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Jerry Katz
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Nondual Highlights Issue #2116 Sunday, April 17, 2005

Come home to your Selves.
The journey is no more
than a breath in time,
no more than a heartbeat
in distance.

- Emmanuel


My father has a small box in his dresser drawer. Most people have a box like it -- filled with odds and ends of life -- mementos not bold enough to display, yet holding moments of who they were and have become. My father has been dead for fourteen years, yet we haven't moved his memories.

I sit upon the bed and wonder. Who would understand the significance of a child's toy decoder? Of a black and white photo of men in uniform they never knew? As a curious little child, I looked though my dad's box many times, held the sergeant's stripes and the rifleman's badge, yet have no idea if they were even his.

And today, what do I know of who he was? Here is a geode, an ancient piece of quartz that a boy carried home from a creek bed sixty years ago. Why? Why of all the things to save, did he save this?

The thread of connection is severed, and all that holds these memories in place are the thin walls of a shoebox. Such thin walls separate us from the unknown.

What made my father who he was and where has he gone?

Hui Neng said, "Show me your original face before you were born," and a famous koan was born. Who needs Zen masters to ask the obvious? The koan of life and death, being and non-being, presents itself to you constantly.

You are a box containing a collection of moments. Such thin walls separate you from the unknown. What will you be when you are no more?

- Shawn Nevins, from The TAT Forum, April 2005

Since everything is but an apparition,
Perfect in being what it is,
Having nothing to do with good or bad,
Acceptance or rejection
You might as well burst out laughing!

- Longchepa, thanks to DharmaGrandmother


Love is a yes to becoming,
a dropping of the bars,
a climb over leaves and branches,

a slide under the dust of the day.
It’s a back alley caravan

in the mind out to light,
to sun on river water and
fish breakfasts with otters.

Love is my stretching and finding
the universe painted with your face,

your scent, and my grinning
in a bloodhound way and
trotting down city streets

on a spring morning
hunting joy in the litter,

barking at marauding pigeons,
giving chase to a cat or two and
sniffing the wonders of everything,

these soul prints written on the nose.
Love is laughter spilling out of my feet

moistening the ground and
the taut twitch of upturned ears
listening for your voice.

It is having a volcano living inside.
It is finding joy at the city dump

scavenging in the museum of smells.
It is a devouring, a full-pawed lunge
into the skin of the moment,

a leaping into a feline gracefulness
married to a raw canine howl.

Zen Oleary, April 16, 2005, posted to SufiMystic

Whoever wishes to quickly afford protection
To both himself and others
Should practice that holy secret:
The exchanging of self for others.

- Shantideva

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