Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:


Highlights #907

Click here to go to the next issue.

12/3/01 Monday


> Does this mean that we can never really know who we are?
> But I feel this scary stuff by U.G. is simply a gimmick to stop us
> from seeking. Is that true? Like every teacher has his way.
> Love
> Rashmi

Not at all! You and me and everybody are IT. IT is pretty good at
being all of us.

Greg's suggestion to read some Ramana is very good. You might also
take a look at Pema Chodrun's book _The Wisdom of No Escape and the
Art of Loving Kindness_. Pema Chodrun is the abbot of a buddhist
monastary in Nova Scotia. She has led a full life and speaks very
openly and honestly.

loveya - michael


We have a common bumper sticker up here in Canada, probably
manufactured in USA.

Get in, shut up and hold on.

Is this not a guide to living that is applicable in many situations?


especially marriage. no telling what that baby's gonna bring.

hey, ron, i go to a health club and by the pool there's a sign:

no diving
no running on the deck
no excessive splashing
respect other swimmers

i always thought it was good advice for anyone joining an email list.


Has anybody tried this? Any comments on this?

Jan Sultan

'Hummology': attention on the attention
Jan van Delden

Water can not become wetter than it already is. In other words: you don't
have to do or not do anything in order to be what you already are. Here
follows a practice for giving attention to the unmanifested part of yourself.
For convenience we will call that unmanifested part 'the knowing' and the
entire manifest world and everything that takes place in it 'the known'. To
say it differently the manifest and unmanifest parts of yourself are the
knowing and the known, the perceiving and the perceived. One never changes,
the other changes constantly. We are used to directing our attention
entirely within the known world and to experiencing the knowing as part of
our personality, but now is it time to direct the attention to the
attention itself.

To make it somewhat easier in the beginning, find a place to sit or lie
where you feel comfortable and will not be disturbed. Then, let it
penetrate in you that you don't have to do, or not do, anything to be what
you already are: 'being' is thus accompanied by a logical effortlessness.
Therefore you don't have to adopt any special attitude as if you were
trying to reach some goal.

Observe carefully what belongs to the manifest part of yourself and see
that your self - the knowing of the manifest- is the unmanifest. Within
that there is no image of anything represented, no matter how subtle, to be
found. Observe that you cannot use any of your usual capacities, because
your entire, feeling and I-feeling belong to the manifest part. Now you
direct your attention to the knowing of the known and wait until the 'being
there' goes to zero. There is really nothing more to do, and thus your 'not
knowing mind' comes forth; silence arrives. This is the silence that
appears as an answer when you ask the question 'who am I?' consistently.
When that happens a feeling of spaciousness happens and you may for example
hear the singing of birds or other surrounding sounds that you had not
noticed earlier. Allow everything to be as it is and do not direct your
attention to the perceptions (sounds, feelings, etc.) but to the silence in
which they occur. Keeping your attention on the silence is your only
'safety-line' to your unmanifested 'being-there'. Everything else belongs
to the known world.

In order to keep the attention on the silence more easily, I use the sound
of the silence itself - the silence is namely not entirely still, there is
a sort of hum or buzz of 'being-there' and you can pay attention to that.
Direct your attention to that hum. The consequence is that your attention
no longer feels tense. Observe that this stillness is always there without
any need to do, or not do, anything. That 'burning' or 'buzzing' of the
silence is the easiest entry to the unmanifest, and by directing your
attention repeatedly to that 'burning' silence the attention grows little
by little towards that silence. In the passage of time this will become
effortless. When you can effortlessly hold on to that 'being there sound',
that humming, and therefore have the taste of the unmanifest as a base, you
can from then on take it with you as a sort of 'floating building block'
while you just allow the manifest to happen. You witness it, you follow it.
In other words you try to 'embody' the practice in your daily life. Slowly
the practice will change into just 'being-there'. See if the hum of the
silence is there when you are brushing your teeth, washing the dishes or
whatever you are doing.

Slowly but surely there dawns in you the awareness that you are keeping the
known at a distance because your attention is on the hum of the silence,
and that you are therefore the knowing itself. Just as the background
becomes fuzzy when you look at a droplet on the windowpane, you keep the
known at a distance by paying attention to the silence. You do not have to
do, or not do, anything else. If you practice that, even when you don't
feel like it, you will see slowly but surely that the whole thinking and
feeling is something that is apart from you, you can perceive it, therefore
it belongs to the known. That allows you to see that the thinking is of no
use in this territory and only exists for convenience or for organizing the
known. You will then see more and more that in spite of the chattering of
the mind, everything just happens as it happens. The thinker suffers form
the delusion that he thinks thoughts and is therefore responsible for what
happens. Through the insight that the thinking (just as all other
perceptions) is something that appears and disappears in the silence, the
'being-there' will no longer escape you. Take hold of that, as it were,
more and more. There follows the insight that silence and attention are the
same, and so that 'being-there' comes to its 'being-now' feeling. In this
way the effortless 'being-there feeling' becomes the basis of your life and
the happiness that you have done so much for emerges through the absence of
anything other than what you now 'already are', the eternal, unchanging
being-there is a fact.

Finally there remains only to end the delusion that the known part lives
its own life, independent of the knowing. That flows into seeing that the
known and its manifest worlds do not exist as such. Then you can easily
allow your attention to rest at the only thing that actually exists, the
simple, silent being-there. Then you are the undisturbed, unchanging
happiness itself.


.........a little comment. It may be a useful technique if you are
interested in techniques, but it is ruined by the author telling you
step by step what will happen, what to expect sets up a lot
of "shoulds". Where is the self-knowledge when someone tells you what
will happen? Better to just sit and watch what arises, doing nothing
about it, not directing attention at all. This way you get to see the
mind in action doing what it always does. If we have no clarity on
what the mind is always doing, putting attention on
something "higher" or "deeper" is basically pointless.


when reading instructions on how to achieve a greater awareness, you really
have to ask whether the person giving the instructions followed those
instructions to the letter himself.

Like Nisargadatta said, "focus your mind on 'I am', which is pure and simple
being." He said what he did. Very simple. Ramana's teaching was simple too.
Inquire. This guy below's got me following raindrops on a window or
something. Yeah, right. Come on. Nothing wrong with it, but you know what i'm


Rhetorically, of course, non-dualistically, we are all God-men,
women, all of creation. Rhetoric is all well and good, but what about
the organic reality that moves us? What about 20, 30, 50 or 60 years
worth of ego? You can't shrug it all off. You've got a lifetime (and
more) worth of denial and unconcious strategies that have literally
formed your your body, mind, health - all your reactions and beliefs.
You can't just say, "Yes, we're all God" and expect to be healed. It
would be nice, delightful, but it doesn't work that way. We've got to
root out unconscious motivations and transcend them in clarity and
the disintegration of life negative habits. Too bad, because it's a
lifetime operation.


25 years of the sense of "i" and all associated "yuck" was more than enough....
Looking around, the amount of conditioning added from that age on can only
be estimated. And to no surprise, those with a "hard time" (unhappy childhood etc.)
can be far less conditioned than so called "spoiled brats", as many "castles in the air"
have been shot down already during childhood.

The apperception is but the start - and unless the "junk" (remaining conditioning)
is perceived, nothing will change at all - hence the term "handicapperception".
So the sense of "i", when perceived, will automatically lead to its demise -
together with its attachments - obstacles to bliss/peace that will start
enquiry by itself.

Perceiving what formerly was hidden is the "true" sign of apperception:
it will show potentials (like the sense of 'i') with their content (all the
thoughts and notions beginning with 'i'). Transformation consists of the
depletion of the potential(s) and eventually (but surely finally) the dissolution
of potentials, formerly emptied. To no surprise, emptying potentials goes
together with experiences of 'void' whereas the dissolution of the potential
feels 'somewhere between' the extremes of ecstasy and peace...

The life of the Buddha was an example of that - all potentials dissolved
at the end of 'career' while wandering with a sangha and assisting "good" seekers.
That is also the "bad" news - no potential will dissolve while sitting in a closed
room or a cave - only in a kind of service to the brethren - humans are designed
that way - as social animals. Apperception is a 'free ride' though - because it has been
forgotten "who you are" through 'incorrect' upbringing and education.



people don't mind a roller coaster as long as there are tracks and lots of
people have gone before them. an authentic spiritual journey is a ride in a
car way up a track, yes, but when you come to the top of the hill, the ride
down is trackless.

the next part (the third part!) is another ride up another hill. no tracks

top of page


Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: