Highlights, Friday, Dec. 10
- CARLOS DWA
Once upon a time a magician took a young lion from the wild.
A lion that, had it been left in its natural habitat, would
eventually have dominated the other lions of the savanna.
The magician turned this beast into a man and
trained him in the arts of war.
As you can imagine the lion became a magnificent
warrior; stoic, heroic, and fierce.
Then just as the magician was about to send
his creation forth into the world, he was taken by
a peculiar notion and decided to train the lion/man
in the way of being and consciousness and see
what this warrior would make of such subtle
instruction. And as one would expect he made
a weapon of sorts of enlightenment itself
with which he slayed the minds of learned men.
Then after some years of this futile endeavor
the magician came to him again and said
"Enough of this. You have spent all your time
cutting things in two either with swords or words.
Now become a weaver.
And the Lion/man said I have no interest in weaving.
"All the better, " said the Magician. "Do something
that is not in your nature."
And the Lion said, "Very well, teach me weaving."
The magician responded, "I can't. It's not something
that magicians know. So you must teach yourself."
And the lion did teach himself and eventually learned
to weave wondrous fabrics, so fine that they where
much sought after. But strangely, some of the householders
bought his work found certain threads in them insulting
and threatening, and were troubled by them.
One day a shepherd (who was unaware
of the former relationship between the village weaver
and the magician) brought a shawl he had purchased to
the magician because he believed it had an evil spell on it.
The magician was proud of the lion/man when he saw
the cloth he had woven. But the householder said
look here, look at this thread, it is mocking, it is
The magician said, "Don't be afraid there is no curse here
it is just that the weaver has spun this thread of his own
and mixed it in with the rest and the essence never changes
throuhout life. It is your essence that recognizes the
fierce and fiery
nature of this thread and shies from it. But the weaver has
given you a great gift in this thread. The wolves who with
always bleeding your flocks of the most precious lambs will
near if you wear this shawl.
And it was true. In time the shepherd was able to utilize
and he lost no more lambs.
(c) 1999 Carlos Dwa
One of my all time favorite poets was named Milton Acorn
(his real name
not a made up one). I met him a few times and wish I had
taken the time
to know him better, he was a hard drinking cigar smoking
cantankerous crazy wise tortured old man.
I shout love in a blizzard's
scarf of curling cold,
for my heart's a furred sharp-toothed thing
that rushes out whimpering
when pain cries the sign writ on it.
I shout love into your pain
when skies crack and fall
like slivers of mirrors,
and rounded fingers, blued as a great rake,
pluck the balled yarn of your brain.
I shout love at petals peeled open
by stern nurse fusion-bomb sun,
terribly like an adhesive bandage,
for love and pain, love and pain
are companions in this age.
June, 1958- Milton Acorn
I shout love against the proverbs of the damned
which they pause between clubbings and treacheries
to quote with wise communicative nods...I know
they're lies, but I know too
that if I declared a truce in this war
they'd turn into pronged truths and disembowel me.
1958- Milton Acorn
by James Nolan
If I were a woman
I would want to be
a cold beauty like Garbo
and throw rambunctious
orgies in fringed cabanas
by the sea with Turks Greeks
and tall Negresses in blue
turbans with many bracelets
and when the police vans
arrived at five of dawn
stare them away
with the Evil Eye
like an agate through
my wrought-iron fence.
If I were a woman
I would not lash myself
to some sea-sick family
but would give love
charge in your door
at 4:00 in the morning
in green leotards to read
Blake out loud while you
defrosted the refrigerator.
If i were a woman
i would hate men
and would probably be
a lesbain sleeping
only with young boys
and older more mature women.
If i were a woman
I would sit spaced in all-night
places in a wide straw hat
waiting to meet a man like me
the kind of man that i could be
if i were loved by a woman like me.
i'm hatching some words and thought forms about
marginalization. glo got me thinking about some stuff
(thanks glo!) namely, my recent experience in psychotic
paranoid episode . ..
there is a stigma attached to mental illness, be it manic
depressive, psychotic, borderline, "you name it," these are
words that terrify, separate, and assume. i have in the
past written about marginalization and gays and lesbians and
homeless. . .i wish to start a thread about
marginalization which will include those who have been
labeled mentally ill. we could discuss
*medication and prayer!
*realizers who are "out there!"
and my own favorite, which i will write about soon-- the
psych ward. a place where i felt so at home, and so loved!
myself, have been labeled "psychotic" and also "manic
depressive." the last couple of episodes. i do not label
myself any of these things, but if i must, how bout
"visionary madness? :)" i know i'm in good company.
meanwhile-- in an effort to eliminate labels, the slogan for
now is "unity."
look for the UNION label!
i love you all you are my self my heart beats madly!
JAN:One might argue that ignorance is maximum during deep
TIM G.:One might also that ignorance is at its minimum then,
depending on the definition of "ignorance."
JAN: and this is what temporarily prevents not only
perception, but also recognition of Self (what else is there
during deep dreamless sleep?:)
TIM G.:During deep, dreamless sleep, awareness continues
Only consciousness is temporarily in abeyance. If there was
no awareness during dreamless sleep, then upon awakening
there would be no knowing that "I remembered nothing" while
sleep was taking place. Who can deny that there is some
kind of a sense of still being alive, even while deeply
asleep? In fact, there is a faint "memory" of deep,
comfortable bliss and peace while in the dreamless sleep
state. And it should be noted that those in deep comas,
with brain waves almost totally flat, have heard things said
by their bedsides and reported them accurately upon waking
JAN: In nirvikalpa samadhi, there is neither thought nor
perception and breathing will stop; yet it could be called
the opposite of deep dreamless sleep. The difference is
attributed to a veil and there are several of them; from
this perspective, deep dreamless sleep is worthless as a
reference because the veils are peeled off in a serial
fashion, one after another.
JAN: what matters isn't that the universe is projected and
withdrawn by the mind each day, what matters is the
potential that makes this possible.
TIM G.: Of course.
JAN: both the projection and its withdrawal result from the
same power of the one consciousness; for the sake of
argument this power is called its active aspect. When the
mind-body is completely transformed, this potential no
longer exists and consequently, both projection and
withdrawal of the universe don't apply anymore; only Self
TIM G.: This fact has been denied or minimized in importance
by more than a few �members of NDS. People seem to want to
keep one foot in the Absolute, and one foot in the relative,
as if both could be experienced at the same time.
JAN: Often, people are innerly divided without knowing it.
An indication is the division between the path of jnana and
bhakti. One without the other is like trying to win a
marathon by running on just one leg. A Bhakta sees God in
everything and gives love.
This is an investment; because there is only Self, in the
course of events the love will "return to sender". By
giving everything, a Bhakta is free from shame, guilt and
remorse, as true love can never blame. Without recognition
of how love "works", one remains trapped in duality; love
will simply "find its own way" in the form of relations or
longing for it. I will consider the details known; many
with just an intellectual understanding have paid the price
of ignorance (defined as not recognizing a veil and the
appropriate remedy to dissolve it), and have "enriched" the
world with rather funny examples and definitions of
Potential Bhaktas are easily recognized. The "mark" of
Bhakti is the willingness (or drive) to invest love in a
creature that will reflect it; if no human is considered
worthwhile, a pet is adopted, to invest love in, and to be
found unconditionally worthy of affection by it.
JAN: Regarding the perceived universe, one could say each
perceiver has a tiny part of a huge hologram and it is a
well known fact one can't divide its size ad limitum without
losing detail; TIM G.: Analogies involving holograms aren't
my cup of tea; I'll pass on replying to this part.
JAN: so every perceiver necessarily has a limited,
"personalized" Version of what is essentially the same.
TIM G.: What *is* essentially the same? Do you give
credence to "the universe" as objective phenomena based on
JAN: The "game of life" comes with a start condition and
various "gaming tools" like intuition or intelligence.
After completing the game, which is only possible when using
*all* gaming tools one will +know+ "what is essentially the
same"; it cannot be conveyed in words.
Emptiness being form - this is the Buddhist way of looking
at it, and isn't really translatable into advaita-vedantic
terms. There's no analogue of background consciousness, of
nirguna Brahman in Buddhism (maybe in Dzogchen). Hence the
long-standing debates. Many Buddhists take advaitins for
eternalists, and advaitins take Buddhists for nihilists.
The first 500 hundred years after Buddha's Parinirvana is
the period called Hinayana (Small Vehicle) which emphazises
the individual liberation. The hero is an Arahant who seeks
for his own liberation.
This is now represented by the Theravada school.
The next 500 hundred years is the period of Mahayana (Great
Vehicle) characterized by the universal liberation. The new
hero is a Bodhisattva who vows to save all sentient beings
before his own entering into Nirvana.
Mahayana has two main schools: the Madhyamika with the
theory of universal emptiness (emptiness of self-nature of
the person as well as of all phenomena) and the Yogacara (or
Mind Only school) with the theory of the store-house
consciousness (Alayavijnana). Yogacara states that "All is
Consciousness", exactly like Advaita Vedanta. It is told
that Shankara entered the Buddhist monastery Nalanda to
study all Buddhist teachings for the purpose to refute them
This Consciousness stated by the Yogacara has other names:
Tathagatagarba (embryo of Tathagata or Buddha), Buddha
Natute, Mind, etc. In a Mahayana sutra called Parinirvana
Sutra, the Buddha declares that the Budha Nature has four
permanence, pleasure (or bliss), self, calm.
This Buddha Nature is the aim of the Ch'an school (or Zen)
developed in China.
A third period of Buddhist development is called Vajrayana
or Diamond Vehicle. This is the Buddhist Tantrism and is
now found almost exclusively in Tibetan Buddhism.
(there is also a Mantra school ('true word')
in Chinese Buddhism, which is the Shingon school in Japanese
Dzogchen is considered as the highest teaching of Tibetan
Buddhism and states that our 'Primordial State' is indeed
the 'Self-Perfected State'. Dzogchen and Mahamudra in
Tibetan Buddhism are the equivalence of Ch'an in Chinese
Here is the Parinirvana Sutra:
O bhikshus! Do not grieve! Even if I were to live in the
world for as long as a kalpa, our coming together would have
You should know that all things in the world are
impermanent; coming together inevitably means parting. Do
not be troubled, for this is the nature of life. Diligently
practicing right effort, you must seek liberation
Within the light of wisdom, destroy the darkness of
ignorance. Nothing is secure. Everything in this life is
Always wholeheartedly seek the way of liberation. All
things in the world, whether moving or non-moving, are
characterized by disappearance and instability.
Stop now! Do not speak! Time is passing. I am about to
cross over. This is my final teaching.
Buddha meets Shankara
One day, in a place outside of time, Adi Shankara met
Gautama Buddha walking on a road. There was an instant
shock of recognition between the two sages.
Said Buddha, with a smile on his face, "Greetings. You are
awake, as I am.
It is rare that I meet one so wide awake in my travels."
Shankara said, "You are mistaken, sir. I am not awake, but
rest forever in Brahman. I am Brahman. I am beyond
sleeping and waking, beyond the world."
Said Buddha, "There is no mistaking a man who is awake. You
are clearly awake and know your own nature, and you are
walking in the world."
Shankara replied, "And you, sir, there is no mistaking you.
You are the Supreme Reality Itself, and clearly understand
it. What does this have to do with being awake?
Buddha replied, "There is no Supreme. There is only
awakening. There is only emptiness."
Shankara said, "But I rest in Nirguna Brahman. And it is
clear you do as well. Brahman is infinite fullness,
Replied Buddha, "No, I am awake, and in infinite emptiness,
Said Shankara, "Emptiness and fullness are One."
Buddha replied, "It is true."
Said Shankara, "Very well sir, I am awake as you are."
Buddha replied, "I must be resting in this Nirguna Brahman
of which you speak."
And the two sages, with a warm smile and an embrace, turned
and continued upon their journeys across the length and
breadth of India.
So, here I sit, writing, thinking, wondering and writing
some 'more'. Proving and disproving, clearifying and
muddying the waters of existence and non-existence.
Fighting with God's and voids, science and religions.
Trying on old and new hats, crafting my own coats while
wearing the same old boots of life.
Searching under rocks, over hills, moving mountains,
climbing trees, swimming oceans, reaching for stars, and
looking for shapes in clouds.
'Basically' looking for anything that even closely resembles
the question that I have found the answer for and then, it
occurs to me... what was the question in 'the' first
place? Do you remember?
"Who farted?" always comes to mind.
It is self-inquiry, spreading out through the world, which
makes me happy. Ramana Maharshi's gift to all who are drawn
to this simple and direct way of awakening in Self.
Thank you for expressing this awareness, Xan.
The human community, the "world of appearances" is
self-inquiry in process, until that process has no
foundation to arise. Ramana gave this ongoing self-inquiry a
particular form, tone, language, and emphasis. Very
useful. And there are so many ways it takes form and is
This entire universe of "appearances" is a great koan.
There is no "apparent being" anywhere who is not
"self-inquiry" in process. There is no "apparent event"
that does not arise from Self, reveal/conceal Self, and
return to Self.
The end of self-inquiry is when the question cannot be asked
because the assumption isn't there. Then, the entire
"universe of appearances" transforms from koan to "simple
No self has ever arisen to begin a process of self-inquiry.
-- all love for the beauty of Self-expression occuring
Who is inquiring? Indeed.
Yet so many in this world of Koan are Lookin' for love in
all the wrong places.
It pulls at my heart.
This universe, exactly as it is, is Buddha, is Brahman.
Form is emptiness and emptiness form.
Appearance is Reality, and Reality is Appearance.
One position refutes another, and this is Appearance.
I don't chose one position against the other, so for me,
Reality is Appearance. I take a position, thus, for me,
Appearance is Reality.
Ha! I laugh. What else is there to do?
"No-mind" as described in previous posts, is clearly going
beyond the mind entirely. However, it should be pointed out
that a quiet mind (relatively empty of thought) is more
conducive to "no-mind" occurring than a noisy mind. When
the mind is constantly chattering, it's more difficult to
remain in the witness state, watching thoughts. There's a
strong pull or temptation to get involved in thoughts when
they are chattering loudly.
When the mind is quiet, this temptation is not present. So
I postulate that "no-mind" is possible in any mental state,
but much easier to "achieve" when the mind is quiet, when
there are few thoughts present to be tempted to get involved
Student: Are you saying that 'no thinking' is also a
Papaji: 'Thinking and no thinking are both normal functions
of the mind'. A mind that doesn't think thoughts, which is
free of the idea of no thought as well, can be called a
free-mind'. Thought and no thought exist in relation to
each other. They are both properties of the mind. 'No-mind'
is something else. It has no connection with anything.
When the mind is so undressed that it is free even of
no-thinking, there will be nothing left of mind. While
there is the mental state of no-thought, there is still a
place where objects can land; but when no-thought is thrown
away, leaving only 'no-mind', objects cannot land anymore.
In fact, in that state there are no objects at all.
A useful statement, pointing to awareness without an outside
and therefore no inside. "No-mind" : with no outside, it
can't call itself anything - not even "awareness". With no
inside, it can't retain images of "things", which it can't
perceive as "outside" anyway.
To me, this "no-mind" awareness isn't a state. It's the
nature of who we are - I'm sure Papaji agrees with this,
based on other statements shared here. Calling it a "state"
might imply something is "entered" by "leaving" another
state. Saying it's not-a-state indicates it's simply the
way things are, this moment. So this "no-mind" awareness
with no "things" is nothing other than exactly "this" "here"
The apparent "thingness" of reality isn't really apparent.
It sometimes appears to be apparent, but this appearance
turns out to be fully unreal - never was, never could appear
Yes. I love the Dzogchen name for the un-namable:
The Great Natural Perfection
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