Books for 2018!

Bridge at Mystic Creek at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Happy New Year to you dear pilgrim friend!  May all your days in 2018 be full of laughter, insight, surrender, and love.

I am completing the first draft of my first book about my journey on the pathless path. This book remains untitled and will detail the core principles and philosophy of Advaita, nonduality, and the wisdom teachings of Jesus the Christ, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, and the Christian Mystics. Of course I’ll share how I perceived “peeling the onion” of this mysterious and illusory personal self. Read more here.

I’m addicted to reading as much as I am to writing and this may be one of the reasons why our house is often dusty and there are used dishes and utensils in the kitchen sink. Sigh.

Below is a listing of the books open beside my reading chair and I don’t have enough vowels to list all the books stacked in the queue on the floor, by the bed, on the desk, and on the nightstand. Just imagine how in the advanced stages of addiction I might want all my favorite books in close range in case I need to make a hasty exit to a place that has no books. Perish the thought.

The Naked Now  – Learning to See as the Mystics See – by Richard Rohr

The Heart of Centering Prayer – Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice – by Cynthia Bourgeault

An Alchemy of Mind – The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain – by Diane Ackerman

 

Happy New Year!

anita

 

 

Anxiety and Panic as a Teacher?

Emerald Isle, NC – 2009

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 anxiety.  As soon as I learned of a new practice or exercise to dampen or reduce anxiety…well, you know what happened. Anyway, I learned and practiced meditation and stress reduction techniques in classes and on CDs, books, tapes, education programs and therapies between 1989 until 2010. Nothing worked and the anxiety only intensified leaving a weariness I cannot begin to describe.

It never dawned on me that panic and anxiety attacks could be a teacher to guide me towards what need to be healed. My dear friend Mary Mooney suggested that anxious energy is spiritual energy. What? No! Once I allowed this possibility, I immediately noticed another freakin panic attack arise to experience this idea more deeply. Nothing like the wisdom of the Mystery right in your face and body.

And like most folks, I believed spiritual energy was better, purer, and more rare that physical energy.  I guess all those years in Sunday School tipped the scales to create the belief that spiritual energy was indeed a higher vibration. And this belief later led to beliefs about categorizing energy into good and bad energy, low and high energy, dirty and clean energy, etc.

Once I really started digging into the basic physics of energy as an adult, I realized all matter and energy is simply tiny particles known as bosons, leptons and quarks. An elementary particle is a particle that is not made up of any smaller particles. Elementary particles are the building blocks of the universe and all other particles and matter in the universe are made up of elementary particles. Listen now to Michael Singer talk about energy.

Anxiety was the driver towards wanting to awaken, wanting to be free of suffering, wanting to have the release of ease and comfort in the body. I was a slave to preventing and resisting anxiety. I took classes and instruction for hatha yoga, meditation, mindfulness, hypnotherapy, stress reduction exercises and tools, classes for breathing techniques, nutrition for wholeness and healing, healing crystals, reiki sessions, chakra clearings, theta healing, matrix energetics, yin yoga, sacred circles, essential oils, cleansing diets, dreams interpretation, and more.

You know the saying that what you resist persists?  Well, I was still anxious and having panic attacks after all the classes and workshops but I had the tools and skills for watching the mental process in full tilt. Then I found self inquiry when nothing else worked and excavated all the beliefs that remained.

In hindsight, anxiety was my greatest teacher, even more influential than the mental Jesus I had created in my head. At my darkest hour, anxiety forced me to choose it or death and I chose death. And on this ordinary December night I chose death and then the story of anxiety and fear swallowed itself and was seen to be the mirage it really is.

Yes, the sensations of adrenaline still arise but now they are simply noticed as energy appearing in the body, nothing more…and they quickly pass through and out the body just like clouds passing upon the sky. I no longer resist these energies…they are just appearances of what is unfolding here now.

So if you are fighting against anxiety…know that it may be a blessing you have labeled as a curse.

Anxiety is really a miracle calling you to surrender to what is appearing…to let go and be vulnerable…to cry…to trust that what brought you to this moment knows more than your tiny brain will ever know, and will ultimately move you towards a deeper and unshakable peace if you simply surrender and lean in to what is appearing now.

anita

Easy Breezy Waking Up

Nonduality at Juniper Level

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 it. This substance can be called Awareness, Consciousness, Spirit, Advaita, Brahman, Tao, Nirvana or even God. It is constant, ever present, unchangeable and is the essence of all existence.

 

In the last century Western scientists are arriving at the same conclusion: The universe does indeed comprise of a single substance, presumably created during the Big Bang, and all sense of being – consciousness – subsequently arises from it.

 

This realization has ontological implications for humanity: fundamentally we are individual expressions of a single entity, inextricably connected to one another, we are all drops of the same ocean.

 

With “factual” information like the nonduality information above circulating over the internet no wonder seekers are popping up everywhere lately as they “awaken to their true nature.”

“That there is only one substance and we are therefore all part of it.”  Tell me please how this works – how do you have parts and parcels of an essence that is timeless, edgeless, undivided, seamless, infinite?  Can you divide the sky and be a separate piece of the sky?

Nonduality is a philosophy of not-two, undivided, indescribable, immeasurable. But it certainly feels really good to hold hands and sing that we are all part of the same aware consciousness while ignoring the main tenets of nonduality: there is no personal self, is no personal consciousness, no personal awareness, no time, no location, no space.

The universe or reality may appear as awareness here, now, this moment, but there is no external reality. There is no separation into seven billion human units each with their own private thoughts, desires, and feelings.

There is only one…as in not two. And there is not even nothing beyond nor before this moment.

Moments cannot be strung together unless you are creating a fictional story or an irrelevant running commentary about what is appearing now. Even those claiming awakening are still believing in concepts of time and space, still believing in something, some essence, lasting beyond this perfect moment.

Be careful of most nonduality teachers until you completely vet them…some will use your innocence and take your money all the while feeling good and helpful since they honestly believe they really are enlightened.

Here is the gritty grit….it’s much too difficult, if not nearly impossible to awaken to absolute truth. The nonduality and new agey groups, seminars, programs and churches popping up now are teaching oneness, nonduality, and enlightenment but are sadly misinformed and/or they are misperceiving nonduality teachings and offering pleasant and upbeat pablum to folks to fill the offering plates and their wallets.

We long to uncover the natural, peaceful, and intimate timeless perfection as awareness since we have forgotten what we are…and it feels like a wound that will not heal.

And what better way to ensure the survival of the new-agey seminars, conferences, and churches than to tell you that you are part of the oneness, part of the whole, part of the infinite love and joy. Sounds so empowering and peaceful, right?

Certainly I am not suggesting all leaders of new agey programs are intentionally misleading the public…they may believe they are teaching nonduality.  A little bit of nondual language may seem impressive, and may soothe the hurt until you come upon a fully awakened nonduality teacher and begin seeing beyond the fabrications and the pretending. And yet, this too, is the perfection of the appearances.

So what’s the difference between human truth and absolute truth?  Let’s have a brief look below, while knowing this topic deserves a much deeper examination and self inquiry.

Truth projected from the relative brain/mind of a human is the sum of thoughts woven tightly from complex concepts, hypotheses, theorems, laws, norms, prevailing wisdom, consensus, facts, and conclusions accepted by all as collective truths. Like gravity, time, location, and chocolate 🙂

Absolute truth is a different critter… beyond the limits and dualistic nature of the relative human brain. So in order to awaken to what is, you must, must, must, understand how the brain/mind works, is programmed — to ensure you continue believing you are separate.  And that’s the focus and work of this website…to keep re-minding you.

  • Absolute truth is not relative and the brain is relative.
  • Absolute truth is not subject to language and phrases based on subject or object.
  • Absolute truth cannot be taught, shared, described…only pointed towards. If it is describable it’s not Absolute Truth.  Words like abyss and void come as close as any words I’m familiar with but even these words conjure beliefs and opinions of what a relative void or an abyss is, or could be.
  • Absolute truth is only uncovered by diligently peeling away the beliefs, concepts, opinions, convictions, and physical laws hiding the perfect silent brilliance.
  • Absolute truth cannot be earned, bestowed, transferred, diminished, expanded, refined, defined, or claimed and comprehended or understood with a brain/mind.
  • Absolute truth is not measured with time, location, distance or any other relative system of measurement since Absolute truth is all there is …and yet is ignored, overlooked, and dismissed by 99% of humans.
  • Awakening is not what you think. 😉  This is the reason self inquiry is the tool for exploring all the beliefs and concepts you worship and keep you appearing glued together as separate.

anita

Nonduality Books

What’s reading?

There are thousands of nonduality books and teachers discussing Advaita Vendanta, Taoism, Zen, and Oneness, and I’ve read many. The teaching and sharing of these learned and revered concepts is also part of the perfection of the dreamscape.

From this perspective, most nonduality teachers and writers are not willing to give up the relative concepts of time and space nor venture anywhere near pointing towards annihilation. How might a seamless, edgeless, emptiness ever be parceled into bits and pieces, much less into bodies except as a dream?

Even the writings attributed to Nisargadatta, Ramana, and Krishnamurti are dead words and these guys understood and warned against swallowing words. Words, oral or written cannot describe what cannot be comprehended with the relative brain/mind using relative language of subject/object.

Sadly, some nonduality teachers are still ensnared in the concepts of time and space and clueless to the trap.

The teachings of nonduality, advaita, and oneness can be traps as long as the concepts of time and location are still projected by the brain since time and location are what keeps the personal identity in place.

Here are a few good reads…shown above in the pic, and listed below, but question everything…including the gurus who think they have awakenened and are still stuck in time and space. Would you buy books written about nothingness and oblivion?. If you would, this website is definitely for you 🙂

Nonduality Books

The Perennial Way – translations by Bart Marshall
Ask the Awakened
 – Wei Wu Wei
Spiritual Warfare – Jed McKenna
Solving Yourself – Yuben de Wu Hsin
Perfect Brilliant Stillness – David Carse
On Having No Head – D. E. Harding
Prior to Consciousness – Nisargadatta Maharaj

 anita

Richard Rose

Richard Rose was my nonduality teacher’s teacher. Bart Marshall pointed me to towards the gateless gate and Richard Rose was Bart’s teacher. You will find Richard’s timeless words below quite clear and penetrating:

 

The path to Truth, or Reality, or Essence is very simple:

 

It requires a Selfish man, an individualist not afraid of the annihilation of individualism, a fearless man not afraid of powers within him that are much greater than himself, and a man of suicidal relentlessness once his commitment is given.

 

All that is necessary to find the Truth is an unconditional commitment, -not putting a time upon the commitment nor a greater value on any other desires or fears. If a person sincerely makes a commitment he automatically becomes a vector in a sure direction. 

 

But if we wish to see the commitment become an Absolute result in this lifetime, we must be conscious of our limited time, and of ways and means to expedite the realization. All energies must give priority to the vector. Every hour must be used in a way to expedite the success. 

 

So that as soon as the general commitment is made, we should immediately commit our energies which are generally used for anger or pleasure so that transmutation will bring Intuition. 

 

The voice of Intuition will be our most valuable teacher. It will furnish all future planning for the campaign. But do not rest. Make violent efforts but do not disturb the sleepers.”

 

 

— From The Direct Mind Experience by Richard Rose

anita