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Reviews Written by
Jerry Katz "Nonduality.com" (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Packed with Unpackings
, June 11, 2009
Following a life-altering event, Ted Biringer experienced "the source of authority" behind the teachings of the great Zen masters.
The purpose of this book is to communicate, as best as stories and words can, the nature of his experience, the nature of that source, and to provide practices for realization of that source. Reading this book is itself a practice that can awaken one to the nature of mind.
Cessation of conceptualization is a major theme. "Your own mind is the vast unnamable fathomless void. Cessation of conceptualization is awakening to the fact."
Biringer created Louie Wing to personify the true nature of your mind: "the mystery, wonder, and infinite potential of the unnamable dimensionless void."
Louie, a 6'6" farmer of Italian ancestry, unloaded a shipment of berries and then stumbled into self-realization. His autobiography closely parallels the famous autobiography chapter in The Platform Sutra of Huineng, except that it includes locations such as Seattle and names such as Donna and Daniel.
Louie's autobiography, like every chapter that follows, is packed with unpackings, pointings, uncoverings, questions, acknowledgements of truth, revelations of meaning, koans, and instructions. If you love Zen, if you love expressions of truth regardless of the tradition, you will be enriched by Louie Wing.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FLATBED:
Louie's platform is a flatbed truck. Flatness signifies that the teachings are for everyone. The wisdom of Zen, the knowledge of your true nature, can be gained by anyone. It doesn't matter whether or not you hold to a tradition, or what your intelligence or background are. Nor do you have to change your lifestyle at all. The practices are for everyone.
Flattened out, as well, are all spiritual traditions and doctrines. The author tells us, "For Louie Wing, claims of superiority of one doctrine over another are meaningless; only direct personal experience can bring true realization. ... He asserts that reality cannot be contained by words and, therefore, any claim of superiority is pointless."
TRADITION IS IMPORTANT:
You can read this book without feeling that you must sign-up with a Zen monastery and undergo lengthy involvement. However, the tradition of Zen is kept in front of you throughout your reading. It has already been mentioned that Biringer's chapter entitled Autobiography closely matches the chapter with the same name in The Platform Sutra.
Tradition gives this book gravity and, quite simply, Zen tradition is presented in a clear and satisfying way.
Regarding tradition, the book says, "The actual practice of meditation or Zazen is a vital and integral part of practice and enlightenment, However, without the doctrines expressed through texts and teachers, you could not even learn how to meditate."
The author suggests that the greatest contribution of this book is the extensive commentary on Shobogenzo (Treasury of the True Dharma-Eye), composed by Dogen in the thirteenth century. Its importance within the context of Zen tradition he compares to Saint Augustine's within Christian tradition.
Also receiving commentary is Case 1 of the Blue Cliff Record, entitled in Biringer's book "Bodhidharma's Vast Unnamable Fathomless Void."
AVOID ATTACHMENT TO TRADITION:
While tradition is essential to study and practice, Louie Wing reminds us to use, but not become attached to, teachings, tradition, and practice. The danger is in attachment, not the teachings.
To enforce this message, Louie says, "Anyone can awaken to their own mind, there is no need to join a particular tradition or spiritual community. If they do not awaken to their own mind, people who join traditions and spiritual communities are as deluded as anyone else."
To further underline the danger of attachment, Louie tells us, "Pure and clear awareness is nothing but a booby trap; ceasing conceptualization is the blackest poison of all. Awakening and realization are two clumps of hazardous waste. All of these terms are like carrots dangled from the end of a stick; they can lead you in the right direction, but if you focus too closely on them, you will just become cross-eyed."
Reminding us again to stick to the teaching without becoming attached, Louie instructs, "Just abide in your own fundamental awareness without chasing after awakening or trying to run away from delusion. That is all there is to say."
The practice elaborated throughout and described in detail is called "ceasing conceptualization." Ceasing conceptualization, or Zazen, is the art of Zen.
Included in tradition, practice, and enlightenment is joy in being part of the infinitely differentiated world. One does not reject anything, especially knowledge and practice, as these become useful in one's trekking through the world.
Rejection means to cut something in two, an easy thing to do. But to cut something into one means you live joyfully, as Louie points to:
A monk asked Haryo, "What is the razor-sharp sword?"
Haryo said, "Each branch of coral supports the moon."
Much in this book is taught by such stories and dialogues. As you come to know the true mind, you no longer grasp and differentiate, reject and cut in two. You cut in one. You see the meaning of the stories.
Part of the richness of this book is its layers of presentation, which include classic Zen tradition, the new tradition of Louie Wing, and the layer that is free of tradition and which consists of bold confessions of truth.
The construction and flow of the book bring the reader in and out of those different layers continuously. There's also the layer of Ted Biringer's voice, which brings explanation and introduction.
CONCLUSION AND FINAL NOTES:
Nonduality today doesn't always have the backing of tradition. This book presents teachings that stand on their own, that are backed by the modern Zen tradition of Louis Wing, which is supported by ancient Zen tradition, and it is all held up by Truth which the reader already knows, intuits, senses, "is."
This book is beautifully rounded off with detailed notes (the author quotes liberally from a number of authoritative Zen books), a bibliography, a glossary, biographical summaries, and a good index.
Like any great Zen book, The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing is ... Zen. You may be in for a shock, a laugh, a shattering, or a stunning blow, when you suddenly see what the true mind is.
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Smart and Sensuous
, June 5, 2009
Rupert Spira pole dances on the lamppost of consciousness. This book is smart and sensuous in equal measure.
Some of Rupert's moves are basic:
"All we have is experience. The mind is simply the experience of the mind. The body is simply the experience of the body. The world is simply the experience of the world."
Some are intermediate:
"We conceptualize a mind, a body and a world that exist outside, separate and independent of experience, that are considered to exist when they are not being experienced. However, such a mind, body and world have never been experienced. Nor would it be possible to have such an experience because, as soon as it is experienced, it would, by definition, fall within experience and would therefore no longer be outside, separate from or independent of it."
Some moves are advanced and wondrous:
"Experiencing is the essential ingredient of the mind, the body and the world, and Consciousness is the essential ingredient of experiencing.
"What would the mind, the body and the world look like if experiencing were removed from them?
"And what would experiencing look like if Consciousness was removed from it?"
Rupert breaks down the advanced and wondrous moves into its basic parts, thus clearing and widening the path to self-realization.
Rupert suggests looking "more and more deeply into the nature of ourselves...." He gives experiments for looking into experience, sense perceptions, and consciousness. Throughout certain chapters are peppered questions, some of which are addressed in detail and others which stand as inquiries for the reader's consideration.
"...take a sound that would normally be conceptualised as taking place at a distance. Refuse any story that the mind tells us about the nature and whereabouts of that sound. Does it not occur in the same place as the thoughts and sensations? Does it not arise within consciousness? Are the sound and Consciousness not one seamless experience? Is the sound at a distance from Consciousness, separated from it? Is there a border or interface between the sound and Consciousness?"
The themes of life are considered:
Deep sleep: "Deep sleep takes the shape of the dreaming and waking states and is their substance...."
Ego: "It is Consciousness pretending that its essential nature has the same characteristics as the body/mind in which it seems to appear, and which in fact appears in it."
Happiness and Desire: "Desire is the form of Happiness. It is the shape that Happiness itself takes when it overlooks its own presence and begins to search for itself elsewhere."
Experience itself: "We experience `one thing,' a multifaceted object comprising mind, body and world, and this `one thing' refers to the totality of our experience at any moment."
Art: "[Cezanne] felt that art should lead us to Reality, indicate that which is real, evoke that which is substantial. It should lead us from appearance to Reality."
Ethics: "...if we truly feel that everything and everyone is an expression of the same one Reality that we ourselves are, we will act accordingly and will quite literally behave towards others as we would behave towards ourselves."
Practice: "It would be disingenuous to believe that there is nothing to do, that Consciousness is all there is, there is no separate entity, simply because we have heard or read it so many times. Such a belief leaves us worse off than we were in the first place."
Love, suffering, seeking, memory are other themes addressed.
Spira acknowledges his "friend and teacher" Francis Lucille. Lucille's teacher was Sri Atmananda (Sri Krishna Menon), who authored two volumes, Atma Darshan and Atma Nirvriti. The works of both teachers are recommended along with Rupert Spira's as they are intimately interconnected. The Transparency of Things is a significant contribution to the small body of Direct Path literature.
I also note that the publisher, Non-Duality Press, is now no longer publishing books solely in the new tradition of (so-called) neo-advaita. They still are, and in addition they are publishing Direct Path books. The difference is noted by Dennis Waite: "[Direct path] differs from neo-advaita in that all of its teachings begin from the present evidence of one's experience, and its statements are backed by rigorous logic. Whereas a neo-advaita teacher might state that `This is it' and expect the seeker to understand what is meant, the direct-path teacher will begin with a simple observation or statement that everyone can agree with."
Rupert Spira's home page is [...]
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Powerful and High Quality
, June 2, 2009
This or any of the other Waring 3.0 - 3.5 HP blenders is as powerful a home blender as you will need. Are you considering a Vita Mix or a Blendtec? Is your desire to make green smoothies? I researched other brands and bought the Waring because of its impeccable reputation. Blendtec may be the most powerful in this category, but my research tells me it is not built to last to the degree of a Waring. The Vita Mix is no doubt a fine blender, however there is so much hype associated with the company that, for me, it gets in the way of the product itself. I want a blender from a company that focuses on the blender and that has a repution for reliability and durability. I've only had my Waring MX1000 for a few weeks, but words "awesome", "surprising", and "best friend" come up whenever I see it tearing tough leaves of green kale into little bits and then into smooth green beverage. If you want to get into raw foods or just extreme nutrition, this blender will serve you exceedingly well.
UPDATE: August 26, 2010. I had a warranty matter which Waring handled promptly when I contacted them. I was very pleased. I can now say that not only will you get a great product but excellent service from a large corporation that treats you as a person.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Way to Get Lots of Greens
, March 23, 2009
The bottom line is that you will learn how to get lots of greens in a way that tastes and feels good. I thought my weight had leveled and reached its ideal. I was slim. Then I started drinking green smoothies and dropped another couple pounds and lost another half inch off my waist.
I recommend this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Meet Mace Mealer
, January 9, 2009
Mace Mealer's poetry has appeared in the Nonduality Highlights over 50 times, the earliest appearance in issue #480. Now Mace has written a hard cover book featuring nearly 700 of his poems. The poems read smoothly, have different flavors and tones, and get different themes across: compassion, silence, children, eternality, release, emptiness, nothing, as-is-ness, enlightenment. The volume is reminder after reminder, pointer after pointer of what is essential and important in life. Mainly this book is about being human and watching ourselves as we step through the world. You'll feel that Mace Mealer knows you slightly better than you know yourself, and that he wanted the difference to be slight.
Here are a few selections:
Winter sky is hard and high
framed by ice glistening bough
wherein the wind of velvet sky
does not the Heart's red flame allow.
But in the houses down below
beneath the shadows of the snow,
in blankets that are big and small,
sleep the children of us all.
There the Heart burns bright and clear,
to show the way for this New Year.
Intent is rarely free of impurities.
But like the gold in our teeth,
too pure is too soft
to let us chew our food.
With just a little hypocrisy,
let us speak
of wind and rain and love.
In the maelstrom of existence
Nothing is repeated,
Every grain of sand
through the hourglass
is infinitely different
than the one before.
Even the smallest action
It is easy to mistake
the same for the similar.
Be assured, the next
thought you have,
emotion you feel,
action you take,
will be miraculously
Once there was an old monk
who practiced his meditation
by getting up early in the morning
before anyone else was up and
seating himself in the middle of a
small doorway in the monastery
where many had to pass on their
way to their appointed duties.
This practice greatly impeded
the movement of his fellow monks
as they found it necessary to leap
over him to be on their way.
The result being that he was often
kicked in the process, not always
accidentally, and therefore
he was frequently covered in bruises.
When the frustration of the other
monks rose to a fevered pitch they
voiced their complaints to the Revered
Teacher of the monastery and requested
that he intervene.
Calling the old monk before him
the Teacher asked him why he found
it necessary to practice his meditation
in this way. He replied,
"I find that I dislike others and I
am easily distracted"
At this the Teacher smiled and
asked the old mink to resume
So Darn Cute
My ego is like a little boy,
I have to love him,
he's so darn cute.
He likes to think he's
He loves toys
and his sweets,
and what an imagination!
One day a Cowboy,
the next an Indian,
or an ancient learned Sage.
I'm never cruel to him
because he reminds me
what it is to be human,
but I never give him
the keys to the car.
Lonelineness stopped by
for a visit last night.
He must have heard me
of holding my kids.
It's been a while
since he and I were
I understand him
So I made some
tea and we talked
He tells me
business is good.
Earl and Sam
I once knew a man named Earl,
all in all he was a pretty ordinary guy.
With one notable exception,
he was liked by everyone,
and I mean everyone!
I never heard anyone say
a bad thing about Earl, ever!
It took me a while but I think
I figured out why.
He never thought ill of others.
He just didn't do it, and everyone
just somehow knew it.
I also knew a guy named Sam
whose nature was kind of bitter.
Sam had something nasty to say
about just about everyone,
except Earl, who to this day
I believe was his only
has a flaw
written on their forehead,
visible to everyone,
in every aspect of work.
in the work
of any artist,
is dependent on
becoming intimately aware
of this flaw,
and not attempting
to remove it.
The miraculous secret
of the most profound truth
is in its simplicity,
to know it,
begin by giving freely
of that which you cherish most.
To Know Another
Say "non duality" to no ear
and only the silence smiles back
at your naivety.
Say it to one other,
and you have created
Say it to thousands
and you have given birth
to a grand hypocrisy.
This one finds it easy
to recognize grand hypocrisies
having postulated so very many.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Powerful Lifestyle Changes Identified
, December 6, 2008
This is a powerful book for anyone dealing with depression arising out of breakdowns in lifestyle habits. If you follow Mark Myers' recommendations, you might be able to stay out of the therapist's office (although those are valuable places, too!) and away from medication (although there's a time for meds, as well).
In my own life I know the value of following Mark's recommendations. I know that when I get slack with one of the five lifestyle changes Mark talks about, the forces that keep a healthy life together start to weaken.
In my work with mentally challenged people, I tell my clients that if they become disciplined in the five lifestyle demands set forth in this book, their lives will go a lot more smoothly, their stress levels will be reduced, and they'll be happier and feel more in control of their lives.
They do make efforts to succeed where they can, and once they see the benefits of a lifestyle change, they stay with it. Sometimes they fall back, but that only teaches them the power of the change they had implemented. They do their best to retain the beneficial lifestyle change.
If the recommendations in this book help people with serious disorders of the brain chemistry (of course they remain under medical care and continue to take medications), how do you think the advice in this book might help you?
One awesome quality of this book is the index. I'm an index freak, somewhat, and this is one of the best indexes I've seen in all the books I've reviewed.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Maharaj immersion; layers of gratitude
, November 18, 2008
This DVD is an immersion into the daily life and eternal teaching of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Before we ever meet Nisargadatta, we meet Josef Nauwelaerts the cameraman, who radiates gratitude and dedication to Nisargadatta. Then we meet Bombay, the luxury, the architecture, the waterfront, the Gate of India, the streets, roads, pedestrians, the narrow streets of old Bombay where Nisargadatta lives, the poverty, the people living and working in the streets, their temples, Nisargadatta's poverty street, up to his apartment whose details are shown.
The daily chores of Nisargadatta are filmed: the dusting of photographs and frames by Nisargadatta himself, the lighting of incense, the constant movement of the 84 year old Maharaj, his gratitude for his gurus, though, clearly, Nisargadatta is beyond showing gratitude; he is gratitude or grace. We see the great details of effort Maharaj extends toward creating the atmosphere for teaching: the cymbals, the bells, the chanting, the incense, the meditation. Total immersion.
The camera is always moving. Josef has caught the fire of Nisargadatta, the ever moving, ever changing manifestation, beingness, within the space with Nisargadatta, and the ever changing sounds of the street, with kids playing, shouting, and the tumult of business and traffic. However, these are background sounds that add to the atmosphere and never interfere, enhancing the experience of immersion. There are a few close-up shots of Nisargadatta's face, which seem valuable, and too bad there were not a lot more. There are more close-ups of the followers than of Nisargadatta. However, the filming of the audience is like a Nisargadatta-cam.
The introduction to the film is given by Stephen Wolinsky, who hosts several videos in the NetiNeti films library devoted to the teachings of Nisargadatta Maharaj. Stephen may be at his best in this brief introduction. He is not teaching, only showing gratitude. That in itself is a teaching. You may recognize at once that gratitude is mantra, practice, and guru. Gratitude comes from Wolinsky, from the filmmakers, from the NetiNeti production and distribution crew, from the followers in Nisargadatta's home. Nisargadatta himself is gratitude, or grace. When a questioner asks Nisargadatta, "I don't remember. Please explain our beingness," gratitude wells up for the innocence of the question. Gratitude is awakened and informed in this production.
THEMES, CONFESSIONS, AND URGINGS:
In answering questions, Nisargadatta asks questions: Who is "I Am"? Why "I Am"? He urges you outside your body and body-mind thoughts. Why this beingness? he asks. How am I? Why am I? What does it depend on? From beingness, how we become no being, from no being to beingness, how does this happen? One should analyze and find the answer for oneself, says Maharaj.
He addresses beingness before conception and abiding in the state prior to conception. He talks of death as the confidence that I Am has disappeared. He entertains questions on maya, prolonging life, karma, dreams.
Analyze yourself without dependence upon anything, he instructs. "If you know Self," he says, "you know God." "Your identity has to go for (there to be) realization of your true being."
There is plenty of humor in the relaxed atmosphere, while Nisargadatta is always in control and leading the show. We see Nisargadatta ministering to people at their level of understanding. We want to think that we deserve the highest teaching and that we are receiving it. But what is the highest teaching? Can it be spoken by Nisargadatta or anyone? Every teaching given in words is a lower teaching pointing to the teaching that can't be given. Still, Nisargadatta implies that what is captured in this film is his advanced teaching: "Only a rare person will understand what I'm driving at."
Experience this Nisargadatta immersion. Take these words of Maharaj to the shopping cart: "Every human being is eligible for self knowledge, earnestness being the only deciding factor."
THE 6 MINUTE CLIP OF SWAMI NITYANANDA:
Swami Nityananda is a powerful human mantra, a living, bodily initiation. His presence in words or film can awaken Kundalini. This is a different kind, a more gross initiation than Nisargadatta offers, thus a welcome complement.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The lamp I've been looking for
, October 25, 2008
I like the bright white light, the flexibility of motion and, therefore, ability to direct the light however and wherever I want. I like the appealing look, the overall quality, the energy efficiency, the ease of moving the lamp around the room. This lamp fits my lifestyle. It's the lamp I've been looking for.
In reviews, I've seen four qualities given negative value. One is the extreme ease of removing the bulb. One person said that if the lamp is dropped the bulb could easily fall out and break. Yes, the bulb is very easily removed. It just pops out. Nothing to force. Otherwise the bulb stays in place throughout the range of movement of the lamp. For me, the ease of bulb removal is a positive.
It was also stated that the lamp has to be kept about two feet from reading material. Being so close, the lamp could be knocked over or struck upon getting up. I don't have the best eyes and I don't find that to be true. It will depend on what you're reading, for how long you are reading, and your vision health. However, I can see myself doing such a thing, so I appreciate the warning.
Elsewhere I read that the lamp does not stay in position, but allows gravity to lower it. I do not experience that. The lamp seems beautifully designed. That person's lamp could be defective. I would return it.
Another point turned negative is that the bulb is expensive. Come on. The bulb is low heat, low glare (you could shine it on your computer screen), provides a quality white light, and is rated to last for up to ten thousand hours. The bulb could last 50 months. At $25 per bulb, that's fiddy cents a month. I got the lamp, now you get the lamp.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Startlingly Clear Pointing to the Real You
, October 2, 2008
Embracing the Now is startlingly clear. On the mainstream nondual spirituality front, Gina Lake is a contender for top author/top teacher honors, along with Eckhart Tolle. Both she and this book have what it takes.
Gina uses the term "essence" throughout this and her other books. Essence is the same as Self, God, Awareness, Presence, Stillness, the Absolute, Source, among other terms with which you are probably familiar.
Gina states that essence "expresses itself and lives through each of us." She says that essence is known when you experience it, just as ego is known by experience. Essence is the real you, the divine in you, something you don't have to keep up.
Essence and ego are contrasted in this book. Essence is "being." Ego is "being something." "The goal is not to achieve a particular good feeling but to discover what essence intends in this moment," the author writes.
ESSENCE, EGO, AND HAPPINESS: A FEW QUOTATIONS FROM THE BOOK:
"The ego's ongoing state is discontentment with whatever is happening."
"When you find yourself complaining or judging, that's a sign that you are identified with the ego's perspective. Once you realize that, if you stop complaining or judging, you will stop suffering."
"Seeing the ego for what it is, is the first step in the process of waking up. `It doesn't matter' helps you take the second step, which is distancing yourself from the ego. The third and final step is learning to live as essence in the world."
"You discover essence's intentions not by looking in your mind, but by noticing what is going on in this moment. ... What is more true and real than any thought?"
"If your thoughts aren't serving you, disregard them."
"What will you trust - the ego or essence?"
"Happiness isn't something to attain or achieve but something to notice."
"The happiness that underlies all life is happiness that comes from just existing."
This entire book is a bringing of essence to the foreground. In this book, Gina points you to the real, to essence, to the real you. Will that re-direction cause your problems to go away? Probably not. However, your problems lose density, strength, power, and even reality. They are dealt with directly and your life is lived more effectively. Gina Lake's Embracing the Now will be understood and savored by people who sense and value "essence" and who appreciate the teachings of Eckhart Tolle.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Their Confession Is Your Confession
, September 20, 2008
"So I'm a number cruncher, a bean counter - that's the historical phrase they use for accountants - I count beans all day. It's a perfectly meaningless job for me. A government bean counter is precisely the job you want if you are not career orientated and you just somehow get sucked into this spiritual consciousness thing."
That's my favorite paragraph in this book, which you may find to be a peaceful, relaxing, and quick read, or which may scare the heck out of you.
Other paragraphs jump off the page:
"All the clichés are dreadfully, dreadfully true. When you say, `I am that,' it really is true, which is extraordinary because I'd mouthed that in Sanskrit and Hindi for twenty-five years and thought very seriously: `I am that. I am God. I am not different from God." Indeed I'm not - but it's not quite what I meant at the time."
Henry Smith wrote in his Works in the 19th century, "Every man must homage his heart." That doesn't sound radically nondual; however this book feels to me as homage to Tony Parsons. One of the featured people in this book says,
"When I was with Osho, he was a beautiful person, but very distant. I thought I had to become this person, a kind of holy man, and I thought that this was `enlightenment.' Tony Parsons made it so simple and down to earth, which possibly helped me to recognise the moment. And to be able to cope with it."
Almost everyone in the book says something like that. Okay, so homage to Tony. I don't know if that's more nondual than paying homage to your heart. I'll leave that up to you.
This book consists of a foreword by Jeff Foster, a brief introduction by the author, and seven stories of awakening.
Jeff Foster's foreword may be worth the price of admission. Jeff is a master at handling the paradox: that we speak of awakening and there is no one who has ever awakened. He handles the paradox like a magician handles a pair of doves. "And so really anything we say about awakening isn't true, because in talking about it we've already made it into a `thing' and killed it. But as Lao-Tzu knew, although the Tao cannot be told, there's no reason why you shouldn't try," says the nondual prestidigitator.
CRYING AT THE TV, AND OTHER COMMONALITIES:
These stories have certain elements in common. Most of the featured people deliver a version of the confession that there is no "me" to tell a story. All of them came to the end of their search through interaction with a living teacher, in just about every case Tony Parsons. None of them "got it" through a book, a website, or an email forum. Most of them don't like George W. Bush. Most speak of awakening or enlightenment as a kind of relaxation and meaninglessness.
Another feature in common with most of the stories is the response to crisis and tragedy, such as a horrible accident or an untimely death. "There was this sense of identification with the sad story of the moment and then it stopped. It wasn't anything that I turned on or off," one person notes.
It seems we blow as a leaf. Another person confesses, "...some feelings seem to be much deeper in a weird sort of way, they're much more poignant. I cry more often at television, which is quite embarrassing, and then the feeling's gone. I can't explain that either but it seems to be a feeling that's less tied up with all sorts of other stuff, it comes and goes, it passes like the weather."
WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT?
They all give their take on what enlightenment is. Here are a few quotes:
"I'm not sure if there are any signs of liberation really, apart from being a bit more relaxed and at ease."
"There's nothing special. It's just awareness."
"There's not the mental confusion - but all the programming carries on."
"If I had to put words to it, it is total freedom. Total freedom to let anything arise that arises."
STORIES AS NONSENSE:
There is agreement on the view of "stories:"
"Consciousness animates me every day and that is what interests me, not hearing someone else's story ... but rather how it is manifesting in me."
"When there is nothing to know, absolutely nothing to know, there is nothing. And that's the beauty of it. And our stories, our life stories that go on in psychotherapy - this story and that happened - its rubbish. It's total nonsense."
"There is no better world we will ever get. I used to think that the goal was to get everybody enlightened. Well, it isn't. There is no goal. There is no purpose."
It's valuable and refreshing to hear ordinary people talk about "this stuff." What these people confess is your confession too, except that you have different words. Just be, see, and if anyone asks, tell in your own words. Or stay silent. Or fumble with the words. Or if they ask, count beans.
The book ... ends ... so ... quietly ... as though it had never begun.