#1864 - Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Nondual Highlights Issue #1624 Saturday, November 22, 2003 Editor: Mark
The search ends with the realization that there is no such thing as enlightenment. By searching, you want to be free from the self, but whatever you are doing to free yourself from the self is the self. How can I make you understand this simple thing? There is no 'how'. If I tell you that, it will only add more momentum to that...
Part of a conversation on SufiMystic:
This might lead back to the perennial discussion on cultivation: Can the ideal be cultivated, so that in practical terms, we can be in this unified disposition more often? Or does such cultivation give lie to the purported fact of our already always being One with "God?
Seems to me like we are all already there, but sleeping. What we cultivate is clarity and awareness.
I favor cultivation, too, consciously acting as if one is in the Divine Presence
(which we always are, even if we don't feel it). There are so many parts to this, all of the practices conducive to the unlearning and self-effacement that empty us of "ourselves". As my sheikh once said to me, when God comes into the heart, everything else has to go.
I know people who are in this state much of the time. Simply being in their presence opens the heart. Once one has a taste, by paying attention, a kind of non-cognitive note-taking, a person can find the way back there again....
FREEDOM FROM SUFFERING.
Freedom from suffering comes from examining and understanding the source of our suffering, the root of our problems ie. our ignorance. We must clearly understand what our habitual wrong view is like. Changing our views or concepts will not solve our problems, although they may be an appropriate first step, we must ultimately be free of them through patience, perseverance and spiritual practice. To be clear about our confusion is to be clear of it. Your attitude to life will be different according to your understanding. When we clearly understand how we cause ourselves suffering we will also understand the skillful action to take to be free of suffering.
"Study the prison you have built around yourself, by inadvertence. By knowing what you are not, you come to know your Self." Nisargadatta Maharaj
All true spiritual practice and progress is intended to uncover or realize our true nature, our compassionate heart, through experience, not blind faith or belief in some dogma. It is very important to check and see if the spiritual practice we do is an actual remedy for our suffering. Does it eliminate our delusion?
'In this life we cannot do great things we can only do small things with great love." Mother Teresa
"Those who enter the gates of heaven are not beings who have no passion, or who have curbed their passions, but those who have cultivated an understanding of them." William Blake
The Buddha's eightfold path was given to end suffering through the practice of right: understanding, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfullness and concentration. When we have right understanding and awareness the other seven will follow automatically. Right understanding develops by seeing the impermanence, suffering and emptiness in everything perceived through the senses; this leads to detachment. Right understanding also means seeing the oneness, the interdependence of all people and things and realizing that all the relative differences, emerge from and are part of the larger whole, the oneness of our true nature. Right understanding is not just intellectual it is practice itself. You don't have to remove the darkness of the ego you just have to turn on the light of the practice of right understanding, of awareness and darkness leaves immediately. We suffer due to our ignorance of what is real and what is unreal.
Right action involves doing whatever you do as part of your mindfullness practice. When you perform action it "may feel like you are doing something special, but actually it is only the expression of your true nature." Suzuki Roshi
"So even though there is no you doing anything, something is getting done. You are expressing yourself, your true nature. Keep it simple. What we truly seek in life is to express our true nature." Susuki Roshi
Proper effort is not a matter of achieving or making something happen, it is the effort to be awake and aware and loving in each moment, to make each moment a meditation, free of achieving, free of results, or attachments to the goal or fruits of the effort; the effort itself is enough. "Any effort we make is not good for our practice because it creates waves in our mind. It is impossible however to realize absolute calmness of mind without any effort. We must make some effort but forget ourself in the effort we make...we must make some effort up to the last moment, when all effort disappears." "Some people think freedom or naturalness means there is no need for discipline or effort, a kind of leave it alone policy. No need to do anything. For a plant it is natural, no problem. But not for us. We need to work. It is natural to sleep when tired but not when lazy. If it comes out of nothingness, whatever you do is natural, that is true practice."
Mindfulness is the precision of observing everything. Mindfulness is practiced to see clearly for oneself how things are. To see what is happening in the present moment, observing and experiencing without reacting unconsciously, bringing our whole heart and mind, our full attention, to each moment. Through mindfulness we begin to see all our thoughts, feelings and sensations, the world, without identifying with any of it, in order to clearly see life "as it is". Mindfulness helps to purify and balance the mind, opening it to deeper insight and realizations. The basis for all of the Buddhist practices of insight and awakening is the practice of mindful awareness in the following four areas. Awareness of the:
BODY - the body armor, physical pains, and the underlying nature of them
HEART - grieving and letting go, forgiveness and compassion, the heart opens when we come to terms with sorrow
MIND - its dualistic nature, its ignorance, and illusions
LAWS - universal laws of karma, emptiness etc.
Concentration will bring calm, mental focus, powers and even blissful states, however if it isn't balanced with mindfulness to examine or practice awareness of the nature of body and mind, it is temporary and incomplete. It is the silent concentrated attentive inner listening and seeing, the mindfulness that leads to true learning. Be careful not to get attached and hung up in the deep absorption states, the states of bliss and power that may come from deep concentration, employ your concentration to the practice of mindfulness and develop true insight and learning.
Awareness is absolute love in action. Awareness is seeing the realizations and insights from being mindful and being willing not to cling to or resist the insights. Awareness is timeless and unchanging and brings direct insight into the whole field of consciousness. Awareness in one aspect of your life does not automatically spread into all areas, you must practice awareness in all aspects of your life.
Consciousness is only of the mind, it is relative to its content. Consciousness contains the whole world, including the body, it is all one, including the waking and dreaming states. Nisargadatta Maharaj said "The only difference between the waking and dream state is that one is longer than the other. They assume different bodily sheaths, but both are illusion." All differences in manifestation exist only in your consciousness as appearances, the source is the same. You can be aware of being conscious but not conscious of being aware.
Establish yourself in "I am" consciousness only. When the thought of "I am good, bad, man, woman, or whatever arises, let it go. Return to being, "I am", that is all. It is the only knowledge that we really have. When the "I am" becomes steady then it too will disappear into pure awareness, without any object of consciousness. Then you have no identity, no desire, no disappointments, no suffering, pain yes, but no one to claim or own the pain, there is no attachment to it, that just leaves blissful awareness.
"All I know is that "I am" here, now." Nisargadatta Maharaj
When our true nature is personified we call it Buddha. When we understand it as the ultimate truth, we call it Dharma. When we accept the truth and live accordingly to it, we call it Sangha.
- Aachan Chah
"Accept everything that comes your way as God-given. Pleasure, accept it. Pain, accept it. Profit, accept it. Loss, accept it. By accepting everything the great benefit is you don't disturb your peace. You are always in peace. That is what we are looking for. That is what real Yoga is. That is what real spiritual attainment is. That's what you call enlightenment. So, learn to accept things. That doesn't mean that you should not think of doing something, wanting to get something. It is better not to have any wants, but if you still want something, okay. Have your wants under one condition: those wants should be approved by the Higher Way, by God. If you get it, all right, God approved it. If you don't get it, all right, God disapproved it. There is no harm in that kind of want.
God bless you. Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi."
Sri Gurudev Swami Satchidananda, contributed to Meditationsocietyofamerica by Bob Rose
Nothing can match or even come near
the miracle of who you truly are.
Let this be the mantra of your life.
A Being of Indescribable wonder
has, again, become a bearer of
the Light on Earth. Let nothing
dissuade you from this truth.
-Emmanuel's message of the month
Brotherhood on the Way, is the incentive, purpose and final goal of this list. Brotherhood on the way means that we never judge any one according to his colour or race, we simply walk together along the same Royal Road to Enlightenment. All stupid worldly differences are of no value, they are just simply blindness of the ego. The ego is the cause of all what you described, the ego may take Million Forms and Million Paths all begin and lead to DIVISION. Your list and what you are pouring in our hearts through your posts in this list, shows and demonstrates beyond any doubt this ETERNAL BROTHERHOOD.
- Wu Nein on MillionPaths
From Ramana Gita(On Society):
O Great Sage, what is the supreme goal on Earth to be attained by human society as a whole ?
10. Brotherhood based on a sense of equality is the supreme goal to be attained by human society as a whole.
11. Through brotherhood, supreme peace will prevail among mankind and then this entire planet will flourish like a single household.
- Viorica Weissman on MillionPaths
It is not possible, at last,
to end one's own suffering,
but it is possible to
love so much that only
Love survives, triumphant,
in the devastation
it has wrought.
Let's allow the mournful animals
of our reluctance to curl up
in our laps and rest there,
at peace, stroked by
the loving hands we grew to
touch ourselves in the place where
we have never been divided, never been
other than the poignant part of
ourselves, the star cream beauty,
come to flesh for the festival of
fleshiness, this embodiment of
light, God made, God mad,
flush with the rush of pulsing
oxygen, this breathing heart,
the source and destination of
all light, unbearable intensity,
furnace of happiness, fueled by a
fire without end, the smeared ash of
our surrender fingered across our foreheads
so all can see the testimony of
Love's glad disaster.
Bob O'Hearn on AdyashantiSatsang
Editor's note: With 274 messages in the first 5 days of its existence, Greg Goode's list NonDualPhil looks like a potential new star in the nondual pantheon of Yahoo lists... I'd post something from it, but I'm not smart enough to understand any of it. I like the picture of the bridge though...
Editor's note... Finally, I enjoyed this a great deal...