The cage of Dharma

Dear Gilbert: I have been a student of dharma for 45 years.  I have also followed your podcasts for about 5 years.  I’ve downloaded and listened to all of them, multiple times. I have learned a lot from them. But recently I’ve come upon something that overpowers even the most powerful teaching and pointers. It is this: A friend of mine recently died – the circumstances of which occurrence are such  that I still can’t describe them without exhausting myself with whooping cough-like weeping. I have told myself many times that this is just a story and that reality “trumps” any story. […]

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Correspondence – suffering is conflict

‪‪‪‪B……: ‬ ‪Gilbert, have you ever been severely depressed or anxious? ‪G: ‬ ‪Who wants to know?‬ ‪B……: ‬ ‪Me. G: ‬ ‪It is only a ‘me’ that can be depressed.  Pure existence or the ‘I am-ness’ is not the ‘me’.  The me is psychological.  Am-ness is Being.   ‘I’ re-presents presence or identity.  One without a second. ‪B……: ‬ ‪Yes, but I’m having trouble with my anxiety and depression. It just happens. ‪G: ‬ ‪Let everything be what it is.  If you let things be what they are, then ‘things’ will let you be what you are.  The ‘wanting to change […]

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Contentment

“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” and  “It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.”  – Sigmund Freud from ‘Civilisation and its Discontents’. Ancient Sufi Quote paraphrased:  “True wealth is in contentment with what one already has.  True poverty is IN discontent”. Wei Wu Wei: “Why are you unhappy? (Isn’t it) Because 99.9 percent of everything […]

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Correspondence on suffering

M: ‬ ‪There is suffering‬. ‪G: Yes energy, energy appearing as conflict in sensations. Is it merely psychological? Is there an exact spot where the suffering is happening? Physical pain can be located, like broken bone can be pin pointed.  Aside from broken bone type pain – can you pinpoint the psychological suffering or the suffer-er? ‪M: ‬ I guess in chest/stomach, feet‬. – some odd breathing. ‪G: ‬ ‪(Guessing games need to be put aside) Is it a knot in the guts? ‪M: ‬ ‪Anxiety‬ – incessant thinking. ‪G: Don’t label that energy pattern as anxiety, instead, go into […]

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Does ‘I’ exist?

Dear Gilbert, I’ve just finished reading your book ‘Who do you think you are?’  I just wanted to thank you for your clear pointers. I had an insight while reading your book. Before reading your book, I realized that I’m not my body, not my thoughts.  I was (am) the knower of all this. What I discovered while reading your book is that the knower is also a subtle me. Without realizing I had personalized the knowing! It’s clear that I am not anything that I am aware of. As discussed last time (in previous email), I’m not even the knower because the […]

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Continued

S writes: …it really feels like there’s a ‘subject’ here…something ‘personal’…or at least something ‘doing’ the knowing. Reply:  Yes, since everything is sensation, like sound, vision, feelings, thoughts, ideas, concepts…. and because the body is the first pattern that appears in the seeing, from the point of view of what is appearing in the world, so the association of thinking attributes a difference between ‘my body’ and the world of things, bodies, appearing ‘out there’.   Since ‘I’ cannot sense the so called inner world of someone else, the sense of separation appears to be something real.  However, if you […]

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Whether you know it or not

Email correspondence:   S writes: …it really feels like there’s a ‘subject’ here…something ‘personal’…or at least something ‘doing’ the knowing…is it like, the mind trying to make a noun out of a verb…more words….but the ‘knowing’ seems to ‘be’ the ‘thing’ too…my mind isn’t going to be able to put this one in a nice package, is it. (quote from your post)  ” ‘I’ is a word we put upon this living presence and then we attach all kinds of other concepts to that ‘I’.  It is all conceptual.” oh yes…making it a ‘thing’ which requires other ‘things’… Then you […]

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Correspondence (another)

Email from S:  I have a question. Some suggest we rest in awareness, as a non-practice of course (Peter Fenner, Candice O’Denver). Some suggest we rest in the body to see that we are not the body (Linda Clair, E. Tolle). Some suggest we don’t make any attempt to rest because we are already that (Sailor Bob)… I’m confused…are all these approaches fundamentally the same? – S Reply: There is no entity that can rest or not rest.    The very idea of an ‘I’ that can rest ‘in awareness’ is absurd. Awareness is everything.   So it appears as all states of mind and body […]

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Correspondence (via email)

Some questions about meditation and some other issues via email. Gilbert’s response: Meditation is useless.  If the mind is in chaos, then meditation may assist to calm the mind but beyond that, meditation turns into a trap.  The idea that ‘I am meditating’ to achieve something is the actual blockage.   Seeing is happening. There is no method for seeing – there is no actual entity to use a method or do any practice.  What appears to be ‘a difficult time for me’ is an opportunity to recognise the fictional ‘me’ – seen from the freshness of the immediacy of seeing.  The […]

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Correspondence (more)

Email: Gilbert,  It is interesting that you say most seekers don’t really want to find out that they don’t exist.  I think you’re right, they’re seeking to make their experience of life better through making themselves better.  I don’t believe that is what this is all about.  I seem possessed sometimes by an innate drive to find the truth.  I feel it overtakes my drive to do anything else, like trying to achieve goals in life, to do all the things I used to want to do or have been told I should do, to make more money or have […]

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