Click here to go to the next issue
Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day
Sunday, October 22, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nondual Highlights
When I Am Among the Trees
When I am
among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so
distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.
call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."
Web version: www.panhala.net/Archive/When_I_Am_Among_the_Trees.html
Web archive of Panhala postings: www.panhala.net/Archive/Index.html
To subscribe to Panhala, send a blank email to [email protected]
music link (left button to play, right button to save)
"Once you realize that the
road is the goal and that
you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but
to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be
a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy."
--Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
taught by way of rules is extremely powerful and valuable in the
development of practice. It must be remembered that it, like all the techniques in
meditation, is merely a tool to enable one to eventually get to that place of
unselfishness where morality and wisdom flow naturally. In the West, there's a myth
that freedom means free expression--that to follow all desires wherever they take one
is true freedom. In fact, as one serves the mind, one sees that following desires,
attractions, repulsions is not at all freedom, but is a kind of bondage. A mind filled with
desires and grasping inevitably entails great suffering. Freedom is not to be gained
through the ability to perform certain external actions. True freedom is an inward state
of being. Once it is attained, no situation in the world can bind one or limit one's
freedom. It is in this context that we must understand moral precepts and moral rules.
--Jack Kornfield, Living Dharma
is a difficult word for most of us. It conjures up images of
somebody standing over you with a stick, telling you that you're wrong.
But self-discipline is different. It's the skill of seeing through the hollow
shouting of your own impulses and piercing their secret. They have no
power over you. It's all a show, a deception. Your urges scream and
bluster at you; they cajole; they coax; they threaten; but they really carry
no stick at all. You give in out of habit. You give in because you never
really bother to look beyond the threat. It is all empty back there. There
is only one way to learn this lesson, though. The words on this page
won't do it. But look within and watch the stuff coming up--restlessness,
anxiety, impatience, pain--just watch it come up and don't get involved.
Much to your surprise, it will simply go away. It rises, it passes away. As
simple as that. There is another word for self-discipline. It is patience.
Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English
pointed out that AWARENESS is the the key.
William Samuel has pointed out that AWARENESS = IDENTITY. The two go
We make the mistake of identifying what we identify as ourselves
subjectively and judge ourselves rather than objectively and so
experience the ALLNESS of our total IDENTITY.
The judgement disappears when we are subjectively aware of the
fullness of the awareness.
Some years ago a gourmet chef came to me asking for help in dealing
with his addiction to cigarettes and smoking. We talked about the
problem for a while and finally I brought him two glasses of water,
one from the tap and one from bottled and filtered water.
He was asked to taste the two waters AS HE WOULD TASTE THE FOOD FOR A
MEAL. And talk about the difference. He was asked to sip the water as
if he was tasting a fine wine. The result was astonishing for him. He
realized he had never "tasted" water in that sense.
He was then asked to be totally aware of everything about his smoking
habit, totally aware. Aware of the urge, of getting the cigarette out,
of lighting it, of inhaling and exhaling, of the fullness of the taste
of it, of the odors, of putting it out and putting everything
connected with it away, including noticing the odor of the ashtray as
he emptied and cleaned it.
I asked him to do this for the next three weeks and then to call me
with the results.
He called back in two weeks for a final appointment. He was totally
free of smoking! and was ecstatic.
The point here is that most of the time we eat food in an unexamined
manner, and an unaware manner.
We eat to socialize;
we eat for taste which means we eat for the seasonings;
we eat to compensate for feelings of emptiness, not from real hunger.
We therefore don't eat for nourishment or to satisfy the hunger for
such nourishment; and most importantly we don't eat in such a way as
to actually taste the food itself.
For instance, my mother grew up in an era where one cooked spinach to
death - and Popeye the Sailorman was a conpensation to get children to
eat truly tasteless food. I was in my 20s before I went to a party
with a buffet including some wonderful salads and one salad in
particular was an incredible taste treat. I asked what it was and was
told that it was fresh, raw spinach! I haven't eaten canned or cooked
spinach since (Yucky!).
The key to eating is not about weight which is a consequence of poor
eating habits due to LACK OF AWARENESS.
We also blur the tastes by eating a variety of foods at the same time,
a little of meat, then potatos, then cole slaw, then meat, then drink
some beverage then more potatoes - and most of it is filled with
seasonings and butter and sour cream and,,and...and...salt and....
Under such circumstances we don't TASTE the food.
A writer opened my eyes in his book, ONE BOWL, in which he suggested
that we eat one food at a time and truly taste it. In order to really
do this he suggested that we eat alone for a time. By eating one food
at a time we educate the body about the fullness of the nutrients and
value to the body and quickly the body will begin to tell us what it
wants and needs and our choices for food will be wiser and healthier.
(BTW he went from just under 400 lbs to a comfortable 190 for his body
size and structure.)
After eating the ONE FOOD at a time for a week or two he recommends
that we examine the "menu" or the pantry and then wait about 20
minutes for the body to compute its needs and desires. Then we choose
the food to eat. The goal will be a better dining experience and a
healthier body - at the right weight for us and tailored to our body's
needs and function.
After about a month we will become increasingly aware of the body's
urge for food, preparing the food, eating the food, digesting the
food, assimilating the food, and eliminating what is not needed.
It is important to learn to recognize true hunger from the false
hungers of compensation. The way to do that is when the urge to eat
comes - actually stop and make a meal, a sit-down fully aware eating.
We are in the habit of eating three meals a day and our body's
metabolism may actually require five smaller meals.
We are so often unconscious, truly unaware, of what we are nourishing
ourselves with - including food, thoughts, relationships and activities.
Where there is an apparent problem the solution is AWARENESS without
the Judge, truly getting the facts and living in consequence with a
life that is NATURALLY ALIVE rather than a dulled consciousness of
suppression, guilt and shame.
The best and most ALIVENESS comes when we are most truly ourselves in
full awareness and consciousness of what we are about. The best
results tailored to our individuality come NATURALLY and reveals our
true IDENTITY free from the Judge.
Be well and well-nourished in all areas of life,
top of page