There is an appearance of multiplicity. But behind the appearance are clues pointing to oneness. . .

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Red and Yellow Maples

Resistance and Control

Our lives are dictated by Resistance and Control.

We feel as if we have some level of control over what is going on. And if something appears that we don't like or feel it isn't as it should be, we resist, sometimes mentally, sometimes physically.

All this activity is based on the false belief in the self or the person living in the body and separate from the world outside.

In seeing through this false belief, it is crystal clear that there never has been anyone in control, never has been anyone at the wheel. The attempts at control and the resistance to what IS simply falls away.

So "life" as it appears can become much more fun - we aren't concerned about how we look and if we should change it. We aren't concerned with what others think of us. We don't try to control every single aspect of "life." This is all seen as totally false.

And we become anchored in Peace, because we know there is no person there who is affected by the appearances of the world. It's all a dream appearing NOW - and all seeming separate "pieces" are only Oneness appearing as two. We are Brahman, we are God, we are One.

Any questions, any doubt, any suffering or bliss, can only arise in this Oneness, AS this Oneness, as part of this dream. - Randall Friend

Jordan Lake Autumn

Autumn Panorama

Resolving the Story

If you are waiting for the contents of the story to resolve in such a way that you will have ever lasting peace, you are going to be deeply disappointed. The thought stories are ever changing; sometimes there is happiness, sometimes sadness or joy and then fear. The story is on autopilot; no-one is driving your life. Its a part of the unfolding spectacle of what is. If you are looking for the story to get fixed in such a way that you will have permanent anything, you are setting out on a hopeless journey. The story has no ending. Its just happening, like the seasons or rotation of the planets.

Peace, however, is in this primary experience of being right here - these sounds, these feelings, and this body right here. Find out for yourself what is more real - imagination or what is happening right now? Relax into the actual, this primary Realness you feel right now. This sense of being – this primary Realness, or presence is more real than stories. It has a sense of quiet and peace to it – explore that feeling and you will notice it is the ever present background of all experiencing.

Entering the dream door of thought stories is secondary experiencing; a simulation. Even that is happening in primary Realness, or Reality. But we can talk about it as secondary experiencing for the sake of analogy, to point to that illusory sense of separation from Reality.

Relax into this effortless primary awareness of actuality; this room, this seeing right here. Let the stories arise unobstructed, while you rest in what is Real. There is no way of controlling or changing anything in the story. This does not mean you can’t have peace, what you are in reality is outside any story, peacefully watching. The peace we are talking about is so basic it does not need the story to be certain way, for it to be. It is, everything else comes and goes. It is this living Reality right here – you are looking at it now, feeling it now, seeing it now.

This is Reality. Rest in the Real let the imaginary play of its own as you watch, indestructible, from the diamond seat. Once you realise it is simply this obviously available actuality you are always occupying, confidence and ease effortlessly arises. - Chad Barber

A Fine Fall Day


Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The light is all

From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things
and makes us aware that we are nothing -— but the light is all. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Colorful Creek

Autumn Dogwoods

Autumn Reflections

What are Self-Realization, Awakening, Liberation, and Enlightenment?

It’s helpful to realize that enlightenment and awakening are just concepts and do not exist as states that can be attained. Believing in the ideas of awakening or enlightenment keeps you on the path of seeking and suffering. Waiting for an "a-ha" experience or an experience of "I get it now," will also keep you on the path of seeking and suffering. All there is, is this. Right here, right now. This is it. There’s truly nothing to gain.

If you’re frustrated and experiencing psychological suffering, there’s an underlying belief that there’s something other than what is here and now, and there’s a belief that you exist as a separate, controlling entity or ego who can exercise his will to attain something better or different than what is here and now. There is no way to avoid what is here and now—happiness, sadness, anger, joy, peace or frustration. There is no way to grasp onto the pleasant experiences or avoid the unpleasant. You do not exist as a separate, controlling entity who can exercise control over your experience. - Stephen Wingate

Haw River in Fall

Your identity as awareness

The basic truth is your identity as awareness or consciousness itself. In the last analysis, all that appears is non-different from this consciousness presence. Thus, non-duality. This is the main aspect, but there is more to it than just this. There is what I call the "mechanism" of suffering. It is the notion of the presence of a limited sense of self or "I". Once this notion kicked in, we went looking to define that "I" in the images and identifications created in the mind. The problem is that you are not in the mind. In fact, there is no "I" at all. It is a false assumption. However, as long as it is operative, the energy of belief propels us back into the mind, searching for reality, identity and happiness — for the assumed separate self. - John Wheeler

See what you are. . .

Self-centered thought makes an reference to a assumed self that stands apart from awareness. This notion is the ego or "I" thought. But is this concept true? Examine it and you will find it is a false notion. There is no "I" standing apart from awareness. So everything the mind refers to about a false self (the one who needs to progress, etc.) is false. The purpose of spirituality is to see what you are, and also to drop or release the belief in the assumed separate person or ego. How to dissolve the ego? Look for it. Since it is not present, this looking will dissolve the belief in its reality. You remain as you are and always have been, pure presence-awareness itself. You are that here and now. Just confirm this basic fact. - John Wheeler

Fall Colors

Autumn Gum and Fence

Subtly Separate

Many people interested in spirituality, even in non-dual circles, are actually still suffering and seeking, because the source of suffering is not understood. In other words, they have not deeply questioned the reality of the "I". The notion of the person is still intact. That is why they keep seeking enlightenment, reading, studying, going to retreats, speaking of awakened beings or whatever. They still subtly view themselves as separate beings. Once that is questioned, then — full stop. There is no one left to do any of that. It is all over. - John Wheeler

No "Realized Persons"

There are no realized persons, since the whole point is to see that you have never been a person at all. So in seeing this, who is left with any characteristics to speak of? You are pure non-conceptual awareness itself, which is not a body, mind, person or any other concept, idea or thing. You are "no thing". So what attributes does "no thing" have or need? No-thing does not mean a vacuum or void. In spite of being no thing, you ARE. And what you are is aware. And what you are is perfectly whole, complete, adequate, untouched, beyond manifestation and at peace. This is also the source of life, energy and intelligence of all that appears. There are many pointers to what you are. All are inadequate because you are not a word! - John Wheeler

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Morning Mists

Wisdom from Sam Harris

Most us think that if a person is walking down the street talking to himself—that is, not able to censor himself in front of other people—he’s probably mentally ill. But if we talk to ourselves all day long silently—thinking, thinking, thinking, rehearsing prior conversations, thinking about what we said, what we didn’t say, what we should have said, jabbering on to ourselves about what we hope is going to happen, what just happened, what almost happened, what should have happened, what may yet happen—but we just know enough to just keep this conversation private, this is perfectly normal. This is perfectly compatible with sanity. Well, this is not what the experience of millions of contemplatives suggests. . .

From the point of view of our contemplative traditions, however. . . our habitual identification with discursive thought, our failure moment to moment to recognize thoughts as thoughts, is a primary source of human suffering. And when a person breaks this spell, an extraordinary kind of relief is available. - Sam Harris

Clouds over the Haw


One appearing as two

All appearance is source. All that apparently manifests in the hypnotic dream of separation the world, the life story, the search for home, is one appearing as two the nothing appearing as everything, the absolute appearing as the particular. - Tony Parsons

Low Water

Nothing to seek

There is no person that becomes enlightened. Noone awakens. Awakening is the absence of the illusion of individuality. Already there is only awakeness, oneness, timeless being, radical aliveness. When the dream seeker is no more it is seen (by noone) that there is nothing to seek and noone to become liberated. - Tony Parsons

No Glory and Specialness

The mind loves the idea of enlightenment being some kind of distant, virtually unobtainable, perfect place of permanent bliss, free from suffering and full of omniscience, omnipresence and lots of other important ‘omni’s’ stomping around, shouting the odds and saving the world. And of course, because all this glory and specialness has to be attained, it seems there has to be a long haul through the dark night of the soul, endless past karmas, original sin, right-thinking, right action and preparation for the bardos. “It is a tale told by a fool, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Yet Natural Being is such an ordinary and gentle constant. When it is seen it is. When it is avoided it is. It requires no effort and demands no standards. Being timeless there is no path to tread, no debt to pay. When this is heard and confusion collapses, when the contraction of struggling to get something falls away and the vibrant energy of being aliveness becomes apparent, something else is seen, very naturally of course, because it is already all that is. - Tony Parsons

Monday, October 8, 2007

Consciousness is not a thought

The mind has absolutely no capacity to cognize consciousness. The mind recognizes thoughts. But consciousness is not a thought. Thoughts appear IN consciousness. So the mind is an incompetent judge regarding anything to do with consciousness, including its supposed origin or end, because it cannot even cognize consciousness in the first place. - John Wheeler

Storm Clouds

Early Fall, Haw River

Morning Fog

The Gate

"What am I doing wrong?"

"Why can't I see this?"

"There seems to be a gap in knowledge between me and a realized person."

Many, many questions point to this basic misunderstanding - sometimes referred to in Zen as the "Gateless Gate". There seems to be a person who is suffering or wants Enlightenment. That person believes he/she needs to gain more knowledge in order to attain some realized state. So many seek to find and go through this Gate to Enlightenment, after which the person will have some permanent blissful experience.

Much effort is put into seeking, struggling to find answers to questions which seem impossible. How do I drop the "I"? How can I find peace? How can I stop suffering? The mind is utilized to its fullest to put this Enlightenment or Zen or Advaita thing in some definable box - something the mind can understand and from then on, the person can say "I've got it!"

All this is 100% false.

Through whatever method speaks clearest, meditation, investigation based on pointers, all out suffering to the breaking point, whatever - the mind is exhausted. There is no longer anywhere to look, nowhere to go to get the answer.

At that point, there may arise a spontaneous and effortless dawning that there just is no person there. It's like finally getting the joke, only this has to do with everything believed in.

Once the belief in the separate person is finally realized to be false, things start to fall away. If there is no ME, who can suffer? If there is no ME, who is reading these words? If there is no ME, who can walk through that Gate?

This is why it is called the Gateless Gate. There really is no gate. There never has been a person, only a belief. All that has been happening or arising or appearing has been happening to no one and done by no one. Who would do it if there is no ME?

This is seemingly very difficult for many, simply because of the investment in the person, the ME. "I have a personality, I have a life, I want to change my life and make it better..." There is tremendous investment in this.

But in the investment, suffering is bound to arise because it never goes quite the way we want. Sometimes it completely falls apart. And that sense of ME is threatened, taken away from, unwanted things are added - we want everyone to think well of us, think we're competent, worthy... we want to be loved, trusted, needed...

So upon passing through this Gateless Gate, we realize that all the suffering and investment in the ME has been an illusion. There never was anyone who needed anything, never was anyone who lost anything. There never was anyone who could be hurt or touched by anything.

The world perceived, including the arising of a body-mind, is only temporary in THIS MOMENT. You are like the sky - spacious and empty but the very basis for all that arises. Sometimes the sun rises brightly and it's happy, sometimes storm clouds come. But the very ground or basis for any of these to arise is the spacious empty sky.

All the thoughts, all the situations, even the arising of the sense of ME, is only appearances in awareness or the activity of knowing in the immediacy of this very moment. It all comes and goes, but that intelligent knowing never goes, never stops. That very presence of awareness is what you really are - not the body or mind.

Stop for a moment and look to what is knowing... It is very simple, effortless, totally obvious, unavoidable... it is 100% present NOW as you read these words.

No effort is required to know what you are. - Randall Friend

Your friends won't notice

Nothing changes in the life of the seeming individual, once it is noticed that witnessing is all that is ever going on. A life, with all its ups and downs, with all its selfish interactions and illogical behaviors, will go on just as before.

There never was an individual there. So why would the story of the life change? Why would it get “more lighted,” or more peaceful, or more “spiritual”? Why would dramas and upsets disappear? That “life” is not yours – it is not a reflection of you.

Do not make the mistake of thinking of yourself as the owner of a life. You are not. An owner is not there, period. It is absent, to the very core. There is no owner, no individual, no reference point for any events in that life to refer to.

Where does the individual come from, then? Who is the individual who is thinking that there is an individual?

It is only being created right now, in a mistaken thought. It does not and never did exist over time, as an objective thing. Until you imagine an individual right now, it never was. See that all reference points only emerge from this one, current, mistaken thought, presently. And in the next new moment, all reference points vanish. It’s always a new day. . .

I remember some conversations. I remember some events. All kinds of memories are arising right now – a constant stream of them flowing through my mind. But I can’t find a person to whom they apply. I notice that this thought contains a reference to an event, but I was never involved in that event. I’ve always just been here, right now, where nothing is ever happening.

I have no reference point for what that event means. Some bodies talked and interacted. I was there as witness, but I have no idea what was going on. The only way I could make sense of what went on is if I assume an “avatar” of some kind, a fictional personality with certain traits which make it want to attract some things and avoid other things. Then, all the events have meaning and fall together as story. But I have no such personality. I am no one. The events fall away as they occur, into nothingness. Right now – always right now – I am free of all of it. So are you.

Everything falls silent. It all comes to a complete standstill. Nothing is happening. There is mental activity; any thought can arise. There is physical activity; all kinds of things can happen. But all this activity – mental and physical – is simply swirling gently within this utter stillness. The stillness is total.

This stillness does not need to be identified with. Let go of trying to “identify” with the witnessing presence. There is no one to do this. Witnessing is happening, and it’s impossible to be unaware of. So forget about it. - Annette Nibley