November Project 2011 Finale

This post wraps up the November Project 2011. Now that there have been a few days of space, and as I sit here looking over the posts for November, I think the project went quite well.

I would like to thank everyone for all their wonderful questions. I could not use them all, but I am grateful for every one. And special thanks goes to everyone taking part in the comments. It is always good to see others give themselves over to the questions in order to look deeper into them.

Thanks very much!

For those of you new to the site, and to the veterans unable to read the earlier posts, the following list contains all of the writings for the November Project 2011, in order.

The November Project 2011

01: On Dropping Thought

02: The State of Non-Duality

03: Burning the Notebooks

04: Quick Thoughts on Living

05: Questions Answered - Again!

06: On Increased Awakenings

07: Quick Reply on Living

08: Life After Death

09: What Are You Reading?

10: Confused About Enlightenment

11: In Sickness

12: Belief

13: On Writing at

14: On Freedom

15: On Meditation

16: On Dreaming

17: On the Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011

18: On Finding Out for Yourself

19: Where Should I Sit?

20: On Siddhis and Super-Powers ;-)

21: Takuin on Film

22: On Conclusion

23: On Apophis, Natural Resources, and Love

24: On Haters and Troublemakers

25: On Enlightenment and Awakening

26: On Ending

27: Ask the Reader

28: On Questions

29: On Suffering

30: One Last Sentence

Thanks again, everyone! ;-)

And for those of you coming to these posts late, please keep this in mind: Quick Note on Comments

The Woods

Most Popular Posts of 2009

This is a list of the most popular posts on for 2009. This list is not solely based on comment count alone, but also on the quality of the comments, the variety of responses, and also the amount of email received for the post.

Jenga Fail

2009 was a good year. This site has grown beyond what I might have anticipated, and the response from readers, through email and comments, has been wonderful.

I've had many wonderful conversations through comments, skype, and in-person, and I know this will continue for some time to come. I appreciate all of you that take the time to read each post, comment or send email, and I am also appreciative of the lurkers on the site (those that look, but never participate).

I am really looking forward to meeting more of you in 2010, and I am excited to write and speak more on this nonsense I seem to be known for.


Thank you all very much!

The 12 Most Popular Posts of 2009

In Chronological Order:

January - Where does it hurt?

A very short post on hurt, and the target of the hurt. Does the victim or perpetrator exist at all?

February - Water Fasting - Day 17

17 days into a 28 day food free experiment. This post recaps the first two weeks, and also goes into basic functioning during a fasted state.

MarchMayumi’s Letter

The final message of a recently deceased friend.

April - The Grief of a Buddhist

How a human being might come up against loss and grief.

MayZen and the Cockroach

An actual experience, and a koan of sorts. But I will not explain the possible meaning.

June - Are You Enlightened?

This short back and forth is from a conversation on enlightenment with my friend Boosy.

July - A Question for My Peers…

A question for my peers on the importance of 'teaching' enlightenment. Now over 100 comments.

August - Are You More Than Experience?

A short post questioning the importance of experience.

September - Does the Wind Blow?

The wind blows, but is it really there at all?

October - Notions of I AM

A short back and forth with Mike Sayers on the notions of what we think we should be.

November - The End, The Beginning

The shortest post I've ever written. This piece also inspired the meme, A Silent Post.

December - The Wound of Forgiveness

A group writing project of sorts between myself, Albert Foong, Tom Stine, Daphne Lim, and Davidya, on the subject of forgiveness.


There were a total of 58 posts for 2009 (making it a grand total of 228 posts since December of 2006). You can see all of them in the Archives.

Beyond the Known

2009 also saw the release of my first book, Beyond the Known: 365 Days of Exploration. I have received a lot of feedback so far, and even found out that it works with the Kindle (with a few glitches here and there).

It was an exciting process to put that book together, and I might release something completely different for 2010. Stay tuned to find out!


I don't think I will change much on this blog for 2010. I will still keep posting one or two articles per week, and keep up my responses to all of your comments.

But there is one thing I might do a bit differently; I may start being more personal in my writings. As many of you have probably noticed, I very rarely tell personal stories. But there may be something of value hidden away within one's  experience that might benefit someone else.

I am still not sure how I'll approach this, but it is something that will most likely come about here and there, little by little.

Am I Missing Anything?

What would you like to see on More of a certain kind of post? More audio? Video? Is there something I've not written about that you would like to explore together? Please leave a comment below and perhaps we can begin 2010 with something new and interesting.

I appreciate all of your support over the last three years, and I look forward to all of our encounters in the years to come.

Stay safe, and be good!


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Beyond The Known E-Book Now Available

E-Book Cover It is finally here...

Beyond The Known - 365 Days of Exploration

To download this book for free, right-click the above link and save as.

About the Book

398 Pages / 2.79 MB

This book is a calender of very short meditative explorations; one per day for an entire year. Some are statements, some are questions, and others just simple movements of words. Each one can be used as a jumping off point for your own daily meditations.

None of the phrases in the book are definitive. In other words, they did not arise from a center of belief, or the conclusions of self. And although some of the 'days' in the book will seem definitive, conclusive, or opinionated, do not accept them as true or false.

The words are not important anyway. What is important is to see how you rise to fight, rise to agree, or rise to flee.

Download For Free

This book is free and is not restricted, but it must always remain free. Other than that, you may do whatever you want with it. Send it to as many people as you see fit. Quote it. Give it away on your own site. It really doesn't matter to me.

If you find you have enjoyed the book, you could throw a link my way, but you don't have to do that, either.


Beyond The Known - 365 Days of Exploration (Right click to save as)

Note: For those of you having already received a pre-release of this book, the version on this page is slightly updated from the one you have. Cheers!

The A to Z of Being: Instructions

When the sun rises, and the eyes open, don't wait for someone to come.You are alone now. The years of fog will lift. But watch the first step going into the bathroom.

When you see a couple violently arguing, you'll simply watch. When the child plays too close to the road, you'll simply watch. When the friend gets her hair perilously close to the fire, you'll simply watch. But when action is needed, you'll move with a certainty, You've never before experienced. The mind is alive, full of energy, And action takes place when needs arise.

You'll always feel, On the verge of exploding. Sit with it. Just sit there.

When someone asks how to be liberated, Be as nice as you can in your reply. But don't lie. They won't understand the answer, but still... Don't lie.

You may never dream again. At least, not of your own accord.

Significance will be lost. Mostly.

Put less food on your plate. You won't need it.

Your own body will become fascinating. You'll stare at certain parts for long periods of time. Do not do this in public.

People will try to tell you how you are functioning. They won't get it right. But accept it graciously.

Questions will come. Questions will go. You'll never again be able to face anything with a conclusion. Then, Questions will come, Questions will go.

Your oldest friends may never understand, Or accept, What has happened to you. If they become angry, Sad, Upset with how you have "changed," They may want to leave. Please let them go. It is for their own good. Really, it is.

Sheep in wolves' clothing, Spring from every crevice. Wolves in sheep's clothing, Are not far behind.

Your art will lose its technique. But through this loss, Technique is reborn.

The sign reads, "No Pets Allowed," And not, "No, Pets Allowed."

Their experience, Becomes extremely important. As you can no longer, Have experience, Of your own.

Your body will burn, With the fire of being. This heat may make others uncomfortable. But you can never burn them. They can only do that to themselves.

The A to Z of Being : Being

From Ozren, at the announcement of the commencement for this series:

Maybe you could start with “Being.” What is this Being “thing?” :)

Initially, I was not going to include this entry into the A to Z of Being because it is generally understood. I have never really been asked about it in the past. Besides, people usually relegate being to the background in favor of Awareness, Consciousness, or other seemingly more important words.

Well, after receiving more than a few recent requests for this, I decided to drop it in.

What is Being?

We generally think of this word as the existence of something (usually, but not always, a human). Or something conceivable as existing or as actually existing.

Acolytes of the belief systems known as Subjective or Objective Realities (SR and OR, respectively) love to argue about this.

"I believe that nothing exists without my point of view!"

"No, you are wrong! I believe things exist without your point of view!"


(If you want to see this kind of argument in action, head over to the Steve Pavlina Forums. You'll get all the SR and OR you can stand.)

SR and OR aside, being is thought of as simple existence. Some might say that as they turn the corner, whatever appears comes into being. I can understand that. And that is very close to what happens in liberation.

Being in Liberation

Simply put, Being is: the functioning of the organism in awareness.

Being is, in fact, what is.

If one is aware, then being is all there is. There may be one thousand things happening at any given time, but in awareness, it is all being.

In awareness, with no center or anchor, no story or prejudice, there is only what is. The "what is" in question, is being.

You might hear other speakers on non-duality or enlightenment say, "everything is being." Or, "there is only being-ness." I agree with that, even though I still question it.

One might ask, "If being is everything, why should it be a function of the organism?" Good question.

Because our bodies are the experience-rs of reality. Like or not, day in and day out, all of the sensory perceptions are a part of this organism. It is true to say that in awareness there is no difference between the body or a table, because there is no longer any one to make a distinction. But since being arises through this instrument of the body, it is easier for one to think of it as the functioning of the organism in awareness. (But please keep in mind through all of this, there is no MY body; just body.)

If there is no body, no sensors, no life, can awareness rise? If I die in five minutes, is there awareness here on the sixth minute? Please don't theorize or repeat an answer given to you by another. Just sit with the question.

If one sees from their own point of view, through their own imagery, then being just becomes something that the self thinks it has; it is just me and this thing, or me and that thing. There is that eternal juxtaposition.

In awareness, through being, there is no juxtaposition. There is only what is.

There is only being.

The A to Z of Being : Awareness

This is the first post in the new series, The A to Z of Being. What is Awareness?

One might think of awareness as having knowledge of something. The train will arrive at 7:00 PM, therefore I am aware of the train schedule. Or, I am aware that both Sean Connery and Roger Moore played James Bond.

Or awareness might be thought of as a recognition of current experience based on the past. If you sit in your kitchen and a dog suddenly walks into the room, you are now aware of the dog. It wasn't there before, but it is now. Therefore, you are aware of the dog that has just walked into the room.

There are countless other examples, but these seem to fit nicely into what most people use when thinking of awareness.

In everyday conversation, I may use the word in exactly the same way. I find nothing wrong with the definition as it is used in society. But in liberation, the word has a different meaning.

Awareness in Liberation

Awareness is what one might call non-experience. Things happen, climates change, people come and go, but there is no one to experience it. There is no self to attach importance based on preferential thoughts.

In awareness, everything is seen as it is, with absolutely no interference of thought, experience, or memory.

This does not mean that an event will not be remembered, or that one becomes numb or apathetic. On the contrary. When the mind is free of the constraining walls of the self, of belief, of prejudicial experience, then massive energy is available for living. This is not a stimulant type effect, similar to what one might experience from taking high doses of caffeine, but a natural release of energy formerly held in abeyance.

When one is aware, life and death are one constant movement, and the energy of creation (if one can call it that) is ever present. It is akin to life and death because every moment is the beginning and the end simultaneously. There is no point where things start or stop. It is, simply, what it is. (People speak of this and talk about "being in the moment," or "the present moment." I have used these words myself. But in truth, there is no present moment. There is no moment of any kind in awareness because there is no time to record anything.)

The inactive, one might say, becomes active, and the organism is finally free to express itself fully.

In awareness there is no notion of what is happening, because there is no conception or impression of something known. There is no one that is "being aware." With no self to be aware, there is nothing that attaches to any particular experience. Everything comes as it comes, and while there may be memories of all of that, there is no center that attaches to anything.

Simply put:

Awareness is the non-existence of a center that perceives.

It is not an exalted state, or preferred way of living. It is absolutely natural and normal.

Completely New

Events may occur, but there is no entity there to experience them. With no entity, there is no experience. With no experience, there is no point of reference. With no point of reference, there is no reaction to memory. If memory does not interfere, things are seen as they are.

All awareness is non-experience. It is completely new.

New Series : The A to Z of Being

I have talked about this new series for awhile, but it is finally about to be rolled out. What is it?

This will be an ongoing series that explains the meanings behind the words that are used on It will work as a glossary of terms, more or less.

Subjects that will be included in this series are, Awakening, Awareness, Belief, Consciousness, Enlightenment, Fear, Duality, Separation, and much more.

I will, for the most part, proceed alphabetically. Hence, the A to Z. But there may be times when I eschew certain letters for lack of content (How many X words are there, anyway?).

I will eventually get around to listing all of the terms I normally use, as well as others that are generally forgotten.

The A to Z of Being will not be simple definitions of words. You can find those in any reputable dictionary, after all. It will be more of an investigation into the deeper, and possibly implicit (or tacit), meanings as they apply to enlightenment and liberation.

The Purpose

Many people throw around words without having any idea of what they really mean. Especially in the world of the seeker. One usually hears others speaking of consciousness or enlightenment from the perspective of the the seeker and the thing to be sought. But it never made any sense to me.

In order to clear things up, at least in my house, I decided to dedicate a series to what these words really mean when seen as they are, and not from the perspective of how things should be.

This is not any attempt to achieve a state, or to try and find anything. It is only a means to clarify the subject at hand. And even though words cannot fully represent liberation, at least we will be speaking the same language.

A Request

If any of you wish to see a word or topic covered in the A to Z of Being, please leave a comment on this post. I have already compiled my own list (which keeps growing), and I will be happy to look into anything submitted by any of you.

Note: Please keep in mind that this is not meant to be a series on etymology or linguistics. It is merely an attempt to describe these words as they occur in the moment.

I am sure Samuel Johnson will not roll over in his grave.