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Highlights, Friday, Dec. 17

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  • umbada@xx.xxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx)
    No remedy, no fight No seer, no sight In the moon light grass is glistening All alone in dark of night Who is speaking? Who is listening? ~Harsha Footprints in
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 18, 1999
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      No remedy, no fight
      No seer, no sight
      In the moon light
      grass is glistening
      All alone in dark of night
      Who is speaking?
      Who is listening?
      ~Harsha

      Footprints
      in the glistening grass
      Lovers
      under moon light pass
      ~andrew

      Stroking beaches
      kicking sands
      Brushing bodies
      holding hands

      Never alone in dark of night
      who is speaking?
      who is listening?
      With Her kiss all questions
      dismissed.
      ~oh
      _________________________________________________________________

      To Tim and Jerry and all other "odd" dears today:
      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLO


      THE Day

      Be quiet - shhh!
      Could it be?
      Me and Thee?

      Just meeting
      Always knew
      Thank you - thank you.

      Still
      All's Stopping
      Floating by
      See but no belonging
      Where am I?
      Here but no here.
      Joy! but no elation
      Heart soars
      its new creation.
      Left behind, but met anew
      Oh my Smile, Thank you! Thank you!

      love,
      oh
      ___________________________________________________________________

      Drop the topic.
      Drop the spinning mind.
      Drop "inherent perception of existence"
      Drop "awareness"
      Drop "dropping"...

      --Dan

      ______________________________________________________________________
      Always loved that full moon!
      Sure it will come back soon
      It is so hilarious
      we are entering the age of Aquarius
      and today is very bright and sunny
      I think you guys are totally funny
      friend of mine just adopted a bunny
      I suppose we all need money
      to buy morning tea with honey
      Think I will have another cup
      cause I don't have any hiccups!

      --Harsha
      ____________________________________________________________________

      OLD HAG

      Some quotes from oddballs: ,^))


      "O Love, can it be that thou has called me with so great a
      Love, and made me to know in one instant that which words
      cannot express?"
      St. Catherine

      "As salt resolved in the ocean, I was swallowed in God's
      sea; past faith, past unbelieving, past doubt, past
      certainty.
      Suddenly in my bosom, a star shone clear and bright; All the
      suns of heaven vanished in that star's light."
      Rumi

      "From about half past ten in the evening to about half an
      hour after midnight, Fire!!
      ....Absolutely Certainty: Beyond reason. Joy. Peace.
      Forgetfulness of the world and everything but God. The
      world has not known Thee, but I have known Thee. Joy!
      Joy! Joy! Tears of Joy!"
      Pascal

      "Confronted with the Divine Essence the one who speaks
      becomes dumb, the one who is agitated becomes motionless,
      the one who sees becomes blinded.
      It is too noble to be grasped by intelligences, too lofty
      for thoughts to reach it...
      The one who breaks the seal is with God in His Essence."
      Jili (Sufi)


      "The Divine Mother revealed to me in the Kali Temple that it
      was She who had become everything. She showed me that
      everything was full of Consciousness. The image was
      Consciousness; the altar was Consciousness, the water
      vessels were Consciousness, the door sill was Consciousness.
      That was why I fed a cat with the food that was to be
      offered to the Divine Mother. I clearly perceived that All
      this was the Divine Mother - even the cat." Ramakrishna

      "At midnight I abruptly awakened. At first my mind was
      foggy, then suddenly that quotation flashed into my
      consciousness: 'I came to realize clearly that Mind is no
      other than mountains, river, and the great wide earth, the
      sun and the moon and the star.' And I repeated it.
      Then all at once I was struck as though by lightning, and
      the next instant heaven and earth crumbled and disappeared.

      Instantaneously, like surging waves, a tremendous delight
      welled up in me, a veritable hurricane of delight, as I
      laughed loudly and wildly:
      'Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! the empty sky split in two, then
      opened its enormous mouth and began to laugh uproariously:
      'Ha, ha, ha!'"
      Lu (Zen Buddhist)

      "How can you face light without being blinded, How can one
      arrest the secret of secrets Without being dumbfounded and
      perplexed?
      How can one undergo transformation Without being SHATTERED?"
      Bastami

      love, oh
      ___________________________________________________________________

      HARSHA

      Ramani Ammal (from the Ramana Maharshi Newsletters):

      I once remember a Harijan lady who for the past twenty-five
      years was gathering honey to send to Sri Bhagavan. On every
      occasion she was unable to bring the honey herself and had
      to send it with someone. After waiting for twenty-five
      years, she finally found the opportunity to come. The poor
      lady was in tattered clothes, standing before Bhagavan. Her
      eyesight was poor and I still vividly recall the unusual way
      she looked at Sri Bhagavan, calling out "Oh Darling, where
      are you ? I want to see you." Bhagavan in all his
      graciousness said, "Granny, look this way. I am here."
      Looking at the honey she had brought with her, he said to
      me, "They are Brahmins, they won't eat this. We will share
      it, and eat it."

      It is often said, Bhagavan did not give direct Upadesa, but
      what else is all this ?
      Although Bhagavan repeatedly pointed out human frailty,
      people were not prepared to rectify themselves.

      As if talking to himself, he looked at this poor old woman
      in ragged clothes and said, "Poor lady, she must be hungry.
      And where will she go for clothes ? Who will offer her food
      and clothes ?" Upon hearing this, Ondu Reddiyar got up and
      said, "We will give her food and also see that some clothes
      are purchased."
      Then Reddiyar took the woman to the Dining Hall and fed her
      sumptuously. He also sent someone to town to buy her a
      sari. As the old woman had no money, she had walked a great
      distance to come here. Bhagavan knowing this, said in an
      impersonal way, "Would anyone be interested in getting her a
      bus ticket ?"
      Reddiyar again came forward and said, "We will provide her
      with a bus ticket and see her off."
      When this lady returned from the Dining Hall she was
      touching the ground, and then touching her eyes. T
      __________________________________________________________________-

      SKYE

      It is because one believes attack is happening that
      compassion arises. Compassion is a concept perpetuated when
      a belief in suffering is being clung to.

      MELODY

      I view compassion a bit differently.

      Compassion is free to flow only when the "I" perspective has
      been dropped.

      So "I" can only recognize compassion in retrospect.......

      looking backwards....to the past...

      remembering those moments when "I" had seemingly faded away.

      As long as there is 'intention'....as long as the world is
      viewed thru the world of "I",

      compassion is *not*.....no matter how benevolent or
      charitable the act.....

      Speaking only for my self, those times I 'thought' I was
      acting out of compassion...*as* I was responding to another,

      I was simply deceiving my self.
      _____________________________________________________________________

      LARRY

      Ran across 2,3 good links tonight.

      1. http://www.theflow.org/tonglen/main.htm
      This one is on the practice of tonglen, sending others
      goodness and taking in their suffering. It has excellent
      commentaries by Trungpa and Osho.


      2. http://www.thouartthat.com/articles.htm
      This one is part of a larger site and has many interesting
      articles.
      Within this "articles" section is Thomas Byrom's translation
      of the "The Heart Of Awareness" (Ashtavakra Gita"). The
      direct link is http://www.swcp.com/~robicks/gita00.htm
      ____________________________________________________________________

      BOB

      Better than agreement or disagreement-- amusement. I am so
      glad that you are not on my kill list Andrew.
      I personally don't find scientific knowledge any more or
      less dead than any other knowledge but I can see how it
      could be thought to be.
      How about some more of your excellent poetry?

      ANDREW

      Understanding and effort are useless, we know nothing at
      all.
      Every action is a futile and meaningless effort.
      Every concept is empty fabrication, even the concept of
      existence.
      What I think is real is only the idea of real.
      It's all right not to understand. It's all right not to
      understand.
      It's all right not to understand. It's all right not to
      understand.
      I live on the earth to live on the earth.
      Living is simply the consequence of being born.
      It is perfect and mysterious.

      Scientific knowledge is dead knowledge, dissected. A
      soulless ghost.
      Philosophical knowledge is human speculation. A ghost with
      soul but no foundation.

      Realization can only be intuitive, from an unnamable
      source. It cannot be learned, it cannot be understood.
      It's all right not to understand. It's all right not to
      understand.

      JERRY

      Yesterday, Andrew and I had one of our very nice luncheons
      (as opposed to lunch; whatever happened to luncheon? I
      guess Power Luncheon doesn't sound very ... Powerful.
      Anyway, I digress.)

      We went out for Chinese food, and, still not quite sated,
      completed the gastronomical affair with a stop at a Lebanese
      eatery.

      Then Andrew surprised me in a few ways. First we stopped at
      his brother's house. His brother is a well-known Nova
      Scotia sculptor, working in wood and granite. His home has
      13 foot high ceilings and houses some of his works and
      artistic loves.

      Andrew revealed that he has a sister who is a doctor. And
      Andrew himself is, of course, non definable. A mystic?
      Poet? Sacred Tarot Card in this Deck? We know who he is
      and can't say, but he influences the world.

      The second surprise was a bottle of red wine made with Nova
      Scotia grapes picked and pressed by Andrew. We went to my
      house to indulge. It is a pure wine: only grapes, with
      sugar added for fermentation. It is an inky dark, fruity,
      full and luscious wine. Easy to drink too much! I'm going
      to save it for when Andrew comes over and drink it only
      then.

      In fact, the wine glasses stand unwashed, stained the purple
      red of the wine, just as my mouth and teeth were. The best
      wine I ever had.

      The third surprise was pictures of Andrew, wife Carol, and
      Antoine. See them at
      http://www.onelist.com/files/NondualitySalon/AndrewMacnab/

      Thanks for a nice time, Andrew. See you again, soon.

      MELODY

      I've got an idea.....How about having a NDS retreat in
      Canada? After looking at Andrew's pictures today, I really
      really want to go. Nova Scotia is it?

      LYNNE

      Yes, Yes, Yes, and NDS retreat in Canada. I'll help
      organize!

      GLORIA

      Thank you for sharing.. it seems so fitting that Andrew
      would have vast open spaces to go with his inner space.
      Your meeting remind me of this passage from Kerouac's Dharma
      Bums..not that you are bums, no way, except in the best
      possible sense!

      "I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution, thousands or
      even millions of young Americans wandering around with
      rucksacks, going up mountains to pray, making children
      laugh, and old men glad, making young girls happy, and old
      girls happier, all of 'em Zen lunatics who go about writing
      poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason,
      and also by being kind, and also by strange unexpected acts
      keep giving visions of freedom to everybody and all living
      creatures. We'll have a floating zendo...wild gangs of pure
      holy men getting together to drink and talk and pray, think
      of the waves of salvation that can flow out of nights (or
      days) like that..."

      That you do not wash the glasses says it all....

      __________________________________________________________________

      Last night I was puzzling over the "MU" question while in
      meditation, and I think I may have solved it, I don't know.
      The answer seemed to come back as "Dog does not have
      Buddha-Nature, Buddha-Nature has dog." I don't know if this
      answer is right or not. Something seems to have occurred.
      My brain seems to have blown all its gaskets at once. All
      my "spiritual knowledge" seems to have gone out the window,
      and there is only this wordless, intense blissful reality
      here. Any question I put to myself comes back "I don't
      know." Will I still be able to participate here? I don't
      know. I don't know anything anymore. It's all gone out the
      window.

      Is this Nirvikalpa Samadhi? I don't know. Is this
      "realization?" I don't know. Seriously, I don't know a
      thing. I don't even know what happened, or if anything
      happened. I was just meditating and puzzling over MU, and
      everything I thought I knew went out the window. All gone.
      And then I realized reality has been here all along, and
      there was never ignorance.

      If this is the last message I post to the list, anyone is
      free to contact me, but I don't know what I'll say. I don't
      know if I have anything to say anymore. This reality is so
      intense and wordless that my body is trembling. I'm having
      trouble even typing or putting this message together so it
      makes sense. I don't even know, really, if I'm typing it at
      all. If it shows up on the list, I just wanted to say I
      have nothing more to say.
      I don't seem to know anything anymore. It's just "I don't
      know, I don't know, I don't know" to all the previous stuff
      I thought I knew.

      I don't even know how to sign this letter. I don't know who
      I am, or why I should sign it at all. I'll just leave it
      unsigned.

      --Tim G.

      If possible please try to keep us informed of what is going
      on with you.

      It is interesting but last night I also had this very strong
      confusion and felt as if I was about to break apart. This
      list as Satsang may be more powerful than any of us
      realize. I was puzzling over the Sat Cit Ananda.

      Peace, neo
      __________________________________________________________________

      Bliss probably is one of the most controversial issues. The
      Ananda_maya_kosha (sheath composed of bliss) is the most
      subtle of the 5 envelopes (kosha), covering/veiling Self.
      As the name of the sheath suggests, it consists of bliss.
      Just for the record, the sheaths were introduced in the
      Taittiria-Upanishad; it speaks of the five envelopes,
      occluding the pure *light* of the Self:
      1. annamaya kosha - sheath composed of food
      2. pranamaya kosha - sheath composed of life force
      3. mano-maya kosha - sheath composed of mind
      4. vijnana maya kosha - sheath composed of awareness
      5. ananda maya kosha - sheath composed of bliss

      In that Upanishad, 5. is equated with the Self but later
      schools consider it a fine veil as well, for the simple
      reason that when it is "transcended" (for the lack of a
      better expression), body-consciousness has been transcended,
      meaning among others that pain can no longer arise and one
      is freed from urges like having to breathe. Only then,
      Sat_Cit_Ananda can be known *as is*.

      --Jan B.

      The notion of Bliss is hard to understand, and the Bliss of
      the Self (Brahman) is often misunderstood to be the bliss of
      the bliss-sheath or just a really great orgasmic feeling, or
      even a sattvic oceanic peace felt in the body and mind.
      It's not that.

      This, and what Jan writes above about the
      Taittiria-Upanishad is in accord with what the orthodox
      advaita vedanta schools teach, such as the Chinmaya Missoin
      and the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam. All sheaths or envelopes of
      kosas are to be transcended, and each is more subtle than
      the previous.

      But the bliss of Brahman is not equivalent to the bliss of
      the anandamayakosa. It is the source of that phenomenal
      bliss, but goes beyond it. In orthodox advaita vedanta, Sat
      Chit and Ananda are called "non-qualifying attributes" of
      Brahman or the Self. They serve to refute their contraries
      and to combat nihilism, not to posit substantial qualities
      to the Self.

      Sat - (Being): to tell the student that non-existence is not
      a characteristic of the Self.

      Chit - (Consciousness): to tell the student that ignorance
      is not a characteristic of the Self.

      Ananda - (Bliss): to tell the student that suffering is not
      a characteristic of the Self.

      --Greg
      ___________________________________________________________________

      GEN

      song for her

      runnin on empty
      WALKIN THE LINE
      look at the you you left behind
      starin' out of the blue
      you're all that you had in mind
      not askin how
      not wonderin why

      cry don't sigh
      GIVIN' IN'S A FOOLISH ALIBI
      if you're wonderin
      what's beyond the sky
      fly
      DON'T DIE

      TAKE ON THE WORLD
      give back what you know
      PROFIT IS FAST
      but love is slow
      you're as good as it gets
      BIG AS YOU GROW
      who do you love?
      who do you owe?

      cry don't sigh
      GIVIN' IN'S A FOOLISH ALIBI
      if you're wonderin'
      what's beyond the sky
      fly
      DON'T DIE

      SOMEDAY'S just a word to say tomorrow
      SOMEHOW'S tryin hard to understand
      LONELINESS is just another feeling
      YESTERDAY'S a waste and empty land.

      fly
      die? does not compute. . ..

      MELODY

      I love your songs, gen.

      This morning as I hear your voice singing in the background,
      I find myself reflecting on my foster son, Joseph.

      When I picked him up last night after a band performance, he
      was as angry as I had seen him for a long time. After my
      questioning him abit about what happened, he began to cry
      thru his anger.

      He began to share with me how he had been taunted by a
      couple of guys, and how he had responded rather
      aggressively.

      The aggression stopped the attack, but it did not heal his
      heart. He said, "They will be damned lucky if I don't hold
      a grudge over this tomorrow."

      As we pulled up in the drive, I suggested he release his
      tears and channel his anger until he's finished...
      .....or until he is ready to ask God to simply clear his
      heart.

      He banged around in the basement for a while, then announced
      to me he was going to bed. He was asleep with I checked in
      on him 30 minutes later.

      This morning he came downstairs singing, and with a heart as
      light as a feather. After a few minutes I said, "Sounds
      like you had a talk with God last night", to which he smiled
      and nodded "yes".....then offered to walk the dog.

      Does Joseph still see God as a force that is apart from him?
      Yes. He sure does.

      But that does not seem to hinder the experience of Grace one
      iota.
      _______________________________________________________________________

      The practice of this pathless path is awareness in this
      immediate moment, and this, and this .................
      It does not preclude vigilance to continued healing,
      retraining and surrender of the mind habits - until there is
      no-mind.

      Where am I going? Deeper.
      I can't help it.

      --Xan
      ________________________________________________________________

      NEO

      I would like some help on an experience that I had a couple
      years ago. I was raised as a Christian but in college began
      to learn of the wisdom Of the East.

      I have had several experiences of ego loss, the Void, pure
      awareness. Up to the experience I am about to describe they
      were the most powerful and joyful experiences I had ever
      had.

      I think I understood that according to Buddhist thought this
      was the ultimate reality. I also understood that Buddhist
      thought states that there is no God.

      I was doing a silent retreat at home. At the time I was
      having difficulty with the concept of God as described in
      most of Christianity. The aspect I was having difficulty
      with was that if God was so good and so loving how could God
      send his own children to live all of eternity in hell?
      I could not mention a loving God during this.

      Towards the end of my retreat, during meditation, I was
      touched ever so lightly by a presence. The presence was so
      kind, so soft and totally non threatening. In my mind I
      heard the words almost as if spoken out loud "If you want
      me, I am here, if you do not, I am not." I said I want you.

      ==GENE POOLE==

      This answer is from my own experience and point of view.

      I have had similar experiences. In my practice of abiding,
      I have allowed what is happening, to continue to happen,
      without 'making anything of it' (the experiences). Thus,
      when this experience happened for me, I allowed it to
      continue. I did not make anything of it. From my practice
      of abiding, I allowed it to continue, without coming to
      conclusions and without deciding anything.

      I found that my requests for a competent 'guide' had been
      granted; here now, was a guide 'who' could 'commentate' upon
      the events which comprised the 'me' which I was/am. I
      knew/know better than to attempt to modify this guide; I
      allowed this guide to continue to speak to me. I was
      respectfully/fearfully silent. I allowed this guide to
      speak. I allowed this guide to point out to me what it
      would point out.

      Yes, at the time, I had the thought that I was special; that
      only such a special one as myself, could succeed in
      manifesting such a divine event as this
      communication/communion. But I put this thought into a
      subordinate postion, and allowed myself to remain aware, in
      a neutral sense. I intuited that a respectful attitude was
      called for; I put myself into a stillness which was a
      posture which was meant to convey my willingness to continue
      as the recipient of guidance.

      NEO: Instantly I became enveloped in a presence that was
      Pure Love. That presence was the most powerful and joyful
      experience that I have ever had. It fulfilled every desire
      that I had ever had during my life. During that Presence I
      realized that if I wanted that love I would have to become
      that love. I would have to become a mirror reflecting that
      Pure Love. This experience was more real to me than any
      other experience I had ever had.

      GENE: Yes. I felt at the time, that I would explode, if I
      did not circulate the 'energies' which were arising within
      me. I was tempted to circulate these 'energies' into the
      compartments which contain the disparate versions of what is
      reality. I resisted the impulse to do so. I allowed this
      unusual event to continue. I kept my silence, but felt, at
      the same time, a vast relief; my prayers had been answered.
      I was being responded to. I kept my respectful quietness.

      NEO: Since then I have had difficulty reconciling the
      experience of the Void with this experience of Pure Love.
      Is it possible that there is a God that is formed from pure
      awareness and is not separate from pure awareness but united
      with it?

      GENE: I offer this 'unpopular' proposition, Neo: 'God' has
      the power to take on 'personality'. God has the ability to
      appear to us, in form, with personality. In this form, with
      personality, God has the ability to communicate with us.
      God has the capacity to appear, to us, as form and with
      personality.

      God can appear, as a 'Being' with form, with personality.
      In doing so, God demolishes our cherished assumptions that
      spirit is 'beyond form and personality'. In doing so, God
      affirms for us, that our Being, form, and personality, are
      gifts of God. In this communication, God affirms that
      'everything is OK', and that we are _given_ what we need.
      In this moment of communication, if we can be open to it,
      God is telling us that we are fine just as we are. In this
      moment of sharing, God is sharing with us, that we are not
      rejected. We are being told, it seems, that we can relax
      and enjoy the show. It seems that we are being told that
      our glorious ideals, are redundant; we are being showed, by
      this communication/communion itself, that we are in the
      hands of a very capable power that we do not have the
      slightest chance of second-guessing.

      NEO: I would appreciate any thoughts related to this
      experience, to the Void, to God, and what I believe to be
      Buddhist thought that there is no God.

      GENE: To my understanding, Buddhist 'thought' does not deny
      the 'existence of God'. Instead, Buddhist thought
      creates/advocates/maintains the space in which God may be
      intuited/seen/experienced.

      Regarding Buddhism, It is useful to keep in mind, that
      Buddha is the most vigilant of those gatekeepers, who will
      not allow any confusion about God to occur. Buddha,
      foremost of any, stands ready, cleaning equipment in hand,
      to remove any stains which we may spill upon God. Buddha
      says nothing about God; in this, Buddha stands as the
      foremost proponent of God. Of all, Buddha protects the
      space in which God may appear. Leaving open this space, is
      exampled by Buddha; following Buddha, are the guardians of
      the Dharma, who keep alive the doctrine of empty space.
      _________________________________________________________________

      JOSHUA PRITIKIN

      I was born and grew up in California. My grandparents
      purchased a computer when I was about ten years old. It
      seemed like magic so I spent more and more time learning how
      to operate it. Separately, an uncle had an interest in
      psychology, spirituality, and occult matters.
      By the age of 15, I read or skimmed most of the books in his
      library. I can't remember all the titles but they spanned
      from Jung to Rajneesh to Hofstadter.

      Water flows down the path of least resistance so instead of
      pursuing aggressive American women, I continued studying
      computers. However, the better I understood programming,
      the less magical it seemed. Computers were entirely
      mechanical and I felt like nobody knew that better than
      myself. As the mystery faded, I look around for other
      mysteries. I left college early. I tried doing a start-up
      company (didn't work). I began studying martial arts. In
      Boston, a friend of a friend of a friend introduced me to a
      Zen master.

      This Zen master definitely seemed magical. I attended his
      talks and became his student. On one occation meditating
      alone I experienced nirvikalpa samadhi. I saw that instead
      of people being little bits of life in a gigantic lifeless
      universe, the reality is quite the opposite.
      People are actually relative death in a universe whose very
      particles are alive with self-awareness. I studied with my
      teacher for a few more years. His program was utterly
      unique and fascinating. He died among bizarre circumstances
      a few years ago. His disappearance left a void which I felt
      I must try to fill. I felt that there was still something
      about life that I didn't understand.

      I reached out to all the people currently teaching
      meditation. I explored the offerings of many teachers. I
      paid special attention to the *students* of these teachers.
      I suspected that a teacher's students would expose the means
      and affect of their teaching more clearly than by studying
      the teacher directly.

      At this time, I was involved with a woman and working in New
      York City.
      If you don't know, New York is very competitive. Maybe
      Manhatten is the most competitive place in the world.
      However, being competitive is just weird from the
      perspective of non-duality. Why compete with yourself?
      On the other hand, competition is unavoidable. I couldn't
      find any help with this problem in the spiritual literature,
      just a bunch of useless koans and non-sense. About a year
      ago I had a break-through and my attention stabilized at a
      new position.

      I've studied the literature extensively and I haven't found
      mention of anyone else claiming a perfect understanding
      competition. I wrote up my perspective at
      http://why-compete.org I am curious as to your reactions.
      ___________________________________________________________________

      TERRY MURPHY

      It is often very gratifying to oneself and others to promote
      the idea of a 'healthy ego,' by which term we are referring
      to self-esteem. People like to be stroked and often form
      mutual stroking societies, or will pay people or reward them
      in other ways for giving them believable flattery.
      People may even develop vested interests in such self esteem
      efforts and conditioning, and will develop all sorts of
      encouragements and even entire philosophies to justify what
      they are doing. Thus they may argue passionately for such
      views.

      DAN

      Thanks for your thoughts on self-esteem and truth.

      What you described here doesn't seem to be self-esteem,
      rather insecurity stroking insecurity to construct the image
      of self-esteem.
      True self-esteem doesn't require constant stroking, although
      is able to give and receive appreciation as appropriate.
      So, we have a culture in which image is everything and
      insecurity is rampant, not a culture of genuine
      self-esteem. Self-esteem allows oneself to recognize
      awareness and expression of awareness as intrinsically
      worthwhile.
      It is the recognition of "I am" as in and of itself
      positive, or to say it more nondualistically, as not
      negative nor negatable.
      The self-esteem with the small "s" will end for the
      Self-esteem with the big "S" to become apparent, but they
      are not unrelated.
      Negative self-esteem, and I think this was implied in many
      of your other remarks, is clearly an impediment to
      expressing the Awareness with no negation. It is the
      internalized sense that one's awareness and expression of
      that, is not okay, and inherently not of value. All of our
      efforts, to which you allude, designed to promote the image
      of "healthy self-esteem" reflect the insecurities of a
      culture breeding rampant negative self-esteem. I view this
      problem as transcultural - a world-wide problem.

      A person does need belief and strength to question the
      assumptions that maintain the stereotypes, expectations, and
      preoccupations of a culture. Call this individuality,
      strength of self, or the inherent power of awareness - it
      amounts to the same thing (if we don't get stuck in the word
      "self").

      You mentioned the Buddha, and there are many other examples
      of sages that evidenced the strength to challenge
      assumptions and break with the expectations of those around
      them, for example, Jesus, Moses, Socrates, Meister Eckhardt,
      Bodhidharma, Krishnamurti.
      There is a strength to challenge, to withstand, to explore
      openly, to express directly. This strength has to do with
      balance, clarity, responsibility, and the ability to
      persevere. It's not the strength of an image, or an
      egoistic self-preoccupation. All of these teachers showed
      unconstricted individuality - call it Self-esteem, strength
      of Self, or if not liking the word "Self", call it the
      courage to be unique and say what needs to be said.

      The non-individual being expresses through individuation and
      courageous uniqueness. This only seems like a contradiction
      or paradox. It makes perfect sense. The attempt to lose
      individuality, to repress uniqueness, to conform, is as much
      an impediment to discovery and expression of That as is the
      need to promote one's identity, the aggressive ego, and
      narcissistic self-glorification.
      After all, "don't hide your light beneath a bushel basket".
      -- Love --
      ____________________________________________________________________
      After interacting with this list for the past several days
      and meditating at other times I feel so drained and weary.
      Is this similar to what I have heard of Zen where the mind
      becomes so tired it just gives up?

      --Peace, neo

      Now that is something I will never know :-), having given up
      before membership of lists. Be careful in giving up though
      :-) Once started, that will "run on its own accord" until
      all "human issues" have become non-issues and you'll unsub
      because nothing remains to respond to...

      --Jan

      If you're still asking, you're not drained and weary enough
      yet. It seems that in some point in inquiry, you realize
      you really don't know a damnable thing about anything at
      all. So keep interacting and keep meditating :-)

      Love, Tim G.

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