NDS highlights for Saturday, May 13
What I know of Wei Wu Wei is partly hearsay. Born Terence Gray (1895-1986)
in Ireland to landed gentry. He was involved with the wine business. Went
to the Far East in the late 50's/early 60's. Most of his books were
published by Hong Kong University Press. I have a photo from Inner
Directions Journal with him, Douglas Harding and Robert Powell. He had
white hair, a white goatee, was wearing a linen suit and a Panama hat.
Looked kind of like Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. He
liked Madhyamika, the advaita of Krishna Menon, and preferred the crusty
Ch'an of the old Chinese masters to the formalized Zen of Japan. Others
may know more.
Gloria spoke of her fear of death, of leaving
everybody, etc. I understand that. I'm not particularly
afraid of death itself, of dying. In fact, I often
think of my own death. In a way it sort of validates
and strengthens my believes.
It's a very powerful thought, death.
It makes you go to the point, leave all nonsense
aside. But I also understand the sorrow of losing one's
dear ones for ever. I feel it myself. And here it
serves no purpose saying "those who fear death have
never really lived life, or are sublimating a fear of
life". That's trying to invalidate an emotion with an
argument. Perhaps the answer might rather be to see the
positive sides of death, as a liberation that will
luckily come to all, whether they deserve it or not;
and also as a reunion. After all, death is what will
eventually unite us all in our source, free at last of
all misery, bondage, limitations...
One of my best friends is dying of cancer. He's mainly
concerned about his family. Of course it doesn't enter
my mind telling him things like I have just said (he's
an atheist). How can one help? Just by silent company,
It's a powerful thought to maintain the possible presence
of death as a reality, as a means of reminding one:
what life is
how short a time we have to accomplish.... the dream?
When you die, do you loose those dear ones? You loose nothing!
You can't loose what you don't have. The sorrow is part of the
existing dream, when "others" die. It's not easy, that's sure,
but it's part of the walk. When you really see what this "dream"
is, sorrow and pain speak. When you know where they come from,
they fill you like a pristine valley view in sunlight, and motivate
you as they should.
I grew up with a bunch of kids who were well brought up and
had good morals. I'm still in touch with three childhood
friends, a dentist and two CPA's, all still married to the
same women they married in their early twenties. We had good
parents, very middle class upbringings, and religious
We grew up playing stickball, wiffle ball, punch ball, touch
football on the streets of Paterson, New Jersey, and I
remember the bunch of us being kind to 'slow' kids, or kids
who were new and uncoordinated, or very unathletic kids.
I remember one kid, Ferdinand, who had moved from Argentina,
could not speak English and did not understand the ball
games we played. We all loved taking him in and teaching
him. I'll never forget that. We didn't care who won the
I remember a neighbor girl who had severe palsy. She would
come out of the house only a few days in the spring or
summer. Her brother would carry her down the stairs and sit
her in a wheelchair. She would sit there and do nothing but
shake her entire body of bones uncontrollably. It was very
frightening for us young kids. Again, remember, it was the
fifties and such dysfunctions were feared. But we kids would
stop our game, not really caring what the score was or who
was winning, and go visit Penny. We didn't like doing it
because we wanted to play and we were a little afraid of
her, but we were raised to be kind to that child. Our
parents taught us right. They educated us to stop what we
were doing and go visit Penny. And we did.
I remember another new kid, Jack Ajzner, 15 years old, 6
foot 7, from Israel, all the neighborhood kids had to teach
him English. He was pathetically uncoordinated. Of course we
introduced him to the basketball courts right away. He
couldn't play. We'd knock the ball out of his hands, steal
it when he tried to dribble, push him out of the way of
getting rebounds. Quickly we realized he was getting
frustrated and that we were being unkind. So we taught him
the game. Jack made junior varsity basketball for the high
school, but was on the team only for his height. He was
still very uncoordinated. Between his junior and senior year
in high school he went to a basketball camp, and in his
senior year in high school he was now 6 foot 10 and made All
State from Eastside High School in 1966. He went to
University of Cincinatti on a basketball scholarship. All
this can be verified in case you 'don't believe one bit of
These are a couple of stories that come to mind. Lots of
other similar stuff happened. We didn't make a big deal
about it. Were we sometimes cruel to some kids? Yes. We were
cruel to Jack at first. But I believe the story about Shaya
because I've seen it, though the story was no doubt
The Shaya story was about everyday kindness. I believe the
somewhat embellished story because I've witnessed it in
childhood many times over.
[the Shaya story can be read at:
TIM shares some Q & A from Jean Klein:
Q: I am 35 and dying of AIDS. How can I face up to this seemingly
JK: When you say it is not acceptable see in one moment what you mean by
Q: Not just unacceptable for me but also for my family.
JK: See the illness objectively, as if in front of you so that you are not
lost in it. Look at your body as if it belonged to another. Then you will
have a glimpse of freedom from the burden of it, a moment of psychological
space. Become interested in this feeling of freedom, and it will be
effortlessly sustained. It is only from this free perspective that you can
act most correctly. You are not the body, neither the healthy nor the
unhealthy body. So your illness is a gift to come more quickly to realize
what you are not. This attitude, which is not an attitude because it comes
from wholeness, from Life, will stimulate your surroundings, your family
and friends. It will stimulate the Life in them. Knowingly or unknowingly
they will share Life with you and neither you nor they will feel isolated.
This feeling of Life will remain after the disappearance of what you are
not, the physical body. Life is eternal and in it all are in oneness.
There is no illness. Illness is nothing but an accident. In reality there
is only health. The very word, the idea of illness already predisposes you
to being ill, creates it even. As soon as we classify our sensations into
categories so as to name them, our imagination, charged with emotivity,
already very vivid in this field, feeds what we could call a malfunction.
You should never name this malfunction, for this only feeds the imagination
and confirms your illness. This in itself prolongs the malfunction. In my
view, malfunction is a signpost.
Q: Is illness often psychological?
JK: Yes, often. I would say as long as we continue to believe the person
exists, we will encounter psychological problems which produce physical
reactions. The person shuts itself in a stronghold of aggression and
self-defense. This structure is nothing but fear, desire and anxiety. It
is an intricate barrier to the natural flow of life within us. This
natural flow of life can take care of itself perfectly well, it does not
need the person.
Illness, malfunction, result from this opposition.
Q: Does the body heal itself?
JK: A cell became a cell through health. If the cell had no memory of this
state of health, it could not cure itself. It knows itself when healthy
and there is no need to intervene.
One must help the cell to recuperate. The first step is acceptance of the
actual state of the cell, the body. Acceptance means objectifying the
sensation, not trying to escape it, dominate it or suppress it. In this
total acceptance the body regains its health for it already knows health.
From "I AM"
(C) Jean Klein, 1989 (Third Millennium Publications)
The only requirement I know of for enlightenemnet
is failure. You don't have to be an asshole, just a failure.
You could be a failure at being an asshole, that would work too. :-)
I met this guy who had been in and out of prison his whole life and he
got enlightened because he came to the realization that he could never
be a good enough criminal. He was a failure at it. :-) Really pretty
But when you look at it, separateness is really nothing more than
I thought the only requirement was letting go of desire and/or finding
"it". There's lots of failures who don't seem particularly enlightened,
although I agree that conceding defeat relieves one of a certain burden.
Yes, and it gets easier and easier. A person gets more gutsy and
becomes willing to really go into and allow their defeat. Not goofy,
Your heart comes into play. There comes a time when you just have to get
on with it
and defeat is the only place left to go. Chogyam Trungpa had said, "You
head first into your dissapointment." Dissapointment being your best
This is what I'm interested in. It's a path and a practice you're
talking about. It's not just throwing up your hands and wallowing in
self pity. There is a freedom to be realized that is gained by giving up
_skilfully_ and intelligently and courageously. And in one way or
another, there is a free one; but I think it is misleading to say at
some point there is nothing more to give up. The basic teaching, as I
understand it, is that freedom and bondage go together.
Once something has been verified in experience the mind
can store it and then the next time the situation comes up
it does not have to be verified again.
For example, I have verified a certain personality trait
in myself. I have traced it back to it's origins. When
this trait arises in reaction, I don't have to go back
and go through the entire process of ascertaining that
I am not seeing things as they are but as my computer
is telling me they are. I re-member myself. I know this
one. I have stored my understanding.
Also, one can develop a mind habit of vigilance,
to be alert to the habits of mind which are useless
and protective of misidentification. And to stop.
I Like this guy!
Here's a very good article on letting go in meditation by Ajahn
Brahmavamso in the Thai "forrest tradition" speaking from Perth. He
takes it from the beginning all the way into jhana. I'm sure you will
find something you recognize.
from BOB ROSE:
Hi - just thought youse (Philly-talk for Y'all) might enjoy these
additions to the Words of Wisdom section of the Meditation Society of
America's web site, Meditation Station
Although the author is unnamed, I'm pretty sure they can be
to Kir Li Molari.
MIGUEL had written in response to Tim's question,
" If you could really get across one major point
to everyone on the list, what would it be?":
That we are not separate entities, individual
That all personalities, all body-minds, are mere masks,
roles in a play, characters in a film, figures in a
That's what I tried to convey with my litlle story The
Agreed. Do you also see that some of the players are aware that they
are players, and that others are not?
That while some players point to the play as being 'an illusion',
that the aware players, play deliberately? Or alternatively, that
some of the aware players simply stop playing, as a choice?
That while "the play" is not the only play in town, it is where we
stash our chips?
And that when the aware player goes for broke, and loses, that it is
a perfect time to win?
Writing as not just a nobody, but as THE NOBODY
Editor's reminder: Have you called your mother today?