Thursday March 1
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As the river surrenders to the Ocean,
surrender yourself to the Self, the Source.
And if you find you are still swimming on
the surface of the Ocean, stop swimming
and you will sink to the Depths of Love.
...if you see an object or experience a concept
however sublime or mundane it is, you must be able to
use that as a starting point to understand nonduality. Sort of hatha
yoga, why can't I do this?
'why can't I do this'
Not only can you do this - when you are kind enough to
share you views with someone like me you cause me to reflect on my views
and how I come across to others.
( I read that Lama Surya Das includes a commentary on these in his new book, Awakening
the Buddhist Heart. Have a good day, all John)
I've worked with clients using SSRI's for years
(such as Prozac and Zoloft).
They are not a panacea.
Often, they put people in a "better place"
to do psychological work, and they're
able to change their strategies for
dealing with relationships, emotions,
sense of self, and orientation toward the
However, if they don't do this work, and
rely on medication alone, problems tend
to develop later, as they've adjusted to
the medication and haven't changed
the patterns of relationship and thinking
that perpetuate negativity about self, others,
These chemicals regulate moods by
altering levels of neurotransmitters
(other chemicals) in the
brain, generally focusing on
serotonin, some also affecting dopamine.
New ones keep coming out and each one
has a slightly different effect.
The way that I interpret what you say
about stopping the spiritual search is
that there are different meanings to
"stopping the spiritual search", just
as there are different meanings to saying
"everything is okay as it is".
If one is saying this because moods aren't
going down as they were before, this
seems different than if someone is saying
this because they no longer have a partition
between "their" awareness and "universe's"
By the way, I've run across rumors in spiritual
circles that the leaves of the Bo tree contained
a naturally occurring SSRI, similar to St. John's Wort.
Prolonged hanging out under the Bo tree had
a profound effect on Gautama, and the world
benefitted from his change in mood. (Just kidding).
The emotional tranquillity found by my friends is not the end of suffering.
Suffering is much more vast than that :-) For the guy who did stop, the
tranquillity seemed to be the end simply of what he was trying to get rid
of. He wasn't really going for the Truth, or the enlightenment of all
sentient beings, even though he might have been operating under that
assumption at times. To paraphrase your words above, the original
motivation was probably a more tranquil emotional state, cloaked in more
By the way, my other friend, a bit before discovering Zoloft, had a very
transformative experience in her advaita path, and subsequently switched
over to Mahayana Buddhism. After the Zoloft, she kept right on the path!
Thanks for your clarity!
>Terry: (snip) Dalai Lama says everything manifests from spaceThe key to this riddle: what is time and space?
>particles. Another word for nothing. What is the relationship? What
>you see: inside everything is a whole lot of nothing, but that is
>what is, at the same time. No difference, not in time or space. So
>you are both nothing and something. It's easier to experience the
>something, hard to get to the nothing, but wrong to conclude that you
>are one or the other, and not both. How does it happen? Damned if I
If that is answered, then is answered "manifestation
in" time and space, because "manifestation in"
can't occur without time and space, and in fact,
are aspects of time being time and space being space.
If seen that "manifestation in" actually is simply an aspect
of time being time and space being space, then can be
seen that time is time because there is no time in which
it can occur. If there weren't no-time, time could not seem
to be. As there is no-time, time has no time in which to occur.
The same is true of space. Because there is no-space, space
can seem to be a fact. And because there is no-space, space
has no place to occur.
Time is occuring timeless, space is occuring no place.
This is how statements such as "there is no creation or destruction"
or "from the first, not a single thing is" can be made.
Something doesn't come out of nothing or from nothing.
There is only nothing, that is why and how there appears
> > Would knowing that help me to live in peace in the world?I don't doubt it.
>I doubt it.
Knowing this fully, there is the calm in the center of
In the midst of war, is peace --
in the midst of flux is the unchanging --
in the midst of life and death is eternity --
in the midst of the working out of our personal neuroses,
is the impersonal and ever-peaceful ...
Thanks to all for your thoughts and input, I really appreciate them. I responded to
some of your posts, below. Although, it's funny... In
composing some more thoughts and responses to this, I was struck by how fast those
thoughts and responses change. I could come
back to this letter in an hour, and my responses would probably be totally different.
Why does this always feel like such a game we're
playing? Nothing ever stays the same, yet beneath that, it feels like nothing ever
* On giving up [the thoughts, the questions] *
No matter how many questions would be answered, new ones will rise immediately. Any
answer is but a pointer to the next question. The
questions are like hair, answering is like cutting hair but hair will continue to
"Give up" isn't "the" magic potion. But there will be a day, when
"give up" just happens... So what is there to lose by giving up now?
Thanks Jan, for these positive affirmations. They're encouraging, and I can never hear
them enough. I've always been one to contemplate
the dilemmas, to ask myself the questions that lead to other questions, and just
generally get caught up in the analytical cycle inherent
thereto. Ultimately, I must be able to resolve my own frustration by giving up the
* On opening up *
It's the end of complacency, the end of maintaining and reacting to images.
Who knows what will happen?
If the sense of the ordinary, the usual, the expected vanishes, who's to say "what's
If I'm ready for the deepest pit of hell or the highest heaven, or boredom, or
rejection, or love, or happiness, or anywhere in between, and
not ready for anything, then, I'm "opening" ...
That's how it feels here.
Thanks Dan, for these further affirmations. The ordinary feels farther away from me
than it ever has before. The ordinary feels like an
external process that I'm observing someone else go through. I can observe myself
going through life, or I can observe my wife or other
family members going through life, but it doesn't feel like the one doing the
observing is really part of the ordinary.
Jerry recently echoed your thoughts on that in a similar way to me. In response to my
description to him of something that felt vaguely
like pure energy (actually, it felt a lot like silly, blissful glee) knocking at the
door of my chest, he suggested that the only thing I could
really do with such a feeling was to be totally open to it. Be aware of it, graciously
allow it to enter whenever it arrives, and be totally
open to it with no judgement or preconception, if possible. Is that kind of what
you're getting at by suggesting that I let the "opening"
* On who we are and how we are manifest in the world - in response to my feeling that
"I'm not really alive" *
How do you know you are "not really even alive"? You are a living organism with a
brain that takes in information, which then
reconstructs that information in certain ways. Don't come to premature conclusions
about "what is".
This is a big part of the paradox for me - I have such a clear sense that something
"IS" beneath and beyond the physical world, this body,
and my own personality, that I can't help but feel like the physical world, this body,
and my own personality aren't really "real."
* On acquiring a method to live in the world *
Yes, this might require some work. I believe (you should not believe this until you
have experienced it) that there is a level of processing
information that is below the threshold of meaning for ordinary consciousness, and
that this is what is experienced in concentrated states
of meditation. It seems to me that the information comes in packets that are too
small for ordinary processing, and thus at first appears to
be "nothing". But this level of processing is a key to spiritual practice, it is who
we are before any construction of meaning can take
place. I suspect that with more practice, we can get to this level, see this "flow"
take place, without constructing meaning. That's why
we can't talk about it. But its not "not real". The mind is still there, it is the
basis of mind.
This is one of the heaviest things I've read for a long time, and it resonates really
strongly with me. I can clearly appreciate how there
must be a level of consciousness that transcends the meaning derived from ordinary
consciousness. It feels to me like residing in that
deeper level of consciousness must be what it means to live with a fully nondual
disposition. Further, I can appreciate, at least at an
intellectual level, how one could reside at that level of consciousness and still
remain in the world; it's that whole thing about living in the
world yet remaining above it, or living in the world but not becoming attached to it.
Could I hear you talk some more about that method - if one exists - to transcend the
ordinary consciousness and sense that deeper level
that transcends ordinary concepts? You mentioned that it's experienced in concentrated
states of meditation. Should I take that as advice
to undertake some kind of regular sitting practice? (That's something I've never
really had the discipline to do before.)
The 'trick' is to understand that the so-called ordinary conciousness
is THE conciousness!
Once this is understood, the ego/mind/body is seen for what it is:
the costume ONE wears to this party!!!
Don't listen to me! I am having too much fun!
Go ahead and try to figure it all out!
If that is all you want, go for it!
Be like the duck who swims and swims and swims and never gets wet!
Don't be like me! I am drowning in myself!
HAHAHAH and HOHOHO!
Peace - Michael
> > Knowing this fully, there is the calm in the center ofDUSTIN
> > the hurricane.
> > In the midst of war, is peace --
> > in the midst of flux is the unchanging --
> > in the midst of life and death is eternity --
> > in the midst of the working out of our personal neuroses,
> > is the impersonal and ever-peaceful ...
>Does this mean that:DAN
> understanding the unchanging is a means to live at peace with the
Yes. I'd put it like this: it means that the flux is the unchanging, if it
treated as something to be compared, if there isn't
something considered as existing apart from the flux, or as existing
apart within the flux.
> understanding the eternity is a means to live at peace with theDAN
>live and death;
Yes. I'd go a bit further and say
it means that the eternal is what we misperceive
as living/dying, if living/dying
isn't treated as a fragmented process.
> understanding the impersonal is a means to live at peace withDAN
Being that which is sometimes called "impersonal" or "transpersonal"
or "field of relations" and knowing the personal as an expression of
that. Not an object in relation to others, but relationship as field.
>If so (or even if not so), are you at peace during the day becauseDAN
>when you observe the flux, you're not actually looking at the flux,
It's not that I am at peace and someone else isn't.
It's that there is only peace, and you and I are it.
When observing flux, the observation process itself is flux.
So, flux is observing flux, which yields "imaginary facts".
Noticing this situation acutely, nothing is moving, nothing is
changing -- there is only "this" whether you call it flux or
>but rather residing in the unchanging, without whose "existence" theDAN
>flux couldn't seem to be?
Yes - I'd rather say residing "as" the unchanging, hence residing
nowhere -- and yes, hence the flux wouldn't be appearing, except that
it appears to me, through me, as me, given its forms and
meanings as me.