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Issue #1362 - Thursday, February 27, 2003 - Editor: Gloria

Dear Amigo readers,  

It's almost spring and Amigo 5 hopes to serve you a fresh tasty edition, with as main course: Teachers and teaching.

On the menu this time, interviews with Wayne Liquorman, Jan van Delden, Jan Kersschot and Hans Laurentius. Peter Vos tells about his years with John Levy. Articles chosen from the work of Alexander Smit and Tony Parsons. Wolter Keers tells about his own discipleship, meeting Ramana Maharshi. And lots of other tasty morsels.  

You can find Amigo 5 via:  

In closing an invitation to wonderment. 'I went searching with only one idea: the most satisfactory answer will never be able to compete with the most fascinating question.' {Wim Kayzer]  

The Amigo Editors  

Mazie Lane on HarshaSatsangh

"In December of that year Tassahara was bought by Zen Center. Because
I was already a Zen student and had more than two months of
experience cooking, I was offered the postion of head cook for the
new center. I made it up as I went along, and everybody knew that the
kitchen proceedures were not very well worked out. But I took refuge
in what I was doing: "When you wash the rice, wash the rice; when you
stir the soup, stir the soup...."

I realized pretty early on what every cook realizes: The food more or
less takes care of itself; the people are what's hard. They don't do
what you want. they don't behave the way you would like them to. They
don't treat you the way you want to be treated. They point out your
faults...over and over again. They won't put up with you and the
repertoire of coping behaviors you've worked out. They don't applaud
your every move. (For goodness sake, they aren't Mom and Dad.) They
don't read your mind. Good grief, you have to talk with them.

The women with whom I worked were especially likely to object to my
style of management:

"Why are you talking to me like that?"

"Like what?"

"Like you were angry with me about something. What have I done?"

"Look, I'm under a lot of pressure, okay? Can we just concentrate on
getting the work done and not analyze every word?"

People sometimes came late to work, took long breaks, and often when
I watched them working, didn't seem to be very present in their
activity. I couldn't tell what they were doing, but the rice would
take a long time to get washed. Finally, one day I complained to
Suzuki Roshi. I told him all the problems I had with people not
behaving the way I thought they ought to behave (if they were really
practicing Zen): arriving late, taking long bathroom breaks,
gossiping, being absent-minded or inattentive. Then I asked him for
advice on how to get everyone to work with more concentration and

He seemed to listen quite carefully, as though he understood my
difficulty and was entirely sympathetic. (Yes, you just can't get
good help anymore, can you?) When I finally ran out of complaints he
looked at me briefly, and then responded, "If you want to see
virtue," he said, "you have to have a calm mind." "That isn't what I
asked you," I thought to myself, but I kept quiet. I gave it some
time to turn me around. Was I going to spend my time finding fault or
seeing virtue? It had never occurred to me that I could spend my time
seeing virtue, but my teacher's mentioning it made it seem obvious.

Later in our conversations he said, "When you are cooking, you're not
just working on food. You're working on yourself. You're working on
other people." Well, of course, I thought, that makes sense.

Without really having any idea how to actually do it, I began to
try "to see virtue." Whenever I found fault with someone, I would
remind myself to look again, more carefully and more calmly. I began
to reconize peoples' basic good intention, to sense people's effort,
the effort it took to stand on-the-spot and be exposed for all the
world to see. I would catch glimpses of our shared vulnerability.

It got to be quite laughable at times. Once I asked someone to get 18
cups of black beans from the storeroom. About twenty minutes later I
realized he hadn't come back. "How difficult can it be to get 18 cups
of beans?" I righteously raged to myself as I headed for the
storeroom. Yet before arriving I cautioned myself to look for virtue:
What's going on? Sure enough, there he was, sorting through the
beans, pretty much one by one, making sure that each was not a stone.
I felt a surge of impatience, and then I thought, "Well, he is being
thorough! He is being conscientious!" I don't remember what I said,
but my response was at least somewhat softened from what it would
have been. Something more articulate than "You idiot!!" emerged from
my lips, and then I explained he could cover a white plate with beans
and easily scan through to check for small stones. Perhaps the
sorting would go a bit more quickly that way.

Ironically, seeing virtue cultivates virtue. If we want to bring out
the best in others, it helps to see the best in them. After awhile we
might even acknowledge the best in ourselves. A lot of struggles were
still ahead of me, but over the years I have continued to cultivate
my capacity to see virtue. While it's an ongoing challenge, by seeing
virtue we can transform ourselves and the world."

~Edward Espe Brown from:
Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings -
Recipes and Reflections


Viorica Weissman  MillionPaths  


One evening while he was there , the Maharaja invited Vivekananda   to attend a musical performance by a dancing girl , but the Swami    sent word in return that , as he was a monk, he was not permitted   to enjoy secular pleasures. The girl was hurt when she heard the   message and sang this plaintive song ,which reached the Swami's   ears :         

Look not , O Lord , upon my sins !
Is not Same-sightedness Thy name ?     
One piece of iron is in the image in the temple,
And another , the knife in the hand of the butcher;
Yet both of these are turned to gold     
When touched by the philosopher's stone  
So , Lord, look not upon my evil qualities....

Vivekananda was deeply moved. This dancing girl , whom society  condemned as impure , had taught him a great lesson: Brahman,the ever-pure, ever-free,ever-illumined, is the essence of  all beings. He immediately understood his mistake and came out of his room and joined the party. He later said: "That incident removed the scales from my eyes. Seeing that all are indeed the manifestation of the One , I could no longer condemn anybody."





I wearied myself searching for the Friend
 with efforts beyond my strength.

  I came to the door and saw how
  powerfully the locks were bolted.

  And the longing in me became that strong ,
  and then I saw that I was gazing
  from within the presence.

  With that waiting , and in giving up all trying ,
  only then did Lalla flow out
  from where I knelt.

___   Lalla , Naked Song
        tr - Coleman Barks

Hur Guler  NDS   The new David Godman site:

I found the article on "Somerset Maugham and The Razor's Edge"
particularly interesting.

David Godman is the editor of ten books about Ramana Maharshi.  
David is best known for his book, "Be As You Are."

Joseph Riley  Panhala  

I said to God, “Let me love you.”
And He replied, “Which part?”
“All of you, all of you,” I said.
“Dear,” God spoke, “you are as a mouse wanting to impregnate
a tiger who is not even in heat.  It is a feat way
beyond your courage and strength.
You would run from me
if I removed my
I said to God again,
“Beloved I need to love you – every aspect, every pore.”
And this time God said,
“There is a hideous blemish on my body,
though it is such an infinitesimal part of my Being –
could you kiss that if it were revealed?”
“I will try, Lord, I will try.”
And then God said,
“That blemish is all the hatred and
cruelty in this

-- St. Thomas Aquinas
Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West by Daniel Ladinsky)
Web version at
Web archive of Panhala postings at
To subscribe to Panhala, send a blank email to [email protected]  

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: