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Jerry Katz
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#2418 - Sunday, March 12, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee


Because we spill not only milk
Knocking it over with an elbow
When we reach to wipe a small face
But also spill seed on soil we thought was fertile but isn't,
And also spill whole lives, and only later see in fading light
How much is gone and we hadn't intended it
Because we tear not only cloth
Thinking to find a true edge and instead making only a hole
But also tear friendships when we grow
And whole mountainsides because we are so many
And we want to live right where black oaks lived,
Once very quietly and still
Because we forget not only what we are doing in the kitchen
And have to go back to the room we were in before,
Remember why it was we left
But also forget entire lexicons of joy
And how we lost ourselves for hours
Yet all that time were clearly found and held
And also forget the hungry not at our table
Because we weep not only at jade plants caught in freeze
And precious papers left in rain
But also at legs that no longer walk
Or never did, although from the outside they look like most others
And also weep at words said once as though
They might be rearranged but which
Once loose, refuse to return and we are helpless
Because we are imperfect and love so
Deeply we will never have enough days,
We need the gift of starting over, beginning
Again: just this constant good, this
Saving hope.   ~ Nancy Shaffer ~  
(Instructions in Joy)


Web version:   To subscribe to Panhala, send a blank email to [email protected]    

    "Spiritual people often want unconditional support and
understanding from their friends, family, and mates,
but all too often seem blind to their own short comings
when it comes to the amount of unconditional support and
understanding that they give to others. I have seen many
spiritual people become obsessed with how unspiritual
others are and assume an arrogant and superior attitude
while completely missing the fact that they themselves
are not nearly as spiritually enlightened as they would
like to think that they are.

Enlightenment can be measured by how compassionately
and wisely you interact with others; with all others,
not just those who support you in the way that you want.
How you interact with those who do not support you shows
how enlightened you really are. As long as you perceive
that anyone is holding you back you have not taken full
responsibility for your own liberation. Liberation means
that you stand free of making demands on others and life
to make you happy. When you discover yourself to be
nothing but Freedom, you stop setting up conditions and
requirements that need to be satisfied in order for you to
be happy. It is in the absolute surrender of all conditions
and requirements that Liberation is discovered to be who
and what you Are. Then the love and wisdom that flows
out of you has a liberating effect on others.

The biggest challenge for most spiritual seekers is to
surrender their self importance, and see the emptiness
of their own personal story. It is your personal story
that you need to awaken from in order to be free. To
give up being either ignorant or enlightened is the mark
of liberation and allows you to treat others as your Self."

~ Adyashanti

posted by ts to Allspirit

    To make sure that another person loves you unconditionally, you must not place conditions upon them.   T

he Way of the Wizard  

I read a lot about emptiness, awareness, the original mind, buddha mind, rigpa, Self, the witness.

I don’t think meditation is about searching for a way out into emptiness as if it where hidden behind the screen of thought, behind my conditioning, my habitual unaware patterns of thought and behaviour. Meditation is not about finding a clever way out, like in a puzzle or in a videogame. As such there is no method that will bring me there. Meditation is not at all a method to be learned, applied and repeated until I reach the desired state I have already projected in detail somewhere in the future, unto that blessed day when all my troubles will be gone. That state I imagine to be tranquil, holy, secure, blissful. I secretly want to posses that state, I want to control it.

This, as I see it, is all just a mind game. There is a difference between freedom and/or truth and security. There is a vast difference between a pleasurable experience of security and the great insecurity of the unknown, of truth.

As I see it, emptiness is not something that can be experienced when I am somehow clever enough to go beyond myself, or make myself disappear like in a magical trick.

Emptiness is not hidden. On the contrary it is right here in my ordinary experiences. It is not beyond ordinary experience. It is IN my ordinary experience. From there, when I face that, what happens?

Usually I run away from my experiences because they are boring, frightening, repetitive, nagging. I want what is beyond, what is transcendental, what will liberate me from boredom and fear and will bring heaven on earth, will give me power, the end of doubt, health, good fortune and enormous security.
Right in that image, if I would investigate it, I can find the root of my unrest. Not only to be aware of the image but also to be aware of fear or boredom as it manifests in body and mind. And then to be aware of the expectation that is involved in that: ‘I’ll watch because that will end it, I’ll watch it to be enlightened after that.’ I expect a reward of some kind.

What is causing this unrest? What am I looking for? Why do I want to change? Can I stop and see what is going on?
Only then, when I start in all honesty from where I am, something extraordinary will dawn. A rest will be upon the heart and maybe there will be certain sharpness, a certain kind of inspiration, a light in which I see myself in a complete new way. I can see the ‘self,’ but not as ‘me,’ I can see it for what it is.
The patience and courage needed for that come from—or are—love, compassion, intelligence. Compassion or love are not rewards at the end of a path to security. Compassion is there right from the beginning when I am eager to learn and investigate. This is different from chasing after experiences and states. I have to take my responsibility, mature, sober up in the midst of all the tumult. I have to rise up to aloofness from where I am, from watching, from working.
The certainty that comes from genuine self-knowledge is sacred and is always new, unknowable. There is no way of possessing it, of saying: ‘I know it, I have it.’
posted by Ben Hassine to Awakened Awareness

    All states that can be returned to external causes are obviously not you, but that which cannot be returned to anywhere, if it is not you, what is it? Therefore, you should know that your mind is fundamentally wonderful, bright, and pure and that because of your involvement with the things of the world you have covered it up and lost it. In this way you are caught on the endless wheel of becoming this or that, sinking and floating in that sea of endless becoming. Awaken yourself now to your own bright mind.

-Surangama Sutra

From "The Pocket Buddha Reader," edited by Anne Bancroft, 2000.

a flower called ’snow bell’ breaking through the snow photo by Alan Larus

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