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#2321 - Monday, November 21, 2005 - Editor: Gloria Lee

The fundamental principle of mysticism should be crystal clear honesty.  A scrutiny of all things in their naked reality.

- Etty Hillesum,  "An Interrupted Life "

posted by Xan

more Etty Hillesum may be read here:

I believe I should better do it: 'fall inward' in the morning before I go to work,for half an hour. To listen to what's inside of me. 'Sich versenken'. You can also call it meditation. But that word still gives me the creeps. (...) Let this be the goal of meditation: to become like a wide open space, without that sneaky brushwood taking away your vista. That something like 'God' can enter, just like there is something of 'God' in the Ninth of Beethoven. (June 8 1941)

Emptying one's self (Entledigung)

One has to free one's self inwardly of everything, of all existing representations, of all slogans, of all comforts. One has to have the courage of letting go of everything, of all standards and all conventional certainties. One has to dare taking the giant leap into the kosmos. Then, yeah, then will life be endlessly rich and overflowing, even amidst the deepest suffering. (....) One has only to be. (July 7 (1942)

Atisha's Heart Meditation
Pain is natural; it has to be understood, it has to be accepted. Because naturally we are afraid of pain, naturally we avoid it. Hence many people have avoided the heart and are hung up in the head, they live in the head.

The heart gives pain, true, but only because it can give pleasure--that's why it gives pain. Pain is the way that pleasure arrives; agony, the door that ecstasy enters. If one is aware of it, one accepts the pain as a blessing. Then suddenly the quality of the pain immediately starts changing. You are no longer antagonistic to it, and because you are no longer antagonistic to it, it is no longer pain; it is a friend. It is a fire that is going to cleanse you. It is a transmutation, a process, in which the old will go and the new will arrive, in which the mind will disappear and the heart will function in its totality. Then life is a benediction.

To transform suffering use the Tonglen method from Atisha:

When you breathe in -- listen carefully, it is one of the greatest methods -- when you breathe in, think that you are breathing in all the miseries of all the people in the world. All the darkness, all the negativity, all the hell that exists anywhere, you are breathing it in. And let it be absorbed in your heart.

You may have read or heard about the so-called positive thinkers of the West. They say just the opposite -- they don't know what they are saying. They say, "When you breathe out, throw out all your misery and negativity; and when you breathe in, breathe in joy, positivity, happiness, cheerfulness." Atisha's method is just the opposite: when you breathe in, breathe in all the misery and suffering of all the beings of the world -- past, present and future. And when you breathe out, breathe out all the joy that you have, all the blissfulness that you have, all the benediction that you have.

Breathe out, pour yourself into existence. This is the method of compassion: Drink in all the suffering and pour out all the blessings. And you will be surprised if you do it. The moment you take all the sufferings of the world inside you, they are no longer sufferings. The heart immediately transforms the energy. The heart is a transforming force: Drink in misery, and it is transformed into blissfulness... then pour it out. Once you have learned that your heart can do this magic, this miracle, you would like to do it again and again.

- Osho

posted by Xan

  Ramana speaks about pure silence this way:


    "What exists in truth is the Self alone. The self is that where there is absolutely no "I" thought. That is called Silence. The Self itself is the world; the Self itself is "I"; the Self itself is God."

    "The inner silence is self-surrender. And that is living without the sense of ego. Solitude is in the mind of humanity. Silence is ever speaking; it is the perennial flow of "language." It is interrupted by speaking; for words obstruct this mute language. Silence is permanent and benefits the whole of humanity. . . . By silence, eloquence is meant. It is the best language. There is a state when words cease and silence prevails."

    "There is Consciousness along with quietness in the mind; this is exactly the state to be aimed at."

    "In samadhi* there is only the feeling " I am" and no thoughts. The experience "I am" is being still." The Self is God. "I am" is God. All that is required to realize the Self is to be still."

From the work called The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi, Shambala Dragon Books 1988.


Why Bodhidharma Went to Howard Johnson's    

"Where is your home," the interviewer asked him.  


"No, no," the interviewer said, thinking it a problem of translation,
"when you are where you actually live."

Now it was his turn to think, perhaps the translation?  

~ Jane Hirshfield ~      

(The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry)
  Web version:

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