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Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:08 AM

The Problem for Teachers of Advaita is How to Say Something About Nothing.

With Advaita, there is no dogma to learn or believe. The task for teachers of Advaita is to find ways to point as directly as possible at “that which has no name”.

Although nameless, many names or attributes have been given to “it” such as: God – Void – Emptiness – Consciousness as-it-is – Consciousness without an object – Pure Subject – Clear and open, Cloudless Sky (Dogzen) – Clarity – Capacity (Douglas Harding) – I Am – I Am That I Am – Tao – Awareness – Awareness of Awareness – Awakeness – Mindfulness – Bare Attention --No-Mind – Unborn – the No-Thing – Changeless, Infinite and Undivided (John Dobson) – the Unseen Seer – and many many more.

None of these names or attributes is “It”. They are just pointers to direct the attention of the seeker to look for what they are pointing to. This No-Thing is what mystics “see” when they are meditating. It is “That” in which all things appear and yet, when looked for, all that is “seen” or “experienced” is Nothing/Void/Empty/Clear and Open Space. THAT ART THOU.

Any teaching beyond this No-Thing are but ideas which come and go.

The mind (which is just an idea/thought indicating the presence of ideas/thoughts) hates the void, but the Void is the only thing that is real/Constant/Changeless. Everything else comes and goes, appears and disappears. The Void is “there” before, during and after everything else comes and goes. THAT ART THOU.

So simple, yet so easy to overlook or miss (i.e., “sin” as in “missing the mark”).

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Reply The Problem for Teachers of Advaita is How to Say Something About Nothing. (Original post)
Viva_Daddy Jun 2012 OP
GliderGuider Jun 2012 #1
Viva_Daddy Jun 2012 #2
GliderGuider Jun 2012 #3
Viva_Daddy Jun 2012 #4
GliderGuider Jun 2012 #5
Viva_Daddy Jun 2012 #6

Response to Viva_Daddy (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 07:10 AM

1. A good early step

is realizing that I am not my story. This realization leads naturally to curiosity about who I truly am. The more closely I look, the more deeply I inquire, the more transparent I become. At some point, while relaxing, grace may enter and the inquiry is stilled. The last thought, the last cloud to clear, is "Ah..."

And then of course there is water to be chopped and wood to be carried.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:53 PM

2. Your story, like everything else, appears and disappears in the Changeless Void.

Pay attention to what does not come and go.

While chopping water, notice that the water is clear and transparent (or at least it should be), and that's why water is also sometimes used as a metaphor (pointer)...like keeping your mirror free of dust. Neti, Neti!

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Response to Viva_Daddy (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 07:57 PM

3. There is no teacher. There is no student.

There is no teaching, and no learning. There is no one to awaken, no one is asleep. There is no illusion, just the illusion of illusion. Hey, I think I'm getting the hang of this advaita business! Oops, lost it. Oh wait, no I didn't - it never left. Hang on, I'm confused. No I'm not, it's just an illusion of confusion! Ack! My transparency has gone all cloudy - someone hand me my spiritual squeeji...

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 12:47 PM

4. Yes, it does boggle the mind. Perhaps that is the point. Like Zen koans.

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Response to Viva_Daddy (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 01:41 PM

5. It only boggles the mind if the mind tries to grasp it.

I love the feeling of a simply holding a paradox.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 03:43 PM

6. Which is what the mind tries to do. But the mind will never understand it.

I believe that the Greek precept, which was posted at the Oracle at Delphi, saying "Know thyself" is a Western form of a Zen Koan... like the Advaita precept to ask "Who or What Am I?"

I was taught that, when asking oneself this question, to "stay with the question, rather than seeking an answer", rather like repeating a mantra in the practice of Transcendental Meditation.

The Greeks had a term for this - metanoia - literally to go "beyond" (meta) the mind (noia). This is usually mistranslated "repentance" in the New Testament.

A Buddhist friend of mine once quipped: "In Buddhism, there are essentially two paths to liberation/enlightenment: Give up or Give in". Unfortunately, the mind usually has to struggle with these questions before it finally gives up.

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