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Beyond No Self

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Here is an excerpt from one of Nirmala's ebooks entitled That Is That available here.

The spiritual journey is a movement away from over-identification with the body and mind to the rediscovery of our true identity as infinite Being, and this can be two different movements. The first is dis-identification with the body and mind. Since identification is simply a movement of thought, dis-identification is simply a movement away from thought. The ego identification that we experience most of the time is the result of repeated thoughts about "I", "me," and "mine." That is all there is to it, but while we are thinking these thoughts the sense of self is contained in them. And since most of our self-referencing thoughts are about our body, our thoughts, our feelings, and our desires, the sense of self is usually contained in the body and mind.

Dis-identification from the thought form of the ego can occur whenever there is a deep questioning of the assumption in most of our thoughts that we are this body and this mind. Inquiry using the question, Who am I? can naturally weaken the assumption that I am the body and the mind. In fact, any deep questioning of our thoughts and assumptions can loosen our over-identification with thought, since so many of them are not very true. Experiences of no thought can also weaken the identification because in the absence of thought, there is an absence of identification. We all experience this when we get so caught up in what we are doing that we completely "forget ourselves."

Alternatively, directly sensing the presence that is aware of the thoughts can also dis-entangle the tendency to identify with the thoughts. The second movement of the spiritual journey is this recognition, or realization, of your true nature as presence or limitless empty awareness. It is a wonderful surprise to discover that everything that really matters in life, including peace, joy, and love, is found in this empty awareness. This emptiness is incredibly full and rich. It has intelligence and strength and compassion. Whenever we experience a deeper quality of Being such as clarity, peace, insight, value, happiness or love, it is coming from this spacious presence...

There Is Only Love

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Here is an excerpt from Nirmala's newest book, Living from the Heart. You can download a longer excerpt for free on the free ebooks page or purchase a complete copy in our bookstore.

Anything you or anyone else has ever done has been the movement of love. What shapes this movement of love is the sense of me. What we're always doing is taking care of the self, whether it is a small sense of self or a more expanded one. Whenever that sense of self is contracted and small, we take care of that me. And when it's expanded, we take care of that larger sense of self. All we have ever done is tried to take care of the self in the best way we know how, which is always a loving act.

But, of course, when our actions only take care of a contracted me, they don't take care of or take into account other things. For example, we might take care of our taste buds, but not our whole body. Or if we are so identified with a feeling that all we can do is take care of it, we may not be taking care of our whole Being. Taking care of only the taste buds or only the emotions is still a loving act, but because it's such a narrow way of loving ourselves, it can be neglectful or even harmful to other aspects of our Being.

We can be afraid that if we see love in everything it will mean we will allow rape, murder, and other horribly narrow ways of taking care of a small separate sense of me to continue. Yet in discovering that there is only love, the surprising thing is that our actions naturally become more loving. If we see murder as an evil that needs to be abolished without also seeing it's true loving nature, that's when it makes sense to murder. If murder is really bad, then it makes sense to kill someone who has murdered someone else. Or it even makes sense to kill someone before they kill us. It makes sense to bomb a country before it attacks us. But when we see the loving nature of even murder, we can respond to it in a way that doesn't perpetuate it...

What Is This Moment's Treasure?

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bluespiral What is this moment's treasure? There is so much happening right now as you read these words. Thoughts, feelings, desires, sensations, and the whole world of objects and events are all taking place in this very moment. And yet we often look outside of this moment for happiness, satisfaction, freedom, and ultimately our true nature. When you look outside of what is actually happening, all you can ever find is an idea or fantasy. That is what is meant when we say someone is not in the present moment. It is not that they actually are somewhere else, it is just that they are looking somewhere else and the only other place to look is in their own mind at a story about another time.

The tricky thing is that our stories about the future or past are very convincing. The mind is a good storyteller. And every now and then, one of our stories comes true: the thing we were imagining in one moment actually happens. If we are honest, we have to admit that this is quite rare. Most of the time, instead of being able to say, "I told you so," we really should say "I never imagined this happening!" However any psychology student will tell you that an intermittent reward is more powerful as a reinforcement than even a constant reward. We are so powerfully rewarded when a story our mind tells comes true that we simply overlook the many times our stories turn out to be irrelevant.

Where is there a more constant reward? What can we pay attention to that is accurate and true? One thing we can say about our present moment experience is that it is always accurate and true. We do not have to wonder if it is going to come true or not, as it already has! So the content of our present moment experience is always true. Even our thoughts are truly thoughts. It is undeniably true that we are thinking whatever we are thinking, even if the content of the thought is not very likely to become true. So every experience we are having right now is a true experience. It has some reality and significance, unlike the content of our thoughts which may or may not turn out to have significance...