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#1982 - Saturday, November 20, 2004 - Editor: Gloria
"Music Heard so
It is not heard at all
And you are the music
While the music lasts."
from Allspirit Inspiration
to Some Poems
Look: no one ever promised for sure
that we would sing. We have decided
to moan. In a strange dance that
we don't understand till we do it, we
have to carry on.
Just as in sleep you have to dream
the exact dream to round out your life,
so we have to live that dream into stories
and hold them close at you, close at the
edge we share, to be right.
We find it an awful thing to meet people,
serious or not, who have turned into vacant
effective people, so far lost that they
won't believe their own feelings
enough to follow them out.
The authentic is a line from one thing
along to the next; it interests us.
strangely, it relates to what works,
but is not quite the same. It never
swerves for revenge,
Or profit, or fame: it holds
together something more than the world,
this line. And we are your wavery
efforts at following it. Are you coming?
Good: now it is time.
from The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems © Graywolf Press
for Vicki Woodyard and Bob
How I can relate to your see-saw of
my mother was given only a few weeks to live, I became
her sole caretaker. And my emotions ran the gamut
also. The anger was apparently very evident because
one day she said, "Please don't be so angry with me."
I had done some death and dying volunteer work
to prepare for this eventuality...but it certainly
didn't prepare me enough. Can there ever be enough??
At the Mayo Clinic when the doctors told me the
cancer had metastasized, we decided to go back home,
so she could die in her own bed.
I had this fantasy that every night we would cuddle
together and she would offer me great "pearls of
wisdom" about how I was to carry on, an
only-adult-child soon to be orphaned at 53. But the
reality was that she became too weak to talk much.
About the second night before her death she said
to me, "There is so much I wanted to say to you, but
I just don't have the energy. I'm sorry."
And I replied, "Please just tell me one thing...the
most important thing of all."
"I just want you to know that this old, sick woman
lying here dying is not the real me. There are two of
me and the real me isn't going through any of this."
My mother didn't have a religious or spiritual
bone in her body...yet somehow she tapped into her
true Self. And that pearl of great wisdom was her
final gift to me.
this little light with love,
Evening, photo by Al Larus http://www.ferryfee.com/bluesky/evening_2.htm
If you want
to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to
eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask what I am living for, in detail,
and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I
want to live for. - Thomas Merton
The greatest use
is to spend it for something
that will outlast it.
- William James
Vol. 2 - No. 3
As I Saw Him - 8
A. Devaraja Mudaliar had a unique, innate ability to associate with the Maharshi in an entirely natural manner, while yet maintaining complete faith and devotion to him. This resulted in an intimate relationship and frank dialogues on many subjects, including the practical application of the Maharshi's teachings.
[...] When I had resided in the Ashrama I gradually made a routine to sing for about half an hour between 10 and 11 in the morning, that is for the last twenty minutes or half hour between when Bhagavan had finished going through the second mail and when the gong went for lunch. Bhagavan saw that this was my line of approach and was doing me good. Therefore he took care, by the silent working of his grace, that nobody interfered with it.
In the early days Bhagavan encouraged me whenever I was singing with deep feeling. He would have such a look on his face, with his radiant eyes directed towards me, that I would be held spellbound, and not infrequently, at some especially moving words in the songs, tears would come and I would be obliged to stop reciting for one or two minutes. Bhagavan told me that such weeping is good, quoting from Thiruvachakam: "By crying for You (God), one can get you."
This seems an appropriate place for referring to another well known characteristic of Bhagavan. To those who have only a very superficial knowledge of him or his works, it might seem that he was a cold, relentlessly logical, unemotional Jnani, far removed from the Bhakta who melts into tears in contemplation of God's grace and love. But to those who had any real experience of Bhagavan and his ways, and works, it was clear that he was as much a Bhakta as a Jnani. Often he has told us that only a true Bhakta can be a true Jnani and that only a true Jnani can be a true Bhakta. The complete extinction of the ego is the end attained either in jnana or bhakti.
When touching songs were recited or read out before him, or when he himself was reading out to us poems or passages from the lives or works of famous saints, he would be moved to tears and would find it impossible to restrain them. He would be reading out and explaining some passage and when he came to a very moving part he would get so choked with emotion that he could not continue but would lay aside the book.
Before taking leave of this topic, I must remark that it was not only any moving song about God that had this effect on him but anything grand, magnanimous, noble or generous moved him as few people could be moved. I was often reminded of the sentence, "The finest minds, like the finest metals, dissolve the easiest."
Many times I complained to Bhagavan that I was not making any appreciable progress, bemoaning the persistence of desires. Bhagavan replied making light of my trouble: "It will all go, all in time. You need not worry. The more dhyana (meditation) one performs the more will these desires fall off."
On other occasions when I complained that I was not improving, Bhagavan simply replied, "How do you know?"
Bhagavan, from what little I know of him, was not one who believed in forcing the pace. On the contrary, he gave me the impression that he felt it was not proper and was not for our real good, that he should interfere and do violence to our nature or Prakriti by hurrying us at a faster pace than we are built for, even towards realisation. [...]
His view on the attempts, however well intentioned, by idealistic reformers, whether socialist or communist or whatever label they may wear, to make all people equally well-placed in life can be epitomized as follows: "There never was and never will be a time when all are equally happy or rich or wise or healthy. In fact none of these terms has any meaning except in so far as the opposite to it exists. But that does not mean that when you come across anyone who is less happy or more miserable than yourself, you are not to be moved to compassion or to seek to relieve him as best you can. On the contrary, you must love all and help all, since only in that way can you help yourself. When you seek to reduce the suffering of any fellow-man or fellow-creature, whether your efforts do succeed or not, you are yourself evolving spiritually thereby, especially if such service is rendered disinterestedly, not with the egoistic feeling 'I am doing this', but in the spirit 'God is making me the channel of this service; He is the doer and I the instrument'." On two successive days, in answer to questions from visitors, Bhagavan said in effect what I have summarised above.
Most of the time I lived with Bhagavan, I used to feel peaceful and absolutely free from care. That, as many can testify, was the outstanding effect of his presence. Nevertheless, it did occasionally happen that something disturbed the peace and happiness for a while. On one such occasion I asked Bhagavan: "Why do such interruptions come? Does it mean that we have ceased to have Bhagavan's grace then?"
With what graciousness did Bhagavan reply: "You crazy fellow! The trouble or want of peace comes only because of grace."
On other occasions also Bhagavan has similarly told me: "You people are glad and grateful to God when things you regard as good come to you. That is right, but you should be equally grateful when things you regard as bad come to you. That is where you fail."
Here I must say the only method I have adopted to achieve liberation or Self-realisation is simply to throw myself on Bhagavan, to surrender to him as completely as lies in my power, and to leave everything else to him. And Bhagavan's teaching, the last I ever got from him before he attained Mahasamadhi, was just this: "Your business is simply to surrender and leave everything to me. If one really surrenders completely, there is no room for him to complain that the Guru has not done this or that."
Fighting the ego, the mind, is precisely
what the ego wants. You cannot fight the
mind. You cannot suppress the ego.
Fighting, resisting, controlling it is an im-
possible action. What is really needed is a
negative or feminine action. That is to yield,
to allow things to be as they are.
- Ramesh S. Balsekar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
"A Net of Jewels"
Ramesh S. Balsekar
Advaita Press, 1966
tonight i came home from running a group
filled with people i am so happy to be working
with, such willingness to be open and humble.
and tonight i feel deeply sad that the CARE woman
was killed in Iraq. i came online and read that
she was shot. a quote from her family members said
that at least now she is free from suffering. that
does not console me.
in the assorted non-dual versions of non-duality,
compassion plays greater to lesser to non-existent
roles. i only know that however much i let go and
face emptiness, face the cascading disintegration
of beliefs and even ideals, what arises is deep
sorrow that people suffer. i feel so sorry that
this woman suffered and nothing makes it ok. and
nothing makes it ok when we watch loved ones from
our personal lives suffer. even when there is a
greater and deeper sense that all is connected.
i feel sad about bob. knowing there really are no
and yet, i am also grateful i feel. i have no need
to live in disembodied online ville where "nothing
happens to no one". in this life laid out before me,
i care deeply. i cared deeply as one individual after
the other tentatively began to open up and share their
issues in my live group earlier. i care deeply reading
aly and gloria's and and vicki's and many other's
and in this moment i know this too, is enough. just
to remain open. to stay present with even my uncool
not-non-dual deep desires that all the insanity that
continues to create suffering could end. to know my
childhood wish that i could heal all has not abated
even as i simultaneously feel such a deep love bitter
sweet amidst it all. holding the acceptance i am
powerless nor capable of knowing what is best in any
and part of the grace i give clients, i give loved ones,
i receive from others, we give each other, is the space
to be present with all that we are experiencing without
trying to deny it, alter it or cover it up. what i like
here is people don't "should" each other. we support and
encourage each other to be, to be who we are, as we are.
what else is there really to do?
as Pamela would put it, we give satsang to the sorrow that
posted on nondualnow
ever remember that I thought I had
a destiny. But a zen teacher I worked with a few
years ago felt that it was important that we have
a vow....something that we consciously try to
implement with compassion every day...thereby,
perhaps, fulfilling destiny in the moment?
She said that her teacher had told her that
although the "person" does not live on after death,
the work that we do with our vow does. Interesting.
I like the concept, so mine has been to give
assistance to travelers.
posted on nondualnow
May your trails
be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most
amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
-- Edward Abbey
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