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#1783 - Friday, April 30, 2004 - Editor: Gloria  


~ Daily Dharma  

"Don't we all need some concrete form of retraining so
we may learn to be more generous and let go more
gracefully? We all-each of us without exception-have
so much to give, if we only knew it! We can make
gifts of kindness, prayers, support, time, and
empathy; we can give to friends, family, strangers,
and even to the earth itself. We can train ourselves
to be come more yielding, equanimous, and flexible,
giving up our rigid stances and fixed ideas. Each act
of giving is a good deed that will be carried with you
as part of your good karmma. We can't take our
wealth, possessions, or friends with us beyond the
grave, but we can ride good karma as far as we can
imagine and even further. Give now; use your wealth,
talent, and energy for the greater good."

~Lama Surya Das

Robert Cooper

~ Daily Dharma  

"Compassion is not a theory.  It is a feeling, an experience.  It is not
something we acquire, nor is it created by some biochemical process.
Compassion arises in the immediacy of the moment, when we see suffering
directly and realize the plight of beings, who almost invariably respond to
suffering in ways that will only intensify their tragic condition.  A
natural quality, an aspect of our own true nature, compassion lies dormant
within us and must be awakened.  This awakening is painful because it
requires us to contemplate deeply the suffering of countless beings.
Without understanding their predicament, we cannot feel compassion.  But
once we truly comprehend it, compassion begins to arise within us and we
cannot stop it from flowing."

~Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

Dharma G

~ Daily Dharma  

Of all the practices I know, the practice of Tonglen, Tibetan for
'giving and receiving,' is one of the most useful and powerful.

When you feel yourself locked in upon yourself, Tonglen opens you to the
truth of the suffering of others; when your heart is blocked, it
destroys those forces that are obstructing it; and when you feel
estranged from the person who is in pain before you, or bitter or
despairing, it helps you to find within yourself and then to reveal the
loving, expansive radiance of your own true nature. No other practice I
know is as effective in destroying the self-grasping, self-cherishing,
self-absorption of the ego, which is the root of all our suffering and
all hard-heartedness.

Put very simply, the Tonglen practice of giving and receiving is to take
on the suffering and pain of others and give to them your happiness,
well-being, and peace of mind."

~Sogyal Rinpoche

Zen Oleary

~ True Vision  

Any Morning

Just lying on the couch and being happy.
Only humming a little, the quiet sound in the head.
Trouble is busy elsewhere at the moment, it has
so much to do in the world.

People who might judge are mostly asleep; they can’t
monitor you all the time, and sometimes they forget.
When dawn flows over the hedge you can
get up and act busy.

Little corners like this, pieces of Heaven
left lying around, can be picked up and saved.
People won’t even see that you have them,
they are so light and easy to hide.

Later in the day you can act like the others.
You can shake your head. You can frown.

-- William Stafford

    If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless
manner, you have learned how to live.

-- Lin Yutang quoted in "Zen and the Art of Anything" by Hal W. French

To Practice This Thought: Every once in a while, abandon utility.

* * * * * * *

NEW at
from Web Editors Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat:

"Peace of Mind," a new e-course led by Bertram Salzman, starts Monday. This
one is weekly -- an email every Monday for six weeks giving you an
Attention Exercise to help you achieve a calm mind along with a commentary
on the lesson of this experience.

Sign up today and read Salzman's article from our print magazine by
following the links off the homepage:
(Editor's Note: Bertram Salzman once participated in NDS.  

John Champneys

~ MillionPaths  

Om Namo Bhagavathe, Sri Ramanaaya

Robert Butler, who translated Muruganar's Non-Dual Consciousness — The Flood Tide of Bliss into English, has written a book on the Forty Verses of Reality by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. The exposition is presented in a series of Lessons which teach Tamil, using the Forty Verses as the framework on which the book is based.     

A forum has been opened, where sections of the book are uploaded, and members are invited to read and add their own comments. Questions are particularly welcomed, and a series of posts is under way which will present Bhagavan's original Tamil, to run alongside the English phrases, so that even beginners, with a little perseverance, can start to read Bhagavan in the original.     

It is a group where persistence is required. However I have found that perseverance yields a wealth of spiritual peace and trtanquillity, as one drinks in the master's blessed words.    

The Tamil community is welcome to contribute and help out with the book before it is published.  

Viorica Weissman ~ MillionPaths  

Sri Ramana Maharshi's insistence that awareness of the
"I" thought was a pre-requisite for Self-realisation led him
to the conclusion that all spiritual practices which did not
incorporate this feature were indirect and inefficient:

Sri Ramana Maharshi said "This path (attention to the ' I ' ) is
the direct path; all others are indirect ways. The first leads to
the Self, the others elsewhere. And even if the others do arrive at the Self it is only because they lead at the  end to the first path which ultimately carries them to the goal. So, in the end, the aspirants must adopt the first path. Why not do so now? Why waste time?"

[Note: By David Godman: That is to say, other techniques may sometimes bring one to an inner state of stillness in which self-attention or self-awareness inadvertently takes place, but it is a very roundabout way of reaching the Self.  Sri Ramana maintained that other techniques could only take one to the place where self-enquiry starts and so he never endorsed them unless he felt that particular questioners were unable or unwilling to adopt self-enquiry.]

Sri Ramana Maharshi said: "The goal is the same for the one who meditates [on an object] and the one who practises self-enquiry. One attains stillness  through meditation, the other through knowledge. One strives to attain something; the other seeks the one who strives to attain. The former takes a longer time, but in the end attains the Self."

[Note: Although Sri Ramana vigorously defended his views on self-enquiry he never insisted that anyone change their beliefs or practices and, if he was unable to convince his followers to take up self-enquiry, he would happily give advice on other methods.]

Question by a disciple: "There is more pleasure in dhyana
(concentration) than in sensual enjoyments. Yet the mind runs
after the sensual enjoyments and does not seek the former.
Why is it so?"

Sri Ramana Maharshi: "Pleasure or pain are aspects of the mind only. Our essential nature is happiness. But we have forgotten the Self and imagine  that the body or the mind is the Self. It is that wrong identity that gives rise  to misery. What is to be done? This mental tendency is very ancient and has continued for innumerable past births.Hence it has grown strong. That must go before the essential nature, happiness, asserts itself."

Meditation Society of America  

Music, especially by
Bach, helps reduce stress

By Helen Altonn
[email protected]

Music, particularly classical compositions by Bach, relieves stress,
says a University of Hawaii music professor.

"Of all the music we tested in medical school with patients,
colleagues and others, Bach's music consistently made the brain work
in a balanced way better than any other genre," said Arthur Harvey,
who is also an internationally known neuromusicologist.

Loudness, speed or tempo of music, the degree of dissonance and tone
quality are primary elements of music that can affect health, behavior
and emotions, Harvey said.

A Net of Jewels  

The Wisdom of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The world is like a sheet of paper on which something is typed. The
reading and the meaning will vary with the reader, but the paper is
the common factor, always present, rarely perceived. When the ribbon
is removed, typing leaves no trace on the paper. So is my mind - the
impressions keep on coming, but no trace is left."

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