Neither This, Neither That

Neither This, Neither That

Neither This, Neither That

Living choicelessly must be invoked by self-observation. In other words, we are no longer interested in the psychological entity that we believe ourselves to be. ~ Siraj

A samurai, a very proud warrior, came to see a Zen Master one day. The samurai was very famous, but looking at the beauty of the Master and the grace of the moment, he suddenly felt inferior.

He said to the Master, “Why am I feeling inferior? Just a moment ago everything was okay. As I entered your court suddenly I felt inferior. I have never felt like that before. I have faced death many times, and I have never felt any fear – why am I now feeling frightened?”

The Master said, “Wait. When everyone else has gone, I will answer. ”

People continued the whole day to come and see the Master, and the samurai was getting more and more tired waiting. By evening the room was empty, and the samurai said, “Now, can you answer me?”

The Master said, “Come outside.”

It was a full moon night, the moon was just rising on the horizen. And he said, “Look at these trees. This tree is high in the sky and this small one beside it. They both have existed beside my window for years, and there has never been any problem. The smaller tree has never said to the big tree, ‘Why do I feel inferior before you?’ This tree is small, and that tree is big — why have I never heard a whisper of it?”

The samurai said, “Because they can’t compare.”

The Master replied, “Then you need not ask me. You know the answer.”

The day I went sat with Jiddu Krishnamurti was indeed special. He spoke of living “choiceless” in order to sustain meditation as a way of life. Later, I found out that it was the 3rd Zen patriarch, Sosan, who taught this magnificent insight on how to bring meditation into daily life…or as I call it, learning how to “hold my water” in order to sustain awareness in consciousness.

Let me share with you Krishnamurti’s sweet insight into living in the state of “choiceless awareness,” as he calls it.

“Every day we see or read of appalling things happening in the world as the result of violence in man. You may say, ‘I can’t do anything about it,’ or, ‘How can I influence the world?’ I think you can tremendously influence the world if in yourself you are not violent, if you lead actually, every day, a peaceful life – a life which is not competitive, ambitious, envious – a life which does not create enmity. Small fires can become a blaze. Peace is found in neither this nor that.”

How true this statement is. The key word here is found in “enmity” that means the state of feeling actively opposed or hostile to someone or something. When we no longer feel the need for pro and con, right and wrong, we subsequently move into the Zen that Sosan spoke of hundreds of years ago as: neither this, neither that!

In his Discourses on Sosan, my Master spoke on the subject of consciousness occurring through the sustaining of a judgment that is non-judgmental. He taught this phenomenon of judgment without being judgmental, which was a phrase coined by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in India as the state of “neti neti” (neither this, neither that), in order to show how to bring meditation into daily life.

Meditation is not something that promotes a philosophy about spirituality. Meditation is the state we live in with our eyes closed, as well as open. ~ Siraj

Before I get into this subject of choiceless awareness, I need to say a few words as an intro. You see if you do not practice meditation with a sense of totality, if you only practice casually or infrequently merely to follow my instructions, you will miss; you will miss the totality of what it means to move into an inner depth that is beyond the emotional nature from which most of us suffer.

You must live in meditation as a preference that overrides your emotionality and causes the mind to no longer be receptive to the state of “enmity” with itself or anyone else. If you are not devoted to meditation, if you are not completely willing and devoted to the process of awakening through awareness, then what I offer you here will mean little or nothing.

The effort in an authentic spiritual practice is to bring meditation into daily life. ~ Siraj

To do everything in “total,” which means to be doing through non-doing by practicing ONE THING AT A TIME with all of our Heart and with your full attention toward the experience that “one thing” can offer us. In everything we “do” there is the blessing of Love. Yes, nothing in this lifetime is without the opportunity for Love to reveal itself. The state of Love can emerge in everything from cleaning toilets to having friends over for dinner. Everything is a divine opportunity for Love.

If you can understand and become aware of the meaning that is being offered to us through the Zen phrase: neither this, neither that, you will find a whole new way of experiencing meditation in your daily life. It will be the meditation of everyday living and how to experience “JUST THIS” throughout everything you do.

I offer to you this powerful insight from Zen master, Seng T’San:
“The Perfect Way knows no difficulties except that it refuses to make preferences. Only when freed from hate and love, it reveals itself fully and without disguise.”

It is only our “preferences” (what we like and dislike) that keep us from the authentic aspect of living more consciously, with the main culprits being our preferences for “hate” and “love.” It is in these foolish ideals of emotionalism that we find our folly. When there is no more “hate” and “love,” and no more willfulness to make them our personal preferences, we come into full awareness, full consciousness, and do everything from the Bigger Picture of our beautiful lives.

The mystical approach to the neti neti state of mind (neither this, neither that) is the state of mind that is independent of emotionality. ~ Siraj

When neti neti becomes the replacement for pedestrian logic and reasoning, a new era of living is established within us. We disconnect from the inner violence and conflict of our unconscious minds, and come to the posture of Anātman, or non-self, becomes the ultimate reality of our life – a state of suchness whereby we no longer live not as a human mechanism.

Choiceless awareness is a deliberate effort to diminish the compulsion toward preferences that define and separate us from the authentic reality of Life – that of living in The Way that is harmonic to the vibrations contained in every molecule of everything on this earth. Everything in this world resonates to the basic tone of the Universal ONENESS that we are derived from. Our Souls are the alchemy of the very Love that is our basic spiritual chemistry. In Truth, we are the process of a transformation that takes place only through consciousness.

Choiceless awareness occurs when we no longer act in accordance with our emotionality, coming to judgments based in the distortion of selfishness and pride. Through choiceless awareness we intuitively assess a situation for what it is. We can then become keenly aware of the state of our Karma in this world and, by acting in accord with intuition, we can address everything that comes before us as a “door” that is open to Love. We can at any moment drop our conflict with what is occurring and move intuitively through Love.

To enter into choiceless awareness, you must first do away with your human compulsion for duality and conflict

Feel the subtle BEING that is the authentic within and allow it to become the only focus in your inner life

Be vigilant in watching the life you are presented with through Karma, without the preferences of “good” or “bad” - seek only the suchness of Life through the intuitive feel of the Heart

Live as JUST THIS and learn how to keep our attentions on the “other shore

Living in emotionality is futile - living in neti neti opens up many a door to awakening

  • Mary Roos
    Posted at 21:53h, 29 February Reply

    Thank you Siraj

  • Michael Eidsmoe
    Posted at 04:42h, 01 March Reply


    Thank you

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