Nondual Zen Article:

this and This

nondual title

this and This
by Kathleen Sutherland

We know that this is it. That can be a frustrating pointer when seeking because we are looking for something bigger. Once we get a glimpse of our true nature, we see that, indeed, it is only this. And so this is seen as This. The ordinary becomes extraordinary. But then it tends to lapse back into this. What happened to This? Of course, they are both the same.

Perception is all that has shifted. But perception is a function of the body/mind, creating a certain experience. And any experience will come and go. We can't hang onto the experience. The deeper truth is to love this, whether it presents itself to the character as this or This. In this regard, wisdom trumps experience. We don't need to see This all the time to know that truth is here; it is the essence of what we are. We can learn to see This in this, and that can become an enduring awareness.

I heard a good story illustrating this point from Mooji yesterday. A woman friend of his in Bristol, UK was making a call in a phone booth, when a robber opened the door and grabbed her purse. She held on and fought as best she could, but he yanked her purse away and ran. Bystanders gave chase to no avail. The police arrived and drove her around, trying to locate the culprit. Then they took her to the police station for the report and to look at suspect photos. As she was sitting there in the midst of the commotion, overwhelmed by it all, she was suddenly transported into a great blissful state of calm. She saw that none of this mattered, nothing was happening and it was all love. She loved the police, the station, all suspects and criminals. This blast of oneness and love lasted a few hours.

The next day, when it had faded, she said to Mooji, "I want that back." He replied, "Well, there's a phone booth right outside down the street. Go ahead, maybe you'll get lucky!"

The peak spiritual experiences teach us that This is always here. We don't need the mind continually blown open to hold onto that truth. An intense experience, if it lasted, would be overwhelming. And even when it does last a long time or even permanently (as it sometimes does), it seems the mind starts to disregard the stimulation and settle back into ordinary, waking consciousness. So the extraordinary becomes the ordinary.

This is not too surprising because this and This are the same. This is always here, but sometimes it's perceived as this. And that's perfectly fine (how could it be other than perfect?) because this is all we have, and this is all we need.