#3289 - Sunday, September 14, 2008
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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3289, Sunday, September 14, 2008
The greatest Guru is helpless as long as the disciple is not eager to learn. Eagerness and earnestness are all-important. Confidence will come with experience. Be devoted to your goal - and devotion to him who can guide you will follow. If your desire and confidence are strong, they will operate and take you to your goal, for you will not cause delay by hesitation and compromise.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to AlongTheWay
The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands.
Robert Pirsig, posted to Distillation
Would You Bow?
If the Friend rose inside you, would you
bow? Would you wonder where that one
came from and how? If you say, "I will
bow," that's important. If you answer,
"But can I be sure?" it will keep the
meeting from happening, as busy people
rush there and back here murmuring, Now
I know; no, I don't know now. Have you
seen a camel with its eyes covered turn
and walk one way, then turn another?
Be silent and revolve with no will.
Don't raise your hand to ask anything.
Holy one, sitting in the body's well
like Joseph, a rope is there in front
of you. Lift your hand to that! A
blind man has bought you for eighteen
counterfeit coins. Empty metal cups
bang together, and the full moon slides
out of hiding. Make one sound, please!
You are the precious hyacinth that the
sickle will spare, not the wheat plant
Adam ate. I remind you with these poems
to dress in the flower of God's qualities,
not your torn robe of self-accusation.
- Rumi, Ghazal (Ode) 2938, version by Coleman Barks, with Nevit Ergin, The Glance, posted to Sunlight.
It Is Time to Wake Up!
Hey you, parrot! speaking in riddles,
Sugar wouldn't melt in your mouth!
Clear your head so your heart will be happy,
And then mimic the words of the Beloved!
To everyone who walks by, you have given mixed messages;
For God's sake, tell us something we don't know.
O Winebringer, throw some of Your best wine in our face,
For it is time to wake up!
What chord was it last night that the Minstrel played
That caused the drunk and the pious both to dance?
What drug did You put in their cups
That caused them to lose both their hats and their heads?
Not even to Alexander the Great would Your lovers give the Wine of Life;
He hadn't the power or the gold for that price.
Today, treason is the currency of the world,
But compared with Love, even alchemy has lost its flash.
Come, and listen to our stories of pain;
Even with few words, the truth is still there.
O Lord, don't tell our secrets to those who don't drink;
One cannot give a picture on the wall Your enlightened touch.
To a millionaire, money is the standard of the world;
Hafiz says: O beggars, I have exchanged all my money for these poems!
Hafiz, English version by Thomas Rain Crowe
It is impossible to describe the sense of magnificence that comes out of the true apperception of the nature of the individual in relation to the manifestation. The loss of personal individuality is exchanged for the gain of Totality of the cosmos.
- Ramesh Balsekar, posted to ANetofJewels
This Amazing Opportunity
Let's remember why we're here at retreat: for this amazing opportunity to really look into the core of our own existence, the core of life itself that is so easy to overlook. It's so easy not to pay attention to it, because it's not noisy and it's not clamoring for attention like all the other aspects of the human mind. Egoic consciousness is always pretending to be the most important thing that is happening.
And yet there's this thread, this sense of something other than, deeper than, more real than, more essential than this scattered and divided noise that so many human beings live in, in their minds. And right in the midst of all that, there is a presence, there is an awareness, an unconditioned awareness, an unconditioned consciousness. Right in the middle of this conditioned mind, conditioned consciousness, is this shining, unconditioned essence. Essence doesn't mean a little part hidden somewhere in us, the little teeny kernel of essence. Essence means the totality, the whole thing. Essence means the truth of you as opposed to the untruth of you.
Essence isn't a small thing, essence is an immense thing. The essence of you is everything you ever see, taste, touch, and experience. Everywhere you go, every step you take, every breath you take is actually happening by the essence, of the essence, in the essence, and to the essence. All the rest is noise and chatter.
So we come here to give our attention, our affection, our time. Our most highly prized commodity is our time. Anything or anyone you give your time to shows immediately what is most important. And I want to remind everyone that what you really are, what the person next to you is, what the children in Africa scraping up the little grains of rice are, this timeless essence, is not hidden. It's not hidden at all. It's in plain view. Everywhere you look, that's the essence. And the mind would say, "Where? Where? I don't see it. All I see is a car, a billboard, a tree, the person in front of me, the funny man on the stage. Where is this essence?"
It's easy to grasp for it, isn't it? "Where is it? What is it? I want to understand it. I want to know about it. How can it work for me? How can I utilize it?" But it doesn't come upon us through the grasping of it, through the striving for it, and through the struggling for it. There's no merit gained through wasted effort, through excess struggle. There are no merit points for the people who drove themselves the craziest along the way to self-realization. For most people it's so obscure that it seems very intuitive to grasp and to struggle instead of relaxing, not grasping, letting something come to you, letting the truth of your being reveal itself to you on its terms, in its way, letting it happen.
It will happen. It's always happening. It's always trying to show itself.