Whatever purifies you, is the correct road, I will try not to define it.
"Imagine training your mind so that when you look at every single living being, you think, 'My enlightenment depends on that being.
The drunk who just got on the bus--my enlightenment depends on him.
The soldier in Iraq--my enlightenment depends on him.
My brothers and sisters, the teller at the bank, the janitor at my workplace, the president of the United States, the suicide bombers in the Middle East, the slug in my garden, my eighth-grade boyfriend, the babysitter when I was a kid--my enlightenment depends on each of them.'
All sentient beings are actually that precious to us."
~ Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron
From the book, "Cultivating a Compassionate Heart: The Yoga Method of Chenrezig," published by Snow Lion Publications. via Daily Dharma
“Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
photo by Alan Larus, "Under The Bridge".
from Merton's 'The Way of Chuang Tzu'.
*the true man*
What is meant by a "true man"? The true men of old were not afraid When they stood alone in their views. No great exploits. No plans. If they failed, no sorrow. No self-congratulation in success. They scaled cliffs, never dizzy, Plunged in water, never wet, Walked through fire and were not burnt. Thus their knowledge reached all the way To Tao.
The true men of old Slept without dreams, Woke without worries. Their food was plain. They breathed deep. True men breathe from their heels. Others breathe with their gullets, Half-strangled in dispute They heave up arguments Like vomit.
Where the fountains of passion Lie deep The heavenly springs Are soon dry.
The true men of old knew no zest for life, No dread of death. Their entrance was without gladness, Their exit, yonder,
Without resistance. Easy come, easy go. They did not forget where they came from, Nor ask where to, Nor drive grimly forward Fighting their way through life. They took life as it came, gladly; They took death as it came, without care, And went away yonder, Yonder!
They had no mind to fight Tao. They did not try, by their own contriving, To help Tao along. These are the ones we call true men.
Minds free, thoughts gone Brows clear, faces serene. Were they cool? Only cool as autumn. Were they hot? No hotter than spring. All that came out of them Came quiet, like the four seasons.
[the character Merton translates in the traditional manner as "man" is actually gender neutral, and should be read as such]
A New York Times article, the top 12 nondual quotes, and Nathan Gill are featured.
A reminder that you can "attend" the Miracle in Marin -- The Science and Nonduality Conference -- this year, October 25 -28, 2012, while sitting at home. Just tune-in via ForaTV for a fraction of the Conference expenses which unavoidably include gas, food, lodging, workshops, entry fee, and sessions with Scott Kiloby.)
"maybe there is no one in charge — no independent, self-serving, order-issuing homunculus. Buddhists note that our skin doesn’t separate us from the environment, but joins us, just as biologists know that “we” are manipulated by, no less than manipulators of, the rest of life. Who is left after “you” are separated from your genes? Where does the rest of the world end, and each of us begin?"
12. The dawn of creation wrote what the last day of reckoning shall read. Omar Khayyan 11. Every moment is the seed for the next. Nissargadatta 10 . Man is God in drag. Rumi 9. What's wrong with right now unless you think about it. Bob Adamson 8. Human is an idea. Karl Renz 7. See that the senses don't connect some you to an outside world and there is instant realization. Huang Po 6. Events happen deeds are done but there is no doer thereof. Buddha 5. Forgive them for they know not what they do. Jesus 4. Beyond right and wrong there is a field. I will meet you there. Rumi 3. Nothing real can be threatened and nothing unreal exists. Therein lies the peace of God. Course in Miracles 2. I take my stand prior to all. I am the primal ground. Nissargadatta 1. I am not God but of God. Jesus.
BY NATHAN GILL
Consciousness, also referred to as The Absolute, The Supreme Reality, No-thing etc is appearing as everything and everyone right now. That is Your identity, Your true nature. You ARE The Supreme Reality, in and as which arises Awareness, in and as which arises form (the play of life).
Whenever there is simple relaxation into the Awareness aspect of Your Nature, it becomes clear that form (the play of life) is appearing completely spontaneously and that there are no individual entities doing or thinking anything. Awareness is attracted to its own appearances, and, focussed as attention, becomes mesmerised by them (particularly form as thought, and especially thought that appears to refer to “me” as an individual). In this mesmerising, and consequent forgetting of our true nature, the play of life in its myriad appearances seems to be the sole reality.
But Awareness is not confined as and to form, rather, form is appearing IN awareness! When the reminding of this happens in some way, maybe by this current article or through a “teacher”, book, Youtube etc, then identification as form may become obvious and seeking spontaneously ceases. There is no longer focussing in and as form, rather there is resting as Awareness.
The play of life continues but the suffering that arises whenever there is attachment to form (and thought particularly) is no longer there. There often ensues in the play of life remembering and forgetting (identification and dis-identification) which has become known as flip-flopping, but the seeming confinement to and as form has loosened. At times mesmerisation may occur with consequent seeking, at times there is simply resting as Awareness.
In whatever configuration form appears right now, it is just exactly how it’s “meant” to be. Form – the play of life – cannot be altered or transformed in any way by any supposed individual because there are no individuals. The play of life is like a movie already transcribed onto a DVD. It is unalterable, playing endlessly on and on in a display of endless appearances.
Whenever Awareness identifies with form it appears as though seeking through various means is the key to freedom from that identification, but seeking is merely more identification. The life of the apparent individual is an automaticity, just another part of the movie. There is no individual freedom, rather there may be recognition of our true nature when seeing as and from Awareness, and even the outshining of that as the entirety of our nature as the Supreme Reality. None of this can be “done”. All is simply a spontaneously arising modification of the One Reality, which of course is none other than This, already!
So there’s one story, and here’s another. Rarely, with some body-mind appearances in the play there’s no gradual reminding and remembering, but rather the complete and immediate falling away of any limitation to seeing and living directly as and from The Supreme Reality, from No-thing.
Seeing and living directly as and from No-thing is always already the case of course but there isn’t always the conscious recognition of that. Consciousness likes to play hide and seek with itself!
Announcement of new books from Julian Noyce and excerpt from an article on the nondual perspective of politics.
Julian Noyce writes:
When I set up Non-Duality Press 8 years ago I felt intuitively there was an undercurrent of change taking place. Of course, there had always been pioneers and obscure mystery schools in the West but the coming together of east and west with a focus on the ground of being, had never, it seemed to me, been more apparent. Eastern schools of thought, the Perennial Philosophy, were being integrated in an intelligent way and being expressed in forms that could be related to in daily life. But books that reflected this apparent movement were published infrequently and on a timescale which wasn't reflecting the material that was emerging or the changes that were taking place.
The two books we publish this month exemplify the reasons we began publishing. Both writers express their experience passionately and intelligently but without specific agenda. Amberchele is incinerated in a high-security prison where he has lived for the last 30 years. Despite brutal conditions, there is a depth and beauty that come through in his writing. Richard Bates works as a locksmith in the English Midlands. He was gripped by an impulse to seek which didn't stop until it resolved itself.
Amberchele's writing is influenced by The Headless Way approach of Douglas Harding but I feel in this small book there is an expression of a wide-ranging and universal seeing. Richard's book is grounded in his daily life and explores how his encounter with Wholeness has affected what he once considered to be 'his life'. He, to a much lesser extent, also talks about a practical application of Douglas Harding's Headless Way
Of course, whether evolution happens in the timeless, and, indeed whether it matters at all, are separate questions. However, we do appear to be living in an era when wholeness is more revealed and accessible that it ever has been.
As both authors, in different degrees, have been influenced by Douglas Harding's we are offering the Headless Way DVDs at a reduced rate. See below and on our website for details.
With warm good wishes during this change of seasons.
PS. I would encourage you to download the samples in this newsletter and on the website listings for the books. We also have Kindle and EPub samples for download.
Access the links and read the rest of the newsletter here (it's a good link, just long):
There is probably no area of human life more locked into dualistic consciousness than politics, and since politics is the arena in which decisions about how the elements of human society interact with each other, and eventually, with the natural world, it is imperative that we find a way beyond dualist thinking in politics.
We must understand the inherent limitations of either-orthinking. We must be able to see, for example, that the arguments between individual-liberty/free-enterprise capitalism and support-for-all-socialism are false. We must see that our problems can only be resolved with a non-dualistic political perspective that synthesizes the best of capitalist/libertarian and socialist/collectivist political and economic philosophies.
A dynamic system that skillfully balances protections for the liberty and enterprise of individuals, while guarding against excesses by the powerful at the expense of the vulnerable, is essential. Creative individualism and all-inclusive supportive community has to be the goal.
In such a system, government is democratic in a quite pure sense with built-in protections against undue influence and control by special and powerful interests, while guided by an overarching non-dualistic philosophy. Education that trains citizens not only in traditional information and skills, but also complementary non-dualistic wisdom, must be open, available to all,and the highest societal priority.
Satsang is a tongueless teacher and headless students. So shut your head, let your Heart open, and Truth will reveal itself to you in Silence. Only pay attention to That with your open Heart.
via Along The Way
The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean....
"The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we've learned most of what we know. Recently, we've waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. The ocean calls. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
Dancing Great Blue Heron Landing On Otter Point At Sunset ~ The Cove, Far Away Point, Maryland. Photo by Peter Shefler
"Whoever knows that he knows must be amazed. This is both to wonder and to be lost in a maze: to wonder because knowing and being is downright weird, and to be lost in a maze because knowing that one knows generates a confusion of echoes in which the original sound is lost. For when I know that I know, which one is I? The first which knows, the second which knows that I know, or the third which knows that I know that I know?"
~ Alan Watts, from Beyond Theology: The Art of Godmanship
The eye that sees, the ear that hears, the tongue that tastes are only apparatus, but, the "I" that sees, hears and tastes is Reality.....
There seem to two kinds of searchers: those who seek to make their ego something other than it is, i.e. holy, happy, unselfish (as though you could make a fish unfish), and those who understand that all such attempts are just gesticulation and play-acting, that there is only one thing that can be done, which is to disidentify themselves with the ego, by realising its unreality, and by becoming aware of their eternal identity with pure being.
Quotes from Wei Wu Wei
via Christopher Hebard on Facebook
A True Master does not ask you for anything or tell you to do this or that. Already, you are bewildered doing jumping jacks, listening to self-improvement tapes, going to motivational speakers, and seeking out charismatic gurus. The Master simply brings attention to your nature as "Being", and invites you to rest in your own Heart.
~ Harsh Luthar
The concept that there is a goal and a path to it is wrong. We are the goal or peace always. To get rid of the notion that we are not peace is all that is required.
~ Ramana Maharshi
via Sandra Ma on Facebook
No one has actually ever gotten entangled in phenomena, bodies, minds, experiences, relationships, etc. We are always already none other than the One that is also Many; our real Nature is the undefined, unstructured, infinite Openness-Emptiness of Pure Awareness that is also simultaneously appearing as all phenomena. We are Formlessness associated with and permeating forms, but never “born” or caught up as these forms.
An excerpt on the four natural enemies, from Chapter 3 of The Teachings of Don Juan, by Carlos Castaneda
Sunday, 1962 April 15
As I was getting ready to leave, I decided to ask him once more about the enemies of a man of knowledge. I argued that I could not return for some time, and it would be a good idea to write down what he had to say, and then think about it while I was away.
He hesitated for a while, but then began to talk.
"When a man starts to learn, he is never clear about his objectives. His purpose is faulty. His intent is vague. He hopes for rewards that will never materialize, for he knows nothing of the hardships of learning.
"He slowly begins to learn- bit by bit at first, then in big chunks. And his thoughts soon clash. What he learns is never what he pictured, or imagined, and so he begins to be afraid. Learning is never what one expects. Every step of learning is a new task, and the fear the man is experiencing begins to mount mercilessly, unyieldingly. His purpose becomes a battlefield.
"And thus he has tumbled upon the first of his natural enemies: Fear! A terrible enemy- treacherous, and difficult to overcome. It remains concealed at every turn of the way, prowling, waiting. And if the man, terrified in its presence, runs away, his enemy will have put an end to his quest."
"What will happen to the man if he runs away in fear?"
"Nothing happens to him except that he will never learn. He will never become a man of knowledge. He will perhaps be a bully or a harmless, scared man. At any rate, he will be a defeated man. His first enemy will have put an end to his cravings."
"And what can he do to overcome fear?"
"The answer is very simple. He must not run away. He must defy his fear, and in spite of it, he must take the next step in learning, and the next, and the next. He must be fully afraid, and yet he must not stop. That is the rule! And a moment will come when his first enemy retreats. The man begins to feel sure of himself. His intent becomes stronger. Learning is no longer a terrifying task.
"When this joyful moment comes, the man can say without hesitation that he has defeated his first natural enemy."
"Does it happen at once, don Juan, or little by little?"
"It happens little by little, and yet the fear is vanquished suddenly and fast."
"But will the man not be afraid again if something new happens to him?"
"No. Once a man has vanquished fear, he is free from it for the rest of his life because, instead of fear, he has acquired clarity- a clarity of mind which erases fear. By then a man knows his desires. He knows how to satisfy those desires. He can anticipate the new steps of learning, and a sharp clarity surrounds everything. The man feels that nothing is concealed.
"And thus he has encountered his second enemy: Clarity! That clarity of mind which is so hard to obtain, dispels fear but also blinds.
"It forces the man never to doubt himself. It gives him the assurance he can do anything he pleases, for he sees clearly into everything; and he is courageous because he is clear; and he stops at nothing because he is clear.
"But all that is a mistake. It is like something incomplete. If the man yields to this make-believe power, he has succumbed to his second enemy and will fumble with learning. He will rush when he should be patient, or he will be patient when he should rush; and he will fumble with learning until he winds up incapable of learning anything more."
"What becomes of a man who is defeated in that way, don Juan? Does he die as a result?"
"No, he does not die. His second enemy has just stopped him cold from trying to become a man of knowledge. Instead, the man may turn into a buoyant warrior, or a clown. Yet the clarity for which he has paid so dearly will never change to darkness and fear again. He will be clear as long as he lives, but he will no longer learn, or yearn for anything."
"But what does he have to do to avoid being defeated?"
"He must do what he did with fear. He must defy his clarity and use it only to see, and wait patiently and measure carefully before taking new steps. He must think, above all, that his clarity is almost a mistake; and a moment will come when he will understand that his clarity was only a point before his eyes.
"And thus he will have overcome his second enemy, and will arrive at a position where nothing can harm him any more. This will not be a mistake. It will not be only a point before his eyes. It will be true power.
"He will know at this point that the power he has been pursuing for so long is finally his. He can do with it whatever he pleases. His ally is at his command. His wish is the rule. He sees all that is around him. But he has also come across his third enemy: Power!
"Power is the strongest of all enemies. And naturally, the easiest thing to do is to give in. After all, the man is truly invincible. He commands: He begins by taking calculated risks, and ends in making rules because he is a master.
"A man at this stage hardly notices his third enemy closing in on him; and suddenly, without knowing, he will certainly have lost the battle. His enemy will have turned him into a cruel, capricious man."
"Will he lose his power?"
"No, he will never lose his clarity or his power."
"What then will distinguish him from a man of knowledge?"
"A man who is defeated by power dies without really knowing how to handle it. Power is only a burden upon his fate. Such a man has no command over himself, and cannot tell when or how to use his power."
"Is the defeat by any of these enemies a final defeat?"
"Of course it is final. Once one of these enemies overpowers a man there is nothing he can do."
"Is it possible, for instance, that the man who is defeated by power may see his error and mend his ways?"
"No. Once a man gives in he is through."
"But what if he is temporarily blinded by power, and then refuses it?"
"That means his battle is still on. That means he is still trying to become a man of knowledge. A man is defeated only when he no longer tries, and abandons himself."
"But then, don Juan, it is possible that a man may abandon himself to fear for years, but finally conquer it."
"No, that is not true. If he gives in to fear, he will never conquer it because he will shy away from learning and never try again. But if he tries to learn for years in the midst of his fear, he will eventually conquer it because he will never have really abandoned himself to it."
"How can he defeat his third enemy, don Juan?"
"He has to defy it, deliberately. He has to come to realize the power he has seemingly conquered is in reality never his. He must keep himself in line at all times, handling carefully and faithfully all that he has learned. If he can see that clarity and power without his control over himself are worse than mistakes, he will reach a point where everything is held in check. He will know then when and how to use his power; and thus he will have defeated his third enemy.
"The man will be, by then, at the end of his journey of learning, and almost without warning he will come upon the last of his enemies: Old age! This enemy is the cruelest of all; the one he will not be able to defeat completely, but only fight away.
"This is the time when a man has no more fears, no more impatient clarity of mind- a time when all his power is in check, but also the time when he has an unyielding desire to rest. If he gives in totally to his desire to lie down and forget; if he soothes himself in tiredness, he will have lost his last round and his enemy will cut him down into a feeble old creature. His desire to retreat will overrule all his clarity, his power, and his knowledge.
"But if the man sloughs off his tiredness, and lives his fate through, he can then be called a man of knowledge; if only for the brief moment when he succeeds in fighting off his last, invincible enemy. That moment of clarity, power, and knowledge is enough."
Issue #4730, Saturday/Sunday, October 13/14, 2012
I wish I could take a quiet corner in the heart of my baby's very
I know it has stars that talk to him, and a sky that stoops
down to his face to amuse him with its silly clouds and rainbows.
Those who make believe to be dumb, and look as if they never
could move, come creeping to his window with their stories and with
trays crowded with bright toys.
I wish I could travel by the road that crosses baby's mind,
and out beyond all bounds;
Where messengers run errands for no cause between the kingdoms
of kings of no history;
Where Reason makes kites of her laws and flies them, the Truth
sets Fact free from its fetters.
- Rabindranath Tagore
The thinking mind, the ego, the "me" are all the same. They are different names for the same thing, which is an illusion.
- Ramesh Balsekar
Don't worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks,
it doesn't matter.
We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.
The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and even if the whole world's harp
should burn up, there will still be
hidden instruments playing.
So the candle flickers and goes out.
We have a piece of flint, and a spark.
This singing-art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl
somewhere on the ocean floor.
Poems reach up like the edge of driftwood
along the beach, wanting and wanting!
from a slow and powerful root
that we can't see.
Stop the words now.
Open the window in the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out.
- Rumi, Ghazal 110, from the Diwan-e Shams, version by Coleman Barks from Like This, posted to Sunlight
A Caution To Everybody
Consider the auk;
Becoming extinct because he forgot how to fly, and could only walk.
Consider man, who may well become extinct
Because he forgot how to walk and learned how to fly before he thinked.
- Ogden Nash
We can see that our whole activity is self-centered. We keep thinking about ourselves endlessly: we must improve ourselves; we want a better job; we must fulfill ourselves; we want a better relationship; we want to achieve enlightenment. Our self-concern motivates all our activities.
It is this preoccupation with the self and rivalry with the 'other', which brings about isolation and loneliness. We try to escape from it in
various ways, but such strategies cannot succeed.
- Ramesh Balsekar
If I should labor through daylight and dark,
Consecrate, valorous, serious, true,
Then on the world I may blazon my mark;
And what if I don't, and what if I do?
- Dorothy Parker
Satsang is a tongueless teacher and headless
students. So shut your head, let your Heart open,
and Truth will reveal itself to you in Silence. Only
pay attention to That with your open Heart.
Issue #4731, Monday, October 15, 2012
Suppose you know the definitions of all substances
and their derivatives,
what good is this to you?
Know the true definition of yourself.
That is indispensable.
Then, when you know your own definition, flee from it,
that you may attain to the One who cannot be defined,
O sifter of the dust.
- Rumi, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski, from Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance, posted to AlongTheWay
In spite of your beliefs to the contrary, you are not
what you think, feel, say, do, have, want or fear.
You're actually the context or the space in which
all of those other things appear to show up in.
In short, you are "what is."
You are what creates you.
It's all happening both within…and AS…you.
So, instead of reacting out of your fear, you need
to learn how to respond out of your love.
Romantics are always looking for "The One."
But, everywhere you go, you're always (and only)
meeting "The One."
Every one is "The One."
- Chuck Hillig, posted to AlongTheWay
Learn to live without self-concern. For this you must know your own true being
(swarupa) as indomitable, fearless, ever victorious. Once you know with
absolute certainty that nothing can trouble you but your own imagination, you
come to disregard your desires and fears, concepts and ideas and live by truth
- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to ANetofJewels
I see the lamp, the face, the eye,
an altar where the soul bows, a
gladness and refuge. My loving says,
"Here. I can leave my personality
here." My reason agrees! "How can
I object when a rose makes the bent
backs stand up like cypresses?" Such
surrender changes everything. Turks
understand Armenian! Body abandons
bodiness. Soul goes to the center.
Rubies appear in the begging bowl.
But don't brag when this happens.
Be secluded and silent. Stay in
the delight, and be brought the
cup that will come. No artfulness.
Practice quiet and this new joy.
- Rumi, version by Coleman Barks from The Soul of Rumi, posted to Sunlight
True happiness cannot be found in things
that change and pass away. Pleasure and
pain alternate inexorably. Happiness comes
from the self and can be found in the self
only. Find your real self (swarupa) and all
else will come with it.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj from I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to AlongTheWay
I recently finished my second, more careful reading of Sam Harris's great little book called “Free Will.” The topic seemed much less dense on my second reading of its scant 66 pages, although this is admittedly one of my first real engagements with a thorny philosophical topic such as this one.
For those unfamiliar with Harris or his work, he's a Stanford philosophy grad and UCLA neuroscience Ph.D. who authored the amazing 2004 book, “The End of Faith,” and who co-founded a foundation in 2007 devoted to promoting science and secular values called Project Reason. In "Free Will," he lays out a cogent argument against the existence of free will in human beings; or to be more precise, he describes in objective, scientific (and subjective) terms why our apparent freedom of will is an illusion.
A common response to this argument is that “if we have no free will, why do anything?” Or, “if we have no free will, where does moral responsibility and ethical behaviour come from?” I really enjoyed the following rejoinders to these kinds of arguments by Harris in Chapter 5, in which he reflects on his personal experience with losing his own belief in free will:
“Losing the sense of free will has only improved my ethics—by increasing my feelings of compassion and forgiveness, and diminishing my sense of entitlement to the fruits of my own good luck. … Losing a belief in free will has not made me fatalistic—in fact, it has increased my feelings of freedom. My hopes, fears, and neuroses seem less personal and indelible. There is no telling how much I might change in the future. Just as one wouldn’t draw a lasting conclusion about oneself on the basis of a brief experience of indigestion, one needn’t do so on the basis of how one has thought or behaved for vast stretches of time in the past. A creative change of inputs to the system—learning new skills, forming new relationships, adopting new habits of attention—may radically transform one’s life. … Getting behind our conscious thoughts and feelings can allow us to steer a more intelligent course through our lives (while knowing, of course, that we are ultimately being steered)."
I guess almost all readers of the Highlights are aware of Jeff Foster. Well now Tami Simon, founder of the iconic Sounds True publishing house, is bringing Jeff to the spirituality mainstream with his newest work
The Deepest Acceptance: Radical Awakening in Ordinary Life.
OMG... in less then 2 weeks the journey of 6/700 bodies from all over the planet will converge to San Rafael, California... many of us once again and many of us for the first time.
Such a thrilling feeling to know we'll soon have a chance to once more encounter like minded people with whom to exchange smiles, opinion and stories while resting in that space in which stories are only what they are.
If you are still "on the fence" come on board, we'll make sure to squeeze a seat for you. If traveling is too much for your body it's ok, you can watch the conference online live and on demand from the comfort of your home.
Regardless of your presence we can only thank you for being part of "this" (whatever "this" is...).
Love, Maurizio Zaya and the SAND US 12 team
Thanks to Highlights reader Emilie for posting this to Facebook:
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, famed for seeking “happiness” for its citizens, is aiming to become the first nation in the world to turn its home-grown food and farmers 100 percent organic.
The tiny Buddhist-majority nation wedged between China and India has an unusual and some say enviable approach to economic development, centred on protecting the environment and focusing on mental well-being.
Its development model measuring “Gross National Happiness” instead of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been discussed at the United Nations and has been publicly backed by leaders from Britain and France, among others.
It banned television until 1999, keeps out mass tourism to shield its culture from foreign influence, and most recently set up a weekly “pedestrians’ day” on Tuesdays that sees cars banned from town centres.
Its determination to chart a different path can be seen in its new policy to phase out artificial chemicals in farming in the next 10 years, making its staple foods of wheat and potatoes, as well as its fruits, 100 percent organic.
“Bhutan has decided to go for a green economy in light of the tremendous pressure we are exerting on the planet,” Agriculture Minister Pema Gyamtsho told AFP in an interview by telephone from the capital Thimphu.
“If you go for very intensive agriculture it would imply the use of so many chemicals, which is not in keeping with our belief in Buddhism, which calls for us to live in harmony with nature.”
Bhutan has a population of just over 700,000, two-thirds of whom depend on farming in villages dotted around fertile southern plains near India and the soaring Himalayan peaks and deep valleys to the north.
With thanks to Kia Pierce posting excerpts on Facebook
photo by Alan Larus
The nature of beginning and end is here and now, And the first does not exist without the last; The rational fool conceptualising the inconceivable Separates emptiness from compassion.
The bee knows from birth That flowers are the source of honey; How can the fool know That samsara and nirvana are one?
~ Saraha, from Dohakosa
The concepts of unity and multiplicity do not bring integration; Only through awareness do sentient beings reach freedom. Cognition of radiance is strong meditation; Abide in a calm, quiescent mind.
~ Saraha, from Dohakosa
The way I see it, there's no call for anything special,
just act ordinary. ~ Lin Chi
"Julie and Haley"
photo by Tom McFerran
A Prayer among Friends
Among other wonders of our lives, we are alive with one another, we walk here in the light of this unlikely world that isn't ours for long. May we spend generously the time we are given. May we enact our responsibilities as thoroughly as we enjoy our pleasures. May we see with clarity, may we seek a vision that serves all beings, may we honor the mystery surpassing our sight, and may we hold in our hands the gift of good work and bear it forth whole, as we were borne forth by a power we praise to this one Earth, this homeland of all we love.
(May be ordered now, but not available for shipping until 10/25/12.)
The Real Christ. This book is available as a 380 page spiral bound manuscript, for $50 in the U.S. and $65 outside of the U.S. and in Hawaii. Bernadette has requested that no one order this book until they have read the "Warning" below.
WARNING: Those who believe the man Jesus who walked this earth 2000 years ago was God, should read no further. Since I hold no human being is God, those who disagree will only find this book upsetting and disagreeable.This writing is not for those convinced they have the last word on Christ, but those searching for the real Christ. While I believe all Christians have the right Faith, I do not think all Christians have the right beliefs, right understanding or right view of Christ. Given all the Jesus-talk these days, Christianity comes across as a personality cult, the worship of a human being, which has nothing to do with Christ, it even turns people away.The reason for this writing is my perception that the real Christ has been all but lost to Christianity.
Of first importance is to define the major terms used in this book, namely “Logos”, “Christ”, and “Jesus”.Those who think these terms are interchangeable, synonymous, or refer to the same Reality, will never understand a thing in this book.Indiscriminate use of these terms has already thrown people off the track, thus it is of the utmost importance to define these terms from the outset.Those who disagree with these definitions will only become addled or irate and should read no further.
Because God is notabeing, but infinite Being or Existence, we must be careful not to anthropomorphize God’s Triune essence or Trinity as three beings or three entities – three gods, in other words.Also, because God transcends all gender, we have to be careful not to get caught up in the metaphors used for the Trinity as “Father and Son”.Since God is neither mother, father, son or daughter, these metaphors must not be taken literally or understood as Godad intra(God-in-Itself).To avoid this pitfall, this book refers to God’s Triune essence as “Transcendent-Logos-Spirit”.
The Incarnation was the Logos creatingIts own human nature, creating man’s one common human nature eternally one with Itself, and thisoneness of God’s divine nature and man’s human nature we know and call “Christ”. The term, word, or title “Christ” is not the name of any human being, but refers solely to God’s eternal oneness with Man.The Incarnation was not God uniting Itself to anyparticularhuman being orperson.Christ is not the oneness of two persons, two individuals or two beings, nor is Christ a divine being or a human being, rather,Christ is the eternal oneness of two natures, divine and human.Thus the Incarnation was the revelation Man –“Universal Man”– God’s Plan for all mankind, and thisTruth, this revelation, is everything we know and call “Christ”.
The purpose of the Incarnation was not to reveal the man Jesus – give us another god for the pantheon – but to reveal Man, God’s eternal plan for his eternal oneness with God.Prior to the Incarnation, Christ did not exist, nor did the man Jesus exist, only the divine Logos, God, eternally existed.Thus neither as a human being or a human person was the man Jesus, divine, or even Christ.It is solely the oneness of the divine Logos withIts own human nature thatisChrist, and it is this mystery of God’s indivisible oneness with the essence of mankind we call the “Real Christ”.
Since there is onlyonehuman nature – not many, different kinds, or particular human natures, one can count heads, but not human natures.As the “instrument” of revealing Christ, the singular man born into this world was given the common Jewish name “Jesus”.It was not thisindividualperson or particular man, however, that was Christ, rather, Christ is solelyGod’sownhuman natureand not the human nature of anyparticular human being or person.So where the term “Christ” is a reference to the indivisible oneness of two natures, the name “Jesus” is solely a reference to a particular humanperson.
This book permits no anthropomorphic view of God, the Trinity, or Christ.Reference to the man Jesus is always to a human being and never to God.“Jesus” is the particular man of the Gospels, the historicalpersonno longer with us.With his resurrection and ascension his human nature was totally changed, transfigured and glorified, thus he is no longer the historical figure of the past, but remains the example (or icon) of everyman’s journey and eternal oneness with God.We must never, then, mix our terms – the Logos is solely God, Jesus is solely a distinct human person, and Christ – the eternal oneness of God and man.
Those who disagree with these definitions should read no further, it would only confuse and upset them.Also, it would be useless to argue any of this since I’ve done my homework, am aware of all opposing views, and regard them as misconceived or wrong.Given the same Christian background and history as those who object, I already know where they are coming from, it is they, however, who do not know where I am coming from, and therein lies the different.
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Issue #4736, Saturday, October 20, 2012
The idea of enlightenment is of utmost importance. Just to know that there is such possibility, changes one's entire outlook. It acts like a
burning match in a heap of saw dust. All the great teachers did nothing else. A spark of truth can burn up a mountain of lies. The opposite is also true. The sun of truth remains hidden behind the cloud
of self-identification with the body.d
- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to ANetofJewels
There is no greater mystery than this, that we keep
seeking reality though in fact we are reality. We
think that there is something hiding reality and that
this must be destroyed before reality is gained. How
- Sri Ramana Maharshi, posted to AlongTheWay
The Yogi says you should be
transparent to everything whatever that happens,
and as it is going through, observe it.
Don't refuse it.
To refuse it is to condition yourself with it.
Take anything whatever that comes to you,
and as it is passing through you,
merely observe that it is going through.
You don't respond and you don't reject.
You merely observe the passage of this
... the ghost train of impulses through your station.
- Eugene Halliday posted to The_Now2
The real work belongs to someone who desires God
and has severed himself from every other work.
The rest are like children who play together until it gets dark
for these few short days.
Or like someone who awakes and springs up, still drowsy,
and then is lulled back to sleep by the suggestion of an evil nurse:
"Go to sleep, my darling, I won't let anyone disturb your slumber."
If you are wise, you, yourself, will tear up your slumber by the roots,
like the thirsty man who heard the noise of the water.
God says to you, "I am the noise of the water in the ears of the thirsty;
I am rain falling from heaven.
Spring up, lover, show some excitement!
How can you hear the sound of water and then fall back asleep?!"
- Rumi Mathnawi VI: 586-592, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski from Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance, posted to Sunlight
if you can't go to sleep
my dear soul
what do you think will happen
if you pass your night
and merge it with dawn
for the sake of heart
what do you think will happen
if the entire world
is covered with the blossoms
you have labored to plant
what do you think will happen
if the elixir of life
that has been hidden in the dark
fills the desert and towns
what do you think will happen
if because of
your generosity and love
a few humans find their lives
what do you think will happen
if you pour an entire jar
filled with joyous wine
on the head of those already drunk nk
what do you think will happen
go my friend
bestow your love
even on your enemies
if you touch their hearts
what do you think will happen
- Rumi Ghazal 838, translation by Nader Khalili from Rumi, Fountain of Fire, posted to Sunlight
Give up all questions except one: 'Who am I?' After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are. The 'I am' is certain. The 'I am this'
is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality. To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not. Discover
all that you are not - body, feelings, thoughts, time, space, this or that - nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. The clearer you understand that on the level of mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker will you come to the end of your search and realize that you are the limitless being.
"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." ~ Albert Camus
Being awake is not a feeling. Being awake is not a thought. Being awake is not a memory or desire. Being awake is the burning away of past and future, this scattering of apples in October rain. Perish into the Mother.
~ Fred LaMotte
The Great Creator, in the variety of creations, blesses the low and the high. In this one act have I resolved all philosophy. I walk oceans and they do not hold me back. I ride into the dark heart of all being and dwell in the vast halls of the ant. No need to look outside the door for wisdom. Must we see all the mountains and the seas to love them? I have written what my heart has learned.
~ Isonokami no Yakatsugu
by Alan Larus
Sojourns in the Parallel World
We live our lives of human passions, cruelties, dreams, concepts, crimes and the exercise of virtue in and beside a world devoid of our preoccupations, free from apprehension—though affected, certainly, by our actions. A world parallel to our own though overlapping. We call it 'Nature: only reluctantly admitting ourselves to be 'Nature' too. Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions, our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute, an hour even, of pure (almost pure) response to that insouciant life: cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing pilgrimage of water, vast stillness of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane, animal voices, mineral hum, wind conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering of fire to coal—then something tethered in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free. No one discovers just where we've been, when we're caught up again into our own sphere (where we must return, indeed, to evolve our destinies) —but we have changed, a little.
I want to give myself utterly as this maple that burned and burned for three days without stinting and then in two more dropped off every leaf; as this lake that, no matter what comes to its green-blue depths, both takes and returns it. In the still heart that refuses nothing, the world is twice-born -- two earths wheeling, two heavens, two egrets reaching down into subtraction; even the fish for an instant doubled, before it is gone. I want the fish. I want the losing it all when it rains and I want the returning transparence. I want the place by the edge-flowers where the shallow sand is deceptive, where whatever steps in must plunge, and I want that plunging. I want the ones who come in secret to drink only in early darkness, and I want the ones who are swallowed. I want the way the water sees without eyes, hears without ears, shivers without will or fear at the gentlest touch. I want the way it accepts the cold moonlight and lets it pass, the way it lets all of of it pass without judgment or comment. There is a lake. Lalla Ded sang, no larger than one seed of mustard, that all things return to. O heart, if you will not, cannot, give me the lake, then give me the song.
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Find accurate, balanced information on the world's religions in our extensive library.
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It seems to me that all our problems, all our suffering and conflicts, both personal and global, stem from one basic problem: our ignorance of who we really are. We have forgotten our inseparability from life, and so we have started to fear it, and out of that fear we have gone to war with it in various ways. We have gone to war with our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions, our bodies, with the present moment itself. In our efforts to protect ourselves from pain, from fear, from sadness, from discomfort, from failure, from the parts of life we have been conditioned to believe are bad or negative or dark or dangerous, we have stopped being truly alive.
The armor we wear to protect ourselves from a full experience of life is called the separate self. But our armor does not really protect us—it just keeps us comfortably numb.
Spiritual awakening—realizing that you are not who you think you are—is the answer to this basic problem of humanity. These days there are many books available on this topic, and it seems that more people than ever are discovering ancient teachings that used to only be available to a select few. But there is a trap here. Spirituality can easily become just another layer in our armor. Rather than facilitating our opening up to life, it can shut us off even more. Spiritual concepts and clichés like “There is no self ” or “This is not my body” or “Duality is just an illusion” can simply be new beliefs to cling to, new ways of avoiding life and pushing the world away, which result in more suffering, for us and for those we love.
The spiritual awakening I talk about in this book is not about protecting yourself more; it’s about realizing that who you really are does not need protection, that who you really are is so open and free and loving and deeply accepting that it allows all of life into itself. Life cannot hurt you, because you are life. So the present moment is not an enemy to be feared, but a dear friend to be embraced. Yes, true spirituality does not strengthen your armor against life—it destroys it.
Spiritual awakening is actually very simple. It is the timeless recognition of who you really are, the consciousness prior to form. But actually living that recognition in day-to-day life, not forgetting or losing it or letting it go to your head— that’s where the real adventure of life begins. And that’s where many people seem to struggle—spiritual seekers and spiritual teachers alike.
It’s one thing to know who you really are when life is easy and things are going well for you. It’s another thing to remember this in the heat of the moment, when things fall apart, when life gets messy and your dreams turn to dust. In the midst of physical and emotional pain, addictions, relationship conflicts, and worldly and spiritual failure, often we can feel less awakened and more separate from life, from each other, and from who we really are, than ever. Our happy dreams of our enlightenment can quickly evaporate, and acceptance can seem a million miles away.
We can see the messiness and beauty of day-to-day human existence as something to be avoided, transcended, or even obliterated, or we can see it for what it really is: a secret and constant invitation to wake up now, even if we believe we already woke up yesterday. Life, in its infinite compassion, won’t let us rest on our laurels.
If my earlier books were descriptions of spiritual awakening, this book addresses far more important questions: How can that awakening be lived day-to-day? How can we accept the present moment even when the present moment seems totally unacceptable to us? Is “How can we accept the present moment?” even the right question? Are we actually separate from the present moment in the first place?
I teach one thing and one thing only: a deep and fearless acceptance of whatever comes your way. This is not passive surrender or cold detachment, but an intelligent and creative emergence into the mystery of the moment. This book comes after many years of listening and speaking to thousands of people on the spiritual path—hearing their concerns, answering their challenging questions, meeting them in their pain and grief and daily struggles and fears, and gently pointing them not to a future enlightenment, but to a deep and unconditional acceptance within their present-moment experience, the deep acceptance that they are in their essence.
Welcome to ordinary life, dear explorer—the final frontier of spiritual awakening. May you boldly go where no one has gone before!
With love from yourself, Jeff Foster
Order The Deepest Acceptance from Non-Duality Press in the U.K.
"Give yourself completely to the act of listening. Beyond the sounds there is something greater, a sacredness that cannot be understood through thought."
~ Eckhart Tolle
The quieter you become, the more you can hear.
~ Ram Dass
photo by Alan Larus
The Soul of Mantra - New LA Yoga article based on verse 145 of the vijnana bhairava tantra:
Initiation through hearing Sanskrit in song seems to be powerful and lasting. The Beatles included the phrase Jai guru deva OM in their song “Across the Universe,”released in 1969. The Beatles were one of the most successful acts in the history of popular music, and the song was broadcast all over the world on radio stations from 1969 onward. For many, it was the first time they had ever heard a word of Sanskrit. Beatles fans listened to their records over and over with rapt attention, relishing every word and chord change, and so apparently, millions of people received a kind of Shaktipat, a transmission of spiritual energy, through the song. I started teaching meditation around this time, and many people came for instruction because of having heard “Across the Universe.” It was clear they had already meditated, deeply, many times, while listening to the song. It was an honor to sit in their presence, and it was as if they had been initiated by the song and I was just giving them some coaching on how to meditate. Since then, all over the world, I’ve met many people who started meditating because of “Across the Universe” and are still at it. What amazing impact that song created.
The Beatles learned to meditate in 1967 and went to India for a retreat, so they were writing from intimate experience with the practice. The backstory for the song was that Lennon was lying in bed with his wife, who was “going on and on” about something that really irritated him. He got up and went downstairs, and the words she had been saying kept resonating in his head, like lyrics, and over time “it turned into sort of a cosmic song rather than an irritated song.” Lennon said that the four words of Sanskrit, Jai guru deva OM, just dropped into his mind as the bridge to the chorus, and he felt that “Across the Universe” contained perhaps the best lyrics he had ever written. The sound of the human voice, even a complaining human voice, merged in John’s awareness into the eternal song of OM. This is one of the secrets of mantra and meditation – the gift of peace and delight right here in the midst of it all. If you dive deeply into any sound, external or within, it will take you into the hum of the universe.
Across the Universe, by the Beatles. Written and sung by John Lennon.
Q: My yoga teacher told me not to meditate with pets because they steal your spiritual energy. But whenever I start meditating, my pets sense it and scratch at the door to get in. What should I do?
A: In the age of ignorance, many monks were jealous of cows, and of the jewelry bestowed on royal elephants. So they invented such nonsense. Now we know that animals are as holy as angels, and it is au spicious to meditate with them.
Don't the gods have pets? The holy spirit descends on Jesus in the form of a Dove. Durgha rides a lion. Shiva meditates with a pet serpent around his neck. Krishna leans on a moonlit calf to play his sacred flute. Without their pets, the gods would become arrogant. So would we.
The golden fur of a poodle is sacred. It transmutes heavenly energy from your crown, through your fingers, into the earth. Animals keep our hearts open and healthy (even though some cats are Republicans).
If you don't meditate with at least three pets curled up beside you, how will you ever know the meaning of Sat-Sang?
These are the words of Freddy-Ji; they come straight from the belly button.
~ Fred LaMotte
The Radiance Sutras
One day The Goddess sang to her lover Bhairava, Beloved and radiant Lord of the space before birth, Revealer of essence, Slayer of the ignorance that binds us, You, who in play have created this universe and permeated all forms in it with never-ending truth. I have been wondering . . . I have been listening to the songs of creation, I have heard the sacred sutras being sung, and yet still I am curious. What is this delight-filled universe into which we find ourselves born? What is this mysterious awareness shimmering everywhere within it? What are these instinctive energies that undulate through our bodies, moving us into action? And this “matter” out of which our forms are made - What are these dancing particles of condensed radiance, Are they an illusionist's projection? What is this power we call Life, appearing as the play of flesh and breath? How may I know this mystery and enter it more deeply? Beloved, my attention is ensnared by a myriad of forms, the innumerable individual entities everywhere. Lead me into the wholeness beyond all these parts. You, who hold the mysteries in your hand - of will, knowledge and action, Reveal to me the path of illumined knowing. Lead me into joyous union with the life of the universe. Teach me that I may know it fully, realize it deeply, and breathe in the truth of it.
translation by Lorin Roche
more verses: posted by Roxanne Chapdelaine on Facebook
The Radiance Sutras is a fresh translation of an ancient Tantra Yoga text, the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, a love song between Devi and Bhairava, (Shakti and Shiva) in which they sing the classic tantra, chakra, kundalini, mantra, mudra practices, and many more.
Issue #4741, Saturday, October 27, 2012
Once upon a time there was a merchant named Abdul Malik. He was
known as the Good Man of Khorasan, because from his immense fortune
he used to give to charity and hold feasts for the poor.
But one day it occurred to him that he was simply giving away
some of what he had; and that the pleasure which he obtained through
his generosity was far in excess of what it really cost him to
sacrifice what was after all such a small proportion of his wealth.
As soon as this thought entered his mind, he decided to give away
every penny for the good of mankind. And he did so.
No sooner had he divested himself of all his possessions,
resigned to face whatever events life might have in store for him,
Abdul Malik saw, during his meditation-hour, a strange figure seem to
rise from the floor of his room. A man was taking shape before his
very eyes, dressed in the patchwork robe of the mysterious dervish.
"O Abdul Malik, generous man of Khorasan!" intoned the
apparition. "I am your real self, which has now become almost real to
you because you have done something really charitable measured
against which your previous record of goodness is as nothing.
Because of this, and because you were able to part with your fortune
without feeling personal satisfaction, I am rewarding you from the
real source of reward.
"In the future, I will appear before you in this way every day.
You will strike me and I will turn into gold. You will be able to
take from this golden image as much as you may wish. Do not fear
that you will harm me, because whatever you take will be replaced
from the source of all endowments."
So saying, he disappeared.
The very next morning a friend named Bay-Akal was sitting with
Abdul Malik when the dervish specter began to manifest itself. Abdul
Malik struck it with a stick, and the figure fell to the ground,
transformed into gold. He took part of it for himself and gave some
of the gold to his guest.
Now Bay-Akal, not knowing what had gone before, started to think
how he could perform a similar wonder. He knew that dervishes had
strange powers and concluded that it was necessary only to beat them
to obtain gold.
So he arranged for a feast to be held to which every dervish who
heard of it could come and eat his fill. When they had all eaten
well, Bay-Akal took up an iron bar and thrashed every dervish within
reach until they lay battered and broken on the ground.
Those dervishes who were unharmed seized Bay-Akal and took him
to the judge. They stated their case and produced the wounded
dervishes as evidence. Bay-Akal related what had happened at Abdul
Malik's house and explained his reasons for trying to reproduce the
Abdul Malik was called, and on the way to the court his golden
self whispered to him what to say.
"May it please the court," he said, "this man seems to me to be
insane, or to be trying to cover up some penchant for assaulting
people without cause. I do know him, but his story does not
correspond with my own experiences in my house."
Bay-Akal was therefore placed for a time in a lunatic asylum,
until he became more calm. The dervishes recovered almost at once,
through some science known to themselves. And nobody believed that
such an astonishing thing as a man who becomes a golden statue--and
daily at that--could ever take place.
For many another year, until he was gathered to his forefathers,
Abdul Malik continued to break the image which was himself, and to
distribute its treasure, which was himself, to those whom he could
not help in any other way than materially.
- as collected by Idries Shah, posted to SufiMystic
A story is like the water
you heat for your bath.
It takes messages between the fire
and your skin. It lets them meet,
and it cleans you!
Very few can sit down
in the middle of the fire itself
like a salamander or Abraham.
We need intermediaries.
A feeling of fullness comes,
but usually it takes some bread
to bring it.
Beauty surrounds us,
but usually we need to be walking
in a garden to know it.
The body itself is a screen
to shield and partially reveal
the light that's blazing
inside your presence.
Water, stories, the body,
all the things we do, are mediums
that hide and show what's hidden.
and enjoy this being washed
with a secret we sometimes know,
and then not.
- Rumi, Mathnawi V: 228-236, version by Coleman Barks from The Essential Rumi, posted to Sunlight
Jerry is the manager of a restaurant in America. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs; they would follow him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there, telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! No one can be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have two choices today. I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood. I always choose to be in a good mood. Each time something
bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out
the positive side of life. I always choose the positive side of life."
"But it's not always that easy," I protested.
"Yes, it is," Jerry said, "Life is all about choices When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. It's your choice how you live your life."
Several years later, I heard that Jerry accidentally did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business: he left the back door of his restaurant open one morning and was robbed by three armed men. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily,
Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident.
When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Want to see my scars?"
I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.
"The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked
the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or choose to die. I chose to live."
"Weren't you scared?" I asked.
Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the Emergency Room and I
saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'He's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action."
"What did you do?" I asked.
"Well, there was a big nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She
asked if I was allergic to anything." 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and
nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead'.
Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude.
I learned from him that everyday you have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it. The only thing that is truly yours - that no one can control or take from you - is your attitude, so if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier.
- posted to DailyDharma, from website: Buddhist Quotes
Issue #4741, Sunday, October 28, 2012
What is normal may be felt in the silent mind.
When thought is spent, the individual is no
longer a separate entity but gets merged in the
silent Consciousness as its intrinsic essence.
- Ramesh S. Balsekar from A Net of Jewels, posted to AlongTheWay
Inasmuch as it is necessary for the knowing aspect of life, or the soul, to
return at length to its original state of being, even so it is necessary for it
to experience first of all the life it created for the very reason that it might
- From The Teachings Of Hazrat Inayat Khan, posted to SufiMystic
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the shadow
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
and the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
T.S. Elliot from The Hollow Men, posted to The_Now2
In John, Chapter 1, it says:
"The light shines in the darkness
and the darkness apprehends it not."
And the light is? ... consciousness.
How much conciousness can I tolerate?
... it depends on how much I surrender myself to it.
I know it will tolerate me.
It's only me that can't tolerate my perceived mistakes,
my perceived errors, my perceived failures.
I say 'perceived', because they are only perceptions.
All is perfect, including my innumerable mistakes.
I had to fall countless times as I can learn to walk,
but I didn't give myself a severe haranguing every time.
And the 'me' is?
... an idea of who I am,
and that will always fall far short of my fullness.
The shadow, comparative darkness,
lurks in my recesses. It's afraid of the light.
It has to be gently persuaded to let go
of its clinging to that place of false security
under the bushel where the light can't shine.
... "Hey, my fearful, internal, shadowy little boy,"
I say to him,
"All is well, fear not, there's a beautiful satsang here,
a community of friends who lovingly embrace you,
let it nurture your light and dispel that hollow shadow
"Faith is letting that light shine in your internal darkness
with a feeling of confidence that all will be well
"And it will be."
From the light I come, to the light I return.
- posted to The_Now2
People usually consider walking on water or in thin air
a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either
on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we
are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a
blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes
of a child - our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
Love is bringing everyone by the ear to a place where reason cannot go.
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.
~ Dr. Paul Farmer
Each of us inevitable, Each of us limitless --
Each of us with his or her right upon the earth, Each of us allow'd the eternal purports of the earth, Each of us here as divinely as any is here.
~ Walt Whitman
(Leaves of Grass)
via Louise Christian on Facebook
"There is an almost sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quaility impossible to describe."
~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
via Emilie Unkrich on Facebook
"Appearances never cease to be their original radiance. Unformed, form never had a substance to be grasped. The world is a continuum of meditation in the still stainless heart of no-mind."
~ Saraha, 'Dohakosha,' 8th C.
via Fred LaMotte on Facebook
All finite things reveal infinitude: The mountain with its singular bright shade Like the blue shine on freshly frozen snow, The after-light upon ice-burdened pines; Odor of basswood upon a mountain slope, A scene beloved of bees; Silence of water above a sunken tree: The pure serene of memory of one man,-- A ripple widening from a single stone Winding around the waters of the world.
I enjoyed a few things about the conference this year. I always try to be aware of the overall tone or feel in order to gauge the directions of nonduality. Maybe what I perceive only reflects my own interests for nonduality, but whatever, here's what I picked up. I felt that the strong sense of community we felt last year was a culmination from previous years and that this year the sense of community shifted its focus from being for the sake of the community itself to being for the sake of society and the world.
In other words, it was as though people realized, "Okay, we're together and that's a great feeling. Now let's do something to help clean up some of the world messes." That sensibility has been present in all the SANDs, but I felt it was focused with a greater maturity this year. "Maturity" or "mature" was the word used by John Prendergast when we were discussing the feel of this year's SAND.
Join or start a nonduality meetup group
When I talked to people, my main themes were about joining or starting meetups wherever people live. A meetup is two or more people getting together to talk about nondual consciousness. I would typically suggest that people explore the website http://meetup.com, which makes it easy to find members and plan meetings.
I made a point of considering that showing videos of famous people need not be a big part of such meetups and that in fact they could stifle the growth of nondual community where one lives. It's important that a local nonduality meetup group be made up of local people. That demand connects nondual understanding with the geography, with the earth, so that a deeply rooted nondual community may form.
Right away I think of the Shambhala Buddhism community headquartered in Nova Scotia. Pema Chodron is the most famous person from that group. Shambhala is a significant contributor to the economic and cultural scene in Nova Scotia. But how deeply are they rooted here? I don't know, because they upped and left Boulder, Colorado in the late 80s at the command of their leader. What if the current leadership calls for another move to another distant location? The roots of Shambhala aren't deeply set in Nova Scotia.
I don't think you can have deeply set roots for nondual community when a mass of people who form that community could leave overnight. Deep roots come from ordinary people who are likely to stay because of ties to job, friends, family, and the land and culture.
That was my theme and message. Start or attend a nonduality meetup where you live and keep it local. Showing a video of a famous teacher ignores the soil of one's own community and the people growing out of it. We have formed community out of nondual gatherings online. Now we are forming nondual gatherings out of our local communities. That's the shift.
And I know some of you wonder what to do or talk about if you start your own nonduality meetup group. My suggestion is, don't worry about it. The people who attend want to talk. Just make sure you keep the discussion on the level of pointers to what always is. And know what's important in each meeting. If you start each meeting with a few minutes of silence, it is obvious that that's what's important. At our meetings I often say that there's nowhere else to go after the opening meditation and that just the being together is enough. Francis Lucille said essentially the same this weekend at SAND when he said, "Satsang is being together in beingness, not talking." Yet, yes, we talk. But keeping those values of beingness and silence, and always pointing to what is beyond the dualities, one can hold an intimate nonduality meetup. To hold a successful nonduality satsang or meetup, you don't have to be a famous sage nor do you have to show a video of one.
Nonduality and society
The other theme I talked to people about is related. It is the bringing of nondual consciousness to every element of society. That movement depends upon the preparing the soil of local community for the arising of deeply rooted nondual gatherings. In that regard, I talked to David Loy, Highlights reader Ray Gravineau (spelling?), and Julie Shearman. You know David as author of the book Nonduality and others. He's a brilliant speaker and organizer of nondual teachings. Ray is a retired money manager who insists that in order to see societal change, economists must absorb the teachings of nonduality. And Julie is an organization/project manager who understands how organizations communicate and who came to SAND with her husband Jonathan (who many of you probably know) from Australia. These are people seriously interested in seeing the color of nondual consciousness seep into the structures of our civilization. David even mentioned holding a conference on nonduality and society. At the very least we could hold a session on the topic at a future SAND.
A conversation I couldn't get going
I'm interested in a conversation on nonduality and psychiatry but I couldn't find any traction in that discussion. It could be a future session at SAND. Although that brings up another topic that the organizers Maurizio and Zaya might consider. SAND needs to keep stretching and growing. I know that's easier said than done. And my understanding is that there are going to be small SAND meetings that address specific themes. However, I don't want to see the conference get too comfortable with itself.
Maurizio and Zaya are the mind and heart of SAND and their house burned down in the midst of planning this year's conference. Yet the light of their love and spirit was never diminished. Did it grow stronger? Yes. Nothing can stop expansion of nondual consciousness.
A look back at turnings in the nonduality movement
Just for a moment I want to look back at key turnings in modern nonduality, because they might recapitulate your own journey through nonduality and help you see where it is going. In the beginning, the late 90s, it was a breakthrough just to form a small internet email list dedicated to nonduality itself without circling around a specific teacher or tradition, while respecting all speakers and traditions. Even at that level my interest was the people in the group rather than bowing down to a famous sage, although we did that too. But primarily we recognized that ordinary people could speak with authority about nonduality. That recognition would take nonduality out of the ashrams and out of the university departments of philosophy and religious studies and put the word nonduality right into the streets, right onto the sidewalks, right in the middle of the kitchen tables.
In 2003, blogging reached a peak of popularity and saw the word nonduality used almost too casually. I would sometimes quote those overly casual usages in the Highlights in order to show how the word nonduality was becoming the mainstream. In 2006, I believe it was, at a nonduality conference in Boulder, Colorado, I briefly spoke to the group urging people to use the word nonduality in their daily conversation. The point was that the word nonduality alone is powerful. Simply knowing the word could elicit a looking up of the word, and a looking up of the word opens a big and brave new world. The word can change lives.
About a year later I helped organize the first Science and Nonduality Conference and spoke about a "nonduality movement." I think people cringed at that suggestion as much as some cringed at the recommendation that we use the word nonduality in our conversations. However, this bears on something else I noted at the most recent SAND this past weekend. People are now talking about a movement in nondual consciousness as though it is clear and obvious. I don't have proof that that's the case, but people no longer cringe when you talk about a nonduality movement. I guess because they see the teaching spreading in such a way that it could be called a movement.
And now in the last few years we have seen nonduality become known through Facebook. And in-person meetups are another important phase of the nonduality movement. All that I've described here, from the first nonduality email forums to the calls for a conference on nonduality and society are part of the modern nonduality movement. That movement started in North American in the late 1800s with The Sacred Books of the East, Swami Vivekananda, and others, and it has continued unhalted ever since.
Where is the nonduality movement going? In my view it's going to further color real life local communities and then society and then everything else. The significance of the nonduality movement is that in the future we will live from poetry rather than anxiety.
I met and spoke to many wonderful people at SAND. I'll be featuring some in upcoming issues. And don't forget SAND Europe 2013 in Doorn, The Netherlands:
I made a horrible, Halloweenish misspelling in my previous issue, so I'm re-submitting the paragraph with the correct spelling in bold:
"The other theme I talked to people about is related. It is the bringing of nondual consciousness to every element of society. That movement depends upon the preparing the soil of local community for the arising of deeply rooted nondual gatherings. In that regard, I talked to David Loy, Highlights reader Ray Gribeauval, and Julie Shearman. You know David as author of the book Nonduality and others. He's a brilliant speaker and organizer of nondual teachings. Ray is a retired money manager who insists that in order to see societal change, economists must absorb the teachings of nonduality. And Julie is an organization/project manager who understands how organizations communicate and who came to SAND with her husband Jonathan (who many of you probably know) from Australia. These are people seriously interested in seeing the color of nondual consciousness seep into the structures of our civilization. David even mentioned holding a conference on nonduality and society. At the very least we could hold a session on the topic at a future SAND.
~ ~ ~
Looking forward to hearing more about this, Ray.
Nonduality meets the arts community in Manila, and although the description of the concept of nondualism could be better, what matters is that the word is being used and all anyone has to do is google it and ... it'll google them.
Blot Art Studio will hold a group exhibit titled “Nondualism” on Wednesday, October 31 at 6pm. This exhibit is curated by Wesley Villanueva and will feature artists, a mix of upcoming and experienced artists.
These artists are Benedict Abigan, Bobby Balingit, BK Calucin, Eleanor Giron, Veronica Laurel, Joee Mejias, Wayan Narra, AB Paredes, and Rommel Pidazo. The exhibit is composed of painters, book-artist, film maker, sculptors, and mixed-media artists, giving different interpretations and introducing new mediums that surpass the common genre of art.
We live in a world of dual illusions, a right and wrong, black and white. Nondualism is a concept that shatters the fragile shell of duality, taking the two different perceived things and looking at them as one and the same. This group exhibit challenges artists from different fields and medium to explore the neither nor idea that can free a person’s perception of things and the world we live in.
Blot Art Studio will not only feature visual arts but will also be featuring musical artists in the opening night such as Bobby Balingit at Ang Planeta ng Ngiti, Skies of Ember, Monochrome, Anhura, and The Sleepyheads. This event is supported by PULP Magazine as the official media sponsor.
Guests will have a chance to win Wolf’s Lair Tattoo Gift Certificates.
Thanks for latest. You ask where I stand. I don't know if I stand at all. I am Gabriel, a wingéd creature. Recently I watched a classic video of Segovia, the guitarist, playing in the Alhambra in the 70s. He talked about 'destiny' all the time. This was his destiny, to play the guitar. Forging his will was merely the shaping of his musical destiny, becoming the master player which his instincts inspired him to be.
My thinking (such as it is) is too fluid, too poetic, to actually come to the full stop which is implied in a stand. Freedom? Remember when the Americans refused to eat French fries and called them 'Freedom fries'? They give us such cause to laugh (and to weep), do they not, God love them! When it comes to freedom and the question of free will, I fall back on the insights which are covered by the Sanskrit term 'vasanas'. You and I are born with these 'vasanas', these qualities which colour our personality and give a peculiar flavour to our sensibility, our temperament, our tastes and inclinations, our great gifts and our weaknesses, our talents and latent abilities and so on. We follow these instincts as best we can. Much as I might admire the innate qualities of another, I will not follow the path of a molecular scientist or mountain climber. Nor will I follow your path, philosopher-poet. The path we walk is our path, none other. And I love straying from the path. I suppose I am attracted to the vacum state described here by Osho:
Sixty-six times have these eyes beheld the changing scenes of autumn I have said enough about moonlight, Ask no more. Only listen to the voice of pines and cedars when no wind stirs.
Meet your own self. Be with your own self, listen to it, obey it, cherish it, keep it in mind ceaselessly. You need no other guide. As long as your urge for truth affects your daily life, all is well with you. Live your life without hurting anybody. Harmlessness is a most powerful form of Yoga and it will take you speedily to your goal. This is what I call nisarga yoga, the Natural yoga. It is the art of living in peace and harmony, in friendliness and love. The fruit of it is happiness, uncaused and endless.
via Along The Way
Self is what you are, You are That Fathomlessness in which experience and concepts appear. Self is the Moment which has no coming or going. It is the Heart, Atman, Emptiness. It shines to Itself, by Itself, in Itself. Self is what gives breath to life, you need not search for It, It is Here. You are That through which you would search. You are what you are looking for! And That is all it is. Only Self is.
via Along The Way
The most important part of the practice is for the question to remain alive and for your whole body and mind to become a question. In Zen they say that you have to ask with the pores of your skin and the marrow of your bones. A Zen saying points out: Great questioning, great awakening; little questioning, little awakening; no questioning, no awakening.
Every time I open my eyes I invite the world to take shape And every time the world takes shape I'm invited to open my eyes And see the world raw and naked
Holding out its hand Calling me into it's self Where I am taken into the Transparency of things and find myself transparent then Standing on the edge looking down And in to the dark silent pool in which the world is cradled And I am cradled there, held with all things And hold all things in myself Myself, not a thing in the world but This -here-Seeing In which the world opens, inviting and offering itself
And every time it is seen- It dies And in dying, holds out its hand again Asking to be taken in And every time I take it in I too die And in dying -am known As This Here - Seeing
Leaving the Science and Nonduality Conference in San Rafael, I took a cab to the airport in San Francisco. The cab driver asked me what nonduality was. Being aware of the conference, he said he had looked up nonduality in the dictionary but couldn’t find the word. I told him it wasn’t in the dictionary and said that it means we are all one in some way.
He then quoted a few lines of a poem. I asked if it was Rumi as it was very pure. He said he wrote it. “What happened to you,” I asked. For, clearly, there was a story behind those words.
He was a Muslim who had an enlightenment experience some years ago. “I saw something,” he said. Afterward, he was steered toward Sufism. He enjoyed telling me about his experiences and knowledge and we had the kind of open conversation that usually arises when two people have some understanding of this nonduality stuff.
“There is only one. It is all Allah.” “Yes,” I said. He said he prays five times a day but it is mainly the first prayer in the morning, when his head touches the ground, that he knows who he really is. “When you know that all this is Allah,” he said, “there is only prayer. That is what prayer is,” he said, “seeing that all is Allah.” We agreed that different religions have different names for what some call Allah. Only sanity passed our lips.
The cost of the ride came to $125 on his meter but he said to only pay him 100. I gave him 120. He got out of the car and we hugged, drunk on the wine of nonduality.
I enjoyed seeing many people at SAND. Highlights contributor Rashani had a table set up. I've seen lots of her art online but you really have to see it in person to appreciate it. Rashani does many things. As an emcee of the conference I had the privilege of introducing her as a singer of traditional Hawaiian song. The introduction read,
"Rashani was a song-gatherer for 25 years and sings in several different languages. She has offered concerts, councils, and retreats throughout the world since the early 1980s, bringing an indegenous flavor of nonduality into everything she shares. Rashani is the founder of a unique retreat center on the Big Island of Hawaii and is a prolific artist, carpenter, and gardener."
Issue #4741, Saturday, November 3, 2012
How you meet what you see is determined by who
you think you are and the level of wisdom that you
have gained, how deep your understanding dwells
inside the Self of Being.
- Mooji from Writing on Water, posted to AlongTheWay
There is some kiss we want
with our whole lives,
the touch of Spirit on the body.
Seawater begs the pearl
to break its shell.
And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild Darling!
At night, I open the window
and ask the moon to come
and press its face against mine.
Breathe into me.
Close the language-door,
and open the love-window.
The moon won't use the door,
only the window.
- Rumi, Ghazal 1888, from the Diwan-e Shams, in a poetic version by Coleman Barks from Like This, posted to Sunlight
We often think we need to find someone or some thing to fill us, to complete us,
so we can feel whole. But the truth is that there is no 'other' being or thing that
can do that for us because we are already whole. We are perfect just as we are.
Let's not put a burden on a spouse, or child, or friend to play a part in our lives
to make us feel better about ourselves. Instead let's learn to love ourselves, to see our
own perfection, our own wholeness, right now, right here, just the way we are.
- Karma Tsering Chodron, posted to DailyDharma
Meet your own self. Be with your own self,
listen to it, obey it, cherish it, keep it in
mind ceaselessly. You need no other guide.
As long as your urge for truth affects your
daily life, all is well with you. Live your
life without hurting anybody. Harmlessness
is a most powerful form of Yoga and it will
take you speedily to your goal. This is what
I call nisarga yoga, the Natural yoga. It is
the art of living in peace and harmony, in
friendliness and love. The fruit of it is
happiness, uncaused and endless.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to AlongTheWay
Essence isn't a small thing, essence is an immense thing. The essence of
you is everything you ever see, taste, touch, and experience. Everywhere you go, every step you take, every breath you take is actually happening by the essence, of the essence, in the essence, and to the essence. All the rest is noise and chatter.
Issue #4749, Sunday, November 4, 2012
Understand, I am always trying to figure out
what the soul is,
and where hidden,
and what shape
and so, last week,
when I found on the beach
the ear bone
of a pilot whale that may have died
hundreds of years ago, I thought
maybe I was close
to discovering something
for the ear bone
is the portion that lasts longest
in any of us, man or whale; shaped
like a squat spoon
with a pink scoop where
once, in the lively swimmer's head,
it joined its two sisters
in the house of hearing,
it was only
two inches long
and thought: the soul
might be like this
so hard, so necessary
yet almost nothing.
the gray sea
was opening and shutting its wave-doors,
unfolding over and over
its time-ridiculing roar;
I looked but I couldn't see anything
through its dark-knit glare;
yet don't we all know, the golden sand
is there at the bottom,
though our eyes have never seen it,
nor can our hands ever catch it
lest we would sift it down
into fractions, and facts
and what the soul is, also
I believe I will never quite know.
Though I play at the edges of knowing,
truly I know
our part is not knowing,
but looking, and touching, and loving,
which is the way I walked on,
through the pale-pink morning light.
- Mary Oliver, from Why I Wake Early
A Thousand Mornings
All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, but only until night
meets and then is overwhelmed by
morning, the light deepening, the
wind easing and just waiting, as I
too wait (and when have I ever been
disappointed?) for redbird to sing.
- Mary Oliver from A Thousand Mornings
The Lightest Touch
Good poetry begins with
the lightest touch,
a breeze arriving from nowhere,
a whispered healing arrival,
a word in your ear,
a settling into things,
then like a hand in the dark
it arrests the whole body,
steeling you for revelation.
In the silence that follows
a great line
you can feel Lazarus
even the laziest, most deathly afraid
part of you,
lift up his hands and walk toward the light.
- David Whyte from Everything is Waiting for You
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."
Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.
I am the sum of all the landscapes I have explored, all the living memories of animals that sail inside of me and the people that I love.
The music of nature is everywhere if your ears know how to listen, but if you do not believe there is music, you will not hear it.
Under the ocean there is bliss—it is this, it is this, it is this.
I have just returned to the Namibian desert. What if through interspecies collaboration we could explore our shared imagination? We are accustomed to seeing stories through the eyes of human beings. That is why, in many of these images, the human eyes continue to be closed and the animals' eyes are open. It is the animals that gaze out at the world and tell us their stories.
People sometimes ask if I am fearful when I am in such close proximity to animals. I can only say that the only way that I’ve been ripped open is by having to leave behind elephant friends, orangutans, cheetahs, caracals, manta rays, or whales. But I would do every hello and goodbye over again as long as it meant that I would have a chance to share their stories. Animals help me to remember all the dreams I thought I had forgotten and remind us to dream as though we will live forever while living as though we shall die today.
If you are on Facebook staring at your computer screen with apathy and boredom, the cure for indifference might be to awaken your wild curiosity for how the natural world works. Mother nature does not have a happy ending because hers is a never-ending story. However, the human species may decide to end its own story on earth prematurely by continuing to make the same choices that it has been making since the industrial revolution. These choices are based on an economic model that depends on infinite resources and unlimited economic growth. That is a fairy tale. If we continue to believe these things we will suffer the consequences. We cannot change the laws of physics and it is a fact that there are now seven billion people crowded on this planet consuming resources at an unsustainable rate. Let us say goodbye to those who encourage us to live in delusion. Let us say goodbye to creating more environmental conferences where businessmen and politicians read speeches they did not write so they can agree yet again on maintaining the status quo. It is time to ask harder questions. We need a paradigm shift.
Welcome to the official artist page of the filmmaker and photographer Gregory Colbert.
Monday Evening, Dec. 3, 7-9 PM: Rhode Island College Adams Library -Fortes Room 600 Mt Pleasant Ave, Providence, RI 02908 Google Maps Link
Wednesday Evening, Dec. 5, 7-9 PM: Walker Center, 144 Hancock St., Newton, MA 02466 Google Maps Link
Friday-Sunday, Dec. 7-9: The Providence Institute, 18 Imperial Place -6A, Providence, RI 02903 Google Maps Link
Times & Ticket Prices: Monday: 7:00-9:00 pm - FREE and Open to the Public Wednesday: 7:00-9:00 pm - $20-25 (sliding scale- pay as you can afford) Friday: 7:00-9:00 pm - $20-25 (sliding scale- pay as you can afford) Saturday: 10:00am-5:00pm - $70 (in Advance) / $80 (at-the-door) Sunday: 10:00am-1:00pm - $30 (in Advance) / $40 (at-the-door)
Contact: For questions about the venue and locale, please contact Julianne Eanniello julenlo@... 860-463-5576
Excerpts from an article that further brings nonduality -- the word and the teaching -- into the mainstream:
The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Waking Up at SAND12
by Mark Matousek
"We realized that we are at a dawn of a new spirituality, which is beyond the religious traditions, beyond dogma or any certain belief system," continues Zaya Benazzo, a Bulgarian-born engineer and environmental scientist who co-founded SAND [Science and Nonduality Conference] with her husband. "This new paradigm emerging in spirituality is grounded in cutting-edge science and consistent with the ancient wisdom of non-duality."
... SAND may be at the cutting edge of a revolution of consciousness in the coming century. Philosopher Ken Wilber, considered the godfather of the non-dual movement (and whose books Bill Clinton used to read on vacation), calls this imminent convergence "the marriage of sense and soul." Unlike traditional religion, which asks followers to take things on faith and bend to ideology and authority, non-duality is purely experiential, addressing the mystic awareness that we are all born with.
According to the folks at SAND, this non-sectarian, non-dual approach to awakening is the way of a more enlightened future free of religious quarreling and focused on human brotherhood, liberation, and the relief of suffering on this planet.
"Mystics describe their experience in many ways," says Maurizio Benazzo, who was brought up in Italy and worked as an actor, model and filmmaker (Short Cut to Nirvana) before embarking on the SAND adventure. "They speak of non-dual awareness as loving, open, and lacking any sense of separation. More than a feeling, the experience also conveys a deep and liberating insight into the truth of life, death, self and world. To see the turnings from the perspective of these non-dual insights is the beginning of a fuller, freer, happier life."
"Non-duality gives us a deeper understanding and experience of the interconnectedness of life," Zaya says in agreement. "We can no longer live as independent individuals driven by our egocentric concepts. We are all connected, with the stars, with one another, with all the species within and around us. We are a link in an evolutionary process that includes all, from the smallest particles to the largest galaxies. This process is the timeless dance of the cosmos that has been described by mystics of all traditions, the mechanisms of which now start to be explored by modern science. The non-dual approach will help us, as individuals and as a species, go beyond the myth of separation and be more in tune with life itself while having a momentary glimpse of the eternal dance."
Most of us long to join this dance. After breakfast, the Jungian stops to chat with an astrophysicist in the hotel lobby. They are joined by a priest and a Reiki master. A writer-poet approaches a Zen abbot to talk about the presidential race. For a moment, this feels like a taste of the future. We can only hope.
Finally, I guess I should say something about the U.S. Presidential election being held today. I don't think it matters who wins in this election. They're both running from an avalanche of change that no one can stop, and it doesn't matter who runs a little faster or who holds back more of the crashing ice.
Beautiful interview with Robert Rabbin conducted by Chris Hebard. Good to hear from Chris again. And Robert. Robert was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. It had spread to his spine and pelvis but he seems to be free of cancer now and looks great. He talks about the changes that accompanied that shift.
We are gathered here today to speak about living our highest truth.
We are not talking about our individual, or personal truth, but rather the undeniable truth of our being. The truth that when you rest in true being, and I rest in true being, there is only one of us.
It seems we cultivate this understanding of Oneness in the hopes that it will transform our daily lives. For we all want to live in peace, we all want to be happy, it seems as though we all long to be free. Although The truth shall set you free, the words are only pointers. This truth is not just an understanding, it’s a way of being. It must be lived to be of value.
So many paths lead us to the understanding of oneness, and yet in our daily lives we appear to be separate. Separate from each other, separate from the world, separate from creation. So how do we live with this Divine paradox, where there is only the One appearing as many?
The method we will be exploring today is very simple. It is to live our daily lives in continuous remembrance of this divine unity, of this highest truth, And let true being shine forth, as it has always done. No longer obscured by the clouds false knowing. No one to search, no one to suffer, no one to pray.
~ ~ ~
The above was the introduction to the Monday, November 5, 2012, Nonduality Satsang, in Halifax, Nova Scotia:
Awakening Clarity now features the first chapter of John Wheeler's first book,
with this introduction by publisher Julian Noyce.
"Unusually for a teacher who has quite a substantial following, John has always kept up a full time career. His sharing of the teaching arises from a generosity of spirit. I personally know he has spent many hours in email correspondence or talking on the ‘phone with genuine questioners and also face to face at the low-key meetings he holds in Santa Cruz. His uncluttered and focused guidance has been credited with concluding the search for many people. My wife, Catherine, keeps up a presence on Facebook and tells me his name is often mentioned. He has the ability to keep the questioner focused and looking in the right direction. Alongside this, he is also a talented singer/songwriter and the editor of ‘Sailor’ Bob’s two books!"
From: Awakening to the Natural State; Chap.1 - Meeting ‘Sailor’ Bob Adamson
I had been on the spiritual path from my teenage years. For about thirty years I had been involved in various paths and practices, including Christianity, Theosophy, the teachings of J. Krishnamurti (I went to his talks in Ojai in the 1980s), Buddhism, Hinduism, and yoga. There were other paths and teachers also, too numerous to mention here. In my mid-twenties, I was introduced to Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj (through books on their lives and teachings). Something about those great Indian teachers of non-dual spirituality seemed solid and unshakable. I found myself returning to their teachings over the years, even though I can’t say I fully (or even partially) understood or experienced what they were talking about.
Along the way, I did the circuit of many of the contemporary teachers involved in non-dual spirituality. There was undoubtedly a benefit, but I was not fully satisfied for some reason. Either it was my confusion or something was not fully clear in the teachings being presented. Most likely the former! For some reason my destiny was to meet ‘Sailor’ Bob Adamson, one of Nisargadatta Maharaj’s Western students.
What I found was that there was only so much I could get from books and meditating on my own. The growth was there, but it was often slow, and I was not getting much direct experience. I vaguely felt that I was progressing, but if I honestly looked at my experience, I did not fully understand what the teachers were pointing to. Most importantly, my day-to-day life was not free of suffering. I knew the seeking was not over; something was missing. Had I not met Bob Adamson, the seeking might have gone on for decades, or at least until I met someone with a real understanding. Who knows who that might have been or when, but, barring that, I am pretty sure the seeking – and suffering – would have continued for a long time.
At one point, I met some Ramana Maharshi followers who had been on the path of self-inquiry for twenty or thirty years (and still working at it, I might add!). I was nowhere near their level of devotion, so it was pretty much out the picture that that approach would work for me. As I look at this now, it is not so much Ramana’s teaching that is at fault, but the mind’s inevitable tendency to turn any teaching into a practice. Practices, as I eventually learned, usually are interminable. This is because they are often based on false premises.
Intuitively, I felt that it was important for me to meet someone who had realized their true nature, someone whom I could trust, someone whom I could talk with in order to share my doubts and concerns. However, I was unsure which teachers were authentic; none seemed to resonate fully. I used to read Nisargadatta Maharaj’s dialogues frequently. I could not understand his teaching fully, given all the Hindu verbiage and translation issues (he originally spoke in Marathi), but I felt intuitively that he was a free being. Many spiritual seekers, through reading his words, can sense the genuineness of his realization, even if they do not always experience everything he talks about. I used to wonder if there was anyone still living who had met Nisargadatta Maharaj and had really got the experience of self-knowledge. After all those years of searching, I eventually stumbled across Bob Adamson. Something resonated strongly. Even when I read the pages on his website, there was a strong feeling of ‘maybe this is it’.
Just prior to discovering Bob Adamson, I had a vivid dream of Nisargadatta Maharaj, in which he was encouraging me not to give up the search for spiritual understanding. Shortly afterwards, I learned about Bob Adamson. Not wanting to miss the chance of meeting an authentic teacher (having missed the chance to see Nisargadatta Maharaj while he was alive), I decided to visit Bob in person in Australia. You can imagine my motivation (or perhaps desperation!) in going to Australia on the chance that he might be able to clarify my doubts and questions.
This is Remembrance Day weekend in Canada, Veterans Day in the U.S. Such days are held in countries across the world on November 11, or at different dates. Read about Remembrance Day around the world here:
I thought I'd remember a veteran or two of the nonduality scene in the last 15 years. One of the great contributors was the website sentient.org, which started in the early 90s as a bulletin board, if anyone remembers those. They preceded the popularity of the internet (although the internet was around at that time, it wasn't easy to use). Remember bulletin boards here:
When the owner of sentient.org, Peter, died a few years ago, the domain name was purchased and the original website was taken down. However, you can still visit the old website via the Wayback Machine. Take a look:
To be sure, we all have a great deal to learn from each other. However, the process of subtle arrogance and self deception in the spiritual arena is perhaps the most damaging of all illusions. I am a Buddhist, or a Yogi, or a Pagan, or a student of the Fourth Way or the Kaballah or some other mystical or ecclectic school, and I imagine that Christians are at least somewhat deluded. Or I am a Christian, perhaps a Catholic or an Evangelical, or a Course in Miracles student, or a Muslim, or a Jew, and maintain some pretense that my version of “God” or “Love” is somehow more accurate than “theirs.” But in fact, when we think “Jesus said so-and-so,” or “The Buddha taught thus-and-such,” we might ask ourselves, “How would I know, and why am I repeating this?” If we face it sincerely, it is hard to avoid the discovery that all we are doing is trying to justify our own opinions and their connected feelings, perhaps seeking to be tied in with some powerful authority figure(s) which is fortified by our own conditioning. So we each have our private and group stories about things, and continue to surreptitiously elevate ourselves and put each other down.
But in fact, there is no private liberation or salvation. (Where is the “one separate” from the rest, to be saved, except in some mental fiction?) Of utmost importance, finally, is putting an end to this devious and hurtful process of “spiritual ego,” of imagining there’s some kind of competition, and that there’s someone who has to defend his or her particular spiritual turf against others. If you stop using your transient body or your thoughts or feelings as points of reference, it will be obvious that there is no “someone” and there are no “others.” That whole thing is a paranoid fantasy, a pathological delusion, in this case in the name of whatever religion to which we happen to subscribe. So let’s call a spade a spade: God, the Absolute, does not belong to anyone, nor to any particular group. (So why pay homage to a limited god?)
Furthermore, Enlightenment, Self Realization, does not belong to anyone either. (In fact, everything belongs to Enlightenment. So why pay homage to a limited enlightenment?) Although it may occur in virtually any context - Buddhist, Christian, Yogic, Sufi, Hindu, Fourth Way, Muslim, Taoist, Jewish, Wiccan, 12-Step work, shamanistic, agnostic, scientific and so on, Spiritual Awakening, the Realization of Emptiness, the Tao, cannot be owned. How could That which is infinite be possessed by any religion, tradition, path, lineage, teacher, or hierarchy, all of which are limited? Is God a Christian, or a Jew, or a Muslim? Is Enlightenment controlled by Buddhists or Yogis or Hindus? How could That which is formless be made to conform toanyset of assumptions about liberation, past or future? (If you still find yourself resisting that possibility, you might ask yourself how you would know, one way or the other, and what motives are tied up in thinking about it in any specified way, for or against. Why maintain beliefs or disbeliefs at all?) Is truth a really a matter of subjective opinion? Is not truth, if that word means anything at all, an ongoing process of careful observation and uncompromised, undefended honesty?
It’s time we stop pretending, subtly or overtly, that our particular group is superior in some way. That’s a hidden way of saying, “I’m superior,” (and therefore not inferior). Let’s bring our woundedness, our childhood fears and hurts of inferiority, covered over by the pretense of individual or collective superiority, to a total and absolute halt. Completely. Now. If we need to weep, then let’s weep together. And let those tears of shame be tears of relief, tears of joy, in finally putting down this burden of trying to defend and justify what we have imagined ourselves to be. What doesn’t exist doesn’t need to be defended. It never did.
Particularly in recent years, many of us have had very powerful awakenings, but these experiences, in and of themselves, do not mean that much unless we allow ourselves to be transformed, completely, by what we have discovered. If we try to use them to validate our religious and peer identities and opinions, with our various secret and subtle motives and perceptions so shaped, we corrupt our awakening, and are already entangled in delusion. (And when we make ourselves or our group or our path or the teacher we’ve identified ourselves with special, we make ourselves separate.) The most any spiritual institution can do is to support and celebrate what is already real and true without reservation.
Full awareness, peace, freedom, clarity and joy can, and do, only exist now. If any of us still find ourselves suffering from the symptoms of ignorance, divisiveness or competition, that is to say, fear, envy, anger, sorrow, frustration, disappointment, jealosy, self-loathing, guilt, depression, loneliness, despair, or confusion, it is because we are still negotiating with God, still negotiating with Truth, still negotiating with Love, still negotiating with Freedom, still negotiating with Serenity. The pain is none other than the agony of lying to ourselves about what we want more than anything else. It is like finally finding the lover we have always longed for, but holding back in terror of losing that love.
Why put this moment off? That which you seek is That which you already are, and always have been - you are not separate, youcannot be separate from the Absolute, from Infinite Consciousness Itself. If you dare to stop pretending that you and your life are based on some mental version of things that arises out of memory, you will find out beyond any doubt! This is not some kind of wishful thinking or grandiose mental trick. Rather, with total and unflinching sincerity, with no psychological defense or self deception whatsoever, search your heart and find out what you permanently are, what you’ve been all along. Find out if there has ever been a separate “Other.” If you discover there never has been an other, is there one now? Could there ever be? Why pretend anymore?
If you dare to give your heart, your soul, your mind, your body, and your life, unconditionally, to what you discover to be true, you will know an infinitely deep and abiding peace that has never been even a breath away. This bliss, this tranquility depends on nothing, and It is not capable of ending. Furthermore, it doesn’t make a bit of difference what you’ve ever done… or not done. You can put an end to the battle. Yes, that’s correct, just walk right out of the war, right now. All you have to do is surrender, absolutely and completely, not to me, not to some authority figure, or some organization or institution, but surrender only to your own deepest Purity.
God and your own Unbounded Love are not different. If you truly give yourself up completely, it will shock your whole system. It will suddenly dawn on you,
“Oh my God, what a fool I’ve been! What was I thinking?”
Then the absolute insanity of giving yourself to anything else will become apparent. Why wait? Why put off your own complete and total liberation? In your innermost and outermost places, in every single moment, Love waits for you everywhere. Is there really something else you would rather do? Is it possible that the thing that you fear the most, the thing that you avoid the most, is what you truly desire the most? It cannot abandon you. Even if you choose to ignore It, betray It and walk away, It is always closer than your next breath. Suspend all opinion and debate, and find out for yourself.
Henry Kono: As a young man Henry studied with the founder of aikido constantly asking himself the question "What is o'sensei looking at"? He laughed when he noticed the answer.
freedom is when you have no choice you simply move as you must without thought or decision
traditionally the hara or center is said to be two inches below the belly button this is a misunderstanding the center is wherever the attention is placed everything the entire universe revolves and arises from this true center
attention is the natural result of the idea of a self falling away attention happens spontaneously and easily
wherever you place your attention leave it there and do not let it wander the rest will follow naturally
time and space disappear in the movement there is no doer only the movement
when you are attacked get out of the way
Editor's note: Apparently Peter himself, the founder of sentient.org, composed the following:
“Many people have the Great Vehicle Root Nature, but there are also many people who lie. Having cultivated without success, such people claim to have the way. Though they have not certified the fruit, they claim to be certified sages.” –Bodhidharma
Quite often this little site receives email from someone writing to say that they are enlightened. The letters usually run something like this: “After years of hard work I found my master and awoke in her presence. I am now filled with light and joy. Everything shines. I am done with worry and pain. That is over forever. I do not know what I will do next, but finally I understand. It is all so funny. Now I am done.”
We are always filled with joy to hear that someone is happier than they were. Yet it is our own small experience that true awakening may be rather different than the release and emotional catharsis so many describe. And different too from mere understanding. This lovely poem by Hafiz, translated and transliterated by Daniel Ladinsky speaks beautifully to this:
Ten Thousand Idiots
It is always a danger to aspirants on the Path
When they begin To believe and Act
As if the ten thousand idiots Who so long ruled And lived Inside
Have all packed their bags And skipped town Or Died
Nothing needs to happen. Happening is a trick of the light - ephemera only. Love is never ending, filling and overflowing forever. Why try to impede its flow with the concept that you are ‘awake’, or need to be. If Truth can be attained, it can also be lost. Surely that which can be gained or lost is mere ephemera? True awakening, therefore cannot be about gaining new ideas, concepts, understandings, states, perceptions, epiphanies. Perhaps instead it is an unsophisticated state of affairs - a simplicity where nothing more needs to be added. True awakening is what occurs automatically every morning before you arise. But we choose to ignore it, foregoing freedom in the obfuscating belief that there is something more to be attained.
Very few people know anything about Peter. My own communications with him were sparse. He didn't say much to me back in the days when I was starting nonduality.com and saw his site as a model for mine in some ways. (I wanted a brand of nonduality that was freer, more communicative, and more welcoming. More nondual, essentially. Okay, more cluttered and crazy, too.)
Whereas sentient.org was inspired by Ramana Maharshi and was selective regarding who was included on the list of awakened people, mine would be inspired by life itself and include almost everyone who spoke in a self-realized way. Mine was, and still is, a "big tent" approach to nonduality, as someone (Greg Goode?) once termed it.
However, Vicki Woodyard writes about her interactions with Peter in her very fine book, Life With A Hole In It: That's How the Light Gets In: