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Monday, May 13, 2002
Edited by Jerry Katz
Highlights Home Page: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm
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from Guru Ratings
There are plenty of enlightened folk who stay just the
same as they were before, attending to their lives as
if nothing happened to them at all.
Then there are others who enjoy the status of being
enlightened and all the perks that come with being
publicly declared. People fawn over you as if you were
God. They beam when you look at them. They get all a
flutter when you give them personal attention. And they
give you money.
Then, there are others who are naturally teachers or
writers or counselers or storytellers and so for them,
attending to their lives as if nothing happened at all
includes teaching or writing or counseling or telling
stories from their perspective as people who have
realized their enlightenment!
There are those to whom "nothing" has happened, who
think to themselves, "who do I think I am?" who may be
denying what they know in practice to be a beautiful
thing! They may not be charging money, or not
"teaching" because deep down they feel unworthy of
it--the flip side of being enamoured of the adulation
If all these folks kept quiet, I might think you had to
have a lineage or a funny-sounding name or have spent X
amount of time in this or that country, or with this
guru or that guru, or have had an obvious, one-time
"enlightenment" experience, or call yourself God, in
order to see what's already here.
So, thanks to the regular folks. Who are not opposed to
the publicly declared.
from Live Journal
Gurus, Spiritual Teachers, and Other Scoundrels I've
read that according to the Buddhist tradition, the way
to enlightenment is through the Buddha, the Dharma and
the Sangha. I believe that it is thought that it was the
Buddha who first achieved enlightenment, and then began
to teach the Dharma or how to become enlightened...and
then came the Sangha or the community of people or
followers of Buddha and his teachings.
It would seem, no matter what direction one would take
that you would still need all three of those things to
find whatever you see enlightenment to be. I am not sure
there is a real true way to define it. But I believe you
need the teacher, the wisdom and the community.
I believe the wisdom can come in many ways. Prayer,
meditation, study, etc. The community would be the like
minded people you encounter along your spiritual
journey...your "soul friends" so to speak. The teacher
could be a minister, or a rabbi, or a monk, or Zen
master or some other form of spiritual training
leader/guru. Only you can choose the teacher and the
community based on the wisdom your inside represents.
I know that teachers can ask for mega dollars or a love
offering/donation...or nothing at all. I don't think I
have a problem with a teacher charging for spending one
on one or group time with a individual...if it is a
teaching thing. However, I think that it is not
appropriate to charge for (lack of a better word)
worship or prayer or some other form of devotion/ritual
event/open talk/satsang type thing. Donations maybe.
People pay to "learn" things. We have colleges,
universities, etc. But just because we pay to obtain
knowledge... we can not receive a guarantee that we will
be "enlightened" at the end of a class or course, any
more than a professor can say you will be a "Scientist"
after a class with him. That is sad to offer, and even
sadder to believe. I think anyone who is pursued by such
a teacher should think twice before putting their money,
time and heart on the table. Don't you?
I think the best teachers are the ones who keep a low
profile, and maybe don't even consider themselves to be
teachers...or at least "in your face teachers". I
believe you can start where ever you are...and if you
are open, you will be lead to the next step, and the
next step and the next step. Enlightenment can be found
anywhere, any faith, religion, or teaching. I think it
is a matter of trusting your own intuition.
from Live Journal
Zen Master Seung Sahn, my teacher, always teaches that
enlightenment is 'not special'. Keeping a mind before
thinking - when driving, only drive, when walking only
walk, when playing tennis, only play tennis - that mind
is what we call enlightenment. Enlightenment is a teach
word only; best not to attach to it.
He also points out that few people only drive when
driving, only walk when walking, etc. "Enlightenment is
easy to get, hard to keep".
Another things he says is that wanting enlightenment is
#1 Bad Zen Sickness.
The important point for people who walk the Bodhisattva
path is not just enlightenment - but how to unite
enlightenement-mind with the ego and the body to take
actions that will serve other beings.
I think the NY City Firefighters who rushed headlong
into flaming skyscrapers to help other beings are a high
order of Bodhisattva, speaking cross-culturally.
from Live Journal
some teachers will tell you
is only for the elite few--
if you are reading these words
it is your birthright to know
you are UNborn
eternal and undying
and free beyond imagination
find out that all teachers
are only arising in your own
if you believe those teachers
then why not BE the elite few
(it is even better than they say)
you are actually
the only one
THE ULTIMATE INTIMACY
Knowing yourself as the Self is the ultimate intimacy.
Unconditional love for yourself arises. You don't do
anything but sit in the silence, inviting peace. I
usually say, "I am in God's presence now," and relax
into the silence that is always immediately there.
It took me a long time to get to this place. I studied
truth for years and years and then one day I had
effortless access--sort of like an atm machine with no
limits. I have had no enlightenment experience; rather,
one crisis after another over a period of many years.
Lately I have been reading many accounts of people who
have awakened and I know that I am not there yet. "Are
we there yet...are we there yet?" ask the spiritual
seeking children in the backseat of the enlightenment
limo. Those who have arrived have a lot to say about
the silence. Much of it is helpful and most is not.
The most helpful information comes from those who do not
wax overly eloquent. Although I have read tons of
tomes, usually they did not have the energy contained
in some of the pithier statements. I guess it's like
the guy said, "if I had had more time, I could have
written you a shorter letter."
Find an energy statement that works for you and work it.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Let it have you.
Let everything unfold.
I choose to love myself.
And finally, meditate on the word inevitability.
We will get there when we get there--inevitably.