Highlights, Wednesday, November 3
With even the slightest
movement of wind,
golden leaves cascade
from the trees outside my window.
And I feel sad.
Sadness at the loss
of their shady shelter
and soft presence.
My heart pleads,
"No, please don't fall".
"Stay a while longer,
Yet they tumble.
Powerless to stop
the change of seasons,
my heart aches
even as I listen now
to a blue bird's song.
I'm faced with a choosing....
hold onto my desire
for time to stand still,
or let it go,
and lose my self
to a beautiful serenade.
This gem was contributed to HarshaSatsangh by a guy named
Mike. Forwarded to
free and easy: a spontaneous song of indestructible wisdom
by Gen'd�n Rinpoche
happiness is not to be found
through great effort and willpower
it is already present in open relaxation and letting go
there's nothing to do or to undo
whatever momentarily and adventitiously arises in
has no real import at all
has very little reality at all
why identify with it and become attached to it,
passing judgement on it and on yourself and others?
far better simply
to just let the entire game happen on its own
springing up and falling back again like waves
without 'rectifying' or manipulating things
just noticing how everything vanishes
and then magically reappears, again and again and again
time without end
it's only our searching for happiness
that prevents us from seeing it
like a vivid rainbow one runs after but can never catch
or a dog chasing its own tail
though peace and happiness have no existence
as some actual place or thing
they are forever at hand -
one's constant companion at every instant
just don't be taken in by the apparent reality
of good and bad experiences
they're like today's passing weather
like rainbows in the sky
wanting to grasp the ungraspable
you exhaust yourself in vain
but as soon as you open up and relax the tight fist of
infinite space is right there - open, inviting,
use this spaciousness - this freedom and natural ease
don't look anywhere else
don't go off into the tangled jungle
searching for the elephant of great awakenedness
when he is already at home
quietly resting in front of your own hearth
there's nothing to do or to undo
nothing to force
nothing you have to want
emaho - how marvellous
everything just happens of itself
Hello old and new friends..
These past five months, after stepping into the far outer
circle of this community, have been very full and
challenging. While Life has shown up intensively and
deeply, I've sought to keep my toehold of awareness here
through the gift offered by those who cull the kernals here
and reoffer them through the NondualitySalon Highlights.
Recently my heart's eye has fixed attention here to the
dialogue about Jesus, Christ, Christianity. From this
mornings stillness, I am moved to speak, all the while
knowing that I have nothing substantive to offer other than
my own heartfelt questions and the essence of my micropoint
in the whole of Being.
As somewhat of a tricultural citizen and student
(Contemplative Christianity, Nondual or Unitive
Consciousness, and Complex Adaptive Systems), I have often
found myself challenged by the *appearance* of shifting
mental models. The challenge lies in a faith, a knowing of
sorts, in unitive consciousness even as the naive 'mind'
gets stuck in the apparent quagmire of contradiction.
A few months ago while trying to explain how this nondual
perception is dawning It's Light upon whomever I am; a
friend, wise in Contemplative Christian theology, expressed
her concern that I was losing sight of the gift of
Personhood which Jesus revealed. I, from one vantage point,
said, "but didn't he say 'leave all behind and follow me'?
did not he mean to turn to one's interiority and abandon
attachment?" She wisely said, "yes, again and again, as a
point of Awareness, but one must not hide there. It is
through Being in the world, Present to each other from our
unique point of Awareness that we enliven Christ in each
cell of our Being. It is this Incarnation theme which is
the gift of this man Jesus, a gift still rarely understood."
In recent months, I have been *still* with these words.
Perceptions of Incarnation have arisen. One perceptual
comment, expressed by Ram Dass when asked about
reincarnation, has worked it's way back into my field of
inquiry. He said something like "why worry about
reincarnation, most of us havent't yet begun to incarnate".
The timing of this query's resurfacing impacted by having
recently faced the intimate rawness of death and the
emotional appearance of a gaping hole of Personhood. Who am
I without my mom, my dad? Who were they..
clearly and shockingly not that flesh? Where did they go?
Very ordinary questions. Questions, I *thought* I had
answers for, now blown open by existential rawness.
Understanding did not completely hold. The floor dropped
away and the old naive questions resurface, but from the
landscape of another facet of Awareness. Framing the
inquiry ... what is the mystery of Incarnation??
I've often observed in myself and others that lurking in the
shadow side of spiritual inquiry/practice lies a certain
discontent or resistance to "being here" in this body
form.. i.e. to fully incarnate. A real challenge for me
in this second half of life, is how to fully Be here, absent
of the window dressing which so often accompanies the first
As life would have it, people show up to illuminate one's
sincere questions. I have just completed a six week
(online)contemplative retreat on the Spirituality of Loss.
I have entered the desert of loss through the scriptures and
listened deeply. I also, synchronistically, have been
graced by a weekend intensive with Gangaji and her husband
Eli. An interesting theme explored was, that, what we know
as our life is the 'coliseum' we've created withinwhich to
wake up. That we can be sure the lions will come. And..
"it's a good day to die".
The third 'body' which again showed up, is this community.
I am more clearly grasping what is asked of us as we
incarnate into the coliseum of our lives. I better witness
the subtle mental movements which through
sympathy-antipathy-resistance embed us in the storyline of
the ego, often preventing true incarnation. And joyfully
experience that there is enormous freedom in stepping a bit
closer to groking who and what exactly 'dies' when we are
So.. I arrive at the end of this long tome.. with a simply
note of gratitude for the healing and elucidating grace I've
received again and again by what flows from clarity of heart
and mind here. I want to touch the Essential Matrix here
and express what being touched here has meant.
Perhaps, this, this touching, is a facet of Incarnation.
thanks for your patience with this rambling long post.
love from a pilgrim, Christiana
Spiritual practice is not hard.
You have always been doing it.
But begin whenever you wish.
It is already done.
This is what I heard at satsang tonight with Pamela Wilson:
When we were children we played any role, it didn't matter.
It was "I'll be the husband and you be the wife." "She'll
be the cowboy and I'll be the horse." All these roles we've
played and are playing out all over the world. What is
liquid enough to be all of them?
Consciousness has no boundaries so it is completely merged
with whatever shows up in it.
No truth has been spoken by anyone here.
No one has benefitted from anything asserted here.
Truly, there is no one who could possibly gain the truth
And there is no one who could possibly offer the truth here.
The truth is here.
There simply is nothing gained from it by anyone.
We live in a world of constant claims that truth is being
provided, constant proclamations of benefits to be had from
this and that, continuous efforts to gain more, have more,
This world we live in - I live in it, but am not of it.
All religion, philosophy, thought, words is after the fact
attempt at understanding and interpreting, trying to make
sense, when the reality just is.
Supportive community is what it's all about, maybe one has
to overlook some moralizing and judgementalism. An old
Baptist lady I used to know talked to me as we stood in her
garden about the love and skill of God and the infinite
caring he has that he makes every petal, every scale on a
butterfly's wing so perfect, every detail of the world made
by his hand and his infinite loving care. It was a
statement of realisation, only expressed in the context of
her own background and belief.
For anyone to disparage Christianity or any religion, or
anything because it is dualistic, is "making something." It
is trying to make non-dualism true, it is creating just
another (dualistic) religion, whose name is non-duality.
Non-duality doesn't need our help, and nothing can
"Everything's our Guru tim" (Skye)
Bang on Skye... 'all things' are 'valuable' but do not give
them 'value'. Or, for those with Taoist flavor:
Be desireless and see its secrets... have desire and see
When we give 'personal' value to the 'form' of the teaching
we lose the essence of the teaching as we cling... for what
is a teaching if its meaning is lost? Remember, meaning is
Nothing is easier than forgetting? Is this a joke? :-)
Try something for me, Jan: Do NOT think about a pink
elephant for a period of five minutes. :-)
I waited 5 minutes and the elephant still refused to enter
the mind. It isn't the size of the beast, a red flee won't
enter either. Of course the whole thing about forgetting
was a joke.
Peace of mind doesn't come at the flick of switch. The mind
is one of those crazy paradoxes: the emptier it becomes (the
more "mental space" becomes available), the less will enter
A friend told me yesterday that in the PAPAJI biography
NOTHING EVER HAPPENED, there was one time when Papaji and
Jean Klein met. Apparently, they didn't get along, and had
a big disagreement, it got heated. Each one warned his
students not to go to the other. Does anyone know what the
issue was? My friend couldn't remember. Their teachings
are pretty different, but they both had pretty good social
skills as well...
Excerpt from 'Nothing Ever Happened'
Meera: It was a sort of dinner party that was attended by
Papaji, Jean Klein and a small group of students from each
David: What happened?
Meera: The disciples of the two teachers got into a debate
about the teachings of their respective Masters, but the two
teachers themselves kept mostly quiet. Though Jean Klein
taught self inquiry there was a lot of difference between
his and Papaji's approach to liberation. Afterwards Jean
Klein advised all his students to stay away from Papaji,
telling them he was a dangerous man with a dangerous
teaching. He came up to me (Meera, Papaji's defacto wife)
afterwards and told me directly that I should leave Papaji
because I would be in great danger if I stayed with him any
Jean Klein's character seemed to undergo a strange change
that evening. There was a hostility and a rudeness in him
that I had never seen on any of our previous meetings. He
seem to see something in Papaji that made him afraid. He
wouldn't say what it was, but he did go out of his way to
tell all the people there that for their own safety they
should have nothing more to do with Papaji. It was a very
strange response because he had previously seemed so calm
and self-assured. I was very disappointed by his behaviour
and by the meeting in general. It was not a success.
-------------- skye: ....that was it greg, nothing about the
actual teachers having a heated debate just the students.
--------------- Quote: History teaches us that men behave
wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
This is fascinating, any speculation about the cause; did
Klein see Papaji as taking shortcuts? Did Papaji see Klein
as a plodder? Papaji seems a teacher of sudden realisation,
Klein of working step by step towards...
I don't understand teachers at all. Sometimes I think they
are all deluded egotistical fools, craving the attention and
devotion of their followers. Why be a leader or a
follower? In either case one is attempting to satisfy a
desire isn't one?
It is a matter of impressions (subtle tendencies). The
advantage of nondualism is the knowledge that liberation or
moksha / nirvana isn't to be attained, as this knowledge can
cut through all layers of ignorance easily.
But this isn't done; at the first glimpse of "truth" is is
forgotten one will be overtaken by theses subtle tendencies
unless they are destroyed.
Desires are an affliction as well; as long as there is a
desire to be a teacher, one isn't. When the mind is empty,
no notion of guru or student can arise. Although nonduality
offers an easy ride to freedom, at the first glimpse of
"truth", freedom (often) is misinterpreted as the free
ticket to follow the whims of the (enlightened) mind; those
teachers are followers (LOL).
A propos of the "fight" between Papaji and Jean Klein, i
pass on a discourse fragment of my master Osho. I hope it
is appropriate to do this here and i certainly do not want
to alienate you by quoting and referring to him constantly.
"In a great city there were two sweet shops, and one day the
owners of both the shops started fighting with each other.
Naturally they had no other way to fight, so they started
throwing sweets at each other.
And the whole city gathered and people were enjoying the
sweets that were falling on the street.
When two enlightened masters criticize each other it brings
tremendous joy to those who can understand. Its taste is
just unbelievable. They are not enemies, their fight is not
of the ego. Their fight has a totally different context.
They fight because they know one thing: that the goal is
one, but the paths are many.
And each master has to defend his path, knowing perfectly
well that other paths are as valid as his. But if he starts
saying that all the paths are valid, he will not have the
impact, the influence on his people. The journey is long
and he needs absolute trust.
He is not a philosopher propounding a system of philosophy.
His basic concern is that your commitment to the path should
be total. To make it total he condemns all other paths, he
criticizes all other ways. It is just out of compassion for
you. He knows the people on the other path will also reach;
and he knows that out of compassion the master on the other
path has to criticize him, has to criticize his ways.
This is just a simple methodology to protect the disciple
from influences that can take him astray. And the mind is
very, very clever in going astray. If all the paths are
valid, then what is the necessity of commitment? If all the
paths are valid, then what is the necessity of being total?
If all the paths are valid, then why not travel all the
paths, why not go on changing, enjoying different ways,
different methods, different sceneries? Each path will pass
through different lands; there are paths that will go
through the desert, and there are paths which will go
through the mountains, and there are paths which will pass
through beautiful flowering trees.
But if you travel some time on one path and then you change
the path, you will have to start again from ABC. Whatever
you have learned on one path is invalid on another path, and
if you go on keeping it within you it is going to create
tremendous confusion. You are already in a great mess; no
master wants you to be more confused!
Your mind always wants change. It does not know devotion;
it loves fashions, its interest is always in some novelty.
So it will go on moving from one path to another path,
becoming more and more confused because each path has its
own language, each path has its own unique methods, and each
master is going to defend his path against all the other
If you move on many paths you will collect contradictory
arguments; you will become so much divided you will not know
what to do. And if it becomes your habit to change paths --
because the new has a certain attraction for the mind -- you
will move a few feet on one path, a few feet on another
path, but you will never complete the journey.
One day Jalaluddin Rumi took all his students, disciples and
devotees to a field. That was his way to teach them things
of the beyond, through the examples of the world. He was
not a theoretician, he was a very practical man. The
disciples were thinking -- What could be the message, going
to that faraway field... and why can't he say it here?
But when they reached the field, they understood that they
were wrong and he was right.
The farmer seemed to be almost an insane man. He was
digging a well in the field -- and he had already dug eight
incomplete wells. He would go a few feet and then he would
find that there was no water. Then he would start digging
another well... and the same story was continued. He had
destroyed the whole field and he had not yet found water.
The master, Jalaluddin Rumi, told his disciples, Can you
If this man had been total and had put his whole energy into
only one well, he would have reached to the deepest sources
of water long ago. But the way he is going he will destroy
the whole field and he will never be able to make a single
With so much effort he is simply destroying his own land,
and getting more and more frustrated, disappointed: what
kind of a desert has he purchased? It is not a desert, but
one has to go deep to find the sources of water.
He turned to his disciples and asked them, Are you going to
follow this insane farmer? Sometimes on one path, sometimes
on another path, sometimes listening to one, sometimes
listening to another... you will collect much knowledge,
but all that knowledge is simply junk, because it is not
going to give you the enlightenment you were looking for.
It is not going to lead you to the waters of eternal life.
Masters enjoy tremendously criticizing others. If the
others are really enlightened, they also enjoy being
criticized. They know that the purpose of both is the same:
to protect the vagrant mind of the disciple. To keep him on
one track, they have to deny that there is any other path
anywhere that can lead you except this one.
This is not said out of an egoistic attitude; this is said
out of love. This is simply a device to make you committed,
The journey is long, the night is long, and if you go astray
you can go on round and round for eternity without finding
The Pathway of Nonduality
Experiencer and Experienced Object (concluded)
Pure theoria does not produce movement, and it does not even
produce experience, it is not necessity. Pure theoria,
which is contemplation -- to be taken in its true meaning --
is only a response of the being to life. Contemplation --
in the meaning given to it by traditional Philosophy -- is
characterized by the sattva quality, or harmony. It is not
desire, quest, acquisition, it is not motivated by physical
or psychological interest. Contemplation is pure will, it
is actuation; in actuation Being reveals itself without any
dual psychological motivation; Being 'is', the act 'is'.
Sensory action is, on the contrary, peculiar to the
ahamkara, to the empirical self which, living under the law
of necessity and 'corruption', must do, must act, must move,
projecting itself endlessly in the object.
Sensorial action is permeated with rajas. Activity brought
to an extreme becomes activism, action for action's sake,
action because one cannot stand still. Action leads to
agitation, it is translatory movement in the direction of
the object to be acquired, while contemplation is a rotating
movement around one's own axis.
In pure action-actuation we have non-action or non-doing as
it is a simple unveiling of being, while in emotional
activity the being forgets and loses itself in the
experienced event or in the object of experience. In
empirical activity there is effort, oblivion of one's own
true nature, there is becoming, there is time-space.
Doing-agitation belongs to the empirical self, pure action
is an act of the soul. Doing implies loss of the
'noumenality' of being and action-without-action is pure
All empirical experiences are non-realities, they are
samsara; only That which is behind the experience and the
experiencer is the ultimate Reality.
Pure action for the East is lila, for the West, as we have
seen, is theoria.
"Contemplation, in its universal meaning, is the act by
which each being takes up its place within the hierarchy of
the cosmos, attaining its own nature from the illuminated
presence of the beings that come before it and propagating
its reflections around itself to develop the beings that
come after it. Contemplation, in fact, is an 'act unto
itself', beyond any exterior or passionate impulse." (P.
Prini: Plotino. Abete-Roma)
"...So this must be something where both are really one.
But this living contemplation, not an object of
contemplation like that in something else. For that which
is in something else is alive because of the other, not in
its own right."
(Enneads: III, 8, viii)
For Plotinus contemplation is being and actuation all at
once, it is theoria and poiesis transposed on to
intelligible planes. It is necessary, however, to point out
that experience, motivated by psychological doing, cannot
lead to Being but goes on endlessly on the plane of
becoming. It can improve certain faculties, it can sharpen
astuteness, it can lead to manasic or mental development, it
can give 'power', but it cannot grant freedom, nor
fulfillment, nor enlightenment, nor contemplation.
"Two lovely birds, inseparable friends, live together in the
same tree. One feeds upon the sweet fruit of the pippala,
the other without eating looks on." (Mundaka Upanishad: III,
"...Now the soul which comes from the divine was quiet,
standing in itself according to its character, but the body,
in a tumult because of its weakness, flowing away itself and
battered by the blows from outside, first cried out to the
community of the living thing and imparted its disturbance
to the whole." (Enneads: VI, 4, xv)
One is the jiva or individual spirit, characterized by
action, by doing, by acquiring and experiencing the fruits
of plearure-pain; the other is the motionless atman
characterized by Pax profunda, by being what it is.
The following was sent by John Metzger to the Allspirit
I beg myself as well as my readers not to mistake
understanding for attainment; and not to imagine, on the
strength of their realization of certain truths, that they
possess them, or still less, that they can use them.
Our being, in which alone truth is possessed, is still a
long way behind our understanding.
And then I'm thinking about the spirit of Don Quixote de la
Mancha, or Jesus, or all that Kerouac put into his writing,
or Basho on the road, Shakespeare, or what Nisargadatta
said: Learn to do one thing well. And then I'm sitting here
not knowing what my life is or really how it got to be this
way or what it is because in moments like this I'm
constantly overtaken by the fullness of nothingness.
And then I know that I do not understand, I have not
attained, and it is a knowing echoed thoughout here; I don't
hear people saying they've attained anything, rather I hear
unknowing, ultimate not-knowing, an understanding that is
not of anything, but that may be understanding itself,
whatever that is.
No, other than prattling, there is no realization of
'certain truths' and the placing of them in some museum
case. There IS Being. There is no understanding of
But does it follow that now our lives will be led in the
spirit of Don Quixote? Yes. In the same spirit.
The key must be to learn to do that one thing well but I
don't know if it's important to know what that one thing is.
It's something that another may observe and point out. It
could be Jesus, or the ladies in Gloria's church cleaning up
after the potluck or the man who talked kindly to her.
Those kinds of things that are pointed out. Those things we
do with such intent and naturalness that we don't know we're
ZEN IN ENGLISH LITERATURE (1941)
Selections from Chapter 14: Don Quixote
What is Knight Errantry?
"The Knight-errant searches all the corners of the world,
enters the most complicated labyrinths, accomplishes at
every step the impossible, endures the fierce rays of the
sun in uninhabited deserts, the inclemency of wind and ice
in winter: lions cannot daunt him nor demons affright, nor
dragons, for to seek, assault, and overcome such is the
whole business of his life, and true office." (Part Two, ch.
But all this is not mere self-development, born of a desire
to be an Arhat. The object of a Knight Errant, what he
lives for, is
"...to defend maidens, protect widows, assist orphans and
relieve the distressed." (Part One, ch. XI.)
In this he is not to judge men, not to think of their
goodness or badness, but only of their misfortunes:
"It is for him to succour them as being needy, looking on
their distresses, not on their crimes." (Part One, ch.
and this applies to all men and women equally; old and
young, rich and poor, good and bad,
"for it may be said of Knight-errantry what is said of love:
that it makes all things equal." (Part One, ch. XI.)
(In a footnote, Bltyh says: "Knight-errantry, death, love,
-- these have something in common, Zen.")
His attitude to other people is that of the sane man to
madmen. To him food, money, clothes, are nothing. Don
Quixote himself quotes from an old romance:
"My wants, arms alone, My rest is war; My bed the hard woes,
My sleep an eternal vigil." (Part One, ch. II.)
Don Quixote quoting with approval the old Spanish proverb,
"Where one door shuts, another opens," reminds us of the
Emersonian doctrine of Compensation. Even pleasant things
and happy times many contain something good and profitable
for the soul. This attitude to life, of willing acceptance
of all that comes, or rather, all that we come to, for our
attitude to life must be active and not passive, is
expressed as follows, when Don Quixote first sallies forth
in search of adventure, taking no thought for the morrow:
"He rode on his way, going where it pleased his horse to
carry him, for he believed that in this consisted the very
soul of adventures." (Part One, ch. II.)
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