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Highlights #1183
Saturday, August 31, 2002
Editor: Christiana

Art: Stanislaw Kors Creation of the Wind

Petros [email protected]

experience versus belief

When you really experience your world, it is truth for you. If
however you only "believe" in it, it is untruth and unreal. Once
you deeply experience your life, you can be done with the
experience too, and move in the space that is freedom; but
not everyone knows how to experience deeply.

Mark Hovila submitted this quote which prompted a lively
discussion on [email protected]

What is the test of experience?

Examine your experience always and ask yourself whether it
changes in time or space. If it is found to change, advance
further till you come to that experience from which you can
never change even for a moment, even if you try. That is then
no experience either, but your real nature itself. (7 Jan 1951)

from: Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Sree Atmananda
1950-1959 taken by Nitya Tripta, duly approved by Sree

James Traverse responds:

The 'Test of Experience' is OneDual-NonDual.

It can be progressive as an 'experiencer experiencing' and it
can be direct as in 'experiencing without an experiencer'.

It is like a cube of sugar dropped in a vessel of water - at first
it is 'concentrated' as the sugar cube - then it dissloves
(especially when the water is stirred up - akin to
'exploring/examining') and the sugar cube 'appears' to have
disappeared - yet, when you taste the water, there is
nowhere that the sugar isn't.

This is the OneDual/NonDual Nature of One. Its qualities are
Infinite/Meditation/Non-Local/Feminine/etc... and

Seeing is Singular. Concentration and Meditation are
qualities of SEEING - they are extreme poles of the SAME

Xan [email protected]

Xan "So long as you identify yourself as the body, your
experience of pain and sorrow will increase day by day.

That is why you must give up this identification,

Question: How do I give up the identification? The feeling
that I am definitively the body is OVERWHELMINGLY

~ You give it up gradually by observing all the things you
experience through the body, developing detached
witnessing. At some point you begin to notice that you are
the Awareness which is observing the body and all that it
experiences. You are the consciousness that is looking out
through your eyes.

Meandering a fascination with lichen, lead to

Deer Park Cottage by Wang Wei,
a Chinese Buddhist poet
of the Tang dynasty translated by Howard A. Landman


These mountains are empty; no people are seen,
though you hear someone's echoing voice on the breeze.
Afternoon, slanting sunlight between the tall trees
comes to rest on moist lichen, glows aquamarine.

Translation notes:

Wang Wei was an Amida Buddhist. The home of the Amida
was considered to be in the west, so the afternoon sunlight
can be viewed as a metaphor for the Buddha's teachings,
and the glowing lichen a metaphor for enlightenment.

Images of Angkor Thom by Michael Buckley


.. he found a interesting stone that was covered with lichen.
He knew lichen was an organism formed by a combination
of fungus and algae growing as a unit on a solid surface.
Picking up the stone, he inserted it into a hollow he created
in the pages and began to write around it. "Everything grows
connected to something other than itself."

Bob O'Hearn [email protected]

Searching for the Dharma, Hsu Yun

You've traveled up ten thousand steps in search of the Dharma.
So many long days in the archives, copying, copying.
The gravity of the Tang and the profundity of the Sung
make heavy baggage.

Here! I've picked you a bunch of wildflowers.
Their meaning is the same
but they're much easier to carry.

Jan Barendrecht [email protected]

The recursive witness is a metaphor for the process of
observation.. It goes on as long as the mind-body is alive
and what happens then is "the" mystery. Absolutes, void etc.
are conceptual figments of the mind, mere thoughts whereas
"apperception" means:

1. Conscious perception with full awareness.

2. The process of understanding by which newly observed
qualities of an object are related to past experience.

Before voicing a phrase like "i see the moon", a lot of
processing has to be done, like witnessing and
communicating on a cellular level.. Holding a mirror before a
mirror shows recursion better than any lecturing on it, and
when one of the mirrors is spherical, the issue of projection
will be clear... Not something negative or positive, but a
property. There are no straight lines in nature as space is
curved too and nature doesn't have an outside :-)

The witness practice is an aid to become aware of the issue
called "arising": Whatever seems presented "as is" has
been prepared so by the subconscious. Witnessing that for
instance anger doesn't come out of the blue, can have an

effect like pulling the rug (conditioning) from under the
furniture standing on it...


shades of green and blue
no sight without a contrast
no contrast without?
pines who hug a wall
symbol of a love so strong
numbs fear of free fall

Harsha [email protected]

The festival of forgiveness (paryushana)in the Jaina tradition
is coming up. Many people fast during this time and pray for
purification and both ask for forgiveness and work on
forgiving others. Many other spiritual traditions seem to have
similar types of rituals of cleansing, healing, and forgiveness.

For a number of reasons which I will explain later, I plan to be
on a reduced food diet in early september and will then fast
on alternate days from September 11 to September 30. The
days of the week that I eat, I will limit myself to raw fruits only.
I will continue drinking some tea with soymilk to avoid

This will be a period of fasting and praying and hope you will
join me in prayers of healing for the world and prayers for
those who are helpless and suffering.

I dedicate this partial fast to deepening the understanding of
Ahimsa, the philosophy of nonviolence.

May all living beings be free from sorrow.

Stephen Levine excerpt from his new book Turning Toward the Mystery

About fifteen years ago, living amidst a world of wildlings in
the forests of northern New Mexico, a few days after nestling
in a few dozen chicks, I entered the coop one morning to find
a dozen dead chicks with their heads bitten off. Skunks!

Recognizing too our responsibility to the skunks, in whose
territory we had plopped a tantalizing chicken coop, rather
than harming them, we began improving the fencing under
which they had apparently entered. Digging all day along the
fence line, we buried it well into the ground. Nothing short of
a badger was going to dig its way into that enclosure. But
the next morning, more headless chicks.

We presumed the skunk had this time gone over rather than
under the fence. It had seemingly climbed the chicken wire!
We worked for most of the next day clumsily stretching
sagging chicken wire across the top of the pen. When it was
completed, we "knew" the few chicks remaining were at last
safe. But next morning proved they were not. Somehow the
predator was still getting in.

We had exhausted all of our nonlethal options, but before
taking more drastic measures, I decided to sit out one night
in the well-fenced chicken yard in hopes of discovering the
means of entrance.

After sitting outside in the cold for a few hours, I noticed that
ego-glorifying self-righteous sense of wounded innocence
slipping in. Self-interest-above-all was accumulating. Anger
arising, animosity for this remarkably resourceful though
deadly invasive creature. It was me against him. I
considered what sort of buckshot to use. I was slipping into
hunter identities.

Catching my body hunching over, contracting like my mind, I
spread wide my arms and arched my back to relieve the
pressure. As my head tilted back, I looked up.

The enormous southwestern sky was wild with fiery
asteroids. It was the Perseid meteor shower. A half dozen
streaks of light at a time stretched across the sky. Never had
I seen such a full display. One after another and then five at a
time, then crosswise another and another.

And wanting to rest my neck, I looked back down. And there,
not ten feet in front of me, was the skunk. He had slipped
through what had seemed far too slight an aperture between
the corner post and the fence.

He was beautiful as anything in creation. For a long moment,
bathed together in a surreal star shower, we looked deeply
into each other’s eyes. And beneath a singing sky we
simultaneously bowed and retreated. I returned with hammer
and nails to secure the corner fencing. The skunk went
home, and the sky kept on singing.,C83/C83/Levine.html (link may no longer be active.)

Gene Poole [email protected]

"Who Am I?"
plants a spinning seed

Which outgrows
many error-weeds

When watered and tended
many a mind has mended

By re-minding
"I don't know"

Now the seed
has grown

And in its turn
more seeds are sown

What grows is balance, once the difference is known

Non-attachment honors... the honesty of admitting
attachments... non-attachment is a form of work... not an
absolute state... every arising, triggers abiding...

Questioner: I don't know if the 'who am I' practice is the same
thing as just shifting awareness or if it helps cut up the bonds
of false identity perhaps quicker?

Well... every identity is 'false'... in the sense that identity is
not 'who I am'... on the other hand, every identity is 'real'... if
not, there is no motive to 'change'...

If a person takes identity seriously... it is possible to isolate it
and observe it... and even to gain the ability to operate from
a lower level of identity, such as from the level of the child
you once were...

On the other hand, it is also possible to 'parse and polish'
identity... and this is not a bad idea... a good thing to do,
'until enlightenment happens'... the ability to see identity is
very helpful... to edit it is good... to remove obnoxious
habits... and to instill 'stops' in habit-routine... and to reroute
the arising energy into neutral awareness...

Identity itself is utterly harmless... just like a person with no
piloting skills is harmless, as long as not in the cockpit...

Identity allowed to run the show, is capable of nothing but
repeating the past, ad infinitum...

There is no 'shortcut', but, there are very many 'longcuts'...

'mental activity'... can be disciplined... into neutral
awareness... with no prejudices... in this state... 'Who Am I' is
apparent... but not, 'who I am'...

Please consider neutral awareness... as a state of abiding...
non-attachment is operative as work... much like ice-skating
or surfing... the arisings and subsidings of phenomena are
endured, perhaps even enjoyed...

There will be times when 'meaning' is overwhelming... two
things about these times:

_1 Take the meaning provisionally

_2 Realize you have been shown (your) attachment

We now see how 'detachment' can be counterproductive...
meanings are lost, rather than abided...

What comes as what happens, is more of the same... it is
important to remain awake and deliberate, as you abide...

rather than fall into a false peace, a mere escape from
undigested events...

Just as the stomach uses enzymes to digest complex food...
so does mind use the equivalent... digested observation
renders a product of understanding... and this is the natural
nourishment which allows us to grow... grow as in 'to

The 'usual' state of mind... is akin to the effect of
over-eating... indigestion upsets the entire system... gross
events occur within...

To allow actual complete digestion... renders a vastly
simplified product... which is then assimilated, to become
part of Being...

Digestion is destructive to what is eaten... but good for the
one who eats... in this way... what was 'real' becomes
insubstantial... until finally, 'you' are digested... and become
understanding itself... in this way is the entire universe

There is a very large... indeed, vast... and calm one, who
performs and behaves thus... everything in sight is eaten...

Neutral awareness allows effortless ingress of factors which
had previously triggered desire or aversion... nothing is
rejected... there can be no arguments... no sides are taken...
there is no right or wrong... merely the eater...

The eater grows in understanding...

==Gene Poole==

The Gene Pool metaphor

Buddha represents the gene pool,
the potentiality of the species.
The genes are its essence.
Buddha is manifested by temporary
instantiations of the gene pool
when a collection of genes arises
transiently in an individual manifestation
of the gene pool called "self."

Thursday, July 31, 2003

club-mushroom lichen, Oregon


There are many around the drinking trough, but there is
nothing in the cistern. --Gospel of Thomas


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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

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