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#3624 - Friday, August 14, 2009 - Editor: Jerry Katz  

The Nonduality Highlights -



Twitter, Chuck Hillig, and the Baumann Institute are featured.


    Recently on Twitter:   Jodpurs You are no more your thoughts and body than you are the clothes you have on ~ Rodney Stevens   lux1008 are you experienced? or are "you"?   iamwun RT #FF @mzzlee: i am jumping for joy right here in my chair!! Big joy! Pink joy! yes!   jhalifax rain in the desert. bernie glassman and i just on phone re his talk with dalai lama on engaged buddhism. fleet arriving. this is our work   Visioneering1 This will be a wonderful festival: http://www.belovedfestival.... From today-8/17, near Tidewater, Oregon.   guruphiliac @hovila Until someone demonstrates a siddhi to me personally, in my presence, they are no more than a feature of a Vedic fairy tale.   Follow me on Twitter:    

The momentum for this cosmic Game is created whenever you pretend that what isn't, somehow, is far
superior to what is. Although this belief keeps you focused on a never-ending journey towards
happiness, enlightenment, etc., it also guarantees that you will never reach a point of permanent
satisfaction and peace. Why? Because this whole notion of being on a `journey-to-fulfillment' is
actually the secret method that the desperate ego uses in order to survive in the face of personal
annihilation by Consciousness.  

In other words, as long as the ego stays more focused on making the `journey,' it can continue to
avoid disappearing entirely in the blinding realization of the true identity of the mystic
`traveler.' This frenzied activity around pursuing enlightenment helps the ego to maintain a sense
of personal doership. When what is not present is perceived as better than what is present, the
precious reality contained in this very moment is inwardly resisted. However, Consciousness has no
opposite, it's the only thing that's present, and it can never really change into `what isn't.'  

It just is what it is. However, by pretending that `something else is better,' the ego hopes to
survive by enthusiastically pursuing the disowned `other.' Of course, the cosmic joke, is that the
ego is caught on a selfgenerated treadmill because it already `is' what it is looking for.  

The valiant struggle to be enlightened secretly protects the ego from being exposed as the phantom
it truly is. As long as the search continues unabated, the searcher is validated as being separate
from the very thing that he is searching for.  

But, in Truth, we can never really run away from ourselves because we already are who we are
running from, and we already are where we are running to.   -Chuck Hillig    


The Direct Path

In the past few decades, we have witnessed a tremendous growth of popular as well as scientific interest in meditative/contemplative (awareness) practices and their potential to foster greater health and well-being. However, in most of the approaches that have been studied to date, awareness and the sense of peace and well-being it is believed to give rise to are seen as capacities that must be cultivated and developed, usually through extensive practice and disciplined effort.

In contrast to this view of awareness, and of particular interest to the Baumann Institute, is what is sometimes referred to as “direct path” or “non-dual” approaches to the discovery of awareness and its liberating, beneficial qualities. Rather than viewing awareness as a skill requiring cultivation or practice, in direct path teachings, the invitation is to recognize that awareness is naturally occurring; that it need not be developed or cultivated for it is always and already present as the underlying basis of all perceptual phenomena. For this reason, the direct path teachings (both their traditional and contemporary expressions) state that no effort is required to become more aware, for awareness is already happening spontaneously and effortlessly.  While at first glance, the fact that awareness is naturally present may not seem that significant, the recognition of awareness appears in many instances to have a number of profound and beneficial effects.

For example, preliminary investigations (Paul, 2008; Costeines, 2009) suggest a number of significant changes in identity, perception and behavior that appear to result from the recognition of awareness. These include:

  1. Experience of life as a single, non-dual expanse in which objective and subjective phenomena, while appearing separate and discrete, are viewed as having no independent nature or existence apart from awareness itself.
  2. Dissolution of exclusive identification with a separate “self.”
  3. Lessening or total cessation of resistance to phenomena, irrespective of their evaluative content (as either pleasant, painful, or neutral).
  4. Experience of a stable sense of well-being or contentment that is not dictated by the particular nature of phenomenal experiences or circumstances.
  5. Discovery of an uncontrived, natural wisdom and compassion.

The Baumann Institute was established in 2009 to further support such investigations into the nature of human awareness and its role in the alleviation of psychological suffering.


Paul, A. (2008). A Grounded Theory Investigation of Awakening in Direct Approaches [Unpublished Dissertation]. Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Menlo Park, CA.

Costeines, M. (2009). What Enlightenment Means: A Qualitative Study of Consciousness as experienced by teachers of nondual mysticism. [Unpublished Dissertation]. Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Menlo Park, CA.

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