#4918 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
- #4918 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/Tears of the Buddha: Spirituality & EmotionsView trailer and rent it atWhats the relationship between emotional healing and enlightenment?
Are emotions impediments to spiritual growth?
Does transcending heal emotional wounds?These are the questions I set out to explore in my new documentary, Tears of the Buddha: Spirituality & Emotions. The film comes out of my personal experience of meditating for more than 30 years, being interested in many different spiritual teachings, and questioning how spiritual teachings apply (or don't) in daily life.Rather than yet another film about a teachers enlightenment, I wanted to make a qualitative study of the relationship between spirituality and emotions, asking modern spiritual teachers the same questions. So, over the course of about a year, I traveled around the country and interviewed teachers who have distinct positions: Gangaji, Eli Jaxon-Bear, Jeff Foster, Daniel Barron, Mukti, Pamela Wilson, Jon Bernie, Judith Blackstone, Karl Renz, John de Ruiter, Rupert Spira and Peter Fenner.The conversations I had with the teachers have profound implications for seekers because emotions are integral to personal life, and yet many teachings suggest that we need to let go of emotions, especially more intense emotions like anger or hate. The suggestion is often to remember that you're not the wave of anger, youre the ocean of consciousness. But what if consciousness is not essential? What if emotion is more fundamental than consciousness? What would spiritual teachings then look like?Tears presents a unique comparison of teachings - from disowning and transcending emotions in the name of spiritual growth, to embodying emotion as our essence and healing the split between our human and divine nature.View trailer and rent the full movie at
Duality and Nonduality
by Colin Drake
I recently had the following e-mail exchange with a good friend which brought up the important question of the experience of duality within the Absolute Reality of which we are all manifestations.
As always thank you for sharing your beautiful insights.
Proof of Heaven? Its an easy read about his near death experience. Its quite amazing. He was the typical academic, bow tie wearing non-believer prior to his NDE. Then out of the blue, when he was around 54, he was struck down with E. Coli meningitis and lapsed into a coma for 7 days. His neocortex was totally non-functional and only the very basic parts of his hind brain (reptilian portion) was functioning. This is a quote from his book Page 160 ... At the heart of the most infinite oneness, there was still that duality.
Have you read the book by a neurosurgeon named Eben Alexander, called
He said, he felt aoneness of love with everything, yet he describes God as being an overseeing Higher Power of this loving oneness.
Lots of love XO
On 08/05/2013, at 3:28 PM, "Colin Drake" wrote:
beyond experience Love, Colin
Dear XXXX, Thanks for that. There is undoubtedly [apparent] duality until the final stillness of nonduality, consciousness at rest. Whilst 'he' was still feeling the 'oneness' then there was separation and thus duality. In the final analysis there is no separate being, no 'he' and God, just consciousness and this, by definition, is
At this stage I realize I should have writtenapparent duality and I should also have added that he experienced duality at the heart of the oneness because he was still (and probably always had been) identified as a separate being. This is evidenced by his background before his near death experience.
However, this does not invalidate his experience of duality within the oneness for this can be a vital stage prior to the final realization of nonduality.
This is shown by the experiences of Sri Ramakrishna who:
verified, for him by his own experiences, many diverse Hindu paths, Islam and Christianity. He found that they all lead to at least one of the three aspects of God: the personal in form, the personal without form, the formless with attributes and the formless without attributes. Indeed many of them led to all three, commencing with a vision of God in form, graduating to communion with the formless God with attributes and culminating in complete union with the formless Absolute.
Typical of this experience was the following:
On the evening of the third day, whilst in this mood, he saw a man of fair complexion, luminous appearance, with long brilliant eyes and a flat-tipped nose, approaching him. Ramakrishna, charmed by his divine expression, wondered who this could be and as he grew nearer he heard from his own heart the words: Jesus The Christ! The great yogi, the loving Son of God, one with the Father, who gave his hearts blood and put up with endless torture, in order to deliver man from sorrow and misery. The figure then embraced him and merged into him. Ramakrishna then experienced bhava-samadhi, a state of ecstasy in which a trace of ego remains, enabling one to enjoy the presence of God. He then lost outer consciousness entering savikalpa samadhi, in which one is united with the Absolute with attributes.
So this is an example of experiencing God with form, followed by the formless, but with attributes, in which the feeling of duality still exists so that one may enjoy Gods presence. On many other occasions this was then followed by his entering nirvikalpa samadhi the supreme transcendental state of consciousness in which the spiritual aspirant becomes completely absorbed in Brahman so that all duality is obliterated.
Therefore we could say that the state that Eben Alexander experienced was that of savikalpa samadhi in which there is still the feeling of duality rather than this final stage where all experience and duality ceases. For in this state there is no separate being and thus no one who can experience
This culminating stage of nonduality may sound like its a long way off but it is actually always present and may be readily accessed by becoming aware of, and identifying with, Awareness. This being the screen on which all of our sensations/thoughts and mental images appear and are seen by the mind, when the mind becomes aware of them.
This is easy to directly experience by closing ones eyes and seeing whether you can simultaneously be aware of (notice) all of the thoughts/mental images and sensations that are occurring. This is found to be impossible and yet these are all there in Awareness, which becomes apparent when one focuses ones mind on , or turns ones mind to, any of them . and there they are!
Rumi described this as: the clear conscious core of your being, the same in ecstasy as in self-hating fatigue. That is to say the Awareness in which the ecstasy or the self-hating fatigue appears. Now generally you would just be aware of, and affected by, the phenomenal state. If, however, you become aware of the Awareness in which this state is occurring and can fully identify with, and as, this Awareness then the state loses its power to affect your equanimity. For Awareness is always utterly still and silent, totally unaffected by whatever appears in it, in the same way that the sky is unaffected by the clouds that scud across it.
It is this identification with Awareness that can be achieved byinvestigation of the Way and the easiest way to do this is to directly investigate the nature of ones moment-to-moment experience, see the appendix. When this is successfully accomplished and you can see that at the deepest level, you are Awareness itself then this is an awakening. If this cultivated by remaining aware of Awareness (and identified as Awareness) then this leads to full awakening.
This Awareness is not personal but is common to all and is theconstant conscious subjective presence that is consciousness at rest; from which all matter/energy which is consciousness in motion (or motion in consciousness) arises, in which it abides and subsides. In this there is no duality as there is only the one essence, consciousness, appearing in two modes at rest and in motion. To back up my assertion that all things arise in, exist in, are seen by, and finally subside back into pure Awareness (consciousness at rest) this can be shown to be the case at the purely experiential level, see the appendix, in particular point 7.
If you can sink deeply into this pure awareness (in which the following arise, reside and subside) it's easy to see that thoughts, sensations, mental images, feelings of separation etc. are just a flow of ephemeral objects coming and going, ebbing and flowing, tooing and froing, hiding and showing in that constant conscious subjective presence (pure awareness) that we all are.
To give another angle to the duality/nonduality paradox I include the following poem which highlights the purpose of our (apparent) separation, its final dissolution and the problem with identifying as a separate beingnot necessarily in that order:
The Myth of Ego (Separation)
The myth of ego is pervasive,
Seeming inescapable, useful or anadvanced state,
These ideas are very persuasive,
Held by the majority of those to whom I relate.
Alas its often with character confused,
Or with personality equated,
Thus with apparent reality its imbued,
And its value is grossly inflated.
Actually its an illusory concept,
The major cause of misidentification,
Positing that one is a separate object,
Rather than an ephemeral manifestation.
Of consciousness we are a fleeting emanation,
Possessing a unique body and mind,
Through which That can experience Its creation,
Enjoying the thoughts and sensations wefind.
To live in a useful and harmonious way,
We need character and personality,
Attributes of each expression, day to day,
Until finally merging back into the Totality.
So apparent separation and its properties,
Are impermanent, not applying to The Absolute,
Needed to encounter the worlds diversities,
Until back into Aware Nothingness we transmute.
Thus character and personality are needed,
But not ego nurturing separation,
By which universality appears impeded,
In fact its just the minds fabrication.
Below follows a simple method to investigate the nature of reality starting with ones day-to-day experience. Each step should be considered until one experiences, or sees, its validity before moving on to the following step. If you reach a step where you do not find this possible, continue on regardless in the same way, and hopefully the flow of the investigation will make this step clear. By all means examine each step critically but with an open mind, for if you only look for holes thats all you will find!
1. Consider the following statement:Life, for each of us, is just a series of moment-to-moment experiences. These experiences start when we are born and continue until we die, rushing headlong after each other, so that they seem to merge into a whole that we call my life. However, if we stop to look we can readily see that, for each of us, every moment is just an experience.
2. Any moment of experience has only three elements: thoughts (including all mental images), sensations (everything sensed by the body and its sense organs) and Awareness of these thoughts and sensations. Emotions and feelings are a combination of thought and sensation.
3. Thoughts and sensations are ephemeral, that is they come and go, and are objects, i.e.things that are perceived.
4. Awareness is the constant subject, theperceiver of thoughts and sensations and that which is always present. Even during sleep there is Awareness of dreams and of the quality of that sleep; and there is also Awareness of sensations; if a sensation becomes strong enough, such as a sound or uncomfortable sensation, one will wake up.
5. All thoughts and sensations appear in Awareness, exist in Awareness, and subside back into Awareness. Before any particular thought or sensation there is effortless Awareness ofwhat is: the sum of all thoughts and sensations occurring at any given instant. During the thought or sensation in question there is effortless Awareness of it within what is. Then when it has gone there is still effortless Awareness of what is.
6. So the body/mind is experienced as a flow of ephemeral objects appearing in this Awareness, the ever present subject. For each of us any external object or thing is experienced as a combination of thought and sensation, i.e. you may see it, touch it, know what it is called, and so on. The point is that for us to be aware of anything, real or imaginary, requires thought about and/or sensation of that thing and it is Awareness of these thoughts and sensations that constitutes our experience.
7. Therefore this Awareness is the constant substratum in which all things appear to arise, exist and subside. In addition, all living things rely on Awareness of their environment to exist and their behaviour is directly affected by this. At the level of living cells and above this is self-evident, but it has been shown that even electrons change their behaviour when (aware of) being observed! Thus this Awareness exists at a deeper level than body/mind (and matter/energy) and we are this Awareness!
8. This does not mean that at a surface level we are not the mind and body, for they arise in, are perceived by and subside back into Awareness, which is the deepest and most fundamental level of our being. However, if we choose to identify with this deepest level Awareness - (the perceiver) rather than the surface level, mind/body (the perceived), then thoughts and sensations are seen for what they truly are, just ephemeral objects which come and go, leaving Awareness itself totally unaffected.
One may then investigate this Awareness further to discover its wondrous properties, for more on this see any of my books on awakening.
~ ~ ~
Colin Drake's ebooks and hard copy books are available at
When, where, what, who, why?
an opening in the being....
a wanting to know
Born out of not knowing..
A child is forever questioning.
She/he does not know,
is in a state of not knowing.
Is in the natural state and is at ease.
But tries to make sense of this world of appearances.
How to live this life of a separate self and world.
And while doing so falls out of paradise.
Then as an adult we start the return journey.
We know how the world of appearances works,
we have been at it for years.
How to pay our taxes,
or how the public transport system runs.
How to cook a meal,
or how not to stand out at a dinner party.
If we are lucky something kicks in and begins the questioning,
wants to return home.
Why are we here?
Who am I?
~ ~ ~
Anamika's poetry and photography blog is http://noname-allthereis.blogspot.ca/
My interview with her is one of the most popular I've done: