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#1971 - Saturday, November 6, 2004 - Editor: Gloria


  It Is I Who Must Begin  

It is I who must begin.
Once I begin, once I try --
here and now,
right where I am,
not excusing myself
by saying things
would be easier elsewhere,
without grand speeches and
ostentatious gestures,
but all the more persistently
-- to live in harmony
with the "voice of Being," as I
understand it within myself
-- as soon as I begin that,
I suddenly discover,
to my surprise, that
I am neither the only one,
nor the first,
nor the most important one
to have set out
upon that road.

Whether all is really lost
or not depends entirely on
whether or not I am lost.

~ Vaclav Havel ~  

(Teaching With Fire, ed. by S.M. Intrator and M. Scribner)

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  When, at some point, there is a spontaneous surrender of the personal needs,
preferences, desires, opinions, and beliefs that function as "reality filters," the
realization of your true identify may spontaneously arise. When this happens there will
be no more questions. You see that everything is the answer - that the guru is and has
always been completely present. He manifests as the person, inner voice, or
happening that triggers this surrender. Any way the invitation is extended, it functions
as the guru. It may be silence from a sage or words from a shopkeeper. The surrender
may come through agony or ecstasy. It can happen through an apple falling on your
head; it can come from the smile of a child; or it can arise from deep inside as you
walk along a beach at sunset or when your burn your finger on the stove. At any time,
your sense of separation may dissolve to reveal the One beyond all duality.

- Leo Hartong  

Awakening to the Dream Trafford, 2001  

Diving into Despair--Reprise Essay

It is never bad to dive into despair if you do it knowingly.  To be specific, I did just that today.  Bob's platelets were too low to risk giving him chemo, so he just got his monthly Aridia.  I visited with the social worker and she encouraged me to do what I needed to do--cry.

When we got home, I dived into despair and stayed there until I was ready to leave.  Snuffling and blowing, I surfaced back into the ordinary world.  Yes, it was still there.  Bob had caught a cardinal in the squirrel trap and I released it, to its great relief, to its great Re-life.  That is what God is asking me to let go of my husband, to give him back to God.  That is what the tears are about and I make no apology.

This journey of ours has been fraught with challenges and sorrows.  We have grown, but at the price of our personal life.  The last four years have been one long test.  To say that we are any stronger would be ridiculous.  I am much weaker than I would have thought possible.  If it is any consolation to my readers, what I have written previously was heart-felt and yet did not go nearly far enough.  I should have talked more about breaking.

To those of you who have not been touched by a cancer called incurable, I pray that it will not happen to you.  The only good thing to come out of it for me has been my writing.  I have found my voice and tried to let it trace the journey that I am on.  Today it is just a feeble croak, just a few keystrokes allowed to fall.  I hope that you know I am grateful to have readers, for connection is what it is all about.  Thank you for being there.

Finally, It is all right to not be all right

Today I sank down into a realization; that finally, it is all right to not be all right.  My teacher used to yell and scream at us that we didn't have to know--and none of us ever knew what he meant.  He died, taking his realization with him.  I mourned, along with everyone else, that I had not gotten it before he died.

Not only that, but things got worse and worse in my outer life.  My husband's cancer has been ongoing for over four years now and it has made me even more aware that I don't get it.  I just find more anger, fear and sorrow buried beneath the false hopes and  unrealized insights.  Boy, howdie, the path is steep and thorny.

Sometimes, though, the gods give us a freebie, comp us some consciousness that we don't deserve.  Today it hit me like a bolt from Zeus that not knowing solves all of my problems because it bypasses thinking mind.

I can bypass fear, anxiety, mental monkey wrenches and assorted thought-driven states of mnd.  I can just sit there and not blink as they go by.  This is truly a sadhana that pays off big-time.  The seat of serenity is superglued to not knowing and being okay with that.  All of my terrors are mentally stimulated and can die out when I sink into the Self.  It is better than a Lazy Boy. 

So now I make the grand declaration to my mind.  Your vote doesn't count.  Your hanging chads can just hang into infinity.  I am going to stay with my mysterious ability to not know.  I can experience ignorance consciously, thus bypassing thought.  This concept is deeper than a Chicago pizza and far less fattening.  I can order up a slice of ignorance any time I crave one.  It is an endless ocean of peace that is offered to me.  I don't know how it will be should I have to face the future alone.  I don't know if I will be smart enough or brave enough.  I don't know if I will be guided or left sitting on a mushroom.  Does it matter?  I don't know.  But I wish you would meet me so we could sit together and not know the future and realize how peaceful that can be.

Vicki Woodyard  

posted on nondualnow


Dear Vicky,

Thank you for sharing this with us. Took some pondering and sleeping over it for me to reply.

I also feel I have no answers. The only thing I found out is that there is liberation is seeing things as they are. This is not an answer that will satisfy the mind or the ‘me,’ it is not an answer even: it is a new way of living.

You seem to find inspiration in life as it is for you and sometimes that maybe hellish. Yet your words always carry the perfume of freedom and truth, you stepped out of it all while being completely and wholeheartedly engaged in life as it is, for what else is there? And that is exactly what I witness in my life as well.

June 2nd 1997 my girlfriends mother died suddenly when she was 50 years old. It was a disaster; my girlfriend was very, very close to her mother. She changed and withdrew back into herself even more, as she has always been quite introverted. At the moment we have been together for over 12 years, but we went through a very difficult time together after the passing away of mother.

I tried to comfort her by telling her about Sri Ramana and other sages, it wouldn’t help. I began to drink more and more and she led her life a bit on and in her own. But we stayed together nevertheless.

In 2002 she and I went on a trip to India. She witnessed the poverty and the beauty of the country, she blossomed during our travels and she made many friends among the local women. She admired the colors, the gentleness of the south Indian mentality and she admired the courage and strength of Indian women and the spontaneity and great beauty of the children there. She went into Madras, Tiruvannamalai and countless other cities and towns by herself and shot pictures that when developed later were works of great beauty and intensity. Those pictures were taken with her heart; I had a glimpse of her secret inner life through those photographs. And what I saw changed how I see her. We fel in love again and had conquered the emptiness of separation. During that trip she seemed to have come out of herself, she was without fear: she was living again!

We have been to the theosophical society in Madras to see the big banyan and I bought Krishnamurti books and tapes there. From that moment on she started to read the teachings of K and she has changed even more. In a short time I can say she underwent a transformation that for other people may take a lifetime. In the right moment and in the right place she heard what she had been longing for. She drank it in completely and transformed and healed. Only when we arrived back and when I saw these photographs I became aware of the change that had taken place in her life.

Now she is carrying our child. It is an honor to share my life with such a wise and loving person. She will always remain a mystery to me, she isn’t eager to speak on spirituality like we in this group do, but her smile speaks for itself. I think she is free of sorrow now although life still can be full of trials and tribulations as I wrote in my earlier letters. But when there is love nothing can stop us. Just like what all the love songs are about, yet slightly different.

Love and regards,


posted on nondualnow 

Ben, Sam, and the Awakened One smiling in the background.  

Ben Hassine and Sam Pasciencier have both contributed much to the Highlights, for which we editors and no doubt our readers are grateful.  It is good to see them finally meet in person.

"Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love.
The real miracle is the love that inspires them.
In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle."

- Marianne Williamson
posted on AlphaWorld    

    Daily Dharma  

"The quality of difficulty, struggle, pain,
dissatisfaction, or unpleasantness will remind me to
have the simple thought: 'Other people feel this.'
Now that may sound simplistic--maybe not all that
important, but, believe me, it makes a big difference
because the isolation, personal burden, loneliness,
and desperation of pain gets very strong. And you
think you're the only one. I've had people actually
say to me, 'I think no one else in the world feels
this kind of pain.' And then I can say to them with
tremendous confidence: 'Wrong.'"

~Pema Chodron

The next step, after acknowledging that other people
feel as we do, are suffering as much or more than we
are, is to dedicate our suffering to the allieviation
of others' pain. With all our heart, deep
determination and intention, we make this offering.
Bring it on, baby! we tell our befuddled being, and
emaho! the immediate pay-off can be quite amazing! Our
own pain is lessened! But the tricky part is we can't
make this the reason we do the practice - we have to
dig deep and intend from the depths of our being, as
much as we can, to offer our own discomfort for the
welfare of others. It may take time to develop this
practice, but it is so worth while - why not give it a
try? What's to lose? Suffering? Sounds fine to this
old hag.

Pema Chodron source unknown, taken from web page,
"Tonglen," from DGsanga web site:


May all beings be happy. May they be free from suffering. May they be at peace.

by Thich Nhat Hanh

Nothing remains the same for two consecutive moments. Heraclitus said we can
never bathe twice in the same river. Confucius, while looking at a stream,
said, "It is always flowing, day and night." The Buddha implored us not just
to talk about impermanence, but to use it as an instrument to help us
penetrate deeply into reality and obtain liberating insight. We may be
tempted to say that because things are impermanent, there is suffering. But
the Buddha encouraged us to look again. Without impermanence, life is not
possible. How can we transform our suffering if things are not impermanent?
How can our daughter grow up into a beautiful young lady? How can the
situation in the world improve? We need impermanence for social justice and
for hope.

If you suffer, it is not because things are impermanent. It is because you
believe things are permanent. When a flower dies, you don't suffer much,
because you understand that flowers are impermanent. But you cannot accept
the impermanence of your beloved one, and you suffer deeply when she passes

If you look deeply into impermanence, you will do your best to make her
happy right now. Aware of impermanence, you become positive, loving and
wise. Impermanence is good news. Without impermanence, nothing would be
possible. With impermanence, every door is open for change. Impermanence is
an instrument for our liberation.

posted on Allspirit Inspiration by Gill Eardley

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