#4573 - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
- #4573 - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlightsNondual versions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity are presented.Excerpts from each one:"'Who Am I' is a recent documentary movie on Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, and H.W.L. Poonja (Papaji).""Chanting the Buddhas name is a humble path. The more learning you have, the more difficult it will likely be.""We are too much in our minds today and have let our hearts and souls languish for far too long. So what do we have to offer 21st C. Americans as Christians?"
'Who Am I' is a recent documentary movie on Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, and H.W.L. Poonja (Papaji). Most of it is filmed in India, and includes footage of Arunachala, Mumbai (where Maharaj lived and taught), and Lucknow (where Papaji lived and taught.) It includes interviews with prominent devotees of these sages, including David Godman, Dr. Kriben Pillay, and S. Mullarpatan, and also includes music by musicians who were influenced by these sages such as Kirtana. It is on You Tube in 5 parts:You may find them all listed here:Here are there separate URLs:
Part 1:Part 2:Part 3:Part 4:Part 5:
On knowledge and humilityNowadays, there are quite a number of scholars who study Buddhism. However, almost all of them simply read the words of the sutras and commentaries seeking arguments and rationalizations to prove that they are versed in the Dharma.Those with the sincerity and devotion to cultivate according to the Dharma are few indeed! I have always said that to reap the real benefit of the Dharma, you should approach it with a truly reverent mind. One-tenth of reverence and devotion annihilates one-tenth of afflictions and evil karma, and increases merit and wisdom by one-tenth and this applies to two-tenths, three-tenths, or total reverence and devotion. (Pure-Land Zen, Zen Pure-Land, p. 24).More true today than in the early twentieth century China when Master Yin Kwang penned it in a letter to his disciple.Whenever I login to Buddhist forum, I immediately regret it. Its rare to find congenial words. One expert after another, having graduated from Google University, proffers their deep and hard-earned wisdom, vying to outdo each other.How difficult it is to feel reverence and devotion. Sutras and commentaries are approached as historical artifacts rather than living texts, capable of transforming us, and thereby, in a very real sense, saving us. Books and teachings are cheap, like water, which is of infinite value, but seemingly free and therefore unappreciated.Do you find it challenging to approach the Dharma whether books, teachings, or teachers with reverence and devotion?I do. Im naturally an iconoclast, although you might not think it, given the nature of this blog. Id better say, I was an iconoclast, a Zen student, a hardened nondualist. However, after some fleeting insights, earth-shattering to me at the time, I found myself still floundering in bad habits, negative thinking, and just plain misery. This is, of course, natural, if one hasnt had the basic training in virtue, generosity, and loving-kindness. In these foundational aspects of the path, I am still a newborn.For those who speak a good game, Yin Kwang writes:There are also certain individuals of great talent and ability, whose writings can astound the gods. However, their actions are no different from those of the dullards in the marketplace. The root cause is their rejection of phenomenal cultivation and cause and effect [karma]. This grave error is repeated by other people; it is a case of betraying the Dharma with ones body (actions). The depth of such offenses and transgressions is immeasurable! Witnessing this, those endowed with profound wisdom can only sigh in pity and compassion. (Pure-Land Zen, p. 26).Reminds me of myself. More importantly, however, this applies to many of us today. Most of us naturally overestimate our insight and progress.Please be aware of this tendency. Great misery follows arrogance. The path to awakening resides in humility.Chanting the Buddhas name is a humble path. The more learning you have, the more difficult it will likely be. Drop your extensive learning. Just come back to your breath. Namu Amitoufo. Let the Buddhas name bring you back to simplicity.
Non-dual Thinkingby Pat AdamsI am co-leading a Sunday School at my church on two contemporary figures, one CatholicFr. Richard Rohr(The Naked Now) and one protestantCynthia Bourgeault, an Anglican priest, (The Wisdom Jesus)who have had enormous influence on how I write about the Life of the Spirit. They both write and speak of non-dualistic thinking, beyond the either/or preferences of our minds which are most at home judging and distinguishing and separating, which is where most of Christianity is today. I am right and your beliefs are wrong. You have to believe what I believe to be saved. We Christians are at war with one another, even as Christian influence and primacy is waning in our culture.Apparently we see no difficulty with our enemy-combatant stances towards our brothers and sisters in Christ, because, if anything, our attitudes are getting worse. Weve forgotten what Paul wrote about the church being the body of Christ, that Jesus was about love, that God is Love, and that love is inclusive, honoring, forgiving, kind and merciful. Herein lies the fault line in contemporary Christianity: the more we argue about what is right and hang on to our way of doing Christianity, the more we drive people from our churches and send them out hungering for peace and love somewhere else.We are too much in our minds today and have let our hearts and souls languish for far too long. So what do we have to offer 21st C. Americans as Christians? If we follow Jesus, our lives are about prayer and an ongoing, close relationship with God, where at every turn we are in close communication with God. We have given over not just our minds to God, but also our hearts, souls and bodies. We are living in Gods love in our lives and we see life from a wholly new perspective. This is the non-dual thinking I referred to above: it embraces all that is before it, without objection, entering into the present, the presence, if you will, of God to examine what is before us. So now we see with not just our minds which would dissect and miss the essence of what we see, but with our hearts and souls and bodies.This essence-to-essence seeing means that we are able to see the flaws in the person before us without judging and their best qualities without preferring them. We hold all that is before us, say in this sunset or that person, and we meet the Holy Spirit in the midst of this experience. And we have been moved and changed by what we have encountered. Now we have moved beyond our minds into the way God sees the creation, people and planets. This is love. In this way we participate in Gods free-flowing love in us and through us and out to everything and person me meet. This is non-dual awareness, always seeking out the essence of the other and then enjoying, participating in that essence, just as we enjoy and participate in the essence of God which is Love.