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#2804 - Tuesday, May 1, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
An Introduction to Awareness
by James M. Corrigan
Corrigan uses the language and thought structure of philosophy, yet is clear enough so that people not usually drawn to philosophical writings can understand. Corrigan is a doctoral student in philosophy at Stony Brook University in New York. He sounds like the kind of teacher you wish you had. Listen to one of his podcasts:
Corrigan's book may be ordered through Amazon at the following link:
“An Introduction to Awareness” presents a non-dualistic philosophical view of Reality that asserts
that only Awareness is real and that the whole of Reality can be conceptually thought of in terms
of immanent and transcendent aspects of Awareness. In this system Awareness is not equivalent to
consciousness; rather it is the immanent aspect of Awareness that is the presence for
consciousness, and the transcendent aspect of Reality – the existents of the world all around us –
is what consciousness is of.
In this system what is real is distinguished from that which exists by showing that everything that
we are conscious of exists but is not real since it is contingent upon the presence of awareness
for its existence. Yet this is not what it immediately seems to be, as this is not an idealism in
which the existents of the world are merely figments in our minds; rather, the existents of the
world are the pure activity of Awareness. And this includes our thoughts.
In contrast to those who hold that only the physical is real, this book shows that it is
transcendent Awareness that is the physical – the physical structures of the brain, the neurons and
the chemical and electrical signaling between synapses, the nerve impulses that accompany the
physical brushing of a hand across a surface, that hand and that surface, all of which Awareness
is. Awareness is not only the tree that bows in the wind, it is the wind, and it is the bowing. It
is the Sun pouring its heart out. Awareness is the source of its own energetic display – its
omneity. It is all these things, and the form of all of these can be perceived and described by us,
yet possibly never understood, because Awareness is beyond description – only its display, which we
can perceive and comprehend directly, is.
Rather than leading to a solipsistic account of reality in which we are each lost in our own inner
world separate from each other, it is shown through an analysis of consciousness that it is an
error on our part to conceive of Awareness as being individuated. We make that error because we
conflate the objects of consciousness – what we are conscious of – with the presumed subject of
consciousness – that which has the consciousness – within a pre-cognitive view of a materialist
form of reality consisting of separate physical things. This pre-cognitive view already shapes our
experiences, forming a world filled with separate things, including ourselves.
Proceeding from the one necessarily true and undeniable fact – that we are present to our
experiences – a new understanding of reality is developed that is neither a materialistic nor an
One of the strongest arguments against the inclusion of anything other than material substance as a
fundamental aspect of Reality is that Science is so effective in bending the world to human desires
and it seems to require Reality to be completely mechanistic and material. Yet, among the many
problems that Science has not been able to explain is how it is that we are present as an awareness
of all that which we perceive, feel, and think. It is even at a loss to explain how the intuitive
insights that drive scientific discovery arise.
Those that seek answers find themselves surrounded by the wisdom of the ages, whether mystical in
origin, insightful in nature, or blissful in practice; written down in innumerable books that are
cherished by many different traditions who argue nuances between themselves. Yet, they all tell us
the same thing: Reality is a non-dual wholeness that encompasses both awareness and being as one.
Yet, it is hard for us to see how this can be so given how we understand reality today. Today, we
see the world as science sees it, and thus the wisdom of these books remains trapped in another
time and in other cultures, and we struggle to find our own understanding of a non-dualistic
Reality that we can hardly even comprehend anymore.
Whatever helps us to find that understanding, whatever makes us fertile ground for insight,
benefits us. This book has a single purpose: to expediently loosen the hold that the Physicalist
view of a reality of separate things hanging in a void like Christmas ornaments, absent any
affective presence such as you and I are, has on our thoughts – blocking our ability to realize
Reality as it truly is. This book does this by showing how the view of Physicalism arises, pointing
out the specific errors that are made when we judge Reality to be dualistic. It shows the
perniciousness of Physicalism and how it undermines those who seek both spiritual and intellectual
insight – even those that hold to a non-dualistic conceptualization of reality, yet who, because of
the overwhelming power of our pre-cognitive worldview of a physical reality filled with separate
things, still cannot see how it is that they are not separate beings, cut-off from everything else.
Then it points to what Reality truly is, confirming the perennial wisdom of our ancestors, but in
terms that we can understand today. And it shows how science and mystical experience are both
equally possible when we have a direct insight of that true nature. How the physical and the
spiritual are not two things, as we see them today.
It is not an easy thing to change how one views the world. It is, in fact, a very difficult thing
to do – we cannot just think about it – yet each of us can accomplish the necessary insight if we
till the ground of both our heart and our mind together, ignoring neither, making our whole being
fertile for understanding to arise. This book shows how to change how we view the world and each
other in order to realize the wholeness of Reality, while still retaining the skillful means – our
technology – that the modern world has given us.
~ ~ ~
An Introduction to Awareness, by James M. Corrigan, may be ordered through Amazon at the following link:
|#2805 - Friday, May 4, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Gina Lake speaks plainly, directly, and soundly about ... whatever she talks about. In the case, or book, presented here, Gina writes about relationships. Short excerpts are included. You need to read entire chapters to see how Gina develops a point and, very simply, makes sense. Gina Lake is all about making sense in a way that sets aside the influence of conditioned ego and exposes essence of being. Gina makes practical nonduality look easy. Everyone "should" have in their library at least one book by Gina Lake. Find a title that interests you and order it.
Short Excerpts from
About who you are
The difficulty in knowing the other is misunderstanding who he or she is. We take others at their word: They tell us what they do and what they like and don’t like, and we think we know them. We think that is who they are.
So we need to get back to basics, back to the essential Self—essence—that which is behind the mask of who someone says he or she is and who we say we are. What is behind the mask is the same from one person to the next because there is only one Being here! That is the most basic truth of life: One Being is creating all of this—all of these different expressions of life. Let this sink in a moment. What would your life be like if you really took in this truth and knew it in your bones? What if you knew that the other was your very self and, moreover, that the other was the divine Self?
About a spiritual and meaningful relationship
Essence has a purpose for living this life in this costume. It is unfolding its plan through you and through this personality and body/mind. It has goals for this life, and fulfilling them will bring meaning to your life. A particular relationship either supports these goals or not. If a relationship is compatible on the personality level but not supportive of these goals, it will not be fulfilling and probably will not last, no matter how attractive or wonderful you think one another are.
Because we want love on our terms, many of us don’t find it, or what we get is a person and relationship that matches our conditioning as much as possible. This kind of relationship is not necessarily the one that will make us the happiest, oddly enough. The ego thinks it knows best about relationships and will settle for nothing less than what it wants, but what it wants is just not a good guide for happiness. This is a profound and not-so-obvious truth: What we want is not always what will make us the happiest. Following our desires is not the key to happiness. It is what we think will make us happy, but it isn’t what actually makes us happy. Happiness lies in being aligned with essence.
When you are happy just being, then you don’t need your partner to be anything for you. You don’t need anything. Then, it is possible to have a truly loving relationship, one based on celebrating the truth—the ultimately reality of who you are.
Essence doesn’t seek to change life, but it does guide it through intention, and that is very different from trying to change what is happening in the moment, which is what the ego is all about. Essence shapes the moment, but it doesn’t try to change it as it is. It rejoices in shaping it and in the result of that shaping, Essence creates life, which is an ongoing process, but it doesn’t argue or lament in what results, as the ego does. It continues to shape it and enjoys this process of creation as it does this.
We expect our true love to line up with our conditioning, but maybe our conditioning—what we like and dislike—is not a good guide for finding true love. We are so busy going after what we like and don’t like that we don’t consider that our likes and dislikes could actually be keeping us from finding a satisfying love.
We mistake our conditioning for who we are, so naturally we fight over it because it feels like we are fighting for our life. Another reason that it is difficult to ignore our conditioning is that we believe it: When we think something, because it is our thought, we believe it is right. We think our conditioning is the right conditioning and that others should be like us. Even if we aren’t under the illusion that they should be like us, we still wish they would be and try to win them over to our way of seeing or doing things.
About the ego
Differences are not inherently problematic in relationships, but the ego feels that it must do something about differences. It points them out, judges them, argues with them, attacks them, and tries to change them. Differences make the ego feel superior, inferior, defensive, frightened, or angry—not loving, kind, compassionate, or even curious. For the ego, differences stir up inner and outer conflict and plenty of feelings. This is the ego’s experience of relationships.
We learn to love by being loved, which makes us feel safe and secure enough to open our heart to another.Anything less keeps the ego on guard and defensive. Love disarms the ego like nothing else. It breaks through the egoic state of consciousness and evokes love in us, which brings us into alignment with essence, where we can more easily express the qualities of essence: love, peace, joy, serenity, happiness, kindness, compassion, patience, and fortitude, to name a few. That is why love is the greatest gift you can give another. It is the gift that allows others to relax and return to essence and the true happiness and peace that is our birthright.
Love is the recognition of the divine Self in another. It is the ability to see beyond (or behind) the egoic mask to the real Self, which is exquisitely lovable and which evokes love in others. All of the qualities that you love in another are qualities of the divine Self, of essence: compassion, understanding, wisdom, kindness, love, patience, and inner strength. These are not qualities of the ego, which is innately self-centered and focused on its needs. Is it any wonder that when we are identified with the ego, we don’t feel very loveable? The ego is not very lovable, but essence is, and from essence, even the ego is lovable.
Love is not about needs but about seeing beyond your conditioned needs and desires to the essence of the other person and sharing at that level. Essence’s purpose in relationships is to experience Oneness with another—to experience love. It has no other purpose. It is not trying to get anything from the other. It is just happy to be with the other and celebrate that beingness together.
As long as you believe that you are your self image and that others are their self image or your image of them, you will find it difficult to have relationships. From the level of ego, relationships boil down to a struggle to change others and get your needs met. For the ego, relationships, like everything else, are all about me and what’s in it for me. What happens when you have two people trying to have a relationship with this as the basis? No one is happy. No one gets what they want because getting what you want misses the point.
It is possible to have a real relationship with someone—a relationship between what is Real in someone and Real in another. This is the ideal in relationship—not finding an ideal partner who will meet your every need but being the ideal partner by being the expression of loving kindness that you always wanted and that you have always been. You do this by being aligned with essence, your true self.
About the personality
We are told to look beyond appearances, but even then, we often just see the personality. How people behave and react—their personality—is still part of the costume. The personality has no more depth or significance in terms of who they are than their physical appearance. We think we are being less superficial by loving people for their personality rather than their appearance, but the personality is just more programming. People have no more control over it than they do over their appearance.
Judgment is the easiest thing to do because it is the most natural thing for the ego. It is also easy because judgment is based on differences, and differences are everywhere. Life doesn’t duplicate itself, so everything and everyone is an opportunity for the ego to judge.
Judgment undermines relationship little by little or more quickly, but the result is the same—the demise of the relationship. A little bit of ongoing judgment is just as bad as a lot of it because, over time, it is enough to kill a relationship. Judgment is more pernicious than we would like to think. It seems rather innocuous in minor doses or over small matters, but like poison, a little is enough to kill.
About changing your partner
It is not your partner’s responsibility to change just because you have conditioning that demands that. Your wanting your partner to change is not enough reason for him or her to change. If you want a loving relationship, you have to take responsibility for your conditioning and the feelings generated by it and choose to give up your judgments and attempts to change your partner. When you do this, you will discover what true love is because your partner will love you for being so loving, accepting, and allowing. There is nothing that opens someone’s heart more than someone with an open heart.
Nothing is ever lost in choosing love. Your judgments never worked anyway. They only created anger, hurt, and separation. When you see the truth of this, it becomes much easier to choose love over judgment.
About falling in love
The feeling of attraction is not love. Attraction is just tied to a feeling of love, and it is a conditioned response, not real love. The feeling of love (attraction) is just masquerading as real love. This is why you can fall in love with someone you don’t even know: Falling in love is a feeling of attraction that gets triggered by something about the partner. It is a conditioned response.
We believe that fulfillment is possible through sex. This is a deeply conditioned misunderstanding. Sex cannot fulfill you anymore than Twinkies can. Sex is a pleasurable experience. We give it far too much weight and importance. We think that good sex will fulfill us and make us happy and make our relationship wonderful. Sex doesn’t have that much power. It is a passing pleasure. Our conditioning around relationships makes sex seem to be the key to happiness in relationships, and it is not.
The only fulfillment sex is capable of is momentary fulfillment by being fully present to it in the moment. The same could be said for any pleasure or anything of a passing nature: It has the potential to be fulfilling in that moment if you are present to it, but it is not going to fulfill you because this you (the ego) can never be fulfilled because it is not its nature to be fulfilled but to be dissatisfied.
It is good to notice that fantasies, by definition, do not match reality. They are therefore very poor guides for choosing a mate. However, we are programmed to think otherwise. We really believe that our fantasies indicate the kind of person we will be happiest with. Life has a plan for your happiness, and it isn’t given to you by way of your fantasies. It is given to you by way of real life: Life brings you the man or woman it intends for you.
About experiencing Oneness with another
The way out of the egoic state of consciousness and into essence is not a hard road after all. All it takes is paying attention to the love, joy, peace, contentment, compassion, wisdom, and happiness that are already here in this moment. Can you feel them—any of them—even just a little? That is your doorway into essence. Even a sliver of love or peace or joy can take you there. This is also the answer to finding love in relationship: Notice the love that is there and not the other person’s persona, words, or actions.
You are here to find love, not just for yourself but for the divine Self, which has been hiding it from you in this world of form just so that you could have the pleasure and amazement of discovering it in the simple quiet of this moment and in your beloved’s eyes.
Read more excerpts, order books, find out about consultations: http://radicalhappiness.com/
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm
Nondual Highlights Issue #2806, Saturday, May 5, 2007
To do whatever is required of you in any situation without it becoming a role that you identify with is an essential lesson in the art of living that each one of us is here to learn.
- Eckhart Tolle, excerpted from: A New Earth, posted to TheNow2
Earnestness is not a yearning for the fruits of one's endeavors. It is an expression of an inner shift of interest away from the false, the unessential, the personal.
- Nisargadatta, posted to TheNow2
The one who could effort is this silly king marching around thinking that he has birthed the world and birthed a life. Ha! It’s simply telling and noticing the truth. That we never ever were in charge or making any of this happen. Let's look inside and find this one who's making your life happen. I can’t find anyone either. And yet, I’m going to make it happen. So it’s simply noticing in every moment our foolishness, that we could ever have stolen the crown, this little me, and thought we had anything to do with anything. We are here for the ride. The mind will argue and will find plenty of evidence in its self-created world of not-enough-ness, surrounded by enough-ness, it will create and point to the evidence of the not-enough ness in its own little created world. And underneath that always, everything unfolding, moving, and you watch. So you can just kiss that sweet, chattering, over-responsible mind, just kiss it until it’s so crazy, you know like when you have a child that’s getting very serious about something, a thousand and kisses over its face and head and it forgets what it was so serious about, this is the treatment we can give the mind. Cutie pie thanks for your suggestions, lovie duck, thank you so much for all your efforts on behalf of survival. Mama’s here now sweetheart, take your nap.
- Jeannie Zandi
Do your work in the world, but inwardly keep quiet. Then all will come to you. Do not rely on your work for realization. It may profit others, but not you. Your hope lies in keeping silent in your mind and quiet in your heart. Realized people are very quiet.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj, from I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaji, posted to AlongTheWay
A true spiritual teacher does not have anything to teach in the conventional sense of the word, does not have anything to give or add to you, such as new information, beliefs, or rules of conduct.
The only function of such a teacher - or of their writings - is to help you remove that which separates you from the truth of who you already are and what you already know in the depth of your being. The spiritual teacher is there to uncover and reveal to you that dimension of inner depth that is also peace.
The words are no more than signposts. That to which they point is not to be found within the realm of thought, but in a dimension within yourself that is deeper and infinitely vaster than thought.
A vibrantly alive peace is one of the characteristics of that dimension, so whenever you feel inner peace arising as you attend, the words are doing their work and fulfilling their function as your teacher: they are reminding you of who you are and pointing the way back home.
- Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks (Introduction), posted to TheNow2
These sayings of mine are really a call to God,
words to lure the breath of that sweet One.
How can you be silent? How can you fail to call,
knowing He always answers, "Here I am!"
that silent answer you feel from head to toe.
- Rumi, Mathnawi II:1189-1191, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski, Rumi: Daylight
#2807 - Sunday, May 6, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Today we are going tubing for some fantastic music and videos,
so hang on. Or keep this one for when you have some time, truly
all are very worthwhile.
(In case you are new to this, you can make the video full screen
by clicking on the small square in bottom right hand corner of video.)
You are truth from foot to brow.
Now what else would you like to know?
With some realization comes imperceptibly,
but somehow they need convincing.
They have changed, but they do not notice it.
Such non-spectacular cases are often the most reliable.
Mark Scorelle posted to Wisdom-l
Since the seed does not contain anything other than the seed,
even the flowers and the fruits are of the same nature as the seed:
the substance of the seed is the substance of subsequent effects, too.
Even so, the homogenous mass of cosmic consciousness does not give
rise to anything other than what it is in essence.
When this truth is realized, duality ceases.
-- Yoga Vasishtha
From "Teachings of the Hindu Mystics," © 2001 by Andrew Harvey
The Choral Symphony, including "Ode to Joy," was Ludwig van Beethoven's ninth and final symphony. When it premiered in Vienna on this date in 1824, Beethoven himself co-conducted the orchestra and chorus. He was already deaf by this time, and witnesses to the event reported that Beethoven — apparently several measures behind the performance — continued conducting the piece even after it was completed, not stopping until a singer turned him around so he could see the audience on its feet, thunderously applauding.
Quote: "Everything will pass and the world will perish, but the Ninth Symphony will remain." — Mikhail Bakunin
The understanding that everything is illusive is not the final
one. It is an essential stage but only a stage. Ultimately you will
understand that the form and separateness of a thing are illusory, but
the thing-in-itself is not. That out of which these forms appear is
not different from them, hence Reality is one and the same in all
things. This is the paradox of life and a sharp mind is needed to
perceive it. However, to bring beginners out of their earthly
attachments, we have to teach first the illusoriness of the world, and
then raise them to a higher level of understanding and show that the
world is not apart from the Real. That Thou Art unifies everything in
essence. But this final realization cannot be got by stilling the
mind, only by awakening it into full vigour again after yogic peace
has been attained and then letting its activity cease of its own
accord when thought merges voluntarily into insight. When that is
done, you know the limitations of both yoga and enquiry as successive
stages. Whoever realizes this truth does not divorce from matter--as
most yogis do--but realizes non-difference from it. Hence we call this
highest path the "yoga of nonduality." But to reach it one has to pass
through the "yoga of philosophical knowledge."
— Notebooks Category 25: World-Mind in Individual Mind > Chapter
2: Enlightenment Which Stays > # 116
Mark Scorelle posted to Wisdom-l
Ben Hassine on GardenMystics
Shortcut to Nirvana
I loved it too, Aum Shanti - Did you happen to see the movie - Shortcut to Nirvana - Aum Shanti had the feeling of that movie - here is a link below. When I read online about Shortcut to Nirvana, I wanted to see it so I emailed the director if he knew if he was coming to MN. It turned out that about 6 months later he would be there. He had no one in particular to hook up with in MN so we planned to meet. I brought my very good sadhana buddy ( for her birthday) and my sangham of about 7 of us and we met with him after the movie for dinner. The director is Italian and spoke for about 15 minutes before the move began which competed with the movie - he was such a complete delight, with his accent, telling how he payed for the movie with $60,000 of credit cards, a story of going for the gusto. His arms and hands doing as much as his mouth.
Here's the link to the trailer: http://melafilms.com/pages/trailer_qt6.html
by Susan Lucey on GardenMystics
by Ben Hassine on Garden Mystics
New Milarepa Movie
Milarepa depicts the humble beginnings of the man who was to become Tibet's greatest saint.
A true story based on centuries-old oral traditions, a youthful Milarepa is propelled into a world of sorrow and betrayal after his father's sudden death. Destitute and hopeless,he sets out to learn black magic - and exact revenge on his enemies - encountering magicians, demons, an enigmatic teacher and unexpected mystical power along the way. But it is in confrontation with the consequences of his anger that he learns the most.
Photographed in the stunning Lahaul-Spiti region of Northern India, Milarepa offers a provocative parallel to the cycle of violence and retribution we see consuming today's world.
see trailer here:
by Susan Lucey on GardenMystics
|#2808 - Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday, May 7-8-9, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
This is a GIANT three-day issue. Some really nice things in here. Thanks to all the gifted contributors ... and readers!
And The Soul Moves
The soul moves and the ego has to follow. Christ moved and Jesus had
to follow; that is the crucifixion road for the ego. It never wants to
go, but if it was in the lead, nothing meaningful would ever happen.
I remember when my ego tried to wiggle out of its promises to take
care of a dying husband. It was so tired and angry and broken. It only
wanted someone to care for it, to say "there, there." It didn't happen
that way until the very end and it was soul that spoke to me.
Soul is still speaking and darned if it doesn't speak in silence. It
has no words with which to motivate me; it has no physical eyes to
penetrate my thick defenses. No, it manages to push me off cliffs of
courage that I would never set one foot upon. It is that determined to
break the mold called "me." So far it has not succeeded. But soul
never gives up. It calls to us in the dead of winter, when the blinds
are drawn and blankets muffle our shivering bones. "Draw back," the
ego calls, "draw back. Something awesome is upon us."
The spiritual journey is into the desert and into the tiger's mouth of
the absolute. The partial does no good when life and death hang in the
balance. It is one or the other; take your choice. And no one cares or
sees that you are being called to take up your cross. It doesn't
matter; you must go. The ego's fifteen minutes will soon be up.
And then the silence fructifies not crucifies. The desert in blossom
is the soul being raised the third day. Not into fame but into
glory...not into high noon but into the timeless. Not into fortune
but into love. Everything you have ever done in your life is consumed
in the firepit of compassion...forgotten and hallowed, forgiven and
consoled. This I have heard. And yet the soul that moves the ego into
death is not proud but determined. It will have its way. And the soul
moves and the ego is no more.
Peter Fenner's Radiant Mind:
Several videos with Peter Fenner on YouTube. Here is one: http://youtube.com/watch?v=rSWd-R1117s
I hear Radiant Mind is a very good program that lasts nine months in its formal aspect. The people that go through the course stay in touch afterward. There is also a teacher's training program for Radiant Mind graduates. There is a three day introduction to Radiant Mind in Montclair, New Jersey (near NYC) next weekend. Details below:
INTRODUCTION TO RADIANT MIND IN NEW YORK CITY AREA
with Michael Shandler
In order to give people an opportunity to experience the core principles and practices of Radiant Mind we have designed a THREE DAY INTRODUCTION TO RADIANT MIND.
The INTRODUCTION TO RADIANT MIND workshop explores the experience of intrinsic freedom: the state in which we are aware, relaxed and able to fully embrace all experiences, emotions and thoughts without distortion or the need to escape them. Themes will include:
• Bridging the Conditioned and Unconditioned Mind.
• Simply Sitting: the Art of Natural Meditation.
• Non-dual Contemplation: Sitting in Presence, favoring neither speech nor silence.
• Understanding Core Fixations and Primary Biases: How we distort experience and perpetuate suffering.
• Expanding the Preference Bandwidth.
• Deconstructive Conversations and Meditative Inquiry
“I wholeheartedly recommend these workshops to you. In these workshops, Michael Shandler will lead you directly into the experience of Radiant Mind and offer you opportunities to directly explore several key principles and practices of the 9 month Radiant Mind Course.” Peter Fenner
Fees: $300 USD
- Montclair, New Jersey May 18 - 20, 2007
The workshop is limited to 15 students. In order to reserve your spot, please send a
deposit of $150 to The Yoga and Meditaton Center of Montclair, 9 Patton Pl., Montclair, NJ 07043. Questions? Call 973-746-6707. For more information and registration details click here http://www.radiantmind.net/introduction_rm_michael_s.htm
It was a jealous God who split us
like unknown shores and intimate skies
dark with clouds,
thick with the music of Thunder,
the crescendo of human bodies
under an Acacia tree,
we are hungry,
we are pregnant with Silence.
|From Autumn's Infinite Blog: http://geocities.com/autumnantal/infiniteblog.html
|[You are the love you seek.] Advaita is the Sanskrit word for non-dual. Dance with the paradox! Many wicks ~ ONE flame.
Entry for May 8, 2007
"Vashisht, India is famous for its hot sulfur springs. Inside the grounds of the Vasistha Temple there are two hot spring pools that are free. They can get a bit dirty.
There are also clean hot springs at the Hot Bath Complex about a ten-minute walk from the downtown, going towards Manali. There are private baths here for Rs 35 a person for 30 minutes. The springs are supposed to have good health benefits, and they certainly feel good. Open 7 am to 1 pm and 2 to 9 pm."
The above is the "after" the bath snap..."before" was not so pretty! All I can say is that after a week of train, bus and autorickshaw rides; hotels that promised hot water, only to offer a bucket full, this abundant use of water almost seemed obscene...almost! Being led to the feet of Vashista Rishi in 1988 has come full circle at the feet of Shri Anandi Ma this past March. Ma is the lineage holder of shaktipat given to Lord Rama by his Guru, Vashista Rishi. www.dyc.org
Crow spoke to me this morning
May your fields be blessed
May your home be bright
and free of darkness
May your body be bright
and full of life
The leaf falls
Does that make the tree
less than it is
So shall you drop many
bodies on your way
You are never less than you are — Infinite possibility.
Spent Sunday at a wonderful Peace Powwow in San Juan Bautista, CA. Still under the influence of the drums and beings encountered!
AMMA is coming to San Ramon, CA ashram June 5, 2007. Visit www.amma.org for Her schedule.
SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR will be in Pomona, CA for Guru Purnima July 22-29, 2007. Visit www.artofliving.org for all the details.
anabebe57 sends the following:
Forwarded from ChristianDruids group:
What a great story...
Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal
by Naomi Shihab Nye
After learning my flight was detained 4 hours, I heard the announcement: If anyone in the vicinity
of gate 4-A understands any Arabic, Please come to the gate immediately.
Well -- one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there. An older woman in full
traditional Palestinian dress, just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing
loudly. Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her problem? We told her the
flight was going to be four hours late and she did this.
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly. Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani
schway, min fadlick, Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew -- however poorly used - She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been cancelled entirely. She needed to be in El Paso for some major
medical treatment the following day. I said no, no, we're fine, you'll get there, just late.
Who is picking you up? Let's call him and tell him. We called her son and I spoke with him in
English. I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and would ride next to
her -- Southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and found out of course they had
ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian Poets I know and let them chat
with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering Questions.
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies -- little powdered sugar crumbly mounds stuffed
with dates and nuts -- out of her bag -- and was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a Sacrament. The traveler from
Argentina, the traveler from California, The lovely woman from Laredo -- we were all covered with
the same Powdered Sugar. And smiling. There is no better cookie.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers -- non-alcoholic -- and the two
little girls for our flight, one African American, one Mexican American -- ran around serving us
all apple juice and lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend -- by now we were holding hands -- had a potted plant poking out
of her bag, some medicinal thing with green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought, This is the world I want to live
in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate -- once the crying of confusion stopped -- has seemed apprehensive
about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too. This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost.
|#2809 - Thursday, May 10, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Three stories from the newspapers.
Dvaita or Advaita, Take Your Pick
4 May, 2007
As children, we are taught to pray to the Absolute called God. We are told that He alone is
independent and all else is dependent on Him. We are subtly imparted the realist view that a
fundamental difference exists between the individual self and the ultimate reality.
The dependent reality, which consists of our souls, other inanimate objects and the universe
itself, is a real creation of that Supreme Being. The plurality of souls is bound due to
beginning-less ignorance, and perseverance through devotion to the Supreme Being is the only way to
be released from this bondage. Through just devotion to the Supreme Being, we can get released from
this bondage and attain a place at His lotus feet.
There are others who claim that only the ultimate is real, everything else is deceptive. According
to them, there is no difference between the self and that ultimate. This means that the final
reality is nothing but our own self. We are deluded to believe that there are other entities apart
from us. That is so frightening. We suddenly become so lonely. All our relations and associations
are nullified. Our emotions freeze and we have no one to give us a shoulder.
However, when we are in a dream-state, don't we perceive the happenings in the dream as real? Only
when we awake, do we realise that it was only a dream. If we can accept our nightmares as
illusions, why are we so frightened to accept life itself as an illusion? This does not mean that
we deny the reality of life. We are denying it only at a level, when we understand ultimate
reality. We would understand that reality only when we cleanse ourselves of our actions.
In a dark room a slippery rope can be imagined to be a snake. Wouldn't that make our hair stand on
end? Only when there is light we understand that we had mistaken the rope to be a snake. So, in the
dark, we become genuinely scared of the snake, even though in reality it does not exist. In the
same way, although we go about our daily routines in life, once we apprehend the highest truth
through the washing away of our negative actions, we will realise that what we are going through is
just an illusion.
Subsequently, all relationships, of father and mother, husband and wife, employer and employee,
humans and animals, bird and tree, become mere constructs of our ignorance. If that is the case,
why do we feel for things — emoting love, hate, jealousy and anger? If there is no entity apart
from us, there is indeed nothing to be feared. The reality then is so serene and beautiful. Just
What then is more appealing to the human mind — the absolute as an independent reality distinct
from the dependent, individual reality or the absolute as a single and all-encompassing entity?
These two streams of thoughts are the most important philosophies inspired by Vedanta.
The first, emphasising the duality of the individual soul and the Supreme Being is called Dvaita
Vedanta. The second that postulates that the individual soul is the same as the Supreme Being is
Advaita Vedanta. They are such enchanting ideas that it becomes very difficult to say conclusively
that one is more appealing than the other.
Perhaps, even the great saint-poet Tyagaraja was mystified by this very dilemma, which is why he
sang, "Dvaitamu sukhama, advaitamu sukhama..."
Jerusalem in Benares
by Nathan Katz
Professor Sharma kindly invited us for dinner in his home. As the BHU campus is a long way from the
city, he recommended we hire a cycle rickshaw and have the driver wait while we spent the evening
with his family. It might not be easy to find a rickshaw for the return journey, he explained. We
had a tasty vegetarian meal and delightful conversation. But what struck both of us was how
Professor Sharma treated the rickshaw driver. One might expect a Brahmin to hardly even notice a
rickshawallah, a low caste person. Because it was so in variance with what we thought we knew of
Indian society, the kindness with which Professor Sharma brought out dinner for the rickshawallah
was striking. Speaking softly and most courteously, the professor looked after the rickshawallah,
making sure he had enough food and was comfortable. This menial was treated as a guest, and I knew
beyond any doubt that Hinduism teaches a way of being in the world that is consonant with the
biblical principle that we humans are all created b’tselem Elokim, in the image of G-d. Whatever we
may think of her more mundane religious practices, it cannot be denied that Hinduism creates a
cultured human whose actions honor both humans and our Creator.
A Seminar at BHU (Benares Hindu University)
Professor Sharma’s predecessor as Head of BHU’s Department of Philosophy was T.R.V. Murti, one of
the most highly regarded academic philosophers of twentieth-century India. And like Professor
Sharma, Professor Murti was a cultured Brahmin, a human of vast heart to complement a forceful
intellect. Professor Murti was also the dissertation director of my dissertation director at Temple
University, Bibhuti S. Yadav. So according to both Hindu and academic tradition, Professor Murti
was my grandfather.
Murti’s scholarship concentrated on India’s non-dual tradition known as Advaita Vedanta. Advaita is
a thread within the esoteric textual tradition known as Vedanta, based on the Upanishads, some of
the most elevated and inspiring works of literature in human history. As Kosti, the old Polish coal
miner, said incredulously to Larry Darrell in W. Somerset Maughm’s The Razor’s Edge, a favorite
novel of mine, “You’ve never read the Upanishads? You don’t know so much. You really don’t know
anything, do you?” I agree with this sentiment entirely, and I repeat it to my students more often
than they care to hear. One simply isn’t educated until one has seriously studied this masterpiece.
Advaita is codified in the writings of the eighth-century philosopher-saint Shankara, arguably the
greatest Indian thinker of all time. It is a strict monism, or non-dualism. The universal essence
known as Brahman is identical to the essence of the individual, or Atman. Tat tvam asi, “That are
Thou,” is the dictum of the Upanishads, and the everyday experience of duality is our own
imposition on Reality, a limitation of the Infinite, a magical display known as Maya. “Truth is at
the back of things,” say the sages, and meditation when coupled with a life of study and virtuous
conduct can lead one to the transformative experience of Oneness. This experience is known as
moksha (liberation), or nirvana (enlightenment).
To read Shankara’s texts with a master is to bathe oneself in the purest mystical philosophy; it is
inspiring, elegant, beautiful not only for the language and ideas themselves, but for where those
words and thoughts transport the student. To have read these jewels with Professor Murti is one of
the great intellectual intoxications of my life.
It really wasn’t so surprising, then, when a foreign Christian student at BHU got carried away. He
came to Murti with great emotion, and told his teacher that he was so taken with Advaita that he
wanted to convert to Hinduism to follow it as his life’s mission.
It was the only time this student, or any of Murti’s students, had seen the professor become angry.
“If you think you should convert to Hinduism,” he told him, “then you have utterly misunderstood
everything I have been trying to teach. You insult both Hinduism and your own Christianity.” With
angry gesture he dismissed the crestfallen student and never spoke to him again.
I sympathize with both the student and the professor. The student fully expected to be embraced
into Hinduism just as one born Hindu might be welcomed should he decide to become Christian. This
view is part and parcel of the student’s religious worldview. But just as foundationally, the
professor saw Advaita as a way of understanding a religion and not a religion in itself. Therefore,
a Christian who appreciates non-dualism should bring that understanding to his Christianity.
For traditional Hindu and Buddhist teachers, religion is not a banner or an allegiance. It is a way
of improving people, of enhancing compassion and wisdom. To switch religions is impossible because
one is born into a society and a family for important reasons, and the anguish a conversion would
cause to one’s own community is utterly, thoroughly unjustifiable and ultimately selfish.
In this spirit, the fourth-century Hindu lawgiver, Manu, wrote that to desire another person’s
religion is a sin akin to adultery: lusting after something that is not properly one’s own.
Therefore, Manu concluded, the wise king must outlaw conversion as a prerequisite for social and
Manu’s view is also rooted in the unshakeable Hindu conviction that all religions are paths leading
to the same goal. Metaphors to make this point abound, but it is a cultural bedrock assumption in
India, and it gently challenges an equally bedrock assumption of most of the Western world, that
religions are by nature competitive and truth must reside in one, but not all. Conversions are
celebrated as triumphs, the heartbreak caused to families and disruption to society be damned.
I was searching for news stories mentioning Jack Kerouac, and found this one. Has nothing to do with Jack Kerouac. Or maybe it does.
Even the oddest of jobs never bothered him
By Albert McKeon
Telegraph StaffNASHUA – Bob Whalen had a hard life. He couldn’t keep pace with evolutions in technology and had to scratch out an existence through menial jobs.
Still, Bob Whalen had a good life. He savored the work that others had spurned – including a sometimes thankless gig as a street-side Uncle Sam – and made the most of the little he had.
The 60-year-old died last weekend, his heart finally failing to keep pace with his ideals.
“He was struggling. Absolutely,” his sister Lori Whalen MacKenzie said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
“The truth of it is he had technical skills that were useful in the past, but when the computer revolution came along, he became outdated. He couldn’t keep up with the work force. He found odd jobs to make a living.
“But the neat thing about him was it was always an honest living. He would do things people would turn their nose on. He did it with pride.”
Bob Whalen’s most recent job, before his health dipped sharply in February, required him to don a top hat, long coat and baggy pants festooned with red, white and blue. He was Uncle Sam.
For three straight winters – braving cold winds and splashes of slush from passing tires – Whalen practiced his trade on a small sector of concrete between a Main Street sidewalk and a parking spot in front of his employer, Liberty Tax Service.
He greeted all who passed in car and on foot. He acknowledged obscene gestures and sayings with smiles and waves.
No one likes to be reminded of an approaching tax filing deadline, especially by a man dressed in a costume. But Whalen held the belief that if in some small way he could recall the spirit of Uncle Sam, this flash of patriotism would inspire people to take their tax obligations seriously – and perhaps step inside and conduct some business.
“It’s a very difficult position,” Liberty Tax Service owner Rich Kerouac said. “People get tired of it. It’s not a job a whole lot of people like to do, but Bob had a lot of enthusiasm.”
Kerouac remembered Whalen stopping by in January 2006 to eagerly ask when he could resume his seasonal work. “He didn’t have a goatee in the off season,” Kerouac said. “But he’d grow it to do the Uncle Sam thing. It lent him an air of authenticity.”
With a Telegraph reporter by his side on April 15, 2005 – the deadline for filing tax returns – Whalen empathized with a man who yelled from his truck a vulgar phrase that would be anatomically impossible to perform.
“I’m not too keen on the U.S. government, either,” Whalen said. “I’m a patriot. I love this country. I just can’t believe we’ve done wrong over the years.”
He believed the government robbed the American Indians of their land and has continued to wrong citizens.
Whalen acted with compassion and generosity, his sister said. He didn’t hesitate to help someone with a heavy package or give a ride to the most unseemly hitchhiker, she said.
Whalen MacKenzie took her brother into her Conway home 12 years ago. He had arrived from New Jersey broke, divorced and without hope of re-establishing employment in his profession.
The printing presses that he could rebuild from scratch had all slowly become digitally integrated, and the market itself shrunk, his sister said. First, his longtime employer in New Jersey, Rutherford Machinery, closed its doors, and soon other companies across the country no longer contracted Whalen to fly in and repair their machinery, she said.
“I asked him if he wanted to move back to New Jersey,” Whalen MacKenzie said. “He said, ‘No, I have friends up here now.’ He fell in love with New Hampshire.”
Whalen took on a variety of unglamorous and low-paying jobs once he settled in the Granite State. He worked for construction crews, factories and telemarketing firms. He sold food at Holman Stadium.
“Whatever he could find,” his sister said. “He would never ask for help until the last minute. He tried to stay independent as long as he could.”
Whalen never complained about his inability to land a steady paycheck and put a positive spin on his station in life, she said.
He was intelligent but never flaunted his book smarts, she said. He once turned down an offer to join Mensa International – the high-IQ society – because he thought its members were boring, she said.
Whalen MacKenzie last saw her brother not long ago. He visited her Conway home, and she brought him to an L.L. Bean store so he could return a pair of slippers.
His brother Ken had given him money for the slippers, but they didn’t fit. Whalen got another pair that was $10 cheaper. His sister encouraged him to buy something else, but he insisted he would mail his brother the money.
“He told me that extra 10 dollars wouldn’t be right,” Whalen MacKenzie said. “He gave it back to Ken. He was very satisfied with what he had in life. He never wanted any more. His spirit couldn’t be crushed.”
Whalen leaves behind a 25-year-old son, Richard, and three younger siblings. He will be cremated, and a service will be held later in his native New Jersey.
He wished for his ashes to be spread in Ireland and Germany to honor his Irish-German descent, but his family is unsure if they’ll be able to meet his request.
“Longevity is not big in our family,” his sister said. “I think he knew that and tried to cram as much living in the years God gave him.”
|#2810 - Friday, May 11, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Three articles: an introduction to an email forum on practical/mystical noduality; an excerpt from a new book of Nisargadatta's talks; an entry from James Ford's blog. Ford is a Unitarian Universalist minister.
A review of posts tells me this list is about practical/mystical nonduality. There is channeled literature, ways of manifesting things in reality, revelations regarding occult evolution, all with a grounding in nondual knowledge. The list description says:
Compassion on Earth by 2012. Compassion Frequency = 13 Hz = 13 cycles per second. Celebrating the Mighty "I AM PRESENCE" IN ALL OF US. Namaste means I greet the "I AM PRESENCE" in you.
Here is an excerpt from Gleanings from Nisargadatta, by Mark West, from talks given during 1976-1977. Mark's introduction, the afterword, and interviews with Mark make the book more personal to the reader, give the dimension of storytelling and human interest. The chapters are brief, a page or so, and each one sets forth the teaching of Nisargadatta, the teaching of nonduality, in a different way. A slim and valuable volume that is not well known.
The book may be ordered from
1977, April 22
Whatever you "are not" (body, mind, intellect, etc.), you have accepted and actually stolen as reality and because of this, there is some fear. However, when you know for certain your true state, you will be able to move about anywhere without fear. If you can really and truly see yourself as you are, then there is no more fear of death or anything else.
Whatever you have (and you have a type of false courage), you say "my body, my mind", etc., but in reality they are not yours at all. You have claimed ownership of things which are not truly yours. You are at all times different from these things. In the dream-state someone says something to you or tells you something, but neither the person who tells you nor the person who listens is real, for both are in the dream only. That is exactly the situation here with us at the moment. I am the teacher and you are the listener, but this is so only in dreams or illusion. When you awaken fully, there is neither teacher nor taught.
Once I have realized the nature of this consciousness of I am, how it has appeared on my true state and that it is truly only an illusory thing ... when I have fully known and realized this, then the consciousness of I am (within which is contained the vast universe), dissolves or merges into Me. In the light of this consciousness of I am, this vast universe if formed, but the light of this "I" consciousness is nothing but a reflection of the light of the true state or Reality.
The consciousness of I am is the world, and there is nothing wrong in seeing or witnessing this world. The mistake comes in only when you take it to be real, as we almost all wrongly do. After you emerge into the waking-state from the dream-state, you automatically negate the dream and say it was unreal, it was only a dream. Similarly with this waking-state in which we perceive this vast universe with all its stars and planets, etc., it is also only a dream, so I say, awaken to you own Reality. Wake up! Stop dreaming, that is all.
This world has truly never existed at any time, whatsoever, it was never really created, it is a dream! So know this, realize this only! That is all. Once you fully imbibe this understanding, nothing more is necessary, and no more questions or doubts can or will possibly arise. Can anything be so simple, yet so sublime?
Satya Sai Baba says that he is an incarnation of a certain earlier Sai Baba of Shirdi, and he says that he has come to redeem the world, and so I respect him for this, but I know my true nature or position in which there is no world to redeem.
He has come to redeem an illusory world, so I say good luck to him; in that sense I respect him. So ultimately we here discussing things that have never happened.
Gleanings from Nisargadatta, by Mark West
Between these my life flows
So, there I was, at the culmination of the whole trip, my former intern Chris Bell's installation as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Santa Rosa, the congregation I was a member of when I went off to seminary. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge in the ensuing twenty years. Among other things they sold the old building and have purchased a movie theatre right in the middle of thedowntown – a courageous act considering our Western UU style of going for putting our churches in the beautiful grove at the end of a long and winding road somewhere in the countryside. They've done a very good job of making the old theatre into a sacred space, and it was obvious to me that with just a little time it will be something very special for the congregation and for the larger community.
Among the dignitaries there was Santa Rosa's mayor who expressed the city's gratitude for this commitment that the congregation has made to being a presence within the city. There were various speakers, some quite inspired. Probably my favorite, certainly the one whose words I most clearly recall was the UU minister of our Sacramento congregation Doug Kraft. He gave the charge to the minister, both humorous and deadly serious all at the same time. He framed it within a reflection from a twentieth century Hindu teacher, Nisargadatta Maharaj who said: "Wisdom says I am nothing. Love says I am everything. Between the two, my life flows."
I found those words taking my breath away. I felt it was the most eloquent "elevator speech" any UU could hope for. "Wisdom says I am nothing." Unitarianism, with its relentless analysis, mostly intellectual, but also ever offering the opportunity to take the mind to its greatest depths: toward a glowing no-thing, a non-dual encounter with what is. This is wisdom as I understand it. But right on that, the assertion of the heart, the Universalist way of deepest reconciliation: "Love says I am everything." Here reality as love asserts itself, that sense of something larger within which we all rest. It is the other classic way of our liberal religious inheritance.
Then, following close upon these assertions, the major invitation, what can really be, if we're willing to let it, to be our contemporary spiritual path: "Between the two, my life flows." I felt inspired. The service ended, I could only stay a little while as I had to drive down to Oakland from which I would leave quite early the next morning. But I got lots of kisses and hugs.
Rita and Chris stayed for another hour or so, packed up the family and returned home. Chris had a call waiting for him. His father who was at dinner in Ohio at about the same time as the installation service was going, was stricken with a massive heart attack and died. Chris had to fly out to Cleveland at the same time I flew home. We were able to speak briefly while I was at the Oakland airport and heat the San Francisco airport. He's doing as well as one can hope under such circumstances.
But I'm glad he had those words to carry with him on that lonely flight to Ohio.
Wisdom says I am nothing.
Love says Iam everything.
Between the two, my life flows.
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm
Nondual Highlights Issue #2810, Saturday, May 12, 2007
Personal identity is nothing more than an identification between the mind and the image which it has about itself, an image which is really an abstract of memories of events in the past. Indeed, it is this censored and edited imaginary abstract that is considered to be an individual!
- Ramesh S. Balsekar, posted to AlongTheWay
Ram Tzu knows this -
You are perfect.
Your every defect
is perfectly defined.
Your every blemish
is perfectly placed.
Your every absurd action
is perfectly timed.
Only God could make
Something this ridiculous
- Ram Tzu, from No Way for the Spiritually "Advanced", posted to AlongTheWay
There is a great momentum of suffering and confusion that every spiritual seeker encounters. It is the momentum of ignorance which manifests as the experience of conflict and confusion and which causes suffering.
In order to discover the perspective of Liberation, which alone transcends this entire movement of ignorance and suffering, one needs to let everything end.
"Letting everything end" means to stand in the moment completely naked of attachment to any and all ideas, concepts, hopes, preferences, and experiences. Simply put, it means to stop strategizing, controlling, manipulating, and running away from yourself -- and to simply be.
Finally you must let everything end and be still. In letting everything end, all seeking and striving stops. All effort to be someone or to find some extraordinary state of being ceases. This ceasing is essential. It is true spiritual maturity.
By ceasing to follow the mind's tendency to always want 'more', 'different', or 'better', one encounters the opportunity to be still.
In being still, a perspective is revealed which is free from all ignorance and bondage to suffering.
From that perspective, eternal Self is realized. The eternal Self, the Seer, is recognized to be one's true nature, one's very own Self.
- Adyashanti, posted to Adyashantigroup
It All Comes Together
It all comes together in this one moment,
this one moment,
pure of intention,
..... is in Love
- Anna Ruiz, posted to NondualitySalon
All the buddhas say the cause for the completion
Of the collections, whose nature is
Merit and exalted wisdom,
Is the development of higher perception.
Just as a bird with undeveloped
Wings cannot fly in the sky,
Those without the power of higher perception
Cannot work for the good of living beings.
- Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana, from the book Illuminating the Path to Enlightenmentby His Holiness the Dalai Lama , posted to DailyDharma
My love, you are closer to me than myself,
you shine through my eyes.
Your light is brighter than the Moon.
Step into the garden
so all the flowers, even the tall poplar
can kneel before your beauty.
Let your voice silence the lily
famous for its hundred tongues.
When you want to be kind you are
softer than the soul but when you withdraw
you can be so cold and harsh.
Dear one, you can be wild and rebellious but
when you meet him face to face
his charm will make you docile like the earth.
Throw away your shield and bare your chest
there is no stronger protection than him.
That's why when the dervish withdraws
from the world he covers all the cracks in the wall,
so the outside light cannot come though.
He knows that only the inner light
illuminates his world.
- Rumi, Ghazal (Ode) 2798, translated by Azima Melita Kolin and Maryam Mafi, from Rumi: Hidden Music, posted to Sunlight
|#2812 - Sunday, May 13, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
'People shed bucketfuls of tears for their near and dear ones, but how many cry for God?'
Ben Hassine to AwakenedAwareness
for my mother
Just when it has seemed I couldn't bear
one more friend
waking with a tumor, one more maniac
with a perfect reason, often a sweetness
and changed nothing in the world
except the way I stumbled through it,
for a while lost
in the ignorance of loving
someone or something, the world shrunk
hand-size, and never seeming small.
I acknowledge there is no sweetness
that doesn't leave a stain,
no sweetness that's ever sufficiently sweet. ...
Tonight a friend called to say his lover
was killed in a car
he was driving. His voice was low
and guttural, he repeated what he needed
to repeat, and I repeated
the one or two words we have for such grief
until we were speaking only in tones.
Often a sweetness comes
as if on loan, stays just long enough
to make sense of what it means to be alive,
then returns to its dark
source. As for me, I don't care
where it's been, or what bitter road
to come so far, to taste so good.
Stephen Dunn, from New and Selected Poems 1974-1994
So be true to life by being true to your inner purpose. As you become present and thereby total in what you do, your actions become charged with spiritual power. At first there may be no noticeable change in what you do--only the how changes. Your primary purpose is now to enable consciousness to flow into what you do. The secondary purpose is whatever you want to achieve through the doing. Whereas the notion of purpose before was always associated with future, there is now a deeper purpose that can only be found in the present, through the denial of time.
and a different passage:
As you already know, your secondary or outer purpose lies within the dimension of time, while your main purpose is inseparable from the Now and therefore requires the negation of time. How are they reconciled? By realizing that your entire life journey ultimately consists of the step you are taking at this moment. there is always only this one step, and and so you give it your fullest attention. This doesn't mean you don't know where you are going, it just means the step is primary, the destination secondary. And what you encounter at your destination once you get there depends on the quality of this one step. Another way of putting it: What the future holds for your depends on your state of consciousness now.
~ Eckhart Tolle
"I can find only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours, and God's. (For me, the word God means "reality." Reality is God, because it rules. Anything that's out of my control, your control, and everyone else's control – I call that God's business.)
Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our own business. When I think, "You need to get a job, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to take better care of yourself," I am in your business. When I'm worried about earthquakes, floods, war, or when I will die, I am in God's business. If I am mentally in your business or in God's business, the effect is separation. Being mentally in your business keeps me from being present in my own. To think that I know what's best for anyone else is to be out of my business and is the cause of stress, anxiety and fear.
If you understand the three kinds of business enough to stay in your own business, it could free your life in a way that you can't even imagine. The next time you're feeling stress, ask yourself whose business you're in mentally, and you may burst out laughing!"
~ Byron Katie
Loving What Is
#2813 - Monday, May 14, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
On the tip of my tongue
( This praise turning ripe,
bursting in spring )
is silence alone.
"A lamp dispels the darkness
accumulated over a thousand ages.
In the same way,
the one clear light of one's consciousness
dispels the darkness and obstacles
of ignorance accumulated over the ages."
From the book "Mahamudra and Atiyoga"
by Giuseppe Baroetto
To find a Buddha, you have to see your nature. Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha. If you don't see your nature, invoking Buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, and keeping precepts are all useless. Invoking Buddhas results in good karma, reciting sutras results in a good memory; keeping precepts results in a good rebirth, and making offerings results in future blessings, but no Buddha.... To find a Buddha all you have to do is see your nature. Your nature is the Buddha. And the Buddha is the person who's free: free of plans, free of cares. If you don't see your nature and run around all day looking somewhere else, you'll never find a Buddha.
--The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma From Everyday Mind
Talk as much philosophy as you like, worship as many gods as you please, observe ceremonies and sing devotional hymns, but liberation will never come, even after a hundred aeons, without realizing the Oneness.
from "The Wisdom of the Hindu Gurus," edited by Timothy Freke
If you consider all the people you know who seem truly happy, there is likely to be one trait - one essential perspective on life - that each of these happy people share... It is the word now. It is the understanding that happiness exists at just one time. And that time is now.
-- Willie Nelson
From The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heartwisdomemail@example.com Mark Scorelle
Touching One Life at a Time
We have recently enjoyed receiving letters from Fred in Florida, so we
asked him if we could share some excerpts with you.. .
January 5, 2004: Dear Open Gate Sangha, A couple of weeks ago I came
across a guy in here who had a copy of the teachings of Adyashanti and
I was able to read a few pages of it. The teachings struck a deep
resounding chord within me...
January 30: I've been a seeker for almost 19 of the 22 years that I've
been incarcerated and I have never come across a teacher who speaks
directly to such a deep part of my being. The words of Adyashanti are
most certainly alive with Truth which immediately resounds within the
inner-most part of one's being. To say that I'm moved deeply by them
would be a gross understatement. My heart tells me that I've finally,
blessedly, found my way home.. .
March 5: I've been doing some heavy inquiry into the Truth of that
which we are. There is, of course, the contradictory sense that there
is this "me" which feels itself to be separate. My question is, how
does one break the habit of operating from this "me" and allow the
Truth to "take over; so to speak? I see the illusion that the entire
world is caught up in. I've had a taste and have fallen in love with
my Self. Where do I go from here? .. .
June 30: The last letter was written when I was about two weeks into
doing 90 days in what is commonly called "the hole" (also known as
solitary confinement). And although it was supposed to be a
punishment (e.g., they take all of your possessions; sleeping on a
steel bed; and being locked in 24 hours a day) it turned out to be
quite a blessing for me. For the most part I was on retreat simply
Be-ing. A calm, gentle spaciousness came which I would sit with for
hours on end. And the longer I sat in this wonderful Truth of who I am
the deeper I seemed to go. I was really astonished at the nature I
found within the Self. It wasn't something to attain and then hold on
to, but something that is already there. One simply rests in That,
letting everything go... We have a small sangha here (we average about
six guys) and share our books among ourselves. Adya's teachings have
played a central role.
July 18: I was rather pleasantly surprised when I heard that my June
30th letter was found to be inspiring. I'd never considered that any
part of my life situation could be an inspiration. To me it simply is
what it is with the important part being the attitude and awareness
with which I choose to experience it all. This is especially true
since I've become acquainted with the teachings of Adyashanti. I truly
believe that I was ripe for Adya's teachings when they came my way.
They speak to me like a voice from my own inner Self. The deeper I go
into them the more it's as if I've always known these things.. .
I've got 108 years and at present my parole date is set at 2032. So
I'll probably be hanging out around here for a little longer.
Occasionally it pains me deeply that I seem to have screwed my life up
so badly, and did it at such a young age (18) but that's really all
just "the story." My life hasn't stopped. I didn't stop growing,. and
learning. My life is simply different from most folks, and my being
busted not only (in all probability) saved me from destroying myself
but it took away all of the distractions and set me firmly on the
spiritual path. Because of that, and the fact that I've found answers
in Adya's teachings I cannot count my life as a waste, even if I have
to spend the rest of it in here. And if I can assist another in
finding their own way to truth? That would be the ultimate
May you all continue to experience the freedom, peace and love that
you already are.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
, Terry Murphy wrote:
from "The Way of Chuang Tzu" trans Merton... I have posted this piece
more than any other single "teaching"... more than the hsinhsinming,
more than dogen's genjokoan (The Manifestation of Truth)... it's
probably in the archives...
Tao is obscured when men understand only one of a pair of opposites,
or concentrate only on a partial aspect of being. Then clear
expression also becomes muddled by mere wordplay, affirming this one
aspect and destroying all the rest.
Hence the wrangling of the Confucians and Mohists; each denies
what the other affirms, and affirms what the other denies. What use
is this struggle to set up "No" against "Yes," and "Yes" against
"No." Better to abandon this hopeless effort and seek the true light!
There is nothing that cannot be seen from the standpoint of the
"Not-I." And there is nothing which cannot be seen from the
standpoint of the "I." If I begin by looking at anything from the
viewpoint of the "Not-I," then I do not really *see* it, since it is
"not-I" that sees it. If I begin from where I am and see it as I see
it, then it may also become possible for me to see it as another sees
it. Hence the theory of reversal that opposites produce each other,
depend on each other, and complement each other.
However this may be, life is followed by death; death is
followed by life. The possible becomes impossible; the impossible
becomes possible. Right turns into wrong and wrong into right - the
flow of life alters circumstances and thus things themselves are
altered in their turn But disputants continue to affirm and deny the
same things they've always affirmed and denied, ignoring the new
aspects of reality presented by the change in conditions.
The wise man therefore, instead of trying to prove this or that
point by logical disputation, sees all things in the light of direct
intuition. He is not imprisoned by the limitations of the "I," for
the viewpoint of direct intuition is that of both "I" and "Not-I."
Hence he sees that on both sides of every argument there is
both right and wrong. He also sees that in the end they are
reducible to the same thing, once they are related to the pivot of
When the wise man grasps this pivot, he is in the center of the
circle, and there he stands while "Yes" and "No" pursue themselves
around the circumference.
The pivot of the Tao passes through the center where all
affirmations and denials converge. He who grasps the pivot is at the
still-point from which all movements and oppositions can be seen in
their rightful relationship. Hence he sees the limitless
possibilities of both "Yes" and "No." Abandoning all thought of
imposing a limit or taking sides, he rests in direct
intuition. Therefore I said, "Better to abandon disputation and seek
the true light!"
|#2814 - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
I wrote two book reviews over the last couple days and they make up today's Highlights. One book is An Introduction to Awareness, by James M. Corrigan, and the other is Life Without a Centre, by Jeff Foster.
Life Without a Centre: Awakening from the Dream of Separation
by Jeff Foster
The Nondualist Next Door
A Book Review by Jerry Katz
Free of arrogance and of taking offense; free of the attitude, "I'm enlightened and you're not;" free of an air of superiority or celebrity; ordinary, pleasant, Jeff Foster is the nondualist next door.
Jeff talks directly and without compromise about `this'. `This' is form. It is not only a special form such as a statue of Buddha, or the world's largest diamond. It is also a crumb on the floor. The values you place on a crumb, a diamond, and a sacred object, are `this'. This is `this'.
But that's not all. `This' is not separate from the "Nothingness that contains all things," as Jeff says. Jeff does a brilliant job of reminding us of what `this' is and of its non-separation from Nothingness. In this regard, Jeff writes:
"Truly, everything is a manifestation of unconditional love. It is all One Mind, it's all God, it is Nirvana, it is Consciousness, Oneness, The Kingdom of Heaven (call it what you will) - ALL of it. The sacred and the profane, the living and the dying, the fear, the guilt, the pain, the compassion, beheadings in Iraq, mass starvation, bodies being ravaged by cancer, the search for enlightenment, the frustration at `not getting it', paying bills, feeding the cat, stroking the cat, being bitten by the cat, EVERYTHING! (Okay, so I could do without being bitten by the cat....)"
Although Jeff says in the beginning of the book that "no methods are laid out," instruction is given. Jeff writes, "Perhaps it's a question of noticing - right here, right now, and in every moment - how the mind wants something more, something else, something more than just this." ... "Simply notice the movement of thought, pulling you into a future moment where you will be `enlightened.' Come back to the present moment. Who is the one that wants enlightenment?"
The above sounds like instruction in inquiry, which is a method or practice. The instruction is repeated elsewhere. In fact, the book is a call to the reader to notice the ever-happening slightest movement elsewhere, so that the absoluteness of the instant is recognized with open eyes.
At another place in the book, Jeff confesses, "There is no self to realize; there are no enlightened individuals."
This is how every sage talks. They tell you there is no self to realize and at the same time give instruction on how to realize. Whether it's Jeff Foster, Tony Parsons, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, or whoever, they all do it. But as Jeff says, "...even the search for oneness .... is simply an expression of oneness... ."
As we read the descriptions and declarations of `this', as we take Jeff's instructions on how to pay attention, we start to see ourselves as `this', as an immediacy. That's the effect the book has. The floor we stand upon, the floor that we call `me', starts to give way. In the opening cracks we see the Nothingness out of which `this', out of which `me' arises. This is a quietly powerful book that leads you to the plunge into Nothingness.
Amazon.com link: http://snipurl.com/1ku20
An Introduction to Awareness
by James M. Corrigan
From Archaelogy to Metis: A Walk to Nonduality
A Book Review by Jerry Katz
James Corrigan writes on his website, "I have not studied with any particular teacher, although I have researched, and continue to research, many different philosophical and spiritual systems. ... [I] went back to school to get a PhD at age 50 so that I could engage people on a philosophical level -- for that after all, is what I am talking about." Corrigan studies in the philosophy department at Stony Brook University in New York. His prior full time work was designing and developing computer software for Fortune 50 companies.
The purpose of this book is to turn the reader's view of reality toward the nondual. The author says, "There is a fundamental assumption behind this work: that our difficulties are all indirectly caused by the way we view ourselves and the world around us, and that this must change if we are to survive, prosper, and find happiness once again."
This book is a philosophical presentation of the teaching of nonduality. James Corrigan uses a refined language to describe Awareness, one that establishes a position of strength from which to make judgments about world and self. The terminology includes archaelogy (not archaeology), apodictic, animadversion, omnific, surjectivity (and subjectivity), and others. These terms are available in a glossary, a wise and very useful inclusion at the back of the book.
Even the term "is" is included in the glossary and discussed within the book in a way that demonstrates the author's sharpness of consideration:
"Thus the statement `Awareness is real' can be interpreted as meaning: That which is necessary and non-contingent is presence for that which arises from it. The pitfall in this way of thinking is, as always with Awareness, to find some implication of separate existence in the above statement for Awareness. The difficulty with the copulative verb `to be' points up a very significant problem in delving deeper into Awareness. Language and discursive reasoning are inapplicable beyond a certain point. It is fine to talk abstractly about the concept of awareness; it is an error to do so about the real Awareness."
Further description of this book can be given by showing how this terminology comes together:
"Our habitual dichotomization of the mind and the body does not hold in the surjective view of reality in which Awareness animadverts, bringing into being and giving rise to consciousness of, that which it animadverts upon. It doesn't matter if this focus is a thought or a rock." ... "Awareness animadverts the world, including the framework and structure of it, spatially and temporally." ... "It is disconcerting to hold that the phenomena upon which Awareness animadverts exist, but have no separate reality and are not founded upon some substratum apart from Awareness."
Not disconcerting to those with Understanding, but to those who have lost happiness, who see things materialistically or physicalistically, and create lives and communities of difficulty and essential poverty. Ultimately, this book addresses ethics and reformation of consciousness, and calls for understanding the wholeness of reality.
While this book is pure philosophy, Corrigan makes note of the limitations: "Philosophy has been little more than a propagandizing of positions for at least the last two thousand years because each philosopher had an end-point in mind when they began the construction of their system. That is the nature of reasoning itself. It is always goal-directed. Poetry is therefore a much better vehicle for the `Love of Wisdom' that philosophy purports to be. How then, do we find the truth?"
How do we find truth? Well, answers are found throughout the book. In words that are relevant to philosophy itself, Corrigan points to the discovery of truth: "...thinking is a type of phenomenon that arises due to the activity of Awareness and not due to some phenomenal aspect of the world -- that which Awareness gives rise to. That is, it is not something that supervenes upon some aspect of the world. Nor is there any foundation for positing something separate and apart from Awareness itself. If we assume the form of the world in which matter and mind are two separate and distinct classes of being, then we must deal with where and how Mind arises. If we do not make any such assumption, but instead attend to what it is that does occur 'in reality,' and what the source of these 'occurrences' are, then we have no such dualistic problem."
An Introduction to Awareness is a philosophical walk toward an understanding of nonduality. Energized by metis, this book will fully change the world view of one who feels contained within a dualistic reality.
#2815 - Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
God connected Spirit with a body,
in order that the prophet or saint might
become a refuge for the whole world.
Friend, whatever you are, you must not stand still:
By Angelus Silesius
(1624 - 1677)
English version by Gabriel Rosenstock
Friend, whatever you are, you must not stand still:
One must from one light into the other spill
Angelus Silesius is the monastic name of Johannes Scheffler. Johannes Scheffler was born into a noble Polish Lutheran family. He received a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Padua and became a physician.
As a young man he was drawn to the writings of the German mystic Jacob Boehme. Scheffler's growing mysticism didn't sit well with the dogmatic forms of German Lutheranism of the time and, in 1653, he converted to Catholicism. He took the name Angelus, adding the surname Silesius, meaning "from Silesia."
During this time, Selisius was briefly named physician to Emperor Ferdinand III, but he soon renounced his profession and, in 1661, he was ordained a priest and retired to a monastic life in Breslau. He gave his family fortune away to charities.
He published two books of poetry: The Soul's Spiritual Delight and The Cherubic Pilgrim. Several of his poems are today used as religious hymns in both Catholic and Protestant churches.
Angelus Silesius was often engaged in public controversy with both the Lutheran Church he had left and also with his adopted Catholic faith. His poetry hinted at a quietest mysticism which asserts that the soul, when it is quiet, can experience God directly -- a practice neither institution has been too fond of.
...One must from one light into the other spill
Poetry Chaikhana Home
The world is not the illusion.
It's you who are the illusion.
Who you are is the context that the entire world
is happening in.
As long as you are in the body, however, you
won't be waking up from the illusion.
You'll only be waking up to the illusion.
Even after you've discovered that it's only
illusory, the mirage of a desert lake still looks
just like a real lake.
- Chuck Hillig, Seeds for the Soul
Alan Larus photos, more at link.
The Buddhist path is designed to reveal deeper levels of reality. We live in a pluralistic society. We live in a racist society, a homophobic and sexist society; in addition, Buddhists of every color, each gender, and all sexual orientations embrace the sectarian prejudices that developed in Asia. We live in a society that is pleading for us to put our shoulders to the wheel.
We are also, each and every one of us, whole and perfect as is, interrelated, essentially non-separated, and equal. This, too, must be realized. If we forsake the inside for the outside, it is not just Buddhism that is diminished but the horizons for true social transformation as well.
-Helen Tworkov, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Vol. IV, #1 From Everyday Mind, a Tricycle book edited by Jean Smith
The Single Word of Heart Advice
Bob O'Hearn - A montage of photo and text, click from one photo to next.
#2816 - Thursday, May 17, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Back to the Truth: 5000 Years of Advaita
by Dennis Waite
Reviewed by Jerry Katz
Back to the Truth is an extensive overview of Advaita, a teaching whose source is the Upanishads. Advaita is the philosophy and teaching that reality is “not two.” Dennis Waite quotes nearly 150 teachers of Advaita, about half of whom are living, and 378 sources are cited as references.
The author’s purpose is twofold: (1) to compile within a single volume the most complete and up-to-date treatment of Advaita. He succeeds at that. It is clear that Waite is a voracious reader of nondual subjects. Dennis told me, or I read somewhere, that he reads with a pencil and makes notes in the books he reads. That is the only way Back to the Truth could have been compiled. It had to be written by a student and a scholar who knows “everything” written on Advaita, including emails posted especially to the Advaitin email list, and who is a gatherer and an organizer of themes.
And (2) to bring about a shift in the attentional direction of the reader. The latter is the primary aim of the book. That only makes sense. If a sage has any purpose at all, it is to get you to awaken. That is Waite’s primary purpose. It’s not a chosen purpose; it’s the way it is. Dennis provides a number of hooks to hang your hat on.
What does it mean to hang your hat? When you’ve hung your hat, you’ve turned your attention around toward truth. Lots of hooks in this book. Even the curved neck of the swan on the cover looks like an inverted hook. Yes, these hooks should be inverted since they are associated with the turning around of attention.
Hooks in this book come in the forms of teachers of Advaita, a variety of themes (e.g., karma, death, desire, happiness, spiritual practices, enlightenment, nature of reality, methods of teaching, science, grace, creation.), metaphors, scriptural passages, and concise, detailed chapter summaries. Another hook is the voice of Dennis Waite himself, who gives this monumental work perspective:
“I began my own seeking on a traditional path and then moved into Direct Path, also dabbling in a neo-direction. Ultimately, however, I found it necessary to go back to the roots in order to really understand what is being said (not always clearly) by all teachers.”
To back-up the book are 7 exceptional appendixes. In addition, there is a bibliography, an extensive glossary of Sanskrit terms, and an index which is good but does not present the themes as integrally and flowingly as the main text or even the appendixes. Shambhala Publications publishes excellent indexes, judging by the few I have on my shelves, especially for Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, by Chogyam Trungpa.
Back to the Truth: 5000 Years of Advaita
by Dennis Waite
#2817 - Friday, May 18, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
We reached the town of Fusa on the banks of the River Tone towards nightfall. The fishermen of this town catch salmon by spreading wickerwork traps in the river, and sell it in the markets in Edo. We went into one of the fishermen's huts and had a short sleep amidst the fishy smell. Upon waking, however, we hired a boat, and, descending the river under the bright beams of the moon, arrived at Kashima Shrine.
On the following day it started to rain in the afternoon, and in no way could we see the rise of the full moon. I was told that the former priest of the Kimponji Temple was living in seclusion at the foot of the hill where the shrine was situated. So I went to see him, and was granted a night's shelter. The tranquility of the priest's hermitage was such that it inspired, in the words of the ancient poet, 'a profound sense of meditation' in my heart, and for a while at least I was able to forget the fretful feeling I had about not being able to see the full moon. Shortly before daybreak, however, the moon began to shine through the rifts made in the hanging clouds. I immediately wakened the priest, and other members of the household followed him out of bed. We sat for a long time in utter silence, watching the moonlight trying to penetrate the clouds and listening to the sound of the lingering rain. It was really regrettable that I had come such a long way only to look at the dark shadow of the moon, but I consoled myself by remembering the famous lady who had returned without composing a single poem from the long walk she had taken to hear a cuckoo. The following are the poems we composed on this occasion:
Regardless of weather,
The moon shines the same;
It is the drifting clouds
That make it seem different
On different nights.
--Written by the priest
Swift the moon
Across the sky,
Dripping with rain.
--Written by Tosei
In a temple,
I watched the moon
With a solemn look.
--Written by Tosei
In the rain,
The bamboo corrected itself
To view the moon.
--Written by Sora
How lonely it is
To look at the moon
Hearing in a temple
--Written by Soha
~ ~ ~
from A Visit to the Kashima Shrine, by Basho, a chapetr in "The Narrow Road to the Deep North":
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm
Nondual Highlights Issue #2818, Saturday, May 19, 2007
'Righteous anger' is in the same category as 'righteous cancer'or 'righteous tuberculosis'. All of them are absurd concepts.
This does not mean that one should never take action against aggression or injustice! Instead, one should try to develop an inner calmness and insight to deal with these situations in an appropriate way. We all know that anger and aggression give rise to anger and aggression. One could say that there are three ways to get rid of anger: kill the opponent, kill yourself or kill the anger - which one makes most sense to you?
- Alan Wallace, from Tibetan Buddhism From The Ground Up., posted to DailyDharma
Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.
About this mind... In truth there is nothing really wrong with it. It is intrinsically pure. Within itself it's already peaceful. That the mind is not peaceful these days is because it follows moods. The real mind doesn't have anything to it, it is simply (an aspect of) Nature. It becomes peaceful or agitated because moods deceive it. The untrained mind is stupid. Sense impressions come and trick it into happiness, suffering, gladness and sorrow, but the mind's true nature is none of those things. That gladness or sadness is not the mind, but only a mood coming to deceive us. The untrained mind gets lost and follows these things, it forgets itself. Then we think that it is we who are upset or at ease or whatever.
But really this mind of ours is already unmoving and peaceful... really peaceful! Just like a leaf which is still as long as no wind blows. If a wind comes up the leaf flutters. The fluttering is due to the wind -- the 'fluttering' is due to those sense impressions; the mind follows them. If it doesn't follow them, it doesn't 'flutter.' If we know fully the true nature of sense impressions we will be unmoved.
Our practice is simply to see the Original Mind. So we must train the mind to know those sense impressions, and not get lost in them. To make it peaceful. Just this is the aim of all this difficult practice we put ourselves through.
- Ajahn Chah, posted to DailyDharma
I live in a world of realities, while yours is of imaginings. Your world is personal, private, unshareable, intimately your own. Nobody can enter it, see as you see, hear as you hear, feel your emotions and think your thoughts. In your world you are truly alone, enclosed in your ever- changing dream, which you take for life. My world is an open world, common to all, accessible to all. In my world there is community, insight, love, real quality; the individual is the total, the totality - in the individual. All are one and the One is all.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to AlongTheWay
For me mystical ecstasy is a feeling and a realization. During ecstasy I realize how much I can enjoy the world outside of myself. I realize how much pleasure I can find in listening to your concerns, and observing the concerns of all other beings.
Mystical ecstasy seems to involve getting free from that part of myself which continually constructs (conceptualizes) a world where contentment depends on how well the events of daily life match the values in the construction I have built. Mystical ecstasy allows me to "stand outside"ť that constructed world. When I am able, I find it more enjoyable to suspend my constructions and explore the thoughts, values, and hopes of other beings.
Ecstasy feels good to me, it is pleasure, a bit like eating chocolate or having sex. But unlike chocolate and sex, it has a paradoxical dynamic: mystical ecstasy provides me with a deep residual sense of nearly unshakable well-being in all seasons-- whether I have just tasted sand or chocolate, whether I sustain a material loss or a material gain, whether my cousin is being married or my mother has just died, whether I win or lose in my constructed world of values. When in ecstasy, there is a deep peace within me during both happy and sad events.
To maintain it, I try to consciously and unconsciously avoid privileging mystical ecstasy, that is to say, try not to deem it to have an absolute value above, for example, hedonism. Such privileging would seem to be a gratuitous construction and I find that making that judgment reduces my ecstatic potential.
I do see a relative personal difference in value when looking from a pragmatic view. That is to say that the intensity of mystical ecstasy is more enduring for me than any type of hedonism I have tried. For my taste mystical ecstasy is not holier than hedonism, it is just more enjoyable.
Perhaps needless to say, I do not privilege ecstasy as having anymore absolute value than small talk.
If I am understanding "goneness"ť correctly, ecstasy is what happens to me when I'm gone. Metaphorically speaking, not ontologically speaking. I know virtually nothing about the latter.
love, Raymond, posted to NondualitySalon
The day will come when Death will be your constant companion, your Lover and your intimate friend.
Do not fear this day, this day will be your first day of Life.
Your history will have fled, chasing its own tale;-)
Peace, Anna, posted to SufiMystic
#2819 - Monday, May 21, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The emperor of China asked a renowned Buddhist master if it would be possible to illustrate the nature of self in a visible way. In response, the master had a sixteen-sided room appointed with floor-to-ceiling mirrors that faced one another exactly. In the center he hung a candle flame. When the emperor entered he could see the individual candle flame in thousands of forms, each of the mirrors extending it far into the distance. Then the master replaced the candle with a small crystal. The emperor could see the small crystal reflected again in every direction. When the master pointed closely at the crystal, the emperor could see the whole room of thousands of crystals reflected in each tiny facet of the crystal in the center. The master showed how the smallest particle contains the whole universe. True emptiness is not empty, but contains all things. The mysterious and pregnant void creates and reflects all possibilities. From it arises our individuality, which can be discovered and developed, although never possessed or fixed. The self is held in no-self, as the candle flame is held in great emptiness.
--Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart
There are those like Amma who literally see God in everyone. We think, "Well, they must be some kind of saint or something, because I still see differences, and I still have preferences, etc...", but that's why we do sadhana, to see clearly what is already the case, because there is truly NOTHING BUT GOD, NOTHING BUT LOVE.
Dogen said, “Although everything has Buddha nature, we love flowers, and we do not care for weeds.” This is true of human nature. But that we are attached to some beauty is itself Buddha’s activity. That we do not care for weeds is also Buddha’s activity. We should know that. If you know that, it is all right to attach to something. If it is Buddha’s attachment, that is non-attachment. So in love there should be hate, or non-attachment. And in hate there should be love, or acceptance. Love and hate are one thing. We should not attach to love alone. We should accept hate. We should accept weeds, despite how we feel about them. If you do not care for them, do not love them; if you love them then love them.
Usually you criticize yourself for being unfair to your surroundings; you criticize your unaccepting attitude. But there is a very subtle difference between the usual way of accepting and our way of accepting things, although they may seem exactly the same. We have been taught that there is no gap between nighttime and daytime, no gap between you and I. This means oneness. But we do not emphasize even oneness. If it is one, there is no need to emphasize one.
Dogen said: “To learn something is to know yourself; to study Buddhism is to study yourself.” To learn something is not to acquire something which you did not know before. You know something before you learn it. There is no gap between the “I” before you know something, and the “I” after you know something. There is no gap between the ignorant and the wise. A foolish person is a wise person; a wise person is a foolish person. But usually we think, “He is foolish and I am wise,” or “I was foolish, but now I am wise.” How can we be wise if we are foolish? But the understanding transmitted from Buddha to us is that there is no difference whatsoever between the foolish man and the wise man. It is so. But if I say this people may think that I am emphasizing oneness. That is not so. We do not emphasize anything. All we want to do is to know things just as they are. If we know things, as they are, there is nothing to point at; there is no way to grasp anything; there is no thing to grasp. We cannot put emphasis on any point. Nevertheless, as Dogen said, “A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.” Even though it is so, this is our life.
In this way our life should be understood. Then there is no problem. Because we put emphasis on some particular point, we always have trouble. We should accept things just as they are. This is how we understand everything, and how we live in this world. This kind of experience is something beyond our thinking. In the thinking realm there is a difference between oneness and variety; but in actual experience, variety and unity are the same. Because you create some idea of unity or variety, you are caught by the idea. And you have to continue the endless thinking, although actually there is no need to think.
Emotionally we have many problems; they are something created; they are problems pointed out by our self-centered ideas or views. Because we point out something, there are problems. But actually it is not possible to point out anything in particular. Happiness is sorrow; sorrow is happiness. Even though the ways we feel are different, they are not really different; in essence they are the same. This is the true understanding; transmitted from Buddha to us.
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Bob O'Hearn on GardenMystics
Who is blind to the One, is completely blind to all. Who sees the One, has vision of all - and at any rate is removed from their vision, and in the vision of all becomes, and outside of all he is. Inside the One he sees everything, and while being in everything nothing of any thing does he see.
Whoever sees in the One through the One, sees clearly himself and all men and all things, and hidden inside the One, he doesn't see anything of any thing.
---St. Symeon the New Theologian
Ben Hassine on AwakenedAwareness
(The following transcription of an Adyashanti talk comes from a five minute excerpt at the Feb 2007 Asilomar retreat. It is on Monday Feb 26, 2007 and is Disc 1 Monday, Track 10 (and part of Track 11). Emphasis was given to convey in some form the emphasis that was given in spoken form. Enjoy.....Peter)
As soon as there is a gap in the thoughts, there is the nameless, already conscious, already awake, already complete within itself. It can't get more of itself, or less of itself, totally adequate. That which is nameless, name it whatever you want, just don't believe the name you give it.
In the Zen tradition they would ask "who were you before your parents were born?" And its, there is no reason to sit around thinking about it because thinking is no use in this sense. But just imagine, if your parents aren't born than you're not born. That's what's important, no parents, no you.
Before you could think of yourself, imagine yourself, conceive of yourself, before you could define yourself as your feet and your toes and your thoughts and your feelings, and your past and your memories, before any of that existed.
And what you were before any of that existed is exactly what you are right now.
No different; not enhanced because there is the appearance of toes, and feet and fingers, and thoughts, and not diminished.
So you as yourself as you truly are, are wordless. Call that what you want.
Nothing. Nothing that's not just nothing. Expressing itself as everything you could ever experience.
[The following said as in a refrain, rhymically in prose:]
That which is not an experience expresses itself as all experience.
That which is not a thought expresses itself as all thoughts.
That which is not a feeling expresses itself as all feeling.
That which is not a sight, seeable, expresses itself as everything you'll ever see, and so it goes.
So we begin by looking at the first thought the thought of me and I, that is the most important one, it holds up all of the others. If you've seen through the thought, if you've woken up from yourself. Because that is what awakening is, that's what it feels it feels like, you've woken up from yourself.
The nameless has woken up from name.
The formless has woken up from form.
The nobody-ness has woken up from somebody-ness, shaken off the sleep, feeling completely relieved, ahhhh [long sigh after the ahhhh expression]
And when you've done that, and if, and when you've done that, then there is just the possibility, the further invitation to see that none of the thoughts that may arise are true.
None of them.
None of them.
None of them.
None of them.
They are just your mind telling itself a story, talking to itself, like some grandfather around a campfire spinning a tale to scare the kids.
What comes out of that wordless space is extraordinary, especially when it is no longer hypnotized, in a trance, what flows out is extraordinary, what flows out is the whole world, the entire universe. That's the flowing out.
People want to see how do I look today, they look in the mirror, they see one face, oh I look blah, blah blah, blah blah. If you want to see how you look today open the damn window, don't look in the mirror.
I'm windy today I'm cold today and I'm sunny, I'm hot. I'm water and trees and wind and birds. And none of that all at the same time.
[The following said as a refrain rhythmically]
I'm the wordless in all words.
I'm the sightless in everything seen.
I'm that which is not a feeling in everything felt everywhere by everybody.
No need to keep limiting it to one particular location, that is part of the hypnotism.
So you see maybe why we start each day and end each day with silence* with the wordless, its an invitation to the wordless, to that
but don't get stuck on those words, don't grasp them. Ultimately , it's the wordless.
Its an awake Word-Less-Ness.
And so we start each morning and end each day with Word-Less-Ness.
And remember, and look for yourself, that Word-Less-Ness doesn't care if there is lots of words flowing through your head, It doesn't care if there is thoughts, it doesn't care if there is no thoughts, it is not disturbed.
It has no agenda. It solves everything by solving absolutely nothing.
*(referring to Adyashanti's retreat practice of meditation or "in silence" at the beginning of the day and the end of the day to serve as the container and invitation and reminder of the most important thing: silence)
Alan Larus - Here Comes the Sun
#2820 - Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Book Review of
Living Reality: My Extraordinary Summer with "Sailor" Bob Adamson, by James Braha
Review by Jerry Katz
The purpose of this book, the author says, is "to share nonduality with you. ... to expose the personal reference point - the `me' - for what it is: a phantom created by the mind. My hope is to do for readers what Nisargadatta Maharaj, the great Indian sage, did for my teacher, Sailor Bob Adamson, and what Sailor Bob did for me. And that is `to take the seeker beyond the need for help.' If, after reading this text, you are able to see clearly that the `me' you have live with your entire life is a false creation of the mind, you will never need help again. You will know your true nature and the real meaning of understanding."
There may be other books that share nonduality as satisfyingly as Braha's does, but probably none surpass it. And perhaps no other book in the nonduality genre brings a living sage, in this case Sailor Bob Adamson, so close to you, in a physical and "real" sense, in the way this book does.
The dialogues are realistic talks with a group of nice people with Bob Adamson at the center of attention and including Bob's wife Barb, who contributes sagely to the dialogue as well. The tone of the dialogues varies from serious, to wildly free, to nearly silly, but is always kept genuine by the presence of Bob. Of course the author has to be commended for selecting the most lively and meaningful portions of discourse, and for revealing what it was like to be in the company of Bob Adamson.
Numerous topics are covered in the dialogues: Buddha, good stories about Nisargadatta Maharaj, the Now, Muktananda, infinity, the mind, thoughts of torture, reality, karma, religions, desire, reincarnation, and of course nonduality, and others. But there's really only one topic: "Life is awareness constantly seeing awareness," says Bob. Other quotations could be given basically saying that no matter what topic is addressed it comes down to awareness or present existence (or nonexistence), or getting the mind to stop.
A very important part of the book is the writing by James Braha himself. His writings make up about one third of the entire book. Braha's writings consist of introductory chapters to the book as well as a conclusion. James's commentary precedes each of the dialogues with Bob and prepares the reader for them.
In James's chapters he talks about his own experiences with nonduality, his developing spiritual life, until near the end when it becomes obvious that there's no point to speak of such things as a spiritual life or stages of understanding. They are imaginings. Also in Braha's chapters he talks about Bob's visit, how it came about, how it progresses, Bob's arrrival. James brings the reader into the events as they unfold, so we feel we are with Bob and the rest of the gang when the dialogues are taking place. James also talks about nonduality itself in the chapters he writes.
Braha's writings are as significant as Bob's utterances. Thus this book transcends Bob and Braha and becomes about waking up itself. As well, this book includes all the elements readers want: a sage, a seeker or two, the sage's wife, story of a physical journey, story of a spiritual journey (or two), dialogues with a sage, a collection of friends and others, color photographs, a sense of warmth, family, humanity, solid and identifiable beginning, middle, and end. The writing and editing are professional. Thus this is a great book. This book must be recommended along with the very best books on the teaching of nonduality.
I like the dozen or so clear, color photographs very much, showing the main people in the book. They make for a special inclusion, unheard of in other nonduality books. With all the names, subjects, concepts, themes, this book could use an index. I wanted to find all the places in the book where Barb, Bob's wife, was mentioned, because I thought she was so cool, but I couldn't. On the other hand, I can understand where indexes enforce searching and encourage avoidance of the message of nonduality which is found on every page of a book such as this, and needs no looking up.
~ ~ ~
My next review will be of Deepak Chopra's new novel, Buddha. Chopra's purpose is solidly and perhaps surpisingly nondual. Chopra is a true nondual teacher and at the same time, let's face it, a spirituality industrialist. Hey, he knows how to enjoy his stay here. The story is told in scenes that feel like epic cinema. I'm enjoying the book as much as any good novel. Any spiritual teacher interested in writing a novel might want to invest in this book. But wait till you've read the review. Looking forward to completing the book and writing the review today.
photo: Sailor Bob (L) with James Braha.
#2821 - Wednesday, May 23, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
"The Breath Inside the Breath" is this issue's theme.
"This aloneness is worth more than a thousand lives.
This freedom is worth more than all the lands on earth.
To be one with the truth for just a moment,
Is worth more than the world and life itself."
"There is a life-force within your soul, seek that life.
There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine.
O traveler, if you are in search of That
Don't look outside, look inside yourself and seek That."
Mazie Lane on GardenMystics
When you awaken to truth as it really is, you will have no occult
vision, you will have no "astral" experience, no ravishing ecstasy.
You will awaken to it in a state of utter stillness, and you will
realize that truth was always there within you and that reality was
always there around you. Truth is not something which has grown and
developed through your efforts. It is not something which has been
achieved or attained by laboriously adding up those efforts. It is not
something which has to be made more and more perfect each year. And
once your mental eyes are opened to truth they can never be closed
~ Paul Brunton, Notebooks
Mark Scorelle on Wisdom-l
In the morning as the storm begins to blow away
the clear sky appears for a moment and it seems to me
that there has been something simpler than I could ever
simpler than I could have begun to find words for
not patient not even waiting no more hidden
than the air itself that became part of me for a while
with every breath and remained with me unnoticed
something that was here unnamed unknown in the days
and the nights not separate from them
not separate from them as they came and were gone
it must have been here neither early nor late then
by what name can I address it now holding out my thanks
~ W.S. Merwin
Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
you will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine
rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals:
not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding
around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables.
When you really look for me, you will see me instantly —
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath
Ah, what is that phrase . . . "the ties that bind"?
So Jesus says, leave it all and come and follow me.
Well, where was he off to in such a hurry anyway?
Then you got Gautama the Buddha, who left his wife
and newborn baby to wander around out in the woods,
and Ramana, who jumped the next train out of town
after his famous nap, and sure the list goes on,
all because folks thought it was elsewhere, over
the rainbow somewhere, up on a mountain or
out in the desert, and I sure did too, left home
at 13 to seek God and, well, we all have our destinies,
yes, but consider for a moment: if it's all one,
then it really is all one, and so where is there to go
that is any different than where we are right now?
Furthermore, and excuse me, but where is 'that' exactly?
We don't even know where we are right now, what we are,
who we are, what anything is, and so where's everybody going?
We're not tethered to the world, we are the world, but
the world is not us, nothing that we can think or know
or name is us, and if somebody just sat down and
let that sink in -- their true condition in the midst
of all possible worlds -- they wouldn't be in such a rush
to run off chasing their tail, or at least that's how
it seems to me on Wednesday morning. It's a little overcast
here today, Mazie's got to spray the roses for mildew, and
I've got to clean out the grill gas tubes before going to work.
Bob O'Hearn on GardenMystics
Marifa sent this from DzogchenPractice
The Buddha and The Goddess
Thus have I made up:
Once the Buddha was walking
along the forest path in the Oak Grove at Ojai,
walking without arriving anywhere or having any
thought of arriving or not arriving.
And lotuses, shining with the morning dew
miraculously appeared under every step
Soft as silk beneath the toes of the Buddha.
When suddenly, out of the turquoise sky,
dancing in front of his half-shut inward-looking
eyes, shimmering like a rainbow
or a spider's web
transparent as the dew on a lotus flower
-- the Goddess appeared quivering
like a hummingbird in the air before him.
She, for she was surely a she
as the Buddha could clearly see
with his eye of discriminating awareness wisdom, was mostly red in color
though when the light shifted
she flashed like a rainbow.
She was naked except
for the usual flower ornaments
Her long hair
was deep blue, her eyes fathomless pits
of space, and her third eye a bloodshot
song of fire.
The Buddha folded his hands together
and greeted the Goddess thus:
"O goddess, why are you blocking my path?
Before I saw you I was happily going nowhere.
Now I'm not so sure where I go."
"You can go around me,"
said the Goddess, twirling on her heel like a bird
but just a little way away,
"or you can come after me
but you can't pretend I'm not here,
This is my forest, too."
With that the Buddha sat
supple as a snake
solid as a rock
beneath a Bo tree
that sprang full-leaved
to shade him.
"Perhaps we should have a chat,"
"After years of arduous practice
at the time of the morning star
I penetrated reality and…"
"Not so fast, Buddha," the Goddess said,
"I am reality."
The earth stood still,
the oceans paused,
the wind itself listened
-- a thousand arhats, bodhisattvas and dakinis
magically appeared to hear
what would happen in the conversation.
"I know I take my life in my hands,"
said the Buddha,
"But I am known as the Fearless One -- so here goes."
And he and the Goddess
without further words
Light rays like sun beams
so brightly that even
Sariputra, the All-Seeing One,
had to turn away.
And then they exchanged thoughts
And the illumination was as bright as a diamond candle
And then they exchanged minds
And there was a great silence as vast as the universe that contains everything
And then they exchanged bodies
And then clothes
And the Buddha arose
as the Goddess
and the Goddess arose as the Buddha.
And so on back and forth
for a hundred thousand hundred thousand kalpas.
If you meet the Buddha
you meet the Goddess.
If you meet the Goddess,
you meet the Buddha.
Not only that. This:
The Buddha is emptiness,
The Goddess is bliss.
The Goddess is emptiness,
The Buddha is bliss.
And that is what
And what-not you are
So here comes the mantra of the Goddess and the Buddha,
the unsurpassed non-dual mantra. Just to say this mantra,
just to hear this mantra once, just to hear one word of this mantra
once makes everything the way it truly is: OK.
So here it is:
Hey silent one, Hey great talker
Not two/ not one
Not separate/ not apart
This is the heart
Bliss is emptiness
Emptiness is bliss
Be your breath, Ah
Smile, Hey, And relax, Ho
Remember: You can't miss.
- Rick Fields, May 1987: The Very Short Sutra on the Meeting of the Buddha and the Goddess.
#2822 - Thursday, May 24, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Featured is a book review I posted to Amazon.com of the book Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment, by Deepak Chopra. If the writing sounds elementary to people accustomed to nondual writings, bear in mind that it is intended for mainstream spirituality readership.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel. The book is written in scenes that feel like those from epic movies. You know, Prince Siddhartha on a battlefield with his father watching and being fanned with palm fronds. That kind of thing.
Well, the story is huge, but in a sense it is very small. There are clear reminders of the movie The Matrix, as far as the way Buddha relates to certain events in reality. There's a sense of the movie Truman, too, in which one goes through so much in life and yet a very small walk through an easily opened unlocked door ends it all.
The bottom line is that this novel is very well written and the uncomprised teaching of nonduality is set forth. As I say in the review, Deepak Chopra has always been known for giving his readers something to improve their lives. Now he undermines their lives. In doing that, he shows his readers the greatest freedom, or it goes as an idea.
Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment, by Deepak Chopra
Book Review by Jerry Katz
The purpose of this book is to communicate, through the story of Buddha, what it means to be aware. The author presents an awake person, Buddha, and shows that he is not different than you. Buddha is you. You are Buddha.
At one level this book is a beautifully written, entertaining, moving novel. I was captivated by Chopra's storytelling. At a deeper level we find the teaching of Buddha set forth: the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. At the deepest level, this book is about you, a you that is illusory.
Deepak Chopra's point of view is stated as follows, from the book: "Whatever can be seen, heard, or touched is unreal. Whatever you cling to as permanent is unreal. Whatever the mind can think of is unreal. Does that leave anything free from the withering grip of illusion? No." ... "...this book has been a kind of seduction, coaxing the reader step by step toward a vision that none of us was brought up to see. Through the eyes of Buddha, the root of suffering is illusion, and the only way out of illusion is to stop believing in the separate self and the world that supports the separate self. No spiritual message has ever been so radical. None remains so terribly urgent." I'm going to return to this statement toward the end of this review and give it some perspective.
There are three sections of the novel. In the first part, the first 29 years of his life, we meet Buddha as the Prince Siddhartha. The second part occupies the next six years and tells of Buddha as a wandering monk. In the third part we meet the enlightened Buddha.
The road that makes up this story is built with the stones of love, death, war, karma, hatred, envy, violent passion, loneliness, fear, father-son and husband-wife relationships, friendship, betrayal, gurus, life as a dream, psychology, enlightenment, and the nature of reality; Hindu ritual, desire, pain, suffering, personal demons, weakness of the mind, strength of the mind, Yoga, meditation, the void, peace.
The story of Buddha unfolds, scene after scene, like an epic movie. Reading this book, you will feel as though you are watching a classic film.
At the end of the novel there is an effortless transition from the fictional novel to the non-fictional teachings of Buddha and Deepak Chopra. This transition is an important part of the book. It reminds one of the shift we all experience daily from the dreaming to the waking state. We can make use of observing that transition if we become curious as to who or what it is that is making the observation. In watching that transition we become like Buddha watching demons and fear turn to something ordinary and real.
At some point it becomes clear that this novel is about you. Being a world teacher, Deepak Chopra is concerned with the individual, with you. All his books, as far as I know, are about teaching you something, expanding you. With this book Chopra has gone beyond presenting spirituality as a way of enhancing your life. Now he presents a teaching that undermines your life. But, in the end, it frees you even more than you could have imagined.
What Chopra says about Buddha applies to himself and to us: "He had found his freedom, and in freedom everything is permitted." Chopra has always come from that place of freedom, but perhaps he has not so boldly said so. This book is subversive, radical, and undermining. Like Hesse's book Siddhartha, Deepak Chopra's Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment, is personal. It could change people by penetrating their consciousness.
~ ~ ~
Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment, by Deepak Chopra
#2823 - Friday, May 25, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Photo of Paris Hilton after shopping. Or is it Paris Hilton after PhotoShop? This gives new meaning to her tv show, The Simple Life. Okay, we want to see the Paris and Eckhart sex tapes, like right now. On second thought, I don't think so. Hey look, Paris is holding another book right behind The Power of Now. I can barely make out the title but I think it relates to Paris's prison sentence: it's called The Power of Edna. Yeah, it sure looks like Paris has replaced her chihuahua with a copy of The Power of Now. Who knows? Next time we may see her carrying Eckhart Tolle in the crook of her right arm.
photo of book cover of Black Buddha: Changing the Face of American Buddhism
"Rangdrol’s Rainbowdharma was created to be a tool of intentional inclusion in American Buddhism." Pluralism Project at Harvard University, August 2006
"I wish you the best in your mission." Jeff Hitchcock, Executive Director Center for the Study of White American Culture
Rainbowdharma.com was established to provide a welcoming environment for Buddhist people of color and to promote Buddhist approaches to racial, religious, and economic healing." Vassar College.
Being a Buddhist woman of color living in Maine, I hunger for information about these issues." June Thornton-Marsh, LCSW Multicultural Counselor.
I am here for one reason: to wake up.
This leads to a very simple life where one sees more and more clearly
that less is more.
When disaster strikes, the structure blows up or away, but what is
left is space. Not my space but His Space.
Humility is born in these against-our-will testings. The anger and
rage are seen for what they are: useless.
What is left is silent space in which the universe is seen to blossom
The mystery shall never speak but demonstrate in a mysterious way for
those who are waiting and watching.
There is a smile not visible on the physical face.
It is the smile of the bodhisattva.
Thank you Vicki,
For bringing the Universal Heart (for me personally, the Heart of the
Mother) into this discussion. I often feel too many who wish to
awaken do not wish to tread near this "heart" for fear of the
pain-of-separation it might evoke. The smile of the bodhisattva
dissolves that fear, and all other illusions of the mind. The heart
of awareness beats each time one's own heart beats, and does not judge
if the blood coursing from one's heart nourishes a mind that ignores
the heart. But if the mind can but for a moment bow to its heart, oh
what a wonder is revealed!
I wrote this early this morning, just getting out of bed. I feel echoes of your piece "I am here..." in it:
Perhaps what I fear most right now is that one day I will by lying on my death bed feeling I have wasted my life...full of that regret. Or perhaps what I fear most is stepping out of the mold of the easy...the expected. Perhaps I fear where that would take me. It is no longer about what God expects of me, for I believe if God exists, then God does not expect anything more than the living, breathing moment as it is. God inhabits the moment. God is my life, my living, in this moment. It is I who seem to have expectations...as if I am separate from that...as if God is not moving my pen across this page. It makes no sense...and it can't. God is too big for making sense. But that does not answer what to do with fear and expectation. That does not answer how to live...for one must live. No, no...it is not a matter of "how", is it? It is occurring...It is happening. But what blocks longing from meeting its completion? I make no sense anymore. What block? Oh, silly child, what block keeps you from being what you already are? What is it you are looking for that you do not have? Youth? A chance to start over? A chance to do it right this time? God is bigger than that, too. How do you know all of what you are? How do you know how the story is supposed to turn out? How do you know all the possibilities with which the Universe plays? Listen to the river of your longing to be free. Listen...and know the river exists within...flows within...a bigger context. Limitation is a story the mind tells itself. Seeking a way out is a game. It's set up that way. It's supposed to be that way. It's what Life does, when it it's doing that. So what do you do with your life? Listen. Listen to the depths. The answer exists always within the question...and it is happening. Pay attention. You are here as a witness. So witness. Observe. Behold what small portion of the glory of God you are able. Be grateful. Don't you enjoy being grateful? Go with what you enjoy. Follow your heart. Don't strain your heart to be what it is not, but let it take the lead. You will find it enough. When you feel like you're forgetting, or that you've forgotten...just know that's the way it is sometimes, too. Perfection is written by an Author greater than your understanding. Return as the prodigal, wayward child...in humility. There is nothing wrong with a little humility. Accept yourself back into the Heart you never left.
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm
Nondual Highlights Issue #2824, Saturday, May 26, 2007
Go to the truth beyond the mind.
Love is the bridge.
- Stephen Levine, posted to The_Now2
If we really see things the way they are our mind will give up attachment to them.
- Ajahn Chah, from Food For the Heart, published for free by the Sangha, Wat Pah Nanachat, posted to DailyDharma
A monk once complained to Mu- chou, "We waste most of the day sweeping floors and washing clothes, is there a away of avoiding this"?
"Yes, there is."
" By just sweeping floors and washing clothes," Mu-chow replied.
P: In other words, it's thought and memory which makes repetition tiresome. Just do it with a fresh attentive mind, and it will seem refreshingly new each time.
- posted by Pete, to AdvaitaToZen
When you demand nothing of the world, nor of God, when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing, then the Supreme State will come to you uninvited and unexpected!
- Nisargadatta, posted to adyashantigroup
Why am I reaching again for the brushes?
When I paint your portrait, God,
But I can choose to feel you.
At my senses' horizon
you appear hesitantly,
like scattered islands.
Yet standing here, peering out,
I'm all the time seen by you.
The choruses of angels use up all of heaven.
There's no more room for you
in all that glory. You're living
in your very last house.
All creation holds its breath, listening within me,
because, to hear you, I keep silent.
- Ranier Maria Rilke, from Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy, posted to SufiMystic
Shall I tell you our secret?
We are charming thieves who steal hearts
and never fail because we are
the friends of the One.
The time for old preaching is over
we aim straight at the heart.
If the mind tries to sneak in and take over
we will string it up without delay.
We turn poison into medicine
and our sorrows into blessings.
All that was familiar,
our loved ones and ourselves,
we had to leave behind.
Blessed is the poem that comes through me
but not of me because the sound of my own music
will drown the song of Love.
- Rumi, Ghazal (Ode) 424, translated by Azima Melita Kolin and Maryam Mafi, from Rumi: Hidden Music, posted to Sunlight
|#2825 - Sunday, May 27, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nondual Highlights
A first for the highlights? Music reviews may be rare here, but it's about time to include them. Tell us your own favorites.
How can music be more than music? When it offers satsang with the music; as music. The songs of John Astin are just that, a place of peace you can fall into and that will stay with you long after the sound fades away. He pulls you into listening deeply with your heart, and takes you deeper and deeper into the heart of presence itself. With an unhurried pace, somewhat reminiscent of folk ballads, and an underlying tone of exuberant joyfulness, this is the voice of someone already at home calling you to come in from the storm. Along with what the words say, the tone of the music conveys presence, peace, happiness, clarity of awareness. John's voice is very mellow and gentle, and he sings the words with great tenderness. The quality of musicianship is excellent, too. A lifelong classical guitarist himself, John's arrangements are enhanced by piano, cello, drums, and harmony vocals. Two of the songs in this album are based on poems by Adyashanti, and his own writing is simply exquisite. This album was recorded live, and includes his signature song, "Love, Serve, and Remember". Impossible for me to choose a favorite, yet "Fall in Love with Now" seems especially unforgettable. Listen, and spread the joy.
A note from the artist:
“Already Shining” points the listener back to the simple light of awareness that is taking in this moment right now. This is a light like no other, a light that is self-luminous, self-sustaining, and effortlessly present. It is the light of knowing that makes everything visible and yet itself can never be seen. There is no practice we can engage in that will keep the lamp of awareness lit, no technique we can employ to keep this light from going out, for there is no existence, no mind, or self apart from it. The self and awareness—they are one and the same thing. There is nothing that needs to be done to make awareness shine. It is already shining. This is your nature. It is what you have always been…
©2006 John Astin
The website has generous sample clips from this album and earlier ones, including songs from Rumi's poetry.
Along with his musical work, John holds a PhD in psychology. He is currently a research scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco where he conducts cutting edge research in the field of mind-body medicine. Also, John Astin's first book, Too Intimate For Words, was featured in an earlier highlights and he has a new book coming out later this summer. You can read some poems from that issue here: http://www.nonduality.com/hl2259.htm
Here is one found on his website that I especially like.
This Constant Lover
Her gaze is so constant,
our every move watched
with such affection, a
ceaseless vigil without
condition or agenda,
unrelenting in Her
There is endless room in
the heart of this Lover,
infinite space for whatever
foolishness we may
toss Her way.
But She is also
crafty this One -
a thief who will steal
away everything we ever
cherished, all our beliefs,
all our ideas, all our
nothing is left
but Her shimmering
this simple love
for what is.
©2006 John Astin
#2826 - Monday, May 28, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nondual Highlights
David Godman sends news of his new book!
A new book of Papaji’s teachings, published by Avadhuta Foundation and edited by David Godman, is now available. Entitled The Fire of Freedom, it comprises dialogues Papaji had with visitors in the middle of 1991. At that time Papaji was relatively unknown. Satsangs would take place in his living room in the suburbs of Lucknow, and about twelve to fifteen people would normally attend.
In these conversations Papaji explains the practical teachings of his Master, Ramana Maharshi, in a simple and forceful way. As he engages his visitors in discussions about the nature of spiritual freedom and the means by which it can be discovered, he is always looking for an opportunity to take his questioners back to the source of their minds so that they can find out for themselves, by direct experience, what he is trying to show them. The first three pages of the book can be read here
Published by Avadhuta Foundation
PO Box 296,
Boulder, CO 80306-0296
Tel: Toll-Free in US: 877-AVADHUTA (877-282-3488)
Tel: Internationally: 011-303-473-9295
Pages 291, with fifteen extra pages of colour photos
The book has been printed in Pondicherry, South India. Copies can be purchased immediately from David Godman’s site (http://www.davidgodman.org/books/buybooks.shtml) where payment is by Paypal. Copies should reach most foreign destinations in 7-14 days.
Customers residing in India can order from Satsang Bhavan, Lucknow. Contact details are as follows:
Postal address: A306, Indira Nagar, Lucknow, 226016, UP, India.
Telephone: 0522-342884; 0522-352991
The book will be available from Satsang Bhavan around the middle of June. The book is also being distributed in India by Full Circle, New Delhi.
"A shepherd was once hypnotized into thinking that he was a
great king, and that his sheep were loyal subjects. So the
shepherd's every act expressed his delusion, for example, he
commanded the sheep to polish his crown and to bring him a
royal dinner. The point is, we must recognize the nonsense of
a certain idea at the start, otherwise we will not notice the
equal nonsense of all else which follows. So a grasp of fun-
damentals is essential, including this one: The false sense of
self can do nothing but create chaos. "
--Vernon Howard, Secrets for Higher Success, p. 102
When identities are identical
The potter knows the bowl inside out,
having formed it in the void,
having shaped it around nothing
so that it may contain something.
When we comprehend with our hands again,
our minds have no difficulty comprehending.
Space and form,
form and void,
form and emptiness...
they meet each other in one shared locale
recognizing each other's identical nature.
The potter knows the bowl inside out,
having formed it in the void,
having shaped it around nothing
so that it may contain something.
When we comprehend with our hands again
our minds have no difficulty comprehending.
Tranquility and action,
movement and stillness,
silence and voice...
they meet each other in one shared moment
listening to each other's identical sound.
The poet knows the ballade inside out,
having formed it in quiet inspiration,
having voiced it around silence
so that silence may carry the song.
When we comprehend with our ears again,
our minds have no difficulty comprehending.
You and I,
male and female,
yin and yang...
touching each other in one shared embrace
feeling each other's identical being.
Lovers know their loved ones inside out,
though still discovering each other in their cosmic search,
always finding each other while expecting no one
so that each may bring forth the other.
When we comprehend with our hearts again,
our minds have no difficulty comprehending.
Space and form,
form and void,
form and emptiness...
they meet each other in one shared locale
recognizing each other's identical nature.
The potter knows the bowl inside out,
having formed it in the void,
having shaped it around nothing
so that it may contain something.
When we comprehend with our hands again,
our minds have no difficulty comprehending.
The process of practice is to see through, not to eliminate, anything to which we are attached. We could have great financial wealth and be unattached to it, or we might have nothing and be very attached to having nothing. Usually, if we have seen through the nature of attachment, we will have a tendency to have few possessions, but not necessarily. Most practice gets caught in this area of fiddling with our environments or our minds. " My mind should be quiet". Our mind doesn't matter; what matters is non attachment to the activities of the mind. And our emotions are harmless unless they dominate us 9 that is, if we are attached to them)---then they create dis-harmony for everyone. The first problem in practice is to see that we are attached. As we do consistent, patient zazen we begin to know that we are nothing but attachments; they rule our lives. But we never lose an attachment by saying it has to go. Only as we gain true awareness of its true nature does it quietly and imperceptibly wither away; like a sandcastle with waves rolling over, it just smoothes out and finally Where is it? What was it? Who is it? Whose mind is it that gets attached, or frees itself from attachments? This questioning can continue not only in formal sitting meditation, but throughout all daily activities. Who is the one that has this opinion? Who is it that experiences pain? This is questioning at the deepest level. The ordinary mind cannot provide an answer. The answer, when it comes, comes to no one out of no mind. It is revealed directly-Oh! It's as close as the nose on your face.
~ Charlotte Joko Beck
posted to TheNow_2
#2827 - Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Happiness Is a State of Not Desiring
When are you the happiest—when you are desiring something or not? Happiness and desiring cannot co-exist because desiring is an assumption that something is missing, and what can be happy about that? We think we enjoy desiring, but do we really? Through fantasizing, we like to pretend we already have what we desire. But what is better—having what you want or having a fantasy about what you want? Desiring creates a sense of lack when there is no reason to feel lack, and fantasies reinforce this sense of lack.
This moment is exactly as it is meant to be. What is missing in that? The ego’s answer to that is “a lot,” but is that true? Are you going to take the ego’s word for it? When you are aligned with essence, nothing has changed about whatever is happening, but suddenly everything seems just fine the way it is. If you have had even one moment like this, you know it is possible for many more moments to be like this. Nothing changed but your state of consciousness. You changed your mind, or more accurately, you moved out of your mind and into your Heart, where it is possible to feel that this moment is exactly right—for now.
Every moment is completely unique, and it is not long before it changes into something else. We are participants in each moment, but we are not creating it nor do we have the power to change it (it is already too late for that). We do shape the next moment to some extent with our choices, but so much else that is beyond our control is appearing in every moment that we can hardly assume we are central to it; and yet, that is the ego’s attitude. The ego assumes that it can control and change reality, and that its desires are an adequate reason to do so. This is egocentric and unrealistic, and it is good to see this. Once we do, we can relax and stop trying so hard to change things according to our will.
There is another will at work here, much more powerful than ours. It is making life happen all around us, and we are only a small part of this ever-moving, ever-changing experience that we call the moment. We can stand in awe of it, play in it, rejoice in it, or we can lament that it is not the moment we wanted. The ego’s relationship to the moment is ludicrous, although the ego doesn’t see it that way. Fortunately, we are able to separate ourselves from this point of view. What a blessing to see the truth, and what a burden it has been to try to control, change, and fix this blessed moment. Once you are done with that, you can begin to enjoy the moment just the way it is.
It is really possible to enjoy life no matter what is happening because the only one here who is not enjoying life is the ego. There is something else that is enjoying it immensely, and you are That! The secret that happiness lies within is this secret that you are that which is happy, has always been happy, and will always be happy. And the only thing that has kept you from seeing this is the ego. Now that you know yourself as other than the ego, it doesn’t matter how the ego sees things. Let it complain, judge, desire, fear, and try to cause problems. It is like a lunatic in the attic that you can just ignore. Its judgments, complaints, fears, and desires do not have to be yours anymore. They never really were yours. They were just the conditioning you were given.
The more you stop listening to the egoic mind, the more you realize just how unnecessary it is. However, you have to trust this enough to stop listening to it, and that can take time. The unraveling of the attachment to the egoic mind is usually a slow and gradual process, although at times the unraveling happens very fast. Of primary importance in this process is your willingness to detach from it, which entails a willingness to question it and then not believe it. You question what the egoic mind tells you until your belief in it becomes so weak that you are convinced it has nothing of value to say. Eventually, you get to the point where as soon as you hear its voice, you ignore it and put your attention elsewhere.
There will still be some thoughts that seem like they are your voice and not the ego’s. Those are the ones you are still identified with. Those are the ones you still believe. When you agree with some thought and speak it, it is an opportunity to question it. This is your remaining conditioning, which needs to be seen. So, you ask: Is that really true? You may find that when you speak these thoughts, they feel false or hollow, like they lack solidity and truth. This is a sign that you don’t really believe them anymore, and eventually, you will be done speaking those too.
This process usually goes on for quite some time, even years, because most of us have considerable conditioning that needs to be seen and let go of. This process needs to be accepted, and it can’t be rushed. If you don’t accept it, you will find yourself contracted and suffering over your progress. The ego will berate you for not being more enlightened if you let it, so this is one more thing to be seen.
Copyright © 2007 Gina Lake
Excerpted from Anatomy of Desire: How to Be Happy Even When You Don’t Get What You Want by Gina Lake.
Gina Lake has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology and over twenty years experience supporting people in their spiritual growth. She is also the author of several other books on spirituality, including: Living Your Destiny, Radical Happiness, Return to Essence, and Choosing Love. Gina is available for astrological and channeled phone consultations that support spiritual awakening. For more information or to order her books or read excerpts or to download Radiance: Experiencing Divine Presence for free, visit http://www.radicalhappiness.com.
#2828 - Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
You may read or discuss scripture
As much as you like.
But until you forget everything,
You will never live in your heart.
-Ashtavakra Gita 16:1
From "The Heart of Awareness: A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita," by Thomas Byrom, 1990.
The delusion which mistakes the unreal for the Real
Is the genesis of woeful births.
For those of undimmed perception, free from delusion,
Darkness departs and rapture rushes in.
To those who have dispelled all doubt and perceive Truth,
Heaven is nearer than earth.
Excerpted from the Tirukkural, translated by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.
Alan Larus Photos:
Light, my light, the world-filling light,
the eye-kissing light,
Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the center of my life;
the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love;
the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.
The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light.
Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.
The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling,
and it scatters gems in profusion.
Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling,
and gladness without measure.
The heaven's river has drowned its banks
and the flood of joy is abroad.
"...The inner secret, that which was never born,
you are that freshness, and I am with you now.
I can't explain the goings,
or the comings. You enter suddenly,
and I am nowhere again.
Inside the majesty."
Mazie Lane on GardenMystics
#2829 - Thursday, May 31, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Tikva Derhy is featured. There is something eternal and meaningful about her artworks. They are full of "being". If your email is not configured to see the images, there is a link given which you may visit.
Inspiration for my work was developed by trying to find my own peace. I created a corner (altar) to remind me of the bigger picture in life. Then I found that this is a good way to share with my fellow human beings.
My pieces are made primarily from hand cut and worked wood. I incorporate various colorful trims and found objects to create one-of-a-kind pieces. I use candle light in my art to show the light within us, and mirrors to reflect God within us.
I try to combine all religions and spirituality ... or anything that reminds us of the TRUTH and will talk to our heart.
Because for me GOD IS ONE in all languages. I hope to share it with you.
Embodiment of love and divine joy that destroys all pain and sin
Krishna is the speaker of the Bhagavad-Gita, one of mankind’s greatest books of wisdom
Krishna is also known as God himself and the source of everything
8” x 11”
| ||Green Frida
(1907-1954 Mexico City)
Leading a life of complexity and charm, Frida demonstrated enormous strength, survival, and will to live. Frida let all emotions live on the canvas and became one of the most famous artists of all time.
8” x 11”
||Amber Sitting Buddha
Provides guidance and blessing to all
15” x 16”
White Mother Mary
Mother of god; the virgin Mary represents purity, chastity, and generosity. Mother Mary is often the receiver of many prayers and offers protection to those that she watches over.
20” x 30”
16” x 24”
Reprinted with permission
#2830 - Friday, June 1, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
"One: Essential Writings on Nonduality": http://nonduality.com/one.htm. A collection of hard to find nondual writings from different traditions. Includes a brand new compilation by David Godman of the writings of Ramana Maharshi.
Nondual Christianity with a little Buddhism. Have a nice weekend.
From: "Eric Chaffee"
Subject: Coming to the end of self
Here's an item by a good friend who found his way (via
nonduality.com) to a group I participate with, weekly.
Thanks, Wil, for sharing the thoughts in this message.
The fact is, I know of nothing good living in me – living,
that is, in my unspiritual self – for though the will to do
good is in me, the performance is not, with the result that
instead of doing the good things that I want to do, I carry
out the sinful things I do not want.
- The Apostle Paul
To the Romans (7:18, 19) (The Jerusalem Bible, Reader’s
Most Saturdays, I have the great privilege of attending a
weekly early morning Bible study at a farm outside Buffalo,
NY. Eric, our moderator, who has been a faithful participant
for many years, originally invited me. This is a small group
of men from a rather wide variety of denominational and
occupational backgrounds with a very real – and, sometimes,
radical - commitment to Christ. We gather to read a chapter of
Scripture at a time, reading a verse at a time by turns around
the table, after which we discuss it, pray about it, maybe
sing a chorus or a hymn, and then go on to another one, if we
have time. This has been one of the most intense and most
edifying spiritual exercises in which I’ve ever taken part.
A few weeks ago, we spent time in Romans 7 and 8. After
reading chapter 7, we had taken up the above verses for a few
minutes, when Eric asked, “Who’s the doer?”. “Who’s the
doer!”, I exclaimed. “That’s a Buddhist question!” “That’s an
Eric question”, he responded. [see note, below] I wanted to
follow this train of thought for a few minutes, but, as most
of the members are evangelicals, we quickly followed the
well-worn, but still fruitful, train of discussion about the
man of sin versus the man of faith. I couldn’t shake the
question, though; If the doing is not what I want, then who is
This was still in the back of my mind when another regular
attendee, the son of the farmhouse owner, Philip, said, “You
know, I’ve discovered that when I sin, it’s because I want to
know something. Is that whatever-it-is as good as they say or
as fun as they say? I just want to know.” I commented that he
was underscoring the fact that the forbidden fruit in the
Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-19) was called the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil. The rest of the group was
off and running on this idea, but I was stuck with a new
question: Who wants to know?
These two questions - Who is the doer? Who wants to know? -
have been chasing each other around the back of my mind off
and on since then. As I already called the first one a
Buddhist question, I can’t help connecting these questions to
a simple Buddhist mindfulness exercise. Beginners are taught
to just sit quietly, breath quietly and regularly and watch
their thoughts. Don’t do anything with them. Just let them
blow across your mind like clouds in the sky. Then consider:
Who is sitting? Who is breathing? Who is thinking the
thoughts? But if you’re thinking the thoughts, how can you be
watching the thoughts? How can you watch yourself think? You
are obviously not your body, you are not your breathing, you
are not your mind, you are not your emotions. You just have
them. Or do you? Or are you?
The purpose is to come to the end of ourselves, to recognize
the unity of all things. In Romans 7, Paul shows how he came
to the end of himself. He continues (verses 20-24):
When I act against my will, then, it is not my true self doing
it, but sin which lives in me. In fact, it seems to be the
rule, that every single time I want to do good it is something
evil that comes to hand. In my inmost self I dearly love God’s
Law, but I can see that my body follows a different law that
battles against the law which my reason dictates. This is what
makes me a prisoner of that law of sin which lives inside my
body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this
body doomed to death?
Echoing the first two of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism
(see, for example,
Paul recognizes his suffering and sees his
conflicting desires as the cause of his suffering, but his
solution to the end of self is not Buddhist at all: “Thanks be
to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! . . . (T)he law of the
spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law
of sin and death.” (7:25; 8:2).
The doer is this false sense of self we all have, which, if we
succumb to it, will cause us to sleep the sleep of death.
However, “there is no necessity for us to obey our unspiritual
selves or to live unspiritual lives. If you live in that way,
you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put an end to
the misdeeds of the body you will live” (8:12, 13).
And if we will live, we will rise in glory (8:17) and all of
creation with us. Nothing “in this life can (e)ver be compared
to the glory as yet unrevealed”, Paul continues (Romans 8:
The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal His
(children) . . . . (C)reation still retains the hope of being
freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the
same freedom and glory as the children of God. (8:18, 20b,
So, there’s the answer: The doer is no one to whom we should
pay attention! The one who wants to know is not the One Who
knows all things! If we will come to the end of ourselves in
Him, in Christ, we will find an end to our suffering, the
suffering of our little “s” selves. We will truly be children
of God. “And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of
God and coheirs with Christ . . . “ (8:17). Then, not just we,
but all of creation, will come through Christ to that freedom,
glory and unity which was in God before ever the world was
(John 17: 5).
And so it is!
NB: Eric then immediately amended his comment to remark that
the question was first a 'Paul-question' as Paul asks 'who
shall deliver me from [doing that which I don't want to be
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available
Nondual Highlights: And now, alive from Tucson, it's
Issue #2831, Saturday, June 2, 2007!
A refreshingly honest account of seeking and finding
and doubts about being realized. Worth rereading if
already done so. [from amigos site]
A tale told by an idiot
Charlie Hayes (68, California) is an openhearted and
colorful man. After our interview he is reminded of a
line from Amadeus (the film) in which Mozart says: 'I
am a vulgar man, but I assure you, my music is not'.
He states, 'I too have been a vulgar man. But
hopefully, my sharing is not.'
When it comes to searching, he knows all the tricks.
That is: 'I don't care how, if only I'll get to where
you can't get' (because I was already always there.
Talking to us about 'nothing' he thinks is great fun.
Charlie is a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer, and
does marketing sponsorship coaching for people who do
car racing, once his great passion (as a race driver
he used to be in the world top 10.)
To quote you, after your introductory lines of
Awakening To The Eternal (on your website): 'Lies!
Lies! Truth cannot be languaged. It is hopeless. It is
an impossible task. Only a fool like me would try'.
There are quite a few communicators who would, as we
Yes. They are all like me ... fakes. I've noticed that
authentic pointing usually includes a disclaimer of
some sort, to avoid the confusion, which I now include
for this apparent Charlie: Nothing I say is the truth.
And 'I' am not an enlightened person. That would be a
gross contradiction in terms, a true 'Oxymoron.'
(Emphasis on the Moron part.) I had a marvelous
conversation on New Years Day with my Beloved Friend
Tony Parsons. I said: 'First off, I have to tell you,
I am a fake.' Tony laughed and said, 'Me too!' (Tony
points constantly to the non-existence of a 'person;'
reiterating that the so-called person is a phantom, a
Remember our friend Lao Tsu? 'The Tao that can be told
is NOT the Eternal Tao.' Of course, he went on to
apparently 'tell' the Tao for another eighty plus
verses of beautiful, really sublime, poetic pointing
toward the Eternal.
All that is happening here is that there is a
body-mind called Charlie pecking away on a keyboard
with two fingers. What sees this going on? There is a
simple sense, I am, I exist. NOT the thought I am. The
thought 'I am' is NOT the I that I am. That I is
impersonal. It is you and the world and everything and
nothing. And This is all simply... happening, In the
Space of That I.
You have been on 'the pathless path' quite a while,
you spoke to many people, studied the sages. Can you
tell us about that ('knowing that you are not your
Ah yes. The story. We love our stories. The story of
ME. I am the star of my story. And it is SO
interesting, to me! To anyone else it is Boring. They
love THEIR story. In which THEY are the stars. Of
course, there really IS NO One so the whole exercise
is, as Shakespeare noted, 'A tale told by an idiot,
filled with sound and fury, signifying ...NOTHING, a
poor player who struts about on the stage and then is
heard from no more.
But OK, here it is anyway:
I appeared as Charles David Hayes Jr. on 14 December
1936. I have been a spoiled brat, a jazz musician, and
a professional racing driver once rated in the top ten
in the world. I raced for Ferrari in the 1960's and
later owned a Ferrari agency. I won a number of races,
which 'Made me feel whole and complete. For about an
hour.' I had many friends, amongst them movie stars,
Indy winners and Formula One racers. In 1968 I
appeared briefly in a major motion picture, 'Winning,'
with Paul Newman, who drove my then current Can-Am car
in the film.
Despite having wealth, fame, marvelous friends, a
loving family and huge successes, there was always
something missing. There was a deep fundamental sense
that 'something is wrong' and 'I am not a good
person.' And as my life unfolded there was a deep
feeling that 'I don't belong', and that 'I am on my
own in a hostile world.' Despite all the successes,
there was quiet (and sometimes quite LOUD)
desperation!' When I was not racing I drank and did
drugs to dull the pain.
I became intensely interested in spiritual disciplines
after the devastating loss of most of my possessions,
my business, my home and even my beloved wife. This
was accompanied by a complete 'nervous breakdown,' for
which I was hospitalized for a month in June 1974.
While I was in the hospital a sort of strange
awakening occurred (although I did not see it as such,
I just thought I was crazy.)
Sitting in a group, another patient began to speak and
I had the clear and unmistakable experience of being
not me any more but rather being HIM. Knocked me for a
loop. It was 'me' speaking through that body-mind
apparatus over there; I knew what he was about to say
a split second before the sound was heard. I had
disappeared and there was nothing, a space, in which
thinking arose and sound arose _ for no one!
I later learned that this was what was referred to in
the East as Jnana or pure knowing without a 'knower',
or in some Christian mystical literature, the
'Impersonal Life' at the heart of creation. After that
moment I saw quite often that what I had thought was
'me' was actually a machine, running on endlessly,
producing one furball of thought after another. Its
favorite thing to think up was this apparent 'me!'
But not having the least idea of what this might be I
dismissed it as a Looney Toons Moment and went right
back to being 'someone, a person, separate and alone',
a thing with no awareness of the Nothing I had
My Sweet Lord!
Then, while still in that mental ward, I found a
record by George Harrison singing this great 'Love
Song to God' it sent me straight into ecstasy! My
Sweet Lord!! That was another kind of awakening. It
was what I later learned was a taste of the
unconditional, pure love of God, or Oneness called
Bhakti in the East, Agape in the West. I listened to
it over and over.
At this point some new Energy surged up. I lost
weight, exercised, and quit smoking, much to the
amazement of the doctors and staff. They thought I was
Well, it did seem that way. But I was about to crash
big time from this 'enlightenment' after leaving the
cocoon of the hospital. After being discharged, while
still on heavy medication for depression, I was
exposed first to the book 'Be Here Now' by Ram Dass,
and then to the teachings of the Great Sage of India,
Sri Ramana Maharshi. Ramana's teaching germinated for
27 years, while I searched through many teachings,
seminars, gurus, books, tapes, meditations and other
'spiritual practices.' Gurumayi Chidvilasanda
initiated the life saving heart surgery I received in
the year 2000.
In 2001 I received initiation as a Reiki Master
Teacher. Becoming a Reiki Master was a breakthrough
into a healing, freedom and joy that I had sought
since 1974. But it seemed a piece was still missing.
Then in 2002 I met the Indian Saint Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar. We quickly became quite close and, there was
tremendous Love and profound 'Resonance' between us.
And lo and behold, Charlie-Ishan became 'enlightened.'
So he thought.
WOW! Bliss, at last...
I was in love with everything and everyone. I saw NO
lack or limitation and I saw that EVERYTHING was
perfect, just as it is. There was NOTHING wrong any
more, for me. ('For me.' Uh Oh!)
(Right now as this is being typed, there is the
thought, wow, this is FUN, accompanied by a feeling of
great joy and enthusiasm. I guess that is as good an
explanation of why this communication is happening as
any! If any explanation is wanted by a mind out there
this will do nicely!)
OK, Back to the Tale Told By The Idiot: After a few
weeks the apparent 'Oneness' began to fade of course,
and I got real worried! I can see now that there was a
deep and profound EXPERIENCE of oneness... but it was
for a 'me.' And as we know ALL experience is
temporary. After a few weeks it was (apparently) gone,
and that 'me' was left with the same endless despair
that I knew as my 'default state'. So, it seemed that
something was STILL 'wrong' with 'me.' A piece was
still missing. That missing piece turned out to be
authentic Non-Dual Spirituality, known as 'Advaita.'
The Non-Dual 'Teachings' point out that, as I
mentioned before, NO PERSON becomes enlightened! The
'one' who wants it is GONE when it 'happens.' There
are no enlightened body-mind machines! Something had
led me to the Sage Wayne Liquorman, and from 2002
through 2004 I finally became inalterably convinced
through the words of Wayne, Ramesh Balsekar,
Nisargadatta Maharaj and others that this
enlightenment that 'I' was seeking all those years is
utterly IMPERSONAL and is NOT something a 'person' can
'attain.' In a way this was VERY bad news. I realized
that for thirty years I had been looking under the
streetlight for a key that was lost by the door, but
you see, there was no light by the door so I kept
looking for 'it' where it WASN'T.
Then I tried a new meditation 'Practice' called the
Ishayas Ascension. That was quite profound. As I began
the second day of the three-day Course, suddenly there
was this very deep realization that The Eternal (also
called 'The Ascendant') was NOT some THING or 'State'
to 'Attain.' It was the absolute NATURAL
always-present Presence that is at the core of
everything. It is clean, clear and profound in its
timeless beauty. Seeing this over and over, as an
experience, rather than a 'dry' concept, was MOST
welcome! However, that was still an 'experience' for a
'me' at that stage.
Finally in late 2004 after a retreat in Sedona with
Wayne Liquorman I got fed up, frustrated, and
exhausted. In my despair, I got rude and nasty with my
friend Wayne, who is not one to suffer ignorant fools
and who summarily kicked me out of his Satsang. That
was PERFECT as it turned out because that led me to
Listening to Tony there was immediate and deep love.
It was amazing, palpable. In September 2004 I heard a
tape of a talk he gave in California that just left me
in awe. And now the light was seen as definitely NOT
the train. Tony was pointing toward Home from
EXPERIENCE, sharing that Experience with me. And the
message Tony was delivering was.. is _ delightfully,
utterly devoid of the usual spiritual concepts. Over
the next few weeks I heard many talks by Tony, which
resonated deeply. There was a beautiful unfolding of
that which had been missing. It is a Pure and Simple
IMPERSONAL Affinity, Friends sharing with Friends,
rather than some 'Sage' sitting in a big chair looking
down from his high attainment at some 'miserable
seekers.' 'There was No 'Enlightened person!' There
never was, is, or could be. This was the beginning of
Liberation For No One.
These insights led 'me' to read books by and/or chat
with other nice people like Leo Hartong, Nathan Gill,
Jan Kerschot, John Wheeler, 'Sailor' Bob Adamson, Joan
Tollifson, Wei Wu Wei and Gilbert Schultz. After an
intense period of interaction with John Wheeler,
spiced up by Leo, John Greven (John Wheeler's friend)
and Gilbert, there came a settling in that awareness
that is all there is, and there is no me except as an
appearance of thought in the space of that awareness.
And an appearance is a ghost, a fake. No more real
than the shadow of the tree is the tree.
And in the now there is no person. Just This. Typing
at a keyboard. Looking out of the window. Noticing
thought and feeling appearing in the Space that is the
I am. Drinking Coffee. Watching a crow fly across the
empty sky. Hearing the hum of the computer and the
clack of the keys. Noticing the thinking that there is
someone thinking, seeing through that ... aware of the
light that lights the mind like the light that shines
through the prism splitting itself apparently from One
'I saw the light at the end of the tunnel -and it
wasn't the train-', you mentioned that a few times.
I once thought that The Light that was seen was the
Source teasing me with glimpses of the experience of
the Self. Later I came to see (a seeing
occurred/occurs) that that too is nonsense. The
experience is NOT the Real. Not The Eternal. The
Eternal is absolutely nothing! No Thing. Neti Neti as
the Hindus say. Total negation. Not Not Not! And this
cannot be known or understood.
As I said only a fool would try to speak the
unspeakable. 'The Tao that can be told is NOT the
Eternal Tao.' The moment we think or speak there is
something thinking or speaking ABOUT That which can
NOT be represented in language. That can NOT be RE-
presented. IT is always present, shining right now as
the light of Awareness, a Naked Presence, BEFORE the
mind. A Priori.
Gilbert Schultz points to it simply as 'One moment
endlessly unfolding.' 'Sailor' Bob uses the concept
'Presence-Awareness, just this, nothing else. Full
stop.' All point endlessly to That which cannot be
pointed to. Because That does not exist AS AN OBJECT!
One-Without-A-Second means NO separation, doesn't it?
'What kept you going on exploring, was there an innate
More like an innate desperation. But truly, this is
not anything the seeker can control, nothing that
happens can be controlled by any appearing 'me. This
'Awakening' stuff is a bit like having a spin-out at
180 MPH in a race car. After the ride is over people
say, 'Wow, you did a great job controlling the car!'
Nope, 'I' was just along for the ride.
The shadow does not control that which casts the
shadow. The shadow appears real but in fact without
the Source, the shadow cannot exist at all. And even
further out, without the Light that shines as the
Source of the Source there could be no shadow.
What kept 'me' exploring was that there was no one
choosing. If there had been a 'me' to choose that me
would have stopped the seeking long ago! Seeking is
misery for the apparent seeker. Finding never happens,
it Never has for any 'one' and never will. It is a
hopeless case, chasing one's tail. Do you know the
play 'Waiting for Godot?' I don't know the whole text,
but I was struck by the premise, as I understand it:
'Waiting for Godot. It is horrible. He NEVER comes.
All there is is waiting.'
The whole idea of a 'me' seeking that can choose to
seek or not, to keep going or not, is straight out of
the ignorance of the split mind. As Wei Wu Wei points
out so elegantly, the whole problem is that we have
our attention on 'me' and there ISN'T one! You see
there is no one. It is not, there is no choice. There
is no chooser. Choosing appears and happens as a part
of a story of 'me.' But there is no such person as
'me.' Just a body-mind typing away this morning ...
this apparent entity I call myself is but an idea in
the split mind that thinks itself to be real and
believes itself to exist separately from all else that
So who can choose to continue exploring if there is no
We have a theme in this Amigo issue that is 'no
regrets'. Please comment.
I regret that I have no comment: --- Just kidding!
Regrets can arise. The difference is, that regret,
like happiness or any other emotion or thought, is
simply seen as a natural expression of Oneness arising
in the Space of that which we are ... the Eternal. I
had a conversation last night with someone that ended
'badly.' She was being stubbornly right about all that
she 'knew' about everything. Finally I ran out of
patience and said, you, my dear, are being both
arrogant and ignorant.' You can imagine how well THAT
went over! Mind you, in order to see that I had to
recognize that IN the 'me' that thinks it is a person.
So it was seen that, yes, that 'me' that thinks it is
who I am IS arrogant and ignorant! That is what's so
in the play.
But it is also, so what? So this morning there is
regret. I would prefer that there be affinity in all
my relationships. But there is no GUILT. Guilt can
only arise for a 'me' that thinks 'it' did 'something
wrong.' Nothing is right or wrong unless there is a
thinker thinking that there is something wrong or
right. And if you and I look for that 'Thinker' we
find beyond doubt that 'It' does not exist. As
'Sailor' Bob says: 'What's wrong with right now,
unless you think about it?' So regret can arise. As
can fear, anger, joy, peace, depression, happiness,
all of the spectrum. But it simply arises in the
space, the pure naked awareness, and then dissolves
back into that. And when this is seen by no one, it is
seen that the seeing, the seen and the apparent
process of seeing are NOT separate.
All there is is Consciousness. No thing. Happening.
Charlie's website: www.AwakeningToTheEternal.Net
PS Days after the ending of out email conversation we
received another e-mail from Charlie wherein he
communicates in all honesty:
[...] There is sometimes still a deep, abiding sadness
near the core of 'me' and a sense that I am not 'done'
... though I sometimes try to claim that I am. So the
unfolding into Light goes ... and the inquiry into
who, and what, that 'me' is, continues.
I have been deeply touched by a great many people who
have shared their experiences of 'awakening' on the
spiritual path on the Internet. And so I am moved to
share my process.[...]
- posted to AdvaitaToZen
Park yourself in front of a world of choices in alternative vehicles. Visit the
Yahoo! Auto Green Center.
#2832 - Sunday, June 3, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
So you've cut up your hide and stretched it,
pegged it down to dry with definite,
but have you planted any fruit trees
for the next generation?
Wisdom offered you is like a ball
thrown at a boundary post,
useless as molasses fed to a tawny bull
to help it give more milk!
14th Century North Indian mystic
From "Naked Song"
Versions by Coleman Barks
posted to AlongTheWay
Question: What do we experience when we connect with our real self? How does that experience change the way we live our own life?
Answer: You no longer create suffering for yourself. Anger, resentment, regret, grievances, anxiety, guilt, etc, which are all inseparable from the egoic state of consciousness, no longer arise. And when you no longer create suffering for yourself, you no longer create suffering for others. You have deep empathy, not only with other human beings, but also with nature and all life forms. You see all life forms as manifestations of the one formless and eternal Life, which is what you are in essence, and you can sense that essence not only in yourself, but in all beings. In other words, everywhere you encounter yourself.
Question: Wouldn't it be more encouraging to set one's goals and try to fulfill them? That could also give us a strong purpose in life… What is the difference between the two approaches?
Answer: There's nothing wrong with goals and trying to fulfill them – as long as the main focal point of your attention remains the present moment. It's like being on a journey and knowing where you want to get to, but realizing at the same time that the entire journey ultimately consists of one step – the step you're taking at this moment. That one step is all there ever is, and so you give it your fullest attention. In other words, the step you're taking now is primary, the destination – the goal – is secondary. If the destination becomes primary, you will become stressed and anxious and you will miss life. You will suffer, and the destination will not make you happy even when you get there, when you attain your goals.
from Eckhart Tolle's newsletter
posted to TheNow_2
500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art
[ video on YouTube]
Ben Hassine on GardenMystics
Ashtavakra Beach Party
by Bob O'Hearn
[click on to next image for all verses]
#2833 - Monday, June 3, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Sum of Perfection
By John of the Cross
(1542 - 1591)
English version by Ivan Granger
Creator only known,
Attention turned inward
In love with the Beloved alone.
The original Spanish verse has a fluid, chant-like rhythm that's difficult to reproduce in English translation:
Olvido de lo criado,
memoria del Criador,
atencion a lo interior
y estarse amando al Amado.Poetry Chaikhana Home
Bob O'Hearn photo
Ed.note: wonderful audio and video on his website.
You Are the Buddha
Rediscovered years later in an old file, the following talk was written by Adyashanti in preparation for the first silent retreat he taught, in July 1997:
Starting right now, this moment, I am asking you to become the Buddha. I am asking you to take your stand, to stand absolutely firm in your intention to awaken to the Truth of your Self.
This is what the Buddha did. He didn't say, "I'll try." He didn't say, "I hope I'll find the Truth." He didn't say, "I'll do my best." He didn't say, "If not in this lifetime, then maybe next lifetime." He came to the point where he didn't look for anyone else to tell him the Truth or show him the Truth. He came to the point where he took it all on himself. He sat alone under the Bodhi Tree and vowed never to give up until the Truth be realized.
The power of this very simple, yet unshakable intention and absolute stand to be liberated in this lifetime propelled him to awaken to the simple fact that he and all beings are liberated—that all beings are freedom itself. Pure awakeness.
The Buddha was no different from you. No different. That is why he serves as a good model, because he was as you are now. So don't worship the Buddha. Don't put him on a pedestal. Don't even look up to him. Become him. Have the same intentions, take the same stand. Be the Buddha now! Put an end to all delaying, to all excuses, to all bowing down to saintly figures of the past or present. Stand up!
You are the Buddha! You are freedom itself! Stop dreaming your dream! Stop pretending that you are in bondage—stop telling yourself that lie! Stop pretending to be someone, or something! You are no one, you are no-thing! You are not this body or this mind. This body and mind exist within who and what you are. You are pure consciousness, already free, awake, and liberated. Stand up and walk out of your dream. I am here to say that you can do this.
Step out of the dream of your concepts and ideas. Step out of the dream of what you imagine enlightenment to be. Step out of the dream of who you think you are. Step out of the dream of everything you have ever known. Step out of your dream of being a deluded person. Stop telling yourself those lies and dreaming those dreams. Step out of all of that. You can do it. Nothing is holding you back. There are no requirements and no prerequisites to awaken. There is nothing to be done, nothing to think, nowhere to go.
Just stop all dreaming. Stop all doing. Stop all excuses. Just stop and be still. Effortlessly be still. Grace will do the rest.
At each and every moment from here on out, have the intention to directly experience Truth, your true liberated Self. Don't think about the Truth—directly return to your experience here, now, moment to moment. Experience Truth. Experience your Self. Dive into your experience. Your experience! Your experience of hearing, of seeing, of tasting, of breathing, of your heart beating, of your feet touching the floor, of the birds, of the wind.
Experience the vastness of who you are. Experience the freedom of who you are. You are the Buddha—experience that. You are the Buddha.
© 2005 Adyashanti
posted to Wisdom-l
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