the thought just occurred to me that perhaps Ramana and
Nisargadatta were the biggest 'rip-offs' of them all, since
they really obliterated their visitors' sense of self.
Every kind of material rip-off doesn't even amount to a hill
of lentils compared to that.
It is very hard for people to admit to themselves that they
have totally wasted years of their life following what can
only be legitimately described as evil practices, without
any redeeming qualities. But the good side of this is that
even good practices have to be completely abandoned *at
every moment* to stay free and be right here in the now.
Bodhidharma, the founder and first patriarch of Zen, was a
wild-eyed, quiet monk but still a pretty impressive fellow.
One day he got his big chance, and was introduced to the
emperor. His sponsors told him to be careful, told him to
take this very seriously, told him it was very important and
that he'd never get another chance like this. He went in
and the emperor asked him, 'I have donated many fine temples
to your sect, what merit will I get from doing this?'
Bodhidharma told him, 'None whatsoever.' The emperor, a bit
put out, since he had heard this monk Bodhidharma was
something special, tried again, and asked him, 'who is this
who now sits before me?' Bodhidharma replied, 'I don't
know.' At this he was dismissed, and it was a long time
after that he got even one disciple. Forget the past, forget
your merits and demerits, and those of your associates.
Don't try to know what can't be known, and don't try to
teach it. You are neither ahead nor behind, it doesn't
matter where you have been or where you are going.
The mind tends to celebrate itself, by claiming for itself
an existence that can be validated. Such celebratory
validation may occur through acquiring things, status, or
If the mind engages in a reaction to itself, to a belief
that something important or valuable is known or had, the
mind engages in comparison and has managed an imaginary
split of itself from Reality. More than celebration, the
mind appears to love controversy. With controversy, debate,
friction, opposition, the mind feels real, feels itself to
be a "something" addressing problems and challenges, gaining
solutions and positive states of being. Thus, our human
social systems, political systems, religious systems, and
educational systems thrive on controversy.
Sometimes, sitting with boredom is essential learning.
In the end (and beginning and now) there is only resting in
and as Reality. Relaxing "into and as" Reality is key (as
seen from here), whereas challenging psychological comfort
zones may be useful when there is attachment to and
identification with a comfort zone (i.e., a static
configuration of beliefs and images associated with
I say "may be" because challenges are effective when
well-timed and presented "appropriately", and are
ineffective when they overwhelm or elicit "reactive
patterns" that may even lead to "psychological regression."
Particularly if there is emotional investment in providing
or receiving challenges is there likely to be continued
friction rather than "new awareness".
BRUCE MORGEN (forwarded from Roger)
Nice to hear from you Bruce!
Oz was fascinating. We spent the 2 weeks a little south of
Brisbane on an undeveloped section of the beach listening to
Barry for a couple of hours per day. I went walking on the
beach nearly every day meditating on the sensation, how
delightful. My biggest concern was keeping enough cash on
hand for mangoes.
Went north to Cairns for a few days, rain forest trips etc,
then spent 5 days in Sydney.
I�m more oriented towards nature than cities, but Sydney was
I might even consider going back to Oz to see Barry again.
Especially if he�s at Cabarita Beach again. He�s in his mid
70�s and warns that although healthy at present, a 5-6 year
struggle with cancer could take him at any time.
I have no doubt that he is realized. But of course the
expression of God filtered through any personality is
limited. And he emphasizes as much by warning that one must
become independent of authority as soon as possible in many
His approach, his comments, are exceptionally creative. For
me he�s an extraordinary source of inspiration especially in
terms of metaphysical insight. Yet, I do not feel in anyway
that visiting him has suppressed or redirected my own
Our eyes meet briefly many times during the course. And I
usually felt an indescribable quickening of awareness, an
upwelling of sensation/energy, an expansive leap beyond
mental association with limitation. But the same happened,
for example, on unexpectedly seeing the full moon rising
over the ocean. So I certainly don�t want to place undue
attention on Barry.
My personal practice continues to evolve. My usual
technique of recognizing & negating identification with
limitation is still required. But more & more it seems that
all that can be done is to take a small shift into subtler
focus, awareness of the subtle energy of the body, the usual
heaviness or substance of the body is refined into subtle
energy, especially coursing upwards from the chest/solar
plexus, sometimes this energy leaves awareness completely
separated from association with senses / thought.
Sense awareness & thought may continue but are seen as if
from a very great distance, a distance so great that the
observer could NEVER associate itself with anything
Mysterious and indescribable! For a while I was thinking: I
can enter this by putting attention on the solar plexus (as
Barry describes in some book, a kundalini yoga approach), or
by stilling thought directly (a neti-neti Gyana Yoga
approach) which is superior? Which is best for me? But,
alas, such thinking implies effort or distance to be covered
& there is no effort in Being.
from Relaxing Into Clear Seeing by Arjuna Nick Ardagh
We are entering a new era where new paradigms of realization
and stabilization are being called forth. As more people
are coming to realize that they are not really individual
people at all, as more waves are beginning to recognize
their common "ocean-ness," a new context for the process of
awakening is being created, based on friendship and equality
rather than hierarchy and competition.
The hierarchical structures that have monopolized the Truth
have often kept people trapped in the role of student and
seeker rather than bringing them to the realization that "I
am the One." We have been dependent on an "other" on a
throne or a podium to supply the answers, while we have
stayed identified with questions and confusion. I feel
confident that we are seeing a democratization of this
process in the 1990's and beyond.
A completely new and unprecedented way of approaching
awakening and spiritual values is called for today.
Anything that smells of hierarchy and dualism, of
teacher/taught,enlightened/ unenlightened, better than/less
than, arrived at a goal/still on the path, is being
challenged and broken down, if not by individuals then by
the force of life itself. We are entering a new phase where
realization is being stripped of its elitist trappings and
embraced in an ordinary, friendly way. The Heart itself is
demanding this; it cannot be resisted.
This new view with the honesty and ordinariness it implies,
can only happen in a fresh context where friend meets
friend, and where the Teacher is discovered to be neither of
them and both of them simultaneously.
A guide can only lead me into the forest and point the way
A guide cannot point me the way out.
That is my process.
Share with me your journey.
I will find my own way out.
The name of the mind's game is always change. Be it a
celebration, a debate, an accident, a catastrophe, a love
affair or a fight, the essence of delight for the mind is
always change whereas Self is without change.
The very idea of something unchanging is ultimate horror for
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