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 38    *     Sunday, August 29, 2004  *

    Table of contents.

    Q & A.
Question: I was just looking through the 'How to Stop Thinking' topic (in the ATTD forum) and the subject of 'distraction and being present' came up. Examining my moment to moment life shows that there are times of 'being here' and times of 'not being here' although the episodes of 'not being here' are just memories. It would seem that 'being here' has some intrinsic value. The times of 'not being here' appear to be moments lost in thoughts or memories thus the apparent need to stop thinking.
I am no longer interested in stopping thinking as such, the presence or absence of thoughts seems to be of little importance. However the states of presence vs distraction do interest me. Is it a problem to make a distinction between these states, is there a difference? Does the value judgment implied cause a problem. Should I just drop the state of mind that notices I was distracted, should I not make an effort to return or hold on to 'presence'?
Answer: No effort what so ever is required. The ?key? is in seeing through the whole thing. It is a bit like bursting in to laughter. If it happens it happens effortlessly; if it does not happen, no effort is going to do it. It is beyond the grasp of the person. This does not mean it is all hopeless, but it points to the realization that you are not the person, you are THAT which is aware OF the person. In other words: the person is an object in Awareness, and so are all states including states of presence and absence.
Real Presence is not a state, IT is That Which Is. Since IT IS ALL THERE IS, IT cannot be reached. IT is like space, and the I that wants to reach IT is like an object in space trying to reach space. Only the realization that it is impossible to not be in space will put the object at ease; Only the realization that there is no-thing but Presence will dissolve the agitation of trying to be present.
Just like space has no location, but is the container of all locations, Presence is not a state, but the container of all states. IT is not an experience, but the experiencing itself. IT is like a lens that can point everywhere, but never directly to itself. IT is like a light beam, which cannot shine light on itself..... it IS the light. In the same way IT is what you truly are; to close to see as it is the seeing itself. IT is the canvas on which all changes, all states, experiences, thoughts and feelings (or the absence of them) appear. IT is the Unchanging Presence behind and in all manifestations.
When the recognition of this Presence comes in, the identification shifts from the I-person-object to the Ultimate Subject. Please see through these words, as they may be misleading. They may seem to suggest, that something has to happen, but the realization shows, that nothing has to happen for IT to be AS IT IS.

If or when you have a question you'd like to see answered in this newsletter send it to:
Gouache on Sumi by : Angela Treat Lyon. Title: 'Presence'
Found at:

    Discovering Directly That No Solution Is Needed To An Imaginary Problem
Reality is alive. It can't be grasped or re-presented. The mind tries to box life up, to control it, to understand it. It creates imaginary problems and tries to solve them. It clings to comforting but deadening beliefs (sometimes very subtle beliefs). The more boxed in we feel, the more we try to think our way to liberation. But reality is not a belief or a concept or an idea. So instead of thinking about all of this, I would suggest a fundamentally different approach, a direct approach. This is about seeing what actually is, waking up to reality, not once and for all, but here and now (the only 'once and for all' there really is). And the secret is, there is no one to do this, and no distance to travel.
As 'you' are reading these words right now, little markings appearing on your computer screen in various combinations are being seen and instantly translated into meaning. Is there someone doing this remarkable activity, overseeing all these elaborate optical and neurological processes, or is it all simply happening, automatically, on its own? If you think there is someone doing it, investigate directly whether this is actually so, or whether this someone is an after-thought ('I am reading.') Is that 'I' really there, or is it a mental image?
As you speak, see if you can find the speaker. Where are the words coming from? Are 'you' in control of them? Do you know (or control) what your next thought will be, or your next action?
Investigate how 'you' (apparently) make decisions or choices. Explore this not by thinking about it, but by paying careful attention to what actually occurs (not what you think occurs) as 'you' (apparently) 'make a choice.' We say afterward, 'I did it, I chose,' but can this 'I' actually be found, or is it a conceptualization, a way of speaking?
How solid is what you think of as 'your body'? If you close your eyes, can you actually find the place where 'inside' ends and 'outside' begins?
You don't need a mirror or an outside authority to tell you that you are here. This is the one thing you know beyond any doubt. It is undeniable. But what is it that is doubtlessly here? Is it the character in the story of your life, the collection of memories and narratives and beliefs, seemingly encapsulated in the bodymind, apparently solid, independent, continuous, and separate from the world 'out there'? Is this sense of separation and encapsulation real, or is it a kind of mirage?
And how solid is the world 'out there,' or for that matter, any object, any idea, any sensation, any experience? Where is your childhood or yesterday or a minute ago or the last second?
On close investigation, it's easy to see that everything that can be perceived, experienced, conceptualized or imagined is a fleeting appearance with no actual substance and no independent reality. But what is it that is seeing this? What is it that is generating this whole appearance? What is this whole thing? The mind imagines that 'you' can step back and take a look, as if you are apart from this, and as if what you are looking for is another object. Thus, we keep searching for 'Pure Awareness' or 'Undivided Wholeness' or 'Totality' or 'Consciousness.' We keep trying to 'get it.' But any-thing we think we've gotten or understood or experienced is revealed, upon close inspection, to be only another dream-object. It may be a very subtle object, or a very convincing and expansive experience, but it's still only another ephemeral appearance.
No matter how hard it tries, the eye cannot see itself. Boundlessness (or unicity) can't be grasped or seen as an object, although paradoxically, it can be seen everywhere. It includes everything and sticks to nothing. It is everything; everything is it. The 'you' who seeks liberation is a mirage, a dream character, a fiction -- an appearance in (and of) this boundless One. This phantom dream character wants to awaken, but how can a mirage wake up from a mirage?
All experiences come and go. Oneness is unattainable and inescapable; you can't not be it. Everything, exactly as it is, is always already it. And 'it' is not an 'it,' but rather no-thing at all.
If there is any thought about getting it or not getting it, saving yourself or the world, doing the right thing, or wondering what it all means, see that these are all thoughts, and that they weave a whole dream world that is purely imaginary. Notice how believable this dream world seems, how captivating the thoughts are, how convincing the whole movie is. Thoughts appear to be an objective report on reality, but are they? Seeing through the mirage-world of thought gets more and more subtle. Being down on yourself for thinking is just more thinking! None of this is personal, none of it is something 'you' are doing, none of it is 'good' or 'bad.' It all just is. Awakening isn't about getting rid of thoughts; it's about seeing that they are thoughts. And it is about seeing that everything perceivable or conceivable (including all the thoughts and the waking up from thoughts) is a modification of this same boundless One (no-thing at all).
The mind may pop up and tell you that seeing everything (including yourself!) as a dream-like appearance is surely a recipe for indifference, dissociation, chaos, and unrestrained sloth. But don't trust the mind. You may discover that what includes everything is actually unconditional love, and that all of these fears which the mind throws up are without substance. But unconditional love is not an emotion. It is not based on desire or attachment or sentimentality. It is the total acceptance of everything, just as it is. It is not something you do; it is what you are. It is what is.
Whatever appears -- whether it is confusion or upset or bliss or boredom, clear skies or thunderstorms -- awareness, by its very nature, accepts it all. Everything is allowed to be here, just as it is. In fact, even to say that is not quite right, for there is nothing apart from this to allow it or not allow it.
Whatever scene appears in the movie, whether it is something horrific (to our human view) or something delightful (to our human view), it is always the screen that is being seen, even though we don't realize that when our attention is absorbed in the movie. Without the screen, there is no movie. And the fire in the movie never burns up the screen. What is it that is always seeing and being seen, without which nothing could appear, and which is itself untainted by any appearance?
Any answer you come up with, any blank screen you think you've found or experienced, is just another movie object, and so is the 'you' who has found it. Awareness (boundlessness, unconditional love, no-thing-ness, Oneness, the whole) cannot be seen or grasped. There is no one to grasp it. This is it.
Awakening isn't about never seeing anymore movies. And it isn't about never getting angry, hurt, contracted or upset. It's simply the clear seeing (by no one) that there is no one doing any of this, and that the movie-like stories and characters of so-called waking life have no substance and no continuity (except apparently, in memory and thought). It's all just (impersonal) weather, appearing and disappearing. It means nothing, and it needs no meaning.

Contributed by: Joan Tollifson
From her new 'Recommended Page' at:
Painting by Jean-Honor? Fragonard 1732 - 1806. Title: Girl Reading.

    Awakened Poetry

Tomorrow Never Knows
Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream
It is not dying, it is not dying
Lay down all thought, surrender to the void
It is shining, it is shining
Then you may see the meaning of within
It is speaking, it is speaking
That love is all and love is everyone
It is knowing, it is knowing
When ignorance and haste may mourn the dead
It is believing, it is believing
But listen to the colour of your dreams
It is not living, it is not living
Or play the game, existence to the end
Of the beginning, of the beginning
Of the beginning, of the beginning
Of the beginning, of the beginning

From: the Beatles album "Revolver" (1966)"
Lyrics by: Lennon/McCartney
Painting by Michael Rogovsky Title: Marsh Stream
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    Quote of the moment!

Omitting to seek after God, and creation,
and things similar to these, seek for Him from (out of) thyself,
and learn who it is that absolutely appropriates (unto Himself) all things in thee,
and says, "My God, my mind, my understanding, my soul, my body."
And learn from whence are sorrow, and joy, and love, and hatred,
and involuntary wakefulness, and involuntary drowsiness, and involuntary anger,
and involuntary affection; and if you accurately investigate these (points),
you will discover (God) Himself, unity and plurality, in thyself,
according to that title, and that He finds the outlet (for Deity) to be from thyself.

Monoimus (lived somewhere between 150 - 210) was an arabic gnostic.

Painting: "The creation"
-from the Cistine Chapel ceiling 1508-1512
    Smile of the moment!

On Being Nobody
A rabbi is overcome with spiritual ecstasy and runs up to the altar, throwing himself on his knees, crying, "I'm nobody Lord! I'm nobody! Nobody!"
The cantor witnesses his state of humility and unity with the One and is so deeply moved, he too runs to the altar exclaiming, "Lord, I'm nobody! I'm nobody, Lord!"
The janitor mopping the floor is dumbstruck, and also deeply moved. Filled with piety and a fervent spirit, he drops his mop and also dashes to the altar, proclaiming, "I'm nobody! Oh Lord, hear me, I'm nobody! Nobody!"
He prostrates himself beside the rabbi and cantor still repeating "I'm nobody! I'm nobody!" The rabbi takes notice, turns to the cantor, and with a dismissive gesture, says, "So, look who thinks he's nobody."

The first time I heard this joke was from Ramesh
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