|Dr. Robert Puff|
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Nondual Highlights Issue #2061 Sunday, February 20, 2005
If you wish to calm waves, when you try to make this happen, they arise all the more. Likewise, even if you apply antidotes to ideation, the waves of thoughts will flow out again.
When you just leave them alone, after awhile the waves of water will subside. Likewise, if you know how to practice at ease, without exertion, the waves of ideation will naturally be calmed.
- Rendawa Zhonnu Lodro, from the book, Naked Awareness, Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahamudra and Dzognchen, published by Snow Lion, posted to DailyDharma
We inhale each other,
tumble our breath through joy
and exhale the feathers of first light.
Roosters perched on traffic lights
crow in crowded streets.
The sky scratches itself
from the volume of bird song
and we roll ourselves, laughing, in clouds.
© Zen Oleary, February 19, 2005, posted to SufiMystic
Reporter: I understand that you admit to being mad. Is this true?
R: Why then, are you trying to spread your madness?
L: It's a most delicious condition.
R: It must be a new form of insanity, then.
L: No it's quite old.
R: How come I have never heard of it?
L: It used to be called something else, but the term fell in disrepute.
R: What was it named before ?
R: So you're enlightened then?
L: No, I'm mad.
R: Describe your condition for me.
L: It's most delicious.
R: You said that before. Could you be more specific?
L:Looking and hearing is sufficient. Nothing else is needed to fill me with delight.
R: Looking at what?
L: Myself, of course.
R: So you're a narcissist?
L: Yes, on a cosmic scale, you might say.
R: What do you mean?
L: I'm everything.
R: I see. This is typical. So you think you're God?
L: No, there's no God, only I..
R: I see, well, let's leave that aside for a moment. So looking at a tree, a sidewalk, a rusty can fills you with delight because it's you?
L: No, not because it's me. That's just a thought I seldom think. I have no idea what I am, so saying everything is "I" has really no meaning. Seeing fills me with delight for no reason. Like hearing a speeding car fills me with joy for no reason.
R: So in this condition anything you feel gives you pleasure.
L: Yes, but just being conscious is now a bliss. And then being unconscious is also blissful.
R: Wait a minute, how could being unconscious be blissful? You have to be conscious to be blissful.
L:Yes that's true, but as soon as I regain consciousness the bliss of being unconscious floods in.
R: And you are planning to spread this condition?
R: How? What method is there?
L: There is no method. It can't be taught.
R: And yet you are trying to spread it?
R But that's insane!
R: Yesterday, you became agitated and threw me out.
R: You told me not to come back again, and yet today, you called me. Why did you change your mind?
L: I didn't change my mind. I still don't want to see the one you were yesterday.
R: But I'm the same today.
L: No, you're not. You just believe you are.
R: How am I different?
L: The world is not the same as it was yesterday, and you're a tiny expression of that world. So you could not have remained unchanged.
R:That reminds me, you said yesterday you were everything, and yet, you are trying to spread your madness to others. If they are you, shouldn't they be mad also?
L: I endlessly replicate myself. I endlessly forget myself to rediscover myself. It's cosmic senility.
R: (smiling) So you are both mad and senile, and despite that, you find this condition desirable.
L: Yes, eternal memory and consistency would be unendurable hell.
R: I am still unable to understand how can we be the same, and yet, I don't share your madness.
L: Are water vapor, liquid water, and ice the same substance?
L: But they neither look, feel or behave in the same way. What creates this apparent difference?
L: Heat is molecular activity. A madman in an asylum, you ( a normal person) and I (a functional, happy lunatic) differ only in our level of activity.
R: Please explain these levels of activities.
L: The activity in a dysfunctional madman is non-stop, chaotic; in a normal person that activity is channeled and controlled by social constrains. This constrains give this person the illusion of self-will; what little activity is in me, issues from total immobility, complete rest. I am the rest from which the universal movement appears to issue.
R: How did you come to find this eternal rest?
L: I try all sorts of methods until I became disenchanted with activity- all activity.
R: What brought about this disenchantment?
L: I just saw the futility of it all. There was no one single cause.
R: So now, you sit and contemplate your navel.
L: There is a lot of contemplation, but life goes on as usual. I pay the bills, go shopping, talk to neighbors. No one knows I'm a lunatic. Not even my wife.
R: Do you still have sex?
L:Yes, why not? Sex, dancing, singing, drinking. Nothing interferes with eternal rest.
R: Do you foresee a time everyone will be like that?
R: So despite the fact that you claim to be everything, and despite the fact that you claim all these levels of activity will always be there, you still insist in preaching eternal rest.
L: Yes, a madman can't help muttering to himself.
- posted to Nisargadatta
February 18, 2005
God's message: 'You got me all wrong!'
By John Darling
With 30 seconds to go in the "Today" show, Ashland consciousness author Neale Donald Walsch was asked, "What is God's message to the world today?"
Ashland Author Neale Donald Walsch has a new book that challenges traditional approaches and beliefs about who God really is. Denise Baratta | Ashlenad Daily Tidings
Only momentarily flabbergasted, the former talk radio host replied, "God's message would be - hey, you got me all wrong!"
In his new and 16th book, "What God Wants," Walsch and his divine, omniscient muse ask humanity to drop "the pity, the sadness, the tragedy" of thousands of years of theology that has put us in the "extraordinarily dangerous position" we're in today and "explore the possibility that we have it all wrong."
In chapter 13, Walsch lays it out - what God wants - for all to see. What is chapter 13? A bunch of blank pages. Don't fill in the blanks, says Walsch. Why? "Because we need to consider the possibility that God doesn't want anything at all from us."
Why? Because God is everything and therefore wants nothing. Because God is everything, he's us, too - and that, notes Walsch, is the most dangerous idea on earth at this time, because it fundamentally changes all social interaction, law, government and shifts, not eliminates, all present religions, taking them to a higher level.
So, where do we get these ideas that God is separate from us - and wants to be separate - and that God is perfect, while we're imperfect and that God put us here to change and try to be perfect?
"It's because humans all want something and we're made in the image of God, so God must want something," observes Walsch.
The belief in our imperfection and apartness from God also happens to shore up the system (of earthly power) because, "the more we believe that we're not enough, the easier it is for kings and despots to control large numbers of us and tell us how to improve."
The system of society as we know it - economy, politics, religion, the environment - is "utterly unsustainable and it would take a blind person not to see it," says Walsch, a one-time homeless person whose books have sold more than 8 million copies.
"Either we're blind or we see clearly and what we see as solutions violate our own best interests, so we deny the future and go on with insane optimism."
So, are we headed for global crises that threaten our very survival? Walsch believes not.
"I believe humanity can change and will. It will take new kinds of people like Gorbachev, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Lech Walesa, people willing to stand up and say what's so."
Akin to other great cultural shifts, like the Renaissance and Industrial Revolution, this change, which he calls the Last Great Civil Rights Movement, will, because of the Internet and other communications leaps, take a tenth of the time the Renaissance took - or about 30 years. It started around 1996.
Leading this revolution, Walsch says, are the "cultural creatives," a term coined in a book of the same title to denote the 15 percent of society who bring pivotal and exponential change.
They are an "awakening giant," catalyzed by the outcome of the last presidential election and they're proceeding, as in all cultural shifts, via plateauing, hitting the wall, then a jump to new forms. We're now in "jump time," a term coined by another Ashland consciousness author, Jean Houston.
"I hold great optimism, great faith that cultural creatives - and Ashland is a wonderful, supportive center for them - are becoming an increasingly powerful force in our society," says Walsch. "It's the most exciting time to be alive that I can imagine."
The muscle and presence of neoconservatives and the religious right, he adds, should not be seen as a triumph of the old ways, but rather as "the flailing in deep water of a system that knows itself to be dying. It's the end of an era and they're not going to go gently."
The motivations of the old system, Walsch says, are "Fear - people petrified and frozen in place by fear, so they allow freedoms to be taken away in the name of safeguarding freedoms."
Despite all that, the system, as Gandhi and Martin Luther King learned, can be used against itself, because the system is always friendly to itself. "For instance, I'm using the system to change the system by using it to publish my books. So don't think the system is against you or it will be."
The motivations of cultural creatives? "Change - a deep inner sense that what they are experiencing (in society) is not really them, not who they are. We want life to be a reflection of our own grandest notion of self. It's the emergence of a self that can't be denied, an idea whose time has come."
Walsch terms it the Last Great Civil Rights Movement because we've fought the big battles to enfranchise those separated and oppressed because of color and gender and now humanity faces the task of freeing itself from the oppression of its own beliefs - chiefly the belief in a "violent, angry and vindictive God."
Says Walsch, "It's an earth-shattering revolution to free humanity from the oppression of its own beliefs. When we turn that around, we'll emerge as co-creators of our own destiny and take our rightful place in the universe."
- posted to The_Now2
Variety in Bhagavans Teaching by Kunju Swami
Sri Bhagavans detailed explanations of Self-enquiry do not mean that his emphasis on this method was absolute or dogmatic. Sri Kunju Swami relates how the Maharshi gave all methods their due place, citing concrete instances.
Sri Bhagavans presence and teachings gave hope and strength to different classes of seekers at different levels. Thus the teachings were not limited to those who took to pure enquiry, as is sometimes assumed. Bhagavan, as the Jnani, was on a level higher than that of a spiritual master and therefore it followed that whatever ones path one received help and guidance; no attempt at changing ones approach was needed.
An important teaching of his was that intensity of practice and one-pointedness on any path will be fruitful. Stotra, japa, dhyana and vichara are ascending stages of sadhana. While confirming this, Bhagavan was also clear that this did not mean that all stages were necessarily to be gone through by all. Certainly there were exceptions, as for example in the case of the four great Tamil saints who sang the praises of Lord Siva. With them it was an achievement of akhandakara vritti (unbroken experience of awareness) brought about by constant remembrance of the Name ("Never was there a moment when I did not think of You!"). In that achievement where was the need for vichara? Its result was already there.
Dandapani Swami once pleaded with Sri Bhagavan to give him some upadesa. It was a Sivarathri Day. The devotee affirmed he had no practice to his credit. But Bhagavan persistently asked him whether he had not done any little practice of any kind. At last the fact emerged that he used to write the Rama Koti (a crore of Rama Nama). Sri Bhagavan instructed him to do it more and more.
One doubt that often assails people relates to the relative superiority of mantras. Sri Bhagavan explained that the choice of a particular mantra purely depended upon ones samskara. There is no superiority or inferiority in the mantras themselves. In the choice of the mantra, as in other things, it was characteristic of Sri Bhagavan to encourage one in a path already chosen so that it acted like a lever resulting in more progress.
In olden days, when we had the benefit of receiving personal instructions from Sri Bhagavan, one of them was to get into meditation before going to sleep. Thus sleep overtook one as a natural consequence of fatigue and was not induced or preceded by lying down. Also, the first thing in the morning, immediately on getting up from bed, one was to go into meditation. Then the state of mind immediately before sleep would be resumed on waking. This would ensure a serenity of mind and also a feeling of tirelessness throughout the day.
Parayana (recitation), japa, dhyana and vichara usually represent different modes of sadhana. But it may not be possible for a sadhaka to be engaged in any one of these continuously. So Sri Bhagavans advice was to alternately try all the four to ensure continued sadhana (which would be otherwise impossible). Thus if one tires of dhyana one can do japa, following it up with parayana and so on. My practice was to recite slokas on my walk to Skandashram in the morning. One day Bhagavan happened to see me and asked what I was doing. When I told him about my parayana he encouraged it and said it was a good way to simultaneously go through ones routine and also do something towards controlling the mind.
Sri Bhagavan stressed the importance of developing good tendencies, likening it to sowing a ripe seed. A ripe seed thrown carelessly on rocky soil will sprout and grow, be it even after a thousand years. It will never go to waste. Likewise, good tendencies. Asked on one occasion how it could be that "Self-knowledge is easy, the easiest thing there is," (referring to Bhagavans poem "Self-Knowledge") while others said it was the most difficult thing there was, and whether the individual could get it so easily and unaided, Bhagavan seemed to sympathize and pointed out the words, "Grace is needed most," in the same poem. He said that this was the key to understanding the poem.
- The Mountain Path, January 1972, posted to MillionPaths
Shall I tell you our secret?
We are charming thieves who steal hearts
and never fail because we are
the friends of the One.
The time for old preaching is over
we aim straight at the heart.
If the mind tries to sneak in and take over
we will string it up without delay.
We turn poison into medicine
and our sorrows into blessings.
All that was familiar,
our loved ones and ourselves
we had to leave behind.
Blessed is the poem that comes through me
but not of me because the sound of my own music
will drown the song of Love.
- Rumi, Ghazal (Ode) 424, translated by Azima Melita Kolin and Maryam Mafi Rumi: Hidden Music, posted to Sunlight
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