and between the two my life moves."
— Nisargadatta Maharaj
The understanding of the no-self reality can only be discerned when the movement of mind – tainted with what is perceived as positive and negative and governed by attraction and aversion – ends. As long as a sense of self-centeredness is present, there is the movement of desire and fear. This movement is entirely conceptual since there is no actual, existent “self” to “have” these desires and fears.
In the early stages of the “search” the self-centeredness is crude and obvious – for example: fixation as a self with a name, body, mind, personality; or perception of self as a separate person in a world of separate objects. Later, with the elimination of most gross identifications, the self-centeredness becomes refined and subtle, often difficult to see at all.
Let’s take the example of a circle of fine white powder placed on a black sheet of paper. Initially the circle of “self” is clearly seen, distinct and obvious against the background. This is the gross sense of self-identity that most persons believe is natural and normal. When you hear the “good news” as Maharaj says, about your true identity, and as the Teachings have their effect, this sense of self fades away; the powder is dusted away by the winds of true understanding. The circle is no long clear and bright. In other words, you now start to perceive accurately that the interior of the circle and its background are identical. You see that they have always been identical. The fine grains of white powder are just false ideas you had about yourself as a limited individual – temporary, fleeting, impermanent .
Can you see how first all you could perceive was a positive identification of the self-centre or ego, then later you perceive more accurately the absence of a self-centre and the intuitive sense of the underlying, always already present Self?
However, the faint outline of the edges of the circle may still be evident against the background, otherwise how would it be possible to know that the circle has ever been present? Its absence or non-existence implies its presence. What is this subtle, remaining delineation?
Non-duality means no separation – no this or that, inner or outer, higher or lower; foreground or background. Any sense of “this” implies a “that”; any sense of no-self implies a self; any sense of a self-centre implies a background which gives the centre its definition. What is that state, that pure and plain black sheet of paper, in which these terms and questions do not appear?
Self-enquiry is a form of gradual wearing down or erosion of self-identity. This keen observation of the self allows the false self-center to be clearly seen. The enquiry causes the powder to thin out, so that the background is perceived and becomes prominent. Identified with the background, the seeker must remain vigilant and aware. Are there traces of self-centeredness, however subtle, still present? Are there beliefs or concepts – however complex and true –about no-self, emptiness, selflessness, etc. that intoxify and define? What will allow the final erosion, the return to that state that is beyond birth and death, light and dark, self and no-self?
“Freedom comes through renunciation. All possession is bondage. If you do not have the wisdom and the strength to give up, just look at your possessions. Your mere looking will burn them up,” says Maharaj.
For the advanced seeker, have you identified your possessions – spiritual and conceptual – that give a sense of shape and identity to the false self-centre? Just because these “possessions” are precious and reflect truth, does not mean that they must not be abandoned. What are you clinging to, that you must throw overboard?
To be continued.
Please enter the silence of contemplation.
For extending teaching on the Advaitin Understanding – and the removal of the false that obscures Your Real Nature, see the various links on the right hand side of this blog or view the options offered below this post.
Comments / clarifications may be sent to email@example.com
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DVD or Downloadable computer file versions of the Four-Day Advaita Retreat
SIX WAYS THAT SEEKERS HAVE REALIZED:
1. BY WATCHING the 4-Disk Video (DVD) Set, or the same retreat available as a downloadable file. Either will provide an entire seven-hour retreat / series of satsang sessions showing three seekers being guided through all seven steps by Floyd and can provide viewers with an “experiential,” step-by-step series of satsang meetings that will move the viewers from identification with the I to abidance as the Absolute and then to abidance as That Which Is beyond
Some seekers are already using the computer file version and the DVD sets for meetings in groups in homes, playing the retreat, pausing for discussion, etc.
To find out more or to purchase the DVD set or the downloadable computer file version of the retreat, click:
DVD or Downloadable computer file versions of the Four-Day Advaita Retreat
Option “A” is for the downloadable file version, Option “B” is used to order the DVD set for delivery inside the U.S., Option “C” for international orders.
For the download, Paypal will send me a notice that payment has been received and then I will send by e-mail the downloading instruction, password, etc.
[It is recommended that you watch the video with pen and paper in hand. Write whatever you need clarified. You'll see that there are constant reviews and you might find an answer later in the seven-hour presentation. Then, after you watch it all, there will be a common ground for discussion. Purchase of the DVD’s or the file will include the right to clarifications and answers to your specific questions via e-mail.]
2. BY READING these books in this exact order:
IT'S ALL BULLSHIT (And Why Knowing It Sets You Free)
SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY (Recovering What Religions Lost)
[Those two prepare the seeker to question it all]
THE MEDITATION GUIDES
[Provide a broad overview of the understanding]
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DIE?
[Begins to free the seeker of body identification and the desire for body continuity]
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS "PEACE OF MIND" (There Is Only Peace if You're Out of Your Mind)
[Shows the seeker how to be free of the subconscious motivators of the false content of the “mind”]
[Shows the seeker how to be free of the subconscious motivators of personas]
THE ESSENCE OF THE TEACHINGS
[Provides the final preparation for the seeker to be directed along the “path”]
FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)
[Directs the seeker along the “path”]
CONSCIOUSNESS/AWARENESS: The Nature of Reality Beyond Self-Realization (Peace Every Day When Abiding as The Absolute)
[Allows the seeker to understand the functioning of the totality, the manifestation, and what is involved with the un-manifestation]
FROM THE ABSOLUTE TO THE NOTHINGNESS
[Provides the seeker the wisdom to understand the Noneness as well as the Oneness]
Purchase an e-Book now and begin reading it in minutes (except with e-checks that can take 7-10 days). Trusting our clients as we do, all e-Books are provided to you in printable form.
SAVE IF YOU BUY ALL ELEVEN AT ONCE:
(You may order the books one at a time or you may use the following link to acquire the entire 11-e-Book set on sale for $99 if ordered at one time with the “Buy Now” button below. For this option, there will be no download links provided; once the near-instant notice of payment is received from PayPal, your e-Books will be sent to you as e-mail attachments. All are printable for your convenience.)
TRANSLATED ADVAITA EBOOKS AVAILABLE
Beginning today, the 11 Advaita eBooks listed at the end of this post are available in twenty-two non-English languages. If you are interested in purchasing an eBook in another language, click Contact Floyd to see if the language you prefer is available. Again, the quality of the translation cannot be guaranteed but it might make some pointers available to seekers that might not otherwise receive them. If you want to send a translated eBook to someone as a gift, that can also be arranged via the contact link above.
(Charges will include the regular price of the eBook + a US$10.00 translating fee.)
TO PAY FOR A TRANSLATION - US$10.00 - CLICK THE BUY BUTTON BELOW
(Contact Floyd before paying to be certain the language you prefer is available)
3. BY ENROLLING in the Online Advaita Classes
For information, visit Information on the Advaita Classes on the Internet
To enroll visit Enroll in the Advaita Internet Course
4. BY ATTENDING an Advaitin retreat for satsang with floyd and being guided through all seven steps. For details of the retreats offered, please visit the retreat information site.
5. BY ARRANGING satsang by telephone in the U.S. or by Skype internationally:
Use the Contact link for details or for information on making arrangements for a session
6. BY ARRANGING for floyd to travel to your location and meet with you or your group. Use the contact link above to discuss details.
YOUTUBE ADVAITA VEDANTA YOGA VIDEOS
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Click on the arrow below to start Video Two:
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Click on the arrow below to start Video Five: