<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d4053797\x26blogName\x3dMystery+of+Existence\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dTAN\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttps://absentofi.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://absentofi.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-6959398066445382627', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Signs of The Unseen Tuesday, January 31, 2006 |

A very insightful passage from an equally insightful little essay by David Jon Peckinpaugh.

...The danger inherent in relying upon any one person to define and determine 'Integralism' should be obvious to anyone who has cared to heed the relevance of the Freudian Weltanschauung. Simply put, we are ripe with unconsciousness. Some more. Some less so. Some are unconscious in certain realms, dimensions, aspects and dharmas than are others. For example, I may not be as conscious of the 'emotional sheath/body' as another is. Similarly, they may not be as conscious of the 'vital sheath/body' as I am. And because our unconsciousness is unconscious, it stands to reason that we are each rendered blind, deaf and dumb to that which we are… well, uhm… not at all conscious in relation to.

This is why when someone points out to us that which we are unconscious of we will tend to dismiss them as mis-taken. We just don't see it! We are not conscious of that which is un-conscious. Period. So we tend to be dismissive of others who may see in us what we are not able to see in ourselves....

This is pointing exactly at what I see as a core aspect of my (evolving) integral practice: to recognize and acknowledge my own blind spots. We all have them. As is becoming my mantra now, the question is not if but how.

The trick is to keep an eye out for signs of our blind spots, and one of the more consistent signs I have found for myself is reactivity and dismissal of other's actions and/or views.

Is there a sense that I have something to protect? Then it is pretty likely that a blindspot has been poked at.

Do I try to put others down? Do I blame others? Do I see something in others that I don't see in myself? Is there a tint of self-righteousness? All of these are clear signs.

Any approach to working with projections is helpful here, and for me right now the Byron Katie inquiries cuts right through it - allowing for recognition and integration at my human level and for finding myself as that beyond, cutting right through to the nondual.

And if I didn't quite get to it the first time, if something was left out, then life is there to gently and persistently show me again. Life is my most intimate advisor in this.

Through its language of suffering and reactivity, life unfailingly shows me my hangups, my blind spots, areas not fully brought into awareness.


No Identity & Identity |


I have noticed that the more I find myself as that which is distinct from preferences - as pure awareness and/or Big Mind, the more I can allow preferences to be here on my human level. The more there is a ground of pure indifference, the more deeply there can be caring and engagement.

The ground distinct from any preferences allows for fuller engagement and caring, and fuller engagement and caring motivates me to find myself as ground with more clarity and stability.


And the same seems true for identity. The more I find myself as that which is distinct from any identity, I can allow a very specific and clear identity to unfold on my human level - in whatever form that may take.

Three levels of identity

There are at least two levels and three aspects to this.

:: Big Mind ::

One is the level of pure awareness and/or Big Mind (beyond and including all polarities). Here, there are no preferences. As Genpo Roshi says, it is the ultimate masculine. Pure clarity and indifference.

:: Human Level ::

Another is my human level.

Here, I can work on the Centaur level in Ken Wilber's terminology, to find myself - in my immediate experience - as the whole beyond and including my human self, this particular body and psyche.

::: Finding the Universal :::

And this involves, among other things, working on projections. Whatever qualities and characteristics I see external to my human self is also in my human self. Any and all qualities in the world of phenomena - in other humans, animals, plants, landscapes, weather, stories of all sorts (dreams, mythology, fairy tales, novels, movies, songs), and the universe - are right here, in my human self as well. What is outside is inside.

In this way, I find myself more as a whole as a human being. I am familiar with more and more qualities in me, find a wider repertoire and become more skillful in relating to these qualities in my own life and when it comes up in others.

Through this, I find the universally human in myself. Whatever comes up, in myself or others, is immediately recognized as universally human, as life.

::: Finding the Unique :::

And through this, I also find the uniqueness of this particular human self. I see the unique manifestations of this universally human, the unique flavors, the unique filters it is expressed through. Realizing the universally human is the ground which more fully allows for the unique.

The unique is more fully experienced and expressed within the context of the universally human.

This is of course the individuation process as described by Jung, and the centaur level seems to be where the Jungian center of gravity is.


Energy, Cycles & Sitting Practice |

In terms of Chinese medicine, my fire element has been shot for a while now. I had several years of a very strong fire energy and strong passions and engagement in the world, and then somewhat of a collapse of this passion and energy.

I guess what goes up must come down, day leads to night, summer to winter, etc. It is just the natural cycles of it, and it hits us especially hard if we are attached to whatever passion and energy is there, as I definitely was.

In my sporadic sitting practice these days, I find it very useful to play energetic music with some drive. Its energy surges through me, and I just sit as the space within which it unfolds. It helps with clarity, presence and stability. Actually quite similar to going to the movies, as mentioned in a post yesterday.


Sign Monday, January 30, 2006 |

As we drove from the movie theater to a Breema class, I mentioned that I want to talk with Joel at the Center for Sacred Sciences soon.

I have a sense that there is a relatively clear insight into "no I" but something is missing, and it is most likely the energy, clarity, stability and surrender that comes from a regular sitting practice.

I do mostly inquiries right now, and only sporadic sitting practice. The realization is there, but shifts and moves and is somewhat blurred. And another clear problem is the desire for "pushing through" that has come up over the last couple of weeks, instead of focusing on the practice and what is right now.

Talking with Joel may give me some more clarity about all this, and may also help fine tune my current practice.

As I briefly mentioned this, and also said that "well, maybe it is not so important - it can wait", we passed a big sign saying "Joel's" and just below "Hurry!" (and then something about a limited time offer).

This, and my partner's excitement about this synchronicity, was just enough to tip it over for me, deciding to actually give him a call to set up an appointment. It can't hurt.


No I |

Well, another post on this topic.

There is just space and cognition and the content, as a field. There is no center, no contraction into an "I", no sense of "I" and "other". It is a tapestry of human self and whatever else is there, but no part of the tapestry is scrunched up into an "I".

The content may be exactly what it is otherwise, when there is a sense of an "I" there. Only the context has changed, from a contraction into an "I" to a wide open field w/out center.

It is so simple that it seems almost impossible to talk about. It is so close to our experience - even when there is a sense of "I" - that we tend to overlook it. It is so different that we for a while don't take it seriously.


Universally Human |

It seems that as we gain experience with Byron Katie's inquiry, we also see that the thoughts that bother us are universally human. They appear in all of us, and the only question is whether we believe in them or not. If we believe in them, we create suffering for ourselves. If we don't, they are free to come and go on their own. Again, there is not a question of if this whole menagerie of thoughts will arise in us - it does, but whether or not we believe in them.

This came up for me when I watched Brokeback Mountain earlier today. There is an immense loneliness and longing towards the end of the movie, combined with a grief over loss of what was and what could have been. Watching this, it - naturally - triggered these emotions in me, and now connected with situations in my own life.

I experienced it as very personal, but also realized how universal they all are. We all have loss in our lives - longing, loss and grief. That is why there are so many movies, books, plays and songs about these themes - exactly because they are universally human. We recognize them from our own life, and allowing it up - in the relatively safe setting of a fictional story - allows us the opportunity to bring them into awareness, and possibly some healing and coming to terms with it.

Everything each of us experiences is universally human - and with a universally unique flavor.

Movies as Practice |

I watched Brokeback Mountain with my partner today, and while we talked about it afterwards she joked that watching movies is one of my main spiritual practices. It is actually not too far from the truth right now.

During the last two movies I watched at the theater - King Kong and Brokeback Mountain - I left the movie theater with a relatively clear sense of no "I", of the tapestry of what is, with no "I" anywhere.

Watching movies, I am typically engaged and focused on the unfolding story, I sit still, and I allow whatever comes up - usually strong energies from emotions - to unfold withing space. And the effect is similar to doing a mediation retreat: clarity, insights, stability - and even a taste of no "I".


Phase Transitions & Popping |

When I lived at the Zen center and studied psychology (health psychology and systems theories), I saw a clear parallel between the awakening process and phase transitions as described by systems theories. And now, when there is an oscillation of realizing "no I" - sometimes relatively clearly and other times more obscured - this comes back to me.

Systems views is quite similar to (parts of) some of the Eastern philosophies. For instance, the world of phenomena is seen as a seamless fluid whole, organized holarchically - nested systems one within another, similar to russian nesting dolls.

Systems view & nondual awakening

And in terms of a nondual awakening - to a clear realization of "no I" anywhere - there are also many parallels.

Before this awakening, the attractor state is organized around a belief in the thought "I" and everything that brings with it. After awakening, there is a new attractor state - a new stable condition for the system - now in the clear realization of "no I".

The system undergoes a phase transition, from one stable attractor state (the story of I) to another (dropping the story of I).

And there are several control variables which helps nudge the system into this phase transition. These are the ones we are familiar with through the various spiritual traditions, including clarity, devotion and insights - and induced through practices such as meditation, prayer, inquiry, mindfulness and more.

So systems theories can be used as one way to analyze the awakening process and the tools used at various phases of this process. It may yield some helpful insights, and help us organize the various traditions and approaches as well.

Labels: ,

Wei Wu Wei |

Over the last week or so, the name Wei Wu Wei has shown up "everywhere" for me. He has not been on my radar until now, so it is definetely noticeable and I take it as a nudge to explore his writings some.

He certainly have a way with pithy statements:

Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9 percent Of everything you do Is for yourself - And there isn't one.

We do not possess an "ego." We are possessed by the idea of one.

Experiencing life from "ego" is akin to sitting center stage at Carnegie Hall, eyes closed, listening to the performance through the headset of a pocket radio.

True humility is the absence of anyone to be proud.

Labels: ,

Nocturn: Kate Bush and the nondual Sunday, January 29, 2006 |

I find Kate Bush's music very beautiful (especially Hounds of Love, The Sensual World and Aerial), and there is also a luminosity in much of what she writes. There is a translucency in Arjuna Ardagh's terminology.

For instance, the lyrics of Nocturn is a beautiful description of awakening to - or at least intuiting - Big Mind. God as all and ourselves as That.

Interpreting can only detract from it, but here is a go at it...


On this Midsummer night
Everyone is sleeping
We go driving into the moonlight

Could be in a dream
Our clothes are on the beach
These prints of our feet
Lead right up to the sea
No one, no one is here
No one, no one is here
We stand in the Atlantic
We become panoramic

No one is here - this probably means that there were no others there, but can also be seen as the realization that there is no "I" - there is no one here. I am gone, and there is only God. We become panoramic - the world world is within us.

We tire of the city
We tire of it all
We long for just that something more

Yes, a longing for discovering our true nature. As that which is, with no "I" anywhere. As consciousness and all its manifestations.

Could be in a dream
Our clothes are on the beach
The prints of our feet
Lead right up to the sea
No one, no one is here
No one, no one is here
We stand in the Atlantic
We become panoramic

The stars are caught in our hair
The stars are on our fingers
A veil of diamond dust
Just reach up and touch it
The sky’s above our heads
The sea’s around our legs
In milky, silky water
We swim further and further

The universe happens within and as us, and the stars are caught in our hair and the stars are on our fingers. The can be seen as a beautiful expression of the play of the absolute and relative, as ourselves as Big Mind and a human self.

We dive down... We dive down

A diamond night, a diamond sea
and a diamond sky...

When the realization of no "I" pops, there is indeed a diamond quality to it all. It is brilliantly clear, stainless.

We dive deeper and deeper
we dive deeper and deeper
Could be we are here
Could be in a dream
It came up on the horizon
Rising and rising
In a sea of honey, a sky of honey
A sea of honey, a sky of honey

And here is the bliss that comes with an awakening. The sea and sky of honey that comes with the release from the previous contractions.

The chorus:
Look at the light, all the time it’s a changing
Look at the light, climbing up the aerial
Bright, white coming alive jumping off of the aerial
All the time it’s a changing, like now...
All the time it’s a changing, like then again...
All the time it’s a changing
And all the dreamers are waking

Finding ourselves as the ground, as that from and as the world of form arises, as emptiness dancing, we see clearly how the world of form is always changing. And there is no need to hold onto anything.

This is the dreamers waking. And each one of us is the dreamer waiting to awaken.

Labels: ,

Facination With Content |

There were all sorts of things coming up last night (worries about the future and so on, along with a belief in an "I" to worry about it), so I listened to radio for a while, first BBC and then New Dimensions.

Celestine Prophecy

They interviewed James and Sallie Redfield about the movie based on the Celestine Prophecy.

I found it somewhat interesting for a while, then noticed some reactions come up. James peppered most sentence with "magic" and "special", used very broad strokes in talking about what he talked about, and went pretty far into new agey philosophy and terminology.

Content and fall

He is a good example of someone being mesmerized by the apparently "spiritual" content on the path, which happens to most (all?) of us at some point. But he did not seem to have the realization that this is all still content. It is all process, impermanent. It comes and goes, and attaching to it is a surefire recipe for suffering. It leads to high highs and equally low lows. It leads to the dark night of the soul.

It did so even in my case, although I knew - both from immediate realization and what Buddhism and other traditions told me, that content is impermanence, and that what we are looking for is that which does not change, that which content arises from and as, emptiness dancing.

When there is a belief in the thought "I" there is also attachment to content, however subtle and "spiritual" both may seem. We try to create and hold onto some content, and dissolve and get rid of other content. There is an "I" in struggle with "the world".

The ground

When the belief in the thought "I" falls away, any content is free to come and go on its own - as it does naturally anyway. There is no longer any "I" that can be in struggle with any "world". There is just what is, as it is. It is just emptiness dancing, manifesting in all the many ways it does. There is just God's will.

Nothing is lost, apart from the belief in the thought "I" and what that brings with it, in particular a sense of struggle and suffering. There is no longer being caught up in attractions and aversions to content. There is just the free play of what is. And this freedom and disengagement allows for full engagement and aliveness.

A spoonful of sugar

The other side of all this is of course the spoonful of sugar which helps the medicine go down. This sugar usually happens during the early and mid-range path, up until the dark night (withdrawal from the sugar) and nondual awakening.

This sugar comes in many forms. It can be clarity, insights, increased functional capacity and so on. It can be bliss. Or it can be "magic" in the form of special abilities - seeing/engaging with energy, clairvoyance - synchronicities and so on.


As I wrote of this sweetened part of the path, including synchronicities, there was a synchronicity. I listened to Aerial by Kate Bush, and as I wrote "It can be..." she sang...

Could be honeycomb
In a sea of honey
A sky of honey

Yes, Kate, it can be honeycomb... It can be a sea and sky of honey.

That is the bliss that often comes with the awakenings, the bliss from the release of contractions.


Oscillations |

It seems that I am oscillating between a sense of "I" and realization of no "I" these days.

After Joel's talk earlier today, and through applying some of Douglas Harding's experiments, there was a shift into an immediate realization of "no I" again.

As Douglas Harding says, the difference is similar to that of a closed fist and an open hand. One is a contraction and blocks (and used to punch!), the other is open for the whole world.

Another way of describing it is as a field of consciousness and its manifestations - with the same content as before. There is everything arising from within this human self (sensations, feelings, emotions, thoughts) and everything arising from outside this human self (other humans, the room, sounds and so on), and it is a seamless field with no center nor any contraction anywhere.

When there is the "story of I" as Joel calls it, there is a sense of contraction in this field - around this human self. When the story of I is revealed as just a story, the field is revealed as seamless, with no center, and with no contraction anywhere. It is wide open for the whole world.

I went to our interim deeksha meeting tonight, and experience the deeksha energy as a field as well. It arises everywhere in space, as a field.

Labels: ,

Center for Sacred Sciences |

I went to my first live talk with Joel at the Center for Sacred Sciences today, and it was a remarkable talk. Clear, precise, from direct experience, using simple everyday words, wide-ranging and with a good deal of humor and personal flavor as well. He is saying what the mystics from all traditions are saying, with a clarity and immediacy that is rare.

I am beginning the foundations course, and hope to join their retreat in April. Their focus on the nondual awakening seems to be just what "I" (!) need right now.

He basically went through a lot of what I am trying to write about here. In my case, it is from limited experience and realization, with little eloquence and through a brain filter which is not too clear. In his case, it is from an obviously seasoned and brilliantly clear experience, from long studies of many traditions, and with a simplicity, ordinariness and elegance which is sorely needed today.

Labels: ,

Polarities Saturday, January 28, 2006 |

An outline of how polarities may be perceived through dualistic, transdual and nondual views...

First, the poles of the polarity are seen as absolutely different and separate from each other. One has little or nothing to do with the other. One is in here, another is out there. One is bad and should be annihilated, the other is good and should be sought. This is the mostly blindly dualistic view, and occurs if we are exclusively identified with our human self.

A slightly more sophisticated view is that the poles of the polarity are dependent on each other. We wouldn't experience joy if there wasn't grief, or wouldn't know to call something light if we didn't know darkness, and so on. This is a more conventional view and very early transdual.

Going a little further, we see that all polarities are aspects and expressions of one single process. The universe is a seamless process, and expresses itself in polarities. It is inherent in existence that we cannot have one without the other. It is the way the whole - beyond and including all polarities - expresses itself. This is more deeply transdual.

Eventually, as we awaken as Big Mind - as what is with no "I" anywhere - there is again a different realization of polarities. It includes the previous one, but now we also realize that all phenomena - expressing themselves in polarities - are Spirit, God, Buddha Mind. They are emptiness dancing. This is the One Taste experience of polarities.

Labels: ,

Heart Centered Practice: Fullness, engagement and embodiment |

I used to focus on heart centered practices - mainly the heart prayer, Christ meditation (visualizing Christ in the heart and about 5 feet away in all six directions), and gratitude (for everything happening, through for instance repeating the word "thanks" as a mantra) - and it seems that they are slowly coming back. There is a quite different embodiment that comes from heart-centered practices, a different sense of engagement in the world.

There are many ways of talking about this, and I am only scratching the surface here as with everything else (and am obviously far behind many others who have explored this).

Where inquiry and basic sitting practice gives insight and clarity, heart-centeredness gives engagement. The first is a zero/first person relationship with God, and the second a second person relationship with God. One gives the context, the other the content. One gives clarity and space, the other fullness and richness. One gives equanimity, the other joy, gratitude and compassion.

And both seem needed, at least in my case.

There is a continuing deepening into the heart and living from the heart possible, before and after a nondual awakening.

Labels: , , , ,

Buddhist God Realm, Identification with Witness, and Fall From Grace |

I am sure this is detailed in Buddhist philosopy, although I can't recall having seen this in the sporadic readings I have done in the area.

One of the six realms is the God realm, defined by bliss but also impermanence.

It seems that this describes an awakening as formless awareness - as the Witness, F9, causal realm - quite well.

There is bliss and a certain release from suffering, and it can certainly last for a long time. Still, there is the belief in an "I" here, now just placed on pure awareness. The seeing is made to appear as a seer.

With this subtle "I" there is also a subtle "other" and attachment to content. And as content always changes, it inevitably leads to a fall from grace. It is temporary.

All of this sounds a lot like the God realm.

Labels: , , ,

Just Happening |

When what is realizes itself with no "I" anywhere, there is an experience of everything just happening. There is no doer, only the doing. It is all the will of God, movements within God.

And as long there is an identity as a segment of what is, then there is struggle and suffering. There is a belief in the thought "I" and it is placed on something within what is, such as this human self or pure awareness, and this creates the whole sense of drama and suffering.

And that too is the will of God. That too is God manifesting and exploring itself perfectly, completely.

At the same time, before this realization dawns clearly (which is also the will of God), we tend to act as if there is free individual will. And this just adds to the richness of it all, it is another way God manifests.

Labels: ,

A Richness In Ordinary Life |

If all is the play of God, then there must be a great deal of interest and richness in an ordinary life. There are, by definition, far more ordinary and average lives than the obviously extraordinary ones, and why would there be unless there was an extraordinary richness even in these ordinary and unassuming lives?

All of this - the words play, interest, richness, ordinary, extraordinary and so on - are just abstractions, an overlay of what is. Still, is may point to something beyond these abstractions - something to explore and see what emerges from it.

In this case, it may help us see our own lives - as they are, often ordinary and unassuming - as being immensely rich. Rich enough for God to want to manifest in this particular way, to explore itself in this life as it is right now.

And it also seems that when we allow our experiences more fully into awareness, when we are with our experiences, we realize this richness directly.

That is certainly the case for me. When I am with my experiences, there is an immense richness there - often tinged with some bliss as well, independent on whatever other content may be there.

Labels: , ,

No Doer, Only Doing |

(Slightly rambling (!) as so many of these posts...)

It seems so simple. There is no doer, only doing. That is all.

The content is not neccesarily any different, just the realization that there is no doer. It is all just happening.

This is the awakening of what is to its own nature. To having no "I" as a segment of what is. No "I" in the human self, no "I" in pure awareness, no "I" anywhere else.

And from the view of the largest whole, that which is beyond and includes all polarities, this is how it has to be. It all happens on its own, the whole fluid seamless form of phenomena is moving and shifting as an ocean. It all just happens. It is the movements of God.

It is God as emptiness, as awareness and as the fluid seamless whole of phenomena.

How could there be an absolute "I" within or as any of this, unless it is the whole of what is?

There is no "I" anywhere. And the whole of all of it - God, Spirit, Buddha Mind - is the only "I" there is.

There is only the doing, no individual doer. And that is the case for all there is.

And in this awakening, there is also the awakening to the ground of all there is. That which all phenomena arises within and as.

The ground is emptiness, and the forms are emptiness dancing.

Nothing is left out. Nothing is excluded.

It is just what is, as it is - with no doer, only the doing.

Labels: ,

Impermanence & No I |

Two of the core insights of Buddhism is impermanence and no "I", and the two seems intimately connected.

When we more fully realize impermanence - fully allow it to sink in and be brought into awareness - then we have a chance to notice that which is not changing, which is ourselves as formless awareness, the Witness, or - going further - the ground, emptiness dancing, what is with no "I".

And it is only when we find ourselves as formless awareness - or the ground - that we can fully allow impermanence into awareness. Otherwise, if there is an "I" there and we have not yet awakened to the ground, it is just too difficult to fully acknowledge, it seems to threathen our very existence as this "I" - placed on something that itself is impermanent.

So to fully bring impermanence - of the whole world of form and phenomena - into awareness, we need to have fully awakened to/as the ground, to emptiness dancing, to no "I" anywhere.

Contemplating impermanence then, or more simply just fully bring whatever the impermanence which is inevitably here in our lives into awareness - including all the fears and other reactions it brings up, may be one of the faster ways to a realization of the ground and no "I".

And more generally, we can allow whatever is experienced more fully into awareness. Experiences always change, and being with this change allows us to more easily notice that which is not changing. First, ourselves as the Witness, as pure awareness, stainless, timeless. Then, what is - often the same content as before - but with no "I" anywhere, with an immediate realization of it all as emptiness dancing.

Labels: ,

Dream :: Playing Music |

I joined in playing with a group of people in a very interesting version of Bulgarian (or similar) folk song. I played on an improvised flute made of white electrical tubing (!). It was very beautiful in an unusual way, and I experienced a deep satisfaction in it.

I used to play music (keyboard and electronic) but haven't done so for several years. Recently, I have wanted to come back into it again. It fills something in me that nothings else does. My sense is that the dream can be taken in a quite literal way, maybe with exception of the particular instrument! It gave the dream the quality of improvisation, of suddenly and unexpectedly becoming engaged, and something very beautiful coming out of it.

Labels: ,

From I to No I, Dark Night, Deepening into the Nondual Friday, January 27, 2006 |

Here is a summary of recent slightly obsessive ruminations (!).

Three phases: from I to no I

When there is a belief in the thought "I" and it is placed on my human self, then there is a blind caught-upness in whatever is happening. I am identified with some parts of what's happening, and try to either hold onto or push away other parts, and there is a sense of struggle and suffering. I see myself as an object in the world, at the mercy of an infinite number of other and unpredictable objects. So, naturally I am also caught up in emotions such as fear, desire, aversion, anger and so on.

When there is an an awakening to pure awareness, to the Witness, there is still a belief in the thought "I" but now placed on the seeing. There is a sense of release here. I can work on and learn how to allow anything and everything to come and go as guests, to arise, unfold and fade within space & awareness. Learning this is a process and involves some effort and attention.

When what is awakens to itself as having no "I" anywhere - when no segment of what is revealed as having no inherent "I" - there is a more complete release. There is the same content - awareness and phenomena, seeing and seen - but no "I" as either our human self or awareness or anything else. It is all just happening. And there is an immediate realization of it as emptiness, as emptiness dancing. Again, there may be the same content - pain, anger, confusion, grief and so on - but it is all revealed as emptiness dancing. There is no suffering anymore.

Dazzled and dark night

During the awakening as formless awareness, there may be a good deal of bells and whistles going off. Bliss, miracles, synchronicities, seeing and engaging with energies, experiencing all as God and Spirit, and so on. And since there is a belief in an "I" there is also an attachment to phenomena, however subtle it may seem at the time. We are dazzled by the show - by the content, and since it is subtly experienced as "other" there is also a subtle holding onto it.

Two things can happen here. Either we continue and awaken as the nondual, as no "I" anywhere. Or we continue to hold onto I and other, and as the content moves - as it always does - there is a fall from grace. It seems that one way this can be triggered is through exhaustion of the human self, from the high energies that can be experienced in this awakening.

In Ken Wilber's framework, the awakening to Witness is F9, and it can be accompanied by awakening to F7 and F8 which is nature- and deity-mysticism. At all of these levels, there is a belief in the thought "I", and a subtle sense of I and other. And this can occur even if there is a clear sense, feeling or intuition of God being completely beyond and including any and all polarities. We have an immediate and (apparently) clear realization of this, yet this whole beyond all polarities is subtly "other". "I" am here as pure awareness, experiencing Existence as beyond and including all polarities. There is a oneness of "I" and the whole of Existence, of God.

During the dark night of the soul, there is a sense of loss of connection with God and of "dryness". No content gives comfort anymore. And this is exactly what is needed for the awakening to ground, to the emptiness which content arises within and as. To the context for all content and experiences, to that which never changes and is always right here now. To what is, with no "I" inherent in any segment of it.

No I

The irony is of course that this experience of "no I" seems to be all of ours immediate experience. We just don't trust it, and add a belief to the thought "I" onto it. Somehow, it seems safer that way. We become familiar with that way of operating.

And we have trouble becoming childlike again, to drop what we have been trained to see and experience, so we can realize that there is indeed on "I" anywhere in our immediate experience.

It is what aways is. Indeed, it is that which time unfolds within and as.

Or more accurately, it is that in which the fluid seamless whole of form (time & space) unfolds within and as.

Deepening into the nondual

There may also be a deepening into the nondual (I don't know too much about this). First, it may be a nondual awakening with same content as before. Then, it may deepen to be present to itself during the sleep and waking cycles of our human self (as it seems that it can be at F7-F9 awakenings as well). Then it may expand in space for all I know.

Transcend and include

As the nondual awakening has the same content as before, only with no "I" anywhere, it is another case of transcend and include. Nothing is lost, apart from the belief in the thought "I" and the struggle and suffering that brought with it. There is an effortless inclusion of our human self and human life, in its fullness - and its continuing development and maturation.

Labels: , , , ,

The Universe Story & The Transdual Breaking Into The Nondual |

I keep coming back to how the Universe Story - the story of the universe, based on mainstream science and told as our own sacred creation story - leads us deeper into the transdual.

Through the Universe Story, we learn to see the Universe as a whole - beyond and including all polarities. We see the Universe as one single seamless process, expressing itself as galaxies, planets, ecosystems, plants, animals, humans, awareness, self-awareness, cognition, culture, cities, civilizations and so on.

We, who embody the local eyes and
ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos,
we have begun, at last, to wonder at our origins.

Starstuff contemplating the stars.

Organized collections of ten billion billion
billion atoms, contemplating the evolution of matter,
tracing that long path by which it arrived
at consciousness here on the planet Earth
and perhaps throughout the cosmos.

- Carl Sagan, in Cosmos

And through deepening into the nondual, we set the stage for it eventually popping into the nondual (probably with the help of some practices in most cases).

We go from dualistic to deepening transdual to nondual to nondual with transdual within.

From being exclusively identified with our human self, to expanding our circle of concern and identity, to finding ourselves as what is with no "I" anywhere, to integrating this with the diverse transdual views and approaches.

The first version of transdual is a deepening into the realization of Existence beyond and including any and all polarities, including existence and nonexistence, creator and creation, Spirit and matter, seer and seen, nature and culture, body and mind, and so on.

The second version of the transdual is a deepening into the exploration of that which embraces and is beyond all polarities, in the context of the nondual - from the direct and crystal clear realization that there is no "I" anywhere.

The first transdual is vaguely aware of the ground - it may be intuited or sensed, but seen somewhat as "other". The second transdual is from an immediate realization of everything as emptiness dancing.

Labels: , ,

Even the unconditioned is conditioned on awakening |

In some spiritual traditions, they talk about conditioned and unconditioned such as such - for instance compassion.

This makes sense when we talk about conventional conditioning, but there seems to still be a condition there - even for the "unconditioned".

When I am exclusively identified with my human self, anything that comes up for me tends to be conditioned by external and internal circumstances. Something happens which triggers something in me, and the mechanisms behind it are formed by biology, culture and personal experiences. So in this case, (just about?) everything is conditioned - in a conventional sense.

When I awaken to myself as pure awareness, or as what is with no "I" anywhere, there tends to be "unconditioned" compassion and so on. But what comes up is still conditioned on something, in this case the realization of our nature as pure awareness or as what is with no "I" anywhere.

The infinite compassion that tends to come up here is certainly unconditioned by anything in the world of form, although it can be stimulated by it. And it can be described as unconditioned in the sense that everything is just happening - it is emptiness dancing. But we can also say that it is conditioned on awakening and immediate realization.

Labels: ,

Emotions in the context of Big Mind |

As we find ourselves as pure awareness and then Big Mind, our experience of and relationship with emotions also changes.

Identity and emotions

When I am exclusively identified with my human self - or a part of my human self - I have little choice but to be repeatedly caught up in emotions and other experiences. I try to hold onto some, push away others, and am neutral towards another group. I am an object in the world, struggling with other objects including emotions and experiences, and this struggle is often experienced as suffering.

When I awaken as pure awareness, as the Witness, I allow them all to come and go within space - as any experience and the whole world of form. They all come and go on their own, as guests. I am free to engage with them in various ways (for instance using their energies for action in the world) or not.

And when what is awakens to itself with no "I" anywhere, the whole world of form is revealed as emptiness dancing. As some of the many masks and forms of Spirit. The content is the same as previously - the same forms and experiences - but they are revealed as emptiness, as Spirit.

Emotions, qualities and energy

Another aspect of emotions is how their qualities are revealed and their energy applied.

Exclusively identified with my human self, emotions are seen as good or bad, positive or negative. I want some and try to hold onto them, and don't want others and try to push them away. In either case, their energy - and the energy "I" put in to manipulate them - often comes out in behavior, and a somewhat "blind" behavior at that. I tend to be somewhat at the mercy of inner and outer circumstances, acting and reacting out of habitual patterns.

Finding myself as pure awareness, I am more free to engage with content - including emotions or not. I can use their energies for action, within the context of space & awareness. There is less reactivity here, or more accurately - there is less blind engagement with reactivity. That too comes and goes as guests, within this stainless space & awareness.

And when what is awakens to its own nature, with no inherent "I" in any segment, then it all becomes emptiness dancing and there is even more freedom in whether to and how to engage with content and emotions.

In the last two cases, emotions can just unfold in space - as they are, or we can actively engage in them and here the qualities of the emotions tends to change.

Anger becomes directed forceful engagement. Dullness becomes resting as what is, with clarity. Jealousy and envy becomes rejoicing in other's happiness. Attraction becomes a realization of that too as me, at human (in terms of characteristics) and Big Mind levels. And so on.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 26, 2006 |

Sinking Into The Wisdom of What Is

I went to the second meeting of our evolutionary salon tonight. The context is the Universe Story and the realization that we - individually and collectively - are evolution unfolding. So how can we bring this further into awareness, and learn to find our evolutionary calling - individually and collectively.

There is a strong sense that we are all in the space of not knowing - both on a conventional level and also tapping into that which is beyond this.

What came up for me is the curiosity around our evolutionary calling. It is obviously (an aspect of) evolution itself, and always changing, so how do we notice it, learn to take it seriously, be humble enough to allow our ideas about how it "should" be drop, and bring it into life.

For me right now, it has to do with learning - in a continually deeper way - to be with what is. To allow what is into awareness and allow it so simmer, mature and unfold according to its own wisdom. And to trust that wisdom.

It also has to do with the clear Yes. Whenever something is deeply right, there is a deep knowing beyond thoughts and considerations. There is a clear and unmistaken Yes. And when I trust that and act on it, it unfolds in beautiful ways - often quite different from what I envisioned. And when nothing in particular comes up, when it is neutral, that is often an equally clear No. It is a sign to wait, to allow patience.

This is one way the evolutionary process speaks to, through and as us. The evolutionary process is all of us - on a form level - and occurs within and as the ground, as emptiness dancing. And allowing what is into awareness, to be with what is, seems to allow for something to emerge from all this. A new form of clarity which is distinct from yet can inform intellectual clarity.

As Byron Katie says, decision are formed and made on their own and in their own time, and are obvious when they surface. There is no need to try to make a decision or create clarity, that only brings up confusion and struggle.

This is something that life has shown me over and over, in so many ways, but I am a slow learner. And there is always deeper to go.

Of course, there is really an interplay of many aspects here - the pure awareness which holds it all, and the content of what is and also thoughts and reason. What emerges from what is, when it is held in awareness, informs our thoughts and reason, which in turn helps put it into life. And it also goes the other way.


Desperately Seeking the Nondual

Over the last few days, I have noticed a sense of urgency around arriving at a stable nondual awakening. What is, still somewhat identified with/as a separate "I", seeks to realize itself as it is - with no "I" anywhere.

One the one hand, I know that this sense of urgency often goes before a nondual awakening. On the other hand, I also know that it comes out of exactly what prevents the nondual realization - a belief in the thought "I".

I need to arrive at a nondual awakening.

  1. Yes, seems true.

  2. No, an opinion.

  3. Sense of urgency. Going back in memory to past nondual glimpses, trying to recreate the realization or what (apparently) led up to the realization. Obsessed. Pushing ahead.

  4. Clear. Spacious. Present. OK with what is. Seeing more clearly.

  5. (a) I don't need to arrive at a nondual awakening. (Yes, since it hasn't "popped" yet, it is obviously not needed yet.)

    (b) My thoughts need to arrive at a nondual awakening. (Yes, that is the only way they can be liberated - in the context of a nondual awakening.)


On My Side

A common realization for folks doing the Byron Katie inquiries is how we often try to reinforce and support each other's stories.

And when our own story about a particular issue has released us, it seems a little odd when others try to reinforce what they think must be our story about it.

The funny thing is, when that happens, it tends to trigger something in me. I have a story about them having a story about a story which I have released...

I had a couple of days this week where lots of plans fell through, one after another, and I noticed how very little go triggered by it. I mostly just enjoyed it. But when my partner tried to sympatize with me at the end of the second day, I noticed it triggered something in me.

She shouldn't support (what she thinks is) my story.

  1. Yes.

  2. No, just an opinion.

  3. Aggravation (she shouldn't assume I have a story about it, and try to build it up). Resentment (she is rocking the boat, destroying the calm I worked so hard to find). Discomfort, wanting to get away. Telling her "no" - to her story about my story.

  4. Calm, clear, spacious. Enjoying what is, even people's stories about what they think are my stories. Present. Connected.

  5. (a) I shouldn't support my story. (Yes, this is the real issue. I support my own story that she should not support my story. I am doing exactly what I see in her, and what triggers something in me.)

    (b) She should support my story. (Yes, that is what she does.)


Cynicism & Arrogance

Two of the characteristics that still typically triggers something in me are certain expressions of cynicism and arrogance.

That I have any characteristic in me (at both my human level and as Big Mind) is a given, but how is something to explore. And if it triggers something in me when I see it in others, it means I have not quite come to terms with it in myself yet. More precisely, I believe in a thought about myself which is not quite accurate (which no thoughts are of course).

Cynicism and arrogance both comes from believing in thoughts. Cynicism says "I know this already" and prevents receptivity. And for me, arrogance says the same. It is a jaded attitude, coming from believing in abstractions and not finding myself as "not knowing" at either human or transpersonal levels.

It is a way that I protect myself from what is. It is an expression of defense, coming from the perception of having something to defend - an abstract identity, including some things and excluding something else.

And this attachment to an exclusive identity comes from a delusion, as everything is naturally and effortlessly included on both human and Big Mind levels. At my human level, I have every quality in me that I see out there - either as a potential or unfolded to various degrees. As Big Mind, I am inherently everything that is happening.

This writing so far is just a lot of additional abstractions, which I notice don't have much effect - at least not in terms of a release. So...

He shouldn't be so cynical (by brother)

  1. Yes (seems true, it presents receptivity and sincerity)

  2. No, just an opinion.

  3. Judgments (he should see all the problems with cynicism clearer, how he alienate himself through it). Superiority (I see it much clearer). Repulsion (want to get away from it, not be contaminated by its presence). Fear, of being sucked into it and contaminated by it. Images of myself poisoned by cynicism, and the alienation and loneliness it brings. Removing myself from him, mentally and physically.

  4. Clear. Present with him and what is. Opening heart. Recognition and compassion. Sincerity. Listening. Being here, present.

  5. (a) I shouldn't be so cynical. (Yes, I am equally cynical, in a form that only appears different. I am jaded, attaching to abstractions instead of being present with and receptive to what is.)

    (b) My thoughts shouldn't be so cynical. (Yes, it is the belief in thoughts that creates cynicism. In thoughts that says "I know it already", or "I know better". "I don't have to be receptive, I have nothing to learn here". Jaded thoughts which brings isolation and stagnation.)

    (c) He should be so cynical. (Yes, because he is. That too is a complete expression of Spirit, God, Big Mind, Buddha Mind - it is one of its many masks, a part of its dance.)
After going through this, I again see how just thinking about it does just about nothing in terms of resolving it. At its best, it can lead me into sincere inquiry, and it is the inquiry - sincerely explore what is there - that can offer release.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 |


What is

We are what is - this ground, awareness and form - an no segment of what is has any "I" in it. It is complete, nothing is missing. It is beyond and including any and all polarities. It just is.

At some level, there is a deep and inherent knowing of this.

Knowing and dissatisfaction

And this knowing shows up as dissatisfaction until the nondual awakening, until we awaken as this ground, as emptiness dancing in all its infinite form.

Dissatisfaction filtered through "I"

The reason for this dissatisfaction is believing in the thought "I" and placing it on a segment of what is, and the sense of split, separation, alienation, desired and so on created by this.

And when there is the belief in an "I", this dissatisfaction is filtered through the experience of I and other, and takes all the forms we know from human life. Mainly in the form of seeking temporary satisfaction through fleeting experiences and apparent attainments.


This dissatisfaction itself is emptiness dancing, is is one of the many forms of Spirit. And at another level, it is a sign of our divinity - our inherent completeness beyond and including any and all polarities.

Seeking and release

This seeking is ultimately as seeking for a nondual awakening, since it comes from a deep knowing of our completeness and can only be satisfied by this nondual awakening.

So for a while, it takes the many worldly forms we are familiar with. Eventually, when we begin to realize that we cannot find complete fulfillment there, it is that which eventually puts us on the spiritual path - in whatever form it takes.


It is the thirst that only can be quenched when we realize that we - and everything - is the water.


Weariness & Dryness

After being fascinated with the content of what is for a while, there is a time of weariness and/or "dryness" as often described by those going through a dark night of the soul.

And this weariness with content and process helps us detach from all this and discover the ground it all happens within, and ourselves as that ground. As emptiness dancing.

This sounds fine and dandy when described briefly like this, but can entail a good deal of despair - proportional to the previous degree of attachment.

Of course, in hindsight it is all worth it. It is all worth it, all the suffering and drama from mistakenly exclusively identifying with this human self and possible previous incarnations as well. It is all revealed as emptiness dancing, no matter how serious it seemed at the time.


Transdual Within Nondual

The way this comes out for me is a moving target, always changing.

Right now, it comes out this way...


When what is awakens to itsef as having no "I" anywhere, it also awakens to itself as the ground everything happens within and as. Everything is revealed as emptiness dancing.

This is the nondual awakening.

The content is the same - this body, this room, this awareness - but none of these have any inherent "I". It is just what is, as it is. And the whole "I" phenomena is seen as just a temporary belief in the thought "I", and placed on a segment of what is - either this human self or pure awareness itself.

This is the Absolute. It is Big Mind, Buddha Mind, Spirit.


But it is not the whole story. It leaves out the differentiation and change in the world of form and phenomena. It leaves out F1-F8 in Ken Wilber's framework, physical matter through to nature- and deity-mysticism. It leaves out the wonderful world of content.

This is an area where there is always change, and where the whole universe is revealed - through modern science - as one single seamless process of evolution.

Exploring differenatiated content within its nondual context

Where the nondual is the realization of emptiness dancing, with no need for differentiatons, the transdual is the exploration of the world of form within the context of the nondual.

We know - from plain logic, intuition or immediate realization - that everything is emptiness dancing. And this gives us a context for exploring the world of form in an always more deeply transdual way.


All Grace

Everything is grace - it is all God.

When we don't see it - from believing in the thought "I" and placing it on a segment of what is - we create struggle and suffering for ourselves.

When we realize there is no "I" anywhere, it is all revealed as grace.


What Nondual Awakening Brings Up

From own limited experience, and that of others, it seems that an awakening to/as the nondual can bring up a few different things. Of course, what it brings up doesn't really matter here as it is all seen as emptiness dancing, as just the play of the ground within and as everything happens.


One is that it is actually quite comical. What is spent all this time - during the life of this human self and maybe before - being completely absorbed in and identified with the content. All this time, it was caught up in the drama of the content and not also realizing itself as the ground within and as this all happens.

And it is so simple. This ground - the whole secret - was always here, it is nothing else than the Eternal Now, that in which time unfolds, and it was never - even for a millisecond - gone.


And this can bring up embarrassment as well, which is also recognized as emptiness dancing, as the dance and play of the ground.


And with comedy goes tragedy. When what is is exclusively identified as a segment of itself - most typically a human self or parts of a human self - there is various degrees of suffering and this is as real as anything else. When the suffering is perceived as real, it is for all practical purposes real. And this is a great tragedy and opens and deepens our heart and engagement in the world.


And realizing this, there is also the recognition that the deepening and exploration will continue. As someone said, the path to God has ended but the path in God continues.

The world of form continues to change and evolve, and our vehicle in the world of form - this human self - also continues to change, develop and mature.


And there is also a newfound appreciation of delusion here.

Before entering the gateless gate (nondual awakening), we wanted from delusion to awakening.

Afterwards, there is a clear recognition of also delusion being emptiness dancing. That too - as much as anything else - is the Divine, in one of its many forms and masks.

That too, is God, completely.

And with a built-in mechanism for seeking liberation and awakening to itself as the ground, as emptiness dancing.


God Realization & Enlightenment

Barry and I also talked some about the complementarity of God realization (F7-F8 in Ken Wilber's framework) and enlightenment (nondual).

God realization is the heart-centeredness and fullness of it, and can always go further - it can always deepen, always be brought more into life. And the nondual awakening - the ground awakening to itself - is the ultimate awakening.

Deity mysticism and dark night of the soul

In an exclusive nature- and deity-mysticism awakening (F7-F8) , there is still a subtle sense of an "I" and thus some attachment to content. It is clear that God is beyond and includes any and all polarities, including that of seeing and seen, but a center of gravity as a subtle "I". There is oneness, but not "no I anywhere".

And as content always changes - and anything in particular, including bliss and insights, eventually goes away - this attachment to "I" and content brings the apparent "I" down as well. The ship sinks, and we sink with it.

This is the dark night of the soul.

It may be at least partially triggered by burn-out from the intensity of the F7-F8 awakening. And the "dryness" of it - the lack of comfort in anything - is an opportunity to find the ground within and as which this all happens - the awareness and all phenomena together.

Nondual to the rescue

The nondual awakening - the ground awakening to itself - is the rescue here. What is, awakens to itself with no "I" anywhere. The ground - emptiness - pops out, comes to the foreground. Everything is revealed as emptiness dancing, independent of the particulars of the content.

Deity mysticism and fullness

And while a nondual awakening is the rescue from the appearance of going down with the ship, the F7-F8 awakening brings fullness and deepening of it. It brings the heart.

Where the nondual is a zero or first person relationship with God, nature- and deity-mysticism awakenings is a second person relationship with God. Together, there is deepening fullness, flow and fluidity.

F1-F8 and deepening

At the F1 through F8 levels, there is continual deepenings and awakenings. There is always further to go.


Fire, Awakening, Dark Night & Recovery

I just talked with Barry on the phone. He is one of the facilitators of the seven month deeksha process I am in, and I deeply appreciate his maturity and insights.

It was very helpful. He is further along on what seems a very similar process as what I am in, and it feels good to be "seen" by someone who can relate to it from his own experience, and also give very good suggestions as well.

One of the things we talked about at the end was five element acupuncture, relating to the awakening and subsequent dark night of the souls - as it unfolded for each of us. During the awakening, the fire energy went berserk and burnt everything up, which in turn lead to a collapse and the dark night of the soul. Five element acupuncture was an important part of his recovery from it, as it is for me right now.

During my awakening, there was a burning passion for just about anything, and a huge amount of energy and immense capacity for activity and engagement. Then, during the dark night, it all went out the door and there was hardly any spark left for anything.

Now, after some months of five element treatments, the fire is stronger at the core - and there is some passion for exploring these types of things and whatever I write about in this blog, but it still has much to permeate. There is still a dryness and parchedness in most of my life, and absence of energy and enthusiasm. But, it is slowly and gradually coming back.

I started five element sessions last January, did regular session through July, then a pause during the nondual awakening, and I have resumed sessions every other week.

Five element acupuncture as an interest

Five element acupuncture is a long standing interest of mine, and I am still considering getting trained in it. But there is no need to push it right now. It is so clearly not the right time. There is still much recovering left, until my passion is strong and clear enough for studies and engagement of any serious kind.


To get somewhere, go in the other direction

Last night, I realized how I was falling into one of the oldest traps of them all: going directly for where I am trying to arrive at.

And of course, trying to "get somewhere" is another old trap, at least in spiritual practice. There is nowhere to go - this very mind is the Buddha Mind, and at the same time - there is somewhere to go, there is a realization that needs to happen, the realization that this is it.

So, in wanting to realize more clearly "no I", and getting caught up in some frustration around it, I went directly for it. I recalled periods in the past where there apparently was a clear(er) realization of it, and tried to recreate it. Instead of open-ended inquiry, I told myself that "this, which seems like a subtle 'I' is just another object rising within space, and even this awareness of it all is just a segment of what is". And so on. Running around like a rat in a cage.

I find that it is actually really useful to go into delusion like this, even knowing it is delusion. When I allow myself to go fully into it, I also see more fully and clearly that yes, it does not work.

In any "inner" work, there seems to be a general - apparently paradoxical - guideline. If you want to "get" somewhere, go in the opposite direction.

If you want to find clarity, go fully into the confusion that is there.

If you want light, fully embrace the darkness that is here.

If you want to open for gratitude, allow the resentment to be fully seen and experienced.

If you want full awakening, embrace complete delusion.

If you want to pass over to the "other shore", be here/now.

And if I want to realize more clearly "no I", then I can sincerely - open endedly - search for and within anything that appears as an "I".

Trying to recall past realizations won't get me anywhere. It can't be recreated, especially not through memory. And it never happens the same way twice. Any key seems to only work once.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 |

What is it that is not changing?

There are many pointers to discovering "no I", and many approaches to unravel the knots coming from a belief in the thought "I".

Byron Katie's inquiry helps these knots to unravel and reveal what is with no beliefs and no "I". Douglas Harding's experiments helps us directly see it. And asking What/who am I? is yet another approach.

One that I find particularly helpful (although obviously not quite enough to have it "pop" completely), is asking What is it that is not changing?

Obviously, the only aspect of what is - right here/now - that is not changing, is the "ground" it all arises from, within and as. It is that which everything - awareness and phenomena alike - happens within and as.

I notice for myself that I find it, yet it seems somehow as subtly "other" because there is a subtle "I" as something else. Last fall, when it did pop, it just was - as everything else, with no "I" anywhere.


Motivation & Meaning

Again, this is something that is pretty obvious in its terse form - but also a living and evolving question for each of us, probably as long as there is a human self here.

Self, motivation and meaning

On the level of our human self, there is obviously a range of motivations and a sense of meaning (or lack of meaning). And this evolves as we do, from egocentric via ethnocentric to deepening worldcentric.

Big Mind, beyond and including motivation and meaning

At the same time, at the level of what is - Big Mind, beyond and including all polarities - there is no motivation or meaning. Everything just happens. Whenever motivation or sense of meaning arises, I am that too, but I (as Big Mind) don't have motivation or sense of meaning. I am it but don't have it.

Deeper into both

There is an interesting interaction between these two levels.

In the freedom from meaning and motivation as Big Mind, there is also the freedom of being more fully engaged in meaning and motivation on a human level. We know that too is "emptiness" and intrinsically devoid of anything absolute, so we can fully engage in and as it.

And by fully engaging in/as meaning and motivation, we clarify Big Mind - beyond and including all and any motivation and sense of meaning. We clarify its stainless nature. Everything comes and goes as guests. Nothing sticks.

Transcend and include

As we move on, our circle of care, concern and compassion gradually expands to include all of Existence, beyond and including any polarities. This is a case of transcend and include, so we don't abandon ego- and ethno-centric care - they are included as the circle expands.

Infinte motivation, limited insights and skills

In our daily life, we seek solutions and actions which seem - as far as we can tell - to be of benefit at all levels.

The motivation may be infinite, but our practical insights and skills are always limited. There is always further to go, always more to learn on a practical level.


We can also say that our motivation moves from various levels of ego/ethno/world-centric; to realization of Big Mind devoid of meaning or motivation; to a motivation out of compassion coming from our integration of Big Mind and our human self.

First, we are exclusively identified with our human self, and our motivation and sense of meaning comes from various levels of ego-, ethno- and world-centric living.

Then, we find ourselves as Big Mind devoid of any meaning or purpose. It all just is, as it is. That is all.

Then, as we learn to integrate Big Mind and our human self, compassion - Big Heart - is awakened. We function from an even deeper world-centric level, with care and compassion for all there is.

This is of course a very idealized outline.


Simple Realization, Convoluted Expression

Well, this is just what everybody is saying. The realization of "no I" is very simple, yet incredibly difficult to express.

The simplest and most accurate is silence. Existence is expressing it perfectly everywhere and all the time anyway.

Yet, most don't notice, so that is where some words may be helpful.

And in terms of words, again the simplest ones may be most accurate... As it is. What is. And so on. These annoying phrases which are to the point and accurately reflect the immediate realization of it, but also don't help others very much.

Going beyond this, into more descriptions and interpretations of it, it tends to become either obscure and weird sounding, overly complex and complicated, or poetic and approximate - or any combination of these.

The challenge for our times, as it is at any time, is to express this in a way that is simple, straight forward, accurate, using current terminology, and not too obscure

The best I can come up with now is...

There is just what is, as it is. The same content, of (a) form and phenomena, (b) Witness and seer, and (c) the ground (emptiness) from, within and as awareness and phenomena happens. But there is no "I" anywhere in all of this. Not in the human self, not as pure awareness, not as seen, not as seeing.

It is as if each phenomenon is experiencing itself, right where it is.

Emptiness and form is no different from each other, although can be distinguished. Seeing and seen is no different from each other, yet can also be distinguished.

And from this realization, of what is realizing itself as beyond and including any and all polarities, there is a sense of everything just happening. There is no "doer" present, just the doing happening.

Monday, January 23, 2006 |

Everything Aware of Itself

In a nondual awakening, it is of course difficult to say anything about it.

What is
has awakened to itself beyond and including any polarities, and the function of words is to split, so there is not an easy match there.

What is awakens to itself in its various aspects. (a) The ground, emptiness. (b) Witness, pure awareness. (c) Form and phenomena.

And there is no "I" in any of these areas.

Ground and form

There is also a clear experience of the ground being that from, within and as which phenomena happen. And this ground is experienced directly as what can be best described as emptiness, and all form and phenomena are also experienced directly as this emptiness. Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form.

Seeing and seen

At the same time, the awareness of it all does not seem to have any center of circumference. It appears distinct from time and space, timeless, infinite. It is everywhere. The space itself is the seeing.

So there is then an experience of phenomena experiencing itself. There is the phenomena, happening somewhere in space, and right there with it is the awareness of it. The seeing and seen is one and the same.

Everything is experiencing itself - within and as this ground, which includes seeing and seen.


Deeksha Process

The deeksha process - or rather the awakening process catalyzed by the deekhas - is obviously unique in each case.

At the same time, there seems to be a general or typical process as well, from the fragments of info I pick up here and there.

Three phases to oneness

For instance, I have seen described these three phases to oneness...

  1. Awakening to/as the Witness
    As pure awareness, the seer, the Eye of Spirit, causal level, F9

  2. Deepening sense of no separation
    No separation with surroundings, and all of Existence

  3. Oneness
    As described by mystics of many traditions, including the Christian and Sufism
This oneness may still have a subtle sense of "I" and thus a subtle attachment to content. It is possibly an awakening to F8 (deity mysticism) in Ken Wilber's framework.

Bhagavan (one of the two main channels for the deeksha energy) says that there is a further phase beyond this, and it is preceded by the dark night of the soul.

Transition to nondual

So the two next phases may then be...
  1. Dark night of the soul
    A detachment from sense of "I" and any content

  2. Nondual awakening
    What is awakens to its own nature, with no "I" anywhere. As the ground from/within/as which seer and seen - and any other polarity - arise.
My own process

At least, these phases seem to correspond somewhat with my own process. First an awakening as the Witness (induced by alcohol and lasting for several months), then an awakening to F7-F8 (nature and deity mysticism, lasted for several years), then the dark night of the soul (also lasting a few years), and then - possibly - a nondual awakening, as the ground (emptiness) all this happens within and as.

Dark night of the soul

I see that the way I write about the dark night of the soul is a little different from how it was initially, some weeks back. Now, I see it - at least in my own case - as coming after an F7-F8 awakening, clearing the space for a nondual awakening.

It is a pretty general term though, and can be used in several different meanings - mainly referring to a sense of loss of connection with the divine, with God. And that can of course happen at any phase of the process - at least until a clear and stable nondual awakening.



Here is an odd dream from last night. I went to sleep with the intention of seeing more clearly what prevents me from having the passion I used to have - up until the "dark night" some years ago. And during the early hours of the morning, I dreamed that what prevents this passion went from shapeless flowing strands into clearly formed plastic capsules, light blue and floating inertly around. They went from active and distributed to harmless and contained.

When I woke up, I experienced the lightness which was so characteristic of my mornings during the initial awakening phase (ten years). A lightness, enthusiasm and passion for being alive and for the day to come.

Very odd, especially since the "resolution" here did not involve any transformation, integration or insight. It was more of an emergency, band-aid containment. But I'll take what I get.



Dryness & Liberation From Content

Awakening through F9

During an initial awakening, if it goes to levels F7-F9 in Ken Wilber's terminology, there is a subtle sense of "I" and thus inevitably an attachment to content.

And this is not so surprising. There is often an amazing content at these levels, an immediate experience of God as everything, immense energies, clarity, amazing insights, maybe unusual abilities (seeing energy, healing) and so on. Compared to the narrow confines of previously being seeing oneself as exclusively this human self, this is pretty good.

So there is a subtle sense of "I" here, as the witness - as the Eye of Spirit, and with it a subtle arrogance, a subtle sense of achievement, and a subtle attachment to content. Even if this is seen, as it was in my case, it is maybe not taken quite seriously enough.

Yes, there is a subtle "I" here, there is obviously a ground beyond this which goes beyond and includes the seer and seen, but that is not so important. Why move on when this is so great and apparently so permanent?

There is no way this can go away.

Famous last words...


So here, we have an opportunity to let go of it all and push on - into the completely nondual, the ground beyond and including seer and seen. But the motivation may not be completely there.

Or, we may get pushed into the dark night of the soul, where it all is - apparently - lost. What seemed like it could never go away, because it was so obviously eternal, now does indeed go away. Anything we found comfort in is gone, and much of what we don't want much do to with comes up.

It is an inverse of the previous situation.

High energies yields to exhaustion. Control to being at the mercy of circumstances. Insights to dullness. Blissfulness to despair. Compassion to crankiness. Discipline to wavering. God yields to the purely and utterly human.

And in this, there is a sense of dryness, as many of the Christian mystics called it. Even if that which used to give us comfort is still there, there is no excitement or comfort in it.

For me, I still (literally, physically) saw everything as energy and as Spirit, as God, even in the middle of this dark night. But it gave me no comfort whatsoever.

Even right now, I find no comfort in (literally) seeing everything as God, in synchronicities (which abound), hear about or remembering stories of amazing spiritual experiences and so on. There is nothing there for me. Only dryness.

The blessing of dryness

There is a great blessing in this dryness, because it helps us detach from content and move on, seek what is beyond it. It helps us move beyond to the ground from, within and as the content arises.

It helps us find ourselves as this ground, independent of the particulars of the content, and with no "I" anywhere - not even subtly. This is the ground which includes seer and seen - from, within and as which the seer and seen arises.


Gateless Gate

When what is awakens to its own nature, having no "I" anywhere, it has passed through the gateless gate.

Previously, it was identified with and as a human self, and then the seer - pure awareness. And from this perspective, with the seer-seen split, there is indeed a gate to pass through. There is another step - or more - to pass through the gate into the nondual, into awakening as that which is beyond and includes any and all polarities, including that of seer and seen.

But now, having passed through the gate, we don't see it anymore. We now awaken as what is, as it is, beyond and including all polarities. Itself distinct from time, but containing time. Distinct from process, but containing process. It is what is, always. There is no gate here. There never was.

It only appeared to be a gate there, as long as what is was identified with only a segment of what is. As long as there was a split between seer and seen. And since it appeared to be there, it was indeed there. There was a gate to pass through. We pass through it, turn around, and it is not there.

A gate that vanishes as soon as it is passed through.

The gateless gate.


Language :: One With & What Is

Subtle I

Up to F9 (deity mysticism) in Ken Wilber's framework, there is a sense of an "I" - although subtle towards the end. Here - at least in my experience - there is a clear experience of Existence (God, Spirit, Buddha Mind) being completely beyond and including any and all polarities, including that of seer and seen. But there is also a subtle identification as the seer.

The language here tends to reflect this. We may say "one with all", "no separation" and so on, all indications of a seer-seen split as well as a realization that they both are aspects of the same. There is no separation, yet there is - subtly.

No I

When what is awakens to itself as having no "I" anywhere, the language changes. Here, we may say "what is", "as it is" and so on - all the annoying phrases we know from adveita and similar nondual traditions. Annoying, because they are indeed the most accurate way to express it, and yet makes little sense for those who are not there themselves.


Of course, at F9 and earlier, it may seem a subtle split into seer and seen, a subtle identification with an "I". It is mostly drowned out by the experience of it all being Spirit, God, Buddha Mind, by the amazement of discovering this.

But having passed through the gateless gate, into the nondual, it is not so subtle. It is actually a quite clear and unmistakable difference.

The ground is revealed in a clearer way - now literally as emptiness, and with all phenomena arising from, within and as emptiness. And it is completely and effortlessly clear that there is indeed no "I" anywhere, no segment of what is has an inherent "I" in it. Not even that which previously seemed so compelling as "I" such as first the human self, and then the seer - the eye of spirit.


Big Dreams

Reading Joel's story, where dreams figure prominently, reminds me of a couple of Big Dreams early on in my own process.


I am with my tai chi teacher and a female friend I have a strong soul connection with. There is a wreath hung on a pole at some distance from us. My tai chi teacher lifts a bow and shoots an arrow through the wreath. She hands me the bow, smiles, and says it is my turn. I initially doubt I can do it, but then know I will shoot the arrow through as she had. My friend says I am blessed by Apollo, and I know she is blessed by Aphrodite.

This dream occurred when I was 19 or 20 years old, a couple of years into the F7-F9 awakening (in Ken Wilber's framework). My only teacher at the time was my tai chi teacher, a woman I admired tremendously - especially for her dedication to the path and her living insights and realizations. My friend was a woman 7 years older than me who I met in the tai chi class. She turned out to be a tremendously important mentor for me, and we had a very strong and deep soul connection. Apollo is the Greek god of the sun. Looking back, I can see all the uncertainty I experienced at the time, moving in uncharted waters and with almost my only guidance from the process itself - which was strong enough to lead the way.

I didn't shoot the arrow through in the dream, but knew I would. I am not sure if it is shot through yet, probably not quite. Maybe it is in mid-air. Maybe it won't land until I die.

The Gold Fish

I am in a courtyard in a very old European brick building. It is in an ancient city, and the courtyard is one of a few inside of a city block. The lower part of the courtyard is filled with water, and a large golden fish is swimming in the murky water. There are some others around the edges, but I am the only one going into the water. I know I have to touch the fish. I swim out to it.

This dream occurred a few months after the previous one. The gold fish may represent individuation (centaur level) and also further awakenings. The image of the golden fish in the murky water enclosed by old brick buildings is similar to the lotus blossom emerging from the mud. I lived in an old brick building just like this one when I had the dream, in a spacious loft six levels up.


Sunday, January 22, 2006 |

From Other to I

This is not so new anymore, not for myself nor for many others, but I am still curious about the mechanisms behind it - and it is always fresh each time it comes up as well.

When something comes up as an "other" and a disturbance, one way to approach it - maybe the only really fulfilling one - is to go fully into it. To fully experience it. To ask Can I be with what I am experiencing right now?

As long as we try to push away any of our experiences, we add suffering on top of whatever the experience itself is. And through this struggle, we also tend to make it all more persistent. It wants into the warmth, we barricade the door, and it only knocks harder.

By allowing ourselves to more fully experience it, we also break down the perceived barrier of I and other. The experience, which initially seemed to be completely "other" and unwanted, now gradually becomes "I". And in the process, the suffering softens and falls away.

The added suffering - created by resistance - falls away. The experience itself tends to transform as well - it is now free to flow and transform again. And the energies and qualities in it, previously "other" and inaccessible to us, are now revealed as "I" and accessible in our lives.

Of course, this is one aspect of the whole process of developing a sense of I, then gradually include more and more in this "I", until everything - beyond and including all polarities - is included, and we see that there is no "I" inherent in any particular aspect of what is. Or rather, that there is not any more "I" in any particular segment than in any other.