If the illusion is seen as an illusion, then why does it not end immediately?

If you see a mirage and recognize it is not water, why does the mirage not disappear?  If you see a magician’s trick and have come to know how it is done, why does it still look like he is pulling a rabbit from the hat?

It is a fallacy and misunderstanding to think that just because the illusion is seen as an illusion (i.e. recognized as an illusion), that it will for some reason end right then and there.  No longer perceived.  The illusion is called as such because of our incorrect understand and ignorance.  A mirage is just hot air refracting light, but the misunderstanding and ignorance would be to think it is water.  A magic trick is done through misdirection, sleight of hand, and props, but the misunderstanding and ignorance would to be think it really was magic and he materialized a rabbit. Continue reading If the illusion is seen as an illusion, then why does it not end immediately?

What do you think about charging money for spiritual teachings?

I am OK with it.  I understand that there is a long tradition in the East (like India) that says you should not charge for spiritual teachings.  However, they also have had a cultural tradition of taking care of the needs of spiritual teachers.  For some spiritual teachers, sponsors and donors give land, give food, pay for publishing books, pay for expenses and upkeep of buildings, and more.

In the West (like in the USA), we do not have such a tradition.  And so if you want to devote your life to being a spiritual teacher (as they do in India), then you may have to charge because no one will else will be paying your rent, paying your bills, and buying your meals.  It is just not a part of our culture. Continue reading What do you think about charging money for spiritual teachings?

Is awakening about personal development or spiritual growth?

No.  Awakening (aka enlightenment, realization, liberation, etc.) is not a process of development, growth, addition, or expansion.

Eckhart Tolle once said at one of his seminars, “this is not a personal development seminar, but a personal diminishment seminar.”  He is quite right in that you are not trying to develop or grow or add to or expand yourself.  Also, a common teaching tactic is to diminish or demolish the ego and sense of “me”. Continue reading Is awakening about personal development or spiritual growth?

I feel like I’m enlightened, but others don’t treat me any differently. Why?

Why would you be treated any differently if you are enlightened?  You will not suddenly have a glowing halo around your head.  Nor will light shine from your body.  Nor will people be able to feel by your mere presence how enlightened you are.  It is a myth that others will recognize your enlightenment and treat you any differently. Continue reading I feel like I’m enlightened, but others don’t treat me any differently. Why?

Are these critical for awakening: celibacy, not eating meat, & abstaining from alcohol?

They are not critical for realization/awakening/enlightenment.

I grew up eating meat and I still eat meat.  I have never stopped eating meat.  Enlightenment revolves around realizing who/what you are…eating meat or not eating meat isn’t a factor in realizing this.  If you feel you don’t want to eat meat, that is fine.  If you feel you want to eat meat, that is fine.

Funny enough, if you give up meat because you think it will help awakening or you believe it is non-harming or being compassionate…this could turn into ego inflation and thus become another obstacle to enlightenment.  I am now a better person because I don’t eat meat and I am now superior to those who eat meat…see what I mean? Continue reading Are these critical for awakening: celibacy, not eating meat, & abstaining from alcohol?

Are there partial or incomplete awakenings?

The idea of partial or incomplete awakenings is a refuge of the ego by creating progress.  It feels good, egoically, to say I partially awakened.  I have taken another step to “full awakening.”  No, that is just being stuck in a new illusion…a new set of chains.

How can there be a partial or incomplete awakenings?  It is like saying you can partially know that 2 + 2 = 4.  Can you incompletely know 2 + 2 = 4?  Both versions are really not yet knowing 2 + 2 = 4.  You either know 2 + 2 = 4 or you haven’t quite figured it out yet.  Or it is like saying you can partially or incompletely see a person entering the room.  You either saw a person enter or you did not see a person enter the room.  If you didn’t see, you are not sure a person is in the room.  If you did see, you know a person is in the room.  Partially seeing doesn’t exist. Continue reading Are there partial or incomplete awakenings?

Isn’t Enlightenment the realization that there is no such thing as Enlightenment?

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?

Doesn’t it take time for ego, suffering, and/or conditioning to fall away?

I hear many variations of this question and so I hope to answer the spirit of the question instead of each variation.  Doesn’t it take time after awakening?  Time for the ego to drop away or time for suffering to end or time for conditioning to fall away or time for the realization to take hold or settle in.

Unfortunately, this is the ego looking for a back door so that the illusion can continue for a bit longer.  Can “I” have more time to battle the ego, suffering, conditioning, etc.?  It doesn’t have to happen now…because it takes time (or so the myth goes). Continue reading Doesn’t it take time for ego, suffering, and/or conditioning to fall away?

Is there such a thing as living in pure nonduality?

What do you think that would mean?  When people speak of pure nonduality, they often talk as if there would be an absolute nothingness/oneness or absolute non-differentiation.  That they would not be aware of the appearances of the world or something or other.  They don’t seem to catch the fact that the idea of “pure nonduality” is just another form of duality.  There is not such thing as pure versus not-pure nonduality.  There is just nonduality.

Life and the world itself is not dualistic…it has always been nondual.  It is our minds that believe in separation.  It is a mental fiction.  There never was otherness.  There is only the mistaken idea of otherness, because there is a perception of many things (that we then assume are separate). Continue reading Is there such a thing as living in pure nonduality?

Isn’t everyone enlightened?

Enlightenment is also called liberation, but enlightenment is realizing that you were never bound to begin with.  So although nothing was gained by enlightenment, what was lost was the delusion of bondage (an illusion of the mind).  In losing the delusions and illusions, we realize our natural state.

As there is nothing to be gained, that is why I think some people mistakenly say “everyone is enlightened.”  Or some mistakenly say “everyone is enlightened” because “enlightenment is out natural state.”  This too is mistaken because enlightenment is realizing our natural state instead of continuing to think who we think we are…with all of our problems and suffering. Continue reading Isn’t everyone enlightened?