Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:


Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day

Highlights Issue # 1338 Sunday, February 2, 2003 Editor: Gloria Lee

"Every moment is 'Oh Wow!'"  

--Kalpana Chawla, Columbia astronaut, Jan. 28, 2003  

(Su Gandolf on NDS)


Daily Dharma  

"When you are as huge as the universe, when you contain all; when stars
start moving within you, and the earths are born in you and disappear;
when you are this cosmic expansion , then the work is finished. You have
come home." ~Osho

"To return to the condition one was before one became - when one was a
thought in the mind of God." ~Kahn

"Coming in empty-handed,
Going out empty-handed,
The palm trees sway,
The pelican dives for breakfast."
~a visitor at Cape Canaveral

"If you stay in the Center,
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever." ~Lao-Tzu

"I did not take it from thee
to do thee harms;
Just that thou mightst seek it,
from My Arms.

All which thy child's mistake
fancies is lost;
I have stored up for thee
at home.
Rise, clasp My Hands,
and come."

one withered arm>>>>>>>>>you<<<<<<<<<<<other withered arm

our arms>>>>>>>the world<<<<<<our other arms

Tara's Hand comes above our head and pats gently, Her Voice whispers -
Home is where your Heart is. And Heart is Eternal, Unborn, Undying,
Immortal Bliss.

love to all,
dharma grandmother  


"When I die
when my coffin
is being taken out
you must never think
i am missing this world.

Don't shed any tears
don't lament or
feel sorry
I'm not falling
into a monster's abyss.

When you see
my corpse is being carried
don't cry for my leaving.
I'm not leaving
I'm arriving at Eternal Love

When you leave me
in the grave
don't say goodbye.
Remember a grave is
only a curtain
for Paradise behind.
You'll only see me
descending into a grave
now watch me rise.

Watch me rise into the day
and spin the potter's wheel
in joy.

Watch me wrap around my lover
and drink the wine of Ecstasy

Watch the child laughing at the
dandelion's puff,
See there the lovers,
the old man playing chess
in the park,
the marlins calling, the wolves
howling, the crashing sea,
the wind touching your
Beloved Face.
You are watching me!

I have come back from the stars!
Did you really think I would go away?

How can there be an end
when the sun sets or
the moon goes down
It looks like the end
It seems like a sunset
but in reality it is dawn.

When the grave locks you up
that is when your soul is freed.

Have you ever seen
a seed fallen to earth
not rise with a new life?
Why should you doubt the rise
of a seed named human?

Have you ever seen
a bucket lowered into a well
coming back empty?
Why lament for a soul
when it will come back
like the rose smothered in
winter's snow.

When for the last time
you close your mouth
your words and soul
will belong to the world of
no place no time.

And you will join me,
home, like heroes
from the stars."

~Rumi and oh.

Blessings to all.  May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.

Gill Eardley  on Allspirit

            The Scholar in the Narrow Street

            Flap, flap, the captive bird in the cage
            Beating its wings against the four corners.
            Depressed, depressed the scholar in the narrow street:
            Clasping a shadow, he dwells in an empty house.
            When he goes out, there is nowhere for him to go:
            Bushes and brambles block up his path.
            He composes a memorial, but it is rejected and unread,
            He is left stranded, like a fish in a dry pond.
            Without it - he has not a single farthing of salary:
            Within - there is not a peck of grain in his larder.
            His relations upbraid him for his lack of success:
            His friends and callers daily decrease in number.
            Su Ch'in used to go preaching in the North
            And Li Ssu sent a memorandum to the West.
            I once hoped to pluck the fruits of life:
            But now alas, they are all withered and dry.
            Though one drinks at a river, one cannot drink more
            than a bellyful;
            Enough is good, but there is no use in satiety.
            The bird in a forest can perch but on one bough,
            And this should be the wise man's pattern.

            ~Tso Ssu (trans Arthur Waley) 

Pete Seesaw  on Sufi Mystic  

Cat in the Zen Garden

A monk had worked for days creating a Zen Garden.
Finally, satisfied with his work he sat down to
contemplate his masterpiece. Soon afterward, a cat
walked onto the gravel and defecated. As cat's are
bound to do, he kicked  gravel around to bury the
scat, and so ruined the monk's delicate design.

The monk congratulating himself on his lack of
annoyance got to his feet, and grabbing his rake was
about to fix the damage, when the master yelled from a
window, " Sit down, curd brain, It's not the
garden, but your mind, which can't accommodate shit."

Mary Bianco NDS News  

Between Science and Spirituality


Can mystical spirituality be reconciled with science and, more broadly, with reason? To paraphrase the mystical philosopher Ken Wilber, is the East's version of enlightenment compatible with that of the West? If so, what sort of truth would a rational mysticism give us? What sort of consolation?  

Jerry Katz  NDS News

Fires, spiders, dust -- experiments on shuttle

Scripps Howard News Service
February 01, 2003

The crew aboard the star-crossed space shuttle Columbia had a full docket during its 16-day mission, working in 12-hour shifts to complete more than 80 experiments that ranged from watching eight golden orb weaver spiders spin their webs under low-gravity conditions to assessing the impact of dust storms on the weather.

About half of the tests were commercial in nature, sponsored by businesses looking for discoveries to aid commerce. The rest were described by NASA as "pure science." Those experiments, said Dr. John Charles, mission scientist for the flight, included "fundamental physics, biology, firefighting, medicine, climate - the variety is impressive."

Experiments aboard the shuttle, Charles said, are valuable because they can be conducted in low or zero gravity - conditions that can't be replicated on Earth because of the thick atmosphere.

"There are many aspects of space we can't mimic on Earth," Charles said. "We can turn down air pressure in laboratory vacuum chambers and bombard samples with spacelike radiation. We can't turn off gravity, though, or look down on Earth from above."

Space, he said, is "a truly alien environment."

This mission proved to be particularly successful, said Ron Dittemore, NASA's shuttle program director.

"We kind of pinched ourselves over the past 16 days," Dittemore said. "This vehicle performed flawlessly, absolutely flawlessly. Folks on the ground were ecstatic by the amount of science they were reaping and anxious to get it back on the ground."

Some of the information, Dittemore said, was downloaded to the ground and has been saved. Some was lost.

"It was an amazing mission," he said. "We were ecstatic over the results and we were looking forward to talking to the crew and tell them what a great job they had done."

Many of the experiments conducted aboard the flight were intended to determine the effects of space on the human body and other living organisms. Crew members afforded blood, urine and saliva samples during the excursion so they could be compared to specimens taken in Earth's atmosphere.

But there were more complicated scientific inquiries. Columbia video cameras captured pictures of a large plume of smoke rising out of the rain forest in the Amazon River basin. It showed that as the smoke rose it dissipated cloud cover in the vicinity, proving a theory that large fires permit the entry of more sunlight into the atmosphere and promote the greenhouse effect.

The discovery will lend assistance to a study being conducted by Brazil and NASA to determine the effects of major ground fires on the atmosphere.

Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, was aboard to study the effects of dust storms on the weather, gathering what was characterized as "solid information" on the plumes of dust and other particulates blown from the deserts that eventually are transported around the world by high winds.

The particles, scientists say, affect rain production in clouds, deposit minerals in the ocean and scatter sunlight, having an impact on global warming.

On previous missions, scientists determined that conditions in space were so different from conditions on Earth that things even smelled different. Perfume industry giant International Flavors and Fragrances, in 1998, funded an experiment involving a miniature rose called "overnight sensation," which, in space, developed a floral rose aroma distinct from its normal odor on Earth. It later was used to develop a new fragrance incorporated into a perfume called Zen.

The crew carried aboard two flowers - a rose and an Asian rice flower - to determine if they could produce even more exotic scents.

The crew also was involved in extensive experiments dealing with fireballs, leading to a greater understanding of the physics of fire. Unlike flames on Earth, which have a teardrop shape caused by air rising in a gravitational field, flames in space break apart into spheres a few millimeters in diameter, according to University of Southern California engineering professor Paul Ronney, who designed the fireball experiment for NASA.

Flame balls are lean burners - meaning they require little fuel to keep going. The experiments on the Columbia flight focused on achieving the efficiency of fireballs so those properties could be used to make automobile engines more efficient.

From flame balls, crew members moved to experiments on how best to fight fires. They tested a new system that addresses infernos with a fine water mist - a fog - instead of chemicals that could be harmful to the environment. The fog removes heat and replaces oxygen as the water evaporates, thus preventing the blaze from spreading.

David Hodges on NDS News

This is a dense, hugely thought-provoking site,  with writings of Anthony Judge going back 30 years.
Judge is a social commentator, director, engineer, and designer. He seems to delight in playing with metaphor, and in reframing issues.

For example, the piece I previously sent, "Planet Earth in Material Breech", is by Judge. On this this site you'll also find an essay in which he takes the word "ass" and recasts its various slang meanings as the nine points of the enneagram. You'll find several documents from the "Interplanetary Security Council". There is the "World Governance Cook Book".

"Attacking the shadow through Iraq" is worth a great deal of study:

There is an essay called "Crusading from Washing-Town to Bag-Dad: Pre-emptive regime change as the key to sustainable development" with these interesting words:

"What we are seeing is an immense psychodrama being played out on the world stage. Through President George Bush, Americans are finally recognizing the need for “regime change”. They have not yet understood that the message is addressed to themselves -- that it is their own “regime” that needs changing."

Terry Murphy on Sufi Mystic

from "Free Yourself of Everything" by Wolfgang Kopp:

    "The fundamental idea of Zen tells us to take the direct and shortest
way to the experience of our true being without recourse to anything
external or supplementary.  That is why Zen rejects everything that has the
least to do with external authority; it tends only to absolute trust in the
inner nature of human beings.  All authority in Zen comes from within and
is independent of stipulated religious dogmas of any kind.  A Christian can
live in Zen as well as a Buddhist, for Zen is not a religion among others,
but rather the true foundations of all religions.  Zen opens our eyes to
the great mystery of our universal nature.  It gives us access to the
unending inner space, which manifests itself to us in spatial infinity and
timeless uncertainty.

    "Inexpressible in words, the truth of Zen has nothing to do with pious
behavior and sanctimonious holiness.  It is always immediate and
direct.  With utmost emphasis, it points straight to our own hearts without
becoming caught up in conventions and ideas.  It is free, and without this
freedom it loses its spontaneity and freshness and becomes as useless as an
empty shell.

    "Embroilment in assorted religious beliefs and philosphical speculation
prevents most people who search for the secret of being from realizing the
truth of their own mind.  Searching for an external truth and regarding it
as an object identifiable by a subject conform to the dualistic reasoning
of intellectual comprehension.  Since the truth pervades our very being and
all that surrounds us, it is impossible for us to distinguish or separate
ourselves from it.  Therefore, our only choice is to attain to an immediate
awareness of that which is and always will be present in and around us, our
most intrinsic true being."

      The word "sufism" could be substituted for the word "zen" in the
above paragraphs and still be perfectly accurate.  Of course, Kopp is
talking about *true* Zen, or *true* sufism.  There are Zen masters just as
there are sufi sheikhs.  There are the Zen patriarchs, who many regard as
authorities.  There are zen practices, and sufi practices.  Languages and
cultures vary.   But Zen, or sufism, *is* "the true foundation of all
religions."  As the true foundation of all religions, they differ only in
name.  As the true foundation of all religions, whether we call it sufism
or zen or nondualism or the one true light really doesn't matter.  A *true*
follower of Zen is a true follower of *sufism* and a true follower of *the
one true light.*

      To make an issue out of adherence to a given formulaic approach or
dogma is to lose immediately the universality that is the essence of this
fundamental truth, whether called sufism or zen or something
else.  Everyone who seeks to know and represent within themselves the truth
must acknowledge this universality.  Like the elephant in the story of the
blind fakirs, each feeling a different part and thinking their portion was
representative of the whole animal, the true seeker needs to overcome the
blindness that leads them to think their approach is superior to another,
similarly blind approach.

      The electronic age, giving us what is essentially a universal
language (english) and access to the holy books and commentaries from every
culture in human history, has rendered obsolete the old methods which were
suitable to particular types produced by stable cultures.  Brunton's
'oversoul,' Nietzsche's 'ueberman,' Paul's 'new man': you can't put new
wine into old bottles.

      Mysticism is mysticism, and the old technical languages of outdated
mystery schools need to be updated and rewritten.  So-called primitive and
feminist views have to be accomodated.  Our bibles, korans and vedanta have
their historical interest, but the new gospel is transcendent.

       We're not going to get anywhere, however, until we can finally agree
we are all talking about the same thing.  The truth that transcends words,
the truth that is 'the true foundation of all religons,' is the universal
truth.  And that universal truth is zen; or sufism; or dzogchen; or tantra;
or advaita.

      Of course, sadly, people have vested interests.  Kopp entitled his
book, "Free Yourself of Everything."  His book is about Christian mysticism
as well as Zen mysticism.  But Sufi mysticism is no different, nothing
special, neither superior nor inferior.  If we insist it is something
separate, something different, it is no longer universal, no longer the
fundamental basis of all religions.

      It is not just sufis who have vested interests.  There are christians
who insist their mysticism is different, even some buddhists.  Hindus
usually will admit everyone, at least.

      As long as people will assert their way is both universal and
different, we will have conflict and disunity.  But if a given Way is to be
regarded as the fundamental basis of all religions - as sufism is - it must
be universal, and identical with any other way equally so regarded.

If s = p and q = p, then s = q.


Terry  on Sufi Mystic

My experience with living as near to a spiritual and monastic life as
we could while still retaining our dignity and integrity was the commune
that I, my wife, and a dozen or so navy buddies formed after we all got
out of the serivce in about 1970. Before the unemployment compensation ran
out (actually, we were kicked off the dole because according to governor
ronald raygun, if you had "long hair" - and fresh out of the navy it was
barely over our collars but it was as long as we could grow it - you
weren't considered to be 'serious' about looking for a job) we kept all our
money in a sugar jar, and whoever needed cash for groceries or grass or
whatever just took it from the jar, and whoever had just cashed a check put
the money into the jar. When there wasn't enough to 'take care of
business' - one of our mottoes was, "we don't ever have no problems because
we always pay the rent," we would start looking for whatever crummy laborer
jobs we could get. With 10 to 15 men, about five low-paying jobs were
enough. No one ever complained and there were always enough volunteers;
people who stayed home worked on cars or crafts or cooked and cleaned. If
the job sucked or we felt in the least abused, we would just quit, and we
knew one of our buddies would pick up the slack. Getting fired, far from
being devastating, was liberating; not to mention telling the boss just
what you thought of him! We kept that same old symbolic sugar jar in
continuous operation for fifteen years.

My favorite story about integrating the spiritual lifestyle with
ordinary american capitalism - demonstrating, as we liked to, that 'the
system' under which people operate is not in itself 'the problem,' took
place in a small town called Enterprise, Oregon, back in about
1975. Enterprise was the county seat of Wallowa County, Oregon, in the
very northeast corner of the state, a very sparsely populated and
mountainous area. Enterprise, population 1700, was the largest town for 82
miles. Our group of about fifteen lived some fifteen miles out of town, in
a cabin on Whisky Creek, so isolated that the mailbox was a mile and a half
from the house on the plowed county road. In those days, you couldn't eat
a proper vegetarian meal on what they sold at the supermarket, so we got
our brown rice and soy products and sprouts and such at the local food
co-op. The Co-op was only open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, but
they did a fair amount of business as it was the only source of natural
foods this side of Lewiston, Idaho. Now, we used to make our trip into
town once a week on Wednesdays, but being members of the co-op who did our
share of bagging and packing on saturdays as a part of our membership
duties, we knew our way around the store and new that the key was kept at
Mary's Cafe. So Wednesday afternoons we would most of us head out to
Mary's, six or eight hippies and naturally a dog or two in our old red
international harvester panel van, pick up the key, and open up the
store. We would get our oats and honey and nuts for our homemade granola,
our whole wheat and rye flour and yeast, our vegetables and fruit and
blocks of cheese, fertilized eggs, our coffee beans, some Kleen-Raw sugar,
raw milk, unfiltered cider, lentils, split peas, lima beans, black-eyed
peas, corn meal, lots of brown rice - everything in big thirty gallon
metal-rimmed cardboard barrels - and big cans of Top and Kite tobacco for
roll-your-own's (if you think picking butts up off of the sidewalk is bad,
try raking little stubs of hand-rolls out of the fireplace and rerolling
them - it was living out in the woods there we finally all went cold
turkey, all at once, yellow, calloused fingers and all, never to smoke
tobacco again)...we'd weigh each item up carefully in our recycled bags,
calculate what we owed, open the register, pay and make change, lock the
store up and bring the key back to Mary's. We did this evey week for
months before, just talking to someone, we found out that the leadership of
the co-op - which was by no means a 'hippie' organization, many of you may
not remember that supermarkets were very resistant at that time to carrying
organic and so-called 'natural' foods, considering it a fad and as
something which ran counter to their plans for the future - had a big
meeting to decide whether it was accceptable for 'the whisky creek gang' to
be operating the co-op like it was our own private store. Without ever
making an issue with us it was decided that our behavior was quite in the
spirit of cooperative food merchandizing.

Those were the days when we thought we were demonstrating new ways of
living and working and doing business that were both superior spiritually
and morally and sustainable economically. As individuals, we lived well
below the poverty level from a tax standpoint, but we were not on welfare
and could afford to live in a manner we regarded as quite comfortable,
without begging or taking advantage of people. Another one of our mottoes
was "real wealth is having lots of spare time," and many of the local
bluenoses condemned us out of jealousy for our freedom, even though we
spent our time in spiritual study, music and crafts, daily hot baths,
helping to supply the needy with firewood, and were brahmacharyas as well.
I thank my patient readers for bearing with me this far, and won't
presume much further.

John Metzger on Sufi Mystic

Terry, thanks for the memories!!!!Takes this one back to my hillbilly
shack close to the merging of the Green and Barren rivers in Kentucky.
This was around 1975-80 as well.

Electricity but no plumbing, had a 55-gallon drum of kerosene feeding
an ol mobile home heater somebody gave to me. Deep into having
nothing, wanting nothing. Sprouts everywhere, smoked camels, read the
mystics, drove an 18-wheeler from 4 in the morning til noon. Reefer,
acid, benzedrine, solitude, visits to The Farm in Summertown Tn.,
lots of walking around 'down by the river(s)', feeling/being one with
folk like your whiskey creek gang, riding bicycle thru the country
with deadhead friends who always had acid. Fate had it that two
wandering graduates of the Christ Essene or Essene Christ Temple of
Los Angeles met up with me[they could read my mind] and together we
left, hitchhiked to Oregon, ate from Safeway dumpsters but also were
given a lot by other hippies. Barefooted, smoked Bugler and weed,
vegan,they said Jesus had returned, named Lightening Amen. I sure realize
this morning how much we, you and I and all those who 'tune-ed in,
turned-on and dropped-out' were blessed and were able to bless. Those
years live even today as I still have no desire for riches or status
of some kind. thanks again, john

From { Home Free Home } a History of two Open Land Communities

O. B. Ray came to the Ridge the summer of 1968 as a more or less permanent fixture. Zen sage, Sufi philosopher, father figure, lover. superlative good-karma marijuana farmer (he gave away all he grew), his large tent was always available to anyone needing a place to sleep. After surviving three bloody landings in the Pacific with the Marines during World War II, O. B. had been assigned to guard a desert island with two other soldiers. The other men went crazy, but O. B. loved it so much that he asked for an extension of duty. On that island he discovered the purpose of his life—to do nothing. That is what made him the happiest.

After the war, he drove a cab in San Francisco for 17 years before discovering Zen Buddhism and meeting Suzuki Roshi. He retired to Mt.Tamalpais to live the life of a hermit monk before arriving at the community. O. B.'s laugh was a wonderful thing. It could be heard from one end of the land to the other. He was a font of wisdom and mellowness at all times, a great sage and a much beloved tribal elder.


Terry, that's wonderful living you guys had 'back when.'
O.B. was truly unique and, as you point out, it's rare
that someone can achieve the life of a mendicant in our
society. Better to go the Sufi lifestyle/
There's a great homage page to O.B. with photo at:

top of page

Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: