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#1667  Sunday, January 4, 2004  Editor: Gloria  

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? -Einstein  


I cannot sit still with my countrymen in chains.
I cannot act mute
Hearing the world’s loneliness
Crying near the Beloved’s heart.

My love for God is such
That I could dance with Him tonight without you,
But I would rather have you there.

Is your caravan lost?  

It is,
If you no longer weep from gratitude or happiness,
Or weep
From being cut deep with the awareness
Of the extraordinary beauty
That emanates from the most simple act
And common object.

My dear, is your caravan lost?  

It is if you can no longer be kind to yourself
And loving to those who must live
With the sometimes difficult task of loving you.

At least come to know
That someone untied your camel last night
For I hear its gentle voice
Calling for God in the desert.

At least come to know
That Hafiz will always hold a lantern
With the galaxies blooming inside
And that

I will always guide your soul to
The divine warmth and exhilaration
Of our Beloved’s

(“The Gift” – versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)
  Web version:



The sage avoids being and nothingness

  You are not the same as or different from
Conditions on which you depend;
You are neither severed from
Nor forever fused with them - This is the deathless teaching
Of buddhas who care for the world.      

To have become a person means to have emerged contingently from a matrix of genetic, psychological, social and cultural conditions. You are neither reducible to one or all of them, nor are you separate from them. While a person is more than a DNA code, a psychological profile and a social or cultural background, he or she cannot be understood apart from such factors. You are unique not because you possess an essential metaphysical quality that differs from the essential metaphysical quality of everyone else, but because you have emerged from a unique and unrepeatable set of conditions.      

This "deathless teaching" is traditionally described as one that avoids the extreme positions of eternalism and nihilism. Nagarjuna describes these positions as fixed opinions about oneself:  

"I am me, I will never not be" -
The longing for eternity.

"I used to be, I am not any more" -
The cut of annihilation.

As a solution to this dilemma, he points to a middle way in which "the sage avoids being and nothingness." Emptiness does not entail abandoning the dualities of thought and language, but learning to live with them more lightly.    

Stephen Batchelor, Verses from the Center - A Buddhist Vision of the Sublime,
Riverhead Books, New York, 2000

Dear Fellow-reader:  

The January issue of the TAT Forum is now on-line at 

This month's contents include:  

Peace of Mind Despite Success (part 2) by Richard Rose | On Learning to Listen by Bob Fergeson | Poems by Shawn Nevins | The Door in the Wall by H.G. Wells | The Waking Dream by Brian Kay | Humor  

We hope you find the material inspiring as you start off the new year.
Forum staff

  In memory of our dog Molly, who gave so much love for 14 years, and was buried tonight. I am posting this story that honors the transforming power of the unconditional love that dogs bring into so many lives. Only one of many such programs. (If the slide show doesn't work from here, go to website.) -Gloria


Unwanted canines, handlers teach each other lesson of caring

By Kimberly Matas

Prison inmates train service dogs

Prison inmates and unwanted dogs are getting a chance to help people with disabilities through a training program organized by Tucson volunteers.

"Not only do these men transform the lives of these dogs," she said, "they transform their own lives."

"The guys have been telling me the books I've been making them read are books they could apply to their daily lives," Besenick said. "They're not allowed to punish the dog to correct them using any force or manipulation, so that requires they have to rethink."

Alphonzo Hampton, 29, is serving time for murder and won't be eligible for parole until 2012.

"I spent a lot of time being coldhearted, or trying to be anyway, and coming back to your true self is love and being loved, and these dogs need love," he said.

"I'm no stone. I'm no stone at all. I want to help these ladies and the people who need these dogs."

  The Wisdom of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Whenever love is withheld and suffering allowed to spread, war
becomes inevitable. Our indifference to our neighbor's sorrow brings
suffering to our door."  

Red Sky  

The sky was red this morning with clouds glowing red. I saw large black birds flying across the sky gracefully and wrote...  

white gulls flying across
red sky at dawn
look black  

Jerry Katz    

    The clouds that wander through the sky have no roots, no home,
Nor do the distinctive thoughts floating through the mind.
Once the Self-mind is seen,
Discrimination stops.

-Tilopa, "The Song of Mahamudra"


by Alan Larus


by Alan Larus

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