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Friday, September 27, 2002

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  • Gloria Lee
    . . . . . . . It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are. -Wendell Berry- Highlights #1210 Friday, September 27, 2002 Editor: Gloria Lee
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 28, 2002
      "It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are."
       -Wendell Berry-

      Highlights #1210
      Friday, September 27, 2002
      Editor: Gloria Lee
      iceberg photo from NDS list files
      This came from a Rig Manager for Global Marine Drilling in
      St.Johns, Newfoundland. They actually have to divert the path of
      these things away from the rig by towing them with ships! This
      particular case the water was calm & the sun was almost directly
      overhead so that the diver was able to get into the water and click
      this pic. They estimated the weight at 300,000,000 tons. 
      A Phone Call From Nothing
      I hope this settles the isssue.

      Nothing does Nothing! :-).

      G'mornin' listers,
      Per the thread about who met or
      did not meet Ramana, Mark Otter
      told me he remembers a Dobie Gillis
      episode in which Maynard G. Krebs
      channeled Jack Kerouac. John
      Brother Void   salon.com
      "We contain the other, hopelessly and forever."
      -- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
      We live in a society scarred by hatred and misunderstanding. You
      look out at this world and figure that because you're not a
      church-burner, a gay-basher or an officer of the LAPD, you're
      not a bigot. But inside each of us is an inner bigot waiting for
      things to get personal. Maybe you get iced out of a promotion,
      maybe Johnny's new teacher is gay, maybe your neighborhood is
      changing. That's when the inner bigot slithers into your throat and
      you hear yourself saying, "Those bastards are taking our jobs. Do
      what you want, but not near my children. Why do they all have to
      talk so loud? Can't you find a girl of your own kind? We moved
      to the suburbs for the schools." 
      Your inner bigot is the part of yourself you blame on others. It's
      how you flush out into the world the fear and self-hatred you
      refuse to take responsibility for: It's that exiled splinter of yourself
      you call niggerhomobitchpussykikewetbackwhitetrashfatfuck. To
      set things right, you must track it down. As you follow its
      treacherous movements and gather up what you have loosed
      upon others, you may also salvage the pieces that can make you
      I have met the Other and it is me. 
      Consider even a flash of a moment when everything is really,
      really fine. Orgasm, sunset, the birth of your child, winning the
      lottery, whatever comes up as fine, as great. AT THAT MOMENT
      there is no commentary, no monitoring or evaluation of the
      situation, no discernable entity present to talk about it. But that
      never lasts forever. Then, as soon as you say it's fine, it's not!
         ----from the movie, "The Scent of Green Papaya".
      The spring water
      nestled in a hole in a rock
      shimmers softly when
      The vibrations of the ground
      have given birth to strong waves...
      which crash together
      in an irregular swell...
      on the surface
      without cresting.
      If there's a verb meaning,
      "to move harmoniously"...
      It must be used here.
      The cherry trees,
      gripped in shadows,
      spread out and curl up,
      sway and twist
      to the rhythm of the water.
      But the interesting thing
      is that...
      however much they change,
      they keep the shape
      of a cherry tree.

      Kindling the Inexhaustible Lamp
      - Yuanwu (1063-1135)

      By even speaking a phrase to you, I have already doused you  with dirty
      water. It would be even worse for me to put a twinkle  in my eye and
      raise my eyebrow to you, or rap a meditation seat  or hold up a whisk, or
      demand, "What is this?" As for shouting  and hitting, it's obvious that this is
      just a pile of bones on level  ground. 

      There are also the type who don't know good from bad and ask  questions
      about Buddha and Dharma and Zen and the Tao. They  ask to be helped,
      they beg to be received, they seek knowledge  and sayings and theories
      relating to the Buddhist teaching and to  transcending the world and to
      accommodating the world. This is  washing dirt in mud and washing mud
      in dirt - when will they  ever manage to clear it away? 

      Some people hear this kind of talk and jump to conclusions,  claiming, "I
      understand!" Fundamentally there is nothing to  Buddhism - it's there in
      everybody. As I spend my days eating  food and wearing clothes, has
      there ever been anything lacking?"  Then they settle down in the realm of
      unconcerned ordinariness,  far from realizing that nothing like this has
      ever been part of the  real practice of Buddhism. 

      Leaving behind all leakages, day by day you get closer to the  truth and
      more familiar with it. As you go further, you change like  a panther who
      no longer sticks to its den - you leap out of the  corral. Then you no longer
      doubt all the sayings of the world's  enlightened teachers - you are like
      cast iron. This is precisely the  time to apply effort and cultivate practice
      and nourish your  realization. 

      After that you can kindle the inexhaustible Lamp and travel the 
      unobstructed Path. You relinquish your body and your life to  rescue living
      beings. You enable them to come out of their cages  and eliminate their
      attachments and bonds. You cure them of the  diseases of being attached
      to being enlightened, so that having  emerged from the deep pit of
      liberation, they can become  uncontrived, unencumbered, joyfully alive
      people of the Path. 

      So then, when you yourself have crossed over, you must not  abandon the
      carrying out of your bodhisattva vows. Be mindful of  saving all beings
      and steadfastly endure the attendant hardship  and toil in order to serve as
      a boat on the ocean of all-knowledge.  Only then will you have some
      accord with the Path. 

      Don't be a brittle pillar or a feeble lamp. Don't bat around your  little clean
      ball of inner mystical experience. You may have  understood for yourself,
      but what good does it do? Therefore the  ancient worthies necessarily
      urged people to travel the one road  of the bodhisattva path so they would
      be able to requite the  unrequitable benevolence of our enlightened
      predecessors who  communicated the Dharma to the world. 

      Nowadays there are many bright Zen monks in various locales  who want
      to pass through directly. Some seek too much and want  to understand
      easily. As soon as they know a little bit about the  aim of the Path and how
      to proceed they immediately want to  show themselves as adepts, yet they
      have already missed it and  gone wrong. Some don't come forth even
      when they are pushed  to do so, but they too are not yet completely

      You are a master of Buddhist teaching methods only when you  can
      recognize junctures of times and patterns of causal conditions  and manage
      not to miss real teaching opportunities. 

      - Taken from Zen Letters - Teachings of Yuanwu - Translated by  J.C.
      Cleary and Thomas Cleary (1994) 

      These letters were written by the Zen teacher Yuanwu, best  known as
      the author of The Blue Cliff Record, a collection of  meditation cases with
      prose and verse commentary. In this  collection of letters, Yuanwu offers a
      more direct and accessible  style of learning. 


      I once spoke to my friend, an old squirrel, about the Sacraments –
      he got so excited
      and ran into a hollow in his tree and came
      back holding some acorns, an owl feather,
      and a ribbon he had found.
      And I just smiled and said, “Yes, dear,
      you understand:
      everything imparts
      His grace.”
      ~ Saint Francis of Assisi

      (Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West by Daniel Ladinsky)
      To subscribe to Panala, send a blank email to Panhala-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      Double-bind communication often matches a verbal message with a 
      contradictory nonverbal message. But it can also match two 
      contradictory verbal messages, one which is the content and one 
      which is the way that the content is delivered. For example, if I 
      am saying "this is the way it is," but then, in the way I am 
      telling you the way it is, contradict myself, there is a double 
      bind. Thus, if I say, "everything is about love," and in the 
      process of telling you about that, manage to put you down in a 
      subtle way, perhaps by inferring that you are missing out on 
      knowing or feeling this, there is a double-bind. The double-bind 
      is used to hypnotically induce a situation in which one person is 
      too confused about the rules to organize an effective response, 
      and the other person seemingly achieves the upper-hand, being in 
      control of how the rules have been defined and used. 
      LISTEN AND UNLEARN - Anthony de Mello
      Some of us get woken up by the harsh realities of life. We suffer
      so much  that we wake up. But people keep bumping again and again
      into life. They  still go on sleepwalking. They never wake up.
      Tragically, it never occurs  to them that there may be another
      way. It never occurs to them that there  may be a better way.
      Still, if you haven't been bumped sufficiently by  life, and you
      haven't suffered enough, then there is another way: to  listen. I
      don't mean you have to agree with what I'm saying. That  wouldn't
      be listening. Believe me, it really doesn't matter whether you 
      agree with what I'm saying or you don't. Because agreement and 
      disagreement have to do with words and concepts and theories. They
      don't  have anything to do with truth. Truth is never expressed in
      words. Truth  is sighted suddenly, as a result of a certain
      attitude. So you could be  disagreeing with me and still sight the
      truth. But there has to be an  attitude of openness, of
      willingness to discover something new. That's  important, not your
      agreeing with me or disagreeing with me. After all,  most of what
      I'm giving you is really theories. No theory adequately  covers
      reality. So I can speak to you, not of the truth, but of obstacles
       to the truth. Those I can describe. I cannot describe the truth.
      No one  can. All I can do is give you a description of your
      falsehoods, so that  you can drop them. All I can do for you is
      challenge your beliefs and the  belief system that makes you
      unhappy. All I can do for you is help you to  unlearn. That's what
      learning is all about where spirituality is  concerned:
      unlearning, unlearning almost everything you've been taught. A 
      willingness to unlearn, to listen.
      Are you listening, as most people do, in order to confirm what you
      already  think? Observe your reactions as I talk. Frequently
      you'll be startled or  shocked or scandalized or irritated or
      annoyed or frustrated. Or you'll be  saying, "Great! "
      But are you listening for what will confirm what you already
      think? Or are  you listening in order to discover something new?
      That is important. It  is difficult for sleeping people. Jesus
      proclaimed the good news, yet he  was rejected. Not because it was
      good, but because it was new. We hate  the new. We hate it! And
      the sooner we face up to that fact, the  better. We don't want new
      things, particularly when they're disturbing,  particularly when
      they involve change. Most particularly if it involves  saying, "I
      was wrong." I remember meeting an eighty-seven-year-old Jesuit  in
      Spain; he'd been my professor and rector in India thirty or forty
      years  ago. And he attended a workshop like this. "I should have
      heard you speak  sixty years ago," he said. "You know something.
      I've been wrong all my  life." God, to listen to that! It's like
      looking at one of the wonders of  the world. That, ladies and
      gentlemen, is faith! An openness to the  truth, no matter what the
      consequences, no matter where it leads you and  when you don't
      even know where it's going to lead you. That's faith. Not  belief,
      but faith. Your beliefs give you a lot of security, but faith is 
      insecurity. You don't know. You're ready to follow and you're
      open,  you're wide open! You're ready to listen. And, mind you,
      being open does  not mean being gullible, it doesn't mean
      swallowing whatever the speaker is  saying. Oh no. You've got to
      challenge everything I'm saying. But  challenge it from an
      attitude of openness, not from an attitude of  stubbornness. And
      challenge it all. Recall those lovely words of Buddha  when he
      said, "Monks and scholars must not accept my words out of respect,
       but must analyze them the way a goldsmith analyzes-gold by
      cutting,  scraping, rubbing, melting."
      When you do that, you're listening. You've taken another major
      step toward  awakening. The first step, as I said, was a readiness
      to admit that you  don't want to wake up, that you don't want to
      be happy. There are all  kinds of resistances to that within you.
      The second step is a readiness to  understand, to listen, to
      challenge your whole belief system. Not just  your religious
      beliefs, your political beliefs, your social beliefs, your 
      psychological beliefs, but all of them. A readiness to reappraise
      them  all, in the Buddha's metaphor. And I'll give you plenty of
      opportunity to  do that here.
      Anthony De Mello, SJ in his book "Awareness" 
        * The Stages Of The Work *
      If we were to really observe ourselves,
      we would become aware of our tensions and habits.
      If we were to become aware of our tensions and habits,
      we would let go and relax.
      If we were to let go and relax,
      we would be aware of sensations.
      If we were to be aware of sensations,
      we would receive impressions.
      If we were to receive impressions,
      we would awaken to the moment.
      If we were to awaken to the moment,
      we would experience reality.
      If we were to experience reality,
      we would see that we are not our personality.
      If we were to see that we are not our personality,
      we would remember ourselves.
      If we were to remember ourselves,
      we would let go of our fear and attachments.
      If we were to let go of our fear and attachments,
      we would be touched by God.
      If we were to be touched by God,
      we would seek union with God.
      If we were to seek union with God,
      we would will what God wills.
      If we were to will what God wills,
      we would be transformed.
      If we were transformed,
      the world would be transformed.
      If the world were transformed,
      all would return to God.

         "The Wisdom Of The Enneagram:
         The Complete Guide To Psychological and
         Spiritual Growth For The Nine Personality Types"
         by Don Richard Riso and Russ hudson, 1999

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