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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #242

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***Divine double-date in Santa Cruz:

I am at a loss for words. I am in the
midst of experiencing these
people, in the midst of intimacy and
closeness unimaginable through mere
e-mail. This is the community. We are together. There is love and being
here. I see a potential for this community, for grater communion. We are
more together than we know.


ok.. my turn...

all that I KNOW is the grace of being basked in the warm glow of loving


There it is, folks -- "God,"
which in the past has taken
form as Shiva, Kali Ma,
Krishna, Yahweh, Buddha,
Tara, Bodhidarma, Jesus,
Rumi, and Shankara, today
manifests as a divine
double-date by the sea,
replete with much salsa! :-)


***Dutch (Jan K.) asks a question:

I was told once by Alexander that there are two 'schools' in Advaita.
The Shankara tradition, and the Janeshwar tradition. Can anyone elaborate on
As I've been told, in the Shankara tradition, the world is seen as an
illusion, and only the Self is real. This caused a lot of people to
'abandon' the whole world an see their wifes, children, and so on, as an
illusion (mind you, 'seeing as', in stead of 'knowing'...)
As a result, a lot of people turned to the other side, and 'embraced' the
"Go for that man, go for that woman, cause the world is real."
In the Janeshwar tradition the emphasis is on TOTALLY accepting this

Is this historically correct? :-)


***Cyndy tells a story:

Hot desert sun, feeling my skin tighten and redden and glow. Clear blue
sky, some days littered with fluffy white clouds in the shape of rabbits,
cats, or a banquet of musicians.
Watching long spikes of grass rustle in the breeze, an ant holding
onto his structure, swaying with the force of the unseen wind.
Many times I'd follow the ants to their home, becoming a part of
the community. Each had a purpose, each had a personal grain of sand or
food to share.
What will I share? With whom? Where?
Riding to California in the back of an old yellow pickup truck, wind
burning and chapping my skin, my hair becoming a complete knot of tangles
like my mind. I see the ocean for the first time in my life. Not one to
wade gingerly, I run into the waves and try to swim. The waves show a
strength I cannot fight, pulling me under, slamming my body against the
rocky floor, my skin broken, my respect for this force strengthened.
Each wave a small ant, working with the other waves, each with a
personal grain of sand or food to share.
I am that tiny ant, the forceful wave, the fluffy cloud. My grain
is with me to share, at times too tiny to see, at times too forceful to
keep, at times to fluffy to grasp.

***Dan responds to the excerpt from Arjuna Nick Ardagh posted by Xan (see
yesterday's highlights)about ongoing work after awakening:

Xan, thanks for sharing this. Now, what exactly
is "work on oneself," or "awareness eternally noticing
awareness alone"?

The real work is beyond effort or effortlessness, and
is thus "no work," which does not mean complacency at all.
Such work takes no time and occurs no place. As nothing is to
be done, infinitely, it will take infinity to do this nothing.
Nothing occurs, therefore one's work must be total and involve
all of who one is. While working, rest totally and fully.

Let work be play, let action be nondoing, let movement be rest.
I'm moving at the speed of light, thus there is nothing not
moving at the speed of light, thus nothing is moving
(as seen from here, Sarlo ;-)

When you talk to me about our lifelong work, this conversation
occurs when and how? Who can say? Our entire lifetime is over
as soon as it "begins". How many centuries have passed, how
many apparent beings have worked on this, since this question
was first raised? The questions with which we occupy ourselves
(how to work, how not to work, etc.) are like vapors from a cup
of tea.

Enjoying this cup with you,

***Roger has something to say to J.K. on meditation:

>Meditation is not the repetition
>of the word, nor the experiencing
>of vision, nor the cultivating of
>silence. The bead and the word
>do quieten the chattering mind,
>but this is a form of self-
>hypnosis. You might as well take
>a pill.
>--- J. Krishnamurti

K’s comments have to be taken in a limited context, IMHO. They are not

When the mind is chattering, when awareness is overwhelmed by thought, there
are numerous helpful techniques. People move through different stages of
development on the quest. When the mind is chattering away and taking
awareness away with it, then some technique from the arsenal of Yogas/tantra
can be useful in stilling the mind. Technique can develop the will such that
increasing with mere effortless intention the mind is held in stillness.

But hey, let’s acknowledge that most people have absolutely NO idea how to
still the mind with effortless intention. And for people at this stage
technique is appropriate.

K’s comment is right on in pointing out that technique can be a trap, that
techniques to still the mind are only preparatory. In fact I suspect many
people are slaves to technique, perhaps to techniques that aren’t really
useful for them.

I acknowledge what K is saying by “nor the cultivating of silence”. All we
can do is cultivate silence, however, this is only a preparatory measure.
Communion in Grace is beyond all cultivation or effort. Yet without silence
the chattering mind will certainly extinguish or prevent the possibility of
extended, repeated & permanent communion in Grace.

Some questions I like at the moment:
When is awareness lost or overwhelmed by thought or emotion?
When is awareness receptively still?
If awareness is overwhelmed, can subtle effort be taken to move towards
receptive stillness?
I believe there are many types of subtle effort, some techniques are
suitable for devotional types, other techniques for discriminative people,
other techniques for those skilled with subtle energy, etc…. (www.newu.org)
When is awareness in this state of higher Meditation that “K” is pointing
to? Instructional glimpses will likely be provided!
And, is the performance of meditation technique actually interfering with
the development of receptive stillness/ higher absorption in communion? Have
I become a slave to technique?
Conversely, being entertained with mere thoughts about nonduality is less
than Being.


***Roger and Xan and Phil orbiting:

Roger: But how to go beyond mere thought ?

~ Notice the awareness that is aware of thoughts and experiences.


I'm not sure what to say, at first I thought: if 'awareness is aware of
thoughts & experiences', then proposing that we 'notice this' would imply a
circular definition: awareness which is aware of awareness. And there can be
only one. (yes I'm overanalyzing)

But, I think you mean simply 'notice the awareness' which indeed suggests an
effortless awakening.


~ Yes, awareness is what notices awareness.
It sounds complicated or impossible but is actually simple and effortless.


It is thought that wonders if "it" can get beyond thought. Thought
has a limit, beyond which it cannot proceed. What-You-Are is already
Beyond-Thought. Just a matter of seeing thought for what it is, is
all. "Identity, body, name, form" -- all thought. The nature of
thought is that it appears in a moment -- to disappear, like a wave
dissolving into the crest. Waves follow waves, across a surface of
... what you are. This can only be seen right Now.


You're suggesting that we vigilently observe the birth of a thought (every
thought) & with equal vigilence observe the life cycle of the thought
including the space following it....


Observation is the key. Otherwise one will be found "thinking that
thoughts are bad." Thoughts arise in this act of writing/reading.
Just see them come and go. Don't cling or reject.


***Roger, Larry and Larry:

Roger: But there is another perceptual reality where the most
significant boundary is not the skin, rather this most significant
boundary is between "I am" (or awareness) and that which is seen in

Larry: it seems to me it's practically a dichotomy. There's awareness
("I am"/nowness) and there's emptiness/stuff. Awareness doesn't seem to
be aware OF anything. I don't get. How do they fit together, relate with
one another?

I think you're on to something here Larry, but you're identifying with
awareness, maybe subconsciously. It's empty too. Let go of it all.

your friend, Larry

***Jan B. on the Jain theory of karma:

Quite a time ago an article was posted about the Jain theory of karma;
contrary to some "dead guys" maintaining nothing can be said about
enlightenment, other "dead guys" talked about "stages" in relation to
destroyed karma - not intellectually (like "there is no karma") but factual
(for instance like being unable to feel fear, guilt, shame etc.).
An excerpt showing this:
Jains believe that since the beginning of the time every living being
(soul) is associated with karmas. The main purpose of religion is to
remove these karmas which are attached to the soul.

There are many types of karmas. However they are broadly classified into
the following eight categories:

Mohaniya (delusion)
Jnana-varaniya (knowledge)
Darasna-varaniya (vision)
Antaraya (natural qualities)

Vedniya (pleasure and pain of the body).
Nama (body)
Gotra (social standing)
Ayu (life span)

While travelling on the path of spiritual progress, a person destroys all
eight types of his karmas in the following sequence:

First Mohaniya (delusion), then Jnana-varaniya (knowledge),
Darasna-varaniya (vision), and Antaraya (natural qualities) all three

Lastly the remaining four namely Nama (body), Ayu (life span), Gotra
(social standing), and Vedniya (pleasure and pain of the body).

After destroying these karmas a person attains liberation. The first four
karmas are called Ghati karmas because they obscure the natural qualities
of the soul. The last four karmas are known as Aghati karmas because they
do not affect the qualities of the soul, but they are related to the body
of the soul. Once a person destroys all his Ghati karmas, he will
definitely destroy all of his Aghati karmas before his death. No fall back
can occur after the destruction of Ghati karmas.

A person who destroys all eight types of karmas is called Siddha. A person
who destroys only four Ghati karmas is called Arihanta. Arihant is also
known as Tirthankara, Jina, Arhat, Kevali, or Nirgantha.


When a person destroys his four Ghati karmas, he attains keval-jnana. He
has regained the original attributes of his soul which are perfect
knowledge, vision, power, and bliss. He is omniscient of the past, present
and future forms of all entities (living and nonliving beings) of the
universe. He is still a human being. He remains in the state of blissful
condition for the rest of his life.

Arihants have two categories:

- Tirthankar
- Ordinary-kevali


Immediately after attaining keval-jnana, if a person establishes the
four-fold religious order of monks, nuns, sravaks (male laypeople), and
sravikas (female laypeople) is known as
Tirthankar. He preaches the Jain philosophy, religion, ethics, conducts to
his followers.

Jainism believe that Twenty-four Tirthankars are born during each
descending and asending part of the time cycle in this region (Bharat
Kshetra) of the universe. No two Tirthankaras live at the same time.
Generally a Tirthankara is born when the religion is at its depression
state. The new Tirthankar revives the same Jain philosophy and religion.
He gives a different form to the religion depending upon the time, place,
and the social behavior of the human society.


Lord Mahavir preached five great vows, while Lord Parshva preached four
great vows. The vow of celibacy was included in the non-possession
category during Lord Parshav's time.

Tirthankar is also known as Jina or Nirgrantha. Jina means one who has
conquered his inner passions like desire and hatred. Nirgrantha means one
who has gotten rid of all attachments


The only difference between Tirthankara and ordinary-kevali is that the
latter does not establish the religious order. He remains in the state of
perfect blissful condition for the rest of his life after attaining

In the religious scriptures the name Arihantas and Tirthankaras are
interchangeably used because ordinary-kevalis do not play any active roles
in the religious order.


All Tirthankaras and ordinary-kevalis destroy their remaining four Aghati
karmas, and attain liberation at the end of their present life. After
their nirvan (death) all of them are known as Siddhas. They are totally
free. They are free from the birth and death cycle. They do not possess
body. They do not feel pleasure and pain, or joy and sorrow. They live in
an ever lasting blissful condition at the top of the universe (Lokakas)
known as Moksha.
Not to mention all "dead guys" who were relating common K. side-effects to
the same "stages", like in the "Alchemical Wedding"...

Not taking a stance toward any guy, whether "dead" or "alive",


***John observes:

My two puppies...

Every day I let them out into the same yard at the same time ... and
every day they act as if they are in a totally unknown environment.

Every day, the same ole thing - but to them, brand new!

What am I missing in *my* life?

Why is the mundane, .... the mundane?

John :-)


***Satsangh with Dutch:

Last Sunday, the first small talk ;-) took place in Amsterdam.

There were 6 visitors and we met at 19:00. I will try to give a short
description of the questions that were asked, but I have noticed that it is
very difficult to remember exactly which questions were asked and in what
order. Maybe some of you who have given talks have had the same experience?

Here are the questions I remember, in random order.
Q: What happens when realization is there?
A: Phenomena can differ, and I think most seekers want to know what happens,
because they are going to try to duplicate this experience. They have read
in a book that there will be fountains, lightning, explosions, bubbles, etc.
It can give you the illusion that this is what you should expect as a sign
of that realization has happened. A Zen monk (I don't remember his name)
once became enlightened when he amputated his leg by accident at the gate of
a monastery. Somebody slammed the door, and he losed one of his legs. As he
was looking at his leg, he realized, that he was not the body. After this,
some other monks amputed their legs, but no enlightenment :-)
When you are interested in the side-effects of realization, then that is
quite different from wanting to know what you are. Selfrealization on
certain terms (happiness, all day long, feeling good, never being sad, etc)
is impossible.

Q: Then why do we always read this in every book, those things, phenomena
that happen?
A: I don't know. When a seeker asks this question, then he gets an answer.
But side-effects and clearness can only be RESULTS of realization. You can't
strive for those effects. It means that you only want one side of the story.
"This I like, that I don't"
And always when you want one side, the other side shows up. Put weight on
one side of a pair of scales, and the other side will arise. And you keep
switching from one side to the other. This, or that. Both sides are seen
totally all the time, by what you are, but you think that's not the case.

Q: Are there ways to speed up the process? (Some seekers did drugs, silent
retraits, even watertanks).
A: No, in fact, it can be very dangerous to try to force it. And there's
always the danger that you create the illusion of controlling it.

Q: I did silent retraits and started to develop psychoses. I was in a little
cabin for a week. Should I do this again?
A: I would advise not to. What's the hurry? Don't try to force it and just
let it happen in it's own natural tempo. And know, that it's not 'you',
who's letting it happen :-)

Q: Thinking is running in circles here. Will that ever stop?
A: The fact that you can see those circles proves, that You are not 'in' the
circle. Have never been, will never be. So no need to 'get' out! When 2you
think you are 'in' such a circle you give fuel to it. When you know you are
already out, because you can see the circle, you loose interest in it. This
does not mean you are turning into a zombie, is just means you know what is
happening. And when you think there is 'someone' who knows what is
happening, well, 'he' or 'she' is part of the circle too!

Q: Ok, I can see this, but the search hasn't stopped!
A: That's just a little trick the 'ego' plays. It needs the search, because
when you are not searching it will disappear. The 'ego' can only 'survive'
by means of this searching motion. Where is this ego without search-engine?
It will tell you to keep on searching, but it's like rowing towards the

Of course there were more questions, but I'll keep it short for now :-)


***Petros offers a quote:

(from _The Alchemy of Transformation_ by Lee Lozowick.)

"It is impossible to know or experience real devotion unless you are already
consumed by the realization of nonduality -- the realization of
enlightenment. Any devotion felt or expressed outside of a tacit presumption
that the Divine is all there is may be completely sincere, and pure in its
motivation; it may be positive and free of violence and negativity; and yet,
it is not true devotion -- no matter what it looks like, no matter how it

"Once one stands upon the foundation of realizing one's already present
enlightenment (since there never is really any separation from God, there is
never is any unenlightenment either), only then is one available to the
possibility of devotion. If one is responsible with integrity for what the
realization of enlightenment means, the body will grow spontaneously and
naturally into a space in which devotion will arise all by itself --
uncalled for and usually quite unexpected."


Dan: William Blake called God, "Nobodaddy."
Has a nice ring to it :-)

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