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

 

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 Jesus the Christ was teaching and preaching for those who had ears to hear.

This discovery about the Jesus I thought I knew so well resulted in heavy ice cream consumption. Truth be told, I drifted from the Christian teachings in 1992 to study the nonduality teachings of Lao Tzu, the Buddha, and Wu Hsin. That I later discovered the teachings of Jesus to be based on a nondual philosophy prompted laughter and tears at how dumb this Anita character really is…and how divinely brilliant, radical, and patient the historical Jesus is portrayed in the scriptures.

Jesus has no need to pander to us with these controversial and mind-twisting paradoxes and teachings. So why does Jesus point towards Truth using parables and paradox, or believe we need to hear these nondual messages and teachings of an upside down perspective of life?  A camel through the eye of a needle?  Give to get?  Die to live?

These paradoxical stories are used to jolt the relative mind into cramping and pausing, if only for a moment. Jesus perceives and lives from a spaceless space beyond the relative mind and understands the root of all suffering. Jesus compassionately and freely offers the remedy to any who have ears to hear this unusual message. If Jesus used the traditional religious words of the culture, the power and divinity of His presence and personality may have entranced some into believing His message without fully understanding the scope of what was being offered…a new and radical path of perceiving life.

The parables and paradoxes attributed to Jesus, these lessons in non-duality, serve a useful purpose. How do you explain an out of the ordinary experience to someone who has not had it? How do you explain the beauty of a rainbow to someone who has never seen one, or describe the busy activity of honeybees?  The parables and paradoxes offer simple mental pictures to point towards Truth. The New Bible Dictionary uses these words:

The parables are the appropriate form of communication for bringing to men the message of the kingdom, since their function is to jolt them into seeing things in a new way. They are a means of enlightenment and persuasion, intended to bring the hearers to the point of decision. Jesus, as it were, stands where his hearers stand, and uses imagery familiar to them to bring new and unfamiliar insights to them. (Marshall, p. 867)

 

And to jog your memory, below are a few of the paradoxical teachings of Jesus the Christ.  I’ll write more about these nonduality teachings and how they impacted the Anita character in an upcoming series of posts. I’d love to hear your thoughts and impressions of the nondual teachings of Jesus if you’re willing to comment or you may send me an email.

  • Give and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38)
  • The last will be made first (Matthew 19:30)
  • We are in the word but not of the world (John 17:14-16)
  • Humble yourself to be honored (James 4:10)
  • To live you must die (1 Cor 15:36-38)
  • Surrender your life to save it (Matthew 10:39, Galatians 2:20)
  • When you are weak, you are strong (2 Cor 12:10)
  • Difficulties are a reason for joy! (James 1:2)
  • Freedom is found through slavery (Romans 6:18)
  • We gain everything through losing everything (Phil 3:7-8)
  • True leadership is found in serving (Matthew 20:26-28)

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

Politics

Nonduality at Juniper Level

I received these current events questions below via email:

Anita, here are some questions for you regarding conscious responses to the current political unfoldment:

  1. How to Be the accepting of all as is while saying no to actions that create suffering?
  2. How to resist harmful actions by seeming others without inner resistance? 
  3. Having no idea that anything should be other than it is while outwardly speaking and acting to create change?
  4. Would you share anything that arises for you about this?

Replies:

  1. How to Be the accepting of all as is while saying no to actions that create suffering?
    True nature, what you already are, accepts all as it is and welcomes all. True nature does not suffer. Suffering only arises to an illusory “you” a split-mind, a relative/dualistic mind that maintains separation of  “what is” into subjects and objects to name, label, measure, and compare.  The illusory person wants change so finding the source of the illusory “you” will help unravel the beliefs in a world of separation with a “you” at the center.
  2. How to resist harmful actions by seeming others without inner resistance?
    What wants to resist? Find the source of resisting…is there a personal “you” offering incessant commentary, labels, and descriptions of what is?  If so, inquire and locate this “you.”  
    Resisting may appear but there is no one resisting…there has never been a person who resists. Resisting appears spontaneously and uncaused, but not to a separate “you.”   Resisting is the same perfection as not-resisting, and neither is prompted by or owned by a personal and separate “you.”
  3. Having no idea that anything should be other than it is while outwardly speaking and acting to create change?  Changing may appear but there is not a personal or separate “you” initiating change.  Again, changing is the same perfection as not-changing, and neither is prompted by or owned by a personal and separate “you.”  Changing and resisting arise spontaneously as the dreamscape, but not to a separate you, a separate person.

Would you (anita) share anything that arises for you about this?   Notice the thought stream that is not happy with what is appearing and wanting change.  This is key.   Be still and inquire to uncover and notice the source, the root of what wants to divide, name, claim, and label life into subjects and objects…me and you…yes or no…good or bad…right or wrong…here or there..now or later.  Notice the energy, the voice, the thoughts wanting life to be different than what is appearing.

Once you determine the source of what resists, what wants change, what does not fully accept what is…that is the work of self-inquiry….of uncovering the millions and billions of beliefs, concepts, stories that appear to create a separate self and cover the infinite and changeless stillness that never moves, was never born, will never die.

Self inquiry was pivotal in perceiving and uncovering the silliness of maintaining any beliefs and concepts that supported an identity as Anita, as a separate self.

Here, now, as aware presence embodying as the concept of Anita, the imaginary personal self died in 2011 and nothing remains to prefer or desire what is appearing to change. There is only infinite capacity to accept all that is appearing and what is appearing is seen as perfection reflections of the intelligent light of awareness. Personal suffering and fear fell away.

As an aside, I see the newly elected POTUS as sadly entertaining storyline…the candidate I voted for did not prevail. Regardless of who is elected as POTUS, or what is appearing as life, the character as Anita is watching the nightly news, reading newspapers, and living life…and it feels like sitting in a theater chair and watching a juicy movie.

Life appears as what is ….just streaming upon a giant screen. In this analogy, I am the movie, I am the movie screen, I am the characters, I am the movie projector, I am the theater, and I am the edgeless, infinite, indivisible empty space of presence that all appearances seem to be appearing upon.

I am, and you are, indescribable…infinite, edgeless, formless, vastness, and more like the glowing no-thing-ness that holds the vaporous appearances of the every-thing…. and I would not change a tiny particle of this perfection we call reality….it’s how as human dream characters we feel and experience self and other as duality.  What a miracle that anything at all appears…and yet we as characters want to change it…aren’t we silly?

The dreamscape is an imaginary stage where the concepts of self and other can play as characters in a relative/dualistic movie script to experience the textures and feelings of duality, of separateness. And yet, not even no-thing truly exists, there are only fleeting appearances, just like the appearances of dreams while you, as a dream body believe you are sleeping.  When you inquire into the concept of time, you will realize it does not exist.  Not kidding.

Please email anita@nondu.org if you have questions.

anita

Archetypes

Jasper – Juniper Level Botanic Garden

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 a “you” when nothing specific, personal, or separate has ever appeared or existed. Yet another great reason to practice self-inquiry daily, even hourly, or each minute, when you first begin an inquiry practice.

Below are a few of the many thousands of archetypes and egos making up the illusory collective story of what humans take themselves to be. Use self inquiry to notice when these archetypes arise in the persona…and when you notice them, take them into inquiry and see what beliefs glue them together.  This exercise really helped me to untangle and examine the egos and archetypes that formed the anita character.

 

Security:   Pioneer,  Protector, Warrior,  Bully,  Instigator

Resources:   Entrepreneur, Banker, Broker

Information:   Teacher, Student, Journalist, Neighbor, Reporter, Blogger, Scribe

Family:   Parent, Child, Adolescent, Mother, Father, Sibling, Black Sheep

Self-expressing:   Actor, Coach, Musician, Artist, Athlete, Fashionista, Girlfriend, Prince

Daily Routines:   Servant, Craftsman, Worker, Addict, Perfectionist, Slave, Hedonist

Relating:   Wife, Husband, Partner, Associate

Behind Closed Doors:   Lover, Prostitute, Gigolo, Seductress, Surgeon, Shaman, Astrologer

Spirituality:   Preacher, Philosopher, Sinner, Seeker, Guru, Saint, Politician, Judge

Career:   Boss, Executive, Leader, Owner

Tribe:    Friend, Peer, Innovator, Individualist, Hero

Death:   Warden, Hermit, Grim Reaper, Healer, Mystic

 

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

 

Eliminating Thoughts and Feelings?

Recently in the news I’ve heard or read of several well-meaning teachers, gurus, therapists, and medical professionals suggesting we change, suppress, or eliminate negative thoughts and feelings — as if this were even possible.  This approach rests on the core beliefs of being a doer and being able to create change.

There are no doers doing the doing!  It’s not possible to remove, change, or substitute emotions or actions either…what is appearing…is…what is appearing.

Is it possible for what’s appearing to change as it’s seeming to appear? No — it is already appearing! Most humans want the imaginary now, future, or past to be different than what is unfolding…a guaranteed recipe for suffering!

I’ve come across many blogs and websites suggesting practices, methods, and treatments to “manage” or eliminate unwanted and uncomfortable thoughts and emotions and these practices and methods simply perpetuate our misperceiving:

  • that there is a separate person to whom these thoughts and feelings seem to occur, and there is not.
  • that separate thoughts and feelings occur, and they do not.
  • that there are some thoughts and feelings that are better or worse than others, and there are not….especially feelings of anger (as if anger is inappropriate or wrong)

Notice that any method, practice, or teaching, suggested by anyone, including those deeply revered – Buddha, Christ, Allah, or Krishna, etc… perpetuate the illusion of a separate person, a separate goal, an endpoint, a finish line, a desired place, or state, or feeling.  As Bart says, there is no use polishing the terd. 🙂

The biggest and shiniest goal, carrot, or achievement in the spiritual realm seems to be enlightenment, salvation, and realization — also fueling and perpetuating a consensus belief in a separate self identity that might eventually reach these imaginary prizes.

Nonduality, spirituality, and oneness preachers and gurus are incredibly popular and are a convenient way of avoiding and hiding from the flimsy and illusory nature of the separate self and reality.  These teachers and gurus offer a safe and secure comfort zone for those obsessed with reaching these goals. Interestingly,  I have seen many of these gurus are themselves believing in a lasting unicity or eternity of existence beyond the bodymind.

Anytime you hear or read of gurus and teachers referring to an essence, entity, awareness, or consciousness as anything lasting, solid, or fixed… such as a true self or an eternal self, or as an absolute awareness or consciousness…look out!

There is nothing lasting, remaining, transcending…and concepts and words are simply the objectifying brain/mind/ego attempting to perpetuate itself in an imaginary future, heaven, dimension, when not even nothing exists – just edgeless, infinite, impersonal awareness aware of itself.

In short, all perceptions are illusory appearances of impersonal awareness perceiving itself in an imaginary dream as itself.  No separate self or dream character can awaken or be enlightened outside of the illusion. At best, an illusory character might realize itself as an illusory character in a dreamy illusion of impersonal awareness and laugh at the possibility of escape or enduring beyond the apparent physical death of the dream character.

The duality, the relative world, is the only platform, or place, if you will, where aware presence or impersonal awareness can know itself, as itself and as other, by spontaneously appearing as it’s own dreamworld.  How brilliant and remarkable that appearances appear at all!

anita

 

Misidentification – Part 4 of 4

Today’s essay addresses the universal ability to miss what is in plain sight. The vast majority of humans have misidentified awareness as personal and dwelling within the body.

Well-meaning parents, educators, religious leaders, and society have passed along their unexamined beliefs about awareness and consciousness and most children have accepted this opinion as being true…after all, it is proclaimed by the majority of scholarly adults.

Those few who actually deeply and directly explore the nature of awareness will fall to the floor in shock and awe upon seeing and discovering the simplicity of awareness and how it has remained so vastly misidentified.

And not because awareness is hard to see or understand, but because it is so freakishly near, simple, and obvious…just watch any small child who is fully present playing with an empty box or plastic container. Human beings value what is complicated, complex, intellectual, as though the delicate and simple flow of just being and breathing is not complex or miraculous enough to require our full attention.

The separate self is truly a fictional character created by the brain/mind. Investigate, go within using self inquiry, and explore the beliefs and concepts conjuring the specific person you believe yourself to be.

There is only uncaused, spontaneously appearing impersonal awareness, seamless, edgeless, indivisible, so it cannot be divided into seven billion individual units.

anita

What Lifts the Veil – Part 3 of 4

Who or what can bring about change, what can create, motivate, cause any action… when there is only uncaused, spontaneous appearances of what seems to be?

What lifts the veil to expose the illusory nature of what is seeking?  Seeking spontaneously appears, uncaused, and to no one in particular in the illusory dream of life.

We know words and thoughts are divisive, or create division, it’s just the nature of brain/minds to provide running commentary on all appearances.  Language is simply the relative and rational process of the brain/mind naming, claiming, and describing the seamless, edgeless, vastness of awareness into discreet objects and subjects to project an imaginary relativity.

How do we point towards what is not measurable; without any identity; not relational; indivisible; uncaused, edgeless, seamless, spontaneously appearing awareness?  We cannot.

Even words like Source, Brahman, Universe, Absolute, Allah, Tao, Consciousness, Yehweh, Grace, or God are concepts defined and imagined in the brain/mind. The word is not the thing.

Even the word Absolute is a concept created by the brain/mind.

From a different vantage point, we may be able with self inquiry to see how powerless the human brain/mind is to grasp the essence of it’s own (the brain/mind’s) illusory nature, but this seems to rarely appear.

anita

  • Breadcrumbs on the path...

    Silence is not the absence of thought. Silence is the absence of a personal self taking ownership of thought and thinking.