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Digest: July 3, 1999

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  • umbada@xx.xxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx)
    This is a digest of the best posts of July 3, from the Nonduality Salon. Relevant URL s are at the bottom of this post. In this Digest you ll meet Aleks and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 4, 1999
      This is a digest of the 'best' posts of July 3, from the
      Nonduality Salon. Relevant URL's are at the bottom of this
      post. In this Digest you'll meet Aleks and read of few of
      her posts from a deep heart; the one on Grapes of Wrath is
      especially stunning, in my opinion.

      Also there is a report from Petros who is 'on the road' and
      gives his report of Satsang with Neelam, which he wrote at a
      cybercafe in Hollywood.

      Five or six nondualists take on universal sorrow. And a few
      other gems will be found in the jewel box.



      Marcia wrote:
      The universality of that kind of pain.
      It is global. The entire planet was covered in this
      mass of suffering. She was groaning from the weight
      of it. All of her children moment by moment birthing,
      dying, wave after wave of suffering both on the in
      breath and the out breath. This was her breathing.
      At that moment I was closer to mother earth than
      her breathing and as a mother I could feel her
      children's suffering and the sorrow it brought to her.
      All I wanted was to help her. So sorrow is.......
      "doing us" "being us" - *is* our knowing,
      experiencing, feeling -- exactly as we *are.*

      Ivan: Yes, I also feel that there is universal sorrow.
      The fuel in form of suffering, that somehow binds
      man to madness.

      Xan: Yes. This is the Core Wound we were
      talking about a little time ago, and that
      Saniel Bonder addresses. The essential
      grief over the imagined loss of our Self
      and in that, the loss of communion with
      other life forms - each other.

      This delusion of separation is madness
      and its distortions show up in many ways.

      Dan: I felt moved by Marcia's expression of an awareness of
      suffering. To me, this is not to be dismissed as an
      illusion, or simply
      the mourning of an illusory loss. Because it isn't "just an
      illusion," no religion has, or ever will have a "final
      answer." Because there is no final answer, there is only
      moving through... The peace is in the present awareness.
      Genuine compassion addresses suffering with empathic
      resonance. Dismissing the suffering as "illusory" brings
      comfort to the one who considers self beyond suffering, but
      no assistance to the "deluded" one who believes he or she
      suffers. Thus, terming suffering illusory, although an
      attempt to express nonduality, breeds duality and distance
      in practice. Thus, the distance between the "untouchables"
      and the Brahmins. The one who has lost a child, the
      thousands whose lives are rent by wars, those who suffer due
      to malnutrition, and on and on... consoling oneself that
      none of this really "exists" is only satisfactory to a point
      -- beyond that point we recognize ourselves as participants
      in the situation, doing the best we can....

      Ivan: Yes. Sorrow is real -- real energy -- that may be
      missused somehow
      -- words are failing me -- but dam real... No matter how
      mistaken or not
      people are, the effects, the results are all around us.....

      TimG: A question for all involved in this thread: Where do
      you put your attention?

      The Astavakra Gita states "As you think, so you are." By
      focusing on
      "universal sorrow" or "the core wound" of humanity, which
      can never be
      remedied except through the abnegation of ego, you place
      attention on
      something without an "external" solution. Why?

      Perhaps instead of discussing this "universal sorrow," it
      might be a good idea to discuss changing ourselves... as J.
      Krishnamurti has said often, "We are the world, we are all
      of humanity." Change yourself, and the world will change to
      reflect it.

      Marcia: I would say that most of us don't put our attention
      anywhere for more than a few seconds at best.
      We think we do and that is the biggest illusion of
      all. Our attention is sucked into everything almost
      every second of our lives.

      I work with putting my attention on the sensation in
      my body and the coming and going of my breath.

      I would much rather be able to really feel than to think.
      Not feel in the sense of all my petty grievances and blaming
      but feel as a living, breathing person in touch with all my
      humanity and compassion. I want to feel the sorrow of
      a mother who loses her child. I want to touch the wounds
      of the wounded. I was to give water to an aging man.
      I want to be alive. I want to share in the birth of a child.

      By the way you can't remedy the core wound. It is life.

      TimG: Life is not a wound. Life is wholeness, pure
      Divinity, Satchitananda. It's sad that you feel that life
      itself is a wound.

      A life with no history. No mission or

      Damned scary stuff.


      No history = no agenda = no (psychological) fear



      Talking about androgynous masters, it is necessary to meet
      them. The following is from a web page:

      "Shunyata (sometimes 'Sunyata' or 'Shunya') is one of the
      most unusual people in this book. He never advertised
      himself and always said that he was not a teacher. He came
      from no lineage and left no successor. Yet he affected many
      people (while making no effort to do so). One of them
      compared him to a Chinese landscape painting in that he
      implied so much more than he said."

      For the rest, please go to




      The following was posted as a humor piece in response to
      something Tim G. had written. The reaction it received was
      warranted. And something positive has come out of it: Some
      amazing posts by Aleks; see especially the one on
      Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. I'm only including the first
      few lines of my original post:

      Jerry wrote:
      Hi this is Howard Sternanda. I'm telling you, you've never
      been to satsang until you've been to lesbian satsang. In the
      studio Shri Mata damata da wuts da mata...

      Aleks wrote:

      greetings from queerville.
      i'm a lurker on this list from time to time, and enjoy the
      humor, the truth and *that* which we all are here.

      i'd like to know what the post above was about. i mean, if
      there is going to be a discussion about gays, lesbians,
      transsexuals and bisexuals it could be informative and not
      just a joke. seriously, many mystics for ages have been
      homosexual--including many of the people that are quoted on
      this list. and there is an interesting nondual topic in
      the fact of androgyny.

      humor sometimes perpetuates hate-- well intended or not. i
      hope this was not ill intended. nonduality as a way of
      perceiving is an end to racism, classism and homophobia,

      and we're not really funny. we're here. we're queer. and
      we're that.
      sister aleks, jr.


      no, "i " cannot be offended. no need to apologize.
      when it comes right down to it, we all know that
      i am not male
      i am not female
      i am not gay
      i am not not-gay.
      but as a person who lives in the world, i do things. one of
      which is to be a little voice for the marginalized forms of
      god who walk among us. duality is one of the reasons that
      this brand of humor is "funny." i just make it my business
      to point out the separatism where i see it arise.
      i am
      not offended.
      understand that we can only laugh at ourselves. and i
      understood the big cosmic joke a long time ago. the truly
      funny thing is it was my forced separation from my spiritual
      community because of my homosexuality that caused me to look
      inside for what was real. so i am grateful for being an
      "outsider." alone, alienated, my heart opened up and there
      is unquantifiable peace and love.

      i am an adult, and i love my self --i have spent years in
      solitude, and have achieved a peace that i cannot and would
      not attempt to put into words. however, there are suicides
      amongst the younger marginalized folks every day. some of
      whom don't "get" the joke. how "innocent" were the kidding
      remarks that led to the columbine and springfield
      tragedies? i speak in love for the dead, the unborn, and
      the innocent who are facing a world which tells them they
      are not welcome to participate equally. one of the big
      ways this message is conveyed is through "innocent" words.

      words. if we must use them, we must stop for a moment
      before putting them out there.

      is all i am saying.


      it cannot. reconcile. words cannot. reconcile.
      there is nothing to change.
      there is only the self.
      but words can point the way in
      to being the self.
      the same marginalized communities that hear words of love,
      need words of truth.
      and then
      one day they need no words at all.
      instant enlightenment is rare-- many need words and
      but they are
      just words and phrases.



      to you who are truth, as i have expressed in previous posts,
      it has been interesting to note the number of mystics and
      realizers that emerge from the marginalized of society. i
      speak to you as a homosexual person, but do not wish to
      limit a discussion along these lines to a specific
      marginalized "group," but wish to include all outsiders.

      There's a wealth of evidence and writing, and a myriad of
      approaches, so to narrow it down and to dive right in , i
      offer a few seeds from John
      Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath." I choose this book, as i
      think it may be one that most are familiar with.

      A nondual reading of this book suggests a spiritual
      migration from concern for individual ego to a realization
      of the *one.* The *that* which lasts. The migrants are
      outsiders. They are stripped of identity, and must shed
      tradition and even their own definitions of sin and
      holiness. It is my opinion that a divine unity is
      portrayed in these characters, and that this is what
      Steinbeck was trying to convey. in terms of "oversoul," he
      out-emerson'd the monistic emerson.

      check out Casy, the former preacher. he has realized his
      own hypocrasy in the church and turned to nature, where he
      finds the formless god:

      "'Maybe,' I figgered, 'maybe it's all men an' all women we
      love; maybe
      that's the Holy Sperit--the human sperit--the whole
      shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever'body's a part
      of.'" (p. 24)

      Casy is an outsider. His separation from his community is
      self directed, but it is from a sense that he doesn't
      belong. here is Casy's expression of his "unification:"

      "There was hills, an' there was me, an' we wasn't separate
      no more. We was one thing. An' that one thing was holy."
      (p. 88)

      in them there hills, a "guru" is born. He tells Tom Joad
      that "there ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. there's
      just stuff people do.." (p. 24) Tom is an outsider. Not
      just a migrant, but just out of prison. He learns from Casy
      and begins to realize some stuff for himself, even defending
      Casy like a good devotee. Casy tries to tell a service
      station owner why he thinks everyone's moving, and the owner
      dismisses Casy, saying , "Yeah, but what's it coming to?"
      (p.138) Tom, in defense says:

      "Casy tries to tell ya an' you jest ast the same thing over.
      . . . You ain't askin' nothin'; you're jus' singin a kinda
      song." (p. 138-9)

      Tom realizes the unreality of the song, and eventually
      carries on in the
      spirit of Casy's vision. The migrants, in short, become a
      collective soul here in steinbeck's vision:

      "For here, 'I lost my land' is changed; a cell is split and
      from its
      splitting grows the thing you hate--'we lost our land.'"
      (p. 165)

      and from that grows?
      there never was any land.
      there is only the self.
      anyone who is excluded is at risk. at risk of sadness,
      self-destruction-- or better
      at risk of finding the true self.

      The above is a brief look at a rich, rich book. Words that
      had great reverb
      within me-
      Hardship, ignorance, random acts of nature, and hatred shove
      some of us out the door, off of our land, out of religious
      orders and on and on. The way we choose to "see" these
      events can change everything.

      Look out: you see the "perpetrators", and you give strength
      to their words and acts. you eat them. you become them.

      Look within: here is that which always is. always was.
      that which is
      beyond words but annihilates suffering. eat blessed
      nothin! become nothin.'

      and that nothing is everything.

      Can somebody call you a name?
      I must first ask, "Who am i?"
      What is it that lasts when seeming all has been denied to my

      i suspect that a great number of *seekers* have been shoved
      out one door or the other. i'd like to, from time to time,
      drop in with some fellow
      outsiders-- those who found their way inward to the truth.
      'cause i care.
      i wish to share the grateful heart with all.

      sister aleks


      the androgynous individual has been seen as sacred in
      many societies and cultures. embodying fertility and power,
      an uncommon
      unity within one body. seen as including both sexes , but

      the native americans continue to revere the "berdache,"
      basically a male
      shaman in drag, although revered in a more limited way than
      in the past.
      androgynous individuals are given, in some cultures, very
      special spiritual functions which are seen as necessary to
      the survival of the group. (on a practical, survivalist
      note here--imaging if 10 percent of the population, in other
      words all the homosexuals) got up this morning and decided
      to have a couple of kids. how would our planet sustain
      this? )

      it's interesting the amount of homophobia that comes from
      institutions, although this is, relatively speaking, a
      rather recent
      development. i would guess this stems in part from the
      conformity that has become so important in our society.
      anything different is seen as "wrong."

      i have to think sometimes, that it is disturbing to people
      not to be able to easily classify everything. i must say
      that, as a 40 year old woman who looks like a twenty
      something guy, and who is called "sir" on a regular basis,
      there is an extreme discomfort level in this confusion on
      the part of the perceiver. my appearance is in part due to
      biology-- there are people who are born with different
      chromosones than your average male/ female, and i know many
      who are true hemaphrodites. most of whom won't even talk
      about it, it's such a stigma, even to some extent in the gay
      community. but this topic, and your statements lead me to
      believe you interested in the internalization of
      male/female, which is something that interests me even
      more. after all-- i am not this body. (but, have to admit
      that being called "sir" has a certain charge of societal
      power to it that i just don't get from "ma'am"-- anyway:)!!!
      ) but what are the qualities of male/female
      unified/transcended? is it quantifiable? i think you may be
      dead-on with saying it is "existence itself." i do think
      it's something we can discuss, or at least "prattle"

      consider the transsexual, who feels they are in the wrong
      sexed body. would this be a person who possesses divine
      traits, but due to societal pressure has been driven to self
      alteration? i know it goes deeper than this, but from my
      point of view, the body is not ultimately important. open
      minds can have this discussion, and i feel confindent that
      there are many of those here.

      what is this male and female that contain and transcend a
      godlike power? i often hear statements about men being
      rational and women being emotional-- about men being warlike
      and women being nurturing. do you think there is any basis
      for this, or are these more societal constructs? men are
      physically stronger in upper body tasks. women have the
      potential to have more lower body strength, but women have
      to "work out" eight times as long as men to achieve the same
      muscle mass. as far as qualities-- i know some men who have
      possess what --imho-- are the worst of "feminine" qualities,
      and some women who become "nightmare" men. what do you
      think is shiva/ shakti??-- because, i agree, i think that is
      the key to this discussion. i agree about Krishnamurti,
      and others, like yogananda. .. to me it isn't so much an
      appearance thing, but a quality which "i " project on them.
      but what is it, this androgeny?

      sounds like we could get into a discussion about tantra as
      well, something i, truthfully, know little about. look
      forward to hearing to any reaction, if any, or not.
      happy independence day. again. :)

      thanks, tim.
      love to all,
      sister aleks


      The following was sent by Petros (Peter Lima):

      Hi all.

      I'm typing this from the CyberJava cafe on
      Hollywood & LaBrea. The meter's running so I'll be quick.

      I attended the Living Satsang day in Ojai with
      Neelam. Neelam is truly a wonderful woman. She is very
      open and helpful with her teachers. As many of you
      know, Neelam is a disciple of Poonjaji (Papaji.) She
      rents a small house with a garden in Ojai which she
      shares with her husband Ashoka and an assistant, Nirvan.

      About 15 people participated in the living
      satsang day which consisted of sitting meditations, movement
      and some work around the house and in the garden. (I
      volunteered to type in some boring legal stuff on
      the computer, as well as to revise a written
      interview with Neelam.) Lunch and dinner was prepared by
      participants and Neelam. In the evening there
      was an open discussion about finding some sort of more
      permanent location for building a spiritual
      community, which Neelam is very much interested in. We
      tossed a lot of ideas around but no decisions were
      reached. (I suggested that an island would be really neat,
      but Neelam asked how are we supposed to get people

      But I said it was to keep people from *leaving*,
      ha-ha . . . )

      Last week I had the privilege of seeing Ammachi
      (Ma Amritanandamayi) in L.A. at a hotel convention
      center. She is quite a powerful and loving presence. She
      did not speak but sang with the disciples at one
      point. To be honest, I was a little annoyed as there
      were several people offering lengthy testimonials
      about Ma's wondrous miracles and the influence She had
      on their lives. These testimonies were quite boring
      to me -- sort of like being in church. I don't need
      to be "sold" on Ma, especially when she's sitting
      right there in front of us. I would have preferred
      silent satsang just having her darshan, but oh well.

      Thursday night I attended satsang with Sri Mataji of
      Sahaja Yoga. She initiated about 300 people into her
      version of kundalini yoga. She called it 'self
      realization,' but what the heck. Sri Mataji received
      a commendation from the Office of the Mayor of Los
      Angeles (Richard Riordan) for her many years of work
      for human rights.

      In a couple hours I will be going to see
      Sri Sivaya Subramuniswami at the Bodhi Tree Bookstore
      on Melrose. Subramuniswami, despite his Sanskrit name, is
      American who was one of the first Westerners to
      bring neo-Vedanta to the U.S. back in the 1960s, and
      now has a thriving ashram in Hawaii. He founded the magazine
      "Hinduism Today" and has written many books, most
      recently the huge _Dancing with Siva_. I hope to have
      a chance to ask him why he feels it is necessary to
      completely adopt the Hindu lifestyle and ritualism in this

      Personal news:

      Still in the process of talking to the folks at
      Bodhi Tree about using their annex for satsang later
      this month. I am also going to be getting some
      headshots and hopefully obtain agent representation in order
      to get work as an extra. The main goal is simply to get
      a little exposure in preparation for more extensive
      teaching and counselling work.

      I now have a cell phone and Sprint nationwide
      digital service. As soon as I can get a cable and
      cellular modem I will be able to access my e-mail more
      regularly and will have more updates at that
      time. These cybercafes are expensive.


      Time to take a long stroll on the deserted beach... out in
      front of the Salon.

      Close enough to still hear the 'music', without the 'din' of
      conversations. :-)

      ( /\ ) Namaste,



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