I AM – Mandi Solk
I AM the light that wakes up the morning sky
And the dark that closes it down at night
I AM the kite that flies on a windy day
And also the wind that causes the play
I AM the boy that’s running with all his might,
Holding the cord that’s guiding the flight
I AM all that lives and moves and breathes
People animals oceans trees
I AM every human that’s ever been known
And beyond the body, flesh and bone
I AM every thought that shocks or surprises
And every emotion that arises
I AM love and anger, joy and fear,
Passion and peace, or a fallen tear.
I AM beyond description or spoken word
And beyond seeing and cannot be heard
I AM totally invisible yet everything seen
Neither past or future but have always BEEN)
(Poem by Mandi Solk 2008 ©)
This glorious ‘Being’ – this vast, boundless ‘I AM’ presence , spoken about in the poem above, is beyond anything that the mind could ever grasp, so the mind or thoughts become very good at setting traps. For example, sometimes, when people begin attending nonduality meetings or reading about nonduality, they can start to feel ‘detached’ from life, and this may lead them to assume they’ve found the ‘answer’ they were searching for – they’ve finally ‘got it’ – they can see ‘it’ all clearly now. Life is different now – they are detached.
But being detached is not what This is all about and misunderstanding arises through mis-reading or mis-hearing what is actually being pointed to. The mind is trying to grasp the ungraspable – Being can never be understood. Understanding is just another thought – it’s more seeking.
Some people say things like: ‘Now that I’m ‘into’ nonduality I feel quite detached from life and I just can’t talk to my friends the way I use to – I’m no longer interested in their trivial conversation and I don’t know how to talk to my boyfriend because he just doesn’t get this.” But this is just a trap set by thought, to keep alive the seeking (and never finding) and also to enjoy a little superiority, which the mind just loves because it prolongs the separation. Yet, ironically, in projecting itself in a superior manner, the mind is upholding it’s belief in separation, resulting in such thoughts as: ‘I’m more spiritual than you! I am profound, whereas you are superficial and shallow and on a much lower ‘level’ to me’ etc.
In pure Being, there is no-one, so nothing is personal and there is natural non-attachment. This is completely different from ‘being detached’, which is totally mind-made and contrived since there’s no-one who can be detached.
Non-attachment is pure, real, alive, innocent and effortless. Detachment is tainted (because it is unnatural) false, dead and joyless. The mind is very good at fooling a person into assuming they’re enlightened by creating an attitude of detachment, which can lead to feelings of ‘being lost in a desert’. This is a ‘state’, and it is frequently described by spiritual teachers as a ‘necessary stage in the journey towards enlightenment’. This is completely misguided and has nothing whatsoever to do with the seeing of Being by no-one – nothing whatsoever to do with This.
This. Just THIS, which is happening and filling all space right here and now this moment. How can there possibly be ‘stages’ to go through to reach that which is this present ‘now’ ? It’s a ridiculous notion.
The following little story may perhaps point to what is being expressed here – about the difference between detachment, (which is mind-made) and non-attachment, which is the natural expression of Being.
(Bear in mind that this little story is only a ‘memory’ which is a thought arising presently, about an apparent past.) :
‘When my husband was alive, he was an excellent hobby-potter and for some of the years we were together, we were interested in Buddhism and meditation. One day, Alan made me a gift of a beautiful Buddha he had made, and I treasured it.
Some years after he died, I brought the Buddha to Hebden Bridge, where I live now and I placed it in my tiny garden and it looked great (it was also the last remaining piece of his pottery I had left).
One morning I went into the garden only to discover that my Buddha had been decapitated and it’s hollow head impaled on the railing spike at the side of my garden. It sounds quite comical, but actually it looked quite sinister and cruel.
In response to this, many passionate feelings arose, such as: shock; anger; disappointment; sorrow; yet those feelings were so ALIVE and even exciting. For instance when there was shock, the ‘shock-ness’ totally filled all space – and that’s all there was – there wasn’t a millimetre of the room where there wasn’t any shock – shock was all there was – shock was IT! Next, emerged the red heat of anger arising, like a Volcano erupting taking up all space. Anger was all there was – anger was IT!
So these raw, fully alive, electric feelings were EVERYTHING – all that was going on, yet there was no-one ‘in’ to feel them –nobody home – feelings without a ‘feeler’. Nothing was suppressed – not anger, sorrow, tears, etc. – because there was no-one to suppress them – no-one to deny them. The feelings were allowed, (by no-one) – un-tampered with – un-interfered with, uninterrupted . In this natural unfoldment, the feelings combust and then burn out within minutes – often, seconds – just like ‘spontaneous combustion’ – a sudden eruption with absolutely nothing remaining. A burst bubble.’
“Next, emerged the red heat of anger arising, like a Volcano erupting taking up all space. Anger was all there was – anger was IT!” – Mandi
Had there been an ‘I’ – the situation would’ve been taken very personally. When there’s still someone ‘in’, when the mind is playing the game of detachment, there is an unnatural suppression of the feelings. The game is: ‘I’m detached – nothing bothers me’. But this is just a ‘mind-made’ state – a ‘pretender to the throne’ – an impostor. There is still someone who believes they are a person who can choose to be detached and who therefore lives in a dead, joyless world created by thought. People who act detached are in fact the biggest seekers of all because they still believe there is something to be detached from!
This – just what-so-EVER is happening right now, is IT: eating spaghetti; working on the computer; sitting on the toilet or washing -up. You’ve heard it may times, I know, but eventually, the mind may become so utterly sick of this message being consistently banged home, that it may just give up, and then all that remains is the blessed refreshment of glorious, shining,thirst-quenching, crystal-clear, divine Presence.
*You can check out many other writings and spiritual poetry on Mandi’s website. If you are audible stimulated, then peep the Love Talks: A Conversation on Non-Duality – AUDIO CD by Mandi. In this CD, Mandi answers questions about non-duality and the nature of Being.
You might also like to listen to a 10-minute [MP3 audio file] of Mandi talking about Non-Duality.
*Here is a book review for Mandi on Non-Duality America!