Dustin LindenSmith

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On technical descriptions of nonduality

The thing that's been blowing my mind this week is a series of podcasts called The Advaita Show by Sailor Bob Adamson, the Aussie disciple of Nisargadatta. The show has been discontinued (I believe because they had exhausted themselves of anything further to say about nonduality), but I've listened to the first 6 of the 42 episodes so far, and I can't seem to get enough of it. If you're interested in listening to them, go to the beginning homepage for the show here and start listening from podcast #1.

After I've listened some more and taken some more notes, I'm going to post some transcriptions of some of the stuff that I've found so lucid and useful. Bob Adamson tends not to say much more than about 4 or 5 key phrases over and over again, but they're the most highly-distilled, boiled-down nuggets of nonduality that you could ever come up with, and after hearing them about twenty or thirty times so far, they're really starting to sink in with me in a new way. He has this perfectly clear way of describing how the appearance of phenomena in our everyday lives (i.e. the whys and the wherefores and the myriad of everyday events and thoughts and emotions in our lives) are simply comprised of different what he calls "patternings" of the innate intelligence (a.k.a. pure Awareness) of the universe, and that as soon as you realize that what you perceive as "you" are not separate from that Awareness, you're immediately and totally free from all emotional and psychological bondage. Your search for enlightenment can be shut down in one simple step, once you fully realize that there's no one to become enlightened in the first place.

But more on that soon.

In the meantime, please enjoy these excellent selections from Issue #2983 and Issue #2982 of the Nondual Highlights, this time edited by Mark Otter. I often excerpt from Jerry's issues, but Mark's have been quite stellar lately in their own right. He has a different style with the highlights, which you'll see from these excerpts. He tends to pick a small number of very juicy bits which hit the spot just right if you're in the right head space for them. After listening to all of these Sailor Bob podcasts, I'm definitely there. I couldn't help but nod and exclaim aloud when I read through today's issue.
The presence of thoughts and feelings means only that thoughts and feelings are present. We interpret our experience to mean something about who we are. This interpretation creates suffering when it passes itself off for truth. But if it's seen to be what it is - an interpretation - it presents no problem; it's simply there too in the vastness.

- Suzanne Segal, from Collision with the Infinite
To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates an endless preoccupation with past and future and an unwillingness to honor and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be. The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.

Eckhart Tolle, from The Power of Now
Direct self-inquiry questions the basic assumption that you are "somebody".

This assumption is rarely examined because what usually follows is, "What I need, what I want, what I have, what I don't have, what I should have," and on and on.

These stories keep you identified as a person set apart from the vastness of your true identity. It keeps you identified only as a particular form, a body that is subject to birth and death. This identification is conscious individualization.

There is nothing evil or even mistaken about individualization. It is natural in the evolution and development of the human being. It is part of the mystery of human beingness.

- Gangaji, from The Diamond in Your Pocket, posted to The_Now2
A body-mind organism in which enlightenment has happened doesn't become a vegetable. Thoughts will arise. Emotions arise. But those thoughts or emotions or desires are not taken delivery of. They just happen.

- Ramesh Balsekar, posted to ANetofJewels
Emptiness is not like a black hole or darkness, or like an empty house or an empty bottle. Emptiness is fullness and openness and flexibility. Because of emptiness it is possible for phenomena to function, for beings to see and hear, and for things to move and change. It is called emptiness because when we examine things we cannot find anything that substantially and solidly exists.

There is nothing that has a truly existent nature. Everything we perceive appears through ever-changing causes and conditions, without an independent, solid basis. Although from a relative perspective things appear, they arise from emptiness and they dissolve into emptiness. All appearances are like water bubbles or the reflection of the moon in water.

- Khenchen Palden Sherab, posted to DailyDharma

(x-posted to nonduality)

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baal_kriah November 19th, 2007
I had the pleasure of witnessing Bob in person once. Here's what I wrote at the time (2004): "Bob Adamson's meeting was at the Pacific Cultural Center, where John Wheeler holds his meetings, but in the performance hall instead of the dining room. I would estimate the rental fee at 100-200 dollars. They were asking ten dollars a head and I'd guess that something over a hundred people showed up, so they probably made eight or nine hundred dollars. There was also his book for sale. Still, I doubt he covers the travel expenses through events like this. Bob is getting on in years so he sat with a microphone at the front and took questions from the audience. Mostly he just brought everything back to present awareness. I asked him what happened to this present awareness in deep dreamless sleep. He said there was a present awareness of no awareness, which was why he could wake up people in deep dreamless sleep just by calling out their names to them. He seemed completely authentic to me, but maybe that's just because he didn't really say anything I didn't expect."

iamom November 19th, 2007
How cool that you saw him in person! I have to admit that I feel kind of drawn towards visiting him in Australia sometime. But I also have to admit that after listening to so many of these podcasts, I don't feel drawn towards visiting him so much for insight into enlightenment now, as much as just simply to hang out with him, be in his presence, and so on. It's remarkable, that after listening to a dozen of these podcasts, he's kind of erased my concept of enlightenment. Or at least, what scant concept I had of it before. There's something unique (to me) in how he phrases things that makes the seeking and the questioning just sort of dry up. Every time I think I have a question I might like to ask, it sort of dissipates by the time I think of a way to phrase it. And the reason for that dissipation is because the same thing keeps coming up in response every time: who's asking the question?

I used to think that was just advaitan double-speak, but now I just understand what it means. That's why I've been saying that he's been blowing my mind this week. He's so bloody ordinary, yet so clear in what he's talking about. It's very nice stuff.

baal_kriah November 19th, 2007
I used to think that was just advaitan double-speak, but now I just understand what it means.

Of course, it can be used as doublespeak, but as the basis of real enquiry it is quite powerful. I am by nature a constant questioner, but this question helps me see past answers to a place where questions no longer arise.

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