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SIGNPOSTS TO THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU REALLY ARE A collection of quotes, meditations, teachings and reflections on non-duality, spiritual awakening, relationships, identity, suffering and the wholeness of life - by Jeff Foster I‟ve been teaching (or whatever you want to call this) for a good few years now. I‟ve spoken hundreds of thousands of words to thousands of people in dozens of countries. And it strikes me, after all these years, that what I share really boils down to something very, very simple indeed: that even in your imperfection, you are perfect exactly as you are. Mystery is the only certainty. Beyond belief, beyond doubt. Mystery is not ignorance, nor is it naiveté. It is not confusion, nor is it „hedging one‟s bets‟. It is absolute groundedness, wonder, childlike simplicity. Mystery is indestructible. It is not knowing…. and in that, knowing everything you need to know.
Our deepest fear is not the fear of death, it is the fear of life. It is the fear of living, really living, of truly being alive and awake and unprotected here and now. For life includes everything, not just the „good‟ stuff or the „positive‟ stuff. Yes, it‟s joy and it‟s bliss but it‟s also pain and sadness, fear, anger and confusion. To truly be alive is to admit that you cannot protect yourself from any of it. So we close off from life, we numb ourselves, we try to block out half the waves in the ocean of consciousness. But why do we fear the waves in the ocean when we ARE that very ocean? Our fear of life, which we mistake to be the fear of death, stems from our forgetfulness of who we really are. When you are all that appears, what is there to fear? Is it possible to hear criticism, even insult, and find deep acceptance in any response that emerges in the moment – grounded in the unshakeable knowing that what you really are doesn‟t need defending? And then, being radically open, is it possible to find a nugget of truth in what they are saying, even if it results in momentary humiliation, and destruction of the image of the one you thought you were? This doesn‟t mean you become passive and weak. Quite the opposite. You stop identifying as „victim‟ or „hurt one‟, and stop seeing the other as „enemy‟, and you remain open and vast, the infinite capacity for all life, for all thought and sensation and feeling. And here, in the midst of conflict, you discover the place where conflict ceases to be conflict at all – and wake up to a love beyond reason. Yes, every human relationship is a constant invitation to let go. Your mother, your father, your friends, your lovers, your coworkers, everyone you meet – here are your final gurus, your ultimate teachers. Listen to them. It was getting back into real, grounded, intimate human relationships – after so many years of detachment, neo-Advaita world denial and spiritual superiority – that really helped to expose all the remaining stuff about myself that I was still trying to avoid and hide from others. It was painful and humiliating, to be sure. But ultimately, it was astonishingly liberating. For the „stink of enlightenment‟ (as Mariana Caplan calls it) can‟t last very long, if you‟re sincerely interested in truth. Clichés like “there is no me” and “there is only awareness” just don‟t cut it. Thank you to all the women who have taught me how to love. One of my favourite things to do is to sit with my elderly father who has Alzheimers. It‟s a beautiful thing just to sit a place of profound notknowing with him, a place where I do not know what to say or do. I sit, without expectation, without trying to „fix‟ him, or manipulate his experience in any way. I just listen, without trying to make things better in the moment, without playing the role of „the one who knows‟. As consciousness, I am simply available to him. I don‟t need to „know‟ anything in this place, for we are each other. I simply cannot tell who is the one with memory loss. And here, I notice a deep and profound
acceptance of any wave of frustration or sadness that appears in the ocean of experience. His pain, my pain, there is no difference at all. And this seems to me to be what true relationship is at its very core – meeting, really meeting in the moment, without hope, without a future, without expectation, without a story. Coming face to face with yourself. Nobody meeting nobody. I love what Nisargadatta Maharaj says: “With the dissolution of the personal „I‟, personal suffering disappears.” But crucially, he also adds: “What remains is the great sadness of compassion”. Yes, the absence of „I‟ is not cold detachment and neoAdvaita world-rejection, but intimacy of the most unspeakable kind. Thanks, Dad, for keeping me grounded. So many spiritual teachings and practices present themselves as the „solution‟ to the „problem‟ of being human. They are all about getting rid of what we call the „negative‟, escaping painful emotions, transcending feelings, stopping thoughts, fighting the darkness, attracting the „positive‟, floating above our humanity, leaving imperfection behind and becoming perfect and enlightened. But why are we so deeply afraid to embrace our humanness in its totality, to deeply allow the present moment exactly as it is? Why the constant war against thoughts and emotions? What exactly are we trying to protect? What exactly do we fear? It seems that we have forgotten who we really are – the vast ocean of consciousness that unconditionally embraces its beloved „positive‟ and „negative‟ children with equal tenderness, that loves its „dark‟ and „light‟ waves to death, that holds its „yin‟ and „yang‟ with equal understanding. Life is not the problem. Thoughts and feelings are not the problem. The waves in the ocean are not the problem. Being human is not the problem. It never was. The „problem‟ begins with the „solutions‟ that we are offered, the paths we follow in our misguided innocence, and in our fear. We do not need solutions to the non-existent problem of being alive here and now. I used to believe that acceptance was something that you had to „do‟, and peace was something that you would eventually „attain‟, through continued effort and practice. I realise now that I had it all upside down and back-to-front. Acceptance is always already here, since what I am is always deeply allowing this moment to be exactly as it is, effortlessly – and the knowing of that IS peace, unshakeable peace without opposite. Peace and deep acceptance, not as future goals, but present moment realities, are not two states or stages – they are one and the same. Are you breathing? Are you awake and alive? Then you are wealthy beyond your wildest dreams. All the world‟s money, fame, success, glory; all the spiritual highs available to consciousness cannot even begin to touch this – this simple and undoubtable awareness that does not come and go, that cannot be gained or lost, that is not damaged by pain or loss nor enhanced by luck or achievement, that need not be believed, that
You cannot forgive someone for hurting you. or shut myself off from you. I no longer need to fear. avoid.. And yes. Until you are fulfilled with nothing. can die. your heart breaking with compassion for their deep pain. you can finally love your non-existent „enemies‟. sweet dreamer. you can never be a victim. you can still say „NO‟. „the hurt one‟ is not your true identity. egos can be threatened. What you are seeking is already here. Who you really are can never be hurt. into itself. or what could have been. you are never „the hurt one‟. The good news is that this moment is already allowed to be exactly as it is. Fortunately. yes. and identify as the time-bound image of „me‟. yes. enlightenment – whatever we think will bring us home. And from here. It cannot be harmed and does not decay or age. In realising that nobody has ever hurt me. In our innocence. love. fortune. It is breathing down your neck. there is nobody to forgive. It is your own breathing…. In discovering this ever-present deep acceptance at the heart of all present experience. images can be shattered. we feel homesick. always. is always infinitely closer than you think. Bones can be broken. True freedom lies nowhere else but in the „suchness‟ of this moment. we even start to believe concepts like “there is no me”. in and out…… There is no thinker – there is only thought arising. hopes and dreams of what should be. There is no lover separate from their beloved. in and out…. of course. Who you truly are. punish. But we are only seeking ourselves. In realising that you cannot hurt me. The One you love. pride can be bruised. fear of life comes . As „the hurt one‟ you cannot forgive. nothing will fulfil you. presently. as the capacity for hurt. When we forget our basic inseparability from life itself. whether „you‟ like it or not. There are no lovers anywhere to be found. We go seeking that One in time – seeking fame. the fragrance of the here and now. the love you seek. far from the One we love. As this open capacity. no matter what is happening. even as you seek it. There is no seer – there is only effortless seeing. And then the hunt begins. which cannot be divided. There is no love separate from the one who longs for it. since in its vast and loving embrace it deeply allows all of life. including hurt. Here in the deep peace of the ocean of you. There is no hearer – there is only hearing happening. hidden in every moment – fully revealing itself in every moment too. This is not a path for the faint-hearted. Bones can be broken. but who we truly are has never been touched. There is only love. only all of this being seen. cannot be hurt. Nobody has the power to allow this moment. effortlessly. Yes. I‟ll give you that.simply IS. Even as you read this. yes – but who you are remains present.
or through sheer exhaustion with . and not particularly interesting to the seeker. Any word. through failure. for your many years of dedicated. Thank you. in unimaginable stillness…. through identity loss. closer than breathing. But absolutely essential. You don‟t even realise that you never lost it. And the white background embraces all of these words unconditionally. uncomplaining service. Discovering That which is not in conflict. Trying to allow this moment is like trying to allow a seedling to grow into an oak tree. It cannot say no. You don‟t find the truth. is allowed to appear here. that‟s the constant invitation. that‟s the ongoing adventure. You‟re imagining you‟re reading a Facebook post by some guy called Jeff Foster – a post about imagining yourself perfectly. And so here we meet. truly recognising who you are. Memorising and repeating clichés about awakening is easy. even when the story falls apart. it‟s all perfectly imagined. and even if you‟re imagining that you‟re not imagining. or not posting a comment. Remembering yesterday‟s awakening is easy. and it doesn‟t find you. and what remains is an effortless willingness to not run away from thoughts and feelings. And silently. always here. And you‟re imagining posting a comment. and meet them as dear old friends. Life always seems to bring us to our knees eventually – through pain. that‟s for sure. even in the midst of life‟s challenges. Unconditional love is so unconditional that it even embraces our failure to love unconditionally. in this bittersweet free-fall into the unknown… The most unexpectedly beautiful gifts can come from a deep and total embrace of helplessness. ever-present. And now you‟re imagining that you are in agreement or disagreement with the post. any squiggle. but You remain. Talking about awakening is easy. Trying to fall in love is like trying to make your heart beat backwards. white background. and is. It allows all of life into itself.to an end. so that these words are able to appear here. Whatever you‟re imagining. It is simply recognised that there was never a „you‟ separate from „it‟ in the first place. who you really are watches all this imagination. any character. The beautiful paradox of awakening… Who you really are is like the white background behind this text. Concluding that “there is no me” or “all is One” is easy. that you like it or not. You‟re imagining yourself perfectly. But really living that awakening. here and now. Mostly ignored and neglected. Awakening is easy. with no conclusion. unable to be grasped. Words come and go. and even if you‟re imagining that I‟m just imagining all of this. Truth was.
AND who you are never. „you‟ and „I‟ fall away. ease and relaxation. For if there are not two. unconditional. is not just the intellectual realisation of awareness. The only question left is this: Are we on our knees begging and praying and waiting for „anything but this‟…. Freedom from separation within that very sense of separation. but are we actually separate? To whom does „the sense of being separate‟ appear? Does anybody own this „sense of being separate‟? Even „the sense of being separate‟ is inseparable from what you are. Do you and I fall in love? Or do „you‟ and „I‟ fall. but the present-moment discovery of a deep. We seek because we feel separate – from each other. It arises in total intimacy. It does not belong to you. and what a gift and a miracle it is to be alive and to experience this ridiculously beautiful and beautifully ridiculous mystery. Freedom seems to be unlimited in this way. Seeking doesn‟t end with mental conclusions. or the mental conclusion „there is no person‟. to reveal this ever-present love with no name. It is never „far away‟ from experiencing. And so love is not something that „happens‟ (in time) between two separate people. “There is no me!” Oh. It is the warmth on the face. in a vast open space that cannot be fathomed by mind. from life itself. Don‟t limit yourself to clichés. It ends with a radical love that will tear your heart open.seeking. in love? In love. Awe and wonder. dear seeker. It is the heat of the skin. they‟re the same knees. The richness and mystery and intimacy and sheer love of experience deepens and deepens over time. or a plethora of awakening experiences. But what is also true – and this is the real miracle – is that the Sun is always right Here. It is . how can two become one? All human relationship can be seen an invitation to this deeper unconditional love. uncompromising acceptance inherent in awareness itself. It seems that what brings true freedom. every thought to arise and fall. from The One we love. only lived. awe and wonder. in the intimacy of present experience. although it can seem that way – love is the falling-away of the very illusion of separation and twoness. What you are allows every sense. so infinitely creative that it dances as an entire universe. It seems like a contradiction… but only when you think about it. and its continued rediscovery in places you never dreamed of finding it. events and spiritual insights over time. relatively speaking – let‟s not deny it. millions of miles from us. or are we on our knees weeping and laughing with gratitude for what is already here? Either way. We feel separate. this paradox of existence and non-existence that never ever ever needs to be solved. ever changes. and is always already complete. Every day is our crucifixion and our death and our conception and our birth and our resurrection. Stunning! We are told that the Sun is a giant ball of burning gas. every feeling. And that is true.
feelings. Ah. As capacity. and let the Beloved catch you there. and so the concept of distance. The silence is always brand new. images. simply arise and dissolve in this vast. black and white. but you can die trying. What you are is an unconditional YES to what is. some may call it madness. sensations. but it‟s a divine madness. You can try to allow this moment. And just as a wave may seem far away from a particular part of the ocean. What you are. as it is.the glare in the eyes. where even the „no‟ is embraced. try. Bad news for the one who thinks they know. your imagined future. or lack of it. so too has awareness already allowed and accepted what is already here. And then there is no more trying. A dear old familiar friend. Buddhist and Christian. Thoughts are ripples in the ocean of Being. becomes meaningless in the intimate Sunshine of what you are. you are forever unbound. Intimate. And is the story of „your life‟ really who are you? Or does the story of your past. But miraculous news – and cosmic relief – for who you really are. They are fully allowed to ripple. these feelings…. raw and alive and unbound…. no more acceptance or rejection of this moment. and you can fail to allow this moment. no more succeeding or failing to allow. Oneness manifests as astonishing diversity. The unconditional love that you are is so radically unconditional that it hurts to deny it – but even the pain of Self-denial. but they will never touch the ocean‟s depths. sounds…. is fiercely unconditional in its love. Present. your self-image. Are you a person. which we call „suffering‟. Acceptance has nothing to do with „you‟. a separate entity moving through a world? Or are you simply capacity? Capacity for thoughts. Bad news for the self-image. even to this pain or this fear or this confusion. and succeed. and fail. Here. So try. amoeba and elephant and Milky Way and dog poop and that look in your elderly mother‟s swollen eyes – consciousness expresses itself as all of this. The story is always old. there just what is. Bad news for the seeker. containing within it an invitation back to Itself. life itself. Or… you can stop pretending to be the one who allows or doesn‟t allow. open. intimate space? Unimaginable freedom comes from the recognition that you are not who you think you are. the one with something to prove. In other words. present even when absent. you can‟t escape who you truly are. Rich and poor. Just as the ocean „accepts‟ every wave. has already said YES to these thoughts. these sensations. and yet there are no separate . falling in love with the Sun… Yes. in reality the wave IS the ocean. and already free. and notice that this moment is already allowed to be exactly as it is.
The world. What if the wholeness that we seek is already right here. or even at the beginning of the universe or time itself – it begins with the concept. intimate. A „thing‟ is a thought – a „think‟. but at concept-ion. so all-encompassing. open space of [awareness. A tree. Past. without prejudice. inseparable from the Capacity that you are? What if spiritual awakening has nothing to do with escaping present experience. contained in and as this present experience? What if who you really are is not a separate person at all. It begins not at conception. There‟s no way of knowing that this moment has strayed from any kind of cosmic script. Truly. choicelessly arise and fall away? What if thoughts and feelings. Consciousness cannot object – it cannot „throw out‟ (ob-ject) any appearance for it IS that too. In recognising that who you are is already deeply at peace no matter what is happening. as they spontaneously. Pain. not at all. since all waves are none other than itself.].„objects‟ at all. And all that‟s left is an effortless „Yes‟ to what is. the search for peace dissolves naturally. and this is love. pain or fear or joy or refrigerator or oak tree or burning Sun. Me. In recognising that this moment is already allowed to be exactly as it is. the search for acceptance releases itself automatically. Thought divides the indivisible wholeness of life into separate „things‟. And so on. To paraphrase Nisargadatta. A cat. It appears as everything. oceanic. can there be . intimately so. friends. already free. The sun. consciousness. already deeply at peace? And what if that awareness-consciousnesspresence is so vast. black or white. In recognising the inseparability of who you are and life itself.. prior to the seeking of it? That would change everything… and leave everything perfectly unchanged. Without thought. Future. every sensation. A body. but dear. just as the ocean does not „object‟ to any wave. Love is just a mirror. the search for love burns itself to ashes. Perhaps standing in the midst of the debris of our own shattered illusions we are more able to fearlessly meet the ones we love as their illusions shatter. even the most intense and seemingly painful ones. you are what I am. Consciousness doesn‟t seem to make mistakes. You. rich or poor. so loving. and everything to do with discovering this deep and total and unconditional embrace of life itself? And what if this embrace has actually ALREADY happened. How can this be? Consciousness does not „object‟ to any appearance. Joy. And so. The story of „my life‟ doesn‟t begin at conception. but the vast. even seeming mistakes. that it actually embraces every thought. or pick your favourite word. every sound. are not enemies at all.. nothing and everything are not-two. every feeling. we only ever meet ourselves.. presence.
Out of a sense of lack. you‟re black”.” “I‟m awakened. And so. yours is unreal.separate „things‟ at all? Without thought. underneath all the sounds. “I‟m a Christian. revealing the intimacy of our own absence. the truth we really seek – be reached by thought? Is truth not already here. wouldn‟t it!? Where there is an image. that falls away in love. we simply notice that we are in love already. but you still do”. the truth of this moment. we seek fullness and fulfillment in the future. mystery? Unknowing? And who knows that? Can truth – the truth of who you are. But what if the fullness we seek is already here? What if the emptiness we are trying to fill is already full? What if consciousness is always already full-filled with THIS. For underneath all the words. appearing in the vast ocean of consciousness that you are. although that‟s a beautiful story to tell. there is silence. who are you? The answer will not come in words… Trying to fall in love is like trying to make your heart beat backwards. fundamentally in love that we just don‟t realise it. or even „inside‟ of you. you‟re not”. and the search for home ends exactly where it began – here and now. the „me‟ and the „you‟ the appearance of the „inbetween‟. I speak to consciousness itself. the agreements and . you‟re somebody”. “I have no ego. Words. Beyond all this mind-made fragmentation and separation. you‟re dual”. do you have any way of knowing what any of this is? Without thought. the stories. And so we don‟t fall in love. there is fragmentation. cleverly disguised as a „you‟. When it‟s discovered that I am already what you are. “I‟m nondual. we are all so deeply. which is the true Universe („Uni-verse‟ = turned into One). you‟re a Jew”. Welcome home. We don‟t fall in love. It can‟t be done. cosmic explorer. “I‟m white. „I‟ don‟t really speak to „you‟ at all. a sense of „something missing‟. “My God is real. consciousness itself. And so the Universe is no longer „outside‟ of you. The wordless vastness of the Universe replaces „you‟. but it is now so very intimate with what you are. on the surface of the ocean – but in the ocean‟s depths. in love. and just don‟t realise it? Ooh! That would turn the whole spiritual search on its head. prior to all our conceptions of „truth‟ and „falsehood‟? Is the truth of this moment not already shining brightly? ”The universe” originates and dissolves as a thought. it is the „we‟. with everything that‟s appearing right now? What if we are already LIVING fulfilment in the moment. I‟ve never spoken to another person in my life. concepts. The illusion falls. thoughts. and always have been. is there not just…. “I‟m nobody. no more „trying‟ is necessary. always. Yes.
separate. in the recognition that you are what I am – consciousness itself. your life sentence has already been dropped. So wake up from your „life sentence‟. Breathing. „sisters‟.disagreements. like flames in a fire. „brothers‟. Fundamentalism ends – and true fun begins – in the discovery of who you fundamentally are. These thoughts. It seems that the word „I‟ is very much misunderstood. Resistance is futile – and exhausting. underneath all of these roles. sweet dreamer. but this vast open space . Alive. you can‟t come in!” “But I‟m already in!”) We call each other „friends‟. an intimacy that is ever-present. „lovers‟. Your worst fears have never come true. However. like waves in the ocean. „I‟ does not refer or point to a solid. These waves have already been „allowed‟ in the ocean of consciousness that you are. arrive and pass. Awakening has no conclusion. independently-existing „me‟. these sensations. (“Life. This moment is already exactly as it is. life is brand new. what could possibly separate us? Life has no beginning and end. effortless love. since who can escape from an illusory prison? Relax. the ancient question “how to love?” dissolves…. Here. uncaused. „husbands‟. or mock those who use it. only sentences do. The ever-changing circumstances of your life are ongoing invitations to wake up to who you really are right now…. It‟s the most ingenious prison break imaginable. unforced. allows all thoughts to arise and fall. And even if they have – you‟re still here. What you are cannot be destroyed. Present. „fathers‟. like clouds in a clear blue sky of consciousness. even if you believe you woke up yesterday. and discover the timeless freedom that you already are. these sounds. a silence which cannot be disturbed. „wives‟. beyond all belief. And yet beyond all of these stories. „mothers‟. “All judgements are bad” is the biggest judgement of all! Judgements simply appear and disappear in awareness – they just aren‟t who you really are. only sentences do. There is natural. „teachers‟ and „students‟. In this moment. there is a love here with no name. Who you really are allows all judgements to come and go. We all become fun-da-mentalists (and life stops being fun) when we become lost in the mental story of ourselves as fundamentally separate beings. Some even reject or fear it. a peace that endures. are already „in‟.
appearing and disappearing in this vastness. Welcome home to what you are. in all its extraordinarily perfect imperfection. Every thought and feeling is an invitation – not to war. right now – before all stories. No. and fully present to this moment. I‟m not interested in how much you‟ve read and learnt about enlightenment. Membership is free. I. Then. a lovely sound. „I‟ is a beautiful word. There. which embraces – and is – all the waves of life that appear. Naked. I. Such cosmic. I strongly believed that there was something wrong with me. Yes. Who wants to join? (Oh. ………………… A piece of music. You got me. I realise that there‟s nothing wrong with me. the false image – the mind-made „me‟ – is humiliated. nature. I. and one more thing. I‟m officially a failure at speaking the unspeakable. Still want to join?) Life is so fiercely loving and compassionate it will destroy every image you have of yourself – including the image that you have no image – and will leave you naked as the day you were born. I acquired the spiritual concept that there was something wrong with being or having a „me‟ in the first place! Double trouble! These days. the acceptance that you already are. I love you too much for that. but to Deep Acceptance. I‟m not interested in your spiritual attainments.of consciousness. AND nothing wrong with „me‟. as „the . In the beginning. I. Yes. Later on. no. The ocean dances as the wave. We call a thought or feeling „negative‟ (or „disturbing‟ or even „evil‟) because we are secretly at war with it in the moment. Even this one. a broken coffee cup. I am deeply interested in who you really are. What freedom! I confess. The moment „you‟ join. and the image that you‟re free from all images. I‟m not interested in the story of your incredible awakening. I. The only catch? You must no longer take any image of yourself seriously – including the image that you‟re a member of the club. a film. heartfelt words from a dear friend. at effing the uneffable. naked as a newborn baby. radically open to all experience. I. a stunning work of art. I. „you‟ are automatically kicked out. I. and what is left is total humility in the face of THIS. It‟s all consciousness revealing itself – in and as everything. impersonal humility in the face of life is the end of suffering as you know it. I‟m a failed ineffable effabler. this ocean that I Am. so can a pile of dog excrement. the acceptance in which all thoughts and feelings are already totally embraced. I. Oh. The Enlightenment Club is now open. There is no such thing as a „negative‟ thought or feeling. or even intense pain. can move us to tears with their beauty. not to a new storyline of „positive versus negative‟. But then again.
and truly discovering where suffering ends – that‟s the never-ending adventure. rather than merely understanding them intellectually – well. unravelling suffering that previously seemed impossible to unravel – that‟s the ongoing adventure. Anyone can mechanically repeat the words “there is nobody here” or “free will is an illusion”. as „the one who has the answers‟. But to deeply recognise what these koans are pointing to. True silence. well. in all the beauty and mess and wonder of everyday life. the vastness in which fear comes and goes? Sweet friend. is just the beginning. is not at war with anything. loss. I suck. in the midst of intimate human relationships. I used to know that I was no-one. here is the gorgeous paradox of spiritual awakening: nobody awakens. In the story of time and personal identity. my friend! – it‟s only just begun. I used to be so certain that I had found the truth (and others were still . Nobody is immune from this never-ending grace. the miraculous breath of Life itself. But are you really the one who is afraid? Are you really „the fearful one‟? Or are you simply the capacity for fear. I may just pass as some kind of second-rate poet. But as a friend who loves you totally. as „the authority on life‟.one who knows‟. Spiritual awakening is the easy part. the all-pervading stillness at the heart of life itself. that I „had no self‟ (while others still had a self). don‟t be afraid to admit who you really are. without wanting anything from you in this moment. To believe “there is no self” or “the „I‟ doesn‟t exist” is easy. the silence that you are. grief. not losing it in the midst of the undeniable realities of human existence. But going beyond mere mental understanding and really LIVING this. and yet this ever-unfolding awakening never ends. the first breath. I used to believe that I was enlightened (and others weren‟t). Really LIVING that realisation. you‟ve been breathing your whole life. there I cannot fail. big time. We can talk and talk and debate and argue about spiritual awakening all we want to. Yes. To say “there is no separation” or “there is only Oneness” is easy. Do you fear „losing control‟ of your life? What if you were never really „in control‟ in the first place? What if it was never really „your‟ life? True silence is not the opposite of noise. Realising there is no separate self. in that strange place beyond words. Nobody can. that‟s what this awakening adventure is really about. If you think awakening has finished – oh. But in reality. discovering acceptance in the parts of experience that previously seemed unacceptable. for everyone. physical pain. We say “I am afraid”. each breath is a brand new breath. just as the ocean is not at war with any of its waves. recognising who you really are. beyond worlds. cancer. And so I meet you there.
You are not the „thinker‟ of thoughts. with someone who is in pain or grief or fear. what you are is always deeply at rest. This moment cannot die. intact. without expectation. Thoughts about the future are present thoughts. on a practical level. the victim of this moment. deeply accepted. images. happen here in this vast. without trying to make things better in the moment. self-images can fall apart. Even pain. in this moment. open space which is never caught up in dreams. It‟s in the not-knowing. or are you the spacious capacity for pain. beyond our roles. stories can be forgotten – but what you are remains present. to do what‟s necessary and natural in the moment – this can be the most healing thing. Beyond all past and future dreams. without thought. or manipulate their experience in any way. without words or language. trapped in the story of time. Are you „the one in pain‟. orphan waves in the ocean of consciousness – are allowed to freely move through. without memory. always. You are the home for the homeless – the love that knows no bounds. possessions can be lost. What you are naturally and effortlessly embraces all thoughts. The deeper message of the crucifixion: Pain. just to listen. . The future doesn‟t happen in the future – it happens now. complete. without playing the role of „the one who knows‟. „the hurt one‟. undefended.lost in ignorance). sadness and fear – even those poor. without quoting your favourite teachers or books or external authority. The past didn‟t happen in the past – it happens now. sensations. clear and open sky of awareness in which all thought-clouds are continually allowed to appear and disappear. without trying to „fix‟ them. You are the wide. unprotected. the vast and timeless clearing in which pain arises and dissolves? Just to sit. And I was so certain that there was were no others. just to be totally available to them – and then. Even the most convincing dreams of the past and future. Stop trying to embrace this moment – and notice that true „embrace‟ is really more effortless than anything you could possibly imagine. exactly where you are. Can you see the delicious irony – and innocence – in this? Without reference to the past. always. unloved. rejected. what do you know for sure? Thoughts about the past are present thoughts. You are unprejudiced in that way. that we truly meet… Bones can be broken. breaks the heart wide open. And the vastness of what you are remains. whole. as they come and go in you. You are the unlimited capacity for all life You don‟t „have‟ thoughts. sounds.
beyond the speaking of it – and its discovery ends the search for love outside of yourself once and for all. exactly as you are. these sensations. can there be „two‟ consciousnesses? Or is that just how it appears? Beyond the appearance. I‟m talking about who and what you already are. and asks nothing in return. are we not in love. There is a Love that goes beyond all understanding. ever-present. For what you are is the light of life. We constantly find life. fragmented by our concepts of deficiency. even when things fall apart. What seems unacceptable to „you‟. feelings. Your imperfections are so perfect. This is unconditional love. can we really ever be apart? In reality. It is – and excuse the poetic license – your most intimate friend. but you are also a wave. even in grief. we are separate. What you are cannot break or decay. superiority and inferiority. we‟re finders. as they say in Zen. dance. “Water that is too pure. exactly as it is. here and now. and no interest in telling a story about „my enlightenment‟ (or lack of it!) in the past. never-to-berepeated expression of that ocean. forever en-lightening this moment. for what you are is beyond all dreams… We‟re not seekers. two stories of personal identity. baby. right in front of us. You may be the ocean. For what you are cannot fall apart. What you are has no interest in becoming enlightened in the future. singular. even in boredom. Life will wake you up from every dream. There is a Peace that cannot be disturbed. The discovery of who you really are brings peace in the midst of the storm of life. quirky. including the dream of your own awakening. always „on‟. What you are is always Home. has already been . exactly as you are not. always? What you are has already said YES to this moment as it is. I‟m not talking about a superhuman achievement. But as nothing. sounds. in this very moment. So dance. YES to these thoughts. In this moment life accepts you totally. Life doesn‟t ask for your acceptance. As two „somethings‟. even when you‟re far away from home. It‟s simply a case of mistaken identity… True Freedom has nothing to do with getting rid of our humanness and our humanity – it‟s a total embrace of it. specialness. what could possibly separate us? As consciousness meeting itself. seen in the light of who you really are. even when the body breaks or decays. has no fish”.There is a Knowing that goes beyond all knowledge. as the no-thing that allows everything to appear. lost in our differences. however „unacceptable‟ they seem right now. this en-lightenment is always here. a divinely unique. Even in pain. always.
The ocean cannot resist any wave. if you find it. trying to relax. effortlessly notice that what you are in this moment. since it IS all that appears now. This Deep Acceptance. as I call it. Are thoughts arising? Are sensations dancing? Are sounds appearing? Is breathing happening? Is the heart beating? Then the miracle has already happened. to be „present‟ or „conscious‟ in the face of challenges. You‟ll never find anything that is not allowed in what you are – after all. sensation. seeking anything. deeply relaxed and always at peace. The sky cannot resist the clouds. If it‟s appearing. It‟s a secret love affair… for no-one.accepted by what you are. Life is the acceptance we seek. comes too late! We try to cultivate qualities in ourselves such as love. or feeling appearing now – however painful or intense. Life is totally irresistible to who you really are. we come to recognise that these qualities are not the result of the effort of a separate person. so to speak – it‟s already been admitted. always already complete in itself. it‟s already here. But there is an acceptance far deeper than anything the individual could „do‟ – this is the deep acceptance of Life itself. accepting. What you are cannot resist any thought. Your acceptance or rejection. . Consciousness is in love with (inseparable from) all of its appearances. to be okay – yet the reality is that we often fail to accept. your allowing or disallowing. never attached to any form or outcome – and has never been seeking anything. We try so hard to accept life. What you are cannot resist this moment. We exhaust ourselves trying to love. intimate space in which all experience happens. acceptance and non-attachment. Who we are is naturally loving. is not something you do – it‟s what you are. but naturally present in who we are before identification as that person. gently. fail to feel okay. it‟s already been „allowed in‟. as the wide open. peace. always at rest even the midst of the storm of life. is not. It is the ocean. and even trying to stop seeking. fail to allow. All your problems are just thoughts – and thoughts are not a problem. But in discovering who we really are. As the ocean unconditionally „accepts‟ every wave. trying to accept. It is always at rest. because it IS everything that appears. „You‟ cannot stop seeking. so consciousness already „accepts‟ everything that appears in consciousness. Simply. Awareness cannot resist anything that appears in awareness. even in the midst of the storm of life. and never has been. sound.
The true end of suffering comes from the recognition of this total intimacy with life itself – in other words. „Suffering‟ is merely a word that points to life‟s constant invitation – to discover that what‟s happening in this moment is ultimately beyond „your‟ control. You are not a „me‟ or a „you‟. Seeking peace outside of present moment experience is where the war with life begins. The floodgates are already open – this moment is already as it is. In this deep acceptance. And there. pain. . Radical awakening. because it IS as it is – and this „isness‟ is the acceptance you‟ve always been seeking. sadness. just as the ocean‟s silent depths are at rest even in the midst of a storm. and the recognition of that brings clarity and wisdom. Even non-acceptance is forgiven here. and has no opposite. What we call „suffering‟ is not a curse. the war ends. Thy Will Be Done. This vibrantly alive peace is ever-present. you are no thing in particular. Already. sensation.This moment doesn‟t need your permission to be as it is. I find that many spiritual seekers get stuck in the “nothing” aspect of realisation. Peace does not reject the storm – it is there IN the storm. even in the midst of fear. Nothing is everything – they were never two. sound appearing presently has ALREADY been allowed in. an aberration. And love comes from the recognition that. what you are deeply accepts all of the waves that appear – all of the sights and sounds and smells and sensations appearing now. which does not bring total freedom. It is everyone‟s birthright. in this moment. for it is already deeply at rest in this moment. Done. Love says I am everything. or a sign of your failure in any way. Stop trying to accept and simply relax into the acceptance that is already here. in the midst of an ordinary life. Your acceptance or rejection of this moment is already too late! Nisargadatta Maharaj made this beautiful statement: “Wisdom says I am nothing.” As the vast ocean of Being. feeling. as open space. a punishment. as the ocean. But clarity and wisdom are not complete without their reflection. This is radical acceptance. Stop trying to accept this moment and effortlessly notice that this moment has already been accepted as it is. and are left with only an intellectual understanding of awakening. frustration. mind and heart are one. right at the heart of all experience. even in the midst of struggle. Between the two my life flows. love. What you are does not need to seek peace in the future. It is an invitation to discover a deep acceptance of present experience – to discover that every thought. And notice that this deeper acceptance actually includes any non-acceptance. Mental clarity and certainty give way to deep acceptance of this moment. What you are is the vast open space in which everything happens. the deep acceptance of “everything” appearing in experience.
This moment is the only possibility. even our precious stories of „my awakening‟ or „my enlightenment‟ burn up. There is no escape from it. has already been accepted into present awareness. but a seeing – a simple recognition of what is true and present and alive. creative action. complete. This is acceptance beyond belief.What does it mean to deeply accept the present moment as it is? It means to effortlessly notice that every thought. and it is where the war with present experience ends. What deep peace you are. It is prior to effort. feeling. even in homesickness. Even the seeking can be noticed. The end of violence is closer than we think. since effort is noticed in it. Deep acceptance is the source of all intelligent. these sounds – to be here. here and now. even in the midst of discomfort. Always Home. Discovering who you are in the midst of life‟s challenges – pain. sensation. is not a „doing‟. these sensations. Simply noticing what is already present. It is the source of all creativity. Burn baby. otherwise it wouldn‟t be appearing as it is. It has no goal and there is no expectation in it. appearing now. addictions – is life‟s constant invitation. burn! Does the writer write? Does the singer sing? Does the painter paint? Does the dancer dance? Does the actor act? Does the listener listen? Does the speaker speak? Does the meditator meditate? Does the breather breathe? Can this moment be accepted. In the all-consuming fire of life. inactive and disengaged from the realities of life. Everything that happens to you is an invitation to discover that nothing ever happens to „you‟. always. Discovering who you are is the easy part. But Thy Will. . even in the midst of the noise of life. Present. just as it is. It has already allowed this moment – these thoughts. It‟s not a doing. This deep acceptance does not mean that you become passive. powerless. And yet. loss. One could say this noticing is what you are. Always at rest. Quite the opposite. It is effortless. even in struggle. Our of deep acceptance. just as it is? That question already comes too late! What you are has already accepted this moment. Every story about a past shrivels in the sheer wonder of this moment. Contained in every experience of loss is an invitation to discover that which cannot be lost. anything is possible in this moment. „right action‟ (as they say in Buddhism) flows naturally. relationship. no seeking in it. What awesome freedom you are in your essence. Not My Will. these feelings. This is life without a centre.
helplessness. and never wants more than what is. all suffering is in the story of „me‟. even in the midst of fear. there is a peace beyond understanding.Beyond the time-bound story of „our relationship‟. All suffering is for an apparent „I‟. It is simply beyond compare. who you really are cannot fall apart. here and now. or a failure. And so this message does not deny human suffering. „You‟ could always be more. there is this timeless. or have more. frustration. this sensation. Allowing is not a „doing‟ – it is the simple but radical recognition that everything appearing in awareness right now – everything sound. In the ocean‟s depths. What you are needs nothing. even in the midst of pain. is present now. ‟My story‟ is never complete. Waves of fear. weakness. and simply admit that what you are has already admitted this thought. The end of suffering is always infinitely closer than you think. Thoughts appear and disappear. So stop trying to allow. more… something!‟ – that is the dream of the story machine. every feeling – is already allowed in. more knowledgeable. more free. as the vast ocean in which all waves of experience come and go. It thrives on conflict. and has no story about itself as being unenlightened. is never afraid. pain. every sensation. is always already complete in this moment. What you are has no interest in becoming enlightened. It is all simply the ocean breathing in and out. intimate relating. What you are is simply the ocean which allows every wave of experience to arise and fall. but points to the possibility of it ending where it begins – here and now. including all the stuff „you‟ don‟t want or like. this feeling…. fearless. what remains? That which is present then. grief. as it is. rich or successful. but who hears them? Feelings arise and pass. poor. for it is already everything that appears. But what you are cannot fight in this way. What you are never suffers. but who thinks them? Sounds come and go. more spiritually evolved. bigger. Even when things fall apart. „Better. But what you are. richer. more enlightened. but who feels them? Does the dancer dance? Does the actor act? Does the singer sing? Or is there simply intimacy with all experience? . Life in its fullness has already been admitted. When all worldly riches and spiritual „highs‟ have come and gone. and even heartbreak are not a problem for what you are. judgement and comparison. for it IS all that appears. more intelligent. all suffering is essentially a fight against this moment. faster. every thought.
sensations. Look to what is actually happening. who can be unloved? And who needs to seek love? Even the feeling of being unloved is loved here – this is love beyond understanding. The image of the meditator („the one who meditates‟) appears and disappears in meditation. feelings? Is there any gap between what you are and all that appears? Or is there simply intimacy with all life? Don‟t jump to „yes‟ or „no‟. In the beginning. Later on. is always in meditation. But what you are never stops meditating. When it‟s recognised that. . It‟s what you already are. The meditator does not meditate. as the open space in which all thoughts. smells. You cannot escape from what appears as present experience. love without an opposite.”). sensations. Within this ever-present meditation. The ocean dances AS the waves. pure. Life is non-stop meditation. dance. feelings.My guru is this moment. What you are. My lineage is this moment. to become perfect. Are you the thoughts that come and go? Sensations appear and disappear. any feeling of being unloved is deeply embraced in the open space that you are. And so the words „absolute‟ and „relative‟ melt away…. whole. Are you those sounds. Who would escape from this moment exactly as it is (including any idea of the one who can or cannot escape)? The love you seek is closer than breathing. Don‟t look to the mind (thought) for answers – mind comes and goes. the idea „I‟m meditating‟ is allowed to appear and disappear. My spiritual path is this moment. in this moment. Are you those sensations? Sounds. feelings appear. I found myself lost in the „relative‟ perspective (“I‟m a separate person desperately trying to fix myself. no me… and no perspectives!”). enlightened. smells? And keep looking: do you have any way of actually separating what you are from these thoughts. And my home is this moment. I got stuck in the „absolute‟ perspective (“There‟s no world. for who would escape? We don‟t escape TO freedom – the freedom is IN our total inability to escape. feelings. what‟s seen is this: The absolute dances AS the relative. It is meditation itself. And the dance goes on…… What I am is identical with this moment – perhaps that is the true meaning of „identity‟ A simple investigation: Thoughts come and go. Nobody ever meditates – meditation is not something that you do. These days. no time.
I am sad. I…. “I am a teacher” is an image. And then your heart can no longer be broken. And that is precisely why I can love you so completely. every feeling – even pain. So goodnight. I. This is freedom beyond the speaking of it. replies the seeker. which remains undisturbed. I am a failure. everything calls you back to the truth. No wave can threaten the totality of the Ocean. of course. you cannot. ['To admit' means both 'to confess (the truth)' and 'to allow in'. every smell. I am. nor the dreamer of the dream. I am right. is devastating perfection. Silence.When present experience is admitted fully. and so the great search for home ends where it began. „But I cannot see that right now!‟. moment by moment. so fearlessly. but the vastness in which the appearance of dreamer and dream arise and fall. there is silence. I am happy. sweet non-existent dreamer Can a thought-created story about who you are. exist as a separate entity for me. even fear. which. Everything has its roots in presence. „You are already home‟. knowing that whatever happens is totally okay even in the midst of perfect devastation. Or fixed. “I am ugly” is an image. I am not. answers Life. „even in the midst of your pain‟. „Of course you . cannot be defined by any image. “I am a student” is another image. Whoever said love and death were two? “I am enlightened” is an image. without expectation. The Ocean is not at war with its waves. not even this image! You are not the dream. exactly as you are. as the wide open space that embraces all images as they come and go. I. every sensation. present experience is fully admitted. The waves may rise and crash – but in the Ocean‟s depths. I am a success. And what you are. even sadness. It is not opposed to anything – it is not the opposite of anything – only thought sees opposites. The absence of a separate self is the presence of the world. always. Everything appearing here and now points back home – every thought. oceanic. I don‟t know. just as all waves are allowed to arise and fall in the Ocean. All is allowed to arise and dissolve in the vast. Consciousness is not at war with anything. I am wrong. Homesick? You need look no further than present experience. “I am not enlightened” is another image. You do not. really tell the truth about who you are? „Where is my true Home? When will my pain end?‟. What a neat word!] Life is here to break your heart over and over again until you realise that heartbreak is life too. Light is not at war with darkness – darkness cannot threaten light. open space that you are. the homesick seeker asks. And you stand naked in front of life. and knowing. I know. “I am beautiful” is another image.
Raindrops are holy. When I do not recognise who I am. the seeker asks. thoroughly One. even in your failure to escape this moment. what shines? All thoughts. And so I am finally free to fearlessly love the appearance of things for what they are. people) to complete something called a „me‟. And beyond imperfection and perfection. not what I hoped or wanted them to be – and I discover true completeness to be this moment. What you are embraces all forms as they float here. and it may or may not. I look to the world (time. I see that the world cannot complete me – and it can no longer make me incomplete either. can THIS be enough? Do we really need time to be fully what we are? The death of seeking is the death of time. Thoughts are holy. judgement or memory. Flowers are holy. Breathing is holy. answers Life. come and go in the vast open space that you are. even in this frustration. We aren‟t guaranteed a tomorrow. Discover that you are Home even in this present feeling of homesickness. and I reject everything that I see as a threat to that completeness. beyond all hope of a future salvation. objects. before the question is even asked.can‟t'. and float away…. all judgements good and bad.. Pain is holy. in their pursuit of a future wholeness. substances. all memories. image. which itself is not a thought. images. They are there to wake you up from your dream of perfection without imperfection. And then can you really call it „falling apart‟ at all? Thoroughly fallen apart. . beyond our plans and prayers. idea. Simply rest in this present moment experience of being unable to see it. space. but allows all falling apart to play itself out. To whom is this all appearing right now?‟ „What is the end of seeking?‟. exactly as it is. In other words. all ideas about yourself and the world. Dog shit on the pavement is holy. „Life as it already is‟. who. replies Life. What‟s wrong with falling apart? Why not fall apart so completely that there‟s nothing left? And then keep falling apart for the rest of your life – and recognise yourself as the wide open space that cannot fall apart. So can we meet here. All of life is wholly an expression of wholeness – the „sacred‟ as much as the „profane‟ – even if it doesn‟t seem that way to the seeker. But in recognising myself as the vast open space that unconditionally embraces all form. and we could call it „love‟. and discover what is true and present NOW? If tomorrow never comes. misses the holiness in all things. beyond our story of time. I go to war with present experience in the hope of a future salvation. „So forget trying to see it in the future. Your imperfections are perfect.
We don‟t have a future together. If you want a future. Nobody heals anybody else. timelessly. Radical simplicity. pain. just as the ocean is there in every wave…. in a dead state of „nobody here‟ and „nothing to do‟. Unknowable. Love can take everything into itself and remain complete – it can take in heartbreak. you think you‟re unenlightened. And here. and there is only THIS. So this absence. is already accepted. as it is. realise that you can‟t. Only itself. And all these ideas float by. Nothing is not „nothing‟. in the kind of gratitude that breaks your non-existent heart. every sensation. in fascination. Present. Nobody gets healed. is actually the perfect presence of everything. There are no negative thoughts. Beyond the story. sadness. And then discover that life. anger. the absence of the separation of all things. just as the ocean is already present in and as every wave. appearing as this moment. Which is part of the healing too. this no-thing. every thought. This moment is all we have together. that‟s incredibly . go seek enlightenment. you think you‟re a student. Healing does not happen in time. Those are still just stories. A wave is healed even in its failed attempt to reach the ocean. You think you‟re a teacher.How to accept life? Firstly. It can be crucified over and over again. Okay. What you are seeking is there in every breath. What remains? I have worked with many people who say “I am dying” – which simply means “I have lost all hope of a future”. But strip away future. like leaves in the wind. you are already healed. not the absence of all things. Eternally. nobody lives and nobody dies. and still remain whole. all hope and hopelessness. but in wonder. Okay. but no-thing. you think you know nothing. You think you‟re enlightened. Healing (wholeness) is already present. It knows no opposite. We only have right here. We call a thought „negative‟ when we don‟t like what it says about us – in other words. right now. like clouds in the sky. Beyond all stories. and what is the difference between “living” and “dying”? Strip away time. total devastation. in the midst of everything you are trying to heal yourself from. every heartbeat. Now. This Deeper Acceptance goes beyond the dualistic opposites of acceptance and nonacceptance… All ideas about yourself come and go. Okay. And so the search ends not in nihilism and detachment. To the seeker. when we are defending an image. which is love. And you just forget. no enemy. sometimes. You think you know everything. there is only what‟s happening presently. no other. fear.
Consciousness embraces all. At its root the word „home‟ means „lie down‟ or „rest‟. On the deepest level. „what is this „me‟ that can be present. or a person – it is rest. wide open space. a friend. Ordinary life is the vastness we seek – and so ordinary life ceases to be ordinary at all. for a while. You cannot „return home‟ if you never left home in the first place. in this timeless. and true relationship is possible here. but because every form that appears is inseparable from that very awareness. you have already said YES to what‟s appearing right now. totally. image. a guru. every story. Awareness and contents of awareness were always one. as obvious as breathing. Love is the death of „two‟. and liberates you from having to provide that completion. As if there were any other possibility… You dream the perfect dream – it‟s the dream you need to dream to wake yourself up. All that‟s left is to be here. But then you go deeper. a teacher – you stop SEEING who and what is actually there. No two people have ever fallen in love. Every thought. Enlightenment is nothing more than the discovery of the non-existence of the one seeking it. or not be present?‟ – and you discover that you are that very presence – present in the midst of being present AND not being present. sensation. as a mother embraces her newborn baby – it embraces all. we truly meet. When you are seeking something from someone – a lover. and is all. It can only be discovered that every thought. every sensation. Love is the disappearance of time. every sensation. every feeling appearing now is already accepted by awareness – not because awareness chooses to „accept‟ everything. We are encouraged to „be present‟. Separation never „disappears‟ – how can something that isn‟t here in the first place „disappear‟? What you are has always been intimate with life – with every thought. every feeling. This intimacy doesn‟t come and go – though . Give yourself the greatest present of all – the freedom to not be present – and discover presence even there. and maybe that is a useful practice. the disappearance of the story of „relationship‟. and ask.depressing. It is as simple as this moment. Home is not a place. sound. Acceptance is not something that you „do‟ – although it seems that way at first. every dream of past and future appears here. In this timelessness. as present as the sound of the bird singing – but nearly always ignored in our pursuit of „something more‟. a thing. But to recognise the utter preciousness of this moment liberates me from the need to complete myself in the future.
The guru and disciple are inseparable – and that is enlightenment. Today. They think that killing me will bring them wholeness – but it won‟t. “Father forgive them. Eternally. appearing as this. for the sheer joy of it. sadness. but nobody can find. this. allows them all to be. And all of this in a cup of tea! The miracle of the ordinary. That is my freedom. they know not what they do”. It can be crucified over and over again. because it‟s everything and everywhere. She sleeps soundly anyway. not a passing experience. total devastation. Now. Creation. We say “One day. I am just a bird singing my song. or walk away. Tweet Tweet! THIS – it‟s what everyone is seeking. destruction. Translation: “Father forgive them – they don‟t SEE. and life is the perfect disciple – it follows you wherever you go. the mystery of love and the mystery of death. You can try to shut yourself off from life. anger. Killing me a thousand times won‟t bring them what they truly long for. the intimacy of human experience and the incomprehensible vastness of the universe. timelessly. It knows no opposite. this singing goes on until it doesn‟t. the open space that holds all forms as they arise and pass. no other. Love can take everything into itself and remain complete – it can take in heartbreak. You are free to listen to this music. this…. the illusion of time and space. True compassion means to meet others beyond their story. pain. They are already whole but do not realise it. Only itself. and life will still be there. And I am what they are. in that very shutting off. and still remain whole. the preciousness and fragility of life. What they truly long for… is what I am. and to see that there are no others. My song is neither „true‟ nor „false‟ – it is merely music. You are the perfect guru. or not. And yet it‟s always here. But there is only One Day. It is the ground of all things. the most ingenious place to hide! The cat has no idea that she will die tomorrow. You can‟t say what it . Maybe one day they will see…” Nothing I say is the gospel truth. Love is all that‟s left when all else has fallen away. fear. To sing your song back to me. not a state. without conditions. It has no opposite – it holds all apparent opposites. no enemy. To agree or disagree. the nonexistence of the separate self. It‟s not a feeling. Either way. one day…”.it may be apparently overlooked in our search for it. The universe sings to itself.
Then you get to really find out what concepts and images you‟re still holding onto. In the face of life itself. Everything you‟re running away from. feeling. there‟s never any absence of light – even the „darkest‟ wave is 100% ocean. I was lost in the „absolute‟ perspective (“There‟s no me. And yet all words are held here too… At first. everything you see as a block to freedom – in other words. we simply notice that we are in love already. „Illusion‟ simply means „deceptive appearance‟ – not „non-existence‟. revealing the intimacy of our own absence. The self. and also a call back to it. It‟s easy to be „awakened‟. Every wave of experience (thought. Life is a neverending invitation to discover freedom in everything you‟re running from. and always have been. It seems to be solid and separate – there seems to be a wave separate from the ocean – but upon investigation. Because. Everything is holy – everything is wholeness appearing – just as every wave is inseparable from the ocean. „sinful‟ or „dark‟ is simply a wave that‟s not being recognised as being part of the ocean (light). enlightened. the „me‟ and the „you‟. Later. or you lose everything. not because it doesn‟t exist. the „me‟. Even the most extreme suffering is a perfect expression of wholeness. In reality. your „shadow‟ – is simply freedom in disguise. We don‟t fall in love. And then a loved one drops dead. to become perfect. who suffers? Trying to fall in love is like trying to make your heart beat backwards. our precious beliefs turn to dust. Walking home. These days. that falls away in love. no world. but because it doesn‟t exist in the way we imagine it to.is – you can‟t say what it is not. or you‟re given three days to live. And so the words „absolute‟ and „relative‟ dissolve… into silence. to be blissed out. it is the „we‟. strip away the story and the tears of a newborn baby are the tears of childbirth are the tears of a spiritual seeker discovering the miracle of existence are the tears of an old man on his . those assumptions crumble. It can‟t be done. I am already what you are. the „inbetween‟. is an illusion. no time… and no perspectives!”). And so we don‟t fall in love. rain lashing down. you can‟t say anything. I was lost in the „relative‟ perspective (“I‟m a person desperately trying to fix myself. pure. in this freedom. And then you can‟t call suffering „suffering‟ at all. In the end. what‟s seen is this: The absolute dances AS the relative. THIS is the only authority. to speak convincingly about the non-existence of choice and individuality when life is going your way. emotion…) that we call „negative‟. We are all so deeply in love that we don‟t realise it. The „illusion‟ is seen through – the wave is inseparable from the ocean.”).
right now. everything is collapsing into you. you should still iron your shirts!” „For-give‟ literally means „give completely‟. some of the time – it is everything. And the tears run into the gutter. Exhaust yourself in trying to escape what is. The illusion is that the pain is divided from what you are. a special feeling – happiness. And so it cannot be lost. success. moment by precious moment… Listen to life and you will hear it always – the gentle hum of mystery. always. no matter how enlightened you are. But try saying this under torture. alone. enlightenment – and I‟ll be complete”. We seek a particular state. Life isn‟t supposed to be „perfect‟ all of the . I‟ve never known. The illusion is that. My tip for today: Resist life as much as you can. The pain is not the illusion. sensations. Life isn‟t supposed to be „pleasurable‟ all of the time. For the end of seeking is NOW. And in that not-knowing there is a knowing that cannot die. and what we truly long for is not fleeting. alcohol – an apparent „power‟ over us – the „power‟ to complete us. sounds. success. right here. sea. in THIS moment. your tears – just as all the raindrops are rain. completely. Even the most painful pain dances in intimacy. gurus. “Jeff. See. or as the cancer gnaws away at your lungs. in the midst of every passing experience. What we truly long for is intimately here. which is what we truly long for.deathbed. inescapably so. and we walk home. Little waves of experience – thoughts. It is not something. “Pain is an illusion” – easy words. the pain should not be happening. and this gives other people and objects – money. Because. Oneness ain‟t just the „pleasant‟ stuff – and here lies unbelievable freedom. Life isn‟t supposed to be „peaceful‟ all of the time. Fight this moment. inseperable from what they are. peace. But no person or drug has „power‟ in the real sense of the word – the power to end seeking. lovers. The sea is their home and their source. all of the time. together… I don‟t know. bliss – but all states and feelings are fleeting. “One day I‟ll find what I‟m looking for – love. My mother once said to me. They are all the same tears – my tears. feelings – forever appearing and disappearing in this sea of silence. everything is given. See – this moment is forgiveness. We seek completeness in the future. And see where it gets you… Suffering is the birth pains of freedom.
the impersonal dances in and as the appearance of this very personal experience of life. all thoughts are allowed to be there. every appearance is a little invitation to SEE this completeness – in the incompleteness. There‟s nothing to do. It gives itself for free and asks nothing in return. the acceptable is split from the unacceptable… and you are split from me. Life will bring you Home in any way it can. life is already complete. What is a „negative thought‟? It is always a thought which threatens an image you hold of yourself. some people are now saying that I‟m a bad nonduality teacher – that I‟m „less clear‟ than I used to be. The impersonal IS the personal – and thus endeth the holy war. pleasureable. Later on. Defend any image of yourself and it will inevitably be threatened! When no image is being defended. For example. But since when did the ocean separate itself from the waves? Can you see the joke here? Suffering begins when the sacred is split from the profane. Right now things may not be peaceful. or perfect – but life is absolutely complete in itself. I strongly believed that there was something wrong with me. the spiritual is split from the material. I acquired the spiritual belief that there was something wrong with being or having a „me‟ in the first place! Double trouble! These days. because I‟m talking about duality. You don‟t need a GPS system. It knows what It‟s doing. completeness in not doing – what grace! Life itself is the greatest act of unconditional love. „Supposed to‟ and „all of the time‟ are the biggest illusions of all. but lots to see! And even when the completeness is not seen. Completeness in doing. the personal is split from the impersonal. At the same time. Suffering ends where it begins – at the non existent core of these illusory divisions.time. and duality is not real. Life isn‟t supposed to be anything all of the time. In the beginning. Is there something to do or nothing to do? Well. As I honour the play of duality (the astonishing variety of waves in the ocean) more and more in my talks and writings. AND nothing wrong . life is still complete. I realise that there‟s nothing wrong with me. The „impersonal‟ ocean expresses itself perfectly as the „personal‟ wave – and the ocean doesn‟t need to get rid of a wave in order to be the ocean! In other words. no matter what you do – and the completeness appears as THIS. if you hold an image of yourself as successful („I‟m a success‟) the balancing thought „i‟m a failure‟ becomes a threat and is labelled „negative‟ – and rejected.
sound and smell. Death is the absence of the separate experiencer – which is already. Stop trying to accept. and we end up WAITING for life to . we miss what‟s here right now. The ocean dances as the wave. Life itself is grace. in its perfect imperfection. but ARE we separate? To whom does „the feeling of being separate‟ appear? Does anybody own „the feeling of being separate‟? Even „the feeling of being separate‟ is inseperable from what you are. Who. there is no separate entity to be found here. In seeking love. compassionate lies. I do not value silence over noise. total devastation. Life doesn‟t need you to accept it. It is not something that „happens‟ to you in time. Thankyou for listening to my lies. We feel separate. And yet. The deepest acceptance has already been done. too. only to discover that we never lacked love. the case. There are no words for this wordlessness. This is the completeness you seek. perhaps – but lies all the same. and there is no „out there‟. Loving. see if any gap can be found between you and the world. now. the wonder of every sight. total helplessness – in other words total incompleteness – is a complete experience. Already. This moment becomes a means to an end. Death is not an experience within life.with „me‟. just as the ocean „accepts‟ every wave. look. Both are equally life – true silence is there in the noise. no sounds for the soundless. then. Freedom from separation within the very experience of separation. success. Life accepts you totally – including your non-acceptance of life. dies? I was a „nonduality teacher‟ …. I will never be able to put life into words. What a relief. We stop seeing the grace and bittersweet beauty of life itself. Experience incompleteness completely in this moment – experience wholly your unholiness – and suffering dissolves. What freedom!! We seek because we feel separate. Don‟t believe me – Go. Stunning! I used to exhaust myself trying to „accept‟ life… until I discovered that the acceptance that I sought WAS the very life I‟d been trying to accept. or „spiritual enlightenment‟ in the future. I love attempting to share this in words – and I know that all of my words are lies. Even the experience of total failure. timelessly. Every experience is already complete in itself. We search for love out there in the world. then I woke up from that dream. and sink into the deep acceptance of life itself – which is what you are.
which IS the completeness we seek. Seeking that isn‟t cut at its roots seems to return with a vengeance. You think that finding completeness will be the solution to the present „problem‟ of incompleteness. you could say that it „deeply accepts‟ every wave. Every book I read. And so my guru is Experience. Let‟s explore those roots. grief. will peel off. “My body has betrayed me” – but that is not possible. The mantra of the seeker is “Never enough. high.complete itself. I never sat in a guru‟s „presence‟. consciousness already „deeply accepts‟ every thought. The seeker is destroyed by love. peaceful. for a while. Intense suffering was my teacher. already. you experience yourself as incomplete now. The high wears off and sadness. because it IS That. there‟s no problem. re-appear. being with truth. Your attempt to accept. Forever and ever. enlightenment…) in the future. or received a „transmission‟. It‟s true that I never had a formal teacher. guilt. Because the ocean IS every wave that appears. The real Satsang (literally. but you don‟t see that this search IS the very „problem‟ of incompleteness that you experience! The search for a future wholeness is not the solution. Life was my teacher. are also embraced in this radical. In the same way. in its infinite compassion. never enough…” Understanding intellectually that “there is no me” or “suffering is an illusion” or “everything is Oneness” doesn‟t necessarily help when a loved one suddenly dies in a car crash. You attend a „satsang‟ and feel spacious. Amen. Life doesn‟t give you anything you cannot handle – including the feeling of not being able to handle life. . Platitudes and easy answers are simply Band-Aids that life. The appearance of a wave IS its acceptance. despair. And. The mass of ever-changing sensations we call „body‟ simply appears in what you are. every feeling. in seeing this. But it‟s untrue to say that I never had a teacher. every relationship I had was my teacher. unconditional acceptance that this „you‟ cannnot do… Intimacy is the death of the one who is looking for it. and your failure to accept. Because life is what you are. being with what is) begins now. attended a satsang or retreat. success. every sensation. and cannot act against „you‟. My cat was my teacher. and my lineage is Life. We miss life. when you realise that you are not „in‟ a body at all. Satsang isn‟t just in „satsang‟… If you seek completeness (love. or your partner walks out on you. At the root of much of our suffering regarding bodily pain and illness is the idea that our bodies are somehow „against‟ us.
lit up (en-lightened) by what you truly are – the light of awareness. or lost. The freedom that you are cannot be imprisoned. In other words. I can lose you. If you can give me love. True therapy exposes the ways in which you are already trying – and failing – to fix yourself. as they say in Zen. you can stop being mine. It‟s not a doing. it‟s still there – so let‟s dance together anyway. And yet. It‟s not about fixing experience. it‟s about exploring it in total honesty. It‟s another thing to see this clearly in the midst of every experience. But is love a commodity? Is it a „thing‟ to be gained and lost? Or is it what you already are? – that which cannot be owned. now… What interests me these days is not „radical Advaita‟ but a radically honest exploration of human experience – and the possibility of finding total freedom within that experience – even in the midst of what we call „suffering‟. utterly extraordinary at the same time. If I feel unloved by you. or a goal to be reached by spiritual high acheivers. I used to proclaim. it‟s a seeing that happens now. it exposes the seeker. you are you!” If I have you. and „heal‟ means „whole‟.U. And no matter what the experience. Then there is nothing left to fix. = “Gee. True „therapy‟ has nothing to do with „fixing yourself‟. I can also feel unloved. as it is. It‟s one thing to understand intellectually that „everything is One‟. the light of consciousness itself. So let‟s meet in the play. If I can feel loved. I can also blame you for „withdrawing love‟. Ever. The secret of spiritual awakening finally revealed: G. until this freedom shines.R. Life goes on being life – but it is simply seen for what it is. or that „there is no self‟.Out of freedom we create a prison. you have the power to withdraw it. It is simply life. or that „all suffering is a story‟. “Suffering happens to no-one!” and secretly I‟d still be suffering. but it didn‟t help to end the suffering! The end of suffering was only found through a radical embrace of all experience and Jeff‟s resistance to it – the embrace of Consciousness itself.U. the freedom that you are embraces it as it comes and goes. „Enlightenment‟ is not a special state or experience reserved for special people. and dance there. only to come to realise that there is no prison… and nobody to be imprisoned. since that which remains is already healed (whole). . and then spend our lives trying to escape that prison…. If you can be mine. And even if it doesn‟t shine. The word „therapy‟ simply means „healing‟. „Nothing special‟. painful or blissful. together. “It‟s just suffering happening!” I‟d tell myself – and yes this was ultimately true. withdrawn….
even if I disagree? Can I understand why you say it that way and understand what you mean? Can I see my own position? Can I see what I‟m defending? Can I see that you are what I am. . Even when I‟m „there‟. your philosophy is worthless. It‟s just always here. I‟m always here. Nobody walks. all that can be found is walking. I sing a love song to the divine. You may respond “love is just a concept” or “there is only pure awareness” or “all words are dualistic” or “there is no me”. with you. Even when I try to escape here. nondualistic philosophy – but no LOVE in your heart. WHO is walking? Upon direct observation. And still. It is already so. now. and nobody doing it. you‟re missing the point. My dear. Here follows me wherever I go. Perhaps I am here. I mean. Feet tapping. I live here. and the divine is in the ordinary. Once I even managed to arrive „there‟. I tell him where I live. but then I took a fresh look. for the fifth time. beyond the story of „us‟. I *am* walking itself. If you have spiritual philosophy in your head – including the most advanced. pavement moving. Can I love you even though you disagree with what I say and how I say it? Can I really hear what you‟re saying. and the conversation goes on. and what I am is total intimacy – this is the adventure. I‟m here. I am what you are. so there is no „both‟. no need to worry. and what I really mean is „I love you. Just walking happening. my goodness. There is no walker.“I am walking down the street. perhaps I *am* here! Perhaps here is what I actually am. and a story „I am walking‟. One love. but walking is happening – and I am that. in this intimacy. refined. Of course it can. playing at being two. dad‟. and this is the forgiveness. Both are the one. I find myself here. It‟s okay dad. To see life as it actually is. wherever I am. I am not the walker – I am the walking. beyond what I think it is or should be or should have been. seventy-nine-year-old father asks me for the fifth time where I live. to know that Life is not separate from what I am. and there may be truth to be found in all these statements – but then. This is my home. our home. and the ordinary isn‟t ordinary at all. and I was still here. beyond the story? Can it be okay for things to be as they are? Yes. I am walking down the street…” “I‟m here. sweet. Hmm. That‟s why I‟m always here…” Love sees that the one who loves is identical with the one who is loved. I can‟t get away from here. to see others as innocent dreamers in this cosmic dream of separation. I am walking.
„we‟ fall away. we meet. love. I‟m far more likely to say „Take a look now. endlessly. and any non-acceptance or rejection which will inevitably appear in the play of opposites. never forget this. Everything that apparently comes between us falls away (it was never really there). It can be noticed. as is your failure to accept. It is each and every moment. or becoming enlightened – it‟s an exploration borne of fascination. not with hope of „fixing‟ it. faLLing in love. Falling. Nothing false survives this intimacy. what needs fixing? As an Advaita teacher.You cannot fall in love. „Healing‟ has nothing to do with fixing something that‟s broken. Alone. All is radically embraced here. faceto-face. way beyond the concept „love‟. melts it. and all that‟s left is Being. here and now – and the search for love is always already over. And even if it is. Falling in love is falling into life. your attempt to accept is already accepted.” Hearts broken open. can you find a separate person…?‟ It‟s an invitation to explore present experience. All is given for free. „Healing‟ is the rediscovery of wholeness („heal‟ = „whole‟) in the midst of the very experience of brokenness. that „you‟ have already fallen. This love is so fiercely unconditional that it even embraces „your‟ resistance to life. seen for what it is. The love that IS. Anything that appears within awareness is already welcome. talking or not talking. Even in the midst of your greatest suffering. however. All is life. We are already embraced by a love with no name… . Unconditional love embraces both pain and the image of the one who is trying – and failing – to escape it. The illusion of a separate „you‟ has already fallen away (it was never really there). It is not in the future – it is now.) These days. space-to-space. already accepted. sometimes. watching a sunset or lying in bed in excruciating pain. “What is grace? Where is it? It is here. and in that embrace. It is the gift of breathing. but only in certain contexts. the love that never left. already okay. I used to mechanically repeat phrases like „there is no me‟ (and I still phrase things like that. This is the love that never came. Being… in love! What happens when „we‟ fall in love? In love. All is grace. Can anything in present experience be broken or incomplete? Can a sound be incomplete? Can a sensation be incomplete? Can a thought be broken? Can what you are be broken? In seeing that present experience is always complete. eyes open wide. minds blown open. curiosity. before it‟s even begun. And all that‟s left is love. No separation. Never forget this. together. FaILing in illusion. No extra „acceptance‟ needs to be attempted.
What I am is prior to all stories. I am misunderstood. I don‟t know. our defences. breathtakingly okay. Life – what you are beyond your story. I suffer too much.cannot. experiencing itself as broken and incomplete. And the play goes on…. including this one. the wave is a perfect expression of the very wholeness it is seeking. this singing goes on until it doesn‟t. Experiencing homesickness. Either way. Either way. Let your heart break into a million pieces today. it seeks home. and never as it isn‟t. Tweet Tweet! The wave in the ocean. I don‟t mind if you hold „satsangs‟ or not. I am understood. I have too much ego. and your last day. If you think of yourself as enlightened. A glance. fundamentally. earthshatteringly okay. The universe sings to itself. I have too many thoughts. or walk away. That is your freedom. We long for total intimacy as much as we fear it. And all the while. my mind should be quieter. we seek home. You are free to listen to this music. Already being home. To sing your song back to me. I am unappreciated. I am a failure. That is my freedom. I‟m not relaxed enough. there is no „me‟. Life is absolutely dependable: it‟s always exactly as it is. I‟m enlightened. I am loved. Dear One. all those projections which keep us . cosmos-shatteringly. not always as you think it should be. I‟m not clear enough. And it‟s still supremely. I‟ll never be enlightened. We long to be stripped of our stories. I know too much. Be vulnerable today. I‟m successful. If you think of yourself as „no-one‟ or as „someone‟ or as anything else. If you‟ve written a book or not. Nothing I say is the gospel truth. or not. or fully present. there is still a „me‟ – and on and on. When you say „I am bored‟. or something inbetween. Allow yourself to cry today. A taste. On this day of all days – your first day. seeks wholeness. If you talk about your experiences in public. I‟m too much in my story. A breath. for the sheer joy of it.The word „boring‟ also means „drilling‟ (as in drilling a hole). or you keep quiet about it all. Those stories becomes totally irrelevant when we meet for the first time. There is no wave separate from the ocean. Feel gratitude today for the smallest and most „insignificant‟ things. or awakened. I am just a bird singing my song. I don‟t have an ego. Even deathly boredom is an invitation to this freedom! Bones can be broken. I am unloved. or not. it‟s always deeply. and in all cases. what is really happening? Life is „drilling‟ through the facade of „you‟. I am appreciated. My song is neither „true‟ nor „false‟ – it is merely music. threatening to reveal the non-existence of the seeker. I‟m not present enough.
This is the mystery. Part of this unconditional perfection is that within our dream we appear to have the freedom to see what needs changing and change it. it is appearing as this. this thought. That‟s somebody being detached. You are its fulfilment. And yet this longing is already fulfilled. I find the truth in that. It includes everything. and nothing to lose. are not-two. And it‟s all inclusive. That‟s detachment. beyond the speaking of it. That‟s separation. what shines today? This – LIFE – offering itself in all its fullness. your sorrows. But this is not a call to passivity. What an astonishing mystery. space to space. for nobody at all… An Advaita teacher says to me: “You are not a person. which is „your‟ fundamental inseperablity from life. with nothing to fear anymore. That‟s it. Whatever it is. This is total intimacy. Now. I find the truth in that. There is only Oneness”. sitting back from life. there is only intimacy. I used to be so stuck in the “everything is perfect” trap. You are the world – you cannot pretend it doesn‟t exist. this mystery. and not having to believe in any of it. You ARE a person”. And then to meet each other. doing nothing and being totally passive. and I‟d say to myself “my suffering is perfect” (which WAS true in an absolute sense…) and do nothing – and then fight with anyone who suggested I could DO anything! I was blind to this total perfection which INCLUDES our ability to take a fresh look at what we experience (perfectly!) as suffering. the story of your imagined future. that‟s the beauty of it – like the simplicity of sitting on this chair. Seeing perfection. this breath… “Jeff. to really meet. every sound. It‟s so beautiful. every sensation. Beyond the story. You are the dream of yourself. . Beyond the story of your past. your fears – what is actually here? Beyond the dream of tomorrow. I‟d suffer tremendously. face to face. behind the mask. Life itself is wide open. Flowering as every thought. This message is about total intimacy. Detachment is only possible in the dream. „Others‟ are simply characters appearing in the dream. Everything is already perfect as it is. That is love and that is death. and moving to improve an already-perfect world. too. your message is all about just being in the moment. Somebody else says to me: “There is no Oneness.(apparently) at a distance. finding the truth in every belief. Only one word: Gratitude. the story of your frustrations. But this dream has no separate dreamer – the dreamer IS the dream.” No.
“Nonduality”. and the search is on. cheesy. heartbreaking compassion (“for no-one”. don‟t ever leave me. „Nobody here‟ means intimacy. When it‟s seen that there‟s „nobody here‟ – i. as „mother‟ (the OKAY).). They are already home AND trying desperately to return home. The newborn baby. perfect relationship – these become symbols of OKAY in our world. “I love you. But „nobody here‟ is the vastness in which the world arises. is faced with the pre-verbal strangeness and overwhelmingness of life (the NOT OKAY) and seeks safety. Compassion begins here. A work of genius! . I miss you. power. And that‟s precisely why we‟re looking. and is not separate from those phenomena. because what I Am is prior to thought.Space to space. nobody there” can sound so cold. Compassion IS the recognition of nonduality. success. including „you‟. ejected from the womb. face to face – we are all „in love with‟ (inseperable from) each other. thought invents words like “Oneness”. I am lost without you. Space to space. experiencing a primal homesickness. empty and heartless. This is why compassion is possible at all.e. We want wealth. not knowing how to get there. The recognition of nonduality is not the end of compassion. “Spirit”. What you are is the answer. I can no longer shut you out. baby come back to me. longing to rest. Their „wrong‟ behaviour is perfectly „right‟ in their dream. there‟s enough room for everyone and everything. but don‟t realise it… “Nobody here. Thought cannot comprehend what I Am. superficial pop lyrics – or expressions of a primal longing to be whole again? Instant Compassion: Others are not „others‟ at all. face to face – this is the origin of real. enlightenment. at first. natural. “God”. we are one. It is wide open to all phenomena. Desperately trying to capture this no-thing beyond no-thing. I can‟t live without you. as they say…. “Being”. This isn‟t to condone violence but to SEE it for what it is. We are looking for what we already are. the total embrace of the womb. and therefore has no opposite. „built in‟. externalised. they are what you are – only the stories differ. you complete me. even “Enlightenment” (and their corresponding opposites). intimate space in which everything appears. popularity. I‟ve been looking for you my whole life…” – sentimental. there is simply this open. Then you start learning the questions… Seeking is not a „mistake‟ – it is inevitable.
And the game of opposites began…. Unconditional love is so unconditional it even embraces our failure to love unconditionally. pre-thought. Womb – Home – One. in every feeling. There was womb (safety. AND an invitation to discover freedom. What astonishing. There is only wholeness. Only Oneness. grounded. and womb-absence (abandonment. earthy reality. nonduality teachings… Freedom is not an experience – you can‟t find it and can‟t lose it. In the womb. That‟s the point! You were not IN the womb. but the actual sense of Home-With-No-Opposite that we all „knew‟ in the womb. Oneness – a vague remembrance of a pre-language. hilarious. And so every single experience IS freedom. Nobody was „in‟ the womb – nobody was separate from the womb. Why? Because freedom is in every experience – or.And so finally. no matter what the story. in every sensation. thought cannot grasp it – thought came later. mysterious. And what a wonderful story I‟ve just told! We seek Oneness – not the abstract concept „Oneness‟. With the appearance of abstract thought you were now an entity that was born and could die. Even your resistance is perfect! Conditional love is really our search for unconditional love. Of course. and what absolute compassion for humanity this understanding brings. and we seek Oneness. meditation. drugs. not in some mystical shmystical way. Only THIS. sex. death). then. no matter what the content. So primal. danger. the story appeared „I was born – I came out of mother‟s womb‟. we WERE it. Even conditional love. so to speak. is seen to be unconditional in essence. Only later. rather. Everyone resists in different ways – what you resist is also your own „personal‟ invitation to completeness – so to speak. A „memory‟ of the womb. there was no threat of womb-absence. Life is already complete – AND everything that appears is an invitation to recognise that completeness – in every thought. safe. In a million different ways we try to return to that wholeness. It‟s so primal. and we seek wholeness. in which we seek to return to the womb. we didn‟t „know‟ it. but in actual. embraced. You ARE the womb. life). every experience appears in freedom. through relationship. pre-sense (presence) state of being totally whole. the „world‟ is a giant womb. and we seek THAT. You are what you seek. What we call „resistance‟ is simply an invitation to let go and let in the experience being resisted. tragic. with no threat of absence (since thought had not yet split reality – there was no „experiencer‟ yet). Life and death are absolutely one. spiritual seeking. beautiful creatures we are. .
We are already Home, AND everything that happens in the dream is an invitation to recognise that we are already Home. Whether or not the invitations are noticed, let alone accepted, we are still Home. And the invitations keep coming… When you‟re really living, when you‟re really dancing, who cares if the world is „real‟ or if it‟s a „dream‟? If the world is a dream, then I am a dream too, and so I and the world are not-two. If the world is real, then I am real too, and so I and the world are one. Either way, there is only intimacy. And the dance goes on…. We try so hard to be open to life, to open up to every experience, only to discover who we really are: Being, already fully open to life, already fully open to every experience. In a way, these four words summarise the entire spiritual search, and the end of that search: Being Open To Life Intimacy – it is the death of the seeker, and we seem to long for it as much as we fear it. To be totally exposed and without defences in your eyes… is to see that your eyes are my eyes. Then there is nothing to fear because there is nothing to lose. Throughout the day, all sorts of phenomena – thoughts, feelings, sensations, sounds – appear spontaneously in this space. Can you ever find a division between „inside‟ and „outside‟? A sensation – does it happen „in the body‟? Or does it simply appear spontaneously in this space, along with a thought that says “this sensation is happening within something called „my body‟” … Mystery is the only certainty. Beyond belief, beyond doubt. Mystery is not ignorance, nor is it naiveté. It is not confusion, nor is it „hedging one‟s bets‟. It is absolute groundedness, wonder, childlike simplicity. Mystery is indestructible. It is not knowing, and in that, knowing all you need to know. If you are here to read this, you have survived. The simple, ordinary feeling of being here, now, is the miracle to end all miracles, and it still remains, even after everything else has been stripped away. Only one thing left to say: Thankyou. No need to wait for grace. It‟s already here: breathing, heart beating, sounds appearing, sensations… A spontaneous play of emptiness, a dance of the formless as form, and there‟s nobody here separate from this Never-Ending Dance of Completeness. It‟s the dance that you are, the dance that life is, and it all appears now, offering itself in its fullness, asking nothing in return. Do you see what you‟ve been given? We tend to be happy when things are going our way, and unhappy when things aren‟t. It‟s natural. But what we are pointing to here is a freedom
that exists despite, not because of, circumstances. Freedom in the midst of pain, sadness, even devastation. Not freedom FROM, but freedom IN. Unconditionally so. Awareness and its contents are inseparable. They are already „in love‟, so to speak. And so our very nature calls us back to deep gratitude for this messy, beautiful, sometimes painful human existence – even when it seems impossible to love it, even like it – even when our best laid plans don‟t work out at all. Freedom beyond the speaking of it lies hidden, unhidden, in THIS moment, in THIS place, and nowhere else. Walking along Worthing seafront, cold cheeks, icy fingers, this is life in all its glory, this is grace beyond measure, this is all given for free, and there‟s nobody here to accept or reject any of it. It simply IS. And it is always enough, even when it‟s not, and it is always home, even when it doesn‟t seem like home. What is pain, before it is owned, before it becomes „my pain‟? Who am I, prior to the arising of the thought „I am the one in pain‟? Who, exactly, is „in‟ the pain? Is there not just pain appearing „in‟ this vast space of awareness, along with thoughts: „This is my pain‟ „When will it go away?‟ „What did I do to deserve this?‟ „I can‟t stand it much longer‟, etc? There is a deep okayness right in the midst of pain… There is a beautiful truth to the path of Advaita – it apparently takes time and effort to see through various aspects of human illusion. There is also a beautiful truth to the non-path of „neo-Advaita‟ – there is no person here, no time and nothing to be done – life is exactly as it is right now. Do you see that these two „opposing viewpoints‟ are really pointing to the same place? They aren‟t „opposing‟ at all. Nothing I say about nonduality is true. All lies. Beautiful lies. The moment I take any of this seriously, I disappear up my own backside. Sound of traffic. Thought about dinner. Shoulder pain. All appearing on the pristine screen of awareness. Yet „screen of awareness‟ is really just another thought appearing in this… nameless space. THAT in which everything appears cannot be named by any of the „things‟ that appear. In the end, we can‟t speak of „awareness‟ vs. „contents of awareness‟. But it‟s fun to talk, when talking and not talking are equal… The artist doesn‟t say “the only beauty in the world, is in my art”. The musician doesn‟t say “my music is the only authentic music, the only true music”. The dancer doesn‟t say “my dancing is the only dancing in the world that can move you to tears”. In true love, we don‟t say “there is no love in the world except for mine”. So why does the guru, teacher or believer say “my path is the only path to freedom”?
We are already dead. Stone cold dead. The worst has already happened. Now we are free, and THIS is heaven. THIS – present sights, sounds, smells, feelings, all arising spontaneously in the vastness of Being, which was never born and cannot die. Yes, to be dead means to see what is really here, beyond past and future and the dream of yourself. Nothing to fear, sweet dreamer – you are already dead and cannot die again. There is no evidence of a „self‟ as a solid, independent entity that endures in time. That much is clear with a little honest investigation. But then, saying “there is no self” is just another belief – more dogma, more religion. What there appears to be is the simple activity of „selfing‟ – the spontaneous arising and dissolving of thought within awareness. Who could deny that? What is humility? Perhaps it is the recognition of one‟s ultimate inability to control this moment – your ultimate powerlessness in the face of the rawness of existence. Your absence in the face of the presence of things, and ultimately, the inseparability of this absence and the world‟s presence. You are the world, in the most intimate sense. Perhaps humility is another word for freedom. And another word for love. I can‟t say that I am enlightened. I can‟t say that I am not. Why? Because I don‟t find any solid, independent entity here that could ever be one or the other. All I find here is a wide open space in which the scenery of life plays out – a space inseparable from that very scenery. Any claim of enlightenment or its absence is wonderfully irrelevant, here in this already-enlightened vastness that belongs to no-one. Without referring to the past, who are you? Without your mental conclusions (“I am the Self”, “I have no self”, “I am Spirit”, “I am not the body”, “I am no-one”, “I am pure awareness”, etc.), who are you? Without simply parroting your favourite teacher or guru‟s answer, who are you? Without answering the question with another question (“Who asks?”), who are you? Without answering the question at all, who are you? For a while, it seems that the hungry seeker is approaching something called „enlightenment‟. But then the seeker himself is exposed as a fraud, a phantom, a thought bubble. No seeker has ever become enlightened, for the enlightenment of the phantom seeker (in other words, his exposure in the blinding light of truth) is the death of that very search, leaving only simplicity, and nobody to claim „enlightenment‟. The seeming paradox: You search for enlightenment, until it‟s discovered that there‟s no „you‟ to find it… and therefore there is no „enlightenment‟ outside of what‟s presently happening. All that‟s left is life, as it is. The way it‟s always been – but now seen for what it is. Who discovers this? Who knows this? The non-existent answer will blow your absent mind.
when the drama has died down. this vastness beyond time… Many people are running around these days claiming that they are free from the „me‟. Yes. Throughout the day. and your „guilt‟ isn‟t really yours. sounds. The answer is not of the mind. sensations arise in awareness. heard. if you like!) Now. The thinker is another thought. Don‟t they know that this very movement IS the „me‟. which no time-bound experience could ever begin to touch. But when all the dust has settled. thought says “I‟ve got it now! It‟s over! I‟m finished! Now I know!”. and life in all its raw glory reveals itself. All you will ever find is presently-arising thought (which you can call „mind‟. I think the thoughts.All spiritual experiences – however „blissful‟. After each experience.” But what is this I who hears and thinks? Are there really TWO things – „you‟ and „life‟? Or is there simply the unitary movement of Life. But who thinks them? We say: “I hear the sounds. The world is not „out there‟ – it is here. this is the discovery which renders that very path obsolete. . Then there is no protection… Sounds appear. which has no opposite? Is there just the ONE thing. The whole of human experience – anything anyone has ever thought. Paths are helpful. „powerful‟. the world meets you in the intimacy that you are. Life. This is the origin of heartbreaking compassion… No path can take you to where you are. badly disguised? What is the sound of a bird singing before we call it birdsong? What is the world before it is named? What is this moment before time? Who am I before the question „Who am I?‟. and you will never find it. This is not a rejection of paths but a movement beyond them. perhaps necessary – until their root assumptions crumble. Wherever you think you are along your path. There is no separate entity called „mind‟. in its brilliant simplicity. They have a beginning and an end. appearing in this wide open space. or „life-changing‟ – come and go. Where is the entity called „mind‟? Search for a million years. to WHOM is thought arising? Search for a million years and you will never find the thinker. there is still only THIS. But who hears them? Thoughts appear. And so no human experience is alien to you. Being is already fully present – and paradoxically. as it is. felt. which is no-thing at all? Does Life have a centre – or was it all a dream? Are „you‟ responsible for becoming a „you‟ in the first place? Or was the „original sin‟ (separation) simply an innocent response to life? If nobody „does‟ separation then there is no original sin. all sorts of thoughts. experienced – is available right here.
each sensation. Or you are in extreme physical agony. I have no interest in using them for my own advantage. And what a relief to wind up back here. What does the absence of suffering look like? It looks like whatever‟s appearing. failed spiritual seeker. engaged with life. the Home I never left!! Life is here to break your heart over and over again until you realise that heartbreak is life too… and then your heart can no longer be broken. knowing that whatever happens is totally okay even in the midst of perfect devastation. Emptiness dances as form. in time. which. your new belief system. moment by moment. Is Advaita merely a word game for you. in time. and infinitely precious. This is freedom beyond the speaking of it. This is why each breath. In other words. “Nobody suffers! Everything is just a thought! Life is an illusion! Suffering is a dream!” – Easy words to memorise and repeat. in your pain. or fixed. Suffering is the story of „my pain‟. All identity is thought. a conveniently life-denying. The search for freedom from the prison of suffering creates the illusion of a prisoner trapped „inside‟. beyond emptiness and form. detached philosophy? Don‟t worry. Suffering is the ownership of pain – which is the identity. no-thing. without contradiction. your new ideology… and you have become blind to this. Ever-Present Awareness and all else is dualistic? That there is no „you‟? Then Advaita has become your new religion. felt totally. In other words. Interest. life is. and the story of someone trying to escape pain. nothing takes form as matter. a pure awareness. Nothing. Sorry to point out the obvious. absolutely. because everything is all there is. Nothing matters…. And beyond both these concepts. But I have no interest in them. And you stand naked in front of life. appears as everything. and no interest. is devastating perfection. a desperate.I‟ve been a „successful‟ spiritual seeker. They fascinate me. each thought is so very intimate. Harder to say when your partner has just left you. a transcendent „no-one‟. What a fascinating trip it‟s been. without suffering? There would just be pain. Or your kids have just been given a few days to live. No answer required. an arrogant nonduality teacher stuck in the (non-existent) „impersonal‟ void… and now I‟ve gone right back to being what I always was – a human being. of course. Nothing matters. Do you really believe that there is no self? That there is nothing you can do? That there is no doer? That everything is a concept? That there is only Absolute. Who would you be. yet everything matters. Life will show you. I‟m interested in your stories. an enlightened being. Suffering would be the attempt to escape what‟s appearing. When there is no attempt to escape (or even . Unchanging.
In that rediscovery. which is identical to the present appearance of life. It is not a special „experience‟ or „event‟. The “sense of I” is just a sense – what is the problem with a sense? Who takes it seriously? An experience of the absence of something (lack) happens presently – is anything lacking? A popular spiritual teaching: “Stop thinking. or sadness.when there is). We feel separate. Has life not already given everything? Has it not already given itself completely? Is this present appearance not complete? Was there ever a „you‟ separate from this completeness? In that case…. what is there to forgive? Even your lack of forgiveness is forgiven here… The thought “something is missing” is not missing. before the question is even asked. .” Beautiful. and no prisoner „inside‟ – there is only what‟s happening in the moment – be it pain. Stunning! The end of seeking cannot be found by the seeker in the future. What was eventually recognised is this: All thoughts are welcome here. complete in itself. „Life as it already is‟. answers Life. Not happening „to‟ anyone – just arising in the vastness. and pure awareness will remain. We seek because we feel separate. The end of seeking is seeing life as it is. It is the rediscovery (by no-one) of the absence of the seeker. Freedom from separation within the experience of separation. but are we separate? To whom does „the feeling of being separate‟ appear? Does anybody own „the feeling of being separate‟? Even „the feeling of being separate‟ is not separate from what you are. language disintegrates… into simplicity and laughter. fear. The thought “I am seeking” is not itself seeking anything – it simply appears in the fullness of life. are „you‟ not already forgiven? In other words. But I was subtly making thought into the enemy. And here. in this awareness. They are intimate. They are in love. “For-giveness” means “given everything”. What simplicity! „What is the end of seeking?‟. and no „seeker‟ who disappears. there is no prison. But I used to drive myself mad trying to stop thinking. Awareness and its contents are inseparable. The thought “I am separate” cannot separate – it simply dances in boundless space. The desire to „stop thinking‟ fell away. I had many „no thought‟ experiences. effortlessly? Is that hearing separate from the bird singing? Are there two things? Or is there simply this boundless. *Tweet tweet!* The sound of that bird singing – do you hear it? Or is it simply heard? Does hearing simply happen. the seeker asks. there is no „seeking‟ to end. unitary movement? Is there simply intimacy with the birdsong? Listen….
past or no past. Pain in the shoulder. time-bound image of me? Sacrifice the image – discover a love that cannot die. the vastness in which all of this appears. it only brings you back to where you already are). and all of this appears as that same vastness. Chinking of glasses. Many people are waiting for a future „energetic shift‟ to end their seeking. and yes. no room for specialness here. and there is only this. it‟s true. In the end. The gap between „now‟ and „the shift‟ is time. Including this one. in all its simplicity: Sitting in a seaside cafe. lovingly. Jesus said „I and the father are One‟. What unadulterated perfection… what stunning imperfection. you cannot talk about nonduality as separate from duality. In other words. In the face of the miracle. But this very waiting IS the seeking that the „energetic shift‟ is supposed to eventually destroy. which IS the seeker. Biscuit crumbs falling onto T-shirt. The absence of the seeker appears as the seeker. The duelling non-dualists: “YOU are stuck in identification!” “No. You thought you were so important – in fact you were equal to a chair. muffled conversations. sweet dreamer. you are the open space holding it all. dreamt up by noone at all. YOU are stuck in identification!” Walking around the Imperial War Museum with my dear.Beyond any notion of nirvikalpa samādhi. there is only THIS. . There is no such thing as a teaching free of hidden assumptions. What an ingenious ploy. your story simply melts. so you cannot talk about nonduality at all. What crushing humility. And all Life is here. the seeker waits for a „shift‟ in order to stay alive. yes. by no-one! “I have no ego” – is this the ultimate claim of the ego? “I love you”. without question. Who is waiting at the bus stop for the Enlightenment Bus? A non-existent bus that never arrives (and even if it does. In this dream. seeking his own absence…. there is a love here that cannot be named. So goodnight. Sorry. Milk‟s a little off. What are you in love with? A conditioned. elderly dad. Simply read the sign: “BUS NOT IN SERVICE”… and the waiting ends. Faced with everything. Stories or no stories. All that‟s left is gratitude for each and every single thing. I am the open space. drinking tea.
Beyond the teacher-student and guru-disciple dream roles and relationships. burning up all concepts about life. The ending IS the beginning. as if you needed to be reminded. Life is a bonfire. Words appear to be needed until it‟s seen that words are not needed…. as it is. it – ultimately – even embraces what we call conditional love… . which is the seeing-through of time and effort. and were never needed. Television buzzing. what is seen is that THIS was never for one moment absent. of what you already are. because even the attempt to talk about the burning burns up in this! And yet. feelings in the body happening. Everything melts into THIS. It all ends here: Sitting. So it all fades back into the silence…. It doesn‟t matter in the end. Cat screeching outside. in each and every moment… What you are (beyond the story) is identical with what life is (beyond the story). all language is temporary. Has there ever been anyone here separate from all of this? Was there ever a seeker? There is only the question. In the falling-away of time and effort. met by nobody. This is the dance…. And so in the end. there is only unconditional love. They are not two separate movements. sounds happening. leaving only…. perhaps not. Yes. reminding yourself. reminding you of what you already know. And here is where it all begins. present appearance of life itself. This – this is you. Just life. and life continues to unfold. and it‟s quite clear that we are not in control of this astonishing dream world. And even that is saying too much. And THIS is Home. I am what you are. friendship. the timeless and effortless presence that you are in your essence reveals itself – and in that revelation. always. Everything melts into everything else. is simplicity. the beginning IS the ending. Unconditional love cannot be reached through time and effort… it is simply there at the foundation of what you call your „experience‟. waiting to be uncovered. Nothing can be said about this burning. When speaking of THIS.Emptiness and form are not two. and that we are constantly being embraced by Oneness. Am I a teacher? Perhaps. words continue to come. here is where it ends. There is only One… Unconditional love is so radically unconditional. Just the simple. I can only be a friend. which melts away too…. Forever. breathing. all there is. beyond the concept of it – and You Are That. Home. and laughter. discovered. In the end. What is present is always present.
sensation. but a description of who you ALREADY ARE beyond the story. and never was. that who I really am is the vast. everything is seen to be deeply embraced. total openness to what is. open. a wonderful philosophy. something that comforts the „me‟. no way of blocking life out. or pretend that I am fundamentally different from you in any way. a nondual soundbite. Words will never capture this. But what are the real implications of this realisation? In realising that there is no separate person here at all. non-located capacity for every thought. instead of rendering it irrelevant. repeat. just intimacy – which is the end of conflict. admitted here. infinitely spacious. Yes. but words are allowed here too. Then there‟s no distance. that bloats the self-image. more dogma. a belief. this humility. Easy words to memorise. a lovely pointer. this openness. no matter what the circumstances? Jeff Foster REALISING THERE IS NO ME “There is no me”. There is no self-image to defend (not even the image „there‟s nobody here‟ or „awakening has happened to no-one‟). held. and that what I am is inseparable from this moment… … well then. There is no „inbetween‟ anymore. but is this transparency. something to cling to. “there is no me” is a beautiful idea. another story. lecture and argue about. even pain.Who are you. This is not a prescription or achievement or goal for a separate self. deeply allowed into what I am. And a deep sense of love and wordless compassion – beyond all our second-hand ideas of love and compassion – emanates directly from this realisation. sound. It‟s not a rejection of our humanity and our humanness (rejection comes from a deep misunderstanding of the nondual message) but a total embrace of it on every level. to argue over. beyond all ideas and judgements about yourself? Is it possible to discover deep acceptance within your present experience. feeling. cosmic humility and awe in the face of this moment. Otherwise “there is no me” remains just an idea. no gap. actually . for one simply cannot block „you‟ out anymore.
or that they can „teach‟ you how to win the Game….. but nobody knows they‟re playing it. Everybody has forgotten. who asks? IMAGINE A GAME…. except the goal you are aiming for. There are no rules to this Game. mysterious. There is no goal. ingenious game ever devised… Everybody is playing it. There is no escape from the Game – even the attempt to escape the Game is part of the Game. Realisation is key.being realised now? Intellectual understanding is beautiful. well. If anyone thinks that they understand the Game. . The most amazing. but doesn‟t in itself end seeking and suffering – in fact. The grand prize and the booby prize are the same: The Game itself. Nobody wins the Game – but nobody loses either. that‟s part of the Game too. that they are an „authority‟ on the Game. Who realises? Well. it may even inflame suffering. that‟s the gorgeous paradox of this. except the rules that you play by. And if anyone thinks they‟ve escaped the Game…. that is also part of the Game. Who realises? Well.
” from O. It‟s your Game…. you have no choice. . This is the Game talking to Itself. illusion mid-14c. Want to play? Sorry. It seems as though the Game was designed for you.” from in. This Game is Life Itself. “act of deception. illusionem (nom.Everything that happens in the Game is perfectly appropriate for the player.Fr. And if you are reading this message. IS THE SELF AN „ILLUSION‟? DO I „EXIST‟? It may help to look at what the words „illusion‟ and „existence‟ actually mean. and yet everybody is playing the same Game. the Game is already complete.” from L. You‟re already in the middle of it. but it is also totally universal. reminding Itself that it is complete. Now. you can‟t go wrong.. Sense of “deceptive appearance” developed in English late 14c. As long as you are playing this Game. The Game is already being played. you‟re free to play….” lit. “to play with. illusio) “a mocking. irony.” from illudere “mock at. jesting. illusion “a mocking. That‟s part of the Game. This too is part of the Game.“at” + ludere “to play” (see ludicrous). The Game seems personal.
AND no. void. The „illusion‟ is seen through – the wave is inseparable from the ocean. but because it doesn‟t exist in the way we imagine it to.„Illusion‟ simply means „a play‟ or „deceptive appearance‟ – not „nonexistence‟. And where does every story appear? Here. every form. (And instead of the word „ocean‟. You are not what you think you are. You could say the story of the self arises and falls in this space pointed to by the words „no self‟. If it has an existence. Does the wave „stand out‟ of the ocean? Yes. clear open space – awareness. that existence is inseperable from the whole. Jeff is not there „lurking‟ in the background – the story of Jeff appears and disappears as a story.. it doesn‟t stand out in reality. Depends on the angle from which you‟re answering the question.) If you can‟t handle paradox. those assumptions crumble. in this wide. nothing…. Now. because it IS the ocean. aliveness. Being. doesn‟t really matter what words you use to point here. every thought. it might also help if I were a little more clear about what the word „existence‟ actually means. the „self‟ (the story of me) only exists as a story. both are not true. sounds. The best we can do is point and know that we are only pointing. you can use the words consciousness. source. comes and goes in this open space. ever found Jeff outside of a presently-arising story about Jeff. the „me‟. a separate entity running my life – in the same way that there seems to be a wave separate from the ocean – but upon investigation. AND it does not exist – it does not exist SEPARATELY from the ocean. I gave up years ago believing that this could be captured in words. Life. beingness. The story of Jeff does not appear to Jeff – that would be another story! The story of Jeff simply appears. The wave appears to exist. In the past I used to use this without realising what it actually meant. time to get out of the nondual kitchen! In the same way. The self. Both are true. wholeness. It‟s like trying to capture water in a fishing net. do not happen to a „self‟ – there‟s no evidence for a solid central self whatsoever – they arise and fall here. Thoughts. They‟re just words. not because it doesn‟t exist. it appears to. every sensation. Perhaps this is what some are referring to as the space of „no self‟. consciousness. I never. Every story. The „me‟ seems to be solid and separate – a „thing‟ at the centre of life. as . is an illusion. It literally means „stand out‟ (ex-sistere). sensations.
The rest is just arguing over our favourite pointers. the total inseparability of what I am from all that appears. choice and choicelessness. and tried very hard to convince people that there was no self. this whole game. Years ago. totally. And all language simply comes and goes in this space. WAS the very self I was denying! It‟s absolutely ingenious. . and you are wrong… and by the way. but to the wide open space that holds the story of Jeff. is use words as pointers. In reality. this emptiness which is actually totally full. brings much lightness and laughter. Langauge fails here. All we can do. this sense that I was right and needed to wake others up. intimately.waves appear to do in an ocean. “I know there is no self. can simply be something else to hold onto. even what we call „forms‟ are inseparable from this formless openness. Seeing the impossibility of putting this into words. Then we cannot talk of „emptiness‟ or „void‟ at all! The Heart Sutra says „Form is Emptiness. as everything appears right here. and it really pisses me off when you think otherwise. I was very certain that there was no self. This inseparability and intimacy is confirmed in every single moment. And totally innocent too. All concepts of self and no self arise and fall away. And we can still carry on debating whether or not there is a self – there‟s room for that too. All concepts of duality and nonduality. Emptiness is Form‟.” Ingenious. But there‟s nobody here being pissed off. just as the ocean „holds‟ all of the waves that are. collapse. and the need to constantly prove that to others. And it‟s all available to be seen for what it is. The ego becomes a „spiritualised ego‟ and pretends there is no ego. not to Jeff. It‟s not that I believe any of this – belief doesn‟t hold up for very long. itself…. there‟s no you and no me. I couldn‟t see back then that this constant need to convince others. and I am right. leaving no trace. the total intimacy with all impermanent forms as they arise and fall. There‟s room for everything here! So let‟s play! The only question left is – what are you defending? Even the certainty that there is no self. by the way. And the „play‟ goes on… WHY THE IMPERSONAL DOES NOT „EXIST‟ The birth and death of fundamentalism in nonduality and Advaita teachings. Always. in the end. It collapses.
and so they are of the same nature as myself… That is why I can love them… . and you start talking about something personal – for example. The „Advaita Police‟ reply „Who cares?‟ I say I do. and so on – in other words. being a living. I ever was one.by Jeff Foster Originally published in 3e millénaire (N° 101 – Automne 2011) as “Pourquoi l‟impersonnel n‟existe pas” Govinda said: „What you call a thing. Having a thought-created story about yourself. THE MESSAGE OF RADICAL ADVAITA If you listen to certain nonduality/Advaita teachers who are on the scene at the moment. „If they are illusion. your tree. in the true sense of the word – otherwise it is simply nihilism masquerading as freedom. breathing human being – is a clear sign of delusion and duality. authentic human engagement. are they real?‟ „This does not trouble me much. an addiction you have. I could never claim to be any sort of authority on this stuff. a painful event that happened in your past – they will tell you that you are „stuck in . they must be discarded in the end.‟ said Siddhartha. the death of a loved one. I will continue to speak. is it something real and intrinsic? Is it not simply an illusion of Maya. and however beautiful the words of Advaita/Nonduality are. Life cannot be put into words. to sing my song to those who are open to listening. your feelings. to use „Advaita-speak‟ to avoid real. I do. and they invite questions. to pretend that I am in any way more or less special than you. your relationships.Siddhartha. merely image and appearance? Your stone. your past experiences. to kid you that I know more than you. indeed.” In this essay I want to explain why I made this statement. you may get the impression that there is something terribly wrong with having a personal „story‟. but gone is the need to adhere to any tradition. to play the „teacher‟ by refusing to meet you in the play. then I too am illusion. This message is about love. And you need to wake up from this mess! If you go to a public meeting held by a teacher of „radical Advaita‟. your desires and hopes and fears. Herman Hesse A few months ago I made this announcement: “I am officially no longer an „Advaita teacher‟ or „Nonduality teacher‟ – if. to stop listening to you because I see you as „still stuck in the dream‟ or „still a person‟.
except the gigantic story that all stories are a sign of ignorance…). In promoting the impersonal. the impersonal is better. What a headache! And for these teachers. Their teaching is 100% true. And although these teachers say there is nothing you can do to reach liberation. no doubt about it. Although these teachers talk about freedom. or at least less illusory. than the personal – although of course. The burden of guilt is on you. Radical Advaita is a subtle form of seeking. The fact that you „told a story‟ shows that you are still coming from duality – you are still identified as a seeker. and it comes from an agenda to make you realise that you are not liberated yet. your „headache‟ is yet a further sign that you don‟t „get it‟ yet. when of course their preference to avoid or dismiss your personal story is a very personal one. in their denial or rejection of the personal. they are sending a clear message to the seeker: keep seeking. They imply that they themselves exist in some sort of mystical state beyond the personal. They claim that their teaching is „impersonal‟ and without agenda (because it does not speak to you as a separate person). what these teachers cannot see is that their „impersonal‟ (actually anti-personal) position is in fact a very personal preference. Of course. Although there‟s no „you‟ it can happen to. and know nothing of your past. These teachers. no longer „tell stories‟ (well. they don‟t have „personal relationships‟ (who is there to have a relationship with?). in the vain hope that it will happen one day. or more real. a sign of your ignorance. or whatever they are calling themselves today) and terribly guilty and narcissistic for still having interest in your personal story. and uncompromisingly. or that they have entered into a kind of space where the personal no longer has any meaning. or „lost in the dream of time and space‟ or they will simply say you are „still a person‟ and „haven‟t woken up yet‟. In the hierarchy of radical Advaita. They don‟t have a past or future.your story‟. stuck in the personal. it is also claimed that all hierarchies are illusions. You will exist in the eternal Now. you will no longer tell personal stories. pure. you carry on going to their meetings and reading their books. of course. although of course. and nobody there who can do anything anyway. in making the impersonal the . Liberation or enlightenment obviously hasn‟t happened for you yet! And so you wait and wait for liberation to happen. for one day the personal will fall away. the wonder of existence and the completeness of all things. Once you „get it‟. or absences. right?) And so you end up feeling inferior to these people (or non-people. brutally honest – your confusion is your problem. or nobodies. relevance or interest. The seeker is kept hooked on the promise of a future „impersonal‟ state or experience. And no „one day‟…. the teacher denies that they have any sort of agenda. and they certainly never suffer (because all suffering is an illusion. or are promising anything to the seeker.
where life and „my life‟ intersect and destroy each other. Right at the heart of the most terrible personal suffering – right at the heart of broken bones. It took me a long time – and much soul-searching and humility – to realise that. And even though they don‟t allow personal stories in the meetings. and would often dismiss personal stories in the same way as I‟m describing above. though a rejection of the personal. where the truly impersonal (the open space in which that story appears) meets the personal (the story of „me‟). What many of these teachers call „impersonal truth‟ is actually their own anti-personal stance disguised as objective fact. I used to love this radical. wholeness. live there at the heart of that intersection – where the vertical (that which is beyond time and space) meets the horizontal (time and space). the Divine shone. at the heart of the messiness of human existence. There are impersonal personalities – but no impersonal messages. or that they intentionally set out to mislead people – nothing of the sort! I‟m saying that I no longer resonate with this way of expressing truth. it gets to . and this „anti-personal‟ stance is simply a personal preference of certain spiritual teachers. until I saw through its root assumptions and its hidden agendas. God.absolute truth. That‟s where the grace shines. they actually create the very division between the impersonal and the personal. And so. and so I totally understand where this form of expression is coming from. Jesus was absolutely human. the impersonal and the personal are one. He did not find freedom through escaping from the cross. and in that humanness. Freedom was. all of us. and so true freedom cannot come through a denial or rejection of the personal story – it‟s actually there right at the heart of that story. uncompromising approach…. torn muscle. absolutely divine. life itself. that they claim they have transcended. I‟m not saying these teachers are bad. There is no such thing as an „impersonal‟ message – there are only people who act in „impersonal‟ ways towards others. in fact. Think of Jesus on the cross. was right there at the heart of the cross. gossip. impersonal and free. No – freedom. it actually expresses itself as the personal. and is. I used to hold „radical Advaita‟ meetings myself. We. or wrong. that‟s all. argue and defend positions just like anyone else. please don‟t misunderstand me. absolute and relative. THE IMPERSONAL IS THE PERSONAL Whatever the impersonal is. flayed skin. Why is there a division between what goes on in the meetings. outside of the meetings these teachers tell stories. and another rule for us? Why do the meetings have to be such a performance? Surely liberation brings freedom from the need to perform in this way? Now. and outside of them? Why is there one rule for them.
trying to get rid of my personal story. say what I wanted. For a while. Or so I believed. and meanwhile. Impersonal teachings – teachings which did not speak to a „person‟ and did not offer the nonexistent seeker any hope or comfort – were the only truth. trying to dwell in the Absolute. no choice – what a relief! I could do what I wanted. Jeff was the enemy and I had to get rid of him. there are no others. and forgotten this. Perhaps I have always been that which I have longed for the most. when in fact we have just come to rest on a subjective belief. my personal story was feasting on the very personal idea that I was „beyond‟ or „above‟ the personal. they were actually feeding the seeking and keeping people trapped in their stories. “There is no me. no past. there is only One. My personal story (relative existence) had become hell – I hated my life. I thought I was nobody. felt like a total failure. and meanwhile. „nonduality‟ and „duality‟ were at war. gorging itself on these new Advaita concepts. Just perhaps. suffering doesn‟t exist. I thought I was free from all divisions. The ego was the lie that had to be annihilated. and meanwhile. Or at least. I thought I was free. that seemed the logical next step. what a comfort for the exhausted seeker! A one-way ticket to freedom from all worldly problems – Hallelujah! No responsibility. I had read a lot of spiritual books. In my „story‟ (yes. Human beings are amazing creatures. suffered terrible social phobia. there is no you. in speaking to a person and offering them hope of any kind. saw no point in existing at all – and so it made sense at the time to escape into the impersonal heaven promised by the Advaita teachings. I rejected all spiritual paths and practices – they were all dualistic and rooted in ignorance. I saw these teachers as „dualistic‟ because it looked like. because the personal had become unliveable. We think we have found objective truth. Perhaps what I truly am is inseparable from life itself. And I enjoyed warning people about the dualistic teachers who were keeping people trapped in their ignorance – although . that‟s what I believed at the time. there„s no responsibility on any level” – wow. The personal self was the devil. I was at war with any teacher who looked like they offered a personal path. Where does one begin and the other end? Perhaps there is no dividing line – perhaps at the centre of the cross. the „impersonal‟ seemed like freedom to me.the point where you can‟t even use the words „personal‟ and „impersonal‟ anymore – because you have no way of separating them in the first place. there is no world. the seeker was feeding itself. and it was only in the destruction of the devil that I would meet God. „personal‟ and „impersonal‟ had locked horns. to get rid of my „someone‟ and become „no-one‟. I could even hurt people intentionally and it didn‟t matter because it was all Oneness and I had no choice anyway. and had come to a lot of conclusions about reality – not realising that my conclusions were actually personal beliefs. there is a story appearing here – who could deny that?) I spent years pushing away the personal.
and trying to make it look like you have no position to defend. I claimed to be free from the personal. letting go of my most cherished identities and beliefs? Terrifying. in the end. authentic human interaction? Scary. The radical Advaita teachings were a great comfort at this point – it was a comfort to know that „after liberation. Phew. You have to be. admitting that I was wrong about certain things. Oh yes. I call this the “Advaita Trap” – and at the time. every castle must crumble in the end. I was afraid of the personal. So. when challenged about this (“Jeff. radical or „uncompromising‟. unfulfilled in many ways – but since I believed that I was liberated. The radical Advaita message provided great relief. I was still suffering very much – there were still relationships that didn‟t feel clean. but secretly. but claiming to be free from all seeking. My radical Advaita castle had been built on very shaky foundations… . Life is the authority. behind the scenes. holding up this enlightened facade! But every facade. where seeking was still happening. No philosophy or belief system. there wasn‟t anything I could do about it. That‟s how gurus are born. It was all so exhausting. it terrified me – we attack what we are most afraid of. can protect you from life itself. let alone other people. there was still suffering – and suffering is seeking! I was still seeking. places where I was holding back from life. Often when you think you are free you are more trapped than ever.of course. Personal experience is for ignorant dreamers. honest. still at war with life. isn‟t it hypocritical to call other teachers „dualistic‟ when there are no others. But nobody suffering or somebody suffering. and all belief systems crumble before life. Real. suffering can still arise but now it belongs to no-one‟. blocked. believing that I was free from the personal. places where I knew I wasn‟t being honest. because there was nobody here to do anything. and duality is an illusion?”). I couldn‟t admit this to myself. but secretly I was at war with the personal. I backtracked and said there was nobody here with an opinion about anything. every defence. The risk of exposing myself to others and being rejected? No. Opening myself up to life. The impersonal is much more real. and anyway. I became very clever with words. no matter how refined. I didn‟t think I was trapped – I thought I was free. when you are defending a position. in order to promote my identity as an „ex-seeker‟. I was living in my impersonal castle. or that I was „no-one‟. and that everything was perfect as it was. I still felt disconnected from others. “I‟m still miserable – there is still misery appearing – but now nobody is miserable”. Great! Suffering was okay – I didn‟t have to do anything about it. better to pretend there are no others to interact with.
only seems to exist – in reality. because it already IS the ocean… THE WAVE AND THE OCEAN Imagine a wave in an ocean. the wave only appears to exist. “path” and “no-path”. is the ocean. “Nothing exists” is perfectly balanced by “something exists”. The wave is both personal AND impersonal. We have the paradox of the impersonal appearing as the personal. however. it‟s not true. its achievements. of course. the wave is already a perfect expression of the ocean – it was that from the very beginning. “person” and “no-person”. is totally beyond comprehension. It believes and experiences itself to exist separately from the ocean. Life itself. from life. in the same way that the wave will never understand the ocean. seeking success. It is beyond “self” and “no-self”. when the ocean is all there is? How can the ocean „stand out‟ of itself?). it can talk about its past experiences. everything is perfectly balanced by its own reflection – you cannot have one without the other. between duality and non-duality. And so we appear to have a paradox – a wave appears to exist (stand out). and so on. expressing itself as many – although in reality. The wave says to itself “I‟m separate from the ocean”. between emptiness and form. And in a million different ways it spends its life seeking – seeking love. But at the same time. From the „perspective‟ of the wave. nothing exists”. It appears to be separate (the story) and yet it is not separate from the ocean. the „many‟ are not separate from the „one‟. The wave literally ex-sists (“stands out”) of the ocean – but in reality. In the dream. within the dream. the world of the wave is the world of duality. It believes that it was born as a separate entity. It is only a wave . The point is. Oh yes. because life is prior to all concepts (including these ones). or seeking spiritual enlightenment – and what it‟s really looking for. “time” and “absence of time”. between the absolute and the relative. But from the „perspective‟ of the ocean these divisions do not exist – nothing does. seeking approval. there is a beautiful truth in that. “Someone” and “no-one” always arise and fall at the same time. It has a story about a past and a future.“I am no one. “Self” and “no-self” always appear and disappear together. not at all – not until it‟s balanced by its opposite. there is no separate wave standing out. The ocean actually expresses itself as all the seemingly different waves. there appears to be divisions: between the impersonal and the personal. It both exists and does not exist. and in fact does not exist (because how can anything stand out of the ocean. and that it will die one day. One. its hopes and regrets and fears. Concepts are always dualistic – the world of concepts is the world of two. Life as it is. there is no separate wave. its successes and failures. is always beyond all of these opposites. Now. No concept could ever begin to capture life. And yet.
If a teaching was truly impersonal. It means that none of the waves in the ocean can transcend the ocean – because they are only expressions of the ocean. It means that when it comes to the ocean. making certain claims. In the same way. only a self would claim they had no self. Nobody has „reached‟ the impersonal. none of the waves can be an authority. Only the wave speaks. because the wave cannot go beyond itself. Anyway. I think what tends to happen is this: . this is all wonderful! It means that nobody has the answers. It does not „exist‟. 2.that would divide the personal from the impersonal. Ingenious. and yet as simple as breathing. or „gone beyond‟ the personal. Only a teacher at war with their own ignorance would label other teachers as ignorant. a teaching must be first rooted in the personal. but you often have to speak in paradoxes when talking about something that cannot be put into words! The impersonal is the personal – nonduality is duality – then it‟s complete. The ocean does not speak. Even the most radical Advaita teacher is still a wave. with no way of dividing itself from itself. someone from no-one. because only a person would see that division (person / noperson) in the first place. All waves are equal in essence – they are water. because it does not „stand out‟ – it cannot separate itself from itself in any way. A wave that claims to have transcended or gone beyond the ocean. In other words. The world is a perfect mirror of yourself. self from no-self. it would not exist. The ocean remains silent – it has nothing to say. This seems like a complete contradiction in terms. Only a teaching rooted in duality would reject other teachings as dualistic. and the holding of meetings and retreats would not be possible. The ocean cannot divide in this way – because it is all there is. is still just a wave. and then claim that their expression or teaching is one or the other. 4. only an ego would claim to be free from ego… 3. Water cannot divide itself from water. and then deny it. Only a person would claim to not be a person. In order to call itself impersonal. the impersonal cannot be impersonal until it radically includes and embraces the personal. Only (the appearance of) a person would divide the personal from the impersonal. And so it becomes clear that: 1. You won‟t find the impersonal anywhere else except right at the heart of the personal – a total paradox.
” That‟s when nonduality just becomes another belief system. THE END OF FUNDAMENTALISM And so the way I talk about nonduality has really changed over the years – it has evolved to incorporate this fundamental insight of non-separation between what we call „personal‟ and what we call „impersonal‟. No-one and someone are actually one – they were never two.1. but there is the appearance of me and you – and this is where we live and meet. and if there are no others. the story appears (the wave) – and as the wave. So for example. The crucifixion needs the resurrection to complete itself. and if there‟s nobody suffering. knowing myself at all times as the ocean. and in certain contexts. Once the seeker gets hold of a concept – “there is no me. then “I can do whatever I want to do. nothing to do and nowhere to go. If „there is no-one‟ is the crucifixion. without contradiction. as the appearance of the waves. if there is no free will. . and yet you do. however. when it seems appropriate. this ultimate truth expresses itself as time and space. another form of separation. There is no me and no you. in the appearance. no world. Then it‟s all over. it‟s a tricky one. That‟s why you have to be very careful when you‟re talking about nonduality! You see. You don‟t exist. At the same time. And so radical Advaita is only partially true – until it completes itself with its reflection. Yes. and if there is no choice. From the perspective of the ocean. and that is why I can love you. This only appears to be a paradox to the seeking mind… And so what is seen these days is this: nonduality is not a rejection of duality. because it‟s just Oneness – it doesn‟t matter because there‟s no choice. The wave uses this insight to deny that there was a wave in the first place – or ever was. I used to speak much more from the absolute. undeniably so. and so are you. that one cannot even use the words „nonduality‟ and „duality‟ as separate from each other. and yet I am here. undeniably. etc – then if it‟s not seen with absolute clarity what those words are pointing to. I can go outside and murder someone now. and yet. but a celebration of it – such a total celebration. no you. The wave sees that it is the ocean. then „there appears to be someone‟ is the resurrection. but only at certain times. no suffering”. no world – and I still do sometimes. „oceanic‟ perspective – no me. I have no need to deny the story. What I am (as the ocean) is beyond the story. or pretend it doesn‟t exist – how can a story deny a story? So I dance and play as the wave. as the appearance of someone in a world. 2. another religion. because the ocean is beyond all of those divisions. the seeker wants to be fed. and it doesn‟t matter. there is no time and space. the seeker will actually use those words to deepen the seeking and the identification. I am not here as a separate entity.
Who can deny name and form? Who can deny the story? Who is going to deny the personal? Who would even want to? THE FREEDOM TO BE PERSONAL These days. and so I meet the policeman and say “Jeff Foster” – and that is love. or that „liberation obviously hasn‟t happened there yet‟… Yes. thank goodness. as this beautifully personal human experience. We cannot live in ultimates. And although in an ultimate sense all of this may be true. breathing. True freedom is not about escaping from the personal into the impersonal – it is to be found right at the heart of even the most intimately personal human experience. really free. and a policeman pulls me over and asks me my name. human being again. The meetings are all about a rediscovery of that seeing – which is the end of seeking. when I say it. Stories are allowed – all human experience is allowed. And so what a relief it is. love. In the meetings we shine light on the story – we en-lighten the seeker. And of course the meetings and retreats are not about indulging those stories. to allow life to express itself as this human name and form. because I‟m no longer identified as being an Advaita teacher (and certainly not a „teacher of radical Advaita‟). everybody is free. or „fixing‟ them. What cuts right through the middle of indulging the storylines and denying them is present seeing – a seeing that you cannot do. I don‟t say “I am no-one” or “Jeff Foster does not exist”. and to know that it . still. you will be laughed at. a seeing that you already are. but they are not about denying or rejecting the stories either. it‟s not true – it‟s simply another concept. to talk about their human experiences in whatever way feels right and honest and true to them. in this world of time and space and apparent things. (Yes. You shall not use the words „I‟ or „me‟ or „myself‟ 3. or „ignorant of your true nature‟. to be a living. We live here. in my meetings and retreats the following rules and regulations no longer apply: 1. to use whatever words they want to. We don‟t feed the seeker with new concepts like “there is no me” (although those words may be used on certain occasions as pointers). or your experience will be dismissed or invalidated. Nobody lives in „ultimately true‟. and we don‟t deny the appearance of the seeker or pretend there is no such thing as human suffering (and how easy it is to deny suffering when you are not suffering!). I say “Jeff Foster”. Or you will be told that you are still „stuck in the dream‟. You shall not talk about your personal story 2.When I drive my car too fast on the motorway. even with a police officer!) Even the most fundamentalist nonduality teacher answers to their name when pulled over by a policeman. If you talk about your personal story. or you will be punished. to tell their story.
The wave is actually one-hundred percent water. the vast ocean of Being in which the „individual‟ arises. It is a temporary appearance of the ocean. the „separate wave‟ in the ocean is not really „separate‟ from the ocean at all. the character. You – what you take yourself to be – the person. You see yourself as a little person in a vast ocean full of other people. and I respectfully break with their tradition once and for all – for all traditions are limited. and there seem to be a lot of spiritual teachers and gurus out there who believe the same thing. There only appears to be a separate wave.is none other than the impersonal dancing. playing. Now. But of course. a story appearing now in boundless Being. it‟s the same as the ocean. only has existence as an appearance. But who is going to get rid of the wave in the ocean? The wave? How can the wave get rid of itself? This is one of the traps that people fall into when they identify themselves as being „spiritual seekers‟. They think that they need to get rid of the wave in order to reach the ocean. I thank the teachers of radical Advaita for singing their song. You have taken yourself to be a separate wave in a vast ocean. Fundamentalism cannot stand. celebrating itself in every moment. The „separate wave‟ is really just the ocean appearing temporarily as a wave. and they ignore the space. some nonduality teachings make it sound like the appearance of the separate person is a problem and we should get rid of it. The wave is in appearance only. You see yourself as an individual in a world which is fundamentally separate from you. They identify exclusively as a „separate person‟ and never stop to ask if that is what they truly are. And so really there is no „separate wave‟ at all. So tell me your story. and so in essence. Does Nonduality mean „Not Duality‟? – The Metaphor of the Wave and the Ocean Many people believe that the „individual self‟ is what they really are. the openness. and the song of life cannot be contained. Some spiritual teachers implore you to „kill the ego!‟ or „destroy the mind!‟ or „get rid of . a story which is ultimately not separate from Being. the „me‟. love will destroy everything in the end. and let the impersonal shine.
Luckily. everything… This is beyond comprehension. the spiritual search – is really just a war with life. They are one and the same. there was – and is – only unconditional love… Nonduality does not mean „not-duality‟ – that would be completely dualistic! In reality. because it is everything. And in that failure. right now. and through him. persists. nonduality appears as duality. In other words. Ultimately. as they say. you give life to. and so on… The point is. because I was trying to get rid of something that wasn‟t actually there! I was fighting an illusion. But this attempt ultimately ended in failure and frustration. And so the attempt to destroy the ego. the person. You don‟t need to get rid of an illusion. to enlighten the illusion) is enough.the self!‟ and miss the fact that the attempt to kill the ego is that very ego. when I was a very serious and intense spiritual seeker. nonduality includes (the appearance of) duality. the appearance of the separate wave is not a problem for the Ocean. . To expose an illusion is to end it. beyond my personal desire to become an enlightened non-person. What you fight. kill the self. and when you fight an illusion. Any attempt to get rid of the wave is the wave attempting to get rid of itself. The appearance of your life story is itself a perfect expression of Being. the wave is already fully ocean. the character. you are assuming that the illusion is real. In this unconditional love. Years ago. What you resist. And these words fall back into the ocean…. nothing is denied. and the effort to destroy the mind is the mind. transcend the mind. get rid of the „me‟ – in other words. I tried desperately to get rid of Jeff. To expose the illusion as an illusion (literally. and yet it is as simple as breathing. this other possibility shone through – a possibility that went beyond seeking and finding. It was always about falling in love with Jeff. Beyond the seeker and the sought. It is nothing – no-thing – and it is everything. Then you can‟t even speak of „nonduality‟. my spiritual seeking failed. It‟s water fighting water. beyond „me‟ getting what „I‟ wanted. And so it was never about getting rid of Jeff.
* . Lovers can never meet through effort. and intimately connected to all things. and it will never be there. there is no object of desire. They are forever divided from each other. Indeed. love cannot and will not bridge the gap. and unity. The very effort to end the division strengthens the division. as human beings. The object has collapsed into the subject. This will never be achieved through effort. True love is the death of this terrible divide. perhaps one day. nobody to know it and nobody to deny it. It is unlikely that they will ever truly meet as people. and nothing can fill a gap which is so deeply engrained into the very foundations of our experience. But no. because a subject and an object. affection and tenderness. In true love. love cannot bridge the gap. are inherently. They can only gaze longingly into each other‟s eyes across an unbridgeable divide. No. a lover and the beloved. Only love. It has never been there.ON LOVE AND ALONENESS “Bind me like a seal upon thine heart: love is as strong as death. although they may die trying.” – Song of Solomon 8:6 I am alone in the garden. the ending of all division between two people. for the beloved has collapsed into the lover. love will bridge the chasm. and nobody to be aware of it. The division is an illusion. and when you fight an illusion you are bound to lose. fundamentally separate. gives power to the division. A little robin tugs at a worm in the grass. and with it. A subject and an object can never be in love. the gap is the subject-object split. The sun is rising. with the fervent hope that one day. This is because the division is not there. togetherness. and there is only love. split from each other. and the isolation of multiplicity and fragmentation will give way to the joy of intimate companionship. for the gap is inherent in the subject-object split. Only love. both radically alone.
There is only love. in this moment. death of the lover. No. and nowhere can I find isolation. now. it will involve death of the beloved. I do not love you. It is quite a risk. timelessly bound in this way. death of everything that divides. death of everything that has been carried over from the past. but in here. Except there is no „me‟. a plunge into the unknown. How to help them? Any effort they make to come together will pull them more strongly apart. and we are eternally. together with all things. for there is no „me‟ to love and no „you‟ to be loved. death of all that comes between us. Look! The robin tweet-tweets as he hops over the dew-soaked grass. and no „things‟. you are the thoughts bubbling up from nowhere and dissolving into nothingness. no „you‟. not ever. death of everything that projects into a future. and you are that – you are love itself. they have created for themselves. and the fresh dew on the morning grass.So. and the morning sun begins to warm and wake the slumbering creatures in this Garden of Eden that we have named Earth. * The great search ends here. because all things are in all things. A descent into pure nothingness. and you are here with me to see it all. but I have recognised something that has eluded me for a lifetime: You are not out there. He who risks in this way may taste it. So I do not love you. death of everything that isolates. I have not found you. death of everything that separates. So we will never be apart – no. in their innocence. . you and me. we cannot be apart. Are they doomed to live and die like this? Is there a way out? Yes there is. and with it. and everywhere is mother. death of everything that fragments. the sweet and simple joy of radical aloneness that is true love. I am alone in the garden. And I smile to myself with the realisation of the utterly. for you are an integral part of that which loves. but it involves death. not now. a divide that. and the sun in all its radiance. separation. So. everywhere is home. our lovers continue to gaze longingly at each other across this unbridgeable divide. You are part of the experiencing structure I take to be myself. you are that robin over there. utterly obvious. Finally. Death of you and me. but death of the ego. this morning. Not physical death. loneliness. Death of the idea of love itself. You are what I feel now.
And because in this moment his world is my world. But the sound of his voice happens here. I put down the phone and go back into the kitchen and continue to scrub away at the hardened cereal. in the room with the sofa and the phone. and so the words come: “Wow. rubber gloves are removed. and a pile of dirty washing up is replaced by carefully stacked plates and saucers and knives and spoons. love does not put on an act or a show to please people. The washing up is being done. No. together. “Hey Jeff!”. that‟s great news!”. love embraces. My friend isn‟t in London. It‟s my friend calling from London. This bowl is particularly dirty. And still. in his world. The bowl is put down. We arrange a time to meet next week for coffee and I scribble down the details on a piece of paper. love does not posture and pretend just to win approval. sparkling in the sunlight streaming in from the window. love dances. love plays. Nobody here. what‟s the difference here? All sparkling. We share our good fortune. that‟s great news!” and it‟s not even like I‟m acting. when I say it. Kitchen sink and dirty dishes are replaced by sofa and table and phone. There is only gratitude for the washing up liquid.A Secret Love Affair With Life Part I – Doing The Dishes I‟m at home. nobody there. and the whoooossshhh of water as it shoots out of the tap. It‟s covered in dried breakfast cereal and will take ages to clean. Love does not reject anything. I know he‟s worked so hard to get this new job and there is only celebration. the response comes: “Wow. for the sheer joy of it. the glistening of bubbles. gratitude for the rubber gloves. Celebration for my friend‟s good news. He meets me in this ever-present intimacy. The conversation ends. this news is good for me too. He tells me some good news – he has found a new job. he is here with me. The phone rings. This news is good. the rubber gloves and the sunlight that illuminates it all. The washing of dishes fills all available space. and kitchen is replaced by living room. All that exists in the universe is the chinking of plates. the water runs. . shimmering appearances in the play of life. “Hello?” A voice appears out of nowhere. I really mean what I say. The hands move. not „out there‟ in the world.
What really happened was adventure – what really happened was intimacy with all things. Nobody. Nobody can take this intimacy away from me. and even in somewhere called “London”. Need for urination arises. What a wonderful surprise! I‟d forgotten it had been done. I‟ve been intimate with the plates and spoons. Oh yes. Quicker than a flash. Not that. with the washing up liquid. expansion. the bath cleaned itself and there was nobody on the phone a friend in London. when of course what really happened. somehow.Now I need to urinate. go back into the kitchen and notice that the washing up has been done. How rich this life is. When seen in clarity. . release. no. in the bathroom. another wonderful surprise! Life is flowering everywhere. Spiritual awakening? Oneness? Advaita? Nonduality? No. with the oven and the fridge. bathroom and living room. I grab a drink of water and go back into the living room. with the bath tub and the cleaning products. The bath needs to be cleaned! This scum must be removed! It‟s a matter of life and death! I finish with the bath. Contraction. Amazing. Tension. It‟s absolutely everywhere. in the living room. cleaned the bath and spoke to my friend in London‟. toilet appears. with the walls. is total absorption with cleaning the bath. there‟s no time like the present! Now all there is. Needs are always met. It is life itself. and it is always right here. and it‟s all so ordinary in its appearance. When you ask me “what did you do today?” I‟ll tell you that „I did the washing up. And there is more to explore…. desperately. a toilet appears. I‟ve been having a secret love affair with life. The heartbeat of the universe. beyond the story (and how I love the story!) is that the dishes washed themselves. it‟s everything. you see. It cannot be contained. with the toilet and the phone and the cute little spider I found crawling up the side of the radiator. no. with the sound of my friend‟s voice and the sunlight streaming in from the kitchen window. No power in the world can threaten it. The story is only a pale imitation of the celebration. There is so much to see and do here. The story didn‟t happen – life happened. doing the washing up and cleaning the bath is nothing. That‟s amazing. I see that there are some notes scribbled on a pad of paper about meeting my friend next week. This is a perfectly synchronised play. What an adventure I‟ve had in the past few hours! And all I did was move between my kitchen. To the world. and nobody will ever know. Whilst I‟m drying my hands I notice that the bath needs cleaning. Well. I‟ve been intimate with the carpet. It‟s my little secret that isn‟t really a secret at all. it is simply bursting at the seams: in the kitchen.
get a life!”. Oh look – the feet are moving. look at all those different colours! Greens. These days. a narrator. Maybe I just enjoy looking at coffee. “A sweet blend of Latin American coffees with a smooth. constantly evaluating and judging Jeff and comparing him to others. Do I need to buy anything? I don‟t know. yes. Oh. I am the potatoes picking themselves. I am Mr Potato Head. by now I would have been thinking “Jeff. This one is nice. How did I get here? I don‟t remember. I disappear into the potatoes. ten. and that there is a shampoo bottle in my basket. pinks. I read the blurb on the back of each bottle. It was six o‟clock and now it‟s twenty minutes past six and I find that I‟m still comparing shampoos. I‟ve lost interest in this sweet blend of Latin American coffees with a smooth. onions. The hand moves to pick out some potatoes. The potatoes are everything. it‟s got some funny white bits coming out of it. five. Follow the feet… I find myself staring at coffee. the illusion of choice! I start surveying the vegetables. No Fuss!” “Put Shine and Dazzle Back Into Dry Hair!” In the blink of an eye. There would have been a voice there. Moments later I‟m in the shampoo aisle. Haha. full bodied flavour that can be enjoyed from dawn to dusk. I notice that I‟m in the vegetable aisle. How did I get here? I must have lost interest in the coffee and remembered that I needed shampoo. twenty minutes have gone by. .___________________________________________________________ ___________________ A Secret Love Affair With Life Part II – Going to the Supermarket I find myself outside a supermarket. Who says you can‟t fall in love with shampoo bottles? In a flash. a different universe. They all want my attention. you weirdo. I start to read the blurb on the back. full bodied flavour and have become fascinated with the coffee with the funny-looking purple parrot on the front. This isn‟t shopping. reds. “Great Hair.” Wonderful! The eyes dart over to another brand. Do I need coffee? I can‟t remember. I love doing this. oranges. this is a mating ritual. They are all calling to me in their own unique way. In the past. Yet. I am nothing. Each bottle is a different world. Carrots. The hand reaches out to grab a lovely blue packet. This one is… ooh. there is no interest in „conforming‟. I‟ll give it a miss. leeks. That must be the one I „chose‟.
with the people who hate Brighton and the people who love it. and you meet life face to face for the first time. Where are they going? Bread! The angry man is wiped out and now I‟m in the bread aisle. If I was attached to Brighton I can imagine how his story might offend me. and it doesn‟t. You cling to none of it. I offer him some useful information about hostels in Brighton. and in return you are given everything. the angry man – is reduced to a memory. the woman says they need to save money and buy the smaller one. He mutters something under his breath and then begins to rant and rave about how much he hates Brighton. the potatoes. For a moment the knowledge is not there. He‟s just telling his story. The entire experience – the coffee. they don‟t cost a penny. then there wouldn‟t be a problem ever again. with the smell of freshly baked bread. If they could just fall in love with the coffee. and I think there‟s a very cheap one in the town centre. “Do you know any cheap bed and breakfasts round here?” I reply “well there‟s plenty on the seafront. I just listen and watch. the potatoes. Taste. That‟s the deal. But I‟m not. . even though he‟s only been here for two days. A thought pops up: if this man and woman could just falll in love with the bagels.” I don‟t know where the words come from. I leave the store and walk home. He lets me know what an awful place Brighton is. the shampoo. the shampoo. smell. and the memory becomes a single thought. He asks “are you from round here?”.” I don‟t agree and I don‟t disagree. how unfriendly the people are. always. Then suddenly the knowledge comes: Jeff lived in Brighton for two years! But it‟s too late. For we are surrounded by wonder. and the legs begin to move. and the single thought dissolves into the vastness. Death of everything that‟s gone before. and it would amaze them. Did it ever happen? I don‟t know. then the body turns. and the smell of freshly baked bread is so heavenly. If these people could just die. He finishes his rant. with the shape and texture and colour of everything. how it‟s full of “gays and prostitutes and spiritual weirdos. right here and right now. the screaming of babies and the weight of shopping baskets.A young man starts talking to me in the milk and dairy aisle. and it‟s totally free. touch. Death of the old. A couple next to me are arguing. In every moment you wave goodbye to the coffee. he‟s already talking. the angry man. This is like a constant death. the shampoo. there wouldn‟t be a problem. then like newborn babies they would see all of this for the first time. the brightly coloured signs and fluorescent lighting. His face becomes red and he starts to pant like a dog. The man wants a large pack of bagels.
But let me give you some insight.co. Greg Goode This book is astoundingly comprehensive in its reach.http://graceisnow. experiential knowing of nonseparation. a deep and endless resource on nondual awareness. positionality. levels of awareness as a pedagogical tool. nuances that pop up when people are exploring the nature of this sweet. existence/nonexistence and enlightened/unenlightened.blogspot. Although it is written from the perspective of a particular path (“Direct Path Advaita”) Greg Goode’s book is so comprehensive that. every trap. shape and smell imaginable. from the words he uses to the way in which he . I kept feeling a strong sense that this book needed to be written. identity. The sections on the opaque witness. modern approaches on the subject. thoughts. He doesn’t “guru” people. if you’ve never met him. the body. my mind could not even think of something that was missing. life/death. and every angle that I’ve encountered (and many more that I have not encountered) while meeting with people over the years in the course of my own work in nonduality. I never felt as though he was treating me like a disciple or somehow below him. It covers the various dualities we believe we experience such as inside/outside. emotions. and I have a huge bookcase of books about nonduality ranging from teachings from the great masters of the past to the newest. When working with Greg. to name a few. to say the least. and attributing human characteristics to awareness are especially fresh and innovative! Those sections systematically and thoroughly break down many stubborn dogmatic and essentialistic traps that a seeker can get hooked into while investigating the subject of nondual awareness. His approach is non-dogmatic in every way. It also covers the world. choice and doership. While reading it. cause and effect. time. chances are this book addresses it. location. It covers every nook and cranny.uk/ cio Review by Scott Kiloby for THE DIRECT PATH by Dr. Reading this book as a seeker must be like being a kid in a candy store that contains every taste. space and containment. dissolution into pure consciousness. color. containment. the witness. I’ve read nothing like it in my life. Much has been written about awareness. states. and many other things. subjectivity/objectivity. physical objects. The book is not really about Greg Goode. language. after reading it. I know firsthand that he has a deep love of this subject. When he talks about falling in love with awareness. yet often the practical and very subtle points are conspicuously missing from other texts. I’ve been fortunate to call Greg a friend and “my teacher” for years now. senses. It’s so thorough that it is helpful to any awarenessstyled path. the person. If you have a question. texture. but often overlooked. it’s genuine! Being in contact with him on a daily basis has been an enriching experience. the mind. that it arose because of a real need to address very common. freedom from truth-effects.
many questions that are philosophical and intellectual in nature. it also takes you beyond these intellectual issues into the pure sweetness of not-knowing and the direct seeing of reality as your very Self. His humility comes from the way he energetically experiences life with a kind of curiosity and openness to look at experience from many angles without landing on solid. the mind can be a useful tool in the path. and experience each moment with a natural openness that does not endeavor to turn the various insights into truth claims that close the mind to other perspectives. accomplishing this refinement by listening to the questions and exploring different angles rather than giving rehearsed speeches and memorized conclusions. simple. Yet if you find another question. The pages of the book reveal this same energetic lightness. one often hears phrases such as “nondual realization is beyond the mind. These are powerful invitations to go beyond even the most compelling insights that arise from nondual realization. the heart’s longing. or “hole” in the path itself. Most people I’ve met have many. It is helpful. humility and love of exploration. What is the final conclusion of the book? – that nothing stands apart from awareness. . The book is the written version of Greg’s energy as a teacher. These are important questions that sometimes get overlooked in the teachings. you are not left with yet another mental question. It often addresses an intellectual puzzle or problem and then seamlessly invites you into an experiment that shows you directly how experience itself answers the question. and experiential in every way. All is awareness! Yet the last sections of the book on freedom from the path. Greg is continuously refining the suble points of his approach.meets the questioner where he is and honors the question completely. and the direct experience itself. This book leaves no stone unturned. and joyful irony take you deeper than that. there is likely another experiment waiting for you. doubt. scholarly but sweet. The book accomplishes something very unique. The Direct Path: A User Guide is a wonderful resource for those who approach the subject from a scholarly standpoint or from an interest in the direct experience of nondual awareness (or both). but never preachy. In that way. In nondual circles. leaving a sort of confusion. fixed positions no matter what angle is examined. While addressing the many questions the mind throws up. addressing the mind’s questions.” Although that insight can arise and it may appear accurate from the direct realization of awareness. leaving one to enjoy life in an openhearted way. language. thorough but not superfluous.
I have actually came across an even more accurate sentence on Greg Goode’s site somewhere which struck me as exactly what this is “ One may examine the self to see that it is the world (inside out). (which seems small and separate). It is a very effective teaching. Since it faded it only takes a little attention for me to feel this again. In other words. the distinction between subject and object drops away. That is what creates some confusion because I am caught trying to describe it. the feeling . It reminds me of this peace and clarity and expansion I used to experience like a dramatic crystal ball which is too subtle to describe. Karma yogis will not get it because their minds are not subtle enough. Yet descriptions such as " the observer and the observed become one" are accurate for this experience. Are you familiar with Atmananda Krishna Menon? I have been listening to Greg Goode’s interview with Chris Hebard. in the sense that you get a direct experiential confirmation of the non-duality of things. After this point. Metaphors of like a "screen " and "crystal see through glass-like" awareness come to mind. I use it all the time. you should come away from the realization with firm knowledge of your identity as every free awareness and the hard and fast understanding that the world is not separate from you. When I say it is for sanyassis I mean that the point of the teaching is to give you self knowledge. It is atma vichar. It simply destroys the distinction between the subject and the object.’ It is for advanced seekers. sanyassis. larger and larger until it incorporates everything. But I cannot say it is a feeling either because it is a transparent feeling…the feeling is a byproduct. This consists of making the separate “I”. It was a frequent and sudden shift a few years back but now it has faded into a vanishing veil that is merged with Maya. Afterwards the mind would try to understand what had happened. In this way. one begins with the subject and shows that it’s really the object. I think what you are indicating when you say “But I cannot say it is a feeling either because it is transparent in the feeling ." Also With Krishna Mennon. It’s nice knowing that this book is out there for people! Scott Kiloby Inquiry-induced Epiphanies Dear James. It is a very detailed analysis that caused an experience of being in a direct state of immediate knowledge…or some Samadhi. Quite literally. is it a different way of approaching Atma Vichar? It seems to remind me of how after Neti Neti you do Iti Iti and then you have done a thorough investigation. It usually produces self realization. What do you say ? Ram: Greg is a very good teacher of Atma Menon’s so-called ‘direct path. Any investigation that removes the idea of duality is atma vichar. It only takes a very easy attention and stillness to be in that…as that…but not as I would think afterward.I envision myself pointing people to this book quite often because of its depth and breadth. it has to be read to be fully appreciated.
One week at a time. the total. (I have christened my ego “Lazarus”. All knowledge is ‘intellectual’ in so far as it takes place in the intellect. I still find Bob’s teaching helpful in uprooting beliefs. If yours needs opening. However. To an experienceoriented person this does not make sense because he or she wants enlightenment to change his or her experience of the apparent reality. WHEN IT COMES to counting the living giants of Advaita.is a byproduct” is knowledge. so completely uncompromising. we don’t need to use very many fingers. It's also from that background that the "Sailor" tag came to be installed. I first heard of Bob ten years or so ago. and thus probably remained a seeker for several years longer than I needed to! Bob’s teaching is so direct. There is no other place for it to take place because the intellect is consciousness’ instrument of knowledge. programs your experience according to your karma. you can take up yoga which allows you to alter the quantity and quality of your vasanas. In Twelve . your experience is very different from when you do. So what is meant to happen…what we mean by knowledge…is that you have to see who you are quite apart from any experience and be content with self knowledge alone. One of those fingers surely belongs to Sailor Bob Adamson. These experiential self realizations induced by inquiry are good. But this is not true. Isvara. Ram * Are You the Mind? Guest Teaching by Sailor Bob Adamson WELCOME to the sixth installment of our Guest Teaching Series. whether you have had an induced epiphany of this sort or a happenstance one. opinions and position that manage to sneak their way into an ego that never seems to tire of rebuilding. How you interpret what you experience is actually ‘your’ experience. And that's how both of us found our way here. enlightenment…if it becomes permanent. And how you interpret your experience depends on what you know. it means that the knowledge “I am awareness” has not stuck. If you have the wrong notion about moksa you may feel that you should be experiencing the merger of subject and object in this direct way all the time and that such an experience constitutes moksa. but they can be a problem too if the one to whom they occur is not clear about the distinction between knowledge and experience. If you want to change your experience. But there is not some kind of special experiential knowledge as opposed to ‘intellectual’ knowledge that constitutes moksa. because it won’t stay dead for more than three days at a time. one teacher at a time. that I think it stood a wonderful chance of opening up even my hard head. You are already and always merged into the self whether you know it or not. If you do not know that you are the self. we’re building what is effectively becoming an open resource of current teachers and teachings covering the range of Nonduality. What you experience is not up to you. but skillfully managed to avoid his teaching for most of that.) BOB AND I SHARE a common background: we were both drunks. So in that sense knowledge is experiential. if the mind is trying to explain it later. it stands a wonderful chance of doing so. But this is not possible or necessarily desirable.
it still a while for that seeing to become being. with Barb taking up a Bowen therapy practice. SAILOR BOB RETURNED to Australia where he became a night watchman on the dangerous Melbourne docks. and since Bob was a tattooed ex-sailor. he and Nisargadatta hugged and cried. Thank you. Bob. He married his life love. and they left the city to live the counter-culture dream of being farmers. at the appropriate time." AND NOW. Barb died this past December after a lifetime of loving service.. what will be receiving these words is that same intelligence-energy. and theoretically incurable illness--that Bob cured with herbs and vitamins--Bob and Barb became the highly motivated proprietors of first one health food shop. but life in the ashram seemed to be focused on energy and state management. and one thing led to another until Bob traveled to in India in the mid-1970s. as you see—or as you will see—the mind is the problem. which . Not money or love. Barbara. and then another. Finally a book clerk pressed a copy of “I Am That” into his hand. still helping to wake us up. he became known as "Sailor” Bob. Then what is apperceived or grasped or understood will come up through the mind at the appropriate time. "and living off the fat of the land" as Bob puts it. Soon enough Bob found himself sitting in an upper story room with one of the Twentieth Century’s most masterful conveyors of Advaita. confided something to me upon hearing that I was doing this post. In the area where Bob got sober there were a lot of Bobs. Eventually they each retired from that pursuit. who has been around a long time and who knows just about everybody who is anybody. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. IF THE MIND IS NOT ACTING as the cloud (as an obstruction). Recovery almost always leads to a deeper spiritual life. They argued loudly and debated sharply and came to love each other as the Self-reflections they were. still bringing us into conscious awareness of the One Without a Second. we would suggest that you just relax. restrictive. now in his 80s. Bob wanted more. He also became known as “the guy who talks that Nonduality stuff”." he told me. everyone goes by their first name. The two men became close. The only reality you are absolutely certain of is the fact of your own being. and when Bob left India. not approval. we talk about non-duality here. "is the only satsang teacher I have ever met who needed nothing from anybody. After a few years of that. and Bob becoming more and more of a full-time teacher of Nonduality.. He’d initially gone to see Swami Muktananda. following a painful. Nisargadatta helped Bob see truth on his first visit. which will be presently. Because. Just relax and be receptive. is still teaching. First off. The rest is modern spiritual history. somewhere along in there. NISARGADATTA AND BOB immediately took to each other. Bob. but as with most of us. Don’t try and grasp what is being said necessarily with the mind. "Sailor Bob.Step groups. nothing. ONE TEACHER. because the words that are coming out here presently are coming from that intelligence-energy.ARE YOU THE MIND? By Sailor Bob Adamson AS YOU ALL KNOW.
All our problems arise from that. all the great religions. AND YET ALL THE GREAT SCRIPTURE. NO ONE--RIGHT HERE. a separate entity and person.will be presently. I try and have a warm and loving family around me to make me feel secure. it is not allpresence and it not all-power. Separation is isolation. one-without-a-second. And they mean exactly that: nondual. it is fear. that is what we suggest happens here. Each one of us knows that ‘I am’. and all activity is energy. then I will be more secure. then I am insecure. it is vulnerability. And nations go to war with nations over that same self-centeredness or insecurity—divisions and separations. from that point of view. RIGHT NOW--can negate their own being-ness. IS THERE ANYONE HERE RIGHT NOW that is not that presence? You are present. You hear the cars going by. it is not our parents’ fault. It is just this present awareness. So at the first level. there is none other’. It is all-presence and all-knowing and all-power. the way they were conditioned. you can see the movement is the room. if it just purely and simply ‘I am’. Some of the Christian scriptures will tell you ‘I am the Lord they God. it is loneliness. at the appropriate place. Is it your presence? Is it my presence? Is it each one of us as individual presence? Or is it allpresence? Is there anyone here that is not knowing that right now? Is it your knowing? Is it my knowing? Or is it somebody else’s knowing? Or is it omniscience. all movement. Because there is nothing other than That. ‘Out there’ is where we have been conditioned to . all the great traditions will tell you that God (if you like to use that term) is one-without-a-second. just this and nothing else. THAT IS SO because the very idea of ‘me’ separates ‘me’ from ‘other than me’ or ‘non-me’. there is the tribal level. all-power? JUST HAVE A LOOK AT THIS and see it clearly. It is non-dual. It is the way we have been conditioned. So. all of this manifestation can be nothing other than That. it is insecurity. We separate. is always going on ‘out there’. So. And if I can be “in with the tribe”. Another term they use is that God is omnipresence. Then ask yourself ‘Who am I?’ What is ‘I’ or ‘me’ that thinks itself to be separate? Where does it start? Where does it finish? What is it? You see the search as I said previously. which will be here and now. NOW WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ROOM for a ‘you’ or a ‘me’ or anything else? If there a ‘you’ and a ‘me’ in this all-power. all-knowing? Knowing implies an activity. All sound. And that is one of the great sayings from the Hindu tradition: “Thou Art That”. presence-awareness. It is not our fault. all-presence and all-knowing. and we continually search for wholeness or security or happiness. an idea. That ‘I am’ is not much to grasp on to. There. the family level. Then. “I am That” is another great saying. experiences and conditioning and forms an image. an individual. So it adds to itself all the events. you hear the other sounds in the room. This idea or image is believed to be what I really am. Then the appropriate activity will take place from that. omniscience and omnipotence. This is what we continually do. there is the nation. is it yours? Is it mine? Or is it somebody else’s activity or energy or power? Or is it omnipotence. right here and right now. IF I BELIEVE THAT I AM SEPARATE. that means that it is not all-knowing.
gathering something that will make me secure. I imagine something in the future. What is vibration? Energy! Omnipotence again. the more secure I will will be.look. And so they are nothing but thought! Thought is subtle sound. If it doesn’t look like it is happening in this lifetime. and the earth from the fire. of some future place and some future deity or being that will make it right for me. etc. All this is conceptualisation! An idea of some future time. IF IT IS NOT IN THE FAMILY. all sort of things out there. I will become realized or enlightened or whole and complete—all anticipated to happen in some future time. spoke to him and shook his hand. What does this body consist of? The essence of food. SO. I HAVE NEVER EVER MOVED away from it.’ But when are you saying that? Isn’t it presently? Or you can say tomorrow is going to be a different day. then what do I do? If I am a Christian. I CAN GO THROUGH ALL MY LIFE doing that. better relationships. Where do the elements come from? Well. ‘Oh yes! It took place yesterday. Well is the same today? I may have forgotten some small details and added some that weren’t there. which I can get fearful about or ecstatic about. If you look. all-presence? . that will make me whole. I have made up this present concept or idea of what went on. completeness or whatever at some future time. But they are not the actual. you will see it quite clearly and easily. When are you saying and thinking that? Isn’t it presently? Now it is all happening in that presence. that movement. IT IS QUITE SIMPLE. then it is in a better job. unless I think about it?’—in looking at that. Or. I CAN BRING YESTERDAY'S EVENTS—from my memory—into my mind right now. Or. water. If I am not doing too well ‘here’ and I say my prayers and do a few good deeds. The belief is that the more I accumulate. Word is sound. I anticipate or imagine the future. But look closely. these things appear. I will finish up ‘there’ at some future time. I met ‘so and so’ yesterday. in that vibration. When is all this taking place? Isn’t it taking place presently? Can there be any other time that it takes place in? You can say. Where does the food come from? It comes from the earth. that omnipresence. I have never ever separated from it. I can see clearly that there is no past and there is no future unless it is though. Is it any different from that presence. I will reincarnate—at some future time! I will have another life! Never realising that there is only now! Never looking to see what it is that is going to have this other life. to see what it is that has got ‘this life’ or seemingly thinks it has got this life. a good house. more money. Of it I belong to an Eastern religion. If I look at the mind again and ask myself ‘What past is there. that will make me happy. the tribe or the nation. Fire. appearing as different. air and space—it is nothing but the elements. So it is foolish for me to try and seek wholeness. For instance. if I go on some spiritual search. I conceptualise a God somewhere who has a heaven somewhere in my future. unless I think about it? What future is there. So. What is sound? Vibration.
is seen. change it or do something with it. When is it all happening? Presently. a ‘me’. which it is referred to. It does not exist. So. or pleasant/painful. it can’t stand by itself). The understanding is that you have never been bound. the reference point or the centre. it can only function in the pairs of opposites. Show me some anxiety. the goose pimples to rise on the skin. But if I am not taking that word . CALL SOMETHING ANXIETY. Have you seen a bird in a cage that has been there for many. THIS WORD HAS NO POWER of its own (because it has got no substance. And it has named it ‘fear’. You can leave the door open for days but the bird will not take step to fly out of it. it is sad. But if you take some thought or idea aboard and it does matter. WE POINT OUT HERE and continually point out at the cage. It matters and becomes concrete. we say ‘It doesn’t matter’. it immediately resists it and gets in conflict by trying to force it out. It doesn’t want to be here. SEEING THIS. if I look at the mind and see how it functions. the hair to stand on end or whatever. good/bad. WHAT IS THE LIMITATION that I place upon myself? First and foremost. What is it referred to? It is referred to a reference point. That which is hearing it is vibrating and pulsating. has now caused the blood pressure to rise. right now. it is this idea of being a separate entity. It has never been the real. So. many years? You can open the door of that cage and the bird is not going to fly out straight away. I put a cage that does not exist around myself. It is still functioning in the pairs of opposites. nothing comes of it. Feel the energy moving around in that body. SO. ‘Water. All is not. the lungs are expanding and contracting. The hearing of the word—right now—is a vibration. If it is not happy. I can see how I have been caught. There heart is beating. positive/negative and so on. And what is it using? Words! Purely and simply words. Being a vibration. How many of us step into our freedom by hearing that? It can be done. But isn’t there omnipotence. A word is not the real. And omnipresence is functioning. These words—these words!—are nothing in the same way. it is a false idea. even though it may seem that you have been. Show me some fear. right here.YOU CAN SAY ALL IS GOD. UNDERSTANDING THIS. that movement of energy? Is it going on here? There? Or anywhere in particular? You can feel it. And when you mean it and it doesn’t matter. It wants to escape. Wrong! God is all! All is only an illusion. The centre does not like it. I can see how I have put a seeming limitation upon myself. as soon as thought or whatever it is. OFTEN TIMES. water’—you can’t drink the word ‘water’. That word becomes very real when it is allowed to dance around and vibrate in the mind. And so. you see what ‘fear’ (or any other word) can do. Is anyone not knowing that they are? The omnipotence is functioning. ‘All is only a word. that vibration. it is only a vibration. But we say that even the cage is a phantom. How does that come about? Purely and simply. We beat ourselves over the head with a word. then I see that. being a movement of energy. loving/hating. We punish ourselves for the word. water. WHEN THINGS HAPPEN. the ‘me’ which has felt this feeling before. that is exactly what it does. immediately comes up the old response from the past.
But when has it all happened? Has there ever been any other time or any other place than here. seemingly appear as different? IS THERE ANY NEED FOR ANY CONFLICT? Is there any need for any dissipation of energy? When you look at the mind and see that the reference point doesn’t like this. Nature does not carry it around like we do. or wants more of this or whatever. It is gone over and over and built on and built on continually. and look at the damage it can do. The response is witnessed. If it . It is all released. RIGHT HERE. Nothing further. it is just let go of! It appears presently. Look how seemingly real that cage becomes. it is that omnipotence appearing as something other. if I am seeing it for what it is. I have got no self-esteem’ or ‘I have low self-esteem’. And what it likes or doesn’t like is another set of words. have understood that the word can never be the real. not resisting it. anything that is happening. Presence is that which appears as matter. There is nobody to move away. a vibration that has become a cyclone. What it appears as is nothing other than That appearing as different. Has it ever moved away from that all-presence. RIGHT NOW. We get a thought or an idea and the continuity of thought becomes feeling and emotion. on that awareness? Is it anything other than presence. presently. Is there anything wrong with that. EVER WONDER HOW A CYCLONE STARTS? It is only energy blowing the air around. the shape. KNOWING THAT IS THE OMNISCIENCE.on board. Full stop! Nothing further happens with it. There is only this omniscience. Any movement. The response is not entered into. You look at somebody and wonder what they are thinking of me or what they are going to or not do. ‘This or that is going to happen’ or ‘How am I going to survive in the world?’ WHAT HAS DONE ALL THIS? Purely and simply. I walk around with my head down and my shoulders hunched. It is witnessed presently. A simple vibration. then what is it going to do? The action must follow. I can’t move away from that presence. So what happens? You see. It rips us apart. Look at the damage it does to the physical body. just seeing it for what it is: it is a word. a tornado within us. It has a name for it. ONCE THE ENERGY HAS STARTED and builds up. Not trying to change it. It builds up and up and—bang!—down comes the rain. You have seen the storm clouds in the sky with the lightning and thunder. it is trying to escape from it. is a word. appearing as the matter. It builds up and builds up. what is thinking? Can the thought think itself? Or does thinking appear on that presence. all it is. ‘Poor me. the form or as the name we put on it. right now. any vibration. If it doesn’t like it. that energy hasn’t taken off. the ‘this I don’t like’ is just an idea or a bunch of words I have. unless you think about it? When I do thinking something about it. And it begins to show in the physical form. that omni-presence? SO THE WORD—as I said before—or the body or the mind or any of this matter is nothing. it hasn’t started. nobody yet has negated their being-ness of that sense of presence.
Nothing has ever come near it. If the conflict is not there it will resolve itself quickly and effortlessly. then it wants more of it. It might not be good at this moment. Look at your own body. It doesn’t get halfway in expansion and suddenly say ‘I am going to contract’. I see how it has all fallen into place for this so-called entity at this particular spot in the particular time. That knowingness. Is it any different from the hearing? Sense and be aware of the vibration where the hearing is taking place.does like it. just through the wrong understanding. That awareness. seasons coming and going. THIS IS SO because there is that understanding and knowing that that which all of this has appeared on—that omniscience that it is—has never been touched by any of that. and that is that the opposites are not in opposition to each other. It may not be the way that ‘me’ and memory wants it to be. It doesn’t mean to say that the chatter doesn’t go on. which are not the real! BUT REMEMBER WHAT WE SAID AT THE START. The incoming tide is not fighting with the outgoing tide. it is that still. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is look at nature again. It is not allowed to ‘matter’. and you will see the opposites at work in nature. So there again there is a struggle to acquire more. You will notice one thing in nature. Your heart is not in conflict with the expansion. It does not matter. is still presently. takes place spontaneously and intuitively. But I only have to look over my life and see many things—most of them—not the way that this ‘me’ of memory every wanted them! Not the way that this ‘me’ thought they would work out or wanted them to work out. The incoming breath is not struggling with the outgoing breath. the appropriate activity. That energy is seemingly fighting with itself. the ‘me’. Most of the struggle was because this ‘me’ wanted to change it. Never mind the words. the vibration. Winter is not fighting with summer. If we must put words to it. that awareness of that. things will go. and looking back over my life now I see how through all the dramas and traumas how beautifully it all fitted in. without that so-called ‘chatter in the mind’ today. the energy. They are there: day and night. All words. There may be lots of silence here—and there was a time when I looked for silence and peace—but that was just another experience also. ALL OF THE CONFLICT WAS CAUSED BY 'ME'. It is still going to happen in the pairs of opposites. Most of my life it has been like that. blessing being-ness. Just hear and feel the resonance in the word. if you like to call it that. silent. the alertness. When that is seen—that there is no separate entity—then who is there to get in conflict with anything? Things will come. tides coming in and tides going out. But the chatter has no fire any more. It is only in the mind that this conflict goes on! The only reason that it goes on in the mind is the idea that separate entity. It might be bad or something other. Has it ever changed? .