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Tuesday, February 26, 2002

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  • Jerry Katz
    ERIC BLACKSTEAD Jan, in Ithaca the sun is frequently never seen in Jan. and Feb.as a result of some inversion over Cayuga Lake. Never, not for 2 or 3 months,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2002
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      ERIC BLACKSTEAD

      Jan, in Ithaca the sun is frequently never seen in
      Jan. and Feb.as a result of some inversion over
      Cayuga Lake. Never, not for 2 or 3 months, although
      there is plenty of grey light to see by.

      When I 1st arrived in Santa Fe NM to visit some
      friends, some years ago when I still lived in
      Ithaca, I was in a state of near ecstacy for more
      than a week. People would tell me "I know it's high
      here, but why are you so happy"? and I'd tell them
      that I hadn't seen the sun for almost 3 months.

      Later, I settled down to mere happiness. I also
      came to learn that there were other reasons the
      high desert West made me feel so satisfied, but
      that's another story.

      JAN BARENDRECHT

      Thanks for the story Eric. With inversions i'm
      familiar too (see attached pic): each year they
      happen, but never are predictable. It's funny to
      see the sun set before it has descended to the
      horizon... It also affects birds, for whom it gets
      dark a few hours too early.

      One factor is the Calima, a hot, arid and dust
      laden wind, coming from the Sahara: humidity
      sharply drops and people will show similar symptoms
      as caused by the foehn. That only shows the body is
      filled up to the brim with toxins, the
      concentration of which is exceeding the"alarm"
      level when the body is evaporating more than usual
      amount of water. Hence euphoria/ecstasy under those
      conditions is a good sign:

      A yogic body shows vibrant health hence is highly
      responsive but never a nuisance.

      _________________________________________________________________

      JOYCE: O dear! Where is that car backfire-never one
      when its needed!

      NINA: Joyce, My mom had a cure for hiccups:
      frightening me with a loud yell. I suppose it
      worked once, but after years of loud yells
      following the first or second hiccup, I have come
      to associate loud yelling with hiccups. The two go
      hand-in-hand now. Perhaps if you are expecting or
      hoping for the car backfire, the universe is
      scheming to surprise you with something else. Or
      perhaps no surprise is your surprise.

      JOYCE: Yes, laugh. At a Dzogchen retreat, students
      may be trained to give loud yell like PHAT! to
      break through habitual clinging to mental
      proliferation. Unfortunately, this does not work
      when you are doing it for yourself since by the
      time you get to shouting youve already woken up
      (for a bit). Also hard to do when travelling in a
      bus. Works well when someone ese is appointed PHAT!
      Shouter as then it is for a time unexpected. But,
      this is really only a finger pointing to get the
      idea across since, on occassion, some students
      think that cultivating mental proliferation is what
      we are supposed to be doing-laugh.

      Setting kitchen timer randomly, setting out to
      remain in awareness only and then seeing where mind
      is when timer goes off is fun. I have a tape by a
      Rinpoche, theres Lamas chanting as only they
      can..dudmdudmmmdmdmroar rumble-and then soft
      Rinpoche voice. "This is all there is, nothing to
      be done, nothing needed". Then more chanting and
      then repetition. So-sheer bright awareness moments
      triggered from Rinpoche's voice and then watching
      mind sink like a stone -quite fun. At least its my
      idea of fun. Blast of Tibetan horns is also good.
      But, I do this in a relaxed way, not out of any
      particular need to get away from "here" into
      "there". Just curious. Rather like Nina whose mind
      does not seem to be at all "murky". Surprise is
      good, no-surprise is fine. Being a recovering sukha
      addict I enjoy surprises and anything Guru Universe
      hands out is welcome here.

      JAN BARENDRECHT: The probably most old-fashioned
      trick to stop hiccupping is to hold the breath as
      long as possible: it is similar to stretching,
      which gets any muscle out of cramp. The hiccup is
      unlikely to disappear at the first hold of breath
      as without some pranayama basics, that doesn't last
      long enough. For those who want some practice, fast
      drinking of hot and spicy tea (like strong ginger
      tea) surely will cause hiccupping :)

      _____________________________________________________________

      JOYCE SHORT

      Any version of enlightenment or non-enlightenment
      and any person achieving it or otherwise is pure
      fantasy. It is "pure", because who is fantasizing?
      Perhaps all is Buddha-activity?

      "That is, it can't be discussed as achievable
      unless achieved, and this is the rationale for
      inventing a Buddha-figure to whom such an
      enlightenment can be attributed."

      The concept of "enlightenment" is an interesting
      postulation put out by postulants-those who enjoy
      playing with religious order. Beyond being just
      assumed to be true, it also presumes certain
      principles and preconditions. Quite an interesting
      and time consuming play with "limits".

      But any claim or postulate remains to be proven.
      And the paradox remains that "enlightenment", not a
      conceptual complex, is beyond comprehension of mind
      because conceptual mind is a formative structure
      and so it must conceive in terms that are meant to
      correspond to something (rather like
      scientists/localized beings who have all the
      answers until the next question comes along to
      destroy all previous structures or car backfires,
      or life backfires). Enlightened mind does not have
      any real qualities of being but neither is it non
      existent -cannot be said to be a mere nothing.

      All beings are already "liberated"-does anything
      hang around for more than a few moments? Or is this
      just a problem with my attention span-laugh. A
      "kalpa" is actually a flash, a mind moment. There
      are no sentient beings and there is self-liberation
      of sentience all the time. Nothing else but this,
      really.

      "As space is always freshly appearing and never
      filled, so the mind without limits and ever aware.
      Gazing with sheer awareness into sheer awareness,
      habitual, abstract structures melt into the
      fruitful springtime of Buddhahood.

      As the darkness of night, even if it were to last a
      thousand years, could not conceal the rising sun,
      so countless ages of conflict and suffering cannot
      conceal the innate radiance of Mind." -Tilopa's
      Song To Naropa-

      _________________________________________________________________

      MATTHEW FILES

      draw-no-conclusions-mind

      The source of our advantage as human beings and
      also our problem is what we call the mind. The
      problem is not thought itself. Thought is the
      medium through which we interact with all the data
      which the senses absorb. The problem is that we
      interpret input-data subjectively, drawing
      conclusions about everything we experience. There
      are three primary aspects of human consciousness:
      the menatal sapect or thinking process; the
      emotional aspect, which is the feeling process and
      the moving aspect, ie, our ambulatory functioning.
      Typically data is first recognized by the mind even
      when it is felt by the body or emotions. We are
      feeling and moving beings but our main form of
      interaction with the world is, by training, mental.
      If we were able to have Draw-no-conclusions-mind,
      input would be viewed with perfect objectivity so
      we would see things, and feel things and move in
      relationship to things directly, without any
      qualifications. The body simply does what what
      instinct requires, but the mind is tremendously
      manipulative. Even before birth, during pregnancy
      the mind begins to develop a particular strtegy
      that it will use essentially forever unless
      something alters that. And the strategy is always
      related directly to the minds fear of extinction.
      The impressions made in infancy are unbelievably
      strong and as we grow up and have more experience
      they are strongly reinforced. By the time we are
      mature adults we have this immense mountain of data
      to substantiate our neurotic strtegies. It is like
      an upside down mountain, however, because the
      entire mass of data rests primarily on those
      initial impressions recieved in infancy. The
      possibility for dealing with this problem of mind
      is simply to sever the minds relationship to
      conclusive or analytical thinking. The mind is like
      a computer that analyzes every bit of stimuli that
      is picked up by the senses. It then selects the
      stimuli that reinforce survival, and rejects what
      doesn't support it. If you sever the minds
      analytical process, you have a senile and impotent
      dictator, just a figurehead with no power
      whatsoever. This severing process is what could be
      called Draw-no-conclusions- mind.
      Draw-no-conclusions-mind is enlightened life and
      there are particular ways to of practicing that
      will tend to to attract that state. This
      enlightened side of "beingness" is not attracted
      from outside of oneself, but rather by eliminating
      those things that mask its presence in us already.
      Another way of speaking about Draw-no-conclusions
      -mind is to say that "the body knows". "Knows
      what?" you ask. That question in itself already
      reflects a conclusion. "The body knows" means just
      what it says without qualification. The body knows
      and at the same time the body rarely expresses that
      knowledge because mind enforces such a total
      control on all the elements of the being.

      ERIC BLACKSTEAD

      Mathew, I particularly like the poetic image you've
      selected to illustrate this point:

      By the time we are mature adults we have this
      immense mountain of data to substantiate our
      neurotic strtegies. It is like an upside down
      mountain, however, because the entire mass of data
      rests primarily on those initial impressions
      recieved in infancy.

      as well as your characterization of
      draw-no-conclusions-mind.
       

      ________________________________________________________________

      GLORIA LEE contributes
       

                      The Sun

                      Have you ever seen
                      anything
                      in your life
                      more wonderful

                      than the way the sun,
                      every evening,
                      relaxed and easy,
                      floats toward the horizon

                      and into the clouds or the hills,
                      or the rumpled sea,
                      and is gone--
                      and how it slides again

                      out of the blackness,
                      every morning,
                      on the other side of the world,
                      like a red flower

                      streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
                      say, on a morning in early summer,
                      at its perfect imperial distance--
                      and have you ever felt for anything
                      such wild love--
                      do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
                      a word billowing enough
                      for the pleasure

                      that fills you,
                      as the sun
                      reaches out,
                      as it warms you

                      as you stand there,
                      empty-handed--
                      or have you too
                      turned from this world--

                      or have you too
                      gone crazy
                      for power,
                      for things?

                      --Mary Oliver

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