Nondual Perspective

This website shares nondual writings and teachings for remembering what you already are, not who you think or believe you are. Nondual philosophy slowly migrated to the US as the foundational teachings of many ancient Eastern practices for perceiving and experiencing a peaceful life. These include the teachings of Zen, Tao, Vedanta, and Sufism, along with the mystical Christian teachings of Jesus the Christ, St. John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart, St. Teresa of Avila, and many other teachers and philosophers.

These ancient philosophies of “not two” point towards perceiving awareness, consciousness, and all appearances as impersonal and “not two.” Another way of saying this is awareness, consciousness, and appearances are not divided, do not exist in time and space, and have no elements of being personal…though awareness feels quite intimate to the body/brain.

Modern nonduality teachers like J. Krishnamurti, U.G. Krishnamurti, Alan Watts, and Ramana Maharshi pointed towards nonduality by exposing the illusory veil of self-identity to the latest generations of nonduality speakers, teachers, and writers in the US and around the world.

Many are highly motivated to explore the “nondual” nature of awareness, not understanding it naturally appears spontaneously, impersonally, and completely uncaused. Awareness is not divisible so there is no possibility of there being a personal awareness or consciousness. Believing that you have a personal awareness or consciousness does not make it so.  The very fact what humans seem to notice the aliveness they feel spurs them to know more about the ‘personal’ awareness or consciousness they believe they possess.

The personal ego, forming around the age of 12 – 24 months begins the programming from parents and caregivers to name, label, and claim appearances in reference and relation to itself as the seeing.

This budding little ego continually and relentlessly works to promote itself as it grows in accumulating what it labels as facts, truths, identity, and knowledge of itself and what it perceives and labels reality. This little ego is innocently taught by parents to misperceive awareness and claim it as personal too, being clueless about the impersonal nature of awareness.

As it grows, the little ego claims ownership over the body and brain/mind, just like its parents and grandparents appear to do. In most spiritual traditions, dogma encourages and supports a personal ego or personal self to make choices towards one belief system or another in order to preserve the personal self after death, not understanding that all is the impersonal play of awareness in an illusory dream of itself as itself.

Truly, a personal self can never be enlightened or self-realized since the personal self is simply an illusory projection by the brain/mind in an attempt to perpetuate the existence of itself. There are only momentary appearances of impersonal awareness, if anything appears at all.

A famous old guy (Socrates) reportedly said an unexamined life is not worth living. Certainly, no truer words were ever whispered on a deathbed. First, we must first look directly at the nature of our perceiving, our perception, since it informs the nature of the light we see/perceive with the eyes. And we mistakenly believe awareness to be personal to “us” to a “me” since it feels so intimate and seems to originate within the center of the body/brain. But this is not so, it’s only a story we’ve believed and never questioned.

Quantum physics clearly shows us there is only awareness and it is not personal nor limited, nor can it be located to a specific GPS location, even though it often feels close. The brain will argue otherwise, since the brain’s main task is to claim a personal ownership of awareness and claim what is appearing each moment as happening to a “me.”

You are may or may not be asking these deeper questions of identity and philosophy. No worries. If you are pulled towards this path of inner inquiry and exploration you will notice you’re reading nonduality books and in a self inquiry group peeling the layers of beliefs.

anita

Self-Inquiry

Self-Inquiry is simply the practice of giving full attention to the self. It is the practice of guiding attention away from all thoughts and objects and towards the fundamental consciousness of our own being.  We experience this beingness as ‘I am’.  In self inquiry sessions we simply question the nature of the belief  “I am a separate being, with a separate awareness and consciousness.”

The inquiry process appears to rattle or jolt the human brain/mind into looking at itself…examining all that was read, heard, or witnessed. Inquiry highlights and exposes every perceived and cherished concept, idea, belief, and fact, including the concept of being a separate self in a discreet and tangible world of subjects and objects.

Questions arise…. “Who or what am I? What is the brain/mind and how does it exert such a powerful influence over life?  What is consciousness, it is personal, conceptual?” Are we separate selves with a separate consciousness in a world of subjects and objects?

There are a few pilgrims deeply motivated to examine the beliefs, concepts, and assumptions around a personal or separate identity, though these few are certainly not the norm. Here is a small sample of questions…

  • Who or what am I?
  • Am I living or being lived?
  • Am I thinking or am I being thought?
  • Can I know my next thought?
  • Where, exactly, do thoughts originate?
  • Where was I before I was born?
  • How do I know I was born?
  • How can there be time and space if now is infinitely unfolding now, now, now?
  • Who, what, and where is the witness/watcher of consciousness?
  • Can a thought or a string of thoughts, do or be anything?
  • The thought, “I see”… what is seeing?  What sees?
  • Are seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, all sensing, occurring as consciousness?
  • Is consciousness personal?

Only you can go within (self-inquiry) and search the brain/mind for all the beliefs and concepts you hold so near and dear to your personal identity. Any beliefs you hold will surely keep you lost in a personal self and insure you believe you are a separate being inside a world of subjects and objects.

Nonduality teachers, sages, and awakened writers can only point towards what you already are – here – now – beyond the relative brain/mind’s projections. As with all appearances, inquiry simply arises spontaneously and uncaused and is claimed as an individual experience by an illusory separate self. Inquiry appears to destroy all ideas, concepts, and facts about you, family, society, legal, religious, spiritual, and scientific beliefs.

Once the invisible threads binding time and space are uncovered, it seems obvious there was never a personal self, only a vaporous projection of an ineffable, indivisible, uncaused, spontaneously appearing nothingness projecting itself as a dreamy illusion of Itself as Itself.

Anita

Essence of Life

image (c) Carlos Gotay

The essence of all life, of all appearances, is not separate from perceiving and sensating. In other words, we apply our mental beliefs and concepts to what is a raw and unfiltered moment or appearance to create reality.

When we embrace life with a prayer or intention of not-knowing, we seem to drop into vulnerability, rawness, and an openness to what is appearing as awareness awaring, instead of living in our head, knowing and suffering, as most of us do.  Awaring is the raw, unfiltered perception or sensation of presence, aliveness, awareness, before we apply the mental beliefs, opinions, and judgments about what we believe we see and feel. Embodying presence is not escaping who you are but realizing what you have always been and but forgotten.

The mental processes, and some call this thinking mind or the thought stream, divide raw appearances, what is, into body and mind, subject and object, self and not-self, thus creating and projecting a virtual reality or mirage we believe to be substantial, personal, and lasting in time. This mirage was my unexamined habit for fifty-three anxious, weary, and fearful years.

Here’s the good news…there is a deep, quiet, peaceful aliveness that vibrates right here, right now, but we are so enmeshed within the story of ourselves and our mental processes that we completely overlook, disregard, and shut out this perfect peace with the noise and stories in our heads. Embodying presence is not escaping who you are but realizing what you have always been and but forgotten.

Perception and sensation are the magnificence, the intimacy, and the wondrous mystery of this aliveness, this awareness.

Anita