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#4505 - Monday, February 6, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

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  • Gloria Lee
    #4505 - Monday, February 6, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights How do we nurture the soul? By
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 7, 2012
      #4505 - Monday, February 6, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
      The Nonduality Highlights -
      How do we nurture the soul? By revering our own life. By learning
      to love it all, not only the joys and the victories, but also the pain
      and the struggles.
      ~ Nathaniel Branden


      Happiness is not a matter of intensity...but of balance, rhythm, and
      ~ Thomas Merton
      photo by Eric Chaffee

      Picnic, Lightning
      It is possible to be struck by a
      meteor or a single-engine plane while
      reading in a chair at home. Pedestrians
      are flattened by safes falling from
      rooftops mostly within the panels of
      the comics, but still, we know it is
      possible, as well as the flash of
      summer lightning, the thermos toppling
      over, spilling out on the grass.
      And we know the message can be
      delivered from within. The heart, no
      valentine, decides to quit after
      lunch, the power shut off like a
      switch, or a tiny dark ship is
      unmoored into the flow of the body's
      rivers, the brain a monastery,
      defenseless on the shore. This is
      what I think about when I shovel
      compost into a wheelbarrow, and when
      I fill the long flower boxes, then
      press into rows the limp roots of red
      impatiens -- the instant hand of Death
      always ready to burst forth from the
      sleeve of his voluminous cloak. Then
      the soil is full of marvels, bits of
      leaf like flakes off a fresco,
      red-brown pine needles, a beetle quick
      to burrow back under the loam. Then
      the wheelbarrow is a wilder blue, the
      clouds a brighter white, and all I
      hear is the rasp of the steel edge
      against a round stone, the small
      plants singing with lifted faces, and
      the click of the sundial as one hour
      sweeps into the next.
      ~ Billy Collins

      So the way to understand yourself is not by understanding yourself
      objectively or gathering information from various sources. If people
      say you are crazy - "Okay, I am crazy!" If people say you are a bad
      student, it may be so. "I am a bad student, but I am trying pretty
      hard." That is enough. When you sit in that way, you accept
      yourself and accept everything together with yourself. When you
      are involved in various silly problems, you sit with the problem you
      have. This is you at that time. When you try to get out of your
      problems, that is already wrong practice.
      ~ Shinryu Suzuki

      I see life as a ballet of the soul. In spite of crisis, boredom, ennui,
      tragedy, grace of the soul is being danced across the ages. It is an
      eternal rhythm that is subtly experienced. Believe it or not, this
      dance is not done by anyone that we know ourselves to be. It is the
      part of us that is immanent and transcendent. It knows nothing of
      sweat or toil. It’s only job is to express what IT is. And what it is is
      grace beyond measure.
      We sit at the table drinking coffee and ruing what we did or didn’t
      do. We go to sleep and wake with aching heads and remember
      bad dreams. We don’t know how we got here or when we will
      leave. And the dance is happening. We work and rest and act the
      part we have been given to play. And the dance changes step and
      rhythm and lifts us up over the fog and lets us see the stars.
      And when the dance needs a partner it finds one. And then it may
      leave that partner at the altar or by some violent act. And we
      denounce the dance. Indeed the mystery of the dance is that it is
      anonymous. No one there can claim to be anything but a dancer of
      what is the dance of life. And all too soon a silence falls upon the
      floor. And then it is that the dance begins on another stage in
      another universe. We sigh and go on. And then once again we find
      ourselves taken up by a new rhythm. And the dance finds us a new
      partner. And so it goes.
      Vicki Woodyard
      author, LIFE WITH A HOLE IN IT: That's How The Light Gets in

      Final Reckonings, a Tuneful Fedora and Forgiveness

      Leonard Cohen Reckons With God in 'Old Ideas'
      www.nytimes.com  EXCERPTS:
      Leonard Cohen, at 77, says mortality is very much on his mind and
      is reflected in many songs on his new album, "Old Ideas."
      Where was he when the album’s opening song, "Going Home,"
      was written? "In trouble," he replied.
      Asked to analyze the album, he said, "It's probably not a good idea
      to do an autopsy on a living thing."
      Afterward, in a dressing room, Mr. Cohen said mortality was very
      much on his mind and in his songs. "I think it's in all of them now,"
      he said. "I think it manifests itself as an unwillingness to screw
      around, and an unwillingness to be heavy-handed. You don’t want
      to do that, because I think there’s something about cheerfulness
      and dignity that are indicated."  (...)
      In many of the songs, true to ancient traditions of mystical poetry,
      the singer could be speaking to a lover or to God. The lyrics often
      build associations around a repeated phrase. In "Amen" — a slow
      shuffle with a banjo tickling at its fringes — Mr. Cohen sings, "Tell
      me again/When I’ve been to the river/And I’ve taken the edge off
      my thirst/Tell me again/We’re alone and I’m listening/I’m listening
      so hard that it hurts." (...)
      Mr. Cohen didn’t mention retirement. He said he had written, but
      not recorded, enough songs for another album. As some songs on
      "Old Ideas" clearly suggest, he has been listening extensively to the
      blues: music that grapples, tersely and eloquently, with "loss and
      death," he said. Reflecting on his deadline, he summoned a
      Memphis Slim song: "When it all comes down,' he said. "You’ve
      got to go back to Mother Earth."

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