fully inhabiting one’s luminous body

Mary DeVincentis - Shunyata (Emptiness)

 

Truly, is anything missing now?
Nirvana is right here, before our eyes,
This very place is the Lotus Land,
This very body, the Buddha.
– Hakuin Ekaku

 
Many of us who have journeyed through the rarified atmosphere of advaita and nondual teachings have been warned that we are “not the body.” And while in some abstract, absolute sense this might have validity, it’s only partially true and distinctly unhelpful. To disregard our body is to turn away from the only access we have to our unique and authentic experience. It is to inhabit a thought-bubble while telling ourselves that we are resting in nondual awareness – either that, or still desperately seeking it.

But “nondual” means just that – no duality: only one. If there’s only one thing happening here, how can we dismiss the body from the totality? How can anything be dismissed? Where would it go?

Judith Blackstone is one of the few contemporary female voices in the nonduality context offering a fully embodied approach to nondual realisation, an approach that doesn’t turn away from or bypass trauma (holding patterns) embedded in the fabric of the body.

Why is full embodiment crucial? Read on:

Most contemporary teachings consider nonduality to be the direct unmediated perception of phenomena, along with spontaneous, unmediated expression and action. In other words, direct, spontaneous participation in life, unhampered by preconceptions. Students of this view are usually instructed to fix their attention on the present moment, or to relax into an all-inclusive awareness.

There are two limitations with this approach. One, nondual consciousness is more subtle than simple attention. It not only focuses on phenomena, it pervades phenomena. It renders all of one’s experience as suffused with a radiant emptiness. Two, the fixations that obscure the present moment are not just mental. Long-held constrictions in the body limit our perception, cognition, emotional responsiveness and physical sensation. We cannot open to our fundamental nature just with our minds, we need to open throughout our whole body. Because of these bodily constrictions, when we attempt to let go into the present moment, we generally let go only from the surface of ourselves. In order to realize nonduality, we need to let go from deep within the core of our being.

When spiritual teachings do not recognize the transformation of the body, the result is, at best, a partial, imbalanced spiritual openness. Students can follow a path for many years without ever finding the spiritual dimension of life. In the Realization Process opening to nondual consciousness does not depend upon a volitional attention to the present moment. Instead, it is an enduring transformation of one’s whole being that persists even during reflexive thinking, intense emotion or while engaged in the I-Thou activity of relationships.

Approaches to nonduality that focus on recognizing and dissolving mental constructions also de-construct the notion of the self. Any fixed ideas of the self, such as “I am a teacher” or “I am a good person” will obscure our realization of nondual consciousness. However, when we realize nondual consciousness pervading our body and environment, we uncover a qualitative, authentic sense of our individual self. Nonduality is neither the subject nor the object of experience. It is the unity, the oneness of subject and object.

Nondual awakening is not dependent upon a particular spiritual lineage. When we realize nonduality, we are not realizing Buddhism or Hinduism. We are realizing our own fundamental nature—the spiritual foundation of our being is self-arising. It is naturally there, and it appears spontaneously as we become open enough to uncover it. Although the different spiritual lineages describe nondual awakening in different ways, the arising of nonduality itself is unmistakable.

The Realization Process is accessible to both beginning and experienced practitioners. It is particularly helpful for people who have glimpsed nondual reality and wish to stabilize there. The work includes practices for direct attunement to nondual consciousness, for moving as nondual consciousness, for releasing holding patterns from the body, and for relating with other people without losing one’s realization.

The Realization Process was developed by Judith Blackstone, but is now taught by certified teachers throughout the world. It is available in private sessions, classes, workshops and teacher/certification trainings.

Source nondualityinstitute.org. My emphasis.



Links

www.nondualityinstitute.org/Realization-Process.html

www.realizationcenter.com

www.judithblackstoneblog.com/2010/healing-trauma-through-embodiment/


Art by Mary DeVincentisShunyata (Emptiness)


continuous awakening

Dorothy Hunt’s splendid poem (which, imho, is as perfect and pithy a teaching as you will find), and the magnificent enso have been reblogged from the Science and Nonduality website.

Boundless gratitude!

 

Continuous Awakening

 

Continuous awakening belongs to only

THIS! that is already continuously awake.

It will never belong to anything

that conceives of itself as separate.

No thought can touch it

No concept can describe it

No practices can produce it

No belief can create it

And memory cannot sustain it.

 

Whatever you can gain, you can lose.

You are not an experience that comes and goes.

The mind that lives in time can neither

experience the timeless, nor hold on to Spirit.

THIS is not an identity to attain.

Its revelation comes in the shedding of identities.

Whatever you may realize, avoid hiding in

a new identity, no matter what words your mind may use.

THIS cannot be limited; all concepts are only pointers.

 

Stop trying

Stop imagining

Stop waiting

Stop postponing

Stop fixing a self that you are not.

Stop pretending to be what you are not.

Stop, simply STOP.

Notice what silently remains.

 

THIS is here before seeking

THIS is here before awakening

THIS is here after awakening

THIS is here without words

THIS is here with words.

Only THIS that is awake, aware,

pure, naked, unstained, indivisible,

and perfectly Whole

 

– Dorothy Hunt

 


http://www.dorothyhunt.org

http://www.scienceandnonduality.com


 

you are the light of the world

You are the Light of the World

 

There is only one thing that stands in the way of our radiant true nature of innate unconditional happiness and peace and living light. It is our negative, self-defeating, insecure thoughts and beliefs, and the actions and behaviors that flow from such thoughts and beliefs.

We can habitually become so absorbed into such thoughts that they begin to take us over and define us and project them selves out into the world around us, as “us”. But we do not have to believe these thoughts. They do not really define who we are. They define who we have THOUGHT we are.

In reality, we are undefinable. We are a radiant light that spontaneously shines through us in a somewhat different way in each moment. How can THAT really be defined? 

But we can begin to question all these thoughts that block the light. Questioning them is itself, a powerful spiritual practice. This questioning will weaken these thoughts and beliefs and will eventually, dislodge them.

And when they begin to dislodge themselves and fall away, our true, radiant, peaceful and unconditionally happy nature can shine forth into a world that so desperately needs it! The source of this light is the same light in all of us. It is the same source in you and in me. But it shines through you and through me in an absolutely unique and wonderful way that can never be reproduced again.

If we don’t let this light loose in our world, it will be a great loss for the world and for us. We are here to shine, to radiate this light out into our world in our own unique way, so that those living around us can enjoy it and dance with it. And we are also here to simply enjoy the shining of that light ourselves! We too can dance with the light!

– Francis Bennett

Sourced from Francis Bennett’s Facebook Page; used with permission.


Francis Bennett was a Roman Catholic, Trappist monk for a number of years.

In 2010, while in the middle of a Church Service in his monastery in Montreal, Francis suddenly experienced what he has come to call, “a radical perceptual shift in consciousness”, in which he discovered the ever present presence of spacious, pure awareness. He came to see that this awareness is actually the unchanging essence of who he really is and always has been; the Supreme Self, talked about by many sages and saints from many spiritual traditions down through the ages. He also came to see simultaneously, that this vast, infinite sense of presence at the center of his being (and at the center of the being of everyone else on the planet) is actually not at all separate from the presence of God, which he had been looking for during his many years as a monk and spiritual seeker.

Francis is now living a “new incarnation” as a spiritual teacher in the contemporary, Non-Dual spiritual Tradition. Francis offers a blend of the Buddhist Traditions he deeply studied, the contemplative Christian mystical tradition which he lived during his many years in monastic life, as well as the Hindu Advaita-Vedanta teaching of Sri Ramana Maharshi, who has been a very profound influence on Francis for about the last 12 years or so.

Sourced from Francis’s website: finding grace at the center


Image source


my brilliant image

light will someday split you open


hold them to your heart

Image credit: Awakening Women on Facebook

 

they will tell you
to never bow down
before anyone

they will tell you
not to give away
your “own” power

they will pour scorn
on your invocations
and your prayers

they will dismiss
your open-hearted ache
for all things wild and abused

they will laugh
at your love affair
with silence

hold them to your heart –
they know not what they do

they do not know
the open secret
too obvious for the intellect,
too close to be grasped

they do not know
the bliss of humility
that bathes the body
and silences the mind
when one has melted into All
and all flows into One

expressing as It wills
(and knowing it, or not)

– miriam louisa

 


Image credit: Awakening Women on Facebook

the unnameable is the eternally real

This piece was drafted a year ago as a second post-script to a post called why you don’t really want to awaken. The first post-script was called your original luminous brilliance. There, I attempted to clarify what I meant by “whose only beacon is this unlit light”.

This post revisits the preceding lines: … whose only muse is this nameless name.  Here’s an extract from the original post, the poem, and a few quotes from different traditions about this “nameless name”.

Who’d have thought that the estrangement and agony, the confusion and the sheer vertigo of dropping out of every version of a self would eventually be known as a blessing, a grace beyond words?  But words are all she has, so the song goes like this:

the blessing

emelle says

homeless
I found the unassailable
rock of refuge

penniless
I found the treasure
that can’t be bought or sold

exhausted and ill
I found healing
in that which is ever whole

purposeless
I found delight
in every uninvited chore

outcast
I found my tribe:
the wild wideawake
wanderlings
whose only muse
is this nameless name
and whose only beacon
is this unlit light

 ~

Tibetan 'Double Dorje' energetic diagram

The “nameless name” is sometimes referred to as “the Word” (“In the beginning was the Word …”) and “the unstruck sound” of  Vedic scriptures. Poets and mystics throughout the ages have coined their own terms for this enigmatic primordial sound, while acknowledging that it can never be named.

Contemporary science now demonstrates what ancient teachings have claimed for millenia – that all living things – including you and me, in fact all things in existence, are made up at the most essential level of vibrating, pulsing energy.

Mystics and meditators are familiar with this energy. I was introduced to its vibration when practicing yoga kriyas – it was referred to as The Holy Name. It manifested in my auditory awareness as a roar similar to the thrum of huge dynamos at a power plant. Eventually it was perceived as a humming vibration around and within all phenomena. And further along, it was realized that my perception of it could not be set out, separated, from it.

In other words, like the Unlit Light of Awareness, the primordial Nameless Name is the essence of what one actually IS. They go together like up and down.

I’m sure many readers are familiar with this “roar on the other side of silence”. (See below.) What seems more elusive, however, is the closing of the gap of separation between the subject (me) and the sound (conceived as an object). The roar and its perception are One. One vibration that has neither cause, beginning or end.

In the Sanskrit tradition, this sound is called “Anahata Nada,” the “Unstruck Sound.” Literally, this means “the sound that is not made by two things striking together.” Its familiar symbol is the OM or AUM Sanskrit seed syllable.

Sanskrit energetic diagram: OM

Lao Tzu:

The Tao that can be spoken of
is not the enduring and unchanging Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the enduring and unchanging name.

The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
The named is the mother of ten thousand things.

He who would rest in perfect peace
must know the nameless name
whence all things rise, and bloom and cease
returning whence they came.

The unnameable is the eternally real.

~ Lao Tzu (a selection of verses from The Tao Te Ching)

Kabir:

If you want the truth,
I’ll tell you the truth:
Listen to the secret sound,
the real sound,
which is inside you.

~ Kabir

Rumi:

I’ve been looking for a long, long time,
for this thing called love,
I’ve ridden comets across the sky,
and I’ve looked below and above.
Then one day I looked inside myself,
and this is what I found,
A golden sun residing there,
beaming forth God’s light and sound.

and

Seek the Sound that never ceases,
seek the sun that never sets.

~ Rumi

Shamas-i-Tabriz:

The universe was manifested out of the Divine Sound;
From It came into being the Light.

~ Shamas-i-Tabriz

Guru Nanak:

The Sound is inside us.
It is invisible.
Wherever I look I find it.

and

High above in the Lord’s mansion
ringeth the transcendental music.
But, alas, the unlucky hear Him not;
They are in deep slumber.

~ Guru Nanak

Ravi Shankar:

Our tradition teaches us that sound is God – Nada Brahma. That is, musical sound and the musical experience are steps to the realization of the self. We view music as a kind of spiritual discipline that raises one’s inner being to divine peacefulness and bliss. We are taught that one of the fundamental goals a Hindu works toward in his lifetime is a knowledge of the true meaning of the universe – its unchanging, eternal essence – and this is realized first by a complete knowledge of one’s self and one’s own nature. The highest aim of our music is to reveal the essence of the universe it reflects, and the ragas are among the means by which this essence can be apprehended. Thus, through music, one can reach God.

~ Ravi Shankar

George Eliot:

If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heartbeat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.

~ George Eliot, Middlemarch

(My emphasis in all quotes)


OM/AUM image credit: that buzz – an article about “the sound of silence” well worth reading at Sharanam Katherine Rand’s beautiful blog on the precipice.

a light with no source

this unlit light blog is four years old this week!

 

this unlit light is four!

 

Back in 2009, I wrote on the who and why? page:

what is this?

so blatantly in my face
yet unable to be seen?

closer than my breath
yet unable to be reached?

shining through the mind
yet unable to be known?

And in my very first post – a naked lie – I made a confession about the only thing I can assert to be real and true in my life:

I know lots of stories about all manner of things, and I acknowledge that they are only the current version of complex commentaries.  But I only know one thing for sure, and it’s not an ‘about’.

It’s this:  Something exists here on this cushion.  Something is alive here.  Something is being breathed here.  Something senses Life here.  I refer to it as ‘I’, but I cannot claim possession of it.  It is just this.  Now.  Here.

This is what I can call real and true.  It passes my test.  It has never changed one iota in this lengthening lifetime.  It can’t be fragmented, measured, observed, described or denied.  All that I call ‘existence’ appears within it, and cannot be separated from it.  There are no words about it that are true.  So I will tell a naked lie, and call it this unlit light.

In the about page my intentions for the blog were set out – and have remained unaltered:

This blog presents a mélange of comments and confessions concerning this unlit lightbrighter than the light of a thousand suns – in which, right now, perception of this web page and deciphering of these words is going on.

The luminous mélange has included references by saints and sages, poets and mystics, teachers and everyday holders of wisdom – all expressing in their own unique voice, their understanding of, and love for this divine light | pristine awareness | mystical luminosity.

I seldom add any comments to these gems.  It seems superfluous – they shine with radiant clarity when falling from the pockets of the wideawake.  Today’s offering comes from Osho.

In haste nobody can come to know himself.  It is a very, very deep awaiting.  Infinite patience is needed.  By and by darkness disappears.  There comes a light with no source.  There is no flame in it, no lamp is burning, no sun is there.  A light, just like it is morning: the night has disappeared, and the sun has not risen….  Or in the evening – the twilight, when the sun has set and night has not yet descended.  That’s why Hindus call their prayer time sandhya.  Sandhya means twilight, light without any source.

When you move inwards you will come to the light without any source.  In that light, for the first time you start understanding yourself, who you are, because you are that light.  You are that twilight, that sandhya, that pure clarity, that perception, where the observer and the observed disappear, and only the light remains.

~ Osho

Just Like That – Copyright© OSHO International Foundation


Source – sat sangha salon – a rich resource, well worth a visit.

Image source – google images


I’m grateful to Nadia at her blog To Know Beauty for introducing me to this extract from Osho.

this awareness is not aware that it is aware

To say that “awareness is aware of itself”
is to split it into two:
one bit as the viewer
and the other as the view.

But is this really so?
(Not according to any teaching
or dogma or philosophy; no,
save me from second-hand ‘truths’!)
What’s the experience right here,
beyond the cunning concepts
that inevitably appear?

Awareness awares.
That’s all that I can say;
its ceaseless unlit light
both creates and acts its play.

Even emptiness is empty
and mind a four-letter word;
my gut rips wide open
as I fall on my sword.

Just this! I cry –

yet instantly it’s clear
that thusness is a step too far
from the lucid living light
that’s plainly shining

h e r e

[~ ml – emmelle – on exiting retreat]