Archive for December, 2009

When you recognize your own depth of light, it’s perfect.
December 21, 2009

Advaita Post, Volume 10 No 21

The light can become total

The light can become total


Here below are two pieces of text from a successful workshop done in cooperation with the magazine Koordanser for this, the last issue of the 10th year of the Advaita Post. These include: a syllabus for the participants and notes by Pia.

The Koorddanser Workshop “Introduction to non-duality”, November 28, 2009


Douwe: Spirituality is expansion and purification in being-awareness. This movement goes in the direction of an ever greater unity or non-duality. The term non-duality is preferable to the term “unity”, because then there is less danger that it will be perceived as a totality. It refers to the sphere of openness in which your self, others and the world are present without separations. The entire rich diversity has a part therein. In experience, that which you experience is not different from yourself who experiences it. As vision, non-dualism is a human and world-view.  Within it the boundaries and divisions, including between ‘I’ and other, are viewed as learned and relative. The non-dualistic vision can be found in all cultures. It is the core of all religions and of every spirituality. So it is of great value to get a clear experience and a lucid understanding of the non-dual nature of yourself and reality, prior to separateness, contradictions and conflicts.

Examination of your own  body

Non-duality appears to be very visible in your own body.

Experiment: With your attention go inside your body and become aware of your own internal sphere. In this internal space is there a separation to be found? Is there a real gap anywhere?

In the internal experience, the body is one whole. Viewed biologically: in an organism all parts relate to one another. If one part is sick, the whole body suffers.  Experience-wise you can confirm that internally, in your own feeling body.

Go once again with your attention inwards to the sphere of your feeling-sense self-being and go to the right with your attention. Is there still the same feeling-sense sphere of yourself or does it stop at your skin? Then go even further to the right. How far to the right can you go without your bodily self-sphere falling away? Stay concrete and soberly experience: the sphere of your feeling self-being. Don’t make any cognitive image of your body, but go with your feeling-sense to know more. How far can you go? Where is there a border? Is there a border with the others that are there on the right? Then go to the left in the same manner …  How far can you go? Then go forwards and backwards, up and down with your attention… How is it now? Then can you also establish that your physical self-sphere is infinite, as large as the entire cosmos? And that everyone and everything has a place within it?

You have learned: somewhere there is a skin, my body stops there and the outside world begins. With your inner examination of your physical self-being, you notice that the image of your body with its skin is a mental representation. If, for once, you agree to allow your thinking to subside and then from within, very clearly and alertly determine how things are, it appears that the physical self-sphere is infinitely spacious and without internal divisions. It is a cosmos of being-self-being. The material things and everything you experience with the senses appear in this sphere of universal self-being and you feel them from the inside-out. Thus people and other living beings and things are not different from yourself. They are yourself, in the same way that your hands and your feet belong to your own self-sphere. So a not-twoness or a non-duality that can be experienced very clearly.

The other as yourself

Sit down two by two. Close your eyes and let the palms of the other person rest fully upon your arm. What do you feel? What reality is that? Don’t go projecting what you know; it’s about an unbiased affirmation of what can be observed. What do you really experience now?

It is a feeling whereby you no longer experience yourself as separate (your skin) from the hand of another.  In the experience it is one phenomenon. You don’t just experience your own skin and the external hand separately. They have totally come together. It is one feeling phenomenon. Just call it hand-skin.

If the other also closes the eyes, does he/she experience that also?

Do you experience that feeling skin-hand in the space? Do you see that the physicality of yourself and what supposedly comes from outside, from the other, comes totally together? That there is a non-duality of yourself and the other?

When you have the right attitude then non-duality is obvious, not only with the feeling sense but also with sight.

You look towards someone else, at first with a distant attitude. Then confirm what you experience.

Then allow yourself relax and let your attitude become a feeling-sense. Eventually return to your heart sphere. You become aware of your feeling sphere and let it become stronger and imagine that you really like the other person. Then in this atmosphere look at the other. What is the difference between this situation and the previous one?

Seeing is highly dualistic, because sight establishes something at a distance. But there is also another kind of seeing, a feeling seeing in which no distance is present. You can also look at everything from the sphere of your own body, your own bodily feeling, your feeling body. You see someone else from your heart. The distance disappears and you can directly confirm: there is no duality with the other but only a non-duality. When just a little relaxation comes, you automatically sink down. You return to feeling from your heart and you see the separation disappear.

Yourself as consciousness

Look at something in front of you and let your awareness expand backwards until you’re aware of yourself as an observer. You confirm: I am an observer (subject) and am aware of the observed (object).

You can also position your point of observation behind / higher up and observe your body from a distance. You confirm: I am an observer (subject) and am aware of the perceived body as an object. I am more than that body.

You become aware of yourself once again on the level of the witness-consciousness and let yourself relax there. What happens then? You confirm: I am a universal being-awareness, without borders; everything is in me, I am in everything; there is one large non-dual sphere.

Living in non-duality

From the universal relaxation and non-duality become aware once again of your body in the world. Then there is a consciousness of your body from inside-out, of the feelings and impressions, and from outside-in, of the body in the greater whole of the conscious space. There you are the body as well as the universal space. The feelings and impressions then have a place in the greater whole of the space, for example motion of breathing. The breathing mechanism is yourself, but you draw no breath. Breathing happens by itself and you are aware of that from the greater whole. In the whole that you yourself are, breathing arises spontaneously.

From the same kind of situation the right hand can go up. From the outside you see this movement occur automatically, even though the hand is yours. Especially if the up and down motion continues for awhile, it’s clear that you aren’t doing anything.

This can remain true for all actions.

After the workshop itself, all of the above can be further explored and experienced. It’s a fascinating, joyful and expansive development!

The Koorddanser Workshop November 28, 2009 – last part

 Notes by Pia

Phenomena pass through in the feeling consciousness . You see everything within it, even your traumas and problems. You are aware of your stress as an energetic pressure of society. But most of the tension comes from your own “I”-tension. When you relax in that feeling consciousness it naturally dissolves. Relaxation immediately allows the non-duality to be seen.

So return to your self. There, in deep relaxation let everything go. Then there is no hard ego energy any more on which the stress-energy can continue to press. Then everything flows on the best manner possible.

“Stress in your work is sometimes nice.”
Yes, why? Because work brings an expansion. This nice feeling arises when there is expression in your work. But when the work is complete, the expansion usually stops. I know artists who are in heaven when they are creating, but deeply depressed when the work is finished. Notice that it’s not about “I do this or that.” In your space don’t be dependent on conditions. In the vitality of life everything happens by itself.

If you feel that something isn’t right with yourself, is that in your energetic existence? Then ask yourself: how is it with myself? I go with my attention a bit backwards. I see the energies of my physical sphere in space. They form only a part of that space. I am more than that. I am myself and so I am aware of my energetic existence.

So practically experience your great space and have trust. Then the energies will harmonize and the hardness will dissolve automatically.

 I have lost touch with that original being-awareness of my childhood.
Yes, children know the open being-sphere. Children seek it, as long as there is a limit, they experience it, for example when they are lifted up by their parents. However, they have no real awareness of it, because they just go along with the narrowing of the ego-formation. The point is now, as adults, to see through this and to experience the openness in such an aware manner that no narrowing can arise.

Is it good to do relaxation exercises during stressful times?
Yes, they can help you to relax at that moment and to be aware of yourself once again.

Also chakra yoga or pranayama can help, when you keep your consciousness there, so that it gives insight into who you really are. Otherwise, they are just little exercises that can be nice. Sometimes it’s amazing to see that very simple little exercises (from Pia and others) can give people sight of non-duality.

Thus, what’s important is the great space of your feeling consciousness. The energies can harmonize themselves within it. That happens by itself. Concentrated energies then have the tendency to evenly expand. So stay aware of the great space.

Sometimes it’s not possible to return to that space.
Can you take one step?  That’s enough. If you’ve taken one step, you can take another, back to the space. Actually you don’t need to take any step. It’s only about becoming aware of yourself and relaxing into it. Then the closed off energies receive space.

The point isn’t that you don’t know where the solution lies. The point for you is to focus on space with devotion. When you choose for expansion, then it comes. Yoga is about you becoming aware of alternatives and then always opting for the expansive option. When you always apply that kind of yoga just watch what happens.

There are open moments every day.  Between the words is silence, between the thoughts is silence. You can focus yourself there.

To be able to see them, to see what’s really going on, you will need to be more simple than most of the people who live in constructions, such as materialism and the separation between one and the other.

“When I’m on the computer, I’m not always myself.”
Before you start your computer work, you can first sit up straight with relaxed shoulders and awareness of yourself in the whole situation: that you will be sitting behind the computer typing within the great space. While looking at the screen and typing it can still remain so. Everything continues automatically.

See the addiction: the old patterns continue, according to previously learned stimuli.

Someone: “Music really helps me become more expansive.”
That’s great, but then go with that music into infinity, while you remain aware. Then you don’t stay dependent on the music; there is freedom from any condition whatsoever.

Keep it simple: return to yourself; become fully relaxed there; there is the being-experience of the universal origin.


The direct path of insight means a complete surrender.
December 8, 2009

Advaita Post, Volume 10 Number 20

Advaita Post 10-20

From a talk given in Bruges on Sunday, November 15, 2009 (Part 2, conclusion)

Notes from Danny

In principle, self-being is free from the limitation of forms. It is universally open and in the openness everything happens naturally. No choices are made. Knowing and acting are a matter of course. Only a limited self makes choices. It’s just an illusion to think that you are the master of life. In self-being it’s clear what needs to be done. I myself am free and life lives itself.

Return to turning within, bring the attention back to its origin and return to the infinite relaxation, in openness and clarity. When the relaxation continues infinitely then the ‘I’-person disappears. All structures and patterns disappear. Experience the groundless openness clearly and internally without borders, without duality.

Self-being is the first person, you are that. It is universal and without separations. There is nothing more natural than relaxed presence. It is your intrinsic nature. Return home to the relaxed state without separations. The ‘I’-center doesn’t exist any longer. You see the clouds and you are the clouds. Self-being appears to be universal.

When the center-focused forces dissolve, the ego disappears. The feeling and the consciousness are freed.  In the further opening, there’s no grasping any longer. Everything is loose and free.  Recognize that. It is about an awareness of what has always been there. When you look more expansively, then you see the illusion of the ‘I’ and the importance of that which you once thought to be so important. Experience the feeling of becoming totally open. Then that process continues further. Stay in your highest lucidity in order to affirm that.

In the return of attention to the origin, in the coming open, in the wholeness, it’s clear. This reality of self is the reality. This is the reality. This is freedom without the presence of a person.  It’s about this direct insight.

It’s immediately obvious. You see it immediately when something attracts your attention. You see through the relativity of things. When forms come, they are free. They have no magic power any longer to catch you, they can’t tempt you anymore. You see through the illusion of forms. Forms and structures no longer have you in their grasp. You are free.