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638Thursday March 1

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  • andrew macnab
    Mar 2, 2001
      ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

      As the river surrenders to the Ocean,
      surrender yourself to the Self, the Source.
      And if you find you are still swimming on
      the surface of the Ocean, stop swimming
      and you will sink to the Depths of Love.

      - Papaji


      ...if you see an object or experience a concept
      however sublime or mundane it is, you must be able to
      use that as a starting point to understand nonduality. Sort of hatha
      yoga, why can't I do this?


      Hi Bhadraiah,
      'why can't I do this'
      Not only can you do this - when you are kind enough to
      share you views with someone like me you cause me to reflect on my views
      and how I come across to others.



      37 Practises:


      ( I read that Lama Surya Das includes a commentary on these in his new book, Awakening

      the Buddhist Heart. Have a good day, all John)


      Dear Greg,

      I've worked with clients using SSRI's for years
      (such as Prozac and Zoloft).
      They are not a panacea.
      Often, they put people in a "better place"
      to do psychological work, and they're
      able to change their strategies for
      dealing with relationships, emotions,
      sense of self, and orientation toward the
      However, if they don't do this work, and
      rely on medication alone, problems tend
      to develop later, as they've adjusted to
      the medication and haven't changed
      the patterns of relationship and thinking
      that perpetuate negativity about self, others,
      the world.

      These chemicals regulate moods by
      altering levels of neurotransmitters
      (other chemicals) in the
      brain, generally focusing on
      serotonin, some also affecting dopamine.
      New ones keep coming out and each one
      has a slightly different effect.

      The way that I interpret what you say
      about stopping the spiritual search is
      that there are different meanings to
      "stopping the spiritual search", just
      as there are different meanings to saying
      "everything is okay as it is".

      If one is saying this because moods aren't
      going down as they were before, this
      seems different than if someone is saying
      this because they no longer have a partition
      between "their" awareness and "universe's"

      By the way, I've run across rumors in spiritual
      circles that the leaves of the Bo tree contained
      a naturally occurring SSRI, similar to St. John's Wort.
      Prolonged hanging out under the Bo tree had
      a profound effect on Gautama, and the world
      benefitted from his change in mood. (Just kidding).



      The emotional tranquillity found by my friends is not the end of suffering.
      Suffering is much more vast than that :-) For the guy who did stop, the
      tranquillity seemed to be the end simply of what he was trying to get rid
      of. He wasn't really going for the Truth, or the enlightenment of all
      sentient beings, even though he might have been operating under that
      assumption at times. To paraphrase your words above, the original
      motivation was probably a more tranquil emotional state, cloaked in more
      spiritual words.

      By the way, my other friend, a bit before discovering Zoloft, had a very
      transformative experience in her advaita path, and subsequently switched
      over to Mahayana Buddhism. After the Zoloft, she kept right on the path!

      Thanks for your clarity!




      >Terry: (snip) Dalai Lama says everything manifests from space
      >particles. Another word for nothing. What is the relationship? What
      >you see: inside everything is a whole lot of nothing, but that is
      >what is, at the same time. No difference, not in time or space. So
      >you are both nothing and something. It's easier to experience the
      >something, hard to get to the nothing, but wrong to conclude that you
      >are one or the other, and not both. How does it happen? Damned if I

      The key to this riddle: what is time and space?
      If that is answered, then is answered "manifestation
      in" time and space, because "manifestation in"
      can't occur without time and space, and in fact,
      are aspects of time being time and space being space.

      If seen that "manifestation in" actually is simply an aspect
      of time being time and space being space, then can be
      seen that time is time because there is no time in which
      it can occur. If there weren't no-time, time could not seem
      to be. As there is no-time, time has no time in which to occur.
      The same is true of space. Because there is no-space, space
      can seem to be a fact. And because there is no-space, space
      has no place to occur.

      Time is occuring timeless, space is occuring no place.

      This is how statements such as "there is no creation or destruction"
      or "from the first, not a single thing is" can be made.

      Something doesn't come out of nothing or from nothing.
      There is only nothing, that is why and how there appears

      > > Would knowing that help me to live in peace in the world?
      >I doubt it.

      I don't doubt it.
      Knowing this fully, there is the calm in the center of
      the hurricane.
      In the midst of war, is peace --
      in the midst of flux is the unchanging --
      in the midst of life and death is eternity --
      in the midst of the working out of our personal neuroses,
      is the impersonal and ever-peaceful ...



      Thanks to all for your thoughts and input, I really appreciate them. I responded to
      some of your posts, below. Although, it's funny... In
      composing some more thoughts and responses to this, I was struck by how fast those
      thoughts and responses change. I could come
      back to this letter in an hour, and my responses would probably be totally different.
      Why does this always feel like such a game we're
      playing? Nothing ever stays the same, yet beneath that, it feels like nothing ever
      really changes.
      * On giving up [the thoughts, the questions] *

      No matter how many questions would be answered, new ones will rise immediately. Any
      answer is but a pointer to the next question. The
      questions are like hair, answering is like cutting hair but hair will continue to
      "Give up" isn't "the" magic potion. But there will be a day, when
      "give up" just happens... So what is there to lose by giving up now?

      Thanks Jan, for these positive affirmations. They're encouraging, and I can never hear
      them enough. I've always been one to contemplate
      the dilemmas, to ask myself the questions that lead to other questions, and just
      generally get caught up in the analytical cycle inherent
      thereto. Ultimately, I must be able to resolve my own frustration by giving up the
      questioning itself.
      * On opening up *

      It's the end of complacency, the end of maintaining and reacting to images.

      Who knows what will happen?

      If the sense of the ordinary, the usual, the expected vanishes, who's to say "what's

      If I'm ready for the deepest pit of hell or the highest heaven, or boredom, or
      rejection, or love, or happiness, or anywhere in between, and
      not ready for anything, then, I'm "opening" ...

      That's how it feels here.

      Thanks Dan, for these further affirmations. The ordinary feels farther away from me
      than it ever has before. The ordinary feels like an
      external process that I'm observing someone else go through. I can observe myself
      going through life, or I can observe my wife or other
      family members going through life, but it doesn't feel like the one doing the
      observing is really part of the ordinary.

      Jerry recently echoed your thoughts on that in a similar way to me. In response to my
      description to him of something that felt vaguely
      like pure energy (actually, it felt a lot like silly, blissful glee) knocking at the
      door of my chest, he suggested that the only thing I could
      really do with such a feeling was to be totally open to it. Be aware of it, graciously
      allow it to enter whenever it arrives, and be totally
      open to it with no judgement or preconception, if possible. Is that kind of what
      you're getting at by suggesting that I let the "opening"
      * On who we are and how we are manifest in the world - in response to my feeling that
      "I'm not really alive" *

      How do you know you are "not really even alive"? You are a living organism with a
      brain that takes in information, which then
      reconstructs that information in certain ways. Don't come to premature conclusions
      about "what is".
      This is a big part of the paradox for me - I have such a clear sense that something
      "IS" beneath and beyond the physical world, this body,
      and my own personality, that I can't help but feel like the physical world, this body,
      and my own personality aren't really "real."
      * On acquiring a method to live in the world *

      Yes, this might require some work. I believe (you should not believe this until you
      have experienced it) that there is a level of processing
      information that is below the threshold of meaning for ordinary consciousness, and
      that this is what is experienced in concentrated states
      of meditation. It seems to me that the information comes in packets that are too
      small for ordinary processing, and thus at first appears to
      be "nothing". But this level of processing is a key to spiritual practice, it is who
      we are before any construction of meaning can take
      place. I suspect that with more practice, we can get to this level, see this "flow"
      take place, without constructing meaning. That's why
      we can't talk about it. But its not "not real". The mind is still there, it is the
      basis of mind.

      This is one of the heaviest things I've read for a long time, and it resonates really
      strongly with me. I can clearly appreciate how there
      must be a level of consciousness that transcends the meaning derived from ordinary
      consciousness. It feels to me like residing in that
      deeper level of consciousness must be what it means to live with a fully nondual
      disposition. Further, I can appreciate, at least at an
      intellectual level, how one could reside at that level of consciousness and still
      remain in the world; it's that whole thing about living in the
      world yet remaining above it, or living in the world but not becoming attached to it.

      Could I hear you talk some more about that method - if one exists - to transcend the
      ordinary consciousness and sense that deeper level
      that transcends ordinary concepts? You mentioned that it's experienced in concentrated
      states of meditation. Should I take that as advice
      to undertake some kind of regular sitting practice? (That's something I've never
      really had the discipline to do before.)


      The 'trick' is to understand that the so-called ordinary conciousness
      is THE conciousness!

      Once this is understood, the ego/mind/body is seen for what it is:
      the costume ONE wears to this party!!!

      Don't listen to me! I am having too much fun!
      Go ahead and try to figure it all out!
      If that is all you want, go for it!
      Enjoy yourself!
      Be like the duck who swims and swims and swims and never gets wet!

      Don't be like me! I am drowning in myself!


      Peace - Michael


      > > Knowing this fully, there is the calm in the center of
      > > the hurricane.
      > > In the midst of war, is peace --
      > > in the midst of flux is the unchanging --
      > > in the midst of life and death is eternity --
      > > in the midst of the working out of our personal neuroses,
      > > is the impersonal and ever-peaceful ...
      >Does this mean that:
      > understanding the unchanging is a means to live at peace with the
      Yes. I'd put it like this: it means that the flux is the unchanging, if it
      treated as something to be compared, if there isn't
      something considered as existing apart from the flux, or as existing
      apart within the flux.
      > understanding the eternity is a means to live at peace with the
      >live and death;
      Yes. I'd go a bit further and say
      it means that the eternal is what we misperceive
      as living/dying, if living/dying
      isn't treated as a fragmented process.
      > understanding the impersonal is a means to live at peace with
      Being that which is sometimes called "impersonal" or "transpersonal"
      or "field of relations" and knowing the personal as an expression of
      that. Not an object in relation to others, but relationship as field.
      >If so (or even if not so), are you at peace during the day because
      >when you observe the flux, you're not actually looking at the flux,
      It's not that I am at peace and someone else isn't.
      It's that there is only peace, and you and I are it.

      When observing flux, the observation process itself is flux.
      So, flux is observing flux, which yields "imaginary facts".
      Noticing this situation acutely, nothing is moving, nothing is
      changing -- there is only "this" whether you call it flux or
      the unchanging.
      >but rather residing in the unchanging, without whose "existence" the
      >flux couldn't seem to be?
      Yes - I'd rather say residing "as" the unchanging, hence residing
      nowhere -- and yes, hence the flux wouldn't be appearing, except that
      it appears to me, through me, as me, given its forms and
      meanings as me.