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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #254

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From Anatta

Just now -- in the space that is "Just
Now" --
an old gnarled tree arises through the
it stands nobly and rests
on the surface of the eye --
the eye that is I AM.
High above visible form,
branches sway in breezes of the mind
in rhythm with the breathing Heart.
Yet stillness pervades everything:
they seem to move because they don't!
I cannot explain: thought cannot parse
for thought is not other than "This":
an old rough tree arising in the wind's eye.
There's a squirrel perched there upon a knot of wood --
I don't know what it really is, but this:
it's been there forever, alert and watching
and content in seeing nothing special.
When it seems I move from here to there
I have not moved, but am still Here.

uarelove and Jerry on perspectives regarding what threatens the ego
Radical Satsang

uarelove: Given a choice between those sages in whose living physical
presence I have been in: Nome, Russ, Papaji, Vernon Howard, Muktananda,
Osho (Rajneesh), Satya Sai Baba, Pir Vilayat, J. Krishnamurti, Gangaji,
Ranjit Maharaj, etc. and those spiritual teachers and sages who I have
only heard about and read about (too numerous to list) my first choices
for living sages who I wish to be in satsang with are Nome and Russ.
Who do I have the least doubt about as far as living sages? The answer
is Russ and Nome. Who do I think is the greatest threat to "my" ego
notion? Russ and Nome.

Jerry: Thanks for writing. We look at things differently, that's all.

The greatest threat to my ego is moment to moment realization that I am
suffering some free-floating hurt or that I am having a great time or
that all is well. Every moment is a threat to my ego. Every day I'm
hooked on thousands of reminders that I'm not really free. All I can do
is let them be taken-up by the Source, which is the place where
attention has to be as often as possible and with the greatest intensity

Nome is a Source or a representative of the Source, not another threat.
Lord have mercy, child. An encounter with him is a celebration of
Source, not another stupid ego reminder.

Radical Satsang is enjoyment of the company of Truth, nothing more; it
is not supposed to be a reminder of egoity. Satsang today, in current
times, is partially enjoyment of the company of Truth but mostly
psychotherapy of some sort. Satsang is in a transitional state.

Satsang is evolving. Some day we'll go to Satsang and nobody will have
any questions. There are such Satsangs, but they don't make for good
books or videos. I hold them many times a day and nobody comes, or maybe
there will be one person in my arms.

Feel free to say whatever you wish. Let the Nonduality Salon perish if
there is something not quite right going on here. Tim Gerchmez blasted
the place in a message left in the guest book to the NDS website.
Someone please blow us out of the waters. It is entirely possible that
things could get gummed-up here and that the time will come to move on.

And let me say to you, uarelove, uareblind to those moment to moment
threats if you need a sage to hand them to you. You can't see what's in
front of you, let alone to the side. Get to the point where you go to
Satsang only to be there, not to bring in the clowns. Your room's full
of them. You know the song.

John and xan

xan: Trying to make sense of somebody's idea in some book can be most
bewildering. What if, instead of trying to perceive the world with
your heart, you investigate what your heart is more deeply; looking into
your heart with your heart rather than your head. Compassion will be
revealed to you, and all ideas of what it is or is not will fall away.

John: You know how you can hear something over and over, then one day
something just "clicks" and you get it? Don't know how many times I've
been told to get out of my head - well, todays the day and your post was
the 'clicker'.

Looking into my heart *with* my heart had never occured to me.

The utility of self inquiry has only recently began revealing it's
usefulness to me. To get out of ones head, ask it a question it cannot
answer - like asking a computer for the exact value of pi ... there
isn't one.

xan: Thank you, John, for being present to the click.

In my experience asking the head a question it can't answer inspires it
to make up more stuff.

My own heart has recently taken a deeper dive. I haven't seen any end to
the exquisite secrets it reveals by yielding to its silent realm.

uarlove on seekers and strategies:

I do not know however the following it how it seems to me: It seems to
me that the ego notion has millions of ways to preserve itself. Many of
those ways are in how it uses thought. Self deception, self dishonesty
being included in those ways. A seeker somehow learns that the source of
all suffering and illusion etc. is the ego notion. The notion of a
individuality or seperate entity. and that the end of the ego notion is
the end of suffering and the dream of multiplicity etc. The seeker may
read some books and be lucky enough to come across the teachings of non
duality such as Ramana, Nisargadatta etc. One of the most significant
lies that the seeker tells themselves is that they actually wish to end
the ego notion. It may be that the ego notion is right there attempting
to preserve itself at each moment using thought in ever so many ways to
preserve itself. For example having a choice between two spiritual
books to read it may be that the ego almost always chooses the spiritual
book that is the least threat to it. Then lies to itself justifying
that choice. It may be when a teacher is chosen that the ego choses the
spiritual teacher that is the least threat to it and then uses thought
to lie to itself and give many reasons to justify the choice. These are
only a couple of examples but it may be that the ego distorts almost
every thought, every concept, including thoughts on spiritual topics, so
that it can preserve itself. It may be that only one in a million
spiritual seekers is truly dedicated to ending the ego notion. It may
be that the rest only convince themselves of their sincerity. It may be
that one of the most helpful things we can do is to look at the
strategies the ego notion uses to preserve itself.

I do not know but the following is how it seems to me: Bhagavan Ramana
led almost every questioner from their diverse question to the single
point of the inquiry Who am I? One of the ego preservation strategies
that seekers use may be the fact that they do just the opposite. They
start with diverse questions and end up with more concepts and more
diverse questions. An example of this is the diversity of topics that
seekers allow their minds to dwell on. For most seekers those topics
are all over the place. In non duality there is no world. Yet seekers
talk about life, and how to live it and politics and the current
thinking of the day, and new age stuff, and a million other topics. They
do not take those diverse topics and then lead themselves back to what
is essential. They just continue to discuss more diverse topics. So it
is interesting to observe the ego notions attempt to preserve itself in
this whole process.

First the ego notion selects a topic. It could have selected the topic
of how to make deep Self inquiry within more effective. Instead it
considers a topic relating to social action and its consequences, for
example. Then it pursues that topic and then it leads thought onto
another topic and it seldom gets back to the question of what is the
most effective means of ending the ego notion etc. These are only a
couple of the ways that the ego notion uses to preserve itself. There
may be million of ways. It may be that almost all thoughts are really
the ego trying to preserve itself, even most of the so called spiritual

Harsha: Which strategy are you using?

Petros ... nonduality in motion

IMO, not being a scholar in the subject, the crux of Buddhist philosophy
is the observation called "dependent origination." Similar to the Hindu
idea of the "net of jewels," it implies a totally interconnected cosmos,
everything effecting everything else. In terms of "liberation," it means
that liberation (like everything else) happens in its own timeframe (not
("predetermined"); it happens when it happens. This idea can dovetail
with more religious concepts of surrender, acceptance, and so forth; and
it is a close cousin to the idea of Nonduality. Call it nonduality in

xan to Dan Lovecode

It sounds like you are in a fairly intense transition of consciousness.
These fluctuating feelings and experiences in awareness are signs that
grace is at work in you, and it is common to feel uncomfortable in the
changes. It takes courage and determination to hang in there through
the discomfort.

What you can do is give your attention to the silent stillness around,
within and between all these thoughts and feelings.

Terry Murphy's two cents on the movement of teachers, students; love and
fellowship (unedited... long but insightful)

I am reminded of an old dylan song, where he sings, "In a soldier's
stance, I aim my lance at the mongrel dogs who teach, fearing not I
become my enemy in the instant that I preach." And the refrain is, "Ah
but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."

I bring up the song because, firstly, I don't want to preach at anyone
here myself, and become such a mongrel dog, such a hypocrite and become
what I preach against. Secondly, I am, as I think a few of us are,
continuously bemused at the way people who seem to have been enlightened
and really know what the truth is can sink to the level of *obvious*
egoistic argumentation, and that ironically and dualistically, I might
add. Bemused because it all sounds so right so much of the time, and is
so wrong at the same time. Just what is it that is going on here, what
is the problem?

Early on (in my presence on the list) I brought up the idea of
post-enlightenment practice. By that I meant compassion and so forth,
the things kristi would like to see. I also mentioned surprise at the
way concepts were treated on this list as effective tools, and words,
even though we presumably, most of us, have experienced the
non-conceptual and non-verbal nature of nonduality. So I watch this
fight between kristi's view, which appears to be that people who are
'wounded in the soul' need 'love' from people, not concepts; and
bruce's contentions that, if you root around in a garbage can you are
bound to be covered with garbage, so just get out of the can. And I
begin to get an inkling of the problem. Though I'm not sure that anyone
wants to actually solve the problem, I think to grasp clearly what is
going on could be helpful for those of us who are bemused by it, so I'd
like to throw in two cents, without either solving the problem or
preaching to either side about how they ought to act.

I think one problem here is that one size does not fit all when it
comes to genuine enlightenment. I am by no means convinced that anyone
can be directly helped to achieve awakening; in this world full of
awe-inspiring coincidences, those who are ready for enlightenment may
or may not be around people or things with which they associate that
enlightenment. That is, you may find yourself with or without a teacher
when you are ready to grasp the simple truth, but the presence or
absence of a teacher may have little to do with it. Of course, it might
help, as a midwife or doctor is handy to have around when you are having
a baby; but having a baby is a natural process and can be done by

Another relevant idea is that 90% of communication is nonverbal, and we
are stuck with the 10% which is predominantly conceptual, using email.
If you come to a concept store you are likely to walk out with an
armload of concepts, that's all we have here, even if we love you very
much, and know your soul as though it were our own.

Even if I love you and understand you that may not communicate itself to
you. The problem here is that, in order for any wounded human beings to
appreciate love and understanding from others, they must have love and
understanding themselves already. (Is this so hard to understand? Yes,
of course it is!) Here you have, say, two people, one is wounded and
the other is whole, and the wounded one wants help, wants love and
understanding. What they get a person who honestly and legitimately is
trying to communicate that this wounded person must find this love and
understanding within themselves! Only if the receiver loves and
understands the giver, can she receive the gift. Paradoxically, if you
have the love and understanding to receive the gift of love and
understanding from another, you don't need the gift in the first place;
another demonstration that there is only one soul among us, if that.

No matter how much a person believes that what they need is to be loved
and understood, what they really need is to love and understand. It is
not *being loved* which is the key to happiness and freedom and peace,
but *loving* itself, being loving. If you were to understand that these
dealers in concepts are doing their own level best to get across to you
and to others what they think will help, in genuine love (not the
self-aggrandizing egotism that you are seeing), then your love would
make it all clear to you, and even their concepts would make sense.

This can be so confusing, Kristi, because many times if a person behaves
in a kind and understanding manner, then love is actually engendered;
the love which is then felt by the wounded one for the 'healing one' is
what helps the wounded one, *not* the love given them by the healer.
Jesus would carefully explain, while healing a person, 'It is by *your*
faith that I do this." It was not jesus' love which healed, but the
love and faith and credence in jesus that the wounded one had which did
the trick.

The wounded person who is under that glass floor, and has lost their
faith, who is full of doubt; this person is not rescued or helped by the
love or example of another, but only by the love within themselves that
finally breaks through. Most of us who have experienced enlightenment
or awakening have been through just this experience of seeing utter
meaninglessness and lovelessness, and when we reach bottom totally and
completely give up, then suddenly the sun appears, within ourselves.
But if we are told this but someone who knows, it does no good; the
concepts, while perfectly true and readily understandable by those who
have been through it, are just concepts to the one enmeshed in doubt and
despair. If they are treated with love and kindness, this may only
prolong their agony. One who is enlightened may be telling you the
painful truth,. be giving you no comfort at all, and be actually full of
lovingkindness for you, but you just won't get it! You may be receiving
love and understanding in a form you cannot recognize, but that does not
necessarily make it useless. Sometime in the future, when the light has
dawned, when you have shattered the glass for yourself, you may look
back and see that people were in all kindness doing the best they could
for you.

Out of my two cents, that was the first penny, for kristi and the
wounded with whom I deeply sympathize, the victims she feels compassion
for and cares about. Try to love even those whose help seems useless
and even egotistical. For the most part it is not, they are actually
trying, and they get just as frustrated as you that it doesn't seem to
help, for all the work they put into it.

The other penny has to do with *transmission*. If the word
enlightenement has any meaning - and sometimes it does, sometimes it
doesn't, depending on who's doing the talking and what they are talking
about - then of what benefit does it have to those who haven't 'gotten
it' on their own. Many on this list are what you might call 'wet behind
the ears' and are still at the stage where they think that a little
clarity of thought and *bingo* we can enlighten people. we are
encouraged by others who have been through similar experiences and know
exactly what we are talking about. People like kristi and the
sufferers she has compassion for gain little or nothing from this
bandying about of concepts, kind of like people who like to tell
'insider jokes' at a party. We could make a list of cliches here about
dropping the ego and realizing the wonder of it all, but for those at
the more painful stages these have little value.

This is where 'post-enlightenment' practice comes in. You may know what
you know, you may know that your heart and your love is pure, your may
be immune to the resentment of those who 'don't understand'; but you may
have a lot to learn about how to actually help people. If your only
abilities are with people who already know and don't need any help, what
good is that?

When I was enlightened, thirty years a go, I figured I could explain the
truth to any one in an hour or two. A few months later, I formed a
commune with all my navy buddies, and I figured a few months of living
with me and they would all grasp it readily. After fifteen years of
that. I realized that actually transmitting enlightenment to people was
pretty difficult, and depended almost entirely on the appropriate
student being at the appropriate state of mind; rather like a pregnant
woman being nine months pregnant and ten centimeters dilated. And then
all you have to do is catch the baby, and try not to let anyone give the
mother and child grossly bad advice.

The point being, in penny number two, knowing your shit and talking a
good game still won't work hardly any of the time. Many years of
post-enlightenment practice are needed to be able to really be of any
service to anyone, other than as a good person to hang out with, which
is not something to be underrated. When subhuti asked the buddha, 'Is
spiritual fellowship important to spiritual practice?" he was told,
"subhuti, spiritual fellowship is the whole of spiritual practice.

gen: heard myself hearing

a walk

"be nobody. be divine."

a tree could fall
and i'd never know about it.
that is okay.

with no ears
i caught myself whistling
and the wind
had a different sound
through each tree.

this means nothing.

with no eyes
i saw myself seeing
brilliant pinpoints of light-dancing--
light which moved with me--

i was the path. . .
alone is a word. . .
all one?
[more words]

who walked?
i went nowhere.

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