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#1792 - Sunday, May 9, 2004 - Editor: Gloria


It is hard to find
A man who has desire
For what he has not tasted,
Or who tastes the world
And is untouched.

Here in the world
Some crave pleasure,
Some seek freedom
But it is hard to find
A man who wants neither.

He is a great soul.

It is hard to find
A man who has an open mind,
Who neither seeks nor shuns
Wealth or pleasure,
Duty or liberation,
Life or death. . .

He does not want the world to end.
He does not mind if it lasts.
Whatever befalls him,
He lives in happiness.
For he is truly blessed.

-Ashtavakra Gita 17:4-7

From "The Heart of Awareness: A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita," by Thomas Byrom, 1990.

  Vincent van Gogh. Lilac Bush. May 1889. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.  

Spring Lemonade

In late April they spread manure on the fields
the same week the lilac hedges bloom,
so the nose gets one of those symphonic challenges
that require you to stand out on the porch and breathe.

The earth goes around a corner, the dresser drawers slide out
and naturally, we change our clothes,
putting the long underwear away,
taking out the short-sleeve shirts,

trying to make the transition
from psychological Moscow
        to psychological Hawaii.
When Mary left her husband in December,
she made herself despise him
as a way of pushing off,
like you would push off from the wall of a swimming pool,

but then she gradually believed her own story
of how horrible he was,

and when I talked to her in March,
she was still spitting on his memory:
you would have thought she never had a heart.

There's a wheel turning in the center of the earth
and over it, our feet are always running, running,
trying to keep pace.
Then there's a period of quietude and rue,
when you want to crawl inside yourself,
when you prefer ugliness to hope.

Last night the sunset was so pink and swollen
the sky looked like it had gotten an infection.

We were sitting on the lawn and sipping lemonade.
Inflamed clouds were throbbing in the fevered light.
Shannon murmured, Somebody better call a doctor.
Kath said, Somebody get some aspirin.
But nobody moved.

And the smell of lilacs and manure blew out of the fields
with such complexity and sweetness, we closed our eyes.
It had nothing to do with being good, or smart, or choosing right.
It had to do with being lucky--
something none of us had ever imagined.

- Tony Hoagland, from What Narcissism Means to Me. Graywolf Press


Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa

How to cope with wavering thoughts?
Versatile are flying clouds,
Yet from the sky they’re not apart.
Mighty are the ocean’s waves,
Yet they are not separate from the sea.
Heavy and thick are banks of fog,
Yet from the air they’re not apart.
Frantic runs the mind in voidness,
Yet from the Void it never separates.

From "365 Buddha: Daily Meditations

Nature’s Law dictates that, in order to survive, bees must work together. As a result, they instinctively possess a sense of social responsibility. They have no constitution, no law, no police, no religion or moral training, but because of their nature, they labor faithfully together. Occasionally, they may fight, but in general, based on cooperation, the whole colony survives. We human beings have a constitution, laws and a police force. We have religion, remarkable intelligence and a heart with a great capacity for love. We have many extraordinary qualities, but in actual practice, I think we are lagging behind those small insects. In some respects, I feel we are poorer than the bees.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

From "The Pocket Zen Reader," edited by Thomas Cleary

Viorica Weissman - Million Paths

Bhagavan - on other worlds

Someone enquired of Bhagavan : " People talk on Vaikunta,
Kailasa, Indraloka, Chandraloka, etc. Do they really exist ?"

Bhagavan replied:
"Certainly. You can rest assured that they all exist.
There also a Swami like me will be found seated,
and disciples like this also be seated around.
They will ask something and he will say something in reply.
Everything will be more or less like this.

What of that? If one sees Chandraloka, he will ask for
Indraloka, and after Indraloka, Vaikunta and after Vaikunta,
Kailasa, and then this and that, and the mind goes on
wandering. Where is shanti? (peace) If shanti is required,
the one correct method of securing it is by self-enquiry
and through self-enquiry self-realization is possible.

If one realizes the Self, one can see all these worlds
within one's self. The source of everything is one's own self,
and if one realizes the Self, one will not find anything
different from the Self. Then this doubt will not arise.

There may or may not be a Vaikunta or a Kailasa
but it is a fact that you are here, isn't it?
How are you here? Where are you?
After you know about these things, you can think of all
these worlds.

- Letters from Sri Ramanasramam -

  Talk as much philosophy as you like,
worship as many gods as you please,
observe ceremonies and sing devotional hymns,
but liberation will never come, even after a hundred
aeons, without realizing the Oneness.


from "The Wisdom of the Hindu Gurus," edited by Timothy Freke, published by Godsfield Press.


Viorica Weissman - Million Paths

Krishnamurti's Notebook - August 27th 1961, Gstaad

Crossing the bridge, up in the sun-speckled wood, meditation was quite a different thing. Without any wish and search, without any complaint of the brain, there was unenforced silence; the little birds were chirping away, the squirrels were chasing up the trees, the breeze was playing with the leaves and there was silence. The little stream, the one coming from a long distance, was more cheerful than ever and yet there was silence, not outside but deep, far within. It was total stillness within the totality of the mind, which had no frontiers. It was not the silence within an enclosure, within an area, within the limits of thought and so recognized as stillness. There were no frontiers, no measurements and so the silence was not held within experience, to be recognized and stored away. It may never occur again and if it did, it would be entirely different. Silence cannot repeat itself; only the brain through memory and recollection can repeat what had been, but what had been is not the actual. Meditation was this total absence of consciousness put together through time and space. Thought, the essence of consciousness, cannot, do what it will, bring about this stillness; the brain with all its subtle and complicated activities must quiet down of its own accord, without the promise of any reward or of security. Only then it can be sensitive, alive and quiet. The brain understanding its own activities, hidden and open, is part of meditation; it's the foundation in meditation, without it meditation is only self-deception, self-hypnosis, which has no significance whatsoever. There must be silence for the explosion of creation.

Viorica Weissman - Million Paths

Devotee: Can Sri Bhagavan help us to realize the Truth?

Bhagavan: Help is always there.

D.: Then there is no need to ask questions. I do not feel the ever-present help.

B.: Surrender and you will find it.

D.: I am always at your feet. Will Bhagavan give us some Upadesa to follow? Otherwise how can I get the help living 600 miles away?

M.: That Sadguru is within.

D.: Sadguru is necessary to guide me to understand it.

M.: That Sadguru is within.

D.: I want a visible Guru.

M.: That visible Guru says that He is within.

D.: Can I throw myself at the mercy of the Sadguru?

M.: Yes. Instructions are necessary only so long as one has not surrendered oneself.

Maharshi: The highest form of Grace is SILENCE. It is also the highest spiritual instruction.... All other modes of instruction are derived from silence and are therefore secondary. Silence is the primary form. If the Guru is silent the seeker's mind gets purified by itself.

It must be remembered that verbal explanations are not the real teaching; they are preliminary explanations which are easy to understand but whose understanding does not in itself enlighten the heart. The real work is the awakening of Self-awareness in the heart, and this is made possible by the powerful yet subtle action of the silent Grace of the Guru.

- Reprinted from the January, 1971 Mountain Path


He is the inner Self of all,
Hidden like a little flame in the heart.
Only by the stilled mind can he be known.
Those who realize him become immortal.
He has thousands of heads, thousands of eyes,
Thousands of feet; he surrounds the cosmos
On every side. This infinite being
Is ever present in the hearts of all.
He has become the cosmos. He is what was
And what will be. Yet he is unchanging,
The lord of immortality.

-Shvetashvatara Upanishad

From The Upanishads, translated by Eknath Easwaran


Standing Deer

As the house of a person
in age sometimes grows cluttered
with what is
too loved or too heavy to part with,
the heart may grow cluttered.
And still the house will be emptied,
and still the heart.

As the thoughts of a person
in age sometimes grow sparer,
like a great cleanness come into a room,
the soul may grow sparer;
one sparrow song carves it completely.
And still the room is full,
and still the heart.

Empty and filled,
like the curling half-light of morning,
in which everything is still possible and so why not.

Filled and empty,
like the curling half-light of evening,
in which everything now is finished and so why not.

Beloved, what can be, what was,
will be taken from us.
I have disappointed.
I am sorry. I knew no better.

A root seeks water.
Tenderness only breaks open the earth.
This morning, out the window,
the deer stood like a blessing, then vanished.

- Jane Hirschfield, from The Lives of the Heart. Harper Perennial

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