What is Nonduality
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Nondual Highlights Issue #2130 Sunday, May 1, 2005
unawakened mind tends to make war against the way things are.
- Jack Kornfield
What would happen, darlin' - truly happen, if we just stopped the wars in our lives, turned in our gotta-change-things weapons, just sat down and let the world do its thing - hands off! Just that thing we are so worried about, that we are absolutely sure we gotta do something about - just that - what would happen if we did... nothing. And just let it be. It might putter out of steam - or it might come to some fine conclusion. It's gonna be whatever it's gonna be anyway - doesn't need us.
Remember dear Baba huggin' old hag - well, young old hag then - and her asking "Well, what should I "do"? i mean i had to know - should I quit my job or not? Move to California or not? Marry that guy or not? I had to know what should I "do"? And he said, "Do nothing!" The accent was on the "do." Like in old Beatles style - let it be. Let "Mother Mary" or a wise Baba or our even wiser hearts tell us the simplest way to end all the wars in our lives: stop the strugglin', the trying to make things be different from how they are... let everything just be. Maybe it's time to sit down and sign the surrender papers. You with me, dears?
Jack Kornfield's quote from the book, The Path With Heart, posted to DailyDharma
So long as you are identified with the body, your surrender has no meaning. What is meant by progress? There is no question of progress, in the spiritual sense. To become more and more convinced about the guru's words, to get more understanding about your true nature is the only thing that matters. Other than that, there is no spiritual progress or spiritual path, because you are That. Only you must be absolutely clear about it.
The visions you get while doing meditation--what about them? Don't give much importance to them. Because the first miracle you have is that when you know that you are, you see the world also. It means that in your consciousness the whole world is present. Surely, that in itself is a miracle; to see the world with your consciousness. What greater miracle do you want?
From The Ultimate Medicine - As Prescribed by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to JustThis
Forgiveness is to relinquish your grievance and so to let go of grief. It happens naturally once you realize that your grievance serves no purpose except to strengthen a false sense of self. Forgiveness is to offer no resistance to life---to allow life to live through you. The alternatives are pain and suffering, a greatly restricted flow of life energy, and in many cases, physical disease.
The moment you truly forgive, you have reclaimed your power from the mind. Nonforgiveness is the very nature of the mind, just as the mind-made false self, the ego, cannot survive without strife and conflict. The mind cannot forgive. ONLY YOU CAN. You become present, you enter your body, you feel the vibrant peace and stillness that emanate from Being. That is why Jesus said, "Before you enter the temple, forgive."
- Eckhard Tolle, from The Power of Now, posted to The_Now2
Reversing Ego's Logic
The slogan "Begin the sequence of taking and sending with yourself" is getting at the point that compassion starts with making friends with ourselves, and particularly with our poisons--the messy areas. As we practice tonglen--taking and sending--and contemplate the lojong (mind training), gradually it begins to dawn on us how totally interconnected we all are. Now people know that what we do to the rivers in South America affects the whole world, and what we do to the air in Alaska affects the whole world. Everything is interrelated--including ourselves, so this is very important, this making friends with ourselves. It's the key to a more sane compassionate planet.
That's one of the points about this tonglen practice of exchanging oneself for others; that what you do for yourself--any gesture of kindness, any gesture of gentleness, any gesture of honesty and clear seeing toward yourself--will affect how you experience your world. What you do for yourself, you're doing for others and what you do for others, you're doing for yourself. It becomes increasingly dubious what is out there and what is in here. If you have rage and strike out, rather than surrendering to yourself and allowing yourself to see what's under all that rage--especially if you feel very justified in striking out--it's really you who suffers. The other people and the environment suffer also, but you suffer more because you're being eaten up inside with hatred, causing you to hate yourself more and more.
We strike out because, ironically, we think it will bring us some relief. We equate it with happiness. Actually there is some relief, for the moment. When you have an addiction and get to fulfill that addiction, there is a moment in which you feel some relief. Then the nightmare gets worse. So it is with aggression. When you get to tell someone off, you might feel pretty good for a while, but somehow the sense of righteous indignation and hatred grows, and it hurts you.
On the other hand, if we begin to surrender to ourselves, begin to drop the storyline, and experience what all this messy stuff behind the storyline feels like, we begin to find bodhicitta, the tenderness that's under all that harshness. By being kind to ourselves, we become kind to others. By being kind to others--if it's done properly with proper understanding--we benefit as well. So again, the first point is that we are completely interrelated. What you do to others, you do to yourself. What you do to yourself, you do to others.
- Pema Chodron, from Be Grateful to Everyone: A Guide to Compassionate Living, Boston: Shambhala, 1994.
The Man Watching the Storm Approaching.
I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can't bear without a friend
I can't love without a sister.
The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age;
the landscape, like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.
What we choose to fight with is so tiny!
what fights with us is so great!
if only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.
When we win it's with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers in the Old Testament:
when the wrestlers' sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.
Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who so often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.
- Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Bly
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