Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Early morning,  every day,
a lone babbler pecks furiously at its reflection
on the stainless steel container of the solar water heater.
Pecking,  flapping its wings,  and high sounding shrieks.

At war with its image.

Its sisters ( they are commonly called the Seven Sisters )
fly,  glide,  and babble unconcerned.
They do not find fault with themselves and/or the world.
 ( which is the same in any case )

The simplicity of this perspective is so amazing,
that it seems silly to even open your mouth and say something.
Or sit in front of a laptop and write something about it.

Its too obviously just here,
Just all there is.
The direct cognition
without interpretation
ever present.

Stop in your tracks and look.
This is It.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

..but a show.

The world is but a show, glittering and empty.
It is, and yet is not...
It has no cause and serves no purpose...
It appears exactly as it looks, but there is no depth in it, nor meaning.
Only the onlooker is real.
Call him Self or Atma.
To the Self the world is but a colourful show, which he enjoys
as long as it lasts and forgets when it is over.
Whatever happens on the stage makes him shudder in terror or roll with laughter,
yet all the time he is aware that it is but a show.
~ Nisargadatta

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thats my life

Yes, I’m truly a dunce
Living among trees and plants.
Please don’t question me about illusion and enlightenment
This old fellow just likes to smile to himself.

I wade across streams with bony legs,
And carry a bag about in fine spring weather.
That’s my life,
And the world owes me nothing. 
~ Ryokan

Friday, December 21, 2012

Prison ?

How come when we question and lament 
our prison,  our limitations, we never really 
consider questioning the prisoner.?

Its our mistaken identification with the person,  
the prisoner, which is the cause of all felt limitations.
Limitations are inherent to being a person.

But we are, all of us,  
God having a human experience.

Know who and what you are and 
what you are not, then all perceived limitations 
are known to be part of the play of Life.
To add colour and spice to existence.

When identification has dropped away
the natural state becomes apparent.

What you are is inherent free and limitless.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Upside-Down Daughter

J.C. Amberchele with Berzie G.

Just before Christmas my daughter tried to kill herself by swallowing 150 pain pills and washing them down with a bottle of vodka. When she came out of a coma in the hospital (a friend had found her and called 911), she said she was crushed to discover she was still alive.

This attempt was the culmination of three years of depression, beginning in earnest with the death of her brother (her best friend), and ending this past year with a disastrous marriage. Still suicidal, her friends discouraged her from visiting me, convinced it would be her “goodbye” to me. But she came, and at some point during the visit, feeling rather desperate myself, I decided to show her Douglas Harding’s “pointing experiment” – I don’t recall telling her why, I think I may have described it as a “game” or an interesting oddity.

The visiting room in this prison is usually crowded, and the tables are close together, but I knew my daughter would try almost anything, so I asked her to point to a nearby chair, to notice its form, color, opacity, its sense of being an object “out there”. Next she pointed to her foot, noticing that it too was a solid “thing” with color, texture. She pointed to her knee, her thigh, her abdomen, and finally her chest, stopping and noticing at each the qualities of form, of “thingness”.

And then she pointed at what she was looking out of, and I asked her to reverse her attention 180 degrees and tell me what she saw – not what she thought she saw, not what she had learned, but what she actually and presently saw.

She said, “My nose?” and I replied, “Okay, a nose blur. And what else?” She said, after a pause in which she looked puzzled, “My face?…” , and I said, “Do you see your face?” – and what happened next was truly one of the memorable moments of my life – she froze, startled, and then tears literally burst from her eyes and she groaned as she covered her face with her hands, and when she looked at me again she said, “Oh my God, that’s always been there!”

And that was the beginning, and the beginning of the end of a life that was not working for her. This was a woman who in the previous year had lost her lucrative career, her home, cars – everything, and was now homeless and broke. She describes the moment in the visiting room:

“I saw it immediately. It brought me back to what I remembered as a child. It was as if a light had gone on, my gift was back! The me in pain wasn’t me at all – what a farce! Oh I “got” it all right – you couldn’t miss it! Fireworks, tears, goosebumps – everything was happening!”

And in the ensuing weeks, she wrote:

“I have little or no money, but it doesn’t seem to matter. For the first time I am realizing that I am happy. I could never define happiness before. Listening to others has become a joy. It’s as if I stop thinking when I “See” – I’m simply soaking up the person in front of me. I literally feel their words melting into awareness, becoming a part of me.

“The beauty of Seeing is this: I don’t ask why, how, what, where or when. It just is, and has always been. There are no questions with Seeing. Talking with my friend D. today, I saw his clarity. I saw something remarkable: I saw no-thing in our way – no distance, no space, no barriers. I have never felt this kind of peace before.

“Seeing happens when I least expect it. When it happens, nothing is the same. I don’t know how others experience it, whether it’s life-changing from the start, but it was for me. I know it may sound strange to others, but when I’m doing something I’m also Seeing: doing chores, reading a book, watching TV, eating (plate, fork, food, and I’m placing it into – Nothing!). It’s not something I have to try to do. Awareness just takes over.”

Later, she sent one of her journal entries:

“I love Seeing while falling asleep. I used to have a hard time with thoughts spinning on and on about the day or what I would do tomorrow. Seeing before sleep was difficult at first, but now it’s soothing, comforting. I close my eyes and I am in no-space, the universe. It’s immensity is unfathomable, and yet I’m not nothing in my No-thing. It’s here. What is there is here. It’s like a lullaby, and I drift into sleep peacefully. I also do this during the day. I close my eyes and see No-thing. I imagine having no sight, no way of sorting out the visual world. I have nothing, no memory, no idea of what the environment consists of. Inside I see only a vastness – there are no words to describe the enormity of it. It encompasses everything. It’s a place where everything happens and I am all of it, untouched and untouchable.

“When I was a child I knew myself as part of the world. It was my world. Even when I was looking out I also saw myself on the inside, as though I were looking out and in at the same time. There was a light, and a thought, many thoughts building on other thoughts, a void and yet not a void.”

As a child my name changed many times (my parents were on the run from the law). No matter how many times my parents made me memorize my new name I was always Me, my best friend. I trusted this inner light. I remember being content just sitting and Seeing. I didn’t know it had a name. I told myself I had something special. I thought no one else had this special gift. When I looked in the mirror, what I saw was a little girl who resembled my mom and dad and brother. I saw the scars (dog bite) and sad eyes. But I remember saying: That isn’t me, the real me is when I’m not looking at me! I would laugh and feel comforted at the same time.

“My parents were drug dealers. They were also lackadaisical about parenting, and I was exposed to things that most children hadn’t even heard about. But I could always go “inside”, I could rely on this special place that was the real Me, where nothing could hurt me. And then as I got older I somehow lost that special knowing. It happened so gradually I can’t say when it occurred. I remember as a teenager trying to recapture the sense of it, but I couldn’t. When I looked in the mirror I saw what everyone else saw: the outer me with all the flaws, a victim, someone in pain and someone I did not trust.

“But now my gift is back, no longer completely obscured by thoughts. Once again I am in touch with the real Me. I am Seeing.”

Not long after, I received a letter saying that she had descended from the blissful high she had been on the last several weeks. There were money problems. There were court dates, divorce issues. She remained homeless and jobless and the future looked grim. She wrote:

“Today I was in a bad place. On a scale of 1 to 10, it was definitely a 10. I’ve been in this place before and I know how serious it is. I had to do something drastic. I was in so much agony – emotionally and physically. Once again I wanted to die.

“I was sitting on the sidewalk outside the public library, fighting with my thoughts – worried about the court date, meeting with the lawyer, the obligatory psychiatric test – all of it seemed so useless and overwhelming. Part of me knew I had the tools to win over this internal pain, but another part wouldn’t let me use them! It was as if I were asleep and having a nightmare and couldn’t wake up. Oh God, please wake up! I sat there in tears as people walked by. Do you know how hard it is to See when you are in this state? So incredibly hard. But then it happened. I sat there and looked into Here and instantly (not exaggerating) I SAW NO PAIN HERE. I am not my thoughts! There is no fear in this No-place! I am not my anxiety and panic. I need do nothing – I am Here whether I do or not! Here I see an enormous wide-open warmth, and I no longer want to die. This was a good day, after all. I am thankful for this wonderful horrible time that brought me Home.”

A week later she attended The Byron Katie School For The Work, a 10-day intensive using self-inquiry to help dismantle entrenched beliefs, or “stories”, about the so-called “self” and “world” (the live-in retreat is advertised as a school you attend to unlearn). She was awarded a grant, and arrived there with the idea that “The Work” (the term for the inquiry itself) would in some way complement Seeing, in that it would help her return to Here. She finished knowing they were far more than complimentary, they were inexplicably identical. Three days later she borrowed a backpack and set off alone for central Mexico in search of her ex-pat mother, with whom she had been at odds for nearly two decades. When she returned, I received this:

“I found her, dad. I am overwhelmed by how much I love her. She is so beautiful. I don’t see the things I saw before. I don’t need anything from her – she is perfect just the way she is. I feel as though this No-space has become so incredibly full of acceptance. I am no longer in a trance of who I am to others. I am this No-thing holding all things. In This, I feel people like I never thought I would, including their pain. People come up to me and tell me about their suffering, their insanity. Why are so many coming to me with this same message? But then, every person is a reflection of me, every word a signpost. Since you helped me to See, I have been to hell and back. “Hell” because life can and does get worse at times, “back” because I find Here the stillness and peace that encompasses all – the more “hell” I experience, the more peace I return to. So I found her, and made amends, and discovered that I made amends with myself. She thinks I’m nuts. Well, if this is what “nuts” is – I’m Home!”

As of this writing, my daughter is back in D., is still jobless and without a home (she is staying with a friend). She has no specific plans, other than what seems planned for her. We sign off on our letters as “Your Ass-backwards Father” and “Your Upside-Down Daughter”, and have a good laugh. Writing to each other, we write to ourselves, and it’s always a sweet surprise, even when sitting on the sidewalk outside the library in a hell filled with tears.

About the author:

J.C. Amberchele is the pseudonym of a man who found freedom, real freedom, during the long prison sentence, which he is still serving. This freedom is the same liberation or enlightenment that so many of us are seeking, but we seek within the framework of a life where we can have access to all the paraphernalia of the spiritual search and the apparent comfort that money can buy. If you are reading this, you probably have an inkling that the real freedom which Amberchele talks about is something different and has no relation to the external freedom that most of us enjoy.

J.C. Amberchele was born in Philadelphia in 1940. He attended a Quaker school, then colleges in Pennsylvania and New York, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology.
In the early 1960s Mr. Amberchele worked as a part-time instructor at a private school in Honolulu, teaching high school math and French. An athlete in high school and college, he tried his hand at auto racing in Hawaii, but soon ran out of funds. He married in 1965, worked briefly as a salesman in both Honolulu and Los Angeles, but soon divorced and returned to Hawaii. After working at odd jobs at a local marina, he began taking LSD, and subsequently joined the growing ranks of “hippies” living in the Waikiki Beach area.
In 1967 he again moved to Southern California, and this time began selling marijuana to support himself. Soon he was transporting wholesale quantities to various cities in the U.S,, and within a year was moving marijuana north from Mexico in cars and airplanes, a “career” he followed for nearly 15 years and one which he admits drove him deeper and deeper into crime and “insanity”. During this time he married again, had two children, and travelled extensively, often to avoid the law.
After his arrest, he began writing and studying Eastern philosophy. His first book, a novel, was released in 2002 (“How You Lose”, New York, Carroll & Graf). He has been a long time meditator in prison, and has called himself a “reluctant Buddhist” since taking formal vows in 2001. As of this writing he has been incarcerated a total of 29 years, and does not expect to be released soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The perpetual problem

A few days ago somebody told me in a conversation:

The idea of a person perpetuates itself by coming up with problems.
Without problems there is no need for a someone to come into existence.
Then it is just Life happening.

Its like the seeker who keeps him/herself into existence.
Coming up with one questions after the next.
The identity of the seeker intact by the fact of the search.

Oneness playing hide and seek.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The world is my mirror

"First realize that your world is only 

  a reflection of yourself and stop 
  finding fault with the reflection." 

~ Nisargadatta 

"People do not seem to realize 
 that their opinion of the world 
 is a confession of character." 
~ Emerson

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wind on our cheeks

What is it to be admitted to a museum, to see a myriad of particular things,
compared with being shown some star’s surface, some hard matter in its home! I
stand in awe of my body, this matter to which I am bound has become so strange
to me…Talk of mysteries!–Think of our life in nature,–daily to be shown matter,
to come in contact with it, rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! The solid earth! The
actual world! The common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? Where are we?
~ Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Did you notice?

All life appears in its wholeness and entirety at every moment.
 Now is all we got.
 And how ever it appears,  is how it is.
 The dullness,  the aches and pains,  the irritation.

Even exhaustion is effortlessly perceived

Did you notice?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

While seagulls cry

After an absence of more than a month,
which brought this body mind organism to 
two different continents, 3 different countries,  
10 different sleeping places.
Innumerable people seen,  at airports,  bus stations,
train stations, in cities and on the road.
Participating as a volunteer at the fantastic 
SAND conference.
And getting affected by the tailwind of hurricane Sandy.
Meeting people in groups or one to one,  
in many ways possible.
Seeing feelings and emotions pass from 
intense and ecstatic,  happy and content,  
friendly and warm, to sick, nausea
tense,  incomprehension,  heavy and thick.

In other words,  life happening.

The I am becomes where one is.
One becomes the friendly and warm 
conversation with friends and family,  
talking about nothing in particular,  while
drinking coffee and eating cake.
Or the seasickness on a boat of a choppy sea
while seagulls cry.
One becomes the ecstatic and alive atmosphere,  
beaming away at all and everything on the conference.
And one is the vastness of the landscape 
while walking happens.
The golden leaves on the trees
and the rippling eddies in the water moving in me.

No resistance to what is at every moment
as there is no separation.

Monday, October 15, 2012


The unimaginable newness of each moment.

The unborn,  
the unmanifest, 
perceives Itself through all your senses at each moment.

At each moment 
It tastes, 
through what you think of as 
your eyes,  
your ears,  
your taste buds,
your skin.

Just for a moment imagine....

There is only the Divine as there is nothing else but That
  ( so where does this leave you? )

The hypnosis of being a person is in reality 
That living and perceiving through you, as you.

Whether you are aware of this or not does 
not make any difference.
Its happening anyway.

When the illusion of being a limited person 
has been seen through one knows that there is 
only This expressing, and experiencing Itself 
through and as all appearances and stories.

Opening up to This as This
one is touched by beauty, joy and gratitude.

The wonder and aliveness of each moment.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


"There is irrefutable support that the Universe is, 
   in fact, a big, playful puppy"
                                                       Jed Mckenna

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Do you exist?

How do you know?

Which faculties do you use in order to determine that you are alive?

Do you have to first think about it?

Are your thoughts determining whether you exist?
They are the evidence for the life you are living?  Right?

And what if there are no thoughts?
Do you stop existing?

Are not thoughts always on top of the perception of being alive.?
Stuck on,  like subtitles on a movie.?

A narrative commenting on life which is already taking place.
Even if you stop the subtitles still the movie, life continuous.

So if it is not your thoughts?

How do you know you exist?

There are no answers in words..

But then what is it?
Who are you?


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Heaven is Now

There is ever only this moment.

And we are under the impression 
that this moment is not good enough.
This moment is lacking.
We come up with all kinds of arguments 
to support our belief that this is true.

The world is going down,  
and we need to work hard to make it a better place.

I still notice egoistic tendencies in me,  
they should not be there,
it should be all already surrendered to the Divine.
You see, there is still something wrong with me.

It is often an innate sense of unease,  
something so close and sticking to
us that we do not even notice it.  
Except that it tells us that this moment
is not enough.  
It sets us off on all kinds of projects to improve,
to seek solutions,  to labour,  and sweat, 
because in the future it will be better.

But this future never arrives.

It is in moments of happiness 
of being stunned into Oneness through
e.g. falling in love, or through Grace, 
that we notice that this sense of unease has left us. 

We are fully in the present moment.
And we want more of this.
We want more,  because it feels so good.
So once we fall again down from 
the heights of happiness we even have more
arguments to support our idea that there is 
something out there for us to reach.

The golden pot at the end of the rainbow.
Some kind of heaven.

But if we pause to consider...
Now is all we ever got, all we ever have.
There is nothing else.
All ideas about a someone who has to improve
about a world which has to improve,
only happen as ideas in this moment.

Without the ideas of something being wrong, 
there is the immediate sensing, perceiving, 
noticing, seeing, knowing 
going on effortlessly.

And in this noticing unease might be there, 
or irritation, anything at all.
All of life shows its many moods
and everything is noticed and passes.

It passes as there is not a someone 
who hooks on the idea that it should be different.  
Who keeps perpetuating the story, the sense of unease.

The simplicity and immediacy are staggering,  
and the result is an effortless noticing 
of everything which occurs.

Problems are only there for a believed in person.
Without the idea of a person there are no problems.

Welcome to heaven
Heaven is Now

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"What is obstructing realisation?
  Nothing but your own half-hearted desire for truth"

                                                                         Zen master  Bassui Zenji

Monday, September 17, 2012

The key to Oneness..

Oneness can only be perceived by an uncluttered gaze.
An open view
Nothing obstructing the immediacy of perceiving.
Touched by all and everything.
As this is what we are.
The beauty
The boundless joy
In wave after wave
Sat Chit Ananda

In order to get to the point where Oneness is 
known to be what we are, 
one necessarily has 
to come out of the confines,  
the shackles, 
the beliefs 
which convey to us 
that we are 
and separate.

The way to free oneself of those bonds,  
this prison, is simply to question.  
To find out.

Is it true?
Am i limited? 
Do not take any answer as an easy way out.
Find out,  touch the walls of your prison.
Do they have a permanent validity?

Am i who i always thought i was?

Who am I?

If you're looking to find the key to Oneness,
there is some bad news and some good news.
The bad news is:
there is no key to Oneness.
The good news is:
the door has been left unlocked.

                                                        Jan kerschot

Sunday, September 16, 2012

the doors

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is - infinite.
                                                                                                                                            ~ William Blake

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

an apple falling on your head

When, at some point, there is a spontaneous surrender of the personal needs,
preferences, desires, opinions, and beliefs that function as 'reality filters,' the
realization of your true identify may spontaneously arise. When this happens
there will be no more questions. You see that everything is the answer - that the
guru is and has always been completely present. He manifests as the person,
inner voice, or happening that triggers this surrender. Any way the invitation is
extended, it functions as the guru. It may be silence from a sage or words from
a shopkeeper. The surrender may come through agony or ecstasy. It can happen
through an apple falling on your head; it can come from the smile of a child; or it
can arise from deep inside as you walk along a beach at sunset or when your burn
your finger on the stove. At any time, your sense of separation may dissolve to
reveal the One beyond all duality.
~ Leo Hartong

Monday, September 10, 2012

A jungle of green

Sweaty sweltering Monday
Humidity sticking to the skin
Trickling down

Multi coloured creatures
Standing silent
Swaying in the wind

And hooting, tjirping , shrieking
Crawling, climbing, flying high
Chasing each other
up and down the tree
in a jungle of green

Just happening

Saturday, September 8, 2012

pitter patter

morning dew
dripping drops
on broad leaf plants
a single bird tsjirping

midday lunch
clinging of cutlery
and babbling voices
over plates of pasta

evening silence
fireworks in a distant village

the empty night
swallows all


From Self to Self

"I the Self reveal Self by Self in Self. 
Liberated by this knowledge,
one enjoys the play."   
                                                    Sri Aurobindo


a gushing sound

I don't believe in breathing, I just breathe.
I don't believe in my heart, it just beats.
I don't believe in the hummingbird
who sleeps on a lilac twig, its head pillowed
on her own emerald breast.
I don't believe in the silken cat
slipping silently through her element of moonbeams.
I don't believe in your gaze, it just obliterates
my confusion.
I don't believe in Jesus or Mary, who wander
through a forest of secret flowers in my body
searching for the fountain of silence, the end
of believing.
Whoever finds that fountain just listens
to a gushing sound.

                                                          ~ Fred LaMotte

Monday, September 3, 2012


The urge to write is misguided.

To whom?
For what?

Its all Oneness already,  always.

Its all already perfect as it is.
Appearing as it should.
Everything that appears is Oneness appearing as that thing.
And this includes the body mind organism and
the believed in person with its habits and patterns.
Is only Oneness appearing as that body mind organism
and the believed in person with its habits and patterns.

Always over and over,
and there is nothing apart from This.

Nothing is wrong,  nothing to get.

So lets all just go home and have a party.


( This is also only Oneness talking to itself and having a ball )

Monday, August 27, 2012


These last weeks there have been quite some 
discussions in ND circles on the internet 
about teachers charging money
for satsangs and retreats.
I was wondering why we make such an issue out of it. 

When a robber on the street assaults you, he might say: 
‘Your money or your life.’

Someone who gives satsangs has even more to say to that:
‘Your money and your life.’  

If one is willingly going to satsang knowing fully 
well what is at stake:  your life  
( after all you are asked to see through the illusion of 
the person you believe yourself to be )   
and you are willingly sacrificing this life,   
what is the big deal of a little money next to that.
It pales in comparison to what you are asked to give up.

Actually a person going to satsang 
is coming for his/her own death.
If you think about it is crazy.  
Who wants that?
Really, a sane person would stay away 
from Nonduality, from satsangs.   
You are asked to give up everything.

The person will never get This.
The person has to die....  
Its only through Grace that 
something of a shift takes place. 
And after the shift happens it leaves 
one disoriented, empty and bewildered.
If you want my advice: 
stay away from Nonduality and teachers. 

Keep your money and run.
Run for your life...    ;-)