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#2953 - Thursday-Friday, October 11-12, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz 

The Nondual Highlights -

photo: Greg Goode

In this issue of the Highlights we're pleased to announce a long-awaited book by Dr. Greg Goode. Greg is one of the pioneers of online nonduality. Greg already has a solid reputation as a clear thinker and communicator. If you've ever met Greg in person you know he's delightful, light hearted, and often the center of attention.

Greg has been a student of various nondual traditions. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from The University of Rochester. He is a philosopher, counselor, writer, teacher. Greg is Managing Editor of Philosophical Practice, the Journal of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association.

What follows is a press release of Greg's new book, the book's Table of Contents, relevant links, and an excerpt from the book.

If you have not yet met Greg, here's an opportunity to do so.


Table of Contents:

--Foreword by Dennis Waite,
author of THE BOOK OF ONE,

--The Direct Path

--Your experience

--Visit from a chemist

--So now - how should I talk?

--Is Consciousness nondual?

--How are objects a block?

--Personal identity

--Wanting an enlightenment experience

--Why wasn't I enlightened at satsang?

--The social construction of enlightenment

--Increasing the sense of separation?

--Neo-Advaita and the Direct Path

--The "enlightenment" story

--Attached to awareness?

Early Reviews:


Read a Sample Chapter:
(Excerpt is also included below)


Excerpt from STANDING AS AWARENESS: Dialogs from Nondual Dinners, by Greg Goode

Your experience

What is your experience like?

There is no identification of a “your” or “my” in it. I"
don’t see a gap between me and my experience. I don’t see
myself as “having” experience. Being and experience are

No, I mean is it nondual? Is it happy? Is it better than mine?

Many people ask this. They look for a teacher who they feel
has more blissful experiences than they do. Then they hang
around, trying to get the same for themselves. They interpret
experience in a personal way, and they are interested mainly
in the emotional or affective component.

Sometimes the teacher encourages this message. But this
comes from arrogance and a sense of separation on the
teacher’s part, from thinking that he or she is different from
or better than the student. The age-old message of self
inquiry is not about emotions or feelings or interpersonal
comparisons, but about knowing yourself. When one knows
one’s self as awareness, the basis for interpersonal comparison
has evaporated.

Yes, I’ve heard this….

But if you, seeing yourself as a person, desire more pleasant
feelings, there are many ways to proceed. Eat healthy foods,
get plenty of sleep and exercise, think good thoughts, and
treat people well. These are the things that grandmothers tell
their grand kids. It’s common sense that still holds true.

Meditation helps as well. Two quick examples. There is an
emotional high and an expanded feeling from doing chanting
meditation. The feeling is even greater if the chanting is in a
tradition where you feel attracted to the symbols and images.

Also, there is a heart-opening feeling from the Buddhist metta
meditation, where you direct the wish for happiness and well
being first to yourself, and then to wider and wider groups
of people and beings, including all the sentient beings in all
universes everywhere. The benefits from these meditations
are tangible and immediate. You always feel better, lighter,
more open and more loving afterwards. And the more you
do them, the less you do them for your own benefit, and the
longer the benefits last.

But what the ancient wisdom teachings talk about is
something else.

Yes, but I want my experience to be lastingly blissful and
nondual. Like yours and like the satsang teachers I hear, and
Ramana’s and Nisargadatta’s experience.

Part of the reason you have this requirement is that you
imagine others being separate but in this same state. But
this isn’t what they say about themselves. It isn’t even what
they’re talking about. Ramana and Nisargadatta – not only
are they not talking about emotional, phenomenal feelings
states, but they are also not personalizing experience. The
pointer given by all these teachings is not personal. The
pointer directs you to see through the presumption of the
separate person. The person cannot withstand inquiry. So
it is not the person’s experience they are talking about.

Then what are they talking about? I thought Ramana and
Nisargadatta were talking about themselves.

Nisargadatta did speak later in his life of the pain. This is a
clue that he wasn’t speaking about blissful feeling states….

Yeah, what about an experience of pain? Isn’t that a case of
suffering in experience?

Experience is the vast, edgeless clarity in which things seem
to arise. It possesses no point of view or stake in things.
Maybe it seems like experience is “yours” – but actually
everything you can point to that feels like “you” is an arising
in experience.

What do you mean?

Look at your hand. … Now close your eyes and allow your
hand to rest on your knee. … It probably seems like it’s your
hand. But everything you can say about it is based on a
thought, or image, a kinesthetic feeling, or a belief. These
thoughts and feelings aren’t tied down to an owner. They are
not located or centered, but float free in awareness. There is
nothing about these feelings, and nothing in awareness, that
makes any of it “yours.” There is no tie to a person. The
person is not the experiencer; the person is experienced.

How can I know that? It seems like I have a definite stake in
things. Because I want, what did you say? – The “edge…”

Edgeless clarity?

Yes! Once I hear something like this, it feels natural to want it
for myself.

Yes it does. This is natural as long as you take yourself to be
a container of experience. It seems to you that experience
is something that happens inside you, and that other people
have their own experiences inside them. But it is the other
way around. Your body, your mind, and everything
identifiable about you are experiencED, witnessED. Body,
mind, thoughts, values and memories are all objects. The
clarity is the light within which they arise.

Wow! It’s like backwards. But is this something I can see?

You’re seeing it now! Actually, all seeing is it. You can’t
possess it, because it is the space within which you appear.
It’s like the airline passenger wanting to hold up the plane,
when the plane is holding up the passenger.

Ah, I felt a shift there…. But a moment later, when I think
about it a little, it doesn’t seem like that to me.

Don’t try to reason it out. Stand farther back for a moment
and be open…. The person is something you seem to observe
as if from a small distance. You aren’t actually the skull,
mind, body or memories of the person – those are objects
that are observed. You are what they appear to – that global
experience, that openness, within which things seem to arise.

The body, the mind, even the entire person seems to arise
within this openness. The openness is you, which is why it
seems that “you” notice things arising.

But why aren’t all my experiences like these close, direct ones
you mention?

These seemingly close, direct experiences are teaching
metaphors for what is now and always the case. All experience
is always direct – there is no partition or mediation, no veil,
and no subject/object split

STANDING AS AWARENESS: Dialogs from Nondual Dinners, by Greg Goode

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