The "Headless" Way To Enlightenment: Douglas Harding's Enlightenment Experiments

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Douglas Harding, who lived into his 90s, spent his entire life
instructing people on how to see the utterly obvious fact that they DO NOT
have a head.
Harding said that once this fact is seen - that we have no head - then we at
the same time have the most profound insight into our true nature,
non-duality, or what many mystical and religious traditions call,
“enlightenment.”
Douglas Harding was in his mid-thirties and living in India, looking out over
the Himalayas, when he first realised that he could not find his head.
Instead, where he thought his head should be he found a boundless field of
awareness.
This awareness was utterly inclusive and not limited to the boundaries of
his body.
This was not something that he had developed or achieved.
It was rather merely the seeing of what was completely obvious and always
already the case.
It was, to quote Harding, to experience one’s self at the “zero point.” To see
clearly what one truly is: open, boundlessly inclusive, empty, awareness.

Douglas Harding’s teaching and experiments can be seen as similar to Zen
Buddhism in several ways.
Most importantly, they both emphasise the importance of direct experience
and a shift in perception that allows one to recognize the true nature.
However, there are other similarities that are important also.
In Zen Buddhism and in Douglas Harding’s teaching, there is a focus upon
cultivating non-dual awareness - an awareness that transcends the illusory
separation between self and the world.
In Zen, this is expressed as “not-two,” which very closely resembles
Harding’s idea of experiencing the world not through two eyes but through
the “single” eye.
Sitting meditation practice in Zen is called Zazen.

#zen #enlightenment #douglasharding #spirituality #nondual

Script: Matt Mackane

Edit: Harsh

Voiceover:Andrea Giordani

Score: Epidemic music x Original Music

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Category
Zen Buddhism
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