#4543 - Saturday, March 17, 2011
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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4543, Saturday, March 17, 2011
It is important to ponder on what you hear, and infinitely more important to ponder on who hears it.
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Consciousness must first be there before anything else can BE. All inquiry of the seeker of truth must therefore relate to this consciousness, this sense of conscious presence which as such has no personal reference to any individual.
- Ramesh Balsekar, posted to ANetofJewels
Just One Look - An experiment in the power of human consciousness to free itself from the fear of life.
Step 1: Learn to Move the Beam of Your Attention at Will
To begin, just relax for a moment, and notice the obvious fact that you have the power to move your attention at will.
As you read this, move your attention away from the text for a moment, and direct it instead to the feel of your breathing.
Notice the feel of your chest and belly expanding and contracting, and then bring it back here to this page.
Do that a couple of times so that you become familiar with what I mean by "moving the beam of your attention at will."
That action of moving attention at will, as you just did, is all that's needed to accomplish what I am asking you to do. The more you practice this simple act, the more you'll become familiar with how it feels to do it. And the more familiar you become with the feel of it, the more skillful and direct you will be in the effort to move the beam of attention where it must go.
Step 2: Turn the Beam of Your Attention Inward
Now, use that skill to actually turn the beam of attention inward. Try to make a direct, unmediated contact with what it actually feels like to be you, just plain and simple you.
When I say you, I don't mean the thoughts that pass through you, nor the emotions that play in you, nor the sensations that rise and fall within you, I mean just you. You are that which is always here, try to look at that. Everything else comes and goes in you. You already know what you are, and what it feels like to be you, so you will surely recognize yourself when you see yourself in this way.
There is no need to try and stay there, resting in your self or any such thing. All it takes is the length of a heartbeat, so brief that you will hardly notice it. It really is that simple.
Repeat this as often as it occurs to you to do so.
There is no step three.
I call this action looking at yourself. If you will do just that, the day will come soon when all your disaffection with life will begin to depart, and with it the perception of your life as a problem to be solved, a threat to be destroyed, or the hiding place of some secret treasure that might bring you fulfillment and satisfaction at some future time.
- John Sherman, RiverGanga Foundation
Your sense of who you are determines what you perceive as your needs and what matters to you in life - and whatever matters to you will have the power to upset and disturb you. You can use this as a criterion to find out how deeply you know yourself. What matters to you is not necessarily what you say or believe, but what your actions and reactions reveal as important and serious to you. So you may want to ask yourself the question: what are the things that upset and disturb me? If small things have the power to disturb you, then who you think you are is exactly that: small. That will be your unconscious belief. What are small things? Ultimately all things are small because all things are transient.
You might say, "I know I am an immortal spirit, "or "I am tired of this mad world, and peace is all I want"- until the phone rings. Bad news: The stock market has collapsed; the deal may fall through; the car has been stolen; your mother-in-law has arrived; the trip is cancelled, the contract is broken; your partner has left you; they demand more money; they say it`s your fault. Suddenly there is a surge of anxiety. A harshness comes into your voice; "I can`t take any more of this." You accuse and blame, attack, defend, or justify yourself, and it`s all happened on autopilot. Something is obviously much more important to you now than the inner peace that a moment ago you said was all you wanted, and you`re not an immortal spirit anymore either. The deal, the money, the contract and the threat of loss are more important .To whom? To the immortal spirit you said you are? No, to me. The small me that seeks security and fulfilment in things that are transient and gets anxious and angry because it fails to find it. Well at least you now know who you really think you are.
If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace. If peace mattered to you more than anything else and you truly knew yourself to be spirit rather than little me, you would remain non-reactive and absolutely alert when confronted with challenging people or situations. You would immediately accept the situation and thus become one with it rather than separate yourself from it. Then, out of your alertness would come a response. Who you are (consciousness), not who you think you are (a small me), would be responding. It would be powerful and effective and would make no person or situation an enemy.
...Very unconscious people experience their own ego through its reflection in others. When you realize that what you react to in others is also in you (and sometimes only in you), you begin to become aware of your own ego. At that stage you realize that you were doing to others what you thought others were doing to you. You cease to see yourself as a victim.
...Nobody can tell you who you are.. It would just be another concept, so it would not change you. Who you are requires no belief. In fact, every belief is an obstacle. It does not even require your realization, since you already are who you are. But without realization, who you are does not shine forth in this world. It remains in the unmanifested which is, of course, your true home. You are then of course like an apparently poor person who does not know he has a bank of account with $100 million in it so his wealth remains an unexpressed potential.
- Eckhart Tolle, from A New Earth, posted to The_Now2
Is there no one with a pure worthy vision
with which to gaze upward?
If there no one purified of his water and clay
so that he may gaze upon the Ocean?
So that he may place his foot upon Mount Qaf
and look upon the wing of the Phoenix?
So that the Sun may make his vision drunk and
headless and footless?
Is there no one who receives replenishment
from Love's light so that his vision may fall totally Yonder?
Water becomes purified with water -- the man
who can see gains vision from Vision.
Become nothing but vision, for in God's Court,
nothing finds access but vision!
- Rumi, Ghazal 1169, translation by William C. Chittick, from The Sufi Path of Love, posted to Sunlight