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Friday, October 4, 2002

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  • Gloria Lee
    Highlights #1216 Friday, October 4, 2002 Editor: Gloria Lee Home: . JACINTO Morning Zen What difference does it make to the
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 5 12:13 PM
      Highlights #1216 
      Friday, October 4, 2002  
      Editor: Gloria Lee
      Morning Zen

      What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the
      homeless,  whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name
      of totalitarianism or  the holy name of liberty or democracy? --
      Mahatma Gandhi, "Non-Violence in Peace and War"

      St. Catherine of Siena


      I talk about it sometimes with Him, all the suffering in the world.

      "Dear God," I have prayed, "how is it possible
      all the horrors I have seen, all the atrocities you allow man
      to commit when you--God--are ever standing
      so near and could help us?
      Could we not hear your voice say 'No'
      with such love and power
      never again would
      we harm?"

      And my Lord replied, "Who would understand if I said that I
      cannot bear
      to confine a wing, and not let it learn from the course it chooses."

      But what of a man walking lost in a forest
      weeping and calling your name for help, and unknown to him he
      is heading for a covered pit with sharp spears in it
      that will maim his flesh when he crashes
      through the trap?

      "Yes, why don't I remove every object from this world that could
      cause someone to weep? Yes, why don't I speak in a way
      that could save a life?

      I opened up my mouth and the Infinite ran to the edges of space--
      and all possibilities are contained therein, all possibilities,
      even sorrow.

      In the end, nothing that ever caused one pain will exist,
      No one will begrudge Me.

      The Absolute Innocence of all within my Creation
      takes a while to understand."

      ~St. Catherine of Siena


      Being One


      Grind up the pure light and wipe it away.
      Step into the pure light.
      It's there, it flutters like a flag.
      It kneels.
      No need to melt it down again.
      It's everywhere, in the humidity.
      In the white gill of the silver thread.
      There is a saying: it lulls you.
      You can make a little nose from the light.
      Which breathes boats, graves and air,
      The wall of the white we.

       - Tomaz Salamun


      A Net Of Jewels

      Gems from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's Conversations 

      "I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I
      become the very thing I look at, and experience the kind of
      consciousness it has; I become the inner witness of the thing. I call
      this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness, love;
      you may give it any name you like.

      Love says
      "I am everything".
      Wisdom says
      "I am nothing".
      Between the two, my life flows.

      Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and
      the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and
      neither, and beyond both."

      ~ Sri Nisargadatta


      Ignorance doesn't understand that the Dharma is both  relative and
      absolute; that there is a middle way which reconciles without 
      contradiction apparent opposites.
      To say that contradiction is not contradiction is not a  contradiction. To
      explain that a pair of opposites describe a whole, a  oneness, leaves
      contradiction out of it. It becomes 'apparent  contradiction,' not real
      contradiction, and nothing to argue about. For example, there is a
      postmodern philosophical technique which  mines truth from simply
      reversing the terms of an assertion, and combining  the two. You may
      assert, "Men are stronger than women." Acknowledging  that there is
      truth in that statement, I may nonetheless assert, "Women are 
      stronger than men." Recognizing that there is also truth in that 
      assertion, we may come to aggreement, that in some senses the one
      statement  is true, while in other senses the other statement is true.
      And thus truth  is found in reconciling apparently opposite statements.
      This is why  absolute truth is so often expressed in paradoxical terms,
      eg "doing  non-doing' (*wei wu wei*).
      Dave: You write that any assertion will have an equally valid
      opposite. You write that that is your view. You use the words 'In my
      view' twice in that paragraph. To hold that view as a definite, means
      that you do not hold the opposite view - and so in practice you do not
      live by what you state. (Organised anarchists have a similar problem.)
      To write that an assertion has a valid opposite is not an independent
      assertion, it is a statement affirming non-duality. To assert that the 
      views I express are no fixed views and that they complete
      themselves by  seeing how they and their opposites are both true 
      does mean that I do not hold (or at least honor) the opposite view as
      well as the view I express. Buddhism views things from both
      absolute and phenomenal side. One  can assert each side and be
      understood to be affirming a middle view in  which both sides are
      seen to be true.
      Thich Nhat Hanh, In "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, says:
      In the *Discourse on the Turning of the Wheel of the Dharma*, the
      Buddha  taught the Four Noble Truths of suffering, the cause of
      suffering, the  cessation of suffering, and the path. But in the *Heart
      Sutra*, the Buddha  Avalokiteshvara tells us that there is no suffering,
      no cause of suffering,  no cessation of suffering, and no path. Is this a
      contradiction? No. the  Buddha is speaking in terms of relative truth,
      and Avalokiteshvara is teaching in terms of absolute truth. When
      Avaloketishvara says there is no suffering, he means that suffering is
      made entirely of things that are not suffering. Whether you suffer
      depends on many circumstances. The cold air  can be painful if you
      are not wearing enough clothes, but with proper  clothing, cold air
      can be a source of joy. Suffering is not objective. It  depends largely
      on the way you perceive. There are things that cause you  to suffer
      but do not cause others to suffer. There are things that bring  you joy
      but do not bring others joy. The Four Noble Truths were presented 
      by the Buddha as relative truth to help you enter the door of practice,
      but  they are not his highest teaching. With the eyes of interbeing we
      can always reconcile the Two Truths. When we see, comprehend,
      and touch the nature of interbeing, we  see the Buddha.
      *All conditioned things are impermanent.
      *They are phenomena, subject to birth and death.
      *When birth and death no longer are,
      *the complete silencing is joy.
      This verse (*gatha*) was spoken by the Buddha shortly before his 
      death. The first two lines express relative truth, while the third and 
      fourth lines express absolute truth. "All conditioned things" includes 
      physical, physiological, and psychological phenomena. "Complete
      silencing" means nirvana, the extinction of all concepts. When the
      Buddha says,  "The complete silencing is joy," he means that
      thinking, conceptualizing,  and speaking have come to an end. This is
      the Third Noble Truth in  absolute terms.
      In the gathat quoted above, the Buddha appears perhaps to be 
      contradicting himself, but in true understanding is seen not to be
      doing  so. The Discourse on the Turning the Wheel of the Dharma
      appears to  contradict the Heart Sutra. But these contradictions are
      apparent, not  real. They are what TNH calls "The Two Views." Thus
      I can express a phenomenal view and then an absolute view, and 
      there may appear to be a paradox but there is no contradiction. Like, 
      "Real practice is non-practice; real doing is non-doing." Or, I vow to 
      save all being but I recognize there are no beings to save. Or as the
      Tao  Te Ching says, "I do nothing and nothing is left undone."
      "The Pivot" also treats of this subject.

      The Pivot (Chuang-tzu)
      Tao is obscured when men understand only one of a pair of
      opposites, or  concentrate only on a partial aspect of being. Then
      clear expression also  becomes muddled by mere wordplay,
      affirming this one aspect and denying the  rest.
      Hence the wrangling of Confucians and Mohists; each denies what
      the other  affirms, and affirms what the other denies. What use is this
      struggle to  set up "No" against "Yes," and "Yes" against "No"?
      Better to abandon this  hopeless effort and seek true light!
      There is nothing that cannot be seen from the standpoint of the
      "Not-I."  And there is nothing which cannot be seen from the
      standpoint of the "I."  If I begin by looking at anything from the
      viewpoint of the "Not-I," then I  do not really see it, since it is "not I"
      that sees it. If I begin from  where I am and see it as I see it, then it
      may also become possible for me  to see it as another sees it. Hence
      the theory of reversal that opposites  produce each other, depend on
      each other, and complement each other.
      However this may be, life is followed by death; death is followed by
      life.  The possible becomes impossible; the impossible becomes
      possible. Right  turns into wrong and wrong into right - the flow of
      life alters  circumstances and thus things themselves are altered in
      their turn. But  disputants continue to affirm and deny the same things
      they have always  affirmed and denied, ignoring the new aspects of
      reality presented by the  change in conditions.
      The wise man therefore, instead of trying to prove this or that point
      by  logical disputation, sees all things in the light of direct intuition.
      He  is not imprisoned by the limitations of the "I," for the viewpoint
      of  direct intuition is that of both "I" and "Not-I." Hence he sees that
      on  both sides of every argument there is both right and wrong. He
      also sees  that in the end they are reducible to the same thing, once
      they are related  to the pivot of the Tao.
      When the wise man grasps this pivot, he is in the center of the circle,
      and  there he stands while "Yes" and "No" pursue each other around
      the  circumference.
      The pivot of Tao passes through the center where all affirmations and
       denials converge. He who grasps the pivot is at the still-point from
      which  all movements and oppositions can be seen in their right
      relationship.  Hence he sees the limitless possibilities of both "Yes"
      and "No."  Abandoning all thought of imposing a limit or taking sides,
      he rests in  direct intuition. Therefore I said: "Better to abandon
      disputation and seek  the true light!"



      Panhala list

                The divine manifestation is ubiquitous,
                Only our eyes are not open to it. . . .
                Awe is what moves us forward. . . .
                Live from your own center. . . .
                The divine lives within you.
                The separateness apparent in the world is secondary.
                Beyond the world of opposites is an unseen, 
                but experienced, unity and identity in us all.
                Today the planet is the only proper “in group.”
                Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
                We cannot cure the world of sorrows, 
                but we can choose to live in joy.
                 You must return with the bliss and integrate it.
                 The return is seeing the radiance is everywhere.
                 The world is a match for us.
                 We are a match for the world.
                 The spirit is the bouquet of nature. . . .
                 Sanctify the place you are in.     Follow your bliss. . . .

      ~ Joseph Campbell
      To subscribe to Panhala, send a blank email to Panhala-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


      Open Source Spirit

      Hello Mary

      I am certain - without doubt - that you have many talents, many
      gifts that flow from your open loving heart.

      In this life - on this perfect little living planet of beauty and horror,
      creation and destruction, tenderness and cruelty - where I try to
      awaken from my enslaving dream of fear, separation and
      judgment - the One Love flows through my heart and yours and
      we try our best - each in our own way  - to follow the calling of an
      individual fire of passion that Love has kindled within us. Our
      individuated way of expressing the One.

      Some have a divine passion for the expression of Love's beauty
      through word images; some express the Love through visual
      arts; some with music; some with intellectual or scientific
      exploration; some with dance or song; some with lovemaking;
      some with being a parent; some with the tending of gardens;
      some with the preparation of food; some with the caring of a sick
      loved one; some with a gentle touch or smile; some with
      laughter; some with tears; some with silence.

      A list of the various "somes" and how each human expresses
      Love - would be vast.

      Still, all the "somes" are of the One - in such an awesome infinite

      Words - whether cooked with Love or laced with poison - are all
      "Signs of the Unseen One". I feel that in a very beautiful
      way - you and me and each of us and everything - are visible
      "signs" of the One.

      Adding again one of my favorite conglomeration of letters and
      words written by Canada's open hearted honest mystic poet
      extraordinaire, Leonard Cohen:

      you can add up the parts
      but you won't have the sum

      you can strike up the march
      there is no drum

      Every heart, every heart
      to Love will come

      but like a refugee.



      from Paul Reps "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones":

      50.  Ryonen's Clear Realization

      The Buddhist nun known as Ryonen was born in
      1797.  She was a granddaughter of the famous
      Japanese warrior Shingen.  Her poetical genius
      and alluring beauty were such that at seventeen
      she was serving the empress as one of the ladies
      of the court.  Even at such a youthful age fame
      awaited her.
         The beloved empress died suddenly and
      Ryonen's hopeful dreams vanished.  She became
      acutely aware of the impermanence of life in this
      world.  It was then that she desired to study Zen.
         Her relatives disagreed, however, and practi-
      cally forced her into marriage.  With a promise
      that she might become a nun after she had borne
      three children, Ryonen assented.  Before she was
      twenty-five she had accomplished this condition.
      Then her husband and her relatives could no longer
      dissuade her from her desire.  She shaved her
      head, took the name of Ryonen, which means to
      realize clearly, and started on her pilgrimage.
         She came to the city of Edo and asked Tet-
      sugyu to accept her as a disciple.  At one glance
      the master rejected her because she was too
         Ryonen then went to another master, Hakuo.
      Hakuo refused her for the same reason, saying
      that her beauty would only make trouble.
         Ryonen obtained a hot iron and placed it
      against her face.  In a few moments her beauty
      had vanished forever.
         Hakuo then accepted her as a disciple.
         Commemorating this occasion, Ryonen wrote a
      poem on the back of a little mirror:

      *In the service of my Empress I burned in-
         cense to perfume my exquisite clothes,
      Now as a homeless mendicant I burn my
         face to enter a Zen temple.*

         When Ryonen was about to pass from this
      world, she wrote another poem:

      *Sixty-six times have these eyes beheld the
         changing scene of autumn.
      I have said enough about moonlight,
      Ask no more.
      Only listen to the voice of pines and cedars
         when no wind stirs.*


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