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Sunday, August 11, 2002

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  • Gloria Lee
    Highlights # 1162 Sunday, August 11, 2002 Editor: Gloria Lee ARUNARAMANASAI from Ramana Maharshi list by RAMNATH NARAYANSWAMY Children have a special place in
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 12, 2002
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      Highlights # 1162
      Sunday, August 11, 2002
      Editor: Gloria Lee
      from Ramana Maharshi list

      Children have a special place in all the wisdom traditions of
      the world.  The gospel according to Saint Luke says that
      people brought their babies  to Jesus, asking him to place his
      hands on them in blessing. When his  disciples tried to
      prevent the people from approaching their teacher,  Jesus
      said, "Let the children come to me. Do not stop them because
      the  Kingdom of God belongs to them. Remember this!
      Whoever does not  receive the Kingdom of God like a child
      will never enter it". 

      In a child, the thought of the ego, the first primal I-thought is
      present only at an infinitesimal level.

      Identification with the body, the mind or the intellect is absent.

      As we grow older, these identifications result in misery,
      unhappiness and suffering. That is why we often rue the passing of
      childhood. The primal I-thought is responsible for reinforcing the
      notion of I-am-the-doer, I-am-the-body, I-am-the-ego or I-am-the-

      All these identifications result in suffering as they bring with
      them desire and attachment. The phenomenal world is mistaken for
      reality. The child is the father of man because the child does not
      suffer from ego, identity or fear — the characteristic concomitants
      of adulthood. That is why there is something divine in the innocence
      of a child.

      Sri Ramana Maharishi, looking at a child in the prayer hall,
      reportedly remarked: "One can attain the bliss of Brahman only when
      the mind becomes pure and humble, like the mind of this child".

      The image of the child in world scripture is therefore a powerful
      symbol of purity, innocence, simplicity and humility.

      As St Augustine said, "Let your old-age be childlike and your
      childhood like old age; so that neither may your wisdom be with
      pride, nor your humility without wisdom".

      The Brihadaranyaka Upa- nishad exhorts the Brahman or the one who is
      steeped in Brahman, to "reject erudition and live as a child".

      Sri Ramakrishna affirmed the same counsel when he said, "So long as
      one does not become simple like a child, one does not get divine
      illumination. Forget all the worldly knowledge that thou has
      acquired and become as `ignorant' as a child and then you will get
      divine wisdom".

      Swami Ramdas recollects that, "When we were children we were
      innocent. But there was in us a seed of ignorance which grew as we
      grew, and finally overpowering us, cast away our innocent nature and
      led us astray. We were thereafter caught in the toils of desire and
      action and we move in a vicious circle of transitory pleasure and
      pain. It is necessary to hand ourselves over to the Divine and
      through His grace burn up the seed which is the cause of our misery
      and bondage and regain our lost childhood. Once we get it back, it
      cannot be taken away from us. The burnt seed does not germinate. We
      will remain pure children for all our lives".

      We find similar evocations in the Buddhist tradition as
      well. "Abandon thought and thinking", said the Sage Saraha. "Be just
      like a child. Be devoted to your master's teaching and the Innate
      will become manifest".

      Indeed, the essence of Zen according to Takuan, founder of the
      Tokaiji Zen temple in Tokyo, is having "the heart and soul of a
      little child".

      Finally, a Tibetan master declares that the pupil "must regain the
      child state he hath lost before the sound can fall upon his ears".

      In a way, the Divine Musician sings to us through the purity of the
      hearts of children — we can hear Him if we only listen.

      So, the way to enlightenment lies in rediscovering the child in
      (This article is from The Times of India newspaper)
      from Nisargadatta list

      how many times have you heard stories, "i did <this>
      spiritual  practice and i was successful." 
      what about failure? how come no one talks about failure?
      our failures shape us.
      Adventures at Rasa Ranch #35
      8/11/02 "New Old Friends" 
      Today Ananda and I accompanied Jim on a small electrical job in town. He had said that  we
      would really like the folks he was working for and he was right. Shirley was eighty  and she
      looked like if you hugged her you would totally disappear into her big softness  like a dive
      into a fluffy cloud. Henry was all of ninety-nine (!) and he was very tall with  half a head of
      snowy white hair and the largest, most tender hands I had ever seen. Both  of them had bright
      blue eyes that somehow stopped time when you looked at them. 
      Ananda offered our new friends some really plump raspberries that we couldn't pass up  on
      our way over and the four of us sat on their shaded porch and munched while Jim  went to
      work. Henry described some of his adventures while mining for gold in Alaska in  the 1930's.
      He said, "You know, there was a depression going on in our country about  then." He paused
      to chuckle, "You might've read about it in school." Then he continued,  "And when I got the
      opportunity to go ANYWHERE, I said 'Yes!'" His words took the  history right out of the
      books and directly into my own experience. It was great. 
      When Jim had finished and we stood to go, Shirley commented that I looked like I was  going
      to give birth very soon. She wanted to know how far we lived from the hospital. I  told her
      that we were planning to have our baby at home and she furrowed her brow. I  looked over at
      Henry, touched him on the knee and said (in high volume), "I'll betcha  you were born at
      home." He laughed out loud and said, "Sure was! Ten pounds and  breech!" Boy, did he get a
      smile out of me with that one! 
      We said goodbye and wished each other all the best. On our way home in the car Ananda
      announced, "This is the nicest day." "Why is that?" we asked. "Because I 'yove'  everybody
      today, that's why." 

      6/5/02 "Bad Thoughts"
      I was cleaning up the remains of the old goatshed that Jim tore down by collecting debris for
      the burn pile. Ananda, four and a half, was excited to help me out but when she saw how
      messy it was going to be and how she was going to have to jump in the shower with me
      afterwards she decided to do something else. Meanwhile, Jim was out and around with the big
      mower going. 
      I got a load into the cart and made my way across the property to the burn pile. While
      emptying it I heard the mower shut off. When I was through I headed back toward the house
      where I saw Ananda crying on Jim's knee. As I approached he said, "Someone's been missing
      you, Mommy." Ananda came over to me. I had already noted on my walk toward them that
      while she did have tears, her cry was not the kind that makes me want to leap off of a cliff to
      save her.
      In a sad voice she told me that she had gone to where I was working in order to find me and
      then discovered I was no longer there. Then, she said, she cried really, really hard! I asked her
      if the crying made her feel better. She said no. Then I asked her if the crying helped her to
      find me. To that she also said no. I remarked, "It just didn't work, did it?" and she agreed that
      no, bursting out into tears didn't help her at all. 
      After a moment she started to REALLY cry, the kind that makes my heart move, big time. She
      said, "Nobody wanted to be with me. That's why I was crying." I immediately scooped her
      into my arms said, "Honey, that's not true! That's just a 'bad thought'! You don't have to
      believe a bad thought. They're just not true. What is true?" She paused and then replied as if
      she'd heard it before, "Our love." 
      We looked into each other's eyes for a spell and then she said, "I'm hungry." I told her if she
      hurried she could catch up to her daddy who was making a snack for himself and I bet her that
      he would share. She started to run off and then turned around and said, "I am having another
      thought now. Plants growing." I said, "Ahh, that's a nice thought. Do you know what else is
      growing?" She said, "What?" I grinned and pointed repeatedly right at her. She giggled,
      saying, "Me" and then disappeared into the house. 
      I was still squatting there at her eye level and couldn't bring myself to move quite yet. Then
      the door opened a crack and she stuck her head and arm out and waved to me. I waved back. 
      I have a lump in my throat right now. 
      Sometimes life is so sweet.
      [When I came inside to type this I overheard Ananda and her dad in the kitchen. She was
      telling him in a cheerful voice, "I only had a bad thought. That's why I was crying!"]
      from HS
      Heart Sutra
      Form is empty.
      Emptiness is form.

      The activity of form is not
      other than emptiness,
      nor is the action of emptiness
      other than form.

      It's the same with feeling,
      conception, and

      Dear One, in this way
      all dharmas are empty,
      without any qualification,
      not existing,
      not ceasing,
      without bondage or
      liberation from bondage,

      Dear One, in this way,
      in emptiness
      there is no form,
      no feeling,
      no cognition,
      no conception,
      no consciousness.

      There is
      no eye,
      no ear,
      no nose,
      no tongue,
      no body,
      no mind,
      no shape,
      no sound,
      no color,
      no flavor,
      no feeling, 
      no space.

      There is no
      center of vision,
      no center of mind,
      no center to reference
      interpretation of perception.

      No ignorance,
      no end of ignorance,
      no aging and death,
      no end of aging and death.

      It's the same for

      There is
      no path,
      no wisdom,
      no enlightenment, 
      no non-enlightenment.

      Dear One, in this way
      all buddhas --
      realizing nothing,
      anchored in the Heart --
      are clear,

      They are not
      the one confused,
      they are not
      the one suffering.

      They are Free.

      There's a saying:

      "Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha."

      This is how
      the Compassionate One --
      Beloved --
      whispers from the Heart.

      Selections from Encounters with Cold Mountain,  Poems by Han Shan
      Climbing up the Cold Mountain
      I climb the road to Cold Mountain,
      The road that never ends.
      The valleys are long and strewn with stones;
      Streams are broad and banked with thick grass;
      Moss is slippery, though no rain has fallen;
      Pines sigh, but it isn't the wind.
      Who can break from the snares of the world
      And sit with me among the white clouds?



      Once, my back wedded to the solid cliff,
      I sat silently, bathed in the full moon's light.

      I counted there ten thousand shapes,
      None with substance save the moon's own glow.

      The pristine mind is empty as the moon,
      I thought, and like the moon, freely shines.

      By what I knew of moon I knew the mind,
      Each mirror to each, profound as stone. 



      What a mind he had!  Master of footnotes,
      Retailer of all details.  Sword tip, brush tip,

      Tip of the tongue -- all penetrating.  Music,
      Horsemanship, archery, each one subdued.

      When he exhaled, we breathed deeply.

      Once he found the meaning not just there,
      He fled in all directions, split hairs everywhere.



      Travelers wonder how to reach Cold Mountain.

      No road stretches so far;  the streams end far below.
      Summer ice darkens the greens.
      Sunrise labours to burn off the mist.

      How did a gray squat thing like me arrive?
      I make my journey sitting still.

      *more poems may be read at: 

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