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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #175

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Why would anyone go through the trouble of "emptying" oneself of
"interpretation/knowing capacity/feelings"? One is always empty, and the
beauty of emptiness is that it can be 'filled' with things like
interpretations, knowledge and feelings, without ever once becoming
full. There is no need to empty that which is already empty by nature.
There is no need to get rid of anything in order to 'become empty'.
Emptiness embraces and accepts all as it comes, so if knowledge or
feelings arise, what is the use of wiping it out? Besides, who would be
doing the wiping? The unconcerned man? Sounds like a very concerned man
to me, if he is still out there wiping!

Love, Mira

SKYE posted

Excerpt from 'The Transmission of the Mind Outside The

The master said, 'Just look into things that concern
yourself but be unconcerned about other people's.' He added,
'This is like a mad dog barking when there is motion without
even distinguishing between the wind in the grass and that among
the trees.'
He further said, 'This Ch'an sect of mine, inherited from
past generations, has never taught people to seek knowledge
and interpretation. It formulates the study of Tao only to
receive and guide beginners, but in reality Tao cannot be
learned, for the study of it (is a passion that) screens the
Tao. Tao has neither direction nor location, and is called
the Mahayana-mind. This mind is neither within nor without
nor in-between, and is beyond direction and location. The
most important thing is to avoid knowing and interpreting.
It is only said that the capacity of passion is where the
Tao lies, and when this capacity is exhausted the mind is
beyond direction and location. This Tao is the Bhütatathatã
and is nameless. Worldly men do not understand this and
deceive themselves by staying in the midst of passions.
In case people do not understand it, it is expediently
called Tao but you should not cling to (the word) Tao
thereby giving rise to interpretation. Hence the saying,
'When the fish is caught, forget all about the trap' and
then your body and mind will attain to the Tao of
themselves. He who knows his mind and reaches its source is
called a sramana.' The sramana fruit results from quieting
passions but not from study. Now if you use the mind to seek
mind, this is relying on the outside to learn (and copy)
something from it; what then will you achieve?
The ancients had sharp minds and as soon as they heard of a
teaching word, they immediately stopped learning; hence they
were called 'Men of Tao in their non-active and beyond
learning states'. Nowadays, people want to widen their
knowledge and interpretation by gathering meanings in the
scriptures, and call this their practice without
appreciating that wide knowledge and interpretation can turn
into obstruction (to their realization of the Truth). This
is like giving too much butter to a baby without knowing if
it can digest it or not. Students of the Three Vehicles (of
sravakas, pratyeka-buddhas and Bodhisattvas) are all like
this and are called those who do not digest what they eat.
Therefore, all knowledge and interpretation which are not
assimilable, are poisons, for they drive people into the
realm of birth and death. There is no such thing in the
absolute state of suchness (Bhutatathata). Hence it is said
that "in my royal storehouse there is no such sword."
You should banish from and empty yourself of all previous
(knowledge and) interpretation; this is the void Tathagata


<snip> This Tao is the Bhütatathatã and is nameless.

Difficult name for a nameless....
Skye, no offence intended. I am just such a nitwit when it comes to
ancient texts, Buddhist or Hindu. I never had a clue about the meanings
of words like Tao, Kundalini, etc. and I'm afraid I'll never learn,
'cause every time I read those terms I can't help but laugh. Really, it
is not my intention to ridicule any of those teachings, it is just that
my mind refuses to engage in the activity of absorbing and assigning a
certain meaning to those terms, only to reject that very interpretation
again. Reject because the meaning that I have assigned to the word Tao,
is still not the Tao, even if I have assigned it the best imaginable
meaning in my mind. So this mind just won't take on the challenge
anymore, and remains quiet in the face of all these incredible terms.
Let others know their meanings, I just can't help laughing. (I should do
it quietly though, for it honestly isn't my intention to ridicule anyone
who values knowing the meaning of such terms). But between the words and
the laughs, I appreciate your effort of posting them. I believe that I
much better understand your ROFL language tho :-)
Love, Mira


...Kundalini, for some, may arise spontaneously, and might never be
called kundalini. I am thinking of someone I knew, who was "hit" by an
unexpected energy that fluctuated wildly, generated unusual, sometimes
devestating swings of emotion. She sought psychological services and
was helped by medication to regulate moods, to stabilize, to relate
positively to self and others, and to be able to organize time to work
productively. She also benefitted by going beyond the "medical model" of
this treatment, and learning to define herself as a spiritual being who
was learning to use life energy and awareness in a focused way. She
never called it kundalini, and I don't think having a sanscrit
vocabulary would have fit for her or helped her. But calling it energy,
and thinking of it as "spiritual" definitely did help her. She is a very
intelligent, positive, and open person - a delight. I think about her
sometimes, and I wonder about the whole issue of learning to define
onself as a spiritual being and whether and how our society assists or
hinders this for people experiencing spontaneously arising internal
energies. I also think that each person has a "yoga" and this may
sometimes be their relationships and awareness within their "life

-- love, Dan --


dan: So what is this awareness? It's "not a thing", and
calling it awareness is also a linguistic artifact and

skye: of course, so no point in analyzing
mere linguistics.
Its a formidable task to respond to a list
with ones whole being, not with just the head. When we come
to the sudden inner realization of our True-nature, we will
be able to respond instantly without reflection.
You are You! You are only You-that is all.

dan: And I celebrate the beauty of this moment, of this
awareness in which you and I share these communications.
-- with love --

skye: yes, a pure and unlimited beauty, that is all that's
happening now.

much love to you dan and all


"Do teachers actually whack their students on the head with a stick?"

Hello, Mirror dear:
This whacking by teachers is only in Zen Buddhism, not in the other
schools (Theravada, Vajrayana (Tibetan), Pure Land, etc.).
It is part of the Zen tradition, and has been used for hundreds of years
as a means to "wake up" the student, or at the least, to urge them on,
in their sitting (it is primarily used when a student is meditating
(zazen). The old masters used all kinds of "violent" methods to jolt
their students out of their delusions - whacking them seemed the primary
one - it reportedly produced many enlightened beings. (The book Skye
quoted from is over 20 years old, i believe, and the dialogue is from a
monastery in Japan.)

This practice has not been accepted too freely in the West, it seems - i
think probably because we associate whacking with abusive parents rather
than loving teachers. ,^)) hmm...of course, there were the

The Zen monastery that i stayed in in the U.S. (ZMM) modified the
practice to a monitor walking up and down behind the meditators. Here
is their definition: "The kyosaku (long flat stick carried by zendo
monitors during periods of zazen) is used only when a sitter explicitly
requests it for relief of shoulder, back or neck tension. Its use is an
expression of compassion. To request the kyosaku, put your hands in
gassho as the monitor approaches your seat. When the monitor stops in
front or behind you, the two of you gassho, together. Offer one shoulder
by bending your head to the side, and then offer the other. After the
monitor has struck both acupressure points, bow again and the monitor
will move on. The use of the kyosaku serves to keep the atmosphere in
the zendo crisp and awake."

i was a bit leery of staying there initially because of the"stick", but
soon got used to hearing it - there was no feeling of violence connected
to it any time. There was this constant urgency to wake up, very often
with verbal reminders. "Keep going - you can do it! This is the most
important time of your life!" etc.
The last week of every month (sesshin), one sits zazen from 5AM until 10
PM every day, (with teachings, interviews, walking meditation, morning
and evening rituals as breaks), and this encouragement is welcomed.

The call of Zen Buddhism is a sense of urgency to use every moment of
our lives, in this, the greatest endeavor a human being can undertake.
Every evening, in a Zen monastery, the head monk recites this gatha:
"Let me respectfully remind you, life and death are of supreme
importance. Time swiftly passes by, and opportunity is lost. Each of us
should strive to awaken, awaken, take heed....(here he goes up an
octave)...Do not squander your life."

After my stay at the Zen monastery, i went immediately over to the
Tibetan Buddhist monastery where i usually visit. They welcomed me with
knowing smiles, telling me that they are often a haven for those who
have survived the Zen stay. "Everyone from ZMM comes here for a little R
& R." The contrast was obvious: at the Zen monastery, everything is
immaculate, impeccable, and a tight schedule is followed every minute.

At the Tibetan monastery, there are teaching and chanting schedules and
you can go or not - your whole routine is up to you. At the Zen
monastery, they have meals that are ritualized, so even your eating is a
meditation - quite beautiful actually for a hundred people to eat in
silence, in unison, in the zendo.

The Tibetan center lays out a sumptuous buffet, and you take what you
want - seconds fine, and eat out on a patio overlooking distant
mountains, with deer chomping away on the green slope before you. If
flies swarm, you just brush them away, and talking to one another is

i would imagine that each tradition serves it purpose for particular
student's needs. i was more familiar with the Tibetan, and with Hindu
ashrams, so going to the Zen monastery was an excellent opportunity to
see if i had the balls or not ,^)). As someone mentioned, rather like
basic training. Rough while going through it, but a sense of
accomplishment afterwards. And even more importantly, for some of us
indulgent, spoiled Westerners, like old woman, a source of self

One of the things i learned in the Zen monastery was how to clean
something. Hoboy! You are set a "chore" for 4 hours a day. A monk
monitors your work. For example, five of us were assigned to clean the
kitchen for the 4 hours. i would scrub the countertop - my assigned
section - diligently, making sure it was as clean as could be, and bow
before the monk when i thought it was done. She would come over and
inspect, and point out all the crevices and cracks i had missed. When as
a group we felt we were finished, she might stand there, survey our
work, and then say, "you know, i think it might be a good idea to take
everything out of the cabinets, clean the surfaces, wash and dry
everything, and put it back." And off we would go.... So, anyway, i have
looked at straightening up my garbage pile a lot differently since

Well, i have been rambling.
Hope some of this is helpful.

All of above is just reporting. For old woman, only whacking she does is
in her dreams when Richard visits pile.


"....Within light there is darkness,
but do not try to understand the darkness.
Within darkness there is light,
but do not look for the light.
...the absolute works together with the relative like two arrows meeting
in mid-air.
Reading words, you should grasp the great reality.
Do not judge by any standards.
If you do not see the Way,
you do not see it even as you walk it.
When you walk the Way,
it is not near, it is not far.
If you are deluded, you are mountains and rivers away from it.
I respectfully say to those who wish to be enlightened:
Do not waste your time by day or night."

>From Idenity of Relative and Absolute, chanted in some Zen rituals


xan: I am grateful that I no longer need the identity of *a spiritual
person* in order to know the One Self. The moments of profoundest
presence come as spontaneous gifts. The opening of my heart and mind
occurs in the simplest ways.

Dan: Yes. I enjoyed your statements about this. Having the identity of
a "spiritual person" can become a limitation, particularly as it becomes
a "definition" associated with "do's" and "don't's". If all arises and
subsides within Spirit, and is not other than Spirit, then what does it
mean for me to be a "spiritual person"? I enjoy this presence by being
"simply who I am," "this one here". Profound presence is indeed a gift,
and a gift I don't open to by labelling it, but by simply "receiving".
A receiving where the giver is what is given, and is the receiver.
-- love -- Dan

Dan wrote:

My view of violence fits well with Krishnamurti's
observations --

when we accept an authority, we do violence;

when we assume we know the way for another, we do violence;

when we strive for an ideal we do violence;

when we project onto another we do violence.


I have been contemplating the notion of non-violence
the past few days, and have began noticing just how 'violent'
such a path or ideal could possibly be.

Specifically, I have begun witnessing how it is possible,
and actually rather common place, for people dedicated to
the ideal of ahimsa to not only inspire but become silent
(unconscious) conspirators to violence. It's stunning.

These words you offered of Krishnamurti's, Dan, amazed
me not only in their clarity and simplicity, but in their
timelyness. They clearly and beautifully state 'how' someone
dedicated to ahimsa or some other benevolent value system
can wind up perpetuating the very condition they would
eradicate or avoid.

My lessons these past days seem to be coming fast and
furious, all centering around the importance of vigilance in
rejecting *nothing*, denying *nothing*, resisting *nothing*....
being deeply imprinted by hearing this over and over and over again from
first one place and then another, in one form
and then another.

It simply isn't possible to 'do no harm' as long as we
value some people and ideas more than others; or recognize
one person as 'authority' and not another; or seek out the
company of some people while avoiding others, etc.

I'm not saying one should or shouldn't do this. Afterall,
it's human nature. But how easy it is to fool one self into
believing that because one does not say angry words, or eat
meat, or because one refuses to kill a bug that one is not
still creating, inspiring or projecting violence.

Constant vigilance and awareness beyond simply what goes into
our mouths, or what comes out of our mouths is critical
it seems. By this, I mean being fully aware and honest and
most especially accepting about, the thoughts that flow thru
us (as well as the thoughts that get rejected) the values we
cling to or reject, and the company we seek or avoid.

It means allowing a heart that holds no regrets, because
nothing, absolutely nothing within us, or from us, is
'refused' or 'denied'.

Otherwise, it seems, we are cleverly deceiving ourselves.

It would seem that to free one's self of a need for value
systems....any value system....could be an act of nonviolence.

To free one's self of the need to save, change or 'free' another,
would be an incredible act of nonviolence.

To free one's self from the need or desire to seek certain
company, while avoiding others, could also be an act of nonviolence.

It's truly frightening, though.....that much freedom, I mean.


TIM G. posted from *I am That* by Nisargadatta

Q: If both dream and escape from dream are imaginings, what is the way

NM: There is no need of a way out! Don't you see that a way out is also
part of the dream? All you have to do is see the dream as dream.



my beloved, my true
I no longer try to find where you are not
your hiding places no longer hide you

each breeze and stone
beauty and beast
my sweetest heart
my darkest intensity
all reveal your silent being


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