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#1540 - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - Editor: Gloria
Sam Pasciencier ~ NDS
Fall arrived here like a curtain. One day summer the next fall. Time for a long walk this cool autumn day. Love, Sam
Timothy Tomasi ~ Rumi-Hafiz
Nothing in all creation is so like God as
Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all.
And a poem:
Another Eye Opens
When thou dwell in the heart
And erase all trace of thee,
Another eye opens.
Clutter not this mirror
With extravagant images
The world, as it is, will do.
Thi Sï Tâm
Axel Hinze ~ E-zendo
Doret, thanks for reminding me. This is a
Zen-list. There is a notion with
Zen-teachers and masters, when they're asked about enlightenment, they cut off
your words. "It's horrible, don't bother" was the funniest answer I got. Of
course, the ultimate goal (if any, in regard to "ultimate") is awakening,
liberation. Thus why worry? But the means to any form of such is always
PRESENCE, Awareness. Be here right now. (No matter about urban surroundings, I found
living in a big city doesn't hinder me).
It's especially today's zen teachers stressing meditativeness to be achieved
in your every day activities. Maybe I post a little story about that later.
But I don't have to concern about the goal. It is there, the path is set.
Sure, I take my time to reflect that. Remind me of what that's about. But in
exactly what I am doing? No way...
Jerry Katz ~ NDS News
Sunday, August 31, 2003
Churches, parishioners keep hungry in mind for Day of Caring. Hixon Frank's family added a couple of items to their usual shopping list this week: a more secure life for their neighbors and clearer vision for themselves. ... "I think we get too comfortable. We are blessed. We have plenty. Our needs and wants are met," Margie Frank said. "It's good to do this as a family. This makes us look outside ourselves and provide for others." The day-after-day blur of work and family and errands can lead to social nearsightedness, Hixon Frank said. -more-
Solo backpacking nothing new
Miles from nowhere
Not a soul in sight
Oh yeah, but it's alright
Writer Stephen Hlawaty stands miles from nowhere, peering north atop Blue Lake Pass.
I don't know what it was that spurred me to pack a rucksack, strap it to my back and head into the Colorado wilderness. Maybe it was the newly found responsibilities of being a first-time father, maybe it was being recently laid off for the second time in two years, or maybe it was a combination of the two. Whatever it was, it didn't matter. What mattered is that I go . . . and go alone. -more- link no longer active.
Hope sprang from the ashes of Burning Man Saturday night. Some burned past loves represented by framed photos or letters. Others threw unwanted pleasures, such as cigarettes and decks of cards, into the fire. Still for some the fire burned intangibles: Beliefs and ideas. The energy that Black Rock City, a temporary habitat for more than 30,000 people from around the world, culminated at 10 p.m. Saturday when the 30-foot structure of a wooden man and the pyramid it stood on was torched and brought to the ground. -more-
Book Review: The Next Enlightenment. Walter Truett Anderson takes up where Kant left off with an incredible book that urges a form of personal and cultural evolution he calls "The Next Enlightenment." Anderson is not advocating anything weird or mystical but points out that there are many schools of thought "built around the proposition that ordinary maturity is not the ultimate stage of human development." ... Anderson writes that "people become so involved in their identity-narratives that they become lost in them like some brilliant builder who constructs a wonderful maze of gardens and buildings and then cannot find his way out of them into the world beyond - who indeed forgets that there is a world beyond." -more-
Garden of Memories yields harvest of peace, grace. A nun who grew up in Jersey City, N.J., with cement for a back yard helped bring to life one of the area's most serenely beautiful religious gardens, the Garden of Memories at Mount St. Benedict, 6101 East Lake Road (Erie, PA). "I'm honored to be able to be a part of bringing people in touch with the beauty God has created so they may find peace, healing and wholeness," said Benedictine Sister Kathleen Ruszkowski. Benedictine Sister Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski uses the garden as part of her Spirit of the Seasons spiritual retreat. "It adds that dimension of the beauty in creation itself," she said. "Nature itself can provide such beautiful opportunities for grace." -more-
Diana ~ NDS
Of the unknowable only silence talks. The
mind can talk only of what it
knows. If you diligently investigate the knowable, it dissolves and only
the unknowable remains. But with the first flicker of imagination and
interest the unknowable is obscured and the known comes to the fore-front.
The known, the changing, is what you live with; the unchangeable is of no
use to you. It is only when you are satiated with the changeable and long
for the unchangeable that you are ready for the turning round and stepping
into what can be described, when seen from the level of the mind, as
emptiness and darkness. For the mind craves for content and variety, while
reality is, to the mind, contentless and invariable.
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
s_v_c_s ~ NamoRamana
Question: What are the marks of a real
Sri Ramana Maharshi: Steady abidance in the Self, looking at all with
an equal eye, unshakable courage at all times, in all places and
Question: There are a number of spiritual teachers teaching various
paths. Whom should one take for one's Guru?
Sri Ramana Maharshi: Choose that one where you find you get shanti
Hari Aum !!!
Alden Brindle ~ Rumi-Hafiz
Cages can be comforting and protecting but
there comes a time to fly out of the open door. When a bird finds
the courage to leave it's cage and discovers the freedom of open
skies, the bird develops a savvy wariness of cages. For years I
had a lot of anger towards the Mormon church. Now I accept the
Mormon church and Eckankar as old lamps in the dying brain's
The Lamps are different,
But the Light is the same.
So many garish lamps in the dying brain's lamp shop,
Forget about them.
Concentrate on essence, concentrate on Light.
In lucid bliss, calmly smoking off its own holy fire,
The Light streams towards you from all things,
All people, all possible permutations of good, evil, thought, passion.
The lamps are different,
But the Light is the same.
One matter, one energy, one Light, one-Light-mind,
Endlessly emanating all things.
One turning and burning diamond.
One, one, one.
Ground yourself, strip yourself down,
To blind loving silence.
Stay there, until you see
You are gazing at the Light
With its own ageless eyes.
"The wisdom of unselfishness or
selflessness reveals that real
heart of interconnectedness, interpenetrativeness, and love. Then
we would treat everyone like we like to treat our children or our
beloved ones. Equalizing ourselves with others, or even more
radically, putting them first. That's what the Dalai Lama says,
that's the way to train: put others first. Like, perhaps, in your
best moments, you put your children first or would die for your
children. If we see ourselves as one person on one side and all the
beings in this world on the other side, we might one day do a little
advanced calculus and say `Which side is really more
"Of course, that's a big stretch, but we just say it that way to
exaggerate. But it's "me, me, me," or the world. Think about it:
three - me, myself, and I - or 6 billion? And that's only the people!
What about all the others, creatures great and small, seen an
unseen? Hard to count them.
"So, when we really put things in perspective, we can, by
continuous reflection and contemplation, start to not just conclude
or jump to a conclusion or make some kind of exaggerated point that
the many are more important than any one of us, but we might start
to really transform our attitude. Erode or loosen a little bit of
our selfishness, of our self-cherishing, our egotism, whatever you
want to call it...relinquish our grasping, attachment, and
demandingness. That's the way to peace, World peace and also inner
peace. We're not just talking about mystical doctrines like no-self,
shunyata, anakima, no self, no one home. But how about just a little
more generosity and less grasping and demanding?
"Let's start anywhere, anything will do. Just being a little
nicer to each other or when we drive around or whatever. Let's start
anywhere, I dare you!"
~ Lama Surya Das
From the web site, "The Internet Sacred Text Archive,"
b ~ AdyashantiSatsang
"Time is the shop
Where everyone works hard
To build enough love
To break the
Wise men keep talking about
Wanting to meet Her.
Women sometimes pronounce the word God
A little differently:
They can use more feeling and skill
With the heart-lute.
All the world's movements,
Apparent chaos, and suffering I now know happen
In the Splendid Unison:
Our tambourines are striking
The same thigh.
At a juncture in this poem.
There are a thousand new wheels I could craft
On a wagon
And place you in -
Lead you to a glimpse of the culture
And seasons in another dimension.
Yet again God
Will have to drop you back at the shop
Where you still have work
~ ~ ~
What Do You Really Want?
Let your brain whirl and spin itself
into blessed exhausted silence.
Let it rest like a baby
in the open palmed hands
of the heart held Now.
What do you really want after all?
To win, to pick the sweetest fruit on the tree?
Or to rest from the endless succession
of temporal moments
and the promises that they never keep?
What do you really want?
To take or to be taken?
To find the Great Pearl of Liberation
or to be consumed by it?
I have no more ideas anymore about
the absolute or non-duality.
If you want to talk with me
let us meet where
there are no abstractions.
All I want to know is:
Have you noticed?
Something is here
Something is here
have you noticed?
Only the Mystery is.
The Mystery is noticing that
only the Mystery Is.
Have you noticed?
~ ~ ~
Q: People who have a yearning, or at least
a curiosity, about
awakening may wonder how they can find this freedom we are speaking
of. "What do I do?" "How do I get it?" These are common questions.
A: There are two important elements as far as I am concerned, maybe
three. Number one is, before you get too involved in teachings and
teachers and conforming to the way you think things should be
spiritually, connect with the raw yearning at the core of your own
being. Basically, this means, "What do I yearn for more than anything
else?" For most human beings there will be conflicting yearnings, but
see what the core yearning is in you. The very deepest core yearning
is your red carpet to freedom. It is the place that you follow. You
follow backward into that yearning. This is something that most
spiritual students don't take the time to do. They just jump into the
teachings and start imitating and doing practices that they don't
understand. They miss that the divine call is in their own heart
right from the very beginning. That's the really important part.
Sandeep ~ AdyashantiSatsang Sandeep Meets Ramesh Balsekar
I understand you met Ramesh.
Did you meet him while you were
still seeking, or out of curiosity?
Q: Did you have a tete a tete, or a group encounter?
Q: Could you describe the circumstances.
Somebody told somebody and someone asked me about Ramesh. Had not
even heard the name or that he lived in Mumbai, a city where I also
By chance got hold of his telephone number and address, and one fine
morning was moved to go over.
Q: Does he live in luxury?
As you are aware he was a banker and retired at quite a high post.
I also suspect he hails from a rich family.
For his apartment is located in an area of Mumbai, which is one of
the costliest, real-estate price-wise.
And since the entire building of some 5 floors belongs to the
Baleskar family (Ramesh occupies the top floor and rest by his
extended family),.....things are quite hunky dory, it would appear.
The apartment is neatly done up.
I remember laughing out loud in the midst of all these western
seekers, all walking about in profound silence, after a group session
with Ramesh, when I espied a stock broker's share certificate issued
in Ramesh's name.
The dude plays the stock market, though whether he is a successful
punter, I have no clue.
Q: What were your impressions?
Articulate, getting on the years, a good sense of humour, and if you
go to his satangh, more than once, ...repetitive.
For me, he triggered the seeking of the parallels in the field of
fundamental Science, which is today rapidly approaching the quality
of mysticism or whatever you wish to call the hoopla.
For the first time, a seemingly certified sage had even heard of
Bell's Theorem of Non-Locality and had the ability to discuss it's
parallels to the spiritual stuff.
Big on Consciousness, as the final word, ................till in one
meeting, .........moi idly posed that Consciousness was as much a
conceptual conjecture as any other concept.
Obtained a smile from Ramesh and glares from the adoring disciples.
At the end of each session, there is singing by a lady and then
everybody joins in massacring the pronunciations.
These songs are Tukaram, Jnaneshwar, Dado bhajans, which are very
In short not any ado or fanfare, very householder environ (suddenly
the hissing sound of the pressure cooker in the kitchen, when some
Advaitic give and take happening)
No diksha given, at least the few times I wandered over.
Ramesh evidently has no problem getting photographed with a seeker
departing back to the West or wherever.
Everybody at the end touches his feet in the Indian manner of giving
respect, before leaving.
I placed my head at his feet and then left.
Have not been back for quite some time.
It's actually a pain, for you have to climb 5 floors by the stairs,
the lift is from the days of Buddha and can take the weight of only
person at a time.
And in the morning, there is a mad rush by the seekers to rush up
these 5 floors and grab all the chairs and cushions in a tiny room
where Ramesh holds his satsanghs.
Now while I am supposed to have no problem squatting on the floor,
an expanding waistline poses some issues.
Nobody touches ONE of the chair seats, as it is supposed to be the
hot-seat, where only the person with profound questions is supposed
to sit and then ask Ramesh.
You are supposed to tell one of the organizers about this, in the
morning so that the seat gets reserved for you.
Catching on the potential in that situation ..........the few times I
went, I would ask for the hot-seat, leisurely await for that one
weight lift to take me slowly up floor floors and take the hot-seat.
And doze off.
And when Ramesh would look at me, I would say 'No questions, I just
cannot squat on the floor".
Ramesh laughed so much that he nearly chocked on his tea, which he
was sipping at that moment.
If looks at me from the audience could kill,........
Next time, the organizer was suspicious, till I told him the pure
Advaitic question, I just needed to get Ramesh's answer, ....moi on
hot seat,......Ramesh looks at me and says, "how's the back".
I told the organizer, "See, that was the real answer".
Last I heard the organizer was referring to Advaita Vedanta text to
see how his beloved Ramesh's answer "how's the back" can be fitted
into non-duality equation.
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