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#1950 - Friday, October 15, 2004 - Editor: Gloria
MOMENT IN THE NOW
When I work outdoors all day, every day, as I do now, in the fall,
getting ready for winter, tearing up the garden, digging potatoes,
gathering the squash, cutting firewood, making kindling, repairing
bridges over the brook, clearing trails in the woods, doing the last of
the fall mowing, pruning apple trees, taking down the screens,
putting up the storm windows, banking the house - all these things,
as preparation for the coming cold...
when I am every day all day all body and no mind, when I am
physically, wholly and completely, in this world with the birds,
the deer, the sky, the wind, the trees...
when day after day I think of nothing but what the next chore is,
when I go from clearing woods roads, to sharpening a chain saw,
to changing the oil in a mower, to stacking wood, when I am
all body and no mind...
when I am only here and now and nowhere else - then, and only
then, do I see the crippling power of mind, the curse of thought,
and I pause and wonder why I so seldom find
this shining moment in the now.
- David Budbill
Blackwater Falls, photo by Gloria Lee
"Enlightenment does not
mean to become dead like a
Buddha statue. An enlightened person still thinks, however
he knows that the thinking process is impermanent,
unsatisfactory, and empty.
"Through practice we can see
these things clearly. We need
to investigate suffering and stop its causes. If not, wisdom
can never arise. We must see things exactly as they are -
feelings are just feelings, thoughts are just thoughts. This is
the way to end all our problems."
From the web page, "In A Still Forest,"
DharmaG from Daily Dharma
Everyday Life and the
Eternal State Words, concepts, and thoughts cannot fully
capture or contain That which is
prior to them.
Self is always Self-Awake and presents It Self to It Self as Self
Sri Ramana was probably saying that since Self is never absent, it is not in
conflict with any perception or perceived state including the everyday life
Self is always Here, but mysteriously not recognized or reflected in the
intellect of all equally due to karma- samskaras, etc. When through
spiritual practice, the mind is thinned out and becomes transparent, the
Self becomes spontaneously evident and asserts itself as Pure
Sat-Chit-Ananda, devoid of all qualities and sorrow.
Since the mind itself arises out of the Self, it carries with it the quality
of the Self as consciousness permeates it like water permeates a sponge.
This makes it possible for the introverted mind through its own
self-consciousness to trace the route back to its Source and merge with it.
Meditation on the nature of the Self as pure consciousness and pure being
that is not different than our own consciousness and our own being contains
the essence of all beauty and emerges from reflecting on the Mahavakyas or
hearing the words of Bhagavan with faith.
Love to all
From the Foundation
of Tibetan Mysticism, According to the Esoteric Teachings of
the Great Mantra OM MANI PADME HUM, by Lama Anagarika Govinda
To condemn life as evil, before having exhausted its possibilities for a
higher development, before having penetrated to an understanding of its
universal aspect, and before having realized the highest qualities of
consciousness in the attainment of enlightenment, the noblest fruit and ultimate
fulfillment of all existence, such an attitude is not only presumptuous and
unreasonable, but utterly foolish. It can only be compared to the attitude of an
ignorant man who, after examining an unripe fruit, declares it uneatable and
throws it away, instead of giving it time to mature.
Only one who has reached that supra-individual state of Perfect Enlightenment
can renounce 'individuality'. Those, however, who only suppress their
sense-activities and natural functions of life, before they even have tried to
make the right use of them, will not become saints but merely petrified. A
saintliness, which is built merely on negative virtues, merely on avoidance and
escape, may impress the crowd and may be taken as proof of self-control and
spiritual strength; however, it will lead only to spiritual self-annihilation,
but not to Enlightenment. It is the way of stagnation, of spiritual death. It is
the liberation from suffering at the price of life and of the potential spark of
Illumination within us.
The discovery of this spark is the beginning of the Bodhisattva- Path, which
achieves the liberation from suffering and from the fetters of egohood not by a
negation of life, but by service to our fellow-beings, while striving towards
"All spiritual teachings are only meant to make us retrace our steps to our
From The Essential teachings of Ramana Maharshi, A visual Journey.
Blackwater Falls, photo by Gloria Lee
the place of love in non-duality
a non-expert response to what
in my experience, upon entering online non-duality,
i struggled conceptually with non-dualers about
their views that bhakti and jnana are entirely
separate paths, or in non-expert words, "love and
wisdom", or at the Dalai Lama's talk, "mind and
heart". i have dear online friends who lean towards
the sword of clarity cutting through the knots of
ignorance, those who serve truth in scriptural form,
those who debone and dissolve, and others who stream
mystical writings of union and love without caring
of any theories. of course there are those who defy
any description but to not leave out the ones who
share deeply from the very lives in which we abide,
illuminating an awareness within everything from the
absolute to the relative.
i have seen that there are many arguments to be made
for separation and yet i find i do not see or feel love
and clarity as separate. i know one can be filled
with love and also be filled with many stories and
superstitions. i have seen that one can be absolutely
keen-eyed sharp as to the failings and misunderstandings
of others and yet be so detached in the void, that life
passes right by with no recognition or appreciation of
what is in front of us.
as far as i can see, it is where the heart and clarity
coincide that all arises from and within. one cannot
really, truly see another without falling in love with
heartbreaking compassion and devotion for what is here.
one cannot know anything completely without truly
recognizing it is of one's own heart. one cannot truly
surrender completely in love without recognizing the
boundless, limitless, timeless, space where the knowing
is irrevocable, clearer than any name, more known than
knowing itself. when i know who i am, it is love. when i
know who i am, it is clarity. and when i face all that
arises in my awareness, it is these that are at the
ground of every moment in this streaming.
i ponder at times, "non-duality", what is it good for?
how does it actually apply to my life? and i find if i
use it to avoid what is in front of me, then it is
useless. but as i allow myself to notice this moment,
the silence here, this stillness, i am here. when i
open to this breathtaking, utterly, patient, aliveness, so
fully present, i see that nothing is asked for, not even
recognition. yet it receives all; every hope, concept,
doubt, including every unworded aspect of it all. this
exists between and beyond any ideas of non-duality.
it is this wordless aliveness to which i am devoted.
yet it is not a separate devotion between any things,
it is love itself enfolding, unfolding, purely being,
expressed as life. all shines of this. and it is
this love which calls me into every tiny piece that
still appears unlit in my world. it is love that draws
me forth to stay connected with all the suffering, to
continue to face what appears unbearable with this total,
nameless devotion. it is what flows the aliveness
as this presence. and somehow i know that to retreat
in silence and avoid what i would name as "not love"
will only echo and maintain the suffering for all time
within time. love calls me into loving what still suffers,
to embrace it, to be with it. to be with what is here.
to know this as my self. all of it.
and love lets me know there are no small things, there
are no unimportant points, there is no pain to be
ignored, that everything, that absolutely every being,
is all awaiting this completion of being seen in love,
with love, as love. and as much as continuing to care
keeps the heart ripped open, it is the least i would do
and the most i can do in my devotion for what is. being
wide open is the only option. there is no other way that
is alive in truth.
i was initially drawn to the wisdom online and began to
feel ashamed of my undissolvable devotion to what is.
yet staying in truth led me continually to what is here.
and love is undeniable. love is absolutely, completely
clear when recognized in its true nature. though softer
than soft, and stiller than stillness, love in its
flowing ever-self, is entirely, mercilessly, lucidly,
unmovable from truth. while words are not needed for
what we all know in our hearts, love overflows in
expression exchanging words and attention here now. i
guess i could say wording is my devotion for what is.
i have discovered that online, the politically-spiritually
correct way is to never claim knowing anything. that this
is the safest. yet this love is so un-safe, dangerous, that
it undoes even this, and i am unable to deny what is my
heart. i cannot in any truth say that i do not know love.
nor am i able to deny what is wordlessly ever present,
this clear, clear, silence. this heart of hearts. to know
is to love. to see is to love. to be is to love. to me,
the clarity of realization is purely the awakening to the
love that is, as the love that is.
and along with this comes truly living this. the ancient
wisdoms depend mainly on removal from relative life. we
now see pioneers in awakening including the daily world,
with people like pema chodron, vicki woodyard and others
being courageous enough to bring it all into the light,
to include life itself.
Even though he'd been such a
successful military leader, he ran for president against Adlai
Stevenson promising to get the United States out of the Korean
War, and that's what he did. There wasn't another major military
conflict in his two terms in office. He said, "Every gun
that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired,
signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and
are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
ADDRESS BY BILL MOYERS
NEW YORK CITY
OCTOBER 4, 2004
And they hijacked Jesus. The very Jesus who stood in Nazareth and proclaimed, The Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. The very Jesus who told 5000 hungry people that all of you will be fed, not just some of you. The very Jesus who challenged the religious orthodoxy of the day by feeding the hungry on the Sabbath, who offered kindness to the prostitute and hospitality to the outcast, who said the kingdom of heaven belongs to little children, raised the status of women, and treated even the tax collector like a child of God. The very Jesus who drove the money changers from the temple. This Jesus has been hijacked and turned from a champion of the disposed into a guardian of the privileged. Hijacked, he was made over into a militarist, hedonist, and lobbyist .sent prowling the halls of Congress in Guccis, seeking tax breaks and loopholes for the powerful, costly new weapon systems that dont work, and punitive public policies.
Lets get Jesus back.
The Jesus who inspired a Methodist ship-caulker named Edward Rogers to crusade across New England for an eight hour work day. Lets get back the Jesus who caused Frances William to rise up against the sweatshop. The Jesus who called a young priest named John Ryan to champion child labor laws, unemployment insurance, a minimum wage, and decent housing for the poor ten years before the New Deal. The Jesus in whose name Dorothy Day challenged the Church to march alongside auto workers in Michigan, fishermen and textile workers in Massachusetts, brewery workers in New York, and marble cutters in Vermont. The Jesus in whose name E.B. McKinney and Owen Whitfield challenged a Mississippi system that kept sharecroppers in servitude and debt. The Jesus in whose name a Presbyterian minister named Eugene Carson Blake - Ikes Pastor - was arrested for protesting racial injustice in Baltimore. The Jesus who led Martin Luther King to Memphis to join sanitation workers in their struggle for a decent wage.
That Jesus has been scourged by his own followers, dragged through the streets by pious crowds, and crucified on a cross of privilege.
Mel Gibson missed that.
Mel Gibson stopped short of the whole story. So obsessed with the gore of the crucifixion he missed the glory of what followed. He didnt wait for the resurrection so he missed the power of the Pentecost. We must pick up the story where Mel Gibson stopped. Our times call out for a new spiritual revolution. Our times cry out for a new politics of justice. This is no partisan issue. It doesnt matter if youre a liberal or a conservative, God is neither. It doesnt matter if youre a Democrat or Republican God is neither.
To see whose side God is on go to Deuteronomy to read: Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do Go to the Psalms and read: For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight. Throughout our sacred text it is the widow and the orphan, the poor and the stranger who are blessed in the eyes of the Lord; it is kindness, relief and mercy that prove the power of faith and justice that measures the worth of state. Poverty and justice are religious issues. Kings are judged on how the poor fare under their rule; prophets speak to the gap between the rich and the poor as a reason for Gods judgment. And Jesus moves among the disinherited. In one of the greatest sermons ever preached we hear from his own lips: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothing. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when was it we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you? And the king will answer them, Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family you did it to me. Lets get Jesus back. -more-
Jerry Katz from NDSN
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