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#1155 - Saturday, August 3, 2002 - Editor: Christiana

Compassionate silence from [email protected]

Wolfgang from a talk given at a retreat in Tiltenberg,
Holland 1996

Last year at a retreat in Austria I wrote that an "informal talk"
would be included in our sesshin schedule. The group
gathered around the tea-table expecting we would sit there
sipping tea and have a chat. Meanwhile, I was left sitting in
the Zendo alone. Next time I won't write "informal talk" again.

When wind arises, silence gets lost; when wind turns to gale
the waves splash into our consciousness, and when it
abates they disappear again. But the sea will remain the
same, be there calm or gale; we've only got to find it.

But when you are there, simply being there isn't quite
enough: You ought to invite people, meet them, and guide
them (that is, without doing anything). And you had better
guide them a way they are able to walk.

Genyru offers Stephen Levine

Opening to and work with the dying

'The content of our life and their life might be different, just as
the content of our mind and another person's mind is
different, but the process is precisely the same. The natural
laws governing cause and effect and the laws governing how
the mind and body relate are precisely the same. And it's
that sameness that is the way into understanding, the way
not to get caught in content, our content or their content. In
fact, it is on the level of that sameness where contact can be

Buddha said that fortune changes like the swish of a horse's
tail. Two beings are in that room and they're there karmically.
One is down and heading out of this life, the other one's
there because there's nowhere else he can be of more use
to himself or someone else. We both have work to do on
ourselves. If we're in that room under any other pretext, we're
not getting the most out of the situation. It's the same
whatever we're doing; it's just more evident when we're with
ourself dying...

The attachment which wants someone to die some other
way than the way they are dying is of no use to them; that's
my problem. I learned not to make someone else die my
death for me. Not bringing my problems into the room
became the process for further purification. Sometimes if I'm
with a person and I'm stuck, I just have to say, "I''m stuck
now," but that's more honesty than that person may
experience all day. There's a lot of pretense in hospital
rooms. The person lying in bed is often pretending, the
people visiting are pretending. My work in that room is
simply one of being. No pretense. And to be, I must be
present. I have to be able to accept all of myself. And part of
me is suffering and lying in that bed. In truth there are two
deaths occurring right then.

I found that compassion meant not saying, "Oh, how nice you
look today," when they were getting grayer and thinner, but
rather letting them be sick when they were sick. Letting them
accept themselves. Not to reinforce their aversion for their
sickness because their sickness is what they have to work
with. It's their method.

I saw how much we underrate the capacity of the human
heart, how we think we can only be of service through
knowing something. But the intuitive understanding of the
wisdom mind can allow us to be available to another without
gettting lost in a lot of "doing". We're just there, because
we're open to be there."


There's a Zen saying that you may have come across that
goes something like, "In speech you hear it's silence. In
silence you hear it speak." Some get attached to one or the
other because they have yet to experience speech in silence
and silence in speech.

As for my Buddhist name, the G is hard and the rest is
reeoo, though I'm not bothered how it's pronounced. :o)

"What does it mean?"

It means subtle, mysterious, or ungraspable Dragon. I
suspect my teacher's meaning was, "This guy will never get
it." :o)

"I saw your pictures in the files. I like the black silk (?) gown.
What does it mean? If it could speak .. what would it say:-) Is
there significance with the black?"

The robes are the standard robes of a Soto Zen monk. The
black is used to signify on one level that by becoming
ordained as a priest, one is allowing the self to die, to go
back to zero, the void as it were. It's also somewhat easier
to keep clean. :o)

Wim Boorsboom

"Once a while back I was seeing a transpersonal therapist.
He told me he saw the ego more as wounded child, then as
something to destroy."

And when we get just to a certain point, just prior to when our
first wounding took place, we find the source of our original
bliss again... it may be tentative and fragile... but anybody
who gets touched to tears will find that spot again and
eventually grow up from there again...

Ah that the sweet spot... Most will find it around the heart,
many a little higher up, the spot in the chest from which the
sobbing starts. Some will find it in the throat... There are
more spots like these, but these are easiest to localize...
Look for that sweetness...and find out what was it exactly that
touched you to tears, what exactly were you looking at, what
did remind you to remember when you got touched, what
brought you so close to your original self?

Mazie Lane

Here's an interesting exercise - Stop and think of one person
whom you think you Love above and more deeply than
others. Then take the Love that spontaneously arises with
this thought and transfer it to the one who disturbs and
scatters your peace the most. Before the negative image of
disharmony can arise with the thought of this person, the
Love has struck its mark in the Heart. Let the river go Home
to the Heart, and let it remain their until it's the Mighty
Oceanic Presence.

Joyce Wycoff
Your Own Backyard
Red flagstone:
Stacked, jagged-edged wafers
Sitting Zen, becoming without effort.

Go on an exploration of your own backyard. This could
literally be your backyard or it could be your neighborhood or
a park in your community. Walk slowly and quietly around
your backyard ... let yourself gradually absorb everything
about it.

Notice how you feel as you walk into your backyard. Is it
quiet and peaceful or lively and stimulating? Does it feel right
to you?

Notice what's growing in your backyard. What needs
attention and what needs to be moved or removed? If you
could change one thing, what would it be? What feels
absolutely right?

At the end of the day, think about what you discovered about
your backyard and yourself?

[email protected]

Dan Berkow [email protected]

So, even silence is a story.

Experiencing silence is to embody all sounds ...

To be empty is to be full of infinite stories ...

The mind is how an image is given meaning, given a place
to be apprehended, and is the apprehendor, the one to
whom the image is relevant.

Yet, there is no mind apart from the image, the image
requires the mind, requires meaning, requires a place to be

So, the free mind can only be mindless, in which
image/experience is clearly nowhere, without intrinsic
meaning, only with interdependent meaning.

We are the play of light, a light with no meaning, hence no
story, making all stories. A light including darkness, allowing
all stories to weave themselves.

So, I would say it makes light of our dialogue, and our
stories, rather than it makes our dialogue and stories wrong.
They could only be wrong if one assumed there were
supposed to be some kind of validity being established. We
must make light of our heaviness, unwind our woundedness.
We have no choice, because this choiceless *(non)being*
naturally undoes everything being held or contained.

When the container is the contained, it can't help but release

Refracted voices overheard on [email protected]

Jan Sultan

I don't know

"I don't know" will get you places.
"I know" will only get you what you know.
Which will most likely be another stale hearsay.

Open minds, open hearts and empty cups ...

Be an unblocked flute ...
and God will play beautiful melodies through you.
John Metzger presents Brother Void

Salon presents columnist Brother Void --
seeker, sufferer, sage -- who each week offers readers one
of his "afflictions," bitter pills of dark truth and painfully
hard-won wisdom inspired by the works of Kafka, Nietzsche
and others.

The skeptical mystic's crisis of doubt

"It takes faith to believe, and it takes courage not to, and who
is to say which is the deeper and more truthful." -- Herbert

You often hear about believers who have a crisis of faith, but
what of the skeptics among us who have a crisis of doubt?
For years we skeptics have decisively refuted the
metaphysical claims of the great religions and scoffed at the
pretensions of newfangled spiritual fashions. But then our
doubts are suddenly shaken by an unbidden mystical
experience. The power of this direct cognition of ultimate
reality, beyond word or image, is undeniable. But does it
prove the existence of God? If you remain skeptical, you find
yourself in a difficult state. You now seriously doubt your
doubt and yet have no abiding faith to replace it. How do you
proceed? You can no longer be atheistic because you've
communed with the divine. You can't be religious because
the existence of God is still in question; what's more,
religious representations of God now get in the way of your
direct mystical experience. Nor can you be agnostic
because you're far from neutral on the subject. You must
become a skeptical mystic. As you cut your own singular
path to the great whatever, you must now treat your own
experiences with the relentless skepticism you once
reserved for the claims of others.

I am One with a God I do not believe in.

Adventures at Rasa Ranch #29

8/02/02 "Breaking the Spell"

Jim: Hey! What's he barking at now?

Ananda: Bodhi is barking at nothing again. He has been
doing that all day!

Kheyala: Do you know who else has been doing that all day?

Ananda: Who?

Kheyala: Your mom.

[All three of us laugh and a spell of grumpiness is broken]

Wry crafty food for thought from the Onion


You ... The Newest Subsidiary Of Kraft Foods

NORTHFIELD, IL—In the company's latest acquisition, Kraft
Foods announced Friday that it has gained a controlling interest
in you for an estimated $11,000, nearly 20 percent less than the
amount forecast by Forbes magazine's market analysts earlier
this year. "We are pleased to bring you under the umbrella of fine
Kraft products and individuals," Kraft CEO Bob Eckert said.
"After some retooling and repackaging, you can expect to be on
store shelves sometime in early spring."

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