Paradoxical Jesus

Center for Mindfulness and Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

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

Center for Mindfulness and Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

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

Center for Mindfulness and Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

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

 
 
 

Karma

Center for Mindfulness and Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Many pilgrims worship and explore the nature of an Absolute or God when pondering a spiritual life, existence, and the afterlife. It seems there is nothing scarier than to imagine an endless oblivion at the death of the body, or while appearing to live, for that matter. 

As humans, most of us yearn for there to be something more, something enduring at the last inhale since most of us deeply believing in a lasting personal soul or spirit when the body dies. This powerful belief and conviction seems to draw and sustain many to an Absolute being-ness or God.

 

A Christian Perspective…

applied a Christian framework to my definition and beliefs in God for more than 40 years teaching adult Sunday school classes, Bible studies and women’s groups. I attended a progressive Baptist or Methodist church for most of my life with God secretly being my admittance ticket at death promising an afterlife in Heaven…if all the teachings and doctrines were practiced and obeyed. At the core of this belief was a personal soul as Anita that would unite with God upon her physical death and spend eternity with God in an eternal afterlife or heaven.

Fast forward to 2009…and with several years of deep reflection, writing, and self-inquiry, my understanding of God became clearer and clearer…shocking, in fact, as I saw that I viewed God as relational and able to exist in a relative relationship – God in relation to other as creator and created and bound together in a relationship (relativity) enduring through time and space. How could this be? It made no sense. This belief also implied that God was divisible, not already everywhere, and everything.

Dark Night of the Soul…

This deeply seeing my concept of God was disturbing to say the least and propelled me into a Dark Night of the Soul and a deep depression and confusion. Did I fabricated a God that is relational like humans, and if this is the case, did I invent God according to my beliefs? I dived into self-inquiry for several years…withdrawing from family and friends while I sat in a simmering stew of darkness and confusion. I prayed incessantly to God, whatever God is or isn’t, to deliver me from the hell of my thoughts and understandings and to show me Truth at all costs.  All costs…even if I had to die to know Truth.  

Aware Presence or Consciousness… 

Mystery, or something totally undescribable and unknowable, opened wide “my” perception in 2011 to perceive deeply beyond the brain/mind, and know directly that I am appearances of Aware Presence or impersonal consciousness in a dreamscape.  Several months later during a solitary retreat I saw the teachings of Jesus the Christ as instructions for living as gratitude, acceptance, and worry-free as aware consciousness presence.

From this perspective, Jesus is not about establishing or teaching any particular beliefs or dogmas…but simply reminding us of what is…already here, now, and fully available if we only change the way we see…change our perceptions, our perspectives, to receive what is here now as little children see and perceive…with openness, acceptance, and a sense of wonderment…without judging, naming, labeling, or claiming what is as belonging to a separate person or entity as a “me.”.

Jesus pointed towards…

Jesus points towards a Truth beyond words…beyond the relative brain, beyond the imaginations of the dualistic or split mind. How else can Jesus the Christ, or Buddha, Krishna or Lao Tzu communicate to brains/minds that cannot comprehend what is beyond a relative nature, beyond relativity? Of course it now seems clear — these Masters used paradoxical words and stories….which make no logical sense to a relative human mind. Using relative or everyday language to describe “This” or “What Is” will never convey or describe what is beyond the relative brain/mind. Period.

For those interested in re-reading the paradoxical words of Jesus in the New Testament, a quick internet search will produce many websites offering these paradoxical teachings of Jesus. I love Jesus and His teachings though I never understood the deeper meanings behind His words until I awakened to see the personal self as a mistaken belief perpetuated by 99% of humans.

Is there a me…

Of course, we can feel the experience of seeing and perceiving life from a localized point we label as “I” or “me” yet we never investigate this “I” or “me” to see what it really is….we just blindly assume a “me” is located at the center of our perception. The existence of a personal center or “me” is the greatest lie every spoken, revered, and claimed as true.

Jesus and his disciples knew this belief in a “me” was the root of all suffering since Jesus awakened to his true nature as infinite brilliant aware stillness, and Jesus knew the strength and seduction of the belief in a personal self.

Jesus wanted to point the way to joy and freedom…to the essence and peace that is beyond the understanding of the dualistic brain/mind. He appeared as the embodiment of impersonal aware presence or consciousness and was deeply committed to sharing this truth…even to the cross and the illusion of death.

Within and without…

All perceptions and all appearances of reality feel quite intimate…and we believe these appearances and bodily feelings occur “within” this center we refer to as a “me” or a “you” and this creates safety for the personal self when there is no personal self, and no separation into a “within” or “without.”  What we call life is the appearance of indivisible, edgeless Aware Presence. Read Jesus’ words again, if you are so inclined, and look for the paradox he is pointing towards…you will not be able to miss it. Jesus says it’s easier for a camel to pass through an eye of a needle than a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. And yes, awakening feels like being squeezed through the eye of a needle as the beliefs in a personal and separate self fall away and leave only the appearances of an infinite, seamless Aware Presence and Consciousness as a miraculous dreamscape. And it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, it’s still a squeeze, although the rich may have more attachements and beliefs to sever.

And with awareness of the mistaken identity as a personal self, the confusion between what one is believed to be and what one appears to be can be explored and perceived as the imaginary character is it. Using a paradoxical spiritual analogy to point towards what I am saying here would be like this:  The “characters” as “me” and “you” appearing on the “movie screen” may change, but the “movie screen” itself does not. I am, you are, like the movie screen…as infinite, seamless, causeless, stillness….a void of nothingness upon which the everythingness as Aware Presence or Consciousness appears.

Realization and enlightenment…

This is the realization…actions are appearing through “you” as a dream character and not by a separate and tangible you that was born and will die as a  “you.”  Life appears like action verbing….for example…writing appears but there is no writer.  Listening appears but there is no listener.  Doing appears but there is no doer…..it just action verbing…..look deeply and see this…only verbing appearing.

So now, we’ve nearly reached this end of this post about karma and reincarnation. As you now may have concluded, karma and reincarnation are only beliefs and stories created and perpetuated by the relative or split-mind and applying to an imaginary personal self.

Logically, since there is not, nor has there ever been, a personal self, karma and reincarnation can be seen as false beliefs just like the belief of a personal self is false. Is karma or reincarnation even an issue when there is no doer, no “you” or “me”?

anita

Archetypes

Jasper – Center for Mindfulness and Nonduality at 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

 

Animals

Jake and Elwood – Center for Mindfulness and Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Animals do not think and do not believe they live in a relative world of subjects and objects.  Nor are animals saddled with the tendency to name, label, and claim experiences and judge or evaluate life or reality into relative buckets as humans do.

Animals are in tune with the organic and primal urges moving through them – as them, as impersonal consciousness.  They live simply…and are simply being “lived” as consciousness.

This is not to imply that physical pain does not bother them. Of course animals feel physical pain, but they do not create a story about the pain and how terrible it feels and how it has interfered in their daily doggie activities. They have no belief in being a separate dog with a personal dog pain. Of course, I am writing about mental and psychological suffering here. Animals have no mental or psychological suffering. Yes, animals experience and demonstrate raw sensations but they do not judge these sensations unfolding as life.

Jake and Elwood, our kitties above, will not accidentally nibble on their legs because of primal sensory memories like pain and pleasure. They seem to enjoy the good life on the farm and in the house with us. Neither do Jake and Elwood have a vocabulary for the objects they perceive, and they need no words or labels to accept their food, the sofa, the door, or the bed.

On the other extreme, Tony and I have many words for all the stuff in our home. We even recognize images of our stuff stored in photo albums or as digital images.  The cats do not collect photos nor make distinctions about any of the stuff/objects in our home. In this way, animals are like small children before children begin to name, label, and claim objects and experiences as objects and subjects.

When the kitties jump on the sofa they have no thoughts about the sofa, what color it is, how soft or hard it is, how heavy it is. Tony and I do. We ponder why we bought leather sofas when we have cats. Ignorance at its finest.  We characters have all kinds of labels for all our stuff.

The cats are always present…they are never deep in thought…never deep in the weeds pondering when to eat or play, sleep or poop.  Nature is incredible to see…always accepting and embracing what is…eating arises spontaneously and the cats are eating.  No thoughts about eating….just tasting and smelling and chewing.

We’ve never seen our kitties worry, fret, or ponder the past or the future.either..they embrace this…here…now…appearing as what is.  They never complain about the color of the sofa or the cleanliness of the shag carpet in the den. The kitties have no preferences, they go with the flow…just like small children who are exploring the world with an open heart and a bushel of curiosity.

Tony and I as conceptual entities exist only as this dream of separation. There is nothing beyond the dreamscape. Nothing, and not even nothing. Knowing the dreamscape is a mentally projected virtual reality and that the characters are illusory seems to allow an easing, a loosening, and there is no longer any attempt to escape the illusory world we appear to inhabit.

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 self and other. Without duality, there can be no self and other, no characters to play with.  You might wake to the dream and see that you are a dream character, but you will never be able to escape the dreamscape.

anita

 

Bittersweet

Center for Mindfulness and Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Never has a person or a world existed. The brain/mind’s seductive dance of labeling, naming, and claiming appearances creates an imaginary storyline with a “me” at the center of an imaginary life that seems tangible, relative, and appearing in space and time.

And the great mystery of these spontaneous appearances cannot be described yet we try with our words and phrases to describe the indescribable.

This succulent image captures a sweet, fragile, beauty radiating between precise and painful spines, and yet neither beauty or thorns exist, has ever existed — only concepts and beliefs flashing across the screen of the relative mind and claimed as an imaginary subject labeled “me” perceiving an imaginary object labeled “succulent.”

What is feels as vaporous as an endless breath…never inhaling nor exhaling. We attempt to blanket ideas, beliefs, and concepts over an edgeless infinity using seductive and unquestioned beliefs — the greatest being the belief and conviction that there is a tangible, permanent, and fixed center as a “me” located in a time and space reality.

Perceiving arises spontaneously as impersonal conscious, as aware presence, and it dances as wavelengths of light and colors reflecting and refracting a perfect dreamscape to play as self and other…when what I am, you are, is really nothing at all, vaporous.

And this feels like death of all that the character “knows” including the body. And a scary, yet perfect, silence engulfs the endless breath and throws it beyond the cosmos into the voidless void.

Impersonal noticing or awareness rises as stillness and even the smallest of what is…seems to appear. And…a dawning stirs and a gracious unpeeling exposes the edgeless and empty stillness as what I am, you are……. and an Intelligence that can never be described nor understood with the brain/mind wraps itself, as the void, as this perfect edgeless, infinite, stillness, and silence.

Words get in the way and miss this essence, this perfume, this pulseless pulse.

anita

Aware Presence

Center for Mindfulness and Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

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

 

Absolute

Center for Mindfulness and Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Many pilgrims worship and explore the nature of the Absolute or God when plowing through mountains of beliefs and concepts about the spiritual life, existence, and the afterlife. It seems there is nothing scarier than to ponder an endless oblivion at the end of living, or while living, for that matter. 

As humans, wanting there to be something more after death, and believing in an enduring personal soul or spirit in an afterlife seems to draw and sustain many to an Absolute or God.  

At the core of this belief is a personal soul that will unite with God upon physical death and spend eternity with God in an afterlife/heaven

This duality of opposites is the realm of relativity, how one object or subject compares to another object or subject, the relative world or creation. In relativity, all things are true and factual until they are not, meaning relativity is changeable and dynamic.  

For instance, we used to believe the world was flat but no longer.  We used to believe that man could not fly, until in seven short seconds, Orville and Wilbur instantly changed our beliefs. And mankind would never walk on the moon, until we did. And we’ll never make it to Mars…or Pluto. 

Science is now embracing the fluid world of quantum physics…understanding that consciousness beyond relativity.  We’re reading more now about empty particles, dark matter, and entanglement. This is the fascinating world of exploring the nature of invisible particles and matter just by changing what or how a particle is being observed.

But no matter how deeply we investigate what is appearing, what is will remain as a concept, an idea, an opinion or a collective belief because it is appearing in the relative world — the world where the brain/mind creates all concepts and beliefs…including the concept of Absolute. 

The issue with quantum physics is the same as the issue with all science dealing with relativity – that the quantum scientists and physicists are assuming that the consciousness that is observing matter or energy through the microscope (or telescope) is a personal consciousness within them. Obviously this skews the observation – and adds a layer of misinformation to the observation. 

I spent years meditating and praying about how to reconcile the scientific facts with spiritual beliefs.  I had been deeply spiritual all my life and who was I if I was no longer spiritual in the way I was accustomed?  And who was I in relation to what science calls dark energy, which comprises 95% of the cosmos?

And for a while, the mystical teaching of Christianity and all the scientific information around quantum physics began to resonate and align with my relative human split-mind.  St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross wrote at length about the illusory nature of the split-mind, the separate, or personal self. Their teachings lined up with the ancient teachings of Lao Tsu, the Buddha, Jesus the Christ, and Wu Hsin, all describing an ineffable, unchanging, indivisible, omnipresent, and timeless God. 

Most most, it feels right to perceive God as relative. It feels good to a personal self to see God as other, as it offers a belief, a hope, a concept that perpetuates and exists beyond the relative realm.

This is a hard realization to absorb, but Absolute, the word itself, by definition, is a concept, created by the brain/mind in a last ditch effort to perpetuate itself beyond the imaginary conceptual appearance of physical death, beyond the imaginary conceptual appearances of time and space. All concepts perpetuate separation, it’s the split-mind doing what it seems to be doing, and doing it very well, as we swear what is is very real and true.  But it is not.  

In short, all perceptions are illusory appearances of impersonal consciousness perceiving itself in a dream of itself.

Impersonal consciousness can only know itself by spontaneously dreaming itself as separate, as an uncaused illusory dream, of forms and shadows…appearing real and tangible as indivisible, edgeless, seamless appearances of itself as separate and relative dreamscape characters.  

All appearances as form and formless are impersonal consciousness. Consciousness, Cosmos, Universe, Absolute, God, Dark Energy….it’s all impersonal consciousness, and words fail miserably to describe what is non-conceptual.  

Nothing real exists.  

What is appearing as life are illusory projections of a void dreaming and playing games with itself as itself. 

What more can be said?

anita

Reality

Center for Mindfulness and Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Last night I came across an article below I thought you would enjoy. I love it when life appears to offer us little winks and nods…Gene Roddenberry style. And this article below is another wink and nod to the imaginary and momentary projection we call life or reality.

As I’ve written before, unfiltered perception is key.  We go about our daily lives as this dreamscape, assuming our sensory perceptions—sights, sounds, textures, and tastes feed us information about the world we perceive as external to us….outside of us. Occasionally, a few actually look deeply and notice or deeply perceive that the brain is conjuring, from the illusory past, the conceptual world we call real…the brain creates an internal simulation of our so-called “external” perception.

Donald D. Hoffman, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine has spent the past three decades studying perception, artificial intelligence, evolutionary game theory and the brain, and his conclusion is a dramatic one: The world presented to us by our perceptions is nothing like reality.

What’s more, he says, we have evolution itself to thank for this magnificent illusion, as it maximizes evolutionary fitness by driving truth to extinction.

So while neuroscientists struggle to understand how there can be such a thing as a first-person reality, quantum physicists have to grapple with the mystery of how there can be anything but a first-person reality. In short, all roads lead back to the observer.

And that’s where you can find Hoffman—straddling the boundaries, attempting a mathematical model of the observer, trying to get at the reality behind the illusion.

Quanta Magazine caught up with Donald D. Hoffman to find out more. (Read the full article here.)

In other news, The Triangle Inquiry Group now has a newsletter…thanks to lovely soul sister Jenny! Read the latest here: TIG Nov/Dec.

There are only a few seats left for the Jan Frazier retreat Saturday March 25, 2017. Call now if you would like to join us…919-772-4794 M-F between 8am and 5pm, EST.  The retreat fee is $90 to cover Jan’s speaking fee and travel expenses.

Our last self-inquiry gathering for 2016 is tomorrow at 2pm. Our group is at capacity so if you are interested in joining as a new member, please email me or Jenny to be added to the waitlist.

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