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#1657 - Thursday, December 25, 2003 - Editor: Gloria Lee 

"veiled in flesh, the godhead see" 

"Nature is too thin a screen; the glory of the omnipresent God bursts through everwhere."
      - Emerson 

Indeed how wonderful!
I adore myself.

For I have taken form
But I am still one.

Neither coming nor going,
Yet I am still everywhere.

-Ashtavakra Gita 2:12

From "The Heart of Awareness

 Reflection by Christiana
Advent-Christ Mass personal preparation and prayer

Week 4- Movement, no movement

I struggled this year, Lord, and dipped into a 12
hour period of profound sadness. There was no
specific reason of woundedness, except perhaps the
outer face just got weary of the social cheer of
others, the endless questioning of whether I was
"ready" for Christmas and how I would spend it.
How do I explain that it is an inner season for me
without getting those odd looks. How do I explain
that it is not Xmas but Christ's Mass that brings
cheer to this heart. For that 12 hour period, I
got hooked and felt alone instead of solitary;
felt failure instead of resolve.

Then I asked my "self" what does it mean to be
human? What does it mean to have a human heart
within which Your Light is always lite, even when
obfuscated by emotional storylines? Gently placing
these questions on the altar of Our Heart, I robed
in the mantle of solitary practice and let you
consume the felt imprisonment of the story's

In emptiness, I heard a powerful question a friend
asked: "can one look upon the void; can you look
upon Christ's face, and not be moved?" Not moved:
to or from; excess, fear, exultation, exageration,
regret, specialness, language, human
interpretation. You who animate Alpha and Omega
for the human animal, abide in that empty-fullness
from which all is created.

Allowing Your Presence It's rebirth in my heart
today, I meet your eyes and pray for awareness to
not be moved. 

 Viorica Weissman - MillionPathsRumi - Mathnavi II, 1750 

Each of My creatures has its own pathEach way to worthy each is in My gift;Hardness of heart plucks each from the hearth,You are My servant whose words should upliftAll who hear you and receive My message.I am not labour to be lost in the fickle passageOf a fine tongue and splendid speech, there's moreMuch more I seek for My creature's prayer to be sure.It is the spirit and the spring of inner feeling,The innnocence of heart that sorely beseeches the LordWhich knows not clever language, but appealingFrom his centre My creature finds always the wordsUntainted by conceit and its siblings but fired with Love.Words born of bereavement, conceived from burning,Burning, burning which rises up like thirst aboveThe carcass of thought and fine speech, freshly turningTheir faces to Me in their simple, heart-felt yearning.Remember, Moses, the supplicants who sets his heartIn forms is a shadow; the soul which burns to be a partOf the Greater is the living heart within the encrusted formOf prayer, which cries out constantly to be taken by storm. The religion of the heart is not a stark monument of stone;Lovers of God have no religion save yearning for Me alone.  


Words of ParadiseSelected Poems of Rumi 

 Zen Oleary - TrueVision Christmas Morning

I see the coming morning like a pebble
waiting to glow in the rising sun, it’s surface
imprinted with the footsteps of a small bird,
and I can feel feathered wings in my mind,
the quick scrabble of feet stirring up dust clouds
as he hunts for seeds or insects,
the soft aha call as he finds breakfast,
here amid the fallen leaves and petals
of a now gone yesterday, an unimagined time
in the mind of bird and me,

For it is always now, this moment,
this sitting in front of a blank screen with
the dark squiggles I have made,
these heiroglyphs of the soul, these
weather reports from the wind blowing through me,
this morning it’s filled with the scents
of jasmine and warm green tea,
with words like roses scattered upon the pages
of a book of light and dreams, of the images and
of Sufi saints that call to me across the centuries
in this still dark morning that waits for first light,

and too there are recipes for delights from China,
for crispy catfish and green onion pancakes
and stories of the history of Hunan, and
I see the Great Wall in my mind’s eye and feel
my feet itch while my tongue sweats in anticipation,

but most of all I feel blessed to be here in this time
and place,
this Christmas morning, in this webbed existence,
this floating home of family and friends,
and to feel my smile rising with the sun and
spilling all around me, can you see it too?

Zen Oleary
December 25, 2003

 Al Larus - TrueVision Four Photos  

 Kheyala - HarshaSatsanghAdventures at Rasa Ranch #15012/22/03 A friend came over to our house today.  She brought with her a big hunk of clay and the kids and I played with it for hours.  Finally, we crafted a beautiful menorah and tonight I lit the candles for the first time in about fifteen years.  I even remembered the blessing and I sang it as Ananda lit them one by one.  We put the menorah on the windowsill in the kitchen and turned out the lights.  As we stood and gazed at the candles in their silent, golden goodness, it felt as if, for the first time ever, I understood the true meaning, the true miracle of Chanukah.     

 Vicki Woodyard - NDS 

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 within.

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 talk.

Vicki Woodyard 

 Gill Eardley - Allspirit Inspiration 

Rainer Maria Rilke on the death of his father:

*Within my deepest hope*

As for myself, what has died for me has died, so to speak, into my
own heart: when I looked for him, the person who vanished has
collected himself strangely and so surprisingly in me, and it was so
moving to feel he was now only there that my enthusiasm for serving
his new existence, for deepening and glorifying it, took the upper
hand almost at the very moment when pain would otherwise have
invaded and devastated the whole landscape of my spirit. When I
remember how I - often with the utmost difficulty in understanding
and accepting each other - loved my father! Often, in childhood, my
mind became confused and my heart grew numb at the mere thought
that someday he might no longer be; my existence seemed to me so
wholly conditioned through him (my existence, which from the start
was pointed in such a different direction!) that his departure was to
my innermost self synonymous with my own destruction.. . , but so
deeply is death rooted in the essence of love that (if only we are
cognizant of death without letting ourselves be misled by the uglinesses
and suspicions that have been attached to it) it nowhere contradicts
love: where, after all, can it drive out someone whom we have carried
unsayably in our heart except into this very heart, where would the
"idea" of this loved being exist, and his unceasing influence (: for
how could that cease which even while he lived with us was more and
more independent of his tangible presence).., where would this always secret
influence be more secure than in us?!
Where can we come closer to it, where more purely celebrate it, when
obey it better, than when it appears combined with our own voices, as
if our heart had learned a new language, a new song, a new strength!

(To Countess Margot Sizzo-Noris-Crouy, January 6, 1923)  

 Sukandar Hadinoto - The Daily Meditation 

Grief is like a stream of running through our life, and its important to understand that it doesn't go away. Our grief lasts a lifetime, but our relationship to it changes. Moving on is the period in which the knot of your grief is untied. It's the time of renewal. Not a return to life as it was before the death you experienced - you can't go back, you're a different person now, changed by the journey through grief. We understand that even when someone dies, the relationship continues. It's that the person is no longer located outside of us. We are developing what we could call an internal relationship with this person and that allows us to reinvest in our life. If we follow the path through grief to wholeness, we may discover undying love. 

~ Frank Ostaseski 

 Mark Otter 

Hi Gang, Mary's son Christopher is back from Baghdad, healthy and hale. whew! 

Love, Mark 

Ed note: Mary Bianco is a dear friend to all the highlights editors,and co-edits the NDSN (nonduality news) list. We all rejoice that her son is safely home. 

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