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

#3768 - Wednesday, January 6, 2010 - Editor: Gloria Lee

The Nonduality Highlights -

      What is a True Person?   “As I see it, there isn’t so much to do. Just be ordinary—put on your robes, eat your food, and pass the time doing nothing.”  - Master Linji, Teaching 18    

Insight can’t be found in sutras, commentaries, verbal expression, or —isms. Liberation and awakened understanding can’t be found by devoting ourselves to the study of the Buddhist scriptures. This is like trying to find fresh water in dry bones. Returning to the present moment, using our clear mind which exists right here and now, we can be in touch with liberation and enlightenment, as well as with the Buddha and the patriarchs as living realities right in this moment. The person who has nothing to do is sovereign unto herself. She doesn’t need to put on airs or leave any trace behind.

The true person is an active participant, engaged in her environment while remaining unoppressed by it. Although all phenomena are going through the various appearances of birth, abiding, changing, and dying, the true person doesn’t become a victim of sadness, happiness, love, or hate. She lives in awareness as an ordinary person, whether standing, walking, lying down, or sitting. She doesn’t act a part, even the part of a great Zen master. This is what Master Linji means by “being sovereign wherever you are and using that place as your seat of awakening.”   We may wonder, “If a person has no direction, isn’t yearning to realize an ideal, doesn’t have an aim in life, then who will help living beings be liberated, who will rescue those who are drowning in the ocean of suffering?” A Buddha is a person who has no more business to do and isn’t looking for anything. In doing nothing, in simply stopping, we can live freely and true to ourselves and our liberation will contribute to the liberation of all beings.

- Thich Nhat Hanh, "Simply Stop," Fall 2007 Tricycle From Nothing to Do, Nowhere to Go (2007) by Thich Nhat Hanh  

Read the complete article.

  Francis Lucille   Passivity and non-duality - Francis Answers - 135  

Question: Do you think a non-dualistic view of the world leads the individual to passivity in the face of the world's suffering?


Dear Lorenzo,

A non-dualistic view of the world may well lead to systematic passivity in the face of the world's suffering if it is just that, a mere theoretical interpretation of the world. In this case there will often be a conflict between love and reason. A non-dualistic experience of the world will lead to the proper action, compassionate, practical, non judgmental, or to the proper passivity, depending upon the circumstances. The absence of conflict between love and intelligence is the benchmark of proper, impersonal action. Sometimes reason is too harsh and loves win, sometimes love is too weak and reason wins. It doesn't matter which one wins, provided they both agree.





On the "Witness" - Greg Goode

At this point, higher reason has almost finished all the work it can do.  The gross world, the subtle world, that body and mind are no longer seen as though they exist outside of awareness.  Nothing is experienced as self-sustaining, independent thing, but rather as made of spontaneous arisings in the witnessing awareness.


Having realized the witness, you discover that you've always been home.  You no longer feel that you were born or that you will die.  If the universe itself perishes, you as awareness will be there.


You don't take any of this personally, because the structures that allowed this are seen never to have existed.  You no longer feel lonely, separate or alienated in any way at all.  You no longer compare your own spiritual attainments to those of another.  You no longer wish to have another's experience, since it no longer seems that experience is in any way personal.  Experience has become another term for this same global awareness.


 Your experience is utterly sweet and open.  The earlier descriptions of awareness as love now fully agree with your direct experience at every moment.  It's not that sweetness is experienced as arisings which are pleasant.  The sweetness is much deeper than that.  It is not an arising object.  Rather sweetness is globally felt as the very source and nature of the arisings.  Even arisings that would normally be called "pain" are lovingly held as sweetness by this very same sweetness.  Nothing is felt to be an exception to this perfect openness, clarity, love and sweetness.  This is radical and revolutionary.  And it is your natural state.


Greg Goode, Standing as Awareness, Non-Duality Press

posted to Wisdom-l by Mark Scorelle


The Real Work    

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,  

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.  

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.  

The impeded stream is the one that sings.    

- Wendell Berry   (Collected Poems)  

Web version:

top of page