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#4434 - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights -    

Research Participants Wanted   

Drs. Sameer Deshpande and Gary Nixon of the University of Lethbridge, Canada are conducting a study of the journey towards embracing and abiding in nondual being. This journey involves a shift in which a person typically experiences an ego death and moves beyond a personal ego identity, as well as having feelings of surrender and expansiveness, and an all pervading love or contentment, as well as experiencing no thoughts and stillness. Research participants suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome for the last five years and who undertook a journey towards nondual being, and have been abiding in nondual being for at least the last two years, are wanted for a research interview, which will take 1-2 hours. Participants will be provided with transcripts of their interviews. If you have been abiding in nondual being for at least the last two years, and would like to participate in the study please email[email protected] or call (403) 329-5196 (Lethbridge).   


Sameer Deshpande   Associate Professor, Marketing   University of Lethbridge, Canada   [email protected]; 403-329-5196    


A panel discussion I put together and moderated at the Science and Nonduality Conference 2011 featuring Jeannie Zandi, Bentinho Massaro, and Kenny Johnson may be viewed at

The European version of the Science and Nonduality Conference will take place at the Zonheuvel Conference Centre situated in the heart of Doorn at the National Utrecht Park, Holland, May 31st-June 3rd. Stay tuned more details coming shortly. Early bird registration will open December 5th, 2012.



No Shame in Stillness

by Jenni

Today I did something shocking, socially unacceptable and so counter-cultural, it’s downright rebellious: I was still. To be specific, I put my feet up on the porch rail, leaned back in a deep chair, and sat in the afternoon sunshine for a while, accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Not exactly the picture of a revolutionary, is it? I know, but if you look a bit deeper, you might recognize that one action as essentially giving the finger to a powerful and ruthless dictator: the dogma that my busyness reflects my value.

Does the idea of sitting quietly, alone with your thoughts for a while make you sigh wistfully or squirm uncomfortably? Probably a mixture of both.

In my experience as a modern woman, we simultaneously long for and fear the idea of stillness. We tend to pride ourselves on how much we accomplish in a day, and so stepping away from productivity is a risk, as though we must prove the worth of our existence by never slowing down to pause. And yet, we long for peace and rest, to step off the treadmill of life occasionally and catch our breath. And so we allow ourselves an occasional “indulgence” in a piece of Dove Chocolate or an extra creamy Yoplait yogurt because their advertising gurus convinced us that it’s okay, you deserve it. And we’ll take our  annual vacation, hoping to cram in all the R&R we’ve denied ourselves all year. But even those “treats” are usually accompanied by guilt, shame, and pressure to “maximize” the time.

And there’s another reason we don’t have time for stillness: I believe we avoid it because we are afraid of what we would find there. If I slowed down enough to really listen (to my spirit, my body, my mind), I might not like what it tells me. Or if I sat down to listen for the voice of God and sit with Him in the vulnerability of who I really am, what might He say to me? And so it is safer to fill my schedule with more work, more Facebook time, more music, more accomplishments than to slow down and be still.

But what if we weren’t meant to “make the most” of every day? To fit in the most activities, run the fastest and most efficient household, grow our business as big as possible, get the best we can afford, and achieve our utmost potential in every realm? Maybe doing more, faster won’t actually get us where we want to be…or where we need to be.

I am coming to believe that, if we want to truly live life, creating space for stillness is crucial. In spite of–and because of–all the pressures on our time, we have a built-in need for periods of quiet, rest and reflection. Although this may seem like just one more thing to fit in, I believe that if we will find a way to make space for stillness and reflection, it will reshape our lives. Just as the human body needs to inhale and exhale, we need times of work and times of rest, times to act and times to reflect. There is no shame in that. Many cultures have retained this rhythm in life, but looking at myself and around at our society, we seem to have forgotten the value in rest and reflection, condemning them instead as laziness, self-indulgence or worthless “navel gazing”. And I think we’re suffering for it. We don’t know how to just be with ourselves. And how can we offer much to others and this world if we aren’t even connected to our own selves?

So what are some ways we can reclaim stillness and rest in the midst of real life this week? It will look differently for everyone, and remember that it’s not about “what you do” but opening the posture of your heart and mind. In the stillness, you may find your mind racing to process thoughts that you haven’t been able to give your attention to, and that’s fine. Or you might want to acknowledge what you’ve been feeling lately and just sit honestly in that. Don’t try to solve every problem or reach a great conclusion during this time. If you aren’t sure what to think about and you want to connect to God, I encourage you to meditate on a favorite song or scripture that brings you peace and to rest in the knowledge that you are a beloved child of God (even if you don’t feel that you are).  Here are a few ideas I’ve been implementing lately, during my experiment in living more slowly:

I offer these up as ideas. But I’d love to hear from you:

What helps you to be still and what have you found to be the biggest challenges in creating that space for yourself?

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