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#4158- Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights -    


The following is from Advaita Academy

Douglas Harding

Look at anyone in the room or at your face in the mirror, and check that you are Empty for it, that at this moment you experience yourself as the Space that's taking it in.

...check that, on present evidence, the set-up is altogether asymmetrical. Notice how his or her face over there is presented to your No-face here, those two little eyes to your single and immense 'Eye' here, that coloured and textured and patterned opacity to this colourless and untextured and patternless Transparency, that smallness to this Immensity.

Notice how you can never for a moment confront anyone, never get face-to-face with anyone. Notice how you aren't a bit what you look like to them-people over there being too far off and in no position to see What you really are where you really are. Notice how you can not only see what you are looking at but also (and much more clearly) What you are looking out of.

Some call It your Original Face, others your Buddha Eye, others the Light that lights all who come into the world, yet others your No-head. But whatever you happen to call It, This is no passing impression or replica of It but the real article, exactly as the Buddha and all the other Seers experienced It.

Go on looking in, as well as out, a few more moments, please...

Why should you bother?

Why because this is the most momentous Experience you or anyone ever had. Because-in spite of its dreadfully boring plainness (you can see It has nothing whatever to recommend it) -this is the sight of a lifetime, of all lifetimes.

'It's a sight that leaves me cold,' I hear you replying. 'All it means to me is that of course I can't see my own eyes and face and head. So what? What has it to do with the Buddha's full and perfect enlightenment? Or with the enlightenment I'm working towards and hope to arrive at one day-perhaps many years from now, but more likely many lifetimes from now?' Yes of course I see exactly what you mean. But again, SO WHAT?

So there you are! That's it! There's your meaningless Experience for you!

We live in a democracy. Put to the vote, your reaction is the right one. Subject to minor variations, it's what the majority of the population as well as the majority of serious seekers-meditators, disciples of the Masters, followers of the great spiritual disciplines-have been telling me over the past few decades. Whenever I got them to reverse their attention and examine the Spot they occupy (only to discover it's not they who occupy it but the others), their comment has been the equivalent of SO WHAT? I should say that, at a guess, of a hundred who are persuaded to look in and briefly lose track of themselves, not more than five find that their discovery is so surprising and meaningful that it merits cultivation. Even fewer go on valuing and renewing this Insight till it occurs naturally and without prompting, and its life-changing power-its incredible know-how and resourcefulness-are revealed.

But no wonder the essential Experience is dismissed so cavalierly, is so unwelcome and so distrusted. The famous Diamond Sutra has good reason to warn us that, below the surface, we are all terrified of our Emptiness. Till its inexhaustible and breathtaking beneficence and fertility begin to take shape it must seem (to many of us if not to all) not just meaningless but suicidal, mere annihilation.

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