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#1646 - Sunday, December 14, 2003 - Editor: Gloria  

"All I ever wanted was to live in accord
with the promptings which came from my
true self. Why was that so very difficult?"

~Herman Hesse

  Eric Ashford ~ True Vision  

Why do I live alone?
I don't know... In some mysterious way I am condemned to it...
I cannot have enough of the hours of silence when
nothing happens. When the clouds go by. When the trees say nothing.
When the birds sing. I am completely addicted to
the realization that just being there is enough, and to add something
else is to mess it all up.

--Thomas Merton      

To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.




The tiny particles which form the vast universe are not tiny at all. Neither is the vast universe vast. These are notions of the mind, which is like a knife, always chipping away at the Tao, trying to render it graspable and manageable. But that which is beyond form is ungraspable, and that which is beyond knowing is unmanageable. There is, however, this consolation: She who lets go of the knife will find the Tao at her fingertips. 

twenty two

How can the divine Oneness be seen? In beautiful forms, breathtaking wonders, awe- inspiring miracles? The Tao is not obliged to present itself this way. It is always present and always available. When speech is exhausted and mind dissolved, it presents itself. When clarity and purity are cultivated, it reveals itself. When sincerity is unconditional, it unveils itself. If you are willing to be lived by it, you will see it everywhere, even in the most ordinary things. 

thirty seven

A superior person cares for the well-being of all things. She does this by accepting responsibility for the energy she manifests, both actively and in the subtle realm. Looking at a tree, she sees not an isolated event but root, leaves, trunk, water, soil and sun: each event related to the others, and "tree" arising out of their relatedness. Looking at herself or another, she sees the same thing. Trees and animals, humans and insects, flowers and birds: These are active images of the subtle energies that flow from the stars throughout the universe. Meeting and combining with each other and the elements of the earth, they give rise to all living things. The superior person understands this, and understands that her own energies play a part in it. Understanding these things, she respects the earth as her mother, the heavens as her father, and all living things as her brothers and sisters. Caring for them, she knows that she cares for herself. Giving to them, she knows that she gives to herself. At peace with them, she is always at peace with herself. 

forty two

Nothing in the realm of thoughts or ideologies is absolute. Lean on one for long, and it collapses. Because of this, there is nothing more futile and frustrating than relying on the mind. To arrive at the unshakable, you must befriend the Tao. To do this, quiet your thinking. Stop analyzing, dividing, making distinctions between one thing and another. Simply see that you are at the center of the universe, and accept all things and beings as parts of your infinite body. When you perceive that an act done to another is done to yourself, you have understood the great truth. 

forty five

If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place. This is true because the mind is the governing aspect of a human life. If the river flows clearly and cleanly through the proper channel, all will be well along its banks. The Integral Way depends on decreasing, not increasing; To correct your mind, rely on not-doing. Stop thinking and clinging to complications; keep your mind detached and whole. Eliminate mental muddiness and obscurity; keep your mind crystal clear. Avoid daydreaming and allow your pure original insight to emerge. Quiet your emotions and abide in serenity. Don't go crazy with the worship of idols, images, and ideas; this is like putting a new head on top of the head you already have. Remember: if you can cease all restless activity, your integral nature will appear. 

forty seven

Dualistic thinking is a sickness. Religion is a distortion. Materialism is cruel. Blind spirituality is unreal. Chanting is no more holy than listening to the murmur of a stream, counting prayer beads no more sacred than simply breathing, religious robes no more spiritual than work clothes. If you wish to attain oneness with the Tao, don't get caught up in spiritual superficialities. Instead, live a quiet and simple life, free of ideas and concepts. Find contentment in the practice of undiscriminating virtue, the only true power. Giving to others selflessly and anonymously, radiating light throughout the world and illuminating your own darknesses, your virtue becomes a sanctuary for yourself and all beings. This is what is meant by embodying the Tao. 

eighty one

With all this talking, what has been said? The subtle truth can he pointed at with words, but it can't be contained by them. Take time to listen to what is said without words, to obey the law too subtle to be written, to worship the unnameable and to embrace the unformed. Love your life. Trust the Tao. Make love with the invisible subtle origin of the universe, and you will give yourself everything you need. You won't have to hide away forever in spiritual retreats. You can be a gentle, contemplative hermit right here in the middle of everything, utterly unaffected, thoroughly sustained and rewarded by your integral practices. Encouraging others, giving freely to all, awakening and purifying the world with each movement and action, you'll ascend to the divine realm in broad daylight. The breath of the Tao speaks, and those who are in harmony with it hear quite clearly.

A Net of Jewels   Ramesh S. Balsekar

Real understanding translates itself into spontaneous and uncontrived
activity through the same latent power of virtuality that exhibits
itself in the miraculous fruition of plants, the formation of eyes
and ears, the circulation of blood and the subtle reticulation of
nerves. Such power is generated without conscious direction, and the
man who has it will usually be so steeped in ordinariness and
anonymity as to go unnoticed by others. Yet his action will be the
purest, most effective and powerful of all action precisely because
it coincides with the universal process itself, without any sense of
volition whatsoever.  


Express yourself:
That is meaning.

Ask yourself each day, "What remains unexpressed within me?"

Whatever it is, bring it out. But be judicious. The
rantings of mad people do not yield greater freedom. those
who are with Tao use expression to find greater
understanding of themselves and so find liberation from
ignorance and circumstance.

All that is good and unique in you should be brought out.
If you do not do this, you will be stunted. Never hold
back, thinking that you will wait for a better time. The
good in you is like the water in a well: The more you draw
from it, the more fresh water will seep in. If you do not
draw from it, the water will only become stagnant.

What is dark inside you must be expressed in a proper way
too. Lust, hatred, cruelty, and resentment -- these must
all be carefully taken out of yourself, like finding a bomb
and taking it to be detonated harmlessly. Your heart may be
quite a mine field, but you must persevere in clearing it if
you are to plant crops and frolic without concern.

Ask yourself each day, "What remains unexpressed within
me?" Unless you can express it, you will not clarify your
inner nature.

365 Tao
Deng Ming-Dao
Daily Meditations

this meditation is archived at

  Steve Toth ~ Rumi to Hafiz  

As the wind is tearing through
     a stand of trees
the night is leaking
     drop by drop
into buckets on the living room floor
but we're not going to make
     any blisters on our imaginations
     dreaming up new disasters
We didn't come here for an escape
     We're here to transform
     We're here to create

Who can bring this corpse
     I've been wearing to life?
Who can turn ordinary drinking water
     into thinking water?
Who will inhale the next
     breath of the living God?
Water & air & minerals come
     passing through our bodies
getting their chance to live our lives
Where do I go when I'm not
     on your mind?

Some people say all our words
     are hopeless
     but we say them anyway
You make every word new
They thought our hearts would break
     but our hearts broke free instead
You be the earth
     & I'll be a forest
     that's hidden in a seed


Hindus for Jesus
Who'll be singing carols and reading the Nativity story on Christmas Eve this year? Many American Hindus.
By Stephen Prothero

Today in Hindu homes and temples across the United States a striking image of divinity is on display. Dressed in a flowing white robe, his long hair pulled back behind slight shoulders, this holy man sits, half-lotus style, eyes cast down, in meditation. A halo rings his head, and his body is framed, St. Francis-like, by wild animals. "He was there in the wilderness," the accompanying text reads, "and was with the wild beasts" (Mark 1:13). Painted in the 1920s by Eugene Theodosia Oliver, a Catholic, in keeping with instructions from a Hindu monk, the image is called Christ the Yogi. This Jesus is clearly at peace with nature, with himself, and with God. He knows precisely who he is. And who he is, quite plainly, is a Hindu.

[...] Of course, not all American Hindus are Jesus lovers. Most recent immigrants from India come and go to their local temples without thinking of Jesus, much less worshiping him. But members of groups such as the Vedanta Society and Swami Yogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship have repeatedly reincarnated Jesus as the "Oriental Christ." While some believe that he traveled to India or Tibet during the "lost years" of his adolescence and early adulthood, most say simply that he embodied Asian ideals, including a preference for authentic living over empty rites and dogmatic creeds. In making this claim, these Hindus are doing something bolder than redefining Jesus; they are asserting a right to reshape Christianity, too.   Vedantists from Swami Vivekananda forward have typically divided Christianity into a true and a false form-the religion of Jesus and the religion about Jesus. Then they draw on the authority of the former to denounce what is wrong with the latter. "The religion of Christ, or true Christianity," one swami wrote, "had no dogma, no creed, no system, no theology. It was a religion of the heart, a religion without any ceremonial, without ritual, without priestcraft." (The abominations of "Churchianity," he says, came later.)

The most daring Vedantist reinterpreter of Jesus may have been Swami Trigunatita, the San Francisco Vedanta Society leader who commissioned Christ the Yogi. Echoing the Roman Catholic claim that there is "no salvation outside the church," Trigunatita wrote that the Vedantist teaching of the self-realization of divinity "alone leads you to the truth." "Will your baptism and acceptance of Christ as your Savior be able to save you?" he asked. "No. . . . Unless you realize yourself, no Bible, no doctrine, no amount of baptism can ever save you."

Trigunatita's position was not that other religious paths were futile. It was possible to realize your own equivalence with God through other faiths. But any person on the path to self-realization was in his view "a true Vedantist."

"No matter by what way, by what method you carry on your religious culture-be you a Christian, be you a Mohammedan, be you a Buddhist-so long as you are a sincere seeker after truth, you are a great Vedantist, you belong to Hinduism," he wrote.

"Hinduism is your religion."


Old Celery

At the corner greengrocer
I'd passed you many times before,
always under the bright lights,
water beading up on your tough skin.

I picked up a tomato,
a pair of kohlrabi,
a handful of coriander;
I had money this time.

As I counted my change,
a penny dropped down under your stand.
On the way up, you,
old celery, caught my eye.

You'd been moved to a darker corner
of the produce. I now felt
guilt; I had missed
you in your prime.

I set down the other vegetables,
took you, limp and barely
green, and left a hollow yellow
in the bed of shaved ice.

When I held you up
to get a fair look, there was
not a silence in the world
like the silence between us.

Like so many things I've not wanted
to see until they persisted
in seeing me, I took you
as if now I had a choice.  

- by Mark Yakich  from Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross  

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
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