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#1703 - Monday, February 9, 2004 - Editor: Gloria Lee
It has no shape or form;
It is not square or round.
There are no things in words;
There are no words in things.
Deliberate exploitation is
Contrary to true function;
When meditating with no intention,
Everything is Zen.
- Tung-shan (807-869)
One who gives rise to the awakened mind should know that what is called a self or person, a living being or a life span, is not so in essence but only in concept. That names self, person, living being, or life span are names only. Subhuti, you should know that all things of the world are like this, and you should have confidence in their essence without names.
- Diamond Sutra
A single moon
Bright and clear
In an unclouded sky;
Yet still we stumble
In the worlds darkness.
- Ikkyu (1394-1481)
photo by Al Larus http://www.ferryfee.com/bluesky/Ice.htm
This affair is like the
bright sun in the blue sky, shining clearly, changeless and
motionless, without diminishing or increasing. It shines everywhere in the daily
activities of everyone, appearing in everything. Though you try to grasp it, you
cannot get it; though you try to abandon it, it always remains. It is vast and
unobstructed, utterly empty. Like a gourd floating on water, it cannot be reined in
or held down. Since ancient times, when good people of the Path have attained
this, theyve appeared and disappeared in the sea of birth and death, able to use
it fully. There is no deficit or surplus: like cutting up sandalwood, each piece is it.
- Ta Hui
quotes from www.dailyzen.com
Ashish Mahajan ~ Ramana Maharshi
Nisargadatta Maharaj and
A small cigarette smoking man from the slums of Bombay (Mumbai)
India, presented some the most profound teachings on Truth, Silence and
Non-Dualism ever. I humbly suggest reading his works, especially "I am
That", published by Acorn Press in 1998. The following quotes of his
about pure silence will resonate with you. Please enjoy.
"Whatever you may have to do, watch your mind. Also you must have
moments of complete inner peace and quiet, when your mind is absolutely
still. If you miss it, you miss the entire thing. If you do not, the
silence of the mind will dissolve and absorb all else."
"It has nothing to do with effort. Just turn away, look between the
thoughts, rather than at the thoughts. When you happen to walk in a
crowd, you do not fight every man you meet, you just find your way
between. When you fight, you invite a fight. But when you do not resist,
you meet no resistance. When you refuse to play the game, you are out of
"No particular thought can be mind's natural state, only silence.
Not the idea of silence, but silence itself. When the mind is in its
natural state, it reverts to silence spontaneously after every
experience, or, rather, every experience happens against the background
"To go beyond the mind, you must be silent and quiet. Peace and
silence, silence and peace - this is the way beyond. Stop asking
"These moments of inner quiet will burn out all obstacles without
fail. Don't doubt its efficacy. Try it. Silence is the main factor. In
peace and silence you grow. In peace and silence, the skin of the "I"
dissolves and the inner and the outer become one."
"Your hope lies in keeping silent in your mind and quiet in your
heart. Realized people are very quiet. You must realize yourself as the
immovable behind and beyond the movable, the silent witness of all that
All quotes are from "I am That" Acorn Press, C1998
~ ~ ~
"This silence, this
moment, every moment, if it's genuinely inside you,
brings what you need. There's nothing to believe. Only when I stopped
believing in myself did I come into this beauty. Sit quietly, and listen
for a voice that will say, 'Be more silent.' Die and be quiet. Quietness
is the surest sign that you've died. Your old life was a frantic running
from silence. Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in
~ ~ ~
"In listening and
stillness there is nobody who is still, and this
stillness doesn't refer to any object; it is absolutely objectless; it
is our real nature."
~ ~ ~
"Silence is the language God speaks and everything else is a bad
~ ~ ~
"Be quiet in your mind, quiet in your senses, and also quiet in your
body. Then, when all these are quiet, don't do anything. In that state
truth will reveal itself to you. It will appear in front of you and
ask," what do you want?"
~ ~ ~
"Empty yourself of everything. Let the mind rest at peace. The ten
thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return. They
grow and flourish and then return to the source. Returning to the source
is stillness, which is the way of nature."
~ ~ ~
"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that
everything in this life has a purpose. There is no need to go to India
or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence
right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub."
~ ~ ~
"Things that are real are
given and received in Silence. God has been
everlastingly working in Silence, unobserved, unheard, except by those
who experience His Infinite Silence."
~ ~ ~
"At the still point of the
turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But
neither arrest nor movement. And do not all it fixity, Where past and
future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent
nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no
dance, and there is only the dance."
~ ~ ~
"Thought comes to an end.
Then there is that sense of absolute silence
in the brain. All the movement of thought has ended."
~ ~ ~
"No particular thought can
be mind's natural state, only silence. Not
the idea of silence, but silence itself. When the mind is in its natural
state, it reverts to silence spontaneously after every experience, or,
rather, every experience happens against the background of silence."
~ ~ ~
No, my soul is not asleep.
It is awake, wide awake.
It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches,
its eyes wide open
far off things, and listens
at the shores of the great silence.
- Antonio Machado
~ ~ ~
"Under all speech that is
good for anything there lies a silence that is
better. Silence is deep as Eternity; speech is shallow as Time."
Mary Bianco ~ NDS News http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/7874731.htm
|Posted on Wed, Feb. 04, 2004|
of Japanese style can accent gardens, even in winter
By Becky Homan
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
(KRT) - Snow, in the Japanese floral calendar, is the first flower of the year.
It collects in the upturned needles of pines - often pruned in a Japanese garden to hold snow most beautifully and efficiently.
Snow also covers the ground where, later on, plums drop their blossoms.
And snow fills the smoothed surfaces of empty stone basins, where spent blooms from nearby perennials float in midsummer.
"That's the way that Japanese gardeners and people who follow the calendar in Japan divide the seasons," says Scott McCracken, senior horticulturist at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Japanese Garden.
They start with sekka, he says, literally meaning "snow flower," in the months of December, January and February.
Then they measure the year as nine other seasons or sub-seasons, he says, based on blooms, or peak of growth, from such plants as: cherry blossoms (February, March), peach blossoms (March, April), forsythia and wisteria (April, May), iris leaves and blooms (May), lotus (June, July), bamboo (July), lespedeza, or bush clover (August, September), chrysanthemum (October, November), and Japanese maple leaves (November).
But snow comes first.
"When you have snow, to me, it's the best time of all," says McCracken. "It brings a Japanese garden down to its basic elements. You notice the shapes of things - boulders and how the trees are pruned."
A blank canvas is what some would call it. Others see it as a winter-white version of the meditative space that's mostly green in summer.
"Japanese people aren't crazy," says McCracken. "They know that snow is not a flower. But they do think of each individual snowflake as a flower. And as the snowflakes collect on a tree's needles, it's almost like a pine is blooming."
photo by Al Larus
~ Awakened Awareness Not Real In the early 1950's, when I was a small
child, my parents bought a
little black and white television. I loved watching Kukla, Fran and
Ollie, and other shows. I considered the characters in those shows
to be my friends, as real as I was. In the evening, Roy Rogers and
Dale Evans would sing me a lullaby, "Happy trails to you, until we
meet again," and I would skip merrily off to bed, knowing that I
would see them soon.
I wondered how my little friends got into that small box, and what
they did when it was turned off. I asked my older sister, who was
probably about seven. She tried to explain television to me, but as I
was only three years old, I couldn't understand her. Finally in
exasperation she said to me, "Well, they are not real."
"Not Real!" I was horrified.
"They don't know that, do they?" I asked my sister in hushed tones.
The worst thing I could think of was that my little friends would
somehow discover that they were not real, and become frightened.
This was very much the mind set I had when I met Papaji in 1991, and
he told me that I too was not real. I was shocked! After twenty
years of spiritual seeking, one might have thought I had heard that
before. He said it with such complete conviction, that I knew he was
right. But I could not comprehend that this was good news.
He said, "Who are you in deep sleep?"
Well that didn't comfort me much, as I told him, "But I don't
remember myself in deep sleep."
He tried to convince me that I did, but I couldn't grasp what he was
saying, and it seemed to me, that if what he was saying was true, a
sort of negative nihilism was the actual order of the day.
All of this perplexed me for quite a while, as I tried to grapple
with what "not real" actually meant.
Finally after having met Jean Klein and Shri Ranjit Maharaj, and
other awakened beings, who seemed to be the happiest people I had
ever seen, I began to be more comfortable with the idea. If they
knew they were not real, and were so happy, then bring it on.
Now, thirteen years after meeting Papaji, I am much more comfortable
with "not real" It doesn't frighten me anymore that I, who I thought
I was, am not real. In fact, it pleases me.
What is not real? That which comes and goes. What is real? That
which does not come and go. Do I come and go? No. Everything comes
and goes, but I do not. So simple. That which does not come and go is
myself, and I understand this myself has wonderful qualities. So
simple. -- Durga (who still takes herself to be what she is not).
Seeing, in Three Pieces
we must see
through the shimmering cloth
of daily life, its painted,
evasive facings of what to eat,
to wear? Which work
matters? Is a bird more
or less than a man?
There have been people
who helped the world. Named
or not named. They weren't interested
in what might matter,
doubled over as they were
with compassion. Laden
branches, bright rivers.
When a bulb burns out
we just change it--
it's not the bulb we love;
it's the light.
(Wind Somewhere and Shade)
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