Edited by Jerry Katz
Photo: Scott Kiloby
Photo: Lynn Fraser
On Nonduality Talk Radio, Wednesday, July 30, my guest will be Scott Kiloby. One of his senior facilitators, Lynn Fraser, will be my co-host in the studio.
Listen wherever you are in the world at www.ckdu.ca at 12:30pm EST (New York). The show will be archived at www.nonduality.org for later listening and downloading.
We’ll be talking about the Living Inquiries, about which Scott says, “With the Living Inquiries, we naturally begin to experience a reduction or elimination of stress, anxiety, conflict and addiction. The deficiency stories that have raced through our minds all our lives (e.g., “I’m not good enough,” “I’m unhappy”) begin to quiet, providing a more easeful, compassionate, loving and peaceful experience.”
Live from the Kiloby Center: Half Day Natural Rest Workshop:
If you missed the recent Live Telecast by Scott from the Kiloby Center, the audio recording is now available for purchase.
In this 3½ hour audio, Scott explains and takes you through the new developments at the Kiloby Center that are helping people with addiction, anxiety, depression and spiritual seeking. The Kiloby Center is leading the way in the development of Scott Kiloby’s work, including changes in the Living Inquiries. Check out this audio to let Scott guide you experientially through the approach at the Center.
Price $25.00 LINK (if there are any problems downloading the link after payment, contact Nic Higham )
Combating Depression by Repeated Awakening
by Colin Drake
This article discusses the possibility that correct identification (awakening) has the potential to combat depression, by this taking place when one is not depressed and then using the first sign of a new bout of depression as a wake up call … see below.
To show that this is not just ‘pie in the sky’ here is an email exchange I had with someone who suffers from depression:
Dear Colin–how have you been? Well, I hope.
Do you think identifying with Awareness is effective in treating depression? Seems so to me .
Dear John, Very well thanks. I would have thought that correct identification would completely overcome depression. But I do not have any personal experience of this although it has completely obliterated my tendency to worry about the future … as Ramesh Balsakar says (in the title of one of his books) ‘who cares’? The only rider I would add is that it might be more difficult for someone who is depressed to realize that they are Pure Awareness, for they also might say ‘who cares?’ but with a different meaning. However, once the depression lifts (for I believe these come and go) the opportunity is equally there, and once an awakening has taken place then, if nurtured by repeated investigation, the ongoing signs of returning depression could be used as a sign that misidentification is occurring and spur reawakening … by investigation, or (when more established) by the simple realization that there is awareness of depression returning and deeper than the depression one is that Awareness! Love, Colin
Thanks for your very perceptive email. I do have some depression and your comments seem precisely accurate. It does seem that, at certain depths of depression, awareness appears to be less apparent–even not available. One seems subsumed in the story of being a depressive.
There is an almost desperate effort to “get back to “Awareness in order to relieve the discomfort of the depression. Yes, there is definitely a red flag here to try to “remember” the Paradise Lost. Perhaps there is too much effort in this regard when the depression seems deeper. I shall try the suggestion in the last line of your email. Many thanks for your help. Warmly, John
Dear John, To continue the discussion I feel that you need to catch the first symptom that depression is returning and then undertake vigorous investigation into this experience, see attached, before any following of the depressive thought or story occurs. During this one needs to consciously identify with Awareness by completing the investigation into the properties of This and seeing the outcome of what is discovered. Then just witness any thoughts that follow this first symptom as clouds scudding across the sky of Awareness. This entails not following these thoughts or telling yourself a story about being depressed or a depressive. For as soon as we objectively label ourselves in any way misidentification has occurred, as (at the deepest level) we are never an object but the Conscious Subjective Presence in which all objects arise, abide are spied and subside.
I suspect that if one does not ‘nip it in the bud’ then remembering or trying to get back to Awareness will be futile whilst one is depressed. However, nil desperandum for once the depression lifts the investigation can be carried out successfully and then held in reserve for dealing with the first symptom of the next bout. Love, Colin
If this procedure is assiduously carried out then the frequency of returning bouts will decrease for these are fed by their own ‘success’ and if they are nipped in the bud then this cycle is interrupted. The more they are ‘starved’ the less potent, and frequent, they will be. Also, if between these bouts one identifies with, and as, Pure Awareness then one will tend to feel so good that this will lessen the chances of them re-occurring. One other thing is that one always is Pure Awareness so even during one of these bouts, if one has been unsuccessful at nipping it in the bud, it is still the case whether one can feel it or not and whatever levels of discomfort there are … So there is no need to search for it, achieve it or ‘get’ it for awareness is always present … even if it is awareness of depression!
Here is the continuation of our email correspondence after I had sent John all of the above:
Many thanks again for your advice. There is definitely a bodily feeling upon the beginning of depression. Thus there are telltale signs which can warn us to apply some of the inquiries you have written about. It would be so helpful is there was a way to offer effective approaches for those in the deeper levels of depression. I wonder if there have been any studies done on this.
I have a friend who is a scientist at the National Institute of a Mental Health specializing
in depression. Would you mind if I forward your emails to him? Warmly, John
Dear John, No problem, although I suspect he might find the whole approach somewhat ‘off the wall’. He would need to read Beyond The Separate Self and understand this first. Let me know how you get on with carrying out investigation as soon as the bodily feelings start. Even if this proves to be impossible I suspect that the more you can identify with, and as, Pure Awareness whilst you are not depressed the less often the bouts will be. Love, Colin
This last point is alluded to in the first email where John says “Do you think identifying with Awareness is effective in treating depression? Seems so to me.” For John has been carrying this out for some time and it has obviously been helping …
To wrap this up here is the end of our email discussion:
Dear Colin–Thank you for this article. It has helped me rethink my practice related to depression. It is good to have a process that one knows has been effective and, therefore, can be again. This provides hope. I am not at all convinced that some kind of guided meditation audio might not be helpful for even those in deeper levels of depression. Warmly, John
Dear John, A few further points which I hope may prove helpful. I don’t think classical meditation, where one concentrates on a thing (mantra, symbol, deity, breath etc…) is going to be useful. This is because it leaves the mind with too much leeway, unless the concentration is very strong, which I would doubt is the case when one is depressed. Also the mind may not see the point of this, which makes engagement with the practice more difficult.
Whereas, the investigation which, I recommend, is a step by step practice which requires the mind to actually do, and see, each stage and then move on. This makes it more likely that the mind will be able to carry this out, especially if it has done many times before and gained the benefits of this. For then it will know the point of doing this and the previous engagement with this practice will have set a certain framework which is associated with this and into which the mind will tend to settle as the process is carried out.
Even if you are unable to do this when the first symptom of depression reoccurs, you can see that the more one becomes grounded (when one is not depressed) in this ‘investigation of experience’, which reveals that at the deepest level one is Pure Awareness, then the more likely it is that one will be able to utilize this to prevent depression setting in. You could even make a recording of this so that you could play it back if your mind is unable to enter the practice when the first symptom is noticed…
Another practice which you could try is yoga-nidra a guided relaxation which is amazingly powerful if carried out regularly. It is also a great ‘pick me up’ if one is ever feeling tired and wonderful to do in the middle of the day. I have been doing this ‘religiously’ every day (if it is at all possible) for 30 years and can attest to its ability to alter one’s mind state for the better. It does not matter how agitated, annoyed, distressed etc., I am when I lie down to do this, 25 mins later I am ‘born anew’ feeling refreshed and calm.
This especially gets more powerful as the mind gets used to doing it to the stage now that my body relaxes completely as soon as I hear the tape. Also, even if one falls asleep, or the mind seems to wander (during the practice) one still gets the benefits as it is performed subliminally … especially when one is used to, and comfortable, with it. Once again you would need to get established in this practice when not depressed before it would help…
The ebooks of Colin Drake are available at www.nonduality.com/colindrake.htm
If you are interested in more articles, poems, or all formats (paperback, .pdf and epub) of books, including in the new book, The Happiness that Needs Nothing – Pointers to That which is Always Here , these may be found at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/ColinDrake. If you wish to purchase a book always check www.lulu.com for discounts/sale prices which Lulu is constantly offering.
Also all of my books are now available in Kindle format from www.amazon.com For more information and an enlarged profile visit www.amazon.com/author/colin_drake
And my interview with Conscious TV is viewable athttp://bcove.me/im07untp
To join my email group and receive (free) all new articles and poems as they are posted just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Miranda MacPherson
Miranda MacPherson’s unique flavor of devotion and feminine love are featured in the current issue of One the Magazine. At the tender of thirteen, Miranda Macpherson experienced a classic dark night of the soul and was admitted into an adult psychiatric unit. There a spontaneous surrender occurred that opened to a ground of reality she calls “boundless love.” Years later, this realization deepened beyond measure while meditating in the cave of Ramana Maharshi in southern India. Here is an excerpt from her article, “Landing in Grace.”
” . . . Eventually in my despair, I reached such a point of exhaustion that a spontaneous surrender happened, and by nothing other than sheer grace, consciousness opened up to a ground of reality that I call “boundless love.” In that reality, everything that I had felt so disconnected from, all that I so needed and hadn’t been able to articulate, was awakening from within my own being. Within that direct experience was the understanding that love is my true nature. Love is the fundamental ground of everything, the fundamental depth of who I am and everyone and everything else is. I saw that this boundless love is a river of grace that exists underneath the appearances of life, and that the purpose of life is to find a way to live that love. It felt like being lifted above what had felt to me like the battlefield of human life. I realized that the real purpose of life is to remove the barriers to this awareness until it is a moment-to-moment experience.
One day on a visit to the south of India, I was meditating in a cave on the mountain where Ramana Maharshi had lived for many years. The cave was filled with a depth of silence. By that point I had been a serious meditator for twenty years, but something happened in that cave that was new for me spiritually. I had read about cessation—“no Self”—but had not fully tasted it until then. While sitting in Ramana’s cave, the mind dropped away into complete quiet, opening into a dimension of reality that was beyond self, beyond God, beyond any concept whatsoever. The usual sense of “I” disappeared; and different to the experience at thirteen, which was filled with light and boundless love, this was a dimension of reality that was like the vast black space of the galaxy, an experience of “no thing, no one, no self.”
Within the experience, I heard the following transmission that has been resounding ever since:
Be nothing. Do nothing. Get nothing. Become nothing.
Seek for nothing. Relinquish nothing. Be as are. Rest in God.
Complete stillness, alive with an unshakeable presence, it was an entry into no thing, no one, no self, no God. But it wasn’t a deficient, existential, or dry kind of emptiness, rather pure, infinite beingness. Eventually there was the sense of body, cave, sounds, and there was no problem with body, forms, or sounds. That was the most interesting thing about the state; that there was no problem with anything. Everything was absolutely fine, absolutely beautiful. Everything was just as it was.
The peace of this was beyond anything I could possibly put into words. All commentary dropped. It was is if the ego’s familiar “I” engine had stopped.
When this state came to its conclusion, because as we all know, states come and go, it was as though I was being pushed as a square peg through a round hole, with the clear knowing that what I had experienced now needed to be integrated. This marked the beginning of a huge phase of undoing . . .”
The rest of Miranda’s story can be found at www.onethemagazine.com (a subscription fee will be requested.)