Question: I want to follow my own individuality, is this in
with your work?
Umi: There is such a strong belief in the West that you need
to be in
control, and this is misunderstood to be your
individuality. Therefore, you
talk about 'your truth' or following
some guide or some inner voice. But
these are creations of
the mind. The mind creates that which will maintain
control, and individuality is one such strategy. The truth is,
are unique -- but not in the way that you believe. The way
you believe is
purely a personality, a persona, a mask,
something that has been given to
you. You were not born
with good manners, you were taught these. You were
born with certain behaviors, these you copied from others.
not born with dreams, these were introduced to
you by others. The word
personality comes from the Latin
word persona, which means actor's mask.
Everything that is
unreal, that is a mind creation, that surrounds you, that
covers you, is your personality. And all this prevents you from
who you really are, from being your uniqueness. And
you have no idea what
this uniqueness is. Your personality is
a collections of behaviors that you
have developed since you
were born, as a strategy for survival. This is not
who you are.
Your automatic behaviors are not yours, they are purely
habits. Once when the river was flowing high, people came
Mulla Nasrudin and told him "Your wife has fallen
in the river. You have to
save her! Run fast!" Mulla Nasrudin
ran fast and jumped into the river, but
then started to swim
upstream. All the people standing on the bank started
shouting, "What are you doing? Your wife must be floating
Nasrudin shouted back, "What are you talking
about? I know my wife, she can
only go upstream!" This is
personality. This is living in the mind. Only
when all this is
dissolved, can your uniqueness emerge, only when this
cover of personality dissolves, can this uniqueness emerge,
there will be a flow, and the flow is only down
stream to the ocean, to the
Love Is Not An Emotion
Question: Is love an emotion?
Umi: Love is not an emotion and love is not a feeling. Love is
foundation that creates life. It's the very source and it
is the end.
Without love there is nothing. All of Existence
emerges out of love and
returns to love. Love manifests in
many forms. When love manifests through
the body it
becomes sex. It becomes the possibility to merge and
disappear, to be lost back into the source. This is the first
the spiritual ladder. When there is no ego this can
lead directly to the
source. When love manifests through the
mind it becomes what we call love.
Now there is the
possibility of poetry, music, a song of delight, an
that can touch the very core of all. When love manifests
through the spirit it becomes prayer. An opening, an
expression of deep
gratitude, a dance of oneness. When
love manifests thru the unknowable,
through that which is
beyond understanding, it becomes enlightenment....the
fourth. Buddha called it Turiya, which means the fourth. There
word for it, so it is simply called the fourth. It is that
which cannot be
made into a word. When love manifests in
the fourth, there is only love.
Love has returned completely to
the source. This is the journey. This is the
beginning and the
Umi's latest book
Enlightenment Guaranteed: Zen, Bodhidharma, and Who Are You?
Holding on to emptiness
The flawless jewel was back in the palm of my hand. I was
looking at it and vowed never to take my eyes from it again.
How do you hold on to emptiness? Believe me you can - if it
to you. You hold on by continually looking at it.
How do you look at emptiness? You close your eyes and
look at the
darkness on the back of the eyelids experiencing
its stillness, its balm.
(This is best done in bright sunlight)
That which sees this velvet darkness
is who you really are!
It is not the perfect selfless state but it is a reference point, a
standpoint from which you resist the subtle wiles of
passage of time is a great ally in this
fight.It builds confidence as the
hours and days pass and still
the jewel is in your sight.
The experiences I have related so far all had a very real
sense of "I"
about them; "I" had an empty mind etc. I had
loved reading about the
'Absolute' standpoint taken by
Nissargadata in his book "I am That." but it
didn't mirror my
own subjective experience. A few years later,as ever still
pre-occupied with making it stick, I went for my usual early
run. An insight revealed itself which shook me to the
core. I was
alone...... for ever. This terrified me. I couldn't
shake it off. I couldn't
unsee it again. I took a bus into town.
From the upper deck I looked down to
see a mailman
delivering mail. It was a bright sunny day. He had left his
by the garden gate and strode up the path to deliver the mail.
was whistling. He didn't have a care in the world. How I
longed for his
innocence! In town I walked past a bingo
parlour. Music was coming from a
juke box and I found
myself drowning in the gaps of silence between the
was that silence and I knew that nothing would ever touch me
again. This was an unexpected and unwanted development.
The terror lasted several weeks and didn't subside
completely for many
months. I lived by the words "A journey
of infinite miles begins with a
Through a process of engagement and involvment in a world
I now knew to
be a dream, I slowly acclimatized to this new
12 years on
... the emptiness is still there ... the ego is still there and
affecting behavior, but at arms length ... it is no longer a
point ... life has become ordinary again ... just
gently observing the
ordinary rhythms of life is more than
enough to excite and fulfil ...
...there is a deep sense of not
knowing ... not so much the sublime
spiritual state of not
knowing, that I was led to expect ... more like the
"my-God,-what-was-that-all-about?" state followed by
OK-maybe-I-don't-need-to-know ... and there is a
discernable flow to
events. ... applying the truths of life in
everyday circumstances, and
through trial and error, forging
a seasoned understanding.... inviting the
enlightenment, not demanding it.
being loose and natural (Tilopa)
doing the next obvious thing (Suzanne Segal)
abandonment to Divine Providence (Jean-Pierre de Caussade)
don't avoid anything that comes! ... don't invite anything that
don't need! ... attend to circumstances as best you can,
and forget about
allow things to take their own course .... the whole day long
unconcerned, as if you are too ill to attend to them
... doing ordinary things ... facing up to the practical
of life ... shopping ... cooking ... going to the gym
... sleeping ... being
sick ... ageing ... reflecting ... seeing
... or these words** from an Indian housewife, Surendra Kaur
"Be free of thoughts, be free of the mind, and be free of any
Then there is nothing left. You leave your shoes outside
when you go into a
room. You leave your body behind when
you die. In this present moment, take
leave of everything you
have and everything you can think of. Walk away from
all and be free. It's very simple and very beautiful".
** from Nothing ever Happenned...David Godman
What is emptiness?
With closed eyes, the eyelids dissolve into a deep warm
blackness that contains infinite
light, like distant
stars. Through the back of the head flows a river of void
which meets the blackness. It is impossible to describe
because it has no centre, no attributes. Nothing moves.
All is still. Nothing exists but this.
Awareness arises out of
this--awareness of awareness.
Thought arises as a spectre and if it is given attention, there
temporary forgetfulnessof the background
void.Seconds, minutes or hours
later thought subsides and
again there is awareness of awareness.
Before the shift, thought arises like a flood and demands
attention. It is opaque and obscures the void.
When the sun shines on closed eyes, the pixels of light in the
blackness become peach coloured. It is the vision of the
child in the
The empty mind exposes the world as an infinite mirage.
Emptiness is Form. Form is Emptiness.
Empty Mind 2
A Billionth of a Second after the Shift The ego/mind - what
it - runs for cover - leaving the brain totally thought
free. It has been
dispaced from your subjective centre. When
it emerges and appraises the
situation it finds that its heart,
the vortex of energy which wants to
'become', has been
mortally wounded. It cannot immediately retake the centre
but it can respond in an insistent way. It can become a
'finder'. It can
become 'blissed out'. Or generate great fear
and terror. This explains
Suzanne Segal's initial terror.
This explains Bernadette Robert's initial terror.
There is nothing that the newly awakened empty awareness
can do about
this wall of extreme emotional feelings. All it
needs to do is wrap its arms
around itself, cling to itself,and
be aware of itself, as its only reference
point. Self has found
itSelf. Self has found its unmoving Self. It needs to
temptation to attach negative significance to the presence of
terror or positive significance to the presence of bliss. It
bear with and and not buy into that sublimated form
of ego which loudly
insists - I am a 'finder' - I am enlightened
- I am special etc - even
though, at the time, it very much
seems to be factually true.
The stark contrast between two states of consciousness just
of a second apart will inevitably bring a reaction.
But that's par for the
course. What did you expect? A life
change of this proportion without major
adjusting ? No! that myth belongs to the past! It's becoming
common knowledge now that the ego survives this shift
albeit in a
The passage of time will slowly reveal fluctuations in the
feelings and moods proving that they originate from ego,
proving they have nothing to do with You. The passage of
time will erode
your new exalted descriptions of yourself.
They were just instinctive ploys
by ego to cling to its life.And
they are shockingly untrue. (They were
firmly in the realm of
the relative - relative to an illusion!)
The ego will die on the vine with the simple passage of time
judicious use of sadhana. Particular attention needs to
be given to the
places in the human physiology where ego is
unnaturally stored eg. bad
posture, tense muscle tissue,
restricted joint movements etc. The shift has
the power to
sweep away refined thought which had obscured your innate
emptiness, but not to sweep away gross chronic hiding
A few common sense precautions are necessary, but these
into operation naturally if your spiritual
preparation has been
promising new website intent on exploring opening dialogue
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of
pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee
of truth, then inquire."
- Friedrich Nietzsche
From their intro:
In one way, LiveReal is a small band of elite and highly
individuals (sixth grade, at least) . . . on a noble
mission to rid the
world of all the annoying, unpleasant, and
sometimes downright nasty forms
of unnecessary human
suffering (such as anxiety, depression, bad
bad self-help books, too many diet plans, utter
meaninglessness, the day-to-day rat race, occasional bouts
crisis (no matter how young you are) . . . and other
things like that.
This small but merry squad of rebels are, in six words: 1) just
trying 3) to 4) figure 5) things 6) out . . .
In yet another way, LiveReal is even more simple: it's just a
who are looking for answers ("Why am I here?"
"What am I doing with my
life?" "What's the best way to
live?" "What's the point?" - and so on) -
and, in search of
these answers, are fearlessly (well, we're fearless at
some of the time) exploring frontiers of thought and mind and
backing away from everything that's phony.
Ann Faraday - fire all gurus and transpersonal
In psychotherapy, I would hope for a radically new approach
who suffer from inner emptiness. Instead of working
towards filling that
void with new purpose, direction and
meaning, I would aim to assist
sufferers to go even deeper
into Empty-ness and discover its true nature. I
discourage all ideas of inner-journeying towards wholeness
or paths to enlightenment. These serve merely to postpone
and now, and they build up the self-illusion.
In the spiritual domain, I
would fire all gurus and
transpersonal psychologists who use stage-by-stage
of self-development ( explaining experiences like mine as
level transient nirvikalpa samadhi - or whatever). And I
would like to see
the term Self with a capital S:
expunged from psychological and spiritual literature,
reserving the word strictly for the empirical self of everyday
is the whole obfuscating concept of self which needs to
be transcended, for
in my experience there has never really
been any self to transform,
actualise, realize or transcend.
Exposed to the diversity of approaches and expressions
nondual view and state of consciousness found on
NDS and in my own
explorations - I see more clearly now
that some humans prefer Emptiness over
Some prefer the dryness of eyes that no longer can weep -
space of silenced emotions that no longer arise -
the dissolution of all
bodies, personal history, feelings,
phenomenon. Even love is seen as
Could these humans be saints of Emptiness?
So many ways - all perfect for each one experiencing each
Are there many kinds of saints?
Here is a view:
"What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a
possibility. It is impossible to say what that
I think it has something to do with the energy of love.
Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of
in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve
the chaos; if he did
the world would have changed long ago. I
do not think that a saint dissolves
the chaos even for himself,
for there is something arrogant and warlike in
the notion of a
man setting the universe in order.
It is a kind of balance that is his glory. He rides the drifts like
escaped ski. His course is the caress of the hill. His track
is a drawing of
the snow in a moment of its particular
arrangement with wind and rock.
Something in him so loves
the world that he gives himself to the laws of
Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a
seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape.
His house is
dangerous and finite, but he is at home in the
He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted
the heart. It is good to have among us such men,
such balancing monsters of
- Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers (1966)
Sacred Balance - new series by David
For Canadians... and hopefully soon CBS will broadcast this
Fascinating new series entitled Sacred Balance begins
interviews and live chat with David Suzuki
Check out games based on series. Try "Looking Up"
Snipped from Act five, Scene ten in Peer Gynt by Henrik
So unspeakably poor, then, a soul can go back to
nothingness, into the
grey of the mist. Thou beautiful earth,
be not angry with me that I trampled
thy grasses to no avail.
Thou beautiful sun, thou hast squandered away thy
light in an empty hut. There was no one within it to hearten
and warm;- the owner, they tell me, was never at home.
The spirit is niggard and nature lavish; and dearly one pays
birth with one's life.- I will clamber up high, to the
dizziest peak; I will
look once more on the rising sun, gaze till
I'm tired o'er the promised
land; then try to get snowdrifts
piled up over me. They can write above
them: "Here No One
First you have to give yourself the right to be.
Just as you give the ant on the sidewalk the right to be.
You don't have to become somebody or something. Or
unbecome somebody or
You have the right to be.
That is the first and last step.
The "body cum this sense of being" appeared and it will
That is obvious. All you have to do read the obituary columns
"I am" is here and now, not yesterday or tomorrow.
Life is now.
"I am" is the sign post for that Life.
That is what you are. Life.
What is wrong with that?
What you seek is what you are.