Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 178 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
For almost two years I did a shamatha/vipassana split practice. 60 minutes a day Jhana practice and speed noting. I felt as though I hit a spiritual plateau due to some areas being too tight(I had pressure in my nose and between my eyes). I also felt like I wasn't gaining more insight from the vipassana practice.

I decided to try something different, which was suggested by several people here. The past two weeks I have been doing Michael Taft's guided mediation on Non-Duality and emptiness. I've also been reading a book by Andrew Holecek called Dreams of Light. Ironically, I chose the book only because I read his previous book and liked it, and it turns out this book aligns very closely with my new practice. Emptiness!

All I have to say is "WOW!" I feel much more centered during the day with thoughts, emotions, and interactions. I don't enjoy doing the non-dual/emptiness meditation as much as shamatha and vipassana, but off the cushion I have already noticed a huge shift in my perspective. I feel more easy-going and can go with the flow like never before. 

I'm not sure if this is temporary or not. Perhaps I've already gained some insight on emptiness and that is why emotions and thoughts aren't sticking, which explains the easy-going feeling that I'm experiencing.

I just wanted to say thank you to those that suggested non-dual practice. I have just scratched the surface but I'm really excited to get more into the idea of emptiness.

Further reading suggestions are welcome! 

-Kelly
SigmaTropic, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 146 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Nice Kelly! Happy to hear you're feeling good emoticon
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 178 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
Thank you! 
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 1002 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
The past two weeks I have been doing Michael Taft's guided mediation on Non-Duality and emptiness.


Can you post a link to the video?

I tried to search for it and found this page
https://deconstructingyourself.com/nondual-awareness-meditation-series
and his youtube channel
https://www.youtube.com/c/MichaelTaft108/videos

But I'm not sure which video you are referring to, I can't find one with "Non-Duality and emptiness" in the title.

Thanks,
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 178 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
These are the three that I have done so far.

https://youtu.be/7YQAZ9T0DmI
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https://youtu.be/1TkVzzgT868

https://youtu.be/gXLMfoaLhO4
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 1002 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
https://deconstructingyourself.com/escaping-observer-trap.html
observe the observer.

I think this is a good way to explain it. 

People can relate to observing thoughts, emotions, sensation, impulses, etc so if they have done that to the point of developing detachment to those things, they understand what to do with the oberver and what the result might be. For some people that kind of understanding is very helpful in motivating them to practice.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 5878 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Yay! Glad to hear it!

Funny, my experience is very similar insofar as I too often find it less enjoyable than vipassana and shamatha but get very tangible results from it in daily life. I suspect that there's something important to learn from that, about the hooks that maintain some level of suffering. About the urge of having something to do, something to focus on, something to maintain fixated. 
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 178 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
Thanks Polly.

It is challenging to not do anything and remain in awareness! The most difficult part for me is dullness. Without exerting effort I get sleepy. I see Michael sipping coffee or tea through his guided sessions. I usually consume a cup of matcha, which is about 50 mg of caffeine. Without this, I end up fighting sleep through most of the session, which is counterproductive. 

I've tried quitting caffeine several times but my practice suffers. Getting adequate sleep and taking a brutally cold shower before meditating isn't quite enough. I was up to about 1200 mg per day before I cut it back to 50 mg several months.  

What's your experience like?

Thanks!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 5878 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I get severe reactions from caffeine so I have no help from that. I need a regular yoga regime to balance energy and relaxation. Otherwise either dullness or distraction or both ruins the practice for me, and awareness practice makes it abundantly clear. Speaking of that, I really need to listen to myself here; my beloved yoga studio was bankrupted due to covid so now I have nowhere to go for yoga teachings, and the current heatwave doesn't exactly motivate me to keep up the practice on my own. Ugh... So I do have issues with dullness now. Thanks for the reminder! 

I find that this practice works better for me if I do it very often rather than in few long sessions. I need to check in with it over and over throughout the day in many sits (that can be short) and also in microhits in the midst of daily life. That helps building the momentum so that longer sits are possible. I need to listen to that myself too...

I also find it very helpful to combine it with other practices, as they point from different directions. You could try warming up with some other practice of your choice that makes you both calm and alert. And when you notice the dullness coming over you, take a break from the awareness practice and do some more of that chosen practice. 
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 178 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
Hi Linda,

Thanks for the suggestions! That's a bummer about the caffeine though. I seem to be pretty sensitive to it so I've been micro-dosing it to help with dullness.

I like the idea of mixing up non-dual practice with my "favorite" practices. I tried this yesterday by doing a non-dual sit in the morning and then a shorter shamatha sit later in the day. 

​​​​​​​Thanks again!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 5878 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
No problem. emoticon And thankyou, because following my own advice helped with my temporary sluggishness, hehe. 
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 178 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
Glad to help!

I decided to mix things up today and do shamatha jhana practice. Holy cow. I'm not sure what I did but after doing the non-dual stuff for a while, my concentration was really high. I blasted through the first three jhanas and ended up formless. My body vanished and I felt like energy. No form or center.

I must have cycled further through the path because when I got off the cushion I felt like I was in Equanimity. All day I felt very relaxed and my mind has been quiet (the opposite of what it usually is). I almost don't want to practice tomorrow just to remain here for a while =D
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 5878 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Awesome! 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Kelly Gordon Weeks
For almost two years I did a shamatha/vipassana split practice. 60 minutes a day Jhana practice and speed noting. I felt as though I hit a spiritual plateau due to some areas being too tight(I had pressure in my nose and between my eyes). I also felt like I wasn't gaining more insight from the vipassana practice.

I've hit that plateu now tooo with speed noting!

I decided to try something different, which was suggested by several people here. The past two weeks I have been doing Michael Taft's guided mediation on Non-Duality and emptiness. I've also been reading a book by Andrew Holecek called Dreams of Light. Ironically, I chose the book only because I read his previous book and liked it, and it turns out this book aligns very closely with my new practice. Emptiness!

I started studying non dual Dzogchen and I am in Miceal Taft's class on non dualism called Vast Sky Mind.

All I have to say is "WOW!" I feel much more centered during the day with thoughts, emotions, and interactions. I don't enjoy doing the non-dual/emptiness meditation as much as shamatha and vipassana, but off the cushion I have already noticed a huge shift in my perspective. I feel more easy-going and can go with the flow like never before. 

YES! That's what I'm getting out of it. No fuss, no muss. No watching the damn  breath but effortless non-meditation in non dual awareness and rigpa. I've been feeling a big shift in how I think and act too (in spite of the back injury). In fact it's so good that I plan to ask my teacher to let me Dogzchen and non dual all the time from now out

I'm not sure if this is temporary or not. Perhaps I've already gained some insight on emptiness and that is why emotions and thoughts aren't sticking, which explains the easy-going feeling that I'm experiencing.

I just wanted to say thank you to those that suggested non-dual practice. I have just scratched the surface but I'm really excited to get more into the idea of emptiness.

Further reading suggestions are welcome! 

-Kelly
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 178 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
Nice Sam! How do I find Vast Sky Mind? I like doing his guided meditations on youtube but there's not much of a long-term method to it.

I've thought about logging on to his discord server but I haven't yet.

Thanks Sam!

​​​​​​​-Kelly
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Kelly Gordon Weeks
Nice Sam! How do I find Vast Sky Mind? I like doing his guided meditations on youtube but there's not much of a long-term method to it.

Hi Kelly! I just got  out of the hospitial and seeing this. Vast Sky Mind is a private class of 100 people on non duality of all types. I am in the the class. So you can't get in it now.

But those Thursay night meditations he does are similar non dual awareness practices and will have the effect you report in the next reply.




I've thought about logging on to his discord server but I haven't yet.

Thanks Sam!

​​​​​​​-Kelly
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Non-Duality is Blowing My Mind

Posts: 178 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
The non-dual practice was going well but alas, the path has started up again. I could feel it getting stronger a few days ago and today it was very intense. 

I tried doing a Michael Taft guided meditation but the words didn't make any sense. All I could hear was the sound of his voice but the words had no meaning, just sounds. I figured I was getting dull so I opened my eyes. When I did the room started going out of phase and objects began to move on their own. Fun! 

This territory is very familiar to me. Time to go back to doing nothing for a while!

-Kelly

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