2018 Saturday Self-Inquiry Group

2018 Saturday Self-Inquiry Group

The Self-Inquiry Group at Juniper Level Botanic Garden is for ardent pilgrims, ready, at all costs, to turn inward and discern the illusory nature of the personal self and reality and seeing aware presence hidden in plain sight.

Here are a few recommended books if you are unfamiliar with the philosophy of “not-two.”

The Perennial Way – translations by Bart Marshall  – Ashtavakra Gita and Heart Sutra in particular
Ask the Awakened – Wei Wu Wei – all books by Wei Wu Wei (Terence James Stannus Grey)
Sunyata – Life and Saying of a Rare-born Mystic – edited/compiled by Betty Camhi & Elliott Insenberg
Solving Yourself – Yuben de Wu Hsin – and more with all translations by Roy Melvyn
Perfect Brilliant Stillness – David Carse

Jenny and Anita facilitate this group self-inquiry. No charge…and your tax-deductible gifts to our not-for-profit botanic garden’s endowment are welcome to preserve the gardens as a place for plant and medical research, plant exploration, horticultural and philosophical learning, and community.

Please send us a note by email to if you are joining us for the first time to see if an open seat is available, or if you need directions.

anita@nondu.org
jennylclarke@gmail.com

Tentative dates – subject to change.  Self-inquiry group is held at Anita’s botanic garden unless noted at Jenny’s. For directions to Juniper Level Botanic Garden click here.

DATES FOR 2018 SELF-INQUIRY GROUP

2:00pm – 3:30pm

Jan 13 – Jenny
Feb 10 – Anita
Mar 10 – Jenny
April 14 – Anita
May 12 – Jenny
Jun 16 – Anita
Jul 21 – Jenny
Aug 18 – Anita
Sep 22 – Jenny
Oct 13 – Anita
Nov 10 – Jenny
Dec 15 – Anita
DIRECTIONS TO JUNIPER LEVEL BOTANIC GARDEN ARE HERE.

* Self-inquiry group gatherings and retreats may be electronically recorded. By your attendance, you consent to be recorded and agree that Anita and Tony Avent reserve all rights to this material and its dissemination in any form.

Easy Breezy Waking Up

Center for Mindfulness and Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden – Southwest Patio Garden

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 thousands 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 web 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 appearances as appearing as 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 seem to 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 seems unknowable from a relative perspective.

Truth projected from the relative brain/mind of a human appears to be 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 you already are – and always have been – it may be helpful to understand how the brain/mind is programmed – – to ensure you continue believing you are separate.  

  • Absolute Truth is not relative and the human brain is  relative.
  • Absolute truth is not describable with languages based on subjects or objects.
  • 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, is not, or could be and not be.
  • Absolute truth is.
  • 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. 😉 

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

2016 Saturday Self-Inquiry Sessions

2016 Saturday Self-Inquiry Sessions

Self Inquiry Sessions at Juniper Level Botanic Garden are for ardent pilgrims, ready, at all costs, to turn inward and discern the illusory nature of the personal self and reality and uncover the aware presence hidden in plain sight.

Recommended readings:

     Open Secret – Wei Wu Wei
     Perfect Brilliant Stillness – David Carse
     Solving Yourself – Yuben de Wu Hsin

Jenny and Anita facilitate this group inquiry. No charge. Registration is requested for first time attendees.

Registration for all retreats and Self Inquiry Sessions is requested, and space is limited. Please register by phone: 919.772.4794 (Monday – Friday 9am to 4pm EST) or by email to info@nondu.org.

2:00 – 3:30pm

January 9
February 6
March 12
April 9
May 8
September 17
October 8 – cancelled due to inclement weather
November 5
December 3
2:00pm – 3:30pm

Workshops, nonduality retreats, and self inquiry sessions at Juniper Level Botanic Garden may be audio and visually recorded. By attending you are consenting to be recorded and agreeing that anita and Tony Avent reserve all rights to this material and its dissemination in any form.