Friday, April 18, 2014

Non-duality and Conflicts in the World by Peter Dziuban - Part 2

Non-duality and Conflicts in the World - Part 2
by Peter Dziuban

[From Peter Dziuban's forthcoming Online e-Book: "Timeless Infinity"] 

(Continued from Part 1)

From CIA p: 231:

               Now look very closely where all—every last bit—of that so-called long past is. The entirety of it  would be found only right here in that current thinking of it. The entirety of what is mistakenly called "the past" isn't past at all—all of it is being projected only right now in that bunch of current thinking. That's the only place you come up with any of it!

               Mistaken human belief would try to say there are both that current thinking of a past and the other "real" past—the one that occurred in a physical world at a previous time. Why is that not  true? Because, again, absolutely all there is, is Consciousness—which precludes there being any physical world. And the fact that Consciousness, All, is changelessly Present only, precludes there being any previous time.
               The would-be ignorant "sense-mind" doesn't realize that its "world" never is a separate physical world, but just its own dream-like thought. So all that the entire so-called past ever could have been "made out of" is thought. And when you examine it closely, you see the shocking truth—that dream-thought never is something that occurred "way back then"—for the entirety of it is being  mentally projected just now!
               Go ahead, try as hard as you can to come up with a little bit of a "past," or a whole lot of it, in some place other than the current thought of it. It's impossible.

From CIA p: 233:

               Since the only place all of the so-called "past" would be, is in the thought of it starting right now, there has been no long accumulation of a past!  None! There is no past as a long continuum—for all there is, is Pure Present-ness.

From CIA p: 235-6: (Also found under "Present Consciousness" in the Writings section of the website)

               All-Present Being leaves no firmly entrenched problems!  All-Present Being leaves nothing to function as a secondary time-dream—no time mentality to assume it has long-honored problems  of disease, poverty, morality—or religious or national clashes.
               Even if such "problems" could be legitimately mentioned, they would be exactly like a dream, in  the very first scene of which, the very first words spoken by the first character to appear in the dream were something like, "We've tried and tried to find a way to end this conflict. But it's been  going on for so long, people have grown accustomed to it; it's become a way of life."

               Hey! The dream just started!

               There has been no long conflict, although everything about the background appearance, the dream's story line, would try to make it appear so. Some of the dream characters even may  appear aged, and some young. It may appear they live in an aging universe, and even use dream- science to show dream-evidence of their universe's great age.  But because the dream just began, how old could any of it be?

               If one mistakenly ignores the truth of Timeless Awareness, and starts with time-dream, or the un-  Real, one has taken on its state of unreal thinking. So naturally it is assumed everything has a long   background behind it.  It is assumed there are "long-term" problems that also must take a long  time to overcome. That all would be its assumption, not Yours.

               The Present's Timeless Absoluteness leaves no prior assumption of anything. The Absolute Present leaves no prior time, and no prior dream appearances—none. To the One Who Unfailingly Is All- Present, not a single time-event occurs.

               It isn't that the Absolute Present erases a past history of world problems.

               The Absolute Present leaves no history having occurred.

               The Absolute Present leaves no history of even Itself! Not even the Present has been before!

               All there is, is pristine Never-before-ness.

               There is only Pristine Pure Life in all Its indescribable Beauty—Absolutely Everywhere!

               A sparkling clean slate is all there is—permanently!

               Your entire Existence is so gloriously pure and fresh, so new and breathtakingly free, there are no words for It!  And only this Pure Absolute Freedom is present. Forever!

               This is why Omnipresence, Reality, or God, never can be used to improve previous human affairs, for there haven't been any previous human affairs!

               Nothing has happened yet!

               How could this Pristine Present-ness I Am possibly need to change or improve something that hasn't even happened? How could I fall for a dream appearance when only I Am, and there hasn't been any prior appearance? What's more, how could this Presently Pure One I Am have to improve an appearance that never will appear because only I Am?

From CIA p: 223:

               Does All-Present mean all or not? Are you judging by never-present time-senses, a fictional wispy state of thought that is-not, and letting its dreaming continue to appear as such conditions? Or are you busy being What Is, Absolute Present Reality, Power Itself? What is the Conscious Present Itself doing? Is there another being conscious, present?

               The un-lapse-able Absolute Present completely precludes there being any negation of Itself called time. So there can be no negative effects of time. As the Present specifically aware here, now, is changelessly All Presence, It has given up none of Its Absolute Being so a state of nonbeing, or history of national, religious, or racial animosity could operate.

               In the absolutely present Present, no past has occurred—thus there can be no past tendency of personal greed or selfishness, wreaking environmental havoc on a planet.  Again, in un-set-aside-able Present Reality there is nothing carried over from a past, since no past has happened. So nowhere in Your All-Inclusive Present-ness is there a desire for drugs, which in turn would fuel a history of crime.

               Do you say there are others out there with separate minds that are causing such problems?  Is Omnipresent Awareness Itself claiming such separate minds exist? There are no separate minds  anywhere. This One Present is the only One that is aware.
               Are you willing to admit that because this very Awareness is the Absolute Changeless Present, no such "problems" ever have had presence, no history of existence whatsoever—that no such thing ever really occurred? Absolute Present Reality never clears up problems, for no problems are present to be cleared up! They merely cease being "imagined" by a mind that isn't.
               It is Your Self that is the Absolute Present being spoken of.  As You are all that is present, it means Your conscious certainty that only the Present is present is all that is ever present—all that is  functioning!
So…Awareness (which is THIS present Awareness) precludes there being physical distance where anything separate could go on. There is only the Self-immediacy of Awareness' own ease, lightness, purity. To this present One, there also is no prior time at all—only an absolutely clean slate being the entirety of what exists! This is why this history-less Awareness, which is "without a second," utterly without otherness or opposition—only Its pure, clean Presence—is sometimes labeled "Peace."

From CIA p: 324:

               The Effortless Peace being present right here, now, is as potent and effective at the seemingly  most distant points all across "Earth" and a "universe" as It is right here, now!  Why?  There are no  distant points! All always is right here, as this Present Consciousness, which is Peace Itself. To Consciousness, a sense-dream of time and space and separation, never began—never has been present to interfere. All is Present Consciousness, Peace Itself.
               One never tries to correct a dream-world, or tries to have Peace spread "out there," for in Infinite Conscious Being, in All, there is no physical distance in which to have such a thing. Only Here, as  Peace's Conscious Ease, is all of Existence existing. Absolutely all there is, is the Ease of Peace that is alive Here; this All-Present Conscious Love.

               Peace's Changeless Absolute Presence precludes a changing time dream of nations, races, factions, or people developing a desperate need for peace. To insist there is a world separate from One, "out there," needing peace would be trying to superimpose a never-began dream state upon the Ever-Present Peace that Consciousness is Now. Who is there to do such a thing, Conscious Peace Itself being All?
               Peace's Utter Presence cannot be resisted by any body or thing. Mere things don't have minds with which to act contrary to the Already Omnipresent Fact that Peace is. Peace Itself is the only Presence, Self, or Mind there is. This never changes. It is Life's one hundred percent guarantee that the Ease of Peace is all that is ever existent and functioning.

From CIA p: 323:

               Peace is all that is ever present—as the Present Itself. This is the only place Peace ever can be—as the Effortlessness of One's Present Being. It means there is no wait for Peace to arrive any more  than this Present Being is waiting to arrive. Peace already fully is.

               Peace, the Effortless All-Embracing One, is being You now. That means You are the only One that ever can "experience" or be Peace, be Heaven, for what appears to be the entirety of Existence.  How often have you seemed to assume (actually Your Self never has) that there is a "personal you" and Peace...that there is "a" Peace you must wait for... connect with ...must some day bring  about...a Peace that hopefully, as you stick with Oneness, will appear to "spread over”  Existence? Absolute Peace already is being all of Existence now—so It is not a hoped-for quality that some  day will "come over" Existence.

               Softly Alive Peace Itself is now "occupying" the entirety of Presence as Omnipresent  Consciousness. Peace is present unconditionally, as All Presence. Omni-Peace already has "happened." Peace does not wait to enjoy Its own Omnipresence.

               …Any attempt to wait for Peace to come about in time, instead of consciously being It now, would   be merely dreaming that Peace can be postponed. Yet Peace never can actually be delayed any more than the Present can be delayed. Peace Itself is the Only One existing, alive, in the first place. As Peace Itself is literally all Presence, It leaves no absence of Its Presence, and no other that could ignorantly wait for Peace.

Bottom line regarding so-called "world affairs": Peace's Presence, as THIS history-less Awareness, is all that exists—eternally. Peace's un-withholdable purity and ease is the only "affair" existent.

(To Continue ....... Part 3)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Non-duality and Conflicts in the World by Peter Dziuban - Part 1

Non-duality and Conflicts in the World - Part 1
by Peter Dziuban

[From Peter Dziuban's forthcoming Online e-Book: "Timeless Infinity"] 

Vijay:  I'd like to discuss more of what Awareness "means" when it comes to "world affairs" because it seems this is a topic that doesn't come up much in Non-duality.

Peter:  Yes, it would be good to take a real close look at them. Exactly what are "world affairs"? What, really, is that which appears as international relations, environmental problems, financial/poverty issues, natural disasters, terrorism, and all the rest.  Exactly, specifically where are they going on?

And what has Awareness to do with all this?

First, let it be clear that the "stance" or "perspective" being spoken of here is that of pure Awareness—which is the real, only stance existent, because only Awareness is aware, present, alive to begin with!

So…right here, now...what is Awareness to Its own pure Aware-ing?

This does not mean thinking about Awareness or intellectually agreeing, "Yes, Awareness is aware-ing." It is THIS very Awareness, un-thinkingly alive as the silent Presence It is. Awareness is clear, calm, still, as It "experiences" Its silent aware-ing—rather than thinking about Itself. Because words are being used here, it is easy to identify only with words and thoughts about Awareness. So just stop reading a moment and be or "taste" this silent clear Presence here, now. This now is not another who has "turned to" Awareness—this is Awareness Itself—for only It "knows how" to be aware here, now.

Start or abide Here and be or "feel" this alive ease or Presence while continuing to read.

Now, look directly for evidence regarding Awareness and these "apparent world affairs"—as has been discussed here before.  Can Awareness be said to have a boundary or limit—a point where It goes only so far and some greater state, one outside of Awareness begins? No. Many things appear to be outside or beyond the body now sitting at this computer screen—but nothing is beyond Awareness.  Stop a moment and see this for yourself, as Awareness.

What about what appears as the entire so-called world or planet? Is any of it, even in its apparent form, separate from or outside of Awareness—having its own independent presence? No. If not for Awareness, there couldn't even be said to be a world or planet, or any of the affairs thereon.

Much has been done here in previous posts to show the "transparency" of what appear as all things, or so-called objects. The entire would-be physical world (planet) of separate objects has been deconstructed to show it would be, at most, merely "mental" or thought. There is another example of this in Chap 13 of Consciousness Is All, free on the website on the Reading Room page.

What this means right here, now, is that, what appear as all objects—ranging from the so-called object earth, to land masses or countries, to bodies in those countries—every last one of these so-called "objects" really would be just "mental" or so much  thought, similar to dream-like mental images. Some of the body-objects (which aren't really objects) appear as mental images which are labeled normal citizens, some are labeled as government leaders, some as terrorists.

Now look at these images very closely. Can any evidence be found for separate "minds" or awarenesses inside those images? Are there separate minds there that can disagree with each other, act selfishly or greedily, or hate each other? The images may appear to be animated and have sounds coming out of their mouths called "talk"—but are there really separate awarenesses there? No. At most, they appear to be like images on a movie screen which have no awareness inside them.

Where, really, is the only Awareness, Presence, Power, that is present for what appears as this entire picture? It is THIS very Awareness aware right here. There is absolutely no evidence for another awareness anywhere. This, again, is NOT referring to a so-called personal awareness of a Peter-body, or a Vijay or any other body.  It is bodiless, boundless Awareness.

When it seems Awareness is ignored, and there is identification as one so-called "body," it is easy to assume: "Oh, those world problems are going on `way over there' far away from this body-me, in a distant foreign country.  Fortunately, those problems don't directly affect me (this one body), and besides, there is nothing that I (this one body) can do about them anyway."

First, look at this assumption that there is a place known as "way over there" where there could be problems going on.

It's one thing to start from the five senses and human thinking and say, "Oh, there's no separation, all is One"—all the while mistakenly assuming there still is physical distance, and that everything is somehow connected across that distance.

It is quite different to be pure Awareness, and be crystal clear that there is no such thing as physical distance!

From CIA p. 133:

               The act of sensing and the "thing" sensed are one. No thing exists separate from the sensations of      it—and no sensations exist separate from what is sensed. In other words, there aren't sensations of  a thing—only sensations as that thing. This appears to be true for all items in finite human experience!

               What it means is, there isn't the finite sensing mind and any item, or any form of experience apart     from the mind. It all is the mind; it is one. It means the finite "sense-mind" doesn't ever think about    a condition—the mind is the condition. The mind doesn't visit or think in terms of places; the mind  literally is the places. It doesn't sense all the planets and things in the stellar universe. The mind is all the things; it is the universe.

               The traditional misconception always has been that sense data is "taken in" from a thing "out       there" that is separate. There never is a separate object or thing out there from which to take sense data. Rather, it always would be the finite "sense-mind" experiencing itself—which it calls a  body and universe of separate things.

From CIA p. 159:

               The fact that there are only sensations, only "mind stuff"—and no separate physical objects from      which sensations come—proves there is no physical space. Why? To take up space, things would   need to be separate objects—for only objects would occupy three-dimensional space, not passing  sensations experienced in a dream.  As there are no physical objects, thus no physical space, anywhere, but just dream-like thought, then there is no physical distance or depth anywhere.

You already may see what's coming next. What about the assumption that there is a long background or "history" of world problems and international relations that have been going on so long they are un-resolvable? Who says so?  Is history-less Awareness accepting any such thing? Where is One's stance—as ignore-ant dream-thought, or as Awareness? Where is Awareness taking Its "stance" as the only ONE aware? Can Awareness be ignore-ant of Its very Presence?

(To be Continued ..... Part 2)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Baseball and Non-duality

Thanks to all our Members and the readers, we will be celebrating the completion of five remarkable years of this Blog today.

I do not know how far the Blogger Stats can be relied on.  If we go by those numbers, the readership for this Blog comes from eighty countries and the monthly pageviews exceed 2000.  (Members who are more knowledgeable may correct me, but I suspect the count by the Blogger may include the web crawlers of spamsters).

A few of our Posts are reproduced by other blogs and occasionally some get translated into Spanish, Polish etc. languages.  I found one Web site rating this Blog high amongst Non-duality blogs.  We are grateful to all of them.

The most popular Post so far at our site has been the one on Annette Nibley with over  3107 page views to date.  The second most popular article was on Ardhanareeswar with 2846 pageviews.

On this happy occasion it gives me immense pleasure to write about my good friend  Gale McCray who has a charismatic personality and an ever shining smile on his lips.  I know no other person who might have met and dialogued with as many Non-dual teachers as Gale has.  He is a happy volunteer at many Non-dual gatherings like SAND, immersing himself in Non-dual wisdom of all shades.  
Gale is an avid fan of baseball game and he intertwines entertainingly the game with Non-dual teaching.  Jerry Katz interviewed him and Charlie Hayes last Wednesday  on the Nonduality Talk Radio. Here is the link to the audio record of their lively conversation. 

No matter where we are or what we do, every action done as an offering to that attributeless, formless and eternal Beingness-Knowingness-Infiniteness is the ultimate in Non-dual living.  It is this simple message that we learn from Gale's unassuming and modest life.  Thank you Gale.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Contemplative Meditation (nididhyAsana)

Contemplative Meditation (nididhyAsana
by Vijay Pargaonkar

[Vijay Pargaonkar moved to the USA as a teenager over four decades ago. Nevertheless, he did not give up his deep interest in the ancient Indian philosophical thought. He practiced TM and followed the teachings of Ramana and Nisargadatta for a few years. He then shifted to Advaita by taking up a systematic study of dasbodh of Swami Ramdas, pancadasi of Swami Vidyaranya and the Upanishads.

Vijay Pargaonkar is an electrical engineer by profession and lives in Wisconsin, USA. I am grateful to him for his write up on nididhyAsana for publication at our Blog. He can be reached at -- ramesam.]

Contemplative Meditation (nididhyAsana
by Vijay Pargaonkar 

 [nididhyAsana is the contemplative meditation stage in the traditional advaita teaching. It is the third and final phase after shravaNa (learning the Non-dual message) and manana (reflecting on the message until
all the doubts are resolved). nididhyAsana is an umbrella term. It stands for all such methods that are helpful in ingesting the teaching of Oneness of the Seer – seen and in having an unbroken thought on brahman, thus facilitating the abidance as brahman.]

I used to believe: I am a karta (doer/ agent for action), bhokta (experiencer), pramAta (knower) and the jagat (the external world) is real.  After practicing sAdhana – chatushThaya and intense shravaNa and manana and guidance from a few knowledgeable people, I have realized the following:  

 ü jagat is a series of vRitti-s (thought-waves) arising and fading as mind one frame at a time. Each frame seemingly has an object(s) and a subject “i.”  While the objects keep on changing, the subject “i” apparently remains the same assuming different roles as karta, bhokta, pramAta etc.

ü The objects are mere names and forms just for the sake of ID-ing and their substratum is the sat brahman. Also the subject “i” confined to my body-mind does not truly exist. The Witness (sAkshi) of both “i” and the objects is the Real “I”, which is the one Consciousness in all.

ü What I have been taking to be ‘me’ thus far has been in fact a mis-identification of myself with the limited body-mind.  In truth, I am the witnessing Consciousness (sAkshI caitanya) and the substratum for the jagat (Including the ‘me’). So the real ‘me’ (aham) and brahman are the same – aham brahma asmi.

ü Now that aham brahmAsmi realization is ingrained in me, I do not have a sense of a separate “i” or “me”. I understand that there is no separate “me” as an entity anywhere. That means that there is no ‘ego’ existing as an independent entity. So "I" never thinks in terms of “I am ‘this’ or ‘that’.”  However, "I" in its infinite freedom may take the form of "i" as a modulation of Itself.

ü Now that I know there is brahman and brahman only and no-thing else, there is really speaking no ‘separate’ jIva sitting there seeking to get freedom or liberation (mukti). All the jIva-s that appear to be there are already brahman! So there is no question of the jIva-s waiting for the mAyAsabalita brahma (i.e. brahman associated with mAyA) to dissolve at the end of pralaya (dissolution of the world). mAyA sabalita brahma, Ishwara and so on are mere stories postulated by people who in the first place needed an Ishwara as the Creator of the world because of their belief in creation.

ü Now I am free from the wrong notion that I am a doer and an enjoyer. With this my sorrows and happiness(es) have come to an end because there is no more an entity which classifies things / events in terms of polar pairs of opposites and judges them as acceptables and rejectables with reference to the likes and dislikes of an imaginary ‘ego.’

Having realized the above, there are occasional instances when the belief “I am karta/bhokta” and the “world is real” temporarily pop up.  This is when nididhyAsana is needed.

I use a three step prakriya (exercise) to get back on track of unbroken contemplation on brahman (akhanDAkAra vRitti):

1.    I, as a separate self, am not karta/bhokta/pramAta.

2.    "I" am no “thing” but merely a witness of all things.

3.   "I" (I) am not different from what is witnessed. Or I am everything that IS.

This three step prakriya removes the temporary feeling of “me” as a separate being and frees me from the notion that I am a doer and enjoyer.

The most important caveat here is: The above three-step 'aide-memoir' should not stay merely as statements at a verbal level.

It often so happens that an intellectual understanding of advaita message takes place, but the feelings of separation continue at the level of bodily sensations and perceptions. To get rid of them at the body level is the HARDEST part. This is the reason why many practitioners say that they read all the Upanishad-s; they understood the advaita teaching yet complain that they are unable to "realize" One brahman. Or incessantly linger with hope for “Grace” to work a miracle sometime in future forgetting that the “Grace” is right now right here with them.

So a seeker has to be vigilant about the sense of separation rising up or hiding in different nooks and corners of the body. When such 'sensations and perceptions' of separation arise, one should just observe them indifferently, unconcernedly. One should not have any agenda with them - either to control or suppress or modify. Mere observation eventually orphans them. But any agenda to do something with them to get rid of etc. will only strengthen them and will go to perpetuate those feelings.

I also use the following as meditation to stabilize in aham BrahmAsmi:

I am conscious. I do not need any proof for this.
I do not have to specially "do" anything to understand that I am conscious.

I have to exist to be able to know that I am conscious. I do not require any proof for this also.

The “I”, the “knowing” and the “existing” are NOT three different things. It is the one and same "me" only.

If this 'me' thinks that its knowing capacity is limited and is confined to the body-mind and all things exist outside 'me', it leads to suffering. When it understands that knowingness and beingness are one and the same without the difference of inside and outside, that is itself bliss. This means the 'sufferer' ends.  Though 'suffering' per se may not end, the claim of ‘ownership’ for suffering dissolves.

Further, the following meditational prakriya helps to calm down the ego (ahamkAra) attenuating the strong ripples or vRitti-s  of a separate self in mind.  (In this meditation, the separate sense of ‘ego’ is viewed as a reflection (a virtual image) of brahman, the True “I”):

ü  The very first AbhAsa (thought-wave, a ripple) arising in brahman is Ishwara. Prior to this Ishwara thought-wave at t(0), its All One homogeneous, undimensional “whatever-That-Is”.
Unless this Ishwara-perturbation happens, there is no reflection even.

"I" am causal to this wave which is not different from Me. This is My phase as Ishwara.

ü  At the Ishwara level, the cidAbhAsa (reflected image) is no problem. It appears as if (iva) brahman is looking at His reflection in still waters.

ü  Subsequent ripples generate hiraNyagarbha (prajApati, the Creator brahma). 

"I" am causal to this wave which is not different from Me. This is My phase as hiraNyagarbha.
 Multiplicity is engendered with a sense of 'me - not me' distinction - the genesis of ego (ahamkAra) takes place.

ü  Coeval with the ego comes the 'jagat', i.e. more fragmented "objects" with independent IDs (with individuated names and forms).

ü  Along with ahamkAra and jagat come likes and dislikes and rAga-dveSha dualities. These qualities congeal chidAbhAsa and propel it to take action (karma) being judgmental in terms of “acceptables” and “rejectables” for self-perpetuation. This is the beginning of the cycle of life and death (samsAra).

"I" am causal to this wave which is not different from Me. This is My phase as virAT.

ü  Now brahman à Ishwara à hiranyagarbha à virAT à ahamkAra are all thus "phases" of brahman only happening within brahman. The 'ego' (ahamkara) phase/modulation of brahman has to dis-cover the extra layers of ripples to know that it is itself brahman.

ü  yoga aims at stilling the ripples and see the simulacrum of brahman in the stilled waters (nirvikalpa samAdhi).

ü  The process of Realization that the Totality of ‘Whatever-that-IS’ (without fragmentation and labels) is, Itself, brahman even with all the levels of the ripples being in place is jnAna mArga (The Path of Knowledge).

Acknowledgments: This write up is a summary of my extensive discussions with Dr. Vemuri Ramesam who steered me through several subtle and a few fundamental misunderstandings regarding various concepts, terminologies and definitions used in Advaita Vedanta.  I am thankful to him for his patience and kindness. I also thank the reviewers of the draft version of this article for their suggestions.

Friday, December 20, 2013

My Experiments On Sensory Deprivation By John LeKay

My Experiments On Sensory Deprivation 
By John LeKay
(Excerpted from the author's Book: “A Glass of God” (Under Publication))

[John was kind to post his article at this Blog on "Sensory Deprivation Tank And Induced Samadhi" in July 2011. But within a few months, he had withdrawn the write up as he suspected that it could lead some of the readers to unwanted experiences and even dangerous situations if the experiments were carried out under unsupervised conditions. 

Chris Hebard (Stillness Speaks) made the significant observation that the discoveries made by John were rarely available in the literature to a Seeker.   The popularity of his article can be gauged from the fact that it received over 1200 hits to date. Readers keep visiting this Post  even today. So I requested John for a revised version of the article.  He has been kind to share here a few Excerpts on this subject from his forthcoming Book, "A Glass of God."  

I very much suggest that our esteemed readers interested in studying the effects of sensory deprivation to please do get in touch with John (at this e-mail) before embarking on any trials with the Desensitization Chambers on their own.

I express my sincere thanks to John and hope the readers will be benefited by the studies made by him -- ramesam]

My Experiments On Sensory Deprivation 

By John LeKay

Kindly Note that any Experiments with Desensitization Chambers should not be  attempted  unless one is a very experienced meditator and is carrying them out under the guidance of an experienced teacher.  

The technique using a sensory deprivation tank described here Should Not be practiced for more than an hour at a time.]  

Sometime in 1988 I read a book written by Dr. John C. Lilly about the experiments he conducted on sensory deprivation. Not long after that I purchased a sensory deprivation tank for myself. At the time I had been conducting experiments on the practice of deep meditation and the state of samadhi, so this made perfect sense to me.
John Lekay

The sensory deprivation tank is designed to isolate the mind and body from all known forms of external stimulation: tactile, auditory, visual, and olfactory stimulants. The blackened out soundproof chamber eliminates touch and pressure on the body. Floating horizontally in 800 lbs. of Epsom salts and water solution negates the effects of gravity and pressure. The salt solution temperature and the outside body temperature are both 94.5 degrees, thus eliminating any need to adjust to the salt-water solution. As a result of total deprivation, one is induced into a deep meditative state of consciousness.  

What I immediately discovered was that it was possible to deprive the visual sense totally by extinguishing light, but it was impossible to do a similar thing with hearing. Even when one is placed in a completely soundproofed chamber with no external sounds, one will still experience auditory sensations such as one’s own breathing movements, as well as occasional rumblings of the stomach. In addition, the skin could itch from the Epsom salt solution or have a burning sensation if one had just shaved or had a cut or irritation.

I remember my first experience of opening the door to the white tomb-like box filled with two feet of water. I sat in the water and closed the door, laid back and began to float. After a few minutes, I could see white flickering dots appear in my mind’s eye. As I began to relax, pictures and images appeared as if I was watching a movie. These were my thoughts passing by, coming and going, some in color, some in black and white. I did not attempt to interrupt the flow and just allowed anything to enter my mind. While doing this I had flashbacks from various times in my life, some going back to my earliest childhood memories and beyond.

During the 80s and early 90s I spent countless hours in the samadhi tank. At this point, I was able to immediately put myself into deep states of meditation in which all physical sensations completely disappeared. I felt like a naked astronaut floating in infinite space. It felt like being pulled into a magnetic field and into a hole filled with light. The experience was immensely blissful and, in fact, became quite addictive. I wanted to repeat the practice as often as possible because when I first dissolved into this light, all sense of boundaries and time seemed to disappear and a peace and white light and bliss filled my entire body. It felt as if my muscles and bones were disintegrating from the internal massage of the white light, and the sound of my breath was all that remained. It felt as if I was in my mother’s womb again, and then this disappeared as well.

Sensory Deprivation Tank

Once, I suddenly realized that I had been in the tank for six hours. I cracked open the door to the tank and that light that flooded in was nearly blinding. I looked around my art studio (where the tank was situated) and was struck by the vibrancy and intensity of the colors of my paintings and artworks. Everything appeared to be energized with life. Even the sounds of my footsteps seemed louder than usual. It was like walking out of a movie theater after a matinee on a bright summer’s day, although magnified a hundred times over. Getting acquainted with gravity after floating for so many hours in silence and pitch-black darkness can be disorienting.

Afterwards, I began to think about the similarities between the womb and the tomb; about how, in some ways, birth and death are the entrance points to rebirth and transformation. In reality, they are one and the same; it’s just a matter of perspective.

At times, it felt as if my skin and the usual sense of me were being stripped away. At first this was beautiful, but then it shifted. It left me feeling very vulnerable and unsettled because my defenses were gone. At the same time I became much more uninhibited and felt a cold detached depersonalization that led to some confusion.
The aftereffects of the sensory deprivation experiments left me in a rather unpleasant state in which remnants of my unconscious shadow began to the surface. It was as if the shadow self had been amplified in some horrible way and all of the contents of the unconscious were being thrown at me at once. Everything felt absolutely futile and meaningless. I would look out at the world and it all felt empty, cold, and useless; quite a contrast to the beautiful high I had felt while in the tank. All roads seemed to lead to either nowhere or to an abyss of some kind. Inside the tank had been blissful and at times absolutely amazing and beyond words, but that blissful state would inevitably change after a few days once I am back in my dismal day-to-day reality of the time.

The polarities could be shocking and quite extreme. Once while in the sensory deprivation tank, I went into a black vortex that opened up into light, and it felt as if I were being pulled and absorbed into it. I disappeared for several hours. When I came out, it felt as if my flesh had been ripped off and my mind left completely exposed. I felt more like an apparition, like an ethereal form of energy with no physical body. There was a disconnect that lasted a week or so. I one day remember walking around Soho in Manhattan and feeling like I was already dead, as if I were outside myself, watching myself walk down the street. I felt very detached, like watching a character in a film. It was one of the strangest feelings I can ever remember, because I felt like I was looking in from the outside. I remember experiencing that everything was connected; however, a subconscious internal conflict remained that would not allow the integration. 

This is one reason I wouldn’t recommend sensory deprivation for more than an hour at a time, unless you are an experienced meditator or you have the guidance of a teacher.

Wishing All Our Readers
Seasons Greetings and
Best Wishes For a Happy And Prosperous
New Year

Friday, November 22, 2013

Relishing The Experiencing Of The World Moment By Moment

Relishing The Experiencing Of The World Moment By Moment
By Mario Burgos

[Mario Burgos is a young man of thirty but speaks with the wisdom of a sage. Though he did not have a background of any specific system of spirituality, he has been pursuing Self-inquiry by exploring the nature of senses and perception, using Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). He currently holds a job in the Investments sector. I am grateful to Mario for kindly sharing his experiences and findings from NLP at this Blog.
Mario lives with his wife Lourdes Davila in Punta del Este, Uruguay, and will be happy to answer any questions.  He can be reached at: e-mail – -- ramesam

In Spanish: Mario Burgos es un joven de 30 años, pero que habla con la sabiduría de un sabio. Aunque no proviene del ámbito espiritual, ha estado trabajando en el auto-conocimiento, explorando la naturaleza de los sentidos y el proceso perceptivo, usando herramientas de Programación Neuro Lingüística. Actualmente, Mario vive con su esposa en Punta del Este – Uruguay, dónde trabaja en el sector de inversiones. Estoy muy agradecido por su gentileza en compartir su experiencia en este Blog. 
Mario estará encantado en responder preguntas, para lo cual puede ser contactado en el siguiente e-mail:]

Relishing The Experiencing Of The World Moment By Moment
By Mario Burgos

I am not a teacher. I keep asking questions and perceive life in a different but simple way. I am not pretending to be nothing and nor I am trying to convince anyone about anything. My native language is Spanish and I apologize if what I express here is not adequately clear.

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the study of the structure of subjective experience, of how we think and experience the world, with a special emphasis on the process of perception through senses.  NLP considers the human individual as a whole body-mind system and it has applications in many areas, as a tool
Punta del Este
for changing patterns of behavior.  However,  I consider that the real value of NLP is not in changing patterns. Trying to change the patterns could in fact be a distraction.  Instead, I suggest that we can submerge in a deep exploration of the limitless subjective experience without trying to change anything, because the exploration itself is the most interesting and fascinating action of self-discovery. Unexpected changes do come about effortlessly just as an effect of intense perception.

At the moment, Laura Martinez, who has been my teacher of NLP, and myself are investigating about the nature of subjective experience, in order to develop a deep and interesting approach to open our perception and explore the subjective experience without any method, beliefs or content.

Smelling the “Second by Second” Field:

I see that Energy is active here, and that is the “Field of Existence.”  I´m not speaking about theoretical concepts. But it is about the activity that goes on second by second.  Each second, the energy is renewing, emerging totally new, being born afresh.  Everything is changing each moment. The chair seems to be static but is constantly shaking, vibrating. Matter is being created in this moment, in this very second, and also in the next second, now, here, there, always .  The energy I’m referring to, is not separate from you. It includes your body, your mental activity. Every moment, life is appearing.  An extraordinary energy is flowing from the inside of all atoms.

If we consider the statement that “The absolute existence is acting in all time and space” to be true, it would obviously mean that it has to be happening also at THIS VERY SECOND HERE. 

The above understanding has tremendous implications. It is not an idea as a thought in the mind. It is also not being poetic and writing beautiful sentences. I literally mean that every second the reality is being created totally anew. All the energy of the whole existence is acting right now with tremendous speed and intensity, generating and regenerating again and again, always anew. It is present as the energy of the Existence.  This sounds to our mind like science fiction, maybe lyrical, idealistic. We deny this radical worldview.

But we can “smell” this field, we can taste it and feel that something is happening here.  The Great Mystery of Life is here. What is the source of this extraordinary movement of life that is always emerging from nowhere? What is this “nowhere field”? The dynamic process of life didn´t appear some day in the past and then kept moving. It is a movement emerging every second, and before any second.  All the atoms in your body, earth and universe are being born afresh and anew. You can feel this energy flowing.

What is the actual implication of saying that in each second, and in every second, in the moment you are reading this article,  “the reality” is appearing and disappearing ?

We can´t change anything in this immediate second. It´s not possible, there´s no time to conceive, to formulate a thought. As ‘whatever is’ makes its appearance, there´s no space for an outside thought in this field. After all, a thought needs time to develop, and therefore will be separated from this moment. It can´t be fresh and alive in the current field of existence.  Besides, if you are suffering or feeling unhappiness in this second, it´s not a problem, the very next second all the existence is regenerated, new and alive. Always afresh.  Infinite energy is available again, and again.

The only Action that is possible in this second is “the immediate seeing”. And that seeing is always happening, some part of you is seeing, even when you dream, in the presence of the dream, there is seeing. Can you remember a moment in your life when seeing did not happen? And you can also look in Nature. Look at a spider, if you try to reach the spider, it will be very sensitive, alert and it will move. Plants and flowers are also alert, they look for the light.  All Nature is Seeing, Sensitive, Alert. So the art of immediate seeing in the second by second field, it´s not a new ability you have to learn, it´s already there. Can you just let the seeing happen without you interfering? 

Forget  the “Now Philosophy Concept”

When I first started to notice this, I felt very light and free. I was not carrying weight in the “second by second field”. I was calm enthusiastic, and talked about this with some close friends. They were all “understanding” what I was saying and told me “Yes, I Understand. This is Living in the Now like Eckhart Tolle and New Age philosophy”.  But I am not making an intellectual inquiry. I am not stirring up any emotional surge. I am plainly looking into the Existence Field.  When you see this, you feel it in your guts, it´s an obvious revelation.

Forget the “Now Concept”. It has been repeated so much, that even when I write these lines, it feels loaded and boring.

Like experiencing Sex - it´s not watching a movie or reading about it. Sex can´t be the concept of sex. Sex is lived in the existence field. When you feel hungry, you know it on the existential field, and eat. It´s not a strange and unknown field, it´s obvious!

The gap in everyday life

I have been living this experiencing particularly since a few weeks.  I am too clouded yet by the ME. But when I look in retrospective, it seems that a few months ago, I used to feel heavy and tense and my living was mechanical as if on “automatic pilot”.   

It´s very clear that some months ago, the days used to start and end with nothing happening in-between. Time flies away quickly living on automatic pilot.

Now, I am Present here, peaceful, enthusiastic, a lot happens every day and I know that the sun will keep shining, always new, second by second.

(In Spanish) 

Saboreando la experiencia, momento a momento

Programación Neuro Lingüística (PNL), es el estudio de la estructura de la experiencia subjetiva, cómo pensamos y experimentamos el mundo, con especial énfasis en el proceso de la percepción a través de los sentidos. PNL considera al individuo como una totalidad (Sistema Mente – Cuerpo) y tiene aplicaciones en áreas muy diversas como herramienta para cambiar patrones de comportamiento. Sin embargo, considero que el verdadero valor de PNL no radica en cambiar patrones, sino en facilitar una profunda exploración de la experiencia, sin contenidos.  De esta manera, los cambios suceden sin intención ni esfuerzo, como consecuencia de un profundo cambio perceptivo.
Actualmente, junto a  la Psi. Laura Martínez, estamos desarrollando una profunda y fascinante investigación acerca de la naturaleza de la experiencia subjetiva,  que facilita la apertura de la percepción  a través de un enfoque muy fresco, basado en la exploración empírica, sin contenidos.

Percibiendo El Campo del Segundo

La realidad puede parecer estática, pero está vibrando, sacudiéndose, segundo a segundo. Cada momento, cada segundo, todo está cambiando. La energía se renueva, las células del cuerpo se renuevan.  Todos los segundos,  interactuamos con una enorme corriente de “energía-información”, una corriente imparable de millones de estímulos que llega a nuestro cerebro a través de los sentidos.  La materia no es estática, tiembla. El cerebro, es un verbo, no para de procesar. Cada momento, la vida aparece. Una energía extraordinaria emerge desde el interior de todos los átomos.
Si consideramos verdadera la afirmación de que “La existencia absoluta, está presente en todo espacio y en todo tiempo”, obviamente implica que en este mismo segundo y en todos los segundos, por más simples que puedan parecer,  hay una enorme energía manifestándose.
No parece sencillo entender racionalmente este inmenso proceso energético, perceptivo, pero podemos olerlo, saborearlo,  experimentarlo. El gran misterio de la existencia, está presente en este segundo, es “ESTO”. 
¿Cuál es la fuente de este extraordinario movimiento que llamamos VIDA? ¿Cuál es la fuente de este proceso imparable que emerge, emerge y emerge cada segundo,  por siempre y desde siempre? ¿Alguna vez se ha detenido? ¿Puede detenerse?   La vida no apareció un día hace millones de años y luego siguió moviéndose, sino que emerge cada segundo, ahora mismo. La  vida nace, nace y nace, cada segundo, cada nano-segundo.  Es un movimiento emergente.  La física nos dice que todos los átomos de nuestro cuerpo, del planeta, no son los mismos que hace un momento atrás.  Todo es nuevo. Toda la energía de la existencia está disponible.
No podemos cambiar nada por nuestra voluntad en este segundo inmediato.  No hay tiempo para formular un pensamiento. No es posible formular nada en un segundo. No hay espacio para los problemas en el campo del segundo, y si los hay, sabemos que el próximo segundo, inmediatamente, toda la energía de la existencia estará disponible nuevamente. Todo ha cambiado, todos los átomos, el mundo será diferente.  Sin embargo, los hábitos mentales parecieran extenderse en el tiempo. Esto es parte de nuestra ignorancia. Incluso podemos llegar a percibir que si muriéramos hoy,  nuestros problemas seguirán existiendo.  ¿No es esto ilógico? ¿No será parte de un error en el procesamiento de datos?

La única acción posible

La única acción que es posible realizar en el campo del segundo, es la “percepción inmediata”.  La mirada inmediata.  Y esa percepción, ese darse cuenta de lo que está sucediendo, siempre está presente. Incluso cuando soñamos, en el presente del sueño, no dejamos de percibir. Algo está viendo, escuchando, sintiendo.  ¿Puedes recordar un momento de tu vida en el que no hubiera percepción? ¿Dónde está esa parte que percibe?  Y si observamos la naturaleza,  podemos notar que si nos acercamos a un insecto, una araña, esta responde inmediatamente, nos está midiendo, hay gran sensibilidad. Y las plantas, están alerta, crecen buscando la luz. Toda la naturaleza está alerta, es muy sensible, pura percepción inmediata.
El arte de la observación, de la percepción inmediata, no es algo que tengamos que aprender,  sino que ya está sucediendo “a pesar” de nosotros, a pesar de todo “el contenido” con el cual nos distraemos, nos deslumbramos.  No hay que hacer un esfuerzo para desarrollar el arte de la observación inmediata, sino todo lo contrario, porque todo esfuerzo entorpece, nos aleja del campo del segundo. La observación inmediata emerge, cuando nosotros no interferimos. Ya está sucediendo, siempre.

Olvidemos  los conceptos “New Age”

Cuando esta percepción, comenzó a ser evidente, me sentí muy libre de todo peso. Ya no tenía sentido cargar tanto peso en el “Campo del Segundo”.  Sentí un gran entusiasmo, no exaltado,  muy sereno, y hablé con algunos amigos cercanos sobre ello. Muchos me dijeron “Claro, esto que experimentas es  “el aquí y el ahora”, como del que habla Eckhart Tolle y la filosofía new age en general”. Pero aunque respeto a Tolle, reconozco que “el campo del segundo”, no es un concepto, no se puede comprender intelectualmente, no hay concepto correcto o incorrecto, sino que solamente se puede acceder a él a través de la experiencia. A través de la percepción inmediata. La información que surge allí, no es conocimiento, sino Reconocimiento. No hay lugar para la duda, lo que allí reconocemos, es pura certeza.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Wisdom Tree - A Film On Non-Duality

The Wisdom Tree - A Film On Non-Duality

The Wisdom Tree is an intriguing and inspiring lyrical poem expressed in a film medium and executed with a neat breath-taking finesse. It depicts the mind-blowing modern day advances in Science, Art and Philosophy, that are not only erasing the rigid walls of separation amongst them as distinct fields but also pointing out to a compelling convergence of these diverse strands with the ancient Indian and Eastern mystic thought processes which highlight the Oneness of All things.

The young Director, Sunil Shah, succeeds in projecting the Non-dual message in a very convincing and captivating manner through a story woven around the lives of three ordinary people – a scientist, a medico, and an FBI agent – and the travails they had to face in a world of jealousy, competition and criminality, a mindless rat-race that is at once gripping and also exasperating. Adding spice to the story in a cinematic way is the determined investigation by the dedicated trio into a mysterious car accident and a potential danger to the human species itself. The picture is supported by a melodious musical score, striking visual effects and competent technical values.

The 2 hours and 12 minute drama is the result of over five years of research and study by Sunil Shah in writing the story and a further three years in the making of the film. And most befittingly, the movie is being premiered on 25 Oct 2013 during the Science and Non-Duality (SAND) Conference this month in San Jose, California, USA.

Sunil was born and brought up in Mumbai, the most cosmopolitan city of India. He is a Computer Software expert by training with about a couple of decades of working experience in corporate America and has a few patents in computer algorithms to his credit. He, thus, combines within himself the Indian tradition and a knowledge of the Western technology. Yet he has a deep interest in various art forms and the Eastern Mysticism. His passion in making this film is his zeal to communicate the philosophical implications and the mystic significance of the exciting advances in modern science (Quantum Physics, Neuroscience, Math etc.) to the public at large. And one can undoubtedly say that the outcome is a thrilling and deeply thought-provoking experience to all, the technical-literati as well as the lay individual.

Sunil and his wife Renu Vohra (one of the Producers of the film) live near San Francisco, California, USA. He can be reached at: sunil at thewisdomtreefilm dot com

A 4:26 min Trailer of the Film can be seen at: The Wisdom Tree Film - Trailer 

The Story in Brief:

For several years, Steve Hamilton, a self-conflicted quantum physicist has struggled to uphold and prove a ground breaking theory that had ended his mother's career when she proposed it years ago! Now, Steve's research too is in jeopardy when a mysterious car accident leaves him in the throes of death! A chain of events brings Steve together with compassionate but unwavering neuroscientist Dr. Trisha Rao and anguished FBI Agent Mike Parker, as they all get drawn in to an intensifying mystery. However, not in their wildest dreams could they have foreseen what lay ahead!

Before long they're engulfed in clues snowballing from science, art, music, mysticism; and oddly, through a bizarre set of coincidences, from their own past, present, and even future! As they struggle to interpret a multitude of hard-to-comprehend events, every answer evokes a set of new questions. Caught in the maze, the tranquil Trisha not only steers them through a longwinded ever-deepening mystery, but also helps Steve and Mike overcome their deep-rooted fears and guilt. However, this transformative spiritual journey also brings about a realization that the incident with Steve was merely the tip of an iceberg — the more worrisome, imminent danger lay in that the people of this planet are imperiled! In this story of personal redemption, if they can unravel the enigma, not only may they guide — and, thus save — the human race, but they may also chance upon the most profound and far-reaching discoveries ever!

About The Film:

This slow-paced, contemplative sci-fi, in a New Age mystery, is a journey spanning intriguing artworks attuned to ethereal music. A haunting background score, coupled with carefully sketched cinematography and subtle sound design, add novel dimensions. The film heavily relies on — and attempts to bind — theories and doctrines, as well as hypotheses, from science and math, music, art, philosophy, mysticism, spirituality and intra-disciplinary possibilities, to create an engaging whole.

(Yogavasishta compares the reality of the visible world to 
an external wall painting that is washed away by repeated rains)