The highlights for Saturday weren't selected because
they were particularly 'nondual', but because they
represented....each in their own way....and exquisite
'snapshot' in time.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Walter is a friend whose story and talents I would like to share. I
am indeed honored to know him.
He is a hero and a luminary.
Walter, a brilliant orchestral conductor, has been unable to move any
part of his body except his eyes since he suffered a massive stroke
11 years ago at the age of 33. His condition is commonly known
as "locked-in syndrome". He can communicate only by eye movements
translated through a painstakingly slow process using a letter and
numbers board and blinking yes and no answers. Instead of wallowing
in hopelessness, Walter embraces life, writing poetry, creating art,
even sponsoring an annual music festival for young people. Here is an
example of how this spirited man makes the most of a bad situation :
For a period of time, Walter's eyes were constantly infected and
irritated. Since blinking his eyes is his only method of
communication, he was referred to an ophthalmologist. When he
arrived at the facility, an aide wheeled him to the consulting
physician's office and left him without telling the doctor that
Walter was there. He sat in the hall for hours, blinking madly
trying to get the attention of everyone who walked by. No one
noticed. He wrote the following poem about that incident.
Transported to different rooms and planted like a statue,
The still and motionless man compares ceilings,
Contemplates an assortment of mistakes,
Sings a lullaby-then a sea chantey tune diverts him from deep
conversations about lasagna and hairdressers.
As if this was not enough for one day, when the ophthalmologist
finally saw him he diagnosed Walter's vision problem as "Eye Blinking
Syndrome" instead of the filamentary keratitis it turned out to be.
He recently wrote these haiku, following the death of his beloved
oh, bless the oak wood
For it holds our mother's skin.
Oh, sweet planet....Spin.
Dry on top of the oak wood.
Seasons in pastel.
A grasshopper leaps,
A butterfly soars,
A mother goes to heaven.
A mother transcends,
A giver of life,
A pond among ponds.
These haiku he just sent for the Holidays:
joy to our small world
Which lives among star rubble.
Fallen angels Soar.
From this universe to yours.
At one with the wind.
Snow peacefully falls.
Clouds serenefully roll.
Birds singfully perch.
Earth gracefully spins.
I remember as a young child being asked by my Mother what I wanted to
when I grew up. I remember two answers that got poopood or perhaps
questioned... One was that I wanted to be a hermit. I think that
probably got the response "Why?", and the other was that I wanted to
a genius. I'm pretty sure that got a response somewhat like "you
be content to be what you can be."
I think that what I really want to be when I grow up is kind. (and I
think that genius and hermeticism have both become part of my makeup -
not that I AM either, but both participate now and then in what
manifests here. hee, hee, hee... ain't life an adventure?)
A SUMMARY OF THE WORLD
If we could shrink the Earth's population to a village of precisely
people with all existing ratios remaining the same, it would look
There would be 57 Asians,21 Europeans, 14 from the Western Hemisphere
and South) and 8 Africans.
51 would be female;49 male
70 would be non-white;30 white
70 would be non-Christian;30 Christian.
Half of the entire world's wealth would be in the hands of only 6
and all 6 would be citizens of the United States.
80 would live in substandard housing.
70 would be unable to read.
50 would suffer from malnutrition.
1 would be near death,1 would be near birth.
Only 1 would have a college education.
No one would own a computer.
When one considers our world from such an incredibly compressed
perspective, the need for both tolerance and understanding becomes
glaringly apparent. Author unknown
a clip of a conversation between
GENE and JOHN:
G: Nondual realization eliminates the difference between self and 'the
world'; consequently, the impulse to 'help the world' is seen as
self-preservation, or better, as implementation of the One
Imperitive, that Being, One Conscious Living Universe.
J: Viewed 'externally', then, nothing appears to change in one's
behavior. Except 'internal' POV.
G: True enough, but we must recall, that such understandings "could
be" a simple metaphor, for the enactment of the One Imperative. Thus,
even 'identity-bound' humans would have a role to play, albeit
J: Strong point.
G: Reason is one thing, 'vision' is another.
G: So, from my POV, all levels of 'knowledge' exist at once, for the
human, but what is commonly accessed, is only what does not threaten
the 'integrity' of the world-dream, thus allowing the continuation of
Identity is the 'dog in the manger', displacing awareness of the One
J: Yes. Continuum. Any difference perceived in POV has to with the
nature of 'continuum'. Where, in fact, a movement
towards 'annihilation' must be instantiated also too there exists
that which came before. This is the essence of additive vs.
exclusive. When annihilation is encountered either by accident or
fostering the dog is displaced as a One awareness becomes resident,
or, put another way, a new 'center of gravity' is established where
the dog previously dwelled.
Being frank with one's self, however, would reveal that the dog has
not ceased to exist. It is just more easily transcended or displaced
when one finds it in the manger again - as dogs are wont to do.
This is also part of the One, with its peculiar characteristics and
wacky conduct and it is subject to some laws common to all dogs.
Better then, perhaps, to be mindful of the ways of dogs than to deny
their existence. Lest one is bitten.
The study of the ways of dogs may cease so long as the study of the
ways of dogs continues to be refined.
And there is always the path of 'dog training'.
-----------------------show me something that doesnt ring of ego.
Meeting face to face feeling at one is just more ego too.
You are me, and I am you.
Isn't it obvious that we "inter-are"?
You cultivate the flower in yourself,
so that I will be beautiful.
I transform the garbage in myself,
so that you will not have to suffer.
I support you;
you support me.
I am in this world to offer you peace;
you are in this world to bring me joy
Thich Nhat Hanh
'Call Me By My True Names'
These past months, all cares about 'being nice'
fell away as this 'cut the bullshit' energy arose
in me. It arose so strongly that all pretense or
concerns for being 'nice' were burned away.
What arose in me felt very much like the
'wild woman' archetypical energy that Clarissa Pinkola
Estes wrote about in "Women Who Run With the Wolves."
And even though the feeling of being alienated
and rejected by others for my 'bad manners'
was painful at times, the force of the energy
moving thru me would allow me to express no
other way AND to be in integrity with this
'body-mind system' at the same time.
And to simply 'blame' this change in expression and
heart on menopause would be a very big mistake.
These past couple of weeks, this 'crisis of intensity'
has heightened so much that I counted the days until
this week.....when I could finally have a week all to
myself.....with my son away on a trip.....and I'm off work.
Beginning the week before Christmas I began crying,
and I didn't stop until the night of Christmas. I told my
sister as we prepared Christmas dinner that it felt like
everything in my life had been stripped away....all ambition,
desire.....hope. And there was nothing to 'fill' that space.
Even the day after Christmas I realized that I was no longer
the 'woman' in Joseph's life.....realizing I had been replaced
by his girlfriend. It's hard to explain, but there's been a
big shift.....and I only now recognize that my 'role' in Joseph's life
been shifted from 'primary' to that of 'ancillary'.
I'm now reminded of the words, "It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times."
The time when I wanted more than anything to 'be kind'
seems so far removed from me now.
All I want is simply space to 'be' as I am.....to allow
what ever's moving thru me to move unobstructed.
Life tells me to "fall apart. fall completely apart."
This comes at a rather 'inconvenient' time.....being
a single foster mom. My only resistance is trying to
'keep it together' around Joseph.
I wonder why I write all this, and I realize that I have
only 3 more days before he returns, and I'd like to
use the most of this time. I guess I'm looking for
something to 'bounce off of'.....to fasciliate whatever
is calling to be done.
Fall apart. I think it's okay, so long as you trust the
process. I find deep breathing to help enormously, and really
allowing what is happening to happen. My body will shake and jerk and
the emotions come up from way down inside and just when I think I'm
going to die from it, it eases and I feel so much better. I'm not
with it yet, but I trust it. For the most part, it has respected my
desire not to flood my friends and family with it, and it comes when
there is time alone to work with it. I live alone, so now and then
it has knocked on the door while I'm at work, I go home and take a
day. I am convinced that it is a process that is not only benign, but
incredibly important and beneficial in the end, but I have to admit I
don't believe I've seen the end of it yet.
I believe there is an intelligence behind the deep changes that occur
a person and that it is to be trusted.
Long time no see.
I might recount personal points and a story as maybe they relate to
experiences you are now encountering.
There is a tremendous difference between theoretical knowledge and
experience of the basis from which this theoretical knowledge reaches
Theoretical knowledge often 'dresses up' as actual experience.
It has to do with foundations of rock or sand.
Theory is sand.
Actual experience is rock.
As we know, many enduring things can be built on a foundation of rock.
Those built on [shifting] sand eventually crumble.
Any good builder will dig until the solid bedrock is uncovered. What
between the surface and this [future] foundation is cast aside.
Either trucked away or incinerated.
What is left is the awareness of the absence of what once filled the
apparent void. This awareness of void, I hazard to offer, is quite
In this >apparent< void, for me, is where the current thread with
Sandeep and Dave originated.
Are you looking closely and with discrimination in this void? Is it
empty? Or is there something, so quiet, a voice so faint, that it
easily overlooked in the discomfiture required to abide such
For me, a voice was noticed and resolved to simple impulses, to
affection, nothing complicated. Something like a child.
Well, enough of this.
From my experience this process was one the great gifts I received in
life. You couldn't have convinced me of that at the time, though.
will not try to convince you.
Although I would offer that you will survive the experience, and if
[abided] to its end you will have something of infinite worth. That
insofar as we can tolerate the concept of 'individuality', you will
what, within you, is real, and what is not.
I, too, was preoccupied with cutting through the shit. Externally, at
least. What we often fail to realize, that in this asking, we may be
answered. And that part and parcel of 'cutting through the shit'
only have to do with the externals - it is internals too - and we are
normally deeply full of shit.
My story, on this dark night, is similar to yours. In the small
one evening, lying empty and shattered, the shards of former models
'I' was, lying scattered, and with desperate attempts to make at
of the pieces fit back together "something" looked inside me. "I"
Something responded in wordless communication. The answer offered to
question was at the very limits of conscious awareness, it was
and manifested in the form of core 'desires,' to try to inaccurately
the impression. A pause ensued.
There was the awareness of deep uneasiness, as if being 'judged', on
basis of this wordless answer of core desires. The uneasiness
the awareness that the 'answer' was out before the conscious
discrimination could weigh alternative responses.
I knew had been asked this question before. Years and years before.
that time the answer had not been appropriate to what was being asked.
These recollections flooded back to this moment.
The "something" that had asked this question returned. I cannot put
words, except that what was 'taken' from the answer supplied was given
'back'. It was "fit", is the best I can frame it. Along with this
"fitness" came the sense that nothing, and I really mean nothing,
harm 'me' again. This core "me" had none of the properties of 'John
Nothing could take me below this point, this ground, this foundation,
what had been found was "fit" and there was no reason to go deeper. No
reason for continued struggle and doubt.
Building could commence. Building to last.
If you are asking me Melody, someone as steeped in duality as I may
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE VALUE OF THIS EXPERIENCE YOU ARE GOING
THROUGH. NO SUBSTITUTES WHATSOEVER. All the platitudes in the
all the greatest teachers, if stacked upon one another, would not
top of the sole of you Keds in comparison.
It is, literally, the process of individuation, from the Jungian
JOHN DUFF and MELODY:
J: Are you looking closely and with discrimination in this void? Is
it truly empty? Or is there something, so quiet, a voice so faint,
it can be easily overlooked in the discomfiture required to abide such
M: Sitting with the 'discomfiture'....with the aid of a little
creative imagery....I find that it says, "I'm afraid".
I discover I'm afraid..... that the 'emptiness' which surrounds
me now is that same 'empty place' I used to split off to
when I would be raped as a child.
I always knew that I had 'split off' as a child during
those times.....having very few memories of the 'act'
itself. Tonight I revisited that place...just put my
big toe into that space.... that I used to visit when I
split away from the 'reality' of my life. It was a place rightly
named 'the void'. A place absent any sounds, absent
any thoughts, any feelings....absent any light.
It was like being in a dark box.
Touching that place again I realized what all the
tears have been about these past days: tears of
fear that asks: is that all that's left for me.
I associate that dark box with Hell. And I'm
scared to death that Hell is the Emptiness that
One Saturday noon I was in Bloomingdale's department
store in NYC with a friend who was shopping for a
swimsuit for our coming trip to Bermuda. As she made a
selection and headed for the fitting room, I found a seat
and waited for her re-appearance in the swim suit of her
As I looked about, I was startled to notice the swarm of
Saturday shoppers had suddenly disappeared. Instead
this solitary woman with a very familiar face and elegant
stride entered the swimsuit section and stopped abruptly
as our eyes met in a knowing smile.
Within those moments that seemed like an eternity, the
feeling of familiarity became one of incredible electric
intimacy. Its as if the whole universe had suddenly
shifted and we were together as a single presence of
pure energy in a void beyond time and space. It was an
eternal moment of pure being with a total "stranger".
We continued to smile at each other with our eyes still
engaged, as the universe shifted again and the scene
began to change all around us. Then she resumed her
stride and my eyes followed her every step until she
disappeared into the next department.
As I sat there still glowing with an eternal smile, my
friend surprisingly appeared before me almost stark
naked in her new bikini -as if the universe would shock
me back into my everyday existence.
This event was a mystery for many years. Now I can
understand how such events are possible as a mutual
and simultaneous singularity of attention.
PS Can anyone 'guess' who this mysterious woman was?