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Saturday, June 22, 2002

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  • Christiana Duranczyk
    Nondual Highlights Issue #1112 Saturday, June 22nd, 2002 The I casts off the illusion of I and yet remains as I . Such is the paradox of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 24, 2002
      Nondual Highlights Issue #1112  Saturday, June 22nd, 2002
      The 'I' casts off the illusion of 'I' 
      and yet remains as 'I'. Such is the paradox of 
      Self-realization. The realized do not see any 
      contradiction in it. Sri Ramana Maharshi
      Edited by Christiana Duranczyk

      Highlights Home Page: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm

      Painting: Agnes Pelton's Stargazer

      Ed note: My personal Saturday highlight was attending our dear friend cee's first satsang in her lovely new
      Berkeley center/home; and meeting Mazie Lane and Bob {hrtbeat} O'hearne who were also quite present. 
      Tonal notes linking in silence, twinkling eyes and living heart.
      Bob O'hearne submitted to HarshaSatsangh@...
      The Heart of Relationship ~Adyashanti
      Awakening to the truth of perfect Unity, means to awaken from the dream of a personal self and
      personal others to the realization that there is no other. Many spiritual seekers have had glimpses of
      the absolute unity of all existence, but few are capable of or willing to live up to the many challenging
      implications inherent in that revelation. The revelation of perfect unity, that there is no other, is a
      realization of the ultimate impersonality of all that seems to be so very personal. Applying this
      realization to the arena of personal relationships is something that most seekers find extremely
      challenging, and is the number one reason why so many seekers never come completely to rest in the
      freedom of the Self Absolute. Inherent in the revelation of perfect unity is the realization that there is no
      personal me, no personal other, and therefore no personal relationships. Coming to terms with the
      challenging implications of this stunning realization is something that few people are willing to do.
      Because realizing the true impersonality of all that seems so personal, challenges every aspect of the
      illusion of a separate, personal self. It challenges the entire structure of personal relationships which
      are born of needs, wants, and expectations. It is in the arena of personal relationships that the illusion
      of a separate self clings most tenaciously and insidiously. Indeed, there is nothing that derails more
      spiritual seekers than the grasping at and attaching to personal relationships.
      The revelation of perfect unity reveals the true impersonality of all relationships. The ego always
      interprets "impersonal" as meaning cold, distant, and aloof. However, "impersonal" simply means not
      personal, or void of a separate me and a separate you. The mind cannot comprehend of a
      relationship without separate entities. Much as a character in a dream cannot comprehend that all
      other dream characters are simply manifestations of the same dreamer. Yet when the dreamer
      awakens, he instantly comprehends that the entire dream, and all the characters in it, were none other
      than projections of his own self. In the dream there is the appearance of separate, personal entities in
      relationship, but upon awakening one comprehends the impersonal (non-separate) Self that is the
      source of all appearances.
      To deeply inquire into the question "Who is another?" can lead to the direct experience that the other
      is one's own Self-that in fact there is no other. However, I have seen that for most seekers, even this
      direct experiential revelation is not enough to transform the painfully personal ways they relate. To
      come to this profound transformation requires a very deep investigation into the implications inherent
      within the experiential revelation that there is no other. It is in the daily living of these implications that
      most seekers fail. Why? Because, fundamentally, most people want to remain separate and in
      control. Simply put, most people want to keep dreaming that they are special, unique, and separate,
      more than they want to wake up to the perfect unity of an Unknown which leaves no room from any
      separation from the whole.
      There is a powerful tendency in most spiritual seekers to avoid probing deeply into the implications
      inherent within profound spiritual experience and revelation, because these implications are always
      threatening to the sense of a separate self, or ego. It is the implications inherent within profound
      spiritual revelation that demand the transformation of the apparent individual.
      Inherent within the revelation of perfect unity is the realization that there is no other. The implications of
      this realization reveal that in order to manifest that unity in the relative world, one must renounce the
      dream of being a separate self seeking to obtain anything through relationship with another. Indeed,
      personal relationship appears to happen in the relative world, but in reality, all appearances simply
      arise as temporary manifestations of a unified whole. In the relative world these appearances are in
      relationship, but not as separate entities. Rather, they are the play of the one Self projecting itself as
      apparent entities in relationship to one another.
      As long as you identify yourself with the projection of separateness, you will continue to deny that you
      are the Source of all projections. When you truly and absolutely awaken to this fact, and comprehend
      the overwhelming implications inherent within this awakening, you will continually experience that all
      apparently personal relationships are in truth nothing other than the play of your Self. To realize that
      the personal me is an illusion born of false identification with the body, thoughts, and emotions, brings
      a profound sense of freedom. This is fundamentally the realization of emptiness, of what you are not.
      But contained within the realization of emptiness (formlessness) is also the realization of what you
      ARE. In the most absolute sense you ARE this conscious emptiness which is the source of all
      appearances (existence). But you are the appearance as well. Not just one part of the appearance
      called "me", but all of it , the entire whole. This is the challenge, to let your view get this vast. To let
      your view get so vast that your identity disappears. Then you realize that there is no other, and there is
      nothing personal going on.
      Contrary to the way the ego will view such a realization, it is in reality the birth of true love. A love
      which is free of all boundaries and fear. To the ego such uncontaminated love is unbearable in its
      intimacy. When there is no clear separating boundaries and nothing to gain the ego becomes
      disinterested, angry, or frightened. In a love where there is no other there is nowhere to hide, no one
      to control, and nothing to gain. It is the coming together of appearances in the beautiful dance of the
      SELF called Love.
      To the seeker who is sincere, an experiential glimpse of this possibility is not enough. If you are
      sincere you will find it within yourself to go far beyond any glimpse. You will find within your Self the
      courage to let go of the known and dive deeply into the Unknown heart of a mystery that calls you only
      to itself.
        I am the rest between two notes   -- Rainer Maria Rilke
          ~ ~ ~  from Transmission of The Flame Jean Klein 
        Is consciousness the only reality ?
       ~    Consciousness is the only reality.
        But in psychology they divide consciousness into
        subconscious and superconscious; is that just a trick of
        the mind ?
       ~    Yes, a trick of the mind . There is only consciousness.
        Consciousness expresses itself in objects. When you
        see that every object flows out from consciousness ,
        then there are no more "objects" , there is only 
        consciousness. The object loses its objectivity the
        moment it refers to consciousness.
      But the collective consciousness of Gustav Jung , is that also the same, or is it an invention of Jung ?
      ~     There is only consciousness , there is no division, there is no fraction. In this consciousness different
      qualities appear , but these qualities are different only in proportion. Just as there is no difference
      between the black body ,the white, the yellow , the red. On the physical plane it is the same body , the
      same lungs, the same liver , the same hate , the same love, the same jealousy , the same fear ,
      everywhere . It is only a question of proportion . Looking for distinction is only trade by the mind.
      Looking for all this division is only the survival of the "me" , the "I". When you discover that the "me" is
      an illusion , all psychology goes in the lake.

      viorica weissman NamoRamana@... 
      image Cymatics www.alphaomega.se/english/cymatics.html
      Loving-what-is@yahoogroups.com (Katie's new book is ... Loving what Is: Four Questions That Can Change your Life)
      (ed: apologies for the length, this was too enjoyable a read to edit down)
      Sacred America By Roger Housden
      Excerpts from Chapter 18  (about Byron Katie)
      On through the dry country I go, through Prescott, past Salome, past dozens of trailer parks with folks
      out to pasture, on over the border to Desert Center (a gas station and a grocery store) to the hot and
      dusty backwater of Barstow, California. I am here, en route to LA, to meet Byron Katie, one of those
      rare individuals who, struck once by the spiritual equivalent of lightning, has never been the same
      She hardly seemed a likely candidate for the visitation of grace. She had lived for decades in the
      thrall of money and power, had made and lost fortunes in real estate deals, let her kids wither in drugs
      and alcohol, had sunk into fits of uncontrollable rage. An obsession with food brought her to a weight
      of more than 200 pounds, and then to a half way house for women with eating disorders in LA.
      Early one morning she was lying on the floor of her room when a cockroach crawled over her foot.
      She stared. She saw the cockroach as part of herself. She saw her foot move in reaction, her hand
      move, her body rise. In that instant she was animation observing itself. She saw the bed, and, as if
      she were watching an ancient dream, became aware of the belief she held that she was not worthy of
      a bed. In that moment, through her perception of it, the belief dissolved and she knew it was alright to
      lie on the bed. She had no way of distinguishing between where she ended and something else
      began. She was the All, and the All was her. It was 1986, and Katie was 43.
      When her family came, she could see straight through their names and labels to who they were. Her
      hands, her husband, children - suddenly everything was one body, adored and loved in this present
      moment without any reference to either past or future. Her entire structure for perceiving reality as she
      had known it had gone. For three years Katie was in a state of continual revelation. Yet she was " a
      woman from Barstow," as she is fond of saying. " Women from Barstow don't know about spirituality
      and religious traditions." She had never studied religion or done any form of spiritual practice in her
      life. " We would only read about gurus and such things in the funny papers," she says. Yet what she
      did say, spontaneous and simple as it was, could have come from any of the great mystical
      "To act without thought is divine," she would murmur, "unknowing is everything, there is no time or
      space, only Love, and I am Love. Attachment and the perception of loss is the only death. Life springs
      forth as we let go of attachment. What I am is a complete and total love that has never left this One".
      The virtually cellular change she went through on that floor in her room left her radiant, and stayed.
      From then on, even in the half way house, people started dissolving in tears in her presence. Yet she
      felt she had nothing to teach or even say. Word got round, and back home in Barstow people started
      turning up at the door for what they called healing, though Katie would not have said she was doing
      anything. People would ask what she did, and she'd say she didn't know. She didn't know why these
      people came, but they came, so it must be good. From that first moment in the half way house, she
      has recognized that what is - whatever It is - can be nothing less than the highest order of good and
      One regular visitor to her house in those early days was the wife of an LA policeman. She came just
      to be in Katie's presence, without knowing why. Her husband eventually tried to forbid her to go, he
      was so afraid of losing her, but she came anyway. One day he followed her, burst into the house and
      ordered his wife to leave. He threatened to burn Katie's house down. Katie listened to him quietly, and
      asked," How can you hurt me? You can wreck my house. It isn't my house. Take my house. It's yours."
      The policeman burst into tears and she held him in her arms. He had heard the truth.
      And now here am I, another stranger turning up at her door. Several houses are on the lot, perhaps a
      dozen people living here now to administer the organization that has grown up around her in the last
      several years. I have arranged to spend 24 hours with the community. When I arrive I see two women
      in the hall leaning over a stack of audio cassettes.
      "Just let's change it to say there is no copyright and people can duplicate them or use the tapes for
      whatever purpose they like," Katie is saying. A woman in her fifties, she wears a flowing dress and
      has her hair pinned back in a clip. She looks up, her face utterly open,as if she were saying, I am here
      to serve you. Or not even that, just, Here I am. I tell her who I am, and it does not appear to register; I
      imagine she doesn't remember speaking to me on the phone. Yet without a second's hesitation she
      stops what she is doing and leads me through to a conservatory that gives onto the garden. There is
      an immediacy about this woman, an utter simplicity and directness of movement, that leaves the air
      clean of any trace of motive. What I feel in those first few seconds is the presence of a being who isn't
      being anyone - not a teacher, a wise person, or anyone with anything particular to tell. It feels both a
      relief and strange at the same time.
      We sit down, and she asks me if I would like to do The Work. I falter, having thought I was the one who
      was going to ask the questions. She explains that almost twelve years earlier, not long after people
      started seeking her out, she began to see how the projections people placed upon her could only
      serve to promote her as some kind of spiritual celebrity - yet she knew that she as a person could
      never help anybody. All she could offer people was a radical perception, an entirely new way of
      seeing, one that she had come to in her own experience. So she honed her own realization down to a
      process of four questions that challenged people's perception of reality. These questions she calls
      The Work, and she began inviting people to use The Work to heal themselves. Their healing, she
      smiled, was not her business. It was theirs.
      What Katie saw on the floor of the half way house was that we create our reality with our own beliefs,
      and that the most tenacious belief we have is that we are a separate entity in a world of separate
      entities. Our personal stories of hope and fear keep the illusion of separateness intact, and we
      genuinely believe that who we are is the drama of that story, its ups and downs, successes and
      failures, its search for God, truth, happiness, the perfect partner - at the same time believing other
      people's stories. Just like a Buddhist would say it, I thought, listening to her. Except Katie has no
      knowledge of Buddhism, or any other ism.
      She created The Work by retracing her own thought processes during her time of revelation. She
      would be abiding in the absolute awareness of The One Life that lives us all, and a thought would
      come in from her past beliefs to suggest the contrary. One day she was in a mall. A 90 year old
      woman walked in and Katie became her, took on her smell, became aware of her own skin falling
      from the bone. She could see herself through the old woman's eyes, and knew there was no
      difference between them. The thought came in, I can't live this way, followed by the realization that I
      am living this way.
      Her awareness would become the rocks, the sky, other people; she traveled through everything,
      became everything. Once her awareness went into a bird, and the thought came, but I don't know how
      to fly. The question followed immediately, can I really know that? And she flew on as that bird. For
      Katie, there is no story that we are not, even the story of a bird flying. There is only one life living us all,
      and only our limiting beliefs prevent us from seeing that truth.
      A radical teaching, the kind you find in ancient yogic texts. Nothing less than the undoing of everything
      we think we are, we think the world is, life is; the return to what is there before thought, belief, and
      language divide up the world. Not a return to the unconscious merging of the infant, but to a condition
      of awareness which knows existentially the one life living us all. Yet Katie says none of this, teaches
      nothing, as such. She gives you The Work and invites you to perform the operation on yourself.
      She asks me to think of someone I am having difficulty with in my life, to make a statement about
      something that irritates or saddens me, and to ask myself if it is really true. How can it be true that my
      partner and I are going our own ways? I ask. It certainly feels that way. We have sold our house, said
      our good-byes; I have come to America, she is in England. Yet our love continues as ever. It is as if
      the force of destiny has pulled us apart to follow our own myths. She looks at me, and smiles from
      somewhere far, far down. Then she says, "Hopeless," and smiles again. " Is it true that there is
      someone else who is or ever was your partner? How can you really know that is true? It is your belief
      that she was your partner. Without that belief, you might realize there can be no arriving or leaving." I
      sit for a moment opposite this woman who seems literally to ripple with joy, so much she can barely
      contain it. She is totally there, utterly without effort, pouring a love from her eyes not for me alone but
      for everything.
      She asks me a third question. " What do you gain by holding the belief that she was your partner?"
      And then a fourth: " Who or what would you be without that belief?"
      "Free", I laugh, "I would be free, free of an object by which I try to identify myself, give myself firm
      ground to stand on. I would be free to let life move through me without trying to hold on to it or push it
      away. And I would be closer to that same person than I could have ever dreamed of."
      "No-one has ever done anything to you, honey," she says, gazing upon me with an infinite tenderness.
      "We all do everything to ourselves, and we do it with our beliefs. They are your beliefs, no-one else's. I
      am not saying you haven't parted from each other. What is, Is. I am saying it isn't what you think it is,
      and nobody is ever creating the story except you. The Work helps you see through the fabric of your
      own beliefs, through the layers you put onto reality, onto what Is. It allows you to lose control and that is
      the doorway to revelation. Can you even say it's a beautiful day and really know it's true? Without
      those conditions, we can know ultimate intimacy. The judgment, the construct that we put on reality
      sticks to it like velcro and dampens the very intimacy we are seeking through our descriptions and
      There she goes again, I thought, paraphrasing the essence of Buddhist teachings without knowing it.
      Non-attachment is the deepest form of intimacy, they say. Except she talks about velcro, uses the
      language of everyday America. She was moving on already, saying that until we drop our story we
      don't even breathe without a motive, every breath coming from fear. When we drop our story there is
      no longer a world, no existence - who is there to exist? - no other worlds, no angels or devils. The
      Work, she says, is trickery, a trick to enable you to experience your own awareness of self beyond the
      "Without The Work," says Katie, shaking with laughter, "I'd have nothing to say. The point is that
      through The Work, you say it. I don't have a message; for me, even to say the sky is blue is to speak
      dishonestly. I ask what your message is.
      "Who is this woman before me?" I find myself wondering. In her presence, it is true, I can feel my own
      story slipping away - not for anything she says, not even primarily because of her Work - but because
      she seems to be a sheer reflection of the innocence that is prior to word and concept. Katie is
      childlike, but with a fiery knowing that pares away my postures, both subtle and obvious, of who I like
      to think I am and what it is I think I am doing. I can feel that she simply doesn't connect to any aspect of
      my identity; yet she is wholly there with me, her attention pouring over me undiluted. In this gaze which
      sees me through and through, I am aware of feeling returned to a deep restedness, the peace that
      comes from knowing there is no-one to be, nothing to hold up any more, at least, not in this moment.
      We walk out to the garden, and she shows me the buildings, five of them, that house the offices, the
      people who live with her, a meditation and meeting hall. Back in her paranoid days, she used to own
      eleven houses on the block, part of a desperate attempt to control the neighborhood. It didn't work, of
      course, she laughed, she got more out of control than ever. For hours we talked, Katie a fountain of
      energy, unaware of time, food, or schedule.
      People would come up to her as we spoke to ask about some administrative detail, to know what to
      say to someone on the phone, to arrange a meeting. Whoever it was, whatever they needed, she
      would turn the full beam of her attention on them until they had what they wanted. I was amazed to hear
      that she was expecting two hundred people the next day for a weekend retreat, this woman who was
      strolling around with me like she had all the time in the world. Which she did.
      People came to live with her not because they were chosen, but as they turned up, and according to
      availability of space. Years ago, in the beginning, people would ask what she did. She didn't know,
      she said. Come live with me, do what I do. People would always think it was some kind of doing, so
      she told them to come and see for themselves. The people with her now manage her schedule, run
      the office, dispense her tapes, and seem to 'get' that Katie doesn't actually 'do' anything at-all to be
      who she is. Maybe that's why they laugh a lot.
      Katie's life is dedicated to going wherever she is asked, providing there is space in the diary, which
      is rare these days since she has invitations from all over the world. She never charges, but offers The
      Work on a donation basis. What I notice as we stroll around is that she seems to say yes to everything
      and everyone. Isn't there ever a place for no, I wonder.
      "Yes, no, same thing," she says. " What we are looking for is integrity, the truth of the simple heart.
      That's what I'm married to. I go and do The Work wherever I am asked because people suffer. If you
      suffer, I have an interest. That's it. If you care about it, I do, because I know it is an illusion. I lived that
      illusion for 43 years, and I found a way through it. Someone who is tired of suffering can hear what I
      am saying and will do The Work for the love of truth."
      We would have turned to the matter of love anyway, though with my own story so close to the surface,
      it was bound to emerge sooner rather than later. Katie is unequivocal. There is only one way you can
      ever join anyone, she asserts, and that is in awareness.
      "You experience what is usually called love with someone who is a reflection of your own
      wonderfulness." She seems to smile with her whole body. "Someone who is agreeing with you. As
      soon as they stray from that role, then love goes and we try everything we can to fit them back into the
      place that we like. What you love, then, is your own story of the other. Connection, joining, marriage,
      all those things are about your own nature, nothing else. If you were clear you would be happy living
      with Frankenstein.
      "I can hear the truth of it, clear as a knife slicing through an apple. Yet I feel a tension, too, between the
      truth and the wish to hold on to my own story anyway, some mad attachment to the drama of my own
      suffering. If there is only one awareness, I say, that must mean the end of sexual desire, which needs
      a sense of other to arise."
      "When my husband, Paul, would ask me if I wanted to make love", Katie responds, not even a hint of
      self consciousness, "I would say, I don't know, touch me and we'll find out, every moment is a deep
      surprise. My own experience is that I have no interest, but if I say that, people can make a dogma out
      of it. So I say, inquire, ask the question: is it true you have no sexual interest? What do you get for
      holding that belief? There's no formula, no better or worse. It's none of my business whether I have a
      sexual desire or not. It just is, or it isn't. But I don't, that's my experience."
      We have been talking for hours, the sun has gone down, and I realize I am hungry, not having eaten
      since early morning. Katie would have gone on all through the night, oblivious of food, sleep, or any
      other natural calls. Yet when I ask if there might be some food in the house she stops, totally giving
      herself to that, handing me things out of the fridge, warming soup. Everything is organic now, her old
      junk food days long gone.
      Over dinner I ask her about evolution. The whole story of Western civilization is founded on the idea of
      progress, the gradual development of our knowledge and intelligence to the point of having a society
      founded on wisdom, moral intelligence, and the power of justice. The ideal of America is wholly
      founded upon this view, as is the dream of an evolving spiritual democracy. Yet Katie has more of an
      Eastern eye, one that sees existence to be cyclical and repetitive.
      "No, nothing is going anywhere, that's my experience," she says when I ask. "Nor do we go anywhere;
      we are already. You know, I work with a toxic waste corporation with branches in Dallas and Chicago.
      I ask them how they think they can clean up the planet if they don't clean up their own minds.
      Everything begins and ends with us, and the bottom line is, What Is, Is. Everything else is a story
      about what is. Your life is a story about what is. All the issues we get excited about are stories we lay
      over What Is. The highest truth, if you can bear it, is that God is What Is, and I mean all of it. I see no
      darkness anywhere, and I know people find that hard. At the same time, it doesn't mean you don't
      care, that you don't respond to suffering. I am moved to respond to suffering at the root. That's all I
      know. That's why I go where I am asked."
      I am astonished to learn that Katie is invited into large corporations, yet people in the most unlikely of
      settings seem ready for what she has to say. She tells me she has just been invited to speak to 5,000
      United Steel workers, an endangered species now, who fear for their jobs. These kind of men are the
      backbone of America, they support home, church, and country, they are the original good guys. All
      they have done is work, play their expected part, and now they don't feel heard; they are confused
      about their place in this changing world. Katie will do with them what she always does, use The Work
      to stop the mind, investigate, and try to cut through that confusion.
      I am beginning to wilt now, with so much to absorb from our hours together, but she jolts my attention
      when she goes on to say that just the previous week she went to a prison in Texas, where there was
      only one white prisoner among 300 inmates. The prison psychotherapist had invited her to come and
      do The Work. When she started, she could get no eye contact with any of them. An hour later it was
      "I'd ask them what was not okay in their world." They'd tell me about their wife cheating on them. I'd
      say, "Your wife is meant to be loyal, is it true?" We'd go through the inquiry, and they would start to
      see the death of a sacred belief, one they would have killed for without a second thought. The reality,
      I'd say, is that it happens. "How can it not be true? As long as you fight with Reality, you are going to
      "Another thing. When I went in there, they were all innocent. When I left, some of them were guilty -
      they were acknowledging that they were the ones who had got themselves into prison, not society, not
      mom or dad, not the system. We are the ones doing it to ourselves. We are always going to have a
      story, that's what our life is. If you have a good story, I say keep it, just be a witness to it and let it roll
      on without a motive. If you are in a nightmare, then better to wake up, since you are the only one
      As we close up the dining room and bring an end to the night, she adds one more thing. The prison
      pastor came up to her as she was leaving, said how inspired he was by what happened. But was
      there a place for Jesus in this, he asked, with more than a trace of concern. She looked at him and
      said yes, there was a place for everyone. He was visibly relieved.
      The next morning I join Katie and the community for a couple of hours in the meditation hall for their
      daily session with The Work. This, I realize, is where the glitches of community as well as personal life
      get ironed out. The sound technician can't find the usual music, and when he apologizes, Katie says it
      is good we don't have it. Everything is good for Katie if it is happening. She speaks with people one
      after the other, facing with them their projections onto others, their avoidance of their own stories and
      their creation of them.
      After the session she asks me if I would like to meet her husband. She and Paul have their own house
      on the property. She explains how difficult her sudden change had been for him, how he would wail
      that he had lost his wife, that he had been abandoned. All these years he had held on to that story, she
      says, though now he has acclimatized to it. She hasn't tried to affect his story through The Work,
      because it is all he has, he loves it, and he wants to keep it.
      It might sound as if she were unfeeling, speaking of her husband this way; yet I sensed it to be
      compassionate wisdom. She could not leave the place she had fallen into by some mysterious act of
      grace (or misfortune, depending on your point of view). She could not do other than be truthful to it. At
      the same time, she could not change anyone else, nor could she have any wish to. She has 'gone,
      gone far beyond,' as the Heart Sutra says. You may fall suddenly and without apparent reason through
      the net of time and space to the condition she lives in, but you cannot evolve to it. You are there or you
      are not there. So however much she may or may not want her husband to join her - and from where
      she is, it wouldn't matter either way, except to relieve his suffering - she would be crying in the wind
      upon deaf ears.
      She assures me Paul is always happy to tell his story, so I follow her into their house to find him sitting
      in a chair reading the paper. He is a large man with a large belly held in with a big belt, soft eyes in a
      ruddy face. The kind of man you might expect to find in a no-frills town like Barstow. He is 70, Katie
      had told me, some fifteen years older than her. After she has introduced us I ask him what it is like to
      live with this extraordinary woman. He exhales, half laugh and half sigh, and says it was like getting a
      divorce and then living with the same person.
      "Everything we used to do and enjoy together has gone," he says, sighing again. She was the love of
      my life. I thought I had found what I wanted, and now she is gone. I used to have a drinking, smoking,
      fishing, hunting buddy, and I've lost them all. She would wonder why I didn't do The Work - what do you
      expect, I was pissed off with The Work, it took everything away from me. It even took away my chance
      to care for her. Now she is self sufficient, and others look after her needs. But you know, I put up with it
      now because I watch all the people and see the difference in them in the time they stay here. She
      does a great deal to help people, and I'd be selfish to feel any other way. But it's a weird thing, having
      to stand in line now to hug your wife. Really, that's what I have to do."
      I'd find that difficult, I tell him. I am amazed he is still there with her. Nowhere else to go, he says, and
      anyway, he loves her. She loves him, he thinks, but just like she loves everyone else, which isn't quite
      the same. Still, you just have to accept life as it is. They have a funny relationship, for sure, he says.
      He will drive her to LA, some three or four hours away, and say two words. The car is her quiet time,
      almost the only time she isn't with a crowd. If he dwells on it all too much, he gets depressed and
      scared. Then, he says, looking at me with a gentleness you would never imagine coming from a bulk
      like his, he will go fishing. He'll sit there all day and watch that pole and suddenly it's dusk.
      What a fine man he is, I think, moved and grateful to hear his story. It all sounds so unfair, but who is to
      say it should be any other way. It can't be any other way, since this is how it is, at least until it changes.
      His sadness stirs my sadness, even so.
      As we leave Paul to his paper, Katie says it might be fun to take a walk in the desert for a while,
      continue talking there. I don't believe her, it is mid- morning and her group will be arriving in the next
      hour or two. I can't stay myself, since I have an appointment in Studio City. As I am about to leave this
      secular American equivalent of a great Indian or Buddhist sage, she sends me off with one last shot
      from the hip.
      "You know, I don't pray because I already have everything," she says, looking at me again with those
      fathomless eyes. " But if I did, it would be, God spare me from the desire to be loved and
      Wham! If anything is the teaching, it is that. Byron Katie is so undeniably what she talks about. If she
      were in India, she would be hailed as one of the masters of non-dualism, in the lineage of Ramana
      Maharshi, the great sage who died in the 1950's. (He also woke up spontaneously while lying on the
      floor, though under much more normal circumstances.) But she isn't in any lineage. She just
      happened, out here in the desert. No accident, either, that she is a woman. In America, it often seems
      to be women who are cutting through established forms and making new tracks of their own. And
      these women seem more naturally free of the need to be teachers, to establish a hierarchy in which
      some know and others don't.
      Katie's everyday language, her lack of any religious baggage, her utterly individual experience of
      awakening, exemplify an emerging form of quintessentially American spirituality: one founded not, like
      so much of the New Age phenomena, on a new and more exciting set of beliefs, or on wishful
      thinking, but on the radical experience of Being. There can be no better antidote than this to the
      American obsession with Doing.
      Copyright © 1999 by Roger Housden
      Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf. 
      Eric Ashford  Harshasatsangh@...
      It is not far to the heart of love.
      It is no distance at all.
      A million dreams away
      yet only an instant of recognition.
      The Beloved of your dreams
      has dreamed you into Herself
      and now needs you to wake up in Her.
      She asks only that you exchange
      your dreams for Hers.
      For once in this life
      give up pretending that it is your life.
      If you think too much about dancing
      your feet lose their wings
      and with every step you tread water.
      You cannot think your way into Love,
      There is no door to walk through.
      You are booted and suited for this life
      like a bridegroom for his wedding day
      and the bride is every form of beauty.
      She is veiled from you if you judge Her.
      It is your dreams that make Her ugly or distant.
      Just give up on wanting
      to take Her out for a drive.
      Those hands on the steering wheel
      belong to an other.
      Those thoughts you cling to
      cannot live in your head alone.
      One day if you give up on your notions
      of self or no-self,
      being this or being that.
      You will hear a wonderful sound.
      It will be the tinkling crash
      of all your beliefs falling apart
      as the Beloved rings your bell
      just for fun.
      Another new book of interest: The Ultimate Understanding by Ramesh S. Balsekar
                    ~~ May you week be graced with the gentle tug of living freshness.

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