Longing

Most of us long to fix and improve ourselves and make an imaginary entity (a me) feel better, even more spiritual. Religions are famous for perpetuating this notion of being a separate and personal self in need of redemption.  We innocently turn to spirituality, religion, alcohol, drugs, sex, and money to fill the emptiness we feel as separate beings living separate lives, where nothing separate can possibly…

Anxiety and Panic as a Teacher?

Seems we all have stories of how best to deal with anxiety and fear arising in the body. Those of us held hostage by chronic panic and anxiety sensations usually have compassion for others experiencing this cocktail of chemicals and hormones racing through the body. For years I was on a mission to learn and practice any tool that offered the promise of relief from panic and…

Essence of Emptiness

There is no longer any-thing to grasp, no solidness upon which to stand, just an imagining of birth and death breathing what is appearing and dissolving. Permanence dissolves and is gone beyond gone. I inhale empty universes flooding the heart as icy white light. I exhale edgeless, infinite, starless, stillness. Before and after dies seeing edgeless, infinite, timeless presence. Sorrow and joy arise echoing the faint notes…

Easy Breezy Waking Up

Greetings, I am not surprised to read the misleading content below from a well known and respected website about the science of nonduality: Nonduality is the philosophical, spiritual, and scientific understanding of non-separation and fundamental intrinsic oneness.   For thousand of years, through deep inner inquiry, philosophers and sages have come to the realization that there is only one substance and we are therefore all part of…

Relationships

Today’s essay is brought to you by the joys and heartaches of relationships. I received a note this week from “I’m Outta Here” — a younger fella who is about to strangle his very chatty girlfriend and wonders how awakening impacts relationships. This is a good question as it sends us straight into inquiry to look at the nature of “other.” Below is my reply to this…

Sounds

I hear the nature communicate her  timeless wisdom on many levels, but this “hearing” is not the same hearing that most people label as hearing. What I am pointing towards is a pure HEARING, a pure sensation just at it meets the ear canal and before it is processed by the brain and labeled and categorized as the sound of surf, and seagulls, and wind. Consider there…

Paradoxical Jesus

I identified as a Christian pilgrim since the 1960s when I was baptized in a Southern Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC.  As an adult, I began attending the United Methodist Church since, in general, the UMC seems more inclusive to women and gays in the congregational leadership and ministry. But only after the miracle of awakening in 2011 did I fully comprehend the nondual message the historical…

Memory

What is memory and what perpetuates this belief-trap? Long ago and far away I lived in a state of mind that enjoyed and cherished pleasant memories and disliked or feared the icky and gut-wrenching memories…like the day I peed my pants in second grade…all the kids pointing to me, laughing about my lack of bladder control before dear Mrs. Southerland rushed to my rescue. We are so…

Politics

I received these current events questions below via email: Anita, here are some questions for you regarding conscious responses to the current political unfoldment: How to Be the accepting of all as is while saying no to actions that create suffering? How to resist harmful actions by seeming others without inner resistance?  Having no idea that anything should be other than it is while outwardly speaking and acting to create change?…

Karma

Many pilgrims worship and explore the nature of an Absolute or God when pondering a spiritual life, existence, and the afterlife. It seems there is nothing scarier than to imagine an endless oblivion at the death of the body, or while appearing to live, for that matter.  As humans, most of us yearn for there to be something more, something enduring at the last inhale since most of…

Archetypes

Humans, believing themselves to be separate beings, begin collecting stories about themselves because they believe what others tell them they are and they believe the thoughts passing through the mind are personal thoughts. All this collecting…of stories and beliefs establishes or develops illusory personas, egos, and archetypes animating the traits and propensities humans take themselves to be.  Humans mistake personality traits to be specific to a “me” or…

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…

Absolute

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…

Ease

Not long after awakening as what is, I withdrew from family and society to spend a month alone in nature. I rented a tiny cedar cabin at a wildlife preserve on a quiet lake in the foothills of Virginia to write, read, be. Each day at the cabin included long walks in nature. This solitary communion with nature profoundly impacted the body/mind to the point that any remaining…

Experiencing

Can you point towards aware consciousness or aware presence? It’s what all experience is made of. Really. Look at your feet. If your vision is healthy, do you see a spectrum of colors? You are the seeing, you are the spaceless space that holds the appearance, and the appearance of feet. In other words, you are the seeing, the seer, and the seen. All sensory perceptions and…

Sensating

Working with self-inquiry we notice a “me” that seems to always be present and aware. So what is this “me” that seems to be present? Most of the world claims the “me” as a separate and personal self where none actually exists. This is why self-inquiry is so very necessary….so we can see the intimacy of the aware presence we claim as personal and belonging to a…

Perceiving What Is

I’m often asked how it feels to perceive what is…how it feels to perceive no boundaries, no separation, no specific characteristics.  Well, it feels just like living…like life unfolding…but without a separate and solid “me” freaking out, spacing out, or bitching all the time…or even a me to soak up bliss and serenity. Understand that freaking out, spacing out, and bitching still continue as appearances of aware presence…

Longing to Awaken

I believed I could experience awakening.  Bart Marshall set me straight and let me know awakening is uncaused and spontaneous…appearing to no one and beyond the beliefs of time and space. Perhaps like me, you believe, or you want to believe,  you can experience awakening…but you cannot…but this doesn’t stop seekers from longing to awaken and be present for the experience of awakening. Not going to happen. Awakening…

Original Thinking

The teachings on this website appear to be at odds with the prevailing beliefs of society, humanity, and reality. We seem to blindly take what parents, educators, religious leaders, and scholars tell us to be facts and truths. Most of us are caught in a vicious cycle of brain/mind numbing programming and daydreaming that serves to keep our perceptions personal, confused, compliant, and caged. The vast majority…

Caged

We’re conditioned to perceive life/reality as unfolding inside or outside a person/body. This caged way of perceiving life is held by the vast majority of humans and is the root of all emotional and psychological suffering. It’s been said by many folks, many times…with our thoughts we create our world. This is how the brain/mind works…conceptualizing, rationalizing, and objectifying what is perceived…and this is how we are…