Western Baul Podcast Series

Nonduality: Speaking the Unspeakable (Peter Cohen)

January 20, 2022

Nonduality is another way of saying God, Reality, Truth, "Father," or that consciousness is all that is. The human mind is a dualistic machine; it can only think in terms of opposites, of subjects and objects. Nondual (direct) teachings are specifically focused on the nature of reality and questions such as, “Who are you? What is ultimately real?” Behind all passing phenomena is an aware presence. “Pointers” are ways to consider the unspeakable nature of reality, such as the false sense of authorship of our lives, the illusion of being the doer and of cause and effect given that everything is the cause of everything else, and the role of karma in chipping away at defensive layers we have developed in response to the shock of coming into embodiment. It is possible to take a “backward step” of being aware of being aware of thoughts, feelings, sensations. This produces a powerful intimacy and gives rise to love and beauty. Awareness is not only the witness of all that arises, it pervades everything and is the substance of all phenomena. Enlightenment is a transcendent leap, outside of phenomenality, not a progression or an event. The ascending current in the body gives rise to the understanding that “I am nothing,” and the descending current to the understanding that “I am everything.” Meditation and enquiry are practices on the nondual path. Peter Cohen, the drummer for the Western Baul rock band, Liars, Gods, and Beggars from 1988 to 1994, has followed the nondual rhythm of life.

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