#3279 - Thursday, September 4, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz
- #3279 - Thursday, September 4, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlightsIn this issue three selections. An entry from Don Montano's blog in which is he says, "Nonduality may be a very important term for our times."More information on Peter Fenner's Nondual Training Course.Notice of two new DVDs from Non-duality Press, one featuring Jeff Foster and the other Dr. Jean Klein. There's a 9 minute sample of the Jean Klein video on YouTube (link below). In the video interview he speaks about his life, beginning from childhood. This video parts ways with the strict neo-advaita angle taken by Non-duality Press (and Jeff Foster), since Klein reveals that his teacher used the Upanishads and led him to seeing what he is not. That is a more traditional approach and Klein seems aligned with it, however that's only my impression from the video sample. I don't have the full view.This is from Don Montano's blog:Nonduality and either/or thinking“Science is the attempt to make the chaotic diversity of our sense-experience correspond to a logically uniform system of thought…The sense-experiences are the given subject-matter. But the theory that shall interpret them is manmande…hypothetical, never completely final, subject to question and doubt.” - Albert Einstein.“The world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far creates problems we cannot solve at the same level at which we created them” - Albert Einstein“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” - EinsteinNonduality may be a very important term for our time. Since most of our logic systems and most of our knowledge are based on either/or binary thinking one way to move towards a balance may be to recognize the phenomena of nonduality in our systems.“The term nondual is a literal translation of the Sanskrit term advaita, (meaning not two). That is, things remain distinct while not being separate.”…”Nondualism may be viewed as the belief that dualism or dichotomy are illusory phenomena.” (from Wikipedia)The nonduality of matter and energy. Matter = energy = matterEinstein was well-versed in philosophy and I can’t help but to wonder if he was aware of this term. I am inclined to believe that he used nondual thinking in his theory of matter and energy. When Einstein came up with E=mc2 he basically explained that matter is energy in another state. Or more specifically, how matter reverts back to energy when you place it at the speed of light.In pedestrian terms, matter and energy are just two states of energy- just like water, has the states of liquid, solid and a gas. This may be hard to understand when you’re trained to think of everything through either/or thinking. Through either/or thinking you usually get stuck in arguments like: “Well, is it matter or is it energy?”Multiple states and process
The belief that conceptual duality, nonduality, pluralism and holism are mirrors of the cycle of convergence-divergence. In other words, one process may be incomplete without the other. Together, these tendencies form a cycle. That cycle is just one of many others.Challenging thingnessEverything is changing - but our human tendency is to attempt to trap everything into boxes, into words, into documents, into static states. Our tendency is to interpret processes as static, one or two-dimensional ‘things’. This is another form of reductionism. The same way we attempt to explain the entirety of life with a single frame of time. Or our tendency to explain the entirety of human experience with a few cells or genes.Of course, static thinking has functional value but it also has anti-functional value and degrees of value in between. Static thinking may help us in one way but it may hinder and ‘trap’ us in other ways. We need to be aware of this changing dynamic. All elements of life are part of ever-expanding and ever-changing processes - we can deny this - but we do it with high risk.“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” -Einstein
Nondual Teacher Training
Welcome to our first Newsletter for the first 9 month North American Nondual Teacher Training Program with workshops in Boulder , Colorado . This Training is unique in bringing together highly qualified teachers and practitioners sharing and refining their skills in transmitting the timeless wisdom of nondual awareness; and empowering each other in the common endeavor of making nondual wisdom accessible and relevant to our precariously balanced planet.
In this newsletter I’d like to describe some of the most important features of the Training.
Teaching nonduality—sharing the ultimate medicine
Nondual awareness—what is also called “buddhamind,” “suchness,” “just this,” “original wisdom” and many other names—is the most precious space that a person can realize. To rest and live in this space is the ultimate medicine because here there is no sense of lack or deficiency. No matter how things are; no matter what sensations are arising in the body, no matter what is being thought, or where we are in terms of health or material resources, nothing more is needed . We live from a space that can’t be enhanced or improved because “here” no one needs anything.
Nondual awareness is the most precious resource available to every human being and for humanity at large; especially as we negotiate our way through this critical phase of human history. There’s no question that the most efficient way to demand less from our delicate environment is to discover the space of authentic self-sufficiency, and live more thoroughly from a place where we’re nourished and fulfilled by awareness itself.
Every day, some people awake in a selfless recognition of their fundamental nature — a sphere of awareness through which life moves—without this being shown to them by a teacher. There are innumerable cases of spontaneous realization throughout human history. But in the majority of cases people come to this recognition through a connection with an Advaita master, Zen practice, the instructions of a Dzogchen lama, working with Western non-aligned teachers, nondual therapists, or timeless texts that directly point to awareness itself.
But don’t I need to be realized before sharing nondual awareness?
Some people feel that it’s impossible to learn how to cultivate and transmit nondual awareness. They hold that it arises without any causes. At one level this is true. Nothing can bring “this” into being, because “nothing” is being created. “This” is always, already here. Still, the wisdom of the “pristine self-sufficient purity of this moment” has also been consciously transmitted, at least from the time when the Buddha held up a flower and the great Kashyapa received a direct transmission of a contentless wisdom revealing the nature of consciousness itself.
Nondual awareness has been consciously revealed in the minds of hundreds of thousands of people through self inquiry, koans, clear seeing or vipashyana, and pointing out events. These methods first entered the West 50 years or so ago. Today, half a century later, a significant number of Westerners are maturing as authentic agents for nondual transmission.
While the mind-to-mind transmission of pure awareness goes beyond all agency and contrivance, it’s possible to see how transmission happens, and use a broad palette of tools and sensitivities to awaken this in others. If someone has a clear recognition of the centerless space of nondual awareness and are naturally gifted to share at this level, it’s definitely possible to refine the capacity for nondual transmission and extend the reach of the field in which this happens.
Many forms of nondual inquiry
There are many forms of nondual inquiry. Indian Mahayana, Zen, Advaita and Dzogchen all have their preferred methods. Some approaches are confrontational, others are gentle. Some are incremental, others are sudden. Some methods lend themselves to group entrainment, others are more suited to a one-on-one, dokusan-type of exchange. Some approaches build on a foundation of contemplative serenity, others cut through intellectualization in swift, robust dialogues.
Bringing your first-hand experience to the Training
This Training brings together a community of new and seasoned teachers, who have a breadth and wealth of experience in nondual transmission and psychospiritual expertise that is unparalleled. Together we will share and explore the ins and outs of nondual inquiry and transmission. As a group we will draw on more than 500 years of first-hand practical experience and accumulated wisdom derived from a very wide range of nondual lineages.
I know that some teachers strongly caution against stepping outside of a particular lineage of transmission, fearing that sharing the path with practitioners from other traditions, can dilute the integrity and authenticity of their teaching. My experience is quite the opposite. People who are clear and confident in presencing nondual awareness know that nothing can threaten this space because there’s nothing here: no beliefs, practices or values that can be distorted or destroyed.
In this case exposure to a variety of ways of sharing nonduality only serves to enrich, empower and bring clarity to our own unique way of embodying and sharing the nondual.
The process of sharing our skills and expertise will reveal the structures of effective transmission. We will demystify events such as pointing-out instructions and Zen dokusan. The framework of the Training will introduce a language and set of subtle distinctions through which participants share and understand the function and relevance of different ways for delivering the same contentless wisdom. These distinctions will continue to be enriched as the Training unfolds. A set of core distinctions will be offered in a Manual that’s been specially written for the Training.
The structure of the Training
The Training is built around three, four day workshops. The workshops are a laboratory for sharing, demonstrating, testing, expanding and refining your capacity to presence and share nondual awareness. In the workshops everyone will be given opportunities to facilitate groups with a view to develop the calibration of their transmission and increase the means through which they can activate this awareness in others.
In the workshops I will also introduce and demonstrate a style of transmission that draws on the most powerful elements of traditions such as Advaita, Dzogchen, Zen and Mahayana, and brings them together in a coherent and organic way. This framework puts us on the same page. It equally acknowledges all lineages and traditions and gives us a common language for understanding the power and uniqueness of different approaches to the nondual .
In between workshops you will be bringing your learning back to your communities.
For some participants this will consist of actively experimenting with: new forms of space creation; methods of inquiry; processes; new levels of “doing nothing;” offering different types of feedback and questions to contemplate. You may also explore different formats for the delivery of your work: longer workshops, retreats, teleconferencing, etc.
For others, it will be the discovery of subtle changes in how you present meditation; work with clients; engage in dialogues with students; allow more natural silence; and rest more comfortably not knowing. Your practice may consist of noting these changes and letting them evolve without forethought or intention.
If you aren’t yet offering sessions to the general public or participating in peer-level groups, you will be coached in how to put these in place.
Teleconferences will be offered every two or three weeks throughout the Training with a one month break in the middle. You will be assigned to a particular group for these calls as an “active participant.” Everyone can audit all calls. The function of the teleconferences is to open up new opportunities and explore how you are implementing your learning, though group discussion. I will join these calls.
All teleconferences will be recorded and disseminated as downloadable audio files.
You will have an individual call with Peter every two or three weeks for the duration of the Training. These calls will focus on your specific concerns, interests and challenges in nondual transmission.
What this Training offers you
If you’re well grounded in nondual work or are already teaching nondualism, this Training will expand the reach and effectiveness of your transmission. If your work isn’t already effortless, it will become so. You will be able to work with more people as the same time, and create more bridges from identification with conditioned experience through to pure awareness. You will gain the flexibility to offer transmission within and outside of traditional forms and structures.
If you’re a therapist or mental health professional who has some exposure to a nondual tradition such as Mahayana or Advaita, this Training will show you how to introduce a nondual dimension to your work with clients. You will be able to take clients into the space of selfless awareness where they are complete in the here and now. This becomes a reference point showing them their potential for being free and fulfilled without needing to change their minds or process the past or future.
If you teach meditation this Training will show you how to introduce nondual inquiry into practice; and how to dissolve the need to be “doing something.” In this way you will lead people into the state of “natural meditation”—the space where meditation comes to full fruition, free of any notion of a meditator or act of meditation.
If you teach dharma this Training will further experientialize your transmission. You’ll discover how to directly reveal open awareness rather than talk about it. You’ll learn how to dismantle fixations and beliefs on the spot and bring people to the space that lies at the end of all searching—the place where there’s nowhere further to go, a no one being nowhere.
If the description of the Training in this Newsletter and on the website (http://www.nondualtraining.com) touches you in any way, we invite you to complete an Application Form with can be found on the website. You can complete this online or download it and email or fax it to us. We will review your Application and arrange a time to speak with you by phone. Together we will explore how this Training can build on your interests and expertise in nondual transmission.
New DVD Releases
Oneness Meeting Itself
A Meeting with Jeff Foster
Photo: Jeff Foster
A new DVD of a recent meeting with Jeff Foster in Aptos, California. Jeff opens with a 40 minute introductory talk followed by questions and answers.
1. All Happens Effortlessly
2. Oneness is meeting Itself
3. A Plunge into the Unknown
4. Question 1. Mind Plays a Role?
5. Question 2. Is Suffering Optional?
6. Question 3. Is Depression Physiological?
7. Question 4. Remove the Sense of Me?
8. Question 5. Child Must Have Ego
Jeff's clear, open and humorous approach, cuts through the confusion of seeking as he points to that ever-present reality that is the seeker and the sought.
Jeff's recent meetings in the US were full and lively; a customer who bought the DVD has commented: "It is the next best thing to being there in person . . . This is a DVD I will treasure and watch often."
Purchase here: http://www.non-dualitybooks.com/Non-DualityPress_buy.htm
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Discovering the Current of Love
Jean Klein in Dialogue with Lilias Folan
Photo: Jean Klein
You can watch a 10 minute preview of the film on Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSnljNNv1XQ
We are very pleased to be able to re-issue an original film of an interview with Jean Klein.
Jean Klein was a pioneer in bringing non-duality to the attention of western seekers in the second half of the twentieth century. His direct intuitive awareness of reality comes from the heart; his breadth and depth of culture go beyond knowledge to that joy without a cause which we think is something separate from ourselves.
Yoga teacher Lilias Folan interviews Jean Klein with basic and practical questions about the search for truth and the direct path as well as questions about Jean's own background.
This DVD is a welcome introduction for those who know little of Jean and a warm, joyful reminder for people already familiar with his approach.
Originally released in 1989. 60 mins
Note: Excellent audio quality. Chapter breaks after each set of questions. There is a slight blurring at the very bottom of the frame which was present in the master copy that we used.
Purchase Here: http://www.non-dualitybooks.com/Non-DualityPress_buy.htm