Category: Advaita Vedanta



Published on Apr 21, 2017

A conversation about who or what it is that decides to become aware of being aware.
From weekend in Amsterdam, March 2017.


Published on Apr 3, 2017

Nonduality Teacher Rupert Spira and Rick Archer (Buddha At The Gas Pump) are inquiring into the nature of raw or direct experience. If we refer to thought to give us a clear image about reality then we will quickly reach the limits of our understanding. Instead we should forget our identity or what thoughts suggests to us and see that the only thing we truly know is that we are aware.

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Rupert Spira is a spiritual writer and teacher in the branch of Non Duality, exploring the nature of experience in his essays and texts. He has published a book (The Transparency of Things, Non Duality Press, 2008), and a few DVDs with interviews. He holds regular meetings and retreats in the UK, Europe and the US. (Source: Wikipedia.org, https://goo.gl/1hd303)

Rupert Spira shares his views and experiences related to
Non-duality, Ceramics, Meditation, Advaita, Vedanta, Consciousness and Awareness.

‘The discovery that peace, happiness and love are ever-present within our own Being, and completely available at every moment of experience, under all conditions, is the most important discovery that anyone can make.’

‘To believe that I, Awareness, share the limits and the destiny of the mind and body is like believing that the screen shares the limits and destiny of a character in a movie.’


Published on Mar 31, 2017

A conversation exploring two different approaches to emotion in the inward facing path of Vedanta and the outward facing path of Tantra.


Published on Mar 29, 2017

This video of Ira was captured on July 18-2017

The following is an extract from Rupert’s book: ‘The Transparency of Things: Contemplating the Nature of Experience‘…

There is something present which is experiencing the current situation. We do not know what that something is, yet we know for certain that it is present, that it is conscious.

We know that it is not the mind, the body or the world, because the mind, the body and the world are part of the current situation that is being experienced.

The mind, the body and the world appear to this witnessing presence of Consciousness.

If we try to find this Consciousness, if we turn our attention towards it, we are unable to see it or find it, because it does not have any objective qualities.

If it had objective qualities, these qualities would themselves be part of the current situation that is being experienced. They would be experienced by this witnessing presence of Consciousness. They would appear to it, along with all other objects.

At the same time, it is our direct experience that this witnessing presence of Consciousness is undeniably present. It is our most intimate Self.

It is what we know ourselves to be. It is what we call ‘I.’

The current situation is changing all the time. Even if the changes are minute, nevertheless from moment to moment we are presented with a different configuration of mind, body and/or world.

However, this conscious witnessing Presence, this ‘I,’ never changes. It is always simply present, open, available, aware.

Due to the inadvertent and exclusive association of Consciousness with the body and the mind, we tend to think that any change in the body and the mind implies a change in Consciousness.

However, if we look closely at our experience, we see clearly that we have never experienced any change in Consciousness itself.

If we look back over our lives we see that this conscious Presence has always been exactly as it is now. It has never changed, moved, appeared or disappeared.

The very first experience we ever had as a newborn baby was experienced by this witnessing presence of Consciousness. Consciousness was present to witness this first experience, but did we ever experience the appearance of Consciousness?

If the appearance of Consciousness was an experience there would have to have been another Consciousness present to witness this appearance. And if the appearance of Consciousness has never been experienced, what validity is there to the claim that Consciousness appears, that it has a beginning, that it was born?

Likewise have we ever experienced an end to Consciousness? If we experienced the disappearance of Consciousness, there would have to be another Consciousness present to witness this disappearance. And this ‘new’ Consciousness, which witnessed the disappearance of the ‘old’ Consciousness, would have to be present during and after its disappearance, in order to make the claim legitimately that it witnessed its disappearance.

Therefore we cannot claim that we ever have the experience of the disappearance of Consciousness and so what validity is there to our conviction that we, as Consciousness, die?

We experience a beginning and an end to all objects, but we never experience a beginning or an end to Consciousness, to our Self.

We may think that Consciousness disappears when we fall asleep and reappears on waking, but this is in fact not our experience. It is an uninvestigated belief.

However, it is a belief that has taken hold so deeply and become so much a part of the accepted norm, that we actually think that we experience the disappearance of Consciousness when we fall asleep.

As we fall asleep we first experience the withdrawal of sense perceptions or, more accurately, the faculties of perceiving and sensing. With the disappearance of perceiving, the world vanishes from our experience and with the disappearance of sensing, the body vanishes from our experience, leaving only thinking and imagining. This is the dream state.

The thinking and imagining functions are in turn withdrawn and, as a result, the dream state gives way to deep sleep.

In deep sleep Consciousness simply remains as it always is, open and aware, only there are no objects present within it.

Consciousness projects the appearance of the mind, body and world by taking the shape of thinking, sensing and perceiving.

The process of falling asleep is not one of a separate entity transitioning through states. It is simply the withdrawal of this projection.

Due to the fact that we have so closely and exclusively identified Consciousness with the body and the mind, we presume that the absence of the mind and body during the experience of deep sleep implies an absence of Consciousness.

However, that is simply the mind’s interpretation of an experience during which it was not present. It is a presumption based on a presumption.

It is a presumption that Consciousness is in Reality exclusively identified with the body and the mind, and this in turn gives rise to another presumption that Consciousness disappears when the body and mind disappear on falling asleep and, by implication, when the body dies.

This is not our experience in the first case and there is no evidence to suggest that it will be our experience in the second.

There is evidence that sentience disappears on death, but not that Consciousness disappears.

After a period of deep sleep, the Consciousness that was present there takes the shape of thinking and imagining and, as a result, the dream state reappears.

And in turn, after a period of dreaming, Consciousness takes the shape of sensing and perceiving and, as a result, the body and the world are recreated, that is, the waking state reappears.

If we look at deep sleep from the point of view of the waking state, it appears to have lasted a certain length of time, in the same way that the objects that appear in the dream and waking states appear to last for a certain length of time.

Time is the imagined duration between one appearance and another. There are no appearances during deep sleep and therefore time is not present there.

In fact time is not even present in the dreaming and waking states but at least the illusion of time is present in these states. In deep sleep not even the illusion of time is present.

Time, in the waking and dreaming states, is an illusion. In deep sleep, it is a presumption.

The language of the waking state is based on objects and time, and therefore, when we view dreamless sleep from the point of view of the waking state, we think that it must have lasted for a certain duration, because the mind cannot imagine timelessness.

The mind construes that the time it imagines to be real is an actual experience. It imagines that time is present in the absence of mind, in the absence of itself, and therefore imagines that deep sleep has duration. Deep sleep is therefore considered to be a state.

However, divested of duration, deep sleep is in fact the timeless presence of Consciousness that is beyond, behind and within all states and, although it gives birth to the appearance of time, it is not itself in time.

Our experience is that deep sleep is simply the timeless presence of Consciousness that does not appear or disappear.

Does that which is present during deep sleep or rather, that which is present as deep sleep, disappear when the dreaming world appears?

No! The dreaming world simply emerges within deep sleep, that is, within this timeless Consciousness.

Does that which is present as deep sleep disappear when the world of the waking state appears?

No! The waking world simply emerges within deep sleep, within this timeless Consciousness.

The transition from deep sleep to dreaming to waking is seamless. In fact it is not a transition at all. It is presumed to be a transition only from the point of view of the waking state where a separate entity seems to transition from one state to another.

However, from the point of view of Consciousness there is no transition, there is simply a flow of changing appearances, and sometimes no appearances at all, in its own ever-present Reality.

That which is deep sleep, timeless Presence, does not disappear in order for the dreaming and waking worlds to appear. It simply remains as it always is and, at the same time, takes the shape of the dreaming and waking worlds.

At no point in this process does a separate entity fall asleep or transition from one state to another.

Nobody falls asleep and nobody wakes up.

When viewed from the perspective of the waking state, deep sleep is a state. When viewed from its own perspective, it is timeless Presence.
Source: advaita


Published on Mar 24, 2017

This meditation poses questions that elicit the recognition of the infinite nature of awareness as well as the feeling/understanding that awareness is the substance of all objective experience.
From the seven day retreat at Garrison institute – October 2016.

A woman wants to understand why the sense of joy she felt at the moment of her mother’s passing has turned into deep sadness.


Published on Feb 23, 2017

A discussion about the existence of a world made of matter.
From the weekend in Amsterdam, September 2016.


Published on Feb 17, 2017

A discussion about the nature of the mind.
From the seven day retreat at Mercy Center – October 2015.


Published on Feb 10, 2017

A conversation about aligning the activity of painting with the understanding.


Published on Feb 3, 2017

A meditation on the knowledge ‘I Am’ as being God’s presence shining in each of us. ‘I Am’ is seen as the highest meditation and following the ‘I’ or the ‘I Am’ is the golden thread to our own essential being.

From the Seven Day retreat at Buckland Hall, 20 November 2016

Q: In your recent blog post, “Playing 3-d Chess with the Absolute” , you have written about “authentic individuality” or soul… I want to know whether by “soul” you mean that which takes rebirth. This is normally not talked about in non-duality, where it is stated that there is no self.

A: Thanks for your very good question. In many teachings of Advaita or non-duality, there is a strong emphasis on the absolute truth. Reality is considered to be that which is unchanging and which never comes or goes. That way of pointing is useful and powerful in pointing awareness beyond appearances and beyond all that does come and go like souls, bodies, objects, thoughts, etc.

I tend to point with a more relative definition of reality. I would suggest that how long something lasts is an indicator of how real or how true it is. So a thought that lasts at most a few seconds is not very real. A body or incarnation is more real. And a soul that lasts through many incarnations is even more real. But all of these are still appearances that come and go within the ultimate reality that cannot be named or described. So they are real, but not as real as the absolute substratum of existence that does not come or go.

A nice metaphor is the ocean. The depths of the ocean are relatively still and unchanging, while up on the surface there are lots of waves that come and go. In my way of seeing, the waves do exist, but only for as long as they are individually happening. However, when you are being tossed to and fro by the waves, there is no question that they do exist, just as when you have taken birth as a body, there is little question whether that body exists for you. And also there is no question that when the waves subside or the body dies, that they no longer exist.

The soul is like the deeper currents that are also moving and changing and yet have a tremendous effect on the appearance of many waves. These currents persist for a much longer time than any individual wave, and can generate many different waves over time. These currents would have much more effect on our journey than any individual wave. And for those who can sense it, there is no question that the soul still exists when the body dies, just as the currents still exist when the waves subside.

Eventually all currents and all waves subside back into the stillness of the deepest water. And surprisingly, the depths are the most intense and powerful level of the ocean of Being that has the most profound effect on our consciousness. Sensing the depths and vastness of the ocean can put the entire journey into perspective and allow us to see that it is all one beautiful play of splashing, flowing water. Since we as souls are also made of that same water, nothing can harm us or do any damage to our eternal nature.

All of these levels or depths exist simultaneously, and they are all one ocean. The biggest truth is that they are all made up of water, but the smaller truths of currents and waves appear within that one vast body of water. The appearance of waves does not contradict the vastness of the ocean, and the existence of the infinite stillness at the depths does not contradict the arising of the currents and waves. These different levels of truth are all true simultaneously, and they are not separate from each other. The currents and waves exist within the eternal ocean of Being.

A good question is what level of truth is functional or useful in this moment. For discriminating how to steer a boat on the surface moment to moment, being extremely aware of each wave is useful and can even keep your boat from capsizing! For navigating across wide stretches of ocean, then understanding and appreciating the deeper currents becomes useful and functional. And for putting it all in perspective and touching the depths of your Being, then it is appropriate to sense beyond appearances and form to the underlying reality of the infinite ocean of water itself. The flexibility to shift awareness between these different levels of reality allows the most appropriate response in each and every moment to the ever-changing and yet also eternally unchanging experience of the ocean of Being. There is no right or wrong level of truth, there are just all of the different experiences of water here for us to explore. Both the depths and the surface are wet, and they both can be refreshing and rich to play in.

I hope this is helpful.

Source: endless Satsang

Published on Jan 27, 2017

A discussion exploring whether Consciousness is located in the body.


Published on Jan 19, 2017

A discussion about being an activist out of love, not resistance.

The purpose of The Transparency of Things is to look clearly and simply at the nature of experience, without any attempt to change it.

A series of contemplations leads us gently but directly to see that our essential nature is neither a body nor a mind. It is the conscious Presence that is aware of this current experience. As such, it is nothing that can be experienced as an object, and yet it is undeniably present.

However, these contemplations go much further than this. As we take our stand knowingly as this conscious Presence that we always already are, and reconsider the objects of the body, mind, and world, we find that they do not simply appear to this Presence; they appear within it. And further exploration reveals that they do not simply appear within this Presence but as this Presence.

Finally, we are led to see that it is in fact this very Presence that takes the shape of our experience from moment to moment while always remaining only itself. We see that our experience is and has only ever been one seamless totality, with no separate entities, objects, or parts anywhere to be found.

CONTENTS
Foreword

The Garden Of Unknowing
Clear Seeing
What Truly Is
Everything Falls Into Place
Abide As You Are
The Drop Of Milk
Consciousness Shines In Every Experience
Ego
Consciousness Is Its Own Content
Knowingness Is The Substance Of All Things
Our True Body
‘I’ Am Everything
What We Are, It Is
Peace And Happiness Are Inherent In Consciousness
Consciousness Is Self-Luminous
The Choice Of Freedom
The Ease Of Being
Knowingness
There Are Not Two Things
Knowing Is Being Is Loving
Changeless Presence
Time Never Happens
Unveiling Reality
We Are What We Seek
Nature’s Eternity
Consciousness And Being Are One
The Fabric Of Self
The True Dreamer
The Here And Now Of Presence
Consciousness Is Self-Luminous
Consciousness Only Knows Itself
Consciousness Is Freedom Itself
It Has Always Been So
Sameness And Oneness
A Knowing Space
Consciousness Peace ‘I’
Just This
The Doer
Origin, Substance And Destiny
Love In Search Of Itself
Openness Sensitivity Vulnerability And Availability
Time And Memory
The Moon’s Light
The Natural Condition

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