White Robed Monks of St. Benedict


Peace. But a reflection
offered by the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict
upon speaking about Nonduality. Peace and Joy!

You should therefore cease from practice
based upon intellectual understanding,
pursuing words and following after speech,
and learn the backward step
that turns your light inwardly
to illuminate your self.
Body and mind of themselves will drop away,
and your original face will be manifest.


Unless you have the mind of a child,
you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven

(Matthew 18:1-4)
What is the mind of a child, but

Applied Phenomenology: Nondual Perspective
ANNOUNCEMENT: 2019 SAND Conference Theme: From Quarks to Love (Exploring Relationships at every scale)
PRESENTATION ABSTRACT: How come we aren't one yet? Or are we?: Phenomenology of Relationship
Join with Father Abbot Robert, O.S.B. (Presenter)

Science and Nonduality Conference
Dolce Hayes Mansion
200 Edenvale Avenue
San Jose, CA 95136
CONFERENCE DATES: October 24 thru 28, 2018
Presentation Date: TBD
Presentation Time: TBD/b>
Presentation Location: TBD

Past SAND Presentations offered by Fr. Abbot Robert OSB

ANNOUNCEMENT: Awaken Your Natural Mind of A Child
Join with Father Abbot Robert, O.S.B. (Presenter) to re-learn:
How to re-awaken your natural mind of a child! - How to ease your day!!

Date/Time: TBD
Place: TBD

In the Christian tradition exists a field of endeavor that tradition has termed Systematic Theology. Creators and perpetrators of Systematic Theology attempt in part to do what they admit is, in human fact/experience, impossible: to systematically explicate the nature, existence, and essence of God. They apparently do so in order to make God more understandable for the benefit of the reader or the believer or the person who donates to the cause. In all fairness, is it not part of the human condition to create for that which has no order in itself? Thus does the human being have some sense of control over that which s/he does not either understand or comprehend? And is it not also so that the more one tries to explain the impossible, the more speculative does the situation become? Fights ensue, People die. (c.f. Religious Wars throughout Human History as found, for example, in the Old Testament and the Inquisition.

So in the best of very good/healthy humor, we will now embark upon the impossible: to describe/define nonduality.> Please smile along with us as we follow the proverbial yellow brick road to Nirvana, if not Heaven or, at least, the Wizard's lair.

  1. Our first stop for definitions/insights into Nonduality is the Web itself:
    • Wikipedia/Nondualism
      • Nondualism implies that things appear distinct while not being separate.
    • Aro. Scroll to non-duality and click on related links for detailed information from the Tibetan (Vajrayana) perspective
      • The indivisibility of reality. Its unwillingness to conform to the rigid categories we attempt to apply to it. In general Buddhism this usually refers to the non-separateness of self and other. In Dzogchen, it usually refers to the non-separateness of form and emptiness; or more subtly the non-separateness of duality and non-duality. The non-dual state is rigpa, in which we perceive non-duality directly.
    • What is Nonduality An extensive rendition.

  2. Our second stop for definitions/insights into Nonduality takes form in the
  3. Our third stop for definitions/insights into Nonduality takes form in the fanciful perspective of
    • Christian Nonduality
      If these are different path-ways (the way of the ascetics, the way of devotion, the way of action, the way of formative, reformative and transformative suffering), perhaps roughly corresponding to creed, cult, code and community in our great traditions, where do they ultimately lead? (This site) will discuss ... how they are all ordered toward a unitive Life in the Spirit and are animated via Lonergan's conversions (intellectual, affective, moral, social and religious) by the very same Spirit.
    • Generic Enlightenment
      In any case, if we are to assume there is an ultimate, non-dual experiential reality that different traditions observe from different angles, the external clutter of each respective tradition if its way is to reach enlightenment that is is bound to be shaken off with the escalating attainment of higher reality-experiences, leaving us with a uniform experience.
  4. Our fourth stop for definitions/insights into Nonduality takes form in the fanciful perspective of the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict:
    The Zen robe chant contains the phrase: from a field far beyond form and emptiness. And such may be the mind of a child (Matthew 18:1-4), which till about the age of 5, absorbs all experienced reality wholistically, without distinction really between self-other - AH HAH!! - a dualistic way of being. This dualistic way of being we take to be the norm: just the way things are or are not. We forget that we are just making all of this up in our own heads via perception (light wave → pupil → rods/cones → (transduction=electro chemical impulses) → optic nerve → area 17 of brain (we create the image, albeit upside down through which we use our pre-fontal lobe to turn right side up). Is it happening? Well, yes and no - depending upon how one elects/chooses to interpret is and it and happening. And from whence to we interpret? Etc. (Of course, such a question begs the question in that the question assumes there is a place from which as interpret and that we interpret as well. And such may be the field far beyond form and emptiness. Who knows? (assuming of course there is a who and a knowing)
  5. Our fifth stop for definitions/insights into Nonduality takes form in the equally fanciful and poetic take from the perspective of the Zen Tradition itself in the form of the
    • Shodoka: Song on Realizing the Way

  6. Our sixth stop for definitions/insights into Nonduality takes form in how one might identify or unfold such nonduality by a means or method put such as, among others, forth in:
    • Radiant Mind: Awakening Unconditioned Awareness by Peter Fenner (ISBN 978-1-59179-5773) (...a step-by step approach to non-dual practice):
      Unconditioned awareness is a nondual state of consciousness, which means that it includes all phenomena and experiences, with nothing left out. ... This nondual quality inevitability embraces paradox that is, the possibility that something can be both true and false, good and bad, present and absent. Contrary to the experience of the conditioned mind, unconditioned awareness allows us to remain peaceful and undisturbed in the midst of paradox and ambiguity. Our usual preferences for order, structure, categories, and concepts don't exist when we rest in this nondual awareness. ... When we're resting in unconditioned awareness, our conditioning our age, sex, history, education, physical condition, and financial situation no longer limits us. We find ourselves intimately connected with everything within and around us, yet we're beyond being disturbed in any way. We transcend suffering, not because our problems are solved, but because we experience a level of consciousness in which nothing is missing, a way of being that doesn't depend on the condition of our mind, body, and life. The experience of unconditioned awareness takes us outside of cycle of reactive responses and emotions by connecting us with the nature of our mind as pure, contentless unstructured awareness. We're at home with ourselves in a totally natural and uncontrived way. ... While fully accepting our finite and conditioned existence, we rest in a level of consciousness that can't be damaged or degraded by the presence of any thought, feeling, or sensation. (p. 10f)
    • Zen Practice Only Just Sit:
    • Centering Prayer (Christian):
      Centering Prayer is a Christian meditation technique. It seeks to open one's mind and heart to God by the continuous repetition of a sacred word or formula.
    • Learning Kabbalah (Jewish):
      According to Kabbalah, the true essence of G-d is so transcendent that it cannot be described, except with reference to what it is not. This true essence of G-d is known as Ein Sof, which literally means "without end," which encompasses the idea of His lack of boundaries in both time and space. In this truest form, the Ein Sof is so transcendent that It cannot have any direct interaction with the universe. The Ein Sof interacts with the universe through ten emanations from this essence, known as the Ten Sefirot.
    • Sufi Practice (Islamic):
      It is that the Sufi surrenders to God, in love, over and over; which involves embracing with love at each moment the content of one's consciousness (one's perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, as well as one's sense of self) as gifts of God or, more precisely, as manifestations of God.
  7. Our seventh and last stop for definitions/insights into Nonduality takes form in how such nonduality might be lived-out in conventional reality:

White Robed Monks of St. Benedict
Post Office Box 27536
San Francisco CA 94127-0536 USA
Phone: 415-292-3228
Page URL: http://www.whiterobedmonks.org/nonduality/index.html
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