#4963 - Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
- #4963 - Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/
On Labyrinths, Grace and the Via Creativa
by miriam louisa simons
In an essay rich in the heart wisdom of nondual awareness, lifetime artisan Miriam Louisa Simons shares her perspective on the Via Creativa and how it relates to Grace and the Labyrinth of Life. She writes: “As an impersonal energetic continuum, one enters the Labyrinth called Life, again and again, time without end. The journey is always to the Heart, always into remembrance of what one actually is. The process is Life’s exploration of the infinity of ways it can experience itself as form and emptiness, and return to home base . . .”
Do you think I know what I’m doing?
That for one breath or half-breath I belong to myself?
As much as a pen knows what it’s writing,
or the ball can guess where it’s going next. — Rumi
The Labyrinth is a familiar symbol. Its enigmatic presence has left footprints that fade back into the beginning of the human story. Its origins and its purpose have been rich fodder for research and speculation.
I don’t pretend to know the truth of its tale, but see the archetypal labyrinth as apt visual shorthand for the map of a life, and that’s how its symbolism is used in this little essay.
The many lanes of the Labyrinth are in fact only one long path that winds and twists and turns back on itself, as it explores all the territory of a life before arriving at its Heart.
By ‘Heart’ I mean the natural essence of the ‘walker’ of the Labyrinth – beyond both conception and perception – the unknowable and ineffable awareness we nevertheless recognize as our changeless Being.
As an artisan, I call this path the Via Creativa, but please don’t think I refer to any kind of laid-down, mapped-out path.
The path is a process, and the process creates the path. It is the Via Creativa itself that teaches me how to make art and live Life.
I see the Via Creativa like this: As an impersonal energetic continuum, one enters the Labyrinth called Life, again and again, time without end. The journey is always to the Heart, always into remembrance of what one actually is. The process is Life’s exploration of the infinity of ways it can experience itself as form and emptiness, and return to home base.
(Which, paradoxically, it never left!)
We are formed and framed by genetic and environmental factors. These are the ingredients that fuel the process. They are the ‘what-is’ of this life. They will unfold us as we walk the Labyrinth, and like it or not, we will find Heart’s song within them and nowhere else.
As a child, what was the activity that you could have done ‘forever’? That brought joy and wonderment? That you leapt out of bed to get on with? The key to your path will be found in your answer.
The unique, one-off path unlocked by that answer will be juicy and wholesome, will see us rise in the morning eager to meet the day’s work. We may or may not be successful in the eyes of the world, and it may or may not be a direct hit on the Heart of the Labyrinth, but we’ll be conscious of at-one-ment with the Via Creativa – at least for a while.
If the juice dries up, we can be sure a dead-end is looming; we must change course. But which way to go?
Perhaps we explore a dozen scenarios and possibilities but remain confused. The solution is simple, but the last thing we wish to hear: We must stop. Sit down. Breathe in and breathe out. Notice now. Touch this. Be fully here. Return to Life’s pure presence. And wait.
Waiting withers the will. Waiting opens a chink in the armour of the supposed separate ‘self’ with its visions and versions of a glorious personal future. It won’t be happy – be assured it will complain bitterly!
Waiting welcomes Grace. Yet contrary to what we might have been taught, Grace isn’t always sweet-ness and light. Grace is innocent and totally amoral. It does whatever it must do in the service of the compassionate Heart.
~ ~ ~
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I know, I'm very sneaky.
Pay attention to the alchemy happening in your life
by Jerry Katz
The circles of people to which we belong are vessels. Those in which your deepest nature is most freely and creatively expressed are those within which you must be most responsible. Responsibility means right action. We know what wrong action looks like, often abuse. Consider that lack of action, and under-action, may very well be considered wrong action.
The other thing I want to say is that when aspects of your life find you contracting, resisting, disliking, or withdrawing, that you resort to the vessel or vessels that hold you most truthfully. How to make such resort is something you should already intuitively know or be close to knowing.
If such resort turns nothing up in any kind of timely fashion, then it helps to learn some psychological way to dissolve one's resistances. If resistance remains and a task you hate still has to be done, you're certainly entitled to complain that doing the task sucks.
Meanwhile, you may find that working through resistance somehow purifies the resistance and thereby purifies the vessels.
Philip posted this in the Nonduality Highlights Facebook group:
Nonduality in a Nutshell
By Prem Daas
1. Nonduality means there is no duality. There is only one reality. There is only one life. There is variety and difference in appearance, in name and form, but no separation anywhere. Everything is made up of the same one thing; consciousness, spirit, energy; whatever you want to call it. This realization doesn’t negate duality, it embraces duality. It is seen that everything is appearing and disappearing in this one present awareness, which is always and already here and now.
2. There is no separate self. Seeing that there is no separate self means that when you look within, you don’t find a person inside. Awareness is aware of thoughts, feelings, and sensations, but awareness never comes across a separate little person living inside the body. As Ramana Maharshi said, “If you open a radio, you don’t find anyone in there speaking. The same is with the body; if you open it up, you don’t find someone inside.”
3. There is doing, but no doer. Thoughts appear, but you can’t find a thinker. Feelings arise, but you can’t find a feeler. Doing happens, but you can’t find a doer. You may find a sense of a separate self, but that is only a sense and not an actuality. There is no owner to be found. If you find a thought that says, “I am the owner. I am the doer,” then it must be seen immediately that these are only thoughts as well and you can’t find an owner for these thoughts, either. There is no one behind thought. There is no one behind awareness.
4. Everything is happening all by Itself. Since we can’t find a doer, then it must be recognized that life is simply happening all by itself. You could say that this life shows signs of creativity and intelligence, but again, there is no separate someone who is intelligent and creative behind the scenes doing the doing, it is just part of the fabric and expression of this one life. Sometimes it is said that God is the doer, but do we ever find a God that is separate from our self? As Rumi said, “When you find God, you find your self and when you find your self, you find God.” God and Self are one and the same. This is the end of I and other, of you and me, and then only This remains. This never came and This never left; it is always and already here and now.
5. All there is, is This. Oneness is everything, Oneness does everything. This is the absolute appearing as the relative. This is the impersonal appearing as the personal. This is energy appearing as matter. This is formlessness appearing as form. This is emptiness appearing as fullness. This is spirit appearing as creation. This is the unmanifest appearing as manifestation. You open your eyes in the morning and awareness is aware of only one thing; life. This life could be said to be an appearance which is both real and unreal at the same time. Scientists have looked deeply into matter and ultimately what they find is no-thing. This is no-thing appearing as everything.
6. You are awareness without the you. Awareness is prior to everything. If awareness were not present first, then nothing would be perceived. Awareness is the substratum of every experience. Consciousness is always changing its shape, form, and expression and awareness is the only thing that is aware of that play of being. However, the objects of awareness are not separate from awareness, as they are appearing and disappearing within this vast space-like awareness, which is always and already present. This awareness is impersonal and no self can be found behind awareness. The person is not aware, awareness is aware of the person. The ego is not aware, awareness is aware of the ego. Changeless awareness is aware of changeful consciousness and this seemingly dualistic play make up the two sides of the one coin of Being.
7. These are only thoughts about Nonduality. Thoughts, at best, can only point awareness back to itself, consciousness back to itself, beingness back to itself. Understanding isn’t realization and realization isn’t liberation. The mind is always telling a story about the me; the me-story. But what is aware of the me-story? Only awareness is aware. That is why Nonduality as a belief system or religion isn’t the end of the journey and isn’t enough to exhaust the spiritual seeker. It’s unsatisfactory. Nonduality must become your direct experience and living reality. The sense of separation must truly and authentically end and disappear. Then it is seen by no one that all there is is this; nothing appearing as everything. You are Freedom itself.