#1836 - Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Nondual Highlights Issue #1836 Tuesday, June 22, 2004 Editor: Mark
It's Meant to Own You.
It's so awesome that you'll never figure it out,
you'll never get it, never have it because
it's not for you
You are space for it.
You belong to it, it doesn't belong to you.
That's why you can't have it
It's meant to own you
instead of you living to own it
It's meant to totally possess you instead of
you living to totally possess it.
It's just a simple misunderstanding but
now you know so there's no more excuse.
There's nothing to blame anymore,
there's nothing to try anymore.
It's finally over.
You can just simply surrender and
let what is real own you and
master you and have you and
possess you and control you.
You can finally give away all your silly power to
something that is real
You can let what is real finally be all powerful.
That what is real gets to be the empowerment that it is and
that you no longer need self-empowerment.
It's finally over.
The weight of all your dreams is finally gone.
You don't have to drag your dreams around anymore
You finally get to be controlled totally by what you have always
been in love with the most
That tiny little touch that you can never catch
This is reality talking and reality hearing
Now all there needs to be is simple agreement
and then all that will be left over is reality
All it takes is reality hearing and very tenderly saying
OK, I always knew, I really always knew, OK
and very tenderly stay in that OK
even if it kills you
because it will
Just receive everything that is real and let it replace
everything that you've ever had.
Reality, in the most tender way is asking,
May I be you instead of you?
and if there's any kind of looking back or wondering 'should I?'
then reality, in the most tender way
just lays down in front of you and waits
It doesn't have to do anything big because
you already know, you already see
It just lays it's head down in front of you and waits for your
So there's no real searching
All that can ever exist in you as consciousness is a very tender
Yes or a shady No
As soon as there's a shady no we start to make promises to reality
'come into me my way and I'll live for you, come into me my way
and I'll talk for you'
when there's a shady no we exist to steal, to trick, to bribe, to
lie, to take by force, trying, striving, endlessly
trying something new to deceive reality,
to trick it into coming inside and being 'mine'.
It's only honesty, real seeing and total surrender to
what we have always been, then you and the lie and the
weight will finally be over.
You don't need you anymore
you never did
that's the most awesome news you could ever hear
It's what you've always yearned to be told and wished never to hear
Who could disagree with something so wonderful?
Who could complain?
Who could possibly say, 'but I...'?
Who could possibly say anything but the most gentle ok?
Truth, when we hear it is so irresistible, it's so lovely we
wonder where we could have been, how could we have missed it
we can see Consciousness with eyes open
this is real beauty
You taste this and you'll never get over it
Once you see and understand what you see
- John deRuiter, submitted to AdyashantiSatsang by Bob O'Hearn
A drop of water has the tastes of the water of the seven seas: there is no need to experience all the ways of worldly life. The reflections of the moon on one thousand rivers are from the same moon: the mind must be full of light.
- Hung Tzu-ch'eng
ABOUT WORDS AND ACTION
Personality has most to do with intellectualizing and intellectualizing is primarily a matter of words - not actions, just words.
This afternoon I held a smooth stone in my hand that existed before a single word had ever been uttered. But this is really not so remarkable since there is hardly a grain of sand or drop of water anywhere that did not exist before words.
Which is the most significant: the smooth stone or the words that describe it?
Some years ago I was honored to be the first Western student of a renown teacher in India. For fourteen days a group of us sat at the feet of this "Master" during which time he spoke not one word - not so much as a grunt - until the final day when he bade us farewell and assured us we had learned much.
And I had, much to my surprise. But it took months before the seeds of those silent days began to sprout one by one revealing that there are indeed many things for which the uptight, recondite babble of books and teachers is more a hindrance than help.
Now this is not to say that words are worthless, but only to suggest that the occasion present itself here and now to come down from the lofty towers of metaphysical theory and begin to put some of our precepts into wholehearted, honest actions.
There is no one reading this essay to whom the Truth has not been revealed many times and for whom the truth needs only to be LIVED. Additional enlightenment and its tangible experience called "healing" comes with the LIVING - that gentle meadow of soft grass just beyond the wailing wall of words.
Who built this wall? The same imposter whose role we play as a selfhood apart from God.
- William Samuel--- Notes From Lollygog 1968
-Image by Andy Goldsworthy
Monks wading the stream
Laugh at their wet robes.
Too much formality
Is not educational.
Held in the Arms of the World
I gave my mattress away to an aging Indian woman who had been sleeping on a hard surface and was having back problems. It was about the last thing I had left in my loft space worth bothering with. The twelve-hundred-square-foot loft was divided into two large spaces. The studio faced the noisy street three stories below. The living area was quieter and had a view of the Hudson River and the large prison on the far riverbank in Ossining, New York. In spite of its sad, dark reality, the prison looked like an exotic golden kingdom when the last of the days sunlight fell on it.
The studio that had been filled with my large paintings was now empty. My close friend Deborah had sent someone by to talk to me about using the studio. He gladly offered to pay the low seventy-five dollars a month rent I paid for the entire loft. The timing was perfect, as I had no money to pay the rent and it was due. He took the studio, facing the street. I stayed in the side facing the river.
With my rent miraculously taken care of, my life went deeply inward. I hardly spoke for over a year. Many visitors came, sat in silence, and left. Sometimes I spoke, but mostly I did not. The unwritten rule seemed to be that I would not speak out of discomfort or fear of silence. I would speak only when I felt that somehow a compassionate word might help someone I was with. Fasting, silence, and reading defined my life for several years. I fasted for so many days one year that I thought I would just fade away.
Several years earlier, I knew the famed German actress and singer Lotte Lenya. She befriended me and helped me financially as a young artist. She also gave me gifts. She gave me an old recording that she had made; it was a reading of "The Hunger Artist." The story fascinated me. I didnt know if the main character was a fool or a saint. The story was about a man in the circus whose art form was fasting. Each day great numbers of people came to the cage where he was housed and looked at him as though he were a strange animal. In amazement, they read the sign out front that announced the number of days he had fasted. Eventually, people lost interested and stopped coming to see him. The sign in front of his cage fell down, the number of days he fasted was forgotten, and everyone just ceased to care about the man. Still fasting, he was reduced to a crumpled little heap, lost in the pile of straw on the floor of his cage. Although the world had forgotten him completely, he still believed in his art enough to continue fasting.
The story haunted me and stayed in my mind during the time when I was fasting so much. I wondered if I had received the recording because my lot in life was to be forgotten, and my story would become that of the hunger artist. I didnt know if I was giving myself to foolishness or saintliness. When we no longer use the world as a reference point, the tendency of the mind is to focus on little signs along the way that may offer guidance, especially in times of doubt.
That was how my inner life went while I was living in the Nyack loft, until one day a man appeared. He was carefully inspecting all aspects of our beautiful, yet old and rundown building. He wanted to buy it. The building was full of individual loft spaces used by artists as studios. A dance studio and yoga center were across the hall from me, and a bookstore and a pizza shop were downstairs on Broadway. Everyone in the building was a little nervous about a new person owning the building. He might change things! I think he was just a man wanting to buy a building, and he didnt know what he was getting into. He did finally purchase the building and he assured people that he wasnt going to change a thing.
He was most interested in my beautiful space. I was the only tenant who lived in the building full time. One day there came a knock on my door. It was the new landlord. He said, "You are going to have to leave. I would like to live in your space." I asked, "How soon do you want me to go?" He said, "As soon as possible." I inwardly said a prayer and walked straight out the door, leaving what little of my possessions remained. All hell broke loose in the building! Everyone thought he had thrown me out. I was gone so I knew nothing of the anger and conflict that followed. Everyone was just looking for a reason to pounce on him. Now they had their "justifiable" reason! I ran into the new landlord shortly after this occurred, and he told me what had happened. He told me that he had been in a car accident, and he was sure it was related to the stress of dealing with the problems created by my leaving. He asked me to help, perhaps by talking to the others in the building. I came back and helped the poor man make the transition by talking to everyone on his behalf. I assured people that he did not throw me out and that he was really a nice person who had every right to buy the building. They could stay in the building if they would just work with him. It was strange to be comforting others about their housing problems when I was on the street.
That was the beginning of life in the arms of the open world. It was very difficult living this unsettled new life. But interestingly enough, I never spent a single night on the street in the many years I lived without money. Many wonderful people helped me. In retrospect, what I find most amazing is that most of the people who helped me told me that they felt guilty. They felt that I gave them more than they could give back to me in return! I never fully understood this, but it was of great comfort for me to hear this. Somehow, what I was able to give was enough. I was fully present with others, listening with an open heart. I was fully, unconditionally there for all who came into my life. I also added creative touches in the houses I stayed in. I did whatever I saw needed doing. I even learned to cook and became quite good at it.
At times in this twelve-year period, the world was not there for me, or me for it. At times, the physical world seemed to fail, and I failed it in return. My life was not about the world; it was about God. When I had to let go of something, it was always the world that was the first to go. I was not able to attach myself to any comfortable situation. I walked away from a situation if I thought it no longer served everyone involved. I never felt like my life and actions were so perfect that the world loved and helped me consistently. Sometimes people were threatened by what my life represented in relation to their own. They had a personal need to keep me and what I represented at a distance. The nature of the ego is to see only its own reality. Any other reality - certainly one as strange as my own - was seen as a threat. I understood the threat - I lived with it. As long as I did my own work in the area where that fear came up in me, I could forgive. It was hard at times to be so misunderstood. It is human nature to misunderstand what we most fear about the unknown, and we have all fallen into that small-minded trap. But when the world seemed most against me and all seemed lost, something would always come through, just as I needed it. I was saved by something larger than the imperfect details of a given situation. I could not save myself nor could I depend on anyone to save me. A third, unseen entity ultimately held my life in balance, and I came to rely on this as the only thing in my life that was at all constant.
I had accomplished so much in the past with my will and I continued to struggle against surrendering that will. I once read that "the highest use of the will is to eliminate the will." When we transcend the will and trust unseen forces, we are held in the arms of the world.
- excerpt from The Inspired Heart : An Artists Journey of Transformation by Jerry Wennstrom, published by Sentient Publications (Fall, 2002)
Tara's Prayer for the Abuser
To those who withhold refuge,
I cradle you in safety at the core of my Being.
To those that cause a child to cry out,
I grant you the freedom to express your own choked agony.
To those that inflict terror,
I remind you that you shine with the purity of a thousand suns.
To those who would confine, suppress, or deny,
I offer the limitless expanse of the sky.
To those who need to cut, slash, or burn,
I remind you of the invincibility of Spring.
To those who cling and grasp,
I promise more abundance than you could ever hold onto.
To those who vent their rage on small children,
I return to you your deepest innocence.
To those who must frighten into submission,
I hold you in the bosom of your original mother.
To those who cause agony to others,
I give the gift of free flowing tears.
To those that deny another's right to be,
I remind you that the angels sang
in celebration of you on the day of your birth.
To those who see only division and separateness,
I remind you that a part is born only by bisecting a whole.
For those who have forgotten the tender mercy of a mother's embrace,
I send a gentle breeze to caress your brow.
To those who still feel somehow incomplete,
I offer the perfect sanctity of this very moment