REAL PEACE and a ‘Natural Well-Being’ Course Premier!

October 14, 2013 | | Comments 1

a normal man


I thought you might enjoy this: (above)

This cartoon, also from the New Yorker, has been on our fridge for a couple of years now.

Funny and true,

There's got to be a better way!

There’s got to be a better way!


Now – speaking of launches! – here’s the official posting of my upcoming course starting Oct. 23 here in Berkeley. If you’re in the Bay Area, this is also an invitation!


Extraordinary living for ordinary people!

With references to classic spiritual teachings, including Eckhart Tolle and J. Krishnamurti, James Waite, BA, author, co-founder of BE WELL! Natural Health and Well-Being, will guide us as we look into our real quality of life issues: emptiness, vague depression, quiet yearnings, loss of purpose and meaning as we age. We’ll explore:

What is real love?
Is knowledge wisdom?
What really makes us happy?
What makes us fully, richly and deeply alive?

Join James for this 3 part NATURAL WELL-BEING course at the SAGE Center 1454 Sixth St. Berkeley, Wednesdays, 6:30 to 9:00pm OCT. 23, NOV. 6, 20. $90 (Sliding-scale scholarships available)

For details and to register, please contact me at


And now here’s some correspondence with my friend L which I’m moved to share:

“I have a question. Personally, when I am experiencing fear and fear based emotions in the moment I tend to go unconscious and have a hard time returning to a place of peace. When I am alone and I think in hindsight it is easy to acknowledge and be at peace, but in the moment of direct experience my egoic self reacts strongly. How can one go about cultivating the witness of the thoughts of fear in the face of fear? I meditate and I contemplate these things, but it’s in the direct moment of experience where this practice really can be of use. perhaps just diving in it with all the thoughts and emotions and experiencing it instead of avoiding it.”

Thank you, L.

Thanks for your penetrating question.You state: “How can one go about cultivating the witness of the thoughts of fear in the face of fear?…perhaps just diving in it with all the thoughts and emotions and experiencing it instead of avoiding it.”…
The answer to most questions is often found in the question, isn’t it? But the kind of “experiencing” you refer to here need not be limited to a conditioned body/mind “sensational” experience; in clear non-dual seeing, there is an unconditional perceiving – a simple passive awareness of the mind activity. It’s like the sun constantly shining its light…no judgement, no comparison, no investment in wanting anything to be other than it is…oh, and no witness – only witnessing…that is, in awareness, there is no person or identity called “L”.. there is only this unknown spirit “witnessing.” or being aware of itself (in the active verb sense)

Now let’s take a look at “fear”. Fear is an invention of the mind when it is faced with something it doesn’t know or “understand”. Of course, there is functional fear, like when someone approaches you with a knife you might well head in the opposite direction. But in life, what we experience 98% of the time is psychological fear…it is an idea that arises from uncertainity; from our constant need to know or be, secure. Indeed, as the saying goes: “there is nothing to fear but fear itself” Fear falls away when we see to the bottom of it; when we look directly into it and see it for what it is – an idea. It’s a facile attempt by our mind to control what we deeply suspect is not in our control. Once we see we cannot now, and never could, control what is our next thought – much less what happens in the world – we move from being suspicious and fearful, to realizing that, in fact, we live and function in total uncertainity. That fact may seem discomforting, but in reality, it isn’t. We come to rest in uncertainity where there’s no room for fear.

If we want real peace we need to realize that any peace that does not come and go, will never be found in our continuously changing mind (or in ever-changing time, for that matter). There is no such thing as lasting “peace of mind”. The mind’s DNA is binary – dual. It sorts, contrasts and compares concepts about reality without ever knowing what it actually, factually, is. In fact, this is easy for you to confirm: just quietly watch your mind make problems where there really are none!That’s what our conditioned minds’ do – they create our perspective about life and the supposed living of it.

In truth, and therefore in reality, our ego/mind invents ideas that we learn to believe…so if we really want peace say, when we meditate, it’s important to find the source of peace: “who is the meditator?” Is it our ego/mind searching for contentment?…can our mind ever rest or is it only able to function by contineously raising questions after questions, after questions? Is the mind itself really capable of, or interested in, answers? Don’t think about it – check it out for yourself with a little self-observation.

Also, when we want answers to questions, it’s useful to see for ourself where this desire to know comes from. Is it only in our mind? Or is it something else and what is that? Could it be awarenss itself?

Re. awareness and aware living, here’s a note lifted from elsewhere that might be useful: “Awareness is our nature, it just flows in and with all physical and mental sensations or “experiences”…these experiences come and go against a background that is always simply, infinitely, watching with an affectionate non-personal yet intimate involvement.

On occasion, in this abiding awareness, a particular sensation, feeling or thought seems to attract some focusing of attention; for example, the mind (which is always being watched in awareness) might present a “sticky” subject from its conditioning, say “Congress Dysfunction!” and there may be an engagement or “believing” that it is “real and important” for a moment or even rarely – like yesterday- an hour or two!..

These arisings or events are observed as they pass (usually quickly, but sometimes the engagement lingers longer) and there is a returning to an unfocused and peaceful awaring. Ditto for “anger” “confusion” “planing” “thinking” – these passing happenings may spike like on a polygraph; they come and go usually without resistance. Of course, when resistance occurs, suffering also results, and that pain draws a compassionate attention – a little love and a little letting go! Functionally, loving is a constant letting go.

To paraphrase a common Taoist saying: “awareness is like a mirror-smooth pond that reflects whatever “happens” to fly over its surface”…without disturbance.

It’s important that you be your own authority here. I and others can perhaps point you to the stream of reality, but it’s up to you to drink it for yourself…to know your self nature is to be free not only from the mind, and its interpreted “reality,” but to be free to lovingly embrace what is, as it is. That’s the domain of peace.

All this seems complex! But I assure you it isn’t…it comes down to the direct non-conceptual (non-dual) recognition of who you are and what this is…

Rest in awareness and be well my friend!

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  1. aman says:

    This was so nice. peace of mind is positive thinking, that spiritual qualities such as compassion, forgiveness, gratitude and love heal the mind and body.

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