Sunday, March 27, 2016

Awake or Dreaming?

I have known for a long time that I have no will of my own. Whatever will I have is God's will, whether it appears to be good or. Bad. This is why Jesus continually counseled to "Not judge."

Once you acknowledge that you did not create yourself (your body, your mind) you can no longer maintain that you make choices. Even if for many years you struggled to make a choices, and it seemed like you decided, you only decided based on the genes you were born with, the experiences you  had, and concepts and beliefs you picked up or developed. Can you see that even though you may feel that you've made choices, they were not your own.

Of course, to accept this is to know that you have never had any free will. This is a hard pill to swallow. No matter how much may feel that you have personal will, objective analysis will, if can stand it, provide clear knowledge that you never made a personal decision in your life. That which created everything, including you, set the ground rules that determined how you would decide.

That which is the source, the creator of everything, set this up. The appearance of you is no difference than the characters you dream at night. Do any of your dream characters make their own decisions? Do they have freedom of choice? We can admit that the characters in the dream may struggle to make a decision, but whatever they decide is a product of the dreamer, the mind that you take to be you.

So the dreamed characters are you, your mind playing out it's issues, creating the characters and situations. Are waking life seems more real as we wake up and say, wow, I dreamed I was in such and such a situation, and it was pleasant or unpleasant. But how real was it upon awakening?

It the same when the personal mind wakes up to its actual situation. It is a dreamed character! It is no more real that the characters in a dream. That is why enlightenment is called waking up, or realization. That which you took to be yourself, a decider, a doer is seen through. When the appearance known as you is seen through, you wake up to reality.

The reality you wake up to is not personal. When you realize that you are character in a dream, you are That which created the dream. That which sees the character cannot be named, cannot be described, and yet, you can be nothing other than That. When the sages say, "You are That," that is what they mean.

So, are you awake? Or are you still caught in the dream?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Understanding Is Not An Experience

Understanding (realization) is not a state. States can come and go. Understanding doesn't come and go. When you know everyone calls you by a certain name, is it affected by what state you are in? When you know you know. It doesn't come and go.

It follows that understanding (realization) is not an experience. Experiences come and go. Realization is just That. Suddenly you know you are That. It is clear. From then on unavoidable. It is so much the reality, that one need make no effort to sustain it. It is not something that can be lost. It is the one and only reality that always was, just not recognized.

There is no trying to remember it, or keep it. Everything is what it is, as it is, without effort. It doesn't come and go because it never left. It was always right here, right now, ever present, and just needed to be recognized. You can't escape it. You just didn't realize what you really were. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Do You Have Two Hands?

If you look at your right hand and your left hand you see two separate hands. But neither hand is really separate from the body. They are one with it. If we did not have the concept of right and left, would there still be two separate hands? If you still want to say "Yes, there are two hands," then I say, what if you didn't have the concept of two? Could there possibly be two hands?

You see, it is the mind that breaks all this one thing into parts. Language is just a labeling function that divides everything up. All this dividing is useful, but false. No division is real. The appearance of many things are just facets of perception. Nothing has ever been separate in any way. It just appears that way.

Man creates a web of concepts and imprisons himself in them. As Jesus said, "They know not what they do." Drop your labels, drop the concepts and the prison doors will open. Non-dual means not two. There are not two things. There is only what is, whole and complete, and you are That. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Let Go and Let God

In stillness there is beauty, wisdom, and the answer. That's what happens when you let go and let god.  Anonymous

I've heard a lot of people proclaim this quote. It's a good one. I suspect this quote comes to mind when someone is broken and they have no other option. This is a rather tragic way to come to this conclusion, and I suspect it is quite common. I took the long haul, piece by piece. Not the best route, but that's the way it was for this appearance.

Some of us have pretty strong egos and instead of having some grand collapse, we resist and resist and decompose in small pieces. I was one of this type. I do remember a period of time in my late twenties when I felt like I was dying over several months. This was not a physical death, but the death of the ego. Interestingly, I was probably still resisting, and in actual fact, the death was letting go a small miserable ego, into a more expansive one. A more inclusive one. Still, this was change. It was disruption.

I recall that during this time and later I would search out books. But I was very proscribed in what I chose. I would always chose a book that was very much in line with my current thinking, but just enough further out than where I was to challenge me. This process went on for a long time before I became conscious of what I was doing. Once I became conscious of what I was doing, I thought to myself, "Why don't I just abandon all of my positions and save myself a lot of reading time?"

Toward the end of this phase I saw in the bookstore a small book entitled, "You Are the World. It was a book by J. Krishnamurti. I had never heard of this author, and the cover was just a black and white photo of an old man with white hair. But I loved his face. It was wise and androgynous. I picked it up, read a little bit, bought it and brought it home.

I began reading and was totally enthralled. I knew at the bottom of my heart that I would love to be in the space he must be in to write what he wrote. I could sense the space, but I had nothing to compare it to. I had nothing to grasp it with. It was a book of his talks, and I was captivated.

Since I couldn't put the book down I kept reading. My wife and kids had gone to bed and I was still reading. About half way through tears started running down my eyes. Then a much deeper crying started. I didn't want to wake anyone up, or upset the kids, so I went into the bathroom at the other end of the house. I closed the door, curled up in a corner and cried my heart out.

It was a very strange and profound effect. One of the major feelings I was having, was one of forgiveness. I felt utterly forgiven. Can't to this day tell you what it was in the book that elicited such a response, but effect was explicit. I went on to read everything J. Krishnamurti ever wrote.

This was the opening into the world of the unknown. In fact, one of J. Krishnamurti's most famous titles was "Freedom From the Known." It was along the lines of Jesus saying, "No one puts new wine into old wine skins. Otherwise, the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. But they put new wine into fresh wine skins, and both are preserved."

J. Krishnamurti was a major catalyst to the emptying of my mind. But, it would be many years of emptying because I had a lot of beliefs and concepts that would need to be dismantled. I joined a Gestalt group and worked on exposing everything I had bottled up inside. Meanwhile, I kept reading.

All this boils down to winnowing out what had been put in by society, my religion, and my own conclusions that were made with poor context, and therefore erroneous. I did not throw out my mind. I just emptied it. I needed to find the truth, and the truth couldn't come into an already full vessel. I have always had a strong mind and it needed to work to come to the point where it could see its limitations. Ramana Maharshi explained it this way. "You use a thorn to remove a thorn and then you throw both away. There is the way of the heart, but with a strong mind, Jnana yoga was more profitable for me.

It took many years to dismantle what I had stored up. Persistence did pay off. In the end there was nothing left but that which is beyond freedom, ineffable, unlimited, unbound, The Absolute.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Perfection of Clarity

Perfection is all around. It is unavoidable. Why? Because all is That. There is no other, so what could be wrong with anything? If one is in this position, then there is compassion for all. Essentially, you can't argue with That. Surrender is the only option. Understanding that all actions are That, what other option do you have? Our judgments can't stand up to That. Reality is bigger than the little self.

The significant fact of enlightenment is understanding. Why, because enlightenment is not a state. A state can come and go. True understanding cannot be undone once it is seen. An example that comes to mind is 2 + 2 = 4. You have to learn something to know this, but once you know it, it lasts forever. 2 + 2 = 4 doesn't suddenly become 2 + 2 = 5.

When the understanding comes, there may be an immediate and great change. Perhaps, even an unraveling of your life as you know it. However, if one has been a seeker for many years and done a lot of contemplation, much of the possible changes have likely occurred. That is the reason that for some, it's just a matter of "Oh, I see. I finally see. I understand."

For this appearance, there were no bells or whistles, no grand excitement upon realization. It was as if I knew the understanding would come. There was an intuition that it was close. I didn't know when it would come because I was not the author of the search. I was the vehicle. The understanding was just out of reach until it wasn't. Suddenly it was there. It was simply a denouement, a culmination. Suddenly the understanding was there.

For many years I had lost motivation. Didn't feel like there was much of a self. Certainly not a self that had goals or ambitions. I didn't compete, except in a manner of doing my best to contribute at work. I had many ecstatic experiences, but they came and went. And, as with many others, I thought that was enlightenment. But again, experiences don't necessarily equate to understanding. They are a state. And states come and go.

My only desire for forty years was to know the Truth. I knew I had done my homework. There wasn't much more that I could do. The search didn't seem like a curse any more. Though in my early years it had. It was a curse because I couldn't stop the search. It was as if a program was running that wouldn't stop without finding. I didn't know it was That looking for Itself.

Of course, the seeker is the sought. But you only realize this at the end, when realization happens. I had heard "The seeker is the sought" a thousand times. But it didn't make sense. "The observer is the observed," was another expression of That fact. You might say I was first cursed by the search, and then surrendered to the search. The search was a given, programed into this appearance. Surrender was the only option.

There was the fact that I was getting to the age where I knew I could die without the understanding. But there was also peace because I knew that whether I was enlightened or not, I was That. But the understanding I had seemed intellectual, not fact. There was something more that was needed, but I had no clue what it was. Simply reading Robert Wolfe's "Living Nonduality" brought the clarity that was the "Aha."

For realization, it seems that it is a matter of conviction. Feeling like the understanding is just intellectual just means that the understanding has not gone deep enough. It hasn't yet hit the core of the self. You might say that after forty years of contemplation, the momentum had it's own trajectory, and reading a book with clarity on the subject finally struck home. Clarity finally ca,e amd went deep. The understanding just slipped through on soft slippers as gently as a breeze.

In this appearance, forty years was necessary because that's the way it happened. It couldn't have been any other way because that's the way it happened. The Absolute is in charge. Not a me. So when teachers say, earnestness is all, they mean it. And when you realize, you know that if the understanding had never come, that too would have been perfect, and ultimately, of no consequence.

Realization or enlightenment is for the appearance, the mind of the self. And yet it is completely paradoxical that on realization, the understanding is that you are not the self, but the Self, the Absolute, the ineffable, the only One that is. The appearance, the self, appears to realize, but it is the Self that just recognizes Itself.

The joy in the understanding is that all that the teachers said that didn't make sense, suddenly does. All the contradictory mumbo jumbo becomes clear. The sun comes out and everything is seen. The search is over. It's so simple it's embarrassing.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Enjoying Realization

Things get very enjoyable once you've realized. Why? Because once you know that everything is ultimately OK, you can just relax into doing what you do, whatever you are doing. Everything becomes fun, enjoyable. In a sense, it doesn't matter what you are doing. Even work. Why? Because all activities are ultimately equal.

Why are all activies equal? Because there is ultimately no good or bad. Nothing is really happening. That is doing what That is doing. Free will for the appearance? No way, and it doesn't matter. Free will can't come into the picture because That, not having ever been bound, knows nothing of freedom. Essentially freedom doesn't enter the picture.

Yesterday and today I took apart my espresso maker. I descaled it and took it apart to clean inside. Difficulties, yes, took me two days.  Yesterday I couldn't get some of the parts off. Today I was successful, even found a duplicate screw in my garage. Two days on an espresso maker? Yes,but not frustraing. All fun. If I hadn't fixed it, or broken the machine, I would just revert to making drip coffee until I could buy a new one.

It is wonderful to know that although there are still preferences, doing what I need to do is just That doing what It needs to do as this appearance. This appearance didn't go away, it still has it's needs, but knowing That is doing all the doing gives space to any doing. Can't really go wrong. That's the experience now.

Any idea of saving or fixing the world is gone. Whatever happens is OK. What happens had to happen, and what doesn't happen is perfectly OK. Very radical from the former viewpoint where everything mattered. But this is a much better view. Think I'll go make some espresso. 

Knowing Is All

I finished "Living Noduality." It was wonderful to read as it took me Home. I can't thank you enough. Seems as if 99% of the understanding was here, but there was this residual belief that, "Surely I can't get it. Who am I to think it could happen to me?" Just a doubt. But that doubt kept a veil of separation, just enough to leave me with some, still lingering, sense of not fully knowing. Your book really did bring the "understanding" home.

The sense of there being no me was already here. Knowing that nothing ultimately matters was here. But, I think I was still, at least unconsciously, thinking there had to be some big, mind blowing experience that would let me know I had arrived. But that wasn't that way it turned out for me. I just knew that I knew, felt a deep satisfaction, and went to bed.

Over the years I have had many mind blowing experiences. A heart chakra opening that put me in the hospital overnight. Of course the doctors couldn't figure out what had happened to me. Short description: Walking with my wife, a huge amount of electrical, prickly sensations started moving down my shoulders to my fingers and I kept asking my wife, "What is this."Then I had an overwhelming tiredness come over me, and I had an internal voice saying, "If you take another steep, you're dead." It was a very powerful internal voice.

Then I collapsed next to a telephone pole on the ground. An overwhelming experience of expansion took over. It was like someone had put a super high pressure hose into my center and was blowing me up like a balloon. My body felt like it was exploding and expanding into the universe. I was certain that I was dying. I gave up.

There were other experiences of absolute bliss where I was not. I could not stay there as there was no me there. As the experience left there were these words, "You are always surrounded by Absolute beauty, always were, and always will be, whether you are aware of it or not."

But that is NOT enlightenment. I had studied Nisargadatta and he repeatedly said, "Understanding is All." James Swartz has some books out, and he also stresses that enlightenment is an understanding. I knew that to be true, but it escaped me. I didn't feel that I needed all the rest of the Advaita Vedanta that Swartz taught. I was looking for something simpler.

Then I read your "Living Nonduality." As I told you, I had read everything J. Krishnamurit wrote, years ago. And I got a sense of the presence from his words. Very mind blowing, but the final understanding did not come home then. "Living Originally" gave me the same sense of presence I had when reading Krishnamurti. It's a sense of the space from which the words come. Not the human author.

I felt the profundity of the words In "Living Noduality." I had the sense that in this book you were writing to yourself, clarifying the understanding you had arrived at. The writing was very clear. It was like a sense of coming home, coming home to the understanding. It's like the completion of something that was vaguely known. Like coming to the end of a sentence and placing the period.

Swartz reinforced the point of coming to the "Understanding." It seems that "Living Originally" gave me permission to stop looking for some particular experience, something special. After all, don't the teachers say it's ordinary. Anyhow, the simplicity of it was brought home. All is That. There is nothing outside of That.

Your call to me, although very short. was confirmation, as you said, there is nowhere to go, the presence is here now. It's not in the future. So, I'm really just writing to you, out of gratitude. The understanding was suddenly just there. I didn't need to have any experience. No particular experience of any kind required. Many teachers I found unhelpful. I didn't doubt their knowing, they just weren't helpful.

What is there to do or know when you are That? Whether you realize it or not, no difference in the big picture. Yet, the satisfaction of knowing is better than not for this appearance.

I am sure there will be many questions of curiosity that will arise, and further unfolding, but there is deep satisfaction here. Remaining questions will all be answered in the knowing "I am That." The implications of the knowing "I am That," will unravel whatever concepts and beliefs are still hanging around, but their days are numbered. Thanks again for your books. The clarity came through for me.

Again, I thank you for writing so honestly and clearly that the knowing came home to roost here.

Robert Wolfe's book is free on his home page at

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Understanding Is All

When you know --- you know that you know. Why is That? Because it is so simple! When you know that you are That, it is a realization, an understanding. Understanding brings clarity. The understanding is so obvious! How could you doubt it when it is so simple?

When you see that the understanding, the realization, answers all your questions. The search is over. When that happens, you feel a big relaxation and go on doing and being what you are, what you always were, even when you didn't know it.

The simple fact is, you are That, and not a person. There is an apparent person here that apparently understood something. But the understanding is that you are not a person, you are only That appearing as a person. It makes sense.

It becomes obvious and self proving, especially when you read the enlightened masters and you understand what they are saying. It's so obvious. What used to seem paradoxical, quixotic, now makes perfect and obvious sense. Clarity at last! You didn't change, you just realized something that you didn't realize before.

And then you can just be amazed that all that reading, all those years of contemplation were needed until the simple understanding behind all the words is taken in to your very core and acknowledged. Once you admit to the truth of it, and see beyond your little self. Then the understanding takes root.

The understanding is: You are That. All that is, is That. The observer is the observed. The Absolute is everywhere present, undisturbed, unlimited, unavoidable, and you are that. 

All Questions Answered

I see that realization does answer all questions. Why is the sky blue? Because of That! Why is the grass green? Because of That! Why is water wet? Because of That. What more needs be said?

Maybe a little more explanation would help. OK. Here we go. Why is nothing happening? Because there is nothing but That. That being eternal, omnipresent, and the only essence there is, doesn't change. If That doesn't change, nothing is really happening.

Why don't I have to change myself or the world? Because no matter what happens, no matter what I change, in the end, what remains is only That. I am That.

The first cause and the last cause is That. So what is there left to do? Nothing. Might as well sit back and enjoy myself. Whatever happens, That is That. That's all there is.