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#2670 - Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee

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  • Gloria Lee
    #2670 - Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee The Nondual Highlights When you behold the void nature of Mind, Analyze it not as one or many Lest
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      #2670 - Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee


      The Nondual Highlights
       
       
      When you behold the void nature of Mind,
      Analyze it not as one or many
      Lest you fall into the void-of-annihilation!
      Son, rest yourself without wandering thoughts.

      --Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa
       

       
      It is essential that our understanding be translated into practice, not with
      an idealistic vision that we suddenly will become totally loving and
      compassionate, but with a willingness to be just who we are and to start
      from there. Then our practice is grounded in the reality of our
      experience, rather than based on some expectation of how we should be.
      But we must begin. We work with the precepts as guidelines for
      harmonizing our actions with the world; we live with contentment and
      simplicity that does not exploit other people or the planet; we work with
      restraint in the mind, seeing that it's possible to say no to certain
      conditioned impulses, or to expand when we feel bound by inhibitions and
      fear; we reflect on karma and the direction of our lives, where it is
      leading and what is being developed; we cultivate generosity and love,
      compassion and service. All of this together becomes our path of
      practice.
       
      --Joseph Goldstein, Seeking the Heart of Wisdom

       
       
      How to make our lives an embodiment of wisdom and compassion is the
      greatest challenge spiritual seekers face. The truths we have come to
      understand need to find their visible expression in our lives. Our every
      thought, word, or action holds the possibility of being a living expression
      of clarity and love. It is not enough to be a possessor of wisdom. To
      believe ourselves to be custodians of truth is to become its opposite, is a
      direct path to becoming stale, self-righteous, or rigid. Ideas and
      memories do not hold liberating or healing power. There is no such state
      as enlightened retirement, where we can live on the bounty of past
      attainments. Wisdom is alive only as long as it is lived, understanding is
      liberating only as long as it is applied. A bulging portfolio of spiritual
      experiences matters little if it does not have the power to sustain us
      through the inevitable moments of grief, loss, and change. Knowledge and
      achievements matter little if we do not yet know how to touch the heart
      of another and be touched.
      --Christina Feldman and Jack Kornfield,
      Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart
       

       
       
      There are three integral factors in Buddhist meditation--morality,
      concentration, and wisdom. Those three factors grow together as your
      practice deepens. Each one influences the other, so you cultivate the
      three of them together, not one at a time. When you have the wisdom to
      truly understand a situation, compassion towards all parties involved is
      automatic, and compassion means that you automatically restrain yourself
      from any thought, word, or deed that might harm yourself or others. Thus
      our behavior is automatically moral. It is only when you don't understand
      things deeply that you create problems. If you fail to see the
      consequences of your own action, you will blunder. The fellow who waits
      to become totally moral before he begins to meditate is waiting for a but
      that will never come. The ancient sages say that he is like a man waiting
      for the ocean to become calm so that he can take a bath.
       

      --Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English

       

      [235] Here's a message for the faithful

      By Han-shan (Cold Mountain)
      (730? - 850?)

      English version by Red Pine (Bill Porter)

      Here's a message for the faithful
      what is it that you cherish
      to find the Way to see your nature
      your nature is naturally so
      what Heaven bestows is perfect
      looking for proof leads you astray
      leaving the trunk to search among the twigs
      all you get is stupid

      -- from The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain, Translated by Red Pine

       
       

      Sisters of Mercy

      Leonard Cohen

      Oh the sisters of mercy,
      they are not departed or gone.
      They were waiting for me
      when I thought that I just can't go on.
      And they brought me their comfort
      and later they brought me this song.
      Oh I hope you run into them,
      you who've been travelling so long.

      Yes you who must leave everything
      that you cannot control.
      It begins with your family,
      but soon it comes around to your soul.
      Well I've been where you're hanging,
      I think I can see how you're pinned:
      When you're not feeling holy,
      your loneliness says that you've sinned.

      Well they lay down beside me,
      I made my confession to them.
      They touched both my eyes
      and I touched the dew on their hem.
      If your life is a leaf that the seasons
      tear off and condemn
      they will bind you with love that is
      graceful and green as a stem.

      When I left they were sleeping,
      I hope you run into them soon.
      Don't turn on the lights,
      you can read their address by the moon.
      And you won't make me jealous
      if I hear that they sweetened your night:
      We weren't lovers like that
      and besides it would still be all right,
      We weren't lovers like that
      and besides it would still be all right.

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