Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:


Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day

Nondual Highlights Issue #1701 Saturday, February 7, 2004 Editor: Mark

NOTICE: As of Feb. 9, 2004, the webmaster is on holiday. The archive will be updated early March, 2004. Thank you for your understanding. Read the most current issues here. You will have to join the Nondual Highlights group in order to gain access. --Jerry Katz


Grief is a tidal wave that over takes you,
smashes down upon you with unimaginable force,
sweeps you up into its darkness,
where you tumble and crash against unidentifiable surfaces,
only to be thrown out on an unknown beach, bruised, reshaped...
Grief will make a new person out of you,
if it doesn't kill you in the making.

Stephanie Ericsson

More here:

Never bear more than one kind of trouble at a time.
Some people bear all three--All that they have had, All they have now,
and All they expect to have.

- Edward Everett Hale

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. -- Kahlil Gibran

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. -- Kenji Miyazawa

The Well of Grief

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief

turning downward through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe

will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,

nor find in the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for something else.

- David Whyte from
Where Many Rivers Meet published by Many Rivers Press

Making Peace with War

By Rudi Harst

Perhaps it would have been different if I'd been living in New York or D.C. at the time. But on 9/11, the events seemed fairly far off and surreal to me. As violent and destructive as the airplane attacks were, I was much more affected by my fellow Americans' fearful reactions than by the terrorists' actions. Two days later the swirling storm of stories and images really began to penetrate my heart. Then it became very personal, taking form in a moment that still echoes through my soul today.

On September 13th, I was desperately hurrying to get to the Mennonite Church to perform at an interfaith peace service sponsored by the PeaceCenter. I'd agreed to sing at this particular event two months earlier, fully expecting it to be another uplifting, yet depressingly familiar peace rally attended by the same small group of faces I've been seeing at such events for years. But 9/11 changed everything. I was pretty sure the church would be packed, giving our community a much-needed opportunity to explore alternatives to the belligerent flag-waving and chest thumping which had engulfed our nation for the past two days. In short, I was very eager to get there and speak my piece about peace.

Unfortunately, our two-year old son, Mateo, didn't share my enthusiasm. He didn't want to stop playing, finish eating or have his diaper changed - and he sure as heck didn't want to be rushed into leaving the house. My wife, Zet was busy elsewhere, we hadn't found a baby-sitter, and the only option was to take Mateo with me, whether either of us liked it or not. He began crying as soon as we got in the car, accelerating into a full-blown temper tantrum before we'd driven two blocks.

In keeping with our long-term family policy, I pulled the car over to the curb, turned around in my seat, tried to stay calm and distract him. No luck. More screaming. Time running short. To heck with our family policy. I drove on, tempers running high on both sides of the car. Then Mateo threw a toy at me. I immediately slammed on the brakes, pulled into a parking lot, jerked open the back door and started screaming at the top of my lungs, demanding his cooperation. All my frustration came spilling out, filling the car with rage. That sure showed him. Scared him quiet, lips quivering, eyes fearful, not another peep.

Mission accomplished, I slammed the door shut and headed back to my side of the car – when suddenly the violence and foolishness of my actions tore through my heart. I stood stock-still, stunned by the realization that I'd verbally beaten and bruised my beloved boy into submission just as certainly as if I had attacked him with a baseball bat. And why? Because I was in a hurry to get to a peace rally where I could urge others to explore non-violent responses to violence!

It was pretty silly, and I would have laughed, but I was feeling far too foolish and pathetic. Climbing into the back seat, I begged Mateo to forgive me. But looking into his beautiful, dark sad eyes I could immediately see that remorse and apologies wouldn't suffice. He and I were both hungry for the experience of peace. So we simply sat there together in silence for a long minute or two. Feeling our feelings, looking at each other with love, finding what peace we could. Not for long, but long enough, I suppose. The storm passed.

The service was well underway by the time that we'd finally found a parking space and wound our way through the overflow crowd. Just in time for me to take my turn at the microphone, where I introduced my song by relating the incident with Mateo. I was able to make light of it, and the audience laughed with me.

But the lesson was plain to see, and there was nothing funny about it, then or now. In that painfully transparent moment, it became clear that somehow we must learn to change our ways, first as individuals, then as nations, and then as a planet.

We cannot make peace by subduing others with threats, jets, or bigger better bombs. Whether a war breaks out in the family car or on a far-off battlefield, everyone always loses. Peace is far more than just the absence of violence-it is an active, ongoing process that requires mutual respect, reconciliation and communication instead of confrontation. Anything less is just another mess waiting to happen in the form of the next shouting match, the next car bombing, the next big international crisis.


Rudi Harst is the Minister of the Celebration Circle of San Antonio, an interfaith congregation focussed on experiencing spirituality through the Sacred Arts. Rudi, who is also a professional writer and recording artist, has spoken and sung at countless New Thought churches, conferences, corporations and schools throughout the country. Contact him at [email protected]

More stories here:

The Night Abraham Called to the Stars

Do you remember the night Abraham first saw
The stars? He cried to Saturn: "You are my Lord!"
How happy he was! When he saw the Dawn Star,

He cried, ""You are my Lord!" How destroyed he was
When he watched them set. Friends, he is like us:
We take as our Lord the stars that go down.

We are faithful companions to the unfaithful stars.
We are diggers, like badgers; we love to feel
The dirt flying out from behind our back claws.

And no one can convince us that mud is not
Beautiful. It is our badger soul that thinks so.
We are ready to spend the rest of our life

Walking with muddy shoes in the wet fields.
We resemble exiles in the kingdom of the serpent.
We stand in the onion fields looking up at the night.

My heart is a calm potato by day, and a weeping
Abandoned woman by night. Friend, tell me what to do,
Since I am a man in love with the setting stars.

- Robert Bly

A Daily Joy to be Alive

No matter how serene things
may be in my life,
how well things are going,
my body and soul
are two cliff peaks
from which a dream of who I can be
falls, and I must learn
to fly again each day,
or die.

Death draws respect
and fear from the living.
Death offers
no false starts. It is not
a referee with a pop-gun
at the startling
of a hundred yard dash.

I do not live to retrieve
or multiply what my father lost
or gained.

I continually find myself in the ruins
of new beginnings,
uncoiling the rope of my life
to descend ever deeper into unknown abysses,
tying my heart into a knot
round a tree or boulder,
to insure I have something that will hold me,
that will not let me fall.

My heart has many thorn-studded slits of flame
springing from the red candle jars.
My dreams flicker and twist
on the altar of this earth,
light wrestling with darkness,
light radiating into darkness,
to widen my day blue,
and all that is wax melts
in the flame-

I can see treetops!

Jimmy Santiago Baca from
Black Mesa Poems

Stanzas Of The Soul

1. One dark night,
fired with love's urgent longings
- ah, the sheer grace! -
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

2. In darkness, and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
- ah, the sheer grace! -
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.

3. On that glad night,
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in my heart.

4. This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
- him I knew so well -
there in a place where no one appeared.

5. O guiding night!
O night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her Lover.

6. Upon my flowering breast
which I kept wholly for him alone,
there he lay sleeping,
and I caressing him
there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

7. When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

8. I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.

- The Dark Night by St. John of the Cross.

Copyright 1991 ICS Publications. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, if this copyright notice is included.

More here:

1. Through the grace of God alone, the desire for nonduality arises in wise men to save them from great fear.

Nonduality - monistic Consciousness, in which the knower, knowledge, and knowable - soul and God - become one; the highest realization of Divinity.

Fear - The word "fear" includes also such states of mind as insecurity, despair, and grief, all of which arise from a consciousness of oneself as limited and separate from others and which therefore can be dispelled only by realizing oneself as the All.

- Chapter 1, Verse 1 of The Avadhuta Gita of Dattatreya

More here:

from Chuck Hillig's book Seeds for the Soul...  

"Every single moment, you have the choice to either lie about "what's so" for you or to tell the absolute truth about it and risk the consequences that come with just being who.. and how... you are.  

Either express your truth with integrity... or you'll depress your heart with certainty.   If your "outsides" don't match your "insides," then you're not being fully authentic in the world.   You're just trying to look good. "

top of page

Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: