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HIGHLIGHTS - Sunday 23 July 2000

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  • Manchine
    LINK from JERRY: The following was posted to by M to his Bhairava list. Photos of the Ashram are at the following address:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 24, 2000
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      LINK from JERRY:

      The following was posted to by M to his Bhairava list.
      Photos of the Ashram are at the following address:
      http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery.fcgi?p=999&gid=16080&uid=11536

      Also see M's web pages at http://www.nonduality.com/m.htm,
      and the links there.

      Having shared the experience of retreat amongst ourselves,
      perhaps it is worthwhile to hear reports of about other
      spiritual gatherings (not necessarily retreats, as such). I
      have a greater appreciation for such reports, and maybe
      others do as well. If anyone else thinks such reports are of
      value, perhaps they can be sent to the lists.

      Jerry
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---


      Namaste (Bhairava) List,

      I am going to share some of the moments of
      the week at the ashram this year, including Guru Purnima
      and the ground-breaking ceremony on the new Ashram
      property!

      I arrived on Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday and Wednesday were
      spent acclimating myself to the dynamic stillness and the
      early rises, usually around 4:00 a.m. By Thursday I was
      musing to myself as I worked in the garden, that I was in
      considerably less pain than normal, and that I would
      certainly enjoy a walking stick to get me around during the
      tough times that I had with the movement and pain.
      Immediately after I mused this, I looked down at the large
      bush I was pruning, and there under the bush on a concrete
      wall about two feet high was a stick cut from a
      tree--approximately four or four and a half feet high. It
      was perfect in thickness and length, and was strong as
      well. When I asked, no one in the ashram knew anything
      about it at all, and so I had my walking stick. Thursday
      morning was also a delightful chant of, among the other
      daily chants, the Guru Gita with the Satguru,
      Mahamandaleshwar Guruji Nityananda.

      By Friday the atmosphere was charged for the weekend and
      there were people pouring in from Australia, England,
      India, South America and other parts of the U.S. The icing
      on the cake with these types of gatherings is a rich
      cultural experience. One night while staying in the barn,
      myself and an Australian and a couple of others mused over
      the differences in dialects in different English speaking
      Countries. Delightful conversations like this always capped
      the evenings in the Shakti filled barn loft where we
      stayed. The nights in the Barn are magical times for me
      each year.

      Saturday was the intensive. Eight hours of chanting and
      meditating with the Guru! What bliss! What expansiveness of
      Awareness! If any of you had a strange experience or
      feeling on Saturday, that is why, for I had you all in my
      heart, and the Mahashakti has no limitations of time or
      space, indeed She is the root of these.

      Sunday was full of magic and surprises as we attended the
      Yagna fire ceremony at the new property. The Yagna was
      conducted under a tent on undeveloped land, so it was
      important for rain to pass us by lest we wallow in mud all
      day. Two days before the Yagna rain moved in, and the day
      before it was to take place it rained a steady stream all
      day, with more in the forecast for Saturday. A group was
      formed to chant and meditate for these two days at the
      property to invoke the Grace of fair whether.

      What happened next was unbelievable.

      The day of the Yagna, Saturday, we arrived at the tent and
      began to chant the Guru Gita to start the ceremony, which
      was to Lord Ganesh, the Shakti of God which is the Remover
      of Obstacles and Lord of Categories, Arts and Sciences, and
      also to Lord Vastu, the deity or Shakti of the earth. These
      two were the chosen dieties in order to remove obstacles
      and give a fresh beginning with blessings on the new
      property, and to propitiate the spirit of the Earth,
      seeking forgivenes for disturbing the land and asking
      blessings. In fact, there are only a couple of trees which
      have to be removed, everything else was able to be built
      without disturbing a single leaf or plant. But the grass
      and the couple of trees that are going to be disturbed are
      taken very seriously.

      And so as we began to chant the Guru Gita, a hole opens up
      in the sky just above the tent. It got bigger as the
      Brahmin priest chanted over the next hour nonstop, pouring
      oblations into the fire. Beautiful is not the world for the
      ceremony. It was truly magical. Afterwards, we moved down
      to the site where the welcome center/office is going to be
      to conduct the ground breaking puja/ceremony. As the
      ceremony was being conducted, the clouds scattered, leaving
      a five mile wide hole of blue sky just above us, while the
      rest of the region was cloud covered and even raining in
      spots. It was incredible. I even have a picture of the hole
      in the sky, which I will post when I get some of the pics
      scanned.

      So then we retired to the dinner tent where we enjoyed a
      delicious vegetarian supper, and then I coordinated the
      dishwashing at the stream. We got the tough spots of food
      of with ash from the cooks fire. Very simplistic and back
      to earth...I have some great pics of that too. At any rate,
      no sooner than the dishes where done and the major stuff
      packed, then the hole closed up and the rain came. It was
      weird.

      Equally weird was the two events that happened to me that
      day. At the Yagna, I poured myself into the fire, starting
      with the gross elements and working all the way up to the
      Shiva Principle. After the ceremony I was musing on whether
      my misfortune of the last few months was about to change,
      and whether a sign of it would be available. Then the
      Brahmin priest thrusts one of the coconuts from the Ganesh
      Yagna at me and tells me to take it. Now you have to
      understand that coconuts are considered auspicious in
      India, and if a holy man hands it too you, consider
      yourself a blessed person! The other event that was equally
      odd and beautiful was when I was musing on my mala. You
      see, it broke that morning in the barn, and I was thinking
      that the day was perfect except for my broken mala. As soon
      as that thought passed through the mind, a yogi friend of
      mine walks up to me and says "here, a late birthday
      present" and hands me a beautiful new mala!

      It was truly an unforgettable day.

      The days left there at the ashram were spent basking in the
      afterglow of the Shakti from the weekend whilst in the
      company of the Sadguru...

      Finally the day came to leave, and as I went to the barn to
      get my things, one last funny thing happened. You see, I
      had lost my sunglasses the second day after I arrived
      there, and had looked everywhere. In the meantime I had
      built a puja beside my bed with the coconut from the
      brahmin priest and the Ganesh murti I had bought, along
      with a picture of Bhagavan Nityananda. There beside the
      puja sat my sunglasses on the open floor! I had turned that
      area upside down, and could not find them, and yet here
      they were in plain view now.

      Afterthought: When I had bought that Ganesh murti I had
      done so with the last of my money that I was going to use
      to eat with on the way home, thinking that going a few
      hours more without food was a small price to pay for the
      murti. However, after the plane rose to cruising altitude,
      I was amazed to find that they were serving a hot meal on a
      2 1/2 hour flight, something not normally done!

      Lastly, my wife called two days before I left to tell me
      that she had broke her foot and two of her toes. She wanted
      me to tell Guruji about it, so I did. As usual, Guruji
      simply acknowledged that I had spoken with a gentle nod,
      however, upon arriving home my wife and I were amazed to
      find that at the bone specialists office the next morning,
      they wanted new x-rays, and upon looking at them could not
      find the break in the foot or one of the toes. Mysteriously
      now there was only one broken toe and the bruising was
      gone!

      Sagurunath Maharaj Ki Jai
      M


      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      BOB ROSE:

      If you want to know The Answer,
      stop asking the question.

      Kir Li Molari

      Bob Rose
      Meditation Society of America
      www.meditationsociety.com


      HARSHA:
      If you want to know the Answer,
      never be afraid to ask any question!
      Pursue your truth, until you see
      that You are the Truth.
      A spontaneous silence
      is the fragrance of the Self.


      DAN:
      Harsha -
      I enjoy very much reading
      this, resonating...

      When I say,
      "What is it that being present
      has always been present?"

      Am I asking or answering -
      is this a query or
      a statement?

      Who can say???

      Only Silence,
      Dan


      JAN:
      What is an answer but a response to a question,
      what is an answer but a sequence of words and
      what is a valid argument to one is but an excuse
      for egoism to someone else.
      Questions are revealing dissatisfaction and no
      answer can change that. When no more questions arise,
      that is "THE" Answer and no method or system can provide for that :)




      DAN:
      If you ask the question
      fully and deeply,
      then the question itself
      is its own answer.

      where the beginning
      is the end ...

      Silently,
      Dan


      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      ED and GENE

      NDS

      From: "Ed Arrons"
      Subject: Gene/ Ed, your remark

      G: Nice, Ed. What you said, does mean something;
      I am unsure what, but it rings true to me.

      E: Typically the self vacillates between objective
      duality and subjective nonduality according to the
      degree of separation experienced. Within the swings
      is noticed different points of identity according to
      conditioned experience. At the very 'center' is a point
      of non-identification, a 'transcendence point', which
      is the key to Selfhood. <

      E: Thanks for commenting, Gene. Attempt to clarify
      the above follows. Perhaps you can elaborate on what
      is coming through here from your own perspective.

      In this view the self, moving consciously between its
      everyday reality and inner subjectivity, reveals its
      conditioned tendencies and 'self-formulated' intentions
      through a variety of thoughts, feelings, and actions.
      These expressions of self represent the different points
      of identification derived through experience.


      G:My experience is this: Similar to above, yet, I have both
      perspectives at the same time.

      My mind ('difference engine') continually (transparently) runs a
      routine in which the one is overlayed upon the other; the difference
      is clearly highlighted as being 'artifacts of my conditioning'.

      At this point I have the choice of looking at the 'living products'
      of my conditioning, or ignoring them. I suspect that this
      self-examination routine is really not that difficult to set up, but
      that the majority of people seem to have established an extreme
      attachment to their own products of conditioning as the 'sine quo
      non' of 'who they are'. This identification is what is replicated
      forcefully whenever reality intrudes; this 'patching' procedure is
      what makes it seem that there is a continuity of individual self.

      What is really going on with this ongoing patching (fixing) of a
      wavering identity structure, is the maintenance of something which is
      the most ephemeral of all things, something which is purely an
      invention, and which is dependent upon the expenditure of a vast
      amount of energy. It is similar to the futile task of preserving a
      block of ice on a hot day, by the act of using the body to shield it
      from the rays of the sun, all the while fanning it and chanting
      anti-melting mantras, etc. The real masters of identity-preservation
      will put a chill on the entire surrounding area, for the sake of
      preventing their rigid crystallized identity from melting,
      liquefying, and eventually returning to invisible vapor. Those who so
      indulge, are known as 'control freaks'.

      E: At the midway point between objective and subjective
      cognition is a place where no known experience or
      identification occurs; it is an unknown 'place' since no
      consciousness or sense of self can manifest there. It is
      possible, however, that this 'site' could be a well-hidden
      feed-through point for energy of a higher (order). Apparently,
      liberation from binding identification and self could occur
      at this point, yet little or no known attention seems to be
      given to this possibility.

      G: Yes, a good assessment. The 'corpus collosum' of the human
      brain-anatomy corresponds to this crossover point. If we make an 'X',
      this point is where the two lines intersect. If you look at the X,
      you will see two arrows meeting at the junction; if you look at the
      Star of David, you will see a similar figure, in which the two realms
      have merged as one.

      This is the 'transform point', and indeed, in that area, all energy
      and information are 'neutral'. Our 'problems' seem to occur as
      arisings leave the neutral zone; they are taken in hand and shaped in
      such a way as to match the ongoingly-patched identity structure.

      This point also corresponds to the region of consciousness which
      joins/separates 'conscious awareness' from the 'unconscious'. It is
      in this zone that the products of the unconscious arise, in their
      pure form, only to be corrupted to match the pre-existing assumption
      of 'who I am'. If one can relax about 'who I am', the arisings from
      the unconscious become superb revelatory messages.

      E:(Reminder: some points of identification are binding;
      others are liberating in that they move consciousness
      serendipitously closer to the midway [transcendence/
      Grace?] point.)



      G: Binding identification seems to include the activities of the immune
      system, which is geared to sustain the physical body. Inner conflicts
      (called neurosis) destabilize immunity, leading to calamity, which is
      the attention-getting cue (from the unconscious) that survival
      requires manual intervention. A lifetime of improper (but socially
      rewarded) identification eventually neutralizes immunity, resulting
      in deterioration and death.

      I hold that Self-Realization is a natural occurrence, and that its
      'opponent' is continual self-reward implicit in social identity. This
      fierce addiction, defined as self-rewarding behaviour, is the product
      of interior conversations between introjected social-control values
      and the dependent (IE, helpless) infant which everyone has been. In
      this manner, the past (familial) system of identity-confirmation is
      developed and amplified into the automatic identity-patching
      mechanism. This mechanism can be called the 'machine of looking
      good'. Appearing to be "good" is the camouflage adopted by the infant
      born into the psychotic world-dream.

      If the above paragraph is understood, it becomes apparent that by
      halting the interior conversations, the 'machine of looking good'
      will be decommissioned. At that point, Self-Realization will occur,
      as it now has no opponent.

      Remember, Self-Realization is not a product. It is not compounded
      from anything; it is 'always a possibility', ignored because of a
      clamor in the foreground. If this clamor is eliminated, the
      background (Self) becomes all that there is.

      Hearing the sound of space,

      ==Gene Poole==

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Who's an Ol Hag!'


      GREG:
      Mark just reminded me. It started at the retreat, and seems
      to have been catching on. I'm suggesting the name Indra for
      the beautiful lady who has called herself Old Hag.


      GENE:
      Indra was able to travel about
      Through a web of Jewels without a doubt

      Each node connected through reflection
      All nodes connected, sheer perfection

      This ancient vision has now come true
      It is how this message comes to you

      How is it that we have always known
      Our nodes are connected as is now shown

      By this internetwork sharing mode
      Each person an interoperable node

      Could it be that what will appear
      Is our dream come true, as held so dear

      Our hope and vision of "All is One"
      Yet each may celebrate the fun

      As ancient vision became this 'net
      Our real network will appear as yet

      Unseen by most but sensed by some
      Each faceted jewel spinning in the sun

      In empty space this network lives
      Each facet precious jewel gives

      Delicate spectral texture to
      This network which is me and you.


      Multi-Faceted,
      ==Gene Poole==

      ~~~~

      Gene comments:

      It may be true that women 'evolve' from reproductive-functional stage
      to 'elder' or 'hag' stage. This is represented widely in the
      literature of Feminism, and is hinted in various cultural mythologies.

      'Old' is certainly a relative term, not an absolute one.

      Perhaps it happens that a woman, upon the expiration of certain
      reproduction-specific hormones, then manifests a consciousness less
      centered in larval mating rituals, and more centered in
      Being-consciousness. This would be an awareness of universal
      concerns, rather than gender-specific issues.

      Love, when bereft of reproductive thrust, is certainly closer to the
      speculated 'unconditional' variety. The role of 'elder' seems to be
      found here, in this less frantic territory, less cluttered by the
      demands of immediate family, and thus free to nurture the extended
      family, IE, all of humanity.

      It seems that for humans in the larval stage, mating and reproduction
      is an inescapable fate, with few exceptions. The 'old hags' among us
      are perhaps, living repositories of the accumulated wisdom which
      survives right on through age-specific concerns, to bloom like a
      precious flower, rooted in the rich compost of a lifetime of
      experience.


      MELODY:
      I have always loved her calling herself "Old Hag".

      We live in a culture in which women in their 40's - 60's
      are ashamed to get out if they do not have a body
      or a face that either stirs and excites the sexual passions,

      or that suggests she is still capable of bearing
      healthy children.

      By adopting the name "Old Hag", Amrita invites us
      to look squarely in the face of an 'aging' reality to
      discover a reality which does not change.....which
      has no end.....which does not grow old.

      I've always known she was not as old as she suggests,
      and at the same time, I knew she was ancient,

      and even then....I saw that she is timeless.

      I will call her whatever she chooses to call
      herself, but underneath I will whisper with
      a smile, "Old Hag".


      DAN:
      Indeed, you've noticed the
      breathtaking beauty,
      the timeless knowing
      that is this "Old Hag"
      just as she is:
      wisdom in every wrinkle
      around her gentle smile,
      truth shining brightly
      in the void
      between her stained teeth
      ...

      and when a barren old woman
      gives birth at midnight,
      all doubt of her fecundity
      is shattered.


      MARK:
      Ahhah! That's why I pronounce her name OOoooohhhhhhhh......

      LOve, Mark


      JERRY:
      "Spiritually, ecofeminists are drawn to practices and
      orientations that nurture experiences of nonduality and
      loving reverence for the sacred whole that is the cosmos."

      From Charlene Spretnak, "Critical and Constructive
      Contributions of Ecofeminism," Pp. 181- 189 in Peter Tucker
      and Evelyn Grim (Eds.), Worldviews and Ecology,
      Philadelphia: Bucknell Press, 1993.

      The entire article is at
      http://www.runet.edu/~lridener/courses/ECOFEM.HTML

      Also read the article at
      http://www.runet.edu/~lridener/courses/ECOFEM2.HTML

      In summary, ecofeminism is a movement that focuses
      attention on the historical linkage between denigration of
      nature and the female. It seeks to shed light on why
      Eurocentric societies, as well as those in their global
      sphere of influence, are now enmeshed in environmental
      crises and economic systems that require continuing the
      ecocide and the dynamics of exploitation. Ecofeminism
      continues the progression within traditional feminism from
      attention to sexism to attention to all systems of human
      oppression (such as racism, classism, ageism, and
      heterosexism) to recognition that "naturism" (the
      exploitation of nature) is also a result of the logic of
      domination. (19) Ecofeminism challenges environmental
      philosophy to abandon postures upholding supposedly
      gender-free abstract individualism and "rights" fixations
      and to realize that human relationships (between self and
      the rest of the world) are constitutive, not peripheral.
      Hence care for relationships and contextual embeddedness
      provides grounds for ethical behavior and moral theory.
      Politically, ecofeminists work in a broad range of efforts
      to halt destructive policies and practices and to create
      alternatives rooted in community-based legitimacy that
      honors the self-determination of women as well as men and
      that locates the well-being of human societies within the
      well-being of the entire earth community. Spiritually,
      ecofeminists are drawn to practices and orientations that
      nurture experiences of nonduality and loving reverence for
      the sacred whole that is the cosmos.

      Ecofeminism is a global phenomenon that is bringing
      attention to the linked domination of women and nature in
      order that both aspects can be adequately understood.
      Ecofeminists seek to transform the social and political
      orders that promote human oppression embedded in ecocidal
      practices. The work consists of resistance, creativity, and
      hope.

      In addition to the philosophical and political aspects,
      ecofeminism contains a spiritual dimension. The ecofeminist
      alternative to the Western patriarchal worldview of
      fragmentation, alienation, agonistic dualisms, and
      exploitative dynamics is a radical reconceptualization that
      honors holistic integration: interrelatedness,
      transformation, embodiment, caring, and love. Such an
      orientation is simpatico with the teachings of several
      Eastern and indigenous spiritual traditions on nonduality
      and the relative nature of seemingly sharp divisions and
      separations. To refer to the ultimate mystery of creativity
      in the cosmos--its self-organizing, self-regulating
      dynamics-- spiritual traditions draw on metaphor and
      symbol. Those may be female, male, or nonanthropomorphic,
      such as the Taoist perception of The Way. Ecofeminists are
      situated in all the major religious traditions, and most
      see good reason for women to use female imagery in
      references to "the divine," or ultimate mystery in the
      cosmos. Particularly, in patriarchal societies, the choice
      of female metaphors is a healthy antidote to the cultural
      denigration of women. Those ecofeminists drawn to Goddess
      spirituality appreciate the nature-based sense of the
      sacred as immanent in the earth, our bodies, and the entire
      cosmic community--rather than being located in some distant
      father-god far removed from "entanglement" with matter. The
      transcendent nature of creativity in the cosmos, or the
      divine, lies not above us but in the infinite complexity of
      the sacred whole that continues to unfold. Goddess
      spirituality is not the sole tradition that contains these
      understandings, and even religions that are somewhat
      hostile to them are being persistently challenged by their
      own ecofeminist members.


      JERRY:
      Dedicated to Indra and Nonduality Gods and Goddesses
      everywhere...

      Love Minus Zero/No Limit
      Bob Dylan (1965)

      My love she speaks like silence,
      Without ideals or violence,
      She doesn't have to say she's faithful,
      Yet she's true, like ice, like fire.
      People carry roses,
      Make promises by the hours,
      My love she laughs like the flowers,
      Valentines can't buy her.

      In the dime stores and bus stations,
      People talk of situations,
      Read books, repeat quotations,
      Draw conclusions on the wall.
      Some speak of the future,
      My love she speaks softly,
      She knows there's no success like failure
      And that failure's no success at all.

      The cloak and dagger dangles,
      Madams light the candles.
      In ceremonies of the horsemen,
      Even the pawn must hold a grudge.
      Statues made of match sticks,
      Crumble into one another,
      My love winks, she does not bother,
      She knows too much to argue or to judge.

      The bridge at midnight trembles,
      The country doctor rambles,
      Bankers' nieces seek perfection,
      Expecting all the gifts that wise men bring.
      The wind howls like a hammer,
      The night blows cold and rainy,
      My love she's like some raven
      At my window with a broken wing.

      -


      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      MELODY:

      Hi Gene,

      You wrote, in part:

      G:
      > At this point I have the choice of looking at the 'living products'
      > of my conditioning, or ignoring them. I suspect that this
      > self-examination routine is really not that difficult to set up, but
      > that the majority of people seem to have established an extreme
      > attachment to their own products of conditioning as the 'sine quo
      > non' of 'who they are'.

      M:
      As I was reading this, I found myself agreeing -

      saying, "Yes, THEY do"

      When I caught that.....when I saw that I
      was excluding myself from that category...
      I had to really laugh.

      I saw that in my agreement I was doing
      exactly the 'patching' you describe below.

      (continuing below....)


      G:
      > This identification is what is replicated
      > forcefully whenever reality intrudes; this 'patching' procedure is
      > what makes it seem that there is a continuity of individual self.
      >
      > What is really going on with this ongoing patching (fixing) of a
      > wavering identity structure, is the maintenance of something which is
      > the most ephemeral of all things, something which is purely an
      > invention, and which is dependent upon the expenditure of a vast
      > amount of energy. It is similar to the futile task of preserving a
      > block of ice on a hot day, by the act of using the body to shield it
      > from the rays of the sun, all the while fanning it and chanting
      > anti-melting mantras, etc. The real masters of identity-preservation
      > will put a chill on the entire surrounding area, for the sake of
      > preventing their rigid crystallized identity from melting,
      > liquefying, and eventually returning to invisible vapor. Those who so
      > indulge, are known as 'control freaks'.

      M:
      I can not think of a better person to share this with.....
      knowing down to my toes that you will understand
      the spirit in which I share the following:

      The analogy you give above (of the blocking the
      melting of the ice) painted a picture very much like
      the picture of my own movement these past weeks
      ....even months. It is not until I saw the picture
      you painted above, that I then saw my own
      picture described as follows:

      The picture that comes to me of my own movement
      these days looks like using a body as a screen to
      protect....to help incubate....a bird's nest.

      A screening away of the elements and forces of nature
      that could sabatoge this natural 'hatching' process.

      And those 'forces of nature' that I'm holding at bay
      are the presence of other people. What I'm screening
      away are 'friendships'.

      When Judi offered her hand yesterday, and her
      'friendship', I winced. My first response was
      "No, not now!". And I knew right away that the
      response was not personal to her in anyway. I
      knew my response was "No" to friendships in
      general.

      And I sense that part of that response may come
      from old conditionings, but even more so comes
      from what you write below:

      G:
      > I hold that Self-Realization is a natural occurrence, and that its
      > 'opponent' is continual self-reward implicit in social identity. This
      > fierce addiction, defined as self-rewarding behaviour, is the product
      > of interior conversations between introjected social-control values
      > and the dependent (IE, helpless) infant which everyone has been. In
      > this manner, the past (familial) system of identity-confirmation is
      > developed and amplified into the automatic identity-patching
      > mechanism. This mechanism can be called the 'machine of looking
      > good'. Appearing to be "good" is the camouflage adopted by the infant
      > born into the psychotic world-dream.
      >
      > If the above paragraph is understood, it becomes apparent that by
      > halting the interior conversations, the 'machine of looking good'
      > will be decommissioned.

      M:
      These words bring tears to my eyes.
      You have explained to me my own behaviour
      better than I knew myself.

      Putting this together with the earlier "ah, ha!"
      of how I have created a 'me' and 'them' duality

      I can see that by doing so, I have succeeded
      in creating yet another 'continuity of identity'
      to be see thru.

      Many thanks, Gene,

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      MAD or WHAT?

      MELODY:
      It's very very tricky trying to tell a 'madman'
      from a man of Silence.....both of them supposedly
      being "out of their minds" and all. :-)

      JUDI:
      Realization, Melody, is about sanity, intelligence, humor, and
      most of all understanding. It is NOT about going out of your mind
      la-la land nirvana.

      MELODY:
      Are you getting irritated with me, Judi?

      JUDI:
      Not you specifically, but this whole spiritual business like I said,
      people have the wrong notion of. And Osho, and I'm sure to get called
      on the carpet for this, has been a major perpertrator of. They
      teach the path of experience - bliss. Bliss my ass! Has nothing
      whatsoever to do with Understanding. Nothing.

      DUTCH:
      I would like to jump in on this, if I may.
      (Melody or Judi, if you want me to shut up, just tell me :-)
      One of my students has all this ideas of what realization is going to be
      like.
      He is in the spiritual bussines for years and years now.
      Last week I was on ICQ, chatting with him. I suggested the following to him:
      For the week to come, just *pretend* that IT has happened. Let's play that
      realization has taken place. Just for the fun of it.
      One day later, I received an E-mail from him. He told me, that this feeling
      that the search had ended was very strange. Very strange indeed. It almost
      made
      him feel uncomfortable.
      This little exercise shows that not many people are prepared to take into
      consideration that we are already IT. Maybe this is a suggestion for those
      of you who feel they have a to do more searching. Just pretend, for one day,
      that this searching has ended. And see what happens. Does it change
      anything?
      Do you feel blissfull? Don't you get angry or sad anymore? I'm curious...


      JAN:
      Thanks for the laugh Judi. Although smadhis are misadvised by for instance
      the Buddha, yet the most clear and unmistakable symbol of a samadhi of
      extreme
      bliss is the "bulb, peak, whatever structure" depicted on top of the head of
      someone like the Buddha :)) Only by knowing bliss and its nature, one can
      draw
      conclusions and these are not transferrable - every individual has to arrive
      at them.
      One experience of a split-second can debunk the beliefs of ages - or justify
      them :))
      That is why for instance in Sufism, ecstasy isn't shunned :)


      DAN:
      Would the flower shun the sunshine?

      Not even possible ;-)

      The energy animating this body-mind --
      is this energy life, ecstasy, clarity,
      love, or being?

      Or is it finally nameless?

      What is it *really* to know nothing?

      Not-knowing,
      Dan




      MANCHINE:
      In my honest opinion, the difference between
      madness and bliss is realization of Self.

      To see "all of being" and to be separate from it is hell.
      Until one realizes Self, it's intense reality is an impossibility
      which leaves one alone, to deal with the endless challenges of
      an incomprehensible existance.

      Knowing that you are IT changes everything.

      Don't ask me to explain.



      JUDI:
      I think that people have to come to face to face
      with the failure of their search. They have to see the search before
      they can give it up. In other words, you can't give something up until
      it's yours to give up.
      People don't realize that they are in fact searching. They call it
      living!!


      DAN:
      I hear the essence of this
      this way:

      It's reality.
      It's not conceptual.
      It's not a mind-trip
      and it's not about
      picturing "as if"
      it were a certain way.

      It has nothing to do with
      picturing anything
      being in any way.

      There can be no substitute
      for an honest, direct look.

      Nothing less will do.


      JUDI:
      Osho's girlfriend, did you know [went crazy], ended up killing
      herself.


      MELODY:
      Her name was Vivek, I believe.

      It's interesting that I would come upon this article
      today which weaves into your response here....not only
      of Osho.... of suicide....and taking a 'deep look'
      at relationships. And he mentions Vivek.

      I thought when I read this: how difficult this
      might have been for her to hear.

      And I thought that what he says is similar
      to your own discovery, Judi.

      Here's just a taste of his talk:

      "The first truth to experience is that one is alone. The first
      truth to experience is that love is illusory. Just think of it, just
      think of the enormity of it, that love is illusory. And you have
      lived only through that illusion. . .

      You were in love with your parents, you were in love with your brothers
      and sisters, then you started falling in love with a woman
      or a man. You are in love with your country, your church, your religion,
      and you are in love with your car, and ice cream and so on
      and so forth. You are living in all these illusions.

      And suddenly you find yourself naked, alone, all illusions have
      disappeared. It hurts.

      Just this morning, Vivek was saying - and she has been saying again
      and again with these Ikkyu discourses - "These discourses are
      heavy, depressing." They are bound to be so, because whenever any of
      your illusions are touched it creates great restlessness. You
      become afraid; somehow you were managing - and you know deep down
      that there is no bottom to it but you don't want to look. Seeing
      will be frightening; you want to go on remaining in the illusion.

      Nobody wants to see that his love is false. People are ready to
      believe that their past loves were false - but this? No, this love
      is true. When it has disappeared they will say it was also false -
      but then another love is true. In whatsoever illusion they are
      living, they pretend that this one is true. "Others - Ikkyu may be
      right, Bhagwan may be right about other loves, they were false,
      we know. But this one?

      This one is a totally different thing. This is not an ordinary love,
      I have found my soul mate."

      Nobody has ever found one - how can you find your soul mate? Aloneness
      is absolute. These are just efforts to deceive yourself - and
      you can go on deceiving. That's what you have been doing down the ages,
      for so many lives. . .

      But you forget. And you forget because of the birth trauma."

      "In the new commune, we are going to make efforts to make you remember
      your past lives. Then you will not think that these sayings
      of Ikkyu are depressive - then you will see these are the truths.

      But you are living in an untrue life, thinking you are doing something
      new. And because you think it is new, you remain enchanted by it, by the
      magic of the new. If you can come to know that you have fallen in love
      millions of times, and each time it was a failure, it will be impossible
      to fall into the trap again. You will see that it is futile - that there is
      no
      soul mate, that there has never been. That aloneness is absolute. That
      there is no way to commune, there is no way to communicate.
      'That nobody can understand you, and you cannot understand anybody.

      I know these talks are bound to be depressive. Why? Because these talks will
      touch some wounds in you and the pus will start oozing
      out. And remember always: sometimes it is good to keep the wound open,
      because that is the condition for its cure. But courage is
      needed, certainly; without courage nothing can be done. To keep the wound
      open needs great courage - but that is the condition for
      its cure !

      You would like to hide it. You would like to hide it behind flowers, you
      would like to forget about the wound. You would like to
      move into some consolation: "Maybe love has not happened yet - now it can
      happen. This time I may be able to make it."

      But love cannot be possible. To make it possible is not a question that
      depends on you. Love itself is an impossibility. It keeps
      you deluded, it keeps you in a kind of dream state.

      Ikkyu says:

      "We come into this world alone,
      We depart alone. . ."

      Togetherness is illusory. Aloneness is more fundamental. Love is illusory,
      meditation is more fundamental -but ultimately that too is illusory. That's
      where Ikkyu goes one step ahead and takes the quantum leap. You have heard
      it
      said many times: "We come alone into this world, and we depart alone."
      But Ikkyu says:

      This also is illusion.
      I will teach you the way
      Not to come, not to go!

      That is Zen, pure Zen. The ordinary religion teaches: Love is illusory. Zen
      finally teaches: Even meditation is illusory. Let me make it clear to you.
      Love means togetherness - the possibility of being together, the possibility
      of being lost into each other, the possibility of communication, the
      possibility
      of relating. When love fails, utterly fails, you start moving towards
      meditation.
      Meditation means the capacity to be alone. They are polarities, love and
      meditation.
      Meditation means the capacity not to relate - there is no need to relate,
      one
      is enough unto oneself. "



      This discourse can be read in its entirety at:

      http://oz.sannyas.net/quotes/easy_ii.htm

      Melody


      JUDI:

      Yes, good article. And in my web page I talk about the same thing,
      how I saw that my so called love was not really love at all, but
      a searching, nothing but a misery itself. I mean like it wasn't bad
      enough to have my heart broken, I had to look at that too. And not
      only in relationship, but I saw how my whole life, my whole identity
      was nothing BUT that. And that's what seeking is. It's not that you
      have to be a so called "spiritual" seeker, it's separate identity itself
      that is the 'seeker'. Which is in actuality suffering, no matter how many
      'happy' moments you can put stacked one on top of another. Do you see what I
      mean? I mean that life itself is not all suffering, it does have its
      moments,
      but real happiness that is not dependent on conditions, or 'moments'
      in and of themselves is what needs be discovered. Happiness lies in the
      transcendence, in the understanding of that whole business. And it's not
      out in the sky somewhere or hiding in your head somewhere in some
      blissful meditation, or in some experience that one could have. And the
      good news is, you don't have to wait for all your desires to be fulfilled
      before understanding. That could be a long time, or maybe never, depending
      on luck.


      MELODY:

      Isn't that what a teacher does....creates the
      space for Understanding to take place?

      JUDI:
      All a teacher really can do is point, hoot and hollar maybe,
      to get your attention. Generally make a nuisance of themselves. :-)
      The student must ultimately create their own space for the teaching
      to occur. In other words you can trust and lean on a teacher up a point,
      but the final walk belongs to the student and must be done alone. And
      at that point the teaching all of a sudden becomes alive, no longer an
      academic matter.
      You find yourself living the teaching. And the teacher is no longer
      needed.
      It becomes a non-event. And you see that nothing has really happened.
      And nothing is happening. And the next thing you know, it's lunch. ;-)


      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      ANDREW COHEN ..

      MICHAEL READ:

      I just found out today that Andrew Cohen is going to
      be at the New Renaissance Bookshop tomorrow afternoon.
      The topic is Liberation in This Lifetime.


      MANCHINE:

      Seems like AC is getting around! Which is more than I'm doing... for
      the moment.

      Well, I get around like you, talking to people here and there, but
      he's kind of stuck his neck out! Takes this shit seriously! What're ya
      gonna' do?

      Anyways, we're doing five workshops, following his opening here in
      Chile, they're his themes, but, look at them... it's been interesting
      seeing what we can do.

      1. Clarity of Intention (Singularity of focus, or Nonduality in everything)
      2. Responsibility. (Assume responsibility for everything we do.. Can't blame
      others)
      3. Face Everything, Avoid nothing. (Go the distance. Find the nondual
      solution. Sometimes it's work!)
      4. Truth of Impersonality (We are Self - Coming to that understanding,
      Enlightenment is personal until it is realized that "we" don't exist)
      5. For the good of all (How our knowledge of that can work through us)

      I don't know exactly where he's really at, guess I'll know in October.
      Read lots of stuff, pro and con. It seems strong either way! We've got
      a great audience of 250+ people, with an interest. Smaller than NDS but,
      it's a start!

      P.S.
      Any notes or feedback accepted!


      JERRY:
      Cohen's book, Embracing Heaven and Earth, goes through those
      five tenets. The first one, clarity of intention, has to do
      with looking deeply into simplicity until a simplicity is found
      that is absolute. Then the trick is to keep one's attention there.
      Now, how this gets translated into a workshop that scores of
      people may be attending, I do not know, other than to take
      the people through a guided meditation. I saw Greg do that
      very effectively at the retreat. It can leave people with a
      deeper taste of simplicity than they've known.

      Looking through the other chapters describing the other four
      tenets, I wouldn't know how to convert them into workshops,
      but they would make very, very interesting ones. I'd like
      to know how you guys pull it off. What's the trick to taking
      a chapter in a book and making it into a workshop? I guess
      you can take statements made by Cohen and, leaving them
      incomplete, have workshop members attempt to complete them.
      Then a discussion is led with an eye on what the 'answer',
      according to Cohen or the workshop leader, is.

      For example, in the second tenet Cohen says the most
      difficult choice for a person to make is the one to be
      responsible for everything he or she does. Some people may
      remember that from Cohen's talk or his book, or simply know
      it; but workshop attendees can be asked anyway what they
      believe the most difficult choice is for a person to make.
      They can be asked to identify choices they have failed to
      take responsibility for. They can then be brought to the
      moment of simplicity evoked in Tenet One in order to see
      that assuming responsibility is the most simple act.

      These are some elementary suggestions. Each tenet builds on
      the earlier one. Once a person sees simplicity, it is
      natural to take responsibility for everything one does. Once
      one takes responsibility it is possible to understand the
      third tenet of facing everything and avoiding nothing.
      Facing everything and avoiding nothing, or paying deep
      attention to everything, one is lifted toward the grasping
      of the fourth tenet of the truth of impersonality, which
      says there is no one having an experience. If there is no
      one having an experience (of if one has fallen through all
      experience as the result of deep attention to experience),
      one evolves toward the truth of the fifth tenet, which says
      there is no enlightenment for the individual, or that the
      individual is everyone and the evolution of the whole is
      take on.

      Now, Dave, Cohen himself does not address the flow from
      Tenet One through Tenet Five, as I have. I'm not sure why.
      Also, I would emphasize that Tenet One, the return to
      simplicity, is abidance, and I would consider going through
      it in each workshop. In approaching any of these tenets, I'd
      want my workshop attendees to go through that Tenet One
      guided meditation. I'd also speak about abidance.

      You might also want to add a sixth tenet or workshop called
      HAHAHAH AND HOHOHO, which Michael could comment further
      upon, and which would bring people back to tenet one through
      a different door. Humor's important, obviously. It helps
      keep the whole teaching moving through a person.

      The effective workshop leader cannot merely speak for Andrew
      Cohen, or as one who has studied Cohen's writings. The
      effective workshop leader has to be able to take Cohen's, or
      any spiritual teacher's, teachings, and stand for and as the
      truth of them. The leader has to impart the taste of Truth,
      and that really has nothing to do with the five tenets,
      which are only tools the effective teacher uses to impart
      the taste of truth.

      You're in a position to impact some lives, Dave.
      Effectiveness comes back to tenet one: absolute simplicity,
      and tenet six, humor, in my opinion, and with liberal use of
      those in each workshop, the attendees should be quite happy
      and they will go home with a new way of looking at
      themselves and the world, I'm sure. However, what happens
      from that point? That has to be addressed as well. The
      attendees can't merely be sent home. You might want to think
      about how to provide for continuance.


      MICHAEL:
      Well, I didn't do any flute shopping. I had a lovely vegetarian
      lunch at an Indian restaurant and went to hear AC talk.

      Hooha! Andrew is a nice person. He is sincere and appears
      rather unshakable in his viewpoint. He also has a delightful laugh.
      He genuinely cares about people and wants to help.

      I largely kept quiet during his talk and the question and answer
      period. That is to say, I didn't speak, but I did almost fall
      off of the chair laughing at one point. More on that later.

      AC stated that he would discuss his new book for about 45 min and
      then take questions.

      What he talked about were his five tenents. I won't go into them
      here. He says exactly the same thing on his web site
      www.andrewcohen.org

      The 'crux' of his focus was that he had developed these five laws
      over the last fifteen years. Yes, he referred to them as laws.
      Furthermore, any truly enlightened person HAS to agree that these
      laws are correct. How could it be otherwise? (His words - not mine.)

      One of his emphasises (sp) was on the point that the seeker has to
      have an overwhelming desire to attain liberation. This is of course
      emphasised by most if not all teachers and religions. (My words)

      Where I almost fell off the chair was when he referred to the
      'diabolical ego'! Earlier in his talk he tried to make a joke about
      rape. He couldn't understand it when nobody laughed. He said it
      must be something about Portland. Excuse me, I like a joke as much
      as or more than the next gentle being, but rape? Well it must
      have been the diabolical ego that thinks rape is funny. Sheesh!

      Anyway -

      AC, despite the lapse into failed humor, did often state that
      there is only one conciousness a number of times. He would also
      say that you, the seeker, had to do something to realize this
      conciousness. More like, you have to do something to become
      enlightened. There was never a mention of grace.

      His message or teaching, if you will, was a mixed bag
      of duality, non-duality, work, and responsibility. Because he
      often repeated that the overwhelming desire for liberation
      is so vital to the process, some may have been inspired to
      open up thier hearts.

      Overall, his mixed bag of concepts and insistance that his tenets
      are the only real path may make him less than appealing to many.
      His personality is somewhat guarded, though he exihibits an outward
      fondness for people. He may be more dynamic in a longer workshop
      environment.

      This tour is mainly a book promotion. He said that he was doing
      the West coast in a week. After the talk he autographed
      copies of his book. I did not purchase one. I did take a moment
      to shake his hand and thank him for his visit. When I shook hands
      with him I noticed that his aura was lit up in the white and extended
      out a few inches from his body. He was obviously quite pleased with
      the afternoon's talk.

      Would I want to become a student of his? In a word, no.
      Does he have something of 'value' to offer? Of course, we all do. :-)

      HAHAHAH and HOHOHO!

      Peace - Michael
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