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#1229 - Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - Edited by Jerry


A Question of Time, detail Acrylic/board, 20"x12", 1993, by David Cheepin
-- private collection, London, England


from Nasrudin


Once an eminent philosopher asked: "Who are you?" The
Mulla promptly replied: "I'm an itch in search of a


Meditation Society of America

Sri Ramana Maharshi on Meditation

Bhagavan Ramana: Seek the Self through meditation. In
this manner, trace every thought back to its origin,
which is only the mind. Never allow thought to run on.
If you do, it will be unending. Take it back to its
starting place, the mind, again and again, and it and
the mind will both die of inaction. The mind exists only
by reason of thought. Stop that and there is no mind. As
each doubt and depression arises, ask yourself, "Who is
it that doubts? What is it that is depressed?" Go back
constantly to the question, "Who is the 'I'? Where is
it?" Tear everything away until there is nothing but the
Source of all left. And then - live always in the
present and only in it. There is no past or future, save
in the mind.


from HarshaSatsangh

Heaven according to James Taylor

If it feels nice don't think twice. Just...

Shower the people you love with love; Show them the way
that you feel.

Things are gonna work out fine, if you only will.

Shower the people you love with love; Show them the way
you feel.

Things are gonna be much better if you only will.

--James Taylor


Spring Tonic

Clouds obscure the glory
of your mornings, your pewter-plated
afternoons, the fig trees of evening,
alive with talkative birds.
It's been this way forever and a day.
This minute the air smells
like slug-colored medicines
you were given as a kid.
Childhood ought to be light years
behind you, but isn't. Which old
terror or complaint seeps slow
as resin through your veins,
despite your gentle parents'
best efforts to purge it?
Your ragged spirit still flees you
so frequently: a mongrel slinking out
the dog-door of your mouth,
anxious to tip over trash cans,
chase vermin and get dirty
before limping home. What made you
furtive so early, amused only when horses
broke loose in the park and trampled
several church picnics,
or on the morning after grandpa's
citrus groves froze in an ice storm?
Your mental weather's perpetually
inclement, like those dank fogs
once believed to be the breath
of disease. Only a meteorologist
could log your thoughts: sea smoke,
coronas, buttermilk billows.

This spring's uncertain currents
waft you back to the past, where
mother and father, huge painted
saints wearing paper crowns,
hold court in the dark, wielding
red-tipped cigarettes like scepters.
No one knew what was wrong with you.
You were fed thick medicinal liquids
whose sugary tinge failed
to disguise their chemical agendas.
Your tongue curled, a pink newborn
marsupial, afraid of the taste
of iron mixed with ink, or chalk thinned
with motor oil, or greasy silt left
in the pan after mother fried liver.
Weren't those potions meant
to cure everything: your sullenness
and tyrannical attachments;
your refusals to eat or speak;
and most of all the terrible religions
you kept inventing, which left you
hollow and rigid as some insect's
shed exoskeleton, ever meditating
on what it would be like
after you died and your body
turned into a worm farm? No other
thoughts fit into your head.
During those sickened nights
and glazed days, you never imagined
your metamorphosis (a word
you wouldn't learn for years)
might transform you into something
less like mom's teaming compost heap--
and more enduring and bright,
like diamond.
--Amy Gerstler

A Non-Christian on Sunday

Now we heathens have the town to ourselves.
We lie around, munching award-winning pickles
and hunks of coarse, seeded bread smeared
with soft, sweet cheese. The streets seem
deserted, as if Godzilla had been sighted
on the horizon, kicking down skyscrapers
and flattening cabs. Only two people
are lined up to see a popular movie
in which the good guy and the bad guy trade
faces. Churches burst into song. Trees wish
for a big wind. Burnt bacon and domestic tension
scent the air. So do whiffs of lawn mower exhaust
mixed with the colorless blood of clipped hedges.
For whatever's about to come crashing down
on our heads, be it bliss-filled or heinous,
make us grateful, OK? Hints of the savior's
flavor buzz on our tongues, like crumbs
of a sleeping pill shaped like a snowflake.
--Amy Gerstler

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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