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Jerry Katz
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#2346 - Monday, December 19, 2005 - Editor: Gloria Lee

In yesterday's edition, verses #47-51 from the Avadhut Gita were posted. These lines were written by Bob OHearn, as his own free wording of the text, which includes that entire Gita. Bob has graciously made it all available, and it is now posted to our files section. As Bob wrote to us:

I worked from the most visited translation at Google, Hari Shastri Prasad's. However, it was a very free way in which I approached,  I caught fire, discarding the dusty phrase and priestly meddlings barnacled on over the centuries and feeling into the Dattatreya-ness of the Song, the direct recognition. 

( A Free Transliteration of The Avadhut Gita, by Dattateya)

To read or download all the chapters and verses, please look for this Word document in NDHighlights files section. If you read from another list and wish to have it, reply to this message and ask for it.

Avadhut Gita. bob.doc
Bob OHearn's version  

Lyrics 2

The Happy One sings:


1. Hey Ho -- isn’t it so? This revelation has no end! Everything is speaking, singing, teaching – everyone’s got a story to tell. You may think you’ve got the game, maybe gone beyond, but the song of Love sings on and on – one brilliant shine of clear white light, ecstatically streaming through trackless space, and all the while, not moving. Here’s to That!


2. The Teacher is always right before you. Be courageous – don’t look away. It’s all clear enough. It will not harm you.


3. What’s looking out your eyes? You! The Supreme Awareness and you are not two!


4. How can it be otherwise? Don’t fish for an answer, just be it!


5. I am before all fish, the ocean of bliss each fish dissolves in. I am the depth of a fathomless sea.


6. Mind, a transient fantasy, arises and disappears within me. I am not what changes, slinks, or swishes through the life stream. I am not the dream of the stream.


7. I am not what pours over the waterfall, and yet I am that pouring. There’s nothing before or beyond myself -- if there’s a wound, I’m the bleeding. Water, I am its very liquidity. Honey, I’m its sweetness. All forms alive are lived by me, all breath is my own breathing.


8. Really, I am neither you nor I, and yet we are not separate. Neither at rest nor in motion, we are rest and motion both. The mind, it cannot touch this.


9. One can’t compare a thing with itself. I am the being-ness of being -- it’s absence when absent, its fullness when full. Neither empty or full, what use are conceits like "perfection" to that which only Is?


10. All I do is shine. In the ebony darkness of space, I’m that black-lacquer brilliance. A silent shout through infinity.


Dzogchen Practice in Everyday Life

by HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

The everyday practice of Dzogchen is simply to develop a complete carefree acceptance, an openness to all situations without limit.

We should realise openness as the playground of our emotions and relate to people without artificiality, manipulation or strategy.

We should experience everything totally, never withdrawing into ourselves as a marmot hides in its hole.  This practice releases tremendous energy which is usually constricted by the process of maintaining fixed reference points.  Referentiality is the process by which we retreat from the direct experience of everyday life.

Being present in the moment may initially trigger fear.  But by welcoming the sensation of fear with complete openness, we cut through the barriers created by habitual emotional patterns.

When we engage in the practice of discovering space, we should develop the feeling of opening ourselves out completely to the entire universe. We should open ourselves with absolute simplicity and nakedness of mind. This is the powerful and ordinary practice of dropping the mask of self-protection.

We shouldn't make a division in our meditation between perception and field of perception.  We shouldn't become like a cat watching a mouse. We should realise that the purpose of meditation is not to go "deeply into ourselves" or withdraw from the world.  Practice should be free and non-conceptual, unconstrained by introspection and concentration.

Vast unoriginated self-luminous wisdom space is the ground of being - the beginning and the end of confusion.  The presence of awareness in the primordial state has no bias toward enlightenment or on-enlightenment.  This ground of being which is known as pure or original mind is the source from which all phenomena arise.  It is known as the great mother, as the womb of potentiality in which all things arise and dissolve in natural self-perfectedness and absolute spontaneity.

All aspects of phenomena are completely clear and lucid.  The whole universe is open and unobstructed - everything is mutually interpenetrating.

Seeing all things as naked, clear and free from obscurations, there is nothing to attain or realise.  The nature of phenomena appears naturally and is naturally present in time-transcending awareness.  Everything is naturally perfect just as it is.  All phenomena appear in their uniqueness as part of the continually changing pattern.  These patterns are vibrant with meaning and significance at every moment; yet there is no significance to attach to such meanings beyond the moment in which they present themselves.

This is the dance of the five elements in which matter is a symbol of energy and energy a symbol of emptiness.  We are a symbol of our own enlightenment.  With no effort or practice whatsoever, liberation or enlightenment is already here.

The everyday practice of Dzogchen is just everyday life itself.  Since the undeveloped state does not exist, there is no need to behave in any special way or attempt to attain anything above and beyond what you actually are.  There should be no feeling of striving to reach some "amazing goal" or "advanced state."

To strive for such a state is a neurosis which only conditions us and serves to obstruct the free flow of Mind.  We should also avoid thinking of ourselves as worthless persons - we are naturally free and unconditioned.  We are intrinsically enlightened and lack nothing.

When engaging in meditation practice, we should feel it to be as natural as eating, breathing and defecating.  It should not become a specialised or formal event, bloated with seriousness and solemnity.  We should realise that meditation transcends effort, practice, aims, goals and the duality of liberation and non-liberation.   Meditation is always ideal; there is no need to correct anything.  Since everything that arises is simply the play of mind as such, there is no unsatisfactory meditation and no need to judge thoughts as good or bad.

Therefore we should simply sit.  Simply stay in your own place, in your own condition just as it is.  Forgetting self-conscious feelings, we do not have to think "I am meditating."  Our practice should be without effort, without strain, without attempts to control or force and without trying to become "peaceful."

If we find that we are disturbing ourselves in any of these ways, we stop meditating and simply rest or relax for a while.  Then we resume our meditation.  If we have "interesting experiences" either during or after meditation,  we should avoid making anything special of them.  To spend time thinking about experiences is simply a distraction and an attempt to become unnatural.  These experiences are simply signs of practice and should be regarded as transient events.  We should not attempt to re-experience them because to do so only serves to distort the natural spontaneity of mind.

All phenomena are completely new and fresh, absolutely unique and entirely free from all concepts of past, present and future.  They are experienced in timelessness.

The continual stream of new discovery, revelation and inspiration which arises at every moment is the manifestation of our clarity.  We should learn to see everyday life as mandala - the luminous fringes of experience which radiate spontaneously from the empty nature of our being.  The aspects of our mandala are the day-to-day objects of our life experience moving in the dance or play of the universe.  By this symbolism the inner teacher reveals the profound and ultimate significance of being.  Therefore we should be natural and spontaneous, accepting and learning from everything.  This enables us to see the ironic and amusing side of events that usually irritate us.

In meditation we can see through the illusion of past, present and future - our experience becomes the continuity of nowness.  The past is only an unreliable memory held in the present.  The future is only a projection of our present conceptions.  The present itself vanishes as soon as we try to grasp it.  So why bother with attempting to establish an illusion of solid ground?

We should free ourselves from our past memories and preconceptions of meditation.   Each moment of meditation is completely unique and full of potentiality.  In such moments, we will be incapable of judging our meditation in terms of past experience, dry theory or hollow rhetoric.

Simply plunging directly into meditation in the moment now, with our whole being, free from hesitation, boredom or excitement, is enlightenment.
posted by Jax  to Dzogchen Practice    


Buddha Rising   Around the globe today there is a new Buddhism. Its philosophies are being applied to mental and physical health therapies and to political and environmental reforms. Athletes use it to sharpen their game. It helps corporate executives handle stress better. Police arm themselves with it to defuse volatile situations. Chronic pain sufferers apply it as a coping salve. This contemporary relevance is triggering a renaissance of Buddhism—even in countries like India, where it had nearly vanished, and in China, where it has been suppressed.

Get the whole story in the pages of National Geographic magazine.    

Circles of Meaning
Photograph by Steve McCurry

Expressing himself through calligraphy, Hoitsu Suzuki Roshi, a Zen master in Japan, paints an enso circle, the meaning of which can vary with each drawing. The circles may symbolize the universe, cycles of life, or enlightenment, and, in Buddhist style, artists often leave it up to the viewer to discover the meaning. As the priest of Rinso-in Temple in Japan, Suzuki followed in the footsteps of his late father, Shinryu Suzuki Roshi, who moved to the United States in 1959 and became one of the country's most influential Zen teachers.

~    ~    ~  

In major cities all over the United States, Americans are setting aside type A lifestyles and embracing the calming compassionate practices of Buddhism. Photographer Steve McCurry discusses his journey into a spiritual marriage of East and West.  

Ed.note: includes great images!  

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