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Tuesday, February 27

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  • umbada@ns.sympatico.ca
    JAMES TRAVERSE -- Hi Michael, Your comment....... Then there is the so-called pathless path that leads to the gateless gate. Very few find this. Why? That s
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2001
      JAMES TRAVERSE

      -- Hi Michael, Your comment....... "Then there is the so-called
      pathless path that leads to the gateless gate. Very few find
      this. Why? That's just the way it is! Do not think these few are
      special or superior in anyway. They are just ordinary people.
      They have done nothing to deserve their awakening. And they will
      tell you that it just happened."

      I feel that everyone finds this- eventually. It is true that
      some folks spend entire lifetimes pursuing some other paths.
      Even the Buddha spent many years exploring austerities before he
      realized that 'you can't get there from here'. I feel that folks
      on other pathways are the same as the Buddha - they need to
      explore in their particular way until they have exhausted
      themselves.

      ... 'a little faith'.... I feel that folks may use 'a little
      faith' (be inspired by the peace of someone like Ramana
      Maharshi) to help them give up a path that is not working, and,
      I also feel that the faith that they have in their present path
      is their biggest obstacle! Another word for the pathless path is
      the Unknown and folks would much rather stay with what they
      know. Ultimately folks come to the understanding that they have
      to abandon 'everything' they know, including faith, and step
      into the Void - Or - their suffering is so intense that they
      have to let go (die to what they know). Either way, they embrace
      the pathless path.

      And, as you say, folks at this point have many things in common,
      like their attachments are -HAH- gone ...they exhausted them
      through their previous practices- Is this doing something to
      deserve their awakening? No, it was their doing, following
      paths, that kept them trapped!

      So, I feel that all paths eventually tie into the pathless path.
      Many many folks wander around quite a bit before they get there
      and others go more directly.

      ---------------------------------------

      Hi Jerry et al, Since our gathering in Halifax last month I have
      been wondering about a more elaborate gathering? I have been
      following the posting on NDS for only a few months so I do not
      know if this has come up before.

      What made me think this is the requests for connecting with each
      other that people have sent and at our meeting, you talked about
      a kind of 'next step'.

      Wondering, James

      ______________________________________________________________

      BHADRAIAH

      Dear Michael

      People say for nonduality there are no tools as such becasue all
      tools breakdown like they are approaching a neutron star. There
      is no cause for understanding of nonudality because all logic
      (cause-effect chain) breaks down. That way everything is
      useless, so it is a kind of trivial answer.

      Look at it another way, everything is a tool including the most
      battered ego (poor thing, it must file a defamtion case on
      ego-bashers). Everything you see is, and has to be, a tool to
      understand nonduality because otherwise nonduality can not reach
      out to that 'thing' (such as intelligence, karma, bhakti etc)
      which is unfit to reveal nonduality. Which means intelligence
      etc are tough to crack even for nonduality, which means they are
      more than nonduality.

      Why? I hate to quote scriptures (being a devil myself!) but
      chAndogya upaniSat says citta is brahman (intelligence is
      brahman) and to the extent people are ruled by intelligence (not
      have not yet transcended it) for them intelligence really acts
      as a defacto brahman.

      karma must be a tool to understand brahman, otherwise the term
      "karma yoga" becomes a contradition. When people renouce the
      fruits of their karmas at that time they become liberated and
      that is how I suppose people do "karma yoga" union through
      karma. if fruit of action is not renoounced then karma will lead
      to another karma and so on. Guess this is basics but I will
      repeat.

      If bhakti does not lead to union, then it is a routine boring
      puja and chanting. Devotion itself is another name for merging,
      because in devotion there are no two different objects (God and
      me). If a bhakta still thinks he is different from paramAtma
      then it is not bhakti, just a regular service to a boss, king or
      some mafia leader.

      Hope this confuses.. :-)

      (Please dont copy my notes to holier message boards.)
      _______________________________________________________________

      HARSHA

      Hope you enjoy the reading.

      AS I SAW HIM - 9

      By Arthur Osborne

      In December of 1941, Arthur Osborne, a university lecturer in
      Siam, was imprisoned by the Japanese. After three and a half
      long years, the Japanese were defeated and he was released. He
      then traveled to India and settled near Sri Ramanasramam, where
      his wife and children were waiting for him.

      He had heard of Ramana Maharshi, read his teachings and seen
      pictures of him, but doubts remained whether the Maharshi was an
      actual Guru who actively guided seekers to salvation. It wasn't
      long before this doubt was cleared. He ultimately founded the
      ashram journal, The Mountain Path, and left a unparalleled
      legacy of literature on the Maharshi and his teachings.

      Let us follow him as he tells how his heart and mind were joined
      to the silent Sage of the holy Arunachala Mountain.

      I ENTERED THE ASHRAM hall on the morning of my arrival, before
      Bhagavan had returned from his daily walk on the hill. I was a
      little awed to find how small it was and how close to him I
      should be sitting; I had expected something grander and less
      intimate. And then he entered and, to my surprise, there was no
      great impression; certainly far less than his photographs had
      made. Just a white-haired, very gracious man, walking a little
      stiffly from rheumatism and with a slight stoop. As soon as he
      had eased himself on to the couch he smiled to me and then
      turned to those around and to my young son and said: "So Adam's
      prayer has been answered; his Daddy has come back safely." I
      felt his kindliness, but no more. I appreciated that it was for
      my sake that he had spoken English, since Adam knew Tamil.

      During the weeks that followed he was constantly gracious to me
      and the strain of nerves and mind gradually relaxed but there
      was still no dynamic contact until the evening of Karthikai
      when, each year, a beacon is lit on the summit of Arunachala.

      There were huge crowds for the festival and we were sitting in
      the courtyard outside the hall. Bhagavan was reclining on his
      couch and I was sitting in the front row before it. He sat up,
      facing me, and his narrowed eyes pierced into me penetrating,
      intimate, with an intensity I cannot describe. It was as though
      they said: "You have been told; why have you not realized?" And
      then quietness, a depth of peace, an indescribable lightness and
      happiness.

      Thereafter love for Bhagavan began to grow in my heart and I
      felt his power and beauty. Next morning, for the first time,
      sitting before him in the hall, I tried to follow his teaching
      by using the vichara, 'Who am I?'. I thought it was I who had
      decided. I did not at first realize that it was the initiation
      by look that had vitalized me and changed my attitude of mind.
      Indeed, I had heard only vaguely of this initiation and paid
      little heed to what I had heard. Only later did I learn that
      other devotees also had had such an experience and that with
      them also it had marked the beginning of active sadhana under
      Bhagavan's guidance.

      My love and devotion to Bhagavan deepened. I became aware of the
      enormous grace of his presence. Even outwardly he was gracious
      to me, smiling when I entered the hall, signing to me to sit
      where he could watch me in meditation. His face was like the
      face of water, always changing and yet always the same. He would
      be laughing and talking, and then he would turn graciously to a
      small child or hand a nut to a squirrel that hopped on to his
      couch from the window, or his radiant, wide-open eyes would
      shine with love upon some devotee who had just arrived or was
      taking leave. And then, in silence, a moment later, his face
      would be rock-like, eternal in its grandeur.

      He was unperturbed whatever happened; the majesty of his
      countenance was inexpressible; and yet it is no less true that
      he was swift and spontaneous in response and that his face was
      the most human, the most living, one had ever seen. He attained
      Realization without learning and never displayed erudition, and
      yet he made himself better versed in the scriptures than the
      pundits who came to him for elucidations. He was all compassion,
      and yet his countenance might appear immovable, like stone. He
      was all love, and yet for weeks together he might not favor a
      devotee with a single look or smile. He replied to all
      graciously, and yet many trembled and feared to speak to him.
      His features were not good and yet the most beautiful face
      looked trivial beside him. He often appeared scarcely to notice
      devotees, and yet his guidance was as unremitting then as it is
      now.

      One day a sudden vivid reminder awoke in me: "The link with
      Formless Being? But he is the Formless Being!" And I began to
      apprehend the meaning of his Jnana and to understand why
      devotees addressed him simply as 'Bhagavan', which is a word
      meaning God. The vichara, the constant 'Who am I?', began to
      evoke an awareness of the Self as Bhagavan outwardly and also
      simultaneously of the Self within.

      Bhagavan sought to free us from psychic as well as physical
      desires, and he therefore disapproved of all freakishness and
      eccentricity and of all interest in visions and desire for
      powers. He liked his devotees to behave in a normal and sane
      way, for he was guiding us towards the ultimate Reality where
      perceptions and powers which men call "higher" or "miraculous"
      are as illusory as those they call "physical". A visitor once
      related how his Guru died and was buried and then, three years
      later, returned in tangible bodily form to give instructions.
      Bhagavan sat unheeding. It was as though he had not heard. The
      bell rang for lunch and he rose to leave the hall. Only at the
      doorway he turned and quoted:

      "Though a man can enter ever so many bodies, does it mean that
      he has found his true Home?"

      I observed that he shunned theoretical explanations and kept
      turning the questioner to practical considerations of sadhana,
      of the path to be followed. He never encouraged any to give up
      life in the world. He explained that it would only be exchanging
      the thought "I am a householder" for the thought "I am a
      sannyasin." Whereas what is necessary is to reject the thought
      "I am the doer" completely and remember only "I am"; and this
      can be done by the means of the vichara as well in the city as
      in the jungle. It is only inwardly that a man can leave the
      world by leaving the ego-sense; it is only inwardly that he can
      withdraw into solitude by abiding in the universal solitude of
      the heart, which is solitude only because there are no others,
      however many forms the Self may assume.

      Daily I sat in the hall before him. I asked no questions for the
      theory had long been understood. I spoke to him only very
      occasionally, about some personal matter. But the silent
      guidance was continuous, strong and subtle. It may seem strange
      to modern minds, but the Guru taught in silence. This did not
      mean that he was unwilling to explain when asked; indeed, he
      would answer sincere questions fully; what it meant was that the
      real teaching was not the explanation but the silent influence,
      the alchemy worked in the heart.

      I strove constantly by way of the vichara according to his
      instructions. Having a strong sense of duty or obligation, I
      still continued, side by side with it, to use other forms of
      sadhana which I had undertaken before coming to Bhagavan, even
      though I now found them burdensome and unhelpful. Finally I told
      Bhagavan of my predicament and asked whether I could abandon
      them. He assented, explaining that all other methods only lead
      up to the vichara.

      Early in 1948 constant physical proximity had ceased to be
      necessary and professional work had become urgently necessary.
      Work was found in Madras. Thereafter I went to Tiruvannamalai
      only for weekends and holidays, and each visit was revitalizing.

      I was there at the time of one of the operations that Bhagavan
      suffered and had darshan immediately after it, and the
      graciousness of his reception melted the heart and awoke remorse
      to think how great was the reward for so little effort made.

      Toward the end, Bhagavan was aged far more than his years. He
      looked more like ninety than seventy. In one who had a strong
      constitution, who had scarcely known sickness except for the
      rheumatism of his last years, and who was impervious to grief of
      worry, anxiety, hope or regret, this would appear incredible;
      but it was the burden of his compassion. "He who taketh upon
      himself the sins of the world."

      Devotees came and sat before him, burdened with sorrows,
      tormented with doubts, darkened with impurities, and, as they
      sat, felt themselves free and lightened. How many have come and
      sat there weighed down with the grief of failure or bereavement,
      and the light of his eyes has dissolved their pain until they
      have felt a wave of peace flood their heart. How many have come
      primed with questions which seemed to them all-important and
      which their thought and reading has failed to solve; it might be
      in desperate hope or as a challenge that they brought the
      questions, but as they sat there the questioning mind itself was
      brought to tranquility and the questions faded out, no longer
      needing to be asked. And then, if they opened their hearts, a
      deeper understanding was implanted there. Those who sought
      refuge in him felt the burden of their karma lifted; and it was
      he who bore the burden.

      I was there that fateful April night of the body's death and
      felt a calm beneath the grief and a wonder at the fortitude
      Bhagavan had implanted in his devotees to bear their loss.
      Gradually one after another began to discover in his heart the
      truth that Bhagavan had not gone away but, as he promised, is
      still here.

      Since that day his presence in the heart has been more vital,
      the outpouring of his Grace more abundant, his support more
      powerful. I have been to Tiruvannamalai since then also, and the
      Grace that emanates from the tomb is the Grace of the living
      Ramana.

      I have not given a clear picture of the man who was Ramana, but
      how can one portray the universal? What impressed one was his
      complete unself-consciousness like that of a little child, his
      Divinity and intense humanity.

      We shall not see the Divine Grace in human form or the love
      shining in his eyes, but in our hearts he is with us and will
      not leave us. His Grace continues to be poured out, not only on
      those who knew the miracle of his bodily form, but on all who
      turn to him in their hearts, now as before.

      From Ramana-Arunachala by Arthur Osborne

      ___________________________________________________________________

      DAN BERKOW

      Where cause and effect no longer holds, nor inside and outside,
      nor any quality, where there is neither space nor time -- can it
      be said there is neither "being" nor "nonbeing", can it be
      called "nameless", "timeless" -- or is that saying too much?

      _____________________________________________________________________

      BETH

      Mark wrote: "why do I persist in this annoying boat schtick? No
      reason. just am. Yes, faith is often the vehicle that carries us
      on. It may be the boat that brings us to the proverbial 'other
      shore'."

      "'What?' cried the Rat, open-mouthed: `Never been in a...you
      never...well I...what have you been doing, then?'`Is it so nice
      as all that?' asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared
      to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the
      cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating
      fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.

      'Nice? It's the ONLY thing' said the Water Rat solemnly, as he
      leant forward for his stroke. 'Believe me, my young friend,there
      is NOTHING..absolute nothing... half so much worth doing as
      simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,' he went on
      dreamily: 'messing...about...in...boats; messing....' "

      The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame

      MARK

      YUM, Beth, YUM!!! The Wind in the Willows is one of my all time
      favorite books!!! (I want to do a spiritual radio show called
      "Piper at the Gates of Dawn"). Here's another story close to my
      heart, in which the boat is no longer needed because of the
      trick that Rabbit played on me...

      Otter's Grandchildren, a Tale of Success By Rhonda H. Rucker

      There's an old Cherokee legend that tells how Rabbit tried to
      trick Otter out of his sleek, shimmering coat.

      The animals wanted to hold an honor dance for the creature with
      the most beautiful fur coat. After meeting at the great council,
      they decided the honor should go to Otter.

      Rabbit was sent to notify Otter and to lead him to the dance. On
      the way back, Rabbit tricked Otter into camping at a so-called
      sacred place where fire falls at night. To protect his coat,
      Otter needed to remove it and hang it on a far-off tree. In
      addition, he needed to sleep next to the river in case he caught
      on fire.

      After Otter fell asleep, Rabbit created a firestorm by throwing
      hot coals in the air above Otter. During the resulting chaos,
      Rabbit ran off with Otter's coat. Otter dove into the river,
      where he discovered the delights of swimming, and he's been
      there ever since.

      Gayle Ross tells a longer version, which is wonderful!
      http://nativeauthors.com/search/title/0044.html

      Love, Mark ps I know I'm all wet, but hey, the water's lovely!

      ______________________________________________________________

      MATTHEW FILES

      THE UNSEEN & UNSEEING I

      There was an invisible man who was much interested in knowing
      himself, but was frustrated since there was nothing he could see
      about himself. To compensate for conditions, he concocted an
      imaginary persona & life for himself which he could picture in
      his mind AND study, and being aware that it was entirely his
      creation, anything he learned there from would be an indirect
      lesson about himself -- the creator of the imaginary mental
      image.

      Any who does not recognize this as a singular stroke of genius
      is bleary eyed; anyone who does not recognize the practical
      significance of the story will remain that way.

      OH-O, SAY CAN YOU SEEEEE?

      When not fighting for survival, a man's eyes stay stuck on far
      away places, (also his "I's").

      Daydreaming is the brain's re-processing of memory files when it
      has nothing contemporaneously better to do.

      Quote of The Day: "When I feel unusually happy I do not feel
      particularly concerned about the idea of being more conscious,
      or not.

      Is there something I should be learning from this?!"

      Secret of The Day: Nobody knows who the "you" is in them that
      can be aware of the thoughts in them.

      BE HEE-ELED!

      Consciousness is a cripple who walks only by use of other
      people's thoughts, (truth is; he's legless, and all thoughts are
      someone else's).

      Consciousness must eternally be propped up by some thought --
      any thought -- to even exist. Some life, huh?! Forever dependent
      for your mere existence on the help of strangers & passers-by
      with whom you may have nothing of practical value in common.

      If your thoughts are continually reacting to the thoughts of
      others, and you believe that you actually think -- then the
      joke's on you.

      YOU NEED TO REMAIN RICH

      There was a man who had a great fortune, but every time he left
      his house, part of it was lost.

      ...(A man always out in the yard chasing the dog is a
      laughingstock. Hint for The Day: Use this info on yourself.)

      A man who can be discouraged deserves to be discouraged.

      ...…(Not really: "deserves" does not herein mean what you would
      think; but rather it signifies a conscious recognition of the
      mortally unavoidable -- to-certain-things-born.)

      What's on de menu: Those with nothing worth talking about --
      talk about themselves, and those with nothing worth thinking
      about -- you got it.

      Escape Info for The Day: Don't think about you -- think about
      your brain.

      Quiz for The Day: (a): While the brain monitors everything else
      going on in a man, it shows little interest-in, or much
      tolerance-for the frustration inherent in trying to monitor
      itself. (b): The brain wants to think, but not about itself.
      (c): All brains have an interest in being more conscious, but
      few have enough to make them actually DO anything about it.

      ......(Make room for those awaiting bus Number 8.)
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