#4542 - Friday, March 16, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
- #4542 - Friday, March 16, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
Four reviews, including my own, of Greg Goode's new book, The Direct Path: A User Guide.
Click here for the Amazon.com site:Read a sample and order from the Non-Duality Press site:Timeless Wisdom, Right on TimeBy Fred DavisJUST AS A DIAMOND is carefully cut and faceted to bring out the full luster and beauty of the gem, so I hope to do here with this review. For let us make no mistake about it, this book is a rare gem, and I suspect that it's just like an heirloom engagement ring: its light gathering powers will far outlast its owner, or in this case, its apparent creator.THE DIRECT PATH: A USER GUIDE, Greg tells us, could be thought of as "the missing manual" for his other book, Standing as Awareness. We could think of these books as two pillars framing the gate to freedom that is the Direct Path. If you do your part, I assure you these teachings can and will do theirs.SRI ATMANANDA KRISHNA MENON, the founder of the Direct Path, has told us very clearly: "Time is the generic form of thoughts; space is the generic form of objects." The sooner we come to truly understanding what he's saying there, be it through a passing glimpse, or abiding within it, the happier and freer we'll be. Awakening is by no means a personal event, but don't let that fool you into thinking the hosting body-mind doesn't benefit; it certainly does. Suffering is reduced in all who ever see their true nature, even if that seeing is apparently brief. Suffering is completely eliminated, I hear tell, in a smaller number of others. PERSONAL suffering, I can reliably state, will begin to fade as we close the gap between "what we see and what we be.""THAT'S GREAT!" YOU MAY SAY. "But just how do I get there?" That's precisely what this book addresses. However, it's not so much moving the "I" over there, so to speak, as it is getting the "I" out of here! That, I would say, is the Direct Path's specialty, but some instruction and experimentation is in order. Buddha's holding up a single flower in what's known as his "Flower Sermon" may have been enough to free Mahakasyapa and kick off the field of Zen, but the rest of us are going to require a bit more detail! The Direct Path: A User Guide provides a great deal of detail, both instructional and experimental....THE DIRECT PATH: A USER'S GUIDE is for all those people who want to wake up badly enough that they're actually willing to do something about it themselves. Teachers are great, and they'll get you to the riverside, but if you don't jump in yourself you'll never actually get wet.
THE BOOK HAS 40 experiments in it to help you move down the path regardless of where you're starting from. Call them koans; call A User Guide itself a whole book of contemporary koans, not totally dissimilar to the Blue Cliff Record, or the Mumonkan. This is deep inquiry offered up for practice in easy, bite-size bits you can nibble at your own speed. Start at the beginning or start where it interests you and go from there. Approach them openly, do the work, and just like koans, allow the questions themselves to crack your shell. You can't do it. The experiments can, and you can do the experiments.
THE WHOLE THRUST of A User Guide is to get you to take action. When a thing is seen experientially, and not just theoretically, it affects the mind in a different way, and the myth of separation will begin to fade of its own accord, whether slowly or radically. You really cannot directly challenge your mind's view of I-you-world and expect change. The mind cannot transcend the mind. But you can use the mind as a tool to transcend the mind. That's exactly what this book does. It's hands-on, it's practical, and most importantly, it works!
FINALLY, let me mention that this would be a GREAT book for group study.~ ~ ~Fred wrote a lengthy review. Read the rest of it here:Excellent Resource!By Scott KilobyThis book is astoundingly comprehensive in its reach, a deep and endless resource on nondual awareness. I've read nothing like it in my life, and I have a huge bookcase of books about nonduality ranging from teachings from the great masters of the past to the newest, modern approaches on the subject.Much has been written about awareness, yet often the practical and very subtle points are conspicuously missing from other texts. Although it is written from the perspective of a particular path ("Direct Path Advaita")Greg Goode's book is so comprehensive that, after reading it, my mind could not even think of something that was missing. It covers the various dualities we believe we experience such as inside/outside, subjectivity/objectivity, life/death, existence/non-existence and enlightened/unenlightened, to name a few. It also covers the world, the body, the mind, the witness, physical objects, senses, emotions, thoughts, states, positionality, location, identity, containment, choice and doership, time, cause and effect, language, and many other things. It's so thorough that it is helpful to any awareness-styled path. It covers every nook and cranny, every trap, and every angle that I've encountered (and many more that I have not encountered) while meeting with people over the years in the course of my own work in nonduality.While reading it, I kept feeling a strong sense that this book needed to be written, that it arose because of a real need to address very common, but often overlooked, nuances that pop up when people are exploring the nature of this sweet, experiential knowing of non-separation. If you have a question, chances are this book addresses it. Reading this book as a seeker must be like being a kid in a candy store that contains every taste, texture, color, shape and smell imaginable.The sections on the opaque witness, levels of awareness as a pedagogical tool, space and containment, freedom from truth-effects, dissolution into pure consciousness, and attributing human characteristics to awareness are especially fresh and innovative! Those sections systematically and thoroughly break down many stubborn dogmatic and essentialistic traps that a seeker can get hooked into while investigating the subject of nondual awareness.The book is not really about Greg Goode, the person. But let me give you some insight, if you've never met him. I've been fortunate to call Greg a friend and "my teacher" for years now. I know firsthand that he has a deep love of this subject. When he talks about falling in love with awareness, it's genuine! Being in contact with him on a daily basis has been an enriching experience, to say the least. When working with Greg, I never felt as though he was treating me like a disciple or somehow below him. He doesn't "guru" people. His approach is non-dogmatic
in every way, from the words he uses to the way in which he meets the questioner where he is and honors the question completely. His humility comes from the way he energetically experiences life with a kind of curiosity and openness to look at experience from many angles without landing on solid, fixed positions no matter what angle is examined.Greg is continuously refining the subtle points of his approach, accomplishing this refinement by listening to the questions and exploring different angles rather than giving rehearsed speeches and memorized conclusions. The pages of the book reveal this same energetic lightness, humility and love of exploration. The book is the written version of Greg's energy as a teacher. It is helpful, but never preachy, thorough but not superfluous, scholarly but sweet, simple, and experiential in every way.The Direct Path: A User Guide is a wonderful resource for those who approach the subject from a scholarly standpoint or from an interest in the direct experience of nondual awareness (or both). In nondual circles, one often hears phrases such as "nondual realization is beyond the mind." Although that insight can arise and it may appear accurate from the direct realization of awareness, the mind can be a useful tool in the path. Most people I've met have many, many questions that are philosophical and intellectual in nature. These are important questions that sometimes get overlooked in the teachings, leaving a sort of confusion, doubt, or "hole" in the
path itself.This book leaves no stone unturned, addressing the mind's questions, the heart's longing, and the direct experience itself. It often addresses an intellectual puzzle or problem and then seamlessly invites you into an experiment that shows you directly how experience itself answers the question. In that way, you are not left with yet another mental question. Yet if you find another question, there is likely another experiment waiting for you.The book accomplishes something very unique. While addressing the many questions the mind throws up, it also takes you beyond these intellectual issues into the pure sweetness of not-knowing and the direct seeing of reality as your very Self.What is the final conclusion of the book? - that nothing stands apart from awareness. All is awareness! Yet the last sections of the book on freedom from the path, language, and joyful irony take you deeper than that. These are powerful invitations to go beyond even the most compelling insights that arise from nondual realization, leaving one to enjoy life in an openhearted way, and experience each moment with a natural openness that does not endeavor to turn the various insights into truth claims that close the mind to other perspectives.I envision myself pointing people to this book quite often because of its depth and breadth. Quite literally, it has to be read to be fully appreciated. It's nice knowing that this book is out there for people!Many reasons to read this
By Jerry KatzGreg Goode goes to unheard of lengths to show you that your experience is awareness, whether it is the experience of a chair, your hand or brain, a thought or subtle impression, or the witnessing awareness.He carves new paths through the wildernesses of experience to the ancient pond of awareness. These paths are called experiments in this book and there are about 40 of them.There are many reasons for reading this book.If you are drawn to the direct path teachings of modern teachers Francis Lucille and Rupert Spira, this work is in that tradition, yet very different.If you are drawn to a stepwise teaching beginning with investigation of the world, then the body, then the mind, then the witnessing awareness, and culminating in the dissolution of witnessing awareness, this book parallels advaitin traditional teachings, though it is not intended to be a substitute for them.If you prefer to read nonduality books freely, without any particular structure or order, Greg encourages that too. Perhaps all you need to do is go through a few experiments and read the amazing section on deep sleep, for example.If you want to see how your inquiry is doing, check yourself by going through this book. Is your inquiry perhaps stuck at the realization that there is only awareness? Greg might nudge you into freedom.If you like Greg Goode as a person or want to get to know him, this is a great way to "feel" him. The book is rounded out with personal experiences in inquiry and self-realization, including some old school stories.If you want to see how crazy love manifests, this book is a model for that. Reading this book may help you see how crazy love is distinguished from crazy wisdom, the latter being more immediate and splash-like. Upon collapse of witnessing awareness, it may be seen how crazy wisdom arises.This book is well structured. The Table of Contents is seven pages long. There is a separate listing of the experiments. There is a good index. The publisher is to be commended for printing all that. And the book is divided into main sections: World, Body, Mind,Witnessing Awareness, Nondual Realization. Through its structure, you get a clear overview of what this book is about and what it covers.Greg Goode goes crazy leading you lovingly down paths leading to the ancient pond of awareness. Whether or not you leap in like a frog, may not be up to anyone at all, but you will be led to the pond.The Direct Path to the Heart
By Chuck HilligGreg Goode's latest book, The Direct Path, delves deeply into the great mystery of awareness. Avoiding the impractical nonsense that sometimes creeps into nondual writings, the author invites his readers to simply go and look for themselves. Through a series of sensory-based exercises and experiments, the readers are given practical ways to better experience the ordinary, common and everyday minutia of what's present. So, instead of ignoring what's arising, Greg's book focuses on using those very appearances to greatly enhance a deeper and more directed self-inquiry. By really looking at...and behind...what arises in awareness, the reader discovers that awareness, itself, is all that there really is. Practical, readable, accessible and highly recommended.~ ~ ~The Direct Path: A User Guideby Greg Goode
Click here for the Amazon.com site:Read a sample and order from the Non-Duality Press site: