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#1984 - Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - Editor: Jerry

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  • Jerry Katz
    #1984 - Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - Editor: Jerry Highlights Home Page and Archive: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm Letter to the Editors: Click Reply on
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 23, 2004
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      #1984 - Tuesday, November 23, 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

       
       

       
       
      Petros Truth
       
      In the U.S. later this week, people will be celebrating the holiday of Thanksgiving, which was originally designed to represent a communal expression of gratitude towards the Universe for the abundance of existence and the possibilities of unity and spiritual meaning in daily life. Like many things in today's world, it has become somewhat commercialized and trivialized, though not as completely as other holidays.

      For the fifth year in a row, Petros is encouraging devotees to reinforce the spiritual basis of this day by preceding and following it with a day of fasting. The money saved by not eating on these days should be contributed to some worthy and appropriate cause. The energies released by this fasting will also help to make the holiday itself more meaningful and less of an egoic indulgence.
       

       
       
      Satsang with Godzilla
       
      Dear Friends,

      It is my great pleasure to inform you that Godzilla will be visiting the United States this month to offer Satsang to the public.

      Godzilla has traveled all over Japan giving his blessings to countless seekers. He has been described by his closest disciples as one of the most authentic and loving creatures you'll ever meet. Before awakening, he spent many years in Italy with his Teacher, Gorgonzolla, who allowed him to experience completely and totally his own rage and fury.

      Godzilla does not offer a prescribed set of beliefs or concepts. He only asks that you surrender fully to his embrace, in which all that you think you are, including your body, dissolves.

      Hope you all will join us for what should be a truly spectacular occasion!

      In Service to this Monstrous Love,

      A Disciple

      ______________________________________________________________

      Quotes from Godzilla

      "You are not what you look like."

      "If you find you are lacking fire in your life, here is your opportunity to experience it fully."

      "Let yourself fall into my mouth completely. This is the opening."

      "The thought that you are not good enough (to be eaten) is just a story."

      ______________________________________________________________

      Godzilla's Satsang Schedule

      Friday, December 3, 7:30 pm in Central Park
      Saturday, December 4, All-Day Intensive in Central Park

      For information or to sign up for the Intensive or private sessions with Godzilla, contact Godzilla, 917-GOD-ZILLA.

       

       


       
       
       All Days


      In the Life of the Indian there was only one inevitable duty,  - the
      duty of prayer - the daily recognition of the Unseen and Eternal.  His
      daily devotions were more necessary to him than daily food.  He wakes
      at daybreak, puts on his moccasins and steps down to the water's edge.
      Here he throws handfuls of clear, cold water into his face, or plunges
      in bodily. After the bath, he stands erect bfore the advancing dawn,
      facing the sun as it dances upon the horizon, and offers his unspoken
      orison. His mate may precede or follow him in his devotions, but never
      accompanies him. Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet
      earth and the Great Silence alone!

      Whenever, in the course of the daily hunt the red hunter comes upon a
      scene that is strikingly beautiful or sublime - a black thundercloud
      with the rainbow's glowing arch above the mountain, a white waterfall
      in the heart of a green gorge; a vast praire tinged with the blood-red
      of sunset - he pauses for an instant in the attitude of worship.  He
      sees no need for setting apart one day in seven as a holy day, since
      to him all days are God's.

      Ohiyesa, Santee - Yanktonai Sioux 1911 
       
       

       
       
      This is a book review appearing the new Noumenon Journal:
       
      AN ANTHOLOGY FOR AWAKENING
      365 NIRVANA HERE AND NOW
      Living Every Moment in Enlightenment,
      edited and with commentary by Josh Baran.
       
      (Hardcover, 404 pp., London: Thorsons Element, 2003, $19.95)
       
       
      If you are seeking the spiritual understanding that would finally end your search, the open secret
      is that there is no movement to make that would capture a kept secret. As Wei Wu Wei has said,
      'What is not kept secret is a secret, and what is kept secret is not a secret at all.' Or as the
      author/editor quotes Yuanwu: 'It is right in your face. This moment, the whole thing is handed to
      you.'
       
      That is the thesis of 365 Nirvana Here and Now. The purpose of the book is to reveal the secret
      through celebration of it in the form of a wide variety of quotations, and through guiding the
      reader toward its understanding. The result is that this may be read as two books: (1) a very short
      book consisting of 16 pages of introductory material along with an 11 page dialogue section at the
      end of the book, entitled 'Afterthoughts', and (2) a long book consisting of 365 pages of quotes
      from a wide variety of sources.
       
      The 'very short book' establishes the presence of a spiritual teacher in this reading journey. The
      book is not merely 365 pages of quotes. The power of the book lies in the presence of a teacher who
      is asserting his presence throughout. Because it is not enough to point out the variety of ways the
      open secret is ex-pressed; the seeker has to be guided toward understanding these writings.
       
      We learn from the 'very short book' that the author Josh Baran is a strategic communications
      consultant in New York City. He has handled public relations for Bill Gates, the Dalai Lama, Byron
      Katie, Amnesty International and other institutions, individuals and corporations. He began his
      spiritual search at the age of 14 when he became suddenly preoccupied with the experience of
      'non-stop mental turmoil'. By age 19 he became a full-time seeker, exploring various traditions
      and teachers, finally choosing to devote himself to Zen Buddhism. Baran became a Zen monk and
      priest, leaving his community after 8 years, displeased with its extremely authoritarian culture.
       
      Fifteen years of independent exploration followed and culminated in a meeting with Tulku Urgyen, a
      revered master of Dzogchen. About that meeting, Baran writes, 'I saw how much of my life's energies
      had been focused on looking forward to some imagined future, rather than simply celebrating the
      all-pervasive present.... All I needed was to take to heart Tulku Urgyen's words, "Simply let be in
      naturalness without technique, without artifice.'' After the meeting, Baran 'hungered for the words
      that were alive with realisation and that reflected the timeless view that Tulku Urgyen had pointed
      out. Slowly, I began gathering writings.'
       
      About the collection of writings making-up the bulk of this book, the au-thor/editor says, 'See
      where these words point and then drop them - com-pletely. What the Buddha, Jesus, or Zen Masters
      realised has nothing to do with your own understanding. In the end, it is all just story and
      hearsay.'
       
      Toward deepening the reader's understanding, the 'very short book' makes two gestures: First, the
      author guides the reader's attention to an experience of the present moment, which leads to the
      inquiry, Who am I? This brings an awareness of 'presence-aliveness' which Baran says is known as
      Nirvana, the Now, Enlightenment. This guided movement of attention takes only two pages of text and
      is effective. However, some might say that while the experience of pure awareness isn't that
      difficult to have, living from it is another story. Hence the second gesture.
       
      Baran addresses 'living from it' in a section of the 'very short book' entitled 'Afterthoughts',
      which includes excerpts of conversations he had with friends regarding the book. The dialogue
      begins with a questioner asking, 'So now what? What can I do to live in the now?'
       
      Josh: Notice how right away we want to move, shift gears, set goals. But I suggest that instead of
      developing any kind of spiritual plan, you pay careful attention to the thoughts themselves. What
      is our mind doing when you ask the question, 'What can I do to live in the now?'
       
      In 'Afterthoughts', what Tulku Urgyen imparted to Josh Baran, Josh attempts to convey to the
      reader, plainly and directly.
       
      The 'very short book' of 27 pages could be read first and portions of it re-visited now and then
      while reading the 365 pages of quotations. In that way the reader is always referring back to the
      guidance of a teacher who could help the reader correctly understand the quotations.
       
      The quotations themselves are from diverse sources. The famous spiritual giants are represented.
      So are current living nondual teachers. So are people from outside core spirituality. Ordinary
      people are also represented. At least one quotation is from an 'ordinary person' writing to an
      email list on nonduality. Going through an alphabetical listing of names, here are some examples
      selected to show the variety: Pearl Bailey, Alan Ball, Jacob Boehme, Truman Capote, Cezanne,
      Dostoyevsky, Natalie Goldberg, Woody Guthrie, Jack Kerouac, David Loy, Henry Miller, Deena
      Metzger, Mary Oliver, Anne Sexton, Jason Shulman, Alice Walker. There are approximately 300 authors
      featured, including scriptural texts and almost all the nondual teachers and Masters with whom
      readers of this publication are familiar, from Adyashanti to Ken Wilber. Each author is showing, in
      his or her way, their 'love for reality', as Byron Ka-tie might say.
       
      To summarise, 365 Nirvana Here and Now consists of 365 pages of quotations and 27 pages of teaching
      material through which the author guides the reader toward understanding the quotations. The
      quotations crisply support the theme. The result is a focused yet mainstream teaching of
      nonduality.
       
      --Jerry Katz
       
    • Jerry Katz
      #1985 - Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - Editor: Jerry Highlights Home Page and Archive: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm Letter to the Editors: Click Reply on
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 24, 2004
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        #1985 - Wednesday, November 24, 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.
         
         
         

         

         
        Adyashanti in Arlington
         
        by John Jablonski
         

        Friends and Family,
         
        I attended a 2 hour satsang with a very good Advaita/Zen teacher last
        night in Arlington.  The guy goes by Adyashanti.  His web site is linked
        below.
         
         
        [The guy is actually doing one more meeting tonight, Wednesday, at 7:30
        at the same spot in Arlington.  If you are inspired to attend, I can
        give you some tips about where to park.]
         
        [This is a long one, but it has been enjoyable to write, please read in
        a spirit of inquiry and please ignore the spelling mistakes.  The spell
        checker gives up after a page or so.]
         
        [Since I got on such a fun rif, I'm sending this to a wider distribution
        than my usual spiritual retreat stuff.  For those to whom this stuff is
        new, Welcome.  This is the kind of stuff I've been studying for 12 years
        now.  It started with Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers and "The Power of
        Myth", moved on to Nisargadatta Maharaj and "I Am That", and more
        recently
        features Eckhart Tolle and "The Power of Now".]
         
        I actually tried to do a little reading at his site before I went and
        found the writing a bit dense.  I am happy to report that the man in
        person is very clear and personable.  Accessible and direct the way
        Eckhart is.  He comes from a Zen background, so the language he used was
        kind of flavored with that tradition, but the concepts map very nicely
        into the Power of Now and other Advaita teachings I've seen.
         
        One more disclaimer.  The pictures on his website seem to present a
        guru-ish image.  Again, happily, the man in person put on no heirs and
        was just a regular guy (who happens to have a very short haircut, but
        that's actually pretty popular in the general population these days).
        The haircut does give him a little bit of a Zen monk appearance, but it
        wasn't too distracting (smile).
         
        The format was fun and kind of nice for such a large group.  There were
        maybe 100 people in the Theater style venue.  The stage was set with the
        usual spiritual teaching setup, chairs, flowers, table holding a cup of
        hot tea.  But there were two chairs arranged mostly facing the audience,
        but at a small angle toward one another.  Adya, as he is known, did
        about a 10 minute silent meditation, that's about the max for such a big
        group, and then did maybe 30-40 minutes of a talk.  The rest of the time
        was done with a volunteer from the audience sitting in the second chair.
         
        A nice kind of question and answer conversation would happen with each
        participant.  There were maybe 5 people who went up in the time we had,
        and they represented maybe 5 very different places in the spiritual
        search.  A lot of great material came out in the context of these
        conversations, and you could really sort of put yourself in the place of
        the questioner and relate to what was being said.
         
        The basic technique was a kind of inquiry into the nature of the self.
        A deep look inside to really see who is in there seeking or asking the
        questions.  At first someone might say "well, inside I find me, I am
        asking the questions".  Asked to look a little deeper, "what is this
        me", the answer starts to become a bit vague, "the ego", maybe "a bundle
        of thoughts", and pretty soon the answer might become "I don't know".
         
        "Yes!", Adya would say, the essence of the self is nothing that the mind
        can grasp.  The mind tries to put a concept around this void and it
        comes up confused.  The questioner sits in confusion and and Adya says,
        "you've found the answer, but your mind is not willing to accept the
        truth, relax into the answer...  The answer to the question is that the
        essence of self is nothing, void, emptiness", or as the Zen teaching
        puts it "no-self".
         
        This no-self is the very aware but non-self-referential state that
        Eckhart talks about as being in touch with your being or being in the
        now.  What was going on while I was so absorbed in that programming task
        I was working on?  Where did that time go which seems to have flown
        right by?  What is the characteristic of that state of supreme presence?
        The self was not there.  There was no thought "I am programming", "I
        must type these commands now".  Programming was just happening.  There
        was no concept of a "me" doing it.
         
        The inquiry such as that with Adya is a great technique to lead yourself
        into that state of presence.  As the question goes deeper and the mind
        relaxes into the notion that the answer might be unfathomable to it.  We
        begin to experience ourselves as the nothing, the silence, the
        stillness.  Notice that this nothing is very aware, it is looking out
        through your eyes, it is taking in an image of what is happening now.
        It is feeling the air blow by your face or the fingers hitting the
        keyboard.  This very awareness is what we really are in essence.  It is
        nothing, in the sense that it is no-thing, but it also has a vastness
        about it, a universal nature.  It's not personal.  There is actually no
        self to it.
         
        The very awareness that I am, looking out my eyes, is the same awareness
        looking out yours.  This is the essence of love, when we recognize in
        the other person the one awareness looking back.  Biologically, the
        awareness looking out my eyes is attached, in a sense, to a system of
        memories, thoughts and perceptions based in the chemistry of my
        particular brain and body.  That universal awareness, forgetting it's
        vast nature and associating or identifying with this particular
        biological system is my very personhood being born.  Self realization,
        or enlightenment, is simply the realization that this identification is
        a mistaken identity.
         
        I am actually the vastness, the oneness, the nothing.  But the thinking
        mind has taken over ownership.  I believe that I am these thoughts which
        run through this physical brain.  Really I am the awareness which
        experiences the thoughts.  This is the point of meditation and other
        awareness exercises, to notice that you are the awareness, not the
        thoughts.  You can come to a point where you simply watch the thoughts
        float by, like puffy clouds on a sunny day.  The vastness, the sky,
        behind it all, clear and blue.
         
        Having had this realization, you still might have a cloudy day, the sky
        completely obscured by dense thoughts (I mean clouds)(smile).  Maybe
        most of your days are cloudy, but the vastness, the sky remains, clear
        and blue, behind the clouds.  The silence that you are remains, even
        when the thoughts are making a lot of noise.  The noise actually
        manifests out of this silence and retreats back into it during the
        little quiet intervals you might be able to notice.  Another aspect of
        meditation or practice is to notice these intervals and start to
        lengthen them.  The portals into being, which Eckhart talks about, put
        you in touch with these intervals, this void or vastness, whichever you
        prefer, underneath the noise made by thought.
         
        Adya was very clear; enlightenment is not some kind of continuous orgasm
        of bliss or sustained experience of the-oneness-of-everything.  Many of
        us have had spiritual experiences, either spontaneous or brought about
        by reading the truth as people try to express it in words, or feeling
        the connection of love, or that very deep meditation, but these are
        experiences, just like all experiences, they are impermanent, they fade
        and leave us wanting more.  Real enlightenment is much more subtle, so
        subtle that you might just miss it.  In fact most people miss it and
        keep seeking for years.  In reality, the awareness that we are never
        goes anywhere, it never leaves us.
         
        So, step one, we are not a human body which is aware, we are awareness
        itself.  This is the realization.  This universal awareness has nothing
        to fear and does not get born or die.  When operating out of awareness,
        we don't fear death, that is simply the dropping of this one particular
        body.  The vastness that we are has no beginning and no end.  Nothing
        that is real is ever lost.  Only temporary forms coming and going in the
        cycle of life.  Moni at the retreat a few weeks ago had a nice visual
        metaphor for this: referring to different people, she explained that we
        are all the same light, only different lamp shades.  This lamp shade
        might get old and worn. the light within, or spirit, shines with the
        same intensity all during our life and after our death.
         
        Step two, move more and more into the position of living as the
        awareness, being in the moment.  It's one thing to realize our identity
        with awareness, as Adya said, declaring, "I am That" in the fashion of
        the famous Hindu gurus, but quite another thing to actually live your
        life from/as this awareness.  Don't simply think about awareness and get
        wrapped up in all kinds of stories and drama about this aware person you
        think yourself to be, but be the awareness.
         
        You will find that more and more, the person falls away and you have the
        experience of life living itself.  Things you used to puzzle over and
        worry about happen as if automatically, like the heart beating or the
        breath going in and out.  Your breathing is almost always below the
        threshold of your thinking.  Stop giving so much weight/importance to
        your thoughts and you will find that life itself has the built in
        intelligence to proceed as much below the threshold of your thoughts.
        "But I use my thinking to decide what to do next", I can hear you say,
        "will progress simply stop?"  The answer is, don't worry, come from
        stillness and the next thing to do will become obvious and in fact will
        become done, without all the overlay of worry and self analysis, without
        any effort at all.
         
        Wow.  This has been fun.  I've been going to that still place and typing
        what comes up for the last hour or so and it only occurs to me now to
        look back and see how long this note has become.  In reality it's kind
        of a
        fusion of the stuff from last night, the stuff from the retreat with
        Moni, and stuff I've read and studied for a long time.  I've enjoyed the
        writing.  I hope you've enjoyed the reading.
         
        Love,
         
        -- John
         
        SWE - Sent with only minimal editing (smile)
         
         
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