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.

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

Advaita Vedanta

Nonduality at Juniper Level

I devoured the paradoxical and powerful teachings of the Ashtavakra Gita and other Advaita teachings on the spiritual path.

Advaita (the Sanskrit word meaning “not-two”) are the scriptures within the ancient Vedanta teachings pointing towards a singular omnipresent energy.  Meaning “not-two” and, as such, Advaita is the essence of all matter, all particles, visible, invisible, excluding nothing, and including all, even you, me, and God, Universe, Source.

What is is impersonal consciousness, uncaused and spontaneously appearing and disappearing as what we mistakenly perceive to be subjects and objects in a time and space filled universe.  What seems to be appearing is indivisible, immeasurable, edgeless, spaciousness, and infinitely and presently conscious… if anything is appearing.

I spent more time with this poetic yet disturbing scripture than any of the other ancient Eastern teachings I read and studied from 1992 – 2010. I read these teachings each morning upon arising and again in the evening before going to sleep.  I even carried a copy of this Gita in my shoulder bag to read while waiting in line at auto mechanics or the grocery store.

For me, the Ashtavakra Gita was a gift of wordless words pointing towards the vast and edgeless void, dissolving false concepts of the personal self and brain/mind like no other scriptures I’d ever studied.

The Ashtavakra Gita directly and clearly challenge the beliefs and concepts of a separate and personal self and a  separate and tangible reality or creation.  I prefer to read my teacher Bart Marshall’s translation of these sacred teachings.  Bart’s books are available here.

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

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

 

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 “me.”  So what is perceiving?

Perceiving is the undivided dance of what is and the simultaneous, instantaneous, perception of it…what we see and the seeing (perceiving/sensating) are one and the same awareness, consciousness, but awareness or consciousness not a thing…awareness is what is.

Awareness is not the sensating or perceiving of phenomena (subject/object) but is the perceiving/sensating itself  —  there are no existing objects or subjects…no existing concepts.

Since we only have relative language to communicate in the dreamscape, we might nudge a bit closer to what is appearing if we look in this direction by using these words:  perceiving is perceiving perceiving…there is no perceiver or perceived.  We can also say awareness is aware of itself as awareness.

Awareness, consciousness, is the perceiving, is the sensating. There is no separate seer, no separate seeing, nor a separate what is (as a subject/object) to be seen. Nor is there a beyond or behind/above/below awareness or consciousness experiencing as the witness, the witnessing, or the witnesser of experiencing…there is only experiencing, sensating, perceiving…as aware presence or consciousness.

As characters we seem to have the conviction/belief that there exists an objective universe “out there” in which “we” exist. So…we (brain/minds) divide what is aware presence or consciousness – seeing, hearing, smelling,  tasting, feeling…and thinking, into a subject we claim as ourself, and the seeming objects that make up our belief in an external reality or world.

waking-up-to-who-you-are-requires-letting-go-of-who-you-imagine-yourself-to-beAnd we believe these cherished and revered conceptual ideas and beliefs are true and real…but they only exist conceptually. Awareness or consciousness is already seamless, edgeless, undivided, and has never been separated into anything…into relative subjects and objects, only brain/minds create and project separation and external reality where none could possibly exist.

And since all languages are based on a conceptual world, a relative world…a world of this compared to that, of up and down, of here and there, of past and future…this makes all languages dead. All words are dead…they are concepts. Concepts can never be real…only fig newtons of the imagination!

Nevertheless, in the dreamscape, humans like to use language to create concepts where none exist….we like to name, claim, and label what seems to be unfolding….we refer to this as life or reality, and we even teach our babies and children how to name, claim, and label everything that seems to be appearing.  This tendency to categorize and judge happens innocently enough though, since the vast majority of humans never question what they are taught about reality, especially humans in well-educated cultures.

Most humans judge and sort life experiences into relative concepts with categories/buckets such as:
“worthy” or “unworthy”
“perfect” or “imperfect”
“loving” or “unloving”
“good” or “bad”
“better” or “worse.”

These judgments, claims, beliefs, opinions, and convictions are the root cause of all suffering. We accept some of life, and push away what we do not like, value, believe, endorse, or condone. We create categories, labels, and names describing what we believe defines who we believe we are.  What if there is no “who” and only a “what?”

And yet, there is nothing really going on. It is seen directly that there are no separate objects divided by space or separate events divided by time. The angst and fear of believing we have control of our characters vanishes and it’s felt as a physical and psychological release of giant proportions.

It becomes obvious that life unfolds spontaneously and uncaused…that the idea of you being a doer is silly. It’s what Paul Hedderman refers to as “traveling lighter.” And it become as clear as day that the dreamscape, the illusory duality/relativity is what allows the experiencing of a perceived self and other. Without duality, there can be no appearances of self and other, no characters to play with. You might awaken to realize your external reality or life is a dream and see that you are a dream character, but you will never escape the dreamscape.

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.