Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:


Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day

Nondual Highlights Issue #1491 Sunday, July 13, 2003 Editor: Mark

Compassion - oil painting by Maria Burd

More paintings by Maria Burd here.

What is compassion? Actually, compassion is when you are reconciled with this entire universe. There's nothing in this whole universe that you are against. Think about that. Compassion means reverence for all of life, everything is alive, there is no such thing as dead matter. Everything has its own life. When you have reverence for life, you respect everything, you have no animosity towards anyone or anything. I'm not only talking about human beings, I'm speaking of the mineral kingdom, vegetable kingdom, and animal kingdom, the human kingdom. Have you ever heard of a sage or a liberated person, who was at odds with anything in this world? You have to come to terms with yourself.

Too many Advaita Vedantists, non-duality people, go around shouting, "I am one with this, I am one with that, everything is Absolute Reality," and yet they have so many bad habits. It's sort of paradoxical. So many times I tell you everything is karmic, everything is preordained, everything that has happened to you is preordained, you do not lift one finger that is not preordained for you to do. Yet, at the same time I'm telling you that you have to give up certain things, and develop higher qualities, which is right. For you would say to yourself, "If everything is preordained, why should I care about what I do, how I act, how I live, everything is supposed to happen anyway." This is true on one level, but then again, you have the total freedom to turn within and not to react to life's situations. You have that freedom. So, everything's preordained, and at the same time you have the freedom to turn within and find out to whom preordination comes to, by lifting up into a higher state of consciousness and becoming free. Therefore, compassion is very important.

Compassion is very important. Think of the times in your life that you could have had compassion and you didn't. For your thoughts interfered, and you came to the conclusion, based on the thoughts that came to your head. For instance, you see a homeless person who asks you for a couple of dollars or whatever. It makes no difference why he wants the couple of dollars, whether he wants to buy some whiskey, or he wants to buy some bread, or what he wants to do. It is your duty to help anyone who comes into your atmosphere. Anyone who comes into your life must be helped. It is no accident that this homeless person came to you. Do not turn him away, for by turning him away you are turning yourself away. This is compassion. Reconciling yourself with the whole universe, all of the kingdoms, animals. We should have a great compassion for every animal on this earth, whether they are ants or cockroaches, or goats or sheep or cows. If we had a compassion like this would we eat meat? We have to have a great compassion for the flowers, vegetation, everything that exists. We have to have a great compassion for all of the minerals on this earth, everything! This is reconciling ourselves with the entire universe. This is important.

Some of us wonder why we have been on this path for a long time and we do not seem to make much progress. It is because our compassion is not big enough.

- from Silence of the Heart: Dialogues With Robert Adams, published by Acropolis Books.  

God is, even though the whole world deny him. God embraces not only this tiny globe of ours, but millions and billions of such globes. How can we - little crawling creatures so utterly helpless as he has made us - how could we possibly measure his greatness, his boundless love, his infinite compassion? So great is his infinite love and pity that he allows man insolently to deny him, wrangle about him, and cut the throats of his fellow men. How can we measure the greatness of God, who is so forgiving, so divine?

He allows us freedom and yet his compassion commands obedience to his will. But if anyone of us disdains to bow to his will, he says "So be it. My sun will shine no less for thee. My clouds will rain no less for thee. I need not force thee to accept my sway." Of such a God let the ignorant dispute the existence. I am one of the millions of wise men who believe in him and am never tired of bowing to him and singing his glory.

God is the hardest taskmaster I have known on earth. He tries you through and through. And when you find your faith is failing, or your body is failing you and you are sinking, he comes to your assistance somehow or other and proves to you that you must not lose your faith, and that he is always at your beck and call, but on his terms. So I have found, I cannot recall a single instance when, at the eleventh hour, he has forsaken me.

- from The Way to God by Mohandas K. Ghandi, published by Berkeley Hills Books.  


Sprung from Divine Tears
First Named Wisdom Moon
Vowed To Attain Enlightenment
Only In Female Form
To Rescue Us from All Fear
Remove All Obstacles
And Transform the World of Suffering
Into the World Of Peace.


Numinous Core at the Heart
Of the Octave of Compassionate Being
Radiating Loving Kindness
In the Ten Directions
Healing, Protecting, Prolonging
Life and Increasing Fortune
Transforming the World of Separation
Into the World of Connection.

White Tara Invocation by Auntie Matter

Tibetan Thangka painting by Sanje Elliott

More images of Tara by Sanje Elliott here.

Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time.

If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we cannot share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof. If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace. Do we need to make a special effort to enjoy the beauty of the blue sky? Do we have to practice to be able to enjoy it? No, we just enjoy it. Each second, each minute of our lives can be like this. Wherever we are, any time, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, even the sensation of our breathing. We don't need to go to China to enjoy the blue sky. We don't have to travel into the future to enjoy our breathing. We can be in touch with these things right now. It would be a pity if we are only aware of suffering.

- Thich Nhat Hanh from Being Peace, published by Parallax Press.

If you want your life to be a "healing for all," a live message to those you love, you must take on those challenges that God has meted out to you. In this way you will discover the heroism that is yours alone.

The truly heroic know that heroism lies in living fully and joyously, in each moment that is given us. Therefore take warning:


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me,
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've got no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds fo sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay the rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple.

Commit yourselves to love and life - and start wearing purple!

Poem by Jenny Joseph, included in Peace, Love & Healing by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.

Painting "Woman in a Purple Coat" by Henri Matisse.

The real world is attained simply by the complete forgiveness of the old, the world you see without forgiveness. The Great Transformer of perception will undertake with you the careful searching of the mind that made this world, and uncover to you the seeming reasons for your making it. In the light of the real reason that He brings as you follow Him, He will show you that there is no reason here at all. Each spot His reason touches grows alive with beauty, and what seemed ugly in the darkness of your lack of reason is suddenly released to loveliness. Not even what the Son of God made in insanity could be without a hidden spark of beauty that gentleness could release.

- A Course in Miracles, published by the Foundation for Inner Peace

Neuroanatomy Summer

The even flow of neuronal pattern was visible
on the green screen, as tiny electrodes were placed
directly into portions of the cat's brain.

I was given the job of sectioning incremental portions
of the brain and measuring the cat's response,
reflexes, gait, etc., until it became

decerebrate, that is had no higher brain function
at all. Then the cat was rigid, fully stretched out
and unresponsive. What was remarkable the professor

said, was that I was able to take this cat
through twelve step-wise operations (surely the basis
of a paper) and keep the cat intact.

Later on I saw a man stretched out like that
and rigid with tubes in his nose and penis. Someone
more important than me was writing a paper, I thought.

Marc J. Straus from Blood & Bone: Poems by Physicians, published by University of Iowa Press

Since people can simply call Kuan Yin's name for help without having to go through any ritual or ceremony, this bodhisattva is the most popular figure in China and other East Asian countries. One of the most well-known forms of the bodhisattva is the one with a thousand eyes and a thousand hands. The thousand eyes allow the bodhisattva to see the suffering creatures in this world, and the thousand hands allow her to reach out to help them. Thus, this depiction is a popular symbol for the Tzu Chi Foundation, which tries to relieve the suffering in this world through the "thousand eyes and hands" of its volunteers.

Actually, everyone can be a Kuan Yin. You may say that you don't have a thousand eyes or a thousand hands or that you lack magic powers, but it is your compassion that can transform you into a Kuan Yin. With your eyes and hands you can help others, and with your compassion you can bring peace and tranquility to this planet.

More Kwan Yin here.

top of page

Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: