Awakening to the Dream

The Gift of Lucid Living

Welcome The world is unreal Inner Strength Be the way you are Where is Shiva not? I am not this person What is real Talks with Bob Adamson Clarity talks with Nathan Gill An ancient story Certificate of Awakening The Mysterious Stranger Extracts from Tony Parsons Seeds for the Soul The Drama of it All Clarity talks with Nathan Gill The Self-Perfected State Amazing Grace The cage of self-centeredness Original mind You Are That All There Is The existence of consciousness A myriad bubbles Beyond the grasp Selling water by the river Awake In The Heartland What is wrong with Right Now? This First Instant Peace of Being Talks with Ramana Maharshi All That Jazz About Silence It is all The background Seeing it Simply The Dream of Space and Time Discovering Already Awake Reincarnation? IN MEMORIAM Basic Questions Integration Simplicity One Essence Thought The Central Teaching Unity Knowledge and Ignorance Inexpressible Door of Nonduality The real "I" Presence/Awareness Awakening to the Natural State Looking for God Life As It Is There is only Source appearing Yearning for otherness Dharmakaya The ever-present nature Getting rid of the ego To Hell with it All! You Are the Self The Search is the Trap The Obvious Are you awakened? The Supreme Self Naturally Timeless Awareness The Absolute Seekers of Enlightenment Presence of Awareness I am... This Amazing Realization I am Life itself Awareness is the Source The Golden Eternity Simple Beingness The Boundless Void Self-enquiry Who pays the bill? Changeless Reality The Precious Treasury Transparent Radiance You Are the Buddha Beyond Good and Evil The real does not die Memory Seeking I Am The Nature of Thinking The Great Way Beyond na?ve affirmation Ping-ting T'ung-tzu Free will versus determinism The End Of Seeking? A Sharing of Timeless Being Present and Obvious Blinded by the Light Hooked on Enlightenment It's marvelous All the world's diversity There is no oblivion Direct insight Remembering and forgetting Letting go Beingness That which appears Manifestation of the Absolute Nothing Being Everything Consciousness This Radiance Benedictory Verse to the Self
ATTD News Letter number 11
Monday, August 04, 2003

Q & A

If or when you have a question you'd like to see answered in this newsletter mail to: Question:I was totally involved in an argument although I had "decided " I would try to watch the role playing at this meeting. I was later annoyed with myself that I was so involved arguing etc that I totally forgot everything.

When talking to a friend she said but you were 'witnessing ' because you remembered it. I felt I was in the maya and in the involvement and had forgotten who I was or am . What I wanted to know is, is this 'witnessing?

Answer:Witnessing is not something you do. It is the realization that there is an alive awareness of all that's going on. Witnessing is always present, and the realization of it is what is pointed to, both here and in the book.

See, even when you are totally absorbed in an activity or thought, something is aware of this. It is this awareness that allows you to know that -as you say- "I was so involved arguing etc that I totally forgot everything." Something has noticed this, otherwise you would not be able to recall and report it. It is also aware of the idea that there might be a 'you' trying to do the witnessing. This 'you' or ego seems to have awareness, but in reality there is awareness of the you/ego.

The recognition of this witnessing presence is not something to be practiced by an apparent separate entity. It is the impersonal recognition of the ever present One-Self-Aware-Reality.

So yes, the witnessing was there when you thought it was not, because something was aware of the apparent time and space in which you thought you did not do witnessing. In the end there is no separate 'you' to do it. The comings and goings of the 'you' that tries to witness are being witnessed.


From: 'Awake in the Heartland' by Joan Tollifson. I wrote this book as part of my own process of waking up. Or more accurately, these words appeared out of nowhere. Before the words even hit the paper, they are untrue. Truth is always moving. The words are like clouds blowing across the sky, pointless enjoyment. I offer them because maybe it will be useful to "others" to see how truth unfolds and reveals itself through the messy life of one flawed human being in the middle of so-called ordinary reality.

Here is a sample of her wonderful writing:

Non-dual awareness is always awake and embraces everything. It sees only itself everywhere, doing and being everything, even pretending to be a person, and then: Trying to be a perfect person, trying to get all the ducks in "my" life lined up and in order. Pretending to be unenlightened, and then:

Trying to see the source of the I AM, trying to see non-dual awareness or Truth. Feeling frustrated. Trying harder.
Trying to experience non-duality, trying to feel that the chair on the other side of the room is me. Feeling frustrated. Trying harder. Trying to duplicate the enlightenment event that so-and-so described in his book.
Trying to eliminate "my" bad habits, "my" inabilities, "my" failures, "my" neurosis. Trying to eliminate all sense of me, all sense of personal doership. Trying to turn into somebody else.
Trying to understand the truth, trying to get it. Feeling frustrated. Trying harder. Terrified of being ordinary and imperfect, wanting to be extraordinary and special. Seeking enlightenment. Imagining "myself" flip-flopping between having "it" and losing "it."
Trying, seeking, trying, seeking. Wanting, fearing. Trying not to try. Seeking not to seek. Wanting not to want. Feeling frustrated. Trying harder. Trying not to try harder. Evaluating, comparing, hoping.
Thinking: "Now my life is a disaster, but someday???."
A moment from now, or ten years from now, someday???maybe, hopefully???.it will be better.
Sound familiar?

All of this is not some huge problem that needs to be corrected, some terrible mistake that "you" are responsible for and need to fix. It is simply arising, along with the bird song, the traffic, the clouds, the wars, "the full catastrophe," as Zorba the Greek called it. In the words of Tony Parsons, "Duality is unicity playing duality." The perfection, the extraordinary miracle of what is, as it is, is self-evident. Obvious. Ever-present. Omni-present.

The Unbroken Wholeness pretending again to be a person: "Are you sure this is really it?" the mind asks itself. And then: "For me, the miracle still comes and goes." And then: "Someday 'I' will live permanently in the miracle, and I will be able to tell everyone that I am enlightened, and I will be happy and okay and perfect and extraordinary at last! And then I can finally relax!"

What a wonderful joke!
Again and again, the divine giggles. Visit Joan at her web site:
Or buy her book at:


From the book 'Awakening to the Dream.' Ramana Maharshi recommended that one investigate by asking the question "Who am I?" When asked who you are, there might be a hesitation as to what to answer; but when asked if you exist, there is no such doubt. The answer is a resounding, "Yes, of course I exist." When the answer to the first question is as clear as the answer to the second question, there is understanding.

The realization is that both questions have, in fact, the same answer. That which is sure of its existence-the innermost certainty of I Am-is what you essentially are. In other words: I Am this knowing that knows that I Am. The Hindus say Tat Tvam Asi (Thou Art That). In the Old Testament, God says, "I Am that I Am." This undeniable "I Am" is not you in the personal sense, but the universal Self. Ramana Maharshi called the fundamental oneness of "I Am" and the universal Self "I-I."

Watching from this understanding, I see how thoughts appear in "my" awareness like clouds in a clear blue sky and then, without a trace, dissolve back in to it. Actually there's no need to proclaim that thoughts appear in my awareness. In Awareness suffices. Thoughts and everything else simply happen. Everything is, without a "me" orchestrating it from behind the scenes. The ego is as non-essential to thinking or to the general functioning of the body-mind organism as Atlas is to supporting the heavens. And just as the ancient Greeks at some point realized that, in fact, there never was a titan named Atlas supporting the firmament, you can realize there never was an actual ego supporting the absolute certainty of "I Am." The paperback is available at:
The eBook can be found at:

The immage comes from


Awakened Poetry


How can I ever have you
when you are me?
How can being in love
with the invisible Lover
ever be fulfilled?
No courting or flashing of eye lashes
will ever win your heart.
I cannot suck you in
for you are forever behind me
watching my every move.
I know I need to die in your arms
for you to take me.
You are more demanding
than any lover in the flesh.
I shy away
From your insatiable lust
Yet I burn with the longing
to be devoured
by the Nothingness
of your invisible tentacles.


If you enjoy poetry, check out


Quote of the moment!
"When my Beloved appears,
With what eye do I see Him?"

"With His eye, not with mine,
For none sees Him except Himself."


Smile of the moment!

Zenjim contributed this piece of writing by Bob Harwood. Bob generously gave permission to publish it.

Replace the ............... with your name and the 'he' with a 'she' if and where necessary and you will have your personalized certificate of awakening.

Of course it is only valid if it is recognized that it has no value at all and only applicable to the one who knows that there is no one to whom it could apply.

Certificate of Awakening

It is hereby certified that in (month-year), ............... discovered nothing and realized that he is nobody. He now understands that there is nothing to understand because nobody understands nothing. Consequently, he learned that his search for the truth was a big joke, and that he was the butt of the joke. After his search ended, he discovered that who he thought he was was not who he was, and that who he is, is simply what is. He is now free to enjoy being what he is, even though he doesn???t know what that is. He is free because no matter what he does he will always be doing exactly what he has to be doing, which is what he was already doing before he discovered that that was what he was doing.

............... now knows that every person he meets--including every homeless bum, criminal, alcoholic, drug addict, and otherwise disreputable person???is himself. He therefore must never speak ill of anyone because he will be spreading rumors about himself. In the same way, he can never be proud of anything he does because he is not the one who does anything. Because he now knows that time and space are imaginary, he knows that he is always here and now, wherever that is. Henceforth he will never forget that who he is is beyond name and form and that his past personhood was a product of imagination. Now, he will always treat other people as himself, because he knows that they are himself.

............... now knows the secret of all secrets???that there is no secret. Everything is lying open and in plain sight. He can now relax and have a good laugh at having found something that was never lost.

He is hereby declared to be an official member of the Brotherhood/Sisterhood/Ithood of Sacred Emptiness. Having finally seen the Big Picture, he now knows that all the little pictures are imaginary-- and that the Big Picture is also imaginary. He has discovered that he and God are one and that God has an enormous sense of humor.

He is therefore authorized to talk incessantly about what he has discovered, understanding that when he has finished saying everything he can think of to say, he will have said absolutely nothing to nobody, and nobody will understand what he???s talking about anyway.

Signed by:


President and only member of the Club of Cosmic Consciousness
(He is the only member of the club, because there is only One available to be a member.
Anyone else could be president if there was anyone else, but despite searching high and low, nobody has ever found anyone else.)


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