What is Nonduality
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#2411 - Sunday, March 5, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee
and looks at the body,
looks at the mind,
as a lion
at the not-quite-itself,
moving of shadows and grass.
considers its kingdom. T
all that will be,
heart once again enters --
enters hunger, enters sorrow,
enters finally losing it all.
To know, if nothing else,
what it once owned.
~ Jane Hirshfield ~
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"Once all of our conditioning is stripped away, the
true self is as
clear as the brilliant sun. Underneath the layers and layers of
conditioning accumulated over the course of a lifetime is a Buddha
whose light shines throughout the whole universe. Inside the ego
shell of conditioning, a glimmer of that light is actually what brings
us to practice to begin with. It is the bodhicitta, the bodhi mind,
the mind that says it does't make sense that there should be all this
pain and suffering, or that it should be so difficult to just be
ourselves the way a tree can just be a tree or a dog can just be a
dog. We humans seem to have a complicated time with just simply being
human. We fight with each other, kill each other; we bang heads all
the time, even with the ones we love."
From the book "The Eight Gates of Zen," Published by Shambhala
posted to Daily Dharma
"That which is not present in deep dreamless sleep is not real." -Ramana Maharshi
Sitting here on the porch, watching the sun go down. Except there is no watcher, just the sun, setting, setting. From purest Emptiness, brilliant clarity shines forth. The sound of the birds, over there. Clouds, a few, right up there. But there is no "up," no "down," no "over," and no "there"-because there is no "me" or "I" for which these directions make sense. There is just this. Simple, clear, easy, effortless, ever-present this.
I became extremely serious about meditation practice when I read the following line from the illustrious Sri Ramana Maharshi: "That which is not present in deep dreamless sleep is not real."
That is a shocking statement, because basically there is nothing-literally nothing-in the deep dreamless state. That was his point. Ultimate reality (or Spirit), Ramana said, cannot be something that pops into consciousness and then pops out. It must be something that is constant, permanent, or, more technically, something that, being timeless, is fully present at every point in time. Therefore, ultimate reality must also be fully present in deep dreamless sleep, and anything that is not present in deep dreamless sleep is not ultimate reality.
This profoundly disturbed me, because I had had several kensho or satori-like experiences (glimpses of One Taste), but they were all confined to the waking state. Moreover, most of the things I cared for existed in the waking state. And yet clearly the waking state is not permanent. It comes and goes every twenty-four hours. And yet, according to the great sages, there is something in us that is always conscious-that is, literally conscious or aware at all times and through all states, waking, dreaming, sleeping. And that ever-present awareness is Spirit in us. That underlying current of constant consciousness (or nondual awareness) is a direct and unbroken ray of pure Spirit itself. It is our connection with the Goddess, our pipeline straight to God.
Thus, if we want to realize our supreme identity with Spirit, we will have to plug ourselves into this current of constant consciousness, and follow it through all changes of state-waking, dreaming, sleeping. This will: 1) strip us of an exclusive identification with any of those states (such as the body, the mind, the ego, or the soul); and 2) allow us to recognize and identify with that which is constant-or timeless-through all of those states, namely, Consciousness as Such, by any other name, timeless Spirit.
I had been meditating fairly intensely for around twenty years when I came across that line from Ramana. I had studied Zen with Katigiri and Maezumi; Vajrayana with Kalu and Trungpa; Dzogchen with Pema Norbu and Chagdud; plus Vedanta, TM, Kashmir Shaivism, Christian mysticism, Kabbalah, Daism, Sufism... well, it's a long list. When I ran across Ramana's statement, I was on an intensive Dzogchen retreat with my primary Dzogchen teacher, Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. Rinpoche also stressed the importance of carrying the mirror-mind into the dream and deep sleep states. I began having flashes of this constant nondual awareness, through all states, which Rinpoche confirmed. But it wasn't until a few years later, during a very intense eleven-day period-in which the separate-self seemed to radically, deeply, thoroughly die-that it all seemed to come to fruition. I slept not at all during those eleven days; or rather, I was conscious for eleven days; or rather, I was conscious for eleven days and nights, even as the body and mind went through waking, dreaming and sleeping. I was unmoved in the midst of changes; there was no I to be moved; there was only unwavering empty consciousness, the luminous mirror-mind, the witness that was one with everything witnessed. I simply reverted to what I am, and it has been so, more or less, ever since.
The moment this constant nondual consciousness is obvious in your case, a new destiny will awaken in the midst of the manifest world. You will have discovered your own Buddha Mind, you own Godhead, your own formless, spaceless, timeless, infinite Emptiness, your own Atman that is Brahman, your Keter, Christ consciousness, radiant shekinah-in so many words, One Taste. It is unmistakably so. And just that is your true identity-pure Emptiness or pure unqualifiable Consciousness as Such-and thus you are released from the terror and the torment that necessarily arise when you identify with a little subject in a world of little objects.
Once you find your formless identity as Buddha-mind, as Atman, as pure Spirit or Godhead, you will take that constant, non-dual, ever present consciousness and re-enter the lesser states, subtle mind and gross body, and re-animate them with radiance. You will not remain merely Formless and Empty. You will empty yourself of Emptiness: you will pour yourself out into the mind and world, and create them in the process, and enter them all equally, but especially and particularly that specific mind and body that is called you (that is called, in my case, Ken Wilber): this lesser self will become the vehicle of the Spirit that you are.
And then all things, including your own little mind and body and feelings and thoughts, will arise in the vast Emptiness that you are, and they will self-liberate into their own true nature just as they arise, precisely because you no longer identify with any of them, but rather let them play, let them all arise, in the Emptiness and Openness that you now are. You then will awaken as radical Freedom, and sing those songs of radiant release, beam an infinity too obvious to see, and drink an ocean of delight. You will look at the moon as part of your body and bow to the sun as part of your heart, and all of it is just so. For eternally and always, eternally and always, there is only this.
excerpt from One Taste: The Journals of Ken Wilber, from Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston. Copyright Ken Wilber, 1998.
posted by S.A. Feite to Way-of-Light
I have been thinking ...
I have been thinking of the difference between water
and the waves on it. Rising,
water's still water, falling back,
it is water, will you give me a hint
how to tell them apart?
Because someone has made up the word
"wave," do I have to distinguish it
There is a Secret One inside us;
the planets in all the galaxies
pass through his hands like beads.
That is a string of beads one should look at with luminous eyes.
-Translated by Robert Bly
posted By Gill Eardley to Allspirit
There is a
famous saying: "If the mind is not contrived,
it is spontaneously blissful, just as water, when not
agitated, is by nature transparent and clear." I often
compare the mind in meditation to a jar of muddy water.
The more we leave the water without interfering or
stirring it, the more the particles of dirt will sink to the
bottom, letting the natural clarity of the water shine
through. The very nature of the mind is such that if you
only leave it in its unaltered and natural state, it will
find its true nature, which is bliss and clarity. So take
care not to impose anything on the mind, or to tax it.
When you meditate there should be no effort to control,
and no attempt to be peaceful. Don't be overly solemn
or feel that you are taking part in some special ritual;
let go even of the idea that you are meditating. Let your
body remain as it is, and your breath as you find it.
Think of yourself as the sky, holding the whole universe.
from 'The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying' by
Sogyal Rinpoche posted by Gill Eardley to Allspirit
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