Monday, December 31, 2007

The individual

does not finally merge with his original nature any more than a wave merges with water. They were not different to begin with. A wave is nothing more than the shifting shape of the water itself. It is not
a question of joining separate things but of the abandonment of something inessential and superficial, the false identity of a separate individual entity.

- Ramesh S. Balsekar, 

"A Net of Jewels"

Advaita Press, 1996
Along the Way, Dec 31st 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007

It has nothing to do with effort

Just turn away, look between the thoughts, rather than at the thoughts. When you happen to walk in a crowd, you do not fight every man you meet, you just find your way between. When you fight, you invite a fight. But when you do not resist, you meet no resistance. When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it. 

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That
NonDual Highlights 3031

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The person is a very small thing

Actually it is a composite, it cannot be said to exist 
by itself. Unperceived, it is just not there. 
It is but the shadow of the mind, the sum total 
of memories. Pure being is reflected in the 
mirror of the mind, as knowing. What is known 
takes the shape of a person, based on memory 
and habit. It is but a shadow, or a projection 
of the knower onto the screen of the mind.

- Nisargadatta Maharaja, I Am That
Along the Way, December 27 2007

What is - is not, what is not - is

Distinctions such as large and small
have relevance for you no more.
The largest is the smallest too -
here limitations have no place.

What is - is not, what is not - is.
If this is not yet clear to you,
you're still far from the inner truth.
One thing is all, all things are One -
know this and all's whole and complete.

When faith and mind are not separate,
and not separate are mind and faith,
this is beyond all words, all thought.
For here there is no yesterday,
no tomorrow, no today.

When all is seen with equal mind,
to our true-nature we return.
This single mind goes right beyond
all reasons and comparisons."

- Zen Master Kanchi Sosan
From the Great Vow Zen Chantbook
posted to DailyDharma
NonDual Highlights 3028

There is nobody to look for something

because it is your nearness. Nothing can be more near to you than what you are. It is enough to live with this for some time, not to think about it, not to manipulate it, but simply to live with it.

- Jean Klein, ‘Living Truth’
NonDual Highlights 3028

Sunday, December 23, 2007

When you believe yourself to be a person

you see persons everywhere. In reality there are no persons, only threads of memories and habits. At the moment of realization the person ceases. Identity remains, but identity is not a person, it is inherent in the reality itself. The person has no being in itself; it is a reflection in the mind of the witness, the 'I am', which again is a mode of being.

- Nisargadatta, posted to ANetofJewels
NonDual Highlights 3024

That which thought never touches

The human condition is characterized by a compulsive and obsessive personal relationship to thought. At its best, thought is a symbolic representation of reality; at its worst, thought takes the place of reality. Our thoughts describe and interpret both the external world and our internal experiences. To conceive of a life lived any other way is incomprehensible to most people. Thought tells us who we are; what we believe; what is right and wrong; what we should feel; what is true and what is false; and how we fit into this event called "life." We literally create ourselves and our lives out of thought. Further, we associate the end of thought with sleep, unconsciousness, or death. It is this very personal relationship with thought that is the cause of all the fear, ignorance, and suffering which characterizes the human condition, and which destroys the manifestation of true Love in this life.

As long as your experience of self and life is defined by the mechanical, conditioned, and compulsive movement of thought, you are bound to a very, very limited perception of what is real. But imagine a relationship to thought that was impersonal. This would mean that you were no longer compulsively defining and interpreting yourself and your experience by the movement of thought. If this were the case, you would no longer be limited by the conditioned perspective of thought. Suddenly your entire perspective would shift away from thought to that which was the very ground and source of all thought. A source which, because it wasn't being compulsively interpreted by thought, would be experienced as it actually is for the first time.

Why is this so important? Because when you are able to perceive this Source, you are actually in direct experiential contact with the truth of your own being. Out of that contact the possibility is ripe to suddenly awaken to who and what you really are--the Self--pure consciousness.

The Self is the context within which thought arises. Manifestation in the world of time arises as a wave out of the ocean of eternal consciousness. But the human condition is defined by a very personal and compulsive relationship to thought, which makes this realization impossible unless you are able, either suddenly or gradually, to let go of the compulsive need to know and understand with the mind. You must become more interested in the context within which thought and all experience arises than in the false security of thought itself. Most people find this very difficult because facing the context, which is prior to all knowing, is literally stepping into the unknown, which is the last place most people want to go. Why? Because thought always seeks security in itself, which is the known.

Fear and insecurity always wait for any and all who dare to probe the depths of the Unknown. The true seeker of liberation must have an uncompromising desire to discover Eternal Truth, a desire that outweighs any tendency to hesitate and contract in the face of fear. It is only when the fear of the Unknown is openly embraced that it begins to transform into the positive energy and intensity necessary to awaken from conditioned existence.

It is not uncommon in the presence of a powerful teacher, and under ideal conditions, to have a glimpse of enlightenment. But all too often most seekers are unwilling to surrender to the overwhelming implications of that revelation. The profound intimacy and vulnerability inherent in true freedom marks the destruction of the ego's boundaries to such an extent that all beings and all things become the content of one's own Self. To most seekers this is simply too much because the limitlessness of the Self leaves no room for any separateness from the whole. It is this complete lack of separation from the whole which is the very definition of selflessness and love.

The aim of spiritual practice is to discover in your own present experience That which the movement of thought never touches. This does not mean to suppress the thinking mind, nor does it mean to attempt to understand by using thought. What I am pointing toward is the Unknown: the already, ever-present, silent-still-source that not only precedes thought but surrounds it. You must become more interested in the Unknown than in that which is known. Otherwise you will remain enslaved by the very narrow and distorted perspective of conceptual thinking. You must go so deeply into the Unknown that you are no longer referencing thought to tell you who and what you are. Only then will thought be capable of reflecting that which is true rather than falsely masquerading as truth.

What I am talking about is a condition where the mind never fixates; where it never closes; where it has no compulsive need to understand in terms of ideas, concepts, and beliefs. A condition where you are no longer referencing the mind, feelings, or emotions for security in any way. What I am talking about is the complete surrender of all separateness until liberation becomes a permanent condition, and you are forever lost in the freedom of the Absolute.

- Adyashanti
NonDual Highlights 3024

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Are you ready to lose your world?

There is a very famous poem written by the third patriarch of Zen, Seng-ts'an, called the Hsin-Hsin Ming, which translates as Verses in Faith Mind. In this poem Seng-ts'an writes these lines: "Do not seek the truth; only cease to cherish opinions." This is a reversal of the way most people go about trying to realize absolute truth. Most people seek truth, but Seng-ts'an is saying not to seek truth. This sounds very strange indeed. How will you find truth if you don't seek it? How will you find happiness if you do not seek it? How will you find God if you do not seek God? Everyone seems to be seeking something. In spirituality seeking is highly honored and respected, and here comes Seng-ts'an saying not to seek. 

The reason Seng-ts'an is saying not to seek is because truth, or reality, is not something objective. Truth is not something "out there." It is not something you will find as an object of perception or as a temporal experience. Reality is neither inside of you nor outside of you. Both "outside" and "inside" are not getting to the point. They both miss the mark because outside and inside are conceptual constructs with no inherent reality. They are simply abstract points of reference. Even words like "you," or "me," or "I," are nothing more than conceptual points of reference existing only in the mind. Such concepts may have a practical value in daily life, but when assumed to be true they distort perception and create a virtual reality, or what in the East is called the world of samsara. 

Seng-ts'an was a wily old Zen master. He viewed things through the eye of enlightenment and was intimately aware of how the conditioned mind fools itself into false pursuits and blind alleys. He knew that seeking truth, or reality, is as silly as a dog thinking that it must chase its tail in order to attain its tail. The dog already has full possession of its tail from the very beginning. Besides, once the dog grasps his tail, he will have to let go of it in order to function. So even if you were to find the truth through grasping, you will have to let it go at some point in order to function. But even so, any truth that is attained through grasping is not the real truth because such a truth would be an object and therefore not real to begin with.

In order to seek, you must first have an idea, ideal, or an image, what it is you are seeking. That idea may not even be very conscious or clear but it must be there in order for you to seek. Being an idea it cannot be real. That's why Seng-ts'an says "only cease to cherish opinions." By opinions he means ideas, ideals, beliefs, and images, as well as personal opinions. This sounds easy but it is rarely as easy as it seems. Seng-ts'an is not saying you should never have a thought in your head, he is saying not to cherish the thoughts in your head. To cherish implies an emotional attachment and holding on to. When you cherish something, you place value on it because you think that it is real or because it defines who you think you are. This cherishing of thoughts and opinions is what the false self thrives on. It is what the false self is made of. When you realize that none of your ideas about truth are real, it is quite a shock to your system. It is an unexpected blow to the seeker and the seeking.

The task of any useful spiritual practice is therefore to dismantle cherishing the thoughts, opinions, and ideas that make up the false self, the self that is seeking. This is the true task of both meditation and inquiry. Through meditation we can come to see that the only thing that makes us suffer is our own mind. Sitting quietly reveals the mind to be nothing but conditioned thinking spontaneously arising within awareness. Through cherishing this thinking, through taking it to be real and relevant, we create internal images of self and others and the world. Then we live in these images as if they were real. To be caught within these images is to live in an illusory virtual reality. 

Through observing the illusory nature of thought without resisting it, we can begin to question and inquire into the underlying belief structures that support it. These belief structures are what form our emotional attachments to the false self and the world our minds create.

This is why I sometimes ask people, "Are you ready to lose your world?" Because true awakening will not fit into the world as you imagine it or the self you imagine yourself to be. Reality is not something that you integrate into your personal view of things. Reality is life without your distorting stories, ideas, and beliefs. It is perfect unity free of all reference points, with nowhere to stand and nothing to grab hold of. It has never been spoken, never been written, never been imagined. It is not hidden, but in plain view. Cease to cherish opinions and it stands before your very eyes. 

- Adyashanti 2007
NonDual Highlights 3011

Truth/reality is not a concept

and can't be known. It is what is, inexplicable, ever present and timeless. "Tat tvam asi" ("that thou art" as the Upanishads put it). This is what 'we', and all-and-everything is, ever. This realization is inexpressible by words, ideas or imagination.

But poetry, art and music reflect it.

The only way this wordless realization is expressed is by living it fully every moment - like Ramana, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed and other (known or not) countless and nameless realized 'beings'. Their life is their message.

And so is the life of each and every one, friends. Our life is our message. The rest is just stories.
- Yosy Flug, posted to SufiMystic
Nondual Highlights 3011

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Do not seek the truth

only cease to cherish opinions
- Seng-ts'an, Hsin-Hsin Ming
Nondual Highlights 3011

Are you ready to lose your world?

Because true awakening will not fit into the world as you imagine it or the self you imagine yourself to be. Reality is not something that you integrate into your personal view of things. Reality is life without your distorting stories, ideas, and beliefs. It is perfect unity free of all reference points, with nowhere to stand and nothing to grab hold of. It has never been spoken, never been written, never been imagined. It is not hidden, but in plain view. Cease to cherish opinions and it stands before your very eyes. 

- Adyashanti
Nondual Highlights 3007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It's sheer illusion

to try to separate
the phenomena
from the Reality,
and then try
to love phenomena first.
It just doesn't happen that way.
we end in failure.

You don't have to try
to achieve
unity with others.
It is fallacious thinking
and doing.
Realize the unity
of everything
and everyone
within you

       - Swami Amar Jyoti

"In Light of Wisdom"
posted to Along The Way
Nondual Highlights 3005

Sunday, December 02, 2007

There are three kinds of thoughts

1. Practical thoughts, which are useful in conducting our business or our daily life, like, for instance, "I need to get some gas". This type of thought should not be suppressed (we don't want to run out of gas!). Once it has been given due consideration and the required steps have been taken, these thoughts leave us spontaneously.

2. Thoughts related to the Ultimate, to our understanding of the non-dual perspective, such as "there is, in truth, nothing to be done". These thoughts come from the Ultimate. If we welcome them, they purify the mind from its dualistic conditioning and eventually take us back to their source. They bring about clarity and give us an adumbration of the bliss which is inherent to our real nature.

3. Thoughts related to the notion of being a personal entity, such as desires, fears, doubts, which includes day-dreaming and other kinds of wishful thinking. Some thoughts of this third kind are apparently innocuous and, for this reason, difficult to detect in the beginning. A strong emotion conducive to suffering and disharmony such as jealousy or fear will be easily detected, whereas I may indulge for some time, without noticing it, into picturing myself on the beaches of the French Riviera with a beautiful companion.

It is a common and frequent error to consider any kind of thought as an obstacle to self-realization. The thoughts of the third kind are the only ones that are obstacles to being knowingly established in the Absolute. There are two ways to deal with these thoughts as they arise:

A. If we are not yet convinced that we are not a limited personal entity, whenever we notice such a thought, we should attempt to find its source, the ego. Of course, our attempt to catch the ego fails, as Ramakrishna points out, which takes us directly to the non-existent center of the onion. At this moment, the ego vanishes and we experience our innate freedom (for what looks like a very short moment). This glimpse at the truth reinforces our conviction that we are not a personal entity.

B. Once we are convinced that we are not a personal entity, the thoughts of the third kind usually keep reoccurring for some time as a matter of habit, in the same way as inertia keeps an electrical motor running after its power cord has been unplugged. In this case, there is no need to investigate the origin of these thoughts; we can simply drop them as soon as we notice them.

- Francis Lucille
Nondual Highlights 3003

There are no problems

There is nothing wrong. Everything is unfolding as it should. Everything happens in its own time. Space and time are illusions. They really do not exist. They're stationary. Causation doesn't exist either. No thing has a cause, therefore no thing has an effect. Cause and effects are again products of your own mind. When the mind is quiet, karma ceases. Samscaras are non-existent. There never was a cause for anything. But if you feel that in a previous life you did something wrong and now you are paying the price, or if you think that you did something wrong in this life and you're paying the price, then you'll pay the price, because that's what you think.

- Robert Adams
Nondual Highlights 3003