#1925 - Saturday, September 18, 2004
Nondual Highlights Issue #1925 Saturday, September 18, 2004 Editor: Mark
- Iris by Mary Bianco
i looked for the seeker
within and without.
searched for him everywhere.
and found no trace
only the echoes of friend's laughter
all is he!
- Yosy Flug on SufiMystic
Time & time again, timelessly
I find myself here, naked,
Clothed in the beauty
Of the utterly simple,
Awe-struck & striking
The heart of all who feel.
- Tykal on AdyashantiSatsang
It is not necessary to make an effort to think in a particular way. Your thinking should not be one-sided. We just think with our whole mind, and see things as they are without any effort. Just to see, and to be ready to see things with our whole mind, is zazen practice. If we are prepared for thinking, there is no need to make an effort to think. This is called mindfulness. Mindfulness is, at the same time, wisdom. By wisdom we do not mean some particular faculty or philosophy. It is the readiness of the mind that is wisdom. So wisdom could be various philosophies and teachings, and various kinds of research and studies. But we should not become attached to some particular wisdom, such as that which was taught by Buddha. Wisdom is not something to learn. Wisdom is something which will come out of your mindfulness. So the point is to be ready for observing things, and to be ready for thinking. This is called emptiness of your mind. Emptiness is nothing but the practice of zazen.
- Shunryu Suzuki from Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, published by Weatherhill, posted to DailyDharma
Maybe you can't drink the entire Oxus River
but don't deny you're thirsty!
You want a spirit-drenching?
Dig a hole in this book, the Mathnawi,
this island. Make holes
so the ocean can flow up through.
Dig and make it porous
until it's all seawater.
Wind moves word-leaves off the surface
showing one color, clearness.
Beneath you, coral branches
When the Mathnawi sinks
with your digging, it loses its words.
Speaker, listener, language,
Bread-giver, bread-taker, bread.
The categories dissolve
into One Water.
- Rumi, Mathnawi VI, verses 66-73 translated by Coleman Barks, posted to Sunlight
There is a very lovely short story by J. D. Salinger called Teddy, in which Teddy is like an old lama who has taken a reincarnation in a kind of middle class western family by some quirk of cosmic design. He is about ten years old and on a ship with his sister and his mother and father.
He's out on deck and he is meeting this man who has begun to see that this little boy isn't quite like a little boy, and he says to him, "When did you first realize that you ... how it was?" And Teddy says, "Well, I was 6 years old. I was in the kitchen and I was watching my little sister in her high-chair drink milk. I suddenly saw, that it was sort of like God pouring God into God, if you know what I mean."
- Ram Dass from The Only Dance There Is
Then Gangaji told a story from her master.
"You know this story Papaji tells? He was walking in Rishikesh, and he met a very old yogi on the path, who had this magnificent staff he was walking with. And so they sat and talked and had a very nice meal together.
"Finally the yogi said, 'You know, my teacher passed to me very many powers, many siddhis. The most powerful one was the siddhi, the power of immortality. And this staff gives me this power of immortality. But there was one that he could not pass to me, because he had not realized it, and it was the power of freedom, the truth of freedom.'
"And the yogi said to Papaji, "I see in your eyes that you know this. You have this power. Can you pass it to me? I have been waiting for so long."
Suddenly I was riveted by this story. I too had been waiting for so long, practicing for so long. I too had attained siddhis, but not freedom.
"Papaji said, 'Yes, I'm very happy to.' And he reached for the man's staff and he broke it, and he threw it in the Ganga. He said, 'Now you will die like all men, and in that, realize who dies."
This really shocked me, and stopped something deep inside. I had understood enlightenment to be synonymous with relative perfection, with having powers. A previous teacher I'd been with had emphasized the need to achieve perfection of the physiology as the vehicle of consciousness, of the possibility of controlling karma and the forces of nature, and developing yogic powers--these powers being, in fact, the proof of one's level of consciousness. Whether I had understood him correctly or not is now irrelevant. But this idea of developing something, of perfecting myself in some way, was deeply rooted. I had worked at it for years. This story of Papaji and the yogi now suggested that powers and relative perfection meant nothing. One could have the greatest of powers, even immortality of the body, and still not have freedom. Something about this story rang true deep in my soul. I listened more carefully as Gangaji continued.
"So, it is very useful to know how to calm the mind. But if this becomes some kind of power to keep away, or to avoid, then it is useless. And you break it. You throw it away.
"You understand? If you then substitute having a quiet mind as your goal, break it. Throw it away. It's just another goal. You will realize a quiet mind--and you will still be searching for true freedom."
I swallowed a dry lump in my throat. The arrogance of the night before drained out of me. She was talking about me. I was that old yogi. I had learned how to quiet the mind, the breath, the body. I had studied the yogic powers. And still I was searching for true freedom.
"From the beginning I have said to you, I am not teaching you yogic powers. There are places where you can go and learn yogic powers. And there's nothing wrong with that.
"I'm not teaching you anything. I have come to invite you into the depth of your being. This cannot be taught, and it is not a yogic power. It is the willingness to give up all powers. The power to suffer, and the power to be happy. It's the willingness to have that be broken and tossed aside."
In spite of the pain of this revelation, in spite of a kind of hopelessness it brought up, in spite of all the resistance in the mind, there was a deep undeniable "knowing" that what she spoke was the Truth. The willingness she spoke of was the willingness to awaken from the dream, rather than continually trying to perfect the dream. It was a rude awakening. It was the willingness to toss aside all attempts at personal attainment and fulfillment.
I felt a "crack" somewhere deep inside as I became aware of this willingness. Something let go that had been held tightly before. It was as if, in that moment, Gangaji broke my yogi's staff. Her next words hit their mark like the arrow of an exquisite marksman. Slowly and deliberately, as if directly to me, she said:
"Now, you who thought you were at the top are just like everyone else. Now, we begin. Now, you can know freedom."
- excerpt from Surprised by Grace Amber Terrell,published by True Light Publishing, Boulder, CO
There is nothing but water in the holy pools.
I know, I have been swimming in them.
All the gods sculpted of wood or ivory cant say a word
I know, I have been crying out to them.
The sacred Books of the east are nothing but words.
I looked through their covers one day sideways.
What Kabir talks of is only what he has lived through.
If you have not lived through something it is not true.
- Chromatella by Bob O'Hearn, posted to AdyashantiSatsang