From Joan Tollifson's newsletter:
Hello Friends on the Pathless Path of Exploration and Waking Up to the Wonder of Here and Now...
We humans seem deeply habituated to look for a better experience, a better me, a better partner, a better house, a better teacher, and so on. And sometimes that’s perfectly appropriate, it may even be how we have evolved. But often it’s just an old addictive pattern repeating itself over and over. Life is by nature in some ways unsatisfactory—it includes uncertainty, what we consider mistakes and imperfections, and many other things we don’t like or want.
We seem deeply inclined to believe that “this can’t be it,” and to seek something we imagine would be better, some conclusive resolution or understanding about the nature of reality that will give us the unassailable peace and security for which we long, or some final shift, finish-line enlightenment or awakening experience that we hope will permanently end the sense of vulnerability, uncertainty and dissatisfaction that is a part of embodied human life.
But what if ALL of this, including the dissatisfaction and the seeking and the apparent imperfection, is ALL simply the infinitely varied, ever-changing, evanescent ways in which reality momentarily appears—and what if NONE of it is ever actually personal? What if ALL of it is nothing other than this indivisible luminous awaring presence, this present experiencing?
It's wonderful to read books, watch YouTubes, go to retreats, hear talks and so on, but ultimately it comes down to exploring and experiencing directly for ourselves. No one can do it for us. At times, we may find ourselves reaching for another spiritual book or another video in the same way we might reach for a cigarette, a shot of whiskey, or a bag of potato chips. Instead of actually exploring and simply being the direct, immediate experiencing to which all the best teachings point, we read yet another book describing it instead. It’s like we’re addicted to reading the menu over and over instead of actually eating the meal. Something about the menu feels safer. It’s more pin-down-able. And of course, sometimes the book or the video or the teacher is actually helpful, and the reaching for it is not an addictive move at all. But sometimes it is. And yet, even our addictions and compulsions are also nothing other than this indivisible reality doing what it does. Even to call them addictions is just a label—the actuality itself is inconceivable.
Truly, everything is unfolding in the only way possible. We can’t get it wrong. Nothing can be pulled out of the whole. No wave can decide to go off in a direction other than the one in which the ocean is moving, and no wave is ever separate from, or other than, the ocean moving. The “me” who seemingly might “get it wrong” (or right) is a kind of intermittent mirage-like appearance made up of mental images, thoughts, stories, memories, and somatic sensations. It has no actual substance or persisting form—and no real inside or outside.
The body in which this “me” seems to live is itself an ever-changing process inseparable from everything it supposedly is not (air, sunlight, earth, everyone else, the whole universe, consciousness). Experientially, “the body” is ever-changing sensations (somatic sensations, colors, shapes, sounds, feelings, thoughts). The word “body” suggests a solid, delineated “thing” in a world of other separate “things.” But the actuality of this present experiencing is seamless, boundless and indivisible.
Polarities, contrasts and dualities are an undeniable aspect of this manifestation—but the boundaries between them are porous and ultimately unfindable. Where on the coin does heads become tails? Where in this present experiencing does inside become outside? Where does awareness become appearances? Or night become day? Or deep sleep become waking or dreaming? We can’t deny night and day, or you and me—each vividly and uniquely itself—but we can’t actually find any solid boundary-lines.
We also never find any substantial, persisting, objective “thing” that we can grasp, and we never find the one who is looking or grasping. We simply find so-called looking-grasping-sensing-perceiving-awaring-thinking-feeling-being endlessly morphing into new shapes, infinitely varied but always showing up as one seamless present experiencing.
When the thinking mind tries to figure it all out, confusion appears. But right here, right now is not confusing at all. Sounds of traffic, taste of tea, bird cheeping, sensations of breathing, reading these words, thoughts popping up and dissolving—one whole happening, one bottomless moment. Radiant, alive and unfathomable. Just this, as it is. And EVERYTHING is included.
Love to all of you,
We look back at a selection of talks of Peter's from SAND conferences and host a discussion about his history with science and spirituality
In this live SAND Conference talk Mona offers some beautiful sacred wisdom from her Islamic tradition with that special Science and Nonduality flavor weaving her talk through the ancient and the modern, the light and dark in this talk.
We live in a time characterized by convergences of many kinds, giving our civilization a threshold of significant climaxes and challenges.
An enlightening conversation with the creative mind behind Sati-AI, a unique blend of technology and ancient wisdom
A conversation on Rumi, Sufism, and the deep mysteries of being
Touching into listening, embodiment, the shadow, and devotion with teacher and author Ellen Emmet
A conversation with singing and muscial performances from the legendary Baul teacher and musician
The process of dependent origination is sometimes said to be the heart or the essence of all Buddhist teaching. What is described in the process is the way in which suffering can arise in our lives, and the way in which it can end.
An hour long conversation with mystical nondual teacher at the nexus of compassion and the infinite
Sally, a celebrated Yoga, Tantra teache and writer recently left this realm we explore some videos and offerings of Sally's from SAND
Our fear of dying can sometimes lead to a fear of living the best versions of ourselves.
from The Wisdom of Islam: An Introduction to the Living Experience of Islamic Belief and Practice
An in-depth conversation at the heart of Nonduality with a disciple of Nisargadatta Maharaj
Discussing Judith's new book and her lifelong practice of awakening in and as our bodies.
In episode 4 of our Podcast we explore the traditional Tibetan Buddhist beliefs of death and dying
A wide ranging discussion with interdependent spiritual mystic master
Exploring the cultural and spiritual practices of death and dying with the authors of a new book 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead for Beginners'
The measure of resistance in electrical engineering is called the Ohm. Although this Ohm has no known relation to the common Eastern chants with the same sound, it was no doubt a coincidence
When me they fly, I am the wings; I am the doubter and the doubt, I am the hymn the Brahmin sings.
Not-knowing is a way of slowing down enough to see where we already are.
Exploring the frontiers of what is consciousness from the language and direct experience of science and spirituality
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