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Dustin LindenSmith

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nisargadatta in shades

The Niz on sitting meditation

Try to be, only to be. The all-important word is 'try'. Allot enough time daily for sitting quietly and trying, just trying, to go beyond the personality, with its addictions and obsessions. Don't ask how, it cannot be explained. You just keep on trying until you succeed. If you persevere, there can be no failure. What matters supremely is sincerity, earnestness; you must really have had surfeit of being the person you are, now see the urgent need of being free of this unnecessary self-identification with a bundle of memories and habits. This steady resistance against the unnecessary is the secret of success.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, from I Am That, quoted by Mark Otter in Issue #2989 of the Nondual Highlights
I'm up to Podcast #16 of The Advaita Show, that series of podcasts with master Sailor Bob Adamson and his trusty sidekick, Cameron Reilly, out of Australia. The show has evolved into a simple Q&A format with the questions arising from comments in the podcast entries on their website.

Numerous questions are being asked about how to live in blissful awareness, how to have these enlightenment experiences, how to live an enlightened life in each and every moment, and so on. I've had those questions in the past as well, but with time, I've come to realize that this notion of "one without a second" means literally that whether your life experience is blissful in nature or painful, all of those experiences still arise from That, and that a blissful enlightenment experience is no different from any other experience or knowledge or anything. It's all just whatever natural expression of unfettered Awareness is being manifest in you at any given moment, and there's no specific point to trying to have satori experiences for their own sake. They won't get you anywhere except perhaps confused, because they might trick you into thinking that this one state is a better one to be in than another. And that's not true, because all states are the same. Everything is That. Everything comes from the same source. There is no other, there is only That.

Now, having said all that, the opening quote I inserted from Nisargadatta (whom Cameron humourously refers to as "The Niz" on his show) would seem to bely the idea that it doesn't matter what you do. So maybe there's a little caveat here about spiritual practice. And I think it probably goes like this: if you're not presently convinced of the essential truth of nonduality (or if you think you have an intellectual understanding of it, but not an experiential one), then a regular sitting practice might be helpful for you to develop a clear awareness of such. Sitting quietly for a period each day, observing the thoughts that arise, and inquiring deeply into the source of those thoughts (but NOT their nature, or WHY they arose, etc. -- just WHERE they've come from), this practice will in time lead you to direct knowledge of Self. As soon as you understand who you are, and as soon as you see past the fallacy of your own personality as a separate entity with an independent nature, then you're enlightened. And if you can take that awareness with you from one day to the next in your dealings with others in your life, then you'll also be a sage. It's as simple as that. Or That! :)

(x-posted to nonduality)