The Predicament of “Somebodyness” ~ Ram Dass

There’s a great line from a wonderful teacher who died some years ago named Kalu Rinpoche, a lovely Tibetan monk. He said, “We live in illusion, the appearance of things, but there is a reality and we are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That’s all there is.”

What happens to most of us, and I say most of us, is that when you and I were born, we were born into a social-psychological world, a world with feelings and thoughts, that was inhabited by people who were very identified with their separateness. They were somebody. They were mummy or daddy. They were also this and this and this and this, and they were all the different identities they had, and they trained you about those realities, because those are the realities that were real to them.

Let’s say you started out with completely undifferentiated awareness, and then in the process of socialization, you cultivated your cognitive capacities of this versus that and all your conceptual models that are called your ego and ego structure, and then you got caught in them. You got lost in them, so you thought they were real. You got caught in your own creation, because everything around you supported you becoming somebody. You went into somebody training when you took birth, and you ended up somebody. I bet you think you’re real. I really think you think you’ve got a personal history; you think you’re going somewhere; you think you’ve got problems and neuroses and hopes and relationships; it all sounds real doesn’t it? …Boy were you taken for a ride.

Now, it’s not unreal; it’s just relatively real. The predicament is, you bought into the planes of reality that are all in time. That’s a problem because there’s at least another plane where you’re One with it all, and no one is going anywhere. There’s no time – it’s behind time. So there’s a part of you that is not in time, even though the rest of you is in time, and you bought into the part of you that’s in time, so you think time is passing.

When you get caught in your somebodyness, you as a separate entity, relative to the game of form, are pretty tiny. There are galaxies, and you are pretty tiny, you know, and it’s kind of frightening to have your awareness in something so small when everything around you is big and so unpredictable, and you can’t control it. So to the extent you identify with your somebodyness, there is fear. There is fear of what changes, it turns out, because you can’t control it when it changes. There’s fascination with it, but there’s fear in it. There’s fear of death. That colors almost everything everybody does in a subtle way, all the time. Wanting to leave something behind, wanting to get as much out of the moment as you can because you are fleeting; feeling you’re running out of time because there is too much to do.

– Ram Dass

What means “Transcending” and where it comes from?” 

A differentiated view of TM 

What Happens to the ‘Person’ when Fully Enlightened?


‘What happens to the ‘person’ when they drop the body after fully having become enlightened?…”

Rupert Spira, Urban Guru Café Interview 

Kittisaro and Thanissara – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Kittisaro and Thanissara have been married since 1992. They spent 7 years as guiding teachers of the Buddhist Retreat Centre KwaZulu S. Africa and then went on to found Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat on the border of Lesotho and South Africa. They co-founded several HIV/Aids Outreach Programs and currently support Kuluingile Project, a home for children left vulnerable due to HIV/Aids run by Sister Abegail Ntleko, award winner of the Dalai Lama Unsung Hero Award. They lead retreats in S.Africa, UK, U.S.A and Israel and regularly host one to three-month retreats at Dharmagiri. They currently reside in Sebastopol, CA.

Kittisaro is from Tennessee, USA. He graduated from Princeton as a Rhodes Scholar. He ordained with Ajahn Chah in 1976 in the Thai Forest Tradition. He was a monk for 15 years and helped found several monasteries in the UK. His practice has also been informed by the Chinese school of Master Hua since 1980. Kittisaro completed two one year silent self retreats and is co-author of ‘Listening to the Heart.’ He has taught extensively since the 1980’s and is a core teacher at Insight Meditation Society, MA, founding teacher of Chattanooga Insight, TN and affiliated teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA.

Thanissara is from an Anglo-Irish family in London. She started Buddhist practice in the Burmese school in 1975. She spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun in the Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah where she was a founding member of Chithurst Monastery and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in the UK. Thanissara has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from the UK. She has taught extensively since the late 1980’s, is the author of several books, including two poetry books. Her latest is ‘Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth’.

Books:

Listening to the Heart: A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism
Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth — The Buddha’s Life and Message through Feminine Eyes (Sacred Activism)
Empty Hands, A Memoir: One Woman’s Journey to Save Children Orphaned by AIDS in South Africa (Sacred Activism)
The Heart Of The Bitter Almond Hedge Sutra

Website: http://dharmagiri.org

Dalai Lama: We need an education of the heart

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama greets people in Huy, Belgium on May 29, 2006. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert / Associated Press)

When the president of the United States says “America first,” he is making his voters happy…
I can understand that. But from a global perspective, this statement isn’t relevant. Everything is interconnected today.

The new reality is that everyone is interdependent with everyone else. The United States is a leading nation of the free world. For this reason, I call on its president to think more about global-level issues. There are no national boundaries for climate protection or the global economy. No religious boundaries, either. The time has come to understand that we are the same human beings on this planet. Whether we want to or not, we must coexist.

History tells us that when people pursue only their own national interests, there is strife and war. This is shortsighted and narrow-minded. It is also unrealistic and outdated. Living together as brothers and sisters is the only way to peace, compassion, mindfulness and more justice.

The time has come to understand that we are the same human beings on this planet. Whether we want to or not, we must coexist.
Religion can to a certain degree help to overcome division. But religion alone will not be enough. Global secular ethics are now more important than the classical religions. We need a global ethic that can accept both believers and nonbelievers, including atheists.

My wish is that, one day, formal education will pay attention to the education of the heart, teaching love, compassion, justice, forgiveness, mindfulness, tolerance and peace. This education is necessary, from kindergarten to secondary schools and universities. I mean social, emotional and ethical learning. We need a worldwide initiative for educating heart and mind in this modern age.

At present our educational systems are oriented mainly toward material values and training one’s understanding. But reality teaches us that we do not come to reason through understanding alone. We should place greater emphasis on inner values.

Intolerance leads to hatred and division. Our children should grow up with the idea that dialogue, not violence, is the best and most practical way to solve conflicts. The young generations have a great responsibility to ensure that the world becomes a more peaceful place for all. But this can become reality only if we educate, not just the brain, but also the heart. The educational systems of the future should place greater emphasis on strengthening human abilities, such as warm-heartedness, a sense of oneness, humanity and love.

I see with ever greater clarity that our spiritual well-being depends not on religion, but on our innate human nature — our natural affinity for goodness, compassion and caring for others. Regardless of whether we belong to a religion, we all have a fundamental and profoundly human wellspring of ethics within ourselves. We need to nurture that shared ethical basis.

Ethics, as opposed to religion, are grounded in human nature. Through ethics, we can work on preserving creation. Empathy is the basis of human coexistence. It is my belief that human development relies on cooperation, not competition. Science tells us this.

We must learn that humanity is one big family. We are all brothers and sisters: physically, mentally and emotionally. But we are still focusing far too much on our differences instead of our commonalities. After all, every one of us is born the same way and dies the same way.

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of Tibet and a Nobel laureate for peace. He wrote this op-ed with Franz Alt, a television journalist and bestselling author. This piece is adapted from their new book, “An Appeal to the World: The Way to Peace in a Time of Division.”

Source: LA Times

Eckhart Tolle – Awakening of Intelligence!

The True Dimensions of the Divine, Kabir Helminski

Kabir Helminski holds a Sufi teaching “friendly conversation with a purpose”. In answering questions, Kabir outlines the Seven States of 
“I-ness” and many other Sufi principles.

Is There a Place for Ethics and Morality in the Non Dual Understanding?

Published on Nov 24, 2017

Rupert discusses why there is a need for ethics and morality if everything is consciousness or love.
From the weekend in Amsterdam, September 2017

Life and A Bamboo Tree


This is a famous analogy between Life.. and a Bamboo Tree
It helped push me through hard times.. and I wish to pay it forward..
I hope this reaches someone in need.

Deepak Chopra & Eckhart Tolle Talk Consciousness & the Present Moment – Part 2

As part of The Chopra Center’s “Seduction of Spirit” retreat at La Costa Resort & Spa…in Carlsbad, Calif., on April 24, 2013, EckhartTolleTV hosted a live-streaming event called “A Conversation with Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle.”

Who is Looking?
Following Tolle, Chopra took the stage and immediately picked up where he left off. “Right at this moment, as you are about to listen to me, just turn your attention to who is listening. You are looking at me. Turn your attention to who is looking. That is you. That has always existed,” he said to the audience.

That consciousness or “the one who is listening” has been with us all along, and is essentially timeless, he explained. “Time is just the movement of thought that creates a subject and object split. Transcendence is simply going beyond the subject object split – which is an artificial split, and the cause of every single problem that we know.”

Coming from the Vedanta tradition, known as Hindu philosophy, Chopra spoke of the five kleshas known as the cause of suffering. These are:

1. Not knowing who you are

2. The addiction and craving for permanence in a world that is inherently impermanent

3. The fear of impermanence

4.. Identifying with your self-image – all the labels, evaluations, judgments, ideas and concepts collected since birth – instead of your true self

5. The fear of death, which is also the fear of the unknown.

In the real world – the world of consciousness – there are not objects, said Chopra. Objects exist through perception. Another way of putting it is to say, “there are no nouns, only verbs,” he explained. “The universe is a verb. It’s an activity. It never stops.”

All suffering comes from nouns – or things – that don’t really exist, he told the audience. When looking at the five kleshas, or causes of suffering, all of them are contained in the first one – not knowing who we really are, which is essentially consciousness.

“You can’t find this presence by looking for it because it’s the one that is looking. You can’t find consciousness by looking for it because consciousness is the one that is looking,” Chopra explained.

Quoting Rumi, he said “who am I in the middle of all this though traffic.” He explained many of us identify with the traffic instead of the presence around it. We are always looking outside of ourselves for happiness – be it the right person, the right job, winning the lottery, perfect health – and all of this is thought.

“Before the thought arises you are already happy and after the though subsides you are exactly where you started from,” he noted. “Happiness or joy is the starting point, and it’s also the ending point.”

Chopra spoke about an acronym SIFT created by Dan Siegel, which stands for Sensation, Image, Feeling and Thought. These things occur within consciousness, but consciousness is always present with them.

“People ask where do I go when I die? Let me ask you a question,” he said to a person in the audience. “What did you have for lunch today?” The answer was a salad, and Chopra explained the memory came back to her through SIFT, an image, a feeling or a thought. “Where was that image before I asked you the question?”

He said traditional neuroscientists would say the image was in the brain, but they can’t answer where memory is stored at the cellular level. “Do you think if I went into your brain I could see that picture?” he asked the audience member. “So where do we go when we die? We go where the salad was before I asked you the question,” he joked. “We don’t go anywhere because we are there all the time.”

What we call the physical world – the one we experience with our five senses – is awareness within awareness, he said. If we could anchor ourselves in the “space” that Tolle spoke about prior, we can find a new and more joyful experience open to us.

“It’s your ticket to freedom,” said Chopra. “Why? Because it’s the you that never dies.”

Deepak’s Retreat
Chopra shared an experience he had at a retreat in Thailand two years ago in a monastery. Everyone there shaved their heads and eyebrows, went begging for food and shared one meal a day. The remainder of the time was spent in silence and “observing impermanence.”

“It had a dramatic effect on all of us because it threw us into presence,” he told the audience. “When we were leaving, the senior Abbott left us with two things, and I want to leave you with them.”

1.There are no boundaries in the universe. Every boundary is conceptual. In reality there are no boundaries. We create them, just like we create longitude and latitude for convenience.

2. The present moment is the only moment that never ends. Situations and circumstances around the present moment will change, but the moment won’t change because it’s timeless. It’s transcendent. It’s eternal.

“The most important moment of your life is now. The most important person in your life is the one you are with now, and the most important activity in your life is the one you are involved with now,” said Chopra. “If you do that, the unknown will become known to you. The unknown is actually known only in the present moment. Death happens only in time. Only that which is born dies; that which is never born cannot die.”

Source: Elevated Existence

Deepak Chopra & Eckhart Tolle Talk Consciousness & the Present Moment — Part 1[updated Nov 23, 2017]

As part of The Chopra Center’s “Seduction of Spirit” retreat at La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., on April 24, 2013, EckhartTolleTV hosted a live-streaming event called “A Conversation with Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle.”

Both authors discussed consciousness, the present moment, discovering silence and more to an audience of more than 1,400 locally in California, and thousands more over the Internet.

Eckhart Tolle took the stage first and asked everyone to join him in the present moment rather than be absorbed by their thinking, which by itself is a shift in consciousness, he explained. An easy way to enter the present moment is through sense perceptions – noticing whatever a person can see and hear at the moment. A huge amount of our attention is “continuously absorbed by thinking,” and much of what we think is not relevant to anything important, and is negative, said Tolle.

“Every thought has a seductive quality, and it wants to draw you in,” he said. “But if you follow each thought you are at the mercy of what is in your mind.”

Living this way, consciousness is actually being absorbed by the mind. All the things that make life worth living – beauty and joy – actually involve less thinking.

“For joy to come into your life – a moment of joy – you might not realize it, but at that moment there is a space that opens up inside you where you are not thinking,” Tolle explained. “To recognize beauty anywhere, the thinking mind needs to subside and a little bit of space opens up … you might not recognize it, but you are not thinking. If you are thinking, you are not really seeing it. To really see it, there has to be a moment of alert presence where thinking subsides.”

This moment or gap in thinking is the presence or consciousness that resides within us all. This is the space that does not judge another human being, and where we can feel empathy and compassion, said Tolle. However, many people are so trapped by their minds, they live in a “totally conceptualized universe where every human being they meet, they judge, and they take entire groups of humans and judge them – they dehumanize them – and this is how violence can happen,” he said.

Recognizing Consciousness
Most people identify themselves based on images and thoughts in their mind, which have been taken from what they are told by others – their mother, father, siblings, environment and culture. They take this self-image on as their “story,” and it becomes the foundation for their sense of identity.

They often believe in order to feel better about themselves and their place in the world, they need to collect more possessions, or find the right relationship. They believe these things will bring them peace and happiness, but it is never enough.

“We are never satisfied for long and always things will go wrong,” Tolle said. You will never be satisfied for very long if you don’t know who you are and you try to enhance the mind-made sense of self.”

By identifying with the mind, we are only focusing on half of who we are – they physical and physiological form. “That is how most people live their lives, and they don’t know what they are missing,” Tolle told the audience.

While those who find themselves on a spiritual path understand there is a state of enlightenment, they often mistake it for something that needs to be reached or achieved. The truth is, this state, which Tolle called “the transcendent dimension” is who we really are and is always present. The reason people don’t recognize its presence is because they are tied up in the movement of thought and emotions in the mind.

‘Those things absorb your attention, and there is something very vital that you overlook, and that is something that without which you couldn’t even think. There would be no thought, and there would be no emotions. That something is presence – the formless presence of consciousness itself, which is always there if you stop thinking for three seconds,” Tolle explained.

While meditation helps us get there, we can be aware of this state at any moment. This is our other half known as inner presence, he said. Using the room where the event was taking place as an analogy, he compared the people and the furniture or chairs to the thoughts in our mind, and the space holding the people and furniture as the essence representing consciousness.

“Without the space, the room means nothing. It couldn’t even exist,” he said explaining the same is true within us. “There is a spaciousness within you that is continuously missed because you are so interested in the furniture in your head.”

Humanity is beginning to enter into an evolutionary shift where thinking is transcended, said Tolle. We are moving away from identifying ourselves as a thought-based entity and moving toward recognizing ourselves as presence-based entities.

“If you derive your sense of identity from the presence within you, and more and more you become comfortable with spaces of not thinking, you can walk from one building to another, or from the building to your car and just be in the state of alert presence. You see beauty everywhere, and you don’t need to label anything.”

One of the great spiritual practices is the practice of not labeling anything and not interpreting what we perceive. This can be done anywhere, said Tolle, recommending we try it the next time we find ourselves waiting at a checkout, traffic light or airport.

“Instead of waiting, invite the state of alertness in and realize there is nothing wrong with waiting. You either stand, sit or lie somewhere. Does it really matter where you stand, sit or lie?” he asked the audience. “You can use your waiting periods – instead of complaining – to just be present. Enter the field of presence that you are and at that moment you become a spiritual master.”

7 Questions About Enlightenment Answered By Sri Sri Shankar

November 21, 2017 | Views: 132

How long should I meditate to get enlightened?

There is no limit. Time will do it. Your job is to keep the window open, but time will bring the sunlight in. You can’t make sunlight come into your home just because you have opened the window. You can’t say, “I opened the window, but the sunlight has not come yet.” If you keep your shutters on, even if the sun has risen, you will remain in darkness. So your effort is needed.

Can married couples also attain enlightenment?

See, the example of Ramakrishna Paramahamsaji. He was married, Sharada Devi was his wife. There are many such examples like this. So even couples can attain enlightenment. Enlightenment is not something that just drops from somewhere. It is present in all of us.

If the purpose of life is to attain liberation, is there any value for all the time we spend on our education, profession and career?

Each one has its own place. You need to do both. To make a living, you need to work, and to grow on the spiritual path, you need to meditate. Both go together, they do not oppose each other.

Often, we think that only when we leave everything will we be able to meditate here, that is not the case. We see many people who have left everything and sit here, but they take up something else to occupy their mind.

It is not necessary that you have to leave everything, and then meditate.
Want More?

If you have taken up some responsibility, fulfill it.

Gurudev, Is enlightenment just a realization?

Yes, that is why it’s called Pratya Bhigya which means Realizing.
See the elephant that is here does not know its power. With great love, he holds your hand with his trunk and pulls you. He doesn’t know that he can break the person’s hand whom he is pulling. For him it’s a play. In the same way, we do not realize our inner potential. We think we are just this body mind complex with a few emotions, some little thoughts, little likes and dislikes. The truth is that we are much beyond these things, and that is why enlightenment is like the peeling of it.

The word enlightenment is used so many times, that is why it is so confusing. Enlightenment is simply the peeling off layers and becoming hollow and empty. Get to that spot where you feel absolute comfort and absolute freedom. That is liberation, that is nirvana, that is self-realization, that is yoga, and that is unity. You can call it by so many names. And too much reading also confuses you about it. That’s why I say be natural, be simple

We are all on the path towards enlightenment. If we do not achieve it this lifetime, do we pick up from where we left off?

Yes, correct.

What is enlightenment? How does a regular person find out if someone is enlightened?

It cannot be said in words, it has to be felt. You cannot describe love. You can’t say that love is endorphins or oxytocin getting produced in your body, it is something that only the heart can know; your existence can feel something different. The funniest thing is that it is in everybody, it is in the original nature of our being and everybody has it, but it has not been uncovered.

Have you seen anyone in The Art of Living get enlightenment?

Yes, there are many who have this experience — they feel something and it starts happening. They have the ability to love everyone and be a nobody.

You don’t have to label yourself that ‘I am enlightened, I am enlightened’, not at all! If you want enlightenment, the first thing you need to remember is total detachment from all that you see, good or bad. Do you still want enlightenment? Are you ready for it? For enlightenment you need to have total detachment because it is your desire which is the only thing that blocks you from enlightenment. The moment you drop all that and say, “I want nothing and I am nothing”, that moment you realize that all the forms and names are nothing, they are all like waves in the ocean; the wave is nothing but the ocean. This conviction is enlightenment. The sea is there, the sun is there, the moon is there and like that I too am here, that is it. Going beyond time is enlightenment. Not being constrained by space is enlightenment. Realizing you are love, everything else is love, that is enlightenment. Being so natural and feeling at home with everyone because there is no other, is enlightenment.

Source: Sri Sri

When You Feel Bad about the World, Look Deeper Than That – Amoda Maa

Published on Nov 21, 2017

Join Amoda Maa at her East Coast 5 Day Silent Retreat – Kripalu Center, Massachusetts
December 3 – 7, 2017

In this video – Amoda talks about how when we get stuck in “feeling bad” about ourselves or about the world, we are perpetuating separation. She invites you to look deeper than that.

Rupert Spira Explaining the NOW Very Clearly

LLEWELLYN VAUGHAN LEE || AWAKENING 

On Awareness and the Awakening of Intelligence | J. Krishnamurti

Does the capacity of awareness develop, getting stronger and stronger in endurance? Is this what you mean by the awakening of intelligence? If so does this not imply a process?’

Gangaji: Telling the Truth About Gratitude

Published on Nov 21, 2017

If you tell the truth, in this moment, there’s more to be grateful for than there is to fix

Spiritual Maturity ~ Giving Oneself to Life

Published on Nov 16, 2017

A response to a question on “How to live life from the point of view of Tantra?'” – given at the weekend immersion in Mallorca, Oct 2017.

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