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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #351

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...If nondualism is something we can neither
do or not do, then all the more reason to celebrate it!


The following was received and placed on the What Is
Nonduality? web page along with a couple of recent items
from the list:

Thank you,

"Non-duality isn't experienced. All experience has a
beginning and an end; one's real nature hasn't. "

This is from one of the definitions on your page and its
very close to the mark.

Hence the 'nothing special' teaching of Shunryu Suzuki. If
one is hanging out for an experience, one is looking in the
wrong place!

If you're committed to a life of meditation, you are
constantly called to pay attention to what is here and now
- the actual, not it's imaginary ramifications.

The human condition being what it is, this is very
difficult for us. So we have to learn to give our undivided
attention. There's your 'non-dual'!

'Non-dual' is from 'a' - 'not' and 'dvai' - dual or
divided. Not-divided. Undivided. Hence when there is
thought about 'me' and 'mine' , then naturally your
attention is divided - between what 'I' want, and 'the

Very simple. But it takes a life of utmost commitment and
dedication to realise it, to live from that simplicity. It
takes a religious dedication, even if one foregoes the
trappings. There is no pay-off for this. It doesn't,
Anthony Robbins nothwithstanding, make sure all your bills
get paid.

-- Jonathan Shearman


May I propose a couple new definitions of what nonduality is?

For those who may have read my other definitions, it's amazing how
wordy they are, how full of concepts gleaned from other sources like
books, list members, gurus, upanishads, scriptures, web sites, etc.,
ad nauseum. I look at these earlier definitions and think "Who the
hell was that masked man?!?" :-)

Amazing how words become ancient museum pieces, moments after they
are written. Really, they are old even as they are spoken or
written. A week later they're like looking at dried mummies in a

-Definition 1-

Nonduality is a "state" in which neither duality nor nonduality is

-alternate 2-

Nonduality is just This, Here and Now.


There is no such thing as duality or nonduality. That is nonduality.

With Love,


>Your response here, Sarlo, did cause me to wonder
>what it might have been like for you to lose such a
>beloved Teacher you had known in person
>as you had,
>and I wondered especially what it would be like
>if one didn't feel 'ready' for such a loss....for
>such an empty space created by his absence...
>or is this an assumption....that his passing left
>a 'hole' or empty space ?

For most of us i can safely say that his passing left that "empty space."
The "official" line is that when Osho left his body we all celebrated.
There are a number of reasons for this. One is that Osho had educated us to
consider the possibility that death *could* be celebrated, not only because
it is often a release from some pain eg of cancer but that we *should* look
at attitudes we may have adopted from our upbringing.
For anyone who spent any time around his communes, especially in India,
where life is somewhat cheaper, the opportunity for this kind of
celebration arose a number of times. I participated in quite a few of these
celebrations, including two who were said to have died enlightened. They
were great fun and good deconditioning exercises.
When it came time for celebrating his own passing he had prepared us in
many ways, by having been silent for 3 1/2 years, by being ill and
"unavailable" from time to time, and by speaking occasionally on what the
passing of the master can be like. He did not prepare us though by
announcing when that would be, or even hinting, so it came as a shock to
As i said, the official line is that those present celebrated with
totality. In the video of the event you can see that this was true for many
but not for all. He had said that the passing of the master is a huge
energy event that, if you are present for it, is like a big wave that you
can ride, as far and high as you are prepared to go.
I and my partner were *not* present at this time. She was scheduled to fly
to India the next day. She did this and cried the whole way. I stayed in
Canada. She and many people had a lot to process around this event. Even
for those who were there, the celebration wore off (not for all though) and
grief had to be faced.
One of the most interesting aspects of this was that the commune continued
to function. This depended on hundreds of volunteers showing up in their
appointed places for all kinds of work that needed to be done. So they went
out to the burning of Osho's body, after the celebration in Buddha Hall,
stayed most of the night with the burning and singing and hugging and then
went to their jobs a few hours later. In some very real way this was the
way he continued to live on, in all those people, and even in me. I say
"even" not because i am so unworthy, just that i was not there, nor was i
even moved particularly to grief at the time (or celebration) though i have
processed some of it subsequently.
Because of the celebration, both in the normal sense and in the sense of
people continuing to work, Osho has been able to live on in us and affect
those who came later.

I see i began by mentioning your phrase "empty space" and then spaced it
out. Osho has been very clear about this and encouraged us for years to get
used to the idea he would not be around in the body forever, and to find
him (and ourselves) inside. There are many stories of people who just
blissed out for years in his presence and didn't use the opportunity to
meditate or be inside. I guess they in particular experienced that empty
space. But most have learned to deal with it, ie go inside, or they have
moved on to other masters. Papaji was one of the principal "beneficiaries"
of this moving on, and that has spread to others of his lineage. But
sannyasins have also moved on to some pretty mediocre and unworthy teachers
as well. So it goes.

My own personal answer about the empty space is that for me there weren't a
lot of these blissout experiences, that it was pretty ordinary for me in
his presence and so not so much to miss. I feel a connection *was*
established with him before he left the body and this continues, so there
is not a lot of pull to go to other masters. The space inside is neither
full nor empty, it is just . . . space.
I don't know how satisfactory this is but . . .
For a more concrete report, see below.

>I, too, love Osho, and even though when I think
>of him or listen to him, it is to me as if he is in the
>room with me,
>I do admit to having had a few moments of wishing
>I could have just once touched his face. Maybe this
>seems rather strange?

Strange in the sense that nobody -- or very few -- actually touched his
face. He would touch us on the third eye or hands, or we might touch his
feet, but that was it. But not strange in any other way. It seems pretty
normal and human.

>(But it does remind me a bit of the story in the New
>Testament where the woman reached out and
>touched Jesus's robe.....I don't remember exactly
>where that story is......but there does seem to be
>at least one other person in recorded history
>who would understand such a yearning. <s>)
>I wonder, Sarlo, if his passing was as difficult
>an adjustment for you or other sannyasins as I have

You have to talk to all of us to get the full picture. There was the whole
spectrum. But celebration *was* a definite part of it, and not just as the
official line.

You might also enjoy to read someone else's account of this, at This is part of an
online mag put out by my community locally, and is by an Indian sannyasin
who is a member of the "Inner Circle," the group Osho left in charge of the
mundane affairs of the commune.
Love, Sarlo


Tim Gerchmez:
> You said "WHEN it happens." Is this not also speculation? Is there
> certain knowledge that death will occur? If so, please describe the
> memory of your previous deaths, so that I may know what about this is
> not speculative.

Something happens. I can testify to that. Having sat with
someone as they passed through this "something", I can
verify the release of "something." It is palpable. It can be
felt and seen. No speculation there.



'I am happy, so happy.' Gerald Manley Hopkins

'It is enough.' Immanuel Kant

'What we know is not much. What we do not know is
immense!' Laplace

'No, I could sleep, but I must not; death is too near;
he must not steal up on me. These fifteen years I have
been making ready for him; I will meet him awake.'
Maria Theresa of

'Don’t worry. Be Happy.' Meher Baba

'Oh Allah. Be it so.' Mohammed

'Joy.' Hannah Moore

'I believe everything I have written about
immortality.' W R Nicol

'I am making my last effort to return that which is
divine in me to that which is divine in the Universe.'

'Happy.' Raphael

'Calmer and Calmer.' Schiller

'I do humbly intreat the Lord with trembling heart
that the pangs of my death may not be so grievous as
to take away my understanding. I would not change my
joy for the empire of the world.' Sir Phillip

'Come is so seek, always to
see. To escape...I must escape...! Truth...I love
much.' Tolstoy

'Oh dear, he’s a good fellow.' Walt Whitman

'See in what peace a Christian may die.' Joseph

'Now comes the mystery.' Henry Ward Beecher

'Beautiful.' Elizabeth Barrett Browning

'I realise that patriotism is not enough. I must have
no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.' Edith Cavell

'Robert - when you come to the hedge - that we all
must go over - it isn’t so bad. You feel sleepy - and
you don’t care. Just a little dreamy anxiety - which
world you’re really in - that’s all.' Stephen Crane

'My soul, thou hast long been held captive. The hour
hast come for thee to quite thy prison, to leave the
trammels of this body. Then to this separation with
joy and courage.' Rene Descartes

'It’s very beautiful over there.' Thomas Edison

'Dear God!' Erasmus

'The issue is now clear: it is between light and
darkness and everyone must choose his side.'
G K Chesterton

'Wonderful, wonderful, this death.' William Etty

'Go to the rising star, for I am setting.'
Marcus Aurelius

'More light! More light!' Goethe

'See the sun, whose smiling face calls me, see that
immeasurable light. There is God! Yes, God himself,
who is opening His arms and inviting me to taste at
last that eternal and unchanging joy that I had so
long desired.' Rousseau

'The Sun is God.' J M W Turner

'Work out your salvation with diligence.' Buddha




I have had many experiences with death. One in particular I would
like to share - at least in story - with you. The death was mine.
Rather, I should say, the near, no the kinda' close death was mine.

So gather 'round the campfire kiddies. Toast some marshmallows and
make some s'mores. Get comfy, the story isn't too long. Ready?

Back in the spring 1972 I was a handsome young lad of 23. I had been
discharged from the Navy a little less than a year. I was fit,
fiesty and always ready for fun. Still am, sorta! I lived in
Silverton, OR, a quiet little farming community about an hour
South of Portland.

That spring I took employment at one of the nearby food processing
plants, Birdseye it was. My job consisting of pulling trays of
frozen packaged green beans from these giant fast frezzers and
flipping the trays upside down on a conveyer belt where the packs of
bean would be whisked away for boxing.

The work was mundane, repetitive, boring, mind numbing....yada, yada,
yada, you get the idea. Little did I know that death was lurking,
patiently waiting for the slightest opportunity the smallest opening
to dance me around. That it did.

The freezers looked like giant frost covered igloos all lined
up in a row. They were aged ammonia based machines that had a thick
covering of frost due to the many leaks. The leaks were only
partially sealed by the frost. No, don't jump ahead thinking that
there was some sort of major gas leak or explosion. Death wasn't a
show off that day.

No, death was like a sneak thief, a pickpocket, a cat burgler.

That morning at some point either before leaving my digs, on the way
to work, or at work I scraped the knuckles of my left hand. It was a
tiny scrape barely noticeable. One that when discovered you say to
yourself, "How'd that happen?" That was death's opening.

During that morning's work I started to feel a bit light headed. The
smell of ammonia was stronger that day than usual. I pulled off my
gloves to take a short break. I noticed that the little scrape was
turning an angry red. There was the barest hint of a stream of red
that had moved from the scrape up my hand.

Yes, it was blood poisoning, kiddies. But wait for it, don't jump
ahead. Are those s'mores ready yet? I'll have one. Thanks, yummy!

Anyway. I went to my foreman and showed him the scrape. He barely
gave it a glance, looked at my smiling face and said to get back to
work. I insisted that I needed to go to a doctor but he was
reluctant to let me go. One of the senior women working there
backed me up and I was allowed to go to the nearby clinic.

As I walked out to the parking lot I started to lose contact with my
body. I knew that I was likely very near death. But, it felt so good!
I was floating. The air was like wine. The light was crystaline. I
was suffused with pure peace and joy. I undoubtedly was smiling
like a complete and utter fool!

I barely remember the short drive to the clinic. Once there, the
doctor met me at the door. After briefly questioning me he stuck his
fingers in my left armpit. Yeow! My body jumped from the pain. I was
still high and floating, mind you. The body felt the pain from the
swollen lymph glands but, I didn't.

The doctor immediately administered an injection and had me take some
pills. Then he kept me under close observation for half an hour.

The doctor told me later that I was a mere fifteen minutes away from
death. But kiddies, it felt so GOOD! So, eat, drink, and be
compassionate for soon we shall be merry enough!


Peace - this is a true story - Michael


The inimitable Tim Harris is back;

Hey guys! Boy, have I missed you all! I have been
doing a ton of writing but not a lot of expressing
these days.

Here is a few ideas to kick things off, or out, or up,
or down, or whatever... :o)


Ah yes... the old optimist vs. pessimist question that
really makes no sense to a dual mind as it feels both
this 'and' that to varying degrees from day to day...
let me eliviate this 'pain'.

First of all, it could be said that the glass is
simply half but then, as we know, this is still dual
thinking so let us say then that the class is whole
unto itself and the water is whole unto itself... but
then how can this also be true for we know that, if
balance is the issue, then both can not be full.


Therefore, let us say that the glass is eternally
empty and the water is eternally full and, voila!, the
problem goes away.

Let us say that the glass that holds the water is a
symbolic representation of the soul. The glass is
empty but, in order to maintain it's usefulness, it
must have something in it. Without that we do not
require a glass or soul. The glass then can be
shattered... does it become many glasses? or does it

Let us say that the 'spirit' is the water. Now, as we
now, a single drop of water is proportionally the same
as the entire ocean. What drop of water called 'i'
can, upon being absorbed into the ocean say to an
other that that there is me? The spirit then can never
be shattered or 'broken' as the smaller it gets the
same it remains.

The spirit or water in this case does not need the
glass to be so nor can any manipulation of the spirit
yeild anything but spirit.

So where is the problem? Good question!

Do we choose to fill our soul with our desires at the
expense of diminishing our spirit? Or do we wish to
fill our soul with our spirit then seek a manifest
'heaven' or 'world' or 'advaita' or 'nirvana' or

What is our spirit? Life is the spirit of God and of
all things. Only God could shatter it's spirit and yet
not diminish it's own soul (...did you see what I

So... bottom line... it (this) is entirely about sex
and sexuality. The spirit of man. Does God deny it's
'self' these things? No... as, is this not what
'being' in heaven is about by any stretch of the mind?

Some tips to ponder and apply to 'all' things that are
in your spirit where you and I are 'absolutely' the

1) God 'does not' require your belief in God to exist.
2) God knows it is God.
3) We do not 'sin' against God. God would not be God
if this were possible.
4) We only sin against each other trying to 'be like
God' which, as is known, 'no one can be like God but
5) We are all created in God's image ('spirit' not!
male or female)

So then... a solution.

Let us consider and persue relationships with as much
life and vigor as we did when we searched for our
'soul-mates'... let our relationships be developed
first using the head (crown and eye chakras for those
that know this discipline) down to the heart and then
to the 'rest' if you know what I mean.

The first ego (super) is one that places 'others' to
greater or lesser degrees.

The subtle ego is one that seeks validation from those
you look up too at the risk of forgeting your own

The third ego is one that 'Zens' its way to its own
'selfish' view of nirvana, heaven, whatever by
destroying the relationships around.

The Godself is the ego that abides, waits, and is
patient, allowing those all around you to lose their
heads and 'keep that karma'...

First, you will find the 'absolute one you seek is
your self' then a 'gentle peace' within spiritual life
will warm you inside and out and from there true, pure
friends will crawl out of the woodwork all around you
(we are hiding and are all around you...'waiting' you
know) from there, you will know that 'true, pure' love
of the 'other one you seek' is not far behind and from
there you will slowly realize a heaven handmade by God
itself just for you.

Spring is obviously in the air... ;0)

gentle peace


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