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#2391 - Monday, February 13, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

The Supreme Water Spirit

The supreme water spirit Ocean covers the earth with clouds; the rain in each place is different, but the spirit has no thought of distinction. Likewise, Buddha, sovereign of truth, extends clouds of great compassion in all directions, raining differently for each practitioner, yet without discriminating among them.

--The Flower Ornament Scripture, trans. by Thomas Cleary


    BETWEEN YOU AND I (1981)

Words just fail to define
what is yours and what is mine,
what is you and what is me
and what it is that comes between us.
Where is the mark
where you start and I finish,
where you grow and I diminish?
I cannot comprehend
my ending and your beginning,
my losing and your winning,
my sainting and your sinning.
Words cannot hope to clarify
what it is between you and I

  (from the forthcoming book: THE NECTAR OF BEING (Poems Of A Non-Dual
& Mystical Kind .... by Roy Whenary & Eileen McCormick)  

'Thinking' By Ajahn Amaro

During one of the monastic retreats at Amaravati Buddhist
Monastery in England, Ajahn Sumedho said emphatically,
"All your thoughts are garbage. You may think that some of
them are good but you should consider the possibility that
all your thoughts are garbage." Some people may have felt
that this was an insulting thing to say, but I found it brought
a tremendous sense of relief. One of the biggest problems
with thoughts is that we tend to believe everything they say:
"If I am thinking it, it must be true." But actually our thoughts
are just a collection of habitual judgments, perceptions,
memories and ideas that are fed through consciousness. They
may have some relationship with truth but they may not! If we
take as a base line the notion that most of our thoughts are like
the random barking of the dog, we make less out of them. And
therein lies the sense of relief. We then find that we can relate
to thought in a much more open way. We are not looking on it as
being meaningful or true or realistic at all; and we're not giving
it a value beyond what it really has.

Most of our thoughts are like dreams. Occasionally, perhaps once
or twice a year we may have a dream that is significant and we
know it. We may not know exactly what it is about but it is pretty
clear that there's a message in it. But the other 364 days a year
it's just the leftovers of the day. There is nothing particularly
significant or important about any of our dream content at all.
It's just the residue, the echoes of the day's events and
activities, the things that we have rehashed a couple of times

When we look at thought in this way we aren't being pulled into
it. We can just look at it. We don't reject it or suppress it, but
we don't buy into it either. We don't make more out of it than is
there. That attitude of listening, of opening to and receiving
thought, has a liberating quality in-and-of itself.

posted by Gill Eardley to Allspirit


"Moonlight" by Alan Larus  

Ah, not to be cut off,

Ah, not to be cut off,
not through the slightest partition
shut out from the law of the stars.
The inner -- what is it?
if not the intensified sky,
hurled through with birds and deep
with the winds of homecoming.


By Rainer Maria Rilke
(1875 - 1926)

English version by Stephen Mitchell

  -- from Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke, Translated by Stephen Mitchell

  Daily Poem from the Poetry Chaikhana  

    The Joy Hidden in Sorrow

  When Marpa, the great Tibetan meditation master and teacher of
Milarepa, lost his son he wept bitterly. One of his pupils came up to
him and asked: "Master, why are you weeping? You teach us that death
is an illusion." And Marpa said: "Death is an illusion. And the death
of a child is an even greater illusion."

Marpa showed his disciple that while he could understand the truth
about the conditioned nature of everything and the emptiness of
forms, he could still be a human being. He could feel what he was
feeling; he could open to his grief. He could be completely present
to feel that loss.

There is nothing incongruous about feeling our feelings, touching our
pain, and, at the same time understanding the truth of the way things
are. Pain is pain; grief is grief; loss is loss - we can accept those
things. Suffering is what we add onto them when we push away, when we
say, "No, I can't."

...So the difference between pain and suffering is the difference
between freedom and bondage. If we're able to be with our pain, then
we can accept, investigate and heal. But if it's not okay to grieve,
to be angry, or to feel frightened or lonely then it's not okay to
look at what we are feeling, and it's not okay to hold it in our
hearts and to find our peace with it. When we can't feel what must be
felt, when we resist or try to run from life, then we are enslaved.
Where we cling is where we suffer, but when we simply feel the naked
pain on its own, our suffering dies... That's the death we need to

Through ignorance, not understanding who we are, we create so many
prisons. We are unable to be awake, to feel true loving-kindness for
ourselves, or even to love the person sitting next to us. If we can't
open our hearts to the deepest wounds, if we can't cross the abyss
the mind has created through its ignorance, selfishness, greed, and
hatred, then we are incapable of loving, of realising our true
potential. We remain unable to finish the business of this life.

By taking responsibility for what we feel, taking responsibility for
our actions and speech, we build the foundation of the path to
freedom. We know the result that wholesome action brings - for
ourselves and for others. When we speak or act in an unkind way -
when we are dishonest, deceitful, critical or resentful - then we are
the ones that really suffer. Somewhere within us, there is a residue
of that posture of the mind, that attitude of the heart.

In pain we burn but, with mindfulness, we use that pain to burn
through to the ending of pain. It's not something negative. It is
sublime. It is complete freedom from every kind of suffering that
arises; because of a realisation - because of wisdom - not because we
have rid ourselves of unpleasant experience, only holding on to the
pleasant, the joyful. We still feel pain, we still get sick and we
die, but we are no longer afraid, we no longer get shaken.

When we are able to come face to face with our own direst fears and
vulnerability, when we can step into the unknown with courage and
openness, we touch near to the mysteries of this traverse through the
human realm to an authentic self-fulfilment. We touch what we fear
the most, we transform it, we see the emptiness of it. In that
emptiness, all things can abide, all things come to fruition. In this
very moment, we can free ourselves...

Nibbana is not out there in the future; we have to let go of the
future, let go of the past...Jelaluddin Rumi wrote: "The most secure
place to hide a treasure of gold is some desolate, unnoticed place.
Why would anyone hide treasure in plain sight? And so it is
said: 'Joy is hidden in sorrow.'"

The illumined master Marpa weeping over his child - does his
experience of the loss of his young child diminish his wisdom? Or is
it just the supreme humility of a great man, a great sage expressing
the wholeness of his being, of his humanity.

I want to encourage each one of you to keep investigating, keep
letting go of your fear. Remember that fear of death is the same as
fear of life. What are we afraid of? When we deeply feel and, at the
same time, truly know that experience we can come to joy. It is still
possible to live fully as a human being, completely accepting our
pain; we can grieve and yet still rejoice at the way things are.

- Ayya Medhanandi
The Joy Hidden in Sorrow

posted by Bob OHearn to unsaymyself

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