2017 Saturday Self-Inquiry Sessions

Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

2017 Saturday Self-Inquiry Sessions

Self Inquiry Sessions at Juniper Level Botanic Garden are for ardent pilgrims, ready, at all costs, to turn inward and discern the illusory nature of the personal self and reality and uncover the aware presence hidden in plain sight.

Recommended readings: 
     Perfect Brilliant Stillness – David Carse
     Headless Way – Douglas Harding
     I Am That – Nisargardatta Maharaj

Jenny and Anita facilitate this group self-inquiry. No charge. Your tax-deductible gifts to our not-for-profit botanic garden’s endowment are welcome to preserve the gardens as a place for plant and medical research, plant exploration, horticultural and philosophical learning, and community.

Please send us a note by email to info@nondu.org if you are joining us for the first time to see if an open seat is available, or you need directions.

Tentative dates – subject to change.  Self-inquiry group held at Anita’s botanic garden unless noted at Jenny’s.

2:00pm – 3:30pm

January 7  @ Jenny’s
February 4
March 11  @ Jenny’s
April 1
May 13  @ Jenny’s
June 10
July 1  @ Jenny’s – Cancelled
August 5
September 2  @ Jenny’s
October 14
November 11  @ Jenny’s
December 2

Directions to Juniper Level Botanic Garden are here.

*Self inquiry sessions and retreats at Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden may be electronically recorded. By your attendance, you consent to be recorded and agree that Anita and Tony Avent reserve all rights to this material and its dissemination in any form.

Bittersweet

Nonduality at Juniper Level

Never has a person or a world existed. The brain/mind’s seductive dance of labeling, naming, and claiming appearances creates an imaginary storyline with a “me” at the center of an imaginary life that seems tangible, relative, and appearing in space and time.

And the great mystery of these spontaneous appearances cannot be described yet we try with our words and phrases to describe the indescribable.

This succulent image captures a sweet, fragile, beauty radiating between precise and painful spines, and yet neither beauty or thorns exist, has ever existed — only concepts and beliefs flashing across the screen of the relative mind and claimed as an imaginary subject labeled “me” perceiving an imaginary object labeled “succulent.”

What is feels as vaporous as an endless breath…never inhaling nor exhaling. We attempt to blanket ideas, beliefs, and concepts over an edgeless infinity using seductive and unquestioned beliefs — the greatest being the belief and conviction that there is a tangible, permanent, and fixed center as a “me” located in a time and space reality.

Perceiving arises spontaneously as impersonal conscious, as aware presence, and it dances as wavelengths of light and colors reflecting and refracting a perfect dreamscape to play as self and other…when what I am, you are, is really nothing at all, vaporous.

And this feels like death of all that the character “knows” including the body. And a scary, yet perfect, silence engulfs the endless breath and throws it beyond the cosmos into the voidless void.

Impersonal noticing or awareness rises as stillness and even the smallest of what is…seems to appear. And…a dawning stirs and a gracious unpeeling exposes the edgeless and empty stillness as what I am, you are……. and an Intelligence that can never be described nor understood with the brain/mind wraps itself, as the void, as this perfect edgeless, infinite, stillness, and silence.

Words get in the way and miss this essence, this perfume, this pulseless pulse.

anita

Aware Presence

What can be labeled “wrong” unless thoughts arise of an imaginary thing or imaginary self judging it wrong?  Put another way, what can ever be wrong unless “you” are thinking (imagining) it?

Unless there is a “me” having thoughts about wrongness, does wrongness exist?

Believing in an imaginary “personal” and separate “me” creates suffering. Thoughts have no weight nor importance unless thoughts are claimed as belonging to an imaginary personal “I” or “me.”   Inquiry deeply and see if you can actually find a separate and personal me, or I.

Aware presence…what is…is not personal…has never been personal.

How can aware presence seem personal unless you believe a thought that seems to make it seem so?

anita

 

Absolute

Nonduality at Juniper Level

Many pilgrims worship and explore the nature of the Absolute or God when plowing through mountains of beliefs and concepts about the spiritual life, existence, and the afterlife. It seems there is nothing scarier than to ponder an endless oblivion at the end of living, or while living, for that matter. 

As humans, wanting there to be something more after death, and believing in an enduring personal soul or spirit in an afterlife seems to draw and sustain many to an Absolute or God.  

At the core of this belief is a personal soul that will unite with God upon physical death and spend eternity with God in an afterlife/heaven

This duality of opposites is the realm of relativity, how one object or subject compares to another object or subject, the relative world or creation. In relativity, all things are true and factual until they are not, meaning relativity is changeable and dynamic.  

For instance, we used to believe the world was flat but no longer.  We used to believe that man could not fly, until in seven short seconds, Orville and Wilbur instantly changed our beliefs. And mankind would never walk on the moon, until we did. And we’ll never make it to Mars…or Pluto. 

Science is now embracing the fluid world of quantum physics…understanding that consciousness beyond relativity.  We’re reading more now about empty particles, dark matter, and entanglement. This is the fascinating world of exploring the nature of invisible particles and matter just by changing what or how a particle is being observed.

But no matter how deeply we investigate what is appearing, what is will remain as a concept, an idea, an opinion or a collective belief because it is appearing in the relative world — the world where the brain/mind creates all concepts and beliefs…including the concept of Absolute. 

The issue with quantum physics is the same as the issue with all science dealing with relativity – that the quantum scientists and physicists are assuming that the consciousness that is observing matter or energy through the microscope (or telescope) is a personal consciousness within them. Obviously this skews the observation – and adds a layer of misinformation to the observation. 

I spent years meditating and praying about how to reconcile the scientific facts with spiritual beliefs.  I had been deeply spiritual all my life and who was I if I was no longer spiritual in the way I was accustomed?  And who was I in relation to what science calls dark energy, which comprises 95% of the cosmos?

And for a while, the mystical teaching of Christianity and all the scientific information around quantum physics began to resonate and align with my relative human split-mind.  St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross wrote at length about the illusory nature of the split-mind, the separate, or personal self. Their teachings lined up with the ancient teachings of Lao Tsu, the Buddha, Jesus the Christ, and Wu Hsin, all describing an ineffable, unchanging, indivisible, omnipresent, and timeless God. 

Most most, it feels right to perceive God as relative. It feels good to a personal self to see God as other, as it offers a belief, a hope, a concept that perpetuates and exists beyond the relative realm.

This is a hard realization to absorb, but Absolute, the word itself, by definition, is a concept, created by the brain/mind in a last ditch effort to perpetuate itself beyond the imaginary conceptual appearance of physical death, beyond the imaginary conceptual appearances of time and space. All concepts perpetuate separation, it’s the split-mind doing what it seems to be doing, and doing it very well, as we swear what is is very real and true.  But it is not.  

In short, all perceptions are illusory appearances of impersonal consciousness perceiving itself in a dream of itself.

Impersonal consciousness can only know itself by spontaneously dreaming itself as separate, as an uncaused illusory dream, of forms and shadows…appearing real and tangible as indivisible, edgeless, seamless appearances of itself as separate and relative dreamscape characters.  

All appearances as form and formless are impersonal consciousness. Consciousness, Cosmos, Universe, Absolute, God, Dark Energy….it’s all impersonal consciousness, and words fail miserably to describe what is non-conceptual.  

Nothing real exists.  

What is appearing as life are illusory projections of a void dreaming and playing games with itself as itself. 

What more can be said?

anita

Reality

Last night I came across an article below I thought you would enjoy. I love it when life appears to offer us little winks and nods…Gene Roddenberry style. And this article below is another wink and nod to the imaginary and momentary projection we call life or reality.

As I’ve written before, unfiltered perception is key.  We go about our daily lives as this dreamscape, assuming our sensory perceptions—sights, sounds, textures, and tastes feed us information about the world we perceive as external to us….outside of us. Occasionally, a few actually look deeply and notice or deeply perceive that the brain is conjuring, from the illusory past, the conceptual world we call real…the brain creates an internal simulation of our so-called “external” perception.

Donald D. Hoffman, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine has spent the past three decades studying perception, artificial intelligence, evolutionary game theory and the brain, and his conclusion is a dramatic one: The world presented to us by our perceptions is nothing like reality.

What’s more, he says, we have evolution itself to thank for this magnificent illusion, as it maximizes evolutionary fitness by driving truth to extinction.

So while neuroscientists struggle to understand how there can be such a thing as a first-person reality, quantum physicists have to grapple with the mystery of how there can be anything but a first-person reality. In short, all roads lead back to the observer.

And that’s where you can find Hoffman—straddling the boundaries, attempting a mathematical model of the observer, trying to get at the reality behind the illusion.

Quanta Magazine caught up with Donald D. Hoffman to find out more. (Read the full article here.)

In other news, The Triangle Inquiry Group now has a newsletter…thanks to lovely soul sister Jenny! Read the latest here: TIG Nov/Dec.

There are only a few seats left for the Jan Frazier retreat Saturday March 25, 2017. Call now if you would like to join us…919-772-4794 M-F between 8am and 5pm, EST.  The retreat fee is $90 to cover Jan’s speaking fee and travel expenses.

Our last self-inquiry gathering for 2016 is tomorrow at 2pm. Our group is at capacity so if you are interested in joining as a new member, please email me or Jenny to be added to the waitlist.

anita