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Highlights #950

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Saturday, January 19


LARRY BIDDINGER

To my understanding, nonduality is what
is left after relinquishing attachment to
oneself. Duality is the split between me
and everything else. This split is
attachment.

There are may ways leading to this
relinquishment. One way is Vedanta, which
mostly is a matter of recognizing the
primacy of subjectivity. In philosophy
subjectivity is called neumenon, as
distinct from phenomenon. It's difficult
to describe exactly what it is; one could
say, "point of view" or "where you're
coming from" . One thing we could say is
that there are absolutely no qualities or
experience of any kind in subjectivity.
As such, it is logically impossible to be
devoted to subjectivity because the
devotee, subjectivity, would have to make
an object of devotion out of
subjectivity. When subjectivity becomes
an object it is no longer a subject.

However, most of the great realizers of
Vedanta ascribe qualities to subjectivity
and appear to recommend devotion to it.
There are at least two reasons for this.

One is that most people are put off by
the idea of no experience. "What's the
good in that." The only sense in which
"good" is meaningful is as pleasant
experience. And, by all accounts, what
happens when attachment to oneself is
relinquished, is that pleasant
experiences arise. So, looking at it in
this way, one of the consequences of
pursuing a recognition of the primacy of
subjectivity is that attachment to
oneself is relinquished and pleasant
experiences arise.

Another reason for recommending devotion
to subjectivity is that devotion is very
close to surrender. And surrender is what
happens when attachment to oneself is
relinquished. Unfortunately, devotion is
also very close to attachment and all
attachment devolves into attachment to
oneself. So if the cord of attachment to
oneself isn't completely severed,
devotion will become attachment and be
completely useless.

At least this is what I think today.
Corrections welcome.

still very attached,
Larry

JAN BARENDRECHT RESPONDS TO LARRY

ºTo my understanding, nonduality is what is left after relinquishing
ºattachment to oneself. Duality is the split between me and everything
ºelse. This split is attachment.

Nonduality is the absence of any sense of
"i" - hence no sense of "you" either.
That doesn't translate into not knowing
the difference between a bike and a man,
but to not treating the man as a
different being - one life, many bodies.

º
ºThere are may ways leading to this relinquishment. One way is Vedanta,
ºwhich mostly is a matter of recognizing the primacy of subjectivity. In
ºphilosophy subjectivity is called neumenon, as distinct from
phenomenon.
ºIt's difficult to describe exactly what it is; one could say, "point of
ºview" or "where you're coming from" . One thing we could say is that
ºthere are absolutely no qualities or experience of any kind in
ºsubjectivity. As such, it is logically impossible to be devoted to
ºsubjectivity because the devotee, subjectivity, would have to make an
ºobject of devotion out of subjectivity. When subjectivity becomes an
ºobject it is no longer a subject.

Distinguishing between 'subjective' and
'objective' is like attributing either
the nature of a wave or the nature of a
particle to 'light'. The obvious, light
neither is particle, nor a wave. It can
behave as such but doesn't reveal its
'true' nature.


º
ºHowever, most of the great realizers of Vedanta ascribe qualities to
ºsubjectivity and appear to recommend devotion to it. There are at least
ºtwo reasons for this.

Ascribing qualities to subjectivity is
like considering light as a wave and
then, describing the properties of
waves...

º
ºOne is that most people are put off by the idea of no experience.
º"What's the good in that." The only sense in which "good" is meaningful
ºis as pleasant experience. And, by all accounts, what happens when
ºattachment to oneself is relinquished, is that pleasant experiences
ºarise. So, looking at it in this way, one of the consequences of
ºpursuing a recognition of the primacy of subjectivity is that
attachment
ºto oneself is relinquished and pleasant experiences arise.

Regarding 'attachment', the utilitarian
distinction is between 'biological' and
'home made'. Attachment to rural living,
hiking, the beach, clean air, is quite
natural as without (enough) of that, the
mind-body will get diseased. Whereas
attachment to TV, ice cream, more fast
food, will make ill by itself - it is
harmful. Attachment to "status" will
sooner or later cause havoc too: a king
is not more "important" than a beggar. If
a hermit thinks, raising a family is
attachment, that thought shows attachment
and if a householder thinks, the life of
the hermit is without attachment, that
thought shows the same attachment.

º
ºAnother reason for recommending devotion to subjectivity is that
ºdevotion is very close to surrender. And surrender is what happens when
ºattachment to oneself is relinquished. Unfortunately, devotion is also
ºvery close to attachment and all attachment devolves into attachment to
ºoneself. So if the cord of attachment to oneself isn't completely
ºsevered, devotion will become attachment and be completely useless.
º
ºAt least this is what I think today. Corrections welcome.


º
ºstill very attached, Larry

Don't worry - enquire into what is
thought of as attachment. The naturals
like devotion can actually propel
'development' whereas the (proven)
'baddies' like watching TV entertainment,
eating fast food are 'home made' and only
will increase suffering.

Attached 2 2 feet,


_____________________________________________________________

MAZIE

Dear Jan,

Recently, I have been trying to
understand more fully how my devotion to
my Guru is working/affecting, in respect
to my study of trying to understand
nonduality. I am so drawn to this I must
be following the devotion to its natural
state, just as you have written above. My
Guruji always taught this was the way.
Devotion, surrender, they have always
been part of my path, I guess you might
say. It really was something, is
something that I have given much thought
to, (Ha, thought to!.) I felt for some
time that I was becoming less grateful
for all he does for me, all he has taught
me, and the vow of loyalty. I now
understand it is the ultimate loyalty
pledged to never stop and leave the
devotion at Guru's feet, but leave it to
its rightful place, part of the process.
How strange, how very interesting that I
can see now this streaming process, so to
speak, of letting it all go, forgetting
the past and all the attachments to
discipline, to rituals, to what might be
revealed in some future time, instead of
going past this. I am obviously very
delighted to be learning so much from
watching and listening to these
conversations about nonduality. Someone,
was it Papaji who had devotion to Sri
Krishna until Sri Bhagavan came into his
life? That really got me to examining my
own devotion, in a more clear way, more
honestly I guess. My devotion will always
be there for my Guruji, but I understand
more fully what he wants, what he really
wants for me to understand. And it is
exactly what nondualism is. As if I know
what it is! Thanks Jan for this what
you've written. It was very timely for
me.



_____________________________________________________________

JAN BARENDRECHT

WONDERING

Stuffing the mind with opinions
Organizing them to make sense and provide justification
Of life's aimless wanderings
Emphasizing the importance of what seems missing
Running after what is liked
Running away from what is disliked
Showing the lesson of a lifetime:
"Enlightenment", not a guarantee for unconditional happiness
"Nirvana" is

_____________________________________________________________

ERIC BLACKSTEAD


If we could really accept what Gene is so
colorfully laying out for us I think we
would understand more than half of all
the disagreements and lack of sympathy
that we encounter on forums like this
one.

What should be immediately apparent to
any of us who choose to consider the
matter is that someone's direct
experience, even if it seems ludicrous,
irrational or totally fictitious from our
particular perspective, is going to be
inarguably REAL to them, and not really
subject to rational denial.

We can say that nothing like (whatever it
is) has ever happened to us. We can even
quote our take on the physical or
scientific possibilities. We can even go
so far as some sometimes do, and call the
other fellow a liar, a pervert or a
cataleptic. What we can't do, is PROVE
them wrong.

I've forgotten what seminal philosophical
mind pointed out that a perfect monism,
or non-duality is also impossible to
prove rationally. Something about it
taking 2 to tango, and if you are
refering to 2, the possibility of 1
standing for all things rationally
negates itself; but from my point of
view, we should start every display on
this forum with some sort of referance to
the fellow, or at least a salient quote
from his works.

No matter how interested we are, or how
intense our study or colorful and
convincing our experience, the lack of
the ability to prove a perfect monism
should be considered to be the ground
zero of our communications with one
another.

Nondualistically yours (in spite of
everything), eric

__________________________________________________________

JAN SULTAN

DRIVING MEDITATION

When we do walking meditation, the point
is not to get somewhere, but rather to
practice, using walking as the object of
our attention. Even when we do have to
get somewhere and must drive to do so,
there is an opportunity for practice.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen master
and poet, has written a number of gathas,
or brief verses, for enhancing our
mindfulness during everyday activities,
even driving a car.

Driving Meditation
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Before starting the car,
I know where I am going.
The car and I are one.
If the car goes fast, I go fast.

If we are mindful when we start our car,
we will know how to use it properly. When
we are driving, we tend to think of
arriving, and we sacrifice the journey
for the sake of the arrival. But life is
to be found in the present moment, not in
the future. In fact, we may suffer more
after we arrive at our destination. If we
have to talk of a destination, what about
our final destination, the graveyard? We
do not want to go in the direction of
death; we want to go in the direction of
life. But where is life? Life can be
found only in the present moment.
Therefore, each mile we drive, each step
we take, has to bring us into the present
moment. This is the practice of
mindfulness.

When we see a red light or a stop sign,
we can smile at it and thank it, because
it is a bodhisattva helping us return to
the present moment. The red light is a
bell of mindfulness. We may have thought
of it as an enemy, preventing us from
achieving our goal. But now we know the
red light is our friend, helping us
resist rushing and calling us to return
to the present moment where we can meet
with life, joy and peace. Even if you are
not the driver, you can help everyone in
the car if you breathe and smile.

A number of years ago, I went to Canada
to lead a retreat, and a friend took me
across the city of Montreal. I noticed
that every time a car stopped in front of
me, I saw the sentence, "Je me souviens"
("I remember"), on the license plate. I
did not know what they wanted to
remember, perhaps their French-speaking
origin, but it gave me an idea. I told my
friend, "I have a present for all of you
here. Every time you see a car stop in
front of you with the line 'Je me
souviens,' you can see it as a bell of
mindfulness helping you remember to
breathe and smile. And you will have
plenty of opportunities to breathe and
smile while driving in Montreal."

My friend was delighted! He liked it so
much that he shared the practice with
more than 200 people in the retreat.
Later, when he came to visit me in
France, he told me that Paris was not a
good place to practice driving, as there
were no signs "Je me souviens." I told
him that he could practice with red
lights and stop signs. After he left Plum
Village and went back to Montreal, he
wrote me a beautiful letter: "Thay,
practicing in Paris was very easy. Not
only did I practice with red lights and
stop signs, but every time a car stopped
in front of me, I saw the eyes of the
Buddha blinking at me. I had to smile at
those blinking eyes."

The next time you are caught in traffic,
don't fight. It is useless to fight. If
you sit back and smile to yourself, you
will enjoy the present moment and make
everyone in the car happy. The Buddha is
there, because the Buddha can always be
found in the present moment. Practicing
meditation is to return to the present
moment in order to encounter the flower,
the blue sky, the child, the brilliant
red light.

from: Present Moment, Wonderful Moment:
Mindfulness Verses for Daily Living
(1990) by Thich Nhat Hanh

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression



SPONSORS

HOME









CHUCK HILLIG

Photography by Jerry Katz

DR. ROBERT PUFF

THE NATURAL BLISS OF BEING

       

RUPERT SPIRA

DISSOLVED, Tarun Sardana

RAMAJI

ONE

   HIGH JUMP, Tarun Sardana    








Nonduality.com HOME



Discover over 5000 pages on Nonduality.com by Googling:

google site:nonduality.com [your choice of keyword(s)]


Read Jerry Katz's article in The Culturium:

Let the Scene See You

Landscape photography from a nondual point of view




Photography by Jerry Katz