Ecstatic Speech, Expressions of True Nonduality
Enlightenment seems to be difficult to find mainly because it goes unnoticed by the soul conditioned to ignore the obvious essentials in life.
The essentials are these: That the sun rises and sets; that we are born and breathe and live and die; that when we are wounded the world grows smaller and when we are healed we are healed by love. When we are healed by love the world grows larger and there is room for everything where previously there seemed to be none.
Someplace inside of us, we believe enlightenment will set us free from our suffering. But what awakening actually does is to open a door to our suffering, while simultaneously redeeming it in a new idea of what freedom actually is.
The only surprise in awakening is that it was there all along.
Finally, we are free. But this freedom is not a freedom from, but rather a freedom with.
What we call “life” is the union of the faraway and the near. The faraway is the seemingly outer world. The near is ourselves. A nameless, characterless quality pervades and supports both.
“Boundless continuity” might also be called a “bound infinity,” that combination of the mortal and the time-bound with the timeless.
The texts in Ecstatic Speech are all teaching pieces that arise from the place where the particular—that is individuals with pain and sorrow, laughter and joy—and the Silent Eternal meet. They are utterances that give shape to the Absolute and allow this vastness to enter the small chambers of our infinite hearts.
In this way we learn our place in the Great Place, a place we sometimes lose because we don’t know how to hold our personal suffering along with the Great Perfection we sense within and without our selves. The pieces in this book exist to help us learn that our suffering and our awakening are a single thing, that our imperfections and the Great Perfection arise at exactly the same time and have the same aim, which is freedom.
These pieces are not meant to continue the spiritual exercise of giving us peak experiences of unification, which simply lift us up only to set us down later. The view from the mountaintop is wonderful but so is living in the valley where our towns and neighborhoods are. These pieces extol both views since it is only by union that union is achieved.
Said in other words: this is not a book of information but a book of practice.
Enlightenment is not a theoretical position: it is meant to be dinner table conversation and the manners of everyday life.
Enough said. Expect it all. Please go forward.
26 December 2016
The texts in Ecstatic Speech are all teaching pieces that arise from the place where the particular—that is individuals with pain and sorrow, laughter and joy—and the Silent Eternal meet. They are utterances that give shape to the Absolute and allow this vastness to enter the small chambers of our infinite hearts. In this way we learn our place in the Great Place, a place we sometimes lose because we don’t know how to hold our personal suffering along with the Great Perfection we sense within and without our selves. The pieces in this book exist to help us learn that our suffering and our awakening are a single thing, that our imperfections and the Great Perfection arise at exactly the same time and have the same aim, which is freedom.
Some of these pieces are meant to inspire, others to challenge. Some are meant to explain and others to mystify, because real mystification does not obscure, but brings us to things we cannot learn in any other way except by having our conditioned responses to life and learning stopped in their tracks:surrender, love, exquisite quiet and joy that has no reason for being except that it is. Above all, these pieces are meant to bring us into a deepening relationship with all that is, so that our already established partnership, our prior engagement with the world—before we were confused and which is our awakening itself—becomes not only visible, but workable, something we can depend upon moment by moment in our daily lives. Enlightenment is not a theoretical position: it is meant to be dinner table conversation and the manners of everyday life.
About the Jason Shulman Library
Over the past forty years of teaching, Jason Shulman has worked to reconcile the deistic or relative paths of liberation with the consciousness of Buddhism and other non-theistic paths to create a truly nondual path of healing that does not exclude any aspect of reality. His work emphasizes the healing of the personal ego and its rightful place in any path that seeks liberation from ignorance and the awakening of compassion. His work also seeks to bring the truly human world, with its imperfections, into alignment with the realization of transcendent awareness. More about the Library and Jason’s work and outreach can be found at the Foundation for Nonduality website: www.nonduality.us.com
Jason Shulman Bio
Jason Shulman is an American spiritual teacher whose original work springs from his Judaic and Buddhist background. He is the founder of A Society of Souls: The School for Nondual Healing and Awakening, based in the United States and the Netherlands. There he teaches the distinctive body of nondual work he has developed to awaken the human spirit: Nondual Healing, Impersonal Movement and the Work of Return. Jason’s main concern has been to develop paths of healing the mind, body and spirit based on his own understanding of the difficulties inherent in the human condition. Through his studies and practice, Jason has developed a unique perspective on human consciousness and the nature of existence. His work seeks to translate this perspective into a replicable and clearly-delineated path for other seekers of truth to follow. He has been especially interested in applying personal spiritual work to methods of transforming society at large. To that end, he has created the MAGI Process, a nondual method of working with conflicts between people, institutions and governments. He is the author of numerous monographs and books, and several albums of his work as a singer and songwriter. More about his work can be found at www.societyofsouls.com
Of the new breed of spiritual teachers active in the public eye today, few are as inclusive ' or as provocative ' as Jason Shulman.
His work defies labels and any attempts at simple definition. He is one of the most highly respected serious exponents of Kabbalah today. At the same time, he is a Buddhist teacher and Dharma lineage holder in the Zen tradition.
He is dedicated to holding both of these ancient traditions in his work. Shulman's teachings are equally God-inspired and nondual. This uniquely open-hearted and spacious ability to span many positions and perspectives is the hallmark of the new spiritual paradigm he proposes for our world today.
From his long grounding in the traditional spiritual training of Judaism and Buddhism, Shulman offers a fresh interpretation of the ancient paths to enlightenment and God-Realization. The new territory he unfolds with poetic eloquence includes both God and Boundlessness; the personal self and the Transcendent Self.
Rather than speaking about enlightenment or God-realization as some sort of state or thing, he prefers the term 'awakening': a continuous moment by moment process that never ends.
The path that Shulman offers is exceptionally well-suited for our life in the 21st century. He calls for commitment to being awake to Reality and to being fully human. At first glance, these might seem diametrically opposing aims, but in Shulman's map, they are the same destination, where living in the world and being with God are identical things seen from different standpoints.
In Shulman's masterful and seamless integration, what initially seems like contentious spiritual or theological territory unfolds as a panoramic landscape. This level of development or awakening is what draws students from around the world to Shulman. Though many are new to spiritual work, most are long-time practitioners who come to learn how to work with their most profound spiritual questions and deepest longings.
People also come to Shulman with the suffering of their everyday lives ' illness, chronic difficulty in relationships, lack of fulfilment at work, a longing to be of service to the world; sadness, loneliness, anxiety, fear and rage. His work is particularly helpful in this regard. The programs he has developed for A SOCIETY OF SOULS are specifically designed to bring together the spiritual heights of revelation and Ultimate Reality with the small and great trials and tribulations of contemporary human life.
Shulman's work as a spiritual teacher is his primary, but not his only calling. He is dedicated to the process of healing and much of his spiritual work today is centered around teaching the powerful modalities of Integrated Kabbalistic Healing and The Work of Return, both of which he has developed.
Alongside his spiritual and healing career, his earlier passion for music has remained undimmed. He is an accomplished singer and songwriter. Music for Shulman has always been a powerful way of expressing his personal knowledge of human suffering, longing, courage and joy.
Currently, Shulman has two CDs of spiritual music. The first, 'The Great Transparency' was released in 1998 and his second, 'Buddha-Cloud' in 2005. Buddha-Cloud' is available online through omstream.com
A new CD, 'Songs and Chants for Receiving God', will be in the music stores at the end of 2006. Produced by Gary Malkin, these chants and songs composed by Shulman contain in music the essence of his teachings.
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