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#3490 - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - Editor: Jerry Katz  

The Nonduality Highlights -    

Pema Chodron, Alan Watts, Andreas Moritz, and their books.    

Oprah interviews Pema Chodron. Excerpts from  

OPRAH: You also wrote in When Things Fall Apart that every day gives us an opportunity to either open up or shut down, and that the most precious opportunity presents itself when you think you can't handle whatever is happening. So if, in that moment, you can train yourself to open up instead of shutting down…

PEMA: That's exactly when you get a real transformation.

OPRAH: Don't you think that's hard, though? I mean, life is slamming you against a wall and you're supposed to say, "Let me open up and get slammed some more"?

PEMA: Of course it's hard. I devote my life to trying to find a way to say this so that it resonates with people. It begins with meditation—you just sit down with yourself. It's a way of being completely open to whatever is happening in your mind, and you realize your mind is wild and crazy and all over the place. The instruction is so simple: Just keep coming back to your breath. Then you say, "This is almost impossible!" It isn't, but I know how hard it is. That's why I have a passion for finding a way to communicate that you can have an appetite for life as it is rather than life as you want it to be.

OPRAH: You're very well known in spiritual circles. You walk into a room and people say, "Oh, Pema Chödrön, I read your books, thank you for all your wisdom…" Can you ever have a bad day and get ticked off at people?

PEMA: You mean can I afford to, because my reputation is at stake? Well, as much as I value my teacher, I value my children, my family, and an old friend because they don't regard me as this big deal. My son—Oprah, this was so wonderful—recently, my son very sweetly said, "Mom, tell me honestly: What does your Buddhism have to do with the fact that you get so uptight about things?" I just roared with laughter. I said, "It has nothing to do with my Buddhism at all, except that I don't flagellate myself for it." Your family and your old friends still see you as the person you always were. Without them, you could think you were pretty hot stuff.   ...  

OPRAH: What would you consider the fundamental pearl of wisdom from the teachings of the Buddha?

PEMA: Oh my goodness! From all the fundamental pearls of wisdom… Can I put it in Christian terms?

OPRAH: Yes, I'll accept that.

PEMA: It would be something like "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Also, stay open to whatever life presents you with, because it will teach you something if you'll let it. It's about keeping an unbiased heart and mind. A lot of it is forming an unconditional friendship with yourself as you begin to see all the stuff you've been running away from.  


When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron      

Hi Jerry--   I was rumaging through my library of non-duality books and came across an old paperback  by Alan Watts called The Book (On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are) written in 1966 by Alan Watts and came across many fantastic concepts and am quoting below (merely one):  

Chapter Five, "SO WHAT?" @ Pg 124-5:  

"Thus when the line between myself and what happens to me is dissolved and there is no stronghold left for an ego even as a passive witness, I find myself not in a world but as a world which is neither compulsive nor capricious. What happens is neither automatic nor arbitrary: it just happens, and all happenings are mutually intedependent in a way that seems unbelievably harmonious. Every "this" goes with every "that".  Without others there is no self, and without somewhere else, there is no here, so that--in this sense--self is other and "here" is "there". When this new sensation of self arises, it is at once exhilarating and a little disconcerting. It is like the moment when you first get the knack of swimming or riding a bicycle.  There is the feeling that you are not doing it yourself, but that it is somehow happening on its own, and you wonder whether you will lose it--as indeed you may if you try forcibly to hold on to it. In immediate contrast to the old feeling, there is indeed a certain passivity to the sensation as if you were a leaf blown along by the wind, until you realize that you are both the leaf and the wind.  The world outside your skin is just as much you as the world inside: they move together inseparably, and at first you feel a little out of control because the world outside is so much vaster than the world inside.  Yet you soon discover that you are able to go ahead with ordinary activities--to work and make decisions as ever, though somehow this is less of a drag.  Your body is no longer a corpse which the ego has to animate and lug around.  There is a feeling of the ground holding you up, and of hills lifting you when you climb them.  Air breathes itself in and out of your lungs, and instead of looking and listening, light and sound come to you on their own.  Eyes see and ears hear as wind blows and water flows.  All space becomes your mind. Time carries you along like a river, but never flows out of the present: the more it goes, the more it stays, and you no longer have to fight or kill it."  


The Book: On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, by Alan Watts    


Lifting the Veil of Duality, by Andreas Moritz  

In The Gap Of Non-Judgment

Healing does not need to take long. In fact, if it does it is likely to be incomplete. According to Japanese research studies, spontaneous remission and complete cure of cancer occurs when those afflicted with the disease move into the gap of non-judgment or non-duality, i.e., when they relinquish all needs or desires to have it one way or the other. This cannot be accomplished by will or by use of the rational mind. It may occur when someone faces death and, oddly, loses all hope for survival. Giving into death may take someone into the gap of their eternal spirit self, provided this is in the person`s highest interest. Thus, consciously losing the fear of dying and stepping into one`s essence may instantly stimulate the body`s immune system into a powerful response that can dismantle egg-sized malignant tumors in the brain, bladder, intestines, etc., within less than 24 hours, in some instances within as little as 15 seconds. There are thousands of documented cases like these.

What is most interesting in these cases of spontaneous remission is that the healing merely (if that is not enough) consisted of gaining freedom from judgment, of accepting one`s situation at that moment. Fighting for life doesn`t get you to this magical place of the Divine moment, for effort and struggle are born out of fear. Giving up one`s desire to live, on the other hand, is born out of resignation, frustration and merely represents the other end of duality awareness. However, accepting death without trying to avoid or enforce it moves you into the Divine moment where miracles take place.

Of course, we don`t all have to face death, either our own or someone else`s, in order to find the opening to slip into the Divine moment. Life provides us with plenty of other opportunities that can serve in the same way. All we need to do is to keep our eyes, ears and hearts open to receive and accept these opportunities, many of which may show up in the disguise of problems and misfortunes. In due time, our polarized duality consciousness becomes anchored in the singularity of Self. The body simply follows suit. Once we lose our polarity thinking, that is, our mode of reference to what we believe is right and wrong or good and bad, the DNA of our body begins to lose its polarity mode as well. As soon as we are able to accept whatever is, which means all our strong and weak sides, our successes and failures, fears, anger, and guilt, etc., our body will move, automatically and spontaneously, out of its polarity mode.  

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