I offer to you all this Buddhist Sastra.
Po Lun San Mei Lu (Vietnamese: Bao Vuong Tam Muoi Sastra)
(1) While meditating on the body, do not hope or pray
to be exempt from sickness. Without sickness, desires and
passions can easily arise.
(2) While acting in society, do not hope or pray not to have any
difficulties. Without difficulties, arrogance can easily arise.
(3) While meditating on the mind, do not hope or pray not to
encounter hindrances. Without hindrances, present knowledge
will not be challenged or broadened.
(4) While working, do not hope or pray not to encounter
obstacles. Without obstacles, the vow to help others will not
(5) While developing a plan, do not hope or pray to achieve
success easily. With easy success, arrogance can easily arise.
(6) While interacting with others, do not hope or pray to gain
personal profit. With the hope for personal gain, the spiritual
nature of the encounter is diminished.
(7) While speaking with others, do not hope or pray not to be
disagreed with. Without disagreement, self-righteousness can
(8) While helping others, do not hope or pray to be paid. With
the hope of remuneration, the act of helping others will not be
(9) If you see personal profit in an action, do not participate
in it. Even minimal participation will stir up desires and
(10) When wrongly accused, do not attempt to exonerate yourself.
Attempting to defend yourself will create needless anger and
(11) The Buddha spoke of sickness and suffering as effective
medicines; times of difficulties and accidents as times of
freedom and realization; obstacles as liberation; the army of
evil as the guards of the Dharma; difficulties as required for
success; the person who mistreats ones as one's good friend;
one's enemies as an orchard or garden; the act of doing someone
a favor as base as the act of casting away a pair of old shoes;
the abandonment of material possessions as wealth; and being
wrongly accused as the source of strength to work for justice.
I am sitting here listening to my friend's strong and steady respirations as
he struggles with a narcotics overdose that he deliberately ingested. And I
wonder if I am sitting a death watch or a life watch. He has made me promise
not to call an ambulance if he should ever decide that he prefers the peace
of forever sleep to the daily unending agony of his broken back. Is that an
unholy covenant? I do not know as I sit here if it is more loving to hold
him and whisper that he is loved while he sits in God's hand or to force him
back to the trauma of the emergency room 100 miles away to face his life
again in which he perceives, and maybe correctly so, that he has no options.
It is a twilight zone this space between life and death, where the rules no
longer apply. And I wonder how the list will respond to this post.
I will let my friend make his peace with God in his own way. Perhaps he is
on a vision quest and will find at last the pieces that no one can show him
or tell him about....but that are there for him nonetheless. Grace comes in
many ways and love in many forms......
Posted with permission from Thomas Murphy.. originally posted to his
Contemplate the silent eye
abiding within the maelstrom
of sensation and recollection,
pleasure and pain,
desire and fear
that comprises personal reality.
When the gravity of awareness
shifts from a peripheral locus
to the universally present black hole
that resides at the core of experience,
everything is inexplicable,
nothing is thought to have happened before,
experience is unambiguous unknowing,
the din of endless explanation
and embarrassed self-justification
Witness symphonic experience
harmonized with thundering silence.
It is not that there is no associative memory.
Without that one could not function on this plane.
But recollection emerges of itself--
a face growing familiar
in the infinite mists of the unknown.
Despite presumed intervention by an imagined individual--
differentiation of self from other--
there is no real harbor for credit or blame.
Personal points of view
are hosted by a single-point-of-origin--
the nexus of all points of view.
As everything is caused
by the totality of experience.
nothing is caused by anything else.
Everything is equal.
Nothing is more important
than anything else.
Thanks for this great message! I'm going to wait a little to reply
because about 2/3 of it is outside my experience, I don't have any
scholastic background in it, and the vocabulary is a little foreign to
me; so I don't know exactly how to approach it. However, I am
interested and I want to learn.
Oh dear, Larry... then I have not done a very effective job of
communicating have I? Your question was about 'Presence'. To know
Presence you do not need scholastic background or vocabulary. Feel free
to ask for clearer explanation if you'd like, but essentially the part
of my post which I would like you to hear is this:
"You ask me to organize and spell out what Presence is. I can only say
that Presence is the absence of organization and linguistic sculpting.
It is what we are when all such effort is laid down. Names may appear
which give some flavor.. Holy Spirit, Atman, Living One... but even
those have to be interpreted and the very act of interpretation causes a
ripple in Presence."
Learning is mostly a matter of osmosis, seems to me. Whatever is
out there comes in. Eventually I'll get it but it may take some time.
Larry, my last statement to you was "I love your Presence".
There is no 'out there' to come in and ironically no 'getting' or
'time'. There is Now .. this Present moment and what shines forth
through us when we get out of It's way. I have had a slogan on my desk
for years.. "it's a full time job to mind my own business". How I've
worked with that phrase is a remembrance that what calls me has been a
witnessing of what passes through my mind and a subsequent stilling and
eventual release of it's absolute bondage. My business is the return to
the Sacred Heart.
My 'practice' has been one of return to the heart.. again and again in
gratitude, in reverence, in surrender, in emptying, in openness. All the
rest is just play.. maybe high play, because rituals and perspectives
can help the clearing, but in the end it is *only* this resting in Being
which is my teacher.
I'm interested in the quality of sacredness both as a private and
shared experience. The nondual teachings hint at this but don't
discuss it much; maybe because discussion obscures it. However, I
think you have to advertise a little or it will be lost.
So am I, very much so. I also want to distinguish between sacredness
and sentimentality. Often they are confused. Sometimes 'advertised'
events fall in the later category. They can be useful.. one does have to
do something with one's time.. but they also often keep one stuck in
'ideas' of sacredness. Sacredness is perceivable when the eye of the
heart is opened. Look around you.. become awed by the beauty everywhere.
That is Presence.
That's all I can say for now, except please continue; maybe with
a flashing neon sign and a big arrow that says STEP HERE.
How about a small point of light which says rest here.. you are
thank you for your clear and Present Heart.
by Thich Nhat Hanh
The bell tolls at four in the morning.
I stand by the window,
barefoot on the cool floor.
The garden is still dark.
I wait for the mountains and rivers to reclaim their shapes.
There is no light in the deepest hours of the night.
Yet, I know you are there
in the depth of the night,
the immeasurable world of the mind.
You, the known, have been there
ever since the knower has been.
The dawn will come soon,
and you will see
that you and the rosy horizon
are within my two eyes.
It is for me that the horizon is rosy
and the sky blue.
Looking at your image in the clear stream,
you answer the question by your very presence.
Life is humming the song of the non-dual marvel.
I suddenly find myself smiling
in the presence of this immaculate night.
I know because I am here that you are there,
and your being has returned to show itself
in the wonder of tonight's smile.
In the quiet stream,
I swim gently.
The murmur of the water lulls my heart.
A wave serves as a pillow
I look up and see
a white cloud against the blue sky,
the sound of Autumn leaves,
the fragrance of hay-
each one a sign of eternity.
A bright star helps me find my way back to myself.
I know because you are there that I am here.
The stretching arm of cognition
in a lightning flash,
joining together a million eons of distance,
joining together birth and death,
joining together the known and the knower.
In the depth of the night,
as in the immeasurable realm of consciousness,
the garden of life and I
remain each other's objects.
The flower of being is singing the song of emptiness.
The night is still immaculate,
but sounds and images from you
have returned and fill the pure night.
I feel their presence.
By the window, with my bare feet on the cool floor,
I know I am here
for you to be.
This poem is about an insight related to
vijnanavada. It is a difficult poem, fit to
be explained in a course on vijnanavada.
You are there for me, and I am here for
you. That is the teaching of interbeing.
The term interbeing was not yet used
at that time. Although we think of the
Avatamsaka when we hear the term
interbeing, the teaching of interbeing
also has its roots in vijttanavada,
because in vijnanavada, cognition
always includes subject and object
together. Consciousness is always
consciousness of something.
>From 'Call Me by My True Names'The collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh
"A problem in design."
-- Robert Lax (from 33 Poems, 1987)
Put your hands together if you love this poem!
me a crayon!
thanks for r. lax poem, they are few
and far between...
It's already in your hand!
Let 'er rip, gen!
The dissapointment I'm talking about is a sudden thing.
It's like getting a shot. It pinches for a moment. And something else
here too is that if you are happy in your search and with your
"spiritual" life, that is fine, but I have no business with you then. My
business is with those who are beginning to see their failure with it
all. And if I can make a difference at all, it's with them. Those with
ears, let them hear.
We speak such different languages. I do not see myself as in
a 'search' nor having a 'spritual life' to be happy or fail within.
Well that is where we differ. My life was an intense search.
Because of a prior transcendent experience back in 1973. My life was
forever changed then. From that moment there was no question in my
mind whatsoever that I belonged to God. I belonged to something bigger,
much BIGGER. My life was given over to it. I spent the next 24 years
involved in my failure of it. There wasn't a day that went by that I did
not feel it, my failure.
And I tried very hard, because I did not want to fail. I studied and
with several teachers. Stephen being my last. I wanted enlightenment,
short would do. And I certainly never with the teachers that I worked
with, ever said to them, "nah, I'm not searching". Search was written
all over my face. I suffered it and there certainly was no hiding it. No
wonder the first time I sat with Da in that crowded room, that his head
snapped back and he did a double take on me. There was no hiding what I
was about. I was about God. So much so, that it put him into tears just
looking at me. My other teacher, Emile, now that I think about it, did
the same thing, he sat there with me and tears streamed down his face.
Now I'm not saying that you have to be like me in order to come to
realization of yourself, and of God. But I am saying that there has to
be a certain intensity, a certain renunciation, a love and desire for
God that is undeniable. And no kidding around about it. What I mean is,
you are either searching or you are not. This is not about hobby for
betterment, no matter how bad or how good your life is and no matter how
many emotions you can summon up either way. This is about transcendence.
It's not about how much information you can stick in your head or about
how you happen to feel about it. God doesn't give a shit how you feel
You can scream your bloody head off and you'll still die.
"Understanding" is the key.
Congratulations on your first day of
editing the NDHighlights. You did a
Thanks Melody.. it was fun.. and intense.. interesting process.
If I may, a question arose as I read your response to Larry:
(***Christiana to Larry:
You ask me to organize and spell out what Presence is. I can
only say that Presence is the absence of organization and linguistic
sculpting. It is what we are when all such effort is laid down.)
I think I understand what you're saying here, but I'm wondering.....
Are poems and posts that are beautifully sculpted...linguisticly, and
posts such as the NDhighlights...which are not only organized,
but sculpted, as well....are these then works in which Presence is
I think I understand your question Melody. I was not
implying that Presence can not be known through language. Most of my
teachers have come through books. I meant that words and ideas have
taken me so far and the meeting of Presence is never through an idea...
still, the ideas have shored the flow of the burgeoning river. The river
appears to be overtaking the shored banks.. aaah.. less binding.
Another question arises in this context: Can we recognize
Presence by the fruit it bears?
And 'who' recognizes Presence?
This question resonates with Tim H's question earlier about
the voice and the echo. I have not used that biblical lens, but I
suppose it bears considering. I have not been particularly looking to
recognize. Presence shows up and is recognized as flavor, texture,
energy, sound, movement, spaciousness. Who is recognizing.. good
thanks for asking.. pointing
love to you Melody,