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Group: NDhighlights Message: 5020 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-11
Subject: #5020 - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5020 - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/


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NONDUALITY NETWORK TALK RADIO - Real, live, FM radio!

Our radio show airs live Wednesday, September 11, from 12:30 to 1:30PM EST.

Time zone converter: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

Listen at http://ckdu.ca

Call-in number: 1-902-494-2487

Or use Skype to call us. Our id is nondualitynetwork.

Mandee just got back from a two week retreat with Francis Lucille. I haven't had a chance to talk to her about it, so I'll wait till we're on the air.

We'll be taking your calls.

Join us for spontaneous, unedited conversation on real FM radio.

If you can't listen to the whole show, I'll post a link to an archived copy a few hours after the show airs.
net
Past shows may be heard at http://nonduality.


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Identifying the self as the ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ is the main hindrance

By: Santthoshkumaar Kumaar on Sep 09, 201

http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/seekers/philosophy/identifying-the-self-as-the-i-or-i-am-is-the-main-hindra#

But he who is truly wise always sees the absolute Self. Celebrated, he is not delighted. Spurned, he is not angry. Pure of heart, He watches his own actions As if they were another's. How can praise or blame disturb him? - Ashtavakra Gita 3:9-10

Nonduality means literally not two. They could have said one, but the scriptures never use the word ‘one.’ They say non-duality, not two. And this is very significant, because if one says use one, the two is implied, it becomes a positive statement. If one says there is only one, he is asserting something positive.

The moment one says one, the two is implied; because one can exist only by the side of two. The truth is one. Secondly, about the totality, one cannot assert anything positive, he cannot say what it is. At the most he can say what it is not, he can negate. One cannot say directly, because once he says something directly, it becomes defining, it becomes a limitation. When one simply says it is 'not two,' there is no boundary – the implication is infinite.

Just as salt fully pervades seawater, so the universe produced in consciousness is permeated by consciousness through and through.

One cannot point to the Brahman with a finger, because his finger will become a limitation. Then Brahman will be where his finger is pointing and nowhere else.

Gnani is free from all attachment of the duality even though he is in the midst of duality, because he is fully aware of the fact that the experience of duality is created out of nondual material. He directs the serious seekers towards the ultimate end. The ultimate truth which cannot be expressed by words but one has to grasp it mentally.

In the transcendental truth there is no origination, and in fact, there is no destruction. The inner most self is in the form of consciousness. Consciousness is like the sky, which has neither origination nor cessation, and mind, which is in the form of the universe, is like it, and therefore they are of the same nature.

The one who knows that the one which has name & form is not the self, for him there’s no sense of me and mine, and he is fully aware of the fact that birth, life and death are attached to the name and the form, thus pleasure and misery are reality for the name and form. Thus one who is fully aware of the fact that the self has no form and name and all the name and form are mere mirage created out of it, is deservedly called a Gnani.

How does one attain wisdom? How does liberation happen? What is truth and what is untruth? How the universe is an illusion? Seekers of truth are trying to find answers.

What is the use of knowing about everything else when one do not yet know the true fact that the self is not ‘I’ or ‘I AM’. The ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ is the main hindrance in the pursuit of truth.

If one wants liberation then he has to renounce the experience of duality, which he is experiencing as reality, by realizing the true “Self” is not physical but the true self is soul, which is in the form of consciousness. One has to realize that fact that the three states are mere mirage created out of consciousness. Thus one has to accept the untruth as poison, and take the truth as nectar. Soul, the innermost Self, is neither the person nor universe. To attain liberation, one has to know the “self” as the witness, conscious of all three states.

"If one can separate the “self’ mentally from the three states, and rest in consciousness, then that very moment he will be free from experiencing the duality as reality.

The soul, the innermost self, does not belong to any religion because it is formless. Holding the self as physical, is the cause of the ignorance. Self is not perceived by the eyes or other senses. The soul, the innermost self, is unattached and without form, it is the witness of the whole universe, which is in the form of mind.

Religion and atheism, happiness and misery -- all are of the mind, which is in the form of the universe. Universe or mind is merely an object to the formless Self. Self is not the doer nor the enjoyer, it has always been liberated because it is formless.

The seeker of truth is embarking on a rare journey. It is the inner journey or mental journey. It is a journey from form to formless or objects to the subject or from ignorance to wisdom or from illusion to reality, a journey without the body and the world. Purely mental journey with deeper thinking and reasoning to teach the core of the true existence to realize the true ‘SELF’ is not from (body or ego) but the true ‘SELF’ is formless Atman or soul or consciousness. The consciousness is our innermost self, and it is not an individual because it pervades in everything and everywhere in all the three states. When ‘SELF’ is not an individual it is erroneous to inquire “Who am ‘I’? “ because the question is limited individuality.
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5021 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-12
Subject: #5021 - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5021 - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/


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Here's the latest Nonduality Network Talk Radio show, aired earlier today. We talk about these topics:

Francis Lucille retreat. Pacific Ocean beaches vs Atlantic Ocean beaches. Air travel and airports. Dustin LindenSmith. James Traverse. Nonduality Satsang meetup in Nova Scotia. Audio of Francis Lucille speaking. Nonsanto Corporation. Nutrition and diet. And other things:

http://nonduality.net/11september2013.mp3

The archive of past shows is at http://nonduality.net



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Greg Allen Morgoglione


Today is the 12 year anniversary of the day I walked away from corporate America. I was sales manager for a financial firm with ties to Wall Street. My reps spent their days talking to people in and near the World Trade Center.

As the attacks unfolded my reps and I agreed that calling our clients and trying to sell things to them was a bit, well... wrong. I approached the owners and asked to send my reps home, but it took about three hours for them to decide that things were bad enough to forego a little sales income.

That was it for me.

After a handful of hours at home watching replay after replay I knew it was time to make a change in my life. I shut the TV off and began to write...

I made a lot more money in the dozen years before 2001, but I've been more richly rewarded in the dozen years since.

~ ~ ~

Written in the week following the attacks of September 11th, 2001.

The song is a "challenge" song - challenging us to drop the fighting...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlPMydSlZFI


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Enza Vita

https://www.facebook.com/notes/enza-vita/clouds-and-bright-blue-sky/219377348225489

Clouds and Bright Blue Sky

September 12, 2013 at 1:20am

How many of you when you practice meditation are bothered by thoughts? In some meditation circles, a pretty common topic is how to be constantly mindful without being distracted by thoughts. But I would like to suggest that the thoughts are not the problem.

Gampopa, a very famous Tibetan Buddhist teacher of the 16th century said: "I have this student who practices in the mountain to get rid of thoughts. If he stopped trying to have no thoughts, he would have been enlightened years ago".

Thoughts are to the mind what sweat is to the body. We have thoughts, they go hand in hand with having a mind and thoughts are not really a problem, thinking is, which is clinging or chasing those thoughts. Tilopa, the great Indian master author of the Mahamudra, a set of spiritual practices that greatly accelerates the process of attaining enlightenment, said to his main disciple Naropa:
"You are not bound by thoughts, but by clinging. So cut your clinging, Naropa! "

Thoughts are a natural expression of the mind, like leaves on a tree. Chasing the leaves is thinking and there is a way to experience the world without thinking. Not getting rid of thoughts but just without thinking. And so we come to one of the practices used called mindfulness. The word mindfulness originates from the Pali term sati 'to remember,' and from the Sanskrit counterpart sm?ti which has been translated as “to not let what one knows slip away from one's mind”.

The function of mindfulness in spiritual practices is not to be distracted. Not to be distracted by what? Not by the thoughts but by thinking by the clinging to them. Up to this point is all wonderful but the problem start when this quality is misinterpreted and used by the sense of self to try to guide and control the experience. What I mean by that is that most people, when they sit and meditate, try to “do” something, try to be mindful have fewer thoughts, achieve more peace and even try to get enlightened.

When meditation becomes a “means to an end,” we get stuck. In its struggle to remain in control, the sense of self, the mind, will learn the various techniques to quiet itself, to become more mindful, to achieve stillness, insight, peace but these states are just mental states and have nothing to do with the true, un-fabricated peace and stillness of your true nature, which cannot be achieved but only revealed.

If you teach the mind how to stay quiet, after some effort it will do so and may even get so good at it that you will think you have reached the ultimate, effortless state. But if your practice fabricates a state even an enlightened state in which everything is peaceful and clear because there are no thoughts, that state is the result of mental effort. The attention has been trained to not follow the movement of thought, to abide in itself without really knowing itself. And because this state is the product of the mind, it will eventually wear off. It may take years, but the minute you stop the practice, it will start to fade away.

When we employ our sense of self to act like a policeman to make sure we don’t forget to be mindful, to block anything, the sense of self will remain in charge and the sense of self like a cloud in the sky seemingly hides the sun.

The sense of self thrives on goal and accomplishment and it is always picking and choosing trying to control what is. But the sense of self is just a thought believed in and no thought can control reality. The sense of self being a temporal thing cannot be mindful on a continuous basis.

When this is realized we stop trying to be mindful and relax into the awareness that existed before thought instead of holding to the mindfulness driven by thought. One is eternal the other temporal. We give up he “doing” of mindfulness to fully participate in what mindfulness is attempting to do, that is to allow a full abiding presence. Instead of being consumed by the goal we open and allow all life in. We don’t block anything. Only awareness our true state can do that. The sense of self now becomes secondary to the lived experience of awareness.
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5022 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-09-13
Subject: #5022 - Thursday, September 12, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5022 - Thursday,В September 12, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
В 
В 
В 
В 
Gabriel Rosenstock
(Ireland, 1949)В  В 
В 
"Rosenstock is so famously difficult to pin down, that one is slow to try to
describe him at all. Indeed, this foxy elusiveness may be his defining feature.
Rosenstock is an extraordinary writer who has authored, edited or translated
over a hundred books. His poetry, however, is the heart of this body of
literary work.
http://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/poet/item/6815/30/Gabriel-Rosenstock
В 
В 

В 
speak, stones!В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В 
В 
why don't you speak?В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В 
В - deserted villageВ В В В В В В 
В 
Deserted Village, Achill Island
В 
Image: Ron Rosenstock
Text: Gabriel RosenstockВ В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В 
В 

В 
В 
One of the images from THE AWAKENED EYE (by Fabienne Rivery) inspired this wee poem:
В 
В 
How did it all happen
В 

every lone gull
В 
on a rock is you
come to ground
В 
from the flight of ages
В 
now, look around,
all this, too, is you -
В 
how did it all happen
В 

out of the blue
В 
В 

В 
В 
Stone Buddha in the garden
В 
В 
В 
This Monday morning and shadows are dancing
В 
With the sun
В 
Or sun dancing with shadows
В 
And only the face of the Buddha is illumined
В 
In morning sunshine
В 
В 
В 
Only the Buddha can gaze
В 
At the sun –
В 
The sun within himself.
В 
A pigeon flies by and does not stop
В 
To wonder at this face of light.
В 
But it too is riddled with the same glow
В 
As are all things.
В 
В 
В 
Sometimes we await a syllable
В 
A smile.
В 
В 
В 
The stone Buddha in the garden
В 
Is only stone
В 
В 
В 
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В  Gabriel Rosenstock
В 

В 
В 
centuries of silence
В 
gathered in the round tower
В 
of Turlough
В 
В 
Image: Ron Rosenstock
Text: Gabriel Rosenstock
В 

В 
В 
Glencar Waterfall
В 
sings its own name
В 
even at night
В 
В 
Image: Ron Rosenstock
Text: Gabriel Rosenstock
В 

В 
В 
the light of dawn –look! –
В 
dancing itself
В 
into day
В 
В 
Morning Mist, Punakha, Bhutan
В 
Image: Ron Rosenstock
Text: Gabriel Rosenstock
В 

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5023 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-14
Subject: #5023 - Friday, September 13, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5023 - Friday, September 13, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/


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Nonduality is known by its questioning of the mind, thoughts, and the world we're constantly constructing, in order to see through them. LC Burke takes on this questioning through a layer imposed by what is called schizophrenia and through people's responses to it.


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from http://lcburke.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/recovery-the-space-between-the-victim-and-the-superhero/

Recovery: The Space Between the Victim and the Superhero

by Laura Caitlin Burke

When I speak to conference rooms full of people on the topic of mental health, the most common themes to pass over my lips are: self-compassion, mindfulness, and the importance of cultivating courage, kindness, and an open mind. The most prominent concept I speak to is change. What journalists seem to be driven to write after hearing me speak is another story, one wracked with sensationalism, voyeurism, and an incredibly narrow view. I have yet to read an article about me that does not reference in the title the infamous buzz words attached to my name: my diagnoses.

A number of years back, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, the worst of all of my psychiatric name-tags I’ve acquired over the course of my 20s. I work at a university, I hold a Masters degree, I am a therapist, an artist, I have won awards for mental health advocacy, and none of this is really a big deal – except if you remember that I apparently live with schizophrenia.

I just preface my resume with the words “I have schizophrenia” and I dispel my reader’s hope that anything I say will be of relevance, or just as inaccurately – they may come to believe that I am some kind of hero. Of course, neither of these extremes are true. But people who survive a diagnosis of a major mental illness are often placed in the category of victim, or champion. And in the mean time, all I am trying to do is to be a human being.

What would be more helpful is to accept people with all of their challenges and vulnerabilities, to not force them to put on some sort of mask in order to prove that they are over their bad days. Bad days, bad months, bad years – so what? What are we so afraid of? I once had a relative say to me that I had reached my quota of bad days years ago. It is precisely this kind of pressure to be perfect or to be “recovered” that leads people away from the self-compassionate, tolerant view that would allow them to be resilient, full human beings. I do have bad days, but they’re really not that as bad as they used to be. In fact, everyone has bad days, but if you have a mental illness diagnosis, they are seen as somehow different – they are viewed through a pathological lens. And even though I do still have some bad days, I personally do not think too much about my diagnoses anymore on a regular basis. However, I know that many people who meet me can’t seem to forget it. I typically get one of two responses:

“Wow, isn’t she amazing; doing all that with schizophrenia!” or

“There’s no way that woman has schizophrenia. She’s not representative. What a fraud.”

As I am aware that both views are rooted in stigma, I try to ignore them. But this same predicament affects my clients, and many of my friends. It is certainly a reflection of a larger social injustice issue. So I am speaking up. I try to be patient with people, but I am still waiting for the day when someone might meet me somewhere in between these extremes, somewhere in the middle, where I wouldn’t have to to play either a victim or a superhero.

~ ~ ~

Watch Laura's visual poem, Superhero:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=23a18HKYLW4
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5024 From: dustin999 Date: 2013-09-16
Subject: #5024 - Sat/Sun September 14/15, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith
#5024 - Sat/Sun September 14/15, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

The Nonduality Highlights • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/

Dear readers, I hope you'll indulge me in letting me share with you three things that don't actually come from previous issues of the Nonduality Highlights. (Now you know the truth about those "Highlights of the Highlights" issues -- they were just a foray for me to become a regular editor of the Highlights instead...)



My first submission is a short video of the UK comedian and actor Russell Brand. He made viral video news earlier this year when he took two Fox News interviewers to task on air about how poorly they were conducting their interview of him in that moment. This video is quite different, however. This address by Brand takes place at a David Lynch-organized conference on Transcendental Meditation in the US, and in the talk, he discusses the self-realization he experienced himself after undertaking TM practice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5n4s2bw5RI

At around the 1:30 mark of that video, Brand dispenses with his introductory remarks and discusses the initial insights he developed after becoming literally rich and famous. He had originally believed that more money and fame and all the delicious accoutrements that his enthusiastically drug-fueled life provided to him would also bring about a state of real satisfaction. With perfect comic timing, he says to his audience, "They did, a BIT... initially..."

He goes on to describe what happened to him after he began practicing TM in earnest. В He found he could immediately access a deeper state of happiness, one that was very profound and absolute. В In his own words, he says:

What it felt to me was like the dissolution of my idea of myself. I felt like "separateness" evaporated. I felt this tremendous sense of oneness. I'm quite an erratic thinker, an adrenalized person, but through meditation, I felt this absolute, this sort of beautiful serenity, and selfless connectionÂ… And that tendency I had towards selfishness, I felt that to be kind of exposed as a superficial and pointless perspective to have. I felt a constant sense of absolute love towards all of us.

Isn't that sort of lovely? I genuinely appreciate it when people as famous and mainstream as Russell Brand make an effort to spread that kind of message, I really do. It's not entirely common for a celebrity to acknowledge publicly that their personal tendency towards selfishness is actually a superficial and pointless perspective to have.



My second piece comes from a recent episode of the WNYC Radiolab podcast called Blame.В In this show, the producers delve deeply into whether or not it makes sense for our legal system to assess blame and accountability the way that they do. They use an interesting case study of an individual who has a specific neurological condition after brain surgery which precipitated his committing a disturbing crime for which he was incarcerated, but for which a cogent and persuasive argument could be made that he was not "willfully responsible" for his actions in any meaningful way.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/317421-blame/

What struck me the most about this documentary was a short interview with neuroscientist David Eagleman, who at first glance you might think would be sympathetic to this idea that faulty wiring in the brain could cause unintentional, criminal behaviour. But he thinks the very question is wrongheaded. Right now, he says that brain imaging technology is very crude, and trying to meaningfully identify brain abnormalities is like trying to map an area of the Earth in detail from space. It's simply not precise enough. And so the field of "Neurolaw" isn't really "there" yet. However, he can envision a time in the future when brain imaging gets so accurate that you'll be able to identify a tangled little ball of ganglia and say that it comes from their mom not loving them enough when they were 8, and maybe we'll be able to determine to a sophisticated level of detail the neurological mechanism by which a crime was committed, as an example. But listen to what he then says about this whole premise:

"You ARE your biology. Now Descartes famously suggested that you've got your body (the physical stuff), and then you've got this extra bit, this soul, this ghost in the machine... But the inside word on that in neuroscience is that's a big no-no... It's all the same thing."

Now we're actually able to SEE that with our imaging technology, we're on a slippery slope. Says the show's host: "Because if you start letting them off the hook now because of a tumour, well then you're going to have to keep letting them off later when you find something smaller. And smaller." Eagleman continues:

The point is, it cannot be a just legal system that in one decade says, "You're blameworthy (because at the moment, we can't see anything in your brain), and then in the next decade say, "Oh okay, you have... Schmedley's Disease, and we didn't realize it before, so now we're lumping you over here with the people with the brain tumours and you're off the hook. Blameworthiness is the wrong question for a legal system to ask. Because this whole notion doesn't make sense of saying, "Okay, if we have a biological mitigator, then we'll bring that up in court and we'll say 'Well, it's not exactly his fault," and if we don't have a biological mitigator we'll say it IS his fault. The reason none of this makes sense is because asking whether it was the person's fault or if it was his biology doesn't make sense as a question! They are inseparable. There isn't a 'you' and then 'your brain.' You ARE your brain. It's all one system.

When challenged on this point by the host who posed a hypothetical question about choosing between two different things to eat, Eagleman continues: В "Who is the 'you' that your brain is supposedly helping [when you make that decision] ?"

"The owner of the brain," replies the host.

"And that's separate from the brain? Do you 'own' your brain?"

Eagleman goes on to say that no, there is no separate 'owner' of the brain, and there is no separation between the two. В From a neuroscientific perspective, you and your brain are one single biological system and they cannot be thought of meaningfully as two separate things.

The nondual implications of that seem striking to me.



My last offering for you features anaesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff, who has put forward a new theory for the origin of consciousness; namely, that consciousness does not arise from a set of computational processes in our brains, but rather from a quantum event:

http://io9.com/does-consciousness-arise-from-quantum-processes-in-the-1308844613

As with many of these progressively-deeper looks into the neuroscience of mind, I tend to find them a bit retrospective or at least overly mechanical in nature for their own sake; it seems like they all think it's inherently meaningful to describe the operational mechanics of how consciousness arises in us after the fact. I'm not convinced that knowing how this arises in us gives us any meaningful new information that changes anything.В 

Having said that, I am profoundly unenlightened about what quantum mechanics even means, so who am I to judge the meaningfulness of the theory? There's probably something really important or useful to know in there that I just don't understand because I'm so simple. :)

Dustin

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5025 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-09-17
Subject: #5025 - Monday, September 16, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5025 - Monday,В September 16, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
В 
В 
В 
"In one of the Upanishads it says, when the glow of a sunset holds you and you
say 'Aha,' that is the recognition of the divinity. And when you say 'Aha' to an
art object, that is a recognition of divinity. And what divinity is it? It is your
divinity, which is the only divinity there is. We are all phenomenal
manifestations of a divine will to live, and that will and the consciousness of
life is one in all of us, and that is what artwork expresses."
В 
~ Joseph Campbell, “Creativity,” The Mythic Dimension, p.154
В 
via Greg Allen MorgoglioneВ on Facebook
В 

В 
В 
Unencumbered by our definitions, we experience ourselves as conscious
intelligence, aware of itself as open, endless space...
В 
~ Gangaji
В 

В 
В 
See your nature become a buddha
there is no other buddha
the ancients said it best
then you grab but nothing is there
don't be mislead by words
despite the million kinds of fiction
all lead back to a single truth
this old monk is writing it down
addressing it Ironwall Liu in the Clouds
В 
~ Stonehouse
В 
'For Layman Ironwall Liu' from 'The Zen Works of Stonehouse: Poems and
Talks of a 14th Century Chinese Hermit'. Translated by Red Pine.
В 
В 

В 
В 
В 
В  If it rains fire
В 
By Allama Prabhu
(12th Century)
В 
English version by A. K. Ramanujan
В 
В 
В 
If it rains fire
В В В В В В В В В  you have to be as the water;
В 
if it is a deluge of water
В В В В В В В В В  you have to be as the wind;
В 
if it is the Great Flood,
В В В В В В В В В  you have to be as the sky;
В 
and if it is the Very Last Flood of all the worlds,
В В В В В В В В В  you have to give up self
В 
and become the Lord.
В 
from Speaking of Siva, by A K Ramanujan
В 
В 
An aerial view of suburban streets flooded in Longmont, Colorado September 13, 2013
/ Photo by Reuters/John Wark /

- More photos of the flooding in my area here -
Ivan Granger of Poetry Chaikhana lives a few blocks from this flooded part of
his town. He wroteВ his reflections here:
В 
"Relinquishing that notion of human control offers a strange sort of peace.
Instead of control and certainty, we encounterÂ… awe. WhatÂ’s more, we regain
community with the planet. The immense forces of nature can serve to remind us
that we never live exclusively in the man-made world. No matter how high we
build, how powerful the tools we wield, no matter how we live, we always exist
within natureÂ’s world. In a terrible way, natural disasters remind us of our
home."
В 


В 
В 
More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs -- all this resinous, unretractable earth.
В 
В 
~ Jane Hirshfield
В 
В 
(Given Sugar, Given Salt)
To subscribe to Panhala, send a blank email to [email protected]

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5026 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-18
Subject: #5026 - Tuesday, September 18, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5026 - Tuesday, September 18, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/


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Nonduality Network Talk Radio is on the air Wednesday, September 18, from 12:30 to 1:30PM Eastern Time.

Listen at http://ckdu.ca

Call-in number: 1-902-494-2487

Or call us via Skype using the id nondualitynetwork

We would love to receive your call, or to hear from you about the show. We'll be talking about what nonduality is, play some good music, and a clip from a sage, as well as talk about topics that arise. We come from a joyous spontaneity, so what emerges is as much a surprise to us as to you.

-Jerry


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Brendan Smith sent the following to his mailing list, and I pass it along. I like the look of the group he's forming:

Dear Friends,

Over the last two months energy has been spilling into expressing the inexpressible via Youtube. Anything is possible now, as it seems the entire Earth has grown ears and the capacity for direct communion is unleashed. I wondered one day who in the world was watching "my" talks on Youtube, and found out that half of the views are from folks in South Korea!! This gives a touch of comedy to the already hilarious happening. Any of it that has vocal chords can claim to speak about non duality and self realization on the internet now..... And, still, it's all THAT without an other....so it goes....

These videos are coming out of that hilarity and boundless energy of not knowing who or what one is that is happening. It's the creativity of this. It's not that it's fun, rather it's the exquisite wonder that there's no driver of this, and no one with their hand on the steering wheel.

You can visit the Youtube Channel here ...where there is now a growing collection of videos, and they keep sprouting out!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCafuTQ4bGKo3rOkerwtSasQ

If that link doesn't work...just type the name brendan smith and non duality together and they will all come popping up, laughing and giggling...

As to speaking live!

Our new space of activity is.....

The Vanishing Point:
A Transpersonal Meeting Place

3886 Howe Street, Oakland, CA, 94611
Upstairs Loft and Meeting Room

If you would like to come and give a talk or host an event....the floor is yours.

Just email me with your idea.

And here's an invite to a meeting on September 29th in Oakland.

Open Discussion of Everything is Looking
A talk and meeting of open unknowing and freedom.
When
Sun, September 29, 4pm – 7pm
GMT-07:00
Where
The Vanishing Point 3886 Howe Street, Oakland, CA
Who
(Guest list has been hidden at organizer's request


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Are Ufo's conduits for nondualism? Is it a coincidence that both UFO disclosure and nonduality are reaching toward the mainstream?

Should the public become notified by their governments that UFOs are real and originating from something or somewhere other than an earthly civilization, what kind of mental adjustment would be required to absorb the personal and cultural disruption? I would offer that it could be nonduality.

So might Paul Hellyer, former Minister of Defense of Canada who has spoken about the reality of UFOs and who said that resort to the Golden Rule would be the mind set that could handle the disruption. The Golden Rule is a popular form of a portion of the teaching of nonduality, pointing to action based on recognizing a level of sameness between one's self and others.

Many of us in the nonduality field are familiar with Edgar Mitchell, who walked on the moon and who founded IONS, Institute of Noetic Sciences. Members of that group interface with and consist of nondualists. Mitchell has no doubt that earth has been visited by visitors in UFOs and has urged government agencies to disclose what they know. Mitchell is from Roswell, New Mexico, and he has spoken with ranchers who witnessed the Roswell Incident and who entrusted him with their confidential stories consistent with reports that it was a UFO that crashed in Roswell.

If you want to familiarize yourself with the degree to which UFO disclosure is unfolding, here are a couple of related videos. The first one is an introduction to the 7 videos accessed through the second link and featuring revelations by U.S. Air Force members of their experiences with UFOs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hAyc6NmK1Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZZOBuVw34M&list=PLF93DDC1EBC7FD029

Regarding UFOs and nonduality, I almost wonder if the nonduality disclosure of the last 15 years on the internet is harder to accept than UFO disclosure. I do think nonduality is a major missing piece in the UFO picture.

In fact nonduality possesses many qualities of UFOs: Nonduality makes right turns at high speed, which is to say it's highly paradoxical. Like knowledge of UFOs, knowledge of nonduality has been under control of powerful groups, namely the major religions. Knowledge of nonduality has been repressed and held tightly by academic and religious institutions. Nonduality as an explicit teaching has been around for thousands of years, just as UFOs apparently have been. UFO disclosure and nonduality disclosure are both disruptive to Western civilization as they undermine the stories that keep our society, economics, and politics intact.

Edgar Mitchell's videos about UFO disclosure are found here:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=edgar+mitchell+ufo+interview+2011&oq=edgar+mitche&gs_l=youtube.1.1.0l10.293423.295581.0.298407.12.9.0.3.3.0.196.1134.1j8.9.0...0.0...1ac.1.11.youtube.R4Spx-NBJu0

Paul Hellyer's work can be accessed here:

http://www.paulhellyerweb.com/

Hellyer interrelates UFOs, the banking system, the environment, technology, the military, and the control of information. The video describes his position.

I would like to offer nonduality as another piece of the puzzle. Speaking about society in general (he doesn't mention UFOs!), David Loy says in his classic, Nonduality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy, "So perhaps new forms of spiritual practice need to be developed, which temper the yin of spiritual practice with the yang of grass-roots social activism. The last two centuries have shown us that it is naive to expect the necessary changes through political or social revolutions alone. Both the personal and the species dualisms are due to delusions that cannot be behavioristically 'conditioned' out of existence but the require the desire and effort to develop an awareness that transforms one's life. Perhaps the future of our biosphere depends to some extent on the quiet, unnoticed influence of those working to overcome their own sense of subject-object duality." (p. 303-304)

Although application of the Golden Rule is a start when it comes to adapting to, or preparing for, the disruption of society and Western civilization, Loy, as well as the thousands of others sharing the teachings of nonduality, invite a shift in awareness from a dualistically based life to a life lived from nondual perception, nondual action, and nondual thinking.

The Golden Rule is dualistic as it calls for for 'me' to treat 'others' as I would treat myself. It is a contrived system. A nondualistic version of the Golden Rule might say, "Seeing that ultimately we are what is, it is natural to share life from that view, and that sharing is, without any attempt to teach, influence, or change, an invitation to turn awareness to the understanding that unchanging reality itself is what we are."

No world religion is required to gain the understanding of nonduality, as well as no money, no rituals, no control of others, no churches, no secret knowledge, no levels of development, no power center, no leader, no cliches or catch-phrases, only a profound self-awareness. Therefore nonduality is not popular. Like UFO disclosure, nonduality disclosure is disruptive. Yet it is my opinion that these two disruptions, hand in hand, will open a corridor vast enough to take humanity beyond its current problems, beyond the solar system, and beyond the known dimensions. An understanding of one's self from the nondual perspective easily, joyfully, and humorously welcome UFOs and their occupants.

-contributed by Jerry Katz


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Group: NDhighlights Message: 5027 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-19
Subject: #5027 - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5027 - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/


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The latest Nonduality Network Talk Radio show with Mandee and me is at

http://nonduality.net/18september2013.mp3

Topics discussed include...

Gratitude, Yoga class, nature of spiritual experiences. "Keeping your moments with God secret." Having conversations about conversations. Paying attention to attention. Silence: having no need to fill space with words. Taking walks in nature, silently. Buddhist story about silence. What is nonduality? "You have to come by this understanding by your own experience." Can't define nonduality with the mind and we try to use the mind to grock nonduality. Audio clip of Laura Lucille leading a meditation that allows us to experience nonduality. Nonduality meetups groups discussed. Stumbling upon nonduality. Having extraordinary experiences vs living the ordinary. Sadness discussed as an element of nature rather than as a personal hurt. A spontaneous drive to Labrador and a contemplation on sadness. A song about love is played. UFO and nonduality disclosure discussed. Resorting to your own authority, as radical. Nonduality can't be lost. Many people are thanked.

---------------------------------------------

In response to this show, Charlie Engel wrote:

Listening to this talk show, in particular, leaves me with a deeper understanding that non-duality does not, nor is meant to, make sense!

OM NAMAH SHIVAYA:

I'm realizing that nonduality would not make sense to anyone that does not abide in nor has visited that center without a circumference. I have been frustrated in attempts to discuss this with others. How does one effectively communicate the essence that is beyond thought? Transpersonal experiences come to mind. I share sacred experiences and insights in my role as an instrument in awakening brothers and sisters to eternal nature that belongs to no one while encompassing all. In doing so, I oftentimes venture outside of my comfort zone, an arena of unexpected insights, lessons and opportunities.

Steven Doyle and I discuss nonduality quite often. I learned tonight of an aspect of Steven's interpretation and/or experience that is significantly different than mine. I have been feeling very small, vulnerable and empty while he has reported being physically frail, transpersonal, eternal and full. Having the awareness that I am creating my reality is both liberating and sobering, a matter of choice. The inner landscape is as vast as multidimensional universes and as limiting as the mind.

Is anyone that is reading this familiar with transrational thinking? This is one of several additional subjects that we could possibly explore. Introduction to transrational thinking @ http://www.hyponoesis.org/content/pdf/introduction_to_transrational_thinking.pdf

Namaste,
Charlie Engel

~ ~ ~


Mandee responded to Charlie:

yes Charlie... i hear that. so nice of you to share your experience! it seems fun to talk about sometimes, and not fun at times. being quiet speaks volumes too.
who knows?
om namah shivaya


--------------------------------------------

My interview with Charlie Engel has been viewed over 3000 times:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69JVF6CnElY&list=UU9GKH2WG7i6KhNb8CqQuCrA

---------------------------------------------

Here are some excerpts from the web site on transrational thinking:


Introduction to Transrational Thinking

by Tom Arnold

Abstract: Transrational Thinking is a combination of the rational-analytical power of thinking and the intuitivecreative side of our mind that is not analytical but rather synthetic in character. Transrational Thinking directly taps into reality (Hyponoesis). It can access the totality of information in Hyponoesis directly without the need to acquire knowledge or information first.

The interesting thing for me - as a philosopher - is to find and develop a new way of thinking
that is able to go beyond itself and tap into the universal pool of information, in a volitional act.
We know that a higher form of consciousness or intuition can accomplish this. But can thought
accomplish this too? Is it possible to think and talk about any subject as if I knew everything?
Isn't that blasphemy in the eyes of religion?

It's a natural and logical conclusion from my philosophy that every human being is capable of
tapping into the totality of reality, or what I call Hyponoesis. We are not separated from Reality.
We are connected and interrelated with everything else in the universe. In the light of these
assumptions, doesn't it make sense to claim that our mind and in particular thinking is potentially
capable of accessing any information in the universe?

I call this non-conceptual thinking that allows access to any information in the universe
Transrational Thinking or Paranoesis. This higher form of thinking exists latently in us because it
shines through from time to time in the greatest thinkers of humanity. There is also some more
physical evidence of its existence in the latest results of psychic research that demonstrates the
existence of a faculty in our mind that is capable of accessing information that is not locally stored
(in memory) or acquired by any traditional means (learning, experience, etc.). This faculty is
commonly referred to as telepathy, remote viewing, clairvoyance, etc.

Transrational Thinking and Intuition

The concept of Paranoesis (Transrational Thinking), as I developed it, ought not to be
confused with intuition as generally understood (hunch, premonition, "gut" feeling, etc.). This is
what could be called "emotional" intuition. The one I'm interested in is known in philosophy as
"intellectual intuition" (see Spinoza, Schelling, Hegel, and others). It is a way of thinking (not
feeling), on a higher level and usually leads to insights, understanding, and a more
comprehensive, holistic knowledge.

I'm actually taking the concept of intellectual intuition a step further by claiming that
Paranoesis is able to access any information in the universe without the need to acquire
knowledge through traditional means, such as learning or reading. However, Paranoesis is not a
tool of our mind that we naturally possess in full-fledged form. It is latent and needs to be
developed.

Most of us have experienced what we popularly call "intuition" in one way or another before. It
is this "inner voice" which tells us what to do or gives us the right answer to our questions or just
pops up in our mind (hunches). We usually ignore that intuition or don't care too much about it.

~ ~ ~

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.hyponoesis.org/content/pdf/introduction_to_transrational_thinking.pdf
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5028 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-09-20
Subject: #5028 - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5028 - Thursday,В September 19, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
В 
В 
The Record of Linji
В 
В  Sangha Instruction
В 
Zen Master Linji (d. 866)
В 
Excerpted from The Record of Linji trans by Jeffrey Broughton 2013
В 
В 
Stream enterers! It's none other than you; in your venue of activities, right in
front of you, no different from that of the buddhas who are our patriarchs. You
just don't have confidence in this, and so right away proceed to external seeking.
В 
Make no mistake! Externally there is no dharma; even the internal is ungraspable
mentally. Rather than appropriating the words from my mouth, it would be better
for you to give it a rest and have nothing-to-do. Thoughts that have already
arisen—do not continue them. Thoughts that have not yet arisen—you must not let
them get loose.
В 
It would do you more good than ten years' traveling on foot throughout the world
trying to locate a teacher in order to seek the dharma and realization. According
to my vision, there's no "yadda, yadda, yadda" to it. It's just a matter of being
your usual self as in your daily activities. Put on your clothes, eat your food, and
pass your time—not-a-thing-to-do.
В 
You who come from all over the place are all with-mind, seeking "the Buddha" and
seeking "the dharma," seeking "liberation," seeking to "escape the three realms."
Idiots! You want to "escape the three realms," but exactly what place do you think
you're going to? The "buddhas" and "patriarchs" that you are seeking are only
terms that bestow bondage. Do you want to know the "three realms?"
В 
They are not apart from the mind ground of you who are listening to the dharma
right now. Your single moment of greed is the desire realm. Your single moment of
anger is the form realm. Your single moment of stupidity is the formless realm.
В 
They are the furnishings that come with your house. "The three realms" won't say
to you: "We are the three realms." In any case, it's you, the stream-enterer, right
now before me, clearly casting your light on all things and sizing up the world, who
does the attaching of names to the three realms.
В 
Students today fall short in their understanding because they consider names to be
understanding. In great big books they transcribe the sayings of some old dead
geezer, (some master without the eye), stacking them three layers deep, five layers
deep, into their monk's traveling bags and not letting anyone else see them. They
say, "This is the mysterious principle" and guard it as a secret treasure. Big
mistake! Blind idiots! .
В 
Just what kind of juice do you hope to extract from such dried-up bones as these
words of instruction from dead geezers, recorded in your great big books?
В 
There is a type of bad teacher who doesn't know good from bad. They conjecture
and haggle over the teachings, fabricating interpretations of the phrasing. It is as
if they hold clods in their mouths and spit them back out for other people. It's like
commoners transmitting secret passwords and counter-passwords for identifying
friend from foe—a whole life frittered away. .
В 
Even though bad teachers say the secret password, "I have left home," the moment
they are asked about the "buddhadharma" which is not the expected
counter-password, they right away clam up and have nothing whatsoever to say.
Their eyes are like the blackened vent of a stove, and their silent mouths are like a
shoulder pole sagging under a heavy load. Beings like this, even if they were to
encounter the next buddha Maitreya as he emerges into the world, would fall into
an Avici Hell.
В 
Venerables! You bustle along going to various regions—what are you looking for?
The soles of your feet have gotten as wide as planks from tramping about traveling
on foot far and wide in search of a teacher and realization. There is no "buddha"
that ought to be sought; no "Way" that ought to be completed; no "dharma" that
ought to be attained, nothing-to-do.
В 
Externally seeking for a "buddha" with characteristics, a nirmanakaya buddha
adorned with thirty two characteristics or a buddha made of clay or wood, would
not resemble you, the true buddha of your own mind/that one person. If you want
to know your original mind, the true person, it's not something outside of you that
you can join up with; nor is it something you can ever be apart from.
В 
Stream-enterers! The true buddha, everyone's dharmakaya buddha, has no form;
the true Way has no substance; the true dharma has no characteristics. These
three dharmas come fused together as the single, seamless place. Those who haven't
been able to perceive the single, seamless place we call transmigrating sentient
beings of confused karma-consciousness.
В 
Question: "What are the true buddha, the true dharma, and the true Way like?
Please give us instruction."
В 
The Master said: "A 'buddha' is mind purity itself. The 'dharma' is mind-radiance
itself. The 'Way' in every place is unobstructed radiance itself. The three are one,
and they are all empty terms, without real existence. For the practitioner of
beholding reality as it truly is, moment after moment the mind never breaks off
from beholding reality as it truly is—twenty four hours a day peacefully dwelling
in the state of the original portion.
В 
В 
В 
В 
В 

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5029 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-20
Subject: #5029 - Friday, September 20, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5029 - Friday, September 20, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/


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Akiane:

"To be allowed to change on our own, is to breathe."

"During a race where everyone holds their own truth, the finish line is a surprise."

"When you find peace you possess the whole world that you no longer need."

"Love is never alone. Love is always crowded. Love is a shared self. We cannot own our love, we cannot teach our love. The longest breath of love is the shortest distance to heaven. Love is not rest, love is peace, love is the purpose. No matter what distance we cross, each step is still an inifinity."

"Focusing on what we love and are passionate about creates a purpose and nurtures our creative genius. We need to enjoy life's journey not just a destination, welcoming both triumphs and mistakes is a major part of our growth. Then inspiration will come to us when we least expect it. Any expressions of arts can be real to others only if it comes to life, heals us, and brings us closer together."

David Rivers, who runs Tandava Press http://www.tandavapress.com/, posted this in Facebook:

Akiane Kramarik (born July 9,1994) Paints and writes poetry.

Her art is inspired by her visions of heaven and her personal connection with the Divine.

In this video of one hour there are many of her paintings to see, with her explanation added to them. At the age of 5 1/2 her body literally dissolved into light, six hours she was away. She tells what she has experienced, and how her life, paintings and poetry are influenced by this experience.

Extraordinary and beautiful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pT8BAhxfw1w#t=17

Akiane's paintings sell for up to $5 million.

These are mostly unedited excerpts from the video:

"Nobody taught me who God was. I found God myself."

"I don't belong to any religion. I just belong to God."

"People don't really live in the open. They live in a box and that's what's withdrawing a little bit of humankind, in my opinion."

"I think every person needs to have some sort of bit of guidance. It could be a family member, it could be a guru, it could be a friend, someone you could lean a shoulder on and trust them, and I feel by doing that you will grow more and more and believe more and more in the spiritual unknown realms."

"Sometimes I feel that people are in the wrong places, where they should be more in their natural place. Sometimes people work in situations where they're whole energy is sucking them. I wish people could go back to their natural abilities and work on their natural abilities. They'll be happier, they'll be more alive .. and the whole world will come naturally into their lives. I feel that when people start concentrating on what they really love, everything will naturally come into place, like a puzzle coming together."

"Heaven is all around us. ... There are millions upon millions of parallel universes where millions of us are in synch with other selves across the universe. If one is gone, the other is still there somewhere. Heaven is to me a word [meaning] that we are never gone. We will always be connected somehow, somewhere in some part of universe. We are never gone no matter what, in my opinion. We will return to our natural being, we will become someone else, our other selves will grow."

"The universe is so complicated, so diverse, that I don't even understand it and I don't think anyone will fully understand it. There is a heaven everywhere. It's the way we create it, the way we perceive it, and the way we believe in it that makes it even more real. As a child when I was so eager to learn, so eager to know things, I grabbed that information and decided to build on it, and that's where the art and the poetry decided to come naturally and that's where I decided to express the information I received, through the arts, and that's who I am today. I'm, in a way, a journalist, an artistic journalist who learns and who sees and who experiences things and paints them so others could learn or share or appreciate."

http://akiane.com
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5030 From: dustin999 Date: 2013-09-22
Subject: #5030 - Sat/Sun September 21/22, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith
#5030 - Sat/Sun September 21/22, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

The Nonduality Highlights • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/В 
​

Some of the world's celebs have been slipped something in their water. Last week it was Russell Brand, and this week it's comedian Louis C.K., in this 4-min clip from Conan which unexpectedly went very deep in response to a question about why he doesn't let his kids own smartphones:

http://gawker.com/louis-c-k-s-explanation-of-why-he-hates-smartphones-is-1354954625В 

He asserts that smartphones are toxic for kids because he thinks they don't allow them to build empathy and interpersonal skills; he objects to kids communicating with each other via their smartphones more often than face-to-face, person-to-person, and in real life, where they can see the immediate consequences of their actions if they insult a kid or say mean things to them.

However, he soon slips into a sort of quiet place when he describes how smartphones essentially prevent you from experiencing the present moment, just as it is. He has a darkly comedic way of looking at it (and it comes across funnier when you hear him say it in the interview), but it came across to me like a pretty nice definition of nonduality in practice, as it were; I think even the gifted Conan O'Brien was a little reticent about letting him go into such abstract philosophical territory for a late-night talk show like his:
You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That's what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That's being a person. Because underneath everything in your life there is that thing, that emptyâ€"forever empty. That knowledge that it's all for nothing and that you're alone. It's down there.
A long-form interview I heard with Louis C.K. on comedian Marc Maron's WTF podcast a couple years ago underlined the impression for me that Louis C.K. has a more enlightened worldview than some of the other celebrities I'm aware of. There's something in his constitution that makes him, and probably the world's best stand-up comics along with him, look more deeply inward than regular folks. If you've ever watched his stand-up comedy, it's also evident that Louis is utterly unafraid to look deeply at the dirtiest, saddest parts of him that he can find, and then dredge them up on stage to work them out in front of his audience. A peculiar gift, that. But one which I appreciate deeply.



​This next bit comes from Dan, who's building up a nice little following on Facebook and YouTube with his irreverent, funny take on the modern nonduality scene. His stage name needs to be said aloud to understand the joke of it. ​
The people harboring the “I need to attain Enlightenment to escape suffering” delusion seek help from the people harboring the “I’ve Awakened and attained Enlightenment” delusion. The people harboring the “I’ve Awakened and attained Enlightenment” delusion feel the desire to help those harboring the “I need to attain Enlightenment to escape suffering” delusion.

So they gather together and those harboring the “I’ve Awakened and attained Enlightenment” delusion sit in front of the people harboring the “I need to attain Enlightenment to escape suffering” delusion and the person sitting in front, the one harboring the “I’ve Awakened and attained Enlightenment” delusion, talks about how their delusion is superior to the delusion of the people harboring the “I need to attain Enlightenment to escape suffering” delusion.

Then the people sitting in the audience, the ones harboring the “I need to attain Enlightenment to escape suffering” delusion ask questions of those sitting in front, the ones harboring the “I’ve Awakened and attained Enlightenment” delusion, until they all come to an agreement on the most desirable delusion to harbor.

~From “Satsangs for Dummies” by Braying Jack Cass (via Facebook)​

If you're interested in hearing more from Dan/Jack, you can hear an interview Jerry did with him in late 2012 + access his YouTube channel through the following link:

http://nonduality.org/tag/braying-jack-cass/В 



​
F​or my official "Highlights of the Highlights" today, I've selected an interesting article by Deepak Chopra from a close-to-New-Year's edition in 2012 compiled by Jerry. In it, Chopra describes ​how modern worldviews are not supporting a dualistic outlook as much as they used to, particularly around the division between body and mind in medical and other contexts. Jerry points out that Chopra's use of the word "non-dual" is reflective of how mainstream the term has become, especially within the past 10-15 years. ​

I hope anyone who has been around us since the 90s recognizes what incredibly cool, leading-edge​ early-adopter​s ​you and ​we all were with this stuff.

Dustin




#4474 - Friday, January 6, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В 
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights

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



A New Year, and Possibly a New World
by Deepak Chopra

Posted: 1/4/12 09:10 AM ET

В 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/consciousness_b_1179494.htmlВ 
В 
It's fascinating, as time turns another small corner, to think of how worlds shift and collide. There is no evidence that a person as brilliant as Shakespeare understood that Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo had already revolutionized the human mind. The same thing may be happening now, and many brilliant people seem unaware of how our present-day world -- meaning our conception of reality -- may undergo a seismic shift.
В 
I'm not thinking of fossil fuels and Arab uprisings, not even of the 99 percent as against the 1 percent. Upheavals in the outer world are secondary, in the long sweep of history, to inner revolutions. We may be on the verge of such a one. What makes me think so is a trickle of medical articles, now greatly expanding, that are proving troublesome to mainstream medicine. These articles sometimes deal with cancer, sometimes with antidepressants, sometimes with the dashed hopes for gene therapies that seem constantly out of reach.
В 
What these articles have in common is that treating the body like a machine isn't panning out. The next breakthrough in cancer or psychotherapy or genetically-related disorders may come from an entirely different angle than the workaday materialism that "of course" looks at our bodies as physical objects like any other. That "of course" is the mark of a settled worldview. God "of course" created the world in seven days and the soul "of course" was more important than the body, which was a temporary shell while the soul worked its way through this vale of tears.
В 
When settled worldviews crumble, we have to reinvent the world. So far, there have been only three categories from which to construct reality from the ground up.
В 
1. Dualism, which separates mind and body.
В 
2. Non-dual materialism, which considers only physical things and excludes the spiritual, mystical and supernatural.
В 
3. Non-dual consciousness, which traces reality back to mind and beyond mind to the very potential for mind.
В 
Dualism no longer satisfies professional thinkers. Putting mind in one box and the body in another settles no questions about either. We are left with half a loaf, unable to say anything reliable about pure mind but also unable to connect the subtle way that the body responds to thoughts and feelings. Yet curiously, the average person is a flaming, if secret, dualist. We compartmentalize our lives in countless ways. God belongs on Sunday, the material world dominates the rest of the week. We treat our bodies sensibly, yet when a mortal illness threatens, it's time to pray. This kind of compartmentalism is understandable, but in the long run it's frustrating, as witness the countless people who feel anxious and empty in their search for higher meaning.
В 
The same complaint could be aimed at non-dual materialism, but science, which is totally materialistic, has won a resounding victory on many fronts. Therefore, it's an easy slide into believing that the scientific worldview must be correct. Non-dual materialism leaves no room for anything that cannot be turned into data. So it is incompatible with God, spirit, the soul and even the mind. The average person has bought into the notion, publicized constantly by the media, that the mind is the brain. After all, we can now watch the brain in real time as a person experiences love, faith, compassion and all other "higher" experiences that once belonged to the mind and the soul. But watching the brain at work is like watching an old tube radio light up when Beethoven is played. It would be naive to say that the radio composed Beethoven's music. Yet just as naively non-dual materialists see no reason to look beyond the brain for an invisible thing labeled as mind.
В 
This is the worldview that is crumbling while seeming to rise victoriously higher. Termites are silently chewing at the timbers. One notices this by being attuned to articles about the failures of the materialistic approach. Contrary to popular hopes, materialism cannot explain cancer or depression. It cannot tell you why talking to somebody can help your free-floating anxiety while tranquilizers may fail. Materialism sidesteps the mounting problem of side effects and the long-term damage to the brain from decades of taking psychotropic drugs. Materialism cannot explain what memory is, where it is stored on the cellular level, or why memories haunt us. There are many, many failures of this kind, and even in a field far removed from medicine like physics, peering into the void that gave rise to the physical universe has posed huge explanatory problems.
В 
Which leaves the third worldview, non-dual consciousness, that is all but invisible on the scene. It has been invisible for a long time, certainly in the Judeo-Christian West, where only a handful of obscure names like Spinoza, Giordano Bruno, and Meister Eckhart flirted with the idea that all is one, and that "one" is consciousness. Today, some farseeing speculative thinkers in physics are coping with the possibility that we live in a conscious universe. A tiny handful of neuroscientists are grappling with the possibility that the mind controls the brain and not vice versa. It's exciting fun to be part of this splinter group, especially if you relish the scorn of experts who inform you that "of course" you are completely off your rocker, a charlatan or a crypto religionist.
В 
What the scorn masks is that "of course" will be thrown out the window if a new worldview takes hold. That's what happened to the idea that "of course" God created the world according to Genesis. But the non-dual consciousness that was dominant 3,000 years ago in Vedic India cannot return as it once was formulated. The modern world isn't about to throw science out the window. Instead, science must expand, so that we look at cancer, depression or the Big Bang and say, "Now I see." (In particular, the mind-body connection with cancer needs exploring, as we will do in a later post.) A worldview succeeds when it explains more than the old one, when it opens people's eyes and when it achieves practical results. In the next post, we'll touch on how non-dual consciousness can do all those things.
В 
To be continued
В 
For more by Deepak Chopra, click here:
В 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopraВ 
В 
http://deepakchopra.comВ 
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5031 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-09-24
Subject: #5031 - Monday, September 23, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5031 - Monday,В September 23, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
В 
В 
If words carry my silence,
if words carry my wordless message to you,
only then is something being said ...
В 
~ Osho
В 

В 
Allow your heart
to be drawn ever deeper
into this self-luminous
unbearably beautiful jewel
of Silence.
Something glows here
softer than any touch,
more enticing
than any lover.
Playful and birthless,
a joy without cause,
this Light makes us free.
Silence is the mother.
В 
~ Fred LaMotte
В 

В 
В ocean pebble moon
В 
contemplation 6В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В 
В 

night roar blind pebbles rattle and groan:
В 
my time for ocean: wet knees and salt lips
В 
slipping and sliding and cursing and laughing
В 

I search for a pebble molded for the human hand
В 
its textures and pigments of earthÂ’s old shaking
В 
to gather and hold and listen
В 

lady moon, tonight white-robed and elegant
В 
call to your kindred here on the long shore
В 
where we rise and fall, driven, glistening
В 

I kiss a pebble and the pebble sings
В 
the long tide answers on the moonlit shore
В 
the poem now is circumstance:
В 

and in all the pain
В 
blind as a pebble on the page
В 
it sings in the rise and fall of your voice
В 

for every circumstance may sing
В 
where every song is universe
В 
and every universe is voice
В 
В 

"What is this mind?
Who is hearing these sounds?
Do not mistake any state for
Self-realization, but continue
To ask yourself even more intensely,
What is it that hears? "
В 
~ Bassui
В 
В 
В 
В 

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5032 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-25
Subject: #5032 - Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5032 - Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz



----------------------------------------------------------


One The Magazine, Nonduality Network Talk Radio, and Emptiness and Joyful Freedom are on tap in this issue. 


----------------------------------------------------------


I love One The Magazine. There's even an article by a guy with my name (and experiences). It's a juicy issue. And One is a unique offering in the world of nonduality, a true online magazine with professional publishing standards. Here's a blurb from the magazine:

The new issue of OneTheMagazine is online now, with some powerful personal accounts of nondual realization, including Nonduality Highlights very own Jerry Katz. Other featured authors are Eckhart Tolle, Yolande Duran-Serrano, author of the book, Silence Heals, and an essay from Igor Kufayev, "Vibrant Self," on science, nonduality, and the human body.

Also check out recent books, music, and movies of nondual influence, and special offerings from Sounds True.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Nonduality Network Talk Radio for 
Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 : 12:30-1:30PM Eastern Time.

Mandee and I are going to be making calls this week! Tune in to hear Greg Allen Morgoglione talk about "living your lyrics" as a musician, and check out Alice the Canine Messiah.

BTW, have you seen that clip going around with Louis CK? Put your cell phone down and turn your radio on...  oops, unless you listen to the show on your phone?!?

But seriously folks, if you're feeling it, you can call in between 1 and 1:30pm EST and chat with us about what can't be spoken. Take part in the world's first and only nonduality talk radio program. Tell us a story, tell us a joke. But most importantly, tune in, sit back, and enjoy.

Tune in at http://ckdu.ca
For more info http://nonduality.net


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Inline image 3

Emptiness and Joyful Freedom

by Greg Goode and Tomas Sander

The pinnacle of Buddhism's understanding of reality is the emptiness of all things. Exploring reality towards the realization of emptiness is shockingly radical. It uncovers an exhilarating freedom with nowhere to stand, while engendering a loving joy that engages the world.

This path-breaking book employs the emptiness teachings in a fresh, innovative way. Goode and Sander don’t rely solely on historical models and meditations. Instead, they have created over eighty original meditations on the emptiness of the self, issues in everyday life, and spiritual paths. These meditations are guided both by Buddhist insights and cutting-edge Western tools of inquiry, such as positive psychology, neuroscience, linguistic philosophy, deconstruction, and skepticism.

The result is a set of liberating and usable tools for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.

This Book in a Nutshell 

The goal of this book is to introduce the reader to “emptiness,” 
which is the pinnacle of Buddhist understanding of reality. 
To realize something as empty means to realize that it does not exist in the 
solid, self-contained way that we attribute to it. This insight about 
how things exist often seems abstract or inconsequential at first, 
but it is surprisingly profound. It can entirely transform how we 
experience ourselves and our place in the world. In fact, realizing 
emptiness is closely linked to achieving “enlightenment,” which for 
Buddhism is the ideal outcome of human development. 
The benefits of understanding emptiness, even partially, 
include a deep sense of freedom and connectedness with the 
world. This deep sense overcomes the alienation that many of us 
(post-)moderns feel. When we understand emptiness,
we experience an unshakable ease and lightness in life. 
For thousands of years, these benefits have inspired people to take up the study 
of emptiness.

The most significant challenge to understanding emptiness is 
practical. The emptiness teachings can be hard. They proceed by 
taking a very precise look at our experience. They identify and 
correct the errors we make about things. This process is a subtle, 
often demanding undertaking. The main reason we have written 
the present book is to make the emptiness teachings and their 
benefits more accessible. We approach this by creating meditations 
based on modern Western culture, that is, on ideas with which you 
may already be familiar with. Some of these meditations might also 
be called experiments, investigations or analyses. Using Western 
material to teach emptiness is the major innovation of this book. By 
presenting emptiness outside of its traditional cultural packaging
we hope to make its profound benefits also relevant to people who 
may not consider themselves to be Buddhists.

We hope that through reading this book you will:
1) understand what the emptiness teachings are about, 
2) taste experientially what emptiness is like,
3) discover how these teachings can help you live a more 
satisfying life, 
4) learn how to use some powerful Western meditation tools 
to deepen your insight. 

A Quick Taste

We all have tastes of emptiness, even if we don’t study this teaching. 
A taste of emptiness is an experience in which we realize that 
something doesn’t exist in the exaggerated way we had thought. 
As a result, the thing seems much lighter. It seems sweeter, more 
flexible, more alive and richer with possibilities. 

~ ~ ~


Get Emptiness and Joyful Freedom, the ebook, from the publisher: http://non-dualitypress.org/products/emptiness-and-joyful-freedom-e-book-edition

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5033 From: Mark Otter Date: 2013-09-26
Subject: Fw: [NDhighlights] #5024 - Sat/Sun September 14/15, 2013 - Editor: D
Hi Dustin,

congratulations on this fine feedback.В  I feel like I'm a mentor, or perhaps even your father, so I want to caution you about feeling good about positive feedback.В  I'm worried about the possible negative effects on your ego.В  It's important in this business to avoid inflating your ego.В  So think of me as an "ego sink..."В  Allow me, with the greater wisdom of having done the HLs for thousands of years (and far better than anyone else...), to absorb any and all ego inflating concepts. So, please imagine any and all praise for your efforts to be meant for me.В  AND if there is any temptation WHATSOEVER to think that your efforts are worth anything, please make penance for your evil thoughts by sending CASH to ME.

So, to summarize, send CASH to ME.

There, I think that will solve any potential problems that Seth's email may cause. I'm glad I could be of help in this difficult time, and I'll be glad to SPEND your CASH.

LOve, Mark
ps I'm concerned that Jerry may well also be suffering from a good self-impression due to his effortless work on behalf of nonduality, so please try to convince him to SEND me CASH.
pps In the mean time, I'll send you both a CD soon. SEND ME CASH IN RETURN...
ppps or even before...
pppps or both...
ppppps yeah, that's it, send cash both before and after, and every day.
pppppps Send cash with every breath you take, and put me in your will...
ppppppps that should just about do it.
pppppppps Let's not mention Glo. She never sends me cash, so let's just forget that she exists.


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Seth Chong
To: NDhighlights Moderator
Cc: NDH
Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 10:49 PM
Subject: Re: [NDhighlights] #5024 - Sat/Sun September 14/15, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

Dear Dustin,

Your newsletters are so good. They seem to be really easy and practical to read, learn and absorb from. Jerry's been doing a great job, I really do enjoy what you shared with us even more. Thanks and please keep up with the good work. Consciousness to consciousness, I appreciate it.

Thanks,
Seth


On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 11:29 AM, dustin999 [email protected]> wrote:
В 
#5024 - Sat/Sun September 14/15, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

The Nonduality Highlights • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/

Dear readers, I hope you'll indulge me in letting me share with you three things that don't actually come from previous issues of the Nonduality Highlights. (Now you know the truth about those "Highlights of the Highlights" issues -- they were just a foray for me to become a regular editor of the Highlights instead...)



My first submission is a short video of the UK comedian and actor Russell Brand. He made viral video news earlier this year when he took two Fox News interviewers to task on air about how poorly they were conducting their interview of him in that moment. This video is quite different, however. This address by Brand takes place at a David Lynch-organized conference on Transcendental Meditation in the US, and in the talk, he discusses the self-realization he experienced himself after undertaking TM practice:


At around the 1:30 mark of that video, Brand dispenses with his introductory remarks and discusses the initial insights he developed after becoming literally rich and famous. He had originally believed that more money and fame and all the delicious accoutrements that his enthusiastically drug-fueled life provided to him would also bring about a state of real satisfaction. With perfect comic timing, he says to his audience, "They did, a BIT... initially..."

He goes on to describe what happened to him after he began practicing TM in earnest. В He found he could immediately access a deeper state of happiness, one that was very profound and absolute. В In his own words, he says:

What it felt to me was like the dissolution of my idea of myself. I felt like "separateness" evaporated. I felt this tremendous sense of oneness. I'm quite an erratic thinker, an adrenalized person, but through meditation, I felt this absolute, this sort of beautiful serenity, and selfless connection… And that tendency I had towards selfishness, I felt that to be kind of exposed as a superficial and pointless perspective to have. I felt a constant sense of absolute love towards all of us.

Isn't that sort of lovely? I genuinely appreciate it when people as famous and mainstream as Russell Brand make an effort to spread that kind of message, I really do. It's not entirely common for a celebrity to acknowledge publicly that their personal tendency towards selfishness is actually a superficial and pointless perspective to have.



My second piece comes from a recent episode of the WNYC Radiolab podcast called Blame.В In this show, the producers delve deeply into whether or not it makes sense for our legal system to assess blame and accountability the way that they do. They use an interesting case study of an individual who has a specific neurological condition after brain surgery which precipitated his committing a disturbing crime for which he was incarcerated, but for which a cogent and persuasive argument could be made that he was not "willfully responsible" for his actions in any meaningful way.


What struck me the most about this documentary was a short interview with neuroscientist David Eagleman, who at first glance you might think would be sympathetic to this idea that faulty wiring in the brain could cause unintentional, criminal behaviour. But he thinks the very question is wrongheaded. Right now, he says that brain imaging technology is very crude, and trying to meaningfully identify brain abnormalities is like trying to map an area of the Earth in detail from space. It's simply not precise enough. And so the field of "Neurolaw" isn't really "there" yet. However, he can envision a time in the future when brain imaging gets so accurate that you'll be able to identify a tangled little ball of ganglia and say that it comes from their mom not loving them enough when they were 8, and maybe we'll be able to determine to a sophisticated level of detail the neurological mechanism by which a crime was committed, as an example. But listen to what he then says about this whole premise:

"You ARE your biology. Now Descartes famously suggested that you've got your body (the physical stuff), and then you've got this extra bit, this soul, this ghost in the machine... But the inside word on that in neuroscience is that's a big no-no... It's all the same thing."

Now we're actually able to SEE that with our imaging technology, we're on a slippery slope. Says the show's host: "Because if you start letting them off the hook now because of a tumour, well then you're going to have to keep letting them off later when you find something smaller. And smaller." Eagleman continues:

The point is, it cannot be a just legal system that in one decade says, "You're blameworthy (because at the moment, we can't see anything in your brain), and then in the next decade say, "Oh okay, you have... Schmedley's Disease, and we didn't realize it before, so now we're lumping you over here with the people with the brain tumours and you're off the hook. Blameworthiness is the wrong question for a legal system to ask. Because this whole notion doesn't make sense of saying, "Okay, if we have a biological mitigator, then we'll bring that up in court and we'll say 'Well, it's not exactly his fault," and if we don't have a biological mitigator we'll say it IS his fault. The reason none of this makes sense is because asking whether it was the person's fault or if it was his biology doesn't make sense as a question! They are inseparable. There isn't a 'you' and then 'your brain.' You ARE your brain. It's all one system.

When challenged on this point by the host who posed a hypothetical question about choosing between two different things to eat, Eagleman continues: В "Who is the 'you' that your brain is supposedly helping [when you make that decision] ?"

"The owner of the brain," replies the host.

"And that's separate from the brain? Do you 'own' your brain?"

Eagleman goes on to say that no, there is no separate 'owner' of the brain, and there is no separation between the two. В From a neuroscientific perspective, you and your brain are one single biological system and they cannot be thought of meaningfully as two separate things.

The nondual implications of that seem striking to me.



My last offering for you features anaesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff, who has put forward a new theory for the origin of consciousness; namely, that consciousness does not arise from a set of computational processes in our brains, but rather from a quantum event:


As with many of these progressively-deeper looks into the neuroscience of mind, I tend to find them a bit retrospective or at least overly mechanical in nature for their own sake; it seems like they all think it's inherently meaningful to describe the operational mechanics of how consciousness arises in us after the fact. I'm not convinced that knowing how this arises in us gives us any meaningful new information that changes anything.В 

Having said that, I am profoundly unenlightened about what quantum mechanics even means, so who am I to judge the meaningfulness of the theory? There's probably something really important or useful to know in there that I just don't understand because I'm so simple. :)

Dustin




Group: NDhighlights Message: 5034 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-26
Subject: #5034 - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5034 - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/

-----------------------------------

oops! Mark sent a private email to the Nonduality Highlights. It was intended only for the editors of Nonduality Highlights. Apologies to Seth whose privacy was compromised. It was unintentional.

We were complimenting Dustin on how he makes his issues of the Highlights personal in a way that makes them personal for the reader. And Mark has, albeit unintentionally (oh really?), shown his personal, funny side. Hey, Mark, that was the best Highlights issue you've ever sent out!

Thanks to our readers for your understanding.

Now on with a "real" Highlights issue...


-----------------------------------


Listen to the latest episode of Nonduality Network Talk Radio at
http://nonduality.net/25september2013.mp3.

Following some chat, we field a phone call from poet/artist with a nondual flare, Joanne Light, who tells about her work called "Dissolving Duality."

We extract some definitions of nonduality from the little known works of Greg? Goode and Nirmala?

Then we take a call from Greg Allen Morgoglione? and Alice the Canine Messiah. Greg talks about some magic he's working in the music industry that any singer slash songwriter can hook up with and make money. Greg talked about his book which is available here:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Now-Exspirientuality-Unity-Conversations/dp/1439259275/ref=sr_1_1?
ie=UTF8&qid=1361974839&sr=8-1&keywords=alice+the+canine+messiah.

We played a song by Greg called Breakfast with You.

Then you'll hear a nondual clip from comedian Louis C.K. and some discussion around it. Finally we play a clip from Thich Nhat Hahn.


-------------------------------------


Jeff Warren on Nonduality: Time for the World's Most Boring Genre to Grow Up

A talk presented at the Science and Nonduality Conference Europe 2013

Jeff is the unofficial official journalist to nonduality. He is bridging nonduality and the rest of the world. Yeah, them and us. How nondual is That??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PMsopsx_QU&feature=youtu.be

This is a classic talk in this "bridging" work that's going to be important in the next couple years, in my opinion.

I like how he talks about sticking to your own experience, because no one can argue about that. That's exactly where I was coming from and what I felt in writing my recent article for One The Magazine: http://onethemagazine.com


-----------------------------------------


Is a Guru Necessary?

by Colin Drake

http://nonduality.com/colindrake.htm

Recently an appreciative reader printed one of my articles in the India Post of which he is a senior editor. Then in response to one of my later ‘offerings’ he replied that:

I am told that "The discovery that beneath the body/mind, there is a conscious subjective presence," cannot be made without the help of a Guru!

Whereas, I assert that this discovery is child’s play as soon as one knows where to look, and so I sent him my article ‘Investigation of Experience’ (see appendix) which points to this.

All of which made me ponder the question; ‘Is a guru necessary for those on the path of self-inquiry, or direct-investigation?’ The answer to which hinges on the definition of the word guru which is given in the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘a Hindu spiritual teacher’. Now it is apparent that one who points the way need not be a Hindu so we need to modify this definition to ‘a spiritual teacher’. So is a teacher necessary, and is one who points the way a teacher?

The other consideration to be made is does this person need to be alive and do we need to be in the presence of this person, or can the pointings be gleaned from the written word? Furthermore, if they can does this make the author your guru?

To give a bit of cultural background to this: guru is a Sanskrit word and the guru tradition is endemic to the Indian sub-continent, alive and well in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.
In most of these traditions the seeker is initiated by a guru ,often at a young age, and that person becomes your life-long spiritual preceptor, to whom you turn for instruction and advice in both spiritual and worldly matters; rather like a life-coach in western parlance.


This has not generally been the case in the Western spiritual tradition, the nearest to it being the master/apprenticeship relationship between an artist (or artisan) and his/her students, or that of novice/spiritual-director. The main difference being that these are generally only temporary ties whereas the guru/initiate relationship is more permanent.

The other consideration is the nature of this relationship, which is normally one of devotion (or surrender) in the case of guru/disciple. This is shown in the literal meaning of the word Upanishad: sitting near (i.e. at the feet of) a master (OED), or: sitting near devotedly1. Now in the Upanishadic era all instruction was oral, so you had to get close to a master to hear what he was saying … whereas these days this is not so vital. Obviously, however, to develop devotion the master’s presence is helpful.

In my own case I became completely devoted to Sri Ramakrishna through reading the amazing hagiography by Mahendranath Gupta (M) ‘The Gospel of Ramakrishna’. I re-read this many times and read every piece of literature about this amazing being that I could lay my hands on. I spent ten years as his ardent devotee, meditating on him twice daily for 45-60 minutes, thinking of him, repeating the mantra (on him) given by my official ‘guru’ and studying The Gospel. In this case my official initiation, whilst useful, did not change my allegiance from him to my guru and did not greatly alter my practice or enhance my understanding of Ramakrishna’s message. So this was a case where the Master (Sri Ramakrishna) was dead and almost all of my instruction came by the written word.

However, this concentrated practice and devotion did not lead to complete freedom as I always felt that there was more to achieve. (I have now found that there is always more to be discovered but that this occurs through relaxed investigation, from freedom itself, rather than strenuous effort.) I then encountered a disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi, called Gangaji, who said “Stop! Be still, you are already That!” The message being that the effort and search were masking that which is always present, all that was required was to ‘stop’ and see what is always here … After many years of struggle and effort this news came like a breath of fresh air and I glimpsed the essence, that undeniable ever-present reality (pure awareness, total peace, absolute emptiness, utter silence and stillness).

This was followed by a seven day silent retreat with Gangaji devoted entirely to self-inquiry during which this glimpse was followed by my first ‘awakening’, resulting in an ecstasy that slowly faded over the following year. During this time I had the realization that life is just a series of moment-to-moment experiences and that by investigating the nature of experience itself one could discover the same ‘constant conscious subjective presence’ (pure awareness) that is revealed by self-inquiry.

So I am now convinced that the discovery of Truth, Freedom, Reality, Awakening, call it what you will, is very simple only requiring that one look (with an open mind) in the right ‘place’. This discovery then needs to be nurtured by repeated inquiry to reawaken when one ‘nods off’ again. This is where devotion, or surrender, to what has been discovered is necessary. In this case no guru or teacher is required just someone who points to where to look, although it may be useful if this person can offer assistance ‘along the way’ in which case you could call them a guru, although ‘fellow explorer’ is the term I would prefer.

About this Ramana Maharshi, who himself had no guru, said:

A Guru need not always be in human form. First a person thinks that he is inferior and that there is a superior, all-knowing, all powerful God who controls his own and the world's destiny and worships him or does bhakti. When he reaches a certain stage and becomes fit for enlightenment, the same God whom he was worshipping comes as Guru and leads him onward. That Guru comes only to tell him, `That God is within yourself. Dive within and realize'. God, Guru and the Self are the same.2

And Ramakrishna, who had many teachers but mentions no particular guru (in terms of being a life-coach), commented:

Satchidananda [Brahman, Consciousness, Awareness] alone is the Guru. If a man in the form of a guru awakens spiritual consciousness in you, then know for certain that it is God the Absolute who has assumed that human form for your sake. The guru is like a companion who leads you by the hand. After the realization of God, one loses the distinction between the guru and the disciple. 'That creates a very difficult situation; there the guru and the disciple do not see each other.3

So based on this I think, on balance, those on the path of self-inquiry, or direct-investigation, are better off following Buddha’s final teaching which was that one is to become ‘a light unto yourself’, by investigating for oneself after having been pointed in the right direction. Sankara agreed with this when he wrote, in the Vivekachudamani (verse 54):

The true form of Reality should be known through one’s own bodhacaksu, clear eye of understanding, and not through a scholar; the true form of the moon should be known by means of one’s own eyes only; how can it be known by proxy?4



Appendix: Investigation of experience reveals Reality


Here is a straightforward procedure to investigate the nature of reality starting from one’s day to day experience. Each step should be considered until one experiences, or ‘sees’, its validity until moving on to the following step. If you reach a step where you do not find this possible continue on regardless, in the same way, and hopefully the ‘flow’ of the investigation will make the unclear step clear. By all means examine each step critically, but with an open mind, for if you only look for ‘holes’ that’s all you will find!

1/ Consider the following statement: ‘life, for each of us, is just a series of moment-to-moment experiences’. These experiences start when we are born and continue until we die, rushing headlong after each other, so that they seem to merge into a whole that we call ‘my life’. However, if we stop to look we can readily see that, for each of us, every moment is just an experience…

2/ Any moment of experience has only three elements: Thoughts (including all mind activity), sensations (everything sensed by the body and its sense organs), and awareness of these thoughts and sensations. Emotions and ‘feelings’ are a combination of thought and sensation.

3/ Thoughts and sensations are ephemeral objects, that is they come and go, and are objects, i.e. ‘things’ that are perceived.

4/ Awareness is the constant subject, in that it is the ‘perceiver’ (of thoughts and sensations) and is always present. Even during sleep there is awareness of dreams and of the quality of that sleep; and there is also awareness of sensations in that if a sensation becomes strong enough (such as a sound or uncomfortable sensation) one will wake up. So this awareness is the constant, conscious, subjective presence.

5/ All thoughts and sensations appear in awareness, exist in (and are known by) awareness, and subsist back into awareness. Before any particular thought or sensation there is effortless awareness of 'what is' (the sum of all thoughts and sensations occurring at any given instant), during the thought or sensation in question there is effortless awareness of it within ‘what is’, and then when it has gone there is still effortless awareness of 'what is'.

6/ So the body/mind is experienced as a ‘flow’ of ephemeral objects appearing in this awareness, the ever present subject. For each of us any external object (or thing) is experienced as a combination of thought and sensation, i.e. you ‘see’ it, touch (feel) ‘it’, ‘know’ what it is called etc…

7/ Therefore this awareness is the constant sub-stratum in which all things appear to arise, exist, and subside. Thus deeper than this body/mind one is this awareness, the constant, conscious, subjective presence.

8/ This does not mean that at a surface level we are not the mind and body for they arise in, are perceived by, and subside back into awareness, which is the deepest and most fundamental level of our being. However if we choose to identify with this deepest level, awareness (the perceiver) rather than the surface level, mind/body (the perceived), then thoughts and sensations are seen for what they truly are, just ephemeral objects which come and go, leaving awareness itself totally unaffected.

9/ Next investigate this awareness itself to see whether its properties can be determined...
The first thing that is apparent is that this awareness is effortlessly present and effortlessly aware... It requires no effort by the mind/body and they cannot make it vanish however much effort they apply.
 
10/The next thing is that this awareness is choicelessly present and choicelessly aware. Once again it requires no choice of the body/mind and they cannot block it however they try. i.e. If you have a toothache there is effortless awareness of it and the mind/body cannot choose for this not to be the case. You may think that this is bad news but that is not the case, can you imagine if you had to make a choice whether you would like to be aware for every sensation that the body experiences! In fact be grateful that there is no effort or choice involved for awareness just to be...such ease and simplicity...which is not surprising for you are this awareness!
 
11/Next it can be seen that, for each of us, this awareness is omnipresent, in that one never experiences a time or place when it was not present. Even during sleep there is awareness of dreams, the quality of the sleep, and bodily sensations, in that if a noise is loud enough or a feeling (of pain or discomfort for instance) is strong enough it will bring the mind back to the conscious state, i.e. One will wake up... Once again be grateful that the mind/body is never required to search for this awareness, it is just always there, which of course is not surprising for one is this awareness.
 
12/ Next notice that this awareness is absolutely still for it is aware of the slightest movement of body or mind. For example we all know that to be completely ‘aware’ of what is going on around us in a busy environment we have to be completely still, just witnessing the activity.

13/ In the same vein this awareness is totally silent as it is aware of the slightest sound, the smallest thought..
 
14/ In fact this awareness is totally without attributes for all attributes occur in, and are noticed by, their lack. i.e. Sounds occur in silence, exist in silence, are noticed by their contrast to silence, and disappear back into silence; forms occur in space, exist in space, are noticed by their contrast to space, and disappear back into space, etc. etc.,
 
15/ Next it can be easily seen that this awareness is totally pure in that it is absolutely unaffected by whatever occurs in it, in the same way that a cinema screen is totally unaffected by any movie shown on it, however gross or violent. In fact no ‘thing’ can taint awareness; for by definition awareness cannot be affected by any ‘thing’, as all ‘things’ are just ephemeral objects which appear in, exist in and finally disappear back into awareness, the constant subject.

16/ This awareness is omniscient, in that everything appears in it, exists in it, is known by it, and disappears back into it.

17/ Finally it seems that this awareness is forever radiant in that it illuminates whatever occurs in it, thus the mind can see it i.e. become conscious of it.
 
18/ When one identifies with this awareness there is nothing (in terms of enlightenment, or awakening) to achieve, or struggle towards, for how can one achieve what one already is?
All that is required is for the mind to recognize that one is this awareness…

19/ When one identifies with this awareness there is nothing to find, for how can one find what cannot be lost?
All that is required is for the mind to stop overlooking what is always present, that which perceives the mind (and body)…

20/ When one identifies with this awareness there is nothing to desire, long for, or get, for how can one get what already is?
All that is required is for the mind to realize that which one already is, pure awareness…


 So now we have reached the 'Pure, radiant, still, silent, omnipresent, omniscient, ocean of effortless, choiceless, attributeless awareness’ (the Absolute without form or attributes) which, at the deepest level, we all are! Give up all striving, seeking and desiring, and just identify with This which you already are… Identification with This, rather than with body/mind (thought/sensations), gives instant peace for awareness is always ‘still and silent’ totally unaffected by whatever appears in it.

Although we, in essence, are 'The Pure, radiant, still, silent, omnipresent, omniscient, ocean of effortless, choiceless, attributeless awareness' it is impossible to experience this, we can know it, or realize it but it is beyond the realm of experience. This is because all experience appears in This, exists in This and dissolves back into This. In much the same way that you do not see the cinema screen whilst the movie is playing on it, but you cannot see the movie without the screen, this 'pure screen of awareness' cannot be seen by the mind (i.e. experienced) whilst the movie of mind/body is playing on it, but the mind could not see the movie without the screen... The only way it is possible to see the screen is when no movie is playing, but as experience is the movie this 'pure screen of awareness' is always outside of the realm of experience. However recognition of oneself as this 'Pure, radiant, still, silent, omnipresent, omniscient, ocean of effortless, choiceless, attributeless, awareness'  may evoke many experiences such as bliss, joy, relief (my God what a relief that there's no individual 'me me me'), a lifting of a great burden i.e. enlightenment in the literal sense of the word, universal love etc etc. These experiences vary greatly from person to person and are ultimately irrelevant as the recognition and realization, of one’s own essential nature, is the crucial factor for attaining freedom.

Note that although we cannot experience our essence we can absolutely know it* just as we know, without a doubt, that the screen is there (when we watch a movie). Then however terrifying, gripping or moving the movie is we are not shaken because we know it is a movie. We still enjoy it, in fact we enjoy it even more, because it is just pure entertainment and we are not identified with it. In the same way, once we know our essential nature, life can be seen as a movie and enjoyed as such without identifying ourselves as being trapped in it. Thus, although we cannot experience our essence, once we recognise it all of our experiences are transformed by no longer identifying with them but just enjoying them. Our mind/bodies are just instruments with which awareness interacts, senses and experiences its manifestation, the world.

This awareness is ‘consciousness at rest’, absolutely still; and is the ‘stillness’ in which all motion arises, exists, is known (by its comparison to the stillness), and finally subsides. For example if you walk across a room, before you start there is stillness, as you walk the room is still and you know you are moving by comparison with this stillness, and when you stop once again there is stillness. Every ‘thing’ that is occurring in consciousness is a manifestation of cosmic energy (the ‘string theory’, and the earlier ‘theory of relativity’, show that matter is in fact energy), which is consciousness in motion; and therefore arises in this awareness, exists in this awareness and subsides back into this awareness.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Just as you could not see a movie without the screen, you could not experience anything without awareness, for without that what would there be to experience? For without That we would see nothing (in that there would be no awareness of what was seen), hear nothing, feel nothing, taste nothing, smell nothing and not know our own thoughts! In fact experience, on any level, would not be possible…

Colin Drake's books may be researched and purchased for download at http://nonduality.com/colindrake.htm
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5035 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-26
Subject: #5035 - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5035 - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/

-----------------------------------

oops! Mark sent a private email to the Nonduality Highlights. It was intended only for the editors of Nonduality Highlights. Apologies to Seth whose privacy was compromised. It was unintentional.

We were complimenting Dustin on how he makes his issues of the Highlights personal in a way that makes them personal for the reader. And Mark has, albeit unintentionally (oh really?), shown his personal, funny side. Hey, Mark, that was the best Highlights issue you've ever sent out!

Thanks to our readers for your understanding.

Now on with a "real" Highlights issue...


-----------------------------------


Listen to the latest episode of Nonduality Network Talk Radio at
http://nonduality.net/25september2013.mp3.

Following some chat, we field a phone call from poet/artist with a nondual flare, Joanne Light, who tells about her work called "Dissolving Duality."

We extract some definitions of nonduality from the little known works of Greg? Goode and Nirmala?

Then we take a call from Greg Allen Morgoglione? and Alice the Canine Messiah. Greg talks about some magic he's working in the music industry that any singer slash songwriter can hook up with and make money. Greg talked about his book which is available here:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Now-Exspirientuality-Unity-Conversations/dp/1439259275/ref=sr_1_1?
ie=UTF8&qid=1361974839&sr=8-1&keywords=alice+the+canine+messiah.

We played a song by Greg called Breakfast with You.

Then you'll hear a nondual clip from comedian Louis C.K. and some discussion around it. Finally we play a clip from Thich Nhat Hahn.


-------------------------------------


Jeff Warren on Nonduality: Time for the World's Most Boring Genre to Grow Up

A talk presented at the Science and Nonduality Conference Europe 2013

Jeff is the unofficial official journalist to nonduality. He is bridging nonduality and the rest of the world. Yeah, them and us. How nondual is That??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PMsopsx_QU&feature=youtu.be

This is a classic talk in this "bridging" work that's going to be important in the next couple years, in my opinion.

I like how he talks about sticking to your own experience, because no one can argue about that. That's exactly where I was coming from and what I felt in writing my recent article for One The Magazine: http://onethemagazine.com


-----------------------------------------


Is a Guru Necessary?

by Colin Drake

http://nonduality.com/colindrake.htm

Recently an appreciative reader printed one of my articles in the India Post of which he is a senior editor. Then in response to one of my later ‘offerings’ he replied that:

I am told that "The discovery that beneath the body/mind, there is a conscious subjective presence," cannot be made without the help of a Guru!

Whereas, I assert that this discovery is child’s play as soon as one knows where to look, and so I sent him my article ‘Investigation of Experience’ (see appendix) which points to this.

All of which made me ponder the question; ‘Is a guru necessary for those on the path of self-inquiry, or direct-investigation?’ The answer to which hinges on the definition of the word guru which is given in the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘a Hindu spiritual teacher’. Now it is apparent that one who points the way need not be a Hindu so we need to modify this definition to ‘a spiritual teacher’. So is a teacher necessary, and is one who points the way a teacher?

The other consideration to be made is does this person need to be alive and do we need to be in the presence of this person, or can the pointings be gleaned from the written word? Furthermore, if they can does this make the author your guru?

To give a bit of cultural background to this: guru is a Sanskrit word and the guru tradition is endemic to the Indian sub-continent, alive and well in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.
In most of these traditions the seeker is initiated by a guru ,often at a young age, and that person becomes your life-long spiritual preceptor, to whom you turn for instruction and advice in both spiritual and worldly matters; rather like a life-coach in western parlance.


This has not generally been the case in the Western spiritual tradition, the nearest to it being the master/apprenticeship relationship between an artist (or artisan) and his/her students, or that of novice/spiritual-director. The main difference being that these are generally only temporary ties whereas the guru/initiate relationship is more permanent.

The other consideration is the nature of this relationship, which is normally one of devotion (or surrender) in the case of guru/disciple. This is shown in the literal meaning of the word Upanishad: sitting near (i.e. at the feet of) a master (OED), or: sitting near devotedly1. Now in the Upanishadic era all instruction was oral, so you had to get close to a master to hear what he was saying … whereas these days this is not so vital. Obviously, however, to develop devotion the master’s presence is helpful.

In my own case I became completely devoted to Sri Ramakrishna through reading the amazing hagiography by Mahendranath Gupta (M) ‘The Gospel of Ramakrishna’. I re-read this many times and read every piece of literature about this amazing being that I could lay my hands on. I spent ten years as his ardent devotee, meditating on him twice daily for 45-60 minutes, thinking of him, repeating the mantra (on him) given by my official ‘guru’ and studying The Gospel. In this case my official initiation, whilst useful, did not change my allegiance from him to my guru and did not greatly alter my practice or enhance my understanding of Ramakrishna’s message. So this was a case where the Master (Sri Ramakrishna) was dead and almost all of my instruction came by the written word.

However, this concentrated practice and devotion did not lead to complete freedom as I always felt that there was more to achieve. (I have now found that there is always more to be discovered but that this occurs through relaxed investigation, from freedom itself, rather than strenuous effort.) I then encountered a disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi, called Gangaji, who said “Stop! Be still, you are already That!” The message being that the effort and search were masking that which is always present, all that was required was to ‘stop’ and see what is always here … After many years of struggle and effort this news came like a breath of fresh air and I glimpsed the essence, that undeniable ever-present reality (pure awareness, total peace, absolute emptiness, utter silence and stillness).

This was followed by a seven day silent retreat with Gangaji devoted entirely to self-inquiry during which this glimpse was followed by my first ‘awakening’, resulting in an ecstasy that slowly faded over the following year. During this time I had the realization that life is just a series of moment-to-moment experiences and that by investigating the nature of experience itself one could discover the same ‘constant conscious subjective presence’ (pure awareness) that is revealed by self-inquiry.

So I am now convinced that the discovery of Truth, Freedom, Reality, Awakening, call it what you will, is very simple only requiring that one look (with an open mind) in the right ‘place’. This discovery then needs to be nurtured by repeated inquiry to reawaken when one ‘nods off’ again. This is where devotion, or surrender, to what has been discovered is necessary. In this case no guru or teacher is required just someone who points to where to look, although it may be useful if this person can offer assistance ‘along the way’ in which case you could call them a guru, although ‘fellow explorer’ is the term I would prefer.

About this Ramana Maharshi, who himself had no guru, said:

A Guru need not always be in human form. First a person thinks that he is inferior and that there is a superior, all-knowing, all powerful God who controls his own and the world's destiny and worships him or does bhakti. When he reaches a certain stage and becomes fit for enlightenment, the same God whom he was worshipping comes as Guru and leads him onward. That Guru comes only to tell him, `That God is within yourself. Dive within and realize'. God, Guru and the Self are the same.2

And Ramakrishna, who had many teachers but mentions no particular guru (in terms of being a life-coach), commented:

Satchidananda [Brahman, Consciousness, Awareness] alone is the Guru. If a man in the form of a guru awakens spiritual consciousness in you, then know for certain that it is God the Absolute who has assumed that human form for your sake. The guru is like a companion who leads you by the hand. After the realization of God, one loses the distinction between the guru and the disciple. 'That creates a very difficult situation; there the guru and the disciple do not see each other.3

So based on this I think, on balance, those on the path of self-inquiry, or direct-investigation, are better off following Buddha’s final teaching which was that one is to become ‘a light unto yourself’, by investigating for oneself after having been pointed in the right direction. Sankara agreed with this when he wrote, in the Vivekachudamani (verse 54):

The true form of Reality should be known through one’s own bodhacaksu, clear eye of understanding, and not through a scholar; the true form of the moon should be known by means of one’s own eyes only; how can it be known by proxy?4



Appendix: Investigation of experience reveals Reality


Here is a straightforward procedure to investigate the nature of reality starting from one’s day to day experience. Each step should be considered until one experiences, or ‘sees’, its validity until moving on to the following step. If you reach a step where you do not find this possible continue on regardless, in the same way, and hopefully the ‘flow’ of the investigation will make the unclear step clear. By all means examine each step critically, but with an open mind, for if you only look for ‘holes’ that’s all you will find!

1/ Consider the following statement: ‘life, for each of us, is just a series of moment-to-moment experiences’. These experiences start when we are born and continue until we die, rushing headlong after each other, so that they seem to merge into a whole that we call ‘my life’. However, if we stop to look we can readily see that, for each of us, every moment is just an experience…

2/ Any moment of experience has only three elements: Thoughts (including all mind activity), sensations (everything sensed by the body and its sense organs), and awareness of these thoughts and sensations. Emotions and ‘feelings’ are a combination of thought and sensation.

3/ Thoughts and sensations are ephemeral objects, that is they come and go, and are objects, i.e. ‘things’ that are perceived.

4/ Awareness is the constant subject, in that it is the ‘perceiver’ (of thoughts and sensations) and is always present. Even during sleep there is awareness of dreams and of the quality of that sleep; and there is also awareness of sensations in that if a sensation becomes strong enough (such as a sound or uncomfortable sensation) one will wake up. So this awareness is the constant, conscious, subjective presence.

5/ All thoughts and sensations appear in awareness, exist in (and are known by) awareness, and subsist back into awareness. Before any particular thought or sensation there is effortless awareness of 'what is' (the sum of all thoughts and sensations occurring at any given instant), during the thought or sensation in question there is effortless awareness of it within ‘what is’, and then when it has gone there is still effortless awareness of 'what is'.

6/ So the body/mind is experienced as a ‘flow’ of ephemeral objects appearing in this awareness, the ever present subject. For each of us any external object (or thing) is experienced as a combination of thought and sensation, i.e. you ‘see’ it, touch (feel) ‘it’, ‘know’ what it is called etc…

7/ Therefore this awareness is the constant sub-stratum in which all things appear to arise, exist, and subside. Thus deeper than this body/mind one is this awareness, the constant, conscious, subjective presence.

8/ This does not mean that at a surface level we are not the mind and body for they arise in, are perceived by, and subside back into awareness, which is the deepest and most fundamental level of our being. However if we choose to identify with this deepest level, awareness (the perceiver) rather than the surface level, mind/body (the perceived), then thoughts and sensations are seen for what they truly are, just ephemeral objects which come and go, leaving awareness itself totally unaffected.

9/ Next investigate this awareness itself to see whether its properties can be determined...
The first thing that is apparent is that this awareness is effortlessly present and effortlessly aware... It requires no effort by the mind/body and they cannot make it vanish however much effort they apply.
 
10/The next thing is that this awareness is choicelessly present and choicelessly aware. Once again it requires no choice of the body/mind and they cannot block it however they try. i.e. If you have a toothache there is effortless awareness of it and the mind/body cannot choose for this not to be the case. You may think that this is bad news but that is not the case, can you imagine if you had to make a choice whether you would like to be aware for every sensation that the body experiences! In fact be grateful that there is no effort or choice involved for awareness just to be...such ease and simplicity...which is not surprising for you are this awareness!
 
11/Next it can be seen that, for each of us, this awareness is omnipresent, in that one never experiences a time or place when it was not present. Even during sleep there is awareness of dreams, the quality of the sleep, and bodily sensations, in that if a noise is loud enough or a feeling (of pain or discomfort for instance) is strong enough it will bring the mind back to the conscious state, i.e. One will wake up... Once again be grateful that the mind/body is never required to search for this awareness, it is just always there, which of course is not surprising for one is this awareness.
 
12/ Next notice that this awareness is absolutely still for it is aware of the slightest movement of body or mind. For example we all know that to be completely ‘aware’ of what is going on around us in a busy environment we have to be completely still, just witnessing the activity.

13/ In the same vein this awareness is totally silent as it is aware of the slightest sound, the smallest thought..
 
14/ In fact this awareness is totally without attributes for all attributes occur in, and are noticed by, their lack. i.e. Sounds occur in silence, exist in silence, are noticed by their contrast to silence, and disappear back into silence; forms occur in space, exist in space, are noticed by their contrast to space, and disappear back into space, etc. etc.,
 
15/ Next it can be easily seen that this awareness is totally pure in that it is absolutely unaffected by whatever occurs in it, in the same way that a cinema screen is totally unaffected by any movie shown on it, however gross or violent. In fact no ‘thing’ can taint awareness; for by definition awareness cannot be affected by any ‘thing’, as all ‘things’ are just ephemeral objects which appear in, exist in and finally disappear back into awareness, the constant subject.

16/ This awareness is omniscient, in that everything appears in it, exists in it, is known by it, and disappears back into it.

17/ Finally it seems that this awareness is forever radiant in that it illuminates whatever occurs in it, thus the mind can see it i.e. become conscious of it.
 
18/ When one identifies with this awareness there is nothing (in terms of enlightenment, or awakening) to achieve, or struggle towards, for how can one achieve what one already is?
All that is required is for the mind to recognize that one is this awareness…

19/ When one identifies with this awareness there is nothing to find, for how can one find what cannot be lost?
All that is required is for the mind to stop overlooking what is always present, that which perceives the mind (and body)…

20/ When one identifies with this awareness there is nothing to desire, long for, or get, for how can one get what already is?
All that is required is for the mind to realize that which one already is, pure awareness…


 So now we have reached the 'Pure, radiant, still, silent, omnipresent, omniscient, ocean of effortless, choiceless, attributeless awareness’ (the Absolute without form or attributes) which, at the deepest level, we all are! Give up all striving, seeking and desiring, and just identify with This which you already are… Identification with This, rather than with body/mind (thought/sensations), gives instant peace for awareness is always ‘still and silent’ totally unaffected by whatever appears in it.

Although we, in essence, are 'The Pure, radiant, still, silent, omnipresent, omniscient, ocean of effortless, choiceless, attributeless awareness' it is impossible to experience this, we can know it, or realize it but it is beyond the realm of experience. This is because all experience appears in This, exists in This and dissolves back into This. In much the same way that you do not see the cinema screen whilst the movie is playing on it, but you cannot see the movie without the screen, this 'pure screen of awareness' cannot be seen by the mind (i.e. experienced) whilst the movie of mind/body is playing on it, but the mind could not see the movie without the screen... The only way it is possible to see the screen is when no movie is playing, but as experience is the movie this 'pure screen of awareness' is always outside of the realm of experience. However recognition of oneself as this 'Pure, radiant, still, silent, omnipresent, omniscient, ocean of effortless, choiceless, attributeless, awareness'  may evoke many experiences such as bliss, joy, relief (my God what a relief that there's no individual 'me me me'), a lifting of a great burden i.e. enlightenment in the literal sense of the word, universal love etc etc. These experiences vary greatly from person to person and are ultimately irrelevant as the recognition and realization, of one’s own essential nature, is the crucial factor for attaining freedom.

Note that although we cannot experience our essence we can absolutely know it* just as we know, without a doubt, that the screen is there (when we watch a movie). Then however terrifying, gripping or moving the movie is we are not shaken because we know it is a movie. We still enjoy it, in fact we enjoy it even more, because it is just pure entertainment and we are not identified with it. In the same way, once we know our essential nature, life can be seen as a movie and enjoyed as such without identifying ourselves as being trapped in it. Thus, although we cannot experience our essence, once we recognise it all of our experiences are transformed by no longer identifying with them but just enjoying them. Our mind/bodies are just instruments with which awareness interacts, senses and experiences its manifestation, the world.

This awareness is ‘consciousness at rest’, absolutely still; and is the ‘stillness’ in which all motion arises, exists, is known (by its comparison to the stillness), and finally subsides. For example if you walk across a room, before you start there is stillness, as you walk the room is still and you know you are moving by comparison with this stillness, and when you stop once again there is stillness. Every ‘thing’ that is occurring in consciousness is a manifestation of cosmic energy (the ‘string theory’, and the earlier ‘theory of relativity’, show that matter is in fact energy), which is consciousness in motion; and therefore arises in this awareness, exists in this awareness and subsides back into this awareness.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Just as you could not see a movie without the screen, you could not experience anything without awareness, for without that what would there be to experience? For without That we would see nothing (in that there would be no awareness of what was seen), hear nothing, feel nothing, taste nothing, smell nothing and not know our own thoughts! In fact experience, on any level, would not be possible…

Colin Drake's books may be researched and purchased for download at http://nonduality.com/colindrake.htm
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5036 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-26
Subject: #5036 - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5036 - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/

-----------------------------------

oops! Mark sent a private email to the Nonduality Highlights. It was intended only for the editors of Nonduality Highlights. Apologies to Seth whose privacy was compromised. It was unintentional.

We were complimenting Dustin on how he makes his issues of the Highlights personal in a way that makes them personal for the reader. And Mark has, albeit unintentionally (oh really?), shown his personal, funny side. Hey, Mark, that was the best Highlights issue you've ever sent out!

Thanks to our readers for your understanding.

Now on with a "real" Highlights issue...


-----------------------------------


Listen to the latest episode of Nonduality Network Talk Radio at
http://nonduality.net/25september2013.mp3.

Following some chat, we field a phone call from poet/artist with a nondual flare, Joanne Light, who tells about her work called "Dissolving Duality."

We extract some definitions of nonduality from the little known works of Greg? Goode and Nirmala?

Then we take a call from Greg Allen Morgoglione? and Alice the Canine Messiah. Greg talks about some magic he's working in the music industry that any singer slash songwriter can hook up with and make money. Greg talked about his book which is available here:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Now-Exspirientuality-Unity-Conversations/dp/1439259275/ref=sr_1_1?
ie=UTF8&qid=1361974839&sr=8-1&keywords=alice+the+canine+messiah.

We played a song by Greg called Breakfast with You.

Then you'll hear a nondual clip from comedian Louis C.K. and some discussion around it. Finally we play a clip from Thich Nhat Hahn.


-------------------------------------


Jeff Warren on Nonduality: Time for the World's Most Boring Genre to Grow Up

A talk presented at the Science and Nonduality Conference Europe 2013

Jeff is the unofficial official journalist to nonduality. He is bridging nonduality and the rest of the world. Yeah, them and us. How nondual is That??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PMsopsx_QU&feature=youtu.be

This is a classic talk in this "bridging" work that's going to be important in the next couple years, in my opinion.

I like how he talks about sticking to your own experience, because no one can argue about that. That's exactly where I was coming from and what I felt in writing my recent article for One The Magazine: http://onethemagazine.com


-----------------------------------------


Is a Guru Necessary?

by Colin Drake

http://nonduality.com/colindrake.htm

Recently an appreciative reader printed one of my articles in the India Post of which he is a senior editor. Then in response to one of my later ‘offerings’ he replied that:

I am told that "The discovery that beneath the body/mind, there is a conscious subjective presence," cannot be made without the help of a Guru!

Whereas, I assert that this discovery is child’s play as soon as one knows where to look, and so I sent him my article ‘Investigation of Experience’ (see appendix) which points to this.

All of which made me ponder the question; ‘Is a guru necessary for those on the path of self-inquiry, or direct-investigation?’ The answer to which hinges on the definition of the word guru which is given in the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘a Hindu spiritual teacher’. Now it is apparent that one who points the way need not be a Hindu so we need to modify this definition to ‘a spiritual teacher’. So is a teacher necessary, and is one who points the way a teacher?

The other consideration to be made is does this person need to be alive and do we need to be in the presence of this person, or can the pointings be gleaned from the written word? Furthermore, if they can does this make the author your guru?

To give a bit of cultural background to this: guru is a Sanskrit word and the guru tradition is endemic to the Indian sub-continent, alive and well in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.
In most of these traditions the seeker is initiated by a guru ,often at a young age, and that person becomes your life-long spiritual preceptor, to whom you turn for instruction and advice in both spiritual and worldly matters; rather like a life-coach in western parlance.


This has not generally been the case in the Western spiritual tradition, the nearest to it being the master/apprenticeship relationship between an artist (or artisan) and his/her students, or that of novice/spiritual-director. The main difference being that these are generally only temporary ties whereas the guru/initiate relationship is more permanent.

The other consideration is the nature of this relationship, which is normally one of devotion (or surrender) in the case of guru/disciple. This is shown in the literal meaning of the word Upanishad: sitting near (i.e. at the feet of) a master (OED), or: sitting near devotedly1. Now in the Upanishadic era all instruction was oral, so you had to get close to a master to hear what he was saying … whereas these days this is not so vital. Obviously, however, to develop devotion the master’s presence is helpful.

In my own case I became completely devoted to Sri Ramakrishna through reading the amazing hagiography by Mahendranath Gupta (M) ‘The Gospel of Ramakrishna’. I re-read this many times and read every piece of literature about this amazing being that I could lay my hands on. I spent ten years as his ardent devotee, meditating on him twice daily for 45-60 minutes, thinking of him, repeating the mantra (on him) given by my official ‘guru’ and studying The Gospel. In this case my official initiation, whilst useful, did not change my allegiance from him to my guru and did not greatly alter my practice or enhance my understanding of Ramakrishna’s message. So this was a case where the Master (Sri Ramakrishna) was dead and almost all of my instruction came by the written word.

However, this concentrated practice and devotion did not lead to complete freedom as I always felt that there was more to achieve. (I have now found that there is always more to be discovered but that this occurs through relaxed investigation, from freedom itself, rather than strenuous effort.) I then encountered a disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi, called Gangaji, who said “Stop! Be still, you are already That!” The message being that the effort and search were masking that which is always present, all that was required was to ‘stop’ and see what is always here … After many years of struggle and effort this news came like a breath of fresh air and I glimpsed the essence, that undeniable ever-present reality (pure awareness, total peace, absolute emptiness, utter silence and stillness).

This was followed by a seven day silent retreat with Gangaji devoted entirely to self-inquiry during which this glimpse was followed by my first ‘awakening’, resulting in an ecstasy that slowly faded over the following year. During this time I had the realization that life is just a series of moment-to-moment experiences and that by investigating the nature of experience itself one could discover the same ‘constant conscious subjective presence’ (pure awareness) that is revealed by self-inquiry.

So I am now convinced that the discovery of Truth, Freedom, Reality, Awakening, call it what you will, is very simple only requiring that one look (with an open mind) in the right ‘place’. This discovery then needs to be nurtured by repeated inquiry to reawaken when one ‘nods off’ again. This is where devotion, or surrender, to what has been discovered is necessary. In this case no guru or teacher is required just someone who points to where to look, although it may be useful if this person can offer assistance ‘along the way’ in which case you could call them a guru, although ‘fellow explorer’ is the term I would prefer.

About this Ramana Maharshi, who himself had no guru, said:

A Guru need not always be in human form. First a person thinks that he is inferior and that there is a superior, all-knowing, all powerful God who controls his own and the world's destiny and worships him or does bhakti. When he reaches a certain stage and becomes fit for enlightenment, the same God whom he was worshipping comes as Guru and leads him onward. That Guru comes only to tell him, `That God is within yourself. Dive within and realize'. God, Guru and the Self are the same.2

And Ramakrishna, who had many teachers but mentions no particular guru (in terms of being a life-coach), commented:

Satchidananda [Brahman, Consciousness, Awareness] alone is the Guru. If a man in the form of a guru awakens spiritual consciousness in you, then know for certain that it is God the Absolute who has assumed that human form for your sake. The guru is like a companion who leads you by the hand. After the realization of God, one loses the distinction between the guru and the disciple. 'That creates a very difficult situation; there the guru and the disciple do not see each other.3

So based on this I think, on balance, those on the path of self-inquiry, or direct-investigation, are better off following Buddha’s final teaching which was that one is to become ‘a light unto yourself’, by investigating for oneself after having been pointed in the right direction. Sankara agreed with this when he wrote, in the Vivekachudamani (verse 54):

The true form of Reality should be known through one’s own bodhacaksu, clear eye of understanding, and not through a scholar; the true form of the moon should be known by means of one’s own eyes only; how can it be known by proxy?4



Appendix: Investigation of experience reveals Reality


Here is a straightforward procedure to investigate the nature of reality starting from one’s day to day experience. Each step should be considered until one experiences, or ‘sees’, its validity until moving on to the following step. If you reach a step where you do not find this possible continue on regardless, in the same way, and hopefully the ‘flow’ of the investigation will make the unclear step clear. By all means examine each step critically, but with an open mind, for if you only look for ‘holes’ that’s all you will find!

1/ Consider the following statement: ‘life, for each of us, is just a series of moment-to-moment experiences’. These experiences start when we are born and continue until we die, rushing headlong after each other, so that they seem to merge into a whole that we call ‘my life’. However, if we stop to look we can readily see that, for each of us, every moment is just an experience…

2/ Any moment of experience has only three elements: Thoughts (including all mind activity), sensations (everything sensed by the body and its sense organs), and awareness of these thoughts and sensations. Emotions and ‘feelings’ are a combination of thought and sensation.

3/ Thoughts and sensations are ephemeral objects, that is they come and go, and are objects, i.e. ‘things’ that are perceived.

4/ Awareness is the constant subject, in that it is the ‘perceiver’ (of thoughts and sensations) and is always present. Even during sleep there is awareness of dreams and of the quality of that sleep; and there is also awareness of sensations in that if a sensation becomes strong enough (such as a sound or uncomfortable sensation) one will wake up. So this awareness is the constant, conscious, subjective presence.

5/ All thoughts and sensations appear in awareness, exist in (and are known by) awareness, and subsist back into awareness. Before any particular thought or sensation there is effortless awareness of 'what is' (the sum of all thoughts and sensations occurring at any given instant), during the thought or sensation in question there is effortless awareness of it within ‘what is’, and then when it has gone there is still effortless awareness of 'what is'.

6/ So the body/mind is experienced as a ‘flow’ of ephemeral objects appearing in this awareness, the ever present subject. For each of us any external object (or thing) is experienced as a combination of thought and sensation, i.e. you ‘see’ it, touch (feel) ‘it’, ‘know’ what it is called etc…

7/ Therefore this awareness is the constant sub-stratum in which all things appear to arise, exist, and subside. Thus deeper than this body/mind one is this awareness, the constant, conscious, subjective presence.

8/ This does not mean that at a surface level we are not the mind and body for they arise in, are perceived by, and subside back into awareness, which is the deepest and most fundamental level of our being. However if we choose to identify with this deepest level, awareness (the perceiver) rather than the surface level, mind/body (the perceived), then thoughts and sensations are seen for what they truly are, just ephemeral objects which come and go, leaving awareness itself totally unaffected.

9/ Next investigate this awareness itself to see whether its properties can be determined...
The first thing that is apparent is that this awareness is effortlessly present and effortlessly aware... It requires no effort by the mind/body and they cannot make it vanish however much effort they apply.
 
10/The next thing is that this awareness is choicelessly present and choicelessly aware. Once again it requires no choice of the body/mind and they cannot block it however they try. i.e. If you have a toothache there is effortless awareness of it and the mind/body cannot choose for this not to be the case. You may think that this is bad news but that is not the case, can you imagine if you had to make a choice whether you would like to be aware for every sensation that the body experiences! In fact be grateful that there is no effort or choice involved for awareness just to be...such ease and simplicity...which is not surprising for you are this awareness!
 
11/Next it can be seen that, for each of us, this awareness is omnipresent, in that one never experiences a time or place when it was not present. Even during sleep there is awareness of dreams, the quality of the sleep, and bodily sensations, in that if a noise is loud enough or a feeling (of pain or discomfort for instance) is strong enough it will bring the mind back to the conscious state, i.e. One will wake up... Once again be grateful that the mind/body is never required to search for this awareness, it is just always there, which of course is not surprising for one is this awareness.
 
12/ Next notice that this awareness is absolutely still for it is aware of the slightest movement of body or mind. For example we all know that to be completely ‘aware’ of what is going on around us in a busy environment we have to be completely still, just witnessing the activity.

13/ In the same vein this awareness is totally silent as it is aware of the slightest sound, the smallest thought..
 
14/ In fact this awareness is totally without attributes for all attributes occur in, and are noticed by, their lack. i.e. Sounds occur in silence, exist in silence, are noticed by their contrast to silence, and disappear back into silence; forms occur in space, exist in space, are noticed by their contrast to space, and disappear back into space, etc. etc.,
 
15/ Next it can be easily seen that this awareness is totally pure in that it is absolutely unaffected by whatever occurs in it, in the same way that a cinema screen is totally unaffected by any movie shown on it, however gross or violent. In fact no ‘thing’ can taint awareness; for by definition awareness cannot be affected by any ‘thing’, as all ‘things’ are just ephemeral objects which appear in, exist in and finally disappear back into awareness, the constant subject.

16/ This awareness is omniscient, in that everything appears in it, exists in it, is known by it, and disappears back into it.

17/ Finally it seems that this awareness is forever radiant in that it illuminates whatever occurs in it, thus the mind can see it i.e. become conscious of it.
 
18/ When one identifies with this awareness there is nothing (in terms of enlightenment, or awakening) to achieve, or struggle towards, for how can one achieve what one already is?
All that is required is for the mind to recognize that one is this awareness…

19/ When one identifies with this awareness there is nothing to find, for how can one find what cannot be lost?
All that is required is for the mind to stop overlooking what is always present, that which perceives the mind (and body)…

20/ When one identifies with this awareness there is nothing to desire, long for, or get, for how can one get what already is?
All that is required is for the mind to realize that which one already is, pure awareness…


 So now we have reached the 'Pure, radiant, still, silent, omnipresent, omniscient, ocean of effortless, choiceless, attributeless awareness’ (the Absolute without form or attributes) which, at the deepest level, we all are! Give up all striving, seeking and desiring, and just identify with This which you already are… Identification with This, rather than with body/mind (thought/sensations), gives instant peace for awareness is always ‘still and silent’ totally unaffected by whatever appears in it.

Although we, in essence, are 'The Pure, radiant, still, silent, omnipresent, omniscient, ocean of effortless, choiceless, attributeless awareness' it is impossible to experience this, we can know it, or realize it but it is beyond the realm of experience. This is because all experience appears in This, exists in This and dissolves back into This. In much the same way that you do not see the cinema screen whilst the movie is playing on it, but you cannot see the movie without the screen, this 'pure screen of awareness' cannot be seen by the mind (i.e. experienced) whilst the movie of mind/body is playing on it, but the mind could not see the movie without the screen... The only way it is possible to see the screen is when no movie is playing, but as experience is the movie this 'pure screen of awareness' is always outside of the realm of experience. However recognition of oneself as this 'Pure, radiant, still, silent, omnipresent, omniscient, ocean of effortless, choiceless, attributeless, awareness'  may evoke many experiences such as bliss, joy, relief (my God what a relief that there's no individual 'me me me'), a lifting of a great burden i.e. enlightenment in the literal sense of the word, universal love etc etc. These experiences vary greatly from person to person and are ultimately irrelevant as the recognition and realization, of one’s own essential nature, is the crucial factor for attaining freedom.

Note that although we cannot experience our essence we can absolutely know it* just as we know, without a doubt, that the screen is there (when we watch a movie). Then however terrifying, gripping or moving the movie is we are not shaken because we know it is a movie. We still enjoy it, in fact we enjoy it even more, because it is just pure entertainment and we are not identified with it. In the same way, once we know our essential nature, life can be seen as a movie and enjoyed as such without identifying ourselves as being trapped in it. Thus, although we cannot experience our essence, once we recognise it all of our experiences are transformed by no longer identifying with them but just enjoying them. Our mind/bodies are just instruments with which awareness interacts, senses and experiences its manifestation, the world.

This awareness is ‘consciousness at rest’, absolutely still; and is the ‘stillness’ in which all motion arises, exists, is known (by its comparison to the stillness), and finally subsides. For example if you walk across a room, before you start there is stillness, as you walk the room is still and you know you are moving by comparison with this stillness, and when you stop once again there is stillness. Every ‘thing’ that is occurring in consciousness is a manifestation of cosmic energy (the ‘string theory’, and the earlier ‘theory of relativity’, show that matter is in fact energy), which is consciousness in motion; and therefore arises in this awareness, exists in this awareness and subsides back into this awareness.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Just as you could not see a movie without the screen, you could not experience anything without awareness, for without that what would there be to experience? For without That we would see nothing (in that there would be no awareness of what was seen), hear nothing, feel nothing, taste nothing, smell nothing and not know our own thoughts! In fact experience, on any level, would not be possible…

Colin Drake's books may be researched and purchased for download at http://nonduality.com/colindrake.htm
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5037 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-27
Subject: #5037 - Thursday, September 26, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5037 - Thursday, September 26, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz 
 


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Sorry about the sending of three copies of the Highlights in my last issue. Not sure of the reason, but we'll keep an eye on it. I'm using gmail to send this out and hopefully this will be a simple email to the group. 


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Interview with Galen Sharp, author of What Am I? A Study in Non-Volitional Living


Galen Sharp is a sculptor and author. In the 1970's he began a correspondence with the brilliant and enigmatic non-duality sage Terrence Stannus Gray, who wrote under the name Wei Wu Wei, that was to last several years. His teaching was to completely transform Galen's worldview and life. Galen is the author of What Am I? A Study in Non-Volitional Living. His book and his other interests may be researched at the following sites:


Contents of the Interview

0:00 - 2:52 Self-Introduction by Galen. Early life. Search for a philosophy of life. 

2:52 - 9:38 Christian upbringing. Gospel of Thomas discussed including story about Wei Wu Wei's involvement with the GoT.

9:38 - 17:38 Spiritual breakthrough that happened beginning at age 18. "Reality could be one's ideal." Life as an artist. Questioning who and what he was. "What's it going to take to be happy?" Self-image realized to be a concept. Seeing nondual expression in the Christian Bible. 

17:38 - 20:48 Discovery of books by Wei Wu Wei. Paul Reps mentioned. 

20:48 - 24:03 Nature of Galen's spiritual adventure back in the 60s compared to a nondual adventure in the internet age. 

24:03 - 29:54 Galen's book What Am I? briefly discussed, more on Wei Wu Wei. Paul Reps discussed and weird and fascinating things he did. Sixties spirit evoked. "LUCK!"

29:54 - 35:08 Story about Douglas Harding and Paul Reps relationship. Mountain Path magazine. 

35:08 - 38:32 Douglas Harding discussed. "Kelloggs All Bran." 

38:32 - 43:31 Workshop associated with "What Am I?" Seeking venue in the Denver area for workshop. Connie Shaw from Sentient Publications mentioned. 

43:31 - 56:17 Peter Reese from sentient.org discussed. Vicki Woodyard mentioned. Encouragement of Peter.

56:17 - 1:03:17 David and Natasha Rivers, and Tony Cartledge mentioned. Galen's book further discussed. Nature of volition and non-volition. Doing and not-doing. Being quoted as an author. 

1:03:17 - 1:17:25 Galen's long marriage. Galen's sculpture work and its Zen-like nature. Details of the process of sculpture including creating a mold and bronzing and the world of sculptors in the area of Loveland, Colorado.

1:17:25 - 1:25:42 Wei Wu Wei re-visited. Precision of his writing. Wei Wu Wei's discovery of Nisargadatta. Ramana Maharshi discussed. Humor in nonduality. Lewis Carroll. 

1:25:42 - 1:43:06 Killing the ego and Zeno's paradox. Fear. Can you find a self? More about Wei Wu Wei. "Hot is not hot, therefore it is called hot," explained. Obviousness of nondual nature of reality. Conclusion.

Listen to the interview with Galen Sharp on YouTube with visual content:
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5038 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-09-27
Subject: #5038 - Friday, September 27, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
#5038 - Friday,В September 27, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
В 
В 
Among the Nonduals: Exploring the True Nature of Mind
| Jeff Warren | September 2013 - Issue 8
В 
A man sits on a chair in front of a blank white screen. His hands are clasped in his
lap and he speaks slowly and carefully. The conference audience in this quiet
corner of Holland is rapt.
В 
“Perception is conventionally believed to be divided into two essential ingredients:
an inside self or subject, and an outside world or object. The belief that all
experience is divided this way underpins our entire world culture – how we think,
feel, act, perceive and relate.”
В 
His voice is gentle. “Look around you. We think we see a room. In fact, all we know
or experience is our perception of the room or world. Do you ever know or come
into contact with anything other than the knowing of your experience? ItÂ’s not
possible. All we really find in experience is knowing.”
В 
The speakerÂ’s name is Rupert Spira. HeÂ’s an Englishman, a ceramicist by training.
His interest in perception comes by way of his art, and by way of his other career
as a spiritual teacher and author.
В 
Although it is unlikely Spira would put it in these terms, this part of what he is
describing is, from a neuroscientific perspective, actually quite conventional. The
world comes in all broken up via the senses and is assembled by the brain into a
coherent model of reality. All we ever experience are these images and sensations
and perceptions, which we take to be an honest accounting of a world beyond
ourselves. Of course we do – thatÂ’s why perceiving is worth the bother.
В 
For Spira, this recognition is the departure point for a radical reorientation in
how we experience self and world. What if, Spira says (Spira and the other two
dozen or so speakers), what if we donÂ’t immediately rush into that very reasonable
assumption of externality? What if we take a bizarre chance, and practice living
our lives from the technically more accurate truth of direct experience, which
presents to us only one thing: our own awareness? If we actually do this, if we
reframe experience in this way and patiently explore not the world, but our own
personal world filters, then we will not find any sort of division between a self and
a world, an inside and an outside. In fact, we will find no limits at all.
В 
If this sounds like an unwanted excursion into freshman philosophy – at best an
indulgence, at worst a solipsistic derangement – then that may be because you are
trying to use common sense to follow and critique SpiraÂ’s argument.
В 
Try some uncommon sense instead. Because it turns out that when you trust the
instructions and actually begin to feel into this kind of questioning with your body,
something very interesting can happen. You may have heard the phrase a million
times before – something about oneness, something about the dream-like nature of
reality, something about the outside being no different than the inside – except
this time there is a slippage in your conceptual guard. In Zen they call these
well-timed phrases “turning words.” A bright shot of vertigo enters the system. The
camera of your awareness lurches and resets and suddenly you are conscious of the
weird fact – and breadth – of your existence in a fresh and more immediate way.
В 
Maybe youÂ’ve experienced something similar in nature: a sudden view that pulls
your breath from your body and resets your mind, an unexpected convergence of
intimacy in the forest or sea. This “reorientation” is the opposite of exotic; indeed
its very familiarity is said to be one reason it is so often overlooked. For many, the
experience is accompanied by a sense of lightness and spaciousness and – for me
anyway – of comedy. I usually giggle. Others describe it differently.
В 
For some – call them the accidental few, although as the saying goes, practice
makes you accident-prone – their perspective shifts and stays that way. ItÂ’s as
though they crossed their eyeballs for too long, just like their mothers warned
them about, and now – whoops – they went and got enlightened. Or awakened. Or
whatever you want to call it. If the shift begins as a very subtle and ordinary
thing, the more years one percolates inside it, the more profound it can get,
eventually uprooting all kinds of familiar structures of consciousness and leaving
the former seeker just another chunk of vibrating cosmos, free and unbounded and
participating in what they say is a paradoxically more accurate reality.
В 
At least, thatÂ’s one way to talk about it. Welcome to the Science and Nonduality
Conference (SAND), which I attended in Doorn, Holland last June, the sixth
installment in four years, a California export that every year finds a larger and
larger international audience.
В 
“Four hundred crazy people just like you!” says conference organizer Maurizio
Benazzo, who introduced the proceedings. Maurizio is a tall and radiantly
sentimental Italian, given to public displays of grateful weeping. Everyone loves
him, even the normally stoic Dutch.
В 
“One day science will try to understand this nonduality – not to prove it, not to
find The Truth, but to participate in The Mystery!” The crowd cheers.
В 
The particular challenge of writing about nonduality is not that there is too little
information about the subject; itÂ’s that there is too much. There is so much noise
that the signal is obscured. Technically, anyone writing about “oneness” – and this
includes popular spiritual writers like Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie and Deepak
Chopra and a legion of disorderly New Agers – is expressing a form of nonduality.
Indeed, a version of the idea – often camouflaged in very different assumptions
and language – can be found in all the worldÂ’s contemplative traditions, from Greek
philosophy through to Buddhism and Taoism and each of the mystical branches of
the Abrahamic religions. It is the centerpiece of the so-called Perennial Philosophy,
which argues that all religions point to the same underlying reality, whether you
call it God or Emptiness or Tao or the True Self.
В 
Nonduality also has a much more precise meaning in the smaller inter-disciplinary
world of consciousness studies. It is a direct translation of “advaita,” part of the
Advaita Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy, one of the oldest and the most
rigorous branches of Indian thinking and practice. Vedic purists would never
translate “Advaita” as “oneness;” the more precise meaning, they insist, is “not-two.”
If that distinction seems like hair-splitting, then this may not be the genre for you.
Because nonduality is all about subtlety – all about exploring very fine paradoxes
that, over time, are said to change the way you experience self and world.
В 
For a journalist, itÂ’s a slippery area to research, for everyone has a slightly
different take on how to arrive at that underlying nondual reality, and what that
reality actually entails. Different teachers emphasize their own way in, and usually
disparage the other routes, which is why the elitist Tibetans roll their eyes at the
gnomic Zennies, who smugly dismiss the striving Theravadans, who are enraged by
the absolutist Vedantans, who make fun of the devotional theistics, who weep with
joy and confusion and donÂ’t actually care what the others say, because, like the
famous “masts” of India, their engorged neural-circuits are sloshed on Divine love.
В 
“I am not a nondualist. I donÂ’t know what I am. I donÂ’t know anything, and the
not-knowing just gets thinner and thinner and thinner,” says Shantimayi, a
charmingly candid former seeker from Ohio, now a spokeswoman for living without
boundaries or fixations. You get the sense that many of the speakers donÂ’t even
know why they are there – the experience just seemed to happen, and here they are
on stage, looking bemused at the an equally-bemused audience, spontaneously
manifesting their bafflement or their certainty or, in some cases, their nihilism.
В 
В 
So: why is all this worth the bother? There are many answers to this question. The
first and most nondual is: I have no idea, nothing is worth the bother. ThatÂ’s the
absolutist view, which is extremely annoying and probably why no one talks to
“neo-Advaita” extremists at parties.
В 
A better answer is it matters for understanding the nature of mind. Some version
of nonduality is the where all spiritual practice leads: meditation, prayer, koans,
ecstatic dance – you name it. If you believe these people – and until there is a
proper neuroscience that can address what is happening in the nondual brain, all we
have to go on are first-person descriptions of experience – then by all reports the
nondual operating space is fundamental to understanding who we are, how the mind
works, and why we suffer.
В 
And that is the other very good reason: human happiness. Life is hard. People are in
pain. For two and a half thousand years contemplatives in every era and culture
have repeated the same basic message: all mental anguish is descended from our
unwitting and false identification with a limited self. We think this is a religious
message; they say itÂ’s empirical. As we learn techniques for metabolizing the
mercurial layers of interference and bias that come between ourselves and the
world, not only do we suffer less, but so do all those we come into contact with. Far
from being escapist, which is the usual 21st century dismissal of spiritual practice
(we are impatient to act – call it our deepest bias), in an interconnected world,
helping ourselves is actually the departure point for helping others.
В 
So, thatÂ’s the Kool Aid – the pitch. As a meditation teacher, I basically buy it. IÂ’ve
seen how practice can open people, can wake them up. But IÂ’ve also seen how it can
rewire them, sometimes in ways many of us would find disturbing. This is the other
part of why I attend these conferences; IÂ’m interested in the specific and
particular ways nonduality affects how people live – the so-called benefits, the
challenges, the impact on relationships. To that end, in Holland I hosted a panel
called “Filling in the Details” with three people who teach and identify with with
the nondual perspective.
В 
I found, not surprising, three very different understandings and experiences. For
Lisa Cairns, nonduality is the end of “stories” – the end of projecting onto other
people your ideas and assumptions about who they and what they experience. Life
for her is just happening, and the idea of creating any kind of continuous narrative
out of it seems to her damaging and false. For Gary Weber, at a certain point in
his practice his whole pattern of relating changed. “When you let the “I” fall away,
what happens is there is no one there to hold the other end of “I need you,” or “I
want you” or “I love you.” I have no attachment to my family anymore – but my
wife would say IÂ’m a better husband for it, and my daughters that IÂ’m a better
father. IÂ’m much more present than I used to be.” For Tim Freke, reality is
paradoxical. He lives with one foot in the perspective that everything is perfect,
and another with the sense that, as the famous Zen teacher Suzuki Roshi once said,
we “could always use a little improvement.” His attachments are what make him
human; for Tim, the nondual project, if you can call it that, is not just to know
ourselves, but to show ourselves, in a more fully human and loving way.
В 
To the uninitiated, the language and the ideas at SAND are strange and sometimes
frustrating. It may be hard to see how this boutique clique of 21st century
practitioners and explorers might have anything to contribute to a proper science
of mind. But I believe they do. Something very interesting happens to the human
mind over the course of dedicated spiritual practice. When you strip out the layers
of interpretation and religious dogma (not to mention the endless if
well-intentioned appeals to quantum physics), what you are left with is the raw
evidence of peopleÂ’s experience. Culturally-conditioned, yes – you canÂ’t get around
this. And yet, even so, they are real as experiences.
В 
Spira has an interesting line. “Let experience be the test of reality.” We may not
be quite ready for that, but we can at least take direct experience more seriously.
After all, “empirical” means experience-based. ItÂ’s where science began.
В 
Here is a link to my own Science and Nonduality talk:
В 
(See video at link, I won't attempt to embed a Youtube video. Yahoo has gotten more strange.)
В 
JEFF WARREN is an award-winning writer and public speaker. His primary
subject is the mind – the neurobiological mind, the meditative mind, the
technological mind, the animal mind. He even has a philosophical position: “radically
fun empiricist,” not unlike William James, except with more jokes and fewer smart
parts. He is the author of The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of
Consciousness(Random House 2007), an acclaimed travel guide through sleeping,
dreaming and waking consciousness that critics called “exhilarating,” “audacious,”
“hilarious,” and even “visionary,” (though perhaps that was a typo).

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5039 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-09-28
Subject: #5039 - Saturday, September 28, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5039 - Saturday, September 28, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz 
 


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Galen Sharp, Robert Wolfe, Dhanya Moffitt, and Ellen Emmet are featured


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Another shout out for the interview with Galen Sharp, author of What Am I? A Study in Non-Volitional Living, which may be heard with visual content on YouTube:


Topics include Wei Wu Wei, Douglas Harding, Paul Reps, sculpture, of course nonduality, Gospel of Thomas, Galen's life, and things that can't be put into words, namely a personality and a presence. 

There are two more parts to this interview which will be uploaded in coming days. 


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"The most important element of self realization is the dissolution of the notion of me and all else that's not me." - Robert Wolfe

Robert Wolfe | Quenching the Thirst: Fundamentals of Nonduality



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Dhanya Durga Moffitt


I think one the most difficult things for spiritual people to get is that the recognition of the truth of existence is not actually a gain of a new experience. But rather it is just recognizing what has always been true, but which was previously misconstrued.

People want magical experiences, they want ecstasy, they want whatever it is they want, whatever they think 'enlightenment' or moksha is. And of course, since one is convinced one exists as a separate individual--subject to birth, death and change, well this enlightenment thingy has got to be something different from the experience I'm already having.

Guess what! It isn't. You think you are having an experience in which all things have their own separate existence, including you, but that isn't actually true. 

Today at Swami Dayananda's ashram in Pennsylvania I met a very sweet woman who spent 25 years living at Muktananda's ashram in the Catskills.

When speaking of Swami Dayananda, all this lady could say was, "He has so much shakti!" 

Shakti????? I never think of Swamiji like that. Surely love, compassion, clarity, brilliance, forbearance, and yes, energy, but shakti? I don't think so.

We seek for the new, the far out, the different, the powerful, the experience that will blow us away, and truly truly, you cannot be more what you want to be than you are right now. The reality of the world cannot be more what you would like it to be than it is right now. 

The world is you. It's being is the beloved. Your being is the beloved. You are what you always wanted to be, and in a sense even more, because you never end.


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Ellen Emmet


The belief in separation lives in unfounded conceptual interpretations of our experience; but it also and especially hides in less visible and irrational layers of feeling in the body. This level is often overlooked in the contemporary teaching of Advaita. It seems we are willing to look at our thinking in the light of our true nature but less open to offering our body to that very same light. Yet how can the body-mind be re-orchestrated by this understanding if unseen identifications are still operating at the level of feelings? Both activities of investigating the mind and the body are sacred and natural. Neither come from a person. They come from the Invisible; they are the beautiful gesturing of Presence back towards Itself.

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