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NDhighlights #1406 Saturday, April 18, 2003 - Editor: John

Thanks to Joe Riley for the photo.  

Dear Merton Group A Blessed Holy Week and Easter to you all ! 

The Great Surrender of Jesus to The Father and The Father's Response of Resurrection brings me to share something from the Merton letters which I came across this past week. 
Easter Joy and Peace,
Patrick Collins

"The great thing is not things but God Himself Who is not things but
ourselves, and the world, and everything, lost in Him Who so fully IS
that we come closer to Him by imagining He is not.  The Being of all and
my own Being is a vast emptiness containing nothing:  I have but to swim
in it and be carried away in it to see that this nothing is All.  This
too may be a distracting way of putting it:  but everything is really
very simple and do not let yourselves be disturbed by appearances of
complication and multiplicity.  Omnia in omnibus in Christo.  Let His
Spirit carry you where He will, and do not be disturbed if I sometimes
talk like Eckhart..."

The following posts are from the NDS archives.

  Easter offering

All of the genius and glory that the universe
holds has to go somewhere.

Your choices are clearly laid out before you, and you can
choose all or one of the cosmic blessings available.

The only way to stay humble may be to notice the humor
of your position.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Everything is god.
Understanding this is the whole of awakening.
Really, it is that simple and wonderful.

Those with intricate concepts of god - yes even the
totally deluded - are god.

Mean folks, kind folks, winos, wizards and wierdos
all are god.

Simpletons, fools, and slack-jawed dolts are created
from the same god stuff. Faggots, maggots and mewling
pukes they too are god stuff.

Let's not ignore the noble, generous of heart, and sweet of
disposition. They too are god stuff.

Sweet irony is all I can offer to those god stuffs who
whine about not being able to find god anywhere.
Poor babies!


This easter permission is granted to take Jesus
off of the cross and invite him to a party!

Peace - no charge - Michael


...extracted from old book from the 70's, Toward The One, by
Pir Vilayat Khan, and was a guide to younger bones while
going through hot three year intensive in late 70's.
Maybe someone here would enjoy, If so, fine. If not so,
fine, too.

"Is not suffering due to the fact that it is forced upon us?
Suppose we would do consciously what nature does
unconsciously? Suppose we could offer ourselves willingly
to be molded and buffeted by life?

We are the offering placed on the altar of the World.

If we would sacrifice what we wish most,
we would gain a tremendous freedom.

This is what life asks of us,
the greatest gift of all,
always what we want most,
or ourselves,
or the innermost of ourselves,
our own heart.

It is the acceptance of the unacceptable
that is asked of us.
So, we are tested.
To make evident whether
our heart's treasure is
earthly or heavenly,

There is no Good Friday without an Easter.
No dark night without a dawn,
and no oppression without a release,
and the sacrifice is followed by an outburst
of such moment that it shakes the very
The veil of the temple is split,
there is a tremor on earth.

You are resurrecting every time
you overcome yourself."


Christiana: "If any of you have reflections on Christ, I would also love
to hear them."

He: And today come walk with me in memory of one of my manifestations.
Why do you holler so when I ask you to carry my cross for such a little

She: Of course! You'll kiss my aching shoulder and make it feel much

He: No, no! No little girl to be fathered any more! Remember? No
parenting, for there are no wounds a mother or father could heal. Only
my wounds that need no healing. My wounds are the marks of Peace.

Take up My Cross a little bit today, Amrita. I promise it won't weigh
too much. Know I love you and let's laugh together.

Only those who take their own suffering so seriously, really believe I
was suffering. As I stumbled up the hill, only peace prevailed. There
was no cross, no nails, no lance, only Joy!

I try to tell them but they do not listen.
They want an excuse for their own crosses, so they invent mine, they
"honor" mine. My crucifixion was a time of expectancy, a much awaited
birth was due. I was going Home, as you often wish to do.

There was no pain.
Who has pain?
Do you have pain?
Not thee who was never born.
Wipe my brow.
Pick up the end of the
dragging wood,
And let's be together -
to play.

from Easter Dialogue: 1982


It's Easter Sunday. Beautiful blue skies and lovely pines trees. The
air is good and as I sit out on my deck I hear the tinging of wind
chimes. Peaceful.

Then some thoughts: I love these trees. Then, you sure don't love them
when the wind is blowing and you think they'll come crashing down on
your roof. You sure don't love being among them when there is a fire.
So I see conditions on that love.

I continue thinking of what Byron Katie said once. She said she didn't
know what love was. When her husband asked her if she loved him, she
thought a moment, looked inside herself, couldn't work up a feeling,
and said no, not at this moment. Then she noticed that when he did
something for her, a feeling would come over her and she would say,
"Sweetheart, I think I love you now."
She says we "love" when we get something that we want from someone.
Conditional love I guess. Yet I see her as an expression of love.

And I started thinking about unconditional love, how it is not in my
life and about how many posts are signed "with love" or "in love" or
"love" plus the name of the person.

The Course says there can be no Love in this world but only a
reflection of this love.

So I ask all of you who care to answer. What is your definition of
love? How does it manifest in your life? I know what it feels like to
be angry, to be fearful, to be peaceful (sometimes). I can say I love
my husband, my children, my friends. and God. (can I really say I love
God?) But is that the kind of love you
all mean when you sign with "love" at the end of your posts?

I've heard the expression "be love". Is that the same as unconditional
love? My guess is that it is. When you have no conditions on anyone,
is that when love just
expresses itself? If that is the case, then I guess I have not
experienced Love.

I asked my husband just now to define love. He said "caring,

And everything we say about love, is it true? or just what we believe
or want it to be. I ask because on another board people say they
believe in love and that it is the only truth.

And that Observer, The Silent Witness, does he/it/she love?

If no one wants to pick up this thread because perhaps it has been
discussed ad nauseum before, it's okay. I had a nice opportunity to
express my thoughts on this Easter Sunday.


P.S. I have entertained the possibility that love is undefinable.

  Hi Mary,

I love your post. (huh?)

Easter Sunday was cloudy and brisk here, but still a lovely day. When I
look at a cloudy day and feel the desire to say "Ahhhhhh....", that
feels like love to me. When I'm stopped in my tracks by the sight of a
baby's eyes and just have to grin, that feels right. I've been
listening to Dissidenten's version of "A Love Supreme". I like the way
that feels too. What makes a grin appear spontaneously? (but then it
could just as easily be tears.) I don't know what it is, but I
recognize it when it's present. Stopping to feel the present brings it
up. I guess there may be conditions, but does that make it ersatz? I
don't think so. I am continually mentioning the word "practice". I
don't feel the sweet pleasure of a loving feeling continuously, but
when it wells up, I enjoy noticing it, and it seems to me that doing so
makes it rise up more often. So if it's conditional, so what? Enjoy it
and relax into it. If someday it stays, wonderful. If it doesn't stay,
it'll come back. I trust it.

Scott Peck defines love as the desire for the spiritual growth of
another. I wish this growth for everyone, and when I get angry at some
idiot that just did something which offfends me, it helps to remember
this desire for his/her growth. (and this makes me grow...) When I
sign my posts "Love, Mark", I mean simply that I want the best for you,
and believe that the best for you is also the best for me. I'd like to
see all actions motivated by this love, but I can only take charge of my
own actions, so out of love for you, and for me, I try to notice my
motivations and transform those that don't fit. It seems fundamentally
selfish to me, but that's okay too, because it's all Self. This kind of
thinking seems to make sense when I'm feeling a sense of love. I see
I'm circling around it, so perhaps it is indefinable. (But who cares,
ain't it grand?)


  MELODY I began aligning with the energy of Easter, I
re-read the verses on the Lord's Supper:

"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying "Take it;
this is my body."

Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them,
and they all drank from it.

"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured our for
many, " he said to them, "I tell you the truth, I will not
drink again of the fruit of the vine until the day when I
drink it anew in the kingdom of God."

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of

"You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "for it is

" ' I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be
scattered. '

But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into

Peter declared, "Even if all fall away, I will not."

"I tell you the truth, " Jesus answered, "today - yes
tonight - before the rooster crows twice you yourself will
disown me three times"

But Peter insisted emphatically, "Even if I have to die
with you, I will never disown you." And all the others said
the same thing. " Mark 14: 22-31

I cry as I read this as part of Holy Thursday preparation.

I cry, as Peter, as Judas, as all who deny the Son of Man
....out of fear and ignorance.

Today seems a good day to rest in self
acceptance .....opening to a truly abiding heart.

  Easter Vacation

We celebrated the mystery
of resurrection by tilling
our garden this weekend.

We began with the ritual
of burning off the stubble
of last year’s bounty.

The smoke rolled like incense
across the lawn and deep
into the woods. A few crows

scolded the pungent odors
though I noticed it did not
stop them from building nests.

Later when we planted onions,
those old maids of the field,
the crows watched from nests

that seemed more like choir
lofts than nooks for the darkest
birds of the rurals. Even their

squawks were rich with polyphony
once the garden filled with rows
of tiny tombs from which the magic

of green will emerge to remind
us that what we look for in the
empty tomb is always with us.

-- Fredrick Zydek
Omaha, Neb


Robert Altman

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Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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