What is Nonduality
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#2777 - Monday/Tuesday, April 2-3, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz - http://nonduality.com/one.htm
Nondual Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
This issue is from Jim Dreaver's monthly Wisdom Newsletter, which you can sign up for here: http://jimdreaver.com/wisdomailing.html.
I've been receiving the Wisdom Newsletter forever and it is always welcome, which is not easy to achieve within email culture.
Nonduality as a movement, as a phenomenon within civilization in these days, has no definition. We could try. Perhaps we could say this nonduality is a study, celebration, confession, teaching, expression, known/unknowable presence of non-separation. As nonduality takes a position within civilization, that is one of what would be many starts toward defining it. Part of this defining is the confession that civilization is no more real than a train station in a dream.
QUESTION (From an email correspondent)
There is a section in your book, THE WAY OF HARMONY, where you talk about clock time versus psychological time. I think what a lot of people find themselves doing is looking toward the past experiences of pleasure or look forward to future prospects of pleasure because their present moment is unhappy.
I am very unhappy in my present and the mind shifts to thoughts of being happy in the past or of hopeful happiness in the future. Looking back on my trip a year ago when I was experiencing new things and meeting new people I became very content with the present, I enjoyed the now, likewise I felt better, had a better attitude, enjoyed life more. How do you break away from the unhappiness of the now, when the prospect of a better future is what keeps you going?
I remember when I was in high school, I had a temporary job working in a salad factory where it was freezing, in a windowless room, fluorescent lighting, country music on the radio, crude coworkers, a true hell. The only thing that kept me going was watching the clock and wishing my day away, knowing at 4:30 I could get out of here. Isn't it only natural to hate such an environment and be glad when you can get out of it? How can you be focused on the now when you are trying to cope with a horrible now, and daydreams and fantasy are able to take you away from it?
It is natural to dislike where we are presently when we are not yet free. This is the unawakened human conditioning, and it is called suffering. The problem is not the now. It is this "I," this "me," this "person" you take yourself to be who is unhappy, who fondly remembers the good old days, can't stand what's currently happening, and watches the clock, or the calendar, and dreams of a better time in the future.
Enlightenment is seeing that the "self" concept you have been building since about age two or three inside your head is totally unreal. Once you see this, once you get it, you will be awake. You will live fully and effortlessly in the present, because you will understand that the present is all that exists. You will always be at peace. You will always flow cheerfully with whatever is happening. Sure, there may be more fun awaiting you tomorrow evening, when you go out on some hot date, or do whatever else you love to do, but you don't dwell on that.
In the meantime, there is only now, there is only ever the now, and even working in a freezing, windowless salad factory is okay when you are inwardly free. However, you may certainly form a plan, from a place of clarity and presence, to move on from the salad factory as soon as you realistically can.
So, the sixty-four million dollar question: how do you get free? You breathe, you come back to being very aware in the present, you notice your own mind stuff, your story, and you tell yourself, "This is not who I am." You tell yourself, "Peace is my true nature, and I am always at peace, deep within." Your consciousness is like a deep lake, and while the surface may get ruffled and buffeted by the challenges of life, deep down that stillness, that peace, is always here. You have to stop, and begin to feel into it.
One last tip: whenever you find yourself doing something you don't really want to do, ask yourself, "If I were an enlightened Zen master (or Sufi, or Christian mystic, or whatever inspires you) how would I approach this?" Then act as if you were that.
Remember, the way to tell whether someone is enlightened or not is that what is happening right now is always the most important thing. Awakened people honor the past, keep an eye on the future, but they are always right here, enjoying and appreciating what is happening now.
ŠJim Dreaver, 2007
Living In The Flow, Sebastopol, CA, dates and location TBA.
Imagine a life free of personal conflict, drama, and suffering. You always feel good inside, at peace, in the flow. You are very present in your relationships, your work, wherever you are, responding in a relaxed, creative way to the real needs of the moment.
During these evenings, we will look at recent upsets, conflicts, and times of suffering, and explore the stories that triggered them. Then we will ease into the realization that we are not the story, but rather the awareness that looks at the story. Our true nature, in other words, is the lucid, ever-present consciousness that creates the stories, and the experience of this body, mind, and personality. That is creating it right now, as you read this, in fact.
As we learn to question the very me itself, and see how it, too, is just a story, the story-teller, conflict and suffering leave us, our emotions harmonize, and life becomes rich in love, meaning, and purpose. From this place of being very present, we can write a new, conscious story for ourselves and our world.
August, Stuttgart, Germany
Dates are not definite yet but it looks like I will be teaching in Europe this year.
August 26-31, Esalen Institute
I will be presenting my work at Esalen again.
A private session with me is the most powerful and effective way to uncover the stories that keep you bound, and prevent you from being fully present in your life and achieving your potential in your relationships, your work, and your life. Private sessions last about an hour and are conducted in person or over the phone. Affordable fees. Call 707-829-9551, or email [email protected].
Some Comments About My Work
Jim, you completely changed my life. I have practiced your work for over a year. I now realize that I chose to be a victim. No one ever opened the world of wisdom like you.
Jan Hamilton, Ph.D., Aspen, CO
There is a very deep presence that has stayed with me after working with you. I am more easily able to come back to the sanctuary of the present than before.
Erik Ossell, Big Sur, CA
As a result of guidance the guidance from Jim this past year I have really experienced a much deeper sense of my Being, and feel I am on the threshold of living the freedom he has modeled for me.
Juliana Dahl, Ph.D., Certified Relationship & Intimacy Coach
My experience of Jim was remarkable Every time I felt conflicted I did as he suggested, and felt a sense of freedom from the story and from the emotional upset. It was profound.
Truth Paradise, Aspen, CO
A native of New Zealand, Jim was on a spiritual quest for twenty years before finally realizing his true nature. His guide on this journey was European Advaita Vedanta master Jean Klein, with whom he first met in 1984. Jims book, The Way of Harmony (Avon), is about dealing with relationships, work, and daily life in a conscious way. It is available used through his web site, www.jimdreaver.com
(If you are interested in the story of Jims awakening, email him at [email protected], and he will send you an article.)
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Email: [email protected]
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