Thoughts on Zero-Point Education from Adi Da's book Not-Two Is Peace

Below are my pasted notes on Zero-Point education compiled in response to a friend writing me concerning a workshop:

"I've been invited to facilitate a 2 and 1/2 hour workshop at Harvard's Divinity School as part of their "Transformative Leadership and Spiritual Development" program.  Would love your thoughts on how I might integrate the principles from Not-Two Is Peace into the program."

Basic Points on “zero-point” Education that Leaders need to know:

In order to be a truly transformed leader, one needs to understand the incorrect seeing problem of separateness that the ego “I” creates, and how to basically transcend this limited point of view through living egolessly be recognizing the state of prior unity. This is necessary for any leader to truly help everyone understand that the world can only exist in harmony when people take full responsibility for themselves and for the whole. It is the way the world will transform.

So, what is this separateness and ego and egolessness and prior unity that you mention?

In order to understand this one must go through an education process Adi Da in his book Not-Two Is Peace calls “zero-point” education.   

What the Hell is Zero-Point Education and why do Leaders need to undergo this lifetime process?

Why the leaders of today need to be educated in “zero-point” living (which is the same thing as prior unity and inherent egolessness combined): Living from the zero-point, or demonstrating inherent egolessness and prior unity is the transformed quality and characteristic required of the leadership that is necessary to move humankind as a whole to accept responsibility for itself. The leaders of today need these qualities to be effective.

NTIP simply put is: 1. Inherent egolessness and 2. prior unity. Or, 1. No self 2. No difference.

Zero point is about a way of life that follows from the root understanding of egolessness and prior unity. One must demonstrate that through the totality of their life.

The purpose and evidence of zero point education is zero point living and demonstration of zero point consciousness.

The entire point of zero point living is to Serve the system totality of human life.

“Zero-point” education would move people into right and positive action of global cooperative order.

Through responsible “zero-point” education and right self-management (self-responsibility and responsibility for the whole) humankind will go beyond tribalism and unprincipled consumerism. The demonstration of this actually working is the proof of the disciplining of the ego as consumer. One naturally assumes the position of right life. This is the transformed quality and characteristic required of the leadership that is necessary to move humankind to accept responsibility for itself.

Zero-point education is the constant intensive life-practice of intrinsically knowing intrinsic egolessness at the root of attention and of awareness itself.

The ego is the activity of difference. The ego is the lie of difference. Ego creates separation, difference, and self-ideas, always continuing to vibrate into the universe ones’ dull and mediocre vibration of ego.

The Ordering of these Great Principles is implicit; first one has to feel and know egolessness (even if for a brief blip) and then they can feel, intuit prior unity. Because if there is no ego, then we are a whole, we have no separation. We are in prior unity. 

These events and happenings—music, art, body, dance, sound, visual events where we lose ourselves and where we’re just living and breathing and being, pulsing as one, these events help us lose ego. By participating with one another we automatically engage in relationship, which I think helps us lose the inner conversation we’re always having with ourselves that can’t help but be egoic most of the time.

To create a “universal zero-point education for all” World Friend Adi Da states that:

For the intrinsic egolessness of attention itself and of awareness itself to be known to be self-evident at the root of attention itself and of awareness itself, it is necessary for human individuals (each and all) to embrace a lifetime of personal schooling, by means of intensive (and, at least eventually, esoteric Transcendental Spiritual) practice-participation in the discipline and process of “zero-point” education.

(The whole Esoteric Crux right here):

Zero-point education is the intensive and constant whole bodily (or total psycho-physical) life-process of intrinsically, always prior, tacitly, and constantly (or always presently)”locating” and knowing intrinsic egolessness (or “zero-point” consciousness) at the root of attention itself and of awareness itself and (on that constant, tacit basis) constantly (or always presently) apprehending the self-evident prior unity of the world (and of even all that arises to attention itself).

The tacit awakening of zero-point consciousness is the process and the event of tacit moment-to-moment root understanding of the reality condition of conditionally arising experience.

The zero point is the root of consciousness, the source of psychophysical awareness, where perception and conception arise from, prior to attention, prior to ego, the world, to objects and others, prior to the things of attention, prior to divisions, prior to divisibility, prior to difference.

The zero point is the native state of no self.

The zero point is the native state of no mind.

The zero point is the native state of no thoughts.

The zero point is the native state of no beliefs.

The zero point is the native state of no fear.

The zero point is the native state of no sorrow.

The zero point is the native state of no anger.

The fiction of separateness and the denial of universal prior unity is a profoundly and darkly negative act. Adi Da states the above so strongly because it is the primary root cause of fear, sorrow and anger and is the underlying aspect of countless sufferings of every kind on this earth.

What the leaders have to understand about how to lead in regard to what the ego “I” actually is, and is doing:

The ego “I” is the active and only source and the very structure and principle of all “difference”.

Egoity itself is the comprehensive psycho-physical act of self differentiation, separation, separateness, and separativeness as an identified separate self-identity.

The ego “I” constantly and actively “self” projects the idea and the pattern of “difference” onto the world. Apart from this “self” projected idea, there is no intrinsic difference anywhere or everywhere.

So apart from this “self” projected idea and pattern of “difference”, that isn’t even true, the world is a seamless whole, a uni-versal state, and pattern of prior unity. Utterly without difference.  The totality is intrinsically egoless.

Therefore, the ego “I” – or the activity of “difference”- projection must be intrinsically, always immediately, and constantly transcended.

The ego “I” cannot be transcended by the efforts of egoity. The ego can only be transcended intrinsically, and tacitly, priorly, or always already.

The inherent prior unity of the world can only be known and found to be self-evidently the case on the basis of prior egolessness. Therefore, for the prior unity of the world to be apprehended, egolessness itself must be priorly and always presently known to be self-evident at the root of attention itself and of awareness itself.

“Zero-point” education is the constant intensive life-practice of intrinsically knowing intrinsic egolessness at the root of attention and of awareness itself.

“Zero-point” education is the unlearning of the ego “I”.

Zero point education is about the awakening of zero point consciousness.

Zero point education is a lifetime of locating and knowing what is intrinsically the case. The tacit moment to moment root understanding of the reality condition of conditionally arising experience.

Zero point understanding or root wisdom is this: no matter what arises, one is never a self or a mode of separate identity or ego I but one is only the intrinsically egoless mere witness and the eternal context and substance of conditionally evident always temporary, mutually dependent, indivisible seamless, and perfectly non necessary mere patterns of cause and effect.

The zero point is itself the root of consciousness, the source-point of psycho physical awareness, the arising-place of perception and conception, prior to attention, prior to ego-I or separate self-identity, prior to the world, priot to objects and others, prior to attention, prior to all the things of attention, prior to all divisions, prior to all divisibility itself, prior to all modes of separate identity and categorical otherness, and altogether, prior to all difference.

The Zero point is the native position- or zero state position- of all conditionally arising experience.

The “zero-point” is the native state of no “self” and no “not-self” – no– ego-“I”, no “other”, no “object”, no-mind, no-thought, no-theories, no-explanations, no-belief, no-myths, no-histories, no-“God”-ideas, no-“Deity”, no-religion, no-“tribe”, no-personal-or-collective identity, no physically-based assumptions, no-mentally-based or metaphysically-based assumptions, no-body, no-world, no-time, no-space, no-separateness, no-dilemma, no-problem, no-seeking, no-method, no-answer, no-fear, no-sorrow, no-anger, and no-“difference”.

The “zero-point” is the egoless existence –circumstance of essential and self-evident being—the “point-of-view”-less “place” of the Un-mediated Self-Apprehension (or Self-Apperception) of the Native, Intrinsically egoless, Perfectly Non-separate, Indivisible, Acausally all-and-All-Pervading, and Self-Evidently Divine Self-Nature, Self-Condition, and Self-State of Reality Itself.

To be at the intrinsically egoless “zero-point” of existence is to Be At and As the Native State of Reality Itself.

To Be As Reality Itself Is to Be nobody, and to have nothing, and to know nothing.

To (Thus) Be nobody is to exist and live as no-“self” (or egolessness itself).

To (Thus) Be (and live) as one who has (or “owns”) nothing is to be free of all divisive, negative, and harmful (or “other”-threatening) association with the body itself, and with the “things” of this world, and with the world itself.

To (Thus) Be and live as one who knows nothing is to be free of all presumptuousness, all mere “belief”, all that presumes or makes a “difference”, all that would separate “self” from “not-self”, all that would dissociate from the “other”, and all that is prejudiced against surrender to the native (or always already self-evident) state of intrinsic egolessness and the positively active participatory disposition of prior unity with all-and-All.

ELYSE IN KALALAU

 

I learned something from Elyse that weekend. Leaving the body (tired, clumsy, daydreaming, not present) is a result of not feeling, of denying an emotion. When we own it, or go through the emotion, then we’re able to stay grounded in our being and not lose our energy. 

Sky High Dissolution & The Yoga of Not-Two

 

In 2008 I was an hour into a flight to Hawaii when it turned around. The captain said an engine light had come on and for routine safety they were going to go back to LAX and find out what the light was about. As the 747 did a u-turn over the Pacific Ocean the captain put the plane into a lower gear to start burning off the full tank of fuel but did not make an announcement about it. The plane started shaking and making the grinding noises that a car going ninety down the freeway would if you suddenly downshifted into 3rd gear.

After three hours of circling outer LA—Catalina Island to the Palm Desert to the San Gabriels around and around in this lower gear—we were finally back on the ground.  I burst into tears and got off the plane.  Those 10 minutes where the cabin thought the engine was done for inevitably changed my life.

A newly developed flying phobia is not convenient for me. Kaua’i (my home) is considered the most isolated land in the world at 2400 miles from any continental land mass. I fly a fair amount: my friends joke that I rent a room at the parking garage at LAX. 

At first I was just certain that every flight I was on was probably going down, one way or another. Days before the flight I would stop sleeping. It would be there, this upcoming thing. I tried many tactics to avoid my fear. I would book tickets the morning of. Yes, my bank account suffered. I wouldn't pack my bag until literally minutes before I had to. Yes, my wardrobe suffered.  I would skip flights.  If a flight were delayed I was glad.  I would have small-grade panic attacks during most flights. Take-off was the worst, landing was the best.  Drinking a beer helped despite the sideway looks from fellow passengers if it was a morning flight. Fear is a stronger emotion than embarrassment.  A Kiwi friend gave me an anti-anxiety pill for a Sydney-Honolulu flight that didn't work. An old boyfriend in San Francisco told me he had the perfect remedy, baby, and gave me a pot cookie. Talk about paranoid. If something could cut the fear, by god I was willing to try it. I was ultimately afraid of death.

I learned every single noise the wings and wheels make, all the various sounds the plane itself makes, including that weird crackling at take-off that sometimes happens. I learned to read the voices of the captains to determine their mood and alertness, I analyzed the make and model of the planes for hours online the night before I’d have to fly and read the safety records of airlines. I literally had a very real conversation with myself about what a life would look like if I simply never left Kaua'i again. I even looked up boat schedules to and from the West Coast to Hawaii.

Then I started looking for and examining all the signs surrounding each specific flight. If they couldn’t find my name in the system or my boarding pass wouldn’t print, clearly it was a sign. When I had to fly on Friday the 13th through the South Pacific I thought for certain that would be it. I remember a take-off on an Arab airline I had never flown and someone came on the loudspeaker while we were zooming into the air exuberantly reciting a long prayer. I assumed the worst.  I was so full of fear and anxiety on every flight that it was beginning to really affect my life—mostly to exhaustion. Then something happened, which once again changed my life. Of all places it happened mid-flight 30,000 feet up.

The plane hit turbulence. Instead of identifying with my fear in that moment I identified with the wind that knocked us to and fro. I didn'tseek for this to happen; it just happened. I looked out the window and instead of being nauseated by the height I was mesmerized by the unbelievable beauty outside. We were simultaneously careening above, in it, of it. “We” were “it”. We were not separate. I was not separate from all this energy happening.  This blew my little mind into forgetting to be afraid. I just sat back, completely relaxed and happy for no reason whatsoever other than the fact that the mystery of this is so beautiful. No, I was not drinking.

I had been studying non-duality for the last few years. Despite thousands of hours of sitting in meditation and focused study, my true teacher was the Earth itself.  I mean the sky and clouds we flew through, the wind and rain swaying the plane to and fro, the mountains and trees and rivers and fields down below. Yes, the way I overcame my fear was by looking out the window at the unbelievable majesty of the Mother Earth and being overtaken. It is really happening out that window! I mean, have you ever really just looked out that window for hours on end? The earth is breathing and we are not apart from that.

How does one invoke and remember what's true in the midst of whatever is arising? The connection is the breath.  When the plane got turned around that day I had trouble breathing. We return home when we breathe. If we are breathing then our fear is merely an emotion, not a reality. What is prior to fear is a beautiful truth that words cannot touch. Call it God, call it Divine, call it reality, the truth is beautiful and outshines even the fear of death.  Flying is ultimately a lesson in true surrender. And there is a difference between fear-based surrender and proactive surrender. One is weak and the other is strong.  I was not able to know the difference until it was taught to me. Now I practice pro-active surrender.


Flying has been a spiritual lesson for me about what it means to be non-separate from “everything else”, or to be not-two. Not-Two is an expression of a non-dual understanding of existence. In simple terms,” Not-Two” means presuming no separation between “me” and “you”, or “me” and “the world”, or "me" and "the airplane" and "the air". Not-Two is a way of expressing prior unity- or the inherent unity of existence at the deepest level. To say that Prior Unity is the real nature of existence does not mean that there is no diversity in life. Not-Two or Prior Unity refers to the root-nature of things deeper than all the apparent differences or temporary materializations. When we stand in this depth, we do not make separation between ourselves and others. We do not engage in opposition, exclusion, conflict, and war. Not-Two is healing—and it is peace. 

I've been travelling almost nonstop for the past year and right now as I write this I'm looking out the plane window somewhere between MLPS and LAX. The clouds and the ridges of the earth—you know? The earth is really pretty.  It's a being, an energy itself- it's a beautiful feminine energy beyond gender. 

Perhaps the real reason for my travels all this while is that I’ve been flying nonstop in order to connect with Her; to learn from her, to come to know her, to love her, to understand her. I’ve had to become quiet so that I can listen to what she's telling me, have had to be in her presence, to let her live me, to be infused with the many sides of her. Have you noticed how each place holds a certain aspect of her in its cities, in its mountain ridges, in its oceanic forms? I get to see her from up high and inside the waves, feel her all around, brushing the plane side to side in her sway, Great Mother. She is so beautiful, constantly balancing herself, full of rainbows after storming, full of spectrum and variety.

Ultimately we are not differentiated from the Giants we are moved by. We are the Spirit of the night, free in our heartbreak, in our midnight laughter. Love Her. Love Her. Love her as your true Lover. Can you feel her? You breathe her even now. One must let Her live you. She breathes you now.  She is you: strong. If you create the space for her to live in you by becoming sensitive to her—well it’s a beautiful thing to say the least. This is what the surfers know in the middle of the barrel, dissolved in her folds of mana, what the snowboarders know carving lines of energy in  perfect powder. Why do you think they’re so addicted? It is reunion with greater self. It is the yoga of not-two.

I play with the Earth. I feel her spirit, universal and calm—the same in the sky as in the churches dotting Europe and the mountains of Mongolia. Land and sea and sky, this is all sacred. When we dissolve into the perfect truth of not-two we come to rest in a field of infinity. When we are certain of non-duality then all war will stop, and we will embrace our brothers and sisters as our own forearm. We are not a separate organism operating divided from the Great Earth Itself. As Adi Da says inNot-Two Is Peace, “There is a universal Conscious Force that is indivisible, egoless, acausal, and absolute. And everything is arising as an apparent modification of that. Reality Itself is a prior unity. Reality Itself is Intrinsically egoless, perfectly indivisible, prior unity, boundless self-radiance, and limitless relatedness as intrinsic love-bliss itself.” 

 photo from mpls to lax flight, Aug 2012