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#1209 - Thursday, September 26, 2002 - Editor: Jerry
From Ken Nash's Sketchbook: Drawings From My Travels.
"Tell me a fact and I'll learn. Tell me a truth and I'll believe.
But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever."
-- Indian Proverb
One of the greatest of spiritual storytellers was Ramakrishna. One
story I have always enjoyed referes to the need to live 'in the
world but not of it,' as the sufis say. How can we live a life of
*ahimsa* (non-harming) without becoming prey to the exploiters
and parasites who take advantage of the weakness of those
unwilling to fight and harm others?
Once an itinerant guru came to a remote village in India which was
plagued by a venomous snake. The frightened villagers asked the
guru to take care of their problem, and render the snake
harmless. The obliging guru went out and found the snake and
spoke to it about the evils of hurting people, and convinced the
snake to practice non-harming.
After the guru went his way, the snake become known for being no
longer dangerous. Some of the boys of the village took to beating
the snake whenever they saw it, until the snake was beaten half
to death. In fact, only the blessing of the guru enable the snake
to stay alive.
The following dry season the guru returned to the village and
asked after the snake. He was told that the snake lived on the
edge of the village, nearly dead from beatings. The guru knew
that his blessing would have kept the snake alive despite any
beating, so he sought him out and questioned him. The snake
politely claimed that he was doing fine, but under questioning
revealed that the local boys had beaten it nearly to death and
that it was unable to even feed itself and was afraid of more
beatings should it show its face.
The guru told the snake that he had told it not to harm anyone,
but that it was okay for it to raise up, open its hood, and act
threateningly. On the most difficult occasions, it might even
bite, but it was under no circumstances to inject its venom.
After this advice, the snake regained its health and was
sufficiently respected by the village boys that it was no longer
bothered and could live peacefully.
This is a story which has lived in my heart for a long time.
from the I Am list
Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi was most tender with people who thought
themselves for some reason or other to be miserable sinners and
who went to him torn by repentance.
During summer evenings we used to sit in the open space near the
well. We would collect in the dining hall for dinner and come back
to the well. Suddenly, one day, a visitor started weeping
bitterly, "I am a horrible sinner. For a long time I have been
coming to your feet, but there is no change in me. Can I become
pure at last? How long am I to wait? When I am here near you I am
good for a time, but when I leave this place I become a beast
again. You cannot imagine how bad I can be-hardly a human being.
Am I to remain a sinner forever?"
Bhagavan answered: "Why do you come to me? What have I to do with
you? What is there between us that you should come here and weep
and cry in front of me?"
The man started moaning and crying even more, as if his heart were
breaking. "All my hopes of salvation are gone. You were my last
refuge and you say you have nothing to do with me! To whom shall I
turn now? What am I to do? To whom am I to go?"
Bhagavan watched him for some time and said, "Am I your guru that
I should be responsible for your salvation? Have I ever said that
I am your master?"
"If you are not my master, then who is? And who are you, if not my
master? You are my guru, you are my guardian angel, you will pity
me and release me from my sins!" He started sobbing and crying
We all sat silent, overcome with pity. Only Bhagavan looked alert
Bh: "If I am your guru, what are my fees? Surely you should pay me
for my services."
D: "But you won't take anything," cried the visitor. "What can I
Bh: "Did I ever say that I don't take anything? And did you ever
ask me what you can give me?"
D: "If you would take, then ask me. There is nothing I would not
Bh: "All right. Now I am asking. Give me. What will you give me?"
D: "Take anything, all is yours."
Bh: "Then give me all the good you have done in this world."
D: "What good could I have done? I have not a single virtue to my
Bh: "You have promised to give. Now give. Don't talk of your
credit. Just give away all the good you have done in your past."
D: "Yes, I shall give. But how does one give? Tell me how the
giving is done and I shall give."
Bh: "Say like this: 'All the good I have done in the past I am
giving away entirely to my guru. Henceforth I have no merit from
it nor have I any concern with it.' Say it with your whole
D: "All right, Swami, I am giving away to you all the good I have
done so far, if I have done any, and all its good effects. I am
giving it to you gladly, for you are my master and you are asking
me to give it all away to you."
Bh: "But this is not enough," said Bhagavan sternly.
D: "I gave you all I have and all you asked me to give. I have
nothing more to give."
Bh: "No, you have. Give me all your sins."
D: The man looked wildly at Bhagavan, terror stricken. "You do not
know, Swami, what you are asking for. If you knew, you would not
ask me. If you take over my sins, your body will rot and burn.
You do not know me, you do not know my sins. Please do not ask me
for my sins." And he wept bitterly.
Bh: "I shall look after myself, don't you worry about me," said
Bhagavan. "All I want from you is your sins."
For a long time the bargain would not go through. The man refused
to part with his sins. But Bhagavan was adamant.
Bh: "Either give me your sins along with your merits, or keep both
and don't think of me as your master."
In the end the visitor's scruples broke down and he declared:
"Whatever sins I have done, they are no longer mine. All of them
and their results, too, belong to Ramana."
Bhagavan seemed to be satisfied. "From now on there is no good nor
bad in you. You are just pure. Go and do nothing, neither good
nor bad. Remain yourself, remain what you are."
A great peace fell over the man and over us all. No one knows what
happened to the fortunate visitor; he was never seen in the
Ashram again. He might have been in no further need of coming.
Hari Aum !!!
from The Other Syntax
"I've never told you about dreaming, because until now I was only
concerned with teaching you how to be a hunter," he said. "A
hunter is not concerned with the manipulation of power, therefore
his dreams are only dreams. They might be poignant but they are
"A warrior, on the other hand, seeks power, and one of the avenues
to power is dreaming. You may say that the difference between a
hunter and a warrior is that a warrior is on his way to power,
while a hunter knows nothing or very little about it. The decision
as to who can be a warrior and who can only be a hunter is not up
to us. That decision is in the realm of the powers that guide
Don Juan Matus - Journey to Ixtlan
The nature of rain is the same, but it makes thorns grow in the
marshes and flowers in the garden. [An Arab saying, as quoted in
Anthony de Mellos book Awareness]
Gods grace is available to all. All you have to do is make
yourself receptive. Receptive to the direct intuitive perception
of your real nature.
This receptivity is a special kind.
In this receptivity there is no striving, no effort striving
means direction, in this pathless land there is no direction.
In this receptivity there is no urgency, no desperation, no
waiting just your availability.
In this receptivity you are hanging loose, you don't care if you
get it or not.
In this receptivity there is no narrow focus this receptivity is
open to everything [dont reject anything, just observe and
accept]. In this receptivity your sense of humor shields you
from taking things too seriously. You are smiling inside, no
matter what. You are acting as if you have already got it.
Dont be rigid, go with the current of your life, enjoy the ride
you cannot be the driver because you, nor anyone else, knows your
own unique path be attentive, be aware, be open to the unknown.
This openness is without any motive, without any expectation or
anticipation this openness is it this openness will reveal
its depth by itself.
Any expectancy brings in the ego and time through the back door.
It can only happen in the now when you-the-person are absent.
When you-the-person are there, the receptivity that we are
talking about recedes to the background when you-the-person
are absent this receptivity springs back to the foreground
ready to be transformed, transmuted into pure awareness, pure
being, pure bliss.
Please try to understand the above. This openness without
you-the-person is all that is required to get all the guidance,
all the mystical experiences that are necessary [or not] to guide
you, and having seen the nature of you-the-person finally
seeing/being the real You.
Here in the heart of america, home of a 15th century Quan Yin
statue at the local art museum, (brought in from China... and now
requested returned) a question is asked:
Would it be inappropiate under religous or even secular rules to
use the likeness of the Goddess as a chocolate mold, to produce
I posted a photo of said statue under the files section of the
Yahoo NDS group site a while back.
warm appreciations for any responses which come from heart,
Not in Japan. There, they use images of buddhas and bodhisattvas
when they bake cookies. You go to a town nearby a famous shrine or
statue, and you'll find bake shops and souvenir shops. They will
sell packages of crispy sweet cinnamon-flavored cookies with the
image of that statue on them. Quite nice!
They say knowledge is power
and one should of course acquaint
oneself with a varied knowledge.
The following books have all been
genuinely produced and published in sincerity
some without a true appreciation of their
alternative possibilities :-)
Think I sent them before
but worth a reminder . . .
but not for the orthodoxically challenged
Games you can play with your pussy - Ira Alterman
Ball punching - Tom Carpenter
Penetrating Wagner's Ring - John Gaetaneo
Fishing for boys - J H Elliott
Chaps and short pants - Herbert Farris
Whippings and Lashings - Girl Guide Association
Making it in leather - M Hayes
Handbook for the limbless - Geoffrey Howson
The chronicles of the crutch - Blanchard Jarrold
Motorcycles in a nutshell - S Moore
British tits - Christopher Perrins
The oldest trade in the world, and other addresses for the younger folk -
Scouts in Bondage - Geoffrey Prout
Shag the Caribou - C B Rutley
Camping among cannibals - Alfred St Johnston
The Big Book of Busts - John Watson
Organ Building for amateurs - Mark Wicks
Why people move - Jorge Balan
Practical candle burning - Raymond Buckland
Truncheons: Their romance and reality - Erland Clark
Who's who in barbed wire - anon
Anthropometric measurement of Brazilian feet - Mario D'Angelo
Moles and their meanings - Harry de Windt
How to save a big ship from sinking, even though torpedoed - Charles Eley
A study of hospital waiting lists in Cardiff 1953-4 - Fred Grundy
What to say when you talk to yourself - Shud Helmstetter
The madam as entrepreneur: Career management in house prostitution -
The toothbrush: It's use and abuse - Isador Hirshfield
How to fire an employee - Daniel Kingsley
Historic bubbles - Frederic Leake
The one-legged resting position - Gerhard Lindholm
Aeroplane design for amateurs - Victor Lougheed
List of people who have changed their name in Massachusetts, 1780-1892 -
Nuclear War: what's in it for you? - anon
Defensive tactics with flashlights - J P Dan
Hawaiian fishponds - Catherine Summers
How to avoid huge ships - John Trimmer
The Darjeeling disaster-it's bright side - F W Warne
Grow your own hair - Ron Maclaren
Jews at a glance - Mac Davis
Railway literature 1556-1830 - Robert Reddins
*this book covers the interesting period of railway history before trains
How to abandon ship - Philip Richards
Atomic Bombings: How to protect yourself - Winston Davis
How to draw a straight line - Alfred Kempe
A study of splashes - Arthur Worthington
The gas we pass: The story of farts - Shinta Cho
How to test your urine at home - B C Meyrowitz
Performing goats - anon
Fishes I have know - Arthur Beavan
Bean Spasms - Ted Berrigan
Swine judging for beginners - Joel Coffey
Do snakes have legs? - Bert Cunningham
Rats for those who care - Susan Fox
Fishes who answer the telephone - Yury Frolov
Carrots love tomatoes - Louise Riotte
A pictorial history of tongue coating - anon
Old Age: Its cause and prevention - Sanford Bennett
Fresh air and how to use it - T. Carrington
Cancer: Is the dog the cause? - Samuel Cort
Coma arousal - Edward Le Winn
Practical infectious diseases - Richard Meyer
The abuse of elderly people: A handbook for professionals - anon
Put haemorrhoids and constipation behind you - Ken Yasny
How to become a schizophrenic - John Modrow
Collect fungi on stamps - D J Aggerberg
Fun with a newspaper - Morley Adams
How to eat a peanut - anon
Teach yourself alcoholism - Meier Glatt
The champion orange peeler - A Henn
Build your own Hindenburg - Alan Rose
Explosive spiders and how to make them - John Scoffern
How to walk - anon
Hand grenade throwing as a sport - Lewis Omer
Be bold with bananas - anon
Ice cream for small plants - Etta Handy
The thermodynamics of pizza - Harold Morowitz
How to cook husband - Elizabeth Strong
The joy of cataloguing - Sanford Beaman
To know a fly - Vincent Dethier
A selected biography of snoring and sonorous breathing - Marcus Boulware
The adventures of Chit Chat, the talking mirror dinghy - Carole Hughes
Follow your broken nose - Honor McKay
The magic of telephone evangelism - Harold Metcalf
Reusing old grave - D Davies
DIY Coffins: For pets and people - Dale Power
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