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Nondual Highlights Issue #2067 Sunday, February 27, 2005

Editor's note: I often find myself sitting and thinking "I don't want to hold on anymore", and yet I find some underlying holding on. What is that? That's my inquiry these days...

When Bankei held his seclusion-weeks of meditation, pupils from many parts of Japan came to attend. During one of these gatherings a pupil was caught stealing. The matter was reported to Bankei with the request that the culprit he expelled. Bankei ignored the case.

Later the pupil was caught in a similar act, and again Bankei disregarded the matter. This angered the other pupils, who drew up a petition asking for the dismissal of the thief, stating that otherwise they would leave in a body.

When Bankei had read the petition he called everyone before him.

"You are wise brothers, " he told them.

"You know what is right and what is not right. You may go somewhere else to study if you wish but this poor brother does not even know right from wrong. Who will teach him if I do not? I am going to keep him here even if all the rest of you leave."

A torrent of tears cleansed the face of the brother who had stolen. All desire to steal had vanished."

- Zen story

Oh, it is so easy to condemn someone we know for sure is wrong. eh? Gathering together for mutual support makes the condemnation even stronger, and more "right" - see all these people who agree with me? It feels good to be on the "right" side. eh? i am away from "pile" (home) for a couple weeks, and wow! such juicy chances to condemn: what she wears, what movie is worst, what spouse should know better, what child is naughty, what president is wrong, what country is evil, what terrorist should burn in hell... i do not always resist, the logic sometimes sounds good, and i join in... immediately heart and mind start shrinkin', gettin' leaner & meaner, contracting into delusional world while ole "I" is jumpin' up and down with delight! What would happen if we let labeling people and stuff "wrong" go? "Any" condemnation tightens our shackles. And why are we here, but to be free?

- dharma grandmother on DailyDharma, Zen story from
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, by Paul Reps, published by Shambhala.

Weeds are flowers too,
once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne - Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. posted to The_Now2

Maharaj: All knowledge is like the son of a barren woman. Presently there are only beingness and functioning. The individuality and personality are thrown overboard.

There is no personality, so there is no question of birth, life, or death. What remains is only the consciousness without name or form. The form needs a name, but when both are not there, then the consciousness remains only for so long as the body is there, but without any individuality. The body is of as much use now as it was prior to birth and after death.

How do you know me? You know me only the acquisition of body form, name and form. Do you really see me as I am? I doubt it.

Now the conclusion is that the unborn is enjoying the birth-principle. That principle that is born took so much time to understand this, and is it is the unborn only which prevails. It took so much time for the Self to understand the Self. We have tied around our necks so many concepts; death, this "I AM",etc.

Similarly, Concepts, of good and evil are unnecessary. We have developed these concepts and are caught in them. How does one think about Self-knowledge? Do you abide in the Self or in the process do you think of something else as the Self? You are wrapped up and lost in your concepts. For instance, you have a concept about friendship. How long do you keep your friends? You keep them so long as they are useful to you. So long as a friend is of some benefit to you, that’s how long you would like to keep that friendship.

Now, how can I actually derive benefit out of a friend? I, as an individual, am not there, so how can there be a question of benefit? Benefit to whom? How can there be a question of friendship at all. Anybody, who comes here can sit. I will allow him to sit for some time, but later on I will say, "You may leave," Why? Because I have no intention or purpose of having any friendship with that person. Ordinarily, there is some purpose for deriving certain benefits out of an association with another. When you meet someone in friendship, there may be some intention to serve one another. But I have no friends. Even this "I Amness" will not remain as my friend.

I am not able to talk any longer - the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Previously I used to welcome people but now I am not in a position to welcome them. They come, they sit and they go by themselves. I cannot even extend my hospitality. All my knowledge has gone into liquidation. I am unconcerned.

- Nisargadatta, from
Consciousness and the Absolute

We will now look at a chief characteristic of spiritual sleep. When this is under-stood, all the pieces of life fall into place, revealing the whole picture.

Man has a false idea of who he is. He has an illusory sense of identity. This false self is manufactured out of self-flattering imaginations and out of self-pleasing labels. He labels himself as a successful man, or as an intelligent thinker, or as a human being with lofty motives. But these are mere ideas he has about himself and he is not these ideas. We can easily prove this. Whenever a man feels depressed or irritated, it is simply because his false identity seems not to be confirmed. Both these reactions are false, so man is their slave.

Have you ever noticed how nervous people get when their pet ideas are challenged? Let this be a clue for you. By patient self-investigation we discover who we are not, and that ends the anxiety of not knowing who we are.

To summarize this vital point, man wrongly believes that he possesses a separate self, an individual ego. This false idea causes fear, loneliness, neurosis. It throws him into conflict with other people who are also under the illusion of having separate selves. No man is apart from the whole, from the all. Man is one with the universe. Human beings are like dozens of ponds, each reflecting the light from the same moon. This is not philosophy, this is fact.

- Vernon Howard, from
The Esoteric Path to a New Life, posted to GuruRatings

It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly. Things, people, or conditions that you thought you needed for your happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part, and you are free to enjoy and appreciate them - while they last.

All those things, of course, will still pass away, cycles will come and go, but with dependency gone there is no fear of loss anymore. Life flows with ease.

- Eckhart Tolle, posted to truevision

Self-enquiry is the direct path to Self-realization or enlightenment. The only way to make the mind cease its outward activities is to turn it inward. By steady and continuous investigation into the nature of the mind, the mind itself gets transformed into That to which it owes its own existence.

- Ramesh S. Balsekar, from
A Net of Jewels, posted to AlongTheWay

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