“…ing” and Non-Duality – Quotes

The pointers to presence, awareness, peace, … :  What is the object of my attention?, Who is paying attention to that object of attention?” and “Who am I?” have been addressed in the articles: [KendoNotes Attention], [KendoNotes Awareness] and [KendoNotes Self-Inquiry], respectively.  This article addresses the experience of the object of those pointers:  simply experiencing.  Be it in seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking, suffering, laughing, crying, savoring, fearing, resting, doing, being, …  the many forms of “…ing” (as expressed by Brian Thompson below).  Where the sense that an object of attention is experienced by “someone”, “me” or an “I” fades away and where only the sense of experiencing remains.  Where the sense of distinction (between the object of attention and that which pays attention) disappears and the perception of the two becomes that of one.  Akin to being a mirror as described in [KendoNotes Mirror].  A concept or non-concept referred to as nonduality.  According to [McVey Welcome],

(N)onduality comes from the word advaita, which is a Sanskrit compound. . . . Literally, advaita means not two. . . . . Advaita, or nonduality, implies no separateness.

Here’s two sets of quotes with a breakdown by author and a set of resources below.  The quotes are on “…ing” and the related topic of “Non-Duality”.  The resources are on Non-Duality.

  • Quotes on “…ing”
    • Alan Watts
    • Ken Wilber
    • Brian Thompson
    • Sam Harris
  • Quotes on Non-Duality
    • Yamaoka Tesshu
    • Tony Parsons
    • Jim Newman
    • Michael W. Taft
  • Some Resources on Non-Duality

Note: These quotes were moved here from [KendoNotes Awareness] as the subtle distinction between the pointers and the object of the pointers became clearer.  The list of quotes may grow.

Enjoy…ing! 😉

Quotes on “…ing”

Alan Watts

  • There is simply experience.  
    • There is not something or someone experiencing experience!  
    • You do not feel feeling, think thoughts, or sense sensations any more than you hear hearing, see sight, or smell smelling. 
    • ‘I feel fine’ means that fine feeling is present. 
      • It does not mean there is one thing called an ‘I’ and another separate thing called a feeling, so that when you bring them together this ‘I’ feels the fine feelings.  
      • There are no feelings but present feelings, and whatever feeling is present is ‘I’. 
    • No one ever found an ‘I’ apart from some present experience, or some experience apart from an ‘I’ – which is only to say that the two are the same thing.”

Ken Wilber

  • From [Wilber_NoBoundary]
    • We all have the feeling of “self” on the one hand and the feeling of the external world on the other.  But if we carefully look at the sensation of “self-in-here” and the sensation of “world-out-there,” we will find that these two sensations are actually one and the same feeling.  p. 44
      • Our problem is that we have three words – the “seer,” “sees,” and the “seen” – for one single activity, the experience of seeing.
    • [N]otice there is one thing which you cannot hear, no matter how carefully you attend to every sound.  You cannot hear the hearer. And that means that you do not hear sounds, you ARE those sounds.  The hearer IS every sound which is heard.  It is not a separate entity which stands back and hears hearing. p. 46
    • [T]here is no self set apart from the world. p. 48
      • You have always assumed you were a separate experience, but the moment you actually go in search of it, it vanishes into experience.
    • You needn’t try to destroy the separate self because it isn’t there in the first place. All you really have to do is look for it, and you won’t find it. p. 49 
    • When we start defining “who we are”, we not only create a box with a boundary identifying ourselves but also, implicitly and perhaps unknowingly, we also end up defining who we are NOT. p. 4
  • From [Wilber_Awareness]
    • But why is it, then, that we ordinarily don’t have that perception (of awareness, oneness, the absolute)?
      • [B]ecause our awareness is clouded with some form of avoidance. We do not want to be choicelessly aware of the present; rather, we want to run away from it, or run after it, or we want to change it, alter it; hate it, love it, loathe it, or in some way agitate to get ourselves into, or out of, it. We will do anything except come to rest in the pure Presence of the present.
    • This realization may take many forms.
      • A simple one is something like this: You might be looking at a mountain, and you have relaxed into the effortlessness of your own present awareness, and then suddenly the mountain is all, you are nothing. Your separate-self sense is suddenly and totally gone, and there is simply everything that is arising moment to moment.
      • You are perfectly aware, perfectly conscious, everything seems completely normal, except you are nowhere to be found. You are not on this side of your face looking at the mountain out there; you simply are the mountain, you are the sky, you are the clouds, you are everything that is arising moment to moment, very simply, very clearly, just so.
    • You have never left this state in the first place, so obviously you can’t enter it. The gateless gate!

Brian Thompson

  • From [Thompson_Illusion]
    • There is only the perceiving.  There is only the seeing.  There is only the hearing.  There is only the speaking.  There is only the singing.  There is only the loving. … We’ll see that the real truth of anything is in the “ing” – the verbs.  There are no nouns.  I am a verb.  You are a verb.  Everything is a verb because everything is being.   (at 11:45 mins)
    • All things are consciousness experiencing itself.  We are all different points of view looking at one another to perceive itself.  (at 13:18 min)
  • Others
    • Un-think. Un-learn. Un-know. Un-believe. Un-speculate. Un-seek. Un-strive. Un-fear. Lose your mind and effortlessly be.

Sam Harris

  • From a talk in 2014:
    • In my view, the realistic goal of practices like mindfulness … is the ability to drop your sense of self in the present moment more or less no matter what’s happening.  If you can do that, it seems to me that you have solved many of life’s problems.  Because doing that is coincident with no longer being hostage to the contents of the next thought that is arising in consciousness:  the angry thought, the self-hating thought, the judgmental thought.  This breaks the spell
    • It’s possible to have the center just drop out of experience.  And then in terms of conscious experience, only the world remains.  There’s experience and there’s the story we tell about it. 

Quotes on Non-Duality

Yamaoka Tesshu

  • From [Stevens_NoSword]:
    • Year after year I practiced.  On March 30, 1880, I reached the state of no-enemy.  I cannot describe my great joy at that time. … As I recalled my previous notions of skillfulness and ineptness, fighting and no-fighting, I realized that those dichotomies have nothing to do with the opponent; all those things are creations of one’s mind.  If there is self, there is an enemy; if there is no self, there is no enemy.  If we are enlightened to the truth of this principle, skill-ineptitude, weakness-strength, child-adult, and so on are no longer seen as two separate entities.

Tony Parsons

  • [Parsons_Amsterdam2005] 
    • 5:51 mins
      • Awakening is the realization that there is no one. 
      • Awakening is awakening from the dream that there is someone.
      • What I call radical aliveness is aliveness without there being anybody in it that’s alive. … Breathing is happening, sitting on a seat is happening, hearing this voice is happenng, hearing sounds is happening.
      • It’s somewhere “other” that the dreamer thinks they have to find aliveness, … a “being”, … “oneness” or environment.  So they spend their time looking for enlightenment. …
      • Then people … come to realize that what they’re looking for, they can’t find.  … They don’t even need to find it.
      • And there’s a dropping away of the idea that I am a separate person.

Jim Newman

  • [Newman_Finland2018]
    • (T)his message … recognizes the seeker is in its own trap … in a situation that is completely hopeless.
    • What I’m looking for is a particular experience that’s going to free me from that experience of need and that which I’m looking for is somewhere else. 
    • That’s the trap for the individual because somewhere else – hope – is always somewhere else.  It is never what is.
    • The reason the search in the experience is hopeless is because there’s nothing that is not “what is”.  There’s nothing else.
    • The experience that there’s separation, something missing and something to find is completely illusory.  There’s no real separation.  There’s nothing missing.  There’s nothing that needs to be found.  This is absolute.  This is infinite.  This doesn’t come from anywhere, isn’t going anywhere.  This doesn’t need anything.
  • [Newman_Toronto2018]
    • Now the experience of “I am” is dependent upon the past being real. 3:16 min
    • It (the infinite, the absolute) has no intrinsic need for anything to happen for it to be what it is. 4:49 min
  • [Newman_Life]
    • In response to the question “What is the meaning of life?”
      • There is no meaning and no need for a meaning of life.  Everything is already what it is, which is already needlessly, free and fulfilled.
      • “Life” is not separate from what is. Without separation, there is no space or distance in which the need for a meaning of life could arise.

Michael W. Taft

  • From a very illuminating section “Does a Nondual Experience Require Effort?” in [Taft_NonDuality] (also addressed in his related article [Taft NonDuality Mindfulness]):
    • Because from a spiritual viewpoint, nondual awareness underlies everything, and is always already there at the base of all experience, it’s possible to state that absolutely nothing need be done to experience it. … This is the “effortless” model.
    • A second way of looking at it is the “effort” model, which says that while, yes, nondual awareness underlies everything, there are a lot of layers of belief, psychological blockages, and simple ignorance getting in the way of seeing this experience.
      • The purpose of meditation and other practices is not to create awakening, but to remove what is blocking the experience of the nondual awareness that is already there.

Some Resources on Non-Duality


[KendoNotes_Attention] “Where is My Attention?” KendoNotes.com, April 23, 2020.

[KendoNotes_Awareness] “Awareness and Who am I?” KendoNotes.com, April 14, 2019. KendoNotes.com.

[KendoNotes_Mirror] “The Mirror in the Heart of Master Swordsman (and Jedi Masters),” KendoNotes.com, April 16, 2019.

[KendoNotes_MushinQuotes] “Quotes on Mushin, Flow and Open-Focus – Overview,” KendoNotes.com, Dec. 13, 2017.

[KendoNotes_MushinResources] “Resources on Mushin-no-shin (the Mind of No Mind),” KendoNotes.com, Nov. 21, 2017.

[KendoNotes_Self-Inquiry] “Self-Inquiry and “Who Am I?” – Quotes and Resources,” KendoNotes.com, October 28, 2019.  

[McVey_Welcome] Michael McVey, “Welcome!”, DiscoveringNonDuality.com, Sept. 11, 2018.

[Newman_Finland2018] “Jim Newman Non Duality / Introduction Finland 2018,” Dec 3, 2018, 3:12 mins.

[Newman_Life] Excellence Report, “The Meaning of Life and Longing for Wholeness,” (Interview with Jim Newman) simply-this.com, Jan. 26, 2018.

[Newman_Toronto2018] “Jim Newman Toronto Okt 2018 Part 1 Non Duality,” Nov 28, 2018 (2:04:27 hrs).

[Parsons_Amsterdam2005] Snow Dev, “Tony Parsons – Amsterdam [styczen 2005] [PL],” Jul 16, 2012 (1:45:44 hrs).

[Stevens_NoSword] John Stevens, The Sword of No-Sword:  Life of the Master Warrior Tesshu, Shambhala, 1989.

[Taft_NonDuality] Michael W. Taft, “Nonduality – Defining the Undefinable” at DeconstructingYourself.com

[Taft_NonDualityMindfulness] Michael W. Taft, “Nonduality and Mindfulness — Two Great Traditions that Go Great Together,” DeconstructingYourself.com.

[Thompson_Illusion] Bryan Thompson, “The Illusion of Separation:  Zen Thinking with Brian Thompson,” YouTube Video (16:06 mins), Feb 29, 2016.

[Wilber_Awareness] Ken Wilber, “Always Already:  The Brilliant Clarity of Ever-Present Awareness, Integral Life, Dec 10, 2016.

[Wilber_NoBoundary] Ken Wilber, No Boundary – Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth, Shambhala, 2001.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s