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

Friday, November 30, 2007

Autumn Road

Haw Chaos

Spiritual versus non-spiritual

The central claim of mysticism from every tradition is that a complete, whole, and flawless reality underlies and creates the more obvious and apparent concrete and dualistic world.

If this claim is actually true, and not simply a nice-sounding namby-pamby bullshit platitude, then clearly that reality of Wholeness and Perfection underlying existence is always present and is not limited to certain times, places and activities that the mind accepts and judges as "good".

This means that all dualistic value judgments over which occupations, which people, and which moments in life are spiritual and which are lacking in spirit, are simply a slightly more subtle form or manifestation of materialism. True spirituality is timeless, non-dualistic, universal, and always present right now, regardless of whatever mind-labelled judgments are made against what is happening.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Autumn Maple and Sunstar

Color Medley

A passing illusion

The spiritual path is a passing illusion based on two illusions — time and "me". A concept based on two concepts. A compelling act in a play, nevertheless, completely imagined. Believe in time and there is a place to go. Believe in "me" and there is a traveler. Beyond belief and disbelief, beyond a conceptualized individual existence there is the ever-presence of our being. Beyond these words and through your eyes shine the utter simplicity of your freedom.

Suffering, doubt and seeking can end. Our ever-present non-conceptual being is unchangeable in any way therefore needless of any spiritual work or help. Seeing though the self-centeredness created solely in thought reveals the vehicle for seeking, doubt and suffering as absent. Nothing is wrong. You have been Innocence and Perfection from the start. - Felipe Oliviera

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fall Forest


Who is in bondage?

Who is the entity in bondage to beliefs, you ask? No one. That is the point! The separate self is only a conceptual dust-devil swirling in the clear, open sky of non-conceptual awareness that you are and which is entirely free right now. Step back a moment and see that you are already what you are seeking. Here and now, you are that non-conceptual awareness. Do not dig around in the dust bin of the mind looking for answers and reasons for a problem that never existed! You have been falsely enamored of the mind and were giving it too much weight. Just see the thoughts as thoughts, and let them be. Who even cares about the activity of the mind? Does the sky care if a few clouds blow through? Is it caught in the clouds? You have seen what needs to be seen. So just pause and be what you are. Besides, what are thoughts anyhow? Only vibrations of awareness itself. Nothing is ever appearing except awareness! You are that awareness. The thoughts are only awareness. Nothing is happening at all! If you think "you" are bound, stuck or limited, look for that supposed limited entity and you will find nothing except pure, ever-present freedom itself. Look like this and any interest in the apparent mind is over with. You have been boxing with a shadow. There was no opponent present. And who would want to put the brakes on the mind activity (if such a thing were possible)? Who owns that concept? That is just another self-centered story for a self that never was! A bit of clear seeing burns through these flimsy concepts like a blowtorch pointed at a few stray pieces of lint. You are NOT bound. Nothing is wrong. It is all a concept, an illusion. Step out of the mind entirely and reclaim the ever-present freedom that you have never lost. You are freedom itself. Everything else is a concept that has no reality whatsoever. - John Wheeler

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Overlooking the Haw

Renoir's Palette

Final Rays

Non-duality, a note

There is absolutely NO reason why anyone should suggest that you should commit yourself to any spiritual program or practice. - What is true is as immediately available as your next breath.

The mind does not need to be trained, no matter what anyone says about that. Even the essential nature of what the Buddha discovered was his own formlessness. That is the essential nature of realization. - All the rest is concepts and postponements for the mind. . .

All there is, is being – seeing – knowing.

These three aspects, being, seeing, knowing, are not different things – they are one and the same.

There is no story line being pushed onto you here. -No deliverance. No learning ‘how’ to be enlightened – all such things are contrived nonsense, promoted by the ignorant.

The realization is always right here, right now. - There is NO other time than THIS. . .

Adding concepts to THIS can never bring freedom in some future time, no matter how sacred or how profound they may appear to be (for the mind). - Methods are only momentary appearances - when they are indulged in, they imprison a fictional character (me) like a donkey on a treadmill. - The 'carrot' - the enticement - future deliverance is held just beyond reach and it is never become nourishment because it is only a story, a mirage.

To say just a little more, is enough:

You imagine that someone else is awake - more awake than you - and that you want to be wide awake like them.

All that stuff is only imagination and it is that which seemingly covers the FACT that you are nothing but this wakefulness, which is Always naked and Ever Present. . .

In that clear 'space-like awareness' there is no doubt, no time - and even the empty space itself is being cognized clearly and precisely - without any error whatsoever. - It takes 'time' to find any fault in that and that 'finding fault' is only habitual mind. . .

An imaginary life is full of all kinds of 'things', states of mind with their fears and desires and they are the vehicles of suffering - for the believed in 'entity'.
All such things lead to nowhere at all - they never move away from THIS moment.
Who is life happening to? . . .

Life goes on - There is NO personal enlightenment.
Everything is just as it is. - Gilbert Schultz

Twilight Stumps

Looking in all the wrong places

Non Duality is simple – there is nothing more simple.

Nothing that can be said will ever reveal Oneness. – It is already clearly obvious in natural seeing. - All that can happen for the so-called individual, is that the mind ceases to project its old belief patterns – and in that ‘moment’ the natural oneness of everything is registered clearly on awareness. – Oddly enough this is always happening but it is not noticed.

– Some laugh their heads off at seeing the simplicity of it all and at the fact that it was always here and so obvious. – This, when merely 'heard about' can be very annoying ‘for the mind’ and a habitual frustration buzzes about in the mind - more activity that keeps the mind busy. – No one can predict how this natural effortless seeing will miraculously reveal itself – and is it true to say that it ever does? - To suggest that it will reveal itself is actually a bit of a trap – an erroneous trap for the mind.

The simple fact is that seeing is always happening.

Where are you seeing from?

That simple seeing is completely natural and in itself there is no seer and nothing seen. – The so-called ‘seer’ and the objectively ‘seen’ along with all that the mind appears to do, labels naming, stories etc - it all appears 'in the seeing' – seeing is 'prior' to it all - seeing is a constant and the seen is transient appearances. - That may seem to be too confronting. - It isn't. - It appears as liberation - for no one.

There is no one that ‘starts’ seeing and no one that ever stops seeing.

Seeing and knowing are the very same pure functioning. – Understanding is the same.

One without a second.

In chasing after some great understanding, one is 'seemingly' giving the mind a complex maze that can never be solved. – That is frustrating for the mind - like the whole spiritual game is frustrating. - When the game is dropped and some authentic looking into happens there 'appears' a 'turning point'. . .

The ‘honest down to earth teacher’ never pretends to ‘have something special’ there is no game being played.

Just a relentless ‘pointing’ the so-called ‘seeker’ back to the bare facts of presence awareness. – It so happens that such ‘teachers’ are rare and they do not go about promoting themselves and giving grand lectures or making people pay extraordinary prices for their teaching.

What is true is simple - it is always simple – and that simplicity is usually too boring for the average ‘seeker’ – if only because these ‘seekers’ have filled their minds with expectations and images of ‘how things should appear to be’. - A guru who 'looks the part' is not necessarily genuine and yet that is how things are playing themselves out - in the 'appearance'. - Gilbert Schultz

Maple Fence Row

Forest Edge, Haw River

Beech Woods

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Red and Yellow Maple

Frost, Fog and Fall

Golden Maples

Being a separate entity

The belief in being a separate entity who will eventually achieve some permanent state of bliss is the very reason why spiritual work is done at all. . . [T]he only thing that keeps spiritual work in place is the belief in being a separate limited helpless entity endowed with the power to do. - Felipe Oliviera

End of the Search

We may acquire concepts and techniques to work on negative emotions and imagination, to still the mind. To try to be present is the spiritual fashion of the century. Those techniques and efforts must all have effects on a relative level: experiences change and new ones arise and subside. But the fundamental search for peace and absolute understanding about our being/existence remains as that search does not end as the result of the use of those concepts and efforts. The fact remains that while efforts are made without the fundamental knowledge of 'who' or what power is making the efforts the search for freedom is perpetuated ad infinitum — more teaching is required, new techniques, more knowledge, more experience; perhaps another teacher or another lifetime will do the trick.

The absolute end of the search does not depend directly on spiritual work. This is so because all spiritual work including the feeling of its need pertain to the realm of experience and concepts; to the realm of relativity. How can the absolute resolution of our spiritual search and endeavors be found in the relative and everchanging world of experience? All we can say for sure in relation to spiritual work is that it happens. And that there are effects that appear and disappear. We can never assert that it creates an absolute and permanent effect. It simply is not possible — the very nature of creation, is impermanence. The permanent lies in another realm altogether.

The knowledge/cosnciousness of our being is ever present. It is not part of or result of creation. It has no location, no time, no beginning or end, no limit, no center or self to radiate from. It has always been present throughout our life but was overlooked while the imaginary was ascribed an absolute value it does not have.

When the knowledge/cosnciousness of our being is recognized in absolute and undeniable terms spiritual work with the aim to 'my' freedom ceases and a particular kind of imagination is eradicated. With the belief in the separate self eradicated truth remains and shines on and through all perception and conceptualizing, allowing these not to be taken as the only reality — allowing the imaginary not to be taken as truth. Thus our true self is revealed in its absolute needlessness. . .

Existence, our being, the consciousness of our being is not a concept. It is the consciousness/existence itself and the concurrent knowing of this as our identity. This is not a passing experience that can be defined or described. It is the ever-present background to all experience. Experience has relative value and has nothing to do, in causal terms, with knowing the self and the peace that comes with abiding as this knowingness.

The peace of self-knowledge arises concurrently with the ceasing of the striving to save or liberate something that does not really exist: the imaginary self we refer to during our daily endeavors. Until our spiritual teachers point clearly at what we truly are and reveal clearly what we are not; until the question 'who am I?' is answered in our hearts; until grace manifests as the seeing through of that imaginary self there will not be peace and imagination will be running the show. . . - Felipe Oliviera

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Red Maple Delight

Hymettus Woods in Fall

Hen Wallow Falls

You're not missing anything

Stuck in traffic? Late for your appointment? You're not missing anything.

No dates? Sitting home alone on Saturday night? Oh well, you're not missing anything.

Made a bad decision, which caused you to lose a great opportunity? Nope, you're not missing anything!

Busy at work? Too much business and not enough play? Not missing a thing.

This is it, my friends. There is nowhere to go. You are exactly where you are, aren't you? And in my world, that means that that is exactly where you are meant to be. Why? Because it's where you are! You haven't missed a thing.

You can't miss what you already ARE. And whatever you are looking for is what you are. No doubt about it, everywhere you turn, there you are, so how could you miss something important? You think this "missed thing" is going to make a difference to what you are? Not possible. This "missed thing" is YOU!

There is nothing that you need or want that is not already what you are. Therefore, no mistakes, no missed opportunities, no "could haves or should haves" make any difference at all to what you are.

This moment is as it is, and thinking that it shouldn't be is just another vibration of the doesn't change anything.

And you can't miss what you are. Just try! - Mary McGovern

Never-ending questions

The answers we seek are only sought so that the "I" that we imagine ourselves to be will gain something – knowledge, or getting a step closer to enlightenment, or a feeling of satisfaction, or a feeling of control or mastery. - Annette Nibley

No limited, separate self

Your true nature is fully present and immediately evident now. Before the next thought appears, you are and you know that you are. This non-conceptual presence of awareness beyond thought IS the non-dual reality. And you are THAT. It is not achieved or attained. It IS. Thoughts, feelings, perceptions or experiences may appear within awareness, but they have no substance or independent nature. They do not exist, except as appearances. They are momentary vibrations in, on and of awareness itself. Time, space, body, mind and world are notions that have no reality except when conceived. There is certainly no such thing as a limited, separate self standing apart from awareness. For this reason, all the suffering, seeking, doubts, questions and problems for and about this seeming self are imaginary. They survive due to belief in a cause that, in fact, has never existed.

Enlightenment and liberation are concepts because there is no one present to be enlightened or liberated. Still less is there a need for any undertakings such as deepening the understanding, living the teaching, resolving one's problems or freeing other beings. There is no "post-awakening" work to do, because there is no awakening, no person and no external world or beings in need of improvement. All seeking, suffering and doubts are resolved in understanding the simple fact that you are already what you are seeking and that the imagined separate self has never existed. - John Wheeler

Autumn Square

Goodbye, Day

Stumps, Color, Light

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What's wrong?

What's wrong with right now until you think about it? - Bob Adamson

Autumn Light and Spendor

Haw Riverbank

Autumn Sunrise

Autumn Chaos

The Miracle of Now

The mind has all sorts of wants, needs, desires, fears... it's never satisfied with what's presently going on and always overlooks NOW in preference for some future desire to be satisfied or worries about some future situation which may be different than what's preferred. This desire and fear is the dictate of the mind.

So when this is believed in, it seems we are pulled in many directions, always wanting and fearing at the same time. We want to keep what we have and fear it may be lost. We want this present "story" to improve so we seek enlightenment or liberation. We hope it will make our life better.

But if we could control it, we might, through various means and methods, stop desiring and fearing. But we don't have control of the mind. Who knows what will pop up next? Even if asked a direct question, we don't choose what pops in the mind as a thought.

So we just observe the mind. We see the patterns. We see through the illusions it creates. We see how desire and fear are believed and then we run all over trying to satisfy.

Once this is seen, we no longer are attached to the mind. It can run rampant but THAT WHICH KNOWS the mind knows it's just thought.

Each desire has the seed of its opposite - if I get it, then I could lose it. What you are, this immediate and undeniable presence, is the only reality. You didn't get it through desire and you can never lose it.

You can call this a connection to God, however that creates duality where there is none. There is nothing BUT God, but this can only be known in the immediacy of this present moment.

So the seeking is a projection into some future where "I" may get answers to all my questions and "I" will know the truth. This is just more desire and fear.

When this seeking stops one way or another, the only thing that apparently happens is just a BOOM - a recognition that NOW is the only place we can ever be. NOW is the only place where we can ever find what we're looking for. And we don't even have to look, for looking is to assume that it's not here now.

The miracle of this present moment is the only truth and reality there ever is. Just rest in it and realize that the mind will say otherwise. And whether it's believed or not is still just this miracle of NOW.

The concept of YOU is only another arising thought in this miracle. - Randall Friend

Sparks Lane

Peace and Love

Your true essence is total Peace and Love. This Peace is not the opposite of war or conflict, it is the Peace that accepts the appearance of war and conflict. This Love is not the opposite of hate, it is the Love that unconditionally accepts all that arises, including hate.

This Peace and Love are not something that need to be or could be found or developed or learned. This Peace and Love is the essential nature of Being.

In this Peace and Love, there is childlike innocence, magical wonder, great ease... but "YOU" can never find it. The presence of a "YOU" is the seeming separation of "ME" from "the world." In this separation, there is conflict, suffering, striving, desire and fear. We feel we've lost that innocence, that wonder - and we're seeking to get something, maybe Enlightenment?

So there is nothing that can be done to "get" this Peace and Love, nothing "I" can do to find it - simply because the belief in the "I" is the very obscuring factor in recognizing this already-present Peace and Love.

The search is just more of the mind denying the magic and wonder of THIS, what's actually presently happening. Maybe in the future I'll get my questions answered or I'll meditate enough and be able to see it.

But no "I" could ever see it. No search could ever lead to it. And there are no answers as to what can "I" do to see it. "I" can never see it. For the "I" is only another thought arising, another belief created out of strung-together memories.

The only answer lies in the sound of the wind in the trees, the feeling of a warm bath, the smell of hot chocolate-chip cookies and even in the desperate struggle of the homeless, the putrid smell of the sewer, and the pain of love lost.

Peace and Love can only ever be exactly THIS right now - exactly this very ordinary moment, which the mind doesn't care to see, in preference for what might be. - Randall Friend

Autumn Mists