Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:

Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nonduality Highlights each day

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4470 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-01-02
Subject: 4471 - Monday, January 2, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4471 - Monday, January 2, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights -В В 
"Be yourself, everyone else is alreadyВ taken."
- Oscar Wilde

When anybody laughs, he has no mind, no thought, no problem,
no suffering.
- Papaji

You impose limits on your true nature of infinite being.
Then you get displeased to be only a limited creature.
Then you begin spiritual practices to transcend these non-existing limits.
But if your practice itself implies the existence of these limits, how could
they allow you to transcend them.
- Ramana Maharshi

To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably
carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you
make yourself a victim. Leave the situation or accept it. All else is
- Eckhart Tolle


"Who cares if you're enlightened forever? Can you just get it in this
moment, now?"

- Byron Katie

Be still. It takes no effort to be still; it is utterly simple. When your
mind is still, you have no name, you have no past, you have no
relationships, you have no country, you have no spiritual
attainment, you have no lack of spiritual attainment. There is just
the presence of beingness with itself.
- Gangaji
All quotes above by Sandra Ma on Facebook

For a day,
Just for one day,
Talk about that
Which disturbs no one...
And bring some peace
Into your beautiful eyes.
- Hafiz
by Kiki Bashi


There is no profound knowledge. There are no good words.
Everything you've been told is a lie. The only truth that exists is
your self, but who is the self? The self is you, just the way you are.
The mistake most people make is they want to change themselves.
How can you change yourself? You think you've got problems, or
you think you've got a bad mind, or you think something is wrong
and you want to change that. Those things don't exist. There is
nothing to change. That's what I mean when I say, "Be yourself,
just the way you are." Yourself, just the way you are, spontaneous,
live in the now, has no time to worry or think. When you are
yourself you are God, you are consciousness, you are absolute
reality. You are always yourself. You never were anyone else. You
never were anything else. Your nature is divine. You are not what
you appear to be. The only thing to remove is the appearance, or
the belief in the appearance, for the appearance is false.
- Robert Adams
by Shane Dyke in Robert Adams group on Facebook

image by Kelly Rae Roberts

Nothing is born, nothing is destroyed.
Away with your dualism, your likes and dislikes.
Every single thing is just the One Mind.
When you have perceived this,
you will have mounted the Chariot of the Buddhas.
Huang Po
by Tony Cartledge

"I can walk on the clouds!" says a child.
But if she reached the clouds,
she would find nowhere to place her foot.
Likewise, if one does not examine thoughts,
they present a solid appearance;
but if one examines them,
there is nothing there.
That is what is called
being at the same time
empty and apparent.
Emptiness of mind
is not a nothingness,
nor a state of torpor,
for it possesses by its very nature
a luminous faculty of knowledge
which is called Awareness.
These two aspects,
emptiness and Awareness,
cannot be separated.
They are essentially one,
like the surface of the mirror
and the image which is reflected in it."
- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
by Jacque Collier on Facebook

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4471 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-01-03
Subject: #4471 - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4471 - Tuesday,В January 3, 2012В - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights -


The Onederful Gathering
June 10-14, 2012
Crestwood Inn & Spa
Boone, NC

The Science and Nonduality Conference Europe 2012
29th May - 3rd June, 2012

Zonheuvel Conference Centre, Doorn, The Netherlands


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Hungry Ghost


We are born as pure consciousness, in time an ego is formed that comes to inhabit this pure consciousness. The ego is the sum total of all the knowledge absorbed from birth onwards. The sum total of this knowledge is made manifest by consciousness. This knowledge that the ego is composed of can also be seen as a hugely complex system of beliefs. It could be said that knowledge is just data or information but that belief is something more. Belief can be likened to desire made manifest. I believe in God can then be translated as 'I want to believe in God because there is something to be gained by doing soÂ’. Even the most insane of our beliefs can be translated in this way. There is always a hidden agenda behind our beliefs in which something is expected to be gained. It is not necessary that what is gained makes any sense. It is only necessary that something is desired with the expectation of gaining something. This is the hungry ghost referred to in Buddhism. The hungry ghost does not wish to be free it wishes to continue eating or desiring. Usually when it expresses the wish to be free it is in the hope that somehow it could be free while continuing to desire. Desire is really the illusory belief that what is desired will fill me or complete me. The fact that even when our desire is satisfied it is satisfied for only a moment seems to go unnoticed. We are born as pure consciousness and this never changes we are always that pure consciousness. Consciousness is complete, nothing can change it. This is the great mystery, if consciousness is already complete what is it we are looking for to complete ourselves. The ego is the sum total of all absorbed knowledge and belief and is made manifest by consciousness. Because consciousness itself has no agenda or hidden beliefs it seems to have no substance. On the other hand the absorbed knowledge and beliefs of the ego appear to have substance and so this illusory entity is able to Г‚вЂ˜squatÂ’ in an apparently empty house. The house is not empty it is filled with consciousness and even the ego itself could not exist without this consciousness. Consciousness is not interested in the delusions of the ego because consciousness itself is always complete.
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4472 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-01-05
Subject: #4472 - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4472 - Wednesday,В January 4, 2012В - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights -

Interview with Unmani on video:
Video Part 1:
Who I am is the only thing of importance, the rest appears in it; nothing is not a boring, depressing thing; are you willing to die? The space beyond beliefs; a recognition but not an understanding; seeing beliefs and concepts for what they are; longer retreats to explore what is real; seeing the reality of concepts; feelings do not mean anything to who you are; recognizing that feelings, beliefs, traumas do not mean anything for “me”; it does not matter if traumas are there or not; freedom that includes everything; death playing being life; the skin is not the boundary of you; there are no other people, it is all in you.В 
Video Part 2:
Lots of laughing and playing during the retreats; exploring reality of beliefs and concepts; never-ending unravelling of what is true; uncomfortable experiences mean something about “me”; emotions and judgements are just happening; beliefs like “I should not be judging” are the troublemakers; freedom for any beliefs, thoughts judgements etc.; life itself seems to want to open; no restrictions, only beliefs in restrictions; continual loosing of every belief you have ever believed in; no need to have a limited identity; searching itself is the problem; endless creation is the nature of mind.
Video Part 3:
Minds wants to do something by its nature; who you are is noticing the role of the person and what it does; the structure of the retreats; travelling around in the world, no base at all, no set route; dying to everything you think you know for the love that you are; love implies that everything is included unconditionally.
Unmani's site:

Peter Holleran responds to the following blog entry posted yesterday:

We are born as pure consciousness, in time an ego is formed that comes to inhabit this pure consciousness. The ego is the sum total of all the knowledge absorbed from birth onwards. The sum total of this knowledge is made manifest by consciousness. This knowledge that the ego is composed of can also be seen as a hugely complex system of beliefs. It could be said that knowledge is just data or information but that belief is something more. Belief can be likened to desire made manifest. I believe in God can then be translated as 'I want to believe in God because there is something to be gained by doing soÂ’. Even the most insane of our beliefs can be translated in this way. There is always a hidden agenda behind our beliefs in which something is expected to be gained. It is not necessary that what is gained makes any sense. It is only necessary that something is desired with the expectation of gaining something. This is the hungry ghost referred to in Buddhism. The hungry ghost does not wish to be free it wishes to continue eating or desiring. Usually when it expresses the wish to be free it is in the hope that somehow it could be free while continuing to desire. Desire is really the illusory belief that what is desired will fill me or complete me. The fact that even when our desire is satisfied it is satisfied for only a moment seems to go unnoticed. We are born as pure consciousness and this never changes we are always that pure consciousness. Consciousness is complete, nothing can change it. This is the great mystery, if consciousness is already complete what is it we are looking for to complete ourselves. The ego is the sum total of all absorbed knowledge and belief and is made manifest by consciousness. Because consciousness itself has no agenda or hidden beliefs it seems to have no substance. On the other hand the absorbed knowledge and beliefs of the ego appear to have substance and so this illusory entity is able to Г‚вЂ˜squatÂ’ in an apparently empty house. The house is not empty it is filled with consciousness and even the ego itself could not exist without this consciousness. Consciousness is not interested in the delusions of the ego because consciousness itself is always complete.
Posted by Ray Menezes at 04:46
Peter Holleran responds:

This person means well, but the quote is full of a lot of assumptions that may not reflect true non-duality or necessarily even reality.

One, we are born as pure consciousness. How does one know this? Is it because that is what we are told? I know Sri Nisargadatta seemed to think it is true, but is it any more true than the teaching by the Tibetans that there is a split second (for most people) at the time of death when they can glimpse pure consciousness, before slipping into a stupor? Second, that ego is just the sum total of all our experiences since birth - Is this true? Most scriptures say it is a little more complex than that, that it is something that is much more 'old' than that, like thousands of lifetimes old. It is also born in seed-form within the person, then develops. And, third, the assumption is that ego is bad. Is that true? Or is it really quite an evolutionary advance within the realm of relativity to allow a self-reflection in the mind to propel us on towards REALIZATION?В  Also, the equation is made that ego is just a bunch of beliefs and/or desires. Is that true? What about the ability to think, observe, watch, check our states, our actions, intentions, be creative, ponder truth, etc.? In a true non-duality, "ego is just alright with me", to borrow a lyric. To be stuck in egoВ  only, yes, of course, is an impediment, but that doesn't mean it has no place. Finally, which is a big subject, the conclusion that consciousness is 'complete' and 'all there is' is an assumption as well.В  All in all, imo, this is a typicalВ  example of choosing one-side of two polarities within relativity, the supposedly 'absolute," 'impersonal', 'timeless' one and saying it is all of truth. Yet isn't reality maybeВ  a little more rich than that? Just my thoughts.

IВ see that is down. It's been a valuable resource for many people.

Here's a Mayan Calendar thread from Nonduality Salon:
The Mayan calendar actually ended on October 28, 2011. The Mayans did not have a leap year in their calendar. The Gregorian monks who created the calendar that we use added that in themselves. When you deduct the extra days from the leap years (420)you end up back at October 28.

Not that the facts will stop all of the hysteria and hype we will see this year.

Well... maybe then we are already all dead!!
What the Mayan Elders are Saying About 2012
by Carlos Barrios:
Thanks, valerie, really interesting article with an authoritative voice.
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4473 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-01-06
Subject: #4473 - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4473 - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights -В В 
The awakened heart is like a sky that pours light.
-В Hafez
by Elsa Bailey

You never find happiness until you stop looking for it.
- Chuang Tzu

In life nothing can be had without overcoming obstacles. The
obstacles to the clear perception of one's true being are desire for
pleasure and fear of pain. It is the pleasure-pain motivation that
stands in the way. The very freedom from all motivation, the state
in which no desire arises is the natural state.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
by Along The Way

photo by
The way of the Buddha is to know yourself. To know yourself is to
forget yourself. To forget yourself is to be awakened by all things.
- Dogen
by Elsa Bailey



"Live with skillful nonchalance and ceaseless concern."
-В Prajnaparamita Sutra

"What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner
resistance to something that already is?"
- Eckhart Tolle
by Ben Gilberti

What is this true meditation? It is to make everything: coughing,
swallowing, waving the arms, motion, stillness, words, action, the
evil and the good, prosperity and shame, gain and loss, right and
wrong, into one single koan.
- Hakuin
by Tony Cartledge



A man crosses the street in rain,
stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
because his son is asleep on his shoulder.
No car must splash him.
No car drive too near to his shadow.
This man carries the world's most sensitive cargo
but he's not marked.
Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,
His ear fills up with breathing.
He hears the hum of a boy's dream
deep inside him.
We're not going to be able
to live in this world
if we're not willing to do what he's doing
with one another.
The road will only be wide.
The rain will never stop falling.
- Naomi Shihab Nye
from Red Suitcase. © BOA Editions, Ltd., 1994.

An African Elegy
We are the miracles that God made
To taste the bitter fruit of Time.
We are precious.
And one day our suffering
Will turn into the wonders of the earth.
There are things that burn me now
Which turn golden when I am happy.
Do you see the mystery of our pain?
That we bear poverty
And are able to sing and dream sweet things
And that we never curse the air when it is warm
Or the fruit when it tastes so good
Or the lights that bounce gently on the waters?
We bless things even in our pain.
We bless them in silence.
That is why our music is so sweet.
It makes the air remember.
There are secret miracles at work
That only Time will bring forth.
I too have heard the dead singing.
And they tell me that
This life is good
They tell me to live it gently
With fire, and always with hope.
There is wonder here
And there is surprise
In everything the unseen moves.
The ocean is full of songs.
The sky is not an enemy.
Destiny is our friend.
- Ben Okri

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4474 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-01-06
Subject: #4474 - Friday, January 6, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4474 - Friday,В January 6, 2012В - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights -

This new article in the Huffington Post may be the first time Deepak Chopra has used the term "non-dual" in a high profile manner. Rather than the terms "nonduality" or "nondualism", he speaks of "non-dual consciousness." He realizes the term "non-dual" is non-friendly to most people, but that "consciousness"В is familiar and vague enough to allow the reader to go to a comfortable and acceptable place "inside."
This is why Chopra is a brilliant communicator to the general populace. He knows how to fuse the new and strange to the old and familiar. He knows how to lead people from the old to the new. Rather than present the starkness/fullness of nonduality, about which nothing is granular, his teaching rests in what people can read about, learn about, feel, experience, get involved in, even worry about for gosh sakes, namely science, namely mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
By presenting the unknowable through the rungs of the known, he leads people to an understanding of nonduality.В FewВ may know the falling down of the ladder that brings them to that understanding. Yet Chopra does what he is called to do, what any of us are called to do, which is to talk about what we can't help talking about,В which is Truth (or whatever you want to call it). We each talk aboutВ Truth in our own silly way, whether through essays, poetry, art, science, dance, sculpture, raising a family, selling insurance, etc.
Perhaps Chopra sees 2012 as the year of non-dual consciousness for the spirituality mass populace. Longtime readers of the Highlights have not only known about non-dual consciousness for quite a while, we've even had a nonduality community online and in person since 1998. But Chopra isn't talking about community. He's speaking to individuals.
I wrote onВ that 2011 would be the year nonduality hits the mainstream: "Nonduality is headed to the major mainstream. When? I'm writing this in late 2010. It could be any day, literally. It wouldn't surprise me to see the major mainstreaming of nonduality in 2011. "
Gimme a break. So I wasВ off by like four days.
Here's Chopra's article:

A New Year, and Possibly a New World
Posted: 1/4/12 09:10 AM ET
by Deepak Chopra
Read more
Conscious , Consciousness , Dualism , Healthy-New-Year , Human Consciousness , Medical Materialism , Non-Dual Consciousness , Non-Dual Materialism , Paradigm Shift , States Of Consciousness , What Is Consciousness , Worldviews , Healthy Living News
Access above links at article home:
A New Year, and Possibly a New World
by Deepak Chopra
It's fascinating, as time turns another small corner, to think of how worlds shift and collide. There is no evidence that a person as brilliant as Shakespeare understood that Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo had already revolutionized the human mind. The same thing may be happening now, and many brilliant people seem unaware of how our present-day world -- meaning our conception of reality -- may undergo a seismic shift.
I'm not thinking of fossil fuels and Arab uprisings, not even of the 99 percent as against the 1 percent. Upheavals in the outer world are secondary, in the long sweep of history, to inner revolutions. We may be on the verge of such a one. What makes me think so is a trickle of medical articles, now greatly expanding, that are proving troublesome to mainstream medicine. These articles sometimes deal with cancer, sometimes with antidepressants, sometimes with the dashed hopes for gene therapies that seem constantly out of reach.
What these articles have in common is that treating the body like a machine isn't panning out. The next breakthrough in cancer or psychotherapy or genetically-related disorders may come from an entirely different angle than the workaday materialism that "of course" looks at our bodies as physical objects like any other. That "of course" is the mark of a settled worldview. God "of course" created the world in seven days and the soul "of course" was more important than the body, which was a temporary shell while the soul worked its way through this vale of tears.
When settled worldviews crumble, we have to reinvent the world. So far, there have been only three categories from which to construct reality from the ground up.
1. Dualism, which separates mind and body.
2. Non-dual materialism, which considers only physical things and excludes the spiritual, mystical and supernatural.
3. Non-dual consciousness, which traces reality back to mind and beyond mind to the very potential for mind.
Dualism no longer satisfies professional thinkers. Putting mind in one box and the body in another settles no questions about either. We are left with half a loaf, unable to say anything reliable about pure mind but also unable to connect the subtle way that the body responds to thoughts and feelings. Yet curiously, the average person is a flaming, if secret, dualist. We compartmentalize our lives in countless ways. God belongs on Sunday, the material world dominates the rest of the week. We treat our bodies sensibly, yet when a mortal illness threatens, it's time to pray. This kind of compartmentalism is understandable, but in the long run it's frustrating, as witness the countless people who feel anxious and empty in their search for higher meaning.
The same complaint could be aimed at non-dual materialism, but science, which is totally materialistic, has won a resounding victory on many fronts. Therefore, it's an easy slide into believing that the scientific worldview must be correct. Non-dual materialism leaves no room for anything that cannot be turned into data. So it is incompatible with God, spirit, the soul and even the mind. The average person has bought into the notion, publicized constantly by the media, that the mind is the brain. After all, we can now watch the brain in real time as a person experiences love, faith, compassion and all other "higher" experiences that once belonged to the mind and the soul. But watching the brain at work is like watching an old tube radio light up when Beethoven is played. It would be naive to say that the radio composed Beethoven's music. Yet just as naively non-dual materialists see no reason to look beyond the brain for an invisible thing labeled as mind.
This is the worldview that is crumbling while seeming to rise victoriously higher. Termites are silently chewing at the timbers. One notices this by being attuned to articles about the failures of the materialistic approach. Contrary to popular hopes, materialism cannot explain cancer or depression. It cannot tell you why talking to somebody can help your free-floating anxiety while tranquilizers may fail. Materialism sidesteps the mounting problem of side effects and the long-term damage to the brain from decades of taking psychotropic drugs. Materialism cannot explain what memory is, where it is stored on the cellular level, or why memories haunt us. There are many, many failures of this kind, and even in a field far removed from medicine like physics, peering into the void that gave rise to the physical universe has posed huge explanatory problems.
Which leaves the third worldview, non-dual consciousness, that is all but invisible on the scene. It has been invisible for a long time, certainly in the Judeo-Christian West, where only a handful of obscure names like Spinoza, Giordano Bruno, and Meister Eckhart flirted with the idea that all is one, and that "one" is consciousness. Today, some farseeing speculative thinkers in physics are coping with the possibility that we live in a conscious universe. A tiny handful of neuroscientists are grappling with the possibility that the mind controls the brain and not vice versa. It's exciting fun to be part of this splinter group, especially if you relish the scorn of experts who inform you that "of course" you are completely off your rocker, a charlatan or a crypto religionist.
What the scorn masks is that "of course" will be thrown out the window if a new worldview takes hold. That's what happened to the idea that "of course" God created the world according to Genesis. But the non-dual consciousness that was dominant 3,000 years ago in Vedic India cannot return as it once was formulated. The modern world isn't about to throw science out the window. Instead, science must expand, so that we look at cancer, depression or the Big Bang and say, "Now I see." (In particular, the mind-body connection with cancer needs exploring, as we will do in a later post.) A worldview succeeds when it explains more than the old one, when it opens people's eyes and when it achieves practical results. In the next post, we'll touch on how non-dual consciousness can do all those things.
To be continued
For more by Deepak Chopra, click here:
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4475 From: Mark Date: 2012-01-08
Subject: #4475 - Saturday, January 7, 2011
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4475, Saturday, January 7, 2011

Tami Simon Interviews Adyashanti
Sounds True

More and more people are "waking up" spiritually. And for most of them, the question becomes: now what? "Information about life after awakening is usually not made public," explains Adyashanti. "It's most often shared only between teachers and their students." The End of Your World is his response to a growing need for direction on the spiritual path -- and his personal welcome to "a new world, a state of oneness." In this interview conducted by Sounds True Publisher Tami Simon and excerpted from the book, Adya tells us more about the enigmatic experience of spiritual awakening.

Tami Simon: Let's return to your metaphor of awakening being compared to a rocket ship achieving lift-off. How do people know if their rocket ship of being has actually taken off? I could imagine some people being deluded about this. Maybe they have read lots of books about spiritual awakening, so they make the leap in their mind that awakening has occurred, but perhaps in reality they are simply sputtering on the ground. How do we know for sure that we have attained liftoff?

Adyashanti: It's not an easy question to answer. The only way I can answer it is to reiterate what the nature of awakening is.

The moment of awakening is very similar to when you wake up from a dream at night. You feel that you have awakened from one world to another, from one context to a totally different context. On a feeling level, that is the feeling of awakening. This whole separate self that you thought was real, and even the world that you thought was objective, or other, all of a sudden seems as if it's not as real as you thought.

I'm not saying it is or isn't a dream; I'm saying that it's almost like a dream. Upon awakening, the experience is that life is like a dream that's happening within what you are - within vast, infinite space. Awakening is not experiencing vast, infinite space, feeling spacious or expanded or blissful or whatever. These feelings may be by-products of awakening, but they are not the awakening itself.

Awakening, quite apart from its by-products, is a change of perspective. Everything we thought was real is seen to not be real at all; it's more like a dream that's happening within the infinite expanse of emptiness. What is actually real is the infinite expanse of emptiness. It's the same way that, when you dream at night, your dream does not have reality; it's your mind, dreaming your dream, which actually has the reality -- relatively speaking.

Tami Simon: When you describe your own life story, you say that the rocket ship of your being achieved liftoff at a specific time and date - when you were twenty-five years old. Do you think it is possible that for some people their ship lifted off over a period of a few years - that there wasn't any specific moment that it happened, but instead it was more like a gradual dawning that that their rocket ship wasn't on the Earth anymore?

Adyashanti: I've seen that, too. I've met people for whom awakening almost happened as if in retrospect, like it snuck up on them. The transition may not have been marked by distinctive, obvious moments. It's almost like they snuck out of the dream or snuck into outer space, and then at some point there was recognition -- "Oh, when did that happen?" They can't really point to any distinct moment when there was a change, but they recognize at some point that a real, total change has happened. So it can sneak up on you; it can happen that way, too.

Tami Simon: Not to kill the metaphor here, but is it possible to say that the rocket ship requires a certain kind of fuel, and if so, what kind of fuel?

Adyashanti: I wish I could say what the fuel is. I don't know that it's really possible to say what the fuel is, because it's not limited to something personal. Awakening does not happen just to people who really want it. Awakening does not happen just to people who are sincerely looking for it. It happens to some people completely out of the blue. I've met awakened people who were not on a spiritual path at all. In fact, I've met people who were in denial of spirituality, and then boom - out of nowhere... awakening hits them. We couldn't call such people sincere, and we couldn't say they were pursuing spiritual realization or even had an obvious yearning for it. Of course, the vast majority of people who have an experience of awakening have had some energy, some yearning, to awaken to a deeper sense of reality. That's true, but the problem is, anytime we say "this" is necessary or "that" is necessary, there will always be examples to the contrary. Awakening is a mystery. There is no direct cause and effect, really. It would be nice if there were, but there really isn't a direct cause and effect.

Tami Simon: When you describe the rocket ship, you use the metaphor to talk about nonabiding awakening versus abiding awakening, with the idea that abiding awakening means you are permanently outside of the gravitational field of the dream state, outside of our habitual tendencies to constellate as a separate self. Are you outside of that gravitational field?

Adyashanti: I always hesitate to answer a question like that, but I'm going to try to answer it. I don't feel that I can say, "Yes, I am outside of the gravitational force." It's not really like that. That's where the metaphor breaks down. All of these metaphors, all these ways of explaining things, they're just that -- they're metaphors, and they do have certain limitations.

I would say that my experience is that I no longer believe the next thought that I have. I'm not capable of actually believing a thought that happens. I have no control over what thoughts appear, but I can't believe that the thought is real or true or significant. And because no thought can be grasped as real, true, or significant, that itself has an experiential impact; it is the experience of freedom.

If somebody wanted to call that "being beyond the gravitational force of the dream state," fine, but I am always hesitant about claiming something. I always remind everybody I talk to that all I know is right now. I don't know about tomorrow. Tomorrow a thought could come by that could catch me, Velcro me, pull me into separation and delusion. I don't know -- maybe it will, maybe it won't. I have no way of knowing that. All I know is right now.

That is why I hesitate to say, "Oh yes, I have crossed a certain goal or finish line," because I don't see it that way. It sounds like that when I'm teaching, but that is the limitation of speech. What I really know is that I don't know. What I really know is that there are no guarantees. I don't know what may happen tomorrow, or the next instant, whether I'll be deluded one instant from now. What I do know is that I can never possibly know that.

Tami Simon: Okay, I accept that you don't know about what may happen moving forward in terms of when a Velcro thought may occur, but when was the last time you had a Velcro thought, looking back?

Adyashanti: To be clear, I'm not saying I can't have a Velcro thought or that I don't experience Velcro thoughts. A thought can come that can cause an instant of grasping, that can cause a momentary experience of a certain separateness. I'm not saying that it can't happen or that it doesn't happen. What I'm saying is that when it does happen, the gap between it happening and the seeing through it is very small. I don't know if there's such a state in which such "sticky" thoughts or such moments of grasping would never arise in the human system. It seems to me that to have a human body and mind is to go through those kinds of experiences occasionally. The difference is that at a certain point, the gap between the arising of a sticky thought and its disappearance becomes so narrow that the arising and disappearing is almost simultaneous.

So I wouldn't say that I'm at some state where Velcro thoughts never arise at all. It is just that the gap gets so small that, at a certain point, you almost can't see a gap. I think there are ideas that enlightenment is about getting to some place where nothing uncomfortable ever happens, where no delusory thought will ever walk through your consciousness -- those very ideas about enlightenment are delusions; it just doesn't seem to work that way.

Besides, it doesn't really matter. When that gap is so narrow that it can be seen through very quickly, all of a sudden that's part of the freedom, too. We realize it doesn't matter that we've had a thought, because we don't get caught for very long. That's really part of the freedom. I think the rest is selling enlightenment as something it's not. I understand that people can hear what I say and create an image about what abiding realization is. But that's not what I mean to portray. It's more like the gap between the divisive thought and believing in the thought becomes almost nonexistent.

Tami Simon: I am curious what kinds of situations are troublesome and difficult for you. In our conversations, you've shared with me that you can get frustrated at your computer, when, say, your Internet connection or printer is not working. What do you do in those moments? Do you do something to close that gap, or is it just automatic?

Adyashanti: Well, usually the frustration is there, and it's experienced. I experience it, but there's no judging thought about it. That's a real key. And I don't mean that it is dismissed, not paid attention to, but there's no judging thought. In general, it comes, it's experienced, there's no judging thought about it, and then it passes. It's not taken as significant.

There is no secondary thought pattern, "Oh, I shouldn't have gotten frustrated," or "Why did I get frustrated?" or whatever it may be. Thoughts are involved, because it's the thoughts that create the frustration, but they are seen to not be true. Seeing that they're not true dissipates the frustration.

Now, in the past, the process would have been much longer. The inquiry would have been more intense and sustained, and I'd really look at things. But like I said, that gap has narrowed down now, so things happen almost automatically. In a certain sense, it's like being a musician. You practice your scales, and you practice your scales, and you practice your scales, and then at a certain point it's become so internalized that it happens almost without any conscious intention. That to me is what happens with inquiry. At a certain point, it just happens, with little if any conscious intention.

Tami Simon: You often talk about thoughts and feelings like they are two sides of the same coin. Isn't it possible to have feelings that don't have any thoughts associated with them? What about moments of intense awe or an appreciation of beauty, when tears spontaneously come forward? At such moments, isn't it possible that you aren't really thinking anything but that something is just welling up at the feeling level? Or do you believe we are thinking but perhaps at a subtle, subliminal level?

Adyashanti: There is what I would call pure feeling or pure emotion, as anybody who has experienced a great moment of beauty or awe knows. There are pure sensory perceptions, a feeling that comes in that is not created by thought. It happens. However, I would say that the vast majority of emotions that most people experience are duplications of the thinking process; they are thoughts turning into emotion.

But there is pure emotion or pure feeling that bypasses the thinking process. They are how this sensing instrument of ours, this beautiful sensing instrument we call a body, is interacting with the environment, and that is a pure interaction; it's not a virtual interaction.

Tami Simon: All thinking is virtual?

Adyashanti: All thinking is virtual, sure.

Tami Simon: But if there are feelings that are not derived from thinking, then perhaps there are gut experiences that also aren't derived from thinking?

Adyashanti: The gut is just another way in which we sense the world. You hear this when people say, "I have a gut feeling." Sensing with the gut is a certain type of intuitive capacity; it is an instinctual way of knowing. We feel things through that place in the body: our gut is an intuitive sense organ. Of course, we can feel things that are duplications of the mind - fearful thoughts, angry thoughts, conflicting thoughts, contracting thoughts - but the gut also responds as a pure sense organ to what's happening.

When thought isn't constricting who we are, people have these kinds of intuitive experiences. Say you walk up to the edge of a cliff. You look down, and you see a huge expanse. There may be fear when you look down, but if you are sensitive, you might notice another response, which is that your consciousness may actually fill the expanse. When we look at huge expanses, often we breathe in, right? In the breathing in, we're feeling our consciousness open to that environment. We breathe into our lungs, into our heart center, into our gut. Our whole being, our whole body, is in tune with the environment. This kind of opening of the heart - when the lungs go "aah" as consciousness expands - isn't happening because we're thinking. This is happening because consciousness is interacting with the environment. This is what I mean by pure sensation or pure feeling. And yes, it happens through gut sensations as well. It's very powerful and it's very, very beautiful.

It's literally the experience of intimacy. It is our being experiencing itself with an incredible intimacy. I'm not saying it's wrong to comment on it, but as soon as we say something, as soon as we turn to our friend, something changes. For most people, that experience happens for a split second, and then they turn to somebody and say, "Isn't it beautiful?" And that's not a wrong thing to say. I say it to people, too, sometimes. But at that moment, if you're sensitive, you notice that your whole internal environment starts to change, and you start to experience what you just said. Then you are moving into a virtual experience. It's slightly different from that moment of awe, that moment where the entire body is participating in perception.

Tami Simon: It's one thing for someone to have the experience of pure feeling when they are experiencing awe and wonder in nature, but is it possible to have a pure feeling when it comes to an emotion like anger? Do you think it's possible to have a feeling like anger that isn't a duplicated thought?

Adyashanti: Of course, of course. This idea that enlightenment is about people having beatific, silly little smiles on their faces all the time is simply an illusion. I like to counter that with imagining that we are in a modern-day church, and somebody comes in the back door and blows his lid like Jesus did, kicking over the money changers, yelling at the top of his lungs, "How dare you defile my father's house!" I mean, Jesus was throwing a holy fit, right? He was upset. He wasn't faking it. He was literally upset. And he was expressing his upset.

So can one be upset from a nondivided state? Of course, you can. Every emotion is available to us. To be awake doesn't mean we have fewer emotions available to us. Emotion is just a way that existence functions through us. There is a divided form of anger and there is an undivided form of anger.

Tami Simon: Well, how would I be able to distinguish that inside myself, if I feel a divided form of anger or undivided anger?

Adyashanti: If you feel divided inside.

Tami Simon: If all of me feels angry, then it's undivided?

Adyashanti: I think we've all had the experience where we feel completely angry, but it still feels divisive, conflicted. There is a kind of anger that is -- how can I say it? -- a good work. In the Tibetan tradition, for example, they have certain depictions of wrathful deities with flaming swords and fire coming out of their hair and their eyes, looking very angry and fierce and frightening, but there is something in those depictions that is different from when you experience your average, ordinary, conflicted anger. It's something that's hard to describe, but if you look at these depictions, what's being shown is a different kind of anger. It's not an anger that's tearing apart in a negative way; it is an anger that is tearing apart in a positive way. I may not be doing a very good job of expressing this, but what I am trying to communicate is that even the experience of anger can come from a pure place.

Tami Simon: I am particularly interested in exploring this topic, because I am someone who used to experience a pretty narrow range of emotions. As I've been growing as a person I now have available to me this huge, wide range of emotional experience, and it's really interesting, rich, and glorious in a lot of ways. When I hear you teach that most emotional experiences are duplicate images of thoughts, I want to really understand which emotional experiences are derivative, based on concepts, and which are pure. And how do I know the difference?

Adyashanti: Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that virtual emotions are something that shouldn't happen or are somehow wrong or somehow secondary. For example, I can think about my wife, Mukti. I can envision her in my mind, and I can feel an incredible, wonderful upswelling of love. I know that that emotional experience is virtual. I know I'm making it up in my mind; I know I'm making it up literally in thought. That doesn't make it wrong. But if I were to equate that emotional experience of love with real love, then I would be living an illusion, perhaps a heavenly illusion, but an illusion nonetheless.

I can create that kind of image in my mind and at times I do that; her image or thoughts about her float through my mind and there is a wonderful upwelling in the heart. So the first thing is to understand that just because an emotional experience is being derived from the mind, that doesn't make it bad or something one shouldn't experience.

If we look carefully, we will see that the vast majority of emotions that human beings experience are derived from what we are telling ourselves at the moment. That doesn't make those emotions bad or wrong, it's just a fact. Even if we look at something and then comment on it, we can have a positive emotional response. But if we investigate our experience, often we'll realize that what we're actually experiencing is a thought telling us "that's beautiful" or "that's ugly."

How can you tell if an emotion is a pure feeling or is derived from thought? You need to look to see if the emotion comes with a story, if it has images with it. If it does come with images or a story, then you know, "Oh, okay, that's something that's being created; I'm actually experiencing the thoughts in my mind." Which is fine; it is fine to do that. It is just that we can be deluded when we derive our sense of reality from that.

Tami Simon: What about pure perception at the level of the mind? Is there some experience of "awakened mind" in which the mind functions not only as a fabricator of concepts and abstractions but also as a pure sense organ?

Adyashanti: On the level of mind, there is the pure perception of infinity, or what Buddhists call emptiness -- the perception of vast, vast, vast, vast vastness. It is being perceived not through the mind in terms of thought, but we could say that section of the body, the mind area, is literally where we are taking in the vastness of infinity, the vastness of space, the pure light of being, the almost blinding light of being. That is being seen on the level of mind, not on the level of thinking. Perceiving in this way is a different capacity than just thinking; it is the mind as a sensing instrument sensing infinity.

Tami Simon: You mentioned that all spiritual paths ultimately bring us to a state of total surrender. But what if the parts of us that don't want to surrender are hidden, quite buried in our psyche? Consciously, we might surrender everything, but some part of us in our unconscious might still be clutching. How do we get those hiding places to come forward? I can imagine hearing your teaching on surrender and thinking, okay, I basically understand. I know what it means to be on my knees. I know what it means to throw myself down on the ground. But what about the parts in me that won't surrender? They're not obvious to me.

Adyashanti: There may be nothing you can do about it. This is the thing that people avoid the most, right? Give me something; give me a teaching; give me some hope. Of course, inside of us there are totally unconscious ways of holding, patterns of holding that we don't have any access to. Maybe you don't have access to it, period. End of story. That's it.

You will have access to it at the exact moment that you are meant to have access to it. We may not like that. People may not like to hear that, but let's look at our lives, not philosophy or teaching or what we choose to tell ourselves, right?

At least in my life, I can certainly look and see that there were moments where I did not have certain capacities yet. They just weren't there. I have no idea what I could have done to bring those capacities forward. At certain points, I couldn't have even heard somebody who told me how to have those capacities.

I had my own teacher tell me certain things literally hundreds of times over the years. And only after ten years did I think, "Oh . . . now I get it. Now I understand. Now it has sunk in." How was I going to force it ten years before? Could I have forced it? It doesn't appear as though I could have.

This may not be the empowering spiritual teaching you are looking for, but everything has its time; everything has its place. Ego is not in control of what's happening. Life is in control of what's happening. To insist that something can empower us, all at once, to dive into ourselves and see anything and everything we need to see to awaken, is working at odds with people's experience.

Everything happens in its time. You're not in control. This isn't something we want to hear, though, is it? It isn't something our mind wants. Mostly we want to hear things that empower our sense of control. And we radically push away anything that does not empower our sense of control.

I say this to people all the time. When you start to accept what you see as true - not what I say, but your experience - that's when everything starts to change.

Many times students come to me and say, "I can't do anything about this, this part of my delusional apparatus, this part of my personality." They'll ask, "What do I do? What do I do?" Often I say, "Well, let's go back. You just told me there's nothing you can do. Is that true? Has anything worked so far?" "No, nothing's worked so far." And I ask, "Can you find anything to do? Can you see anything to do?" And sometimes they'll tell me, "No, honestly, I can't see anything to do." And I'll say, "What would happen if you actually ingested that part of your experience that is telling you there is nothing you can do? What if you took it in instead of trying to push it away?"

Often, when they take this in - not just conceptually, not as a teaching that can be dismissed, but really allowing it into the body - then this realization of what it is like to live without resistance starts to change everything. Sometimes the experiences that we are pushing away contain the most transformative insights we need to have. Who would suspect that seeing that there's nothing, nothing, nothing I can do is going to be transformative? We're not taught that. We're taught to avoid that piece of knowledge at all costs. Even if it's part of your experience, year after year, decade after decade - even if you keep experiencing the same thing over and over - the impulse is to avoid it, to not let it in, to push it away. See what I mean?

We're all junkies. Really, we're all just junkies wanting to be high and free. It's the same dynamic. It's the alcoholic who realizes, "There's nothing I can do," who is on the way to sobering up. As long as that person sitting there is saying, "I can do this. I'm in control. I can find a way beyond this," no transformation is going to happen. Bottoming out is nothing more than coming out of denial. There's nothing I can do, and look where I am. We don't need to know so much about what to do. We need to have a mirror in front of us so we are able to see what we see. When that alcoholic sees and that drug addict sees that there is nothing they can do, that they are powerless to stop their addiction - only then do they start to see themselves in a clearer light.

There's a transformation that starts to happen that is not contrived; it is not practiced; it is not technique oriented. To me, spirituality is a willingness to fall flat on your face. That's why, although my students often put me up on a pedestal and think I've figured out something wonderful, I tell them all the time - my path was the path of failure. Everything I tried failed. It doesn't mean that the trying didn't play an important role. The trying did play a role. The effort did play a role. The struggle did play a role.

But it played a role because it got me to an end of that role. I danced that dance until it was extinguished. But I failed. I failed at meditating well; I failed at figuring out the truth. Everything I ever used to succeed spiritually failed. But at the moment of failure, that's when everything opens up.

We know that, right? This isn't sacred knowledge. Almost everybody knows this; we've experienced it in our lives. We've seen moments like this. But it's not something we want to know, because it's not convenient.

Tami Simon: You suggested that we ask of ourselves, "What do I know for certain?" I would ask that question of you. Is there anything you know for certain?

Adyashanti: Only that I am; that's it. One thing. So in many senses I'm the dumbest person on the planet. Literally. Everything else, to me, is in a state of flux and uncertainty. Everything else we only dream that we know. I don't know what should happen. I don't know if we're evolving or devolving; I don't know any of that.

But the thing is, I know that I don't know. And contrary to what you might think, that knowledge hasn't disempowered me. I haven't gone to sit in a cave in the Himalayas or to just sit on the couch and say, "Oh well. There's nothing for me to do, because I don't know anything."

Quite the contrary - life has a part to play through me, and so I play that part. I'm in union with the part life plays through me. The part changes all the time, moment to moment, but that's what I'm in union with. I'm no longer arguing with life - it gets to play its part through me, and now it gets to play its part with agreement, instead of disagreement.

And it seems that when we're in the deepest state of agreement, the part life plays through us is very satisfying; it's literally everything we ever wanted, even though it doesn't look like anything we ever wanted.

Tami Simon: I loved your teaching on the cul-de-sacs that people can get into after an initial experience of awakening. I am curious if you would comment on a cul-de-sac that I see fairly often, which is when people decide to take on some kind of special mission to save the world after they have an initial awakening experience. Do you see this as a cul-de-sac, a way that the ego has claimed the awakening experience for its own aggrandizement?

Adyashanti: Let met talk about it from my experience. Awakening didn't engender that sense for me. I didn't feel like I needed to go out and save the world, but strangely enough, when my teacher asked me to start teaching, to start sharing the possibility of this realization, what arose in me was a sense of possibility. I saw that awakening was possible for anybody and everybody. There was a certain sense of missionary zeal about it, which can be alluring and empowering. There's something wonderful in that inspiration when it comes from a true place.

There was a lot of energy for it, especially in the first couple of years that I was teaching. I've found that it can be part and parcel of awakening, because one senses that all this suffering is unnecessary; one really can wake up from this. A sense of mission can come from that place.

After a few years of feeling that missionary zeal myself, I noticed it started to ebb. At first it was like I was a new puppy in the house, jumping up and down at your legs all the time, wanting attention and wanting you to do something. The first couple of years of my teaching I felt empowered with what works and what helps people, and I wanted to share it with people. But after two or three years, that energy waned. I started to feel more like an old dog that was curled up at the side of its master's easy chair, lying there and letting the world go by.

At this point in my life, the sense of missionary zeal is pretty much gone. There is no sense that something needs to happen. I see the potential in everybody, but there's no sense of hurry about it.

I see it as a process of maturing. It's a phase that many of us go through. I think the key is - do we go through it? Do we keep going? Or, at some point, does that missionary zeal provide the platform for the ego's reformation? If that starts happening - if the ego uses awakening as a new and improved missionary platform - that can lead to all kinds of distortions.

For example, we might start seeing ourselves as the savior of humanity or our teachings as the greatest teachings ever. As far as I can see, if things go that way, we start to get delusional. Often, when this happens, it's because someone's ego has grasped on to some powerful experience he or she has had. If there's latent energy there, and that energy starts flowing into the ego, it can lead to some of the deepest delusions possible.

We've seen this from time to time in disastrous cult-like behavior. This can happen when there is a lot of energy flowing into the ego and deluding it. Before you know it, you think you are the savior of humanity.

Whereas in truth, none of us is the savior of humanity. The greatest avatar who has ever walked the Earth, if such embodiments even exist, is like a grain of sand on a vast beach. As human beings, we are all just doing our little part. It's the totality; it's the One itself that we are but expressions of. If any of us start to think we are playing a bigger part than we are - if we see ourselves as anything but a small part of an infinite mosaic - it seems to me we're starting to become inflated and deluding ourselves.

Tami Simon: Do you have any suggestions for how we can point out to people that their ego is using their realization as a form of personal territory? I encounter this quite a lot and have difficulty pointing it out in any kind of effective way.

Adyashanti: Traditionally, there were some safeguards used by spiritual traditions to prevent the ego using realization in this way, but if we look back in the history of spirituality, we see the safeguards didn't work that well. Often, people who had a profound realization were part of a bigger community. Even teachers were part of a community of teachers. The idea was that people would keep an eye on each other.

In truth, it never happened like it was supposed to. Teachers can keep an eye on their students, but once somebody breaks out of that role, there's not that much keeping an eye on each other. I mean, we've seen that in almost every tradition. There are people who get inflated or go off on some strange tangent. I do think it's perfectly appropriate that we try, if not to change people, then to reflect back to them - especially if we see somebody really half-cocked. Not that they'll listen!

I wish I had a good antidote to what you are describing. I've mentioned that, as a teacher, when I discover students who are inflated with their own realization, it is the hardest thing for me to get them out of. I think it's one of the hardest things for a spiritual teacher to deal with. And if a spiritual teacher has a difficult time with his or her students, where there is already a certain sense of trust, how much harder is it going to be for the average person to come up to someone and say, "Hey, you know, you may not be as pristine an example of liberation as you think you are."? It can be a really difficult thing to do.

Without making excuses for anybody, we do each have a certain karmic makeup. I have been the type of person, through no choice of my own, who has never been attracted to power. Here I am, a spiritual teacher, which is a role that people give great power to. However, the way I see it, the truth is that I have no power at all except the power that other people grant me. All the power is in the students' hands. And it's good for people to know that. I've always experienced that when people give me too much power or authority, I start to feel like I'm living in a surreal bubble. Inherent in people giving other people power is a projection, right? When somebody gives me too much power, they've projected that I am something different from them. And I find that a surreal environment to be in. That's why I avoid it as much as I can, because it has a sense of unreality to it.

Other people, quite obviously, are more attracted to power than I am. They find it alluring to be the positive projection of others. It's enticing to them. I couldn't say exactly why; it's just never been comfortable for me, personally.

Tami Simon: At the age of twenty-five, when you experienced what you call your "first awakening," you mentioned that you heard a voice that said, "Keep going, keep going." What is that voice? Would you call it your conscience, or the still, small voice within?

Adyashanti: You can call it either one of those.

Tami Simon: It seems that if we each have that type of inner voice, then that inner voice would keep us from co-opting our realizations into a personal power play. You heard that voice that said your realization was not complete, but does everybody possess an inner voice like that?

Adyashanti: In one sense, I would say yes. In an ultimate sense, we are all the same, so we all have access to the same capacities. At the relative level, however, the question is whether everybody hears their inner voice. Apparently, not everyone does.

What is this inner voice of wisdom? It is what I am pointing to when I talk about sincerity. It is the intelligence within us that keeps us on track, keeps us in alignment.

In one sense, I think almost everybody has experienced this still, small voice. The example I often give is when you are dating some man or some woman and it ends badly. Something inside you says, "Don't do that again." But then we meet someone new, and we don't listen to the voice. We are attracted; this person is sexy, and we just want to be with him or her. In the end, we find that the still, small voice was correct. We shouldn't have kept dating that person. In the end, it all collapses, and in the end, this still, small voice wins.

So this still, small voice is not mystical. It is something that I think a vast majority of people have heard at times. But we're so good at dismissing it. We want that still, small voice to justify itself - to tell us why. One of the good indications that the voice within us is authentic and sincere is that it will never justify itself. If you ask it, "Why?" you'll get silence. If you ask it to explain itself, it won't. The still, small voice doesn't need to do that - and it doesn't.

If you are talking to the ego and you ask, "Why?" it will talk back to you. If you ask the ego, "Does this mean everything will be okay?" it will give you assurances. The still, small voice, though, has an inherent sort of insecurity about it. It offers no guarantees. The voice is a gift. Either we listen or we don't.

Why I listened, and why others don't, I don't know. I couldn't say why. I'm just glad that the voice was there in my case and that I could hear it. It was persistent. And, by the way, I didn't always listen to it. Many, many times I didn't listen to it.

Tami Simon: Is that voice like a guide, a protector, or just part of our mind, part of who we are?

Adyashanti: I think it's all of that. It is a guide. It is a protector. It is the flow of existence. By the way, this intelligent flow of existence doesn't always show up as a voice. It's not always audible. At this point, for me, it's very rarely audible. At other points, it was literally a voice. As I said, during that first realization, the voice said, "This isn't the whole of it. Keep going," and it was an audible experience.

But now, this guiding intelligence appears more as a flow. It is more like sensing the energy currents in life. The voice is also an indicator of the flow. I think it has to become a voice when we can't feel the natural flow of life, the flow to turn left or the flow to turn right, the flow to do this or the flow to do that.

Many of us aren't sensitive enough to feel that, and so the flow appears as a voice. But at this point, for me, it's much more like following a natural flow. As the Taoists would say, follow the flow of the Tao.

So it has different aspects to it. It's a flow. It's a voice. It's a protector voice. It's your counselor. It's your conscience, but not the conscience society taught us. It is a different conscience than that. Because the conscience that society taught us is our superego - and that conscience always contains judgments. This is not the superego. This is something else. This comes from a totally different state of being.

Tami Simon: You've talked about how, early on, you came to the discovery that you couldn't ride the coattails of a teacher, a path, or a tradition, that you were going to have to find your own way, and how important that was.

Adyashanti: That was hugely important for me.

Tami Simon: And you encouraged your students to also find their own way. What is interesting to me is that, at the same time, it seems that many people, including me, feel a connection with you and feel somehow less alone because of knowing you, almost like we are alone but together at the same time. Could you talk about that?

Adyashanti: When I was in my early twenties, and I realized that I needed to find my own way and not rely solely on a tradition or a teacher, an image came to me. It was an image of being out on a space walk with a cord connecting me to a space capsule, and at a certain point, I reached down and cut the connecting cord. I was alone, and I wasn't dependent on anyone or anything. Yet, this didn't mean that I left my teacher; this didn't mean that I left my tradition. I didn't reject anything. It was simply a seeing that ultimately the responsibility is here; it's in me. Ultimately, no tradition, no teacher, no teaching is going to save me from myself. I realized I can't abdicate that authority.

And, of course, at that moment, it was very frightening. I thought, my God, what if I delude myself? At that moment, I knew that I didn't know much. And yet there I was, determined that everything needed to be verified inside.

Many people have told me that they see themselves as my students and that it is different from studying with other teachers, because I'm not the kind of spiritual teacher who has a personal relationship with my students. I come, I teach, we interact when I teach, but I don't have a retreat center; I don't have an avenue in which we relate in a casual way. It is moment by moment by moment by moment by moment.

This is not the only kind of relationship to have with a teacher, by the way. I think close student-teacher relationships have a great part to play as well. In fact, when my teaching started to get bigger, when it went from small to quite large over the course of several years, there were some people who missed the smallness. The smallness worked for some people -- I would teach, we'd have tea or lunch or breakfast afterward, and that worked for certain people. When the teaching got bigger, and by necessity the structure of things changed, for some of those people it no longer worked. They had to go find something that better met their needs, where there was more intimacy.

By the very nature of it, the style in which I teach is one in which people need to at once stand on their own, but also through standing on their own to find a certain intimacy with each other. That's where I meet people, in that place where I see them as whole and capable and having capacities that they may not think they have. And when they stand there and they start to discover their own inner sufficiency, that's where we meet. I don't meet people in their insufficiency, where they don't think they're capable. The more they stand up in themselves the more we find ourselves meeting in an intimate way, a very personal, impersonal way.

There are a lot of influences that come to our aid when we're willing to be on our own - seen and unseen, known and unknown. The point is not to get stuck on the idea that it is all about being alone. That is a particular experience of a moment of aloneness, of facing oneself, of not grasping on to the teacher or the tradition or the teachings - including mine, by the way. All of a sudden, you are left with yourself; that is the aloneness. But when we face that and we are willing to be there, mysteriously we start to find we have lots of company. There are lots of people doing the same thing. The teachings start to be seen in a different way; the teachers that we may study with start to be seen in a different way. A much more mature relationship ensues from that point.

- Adyashanti and Tami Simon, posted to The_Now2

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4476 From: Mark Date: 2012-01-09
Subject: #4476 - Sunday, January 8, 2012
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4476, Sunday, January 8, 2012

In life nothing can be had without over- coming obstacles. The obstacles to the clear perception of one's true being are desire for pleasure and fear of pain. It is the pleasure-pain motivation that stands in the way. The very freedom from all motivation, the state in which no desire arises is the natural state.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, from I Am That - Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to AlongTheWay

Since they're both focused on the future, fear and desire are simultaneously in your heart.

Contained within every desire, however, is a hidden fear that "It won't happen."

Paradoxically, though, contained within every fear is also a hidden desire that "It won't happen."

Your fears will begin to diminish whenever you stop feeding your desires.

And, of course, vice versa.

Fears and desires always eat from the same trough.

- Chuck Hillig, from Seeds for the Soul, posted to AlongTheWay

Chickpea to Cook

A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot
where it's being boiled.

"Why are you doing this to me?"

The cook knocks him down with the ladle.

"Don't you try to jump out.
You think I'm torturing you.
I'm giving you flavor,
so you can mix with spices and rice
and be the lovely vitality of a human being.
Remember when you drank rain in the garden.
That was for this."

Grace first. Sexual pleasure,
then a boiling new life beings,
and the Friend has something good to eat.

Eventually the chickpea
will say to the cook,
"Boil me some more.
Hit me with the skimming spoon.
I can't do this by myself.

I'm like an elephant that dreams of gardens
back in Hindustan and doesn't pay attention
to his driver. You're my cook, my driver,
my way into existence. I love your cooking."

The cook says,
"I was once like you,
fresh from the ground. Then I boiled in time,
and boiled in the body, two fierce boilings.

My animal soul grew powerful.
I controlled it with practices,
and boiled some more, and boiled
once beyond that,
and became your teacher."

- Rumi, Mathnawi III, 4160-68, 4197-4208, version by Coleman Barks, from The Essential Rumi, posted to Sunlight

Heaven and Hell

Each day
heaven and hell unfold
all around us.

Do not lose sight of
the vast, Infinite expanse
containing both -
or the power of
your own choice
to transform one
into the other.

- Metta Zetty

You do not have to wait for something called Grace to descend in some future moment of worthiness.

- Pamela Wilson

This is what is asked of us, over and over and over, to offer our empty hands. To let the things we are holding so tightly just drop. To give it all up, everything, that does not exist in this moment here. All that has happened, that we think we somehow need to do something about, all that we think might happen, or we hope will happen, every sweet dream that we cling to. This is like God's loving strip search, give it all over! Something else wants to live you. And you can feel it.

- Jeannie Zandi

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4477 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-01-10
Subject: #4477 - Monday, January 9, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4477 - Monday, January 9, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights -В В 
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive,
and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have
come alive."
- Howard Thurman

There is just being.
There’s nothing else.
Being is totally whole just being.
And it is alive and fleshy
and sexy and juicy
and immediately this;
it's not some concept
about 'there's no-one here'.
It's not some concept
about 'there’s nowhere to go'.
It is the aliveness
that's in that body right now.
There is pure beingness,
pure aliveness.
That's it.
End of story.
- Tony Parsons

In order to know anything apparently objective, Consciousness
must take the shape of the mind. It is by definition only possible for
the mind to hold one thought/image/perception at a time. In other
words, this apparent limitation is inherent in the structure of the
mind. However, it is a mistake to project this limitation of mind onto
Consciousness and presume, as a result, that Consciousness is
- Rupert Spira

You do not learn non-attachment by disengaging and avoiding the
intensity of relationships, their joy and their pain. It is easy to
disguise as non-attachment what is not non-attachment at all, but
your fear of attachment. When you really care about someone and
you are willing to commit to that friendship, then you have fertile
ground to learn about both attachment and non-attachment.
- Judy Lief


It stirs and it stirs not; it is far, and likewise near. It is inside of all
this, and it is outside of all this.
And he who beholds all beings in the Self, and the Self in all
beings, he never turns away from it.
When to a man who understands, the Self has become all things,
what sorrow, what trouble can there be to him who once beheld
that unity?
- Isha Upanishad

It is Love
everything together,
It is
the everything also.
- Rumi

I hear bells ringing that no one has shaken,
inside "love" there is more joy than we know of,
rain pours down, although the sky is clear of clouds,
there are whole rivers of light...
- Kabir

"The Aurora" from northern Norway & Russia
Try full screen : )
I spent a week capturing one of the biggest aurora borealis shows
in recent years.
Shot in and around Kirkenes and Pas National Park bordering
Russia, at 70 degree north and 30 degrees east. Temperatures
around -25 Celsius. Good fun.
- Terje Sorgjerd
(A public page, all photography.)
Thanks to Alan Larus

All quotes hereinВ were found on Facebook. Due to privacy concerns and the nature of "friends of friends" on Facebook, it is not possible within time constaintsВ to obtain permission to name allВ the contributors. Apologies to those who minded being named. If your quotes areВ sometimes used here and you wish to be named, please let me know. The original writer will always be named. Thanks for your understanding. -Gloria
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4478 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-01-10
Subject: #4478- Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4478- Tuesday,В January 10, 2012В - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights -

In Memoriam, Barbara Joyce Adamson
Photo: Emmet Walz, "Sailor Bob", James Braha, and Barb
I got some sad news this morning from my friend, James Braha. Barb Adamson, beloved wife and life-partner to revered spiritual teacher, “Sailor” Bob Adamson, passed away last week. She was 78. Barb had been ill for several months with leukemia. She was a beautiful human, inside and out; fully alive and awake. Barb did a lot of volunteer service on her own over the years, completely unrelated to BobÂ’s. She thoroughly understood both the ephemeral nature, and vital importance of this human life. Over the years she was often involved in BobÂ’s work as well. My friends, a bright light has winked.
I never met Barb in person, but James spent many weeks with her and Bob several years ago, and speaks quite lovingly of her in his book on their visit to his home in Florida, Living Reality.
James now shares this with us, "I am deeply indebted to Barb - she was the reason Bob agreed to come to America in 2004 when I invited them. She was compassionate and lovely, and lived a dedicated life of service practicing Bowen Therapy.
"I will never forget her presence and contributions during the group meetings at my house with Sailor Bob. She was so intuitive and helpful. She could be the sweetest person in the room or pounce like a tiger when a situation demanded. Her understanding was profound and she was a very sweet soul. She is sorely missed."

We are all better off for her having passed through here. ThatÂ’s the best any of us can hope to do. Additional photos of Barb and Bob are available on JamesÂ’ website. If you knew, Barb, please feel free to send me a memory or comment and I'll post it below.

I met her, and she was indeed a shining light! Thanks for your post.
~~Greg Goode

If you like Zen you will love these books. I'm currently reading both and greatly enjoying them:



Song of Trusting the Heart
A Classic Zen Poem for Daily Meditation

Tamarack Song

Zen masters say only one thing matters in life—the now, and only one thing matters at death—a peaceful heart. The way to achieve both is vibrantly expressed in the poem “Song of Trusting the Heart” (also known as Hsin Hsin Ming or Faith Mind Inscription), an ancient Chinese scripture beloved by sages and considered a cornerstone of Zen Buddhism.

Written in the 6th century by Jianzhi Sengcan—the third Zen patriarch of China—the poem inspires its readers to experience life without the burdens of attachments and judgments, however the few existing translations are either dated or weighed down with commentary. Tamarack Song, a student of nature and indigenous cultures, adapts these verses to the modern seeker, while staying faithful to the poemÂ’s original phrasing. Each stanza is embellished with a striking full-page, original illustration by the Japanese brush-painting master Jan Zaremba.

The book starts with a brief introduction to Zen, exploring its obscure origins, then offers one verse for each day of the lunar month. This beautiful little volume will become a daily meditation guide for those looking for refinement and peace in our modern world.

Tamarack Song lives in northern Wisconsin, where his passion for nature, indigenous cultures, and achieving balance in an unbalanced world led him to found the Teaching Drum Outdoors School, where he teaches his students to align with nature as our ancestors once did.

What others have said about Song of Trusting the Heart:

Listen to and feel the spirit of these sacred verses. They are currents of homecoming, reminders of the vast beauty and mystery that is our essence.

—Tara Brach, Ph.D., author of Radical Acceptance

Tamarack SongÂ’s beautiful, clear interpretation of my favorite Zen scripture especially captures the essence of true, effortless non-dual realization. May all who see it immediately open to the always open Heart.

—Gangaji, author of The Diamond in Your Pocket




Blowing Zen
Finding an Authentic Life

Ray Brooks

As a young, up and coming electrical engineer living in England, Ray Brooks had everything he could want—a high paying job, late nights, and fast cars. All he was missing in his life was the meaning.

A series of events brought him to Japan, where he met a man who played the shakuhachi, an ancient Japanese flute. That fortuitous interaction motivated Brooks to embark on a journey to learn this very difficult instrument.

Through playing the shakuhachi, he began to understand the Zen discipline that is a crucial aspect of Japanese culture. This understanding greatly changed his outlook on life, putting him in touch with his authentic self.

Blowing ZenÂ’s humor and its irresistible story of cultures converging lets the underlying message come through without preachiness: life is about finding your true calling, not just what brings you superficial joy. BrooksÂ’ spontaneous approach to the collaboration of art, mind, body, and spirit is inspiring and instructive.

This uplifting memoir has been entrancing readers since its release in 2000, and it is now being re-released with a new chapter and lots of photographs.

Ray Brooks is a writer, teacher, artist and performer. He performs shakuhachi concerts in Japan, North America, and Europe. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

What others have said about Blowing Zen:

A genuine spiritual journey, finding Zen, music, and one's own true self. A lovely spirit blows through this book.

—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart

Ray BrooksÂ’ unique and captivating book provides an insightful view of the heart and spirit of the Japanese culture and the musicianÂ’s journey. In sharing his quest, he has enriched my life, and may inspire many others on the path of music, the ways of Zen.

—Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4479 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-01-11
Subject: #4479- Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4479- Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights
Haiku by Gabriel Rosenstock
nothing left
but the gates -
temple of air
~ ~ ~
news of a death
a fruit-bat suspended
in slumber
~ ~ ~
an egret stands in a lagoon
the sound of clothes
washed on stones
~ ~ ~
harvest moon –
burying the short-lived hedgehog
where she snuffled for worms
the pigeonÂ’s mate has flown
still he struts
chest puffed out
~ ~ ~
from Where Light Begins: Haiku, by Gabriel Rosenstock, edited by Mícheál Ó hAodha

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4480 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-01-13
Subject: #4480 - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4480 - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights -В В 
Take my hand. We will walk. We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk without thinking of arriving anywhere.
- Thich Nhat Hanh


Do not think that enlightenment is going to make you special, it's
not. If you feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not
occurred. I meet a lot of people who think they are enlightened
and awake simply because they have had a very moving spiritual
experience. They wear their enlightenment on their sleeve like a
badge of honor. They sit among friends and talk about how awake
they are while sipping coffee at a cafe. The funny thing about
enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there is no one to claim
it. Enlightenment is very ordinary; it is nothing special. Rather than
making you more special, it is going to make you less special. It
plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and
innocence. Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but
when you are enlightened the whole notion of enlightenment and
someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the word
enlightenment all the time; not to point you toward it but to point
you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment.
- Adyashanti


Eventually you learn that you already know. You see that
forgiveness is the recognition that there is nothing to forgive. And
enlightenment or awakening is simply the acceptance of what you
are, have always been and will always be.
- Benny Silverman

First I grew tired of religion. Then I became exhausted by politics.
And now I'm completely comatose regarding spirituality. Free at
last. There is just this life, in this moment, living itself out without
regard to our outlandish stories about it. What could possibly be
better than that?

- Richard Young


sick of it whatever it's called sick of the names
I dedicate every pore to what's here
- Ikkyu (Japan, 15th Century)


I tried to give up non-duality, but it's hard when it stares you in the
face all the time.
- Mark Scorelle

Who you are is and always will be free. Freedom is not something
that can be learned, earned or lost.
- Gangaji
When we want the truth we have to be willing to not imagine
anything. What is here, unimaginably, unthinkably, undeniably?
- Gangaji

photo by Alan Larus
To what shore would you cross, O my
heart?В  there is no traveler before
you, there is no road:
Where is the movement, where is the
rest, on that shore?
There is no water; no boat, no boatman,
is there;
There is not so much as a rope to tow
the boat, nor a man to draw it.
No earth, no sky, no time, no thing, is
there:В  no shore, no ford!
There, there is neither body nor mind:
and where is the place that shall
still the thirst of the soul?В  You shall
find naught in that emptiness.
Be strong, and enter into your own body:
for there your foothold is firm.В  Consider
it well, O my heart!В  go not elsewhere.
Kabir says:В  "Put all imaginations away, and
stand fast in that which you are."
- Kabir
"Songs of Kabir"
Translated by Rabindranath Tagore
via Along The Way

photo by Alan Larus
The Wild Geese
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

- Wendell Berry
Thought for the Day:
Accept yourself
so deeply
that you are not afraid to let go
of what is not you.
- Ivan M. Granger

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4481 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-01-13
Subject: #4481- Friday, January 13, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4481- Friday, January 13, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights

"I lost my voice last week from Om-ing too much."
I've liked Lululemon ever since seeing girls line up outside the store in Halifax and wondering what they were lining up for. After a while, I realized that what was shaping up was a major international brand on the order of Starbucks or Nike. I walk through the store once in a while just to remind myself how uncool I am.
Lululemon makes Yoga attire and promotes their own unique lifestyle. They're a lifestyle brand like Starbucks is. I like this video inВ whichВ  Lululemon pokes fun at apparently standard spiritual Yoga sensibilities which one would think are very much part of the world ofВ Lululemon.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you rain ГѓВ  la Vancouver, make a backpack that can resist the wet. Rain or shine, the Wet Coast Pack is designed to get you from home to gym, gym to work and back again.

key features

  • DWR finish (that's durable water repellant) to help protect your gear
  • adjustable nylon straps hold your yoga mat
  • stowable raincover fits over your bag and your mat
  • padded pocket with a water resistant zipper fits a 17"/43cm laptop
  • adjustable padded shoulder straps with expandable zippered pockets
  • padded electronics pockets on the front to keep your tunes safe
  • side pockets with magnetic closures and space for your water bottle/traveller's mug
  • zippered wet/dry pocket for sweaty gear
  • interior pockets for toiletries, cards, cords, keys, phone and all your gear
  • stowable hip belt to help take the weight off your shoulders

tech specs

  • designed for: to-and-from
  • fabrics: ripstop
  • properties: water-resistant
  • organisation: interior pocketing system, exterior pockets, laptop/tablet sleeve, yoga mat storage
  • dimension: 20" high x 11.5" wide x 7.5" deep
Order the backpack and other Lululemon stuff here:

Karen Porter contributes to Nondual Bible Verses on Yahoogroups:
Wonderful reflection on Incarnation by Richard Rohr:

"Matter is not the opposite of Sprit, but its manifestation, human is
not the opposite of divine, but its manifestation, history is not the
opposite of eternity, but its manifestation, ordinary bread is not the
opposite of Jesus, but his manifestation[...]
Theologically it is not correct for Christians to simply call Jesus
“God” or to simply call him ” a man”. He is manifesting a third
something, not God, not human, but the combination of the two! And his
existence says to all of us: THOU ART THAT! YOU also manifest the same
eternal mystery, each in your own way! “Follow me!” We did ourselves
and Jesus no favor by simply calling him “God”. We missed the very
point that could have and could still transform the world. We made the
Christ Mystery into a competitive religion instead of an icon of
transformation for everybody. We made Jesus into an “exclusive”
incarnation instead of an inclusive Savior. He came to take us along
with him, not to just say “look at me”. The paradox was so big, so
central, and so stunning that our ordinary dualistic minds could not
comprehend it. Only the “non dual” saints and mystics could process it
and experience it. But now YOU can too: Thou Art That!

--whole post- -

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4482 From: Mark Date: 2012-01-15
Subject: #4482 - Saturday, January 14, 2011
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4482, Saturday, January 14, 2011

The Night Abraham Called to the Stars

Do you remember the night Abraham first saw
The stars? He cried to Saturn: "You are my Lord!"
How happy he was! When he saw the Dawn Star,

He cried, ""You are my Lord!" How destroyed he was
When he watched them set. Friends, he is like us:
We take as our Lord the stars that go down.

We are faithful companions to the unfaithful stars.
We are diggers, like badgers; we love to feel
The dirt flying out from behind our back claws.

And no one can convince us that mud is not
Beautiful. It is our badger soul that thinks so.
We are ready to spend the rest of our life

Walking with muddy shoes in the wet fields.
We resemble exiles in the kingdom of the serpent.
We stand in the onion fields looking up at the night.

My heart is a calm potato by day, and a weeping
Abandoned woman by night. Friend, tell me what to do,
Since I am a man in love with the setting stars.

- Robert Bly

hiding in this cage
of visible matter

is the invisible

pay attention
to her

she is singing
your song

- Kabir

Refuse all thoughts except one: the thought `I am'. The mind will rebel in the beginning, but with patience and perseverance it will yield and keep quiet. Once you are quiet, things will begin to happen spontaneously and quite naturally, without any interference on your part.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to ANetofJewels

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

- Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Joanna Macy

The Infinite Present

The present moment is infinite and boundaryless.
There is no way to escape it;
there is no Reality outside of it.

Each of us is always here and now.
It is only the mind that wanders....

- Metta Zetty

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4483 From: Mark Date: 2012-01-16
Subject: #4483 - Sunday, January 15, 2012
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4483, Sunday, January 15, 2012

True meditation has no direction or goal. It is pure wordless surrender, pure silent prayer. All methods aiming at achieving a certain state of mind are limited, impermanent, and conditioned. Fascination with states leads only to bondage and dependency. True meditation is abidance as primordial awareness.

True meditation appears in consciousness spontaneously when awareness is not being manipulated or controlled. When you first start to meditate, you notice that attention is often being held captive by focus on some object: on thoughts, bodily sensations, emotions, memories, sounds, etc. This is because the mind is conditioned to focus and contract upon objects. Then the mind compulsively interprets and tries to control what it is aware of (the object) in a mechanical and distorted way. It begins to draw conclusions and make assumptions according to past conditioning.

In true meditation all objects (thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, etc.) are left to their natural functioning. This means that no effort should be made to focus on, manipulate, control, or suppress any object of awareness. In true meditation the emphasis is on being awareness; not on being aware of objects, but on resting as primordial awareness itself. Primordial awareness is the source in which all objects arise and subside.

As you gently relax into awareness, into listening, the mind's compulsive contraction around objects will fade. Silence of being will come more clearly into consciousness as a welcoming to rest and abide. An attitude of open receptivity, free of any goal or anticipation, will facilitate the presence of silence and stillness to be revealed as your natural condition.

As you rest into stillness more profoundly, awareness becomes free of the mind's compulsive control, contractions, and identifications. Awareness naturally returns to its non-state of absolute unmanifest potential, the silent abyss beyond all knowing.


Q. It seems that the central instruction in True Meditation is simply to abide as silent, still awareness. However, I often find that I am caught in my mind. Is it OK to use a more directed meditation like following my breath, so that I have something to focus on that will help me to not get lost in my mind?

A. It is perfectly OK to use a more directed technique such as following your breath, or using a simple mantra or centering prayer, if you find that it helps you to not get lost in thought. But always be inclined toward less and less technique. Make time during each meditation period to simply rest as silent, still awareness. True Meditation is progressively letting go of the meditator without getting lost in thought.

Q. What should I do if an old painful memory arises during meditation?

A. Simply allow it to arise without resisting it or indulging in analyzing, judging, or denying it.

Q. When I meditate I sometimes experience a lot of fear. Sometimes it overwhelms me and I don't know what to do.

A. It is useful when experiencing fear in meditation to anchor your attention in something very grounding, such as your breath or even the bottoms of your feet. But don't fight against the fear because this will only increase it. Imagine that you are the Buddha under the Bodhi tree, or Christ in the desert, remaining perfectly still and unmoved by the body-mind's nightmare. It may feel very real but it is really nothing more than a convincing illusion.

Q. What should I do when I get an insight or sudden understanding of a situation during meditation?

A. Simply receive what is given with gratitude, without holding onto anything. Trust that it will still be there when you need it.

Q. I find that my mind is spontaneously forming images, almost like a waking dream. Some of them I like, while others are just random and annoying. What should I do?

A. Focus attention on your breathing down in your belly. This will help you to not get lost in the images of the mind. Hold the simple intention to rest in the imageless, silent source prior to all images, thoughts, and ideas.

- Adyashanti

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4484 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-01-16
Subject: #4484 - Monday, January 16, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4484 - Monday, January 16, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights -В В 
Those who are awake live in a constant state of amazement.
- Jack Kornfield


The body trembles,
The tongue falters,
The mind is weary.
Forsaking them all,
I pursue my purpose happily.
Knowing I do nothing,
I do whatever comes my way,
And I am happy.
- Ashtavakra Gita 13:2-3

Translation by Thomas Byrom
via Along The Way

"The more evolved you become, the more compassionate you
become, the more you show loving kindness to everything, to the
mineral kingdom, to the vegetable kingdom, to the animal
kingdom, and to the human kingdom. You show total compassion,
loving kindness. You become an embodiment of love simply
because everything is you."
- Robert Adams
via Facebook

Psalms 15
Lord, who can be trusted with power,
and who may act in your place?
Those with a passion for justice,
who speak the truth from their hearts;
who have let go of selfish interests
and grown beyond their own lives;
who see the wretched as their family
and the poor as their flesh and blood.
They alone are impartial
and worthy of the people's trust.
Their compassion lights up the whole earth,
and their kindness endures forever.
(A Book of Psalms, translations by Stephen Mitchell)
Web version:

"Who sets the example? Why should a liberated man necessarily
follow conventions? The moment he becomes predictable, he
cannot be free. His freedom lies in his being free to fulfill the need
of the moment, to obey the necessity of the situation."
- Nisargadatta
via Facebook

The wise person, therefore, does really not look to change
anything. They become quiet. They have patience. They work on
themselves. They watch their thoughts, watch their actions and
observe themselves getting angry, observe themselves getting
depressed, observe themselves getting jealous and envious and the
rest of it. Little by little they realize, "That's not me. That's hypnosis.
That's a lie." They do not react to their condition. To the extent
that they do not react to their conditions, to that extent do they
become free. They no longer care what anybody else is doing.
They compare themselves with no one. They compete with no one.
They simply watch themselves. They observe themselves. They see
the mental confusion. They don't run around shouting, "I am
absolute reality. I am God. I am consciousness." Rather, they see
where they're coming from and they leave everything else alone.
- Robert Adams

via Facebook

Begone elitist spiritual dogma. Begone hypocrisy. Begone judging
others. Begone hitting yourself on the head. Begone punishing
yourself and others. Begone comparing. Begone boxing. Begone
thinking you are better or worse or the same. Begone horribleness.
Begone wagging your finger. Begone all that pain and sense of not
good enoughness. Begone trying to prove . Begone forcing.
Begone pushing. Begone contortion. Begone wanting to follow.
Begone wanting to be followed. Begone everything that gets in the
way of your loving. Begone everything that gets in the way of your
natural peace.
- Belle Heywood
via Facebook

She let go. She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of
the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go
of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the
'right' reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry,
she just let go. She didn't ask anyone for advice. She didn't read a
book on how to let go. She didn't search the scriptures. She just let
go. She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go
of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go
of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just
right. She didn't promise to let go. She didn't journal about it. She
didn't write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no
public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn't check
the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.
She didn't analyze whether she should let go. She didn't call her
friends to discuss the matter. She didn't do a five-step Spiritual
Mind Treatment. She didn't call the prayer line. She didn't utter
one word. She just let go. No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or
praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree,
she just let go. There was no effort. There was no struggle. It
wasn't good and it wasn't bad. It was what it was, and it is just
that. In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came
over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and
the moon shone forevermore…"
- Ernest Holmes
via Facebook

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4485 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-01-18
Subject: #4485 - Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4485 - Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights -В 

This issue features news of Rupert Spira's new books. I find themВ different than his first book. Whereas the feel of his first book was a sinuous dance, the current books are more granular, easier to absorb as confessional segments.



Volume I The Art of Peace and Happiness

Volume II The Intimacy of All Experience

Rupert Spira



Order from Non-Duality Press:

Order from

Volume I

Your self, Aware Presence, knows no resistance to any appearance and, as such, is happiness itself; like the empty space of a room it cannot be disturbed and is, therefore, peace itself; like this page, it is intimately one with whatever appears on it and is thus love itself; and like water that is not affected by the shape of a wave, it is pure freedom. Causeless joy, imperturbable peace, love that knows no opposite and freedom at the heart of all experienceÂ….this is your ever-present nature under all circumstances.

Rupert Spira


is a profound and luminous book with great power and is obviously the fruit of many years of contemplation. These two volumes together are a relentless and utterly thorough examination of the nature of experience, exploring every square centimeter of the territory with absolute excellence and ruthlessly precise analysis. Their astuteness and clarity will be extremely exciting to those readers who are ready for the next steps in lifting the veil of separation and I suspect it will become a spiritual classic that readers will savour slowly and return to again and again.

Victoria Ritchie

Former Manager of Watkins Bookshop and Editor for Eckhart Tolle

Volume II

All that is known is experiencing and experiencing is not divided into one part (an inside self) that experiences and another part (an outside object, other or world) that is experienced. Experiencing is seamless and intimate, made of Г‚вЂ˜knowingÂ’ or Awareness alone. This intimacy, in which there is no room for selves, objects or others, is love itself. It lies at its heart of all experience, completely available under all circumstances.

Rupert Spira


is one of the most exciting and illuminating books on non-duality I have encountered and its precision, articulateness in naming the nameless, unparalleled depth and ability to inspire were constantly appreciated. This book succeeds in taking the reader beyond concepts and into the experiential level. The irony is that this work, which is so advanced and sophisticated in its use of language, thought and conceptualization, is inexorably directed towards pure experiencing.
It is a brilliant and lucid work carrying great strength and authority suggesting it is an indisputable source of Truth.

Victoria Ritchie

Former Manager of Watkins Bookshop and Editor for Eckhart Tolle

Review of Presence by Fred Davies:

I continue to reread Rupert Spira's groundbreaking new Presence book set. These books have more potential to liberate more suffering than anything written since The Power of Now. Twelve years ago, when The Power of Now was published, a great many of us would not, as a group, have been ready for Rupert's new Presence book set. However, as a result of that title, and the cumulative effect of the great number of clear and fine titles that have been published since then, a very large number of people, at many different levels of the theoretical spiritual path, are now ready and waiting for these books. I do hope they reach the vast audience they deserve. I hope they reach YOU.

I'm going to run out of superlatives in regard to Rupert Spira's new Presence book set, so let me start right away: Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! In all candor, I am in awe. The clarity here jumps off the page and into the reader. The first volume (Presence: The Art of Peace and Happiness) has an opening section that is just over 30 pages long. It is, I think, the best description of its section title, Our True Nature, that I have ever read. It is worth the price of admission, all by itself.

Since the truth can never be told, but only pointed to, Rupert then goes on to share his marvelous "translation", so to speak, of the most direct path to this singular-yet-shared True Nature. It is wonderful to have a meticulous artist at the wheel here. If you've not been to his website, I suggest you add a "dot com" to Rupert Spira and go there immediately following this review, and the subsequent purchase of both volumes of this new set. When you go to his site, you'll see that Rupert's expression of our True Nature is seemingly divided between art and teaching Nonduality. In fact, there is Nonduality in the art, and there is art in his Nondual teaching. Let me add that both are HIGH art.

The field of Nonduality is not, shall we say, overburdened with quality writing. There is a lot of clarity out there; I'm not suggesting there is not. Yet the ability to transfer that clarity from one human to another is too often insufficiently translated by a writer's lack of facility with language, and/or technical writing skills. Rupert does not share this problem. Our field could also use a truckload of editors and proofreaders. Awakening lands where it lands, and everything's done on the cheap and I get that; I'm being more matter of fact than I am critical. But it is a sheer joy to stumble upon an exception. That truck I spoke of must have stopped at Rupert's house a long time ago. (Now, doubtlessly, I'll leave a glaring typo somewhere in this review.)

I recently watched a DVD set of Dialogue Excerpts of one of Francis Lucille's retreats (see the Stillness Speaks or Nonduality Press websites). Francis, who of course studied under Jean Klein, is one of the clearest, widest openings one could ever hope to find. He is also Rupert's teacher and has been for over a decade. When the camera plays on the audience, there is Rupert, eyes closed, silently soaking in what's being offered through Francis. There is something very moving about that. Call me unsophisticated, but my eye witnesses there the deep example of humility that also shines forth on every page of this book.

Let me say just a bit more about these books. The first book takes us through all of our methods of apparently achieving the miracle of separation, and ways to reverse that. When speaking of our core problem of misidentification, Rupert uses the term, "exclusive identification" when speaking of our normal mode of life. I love that. I have often said, "You are the body, but you're not JUST the body." I'm putting Rupert on public notice that I'll be stealing "exclusive identification" at every opportunity. There is one attention-stopping observation after the other as he leads you down the path bordered by fear and desire. The great quotes to drink in are simply too numerable to count.

In the second volume (Presence: The Intimacy of All Experience) we find something akin to "dialogues", where a question is asked and then Rupert answers it. What touched me here was the encouraging gentleness and sweet wisdom with which these questioners and their questions were welcomed and discussed. The clarity and brilliance is there to the last page and beyond.

It's a great book set. I'll read it again. Right away. That's the highest praise I have. Namaste.

Order from Non-Duality Press:

Order from

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4486 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-01-19
Subject: #4486 - Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4486 - Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights -



from Trusting Life

by Gina Lake

Fear drives the ego, but love drives life. Love drives all that matters in life. Love is the motivating force in life that creates, sustains, enhances, and gives meaning to life. There is nothing else here but love because Life is love. We are love.

This Love is hidden only by a sense of being someone who is afraid of life. Our identity as a separate individual is of someone who feels lacking, insignificant, lost, confused, afraid, struggling, and in conflict with life. So itÂ’s no wonder the ego wants and feels it needs so much to be okay and happy. But this is a false identity and false needs—we need nothing but what we already have to be happy.

We are not the individual we think we are. We are life. It is living through us. And when the ego is put aside, Life lives through us more cleanly and purely, and with ease, gratitude, fortitude, joy, and love. When the ego is no longer dominant, it becomes obvious that all thatÂ’s here is Essence being and relishing in being.

Life is trustworthy because love is behind life. Love is what is unfolding life and making life happen. Love is the motivating force in all we do: Love for our life, our body, and food motivates us to grow, shop for, prepare, and eat what we need to sustain us. Love for self-expression, expansion, discovery, and self-development motivates us to speak, learn, create, expand our capabilities, and develop our talents. Love for others motivates us to procreate, relate, give, care for, nurture, and support others and society. Love for pleasure and fun motivates us to play, rest, sing, dance, and enjoy life. Love for security and safety motivates us to be careful and take care of ourselves. Love for being productive motivates us to work and develop our skills. Love for knowledge motivates us to learn, read, and share what weÂ’ve learned.

Love allows us to identify with the ego, and love is even what motivates the ego: Love for security, safety, self-preservation, superiority, power, comfort, and prestige motivate the ego to pursue what it pursues, such as money, beauty, and a good job.

The ego and Essence are motivated to do many of the same things: Both motivate us to take care of ourselves, work, play, pursue relationships, and in other ways create a life. However, the ego and Essence do these things for different reasons. While Essence does them for the love of life, the love of being alive, and the drive to perpetuate life, the ego does them out of feelings of lack and fear in order to gain superiority and control. Because the ego acts from fear, it often causes harm, but even love is behind that, albeit a distorted version of it: love for what the ego is trying to get by harming someone or love for its own self-preservation.

Because the ego sees itself as separate from everything, it is driven by fear and sees others and the world as something to conquer or subdue. This is obvious in how people have related to the environment. While native peoples have generally viewed themselves as part of a Whole and as belonging to and caretakers of nature, our ego-driven societies have related to the environment and other peoples as something to control and use for our own needs, without considering the impact of our actions on the Whole. These are two very different ways of being, which come from very different states of consciousness and result in very different worlds. If we donÂ’t begin to relate to the world more from Essence instead of the ego, there may not be much of a world left. Raising our consciousness is not just for ourselves, but for everyone and for the earth—for the Whole.

Many think that if they donÂ’t live as the ego would have them live, theyÂ’ll end up doing nothing. They think that spiritual teachings that emphasize meditation, acceptance, and being in the moment lead to being passive and avoiding the world and practical matters. Many assume they wonÂ’t get anything done or be able to pay their bills if they live as these teachings suggest. But thatÂ’s a misunderstanding. These teachings emphasize what they do because doing these things drops us into Essence, where we can then discover how Essence is moving us to act now in the world and what wisdom and insights it might have for us that can inform our life and actions. How do we know what to do and how to live our life? Instead of getting the answers from the egoic mind, we can find out by paying attention to whatÂ’s coming out of the Now.

Life happens, and it happens through us. We can be moved by the ego and its fear, or we can let life happen through us as itÂ’s meant to by letting Essence move us. Essence is motivated by love, not by fear, and the results of Essence moving through us are peace, harmony, unity, and love. The only thing that can interfere with wiser and more loving action in this world is following the egoÂ’s fear and letting the ego dominate our lives. When weÂ’re no longer listening to the egoic mind, Life has a chance to flow through us as itÂ’s meant to and as it naturally does, even to some extent when we are ego identified.

Everyone knows what itÂ’s like to live from Essence: Life is happening, and you are flowing with it. Sometimes you are the actor, and sometimes you are responding to whateverÂ’s happening. When weÂ’re living from Essence, we move naturally and spontaneously through life, accomplishing what we need to accomplish and enjoying life every step of the way. When weÂ’re in Essence, our actions are more functional and effective than when weÂ’re ego identified because they are whatÂ’s called for in the moment—no more no less—and because our experience of life isnÂ’t cluttered by unnecessary thoughts or troubled by unnecessary feelings, which drain our energy. Life is much simpler and happier when weÂ’re in touch with who we really are than when weÂ’re believing we are alone and separate and that life is a struggle. The ego makes life a struggle, but life doesnÂ’t have to be that way.

From Trusting Life: Overcoming the Fear and Beliefs That Block Peace and Happiness by Gina Lake

Gina Lake is a spiritual teacher and the author of numerous books about awakening to oneÂ’s true nature, including Trusting Life, Embracing the Now, Radical Happiness, Living in the Now, Return to Essence, Loving in the Moment, Anatomy of Desire, and Getting Free. She is also a gifted intuitive with a master's degree in counseling psychology and over twenty years experience supporting people in their spiritual growth. Her website offers information about her books, intensives, teleseminars, and online courses, free e-books, book excerpts, a monthly newsletter, a blog, and audio and video recordings:

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4487 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-01-19
Subject: #4487 - Thursday, January 19, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4487 - Thursday, January 19, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights -В В 
The world as pure object is something that is not there. It is not a
reality outside us for which we exist....It is a living and self-creating
mystery of which I am myself a part, to which I am myself, my own
unique door.
~Thomas Merton
Snow Melting in the Field, watercolor and ink paintingВ by Louise Christian
Louise is a reader of Nonduality Highlights.

Susan Sontag wrote another essay that year called "Against
Interpretation" (1964), in which she argues that people should stop
trying to analyze and interpret art and just enjoy the experience on
a spiritual and sensual level. She wrote: "Interpretation is the
revenge of the intellect upon art. Even more. It is the revenge of
the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to
deplete the world — in order to set up a shadow world of
via The Writer's Almanac

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is
painting that is felt rather than seen.
~Leonardo da Vinci
watercolor and ink paintingВ by Louise Christian


"In one of the Upanishads it says, when the glow of a sunset holds
you and you say 'Aha,' that is the recognition of the divinity. And
when you say 'Aha' to an art object, that is a recognition of divinity.
And what divinity is it? It is your divinity, which is the only divinity
there is. We are all phenomenal manifestations of a divine will to
live, and that will and the consciousness of life is one in all of us,
and that is what artwork expresses."
~Joseph Campbell,
"Creativity," The Mythic Dimension, p. 154
via Louise Christian
painting by Louise Christian

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once
we grow up.
~Pablo Picasso


When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one
day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college - that my
job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me,
incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?"
~Howard Ikemoto

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4488 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-01-20
Subject: #4488 - Friday, January 20, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В #4488 - Friday, January 20, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights -

Wayne Wirs has a new video:
Wayne writes, "The video is about the two flavors of enlightenment, mystical and non-mystical. The shout out to ND Highlights is that you provide a nice balance of both flavors. You can see the video here:"


ONE: Essential Writings on Nonduality , edited by Jerry Katz



I call Jerry the forefather of modern, internet nonduality. ... I read your book early in my seeking days and the thing I liked about it is that it let me know that nonduality is something that's been around in all the traditions. Your book gave me context to know that this is a truth that's been around a long time and somewhat of a basis of major religions, which helped me to relax into the inquiry a little bit more, because the mind in the beginning was resisting figuring what is this all about: Where is it coming from? Will I go insane? Will I die? -Scott Kiloby

This is without doubt the finest collection of Nonduality-flavored writings available today. -Jeff Foster

Before reading your book, I was not as aware or awake as I am now. I'm running into knowledge at an ever increasing rate and this is a very unusual state of being for me.В -JT the book. It explains everything I "feel" in regards to nonduality but can't quite articulate to family and friends. In my business, (I have sixty staff) IÂ’ve introduced some of the principles and triggered a thirst for more Â….. A big thanxx from Australia. -WMT

To bring [nonduality] down to public consciousness is in many ways an absolute gift. Thanks for writing ONE. ... Thanks for opening my eyes to nonduality ... We hope to talk to you again. --Rollye James, Coast to Coast AM

When Katz said that the need for knowing nonduality is grace, and that grace is a profound gift arising from truth, my heart nearly exploded. --Alice A. Chestnut

Katz has brilliantly drawn on lively passages from major traditions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. This unique selection of writings paints a vivid picture of nonduality for the reader; bringing an ancient philosophy into the modern world with striking relevance. -A. Walker

Order One: Essential Writings on Nonduality:


Group: NDhighlights Message: 4489 From: Mark Date: 2012-01-22
Subject: #4489 - Saturday, January 21, 2011
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4489, Saturday, January 21, 2011


You keep waiting for something to happen,
the thing that lifts you out of yourself,

catapults you into doing all the things you've put off
the great things you're meant to do in your life,

but somehow never quite get to.
You keep waiting for the planets to shift

the new moon to bring news,
the universe to alight, something to give.

Meanwhile, the piles of papers, the laundry, the dishes, the job,
it all stacks up while you keep hoping

for some miracle to blast down upon you,
scattering the piles to the winds.

Sometimes you lie in bed, terrified of your life.
Sometimes you laugh at the privilege of waking.

But all the while, life goes on it its messy way.
And then you turn forty. Or fifty, Or sixty...

and some part of you realizes you are not alone
and you find signs of this in the animal kingdom -

when a snake sheds its skin its eyes glaze over,
it slinks under a rock, not wanting to be touched,

and when caterpillar turns to butterfly
if the pupa is brushed, it will die -

and when the bird taps its beak hungrily against the egg
it's because the thing is too small, too small,

and it needs to break out.
And midlife walks you into that wisdom

that this is what transformation looks like -
the mess of it, the tapping at the walls of your life,

the yearning and writhing and pushing,
until one day, one day

you emerge from the wreck
embracing both the immense dawn

and the dusk of the body,
glistening, beautiful

just as you are.

- Leza Lowitz, Poems of Awakening by Betsy Small, posted to The_Now2

A World with No Boundaries

With every breath the sound
of love surrounds us,
and we are bound for the depths
of space, without distraction.

We've been in orbit before
and know the angels there.
Let's go there again, Master,
for that is our land.

Yet we are beyond all of that
and more than angels.
Out beyond duality,
we have a home, and it is Majesty.
That pure substance is
different from this dusty world.
What kind of place is this?
We once came down; soon we'll return.
A new happiness befriends us
as we work at offering our lives.

Muhammad, the jewel of the world,
is our caravan's chosen guide.
The sweetness we breathe on the wind
is from the scent of his hair,
and the radiance of our thought
is from the light of his day.

His face once caused
the moon to split in two.
She couldn't endure the sight of him.
Yet how lucky she was,
she who humbly received him.
Look into your heart and see
the splitting moon within each breath.
Having seen that vision,
how can you still dream?

When the wave of "Am I not?" struck,
it wrecked the body's ship;
when the ship wrecks again,
it will be the time of union.

The Human Being, like a bird of the sea,
emerged from the ocean of the soul.
Earth is not the final place of rest
for a bird born from the sea.

No, we are pearls of that ocean;
all of us live in it;
and if it weren't so, why would
wave upon wave arrive?

This is the time of union,
the time of eternal beauty.
It is the time of luck and kindness;
it is the ocean of purity.
The wave of bestowal has come.

The roar of the sea is here.
The morning of happiness has dawned.
No, it is the light of God.

Whose face is pictured here?
Who is this shah or prince?
Who is this ancient intelligence?
They are all masks . . .
and the only remedy is
this boiling ecstasy of the soul.

A fountain of refreshment
is in the head and the eyes -
not this bodily head
but another pure spiritual one.

Many a pure head has been spilled
in the dust. Know the one from the other!
Our original head is hidden,
while this other is visible.
Beyond this world is a world
that has no boundaries.

Put your water skin away, brother,
and draw some wine from our cask!
The clay jug of perception
has such a narrow spout.
The sun appeared from the direction of Tabriz,
and I said, "This light is at once joined
with all things, and yet apart from everything."

- Rumi Ghazal (Ode) 363, version by Kabir Helminski, from Love is a Stranger, posted to Sunlight

this could happen in a bright room

where a band plays and people laugh
anywhere a boat could drop anchor
or directly beside you so close
I could kiss your cheek
but my love I don't hide my love there

my love is hidden in rain and the dirt
it flits about the way email messages do
nothing so easy you can push it
this love's the way people dance
and sing when they forget anyone could laugh

my love asks for nothing
and opens
the universe unfolds too
a gigantic cup peeling back on itself
I imagine a question for that answer

years built caution into a fence
I leap around inside myself
the love itself is a cat with another home
and it visits and watches
in the heat where silence saves me

- Raewyn Alexander

Ode to My Socks

Mara Mori brought me
a pair of socks
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder's hands,
two socks as soft as rabbits.
I slipped my feet into them
as if they were two cases
knitted with threads of twilight and goatskin,
Violent socks,
my feet were two fish made of wool,
two long sharks
sea blue, shot through
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
two cannons,
my feet were honored in this way
by these heavenly socks.
They were so handsome for the first time
my feet seemed to me unacceptable
like two decrepit firemen,
firemen unworthy of that woven fire,
of those glowing socks.

Nevertheless, I resisted the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere as schoolboys
keep fireflies,
as learned men collect
sacred texts,
I resisted the mad impulse to put them
in a golden cage and each day give them
birdseed and pieces of pink melon.
Like explorers in the jungle
who hand over the very rare green deer
to the spit and eat it with remorse,
I stretched out my feet and pulled on
the magnificent socks and then my shoes.

The moral of my ode is this:
beauty is twice beauty
and what is good is doubly good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool in winter.

Pablo Neruda

top of page