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Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz
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Today's issue is an
excerpt, featuring Greg Goode, from the
Nonduality America site. Greg responds to the question, What Is
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GREG GOODE: In the last few years Ive encountered more and more people who dont resonate with the usual teachings in which nonduality is explained as singularity, unity or awareness. They feel a deep yearning to realize that they arent limited to an objective, pre-existing body or mind, but dont have the intuition that the basis of everything is awareness. The idea can seem arbitrary.
So for these folks, Ive used the emptiness teachings descended from Nagarjuna. There has been great and intuitive response where the awareness teachings didnt hit the spot. Since these are fairly different from the teachings on awareness, Ill switch gears here and discuss these round-table questions as from the emptiness teachings. The awareness teachings are already quite well represented here on NDA (Nonduality America)!
For more on the background to the emptiness teachings click here:
In the emptiness teachings, nonduality is a mode of existence. Its how things exist. They exist like the jewels in Indras Net or like a magicians illusion. Things arent substantial and they arent lacking. Things dont exist in an independent, self-powered way, and they dont utterly lack existence either. Things are contextual; theyre present in a way that can perform functions. Emptiness-style nonduality avoids both of these extremes.. Things exist in a sort of pragmatic way. When I was in the Army, we said we were done with a project not because it had an absolute, fixed endpoint, but rather when it was good enough for government work!
The direct realization of emptiness is a non-conceptual nondual experience in which subject and object dont appear, not even in the most subtle way. After this experience, the self and world of phenomena return, but forever changed. There are no more afflictive emotions, no more metaphysical or cosmic yearnings, and no more gestalt that says things are really truly there or truly missing. Instead, things are free, light, and joyful.
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Greg Goode is one of the original members of Nonduality Salon and the author of the popular book, Standing As Awareness:
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