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ENLIGHTENMENT BLUES: My Years with an American Guru, By Andre van der Braak
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Highlights #99

Click here to go to the next issue.

An index of authors can be found at the end of today's highlights.

When awake one knows the silent
eternal presence of true self.
In transformation one becomes
willing to include in the truth of Heart
every aspect of the shadow of
illusion no matter where it appears.

An experience of revelation of
Self may change one's perspective
forever, but to clear all ideas,
identities and limitation completely
takes the vigilance of no compromise
with the mind, with ease and grace.

I love the teaching of Meeting each
thought, emotion and energy fully
for this reason. It leaves out nothing,
denials and evasions can be brought
out and included, and it is simple work
of awareness - present and effective,
opening and deepening.


I suspect that cycling through programs is a sophiticated justification
delay of being simply present now.

"It's all here right now." is the beginning. You are right.
It is also the end. Being simply present ends time, separation,
confusion, self defense, justification, etc., etc.. That's what's meant
choosing to die.


...let's just experiment a little with unpacking the metaphor
"awakening". When you awaken from a night's sleep, is waking up the
of working for it, or does it just happen? If the other (spiritual)
Awakening is so different from the (non-spiritual) awakening, then a new
metaphor is called for.

I definitely concur with what Jan has been saying: "Enlightenment is
default." That's just brilliant. Whatever work there is to be done is
with the goal of producing enlightenment (or awakening or what not).
Whatever results from work is liable to be lost, will be lost. That is
because something gained is something for which effort must be spent to
onto it. "Working toward enlightenment" is a subtle trap of the mind.

Of course, there is always work to do, no doubt about it. The magic of
though is this: whatever you enjoy doing is not considered work,
you do well at is done without effort. If I must "work"toward
then really my heart is divided about it and I'd rather be doing


...I am sometimes as nervous as a Doberman on speed. So much so that my
breaks because of the constriction. This started over 20 years ago and
often thought I was having heart attacks which were just anxiety
Just like you I have lately been experiencing a deeper relaxation, even
work. Just like you I can sense and feel when the stress wants to come
back, and I am learning to let it pass right through. It came to me
that there are little repetitive loops, like knots, that come up and can
drain our energy and block the flow. I guess these knots are what
call craving or attachment, but I know what you mean they can be felt


I remember one of my first posts to this salon
in which I said that I do not 'seek' enlightenment,
nor had I ever 'sought' a nondual state. It just
happened upon me, as an 'effect' of clearing away
issues which triggered reactions in me.

I *sought* to be free of anger, hatred, and guilt.
I sought to live from an opened and receptive heart.

As I mentioned in my post to Eric earlier today, I
had forgotten that lately. Instead I acquired a
'defended' heart once again.

What amazes me....simply amazes me....is the subtlty
with which a heart can close when one is not being
vigilant (to use Xan's great word) in being present
to the moment.


How about this?

It is possible to "enter the silence" and where the
work comes in is in staying there. Continually
letting go of the temptation to cling to the next
thought that happens along. A continually relaxing.
A continual letting go of limitation.

It seems to me to continually talk in generalities is
meaningless. It just all stays in the head that way.
Give me something to chew on please. :-) I need
a real example from experience.

I am like a "born again work person." For years
I read all this stuff and thought I was doing it but
I wasn't. It was all just head stuff. Recently I have
gotten in real touch with my body and it has made
all the difference in the world. Now when I sit in
meditation there is silence which is very loud. I
finally understand. Now it seems like some of the
tools that I learned, I can actually employ. For
example I know how to remember myself which
is most likely just a different name for entering the

If I am sitting in meditation for example and I hear
from the other room a wailful ..."Mom" I can feel
myself (body, emotions, mind) begin to constrict.
If I continue to breath consciously (thusly working)
it is possible for that energy to recycle (the friction of
constriction). I can feel it. This is work to continually
recycle the energy rather than just dump the load and
pollute the emotional environment.


I write down a lot of dreams but not all of
them. Sometimes I'll wake up and think "there's no way I could put this
in words!" and then forget about it, but remember it at the end of the
and decide to write it down anyway. And it's not as hard as it seemed in

Also I've had a few dreams that didn't make sense until the next day or
after when something in the dream actually took place. Very weird.

Lucid dreams are kind of tricky when, as I've noticed, they tend to be
ordinary or even just "duplications" of the room one is sleeping in at
time. You'll be lying there in bed looking around your room, everything
normal, and yet the feeling that you're still asleep is undeniable.


...My Postulation for Us: I learned a powerful way of 'holding'
other's, and therefore; ultimatly myself. By giving a 'listening' to
almost like
the profound stillness of meditation, and DROPPING our own busy
adgendas, love suddenly fills the vacuum between the two
attempting communication. The One being held or
'listened' to, suddenly not facing the 'mask' of the other, finds
staring right into 'themselves'. "peace"

And you are correct Melody, the shunning that even you, or Skye, or
holds, hidden where-ever, does get picked up. So I ask you, does it

To be clear- I do think what we knowlingly can't embrace, becomes this
toxic waste. Thank you for embracing this, nonduality salon.


You bring tears to my eyes. And all of a sudden
I am filled with confession. I can feel the
walls of separation melting as I type these words
to you....so many thoughts and feelins pouring out,
I could not possibly type them all out.

What does call to be spoken, however, is my
realization just now of just how much I have
lost my courage these past months.

When I first came to these email communities I
was rather fearless. I was so willing to stand
naked in front of hundreds of 'strangers'. What
I have noticed now is that that the more I became
familiar with, and developed a 'history' with, the
names that flashed across my screen, the less
willing I became to be totally un-guarded.

Little by little I became less and less open
with you all.

I think Marcia made a very good point yesterday.
I heard her say essentially that we all do a good
job of talking, but not so good a job at understanding
one another. I can see where that had become true
for me. And it hurts to see that.

I felt your love here, Eric, and it was strong
enough to shatter me....just as you suggest above
that it could. And heaven knows how greatful I
am to you for it.

God it feels good to feel my heart again!

Shocking 'me' or laughing at me could never have
opened me like your loving attention just did.

I love you. (And I can feel that now, when I
say it!)


Maybe someone can answer:

Every time I go to bliss,
I remember this little blue ball,
and i return in the mounting darkness,
enveloping smelly humanness,

but I love them so!

Will someone free me of my attachment?
Why does my Heart care still?
Am I alone with my dying planet?

Careful though,
I am like a Mother for Her....


... As the Highlander said, "there can be only One." Do
away with all pretenders to the throne. Place the true King/Queen in
proper position. Have the Pearl of Great Price. Also, as can be
from the movie Sixth Sense: reality, illusion, memories and imagination
interpentetrate each other continually. Is this real or is this
Is this solid reality or a Bardo realm? To what extent are our
realities projected or received thought-dreams?

i think that love for self includes love for rocks and trees and the
love contains us. life holds us. i can feel effective as a lover of
planet by interior simplicity first, simplicity of living seems to flow
from that for me. re: attachment, seems to me that many of the blunders
humanity that have led to planetary sickness originate because of
imho. i dunno. walk instead of drive a mile. every little gesture, a
gesture of love.
i found a wonderful resource in the simple living network at:



...I think the whole thing is funny too....the WHOLE
thing....the whole LIST thing.....Especially, dicing up realization and
transcendence and TALKING about it, for cryin' out loud....like it can
shared that way.....but unless we just all sit at the keyboard and
to each other....or join up in a lucid dream....it's what we've got to
with....so we keep parsing out truths and untruths and each, it its way,
provides threads for the fabric that each of us "needs" to weave
whatever it
is we're going to detach from anyway...or not. Pick a language, any
language, pick a metaphor, any metaphor, pick a question, any question,
an answer, any answer and you have.....OM....nothing and everything.

It's all totally ridiculous and totally helpful and funny...


...I honestly do not get the impression that there are a bunch
of "realized" persons on this list. Whatever that means. :-)
Otherwise we wouldn't be sitting here expounding so trying
to convince each other. And issuing forth such wonderful
praises if someone says something that sounds good. And
getting our feathers ruffled quite so easily. I am just talking
here. I am not particularly identified one way or the other.

I thought that nonduality meant that there is not one point
of view that is correct. Or more precisely that there are
not points of view. Or maybe there isn't a self to have a
point of view. I can have almost any thought land in my
mind. The point is whether I identify with it and say it is
my thought and not just some random blimps on the screen
of my mind triggered by one association or another.

To see that I have to both understand and have experienced
silence. In fact something has to be silently watching to even
describe it.

I guess my point is that it is nondual. I am in the silence and
in life both simultaneously or nondually. The East has being and
the West can get things done. We are nondual. We are both.
Why make it either/or? That is my basic question. The point is
that when I stand up from a wonderful meditation, can I divide
my attention between the inner silence and the child who engages
me with a need to be filled?


Emptiness. A word. What a meaningfull word!! Without nothingness
meaning is lost! Obviously any word pointing towards it, must be
corrected because to point envolves the oposit direction wich is
But let´s try. In common everyday life we don´t question the locus of
dweling. But to be awake is to be aware of our position as
All manifestation - the manifested as a whole - has as backround the
non-manifested, the nothingness. But it is a background that inter
all. For anything to have real meaning, it must rest upon the
emptiness - then meaning will stand-out in a very obvious and evident
Emptiness is space - but without dimension. Emptiness is the reason
the reason of the existence of "care", beauty and love. Emptiness is
Not death as decay, as morbidity, but death of all things, of all
Emptiness is ever-receeding when looked for, but the obvious ground for
those who know the meaning of an inocent heart. Emptiness is the
Emptiness is the column that sustains the universe, the father, the
of all there is. Yes, the excense of goodness - for it only gives,
without asking
anything in return......and how much it has given!!!


It's real simple. It's analogous to how you deal with yourself when
all alone somewhere. The way you have inner dialogues with yourself
things in your life, decisions to make, and all that stuff. You just
that same openness and directness outside.

Author's index.

1. Xan
2. Xan
3. Phil Burton
4. Phil Burton
5. Melody
6. Marcia
7. Petros
8. Eric
9. Melody
10. Eric
11. Dan
12. aleks
13. Kristi
14. Marcia
15. ivan
16. Petros

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