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#1654 - Monday, December 22, 2003 - Editor: Jerry  


a peaceful holiday and infinite love to everyone.  mary  

Daily Dharma  

For the holiday season, am sending a little story whose message might be
significant for many of us. ... Hope you enjoy and benefit.   love, dharma grandmother

The train clanked and rattled through the subways of Tokyo on a drowsy
spring afternoon. Our cars were comparatively empty - a few housewives
with their kids in tow, some old folks going shopping. I gazed absently
at the drab houses and dusty hedgerows.

At one station, the doors opened and suddenly the afternoon quiet was
shattered by a man bellowing violent, incomprehensible curses. The man
staggered into our car. He wore laborer's clothing and was big, dirty,
and drunk.
Screaming, he swung at a woman holding a baby. The blow sent her
spinning into the laps of an elderly couple. It was a miracle that the
baby was unharmed.

Terrified, the couple jumped up and scrambled toward the end of the car.
The laborer aimed a kick at the retreating back of the old woman but
missed as she scuttled to safety. This so enraged the drunk that he
grabbed the metal pole in the center of the car and tried to wrench it
from its stanchion. I could see that one of his hands was cut and
bleeding. The train lurched ahead, the passengers in fear. I stood up.

I was young then, some twenty years old, and in pretty good shape. I'd
been putting in a solid eight hours of aikido training nearly every day
for the last three years.  I liked to throw and grapple. I thought I was
tough. Trouble was my martial skill was untested in actual combat.
As students of aikido, we are not allowed to fight.

"Aikido," my teacher had said again and again, "is the art of
reconciliation. Whoever has the mind to fight has broken his connection
with the universe. If you try to dominate people, you are already
defeated. We study how to resolve conflict, not how to start it."

I listened to his words. I tried hard. I even went so far as to cross
the street to avoid the "chimpira," the pinball punks who lounged around
the train stations. My forbearance exalted me. I felt both tough and
holy. In my heart, however, I wanted an absolutely legitimate
opportunity whereby I might save the innocent by destroying the guilty.

"This is it!" I said to myself, getting to my feet. "People are in
danger and if I don't do something fast, they will probably get hurt."  

Seeing me stand up, the drunk recognized a chance to focus his rage.
"Aha!" he roared. "A foreigner! You need a lesson in Japanese manners!"

I held on lightly to the commuter strap overhead and gave him a slow
look of disgust and dismissal. I planned to take this turkey apart, but
he had to make the first move. I wanted him mad, so I pursed my lips and
blew him an insolent kiss.

"All right!" he hollered. "You're gonna get a lesson!" He gathered
himself for a rush at me.

A split second before he could move, someone shouted, "Hey!" It was
earsplitting. I remember the strangely joyous, lilting quality of it -
as though you and a friend had been searching diligently for something,
and he suddenly stumbled upon it. "Hey!"

I wheeled to my left. The drunk spun to his right. We both stared down
at a little old Japanese. He must have been well into his seventies,
this tiny gentlemen, sitting there immaculate in his kimono. He took no
note of me, but beamed delightedly at the laborer, as if he had a most
important, most welcome secret to share.

"C'mere," the old man said in an easy vernacular, beckoning to the
drunk. "C'mere and talk with me." He waved his hand lightly.

The big man followed, as if on a string. He planted his feet
belligerently in front of the old gentleman, and roared above the
clacking wheels, "Why the hell should I talk to you?" The drunk now had
his back to me. If his elbow moved so much as a millimeter, I'd drop him
in his socks.

The old man continued to beam at the laborer. "Whatcha been drinkin'?"
he asked, his eyes sparkling with interest. "I been drinkin' sake," the
laborer bellowed back, "and it's none of your business!" Flecks of
spittle spattered the old man.  

"Oh, that's wonderful," the old man said, "absolutely wonderful! I love
sake too. Every night me and my missus (she's seventy-six, you know), we
warm up a little bottle of sake and take it out in the garden and we sit
on an old wooden bench. We watch the sun go down, and we look to see how
our persimmon tree is doing. My great-grandfather planted that tree, and
we worry whether it will recover from those ice storms we had last
winter. Our tree has done better than expected, though, especially when
you consider the poor quality of the soil. It is gratifying to watch
when we take our sake and go out to enjoy the evening - even when it
rains!" He looked up at the laborer, eyes twinkling.

As he struggled to follow the old man's conversation, the drunk's face
began to soften. His fists slowly unclenched. "Yeah, " he said, "I love

"Yes," said the old man smiling. "and I am sure you have a wonderful

"No," replied the laborer, "My wife died." Very gently, swaying with the
motion of the train, the big man began to sob." I don't have no 'wife.'
I don't have no 'home.' I don't have no 'job.' I so 'ashamed' of
myself." Tears rolled down his cheeks; a spasm of despair rippled
through his body.

Now it was my turn. Standing there in my well-scrubbed youthful
innocence, my make-this-world-right-for-democracy-righteousness, I
suddenly felt dirtier than he was.

Then the train arrived at my stop. As the doors opened, I heard the old
man cluck sympathetically, "My, my," he said, "That is a difficult
predicament, indeed. Sit down here and tell me about it."

I turned my head for one last look. The laborer was sprawled on the
seat, his head in the old man's lap. The old man was softly stroking the
filthy, matted hair.

As the train pulled away, I sat down on a bench. What I had wanted to do
with muscle, he had done with kind words. I had just seen aikido tried
in combat, and the essence of it was love. I would have to practice the
art with an entirely different spirit. It was a long time before I could
speak about the resolution of conflict."

~Terry Dobson

~What kind word can we give as a gift this Holiday Season? Especially to
one who annoys us, or even one we consider an opponent of sorts? Just a
kind word... a present in honor of one who is the embodiment of
kindness... a step in His shoes... the little old man in the subway, the
prince who gave it all away to find a peaceful way for us to follow, a
carpenter's son who urged us to turn the other cheek... that is all they
ask in the loving examples of their lives... a kind word to each other,
especially to those who are hurting, those who are angry, selfish,
jealous....for those in fear are just a reflection of ourselves....we
are the ones hurting so inside we thrash out to hurt others... when we
offer the kind word we are silencing the voices in our own heads that
say we are not worthy of kindness... but we are.... worthy... because
really! not just fancy words, our true nature is "really"
loving-kindness.....and when the fear is quieted down, we discover that
we are none other than the Buddha, the Christ....and that kind old
gentleman on the Tokyo subway. Emaho!

Well, rambling a bit there....message to myself..,^)) Happy and Peaceful
Holidays to dear sangha and to all dear Daily Dharma members.

love to all,

Quote from the article, "A Kind Word Turneth Away Wrath," from the book,
"Soul Food," edited by Jack Kornfeld, published by Harper.  

Nondual Movies

David: And who is writing or is going to write the great NonDual
story/narrative/myth?  Does anyone have any examples of NonDual stories?

Gyan: Greetings David,

The one movie that comes to mind is the Richard Linklater's " Waking Life ".
This film is foremost a series of dialogues served through different
vignettes having truth and illusion as main topics.

This animated feature may feel like a koan quest or a satsang supper.
You get 'stuff' ;-)

Ben Hassine: American Beauty

Michael Bowes: THE VOID

Mark Otter: Treasure of the Sierra Madres?

Love, Bogie   We non-dualists don't need no stinking badges....( momentary identification
for sake of joke)

Love, John

Greg Goode: I vote for "Life on a String"  Dir. Kaige Chen (1991).  Look it up on  It was great!

David Hodges: I guess my top vote would be for "Why Has Bodhi-darma Left for the East",
written and directed by Yong-Kyun Bae. It casts a spell (unless you fall
asleep first!) says: "Three people live in a remote Buddhist monastery near Mount
Chonan: Hyegok, the old master; Yong Nan, a young man who has left his
extended family in the city to seek enlightenment - Hyegok calls him
Kibong!; and, an orphan lad Haejin, whom Hyegok has brought to the
monastery to raise as a monk. The story is mostly Yong Nan's, told in
flashbacks: how he came to the monastery, his brief return to the city, his
vacillation between the turbulence of the world and his hope to overcome
passions and escape the idea of self. We also see Hyegok as a teacher, a
protector, and a father figure, and we watch Haejin make his way as a
curious and nearly self-sufficient child."   Gyan:
Yes ! This is a film I have purchased on DVD and gathered some meditators
friend for an evening of zen seventh art quality time; definitely not a
blockbuster in the usual sense of the word but sure can bust a block. This
movie is quite a meditation.

While we're on this topic, maybe Alejandro Jodorowski's 'El Topo' is a
classic when it comes to initiatory movie.

'Songs From The Second Floor' by Roy Andersson had me quite intellectually
stimulated; has anyone else seen this movie ? Some strong messages neatly
Sam: I vote for "King of Hearts"...
Michael Bowes: Has anyone seen "The Void"?
Greg Goode: No, but I did see The Black Hole, Disney.
diane: Wait.  Is this a trick question?
Greg: No, it's a real movie.  Check out:

Ben Hassine


My devotees have the qualifications to rejoice abundantly, like
  children of an emperor. 

Abandon the drama [of the world] and seek the Self within.
  Remaining within, I will protect you, [ensuring] that no harm befalls

If you inquire and know me, the indweller, in that state there
  will be no reason for you to worry about the world. 

For the cruel disease of burning samsara to end, the
  correct regimen is to entrust all your burdens on me. 

In order that your needless anxieties cease, make sure that all
  your burdens are placed on me through the brave act of depending totally on

If you completely surrender all your responsibilities to me, I
  will accept them as mine and manage them.

When bearing the entire burden remains my responsibility, why do
  you have any worries? 

Long ago you offered your body, possessions and soul to me,
  making them mine, so why do you still regard these things as 'I' and 'mine'
  and associate yourself with them? 

Seek my grace within the Heart. I will drive away your darkness
  and show you the light. This is my responsibility. 


Ben wrote:
>    * My devotees have the qualifications to rejoice abundantly, like
> children of an emperor.
>    * Seek my grace within the Heart. I will drive away your darkness and

> show you the light. This is my responsibility.
Interesting stuff, but it turns out to derive from Sri Ramana rather than
Sri Muruganar, at least in the version on David Godman's page at
. I like it a lot that Sri Ramana talks so freely about grace and surrender as well as the more "mental" approaches . . .

The full text, part of DG's answers as he himself is interviewed, from that
page: [WARNING –– it is DG's interpretation of Muruganar's interpretati
on :-]

Q: I think on hearing some of your above examples (all of which led to
desirable final outcomes) we can perhaps wrongly deduce that if we want to
get things done our way we should adopt this trick of leaving things up to
God. I don't think that's what you meant. In the state you were describing,
one truly doesn't have a preference for things to work out one way or the
other. Is that true?

A: Yes. The state of being grateful for the way things are is the goal.
It's not a trick to get what you want. If things turn out well, that's just
 a side effect. It's not the main purpose of surrender. Surrender is an aim
 and a goal in itself.

     Let me read you a couple of answers that Sri Ramana gave to a devotee
 who was asking about surrender. They were recorded in the 1940s by Devaraja Mudaliar in Day by Day with Bhagavan:

Question: Does not total or complete surrender require that one should not
have left even the desire for liberation or God?

Answer: Complete surrender does require that you have no desire of your
own. You must be satisfied with whatever God gives you and that means
having no desires of one's own.

Question: Now that I am satisfied on that point, I want to know what the
steps are by which I could achieve surrender.

Answer: There are two ways. One is looking into the source of 'I' and
merging into that source. The other is the feeling 'I am helpless by
myself; God alone is all powerful and except by throwing myself completely
on him, there is no other means of safety for me.' By this method one
gradually develops the conviction that God alone exists and that the ego
does not count. Both methods lead to the same goal. Complete surrender is
another name for jnana or liberation.

     In the first reply Sri Ramana gives the answer that true surrender is
being satisfied with whatever God gives you, without having any desire for
your life to be any different. In the second answer he explains that one
can approach this goal in a gradual way. I think that Sri Ramana knew that
no one could immediately give up all thoughts, ideas, desires and
responsibilities, so he encouraged devotees to do it in a gradual way. One
can start on the path of surrender by handing over to God some of the petty
responsibilities of life that we believe are ours to solve. When we feel
that God has done a good job with managing them, we have more faith in Him
and we are encouraged to hand over more and more of our life to Him. The
stories that I narrated earlier belong to this phase of surrender.

     Sri Ramana occasionally encouraged his devotees to give him all their
problems. That is to say, to tell him about them, and then forget about
them. One of his persistent images or metaphors was of a passenger on a
train who insists on carrying his luggage on his own head instead of
putting it on the floor and relaxing. The idea behind this is that God is
running the world and looking after all its activities and problems. If we
take some of these problems on our own heads, we just inflict unnecessary
suffering on ourselves. Sri Ramana is telling us that God is driving the
train that constitutes our life on this earth. We can sit down and relax
with the knowledge that he is taking us to our destination, and not
interfere, or we can imagine that we are responsible for it all. We can
pace up and down the aisles of the train with 100lbs on our head if we want
to. It's our choice.

     When devotees surrendered their problems to Sri Ramana, it was the
same as surrendering them to God. They were submitting to the same divine
authority, surrendering to a living manifestation of that same power. Here
are some statements that Sri Ramana made on this subject. I have taken them
from a book I am currently working on. Each sentence was originally
recorded by Muruganar in Tamil verse:

My devotees have the qualifications to rejoice abundantly, like children of
an emperor.

Abandon the drama [of the world] and seek the Self within. Remaining
within, I will protect you, [ensuring] that no harm befalls you.

If you inquire and know me, the indweller, in that state there will be no
reason for you to worry about the world.

For the cruel disease of burning samsara to end, the correct regimen is to
entrust all your burdens on me.

In order that your needless anxieties cease, make sure that all your
burdens are placed on me through the brave act of depending totally on grace.

If you completely surrender all your responsibilities to me, I will accept
them as mine and manage them.

When bearing the entire burden remains my responsibility, why do you have
any worries?

Long ago you offered your body, possessions and soul to me, making them
mine, so why do you still regard these things as 'I' and 'mine' and
associate yourself with them?

Seek my grace within the Heart. I will drive away your darkness and show
you the light. This is my responsibility.

     These verses come from a sub-section I have entitled 'Bhagavan's
Promises'. When people surrendered completely to him, he was more than
happy to manage their lives for them. Just about everyone discovered that
when she surrendered the burden of responsibility for her life to Sri
Ramana, problems diminished or went away completely.

     The Guru is primarily there to teach the truth, to bestow grace on his
disciples and to bring about the liberation of the mature souls who come to
him. But he also has this very nice sideline of being able to manage the
affairs of his devotees much better than they can.


Ben responds to Sarlo  

Dear Sarlo,

I think it is all rather simple, this whole spiritual affair and all
the seemingly differences between jnana, bhakti, Buddhism etc only
complicate what is so beautiful and obvious, if only we could stop
and look.

For me there is only one religion. I think practice and effort are
needed up to the point where you consciously enter the Stream and
drop the illusion of separation definitely.

The practice that seems most natural to me is to abide as I AM gently
while staying with the body and breath in the here and now. This is
the Friend or the Guru. The rest will follow on its own accord
without any effort, in the right time and place.

I really think that when there is the maturity to look or see for
yourself you don't need anything, just breathing in and breathing out.

Well what others do and think is none of my business, the only thing
I do is sing my little song.

LOL, I think I am totally of-subject now.

I once wrote that Krishnamurti and Jean Klein had a special place in my
heart and helped me a lot to come to the point of not-knowing and Jumping.
This is misleading.  

The only teacher I bow down to is the Teacher within. And this Teacher has
no name nor form. All my devotion is directed to that Teacher, and He is not
only my Teacher, but the best Friend I have. All other teachers only can
point at this Friend.
In these days of great confusion and suffering it is best to be honest and
directly dive within and find out for yourself.
In the end I am the Friend, but that is not my bhava. Otherwise I couldn't
write this.
And this is just what Muruganar is saying, is it not? Who is Sri Ramana
after all? The Friend!
Oh, I am such an old chattering cheater, there is no hope for me anymore...
Will you come to the Netherlands as well? I can see if I can find some girls
for you?
I AM is the Name, to gently foucus on breath in the here and now is
the way to sing the Name which is I AM. This leads you to natural and
therefore complete surrender. When surrender is complete, seperation is
dropped and all is seen as Reality or Self. This is 'I-I'. To live and love
this Truth you need I AM (Friend). Without this bhava you are 'I-I'.

Vicki Woodyard


Stop playing God and be God.

Inside out, upside down, behind, between, beneath the seen
I have searched for God.

On a little grave marker are these words, "Christ in you the hope of glory." 
When our daughter was dying, those words had come to me unbidden, so on the
marker they went.  This fall I stood by her grave again.  I was much older and
yet I have not learned much that is new, for the truth is ancient and lies

This Christ within is real, however; I have learned that.  Unfortunately, it is
neither automatic nor provable.  I recognize when my life is pliant and light;
when it is dappled with grace and healing.  The Christ-fish flits in the waters
of my soul.

I sometimes sit with sorrow and fight it mightily, using thoughts as if they
were potent things, but they are not.  Then anger arises and I try to stop it
from happening.  But beneath the anger, the tears are forming and suddenly I
find myself weeping at her grave again.

She is not dead; she is risen, but so am I, so am I.  My mind will never
appreciate this fact, for it deals in death and desertion, doesn't it?  You know
it does.  You know your loneliness haunts you.  So does mine.

Perhaps when we have let go of all that we hold dear, we will come to a place
of mysterious clarity, an evanescent acceptance.  In the meantime, I like to
talk about where I am and how the fish are biting.  Small talk.....just small

Vicki Woodyard

Jan Barendrecht

when the light is clear
could it be a lucid dream
now without a here?
or is it a bardo state
one with clear light as a bait?  

  The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is
the source of all true art and all science.  He to whom this emotion
is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in
awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

- Albert Einstein

Mark Hovila and Michael L.
I Am  

> I have interpreted statements like that below to mean that the
awareness of objects in the world as separate entities unto
themselves is what vanishes, not that there is no perception
whatsoever.  If there were no perception whatsoever, the sage would
not be able to communicate with us.  He would be like a stone, unable
to hear, speak, feel, etc.
> What do you say to that?
> Mark

Dear Mark:

The reason why the sage can appear to answer questions,
walk, talk etc., and yet have no perception of the world
is explained many times in many ways on this page:

My suggestion is,
keeping your question in mind,
read that page again very slowly
a few times.

Regarding interpretation,
slowly and patiently looking at
what is doing the interpreting
and what its motivations are
is the valuable lesson that can be learned
from interpretation.

The subject of interpretation is covered at this link:

That which allows one to see clearly
and to have no doubts
is covered at this link:

Take care,

with Love,

Michael L.

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