Non Duality

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    I have been reading lots about non duality and watched videos by people such as Eckharte Tolle and Rupert Spira. Both seem to say that we are “awareness” and that you can’t look for for it because you are it. I am not entirely convinced of this. In my experience all that I know is that I am a brain and a body with thought and feeling. I dont see any evidence of some kind of detached awareness that it is all happening within. If I am asked so who is it that is aware of the thoughts or who is it that is not convinced this then just produces more thought about thought etc.

    I listened to Rupert Spira talking to a woman who asked about how to deal with difficult feelings she was struggling with. He told her that awareness doesn’t care. Its only more thoughts made self that care about the difficulties. Awareness is indifferent to whether the thoughts and difficult or pleasant.

    On a personal level my upbringing was fraught with difficulties. There was bullying and abuse and this has had a very real and lasting detrimental impact on my life. You could say that because of past hurts and traumas I have been conditioned in a very dysfunctional way and have very little trust in people or life in general. In a way I guess its why I have turned to Buddhism and these kinds of teachings to try and find a more positive way forward as the patterns of thinking and beliefs I hold have caused me a lot of suffering.

    Even if what Rupert Spira speaks of is true I dont see how it is helpful in any way to someone who is having a difficult time emotionally or mentally. Telling them they are just thoughts and awareness doesn’t care doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t make the struggles, the difficult emotions, the negative thoughts etc any easier so I dont really get the point.

    Hi Kima,

    You write that “the patterns of thinking and beliefs I hold have caused me a lot of suffering,” which suggests you are beginning to notice, at least to some degree, that this you, the one seeking to be free of the past, is not your thoughts and beliefs.

    Enabling your experience to expand upon that noticing, however ephemeral it may presently seem to be, could be helpful. Give more of your attention to this noticing in other words. It is awareness that notices beliefs, emotions and negative thoughts. The indifference that Rupert Spira speaks of might be better described as a benevolent or loving indifference. Sort of a recognition and allowing without concern.

    Are you not aware..? Not a trick question, not something to think about, just simply, right now, as you read these words, are you aware..?

    What is it that is knowing right now that it is aware..?

    If you really enter into this inquiry you may begin to discover that it is you who are aware, and that it is you awareness who knows that you are aware.

    You just forgot. All separate identity is based upon preserving that forgetting. It is a primal forgetting that could be characterized as the bedrock upon which the meta belief in separation rests. As the various beliefs and memories we use to reinforce that forgetting begin to dissolve, the sense of separation itself, some call it ego, will begin to fall away. In the absence of separation is found the truth and love that was always here, which is also what we are.

    Separation is the core belief every human is born into. We are taught to reinforce that belief most of all in our relationships with each other. It is also the one single belief that all of the seeming world is based upon.

    All the beliefs that we have accumulated since we first learned we are not our mother and we are not the crib we are lying in keep distracting up from this simple truth that we are. Continuing that earlier journey of learning what we are not is what some of these teachings are about, in a sense.

    Eventually we can begin to realize we are also not “a brain and a body with thought and feeling.” For as long as we continue to believe we are a body we will continue to believe in a world of separation, fear and pain.

    Within such a process of unlearning there can awaken the beginnings of a trust and a surrender into this truth that we always and already are. It has been called Awareness, Love, God, Buddha Nature… Yet all terms, words and stories are, at their best, only fingers pointing to this that we already are.

    What we are ultimately here for is not about making a better dream life in a dream world. If that seems to be the calling for someone, then so it is until it is not.

    The only purpose of the dream world is to discover we are dreaming. When we first begin to get some glimmers of that, we may also begin to discover that all along and most of all we have been yearning to realize ourselves as the One who is the dreamer of the dream. When it is realized and finally accepted that that is really all we want, the dream will begin to serve the only true purpose it can ever really have, to wake up.

    In the ripening of time everything we seem to believe can be turned around and used by the spirit of love, or in other words by our own heart’s deepest calling, to wake up to this truth that we always and already are.

    Maybe explore some of the other pointings on this site..? And as things unfold or occur for you maybe share some more here..?


    Hi SpiritAwake,

    Thanks for the email. I did appreciate your reply and there was definitely some helpful stuff in there…

    Recently I went on a retreat and I had some mind blowing, life changing experiences while meditating. The first time I remember my thoughts and leg pain sunk into the distance. I was aware that they were still there but they were far away and I felt like all that was left was the breath. My whole body had waves of tingles. It felt amazing and I felt like i could have sat there for hours. The second time I had the feeling of floating up and every cell in my body vibrating. I could also here some kind of chanting. I wasn’t aware of any thought that time. I felt so alive and peaceful like I have never felt in my life. It was like no drug on this planet.

    After the retreat I felt really happy and alive for a couple of days but slowly day by day I feel like I am closing down and becoming less aware of my internal world again. Its really really difficult because I had a glimpse into a peaceful reality I have never known and now my every day life is so drab in comparison. I have continued my meditation for a couple of hours a day since getting back home but it doesn’t seem to be enough to keep up the momentum of what I felt on retreat.

    I know that meditation is not all about feeling blissful all the time and its more about being aware of what is present at any particular time but I have such strong aversion to the down swings and cravings to feel good. I try to tell myself that the difficult mind states and emotions will pass etc but they have a big effect on my energy levels. If i wake up feeling very flat, low energy etc I just dont even want to do anything. Im not sure how to live a productive life with such heavy overwhelming feelings. I can’t seem to function properly.

    Hi Kima,

    There is a calling that is being revealed through your words. Most of what you describe is similar to how a lot of beloveds first begin to experience and then become aware of this calling. Deep dissatisfaction with their lives, and then one or more experiences that seem to make a lie of everything they have believed up until then. Some seeking and looking into spiritual/meditation/awakening possibilities as a part of that.

    Everyone without exception is looking for happiness, freedom, peace, the end of suffering, however it is voiced, and however it may be disguised by belief.

    All sentient beings experience this desire, and at some point in everyone’s journey, in some lifetime or another, the calling begins to break free of all the ways we have been hiding from it, and we start to realize that we are called to return home, return back to our Self, and stop looking for peace and happiness in the illusion of an outer world of separation, seeming others, projections and beliefs.

    This breaking free is often triggered by suffering. The experiences you had during your meditation retreat are gifts, sort of a taste of what the calling is calling us to. The contrast with your “everyday” world lends itself to the seeming spectacular nature of some of it, including the way such experiences can sometimes translate into vivid imagery and sensation.

    It could be that the calling will keep working on you, so that one day, if you are fortunate, you will give over your whole life to the following of it. If that happens it will be because you have said a clear, firm and unequivocal yes to the calling.

    At its most deepest level, the yes becomes a yes to not-knowing, a surrendering into a fundamental trust, because we cannot know what it is we are trusting in these early stages. First we become, then we know. A very different knowing than we can ever imagine.

    We begin to trust what our heart of hearts is telling us, rather than what our mind is telling us. With our yes the calling can begin to lead us, through always deepening and ever more encompassing yeses, eventually back home to our Self, where in simple joy we discover that we never really left, only believed we did.

    There is no fast way, perfect practice or ultimate understanding. It is a huge shift of belief and consciousness that is being called for if one truly takes up this journey. It is a great un-doing, rather than a doing. In one sense it is only a small movement, from the belief that we are separate from God, to recognizing that we never left, only imagined we did. We are what we always have been and always will be, the Love of God. In actuality there is no movement at all, the apparent shift being merely the dropping away of illusion.

    Terms like “direct path” and similar are relative terms and can be very misleading. Compared to the paths that a world founded in the belief of separation promote and insist upon, any path one takes that begins to question those beliefs is going to be more relatively direct. Questioning a whole (seeming) world’s assumptions, beliefs and convictions is also going to seem like a very difficult path at first, because we have been conditioned by all those same beliefs of separation since the beginning of existence.

    The short of it, in regards to what I am trying to say now, is that there is not a “solution” or “answer” that anyone is ever going to be able to give you.

    There is only taking up the journey, stepping out onto it without looking back, and without asking how long or how far. Once that happens Existence can begin to help and show the way, each of us upon our own incredibly unique paths that is paradoxically the same path everyone must eventually follow. At some point we may even find ourselves sharing some of it with others in helpful ways. In these moments Existence seems to be using me to share some of it with you.

    We must begin to say yes to Existence first though, simply because we do have free will. Yet this is the only real or true choice that our free will gives us, yes or no, return to the Love that we Are, or continue on for a while longer in the beliefs of separation, where all the illusions of choice give rise to the ten thousand things, and a world of suffering and pain. Eventually though, every beloved will find their yes and return Home. But why waste time? Why not now?

    There is a lot on this site. Explore some of it, enter into it a little bit, and see if there are some openings you could maybe find yourself passing through, so to speak… Every page has a place where engagement can happen, and of course here on the forum.

    Post questions, inquire, wherever you want.

    Warm regards…

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