Category Archives: Advaita

to lay bare

When I entered my mid-twenties, spiritual search underway, I longed for “enlightenment.” It seemed like the maraschino cherry I’d always begged my parents for–the taste of a rare and enigmatic sweetness. A few people mysteriously earned this cherry. How’d they do that? More chanting? Better diet? Longer meditation? Kinder demeanor? Deeper surrender? Selflessness? It seemed unreachable and scary. I tried it all.

I mistakenly believed something needed to be added. It took thirty-seven years before I understood the reverse is truer: a laying bare. Stripping down. Emptying out. The implications of this are–initially–far scarier. I apparently needed to dismantle and unlearn the vast house-of-cards I had constructed.

The good news is that we don’t “do” it. And there’s no “i” nor “it,” either. When the time is right, this stripping away occurs all on its own–life’s reckless brilliance. I doubt it can be prevented. Resistance is futile.

©Amrita Skye Blaine, 2017
image credit: by CopyrightFreePhotos CopyrightFreePhotos.HQ101.com (Own work by uploader [1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Filed under Advaita, Awakening, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Rupert Spira, spirituality

the implications

When pointing out is kind, patient–and skillful–and, if the student* is mature, understanding one’s true nature can be readily seen. Many people think this is the “goal,” the end of story. That’s a mistaken belief.

As Rupert says, upon seeing our true nature, we begin living the implications of this understanding—an unending revelation. For some people this is a gentle, gradual process, for others, a hellava’ ride.

There is no “I’ve arrived” or “I’m done.” The tap root of the “i” has been severed; the breakdown of old patterns and tendencies unfolds in its own (put favorite expletive here) good time. This unraveling cannot be hurried, but it can be attended to. Willingness helps, resistance does not. The process deserves respect and certainly demands courage.

*I have never heard Rupert refer to retreatants as “students.” He calls us friends.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2017
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our mother tongue

Last evening before dinner, I sat in a common area and spoke with a man attending his first retreat with Rupert Spira. During an abrupt transition in this retreatant’s life, he found a YouTube clip of  Rupert teaching. He said, “I didn’t understand all of what Rupert spoke about that first time I listened to him, but I did recognize it as my mother tongue.”

Yes! Tears filled my eyes.

If you, like I, explored countless pathways and discovered that none of them have fulfilled what your heart yearns for, when you are introduced to this understanding something may flutter in–or batter–your chest: an apprehending, a knowing, an avowal even, that you have come home. This is the beginning of a lifelong integration.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2017
image credit: By Mokkie – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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Filed under Advaita, Awakening, Daily reminders, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Rupert Spira, spirituality

prime question #3

Prime questions have become creative play for me–new ways to reflect on the truth. I call them prime questions because they remind me of prime numbers, a number only divisible by itself or by one.

Look at our own experience–

  • our thoughts vanish,
  • our feelings fade,
  • bodily sensations arise and pass away,
  •  our perceptions–sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures–all are equally transient. We shift our gaze, and what we were looking at before disappears; what we hear changes moment by moment; smells are even more ephemeral–unless it’s skunk, and even that eventually dissipate. Tastes are hard to nail down–I notice this each time I suck on a square of dark, salty, caramel chocolate. Gone, so quickly. And textures? We only feel them while we’re touching them.

Even planets come and go.

Look now: what doesn’t change?

 

© Amrita Skye Blaine

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prime questions 1 and 2

Last night in the hot tub, the phrase “prime questions” came to me. These questions do not refer to the manifest world of objects, thoughts, feelings, or perceptions–all that comes and goes. The questions ask us–metaphorically–to turn around and notice what is true.

Prime questions cannot be answered.
They can be known.

Here’s a twinned pair of prime questions:

Physical objects arise in space; in what does space arise?
Events arise in time; in what does time arise?
Rupert Spira

If we are willing to
STOP
and truly consider what the questions point to, our lives will be altered irrevocably.

rupert-spira

 

 

 

image: Rupert Spira

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2017

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one small thing – unedited free write

[We were given the prompt, “one small thing.”]

one small thing
just look slantwise
for a moment
it can happen that fast–
without warning,
the apparent world turns inside out
a Mobius strip
and no thing remains the same

one small shift
a spiral in fate
unforeseen and blindsiding
yet asked for, too
all known falls away
concepts, beliefs, assurity,
all gone,
never to return

one small twist
and, what now? how shall you live?
can you welcome no meaning
and love what comes?
wild paradox lacks any frame
when you think about it, too vast to hold
so don’t. don’t think about it,
you’ve gone down that torturous trail ten thousand times

one small turn
invited, yet unexpected
sought after, yet surprised
and the world erupts as a one-song-uni-verse

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2016

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Filed under Advaita, Awakening, Poetry, thoughts

self-care

Annular eclipse 1In direct experience, it’s clear that this whole cosmic show is “not two.” No apparent thing can exist on its own; all apparent objects are interconnected–whether hard objects, such as planets and trees and squirrels who dash by my office, or soft objects, like thoughts and feelings. All ways, one undivisible whole.

So why is it, that self-care falls away? I steadily care for my lovely husband, our adult son who suffers from chronic pain, our elderly lame dog. Yet days can go by where I disregard aerobic exercise, stretching out and strengthening my overused shoulders, and fail remember to swallow supplements in support of those very shoulders. Stranger still, I neglect writing–the very source of passion and focus in my life.

Somehow, this neglect points to a subtle sense of separation–a “them” (worthwhile) and an “us” (to be taken for granted). As a dear friend-who-points in Eugene would say, “just to notice.”

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit: Annular eclipse by NASA (link unavailable due to government shutdown…)

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Filed under Advaita, Daily reminders, Non-duality