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#4519 - Monday, February 20, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

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  • Gloria Lee
    #4519 - Monday, February 20, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 20, 2012
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      #4519 - Monday, February 20, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
      The Nonduality Highlights -
      In clarity, precision, honesty, and strength, which are rooted in the infinite,
      Rashani illustrates the twilight zone of the experience of knowing our true
      nature. In a milieu where even spiritual writers are influenced by the Hollywood
      happy ending—in their domain, it’s called enlightenment—Rashani presents a
      clear, gemmed, and fiercely independent voice. Rashani writes about the whole
      spectrum of states that make up the human experience. She also embraces our
      experience of fragile moments and courageously reaches into the deepest pain
      ingrained in them; she transforms dualism, both the beauty and the ugly, into
      oneness of being. —Smadar De Lange
      This book is a chronicle and testimony for our capacity to enter into the pain of
      being human, without resistance, and emerge, again and again, into a state of
      nondual awareness. The extremes of heartbreak and profound spiritual
      awakening couldn’t be rendered more starkly, yet they are so close. Though the
      path of being broken wide open begins in our pain and anguish, like all true
      paths, it leads to the state of embodied transcendence. That the heart can turn
      so quickly? This is the real miracle. Rashani’s poem is a wonder. In the space of
      just a few words, she takes our soul in her hands and shows how we can move
      from the depths of despair to a place of immutable wholeness. —Peter Fenner,
      author of Radiant Mind and The Edge of Certainty
      This is a book from the deep that finds light not by seeking light, but by letting
      go into darkness. It is a book of miracles—not the usual kind of miracles like
      walking on water—but the miracle of finding beauty and love and transcendence
      in the very heart of life with all its brokenness and loss. It’s a poem, really, or a
      song or a sutra. I love the way Rashani weaves together the beautiful and the
      ugly so that we can see how inseparable they are and how she conveys so much
      so sparingly. This book is a beautiful, powerful, gorgeous song of life and
      death. —Joan Tollifson, author of Bare-Bones Meditation: Waking Up from the
      Story of My Life
      Medicine comes in as many forms as our prodigious planet offers, but why do
      we feel surprised when its form is suffering? This is the old, moonlit path itself.
      Awakening cannot be separate from suffering; resurrection cannot be other than
      the full embrace of loss. Beyond Brokenness is the potent medicine of grief
      turned to praise. It sanctions us all to dare to be fully human and to take up the
      song! That’s what we’re here for. —Susan Murphy, roshi. Author of Upside
      Down Zen
      Sam Gabriel
      I just finished the book Beyond Brokenness by Rashani Réa. Yes, the same
      Rashani who wrote the poem that begins with the phrase "There is a
      brokenness..." Her poem is on her website - look towards the bottom of the
      page. (http://www.rashani.com/retreats/index.html)
      Here is a quote from page 201 of Rashani's book:
      "Spending time in spiritual communities, for more than twenty years,
      strengthened my experience of the infinite, yet also deepened my denial of
      suffering, the invisible tunnel through which I unconsciously disengaged from
      life." ––Rashani Réa
      Rashani's poem was born out of a subsequent change of direction that led her to
      fully embrace her suffering. Her book is about the birth of that poem. I read the
      book cover-to-cover ~ every forward, acknowledgement, appendix ~ every
      printed word. She seems to have felt a little uncomfortable writing so much
      about her personal life - her whole life, in fact, from early childhood on. I don't
      think this discomfort was out of shyness or embarrassment, but rather out of a
      concern for relevance. After all, the way of spirit is the way of the impersonal.
      Spiritual people are not "supposed to" make a big deal out of their personal
      And yet, as she proceeded with the writing of her book, it ended up embracing
      her whole life. She wanted to take a lot of the personal parts out, but her friends
      urged her to leave them in. I think her friends were right.
      It is very hard for anyone to take credit for transformation, unless that
      transformation is taken out of context. Rashani was a part of Thich Nhat Hanh's
      sangha. Can he take credit for her transformation? Or, was it Arny Mindell?
      Maybe it was her parents. Maybe it was the Concierto de Aranjuez or her brother
      Charlie. Or maybe it was the motorcycle accident or maybe it was Lyme's
      No - the context - all of it - is integral to the transformation. And so Rashani has
      told the story, and her friends have helped her to keep it intact. And in the end,
      I feel we are just left with reverence, reverence for what is unknowable and
      miraculous. And we are humbled. Is there something to teach here? Is there a
      method to extract from this? No. The teacher lies in what is unknowable and
      miraculous. The method lies in what is unknowable and miraculous.
      I have never met Rashani, yet I feel close to her. About a year ago, she and I
      spent a month exchanging emails - quite a few emails. Our families - the
      families we grew up in - have some things in common. In some ways, I am a
      little like her brother Bruce, and Rashani is a little like my sister. We explored
      this with what became a rather disarming honesty. I don't know if she knows
      this, but I spent about a week mostly in tears. I discovered things about myself
      that were painful - and, yet, also joyous.
      So then to read Rashani's book, which talks so much about her family, was
      really a treat for me. Her family is somehow a part of my family. And after
      reading the book, it seems even more so. In fact, after reading her book, it is
      dawning on me that there is another, unexpected parallel. Something Rashani
      doesn't explicitly state. Something not often explicitly stated.
      Like me, I think that Rashani grew up knowing that she is loved. I grew up
      knowing that I am loved. And for years I never noticed this. It just wasn't
      something to notice as it was simply taken for granted. But in the last couple of
      years I have begun to see that this was not a given. There are people that do
      not grow up knowing that they are loved, and for them, this needs to be
      proven, perhaps time and again.
      This is profound and affects a lifetime. Knowing that you are loved is knowing
      that you are lovable. Nothing needs to be proven. So many questions that could
      arise, never do. I think this is something that we learn as young children. From
      Rashani's story, it is clear: Rashani had a very loving mother. I, too, had a very
      loving mother. We both got the message loud and clear: you are loved. I wasn't
      dismissed. I was listened to, and what I said mattered. Read the story in
      Rashani's book about her horse.
      ~Sam Gabriel May, 2011
      Sam Gabriel is just one of those guys who likes having a family, likes getting
      software to work, and likes going on adventures in the mountains. In January
      2008, during a private meeting with his Zen teacher of 25 years, he found
      himself in the awkward position of being so overwhelmed with joy that he was
      unable to speak. When he calmed down, he made the mistake of admitting the
      cause, which was a spiritual awakening that had occurred some years before.
      Funny thing about this Zen awakening: there wasn’t really any desire or need to
      talk about it with anyone. His Zen teacher then asked that he start giving Zen
      talks. Second funny thing: it was now hard to say no to requests like this. Sam
      gives this advice: "By all means, seek to discover your True Self, but if you do
      find it, don’t ever tell anybody, especially your Zen teacher!"
      Sam Gabriel, San Diego, CA
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