Urban Guru Cafe

Discovering what you truly are

15. Jeff Foster – Falling Into The Mystery

Posted on 09.18.08 7:06PM under Jeff Foster, Podcast

In this interview with Jeff Foster, Jeff tells us that there is no path and no process to recognizing what we are, and as such, he does not advocate practices nor does he suggest that you stop them, for nothing you do or don’t do can or will lead to that which you already are.

He explains that this ‘understanding’ is not about concepts or about understanding ‘something’, but rather that it is about falling into the mystery, the unknown. He examines a common trap people can fall into when they take the concepts of non-duality and ‘turn them into’ a religion. Specifically, he looks at people falling into nihilism when they hear that there is nothing to get and nobody to do anything.

We are sure that (some of) you will love it – others will take ‘exception’ – such is the way of the appearance, the dualism of LIFE.

Links for the selected music chosen for this program: The Hombres - VasThe Moody Blues - Jethro TullAndreas Vollenweider on piano and some beautiful Cello work from Daniel Pezzotti - and a classic song from an old favorite Van Morrison “Into the Mystery” briefly opens and closes the program.

Jeffs website is located at Life Without A Centre

Free Podcast  – small donations are welcome.


Read Comments

  1. Posted by Jérôme on 09.18.08 8:04 pm

    Wonderful but it can be heard as an other golden carrot! To talk about the miracle, the preciousness of life, the extraordinary in the ordinary, something called liberation or energetic shift, that’s a good way of maintaining the search! I fell into that trap for a while with Tony Parsons and the sense of separation was stronger than ever! – but perhaps it can ring a bell for some…

  2. Posted by gilbert on 09.18.08 11:57 pm

    Whatever anyone says about Non Duality can be a ‘seeming’ trap – if the ‘pointing’ is taken conceptually. – but for ‘whom’? ‘Who’ is misled or trapped in concepts?
    It is obvious ‘here’ that Jeff is genuine in his enthusiasm and his expression.
    Whenever a ‘teacher’ personalizes any ‘event’ as being preferable the mind of ‘the seeker’ naturally wants to follow that, somehow, any how, and create a similar ‘event’ for the believed in ‘me’ to experience. Thus the ‘seeking’ is perpetuated. – This description here is also just another ‘story’.
    Such a ‘way’ is missing the ‘pointing’ completely. Very common.
    But language is dualistic and what is being pointed at is actually beyond description and beyond the grasp of mind and concepts.
    It is also obvious ‘here’ that Tony is also genuine in his expression.

    Ultimately it is ‘all’ THAT – expressing itself in all its diversity as EVERYTHING.

    The ‘purpose’ of these podcasts is to present a few of the relatively clear ‘speakers’ on this subject of Non Duality. There are not all that many.
    The main point is to present a few different expressions from different ‘sources’ and so allow anyone listening to them to ‘follow whatever resonates in their being’. Whatever works for you is valid. One ‘pointer’ will work for one ‘listener’ and another ‘listener’ will resonate with a different ‘pointer’ or ‘speaker’.
    It is not about being convinced of any particular ‘way’ or teaching. Let’s be bold and say that “the days of bonding oneself to a guru are OVER”.
    This clear ‘message’ is spreading – the resonance is spreading – the evidence is obvious. No point in making a story out of it though. Cut the crap and get to the core of it all. That is what this series of podcasts is all about.
    The core of it all could be said to be about letting go of ALL of our pre-conceived ideas about ‘how’ ‘THIS’ should appear to BE. – It is about ‘IS’ not ‘how’ or ‘why’ or ‘when’.
    So often we set ourselves up by emphasizing certain points or ideas about IT and how it should be according to ‘someone’. – It is always “Mr Someone-else” that is enlightened.
    That is all mind projection.
    THIS is not about any particular expression – because it is ALL expressions, everywhere.
    Even the mumbling words of a drunk is THAT expression. Yet it is highly unlikely that such words will ‘turn you around’. Believing in what the mind is telling us is the ‘problem’.
    The very instant you question these beliefs, they already start to lose their hold.
    This presence of awareness – this awareness of presence is HERE – it enables all the activity to register – whether it be labeled as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ by the discriminating mind. The wakefulness – the non conceptual awareness is neither negative nor positive. It is Neutral. Every ‘event’ happens within THIS boundless presence. This PRESENCE expresses itself as ‘I am’. – THAT which cannot be negated.
    Strip it all back to THAT – this naked awareness – the rest is simply concepts appearing and disappearing.

  3. Posted by Jérôme on 09.19.08 12:38 am

    I don’t doubt Jeff ‘s authenticity…but as long as you don’t question the false assumptions, you don’t see the false as false, this “neo-advaita” message may be useless or worse may create some despair if an energetic shift is what is hoped for ….I was forced to really LOOK into the false in direct experience rather than believing what other say; this neo-advaita message can create a sort of hypnosis if you are not clear on what you are and what you are not and making the suffering and seeking going on forever…but as I said it could be the good poison for some…I don’t know, I speak from my direct experience, not from a dogmatic point of view …

  4. Posted by gilbert on 09.19.08 1:03 am

    SEEING is happening. – ‘Who’ is this one that was forced to LOOK into the false?
    And ‘who’ is this one that speaks from ‘my own direct experience’? The direct and immediate experiencing is ALL THERE IS and it remains completely indescribable – no words can adequately convey it or capture it – no matter ‘who’ expresses it.
    Yet we ALL speak, anyone and everyone speaks FROM and IN this immediacy – even if it is just regurgitated conceptual notions picked up from some silly guru it is still an expression of THAT. It cannot not be. All this nonsense about Neo-Advaita and Tradition Advaita is intellectual gymnastics. Those who indulge in it are usually self-proclaimed experts on Non Duality.
    A-dvaita MEANS One without a second. It is only the MIND that divides this ONE-ness – and if you look closely it is obvious that the mind cannot divide anything at all. Thoughts are ephemeral appearances – they appear to divide only themselves – into more and more thoughts like leaves on a tree. Get to the root of it all. Non-Conceptual Awareness.
    All arguments cease in THAT. That is what all the pointing is TO.
    Stay in the mind if you must – but ‘it’ will NEVER be satisfied. Its very nature is restlessness – a movement. The core factor is KNOWING – sometimes called SEEING.
    Everything – Every thing ‘bar none’ APPEARS in THAT.
    This is clear and obvious – but not to the mind tossing about with its biased obsessions.
    No offense intended – and don’t take it personally. As Jeff says, this is about ‘sharing’.

  5. Posted by Jérôme on 09.19.08 1:30 am

    As you often said Gilbert, the false needs to be seen! you don’t seem to caution the “nothing to do” approach…neither does Bob …the “sharing” approach could be a good pointing but may be not sufficient (for some), good, as long as there is a real looking!

  6. Posted by Tim on 09.19.08 2:20 am

    Jeff says that after months of self-inquiry that he couldn’t find a self that was asking the questions. Isn’t that the whole “point”? No one home. Nothing to do with the “experiences” that happen along the way.

    Self-inquiry worked fine for “me”.

  7. Posted by Jérôme on 09.19.08 2:23 am

    Yes, but as long as there is the belief in a “me”, the investigation must take place…that’s the paradox…

  8. Posted by Tim on 09.19.08 2:24 am

    Why do you think I wrote “me” like that? :)

  9. Posted by Ralph on 09.19.08 6:46 am

    Yes Jerome, I agree with you, a ‘real looking’ is necessary and this takes ‘time’.

    as long as there is the belief in a “me”, the investigation must take place

    … and how does one see the false as false ?

    by being ‘brutally’ honest with oneself.
    This is where most do not go simply because it scares the ‘shit’ out of them to see that the fears are still there and IS who they believe themselves to be. One must walk through the door of fear for the false to be seen as false. Most like to take the shortcut and say there is no one there so why look? The answer is simple, because they still suffer and secretly know that the “me” they claim is ‘not’ there IS still there.

    No way out…. walk through the shit to get cleansed and your suffering will come to an end and freedom and peace awaits you.

    …. and yes I know, there is no one there so why do all this… that’s the paradox.

  10. Posted by Jérôme on 09.19.08 8:32 am

    “Who is the one that is forced to see the false as false? – the false must die, must burn…there is no entity to be forced, the crap has to drop…and that can happen listening to Jeff Foster, asking who am I, or eating rice…

  11. Posted by Ralph on 09.19.08 10:30 am

    The ‘crap’ does not need to die or burn but just to be seen for what it truly is … just crap!

  12. Posted by gilbert on 09.19.08 11:00 am

    Yes……..it does not take TIME to SEE – SEEING is happening. SEEING is not a process – it is the immediate function-ING.
    The same essence that IS the (pure function of) SEEING, is the intelligence that actually cuts through the beliefs – leaving them passive.
    The intelligence only appears to be dormant because of the habit of believing in the self-centered activity. The ‘me’ cannot SEE.
    A cluttered mind SEEMINGLY obscures clear awareness – but the fact is that NOTHING actually obscures awareness.
    The false cannot die or burn – because it never existed. The ego never existed – so the belief that it must be gotten rid of is the old ’round-about’. Hundreds and thousands of books have been written about ‘the ego’ – Thousands of therapists make a ‘good living’ from the fiction of there being an ego (They have their place in the scheme of ‘things’ – it is all valid in The Appearance) – the books and all the activities surrounding the believed in ego just support that belief – the belief that it exists, even when they take ten hours or paragraphs to say that it does not exist.
    IN this immediacy right now you can actually SEE clearly that it is ‘not here’ – the IDEA that it is here is just an idea – it is like a ghost that plays in the shadows – and it only appears to ‘carries on’ (have duration) because of inadvertence. Stop and LOOK, SEE that it is not there. Don’t pass over this so quickly – Realize that what you ARE is the SEEING – not the seen or the imagined.
    Don’t give it any belief at all. Keep it simple. It is not about ‘evolution’ – it is about this immediacy – everything is contained in THIS and THIS is unlimited presence – THAT includes Every-thing, everything that ever was, is or will be. It is actually nothing but Is-ness.
    That round-about is just a habitual track that the mind ‘walks’.
    Awareness is not particularized or polarized – it is not ‘in’ that activity – all the activities are appearances, appearing nowhere other than IN or ON Awareness.
    Awareness, what we are calling awareness, is not a concept……as Bob says “The word is not the real”.
    All these comments are ‘good stuff’, stirring up the beliefs – and it ‘appears’ that this gives ‘us’ the opportunity to SEE them in a ‘new light’ (which is Presence) – and once seen clearly they are ‘seemingly’ eliminated – yet they never truly existed. How can you believe in them ever again, once you have seen that they are just appearances in ‘mind’?
    One fact to clearly SEE for oneself is that the ‘Thinker’ is just another thought – in seeing that the thinker is just another thought, the whole ‘house of cards’ tumbles into ‘self-less resolution’ – naked awareness. Understanding is wordless – silent. The ‘pointing’ happening here is un-compromised by any belief – it is the immediate FACT. Drop thought for a moment and SEE. This seeing does not disappear just because a thought appears in it.
    As the ancient text says “Stop thinking and talking – and there is nothing you will not be able to know.”

  13. Posted by David on 09.19.08 2:05 pm

    I have to say I just popped in and read the intro but have not listened to Jeff yet. That part regarding nihilism really caught my eye. I looked up the word in the dictionary because I only had a vague idea of the defintion. For a second there I saw that perhaps that is what ‘I’ had ‘become, a nihilist,’ But there is not an entity there to become anything which is the paradox. If the answer to this is in the interview then just tell me to shut my cakehole and listen to the interview! I will!

    P.S. The Buddha is to have said: “There is no creation and no dissolution”, could this be viewed as nihilistic?

    The dictionary said, denying all existence is nihilistic. Again, if this is addressed in the interview, forgive me for not having listened yet, mates.

  14. Posted by gilbert on 09.19.08 2:34 pm

    It is the focusing on the ‘disappearance’ side of ‘things’ – the emptiness of things – the vacancy – NIL. The symbol for ZERO is O – a clear and empty ‘sphere’ – it is the ground of all being – it is no thing – it appears as everything. Your coffee cup may leave a stain ring on the table cloth – it is a trace of something that is no longer there – an ‘absence’.
    By emphasizing the emptiness we miss the fullness of natural presence.
    “Because it is empty – it can be filled – because it is full – it is emptied”. (some ancient text pops up in memory)
    The very SEEING, of even ‘emptiness’, is completely full of KNOWING.
    This is not a cold perception – there is a warmth in it. Do not ignore this warmth. A ‘person’ that is indulging in nihilistic notions is missing the fullness of life. They are ‘grumpy old men’ with no friends and no horizons.
    All we have is language, gestures and symbols to communicate with. The warmth mentioned earlier is an essential aspect of ‘communication’. If it is absent then the coldness of ‘personal isolation’ precludes any true communication. Taking any stand for or against anything just leads into multiplicity, endless thought patterns, justifications and debates. – All about ‘me’, the ‘knower’.
    The value here, with these programs, is to watch (SEE) what is stirred to the surface.
    It is not about who is right and who is wrong. However violently you stir the bucket, the water will return to its natural restful state. The ‘timeless’ always wins any ‘competition’ with ‘time’. As Krishna said to Ajuna in the Gita: “I am the Lord of Time” -“Do not worry about killing these opponents – they are already dead – as the Lord of Time, I have already killed them.” It is a symbolic expression far beyond religious notions. The name ‘Krishna’ means consciousness or pure awareness. Timeless-ness itself.
    It is the same equation for ‘the mind’ – mind is time. Awareness is timeless – non-dual. Anything that appears on awareness disappears ‘without incident’. All ‘events’ come and go. It is all a movement in stillness. One could say that these two aspects (emptiness and fullness – motion and stillness – form and formless-ness) need to be in equal balance AS this ‘conscious presence’. This can NEVER be a practice – for any practice very quickly turns into a self-centered activity – a mechanical repetition – it loses the nature of spontaneous, effortless presence.
    Awareness is like water – it appears in many states of being but in essence it is simply water, whether it be steam, a storm at sea, or a block of ice. The transient states of being cannot exist without the essence – awareness.
    How so many can argue about this is just so amazingly humorous.

  15. Posted by Bill Tys on 09.19.08 5:53 pm

    Seeing is happening! No one turns on the seeing! No one turns on the hearing! No one turns on the smelling! It all just happens…

    Therefore no one turns on the thinking, no one turns on the seeking, no one turns on the meditating, no one turns on the dancing! It all just happens…

    The diversity is the formless patterning. The intelligence is the diversity. The wind is known only by its effects…by the fluttering flag and the waving branch. The unknowable is known only by its effects and its patterning. Like the wind…the formless is the patterning. The patterning is the manifestation…this instrument which is typing, this mind which is thinking, this mind that at times thinks there is a me or an ego or a refernce point…all this activity appears in the undeniable yet indescribable knowing.

    The diversity is to be celebrated! And who is going to celebrate? Me! That same ‘me’ that appears along with the apparent thinking and apparent doing!

    Everybody dance!

  16. Posted by Jérôme on 09.19.08 6:15 pm

    The “me” is not there…yes,and yet some assume it has to drop and an energetic shift has to happen; and that is misery…the seeing is right now and no special shift has to happen…

  17. Posted by audrey on 09.19.08 7:03 pm

    …Isn’t the ‘shift’ just the unstoppable erosion of beliefs..timelessness will have its way, the brain is no match for it thank god, it lays down its defenses, comes to rest..the energy that went into holding back the tide is available – to play

  18. Posted by susana on 09.19.08 8:54 pm

    Thank you once again for this gift.

  19. Posted by gilbert on 09.19.08 9:12 pm

    Let me deflect that thanks to Jeff. The offering here is a ‘sharing’ from Jeff……..
    The resonance of hearing something true appears as if it is ‘a gift’ – it is actually one’s own essential nature ‘shining through the mind’, which is breaking through the old ‘crust’ of belief, like a red rose blossoming after emerging through a bitumen pavement in the Bronx. The extremely subtle energy of that ‘movement’ can move mountains. That movement is ‘knowing’. It is the true nature of the ALL.
    I love how Bob Adamson expresses it: “It dawns on you”.
    I love it because when he told me it was accepted theoretically without positive knowledge or proof – but then ‘later’ the ‘proof’ came ‘out of the blue’ and “it dawns on you” is known to be a beautiful way of expressing it.
    Of course any description can ‘set one up’ for disappointment because of expectation – a notion about a ‘future time’ – which of course is an ignoring of THIS presence right now. This dawning bypasses all the minds activities, no matter what they are, including memories and expectations. It is not an event in time – yet somehow one is turned around and what was a burden is seen through. It loses its weight.
    The intelligence and the essence of this investigation is nothing but SEEING.
    As Bill points out: SEEING is happening. You don’t have to flick a switch.
    All of our beliefs in ‘making effort’ don’t actually bring any results. And in the making of those effort, we are actually ignoring what IS. Drop the concept right now and SEE for yourself. It does not require any effort – but it is subtle and one needs to rest in that open ‘space-like awareness’ and let the SEEING penetrate and shine through whatever the mind brings up.

  20. Posted by Jérôme on 09.19.08 9:50 pm

    The last John Wheeler’s pointers are very clear on the subject, it’s a non bullshit approach…read them and “you” are cooked!! :-)

  21. Posted by Jérôme on 09.20.08 12:30 am

    And don’t forget that all that is said are only pointers and are ultimately false!
    so let’s have a beer and have a good laugh! and thank Jeff Foster! :-)

  22. Posted by MARGO on 09.20.08 3:44 am

    All this talk about false beliefs-unquestioned beliefs but how can this non-existing-false self, this “me” have any beliefs? I already understood that there is no separate entity “me” here, so who is actually having those beliefs? Is it the awareness, consciousness, the instrument-brain? Who is holding this separate “me” belief minute by minute?
    It cannot be the awareness, because everything appears in or on awareness, so the belief just appears. Is the belief stored in the neural-pathways of the brain that is constantly accessed or attracted by thought? It begins to look to me like something is automatically triggered in the brain and unless “something” or “someone” is conscious it will keep on happening. This automatic acceptance of separate “me” obscures the obvious- pure SEEING.
    Am I totally confused or AM I getting somewhere?
    So being conscious in this moment, and in this moment, and in this……. Is the only way.
    Is the Focus in now to overwrite the neural pathways and establish new connections?

  23. Posted by tim on 09.20.08 6:35 am

    Hi, Nice PODCAST from Jeff !
    Warm regards, Tim

  24. Posted by gilbert on 09.20.08 10:20 am

    Yes…..it is all valid in the appearance – all theories are theories that appear in the SEEING.
    The realization is: What I am is the SEEING. All the rest is concepts – appearances. Everything you or anyone experiences is of ‘the appearance’.
    ‘Who’ is it all happening to? That is a direct inquiry.
    The problems are all in duality. The obvious oneness is SEEMINGLY split in two by the ‘seer’ and the ‘seen’ – the subject and the object.
    What ‘seer’ is there without SEEING?
    What is ‘seen’ without SEEING?
    SEEING is the functioning.
    The ‘thinker’ and the ‘seer’ are both thoughts. They come and go. They are the separation – the appearance of separation – where none exists.
    There is NO duality in non duality. End of story.
    And yet it keeps unfolding within the natural wholeness of THIS.
    What you are cannot come and go.
    The dawning is this activity of knowing is found to be here at all ‘times’.
    You are the knowing – the seeing – that is un-interrupted.
    No belief can survive if it is looked at directly.
    Instead of conceptualizing a new question: “Who is having these beliefs?”
    Drop it all.
    There is NO answer in the mind.
    All there truly is is KNOWING.
    The ‘knower’ is a transient pattern.
    ‘People’ believe in all sorts of ‘things’ and the central ‘hook’ that all the beliefs hang off is the belief in ‘ME’.
    Take a close look for this ‘me’ and keep looking until there is a total conviction that it does not exist.
    Then, and only then, will all the doubts and questions cease to plague ‘you’.

  25. Posted by Kimo (Jim) on 09.20.08 5:05 pm

    This is all great stuff – I barely blinked before a new mp3 and 24 posted comments popped up! Some great insights by Jeff – my favorite is when he talked about a feeling of emptiness and detachment and at that time thought he was in a state of enlightenment but was fooled. A clear reminder that there is no “state” to get “into” that makes you a super-Gilbert or super-Jeff or super-Bob. You already are what you are; the knowing is there in all confused states, feelings of oneness, feelings of emptiness, or feelings of love for everyone. None of those experiences are IT; only expressions appearing in THAT and not separate from THAT. Reviewing this UGC material, I still say the clearest stuff was written by Gilbert on the Stephen Wingate mega 100 comment thread. The comments to Ralph are red hot and right on: Do a search on “No one can get behind that spontaneous registering (cognizing) that KNOWING Presence”…”Let it be stated once more: The translating mind content ‘appears’ in the SEEING. It is never the other way around.” If you understand those two comments you’ll never worry again about the appearance as in what state you are in or what attainment you have or what understanding you have. It can all only ever be appearing on THAT.

  26. Posted by audrey on 09.20.08 6:57 pm

    Jim, thanks for the “no-one can get behind…” reminder.

  27. Posted by Ralph on 09.22.08 3:28 am

    Yes Jim but in the appearance is where this false self lives and in the appearance is where this false self will find its true nature. Even though its all mind content , there is investigation work to be done by the false self to see its true self or to put it in other words, for the ‘just seeing’ to shine through even though its always shining.

    For many seekers, they get a glimpse of this ‘just seeing’ but quickly return to the false self. why is that ? is it not because there is still more work to be done by the false self for the ‘just seeing’ or the ‘just knowing’ to remain present even though its always present ?

  28. Posted by tomvds on 09.22.08 8:23 am

    False Self/True Self.
    “Nothing is wrong anymore” (the NIZ)
    “Nothing is good(true) or bad(false) but the mind that makes it so” W.S.
    No matter the content; It’s All THAT.
    You can’t make a mirror by polishing a brick stone.
    The work to be done by ‘the false self’ is pretending it exists.
    While there is just arising a thought presently
    Which is noise.
    static in the ether.
    or “The full moon in daylight”:

    “The moon shines by reflecting the light of the sun. When the sun has set, the moon is useful for displaying objects. When the sun has risen, no one needs the moon, though its disc is visible in the sky. So it is with the mind and the Heart. The mind is made useful by its reflected light. It is used for seeing objects. When turned inward, it merges into the Source of Illumination, which shines by Itself, and the mind then is like the moon in the daytime.” – R.M.

  29. Posted by Jérôme on 09.22.08 9:01 am

    At the end what is the only practice to do: to have a beer and a good laugh!and even that can fail!! “if you are serious enough,you must laugh as loud as you can”…ah,ah!:-)

  30. Posted by gilbert on 09.22.08 10:20 am

    The HOOK of belief in a ‘me’ is the problem….it appears in the expression that starts with “Yes Jim but….”…above…. it says: “in the appearance is where this false self will find its true nature.” WRONG.
    The ‘me’ – the false self CANNOT see, hear, taste or touch – HOW can it find its true nature? The mind then says “Well ‘who’ is seeing?” There is No one that is seeing – SEEING is happening and this seeing is happening through (includes) all sentient beings and is prior to the ‘patterns’ that appear as those beings.
    There is a common erroneous belief that needs to be rooted out….or ‘seen through’ – and that ‘clear evidence’ is irreversible once it is re-cognized.
    The false cannot stand up to any clear SEEING (what we call ‘the investigation’) – the ‘seen’ and the ‘seer’ appear in the pure function of SEEING……..
    In the Seeing, in the ‘LOOK-ing more closely into’ all beliefs then it is ‘witnessed’ that all appearances dissolve, every belief or thought disappears in this presence, this knowing – It ‘appears’ that the seeing must be sustained……as if by ‘intent’. And the indisputable FACT is that SEEING is happening NOW….’always now’.
    Reality is NOW. Reality does not come from some future ‘time’. ‘We’ must open IN and TO this presence and be the SEEING only – without the belief in being ‘someone’.
    However, ‘as we all know’, ‘we’ habitually slip back into dualistic mind stuff and miss it – or is it more like ‘we’ imagine that ‘I’ miss it?
    It is ALWAYS a story that ‘gets in the way’…..’Until’ it is seen through.
    No mind construct (story) can EVER obscure clear and present awareness.
    Our immediate experiencing is NOT of being ‘a person’. If that belief of being a ‘person’ is held onto, then the open view is missed and the restless mind continues to seek a resolution to its ‘problems’ – which are all ephemeral appearances, thoughts, concepts and ideas etc.
    What you ARE is not subjected to the duality of ‘true or false’.
    The movement that appears within this stillness is a continuous movement – like a light beam, it does not stop to rest anywhere – it is all an appearance.
    It is all inclusive – One without a second….
    No one can find the apparent ‘separation’ between the One and two-ness.
    No One.
    So, in THIS immediacy of what IS, it is totally obvious.
    What appears as the constant unfolding of this presence is also obvious.
    They are not two.
    What you are is like a subtle dimensionless ‘membrane’ which lies ‘between’ emptiness and fullness…..between stillness and movement.
    In SEEING and KNOWING that everything registers on the ‘membrane’ and that it has no place or limitation – it is known beyond all doubts that there is NO boundary or center to THIS…..and that everything appears in THIS Presence that I AM.
    The resonance that arises in ‘being’ is the KNOWING………it ‘happens’ BECAUSE we already KNOW…….it is the re-cognition that seems to be the missing ‘thing’ for the ‘seeker’ – and the ‘seeker’ is only ‘an ignoring’ of ‘what is’.
    Knowing is the first and only instant of this PRESENCE.
    The intellect can turn in endless cartwheels trying to grasp this….and it always fails.
    The answer is NOT in the mind.

    The next program on the urban guru cafe is called “It is all THAT” and it expresses many of the salient points. It ‘appears’ to be confronting to the ‘me’ to examine what is really going on. That is what it is all about – breaking the habit of belief by SEEING. Beliefs have no power over clear SEEING.
    In examining the idea that ‘I see’ is it not obvious that there is no ‘I’ that sees? What sees that obviousness? It cannot be named – at least the naming is only a transient appearance in the seeing-knowing.

  31. Posted by GrippedByNothing on 09.24.08 1:38 am

    Ok, this is what it seems to be like here>
    There is a virtual Banquet of information, language, methods, “levels”,opinions, seeming people, paths, pathless paths, gateless gates, just THISes, only That’s…….
    I (whoever that is), sat down at this banquet, hoping to get full (or at least a “feeling” of fullness) and ( I ) did. ( I ) seemingly left the banquet, tried to get back to that “Feeling” and…. alas, the banquet was merely a bowl of sand…. So ( I ) self inquire… Oh wait..
    ( I’m ) Not supposed to self inquire….. just drop into “This”… that sound, feeling in the body…. oh wait… Nothing is real… all is based on a language that isn’t real anyway.
    So ( I ) find the “Three levels of enlightenment” and some of it makes sense….. ( I ), or at least “the mind” attempts to tie it all together, find the commonalities… the differences….
    And what is left feels worse that where I started….. in ignorance….. are there levels of ignorance as well… I could Google that one… I’m sure someone has a blog on that….
    I’m laughing so hard right now… In addition to all of that… No One is answering any of my questions… well they do, but with another question… so now I ask again,,, who is the I that asks??) although for a mere $19.99 I can attend that seminar, via skype to find out the “Secret behind the Secret”… why is it always a Secret?? Just rambling >>>>>
    Thanx for reading… if you did… Maybe you’re getting a laugh as well and “THEY” say that laughter is the best medicine~~

  32. Posted by gilbert on 09.24.08 12:29 pm

    There are no levels. What we are talking about is non duality.
    There is no duality in non duality. There is no ‘second’ and nothing that could separate the ONE into two. THAT one without a second is ALL inclusive.
    THIS is beyond all conditions, boundaries and mental postulations.
    That should also be logically OBVIOUS.
    It is only the mind that seemingly creates levels and builds fences – believes in separation.
    How can a thought separate anything? It is an ephemeral appearance ‘on’ awareness.
    What ‘mind’ is there – apart from thought, image, memory and anticipation?
    The answer is not in the mind – there is NO answer and no question. The question is the questioner. There is no secret. But the habit, inadvertently, is to hide what is obvious by believing in a description (mind translations) and so something is constructed in ‘mind’ and believed in – and that SEEMINGLY obscures reality – which is clear and present awareness. However, nothing can truly obscure awareness. That FACT is ever present.
    The belief in mind content is the transient, floating, transparent self-centered activity – the belief in ‘me’ that flickers across this clear awareness. It is transparent……it has no origin and no substance. It ALL appears in the SEEING. No one can convince you of this.
    It must be recognized from beyond that activity……and what you are is actually beyond it all. The habit of belief must be broken. No one can break it for you. You must stir from the habit of slumbering in inadvertence. Be the SEEING – only the seeing.
    Thousands get stuck on “Who am I?” The only way out of the mind is full stop.
    Cease from conceptualizing for a moment and SEE. All it takes is one good taste.
    The crust of old beliefs will crack and shift away and dissolve naturally because it cannot exist without energy……with no ‘personalized’ effort required.
    The SEEING is the activity of KNOWING. It is invincible. It is no thing.

  33. Posted by GrippedByNothing on 09.24.08 2:00 pm

    THAT was Very Clear, Gilbert~

  34. Posted by gilbert on 09.24.08 5:42 pm

    Yes. It is clear but not for everyone it seems. Most are used to concepts that trip off into spiritual imaginary notions – nothing that they can actually verify in their direct and immediate experience….which is the unmistakable and undeniable knowing – but for those who dream of spiritual ‘things’ it is all in imagination – and what good is that?
    Every salient point that is expressed here, the ‘reader’ can verify in ‘themselves’ and that resonance conveys that there is something true and definite being expressed – ‘something’ that they may not have adequate words for themselves. However, it does require that one follows closely what is being pointed out and even contemplate the ‘ramifications’. One point that many may miss is that there is no talk about any ‘future time of deliverance’ or ‘methods to get there’ – it is all about this Presence Now. This is where the recognition happens – in THIS immediacy. – Warm regards – Gilbert.

  35. Posted by areti on 09.24.08 5:47 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that Jeff is busy in Greece running his meetings and he said that when he got back home he would look at the comments – so if you have any questions you would like to direct to him, please do so – he might be enticed into replying.

  36. Posted by Jérôme on 09.25.08 8:41 am

    So welcome Jeff! no more questions for you, let’s laugh together at this big cosmic joke!

  37. Posted by jérôme on 09.26.08 1:23 am

    eh,”Jérôme” seems to have been removed ! not very democratic !

  38. Posted by Shikar Tehlan on 09.26.08 8:19 am

    No disrespect to Jeff. But he seems confused. He sounds ‘half baked’. It is difficult to understand where Jeff stands. Maybe he is not able to communicate what he really wants to say. Ramana, Nisarga, JK, Sailor Bob, Gilbert and John Wheeler are very clear in what they want to convey. As far as I have understood the body and the ego come in the way of realizing one’s natural state of pure presence awareness. There are moments when all of us experience this natural state when we are not too much engrossed with the body/self image/ thinking process. Anyway the music was fabulous.

  39. Posted by Shikar Tehlan on 09.26.08 9:13 am

    To Gilbert,
    Would it be wrong to say that it is the Presence Being Awareness that is seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching? After all nothing can function without THAT. There is looking or seeing or hearing etc. Can’t we attribute that function or action to that Eternal Presence Awareness?

  40. Posted by gilbert on 09.26.08 10:47 am

    ‘Who’ is going to attribute ‘what’ to ‘what’? We are talking about Non Duality. It is ALL THAT. The ‘key’ is SEEING – there is no division in the seeing – this is very obvious but it is not recognized because of ‘our’ habit of ‘going with the thoughts’. Thoughts are a transient appearance in the uninterrupted SEEING. Ordinary seeing is the ONLY seeing that is taking place – it is extraordinary in its pure functioning – and seemingly obscured by the habitual association with being a ‘seer’. The ‘seer’ is only a thought eg: ‘I am seeing’.
    What is this ‘I’ that sees? So, you may detect that the ‘I’ thought is simply another thought. So, where is the problem?
    “There is nothing wrong or right, except thinking makes it so” – William Shakespeare.
    Actually you cannot separate anything – yet it appears that the idea of being a ‘person’ is stuck like glue to this flowing experiencing of being present and aware. In removing the belief in the concept of separation (which we can call ‘me’) then the natural INCLUSIVENESS of everything is naturally tasted in the IS-ness. IN that TASTE, the relief and flavor of…..let’s call it ‘this expansive unlimited presence’ – IN this Taste there is a natural experienc-ing of a ‘sliding away’ of what was once believed in – what is now seen through – the ‘seeing through’ is the ‘cutting away’ – yet ‘it’ never truly existed (that ‘me’ never existed except in belief) – and all talk about any ‘process’, for example that ‘sliding away’, has a taste of being false – and that includes all stories about any personal enlightenment – all stories are about time – they taste false because they are false. All there is is THIS Presence. Yet it does appear that one goes through a process – eg: A sense of negative turns to positive – then if this does not turn into neutral and ‘space-like’ the positive will return to the negative and the dance of separation continues, ad infinitum…..which it does anyway – but there is NO entity in it. One must SEE this most clearly before belief will fall away.
    Some ‘teachers’ say that the investigation does not work for them or that it is not the way to go – they say it is just seeking. And they don’t stop the hundreds that flow into their meetings and refuse to take the money – by saying “No this is just more seeking – go away”. It is the cosmic joke.

    Non duality MEANS One without a second – there is NO individual. So yes, the One (Presence Awareness) is THE Seeing, the Tasting, Hearing, Smelling, Thinking, Doing, Fishing, Dancing, Weaving, Loving, Being.
    There is NO Other. It is only the mind that (seemingly) separates this….this indescribable presence….which on close examination is not even ‘One’.
    All that can be found is clear and empty space – and in that there is KNOWING…..this ‘Infinitely subtle KNOWING’ the knowing of this clear and empty space-like clear presence. One without a second. Indescribable…yet words appear.

  41. Posted by areti on 09.26.08 1:24 pm

    Shikar, I was wondering what it was in what Jeff said that made you think that he was not clear. Jeff’s expression or pointing is different from the others you mentioned, that is clear, but he is not saying anything very different in the end, not from my reckoning. I am curious to know what in his message could have led you to your conclusion.

  42. Posted by BeWhatYouAre on 09.26.08 10:34 pm

    It “seems” easier for most to see thoughts as “those things that come and go” in this. However, it seems to take a little more to “see” the Body (not who I am), just the “sense” of the body as unreal because of how it “Feels”….. Heavy, Light, in pain, in orgasm. ‘Who am I?’ seems effortless – and has no answer!
    The “Body” even comes and goes, and…appears so, only in “Time”. We have been taught that what is “Real” can only be validated through the senses…touched, tasted, felt, seen or heard. The conditioned, habitual mind labels everything (many things) and in doing so creates separation…. yet how can a label be created without it’s opposite being present, to reflect it. Even a fart seems real in the moment it hits the nostrils, but it to, passes away… (Hopefully)..l o l

  43. Posted by Jérôme on 09.26.08 10:59 pm

    Jeff explains wonderfully that he doesn’t know what is the best for you! that ends the endless debate practice or no practice…because there is no one to choose to practice or not! even a drunk man can make it!

  44. Posted by Jérôme on 09.26.08 11:54 pm

    There is a very good mp3 from Tony Parsons website called “being aliveness”…I like it because it is totally direct,non conceptual…I can’t find more direct!

  45. Posted by Shikar on 09.29.08 7:50 pm

    There is no separate drunk man there at all to make anything. All there is that Presence Awareness Existence. All appearances are superfluous.

  46. Posted by Charlie Hayes on 10.10.08 3:53 pm

    Gotta give you a shout out, Gilbert; these are awesomely designed productions! Love the music and other sound effects. Dri]m. Birds. Just GREAT stuff; you are managing to entertain AND point. Softens things up. THANKS my friend.

    Now on to The Paradox of This Sharing …

    Questioner: “What is the value of spiritual teachings?” Nisargadatta Maharaj: “They are useful in the beginning, but become a hindrance in the end. One must know when to discard them…”

    The final unresolvable paradox is stated this way as my concept (and it is only a concept that points to a deeper insight) – There is NO person in the machine, the body-mind apparatus is a puppet without a puppet-master that can be located anywhere!

    AND – so long as “you” are still taking your self to be a separate entity with will and control, then what is needed is for that assumed “me” to investigate itself and see what is actually here. Note that this paradox is NOT conceived here as “this OR that” but rather This AND That. The pointer is all this is NOT TWO (the translation of the Sanskrit word Advaita). This paradox is not a dilemma that the mind can solve; nor can the mind find a third alternative which would just be more thoughts about a thing that actually has no reality, no substance, no independent power.

    Yet, when the seeing deep into what never changes EVER, AND what the nature of this “I” that wants and seeks an end to its suffering actually IS, that paradox dissolves, and so do “you”. And that “when” is right here, right now.

    Love Y’all!

  47. Posted by Shikar Tehlan on 10.11.08 8:06 pm

    Hi Areti,

    I missed your question all these days to inattention. Now I don’t remember what Jeff said. I’ll have to listen to the podcast to remember what he said. But anyway you know who you really are or aren’t. And that’s what matters. To clear up the doubts about one’s mistaken identity is the purpose of this podcast.

    I visit this site because the music is brilliant thanks to Gilbert and yourself. Spiritual teachers make it sound really impossible to realise who one isn’t. But thanks to Sailor Bob, Gilbert, John Wheeler and others it is realised that it is not at all impossible. It is found to be the easiest of all tasks. To realise the Self or one’s own self evident presence awareness is the easiest because you are effortlessly that.

  48. Posted by Norman on 01.07.09 3:31 pm

    I find Jeff’s manner of expression, especially clear, obvious and pointing very precisely to the fact that all pointing is, is a pointing. None of this discussion or expression of non-duality can be “utilized” by thought to manipulate illusion into reality. The very attempt to open or to realize oneness is direct evidence that there is a belief that there is something or someone that needs to open or realize. Yet even the experience of utter separation, ignorance and struggle is, itself, an expression of the Absolute as separation, ignorance and struggle. The wave can never reach the ocean, because it already is the ocean. The attempting to reach the ocean is direct evidence that there is confusion at the very core of the seeking. Yet even that confusion is only the ocean/Absolute being a passing wave/a passing experience. There is nothing else but the One.
    A poem:
    The One Poem Norman Mitchell-Babbitt 11/27/08

    In truth, there is but one poem
    Expressed in an infinity of forms
    Clothed in a multiplicity of fabrics
    Felt in swoons of texture, color and gorgeous patterns

    It is a poem that crawls upon the soil like a caterpillar
    Abides in cocoons for a time
    Eats its way out
    Emerges with wings; a butterfly set free upon a wind

    Dogs bark this one poem
    Fish swim this one poem
    Accountants, assessing accounts
    Tallying the numbers, are this poem

    The one poem
    Is all that is written
    The one poem
    Is all that I write

    The one poem has no end and no beginning
    No middle, no boundaries, no center
    The one poem speaks in every language
    As every human being

    The one poem is bird-song
    The one poem is traffic noise
    A sneeze, a calmness
    Each and every upset and triumph

    It is romance
    It is danger
    It is rough
    It is a delicacy

    It is everything
    It is no thing at all
    It rises and falls
    It is quiet and full of sound and fury

    There is nothing that is not the one poem
    Therefore the one poem can never be lost
    Or discarded or neglected
    For even rejection is but another form of this one poem

    You, who receive this poem, are the one poem!

  49. Posted by gilbert on 01.07.09 5:15 pm

    Obviously he (Jeff) is sure glad to be off to the Greek Islands frequently rather than working in an office.

  50. Posted by MarkL on 01.14.09 2:12 am

    Gilbert, that’s so funny. I’ve known Jeff personally for years (and I’m not his greatest fan, I think there are other communicators who are more to the point, but that’s another story) and he’ll laugh his head off when I tell him that you think he’s constantly jetting off to exotic locations!!!! It couldnt be further from the truth, Gilbert. He’s about the most down to earth guy I know. I doubt he’d be able to afford to jet off to the Greek islands frequently!! He lives in a tiny one bedroom shared basement apartment with his girlfriend, they both live very modestly, why dont you go and meet him and you’ll see for yourself??? I can put you two in touch if you’d like, just let me know. I’m sure he’d be pleased to speak to you, he has no agenda.
    As for offices, he’s worked in plenty of them!! I know he went to Greece once last year – it was by invitation like most of his meetings are – and the place he was doing his meetings is a tiny and absolutely basic retreat centre, which only keeps itself going by bringing in workshops from outside…. and he’s going once again this year, by invitation. And anyway, I simply dont see the problem with any of that, even if he WAS visiting other countries frequently. Is it any more ‘dualistic’ to visit other countries? Jeff is clearly coming from a place of clarity and sees through the guru trap and its dangers totally, he’s always very clear about that. I wish you’d watch those projections you make onto him! I think it says more about you than it does about him. I mean, you havent even met the guy. You’re just going from a “sense” you have. And I’m sure you’ll retort with something along the lines of “there’s no me” or some other nondual religious stuff. So I’ll say my piece and go. I just wanted to stick up for Jeff because I like the guy, that’s all, no other agenda, I’m not really all into this “nonduality” stuff because I think there’s so much ego involved in it, I mean just look at the rantings and ravings on this site. And I’ve probably just fallen into that trap too so it’s REALLY time to leave!! Peace man.

  51. Posted by gilbert on 01.14.09 8:55 am

    Just stirring up the pot my friend. There is no Jeff to have an agenda. It is all appearances. Interesting that you leap to defend him. There is no trap and no falling into it – but it can sure feel like that. The falling or sinking sensation is an interesting one. In letting it be what it is, and by letting the mind rest on nothing, the nature of all is revealed. What most usually happens is the mind scrambles to grasp at some old ideas so it can re-establish its realm of ‘security’ which is actually insecurity – because it has no foundations except concepts. Concepts have no substance and are equal to space. This is not a gossip column but it is good to have a little from time to time. Gets ‘people’ talking. Spreads the ‘word’ and brings new opportunities that may otherwise not happen. All conjecture, I know – but for the ‘me’ it has little else. It’s all a joke and Jeff knows how to laugh.
    The guru game is valid as the appearance is valid.
    The most profound spiritual document is reduced to the status of a used train ticket once the message has been delivered.
    The only ‘reason’ seekers kiss the gurus feet is because they have not realized their own true nature. If some guru expected me to kiss his feet I would say “Kiss my ass Dude”. Actually almost all of the popular gurus show blazing signs of self-conceit and seekers mistake it for confidence and they imitate it. Jeff doesn’t play that game, so ten points to him. Crazy as it may seem – it appears that most seekers just want to convince themselves that they are ‘a good spiritual person’.
    The ‘person’ is not real – persona is the mask. We all wear one but some of us SEE straight through it. It can serve us or it can master us. We don’t get to choose – do we?

  52. Posted by MarkL on 01.14.09 9:23 pm

    Gilbert, I want to apologise. I got the wrong end of the stick. Sometimes I can be pretty reactive and leap to defend my friends when I feel they are under attack. I guess it’s just because I’ve read a few nasty overly personal posts on this site and I simply assumed that yours was just another one aimed at Jeff. Reviewing the situation, I was wrong, and anyway, Jeff doesn’t need to be defended, he can stick up for himself, he’s no cissy and does have a good sense of humor so probably would just laugh the whole thing off anyway. I took it too seriously. You are a decent guy Gilbert, and I think the best thing for me would be to stop being so sensitive and actually listen to what is being pointed to rather than get involved in personal politics. I will re-read some of your posts Gilbert because I do resonate with much of what you say. Your comments about SEEING through the persona (mask) were very helpful, and I will go away and ponder. Apologies once again and Peace man.

  53. Posted by MarkL on 01.14.09 9:25 pm

    “Concepts have no substance and are equal to space” – this is such a crystal clear pointer, Gilbert…..

  54. Posted by vinaya on 01.05.10 11:36 pm


    The non-existent I is in love with this site, with the words of Jeff, with the clarification of Gilbert, with music … although I can not understand English very well … “My ears” are Brazilian and can not understand another language very well … anyway, there is love!

    thank you for everything!

  55. Posted by Tim on 06.04.10 8:23 am

    I love listening to this guy. His lightheartedness serves as a helpful reminder not to grip the message too tightly.

  56. Posted by JMac on 01.27.11 5:08 am

    “the mind” is only the bank of understanding.