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HighlightsTuesday23November

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  • andrew macnab
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ MIRA Why would
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 24, 1999
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      ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

      MIRA

      Why would anyone go through the trouble of "emptying" oneself of
      "interpretation/knowing capacity/feelings"? One is always empty, and the
      beauty of emptiness is that it can be 'filled' with things like
      interpretations, knowledge and feelings, without ever once becoming
      full. There is no need to empty that which is already empty by nature.
      There is no need to get rid of anything in order to 'become empty'.
      Emptiness embraces and accepts all as it comes, so if knowledge or
      feelings arise, what is the use of wiping it out? Besides, who would be
      doing the wiping? The unconcerned man? Sounds like a very concerned man
      to me, if he is still out there wiping!

      Love, Mira
      ________________________________________________________________________

      SKYE posted

      Excerpt from 'The Transmission of the Mind Outside The
      Teachings'

      The master said, 'Just look into things that concern
      yourself but be unconcerned about other people's.' He added,
      'This is like a mad dog barking when there is motion without
      even distinguishing between the wind in the grass and that among
      the trees.'
      He further said, 'This Ch'an sect of mine, inherited from
      past generations, has never taught people to seek knowledge
      and interpretation. It formulates the study of Tao only to
      receive and guide beginners, but in reality Tao cannot be
      learned, for the study of it (is a passion that) screens the
      Tao. Tao has neither direction nor location, and is called
      the Mahayana-mind. This mind is neither within nor without
      nor in-between, and is beyond direction and location. The
      most important thing is to avoid knowing and interpreting.
      It is only said that the capacity of passion is where the
      Tao lies, and when this capacity is exhausted the mind is
      beyond direction and location. This Tao is the Bh�tatathat�
      and is nameless. Worldly men do not understand this and
      deceive themselves by staying in the midst of passions.
      In case people do not understand it, it is expediently
      called Tao but you should not cling to (the word) Tao
      thereby giving rise to interpretation. Hence the saying,
      'When the fish is caught, forget all about the trap' and
      then your body and mind will attain to the Tao of
      themselves. He who knows his mind and reaches its source is
      called a sramana.' The sramana fruit results from quieting
      passions but not from study. Now if you use the mind to seek
      mind, this is relying on the outside to learn (and copy)
      something from it; what then will you achieve?
      The ancients had sharp minds and as soon as they heard of a
      teaching word, they immediately stopped learning; hence they
      were called 'Men of Tao in their non-active and beyond
      learning states'. Nowadays, people want to widen their
      knowledge and interpretation by gathering meanings in the
      scriptures, and call this their practice without
      appreciating that wide knowledge and interpretation can turn
      into obstruction (to their realization of the Truth). This
      is like giving too much butter to a baby without knowing if
      it can digest it or not. Students of the Three Vehicles (of
      sravakas, pratyeka-buddhas and Bodhisattvas) are all like
      this and are called those who do not digest what they eat.
      Therefore, all knowledge and interpretation which are not
      assimilable, are poisons, for they drive people into the
      realm of birth and death. There is no such thing in the
      absolute state of suchness (Bhutatathata). Hence it is said
      that "in my royal storehouse there is no such sword."
      You should banish from and empty yourself of all previous
      (knowledge and) interpretation; this is the void Tathagata
      Store.
      ________________________________________________________________________

      MIRA

      <snip> This Tao is the Bh�tatathat� and is nameless.

      Mira:
      Difficult name for a nameless....
      Skye, no offence intended. I am just such a nitwit when it comes to
      ancient texts, Buddhist or Hindu. I never had a clue about the meanings
      of words like Tao, Kundalini, etc. and I'm afraid I'll never learn,
      'cause every time I read those terms I can't help but laugh. Really, it
      is not my intention to ridicule any of those teachings, it is just that
      my mind refuses to engage in the activity of absorbing and assigning a
      certain meaning to those terms, only to reject that very interpretation
      again. Reject because the meaning that I have assigned to the word Tao,
      is still not the Tao, even if I have assigned it the best imaginable
      meaning in my mind. So this mind just won't take on the challenge
      anymore, and remains quiet in the face of all these incredible terms.
      Let others know their meanings, I just can't help laughing. (I should do
      it quietly though, for it honestly isn't my intention to ridicule anyone
      who values knowing the meaning of such terms). But between the words and
      the laughs, I appreciate your effort of posting them. I believe that I
      much better understand your ROFL language tho :-)
      Love, Mira
      ________________________________________________________________________

      DAN

      ...Kundalini, for some, may arise spontaneously, and might never be
      called kundalini. I am thinking of someone I knew, who was "hit" by an
      unexpected energy that fluctuated wildly, generated unusual, sometimes
      devestating swings of emotion. She sought psychological services and
      was helped by medication to regulate moods, to stabilize, to relate
      positively to self and others, and to be able to organize time to work
      productively. She also benefitted by going beyond the "medical model" of
      this treatment, and learning to define herself as a spiritual being who
      was learning to use life energy and awareness in a focused way. She
      never called it kundalini, and I don't think having a sanscrit
      vocabulary would have fit for her or helped her. But calling it energy,
      and thinking of it as "spiritual" definitely did help her. She is a very
      intelligent, positive, and open person - a delight. I think about her
      sometimes, and I wonder about the whole issue of learning to define
      onself as a spiritual being and whether and how our society assists or
      hinders this for people experiencing spontaneously arising internal
      energies. I also think that each person has a "yoga" and this may
      sometimes be their relationships and awareness within their "life
      space".

      -- love, Dan --
      ________________________________________________________________________

      DAN+SKYE

      <snip>
      dan: So what is this awareness? It's "not a thing", and
      calling it awareness is also a linguistic artifact and
      assumption.

      skye: of course, so no point in analyzing
      mere linguistics.
      Its a formidable task to respond to a list
      with ones whole being, not with just the head. When we come
      to the sudden inner realization of our True-nature, we will
      be able to respond instantly without reflection.
      You are You! You are only You-that is all.

      dan: And I celebrate the beauty of this moment, of this
      awareness in which you and I share these communications.
      -- with love --

      skye: yes, a pure and unlimited beauty, that is all that's
      really
      happening now.

      much love to you dan and all
      ________________________________________________________________________

      OLD HAG

      Mirror:
      "Do teachers actually whack their students on the head with a stick?"

      Hello, Mirror dear:
      This whacking by teachers is only in Zen Buddhism, not in the other
      schools (Theravada, Vajrayana (Tibetan), Pure Land, etc.).
      It is part of the Zen tradition, and has been used for hundreds of years
      as a means to "wake up" the student, or at the least, to urge them on,
      in their sitting (it is primarily used when a student is meditating
      (zazen). The old masters used all kinds of "violent" methods to jolt
      their students out of their delusions - whacking them seemed the primary
      one - it reportedly produced many enlightened beings. (The book Skye
      quoted from is over 20 years old, i believe, and the dialogue is from a
      monastery in Japan.)

      This practice has not been accepted too freely in the West, it seems - i
      think probably because we associate whacking with abusive parents rather
      than loving teachers. ,^)) hmm...of course, there were the nuns...lol

      The Zen monastery that i stayed in in the U.S. (ZMM) modified the
      practice to a monitor walking up and down behind the meditators. Here
      is their definition: "The kyosaku (long flat stick carried by zendo
      monitors during periods of zazen) is used only when a sitter explicitly
      requests it for relief of shoulder, back or neck tension. Its use is an
      expression of compassion. To request the kyosaku, put your hands in
      gassho as the monitor approaches your seat. When the monitor stops in
      front or behind you, the two of you gassho, together. Offer one shoulder
      by bending your head to the side, and then offer the other. After the
      monitor has struck both acupressure points, bow again and the monitor
      will move on. The use of the kyosaku serves to keep the atmosphere in
      the zendo crisp and awake."

      i was a bit leery of staying there initially because of the"stick", but
      soon got used to hearing it - there was no feeling of violence connected
      to it any time. There was this constant urgency to wake up, very often
      with verbal reminders. "Keep going - you can do it! This is the most
      important time of your life!" etc.
      The last week of every month (sesshin), one sits zazen from 5AM until 10
      PM every day, (with teachings, interviews, walking meditation, morning
      and evening rituals as breaks), and this encouragement is welcomed.

      The call of Zen Buddhism is a sense of urgency to use every moment of
      our lives, in this, the greatest endeavor a human being can undertake.
      Every evening, in a Zen monastery, the head monk recites this gatha:
      "Let me respectfully remind you, life and death are of supreme
      importance. Time swiftly passes by, and opportunity is lost. Each of us
      should strive to awaken, awaken, take heed....(here he goes up an
      octave)...Do not squander your life."

      After my stay at the Zen monastery, i went immediately over to the
      Tibetan Buddhist monastery where i usually visit. They welcomed me with
      knowing smiles, telling me that they are often a haven for those who
      have survived the Zen stay. "Everyone from ZMM comes here for a little R
      & R." The contrast was obvious: at the Zen monastery, everything is
      immaculate, impeccable, and a tight schedule is followed every minute.

      At the Tibetan monastery, there are teaching and chanting schedules and
      you can go or not - your whole routine is up to you. At the Zen
      monastery, they have meals that are ritualized, so even your eating is a
      meditation - quite beautiful actually for a hundred people to eat in
      silence, in unison, in the zendo.

      The Tibetan center lays out a sumptuous buffet, and you take what you
      want - seconds fine, and eat out on a patio overlooking distant
      mountains, with deer chomping away on the green slope before you. If
      flies swarm, you just brush them away, and talking to one another is
      fine.

      i would imagine that each tradition serves it purpose for particular
      student's needs. i was more familiar with the Tibetan, and with Hindu
      ashrams, so going to the Zen monastery was an excellent opportunity to
      see if i had the balls or not ,^)). As someone mentioned, rather like
      basic training. Rough while going through it, but a sense of
      accomplishment afterwards. And even more importantly, for some of us
      indulgent, spoiled Westerners, like old woman, a source of self
      discipline.

      One of the things i learned in the Zen monastery was how to clean
      something. Hoboy! You are set a "chore" for 4 hours a day. A monk
      monitors your work. For example, five of us were assigned to clean the
      kitchen for the 4 hours. i would scrub the countertop - my assigned
      section - diligently, making sure it was as clean as could be, and bow
      before the monk when i thought it was done. She would come over and
      inspect, and point out all the crevices and cracks i had missed. When as
      a group we felt we were finished, she might stand there, survey our
      work, and then say, "you know, i think it might be a good idea to take
      everything out of the cabinets, clean the surfaces, wash and dry
      everything, and put it back." And off we would go.... So, anyway, i have
      looked at straightening up my garbage pile a lot differently since
      then.,^))

      Well, i have been rambling.
      Hope some of this is helpful.

      All of above is just reporting. For old woman, only whacking she does is
      in her dreams when Richard visits pile.

      love,
      oh

      "....Within light there is darkness,
      but do not try to understand the darkness.
      Within darkness there is light,
      but do not look for the light.
      ...the absolute works together with the relative like two arrows meeting
      in mid-air.
      Reading words, you should grasp the great reality.
      Do not judge by any standards.
      If you do not see the Way,
      you do not see it even as you walk it.
      When you walk the Way,
      it is not near, it is not far.
      If you are deluded, you are mountains and rivers away from it.
      I respectfully say to those who wish to be enlightened:
      Do not waste your time by day or night."

      >From Idenity of Relative and Absolute, chanted in some Zen rituals
      ________________________________________________________________________

      XAN+DAN

      xan: I am grateful that I no longer need the identity of *a spiritual
      person* in order to know the One Self. The moments of profoundest
      presence come as spontaneous gifts. The opening of my heart and mind
      occurs in the simplest ways.

      Dan: Yes. I enjoyed your statements about this. Having the identity of
      a "spiritual person" can become a limitation, particularly as it becomes
      a "definition" associated with "do's" and "don't's". If all arises and
      subsides within Spirit, and is not other than Spirit, then what does it
      mean for me to be a "spiritual person"? I enjoy this presence by being
      "simply who I am," "this one here". Profound presence is indeed a gift,
      and a gift I don't open to by labelling it, but by simply "receiving".
      A receiving where the giver is what is given, and is the receiver.
      -- love -- Dan
      ________________________________________________________________________

      CHRISTIANA

      Since having written my discernment post, I've had opportunity to
      observe and, to use Judi's term, 'undermine' some of the lenses which
      were in place when I wrote it. The undermining is a vigilant work in
      progress, but the 'flash light' beams have uncovered all sorts of
      nuances. Mind critters scurrying everywhere!

      In keeping, however with the idea that we are functioning on many
      levels, I am also quite aware of these levels within. Different
      perspectives serve different needs.

      From one side of the veil (the social, communal, personality based one)
      discernment, awareness and restraint can enhance protocol and order. My
      lens was less about judgement or control and more reflecting an
      awareness of the energetic technologies of 'Dialogue' and 'Open Space'.

      From the other side (Awareness Itself).. perhaps, the artifacts of
      assumptive selves dissipate and one navigates more skillfully in chaos.

      *Apparently* residing yet on this side, I have preferences for
      authenticity and order.

      *Apparently* intuiting the other side, I see that my post suggestion
      outfolded from a self believing that fluency and efficacy emerge from
      quietude. I intuit the value as well as the limitations of that referent
      point and the binding asking for release.

      It was what emerged from one lone voice in the wilderness.

      love,
      Christiana
      ________________________________________________________________________

      MELODY+DAN

      Dan wrote:

      My view of violence fits well with Krishnamurti's
      observations --

      when we accept an authority, we do violence;

      when we assume we know the way for another, we do violence;

      when we strive for an ideal we do violence;

      when we project onto another we do violence.


      Melody:

      I have been contemplating the notion of non-violence
      the past few days, and have began noticing just how 'violent'
      such a path or ideal could possibly be.

      Specifically, I have begun witnessing how it is possible,
      and actually rather common place, for people dedicated to
      the ideal of ahimsa to not only inspire but become silent
      (unconscious) conspirators to violence. It's stunning.

      These words you offered of Krishnamurti's, Dan, amazed
      me not only in their clarity and simplicity, but in their
      timelyness. They clearly and beautifully state 'how' someone
      dedicated to ahimsa or some other benevolent value system
      can wind up perpetuating the very condition they would
      eradicate or avoid.

      My lessons these past days seem to be coming fast and
      furious, all centering around the importance of vigilance in
      rejecting *nothing*, denying *nothing*, resisting *nothing*....
      being deeply imprinted by hearing this over and over and over again from
      first one place and then another, in one form
      and then another.

      It simply isn't possible to 'do no harm' as long as we
      value some people and ideas more than others; or recognize
      one person as 'authority' and not another; or seek out the
      company of some people while avoiding others, etc.

      I'm not saying one should or shouldn't do this. Afterall,
      it's human nature. But how easy it is to fool one self into
      believing that because one does not say angry words, or eat
      meat, or because one refuses to kill a bug that one is not
      still creating, inspiring or projecting violence.

      Constant vigilance and awareness beyond simply what goes into
      our mouths, or what comes out of our mouths is critical
      it seems. By this, I mean being fully aware and honest and
      most especially accepting about, the thoughts that flow thru
      us (as well as the thoughts that get rejected) the values we
      cling to or reject, and the company we seek or avoid.

      It means allowing a heart that holds no regrets, because
      nothing, absolutely nothing within us, or from us, is
      'refused' or 'denied'.

      Otherwise, it seems, we are cleverly deceiving ourselves.

      It would seem that to free one's self of a need for value
      systems....any value system....could be an act of nonviolence.

      To free one's self of the need to save, change or 'free' another,
      would be an incredible act of nonviolence.

      To free one's self from the need or desire to seek certain
      company, while avoiding others, could also be an act of nonviolence.

      It's truly frightening, though.....that much freedom, I mean.

      Melody
      ________________________________________________________________________

      TIM G. posted from *I am That* by Nisargadatta

      Q: If both dream and escape from dream are imaginings, what is the way
      out?

      NM: There is no need of a way out! Don't you see that a way out is also
      part of the dream? All you have to do is see the dream as dream.

      ________________________________________________________________________

      DAN+JUDI

      The air is stagnant - I'm ready for a walk by the beach where the waves
      can instruct me.

      **************
      I was just down there earlier, all those darn waves do is talk.
      Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk! They never shut up!! :-)

      Judi
      ________________________________________________________________________


      XAN

      ---
      my beloved, my true
      I no longer try to find where you are not
      your hiding places no longer hide you

      each breeze and stone
      beauty and beast
      my sweetest heart
      my darkest intensity
      all reveal your silent being
      myself


      xan
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