In this post I try to sum up the activities I do on a regular basis to stay aware of my true nature as much as possible.
First of all , I’m in the student program of Fred Davis. Having a teacher is important. Because of that program I have a weekly 2-hour Zoom satsang that is presided by Fred and attended by 50-60 people who are seriously engaged with non-duality. During these sessions there is a lot of skillful dialog and the regular exposure is important, it has its effect. Also the student program entails an hour a month of 1:1 time with Fred. The satsangs are public so I encourage anybody with a sincere interest to try a session. You can book one here.
I have a modest meditation routine. I used to meditate a lot more , putting pressure on myself using my self discipline, but as ‘I’ progressed I learned that meditation is useful until it isn’t. More meditation can be useful , but it can also be a dead end. More effort is not always going to yield faster results, especially in non-duality.
(This is in contrast to meditating to develop your concentration ‘muscle’ and access altered mind states, then more meditation is useful but that is entirely unrelated to nonduality.)
I do however still sit daily in the morning with a Light meditation that I recorded myself. It’s somewhat a non-dual meditation but not really.
Also every once in a while I’ll do this beautiful meditation by Bentinho Massaro. I’ve extracted the audio from YouTube , edited it and placed it below.
Click the three dots on the right of it if you want to download the file for offline listening.
Sometimes I like to put the below audio below on headphones when I lie on the couch or in bed and let the snippets of Truth sink into my Being :
During the day
I guess I meditate less than before because when it comes to realizing your true nature, I feel it may be more important what you do during the day than what you do on the cushion. A very important aspect of non-duality is learning to accept What Is , As It Is. That is too easy on the cushion , when nothing is happening, I am comfortable and mind is quiet. Off-cushion there is much more opportunity for practice. I have a few methods for this:
Look through the body, not as the body.
As Fred Davis explains in this video, it is possible to see your current experience (what you see/hear/feel/smell/taste/think here and now) through the body instead of as the body. Normally we feel that we ‘see’ the world from somewhere behind our eyes, in the head because we identify with the body. In that excercise you take a step back and see your experience through the body, which gives it a more calm and spacious flavour, you may feel slightly detached from the body. I practice this during the day whenever I remember to do it for as long as I can. I find it especially easy to do during riding my bicycle to work or driving the car , where I can observe the actions of the body and I can get a feel for the fact that it’s just happening on its own – I’m not doing anything. Also activities like knitting or other routine repetitious tasks are suitable. Try it!
It’s like Alan Watts said:
You are an aperture through which the Universe observes itself.
You are not in control of anything that happens. You are Awakeness, observing What Is through that body. That means that whenever you feel like ‘I should be clearer than this’ or ‘I should meditate more’ or some other judgement, be kind to ‘yourself’and allow What Is to be, including the frustration or judgment. It’ s not yours! As long as you are concious of feelings , even if it’s frustration, there is some clarity. So a soft attitude is important , don’t beat yourself up.
This has nothing to do with non-duality but still…If I feel miserable , this is usually caused by a loop ; an unpleasant thought (usually has to do with fear or desire) will cause some unpleasant feeling in the body. As thougths create more thoughts and mind goes rampant, the bodily sensations get worse and worse. I break this loop by keeping my attention focused on the unpleasant body sensations. This puts the brakes on the mind. After just a few minutes it is usually clear that the bodily sensations are easy to bear and really are no big problem. I try to be kind to the feelings and not push them away, just watch them and allow them. Then they usually slowly dissipate. After that I have to be cautious to not enter the same thought stream again because mind will try to continue where it left off. This ‘trick’ does not work always, but a lot of the time it does.
Thoughts arise out of nothing and disappear into nothing. They are an arising like everything else and humans are hard-wired to believe thought without checking them. Consider the possibility that you are not creating thoughts and they may not be yours 😉. Thoughts create stories where there are none.
In non-duality inquiry is a common practice. You notice a thought , like ‘I can’t take anymore of this.” When you do inquiry , you go and try to find the owner to that thought. “Who said that? Who is the owner or creator of that thought? Is it true?”. Sometimes I try to do this but it is difficult because I can never find the owner/creator of a thought so after a few times I don’t even try anymore. Nevertheless , it’s a powerful practice.
Not Me , Not Mine
I try to notice thoughts and say to myself “Not Me , Not Mine.” I will also state that about feelings, opinions, unskillful thoughts etc. Frequently I can be in a group conversation and notice that I want to form an opinion and get involved. But it happens that I notice this and I ‘decide’ that I don’t need an opinion and just let it slip, staying silent. It’s much easier to not have or need an opinion about a lot of stuff. Sometimes I say out loud “There is no Dennis” and repeat that a number of times as consciously as I can. Because it’s the truth.
That’s all that comes to mind right now. If I forgot something I’ll add it to this post.
Be well! 🌸