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#1195 - Thursday, September 12, 2002 - Editor: Jerry

from Southeast Asia Poster Art

from NDS



Speaking of arising, a few moments ago I got up from
bed, the possibility of sleep eradicated by a cyclonic
mental party that began promptly at 3:35am. Snapped
awake to a wild, drunken fest..

Oddly enough, the party was full of chatter similar to
the above exchange: this that this that.

(Does friction eventually polish the surface?)

Not that there is friction between 'this and that'. That
would mean that the 'this and that' are logically
oppositional, which they aren't. 'This and that' is
stream of thought... keeping the conversation going
because that is what one does at a party.

(So then, what surfaces are rubbing such that I feel


"You don't have to be imprisoned by the inevitable,
repetitive flip- flop between pleasure and distress for
the rest of your life. You can harness energy from
unexpected sources, such as the flip-flop process
itself! ... and live freely." Anon


Battered by my guests' poor social graces, I eventually
sit in the corner and withdrew focus, attention,
engagement. Gone for a ride, surfing over the banter,
wondering when the guests will pass out or get tired and
go home, but not really caring.


Most venues, where humans gather, are like a cocktail
party. Everyone plays a part, and the parts intermix,
and the music is delightful - if only people could SEE
what was really happening...


The Party - Phil Ochs (link may no longer be active.)

The fire breathing Rebels arrive at the party early,
Their khaki coats are hung in the closet near the furs.
Asking handouts from the ladies, while they criticize the lords.
Boasting of the murder of the very hands that pour.
And the victims learn to giggle, for at least they are not bored.
And my shoulders had to shrug
As I crawled beneath the rug
And retuned my piano.

The Hostess is enormous, she fills the room with perfume,
She meets the guests and smothers them with greetings.
And she asks "how are you" as she offers them a drink,
The Countess of the social grace, who never seems to blink.
And she promises to talk to you, if you promise not to think.
And my shoulders had to shrug,
As I crawled beneath the rug
And retuned my piano.

The Beauty of the hour is blazing in the present,
She surrounds herself with those who would surrender.
Floating in her flattery, she's a trophy-prize, caressed.
Protected by a pretty face, sometimes cursed, sometimes blessed.
And she's staring down their desires, while they're staring down her
And my shoulders had to shrug,
As I crawled beneath the rug
And retuned my piano.

The egos shine like lightbulbs, so bright you cannot see them,
Blind each other blinder than a sandbox.
All the fury of an argument, holding back their yawns,
A challenge shakes the chandelier, the selfish swords are drawn.
To the loser go the hangups, to the victor go the hangers on.
And my shoulders had to shrug,
As I crawled beneath the rug
And retuned my piano.

They travel to the table, the host is served for supper,
And they pass each other down for salt and pepper.
And the conversation sparkles as their wits are dipped in wine,
Dinosaurs on a diet, on each other they will dine.
Then they pick their teeth and they squelch a belch saying:
"Darling you tasted divine."
And my shoulders had to shrug,
As I crawled beneath the rug
And retuned my piano.

Wallflower is waiting, she hides behind composure.
She'd love to dance and prays that no one asks her.
Then she steals a glance at lovers while her fingers tease her hair.
She marvels at the confidence of those who hide their fears.
Then her eyes are closed as she rides away with a foreign legionaire.
And my shoulders had to shrug,
As I crawled beneath the rug
And retuned my piano.

Romeo is reeling, counting notches on his thighbone,
Searching for one hundred and eleven.
And he's charming as a cherub, as he leads you to his web,
Seducing queens and gypsy girls in the boudoir of his head.
Then he wraps himself with a tablecloth and pretends he is a bed.
And my shoulders had to shrug,
As I crawled beneath the rug
And retuned my piano.

Ahh, the party must be over, even the Losers are leaving.
Just one doubt is nagging at my caustic mind:
So I snuck up close behind me and I gave myself a kiss,
And I led myself to the mirror to expose what I had missed.
There I saw a laughing maniac who was writing songs like this.
And my shoulders had to shrug,
As I crawled beneath the rug
And retuned my piano.




from the I Am list

viruppAsai thunbinbu mElumivai pOlva
viruppavAm buddhi yiruppA - liruppillAth
thookkaththi lindradhanAR sondhamavai pundhikkE
yOrkkugavAn mAviRkA mO.


Fondness, desire, sorrow, happiness,
and additionally, such as these,
do(!) abide, because of the abidance of the intellect.
In the sleep without the abidance (of the intellect),
(these) do not abide.
Hence, they belong to the intellect alone.
Do (they belong) to the Self? Investigate.

Translation of Atma Bodha Verse 23 by Sri Bhagawan


from NDS

Sri Ramana used to say that either one has to enquire
steadfastly about the arising of the aham vritti (the
'I' thought--the feeling awareness of I AM) or
surrender entirely to the Guru that is one's own Self,
the very Heart of one's existence. In either approach,
the ego, the sense of identity, the 'I'-ness
merges in the Heart and the Self.

Bhagavan often made the point that one cannot go
beyond a certain point with effort alone and that
Grace is needed. When asked, how could one obtain
Grace, Sri Ramana would say that Grace is
ever-existent and always there. One only needed to be
aware of It. That is why Ramana Maharshi often brought
attention to the Heart, that the Self is Always
Realized, and that the Grace is always there. So one
makes the sincere effort, and then Grace takes over,
some Power, the Power of the Self---that takes the
mind and merges it in the Heart.

The Heart is the magnet. The words of the Guru are
Grace because they make the devotee aware. When
meditation is ripe, and all the effort that is
possible has been made, through Grace alone, mind and
Shakti travel to the Heart and merge in it. That is
the Supreme Silence.

Love to all

You can read some of my writings on the Heart at the
following link.


from NDS

I like how the women keep urging the men to just go
meditate already! The most famous qigong master of
China, Yan Xin, teaches the "Child Longevity
Meditation" -- visualizing the age of six for women and
seven for men. By the way Master Yan Xin gave President
Bush Sr. eight personal qigong treatments at the White
House and the President declared Yan Xin to be the
world's greatest living sage.

But please let me toss out some more words on meditation
technique. Very concretely Nisargadatta (sp?) states
that he thinks "I AM" is preferrable to "Who Am I?" I
know that at the end of his life Nisargadatta kept
emphasizing how important life-force was -- and how he
didn't have any.

If you read Master Nan, Hua-Chi he talks about the
different levels of emptiness/energy -- he is very
specific about this esoteric information and it's very
important I think. Anyway he states that a person can,
for instance, stop all thoughts in their mind and think
they have achieved nondualism. Ramana Maharshi talks
about this very same problem -- a trance.

Another problem Ramana Maharshi talks about is that when
people practice nondualism they think that simply
repeating the thought "Who Am I?" is the practice. He
stresses that a person doesn't use the mind -- but the
consciousness or the energy that is between and behind
the thoughts. Master Nan emphasizes this as well and
states that this "lip-service Zen" was an epidemic

Master Nan states that not only is the Mind pure
consciousness but so is the Body and the universe. So
if a person truly achieves nondualism the body should
be emptied out as well -- even if they are not attached
to the energy. Ramana Maharshi actually experienced
physical death -- and it was several years after his
first feeling of death that lead to samadhi. In
otherwords during his practice the life-force
completely transformed his physical body. This is also
described in detail in a wonderful book: "Opening the
Dragon Gate: The Making of a Modern Taoist Wizard."

"I" prefer "Who Am I" to "I Am" because the "Who" is
like the meaningless sound -- the Zen shout or slap --
that drives the logic of the mind back to its
emptiness/energy source. This helps to move past just a
mental repetition -- a conceptual verbal
self-affirmation. It also helps to focus and keep
moving the ego back to its source until it is
completely emptied out (mind/body/universe).

Master Chunyi Lin's password to his Spring Forest Qigong

"I am in the Universe. The Universe is in my body. The
Universe and I combine together." He teaches that above
all: Use the consciousness to go into the emptiness and
keep it simple. He teaches this mainly by transmission
of energy. He teaches the four elements to practice
are: Mind, Sound, Posture, Breath. He has tapes that
guide anybody through easy but powerful exercises.

Thanks for letting me share some words about practice --
even though I'm just a beginner. drew


from NDS


The below final nondual activist statement of Debray
emphasizes the problem of equalized inverse
proportions as the basis for western measurement
(Metis/Maya). He incorporates nondual meditation -- I
believe -- into this statement. "Zero" in the below
can be read as Kali.

The apocalyptic future of westernized global
techno-civilization as the conclusion of Debray's
"Critique of Political Reason":

"The overall process is dialectical in its logical
principle of the unity of opposites, but it is not
dialectical in terms of temporal progression. The
reassuring model of thesis-antithesis-synthesis is not
applicable to the historical spiral. According to that
model, the local archaic moment would be followed by
a-modern-world negation, the process being completed by
the negation of the negation in the serenely Japanese
form of a society in which the robotization of work is
tempered by ancestor worship. The synthesis is not in
fact homogeneous with the thesis; it is not the
Aufbehund of the first two stages. At bottom,
dialectcial reason contains a guarantee of recuperation,
whereas historical evolutionism contains something
irrecuperable, in the two senses of irremediable and
uncontrollable. Social time gives us vertigo: not that
of (combinatory) iteration or (dialectical) progress,
but of the exponential. On the one hand, we have the
curve of 'the release of religious energies', on the
other that of 'the domestication of natural energies'.
Universalization of subjects = tribalization of
subjects. Re-established at every stage of evolution,
the old equilibrium produces a new disequilibrium. An
equation with inverse but correlative values can see its
values increase to zero. Tension rises until the final
zero is reached. By then the various hostile tribes will
have discovered nuclear fire." (p. 345)



This issue of body energy and mental discrimination is
magnified and clarified under the world's worst military
regime: Burma.

Just to remind people that I did alot of Burmese
activism, working with refugees who had to flee the
country. There has been a fascinating book published on
meditation and politics in Burma and it's on the web at
"Mental Crisis in Burmese Culture."

The basic message of this book is that the dominant
practice in Burma has been Vipassana or insight
meditation. This practice emphasizes mental
discrimination and not energy. But the military generals
have been using slave labor to build meditation centers
and promoting them to the West. There is a big increase
in meditation tourism and the military generals are
using it to justify their regime: "Look see how many
foreigners enjoy our peaceful country." Some have
criticized Vipassana because it makes people complacent.

The elected democratic leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, keynote
speaker for the UN Global Women's Conference, and Nobel
Peace Prize recipient, practices Vipassana meditation
everyday. But her teacher was being promoted and
utilized by the military general so much so that the
teacher has tried to set up a separate practice.

Also the military generals have sought out their own
meditation masters that emphasize "concentration"
instead of "insight." The military generals want to
focus on generating energy as powerful magic -- instead
of focusing on discriminating insight.

Of course these separations are very fuzzy but this type
of meditation struggle is well-documented in other Asian
countries. Dr. Stanley Tambiah has researched the recent
issues of this nature in Thailand and Sri Lanka. Some of
the Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka even had powerful guns
stored in their monasteries.

It's worth mentioning that the International Forest
Monastery in Thailand has faced similar problems. Their
teacher Ajahn Cha emphasized mental focus on the heart
-- no posture or body energy focus. Westerners are
readily attracted to this more intellectual approach.
But even though there has been a highly regarded western
monastery in Thailand (well-supported by the local women
and the government) the head of that monastery had to go
to Britain just to practice serious meditation! Why?
Because the local villagers were cutting down so much of
the Forest that the monks had to devote most of all the
energy on doing forest activism -- not meditation.

It is predicted that soon one out of ten people in
Thailand will be HIV positive. There's one monastery
that does focus on body-energy. One westerner with AIDS
flew all this way to Thailand -- close to the Burmese
border -- just to hope to be successfully treated.
Hundreds of Thais learn this body-energy meditation with
the hopes of treating their AIDS. But the monk that
teaches them emphasizes that they can't stay long at the
monastery because it is not a hospital.


posted to many lists

9/12/02 "Abundance"

Several weeks ago a man and his wife came to our house
to take a look at our truck for sale. We connected so
beautifully with them that we won not only a completely
seamless business transaction, but a pair of friends as
well. The woman, in the knowledge that our baby was due
anytime, called us up a day or two later and said, "I
just wanted to tell you how wonderful it was to meet you
and your family the other day and to let you know that
you can call me if there is anything I can do for you."
I laughed joyfully, thanking her from my heart, and told
her that if she'd like to take up residence in our
kitchen and cook for us, that would be a dream come
true! She said that when the baby came she would be
happy to make us a meal and we both hung up with smiles

The next day we all gathered around our blinking
answering machine (such a big event!). It was our new
friend. She was reporting that she had eight meals lined
up for us from people in the community who didn't even
know us! I was so astonished. I laughed out loud and
then when the gratitude hit me, I got a lump in my

Every other day since the announcement of our baby's
arrival, beautiful ladies (young and old) have brought
warm meals to our door. After many years of serious
experimentation with different diets I now have only one
simple criteria for what makes an awesome dish and that
is how much the cook enjoyed preparing it. I must say
that as a result of the these strangers' generosity,
lately our family has been feasting like king


from NDS

I did a search for the word "nothing" today and got
26,300,000 hits on Google. One of the first was
Adbusters' page promoting this year's Buy Nothing Day,

Nondual activism!
DIY nondoing!
Non-partisan politics!
Non-drivel creativity!

To buy or not to buy, that is the kvetch.

Love, Sarlo

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: