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Sunday, March 30, 2003

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  • Gloria Lee
    ========================================================= On the day that one relinquishes forever the arrogance of deserving and the desire of needing a
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2003
             On the day
             that one relinquishes forever
             the arrogance
             of deserving
             and the desire
             of needing
             a teacher,
             One appears.

              Mace Mealer

      Issue #1387 - Sunday, March 30, 2003 - Editor: Gloria
      Marcos LacerdA on SufiMystic

      "Ramakrishna used to say that there are eighteen qualities or
      manifestations of power which can possibly be found in a human
      being. Even two or three of these qualities are sufficient to
      enable an individual to gain great fame and influence in the
      world - and Ramakrishna saw that Naren(swami Vivekananda) had all
      eighteen of them. In moods of anxiety, Ramakrishna feared that
      Naren might misuse these powers as he grew older; that he might
      be satisfied with a partial realization of God, and that, on the
      basis of this partial realization, he might merely found a new
      religious sect and make himself famous and powerful in the usual
      worldly way. Ramakrishna's own life was, as we have already seen,
      both a protest against sectarian exclusiveness and a
      demonstration that every sect can show the way to knowledge of
      God. He need not have worried about Naren, who was to prove, in
      the writings and lectures of his later life as Vivekananda, how
      well he had learnt his lesson:'I accept all the religions of the
      past and I worship God with every one of them. Can God's book be
      closed? Must it not be a continuing revelation? Difference is the
      first sign of thought. I pray that the sects may multiply until
      at last there will be as many sects as human beings.'"

      (Photo of editor at age three)
      I can put on a hat, or put on a coat,
      Or wear a pair of glasses or sail in a boat.
      I can change all my names
      And find a place to hide.
      I can do almost anything, but
      I'm still myself inside.

      I can go far away, or dream anything,
      Or wear a scary costume or act like a king.
      I can change all my names
      And find a place to hide.
      I can do almost anything, but
      I'm still myself,
      I'm still myself,
      I'm still myself inside.

      Fred Rogers
      Daily Dharma

      "Nibbana means getting away from the jungle. When we're inclining towards Nibbana we're moving towards the peace of the mind. Although the conditions of the mind may not be peaceful at all, the mind itself is a peaceful place. Here we are making a distinction between the mind and the conditions of mind. The conditions of mind can be happy, miserable, elated, depressed, loving or hating, worrying or fear-ridden, doubting or bored. They come and go in the mind, but the mind itself, like the space in this room, stays just at it is. The space in this room has no quality to elate or depress, does it? It is just at it is. To concentrate on the space in the room we have to withdraw our attention from the things in the room. If we concentrate on the things in the room we become happy or unhappy. We say, 'Look at that beautiful Buddha image,' or if we see something we find ugly we say, 'Oh, what a terrible disgusting thing.' We can spend our time looking at the people in the room, thinking whether we like this person or dislike that person." ~Ajahn Sumedo.

      From the article, "Now is the Knowing," printed on-line at http://www.buddhanet.net/nowknow3.htm.

      Gill Eardly on Allspirit
      From: Being Peace By Thich Nhat Hanh

      Suffering Is Not Enough

      Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, like
      the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough.
      We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us
      and all around us, everywhere, any time. If we are not happy, if we are
      not peaceful, we cannot share peace and happiness with others, even
      those we love, those who live under the same roof. If we are peaceful,
      if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone
      in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace. Do we need
      to make a special effort to enjoy the beauty of the blue sky? Do we
      have to practice to be able to enjoy it? No, we just enjoy it. Each second,
      each minute of our lives can be like this. Wherever we are, any time, we
      have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, even
      the sensation of our breathing. We don't need to go to China to enjoy the
      blue sky. We don't have to travel into the future to enjoy our breathing.
      We can be in touch with these things right now. It would be a pity if we
      are only aware of suffering.

      We are so busy we hardly have time to look at the people we love, even
      in our own household, and to look at ourselves. Society is organized in a
      way that even when we have some leisure time, we don't know how to
      use it to get back in touch with ourselves. We have millions of ways to
      lose this precious time we turn on the TV or pick up the telephone, or
      start the car and go somewhere. We are not being with ourselves, and
      we act as if we don't like ourselves and are trying to escape from

      Meditation is to be aware of what is going on-in our bodies, in our
      feelings, in our rninds, and in the world. Each day 40,000 children die
      of hunger. The superpowers now have more than 50,000 nuclear
      warheads, enough to destroy our planet many times. Yet the sunrise is
      beautiful, and the rose that bloomed this morning along the wall is a
      miracle. Life is both dreadful and wonderful. To practice meditation is
      to be in touch with both aspects. Please do not think we must be solemn
      in order to meditate. In fact, to meditate well, we have to smile a lot.
      Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul.
      It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is
      better in prayer to have a heart without words
      than words without a heart.

      ~Mahatma Gandhi

      (Photo of boys jumping)
      Christopher Johnson on SufiMystic
       While thumbing through Gandhi's "Indian Home Rule" in regard to the question of democracy, I came across Gandhi's comments about the nature of history.  His words give some measure of comfort at this difficult time.  For as he asserted, the power of love ("soul-force," as opposed to brute force) is actually dominant in the world:

          "History, as we know it, is a record of the wars of the world. . . .How kings played, how they became enemies of one another, how they murdered one another, is found accurately recorded in history, and if this were all that had happened in the world, it [the world] would have ended long ago. . . .Thousands, indeed tens of thousands, depend for their existence on a very active working of this force [soul-force].  Little quarrels of millions of families in their daily lives disappear before the exercise of this force.  Hundreds of nations live in peace. . . ..History is really a record of every interruption of the even working of the force of love or of the soul. . . .History, then, is a record of an interruption of the course of nature.  Soul-force, being natural, is not noted in history."
      --Gandhi, "Indian Home Rule," 1909, chapter 17.   (Mukherjee, _Penguin Gandhi Reader_, p. 47)


      Jesus told us to love our enemy. "Father, Forgive them, for they know not
      what they do." This teaching helps us know how to look at the person we
      consider to be the cause of our suffering. If we practice looking deeply
      into his situation and the causes of how he came to be the way he is now,
      and if we visualize ourselves as being born in his condition, we may see
      that we could have become exactly like him. When we do that, compassion
      arises in us naturally, and we see that the other person is to be helped and
      not punished. In that moment, our anger transforms itself into the energy of
      compassion. Suddenly, the one we have been calling our enemy becomes our
      brother or sister. This is the true teaching of Jesus.
      -- Thich Nhat Hanh in "Living Buddha, Living Christ"
      Mazie Lane on HarshaSatsangh
      Why desire at all? Desiring a state of freedom from
      desire will not set you free. Nothing can set you
      free, because you are free. See yourself with
      desireless clarity, that is all.

      ~Nisargadatta Maharaj

      "Let small pockets of radically transformative spirituality,
      authentic spirituality, focus their efforts and transform their
      students. And let these pockets slowly, carefully, responsibly,
      humbly, begin to spread their influence, embracing an absolute
      tolerance for all views, but attempting nonetheless to advocate a
      true and authentic and integral spirituality - by example, by
      radiance, by obvious release, by unmistakable liberation. Let those
      pockets of transformation gently persuade the world and its reluctant
      selves, and challenge their legitimacy, and challenge their limiting
      translations, and offer an awakening in the face of the numbness that
      haunts the world at large.

      Let it start right here, right now, with us-with you and with me-and
      with our commitment to breathe into infinity until infinity alone is
      the only statement that the world will recognize. Let a radical
      realization shine from our faces, and roar from our hearts, and
      thunder from our brains-this simple fact, this obvious fact: that
      you, in the very immediateness of your present awareness, are in fact
      the entire world, in all its frost and fever, in all its glories and
      its grace, in all its triumphs and its tears. You do not see the sun,
      you are the sun; you do not hear the rain, you are the rain; you do
      not feel the earth, you are the earth. And in that simple, clear,
      unmistakable regard, translation has ceased in all domains, and you
      have transformed into the very Heart of the Kosmos itself-and there,
      right there, very simply, very quietly, it is all undone.

      Doubt and remorse will then be alien to you, and self and others will
      be alien to you, and outside and inside will have no meaning at all.
      And in that obvious shock of recognition-where my Master is my Self,
      and that Self is the Kosmos at large, and the Kosmos is my Soul-you
      will walk very gently into the fog of this world, and transform it
      entirely by doing nothing at all.

      And then, and then, and only then-you will finally, clearly,
      carefully and with compassion, write on the tombstone of a self that
      never even existed: There is only Ati (Enlightened Mind.)"

      ~Ken Wilber
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