Would you say there is no doer and no choice?

Really, it does not matter if you call something choice or fate/scripted/preordained.  Either you can say you chose it all or you can say you chose none of it.  I find the “no choice” side tends to promote distancing and escapism.  Distancing and escapism is contrary to nonduality.  You are this and you can’t get away from it.  So I tend to speak from the choice side.  This tends to promote more intimacy and engagement with what-is.

Really either stance is fine, but the problem is when we say we chose something and other things just happen to us…that is duality.  We want to pick and choose…some things are my choice and some things are not my choice. Continue reading Would you say there is no doer and no choice?

Should I just stay as the Witness? The Self is the Witness…right?

There is no such thing as “the Witness”.  There is only awareness.  There is seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling.  There is no seer, no hearer, no feeler, no taster, and no smeller.  At best, you might say there is witnessing, but there is no witness.

Saying you are the witness is a subtle way for the ego to sneak in through the back door.  The ego says, “I am the witness of my thoughts, feelings, experiences, etc.”  This is true…for the ego.  What you really are is “awareness-ing”…in which there is thinking, feeling, experiencing, etc.  There is no noun.  To use a noun – as in ‘I am a witness’ – is a way to have an object to identify with.  In reality, you are the witnessing itself without a who/witness. Continue reading Should I just stay as the Witness? The Self is the Witness…right?

Does the Self have emotions or is it part of the body/mind experience?

Duality does not exist outside of the mind.  There is only the Self.  This question is already coming from a dualistic perspective – Self or body/mind.  The body/mind is within and not other than the Self.  So if you experience emotions…the Self experiences emotions.  You are not other than the Self.  As Alan Watts once said, “you are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.” Continue reading Does the Self have emotions or is it part of the body/mind experience?

I struggle with feeling “contracted” & wonder if there is something there to unravel.

Some people talk about feeling an inner knot or feeling contracted. We often identify with this sense of contraction. We also try to expand or open ourselves. Whether we feel contracted or open does not matter, who/what we really are is beyond both feelings. Do not be fooled by the illusion of thought…but also do not be fooled by the illusion created by this feeling of contraction or expansion. It is the same inside this bubble as outside this bubble…and the film barrier is only a thought and feeling.

Cease struggling against the feeling on contraction.  Just recognize it as a passing feeling within awareness. It has nothing to do with a “me”. You are That…which includes any feeling of contraction, expansion, or any other feeling. Continue reading I struggle with feeling “contracted” & wonder if there is something there to unravel.

Why do my old habits of thinking I am a separate self keep returning?

There is a distinction I want to make between thinking you are a separate self and believing/feeling deep down that you are a separate self.  Only you can say for certain which it is for you.

Thoughts of a separate self may always return.  Thoughts are not you.  Thoughts are largely not controlled by you.  Thoughts just happen.  The brain/mind creates most of the thoughts in relation to a “me”.  The brain/mind is trying to protect this organism from danger and to continue living.  And so thoughts about “what could happen to me” may arise…even after enlightenment.  Awakening just means you have seen through the illusion of “me” and so although the thought “what could happen to me” may arise, it simply is not believed.  You do not suffer from worry after the initial random thought. Continue reading Why do my old habits of thinking I am a separate self keep returning?

Don’t you have problems? If not, why not?

I often say that upon awakening there is a ceasing to have problems.  Problems are really fictions of the mind.  They are judgements and opinions about what is happening, what has happened, or what might happen.  We are the ones that make things problematic.  Put another way…the only problem we have is that life is not going the way we think it should.

Awakening is also a seeing through the fictitious “me.”  Who has problems?  Only the fictitious “me.”  If you really don’t identify with the fictitious “me” and realize there is only the Self, where can the problem arise?  It is like saying “I have a problem with myself.”  There is only the Self…why do you see the Self as problematic and who would see the Self as problematic? Continue reading Don’t you have problems? If not, why not?

What is the body/mind and what do you mean we are not the body/mind? Part 1.

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.

I am trying to quiet my mind. Should I just witness my thoughts?

There are two things I want to cover regarding this question.  The first is that it is best to not try to quiet the mind.  That is fighting the mind and that battle will never end in victory for you no matter how long you fight.  It becomes a never-ending battle.  When you are trying to quiet the mind, you are actually agitating and fueling the mind to create more thoughts.

In the yoga sutras of Patanjali, on the first page, is the line, “Yoga is the cessation of the revolutions of the mind.  Then the Seer [i.e. Self] abides in its own nature.”  The mind revolves like a wheel spinning.  So, when you try to quiet the mind, you are actually helping to spin the wheel and the mind continues to revolve. Continue reading I am trying to quiet my mind. Should I just witness my thoughts?