#1516 - Thursday, August 7,2003
Nonduality Salon Highlights, #1516 Thursday, August 7, 2003
Nondual Highlights Issue #1516 Thursday, August 7, 2003 Editor: Mark
We sit in a circle. This has great significance for in a circle, all points are equal.
The circle is the form of nature. In nature, all things move in cycles. There are the seasons, day and night, life and death. Light moves into darkness, returning to light.
The American Indians spoke of the Great Hoop, in which all people were protected. When the hoop was broken, people no longer lived within the cyclical nature of who they were, and they lost their "knowingness," their contact with the flow. The Indian nations were scattered and nearly destroyed.
Energy seems to move in circles: the orbiting of the planets, the cycling of electrons around the nucleus of the atom. When we come against that circle, when we try to think "circle," or think "flow," we make it linear with a beginning and an end, we distort it.
Each moment is a perfect circle. When we penetrate into the totality of the moment, we see that no point on that circle has any better vantage for seeing the rest of the circle than any other point. We see that each moment is the perfect outcome of all that has come before, the perfect predecessor of all that will follow.
Our sitting becomes like entering a perfect circle in which there is room for everything. We never become lost because there's nowhere to go. We are constantly arriving home in the present moment.
Surrender is perfect participation in the circle. Letting go allows us to flow, to become the whole circle. To hold to any point on the circle is to lose our original nature because there is not place we begin and nowhere we end.
- excerpt from A Gradual Awakening by Stephen Levine, published by Doubleday.
Earth and Moon as seen by Galileo Mission
God's plan is simple; never circular and never self defeating. He has no Thoughts except the Self-extending, and in this your will must be included. This, there must be a part of you that knows His Will and shares it. It is not meaningful to ask if what must be is so. But it is meaningful to ask why you are unaware of what is so, for this must have an answer if the plan of God for your salvation is complete. And it must be complete, because its Source knows not of incompletion.
- from A Course in Miracles, published by Foundation For Inner Peace.
The circle symbolizes the eternal cycle of life, the rhythms of nature and the pulse of the body, including the heartbeat and the respiratory cycle. The cross and the circle together represent the equipoise of male and female which I believe is essential for a healthy spirituality, and they also represent my interest in dialogue between Christians, Neopagans, and members of other faiths.
Look, it cannot be seen -it is beyond form.
Listen, it cannot be heard - it is beyond sound.
Grasp, it cannot be held - it is intangible.
These three are indefinable;
Therefore they are joined in one.
From above it is not bright;
From below it is not dark;
An unbroken thread beyond description.
It returns to nothingness.
The form of the formless.
The image of the imageless.
It is called indefinable and beyond imagination.
Stand before it and there is no beginning.
Follow it and there is no end.
Stay with the ancient Tao,
Move with the present.
Knowing the ancient begining is the essence of Tao.
- Lao Tse
Problems of the World
Many people, particularly educated, professional people, are moving out of the big cities, seeking quieter living and simpler livelihood in the small towns and rural areas. This is natural. If you grab a handrul of mud and squeeze it, it will ooze through your fingers. People under pressure likewise seek a way out.
People ask me about the problems of our world, about a coming apocalypse. I ask, what does it mean to be worldly? What is the world? You do not know? This very unknowing, this very darkness, this very place of ignorance, is what is meant by worldly. Caught in the six senses, our knowledge develops as a part of this darkness. To come to an answer to the problems of this world, we must know its nature completely and realize the wisdom that shines above the darkness of the world.
These days, it seems that our culture is deteriorating, lost in greed, hatred, and delusion. But the culture of the Buddha never changes, never diminishes. It says "Do not lie to others or to ourselves. Do not steal from others or from ourselves." Worldly culture has desire as its director and guide. The culture of the Buddha has compassion and Dharma, or truth, as its guide.
- exerpt from A Still Forest Pool The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah, edited by Jack Kornfield and Paul Breiter, and published by Quest Books.