Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:

Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day

#2405 - Monday, February 27, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee

"You need to train yourself so that at any time and any moment 
you choose, you can free yourself inwardly from your world, 
from others, from the past, from the future, from the previous 
thought and the next thought. This is to find freedom. Yet if 
you then think you are free and have some wisdom, this is not 
so. You should not be attached to solitude or to experiences of 
relative freedom. When you are neither attached to independence 
nor to company then wisdom will manifest."
~Chan Master Sheng-Yen     posted by Gill Eardley to Allspirit

you can also untrain yourself from all the conditioning
that has implied feelings are bad, thoughts are bad,
body sensations are bad and attachments are not
spiritual. you can find freedom in welcoming every
aspect of your life, in allowing yourself to hold nothing
back from what is -in- your life, from what -is- your life.
as more women find their voices, it may become
clearer and clearer that while clarity and detachment
are one aspect of experiencing the whole, it does not
deny coming from the inside out to include connection.

connection that becomes so intimate, so breathable,
that it is seen all the pushing away from anything
was what sustained the feeling of separation. yes,
we can know freedom from everything, and we can also
know the freedom in everything. in deeply loving and
caring about every person and event with whole mixtures
of feelings from currents of desire to frustration to
anger to inspiration, and indeed, amidst all these
swirls, the truth is just as radiant. just as radiantly
this. it is just as possible to love and be free.   posted by Josie Kane to Allspirit


photo by Alan Larus



"Spiritual teachers from all traditions have spoken
about the ways they have reached awareness of the
essential connectedness of all things.  In most of
these traditions, the emphasis has been upon
deepening connections to other people, to nature,
and to spiritual beings.  Somewhat more unusual, but
present on the fringe of most traditions, is the sense
of connection to animals and animal spirits.  An
exception is the shamanic tradition, in which animals
are placed at the center of awareness.  A shaman
gains spiritual insight and healing power through a
deep connection with animal spirits.  This the path
of animal connections.  It is also my path."

--Margot Lasher, And the Animals Will Teach You,
Berkley Book 1996, page 2



The Indian Parrot

There was a merchant setting out for India.

He asked each male and female servant
what they wanted to be brought as a gift.

Each told him a different exotic object:
A piece of silk, a brass figurine,
a pearl necklace.

Then he asked his beautiful caged parrot,
the one with such a lovely voice,
and she said,
                 "When you see the Indian parrots,
describe my cage. Say that I need guidance
here in my separation from them. Ask how
our friendship can continue with me so confined
and them flying about freely in the meadow mist.

Tell them that I remember well our mornings
moving together from tree to tree.

Tell them to drink one cup of ecstatic wine
in honor of me here in the dregs of my life.

Tell them that the sound of their quarrelling
high in the trees would be sweeter
to hear than any music."

This parrot is the spirit-bird in all of us,
that part that wants to return to freedom,
and is the freedom. What she wants
from India is herself!

So this parrot gave her message to the merchant,
and when he reached India, he saw a field
full of parrots. He stopped
and called out what she had told him.

One of the nearest parrots shivered
and stiffened and fell down dead.

The merchant said, "This one is surely kin
to my parrot. I shouldn't have spoken."

He finished his trading and returned home
with the presents for his workers.

When he got to the parrot, she demanded her gift.
"What happened when you told my story
to the Indian parrots?"

"I'm afraid to say."
                 "Master, you must!"

"When I spoke your complaint to the field
of chattering parrots, it broke
one of their hearts.

She must have been a close companion,
or a relative, for when she heard about you
she grew quiet and trembled, and died."

As the caged parrot heard this, she herself
quivered and sank to the cage floor.

This merchant was a good man.
He grieved deeply for his parrot, murmuring
distracted phrases, self-contradictory -
cold, then loving - clear, then
murky with symbolism.

A drowning man reaches for anything!
The Friend loves this flailing about
better than any lying still.

The One who lives inside existence
stays constantly in motion,
and whatever you do, that king
watches through the window.

When the merchant threw the "dead" parrot
out of the cage, it spread its wings
and glided to a nearby tree!

The merchant suddenly understood the mystery.
"Sweet singer, what was in the message
that taught you this trick?"

"She told me that it was the charm
of my voice that kept me caged.
Give it up, and be released!"

The parrot told the merchant one or two more
spiritual truths. Then a tender goodbye.

"God protect you," said the merchant
"as you go on your new way.
I hope to follow you!"

~Rumi   'One-Handed Basket Weaving'
Versions  by Coleman Barks 
posted by Gill Eardley to Allspirit


More photos by Alan Larus  

Here's your Daily Poem from the Poetry Chaikhana --

The Silence

By Wendell Berry
(1934 - )

Though the air is full of singing
my head is loud
with the labor of words.

Though the season is rich
with fruit, my tongue
hungers for the sweet of speech.

Though the beech is golden
I cannot stand beside it
mute, but must say

"It is golden," while the leaves
stir and fall with a sound
that is not a name.

It is in the silence
that my hope is, and my aim.
A song whose lines

I cannot make or sing
sounds men's silence
like a root. Let me say

and not mourn: the world
lives in the death of speech
and sings there

-- from The Collected Poems of Wendell Berry, 1957-1982, by Wendell Berry

Thought for the Day:

Stop asking, How do I get there from here?
Few are fully here.
The question is: How do I get here from there?


Here's your Daily Music selection --

Levi Chen

Liquid Gardens

Listen - Purchase

More Music Selections

top of page