About Volume 1, Issue 3 (Winter, 2012)
(Please scroll down towards the bottom for an abbreviated table of contents)
Introduction to this Issue
As the rains arrive scattering leaves and freshening the air in northern California, we welcome you to our third issue which focuses on the issue of relationship in both the contemplative and clinical sections, offering a number of ground breaking insights. In addition we have added a new film review section this time around, as there is a small but growing body of films about nondual teachers and teachings which we would like to share with you.
We are also interested in making the journal more interesting and engaging to our readers. We plan to add a new audio section entitled “Conversations” in our next issue where we will share interviews with different nondual teachers and therapists. We hope to add several additional columnists as well. We are open to other ideas, so please let us know what you would like to view, listen to and read.
We continue to invite your active support by commenting on articles, donating, subscribing for free, and befriending us on Facebook. We depend entirely upon word-of-mouth, so please let your friends and colleagues know about us.
As before, authors are available to respond to your feedback. We would like to see the beginning of a real conversation where a number of you join in and follow a particular thread – something that has yet to happen. Give it a try.
So button up your coats and unbutton your minds and hearts as you take in this winter issue.
Overview of Content
Nondual Teachers and Teachings
In this brief and succinct essay entitled “Three Possibilities of Myself”, Rupert Spira explores the self as an object, a witness and as pure awareness, all from to the viewpoint of thought. He writes:
It is upon Me that thought superimposes the witness and the witnessed, and then further invests My witnessing presence with the qualities and destiny of a body/mind, thereby downgrading Me to a separate self. But all the while, I stand naked and alone never actually being, knowing or loving anything other than My eternally free self.
For thought there are three possibilities for the self – to be the known, the Knower or pure Knowing; to be a person, a witness or pure Awareness; to be something, nothing or everything. However, I never truly am or know anything other than Myself.
In “Relationship vs. Relating : Bringing Our Togetherness Back to Life, ” Jeannie Zandi, M.A., brings her exuberant and good-humoured clarity to bear upon the opaque subject of relationships, differentiating between the conditioned and often unconscious concept of relationship with the alive, in-the-moment experience of relating. She points out:
Relating through a concept has fear as its motivational energy, whereas relating from actuality is based on love. Where conditioning lives, unconscious fear lives too. In the absence of conditioning, love and freedom reign. In fear-based me-centric relationship, our questions are, “How does this serve me?” and “What’s safe?” In alive relating our questions are, “How does this serve God?” and “What’s true?”
Glen Francis, Psy.D., invites us into the inner sanctum of a psychotherapy session where the shared sense of that which is undivided shines through with unmistakable radiance in “When Presence is the Psychotherapist.” Writing with great tenderness and subtlety, Glen notes:
My eyes are full of spontaneous tears, moved by the unending moment of the immediacy we are sharing. The particular quality of kindness without end and a deep courage and curiosity beaming out from Rob’s eyes and face unerringly resonates with the heart-space truth that we are riding the crest of the moment together. We are manifestly not two, yet there is none of the blurring implied by the statement that we are one, for we are not two, yet unmistakably and entirely individualistically not one, amidst an embracing certainty of the undivided about which there can be no doubt whatsoever. Call it love – I am helpless and guessing here.
In “The Paperwhite Lesson” Jackie Seidel, Ph.D., in lieu of an orthodox lesson plan, courageously offers four narcissus bulbs to her students in her teacher education literacy class. In a poetic confession, Jackie explores what can be learned watching the bulbs sprout over a series of weeks even as some of her students complain that they are not being adequately prepared for their profession:
The paperwhite is a mystery and a miracle. It cannot ultimately be known through any amount or method of study. It has its own subjectivity. And yet our intimate shared breath reminds that we are not and cannot be separate from this plant, as separate egos going through life without ‘accountability’ to, in Buddhist terms, ‘interbeing’, or in ecological terms ‘intermingling,’ with other life forms and beings through time. It is here and now that the future emerges, whether we are awake or not.
Clinical Theory and Practice
In this groundbreaking and nuanced essay, “The Ultimate Secure Base: Healing Insecure Attachment in the Nondual Field” Lynn Marie Lumiere, MFT, opens the door between the latest developments in Attachment Theory and the profound healing potential of nondual awareness with clients with insecure attachment styles.
I see the belief in separation as the root cause of insecure attachment. And, if we do not release insecure attachment at its root, it is not fully healed or transformed. Some might argue that inadequate parenting is the root cause. However, generations of inadequate parenting have originated in the belief that we are separate from one another. And, even if the parenting is adequate, it will still fall short of true security since that cannot be found in any relationship based in separation. In this sense, any relationship that is believed to be between two individuals who are separate is inherently insecure. However, attachment can be relatively secure with good parental bonding and attachment. There is a difference between a relative secure attachment and the true security, in the deepest sense, which can only be found in the recognition of unchangeable, indestructible being that we are most essentially.
In a wide-ranging, complementary essay, psychologist Will Friedman, Ph.D., surveys the latest insights into the phenomenon of empathic resonance in “Resonance: Welcoming the You in Me – A Core Therapeutic Competency,” and highlights its essential nondual nature:
In summary, resonance is the ‘welcoming you in me’ in its infinite forms. It is a foundation for not only therapy from a nondual perspective, but all psychotherapies and therapeutic relationships. It is also a core therapeutic competency that spontaneously unfolds as a recognition of nondual awareness deepens and clarifies in the therapist. Resonance provides an essential healing balm and intimate counter-balancing to modern life that has so many of us mesmerized by impersonal technological devices and virtual forms of communication that lack warmth, intimacy or genuine relationship. There is a strong tendency to mistake these superficial forms of connection for real intimacy. Perhaps the greatest value resonance brings is in giving direct evidence of our non-separateness as profoundly interconnected beings with a therapeutic capacity and deep felt appreciation for shared intimacy.
We listen in on Richard Miller’s recent public talk entitled “The Noble Adventure” that is based upon the famous series of Zen Oxherding Pictures. He describes the dissolving of a discrete witness into a pure witnessing awareness – an experiential movement from being a noun to being a verb. Richard is the founder of the Integrative Restoration Institute which introduces westerners, including veterans with PTSD, to a modern version of the ancient nondual teachings of Yoga Nidra that he calls iRest.
This compelling three-part interview of British nondual teacher and author Jeff Foster by Conscious TV’s Iain McNay entitled “Life without a Centre” offers an excellent introduction to the experience of living without a sense of being a separate self. McNay offers a number of probing and insightful questions and Foster responds with unusual clarity.
In his new column Touchstones, Will Friedman, Ph.D., updates and adds a commentary to a classic Zen story in “My Cup Overflows.”
Watch a fascinating short video entitled “How to Make a Mandala” by Prema Maja Rode, Ph.D., and then try it yourself!
On My Way Home
By Lela Landman
The stream keeps flowing as the grass weaves
back and forth
Winding itself around the edges,
Petals falling to the ground, death has come
and all things seem lost
But what is this mystery that remains?
Fire laps at your heals, an unknown tapestry
of sorrow catches the thread of kindness
as circles of light
swirl round and round
You watch with amazement
as death comes close
and you feel like you are losing
Then letting go,
Suddenly you are astonished
to find yourself
at the center of everything!
Feel this falling onto solid ground,
Holy Holy Holy
first for the self you thought you were,
then for the grief of the world
dissolved like a pillar of salt
into a pillar of light
As this fire, this burning consumes
everything you thought
you could not stand to lose
Only to find yourself
Naked at the core
Standing on Holy Ground
Lela Landman is a long time student of nondual teachings and a lover of ecstatic poetry who lives in Marin County, California. She began writing her own poetry a few years ago as a way to embrace her ongoing illness as a fourteen year survivor of metastatic breast cancer.
Undivided editor Marjorie Bair reviews Silence Heals by the French authors Yoland Duran-Serrano and Laurence Vidal published by Nonduality Press. She writes:
For those, like me, who cherish the rare truly self-revealing spiritual biography, this inspiring account is a gem, taking us into the heart and lived life of one consumed by, surrendered to, and passionately in love with the radical reality she becomes.
Marjorie Bair has been a trans-personal psychotherapist and a senior teacher of the Pathwork for more than thirty years. She has taught and offered workshops on consciousness throughout the U.S. and in Holland. After completing service in 2000 as a Peace Corps and Crisis Corps volunteer working in the areas of trauma and crisis intervention, she has facilitated workshops for prison inmates and homeless women. Her offerings of non-dual teachings have been informed primarily by Peter Fenner’s Nondual Training for Therapists and the work of Adyashanti and Rupert Spira.
Psychotherapist and graphic artist Dan Scharlack, MFT, reviews the unusual account of one man’s deep spiritual awakening in prison and the subsequent struggle to embody this understanding in a post-prison life in The Last Hustle by Kenny Johnson, also published by Nonduality Press. Dan notes:
Through these pages, I could feel a profound change taking place within Mr. Johnson, one that I recognized not as the opening to The Infinite, but as the purification of the body/mind so that Truth can shine more completely through in a human form. While “awakening out of the story” is essential in the beginning of our spiritual development, in the end, we must allow Love to touch every part of our story if we are ever to fully live what we’ve realized.
Undivided Editor-in-Chief, John Prendergast, Ph.D., reviews the highly unusual film My Reincarnation about the relationship between Tibetan Dzogchen Master Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and his son Yeshe who was largely raised by his Italian mother. What began as documentary film-maker Jennifer Fox’s twenty year chronicle of Norbu’s teachings transmuted into a compelling inside look into an evolving, multidimensional east-west, father-son, rapprochement. John writes:
While My Reincarnation explores the mystery of reincarnation in a compelling fashion, it also explores the greater mystery of incarnation – what it means to be a fully authentic human being. Wrestling with his unsettling visions and the desire to lead an ordinary life, Yeshe insists upon following his own path of individuation, uninterested in becoming a representative of anyone or anything else. When he eventually returns to the profound nondual teachings of Dzogchen, he is mature and ready to receive and to make them his own.
The review also includes a movie trailer and is now available on Netflix.
Volume 1, Number 3: Table of Contents
- Nondual Teachers and Teachings
- “Three Possibilities of Myself” by Rupert Spira
- Contemplative Essays
- “When Presence is the Psychotherapist” by Glen Francis, Psy.D.
- “The Paperwhite Lesson” by Jackie Seidel, Ph.D.
- Clinical Theory and Practice
- “The Ultimate Secure Base: Healing Insecure Attachment in the Nondual Field” by Lynn Marie Lumiere, MFT
- “Resonance: Welcoming the You in Me – A Core Therapeutic Competency” by Will Friedman, Ph.D.
- “The Noble Adventure” ” by Richard Miller, Ph.D.
- “Life without a Centre” by Jeff Poster
- Touchstones: “My Cup Overflows” by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
- Graphic Art
- “How to Make a Mandala” by Prema Maja Rode, Ph.D
- “Nude Descending a Staircase,” “Fortune,” and “Oblation” by Frances Hatfield, Ph.D.
- Book Reviews
- “Silence Heals” reviewed by Marjorie Bair
- Movie Reviews
- “My Reincarnation” reviewed by John Prendergast, Ph.D.