Click here to go to the next issue
Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day
#2902 - Thursday, August 16, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nondual Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
Writings on Nonduality. Amazon site: http://nonduality.com/one.htm
Check availability at your local Borders Store: http://www.bordersstores.com/locator/locator.jsp?tt=gn
Several fine writings from recent contributors to Nonduality Salon, and a couple of announcements/links that I think you'll like.
The Venus/Mars of my mind pulls/pushes me through the crowd
here at No-Flags Amusement Park.
Self-evident selves cross Paths, bumping into each other, sometimes smiling, sometimes frowning,
sometimes shaking a fist. I'm right in the thick of it - I'm on mission. Following my Heart, I'm
searching for a particular ride, The Carousel of Unknowing. It's Now or never.
The un-Sattvic smell of Kshatriya-brand hotdogs wafts by. I
grab a spiritual map and see that the
indexer has listed The Carousel of Unknowing, along with all other rides, as location "One". Event-
ually, I perceive the carousel on the Horizon. The map states that I Am. It's a relief to Be There
already, because my feet hurt.
The carousel's music - currently "Ode to Sartre" -
is Booming from the Center, which is Illusion.
Or not. At any rate, here are Ruin's innumerable cousins, including Wisdom, resplendent in a
Chakra- striped saddle and bridle, and Stupidity, fashionably decked out in Gravitational Black. I
choose Stupidity (or is this predestined?) and climb on.
I see that many of the horses are supported by helpful posts.
Posts generally reach the heights.
Some also reach the depths. Some manage to do both at once.
"Gita-yup," I whisper in Stupidity's ear. She rolls her three eyes. The carousel doesn't start.
"Move toward Awareness," I suggest. Stupidity
glances meditatively at Awareness, who appears to
have a cushion for a saddle. There is no movement. There is only stillness.
"Embody Truth?" I plead. Stupidity looks around for
Truth. His reins are tied to a podium, and he's
nuzzling a pre-written speech. I can't blame her for not going there.
I'm stuck. And worse, although the horses are all branded with
the word Exit (and their saddles are
stamped with varying numbers of little Buddhas), I can't find an exit. The situation is
It appears that all horses are forever beyond me. Still, I
lean forward to look around: maybe I am
. . . I lean forward some more: maybe I'm not . . . I lean further: maybe I can never . . . I slump
forward, hanging from my horse's neck. Yes, Stupidity, thinking is ridiculously meaningless.
Stupidity whispers in my ear, "Be Nothing." I
straighten up and look around. There doesn't seem to
be a Nothing. This is the last straw. I give up.
Astonishingly, Nothing happens.
A bell rings. Effortlessly, The Carousel of Unknowing
moves-and- stops. (This ride is not what I
I give Stupidity a loving pat, dismount, and disappear into the everyday crowd.
The Real Secret
Nothing is mine
and no-one can take
that away from me.
I am free.
It is as if...
It is as if I were living a third life these days. The first two were
long ago and far away. At first there was a daughter who called me
Mama and did pirouettes for me to see. Then she left and life rolled
on into the sea of the everyday once again. The tsunami of my
husband's death revealed the second life I had to undergo. As
caregiver I lunged heavily into the sorrow and suffering. I chronicled
it online. Now I am seemingly free.
What now? Is it enough to live peaceably within, letting the outer
manifestation called Vicki find simple pleasures. I think so. I think
this third life is given over to conscious self-care. I remember
reading about the Shivapuri Baba who lived so very simply. He taught
his student, J. G. Bennett, how to procure flowers from the market and
arrange them to perfection. It was in this way that he learned to
awaken. I can do that. I have had experience in taking care of
people...why not flowers?
I am now making available on our websites (radicalhappiness.com and endless-satsang.com) a free 60-minute MP3 recording of a channeled satsang. To hear this talk entitled Moving from the Ego to Essence, click on the link below (which is the homepage of my website) and then scroll down to the bottom of the page, where you will find a link to the recording. Here is a description of it:
I realize that the idea of channeled satsang might be a little radical for some, but that is the best description I can find for what I do. If you think your list would enjoy this recording, would you please send it out to them? Thank you!
Click here and then scroll to the bottom of the page to the link for Moving from the Ego to Essence: http://radicalhappiness.com
Editor's note: I listened to this hour-long recording which
features a full focus upon essence, making ego look negligible. I
think many of you will enjoy listening. I would not have known
that the speaker was channeled entity had I not been told.
I've never heard Gina speak before, so I had nothing to
compare her speaking style to. -Jerry
New book by
Peter Fenner, Ph.D.
Radiant Mind: Awakening Unconditioned Awareness
Buy Now - http://store.soundstrue.com/bk01133d.html
Whether it is called enlightenment, pure awareness, or "unconditioned
awareness," there exists an awakened state of pure liberation that is at the
heart of every contemplative tradition. According to Peter Fenner, this
experience of boundless consciousness does not have to exist separately
from our day-to-day, "conditioned" existence. Rather, we can learn to live as
unique individuals at the same time as we rest in a unified expanse of
oneness with all existence--a state he calls "Radiant Mind.
the West often feel frustrated in trying to follow the Eastern
to awakening, confused by seemingly vague or counter-intuitive teachings.
Peter Fenner created the Radiant Mind practice to help you break through the
obstacles that are often challenging for practitioners in our culture. Drawing
on his background in Eastern spirituality and Western psychology, Fenner
brings you a precise, step-by-step approach to non-dual practice that
extraordinary as unconditioned mind may sound," teaches
"it isn't distant from our everyday life; it's always readily available to us."
With Radiant Mind this master-teacher crystallizes the contemplative wisdom
of the East into an eminently accessible guide for living a life suffused with
About the Author
Peter Fenner, Ph.D. studied as a monk for nine years with many notable
Buddhist lamas, including and Thubten Yeshe, Sogyal Rinpoche, and Zopa
Rinpoche. He is founder of the Center for Timeless Wisdom, and the author
of numerous books, including Reasoning into Reality (Wisdom Publications,
1995) and The Edge of Certainty (Nicolas-Hays, 2002). He has taught
workshops at Stanford Medical School, Columbia University, and elsewhere.
Radiant Mind is an excellent guidebook for waking up from our collective
trance and realizing the promise of enlightened life, both within oneself and
in our benighted world. Peter Fenner has studied with wise Tibetan elders
and brought their practical and also nondualistic teachings alive in a modern
way which can benefit us all, skillfully pointing out how we can discover and
actualize our innate unconditioned awareness while integrating it into daily
life, where the rubber actually meets the road on the spiritual path. This
book will help us to understand and practice the View, Meditation and Action
of Dzogchen, the Natural Great Perfection.
Lama Surya Das,
author of Awakening to the Sacred: Building a Spiritual Life from Scratch,
Awakening the Buddhist Heart: Integrating Love, Meaning and Connection
into Every Part of Your Life, Letting go of the Person You Used to Be:
Lessons on Change, Loss and Spiritual Transformation
[The Radiant Mind course] is a brilliant postmodern implementation of
Buddhist nondual wisdom. Peter Fenner has taken the refined deconstructive
practices that have liberated ten of thousands of Asian contemplatives and
adapted them for effective Western use. I highly recommend it.
Buddhist Scholar, Columbia University,
President of Tibet House in New York
Peter Fenner is a teacher-practitioner of the first order. I know of no other
Western author who communicates the essential reality of unconditioned
awareness with such power, simplicity, and authenticity. Read this book.
Enjoy unconditioned awareness.
Allan Combs, Ph.D.,
author of: The Radiance of Being:
Understanding the Grand Integral Vision; Living the Integral Life.
Buy Now http://store.soundstrue.com/bk01133d.html
If we really dropped illusions for what they can
give us or deprive
us of, we would be alert. The consequence of not doing this is
terrifying and unescapable. We lose our capacity to love. If you
wish to love, you must learn to see again. And if you wish to see,
you must learn to give up your drug. It's as simple as that. Give
up your dependency. Tear away the tentacles of society that have
enveloped and suffocated your being. You must drop them.
Externally, everything will go on as before, but though you will
continue to be in the world, you will no longer be of it. In your
heart, you will now be free at last, if utterly alone. Your
dependence on your drug will die. You don't have to go to the
desert; you're right in the middle of people; you're enjoying them
immensely. But they no longer have the power to make you happy or
miserable. That's what aloneness means. In this solitude your
dependence dies. The capacity to love is born. One no longer sees
others as means of satisfying one's addiction. Only someone who has
attempted this knows the terrors of the process. It's like inviting
yourself to die. It's like asking the poor drug addict to give up
the only happiness he has ever known. How to replace it with the
taste of bread and fruit and the clean taste of the morning air, the
sweetness of the water of the mountain stream? While he is
struggling with his withdrawal symptoms and the emptiness he
experiences within himself now that his drug is gone, nothing can
fill the emptiness except his drug. Can you imagine a life in which
you refuse to enjoy or take pleasure in a single word of appreciation
or to rest your head on anyone's shoulder for support? Think of a
life in which you depend on no one emotionally, so that no one has
the power to make you happy or miserable anymore. You refuse to need
any particular person or to be special to anyone or to call anyone
your own. The birds of the air have their nests and the foxes their
holes, but you will have nowhere to rest your head in your journey
through life. If you ever get to this state, you will at last know
what it means to see with a vision that is clear and unclouded by
fear or desire. Every word there is measured. To see at last with a
vision that is clear and unclouded by fear or desire. You will know
what it means to love. But to come to the land of love, you must
pass through the pains of death, for to love persons means to die to
the need for persons, and to be utterly alone.
How would you ever get there? By a ceaseless awareness, by the
infinite patience and compassion you would have for a drug addict.
By developing a taste for the good things in life to counter the
craving for your drug. What good things? The love of work which you
enjoy doing for the love of itself; the love of laughter and intimacy
with people to whom you do not cling and on whom you do not depend
emotionally but whose company you enjoy. It will also help if you
take on activities that you can do with your whole being, activities
that you so love to do that while you're engaged in them success,
recognition, and approval simply do not mean a thing to you. It will
help, too, if you return to nature. Send the crowds away, go up to
the mountains, and silently commune with trees and flowers and
animals and birds, with sea and clouds and sky and stars. I've told
you what a spiritual exercise it is to gaze at things, to be aware of
things around you. Hopefully, the words will drop, the concepts will
drop, and you will see, you will make contact with reality. That is
the cure for loneliness. Generally, we seek to cure our loneliness
through emotional dependence on people, through gregariousness and
noise. That is no cure. Get back to things, get back to nature, go
up in the mountains. Then you will know that your heart has brought
you to the vast desert of solitude, there is no one there at your
side, absolutely no one.
At first this will seem unbearable. But it is only because you are
unaccustomed to aloneness. If you manage to stay there for a while,
the desert will suddenly blossom into love. Your heart will burst
into song. And it will be springtime forever; the drug will be out;
you're free. Then you will understand what freedom is, what love is,
what happiness is, what reality is, what truth is, what God is. You
will see, you will know beyond concepts and conditioning, addictions
and attachments. Does that make sense?
Let me end this with a lovely story. There was a man who invented
the art of making fire. He took his tools and went to a tribe in the
north, where it was very cold, bitterly cold. He taught the people
there to make fire. The people were very interested. He showed them
the uses to which they could put fire -- they could cook, could keep
themselves warm, etc. They were so grateful that they had learned
the art of making fire. But before they could express their
gratitude to the man, he disappeared. He wasn't concerned with
getting their recognition or gratitude; he was concerned about their
well being. He went to another tribe, where he again began to show
them the value of his invention. People were interested there, too,
a bit too interested for the peace of mind of their priests, who
began to notice that this man was drawing crowds and they were losing
their popularity. So they decided to do away with him. They
poisoned him, crucified him, put it any way you like. But they were
afraid now that the people might turn against them, so they were very
wise, even wily. Do you know what they did? They had a portrait of
the man made and mounted it on the main altar of the temple. The
instruments for making fire were placed in front of the portrait, and
the people were taught to revere the portrait and to pay reverence to
the instruments of fire, which they dutifully did for centuries. The
veneration and the worship went on, but there was no fire.
Where's the fire? Where's the love? Where's the drug uprooted from
your system? Where's the freedom? This is what spirituality is all
about. Tragically, we tend to lose sight of this, don't we? This is
what Jesus Christ is all about. But we overemphasized the 'Lord,
Lord,' didn't we? Where's the fire? And if worship isn't leading to
the fire, if adoration isn't leading to love, if the liturgy isn't
leading to a clearer perception of reality, if God isn't leading to
life, of what use is religion except to create more division, more
fanaticism, more antagonism? It is not from lack of religion in the
ordinary sense of the word that the world is suffering, it is from
lack of love, lack of awareness. And love is generated through
awareness and through no other way, no other way. Understand the
obstructions you are putting in the way of love, freedom, and
happiness and they will drop. Turn on the light of awareness and the
darkness will disappear. Happiness is not something you acquire;
love is not something you produce; love is not something that you
have; love is something that has you. You do not have the wind, the
stars, and the rain. You don't possess these things; you surrender
to them. And surrender occurs when you are aware of your illusions,
when you are aware of your addictions, when you are aware of your
desires and fears. As I told you earlier, first, psychological
insight is a great help, not analysis, however; analysis is
paralysis. Insight is not necessarily analysis. One of your great
American therapists put it very well: "It's the 'Aha' experience that
counts." Merely analyzing gives no help; it just gives information.
But if you could produce the "Aha" experience, that's insight. That
is change. Second, the understanding of your addiction is
important. You need time. Alas, so much time that is given to
worship and singing praise and singing songs could so fruitfully be
employed in self understanding. Community is not produced by joint
liturgical celebrations. You know deep down in your heart, and so do
I, that such celebrations only serve to paper over differences.
Community is created by understanding the blocks that we put in the
way of community, by understanding the conflicts that arise from our
fears and our desires. At that point community arises. We must
always beware of making worship just another distraction from the
important business of living. And living doesn't mean working in
government, or being a big businessman, or performing great acts of
charity. That isn't living. Living is to have dropped all the
impediments and to live in the present moment with freshness. "The
birds of the air . . . they neither toil nor spin" -- that is
living. I began by saying that people are asleep, dead. Dead people
running governments, dead people running big business, dead people
educating others; come alive! Worship must help this, or else it's
useless. And increasingly -- you know this and so do I -- we're
losing the youth everywhere. They hate us; they're not interested in
having more fears and more guilts laid on them. They're not
interested in more sermons and exhortations. But they are interested
in learning about love. How can I be happy? How can I live? How
can I taste these marvelous things that the mystics speak of? So
that's the second thing -- understanding. Third, don't identify.
Somebody asked me as I was coming here today, "Do you ever feel
low?" Boy, do I feel low every now and then. I get my attacks. But
they don't last, they really don't. What do I do? First step: I
don't identify. Here comes a low feeling. Instead of getting tense
about it, instead of getting irritated with myself about it, I
understand I'm feeling depressed, disappointed, or whatever. Second
step: I admit the feeling is in me, not in the other person, e.g., in
the person who didn't write me a letter, not in the exterior world;
it's in me. Because as long as I think it's outside me, I feel
justified in holding on to my feelings. I can't say everybody would
feel this way; in fact, only idiotic people would feel this way, only
sleeping people. Third step: I don't identify with the feeling. "I"
is not that feeling. "I" am not lonely, "I" am not depressed, "I" am
not disappointed. Disappointment is there, one watches it. You'd be
amazed how quickly it glides away. Anything you're aware of keeps
changing; clouds keep moving. As you do this, you also get all kinds
of insights into why clouds were coming in the first place.
What kind of feeling comes upon you when you're in touch with nature,
or when you're absorbed in work that you love? Or when you're really
conversing with someone whose company you enjoy in openness and
intimacy without clinging? What kind of feelings do you have?
Compare those feelings with the feelings you have when you win an
argument, or when you win a race, or when you become popular, or when
everybody's applauding you. The latter feelings I call worldly
feelings; the former feelings I call soul feelings. Lots of people
gain the world and lose their soul. Lots of people live empty,
soulless lives because they're feeding themselves on popularity,
appreciation, and praise, on `I'm O.K., you're O.K.,' look at me,
attend to me, support me, value me, on being the boss, on having
power, on winning the race. Do you feed yourself on that? If you
do, you're dead. You've lost your soul. Feed yourself on other,
more nourishing material. Then you'll see the transformation. I've
given you a whole program for life, haven't I?
Anthony de Mello, SJ
contributed by Mark Otter
top of page