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Friday, August 23, 2002

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  • Gloria Lee
    HIGHLIGHTS #1175 Friday, August 23, 2002 Editor: Gloria Lee Nina Murrell-Kisner Open_Source_Spirit Gene Poole wrote: What can we say... about how we see
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 24, 2002
      HIGHLIGHTS #1175
      Friday, August 23, 2002
      Editor: Gloria Lee
      Nina Murrell-Kisner
       Gene Poole wrote:
       What can we say... about how we see difference...
       as though difference is significant...
       On the long trip... perhaps seen later as 'augenblik'...
       there is a constant...
       To see now, the constant...
      It is a road trip and the game is a variation of Slug Bug. Instead of
      whacking the travel companion every time a Volkswagon is spotted, one
      may whack the Volkswagons as they come and go.

      The trip is long. One may grow weary of the game of Volkswagon whacking
      and wonder what is beyond Volkswagons. Maybe then it becomes a game of
      whacking songs on the crackly car radio, then radio stations as they
      fade in and out, each subsequent radio broadcaster giving away
      difference through dialect. Landscapes that fly by, the sun and moon
      moving across the sky, days and nights. The bugs splatting on the
      windshield, the bugs washed away, less and less convincingly, by sprays
      of thinly bubbling washer fluid. Conversation and no conversation with
      the traveling companion. Gas stations. Dirty restrooms. Bad snacks.
      Yawns and unintentional lane swerves. Hip shiftings in a bucket seat,
      futile attempts to still sciatica. Still whacking...

      Whacking based on what is different from before and what will be,
      that's what makes the game. Now it is not here, now it is here, WHACK,
      now it isn't.

      The road goes on and on, seemingly...

      ...but it must end, too.


      Car parked behind me, I am trailed by a scattering of bad snack
      wrappers as I peer out over the cliff at the ocean. Now what? I am
      physically blocked from moving forward. What now?

      I send out my imagination, over wave upon wave, each wave another
      whack. Dive down amongst the fishes, whacking, oxygen bubbles,
      whacking, depth, whacking, ocean floor, whacking. Up again, out again,
      the whacking could go on forseeminglyever.

      I'm back on the cliff, whacking the imagination, the outward

      Whereto, when outward fails?

      Inward, where I might as well be back in that ocean.

      Whereto, when inward fails?
      Sandy Carmichael
      Spiritual Friends
      This exchange is between a young man (Cohen) and a rabbi. They are taking 
      a trip by car (in the 1920's), and the young man is driving. 
      They were halfway there when young Cohen, intrigued by the soft drone of 
      sound from the old man, asked him what he was saying. 
      "I am not saying. I am praying. It may surprise you since I am eighty years old,
       but I have a peculiar desire to live." 
      "Oh, we'll make it all right, rabbi. This is a good car when it runs. Anyway, 
      what can happen with a rabbi in the car?" 
      "That's what I wonder." 
      from "The Immigrants", a novel by Howard Fast 
      Gill Eardley
      Spiritual Friends
      The Sonnets To Orpheus: Book 2: XXIII
      ~Rainer Maria Rilke

      Call  me to the one among your moments
      that stands against you, ineluctably:
      intimate as a dog's imploring glance
      but, again, forever, turned away

      when you think you've captured it at last.
      What seems so far from you is most your own.
      We are already free, and were dismissed
      where we thought we soon would be at home.

      Anxious, we keep longing for a foothold-
      we, at times too young for what is old
      and too old for what has never been;

      doing justice only where we praise,
      because we are the branch, the iron blade,
      and sweet danger, ripening from within.

      Translated by Stephen Mitchell

      Million Paths
      In this issue of the Yoga International
      The Man Called Ramana  By Arthur Osborne 
      (selected excepts, see link for entire article.)

      It was the most majestic film I  have ever seen, the most awe-inspiring and yet
      without incident. There is a  view of Arunachala hill from the ashram drive,
      and then a tall, frail,  light-complexioned man with short, white hair descends
      the slope of the hill  with the aid of a staff. Then he comes out of the ashram
      hall, stops to smile at  a baby, walks across the grounds-just simple, everyday
      actions, and yet the  beauty of them was breathtaking. The simplicity was so
      natural, the smile so  spontaneous, the majesty so inherent. 

      Bhagavan Sri Ramana was meticulously exact, closely observant, practical,
      and humorous. His daily life was conducted with punctiliousness that Indians
      today would have to call purely Western. Everything had to be precise and
      orderly. The ashram hall was swept out several times daily. The books were
      always in their places, and the cloths covering the couch were scrupulously
      clean and beautifully folded. The loincloth, which was all he wore, was
      gleaming white. The two clocks in the hall were adjusted daily to radio time,
      and the calendar was never allowed to fall behind the current date. The
      routine of life flowed in a regular pattern.
      Bhagavan was affable and courteous to all visitors. He expressed no pontifical
      solemnity in his exposition. On the contrary, his speech, whether on daily
      affairs or on doctrine, was vivacious and full of laughter. So infectious was his
      laughter that even those who did not know Tamil would spontaneously join in.
      Right up to the end he joked, and yet his jokes also bore instruction. When the
      doctors were alarmed to see a new tumor pushing up during his final sickness,
      he said, laughing, "Why do you worry? Its nature is to come up." When a
      woman beat her head against a post outside his room in grief, despite his
      insistence that the body's death was no cause for grief, he listened for a
      moment and then said, "Oh, I thought somebody was trying to break a
      coconut." A devotee asked why his prayers were not answered, and
      Bhagavan replied, laughing, "If they were, you might stop praying."
      His face was like the face of water, always changing and yet always the same.
      He would be laughing and talking, then he would turn graciously to a small
      child or hand a nut to a squirrel that hopped onto his couch from the window,
      or his radiant, wide-open eyes would shine with love upon some devotee
      who had just arrived or was taking leave. Then, in silence a moment later, his
      face would be rock-like, eternal in its grandeur.
      The consideration that Bhagavan showed to people and animals extended 
      even to inanimate objects. Every action had to be performed intentionally and 
      nothing was wasted. I have seen the meticulous care with which a book was 
      bound and cuttings pasted, and have heard an attendant reproved for wanting 
      to cut into a new sheet of paper when one already started would suffice. Our 
      exploitation of nature is ruthless today; it is more a rape than a harvesting. 
      Therefore it was a chastening sight to see the divine embodiment so careful in
      the use of  things. He especially never wasted food. He might distribute a gift
      of fruit to  children who were present or to monkeys who tried to steal it, but
      he never  wasted anything. We mistakenly think that economy goes with
      frugality and  generosity with extravagance, yet very often the frugal are
      wasteful and the  generous are careful. When Bhagavan had finished a meal,
      the banana leaf on  which he had eaten was as clean as though it had been
      washed. Not a grain of  rice was wasted. In former years, when his body was
      more robust, he used to  help in the kitchen, preparing meals, and he insisted
      that even the parings of  the vegetables should be used as cattle feed and not
      thrown away. 
      Although all wished to obey him, Bhagavan's life was, notwithstanding, a 
      lesson in submission. Owing to his refusal to express any wish or desire, the 
      ashram authorities built up their own structure of regulations, and Bhagavan 
      obeyed them without hesitation. If devotees found them irksome, they had 
      before their eyes the example of Bhagavan's own submission. If Bhagavan 
      ever resisted it was likely to be in the interests of the devotees. Even so, he 
      acted usually in silence and often in a manner dictated by his shrewd sense of 
      humor. An attendant once rebuked a European woman for sitting with her 
      legs stretched out. Bhagavan at once sat up cross-legged and continued so, 
      despite the pain caused by the rheumatism in his knees. When the devotees 
      protested, he replied that the attendant's orders were for everyone. Only 
      when the lesson had been driven home did he consent to relax. 

      From For Those with Little Dust, by Arthur Osborne. Copyright 2001 by Sri
      Ramanasramam. Reprinted by arrangement with Inner Directions Publishing,
      PO Box 130070, Carlsbad, California 92013. www.InnerDirections.org.
      David Williamson
      We didn't taste a drop from her ruby lip and she left.
      We didn't gaze long enough at her beauty and she left.

      Perhaps she had tired of our company.
      She packed her things, we couldn't overtake her, and she left

      We recited holy suras and blew prayers after her, and she left.

      Her sultry glance rooted us in the alley of devotion.
      In the end, you saw how deeply we bought that glance, and she left.

      She strolled in the field of grace and beauty but
      we didn't go to meet her in the garden of union and she left.

      We wailed and wept all night, just like Hafiz,
      for alas, we were too late to say goodbye and she left.

      Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr.  - 'The Green Sea of Heaven'
      Pub.  White Cloud Press

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