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Group: NDhighlights Message: 4920 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-05-17
Subject: #4920 - Thursday, May 16, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4920 - Thursday,В May 16, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The surest sign of spiritual progress is a total
lack of concern about progress.В  There is an utter
absence of anxiety about anything like liberation
and a sort of hollowness in one's being, a kind of
looseness and involuntary surrender to whatever
might happen.
~Ramesh S. Balsekar
via Along The Way

"There is no greater inspiration and no greater courage than the intention to lead
all beings to the perfect freedom and complete well-being of recognizing their
true nature.
Whether you accomplish the goal isn't important.
The intention alone has such power that as you work with it, your mind will become
stronger, your mental and emotional habits will diminish, and you'll become more
skillful in helping other beings.
In so doing, you'll create the causes and conditions for your own well-being."
~Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
From the book, "Joyful Wisdom: Embracing Change and Finding Freedom,"
published by Three Rivers Press.

Looking for your light
By Allama Prabhu
(12th Century)
English version by A. K. Ramanujan
Looking for your light,
I went out:
В В В В В В В В В  it was like the sudden dawn
В В В В В В В В В  of a million million suns,
В В В В В В В В В  a ganglion of lightnings
В В В В В В В В В  for my wonder.
В В В В В В В В В  O Lord of Caves,
В В В В В В В В В  if you are light,
В В В В В В В В В  there can be no metaphor.

Have I been this way before

Have I been this way before
what landscape is this
what flowers are these what trees
and scents and colours
one thing I recognise
the quietness
that I knew from the beginning
and that I lost
and found again
no it was quietness that found me
it has long been searching for me
calling me from the heart of silence
I have been this way before
by Gabriel Rosenstock

KerouacÂ’s given name wasnÂ’t Jack; it was Jean-Louis. His mother tongue wasnÂ’t
English; it was French. In the early fifties Kerouac wrote two unpublished works in
French – Sur le chemin and La nuit est ma femme, in which Kerouac identified
French as the language in which he often swears, often dreams, and always cries.
“When Jack was feeling wounded or angry,” Joyce Johnson remarks, “heÂ’d sign his
letters Ti Jean. HeÂ’d save Jean-Louis for his darkest moments.” She suggests he
never felt truly American, and his love for the star-spangled nation was always the
love of an outsider. KerouacÂ’s father told him: “Ti Jean, nÂ’oublie jamais que tu es
Breton” (Never forget that you are Breton). In 1965, he traveled to Brittany
searching for his familyÂ’s roots. Unfortunately, he followed a wrong track. He
never went any further until his death, in 1969. La nuit est ma femme will construct
a literary exploration of KerouacÂ’s relationship to French, to Catholicism and
Buddhism; of his bi-lingual identity; and of his fraught relationship with America.
The selections will draw on his letters, poems, haiku and novels.
Two writers – Gabriel Rosenstock and GearГѓВіid Mac Lochlainn – will both translate
and respond to KerouacÂ’s work. The texts will be read to improvised jazz
accompaniment by The Dirty Jazz Band and on-screen projections created by
Margaret Lonergan.
Curated by Liam Carson, director of the IMRAM Irish Language Literature
Festival. Date Thursday 23 May Time 8.30pm Venue WorkmanÂ’s Club Tickets €10
/ €8 concession Book online:
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4921 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-05-17
Subject: #4921 - Friday, May 17, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4921 - Friday, May 17, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

Long time members of Nonduality Salon and other groups of the late 90s will remember Berit Ellingsen. She contributed under the name ... Amanda? She was young, in her twenties, but had a sensibility everyone liked. Berit became a writer of fiction who is making a name for herself in the international literary community.
Why I Write
by Berit Ellingsen
Berit's blog is at

The moment we want to be something we are no longer free.
— Jiddu Krishnamurti

Liesbeth posted this on facebook and to click "like" would have trivialized it, so I didn't:

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4922 From: Dustin LindenSmith Date: 2013-05-18
Subject: #4922 - Saturday, May 18, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith
#4922 - Saturday, May 18, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

This "Highlights of the Highlights" issue is densely beautiful, packed with wisdom. It comes from a 2007 edition by Gloria Lee; it opens with a poem by Emily Dickinson and includes a thoughtful and insightful piece about koan study before closing with some interesting reflections by the great Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. This following excerpt rang so clear and true to me; even though to a seasoned nondualist these ideas might seem common, their wisdom should not be overlooked:

hen someone calls us a thief or a liar, we become angry. Why is this? It is because we feel great esteem and attachment for what we think of as our selves, and we think, “I am being attacked.” Clinging to the “I” is the real obstacle to the attainment of liberation and enlightenment… It is from within that the trouble comes. It is due to fixation on “I” that we think: “I am so unhappy, I can’t get anything to eat, I have no clothes, lots of people are against me and I don’t have any friends.” It is thoughts like these that keep us so busy—and all so uselessly! 
It doesn't come naturally for Westerners to drop their fixation on the "I", of course. But I've found that when I'm undergoing stress in my life or work, it really helps to recall that what is happening -- even the most painful bits -- is really not happening to a separate "I" at all...


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gloria Lee [email protected]>
Date: Tue, Apr 17, 2007 at 7:12 PM
Subject: [NDhighlights] #2790 - Monday, April 16, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
To: NDH [email protected]>

#2790 - Monday, April 16, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Nondual Highlights
It's all I have to bring today (26)

It's all I have to bring today—
This, and my heart beside—
This, and my heart, and all the fields—
And all the meadows wide—
Be sure you count—should I forget—
Some one the sum could tell—
This, and my heart, and all the Bee
Which in the Clover dwell.

--Emily Dickinson

For the young lives lost and dreams unfulfilled -
may we honor them by making good use of the days we are given,
for it might be otherwise....
--Joe Riley on Panhala
image with Ramana Maharshi quote
From Bob O'Hearn on Garden Mystics
I have been participating in a thread on a Zen Buddhist forum on the topic of koans, passing koans, and awakening, and I thought to share my responses here:
Everything is originally just as it is. When we say "originally", it is really just right now. Right now, everything is complete, perfect, self-evident -- just as it is, just as we are. However, because we are the way we are, we often find ourselves in conflict with events, circumstances, or relations.

This sense of conflict will manifest in all sorts of ways, but at the core, it is characterized by dis-ease, a stress in the being, which is habitually superimposed on original suchness by the mind of doubt. So, OK -- in koan study, we take this doubt and delve deeply into it. Is it true, are we inherently some suffering critter, or is it more of a case in which our beliefs and notions stand in opposition to reality?

When we see through these conditional beliefs and notions through practice, we can notice that everything is originally just as it is. Koans are expedient ways to probe into our doubt, rather than ignoring or supressing. The biggest doubt is ourselves, and so the koan is actually all about us. We are the koan. When we are sitting, we are the koan. When we are standing, walking, lying down, we are the koan. When we wake up in the morning, here is the koan -- us.

Passing a koan is like removing a phantom limb. It was never there in the first place. Nothing is changed. We made up this sense of doubt, cherished and coddled it, and then it is no longer there. Cheers! Everything is still just as it is. Should we be congratulated or elevated because we got rid of what we never really had? Someone has a dream in which they are chased by a gorilla. When they wake up, do they ask if the gorilla has also awakened?
Now, on the one hand, consider this: there is no one who is not already awake. How can one awaken then if they are already awake? The biggest delusion is that one is not already awake. In reality, there is only awakeness. This is the source of some real humor, that we run around trying to awaken when it has always been the case. Nor can one evade their own awakeness, so we might as well relax. It's like they say, "eyes are horizontal, nose is vertical".

On the other hand, it is obvious that there is suffering. Clearly, a component of consciousness is stress, yearning, disappointment. The trouble is, we separate happiness and sorrow, seeking for one and avoiding the other, and thus go around divided in our being. This division arises in consciousness as a play of opposites, one de facto necessary for the other.

Consequently, we can investigate this consciousness, and see if that is what we truly are. Are we this consciousness? Most say so, but is it true, or more like an identity we assume in a stage drama? Well, it's fun to find out, as Mr. Rodgers would assure us, and indeed, there's an invitation there that some hearts find irresistible.

Friends, there's an old Persian poet, Hafiz, who claimed that all a sane man can ever care about is giving love. What a remarkable statement! He doesn't talk about awakeness, he doesn't talk about consciousness, he just loves. Gives love. Gives and gives and gives. When one is dedicated in their heart to giving, there is no time to be happy or sad, awake or asleep, enlightened or deluded. There is just giving, and what is this giving? It is forgetting the self, always exceeding the self-position, always surrendered, always practicing. It is not Buddhist or Hindu, Christian or Muslim. It is not a belief or identity, it is just action. We are alive, we must do something. What is there to do? What will we do? Well now, there's a koan!

Good morning group, friends,

Today something special, the teachings by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
As far as I am concerned, the two pictures are already the teachings.
The depth of his realisation shines through his smile, posture and natural kindness.
It is an effortless mudra: a direct pointer to the natural state of man, reality.

Love and regards,


PS For more information go here
That is also the place where I got these teachings from.


Consider all phenomena as a dream:

This precious human body, supreme instrument though it is for the attainment of enlightenment, is itself a transient phenomenon. No one knows when, or how, death will come. Bubbles form on the surface of the water, but the next instant they are gone; they do not stay. It is just the same with this precious human body that we have managed to find. We take all the time in the world before engaging in spiritual practice, but who knows when this life of ours will simply cease to be? And once our precious human body is lost, our mindstream, continuing its existence, will take birth perhaps among the animals, or in one of the hells or god realms where spiritual development is impossible.

At present, the outer universe—earth, stones, mountains, rocks and cliffs—seem to the perception of our senses to be permanent and stable, like the houses built of reinforced concrete that we think will last for generations. In fact, there is nothing solid to it at all; it is nothing but a city of dreams…

Take an example from the recent past. Before the arrival of the Chinese Communists, how many monasteries were there in what used to be called Tibet, the Land of Snow? How many temples and monasteries were there, like those in Lhasa, at Samye and Trandruk? How many precious objects were there, representations of the Buddha’s Body, Speech and Mind? Now not even a statue remains. All that is left of Samye is something the size of this tent, hardly bigger than a stupa. Everything was looted, broken or scattered, and all the great images were destroyed. These things have happened and this demonstrates impermanence…

If we have an understanding of impermanence, we will be able to practice the sacred teachings. But if we continue to think that everything will remain as it is, then it will be just like rich people still discussing their business projects on their deathbeds! Such people never talk about the next life, do they? It goes to show that an appreciation of the certainty of death has never touched their hearts. That is their mistake, their delusion.

The Mind:

…What shall we say about these so-called thoughts? At this moment, while I am teaching Dharma, let us consider the mental experience, or thought, which you have, of listening carefully to me. Does this have a shape or color? Is it to be found in the upper or lower part of the body, in the eyes or ears? What we call the mind is not really there at all. If it is really a thing, it must have characteristics, such as color. It must be white, yellow and so one. Or it must have shape, like a pillar or vase. It must be big or small, old or young, and so on. You can find out whether the mind exists solidly or not by just turning inwards and reflecting carefully. You will see that the mind does not begin, or end, or stay, anywhere; that it has no color or form and is to be found neither insider nor outside the body. And when you see that it does not exist as a thing, you should stay in that experience without any attempt to label or define it.

All suffering comes through not recognising ego-clinging as our enemy. When we are hit by a stick or a stone, it hurts; when someone calls us a thief or a liar, we become angry. Why is this? It is because we feel great esteem and attachment for what we think of as our selves, and we think, “I am being attacked.” Clinging to the “I” is the real obstacle to the attainment of liberation and enlightenment… It is from within that the trouble comes. It is due to fixation on “I” that we think: “I am so unhappy, I can’t get anything to eat, I have no clothes, lots of people are against me and I don’t have any friends.” It is thoughts like these that keep us so busy—and all so uselessly! This is the reason why we are not on the path to liberation and Buddhahood. Throughout the entire succession of our lives, from beginningless time until the present, we have been taking birth in one or other of the six realms. How long we have been labouring in the three worlds of samsara, slaves to our ego-clinging!
The source of all phenomena of samsara and nirvana
Is the nature of mind void, luminous,
All-encompassing, vast as the sky.

When in that state of sky-like vastness,
Relax into its openness; stay in that very openness,
Merge with that sky-like state:
Naturally, it will become more and more relaxed

If you become accomplished
In this method of integrating mind with view,
Your realization will naturally become vast.
And just as the sun shines freely throughout space,
Your compassion cannot fail to shine on all unrealized beings.

The mind, dividing experience into subject and object, first identifies with the subject, 'I,' then with the idea of 'mine,' and starts to cling to 'my body,' 'my mind' and 'my name.' As our attachment to these three notions grows stronger and stronger, we become more and more exclusively concerned with our own well-being. All our striving for comfort, our intolerance of life's annoying circumstances, our preoccupation with pleasure and pain, wealth and poverty, fame and obscurity, praise and blame, are due to this idea of 'I.'

We are usually so obsessed with ourselves that we hardly ever even think about the welfare of others in fact, we are no more interested in others than a tiger is interested in eating grass. This is completely the opposite of the outlook of the Bodhisattva. The ego is really just a fabrication of thought, and when you realize that both the object grasped and the mind that grasps are void, it is easy to see that others are not different from yourself. All the energy we normally put into looking after ourselves, Bodhisattvas put into looking after others. If a Bodhisattva sees that by plunging into the fires of hell he can help even a single being, he does it without an instant of hesitation, like a swan entering a cool lake.

Translated by Matthieu Ricard
From “Rabsel” Issue 5
Shechen Publications


Group: NDhighlights Message: 4923 From: Mark Date: 2013-05-20
Subject: #4923 - Sunday, May 19, 2013
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights Issue #4923, Sunday, May 19, 2013

If your grasping ego had not waylaid you from within,
would bandits have any power to lay a hand on you?
Because of this demanding jailor, desire,
the heart is captive to greed, desire, and harm.
Because of that inner jailor, you've become a crazed thief
even more susceptible to that jailor's power.
Pay attention to the wise council of the Prophet:
"Your worst enemy is between your two sides."

- Rumi, Mathnawi III: 4063-4066, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski from Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance, posted to Sunlight

Whatever I do, the responsibility is mine,
but like one who plants an orchard,
what comes of what I do, the fruit,
will be for others.

I offer the actions of this life
to the God within,
and wherever I go, the way is blessed.

- Lalla, version by Colman Barks, from Naked Song, posted to AlongTheWay

Everything is meaningless, if you take it part by part.
Everything is wonderful, if you take it as a whole.
So, whatever you want to see, you must see
as a whole structure.

Swami Krishnananda, posted to SufiMystic

The flute of the Infinite is played without ceasing, and its sound is love:
When love renounces all limits, it reaches truth.
How widely the fragrance spreads! It has no end, nothing stands in its way.
The form of this melody is bright like a million suns: incomparably sounds the vina, the vina of the notes of truth.

- The Songs of Kabir, by Rabindranath Tagore

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

- Mary Oliver


Stand still.
The trees ahead and the bushes beside you Are not lost.
Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still.
The forest knows Where you are.
You must let it find you.

An old Native American elder story rendered into modern English by David Wagoner, in The Heart Aroused - Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America by David Whyte

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4924 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-05-21
Subject: #4924 - Monday, May 20, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4924 - Monday,В May 20, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Don't surrender your loneliness so quickly. Let it cut you more deep.
Let it ferment and season you as few humans and even divine ingredients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight has made my eyes so soft,
my voice so tender, my need for God absolutely clear.

"This is the kind of Friend You are -
Without making me realize my soul's anguished history,
You slip into my house at night,
And while I am sleeping,
You silently carry off all my suffering and sordid past in Your beautiful Hands."
"Hey you, parrot! speaking in riddles,
Sugar wouldn't melt in your mouth!
Clear your head so your heart will be happy,
And then mimic the words of the Beloved!
To everyone who walks by, you have given mixed messages;
For God's sake, tell us something we don't know."

"Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us,
not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal.
The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as
they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its
presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to
build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing ."
~ Rachel Naomi Remen


is a short, evocative and achingly beautiful word; an elegy to lost possibilities even
in its brief annunciation, it is also a rarity and almost never heard except where
the speaker insists that they have none, that they are brave and forward looking
and could not possibly imagine their life in any other way than the way it is. To
admit regret is to understand we are fallible: that there are powers in the world
beyond us: to admit regret is to lose control not only of a difficult past but of the
very story we tell about our present; and yet strangely, to admit sincere and
abiding regret is one of our greatest but unspoken contemporary sins.
The rarity of honest regret may be due to our contemporary emphasis on the
youthful perspective; it may be that a true, useful regret is not a possibility or a
province of youth; that it takes a hard-won maturity to experience the depths of
the emotion in ways that do not overwhelm and debilitate us but put us into a
proper, more generous relationship with the future. Except for brief senses of
having missed a tide, having hurt another, having taken what is not ours, youth is not
yet ready for the rich current of abiding regret that runs through and emboldens a
mature human life.

Sincere regret may in fact be a faculty for paying attention to the future, for
sensing a new tide where we missed a previous one, for experiencing timelessness
with a grandchild where we neglected a boy of our own. To regret fully is to
appreciate how high the stakes are in even the average human life; fully
experienced regret turns our eyes, attentive and alert to a future possibly lived
better than our past.
From Readers' Circle Essay, "Regret" ©2011 David Whyte
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4925 From: Jerry K Date: 2013-05-21
Subject: #4925 - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4925 - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights

Interview with Ellen Emmet

[sorry I can't include an image. I'm using an alternative email program and it doesn't seem possible.]

Ellen writes on her website http://ellenemmet.comВ , "I live in Oxford, U.K. alongside my husband Rupert Spira, whose pure and luminous teaching never ceases to deepen my understanding. I continue my practice as a Psychotherapist, and Authentic Movement facilitator allowing my background of Dance-Movement Therapy, and Transpersonal Psychology to be permeated by and to express the non-dual understanding. I also offer Non-dual Yoga sessions in the tradition of Kashmir Shivaism exploring our true nature at the level of the body."

On Ellen's excellent website http://ellenemmet.comВ , you can learn more about Ellen's background, listen to herВ  meditations, watch videos, and immerse yourself in what she does.

Watch/listen on YouTube:

Download link:В 


0:00 - 7:08 Some banter, Ellen's background, self-introduction. Authentic Movement introduced. Janet Adler mentioned and her book Arching Backwards. Some of Janet Adler's story of her Kundalini awakening and her description of direct experience. Ellen being drawn to Adler's writing. The Amazon.oom link for Arching Backwards: The Mystical Initiation of a Contemporary Woman, by Janet Adler isВ 

7:08 - 13:23 Inclusion of Authentic Movement under the umbrella of nonduality as inspiring to Ellen. Adler's use of the terms nonduality and unitive state. Varieties and roots of Authentic Movement.

13:23 - 21:06 Ellen describes what Authentic Movement is. Roles of mover and witness profoundly described.

21:06 - 24:45 Responsibilities of the witness and facilitator of Authentic Movement. Formalizing of AM by Adler.В  The people drawn to AM. AM being like therapy.

24:45 - 27:38 Use of the term "longing" by Adler in Offering from the Conscious Body. Conjecture of what Adler meant by longing. Significance of longing. The link for Offering From the Conscious Body is a href="В 

27:38 - 31:22 The form of Authentic Movement discussed. Shifts in the quality of the atmosphere and time. Sacredness of repetition of movement.

31:22 - 36:24 "Being moved" compared to "I'm moving." Oneness with creativity or shakti. Longing re-visited. Experience of unitive states and value of knowing about nondual teachings.

36:24 - 39:56 What clients of Authentic Movement are looking for.

39:56 - 44:24 AM as a source for all creative endeavors. A brief reading from Adler's Offering from the Conscious Body. Meaning of "energetic phenomena."

44:24 - 54:24 Ellen's discovery of Francis Lucille while working with Janet Adler. Ellen responds to question about role of AM as a portal to nondual discovery. Francis's teaching of yoga and its profound focus and outcome. The real body as awareness. Rupert Spira's clarity mentioned.

54:24 - 58:16 Nature of Francis Lucille's message and teaching. The real body as awareness. Clarity of Rupert Spira. "You can be as clear as you are clear." Ellen addresses the question, "How has Authentic Movement been of value to you in communicating nonduality?" Being "intimate with the unfolding of experience."

58:16 - 1:02:56 Applying some of the form and purpose of Authentic Movement to nondual discussion groups.В  The gift of witnessing. Incorporation of a witness. Silence.

1:02:56 - 1:07:39 Ellen's interest in bringing Authentic Movement to her nondual offering. Ellen questioning herself on how the "less nondual" teachings fit in with her nondual offering.

1:07:39 - 1:14:36 Feminine nature of these offerings. Meeting at a connection of the heart. Sharings beyond the body/mind as where Ellen received glimpses of the nondual. "The sense of hearing the space was exquisite." Combing strands of space. Glimpses not being completely met.

1:14:36 - 1:20:11 It's all art. What Ellen will be doing at the Science and Nonduality Conference Europe 2013. Her other work. Talking about interviewing Rupert. Facing the places of resistance. Finishing the interview. Casual conversation.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4926 From: Jerry K Date: 2013-05-21
Subject: #4925A - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Sorry about this but the link to the youtube video for Ellen Emmet's interview was incorrect. The correct link is

I apologize the some computer and email problems that confusing things here. Hopefully I've figured it all out.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4927 From: Jerry K Date: 2013-05-22
Subject: #4927 - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4927 - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights

Here is an article Ellen Emmet wrote on Authentic Movement. It may also be downloaded as a .doc file here:
I like how Ellen moves a step beyond when she brings in the teaching of Francis Lucille, thus creating the bridge between the nonduality that one can do and experience as the unitive state, and the nonduality in which there is no doer, no state.В 

Authentic Movement:

Embodied Witnessing of Transpersonal Experience

Ellen Emmet

John F. Kennedy University

Summer 2005


For the past four years, in a group with three other women, I am mentoring under the guidance of Janet Adler, a reputed dance movement therapist, a key figure in the development of Authentic Movement, a film-maker, academic writer, wife and mother. Together we explore the practice of Authentic Movement as container and form for moving and witnessing our direct experience of personal and transpersonal material, of physical and energetic phenomena. Both as movers and as witnesses we discover states of being which we struggle to put into language. Our intention is to learn to welcome and withstand transpersonal states in our embodied experience and to come to know the difference between personal and non-personal direct-experience in the body. As we discover certain attributes of transpersonal experience we also work to discover how language may offer a bridge from unitive states back into relationship with one another. Always we share our longing to communicate a perfume or a glimpse of these experiences back to the collective circle. And often we are pointed back to a shared experience of silence and stillness which we recognize as the backdrop of Awareness for all experience. Through this work we open over and over again to personal and transpersonal energy, sometimes as mover and sometimes as witness and we step again and again into the paradox of speaking the unspeakable to one another.

Concurrent to my practice of Authentic Movement, I have been sitting with clients in the context of psychotherapy. Each client is a different constellation and each meeting elicits presence and invites witnessing in a unique way. Most of us as clients bring to therapy the density of our personal struggle, the layers of our ego, the intricate web of individual circumstances, the narrative of our external circumstances and all the patterns which we most commonly identify with in individual life. In the course of a session we relate as therapist and client, from our respective positions on chair and couch, using our role-determined compass to navigate the 50 minutes that we share. And then there may come a moment in which a shift is felt. It is often sudden and difficult to locate in time and space. No objective tracing of causality is really possible, yet from one moment to the next, all feels different: there may be a palpable silence enveloping the room, a stillness which wraps every gesture in peace, a gaze devoid of personal agenda, a waiting which no longer feels like waiting, a spontaneous expression of expansive connection with self and/or otherÂ…These are the moments which may never be predicted or made to happen. These are the moments in which therapist and client's sense of being separate may dissolve into a vaster presence of witnessing; moments in which the spaciousness within which all events arise (movement, tears, words, eventsÂ…) is known directly as vibrantly alive and may be recognized as the Self we all share as our deepest essence.

I cannot know this space in an objective manner, nor do I want to approach it in any other way then with awe and respect. Yet I find a recurrent longing and necessity to open myself more and more to this realm of phenomena and explore what is known directly through such experience.

In this paper, I wish to focus the inquiry on the act of witnessing another's movement and presence in the practice of Authentic Movement and more particularly the act and experience of witnessing transpersonal phenomena. Such an investigation may help illuminate the act of presence in the broader context of psychotherapy and perhaps stretch the usual understanding of presence to include a wider range of experience.

In Authentic Movement, there are one or many movers and one or many witnesses. As mover(s) enter the empty space and close their eyes, they wait for an impulse to move, and are invited to surrender to this impulse moment after moment, allowing to be moved into the unknown rather then to direct their expression in any determined way. At the edge of the circle sit(s) the witness(es). Their intention is to offer the mover(s) their clear open presence, attending to the moment by moment experience elicited through their own perception: what do I see and how do I see? Can I physically discern movements and embodiments sourced in the personal body and those sourced in transpersonal phenomena? What am I aware of in my perceptions, in my sensations, at the level of physical boundaries, and in my emotions as the personal appears to dissolve into transpersonal experience? How does the experience of time and space shift in such moments? Do both personal and trans-personal experience co-exist and what does this mean at the level of experience? May I come closer to a respectful exploration of the mysterious qualities of timelessness, spaciousness, peace and clarity which sometimes pervades direct experience of witnessing? What do I learn about Presence? These questions although not formally posed at the moment of witnessing are the questions that propel my cognitive interest and support the longing to develop a spontaneous yet discriminating witness, familiar and at ease with different states of being and various qualities of experience and presence.

As I come closer to conscious relationship with another, with "you" and at the same time remain dwelling in my direct experience, I am touched over and over by a living mystery, an unfolding intelligence.



In the late 90's I read a book titled: Arching Backward, the mystical initiation of a contemporary woman. In it, the author, Janet Adler (1995) shares the intimate and poignant story of her spontaneous and dramatic energetic awakening. She describes and transcribes in poetic prose her direct experience of the powerful and often terrifying primal energy which erupted through her body and psyche and required total surrender for over five years of her life. Her words are an offering from her inner witness as she diligently returned to her practice of Authentic Movement over and over again both as a mover and as a witness. Janet Adler's gift through her book and her work in the discipline of Authentic Movement have profoundly impacted my journey and mirrored my own quest in ways I do not yet understand.

Through the gift of her written words, I as reader am called into deep witnessing.

Janet Adler (1995) shares in words how her whole existence was shaken through and through, as she faced extreme physiological and psychological challenges. She writes: "But death became an active and consistent companion. As though with intention to change my form, it entered my cells through the direct impact of the energy itself and it entered my mind through recurring themes in the vision imageryÂ…the depletion of my physical body became a serious problem, a problem that at times became life threatening"(pp.xvi).

With little knowledge of transpersonal experience or mystical initiation, Janet Adler (1995) faced tremendous solitude. She knew not where to turn to and received little guidance from Western medicine. Receiving teachings from the energy itself, she tells of her experience of surrender to the energy, of not knowing and of receiving. She writes: "This fusion occurred within my body, creating my devotion to a path of not knowing, yet trusting, a path of direct embodied experience of divine energy" (pp.xvi).

Reading her words, I remember feeling deep recognition. Although I knew some of what she was describing at the level of phenomena and its equivalent in my own body, it was the quality of awareness infusing her words and her commitment to surrendering and relating to direct experience through witnessing, that spoke to me so deeply and directly. I was especially moved by the depth of the inner witnessing as she navigated the layers of personal and numinous experience. The attention and presence shinning through her prose was beautifully directed towards the totality of her experience, personal and transpersonal, ordinary and non-ordinary, so that as a reader I was brought over and over again to touch a clear and spacious presence surrounding all events. Reading her words, I remember numerous moments in which the events and content she shared, (always closely woven into her bodily experience, and some of it terrifying and intense), were presented with such acceptance and spaciousness, with equal value given to different order of experience, and with a careful attention to detail, so that I would begin to be bathed in a peaceful tranquility and a deep silence akin to what I had felt entering sacred shrines in India or sitting in the presence of wisdom.

Reading your words, I feel gratitude. Your energy pointing to stillness, your words pointing to silence, Silence and Stillness un-mistakenly here now.

Janet Adler's (1995) sustained attention to the physical and embodied aspects of her direct experience even when the transpersonal energy was overwhelming was also an important teaching which I have followed since: I have learnt the importance of grounding direct numinous experience in the actuality of physical phenomena and in the specific description of what is happening on the physical plane at the level of the body and sense perceptions: Over and over again in her writing, Janet tells how she learnt through her movement and witnessing practice to strengthened her inner witness and to very gradually develop a deep understanding of how to relate to this energetic phenomenon and allow integration of its transformative fire: "As an initiate, I had learned through trial and error never to interfere with the energy on its path, only to develop a respectful relationship to itÂ…I knew I must not try to integrate such a force, knowing in my bones that it would integrate itself. My commitments continued to beÂ…strengthening my body by constant attention to diet and rest, and clarifying the relationship between surrender and will regarding my experience with the energy" (p.239).

I read Janet's words. I see a woman surrendering more and more consciously. I cannot know the magnitude of this experience. Yet there is recognition deep inside my being. In the presence of this mystery, I feel grateful.

The resonance with this material was such that a few years later, I had made my way from a busy life in NYC, to the quiet setting of Sebastopol, CA, where synchronicity was to allow me some deep exploration of the practice of witnessing under Janet Adler's guidance.

Working with Janet, I learnt that surrender to the mystery and the unknown are the only guiding principles within the form of Authentic Movement. In welcoming personal and trans-personal material as witness, there always comes the moment within the practice where I am required to open even more and to welcome a difficult and even unbearable manifestation whether a movement, an expression, a cry or an energetic experience. I learnt to accept the unknowing state in which chaos may unfurl, density may take its grip, discomfort arise, thoughts multiplyÂ…and also the state in which peace may descend, silence may surround, clarity may pervadeÂ… In those moments, I know nothing but that which arises in my awareness moment after moment, spontaneously.


Earlier in my experience as a dance therapist working with autistic children, I had been called over and over again to offer clear open witnessing in the presence of "non-egoic" phenomena. In a session, a child would move in a seemingly random and disorganized way eliciting in my own experience a sense of fragmentation and a quality of absence. I remember following the invitation to surrender and enter this unfamiliar movement and energetic field, joining the child's manifested physicality and movement in any way that intuition suggested. As I would surrender to the unknown, there would sometimes come a moment, in which suddenly and mysteriously, out of nowhere, out of absence, came unmistakable presence: for a short timeless moment the little body-soul would became whole, and organized, a gesture would be made which was infused with meaning: a hand reaching, a clear sound uttered, a movement towards relationship and contact as the body became inhabited by presence. Always these moments struck me as special, non-ordinary. Many years later reading Janet Adler's (1995) own experience with autistic children her words would perfectly mirror my experience. She writes: "The autistic child, my first teachers about the numinous, allowed me to participate in the arrival of spirit into the body as they journeyed into conscious time and space from another, pre-egoic, time and space" (p.117).

These moments, often very short lived stand out vividly in my memory, as do images of clients and peers that I have witnessed in specific moments, through the form of Authentic Movement: moments in which something is happening of another order, when spirit seems to be infusing and re-organizing reality through the body, when consciousness seems to recognize itself directly in a timeless moment, and when gestures as well as whole body movements take on an utterly spontaneous and sacred quality. These moments bring an intangible yet unmistakable quality of that which the mind most likely can never know. Along with the movement expression perceived, the specificity of gestures or position in space and the sense that the mover is being moved and that witnessing is also happening spontaneously, such moments invariably also bring a sense of impersonal presence which may be experienced as an open, even and effortless attention. It is frequent that mover and witness are awed by a shared feeling of non-personal unfolding, where attributes such as timelessness, spaciousness, clarity, intelligence, beauty, order, silence, stillness are offered as words pointing to a direct experience of which nothing can really be known.

As my witnessing practice teaches me, I can never understand with my mind what constitutes these phenomena, nor can I objectify them in any way. But I may recognize them as sacred offerings from life and a clear invitation to come closer and inquire deeply into Truth itself.



The meaning of the word transpersonal is explored by Cortright (1997) as he investigates the prefix trans. When meaning "above or beyond", trans attached to "personal", means a reaching beyond the individual story into other realms (spiritual, energetic, mysticalÂ…). With the meaning "across" the word also includes the personal and individual dimensions and story which one traverses, but suggests a larger framework or context within which it is all held. In an inquiry into witnessing transpersonal embodied phenomena the question is: what is this larger framework or context and how is it experienced, perceived, felt as an embodied experience? What other tradition and belief systems have known it and celebrated it? And, how can it inform the healing work of attending to clients?

The writer and philosopher, Dane Rudhyar (1983), exploring the origins and meaning of the word psychology with the prefix trans(personal), mentions a possible connection with Carl G. Jung: "I have used the term since 1930 to represent action which takes place through a person, but which originates in a center of activity existing beyond the level of personhoodÂ…To my knowledge I was the first to use the term, though C.G. Jung may already have used it in GermanÂ…" (p.86). The author is referring here to what Jung named the super-personal unconscious and which he also briefly referred to as the transpersonal unconscious now known as the collective unconscious. As a pioneer of this field, Carl G. Jung believed that the individual psyche exists within a numinous and intelligent all encompassing realm, revealing patterns, and intricate universal meanings (Wittin, 1987). Archetypes and embodied archetypal energies constitute a kind of interface within the conscious and unconscious realms, and between the ego and the Self (understood as the essential core archetype of individual existence). Jung wrote: "The ego receives the light from the Self. Though we know of this Self, yet it is not knownÂ…In reality its experience is unlimited and endlessÂ…If I were one with the Self, I would have knowledge of everything." (as cited in Frager,1989 p. 48). His words here point to how thoughts may never grasp the Self since they themselves appear within the Self. This understanding supports Jung life-long engagement with imaginal processes including dreams and active imagination, in which intuition, images and understandings are welcomed from that larger framework. Jung undoubtedly was a formative influence in the field of transpersonal psychology. Mary Whitehouse, the founder of Authentic Movement as a discipline had a strong Jungian orientation. In the therapy modalities inspired from Jung's work, wholeness is sought through a search for the Self. This search (to simplify greatly), unfolds through the activation of the relationship between the waking ego and the realms of dreams, unconscious, symbols and all numinous material. Moreover the process of self-actualizing is often presented as sacred and/or mystical, akin to ancient esoteric traditions and evocative of the mysteries from which Jung drew his wisdom. "Its subjective experience (the individuation process), conveys the feeling that some supra-personal force is actively intervening in a creative way" (Von Franz as cited in Bogart, 2003 p. 25).

Jung's model of the psyche and his understanding of a collective unconscious have often deeply resonated with my experience of witnessing in the modality of Authentic Movement. Here, through a stepping into the unknown both as mover and as witness, one invites and activates the numinous realms of the unconscious as if entering a dream. Sometimes, there is a tangible experience of the collective unconscious, unfolding through specific archetypal movement, themes from ancient myths, dance gesture, synchronistic patterns of movement, through which is expressed the individual and collective longing to meet the Self. As witness, one may be honored to see and participate in a re-enactment of a universal and collective archetypal journey or recognize themes found in specific mythsÂ…

In a session working with a young woman, R., I was recently invited to witness a beautiful example of an archetypal narrative. This young woman, a wife and a new mother, had been struggling with her longing to remain the innocent, idealized, pure beauty and free spirit which she had so identified with as a child and young adult. I witness her movement:

I see you move through the space. You are walking and now almost skipping, your hands and arms moving lightly through the air, caressing the space around you. A light smile is on your face, as it turns upward as if to feel the warm caress of the sun. Witnessing you I feel free and care-free, my body light and ethereal, my world safe. And now I feel the delight of a mother as she beholds her virginal daughter. All around the air is clean, a gentle breeze, grass swaying here a butterfly and there a pretty flowerÂ…

And now I see your movement changing. In a slow transition I see your heels are digging into the ground, and rhythm appears to punctuate your movement. I see you stop and listen, your face serious. Your pelvis moves up and down, and I hear a deep guttural sound coming out of your body. Down you come on all fours, pounding the earth, rooting your pelvis. You are crying. I see you rolling onto your back, legs bent, slightly apart, open. You are crying as your pelvis moves up at times. Witnessing you here, I feel a descent into a deeper darker place within my body. As I see you descend, I feel my own descent and with it the pain and grief of surrender in my flesh. Witnessing you here I feel a surge of sexual and instinctual energy at the very root of my body. Witnessing you here I feel the sadness of a mother loosing her daughterÂ…

Beholding my client, it became suddenly very apparent that I was witnessing a re-enactment of the myth of Persephone. I felt the delight and innocence of Kore as she indulged in her young carefree sauntering. And I clearly saw and felt the transition towards the underworld. Witnessing her descent I could sense the forces of the darker instincts ravishing this young virginal energy. The experience was powerful in my body. And as I contemplated my client lying on the floor struggling and crying, I felt the despair of Demeter losing her own daughterÂ….

Since this movement session, my client has continued to explore her internalized split and has taken beautiful steps towards integrating a more grounded and mature experience of her feminine nature.

Psychoanalytical work inspired by Freudian thought opened the door to the idea of an unconscious realm, a place where things happen beyond ego control. Maslow and the field of humanistic psychology introduced new ideas to the realm of human experience which included notions of transcendence and peak experience. Maslow believed in a fourth Force Psychology: "transpersonal, transhuman, centered in the cosmosÂ…going beyond humanness, identity self-actualization and the likeÂ…" (Maslow as cited by Frager, 1989, p.128)

Many other leading names include somatic and body approaches as important contributions to the field of trans-personal psychology. It has become obvious in my experience, that consciously re-inhabiting my body constitutes a true portal into the mystery of spirit as it incarnates. Because I as most Westerners am/was mostly imprisoned in thought and mind, working towards conscious embodiment can constitute an enormous realm of experience in which the senses and the soul meet. To step back into the body is to step back into wholeness or in the words of Jungian Analyst Robin Van Loben Sels (2005), "The threshold of consciousness is a bodily threshold even for dreams. Without body we cannot bring our psycho-physiological experience to a felt experience. The body is a part of soul. That called body is a portion of the soul discerned by the five senses" (p.220).

Modalities focused on conscious embodiment such as Feldenkrais or Alexander, systems of energy work focusing on defense mechanisms as they are held in the body such as Reichian, bio-energetic or Lowen approaches, Systems of Eastern exercises such as Tai Chi Chuan or Yoga, all focus on the whole person and facilitate a broader awareness of experience. Authentic Movement offers its own unique way to re-discover our essential relationship to the body experience in that it allows a simultaneous experience of the manifest (whether personal, collective or transpersonal embodied phenomena) and the invisible so that in a journey through sound we are brought to silence, in our journey through movement we are brought to stillness, in our journey through confusion and chaos we are brought to order and clarity.


It is arbitrary and risky to distinguish between personal and transpersonal experience and embodied phenomena. For although it is apparent that experience unfolds along a continuum which comprises different qualities of experience: some ego-based and some seemingly trans-egoic, it seems that the only perfect experience is the one which unfolds right here and right this moment, be it of an emotional nature, a reflexive nature, a mystical nature etcÂ…The danger of labeling this one personal and that one trans-personal lies in the not so subtle implications of language: trans-personal experience is of a higher order of experience and is idealized while ego-based experience becomes shameful, distasteful, ignored. And thus the spiritual by-pass develops as a norm. In my personal work in an on-going group of Authentic Movement, our inquiry has focused on energetic phenomena of an impersonal nature. Although there was never an explicit hierarchical discrimination between personal and transpersonal material, this split occurred quietly, as an unconscious bias. Eventually, I had to examine my underlying preferences concerning the nature of experience and how I organized phenomenal events according to their "rank" as transpersonal or personal: witnessing myself in this process of unmasking, I saw once again the infinite ways that the ego creates to feed the illusion of control. Seeing this, I could once again be open without intention.

Clearly in the journey towards consciousness, we must enter the density of our deepest darkest experiences as they are ready to be brought into the light of consciousness. As we travel in and through the dark unknown we may emerge back into the light of wholeness. This can only happen through our bodies. As Rumi says "The physical form is of great importance: nothing can be done without the association of the form and the essenceÂ…the body is fundamental and necessary for the realization of the divine intention."

Movement that finds its source in personal experience presents certain specific qualities which a witness will perceive recognize and respond to. As Mary Whitehouse (1965) writes: "The body is the physical aspect of the personality and movement is the personality made visible. The distortions, tensions and restrictions are the distortions, tensions and restrictions within the personality. They are at any given moment, the conditions of the psyche" ( p.17).

Gestures and movement of a personal nature which arise in Authentic Movement present with a defined sense of agency, the presence of an "I". The impulse behind such movements and gestures is often emotional, connected to the mover's individual history, trauma, struggleÂ…Movement sequences unfold along a linear timeline with a clear beginning middle and end. There is often a narrative with a clear sense of a subject relating to itself or the environment. Emotions which live beneath the surface of our daily life, find a channel of expression through the body.

There is the individual movement of sadness and grief: I see you lying still waiting. You lay waiting. I see your fists close as you roll to your side, bending your knees towards your forehead. I hear crying.

There is the individual dance of anger: I see you standing over there in the space. Now you are walking slowly and now faster. Your lips are tightly shut and I see you stop now as you stamp your feet, pounding the ground. Your pelvis moves, your knees bend as you stamp rhythmically. I hear a loud deep cry resonating in the space. I am clearly aware of the contour of your body.

Defense mechanisms will be revealed for what they are at the somatic level and often be dismantled in the course of practicing Authentic Movement. Repression for example may be embodied as a contraction held in the upper torso and neck area which inhibits the movement. This inhibition if explored may become a dark character with a full range of expression and negative emotions: anger, control, hateÂ…If expressed and moved to its completion, there may be a transformation of the energy and its expression into a fuller, livelier and ultimately healthier manifestation of vitality.

Often when there is a group of movers, contact is made between individuals:

I see you lying on the floor, you are crying. Now I see a second mover crawl up to you and stop, her hand outreached. Now she is touching your back, exploring this body part. I see you roll awayÂ…

Here one's habitual patterns of relationship are elicited as well as the deeper, older emotions held in our bodies and in the gestures of reaching, opening, turning away, coming towards, caressing, touching etcÂ… In moving patterns of relationship there is tremendous potential to witness vulnerable personal material as it seeks a new resolution or simply a fuller expression.

Unresolved stages of a person's developmental experience commonly surface here as the energy that is stuck in the cellular and muscle memory is allowed release and manifestation. As historical unconscious material is welcomed into embodied consciousness, a mover may re-visit infantile states, re-live a particular trauma, and experience the emotions which rule a specific stage of development. Perhaps a developmental block will be re-experienced with less fear and a new element of growth discoveredÂ…


Witnessing a mover as she embodies phenomena of a personal nature offers an opportunity to experience kinesthetic and somatic empathy and counter-transference. There are many ways in which this may unfold in the body of a witness and only a few will be mentioned here. For example, a specific emotion embodied by a mover in the space may elicit a corresponding feeling inside one's own body. Or an absence of emotional expression as the mover embodies a struggle or difficult experience may awaken the "missing" affect in the witness. Sometimes, sitting at the edge of the circle, the witness may become very aware of a specific body part, feeling a constriction, a density, a quality of energy, or an awakeningÂ…this is invariably a kinesthetic and somatic response to a physical and energetic state experienced or about to be experienced by the mover. A dance-movement therapist I. Fiedler writes: "Kinesthetic empathy is, more particularly the bodily process of taking in or tuning into a client's movement and bodily responses. This mutual bodily experience leads to a simultaneous reverberation of related feelings, to synchronicity as a state of kinesthetic empathyÂ… The dance –movement therapist uses her body to receive, contain and interpret the patient's felt experience; Thus the therapist's body becomes a resonating chamber" (p.41).

In my own experience as a witness, there are discerning characteristic of being in the presence of personal experience. I am always aware of being located inside my own skin, in a specific area of the space, and often very aware of my boundaries. I may for example feel the temperature on my skin or sense the edge of the wall where my back meets it. I always have an overall proprioceptive sensation of my whole body posture oriented in space, aware of the anatomy of my person-hood with a head sitting on a vertical spine, with "my" thinking center located in the forehead, and "my" feeling center located in the heart. The general experience thus is of "you" moving over there, and "I" sitting over here. The localization of the "me-ness" and the "you-ness" is marked in space through all these perceived experiences and by the experience of the empty space which seemingly separates us. As you the mover are identified with an emotion or a piece of your story, I the witness may very well feel a corresponding density of identity, felt in my soma and also through the thoughts feelings and personal memories which may appear during the experience.

In most of the literature concerning transpersonal psychology and spiritual emergency the importance of ego strength and the capacity to contain transpersonal phenomena is frequently stressed. It has been my experience that I began to be interested and to actively challenge the frontier of my conscious identity and self-identification at a time when I was stronger from an ego point of view. It was the work I had done in my earlier verbal therapy as well as maturing through life experience which seemed to have strengthened my ability to contain new and more numinous and intense experiences. Yet paradoxically the welcoming of numinous or transpersonal experience always coincided with a certain psychological terrain. It was through the embodied experiences of very core wounds that I was invited to enter into a vaster and more expanded state. It was often in times of extreme vulnerability, when my sense of self felt disorganized and chaotic, when I surrendered to an almost overwhelming experience of grief or rage that an opening took place, infusing my body and my movement with new energies and new experiences. Cortright (1997), tells us that trauma and personal wounding, "create more tenuous intrapsychic structure so that the individual's boundaries are more porous and open to unconscious forcesÂ…" (p.168). Janet Adler (2002), notes the relationship between traces of trauma in the body and transpersonal manifestation in Authentic Movement. She writes: "It is not uncommon for a gesture that forms within a body memory of a trauma to become the gesture which marks a gateway into transpersonal experiences" (p.232).


"In the beginning, there was not the word, but rather there was the symbolic action, a union of body and psyche. In the beginning, dance was the sacred language through which we communicated with the vast unknown. In these earlier times, the dancer was at the same time healer and priest. Then through the centuries, in the name of progress and civilization, mind and body were split apart" (Chodorow 1984, p.39).

Through my interest in Indian Vedanta and mystical experience in general, I have read or heard of the lives of many saints and/or mystics in India and other places. It is my understanding that "non-ordinary experiences in the body" have been a part of human existence for thousands of years. States of Samadhi, spontaneous movement or mudras, ecstatic chanting or dancing, speaking in tongues, visions, non-ordinary energetic statesÂ…are considered the hallmark of awakening to spirit in many cultures and mystical traditions.

As movers in the practice of Authentic Movement, we step into an empty space, closing our eyes and opening ourselves to the emptiness. Often we have lit a candle; maybe we are wearing a special shawl or holding a stone. Perhaps we have contemplated the emptiness in the quiet presence of others before entering the circle. Perhaps we have made eye contact with our witness as a ritual way to acknowledge the sacredness of the form and to mark the threshold which is about to be crossed. What has guided us to this moment of surrender and to this movement practice is unquestionably a mysterious and powerful longing to surrender.

In this longing:

"I see you walk three times around the stone bowl. Now you lie on your back, slowly and carefully stretching your limbs, opening your arms, offering your palms up, breathing. You are open, you are waiting. "

In this opening:

"I see you kneeling down towards the ground. Your cupped hands are making repetitive parting gestures. You are opening the earth, opening the earth. I hear you cry into the ground, calling, callingÂ…"

In this waiting:

"I see you kneeling facing this specific way. Your hands are folded on your lap, you are still, you are waiting in perfect stillnessÂ…"

Longing, opening and waitingÂ…

Ramakrishna (1836-1886), a great Saint of India reportedly experienced intense states of trance in which he merged with the Goddess Kali, often dressing himself as a woman and spontaneously exploring the edges of transpersonal identity (Isherwood, 1965). He wrote "the energy by which the body is pervaded is the same as that which illuminates the world and maintains alive all beings" (Ramakrishna as cited by Sannella, 1981, p.20), and reportedly described kundalini energy as"five kinds, in which one feels the sensation of the Spiritual Current like the movement of an ant, a fish, a monkey, a bird or a serpentÂ…" (Ramakrishna as cited in Irving, 1995 p.76).

Sainte Therese de Lisieux (1873-1897) a French Carmelite nun, experienced states described in writing as "convulsions occasionally so violent that she would be thrown out of her bed"(Sannella, 1981, p.16). Swami Muktananda writes in his biography of his experience of kundalini energy: "My body was heated up and my head became heavyÂ…the spinal base was rent with painÂ…" (Muktananda as cited in Sannella, 1981, p.21).

As the energy begins to move, certain qualities of transpersonal phenomena may be known and described. It seems important to remember that the purpose of a description is neither to generalize not to objectify, but to attempt to evoke qualities of energetic phenomena which seem to recur in movers experiences.

As a mover opens herself over and over again to layers of energy and movement which may feel deeply unfamiliar, irrational and even crazy, a lot may happen at the manifest level. In the process of letting go of ego structures, and the will to control experience, there is often a descent into chaos, as thoughts feelings and habitual patterns are expressed randomly, as they come up, seemingly out of logical sequence. At the same time, there may well be a struggle to remain in control by the forces of the ego as well as the unleashing of strong inner critic material attempting to prevent the breakdown of what holds the ego in apparent safety. One may become overwhelmed with grief, shame, and despair as old constrictions are felt, as new energy is unleashed, as one's identity is shattered. At such times it may be useful for a facilitator, a therapist and even a person opening to such intense material to be provided with some theoretical framework grounded in the Western thought system. This can provide additional support, in addition to the descriptions of mystical experiences within the Eastern traditions.

Michael Washburn (1995) in his book The Ego and the Dynamic Ground offers a developmental view of a human life, drawing from ego psychology, Freudian thought, Jungian and existential psychology ideas as well as trans-personal psychology. His model seems to provide an interesting frame of reference for the experience of transpersonal energy moving through the body. In his comprehensive understanding of human development there are potentially three main stages, pre-egoic, egoic and trans-egoic. If and when the latter stage (trans-egoic) unfolds, an individual experiences a "regression in service of transcendence"(Wasburn, p.7), by which the ego returns to its place of origin: the Dynamic Ground. Here a mover may be experiencing chaos, broken sequences of movement, unfamiliar sensationsÂ…

Through a renewed dialectic relationship to this original matrix from which all emerges, there unfolds a transformative process of regeneration by which the spiritual dimension of human experience is more fully lived (Washburn, 1995). This process in Washburn's view is not a linear unfolding but rather a spiraling and changing dialectical relationship between the ego-identity and the original matrix named the Dynamic Ground. In his writing, Washburn is able to evoke and describe an organic experience while including concepts drawn from ego psychology and psycho-analytic thinking. A closer look at Washburn's theory resonates with my own embodied understanding of energetic phenomena and spiritual emergency. His idea of the Dynamic Ground is inclusive of Freud's concept of libidinal realm and id and of Jung's idea of psychic energy, the deep unconscious and collective unconscious. However, the Dynamic Ground is vaster then these ideas and inclusive of all energy, power, spirit, and life force. The language this author chooses to describe Dynamic Ground evokes a quality of aliveness and potentiality found in descriptions of Kundalini energy. In Wasburn's lexicon, it is the "source and the flowing power", "the energizer of all psychic processes", it is "gravitationally or magnetically attractive", and can also "seize" the ego sometimes "absorbing and dissolving" the ego. For most people, the Dynamic Ground is "reduced to a dormant state" until it does break through and "awakens". The experience is both an "upheaval and fall" for the ego, i.e. a return of the repressed: upheaval, and a regression of the repressor: fall. Later the Dynamic Ground reveals itself in its "pure or pristine" form, "luminous consciousness, freed spirit" (Washburn, 1995, pp.121-130).

As described by individuals who have experienced transpersonal states, Washburn describes a process whereby, repression is lifted and the force of the Dynamic Ground emerges sometimes with violence and/or bizarre symptoms. He writes that in pushing against tensions, "the power of the ground may at times feel like a heavy energy current or searing molten liquid", and "the body becomes polymorphously sensual" (Washburn, 1995, p.197). Particularly evocative and resonant with my own understanding of the direct experience of transpersonal phenomena is this author's vivid description of what he names "the purging of mental-egoic resistance" (Washburn, 1995, p.207). Here the process is compared to the labor of giving birth and the language used to describe the experience is embodied in such a way to echo direct experience rather then objectify it. The difference writes Washburn, between physical labor and spiritual labor, is that physical labor is "expulsive", while spiritual labor is "infusive"(Washburn, 1995, p.211).

The depth and breath of this author's investigation and description is a gift to the individual who is traversing a seemingly desperate and solitary situation at times. For a kinesthetic person in particular, Washburn's vocabulary and concepts evoke a strong connection between the body and the energy of the earth, which in Authentic Movement, constitutes the principal phenomena.

Over time, as a mover returns again and again to the practice of Authentic Movement, as she opens and surrenders, allowing all this material to move through, she will begin to trust the impulse of a new quality of energy. Janet Adler(1992) writes: "I re-awakened to the sacred, directly experiencing the numinous as physical sensation in my body rather than channeled through my mind or emotions" (p.118). And she describes a new way of knowing "as though one is being moved, taken, penetrated, rearranged, infusedÂ…without the density of emotion or thought (Adler, 1987, p.209).

Gradually a mover may be moved by an impersonal energy, inviting new qualities, new movements and gestures, new relationships to time and space.

Now I see you moving in a new way. You advance through the space slowly, evenly. You seem to float. Now you stop and your head tilts up. I see your mouth open ever so slowly as your hands reach up towards your face.

There is often a weightless quality which permeates transpersonal movement, accompanied by a sense of seamless flow. The movement can unfold very slowly, sometimes in slow motion as if every micro-movement was being opened, permeated and perceived by a new and mysterious force. Janet Adler (1999) remarks: "In mystical experience, sensation is perception through any or all of the five senses plus another sense which is nameless" (p.166).

Other times the body may be moved by quick jolts which seem to penetrate areas of the body with suddenness, as if the energy were forcing its way through density:

I see your shoulders moving quickly and suddenly towards and away from each other. The movement happens so fast, traversing your upper body like a flash of lightning.

New movements and gesture may appear over and over again in a mover's repertoire, signaling the presence of the numinous and over time becoming part of a sacred repertoire:

Now I see one hand and now the other coming together. Your fingers are parted, each finger making contact with its mirror finger, your hand forming an open triangle. I know this gesture and have seen you make it over and over again. I see you move this triangle slowly towards your third eye as your entire fingers move towards each other. You touch your third eye with all your fingers.

Hands may form mudras (sacred shapes made with hands and fingers), gestures may become highly ritualized, arms may gesticulate in specific and rhythmic ways, familiar and universal motions and postures of prayer may manifest.

I see you kneeling, your hands joined in prayer, your face bowing down...

I see you prostrating, your torso coming down, your forehead to the ground, your torso coming up as you turn your face to the sky, and now down again.

I see your hands offering out in front of you as you kneel. Your face is looking slightly up.

I see your right hand coming to your heart and your left resting on your belly as you stand here now, perfectly still.

There are often gestures directed to the body orifices, eyes, ears, mouth belly button, and yoni. In my own movement practice a ritual gesture comes back over and over: my fingers coming close to the side of my temples and pulling invisible strands of light out and away from me very slowly. I have seen other mover's patterns repeated time and time again like a moving mantra. Sometimes there are not only gestures but full movement sequences arising from the stillness.

Breathing patterns take on specific qualities, sometimes fast and rhythmic sometimes very slow and quiet, sometimes stopping for short moments. Sometimes the inhale comes into the foreground as a gesture or movement manifests. On the exhale there is a return to the stillness and neutral position of waiting. It is a dance of manifestation and dissolution through the breath.

Often, alignment and direction in space can become impeccably specific and ritualized.

I see you circling around three times, counter-clockwise. You stop. You are facing the stone bowl. Now, you have shifted slightly, just so, and again. And now you seem to find the right alignment as you stand perfectly still.

Movement of a transpersonal nature can be accompanied by affect.

I see you walk out into the space. At the center you stop and lay your small carpet down. Slowly you place your body on your back, knees bent arms extended, palms open. You breathe gently. Now your face contracts, your torso heaves, you are sobbing. You breathe. Around you there is silence and stillness. Now the crying is stopping slowly, on its own.

Expressions of emotion appear yet they seem to travel through and out of the body easily and clearly, like a cloud through a clear sky, free of any attachment or "personal stickiness". Sometimes the expression on the face presents an image of great peace, quiet joy, or lasting bliss. At other times an expression of joy and expansion may co-exist with racking sobs and sounds of grief.

Movements of a transpersonal nature can also be accompanied by sound. These may be perceived as vibrations with the body becoming an instrument for resonance. Often what is heard sounds full and resonant, crystal clear as it emerges from a palpable silence. The mouth opens to a determined shape and it is the whole body which sounds whether letting out a deep guttural sound or a high pitched cry. Vocalizations appear as utterly spontaneous and unpredictable. As with the specificity of gestures and movement, the spontaneous and impeccable chanting, humming, or sounding which emerges feels guided by intelligence beyond the mind.


It is being found that there is a recrudescence of people experiencing "para-normal" states which go beyond ordinary levels of consciousness and while these phenomena may be pointing to a positive development of inter-dimensional consciousness, very few people have a contextual framework to help contain and support such an experience.

The cultural context seems in many ways, to determine how the phenomena is welcomed, understood and integrated. In India as in many other cultures, the spiritual dimension has not been split off from human experience as in the Western world. Thus a container is readily in place for spontaneous spiritual awakening, and the notion of spiritual emergency, used to describe equivalent experience in our culture, is un-necessary.

In contrast post-modern western civilization has turned towards materialism and away from spirit, has celebrated the individual over the community, and has empowered reason over intuition and wisdom. This explains the intensity of experience which individuals in the West describe as they open to "spiritual states."

My first gleanings into the topic of transpersonal phenomena have been a welcomed surprise, as I find that this area is in fact being investigated with serious consideration by clinicians, psychologists and academics who are interested in questions of consciousness and its evolution. As investigations have been made into altered states of consciousness, Eastern practices and psychedelic experience, the forbearers of transpersonal psychology, Carl Jung, Roberto Assagioli, Abraham Maslow for example, have recognized and delineated new frontiers for human consciousness. Broader models and maps of the human psyche and of individual development have been offered. The concept of transcendence, of going beyond the ego, of connecting with the numinous and/or spiritual object has been investigated extensively. Some of the assumptions implicit and/or held as facts in the models proposed by "Orthodox" Western psychology are being seriously challenged. For example the idea that knowledge is a concept of the mind, a hypothesis supported by sensorial evidence and that there is no certain or direct knowledge of anything is challenged by transpersonal psychology which argues that in fact there are modes of direct experience and knowing in which certainty and truth is revealed absolutely. Transpersonal theory poses new questions concerning for example where non-ordinary experiences take place within the field of consciousness, (is it a local or non-local experience), how these experiences can be built into a multidimensional developmental model, how a clinician may work with a client having such an experience, and how to diagnose a transpersonal experience integrating traditional psychological assessment tools as well as more esoteric and intuition based approaches.

(Message over 64 KB, truncated)

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4928 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-05-24
Subject: #4928 - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4928 - Thursday,В May 23, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
"Whenever an answer, a solution, or a creative idea is needed,
stop thinking for a moment by focusing your attention on your
inner energy field. Become aware of the stillness."
~Eckhart Tolle
(Oneness With All Life)


"The Bodhisattva Never-Despairing never disliked anyone, because he knew that
each of us has the capacity to become a Buddha.
He would bow to every child or adult, and say, 'I do not dare to underestimate you.
You are a future Buddha.'
Some people felt so joyful hearing this that faith arose in them. But others,
thinking that he was making fun of them, shouted and hurled stones at him. He
continued this practice for his whole life, reminding others that they had the
capacity to wake up. Why wander all over the world looking for something you
already have? You are already the richest person on earth."
~Thich Nhat Hahn
From the book, "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, " published by Parallax
via Daily Dharma by Anipachen

When the Shoe Fits
Ch'ui the draftsman
Could draw more perfect circles freehand
Than with a compass.
His fingers brought forth
Spontaneous forms from nowhere. His mind
Was meanwhile free and without concern
With what he was doing.
No application was needed
His mind was perfectly simple
And knew no obstacle.
So, when the shoe fits
The foot is forgotten,
When the belt fits
The belly is forgotten,
When the heart is right
"For" and "against" are forgotten.
No drives no compulsions,
No needs, no attractions:
Then your affairs
Are under control.
You are a free man.
Easy is right. Begin right
And you are easy.
Continue easy and you are right.
The right way to go easy
Is to forget the right way
And forget that the going is easy.
~ Chuang Tzu
(In the Dark Before Dawn, trans. Thomas Merton)

Old Man, Old Man
Young men, not knowing what to remember,
Come to this hiding place of the moons and years,
To this Old Man. Old Man, they say, where should we go?
Where did you find what you remember? Was it perched in a tree?
Did it hover deep in the white water? Was it covered over
With dead stalks in the grass? Will we taste it
If our mouths have long lain empty?
Will we feel it between our eyes if we face the wind
All night, and turn the color of earth?
If we lie down in the rain, can we remember sunlight?
He answers, I have become the best and worst I dreamed.
When I move my feet, the ground moves under them.
When I lie down, I fit the earth too well.
Stones long underwater will burst in the fire, but stones
Long in the sun and under the dry night
Will ring when you strike them. Or break in two.
There were always many places to beg for answers:
Now the places themselves have come in close to be told.
I have called even my voice in close to whisper with it:
Every secret is as near as your fingers.
If your heart stutters with pain and hope,
Bend forward over it like a man at a small campfire.

~ David Wagoner
(Traveling Light)
Web version:

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4929 From: Jerry K Date: 2013-05-24
Subject: #4929 - Friday, May 24, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4929 - Friday, May 24, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality HighlightsВВ 

Today's writings were found on a place called Facebook


Catherine Noyce posted the following writing by Aldous Huxley from Antic Hay (1923)

'There are quiet places also in the mind', he said meditatively. 'But we build bandstands and factories on them. Deliberately — to put a stop to the quietness. ... All the thoughts, all the preoccupations in my head — round and round, continually What's it for? What's it all for? To put an end to the quiet, to break it up and disperse it, to pretend at any cost that it isn't there. Ah, but it is; it is there, in spite of everything, at the back of everything. Lying awake at night — not restlessly, but serenely, waiting for sleep — the quiet re-establishes itself, piece by piece; all the broken bits ... we've been so busily dispersing all day long. It re-establishes itself, an inward quiet, like the outward quiet of grass and trees. It fills one, it grows — a crystal quiet, a growing, expanding crystal. It grows, it becomes more perfect; it is beautiful and terrifying ... For one's alone in the crystal, and there's no support from the outside, there is nothing external and important, nothing external and trivial to pull oneself up by or stand on ... There is nothing to laugh at or feel enthusiastic about. But the quiet grows and grows. Beautifully and unbearably. And at last you are conscious of something approaching; it is almost a faint sound of footsteps. Something inexpressively lovely and wonderful advances through the crystal, nearer, nearer. And, oh, inexpressively terrifying. For if it were to touch you, if it were to seize you and engulf you, you'd die; all the regular, habitual daily part of you would die .... one would have to begin living arduously in the quiet, arduously in some strange, unheard of manner.

Aldous Huxley "Antic Hay" (1923)


Francis Bennett wrote

One simple way of describing what it means to "be awake" is to say that an awakened one has absolutely no resistance to life, no matter what form it may take. This is absolute surrender, this is loving what is, simply because it is. Now this does NOT mean you don't do something to improve or change a situation, but simply that while you do, even that, there is absolutely no resistance to the way it is now. We don't get this when we look at it with the mind because the mind believes that, unless there is resistance, we would never be motivated to change anything. But when there is really no resistance to life, there is no resistance to the situation AND, at the same time, there is the knowing that something needs to be done to change it, and there is no resistance to that either. So, if you are about to get punched in the face, you accept completely that you are about to possibly get punched AND...... you duck! If you have a headache, you completely accept that you have a headache AND....... you take an aspirin or a Tylenol!

Like a master martial artist, you flow with all of life and whatever energy you encounter. You even flow with those people or things that seem to be opposing you. When you accept what is, completely and absolutely, the very energy that seems to be in opposition to you can be used to change any situation for the better. The mind that has no resistance is calm and at peace and knows what the most skillful thing to do is. It even knows if "doing nothing" is the best thing to do, which sometimes, it is.


Mace Mealer

There are no Giants here.
A Giant would have no more use
for a keyboard and this glowing screen
than a mouse for a thimble.
This does not meanВ 
that there are not
a few Lions.
So have care
if you are seekingВ 
doe eyed supplicants
in this field.
Lions have been knownВ 
to bite.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4930 From: Dustin LindenSmith Date: 2013-05-25
Subject: #4930 - Saturday, May 25, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith
#4930 - Saturday, May 25, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

Today's issue comes from September 2010, edited by Mark Otter. It deals with forgiveness. I'm sure almost all of us have some experience from earlier in our lives that hurt us in some way, and many of us carry that pain forward to the present moment for many years after the fact. It's not very uncommon for us to have also used compulsive behaviours like binge eating, drinking, or drugs to numb those painful feelings, too. In fact, it's pretty rare to see an alcohol or drug addict who hasn't experienced some significant form of trauma earlier in their life.

I recently had a therapist take me through a 30-minute "talk" that reframed the context for some of my own painful childhood experiences in a way that removed almost all of their sting for me. And when we were finished, the feelings I had towards the person who caused me that pain were really quite transformed. 

"Ironic Process Theory" is a term derived by psychologists to describe how trying to avoid thinking about certain thoughts can actually make those thoughts more persistent. It's often demonstrated by asking subjects not to think about a white elephant, and then checking in with them a minute later and discovering that they can't stop thinking about white elephants.

Forgiveness might be something like that too. If you've frequently -- even subconsciously -- reiterated certain thoughts about certain events from your past, you may have been reinforcing those painful thoughts over and over again in your mind, rendering them so persistent and present in your mind that you can't avoid the suffering that arises from those memories.

As the passages below attest, forgiveness is not for the weak. It is not an action after the fact. When you hold resentment towards someone, it creates painful and terribly strong emotional bonds between you and them. But with true forgiveness genuinely comes true peace.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: markwotter704 [email protected]>
Date: Sun, Sep 5, 2010 at 11:52 PM
Subject: [NDhighlights] #4004 - Sunday, September 5, 2010
To: [email protected]


Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4004, Sunday, September 5, 2010

Forgivness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

- Mark Twain (Thanks, Kath!)

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

- Mahatma Gandhi

True forgiveness is not an action after the fact, it is an attitude with which you enter each moment.

- David Ridge

When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.

- Catherine Ponder

If you want to get rid of your enemy, the true way is to realize that your enemy is delusion.

Kegon Sutra, posted to Distillation

Forgiveness is an essential ingredient of bodhichitta practice. It allows us to let go of the past and make a fresh start.

When a close friend of mine was dying, a Tibetan teacher told her to review her life with honesty and compassion. This process led her to some pretty dark places, corners of her mind where she was stuck in guilt and resentment. The teacher then instructed her in forgiveness, saying that the most important thing to do was to forgive herself. He suggested that she do a variation on tonglen. She should begin by visualizing herself and then intentionally bring up all her life's regrets. The point was not to dwell in painful memories but to contact the feelings underlying the pain: guilt or shame, confusion or remorse. The feelings didn't have to be named; she was to contact the stuckness in a nonverbal way.

The next step was to breathe these feelings into her heart, opening it as wide as she possibly could, and then to send herself forgiveness.After that, she was to think of others feeling the same anguish and to breathe their pain and hers into her heart and to send everyone forgiveness. My friend found this to be a healing process. It allowed her to make amends with those she had hurt and those who had hurt her. She was able to let go of her shame and anger before she died.

A woman who came to Gampo Abbey for a tonglen retreat had suffered severe sexual abuse from her father. She strongly identified with caged birds; she told me that she often felt like a bird in a cage. During tonglen, she would breathe in the feeling of being small and caged; on the outbreath she would open the door and let all the birds out. One day as she was sending and taking in this way, she experienced one of the birds flying out and landing on a man's shoulder. Then the man turned around and she saw it was her father. For the first time in her life she was able to forgive him.

Forgiveness, it seems, cannot be forced. When we are brave enough to open our hearts to ourselves, however, forgiveness will emerge.

There is a simple practice we can do to cultivate forgiveness. First we acknowledge what we feel - shame, revenge, embarrassment, remorse. Then we forgive ourselves for being human. Then, in the spirit of not wallowing in the pain, we let go and make a fresh start. We don't have to carry the burden with us anymore. We can acknowledge, forgive, and start anew. If we practice this way, little by little we'll learn to abide with the feeling of regret for having hurt ourselves and others. We will also learn self-forgiveness. Eventually, at our own speed, we'll even find our capacity to forgive those who have done us harm. We will discover forgiveness as a natural expression of the open heart, an expression of our basic goodness. This potential is inherent in every moment. Each moment is an opportunity to make a fresh start.

- Pema Chodron, from The Places That Scare You, via the Allspirit site

There is a very simple secret to being happy. Just let go of your demand on this moment. Any time you have a demand on the moment to give you something or remove something, there is suffering. Your demands keep you chained to the dream state of conditioned mind. The problem is that when there is a demand, you completely miss what is now.

Letting go applies to the highest sacred demand, and even to the demand for love. If you demand in some subtle way to be loved, even if you get love, it is never enough. In the next moment, the demand reasserts itself, and you need to be loved again. But as soon as you let go, there is knowing in that instant that there is love here already. The mind is afraid to let go of its demand because the mind thinks that if it lets go, it is not going to get what it wants - as if demanding works. This is not the way things work. Stop chasing peace and stop chasing love, and your heart becomes full. Stop trying to be a better person, and you are a better person. Stop trying to forgive, and forgiveness happens. Stop and be still.

- Adyashanti, from Emptiness Dancing

Through forgiveness, which essentially means recognizing the insubstantiality of the past and allowing the present moment to be as it is, the miracle of transformation happens not only within but also without.

- Eckhart Tolle

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4931 From: Mark Date: 2013-05-26
Subject: #4931 - Sunday, May 26, 2013
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights Issue #4931, Sunday, May 26, 2013

When I observe some of our behavior, it really looks to me as if human beings want to suffer. Judging from the way we act, we do not seem to be truly interested in being happy... We seem to want to keep the painful experience of anger alive and close, and keep kindness and happiness at bay. We act as if we treasure suffering, so whenever we find it, we don't want to let it go.

... We are operating on the mistaken assumption of who we are is really this angry, disturbed person. But we do not have to be that person... At any moment, we have the option of being different; we can be a person who is not angry or disturbed. Let yourself be that other person - a person who treasures true happiness, kindness and tranquility.

- His Holiness 17th Karmapa, from The Heart of Noble, posted to DailyDharma

To find a pearl dive deep into the ocean
don't look in fountains.
To find a pearl you must
emerge from the water of life always thirsty.

- Rumi from Rumi - Whispers of the Beloved, selected and translated by Azima Melita Kolin and Maryam Mafi, posted to AlongTheWay

A man who is given a stone and assured that it is a priceless diamond will be mightily pleased until he realizes his mistake; in the same way pleasures lose their tang and pains their barb when the self is known. Both are seen as they are--conditional responses, mere reactions, plain attractions and repulsions, based on memories or preconceptions. Usually pleasure and pain are experienced when expected. It is all a matter of acquired habits and convictions.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to ANetofJewels

When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, "Oh yes - I already have everything that I really need."

- H.H. the Dalai Lama, posted to DailyDharma

The lower self philosophizes:
beat it for its own good,
arguing with it doesn't help.
It witnesses a prophet's miracle
and momentarily glows with belief;
but later on says, "That was just imagination;
for if that incredible sight had been real,
it would have lasted--it would have remained before my eyes."
It is lasting in the eyes of the pure,
but it doesn't haunt the eyes of animals.
Miracles keep their distance from bodily senses:
would a peacock stay in a ditch?

- Rumi, Mathnawi II: 3500-3504 version by Camille and Kabir Helminski from Rumi: Daylight, posted to Sunlight

What has been sought all along is found to be none other than this which is the seeking. The ultimate goal or prize turns out to be what already is. There is nothing and no one to find. There is awareness with no one being aware. All along You have been the butt of Your own cosmic joke. The magnificence of all appearances, everywhere you look and seek is simply Your own play or dream of being. There is nothing and no one and yet there is awareness whereby everything appears, including this appearance as an ordinary man or woman. You are, and always have been, completely awake, and present, but merely mesmerised by Your own cosmic play.

- Nathan Gill from Already Awake, posted to AlongTheWay

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4932 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-05-27
Subject: #4932 - Monday, May 27, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4932 - Monday,В May 27, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Photo-Haiga: Ron Rosenstock & Gabriel Rosenstock
saidhbhГѓВ©ir, fГѓВ©ach!
nГѓВ­ thraochann siad riamh

de chomhluadar a chГѓВ©ile
В kittiwakes, look!
they never tire
of each otherÂ’s company
Photo-Haiga: Ron Rosenstock & Gabriel Rosenstock
scamall san ГѓВЌoslainn
a saolaГѓВ­odh i gciГѓВєnas
ag filleadh ar an gciГѓВєnas
born out of silence
returning to silence
a cloud in Iceland

Photo-Haiga: Ron Rosenstock & Gabriel Rosenstock

is anseo a cailleadh
dГѓВ©ithe na bpГѓВЎgГѓВЎnach

this is where the pagan gods

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4933 From: Jerry K Date: 2013-05-29
Subject: #4933 - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

#4933 - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights



Interview with Julian Noyce, publisher of Non-Duality Press,В on Nonduality America


According to your website, you discovered there was: "a need for authentic and accessible contemporary writing on the subject" —please tell us more about your creation of Non-Duality Press and how that came about.

When we published our first book in 2004 it was very obvious that there were many worthwhile communicators or realizers who weren't being published and were unlikely to be published any time soon. Books of any quality in this field could be numbered in the dozens rather than the thousands. So, my impression at this time, was that the non-dual community (such as it was), or people who might be interested in this approach, were not being very well served by publishers. Certainly, one or two books a year might emerge, or, after a large fanfare, a picture book with photos of Ramana Maharshi might be published. With the exception of Advaita Press who published Balsekar's and Wayne Liquorman's books, and Inner Directions, the scene at that time seemed slow and lumbering. This was not reflecting my experience and the impression that there seemed to be the beginnings of a genuine integration and re-expression of Eastern teachings in the West.

Nathan Gill, `Sailor' Bob Adamson, Leo Hartong and Joan Tollifson. These teachers had many years of experience behind them but were not hamstrung by dogma or affiliated to any particular lineage. I found this an exciting development; so-called enlightened communicators, with Western conditioning, expressing and living something that just a few years earlier was previously thought to the preserve of gurus from the East. These writers were cultured and widely read but also `ordinary' and accessible.

Returning to your question, in 2003 I starting a small business importing books from around the world, mostly from the US and India, for sale in the UK where they were quite difficult to get hold of. This happened to coincide with the internet becoming more accessible so that I was able to construct and maintain a website. Some of these titles were quite costly to import so I initially spoke to Sailor Bob's people in Australia and asked if they would license Bob's book to me for re-publishing in Europe. This was the first book we published and from there I asked Nathan Gill who I had known for several if he would like to write something. We then took on two excellent books by Joan Tollifson and Leo Hartong that had initially been self-published. I wondered in the early days if enough worthwhile manuscripts would come along but as we can see there has been a blossoming of writing on this subject since then.

Read theВ  entire interview here:

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4934 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-05-31
Subject: #4934 - Thursday, May 30, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4934 - Thursday,В May 30, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
To be a man of knowledge one needs to be light and fluid.
~Yaqui Mystic
via Along The Way
Alan Larus Photography

Tricycle's Profile of Shifu Shi Yan Ming, 34th Generation Shaolin Monk
by Andrew Gladstone

In 1992, in the final days of a performance tour of the United States, 34th
generation Shaolin monk Shi Yan Ming defected and hid out in a San Francisco
basement before making his way to New York City. Now, 21 years later, he is the
abbot and founder of the USA Shaolin Temple in Manhattan, where he is the shifu
(teacher) of many disciples devoted to learning the ways of Ch'an Buddhism and
Shaolin martial arts.
Amituofo means many things—it can be a greeting, it can express gratitude or
condolences, or it can be a blessing. It is the transliteration of the Sanskrit
"Amitabha," and is used to express anything honestly from the heart.
Watch our profile of Shifu Shi Yan Ming and the USA Shaolin Temple, and make
sure to watch it big and play it loud. You can also download a transcript here.
(Patience, 5 min video loads before playing.)

Alan Larus Photography
The best time is late afternoon
when the sun strobes through
the columns of trees as you are hiking up,
and when you find an agreeable rock
to sit on, you will be able to see
the light pouring down into the woods
and breaking into the shapes and tones
of things and you will hear nothing
but a sprig of birdsong or the leafy
falling of a cone or nut through the trees,
and if this is your day you might even
spot a hare or feel the wing-beats of geese
driving overhead toward some destination.
But it is hard to speak of these things
how the voices of light enter the body
and begin to recite their stories
how the earth holds us painfully against
its breast made of humus and brambles
how we who will soon be gone regard
the entities that continue to return
greener than ever, spring water flowing
through a meadow and the shadows of clouds
passing over the hills and the ground
where we stand in the tremble of thought
taking the vast outside into ourselves.
~ Billy Collins
(The Art of Drowning)
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4935 From: Dustin LindenSmith Date: 2013-06-02
Subject: Fwd: #4935 - Fri May 31/Sat June 1, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmit
#4935 - Fri May 31/Sat June 1, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

My selection for this week's "Highlights of the Highlights" is from Issue #4366, which Mark Otter edited on September 11, 2011:

Last week's issue about forgiveness inspired one of our readers to write in response. If I understood this reader correctly, he appeared to object to the idea that forgiveness could be a tangible thing to someone who is awake. His point was well-taken, especially when the question of forgiveness is considered in the context of radical nonduality: indeed, who really is there to forgive, or to be forgiven?

Those of us who do not yet feel entrenched in that awakened reality still may feel the need to to reconcile with their past, however. Especially if that past included trauma or maltreatment of any discernible measure. 

I think of forgiveness as a close companion with acceptance. And I've observed that most, if not all, of my own personal suffering has tended to arise out of my own lack of acceptance of what is happening in any given moment. And by suffering, I don't mean the pain that can arise as a result of something that's actually happening at the moment; I really mean the anxiety-provoking thoughts and worries about things that MIGHT happen in the future, or else the dread-inducing memories about painful events that have already occurred long in my past.

To be sure, with the dawning of deep self-realization comes a natural falling away of those anxieties, those worries, and those memories. The realization that these so-called events are not happening to "a separate entity" makes it difficult to believe that those worries could hold any significant meaning anymore.

But I strongly suspect that many of us need to find forgiveness or acceptance towards our own selves before we can release our internal, emotional, and psychological hold on those selves.

What say you, I wonder?

A close friend and musical mentor to me recently posted this video on his Facebook page. In this short piece (to which many fascinating longer ones are linked), Dr. Fred Luskin discusses the importance of gratitude and compassion in enabling forgiveness:

From the opening of the video comes these thoughts: "If we practiced every single day, 'Thank you' and 'I appreciate you' and 'This is beautiful' and 'I am blessed' and 'Let me see what good I can do to the world,' you'd have almost no grudges, and it wouldn't have mattered so much if you were loved at 19 or 26 or 31 or whatever, because you'd be creating a mind-body experience that's healthy, and a healthy mind-body very rarely wants to strike out at anything."

I suppose that strictly speaking, this topic is not terribly nondual, especially in the most radical and raw sense of the term "nondual." But the "small I" in me seems to be drawn closely to it right now, because I feel like it's a key to resolving a great deal of suffering I've personally experienced, or perhaps more importantly, a key to resolving my own personal suffering story.

And maybe in the end it's the dropping of that suffering story that ultimately makes this nondual. Dropping the entire story, that is.


PS: Please accept our apologies for yesterday's missed issue and today's late delivery. Our delays were unfortunately unavoidable. Thank you.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4936 From: Mark Date: 2013-06-03
Subject: #4936 - Sunday, June 2, 2013
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights Issue #4936, Sunday, June 2, 2013

If you come across a sage who has realized his true nature, you will not be required to do anything in the way of spiritual disciplines. This is because through his teachings, he will reveal your true nature, as by placing a mirror before you.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to ANetofJewels

For the egoic being the outer world is seen as the face of an enemy. The disruptive dualism from which all conflict arises is not in the outer world but with the false perception of the pseudo-entity who fails to see the world as his own reflection.

- Ramesh Balsekar, posted to ANetofJewels

Ed Note: Dustin's Saturday HL elicited the following response, which I decided to post...

Hi Dustin,

Thank you for your letter below on forgiveness and nonduality. The problem as I see it is that the radical nondual types are locked in a kind of "ivory tower" of transcendence - as if living in the void was the end of the journey home.

Unless and until we learn to embody the awakening - i.e. how do we apply the transcendent awakening/knowledge in our every day lives - then our journey home is only half-way complete.

Forgiveness (or acceptance as you said) begins with our own small self - just as it is. From that spaciousness of self-acceptance, we learn to accept others - just as they are. In this acceptance, we also learn that we are human, and that we continue to experience thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It's how we respond to them that really counts... i.e. what is our relationship to our thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Many years after his enlightenment, upon hearing the news of his mother's death, the Buddha openly wept with intense grief; when he was done, he simply let it go and moved on. In other words, he never denied his humanity, even though he was awakened to the nondual Reality.

In regards to this, you may want to check out Richard Moss' work. He's an awake teacher who helps people to relax into Presence, and from that limitless spaciousness, work with whatever arises: thoughts, emotions, feelings.

And I wouldn't be too concerned about the radical nondual types who spout phrases like: "who is there to forgive anyway?" They are merely revealing that their journey is not yet complete; they are still exclusive, rather than inclusive. The ultimate nondual reality is inclusive. Another way to say this is that from one perspective the manifestation is an illusion; and yet, from another perspective, it is also the Reality, appearing as you and me, and even the radical nondualers (hey, I think I made up a word!) ;-)

Please 'forgive' me if I've crossed a line with this feedback...



Above the entrance to the Oracle at Delphi were written the words, "Know Thyself." Jesus came along and added a sense of urgency and consequence to the ancient idea when he said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

What Jesus is saying is that spirituality is serious business, with serious consequences. Your life hangs precariously in the balance, teetering between a state of unconscious sleepwalking and eyes-wide-open spiritual enlightenment. The fact that most people do not see life this way testifies to how deeply asleep and in denial they truly are.

Within each of our forms lies the existential mystery of being. Apart from one's physical appearance, personality, gender, history, occupation, hopes and dreams, comings and goings, there lies an eerie silence, an abyss of stillness charged with an etheric presence. For all of our anxious business and obsession with triviality, we cannot completely deny this phantasmal essence at our core. And yet we do everything we can to avoid its stillness, its silence, its utter emptiness and intimate embrace.

To remain unconscious of being is to be trapped within an ego-driven wasteland of conflict, strife, and fear that only seems customary because we have been brainwashed into a state of suspended disbelief where a shocking amount of hate, dishonesty, ignorance, and greed are viewed as normal and sane. But it is not sane; not even close to being sane. Nor is it based in reality. In fact, nothing could be less real than what we human beings call reality.

By clinging to the mind in the form of memory and thought, we are held captive by the movement of our conditioned thinking and imagination, all the while believing that we are perfectly rational and sane. We therefore continue to justify the reality of what causes us, as well as others, immeasurable amounts of pain and suffering.

Deep down we all suspect that something is very wrong with the way we perceive life but we try very, very hard not to notice it. And the way we remain blind to our frightful condition is through an obsessive and pathological denial of being - as if some dreadful fate would overcome us if we were to face the pure light of truth and lay bare our fearful clinging to illusion.

The question of being is everything. Nothing could be more important or consequential - nothing where the stakes run so high. To remain unconscious of being is to remain asleep to our own reality and therefore asleep to reality at large. The choice is simple: awaken to being or sleep an endless sleep.?

- Adyashanti

The Immensity of Solitude

When the mind is free of all of its content, all of its conditioned thinking, it enters into the solitude of silence. That silence can only arise when one sees the limitations of one's thinking. When one sees that his or her thoughts will not bring truth, peace, or freedom, there arises a natural state of silence and inner clarity. And in that silence there is a profound solitude, because one is not seeking a more advantageous relationship with thought or with the accompanying emotions that are derived by thought.

In that solitude all ideas and images are left behind, and we can intuitively orient ourselves toward the unborn and uncreated ground of being. In that ground we find our true being; and in the same manner in which our being is uncreated, it is also undying. Therefore, all that we will ever be or can be is found in our solitude (within ourselves) and is timelessly present in its fullness and completeness, now and eternally.

It is within our deepest solitude, where we take leave of every image and idea of ourselves as well as of God, that we come upon the fullness of our being. And in that fullness of being we recognize the divinity of all things and all beings, no matter how great or small. For divinity is not something earned or given, but lavishly present within all. To have the eyes to see the divinity of all beings is to bring light into this world.

So we are given this one small task: to cease being what we are not, and to be what we eternally are. Such a task would seem to be a gift of Love, but how often is it denied in favor of the blind security of conforming to the dictates of our fear and blame? If we would only see that all limitations are self-imposed and chosen out of fear, we would leap at once into the arms of grace, no matter how fierce that embrace might be.

It is Love that leads us beyond all fear and into the solitude of our being. There we find our utter aloneness because we stand free of all the false comforts of illusion and find the capacity to stand where no one else can stand for us. We are alone not because we have isolated ourselves behind an emotional defense or false transcendence, but because we are no longer held captive by either the mind or fear.

To stand alone in true solitude is to stand in the recognition of the absolute completeness and unity of all manner of existence. And from that common ground, where nothing and no one is foreign to you, your love extends across the magnitude of time and embraces the greatest and smallest of things.

- Adyashanti

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4937 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-06-04
Subject: #4937 - Monday, June 3, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4937 - Monday,В June 3, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
If words come out of the heart,
they will enter the heart.

Without opening your door,
you can open your heart to the world.
Without looking out your window,
you can see the essence of the Tao.
The more you know,
the less you understand.
The Master arrives without leaving,
sees the light without looking,
achieves without doing a thing.
Tao Te Ching
via Sandra Ma on Facebook

Sarah Hughes photography

"Even the most exalted states and the most exceptional spiritual accomplishments
are unimportant if we cannot be happy in the most basic and ordinary ways, if we
cannot touch one another and the life we have been given with our hearts."
Jack Kornfield
From the book, "A Path With Heart," published by Bantam.
via Daily Dharma

"When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to
discover that it's bottomless, that it doesn't have any resolution, that this heart is
huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is
there, as well as how much space."
Pema Chodron
via Daily Dharma

We label everything and everyone - the plants, the animals, the stars, even our own
intimate feelings. "Sadness", we call it. "Anger". "Fear". "Boredom". "Confusion".
These are second-hand words picked up when we were young. But underneath the
labels, prior to the abstract language, there is a profoundly alive mystery here,
unspeakable, unable to be captured by thought. Without our mind-made
descriptions of experience, do we really have any way of knowing what we are
experiencing? Take away the label 'sadness', and what is alive here? Take away
the description 'anger', and what is this raw, passionate energy we feel? Stop
calling an emotion 'positive' or 'negative', and what happens? Come back to the raw
sensation of life, the present-moment dance of the body. What is this unfiltered,
dynamic, raw life energy? Can we touch life before the labels? Who would touch
it? Who would be separate from it? This is the river of life, my friends, sacred,
intimate, familiar, and we are inseparable from its flow. Every thought, sensation,
feeling, image, is infused with the mystery of universes.

"This Ease, which is all of Existence, isn't a state You are in. It is what You are.
This Ease that You forever are - is so easy, so effortlessly simple, It is not in the
realm of words."
Peter Dziuban
Consciousness Is All
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4938 From: Jerry K Date: 2013-06-04
Subject: #4938 - Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4938 - Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality HighlightsВ 


Here are some very recent discoveries on Facebook:

Chuck Hillig

"IT" is always in alignment with Itself. What's NOT in alignment, however, is only your belief that things are "out of alignment." Ironically, though, even THAT belief is still "in alignment." Go figure.

Nondual truth is both unthinkable and unreasonable. IT is what IT is. Thinking that you can reason your way OUT of duality is as silly as thinking that you can reason your way INTO nonduality.


Dairin Ashley

Like beggars, we rummage through the trash of our own minds, looking for enlightenment.


Galen Sharp

Non-dualism is a strange business. What one is looking for is neither something nor nothing.


Isaac Shapiro

So useful and fortunate to have friends who have this love of Truth.В 

Just spending time together being present, brings such benefit to all. Little groups are springing up without a leader or facilitator, who tell me how rich it is to meet.В 

How awesomely lucky.


For a different kind of experience with the Nonduality Highlights, join our Facebook group. You are all invited:

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4939 From: Jerry K Date: 2013-06-05
Subject: #4939 - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4939 - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality HighlightsВ 


Fred Davis writes:

Hello, everybody!В  This is a flash-in-the-pan post; it'll move to a back burner in just five days,
when this giveaway promotion ends.В  I've collected several popular posts into a Kindle booklet that would run about 40 print pages.В  Each of them has been re-edited,
and lightly re-written for this edition, and I've slipped in a short introduction.
В В 
I'll be offering the booklet for free between midnight on June 2
В (Pacific time, which is Amazon time) through midnight on Friday, June 7.

The primary drive behind this is simply to bring attention to my work.
It's neat to have some AC (Awakening Clarity) available in an offline format;
I have all of my books on my phone and PC, and I love the ability to search quickly.
At any rate, if you know other other people who read AC, or whom you think might enjoy it,
please send them this link.В  Come midnight Pacific on Friday this booklet will revert to
its whopping list price of ninety-nine cents, but until then it's free.
If nothing else, free is a great price!



Where We Are (Un)Headed

Somebody has to write quickly about the coming paradigm shift. Oh, it's my turn? Goody! We are all watching the world change so fast that we have whip lash. Personally, I am rapidly losing interest in the news of the world foisted on me by sources all raging at me from the left brain, which is so last-week.

They demand reactions, reactions, reactions. Well, I'm on strike. Take you, you egg-headed emotionally-charged dinosaurs. I have made the huge discovery that it's all the same. Logically it was over last week. Big sigh. I took a picture of my feet and posted it today. I like my feet. They are pedi-gogs in their own right. They are firmly planted on the footstool and aren't going anywhere fast.

But back to the paradigm shift. I give credit to Paul Kaufman for these powerful words:

"Our words lumber after us, trying to catch up, but they never really seem to. We flit through this world as pure energy, as light, hummingbirds and, then, spotting another human, we want to exchange greetings and so we speak. But we're already gone, the words merely echoes, energetic footprints, proof that we've passed by. By the time our words land on somebody's ears and then translate through their brain into meaning, the moment is long gone, long gone, long gone. We're living at the speed of light, leaving behind a breadcrumb trail of words.

If we meet each other and we stop to exchange greetings, consider that speaking is just about the slowest and most dense means of communication at our disposal. I'm not sure what this means, but it feels true."

Here is what I take home from his words. The time has come to behead the head and head for the wholeness that we have forgotten we are. Okay, that sounds silly, but it's so very true.

It has hit me big-time that I no longer want to travel or be anyone's guide or talk on the phone much or go to anything remotely resembling a lecture. I am happy at home with myself. Being at ease means I don't have to make any plans to be social, to pretend I know anything or can do anything. I am retired from the old paradigm. That one sucked. The new one is everything and then some. More cowbell, please!

Vicki WoodyardВ 

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