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#1865 - Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - Editor: Jerry

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  • Jerry Katz
    #1865 - Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - Editor: Jerry Highlights Home Page and Archive: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm Letter to the Editors: Click Reply on
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      #1865 - Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - Editor: Jerry


      Highlights Home Page and Archive: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm
      Letter to the Editors: Click 'Reply' on your email program, compose your message, and 'Send'. All the editors will see your letter.
      This issue is built of three emails I received, one speaking of compassion, another telling of a new and different quotations website, and the third announcing a new and remarkable website.






      Janaka Stagnaro



      Does Compassion belong when there is no other?


      In the American Dictionary, compassion is defined as sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of another or others, accompanied by the urge to help; deep sympathy; pity.


      In Advaita Vedanta, there is no other, no second, so who is there to feel sorry for another? And so if one is intellectually convinced of this notion then when one’s friend comes up and says that he is dying of cancer, one can remain naturally silent, because how can one be coming to another if there is not two, let alone talking about dying when nothing is even born?


      When I first became a practitioner of Non duality, which admits of no other, I understood this with the logic of my mind. So when I saw people who were obviously in pain, whether physically or emotionally, I would stand there, and with eyes unblinking, I would tell myself that all this was illusion, and go on my merry way. I watched myself go through several relationships in this way as each partner would go through the throes of emotional pain, while I retreated into the security of my head and its mental dispassionate safety net.


      It was not until I began teaching small children that I began to learn from them, who can be wailing in exquisite pain one moment and the next skip off in joy, forgetting completely the pain that they were in. My heart started to open and I slowly descended back into the sticky realm of light and shadow.


      “Know there is one, but act as though there is two,” so said Ramana. This is what Hanuman, who is considered to be an incarnation of Shiva, did when he served Rama. He knew the Unity of the One but played the part of devotee, as did Rama play the part of a weeping husband bent on freeing his wife. They knew the Truth but played their roles. When I allow the feelings to come forth, I am no more my feelings than I am my thoughts, yet they are part of that humanness that manifests through this unique expression called Janaka.


      The word sympathy comes from the word pathos. The Greeks recognized the divinity of pathos, the suffering that humans go through. If I go to my heart and out of my head, when I see a child crying because they miss their mother I then won’t say, “Why are you crying? Who cries for whom?” I will instead say, “You want your mother right now and you miss her. You are sad because she is not here with you.” I can be where the person is without trying to fix anything. When there is pain, there is pain; when there is joy, there is joy.


      Next to the word compassion is the word compass, and the compass encircles, encompasses. The tendency of a philosophical path is to be very straight forward, very masculine. To encircle is the way of the mother who holds the laughing or crying child.


      However, just as the straight forward way can be dangerous by locking us up into a cold cell of a false enlightenment, so too does the compass way have its pitfalls. While non-dualism can get caught up with antipathy, pushing the world away, compassion can become waterlogged with sympathy and may sink into the suffering of the world, where it is hard not to succumb to the notion that the one Self is actually in pain. Then pity comes forward and the world becomes a pitiful place.


      Ramana talked about the importance of helping others, not for their sake, because they are the Infinite Self which needs no help, but for our own. When one extends oneself one gets out of the little me and finds that by helping others we help ourselves. The trick is, however, to give up the notion that ‘I am helping,’ which only feeds the ego. There is simply helping. Another danger is falling into sympathy of the sufferer and siding with their notions that they are a victim and that somebody or something has caused them to be so. This only feeds the illusion of ‘Yes, you are a pitiful body.’ If one can simply acknowledge that the person is suffering and witness what they believe is actually happening, without agreeing or disagreeing, then one is being present in this amazing play called Life, that the One Consciousness is expressing through the myriad forms on this planet.


      What a Mystery! May everyone have the good fortune to play with little children. But, hey, who plays with whom?







      Daniel Kehoe


      Jerry  Katz,


      I've enjoyed nonduality.com for years (it seems!). Thanks for
      organizing it.


      I've started an interesting project, at
      that I want you to know about.


      It's a project that gathers quotations that have inspired great
      teachers in the self-realization tradition.


      The site provides a daily "reminder of what is" to students of


      Several teachers have already made contributions of their favorite
      quotations, providing over a hundred quotations so far; and several
      more teachers have expressed their intent to contribute.


      This is not a typical collection of quotations, because I have not
      asked the teachers to contribute words they have expressed themselves;
      rather, I have asked them to collect the quotations of others who have
      inspired them  to a deeper realization of the truth. Thus, these are
      the quotations that  have inspired those who themselves inspire, as if
      the quotations form part of a lineage of thoughts that lead to




      Ivan M. Granger
      Poetry Chaikhana -- Sacred Poetry from Around the World
      Hi Jerry,

      I've been on the Nonduality Highlights list for some time, and I
      especially enjoy all of the wonderful poetry that is regularly
      included.  In the last few weeks I just posted a new website called the
      Poetry Chaikhana <http://www.Poetry-Chaikhana.com>.  The Poetry
      Chaikhana as an on-line resource of sacred poetry from around the
      world.  It includes:

      - The great Sufi/Muslim poets, like Rumi, Hafiz, Abu Said, and
      - Hindu devotional poets, like Mirabai, Lal Ded, and Ramprasad
      - Christian mystic poets, like St. John of the Cross, St. Francis of
      Assisi, Hadewijch of Antwerp, and Thomas Merton
      - Zen Buddhist poets, like Basho, Dogen, Han Shan, and Thich Nhat Hahn

      So far, the Poetry Chaikhana has more than 100 poets and 500 poems --
      and I am continuing to expand its content. Visitors can search for
      poets by name, tradition, century, or in a timeline.  The meaning of
      common themes and imagery in sacred poetry are also explored.  You can
      even listen to music while exploring the site.

      I've included a little more information about the meaning and purpose
      of the site below.  I wanted to let you know in case you and the other
      editors of the various lists are looking for more on-line resources of
      sacred poetry.

      Ivan M. Granger
      Poetry Chaikhana -- Sacred Poetry from Around the World

      - What is a chaikhana?

      A chaikhana is a teahouse along the legendary Silk Road pilgrimage and
      trading route linking China to the Middle East and Europe. It is a
      place of rest along the journey, a place to shake off the dust of the
      road, to sip tea, and to gather together to sing songs of the Divine...

      - About the Poetry Chaikhana Website

      The Poetry Chaikhana joyfully shares the sacred poetry of cultures,
      religions, and spiritual traditions from around the world.

      There is, however, a definite Middle Eastern theme to the Poetry
      Chaikhana. This is partly to honor of the centuries of vibrant,
      ecstatic, devotional, irreverant, and truly profound sacred poetry the
      region has given to the world. But another important reason for the
      Middle Eastern flavor of the site is in order to counter the miserably
      limited portrayal of Middle Eastern cultures and religion we are given
      in the West.

      Although I am not a Muslim or Sufi, it is desperately important to
      remind the Western world of the rich spirituality the Middle East has
      given to the world. Perhaps even more important is that we in the West
      must remember how strongly European Christian traditions, particularly
      Christian mysticism, has been influenced by the sacred (and poetic!)
      traditions of the Middle East through centuries of cultural

      As you explore the Poetry Chaikhana, notice the similarity of
      experience and unity of heart described by Christian saints, Sufi
      shaikhs, and Hindu mahatmas. While we must cherish the differences
      within each tradition, those who believe that there is something
      fundamentally irreconcilable between the spiritual traditions of the
      world are trapped in misunderstanding and have not yet touched the
      heart of their own tradition.

      It is my sincere hope that the Poetry Chaikhana will open your heart,
      inspire your mind, and elevate your spirit. May we all fall into the
      embrace of the Eternal One with ecstatic songs upon our lips!

      - Poetry and the Sacred Experience

      The experience of spiritual ecstasy is not easily conveyed through
      words. The state is too all-encompasing, too immense for descriptive
      prose. The language of prose attempts to box in meaning, whereas poetry
      allows meaning to gather. The elastic nature of poetry is better suited
      to the sacred experience, relaying the truth of the experience without
      attempting to circumscribe it.

      The metaphors of sacred poetry are often spontaneous. The sacred
      experience is beyond word and form, yet the limited mind, in trying to
      understand what it is witnessing, reflexively reinterprets the
      experience in terms of the world known to the senses. What emerges is a
      primal language of metaphor, a rich and spontaneous pidgin that
      develops between the limited mind and the unlimited awareness.

      As a result, mystics the world over find themselves speaking of a
      golden ocean, the sweetness of honey, the giddiness of wine, the
      shining moon, ecstatic annihilation in fire.

      And this is why mystics in every culture write poetry.
      ~ ~ ~
      Highlights editor's note: This website is a great venture and resource. Here is an extract followed the poems on the site that have the theme of Smile. You can access the links to them at
      A giddy joy comes upon you in the ecstatic state, felt especially as a spreading warmth upon the heart. This is greater and, at the same time subtler, than what is normally called happiness. Happiness is sharp-edged and fleeting, but this joy is filled with peace and completely independent of external circumstances. This quiet bliss is steady and radiant.
      The welling up of feeling can be so strong that often one reflexively smiles or even laughs out loud. This behavior is one more reason that spiritual ecstasy is often compared with drunkenness.
      ~ ~ ~
      If I say that the skies have opened, the spring has come,
      I mean that my beloved has shown me some affection.
      If I say that the meadow is adorned with blossoms,
      it conveys that my sweetheart spoke to me with a smile.
      Galib Dede (Seyh Galib)
      Timeline (1757 - 1799)
      ~ ~ ~
      you are too practical,
      trying to put
      this odd lump
      to good use.
      Melt me down.
      Make of me
      some golden trinket,
      some frivolous, bejeweled thing
      to please
      your eye.
      Hang me
      from your ear;
      let me rest
      against the warm pulse
      of your neck.
      Go ahead, Mother,
      it is just you and I
      before the mirror.
      I won't tell
      if you want to spin
      and laugh
      like a girl
      to see
      this bit of glitter
      set off
      your smile.
      --Ivan M. Granger 2002
      ~ ~ ~
      [60] The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
      The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
      Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
      Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
      Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
      -- from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Explained, Paramhansa Yogananda / Edited by J. Donald Walters (Kriyananda)
      ~ ~ ~
      The following are poems on the website that have the theme of Smile. The links may be accessed at http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/Themes/Smile.htm.
        Abil-Kheir, Abu-Said In my heart Thou dwellest--else with blood I'll drench it;
        Abil-Kheir, Abu-Said [17] Nothing but burning sobs and tears tonight.
        al-Hallaj, Mansur You glide between the heart and its casing
        Attar, Farid ud-Din God Speaks to Moses (from The Conference of the Birds)
        Galib Dede (Galib, Seyh) If I say that the skies have opened
        Granger, Ivan M. A Question
        Granger, Ivan M. Cheshire Cat
        Granger, Ivan M. Trinket
        ha-Nagid, Samuel Red in aspect, sweet in taste
        Hafiz Hair disheveled, smiling lips, sweating and tipsy,
        Hafiz Reverence
        Hafiz The Thousand-Stringed Instrument
        Hanh, Thich Nhat Looking for Each Other
        Hanh, Thich Nhat Please Call Me by My True Names
        Hopkins, Gerard Manley Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
        Jacopone of Todi (Benedetti, Jacopone) At the cross her station keeping, (from Stabat Mater Dolorosa)
        Kerouac, Jack The Scripture of the Golden Eternity
        Khayyam, Omar [60] The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
        Machado, Antonio Last night, as I was sleeping,
        Maharshi, Ramana The Marital Garland of Letters
        Tulsi Sahib The Rainy Season
        Whitman, Walt [7] Has anyone supposed it lucky to be born? (from Song of Myself)
        Whyte, David Muktinath
        Yogananda, Paramahansa OM
        Yogananda, Paramahansa Samadhi
      These are the other themes. The website is organized according to theme, author, tradition, century and timeline. It's an excellent resource for The Highlights.
      Lover and Beloved 
      Sexual Union 
      Spring Blossom 
      Visit the website:  Poetry Chaikhana -- Sacred Poetry from Around the World: http://www.Poetry-Chaikhana.com
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