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#1905 - Sunday, August 29, 2004 - Editor: Gloria Lee    

Consciousness is the totality of the known in the immensity of the unknown.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj


Those whom heaven helps we call the sons of heaven. They do not learn
this by learning. They do not work it by working. They do not reason
it by using reason. To let understanding stop at what cannot be
understood is a high attainment. Those who cannot do it will be
destroyed on the lathe of heaven.

- Chuang Tse: XXIII (Chap 3 epigraph, *The Lathe of Heaven*)  


A passionate belief in a cause does not excuse
you from not knowing what you are talking about.
- Thomas Sowell


The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
-Bertrand Russell


Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi Recorded by Muruganar, First English Translation
Edited and annotated by David Godman, 396 pages
$20.00 plus
shipping and handling. How to order.

The original Tamil work comprises 3,059 two-line verses that either praise Ramana Maharshi, record his teachings, or express Muruganar’s gratitude to him. This collection contains representative samples from all these categories, while concentrating on the teachings. Of the book's 1,750 verses approximately three-quarters of them contain direct statements by Ramana Maharshi on all aspects of his teachings.

    Padamalai is available from the following distributors:

In the US: Avadhuta Foundation: [email protected]

In the UK: The Ramana Maharshi Foundation, London: [email protected]

In Europe: Inner Quest, Paris: [email protected]

In India: Sri Ramanasramam: [email protected]

Padamalai may also be ordered directly from my site:

A book extract is available in our files section, with permission of David Godman.

Alan Larus photo: [check back if website is still down]  

"Look well to the growing edge. All around us worlds are dying and new
worlds are being born; all around us life is dying and life is being born.
The fruit ripens on the tree, the roots are silently at work in the
darkness of the earth against a time when there shall be new lives, fresh
blossoms, green fruit. Such is the growing edge! It is the extra breath
from the exhausted lung, the one more thing to try when all else has
failed, the upward reach of life when weariness closes in upon all
endeavor. This is the basis of hope in moments of despair, the incentive to
carry on when times are out of joint and men have lost their reason, the
source of confidence when worlds crash and dreams whiten into ash."
~ Howard Thurman

Attachment: The Biggest Problem on Earth
by Lama Thubten Yeshe

You are so fortunate being able to put much effort of body, speech and mind into seeking inner reality, your true nature. When you check how you have spent most of your life, you can see how fortunate you are having the chance to make this search even once. So fortunate!

I'm not just making it up, "Oh, you're so good," trying to make you feel proud. It's true. However, to really discover that all human problems, physical and mental, come from attachment, is not an easy job. It takes much time.  [...]

This is not just some philosophical theory, either. It is really true, based on living experience. In fact, not only Buddhism, but all religions recognize the shortcomings of attachment. Even worldly people talk about its drawbacks. But, you know, even though we say the words, "Attachment this, attachment that," we don't really recognize it as the biggest problem on earth.

Therefore, what I'm saying is, it would be wonderful if you could recognize that your own attachment is the cause of every single problem that you experience. Problems with your husband, wife, children, society, authorities, everybody; having a bad reputation; your friends not liking you; people talking badly about you; your hating your teacher, your lama or your priest; all this truly comes from your own attachment. You really check up.

We Westerners always have to blame something external when things go wrong. "I'm not happy, so I'd better change this." We're always trying to change the world around us instead of recognizing that it's our own attachment that we have to change.

Just take a simple example. When someone hurts you by telling you that you're greedy, although you blame the person for how you feel, the hurt actually comes from your attachment. First of all, people, perhaps even your parents or your spouse, don't like your attachment-driven behavior, so they complain, "Oh, you're so greedy," hurting your ego. And then, instead of accepting their pointing out your selfish behavior, your attachment to always being right, perfect, causes you angrily to reject what they say. The fact that your ego, your wrong-conception mind, cannot accept criticism is itself a big problem: your ego wants you to be right all the time, and your attachment creates its own philosophy of never listening to advice, no matter who gives it, closing off your mind. It is very important that you learn to deal with these problems in the best possible way.

~Lama Thubten Yeshe

From the website

posted on Daily Dharma by Anapachen

  Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat
or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more
important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look
at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in
barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more
valuable than they?  Who of you  by worrying can add a single hour to
his life?  And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the lilies of
the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not
even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If
that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today,
and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you,
O you of little faith?  So do not worry saying, 'What shall we eat?'
or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the pagans run
after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need
them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these
things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about
tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough
trouble of its own.
---Matthew 6:25-34



I have been thinking
about living
like the lilies
that blow in the fields.

They rise and fall
in the edge of the wind,
and have no shelter
from the tongues of the cattle,

and have no closets or cupboards,
and have no legs.
Still I would like to be
as wonderful

as the old idea.
But if I were a lily
I think I would wait all day
for the green face

of the hummingbird
to touch me.
What I mean is,
could I forget myself

even in those feathery fields?
When Van Gogh
preached to the poor
of course he wanted to save someone--

most of all himself.
He wasn't a lily,
and wandering through the bright fields
only gave him more ideas

it would take his life to solve.
I think I will always be lonely
in this world, where the cattle
graze like a black and white river--
where the vanishing lilies
melt, without protest, on their tongues--
where the hummingbird, whenever there is a fuss,
just rises and floats away.
- Mary Oliver

Ten Years Later

Today's poem is by David Whyte. He was in a large part responsible for
reawakening my love of poetry in recent years.David's poetry is rich and
infused with a meditative sense of reality but I find particularly compelling
when I've listened to one of his readings. If you get a chance, track down
some of his recorded talks and listen. I think you'll be moved.


[Editors note:]

David Whyte, under "Poetry & Prose" tab has an audio interview on website: 

Following are excerpts from a thought-provoking interview with David on Irish Radio,

appropriately titled "The Power and Place of Poetry."

If you would like to listen to the complete interview in RealAudio™ please click here!


PS -- If you haven't discovered it yet, there has been a hidden "Easter
egg" on the Poetry Chaikhana web site. Go to the home page and let your
mouse pointer roll over the seated figure. When you do that, the banner
changes to a brief quote about spirituality. The quote changes daily...


Here's your Daily Poem from the Poetry Chaikhana


Ten Years Later

By David Whyte

When the mind is clear
and the surface of the now still,
now swaying water

slaps against
the rolling kayak,

I find myself near darkness
paddling again to Yellow Island.

Every spring wildflowers
cover the grey rocks.

Every year the sea breeze
ruffles the cold and lovely pearls
hidden in the center of the flowers

as if remembering them
by touch alone.

A calm and lonely, trembling beauty
that frightened me in youth.

Now their loneliness
feels familiar, one small thing
I've learned these years,

how to be alone,
and at the edge of aloneness
how to be found by the world.

Innocence is what we allow
to be gifted back to us
once we've given ourselves away.

There is one world only,
the one to which we gave ourselves
utterly, and to which one day

we are blessed to return.

--from The House of Belonging, David Whyte

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