This is where I pay my respects to the teachers and mentors, past and present, who have been my personal mindshifters. The Miriam Louisa character came with a tendency towards contrariness and scepticism, which is probably why she gravitated to teachers who displayed like qualities. It was always evident to me that the ‘blink’ required in order to meet life in its naked suchness was not something to be gained in time. Rather, it seemed clear that it was something to do with understanding what sabotages this direct engagement. So my teachers were those who deconstructed the spiritual search – and with it the seeker – inviting one to “see for oneself.” I realised early on that I wouldn’t find any help within traditional spiritual institutions since their version of awakening tends to be a project in time.* Anyway, I’m not a joiner by nature. I’m a solo swimmer – which has had me in trouble in deep water a few times.
Learning to roll onto my back and give in to the current always saved me… still does.
Forty-five years on the neti neti highway:
Only words and conventions can isolate us from the entirely undefinable
something which is everything.
The Wisdom of Insecurity
– – –
When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts
he will see the division between the thinker and thought,
the observer and the observed, the experience and the experiencer.
He will discover that this division is an illusion.
Then only is there pure observation which is insight
without any shadow of the past or of time.
This timeless insight brings about a deep radical mutation in the mind.
Total negation is the essence of the positive.
The Core of the Teaching
– – –
… in the long run, no really subtle, deep and far-reaching problems can be solved in any field whatsoever, except by people who are able to respond in an original and creative way, to the ever-changing and developing fact by which they are confronted.
– – –
Whatever happens, happens to you by you, through you;
you are the creator, enjoyer and destroyer of all you perceive.
I Am That
– – –
However much else we may have understood,
have we in fact even started on the way –
the pathless way that leads no body from no there to no here?
– – –
“Awake” is when you don’t take this aliveness for granted and so stop imagining that you have tomorrow.
Awakeness is NOT “spirituality” in which one aims at an imagined “perfect” state that some saint or holy man attained and to which that “great one” has marked the path.
Awake means being with whatever is RIGHT NOW, without fantasizing about something better or more evolved.
The Ten Thousand Things
– – –
* However, I can trace the initial tentative steps on my path to the renegade Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa. Reading his book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism was unarguably a mindshifting experience. I still regard it as one of my “pillow books.”
For those curious about the many and varied ways nondual awareness is being expressed, here are a few sites to explore. There are so many facets to this understanding; it’s good to keep in mind that if the writer/teacher is claiming to inhabit some exclusive, rarified spiritual state, and that eventually you might understand what’s really “real” (via devotion, practice, commitment and cash) don’t waste your time.
I’ve checked these sites and don’t think you’ll find any charlatans. Indeed there are some nuggets of pure gold. Links are listed in no particular order.
Jerry Katz – Nonduality Blog
Hariod Brawn – The Sway of Contentedness
Scott Kiloby – Reflections on the One Life
Robert Wolfe – Living Nonduality
Joan Tollifson – The Simplicity of What Is
Michael A. Rodriguez – Boundless Awareness
Matthew K – Non-Duality America
Matt Licata – A Healing Space
Shanti Einolander and contributors – ONE the Magazine
Ultimate Quest – for those who are motivated to “come to the end of themselves”
Colette Kelso – The Deepest Peace
Fred LaMotte – Uradiance
Alain Joly – The Dawn Within
Tony Cartledge – Serious Doubt
Jeannie Zandi – Living as Love
Jeff Foster – Life Without a Center
Chameli Ardagh – Awakening Women
Miriam Louisa – This Unlit Light
Ameeta – Self Discovering Self
Vince Flammini – Just Rest
Leo Hartong – Awakening to the Dream
Andrew White – Liberation Diaries
Dominic – Vanishing Narrative
Göran Backlund – Uncovering Life
Truthless Truth – The sound of the rain needs no translation
Susan Kahn – Emptiness Teachings
Amrita Skye Blaine – The Heart of the Matter
Pema Deane – The Vibrant Heart
Sat Sangha Salon – An Inquiry in Being
Maury Lee – Enlightenment for No One
Randall Friend – You are Dreaming
Katie Davis – Awake Joy
Bob O’Hearn – The Conscious Process
Roy Townsend – Past Seeking
Peter Francis Dziuban – Consciousness is All
Pamela Wilson – Fellowship of the Heart
Image: Australian artist Phoebe Rathmell – Indra’s Net
[I have inverted the image.]
Indra’s Net – the classic Hindu concept of the interconnectedness and interbeing of all creation, wherein everything reflects and is a reflection of, everything else.