a few words on
your own understanding of the approach and perhaps something
on your experience of the practice?

Thanks, Larry

Hi Larry,

Happy to be of service.

During the 9 days of sacred silence (in my case with 70
people), no meeting of eyes, no reading, tv or radio, no
entertainment none of the usual external entertainment one
starts to experience sensory deprivation and strong esp and
psychic hallucinations appear, annoying at first. On the
last day of sacred speech, which by the way is like an
enormous dam of love bursting we literally ran into each
other's arms, hung off our bunks into the wee hours, going
over the amazing experience. All had experienced these
strong psychic hallucinations from being deprived so
unexpectedly. I just ignored them.

My most prominent impression during and after the retreat,
other than the amazing waves of peace and serenity i felt,
was that we are SO MUCH stronger than we ever realize, Jan
knows this. Because it does become a TORTURE! We were
meditating in total silence from 5am till 9pm and the monkey
mind/body plays all sorts of tricks to try and tempt you to
stop!! catch the plane to Bali, anywhere, anything is
better than this :-)

Three times a day Goenkaji joined us for 1 hour periods,
guiding our mediation and giving dharma talks. He entered
from a side door sat on a dias in in the lotus position in
front of us, females one side of the hall, males the other
so as not to divert attention at any time.

On the first day "GONG" 4AM! shower, we are quite rested
and not in need of much assistance, so the meditation begins
with the buddha's technique of concentrating on the breath,
as it flows out across the little triangle between the nose
and mouth and to bring ones attention back there constantly
whenever our thoughts have carried us away again.

On the third day "GONG" 4AM! shower, we are to meditate on
a circle at the top of the head. We all burst out laughing
- oops - at the end of the day when he comes out and says
"feels like little ants running around up there doesn't it".
He also explains that today and tomorrow may become really
hard to endure and the mind will try to find excuses for why
we should not continue. But it is not wise to get up of the
operating table with your guts open, we will bleed
psychically everywhere, so just press on. And sure enough
it became harder.

On the fourth day "GONG" 4AM! we are to meditate on each
and every portion of the head, for we are unable, like
experienced yogis, to feel the whole body down to the toes,
as though a bucket of water had been dropped from above. We
all nod when he says at the end of the day "bet you couldn't
feel this part here or there" etc and it was so, we are
blind to much of our own body. That fourth day is grueling
because we also begin the 1 hour 3 times a day sitting
without moving a muscle. Wow thats a challenge, one really
competes with oneself now. When one gets an itch or the
limbs start to burn from constant unrelieved pressure,
nothing can be done about. At the end of each hour Goenka
comes through his door to release us. All eyes have been
glued to that door for the last half hour praying for his
entrance to relieve us from our pain. Hilarious. Though
not at the time.

On the fifth day "GONG" 4AM! shower, we are instructed to
meditate on every minute portion of our upper limbs, which
of course is not easy and the grueling 1 hour 3 times a day
sitting, continue now till the end of the 9th day. On the
sixth day, the lower portions of the body.

On the eight the whole body.

On the 9th i began to feel a vibration just outside the skin
which seemed to vibrate so fast it is still?? Some sort of
a bliss body? It felt like bathing in rays of sunshine and
i felt so alive and aware of myself and everyone around me.
I had learned so much. Now i refuse to believe myself,
whenever i cry "i can't" anymore. We can, but it was tough,
for this sensory overloaded 20th century child.

The vegetarian food was exquisite, males and females dined
in separate rooms facing a panoramic vista of blue blue
eucalyptus mountains, ahh how the marvels nature mesmerized
us. After the fourth day all heavy grain food stops after
lunch and the evening meal consists of fruit only.

I could go on forever, but that is how it affected me.
Naturally others spoke of different effects, some none at
all. A pregnant woman and her 10 year old attended and she
and we were all astounded that her child had been able to
sit patiently through every meditation throughout the whole
nine days!

At the end of the retreat one pays only for what one got out
of it. Payment is not compulsory. But many must have been
contributing over the years because the retreat is looking
gorgeous, zen gardens and all.

much love skye

P.S After the first 10 days, one has become what is called
an "old student" and is now free to use the retreat for any
length of time, 1hour, 3 days or whatever and also to become
a volunteer worker.

Thought is time. Thought requires time in order to
formulate, organize, retrieve, and express. Thought is not
separate from time, and time is necessary to thought.
"Awareness" isn't dependent on thought. When thought
arises, there is time from the perspective of thought, but
"awareness" hasn't changed and remains timeless.
Awareness (no-thing) is timeless whether or not a thought
appears to have arisen. Awareness doesn't need to end
Awareness has nothing to gain and no place to be. Duration
of time doesn't go toward zero. There is perception of
duration of time or there is not such perception. Duration
of time going toward zero is itself duration, and is
thought-bound perception.
Only zero is zero. No-thought is zero. Zero, in this
sense, doesn't depend on anything being absent, such as
thought. Zero interferes with nothing, is omnipresent, is
always fully itself without boundaries of space or time.
The no-thought Reality is boundless infinity. It doesn't
need for a "you" to become "one with One". There is only
This One. Nothing needs to happen. Nothing is out of


I honestly don't trust Adi Da, in spite of his occasionally
brilliant but more often self-serving and grandiose
statements, much as I didn't trust Rajneesh, in a similar
way. Not that these folks don't speak quite articulately at
time and with a degree of insight. It's that they are
people who are very political in spite of professing to be
simply spokespersons for Spirit.
Politics is part of life, and always plays some part in any
organized spiritual exploration and expression. However,
there are degrees, and sometimes the motive for power and
control is difficult to dismiss, in spite of protestations
of motiveless love. I'm honestly open to the worthwhile
insights contributed by Adi Da and Osho, it's just that a
degree of skepticism seems called for as well.


Hi Dan, What do you think of the idea that apparent flaws in
teachers like this are part of their teaching? The
disillusionment induced in followers turning them back to
themselves and pushing them into a renewed questioning. Is
this just a convenient rationalization for exploitation or
is there something to it? Both I guess. Many teachers
start out playing along with the student's illusions and
conceptions in some way or other otherwise what is there for
the student to connect with, then there must some kind of
gradual or sudden disillusionment. Are people who are
attracted to such teachers in need of particularly powerful
disillusionment? I've been conned before(not in this
explicit context), a lesson was learned, leading me to see
things that I was not aware of.

Maybe i'm old and stuffy, but I find that skepticism and
insight are matured along with all else "spiritual."
Right with you on this one; authentic innocence -and-
maturity are likely one in the same.

I'd like to share something read in "Xnty Today" not long
ago. From Phil Yancy's column:

"Henri Nouwen said toward the end of his life that prayer
had become for him primarily a time of 'listening to the
blessing. The 'real work' of prayer,' he said, 'is to
become silent and listen to the voice that says good things
about me.' That may sound self-indulgent, he admitted, but
not if it meant seeing himself as the Beloved, a temple in
which God chose to dwell. The more he listened to that
voice, the less likely he was to judge his worth by how
others responded to him, or by how much he achieved. He
prayed for that inner presence to express itself in his
daily life, in such things at eating and drinking, talking
and loving, playing and working. He sought true freedom in
an identity that was anchored in a place 'beyond all human
praise and blame.'"
CYNDY ROY (quoting unknown writer)

I've learned that I like my teacher because she cries when
we sing "Silent Night"...
Age 6

I've learned that our dog doesn't want to eat my broccoli
Age 7

I've learned that when I wave to people in the country, they
stop what they are doing and wave back.
Age 9

I've learned that just when I get my room the way I like it,
Mom makes me clean it up again.
Age 12

I've learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you
should try cheering someone else up.
Age 14

I've learned that although it's hard to admit it, I'm
secretly glad my parents are strict with me.
Age 15

I've learned that silent company is often more healing than
words of advice.
Age 24

I've learned that brushing my child's hair is one of life's
great pleasures.
Age 26

I've learned that wherever I go, the world's worst drivers
have followed me there.
Age 29

I've learned that if someone says something unkind about me,
I must live so that no one will believe it.
Age 39

I've learned that our background and circumstances may have
influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we
Age 40

I've learned that there are people who love you dearly but
just don't know how to show it.
Age 42

I've learned that you can make some one's day by simply
sending them a little note.
Age 44

I've learned that the greater a person's sense of guilt, the
greater his or her need to cast blame on others.
Age 46

I've learned that children and grandparents are natural
Age 47

I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it
seems today, life does go on, and it will be better
Age 48

I've learned that singing "Amazing Grace" can lift my
spirits for hours.
Age 49

I've learned that motel mattresses are better on the side
away from the phone.
Age 50

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way
he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage,
and tangled Christmas tree lights.
Age 52

I've learned that keeping a vegetable garden is worth a
medicine cabinet full of pills.
Age 52

I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your
parents, you miss them terribly after they die.
Age 53

I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as
making a life.
Age 58

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
Age 62

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a
catchers mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw
something back.
Age 64

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude
But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your
work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can,
happiness will find you.
Age 65

I've learned that whenever I decide something with kindness,
I usually make the right decision.
Age 66

I've learned that everyone can use a prayer.
Age 72

I've learned that it pays to believe in miracles. And to
tell the truth, I've seen several.
Age 75

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be
Age 82

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch
someone. People love that human touch - holding hands, a
warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
Age 85

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.
Age 92

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