Nondual Zen Article:

Someone I Know

nondual title

Someone I Know
by Kathleen Sutherland

I am not this body. I am not this body. I am not this body. I am unborn, unbound, and untouched. I am unborn, unbound and untouched. I am unborn, unbound and untouched. These are two mantras I use to cultivate clarity - to remind myself who I am not, and who I truly am.

The effect is taking hold. Although I don't feel absolutely at one with Oneness all that often, I notice that I am feeling less identified with this body/mind unit called Kathleen. Rather than being in the body, with my outer limit marked by the epidermis, there is now more a sense of loose association. I hover around. I'm in the same room, or I float after Kathleen when she takes a walk. I know her well. I usually know what she's thinking, what she's intending to do next. I feel what she feels. I even witness her dreams. We've been together for a long time - 54 years. I deeply love and care for her. But I am not her. I let her live her life, and try not to become too attached. She will only last a few more decades, at most. Soon enough, she'll be someone that I used to know.

But I will continue indefinitely, and having this gift of immortality, I hope to get comfortable with myself, really get to know myself, so that I will continue to see it as a gift and not a curse.

When Kathleen’s body dies, I may continue to be loosely associated with patterns, energy, identity, or a spirit in the afterlife and beyond. But as before, none of these identities will be my true self. Losing the physical body does not automatically free or reveal the true self. Would that it were so easy! We wouldn't yearn so fervently to awaken if freedom were simply conferred upon us with the demise of the body. Rather, the remaining patterns or the spirit or the reincarnated body I follow will be further adventures for Me. And just as I often too strongly identify with this current Kathleen entity, I may fall into the same error with subsequent manifestations. So I hope to remember my mantras: I am not this body (or spirit); I am unborn, unbound and untouched.

But of course the best way to ensure future practice is to practice faithfully now. And the best way to be awake and clear in the future is to be awake and clear right now. I am not Kathleen. She is someone I know, just one of many people I know. We are exceptionally close, but we have our boundaries. Ultimately, we know that we are one and the same, but not as an entity separate from anyone or anything else. I am just as much Kathleen's cat, husband, friends, family, or strangers as I am Kathleen. I hover around them sometimes, too.

I know Kathleen well. I love her and help her to care for herself and those around her. But she isn't me. I am unborn, unbound and untouched. I am unborn, unbound and untouched. I am unborn, unbound and untouched.

Today I make the non-sacrifice of relinquishing my desires and will, neither of which I ever had. There is only Our will, Thy will, My will. I notice every moment of every day that My will is always being done. This is true power, true manifestation - to see your creation flowering, moment by moment, in exact accordance with all that you dream. Truly, we are living the dream!