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Highlights #1421  Sunday, May 4, 2003  Editor: Gloria

  Everything in nature contains all the power of nature.
Everything is made of one hidden stuff...
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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John Metzger  Allspirit 


Practicing Spirituality with Nature Writers
Led by Fred & Mary Ann Brussat

Edward Abbey once described his essays as "prose psalms which celebrate the divine beauty of the natural world." Others who write about nature could say the same thing.

Come along with us on a 40-day retreat with some of those who see the divine imprint in trees, rivers, meadows, mountains, deserts; who recognize wild animals, birds, and sea creatures as God's emissaries; who practice their spirituality outdoors.

"Practicing Spirituality with Nature Writers" is the latest in the popular series of e-courses from We will savor the spiritual insights of Annie Dillard, Terry Tempest Williams, Barry Lopez, Gary Snyder, Rick Bass, Wendell Berry, and many others. These poets, essayists, and naturalists tutor us in the spiritual practices of wonder, play, reverence, and attention. The course will begin on June 9 and continue until July 18. You will receive a daily email with a short passage from a nature writer and a related practice suggestion.

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Tom Hickcox  Awareness-The Way to Love  

And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love
but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.   Kahlil Gibran
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   

"Like So Much Cave Art"

"It wants to write its own poem,
to be the creator,
and the created,
my heart.

It wants to pluck a quill from the pheasant,
or the swan,
or the eagle,
to dip the tip gently,
softly into our blood,
and to gracefully inscribe its own tales
deep within it's many chambers,
right there on the walls
like so much cave art.

The beautiful drawings it would paint
there inside
amidst the unceasing whooshing,
undeterred by a throbbing pulse.

The heart inscribes its own poems
right there on its walls
inside the chambers
and waits
for the archaeologists to come."

10 December, 2002
joyce (know_mystery)  

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Viorica Weissman  MillionPaths  

A European gentleman began in measured tones and spoke clearly and slowly: Why should
    individuals remain caught up in the affairs of this world and reap troubles as a result?
    Should they not be free? If they are in the spiritual world, they will have greater

M . The world is only spiritual. Since you are identifying yourself with the physical
    body, you speak of this world as being physical and the other world as spiritual.
    Whereas, that which is, is only spiritual.  

D . Do the disembodied souls, i.e., the spirits, have a deeper insight and enjoy greater

M . Because you identify yourself with this body, you speak of the dis- embodied souls as
    being spirits. From these limitations, you talk of their limitations and seek to know
    their capacities. Even the disembodied souls have subtle bodies; otherwise, you would
    not say "disembodied souls." Disembodiment means "divested of this gross body."
    Inasmuch as you endow them with individuality they are centered in their subtle
    bodies. Their limitations will be according to their own state. Just as you feel the
    burden of your limitations, they also feel the burden of their limitations. What I
    meant by spirit and spiritual world is the Absolute Spirit and not relative. If you
    realize yourself as a Spirit, you will see that this world in only spiritual and not

from : Talks with Ramana Maharshi  InnerDirections Publishing , 2000 page 246

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Scott Reeves  Awareness-The Way to Love  

Lets get back to that marvelous sentence in the gospel about losing oneself  in order to
find oneself. One finds it in most religious literature and in  all religious and spiritual
and mystical literature.  

How does one lose oneself? Did you ever try to lose something? That's  right, the harder
you try, the harder it gets. It's when you're not trying  that you lose things. You lose
something when you're not aware. Well, how  does one die to oneself? We're talking
about death now, we're not talking  about suicide. We're not told to kill the self, but to
die. Causing pain  to the self, causing suffering to the self would be self-defeating. It 
would be counterproductive. You're never so full of yourself as when  you're in pain.
You're never so centered on yourself as when you're  depressed. You're never so ready
to forget yourself as when you are  happy. Happiness releases you from self. It is
suffering and pain and  misery and depression that tie you to the self. Look how conscious
you are  of your tooth when you have a toothache. When you don't have a toothache, 
you're not even aware you have a tooth, or that you have a head, for that  matter, when
you don't have a headache. But it's so different when you  have a splitting headache.  

So it's quite false, quite erroneous, to think that the way to deny the  self is to cause
pain to the self, to go in for abnegation, mortification,  as these were traditionally
understood. To deny the self, to die to it, to  lose it, is to understand its true nature.
When you do that, it will  disappear; it will vanish. Suppose somebody walks into my room
one day. I  say, "Come right in. May I know who you are?" And he says, "I am 
Napoleon." And I say, "Not the Napoleon . . .." And he says,  "Precisely. Bonaparte,
Emperor of France." "What do you know!" I say,  even while I'm thinking to myself, "I
better handle this guy with care."  

''Sit down, Your Majesty," I say. He says, "Well, they tell me you're a  pretty good
spiritual director. I have a spiritual problem. I'm anxious,  I'm finding it hard to trust in
God. I have my armies in Russia, see, and  I'm spending sleepless nights wondering how
it's going to turn out." So I  say, "Well, Your Majesty, I could certainly prescribe
something for  that. What I suggest is that you read chapter 6 of Matthew: "Consider
the  lilies of the field . . . they neither toil nor spin."  

By this point I'm wondering who is crazier, this guy or me. But I go along  with this
lunatic. That's what the wise guru does with you in the  beginning. He goes along with you;
he takes your troubles  seriously. He'll wipe a tear or two from your eye. You're crazy,
but you  don't know it yet. The time has to come soon when he'll pull the rug out  from
under your feet and tell you, "Get off it, you're not Napoleon." In  those famous
dialogues of St. Catherine of Siena, God is reported to have  said to her, "I am He who
is; you are she who is not." Have you ever  experienced your is-not-ness? In the East we
have an image for this. It  is the image of the dancer and the dance. God is viewed as the
dancer and  creation as God's dance. It isn't as if God is the big dancer and you are  the
little dancer. Oh no. You're not a dancer at all. You are being  danced! Did you ever
experience that? So when the man comes to his senses  and realizes that he is not
Napoleon, he does not cease to be. He  continues to be, but he suddenly realizes that he is
something other than  what he thought he was.  

To lose the self is to suddenly realize that you are something other than  what you
thought you were. You thought you were at the center; now you  experience yourself as
satellite. You thought you were the dancer; you now  experience yourself as the dance.
These are just analogies, images, so you  cannot take them literally. They just give you a
clue, a hint; they're  only pointers, don't forget. So you cannot press them too much.
Don't  take them too literally.  

Anthony de Mello, SJ  

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Terry Murphy  SufiMystic    

Now that the whales are gone, on my daily walks I take my dog Lou
down to the ocean to certain little inlets where the turtles hang
out.  Turtles, unlike octupi, are protected, and so they have no particular
reason to hate people.  I have had turtles actually swim a quarter of mile
or so with me, for no better reason (that I could tell) than liking my
      Turtles eat the green stuff that grows on the rocks in the tidal
zone.  Everyone figures that those hard shells are to protect the turtles
from predators, but having seen those turtles get a good bit of banging
around by the water on the rocks, I figure they are to protect them from
that as well.
      Of course, scuba-diving is the easiest way to hang with the turtles,
as they have to make a real effort to get away from you; in those little
inlets you have a tendency to corner them without even meaning to.  Plus,
they have favorite spots and habitual places that they are reluctant to
abandon, even for the novelty of a scuba diver.
      It is harder to carry on a conversation (interaction) with a turtle
from the land, but evening is a good time, as they come in at that hour to
grab a few breaths (whatever predators they do face are further out to
sea).  About once an hour turtles have to surface to breathe, but they
spend most of their time underwater, much more so than whales.  I can tell
they are aware of me when they come and eyeball me; plus they come up more
often than necessary.  I talk to them, and I'm sure they can hear me.  They
have attitude and personality, as anyone who has kept a turtle knows.  The
younger (smaller) ones are excited, the older ones more interested in not
disturbing their routine.  They are graceful swimmers but not above getting
absorbed in goggling at a human and getting tossed about by an unexpected
wave (thank goodness for those hard shells).  On occasion I have seen a
wave go up that you can see through, and a turtle silhouetted against the
light coming through the wave.
      Some local men a few years back were busted for selling turtle meat
door to door.  They had a net whose mesh size was perfect for catching
turtles, and possessing such a net is a violation of federal law.  I am
happy there is a law against catching turtles.  Laws have been passed to
outlaw "finning" sharks - it has been a common practice to catch sharks and
cut off their fins and then release them to die a slow death.  Apparently
sharkfins are valued in the East for use in traditional medicine.  Sharks
are long-lived and slow to reproduce.
      I wish they would pass a law against spearing octopus.
      I understand hunting, an ecology has evolved in the american mountain
states that allows for an annual "harvest" of game animals which are
essentially grown for the purpose, and without such a harvest - and in the
contrived absence of other predators - the excess animals would
starve.  But fishing, besides being cruel compared to a bullet, is
essentially strip-mining the ocean of edible protein.  Our gross
intererence with the ocean ecology, similar to the destruction of the
american buffalo in the nineteenth century, is likely to have profound
effects on a food-chain we only dimly understand, one which may be more
fragile than we think.  As long as the ocean fisheries aren't regulated,
people will exploit them to the maximum technology allows.

      I know this is way off topic so I'll let it go.

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Gill Eardley  Allspirit  

Whales and redwoods both make us feel small and I think
that's an important experience for humans to have at the
hands of nature. We need to recognize that we are not the
stars of the show. We're just another pretty face, just one
species among millions more.

~Roger Payne in Talking on the Water  

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Sam  NDS  


Some old Dutch tulips for you guys (and goils).  Their Dutch name is Gouwe Ouwe which means golden old ones...just like you...Sam  

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John Logan  HarshaSatsangh  

I heard a poet on NPR talking about "unpacking" a work of art,
poetry, prose, music, painting, sculpture. I found it an interesting
concept. Behind the word is the question: What happens when we go
back and revisit a work of art?

Some works are actually quite superficial and don't merit revisiting,
but others we go back to again and again and each time new depths of
meaning and experience are revealed. It is this quality of a work of
art that the word "unpacking" applies to. A high quality work has
this quality that it can be "unpacked" to find deeper and deeper
meaning for the viewer.

I found it interesting enough that I am revisiting many old friends,
especially poetry and paintings.

John L.

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Tozen  TheUnbornMind  

When you put your trust in anything mortal or self-empty indeed you
choose to believe in the corrupted light of spirit.

Remember, there is nothing lasting in mortality, there is only change
and fallibility.This is why your spirit should strive to know itself.
To backtrack its own divided light, over the great river of
dispersion known as "amnesia", and simply recall what its true nature
is, before corruption.

When this happens, trust comes naturally.

In its own true light, spirit cannot find corruption, nothing divided
that is absolutely real in itself. It can only find peace and direct

It is a matter of allowing the real looking upon the real. That is
all. That is the miracle.

Best regards


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Alan Row  LookforYourself
(A discussion generated by Douglas Harding's article in latest TAT forum)
The May issue of the TAT Forum is now online at
Douglas's article comparing Ramana Maharshi and Krishnamurti can also be
found in Look for Yourself,  a splendid collection of essays,  published by
The Shollond Trust.  I read it first quite a time ago and felt that Douglas
had been rather unfair to K by the selective quotation of only that side of
K which emphasizes the psychological work one needs to do on oneself.  He
seemed to want to make the point that Ramana could be said to belong to the
'sudden' school and K to the 'gradual'.   But it is possible to find plenty
of passages from K's talks which emphasize the need to see immediately.

There is one very powerful talk of K's,  Saanen, July 23rd, 1964, which I
read several years before discovering Douglas.  I remember the impact it
made on me  -  the feeling of authenticity  -  and yet the seeming
impossibility of doing what he said.

The talk contains a few startling statements which would make quite a  lot
of people I know sit up....''Whatever their origin, all theologies are
immature, as are all philosophies''.........''Both the conscious and the
unconscious mind are very trivial''.    But the main theme is that of

''Surely, all search implies a movement from the periphery to the centre,
from the circumstances to the cause,  from the boundaries to the very origin
of existence''...

''Now, is there a coming to the centre immediately, without this endless
struggle to reach the centre, and from the centre, flowering?''...

''You must sometimes have asked yourself if there is not a possibility of
coming suddenly, unexpectedly, to the original source, the very essence of
things, and from there living, functioning, flowering, so that you need
never read a single book, study any philosophy, worship any image or
saviour, because wherever you  look there is that centre from which all
action, all love, everything takes place''...

'' suddenly come upon the well of life,  the original spring of all
existence, and when once the mind has drunk at that fountain, it has lived
and it lives from there forever''...

''I want to find out *immediately* what is true, and not wait a few seconds
or until the day after tomorrow.   I want to be *there*.  I am too impatient
to wait.   I have no use for time, for achieving something at the end of my
life, or after ten thousand lives.......I want to be so awake that when I
open my eyes, my heart, my mind, the truth is *there*,  and from there to
function, to act, to live, to enjoy the beauties of the earth''...

Douglas wouldn't quarrel with any of that, would he?    But he might say, as
I felt, that K does not really *show* one this.   And K does seem to make it
rather difficult by going on in this vein...

''Then the cloud in the sky,  the dust on the road,  the flower by the
wayside and the whisper of your own thought, are all part of the whole.  But
that wholeness can only be understood when the positive movement of the mind
has completely ceased''...

''So you see for yourself that to come upon the centre, that original source
of things, which is the supreme, all movement of the mind must come to an

This is where I part company from K.   I feel that any positive  movement of
the mind *is* part of the whole.  Evidently K came upon the supreme when all
movement of the mind came to an end, but I don't now feel this is
necessary.  What is necessary is for a particular kind of thought to come to
an end  -  the thought that creates a self-image and holds to it as the
central reality.   Douglas's way shows this so clearly.

Indeed it is true that ''a single showing is worth ten thousand words''.

Love to all,

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Chris Cheney  LookforYourself    

Yes, I think I understand what you are saying. The thinking part is
also here now, yup. Yip, can't stay in the now, since you are already
here, now, yup.

Just ARE, yap. Simple, yipe, that's it.


With nothing extra, that's it.

With 'something extra' there is also nothing extra, that is also it.

THIS is it. (point both ways to See It.)

Just a child's mind. Watch something, only that, but not rigid, it is
appearing in this IT, which is empty (looking in), full looking out,
(and they are not served up separately). Fullness and emptiness not same
or different. All thinking dissolves in perception.

Just See, just Hear. Just attention is necessary, analysis not really
necessary. Very alive feeling maybe, like little kid. SURPRISE,
SURPRISE, SURPRISE!!! Then time to eat. Taste, touch, hear, feel, see.
Everything is present! World is wide awake here where you are what you

All of these, Douglas, Krishnamurti, Christ etc. are pointing to you,
this here, now no thing everything space. So no thing sharing everything


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Janet Hierbach  LookforYourself

"It matters not Who you love, Where you love, Why you love, When you love,
Or how you love, It matters only that you love."   --  John Lennon

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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: