Tasting Non-Duality

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Moderator: A first-time participant in Palm Desert, California asks if there is such a thing as free will.

David: I don’t know. What do you think?

Moderator: Response. “Once I’m dead there will only be one story of my body.”

David: Right, once you’re dead. In retrospect there is fate, everything is fated; one story but only when it’s a convenient story. In other words, when it’s convenient to make, do you follow? While you are living, it’s something else. Once you’re dead you can look back and say, “It had to be that way.” I’m more interested in the unfolding. I’m less interested in what that unfolding is, how you can describe it.

Moderator: From a participant in Edmonton, Canada, “Hi David, I am grateful to be here and truly gaining from being in connection with you. Sometimes I close my eyes and see that I just am. Is that a good thing to be present to? The vibrancy that I just am?”

David: Yes, it’s very good. At the same time it is an experience, it has a particular quality to it. Be open to that quality unfolding, of telling you more, or of disappearing into something even deeper. Be natural and easy with your experience. Don’t overlay it with too much interpretation and also, try not to attach to it in any kind of a way where it becomes static truth. Truth is always moving, always flowing. Truth is the opening of a flower, as it opens. The flower is never fixed. Only when you take a photograph of the flower does it become fixed, in which case it’s just an image. And the image, though beautiful (although photography is a lovely art form and brings us great enjoyment), it’s just a dead image. So, remember all these things. Be natural, be childlike and simple before your experience, appreciate your experience, have great love for what it bestows and then just easily observe everything, not intentionally but just keeping your heart wide open — enormous.

Moderator: The response is, “Gratitude and reached.”

David: Do you have any other questions?

Moderator: From a participant in Knoxville, Tennessee, “As an enlightened being, do you continue to meditate every day? A formal practice that is.”

David: Yes. I do enjoy meditating. I try to do that each and every day. To me, meditation is like an art form. It’s something beautiful, something to be practiced with care and attention and love. And it also has healing qualities for the body. The body is in the world and therefore, it’s in the play of opposites, and therefore it undergoes wear and tear. So, meditation is a retreat from the turbulence of participating in the world with the body. It’s retreating back toward the quiet, motionless Being. I always tell people it’s good have some practice. Even if you have great realization you might still benefit, not so much in terms of widening your realization but simply basking in the silence, enjoying the nourishing, sweet, restful, transcendent nature of the silence.

Moderator: From Edmonton, “I understand that as what I know to be true in my heart changes and disappears, and suddenly I have a new floor that I don’t yet see. Then it is to just appreciate what is now when there is no more focal point.”

David: Just live like that. Be loving, and receptive and helpful to others and just live in that beautiful relaxation and enjoyment. When you probe deeply into this subject of realization, when you explore it authentically, the path is filled with insight and realization, which gives insight to human subjectivity. It opens consciousness. That’s what I mean by human subjectivity, it opens into consciousness. Consciousness is the field of knowing, it’s the field of perception, it’s also the field of feeling and intuition. Consciousness is a wide open field with many different qualities. Realization is that gesture or path or direction we take to explore that field and gain insight to its nature, which is the nature of consciousness. As we move along that path we become filled with deeper and deeper recognition. Paradoxically, as that ripening gets more and more full and when it becomes total, you learn how to forget all about yourself, because “yourself” is no longer this area that we once thought of as being inside of our body, only. We begin to feel an opening or reaching out into an area which is neither subjective nor objective. In other words, we attain into true non-duality. The fabric of reality itself becomes transformed into a non-dual substance, a non-dual quality.

So as not to reduce that quality to something knowable, we say that it is grasped with the intuition or with the feeling heart, the feeling nature. But the point I wanted to offer you is that the expansive phases of realization are for the subject. But once that flowering has occurred to a significantly enormous degree, it then becomes something that you give away, it’s something that you share, constantly. Not through choice, but through recognition that you cannot circumscribe this non-dual area, you cannot define it, but you can live it and in living there is relationship. There is no end to relationship. And so that flowering, which begins as a seed, inside a single heart, flowers into something extravagant, something beautiful that can be shared interpersonally, intra-personally. It can be shared cosmically in a divine state of non-duality.

Moderator: Edmonton has commented, “Just keeping my heart big, open and soft. Thank you brother.”

David: We’re going into that softness now, that fluffy, billowing breath of Bliss and easiness and interpersonal sharing. I don’t mean “interpersonal” to sound too dualistic, it’s a problematic word, but it’s not a bad word. It’s not all that bad so I’ll use it. This interpersonal tasting, the taste is one substance, one nectar, and yet we, even at different ends of the perceptual spectrum, in two apparently different body minds can enjoy that taste and even speak about it. While at the same time recognizing it in “no difference”.

Moderator: From a participant in Arcata, California, “Thank you for your help. I feel as if my life is more relaxed and I’m able to be more present in it. These webcasts and the video clips on the website are of great value to me.”

David: Great. Take advantage of these webcasts, they’re given in the spirit of a gift, lovingly offered. And so in that kind of offering it’s easy to take it in. So, the more you can relax into that kind of simple reception, that kind of pure receptivity, the more of this influx of Bliss will happen. The Bliss will liberate, the Bliss is just a symptom or an expression of the Absolute. We can’t talk about the Absolute itself because it’s not an object. It doesn’t have any quality, but certain qualities will arise out of the Absolute in order to initiate.

The initiation is like the waves on the ocean. They move, and because they move they can spread the ocean. The ocean has tides because of waves. So, the Absolute, which is self-contained and non-moving turns into its opposite as Shakti or vibration. And that vibration, like the waves of the ocean, move. Even though the ocean is self-contained as one mass, it still manages to move inside of itself and in that movement, travel. It actually covers more space because of its movement. So, the Absolute also, even though it is one and without movement it manages to create turbulence within itself so that it can move out of itself, it can fire out and initiate. It can give a felt sensation of itself. In that felt sensation one human being can share it with another, that’s what’s happening here. I know you’re not just coming here to listen to me talk. I know there’s more of a quality because of your testimonials and because of our discussions. That liberates attention inside of itself so that it can begin tasting what otherwise is tasteless, free of taste.

So, just as the ocean can move back and forth, up and down, the Absolute also has the capacity to move. Once it moves, I’d rather not call it Absolute anymore, just to avoid confusion. The character of the Absolute will change into current, waves, vibration. We can call that vibration Shakti, even though it’s still the Absolute, it’s still only That. But so that we can have a conversation about something which is so mysterious that it can be completely in itself and still apparently move out of itself, we invent the word “Shakti”. We haven’t invented it; the Indian continent and its spiritual teachings invented it, which means the force or the power of the Absolute, the feminine aspect. It’s equally Absolute, it’s just that it has character to it, it has qualities and therefore it can produce the symptomology of the Absolute, it can give a taste of the Absolute which otherwise is too transcendent to taste. But you can still get Absolute recognition through it.

Moderator: From Edmonton, “I feel the goodness and care in your responses and the love in your giving.”

From Palm Desert, California: “I feel the lightness and fluffiness in my chest that you were talking about, is that something that you would expect to happen as I’m listening?”

David: I don’t expect anything, but I’m delighted that you are describing that. That lightness is the Prana-shakti. The Prana-shakti enters into the entire respiratory area and performs an initiation, an energetic communication in that area. And that Prana-shakti, as it deeply penetrates into the subtle fabric of human intelligence and even into physiological being. It will manifest the Self, the silence of the Self, the lightness that comes through transcendence. So, we were talking about the way in which the Absolute, which has no quality, it’s just pure Light, pure Bliss, pure silence turns into this other quality whereby we can acquire something of a distinguishable recognition about it. And even though it’s a taste it’s still water. The infinite water of the Self can be tasted in a single gulp. It’s still water that you’re taking in and it’s the infinite water of the Self, it’s indistinguishable Being, Absolute, non-dual to the core. So, what this person in Palm Springs has shared is very significant. Firstly, because it’s a subjective event, it’s a clear recognition of something happening in subjectivity, which means it’s a direct experience. It’s not a thought, it’s not an interpretation, it’s being expressed through thought, but the experience is direct, and that soft, rising Bliss of love is indeed a quality of the divine Absolute, indeed. So, when that appears let your attention merge into it and become totally empty, or totally full. Just relaxed naturally into Being and also what arises as a communication from Being: the initiatory power of Being, the Shakti.

Also, love is still another flavor of that same initiatory quality, through love you can enter into this same mysterious silence. So, Shakti is a door, or doorway. Love, devotion, appreciation, grace are also doorways. Each might have a unique quality so we shouldn’t get too dogmatic about the fact that different words can be used to describe the same thing. We shouldn’t become angry because there are many different qualities; it doesn’t mean that this is relativistic. It’s still an Absolute consideration or consideration of the Absolute. It’s just that in using human language things become a bit more complex because of our cognitive functioning, the way we operate mentally and through our cognitive processes. So, the variety is helpful from that angle. It’s not literally descriptive, but it doesn’t have to be, it can just be seen as a kind of metaphor. When I talk in terms of Shakti, divine Light, divine Love, devotional exaltation or expansion or even inebriation, all of these things are metaphorical insinuations toward something unspeakable. So, because we cannot say the unspeakable we say the things we can speak. And in that way, through the connections we can make in our subjective experience, have a valid experience of something special, something that’s beyond words.

Moderator: From Arcata, “I can feel the Shakti sometimes, even when the energy around me is a bit chaotic or hectic.”

David: That’s good.

Moderator: And from a participant in Boston, “I’m new to these sessions, I notice you have a Green Tara above you. Do you have a special relationship?”

David: I have a special relationship with the feminine aspect of the Absolute. So, if you like to interpret that piece of artwork in that way, that’s fine.

Moderator: A participant in Maine comments, “Taste of heaven tonight.”

David: That’s Bliss. That’s the language of Bliss, very clearly spoken. This world is the divine realm. It’s hard to believe, but the complete and total divine is shown in this world. It’s offered to these bodies to taste, in this world, which can be like a heaven or it can be like a hell. Either way, this divine vibration is available, it’s present, it’s operating spontaneously, all the time. It’s always available, always here, every second.

Moderator: From Edmonton, “When I am feeling or knowing this vibrancy and this feeling of love that I’ve usually directed towards others and I direct that love to my Being is this a full circle kind of way to stay in and deepen this Being connection?”

David: If that’s the way this is playing out for you, then go with it. At the same time, it’s not really necessary to direct with intention or with the use of force. I would say, become like a sponge and be absorbing of this Bliss, let it saturate every fiber of Being. And I think you will see that it comes along with you at some point. You will be able to move in this without even being conscious of it. It will just be liberated. It will be a liberating and liberated phenomenon, generated from within its own area. In the mean time, if you feel as though you need to interpret it more in the way that you just spoke, then work it your way so that you gain completion in your understanding. That is, in the way that you conceive of this happening and also on the level of pure experience, that you’re simply tasting, absorbing and at some point, radiating this Bliss. Just let it happen naturally with no effort, except it as a gift and be very humble before this. It does not belong to anyone. It’s no one’s possession, no one’s property. Still, it can be shared from one who is it fully to one who is not it fully. That play can still go on without any form of authoritarianism, without any form of power-play.

It’s been a wonderful evening, a very sacred time together. I hope you’ve been sensing and absorbing and realizing moment by moment. So, with such a wonderful evening complete, I will say goodbye for this evening and hope to see you again soon. Namaste.