November 20, 2022
Non-dual awareness and the clarity that comes with it, the understanding there is no separate beings, only the One, and that all this is an illusion are very powerful experiences and insights and realizations.
These insights and experiences are available to all, they don’t belong to any one person, they are shared by us all. Some of us by grace get to access this while alive.
And now, the $64k question for those who have had – or are having or will have these experiences and insights:
How are you using this profound grace? How are you using the deep insights, capacities, knowledge, new awareness, clarity and stillness to benefit yourself, your family, your friends and your local and global community?
Don’t you think that a spiritual practice and its outcomes/effects should make you a better person and member of the human race? Otherwise, why do it? Don Jan would ask: is this a path with Heart?
ND can be an amazing realization. But if we spend too much time on the Wow this is so cool, we may miss the opportunity to put it into practice to improve the lives of ourselves and others.
In the podcast you mention a “Flow Experience”. The definition I use comes from the book “The Logic or Failure”. To paraphrase and add a bit of dramatic embellishment:
A flow experience is when a person comes to you who does not have a watch and tells you they need to take medicine at 12:00 sharp or they will die. And now it is 11:45. Instead of telling them when it is 12:00 you launch into a deep explanation of how the clock works. And, lost in the flow experience of explaining how a clock works, you miss the 12:00 time and they don’t take their medicine and they die.
Now, there is nothing wrong a with a flow experience – they can be intensely fun for sure – and there is value to bringing awareness to it until it gets in the way.
Discussing ND can be like that. We can get so focused on the lingo – which is even weirder than grammar in time travel – that we miss the point – how do we use this gift of knowledge to benefit ourselves and each other. Yes, sure, some validation and agreement of terms, and shared experiences is necessary and beneficial. And then we need to put it into practice in our daily lives.
It reminds me of people who get lost in their practice, like using a canoe to get across a river, and when they get to the other side they should let go of the boat and walk on. But sometimes people get attached to their practice.
So, as we work through understanding what ND awareness let’s make sure we also look at how we can use it productively in our lives. I think Chris and Sean are wanting to do that with their podcasts.
Some reading for those interested in ND. ND has many facets and expressions.
“Awakening to the Dream” by Leo Hartong is one of the best ways to get started. Very approachable and accessible concepts and ideas.
If you want to use stillness, awareness and presence to help your day-to-day situation and life, I recommend Eckhart Tolle – “Power of Now” and “ New Earth” and this video on YouTube for a good start: Reality is Beyond Thought. PON was a major step for me and my practice.
If you want to dig in and really go deep, deep, deep into nature of consciousness, non-duality and nature of the universe and the Absolute Reality, I suggest Sri Nisargadatta’s “I am That”. Very deep book. When I was reading it I would sometimes spend 1 – 3 days on a single page to digest it.
If you think you are interested in Enlightenment – and I am referring to Full Blown Zen, cut your head off and annihilate your ego kind of enlightenment, then I would suggest reading “Spiritual Enlightenment, the Damnedest Thing”, by Jed Mckenna. A great place to help define what E is – and is not – and what it means to pursue it and the consequences of such a pursuit – which are not always pretty or even what was expected.
If you want a break from seeking and to “take a rest”, then Tony Parsons’ The Open Secret can help. His message is so simple, direct and yet powerful, that it is can cause seeking to subside. For some the message of true self is enough and they get the contradiction of the One appearing as a seeker who is seeking and the seeking hides the truth of their being the One.
If you want to read a step by step journaled journey of awakening, then look at Franklin Merrill Wolf’s “Pathways through to Space”.
If you like physics, check out Goswami’s “The Self-aware Universe”.
And last but by no means least, is the classic book: “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass. This and D.T Suzuki’s books on Zen opened up the entire West to Eastern spiritual ideas and launched millions onto the Path. The book is in three parts – first his brief autobiography, and last a “cookbook” for living a spiritual life. But the core of the book is the message and it’s powerful and well delivered.
I first was turned onto Be Here Now in the md-80s by a friend who was practicing Zazen at the time. I invited him over and he gave me “Be Here Now“ and I gave him his first LSD. I think Ram Dass would appreciate that. So, I’m tripping – not tripping balls, as I could still read and focus on the words, but enough – and I opened the book at “random” and started reading. O the page it said: “If you are doing LSD right now you are seeing your body dissolve…”
Dang! That just blew me away. I’d known for a long time that one can hold a question in their mind and pull pretty much any book off the shelf and open it and an answer will be there in some form. But to sync into me that closely and clearly? Wow. I always had a resonance with Ram Dass. I was fortunate to see him many times while he was still alive, and got hugs and even an autographed copy of “Be Here Now” – which fed my spiritual materialism for a time.
Hope this helps. My deep respect, gratitude and appreciation for Chris and Sean for putting this site and podcasts together and putting themselves out there – it can be scary to do so. I’ve been on both sides of that.
I have joined their site and will be checking in regularly. I would be happy to answer questions, should any arise.