#1951 - Saturday, October 16, 2004
Nondual Highlights Issue #1951 Saturday, October 16, 2004 Editor: Mark
The rationale for universal compassion is based on the same principle of spiritual democracy.
It is the recognition of the fact that every living being has an equal right to and desire for happiness.
The true acceptance of the principle of democracy requires that we think and act in terms of the common good.
Compassion and universal responsibility require a commitment to personal sacrifice and the neglect of egotistical desires.
- H.H. the Dalai Lama, posted to DailyDharma
Bondage is when the mind longs for something, grieves about something, rejects something, holds on to something, is pleased about something or displeased about something.
Liberation is when the mind does not long for anything, grieve about anything, reject anything, or hold on to anything, and is not pleased about anything or displeased about anything.
Bondage is when the mind is tangled in one of the senses, and liberation is when the mind is not tangled in any of the senses.
When there is no "me," that is liberation, and when there is "me" there is bondage. Consider this carefully, and neither hold on to anything nor reject anything.
- excerpt from the Ashtavakra Gita
knocking on doors
storming the gates
trying to find
to outwit the guards
to pass the walls
and get inside, inside. . .
and then in moment
of blinding forgetfulness
a new revelation ion dawns:
of being inside
of fighting and seeking
the all liberating
oh child of eternity
no inner nor outer in truth.
discard all illusions
see: nothing remains.
- Yosy Flug on SufiMystic
A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.
- Ogden Nash
If you cling to an idea as the inalterable truth, then when the truth does come in person and knock at your door, you will not be able to open the door and accept it.
- excerpt from the Udana Sutta
As Through a Gateless Gate
All stand in light before a "Gateless Gate",
nobody passes through.
The closer to the source we hum,
the more transparent we become.
Looking neither right nor left as we
approach ourselves, dreamily, it seems -
how can we help but not smile -- we smile,
nothing is said, so poignantly, as if it were
the perfect thing to say, as if nothing else
that could be said, need be said -
somewhere tigers yawn,
they nudge each other,
its a beautiful day -
it always is, you know,
somehow the way tigers know, the way
all earthy angels know, know we are
that unknown kind of knowing,
knowing going unspoken, as
through a gateless gate,
hinges oiled with rich
hopeless songs of love, sung as
purring tigers, angel baby, two touched
tongues, skin languages with one derivation,
one unbroken stream of spontaneous mystical
mouth syllables, puja vowels fused with seven
mystery-imbued consonants of relentless Zikr,
Great Mahamantric song of Self, mutual music
of Sohbet, of annihilation, sung before tigers,
before all restless angels, milling in light
before this gateless gate:
La'illaha il'Allahu, Yes --
- Bob O'Hearn from The Book of Yes (vol 3)
Epiphany: Gift of Light
A Spontaneous Experience of Awakening into Awareness
by Metta Zetty
On the morning of February 5, 1997, my life was changed, at a deep and fundamental level, by a completely unexpected and inexplicable experience.
To this day, I still do not fully comprehend, with my rational mind or intellect, exactly what happened. And yet, the validity and power of this incredible moment remain with me today, profoundly vivid and clear years after the fact.
It was a moment of intuitive revelation which arrived suddenly and without warning, and which I can only describe as an "epiphany," or an Awakening. In this timeless moment, my understanding and experience of the universe were completely and irrevocably transformed.
Now, several years later, I am still feeling the effects of this remarkable experience. The epiphany lasted only briefly, perhaps three hours or less, but as a result of the fundamental shift that occurred during this momentary revelation, my priorities, my identity, and the shape and form of my work have all begun to change.
Epiphany at the Rodeway Inn
Epiphany: a sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something; an intuitive grasp of reality through something usually simple and striking.
The epiphany arrived suddenly, and without warning. In fact, I was asleep when the experience began.
The night before, my partner and I had driven from where we live in San Antonio, Texas, to Austin, where we rented an overnight room at a Rodeway Inn. As professional meeting facilitators and management consultants, we were scheduled to facilitate a planning meeting for one of our Austin clients, in preparation for one of their upcoming construction projects.
This was a routine work assignment, and we spent the evening as we usually did, reviewing our agenda for the next day, and confirming a new work opportunity with another of our clients. Little did I realize when I lay down to sleep that night, I would awaken in the morning seeing and experiencing the world through new eyes.
Awakening into Awareness Sometime during the early morning hours of February 5th, I began to dream. During the dream, I found myself standing before a man, apparently a healer, who used acupressure points to release and encourage the flow of chi (essential energy) throughout the body.
As I stood before this man, energy was moving and surging within the upper part of my body; he was kneeling behind me. Then, he touched my body in two places: first, on the mid-point of the back of my left arm, and then on the back of my right leg, just below the knee.
Suddenly, an invisible, but significant, shift occurred internally: it felt as if any residual or latent energy blockages within my body had been instantly and completely released.
Before I knew or could understand what was happening, the top of my head opened up, and a flood of brilliant white light poured over me, flowing into and through my entire body.
Overwhelmed by the intensity of this flooding energy and light, my knees buckled beneath me, and I awakened abruptly. Now wide awake and in utter amazement, I felt the surging energy continuing to flow through my entire body! As it moved through me, flooding through the very essence of my being, the energy rapidly began changing -- transforming into an wave of complete and absolute euphoria, an indescribable contentment that extended far beyond the bounds of human expression.
Realizing the Natural Great Perfection Within this timeless, euphoric space, I suddenly realized and knew with unmistakable clarity that the universe, exactly as it is within the present moment, is absolutely complete and perfect. The present moment was whole and integrated. Any sense of fundamental separateness was gone. "I" was still there, but any anxiety I had ever felt was completely eliminated. All I knew/felt/experienced was the complete and absolute perfection of the present moment.
I became keenly aware of the river of energy flowing through each of us -- an energy arising from within and intuitively guided by this exquisite and innate perfection. I realized that everything appearing before us is simply a manifestation and expression of this energy, and that this energy is always moving through each of us, guiding us throughout our lives.
In this moment of Recognition, I suddenly realized the fundamental simplicity of our existence and our purpose: There is nothing we need to do or achieve, beyond the fullness of the present moment. And, I understood that this realization will dawn upon each of us, naturally and inevitably, as we begin to release our resistance to the flow of this energy moving within our lives.
With this realization, I began to understand, more clearly than ever before, the value of paying attention to: the relationship between body, mind, and spirit, the relationship between intellect and intuition, and the energetic rhythms and intuitive impulses moving within each of us.
This was a moment of overwhelming revelation, of pure and absolute joy. The perfection and wholeness of the universe seemed so obvious, so simple, so complete, so absolute. Like a bliss-filled fool, I alternately laughed and cried, spontaneously and irresistibly, at the exquisite perfection of All That Is.
Even as I eventually awakened my partner, and began to shower and prepare for our client's meeting, this astonishing energy continued to move through me, in wave after wave of sweet and unspeakable joy.
There was no question in my mind, during this timeless, indescribable moment that:
Within the present moment, each of us is where we need to be, doing what we need to do.
In our lives, and through our being, the Infinite Universe is continuously manifesting its completeness and perfection;
An exquisite bliss arises when we recognize and acknowledge this perfection and wholeness within our own, immediate experience.
I realized that it is at the intuitive level that we have our deepest moments of "knowingness" and "beingness" and insight, and that for each of us, this process of revelation begins simply with an intuitive faith and trust in our own energetic movement toward wholeness and integration.
I realized that, within this very moment, this energetic impulse is guiding each of us toward deeper levels of intuitive recognition of this innate integration and inherent completeness. And, I realized that we can begin to recognize this energetic impulse through body work and energy work; through yoga, movement and dance; through dream work and intuitive process work; through our relationships, and through our work in the world. I realized that this movement of energy, through our daily life experiences, is our greatest and most potent teacher.
I realized that this process is simply an intuitive exploration of the movement of chi -- the essential life force within the universe -- within the body/mind/spirit in the present moment. I realized that this experience of intuitive integration is simply a process of gradually realizing the energetic balance within our lives, within our intuition/intellect, and within our work/play.
I realized that throughout our lives, we are all intuitively drawn toward deeper and more profound levels of physical, mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual integration by deep impulses and timeless rhythms of wholeness. And, I realized that this process allows each of us to explore the depths of our own innate potential to achieve an ever deepening Awareness and Recognition of our own fundamental and essential nature.
I realized that within each of our lives, there is a pattern of intuitive recognition that has developed over time, an "intuitive river" that can provide clues to understanding the development of this integration process. I realized that the pattern and rhythm of this process are uniquely and individually appropriate to each of us, within the present moment. And, I understood that regardless of the path we choose, this process of intuitive integration will gradually to guide us all through, and toward, a recognition of the essential wholeness, completeness and perfection of All That Is.
I realized that in all our efforts to discern a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives, and in our struggle to understand the nature of the universe, our simple goal -- and our greatest freedom -- ultimately lie in recognizing this fundamental and essential state of natural Awareness. I realized that all of our efforts and struggle ultimately dissolve into our ability to trust the process of the completeness and perfection of the universe manifesting within the present moment.
With this recognition came a deepening understanding that:
"Mistakes," as we know them, are not possible.
"Whatever happens is the only thing that could have."
Our most fundamental freedom is our freedom to choose within the present moment.
The present moment and the human soul are a converging nexus point of the Infinite.
The past and future are pale shadows and faint echoes of the luminescent present.
Bliss is recognizing the absolute, complete perfection of the universe, exactly as it is, within the infinite present.
The perfection of the universe lies within its complete integrity and wholeness. Within this larger context, there is room for all the smaller, diverse "imperfections" of our daily, human experience.
All suffering in the universe ultimately is not absurd because it is contained within an Infinite Benevolence that extends far beyond the limits of all imaginable suffering.
Discovering the "Open Secret"
In this Awakening, I discovered that my restless seeking and ceaseless longing were suddenly and completely resolved in the Perfection of the present moment. With a sense of indescribable delight and relief, I discovered that my search for meaning and purpose was finally over.
I realized that our common, "ordinary" human experience is indistinguishable from the Fullness and Essence of Reality.
And, I finally understood that nothing ever needs to be done to achieve or obtain this Great Perfection. It is already absolute, complete and inherent within the present moment.
Clear Seeing I realized that this shift in Awareness is not about a change in perspective or position: it is simply a Recognition of our essential Beingness.
I realized that this shift is both gradual and sudden: it happens suddenly, and it exists outside of time. And, it emerges gradually, both in and over time.
I also realized that this shift is not about arriving somewhere; it is simply borne of a contentment that no longer feels the need to go anywhere.
I realized that throughout history the saints and sages have always supported and encouraged us until this experience of Awareness and insight is one we recognize, and accept, as our own.
I realized that part of the Great Mystery of the universe is that the Infinite is continuously manifesting in and through our individual, personal experiences of the finite.
I also realized that this discovery was simply a pure expression of my own truth, not an absolute "Truth." At the same time, I knew that a larger Truth and deeper meaning were revealed within my individual experience.
I realized that each experience of "awakening," each Realization, each discovery of That which is Real, is unique to each individual. At the same time, I understood that we all ultimately "break through" into a recognition of the same essential Presence: a vast and spacious background of whole, integrated and natural Awareness.
I was also delightfully surprised to discover, in this moment of exquisite euphoria, that "I" - the little identity I recognize as "me" - did not disappear or extinguish! I was astonished that "I" didn't have to die in order to "experience" this magnificent Wholeness! The Realization of this incredible integration occurred, and yet "I" still remained conscious and aware. The personality remained intact: "I" was still "me," and "I" was still here, but "I" was now contained within, and not separate from, the Presence and Essence of vast and integrated Wholeness.
Initial Reflections on Awakening I do not know what, if any, specific factors triggered this Awakening. The emergence of the epiphany felt like pure, unadulterated Grace. I suspect, however, that during the months preceding this experience, a groundwork may have been laid, at least in part: (1) through an increasing trust in my own intuitive potential, and (2) through an intensification of my on-going search for answers to some of life's most compelling questions about the nature, meaning and purpose of existence.
I also do not know what essential conditions would be necessary in order to initiate a similar experience within another individual, but I have begun to believe that:
Everything within our lives - without exception - is a revelation and expression of That which is the Source of our own inevitable Awakening.
Each of us is already gradually "ripening" into a recognition of our own innate Awareness and Essence.
In its own unique way and appropriate time, each individual experience of Awakening occurs quite naturally, unpredictably and with absolute spontaneity.
Since the epiphany, I have discovered that the background of spacious, natural Awareness revealed within this experience of "awakening" has remained the frame of reference for all my experience of being human. And, I have found that as a result of this revelation, my understanding and experience of life have gradually, and irrevocably, begun to change. I have discovered that for me, now, there can be no turning back: That which has been Seen cannot be Unseen, and with this epiphany, my life will never be the same again....
With the epiphany, it has also become clear to me is that we do not need to pursue or cultivate a spiritual hunger for experiences such as this awakening, simply because even the "highest" of mystical experiences is still just that: another experience. Rather, I believe we are best served by beginning to recognize that our own immediate, present moment reality is not separate from, or other than, the larger Truth or Reality for which we have been searching.
I believe that when we finally release our attachment to the misconception that "This moment, or this experience, is not It," we will suddenly realize, with an exquisite and overwhelming delight, that we already are That for which we have been seeking....
Sharing the Epiphany
Please feel free to share this description of the epiphany with others, as long as it is copied and distributed in its entirety, retaining all the source, contact and copyright information included below. Thank you.
P.O. Box 781965
San Antonio, Texas 78278
©1997 by Metta Zetty -- All Rights Reserved.