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#1557 - Monday, September 15, 2003 - Editor: Jerry

The Simple Presence of Attention

by Toni Packer

This moment of being here, what does it mean? It means not resisting whatever is here: anxiety, discomfort, pain or disturbance. That's much easier said than done. By not resisting I mean resistance melting away in the awareness of being here-not giving way to fantasy, rather seeing fantasy as fantasy, as a veil hiding what is here in utter simplicity. To see that! That's not just saying, "Okay, all of this is just thoughts and fantasy." This is more thinking and it doesn't help, as we all have found out.

Have you ever experienced the difference between saying, "This is all thought," and directly seeing the appearance of thoughts and their effects on the body? Please hold it for a moment; don't just say "yes" or "no" and go on reading without stopping for a moment and wondering. Sitting quietly with energy gathering can be of immense help in detecting what is thought and what isn't. It allows one to experience directly how a thought generates emotion-pleasure or pain, sorrow or fear, and the credence given to it all- without acting on it. We assume that thinking tells us the truth about ourselves and the world. In thinking without seeing, everything seems so real, so true; there's no space here for questioning. Can there be seeing without thinking?

Wondering comes out of a moment of not going anywhere in thought, a moment of stopping-taking a deep breath and exhaling. It is a moment of not knowing where to go, because there is no place to go. It's realizing that all of the places thought can go to are fantasy. In our daily predicament of pain, of work fatigue or boredom, there seems to be incessant thought activity, with its restlessness, dissatisfaction, lack of fulfillment and searching for something different. There is the strong desire to alleviate what we don't like, to get rid of it. Can there be momentary freedom from our consuming restlessness? From thinking, "Where could I go next to be free?"

From "The Simple Presence of Attention" by Toni Packer. Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly, Summer 2003.

Contributed to NDS by Ben Hassine

"Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running away and you will be found."
- Lao Tzu

Contributed by Michael Adamson to TalkingStickWisdom

"This is very interesting:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh
uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in
waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are,
the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist
and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae.
The rset can be a toatl mses and you
can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs
is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter
by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe."

:) Nina

Buddhism: The new Prozac for scientists
----Tuesday, 16 September , 2003, 16:16

"It is certainly not inconceivable that 20 years from now, the US
surgeon general might recommend 60 minutes of mental exercise five
times a week," Lander told a conference of renowned scientists and
Buddhist scholars at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT) this weekend.

Such a prediction from a man of Lander's stature at a venue like MIT
is an indication of mainstream science's growing fascination with
Buddhism, and especially with the preliminary but extraordinary
results of state-of-the-art research into the Olympian mental
athleticism of trained Buddhist monks.

Some of the data presented at the conference -- attended by Tibet's
spiritual leader the Dalai Lama -- pointed not only to attention
spans that would make an air-traffic controller weep with envy, but
also meditation techniques that could actually "re-wire" the brain's
neural pathways.

In the age of Prozac, the possible applications could leave
mood-altering pills on the shelf.

Contributed by Bob to NDS

Response from Jan Barendrecht to selected passages:

║One argument suggests some of the emotions that fall in the negative
║camp -- such as anger or fear -- are important for survival and can
║have positive consequences.

Anger like the proverbial god's wrath, in the form of an X-ray blast
to reboot evolution, but without an upgrade.
Fear like the aboriginal tribesman, who, having been cursed to death
by the Medicine Man always dies, if just to prove MM's power.

║"Martin Luther King was an angry man and a lot of good things came
║from his anger," Gilbert said.

Hitler was angry too, and hired a scientist who built ballistic missiles.
Angry man GWB hired many men to boost the global trade in them.
Yes, that's exactly what evolution needs: more anger and a bigger universe
to spread the results.

║"And evolutionary biologists have a word for animals that don't
║experience fear. It's called 'dinner'," he added.

LOL! Animals with fear die anyway, but with fear as their last certainty,
whether from the "blinding light" or the "dark void".

Yoga is Marriage  

"Love is the Light that guides the way, and, it is 'The Way'.
When you are in the arms of the one you Love,
you and your lover are definitely there, and yet,
all there is is the infinite presence of Love."
James Traverse...Yoga Is Marriage
Harshasatangh Magazine, Vol III.  

Contributed by Joyce to NDS  

Hearts of Space
Timeless music for a changing world  

Contributed by Ben Hassine to NDS  

Ben Hassine

The Young Shaman  

"Small", he said, "is the magnetic black light" "Gracefully centered it is in the expansion of I AM"
"Approach it as you will know how to approach it"  Said young shaman -Double Sighted Eagle-  

He called it "I" Returned from that place there is double sight

The eagle in its flight has global vision one for the luminous expanse of the skies it is moving in, one for the mice in the fields  

  NGC 1977: The Dove Nebula

In Orion's Belt, just above the Orion Nebula, lies this exotic nebula. Nicknamed "the Dove" after the ghostly red portion that resembles the shadow of a bird in flight just above center. The Dove Nebula lies about 1,500 light years from the Sun.

The gas glows as a result of the intense energy being radiated by the brightest blue stars near the center of the image. While the red light shows where hydrogen gas is present and glowing, the blue light is light being reflected from this star. The blue color has the same origin as the blue light of our daytime sky - the gas in our atmosphere, like the gas in this nebula, reflects blue light more readily than red.

Contributed by Ben Hassine to NDS

New Guru

Exclusive to The Highlights

Peace and unity to be Amma's birthday wish

George Iype in Kochi | September 17, 2003 05:00 IST

India's most famous woman spiritual leader, Mata
Amritanandamayi, who has hugged more than 30 million people
across the world, will offer a unique water ritual during her
golden jubilee birthday celebrations at Kochi on September

Some of the disciples of Amma -- as Amritanandamayi is called
affectionately -- will carry vessels containing waters from
the seven sacred rivers of India -- Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati,
Sindhu, Narmada, Godavari and Cauvery -- for a 'convergence
of waters' ritual.

According to Swami Amritaswarupananda, spokesman for Amma and
one of the key organisers, Amma will bless the water and
offer it to President A P J Abdul Kalam, one of the many
VVIPs who will be attending the celebrations. "The President
will pour the water at the root of a kalpataru (banyan)
sapling," Amritaswarupananda told "The water
ritual symbolises the celebration of humanity's desire for
unity, peace and harmony."

Amritaswarupananda said the event, Amritavarsham50, is much
more than a birthday celebration. "Amma wants to spread the
message of love, compassion and selflessness in every human
being across the world. The overwhelming number of devotees
coming to participate in the events is a testimony to Amma's
ever-growing love and reach," he said.

According to the organisers, some five lakh devotees and
admirers of Amma will converge on the Jawaharlal Nehru
International Stadium in Kochi from September 24 to 27.
Amma's aides pointed out that it is for the first time in
India that such a massive and diverse array of humanity will
be coming together in a spiritual celebration.

Apart from the water ritual, one of the high points of the
celebration will be a procession by Amma's devotees from 191
member countries of the United Nations, wearing the
traditional attires of their respective cultures.

Amritanandamayi, who now heads India's largest spiritual
empire, has already said that her 50th birthday celebrations
will be an opportunity for the world to come together to find
practical solutions to the many problems facing society

One VVIP who will miss the grand four-day event is Prime
Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who left on Tuesday on a 13
day visit of the United States and Turkey.

But Amritapuri, Amma's global headquarters based in Kollam
district, has lined up an impressive list of international,
political, business and cultural figures to address her
devotees and well-wishers. They include President Kalam,
Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Deputy Prime Minister
Lal Kishenchand Advani, Kenya's Deputy Minister for
Environment Dr Wamgari Maathai, spiritual leader Hanne
Strong, Malaysia's Deputy Minister for Local Government Datuk
Kayveas, Bawa Jain, assistant to UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, US
Department of Religion Director Rev Dr Joan Campbell, and
Yolanda King, daughter of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, and
director of the King Centre for Non-violent Social Change.

Contributed by Mary Bianco to NDS News

Releasing the separate one
is a difficult knot.

Finding yourself is something
only you can do.

Imagine yourself coming back
ten years from today

Through time, to help you
where you must now be.

(Jim Cohn)

Contributed by urugaton to NDS

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
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