Don’t create any fixed images. 

Advaita Post, Volume 13 No 19




The many forms of the creation are a richness, that’s not a problem.


Problems arise when the forms are tightly held,


Because that’s done by a limited self.


Which fixes the energy to the forms, including that of yourself.


In non-duality there remains a changeable wealth of forms


until this dissolves.


Text Satsang

 From an Advaita talk with Douwe Tiemersma on Schiermonnikoog, February 6, 2005

The basic unity in every situation

With most spiritual traditions it’s about learning to see and experience certain things. That can be beautiful experiences or great truths. But when the person who experiences these things remains more or less the same, then what really changes? The experiences can be important for the person; the person remains. In advaita it’s about a realization that is so radical that everything changes. The insight that breaks through means that an entirely different situation arises. There is a self realization of how it is and simultaneously the actualization of that new. Both go together. When you want to stay at a particular location trying from there to understand this and that, it might become a little clearer mentally, but then it just remains there. You can gain wisdom of everything, but if it stays with: “I know this,” “I think that’s important,” “Now I know this wisdom”, then you get a head full of knowledge while the old situation remains the same. So you can fill your head up with all your bookshelves, but you don’t accomplish very much by that. It’s actually about the total realization of the absence of the old ‘I’-person, thus the absence of the ‘I’-person who says: ‘I think’, ‘I know’. It’s about that ‘I’ disappearing. That ‘I’ is a set of self-images, stories, cramps. They are just stories, it’s just a chunk of contraction. When you relax there’s absolutely nothing there any more. You walk on the beach, the sea, the blue sky and there isn’t a person to be seen. Actually, this situation is always already there. But when you continue to hold on to all kinds of things in your head, the ‘I’ continues to arise. When the erroneous images fall away, when the cramp ceases, it’s clear. When you create particular images you see how easily this clarity is disturbed again. So it clouds the vision and narrows the consciousness. When you cease holding on to these images, it’s completely clear again. It’s that simple. That holding on has to do with the making of boundaries. That’s the basis of all suffering. When the grasping disappears, everything is open and clear, there’s not a  limit in sight. As long as things continue, they continue by themselves. There is no ‘I’ that needs to do anything.

You can’t force that? Doesn’t it just happen to you?

It’s a matter of looking. You look and see: there’s absolutely no ‘I’. It’s artificial to carry all kinds of ideas along. When you let go of the artificiality there’s no longer a person to be found. You actually need to think about it in order to recreate a person with all kinds of ideas about qualities, functions, locations, and so on. When you just let that go, it’s gone. Then they aren’t anything other than phenomena that just come and go. They remain light and transparent. There’s not a clotting of something that wants to maintain itself. When these clots dissolve, what’s left over? Temporary energetic phenomena in the great space. It’s a game. Therefore it’s mutual: don’t fasten them together. Because then you don’t fix that internally in yourself, but also in relationships. All kinds of images are projected onto a particular place with a particular name. Partially you take it on. Also partially not, and then you tend to radiate: “I’ll show you who I am”. Then you have the situation of relationships and individuals who try to fix themselves and each other in a particular location. When you make separations there must be all kinds of external rules in order to keep things in their place. Of course, there can be different ideals, but if the starting point is wrong, the suffering remains. Actually, it’s more like an ocean with waves. A little wave emerges and a moment later the wavelet is gone and then again more waves arise. There is one ocean and some waves emerge therein, but that basic unity remains.

Then wouldn’t you be completely unable to communicate with each other? When you use words, immediately there are all kinds of images.

Of course that’s how it goes, but also, these are all things which disappear once again. All that talk about this and that is complete nonsense. You shouldn’t make it more important than it is. But what is it really about? We enjoy being together and so we say something now and then. What we say doesn’t matter too much. The mutual connection doesn’t depend upon the conversation. It wouldn’t be too good if that was the case. So when you converse, don’t keep the other fixed within particular words and images. When it’s a relationship which rests upon this deeper connection, something may be said now and again and then it’s good. You can be quiet and it’s also good. Don’t make fixed images.

So it’s best to stay with your own openness.

That’s always the most important. That must be very clear, in every situation. For every situation has a tendency to harden. Precisely in mutual conversations, in communication, in relationships, it happens so easily and it’s very subtle. It’s not just on the level of the sentences that you speak. It also happens very directly on the feeling level, on the energetic level. When you stay with yourself, when you remain completely open, then you also see a change in your environment. Then not only has something changed in you in relation to this cramp but also, you see that the whole situation has changed through this openness. The old issues aren’t so important any more. When you are open that basic unity is there. You don’t even have a clear center anymore. Then it no longer matters when a particular energy comes at you from a particular body, because you’re no longer imprisoned there, you no longer feel attacked by it. If, for example, aggression comes at you and from this openness you start laughing, that aggression is immediately gone.



The first results of Douwe’s physical examination gave a rose-colored picture, but the PET-scan and the CT scan showed that there are metastasis of tumor in several places. This means that there is no more therapy possible. The specialists have given him approximately 6 more months to live (with a wide margin). The chemotherapy provides perhaps a 1 to 2 month extension, but given the side effects, it’s not an option.

So that’s how it is. As far as possible the activities will continue. All kinds of things will now be completed and closed.

Each time we can decide whether a satsang will happen or not. Always check the website for the most recent information.

In time, the Advaita Centre will close and the Openness Foundation will also be dissolved. The Board will see when the time is right for that.

It’s great that the different activities have gradually become self reliant: the Foundation for Relaxation and Insight for Youth, the Foundation for Advaita Yoga Teacher Training and the various independent advaita groups. It’s going well. Because the essence remains central, they will continue to play a good role for many in the future.

After two years the loss of my form is now actual. During this time period the necessity for everyone to achieve total independence has often been discussed. Now it gets really serious. This independence is the openness of being free, of consciousness, of love, of oneness. Everything can be accepted as your own within it and released.



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