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#1527 - Monday, August 18, 2003 - Editor: Jerry

Gill Eardley

great void

You no sooner attain the great void
Than body and mind are lost together.
Heaven and Hell - a straw.
The Buddha-realm, Pandemonium - shambles.
Listen: a nightingale strains her voice, serenading the snow.
Look: a tortoise wearing a sword climbs the lampstand.
Should you desire the great tranquillity,
Prepare to sweat white beads.

'The Penguin Book of Zen Poetry'
Edited and Translated by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto  

Talking Stick Wisdom

Let Go Of The Rage

We're living our lives with so much rage deep inside,
it's part of us at times, we feel we must hide
So we leave it hidden deep down in our soul
Trying to forget about it not realizing the toll

The toll that it's taken is you've got a hard heart
There's a lot less there than you had at the start
You've let life get to you and it's ripping you apart

Try to let go of some of that rage
Try to let go so you can begin a new stage

A new stage in life that will let you see
The rage that you hide deep in your soul
Is what is driving you, it has your control
Let people know what you think and how you feel
I know at times it can be a bitter pill
Hard to swallow but once its gone down
The relationship you have will be much more profound
The rage that you store will eat you alive
Don't let it become part of your drive

Reach deep in your heart and you'll find that small part
The part that will win out over the rage
Letting you begin on a fresh clean page
Don't keep things bottled up deep in your soul
Let letting go be part of a new goal
Soon you will see your back in control
So try to stay in control each and every day
And the rage will subside finally going away.

written by Lynda Cox

A push to map the mystical.  

As researchers study how
spiritual experiences happen inside the brain, theologians question the
point. Sister Constance Fitzgerald of the Carmelite Monastery in Towson
can't describe Unio Mystica, the direct and immediate experience of God
that Christian mystics seek through contemplative prayer. All she can
say is that it's a gift from God -- achieved through a lifetime of
fidelity. But is it also a gift of human brain biology? Mario
Beauregard, a University of Montreal neuroscientist, wants to find out
exactly what's going on during this most intimate of religious
(paste the entire URL into the locator bar. May no longer be active.)


Also from the above article:  

At the Carmelite monastery in Towson, Fitzgerald said she is wary of
science diminishing traditional religious practice.  

"I think we have not begun to tap the possibilities inherent in
contemplative prayer for the transformation of people," Fitzgerald
said. "We don't have faith that a life of profound prayer really could
affect the human race."  

Beauregard, meanwhile, is seeking Carmelite nuns in Canada who are
willing to participate in his study. Some are interested, he said, but
others worry that he is trying to prove Unio Mystica is merely an
illusion of the brain.  

He and other spiritual researchers deny that motive. "The last thing I
would want to do is have our scientists going around in their research
with respect to their subjects and somehow remove their sense of
spirituality," said Solomon Katz, head investigator at the Metanexus
Institute in Philadelphia.  

(End of excerpt)  

It is interesting to contemplate the difference between spending a
lifetime, if one is so inclined for so long a stretch, in contemplative
prayer vs. going to an outpatient service designed to immediately
connect a person to 'God'. Is it the connection to 'God' or the
lifetime of practice that will 'save the world'? Does it matter if a
person loses their prescribed sense of spirituality if they are able to
instantaneously connect to 'God' and get a 'God recharge' anytime they
want one? Very interesting article and potentialities. --Nina  


Yes, interesting article, and what you say is interesting, too.  

In this seemingly accelerated global information age, with things
happening so fast, practicing on one's feet is pretty much a given.  

The days of secluded monastic life are largely over. We are, as
Caroline Myss says, "monks without monasteries".  

Instantaneous connection for the masses to 'God' sounds pretty good!  

Wonder if it will be marketed like broadband connection? Come to think
of it, maybe in some ways it already is.  

Jan Barendrecht  

The study of researchers regarding the brain in the process of
"spiritual" experiences is similar to the scientist studying a falling
apple: at best, some properties are discovered, enabling a better
understanding of what happens, in a way that the observed phenomena can
be put to a greater use. Ascribing something as "a gift of God" surely
has to be interesting for Buddhists, equipped too with a similar brain
as the sister from the Carmelite monastery. Such descriptions are in
the "edge of the flat earth" class as such a description suggests it is
final and doesn't tolerate further investigations. The scientist
wanting to know the neurological sequence of events on the other hand
thinks that the sequence of events is the "explanation" whereas it but
is the biochemical story, only the mystic effectively knows.  

Yet such experiences can be termed worthless as what matters are the
transients, arising as the secondary effects of the irreversible
changes: the apperception event happens only once and so does the
"nirvana with substratum" event: unpredictable regarding the "when" by
the "enjoyer" hence out of reach for the knowledge hungry scientists.
Once suffering gone, it lasts but the scientists still have to find a
way to measure what for the mystic is factual.  

Anyone familiar with the requirements / codes of conduct involved with
the "nirvana with substratum" event will know it's next to impossible
to realize that while at a 21 century full-time job and will see the
old-fashioned Indian style ashram as the blessing of a safe-haven where
even a Buddhist could behave like "God-intoxicated fool" without
getting diagnosed as "mentally ill for life" and subsequently encaged
in funny farm, for life on drugs.

Thomas Murphy
See What Is  

Consciousness of Phenomena

Phenomenal manifestation
is an intimacy
between prime matter
and consciousness
conceiving what-is.
Without prime matter
lacks content.
Without consciousness
prime matter
lacks manifestation.
So what is prime matter?
It is the unformed substrate
of collective (un)consciousness.
Prime matter underlies
perceiver and perceived.
Consciousness and prime matter
are conjoined in perceiving.
Prime matter is semen;
consciousness is ovum;
perception is offspring.


Gummuluru Murthy

1. Enlightenment is *not* the result of whether we want or do not
   want enlightenment.

2. Studying the texts does not lead to enlightenment. It is the
   result of our wants getting dropped which is the result of
   cittashuddhi and sAdhana catuShTayam that result in spiritual

   The texts point to this fact; yet, it is only the jnAnam
   that is enlightenment.

3. shri madathil asks jan " .... Till, then why don't you let the
   talking game be played?  Does that harm anyone?  .."

   The game has to be played, but the important part of the game
   is it has to be recognized by the players that it is a game.
   Either writing to the Lists, or living the life itself - as
   long as it is recognized that it is a game and the game is
   played, that is jnAnam itself.

   But sometime, we forget it is a game and get ourselves seriously
   involved and that is saMsAra.

Gummuluru Murthy

Daily Dharma  

"Others will always show you exactly where you are stuck.
They say or do something and you automatically get hooked into a
familiar way of reacting—shutting down, speeding up, or getting all
worked up.

When you react in the habitual way, with anger, greed, and so
forth, it gives you a chance to see your patterns and work with them
honestly and compassionately.

Without others provoking you, you remain ignorant of your painful
habits and cannot train in transforming them into a path of
                   ~Pema Chodron

From the article, "Don't Give Up," in the September 2003 Shambala Sun Magazine.

Burning Man:Imaginations Fired Up in the Desert  

There's no shortage of beautiful work to photograph. Oracles, art
installations, dance clubs, foam domes and fluorescent gardens spring
up out of truck beds and erupt from RVs. Incredibly, there is an
organized cohesiveness and a common creed of responsibility expressed
by all participants: Be expressive, be respectful and leave no trace.  

Every year, the Burning Man organizing team takes on a new art theme to
shape their new city. This year's challenge to go “Beyond Belief”
encourages pilgrims to explore and reshape the experience of

Leslie Diamond seems eager to push through the mysterious bounds as she
prepares her shipment for the cross-country container. She says she
first made the trip to BRC in 2001 because “it sounded like something
that was missing from my life, something I needed to do.” Leslie looks
like she could be at home in the boardrooms or in the clubs of Boston,
but she is making the trek this year as an opportunity to push herself
and “rejuvenate my soul.”
Complete story: (paste URL into locator bar. May no longer be active.)

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Jerry Katz
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