The body and/or mind, hence body/mind, is what we usually identify with as “me.” We really think we are this separate character in the world with its joys and sorrows, victories and defeats, sufferings and pleasures, etc. This is the fundamental mis-identification – through which we keep ourselves trapped within the illusions of the mind.
What is the body? Many Indian teachers have called the body just an accumulation of food. In a way, we are a whirlpool. We have a fairly consistent pattern (that does grow and change with age), but there is a river of food flowing through that keeps it going. Cells are constantly splitting and dying. All the cells of the body are replaced every seven years or so. So like a whirlpool, what makes up the form (cells, instead of water) is not the same as time goes by. Continue reading What is the body/mind and what do you mean we are not the body/mind? Part 1.
You could say Enlightened people make mistakes, but you could also say Enlightened people don’t make mistakes. What is a mistake? I looked it up and saw “an action or judgment that is wrong.” But what is wrong? How is wrongness determined?
For example, when we learned how to walk, we fell many times. Falling could be considered the effect of a mistake (some might even call falling itself the mistake). Falling however is a part of the process of learning a new skill and so is it really a mistake or could it really be considered wrong? We might have fallen a hundred times before mastering the skill of walking. Would you count that as a hundred failures…a hundred mistakes? Continue reading Do Enlightened people make mistakes? Do they feel regret for the mistakes?
With this logic, you would not be most of your own body. You are not aware of what the adrenal or pituitary glands are doing right now. You are not aware of what cells in the body are dying and which ones are splitting to form new cells. You are not likely aware of your shins right now…well maybe now that I brought your attention to it. You are not likely aware of the inside of your nose nor your ear lobes. You are not aware of your ear drums. You are not aware of the backs of your knees. You are not aware of how many white blood cells you have right now or even feel one of them. I can go on like this…but I won’t.
My point is…not being consciously aware does not mean separation or not being it. Continue reading If I am everything, why am I aware of only me?
I can kind of see how someone could say nothing happens and nothing is done. When you wake up from a dream in the morning, you realize it was all in your head and nothing really happened and nothing was done (in reference to the “real” world). Similarly, when you watch a movie in the theater…before and after the movie is just a white screen. The movie was a play of images, and so you could say nothing really happened and nothing was really done.
But this is an attempt to separate yourself from what is being experienced. It is a putting down of the experience. During that movie, you did experience things happening and it may have made you laugh or cry. During that dream, you may have experienced flying or being chased or whatever. For the duration of the experience…clearly something is happening and things can be done. Continue reading Many teach that nothing happens and there is nothing done – do you agree?
The past is mental accumulated content. The future is mental imagination.
If there was no thought, now is the only time. “Now” implies other times that are not now, but for lack of better word there is only the timeless “now.” Time is purely a mental construct and a story we tell ourselves based on perceived motion (particularly repeating patterns) and memory/future imaginations. For example, let’s say I see a cat walking. I remember the cat being there a minute ago, but now it is here, and at the rate it is walking in its current direction – it will be there in a minute. This is all in the mind. There is simply a cat walking…now. Mentally we tell a story about where it has been and where it will be. Continue reading What do you mean there is no time but Now?
Reincarnation exists, if I am to believe my own experience. When I first started the spiritual journey, I joined a weekly meditation group. One of the things this group got into was past life regression.
My first experience with past life regression showed that I had a knack for reading past lives as I caught images and impressions while others were being regressed. The two people leading the past life regressions then took me under their wing and taught me how to do it. Continue reading How does reincarnation fit with nonduality or doesn’t it?
What is a problem? A quick look in a dictionary showed it is a noun that means, “a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.”
There are two key points in this definition that I want to discuss:
- the situation is unwelcome.
- the situation needs to be fixed (i.e. dealt with or overcome).
Really, the only problem we ever have is that life is not going the way we think it should. Again, what is in life is not welcome and we think it should be otherwise and so needs to be fixed. Continue reading Don’t the awakened still have problems…but they just react differently?
I’ve heard this question different ways and sometimes with additional information. For example, the Self is always Awake, and there is only the Self & the Self has always been free.
Let’s start with the Self is always Awake. The massive fallacy with this concept is that we experience directly that this is not the case. This is not even the case when you are dreaming at night. You are asleep in your bed and a world is created from the mind. You see other people, trees, rocks, etc. It is all from one mind. There is no other. All in the dream is only you. Continue reading Isn’t Enlightenment the realization that there is no such thing as Enlightenment?
Whether in the dreaming or waking world, I hope we can agree that there is a happening and events. I do not deny the world’s existence (or the existence of dreams…they happen). Those events are not predetermined and it is not fate and it is not clockwork/mechanical. There is a will creating what is in the moment…ad-libbing and doing improv. There is only the eternal now, which is the Self, and even the Self does not know what will happen. Continue reading Is there free will or is there no free will?
Sitting and being present (as I described in my prior post – What do you mean when you say “be present”?) is not the only option. You can mow the lawn while being present, wash the dishes while being present, eat supper while being present, etc. You can even do work while being present. There is no reason why you could not do things (even work) and not also be present.
Sitting and doing nothing (i.e. meditation) for periods of time can be done too, but you can eat while being present, shower while being present, get dressed while being present…and continue on the whole day being present while doing things. Continue reading How do you “be present” while doing things?