|Dr. Robert Puff|
Click here to go to the next issue
Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day
#1779 - Monday, April 26, 2004 - Editor: Jerry
"Now at that time a certain monk was sick with
dysentery. He lay fouled in his own urine & excrement.
Then the Blessed One, on an inspection tour of the
lodgings with Ven. Ananda as his attendant, went to
that monk's dwelling and, on arrival, saw the monk
lying fouled in his own urine & excrement. On seeing
him, he went to the monk and said, 'What is your
'I have dysentery, O Blessed One.'
'But do you have an attendant?'
'No, O Blessed One.'
'Then why don't the monks attend to you?'
'I don't do anything for the monks, lord, which is why
they don't attend to me.'
Then the Blessed One addressed Ven. Ananda: 'Go fetch
some water, Ananda. We will wash this monk.'
'As you say, lord,' Ven. Ananda replied, and he
fetched some water. The Blessed One sprinkled water on
the monk, and Ven. Ananda washed him off. Then -- with
the Blessed One taking the monk by the head, and Ven.
Ananda taking him by the feet -- they lifted him up
and placed him on a bed.
Then the Blessed One, from the cause of this event,
had the monks assembled and asked them: 'Is there a
sick monk in that dwelling over there?'
'Yes, O Blessed One, there is.'
'And what is his sickness?'
'He has dysentery, O Blessed One.'
'But does he have an attendant?'
'No, O Blessed One.'
'Then why don't the monks attend to him?'
'He doesn't do anything for the monks, lord, which is
why they don't attend to him.'
'Monks, you have no mother, you have no father, who
might tend to you. If you don't tend to one another,
who then will tend to you? Whoever would tend to me,
should tend to the sick. '"
~This morning, old woman asks herself, who needs
attending that i have been neglecting? As Bodhisattvas
in training, this might be a call for every morning of
our lives. ~dg
~Story is from the Vinaya, The Moral Code of Monks of
The Buddha's Sangha, from the Buddha's time, over 2500
years ago. This translation from the original Pali
from "Access To Insight,"
A provisional second edition of 'Notes on
Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda', taken by
Nitya Tripta is now available for download from
my website. ... . The PDF file has been zipped
for minimum size but is still quite large
(1.7Mb). It consists of 509 pages including a
comprehensive index with hyperlinked page
numbers. This is a marvellous document, bearing
comparison with the dialogues of Nisargadatta
Maharaj or Ramana Maharshi. The address is
Please read my new 4-page crisp list of ten challenges to Washington Post: http://www.sulekha.com/expressions/column.asp?cid=305929
The truth is funnier than fiction
Sometimes the truth is funnier than fiction. Like when we think that great masters know more than the I am that we are. Whose idea is that, anyway? Sometimes I get scared of knowing too much and I have to hide it from myself. I act dumb so one half won't be intellectually superior to the other. Of course, the other never gets the joke because it is the dumb half. And so it goes.
One half of me is yin and the other is yang. It doesn't matter except when they want to wear different colors of socks. I say to heck with both of me. That's when I wear my hair both up and down, just to make both of me happy.
Last night I was having half of a Hershey bar and I honestly tried to leave the other half for later. Both parts of me claimed it was theirs. What could I do but cave in and eat it right then and there? You understand, don't you? I am not schizophrenic, just bifocal. Both of me are fighting for space in my head and believe it or not, there's more than I know what to do with. I have abandoned thought in favor of a good nondual emptiness.
What lies between my ears now is anybody's guess. Since I am not the body, it is stranger than fiction. No wonder I laugh when I pass a mirror. Did I tell you that my double chin no longer bothers me. That is because I am more concerned with my evil twin, sometimes called Emptiness. It refuses to divulge my social security number to me when I need it the most. It stands firm in emptiness and rings the dharma bell of nobody home. Sad but true.
The truth is also funnier than fiction when we try to avoid doing the evil that we want to do and try to do good when we don't want to do that, either. Just what in the heck is going on in the dualistic dungeon called the mind? Tell me both of your opinions on this and I will get both of you in trouble. I am good at that.
At 70, he's still zoology's king of beasts:
George Schaller studies habitats with humanity
Natural history filmmaker Cynthia Moses says that he "is
one of my heroes because he not only is one of the greatest
scientists of our generation but he also understands the poetry
and spirituality found in nature."
He worries that the public isn't paying attention, isn't demanding any accountability, and to a certain extent, he points the finger of blame at his own brethren. Beginning 10 or 15 years ago, Schaller says, the conservation community began to frame the justification for conservation and saving species in monetary terms -- that nature had to pay its way. The argument was that healthy wild places made economic sense, a notion he rejects.
"Placing a dollar value on everything is a drastic change which I hold against big conservation organizations," he said. "Before, conservation was a moral issue, but words like `spiritual' or `moral' or `ethical' are gone from the vocabulary now."
They are not missing from Schaller's. Two years ago it was tracking the world's last Asiatic cheetahs in Iran, where there may be only 50 left in the wild. Last year, as he has on and off through many years, he hiked the pristine, if breathtakingly harsh and frigid Chang Tang plateau in Tibet, studying yak, antelope, and argali sheep. He has just returned from Bhutan. And this summer, he hopes to spend at least two months riding horseback through the most inaccessible reaches of Afghanistan, looking for Marco Polo sheep and snow leopards.
Read the entire article here: http://tinyurl.com/385ps
Last night during the television show, Survivor, the
'competitors' were given an immunity challenge:
Each competitor stood on a block large enough for both
feet and then had their raised arm handcuffed to a chain
connected to a half-barrel of water, which balanced
over their head. If a competitor let his or her arm fall,
even a little, the barrel would tip, the water would
fall on them, and they would lose their chance at the
It was fascinating to observe the way each competitor's
use of body and mind contributed to their personal
outcome. There were those who seemed to 'hang' their
arm up, right from the beginning, with their bodies
trembling beneath the handcuff. There were those who
took part in the jesting or jabs, or paid too much
attention to these distractions, or the distraction of
their pain or other physical sensations. It was so easy to pick
the winner - the only one whose body remained energetically
uplifted from the feet through her raised fist. In fact,
one could almost tell who would win entirely on the
disposition of the handcuffed limb. Those who let their
fingers droop, or elbows bend, or shoulders shift off of
their frame were done before they started. The winner
stood firmly on both feet, weight in both legs, lower
hand on hip, chest raised and underneath her shoulder,
which was underneath her straight arm, which was underneath
her energized fist. She didn't move in her body, and she
was unflinching in her focus on steadiness.
I thought to myself, despite the context of the television
show, and anything else surrounding this 'set up', this
woman's display of firmness of mind and body had a lesson
in it... and I thought I'd share that with you... make of
it what you will. :)
"If you are interested in real spirituality, and not in a
must first dare to fully recognize the enormous life force that exists in a
child, and realize that this life force is divided against itself in you. It
is true that a child's effervescence decreases as he grows older. . . . But
I am convinced that a large part of what is attributed to the natural aging
process actually springs from the suffocation of our life force - first by
teachers, then by life in general, and finally by ourselves. And I am
convinced that no one can become a spiritual seeker or a yogi by suffocating
his or her own life force."
-- Arnaud Dejardins, from The Jump into Life
top of page
|Dr. Robert Puff|