Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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

#3755 - Thursday, December 24, 2009 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights -


A Letter from Neelam December 2009

Dear Sangha,

Early mornings are the favorite time in my day.  I love noticing the gentle transition from the contentment of sleep into the awakeness of the senses and into the richness of the inner world … all unfolding in the deep stillness of Presence.

Winter is a quiet time of the year, and the location of my home, away from the influences of others, in the midst of hundreds of acres of nature, supports noticing the subtle changes in the environment.

I love watching the morning sky, just before sunrise, with its magnificent colors, going through the most beautiful changes until the sun is here.  It is a soft and gentle sun, much diminished in its power, and yet a very welcomed presence on a cold winter day.

Time alone is the most important resource in my life.  It is the time to be quiet, to reflect, to engage in simple activities with no goal or no need to attend to anything or anybody else.  Time alone does not necessarily mean to just sit in silence.  It can be as simple as walking, driving or shopping in town.  But what matters is the inner space, the openness to be present to your inner experience, to see what is really going on and how things really are.  I find it important to put my inner experience in prespective, to nurture our inner world and therefore, to strengthen the ability to be Present.

Sometimes we believe that our spiritual life is somewhat separate from our day-to-day life experience.  That our practice has a future goal – somewhere, sometime, reaching of the “enlightened” state, where possibly nothing arises anymore and we are “done” with the challenges of the ordinary world.  That is how we miss an opportunity to find Presence, right where we are, in the midst of everything that is happening.

Awake is our nature. 

Enlightenment is a steady abidance in that. 

We are not seeking a fulfillment in the future, we are realizing the fulfillment that is already here.

In the coming weeks I encourage you to notice if the natural contentment of Presence is available to you in your life.

Sometimes we just don’t pay enough attention, but often our life is simply too busy for us to be able to enjoy that.  Take some time in this holiday season to quiet down in your life, to simplify your activities.  Take a walk, just to enjoy, or sit quietly out in nature, just to listen and see, for no reason at all.  Spend sometime with a friend, or maybe alone, in your home with no plan, no urgency and no goal in mind.

Pay attention.  Notice that with the lessening involvement in the “outer” world, our natural state becomes much more available and apparent.  Rest in that.  Allow yourself to be nurtured by the simplicity of what is. What we are looking for is already here, we just don’t always know how to reach for that.

I wish you a wonderful time this holiday season and an easy transition into the new year.  May the blessings of Presence be with you wherever you are …




From the blog of Wayne Wirs:

Before you pursue enlightenment too seriously, you may want to read about my “Dark Night of the Soul” episode that occurred this very morning (Thursday, 9/17/2009).

To preface it. Yesterday afternoon, just as I was posting that day’s blog entry, I received an email from my mother, who, among other things was worried about a dream/premonition she had of a dark entity threatening me. I replied with something along the lines of she’s just naturally worried about losing me to what is happening and I endeavored to explain that this phase of my life felt much like childhood or (if you’re old enough) how your teen years feels like to you now – you’re still the same person, but different. I assured her there was no risk of her “losing” me.

But the “evil entity” concept got me thinking. I have never believed in the dualistic concepts of Good vs. Evil. Jesus, in his 40 days in the desert dealt with the Devil. Buddha, in his final meditations under the Bodhi-tree, dealt with Mara. What to I consider evil? Not that I’m their ranks, but who is my Devil?

With this thought, I went to bed, and to see if it would help me find insight, I put on the Breathe track I had made to help people with their holotropic breathing. Since it was dark, and I’m not super familiar with the iPhone music controls (I wanted the track to repeat), I just pushed “play” and started the deep, rapid breathing.

As the track finished and I was feeling pleasantly “one” the next song came on. Being as the tracks were sorted alphabetically, it was Jimmy Buffet’s Bring Back The Magic and the line, “Nothing can tear you apart, if you keep living straight from the heart. Though you know that you’re going to hurt some, the magic will come.” And those words resonated with me since most of my life, I have lived from the head and not from the heart.

I fell asleep with those lyrics in my head and then, at 4:39 this morning, I found my Devil…

(The following was written immediately upon arising, with minimum editing.)

    I awoke, overcome with terrible, horrible feelings, the emotions so primal – so raw. I sobbed and cried and raged and I watched. The whole time I watched and smiled and new that this was a purging – a cleansing.

    From deep within, I felt dark, hard clumps of rot and filth – emotional pain – welling up from my dark bowels. The pain had no name, no fixed word for it – just a deep hurt, an injustice. And I smiled and took his hand and caressed his head as he wept – just as a mother caresses a weeping babe.

    The emotions started to become more clear, but no less painful. Abandonment – being PUSHED from the womb, being PUSHED from the breast, being PUSHED from the Mom as she left me to make dinner, being PUSHED away, away, away. And I watched as I cried and I knew that this was good.

    The next wave of pain came from childhood – the selfishness, the stealing, the grabbing and hitting and I cried and I hated myself and I felt so damn guilty and I smiled and watched and comforted me.

    Each wave felt like a dark clump of matter, a dark clump that had been hidden deep down inside me for my entire life. Each rested on the earlier one, and was released as its foundation fell through. I knew this somehow and I allowed it, and though I cried and sobbed and clung at my face and wrung my hands and felt so helpless and alone and like there was no one who could save me I watched and allowed and loved me.

    Each wave rose and crested and crashed as every sin and sorrow from each phase of my life rose and clarified and pummeled me. And between each wave a calm, a lull – and love, always love, always there underneath it all.

    Older and older I got, each pain bringing with it horrible guilt and crystal clear understanding. It was there, raw, unedited and in my face and there was nowhere to hide, no way to escape or deny it. All the pain and heartbreak I had caused others because of my pettiness and selfishness. And I cried and sobbed uncontrollably and I hated myself and I hated who I had become and I watched and understood and the pain was released and forgiven and seen for what it was.

    I got out of bed at 8:03 am when a bird flapped up against my window, trying to catch his reflection. The twinges of pain had subsided and the Light seemed so clean and pure.

    I washed my face, made some tea, and wrote this down.

Keep in mind, this was not a dream. My floor was littered with balled up paper towels (Tissues? Real men use paper towels when they cry like a baby).

As all this was happening, I was amazed that I had two conscious “minds.” I saw Wayne-the-ego suffering and I was Wayne-the-ego suffering. I was overwhelmed with pain and at the same time I was seeing it from outside me – not outside the body, but outside “me” the one who was suffering. It was amazing, it was like my consciousness had split. And while I have never been a religious man, I felt the Divine: I was the Divine and I was the Sinner. Indeed, all those pains felt like sin, like a denial of God. And I, as the Divine, saw very clearly that they (the emotional blocks) were a denial, for all these years they have blocked me from seeing the Divine in myself.

It’s clear to me now, and was clear to the Divine me as it happened, that my ego (and though I am no psychologist, I know everyone’s ego) is built on those initial moments and days and first years of rejection from the mother. Rejected from the womb, rejected from the breast, left alone while the mother attended her other duties. I – as an infant – didn’t understand the “being left.” And that “being left” with it’s pain, started the ego. Started the separate Wayne, and from there all selfishness and greed and envy and hatred and rage arose within the dark side of myself. And so, as each wave of pain and guilt was released, it loosened the foundation of those that had been built upon it (the “sins” of me as child, then teen, then adult). Each collapsed as the foundation under it – the infant ego – collapsed.

As I write this on the morning of September 17, 2009, I feel a sense of “blankness not knowing” combined with a wonderful sense of stillness and lightness and certainty that, though I don’t know what lies next, I do know that there is nothing to be concerned with ever again – for everything is happening exactly as it is supposed to.



Photos by Wayne Wirs

top of page