Pathless Path

Isn’t walking a spiritual path based on wanting, desiring, or a sense of incompleteness?

As a spiritual pilgrim, i desired to be near God and dwell in Heaven when i died.  i desired to be cleansed of my sins.  i wanted to be a good Christian woman, wife, and mother. Desire and passion fueled my search for answers for decades until the mechanism creating desire dwindled during the dark nights of the soul.

Seeking appears to arise as a personal self aims to receive something, earn a designation, obtain a guarantee, or uncover something perceived or believed to be missing or wanting. i assure you seeking of any kind is utterly useless, yet seeking appears to occur. Completeness, peacefulness, stillness is here now. It is the silent, ineffable and omnipresent consciousness that is animating your body and all appearances of creation.

The peaceful, silent, aliveness you already are is covered and shrouded in layers of untruth created by the brain/mind. Inquiring into the mechanics and workings of the mind is a pathless path to uncovering what is already appearing.

Right now, feel the body moving effortlessly — the eyes reading the screen, hands typing or writing, without claiming the movements as “yours.” Once the light of inquiry pierces the thin membrane of the brain/mind, the fierce grip of separateness slowly unwinds and releases sweet relief from a coiled body.

Feel the spaciousness you are when the mind is silent, no longer claiming bodily movements and activities with ownership.

Impersonal spaciousness and vastness is all there is. Allow unwinding, unspooling, and uncoiling to melt the false beliefs and concepts blinding you to the truth of what you already are.

Close your eyes and see what you are now, and what you are not. Are you limitless..are you personal?  Are you caused or uncaused?  Spontaneous or planned?  How do you know?  What knows?  What is knowing?  Are the knowing, the knower and the known separate?

Peace simply is ….beyond separateness, distinctions, and fears created by brain/mind.

anita

Monkey Mind

Meditating often distracts from seeing what IS, unless there is awareness of what is meditating. And seeing what is meditating, desiring to feed the monkey mind with meditation slowly dissolves.

Nothing needs purifying…investigate what wants to purify the mind and then dissolve those beliefs and concepts. Even when observing a fairly quiet mind, as long as the belief in a personal mind and self is at play, it is still a game of reinforcing personal beliefs and concepts.

Give no focus to thoughts.  Be the stillness, emptiness, noticing what continually desires to separate, compare, and label thoughts.

anita

 

 

Not Two

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 illusory omnipresent energy.  Meaning “not-two” and, as such, 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 is appearing is indivisible, immeasurable, infinite consciousness, if there could be anything appearing, as this dreamscape we call life, reality, the universe.

I spent more time with this poetic yet disturbing scripture than any of the other ancient Eastern teachings. I read these scriptures 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. For me, the Ashtavakra Gita was a gift of wordless words pointing towards the vastless void, dissolving false concepts of the personal self and split-mind like no other scriptures I’d ever read.

These scriptures directly and clearly challenge beliefs and concepts of a separate and personal self and a a separate and tangible reality or creation.  If you enjoy believing you are a personal self, a separate individual, stay away from these scriptures.

anita

Embodying

Do you appear as a body or does a body simply appear as you?

Many of us are obsessed with intellectual accomplishments and use the body as a vehicle to service the mind.  This questing and seeking is quite thrilling to those characters addicted to information and knowledge since the answer and the question appear from the same emptiness thus can never be found.

When it’s all been read, said, studied, and analyzed, the body, and not the mind, is the better guide to sensing and feeling what is appearing. i discovered this the hard way by ignoring this body and believing it was a rebellious creature. I wanted a calm body, not a panicky body. I had no idea both appearances were the same illusory energetic void playing with itself.

I realized the body is always communicating and sensing perfectly. All emotions and sensations are only energies appearing within the body. The impersonal and uncaused energy of consciousness spontaneously feeds the functional processes of the body — the same impersonal energy moving the clouds through the sky and shining the sun.

This uncaused impersonal energy enlivens the illusory flesh-covered bones and water of the self. I am not, nor ever have been, the controller of the body – the body appears to be animated as an uncaused, impersonal, consciousness -spontaneously moving as this illusory body named anita.

The awesome multitude of the illusory body’s 75+ organs, 200+ bones, and 600+ muscles are brilliantly and spontaneously being lived and moved, uncaused, spontaneously appearing as impersonal consciousness in its dream of itself.

anita

Subject-Object

Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Sensing and perceiving arise spontaneously…but not to a personal self…even though experientially it seems and feels close enough to be “within” the sensory experience.

Subject (creation) and object (creation) appear only when sensing and perceiving arise and the brain/mind applies labels, names, and concepts to what is appearing. The brain/mind habitually attempts to categorize and quantify what is appearing when no such conceptualizing is needed. Applying a remembered concept or the creation of a new concept is what keeps the brain mind busy making a separate world where no separation exists. But only in a separate world do edges and boundaries appear – even though they are only projections and overlays over that simply is.

There is only This. What you are is an impersonal mechanism for sensing. You believe yourself to be separate and distinct and this is false. You have never been separate and the movements of the body have never been initiated by you.

There is only this…here…now….as what is….impersonal consciousness seeming to appear in an illusory dream of separation we call reality or life.  And…there is no “within” and “without” unless you are playing in dreamscape, duality, the only place characters can play as self and other!

anita

 

Scientific Mechanisms of Mind

Where is the mind? What is the mind? 

In this age of swift advancements in brain imaging and research, we are uncovering a few of the mysterious functions of the brain, mind, and body. For deeper reading, an excellent research paper linked here provides the medical/scientific foundation as well as a philosophical and spiritual foundation.  

The author of this excellent paper is Sunil Pandya, a neurosurgeon and thinker on medical ethics.  He summarizes the scientific aspects of the mysterious relationship between the mind and brain and how this mystery persists, even with each technological advancement. 

In short, Dr. Pandya indicates there is “a clear connection between mental functions as we understand them (‘mind’) and the structure that produces it (brain).”  His paper goes on to report “the mind… is a virtual entity, one that reflects the workings of the neural networks, chemical and hormonal systems in our brain.”

Further, Dr. Pandya reports “The mind cannot be localised to particular areas within the brain, though the entire cerebral cortex and deep grey matter form important components. Consciousness, perception, behaviour, intelligence, language, motivation, drive, the urge to excel and reasoning of the most complex kind are the product of the extensive and complex linkages between the different parts of the brain.”

Neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson along with neurologist Dr. Richard Mendius scientifically describe the illusory nature of a fixed, permanent, separate self in the book The Practical Neuroscience of Buddha’s Brain.  These behavioral and brain specialists compare the separate self to a unicorn, a truly fictional character, …as the brain strings together moments of selfing and subjectivity into an illusion of homogenous coherence and continuity.”

These “new” scientific findings are not new at all.  They are echoes of the ancient teachings of Wu Hsin, Jesus the Christ, Lao Tsu, the Upanishads, and the Buddha, as they pointed towards the illusory nature of mind and the personal self the mind projects. 

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Lenses of Perception

From what perspective, or what perceptual lenses, are you viewing life? Are you certain the reality you perceive is true? Do your perceptions distort your view of what is now simply appearing? How do you know what you are perceiving is real and true?  

When enough people believe the same fundamental beliefs and concepts this sets up an alternate reality innocently believed, shared, and communicated. Ninety-nine percent of the world believes there is one consistent and enduring reality across all observers/viewers of reality and we are taught to believe that this is the reality our senses are to comprehend.  This is what our human brains are wired to do for our survival, to measure, judge, and separate reality into an inner realm and an outer realm based on the belief in an objective relativity.  

And many wise medicine women and men have explored reality with the use of psychedelics (classical hallucinogens), dissociatives, deliriants, etc.  Read more here.

 

Does what you believe bend or shape your view of reality?  Does your perception of reality differ from anyone else you know?  The aware presence you are is infinite and timelessly open and accepting of every appearance of life. This infinite and expansive present awareness is also know as awareness or consciousness, but it is not localized into separate bodies each with their own personal thoughts and feelings.  

We have been programmed since babyhood that we exist separately from consciousness, that we have a unique and personal consciousness within us – as us – and that we have private thoughts and feelings. 

We mistakenly believe consciousness to be personal to us since it feels so intimate and close to us and we assume awareness and consciousness originate or is located within the individual center of the body/mind. 

There is only consciousness, or aware presence and it is not personal, limited, or measureable. It cannot be located to a specific location. The brain will argue otherwise, since the brain’s main mission is to receive sensory inputs and to catalog them according to relativity….good and bad, up and down, here or there, me or you and to judge them based on opinions, feelings, and preferences.

I want nothing more than to share what I have seen with you. So below, are brief notes about the major perceptual lenses I noticed in the long process of self-inquiry, which is the timeless process of opening, exploring, and revealing the original nature of the self we claim as personal.  

Please be aware, I have not included the thousands of other lenses reflecting the “beliefs” of what we are….gender, race, nationality, tribe, family, friends, cultural, geographical, political, historical, medical, artistic, social, spiritual…..and the list goes on and on…sorta like this sentence 🙂 

Simple Lens Anita  – Duality

  • Perceiving/sensing to create an identity I call “me,” the little self. 
  • Documenting, recalling, and sharing this personal life with others. 
  • Separation between “me” and “other.”   

Scientific Lens Anita – Duality

  • Perceiving life through the lenses of microscopes, telescopes, textbooks, history, and education to learn about myself and my place in the world. 
  • Learning about God. 
  • Learning to label, evaluate, measure, and judge all aspects of life in relation to time, space, location, and performance or outcomes.
  • Separation between “me” and “other.”  beliefs in time, space, volume, duration.   

Maternal Lens Anita – Duality

  • Nurturing, providing, and guiding three children, and this personal self, towards society’s definition of motherhood, adulthood.  
  • Learning about God’s love directly through the scriptures.
  • Separation between “me” and “other.”    

Intellectual Lens Anita – Duality

  • Studying religion, spirituality, ancient wisdom texts, astrology, philosophy, and unitive dogma to uncover the meaning and purpose of life.
  • Learning the many facets and expressions of god/God around the world and through history.
  • Separation between “me” and “other.”    

Unity Lens Anita – Duality

  • Discovering the quantum physics of connectedness of all creation — believing in a god/God of cosmic intelligence, of unconditional love.  
  • Kundalini energy experiences.
  • Believing myself to be a small self of this unity/oneness of the universe. could not see the contradiction of dividing oneness.
  • Believing i had a separate personal awareness, soul, and ability to make choices. 
  • Separation between “me” and “other.”    duality.

Empty Lens Anita – Duality

  • Deconstructing the personal beliefs and scientific concepts collected over the decades.  
  • Understanding that “one” cannot be “parceled into many.” 
  • God remaining undefinable, unexplainable, a mystery, vastness, nothingness, void, oblivion
  • Satori and kundalini energy experiences appearing to increase.
  • Losing the perceived distinctions and edges that were the sum of the reality I occupied as a separate being.
  • Personal self identity dissolving… questioning the belief of a personal self.   

Nonduality – Beyond – – Beyond All Lenses…Yet With all Lenses

  • Seeing as direct knowing –this seeing is undoubtedly Grace and not possible by the intent or desire of the little self – the Anita character.  This direct knowing is beyond the comprehension of the brain/mind and beyond the mind’s concepts of space and time — What is…appears as indivisible, timeless, edgeless, vastness…projecting an illusory creation appearing as forms and not forms. impersonal consciousness seeing itself, and not seeing itself as vastness, formless, no-thing-ness dreaming a relative and dualistic appearing projection – a dreamscape.
  • Nothing lost and nothing gained.
  • Seeing the folly of believing the personal self was anita…
  • The self is the “instrument” of perceiving the illusory reality and it’s known directly, beyond the mind, that what is appearing is a spontaneous, momentary flash of energy (outside time and space so there is no duration at all) in a dream of separation to experience the concepts of “self” and “other.” 
  • Infinite vastness, edgeless, formless, limitless, indivisible, immeasurable, spontaneous nothingness appearing as everythingness as the anita character. anita’s sensory mechanisms feel heightened beyond measure and super-sensitive.
  • Physical and emotional disruptions appear as the illusory physical body adjusts to increased energetic flow of electrical current.
  • Paradoxical…feeling, sensating what is clearly illusory. 
  • Root chakra in constant union with crown chakra.  
  • Unmoving and unshakable inner peace, silence, tranquility as the expressions of the character Anita seem to appear.
  • “Beyond” is known directly, beyond brain/mind. Beyond concepts like non-duality and transcendence.  Nothing has ever been real, nothing will ever be real…all appearances are illusory.

For me, it really helped to laugh often and never take myself seriously…

anita

What is Perception?

Perception is the relative term humans apply to the singular and undivided dance of what is and the simultaneous perception of it. As characters we seem to have the tendency to morph our sensory experiences of what is into words, into a relative language that seems to describe and objectify what is appearing.

Most languages are based on a relative world…a world of this compared to that, of up and down, of here and there, of past and future. Language is based on the flawed premise that there are separate subjects and objects, concepts and ideas, having specific tendencies and characteristics and appearing in time and space.

Humans 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 in well-educated cultures.

Most humans judge and sort life experiences into relative 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 buckets describing what we believe defines who we believe we are.

Read more about perception here.

Animals, on the other hand, are not saddled with the tendency to name, label, and claim experiences. They do not 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.  They live simply…and are simply being “lived.”

This is not to imply that physical pain does not bother them. Of course animals feel physical pain. I am writing about mental and psychologial suffering here. Animals have no mental or psychological suffering.  Yes, animals show raw emotions, but they do not judge what is unfolding as life.

Jake and Elwood, our kitties, will not accidentally nibble on their legs because of primal sensory memories like pain and pleasure. They seem to do just fine living 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 objects 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 objects in our home.  In this way, animals are like small children before children they begin to name, label, and claim objects and experiences.

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 and their heads are never deep in thought…never deep in the weeds pondering when to share a sensitive topic or to discuss a challenging situation.

We’ve never seen our kitties worry, fret, or ponder the past or the future…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 recognition of oneness or unity and the ability to experience the relative duality 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.

Watch George Carlin’s video here about stuff.

anita

Center of “Me”

It feels like we have a center, yes? I certainly thought so for most of my life…until one day I noticed I (as anita) was a well-developed concept and set of beliefs. Logically, and with all you have been taught, you believe you can feel life, aliveness, streaming through your body and that there is a center to the streaming, that there is a you, a thinker, a doer, who is experiencing the streaming aliveness in time and space.

Hey, I’m in a minority here, since the vast majority of the world believes there is a personal awareness with private thoughts experiencing the world. Nada my dear friend. There is not. But please do not believe me….explore this for yourself directly.  The unexamined life is not worth living according to Socrates and Plato.

And since you can perceive what is, this aliveness, as sensations of sight, sounds, touch, tastes, smells, thoughts, emotions, and feelings, you are certain the indivisible symphony of perception has a separate you to experience it…but there is no separate perceiver: what seems to be appearing, if anything could appear at all, is impersonal aware presence…aware of itself.

This wondrous aliveness fill you, is you, dissolves you, leaving you feeling breathless. And you feel it but you cannot capture it, nor step outside of it…it’s undivided, limitless, and has no edges.

And for those I’ve spoken with that have seen the end of seeking, seeing the final answer is nearly unbearable…realizing you are it, that it is you, and all there is is impersonal consciousness dreaming a relative dream, and not even that.  And it can feel like the death of all you know and love. You can be rendered immobile while the acute shock of it all seeps in and wipes the slate as clean as a whistle.

anita