#1944 - Saturday, October 9, 2004
Nondual Highlights Issue #1944 Saturday, October 9, 2004 Editor: Mark
- photo by Al Larus
a small house on a mountain top
with tiny coffee cups,
talk of Jesus
and colored window panes
the long and winding road
a turn of the kaleidoscope,
above a chimney and the smoke
a journey into silence
just one door and the heart,
attend to nothing
a bubble in the stream
a falling leaf,
and the bird sings
on a branch behind blue hills
- Al Larus on nondualnow
He Also Made the Key
When I entered the city
you moved away.
When I left the city
you didn't even look up to say good-bye.
I'll accept your kindness,
I'll accept your insult.
I'll accept whatever you have to give.
Your radiance shines
in every atom of creation
yet our petty desires keep it hidden.
Like the beautiful wife of a prince
You dwell in a lonely place.
If you came out of hiding
the veil on every face would fall.
You confound the doubting heart,
Your intoxicate the faithful head.
You have robbed every soul of its senses,
You have brought every heart to your breast.
All roses fall prey to December.
All intellect falls prey to love's glory.
Since the rose is not eternal
Why be captured by its scent?
Let me know your secrets -
Only the ones that last forever.
How many men have found tragic ends
running after beauty?
Why don't they look for you? -
the heart and spirit of all beauty.
You formed man from a handful of dust.
You gave him the power to know the highest truth.
You freed him from the snares of this world
with one breath of your spirit.
Find the way to heaven.
Find the way to God's pasture.
You have spend enough time
in this pasture made for cattle.
Set your sights on a place
Higher than your eyes can see.
For it was the higher aim
that brought you here
in the first place.
Now be silent.
Let the One who creates the words speak.
He made the door.
He made the lock.
He also made the key.
- "Rumi, Ghazal 2820, version by Jonathan Star In the Arms of the Beloved, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997, posted to Sunlight
The Almanac of Last Things
From the almanac of last things
I choose the spider lily
for the grace of its brief
blossom, though I myself
but I choose The Song of Songs
because the flesh
of those pomegranates
all the frost of dogma.
I choose January with its chill
lessons of patience and despair--and
August, too sun-struck for lessons.
I choose a thimbleful of red wine
to make my heart race,
then another to help me
sleep. From the almanac
of last things I choose you,
as I have done before.
And I choose evening
because the light clinging
to the window
is at its most reflective
just as it is ready
- Linda Pastan, posted to AlphaWorld
In many of the traditions that include meditation or sitting quietly, there is the instruction to just accept what is happening while you are practicing meditation.
This reference is to both internal and external noise; sounds from outside and internal chatter from inside.
To simply allow what is happening rather than struggling with it and engaging emotionally, as though the noise were an intrusion or distraction, is to more easily maintain the inner quiet out of which the many benefits of meditation come.
A suggestion is to be of the mindset, as you enter meditation, that any noise you experience will deepen your meditation. This simple choice will not only allow you to experience a ringing of the telephone, or a quick reflection on something you need to take care of later, as beneficial to your meditation, it will keep you from a negative energy impact (reaction).
At some point in meditation, a sense of dread or fear may (and according to many reports does) arise. This is the ego-identification (as we popularly use the term), our socially coerced and limited sense of self that seeks to preserve its dominance by "protecting" us. And while the rational, logical abilities do protect us in great part, when we shifted our entire identity to a thinking machine, we suffered a disconnect and accepted a limited view and experience of life.
This ego tactic makes its appearance at the threshold of awakening (enlightenment) and a return to natural enlightenment - the natural awareness of being that we brought into the world.
If our commitment, our mission in meditation, is awakening to, returning to our natural enlightenment, we will resist and reject this tactic.
Though misinterpreted by some, the sense of dread or fear (or even a feeling of impending death), is what is sometimes referred to in Zen as "the stench of enlightenment". It is not that enlightenment stinks. It is the ego-identification, the false self, the little self that fears annihilation, that feels (smells) the stench of enlightenment. And the more invested one is in intellect and logic and rational thinking as "all there is", the greater the stench. Those so invested find claims of personal enlightenment repugnant, because it threatens to dethrone their intellect from its lofty ivory tower.
The idea that there is "enlightenment", that a sudden and surprising wisdom can come like a thunderbolt and brilliant light (enlightenment) is repugnant to them because it would mean that there is "something" greater and grander than they are as an individual in their limited ego-identified being.
Equally misinterpreted by the effete intellectual "teachers" who parrot fuzzy philosophies is the concept of "Acceptance".
Acceptance of what "IS", while good advise, is not the end product, it is part of the process. For those who are responding to an intuitive stirring that there is something more, some sacred and divine "place" that is calling them to return, and especially those who are in despair, "acceptance" is not the answer. That would only mean more despair. If there is a darkness (dark thoughts of despair) in our life, then hope for light (enlightenment) is something to be pursued.
Those who have come from despair into enlightenment can offer authentic testimony and encouragement, not bland prescriptions of acceptance.
Acceptance is process, as is meditation. At their supreme summit is enlightenment.
All is well. And this can be directly experienced.
- Jeff Belyea on meditationsocietyofamerica
Be present as the watcher of your mind -- of your thoughts and emotions as well as your reactions in various situations. Be at least as interested in your reactions as in the situation or person that causes you to react.
Notice also how often your attention is in the past or future. Don't judge or analyze what you observe. Watch the thought, feel the emotion, observe the reaction. Don't make a personal problem out of them.
You will then feel something more powerful than any of those things that you observe: the still, observing presence itself behind the content of your mind, the silent watcher.
- Eckhart Tolle, Practicing the Power of Now, posted to awakenedawareness by Jan Roxburgh
No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Living in the Middle Way between self-denigration and self-inflation, we can develop the confidence that we will be enlightened someday. This means we do not put ourselves down with false humility or build ourselves up with high falootin' labels. No, "Oh, I am so stupid! I am not worthy!" or "Oh, I have the answers those poor bastards don't." or "If anyone knew how good I really am!" We tread the middle path of self-confidence until there is no use building up or tearing down 'cause no self remains! That day is comin' to a neighborhood near you! Emaho! ~dg
Quote from personal notes, source unknown, posted to DailyDharma
There never was a mind nor any of its countless forms like world, jivas, etc. There isn't the least doubt that all these are the form of the eternally undifferentiable Supreme Brahman Self. This is the Truth. The one who hears this great secret diligently and understands completely, abides as Brahman-Self.
- from The Essence of Ribhu Gita, free English translation by prof. N.R. Krishnamoorthy Aiyer, posted to MillionPaths by Viorica Weissman
- image "Crossing" from AdyashantiSatsang