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#1926 - Sunday, September 19, 2004 - Editor: Gloria    

"Think not I am what I appear."


George Byron



“The dream world contains all the relevant features of the "actual" world.  But the  continued appearance of a thing is not proof of its reality, regardless of whether  it appears to the dreaming mind or the waking senses.  Only with the dissolution of all appearance does one awaken to the  ultimate Reality of the Self.”


Ramesh S. Balsekar



I do not negate the world.  I see it as appearing  in consciousness, which is the totality of the  known in the immensity of the unknown.  What begins and ends is mere appearance.  The world can be said to appear, but not to "be".  The appearance may last very long on some scale of time, and be very short on another, but ultimately it comes to the same.  Whatever is time bound is momentary and has no reality.”


Nisargadatta Maharaj




"I think I am one of those who can manage not to take on a completely different appearance under their own glance."


Jean Rostand




"Chance does not speak essentially through words nor can it be seen in their convolution. It is the eruption of language, its sudden appearance. It's not a night twinkle with stars, an illuminated sleep, nor a drowsy vigil. It is the very edge of consciousness."


Michel Foucault


from AlphaWorld



A Reckoning With History

By W. Richard West Jr.

Sunday, September 19, 2004; Page B07

The opening of the National Museum of the American Indian on Tuesday speaks eloquently to the poetic possibilities of history. With this powerfully symbolic act, the history of the Americas will have circled back on itself to a point of reckoning and resolution five centuries in the making. The hemisphere's first citizens will have a commanding presence in the political center of the nation, occupying the last site on the hallowed grounds of the Mall next door to the Capitol itself.

I cannot contemplate this long journey through the shadowed valleys of American history without remembering, as its very personification, the life of my late Southern Cheyenne father, Dick West. He was born in 1912 in Darlington, Okla., during the nadir of Southern Cheyenne cultural life. It had been shattered by the wars of the 19th century and the annihilation of the great buffalo herds. At 6 he was forcibly removed from his parents' home and sent to federal boarding schools, where he was dressed in a military uniform, his long hair was cut and he was prohibited from speaking Cheyenne. He remained there for the next 15 years and was trained, finally, to be a bricklayer and carpenter, notwithstanding his obvious gifts as an artist and his knowledge of traditional Plains art.


Despite these compromised beginnings, my father ultimately triumphed in a long and productive life, passing away at 83 in 1996, well into my tenure as director of the National Museum of the American Indian. He remained proudly, almost fiercely, Cheyenne all his days. In his twenties he worked hard to graduate from college when most American Indians did not, and later he became the first Native person to receive a graduate degree in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma. He became a famed Native artist and major figure in the 20th-century Native fine arts movement. A college teacher, he taught generations of Native artists who literally have defined the field in this century and the one past.





The First Americans Festival commemorates the historic opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Set against the dramatic backdrop of the U.S. Capitol building on the National Mall, the museum's location symbolizes a deeper understanding and reconciliation between America's first citizens and those who have come to make these shores their home.

The opening of this museum marks a unique cultural achievement as Native Americans from North, Central, and South America realize a long-awaited dream to share and honor their vibrant cultures with visitors from throughout the world. Online Exhibitions

[Ed. note] click on "Explore the Museum" for a virtual tour.


Online Exhibitions


Today, another poem from Symeon the New Theologian. He lived in the 9th and 10th centuries in what is now Turkey. He is a greatly revered saint of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Much of his sacred poetry expresses a mysticism in which Christ is personally encountered in the form of light.

Light is one of the primary metaphors in sacred poetry, suggesting the Divine not framed within a mental concept. But for genuine mystics, this light is not a mere concept; it is directly experienced.

This sense of light is more than a brightness one might experience on a sunny afternoon. This light is perceived as being a living radiance that permeates everything, everywhere, always. This light is immediately understood to be the true source of all things, the foundation on which the physicality of the material world is built.

The sense of boundaries and separation, long taken for granted by the mind as the fundamental nature of existence, suddenly seems illusory, for this light shines through all people and things. It has no edges, and the light of one is the light of another.

This light is recognized as your own Self, while simultaneously being the Self of all others. Since this light is you and, at the same time, it radiates within all, the question arises: How can there be separation? conflict? loss?

This is the light of the true mystics.


Thought for the Day:

Don’t strain toward enlightenment.
Relax into it.

Here's your Daily Poem from the Poetry Chaikhana

By what boundless mercy, my Savior,

By Symeon the New Theologian

Translated by John Anthony McGuckin

By what boundless mercy, my Savior,
have you allowed me to become a member of your body?
Me, the unclean, the defiled, the prodigal.
How is it that you have clothed me
in the brilliant garment,
radiant with the splendor of immortality,
that turns all my members into light?
Your body, immaculate and divine,
is all radiant with the fire of your divinity,
with which it is ineffably joined and combined.
This is the gift you have given me, my God:
that this mortal and shabby frame
has become one with your immaculate body
and that my blood has mingled
with your blood.
I know, too,
that I have been made one with your divinity
and have become your own most pure body,
a brilliant member, transparently lucid,
luminous and holy.
I see the beauty of it all, I can gaze on the radiance.
I have become a reflection of the light of your grace.

--from The Book of Mystical Chapters: Meditations on the Soul's Ascent from the Desert Fathers and Other Early Christian Contemplatives, trans. John Anthony McGuckin

Meister Eckhart
A Dominican mystic, teaching in Paris and Cologne.
Accused of heresy, his works forgotten until our
time. In beauty he saw the God in all things.

"I have occasionally spoken of a light in the soul
which is uncreated and uncreatable. . . . This
light is not satisfied with the simple, still
and divine being which neither gives nor takes,
but rather it desires to know from where this
being comes. It wants to penetrate to the simple
ground, to the still desert, into which distinction
never peeped, neither Father, Son nor Holy Spirit.
There, in that most inward place, where everyone
is a stranger, the light is satisfied, and there
it is more inward than it is in itself, for this
ground is a simple stillness which is immovable
in itself. But all things are moved by this
immovability and all the forms of life are
conceived by it which, possessing the light of
reason, live of themselves.

Only the hand that erases can write the true thing."   posted by blueoceantiger on MillionPaths  

Some basics..... on Awareness Practice

  "There is not something to understand intellectually. If one is making an effort to create some "state" to then "maintain" that is surely a futile effort.   The reason "why" people don't "experience" their Dharmakaya Self- Nature, is that IT is too obvious, too easy, as Kalu Rinpoche has pointed out in his teachings on Mahamudra.   Kalu Rinpoche: speaking about the reasons why people have trouble in practice..... "Mahamudra is too easy for us to believe...there is nothing to do; we don't have to cross oceans to get it, no mountains to climb. The only thing necessary is the "bare awareness" of the ultimate nature of mind, WHICH IS ALWAYS THERE. Beyond that, there is nothing to do, but we can't believe Mahamudra is so easy to do, or rather not to do...."  

This is like the argument (the "Great Debate") in 8th century Tibet between the Zen(Chan) Master Hwashang of the "sudden school" versus the Tibetan gradualist school of Kamalasila. Dzogchen had a wonderful affinity for the views of Chan as pointed out in the bSam gtan mig sgron of gNubs Sangs-rgyas Yeshes, who did manifest Jalu then.  

The whole point is: JUST OBSERVE(notice) WHATEVER ARISES FROM MOMENT TO MOMENT. (without intentional judgment, conceptualizing or preference or goal). This is the basis of Dzogchen Trekcho: Chogzhag (let be):
1. Riwo Chogzhag: leave the position of the body as it happens to be.
2. Gyatso Chozhag: leave the eyes looking at whatever they happen to
be looking at.
3. Rigpa Chogzhag: leave the Mind be nakedly aware of whatever
mental events occur.
4. Nangwa Chogzhag: Leave ALL external events they arise
from moment to moment. This is most important.

No analyzing, no judging or preferring this over that...just noticing
what's occurring, fully present.

To quote Norbu: "Self-liberation means you find yourself right in
that pure "noticing", that pure presence of Rigpa."

Jackson Peterson
  [email protected]  

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