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Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3597, Saturday, July 18, 2009, Editor: Mark

Thoughts, emotions and appearances are all the energy of presence-awareness. No matter what appears, who you are remains clear and present. Seeing this is the anchor that holds you secure in the storms of thought.

- John Wheeler

You Don't Need a Suitcase

I had many misconceptions at one time about what "this" looked like - this freedom, or whatever - and it always looked like something I could imagine or create from the experiences I already had, extrapolating from what I already knew. But this can't be imagined. This is a total surprise.

I always expected more life goodies, like peace, happiness, ease, a fulfilling relationship, perfect health, respect from my peers, and also, I expected that everywhere I laid my eyes there should be some feeling of total bliss - shock and awe every moment for the joyous bounty that is in front of me, if only I could see it without my own limiting selfish mind standing in the way of me and the truth. I would see every cell of life animated before my eyes, because I would not be distracted by petty stuff. How frustrating that I could not see this psychedelic world I surely lived in!

But this was all selfish imaginings. I wanted more for me, spectacle for me, drama for me, peace for me, adoration for me, love in every moment, for me. And this turns out not to have anything to do with me. And the surprising thing is, it's joyous! It's love, it's life, it's freedom, all unfolding naturally in my path - but none of these things is for me. They are there, they have always been there, when I'm not conjuring up a problem; life, love, and joy are there, but they don't need me. And interestingly, the "me" was made entirely of those problems I'd been thinking of. Without calling up a problem, there is no "me," and all that remains is impersonal life, impersonal love, whatever you want to call it. Nothing that "I" want, because if I can imagine it, it's just part of the prison.

So any idea you have of what this is - it is not. It can't be. This can't be something conjured out of your existing memories, which is all you have as a self. So if you go to any idea of what you must have in order to feel like you "have" it, that can't be it. It can't be thought of, it can't be imagined out of what you know. So you can stop trying to second-guess this. This arises only in what is not known. All that is known or imagined, or can possibly be known or imagined, is part of the prison.

All that remains is living, with no problems. Is it really as simple as that? Yes, it is. But is that my living, with no problems? No, it's not mine. When no problems are conjured up to think about, no "me-ness" arises; which tends to reinforce the idea that this livingness is impersonal; and that tends to reinforce the idea that there is nothing to lose, because nothing in the general "livingness" can ever be lost. So the validation starts building on itself, and the problems are conjured up less and less, until they are seen to never have existed at all. So, where was the "me"? Where was it, ever? Did it ever exist?

The point I've been trying to make is: don't be under the misconception that you can set a goal of "having this" and work towards it, by reading, watching videos, going to seminars, or meditating about it. That is just stuff your mind already knows and wants. Prison.

Subtract, and don't add. Don't add another goal, don't add another seminar. Drop one of your suitcases today, and drop another tomorrow, and don't pick anymore up, and see what happens. Drop the suitcase of opinions. Drop the suitcase of "I know I'm right." Drop the suitcase of "It has to be this way or I'll die." Drop the suitcase of "I have to do something to be free." Don't pick up another one.

If you accidentally stumble across a place where you don't know anything at all - your mind is blank and can't find a single thing that means anything - stick around for a while. Feel around, get to know the place. It doesn't mean you've failed, it means you're beginning to let go of your death grip on your suitcases.

Let them all drop. You don't need a suitcase where you're going.

- Annette Nibley

See right now that what you perceive as emptiness actually radiates with perceptible knowingness. It is thoroughly beyond and prior-to all thoughts, speculations, and spirituality.

- Rodney Stevens

Since you are awareness there is no need to attain or cultivate it.

The state of pure being, which is common to all and which is always experienced directly by everybody, is one's true nature.

Realization is for everyone; realization makes no difference between the aspirants.

Realization is equally accessible to everyone, irrespective of their physical circumstances.

- Ramana Maharshi

Seeing that there is a gap between thoughts is the first step. Then it becomes obvious that the whole thing is one big gap with thoughts appearing on top of it. Then you find that you are that gap. Then you can't find a gap between thoughts, because the thoughts themselves are made of 'gap,' which you are; it is like an eye trying to see itself.

- Robin Dale

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