#1871 - Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Nondual Highlights Issue #1871 Tuesday, July 27, 2004 Editor: Mark
The Sign of Being Dried-Up
The sign of being a dried-up branch,
unconnected to root-water in the deep ground,
is that you have no inclination to sway.
Moist, fresh limbs are easily pulled
any direction, even rounded into
a hoop for a basket handle.
This is symbolic talk, but the symbol itself
is a fire to consume your fantasies
about how you are in union.
Be empty as you go into
qualities and essence.
Some letters disappear when they elide.
That way the true meaning emerges.
No words can express how inspired
words spring out of silence.
- Rumi, from Mathnawi VI, Version by Coleman Barks Say I Am You, Maypop, 1994, posted on SunLight
What is this tiredness we feel
when we begin to soften?
When do our bodies start
to dry slowly like leaves?
Shrivel is what flowers do
while still on tree branches.
This is what we do in increments
& slow motion & no choice.
This thinning of the physical allows
our light to become more luminous.
- Zen Oleary on SufiMystic © July 27, 2004
I think it is essential sometimes to go to retreat, to stop everything that you have been doing, to stop your beliefs and experiences completely, and look at them anew, not keep on repeating it like machines whether you believe or do not believe. You would then let in fresh air into your minds. Wouldn't you? That means you must be insecure, must you not? If you can do so, you would be open to the mysteries of nature and to things that are whispering about us, which you would not otherwise reach; you would reach the God that is waiting to come, the truth that cannot be invited but comes itself. But we are not open to love, and other finer processes that are taking place within us, because we are all too enclosed by our own desires. Surely, it is good to retreat from all that, is it not? Stop being a member of some society. Stop being a Brahmin, a Hindu, a Christian, a Muslim. Stop your worship, rituals, take a complete retreat from all those and see what happens. In a retreat, do not plunge into something else, do not take some book and be absorbed in new knowledge and new acquisitions. Have a complete break with the past and see what happens. Sirs, do it, and you will see delight. You will see vast expanses of love, understanding and freedom. When your heart is open, then reality can come. Then the whisperings of your own prejudices, your own noises, are not heard. That is why it is good to take a retreat, to go away and to stop the routinenot only the routine of outward existence but the routine which the mind establishes for its own safety and convenience."
Try it, sirs, those who have the opportunity. Then perhaps you will know what is beyond recognition, what truth is which is not measured. Then you will find that God is not a thing to be experienced, to be recognized; but that God is something which comes to you without your invitation..."
- J. Krishnamurti, posted to MillionPaths by Viorica Weissman
The Basis of Awareness
by Zen Master Foyan (1067-1120)
Expand enlightenment, and the mind is always calm; go along with things, and consciousness runs at a gallop. I only wish to be rich in enlightenment though personally poor, generous with virtue though emotionally aloof.
Here, I am thus every day, thus all the time. But tell me, what is "thus"? Try to express it outside of discriminatory consciousness, intellectual assessments, and verbal formulations.
This reality is not susceptible to your intellectual understanding. Now those who think, attend, and reflect all have some intellectual understanding; but then when they turn back to examine their own eyes and think of the mind that thinks, at this point why do people unknowingly say, "It has never been blue, yellow, red, or white; it has no appearance, no form"? I tell you, this is what I call talk; it is not your original mind.
How can you think of your original mind? How can you see your own eye? When you are looking inward, furthermore, there is no seeing subject. Some people swallow this in one gulp, so their eye of insight opens wide and they immediately arrive at their homeland. How can people nowadays reach the point where there is no seeing and no hearing? Everything is always there; you see people, houses, and all sorts of forms, like boiling water bubbling.
When you were infants, you also heard sounds and saw forms, but you didn't know how to discriminate. Once you came to the age of reason, then you listened to discriminatory thinking, and from that time on have suffered a split between the primal and the temporal. At this point, it is inevitably hard for people to restore natural order even if they want to. Those who attain enlightenment do not see walking when they walk, and do not see sitting when they sit. That is why the Buddha said, "The eyes seeing forms is equivalent to blindness; the ears hearing sounds is equivalent to deafness."
How can we say we are as if blind and deaf? When we hear sound, there is no sound to be heard; when we see form, there is no form to be seen. What we see and hear is all equivalent to an echo. It is like seeing all sorts of things in a dream -- is there all that when you wake up? If you say yes, yet there's only the blanket and pillow on the bed; if you say no, yet all those things are clearly registered in your mind, and you can tell what they were. The same is true of what you see and hear now in broad daylight.
So it is said, what can be seen by the eye or heard by the ear can be studied in the scriptures and treatises; but what about the basis of awareness itself -- how do you study that?
Foyan's teaching, excerpted from Instant Zen: Waking Up in the Present, translated by Thomas Cleary - from the TATforum, July, 2004
#418. The only true and full awareness is awareness of awareness.
Till awareness is awareness of itself, it knows no peace at all.
#432. Is it not because you are yourself awareness that you now perceive this universe?
If you observe awareness steadily, this awareness itself as Guru (Teacher) will reveal the Truth.
- Sri Sadhu Om from The Path of Sri Ramana Part One.
Awakening is a readjustment. The state is always present, is our normal, permanent, real nature - as the Masters of all the doctrines never tire of telling us - but the conscious experience of it is denied us by a deviation of subjectivity on to a concept that, as such, is unreal, an object in consciousness appearing as its own subject. Until this phantom is exorcised by being exposed, subjectivity appears to be bound, and we cannot experience it as it is in reality.
When this anomalous situation is understood, we need to start putting this understanding into practice, that is not just thinking about it, but experiencing it. There have been people, apparently born 'ready', for whom the fact of understanding has been sufficient in itself to produce the experience, but for the rest of us habit and practice are a necessary prelude to conscious experience of our reality.
However it is important to understand that there is nothing to acquire, but only an error to be exposed, because acquiring necessarily involves using, and so strengthening that spurious 'I' whose dissolution we require.
For this merely a readjustment is needed, such readjustment being the abandonment of identification with an inexistent individual self, an abandonment which leaves us unblindfold and awake in our eternal nature.
To seek to persuade ourselves that we do not exist as individual entities is, however, to ask an eye to believe that what it is looking at is not there. But it is not we alone who have no existence as entities: there are not any anywhere in the reality of the cosmos, never have been, and never could be. Only whole-mind can reveal this knowledge as direct cognition which, once realised, is obvious. That is the total readjustment. And only 'I' remains.
- Wei Wu Wei from Ask the Awakened: The Negative Way