|Dr. Robert Puff|
Click here to go to the next issue
Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day
Nondual Highlights Issue #2016 Wednesday, December 29, 2004 Editor: Mark
Editor's note: This edition of the highlights is dedicated to
those suffering from the recent tsunami, and to all others who
suffer from any reason at all...
Indonesia - Two of the world's longest-running civil wars are
being fought on land devastated by Sunday's earthquake and
tsunamis. In one conflict, the tragedy showed hopeful signs of
bringing the two sides together; in the other, it appeared to be
hardening the divisions.
Immediately after the quake struck, the warring sides in Indonesia's Aceh province agreed to put hostilities on hold, while government and rebel spokesmen in ethnically divided Sri Lanka accused each other of mishandling the response to the disaster.
Aceh and Sri Lanka suffered the most from Sunday's catastrophes, which killed people in 11 countries from Asia to Africa. The dead included at least 27,000 people in Indonesia and more than 18,700 in Sri Lanka - a majority of the total death toll of at least 52,000.
Indonesia's vice president said the count in his country alone could reach 50,000.
In Aceh province on the northern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island, insurgents seeking independence have been fighting government forces since 1976. The conflict has killed 13,000 people, including at least 2,000 in the past year.
But after the weekend disaster, the rebel Free Aceh Movement ordered a cease-fire so relief agencies could deliver supplies.
The government also loosened restrictions that for years have stopped aid agencies and journalists from operating freely in the province.
"We're holding back," said Lt. Col. Ali Tarunajaya, an Aceh police chief. "We're not going to arrest the rebels. They're looking for members of their families, just like many of our police members are looking for theirs. We're all crying together."
In Sri Lanka, the response could not have been more different.
Government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels, who have clashed since 1983 over the ethnic minority Tamils' claim for a homeland, refused to work together despite a massive humanitarian crisis.
The Tigers control a vast part of Tamil-majority northeastern Sri Lanka as a virtual independent state with its own administration, police and judiciary. The government controls remaining areas.
A cease-fire between the ethnic Sinhalese majority and the Tamils was brokered by Norway in 2002, but peace talks broke down more than a year ago.
"Ideally a national calamity like this should lead to greater flexibility by both parties to find a common approach to address the humanitarian needs of the people," said Jehan Perera, a political analyst from the National Peace Council.
But a Tamil member of parliament, Joseph Pararajasingham, said government leaders discussing relief efforts "simply were not bothered about the plight of our people."
Military spokesman Brig. Daya Ratnayake said the government and military were doing what they could in areas under government control in the northeast.
"Even from a disaster like this they are trying to score points," he said of rebel statements criticizing the government.
President Chandrika Kumaratunga appealed for "all people across ethnic lines to unite at this very difficult time."
On Tuesday, the rebels conducted separate relief operations in areas under their control and made a separate appeal requesting aid from donor countries and U.N agencies.
"Assistance channeled through the Government of Sri Lanka has failed to reach the displaced in the northeast," TamilNet quoted the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization as saying.
"The present resources available ... are nowhere near sufficient to meet the huge crisis that has arisen, and we are faced with the prospect of an ever-increasing toll of the dead, outbreak of epidemics."
The situation is less tense in Indonesia, analysts said, because rebels control little territory and their shadow government has little say in the region.
As a result, relief officials in Indonesia said they did not expect rescue efforts to be affected.
"The indication is that there shouldn't be a problem," said Michael Elmquist, who heads the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Jakarta. "We've been told that the vice president has instructed the air force to facilitate the arrival of foreign assistance."
Analysts said the military could use the relief effort to try to win the support of the 4.3 million people in the province, where soldiers are known for alleged brutality.
Ken Conboy, an Aceh specialist, said the disaster was unlikely to result in a resumption of peace talks but could provide opportunities for both sides to be more flexible.
The rebels have "taken some very serious losses over the past year, and they may be looking for a reprieve," Conboy said.
"This also might provide an opportunity for the government to rethink their Aceh policy and come up with something that is a bit more cerebral, rather than continuing the policy of a civil emergency without any game plan."
- Associated Press
The Seal Wife (a ballad of sorts)
Alone he wandered
making camp where he pleased
along streams or in coves,
eating what he caught or picked
a pack full of salt, sugar, onions,
an old radio, battery worn,
a Sunday treat, a crackly
reminder of the trajectory
Alone he listened
to the quiet sounds
that carried for miles
in the icy tundral air,
the wolves at night,
the crackling of stars
as they break through
and twinkle their cold lit
stories of old,
alone he tasted the flavors
of each stream and spring,
the taste story of the land,
the breath of the spirit
who rested there,
He saw her in moonlight
silvery orb hanging large
over the valley,
she passed by the scrub
and turned her dark eyes,
pools of the deep
within the quiet landscape,
and pierced his heart,
shot through his spirit
and fastened the harpoon
where dislodging meant death.
Overjoyed, shedding his heart
blood, thick and deep red
drops on the glowing white snow,
he used his voice to call her,
and found it cracked from disuse,
awkward and unwieldy,
he wrestled the words into place,
stone blocks to make a gate
for her to walk through.
She remained quiet,
her being itself a whisper
her hair a susurration,
her glance a question,
an exclamation point,
flowing instantly to fill his
mind and body with
and golden cloudberry light,
and he, for the first time
in his long memory,
rushed to fill the silence
with stories the stars
told him, stories of the
world outside, his hopes
and his dreams, the wolf
cries of the night.
Enchanted she came closer,
still quiet, voiceless,
in the full moon's light
ethereal and transparent,
walked through his
word-gates and laid her
hand on his heart.
They spent the long
arctic night thus, together,
loving in the furs of his tent,
melding into one being,
moving together to build
a story, enchantment,
the night made solid.
The morning came and
she was gone, he searched
and only saw a seal,
a plaintive look of longing,
there on the ice.
Murderous impulse: meat
and fur, there for the taking,
a club and a gun, his lust
turned to blood, his love to
primal killing. He crept close,
heart hardened to this animal
pleading, thinking only of
steaming entrails and the
sizzle of fat on fire. He shot
true, a mortal wound, and
rushed club in hand to
the blood slick seal,
to ensure his prize, to
claim his conquest.
As he arrived at the
steaming site his eyes
wrinkled, his senses shifted,
and he saw there, on the
snow bed, the woman of
the night, still silent, still
piercing him with her eyes,
still deep and dark, even
with life seeping out of her,
and he cried out to the sky,
beat his breast and pulled
his beard, threw himself
upon his beloved, frantic
to yank life back into the
wounded body, heart
descending, lurching below
the ice, the full knowledge
of what he'd done. A knife,
cutting out that harpoon,
his own life blood mingling
with hers, as she died, one
sigh her only sound,
there on the ice, in the
valley, in the arms of her
lover, her murderer.
Thereafter, wherever he
wandered, away from all
others, tiny drops of scarlet
followed his footsteps and
mingled with his tears.
What You Loved
Life of my life, what you loved I sing.
If you're near, if you're listening,
think of me now in the evening:
shadow in shadows, hear me sing.
Life of my life, I can't be still.
What is a story we never tell?
How can you find me unless I call?
Life of my life, I haven't changed,
not turned aside and not estranged.
Come to me as the shadows grow long,
come, life of my life, if you know the song
you used to know, if you know my name.
I and the song are still the same.
Beyond time or place I keep the faith.
Follow a path or follow no path,
never fearing the night, the wind,
call to me, come to me, now at the end,
walk with me, life of my life, my friend.
Translated by Ursula K. Le Guin, posted to nondualnow
It can be difficult to even think about beings
in torment, let alone to act on their behalf.
Recognizing this, we begin with a practice that
is fairly easy. We cultivate bravery through
making aspirations. We make the wish that all
beings, including ourselves and those we dislike,
be free of suffering and the root of suffering.
We use aspiration practice to soften our hearts
and also to become more honest and forgiving
about when and how we shut down. Without
justifying or condemning ourselves we do the
courageous work of opening to suffering. This can
be the pain that comes when we put up barriers or
the pain of opening our heart to our own sorrow
or that of another being. We learn as much about
doing this from our failures as we do from our
successes. In cultivating compassion we draw from
the wholeness of our experience - our suffering,
our empathy, as well as our cruelty and terror.
It has to be this way. Compassion is not a
relationship between the healer and the wounded.
Its a relationship between equals. Only when we
know our own darkness well can we be present with
the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real
when we recognize our shared humanity.
- Pema Chödrön, From the book, The Places that Scare You,, published by Shambhala Publications,- posted to DailyDharma
in the heart of hearts
we all know each other
and this greatest silence, this peace,
continues to bring us together
as we open our hearts for all
that arises to be seen and released
this community of truth is an invitation
for all that is, to be fully present,
this is a place, where silence
touches heart and resonates
each ripple continues the undoing
of all suffering,
amplifying the stillness and bringing
forth gratitude for all who are
devoted to this presence,
to this endless Light
my heart of hearts,
to even write this name,
fills me with tears,
wordless overflowing love
- posted to MillionPaths
The Sage said one shouldnt blurt out every secret
Even an even number may turn out oddly to be odd,
And sometimes the odd number oddly turns out to be even.
If naively you breathe words on a mirror it becomes dim,
Dont wag the errant tongue foolishly on three things,
Your date of departure, your fortune, and your religion.
Theres many an opponent waiting, if he knows all that,
If you tell one or two folk, say good bye to your secet,
All secrets told beyond two are published abroad.
If you tie two or three birds together they die on the ground,
Theyll chirp ,well hidden, to confuse any bird snatchers.
The prophet consulted friends but they misunderstood him,
His question would be concealed in a parable so his foes
Might not distinguish their feet from their heads,
He had answers from foes, others failed to catch the drift.
When like a fool he looks neither forward nor back...
The road looks smooth but beneath are many pitfalls,
Among the myriads of names and forms there is lack of meaning,
Words and images are like dangerous man holes,
Sweet flattery can suck up the vital source of life
Like sand ; where water gushes from sand is hard to find.
Go seek that spring, and become an ocean of wisdom.
He becomes free of desire and their ways and means.
His heart is a Guarded Tablet, hes enriched by the spirit.
When wisdom is his teacher it then becomes his pupil,
It cries like Gabriel : oh Ahmed one more step will burn me
Leave me, advance yourself, this is my end, oh Soul Sultan,
Whoever remains without thanks and self control
Only follows the stilleto heels of harsh necessity.
Pleading fate as an excuse, is an illness nearing death.
The Prophet said feigned illness in jest brings real disease,
And the jester goes out like a spluttering candle.
The meaning of jabr is to bind a limb or tie a vein,
As your foot is not broken, whom are you mocking?
Why have you bandaged your foot in swathes of cloth?
Whoever breaks his leg in effort, Burlaq comes, and off he rides,
He carried the Prophet Messenger of true religion
Who as an accepter of command became widely accepted.
Until then he was taking orders from the temporal King,
Now he gives the universal Kings commands to mankind.
Before, his fate was ruled by the planets and stars,
Now he rules galaxies , constellations and their circuits.
If this perplexes, youll doubt the moon was split in two.
Refresh faith but not with the tongue, you who refresh desire.
So long as craving is fresh then faith becomes stale.
Youve corrupted the true meaning of the virgin phrase,
Interpret and improve yourself not the divine scriptures.
Desire is the lock that fastens shut the pearly gate.
You interpret the Koran according to your wants.
The sublime meaning is then perverted and degraded.
The fly lifted its head like a pilot on a blade of straw
Navigating a ship through a pool of donkeys urine.
"I have sailed this boat and ocean for a long time,
And often pondered over my wise interpretation.
Look here ,in this ship Im Captain, skilled and judicious."
He was paddling the craft on the sea, it seemed limitless,
The pee was boundless in relation to his pin head body,
Where was that vision to see its true perspective?
His world was as vast as his sight, his sea was proportionately large,
So with false comment on the Koran. Like the little fly,
His imagination reeks like the piss of a donkey,
His conception is as worthless as a blade of straw.
If the fly stops following his own opinion, grace might transform him,
One who sees the Divine hand, pointing at true meaning
Is not a fly, his spirit doesnt represent his outer form.
What is skin ? Specious words, ripples on a blocked stream.
Their words are like a nutshell, the meaning is in the kernel,
Letters are the form, meaning is in the holy spirit.
The shell hides the rotteness of the flawed kernel,
But jealously protects the nutritious, tasty nut.
When the pen is wind, and paper is water, all thats written
Vanishes swiftly in the white caps of the ocean.
If inscribed on water and you expect faithful constancy,
Youll be disappointed and come back with bitten nails.
Mans wind is vanity and desire, give them up. and God speaks.
Sweet are the sublime messages from the Lord Creator,
From head to foot they are enduring and constant.
Prayers for Kings pass, but not the signs of Prophets.
The pomp of Kings is from earthly vanity, the prophets
Glory comes from the grace of His most Divine Majesty.
The names of Kings are removed from coins of the realm,
Mohammeds name is stamped and sealed for ever.
Ahmads name is the inheritence of all the prophets
When the one hundredth is counted, the ninety nine are there as well.
What worlds are in the constant care of Mother Reason,
In her wide ocean the cups are flowing fast on top of the water,
Until they become full they are like bowls skimming on the sea,
But when a bowl is full it sinks down into the deep.
Reason is well hidden, only phenomena are visible.
Our forms are like the spray of the wind swept waves,
Whatsover means that form uses to approach Mother Reason
She, by that same means, throws the form away.
While the heart fails to see the giver of her conscience
Its like an arrow fired in the air and ignorant of its archer.
He whos blind thinks his horse is lost while galloping along.
In grief the scatterbrain runs from door to door asking,
"Who stole my steed ?" "whats that nag under your thigh ?"
"Yes, this is my horse, but tell me where on earth is it?"
Oh blind rider in search of your horse, remember your Self!
- posted to satsangdiarygroup
As I watch the world I am paired into the joy and the pain, the love and the hate that manifest in our space. There is no denying the death and destruction that is senseless beyond all comprehension.
Yet the joy and love are built into the flow of the universe, manifesting within me, clearly all around me in the sweetness of our beautiful humanity.
How to deal with this painful dichotomy?
It is a confusing, contradictory mess. To be madly in love with the universe can seem to be neglectful of the problems. After all, if I am not part of the solution, I am part of the problem. And I do believe there is truth in that.
I need to answer my responsibility to speak truth, to work for what is good in my eyes. The answer for each of us is to find the path that satisfies our needs in this yet to be civilized wilderness of the human spirit. That path is the path of going within to find what actions are ours and what are not and to live according to the truth we find within.
Be patient. Wait for understanding. Then act with all the harmony within you.
The conflict resolves, at least in this moment, to realize that maintaining the heart of mankind is a beautiful and essential contribution. There are those who find beauty in painting, music, comedy, writing, so many ways of redeeming the human spirit. Teachers are everywhere, building, lifting up.
I cannot allow the pain and the conflict to dominate consciousness. My fight is to bring love into consciousness. It is not a contradiction at all. It is essential that we not allow the spirit to be harmed in the maelstrom of negative energy that swirls so ubiquitously.
We always have a choice where we will worship. I worship peace and love no matter what high priests of violence preach.
Peace, love, kindness within. My heart is alive with that joy.
No matter what.
- Emanations, copyright © 2004 by John MacEnulty, - posted to truevision
top of page