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THE NONDUAL DAILY NUGGET

Archive 3
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February 7, 2000: Classic Confession, by Larry Biddenger
February 8, 2000: Only when feeling is absent, "That" appears as pure radiance; by Jan Barendrecht
February 11, 2000: Rumi, contributed by Terry Murphy
February 12, 2000: Please, No More Clowns, by uarlove and Jerry
February 13, 2000: Beneath the Glass Floor, by Kristi Shelloner and Terry Murphy
February 14, 2000: Compassion Begins With Acknowledgement of Suffering, by Gloria Lee
February 14, 2000: Delight in the Splendor of the Manifested Form, by Christiana Duranczyk
February 15, 2000: On The Wing of Spiritual Birds, by O.H.
February 16, 2000: The Transfiguration of the Mind, by Pieter Schoonheim Samara
February 17, 2000: Book Review: How About Now?
February 19, 2000: Tears of 'I AM', by Manchine and Umbada
February 20, 2000: The Internet and Awakening, by Melody Anderson, et. al.
February 20, 2000: Manchinery: Selections from the Email of Manchine
February 21, 2000: The Wide End of the Cone is 'I AM', by Gene Poole
February 22, 2000: When the Sense of Bliss Transforms into Yuck, by Jan Barendrecht
February 23, 2000: Follow Your Fascinations, by Melody Anderson
February 25, 2000: When a Follower, Follow the Heart, by Jan Barendrecht
February 26, 2000: What is Satsang?, by Xan, Larry, and Jerry
February 27, 2000: A Lullabye, by Manchine and Umbada
February 28, 2000: MO and More MO, by the Reciprocality Project
February 29, 2000: Dreaming a Life, by Gene Poole

February 7
Classic Confession
by Larry Biddenger

Today it happened. I finally got it. Nothing special, just being here. So simple. Yesterday it was an idea, today it's real. Amazing! It is absolutely incredible something so simple could take so long. I owe you all so much. It wouldn't have happened without each and everyone of you. Thank you all and thank you again and again. And especially thank you xan. You brought it home to me and I will be forever grateful. I love you all so much I'm going to start crying again. It's just a beginning of course. A beginningless and endless beginning. Just so.

Thank you all again and again.

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February 8
Only when feeling is absent, "That" appears as pure radiance
by Jan Barendrecht

with excellent questions by Larry Biddenger

Larry: Jan, you seem to be saying two deaths are better than one, correct?

Jan: Not really. In terms of Rosicrucianism and the N.T., the first death is the death of the "I" which is the "esoteric" meaning of the N.T.; from birth (enlightenment, the birth of Christ) to resurrection (rising from the death of "I"). The second death refers to the dissolution of "non-essentials" that remain, for instance compassion_as_feeling; the complete dissolution of all qualities is unavoidable as Self is without any.

Larry: However, I still don't understand what dies. If there is no "I" then death and everything else is inconsequential. If there is an "I" then the "I" continues, doesn't it? So is death just a scary movie or what? Seems like the only real death is the death of the "I" which seems like the last thing we want to give up. But then again, why should we?

Jan: For a nondualist, there are no others so what dies are your feelings. One's loved one at age 20 looks a bit different at age 50 but one doesn't love her/him less for it; hardly anyone can be known better as a truly loved one, "no separation" and the usual lingo but when suddenly her/his life force leaves... tears probably will flow abundantly, irrespective of that lingo; one's feelings are what is dying. Identifying with feeling (like the "I") results in dying with it...

The "I" could be called a magnifying glass. It makes it possible to enlarge a little meaningless flesh wound to a life endangering contagious infection for someone who is fearful, and to belittle random killing of innocent civilians as if flattening flies, by persons labeled war criminals. Also, to magnify the importance to material goods so out of proportion that in New Scientist one could read that what a huge meteor impact meant for the dinosaurs, humans will mean for the planet...

For a youth, the death of the "I" is a myth: instead, shortly before *the* event it is likely a strong, spontaneous notion of rebirth will emerge and because of that, the thought will arise "no birth without death". For those aged 40+, the matter will be very different because of the "load of crap", gathered around the "I"; dissolving feelings will give the impression of dying, whether feelings concerning "I", "others" or "properties" (so called mid-life crisis). A proficient yogi of course will know that feelings are nothing but pranic currents and for such a one, there is no obstacle as the proper course of action will be undertaken...

Without the "I", means that the root of suffering has been extracted and that is the sole reason for "stopping the wheel". Perception has become "as is" which includes feelings and those generated by perception. Strictly speaking, the end of "progress" as knowledge of one's real nature is complete and one can live a 100% satisfactory life, knowing to "end" as *That*. This "end" is nothing else but the death of "pure" feelings, leaving *That* as the undifferentiated substratum. This the so called "second death"; when it is seen that it is but the end of pranic currents disguised as feelings, for the resourceful and energetic yogi it is possible to advance this second death and what is "left" could be symbolized by the image of Shakti, dancing on the insentient body of Shiva; the immovable Self and mind as Power.

Larry: Jan, thanks for your very thought provoking reply concerning the death or end of "I". One more question, if I may. If all feeling is "dissolved", what is the good of "That"?

Jan: There's a little known secret about perception; only when feeling is absent, "That" appears as pure radiance, yet transparency itself and It is far "better" than just good :)
From another perspective, anything that can be called feeling, is something one will get used to. But it is impossible to get used to "no feeling"; it is ever the same yet never boring... An impossible paradox. From still another perspective, when all feelings are considered the same, when one is neither attached nor detached to any of them, in the course of events, differentiation halts and they will arise no more. The undoing of all identifications, a very logical and simple but rather rewarding "practice" ...

For a Bhakta, it is relatively easy to see that love is the substratum of all feelings but when there is nothing but love, differentiation halts. To me, is has been clear from the onset (the recognition) that one's real nature isn't a feeling. Recognition is simplicity itself, possible for a young child. Taking the consequences, physical and spiritual maturity (no "I") should coincide, between age 20...30. Sentient life with "pure" feelings could be enjoyed then and midlife would bear the sign of the undoing the last identification. Thus, society would be based on "That" as it probably was taught to mankind at the beginning of the satya-yuga.

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February 11
Rumi
contributed by Terry Murphy

*what's not here*

I start out on this road, call it
*love* or *emptiness. I only know what's

not here: resentment seeds, back-
scratching greed, worrying about out-

come, fear of people. When a bird gets
free, it doesn't go back for remnants

left on the bottom of the cage! Close
by, I'm rain. Far off, a cloud of fire.

I seem restless, but I am deeply at ease.
Branches tremble; the roots are still.

I am a universe in a handful of dirt,
whole when totally demolished. Talk

about *choices* does not apply to me.
While intelligence considers options,

I am somewhere lost in the wind.

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February 12
Please, No More Clowns
by uarlove and Jerry

Uarelove writes: Given a choice between those sages in whose living physical presence I have been in: Nome, Russ, Papaji, Vernon Howard, Muktananda, Osho (Rajneesh), Satya Sai Baba, Pir Vilayat, J. Krishnamurti, Gangaji, Ranjit Maharaj, etc. and those spiritual teachers and sages who I have only heard about and read about (too numerous to list) my first choices for living sages who I wish to be in satsang with are Nome and Russ. Who do I have the least doubt about as far as living sages? The answer is Russ and Nome. Who do I think is the greatest threat to "my" ego notion? Russ and Nome.

Jerry: The greatest threat to my ego is moment to moment realization that I am suffering some free-floating hurt or that I am having a great time or that all is well. Every moment is a threat to my ego. Every day I'm hooked on thousands of reminders that I'm not really free. All I can do is let them be taken-up by the Source, which is the place where attention has to be as often as possible and with the greatest intensity possible.

Radical Satsang is enjoyment of the company of Truth, nothing more; it is not supposed to be a reminder of egoity. Satsang today, in current times, is partially enjoyment of the company of Truth but mostly psychotherapy of some sort.

Satsang is evolving. Some day we'll go to Satsang and nobody will have any questions. There are such Satsangs, but they don't make for good books or videos. I hold them many times a day and nobody comes, or maybe there will be one person in my arms and we'll breathe together.

Get to the point where you go to Satsang only to be there, not to bring in the clowns. Your room's full of them. You know the song.

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February 13
Beneath the Glass Floor
by Kristi Shelloner and Terry Murphy

Kristi: I think life events that cause us to question, not God, but our own innate goodness and innocence....WHERE THAT IS NOT WARRANTED, do such damage to our capacity to trust that it damages our capacity to heal. One cannot heal unless one can trust.

The "psychology of the wounded" as Bruce calls it, is defined by this one central wound. Every soul who walks the streets or grieves alone at night, or is stricken by irresolveable confusion and internal conflict suffers from a loss of memory of what trust is. This is what it means to be beneath the glass floor. To live somehow within sight of the way things are supposed to be, to see the movement and the motion, of the metaphoric places we once walked, to be invisibly shielded and kept away from "normalcy" and to be able to see it all but not participate, not remember how...this is the character of the wound of the soul.

We pay so much attention to glass ceilings...those invisible barriers to promotion, but we are so innured to the presence of a glass floor....upon which so many wise people walk with wisdom and surety, oblivious to the presence of those they walk across. Unconditional acceptance, a loving glance, kind and quiet presence, these alone open a window in the floor through which a wounded presence might ascend, and then walking again, might find it useful to know about such "higher" practices and insight as not needing someone to open a window.


Terry: I am reminded of an old dylan song, where he sings, "In a soldier's stance, I aim my lance at the mongrel dogs who teach, fearing not I become my enemy in the instant that I preach." And the refrain is, "Ah but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."

I bring up the song because, firstly, I don't want to preach at anyone here myself, and become such a mongrel dog, such a hypocrite and become what I preach against.

Secondly, I am, as I think a few of us are, continuously bemused at the way people who seem to have been enlightened and really know what the truth is can sink to the level of *obvious* egoistic argumentation, and that ironically and dualistically, I might add. Bemused because it all sounds so right so much of the time, and is so wrong at the same time. Just what is it that is going on here, what is the problem?

Early on (in my presence on the list) I brought up the idea of post-enlightenment practice. By that I meant compassion and so forth, the things kristi would like to see. I also mentioned surprise at the way concepts were treated on this list as effective tools, and words, even though we presumably, most of us, have experienced the non-conceptual and non-verbal nature of nonduality.

So I watch this fight between kristi's view, which appears to be that people who are 'wounded in the soul' need 'love' from people, not concepts; and bruce's contentions that, if you root around in a garbage can you are bound to be covered with garbage, so just get out of the can. And I begin to get an inkling of the problem. Though I'm not sure that anyone wants to actually solve the problem, I think to grasp clearly what is going on could be helpful for those of us who are bemused by it, so I'd like to throw in two cents, without either solving the problem or preaching to either side about how they ought to act.

Kristi: Is this so hard to understand? Is it really so difficult for the transcended, enlightened spirits of the universe to understand that their way is not the way for many who are climbing, and that the whole point of their wisdom and grace is to know enough to find the language that communicates to the person in need of insight....not to badger them with concepts that worked for the enlightened one, but may not be of a time and place for the one in need... to fit the teaching to the lesson that is asked for?

Terry: I think one problem here is that one size does not fit all when it comes to genuine enlightenment. I am by no means convinced that anyone can be directly helped to achieve awakening; in this world full of awe-inspiring coincidences, those who are ready for enlightenment may or may not be around people or things with which they associate that enlightenment. That is, you may find yourself with or without a teacher when you are ready to grasp the simple truth, but the presence or absence of a teacher may have little to do with it. Of course, it might help, as a midwife or doctor is handy to have around when you are having a baby; but having a baby is a natural process and can be done by oneself.

Another relevant idea is that 90% of communication is nonverbal, and we are stuck with the 10% which is predominantly conceptual, using email. If you come to a concept store you are likely to walk out with an armload of concepts, that's all we have here, even if we love you very much, and know your soul as though it were our own.

Kristi: The lesson that is ALWAYS asked for...by one in need, by one in torment, by one in grief or confusion, is TO BE LOVED. To be understood. To be Seen.
It is for those who know of their wholeness and who know that they need NOT be seen by others to know of their wholeness....to share that with others who do need to be seen by SEEING THEM. This is all you must do. Disclaiming knowledge is not teaching. Castigation is not teaching. Pointing out flaws is not teaching. Judgement is not teaching. Derision is not teaching. Seeing is teaching. Seeing renews the capacity to trust. Seeing is healing.

To See beyond someone's suffering, not by refuting it or denying it,or arguing with it, but by seeing that which is whole, where a suffering brother sees only that which is broken....is to heal. To see what is broken and reflect that and give power to that only makes receipt of the teaching of wholeness more difficult.

If you love me you will understand me. If you understand me you will love me.If you love me and understand me you will heal me and then I will have no more need of your love and understanding, but will in turn have love and understanding to share. If one has not learned this lesson then one has no authority to claim enlightenment or enlightenment has no meaning and no purpose except to aggrandize the ego.

Terry: Even if I love you and understand you that may not communicate itself to you. The problem here is that, in order for any wounded human beings to appreciate love and understanding from others, they must have love and understanding themselves already. (Is this so hard to understand? Yes, of course it is!)

Here you have, say, two people, one is wounded and the other is whole, and the wounded one wants help, wants love and understanding. What they get a person who honestly and legitimately is trying to communicate that this wounded person must find this love and understanding within themselves! Only if the receiver loves and understands the giver, can she receive the gift. Paradoxically, if you have the love and understanding to receive the gift of love and understanding from another, you don't need the gift in the first place; another demonstration that there is only one soul among us, if that.

No matter how much a person believes that what they need is to be loved and understood, what they really need is to love and understand. It is not *being loved* which is the key to happiness and freedom and peace, but *loving* itself, being loving. If you were to understand that these dealers in concepts are doing their own level best to get across to you and to others what they think will help, in genuine love (not the self-aggrandizing egotism that you are seeing), the your love would make it all clear to you, and even their concepts would make sense.

This can be so confusing, Kristi, because many times if a person behaves in a kind and understanding manner, then love is actually engendered; the love which is then felt by the wounded one for the 'healing one' is what helps the wounded one, *not* the love given them by the healer. Jesus would carefully explain, while healing a person, 'It is by *your* faith that I do this." It was not jesus' love which healed, but the love and faith and credence in jesus that the wounded one had which did the trick.

The wounded person who is under that glass floor, and has lost their faith, who is full of doubt; this person is not rescued or helped by the love or example of another, but only by the love within themselves that finally breaks through. Most of us who have experienced enlightenment or awakening have been through just this experience of seeing utter meaninglessness and lovelessness, and when we reach bottom totally and completely give up, then suddenly the sun appears, within ourselves. But if we are told this but someone who knows, it does no good; the concepts, while perfectly true and readily understandable by those who have been through it, are just concepts to the one enmeshed in doubt and despair. If they are treated with love and kindness, this may only prolong their agony. One who is enlightened may be telling you the painful truth,. be giving you no comfort at all, and be actually full of lovingkindness for you, but you just won't get it! You may be receiving love and understanding in a form you cannot recognize, but that does not necessarily make it useless. Sometime in the future, when the light has dawned, when you have shattered the glass for yourself, you may look back and see that people were in all kindness doing the best they could for you.

Out of my two cents, that was the first penny, for kristi and the wounded with whom I deeply sympathize, the victims she feels compassion for and cares about. Try to love even those whose help seems useless and even egotistical. For the most part it is not, they are actually trying, and they get just as frustrated as you that it doesn't seem to help, for all the work they put into it.

The other penny has to do with *transmission*. If the word enlightenement has any meaning - and sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't, depending on who's doing the talking and what they are talking about - then of what benefit does it have to those who haven't 'gotten it' on their own. Many on this list are what you might call 'wet behind the ears' and are still at the stage where they think that a little clarity of thought and *bingo* we can enlighten people. we are encouraged by others who have been through similar experiences and know exactly what we are talking about. People like kristi and the sufferers she has compassion for gain little or nothing from this bandying about of concepts, kind of like people who like to tell 'insider jokes' at a party. We could make a list of cliches here about dropping the ego and realizing the wonder of it all, but for those at the more painful stages these have little value. This is where 'post-enlightenment' practice comes in. You may know what you know, you may know that your heart and your love is pure, your may be immune to the resentment of those who 'don't understand'; but you may have a lot to learn about how to actually help people. If your only abilities are with people who already know and don't need any help, what good is that?

When I was enlightened, thirty years a go, I figured I could explain the truth to any one in an hour or two. A few months later, I formed a commune with all my navy buddies, and I figured a few months of living with me and they would all grasp it readily. After fifteen years of that. I realized that actually transmitting enlightenment to people was pretty difficult, and depended almost entirely on the appropriate student being at the appropriate state of mind; rather like a pregnant woman being nine months pregnant and ten centimeters dilated. And then all you have to do is catch the baby, and try not to let anyone give the mother and child grossly bad advice.

The point being, in penny number two, knowing your shit and talking a good game still won't work hardly any of the time. Many years of post-enlightenment practice are needed to be able to really be of any service to anyone, other than as a good person to hang out with, which is not something to be underrated. When subhuti asked the buddha, 'Is spiritual fellowship important to spiritual practice?" he was told, "subhuti, spiritual fellowship is the whole of spiritual practice.

Love to you all and I hope I haven't pissed off either side, I love and understand everybody, the compassionate and the ones who know better, both. Let's all have faith, my friends, that every single one of us is doing the best they can to help the others. It's true!

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February 14
Compassion begins with the acknowledgement of suffering
by Gloria Lee

I think free will as an aspect of an ultimately mythical individual selfhood does dissolve with death (in the meantime it is part of the" felt and existing" samskaras) or "my will" is renounced prior by disidentification and surrender.

If and when one is able to perceive the Tao and be in harmony with it, one may experience a relatively "choiceless awareness" of flowing and surrender to the moment. This is beautiful to know as a perception of reality here and now.

This assumes a lack of desire/aversion is happening. I have known this grace at times, and no way do I want to rain on her parade.

However, to teach, as a doctrine, that man is or ought to be always passive (especially before realization!) because he is totally 100% determined and has no will..this leads to errors of thinking and practice. It may be a more subtle and rarified response to overly cling to emptiness, but it is equally a negation of truth. I cannot presume to speak for Buddhism or Ramana, but the phrase "neither destiny" would seem to negate any concept of predestination. It is good to recognize causes and conditionings as they do exist and occur, but to claim that is "all there is" to the extent of actually eliminating oneself as an agent of causation? This attributes power of causation to every "thing" except a human being. Are we not included in this mutual arising of interdependent causation?

Where else is freedom to be found, if not on that razor-edge of surrender/resistance within this moment? Yet what is possible here in this moment, if not creation itself? To embrace emptiness to the extent of rejecting or ignoring phenomenal existence is simply choosing one side of the duality.

Paradox may be useful for attempting to express such ideas as existence is emptiness, emptiness is existence. To "be" a living paradox is to see and experience the mutual coexistence between both. Even the experience of freedom from ego depends on there having been ego, phenomenally speaking. What is one dis-identifying with? Isn't my albeit temporary self equally a manifestation of this emptiness along with the rest of existence?

The truth is more like that they cannot be separated, except hypothetically. The error in practice occurs when the intellectual "fact" of emptiness is singled out for emphasis, excluding "unwelcome" aspects like the ethical precepts or right actions. Thus, particularly in the West, we get a form of "elite Buddhism" which selects out meditation and "enlightenment" and ignores the basics like the ethical precepts of the eightfold path. Realization becomes exclusively the teaching of doctrinal thought without the values deeply embedded within the Buddha's overall path. Knowing the concept of emptiness of self is not the same as the experiential elimination of ego. Once one actually IS empty of ego, what is the need for restraints on ego or one's will?

So, ...when a person is experiencing suffering..to diagnose to them that it's all their fault because they have failed to eliminate ego or to prescribe to them all is empty so there is no one actually suffering..is not only useless, but unkind. The use of "truth" as a weapon is a misuse. Compassion begins with the acknowledgement of suffering in life. Truth without compassion is a very incomplete wisdom. Knowing where one is on this pathless path seems quite crucial to communication.

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February 14
Delight in the Splendor of the Manifested Form
by Christiana P. Duranczyk

Good evening friends...

I could go back and try to capture the many points which have moved and stirred me these past days.. but I do not have the time to do so. For this I apologize, as I have known significant perspectival shifts from these awesome ponderings. Written energy-words which come at us at such an accelerated rate that monkey-mind has little time to wrap itself around some confabulated idea.

And when it does.. the next wave challenges even that to be released.. moment to moment.. observing self in this iteration and then in the next. It is enough to observe this moment.. it is a fullness I have never before known.

Tonight I wrote the following to a friend:

"I am learning about joy.. it seems to be what shows up when I drop my ideas of myself.. it simply arises in the formidable creation which I am now knowing as LIFE. It is more than merely abandoning ideas, there is a perceptible widening gap as interface between the stimulation of life and this perceived central processing unit. In the interface is a viscocity of aliveness... awareness. It is a mystery to me that it took so long (50 years!) to become aware of this..

"Perhaps.. in all my years of not wanting to be in this 'dual world'.. I maintained a hold on a stance of resistance. Perhaps the 'spiritual work' was partly motivated by a desire to 'get out'.. but ironically, *now* I find that once I drop the resistant stance and the idealized stance... once I drop the attachment to any particular way of holding myself, the nondual manifests, and to my utter surprise.. in tandem with it is a profound delight in the splendor of manifested form. It is a direct experience of the paradox of intention."

Today, a very sensitive friend told me of a dream he had about me last night. I appeared before him radiantly, cradling in my arms two beautiful babies.. a boy and a girl.. and I offered them to him in joy. He wondered what was going on in my life.

I told him that I was in radiance discovering the beauty of the magnificent ordinariness of each manifest facet of duality.. seen so much more clearly for having also experienced some 'death' of *meaning*.

The writings about 'death' have been significantly poignant for me, as well as the indications about how we each (in NDS) are participating in what I know as a Self Organizing System... in Margaret Wheatley's words:

"systems are fluid relationships.. webby, wandering, nonlinear entangled messes.. unknowable through traditional forms of analysis.. creating pathways, communication flows, causal loops.. irreducible... needing access to itself.. fed by information. No one knows what information an individual will choose to notice. This is why structuring, gatekeeping, and censoring threaten people's ability to discover something new. They also threaten the vitality and stability of the entire system."
.o00o.

I am also moved this week by another paradox inherent in this community, which is elucidated beautifully in the new book of commentary by Shunryu Suzuki's (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind) _Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen talks on the Sandokai_

"In Zen sometimes we say that each of us is steep like a cliff. No one can scale us. We are completely *independent*. But when you hear me say so, you should understand the other side too -- that we are endlessly
*interrelated*. If you only understand one side of the truth, you can't hear what I'm saying. Zen words are different from usual words. Like a double-edged sword, they cut both ways. You may think I am only cutting forward, but no, actually I am also cutting backwards."

This paradox of the *relationship* of independence and interrelation, as well as words which cut both ways, seems, to me to be a core dynamic of this community. If it is not entered into with Understanding, then words and people appear as mere flotsam on our screens.

It has taken me 15 months to arrive at relative stillness in this community. It has taken me 15 months to know you as my Body.

what grace..

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February 15
On The Wing of Spiritual Birds
by O.H.

Hello dears:

Judi asked if anyone knew words to Brother Sun, Sister Moon (what a night, eh, dear one? Sorry i was already in carton, but here are words, for future storms ,^))

These are the words to title song from movie of St. Francis life, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and then a description of the scene in the Marketplace where Francis gives away all he "possesses" and awakens to his Freedom!.

"Brother Sun, Sister Moon, I seldom see you, Seldom hear your tune.
Pre-occupied, in selfish misery.

Brother Wind and Sister Air Open my eyes to visions pure and fair.
That I may see the Beauty around me.

I am God's creature, in Him I am part.
I feel His love, Awakening my heart.

Brother Sun and Sister Moon I now do see you, I can hear your tune.
So much in love, with all that I survey."

This song comes right after Francis has had his awakening, after which he goes to the top floor of his house, and jubilantly throws all his father's silks and brocades (his father is a rich cloth merchant, burly, greedy, easy to anger), out into the streets below, telling the hoopin' and hollerin' crowd that has gathered, to "throw it all away. It is of no use."

His outraged father drags him through the streets by the neck - Francis still smiling, crying out to the crowd, "look at my poor father - what good has all his riches done him?" to the Bishop for punishment.

The scene in the large village square finds the Bishop standing on the stairs, the crowd below on either side, and Francis and his father (his mother is there, too) in the center, before the Bishop.

The Bishop asks who is causing all this fuss, and Francis answers:

F: Yes, it's me. My soul is in your hands.

Bishop: What? Are you trying to cause trouble? Is that what you're trying to do? Is this some damned plot to rob the church of its authority?

Father: That's nothing compared to what he's done to me, Your Grace. God only knows, I brought him up, I've clothed him. I've only given him the best. Ask anyone! They'll tell you! He's never wanted for anything in his life from the day he was born!

But today, he threw all my belongings out of the window, and he even opened my strongbox! (crowd gasps, father begins to cry) and.(garbled words)....threw out on the street. Years of hard work and self-sacrifice just tossed away.

Bishop to Francis: Then, what is your answer to these accusations?
Surely you are sufficiently intelligent to understand that Holy Mother Church must punish those who subvert the established order. A man such as you is a menace to society. He's either criminal or..

Francis: someone seeking the light - someone in darkness. I was in darkness, but Brother Son illuminated my soul. And now, I can see so clearly - just as you did the day you chose the sacred vestments you are wearing now.

Bishop: (now softened): Are you seeking...Holy Orders?

Francis: Me? no. I am not worthy.

B: Then - what do you want?

Francis; I want to be - to be happy! I want to live like the birds in the sky. I want to experience the freedom and the purity that they experience. The rest is of no use to me.

No use, believe me. If the purpose of life is this loveless toil we fill our days with, then it's not for me. There must be something better!
There has to be! Man is - man is a spirit! He has a soul! And today, that is what I want to recapture - my soul.

(Francis begins to take off his clothes.)

I want to live! I want to live in the fields, stride over hills, climb trees, swim rivers. I want to feel the firm grasp of the earth beneath my feet, without shoes, without possessions, without those shadows we call our servants.

I want to be a beggar! Christ was a beggar, his holy apostles were beggars, I want to be as free as they are!

Father: But, Your Grace, even beggars show respect for their fathers.

Francis: I'm not your son any more.

Father: Wha...?

Francis: What is born of the flesh is flesh. What is born of the spirit, is spirit. I now am born again.

(Francis takes off rest of clothes, puts them in his arms and walks to his weeping father. The mother stands in shock. Francis hands the clothes to his father.)

Francis: Father, I give you back everything that belongs to you: your clothes, your possessions - your name, too.

(Francis, with shining countenance, turns from parents and addresses crowd, addresses himself. Claire is watching from window, smiling.)

Francis: There are no more fathers. There are no more sons. And everyone who has left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or fathers, or mothers, or children, or fields - for the sake of our heavenly Father will receive a hundred times more in the life to come.

(Bishop shouts: Cover him up! and gives his large brocade cape to an attendant who drapes it over Francis's shoulders.
Francis laughs softly, takes off the cape and puts it around a beggar.

Francis turns from crowd and walks slowly, naked in body, richly clothed in God's light, down the path to the city's gate. With face illumined with tears of joy, and arms outstretched, he stands silhouetted against the immense blue sky.

~~~

Now, i watch this movie with a detached interest and mellowed heart pull, but when i was in my early fifties, this movie was a great inspiration to me - I played it again and again, each time a new determination growing within me. One day it all came together: my lease was up, my last child had just moved out, the funds for my job were terminated, and i knew what i wanted to "do" without a doubt. In a quick week, i sold all my "possessions" except for what i stuffed in the back seat of my Ford SW - leaving room to sleep, and took off, with $124 in my purse, i knew not where.

But, inspired by St. Francis, i knew that i was done - finally! with raising five children on my own, running a business, saving the children of the county, being 'Wonder Woman" - it was all finished!

And I lived in the fields, on the mountain tops, by the ocean, in and out of ashrams, monasteries, temples,wherever the Dharma wind blew me - for seven years, the most beautiful years of my life! To not know where i was going to sleep that night, what i would eat, where the morning's light would find me, was a fantastic freedom that, at that time in my life, was needed, perhaps as a healing, perhaps as a calling, it doesn't matter, i just knew it was the only choice, and i shall be forever grateful.

Many fond memories arose when hearing that song that Judi - who else? mentioned, thanks, dearest. Admittedly, although each moment is now without planning and few thoughts of past or future passes through feeble brain, i am sometimes aware that old woman's soul is waiting for her return to the wandering life, to the envionrment in which it feels most at home.

It does not matter, though. ,^)) Really! Nothing matters any more. The mountains, the ocean, the wind, the Freedom! - are here, now, at garbage pile, tending garden, dancing with grandchildren, reading nds posts ,^)), God's freedom is none other than old gypsy's breath.

Thanks for listening, if you got this far.

love to all, oh p.s.
ohmygoodness! Just as i finished this, i saw a movement in the fig tree that brushes against my front window, and it was a cardinal! (during wandering days, i always considered cardinal spiritual bird who came with "signs" - especially from St. Francis! and Meher Baba). In all five years i have been here, a cardinal never came to that tree while i was here to see. He did not leave, but came as close to window as he could, just behind the Kwan Yin statue on table before window, cocking his head from side to side, so close as if to peck the window to come in. Don't you love it when stuff like that happens? hoho..and lol...

He just flew away.

Hmm....ok, tears of joy come to my eyes, because i just remembered! that i am on the way to ER ,^)). (was catching up on e-mail before i left...hoho). Ain't it all grand! each piece falls in place. And all we have to do is to watch it. As Kafka says, "And it will roll in ecstasy at your feet."

later, loves.

oh (J dear, no problem about ER, just old heart acting up again. all is fine.)

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February 16
The Transfiguration of the Mind
by Pieter Schoonheim Samara

Between the images that appear on the screen and the light through which the images are projected, there appears a notion that the sense of "I" that permeates the images (the impressions of a body/mind) has an identity with the images.

This (Descartes) notion or belief in the "I think, therefore, I am" idea dissolves altogether, when one abides as the single "I." The "I am the body mind" idea and all images and impressions are outshined, as this fictitious "I" dissolves. The images remain as undifferentiated from the Self, and the Self abides as "I AM THAT I AM" without concepts.

The sensation is that of enquiry, as the focusing and scanning power of the mind automatically disengages, becomes concentrated and as the notion of "I" being related to the images is sucked into its core in the Heart (Hrdayam), the mind becomes filled with as sense that it has inverted or acquired an inward bent. Thoughts and impressions are completely discarded as the quest for the source of the "I" pulsation pulls the "I," seemingly intermingled with the thoughts and impressions and images, into the Singularity of the Heart, where no images can survive.

{"I AM the Lord thy God (I AM), thou shall have no other images before Me (I AM)" - the First Commandment; "I AM the Lord thy God (I AM), thou shall not take the Name of the Lord (I AM) in vein" Second Commandment, where the key to understanding these non-dual Commandments (and the Teachings of Christ) is Exodus 3:14}

"The light of the body is the eye [the subject "I"]: Therefore, when thine eye is single, your whole body will be filled with light...." Luke 11:34

The "I" notion, as being related to the images in the form of some identity, as a doer and thinker, drawn into its source, abides as non-dual Truth, the false impression of the "I" having dissolved, no difference is seen.

Once it is understood that the Gitas and Scriptures are all written for the benefit of the single Hearer, the True "I AM," once one begins to seek the meaning and implication in all the texts of this "I AM," then that True Self hears and in hearing (sravana) that Self (which is always our own Self, that "I" that we sense), reveals Itself as perpetual absorption. From then on all practices one may have been engaged in seem to loose their benefit and intensity as there is something that is now practicing the mind, systematically deleting the idea that the "I" sense has any focused identity.

One abides in the force of the First and Second Commandments, as the single "I," ..."and the whole body is filled with light."

===================
http://intl-roots.com/Voyance/ashtavakra_gita.html

Avadhuta Gita

This verse deals with the difficult concept of how can the infinite becomes finite?

Chapter 2, Verse 9:

Translation by : Swami Chetanananda As water can be hot or cold or warm, and still be the same water, so also prakriti (matter) and Purusha (Spirit) it seems to me, are identical.

Translation by :Swami Ashokananda As pungency, coldness, or softness is non-different from water, so prakriti is nondifferent from purusha -- thus it appears to me.

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February 17
Book Review: How About Now?, by Arjuna Nick Ardagh
by Jerry Katz

I read Arjuna Nick Ardagh's new book, How About Now? Satsang with Arjuna. He's in the lineage of Ramana and Papaji, but he speaks for himself. You don't get the feeling Arjuna's trying to be someone else or to speak as though he were those guys.

A lot of people are familiar with Arjuna's first book, Relaxing Into Clear Seeing. I hear it recommended all the time. How About Now? is another book that will push people to the next level.

Here's an excerpt or two that I really like:

"In the 1960's, when (spiritual) teachers first arrived, there was no way for us to have direct realization. It was next to impossible. You could listen to the right words and repeat them verbatim, but it was not possible until a few years ago to sit firmly in the realization that 'I am awareness, infinite and eternal.' Such realizations were not happening for ordinary Westerners, or at most very fleetingly. The consciousness began to shift in our culture in this decade, in the 1990's. Now, if we seek out teachings of awakening, they are mostly being shared by ordinary Westerners -- people just like you and me. There are very few Indian teachers left. These days, spiritual teachers of note ... are all Western people. There is a new generation now, and it is all up to us. The good news is that if this shift from the identification with form to being formlessness itself can happen to an ordinary Western person with children, a bank balance and the rest of it, it can happen to you, too. There is really no reason left for anyone to be a seeker."

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

Question: Is it merely a coincidence that Awakening and the coming demise of seeking, parallel the growth of the Internet? It's a side question that some of us may care to ponder. Clearly the Internet plays a role. Without the Internet, it might be asked, would Awakenings spread so quickly and broadly?

Here's some more from How About Now?:

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

"You could come up with the most extreme reason why you think that you can't have this awakening right now: 'Well, I get irritated with my kids.' So do I. 'Well, I get anxious about my financial situation.' So do I. 'Well, when I haven't had enough sleep, I get grouchy.' So do I.

"None of this is as it seems to the mind. It has nothing to do with changing anything at all. There is nothing wrong with trying to improve things...(but)...The personality can be fairly neurotic and still this realization is absolutely available to you.... There is a way that whatever is happening in your life, including the worst, can become an invitation to go even deeper into wakefulness. Suffering is probably the best way to reach depths of understanding. Suffering cuts attachment. This is profoundly good news. This is the time right now...when there can be widespread awakening."

Andrew Macnab and I, topping off a five hour 'lunch' replete with good food, cigars, and wine -- but no women, the massage parlor was closed [laughter] -- watched an Arjuna Satsang video. It was good stuff. We liked it because Arjuna is a straight-shooter and he made sense to us. He cuts right to the bone, while being gentle and humorous. We give the video, entitled Beyond Flinching, Two Aum's Up.

Here's Arjuna's website:

http://www.livingessence.com

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February 19
Tears of 'I AM'
by Manchine and Umbada

Manchine: An interesting and difficult question. Without all the words that we're supposed to say, using the memeory of what it was really like, how did "I am that I am" feel like to you in its first moments?

Umbada: It happened when I was seven years old and playing with toy cars on the hardwood floor of my bedroom in Paterson, New Jersey. I spontaneously uttered, "I Am I Am and I Am I Am." The question couldn't be easier to answer. Those first moments are always with me. It feels like reality. Like waking.

Now, am I the proud owner of a thousand human frailties and shortcomings along with that? Yeah. It's just that reality never changes and there is no doubt associated with it, no searching, it is being.

Since 1977, it has been as if there is only one day; that comes out of the permanence of the knowing of I AM. But I still eat too much junk before I go to sleep and that causes nightmares.

Biology still goes haywire. Like my late wife Dolores said more than once, when her body was succumbing to cancer: "I can't walk anymore, Jerry. It's kind of funny, isn't it, Jerry?"

She rarely was able to see that clearly, to see the humor in the body being born and living and giving forth healthy children and then decaying, but she taught me about that depth of humor.

Now when something goes haywire, like my gall bladder or something, I say, "It's kinda funny to be in all this pain, isn't it, Dolores?" And I laugh with her. "It's kinda funny to be running to the E.R., isn't it Dolores?" It eases my concern and brings some relief to move from personal concern into the bigger picture of love and reality.

Reality is the same, and that's the feel of I AM. Everything else is a joke because it changes.

Manchine: I was thinking yesterday, after reading this how funny it was that I had so much work to do that I couldn't find time to respond to this exquisite post. You had me between laughing out loud and tears of peace the whole day.

Thank you.

The last sentence, "Reality is the same, and that's the feel of I AM. Everything else is a joke because it changes."

No one thing is greater than I AM. Everything else is within it. If the Sun exploded or the Universe turned itself inside out, that would merely be a scene within the marvel of I AM.

Your description reminded me of something I had never connected. I have always felt that my first sight of I AM was at age 12, still do, but maybe a couple of years before, in one given moment I realized that I would die. I went running to my mother and told her I'm going to die, I don't want to die. She did everything to hide her horror, wondering what had happened, until she realized that it wasn't "imminent". She tried to convince me that it was OK, I had lots of time yet. I said, no, that's not it, I'm going to die someday. Then she knew she had a problem! But persistently, she fixed it with hugs and caring stroking of my hair and I let her convince me that I had lots of time yet.

I hadn't related this with the more "cosmic experience" later, completely different sense. I felt a reality, a sense of being that was not possible! I think I said, My God! I am.. it can't be. I couldn't look it in the face, it was so powerful I had to shake my head to make it go away. From then on, I knew that there's nothing bigger than I AM. I call it from time to time to recharge my batteries, and I think that every time I see it I say "My God" and then my wife will find me there with tears.

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February 20
The Internet and Awakening
by Melody Anderson, Skye Chambers, and Christiana P. Duranczyk

Question: Is it merely a coincidence that Awakening and the coming demise of seeking, parallel the growth of the Internet? It's a side question that some of us may care to ponder. Clearly the Internet plays a role. Without the Internet, it might be asked, would Awakenings spread so quickly and broadly?

skye: Juicy thought there, i ponder the marvel of it all the time. I myself, think that the internet only happened to faciliate the union and awakening of mankind. If it doesn't play much of a role yet it will within the next 10 years. Just you watch 'enry 'iggens just you watch :-)))

melody: From where I sit here in the heart of Missouri, it would be a rather large leap to state that Awakenings are accelerating.

I wonder if maybe the fact that now those of similar interests from all over the globe can all be linked together gives an illusion of there being more awakening now than at any other time?

Or maybe it is as you say, and I ought to get out of town more often. :-) I've noticed very little change in consciousness.....as a whole....here now than when I lived in this area 25 years ago. If anything it seems more 'fundamentally' Christian than ever before.

I wonder what others have noticed (outside of California).

skye: I've noticed a big change over here (Australia). 90% of the customers i make patterns for are women, 10% are men as i don't design childrens clothes. And i visit garment manufactures twice a week and get the chance to chat to many people as i work. I rattle on to everyone as i work, about the non- dual perspective, so they understand immediately why i don't get distraught the way they believe every conscientious worker should be when things go wrong (as they are wont to do in the deadline world of the rag trade).

I've discovered both men and women are *much* more eager to talk about inner awareness these days than even only 5 yrs ago, when i was just as obsessed. I tell everyone how much time i spend on the net and how much i enjoy discussing the nondual reality with people all over the world and they always want to know more. I've noticed it makes them more personal with me, less guarded. People instinctively trust this undogmatic manner of looking within and without. They instinctively gravitate towards it now.

Its quite beautiful these days.

Christiana: As some of you know about me, our 'awakening' and conscious *responding* to our place within the Living One, is the central motif of who I am. Teilhard de Chardin, Peter Russell, Ken Wilber have offered good integrative models. Still, it seems to me, the individual work has had to be done individually until a modicum of freedom and stability is maintained in what Hans offered about old patterns of thinking.. "The problem is its tendency to contract our awareness into its limited slots of value judgements".

I agree with you Melody, that this appearance of vast awakening is not yet felt in the masses still deeply embedded in the 'world dream'. Still, having participated in several online communities (a few specifically intent on witnessing the flow of the System as It Self organizes), I have found the Internet to be the *current* upon which our *opportunities*... for clearing the 'foreground dross', as well as anchoring in 'Background Awareness'... are available. Many of us have been doing this work in solitude. Now we are in communion and in deep learning communities with others here in Australia, Chile, Canary Islands, Holland, New Zealand, Canada, these United States. I find this awesome.

Because of the synchronous timing of this dialogue here with my having received the first post of a new forum for communally observing this process, I am forwarding it in a separate post. I have been reading Richard Thieme for several years. He is one of my favorite thinkers. His weblink is also included for anyone interested in this topic of technology and consciousness:
http://www.thiemeworks.com.

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February 20
Manchinery: Selections from the Email of Manchine

We are all at this very moment, seated in front of a computer, a concept is taking form. It is happening now. Before your very eyes. The concept is timeless. I am understanding this and it is me, it is us. The hands on the keyboard and mouse are mine. They are mine. Do you understand what I am saying. It is me who is perceiving this, and that said it is us, in the here and now.
-----------------------------------------------------

Wait a minute, what's this?

We are dreaming, we are asleep and we are dreaming. Do you feel it? Where will we go. Can I disolve the physical..? In a dream... blackness. Nothing, no... a vibration, I feel us, wha... fwaa, fwaa, fwaa... another place in the same blackness... its, it's shimmering, I'm expanding... but how, there's nothing. .....OMMMM I'm inside, I'm touching everything. My God.. I AM.
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It's 09:45 PST and the Giant Sleeps, but its conscience is still alive, bubbling away from another time and place in the here and now.
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I'm not sure, don't have my PhD, but just from "feeling", I sense that stilling the mind has it's function up to a point. Some of the things I've been getting into here recently on the list seem to be accentuating that. It seems that stilling the mind could be one of the best tools to introduce someone to awareness, and to perhaps lead them through a transition. Once the process takes hold, mind stilling is sort of self feeding and perhaps there comes a critical point when the emphasis should be shifted to expanding awareness. Once I began to broaden my awareness, loosing me, there seemed to be an increase in activity, yet the silence became more exquisite. A focus on stillness, silence, in those moments, I feel, stops the process.
------------------------------------------------------

A label is a product of the mind. My daughter came to me one day when she was about 6, "Daddy, daddy I can talk in my head", proceeding to do it she said, "see?".

I had a dream once, when I was working night shift and sleeping in the day. It was a rather lengthy dream, I had found a bomb and a group had gathered trying to figure out what to do. I put to investigating, to see if I could disarm it. As I opened the box, it blew up, fortunately waking me, in time to realize that the bang had come from outside my bedroom window! I was sure that the dream had lasted at least ten minutes, but I would have had to construct it in an instant.

Our mind is full of tricks. There are things going on that we don't even know about. It's true however that we have internal conversations. How strange!! Who are we speaking to and why? Base thoughts, the inspirations, happen in a flash with amazing detail, but then we vocalize them. The moment we vocalize, we fix the thought, but we all know that vocalization is clumsy. The thought is no longer free. What's more, other inspirations can start arising from the clumsy interpretation of the first, etc. etc.

What interests me is where do the base inspirations come from, the virgins so to speak. How do we communicate those without vocalizing? Action? Even that requires decisions (thought). Hmmm...

One thing that would help, is that in communicating that we don't get so hung up on words, as transmitter or receiver. Well, you understand that one. And that personal importance doesn't color the thought.

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February 21
The wide end of the cone is 'I Am', the tiny sharp pointed end is 'ego'
by Gene Poole

Envision a cone-shaped object; the wide end, like a floodlight, illuminates all that is.

The narrow end, the very sharpest point, like the sharpest of laser-scalpels, is able to separate the most minute particles, one from another.


The wide end of the cone is "I Am", the tiny sharp pointed end is 'ego'.
I Am and ego are one and the same, one is the front, one is the back; it is wholeness.

Which is the front? The one in use at the time. Which is the back? The other one.


One may not discard either, and neither is absent. The 'ego experience' may usually be in the forefront, busily dissecting dualism, but the I Am is always present, for it is what ego is busy disecting.

If I Am is in the forefront, ego is latent, quiet, unused, yet available.

Ego may be called into play at any time. It is amusing, and enlightening, to observe and experience this whole of Being, observing itself, enjoying itself, scaring itself, mystifying itself, denying itself.

Ego operates on a priority of "I/not-I", or it may be stated, "what is good for me". Ego finds in dualism, what is good and bad, and serves Being by being alert to this priority.

I Am, being What Is, is simultaneously both dual and nondual, floodlight and scalpel, information and observer of information. The activity which I Am is aware of is consciousness itself, essence. The activity of which ego is aware is the relativistic relationships between every particle of matter, energy, and information, which is consciousness disguised as form, space, and time.

I Am and ego both deal with consciousness, each in an opposite and yet complimentary way; I Am is consciousness essence, ego examines minutely the infinite variations of the appearance of this essence.

Language is the gift of name, the labeling function of ego. In its endless task of dissection of dualism, each particle is named, yet each name is the same name, for there are no particles, only essence. Yet ego persists, calling attention to minute differences and similarities, which is the essence of ego.


Ego consists of two voices, one passive, one active, in eternal conversation. This conversation is what creates the reality of dualism, the reality of particular form, existing in relative interrelationship.
Name serves to identify each significance, and also serves to identify categories which serve to generalize specific particles into groups.

The active voice of ego is named male, the passive voice is named female. The eternal conversation between male and female is composed of every possible variation of that conversation, and each version of that eternal conversation is happening simultaneously.

The dialogs of pursuit, of fleeing, of recognition, of attraction, of aversion, of seeking ideals, of completion, all of these conversations make up the human experience, the experience of Being.

Every version of this eternal dialog between the male and female voices can be heard in the sounds of the natural world; the hiss and the roar of the surf, the flute and drum of the ancient sacred music of separateness and unity, the splitting crackle of lightning and the boom of thunder, its companion.

Tolerating the eternal dialog, and the silence in which it is happening, is abiding What Is.

The Gift of Grace is the awareness that I have the ability to choose, knowing that my choices are a continual sampling of the essence, coming to me nameless or named, a sharing of my essence with myself, living in eternal gratitude, tears of pain and joy signifying the eternal flow of experience in consciousness, my home.

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February 22
When the sense of bliss transforms into yuck while attending duties like having a flat tire, the "achievement" is worthless
Jan Barendrecht,with Liliana Pechal

Jan: Yes, attachments can be lethal. There is no difference between being addicted to a life of activity or yogic confinement; this must have been the reason why Aurobindo is said to have advocated "realize while engaged in wordly life" after having been in seclusion for almost 20 years. The "I" thrives on change, be it from worldly activity or "improvement" from sadhana :)

Liliana: In another place you mentioned also that one should be ready to give up yoga (as the form of ultimate surrender if I understood it correctly (?)). Is it detachment from the fruit/result of yogic "activities" that you meant here? If yoga is the path and the ultimate goal, atma vicharya and eventualy Ultimate Reality, how can one give it up? What do you mean by yogic confinement? Please, expand on it.

Jan: The ultimate surrender is unconditional and eventually this could follow from a long practice of yoga but such a practice isn't a requirement. Detachment has to mean being the witness and is a yogic practice by itself. No practice can lead to the direct experience of *what is*; eventually practices can lead to calming the mind so that it becomes transparent.

Yogic confinement is long, solitary retreat for many years and what else could be the purpose but doing practices? It can increase the false sense doership and create attachment to samadhis. As man is designed to function in a community, it has to be also the means for a reality check of "yogic achievements". When the sense of bliss evaporates (or transforms into yuck) while attending duties or events like having a flat tire, the "achievement" is worthless.

A gradual path could be called a shovel to dig up obstacles (identifications) one by one and has to be used quite often. A direct path or no-path has to take everything away, won't provide shovels, so that *what is* is pristine clarity, and is used only once. When not following the Heart, what remains to follow but the mind? When a follower, follow the Heart :)

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February 23
Follow Your Fascinations
by Melody Anderson

From Osho's "The Mustard Seed".....

".......Jesus says, 'Be like a child' ......."

"............... A child is simply a child, he doesn't even know that he is a child, he is not aware of his innocence."

"A saint, a sage, becomes like a child in a totally different sense. He has transcended, he has gone beyond mind, because he has understood the futility of it. He has understood the whole nonsense of being a successful man in this world - he has renounced that desire to succeed, the desire to impress others; the desire to be the greatest, the most important; the desire to fulfill the ego. He has come to understand the absolute futility of it. The very understanding transcends. The very understanding - and immediately you are transformed into a different dimension.

Then there is again a childhood: that is called the second childhood. Hindus have called that stage 'the twice-born', dwij. Again you are born, but this is a different birth, not out of a father and a mother.
This is out of your own self, not out of two bodies meeting, not out of duality. It is through your self that you are born."

I think that's right on.

Notice he said thru *your self* you are born again. Not due to the impatience of others, nor because of someone's 'correct' perceptions, nor wise and generous counsel.....as well intended as it all may be. But it is thru the experience of failure - of all the satiations, of all the knowledge, and relationships, and successes.... thru discovering the futility of all that we seek to bring us 'home'....

are we then catapulted into the next dimension of awareness.

I say....follow your fascinations. Delight in your passions. Smoke that cigarette if that's what you're craving. Read any and every 'how to' book on enlightenment if you want to.

Experience life until the passions and cravings and intellectual curiosities, the highs and the lows....
no longer motivate you, excite you, satisfy your hunger, or bring the peace you seek.

And when it is all done....when we experience the 'failure' of all of our activity to take us 'Home'....the activity will fall away......like a leaf whose season has passed.

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February 24

February 25
When a follower, follow the Heart
by Jan Barendrecht

It has been thought that the "I" didn't exist because there doesn't remain any memory of it. In fact, this is a kind of clue: emotional memory could be called its center and emotional memory vanishes together with "I". For instance, for some, visiting the dentist is a kind of mini-trauma: knowing that in a few hours, the drill will be screaming its way through one's teeth will cause side-effects like a change of heart beat, perspiration and like to happen, although nothing is happening yet :) This is impossible without a "me". One's behavior will be so different (laughing, telling jokes etc.)
that fellow patients won't believe one is a patient...

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

Without a "me", there is no "I" and vice versa; although in the course of events the "me" can become almost unreal, it still remains as a potential. Regarding this and other (veiling) potentials I used the analogy of enjoying a sunset, standing with a burden of 200 lbs on one's back; when the burden is removed, the enjoyment is more intense and less restricted although the sunset doesn't change one bit. Because the "feel" without that burden ("I") yet is so natural and having felt the burden cannot be remembered anymore, the "new heaven and new earth" is embraced without any thought or analysis... Eventually this will become possible much later, as the process of unidentifying is natural and will just go on. This doesn't mean a kind of "nowhere land": one will spontaneously understand the source of scriptures like Upanishads, Bible etc. the moment the "I" is oblivion. Although without properties, radiant Void/Self/impersonal God was the "reference" all the time but *"I" and "my" feelings* were obstructing :)

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

...attachments can be lethal. There is no difference between being addicted to a life of activity or yogic confinement; this must have been the reason why Aurobindo is said to have advocated "realize while engaged in wordly life" after having been in seclusion for almost 20 years. The "I" thrives on change, be it from worldly activity or "improvement" from sadhana :)

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

...it is unlikely you learned about attachment. There are those, stating that every like and dislike is attachment and from there, it is a little step either to advocate total renunciation from the world or its opposite, "detached enjoyment" (very popular in the West). Both are BS: humans are designed to function in a community and the "glue" for it is made of love and compassion. How could it be else? By proper functioning in a community (satsanga), the pain of the unidentification process is felt much less: this is the sole reason for it, apart from the fact that the "live" presence of one to serve as an "example" would be beneficial too. So instead of "blaming" it on attachment, look inside for the real reason...

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

The ultimate surrender is unconditional and eventually this could follow from a long practice of yoga but such a practice isn't a requirement. Detachment has to mean being the witness and is a yogic practice by itself. No practice can lead to the direct experience of *what is*; eventually practices can lead to calming the mind so that it becomes transparent.

Yogic confinement is long, solitary retreat for many years and what else could be the purpose but doing practices? It can increase the false sense doership and create attachment to samadhis. As man is designed to function in a community, it has to be also the means for a reality check of "yogic achievements". When the sense of bliss evaporates (or transforms into yuck) while attending duties or events like having a flat tire, the "achievement" is worthless.

A gradual path could be called a shovel to dig up obstacles (identifications) one by one and has to be used quite often. A direct path or no-path has to take everything away, won't provide shovels, so that *what is* is pristine clarity, and is used only once. When not following the Heart, what remains to follow but the mind? When a follower, follow the Heart :)

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

nice one marcia, welcome back, how COULD you leave us ;-)
¤missed you ¤ ¤love ¤skye

The top 10 reasons to leave :)

1. Need the time for sadhana.
2. Need the time to work.
3. Osho reads "better".
4. There are no grill parties.
5. Sometimes things get too personal.
6. U.G. Krishnamurty reads "better".
7. Need the time for family life.
8. Can't bear the reproaching look from the cat anymore.
9. Received the diploma in speed reading - thanks guys.
10. The mind has become as transparent to stimuli as the air is to light.

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These days, "community life" is unimaginable as individuality is emphasized from birth on and turbo-boosted by all media. If humanity survives (not likely this time) perhaps a nice discussion over a couple of thousand years :) But Gautama's community must have been quite an intimate one as many householders "attained" nirvana, a feat the Internet, despite "free speech", won't achieve...

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There is but enlightenment; that humans forget it and call the act of recognition "enlightenment" is rather funny. The recognition doesn't have a cause but forgetting has: identification. Momentarily forgetting the identifications is one thing, dissolving them quite another as it "involves" the fiery snake :)

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February 26
What Is Satsang?
by Xan, Larry, and Jerry

Xan: Sat means truth, sang means gathering. Satsang is people gathered together for the sake of truth. Generally there is a teacher and the style depends on him/her. It is not primarily ritualistic or ceremonial as church is. At various times there may a talk/discourse given, questions and answers, sitting in silence, music. A genuine satsang is full of life and discovery ... in my experience.

Larry: Satsang literaly means 'meeting with the truth'. It means a gathering of people who want to ask questions about nonduality. The one that answers the questions is called the guru. If all goes well, everybody realizes his/her true nature :-)))

"Sat" means "being" and "sang" means "with." So satang means being with.
Usually what happens is a bunch of people get together and "be" with someone who is "Being" there, or better "Being" THE there. They get a chance to see what "Being" looks like and ask questions on how to do it.
You would think there wouldn't be much to say about how to be, but luckily there's a lot.

Jerry:
The following definition of Sastsang is given in Bubba Free John's Garbage and the Goddess:

"Satsang literally means true or right relationship. It is commonly or traditionally used to refer to the practice of spending time in the company of holy or wise persons. One can also enjoy Satsang with a holy place, a venerated image, the burial shrine of a saint, or with the Deity. Bubba uses the term in its fullest sense, to signify the very relationship between a genuine Siddha-Guru (and thus the Divine Person, the Maha-Siddha) and his devotee. That relationship is seen to be an all-inclusive Condition, effective at every level of life and consciousness. Divine Communion. The Company of the Divine Person."

I hear a lot of fullness and muscularity in that definition. It's not wimpy like the definition of today's Satsang. You know what? I envision that in the next one to five years the current placement of attention on 'ordinary people' or friends or neo-psychoanalysts as serving the Guru function will not disappear but will be enriched by a return of attention to the Muscle Gurus, the Bubba Free Johns, for example.

Combining the muscular Guru with the Guru-as-knowing-friend makes for powerful growth. And this time nobody will expect the muscle Guru to be a perfect saint: He or she will be recognized as a powerful Presence and one will enter into the relationship knowing that such a One might possess all kinds of personality flaws and problems. It won't be a big deal this time. If anyone senses a constriction when hearing of the return of the muscle Guru, perhaps release it and see what it allows to come. I say let the muscular Guru be muscular and not require him or her to be a 'friend'. Those days are not going to go away, but I feel they are serving to prepare us for a whole new kind of relationship.

I know there is already muscularity in the current crop of teachers and here on the list, but it is held back, I feel. It needs to be welcomed more, in my opinion.

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February 27
A Lullabye
by Manchine and Umbada

Umbada: I see a new day, a new Guru, and what is being created on the Internet and in communities is not where we are headed as a 'Way'; it is not the Way and not the evolutionary step beyond the traditional Guru as some think it is, but it is what we are buiding as infrastructure for the coming Guru.

As I said in another posting, I feel it's good to mentally welcome the muscular Gurus like Osho and Adi Da. There's a symbolism behind Adi Da's reclusiveness on Fiji. I wonder if anyone can really see it, and it is not simply because he is hiding from lawsuits arising out of sexual misconduct. I don't think Adi Da is aware himself why he is reclusive. I'm telling him and the world why. It is to make room for what we are doing so that we can properly receive the Adi Da's that come from time to time.

Manchine: Just don't get lulled into stopping there. The first coming of Christ was one man who was All, could it be that the second coming is All who are One.

There is lots of work to do.

Umbada: Yes, the lets not think we might not be singing lullaby's here. Isn't I AM the first coming, and isn't Standing Free, or Full Enlightenment, the second coming? So there's nowhere to go and nothing to do, really. Well, that's another lullaby. It's a good question, Are we, instead of awakening, deceiving ourselves and causing lulling? It's very possible we're moving from dream to another. It's almost impossible to be awake.

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February 28
MO and More MO
From the
Reciprocality Project Website

MO
by Alan G. Carter


M0 is a previously unsuspected public health problem. It is ancient and vast, and only fragments of information regarding its origins and the psychological state of humans prior to its instantiation have passed down to us. It consists of a neurochemical effect induced by boring social conditions that people get addicted to like some athletes get addicted to their own adrenaline and end up B. A. S. E. jumping.

People so hooked on their own boredom products lose access to a whole layer of cognitive abilities based on the use of precisely tuned feedback loops in the brain. The trouble is, they don't even notice anything is wrong, firstly because they can't see what they can no longer see, and secondly because they experience an artificial sense of well-being and see repetitive behaviour as an inherent good. They are also distressed by novelty, because it induces a physiological withdrawal. There is a cultural distortion produced by having a majority of people in this state, which makes it difficult to ask the questions that would expose it. There is natural immunity, and natural immunes have their own interesting strengths (and weaknesses, in the circumstances). It's why some people are more "with it" than others. They just aren't sick in this sense, and so they can perceive and then dynamically replan to include, the implicit.

Ritual junkies don't know they are junkies and so have no opportunity to exercise their will in the face of addictive behaviour. They get nasty when deprived of ritual or subjected to novelty. It's why programming, which should always be about solving new problems every time, degrades into ritualised bullying to "follow procedures" with empty outcomes in commercial settings. The ritual is more important than the result, and most people don't have the cognitive capacity to be fluent with problem domains and understand programs holistically, as non-trivial systems must be understood. This is why the commercial software sector hasn't produced anything new since 1993 while freeware is heading for a Vingian Singularity. This website is powered by Linux.

Fear of withdrawal (addicts) or bullying by addicts (immunes) makes this subject difficult for most people to discuss, although they are not able to say why. It's frightening, but it's beatable .

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More MO
by Joss Earl


Consider the statement:

"Most people act stupid because they are physically addicted to boredom."

When people hear this, the most common initial reaction is "don't be silly, people hate being bored". Sometimes people also object to the first part, they disagree that most people act stupid. This reaction is far less common, for some reason we find little to disagree with in the phrase "most people act stupid".

The idea that people are addicted to boredom seems ridiculous, but let's consider it for a moment. Boredom is an unpleasant sensation that occurs when your mind is unoccupied. Supposedly, repetitive and predictable activities are boring, while novel and unpredictable events are exciting. Given this understanding of boredom, the way people act seems a little strange. Consider the phrase: "we are creatures of habit". We get up at the same time every day, go through the same rituals, go to work, do much the same thing at work as we did yesterday, come home and watch the same old television shows.

There is something deeply comforting about familiar habits and rituals. The truth is:
most people strongly dislike having their daily routine disturbed. If something truly unexpected comes up at work, it doesn't make their day, it ruins it. How often have you heard someone say "I had to deal with some novel situation at work today, which was nice".

This behaviour doesn't sit well with the notion that people dislike boredom. One thing people genuinely dislike is sitting around doing absolutely nothing. This induces the unpleasant sensation that people think of as boredom. However, give them a mindless repetitive task to do, eg playing solitaire, watching television, or working on a checkout line, and they're content. Not necessarily happy, but not extremely uncomfortable either.

Just what is it about doing absolutely nothing that people hate so much ? Maybe doing absolutely nothing makes people uncomfortable because it forces them to think. Our brains are not designed for total inactivity. In everyday life we keep our brains ticking over with our routines. Very few people have jobs that actually demand any deep thought. Even highly trained professionals such as doctors or lawyers are seldom presented with situations of real novelty. They are presented with a situation which they recognise, and they then carry out the appropriate procedure that they were trained to perform. Occasionally people have to improvise a little or combine different techniques, but how often do they have to invent something or come up with some fundamental new insight. Doing absolutely nothing is uncomfortable because we are simply not used to contemplation.

We are all taught to get into a routine very early in life. We have to go to school, sit quietly in class, listen to the teacher, perform the exercises, do our homework, etc etc. This is when we get into the habit of habits. The trouble is, this predictable repetitive lifestyle is not something the human brain was originally designed for. We are tremendously adaptable creatures and seem able to adapt to almost anything, but that doesn't necessarily mean its a good idea.

The most fundamental change in human society occured when we evolved from being hunter gatherers to being farmers. Hunters have distinctly different requirements to farmers. A hunter needs to be continually aware of his surroundings, so his attention will quickly focus on anything that may be a threat or opportunity. He (or, of course, she) must be instantly ready to drop everything and begin another task such as following a fresher trail, instantly responding to danger, etc. As a hunter, novelty, constantly monitoring the surroundings, and creativity are the most important requirements for success. Farmers" are totally different in makeup. While hunters need immediate feedback from their efforts, the "farmer" must wait months to get any response from his crops. He needs to be able to sustain a steady, even level of effort, even with no apparent clear gain in the immediate future.

Our brains learned to cope with life as a farmer by producing more dopamine. Some theories suggest that dopeamine developed as a survival technique for seige like situations. If a monkey is sitting in a tree with a lion prowling around below then being patience is essential for survival. Dopamine calms down the monkey and allows him to out-wait the lion. In todays society we spend a lot of time in waiting situations. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that we spend almost all our time in waiting situations.
Our dopamine levels are much higher than nature intended.

The increased levels of dopamine enabled humanity to function efficiently as farmers, but this came at a cost. High levels of dopamine significantly impairs the minds ability to think creatively. Worse yet, the dopamine is highly addictive. Recent research shows that almost by definition, addictive drugs are ones that raise dopamine levels. This explains why people object so strongly to having their routine distrurbed. It triggers exactly the same resentment that you observe in junkies when they are denied their fix. The more ritual dependent people become, the more easily they become irritated by upsets to their routine. In extreme cases people actually become angry when presented with a novel idea. They ridicule the person presenting the idea, but provide no arguments saying what is wrong with it.

People who work in these places tend to get stuck into a spiral of ever increasing paperwork and procedure. Everybody knows this. Government bureaucracies are a very good example. Common sense is thrown out the window. Procedures are only ever added, never removed. Organisations become extraordinarily resistent to change or reform. This no longer seems surprising. Anybody who tries to eliminate the procedures or introduce novel ideas is met with the resentment you would expect from an addict being denied his fix. That's exactly what's happening.

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February 29
Dreaming a Life
by Gene Poole

introduced by Dan Berkow and Annie Heppingstone

Dan: Gene recently wrote of levels of awareness, with unknowness always outside of each increasing level of awareness.

Any understanding or awareness that is higher than another level, will itself be surpassed. However, the ultimate understanding has nothing above it. Because nothing is above it, nothing is below it, either.
Nothing above me, nothing below me, nothing beside me, nothing in front of me, nothing behind me. The only reason this is called "ultimate awareness" and similar terms is because people are lost in higher understandings and lower understandings. The ultimate awareness is purely Unknown to all levels of awareness, however, to itself it is neither known or unknown.

Annie: I don't understand the concept that awareness can be 'neither known or unknown'. Does this refer to just being?

Gene: Oneself is only 'known' as a supposition, impression or assumption; what is 'knowing' the assumed self, is itself unknown to that assumed self.

The assumed self cannot 'know' anything which is not included and validated via experience of that assumed self; thus, the assumed self is limited to perceiving a 'reality' which is composed entirely of history, or as it is called, the past.

Constrained to an interpretation of reality which is only a reflection of the past, the assumed self is incapable of recognizing (due to lack of prior experience) its own limited nature; still, the whole and complete Being which is Self, is actually what is going on, the whole time.

Our words and thus thoughts are constrained to a grammar which is itself predicated upon an assumption of separation; consequently, our language is used to describe particles and agglomerations of particles, each named and ranked according to the best use of the grammar of separation. Such a grammar, ruling language as it does, excludes any word which would threaten that grammar. The grammar of language, thus enforces our notion of separation and particulars, as being the ground of reality.

Awareness is the whole of what contains all perceived particulars; indeed, all particles are misperceived language of wholeness. All particles, individuals, each separate thing, are actually in total, a great harmony; it is the perfection of this harmony, which allows the persistence of 'us' as apparently discrete and separate 'Beings'. We, as products of harmony, are imbued with a sense of harmony, which is our ability to be attracted to beauty. In this way, is each Being attracted to the greater harmony; and that greater harmony is the 'ultimate awareness' to which Dan alludes, above.

It is one thing to be attracted to beauty, and another to be beauty.
When a person has a glimpse of their own beauty, in that instant, everything is beautiful; in that instant, is seen a glimpse of the great harmony which sustains us.

Now that this is in the category of experience, all of what is 'past' is rewritten; now, everything is beautiful and harmonious, and always has been, for eternity. In this moment, in this glimpse, self is reconciled, and can thus fall away.

Thus falling away, the assumptions of which oneself is composed, also fall away. In this moment, free of assumptions, is freedom. In this freedom, one realizes that one has been dreaming a life; and one may then also realize, that they are truly free to dream any life or quality of life, which they may choose. Thus free of assumptions, and thus so free, one realizes the unrealizable nature of realization itself; that it depends upon no validation or evidence or anything at all.

It is only our assumptions which constrain us. Letting go of assumptions on no basis whatsoever, is quite difficult to do; there is no evidence that such a course of action could possibly have a desirable outcome. What one must remember, is that a reality which is qualified by experience, is itself only a reflection of those experiences, and thus cannot ever be anything 'new'. It is good to remember also, that knowing is built upon what has been known; and that it is not-knowing which encompasses all of what we do not know.

By not-knowing, one opens space, and that space is awareness. In that space, is what is known, but the space itself is unseen.
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To close, the editor offers some verses from Avadhuta Gita:

There is no one to understand and nothing, indeed, to be understood. I have no cause and no effect. How shall I say that I am conceivable or inconceivable? I am free from disease -- my form has been extinguished.

I have developed no false notion that all this reality comes into existence or that all this unreality comes into existence. I am free from disease -- my form has been extinguished.

It is neither gross nor subtle. It has neither come nor gone. It is without beginning, middle, and end. It is neither high or low. I am truly declaring the highest Truth and Reality -- I am the nectar of Knowledge, homogeneous Existence, like the sky.

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