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 of meaningless fears. All the edges of form evaporate and there is only whispers of a silent, inky, stillness holding what is appearing here now as creation.

My head is gone and only you see the mirage of it. How can I describe what is impossible to describe with mere words and phrases? Yet I am writing upon the emptiness and writing seems to appear. It’s so puzzling to a human brain to ponder an intelligence so timelessly infinite and absolute it cannot be comprehended.

And it feels like this:

Before me is the fullness of what is appearing now…a voidless void glimpsing appearances as itself. I have no boundaries, no skin, no need nor urge to divide and separate this appearance of raw limitless perfect aware presence.

Tears of joyful sorrow flow…and oceans appear. Laughter paints the sky as imaginary stars.

There is an ease of noticing what is appearing and a feeling of intimacy as the thought steam describes the perfection of what is appearing. This intimacy and closeness feels as though you are tasting, smelling, touching, and seeing this dreamscape within your infinite and edgeless beingness. Such paradox, mystery, awe, and wonder that anything at all seems to be appearing.

Appearances look so damn real and tangible. Such feelings of awe for a brain so clever to create the appearance of a tangible reality where none could possibly exist.

It’s all me, all of it — I inhale the cosmos and I cannot get in front or behind it, above or below it….it is everything appearing as nothing and nothing appearing as everything as each glorious inhale and appreciating this edgeless, sourceless, timeless mirage as the exhale.

And this body, this glorious vaporous appearance of a dreamy body that feels so real and tangible but is simply an imagining within a brilliant illusory brain. How divine and luscious to feel this body, this perfect moment.

And yet I appear as the gut-wrenching murderous news on TV, as children gliding on the swings, a baby fox scampering across the garden, a homeless woman, a red truck, the laptop, the fire, the sky, the ocean, a tiny ant.

Now….this moment is fresh and new, is all for you as you:

Open your eyes to your eyes and see the original and innocent seeing that is always here now.

When you were fresh and new as a toddler and a small child this original and innocent seeing was what was looking through your eyes. As you grew as a toddler, your parents, siblings, and teachers taught you a subject/object framework for seeing which covered the innocent seeing you were born with.

See again as a toddler what is appearing as this perfect, timeless, essence now. Notice the urge to measure and write distinctions across appearances to slice and dice what is infinite and edgeless perfection into parts and pieces time will never touch.

I’d die a zillions deaths to share this with you now and tell you of your perfection. I’d roll up the universe and swallow it to give you a glimpse of your illusory and infinite beauty, perfection, and timelessness.

Go outside on a clear night and look upwards to the appearances of the stars…can you divide the sky? Do you notice the gratitude arising for the simple seeing of the brilliant starry vastness before you?

Now turn your head and look at your feet. Do you notice a powerful urge to name and claim what is appearing as your feet?  If so, are you sure you want to divide and label appearances into subjects and objects with you at the center as the viewer or perceiver?

Peace radiates naturally and effortlessly as you unlearn and unprogram the brain of the attachments to beliefs and concepts keeping you a prisoner in a tangible-appearing world of illusions.

anita.

Changes

Today you’ve landed on the updated nonduality website which is nearly complete. I’ve transferred most of the prior nonduality essays to this new site and I’ll be sharing nonduality teachings at this new web address: www.nondu.org.

I wrote you two weeks ago of these web changes, but in case you didn’t read the post here’s a recap:

Website changes are coming…

I’ve decided it’s time to migrate the current mindfulness pages and posts to a static informational website and focus on nonduality writings going forward. Perhaps turning 60 this year is a catalyst 😉

This site “Mindfulness and Nonduality” will soon be redirected to www.nondu.org.  

If you have already signed up for email notification of new posts, self inquiry sessions, and nonduality retreats you will continue to receive an email from MailChimp letting you know I’ve added new content to this site.

If you would like to subscribe to the posts on nondu.org please sign up in the top of the column to the right. I never share your information with anyone and all I need to subscribe you is your email address, not even your name!

Please stay in touch with your comments and questions and feel free to bend my ear anytime.  I’m here so let me know what you would like to read, and or where you believe are stuck on the pathless path.

anita

Sounds

Nonduality at Juniper Level

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 is an instantaneous pure hearing and then a second later there is the human hearing after the brain processes the hearing.

Perhaps you might play around with what you hear without placing labels or judgments on the sound vibrations inside your ear.

The singularity of creation becomes evident when the personal identity dissolves.

anita

 

Memory

Nonduality at Juniper Level

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 deeply programmed by society and well-meaning loved-ones that we naturally struggle deeply with the “concept” of memory when inquiring into our cherished and rock-solid beliefs about the nature and mechanisms of time and relativity.

We discover that a “personal” memory can only operate with a belief in time and space… and a concurrent belief in a personal “me” or “I.”

In fact, the belief in a personal “me or I” also requires believing in the concepts of time and space. Are you seeing just how tricky the split mind is at convincing “you” that “you” are real, are separate, by creating and sustaining the concepts of time and space?

As the character Anita, it certainly appears I experienced a richly textured life with plenty of memories of all shades…bright, white, and grey…pleasant memories, painful memories, repressed memories, and traumatic ones.

We cannot imagine that what we know as a memory is simply an arising thought stream or image appearing here now as this aware presence or impersonal consciousness.

I surfed over to Wiki to look up memory…click here to read more at Wiki.

We so want to believe we exist in time and space, at a location, and a finite point on the map.  Memory helps reinforce this illusion. But don’t take my words for this…inquire for yourself. Is it possible for a memory to appear separate from an arising thought?

If you believe memory can exist without thought then how specifically does this occur?

Investigate – to your own satisfaction – that all thought streams and memories are not what is appearing here now…as aware presence or impersonal consciousness.

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

 

Jan Frazier Retreat

We are delighted to announce an all day retreat with Jan Frazier at Nondu.org. Jan will be in the gardens on Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 9:00am – 4:30pm.

This retreat is now full.  You may call the office at 919-772-4794 to add your name to the waitlist. 

Plan now to sit with Jan and notice the causeless, edgeless stillness that is accessible beyond the brain/mind as Jan points towards what is already here, now…ready to be revealed.  Jan writes…

Greetings. I’m writing to invite you to join me in Raleigh this coming spring for a day of reflection and stillness. The theme for the day is “Living as What You Truly Are (Instead of Living as What You ThinkYou Are).” Periods of meditation will alternate with periods of teaching.

Seeking focuses on a later time in which finding may have occurred, in which “you” might have “gotten there.” The trouble with seeking is that it keeps alive the seeming reality of a future, and it nurtures the apparently real self.

 

Seeking is like using a hammer to repair itself . . . when nothing needs repair. The focus on seeking keeps going the illusion that the longed-for condition isn’t already here, within (the fundamental illusion from which all others grow). If seeking interferes with finding, might there be an orientation to this moment that’s more likely to bear fruit?

 

Register now as seating is limited to 35 attendees.

$75 – retreat fee on or before December 1, 2016
$90 – retreat fee after December 1, 2016

Register by calling  919-772-4794
Monday – Friday from  8a – 5p

Visit Jan’s website here.
Please bring a bag lunch; a refrigerator is available. Coffee, hot water for tea, and light snacks will be provided. Free parking.If you want to attend but cost is a factor, please be in touch.  If you are able to give more to support the attendance of others, that would be deeply appreciated.View a brief video of the retreat venue as appear in the summer months.

About Jan Frazier…
Until the summer of her fiftieth year, Jan Frazier lived a life typical for a well-educated, middle-class American woman. A divorced mother of two teenagers, she was making a modest living writing and teaching writing. Following a Catholic childhood in Miami in the 1960s, she had studied English in college and graduate school. In her late twenties, longing for hills and snow, she moved to New England, where she was active in the peace movement.But the inner peace she sought always eluded her.Then, in August 2003, she experienced a radical transformation of consciousness. Fear fell away from her, and she was immersed in a state of causeless joy that has never left her. While she has continued her life as writer, teacher, and mother, she has discovered it is possible to live a richly human life free of suffering.

Her wish now is to communicate the truth that within every person is a pool of calm well-being that waits patiently to be stirred to life.

When Fear Falls Away: The Story of a Sudden Awakening (Weiser Books, 2007) is Jan’s day-by-day account of the shift in consciousness and its alteration of her life.

The Freedom of Being: At Ease with What Is (Weiser Books, 2012) looks at the nature of suffering and explores ways beyond it.

Opening the Door: Jan Frazier Teachings on Awakening (eBookIt, 2012) is an ebook collection of essays. It opens the reader’s awareness to the possibility of a richly human life, beyond what appears possible to the ego and the mind.

The Great Sweetening: Life After Thought (eBookIt, 2016) is an ebook of essays that invite the seeker to ask What am I? Is a person most truly ego and mental activity, or consciousness itself? 

When Fear Falls Away is available in paperback, audiobook, and ebook formats. The Freedom of Being is available in paperback and ebook formats.

Jan’s poetry and prose have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies. Her poetry collection, Greatest Hits, was published by Pudding House, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has been inspired by many teachers, but the joy she lives in belongs to no particular tradition, and is available to all. Jan lives in southern Vermont.

anita

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 perceived boundaries of skin and sky dissolved.

And while retreating in this sanctuary, an unfathomable ease settled into every pore of my skin, absorbing and evaporating the remaining shards of the anita identity.  Nature peeled me to the core, blanched me in the rain, baked me in the sunshine.   Spontaneously, suddenly, I was, in every direction, and with every breath, unified as her, as nature, as impersonal consciousness. And this has not departed…now nearly five years later. The felt experiences at the cabin were like a simultaneous and paradoxical filling, deepening, and emptying. I could no longer locate myself as the center of anything, including the body.

Walking daily, my internal compass fell away. Critters were darting and playing everywhere…squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, feral cats, foxes, deer.  Birds, insects, and butterflies glided effortlessly as the perfection, giving not a care to any schedules, rules, beliefs, or commentary about what life should be or could be. Just ease with every breath.

No latitude or longitude, nor time and space remain…these concepts died within the brain/mind. There is only here, now. The only valid location or direction is here.  The only valid time is now. There is nothing to strive for…no longings, no hopes, no wishes for this to be anything but what is here…now…as this… aware presence.

There is no more efforting or trying, no special way to be, or to see, no particular state of mind to invoke, or particular emotions to crave. There is only this sense of ease here, now…as this…infinite edgeless awareness and knowing what is appearing is perfection.

anita

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 but there is no separate Anita identity running a constant commentary overlay over aware presence while bitching and freaking out are appearing. If you take this a step further to self inquiry, you will soon see that angry, depression, and freaking out are simply labels applied by the brain/mind as a veil over the perfection of aware presence.

If you believe you are an angry person before awakening to realize what you are, anger and tantrums will still appear but you will know deeply these appearances are simply aware presence aware of itself as angry, petulant, or depressed as the personal identity will be seen as only a belief and not a truth.

What is…is invisible to the human perceiving mechanism (aware presence), yet pervceiving is all we have.

All I can offer is self inquiry techniques, love and hugs, and point towards what is.  This, what is…cannot be described, only noticed as a primal longing, a silent whisper, energy echoes radiating from a vulnerable and surrendered heart.

The only helpful way I’ve found to approach describing what is is to describe what it is not – since what is is like the edgeless, silent stillness between breaths, thoughts, feelings, smells, tastes, touches, sounds, words, and heartbeats.  

We seem to inhabit an imaginary external reality, each of our own making…reflecting our core beliefs, fears, concepts, and principles we hold so near and dear.  Indeed, we are as prisms.

The mechanism at play yearning for this description of what is is the brain/mind — the ultimate label-maker and dispenser of names, titles, and concepts. For most of us, it is nearly impossible to believe or imagine that what is appearing is a seamless subtle energy beyond the realm of relative concepts like time, distance, and space.

Most of us imagine that there is an inside and an outside to what is…to awareness, to bodies, to objects, but what is is not any of these concepts.

And here is the head-scratcher…what is appearing is not a thing yet it appears to encompass and include all things…and yet no things at all are appearing.  The relative world of subjects and objects falls through itself…shatters…and is seen to be illusory projections of the mind upon awakening to what is.

I’m reminded of David Beaver’s classes many years ago in A Course in Miracles when he discussed and demonstrated virtual reality, perceptual reality, and how the brain is so easily fooled! We’re so convinced that there is a you and a me and that both are real and tangible.  Soon, it will be hard to distinguish virtual reality games from what we believe to be reality.

We also want to believe we have a choice, that we make a difference and we have the ability to direct our lives, and steer our own ship.  This constant battle to assert “our” power is continually fueled from the beliefs and concepts embraced and circulated by the brain/mind and reinforced by society.

We are programmed by parents, teachers, religions, and society to believe we are able to improve, endure, and perfect our worlds and our lives…and yet time and space only exist as a running commentary of concepts, thoughts and beliefs in our brain/minds.  And we cannot accept, even for a moment, that we have never had an ounce of control or choice, and that we are figments of our own imagination.

And this inner friction or itch in the heart is so subtle that we seldom acknowledge or address it. It goes unnoticed, but is sensed as restlessness, discontent, depression, anxiety, panic, boredom, despair,  mania, and everyday unease, frustration, weariness, and malaise. Like the outline of a cloud with no beginning or ending, no top or bottom, we are simply the fleeting appearances of a vaporous suggestion of energy-charged-water…hydrogen and oxygen…and not even that.

There are no words that can describe the indescribable…there is only sighing, accepting, and surrendering, and pointing towards what is when our weary hearts prompt us to marvel at what we label as poetry, silence, song, and beauty appearing.

What I see as beauty, you may see as ugliness. What I see as poetry, you may see as poverty or crime.  What I see as perfection, you may see as war, death, or torture.  I no longer see with the lens of relativity, of good and bad, up and down.  I see all that is appearing, what simply is, as the perfect silent stillness beyond relativity.  You saw this too as a toddler…but you have forgotten.

anita

Longing to Awaken

Juniper Level Botanic Garden

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 is a very simple (too simple) and child-like seeing with an up-side-down perspective that is always available, and usually overlooked, every moment.  It’s ripe, ready, available, to be blinked with your very eyes, this very moment.  But the “you” that you believe you are is the very roadblock to simply seeing this.

How often do you hear the stark truth about awakening?  I was fortunate to meet Bart Marshall and learn that “nothing of you will remain” (Bart quoting Alfred Pulyan)  so I knew intellectually I had some lingering beliefs to dismantle about the personal self, eternity, and my concept and beliefs about God/Absolute.

Be aware that awakening will demolish and destroy all your beloved concepts of yourself, and all the beliefs you hold so dearly. All beliefs and concepts will die before or at awakening…and awakening will feel like the death of the self.  There will be deep grief and tears.

I found inquiry to be the best and most effective tool for backing away from content and beliefs of the anita character.

Grace knows when the character is seriously committed to jumping in the deep waters of surrender and finally willing to let go and die.  Only in complete surrender and rawness is there enough of a crack to let the Original Face (Zen phrase) shine through.

Upon hearing that the self must die, most expect the personal self to disappear with Awakening.  It does not. The self is merely seen for what it is – an illusory perceptual lens and “global positioning system” for the character reflecting and refracting awareness…aware…that it is aware.  For me, it certainly felt like the death of the personal self.

It is necessary in the dreamscape to have an imaginary two-ness in order to play as dream characters, to appear as self and other, to feel emotions, to experience virtual reality in the dream of separation.

You, dear one, ARE the painful belief in separation and the feeling you are a separate and distinct entity in a world of subjects and objects. You ARE the feeling of lack that cannot be soothed.  There is no inside or outside to what is, no boundaries to what is, to what seems to unfold…so how can you escape it when you are it?

Separation is a self perpetuating loop that cannot un-loop itself.  Yet, somehow (Grace – if there could be a concept of Grace  – all is Grace and/or nothing is Grace…)  the brain may see through the maze of words, beliefs, concepts, and recognize that all separation is simply a projected illusion.

And, with the direct seeing… it becomes apparent that no-thing and no one in the world needs to be fixed, improved, or sanctified. Life is seen as an elaborate game of smoke and mirrors, and then a quiet calm and perfect ease appears as no-thing-ness and floats like a wave upon a deeply profound peaceful sea and the brain/mind surrenders…and floats undisturbed…as ease and peace.

When it is realized and deeply sensed that there are no separate subjects and objects divided by space, nor separate events divided by time, “you” may finally relax as vast perfect stillness, of no-thing-ness and every-thing-ness, just perfect edgeless awareness appearing.

anita