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Sunday, October 13, 2002

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  • Gloria Lee
    . . . . . . . Highlights #1224 Friday, October 11, 2002 Editor: Gloria Lee Home: Time is not primarily a clock, nor is time
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      Highlights #1224
      Friday, October 11, 2002  
      Editor: Gloria Lee
       
       

      Time is not primarily a clock, nor is time simply an abstract measurement.  A
      meditation on the billions of years of the universe's process provides a glimpse
      into time as a measure of the universe's creativity."
      Brian Swimme, Mathematical Cosmologist
       
      __________________________________________________
       
      CHRISTIANA DURANCZYK
      from NDS
       
      For Canadians... and hopefully soon CBS will broadcast this in the USA.
       
      Fascinating new series entitled Sacred Balance begins tonight; with interviews
      and live chat with David Suzuki tomorrow.
       
      Sophisticated and very interesting website
       
      Check out games based on series. Try "Looking Up"
       
      __________________________________________________
       
      KHOROV
      from DailyDharma
       

      "We Buddhists do not have any idea of material only, or mind only, or the
      products of our mind, or mind as an attribute of being. What we are always
      talking about is that mind and body, mind and material are always one.."
      ~~Shunryu Suzuki
       
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      From the book, "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind",
      published by Weatherhill
      __________________________________________________
       
       
      SAM
      from NDS
       
       
      walk in the woods today..   full of families, and dogs
       
      seedpods hanging on just for a bit more
      waiting to fall ..
      trembling in the autumn breezes.
       
      __________________________________________________
       
      GLORIA LEE
      from LotusFriends
       
      self portrait by Hakuin
       
      HAKUIN
       
      Zen practice in the MIDST of activity
      is a million times superior
      to that pursued within tranquility."
      --Hakuin (1685-1768)
       
      Hakuin is well known for his commentary on The Blue Cliff record,
      a Rinzai Zen collection of Koans.

      "Satori, when authentic, is always genuine enlightenment. As such, it is total,
      covering the four forms of knowledge, and sudden, in that it is not the last in a
      series of steps (any more than infinity is the last term of the number series or
      omniscience is the last expansion of limited knowledge). Satori is enlightenment
      and is complete as to range. Nonetheless, it only reflects a degree of strength in
      respect to life in the world of illusion, and unless fortified by spiritual, moral and
      mental practice, it cannot be translated into a universally beneficent experience
      which assists all others towards the same goal. This is why Hakuin's own
      teachers urged him to strive harder after gaining insight, so that it might be
      deepened, strengthened and better translated into every thought, feeling, word
      and deed. For Hakuin, real meditation begins after some degree of insight is
      achieved, and meditation depends upon deepening the moral foundation in one's
      life.
       
      Hakuin taught that meditation can and should occur at all levels of spiritual
      wakefulness. It cannot merely be a matter of the meditation hall, prescribed
      times or special postures. Whilst there is an important place for formal meditation
      in the life of an aspirant, meditation must also pervade every aspect of one's life
      until it becomes a way of living. This can occur only in a life hospitable to it, and
      so it is necessary to heed the moral law as taught by Buddha. A natural correlate
      of this psycho-spiritual care of the soul is care of the body. Hakuin's Zen is as
      radical as any Zen teaching, seeking nothing less than a total break with the
      patterns of samsaric consciousness, but the life he advocated is pre-eminently an
      integrated one. His sermons, poems and discourses all reflect this threefold
      concern, but he varied his emphasis to suit his audience. When writing to nobles
      and rulers, he emphasized the need for a meditative state of mind at all times.
      When speaking to peasants and common folk, he underlined the importance of a
      life of principles as the basis for spiritual growth. And when encouraging monks,
      he frequently reminded them that a common- sense approach to physical health
      and well-being would aid meditation. His concern was that people seek neither
      enlightenment nor even worldly gain for themselves alone: true understanding
      includes the awareness that enlightenment is for all. The Bodhisattva ideal was
      so much a part of Hakuin's thinking that he did not feel required to mention it
      very often."
       
      __________________________________________________
       
      MICHAEL (lasttrainhome)
      from HarshaSatsangh
       
      Looking
       
      I've searched for myself on the therapists couch.

      I've searched for myself in 12 step groups.

      I've searched for myself in satsang.
      ....................................

      I've been looking at old photographs of myself.

      looking down-river.

      I'm not there any more.

      I never was.

      __________________________________________________
       
      GLORIA LEE
      Gay and Lesbian Buddhist Resources
       
      NEW: "Gay/Straight, Man/Woman, Self/Other: What Would the Buddha
      Have Had to Say About Gay Liberation?", An Interview with Jose Cabezon by
      Amy Edelstein, What is Enlightenment? Magazine, J16
       
      WIE: Our identification with being a man or woman seems to be our most
      primary identification. Freud went so far as to assert that the core of our
      personality rests on these gender distinctions. In your anthology Buddhism,
      Sexuality and Gender, you yourself wrote, "Our nature as sexual and gendered
      beings is a crucial factor that must be taken into account in the analysis of all
      areas of human concern." On the other hand, the Buddhist teachings of liberation
      seem to point to a condition in which we are not referring to any fixed ideas
      about who we are, where we are living in what could be described as a state of
      nonduality. How does the seemingly inescapable fact of our gender identity go
      together with the Buddhist goal of freedom from all fixed and limited views?
       
      JC: It's one thing to say that the Buddhist path ultimately requires a
      transcendence of gender distinctions and another to say that it requires ignoring
      gender distinctions. There's a difference between those two things, and I think
      that the latter is not the case. Buddhism makes a distinction between two levels
      of reality: the conventional level and the ultimate level. At the conventional
      level, the distinctions that we normally encounter in the world—male/female,
      Buddhist/non-Buddhist, self/other—are operative. They are valid and useful
      distinctions at the conventional level. But, like all distinctions, they tend to limit
      our way of understanding the world. They can become reified and breed
      ignorance. In the traditional Mahayana texts, there are arguments put forward for
      breaking up these dualisms and thereby achieving greater levels of insight. But
      even when one engages in these types of analyses that eventually give rise to
      what's known as nondual awareness, it does not imply that the dualities
      themselves are invalid at the conventional level. The conventional world is
      never annihilated.

      ~~~~

      Spirit Matters

      Tom Moon, MFCC

      Lately gay people have been quite a pain in the ass at church.

      It seems that increasing numbers of us area actually participating in the 
      goings-on there on the outrageous assumption that we have every right  to do so.
      Worse yet, we just can't seem to be polite and tasteful about it.  We do things
      like hold hands with our lovers right there in front of God and  everybody,
      demand that the churches bless our unions and even expect  them to ordain
      openly gay ministers. In times past even conservative churches were willing to
      let us in, as long as we were closet cases or  abject penitents struggling with our
      sinful natures. But most churches  haven't a clue what to do with gay people
      who see no reason to be sneaky  or guilty about it. 
      [...]

      We have become a visible influences in every single form of new and traditional
      spirituality. 
       
      Opinion is split as to the value of all this. Critics remind us that the churches,
      more than any other social institution, have reviled and attacked us.  Isn't it
      self-destructive and homophobic, they ask, for us to keep  returning, like moths
      to the flame, to organizations which despise us? 
       
      There is an analogous split within psychology about the value of spirituality.  In
      the "scientific" camp are those who see it as a relic of our prescientific  past. The
      most well-known proponent of this point of view was Freud, who  argued that
      religion is a neurotic symptom -- a projection of infantile  fantasies of the
      all-protecting parent onto the cosmos. He believed that maturity was only
      possible for those who renounce such delusions and face their essential
      aloneness in a meaningless universe. 
       
      The dissenters in psychology argue that the need for spiritual life is not a form
      of pathology, but an innate need in the human psyche, and that true  maturity
      requires that we develop it. The most articulate proponent of this  point of view
      was William James, whose classic The Varieties of Religious  Experience,
      attempted to study spiritual experience empirically. 
       
      James' studies convinced him that the "sense of presence" of a spiritual  reality
      beyond what the five senses reveal is a common human experience. 
      Experiences of personal revelation, communion, sense of meaning and  oneness
      with a larger whole are common among all peoples. And he  believed that these
      events have powerful effects. They unify the personality, create a sense of
      safety and peace, lift people out of despair, and confer  a capacity for zest and
      for heroic action. James concludes that the need for  spiritual fulfillment is as
      fundamentally biological as sex and hunger.  Philosophically, he argues that
      where there is smoke there is fire. That is,  something which exerts such a
      potent influence on us must itself be real  and potent. He saw the power of
      spiritual experience as evidence for the  reality of a spiritual dimension in the
      universe. Prayer and meditation, in  his view, are not empty rituals but "a process
      wherein work is really done,  and spiritual energy flows in and produces real
      effects, psychological or  material, within the phenomenal world."  Whatever we
      think of this point  of view, it does have the merit of encouraging us not to
      dismiss our  spiritual needs contemptuously. 
       
      ~~Tom Moon is a psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco.
       
      for more information see:
      __________________________________________________
       
       
      KNOW_MYSTERY
      from HarshaSatsangh
       
       

      Kundalini in a Minor Key

       

      it is a pealing...

      that slinks into the ears.

      one could listen for hours.

      one could listen for hours.

       

      such an exhalation it is.

      such an elevation it is.

      harmonics that speak

      so plaintive and clear.

       

      an undertone of darkness...

      those overtones of light.

      the snake uncoils...

      glissandi and chords and runs.

       

      an arpeggio of bliss that kneads the spirit.

      here a syncopated duel...

      there a mournful dirge.

      a jazzy romp in a grassy field.

       

      shimmery butterflies

      dance in the sky.

      the march of the giants

      then bends those notes so low.

       

      contrapuntal duet resolves into joy

      arising ever so high.

      dissonance all gone.

      cacophony aside.

       

      those notes of grace

      swirl round and round.

      minor resolves to major

      and flowers burst...

       

      a garland from the Crown

      it is appealing...

      one could listen for hours.

      one would listen for hours.

       


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