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Highlights, Thursday, Dec. 16

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  • umbada@xx.xxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx)
    GREG GOODE For me, attending is no more. But years ago, there was lots and lots of attending. It was like this - before and during spiritual seeking, I wasn t
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 11, 1999

      For me, attending is no more.

      But years ago, there was lots and lots of attending. It was
      like this - before and during spiritual seeking, I wasn't
      badly suffering or in pain or unhappy with my life or stuck
      in dysfunctional patterns. Instead, it was a deep sense of
      loneliness, alienation, lack of fulfillment, and a strong
      yearning from the heart and mind to know "What is it all
      about? What is the purpose of life? What happens after?
      What are all these mystical truths that are spoken of?
      Where is fulfillment to be found?"

      In a nutshell, the paths for me were two: devotional (bhakti
      and karma yoga) thru Born-Again Pentacostal Christianity,
      then later, a wide search and deep inquiry that was
      primarily intellectual, but felt at the heart and body
      levels as well. This message is about the second part...

      Lots of what follows may seem quite heady and intellectual,
      but believe me, the heart and body definitely got involved.
      Part of it is that my education and training were as a
      professional philosopher. There were hundreds of books and
      many paths gone through.

      This is where Christiana's point about attention comes in.
      For about 5 years, I kept one question constantly in mind
      (whenever the mind wasn't engaged in what was before it),
      because I **REALLY** wanted to know the answer: what IS this
      choosing, willing entity? One day while I was reading a
      book by Ramesh Balsekar, standing on the Grand Central
      subway platform, the answer came by way of the world
      imploding and my phenomenal self expanding, disappearing to
      merge with it. No separate independent entity was seen
      anywhere. All "willings," "desirings," "thoughts," etc.,
      were seen deeply deeply as spontaneous arisings in
      consciousness, happening around no fixed point or location.
      Not only the entity "Greg," but also *all* personal entities
      dissolved, became appearances in consciousness.

      Lightness, sweetness, brightness, and a certain fluidity of
      the world followed immediately as sensory qualities of
      everything, and became one with all experiences. There were
      psychological aftereffects as well, like more resiliency,
      more psychological peace and happiness. At the time, it was
      really a non-event. Even now, it's not something I ever
      noticed or thought about at the time, unless I'm asked and
      then try to reconstruct it.

      I do remember that people at work noticed, my friends and
      parents noticed. I didn't have a real good intellectual
      understanding of it at the time, and didn't seek one. I'd
      never met anyone else to talk to about this.

      This came at the "right" time too, because I was just going
      through a break-up with a beautiful transsexual lady who
      looked like Naomi Campbell, but who was monogamously
      challenged. It was not difficult, where years previously it
      would have been painful. We are now very close friends.

      Then more attending. Another several-year constant inquiry,
      but very light, almost with an aesthetic, playful, artful,
      no-big-deal appeal. This time the inquiry was on the
      dualism between the appearances and the background
      consciousness that the appearances appear to - it was that
      simple. By this time I knew lots of other people, satsang
      teachers, etc.

      I could sincerely say that "I am the background, because the
      appearances appear to me," that was clear. I never ever
      ever felt like I was a mind or a body or a thought or a
      feeling of contraction in the chest or forehead.

      But I didn't understand it. Why should the appearances that
      rise up out of consciousness seem like something other than
      consciousness? This continued for 2 years, constantly
      arising (but no longer taken as "my thoughts, my inquiry") -
      it just happened. Then one day, sitting at home reading a
      book by Krishna Menon given to me by Francis Lucille, the
      whole thing imploded.

      The telescope collapsed. There was a burning savikalpa
      samadhi for 90 minutes. It went away. Then the
      object/subject, appearance/background thing just collapsed.
      No separation or gap or dichotomy was seen anywhere, then or
      since. No union or wholeness has been seen either. No
      questions, no answers. All is unbroken, continuous, was
      never different. The light, love and sweetness from before
      was no longer part of discrete appearances as it seemed to
      be years before, but rather the source and substance of
      objectless knowledge itself. Talk of subjects or objects or
      appearances (or anything) became a kind of enjoyable
      make-believe, helpful perhaps in speaking with other people,
      but that was it.

      What do I do? If I had to come up with a word, it would be
      celebrate. It looks like this. Work, ride a bike, lift
      weights, eat, I'm dating a new lady, I write e-mail, have
      satsang with friends, visit Francis Lucille, a beloved
      teacher, who gave me the Krishna Menon book (he counts
      Krishna Menon and Jean Klein among his teachers, too). I
      was invited to teach this same kind of stuff at the yoga
      center of friends in New York City's Soho, who also love
      Francis. I am trying to learn to dance-skate, but am often
      lazy. I am trying to learn more compassion and kindness.
      For this reason, and for the beauty and simplicity, I
      practice Shin Buddhism. There is a temple in New York.



      I'd like to share that I... had the privilege of meeting
      Greg last summer. We met for a late dinner on a hot summer
      night in New York City. Greg is wise and whimsical..
      ordinary and powerfully nonordinary...charming and
      disarming, and as is evident to all, living an integrated
      life. It is such a treat to have these opportunities.



      And Christiana is quick-witted, widely intelligent, bright,
      with beautiful eyes, the quality of being very *here* and
      present, and loving and caring, deeply soulful and spiritual
      all at the same time. She dropped into Manhattan on her way
      through the NY area on family business, and we had a nice
      dinner at a well-known Greek diner that had seen better
      days. I value Christiana's presence on this list and on
      this planet.



      Looking at my self
      in the mirror

      I see with a memory
      of days past,

      and with expectant eyes

      wanting to hold onto
      an image

      of someone who never
      really existed.

      How painful to admit that

      I am not seeing the beauty
      of the One

      but rather the discrepancy
      between image and expectation.

      To drop the expectation,
      to let go of the memory,

      is to stand face to face
      with the present.....

      with what IS.

      Dare I?

      Dare I see, I mean really see,
      what stands before me now?



      Sedona Method - Lots of my friends are graduates or teachers
      of this, and it is particularly popular with devotees of
      Ramana Maharshi, Robert Adams, Papaji and the teachers
      Papaji authorized.

      It is a psychological method to "release" negative feelings
      by seeing that they are dependent on other, deeper feelings
      and beliefs. The deeper feelings are released, which
      releases the more surface-level feelings, resulting in a
      temporary feeling of clearness.


      This is my spiritual 'immediate' family and this method (not
      always named anything in particular) is well known to me so
      I would like to say a little more about it.

      The method is to simply be present with whatever emotion is
      felt. I originally saw this as a new evolution of spiritual
      teaching that is a truly spiritual (nondual, if you prefer)
      answer to many people's emotional suffering and to our
      society's excessive psychological focus. Then Arjuna Nick
      Ardagh said he found references to it in old Dzogchen
      writings. It is a way of healing emotional patterns and
      wounds that leads not to just better functioning but to the
      truth of Oneself.

      I have noticed that people who do not have a strong
      emotional nature often will say to those who do, "Just get
      over it." to which a common response is, "I wish!" This
      simple approach of being fully present works in the area of
      emotion as "Who Am I?" works through the mental. Rather
      than useless attempts to get rid of emotion, feeling becomes
      a vehicle of self-realization. When the truth is accepted
      inclusively, emotion becomes a delightful form of
      expression, a servant, like thought.

      Gangaji's way is to direct the person to simply feel and
      then allow what is beneath to rise up to awareness.
      Sometimes there are other layers of emotion. Feeling down
      through the layers there is always ultimately the vastness
      of peace.

      Years ago a teacher of mine called the process "What's under

      Nick's way is to be present to the feeling, then to increase
      it to the maximum. The understanding is that whatever is
      faced fully in awareness - no longer resisted - is
      completed. He said when he first started guiding people
      through this he told them there would be temporary relief
      and clarity; but he has had numerous responses from people
      which said the old emotional pattern never returned and a
      sense of wholeness and freedom remains.

      In the space created in awareness by the release of what had
      been a preoccupation ...... Silence.

      This is not to say I think we can Do our awakening.
      As I see it Grace reaches us in any way it can.


      Thanks xan. I find it is my spiritual immediate family (one
      of them), as well. Most of my friends in New York are or
      have been students of one of the feelings methods. For the
      last several years, we've had about one teacher every two
      months come to NYC from Papaji's lineage. The great
      majority of the ones at the satsangs were Sedona graduates,
      and out of this group, other friendships formed and went in
      different directions. The vigilance that Gangaji and Papaji
      speak of is very similar to what I hear about the Sedona
      method. At least one teacher, Pam Wilson, gained
      inspiration from Papaji, Ramana, Robert Adams and Neelam,
      was actually a Sedona teacher but left the Method.

      Thanks for giving sweet and clear voice to what might be the
      largest and most popular form of face-to-face nondualist
      teaching in the West. Many of the same teachers and
      students travel to Europe as well. There are other feelings
      method teachers based in Europe as well.


      from Papaji:

      Student: Are you saying that 'no thinking' is also a

      Papaji: 'Thinking and no thinking are both normal functions
      of the mind'. A mind that doesn't think thoughts, which is
      free of the idea of no thought as well, can be called a
      free-mind'. Thought and no thought exist in relation to
      each other. They are both properties of the mind. 'No-mind'
      is something else. It has no connection with anything.
      When the mind is so undressed that it is free even of
      no-thinking, there will be nothing left of mind. While
      there is the mental state of no-thought, there is still a
      place where objects can land; but when no-thought is thrown
      away, leaving only 'no-mind', objects cannot land anymore.
      In fact, in that state there are no objects at all.


      Actually I had never heard the name Sedona Method before, or
      any other name for it. When I began doing this myself,
      after I gave up on processing all my 'stuff' oh so many
      years ago, I called it "turn and face".

      I have met Pamela Wilson in her satsangs here in Colorado.
      She is a delight, with quaint and original ways of
      expressing herself about awakening as the wordless.

      Here are a few excerpts from a little book someone put
      together from her words called, The Ocean, The Fish and The

      -In the old days young men used to go into the forest, or
      into some very dangerous place to prove their courage. This
      is actually the most dangerous place: the heart. That's
      why we talk about being lion-hearted. It requires the
      courage of a lion to rest there.

      -When failure comes, or fatigue comes, it's a blessing.
      This is the humility that is required: to stand naked
      before God, to say, "You're right. I am a failure at
      doing." This is innocence.

      - Words are just bones thown out for the mind, to keep the
      mind busy while the grace does the work. Like dog biscuits.

      - The body really is like a pet that we have. We should
      walk it and we have to feed it, make it rest. If you had a
      young child or a pet and it was really scared you wouldn't
      judge it. You would just comfort it.

      - Having a body is like being at a beach, just letting the
      waves of peace ebb and flow, and allowing peace to be
      welcome in the body. Peace is welcome here.

      - Sometimes there's a desire to dive deep into the ocean.
      So, like those pearl divers who wear very little so that
      they can be unobstructed in their diving, just for a moment
      could you set aside this form and dive into that presence
      with your formless essence?

      - So you're in the ocean and this fish called "wondering"
      swims by. So enjoy the fish and just let it go. Your
      business is savoring the moment, not wondering how to
      catalog that fish. So just enjoy the feeling of the ocean,
      the vastness.

      - Love, like a sleeping beauty, lies in the heart. And
      awareness is the prince that goes inside and kisses the
      sleeping beauty. We take our awareness into the heart to
      find love, and just one kiss, awareness and love, awakens

      - In this love affair it's nice to bring the beloved a
      little gift - tiny. We sacrifice what is held dearest - not
      a cow, not a camel, not a goal, but just a little bit of
      individuality we give her as a gift. We hand her the castle
      walls and defenses as our gift - a small trade.

      -You have only one job to do. Actually two: relax and
      It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it.

      - We are designed to be delightfully imperfect. Any attempt
      at perfection is not trusting the Beloved. So actually you
      have three jobs: rest, enjoy and be imperfect.

      - Grace prunes us like a rosebush.

      - Like the phoenix a few feathers get burned in return for
      immortality. A little suffering gets offered to the flame in
      return for joy. It's a good trade. You'll never find that
      deal anywhere.

      - Satsang is really just a gathering of many mountains to
      discuss their mountain nature.

      - The jewel is always wrapped in that dark velvet of not


      "Finally, in my sixties, the meaning of the phrase "Don't be
      came to me unexpectedly. At that time I just danced about,
      saying "Don't be deluded! Don't be deluded!" My heart
      filled with gratitude. If someone had actually been about
      to cut off my head, I would have considered it an illusion.
      But I carefully thought it all through and returned to my
      old self and to my various methods of practice. I still
      can't stop treasuring this bag of dung. The thing that we
      call existence is deeply ingrained."- Suzuki Shosan


      Treasuring the body-idea is simply treasuring consciousness,
      which is fine. Consciousness is something to be treasured.
      I certainly don't subscribe to the "sack of dung" idea
      proposed by Shankara 3,000 years ago, although I think this
      whole idea has been taken out of context (viewing the body
      as a "sack of dung" is simply a way to put the focus on
      something more permanent). But nor do I subscribe to the
      body as the focus, to the "Eat, drink and be merry, for
      tomorrow we may die" idea. I deny the reality of the body
      only in relation to "I." The body may or may not exist, but
      it is not "I," it is not "me," it is not "mine." Pointing
      to the body in the mirror, is only pointing to a body
      amongst 7 billion other bodies. That which is pointed to is
      not myself. That's all it comes down to.


      What an opportunity to look into the paradox of no-self and
      expectations originating from false self! It would be
      dangerous to assume our work is finished - of facing in pure
      awareness our remaining fragments of identity.

      All my foolishness arises in the Silent IAm. I would be
      even more of a fool to turn a blind eye to it. I am
      particular alert to the mind's capacity for self-deception.
      It is a core element of my 'practice' to be vigilant in this
      way. (Larry take note)

      It is walking the razor's edge to be watchful for mind's
      expectations, projections and judgements while absorbed
      in/as Silent Heart. I find that willingness to see, and
      seeing through my own bullshit leads to deepening and
      expansion of awareness.


      Very well put Xan, I've heard you talk about this vigilance
      quite often. It is a natural unnoticed practice that arises,
      with a natural rhytm, like breath. The practice may be
      unnoticed and automatic, but the bullshit comes to light, as
      a result of this watchfulness. This willingness, to see the
      bullshit and not hide from it, but to expose it, is an
      invitation to bliss of being, every time again.

      The experience of exposure however, is nothing like any kind
      of bliss. It may even feel like a voluntary crucifixion.
      To my imagination this mostly appears as a very unappealing
      practice, but since it comes natural, there is no way to
      evade it, there is no place to hide from it.

      Nailing down yet another concept, another belief, another
      idea, another formula, without holding out any kind of
      prospect, without the promise of any kind of reward.

      Yet, there is..... but not for me. It is giving up this
      'me', that is the reward in itself.
      Perhaps Judi would say: ***just cut the bullshit now***



      a poem from Sahjo Bai, a Lady Saint:

      I would give up Rama, but not the Master.
      I do not consider God equal to the Master.
      God sent me to this world,
      But the Master freed me from birth and death.
      God set five thieves after me,
      But the Master saved my lonely soul.
      God ensnared me with family ties,
      But the Master removed my attachment.
      God involved me in disease and suffering;
      The Master made me a yogi and freed me from them.
      God involved me in meritorious acts and deeds;
      The Master showed me my real self.
      God hid Himself from me;
      The Master gave me a lamp and showed God to me.
      God involved me in bondage and release;
      The Master removed all my doubts about them.
      I sacrifice myself to Charandas;
      I will give up the Lord, but not the Master


      Observing the capacity for self-deception is clarity.
      Clarity is all that is.
      With clarity as all that is, there is no effort involved in
      There is only perception, not divided into a subject and
      Self-deception (reacting to an "object" or a "self")
      is recognized as such instantly, and is thus instantly
      transformed into clarity.
      Performing this transformation each moment (as there is only
      "this moment") is the "magic" of birth-death/Infinity.
      Indeed it is the razor's edge where time meets eternity.


      Acknowledging only the unmanifest is a folly; the beauty of
      a flower isn't diminished by its transitoriness.


      Such a beautiful flower we see here.
      Loving its fragrance and fine petals.
      It blooms for an moment, and that instant...
      ah, that instant...


      The difficulty with 'icons' is that we place them 'before'
      our 'eyes' then struggle endlessly in fear and/or desire to
      look 'around' them. Whatever that 'symbol is' call it the

      God, is 'all' that you are 'not' (the becoming of your being
      and the being of your becoming) and, unlike 'other', God
      does not stand 'before' you, he stands 'behind' you and 'I'
      with 'him'.

      I approached the mirror from behind and it was blackness. I
      scratched at the mirror and it 'peeled' away and let some
      light in that blinded my eyes. As I peeled 'more' I
      realized that the 'looking glass' reveled it's 'self'
      transparent 'before' me and my heart was filled with joy!!


      As I sit 'within' unconditionality and look out at that
      unquenchable thirst named 'space', I wondered what could
      fill it. Then it 'occured' to me.. 'only' unconditional
      love could fill 'seamless' space and thus I fired a shot and
      called it light. It was a signal, an sos, and to this day I
      wonder: Did 'I' get through the barrier called you and me.
      So, it is true, the light chases the dark from within but is
      it enough to power 'this'... a simple word?



      The universe arises in the mind (the perceiver). When in
      dreamless sleep, the perceiver temporarily ceases, and with
      it the universe. Upon awakening, the universe re-appears
      simultaneously with the perceiver.
      Thus, the universe is entirely dependent on the perceiver.
      No perceiver, no universe.

      One may argue that the universe continues while the
      perceiver is asleep.
      Which universe might that be? If your body is observed by
      'another' while asleep, it will be seen to be lying still
      and breathing slowly (or brainwaves may appear to slow down
      on scientific instruments). This observation is happening
      within the universe of he/she who perceives the sleeper. It
      proves nothing except that with each perceiver who considers
      themselves separate, there is a separate universe, in many
      ways perceived quite differently. Many aspects of the
      world-dream are common to all dreamers, and many are not.



      Under a small sky
      enclosed by valley walls
      like a painted dome
      in a temple

      I made a Beast of bones
      Found where the ocean grinds its teeth
      (the round rattling stones)
      Bones cleaned by the fast black spiders
      Bones with flight still in them
      (horizon and the setting sun)
      I joined the bones with stolen copper
      Tendon ligament and nerve of wire
      Bitter soft and red
      I made eyes from tears
      Teeth and claws from words
      Sharp and strong enough
      We wander together
      Eating what it catches
      At night it watches
      With liquid eyes
      While I sing
      Again gently.


      Waves are ocean playing and dancing.
      They exist as...waves!

      A wave does not need to deny its waveness to know that it is
      ocean and nothing but ocean.

      (editor's note: the above lines led to several posts between
      Andrew and Tim Gerchmez, with others joining in. These are
      the final exchanges.)


      You are correct - to *say" that there is wave or there is
      ocean is duality. To be only ocean is nonduality. Form is
      emptiness, but how can emptiness be form? Emptiness is
      emptiness. Form seems to arise from emptiness, but how can
      it be so?


      Logic can't go here. It's not a question of whether form is
      real or not but that all form is emptiness, and emptiness is
      form because emptiness is all, emptiness is form whether or
      not form is real. Emptiness is everything real and
      everything unreal. We're debating whether the world of
      forms is truth or lie when what's important is what
      underlies it, which is emptiness.


      You're correct. It's been an interesting debate however,
      and I haven't felt the slightest bit of "you're right and
      I'm wrong" in it (refreshing!). This is the kind of debate
      that, once in awhile, is stimulating to participate in. It
      makes both participants and readers question, and is a good
      reminder of what's important and what isn't. But it seems
      this has been enough, and let's conclude with this post (or,
      with your response, which I'll read but not reply to). I
      have no interest in "getting in the last word." If you
      want, be my guest :-)


      Wave is the whole ocean over time.


      Time is thought. They are identical, "1 = 1." The movement
      of thought creates the movement of time, and vice-versa.
      The ocean itself is beyond time, therefore beyond thought.
      The waves on its surface arise within time (thought), and
      subside again within it. Yet even time (thought) is the
      whole ocean. The veil "covering the Absolute" remains the
      Absolute itself.

      Some people use that fact as an excuse to remain with
      suffering, to remain in the limited realm of the wave (I'm
      not accusing you of this). For that reason, I sometimes put
      focus on the ocean rather than on the wave, even though the
      wave may be the ocean, and even the gateway to knowing the
      ocean. In order to understand experientially that the wave
      is the ocean, one must venture beyond the limited boundaries
      of the wave. Few people are motivated to do so. First they
      have to trust that the ocean is there, and that if the wave
      subsides they won't be left "high and dry," so to speak.


      Wave is not only on the surface, that's why as wave moves
      into shallow water it becomes taller and steeper, it extends
      right to the bottom of the ocean.


      It seems to me you're stretching the "wave/ocean" analogy a
      little thin here, but it's all ideas. The reality lies
      beyond. Ideas are only a bridge, at best.


      Emptiness being form - this is the Buddhist way of looking
      at it, and isn't really translatable into advaita-vedantic
      terms. There's no analogue of background consciousness, of
      nirguna Brahman in Buddhism (maybe in Dzogchen). Hence the
      long-standing debates. Many Buddhists take advaitins for
      eternalists, and advaitins take Buddhists for nihilists.
      They agree, however, that entities such as small selves,
      egos, schoolbusses and apples have no independent, inherent

      Maybe Andrew can expand on this...


      Or maybe not :^) For buddha there is no thinkable or
      languagable ultimate. Just emptiness. Not dependent on
      Buddha holds up a flower when everyone was expecting a



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    • umbada@xx.xxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx)
      XAN free and easy: a spontaneous song of indestructible wisdom by Gen dün Rinpoche happiness is not to be found through great effort and willpower it is
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 17, 1999

        free and easy:
        a spontaneous song of indestructible wisdom
        by Gen'd�n Rinpoche

        happiness is not to be found
        through great effort and willpower
        it is already present in open relaxation and letting go

        don't strain
        there's nothing to do or to undo
        whatever momentarily and adventitiously arises in body-mind
        has no real import at all
        has very little reality at all
        why identify with it and become attached to it,
        passing judgement on it and on yourself and others?

        far better simply
        to just let the entire game happen on its own
        springing up and falling back again like waves

        without 'rectifying' or manipulating things
        just noticing how everything vanishes
        and then magically reappears, again and again and again
        time without end

        it's only our searching for happiness
        that prevents us from seeing it
        like a vivid rainbow one runs after but can never catch
        or a dog chasing its own tail

        though peace and happiness have no existence
        as some actual place or thing
        they are forever at hand -
        one's constant companion at every instant

        just don't be taken in by the apparent reality
        of good and bad experiences
        they're like today's passing weather
        like rainbows in the sky

        wanting to grasp the ungraspable
        you exhaust yourself in vain
        but as soon as you open up and relax the tight fist of
        infinite space is right there - open, inviting, comfortable

        use this spaciousness - this freedom and natural ease
        don't look anywhere else

        don't go off into the tangled jungle
        searching for the elephant of great awakenedness
        when he is already at home
        quietly resting in front of your own hearth

        there's nothing to do or to undo
        nothing to force
        nothing you have to want
        nothing missing

        emaho - how marvellous

        everything just happens of itself


        TIM HARRIS

        God is 'power'.
        Power is it and all.
        What form does 'power' take?
        Infinite 'energy' forms.
        Some 'worship' the power.
        Some 'shun' the power.
        Some 'seek' the power.
        Some 'run' from the power.
        Power, then is the 'will'.
        Power 'of' the 'will' or
        the will 'in' the power.
        Power preceded you and
        will go on before you.
        You are this/that power.
        'Made' of the power consumed 'in' the power
        and creation 'with' power.
        God is 'with' you always.
        And, I, am 'with' God.



        The swimmer, Curiosity,
        wants to hear about deep water
        from other swimmers.
        Meanwhile vast ocean
        waits beneath
        as Now


        No answer can be given to anyone. But the right questions
        can be asked. And how you address them can be discussed and
        futher questions asked. Everyone on this List is carrying
        out the function of the Guru. Each one of us, without
        exception, is Grace itself. You sign up for this list, you
        are the Guru.


        Awakeness involves "the entire field". Thus, there is no
        question about any entity which is "to be awakened", neither
        a sentient nor nonsentient entity.

        Suffering is relevant in the context of the belief in the
        existence of an entity that could "be awakened". It is the
        ending of this misperception that has been discussed as the
        "ending of suffering".



        I have had difficulty reconciling the experience of the Void
        with this experience of Pure Love. Is it possible that
        there is a God that is formed from pure awareness and is not
        separate from pure awareness but united with it?

        I would appreciate any thoughts related to this experience,
        to the Void, to God, and what I believe to be Buddhist
        thought that there is no God.


        Dear neo You seem to be blessed with experiences that don't
        fit into your conceptual frameworks. Glory be! It occurs
        to me that trying to figure it all out may be a major trap
        for you. If you want to know about God and the void, why
        would you be discussing it with humans? If you want to know
        about the ocean deeps, avoid boats. Become a diver. There
        is no substitute for leaving behind attempts to reconcile
        ideas and discovering for yourself what Is.


        You are pure consciousness, without beginning, middle or
        end, not separated from anything but encompassing all. This
        is not something to be limited to one or more experiences,
        but can be all day reality and when so, it is perfectly
        normal, because it is unchanging, independent of the fate of
        the mind-body.
        As long as the limitation of experiences continues, the
        desire to describe, name and classify will continue, but
        what does that solve? When the drop of water found its way
        to the ocean, how can it know anything else but water?
        Does water change if described by a physicist instead of a



        Reading about Ramakrishna could make things clear for you;
        he had almost every possible religious experience (samadhi)
        and came to the conclusion, that all paths will lead the the
        same (Unnameable). A rather clear label for it is
        Sat_Cit_Ananda which means Being_Consciousness_Bliss, these
        3 aspects not being separated but a whole and these aspects
        are innate. A classification of experiences is given, among
        others, in classical yoga but the yoga sutras of Patanjali
        (much shorter read) will give enough insight and a summary
        is, that these experiences are a composition of 1.
        cogitation, 2. reflection, 3. bliss and 4. I_am_ness.
        When bliss is involved, the sense of love will dominate the
        experience, when I_am_ness is involved but bliss is absent,
        the sense of void will dominate the experience.


        This is one of Ramakrishna's legacies. He lived at time in
        India when there were two strongly opposing Hindu factions -
        one that advocated consciousness of Brahman, the formless,
        and the other that was passionately blissful in union with
        favorite forms of God. His ecstasy in Divine Mother and his
        frequent samadhis in emptiness bridged a false division. He
        refused to give up either one for the other.


        THE GREATER SEA, Kahlil Gibran

        My soul and I went to the great sea to bathe. And when we
        reached the shore, we went about looking for a hidden and
        lonely place.
        But as we walked, we saw a man sitting on a grey rock taking
        pinches of salt from a bag and throwing them into the sea.
        "This is the pessimist," said my soul, "Let us leave this
        place. We cannot bathe here."
        We walked on until we reached an inlet. There we saw,
        standing on a white rock, a man holding a bejeweled box,
        from which he took sugar and threw it into the sea.
        "And this is the optimist," said my soul, "And he too must
        not see our naked bodies."
        Further on we walked. And on the beach we saw a man picking
        up dead fish and tenderly putting them back into the water.
        "And we cannot bathe before him," said my soul. "He is the
        humane philanthropist."
        And we passed on.
        Then we came where we saw a man tracing his shadow on the
        sand. Great waves came and erased it. But he went on
        tracing it again and again.
        "He is the mystic," said my soul, "Let us leave him."
        And we walked on, till in a quiet cove we saw a man scooping
        up the foam and putting it into an alabaster bowl.
        "He is the idealist," said my soul, "Surely he must not see
        our nudity."
        And on we walked. Suddenly we heard a voice crying, "This
        is the sea.
        This is the deep sea. This is the vast and mighty sea." And
        when we reached the voice it was a man whose back was turned
        to the sea, and at his ear he held a shell, listening to its
        And my soul said, "Let us pass on. He is the realist, who
        turns his back on the whole he cannot grasp, and busies
        himself with a fragment."
        So we passed on. And in a weedy place among the rocks was a
        man with his head buried in the sand. And I said to my
        soul, "We cannot bathe hear, for he cannot see us."
        "Nay," said my soul, "For he is the most deadly of them
        all. He is the puritan."
        Then a great sadness came over the face of my soul, and into
        her voice.
        "Let us go hence," she said, "For there is no lonely, hidden
        place where we can bathe. I would not have this wind lift
        my golden hair, or bare my white bosom in this air, or let
        the light disclose my sacred nakedness."
        Then we left that sea to seek the Greater Sea.


        It has been said that the realized being is utterly
        unpredictable -- yet the tendency is there to follow the
        natural laws (nonharming, etc) because something other than
        personality is operating.


        It reminds me some passages in the book "Truth is a Pathless
        Land - A Journey with Krishnamurti" by Ingram Smith.

        Sometime after five o'clock a stream of buses, overloaded
        with office workers, came roaring past us. I was intrigued
        to notice that as each bus approached from behind, Krishnaji
        reacted in a different way. Sometimes he would walk right
        on and the bus would go around him; at other times he would
        quickly cross to the other side of the road; occasionally he
        would leap over the irrigation ditch running between the
        road and the rice paddy and walk there while the bus went
        by. With no two buses did he react in the same way . There
        seemed to be no habit pattern whatsoever.

        As I watched, I realized that in some extraordinary way he
        was responding to the attitude of each bus driver. He
        stepped aside for the agressive driver, and let the
        accommodating driver adapt his driving to us. He seemed to
        move in relation to the intention of the man behind the
        wheel, to be an integral part of the whole movement, of the
        subtle interplay . Yet each was doing exactly what he
        intended: Krishnaji walking briskly for an hour, and the bus
        drivers reaching their destinations in whatever way they
        chose to drive . It didn't matter to Krishnaji whether he
        was walking on the road or off it--it was the exercise, the
        oxygenation of the blood, the freedom of body movement that

        A flock of scheeching parrots rocketed across the road
        directly in front of us. Krishnaji's reaction was
        instantaneous and dramatic.
        He physically shuddered as though the birds had flown
        through him, then continued on as if nothing untoward had

        Our speed in this slow-moving island made us objects of
        whimsical interest. Villagers stood and watched us as we
        strode by . Occasionally, as we paced through a village, a
        pariah dog would burst out snarling or barking. Krishnaji
        responded differently to each dog. As one approached he
        would shout, "Get back"; to another he would call softly and
        let it run alongside him, even patting it. Sometimes
        children would race up beside us. From one he would
        distance himself, another he would permit to jog for a while
        at his side or between us. Again, different responses,
        always patternless, his action relating completely to the
        present situation. It was a tremendous learning experience
        to observe such freedom from habitual reactions.


        hello list hearts you are all in my heart today.
        in my heart also are, and hear i become the nonreal
        --kids who have no food to eat today
        --working people who make barely enough to pay for the
        clothes they wear to work
        --people who sleep in the street because they have no money
        --people of colour who are in prison for crimes they did not
        --visionaries who are committed to institutions because they
        are "harmful to society

        oh there are so many more to think of. the most "outthere"
        patient i shared hours with in the hospital spoke a kind of
        word salad. .
        .seemingly disjointed and confused, but interspersed with
        constant repetitions of "Jesus is the reason for the

        got milk? got ears?
        i knew it!
        i love you gen :-)(-:


        TIM HARRIS

        And by the way... the movie Matrix was an 'extreme
        disappointment'. The dialouge, although loosely littered
        with nondual reference was lame and melodramatic... the
        special effects were fantastic...
        but all in all, I give it 5 yawns out of 5... :oO...

        GREG GOODE

        The Matrix film has a great irony. Some of its spiritual
        references are about levels of reality, levels of
        experience. About 3 levels, as I remember. Oddly enough,
        however, the higher up you go in the Matrix universe, the
        grungier it gets. The lowest, most deluded level is the
        most pleasant, like a 50's TV show world. And the higher is
        ugly, with rusted megalithic structures housing pods of
        oozing protoplasm. It was the unpleasantness of the higher
        levels that spurred the computer folks on to create the
        lower, more pleasant game-realities. So for game-characters
        working their way upwards through levels in Matrix-world, it
        was hard work like sadhana often is. But the result was an
        ugly and sad wisdom, not freedom, bliss or enlightenment.

        It revolves around the question:

        Would you prefer the red pill or the blue pill (I might have
        got them switched)?

        Red pill: Know the truth, but the truth is painful and ugly
        Blue pill: Be blissful and ignorant



        There is a mystery which always remains a mystery.
        Realization is acceptance that this mystery remains mystery,
        is never understood. It is no flaw or imperfection that
        this mystery remains. The mystery is perfect. It is


        Not claiming to know what this means.
        Just knowing it's beautiful.
        An open-ended mystery -- the kind that invites endlessly,
        the kind that infiltrates the very air we breathe.
        Not baffled at all here, simply breathing the mystery.

        Salaam aleichem.


        Now we continue with the essential teachings and techniques
        given by Sri Ramana in the Forty Verses on Reality. Each
        verse is pregnant with method, meaning, and indicates the
        Truth of the Self.

        26. If the ego is, everything else also is. If the ego is
        not, nothing else is. Indeed, the ego is all. Therefore
        the enquiry as to what this ego is, is the only way of
        giving up everything.

        27. The State of non-emergence of 'I' is the state of being
        THAT. Without questing for that State of the non-emergence
        of 'I' and attaining It, how can one accomplish one's own
        extinction, from which the 'I' does not revive?
        Without that attainment how is it possible to abide in one's
        true State, where one is THAT?

        28. Just as a man would dive in order to get something that
        had fallen into the water, so one should dive into oneself,
        with a keen one-pointed mind, controlling speech and breath,
        and find the place whence the 'I' originates.

        29. The only enquiry leading to Self-realization is seeking
        the Source of the 'I' with in-turned mind and without
        uttering the word 'I'. Meditation on 'I am not this; I am
        That' may be an aid to the enquiry but it cannot be the

        30. If one enquires 'Who am I?' within the mind, the
        individual 'I' falls down abashed as soon as one reaches the
        Heart and immediately Reality manifests itself spontaneously
        as 'I-I'. Although it reveals itself as 'I', it is not the
        ego but the Perfect Being, the Absolute Self.



        I am very familiar with the Ramana, Papaji, Gangaji
        lineage. There is at least one person that knows Gangaji
        personally and has known her from her early days who is a
        follower of Sai Baba.

        As I have said before my spiritual quest has been a solitary
        one for most of my life. The ideas that we are discussing
        on this list were ideas that were so foreign to people
        around me that I wondered most of my life if I was partially
        insane. A number of years ago I was given an audio tape of
        Gangaji. She was a guest on a radio show somewhere in the
        southwest. For the first time in my life I heard someone
        speaking the thoughts that by now I kept private. There was
        a tremendous resonance.

        I then ordered additional audio tapes, then videotapes, and
        then arranged to go on a retreat with her in Colorado.
        After that I went on to retreats with her in North Carolina
        and again in Hawaii.

        The last two retreats were with both Gangaji and her husband
        Eli. In the first of these retreats she told me that there
        was nothing else that she could do to help me and that the
        rest was up to me. In the second retreat she would not even
        let me speak.

        To answer your question she spoke the Truth more clearly
        than I had ever heard it before or since. In addition, the
        structure of her retreats I found particularly helpful,
        especially the silence.



        Ken Wilber's early works give a good understanding of
        He speaks of the evolution of consciousness within
        phenomenality as going from pre-personal, to personal, to
        transpersonal. Since pre-- personal states are prior to
        subject-object duality and w/o linear time as are
        transpersonal states, the two can easily be confused.

        Looking at my own situation i can observe that i have never
        had a solid sense of self. The Buddhist concept of anatta
        can lead one to justify their pathologies by thinking they
        are being led to transpersonal awareness, when in reality
        perhaps they are weighted down by pre-personal issues.

        This reminds me of the story of how only a ripened fruit can
        fall. Does anyone agree that it may be important to develop
        a healthy identy, a strong sense of self, before
        Undrstanding can occur?

        (note: this is the last few paragraphs of a very lengthy but
        important post. Please see the full post in the Nonduality
        Salon archives.)

        1) It is important for children to have a healthy
        self-identity and good moral values, before being gradually
        taught that love of all beings equally should guide one's
        judgment; and that ultimately an intuition of what is right
        for everyone will take the mind beyond judgment altogether,
        to a state of non-doing and pefect harmony.

        2) A person who has reached adulthood in a condition of
        pathological self-loathing or narcissism needs special
        treatment by trained professionals, probably including

        3) Adults who are as yet unenlightened should find their
        way somehow to the Path - which is usually right under your
        nose and so obvious that it is ignored because it doesn't
        seem sufficiently 'sexy' or exciting. There is nothing so
        good as water for the thirsty. Steady, slow progress on the
        path gradually lifts the delusions and weakens the
        illusions, regardless of whether these are regarded by the
        'false ego' as healthy or unhealthy.

        It is often very gratifying to oneself and others to promote
        the idea of a 'healthy ego,' by which term we are referring
        to self-esteem. People like to be stroked and often form
        mutual stroking societies, or will pay people or reward them
        in other ways for giving them believable flattery.
        People may even develop vested interests in such self esteem
        efforts and conditioning, and will develop all sorts of
        encouragements and even entire philosophies to justify what
        they are doing. Thus they may argue passionately for such

        In my view, children may be encouraged or discouraged in
        terms of self-esteem for doing what they do, as they have no
        individual judgment they can rely on to provide them with
        such self-awareness. Mentally ill people may need special

        Ordinary adults should be encouraged to practice love, and
        honor truth and wisdom; and should discouraged from hatred,
        anger and abuse. Their egos should be left alone. The less
        attention that people's egos get, the more those false
        selves tend to simply dry up and blow away. (Things aren't
        always quite that simple, and if you have a guru or
        'teacher' that person may elect to use a different
        strategy. The Tao Te Ching states, "That which is to be
        diminished must first be allowed to fully expand." Under
        special circumstances what would naturally happen on its own
        rather slowly may be accelerated.)


        GREG GOODE

        You heard about Joseph Goldstein (I think it was)?, who
        after almost 20 years of teaching Vipassana-type meditation,
        finally went to a therapist to work on issues with his
        mother. I think it was a 2-year stint, and he said he was
        very glad he'd done it.

        It seems that some kind of self-protective superiority is
        found in all paths, sort of built in to the teachings, not
        to mention the teachers.
        It's easy to spot in the crystallized religions, harder in
        the newer, less orthodox teachings. A charitable
        interpretation of the built-in superiority might be that it
        keeps folks on the path, lessens the tendency to go
        spiritual shopping. There comes a time when some people
        will turn away from a path regardless of (or because of) the
        superior stance. And other people might benefit from
        staying on the path, shedding the self-promotional stuff.
        And still others will internalize the self-promotional

        I found this happening with me in Christianity. When I was
        first saved years ago, I loved everyone, felt united with
        everyone of every religion.
        A real fellow-feeling, as though I was thinking, "Wow! THIS
        is what you guys have been talking about while I was an
        atheist. It's great!" But then as I grew further
        inculturated in my particular denomination, I started to
        internalize their superior stance vis-a-vis other religions
        and even other Christian denominations. I found myself
        feeling superior to those others, and I started to be
        vigilant about it, knowing is was one of the occupational
        hazards of formal religion. My church was a Black church,
        African American. I was the only white member. Once a
        missionary told me, "Dr. Goode, you talk SAVED, for a
        *white* person." This was only because I had picked up and
        mimicked that denomination's ways of expression, which in
        the context was just right.


        Adi Da's First Talk:

        There is a disturbance, a feeling of dissatisfaction, some
        sensation that motivates a person to go to a teacher, read a
        book about philosophy, believe something, or do some
        conventional form of Yoga.
        What people ordinarily think of as Spirituality or religion
        is a search to get free of that sensation, that suffering
        that is motivating them.
        So all the usual paths - Yogic methods, beliefs, religion
        and so on - are forms of suffering. Ultimately, all the
        usual paths are attempting to get free of that sensation.
        That is the traditional goal. Indeed "all" human beings are
        seeking, whether or not they are very sophisticated about
        it, or using very specific methods of Yoga, philosophy,
        religion and so on.....

        As long as the individual is simply seeking, and has all
        kinds of motivation, fascination with the search, this is
        not understanding - this is dilemma itself. But where this
        dilemma is understood, there is the re-cognition of a
        structure in the living consciousness, a separation. And
        when that separation is observed more and more directly, one
        begins to see that what one is suffering is not something
        happening "to" one but it is one's own action. It is as if
        you are pinching yourself, without being aware of it...Then
        one sees that the entire motivation of life is based on a
        subtle activity in the living consciousness. That activity
        is avoidance, separation, a contraction at the root, the
        origin, the 'place', of the living consciousness....

        There is first the periodic awareness of that sensation,
        then the awareness of it as a continuous experience, then
        the observation of its actual structure, the knowing of it
        all as your own activity, a deliberate, present activity
        that "is" your suffering, that "is" your illusion. The
        final penetration of that present, deliberate activity is
        what I have called "understanding".

        April 25, 1972, Hollywood, CA.


        Some dreams are nightmares. I've never had a nightmare I
        could say I was grateful for...


        I've had nightmares I became grateful for once the worst was
        over, because of the kick-in-the-butt I got to give up yet
        another bit of my foolishness.


        I've found every dream is a potential gift if unwrapped
        lovingly. Nightmares are the processing of difficult
        emotions, often deep-seated fears, anxieties, strong anger
        or desire. The nightmare is a signal to find ways to
        communicate and express, to digest what hasn't been
        Perhaps if this world sometimes seems nightmarish, it is the
        attempt to digest who we are, which work involves our full
        awareness, as full as possible, each and every/only "now".


        There seems to be quite a bit of discord here between
        different aspects of ourself. For our benefit I would
        suggest that each party apologize to the other and ask for
        their forgiveness. If that is not possible and you feel you
        have to get the last word in, you do us all a disservice.
        At the very least, just do not respond to the next attack.


        Now, neo, have you made yourself one of the "parts"
        attempting to suggest how the other "parts" would relate
        That may work, but how well and how long will that work?

        If there are no parts in reality, then how is it that so
        much verbiage is strewn about this garden, as if to raise
        one part up higher, place another lower, to affirm the
        existence of one part as special for knowing it doesn't
        exist, or to affirm the special nonspecialness of a part for
        knowing pure existence? I suggest that all of this
        haphazardly strewn verbiage eventually decomposes and
        becomes the fertilizer for organic verbiage that is
        beneficial and cleanses the air.

        Gene seems to have proposed a theory that might help make
        sense of the verbiage garden that grows here.


        I am attempting to point out that for most humans, all
        decisions are made on the priority of _keeping the original
        _identity_. This original identity (not to be confused with
        'original nature', which itself preceeds identity)
        is our 'ticket of acceptance' to family and to society. To
        lose identity is equated with psychosis; it is probably the
        most stress-producing event a person can experience.


        So, some may be evading personality/identity disintegration
        while being attracted to the philosophy of
        personality/disintegration. Others may be building a
        personality on ideas about no-personality, an identity of
        specialness based on the idea of having no identity. Still
        others may be maintaining an "I am right" identity by taking
        the position of ultimate truth, or being beyond relative
        true or false. Yet all of these poses are simply the human
        being attempting to avoid disintegration, perpetuate
        existence, and achieve significance. Very natural. The
        breaking apart of self and world can only occur as a chick
        breaks out of the egg - when the shell has weakened
        sufficiently, the newborn feels strong enough, and there is
        readiness. So all of the thrashings and strewn verbiage can
        be viewed as pangs of birth.


        Yes. Held criteria validate the 'owner'. Remember that the
        'owner' is a character in a dream, and because the identity
        of the 'owner' is valid only in the dream, the 'owner' is
        heavily invested in maintaining the dream. Hitting upon
        others with emotion-producing word-attacks is the attempt to
        include others in one's 'family way' trance. Once this
        family is properly identified, the 'father' and the
        'scapegoat' instantly materialize; the vertical rankings of
        family hierarchy will appear, to the extent that each member
        reacts in such a way as to stabilize or protect identity.


        We do see attacks and counter attacks that create emotional
        and a family scenario with roles based on words. This does
        not seem far-fetched here.


        Your statement of 'hypnotic trance' is accurate; world-dream
        identity (which is the only kind of identity) depends NOT
        ONLY upon individual trance, but also, on the cooperation of
        all other dreamers to _remain in trance_. It is only the
        collective trance which can be called the 'world-dream'.
        The world-dream is a transpersonal trance, and the 'vast
        tacit conspiracy' to maintain this collective dream, is what
        we call 'society'. Historically, we see vivid examples of
        what happens to anyone who attempts to awaken masses of
        people, let alone individuals. That is why I favor the idea
        of 'awakening to the dream' rather than 'awakening FROM the
        dream'. As is cogently pointed out in several spiritual
        traditions, there is no-one to awaken 'from the dream'.


        The idea that one must awaken is part of the trance. The
        intent to stay asleep is part of the trance. Only awakeness
        is non-trance.
        Many verbal formats are ways to keep the trance going, to
        reinduct those whose trance slips. Some verbal formats move
        toward awakeness and back toward trance in the same
        paragraph. No verbal format can serve fully as catalyst to
        awakeness, as processing verbal statements requires a degree
        of trance, even to "get" the meaning. However, words are
        great catalysts because they are so integral to the trance.
        Of course, many other non-word events can be great
        catalysts, too. Timing and readiness are more important
        than the particular catalyst.


        Aware of the factors of identity-trance, both individual and
        collective, our movements become guided less and less by
        _criteria_ and become more and more a matter of conscious
        choice. Eventually, we become aware that the pain of the
        sufferers within the trance of the world-dream, is an
        emanation of the original agreements which resulted in
        _accepetance_ into family and society. Acceptance of an
        _arbitraily assigned position of inferiority_ is a bad
        agreement to make. Acceptance of the 'scapegoat' position
        is even more painful.


        And the orginal trance factor - acceptance of the idea of
        "positioning", that there is a body and space-time within
        which a self can be positioned.
        That trance factor is the basis for the development of the
        rest of the trance reality.


        Certain cultures maintain 'rites of passage', in which the
        painful submissiveness of the child is exchanged for
        equality in the world of aware adults. Our western cultures
        seem to lack this event of disposing of interim identity,
        thus dooming members of our cultures to perpetual warfare in
        the fight for dominance. Remember, it is one who assumes
        the reality of identity, who seeks to change that identity.
        We can fight among ourselves for the identity of supremacy,
        OR we can give up the need for identity.


        Yes, that very struggle is evident here as in the rest of
        the human community.


        To me attack is not justified in any form.
        Perhaps we can agree to disagree on this one.


        Attack, counterattack, fantasies of revenge, fantasies of
        superiority, the wish for invulnerability, the desire for an
        unassailable being. These arise together. It's not so much
        a matter of justification, although rationalizations abound
        (of dual and nondual persuasions). It's more a matter of
        If awareness is attached to a position, how can it *not*
        function defensively, in one way or another?

        Thanks to Gene and Neo for useful comments and insights.


        when the concept of attack is no longer held nor the
        opinions that fan it (agreeing or disagreeing) one *IS*
        one's true self nature, a nonretaliating buddha. Fine
        beliefs are the but the stepping stones across the river but
        must be dropped to see the dream for what it is, or one
        remains suspended over the river unable to make the final
        leap, cherishing instead the dream made of finely woven


        A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day.
        "In English," he said, "A double negative forms a positive.
        In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double
        negative is still a negative. However, there is no language
        wherein a double positive can form a negative."

        A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."








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