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#2002 - Monday, December 13, 2004 - Editor: Gloria
A Place to Start
If beginners studying Zen fear they have as yet no place to start
and no direction, even so, there's nothing else to say but that you
each have an original face, which you have never recognized.
This original face is one with all buddhas: twenty-four hours a day,
as you are speaking, silent, active, quiet, walking, standing,
sitting, and lying down, all of this is due to its empowerment.
Just recognize this inwardly, and there you have a place to start;
there you have direction.
~ Wei-tse (d.1348)
The Subtle Path
The subtle path of buddhas and Zen masters is not an irrational
creation of knotty problems, nor is it eccentricity or wierdery. And
it is not something that is very lofty and hard to practice: it is just
what you presently use all the time in your everyday activities. If
we have to give it a name, we might call it the natural real Buddha
in your own nature, or the master within your own self.
In everyday terms, at all times and in all places, you see and hear
with Shakyamuni Buddha's eyes and ears, you speak and breathe
with Zen founder Bodhidharma's tongue and nose. In ultimate terms,
the individual lives of all the buddhas and Zen masters of the ten
directions are all in your grip - whether to gather them together
or let them disperse is all up to you.
From Teachings of Zen, translated by Thomas Cleary
Please feel free to post my comments below on your website.
Ive always been puzzled by advaita-Vedanta proponents' strange silence about Adi Shankaras later life. Adi Shankara was the founder of the I am That philosophy of advaita Vedanta. This odd silence, intentional or innocent, conveniently skirts the deeper issue of the relationship between "advaita Vedanta" and devotion. For many contemporary advaita Vedanta teachers, no such relationship exists, nor has one ever existed, for the Self, or Absolute, is phenomena-free, without any association to devotion or energy (Kundalini-Shakti).
Reflecting (upon Shankara's later life), one sees that advaita Vedanta proponents have unfortunately hidden behind a curtain of denial, one that readily dismisses the crucial topics of devotion and energy in the state of Self-Realization. These phenomena are caustically dismissed by advaita Vedanta fundamentalists as extraneous and incidental to 'full enlightenment."
Adi Shankara, in His later years, abandoned
His earlier, adolescent, "I am That" style of
enlightenment-talk. He sang love-hymns to the Divine
Mother. The Divine Mother became the total focus of His
attention. Consumed in adorational intensity for The Mother,
devotionally inebriated, Shankara manifested Devotional
Advaita Vedanta. He founded Divine Mother temples
My invitation to those who think that advaita Vedanta is all there is to enlightenment is to contemplate the entire life of Adi Shankara. How do you reconcile His (later) behavior with a feeling-less, energy-less enlightenment, one that is often justified in the names of Ramana Maharishi and Nisargadatta Maharaj? Do you think Adi Shankara perhaps became overly emotional in His old age? I think not. Perhaps realization of the Absolute merely, has never been, is, and never will be, the real story of full awakening.
Only the simultaneous merger and interpenetration of Divine Light (realization of the Self), Divine Love (Devotional Intoxication) and energetic awakening in the Kundalini-Shakti, describes entire spiritual awakening.
Without its spouses of devotion and energy, advaita Vedanta is just a convenient, pathetic excuse not to go mad in God.
Editor's note: Take a look at David Spero's website for more.
to an offering of
Chanting and Devotional Singing http://www.spiritual-happiness.com/music.html
Here you can listen to Sanskrit chanting and recitation with English translations for some of the most powerful, holy, and ancient spiritual scriptures from India, including Bhagavad Gita, Shiva Sutras, Spanda Karikas, Bhaja Govindam, Pratyabhijanhrdayam, and more.
Videos to Watch Online in Streaming RealPlayer
This is a powerful documentary about an extraordinary woman, At age 44, Mildred Norman left her life circumstances and became Peace Pilgrim -- walking coast to coast for peace for nearly 30 years, living on faith and sharing her wisdom and exhuberance generously with people across the land. This 60-minute documentary is a poetic and musical exploration of her life and message, which is as relevant today as ever. Also included are interviews with Dalai Lama, Maya Angelou, John Robbins, Elizabeth Kubler Ross, and many of Peace Pilgrim's friends, admirers, and relatives, along with newsreel footage from the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's, when Peace was on her walk for peace.
In harmony with Peace Pilgrim's non-covetous ways, the Friends of Peace Pilgrim Foundation's all-volunteer crew has been publishing and offering an abundance of materials by and about Peace Pilgrim for decades, including her classic "In Her Own Words" (which you can also read online HERE) and this video documentary -- all materials are offered without charge, although of course it is donations that help keep this offering possible.
Night Lotus Productions Streaming Video Page with Many Videos to View
Peace Pilgrim: An American Sage who Walked Her Talk (scroll down this page for more videos)
The Faces of CalWORKs
Let's Be Thankful
site posted on SatsangDiaryGroup by Alan Adams-Jacobs
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