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Nondual Highlights Issue #2482, Saturday, May 27, 2006, Editor: Mark

As Nagarjuna explains in the verse that Dromtonpa often recited:

"Acquiring material things or not acquiring them;
happiness or unhappiness;
interesting or uninteresting sounds;
praise or criticism:
these eight worldly dharmas are not objects of my mind.
They are all the same to me."

It is easy to understand how it can be a problem not to acquire things, to be unhappy, to hear uninteresting sounds, to have a bad reputation, to be criticised. These are commonly recognised as problems. But you might not recognise acquiring things, having comfort and happiness, hearing interesting sounds, having a good reputation and being praised as problems. However, they are all the same; they are all problems.

But the object itself is not the problem. Having wealth is not the problem. So, what is the problem? The problem is the mind desiring and clinging to wealth - that is the problem. Having a friend is not the problem; the mind clinging to the friend makes having a friend a problem.

- Lama Zopa Rinpoche,
Desire is the Source of all Problems, posted to DailyDharma

Dive into the Ocean. You're caught in your own
pretentious beard like something you didn't eat.
You're not garbage! Pearls want to be like you.
You should be with them where waves and fish
and pearls and seaweed and wind are all one.
No linking, no hierarchy, no distinctions,
no perplexed wondering, no speech.
Beyond describing.

Either stay here and talk
or go there and be silent.
Or do both by turns.
With those who see double, talk double talk.
Make noise, beat a drum, think of metaphors!
With Friends, say only mystery.
Near roses, sing.

With deceptive people, cover the jar and shield it.
But be calm with those in duality.
Speak sweetly and reasonably
Patience polishes and purifies.

-Rumi, Mathnawi VI, verses 2028-2041. version by Coleman Barks, from "Sheikh Kharranqani and His Wretched Wife",
The Essential Rumi, posted to Sunlight

After Being In Love, The Next Responsibility

Turn me like a waterwheel turning a millstone.
Plenty of water, a Living River.
Keep me in one place and scatter the love.
Leaf-moves in wind, straw drawn toward amber,
all parts of the world are in love,
but they do not tell their secrets. Cows grazing
on a sacramental table, ants whispering in Solomon's ear.
Mountains mumbling an echo. Sky, calm.
If the sun were not in love, he would have no brightness,
the side of the hill no grass on it.
The ocean would come to rest somewhere.

Be a lover as they are, that you come to know
you Beloved. Be faithful that you may know
Faith. The other parts of the universe did not accept
the next responsibility of love as you can.
They were afraid they might make a mistake
with it, the inspired knowing
that springs from being in love

-Rumi, Furuzanfar #2674 translated by Coleman Barks,
The Rumi Collection, posted to AlphWorld

Heron Rises from the Dark, Summer Pond
So heavy is the long-necked,long-bodied heron,

always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings open
and she turns from the thick water,

from the black sticks of the summer pond,
and slowly rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath of happiness,
and I think how unlikely it is

that death
is a hole
in the ground,

how improbable
that ascension
is not possible,

though everything seems so inert,
so nailed back into itself -

the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle, the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,

and therefore it isn't a miracle
but the common thing, this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,

this opening up of the heavy body
into a new life:

see how the sudden gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind;

see how the clasp
of nothing

takes her in.

Mary Oliver, posted to Poetic_Mysticism

Once you have the View, although the delusory perceptions of samsara
may arise in your mind, you will be like the sky; when a rainbow appears
in front of it, it's not particularly flattered, and when the clouds
appear, it's not particularly disappointed either. There is a deep
sense of contentment. You chuckle from inside as you see the facade of
samsara and nirvana; the View will keep you constantly amused, with a
little inner smile bubbling away all the time.

- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, quoted in
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche, posted to DailyDharma


"Goddess of Small Things" by Helena Nelson-Reed, by kind permission

In the Words of the Artist: "Goddess of Small Things is about caring for seemingly insignificant creatures; mice, moles etc. There are so many worthy causes, but there are also less dramatic issues and situations we confront everyday and in our own lives, the one place where one can make a difference. On a deeper level its about compassion for all beings, including those right beneath our feet and that make us squeamish. Also, caring for oneself and the parts of oneself that feel 'unexceptional' or less than desirable."

More of Helena's wonderful art can be seen at:

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