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#1487 - Wednesday, July 9, 2003 - Editor: Joyce (Know_Mystery)  

Viorica Weissman ~ MillionPaths   Remembering Nisargadatta Maharaj David Godman  



photo from



Nisargadatta Maharaj

I was sitting with a visitor recently, looking at a new book on Nisargadatta Maharaj that consisted of photos and brief quotes. I knew some of the people in the pictures and narrated a few stories about them. This prompted a wider and lengthy discussion on some of the events that went on in Maharaj's presence. After she left I felt prompted to write down some of the things I had remembered since I had never bothered to record any of my memories of Maharaj before. As I went about recording the conversation, a few other memories surfaced, things I hadn't thought about for years. This, therefore, is a record of a pleasant afternoon's talk, supplemented by recollections of related incidents that somehow never came up.

Harriet: Every book I have seen about Maharaj, and I think I have looked at most of them, is a record of his teachings. Did no one ever bother to record the things that were going on around him? Ramakrishna had The Gospel of Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi had Day by Day, and a whole library of books by devotees that all talk about life with their Guru. Why hasn't Maharaj spawned a similar genre? 

David: Maharaj very rarely spoke about his life, and he didn't encourage questions about it. I think he saw himself as a kind of doctor who diagnosed and treated the perceived spiritual ailments of the people who came to him for advice. His medicine was his presence and his powerful words. Anecdotes from his past were not part of the prescription. Nor did he seem interested in telling stories about anything or anyone else. 

The rest of the interview is here :


Jigme Champa  ~ Buddhist_Healing   

Ayutthaya, Thailand


photo by Richard Burnett


The Ultimate of All Teachings

Drom Tonpa asked Atisha what was the ultimate of all teachings.

"Of all teachings, the ultimate is emptiness of which compassion is the
very essence," replied the Master. "It is like a very powerful medicine, a
panacea which can cure every desease in the world. And just like that very
powerful medicine, realisation of the truth of emptiness, the nature of
reality, is the remedy for all the different negative emotions."

"Why is it, then," Drom Tonpa went on, "that so many people who claim to
have realized emptiness have no less attachment and hatred?"

"Because their realization is only words," Atisha replied. "Had they really
grasped the true meaning of emptiness, their thoughts, words and deeds
would be as soft as stepping on cotton wool or as tsampa soup laced with
butter. The Master Aryadeva said that even to wonder whether all beings were
empty by nature would make samsara fall apart. True realization of emptiness,
therefore, is the ultimate panacea which includes all the elements of the path."

"How can every element of the path be included within the realization of
emptiness?" Drom Tonpa asked.

"All the elements of the path are contained in the six transcendent
perfections. Now, if you truly realize emptiness, you become free from
attachment. As you feel no craving, grasping or desire for anything within
or without, you always have transcendent generosity. Being free from
grasping and attachment, you are never defiled by negative actions, so you
always have transcendent discipline. Without any concepts of "I" and 'mine'
you have no anger, so you always have transcendent patience. Your mind made
truely joyful by the realization of emptiness, you always have transcendent
diligence. Being free from distraction, which comes from grasping at things
as solid, you always have transcendent concentration. As you do not
conceptualize anything whatsoever, in terms of subject, object and action,
you always have transcendent wisdom."

"Do those who have realized the truth become Buddhas simply through the
view of emptiness and meditation?" Drom Tonpa asked.

"Of all that we perceive as forms and sounds there is nothing that does not
arise from the mind. To realize that the mind is awareness indiviceble from
emptiness is the view. Keeping this realization in mind at all times, and
never being distacted from it, is meditation. To practice the two
accumulations as magical illusion from within that state is action. If you
make a living experience of this practice, it will continue in your dreams.
If it comes in the dream state, it will come at the moment of death. And if
it comes at the moment of death, it will come in the intermediate state. If
it is present in the intermediate state you may be certain of attaining
suppreme accomplishment."

The eighty-four thousand doors to the Dharma that the Conqueror taught are
thus all skillful means to cause the bodhichitta--emptiness of which
compassion is the very essence--to arise in us. Without bodhichitta, teachings
on the view and meditation, however profound they may seem, will be no use at
all for attaining Buddhahood (...)

~ Patrul Rinpoche ~

Words of My Perfect Teacher

Scott Reeves ~ AwarenessTheWayToLove  


"Where shall I look for Enlightenment?"

" Here."

" When will it happen?"

"It is happening right now."

"Then why don't I experience it?"

"Because you do not look."

"What should I look for?"

"Nothing, just look."

"At what?"

"Anything your eyes alight upon."

"Must I look in a special kind of way?"

"No. The ordinary way will do."

"But don't I always look the ordinary way?"

" No."

"Why ever not?"

"Because to look you must be here. You're mostly somewhere else."

Anthony de Mello, S.J.

MORSEL: The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to
comprehend. --Henri L. Bergson

Connie ~ BuddhistWellnessGroup

"If you know about the power of a generous heart, you will not let a single meal pass without giving to others"

~ Jack Kornfeld  ~

Buddha's Little Instruction Book 

Infinity 201

Drawing by a handicapped Tibetan Child, in Dharamsala Himachal Pradesh - India

Tim Gerchmez ~ NondualitySalon

Are You Enlightened?

The ocean asks the fish, "Have you been to the well, and tasted
water? I have not."

And the fish can only reply: "What is water?"

Replies the ocean, "Water is enlightenment. I am parched dry."

Sez the fish, "I know of no such thing. There is no such thing as
water -- you have imagined it."

And so the ocean goes on wondering about the fish -- has it tasted
water, and if so where to get some of this precious stuff?

Finally, the ocean could not rest. Great waves appeared upon its
surface, waves large enough to capsize a small boat, as it
contemplated the joy and bliss of finding water. The fish just swam
deeper, wondering what the ocean meant by "water," and what all the
fuss was about.

By and by, a bucket came bobbing along the surface of the ocean, over
half full by now.

Says the ocean: "Sri Bucket-datta, you are a great sage. Clearly
there's something in you I'm looking for. Could there be a direct

Says the bucket: "Just BE, without being this or that."

Ocean: "But I'm an ocean! As an ocean, I am coral reefs, fishes,
islands, seaweed! I want to find water... how and why just be?"

Says the bucket: "Trust me -- just BE. Forget being anything in
particular and just BE."

So in puzzlement, the ocean just BEEZ as the great Guru sezz... so
subsideth the waves, so sank the bucket, so did the ocean cease
searching for water, having no further use for it... so did the fish
go on pouting its lips prettily.

The End ;-)

Nancy Franks ~ NondualitySalon

  Re: dehatmabudhi   

One of my teachers, Ranjit Maharaj, said, "Understanding comes first."   Perhaps to some this may seem too intellectual. But I find
understanding useful. Not as an intellectual exercise.

Ranjit Maharaj and Nisargadatta Maharaj had the same guru,
Siddharameshwar, who came from a lineage which pursued the path of
meditation as a path to liberaton. Siddharamshwar felt that the
world needed a "quicker" way, and discovered the "birds way", through
thinking, rather than the ant's way, through meditation.

Ranjit Maharaj said, "You have taken yourself to be what you are not.
Take the thorn of understanding and pry the thorn of ignorance from
the mind. Then throw them both away. Nothing is true."

Now, I have a teacher, who is teaching Vedanta. This teacher
says, "It is the mind that has the problem. The mind circuitously
seeks outside itself for happiness. And every once in a while gets
it. It that moment it can relax. But because it has sought it's
happiness in changing circumstances, it can never fully relax and
continues its insecure outside seeking.

Once the mind has recognized the Self. It can relax, and cease to
search outside itself for happiness, because it has found it's true
home. What it was seeking in the first place.

The Self, as the ultimate subject, is closer than your breath, as
even your breath is an object in awareness. The subject is hidden in
the self of the seeker, but not really hidden.

Jean Klein used to say that, "In the end, you will find that you are
the ultimate subject".

I have two friends who are aware of their true nature. One
said, "It's so obvious, it's almost embarrassing."

The other said, "It's like, brother..., why didn't I see that before?"  

Although, uarelove, says that Ramana Maharshi did not advocate
aspirants speaking with each other of spiritual matters, at a certain
point, what else is there to talk about?

So although, I personally am not speaking as one who is aware of
being the ultimate subject, I do find understanding very useful. I
enjoy sharing what I find useful with others, although, due to my
lack of understanding, some of what I contribute may be somewhat
skewed. I think there are those who contribute to this forum who are
aware of their true nature, and I appreciate what they say.

Here are two other useful/useless words:  

samsari: one who never questions, "Who am I. What is really going
on?" This includes most people.

mumukshu: One desirous of liberation, of pursuing the inquiry and
realizing the self. The mumukshu is highly praised in the Upanishad
as rare, precious and few.

Useful to me not in an egoistic sense, but encouraging.  

Here is a beautiful quote from the Vedanta class:  

"In me,
In the space of awareness,
Rises the celestial city
Called the world.
Therefore, how am I not
Brahman, who is all knower
And the cause of all."

Verse 3, Advaita Makaranda, (The nectar or honey of Advaita)  

Ranjit Maharaj used to say said, "What I say is not true, but that of
which I speak is true."

In the end he said, "Words don't go there".  

How could they? Though perhaps they may be useful.  

Love to all, Nancy  

Jan Sultan & Greg Goode ~ AdvaitaToZen

It Cannot Be Done!


It cannot be done!
Give up.
Accept it.
Only then will you realize
that you have always been IT.
Not before.
The struggle stirs up the sediments
and the water becomes murky.
Be still and let the dirt settle.
And you will see clearly.

There is no other way!


You're right. It can't be done.
Giving up cannot be done.
If you give up, then you're still a giver.
Accepting cannot be done.
If you accept, you're still an accepter.
Realizing cannot be done.
If you realize that XYZ, you're still a realizer.
If you see, then you're a seer.
It's not personal, it needn't and can't be owned.
There is clarity now, here.
There is clarity in, through and beyond the dirt.
There is clarity in the absence of dirt.

This is the way that is.

Bill Rishel ~ AdvaitaToZen

O Dear Sweet Grace!

You fill me so with your love.
How can I know you more?
How can I know you more deeply?

"Be Quiet"                                                              



Photo by Alan Larus

Wim Borsboom  ~ AdyashantiSatsang

How Close Can I Get On A Rainy Day


Photo by Alan Larus

Dutch Chocolate Butter for on the Crusty Buns

As a kid I used to make chocolate butter, secretly. Here's the recipe:

Make sure that you are six years old,
Wake up early one morning, six o'clock is good,
Quietly, not waking anybody else up,
- you don't want to share this with anyone -
you get the butter dish.
Make sure it is European style butter,
Unsalted, cultured, not cold and hard,
(I did not have to worry about that,
in Holland we hate salted cold butter.
Heck, we did not even have a fridge.)
Get some neon-white icing sugar,
Make sure you are not politically correct, diet-wise,
(You are six years old, so that is not your problem.)
Take a wooden bread board,
(That is stupid because it is hard
to wipe off the evidence, and you want to hide this from your mom. But... hey, you are only six.)
Get the 'Droste' cacao tin.
You find it hidden away on the top shelf.
It is the one with the nurse or nun picture on the tin. (Meaning this is healthy, as well as good for your soul.)
Try not to be easy on the quantities, that won't work.
Mix all the ingredients messily with a knife:
the white sugar, the cocoa and the butter...
But why a knife?
Keep tasting it until you have it right,
The longer it takes the better,
Wipe your face with your flannel pajama sleeve,
While you are at it, wipe your nose as well.
Get a crusty bun, break it open messily,
Leave plenty of crumbs behind,
(Your mom will need them as evidence.)
Fill the bun with your concoction,
Take it tippy-toeingly to your bed,
Hide under the covers and eat,
Eat with smacking lips.
(Dutch: Eet smakelijk!)
Make sure you leave some crumbs on your bed sheet,
(Your mom will need them as evidence as well.)
Also next night, those crumbs will make you feel uncomfortable in bed,
as they'll give you those stingy scratches of guilt.

The wrath of your mom will be upon you.
At least that is what you think.
You don't know that she winkingly
smiles at your dad who understands.
They are secretly fond of you.
Too bad you only found out later...

You learned one lesson though... Next time you'll let your brother have a bite hoping that he will not tell on you.  

Do this often.
Do not grow up!
(it worked)


Manuel Hernandez ~  ANetOfJewels    

All that we can dialectically conclude is that it is conceptually impossible
to comprehend what we are because mind cannot transcend itself.

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

Movement in Consciousness, and nothing else, constitutes the mind and all
its experience of the phenomenal universe. To realize this is the cessation
of thought and liberation from the bondage of ego as mind and experience.

~ Ramesh S. Balkesar ~  

Mystress Angelique Serpent  ~

"Grounded is our natural state of being. As we grow up and our parents try to civilize us, we internalize the idea that we are not perfect, not deserving of unconditional love, and we choke off the source of life energy that is meant to support us..."

Joyce  ~ NondualitySalon  

Socratic Argument Clinic  

Desmond Chiong ~ BuddhistWellnessGroup

Collecting Clouds


Photo by Alan Larus

If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud there will be no water; without water, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, you cannot make paper. So the cloud is in here. The existence of this page is dependent upon the existence of a cloud. Paper and cloud are so close.

~ Thich Nhat Hahn ~
Engaged Buddhism
Entering the Stream; Edited by Samuel Bercholz and Sherab Chodzin Kohn; 1993.

  Freyja & Tykal ~ AdyashantiSatsang

What is Happiness?

Picture Charlie Brown's dog
Snoopy from Peanuts...

head thrown back, eyes directed
upwards towards the sun, moon and stars
head moving from side to side
in time to the rhythm of
the eternal inner song....

arms up, elbows bent,
hands reaching for the sky
fingers moving wavelike

singing and skipping,
hopping and dancing around
with nary a care or worry
in the world

for he never knows what is coming next,

but he does know

that whatever it is...

he's going to part of it.

And that is my image of
happiness for now
  ~ Freyja ~ 


              April Pacifica

                  Photo by Benny




happiness, as with any
thing or non-,
just is what it is,
and what it is to you
is what it is to you
and me to me
and us to us
and so on and whatnot.
  as this mind finds bits of verbage
to fashion a dress at the moment:
  what but complete
ease and enjoyment
in simply being oneself,
  who you naturally
and instantaneously
at every moment are,
  without any question
of how or why or should,
  and even if so,   just another eye-gleam wink
and laughing with the wind
as heart tickles mind and whispers:
  "what, another round of hide and seek?   okey dokey, you're it.
i'm here but nowhere.
and a little hint this time:
  where i am, you are.   simply feel me
as you feel yourself
and immediately
you touch me
  and the funniest lil thing,   it didn't even take
a step to find me
being you."
  ~ Tykal ~


Lisbeth ~ Monks_Mystics


Misty Midnight II


Photo by Alan Larus

 Hua Hu Ching
eleven, twelve, thirteen
(Translated by Brian Walker)


Does one scent appeal more than another?
Do you prefer this flavor, or that feeling?
Is your practice sacred and your work profane?
Then your mind is separated:
from itself, from oneness, from the Tao.

Keep you mind free of divisions and distinctions.
When your mind is detached, simple, quiet, then all
things can exist in harmony, and you can begin to
perceive the subtle truth.


Do you wish to inhabit sacred space?
To have the respect and companionship of the highest
spiritual beings?
To be protected by the guardians of the eight powerful
energy rays?
Then cherish the Integral Way:
Regard these things with reverence,
practice their truths,
illuminate them to others.

You will receive as many blessings from the universe as
there are grains of sand in the River of Timelessness.


The tiny particles which form the vast universe are not
tiny at all.
Neither is the vast universe vast.
These are notions of the mind, which is like a knife,
always chipping away at the Tao,
trying to render it graspable and manageable.

But that which is beyond form is ungraspable, and
that which is beyond knowing is unmanageable.
There is, however, this consolation:
She who lets go of the knife will find the Tao at her

Panhala ~ Joe Riley   Little Stones at My Window
Once in a while
joy throws little stones at my window
it wants to let me know that it's waiting for me
but today I'm calm
I'd almost say even-tempered
I'm going to keep anxiety locked up
and then lie flat on my back
which is an elegant and comfortable position
for receiving and believing news
who knows where I'll be next
or when my story will be taken into account
who knows what advice I still might come up with
and what easy way out I'll take not to follow it
don't worry, I won't gamble with an eviction
I won't tattoo remembering with forgetting
there are many things left to say and suppress
and many grapes left to fill our mouths
don't worry, I'm convinced
joy doesn't need to throw any more little stones
I'm coming
I'm coming.
~ Mario Benedetti ~
(translated by Charles Hatfield)
Web archive of Panhala postings: To subscribe to Panhala, send a blank email to [email protected]
music link
(left button to play, right button to save)

Ed Jason ~

'The practice of metta, uncovering the force of love that can uproot fear, anger, and guilt, begins with befriending ourselves. The foundation of metta practice is to know how to be our own friend. According to the Buddha, "You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." How few of us embrace ourselves in this way! With metta practice we uncover the possibility of truly respecting ourselves. We discover, as Walt Whitman put it, "I am larger and better than I thought. I did not think I held so much goodness." '

~ Sharon Salzberg ~

Buddha - Ayutthaya, Thailand

Photo by Richard Burnett

Khorov Kelley ~ DailyDharma


"There is a goodness, a Wisdom that arises, sometimes gracefully, sometimes gently, sometimes awkwardly, sometimes fiercely, but it will arise to save us if we let it, and it arises from within us, like the force that drives green shoots to break the winter ground, it will arise and drive us into a great blossoming like a pear tree, into flowering, into fragrance, fruit, and song . . . into that part of ourselves that can never be defiled, defeated or destroyed, but that comes back to life, time and time again, that lives - always - that does not die."  

~ China Gallard ~  

The Bond Between Women   From the magazine, "Parabola," Spring 2003 edition, published by Joseph Kulin  

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Jerry Katz
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