by Robert Wolfe on September 27th, 2013

Question: I have read your book (Living nonduality) and it deeply resonates with me. For some time now, I have researching Zen, Theravada and Advaita, both in theory and practice.

I found your way of interpreting nonduality very close  to my experience and I like the way you explain it. Somehow, I still have one question: can you have more than one liberation?

My personal experiences is full of imbalance, equanimity then fear, peace then fear, nervousness, and so on. Is there a such a thing as permanent state of peace without ups and downs?

Robert: One way to put it is that the "permanent state of peace without ups and downs" occurs when one is completely at peace with any ups or downs.

The idea of ups and downs is a dualistic premise. Nonduality means the transcendence of the supposed dualistic polarizations, such as good/bad, better/worse, ups/downs. Where there is simply one condition (nondual), any and every condition is that condition:  this is the "equanimity" that you spoke of.

When everything which presents (to you) is recognized to be that one condition, the tendency to characterize or categorize what us present as "up" or "down," or "in between" dissipates. You no longer are invested in whether you could call it "this state" or "that state"—even if you desired to. When that equanimity is present, that is the "permanent state of peace": at peace with what could be labeled ups and downs if you were to lapse into duality and do so.

My book One Essence focuses on the above matter.

by Robert Wolfe on September 27th, 2013

Question: Krishnamurti says in one place that if the mind gets UNCONDITIONED then one can see the Reality. Am I misinterpreting it? 

Robert: When "conditioning" is spoken of, it basically means the inculcation of the training we've received since our birth and into our lifetime. When a lab rat imprints the route of a maze on its consciousness, we say the creature is conditioned.

Our primal conditioning is the I-thought: it occurs to us, early on, that "I am someone," I am a "me," an "individual"; and this conclusion is immediately assented to and reinforced by our guardians and society.

With the internalized establishing of the I-thought, all else, externally, is not-I, not-"me." "You," for example are "not me." So, our perception of a pluralistic--"dualistic"--world is based on a conclusion of "self" identification which conditions (and is conditioned by) our daily experience and activity. Our conditioned mind, Krishnamurti says, is at the root of our divisive and selfish behavior.

And the Reality he is speaking of is the nondual Reality (or ultimate truth). So, when he says that the conditioning of the mind must end if one is to realize the truth, it's essentially a way of saying that it is your ingrained dualistic perspective which is to be deconstructed if you are to be capable of perceiving nondual Reality.

by Robert Wolfe on September 20th, 2013

The realization, which one has in Self-realization, is not an experience. And, contrary to being a "knowing," it is an un-knowing. 

The reason why this can be said is because Self-realization is merely a profound insight into the total and complete absence of limitation. In other words, it is entirely outside the bounds of both experience and knowledge.

In fact, to the Self-realized, the word which comes closest (to the condition described above) is nothingness.

In actuality, it is not a matter of "knowing Oneness" or "experiencing sublime consciousness." It is an irrepressible realization that the ultimate condition is of no-thing; nothing. 

In other words, in this absolute awareness there is not any thing about which we suppose we will be certain, as a conceiver knows a concept. 

It may sound peculiar, but this is the Self-realized state.

by Robert Wolfe on August 30th, 2013

Tom Burt in conversation with Robert Wolfe in Ojai, July 2013.  

by Robert Wolfe on August 30th, 2013

Questions about nondual awareness, awakening, everyday living, relationships. 58 minutes:

by Robert Wolfe on July 6th, 2013

Robert's first writings have been published as a collection for the first time. These are reflective, nature-inspired essays that were composed during and shortly after his time in the redwood forests.

Here is the book's webpage where you can find links to read 3 entries from the book, and listen to 4 recordings of Robert reading from Elementary Cloudwatching

by Robert Wolfe on May 22nd, 2013

Question:  What is it you cannot speak, write, or think?

Robert:  What is it that is aware of the condition you describe? That is "witnessing" it? This is the awareness out of which (or in which) speaking, writing, thinking occur. Just attend to that witnessing awareness and what is present in it. It is not concerned with what occurs (activity or non-activity) within it. Whether there is or is not speaking, etc. is the secondary thing, not your primary being-ness.

by Robert Wolfe on May 11th, 2013

Question: How would you counter the assertion that the brain produces the experience of awareness, consciousness?

If we postulate that the brain is the producer of conscious awareness, what produces the brain? Are not brains and aware consciousness products of the same source?

The brain by itself cannot fathom the source. But conscious awareness can ask, "Where did I originate?" And conscious awareness can inquire, "Where did the brain originate?" So, while we can assert that without a brain there is not conscious awareness of either a brain or such a thing as conscious awareness, what of organisms which appear to be consciously aware but which have no brain?

How to define awareness/consciousness and its relationship to the brain may never see resolution. But the question of what is conscious-awareness itself is an ancient one. It leads to a further question: "Where does it originate?" And sometimes to a perhaps more pertinent question, "What is its purpose?"

I feel these latter questions are the more provocative. Nondual sages (such as Ramana) suggest responses to these questions, and I find these proposals insightful and conceivable. 

A paradoxical summary might be stated: 

The experience of conscious awareness cannot be differentiated from conscious awareness.


by Robert Wolfe on April 12th, 2013

Question: What is your perspective on the belief that we all have a Soul or Higher Self guiding us somehow? Isn't this just more dualistic thinking? If All there is is THAT, or Infinite Being, than wouldn't we have the idea of having some sort of individuated Soul still be a form of dualism?

Robert:  You have said it in your email as well as I could. 

If there is an individual soul, from where (or what) does it arise? 

If it has been brought into being, it does not qualify as being eternal, or infinite. In such case it cannot claim immortality—which is the very characteristic that defines a soul. 

The God which religious seekers purport to want to know, or experience first-hand, would have to be the source, or originator, of souls. So, the important question, for them, is not where or what are souls, but where or what is God?

That is the question that nonduality directly addresses itself to. 

In that examination, nonduality asks, Is there a person, a self, an individual? Even if there is, would an all-pervading God not be immanent in that person? Are we perhaps immersed in God? In our very being immortal? Where does there need to be a ghostly phantom known as soul to fit in "between" God and self?

Ramana Maharshi would simply have given one of two short replies: 

"The soul is as real as you are." 

"Did concerns about a soul occur to you in deep sleep?"

by Robert Wolfe on April 11th, 2013

Celeste Gabriele asks Robert Wolfe about his past and future books

by Robert Wolfe on April 7th, 2013

Question: What does the seeing that there are no others mean in relation to the apparent circumstantial evidence that there are points of view, thoughts, perceptions and feelings which are not experienced 'here' in this body-mind? 

Robert:  You need not deny that you experience "others," nor that they appear to be experiencing you (via "points of view, thoughts, perceptions and feelings"). From the standpoint of anyone's conditioned reality, all this comes with the territory. 

For many (if not most) people, the observation of these material forms—"this body-mind" and "others"—is merely taken for granted, and prompts no inquiry. For some people, whatever the reason, curiosity arises concerning what is being observed: why is there any thing which exists at all? Is there something which these existent things have in common? What set all this reality in motion, or infused it with life? In other words, could there be some message here, implicated in the medium? 

Over the ages, there have been a number of people who have maintained that there is an answer to such questions. They usually claim that the answer they've discovered is not obvious, but rather counter-intuitive. They also often say that this discovery radically changes he manner in which forms and appearances are experienced. 

So for you, "the seeing that there are no others" may run contrary to what you (and even other people) conclude is "circumstantial evidence" that "body-minds" exist independently separate from each other. 

These animate forms, or even inanimate, do not disappear for those people who purport to be attuned to an alternate reality. In other words, they do not deny the seeming separativeness; nor even the circumstantial evidence supporting it. But they say that such is no longer their perception. 

For these people, to put it briefly, "there are no others" because (they have discovered) there is no substantive "self." And all experiences which beings share is circumstantial evidence of their interconnectedness, or fundamental sameness. There are signs that all things, or forms, have an origin in common, representing an unbroken, cohesive continuity; and that this coordinating force, or power, existed long before there were body-minds to ponder it. In fact, our very thoughts, perceptions, etc. are dependent upon it. 

So for some seers, though they view the same relative objects that you do, they are reminded of the deep mystery: is there a more primal knowledge of existence than out subjective mind can apprehend? And how would one know it? 

by Robert Wolfe on March 18th, 2013

This is a quote from a recent Amazon review of Science of the Sages: 

"I love science and was truly inspired by Robert's use of what we have learned from science to help us see more clearly our reality. Putting non-duality in this context clears many misperceptions. I appreciate Robert's contribution of making himself knowledgeable enough about these topics to make me more aware." 

Links to Science of the Sages: Scientists Encountering Nonduality from Quantum Physics, to Cosmology, to Consciousness 

Kindle         Paperback

See scientists and books referenced in Science of the Sages.

by Robert Wolfe on March 14th, 2013

by Robert Wolfe on February 18th, 2013

This poem is reprinted from Raphael Stoneman's website: A. H. Non-Profit

when the tongue is wet with the taste of existence

and the lungs are full of the breath of being

when the eyes are moist with drops of compassion

and the heart is wide open for humanity

when the ears drum with the excitement of sound

and the brain doesn’t assign any meaning

when the hands are engaged in simple activity and

the body feels like an instrument played

when the mind is still and calm

and the thoughts dance on the surface of absolute silence

when all that is tasted, seen, heard, touched and known is That

this is a state of grace

by Robert Wolfe on January 29th, 2013

Robert received a poem from Cheyenne Bear, while she was camping at the foot of snow-covered Mount Shasta:

As is this great white mountain,
We are but conduits
Between heaven and earth
Eternally in communion
With Itself.

by admin on January 28th, 2013

Cup of Tea
Rafe Stoneman is interviewed by Jerry Katz at Discussion about recommending the book Living Nonduality and first meeting Robert.

by Robert Wolfe on December 31st, 2012

In Dzochen, the cultivation of compassion and loving-kindness are spoken of as a relative truth, according to Ponlop Rinpoche who says that these relative practices can be instrumental in leading one to realizing ultimate truth.

An element of this compassion is the desire to bring realization of the true nature of phenomena to others, to alleviate suffering by dedicating one’s time, energy and interests to this endeavor.
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by Robert Wolfe on December 22nd, 2012

You’re correct, of course, that whatever one’s state of awareness, we have to each of us provide food and shelter for the body. And how we attend to this is what has been called “right livelihood”—in a relative world where circumstances are not ideal.
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by Robert Wolfe on December 9th, 2012

You say you've heard the expression that "Awakening is by Grace." Someone once said to one of the enlightened masters, "Do I not need Grace to make Self-realization possible?" The sage replied, "That you are sitting here asking this question is Grace!" And so Ramana has said, "Grace is the Self. It is not something to be acquired." He also said that sincerity is Grace, and realization is Grace. In other words, Grace can be said to be the Self looking for itself or at itself, so far as the scriptures are concerned.
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by Robert Wolfe on October 2nd, 2012

Thank you for your long letter.

It is worthwhile to note that no two experiences of Self-realization are exactly alike. It is also important to note (particularly if extraordinary sensations were a part of it) that the pivotal moment is now simply a memory in the past. Some people make the mistake of attempting (or hoping for) a reliving of what is indubitably a unique occurrence. What is important, instead, is the moment-by-moment living of Self-realization, once the wonder of discovery has passed.
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