About Volume 1, Number 2 (Spring, 2012)
(Please scroll down towards the bottom for an abbreviated table of contents)
Introduction to this Issue
Undivided is shape-shifting! Based upon your feedback that our first issue was too content rich, we have decided to slim down and appear more frequently, coming out on a quarterly basis from now on. We are becoming more nimble and accessible to our media savvy readers, so that our individual offerings can be easily downloaded onto your iPads, iPhones, Kindles, Nooks and whatnot.
Here are some additional changes:
- We are introducing our first individual column, Will Friedman’s Touchstones, with hopefully more to come from some of your favorite authors that will be posted in between and along with the normal quarterly issues of Undivided.
- You can now freely subscribe to Undivided and receive notifications of new postings, comments, and “tastings” of forthcoming articles by signing up in the menu box appropriately entitled “Sign up for our mailing list” near the upper right hand corner of each page. This also gives us an idea of how large our dedicated readership is.
- We now have a Facebook page that can be accessed at http://www.facebook.com/NondualWPI. Please let your “friends” know about us as we are completely word-of-mouth.
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Please enjoy our spring 2012 issue and feel free to post your responses and blog with the authors. We like hearing from you.
Overview of Content
Nondual Teachers and Teachings
In “Nisargadatta Maharaj and the Surprising Power of Sacred Speech” Timothy Conway, a spiritual teacher and scholar who spent ten days with the great Indian sage in 1981, focuses on the inherent potency of speech that arises from true nature, offering many examples of the sage’s remarkably powerful verbal pointers. He writes, “Nisargadatta was surely one of the most electrifyingly-eloquent sages of all time. He delivered wisdom-laden and love-dripping one-liners with stunning pithiness. His comments addressed a surprisingly wide-range of aspects within his circumscribed area of ‘allowable’ discussion: nondual spirituality or realization of the non-relational Absolute.” Conway’s article is also a portal to a much larger trove of his website’s material related to Maharaj’s life and teachings.
In “Dark Night: The Breakdown of the Mythology of Me” Jeannie Zandi, who trained as a psychotherapist at the Naropa Institute and is now a spiritual teacher, offers an unusually insightful and eloquent guide to therapists working with clients who are undergoing a spiritual crisis/initiation involving the often profoundly disorienting and disturbing dissolution of the separate sense of self. Having passed through the dark night herself and with deep reverence for “the Dark Lord,” she notes, “It is critical for our world to see and support the emergence of beings living from tender-hearted nobody-ness, the living of life from a selfless and heart-based ground.”
Author and teacher Scott Kiloby addresses the deeply embedded, residual sense of deficiency that usually survives an initial spiritual awakening and is most often triggered by interpersonal relationships in “The Core Deficient Self and Relationship.” He proposes a “Boomerang Inquiry” to recognize and see through our projections of the deficient self onto others through a three-step process: “1.Whenever you are triggered in relationship, ask yourself what this person or object is mirroring back to you about a deficient self center. 2. Give the deficient self center a specific name (e.g., unlovable self, unfulfilled self, lacking self, incomplete self, broken self, unsuccessful self, invalid self). 3. Once you name that deficient self, try to find it.” Give it a try and report back!
Clinical Theory and Practice
In “Embodied Nonduality” Judith Blackstone, author, psychologist, and spiritual teacher, contrasts different Tibetan approaches to nonduality and then emphasizes the importance of realizing nonduality fully in and through the subtle core of the body. She writes, “The subtle core is an entranceway into the wholeness of our own body/being and the oneness that transcends our individual being. By letting go from the subtle core of the body, we let go into the fundamental dimension of our being. We find ourselves as the pervasive, unified transparency of self and other.” Blackstone is a pioneer of this approach that has unfolded from her own direct experience.
Long-time psychotherapist and supervisor/trainer Michael Baugh explores the surprising possible confluence of “third wave” behavioral approaches such as Steven Hayes’ Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Marsha Linehan’s Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) with nondual wisdom in “The Fourth Wave of Behaviorism: ACT, DBT and Nondual Wisdom.” Baugh observes that both of these evidence-based behavioral schools were founded by individuals who had deeply transformational spiritual experiences and insights yet each approach holds back from taking the final step beyond the separate sense of self. “In discussing a fourth behavioral wave, we are mainly talking about how the third wave comes home to completion in the nondual, and the way that behavioral techniques from the third wave can assist spiritual seekers in awakening,” writes Baugh.
In this artful forty-five minute guided meditation entitled “The Garden of Experience” Rupert Spira, author, ceramic artist, and spiritual teacher, likens attention/experiencing to a butterfly in a garden moving seamlessly between the “flowers” of the apparent mind, body and world within a “field” of experience. The listener is then invited to drop the image of the butterfly and be the empty, open field of experiencing, and then drop any sense of a subtle space-like field as well and simply abide as dimensionless knowing. “The mind cannot go there; it can’t find the door,” he notes.
In this brief Youtube video excerpted from a longer interview recorded during the 2009 Science and Nonduality conference, Undivided editor, spiritual teacher and author Peter Fenner responds to the classic question, “What is the I?”
The renowned German modern dance choreographer Pina Bausch had a profoundly silent and attentive way of observing her dance troop members that touched them to the core and liberated a tremendous freedom and spontaneity of movement – sometimes at lightning speed – that is evident in this short clip from director Wim Wender’s 2012 film tribute, “Pina.”
In this new section of Undivided, psychologist and author Will Friedman initiates his new column, Touchstones, with an article entitled “Immersed in a Sea of Zen Masters: An Adaptation in the Tradition of Zen Buddhism.”
We plan to add new columns and columnists in subsequent issues of Undivided.
I review volume 1 of Rupert Spira’s recently published, beautifully written, and wise “Presence: The Art of Peace and Happiness.”
Dissertations of Note
This time we feature Eva Zimmermann’s lucid and compelling 2011 CIIS doctoral dissertation: “A Narrative Inquiry of Women Practitioners of Eastern Spirituality in Recovery From Childhood Trauma.”
Volume 1, Number 2: Table of Contents
- Nondual Teachers and Teachings
- “Nisargadatta Maharaj and the Surprising Power of Sacred Speech” by Timothy Conway
- Contemplative Essays
- “Dark Night: The Breakdown of the Mythology of Me” by Jeannie Zandi
- “The Core Deficient Self and Relationship” by Scott Kiloby
- Clinical Theory and Practice
- “Embodied Nonduality” by Judith Blackstone
- “The Fourth Wave of Behaviorism:ACT, DBT and Nondual Wisdom” by Michael Baugh
- “The Garden of Experience” by Rupert Spira
- Touchstones: “Immersed in a Sea of Zen Masters: An Adaptation in the Tradition of Zen Buddhism” by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
- Book Reviews
- “Presence: The Art of Peace and Happiness, Volume 1” by Rupert Spira. Reviewed by John Prendergast
- Dissertations of Note