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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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  #1561 - Friday, September 19, 2003 - Editor: Gloria Lee . photo by Eric Paroissien  

Jerry Katz ~ LiveJournal   2002.04.01  13.21

if i can see

that man's adornment

including all the theories of physics

and all wars

is so that

one bird


can rest on a wire

then I can sit in silence

and let all things sit


on a wire

  ~ ~ ~  

2003.04.19  11.23

In New Jersey we were warned about the waves at Belmar.
In Santa Monica nobody gets warned.
Nobody goes to the beach.
In February I stand atop the bluffs of Santa Monica
and scan 5 miles of beach.
I count the specks.
people walking Santa Monica beach.
8 million residents within an hour's drive

I walk down to the beach.

Everyone came from New Jersey
to enjoy the California sunshine.

Well sunshine is different things to different people.

My sunshine is the beach.
Sitting on lifeguard station number 27
and counting
the grains of sand
on a fingertip

The little girl who sings show tunes on the Promenade
and gets crowds
to shift and move as easily
as other girls her age stuff their pack
and swing it over their shoulder.

Flowers that release their perfume
Only at night

And everytime you pick up on that scent
it reminds you of every time
You ever stepped out of your apartment
To the perfumes of those flowers

Maybe you were 17 and going on a date
Or 30 and going to meet your best friend ever at a deli
laughing with him before you even got there
Or 52 and going really nowhere
The perfume was there.

To me the sunshine is a school of dolphins, the sunset painting in the sky,
The coastline as it curves way out and forms a point
And it all gets hazy and dreamy and you're looking at it

The night perfume of flowers
The little girl who draws a crowd and hypnotizes it
Twelve people walking the beach
Thirty grains of sand on a fingertip
Sunset Boulevard on a Saturday night in 1966
with thousands of other crazy kids
Fifty two and going nowhere  

I recall New Mexico. You could reach out and pluck a few stars. I've never seen them so abundant, large and clear.  Somewhere to someone we're glowing bright, and that's all they need to know.

Steve Toth ~ Rumi to Hafiz  


I thought I was talking to you
     but I was talking
to the light you left behind
Sometimes when life
     seems to have singled us out
for special attention
     it's hard not to
     take things personally

All the stars we couldn't
     see in the city appear
to have been burning
     without our knowledge
Stars don't care if anyone's looking
The night sky is so deep
     it's like we might fall in
     & have to swim for our lives

Most of the universe is dark & frozen
     but not where you are
Dust devils whirl in the heat
     the fog whirls around the redwoods
& I whirl into you
     until no one can
     tell the difference

We don't want to see the light
     we want to be the light
If you want to see
     the beloved in action
     leave yourself open
to being the beloved
     for someone else

Robert Cooper ~ Daily Dharma  

"Try to be mindful and let things take their natural course. Then your
mind will become still in any surroundings. Like a clear forest pool.
All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and
you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange
and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still. This is the
happiness of the Buddha."
~Achaan Chah

~ ~ ~

"Meditation helps us to do one particular thing: to change. Meditation
changes how we relate to the world, thatıs why we do contemplative practice.
In a sense, we are re-educating ourselves, not in some esoteric spiritual
sense, but just as human beings. Meditation is a practice through which we
really become human. We become decent and workable. We have caught
ourselves, our habitual selves, and we begin to change the way we look at
~Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

From a column in Shambhala Sun, November 1999


  Viorica Weissman ~ MillionPaths  

Please let us be clear on this point - that you cannot by any process, through any discipline, through any form of meditation, go to truth, God, or whatever name you like to give it. It is much too vast, it cannot possibly be conceived of; no description will cover it, no book can hold it, nor any word contain it. So you cannot by any devious method, by any sacrifice, by any discipline or through any guru, go to it. You must await it, it will come to you, you cannot go to it. That is the fundamental thing one has to understand, that not through any trick of the mind, not through any control, through any virtue, any compulsion, any form of suppression, can the mind possibly go to truth. All that the mind can do is be quiet - but not with the intention of receiving it. And that is one of the most difficult things of all because we think truth can be experienced right away through doing certain things. Truth is not to be bought any more than love can be bought.

J. Krishnamurti

Patricia ~ SufiMystic

"The inner self is as secret as God and, like him, it evades every
concept that tries to seize hold of it with full possession. It is
life that cannot be held and studied as object, because it is not 'a
thing.' It is not reached and coaxed forth from hiding by any
process under the sun, including meditation. All that we can do
with any spiritual discipline is produce within ourselves something
of silence, the humility, the detachment, the purity of heart and
the indifference which are required if the inner self is to make
some shy, unpredictable manifestation of his presence."

Thomas Merton

Gill Eardley ~ Allspirit Inspiration  

From: 'The Wisdom of Insecurity' Alan Watts :

"...when you really understand that you are
what you see and know, you do not run around
the country-side thinking, 'I am all this.'
There is simply 'all this.'

Verteg ~ E-zendo  

Mysterious Gestures  

Did you ever hear the story of how John Daido Loori became a student
of Master Maezumi, his principal teacher? Its quite funny. It goes
something like this: (From an interview with Meditation Pathways)

"We were both teaching at the Naropa institute, and were both in
faculty housing. He had the apartment right next to mine. I saw them
moving him in, because I was already a Zen student studying with
another Master. I decided that it would be good to go over and
introduce myself and pay my respects. I brought a little gift, and we
chatted a bit, but he didn't take a lot of intrest in me. I left, and
later, around dinner time there was a knock on the door. I went to the
door, and there were two monks with a bagful of Kentucky Fried
Chicken. They said, "Roshi is inviting you over to have Kentucky
Fried Chicken with us."

So I went, and that night, a lot of other students of Naropa began to
show up and the room filled up. There must have been 50 or 60
students, but Roshi kept me sitting next to him at the table. Every
time I tried to move or mingle, he would grab my arm and say, "Please
Daido, stay with me." I would stay and he would lean over very close
to me and say, "Daido", and I would say "Yes Roshi," and he would say,
"Tell me," and I would look at him and say "Tell you what?" and then
he would look away.

Then it would get quiet again and we would just sit there and there
was all this noise everywhere, people partying all over the place and
he would lean over to me a few minutes later and he would say,
"Daido," and I would say "Yes Roshi," "Ask me," and then I would say
"Ask you what?"

Well, that went on the entire evening. It was well after midnight
before the last people left. Every time I would try to leave he would
stop me, and every few minutes he would lean over and say, "Ask me,"
and I would say "Ask you what?" and he would say "Tell me," and I
would say "Tell you what?"

At one point I figured he wanted to do what's called Dharma combat, so
when he said, "Tell me" I reached for this glass of water and held it
up and took a big drink and smashed it onto the table and went
"Ahhhhhhh," and he looked at me and held his nose and made a noise and
turned away.

At two o'clock in the morning I finally said, "Roshi, I have to go. I
can't stay any more. He said "Okay". Everybody had left, and there was
stuff all over the place. I was going to clean up and he said "No, no,
no, it was okay."

It seemed odd that a Zen Master would leave such a mess, but he pushed
me out the door. I went next door and I was lying down on the couch,
when about two hours later there was this gentle knock on the door. I
opened the door and there was Roshi. Now he is in robes and his
demeanor is very different, he says to me, "Come with me," like an order.

I immediately followed him back into the apartment which was now
immaculate. Everything was washed and put away. The big round table
had four bowls on it. There were four chairs, and there was just the
two of us. He pointed to the first chair and he said "Yasatani Roshi"
and that was his teacher, and he pointed to the second bowl and said
"Daido"  and then pointed to this bowl which was his.

He then proceeded to do the traditional tea ceremony and made green
tea and offered it to Yasatani Roshi, who is dead by the way, and made
tea for my Roshi, gave one to me, and took one for himself.

The air was electric. As I raised the bowl to my lips to drink I was
overwhelmed with feelings, and tears started flowing and dripping into
my green tea. I felt a little embarrassed by it and looked around to
see if he noticed. I then observed tears flowing from his eyes.

I finished the tea, and then he got up and I got up. I said "Roshi,"
and he covered my mouth with his hand. He took me by the arm, led me
to the door, opened the door, and whisked me out. Needless to say, I
followed him to Los Angeles to study with him."   -John Daido Loori

I just love that little story, because it contains so many mysterious
gestures. It evokes both intimacy and a sense of distance, a
ritualized formality. It seems strange to our ears perhaps, but I
wonder how much of that is cultural, and how much is Spiritual?

Yours, Verteg  

  Joe Riley ~ Panhala  


is this world truly fallen? They say no.
For there's the new moon, there's the Milky Way,
There's the rattler with a wren's egg in its mouth,
And there's the panting rabbit they will eat.
They sing their wild hymn on the dark slope,
Reading the stars like notes of hilarious music.
Is this a fallen world? How could it be?

And yet we're crying over the stars again,
And over the uncertainty of death,
Which we suspect will divide us all forever.
I'm tired of those who broadcast their certainties,
Constantly on their cell phones to their redeemer.
Is this a fallen world? For them it is.
But there's that starlit burst of animal laughter.

The day has sent its fires scattering.
The night has risen from its burning bed.
Our tears are proof that love is meant for life
And for the living. And this chorus of praise,
Which the pet dogs of the neighborhood are answering
Nostalgically, invites our answer, too.
Is this a fallen world? How could it be?

~ Mark Jarman ~

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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