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issue #1416 - Tuesday, April 29, 2003

COEUR D'ALENE, ID. - If you find yourself cruising around Idaho and have a sudden urge for a latte and a marriage, be sure to stop in and see Reverend Al Holm at his Sacred Grounds caffeine-and-commitment mporium. What used to be a pizza counter in the back of the A-n-D Mini Mart is now the location for Holm's pulpit where he legally binds a man and woman into holy matrimony. For a simple $50 donation, Holm will perform the ceremony, return the marriage license to the courthouse, making the union legal, and you'll be saying "I do" before your cappuccino gets cold.

  From NDSN News  

Researchers focus minds on mechanics of meditation

By Judy Foreman
Special To The Sun

April 28, 2003

FOR DECADES, open-minded Westerners - patients and doctors alike - have been touting the medical benefits of meditation.

It has been shown to lower blood pressure, heart rate and respiration; to reduce anxiety, anger, hostility and mild to moderate depression; to help alleviate insomnia, premenstrual syndrome, hot flashes and infertility; and to relieve some types of pain, most notably tension headaches.

What nobody has come close to explaining is how meditation might work. That is, what mechanisms within the brain might explain why changing one's mental focus can have such large effects on mood and metabolism. Nor has there been much collaboration between experts in meditation such as Buddhist monks and neuroscientists.

All that is changing - fast.

more at:,0,4983131.story?coll=bal-health-headlines  

  Mother's Day is coming.   Hope you enjoy this.

The young mother set her foot on the path of life.  "Is this the long way?"
she asked.  And the guide said: "Yes, and the way is hard.  And you will be
old before you reach the end of it.  But the end will be better than the beginning."

But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything
could be better than these years.  So she played with her children, and
gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed them in the clear
streams; and the sun shone on them, and the young Mother cried, "Nothing
will ever be lovelier than this."

Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was dark, and the children
shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them
with her mantle, and the children said, "Mother, we are not afraid, for you
are near, and no harm can come."

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed
and grew weary, and the mother was weary.  But at all times she said to the
children," A little patience and we are there." So the children climbed,
and when they reached the top they said, "Mother, we would not have done it
without you."

And the mother, when she lay down at night looked up at the stars and said,
"This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude
in the face of hardness.  Yesterday I gave them courage.  Today, I have
given them strength."

And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth, clouds of
war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother
said: "Look up.  Lift your eyes to the light." And the children looked and
saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the
darkness.  And that night the Mother said, "This is the best day of all,
for I have shown my children God."

And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the
mother grew old and she was little and bent.  But her children were tall
and strong, and walked with courage.  And when the way was rough, they
lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a
hill, and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide.
And mother said: "I have reached the end of my journey.  And now I know the
end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their
children after them."

And the children said, "You will always walk with us, Mother, even when
you have gone through the gates." And they stood and watched her as she
went on alone, and the gates closed after her.  And they said: "We cannot
see her, but she is with us still.  A Mother like ours is more than a memory. 
She is a living presence."

Your Mother is always with you.  She's the whisper of the leaves as you
walk down the street; she's the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered
socks; she's the cool hand on your brow when you're not well.  Your Mother
lives inside your laughter.  And she's crystallized in every tear drop.
She's the place you came from, your first home; and she's the map you
follow with every step you take.  She's your first love and your first
heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate you..  Not time, not
space...not even death!



  Readers Write Back  

Re: [NDhighlights] Friday, April 25, 2003

Dear Gloria,

             I have seen RamDass on retreats ( where he, like I, was a student and have heard him talk - before the stroke). He has come a long way from his days as a high-priest of the drugged -out movement and credit is due for the useful teaching he has done as well as his personal major reformation.
             That said, we should also consider the fact that out of the 60s came a terrrible legacy of idealizing extreme narcisism, hostility to government, worship of group rights as opposed to individual rights and extreme disrespect for logic and factual analsis instead of touchy-feelyisim, etc ( excuse the neologism).   He is right that those thoughts are around today and seem to dominate our universities where political correctness has virtually destroyed freedom of speech.
         The heirs of the 60s want free speech only for their own point of view and demonstrate, often with violence, to prevent others from speaking their mind.
           I had to say these things because, regrettably, none of the writers interested in the spiritual side of life who appear on your site recognize this point of view, except perhaps to ridicule it.                         

            Earl McHugh

Book Review  

Here's a book that Earl might find interesting. It's _Spiritual Enlightenment The Damndest Thing_ by Jed McKenna. This book has been praised by such luminaries as Jim Dreaver, Alan Cohen, Lama Surya Das, Chuck Hillig, Bob Rose and even our own Jerry Katz. Who, says in part, "If you read this book on a park bench, you might find Jed has already been sitting there for a long, long time. If you allow him, a thread will be pulled. An unravelling will begin."  

Complete endorsements and reviews can be found at  

About page fifty it began to look like Jed McKenna is just another kook in the enlightenment gig. But by the time I finished the book I began to seriously doubt that a Jed McKenna even exists except as a clever device to present a straightforward look at the simple truth. Enlightenment is not what folk expect it to be.  

You will enjoy this book, I think. I did. If there is a real Jed McKenna out there or not, thanks for the delightful read.  

  Mace Mealer - two poems  

Complex Simplicity         

When and Where
       How and Why
       Are expressed
       as ephemeral appearance
       in the closed circle
       of resolved Awareness.
       Nothing is less mysterious,
       more common,
       or completely useless.
Following the Bounce         

If one is unable to see clearly
       perhaps they are looking to closely
       or not closely enough.
       Perspective by it's nature
       is undergoing constant variation,
       and when the constant is variation,
       then a perception based on this constant
       must of necessity to a degree err.
       However, as in a thrown ball,
       the skill of the thrower,
       the forces at play during the throw,
       and the apprehension of those forces
       by the player directly and indirectly
       at least appear to effect the outcome
       and accuracy of the throw.
       The challenge, if indeed one exists,
       is simply the recognition
       that regardless of, indeed as a result of,
       the infinite forces and elements involved,
       every throw is immaculately perfect.
       Once realized, the obvious question arises;
       Then where is imperfection?
       This question, as all such inevitably must,
       of course, thoroughly answers itself.

  "I remember the day I got drunk and flung open the doors to
the ladies room. Wait a minute, sorry, that was the day I
flung open the doors of perception."       

Jerry Katz

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: