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THE NONDUAL DAILY NUGGET
Punishment and Retribution, by Kristi Shelloner
Candles, by Christiana Duranczyk
Satsang with Tolle, by Petros
December 5, 1999: The Nondual Float, by David Hodges
December 6, 1999: The End of the Affair,by Christiana Duranczyk
December 7, 1999: To Not Adhere, by Skye Chambers
December 8, 1999: Silence from Mars
December 8, 1999: Satsang with Ram Tzu,by Petros
December 9, 1999: The Mississippi Ocean, from the lotus-and-sunflower list
December 11, 1999: Xellex: an excerpt from the novel by Carlos Dwa
December 12, 1999: Grand Central, by Greg Goode, Ph.D.
December 13, 1999: Merton on the U.S., by Patrick Collins
December 15, 1999: Introduction to Harsha-Satsangh, by Dr. Harsh K. Luthar
December 16, 1999: American Beauty: And Greatness Arose, by Jordan S. Gruber
December 17, 1999: The Verbiage Garden and the World Dream, by Neo, Dan, and Gene
December 18, 1999: The Matrix: Two Kinds of Pills, by Phil Burton and Greg Goode
December 19, 1999: Suffering: East and West, by Jan Barendrecht
December 20, 1999: This Wednesday: The Stillpoint, by Christiana P. Duranczyk
December 21, 1999: Criteria and Original Nature, by Gene Poole
December 22-24, 1999: Fractals, by Josef Hand-Boniakowski
December 25, 1999: Rumi
December 26, 1999: Kerouac List, by Jack Kerouac
December 28, 1999: A Message From Gangaji
December 29, 1999: Waking Up Together, by Paul Williams
December 30, 1999: New Years Eve, by Greg Goode
January 1, 2000: World Festival, by Christiana P. Duranczyk
January 2, 2000: The Original Gift, by Gene Poole
January 3, 2000: Puja, by M
January 4, 2000: Non-Duality, by Thich Nhat Hanh
Where's CARLOS DWA and is there any
chance he'll return to the ?
Who is the Master that became enlightened when he stumbled and fell while passing through a revolving door?
What happens when new poems are created by combining passages from Walt Whitman?
Timothy Schoorel. "Can you imagine a flower that's afraid to die? How do you think that will influence the way it grows? Somehow the whole flower will be inhibited. The flower will not be a natural and free expression of life. But flowers are not afraid to die, the beauty of nature is that it expresses itself freely, it is not inhibited by a constant fear. Fear has a function in nature, but it is not a way of life. This need not be different for human beings, we can mature into our natural state. Enlightenment is not an extraordinary state, it is our natural state." (
Don Quixote. "...for it may be said of Knight-errantry what is said of love: that it makes all things equal." (thanks Bob Bays for recommending the man from La Mancha)
Nonduality and the movie The Matrix
Did anyone think the movie American Beauty was 'nondual'? Write me.
Sexy At Last? you decide: Non-Dualism and Western Philosophy
Have you discovered Nonduality pioneer ==Gene Poole== yet?
Here's what it is ..what finally busted
loose in me surprised even me. I've been rehearsing with
this choral group the past 6 weeks and last night I
started getting too choked up to sing, then the words
just really got to me and seemed so meaningful. I didn't
want to make a scene and leave and I kept thinking maybe
I'd calm down and be able to sing the next song, but soon
as I'd start to sing, the tears would start again. Its
the same music we have been practicing all this time,
mostly based on African spirituals. At first I thought it
was just reminding me of all the years singing in church
choir, which of course it was and had all along, and the
music is great but why now so moving? It was and wasn't
the music. Really I was just remembering all these good
people I had known at church, sorta one after another
coming up... and then feeling all this gratitude and love
that these of course very ordinary people were so kind.
Like the guy you could call anytime, because he had made it his business to learn how to coax the old furnace back to working.. and how he always asked after my boys and made a point of mentioning that he had also been thru a divorce and how being a step parent was not easy, but his boys all turned out ok in the end, tho they had their bad days too, so not to worry about it.. and then he'd talk about his vegetable garden.. and I still can't even remember what his name was, just that he's dead now and I miss him.
And all those little old ladies who week after week sign up for nursery care because they don't mind missing church.. and always stick around to clean up the kitchen after the potlucks.. and take food over whenever anyone has a baby or someone dies, whether they know them well or not.. nameless to me people were coming to mind along with the ones important to me and close to me.
And I remembered how when the larger church hierarchy was holding debates about what the church's "stance" should be towards homosexuals, we just quietly voted in a lesbian woman for deacon. And the best part was it had nothing to do with any stance, it was more because she was already collecting furniture and stuff to give out to people whose houses burned down and that's what deacons do is look after other's needs, so why not make it official.
Back when my first husband simply packed up and went to California, the minister listened to all my problems week after week, cause I certainly could not afford "real counseling." No matter how depressed or angry I got then, he would say, "Well, isn't it okay to feel like that? If I was in your shoes, I'd be upset, too. This is not easy." And yet I'd feel better just being listened to and go back to deal with another week. He gave me what may be the best compliment I ever got in my life one day when he said, "What impresses me most about you is the wide assortment of people you know from all walks of life." When I stopped to think of all those people and how everywhere I went in town I'd see someone I knew, I felt rich in friends and the money problems I had then seemed a lot less important.
Well, I could on and on and I really don't care how corny this all must sound, because it was my mistake to think that it mattered that you can't talk to these people about chakras or kundalini or Buddhism or esoteric anything. So it actually does not matter to me if anyone thinks Christianity is dualistic or even if it basically really is, intellectually speaking. The entire issue of beliefs just went poof..gone. I know these people got the essence of Jesus message was about love and caring for others. Anyone's ordinary kindness matters just as much as the Mother Teresa type. And I realize how all these people are actually so much better than even they know themselves.
And I remembered that is why I fell in love with Jesus in the first place back when I was 10 years old and first heard about him... God is love, love one another. Even when I later went thru my own atheism, I could not bear to hear Jesus himself disparaged. Since then I've been thru all the usual questioning of everything and the ridiculous theology and thought I was just going to church for the kids sake or because I just like to sing the music, and that I needed to work out my own beliefs anyway and find people who thought like me. No matter what or how anything really may be, I still love Jesus.
When I finally got out of there, I let it out and cried all the way home. Here I've stayed away from church the past two years for many different reasons, but last night I knew I am just so homesick I want to go back.
Note: Some items were mistakenly deleted. Sorry. Because they were selected at random, they can't all be replaced. However, they are from the website.
by Kristi Shelloner
When I lived in the streets and Simon came
to me, a bitter, angry, violent, hurting man who, no
doubt, had countless warrants out for his arrest......but
came to me and said "I am feeling out of control;
I'm afraid I'm going to hurt someone, help me" he
did so because he knew I did not see him as bad.....(I
gave him pastels and told him to draw; he was an
incredible artist) my seeing him as Simon, the sum of his
goodness, not the sum of his badness......gave him the
grace and hope to find the "good" inside
himself........is he either or? or did he become - being
unable to define his own trajectory - what was projected
at him.....He was really a gentle, tender soul, much
abused and tortured in his life, who wanted nothing so
much as to be "good" only he didn't know what
that meant. He would bring me his drawings, his
countenance lifted, and then return later to tell me
about the good deeds he did that day, who he helped, what
illegality he didn't commit. For that day, he was
healed........because he was accepted as he appeared and
honored for his gifts; not shamed for his flaws.
Are there ill-effects in the world? Do people get hurt? Do we ourselves do harm? Of course. Can we change the course of those things.....often......by not seeing people as bodies, or as the things they do or say or think.....but by seeing them as the light that shines, their reality,......in this way "evil" is alway conquered by good.
Transcendent moments in the presence of people one might otherwise define as bad or dangerous confer the capacity to see them as spirit....beyond good/bad qualifiers....simply as the Holy Sons of God......there is great healing and peace in this.......and life is never seen as the same again. (In my case it brought about much pain and confusion in subsequent times because I can no longer see people the same way others see them. This is a problem in consensus reality......) Also, much "Bad" is created in the name of good.....and vice versa.....makes for some pretty slippery distinctions.
To the degree that such recognition enhances the capacity to forgive.....(people who do bad things are ALWAYS asking for love, affirmation, even if they don't know it themselves)..... we can shortcut much of the "evil" that gets perpetutated through cycles of hate, reaction, judgement, justification, etc.. as a culture, we demonize "bad" people and sanction the right to hate them, thereby creating them. Our mania for personal responsibility and law and order and "paying the price"; our love affair with punishment and retribution creates many more problems than it solves...
by Christiana Duranczyk
as I continue lighting my first Advent candle.. I am
joined by the celebrative lighting of the first Menorah
candles of Chanukkah.
The first candle lite is called the shammus which means "servant".
The lighting prayer is:
Barukh atah Adonai, Elohaynu, melekh ha-olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, king of the universe
Within my, somewhat self created, evolutionary meditation, I reflect this week upon the Mineral Kingdom.. I hold in awareness the minerals crystallized in our planet, our bodies and in our natures. I take my 'shammus' (servant) and walk into the inner mine. The light reveals the inorganic gifts, infrastructure of formed life ... the very 'core' to be stripped to, to be in awe of. In my hand a quartz crystal... held by crystallized bone structures of support. What a miracle these structures which support us. The light also, however, reveals the mineral essence in my human nature.. a place, perhaps where crystallization and hardening is not desired, a place which might need deep mining or 'undermining'. Where are the metallic tones of voice, the bitter hardened roots?
I ask again, what wants to be birthed this year, what needs to be emptied out in readiness? May the structure of my character be strong enough to act as chalice.
Satsang with Tolle
a lecture by Eckhart Tolle at Mahayoga here in L.A. last
Friday night (Nov. 19). He keeps the message very simple:
Just focus on the Now. That is the only moment that we
can truly every have, all else is imagination. He's been
teaching and counselling for a decade but it seems that
he's become more popular lately because of his recent
book (The Power of Now), as there must have been sixty
people packed in there to listen to him. And we really
had to sit silently to hear him; Eckhart is a soft-spoken
man, he almost seemed a little nervous to be in front of
all those people.
Harry Dean Stanton, the actor, showed up to hear Eckhart as well. A lot of people obviously recognized him but in the spiritual context, they were gracious enough just to smile and pay attention to Eckhart.
December 5, 1999
The Nondual Float
by David Hodges
It seems that the scale of the
demonstrations and the readiness of some of the
protestors to engage in violent confrontations caught the
press pundits by surprise...as if a vast underground has
been brewing under the radar screen of the media and has
suddenly burst into public view. I think the
demonstrations will have a great effect in forcing more
public attention on the activities and powers of the WTO.
I think in particular it will be good if the WTO is
forced to have more of their proceedings conducted in
public instead of behind closed doors. Just think, if the
protesters hadn't been there, the WTO meeting would just
have been one more boring blip in the news that no one
paid attention to. Most people probably didn't even know
there was a WTO or what it did. Now a lot more people are
going to take notice.
<Usual disclaimer>: of course we don't condone violence etc etc etc</Usual disclaimer>
I don't have a stand on the issues themselves aside from the issue above, of the private meetings being opened to the public. To borrow Ken Wilber's term, I am aperspectival, i.e., there are a zillion perspectives one could have on the WTO, all of them might have merit, all of them have shortcomings, so why pick one perpective and hold to it, why not just maintain a "don't know" non-attitude about all perspectives? I call this (having just made up the term) the Non-Dual Float.
December 6, 1999
The End of the Affair
by Christiana Duranczyk
Reviews for the movie (The End of the
Affair) are mixed.. but this passage from the book
(presented to me by a friend who wanted to know if *this*
expressed a bit of what I'm "about") is, I
think, a very fine literary example of Presence and the
absence of same...
"I've never loved anybody or anything as I do you." It was as if, sitting there in the chair with a half eaten sandwich in her hand, she was abandoning herself as completely as she had done, five minutes back on the hardwood floor. We most of us hesitate to make so complete a statement; we remember and we foresee and we doubt. She had no doubts. The moment only mattered. Eternity is said not to be an extension of time but an absence of time, and sometimes it seemed to me that her abandonment touched that strange mathematical point of endlessness, a point with no width, occupying no space. What did time mater - all the past and the other men she must from time to time (there is that word again) have known, or all the future in which she might be making the same statement with the same sense of truth? When I replied that I loved her too in that way, I was the liar, not she, for I never lose the consciousness of time; to me the present is never here, it is always last year or next week.
She wasn't lying even when she said, "Nobody else. Ever again." There are contradictions in time, that's all, that don't exist on the mathematical point. She had so much more capacity for love than I had. I couldn't bring down that curtain round the moment, I couldn't forget and I couldn't not fear. Even in the moment of love, I was like a police officer gathering evidence of a crime that hadn't yet been committed, and when seven years later I opened Parkis's letter the evidence was all there in my memory to add to my bitterness.
The End of the Affair
c.1951 p 50-51
To Not Adhere
by Skye Chambers
mission to not religiously adhere to any perspective, be
it dual or nondual, for they all characterize the same
indoctrination via the usual indignation and dismissal of
any intelligence daring to question or survive within it.
The following is an excerpt from a member of the Krishnamurti mailing list who is not easily persuaded either. When i can get past his abrupt Aussie manner :-) i do occasionally find his daring insights most interesting, characterized of course by the cut off viewpoints, we all uniquely display, if we have not already annihilated individual expression and the integrity of our being for someone else's philosophy.
[quote] Richard: It is not until the advent of thought does the capacity to notice, remember, reflect, plan and thus implement considered activity for beneficial reasons (intelligence) evolve along with the amazing ability to pass this information to others of the species, including the next generation, via language communication skills rather than grunt and gesture conveyance. Then, and only then, emerges the trait that you describe as the one essential driver for knowing oneself: the wonder, the awe, the curiosity as to ask these questions (who am I, where does the universe come from, etc.) Therefore, as to why thought, thoughts and thinking gets castigated as much as it does on this Mailing List, one can only thank the Masters and Messiahs, the Gurus and God-Men, the Saints and Sages and the Avatars and Saviors of the last 3,000 5,000 years for their outstanding contribution to the retardation of evolution ... to the point where they induce you (Somendra Pant) (an Assistant Professor of MIS holding PhD and MS (MIS) degrees) to say: it is redundant, also erroneous, to posit this movement (thought) as movement towards ... there is no towards as it is evolution of nature/matter/consciousness/totality/whatever as if it were a profound truth. [unquote]
skye: It helps me to consider the *possibility* of the life of the self as one message leaping across the nerve cells of a multidimensional structure....just an analogy only, for we are more than a message passing through the vast reaches of a superself. There is a lapse while massages leap the nerve ends and this is analogous to a moment of self reflection by the greater being in whom we live and move and have our being. We have an intimate interdependent relationship with all reality and are never lost in the universe.
Silence from Mars
Today NASA, the U.S. government agency in charge of moving machines thru space, said it was receiving only Silence from its Mars Polar Lander. An innocent bystander remarked, "That's me." It is unknown who this person is or even what "who" is. His wife said, "I"m a doer." The couple appeared to be on vacation. Silence continues...
exclusive to the NDS, The Naked Eye
Satsang with Ram Tzu
I attended one of Ram Tzu's (Wayne
Liquormans') advaita talks in Hermosa Beach on Monday
afternoon. He is here in the L.A. area for about a week
or two, and is holding quite a few talks. He prefers to
call them "advaita talks" rather than satsangs
as he feels the term satsang has been overused in the
past year or two and may be becoming corrupted.
Wayne made mention of the popularity that advaita seems to be enjoying of late, and how this popularity is in many cases not for "advaita" itself, but for the same new-age philosophy that in previous years managed to co-opt the terms "zen" and then "tao" in the name of making a buck. Eventually people's interest will move on to something else.
Wayne reiterated the same message as always. The "teaching" (of nondoership) is, in itself, perfectly useless. It cannot be "used" by the mind for anything in particular. The teaching is *descriptive*, not *prescriptive*; that is to say, it can describe the situation as it exists in reality, but you cannot derive from this description any specific, guaranteed "plan of action" or behavior out of it. I (Petros) noted that, quite simply, "Description arises" -- it is a phenomenon that occurs among other phemonema. Wayne clarified and extended this by noting that "description arises out of a response to questions." When there are no questions, there is no "teaching." As long as there are questions, there is a teaching that arises in response to those questions.
The teaching is quite simple. It is, that there is no "doer." There is merely the one motion of what Wayne (followng the lead of his guru Ramesh Balsekar) calls "Totality," and which others may call God, Source, Reality, Truth, and whatnot. And that the *subjective* experience of this fact of nature is what primarily constitutes realization, rather than a merely intellectual comprehension of it.
Ramana's atma vichara (method of inquiry, viz. "Who Am I") is not a method intended to elicit a specific "answer" (such as "I am That.") It is intended to eventually defeat itself, or to cancel itself out. Petros noted that the putative answers to the inquiry are always different ("I am that," "I am not this," "I am all," "I am none," etc.) and that, being mere chains of words, none of them is "correct." Wayne noted that there can be no answer, period.
I asked a question about wordless transmission, and Wayne reaffirmed its
role in creating the resonance (as he calls it) between teacher and student, as in the case of himself and his teacher Ramesh. This was not understood by my mind, I must admit, but it was felt somehow.
Another question was asked about the time that may be required to learn how to bring the teaching to others. I felt that it could takes a great length of time just learning how to deal with individual people's needs and levels of understanding, but Wayne said this belief was just a mental construct. I didn't quite believe this right away, but a few minutes later I listened as Wayne answered someone else's question about a totally different topic, then he quipped, "There, how many years did I practice that answer?" Then his earlier answer became clear to me. As the teaching is not a body of knowledge, nor a technique, but merely a point-of-view about reality, it arises naturally and automatically as one responds to specific inquiries. The knowledge is right there when it is needed.
The Mississippi Ocean
(from the lotus-and-sunflower list)
The natural world in its particulars has been
for me a constant source of joy, and the universal
process of nature nothing less than the body of God. I
consider myself fortunate to have grown up in the
northern wilds and to have spent much of my youth on the
banks of a young and fresh Mississippi River. She remains
the greatest Guru I have known.
Dan: The ocean is a wonderful Teacher. Atlantic or Pacific - it's the ocean. I love to walk by the ocean, hear the waves, touch the water, feel the wind, the sand, watch the birds. The endless horizon. Where does the ocean end and I begin? Perhaps when I speak, some may hear my words as some kind of denial. Others hear affirmation. Each hears differently. Perhaps the ocean breeze speaks more clearly than I ever will. I'll walk down
there again, soon. So nice to listen - to hear about eternity, peace, evenness.
by Carlos Dwa
internal perception floated above an electromagnetic
hyperdimensional torus. It was like a smoke ring. Its
lines of magnetic tendancies flowed around itself much
like the smoke in a smoke ring seems to roll around
itself as it moves, when actually it is the unseen air
current at its center roiling the smoke as it flows
through it. But this smoke was his thoughts and feelings,
his conscious sense of identity, and the unseen wind was
the primal flow of Life pushing upward through his
genetic matrix toward its assumed sublime destiny. He
knew the magnetic smoke ring, the torus, was him--his
mind--what he had thought of as himself, until now. It
was so trite, so self-involved with devouring its
own excretia--thoughts. Feeding upon them in a wormlike
process of thinking a thought and hearing the
thought being thought. Like a snake devouring its own
tail. It was a closed, polarized, dynamic system. It
endlessly repeated the pulsing process of I.
Nothing truly new could come out of it, or, it seemed,
into it, unless associated with a familiar pattern. Such
a process could only be fascinating from inside its hall
of mirrors, its self-referential infinite regression. He
looked elsewhere. And the infinite potential of elsewhere
swept him into a Living Vastness. And he looked in
wonder. And it looked back in benevolent indifference
awaiting his realization. Surges of theories and
conclusions swept into him from all quarters. This mind
thing that he had though of as himself, it was just a
process, the unending flow of delineating and confining
the unruly Vastness into temporarily soothing
associations and explanations. The process held little
fascination from his new perspective. He was created and
destroyed in each pulsing moment--anew, anew, anew. Each
ephemeral instant, whispered intimations of eternity. And
the course of all things was apprehended without arrest..
. . .Ja Mu awoke in the Dragons Mouth. His lantern had burned out, but it didnt matter. He could see. He could see every niche of the cavern by the biolumenesent glow of the caps of invisibility and the lichen encrusted walls. Everything had a opalesent blue/white tinge and looked otherworldly, like a fairyland. He looked around in astonishment. Things were not the same. It wasn't just being able to see in darkness, he could see things that wouldn't have been visible with any amount of illumination. Living things were different, very different in appearance from everything else. He cocked his head. Yes... yes the mushrooms had another pattern now, they were not just dark purple caps with scarlet veins and stems. They had other colors, other hues that he had never seen before: intrinsic patterns of ghostly blues and reds, deep reds that seemed to throb. And he saw something else, some other light, that was not really a light, some splendid eminence flowing forth from them, and telling him something, speaking to his sight, telling him about their own life. Could it be? What wonder was this? What new world had he entered? He felt he would split open, that the wanton allure of this world would slay him with beauty, that he could be overcome, absorbed, entranced by the staggering glamour of things mundane. And all about him, that which he had considered inanimate; the rock, his pack and equipment, the air, the space, the flow of time--all undulating with life, shimmering with intelligence, speaking to him, it cracked his heart open and breathed into him--whispers of bliss, promises of worlds without end--of inner skies and shores, and vistas of consciousness to become him. He wept. He laughed. He muttered incoherently and watched himself do it from a lucid place far away. And then, smiling with brimming tears he gathered his things and walked to the entrance of the cave.. . .
(c) 1999 Carlos Dwa
by Greg Goode, Ph.D.
attending is no more.
But years ago, there was lots and lots of attending. It was like this - before and during spiritual seeking, I wasn't badly suffering or in pain or unhappy with my life or stuck in dysfunctional patterns. Instead, it was a deep sense of loneliness, alienation, lack of fulfillment, and a strong yearning from the heart and mind to know "What is it all about? What is the purpose of life? What happens after? What are all these mystical truths that are spoken of? Where is fulfillment to be found?"
In a nutshell, the paths for me were two: devotional (bhakti and karma yoga) thru Born-Again Pentacostal Christianity, then later, a wide search and deep inquiry that was primarily intellectual, but felt at the heart and body levels as well. This message is about the second part...
Lots of what follows may seem quite heady and intellectual, but believe me, the heart and body definitely got involved. Part of it is that my education and training were as a professional philosopher. There were hundreds of books and many paths gone through.
This is where Christiana's point about attention comes in. For about 5 years, I kept one question constantly in mind (whenever the mind wasn't engaged in what was before it), because I **REALLY** wanted to know the answer: what IS this choosing, willing entity? One day while I was reading a book by Ramesh Balsekar, standing on the Grand Central subway platform, the answer came by way of the world imploding and my phenomenal self expanding, disappearing to merge with it. No separate independent entity was seen anywhere. All "willings," "desirings," "thoughts," etc., were seen deeply deeply as spontaneous arisings in consciousness, happening around no fixed point or location. Not only the entity "Greg," but also *all* personal entities dissolved, became appearances in consciousness.
Lightness, sweetness, brightness, and a certain fluidity of the world followed immediately as sensory qualities of everything, and became one with all experiences. There were psychological aftereffects as well, like more resiliency, more psychological peace and happiness. At the time, it was really a non-event. Even now, it's not something I ever noticed or thought about at the time, unless I'm asked and then try to reconstruct it.
I do remember that people at work noticed, my friends and parents noticed. I didn't have a real good intellectual understanding of it at the time, and didn't seek one. I'd never met anyone else to talk to about this.
This came at the "right" time too, because I was just going through a break-up with a beautiful transsexual lady who looked like Naomi Campbell, but who was monogamously challenged. It was not difficult, where years previously it would have been painful. We are now very close friends. :-)
Then more attending. Another several-year constant inquiry, but very light, almost with an aesthetic, playful, artful, no-big-deal appeal. This time the inquiry was on the dualism between the appearances and the background consciousness that the appearances appear to - it was that simple. By this time I knew lots of other people, satsang teachers, etc.
I could sincerely say that "I am the background, because the appearances appear to me," that was clear. I never ever ever felt like I was a mind or a body or a thought or a feeling of contraction in the chest or forehead.
But I didn't understand it. Why should the appearances that rise up out of consciousness seem like something other than consciousness? This continued for 2 years, constantly arising (but no longer taken as "my thoughts, my inquiry") - it just happened. Then one day, sitting at home reading a book by Krishna Menon given to me by Francis Lucille, the whole thing imploded.
The telescope collapsed. There was a burning savikalpa samadhi for 90 minutes. It went away. Then the object/subject, appearance/background thing just collapsed.
separation or gap or dichotomy was seen anywhere, then or
since. No union or wholeness has been seen either. No
questions, no answers. All is unbroken, continuous, was
never different. The light, love and sweetness from
before was no longer part of discrete appearances as it
seemed to be years before, but rather the source and
substance of objectless knowledge itself. Talk of
subjects or objects or appearances (or anything) became a
kind of enjoyable make-believe, helpful perhaps in
speaking with other people, but that was it.
What do I do? If I had to come up with a word, it would be celebrate. It looks like this. Work, ride a bike, lift weights, eat, I'm dating a new lady, I write e-mail, have satsang with friends, visit Francis Lucille, a beloved teacher, who gave me the Krishna Menon book (he counts Krishna Menon and Jean Klein among his teachers, too). I was invited to teach this same kind of stuff at the yoga center of friends in New York City's Soho, who also love Francis. I am trying to learn to dance-skate, but am often lazy. I am trying to learn more compassion and kindness. For this reason, and for the beauty and simplicity, I practice Shin Buddhism. There is a temple in New York.
Thomas Merton on the U.S.
by Patrick Collins
share Merton's uncensored comments in his letters about
the United States culture, values and society. As you
will be aware, he grew increasingly disturbed by and out
of sync with the dominant culture in this country.
What does his ideas spark in you today? What is your view of where our nation is and is headed in The New Millennium? Do you agree with his criticisms and his suggested solutions?
In particular, what do you think of his final remarks about the need for contemplative life and monasteries?
Sr. M. Emmanual 10.24.59 HGL 182
...I am growing more and more disturbed by the events and the psychology of the United States. The mentality of this country, its blindness and I might add its willful perversity grow more and more disturbing from day to day. It is undoubtedly the effect of centuries of complacency and undisturbed success in materialistic enterprise. But this has become a blind and sick nation, without realizing it. To my mind the situation is becoming crucial.
Pope Paul VI 5.16.65 HGL 489
May I confess in simplicity that I sometimes wonder if the leaders of the United States and framers of its foreign policies are not perhaps afflicted with a certain moral blindness, due to the conviction that they are themselves perfectly sincere and disinterested, and to the belief that they have a certain mission to destroy communism.
Abdul Aziz Nov 7, 65 HGL 62
Writing about US not being good with love and justice but more for blood, murder, lust and greed. I am afraid that the big powerful countries are a very bad example to the rest of the world in this respect.
Goss-Mayr 11.10.65 HGL 336
As usual I do not have too much information about what goes on but I hear that the atmosphere in this country is getting to be quite tense. One can see so clearly that the real trouble here is the lack of spiritual roots. This country would not be so unreasonable and so prone to violence if it were more firmly based in a spiritual tradition and had a few more solid principles to go by. That is easy enough to say, but what one can do about it is another matter. I think that actually the peace -movement people are not helping much, except that they are making a strong protest, which is all right. But what we need is a peace movement that will help the country to actually understand and want peace, and that is quite another matter. Burning draft cards will not bring this about, it only upsets a lot of poor confused people who are not capable of seeing what it means: except to interpret it as another threat in a time when they feel themselves already gravely threatened by millions of communists behind every tree.
Chakravarty, Amiya 1.21.67 HGL 114
...American life can at times take on the aspect of an appalling wilderness. I am certainly not one of those who, on supposedly Christian motives, preach submission to this state of affairs. Who does matter, however, is not just protest and discontent, but the love which is beyond all that. May that love grow in us all. It is the one thing necessary, Give them, then, my love.
Abdul Aziz April 24, 68 HGL 67
The state of this country is not reassuring, neither is the state of the world. Men without deep faith live as it were with no center and no heart, and consequently one can only expect violence, injustice, confusion and chaos.
Sergius Bolshakoff 4.26.68 HGL 107
The situation in this country grows darker and more tragic, so that I think even the most insensitive must begin to realize that there is something radically wrong. What is wrong is the indifference to God and to authentic religious and moral values, even among thoser who call themselves Christians - who are sometimes the worst in regard to things like racism, injusstice, intolerance, hatred. At no time was it more evident that prayer and repentance were necessary here. Yet the Catholics are, some of them, going off on a tangent of activism and exterior worldliness - and basic indifference to deep religious values - in the name of progress. Never was a real renewal of the contemplative and monastic life more necessary.
Introduction to Harsha-Satsangh
by Dr. Harsh K. Luthar
All paths go somewhere. No path goes nowhere. Paths, places, sights, perceptions, and indeed all experiences arise from and exist in and subside back into the Space of Awareness. Like waves rising are not different than the ocean, all things arising from Awareness are of the nature of Awareness. Awareness does not come and go but is always Present. It is Home. Home is where the Heart Is. Jnanis know the Heart to be the Finality of Eternal Being. A true devotee relishes in the Truth of Self-Knowledge, spontaneously arising from within into It Self. Welcome all to HarshaSatsangha.
American Beauty: And Greatness Arose
by Jordan S. Gruber
American Beauty gives us what few films ever have: a completely believable portrayal of a series of psycho-spiritual breakthroughs leading up to nothing short of a moral illumination. It does this not through overbearing concepts and special effects (e.g., the failed What Dreams May Come), or through overwhelming levels of mythic tragedy and courage (e.g., the successful Schindlers List), but through an exquisite balance of blowtorched emotions, exceptional acting, and stunning visual artistry. The Sixth Sense may have had the twistiest ending of any film this year, but for students of Enlightenment, American Beauty'ssurprise is a far more precious pearl.
Frankly, the film made this reviewer quite uncomfortable at first. Its raw-edged portrayal of a scathing everyday reality just beyond what most of us typically acknowledge as possible threw me for a loop. But as I stayed with the film, as I allowed it's penetrating portrayals of schizoid mundanities to entrain my nervous system, I began to trust that the filmmakers and actors knew exactly what they were doing. I surrendered to the ride, and was rewarded with a remembrance of things vast that still has my beginners mind gaping at skyscapes and whirlpools of fallen leaves.
A moral illumination: a character who opens up, who receives, who truly learns, who knows, who goes beyond himself in an unpredictable crescendo of intersecting epiphanies. In many films such moments are not believable. In this film, three things make it inevitable.
First, the director seamlessly pulls together the many unavoidable strands of dissonant energy so that they cancel each other out. We are left in the pristine and spiritually elevated eye of an emotionally horrific suburban hurricane wherein love grows as both the commonest and rarest of roses.
Second, it is the series of lesser illuminations (of different types, and by different characters) leading to the culmination that opens us up so that we are ready to receive the cellular benediction. The movie is so good for so long that when the finale occurs we are in the proper state to absorb it.
Third is the acting, along with the direction and production values.
Kevin Spacey will almost certainly be nominated for best actor, and Annette Bening was probably at least as good. The three teenage actors were all perfectly cast, and the rest of the players all fit their roles exceptionally well. The directing, by first-timer Sam Mendes, was flawless, and the film was a visual feast, albeit occasionally harsh, glaring, and quite disturbing.
Reflecting and resurrecting fallen actuality imbued with spiritual possibility, American Beauty teaches us where to look everywhere to see what is most precious. Look within, go see American Beauty, and then look within again, and you will see why this movie, by any name, is one of the very best of this last decade of the millennium. It arose to the occasion, and so should you: go to the big screen and see this extraordinary film as quickly as you can.
The Verbiage Garden and the World Dream
by Neo, Dan, and Gene
There seems to be quite a bit of discord here between different aspects of ourself. For our benefit I would suggest that each party apologize to the other and ask for their forgiveness. If that is not possible and you feel you have to get the last word in, you do us all a disservice. At the very least, just do not respond to the next attack.
Dan: Now, neo, have you made yourself one of the "parts" attempting to suggest how the other "parts" would relate beneficially? That may work, but how well and how long will that work?
If there are no parts in reality, then how is it that so much verbiage is strewn about this garden, as if to raise one part up higher, place another lower, to affirm the existence of one part as special for knowing it doesn't exist, or to affirm the special nonspecialness of a part for knowing pure existence? I suggest that all of this haphazardly strewn verbiage eventually decomposes and becomes the fertilizer for organic verbiage that is beneficial and cleanses the air.
Gene seems to have proposed a theory that might help make sense of the verbiage garden that grows here.
I am attempting to point out that for most humans, all decisions are made on the priority of _keeping the original _identity_. This original identity (not to be confused with 'original nature', which itself precedes identity) is our 'ticket of acceptance' to family and to society. To lose identity is equated with psychosis; it is probably the most stress-producing event a person can experience.
Dan: So, some may be evading personality/identity disintegration while being attracted to the philosophy of personality/disintegration. Others may be building a personality on ideas about no-personality, an identity of specialness based on the idea of having no identity. Still others may be maintaining an "I am right" identity by taking the position of ultimate truth, or being beyond relative true or false. Yet all of these poses are simply the human being attempting to avoid disintegration, perpetuate existence, and achieve significance. Very natural. The breaking apart of self and world can only occur as a chick breaks out of the egg - when the shell has weakened sufficiently, the newborn feels strong enough, and there is readiness. So all of the thrashings and strewn verbiage can be viewed as pangs of birth.
Gene: Yes. Held criteria validate the 'owner'. Remember that the 'owner' is a character in a dream, and because the identity of the 'owner' is valid only in the dream, the 'owner' is heavily invested in maintaining the dream. Hitting upon others with emotion-producing word-attacks is the attempt to include others in one's 'family way' trance. Once this family is properly identified, the 'father' and the 'scapegoat' instantly materialize; the vertical rankings of family hierarchy will appear, to the extent that each member reacts in such a way as to stabilize or protect identity.
Dan: We do see attacks and counter attacks that create emotional "pull" and a family scenario with roles based on words. This does not seem far-fetched here.
Your statement of 'hypnotic trance' is accurate; world-dream identity (which is the only kind of identity) depends NOT ONLY upon individual trance, but also, on the cooperation of all other dreamers to _remain in trance_. It is only the collective trance which can be called the 'world-dream'. The world-dream is a transpersonal trance, and the 'vast tacit conspiracy' to maintain this collective dream, is what we call 'society'. Historically, we see vivid examples of what happens to anyone who attempts to awaken masses of people, let alone individuals. That is why I favor the idea of 'awakening to the dream' rather than 'awakening FROM the dream'. As is cogently pointed out in several spiritual traditions, there is no-one to awaken 'from the dream'.
Dan: The idea that one must awaken is part of the trance. The intent to stay asleep is part of the trance. Only awakeness is non-trance. Many verbal formats are ways to keep the trance going, to reinduct those whose trance slips. Some verbal formats move toward awakeness and back toward trance in the same paragraph. No verbal format can serve fully as catalyst to awakeness, as processing verbal statements requires a degree of trance, even to "get" the meaning. However, words are great catalysts because they are so integral to the trance. Of course, many other non-word events can be great catalysts, too. Timing and readiness are more important than the particular catalyst.
Aware of the factors of identity-trance, both individual and collective, our movements become guided less and less by _criteria_ and become more and more a matter of conscious choice. Eventually, we become aware that the pain of the sufferers within the trance of the world-dream, is an emanation of the original agreements which resulted in _accepetance_ into family and society. Acceptance of an _arbitraily assigned position of inferiority_ is a bad agreement to make. Acceptance of the 'scapegoat' position is even more painful.
Dan: And the orginal trance factor - acceptance of the idea of "positioning", that there is a body and space-time within which a self can be positioned. That trance factor is the basis for the development of the rest of the trance reality.
Certain cultures maintain 'rites of passage', in which the painful submissiveness of the child is exchanged for equality in the world of aware adults. Our western cultures seem to lack this event of disposing of interim identity, thus dooming members of our cultures to perpetual warfare in the fight for dominance. Remember, it is one who assumes the reality of identity, who seeks to change that identity. We can fight among ourselves for the identity of supremacy, OR we can give up the need for identity.
Dan: Yes, that very struggle is evident here as in the rest of the human community.
To me attack is not justified in any form.
Perhaps we can agree to disagree on this one.
Dan: Attack, counterattack, fantasies of revenge, fantasies of superiority, the wish for invulnerability, the desire for an unassailable being. These arise together. It's not so much a matter of justification, although rationalizations abound (of dual and nondual persuasions). It's more a matter of awareness. If awareness is attached to a position, how can it *not* function defensively, in one way or another?
The Matrix: Two Kinds of Pills
by Phil Burton and Greg Goode
PHIL: the movie Matrix was an 'extreme disappointment'. The dialogue, although loosely littered with nondual reference was lame and melodramatic... the special effects were fantastic... but all in all, I give it 5 yawns out of 5.
The Matrix film has a great irony. Some of its
spiritual references are about levels of reality, levels
of experience. About 3 levels, as I remember. Oddly
enough, however, the higher up you go in the Matrix
universe, the grungier it gets. The lowest, most deluded
level is the most pleasant, like a 50's TV show world.
And the higher is ugly, with rusted megalithic structures
housing pods of oozing protoplasm. It was the
unpleasantness of the higher levels that spurred the
computer folks on to create the lower, more pleasant
game-realities. So for game-characters
working their way upwards through levels in Matrix-world, it was hard work like sadhana often is. But the result was an ugly and sad wisdom, not freedom, bliss or enlightenment.
It revolves around the question: Would you prefer the red pill or the blue pill (I might have got them switched)?
Red pill: Know the truth, but the truth is painful and ugly Blue pill: Be blissful and ignorant.
There's more to read about nonduality and The Matrix.
Suffering: East and West
by Jan Barendrecht, with Tim Gerchmez, Old Hag, and Bruce Morgen.
is such a big issue because it belongs to the human
collective unconscious. The major part of suffering is
man-made; it is due to ignorance. Starting with just
basic instincts, with which some identification is
natural, out of ignorance the process of identification
is allowed to continue where it should have been halted
and reversed. This continuation of identification in its
turn leads to material judgment where all creatures only
have an economical value, with dire consequences for the
poor, whose well-being has a lower priority than sending
radio controlled toys to Mars.
Becoming more and more sensitive is natural; when self-interest is dwindling, one becomes aware of others and suffering. This again is due to identification; because hardly anyone escaped from suffering, one identifies with the suffering person and it is as if one actually feels the pain; those, identifying with Jesus to such an extent that wounds at the hands appear, are called Christian saints :) Identifying this way is only possible when there is a sense of "otherness" and the sense of "otherness" depends on the sense of "self". In moksha/nirvana, that potential to identify has been destroyed so there is neither a self nor are there others, but the "products" of this identification, various kinds of feelings, will remain for quite a while and occasionally they can cloud the perennial bliss somewhat. In the course of events, these "products" only remain in memory, one doesn't feel anger, insult etc. anymore but when for instance confronted "live" with suffering, one will act spontaneously in a way to bring relief. So don't despair; there is light at the end of the tunnel, be it that collective human ignorance is needlessly lengthening it.
Tim G.:My perception is that the rich suffer as much as the poor, but suffer in different ways (often more "mentally," whereas the suffering of the poor is concentrated on more physical levels).
Jan B.: Not familiar with statistics? The majority in Western countries is satisfied with life, over 70% claims to be happy. How would this be in Africa, where there is hardly a family without aids victims? Do you really think Africans don't know they are just left to die because they can't afford Western type medicines, artificially being kept expensive? They know damn well that manufacturing these medicines and selling them cheaply under internationally agreed emergency law would evoke a strangling economical boycott by the US. No need to believe, a visit to Africa is all to become convinced.
Tim G.:Suffering is universal, and has little to do with material wealth. It has more to do with *spiritual poverty*, and in that respect the rich may be suffering with greater ¤intensity than the poor. And if you think that mental anguish cannot be as ¤severe as physical anguish, think again. It can be a hundred times worse.
Take it from one who knows and has experienced.
Jan B.:Ever heard of the term "provoking destiny"? *Suffering can ALWAYS get worse*.
Old Hag: You know, Mother Teresa has said often that India's poor are physically starved, but Westerners, especially Americans, are love-starved, and that is a much greater poverty and suffering.
Not only don't most Westerners know to be love-starved, they would even deny it.
Tim G.:Thus the statistics you mentioned. And Westerners are not only love-starved, they are starved in every way *except* materially (and where there *is* material starvation in the West, there is utter despair, gang violence, rampant drug addiction, etc).
I don't deny the physical suffering going on in countries like Africa. Like you said, Western countries are contributing to it. It's *all* due to spiritual poverty.
Let's not place blame on anybody. The world is making its own karma, it's all interwoven together in myriad ways. To point out statistics, and mention Africans dying of AIDS is oversimplifying the issue.
I'd just like to end my part of this discussion with a couple quotes from Swami Vivekananda:
"Social life in the West is like a peal of laughter; but underneath, it is all a wail. It ends in a sob. The fun and frivolity are all on the surface: really it is full of tragic intensity. Now here (in India), it is sad and gloomy on the outside, but underneath are carelessness and merriment."
"What the world wants today is twenty men and women who can dare to stand in the street yonder, and say that they possess nothing but God. Who will go? Why should one fear? If this is true, what else could matter? If it is not true, what do our lives matter?"
Bruce Morgen: With only the greatest respect and affection, dear one, Mother Teresa was not a credible authority on such matters as seen from here.
There is a *huge* amount of suffering on the subcontinent, thousands (if not millions) of children suffer and die needlessly there due to lack of rudimentary sanitation and/or nutrition. This is not to deny the general spiritual malaise of "The West," but to fall for the image of India as pure holy ground where physical suffering is routinely transcended via profound spiritual insight is naive in the extreme.
The typical poor Indian is no more "transcendant" of her/his suffering, physical or otherwise, than the typical poor North American or European -- and the upper strata of Indian society are as hubris- ridden and smug as their counterparts elsewhere in the world. India is a country where, for all its wonder and beauty, a middle-class (wo)man would sooner tithe to a local swami's ashram than help a poor neighbor after a bicycle accident. Indian cities are, in some respects, kind of like New York with a monsoon season, smaller cars, and much more public defecation.
For a useful antidote to the idealized public image of the late Mother Teresa, interested readers might want to read left-wing muckraker Christopher Hitchens' book on the subject:
"The Missionary Position: The Ideology of Mother Teresa."
This Wednesday: The Stillpoint
by Christiana P. Duranczyk
As many of
you know, this week is an unusually good time to abide,
to meditate, to clear out the dross, to surrender with
reverence... to rest in I AM.
This Wednesday is the Solstice. The Stillpoint. The time when the rhythm of the season is in breath pause before it's slow arc back to renewed life in the Spring. The pulses of Life are quelled and we, if we attend with inner organs of perception, are poised to receive.
This particular year bears a phenomena worth noting. The Solstice distance is counterbalanced by the Lunar proximity. Some say the deeper radiance of Mother Light... of the feminine. I have attached information about the lunar dynamic below.
I submit, with humility, that we consider what it might be like to enter the Nonduality or Chat with pure awareness of the Background, poised to receive what might want to emerge within our collective body.
submitted with Love, Christiana
FULL MOON DECEMBER 22, 1999 -- This year, a full moon will occur on the winter solstice, Dec. 22, commonly called the first day of winter. The last time a full moon on the winter solstice occurred in conjunction with a lunar perigee (point in the moon's orbit that is closest to Earth) was 1866.
Our ancestors 133 years ago saw this. Our descendants 100 or so years from now will see this again. The moon will appear about 14% larger than it does at apogee (the point in its elliptical orbit that is farthest from the Earth) since the Earth is also several million miles closer to the sun at this time of the year than in the summer, sunlight striking the moon is about 7% stronger making it brighter yet. Also, this will be the closest perigee of the Moon of the year since the moon's orbit is constantly deforming. If the weather is clear and there is a snow cover where you live, it is believed that even car headlights will be superfluous.
Criteria and Original Nature
by Gene Poole
as I use the word, refers to the accumulated body of
impressions which make up the set of filters through
which we see the 'world', then yes, but it is more than
Humans are characterized by _motion_ (momentum) for as long as they live. Given this, 'criteria' are the data by which this movement is directed. Motion is a given, but _direction can be a matter of _choice_. Criteria, held consciously OR unconsciously, steer the moving person into a direction.
We fool ourselves if we assume that we are choosing our own direction. Why do I say this? Because, the choices we make as 'adults' are actually based upon the criteria of the very first _agreements_ which we enter into, as very young children. I am saying that as we 'now choose', there is a basis for any choice made, and this basis _could be_ criteria which emanate from early-life _agreements_. Perhaps the reader is wondering how a tiny young child could be said to make agreements; what I refer to here, is the set of responses which are learned, in order to correctly correspond to the ways of the family. It is only by learning these 'correct' responses, that one is issued the 'ticket of acceptance' by the family. Later, the 'family' becomes larger, until it includes all other people. I am saying that we, as humans, proceed through life, holding out (for all to see) the original 'ticket of acceptance' which was first issued when we compromised to the extent that we were accepted as _valid _by the criteria of the family_. I am saying that it is by these means, that identity is conveyed and accepted by the child.
Given the motion of the Living Being, direction is 'chosen' on the basis of either _desire_ or _aversion_. That is to say, that in any instant, the direction of the human is (usually) determined by _reaction_. Human senses allow perception of inner and outer events; movement toward (desire) or away from (aversion) will ususally occur, given that motion is going to keep happening. My point in this letter is to show that our 'conscious choices' are usually based upon deeply buried, unexamined _criteria_ which determine automatically, which way we will move, in a given situation.
I am pointing out that we choose direction toward or away, on the basis of what is a cascading event of criteria-comparison, which is a very rapid and usually unconscious (insensible) occurance. Our 'final choices' are thus products of a long series of events of criteria-comparison, all based upon the original agreements made within the family 'way'. In this way, all choices are bound to meet the original criteria which formed the basis of that original agreement. Of course, this happens in such a rapid manner, that we usually assume that what we are choosing 'spontaneously' is an actual conscious choice, when in actuallity, such choices _usually_ confirm the original agreements and the criteria which are their basis. All of this happens 'behind the scenes' in the automatic 'difference-engine' which is the human mind (the 'unconsious', ALA Jung/Freud).
I am attempting to point out that for most humans, all decisions are made on the priority of _keeping the original _identity_. This original identity (not to be confused with 'original nature', which itself preceeds identity) is our 'ticket of acceptance' to family and to society. To lose identity is equated with psychosis; it is probably the most stress-producing event a person can experience.
'Nonduality' advocates the voluntary releasing of all identity, and the 'return' to original nature.
Submitted by Karan Gardner to Allspirit list)
silent, bathe in this wonder.
Renounce the secrets; this is the Secret.
by Jack Kerouac
submitted by John Metzger to the Allspirit list
1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages,
for yr own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
4. Be in love with yr life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact
22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience,
language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from
under, crazier the better
29. You're a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled
A Message From Gangaji
contributed by Xan
"The first human awakening was before Buddha, before Christ, before any of those we have heard of. An ancient, early awakening somewhere unknown.
Those who could hear what this miraculous awakening had to tell were ignited with either direct, immediate understanding as their own true experience, or the desire for that understanding. Of course, most who heard were not interested. But those who were interested were caught by the flame of truth, and it has been passed from being to being until the present time.
There are exquisite sutras and scriptures, hymns and testimonials that shake us, that cause us to fall flat on the floor when we read them because they are alive with the spirit of truth, with the certainty of this flame. They penetrate into our hearts with this "yes," for somehow we know this truth without even understanding what it is we know.
But the most sublime truth of all has never been stated or written or sung.
Not because it is far away and can't be reached, but because it is so intimately close, closer than anything that can be spoken. It is alive as the stillness in the core of your being, too close to be described, too close to be objectified, too close to be known in the usual way of knowledge. The truth of who you are is yours already. It is already present, and the only reason that I have appeared in your consciousness is to simply confirm that.
I truly have nothing to teach you. There have been many teachers who have taught exquisite and useful codes of conduct, methods of meditation, ways of living and manifesting in the world. I am simply pointing to the stillness that is alive in the core of your being and inviting you to turn your attention to that, to let that live your life. I invite you to give your questions to that and your answers to that. Give your failures and successes, choice and choicelessness to that. Give all back to where it came from, back to before creation.
When we look back into history at the numbers of known sages, saints, and messiahs, we can see that awakening has been rare. Since it has been rare, we assume in our minds that it is not possible for us. Many people today say it is absolutely inconceivable for an ordinary person to simply awaken to the truth of who one is. That it is reserved for saints or for those who have demonstrated great purity or endured great spiritual practice. But this is not so.
This is for you.
With all of your experienced limitations, this is for you, simply because all of your experienced limitations are not who you truly are. Who you are is already on the other shore, already free, already the source of all wisdom, clarity, and beauty. Who you are is where all is, stillness itself.
Awakening does not mean that this particular form you inhabit should or will be a saint, or a great artist, or king of the world. It means you can know without a doubt that who you are is not limited to form. Who you are is what the world appears in, what the cosmos appears in, what space itself appears in.
There is a quickening on the Earth at this time. In this quickening is the invitation to realize where you are, who you are, who one is. If you are fully committed to that realization, there is nothing that can stop you.
There is no obstacle.
My teacher, Papaji, said that the greatest obstacle, in fact the final obstacle, is the belief that there is an obstacle. Be very aware if you are clinging to this belief, and have the courage to let it go so that you can see for yourself. Then our meeting will not have been just a passing thing that happened one day. It will be the reunion of Self to Self, a reunion that is newer than the first union.
I am profoundly delighted with our meeting and the potential that is in this meeting. I know you as my own Self.
I love you as my own Self.
Waking Up Together
by Paul Williams
an excerpt contributed by Cyndy Roy
out one of my favorite books from Paul Williams;
"Waking up Together". It's written in diary
style. I happened to open to this entry and found it
(contributed by Cyndy Roy)
*** August 1 ***
When I was younger I wanted to wake people up. That was fun for a while. Now my purpose is a little different. I want to provide companionship, reassurance, support, stimulation to those who are already awakening.
"The great man fosters and takes care of superior men, in order to take care of all men through them." the "I Ching" tells us, in the hexagram called "Providing Nourishment." On an early Rolling Stones record, Mick Jagger paraphrases Solomon Burke: "Everybody here listen to my song tonight; gonna save the world."
When I was younger I wanted to save the whole world. I still do, although it's been a while since I dared to admit that. Basically I believe it's up to each one of us to choose whether we want the world to be saved or not. What is your vision? I'm not saying that you "should" want to save it. All I want is an honest answer.
"Everybody Needs Somebody to Love." That's the song Mick Jagger
was singing. Now we're waking up and we don't want to be here alone. But at the same time we can't afford to be with someone else if they're not
going to give us the space we need to go through what we're going through.
My vision is that by nourishing those who nourish others, I can touch and have an impact on the whole world. You can do the same thing. That's why I'm writing to you.
*** August 2 ***
I'm not writing to you because you have the 'potential' to touch the world. I'm writing to you because you're already doing it, you're already sharing yourself, and I want to encourage you at your work.
*** August 3 ***
The challenge is to be completely in the moment when you touch another person. It doesn't require (and can't be achieved through) any kind of effort. All you have to do is not be holding on to anything.
*** August 4 ***
Of course, if you don't hold on you might fall.
*** August 5 ***
And fall, and fall, and fall. It seems like this pit has no bottom. And the more you try to get control and stop falling, the more anxious you become. Might as well relax and enjoy it.
New Years Eve
by Greg Goode
going to the Zen Studies Society (Rinzai Zen) on 67th
Street in New York City for the annual New Year's chant.
It is really an amazing thing.
After a 30-minute sitting and an hour Dharma talk, we will be chanting the "Life Prolonging Kannon Sutra" for about an hour, until 5 minutes before midnight.
They admit 108 people into the zendo. Lots and lots of incense is burned.
The chant (given below), 10 lines long, is done 108 times, with increasing vigor. Each time the first syllable of the chant comes around, the next person steps up to the 3-ft-high bell in the zendo hall and strikes it with a suede-covered laquer striker about the size of a baseball bat, then hands the striker off to the next person. By the last 25 rounds of the chant, people are almost yelling and screaming.
This continues until 11:55, then we sit in silence. There's an intense contrast between the ringing and chanting in your ears, latent vibes in the zendo, and the silence of the sitting. At a few minutes after midnight, the announcer stands up and quietly says, "Happy New Year. There is food upstairs. Please eat." After the zendo I might go downtown to a dance club, not really sure.
Here is the chant in Japanese, along with translation and notes, etc.
**ENMEI JUKKU KANNON GYO**
(Ten Phrase Life Prolonging Kannon Sutra)
KAN ZE ON NA MU BUTSU YO BUTSU U IN YO BUTSU U EN BU PO SO EN JO RAKU GA JO CHO NEN KAN ZE ON BO NEN KAN ZE ON NEN NEN JU SHIN KI NEN NEN FU RI SHIN
TRANSLATION (based on translations from Eido Shimano Roshi and Robert Aitken Roshi)
Salutation and devotion to Buddha!
We are one with Buddha In cause and effect related to all Buddhas, and to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
Our True Nature is Eternal, Joyous, Selfless and Pure.
Mornings my thought is Kanzeon.
Evenings my thought is Kanzeon.
Thought after thought arises in mind.
Thought after thought is not separate from mind.
NOTE: Kanzeon (Kannon) is the Japanese name for Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, the Lord of Beholding, one of the two bodhisattvas attending Amida Buddha (the Buddha of infinite Light and Infinite Life); Kanzeon represents Amida's Great Compassion. One source of this is the Contemplation Sutra or "Sutra on the Contemplation of Buddha Amitayus," in which Buddha Amitayus stands in the midst of the sky with Bodhisattvas Manjushri (wisdom) and Avalokitesvara (compassion), attending on his right and left respectively.
by Christiana P. Duranczyk
while watching the spectacular PBS planetary celebrations
(which lasted for 25 hrs!) and integrating the enormity
of this world celebration, which we've just witnessed (or
participated in), I find myself thinking of my dad who,
midway through this century participated in a World War..
spent time in a German prison hospital and then was an
unwilling participant in the Cuban revolution where he
lost his business. I had not given this calendar event a
great deal of attention. I had no idea of the enormity of
pageantry being prepared. Tonight I marvel, that through
the various mediums available to me, I have spent the
'New Year' moment on the phone with a couple of friends
living in different parts of the planet; chatted online
with several others; taken a journey around the world
through the expertise of television production and
cinematography crews; witnessed cultural rituals in
ancient, contemporary and futuristic display; seen beauty
in the eyes and smiles of races of faces and expanded my
heart in ways I had not thought possible.
Living as we do, in a time when it is more the norm to be cynical and dubious about what our future as a planet and as a people might hold, today's World Festival has released a healing force which might *yet* have the power to eradicate the wounds and set right the course for this collective relation-ship.
We are now conscious of the time difference from where we live to Auckland and Samoa. We have witnessed in one 24 hr period a succession of gracefilled celebratory ritualistic NOW moments. I have never felt the Presence of the Living One so powerfully expressed.
May the First World Party be repeated endlessly.
The Original Gift
by Gene Poole
one who succeeds in giving up striving, strive to help
others give up striving?
As one who has succeeded in giving up, I am puzzled by this and other seemingly pertinent questions, on this, the dawn of the 21st century.
Certainly, I fully expect that all such questions will be answered eventually, as all previous questions have been solved automatically by abiding.
However, this assumption does not ease the distance between abiding and striving. The polarities involved, embody the difficulty of abiding; that such a practice is not detachment, nor ignoring, but the willingness to be experiencing what is going on, to be tested, to maintain a practiced tolerance, in the face of a changing array of apparent circumstances.
It is the constancy of this practice, which allows the arising and the continuance of the context of self. It is the ever-present context of self, which is the reminder of the futility of trying to fix what is already ongoingly perfect.
On the other hand, it is the contrast between 'what is' versus 'what should be' which is the driver of the momentum to make better. It is the assumption that it is within my grasp to make change occur, which is the permission to attempt to act on the apparent evidence of deficiency.
The question arises in the face of changing circumstances or conditions; does this 'new' circumstance require a movement on my part? If I am to move, where am I moving from, and to where would I move? If I have the context of self, I am aware that everything that is happening is happening in this 'field' of self; I am thus aware that all movements are actually my own movements; and thus I am aware that I have the privileged position of not needing to move, for I am already moving.
As the observer of all of this movement, I recognize how beautiful is this display; it is all done for me; I may play or sit, as it suits me. I observe the dance, and I eventually am infused with the beat. I see that it is the beat of my own heart; this is the gift of abiding. My heart is the whole universe, expanding. Awareness allows this perception; this is the beauty of display. And all of this is mine to have, to relish, to let go of. I am independent.
It is lonely to be free, but freedom is also the ability to connect and share when I choose to do so. The menu of opportunity is unending; it is a gourmet's smorgasboard of delights. I choose to have choice. Choice is beyond choices; choice allows choosing 'none', and still having self as the continuing context of Being.
As I expand, I encompass more and more of what is; this is a movement which is toward omniscience, or so it seems. By avoiding the assumtion that I must conclude, I never stop expanding. The constant challenge is the appearance of ever-more-delightful circumstances; will I decide to 'get off the train' at this point, which seems so satisfying? Or will I abide, enjoying display, knowing display deeper and deeper, realizing that it is myself which is revealing itself, in this multifarius dance of attraction and aversion?
Is there ever a conclusion? Is there ever a stopping? Is there ever a point at which all of this stops, to be replaced by an imagined or visualized ideal, now held as a goal? Is not the goal, the ideal, thevery motive which offsets the oft-denied impulse to abide? Is abiding held out as the last resort, to be implemented only after all strategies have been found to be fruitless?
To abide... is to be filled with the 'energy' of what passes through, once one stops running apace with circumstance. It is similar in this regard, to the electrical phenomenon known as 'induction'. In this effect, a magnetic field _moves_ across a material which is capable of conducting electrons; in this manner is 'electricity' generated; electrons are excited to movement by the movement of the magnetic field. The key to understanding this analogy is to realize that it is the very difference between the movements of the field and the conductor which is responsible for the generation of power. I am pointing out a relationship of relative velocity.
To abide is not to 'be still', for life itself is movement which cannot be denied. To abide is to leave behind the assumption that running apace with changing conditions will result in anything but being jerked back and forth between aversion and desire. It is the resumption of natural momentum, which is the establishment of proper relative velocity between self and Self; in this relationship, Self inducts self; self is equalized by Self to Self. In this relationship of movement, Self is greater power, which in relationship with self-in-abiding, inducts into self, that greater power. It is the resumption of natural momentum of basic life, which enables this induction of power.
Now comes the understanding. In the beginning, we are unconditioned, having only the basic human/mammalian organism-specific response-patterns in place as _criteria_ for reaction to changing conditions. As we age, we garner many social criteria, all of which generate reaction.
Now, as we understand the practical benefit of abiding, we are able to resume adherance to the basic organismic values of existence, in spite of the pushes and pulls of socially-conditioned desire and aversion. It is this abiding in the basic organismic values of existence, which is the original condition of Being in existence. In this voluntary abiding in and as the original condition, we are able to accept, at long last, the original gift of natural momentum, which is life itself.
To be at rest while moving, is the gift of abiding. To allow the movement of self to be the movement of Self, is to make peace with the apparent disparity displayed between Self as 'outside' conditions, and self as the experience of those conditions 'inside'. To know the fact that these apparently differing conditons are different only to the degree that we are ignorant of self, is to allow oneself to be liberated from that disparity; to allow oneself to be liberated from that veil of apparency, is to allow what has been obscured, to be seen. And what is seen, is self.
I wish for you, the very best.
Millenia may pass, self remains...
The following is re-printed with permission from Aham list. Link to photos is at bottom. You may have to sign up for Nonduality list to enjoy them, but you can always unsubscribe or go on "No Mail/Web Only" status if you do not wish to received mail. --Jerry
Some of you
had wanted to see my home puja (worship) shrine. The
first pic is of the whole puja. If you scan down to the
second picture, you will see that the left side of the
puja has two tiers. The first tier has a picture of Shri
Gurudev. The white container contains kum-kum from Shanti
Mandir. This kum-kum was used during the 9 day festival
of the Devi, the Goddess, called Navratri. The stones you
see are pure crystals. They have been extracted from a
sacred piece of ground, and the only human hands to
handle them to any extent have been mine. They resonate
with the Pure Knowledge of Self, and my personal
resonance as well. They are special and sacred.
On the tier below that contains the representations of Lord Shiva. The small stone in the front is the Shiva linga. This linga is very special as well. Given to me by my father, he said a holy man gave it to him twenty years ago, and that it was not for him, but he would know who it was for when the time came. When he handed me the stone, he said he was the keeper, but I was the one who owned it. It is a natural linga, the most powerful, with the three lines of Shiva's three primary acts naturally ingraved on it. It has a series of unbroken circles which represnent eternity. It is one of a kind.
The linga represents the formles absolute, Paramashiva.
Behind it lies the Shiva Nataraj or Dancing Shiva. This represents the world as the dance of the Lord.
The picture of the Devi represents the power of Lord Shiva, His Divine Shakti that manifests the world process.
Above that is Lord Ganesh, the power of the Lord to remove obstacles. He is the Lord of categories, residing in the Muladhara, he is the essence through which all subsequent attainment in sadhana is possible.
Beside Ganesh is the Divine symbol Om. It represents the Nada or Shabda, the dynamic essence of the world process.
The third picture contains the heart of the puja. It contains the pictures of Shri Nityananda, Shri Muktananda, and Guruji. Below that is another pic of the Bhagavan, and to either side is a pic of the Bhagavan and Baba Muktananda.
On the left is a brass bucket which holds the hand rolled incense from India. This stuff is exquisite. Beside the bucket is a piece of a coconut from a Yagna fire ceremony conducted by the Brahmin priest at the ashram. After the incence is burned during arati, it is placed in the piece of coconut until it is offered up the next day with a coffee and fruit offering, and is then received as prasad. It is now holy or sacred ash.
The green container beside that holds more of the kum-kum from the Navratri celebration. The container was made by my little girl at school. The brass container beside that holds ash that has been consecrated and received as prasad. It is sacred ash.
The bowl is the arati platter which is waved before the puja during arati.
To the right of the platter is my incence burner. The small crystal container beside that contains holy water that has been consecrated. The brass bell is the bell used during arati. The small shot glass is used to hold the coffee that is offered up to the Bhagavan.
The shell and coral were gifts given to me by a close yogi friend Martin. They are from the island of Hawaii.
In front of all of that is my yogi shawl, which I got from Shanti Mandir. It was present for many arati ceremonies in front of the Bhagavan murti at the ashram, as well as many ceremonies in front of the Muktananda puja. It was also used for a yagna fire ceremony. Guruji personally held and blessed the shawl, as well as the Shiva Nataraj.
To the far left of all of this is my white asana used for sitting during my devotionals. You can also see a few texts and some devotional tapes.
I hope you have enjoyed sharing with my my very special and personal home puja shrine.
by Thich Nhat Hanh
Contributed by Gill Eardley
tolls at four in the morning.
I stand by the window,
barefoot on the cool floor.
The garden is still dark.
I wait for the mountains and rivers to reclaim their shapes.
There is no light in the deepest hours of the night.
Yet, I know you are there
in the depth of the night,
the immeasurable world of the mind.
You, the known, have been there
ever since the knower has been.
The dawn will come soon,
and you will see
that you and the rosy horizon
are within my two eyes.
It is for me that the horizon is rosy
and the sky blue.
Looking at your image in the clear stream,
you answer the question by your very presence.
Life is humming the song of the non-dual marvel.
I suddenly find myself smiling
in the presence of this immaculate night.
I know because I am here that you are there,
and your being has returned to show itself
in the wonder of tonight's smile.
In the quiet stream,
I swim gently.
The murmur of the water lulls my heart.
A wave serves as a pillow
I look up and see
a white cloud against the blue sky,
the sound of Autumn leaves,
the fragrance of hay-
each one a sign of eternity.
A bright star helps me find my way back to myself.
I know because you are there that I am here.
The stretching arm of cognition
in a lightning flash,
joining together a million eons of distance,
joining together birth and death,
joining together the known and the knower.
In the depth of the night,
as in the immeasurable realm of consciousness,
the garden of life and I
remain each other's objects.
The flower of being is singing the song of emptiness.
The night is still immaculate,
but sounds and images from you
have returned and fill the pure night.
I feel their presence.
By the window, with my bare feet on the cool floor,
I know I am here
for you to be.
This poem is about an insight related to
vijnanavada. It is a difficult poem, fit to
be explained in a course on vijnanavada.
You are there for me, and I am here for
you. That is the teaching of interbeing.
The term interbeing was not yet used
at that time. Although we think of the
Avatamsaka when we hear the term
interbeing, the teaching of interbeing
also has its roots in vijttanavada,
because in vijnanavada, cognition
always includes subject and object
together. Consciousness is always
consciousness of something.
From 'Call Me by My True Names'
The collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh