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Group: NDhighlights Message: 5000 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-08-16
Subject: #5000 - Friday, August 16, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5000 - Friday, August 16, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights


I feel a little lonely here being the only Highlights editor making a big deal about our 5000th issue.

Editor-on-hiatus Mark wrote, regarding #5000:

"Is this really important? I only bought one new car in my lifetime, and when it turned over 10,000 miles, I eagerly told my friend about it. She asked me why I cared. It seemed obvious to me, but I didn't really have a coherent answer. It's about as important as mile 103 or 25,007. Heck, 203,678 is even MORE cool, because it means the car lasted quite awhile. My car didn't make it that long, probably because of the test drive before I even owned it. I wanted to make sure it had "pep," and I scared the salesman who was in the passenger seat. I probably scratched a piston, which eventually led to the head gasket failure which ended my car's life.

"I think one of Melody's posts back in 1867 probably will lead to the HL's demise. I recommend you go directly from issue 4999 to 5001 and blame me for the mistake. I recently learned that my good friend has had a stroke. Maybe she ate bacon when she was ten. Who knows? There are those things which are important, and those which are not. In the end, nothing is important. Be well, my friends."


Mark's letter made me kinda sad about #5000.

But I forged on.

Past editor Christiana wrote:

Jerry, Gloria and at least 6 other editors
produced 5,000 Nondual Highlight issues!

Countless moments of grace
of quickening
of abiding.

This living pulse, in fellowship
with an anonymous
community of

With deepest gratitude for
the editors
the community

the de-minders

to this

to now.


Thanks, Christiana. And thanks to those other past editors, if I remember them all: Melody Anderson, John Metzger, Andrew Macnab, Joyce, and Michael Read.

And thanks to the current editors: Mark, Dustin, and the heart and soul Gloria Lee.

Gloria has said nothing about issue #5000. She wants no part of it. She's going through it like an illness in the family, like a tornado warning, like hearing Thich Nhat Hahn hates plums or that Al Larus broke his camera.

But I forge on.


The biggest thanks goes to our readers and contributors.


So yeah, I asked readers to tell us how the Highlights impacted their lives, and here's what people wrote:


It keeps me on track for the many times I get 'caught' in my attachments. I like the poetry best. - Gerald Carter


It's natural.

- Woody Nelson, via Xan


Back in 2003 I was adrift in an ocean of cultural change, having relocated to regional Queensland, Australia to care for my frail-aged parents. I had left behind an extraordinarily rich and rewarding life in Europe, but more to the point, the bottom had fallen out of the 'me' basket-case and I was a free-falling fool without any guidance or the company of folk of like mind (my mother excepted.)

One day, in an attempt to assure myself that I hadn't fallen into terminal insanity, (paradoxically, I had never felt saner), I turned on my computer and did a search. I found the Nonduality Highlights. It's impossible to express my delight and relief at that time. In the ten years since, I've never missed an issue. Gratitude to you, Gloria and Mark for your vision, clarity and tenacity. And also for including my own waffle from time to time...

As they say downunder: You beautie!

With love

miriam louisa


I cut my teeth as a writer here. Thanks.
Vicki Woodyard


NDHighlights has served me the daily dose of ND pointers pointing beyond
themselves for the last couple of years. Thanking the team for all the
effort. Regards, Gururaj.


Dear Jerry and Gloria,

I'm a ridiculously tough case, so desperately look to the Highlights each and every morning to ask "Who am I?" Right now, it's a lifeline as I navigate the conflicting responsibilities of launching my latest book, about awakening through fierce love in the wilderness.

--With deep gratitude,
Gail Storey, author of I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail,


Greetings Jerry, Gloria, Mark, Dustin
and the ones I'm forgetting the names ...
(on purpose or not!)

As David Bowie sang many years ago:
"You can buy God."*

And if we represent the demand
in all this spiritual and/or self-improvement
bonanza offerings by ways of books, clips,
gatherings, it is tremendously judicious
that we can find a more than decent place
to, if not share, at least, pick up
pertinent information, "pointers"
of recognized quality, sublime inspiration
from well-chosen quotes and pix from M. Al Larus.

I could say that the NDH have been so constant
that they have an anchor in my cyber-life,
but that would be bullshit.

It made me buy a couple of books,
thanks to Greg Goode and you,
made me discover fascinating personalities,
irritating in a good way and not.

Yeah, I'd buy a book from Dan Berkow
with my eyes closed, so to speak;
though I can keep a private e-mail
for life.

Okay, you said 'briefly'
and I'll oblige.

The Nondual Hilights
are merely a reminder
of the sacredness
of this life on Earth.



P.S. Yes I can hear your wife whispering.

Bit Number 2

I can't do brief.

Thought I had something more to say,
along the lines of belonging to a community,
invisible, yet tangible and most likely
with a heart full of the good thing.

Kudos for such a nice number;
it is -thousand- after all, five of them,
yeah, that is quite a lease.
Gosh we're spoiled.

The Bowie song is "Joe the Lion"
where is sings "you can buy God"
and the thing is a amidst all the noise and haste,
oups, I mean deceptions and scandals,
there is such a thing as flair and intuition
and NDH are quality-prone, just that.


One word, brief enough?



P.S. Thank gawd you didn't ask about
your "radio show".


Jerry Katz ruined my life. When I came across Jerry's group I was a young impressionable immigrant with brown hair and a dream of becoming somebody. Now I am an old impressionable immigrant with grey hair and a dream of becoming nobody. Thousands of Highlights told me that there is nothing you can write about this non-duality; thousands of talks told me that there is nothing you can say about this non-duality.

Highlights’ Highlights:
What I learned about non-duality:
“To know the reality I have to give up all concepts; however, there is no “one” who can give up all concepts because giving up concepts by a conceptual "I" is in itself a concept and I should give up all effort and remain silent; however, I cannot remain silent unless it happens by itself after “I” give up all giving up. It may all make sense once I stop making sense of it, which I myself cannot do because the “I” which wants to make a sense of it is the “I” that needs to give up making sense of it.” Quite easy. Repeat 5000 times.

I’ve read all Highlights. I remember little and comprehended less. Yet, everything that I am and I do today stems from those seeds planted by [the Highlights]

[The remainder of this letter reads like a eulogy and that's when it could be heard, at my funeral. But if anyone would like to read it, please ask and I'll gladly send you what Mila wrote.]

Mila Makal
Phoenix, Arizona


Congratulations on 5,000 issues! Wow! I think a number like that is actually beyond space and time, don't you?

I want to thank you so much for the Nondual Highlights, this "Daily Nondual Digest" that so many of us read, enjoy every day. It helps me stay in touch with this nebulous, yet connected and altogether wonderful wisdom community.

Of particular note for me, of course, is my deep, heartfelt gratitude for the attention you've shown to Awakening Clarity. You took notice of a "different sort of blog" very early on, and have been extremely generous in helping us become a popular destination for seekers and teachers from around the world.

I remember our mutual friend Scott Kiloby calling you the grandfather of Internet Nonduality. I hope I can add to that honor by naming you one of the Honorary Grandfather's of Awakening Clarity! We couldn't have done it without you, Gloria and all of the NDH roundtable. I wish all of you a happy and successful next 5,000 issues!

Your friend, in truth and love,

Fred Davis
Awakening Clarity


Thank you for your dedication in preparing Nonduality Highlights over so many years and emailing them on a regular basis. It must be a labor of love. I have broadened by understanding from the diversity since each author/teacher adds something unique and valuable. I look forward to your emails.



So that's it folks. Issue number 5000.

Thank you readers and contributors for giving us editors a discipline and a practice. Without you guys, me, Gloria, Mark, and Dustin might have go around chasing Mooji or something. But you allow us to follow a good path.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5001 From: Dustin LindenSmith Date: 2013-08-18
Subject: #5001 - Sat/Sun, August 17/18, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith
#5001 - Sat/Sun, August 17/18, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

The Nonduality Highlights •

I enjoyed reading Friday's 5000th issue, and I also enjoyed seeing Jerry's discomfort at being singled out for some strongly-deserved praise for having started this whole business. I first met Jerry in the lunchroom of a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based marketing research call centre in 1996, and we were trying (with no success!) to hold satsangs by 1998. Then I got really busy for several years and had 3 kids, and sadly, for lots of the 2000s, the Nonduality Highlights were one of the only regular points of contact I had with Jerry -- even though we both live in the same city.

I've always found it difficult to overestimate the value of this daily resource of carefully-curated insights pertaining to this strange and wonderful fascination we all share about nonduality. For today's Highlights of the Highlights, I thought it might be fun to skim across each thousandth issue leading up to this one.

In Issue #1001 (which was technically considered our 1000th issue because of an earlier duplicate), we thanked our founding editors Melody and Jerry, along with the several others who had joined in since then such as Andrew, Michael, Christiana, John, OH, and others. In that issue, edited by Gloria Lee, an interesting piece by Jerry describes his conflicted feelings about the marketing of spiritual practices and such:
i went to a talk the other night
given by the head of Shambhala Spiritual centers
they publish Shambhala Sun
Chogyam Trungpa and all that
so anyway
it was a very good talk
i enjoyed it
the speaker made a big point
of going on how people value and seek
the impermanent in our culture.
namely entertainment, the media, money, etc.
you know what i'm saying

so my friend buys a copy of Shambhala Sun
and gives me the copy
great articles and all
but the ads drove me crazy
they're designed no differently than any other commodity
offered by our culture to a public seeking the temporary pleasure
of the impermanent.
Brightly colored ads they make you feel
you must
go to this retreat center
or own this prayer accessory
'cultivate compassion'
as a full page blue ad for Naropa implores.

the whole thing makes a person feel
like there's a need to do something to get
that's it's not good enough to live one's ordinary life

that evocation seems most un-Buddhist-like

i guess they're figuring the steak will turn out more appealing than the

so they probably know what they're doing.

but that's another problem.
do i want my spiritual community to know what it's doing

From Issue #2000, also edited by Gloria, came these two bits of verse, the first uncredited and the second from Zen master Hakuin:

Deep awakening
requires a tremendous journey,
but nothing much
needs to happen.


Past, present, future: unattainable,
Yet clear as the moteless sky.
Late at night the stool's cold as iron,
But the moonlit window smells of plum. 

Issue #3000 was ALSO edited by Gloria Lee (yeesh, doesn't anyone else get to edit the milestone issues?), and featured this nice little excerpt:

Everyone is this naturalness. When we start calling it enlightenment and awakening, thought can use that to compare, right? But if we say this naturalness or this simple presence, thought can't run a comparison study. The whole invitation is to look prior to language, prior to concepts, prior to thought's projection. 

What's looking and what's seeing? There's not that much there. There's just this simple, ordinary presence, and it is so unadorned. You can run right by it if you're looking for something fancy. It's always been here, it has no age, it doesn't really have any properties or qualities, it's just this intelligence. It's so quiet, that's why they call it silence. 

- Pamela Wilson from Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Wisdom 

Jerry took over the reins for Issue #4000 and featured an interesting piece of writing from the pseudonymous Sri Gawn Tu Fahr. Here are four examples of his aphoristic musings:

Logic definitely has its place. I keep mine gagged and tightly bound in the garage.

Got egg on your face? Feeling disgraced? No worries. Perk up your smile, light up your eyes and fling omelets of love high into the skies.

Congratulations! I heard that you lost your mind. Don’t waste your time looking for it. Enjoy your newfound freedom.

This is no journey’s end. Love is all there is.

And with that, I close this issue! To all of our readers, please accept our warmest thanks for being here.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5002 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-08-20
Subject: #5002 - Monday, August 19, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5002 - Monday,В August 19, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
As a solid rock cannot be moved by the wind,
the wise are not shaken by praise or blame.
When they listen to the words of the dharma,
their mind becomes calm and clear like the waters of a still lake.
В ~Buddha
From the book: "The Dhammapada"
via Daily Dharma by Dainen Kelley

Yasar Koç Photography (from Turkey)

"It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we
feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living.
Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because
everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us;
because we stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing.
That is why the sadness passes: the new presence inside us, the presence that
has been added, has entered our heart, has gone into its innermost chamber and
is no longer even there, - is already in our bloodstream.
And we don't know what it was. We could easily be made to believe that
nothing happened, and yet we have changed, as a house that a guest has entered
changes. We can't say who has come, perhaps we will never know, but many
signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed
in us, long before it happens.
And that is why it is so important to be solitary and attentive when one is sad:
because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps
into us is so much closer to life than that other loud and accidental point of
time when it happens to us as if from outside.
The quieter we are, the more patient and open we are in our sadnesses, the more
deeply and serenely the new presence can enter us, and the more we can make it
our own, the more it becomes our fate."
~ Rainer Maria Rilke via Aile Shebar on Facebook

"Make peace with the universe. Take joy in it.
It will turn to gold. Resurrection will be now.
Every moment, a new beauty."

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
~ Wendell Berry
(The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry)
via Panhala by Joe Riley

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5003 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-08-21
Subject: #5003 - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

#5003 - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights


Listen to Nonduality Network Talk Radio, Wednesday, August 21 from 12:30 - 1:30PM EST
With Mandee Labelle and Jerry Katz.

Check your local time here:

Listen at

Call-in using Skype. Our id is nondualitynetwork

Or use the phone. Our number is 1-902-494-2487

Let us know what's going on with you, what you're looking at outside your window, what you're reading, or just call and be part of the show. You don't need a reason.

Our website and archive of shows is at


Kicking the lazy separate self butt....

"There is no doer" is not the same as "there is nothing to do".

There is no doer might be taken by the personal construct, the body-
mind organism still under the impression of being a separate individual
that there is nothing to do.

So the statement there is no doer is taken as a concept. And a position
is taken in regards to this statement. The interpretation often leads
to passivity, complacency, and a quiet desperation.

I can't do anything is not what is meant...

There is no doer, is a description of how it already is.
And the invitation is to investigate,
is to find in your own experience that what
this concept is pointing at, if it is true.

So in a way the concept there is no doer invites, asks the reader
to look, to investigate, to do something.
It invites the beingness you are already, but which is wrapped up in
wrong concepts, to start questioning this individual you think
you are.

If this thirst for reality takes over it can be intense, passionate
and as it takes over more and more, it is seen and recognized
that the beingness, oneness has been there from beginning to start.
It is the One looking for Itself.

The search is not a person trying to find enlightenment,
It is Oneness trying to wriggle Itself out of the confines of
this personal construct.
All the beliefs which tells you
right now that you are an individual,
separate and independent.

Actually Beingness would love to
kick your lazy separate self butt seriously
so you can finally start questioning this false identity.

~ ~ ~

More from Anamika, including her striking photographs, here:


В Here's a dialogue from Nonduality Salon:

Can I please get on overview, a summation, a practical suggestion or some guidance to effect change in my life. These theoretical discussions are indeed fascinating, but my real relationship to non-duality is one of pretense and inauthenticity; it's application to everyday life remains elusive, and all I want is a taste. Is anybody listening? Please?
"Seeking" Peace,

В Sandeep responds:


Who on earth has told you that a formula........and there is another formula to be learnt to apply the previous formula in given situations?

Non-Duality has become another hackneyed premise........whose universality is to be debated, discussed, churned and application strategies to be arrived at.

A relationship to or with the very duality.

Aka, there seems to be a "you"......and there is this doctrine of non-duality proclaimed by half-assed Gurus of today's times.

To see that the conclusion " my real relationship to non-duality is one of pretense and inauthenticity" an arising, persisting and dissipating thought of such a conclusion.

To see that thought creates.........and invests in it's hoopla, by inferring a thinker......separate from the thought.

In the very creating of something as non-duality.......the sense of a duality, is created.

No, relationship can ever be created with Advaita (a term whose translation is Not-Two)

There is no application of Advaita, to either mundane day to day living.......or to so called evolved spiritual living.

In and as the very mundane living that is taking and through a thought creation popularly known as "D__" the very Advaita in seeming expression.

In and as the very doing.......whether it is picking your nose.........drinking some coffee......deceiving your spouse......conning a customer to book a giving a dollar in charity to a hobo at the corner.... the reading of Non-dual stuff and participating in such forums...

....the seeing that....never has duality got and as any of such actions.

That there is a sense of an actioning (whatever be the content of the action).........but there is never any discrete-ness getting created in that very actioning.

That no matter how it appears to be like.......seems like........a divisiveness is never created.

A prattling.......

Advaita, which is non-division-ness……… doesn't allow any story to be held and maintained.

Why not?


Because any story requires divisions to be considered as if real……for example… the story-teller… and that about which a story is being told.


Or the past of the story-teller……… in contrast with the present and future.


Or, the way one experience or idea affects the story-teller…….. in contrast with another.


This means that "nonduality" as a concept is necessarily expendable.

Because any concept involves the story that produced that concept ……and to which that concept refers.


Nonduality as a concept……….. already involves a story of duality ……..and that which is not duality.


Once there is an involvement… constructing definitions…….. there is a producing of a story.


The activity that constructs storying is intrinsic to the object popularly known as "humans".


There are all kinds of stories that go to make a human.


Aka, the story of birth and death….. of family……. of society…….. of pain and pleasure…


….. of sex…….. of violence……. of love……. of rejection…….. of having…….. of losing…


…… of emotional reactions... etc.


Every religion involves its story…….. as does every teacher and teaching……. every culture.


Even the story ………that there is no story…….. is a story.


One holding no story……… AND..... not holding the story of having no story……. is neither engaged nor disengaged.


Is……. not involved ……..nor indifferent…….as there isn't any story to be indifferent to or indifferent about.


Let-Gone…….. if it is not a story about letting go…… is simply the stillness ………of no story being constructed.

Including the story of something as stillness.




I've been reading and enjoying the highlights for years and I really
appreciate the time and effort you have all put into it.

Thank you very much.

Dave Benstead


NDH [Nonduality Highlights]


I collect those clocks

that chirp different bird calls

on the hour.

People are always selling them

at yard sales.

I have them all over the house

and once every hour

it sounds like you're in a

feathered forest.

What you all do is like

that surprise.

It's always the same,

it's always different

and it's always fun.


Group: NDhighlights Message: 5004 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-08-21
Subject: #5004 - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

#5004 - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights



Thanks to callers and listeners to Nonduality Network Talk Radio today. The show is online at

Callers: Dhanya from Maui, Don from New York City. Music by Deva Premal. Audio clip of Paul Hedderman speaking. Some craziness, fun, and serious chat too.



In her call to the show, Dhanya referred to this article she wrote:

Magical Beings

Dhanya Durga Moffitt

For almost 30 years I was very sad about one thing, that one thing being I had not been able to meet Neem Karoli Baba in form. True, I’d come close. I visited Dada’s house in Allahabad in January of 1973, and stayed with the satsang there who were anxiously awaiting Maharaji’s arrival.

Alas I had to leave and go back to the States. And as it turned out, for the first time in eleven years, Maharaji did not visit Dada’s house in Allahabad that winter. The next time the Westerners saw him was in March of that year in Brindaban.

When I returned to the States I focused on my desire to get back to India and meet Maharaji. I spent all of my time trying to arrange a journey India that would fulfill my obligation of finishing college and not cause problems for my family, whom I had already put through a lot. In September of 1973, in the midst of my carefully constructed plans, I received the news that Maharaji had passed away.

I felt as if I’d been punched in the stomach. How could someone whom I thought of as my guru die before I had even met him? How could that have happened?

For the next 30 years I spent most of my time with the Neem Karoli Baba satsang both in India and America. These people became my dearest friends, my true family; and their stories of Maharaji were my sacred scriptures.

But always in the back of my mind was the desire to meet a similar magical being, to have a personal relationship with someone like him, and a doubt that Maharaji could really have been my guru as I had never met him.

The desire to meet and be with someone like Maharaji actually got me into a lot of trouble, and I had some bad experiences with a couple of fakes whom I took at the time to be authentic. However, along the way I did meet some wonderful teachers from various traditions and non-traditions whose teachings proved very helpful.

Finally in the end, after searching for 30 years for a magical being, I met Swami Dayananda who managed the biggest magic trick of all. He was able to show me that what I had been seeking my entire life I already was. What a wonder! And what a blessing! Thus dhanyoham, (dhanya aham). I am truly blessed!



Awakening and Beyond

by Colin Drake

Chapter by Chapter Summary

Chapter one considers the concept that staying awake is like ‘walking along a razor’s edge’ as has been defined in The Upanishads and was the topic of a famous novel by Somerset Maugham. Or as Jesus is purported to say: “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7 v.10) The thrust of this chapter is that awakening is actually remarkably simple, see appendix 1 (Investigation of Experience) which outlines the framework for investigating one’s moment to moment experience. It also highlights how easy it is to fall asleep again and in this respect staying awake could be said to be like ‘walking a razor’s edge’. Luckily however, re-awakening is even easier than the first awakening and so ‘nodding off’ is not a problem provided one continually wakes up again …

Chapter two considers the looming global environmental catastrophe and posits that humanity can only overcome this by solving the problems of overpopulation and the unsustainable exploitation of the earth’s mineral resources. These are caused by those old chestnuts - lust and greed - and this chapter considers how these may be reduced by awakening to our true identity.

Chapter three is concerned with debunking the myth that we need to achieve union (yoga) or integration with the Absolute, for when the subject is examined there is no separation to be found, and thus no union or integration is possible.

Chapter four deals with giving up our personal ‘story’ of a separate being (object) and seeing this as it actually is … just a story.

Chapter five is the answer to a question I received, the gist of which is: If I identify with Awareness why would I want to do anything? The answer concerns the function of conscious beings and the purpose of life itself. This was the first article in a set of four I wrote for the spiritual ‘blog’ of Hanumandass.

Chapter six is the second of these which deals with the questions of whether there are different degrees of awakening, and whether awakening is gradual or sudden.

Chapter seven is the third in the series and is my answer to the question: Is practice necessary? The article deals with this on three levels –body, mind and awakening.

Chapter eight is the last in this series which deals with the problem of identifying oneself as seeker, or practitioner. It also highlights the essential meaningless of labels that attempt to categorize human beings, and deals with the pitfalls of ‘reading meaning into things that have no meaning’.

Chapter nine is a dialogue between myself and Hanumandass which resulted from my answering his blogged question: ‘how to apply nondual Awareness to the external world?’ The gist of my answer was that one does not (need to) apply this in the normal way, for once one awakens then this changes one’s relations with, and interaction in, the external world for the better. To back this up I sent him a poem on the subject - Awakening is Immensely Practical – which had a profound effect.

Chapter ten is an attempt at a logical proof of the assertion that ‘I am Awareness’. It gives a set of premises to back this up and also presents the proof in the Aristotelian format – premise one, premise two, conclusion.
Chapter eleven is a dialogue between myself and a reader of Beyond The Separate Self who greatly appreciated the book but was still continually overcome by memories and negative thought patterns.

Chapter twelve was written for a website called ‘The Awakened Eye’ which is dedicated to the visual arts created by those who have had some degree of awakening, and also to the fact that creating artworks can foster this awakening. It deals with the general subject of ‘Awareness and Creativity’.

Chapter thirteen is my response to a critic who questioned the fact that awakening was freely available to those who were prepared to investigate reality for themselves, and who also asserted that one had to renounce the world of form to achieve peace (by awakening).

Chapter fourteen is a dialogue with a reader of A Light Unto Your Self which concerns viewing one’s negative emotions from (identifying with) pure Awareness, how to allow the old thought patterns (that create these) to just come and go without buying into them. It also considers the fact that as one awakens one’s emotions gradually change, allowing for the enjoyment of the positive ones whilst letting the negative ones go.

Chapter fifteen is a dialogue with a German professor who had enjoyed a first awakening but was unsure of its veracity. So he asked a series of questions concerning the link between (identifying as) Awareness and awakening.

Chapter sixteen is a poem I wrote in praise of (Universal) Consciousness in its two modes – at rest as Awareness- and in motion as cosmic energy (manifestation). In Hindu mythology the first of these is denoted by Siva and the second by Sakti.

Chapter seventeen consists of my answers to a set of questions posed by Jerry Katz, my first e-book publisher, who was writing a book on ‘Life After Awakening’.

Chapter eighteen deals with ‘the universe and consciousness’ from a scientific point of view and attempts to show how this agrees with the model of nonduality: that there is only consciousness existing in two states - still, as Awareness, and in motion, as energy.

Chapter nineteen considers whether ‘sitting meditation’, which entails concentration on a mantra, or a symbol, or the breath is of any use in achieving freedom. Or, whether it is counter-productive as it posits something (in the future) to achieve when the concentration deepens, thus positing that freedom is not already here. Whereas, freedom is always ‘here and now’ just requiring the recognition of its presence.

Chapter twenty reflects on ‘good and evil’ and attempts to show that they both stem from the same motivation, that of becoming happy, or fulfilled. Their outward expression varies depending on the state of comparative ‘awakening’ exhibited by the doer.

Chapter twenty-one asks the question of whether a Guru, in the traditional sense, is necessary on the path of Jnana-Yoga (knowledge) or self-inquiry.

Chapter twenty-two attempts to show that ‘Love’ can be defined as the state of ‘No Separation’ between the lover and the beloved.

Chapter twenty-three is an exercise using the body/mind as an instrument through which the lover – consciousness at rest, pure awareness – and the beloved – consciousness in motion, the manifestation – can ‘know’ and love each other.

Chapter twenty-four posits that the realization of the Absolute, by investigation of experience, leads to nirvana. Or you could say that nirvana is synonymous with being totally identified as, and with, Awareness - The Absolute Reality.

Chapter twenty-five considers how two nondual perspectives, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, through the Upanishads, reflect and inform one another.

Order ... Awakening and Beyond, by Colin Drake:



Group: NDhighlights Message: 5005 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-08-23
Subject: #5005 - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5005 - Thursday,В August 22, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
To know no one teaching,
to express nothing,
to say nothing,
to explain nothing,
to announce nothing,
to indicate nothing and
to designate nothing
is the entrance into non-duality.
~Vimalakirti Sutra

Edward Hill
Photosphere: Brighton Pavilion Pier

What we are looking for is what is looking.
~St.Francis of Assisi

A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We
know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins
or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul. Go into your
own ground and learn to know yourself there.
~Meister Eckhart
via Along The Way

When you start your spiritual path, you look for, and follow,
the synchronicities. Then you reach a point where you realize
that synchronicity is all there is.
~Brian Piergrossi

Bob O'Hearn Photography

Look, and it can't be seen.
Listen, and it can't be heard.
Reach, and it can't be grasped.
Above, it isn't bright.
Below, it isn't dark.
Seamless, unnamable,
it returns to the realm of nothing.
Form that includes all forms,
image without an image,
subtle, beyond all conception.
Approach it and there is no beginning;
follow it and there is no end.
You can't know it, but you can be it,
at ease in your own life.
Just realize where you come from:
this is the essence of wisdom.
Yasar Koç Photography (on Facebook)
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5006 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-08-23
Subject: #5006 - Friday, August 23, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

#5006 - Friday, August 23, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights

Inline image 1

Excerpts from I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail by Gail Storey (Mountaineers Books, 2013)

"Gail Storey was definitely not a hiker, never mind a camper. But when her husband, Porter, leaves his job as a hospice doctor to hike the 2,663-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, she refuses to let him go alone--even though the prospect of leaving their comfortable Houston home, hiking twenty miles a day while popping anti-depressants and hormones, and sleeping outside for six months terrifies her. Carrying Porter's handmade ultralight equipment, they sizzle in the Mojave Desert, nearly drown fording a swollen river, kick steps up icy mountains in the High Sierra, and stumble through the lava fields of Oregon. With every step and switchback, as the trials of the trail test and deepen their relationship, Gail and Porter each walk into the question Who am I? Gail, confronting dangerous weight loss and her mother's prolonged illness back home, feels herself irrevocably changed by life on the trail. She faces down a mountain lion and fierce alpine storms, alternately frightened by nature's power and inspired by its profound force--finding a wisdom that three master's degrees and a life in the city never taught her. This journey of harrowing hilarity and reluctant revelations will be loved by active hikers (appendices include details of their unique ultralight gear and other essential how-to information), fans of female adventure stories, and those just as happy at home kicking back with a glass of champagne." -from

These excerpts are taken from three different scenes contained within a much larger story. Further information is available at the links:

When we were first dating, I went to see a psychotherapist so I wouldn’t screw it up. I didn’t want to fall into my old pattern of advance/wrong man/retreat. But the therapist, in his deep, morose voice, said of Porter: He helps the moribund to diiiiie. It wasn’t the encouragement I was looking for. I ran out and never went back.

Day in, day out, throughout our marriage, Porter had absorbed the pain of dying people and those who loved them. He became the steady presence that allowed for the stark reality that everyone who lived also died. I became the steady presence at home that allowed him to rest, eat, prepare to bear witness again.

No wonder he wanted to walk through the cycles of nature--death, birth, growth. No wonder I wanted to walk with him, toward nature, each other, ourselves.

I took back two liters of our water and headed in a run up the trail before he could take them away.

Help me, I cried to the emptiness of the sun-baked landscape. My heart was a rock I wanted broken open, my thoughts a tangled underbrush I wanted scorched to the ground. I ran until out of breath, out of space and time. I forgot who I was, or where, until rounding a switchback--I stopped.

Sauntering toward me was an enormous cat, tawny gold as sunlit sand. Her muscular shoulders rose and fell, her haunches swayed side to side against the solid rock of the mountainside. Her long tail flowed behind her, catching flecks of light. The world slowed to the rhythm of her movement.

Suddenly she saw me. She raised her sculpted head, looked through me with her green-gold eyes.

We contemplated each other.

Gaze, rest, gaze. Rest, listen, rest. Listen, wait, listen. Gaze, listen, be.

Finally, she didn’t so much break as dissolve our gaze. She turned her massive body gracefully in the narrow space of the trail, back toward the way she came. Then she was gone.

In the absolute quiet, everything was light and clear. The mountains fell away. All there was was the loveliness of silence. I existed to listen. I was the listening. 

~ ~ ~

The next morning we pried open our socks, frozen and stiff as boards, and forced our cold feet into them. Our boots were frozen too. Even the laces were stiff, hard to tighten and tie with our freezing fingers.

After cold fords through Wallace and Wright creeks, we arrived at swollen Tyndall Creek. It looked even more dangerous than reputed. I held my breath as Porter crossed first to test the power and depth of the current.

“Undo your pack’s hip belt,” he called from the other side. “If you lose your balance in the current, shrug off your pack so its weight doesn’t drag you downstream.”

“And lose my pack?” I hollered back.

“Better than losing your life.”

Frozen on the bank, I stared into the deep rushing water.

Finally I stepped in and lurched drunkenly even with my trekking poles. Facing upstream for balance, I slowly sidestepped across. But my foot got caught between two rocks on the uneven bottom, and the rapids knocked me down.

First there was white, the cold foam of swirling bubbles. I sputtered and gurgled, fought hard to get up, but I couldn’t. I thrashed harder, and the water gave way beneath. My legs flailed above me. I sank, butt-heavy.

I landed softly on the bottom, half-reclining on my pack. I watched my sunhat rise above me to the surface. It was bright up there, but deep down here, everything was blue. I was drowning in blueness. I bounced in the upwelling, downwelling. I slipped into a blue-shift of time running backwards. I saw my mother, leaning into a troubled smile.

But someone was parting the air. He was a shadow, head to water, leaning from the sky. I looked up through web-work under water, saw the fine lace of trees, sunlight latticed through their branches. The world was halved by sunlight.

Porter plunged in and dragged me out, body, pack, and all. I sliced the air with my icy bones. We collapsed on the rocks. Water poured from us in rivulets. A waterfall of snowmelt myself, my teeth chattered like clacking pebbles.

I sat there reeling with stillness. Inside, I felt like the river, a wider, deeper version of myself. My skin tingled from the bracing cold, my eyes opened at the brightness of everything around me. Nature, much more powerful than I, let me live.

~ ~ ~

“Who are you?” Porter used to ask in our early days together. “Who are you?” I would ask. The loveliness of the question wove its way so deeply into our life together on the trail, we no longer needed to ask it. We couldn’t even know our answer, we could only be it.

Who am I? reverberated through me now, all around, through the airport public address system. The airport was full of us, our eyes meeting in this question. In our collective awareness of even the question, I moved from fear to an odd peace.

I hung around LAX with my backpack for a midafternoon flight. It was delayed, and later I floated around the El Paso airport for my connecting flight, also delayed. From the trail, my body had spit me out, into this, right here, the wordlessly full and strangely peaceful now.

~ ~ ~

 I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail by Gail Storey (Mountaineers Books, 2013)

further info:

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5007 From: Dustin LindenSmith Date: 2013-08-24
Subject: #5007 - Sat/Sun, August 24/25, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith
#5007 - Sat/Sun, August 24/25, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

The Nonduality Highlights •

For today's Highlights of the Highlights, I've selected a comprehensive piece on the practice of "True Meditation" by Adyashanti that Mark included in issue #4483 from January, 2012.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mark [email protected]>
Date: Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Subject: [NDhighlights] #4483 - Sunday, January 15, 2012
To: [email protected]

Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Adyashanti

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5008 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-08-26
Subject: #5008 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5008 - Monday,В August 26, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
There is only 'One' Self in All Creatures.
The One appears many,
Just as the moon appears many,
Reflected in water.
~Amritabindu Upanishad

Rashani RГѓВ©aВ art collage

The mystic investigates himself; the artist and scientist explore the world. If
both go far enough they inevitably end up with the same conclusion: that
everything and everyone share the same reality. It is only because either party
doesnÂ’t go all the way that there seem to be differences.
~Rupert Spira
The Essence of Non-Duality, Rupert Spira workshop
Join Rupert Spira for a pre-conference workshop on Oct. 24th from 2-5pm
Many free talks here:
There is nothing in this world which does not speak.

There is nothing in this world which does not speak.
Every thing and every being is continually calling out its nature, its character, its secret;
the more the inner sense is open, the more capable it becomes of hearing the voice of all things.
If the soul were awakened to feel what the birds feel when singing in the forest at dawn,
man would know that their prayer is even more exalting than his own, for it is more natural.
There is nothing in the world which is not the instrument of God.
Sound is the sign of life; in the temples of gods and goddesses,
in Hindu churches, bells ringing show life even in the silence.
Sound is hidden under words, and words are hidden under sound.
When one perceives the words, one does not perceive the sound underneath,
and when one perceives sound, one does not perceive the words underneath.
When the poet perceives words, the musician perceives sound underneath.
The mystic perceives even in that sound a Word which was God.
Tone continues, time expires.
Tone lives on time, time assimilates tone.
God is not in time. Therefore He is in the silence.
Sound is part of the world of time.
Rhythm cannot exist without tone, nor tone without rhythm.
They are interdependent for their existence, and it is the same with time and space.
Noisiness comes from restlessness, and restlessness is the destructive rhythm.
Man's atmosphere explains the condition of his soul.
The further we go, so the more our disputes and arguments cease.
They fade away until there is no color left in them; and when all the color has gone,
the white light comes which is the light of God.
Nirvana means no color. What is color? Right or wrong, sin or virtue - all this is color,
and in the realm of truth they fade away, as every color fades in the brightness of light.
He who has realized this has entered nirvana.
A Sufi must always recognize in God the source of all things and the origin of all beings.
A Sufi must observe in the continual unfoldment of the spirit the birth of the soul.
~ Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan
Alan Larus Photography
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5009 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-08-27
Subject: #5009 - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

#5009 - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights

Inline image 1

The Natural Bliss of Being
by Jackson Peterson
"Chapter 5

Three Essential Approaches to Realization 

There are essentially three approaches to realization within the frameworks or paradigms in which I have been taught. In practice, the most appropriate approach would be dictated by the capacity of the student. In the approach known as the immediate realization or direct awareness approach there is no concept of there being something wrong with the student that needs fixing or repairing. The perspective of this teaching is taking the goal as the path. The goal is realizing the core aspect of consciousness that has always been perfect and has never needed some help or improvement in the first place. We need to recognize that core aspect of consciousness as being our current perceiving awareness, just as it is. The path of practice is simply remaining in recognition of the existing naked awareness that we just recognized. It is the knowingness within all experience. It is the changeless perceiving within all changing phenomena whether as perceptions, sensations, feelings, emotions or thoughts. This default observing awareness is always a non-evaluating observing. It is an observing without a defined observer. It is awareness without thoughts about the various experiences observed. The thinking about, comes later when and if the conceptualizing mind becomes active.


For instance, it is through opening our eyes that seeing just happens. No one is making seeing happen. The seeing is there by default. It’s completely impersonal, meaning that it remains the same sensory function whether you have a personal sense of identity or not. The same applies when we hear a sound. We don’t have to do something special to make hearing happen. This is true for all five senses as well. But most of us don’t notice that we also have an impersonal, default quality of consciousness or awareness present at all times. It is that awareness which is registering or noticing the input from the five senses. It is also that which is noticing all thoughts and mental phenomena as well. It is possible that someone could recognize this default, impersonal quality of observing awareness as being who and what they actually are, as opposed to the mind’s believing in an imagined identity. This newly recognized observing awareness is timeless and changeless presence, our True Nature. It is this sudden shift of self-recognition that is aimed at through the methods of the direct awareness or immediate realization approach. It seems those who have immediate self-realization with this approach upon their first exposure, are much less burdened with psychological issues and intellectual grasping to begin with. They are more open and ripe for this type of skillful intervention. We could say these individuals are of the highest capacity.

The second approach is for the more average seeker. This approach directs the student to engage in gradual practices of meditation in order to bring the mind to some degree of stillness, calm peacefulness and transparency.  Most Zen today is taught through the “gradual” approach to realization.  This approach requires periods of sitting meditation and a practice of mindfulness throughout one’s daily activities. Mindfulness training is simply being mindful of what you’re doing as your doing it. In other words you are being present to your actions, feelings, thoughts and perceptions in the immediate experience, as opposed to fumbling through your day in a mental fog or a state of trance-like daydreaming. Through many months of this type of training one may come to a significant state of clarity, significant enough to warrant moving into the first category of approach as mentioned above. Due to the fact that the mind has been brought to a greater state of stillness and transparency, a more matured condition develops that could be called “ripeness”. This student would then be “easy picking’s” for a teacher of the immediate realization or direct awareness approach. In my experience the bulk of seekers fit appropriately into this gradual approach category, at least initially.

The third approach deals with yogic practices that work with the internal energies of the body along with meditation. These practices may include yogic meditation postures, clearing blockages within the inner subtle energy body and seeking to transform our ordinary state of mind into that of an enlightened higher-consciousness. It doesn’t matter what one’s philosophical or religious beliefs are in this case, as they will all be dissolved along with ego-consciousness through the use of the energy practices themselves. What remains is your original pristine awareness in the knowing of its own spiritual Beingness. Although this approach is the most strenuous, it is the most profound in its depth of realization. All doubts regarding your true spiritual identity are swept away. 

As a teacher, I teach and utilize all three approaches, often in combination based on the capacity of the student. The realization achieved is ultimately the same in all three approaches with slightly different nuances based on the differences within each student’s constitution. Let’s examine the three approaches in greater detail: 

I like to refer to the immediate realization approach as the direct awareness approach because the entire modus operandi of the methods is geared around the internal dynamics of awareness itself. This approach is simply to recognize the already-existing, perfect aspect of consciousness that is the awareness within the stream of experience in terms of thoughts and sensory perceptions. Then after authentic recognition has occurred, one simply rests as that changeless awareness allowing it to blossom fully as it transforms all other states of mind naturally and organically into itself.  No other agency is utilized or required. It is understood that we have within our own awareness or consciousness the full capacity to realize our own true nature without any knowledge or special transmission having been acquired from without.  Let’s now continue by acquiring a deeper understanding of the most basic concepts regarding the direct awareness approach.
~ ~ ~
Here are links to Amazon and to the author's website:

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5010 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-08-28
Subject: #5010 - Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5010 - Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

Inline image 1

Nonduality Network Talk Radio is on the air today, Wednesday, August 28 from 12:30PM to 1:30PM EST. Listen at

Our in-studio guest will be Jeff Warren. Mandee will be joining us from California via Skype. We won't be taking calls from listeners for this show. This will be a live, unedited interview. Anything goes. 

Jeff recently spoke at the Science and Nonduality Conference in The Netherlands. The abstract of his talk partly reads,

"If nonduality is going to be taken seriously by the intellectual mainstream – and it should be, both for the scientific insights it promises and its potential to help address human suffering – then accounts of nonduality need to become more honest and more creative. They need to reflect the real richness and complexity of being a (mostly) selfless human on the 21st century street.

"How does nonduality affect your sex life? Your marriage? Your kids? Your Smartphone addiction and your antidepressant meds? What does it feel like to get drunk? To get beat up? (not a hard to imagine scenario). It’s not only that nondual content needs to become more honest and creative, so does its form. Where are the nondual hip-hop artists and documentary filmmakers and interface designers? For nondual insights to maximize their helpfulness, The One needs to join the parade of The Many, the messy relative world where the rest of us live and love and play."

This discussion could go places no nonduality interview has dared to go. I'm not kidding. 


Here's a little more about Jeff:

Jeff is the author of The Head Trip (Random House 2007). He won Gold and Silver medals at the 2012 Canadian National Magazine Awards for his feature “Whale Rising,” and another Gold medal in 2011 for his piece on the fashionable jungle brew ayahuasca,”The Tourists of Consciousness.” 

Jeff has written for The New York Times, The New Scientist, Discover, Reader’s Digest, The Walrus, Maisonneuve, The National Post and The Globe and Mail. He is a founding producer of CBC Radio’s The Current, has written and produced a bunch of shows for CBC’s Ideas, and has done a few random TV gigs as well. 

For the past 10 years Jeff has been working on a book about about the experience of advanced meditation and the outer frontiers of human exploration. Tentatively entitled Unfixed, the idea is to present a lucid bullshit-free account of how spiritual practice is a radical and thrilling inquiry into the nature of self and reality. 


Join Jeff Warren, Mandee, and me as a new wave of radio carries nonduality into the streets, floods the basements, and shows up on the kitchen table in a glass next to the orange juice.

Nonduality Network Talk Radio: Wednesday, August 28 from 12:30PM to 1:30PM EST. Listen at

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5011 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-08-30
Subject: #5011 August 29, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

Begin forwarded message:

Here's your Daily Poem from the Poetry Chaikhana --


The Good Darkness

By Hakim Sanai
(1044? - 1150?)

English version by Coleman Barks


There is great joy in darkness.
Deepen it.

Blushing embarrassments
in the half-light

but a scorched, blackened, face
can laugh like an Ethiopian,
or a candled moth,
coming closer to God.

Brighter than any moon, Bilal,
Muhammed's Black Friend,
shadowed him on the night journey.

Keep your deepest secret hidden
in the dark beneath daylight's
uncovering and night's spreading veil.

Whatever's given you by those two
is for your desires. They poison,
eventually. Deeper down, where your face
gets erased, where life-water runs silently,

there's a prison with no food and drink,
and no moral instruction, that opens on a garden
where there's only God. No self,
only the creation-word, BE.

You, listening to me, roll up the carpet
of time and space. Step beyond,
into the one word.

In blindness, receive what I say.
Take "There is no good..."
for your wealth and your strength.

Let "There is nothing..." be
a love-wisdom in your wine.


-- from The Hand of Poetry: Five Mystic Poets of Persia, with Lectures by Inayat Khan, Translated by Coleman Barks

/ Photo by TheBroth3R /


Thought for the Day:
В В В by Ivan M. Granger

Every person you interact with is within you.
Every object you touch is within you.
The moment of your enlightenment
reconciles the whole world.


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Hi Gloria -

Wow. What is there to say about a poem like this? Just reading it works its alchemy on the awareness. But I'm a talkative fellow, so I think I'll say a few things anyway...

What is this "Good Dark"? Light is so often considered one of the attributes of the Divine, but we forget that dark too is also a metaphor for God. The Eternal is sometimes called dark because It is beyond the ability of the limited intellect to see. It is the realm where there are no longer separations; nothing is seen as separate from That. When the individual encounters such immensity, perception in a sense collapses; there is merging and awareness, but the faculty of seeing distinct objects and beings, even a distinct self, is overwhelmed. It can feel like a shining darkness.

So the Sacred Dark, the Good Dark, is God vast beyond comprehension, Being that gathers everything, even light, even perception, into Itself. This is the darkness where there is "great joy." This is the immense Mystery.

But what does Sanai mean when he says "blushing embarrassments / in the half-light / confuse"? And he follows with, "but a scorched, blackened, face / can laugh like an Ethiopian, / or a candled moth, / coming closer to God." What is he saying here?

First, why does a "blackened face" allow us to laugh and come closer to God? Because, if we understand the Divine to be that living, mysterious darkness, then when we become "blackened," we finally recognize ourselves as the same as that darkness. In the "half-light," where we are still distracted by our own faces, we are confused, more aware of ourselves than the holy mystery we touch. We become like a young lover too nervous and self-conscious to simply lose oneself in the embrace of the Beloved.

Sanai is telling us we must be burned like a "candled moth," "blackened" until we have no face of our own separate from the "Good Dark," and then we can melt silently into the darkness and mystery of the Divine One. This is what he means when he later speaks of "Deeper down, where your face / gets erased, where life-water runs silently..."

What do you think Sanai is talking about when he speaks of a place where "there's a prison with no food and drink, / and no moral instruction," but that place surprisingly "opens on a garden / where there's only God"?

The prison is for the false self, the little self, the ego. There is "no food and drink" to satisfy the ego's desires, not merely its sensual desires, but it's intellectual desires go unfed, as well. This is the place where concepts fail, where reality is no longer parceled out into dichotomies of good and bad, right and wrong, making even "moral instruction" a hollow thing. The ego-mind is no longer able to say 'this is separate from that.' In the ego's starvation, in the mind's deep stillness, reality is perceived as one, whole, unsegmented, pure. That "prison with no food and drink" thus leads you to the garden "where there's only God."

This awareness is what Sanai is asking of us when he tells us to "roll up the carpet / of time and space" (both belonging to the ego's attempts to segment reality), to "step... into the one word" (rather than the ego-mind's many words). This is what it means to say "There is no good..." (or bad, no division of opposites), "There is nothing..." (except the Divine Wholeness that is all things, emptying individual 'things' of their substance). If you can settle deeply into this awareness, with supreme poise and balance, then you will find yourself drinking the ecstasy of true love-wisdom!


Share Your Thoughts on today's poem or my commentary...

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Ivan M. Granger's original poetry, stories and commentaries are Copyright © 2002 - 2013 by Ivan M. Granger.
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Group: NDhighlights Message: 5012 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-08-31
Subject: #5012 - Friday, August 30, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5012 - Friday, August 30, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights


Our most recent Nonduality Network Talk Radio show, with guest Jeff Warren may be heard here:

Our next show, Wednesday September 4, at 12:30 EST, will feature Highlights editor, jazz musician, writer and food critic, father of three, Dustin LindenSmith LIVE in the studio. Mark your calendar now and let us know any questions you have for Dustin.


More Peppers

by Rafael Stoneman

You have been living in a house.
Now you wish to move out of the house.
You want more space.
But is not the house already in space?
Need you get rid of your body or your thoughts
in order to be free?
If freedom depends on getting rid of anything,
can it really be free?
Is it that you are attached to your body or is it that
your body is attached to you?
And what after all is attachment?
Is the head attached to the neck?
Is the grass attached to the dirt?
Is the fish attached to water?
Is attachment not natural?
You have been trying to fit into an image of yourself
but you are just too big to fit.
Just as you can no longer wear the pants you wore at age 10,
you can no longer wear the mask you wore yesterday.
Can you walk around headless and see through eyes of timeless love?
The doorway into your unimagined nature is too narrow for your imagination to fit through. In other words. you are either interested in reality or in fantasy in this very moment. Which is it?
Hardship brings a kind of surrender, a giving up of a feeling of will. Life brings hardship like this so that It can shake the tree of its deadwood and then build a temporary nest in your Heart to nurture some good eggs that will hatch into a bit of love and light for the world.
Do not ask to suffer and do not ask not to suffer. Just accept what life has prepared for you. Nothing less. Nothing more.
I once felt that I wanted You to fly me around on Your back. Now I know that I just want to be grounded in You.
These forms won’t live forever. This formlessness will. Therefore, plant all seeds in the soil of formlessness.

- rafael


Burning Man is happening.

What Is Burning Man?

Once a year, tens of thousands of participants gather in Nevada's Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever. Burning Man is also an ever-expanding year-round culture based on the Ten Principles:

Burning Man Founder Larry Harvey wrote the Ten Principles in 2004 as guidelines for the newly-formed Regionals Network. They were crafted not as a dictate of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community's ethos and culture as it had organically developed since the event's inception.

Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Radical Self-reliance
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

Radical Self-expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5013 From: Dustin LindenSmith Date: 2013-09-02
Subject: #5013 - Sat/Sun Aug 31/Sep 1, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith
#5013 - Sat/Sun Aug 31/Sep 1, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

The Nonduality Highlights •

This issue of the "H of the HL" comes from a 2010 issue edited by Jerry which features a dialogue with the contemporary nondual heavyweight Charlie Hayes, whom I believe to be connected directly to Sailor Bob Adamson, if memory serves.

The dialogue focuses on that funny mind quirk some of us can develop early in our introduction to pure nonduality, when we feel like we understand all this stuff intellectually but still aren't able somehow to apply it successfully to our lives. Charlie has a pretty effective way of drilling down to the most important question of all in this person's quest. He also helps to organize some of this questioner's confused concepts about where "they" sit in the context of awareness itself.

I enjoy these kinds of dialogues quite a bit. They often involve people who consider themselves to be serious seekers and who have a genuine drive to "get it," and if they can successfully disentangle themselves from their own personal story at that stage, then they might just surprise themselves by fully awakening not long afterwards.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jerry Katz [email protected]>
Date: Wed, May 26, 2010 at 10:15 PM
Subject: [NDhighlights] #3905 - Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - Editor: Jerry Katz
To: NDH [email protected]>, NDS [email protected]>, iam [email protected]>, NDSN [email protected]>, [email protected]

#3905 - Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights -

Charlie Hayes responds to questions:

Consciousness appears in the awareness which IS

"Tan1772" writes: I totally "buy" that I exist and I have awareness.

C: Please DON’T! There is absolutely NO way to say a truth that can be bought or believed; “The truth that can be said is NOT the Real Truth”. Do not believe, accept or “buy into” ANY concept! As must be repeated over and over until it really sinks in: These are conceptual POINTERS ONLY. Look where the pointers POINT rather than taking them on board as some “truth!” And have a look: WHO is it that “buys” this anyway?

Q: But that's exactly where I am stuck:

C: WHO is this “I” that “is stuck?” That is a concept, nothing more and nothing actually real. That “I” seeming to be stuck on itself; and the stuckness (glue) itself, is just a habitual firm yet false belief that what you are IS that “I” thought. You assume you ARE that sense of being a separate “me”. No matter how much you try to get “unstuck” you stay stick until and unless you root under that “I:” sense to find out if it is actually real! The glue is your belief in that person, your mask that you wear to prop up a sense of insecurity that “you” have been fighting since about age three.

Q: I feel that my awareness is a function of this body. When my body is gone, my awareness will also be gone.

C: This is a confused view: You do not "own" awareness; you ARE awareness. And yes, the body is required for consciousness, for sure. The Awareness, the Timeless Being, is That which ALLOWS consciousness, body, world etc to appear yet That is absolutely independent of all that, including the consciousness of being-awakeness.  That body and its consciousness disappear in deep sleep every night while Awareness remains ever present giving life to a sleeping body, breathing it, living it, growing its hair, fingernails, being its heart etc., all with NO consciousness whatsoever. So let the seeing be clear that awareness IS PRIOR and Eternal while consciousness comes and goes.

Awareness IS, eternally free, nondual and empty, clear and full in Itself; duality-consciousness is the first appearance IN Awareness. Awareness is Eternal, while consciousness comes and goes. Don’t confuse or collapse these. Awareness ALWAYS IS regardless of the happening of consciousness OR unconsciousness.

Q: Of course I can't say that with experiential certainty…

C: Right. So that cannot be a timeless actual truth, can it!?

Q:  but it seems to be true by observing people who died. They are no long aware of what happens. While I can't locate my awareness (I can't because it's a function of the body rather than something solid), my awareness is nonetheless dependent on the body. The best analogy I can think of is actually the one often used in non-dual teaching: the body is the light bulb that shines the light of awareness. The light is not specific anywhere, but if you take away the bulb, the light also disappears.

Q: Can you 'enlighten' me on this, literally?

C: No. But YOU can, the Real You, which is that unperceivable self shining Light-Of-Knowing that exists forever, prior to, during, and after any and all concepts, experiences and all the manifest passing phenomena. That (Noumenon) is what IS; all else is what APPEARS. AND, these are NOT TWO. Ungraspable for the mind, which can only understand opposites. Stop trying to figure this out There is NO joy in the mind, the field of opposites, positions and concepts and points of view are all useless for this. Stop. Now. YOU ARE. That simple Isness-Awareness which registers consciousness and unconsciousness is what You are. BE That and nothing else. Full Stop Period. And the bottom line is, these are Not Two. You need NO "enlightenment". You already ARE the Light of Being, Awareness arising as Consciousness. It is that simple!

Thanks for writing; feel free to stay in touch until any and all confusion is dissolved.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5014 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-04
Subject: #5014 - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5014 - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights •


Listen to Nonduality Network Talk Radio (NNTR) from 12:30 to 1:30PM EST, Wednesday, September 4.

The show may be heard online at

Check the Time Zone Converter to see what time it's on where you are:

Mandee Labelle and Jerry Katz co-host. Our in-studio guests will be Highlights editor, jazz musician, and father to three young kids, Dustin LindenSmith and long time instructor of nondual yoga, student of Jean Klein, and co-founder of Nonduality Satsang, James Traverse. 

The theme will be family. 

John Lennon described nonduality very well: "Imagine there's no heaven, It's easy if you try, No hell below us, Above us only sky." NNTR considers every aspect of living from the view of Lennon's sky.

We won't be taking calls in this show. Next week we go back to taking your calls. 

Thanks to all who have been listening, writing, and calling.

There is no other live, unedited radio show dedicated to nonduality, so be a part of history!


In order to be awarded a regularly scheduled show in the CKDU schedule we had to do a few trial shows and submit a proposal describing the show, what we intend to do, and how we intend to do it. Here is a portion of the proposal:

Nonduality Network Talk Radio is an hour long, co-hosted call-in talk show capable of reaching a global audience. 

We intend to make nonduality -- the teaching that all things are interconnected -- accessible to as broad an audience as possible. Whether someone has never heard of nonduality or whether they a veteran of nondual teachings, all are welcome to call and all will be treated as honoured guests.

Our dynamic covers a rainbow of tones: lighthearted, irreverent, philosophical, newsy, offbeat, serious, spiritual, practical, entertaining. The quality of our interaction is free-spirited, friendly, and fun. Most of all, our frame of mind is to be open to each other, to our callers, and to topics for discussion.

This is a spoken-word program, however it's hard to say what issues or topics we will regularly cover since nonduality bears on virtually any topic. People who live life from the nondual perspective are fashion designers, professional baseball players, surfers, martial artists, painters, poets, novelists, actors, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health activists, farmers, songwriters, filmmakers, carpenters, musicians, lawyers, rap artists, Yoga teachers, school teachers, ecologists, neurologists, cosmologists, biologists, Sufis, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Native Traditions, atheists, those who are liberal and those who are conservative in their politics, vegetarians, vegans, omnivores, parents, people living in mansions and people living in shelters. 

Every shade of humanity and human endeavour bears on nonduality, which makes sense since nonduality means interconnectedness, which implies tremendous inclusiveness. So we could talk about anything! And to anyone. It's not to say we know about everything, but we could meet our callers at the place of understanding nonduality, and from that point we could build a conversation.


Colin Drake writes:

Dear Fellow Explorers, Hope this finds you well ... We had a fantastic trip to Broome and back covering 14,000 kms in eleven weeks! 

[Beautiful and amazing pictures of Colin's trip are at his Facebook page:]

The Seer, Knower and Enjoyer

by Colin Drake
One of the epithets for Brahman (the Absolute Reality, Pure Awareness) given in the Upanishads is The Seer, Knower and Enjoyer. This is because everything experienced by all beings (manifestations of cosmic energy  consciousness in motion) appears in this Awareness (consciousness at rest) exists in This, is seen by This and subsides back into This. For all motion arises from stillness, exists in (and is known relative to) stillness and finally subsides back into stillness. Thus everything seen, known and enjoyed (by all) is seen by Awareness, which is by definition aware of these, thus making this Pure Awareness the ultimate Seer, Knower and Enjoyer.
This is pointed to by Advaita Vedanta which regards man as a physical organism through which Brahman (awareness, consciousness) senses and experiences the world. The Kena Upanishad states that it is the Self (Brahman, awareness) which is the agent and witness, through which the mind thinks and the senses experience sensations. However this Self is undetectable by the mind and senses, being the substratum in which they appear, exist and disappear. (Kena Upanishad 1v.1-9) Moreover, due to its undetectable nature, it is very easy for man to overlook his true nature and identify with the mind and body. The Katha Upanishad likens man to a chariot, of which the atman (the Self, awareness, Brahman within each individual) is the master, the body is the chariot, the mind is the charioteer, the sense organs are the horses and the roads they travel on are the objects of sensation. The atman is the enjoyer and experiencer of the ride, which is made possible by the charioteer, chariot and horses. (Katha Upanishad 3v.3-4) So Brahman needs the mind and senses, to enjoy and experience the physical world. However when the mind is unaware of the masters presence, through lack of discrimination, it is unable to control the senses which run amok like wild horses (Ibid 3v.5). Brahman, pure consciousness, is hidden in every heart, being the eternal witness watching everything one does. He is said to be the operator whilst we are his innumerable instruments. (Svetasvetara Upanishad 6v.10-12)
As Brahman is the Seer, Knower and Enjoyer of which we are ephemeral manifestations it stands to reason that seeing, knowing and enjoying should represents ways in which we can realize our essential nature as Pure Awareness  Brahman.
(with the mind  spiritual vision) means realizing, or recognizing, and this is key to Raja Yoga known as The Kingly Way which emphasises meditation to still the mind so that one may see ones real nature (Ch1v3, Ch2v28 & v44). This leads to seeing the Inner Light (Ch2v52) and vision of Samadhi (Ch3v9) which leads to enlightenment - seeing the light  (Ch3v33-34). From this comes discrimination, seeing the difference between the real and the unreal, which leads directly to liberation (Ch4v25-34).
is the way of Jana Yoga, the path of obtaining knowledge of The Absolute by self-inquiry and direct investigation of Reality. The easiest way to achieve this is by investigating ones own moment-to-moment experience, see the appendix, which is all we have (to investigate) in the final analysis  as our whole life is just a series of experiences and everything we encounter is just an experience (to us). This lead to discovering that there is only Pure Awareness (consciousness at rest) in which all sensations, thoughts, mental images (our experience of things) arise, abide, are spied and subside. This ephemeral flow of objects are just expressions of cosmic energy (consciousness in motion) which eventually must return back to (consciousness at) rest  Pure Awareness. Thus there is only Brahman of which all is a fleeting manifestation.
is what Tantra is all about, not rejecting anything in manifestation but using everything that is encountered as a potential vehicle to achieve liberation. For these are all forms of cosmic energy, Sakti (The Lila), consciousness in motion, the consort of Siva (Pure Awareness - The Nitya), consciousness at rest. As can be seen these are both aspects of the one Absolute Reality (Brahman) but whereas in the two previous paths the emphasis is on The Nitya, in Tantra it is on The Lila  the play of God. For the universe is regarded as the play of Sakti and Siva and these are Brahman thus knowledge of ones absolute unity with This may be obtained from worshipping (or investigating) either of these aspects.
If viewed in a certain way, everything that we perceive, that is, every thought and sensation can directly reveal the nature of Reality. For there are two underlying principles that lie at the heart of each perception, without which it would be impossible for any perception to occur. These are awareness and nothingness, for we would not know that a perception has occurred without being aware of it, and perception of any thing only occurs relative to the nothingness in which it occurs.
Now The Absolute Reality consists of consciousness in two modes  at rest as Pure Awareness and in motion as cosmic energy, the manifest universe. The first of these is unchanging and is the Aware Nothingness in which all things arise and subside. Thus the two Absolute properties of Reality are awareness and nothingness which can be revealed by considering the, aforementioned, two underlying principles that lie at the heart of each perception. So everything can directly reveal the Absolute Reality of which it is an ephemeral manifestation.
Advaita: non-dual.     

Atman: Brahman within each individual, that portion of the Absolute in each person.                                                   

BrahmanThe all pervading transcendental Absolute Reality.

Lila -- The divine play or manifestation.

Nitya -- the Ultimate Reality, the eternal Absolute.

Sakti: cosmic energy, consciousness in motion.

Siva,: universal consciousness when it is at rest, aware of every movement occurring in it, which is pure awareness.

Upanishads :the last works of the Vedas, in which ritual was supplanted by the personal and mystical experiencing of the Absolute (Brahman).

Vedanta: philosophy based on the books at the end of the Vedas i.e. The Upanishads


If you are interested in more articles, poems, or my
paperback books, including in the new books: Poetry From Awakening and Beyond
and Awakening and Beyond, Outcomes of Self-Recognition,
these may be found at

Colin's e-books are available at

C. Drake, A Light Unto Yourself, 2010, Tomewin, p.50-51
These chapter and verse numbers are all from The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali
given in:
Sw Prabhavananda & C. Isherwood, How to Know God, Vedanta Soc of S. California, 1953
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5015 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-05
Subject: #5015 - Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5015 - Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights -


The most recent Nonduality Network Talk Radio show is here:

Highlights editor Dustin was a great guest talking about parenting, as was James Traverse who talked about how he was raised. Mandee was a brilliant interviewer.


Stay in touch with Francis Lucille through his facebook site:

                            image 1


Beyond the Yoga of Getting High 

by Michael Damian 

I recently watched a short video clip about a big festival for kundalini yoga and music. It was a series of on-site, rather ecstatic testimonials from participants and perhaps organizers. A young woman raved that “The mantra, the yoga, the vibe are going up, up, up!!” and talked about all the happy, beautiful people there. That sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Everyone in the video had those dreamy looking eyes. A big smile plastered on the face. Another attendee testified with some seriousness, “The mantra works!” Then a middle-aged man, accompanied by his partner, said matter-of-factly: “I come here to get high” — meaning an energetic, spiritual high.

And there you have it. This reminds me of a documentary about Ram Dass when he came back from India in the ’60s. The new yoga and meditation enthusiasts were spreading the message to their desperate young peers that you don’t have to rely on drugs to get high. You could do it with meditation, with kundalini breathing and so forth.

There is nothing wrong with getting an energy high. I certainly recommend a sattvic, harmonious lifestyle that ensures a higher, smooth energy state rather than the energetic lows of intense agitation (Sanskrit: rajas) and dullness (tamas) of mind and body. These cyclical lows are caused by desire and fear operating in the unawakened mind, which Self-realization neutralizes.

This does not mean that the Self-realized mind has no desires, inspirations, or enjoyments. However, in the absence of Self-realization, desire is bound by attachment and acts as a restless sense of lack. This makes us chase objects and experiences for the excitement they bring, and then we fall down again. The trouble is that an energy high is not freedom.

Freedom is what we are seeking. Freedom is already the nature of Self, but it can only be known consciously via the realization of nonduality (so don’t say “It’s all Good” unless you really know that it is). By definition, freedom is not dependent on any particular state.

~ ~ ~

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5016 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-09-06
Subject: #5016 - Thursday, September 5, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5016 - Thursday,В September 5, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
"To have the eyes of enlightenment is to see the thread of divinity throughout
all of the diversity, to see the sameness within all of the uniqueness."
~ Adyashanti

В An Interruption
A boy had stopped his car
To save a turtle in the road;
I was not far
Behind, and slowed,
And stopped to watch as he began
To shoo it off into the undergrowth—
This wild reminder of an ancient past,
Lumbering to some Late Triassic bog,
Till it was just a rustle in the grass,
Till it was gone.
I hope I told him with a look
As I passed by,
How I was glad he'd stopped me there,
And what I felt for both
Of them, something I took
To be a kind of love,
And of a troubled thought
I had, for man,
Of how we ought
To let life go on where
And when it can.
by Robert S. Foote

Unconscious people read the scriptures
like parrots saying Ram, Ram,
in their cages.
It's all pretend-knowledge.
Read rather, with me, every
living moment as prophecy.
~ Lalla
В  14th Century North Indian mystic

From "Naked Song"
Versions by Coleman Barks
via Along The Way

Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche's Compassion
(for the celebration of his 90th birthday!)
Some years ago, a man, let's call him Joe, suffered a great personal tragedy.
His friend, trying to solace him, suggested he go with her to KTD to sit in on a
teaching with Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche - perhaps just being in his presence
would help.
Joe was not Buddhist, had never been in a Buddhist center, much less a shrine
room, but trusted his friend, and was so deeply emerged in sorrow, he would
"try anything."
They both travelled to KTD for the Sunday morning session of a weekend
teaching by Rinpoche. The subject was over Joe's head, but he "did' seem to
feel better just being there. And while Rinpoche was teaching, Joe "talked" in
his mind to Rinpoche, telling him how bad he felt, and asking for help.
At the end of the teaching, everyone stood, put their hands together and bowed
their heads as they waited for Rinpoche to walk out the door behind the altar
as he usually does at the end of teaching. But this time, Rinpoche headed for the
door at the back of the Shrine room, right past those standing in devotion.
Everyone made way for him to walk along the side, but Rinpoche stopped,
walked into the people standing there, right up to Joe, and took him in his arms.
Rinpoche whispered in JoeÂ’s ear, “It will be OK,” (in English), and touched his
forehead to JoeÂ’s in further blessing.
When Joe tells this story, which he seldom does as it is so precious to him, he
tears up, even to this day. He became a student of Rinpoche's, and later one of
those who helped finish KTD's construction. But most of all, he gained a peace
in his heart that he never thought possible.
Dearest Rinpoche! Thank you for your continuing blessings. May we all be
touched by your exceptional wisdom and compassion as you stay among us for
many more years to come. Om Tare Tutare Ture Soha!
via Daily Dharma by Amrita Nadi

Breath by breath, let go of fear, expectation, anger, regret, cravings,
frustration, fatigue. Let go of the need for approval. Let go of old judgments
and opinions. Die to all that, and fly free. Soar in the freedom of
Let go. Let Be. See through everything and be free, complete, luminous, at home
-- at ease.
~ Lama Surya Das
From a Facebook post at Meditation Masters via Daily Dharma

The way of the white clouds
( How ready can we be? : )
I came
in falling shadows,
falling dust
It told me;
Please be kind
and wake your Love
Look within
For mind it is
The clear blue sky
With breath a wind
Set sail and take
the passage safe
And mind will be
The endless sea
Where waves from past
seem to last
And mind will be
A rocking boat
Fix it then,
The captain's gaze
Blush of dawn
in deep dark space
Shining fiery star
of Being
~ Alan Larus
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5017 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-07
Subject: #5017 - Friday, September 6, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5017 - Friday, September 6, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights


imanol osГѓВЎcar

Take a look at this teacher. Mainly in Spanish, but has some of his early books translated into English. Worth taking a look, highly recommended. Made a 7 day retreat with him couple of weeks ago and I can say it really changed everything for me. Still processing the experience, but his way of describing states and their limits is priceless. Never seen anyone speaking about those topics in such concise terms.

Being an English group, I guess not many people may be aware of his work and teachings.

Hope you like it.


Robin Clark

If we draw upon a descriptive language of imagery it can lead us into the imaginative realm of consciousness. This will take us beyond the discursive realm of storytelling into the realm of phenomenology: the language of disclosure that Coleridge called “The best part of human language”.

Words become a vibrational mediator to “Awaken the Soul,” which is itself linguistically coded, and this creates an internal, universal phenomenon, a potentiation of language, stimulating a state of expanded awareness. This penetrating language re-connects us to that inner voice we call the soul creating subtle changes of awareness inside us and this subtle transformation places us somewhere else other than the intellect and senses; in other words, we are put into contact with the intuitive, dynamic realm.

A new kind of awareness gently rises to the surface of our consciousness – it comes up all by itself – and a different kind of logic begins to take form, known as Polar Logic: “...the exactness of the understanding, not blurred or cancelled, but pierced to its empty heart at each moment, by the energy of imagination as the bearer of related qualities” (Coleridge).

This imaginative logic is the antithetical unity of matched or paired opposites (Soul & Ego or Heaven & Earth) stimulating a form of consciousness that has to perceive polarically rather than in the usual linear fashion.

Sounds complicated but this is poetry! This is life. The nature of Nature. The suchness of what is. 'Tis love itself.


Once there existed no reason for our happiness.
Long before this time, the natural flow of laughter bubbled endlessly from life’s eternal spring that quenched our timeless soul. And there was no measurement of time, for all days followed as you led the way into your own life.

Life was a melange of moments, yet it was a constant river, and we all danced in rhythm to the songs in our heart. We climbed impossible mountains and birthed improbable worlds right before the eyes of the blind and in gaze of the king’s persuasion.

We were magicians, conjurers of our own fantastic dreams.
We lived in worlds within worlds, which emperors could not conquer.
And we did not measure and we did not count. For what happiness can come from such a thing?

So we danced and sang and shrilled and smiled, laughed and skipped through every moment of each everlasting day. And we promised ourselves never to become like the dead who wore a veil, like a grave mound upon their heart, and a cloak of sadness they did drape across their eyes.

~ ~ ~

More Robin Clark's writings are here:


Swami Sarvabhutananda

The essence of non duality is to understand 'ekamevaadviteeyam Brahma.Tat Brahma tvamasi'
There IS only one without the second and that is Brahma and Brahma is YOU!
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5018 From: Dustin LindenSmith Date: 2013-09-08
Subject: #5018 - Sat/Sun Sep 7/8, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith
#5018 - Sat/Sun Sept 7/8 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

The Nonduality Highlights •

This issue starts with a short poem by Mark Otter. He uses processed foodstuffs in place of the traditional Zen staff to induce awakening:

There is no season,
There is no reason to be…
If you're wandering, 
Come sit by me.
If you're wondering,
Come sit at my feet.
I'll throw broken crackers 
At you until you see.
-- Mark Otter

Robert V. Burke sent us a thoughtful response to my issue from last week which featured a dialogue with Charlie Hayes. Whenever he finds himself possessed of a strong sense of "being a doer," he told me that he often takes a dose of this passage (which is itself a dialogue with Nisargadatta) to remind him what's what.

Below, you'll see Robert's intro to that dialogue with Nisargadatta, which also includes one of Bob Seal's nonduality cartoons.

With thanks to Robert,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Robert V. Burke
Date: Mon, Sep 2, 2013
Subject: Re: [NDhighlights] #5013 - Sat/Sun Aug 31/Sep 1, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

Hi Dustin,

I encounter Tan1772's confusion often:  this appropriation of the body-mind-ego and the notion of it as being separate and apart from Awareness.  This is the first and primal error, known as avidya or ignorance.  The ignorance of course is identifying with the body-mind-ego instead of 'as' Awareness, that is to say:  being Awareness.

Nisargadatta Maharaj puts it wonderfully in Awareness is Free below.  Basically, what Charlie has said, but the questioner leaves with no clear understanding that
distinction between the notions of awareness and consciousness.

If one absorbs the teaching from Nisargadatta below, from I Am That, there is really nothing left to say, nothing left to understand.


Note: Maharaj's "pure Consciousness" is synonymous with awareness, whereas awareness is distinct and apriori to consciousness

Work Cited

 Dikshit, Sudhakar S, ed.  I Am That:  Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.  Durham, NC:  The Acorn Press, 1999.  Print (pp. 220-224)

Awareness is Free

Questioner:  As I can make out, you give distinct meanings to the words ‘mind’, ‘consciousness’, and ‘awareness’.

Maharaj:  Look at it this way.  The mind produces thoughts ceaselessly, even when you do not look at them.  When you know what is going on in your mind, you call it consciousness.  This is your waking state—your consciousness shifts from sensation to sensation, from perception to perception, from idea to idea, in endless succession.  Then comes awareness, the direct insight into the whole of consciousness, the totality of the mind.  The mind is like a river, flowing ceaselessly in the bed of the body; you identify yourself for a moment with some particular ripple and call it: ‘my thought’.  All you are conscious of is your mind; awareness is the cognizance of consciousness as a whole.

Q:  Everybody is conscious, but not everybody is aware.

M:  Don’t say:  ‘everybody is conscious’.  Say:  ‘there is consciousness’, in which everything appears and disappears.  Our minds are just waves on the ocean of consciousness.  As waves they come and go.  As ocean they are infinite and eternal. Know yourself as the ocean of being, the womb of all existence.  These are all metaphors of course; the reality is beyond description.  You can know it only by being it.

Q:  Is the search for it worth the trouble?

M:  Without it all is trouble.  If you want to live sanely, creatively and happily and have infinite riches to share, search for what you are.

         While the mind is centered in the body and consciousness is centered in the mind, awareness is free.  The body has it urges and mind its pains and pleasures.  Awareness is unattached and unshaken.  It is lucid, silent, peaceful, alert and unafraid, without desire and fear.  Meditate on it as your true being and try to be it in your daily life, and you shall realize it in its fullness.

         Mind is interested in what happens, while awareness is interested in the mind itself.  The child is after the toy, but the mother watches the child, not the toy.

         By looking tirelessly, I became quite empty and with that emptiness all came back to me except the mind.  I find I have lost the mind irretrievably.

Q:  As you talk to us just now, are you unconscious?

M:  I am neither conscious nor unconscious, I am beyond the mind and its various states and conditions.  Distinctions are created by the mind and apply to the mind only.  I am pure Consciousness (see note above) itself, un-broken awareness of all that is.  I am in a more real state than yours.  I am undistracted by the distinctions and separation which constitute a person.  As long as the body lasts, it has its needs like any other, but my mental process has come to an end.

Q:  You behave like a person who thinks.

M:  Why not?  But my thinking, like my digestion, is unconscious and purposeful.

Q:  If your thinking is unconscious, how do you know that it is right?

M:  There is no desire, nor fear to thwart it.  What can make it wrong?  Once I know myself and what I stand for, I do not need to check on myself all the time.  When you know that your watch shows correct time, you do not hesitate each time you consult it.

Q:  At this very moment who talks, if not the mind?

M:  That which hears the question, answers it.

Q:  But who is it?

M:  Not who, but what.  I am not a person in your sense of the word, though I may appear a person to you.  I am that infinite ocean of consciousness in which all happens.  I am also beyond all existence and cognition, pure bliss of being.  There is nothing I feel separate from, hence I am all.  No thing is me, so I am nothing.

         The same power that makes the fire burn and the water flow, the seeds sprout and the trees grow, makes me answer your questions.  There is nothing personal about me, though the language and the style may appear personal.  A person is a set pattern of desires and thoughts and resulting actions; there is no such pattern in my case.  There is nothing I desire or fear—how can there be a pattern?

Q:  Surely you will die.

M:  Life will escape, the body will die, but it will not affect me in the least.  Beyond space and time I am, uncaused, uncausing, yet the very matrix of existence.

Q:  May I be permitted to ask how did you arrive at your present condition?

M:  My teacher told me to hold on to the sense ‘I am’ tenaciously and not to swerve from it even for a moment.  I did my best to follow his advice and in a comparatively short time I realized within myself the truth of his teaching.  All I did was to remember his teaching, his face, his words constantly.  This brought an end to the mind; in the stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am—unbound.

Q:  Was your realization sudden or gradual.

M:  Neither.  One is what one is timelessly.  It is the mind that realizes as and when it gets cleared of desires and fears.

Q:  Even the desire for realization?

M:  The desire to put an end to all desires is a most peculiar desire, just like the fear of being afraid is a most peculiar fear.  One stops you from grabbing and the other from running.  You may use the same words, but the states are not the same.  The man who seeks realization is not addicted to desires; he is a seeker who goes against desire, not with it.  A general longing for liberation is only the beginning; to find the proper means and use them is the next step.  The seeker has only one goal in view:  to find his own true being.  Of all desires it is the most ambitious, for nothing and nobody can satisfy it;  the seeker and the sought are one and the search alone matters.

Q:  The search will come to an end.  The seeker will remain.

M:  No, the seeker will dissolve, the search will remain.  The search is the ultimate and timeless reality. 

Q:  Search means lacking, wanting, incompleteness and imperfection.

M:  No, it means refusal and rejection of the incomplete and the imperfect.  The search for reality is itself the movement of reality.  In a way all search is for the real bliss, or the bliss of the real.  But here we mean by search the search for oneself as the root of being conscious, as the light beyond the mind.  This search will never end, while the restless craving for all else must end, for real progress to take place.

         One has to understand that the search for reality, or God, or Guru, and the search for the self are the same; when one is found, all are found.  When ‘I am’ and ‘God is’ become in your mind indistinguishable, then something will happen and you will know without a trace of doubt that God is because you are and you are because God is.  The two are one.
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5019 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-09-10
Subject: #5019 - Monday, September 9, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5019 - Monday,В September 9, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
"I have been up all night monitoring credible reports from around the world
indicating that nothing is certain. Given the fluidity of the situation, it is highly
advised to postpone your hostilities. And if you must act now, please, do
something kind, or at least something that doesn't kill anybody. I will give you
an update if I learn something new, which is highly unlikely."
~ Fred LaMotte

Greg Allen MorgoglioneВ Photography
Every day
I see or hear
that more or less
kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle
in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,
to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over
in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,
the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,
the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help
but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light
of the world,
the oceanÂ’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?
~Mary Oliver

What I Have Learned So Far
Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don't think so.
All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of -- indolence, or action.
Be ignited, or be gone.
~ Mary Oliver

The commonplace miracle:
that so many common miracles take place.
The usual miracles:
invisible dogs barking
in the dead of night.
One of many miracles:
a small and airy cloud
is able to upstage the massive moon.
Several miracles in one:
an alder is reflected in the water
and is reversed from left to right
and grows from crown to root
and never hits bottom
though the water isn't deep.
A run-of-the-mill miracle:
winds mild to moderate
turning gusty in storms.
A miracle in the first place:
cows will be cows.
Next but not least:
just this cherry orchard
from just this cherry pit.
A miracle minus top hat and tails:
fluttering white doves.
A miracle (what else can you call it):
the sun rose today at three fourteen a.m.
and will set tonight at one past eight.
A miracle that's lost on us:
the hand actually has fewer than six fingers
but still it's got more than four.
A miracle, just take a look around:
the inescapable earth.
An extra miracle, extra and ordinary:
the unthinkable
can be thought.
~ Wislawa Szymborska
(View With a Grain of Sand, translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh)
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