Highlights for Wednesday, Feb 23
- DAN and XAN:
There is only Truth and that which is distortion
of Truth. Once there is seeing of Truth,
there is natural resting in Truth.
Distortion burns away by itself.
There is no need to fight against the
needs of a "small self".
There is only resting in the Truth that has
no separate selves.
~"Fighting against" the small self
could only be done by the small self.
Seeing the truth is not the same
as resting in truth.
Surrender into resting is
noticing where there is holding on
To end a shadow requires
ending the light that creates the shadow.
Why try to end a shadow when it means
ending the light?
The shadow and light are a dance, a oneness.
Light and shadow are Light.
My experience, and what I've
learned from friends as well,
is that it is difficult feelings
that drive an attempt to escape and
What you call the "gratification hungry self" is
merely an image arising from an
attempt to evade feeling lonely, nonexistent or empty.
There is no small self to give up,
only a mirage created by an attempt
to control what is uncomfortable.
Resting in Original Awareness is
all. Nothing else is needed.
If holding on is noticed, then it is noticed.
There is nothing to do about it.
Doing nothing is being Original Awareness.
Doing nothing is the only "work", and it is play,
like shadows dancing on a wall.
Shadows dance on the wall as the flame
Light and shadow - one dance.
JERRY writes to DAN:
In a post I installed on the home page of the website last
week, you said in regard to Satsang as led by Arjuna or
Gangaji (the entire post is included):
"My perception: easy answers don't appeal.
Neither do complex answers.
Only questions that deepen until
questioning turns into something else...
silent reverberating beyond questions or answers.
And this yet deepens..."
No doubt some of us are running around with 'answers', with
lingo, and with highs from attending Satsang. Phil Servedio
has a lengthy story that culminates in a significant meeting
with Arjuna, described in detail, in which questions turn
into that 'something else' or the shattering that you speak
of. It's the first story on Laura's site:
Satsang, I've noticed, goes hand in hand with weekend
intensives and personal meetings, so encounters with Arjuna,
Gangaji and the gang are not merely as superficial and
formal as Satsang. Satsang is nothing more than an
introduction, a sales pitch, I've learned, though apparently
transformations may occur at Satsang.
Some teachers, such as Rob Rabbin, skip the Satsang and
proceed directly to weekend intensives and personal
I tend to think that these Satsang teachers don't only want
to give a nondual terminology or to apply a brightly colored
kids Band-Aid over dark wounds. I do feel their can somehow
lead to breakthrough, a shattering, and a whole new round of
drinks to be ordered. However, yes, Satsang can look flaky.
Thanks for your input on this.
And I'm glad I said something you found useful.
As for teachers, intensives, breakthroughs,
encounters, lingo, enlightenment, band-aids...
I don't know what to make of any of it. I'm not
even trying at this point.
Everything goes its own way...
Doris Day is my guru, "que sera, sera"...
I was once walking in Beverly Hills back in the 60's, I
turned a corner and nearly got run over by Doris Day riding
a bicycle on the sidewalk. She had to swerve and said
'Sorry'. If she'd hit me and it were the litigious 80's or
90's, I'd be rich and famous today.
Anyway, I just did a major update of my What is Nondualism
webpage, adding some 30 'definitions', some of which are
On this page you and others will re-visit your Ivan's, your
Slackeaux's, your Toon's, your Raven McClouds, as well a
bunch of us when we were younger and crazier, or saner,
perhaps. Your John Bird's, your Max's, your Modesty
Blaize's, and more. It's a trip to the past and new
'definitions' are always welcome.
I really enjoyed doing this. It's been a while since I've
worked on a web page. I was watching the movie Rushmore and
the main character, when asked about his success at simply
being the extreme person he was, offered: "Find out what you
like to do best and do it for the rest of your life."
How many of us are doing that? I've notified my employer
that I want to work part time and will start in March. I
hope it signals a push of Nonduality Salon to heightened
activity and a wilder independence.
GREG, JODY and XAN:
I enjoyed your careful distinction of (a) the fulfillment of psychological
needs from (b) self-realization. And I'm happy to make the acquaintance of
someone like you who can speak with the experience of seeking (a) in
satsang contexts and not finding it!! Ever since the first satsang I ever
went to, I have been noticing very much the same thing in fellow attendees
- desperately seeking fulfillment.
And it makes perfect sense they would do so in the context of a satsang.
A parental figure (usually) leads a group in instruction. Getting the
approval of this figure is the aim of those seeking confirmation. There
is nothing wrong with the wanting approval part, it's where they are
trying to get it that ends up being the problem.
Ironically enough, one thing that
dissuades folks from undertaking psychological work is that it gets a
pretty bad rap in satsangs!! But it is a real, and really important need.
Psychological work is *all* we can do until we get realized. Anything
termed spiritual practice is psychological by default until realization
I am a member of the Vedanta Society. Their swamis eschew psychology.
It is plain ignorance and cultural misapprehension that causes them
to do so. The plain fact is that swamis and other spiritual teachers
should send their students to therapy *first* and then begin to work
with them as spiritual apprentices.
My sadhana has been one big lifelong therapy session. I've been
assisted by a really good therapist, a sweet and unassuming guru,
and the grace of Mother Shakti. It was all about finding inner
acceptance. The outer acceptance, while nice, just didn't do
it for me. Self acceptance is one of the most important pre
conditions that a spiritual aspirant can establish.
In fact, from conversations with many, many people, both on the
e-mail-electronic-verse and in satsang contexts (on both sides, like your
case :-) ), I've come to see something that I just didn't know at first....
That is, most people, if they somehow had a clearly-explained choice
between psychological fulfillment and self-realization, would prefer the
former. In fact, some people seek realization *in order to achieve*
psychological fulfillment. One lady told me that she wanted to be
enlightened so that she could have a non-dysfunctional relationship with
I wanted to be the first enlightened person among my peer group, as
I thought it would gain their acceptance of me. I believe it to be
exceedingly common that many come to Advaita seeking an out from their
personal problems. Advaita itself cannot provide the solution, but the
work of honest and fearless self investigation can, and will when the
aspirant is courageous and sincere.
~ Yes, all forms of bullshit are welcome to satsang.
Do you think there should be a pre-requisite of clarity
of purpose before entering those doors?
Fortunately there is satsang to confront delusions
and petty goals and to share the good news of
freedom from all that in Self.
As I have heard it in satsang, psychological help is
not given a bad rap, just the tendency to make it
a way of life.
Psychology *is* the way of life of a satsangi until he/she
gets "It". Afterward one is able to understand experientially
the difference between their psychological self and who
they actually are.
Hi everyone, I ran across this statement from A Course in Miracles :
"...the essential thing is learning that you do not know." (T275/296)
I thought I knew a little something when I joined this group and thought I
may be able to contribute. After being with you all on the board, I've
come to realize I really do not know anything anymore. Mary
LILIANA and JAN:
I do follow the Heart. But sometimes it means long yogic
confinement and withdrawal from social interaction (until you
find yourself in NDS :), of course, but this is quite a
different story). And attachment to samadhis may be the
necessary pull of the Heart in the "right direction" - when
you are aware and witnessing the process, IMO. But then you
are not really attached, I guess :)
But isn't withdrawal from society in the Heart ?:) Then,
"going places & doing things" doesn't make a difference...
When Self-realization is accompanied by a powerful arousal of
Kundalini, samadhis not only are unavoidable but it is found
that they will happen irrespective of surroundings. There is
nothing like that to destroy an eventual habit of meditating
with closed eyes, confined to a closed room. The less
conditioning there is, the less resistance to K., so the
"ride" can be enjoyed. This is "crucial" for "liberation in a
living body" (moksha). It is even more "crucial" to dissolving
the "sheath of bliss" (anandamaya kosha).
I would like to dwell some more on the alternative of
"community life" vs. "seclusion" and the examples of Gautama,
Ramana, Nisargadatta in this respect but have to rush out. May
be some other time.
These days, "community life" is unimaginable as individuality
is emphasized from birth on and turbo-boosted by all media. If
humanity survives (not likely this time) perhaps a nice
discussion over a couple of thousand years :) But Gautama's
community must have been quite an intimate one as many
householders "attained" nirvana, a feat the Internet, despite
"free speech", won't achieve...
~ There are only 2 things to do in awakening:
Give attention to silent eternal awareness/beingness.
See each pattern of false identity and let go.
Xan says "only two things":
"seeing the false and letting go" does not appear to be the only way. For
example, the 'false identity' can melt away in the expansive feeling of
Or, if one has innate skill with energetics (laya/kundalini yoga) the rising
of subtle energy can terminate the 'false identity'.
Neither of these approaches requires 'seeing the false' in the traditional
'neti-neti' or 'not this - not this' fashion.
Also, there are many tantric sutras, one like: "On seeing the face (or
keystrokes!?) of a long absent friend, permeate this joy". I think of many
people here when I say "on seeing the keystrokes of an absent friend" !!
IMHO "seeing the false" only works for a fraction of the people, others
don't have the innate skill at that approach and are better off using one of
the other equally valid approaches.
also from ROGER:
Seems to me "there is nothing to be done" describes a very advanced practice
which most people cannot effectively utilize until after preparatory steps
have been taken. And we all know how devious the mind/egoic attachment can
be. "There is nothing to be done" could very well be used by a clever ego as
fuel to preserve itself.
D: The idea of trying to prevent the ego (a construct) from preserving
itself could only be accomplished by a force intervening
with the ego. Thus, a duality is constructed between ego and
opposing force (whatever it is that wants to prevent the ego
from being clever). My view is this: nonduality is - duality
is subsumed. Nonduality is, only nonduality is. In this view,
trying to second-guess one's statements to see if a clever ego
is originating them would be seen itself as far too much
cleverness :-) The extent of the cleverness involved suggests
that ego is involved in trying to catch ego in its supposed cleverness.
If something in me begins to notice that I am suffering in
one form or another, instead of beginning to suffer about
my suffering, it can become a springboard to wake up.
Or if I am resting in pure awareness and I notice my
attention beginning to wander, I again can use that
friction or energy to wake up.
I used to swim miles every week. When I reached the
end of the pool I would push off as I turned around.
It is like that. Using the contraction to push off from
or separate from. Without the friction of the contraction
there might not be enough energy to fuel the awakened
state. Not sure about that but it seems that way to me.
It is like a giant filter and the filtering itself is what keeps
it all going. It is the observing itself which fuels the pure
observing by digesting/eating the observations. It doesn't
matter what they are but they have to be there or there
would be no observing.
It seems to me that I am my attention.
TERRY quotes from the
Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual
self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the selfsame tree.
The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the latter,
tasting of neither, calmly observes.
The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the
divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he
recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his glory,
he grieves no more.
When the seer beholds the Effulgent One, the Lord, the Supreme Being,
then, transcending both good and evil and freed from impurities, he unites
himself with him.
The Lord is the one life shining forth from every creature. Seeing him
present in all, the wise man is humble, puts not himself forward. His
delight is in the Self, his joy is in the Self, be serves the Lord in all.
Such as he, indeed, are the true knowers of Brahman.
This Effulgent Self is to be realized within the lotus of the heart by
continence, by steadfastness in truth, by meditation, and by superconscious
vision. Their impurities washed away, the seers realize him.
Truth alone succeeds, not untruth. By truthfulness the path of felicity
is opened up, the path which is taken by the sages, freed from cravings, and
which leads them to truth's eternal abode.
Brahman is supreme; he is self-luminous, he is beyond all thought.
Subtler than the subtlest is he, farther than the farthest, nearer than the
nearest. He resides in the lotus of the heart of every being.
The eyes do not see him, speech cannot utter him, the senses cannot reach
him. He is to be attained neither by austerity nor by sacrificial rites.
When through discrimination the heart has become pure, then, in meditation,
the Impersonal Self is revealed.
The subtle Self within the living and breathing body is realized in that
pure consciousness wherein is no duality - that consciousness by which the
heart beats and the senses perform their office.
Whether of heaven, or of heavenly enjoyments, whether of desires, or of
objects of desire, whatever thought arises in the heart of the sage is
fulfilled. Therefore let him who seeks his own good revere and worship the
The sage knows Brahman, the support of all, the pure effulgent being in
whom is contained the universe. They who worship the sage, and do so without
thought of self, cross the boundary of birth and death.
He who, brooding upon sense objects, comes to yearn for them, is born
here and there, again and again, driven by his desire. But he who has
realized the Self, and thus satisfied all hunger, attains to liberation even
in this life.
The Self is not to be known through study of the scriptures, nor through
subtlety of the intellect, nor through much learning. But by him who longs
for him is he known. Verily unto him does the Self reveal his true being.
The Self is not to be known by the weak, nor by the thoughtless, nor by
those who do not rightly meditate. But by the rightly meditative, the
thoughtful, and the strong, he is fully known.
Having known the Self, the sages are filled with joy. Blessed are they,
tranquil of mind, free from passion. Realizing everywhere the all-pervading
Brahman, deeply absorbed in contemplation of his being, they enter into him,
the Self of all.
Having fully ascertained and realized the truth of Vedanta, having
established themselves in purity of conduct by following the yoga of
renunciation, these great ones attain to immortality in this very life; and
when their bodies fall away from them at death, they attain to liberation.
When death overtakes the body, the vital energy enters the cosmic source,
the senses dissolve in their cause, and karmas and the individual soul are
lost in Brahman, the pure, the changeless.
As rivers flow into the sea and in so doing lose name and form, even so
the wise man, freed from name and form, attains the Supreme Being, the
Self-Luminous, the Infinite.