A MILESTONE DAY
Jerry had written:
Hey, tomorrow is NDS's Second Birthday. We came into being on August 11,
1998. Wow, it was the Nineties, man!
I know some of the story of how it began, maybe we need a "State of the
Salon" speech or some sort of where we're at and vision of what to
So this is NDS's second birthday! Two years! Funny, it feels longer than
that, perhaps because so much has happened in my life in the interim.
That's a great idea for a "State of the Salon" speech from Jerry! Speech!
I can't wait for the 2nd anniversary of the infamous NDS Halloween Party!
Now THAT was fun!
A speech? Well, if you guys INSIST. Thank you. I also need
to thank everyone else who has ever been on this list, but
that's well over the 344 currently subscribed and I don't
want to leave any names out.
First, congratulations to everyone for making this a place
where change occurs. I trust what happens here and have only
moderated after allowing things to go to a far extreme.
This list, these lists, make up my spiritual community. I
feel I've been made a stronger, wiser person. I'm more
understanding of others and their spiritual paths and lives.
I've learned about all the teachers out there and gotten a
much better picture of spiritual development in the world.
I've learned about moving in spiritual circles. I've learned
about non-action and action in spiritual circles.
I've tuned-in more finely to my blocks and contractions as
the result of daily reading on the list and of meeting
people in person. And I've tuned-in more finely to others, I
Any list that's really alive goes through stages. We're in a
stage right now. It's a quiet phase in which we're enjoying
each other's company and sometimes posting to stir the
embers. Because the community is alive with no plans for
what's coming next, who knows what's coming next? Nobody
knows. Create it.
I have no comment on the future of this community. I don't
know what's happening ten minutes from now. There's no
mission statement. It is perfectly empty. I trust it.
Did someone yell, "Fire!"..?? No, this time it's a whisper of embers. But Jerry, for
the countless times you have demonstrated the wisdom of "Don't panic," here's a
couple of good thoughts on the fire of time. ~Gloria
If your knowledge of fire has been turned
to certainty by words alone,
then seek to be cooked by the fire itself.
Don't abide in borrowed certainty.
There is no real certainty until you burn;
if you wish for this, sit down in the fire.
Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am
the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that
consumes me, but I am the fire. - Jorge Luis Borges
How old is it REALLY ???
"I take your poems in hand and read them beside the candle;
The poems are finished, the candle is low, dawn not yet come.
My eyes smart; I put out the lamp and go on sitting in the dark,
Listening to waves that, driven by the wind, strike the prow of the ship."
Po Chu-i (c.815)
Larry--don't confuse beats with hippies!!!
Allan Ginsburg was born in 1926
Beats were 50's--black clothing, avant garde, jazz,
wild poetry. lots of drinking and some pot smoking when
that was associated with black jazz musicians--oh yes
and a mostly intellectual interest in zen(as opposed to practice)
Gary Snyder and Philip Kapleau were among the few people who actually
went to Japan to practice zen. The 50's were so plastic!! at college me
my girlfriends wore black tights, rode bikes, and carried book bags(not
back packs--they were actually bags) and we were considered way
out there--this was end of 50's early 60's, and we were frightened
virgins all!!--fortunately i married late so was still single
and had lots of fun in Oregon in the good ol hippie days..
ex Red House occupant, nora
The Red House refers to color, not politics--it
was locally famous in Eugene, and when i
met my best friend in Japan who was from
Berkeley he knew the Red House and crazy Janice!!
Following Jerry's post the other day, I did some more
investigation in lucid dreaming, that could relate to
what you are talking about here.
Here's the preamble:
> I've done lucid dreaming meditation a few times.
> Then arises the thought, 'I'm going to meditate'.
> The meditation begins immediately. For me, there is direct
> contact with the third eye. Whatever chakra you focus on
> will immediately absorb your attention, I would think. I
> don't know, though, because I've never talked to anyone
> about it, nor have I ever read anything about this practice.
> What happens to me is that the third eye opens viciously, it
> swirls and reveals all kinds of symbolic secrets and offers
> to suck me in. It's very powerful.
I went looking with the third eye. The problem is, like Jerry says,
"whatever chakra you focus on will immediately absorb your attention".
What I wanted to do was to "remove chakra". (First, if I understand what
chakra is, I guess I'd say it was "stuff", but more extensive).
In the lucid dream state, consciousness is evident. The "third eye state",
is the connection with "being", however, within this state there still
can be and usually is, chakra. Theoretically, this "third eye state" should
be the same in a lucid dream as it is in waking life, but there is a subtle
difference.... that being, that you know you are in a different state of
consciousness, indeed a much more flexible state. I immediately sensed
"me", and looked for how to remove the influences.
Meditating, eyes closed, left me knowing I was "in me", so I left my body
sleeping in the bed and looked for a "chakraless" environment. On other
occasions, I had either gone into space, but there were still stars or
I'd go into something solid, like the ground. To get to where this is
you must reduce your "size" to pass into the atomic space, which is distinct
from passing through or into a material "like a ghost". Passing into it
leaves you surrounded by stuff. While going into atomic space, is like going
into regular space, but electrons and protons etc. don't shine. On this
I went into atomic space. ( A side note, this was the first time that I
passed close to a proton, very rare, because they are so very far apart. It
had a tremendous pull, and on some other occasion, I'll let myself get
pulled in... really strange feeling!)
Anyways, the point being, there I was in atomic space! There is one thing
that was very, very evident! "Me" was still there. It was very dark, and there
was no stuff. The brush with the proton made me realize how much I was still
"holding on to". On previous occasions, I had not been able to stay in this space for
long, maybe a few seconds, because of the emptiness, the aloneness. Now however, I
was able to relax my attention, and release that lonliness, disolving into a
sort of "soft nothingness". I was there consciously, but it wasn't me (in
retrospect). It was " " AM.
For me, I must make a distinction between "meditation" and " " AM.
connects one to empty consciousness, and is a "practical" excercize, perhaps
like physical excercize, it keeps one in shape. " " AM is similar, but
is a very subtle marriage of empty and full consciousness, permitting
an extraordinary sense of the nature of "Self" through a combination
of simultaneous giving / releasing into nothingness. This releasing can
only be done, if we have something to release. Is there anyone here
who has nothing to release? What an extraordinary gift this "me" is,
the "gift that keeps on giving"
One of these days, I'm going to throw myself into the proton!
Thanks for this. I really appreciate your ability to search
out and find the crevices. It's like spiritual spelunking.
Beautiful original description!
MELODY on "Spiritual prostitution"
The question arose elsewhere today, "Why can't we all
simply have compassion for one another?"
What occurs to me is: People can't simply compassionately
care for each other's well-being until or unless all 'agendas' have been
dropped....most especially "spiritual" agendas.
As long as we have a 'spiritual agenda' what gets passed off as an
'act of compassion' is in truth simply an action designed to further our own
objective.....no matter how 'noble' that objective may be.
We see the world thru the lens of our own agendas.....until we
no longer have them. It seems the moment someone jeopardizes or
minimizes that agenda (and our value systems), we cut them lose
or chase them away. And the only thing that would stop us from
'feeding' such a one to wolves would be a value system that says
it's not okay to do so! But in our hearts, we have left them to
The term 'spiritual prostitution' comes to mind because
so often what we call an act of love, or an act of compassion
is nothing more than a skin trade. The often unspoken, even
unconscious, pact in relationships....even in so called 'spiritual'
communities often says,
"I'll help you keep your mask, because that means mine is
It's sad....sad because of what it costs to play the game.
The questions that occur to me this afternoon...
to ask myself is,
"What is so dear to me that I'd be willing
to sacrifice some other person ....physically, mentally,
emotionally.....in order to keep it or protect it?"
"When I think I'm acting out of compassion,
what is the underlying 'payoff' to me?"
"What values and agendas would need to be
dropped in order for me to care for all people
and abide all states of mind equally?"
ºThe question arose elsewhere today, "Why can't we all
ºsimply have compassion for one another?"
Compassion will be automatic when being able to see that whatever thought, feeling or
action, it will always be "returned to sender", irrespective of the state of mind.
ºWhat occurs to me is: People can't simply compassionately
ºcare for each other's well-being until or unless all 'agendas' have been
ºdropped....most especially "spiritual" agendas.
That (having an agenda) translates into into doership and if there is a doer, there
is a sufferer. As long as there is a sense of "I and you", it is default to judge
"mine" to be more important than "yours". In a "civilized" society there is no reason
for that as the "others" are caring for (and when needed, sharing with) "you" and
"you" are caring for (and when needed, sharing with) others. Of course this would
translate into laws that can be easily recognized by the way of treating the helpless
(like the poor and the convicted), for instance in the laws made by the ancient
ºAs long as we have a 'spiritual agenda' what gets passed off as an
º'act of compassion' is in truth simply an action designed to further our own
ºobjective.....no matter how 'noble' that objective may be.
Strictly speaking, there is no reason for divisions of self/Self; it is quite
possible to be compassionate for selfish reasons (not to be able to see suffering
without an urge to alleviate it and acting out of it). In poor countries this still
is a rule as at one time one could be in need for assistance oneself.
(Note: This dialogue continued with several more posts, please see archives if
i was in the community of da free john from 1973-1986.
to me this quote portrays the mood of duality inherent
in his whole teaching.
the duality is between:
"I" the ONE and ONLY incarnation of the Devine (da free john)
--- and "you" the suffering lowly seeker. (everyone else)
one reason i enjoy the nonduality salon so much is that it is lacking
this condescending judgment from those with spiritual wisdom.
that constant criticism does not nurture awakening.
da free johns whole life and teaching work is based on being
"unconventional and exaggerated" with wild sex, alcohol,
and drug parties and a constant "in-crowd" and "out-crowd" game,
that often includes downright brutality. this kind of teaching draws
people with low self esteem, many who have been physically abused
and feel comfortable with an ultra- dramatic charismatic guru who
continues the familiar abuse. i have not seen this as being helpful
to even one persons awakening. his teaching includes
constant worship of his physical form or photo, but actual contact
with him is extremely rare. most of his devotees never even talk to
him once in person. these "renunciates" live in abject poverty,
having given everything to the "masters circumstance".
exaggeration is not a
prerequisite for spiritual practice or a sign of it's fulfillment.
it is true that a "teaching theater" like this including frequent
harsh criticism of those that are supposedly unenlightened
is anything but boring.
my personal experience is that it is not ultimately useful for actual
awakening into the blissful reality that we ALL ARE.
Thanks for sharing Cee. You have such profound wisdom that I have often been
very moved. By the way, I loved your last poem about "consumption." It
brought tears to my eyes.
I am glad you got out Cee. Sometimes it takes people years to see the
obvious. That is all right Cee. You are all the more beautiful for it.
I bow to your great beauty, wisdom and insight. It truly has no equal.
Water always finds its own level. Let the world go its own way. Rest in your
own nature free of all longings.
Wow, cee, thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience in this
eye-opening post!! Yes, this Nonduality Salon is one of the most
egalitarian and democratic places around, and this is beautiful, and I'm
glad you posted this. Your mention that many people of low self esteem are
attracted to gurus who treat them poorly - reminds me of an essay written
by a beloved friend of mine a while ago for NDS. He saw the same thing,
having been in several paths where the teachers wanted people to submit and
surrender to them.
If I may, I'd like to repost it, originally posted January 20, 2000. I had
written an intro about Michael, my friend, since he is not on NDS.
Bhakti Analysis by Michael Rosker
Intro, by Greg
Michael Rosker had about 15 years' sincere and devoted experience in
various charismatic and bhakti paths, and later, came to the
advaita/non-dualist path. I asked Michael to offer some insights based on
his long experience. In a nutshell, he says that these paths, as they are
sometimes practiced in the U.S., *can* involve certain excesses that harm
someone's self-esteem, and might even depend on a previous lack of
self-esteem in the new devotee.
Since Michael pretty much hit just the high points in his essay below, I'll
fill in some details. He began the spiritual search in the late 70's
because of health problems. Over the years, he has been a very faithful
devotee of at least 4 famous schools with charismatic leaders. He also
spent time with a few individual gurus, while not as charismatic as other
teachers, nevertheless combine a bit of advaita philosophy with bhakti
practices and psychotherapeutic recommendations, or sometimes, just plain
psychological manipulation. During this time, about a decade-and-a-half,
he experimented and his approach was on the devotional, ascetic side. Here
are some of his former practices:
-all kind of diets: ayurvedic, macrobiotic, yogic,
raw foods, blood-type, vegan, vegetarianism, high-protein
-banging his left shoe on the ground to make
the spiritual or physical problem go away
-stopping having sex with his wife
-on retreats, digging 4-foot holes in frozen
ground in mid-winter, then immediately filling
them back up
-meditating 6 hours a day
-chanting several thousand rounds or a mantra
every day to a personal, very human guru
-never seeing the sun except on his way to work
-losing about 50 pounds to shed impurities from
body and soul
For Michael himself, most of the time on these paths, he was miserable,
angry, or depressed. But for the last 2 years, he has been investigating
non-dualism. This started when he met a teacher who talked to him
person-to-person, as a peer, as though nothing needed fixing, acknowledging
that he's not a child, not broken, etc. With this great shot in the arm,
Michael's investigation continued until it came to the end of all
questions, the end of all answers. Now he's very happy, a loving and
radiant presence. People go to him for support, healing, help of all kinds,
and love. There's lots more to say, as Michael's a very good friend. But
I'll stop and let his essay speak for itself.
Bhakti Analysis, by Michael Rosker
What is it that would make an intelligent, successful and educated person
abandon even his most fundamental common sense and accept a philosophy or
code of living that in any other situation would only be described as
stupid? In the bhakti tradition as it has been transplanted in the U.S.,
that is exactly what has happens. Normally, after spending a lifetime
fortressing oneself into a self imposed prison of self-indulgent misery one
comes across an experience of no limitation. After which, of course comes
the compulsion to have this experience to be permanent. The old way of
living, in comparison has become intolerable. At this point one is likely
to turn to a number of spiritual paths that make claims to fulfill this
longing. Since this newly born spiritual aspirant has no experience in the
metaphysical world, he is likely grant spiritual teacher liberties that he
would not normally even consider. From then on one could spend years
banging their left shoe in the dirt or prostrating themselves before a
number of 8x10 glossies. Or chanting every morning in Sanskrit, "If the
Lord Hari is angry, then the Guru protects you. But if the Guru is angry
with you, then no one can save you." This might all done in the name of
"purifying the mind."
But surprisingly enough, I haven't come across one legitimate case where
this has actually taken place. What it does do however, is to create a new
group of "low esteem children" who blindly follow whatever mommy or daddy
guru tells them. Now this is not as grim as it seems. There are indeed
wonderful benefits from this type of surrender. What I've discovered from
many bhakti's is that for the most part they seem to have some "healing
your inner child" agenda going on. Where this is concerned there can be
some great healing taking place. One can begin to feel the love, acceptance
and protection that had not been established early in life.
Currently, there is no provision in the Bhakti charter for graduation to
adulthood. If at some point in the aspirant's evolution these belief
systems come into question, he will be told one of many quasi poetic,
remotely metaphysical buzzwords to squash any attempted escape. One of
these might be "It is only the Ego that wants to know," or "It is beyond
the mind." Since low self-esteem is one of the prerequisites for becoming a
Bhakti, it will be difficult if nearly impossible to extricate oneself from
this self-deception on one's own steam.
In my own case, it took the help of a spiritual teacher named Francis
Lucille. This was the first time, after many years of earnest seeking where
someone of unquestionable realization had sat and spoken to me as an equal.
I remember after one of his talks, him sitting next to me on the rug,
talking for a half-hour while everyone else was socializing around us. The
experience was one where I couldn't be sure who was contributing what in
the conversation. It was literally contiousness speaking with itself. I
remember exclaiming aloud at the end of that evening that I had indeed
become an adult Now, this recognition was only the first step, enabling to
walk on my own two feet. There still was the task at hand to weed through
the many layers of misunderstandings and inferences that maintained the
jail cell I called Michael. Fortunately for me, I came across an
experienced gardener who had the insight to see beauty hidden behind the
overgrowth and had patience enough to yank them out of the ground, without
disturbing the flower.
from the forward of Osho's book, "Creativity":
"Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence. If you
want to create you have to get rid of all conditionings;
otherwise your creativity will be nothing buy copying,
it will be just a carbon copy."
"The creator cannot follow the well-trodden path. He
has to search out his own way, he has to inquire in the
jungles of life. He has to go alone; he has to be a dropout
from the mob mind, from the collective psychology. The
collective mind is the lowest mind in the world - even
so-called idiots are superior to the collective idiocy. But
the collectivity has its own bribes: it respects people,
honors people if they go on insisting that the way of the
collective mind is the only right way."
"When you are thinking, you are separate from
others because you are thinking some thoughts
and the other person is thinking different thoughts.
But if you are both silent, then all the walls between
you disappear. Two silences cannot remain two.
They become one" - Osho