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#2020 - Monday, January 3, 2005 - Editor: Gloria  

Five A.M. in the Pinewoods   I

'd seen
their hoofprints in the deep
needles and knew
they ended the long night

under the pines, walking
like two mute
and beautiful women toward
the deeper woods, so I

got up in the dark and
went there. They came
slowly down the hill
and looked at me sitting under

the blue trees, shyly
they stepped
closer and stared
from under their thick lashes and even

nibbled some damp
tassels of weeds. This
is not a poem about a dream,
though it could be.

This is a poem about the world
that is ours, or could be.
one of them — I swear it! —

would have come to my arms.
But the other
stamped sharp hoof in the
pine needles like

the tap of sanity,
and they went off together through
the trees. When I woke
I was alone,

I was thinking:
so this is how you swim inward,
so this is how you flow outward,
so this is how you pray.

~ Mary Oliver ~   (

House of Light

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  Meditation will not carry you to another world, but it will reveal the most profound and awesome dimensions of the world in which you already live. Calmly contemplating these dimensions and bringing them into the service of compassion and kindness is the right way to make rapid gains in meditation as well as in life.

- Hsing Yun

  The Wisdom of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj  

"To deal with things knowledge of things is needed. To deal with
people, you need insight, sympathy. To deal with yourself, you need
nothing. Be what you are--conscious being--and don't stray away from

  "You need some food, clothing and shelter for you and yours, but this
will not create problems as long as greed is not taken for a need.
Live in tune with things as they are and not as they are imagined."

  from A Net of Jewels  

    What do I believe in? I don’t know what I believe. I don’t write this in an attempt to condemn those who do believe—my objection to beliefs is based on far more practical observations and considerations.

I mean, my main concern is with the question of my real identity. In daily life, exactly at this moment, who am I, what am I? Who is the thinker?

To investigate this way, I noticed, beliefs are surely obstacles and one has to get rid of them eventually. I can believe I am the atman, the holy spirit, buddha; however it doesn’t change a thing.

I noticed it is essential to move beyond the verbal, the conceptual and even beyond the symbolic and mythological layers deeply embedded in the psyche. I noticed how the mind is always representing ‘what is’ in images. We live by the images and cannot come into contact with the simplicity of ‘what is’—as it is—without the internal comments, labels, symbols and representations. We live by estimation and not with the bare, singular reality of ‘what is’. The sincere intent to discover and confirm this very deeply and honestly is the beginning of true self-knowledge—as I see it. The intelligent energy that becomes aware of the mechanical or robotic way we live life, this intelligent energy that fuels the search is—when closely examined—what is sought. It is reality itself.

I noticed that to embody this realization is what is called liberation. Embodiment of truth or liberation is beyond speculation, ideology, hope, belief and even beyond religion. It is much closer and very intimate. It is even a bit sensual in that liberation is not only on the spiritual and psychological levels but also on the level of the senses and the body. It includes all that. It is the ending of exclusion. In a way I would say this is what I feel is the bliss of being or the natural ecstasy that comes with truth. I think our friend Michael mentioned this as well in his letters.

I noticed that spiritual life is all about embodiment. There is a kind of subtle effort required. This effort is not done by the image we think we are—the ‘me.’ I really don’t know what to write about this effort. In Taoism I found expressions of this subtle movement of effortless effort (wu wei), this ‘dark’ unknown and nameless thing. This thing is what we truly are, the realization of it however is one thing; but to live it, to embody it, is quite another thing.

So, once I found out all these things I wrote about so schematically, once I found this out in an instant, like the flashing thunder, I clearly saw the possibility of embodiment or liberation. I feel that right here is our freedom to surrender or continue in the dream of separation. It is the only real choice I have. Other choices are illusory it seems to me now.

So this embodiment turned out to be the fundament, the great mountain of truth that all sages had been speaking about. From the moment that recognition took place I noticed a certain lightness, a clear sightedness, a gentle energy, a joyous perfume vibrated. This is my true face, the inner smile, the silent symphony that goes on eternally.

It is a strange fact I cannot wander away from this clear-sightedness. Everywhere I look I see only this frozen lake, this rock, this fundamental thing. And in it there is carved this whole world of diversity. I can see the statues carved in the rock but however hard I try I only see it as this wonderful rock of awareness.

However hard I try to find a reason for a god or a belief I can’t find one. I am perfectly contented with the nameless thing that vibrates as my core and surrounds me. I wholeheartedly welcome ‘what is’ and it turned out be not such a frightening thing after all. I encouraged myself to stay with the ‘what is’ like a stubborn donkey until it woke me up and granted me the vision of its true body.

All this is also about ‘minding ones own business.’ I mean to say, I noticed I had to find it out for myself. I had to throw out all second-hand knowledge, I really had to come back to myself, to ask myself very fundamental things in all honesty and simplicity. I had to ‘sober up’ or become like dry wood.

As a result there was a very real answer that came from a very close place. The answer was: ‘I don’t know.’

It may seem from what I write that ‘I know’ and that is the problem with language. The truth however is that ‘I don’t know.’ I am describing how I found out ‘I don’t know.’

So to answer your question whether I believe or not the most efficient answer I can come up with so far is: ‘I don’t know.’

I happen to like this anonymity. I like this world of pretensionless emptiness, this ordinariness. I love to be a nobody. It is good I like it because after all it is ‘what is.’

 Ben Hassine ~ nondualnow

  Hello Ben,
I was touched by your "considerations" and they reminded me of an
experience by one of my teachers (he didn't know that he was)...

I was in Baja California in a Pai Pai village in the Laguna Hansen
Mountains. I was asking some questions of one of the Elders and I
asked him how in this isolated country he viewed healing. He thought
for a long time and finally replied, "All disease begins with having
too many voices inside your head."

"How do you deal with that?", I asked.

"One just goes out alone, all by oneself, until all those voices go
away. Sometimes it takes 10 days."

Then with a smile he motioned to us to look at a middle-aged woman
sitting by herself under a tree, snapping beans. He asked us to look
closer. She was really snapping those beans!!!

He told us that she is angry about something and nobody will go near
her in respect until those angry voices go away from her! No one
wants her to get sick so they leave her alone.

I thought you would appreciate this little anecdote.

lotusaware ~ nondualnow

  Words from Whitman. He is right: The deepest insights are never new or unique. By their nature, they are eternal and present within each one of us. Look, then, for what has been quietly present all along...



Thought for the Day:

Forget about what should be.
Discover what is.


Here's your Daily Poem from the Poetry Chaikhana --

[17] These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me, (from Song of Myself)

By Walt Whitman
(1819 - 1892)

These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me,
If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing, or next to nothing,
If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing,
If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing.
This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is,
This is the common air that bathes the globe.

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