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Friday, June 7, 2002
Edited by Gloria Lee
NINA MURRKIS on NDS
From Deborah Hay's 'my body, the buddhist':
"My Body, dancing, is formed and sustained
reconfigure the three-dimensional body into an
three trillion cells perceived perceiving, all of them,
Impossibly whole and ridiculous to presume, I remain, in attendance
to the feedback. At such times Deborah Hay assumes the devotion of a
dog to its master; reading the simplest signs of life, lapping up
whatever nuance my teacher produces. When the greater part of the
Buddhist world finds it strength, solace, and wisdom through a
practiced devotion to a guru, or Rinpoche, please iamgine my
hesitancy in admitting to twenty-eight years of devotion to an
imagined 53-trillion-celled teacher."
I like that she admits that her teacher is imagined.
I also like the chapter headings of her book, originally a list of
things her teacher has taught her:
1 my body finds benefits in solitude
2 my body finds energy in surrender
3 my body enjoys jokes, riddles, and games
4 my body engages in work
5 my body commits to practice
6 my body seeks comfort but not for long
7 my body is limited by physical presence
8 my body knowingly participates in appearances
9 my body likes rest
10 my body is bored by answers
11 my body seeks more than one view of itself
12 my body delights in resourcefulness
13 my body trusts the unknown
14 my body feels weightless in the presence of paradox
15 my body equates patience with renewal
16 my body hears many voices, not one voice
17 my body relaxes when thoughts abate
18 my body is held in the present
I like that Deborah Hay, dancer, choreographer, doesn't choreograph
What is choreography? Is it the conversation of a past place of
being? Could it possibly be exactly in the moment instead? That's
what Deborah Hay seems to be getting at... that the most essential
choreography is exactly that.
The word 'practice' comes to mind.
What is practice? The repetition of a prescribed piece of work? Could
it possibly be the expression of what is happening right now?
Practice practice practice.
back into the body, where am I?
back into the body, where am I?
back into the body,
where was I?
When the practice is the choreography, what is had?
RON on NDS
A body and mind is lying (!) on the bed and then there is no-mind and no-body.
no identity, no separation
no egoic expectation
No-Body is the most wondrous understanding.
For a moment or two, no arthritic creaky bones, no shooting, stabbing twinges from poor circulation.
Peace beyond any description.
Death of an old pattern
Understanding leaps into this instant
With deepest gratitude,
NINA MURRKIS on NDS
Su, you're very welcome.
More has percolated to the surface...
...sometimes it is pure hell to witness.
Last weekend, I went to a local Interplay performance. The show was
the celebration put on by the teacher trainees, an event to mark the
end of what has been, for some of them, a several-years' process. I
didn't know what to expect. I went because I had been meaning to find
out what Interplay is about and I happened to run into a friend, the
woman who facilitates the local group, who invited me the day before
I got there and found myself in culture shock. I knew no one else in
this crowd of extremely tight-knit people. I found myself seated by a
man who tried very hard to pick me up. I found myself separated from
the exit by the stage. I found myself in a room that was way too hot
for me. I found myself seated way too close to everyone around me.
I found myself thrust into the arena of AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION and
exposure to an improv that is peculiarly, intensely personal.
I was asked to be that feedback loopin' witness in a room full of
people who had entirely too much to say about their innermost
turmoils and feelings and relations with each other and wanted me to
help them dance and act - and sing! (bejezus!) - it out.
I balked. Declined. Downright refused in the end to take part in what
appeared to be turning into a giant orgiastic sufi dance. I scrambled
out as quickly as I could - out into the dark street and the cool air
and my own personal space and the ability to relax and breathe again.
So, do you think I behave any differently with witnessing my own
internal improv than I do with witnessing those people? I would like
to think the two are different, but I'm not so sure...
Plywood Pete image by Gene Poole
JOHN DUFF on NDS
Excerpts on a Fourth Way Meeting
William Patrick Patterson was in town last evening. Most
Gurdjieffians/Fourth Way types know who he is. Author of five or so
books including _Voices in the Dark_, _Ladies of the Rope_, _Eating
the I_ and _Taking with the Left Hand_. He has also produced a
couple of videos; _Gurdjieff in Egypt_ and his most recent effort,
_Gurdjieff's Mission in the West_. This appeared to be a barn
storming event in promotion of the new video and, of course,
everything else was available for purchase also.
So while in the Foundation Patterson has this prophetic dream in
which Pentland appears to him and hands him a wedding invitation. It
is a very vivid dream according to W.P.P. Weeping, but joyous, and
he knows that this invitation means that he is to leave the Work. He
flys to New York to inform Pentland of his decision. Pentland gives
his blessing. I don't remember the exact chronology, but I found it
touching that this phrase passed from Pentland to Patterson, "We all
enter through the front door of this Work, but we leave it by the
Patterson returns to the West Coast where he first visits a 'born,
realized master' [his name escapes me]. This enlightened person
leading a gathering and is sitting in the front of the room smiling,
fielding pointed questions from the audience with answers totally
unrelated to what is being asked. Little narratives of when he first
met Ramana Maharshi. Patterson is now feeling this is just rather
pleasant, slightly amusing but unproductive bullshit, and he rises to
go. The guy looks him in the eye as he is rising and says, "The
Witness is a very high state, but it is, still, just a state." Rocked
by this out of the blue comment off the train of everything that was
transpiring W.P.P. takes it between the eyes.
Events transpire and this master ends up living with Patterson and
his wife for a couple of years before he passes away. This part of
the evening's narrative passes with the utmost lightness and whimsy
just as earlier parts carried the characteristic dark, ponderous and
heavy tones - hellfire and damnation by another name - that often
frame institutional Fourth Way events. But at this juncture, clearly
from W.P.P.'s facial exprssions, external manifestations,
expansiveness of expression, posture, he was relating a high point in
Why, you may ask [or maybe not], is he back in and around Fourth Way
circles? "Advaita is an easy teach, is it not? - I am you, you are me
and we are all one. Simple. The Fourth Way is difficult. Are we
not the IBM of esoteric systems?"
"Poison", his teacher had said, "Poison". "This teaching [Advaita]
taken at the wrong time, too early, it is too strong a medicine. One
does nothing, or rather, one does not know what to do."
"It is for this reason that I teach the Fourth Way."
What made the evening really worthwhile was the similarity of
W.P.P.'s experience with my own. The question was in my mind for the
asking, which has been either stated or posed before, that the Fourth
Way is primarily geared [in the literature] towards developing the
third state or 'self-consciousness' while other teachings, Advaita
for instance, speak more to 'objective consciousness' or 'seeing
things as they really are'.
It just seemed strange, but at the same time not strange, to hear
this same thing coming from another person in the Fourth Way
tradition. There was no loss of respect for either tradition,
no 'mixing or dilution of truth' such as the formatory mind would
apprehend it instead it was living integration.
A wedding invitation. What an evocative image.
JAN SULTAN on NDS
Great Thread from GuruRatings
Kristin started the thread:
What do you think about this?
you think this experience affirms the Advaita philosophy,
particularly the author's concept of the oversoul?
Ganga, I particularly welcome any comments from you. I've been
seriously considering everything you write and what many write on
this and the Non-duality forum. Does this man's explanation of his
experience agree with your understanding and experience? Everyone
welcome to comment.
Ganga replied positively:
G: yes.... his experience was indeed valid.... his rendering of
what it was like to enter into Source or Void or God or Essense
was very well stated..... no matter if in body or not where this
comes from is beyond the 5 senses.... i also liked his stating
of the Christ / Krishna/ Buddha seeing.... that indeed they all
speak from the same mind or Essense.... therefore he saw that
energy changing from one to another.... There is no difference
between them.... i have posted this on my site as a must see....
it once again supports the Truth of what IS....
Love shanti Om .g. kristin you are always welcomed to
write... enjoy your journey...
Michael added this:
All is an illusion - not bad - just not real.
Visions of God are just that - visions.
This fellow had read tons of spiritual and seeking related
books before his nde.
What he saw was what he imagined he saw. Somewhere a full blown
reality blossomed for this guy.
Yes, it is dramatic to read and I am not saying that it wasn't
real to him. Still it is illusion. Again - not a bad thing - just
The thing is, about illusion, that it is also real - in it's own way.
And the real reality that from time to time gets talked about. You
know the Real Reality? Well, that is an illusion to!
As they say in the land down under - no worries, mate!
ciao - michael
Bala was very negative:
Mellen-Thomas Benedict is a CON artist
No body can experience existence, it is beyond all
pollution. But you can make lot of money, if lot of
stupid people are around who have the thrist to
experience the reality.
Reality is no experience. And why would any person who
has touched the divine sell his experience.
Gangas reaction to Bala:
G: he is not "selling" anything.... i detect some sour grapes
here..... just because it is not something that you have
experienced and indeed there is no you within that moment...
therefore it may not be catagorised as experience... but with the
limiting english language it may only be stated as so..... How do
you think that the Upanishads were written.... how do you think
Knowledge about Para-Brahman is written about.... do you think
that also Shri Ramana Maharishi was a fraud? or any other
enlightend One that has indeed entered into and spoken of the
Reality beyond the temporal realm? you are quite sad indeed....
to spout such venom .... armchair retractors are plentious
shanti om i sincerely hope you oneday you find and know
the truth of what he shared......
Jerry said this:
Try looking at every fascinating sentence in the author's description of
his experience and simply saying, "So?".
For example, it says,
"I was in this great Light of Love with the stream of
life flowing through me. I have to say again, it is the
most loving, non-judgmental Light. It is the ideal
parent for this Wonder Child."
Yeah, so? So what am I supposed to do? Jump up and down for joy?
This doesn't come out of being cynical, distrustful or disenchanted. It
comes out of seeing the suchness of everything. The sameness. Reality is
plain. It has to be. How else can such a show be projected? No doubt the
experience happened and that a truth is being reported. I don't doubt
that. What actually happened is far, far more full and amazing than ever
could be reported. But so what?
Jeffs comment to Jerry:
For those who have experienced this great light, it brings its own
jumping up and down for joy. So, no, you don't have to jump up and
down for joy. But to respond with a "Yeah, so", because of the
suchness of everything, and because it's more amazing than could be
reported? Gimme joy, joy, joy.
It everything is the same, then I'll jump up and down for joy because of it.
Peace, love, joy and enjoying life,
Jody agrees with Jerry:
I'm with you all the way Jerry.
So what if I met a nice light? So what if I saw God?
So what if I walked out of hell?
The one who saw these things is illusory. Any and all
experiences are limited to the realm of name and form.
To the One who shines within, meeting God and taking
a dump on the toilet are exactly the same thing.
By cherishing these kinds of experiences we increase
our attachments to our relative form, strengthening the
delusion that binds us. We become the one of great
mystical experience, and it doesn't make a difference
how humble we are about it. In fact, humility is
yet another fetter to delusion.
The jnani says "not this, not this" to each and every
experience, no matter how holy or profane. Getting
caught up in being a saint is just as dangerous as
being a criminal in terms of attachment to delusion.
If you want to be truly serious about realization, you
chuck all experience, holy or not, into the same circular
file, remembering only that you are not the one having
any of them.
Greg added this:
The greatest light is not an experience - rather, all experience is lit up
by it. Experiences themselves come and go, whether of joy, of lightness,
of jumping up and down. No experience lasts forever. If all experiences
were of emotional, experiential joy and nothing else - you'd never even
notice it. It would be like the entire cosmos being the color white. So
the very fact of having a joy experience entails the having of a non-joy
experience. But that which *lights up* experiences does not come or
go. And though it is not itself an experience, all experience is made up
of it. It is joy, because sorrow never conquers it. It is love - in its
acceptance of all individual experiences, even those that are not
joyous. It is light - in its illumination of experience. And, it is now,
Ganga in reply to Jerry
G: When that type of experience takes place..... and someone is
moved from being a total cynic to having a total change within
their reality...... you have to admit that for the One that is
attempting to share it has had a life altering encounter.....
when you suddenly find yourself Free and in That Bliss there is
simply an outpouring...... you want to Share it with others..... You
want to Affirm that beyond the illusion of Pain is indeed a Peace
for you it may translate out into so what..... until that movement
actually takes hold within you and indeed you find yourself
transported into That which may only be Known by a direct
encounter..... then it will be the greatest thing since a first taste
of ice cream on a scorching day..... when Freedom comes and
you see clearly how people are wrapped up in identifications that
indeed are causing their pain.... it is a natural response to
share what you can..... while you come back and see life as the
great adventure and the infinite playground once again the Self
projects out of Love the great celebration of Life.....
Love shanti om g.. so why not?
Not answering for Sarlo or Jerry, but one source of So What? is
this: Let's say you have the best possible, best imaginable
experience. Even better than imaginable. Let's say it lasts for 50
years. OK. Great. Then it subsides, as all experiences do. Then what?
--- In [email protected], "angelkh7" <[email protected]> wrote:
> Thank you everyone who shared their comments with me. I appreciate
> all points of view.
> I was surprised Jerry and Sarlo, who I respect, responded "So?" I
> preceive some distrust (understandably) in the one who is describing
> the experience?
It's not about whether the experiencer's experience
was really real, it's about the truth of the fact that
the experiencer is illusory.
Nonduality is about coming to the direct understanding
that the individual is illusory and that we are the Self.
If I go about having grand mystical experiences all the
time, I become someone who has grand mystical experiences,
instead of knowing myself as I really am, which is the
ever present yet totally uninvolved Self.
> However, if I were to have such an experience, I
> might want to share it with others, not because I would want to toot
> my horn that "Hey, I had an NDE!" But because I would want others
> to "have no worries." I would have to defer to Ganga, because what
> she writes makes sense to me, and it seems to come from a loving
> My question was regarding the consistency of the experience with the
> non-duality perspective. Some answered the experience was "an
> illusion." We can get into illusion v. reality, but let's face it,
> while you're experiencing it, the illusion is a reality for you. Is
> truth beyond all truth the great void he he was describing? Was that
> illusion, too?
Yes. There is nothing "great" about the Void. It is not
empty space nor does it occupy any. It does not cover any
distance nor is it anywhere distant. The Void is you, directly
and in this moment, eternally. The Void is in you *as* you.
And -- no kind of experience is inconsistent with nonduality. Nonduality
is the truth of all experience, and any experience can show it. Some
experiences are taken to be more completely IT than others, and it can be a
compassionate, provisional teaching tool to encourage this at some
point. For a while. But after a while, that particular rung of the ladder
is no longer needed. And at some point the ladder itself falls away.
Gangas response to Greg:
--- In [email protected], Greg Goode <[email protected]> wrote:
> Not answering for Sarlo or Jerry, but one source of So What? is
this: Let's say you have the best possible, best imaginable
experience. Even better than imaginable. Let's say it lasts for 50
years. OK. Great. Then it subsides, as all experiences do.
G: hahahhahaha.... ok lets tackle this one..... when All
Experience has been gone beyond into the Source where all
springs from..... then it doesn't matter.... experience, is
experience, is experience,...... all transient in nature.... it comes
and it goes..... just because the world is like a dreamstate
does it mean that the dream cannot be enjoyed.... it is neither
real nor unreal.... yet you want to catagorise it as either or.....
Why not just accept it as it is.....? While within the Constant the
transient gives the flavor and spice..... why see only the Bland
pure Essense..... hahahhahaah.... while it is absolute Pure
Perfection it is also simply Total Potential without mind, without
personality..... Whole and Complete but it is the projection of
Dvaita which gives the meaning to Advaita.......
Pure Advaitists want to crow illusion..... Pure Tantriks want to
cling to the Transient as concrete........ hahahahahaha.... the
truth is it is not either illusion or concrete....... it is the Great
Mystery of One....
hahahahah... you guys are to serious and think to much.... relax
before you give yourself a migraine...... why not just go out and
enjoy the sunshine on your face.... go smell a rose.... and then
debate illusion..... the illusion is within the mind of bondage.... if
there is no bondage, where is Illusion?
Love shanti om ..g.
Jeff says this:
Jody and Jerry -
How far do you take this illusory thing? Who are you
sending email to if there's no one else out there :).
You can't use the same language to speak to those who do
not realize that they shine within. Those who are
realized understand, but those who are seeking do not.
At least boddhisattva's take a vow to go back to
communicate the ineffable - even though it is impossible
to communicate except by analogy and metaphor.
Jerry replies to Jeff:
Wow, this thread has really taken off.
I'm saying, yes, that the NDE really happened. I'm not saying to dismiss
or to convince oneself it didn't happen. It happened and it's a great
revelation. I'm saying that it is not beyond its suchness.
I agree with you. I don't think it's healthy to nondual everything away
by saying something is just illusion. That's a little too easy. So I
keep sending emails! The responsibility with illusions or experiences is
this: they have to be peeled back to their suchness. The so-called
enlightened one does that automatically. They're in that space of
suchness. Not that it's a big deal. So what? It's no different than not
being in that space. Somewhere between being enlightened and not being
enlightened, there's a place called reality.
I don't divide between seekers and realizers. There are relationships.
Maybe a conversation. I see things and talk about it in my way.
Greg on experiences:
Sorry if this adds more reading burden to what you're already digesting....
Here's an example of some experiences that can be quite helpful along the
way. A very vivid NDE can help end the fear of death of the physical
body. That kind of experience has been transformational for many, many
people, and has been the subject of many books. Fear and anxiety that were
related to the perishing of the body - these can simply vanish after NDE's.
Another one - the OBE, Out of Body Experience. When you have the usual
feeling of being centered and located in a particular spot - but when this
spot is up on the ceiling looking down on "your" physical body that's lying
on the bed - then you never, ever feel the same way about the body
again. You feel less identified with the body, and more identified with
something lighter, more subtle, more free. One feels rid of a huge
stumbling block. This feels very liberating, and has helped many people
loosen up their attachment to the body. Even when this OBE happens in a
Another one - the psychic experience that is often attributed to memory of
past lives. This is more subtle, because it helps sever the attachments to
the physical and subtle bodies. When you wake up speaking French, or have
the vivid memories of other times, other places that you have never seen in
*this* life. In the midst of these experiences, you feel as certain that
*that* is you as you feel the rest of the time that *this* is you. Yet,
you'd say that they are different people. So you no longer feel so
identified with this life, knowing that you have at least a foot-hold in
another vastly different life. This life can perish (both the body and
mind!), yet *you* won't perish!
These experiences are helpful on the path - especially when one measures
their progress on the path by the nature of one's experience. At this
point, one is not questioning the value of all experience per se, but
rather going for experiences that seem more spiritual and "indicative" of
one's ultimate goal. All the great traditions have progressive paths like
DAN BERKOW on HarshaSatsangh
It's great that people have and share
experiences that feel wonderful and
loving to them ... and thanks to
Bob for doing so ...
When someone shares a wonderful, glowing,
fulfilling experience, this is yet
in the realm of experiencing, and
can be contrasted with the "opposite"
experiences: unwonderful, nonglowing,
or maybe relatively neutral experiences.
And nothing against Amma, nor anyone who
enjoys her presence, nor someone
who perhaps might post on a different
list about enjoying
and feeling a peak experience at a
rock concert ...
And ... is there not a *knowing* which is love,
which doesn't depend on the quality
of an experience?
Such *knowing* being equally present when
getting told by one's boss at work
that your quality of work isn't what is
expected, or your partner yelled at you
and told you that what you meant to say positively
just bothered him or her, or you
interacted with a homeless
person going through your dumpster, or a
mangey-looking dog bit
your leg, or you cleaned the diaper of an
elderly person with cancer and Alzheimer's who just
yelled at you and spat in your face for
Such *knowing* as love being equally present
when this present body-mind isn't filled
with feelings of love at all, perhaps is
aching or is on a battlefield or
is dealing with a severe illness -- not
in the presence of a "saint" or lover,
but simply as is, however that is,
right now ...
DEBORAH A. ORF on HarshaSatsangh
moving in blue, flying in green
Moving in blue,
cutting mindfabric here
carefully one step at time
applying oneself with enough
effort to exhaustion
Logic looping and throwing
one around in circles
to despair of solving
and being told the secret by
an ant! falling to exhaustion
flying in green
and making garlands
of effortless flight
Lost in joy and bright
laughing and landing
to the ground
coming to rest
near an ant...
meeting the eyes of
jana meets bhakti and finds
same peak of the same mountain.
and its very funny.....
so said the antworm....