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#1818 - Friday, June 4, 2004 - Editor: Gloria
Desire and aversion are of the mind.
The mind is never yours.
You are free of its turmoil.
You are awareness itself,
Wherever you go,
-Ashtavakra Gita 15:5
From "The Heart of Awareness: A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita," by Thomas Byrom
should always live in the dark empty sky. The sky is
always the sky. Even though clouds and lightning come, the
sky is not disturbed. Even if the flashing of enlightenment
comes, our practice forgets all about it. Then it is ready for
-Shunryu Suzuki, "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind"
From "365 Buddha: Daily Meditations," edited by Jeff Schmidt.
Ah to be alive
on a mid-September morn
fording a stream
barefoot, pants rolled up,
holding boots, pack on,
sunshine, ice in the shallows,
Rustle and shimmer of icy creek waters
stones turn underfoot, small and hard as toes
cold nose dripping
creek music, heart music,
smell of sun on gravel.
I pledge allegiance
I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island,
and to the beings who thereon dwell
under the sun
With joyful interpenetration for all.
Gary Snyder, from The Gary Snyder
Sky photo by Al Larus: http://www.ferryfee.com/bluesky/Repetition.htm
Song of the Open Road
AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortuneI myself am
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.
The earththat is sufficient;
I do not want the constellations any nearer;
I know they are very well where they are;
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.
From this hour, freedom!
From this hour I ordain myself loosd of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master, total and absolute,
Listening to others, and considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
I inhale great draughts of space;
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.
I am larger, better than I thought;
I did not know I held so much goodness.
All seems beautiful to me;
I can repeat over to men and women, You have done such good to me, I would do the same to you.
Allons! whoever you are, come travel with me!
Traveling with me, you find what never tires.
The earth never tires;
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at firstNature is rude and incomprehensible at first;
Be not discouragedkeep onthere are divine things, well envelopd;
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.
Allons! we must not stop here!
However sweet these laid-up storeshowever convenient this dwelling, we cannot remain here;
However shelterd this port, and however calm these waters, we must not anchor here;
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us, we are permitted to receive it but a little while.
Listen! I will be honest with you;
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes;
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is calld riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
You but arrive at the city to which you were destindyou hardly settle yourself to satisfaction, before you are calld by an irresistible call to depart,
Allons! the road is before us!
It is safeI have tried itmy own feet have tried it well.
Allons! be not detaind!
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopend!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearnd!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.
Mon enfant! I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself, before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
Walt Whitman (18191892). Leaves
of Grass. 1900.
whole poem: http://www.americanpoems.com/poets/waltwhitman/13219
Rising water, falling leaves --
such signs of leaving are beautiful;
as welcome as becoming.
Rising and falling,
for us to leave.
Love is: walking out a door
into the unknown.
I never remember Reality.
It rises within me
-- like flowers unfolding in a moment;
ages condensed into a day --
potential springing into being.
by Shawn Nevins
The June issue of the TAT Forum is now on-line at www.tatfoundation.org/forum.htm This month's contents include: Peace of Mind Despite Success (part 7) by Richard Rose | Poems by Shawn Nevins | Scale by Shawn Nevins | Preface to Experience & Philosophy by Franklin Merrell-Wolff | Spiritual Ecology by Bob Fergeson | Trace Your Roots by Bob Cergol | An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce | Humor | Reader Commentary
Gill Eardley - Allspirit Inspiration
From ' Coming Home - An Invitation to Rediscover
your True Nature' by Dr. Jan Kersschot
Some teachers - especially those of the Advaita tradition -
say that true Freedom or complete Liberation is only possible
when the concept of a personality is not there. If that is true,
what can we do to 'get' it? Where can we go? Our personality
always wants to have a goal. Our mind always wants to focus on
what moves, on something new. Or on something personal. But
how can the personality do something when it supposed to melt
away in 'what is'? When it is expected not to be there as a
limited entity? How can the personal mind discover the Impersonal?
Isn't the mind checkmated now? Instead of associating with what
comes and goes, with thoughts and concepts, it is sometimes
suggested that we (who?) can also stay with Awareness itself.
And the joke is that we do not have to do anything for it. What
could we do in order to be what we already are, anyway?
The same teachers also say that although we 'are already It,' we
just have to recognise It. So, there is a difference. We have to
realise It, we have to realise what we already are, our True
Nature. And they say that our true nature is the clear sky and
not the clouds. Our true nature is to be recognised in the silence
and not in the noise of our thoughts and feelings. They even
suggest that we have the choice to put our attention on the
Silence or to put our attention on the noise. They say that it is
just a matter of letting our attention being filled with the blue
sky in stead of the clouds. In this metaphor, the clouds stand
for our personal thoughts, ambitions, hopes and fears. The sky
stands for the quiet and clear background which is witnessing
all these images. And they ask us if we can see whether we can
focus on the clouds or on the empty sky.
Our mind always has the habit to look for new sensations, indeed.
The clouds seem to be more attractive to the mind than the empty
sky. That is part of its design. Ideas come and go, sensations in
the body come and go, emotions come and go, just like in a movie.
What about the background in which they appear ? What if we
would no longer choose to feed the mind with new thoughts and
concepts? Concepts and sensations come and go, but where is
That which never comes and goes? What if - as some teachers
ask us - we would focus our attention on That? Can we focus on
that Vastness? Or is that idea like a cloud dreaming about becoming
And here is the quote about various paths to truth.
It is from a conversation with Francis Lucille at a retreat in Canada in 2003
Question: Can you talk about the way that beauty can lead one to truth?
Francis: That's like asking me how humour can make us laugh-I don't know.
Beauty goes to the absolute through the senses.
Intelligence goes to the
absolute through thought and love goes through feeling.
I cannot explain beauty. Even if we were able to
describe beauty, even if we
were able to reduce it to its components, that would not enable us to
manufacture it. We might be able to make something that looked fairly good but
something would be missing and it wouldn't really be beauty. Beauty is always a
gift of grace.
If, however, we are interested in truth, and we
discover that beauty is a path
to truth, we might want to be alert to this connection. When we read poetry,
when we listen to music, when we go to museums and galleries, we will
discriminate between that which is purely decorative and that which is profound.
The best definition of art that I have encountered is
that given by André
Malroux. He said that a work of art is something created by man which points
Questioner: I am more interested in the natural world.
When I look at a tree,
what is it that moves me to think, "What a beautiful tree this is!"
Francis: It is an object which has a vanishing
quality. It vanishes in such a
way that it leaves you with presence, without any residues. The perfect
vanishing of a thought is in understanding; when the thought has been understood
it is gone forever. If you entertain a thought without understanding it, it
will keep coming back. The natural ending of a thought is the experience of our
true nature, consciousness, which is the understanding of the thought.
The word "understanding" is very
significant. It signifies that the ending of a
thought is the realization of that which "stands under" the thought. In a
similar fashion, the ending of a sense perception, or a set a sense perceptions,
such as the experience of a tree or a work of art, is in its dissolution. So an
art-object is an object which readily dissolves in this manner.
A thought about the truth has the same vanishing
quality because it can easily
vanish into truth, whereas the opposite kind of thought, a thought which is
based on the illusion of a separate entity, has no vanishing quality at all. T
here are art-objects and spectacles in nature which
speak to us very deeply.
We cannot say why and how it is but they remind us of consciousness. This
happens when we experience such things as the symphony of nature or the
emptiness of a desert; they remind us of consciousness, our true nature.
Yarden - MillionPaths
Q: You are giving a certain date to your realization. It means somthing did happen to you at that date. What happened?
M: The mind ceased producing events.The ancient and ceaseless search stopped-I wanted nothing,expected nothing-accepted nothing as my own.There was no 'me' left to strive for.Even the bare 'I am' faded away.The other thing that I noticed was that I lost all my habitual certainties.Earlier I was sure of so many things, now I am sure of nothing.But I feel that I have lost nothing by not knowing,because all my knowledge was false.My not knowing was in itself knowledge of the fact that all knowledge is ignorance,that 'I do not know' is the only true statement the mind can make.Take the idea 'I was born'.You may take it to be true.It is not.You were never born,nor will you ever die.It is the idea that was born and shall die,not you.By identifying yourself with it you became mortal.Just like in a cinema all is light,so does consciousness become the vast world.Look closely, and you will see that all names and forms are but transitory waves on the ocean of consciusness,that only consciousness can be said to be,not its transformations. In the immensity of consciousness a light appears,a tiny point that moves rapidly and traces shapes,thoughts and feelings, concepts and ideas,like the pen writing on paper. And the ink that leaves a trace is memory. You are that tiny point and by your movement the world is ever re-created. Stop moving, and there will be no world. Look within and you will find that the point of light is the reflection of the immensity of light in the body,as the sense'I am'. There is only light,all else appears.
from I AM THAT, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. p.392
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