Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:

Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nonduality Highlights each day

How to submit material to the Highlights

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3093, Sunday, March 2, 2008, Editor: Mark

I Notice I Am Free

All questions and problems go POOF! right now in this present, spontaneous moment of being, in which there is nothing at all but awareness watching. Every moment is brand-new, free of all content. Right now, the whole world is brand-new. Nothing ever existed before this very second. An independent "you" seems to exist, as a few disconnected thoughts float in - an image here, a memory there - and they glom together and you start believing a story that there is a whole person.

And then in the next moment, a different image, a different memory, and they glom together, and a wholly different "you" is thought of. You think they are all the same "you." but they are obviously not. "You" changes every moment, as different thoughts of "This is me" arise, and form different patterns.

So who are you? In every moment there are different thoughts arising and forming your idea of who you are. You might insist that you have a lifetime history, but as you recall it right now, you'll only be recalling tiny glimpses of it, flashes, distorted memories. The stored "history of you," even if it did exist as a whole somewhere in the brain (and it does not - those memories go through changes as they recede in time), you can only be recalling any tiny portion of it at a time, a few brushstrokes, like an impressionist painting. So where is this solid story of you? Is it really real?

So what is being pointed to is this - that you do not exist as a solid, discrete entity as you believe, and ALL your questioning and suffering and problems refer to this NON-EXISTENT entity.

You ask: What am I not getting? Why are you getting it and I'm not?

There is no difference between what's going on for you and what's going on for me, what I "get" and what you "get," because neither of us has ever "got" anything. Both of us are in the same boat. That boat is: right now, there is awareness going on.

That's all I have. I have right now. That's all you have. You have right now. This is an equal opportunity understanding. No one is excluded. It is now. It is not something I "got" and you will "get." It is only ever THIS, right now, being, being aware, this knowingness right now. I have no secret knowledge - there is nothing other than this.

So for me, it is a moment-to-moment noticing that I am free. And this is the case for you right now, as well. Right now, notice that you are free. Okay, now you can start thinking of your story of frustration and questions again, but how about now? It's another fresh moment right now. Do you notice that again, in this fresh moment, you are free? Then the stories start again, then you again notice you are already free. Freedom is always here, but we just like to tell stories. So whenever you don't like your story, notice right now that you are free.

Your story is not written in a permanent universal record somewhere. There is no such solid person anywhere to be found. You ONLY exist as snippets and wisps of thought that arise and pass like birds flying by in the sky. There is no story of "you" that is anything other than these passing wisps. Everyone's "story" of you is different. One person thinks of you one way, another person another way, and you some other way entirely, all based on their selective passing thoughts about you at that moment.

Who you really are is that which is noticing all these thoughts about an independent "you"! That noticer is always here, not dependent on memory, not changing depending on what arises. This noticing, this awareness, is always the same, and always present and free, right now. There is nothing personal in this awareness, and so there can be no problem in this awareness, because there are no needs here. Everything is fine.

- Annette Nibley

I expand and live in the warm day like corn and melons.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bring Me Only This

Life packs each vessel with song
until it overflows
then scoops it out like a melon,
spoon by sharp spoon
loss by loss
until just the rind is left
to shape the aching hollow
through which sunlight pours.
But the hunger of absence
is wrapped around a seed
that cannot be destroyed.
When loss leaves you empty
sing into the void;
let the soft, moist breath of your moan
caress the seed. Water it
with attention until it reveals itself.
What you find there
at the heart of emptiness
born of loss
cup it tenderly.
Bring it to me.
Bring me only this.

- John Mizelle

When I was young,
love was under the tree up on the field
resting opposite my grand-ma's house

Love was looking
at ant nests under stones
and brimming in the soup I liked to eat

Love was smiling
from the dog's face opened wide
by its hanging tongue

I`d find it bursting
into butterflies sitting by the dozen
on a lilac in spring

Sometimes I wonder:
when exactly did love become a thing
Some thing between two: a me and you?

- Annette Knopp

Find the voice of love,
the voice of full heart,
the voice of openness,
softness and
incredible vulnerability
that lives in you
that perhaps you are
not sure the world can take
because it is so beautiful,
and let the world hear
that voice -
even if it's one word
that you utter.

- Jeannie Zandi

top of page