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#2428 - Friday, March 23, 2006 - Editor: Jerry Katz

Here are a few selections with the theme "being here." They come from Josh Baran's book, 365 Nirvana Here and Now. More info at    

    Truman Capote  

[Growing up in Alabama, Truman's companions were his dog Queenie and an elderly cousin who he refers to as "my friend." His cousin said this just before she died.]   "My, how foolish I am!" my friend cries, suddenly alert, like a woman remembering too late she has biscuits in  the oven. "You know what I've always thought?" she asks in a tone of discovery, and not smiling at me but a point beyond. "I've always thought a body would have to be sick and dying before they saw the Lord. And I imagined that when He came it would be like looking at the Baptist window: pretty as colored glass with the sun pouring through, such a shine you don't know why it's getting dark. And it's been a comfort to think of that shine taking away all the spooky feeling. But I'll wager it never happens. I'll wager at the very end a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are" -- her hand circles in a gesture that gathers clouds and kites and grass and Queenie pawing earth over her bone -- "just what they've always seen, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes."        

    Patrul Rinpoche  

Once Patrul Rinpoche [Abu] was living with disciples on this side of the hermitage. Every day at dusk, Abu would do a meditation session on the training of sky gazing, stretched out on his back on a new woolen blanket on a piece of grass the size of himself. One evening, while he was lying there, he said to me, "Lungchey, did you say that you do not know the essence of mind?" I answered, "Yes, sir, I don't." Abu said, "Oh, there is nothing not to know. Come here." So I went over to him. He said, "Lie down as I am lying down and look at the sky." As I did so the conversation went as follows:   "Do you see the stars in the sky?" "Yes." "Do you hear the dogs barking in Dzogchen monastery?" "Yes." "Well, that is meditation."   At that moment, I arrived at the certainty of realization within myself. I have been liberated from the fetters of "it is" and "it is not." I had realized the primordial wisdom, the naked union of emptiness and intrinsic awareness.    

    Anthony de Mello  

"Where shall I look for Enlightenment? "Here." "When will it happen?" "It is happening right now." "Then why don't I experience it?" "Because you do not look." "What should I look for?" "Nothing. Just look." "At what?" "Anything your eyes might alight upon." "Must I look in a special kind of way." "No. The ordinary way will do." "But don't I always look the ordinary way?" "No." "Why ever not?" "Because to look you must be here. You're mostly somewhere else."    


The paragraph written by Truman Capote is from his short story "A Christmas Memory," published in 1966. The DVD, which has good reviews, may be ordered at   Read the entire short story at Here is the portion of the story that describes his aunt:

Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago. Consider the kitchen of a spreading old house in a country town. A great black stove is its main feature; but there is also a big round table and a fireplace with two rocking chairs placed in front of it. Just today the fireplace commenced its seasonal roar.

A woman with shorn white hair is standing at the kitchen window. She is wearing tennis shoes and a shapeless gray sweater over a summery calico dress. She is small and sprightly, like a bantam hen; but, due to a long youthful illness, her shoulders are pitifully hunched. Her face is remarkable—not unlike Lincoln's, craggy like that, and tinted by sun and wind; but it is delicate too, finely boned, and her eyes are sherry-colored and timid. "Oh my," she exclaims, her breath smoking the windowpane, "it's fruitcake weather!"

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