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#2397 - Sunday, February 19, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

"Between the banks of pain and pleasure the river of life flows.  It
is only when the mind refuses to flow with life, and gets stuck at the
banks, that it becomes a problem.  By flowing with life, I mean
acceptance - letting come what comes and go what goes.  Desire not,
fear not, observe the actual, as and when it happens, for you are not
what happens, you are to whom it happens.  Ultimately even the
observer you are not."

~   ~   ~  

"The very idea of going beyond the dream is illusory.  Why go
anywhere?  Just realize that you are dreaming a dream you call the
world, and stop looking for ways out.  The dream is not your problem.
Your problem is that you like one part of your dream and not another.
Love all, or none of it, and stop complaining.  When you have seen
the dream as a dream, you have done all that need be done."

~   ~   ~

"Which God are you talking about?  What is God?  Is he not the very
light by which you ask the question?  'I am"' itself is God.  The
seeking itself is God.  In seeking you discover that you are neither
the body nor mind, and the love of self in you is for the self in all.
The two are one.  The consciousness in you and the consciousness in
me, apparently two, really one, seek unity and that is love."

--Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

~   ~   ~  

The surest signs of spiritual progress are a lack of concern about
spiritual progress and an absence of anxiety about liberation.

--Ramesh S. Balsekar

from A Net of Jewels  

photo by Alan Larus    

My Inspiration    

I praise those ancient Chinamen

        Who left me a few words,

        Usually a pointless joke or a silly question


A line of poetry drunkenly scrawled on the margin

                     of a quick splashed picture- bug,

                     caricature of a Teacher-

On paper held together now by little more than ink

& their own strength brushed momentarily over it


          Their world and several others since

          Gone to hell and a handbasket, they knew it-

          Cheered as it whizzed by-

& conked out among the busted spring rain
cherryblossom winejars

                Happy to have saved us all.


-   Philip Whalen,  Hymnus ad Patrem Sinensis

posted by Ken Phelan to Allspirit

  You really have to know your own fundamental mind before you can stop and rest.

If you know your mind and arrive at the fundamental, that is like space merging with space.

-- Ta-tu
From "The Pocket Zen Reader," edited by Thomas Cleary, 1999

"You have woken up late,
lost and perplexed
but don't rush to your books
looking for knowledge.
Pick up the flute instead and
let your heart play."
-- Rumi
posted to Daily Dharma


solitude and meditation


For the total development of the human being, solitude as a means of
cultivating sensitivity becomes a necessity. One has to know what it
means to be alone, what it is to meditate, what it is to die; and the
implications of solitude, of meditation, of death, can be known only by
seeking them out. These implications cannot be taught, they must be
learnt. One can indicate, but learning by what is indicated is not the
experiencing of solitude or meditation. To experience what is solitude
and what is meditation, one must be in in a state of inquiry; only a
mind that is in a state of inquiry is capable of learning. But when
inquiry is suppressed by previous knowledge, or by the authority and
experience of another, then learning becomes mere imitation, and
imitation causes a human being to repeat what is learnt without
experiencing it.

J. Krishnamurti in Life Ahead

posted by Ben Hassine

photo by Alan Larus


An impression of a sesshin

Almost immediately after arrival there is this massive rock of silence, of emptiness. It is present like an impressive mountain exerting a mysterious power of attraction. Simultaneously with the massive silence one can sense this energy, this restless movement, this resistance against silence, something that rather moves away from silence. What is behind this resistance? Is it fear? Fear of what?
Last month there was the opportunity to be touched by silence, to get lost in it and to throw the compass of fear and expectation overboard.
In case you wonder what is the exact subject of this letter: I am trying to give an impression of the sesshin lead by Ton Lathouwers in Steyl, Netherlands, last January—though I would rather not limit it to that circumstance alone.
The tight schedule of meditation, rest, the occasional domestic task and above all the silence—and I refer here to the agreed upon silence—makes it easier to ‘fall back’ or ‘sink’ into another kind of silence; a silence of a different order, a silence that has little to do with the absence of sound.
Sustained, persevered meditative reflection is questioning without expectation, it is the blind feeling one’s way into the unknown. It takes courage, faith and determination. Wherefrom this faith arises remains a mystery.
Ton Lathouwers regularly mentions the stammering one finds oneself confronted with when attempting to describe what is utterly beyond expression. Even the inner stammering gracefully grows silent when a human being is confronted with the vast enormity of not-knowing.
Meditating and reflecting one stumbles stammering upon this silence blindly feeling one’s way into it. The deeper one feels touched by the silence the clearer this inexplicable faith appears. It is this faith which inspires one to give up the compulsive attachment to the known to be melted gently into the nameless silence of the unknown.
In the course of the sesshin an unexpected transformation starts to occur; where first there was a restless fear, a resistance against the unknown, a distrust of silence (maybe imprinted by our nervous noise-culture), now appears faith, the faith that is necessary to sink in that where the head—the thinking and knowing faculties—had been resisting so compulsively and desperately.
The essential dimension a sesshin adds to the personal and intimate ‘sinking’ into silence, is the possibility of awakened awareness of the necessity of a collective ‘sinking’ into silence. The collective is none other than the community, the sangha, the other. In the middle of our nervous noise-culture a silence-culture blossoms, a culture that flowers through faith of heart, undisturbed and impressive like a mountain.
An invisible process has been set into motion, as if a stream of silence has been discovered taking the group back to the spring of it high up in the mountain of silence; a discovery against all odds, against all the odds created by the pseudo securities of the chattering and knowing mind: an impossible step into the unknown.
And today, now the sesshin has ended already weeks ago, I celebrate the collective sinking in this sangha as well.
Gate gate paragate bodhi svaha!

posted by Ben Hassine

The emergence and blossoming of understanding, love
and intelligence has nothing to do with any tradition,
no matter how ancient or impressive - it has nothing to
do with time. It happens completely on its own when a
human being questions, wonders, listens and looks with-
out getting stuck in fear, pleasure and pain. When self
concern is quiet, in abeyance, heaven and earth are open.
The mystery, the essence of all life is not separate from
the silent openness of simple listening.

~Toni Packer

posted by Gill Eardley to Allspirit

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