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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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The Highlights
Issue #1067

Thursday, May 9, 2002

Edited by Jerry Katz

Highlights Home Page:

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They arrive and others arrive,
and then they go, and the others go.
Day and night, a constant traffic.

Where do they come from?
Where do they go?

Does it mean anything?
Nothing, nothing, nothing.

--Lalla, Naked Song



Michael, I enjoyed your piece on your experiences as a
nude model in the NDHighlights. (Issue #1064)

It reminded me of one of the models, Rose, who sat for
the life drawing classes I took. I should say, however,
given Rose's cantankerous nature and tendency to fight
with the art instructor, that Rose didn't STAND FOR the
life drawing classes I took.

By the way, there was a whole lotta Rose. Mounds and
folds of Rose. Rose was most certainly someone's
grandmother, but you'd be in big trouble if you tried to
cozy up to her. Rose had a mind of her own. The
instructor was permitted to suggest poses to Rose, but
Rose always had the final say. Nude Rose also liked to
critique the drawings - and she hated them all.

Until one day, what came out of my hand was "not Rose".
Or, I should say, it was Rose... Rose in the eyes and
Rose in the nose and Rose in the mouth. Even Rose in the
tilt of her head. While not the aged Rose, it was a Rose
of a certain smooth-skinned, peacefully melancholic
attitude, a Rose of a certain facial expression that was
never seen on the "real Rose".

Rose took one look at it and declared, somewhat
emotionally, that it was the truest drawing of herself
that she had ever seen.

In a rocky mix of accident, flippancy, and intention, I
had seen what was there and without setting out to do
so, hit something so dead-on directly, that the model
recognized it, was moved to tears by it.

Was it about her?

I don't know...

You said the class was about the students (learning to
see and perceive). But what was it they were practicing
on? And what were they seeing and perceiving? Where does
it end, this seeing? And who is seeing whom?

By the way, the woman I recognized in the drawing was


"I mentioned to her how much she put me in mind of Zen
mastery. she said, 'yes, it is very zenlike in
quality." --Nina

Nina, I've been wanting to tell you how much I enjoy
your posts. As an artist, it excites me to hear you
speak of minimalism, Donald Judd, landscape,
architecture, experiences in life drawing classes, etc.
I hope to share your 'healing architecture' link with
the director of the hospital where I am currently

Michael, after spending many years in life drawing
classes I can certainly agree with you of the zenlike
quality of this exercise. There is a wonderful book by
Frederick Franck titled "Zen seeing, Zen drawing". I
find drawing the second most effective way of
meditating. The first is welding. When drawing, the
focus is on negative space that defines positive space.
It is easy to lose boundary between figure/ground/self.
Somehow the pencil becomes the magic tool that connects
all. Time disappears with the erasure marks (except for
the model, right Michael?)

Jerry, I want to thank you and all the NDS Highlighters
for imaginative editing of the daily postings...and now
even with audio! The Highlights are fun, informative and
helpful to those of us who don't have much time to read
the posts.

drawing this post to a close. . . . Mary


from Dzogchen list

Dalai Lama censored to mollify Chinese

Sian Powell THE AUSTRALIAN -Thursday May 9 2002

THE Dalai Lama's travelling exhibition of Tibetan
history has been censored by the NSW Parliament.
Scheduled to be launched today in the public Fountain
Court in Parliament House, the exhibition was going to
be blessed by the Dalai Lama on his visit to Australia
later this month.

But several panels were removed from the exhibition
yesterday because they were deemed overtly political,
and it is possible the Australia Tibet Council will
withdraw the whole display.

The exhibition, originally the Dalai Lama's idea, has a
strong human rights focus, and documents the Chinese
invasion of Tibet and the Tibetan struggles.

John Ryan, a Liberal member of the upper house, and one
of the three MPs who organised the exhibition venue,
said it had been censored as a sop to China. "The
president and the speaker went round and took down a
number of panels - anything that looks like it's current
political comment, any criticism of China," he said.

NSW upper house president Meredith Burgmann (ALP) said
the removal of the panels was a matter of adhering to
parliamentary guide-lines. The public servant who made
the decision had her full support, she said.
"Exhibitions cannot be seen to be contributing to a
current political debate."

The Dalai Lama's visit begins on May 18 and has been
dogged by controversy for months. He was refused
permission to address the National Press Club in the
Great Hall in Parliament House. The federal Government
believes he should be treated as a religious figure,
rather than a political leader.



(from the book, "I Heard God Laughing -- Renderings of Hafiz," by Daniel Ladinsky)

Of Course Things Like That Can Happen

Once God made love to a great saint
Who had a hairy belly.

Of course things like that can happen!

And it was a surprise
Only to the novice on the path
When the saint's stomach began to swell
Just like a woman's.

Weeks went by, then months.
The saint's cheeks
Turned into beautiful roses.
He became like a young bride
Who was carrying a holy child,
And his gratitude was speechless.
But his eyes shone
Like two planets making love.

The town began to stand outside his house
At night,

For it had come to the attention of the faithful
That as the moon passed by on its round,
It would sometimes bend over and kiss the roof!

Of course things like that can happen.

Life went on
Amidst the other ten thousand wonders:
Whiskers and weeds and trees and charming babies
Kept emerging.
People and cattle and bees worked side by side,
All sweetly humming,
And, come lunch,
All dined on the same Mysterious
Divine manna of nourishing Love -
Disguised in a thousand shapes, colors and forms.

Galaxies gave away their ingenious ideas
And told us of their private body functions.
So man, too,
Eats, burps and excretes more worlds.

How is it that invisible thoughts can lift heavy matter
And build cities and armies and altars?

All contain a Hidden Strategy
To be transformed again
Into Divine Music and Love and Light!

The sun rolls through
The sky meadows every day,
And a billion cells run
To the top of a leaf to scream and applaud
And smash things in their joy.

Of course things like that can happen.

Rivers stay up all night and chant;
Luminous fish jump out of the water
Spitting emeralds at all talk of Heaven
Being anywhere else but -- Right Here!

Clouds pull each other's pants down
And point and laugh.

O my dear,
Of course things like that can happen.

For all is written within the Mind
To help and instruct the dervish
In dance and romance and prayer.

The stars get clearly drunk
And crazy at night
And throw themselves
Across the sky.

Only an insane being or compound
Is not going mad with excitement
At this Wonderful Performance by God!

And still,
Light stretches its arms
Open ever more
And shouts to you, because you are His lover,
To forget your harsh actions of the past
And just Dance!

Look! Angels and flowers
Are playing hooky in graveyards,
Laughing and rolling naked on cool stones.

Why go to sleep tonight
Exhausted from the folly of ignorance,

When even the Beloved is Drunk
And is doing wonderful, ecstatic somersaults
And is giving wild lessons between the sheets
And between His handstands
All up and down the Tavern floor and ceiling!

Indeed, things like that can happen.

A few days
Before the delivery of God's baby,
The saint had to visit a city close by
Where few knew him.

He was walking unnoticed past a mosque,
And the shouts of God's lovers
Happened to fill the air, calling,

"Allah, Allah! Where are you?
Where are You, Beautiful One?"

And the child in the womb of the Master
Could not remain silent and shouted back,
In an astounding voice,

"I am Here!
I am Here -- dear world!"

The crowd in the mosque became frantic,
And they picked up shoes, clubs and stones.
You know what then happened -
The story became grim.

But the moon cannot hold a grudge.
It still stops by some nights
And leans over this gentle earth, as over a crib,
And gives a full, wet kiss.

For the moon knows
That God is always amorous -

He will never stop making Love,

For the Truth has been Divinely Conceived
Deeply within each of us.

O Hafiz,
Look at the Splendor of God's Grace:
The Sun has been planted in a thousand furrows
Across every soul's brow.

Of course, my dear,
Everything God and I say
Can Happen!

Ten Flights to strengthen Inner Airmanship

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