Click here to go to the next issue
Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day
Nondual Highlights #2367 - Monday, January 16, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee
UNION OF EMPTINESS AND COMPASSION
"In the moment of love, when the vibrant
power of intense compassion is
uncontained, the empty essence shines forth nakedly. May I never step
off this supreme path of unity that never goes awry, and practice it at
all times, day and night."
-- Karmapa Rangjung Dorje
From the book, "Mahamudra, Teachings of The Supreme Siddhas," published by Snow Lion.
posted to Daily Dharma
If we pick up the handle, we pick up the pot. Similarly, if we meditate on and develop compassionthe wish that all others be without sufferingwe hold within us the essence of all other Dharma practices.
-- Geshe Hgawang Dhargyey, "Advice From a Spiritual Friend"
Copyright Wisdom Publications 2001. Reprinted from "Daily Wisdom: 365 Buddhist Inspirations," edited by Josh Bartok
Tricycle's Daily Dharma: January 12, 2006
Take the One Seat
When we take the one seat on our meditation cushion we become our own monastery. We create the compassionate space that allows for the arising of all things: sorrows, loneliness, shame, desire, regret, frustration, happiness. Spiritual transformation is a profound process that doesn't happen by accident. We need a repeated discipline, a genuine training, in order to let go of our old habits of mind and to find and sustain a new way of seeing. To mature on the spiritual path we need to commit ourselves in a systematic way. My teacher Achaan Chah described this commitment as "taking the one seat." He said, "Just go into the room and put one chair in the center. Take the seat in the center of the room, open the doors and the windows and see who comes to visit. You will witness all kinds of scenes and actors, all kinds of temptations and stories, everything imaginable. Your only job is to stay in your seat. You will see it all arise and pass, and out of this, wisdom and understanding will come." --Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart
Like training, satori must be true. If one
holds that there is something to practice and realize, one is a
follower of the false religion of entity based on affirmation.
If, on the other hand, one asserts that there is nothing to
practice or realize, one is still not above the four types of
differentiation and the one hundred forms of negation: one is an
adherent of the equally false religion of nothingness, founded on
negation. And this is the shadowy product of the dichotomous
intellect, holding no truth.
posted by Ben Hassine
Thank you for your post, Avril. You say:
"There is nothing which is not an expression of that-which-is. There
is no actioning, which is not an expression of that-which-is. There
is no consequences of that actioning,which is not an expression of
that-which-is. Each and every character, both the "demons" and
the "angels", the "heros" and the "villans", the "saints" and
the "sinners" in your last night sleep-dream, is just you, you as
expressed as so. Each and every eventings, each and every nuance of
the ado of the last night-sleep-dream drama, both the sublime and
the ridiculous, both the profound and the profane, both the good and
the evil, constituting your last night-sleep dream, is just you, as
your infinite expressionings".
Roy Whenary replies:
It is true that there is nothing which is not an expression of that
which is ... everything is as it is because that is the way it is -
quite simple really. However, to say that the demons, the good and
the bad, etc are you, I feel is wandering off the mark really. This
view is often used by so called non-dualists to explain away their
immature behaviour and inability to deal with the real issues in
their lives. So they say that "my anger is what I am, here and now,
so I must not deny it", etc, etc ... when in reality they mean that
they have not looked deep enough to see where and how it arises.
These demons are not you ... they are what you accept and think you
are, they are what you identify with and believe are the true
expressions of your individuated existence ... 'your' story. What
lies beyond this? What is the true ground of your Being? I am not
talking about ideas here ... my true Being does not lie in the
details of this 'person' through which this is being written now.
However, I would stop short of actually spelling out exactly where
it lies, because words really cannot go there. If I have
misunderstood the meaning behind what you wrote ... apologies!
I would also like to add that ... yes, things are as they are ... of
this there is no denying. But acceptance and action towards changing
situations can quite happily work together. I accept things exactly
as they are .... but, for human life, I don't condone living in a
violent and abusive society, so maybe I work towards changing it ...
all the while accepting that it is as it is right now. This is
normal, and this is also what is ... because 'what is' does not deny
the impetus for change. Thus was born 'Engaged Buddhism' and now
perhaps is the time for 'Engaged Advaita'?
with warm regards
Avril: Is there a one who awakens?
Can there be an inappropriate way of responding?
Within a phenomenal context, there is eventing(s), in which notionally, there appears to be a cause and a separate to that cause, a consequential effect.
But is there any linear cause-effect continuum, within the phenomenal context?
Or is every cause the effect of every other causes and every effect the result of all effects,thereby indicating a holographic wholeness as the essence of the phenomenal context?
If the phenomenal context is a holographic whole, complete, as the moment,
moment to moment to moment,
is there any one awakened, in contrast to any one un-awakened?
As a holographic whole, is there anything as inappropriate, such that there can be something as an appropriate responding?
If there is no differentiation between what is real and what is
imagined in the mind ... if everything is homogenised into one vast
and meaningless whole ... anything goes, any action is OK ... any
thought or behaviour pattern is fine, no matter how much pain and
sorrow it arouses in either subject or objects surrounding it.
According to this view ... which I would say is cut off from truly
feeling life in the present ... in the presence ... none of the
subjects, objects or pain exist anyway. Life is meaningless,
according to this view, as there is no differentiation between
existing and not existing.
So what is the point of discussion, if there is always escape into
this non-differentiation? I have come across this view a lot in
recent times. There are certain 'teachers' who promote it heavily.
It is quite convenient, because there is never any need to take
responsibility for actions ... never any need to look any closer at
what is really going on ... and ultimately, no point at looking at
anything anyway. After all, who is looking? ... the seer and the
seen are one. Therefore, there is nothing that can be done in this
life, and no point attempting to do it ... and, of course, no one
here anyway to do it. This is it, exactly as it is ... nothing else
to say ...
can be trusted with power,
and who may act in your place?
Those with a passion for justice,
who speak the truth from their hearts;
who have let go of selfish interests
and grown beyond their own lives;
who see the wretched as their family
and the poor as their flesh and blood.
They alone are impartial
and worthy of the people's trust.
Their compassion lights up the whole earth,
and their kindness endures forever.
(A Book of Psalms, translations by Stephen Mitchell)
top of page