The Open Path: Recognizing Nondual Awareness


The Open Path is about the direct realization of nondual awareness as the essence of spiritual awakening, free from the obligations and cultural references of a particular religion. The author provides clear, step-by-step, nonsectarian assistance as nondual awareness is introduced, patterns of self-concept are faced, and the freshness of this realization is revealed in one's life. The book's style is intimate and direct, making The Open Path an excellent guide to the realization of the silent ground of all being ...

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The Open Path is about the direct realization of nondual awareness as the essence of spiritual awakening, free from the obligations and cultural references of a particular religion. The author provides clear, step-by-step, nonsectarian assistance as nondual awareness is introduced, patterns of self-concept are faced, and the freshness of this realization is revealed in one's life. The book's style is intimate and direct, making The Open Path an excellent guide to the realization of the silent ground of all being and to the expression of that realization in the diverse conditions of our lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Coleman Barks author of The Essential Rumi
Among many mysteries explored here: spontaneous prayer, kindness, emptiness, starting from where you are, the freedom of the universe, awakening, is one that Elias Amidon barely mentions — friendship. Moving through this book feels to me like a continuously opening friendship.
--Coleman Barks author of The Essential Rumi

The Open Path is a powerful evocation of nondual awareness by a great teacher and friend to the world.
--Roshi Joan Halifax, founding abbot, Upaya Zen Center

The Open Path integrates hitherto hidden jewels and fragrances of Sufi mastery with more classical sources of nondual teaching. The result is not only that we receive fuller and more precise instruction but that we get to experience Elias Amidon's lucidity as a living sage and powerful lineage holder.
--James O'Dea, former president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and author of Cultivating Peace

It is rare and wonderful when a man, who has been such a force for good in our world, opens to us his inward path. For those who would explore the teachings of nonduality, Elias Amidon will be gratefully recognized as a valuable resource and guide.
--Joanna Macy, author of Active Hope

Elias Amidon is a gifted teacher and writer. We are blessed that he has assembled his lucid and powerful transmission with such coherence and depth in this book. His capacity for tapping the essence of the world's nondual traditions and sharing this in a thoroughly experiential way is unique. I am certain that immersing yourself in his vision and the exercises he recommends will bring you profound benefits.
--Peter Fenner, Ph.D., founder of Timeless Wisdom

Drawing on the Pathways of the great traditions, Elias Amidon guides us to Open Awareness of the Oneness of Being, with his wide Heart and clarity of experience. The Open Path will be read with joy by any reader who wishes to uncover their True Nature.
--Pir Shabda Kahn, musician and spiritual leader of the Sufi Ruhaniat International

Elias Amidon's The Open Path is an unerring guide to serve people who yearn for a spirituality that transcends religion and frees the soul from the shackles of false beliefs. Pir Elias helps the mind understand the soul and warms the heart to embrace and be embraced by the cosmic inner beloved.
--Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi, co-author of A Hidden Light

Each of the great religions has a gateway into nondual reality. Elias Amidon's lucidly clear and evocative presentation of The Open Path makes evident that the Sufis are among the gatekeepers.
--Keith Dowman, Dzogchen teacher and translator, author of Natural Perfection

Elias Amidon offers us a lucid and practical gift: how to open our hearts to awareness, to what is real. This is a loving and helpful offering that will unquestionably serve those who read it. It is truly a beautiful book.
--Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Abbot of the Village Zendo, Manhattan

In this lucid and graceful manual, Elias Amidon reveals a path open to all who seek. Seekers become finders. This book is a little treasure to be read again and again!
--William Ury, Co-author of Getting to Yes, and co-founder of Abraham’s Path

This is one of the clearest and most practical books I have ever read on the subtleties of recognizing nondual awareness. Elias Amidon's heartfelt clarity carries the signature of someone who has walked the journey himself and discovered there is no road.
--Roger Housden, author of Chasing Rumi

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591811794
  • Publisher: Sentient Publications
  • Publication date: 9/16/2012
  • Pages: 223
  • Sales rank: 794,470
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Elias Amidon is the spiritual director (Pir) of the Sufi Way International. He has been an initiate of the Sufi Way for the past forty-two years. Pir Elias has also studied with Qadiri Sufis in Morocco, Theravaden Buddhist teachers in Thailand, Native American teachers of the Assemblies of the Morning Star, Christian monks in Syria, Zen teachers of the White Plum Sangha, and contemporary teachers in the Dzogchen tradition.He helped develop several schools, including the Boulder Institute for Nature and the Human Spirit, the graduate program in Environmental Leadership at Naropa University, and the Open Path. He has a Bachelors degree in literature from Antioch College and has written six books. Pir Elias has been leading programs in Sufism for over three decades, and Open Path programs for the past six years. He resides in Boulder, Colorado but continues to travel widely, both teaching Open Path programs and engaging in citizen diplomacy.
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

A Note about the Sources or the Open Path xiii

1 Open Awareness 1

What Is Open Awareness? 2

A Note about the Words Used Here 4

The Unconditioned and the Conditioned 6

Paradox 8

Exercises: Open Awareness 12

1 Gravity and Awareness 12

2 Attributes of Awareness 13

2 The Practice of Subtle Opening 15

The Contradiction of Practicing 17

Expecting Nothing 17

Posture 20

The Practice of Subtle Opening 20

3 What Obscures Open Awareness? 27

Identity Making 29

Doing 30

Liking and Disliking 33

Willing and Controlling 35

Knowing and Making Meaning 37

Fear or Vanishing 40

Nothing Obscures Open Awareness 42

Exercises: What Obscures Open Awareness? 44

1 Personal Inventory 44

2 Noticing Behavior Patterns 45

3 Positive, Negative, and Pure Listening 46

4 Noticing Mental Constructions and Fixations 49

Learning to Notice Mental Constructions and Fixations 51

Fixations and Their Roots 54

Noticing Fixations 57

Acting Without Bias 60

Release at Inception 62

Exercises: Noticing Mental Constructions and Fixations 66

1 Observing Fixations 66

2 Fixation Dialogue 67

3 Meditation Practice 69

5 Self-Inquiry 71

The Resonant Field 73

The One Rule 74

Unfindability 79

Further Lines of Self-Inquiry 83

Exercises: Self Inquiry 86

A Few Contemplations on the Open Path 89

6 Motivation and Effortlessness 94

An Overview 94

Motivation 97

Attitude 101

Longing and Finding 103

Effortlessness 105

Conclusion 108

Exercises: Motivation and Effortlessness 110

Motivation and Attitude 110

Effortlessness 110

The River Flow Meditation 111

7 On Nonduality and Prayer 113

To Begin at the End 115

Starting Where We Are 116

Prayers of Petition 117

Indirect Benefits of a Prayerful Life 119

Prayers of Approach and Nearness 122

The Limits of Prayer 124

Learning to Pray Wisely 126

Prayers of Identity 127

Prayers of Silence 130

Exercises: On Nonduality and Prayer 132

8 The Art of Awakening 135

The Idea that Something Is Missing 136

The Art of Awakening 138

Practicing the Art 140

Conversations that Release 141

Developing a Non-Doing Contemplative Practice 144

Release at Inception 146

9 A Joyous Cosmology 152

Introduction 152

Theme I Realizing the Absence of Story 154

Theme II Experiencing the Intimacy of Openness 163

Theme III Surrendering All at Once 169

Theme IV The Joy of Unbounded Wholeness 170

10 The Ocean of Kindness 176

Immanence 178

1 Nondual Action 179

2 Equanimity 183

3 Unconditional Kindness 186

Exercise: The Ocean of Kindness 194

11 The Heart of the Matter 197

Summary, Chapters Six Through Ten 198

The Heart of the Matter 200

Falling From Heaven 204

1 Do Nothing 205

2 No Need to Know 205

3 No Subject 207

4 Listening to Listening 207

5 Pointings 209

6 Relax 209

The Invisible Offering 210

Notes 213

Bibliography 217

Gratitude to Teachers and Sources 222

Acknowledgements 224

About the Author 225

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