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#2626 - Friday, October 27, 2006 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nondual Highlights

Allergy alert: This issue may have been in contact with nuts.  

In this issue I went nondually postal. Really went off on tangents. Leonard Cohen, Sammy Davis, Jr.,a rant on why Spanish should not be an official language in the U.S., whose author, J. Mason, says, "We must preserve the exclusivity and above all, the purity of the English language."

Somewhere in this mess there's something about the Lankavatara Sutra.  

Gloria'll be back soon and we'll get some adult supervision around here.  

Ah, but I think this issue, if you watch the videos, is full of life, humanity, humor, and love. Do we need to supervise that?  


    The following is Chapter One from the classic of nonduality, the Lankavatara Sutra. A beautiful version is published by Monkfish Publishing "The Lankavatara Sutra, according to tradition, contains the actual words of the Buddha spoken in Sri Lanka (Ceylon)."

  I don't know about you but to me Buddha sounds like the rest of the online gurus of nonduality. In fact, if you replace "The Blessed One" with Yosy Flug, "Castle of Lanka" with "YahooGroups" and "Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas" with "a bunch of 60 year olds sitting at their computers with nothing else to do but sound enlightened," you pretty much got the Lankavatara Sutra, y'know what I'm saying? 

  In fact, there's the Jewish version of this called the Lankaverkachta Sutra which features a guy telling everyone to forget being wise, forget being ignorant, and get a good job so you can look after your parents who fed you and clothed you and Bar Mitzvahed you, and sent you to college...  

But hey, the Lankavatara Sutra is a classic and I'm going to Buddhist hell and Jewish hell for poking fun, which is not unlike listening to Leonard Cohen ... sing for eternity, if that's what you want to call it ... and kvetch about how he lost all his money.  

Where's Sammy Davis Jr. when you need him? I'm sure that if he were in his hey day today he'd be into nonduality. He'd be with the Dalai Lama. And he already sang about the most enlightened man a song was ever written about, Mr. Bojangles. Now that's entertainment.

Sammy Davis performing Mr. Bojangles:

  I knew a man Bojangles and he danced for you, in worn out shoes.
With silver hair a ragged shirt and baggy pants,
He did the old soft shoe.
He jumped so high, jumped so high,
Then he lightly touched down.
Mister Bojangles, Mister Bojangles,
Mister Bojangles, dance.
I met him in a cell in New Orleans I was down and out.
He looked at me to be the eyes of age as he spoke right out.
He talked of life, talked of life, he laughed slapped his leg a step.
He said his name, Bojangles,
then he danced a lick, across the cell.
He grabbed his pants a better stance oh he jumped up high,
He clicked his heels, he let go a laugh, let go a laugh,
Shook back his clothes all around.
He danced for those at minstrel shows and county fairs throughout the south.
He spoke with tears of fifteen years how his dog and he traveled about.
His dog up and died, up and died,
After twenty years he still grieved,
He said, I dance now at every chance in honky tonks for drinks and tips.
But most of them I spend behind these county bars, He said, I drinks a bit.
He shook his head and he shook his head,
I heard someone ask him please,

Leonard Cohen performing Suzanne:  

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river

You can hear the boats go by 

You can spend the night beside her 

And you know that she's half crazy 

But that's why you want to be there 

And she feeds you tea and oranges 

That come all the way from China 

And just when you mean to tell her 

That you have no love to give her 

Then she gets you on her wavelength 

And she lets the river answer 

That you've always been her lover 

And you want to travel with her 

And you want to travel blind 

And you know that she will trust you 

For you've touched her perfect body with your mind. 

And Jesus was a sailor 

When he walked upon the water 

And he spent a long time watching 

From his lonely wooden tower 

And when he knew for certain 

Only drowning men could see him 

He said "All men will be sailors then 

Until the sea shall free them" 

But he himself was broken 

Long before the sky would open 

Forsaken, almost human 

He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone 

And you want to travel with him 

And you want to travel blind 

And you think maybe you'll trust him 

For he's touched your perfect body with his mind. 

Now Suzanne takes your hand 

And she leads you to the river 

She is wearing rags and feathers 

From Salvation Army counters 

And the sun pours down like honey 

On our lady of the harbour 

And she shows you where to look 

Among the garbage and the flowers 

There are heroes in the seaweed 

There are children in the morning 

They are leaning out for love 

And they will lean that way forever 

While Suzanne holds the mirror 

And you want to travel with her 

And you want to travel blind 

And you know that you can trust her 

For she's touched your perfect body with her mind.

The Lankavatara Sutra  
Chapter I

THUS HAVE I HEARD. The Blessed One once appeared in the Castle of Lanka which is on the summit of Mt. Malaya in the midst of the great Ocean. A great many Bodhi­sattva-Mahasattvas had miraculously assembled from all the Buddha-lands, and a large number of bhikshus were gathered there. The Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas with Mahamati at their head were all perfect masters of the various Samadhis, the tenfold Self-mastery, the ten Powers, and the six Psychic Faculties. Having been anointed by the Buddha’s own hands, they all well understood the significance of the objective world; they all knew how to apply the various means, teach­ings and disciplinary measures according to the various mentalities and behaviors of beings; they were all thoroughly versed in the five Dharmas, the three Svabhavas, the eight Vijnanas, and the twofold Egoless­ness.

The Blessed One, knowing of the mental agitations going on in the minds of those assembled (like the surface of the ocean stirred into waves by the passing winds), and his great heart moved by compassion, smiled and said: In the days of old the Tathagatas of the past who were Arhats and fully-enlightened Ones came to the Castle of Lanka on Mount Malaya and dis­coursed on the Truth of Noble Wisdom that is beyond the reasoning knowledge of the philosophers as well as being beyond the understanding of ordinary disciples and masters; and which is realisable only within the inmost consciousness; for your sakes, I too, would dis­course on the same Truth. All that is seen in the world is devoid of effort and action because all things in the world are like a dream, or like an image miraculously projected. This is not comprehended by the philoso­phers and the ignorant, but those who thus see things see them truthfully. Those who see things otherwise walk in discrimination and, as they depend upon dis­crimination, they cling to dualism. The world as seen by discrimination is like seeing one’s own image re­flected in a mirror, or one’s shadow, or the moon reflected in water, or an echo heard in the valley. Peo­ple grasping their own shadows of discrimination be­come attached to this thing and that thing and failing to abandon dualism they go on forever discriminating and thus never attain tranquility. By tranquility is meant Oneness, and Oneness gives birth to the highest Kamahi which is gained by entering into the realm of Noble Wisdom that is realisable only within one’s in­most consciousness.  

Then all the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas rose from their seats and respectfully paid him homage and Ma­hamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva sustained by the power of the Buddhas drew his upper garment over one shoulder, knelt and pressing his hands together, praised him in the following verses:  

As thou reviewest the world with thy perfect intelli­gence and compassion, it must seem to thee like an ethereal flower of which one cannot say: it is born, it is destroyed, for the terms being and non-being do not apply to it.

  As thou reviewest the world with thy perfect intelli­gence and compassion, it must seem to thee like a dream of which it cannot be said: it is permanent or it is destructible, for being and non-being do not apply to it.

  As thou reviewest all things by thy perfect intelligence and compassion, they must seem to thee like visions beyond the reach of the human mind, as being and non-being do not apply to them.

  With thy perfect intelligence and compassion which are beyond all limit, thou comprehendest the Egolessness of things and persons, and art free and clear from the hindrances of passion and learning and egoism.

  Thou dost not vanish into Nirvana, nor does Nirvana abide in thee, for Nirvana transcends all duality of knowing and known, of being and non-being.  

Those who see thee thus, serene and beyond concep­tion, will be emancipated from attachment, will be cleansed of all defilement, both in this world and in the spiritual world beyond.

  in this world whose nature is like a dream, there is place for praise and blame, but in the ultimate Real­ity of Dharmakaya which is far beyond the senses and the discriminating mind, what is there to praise? 0 thou most Wise!   *  

THEN SAID MAHAMATI the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva: 0 blessed One, Sugata, Arhat and Fully-enlight­ened One, pray tell us about the realisation of Noble Wisdom which is beyond the path and usage of the philosophers; which is devoid of all predicates such as being and non-being, oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness, existence and non-existence, eter­nity and non-eternity; which has nothing to do with individuality and generality, nor false-imagination, nor any illusions arising from the mind itself; but which manifests itself as the Truth of Highest Reality. By which, going up continuously by the stages of puri­fication, one enters at last upon the stage of Tathagata­hood, whereby, by the power of his original vows un­attended by any striving, one will radiate its influence to infinite worlds, like a gem reflecting its variegated colors, whereby I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas will be enabled to bring all beings to the same perfec­tion of virtue.

  Said the Blessed One: Well done, well done, Ma­hamati! And again, well done, indeed! It is because of your compassion for the world, because of the benefit it will bring to many people both human kind and celestial, that you have presented yourself before us to make this request. Therefore, Mahamati, listen well and truly reflect upon what I shall say, for I will in­struct you.  

Then Mahamati and the other Bodhisattva-Maha­sattvas gave devout attention to the teaching of the Blessed One.  

Mahamati, since the ignorant and simple-minded, not knowing that the world is only something seen of the mind itself, cling to the multitudinousness of external objects, cling to the notions of being and non-being, oneness and otherness, bothness and not-both-ness, existence and non-existence, eternity and noneternity, and think that they have a self-nature of their own, all of which rises from the discriminations of the mind and is perpetuated by habit-energy, and from which they are given over to false imagination. It is all like a mirage in which springs of water are seen as if they were real. They are thus imagined by animals who, made thirsty by the heat of the season, run after them. Animals, not knowing that the springs are an hallucination of their own minds, do not realise that there are no such springs. In the same way, Mahamati, the ignorant and simple-minded, their minds burning with the fires of greed, anger and folly, finding delight in a world of multitudinous forms, their thoughts obsessed with ideas of birth, growth and destruction, not well understanding what is meant by existent and non-existent, and being impressed by the erroneous discriminations and speculations since beginningless time, fall into the habit of grasping this and that and thereby becoming attached to them.  

It is like the city of the Gandharvas which the un­witting take to be a real city though it is not so in fact. The city appears as in a vision owing to their attach­ment to the memory of a city preserved in the mind as a seed; the city can thus be said to be both existent and non-existent. In the same way, clinging to the memory of erroneous speculations and doctrines accu­mulated since beginningless time, they hold fast to such ideas as oneness and otherness, being and non-being, and their thoughts are not at all clear as to what after all is only seen of the mind. It is like a man dreaming in his sleep of a country that seems to be filled with various men, women, elephants, horses, cars, pedestrians, villages, towns, hamlets, cows, buf­falos, mansions, woods, mountains, rivers and lakes, and who moves abcut in that city until he is awakened. As he lies half awake, he recalls the city of his dreams and reviews his experiences there; what do you think, Mahamati, is this dreamer who is letting his mind dwell upon the various unrealities he has seen in his dream,—is he to be considered wise or foolish? In the same way, the ignorant and simple-minded who are favorably influenced by the erroneous views of the philosophers do not recognise that the views that are influencing them are only dream-like ideas originating in the mind itself, and consequently they are held fast by their notions of oneness and otherness, of being and non-being. It is like a painter’s canvas on which the ignorant imagine they see the elevations and de­pressions of mountains and valleys.  

In the same way there are people today being brought up under the influence of similar erroneous views of oneness and otherness, of bothness and not­bothness, whose mentality is being conditioned by the habit-energy of these false-imaginings and who later on will declare those who hold the true doctrine of no-birth which is free from the alternatives of being and non-being, to be nihilists and by so doing will bring themselves and others to ruin. By the natural law of cause and effect these followers of pernicious views uproot meritorious causes that otherwise would lead to unstained purity. They are to be shunned by those whose desires are for more excellent things.  

It is like the dim-eyed ones who seeing a hairnet ex­claim to one another: “It is wonderful! Look, Honorable Sirs, it is wonderful!” But the hairnet has never existed; in fact, it is neither an entity, nor a non­entity, for it has both been seen and has not been seen. In the same manner those whose minds have been addicted to the discriminations of the erroneous views cherished by the philosophers which are given over to the realistic views of being and non-being, will con­tradict the good Dharma and will end in the destruc­tion of themselves and others.  

It is like a wheel of fire made by a revolving fire-brand which is no wheel but which is imagined to be one by the ignorant. Nor is it not-a-wheel because it has not been seen by some. By the same reasoning, those who are in the habit of listening to the discrimi­nations and views of the philosophers will regard things born as non-existent and those destroyed by causation as existent. It is like a mirror reflecting colors and images as determined by conditions but without any partiality. It is like the echo of the wind that gives the sound of a human voice. It is like a mirage of mov­ing water seen in a desert. In the same way the dis­criminating mind of the ignorant which has been heated by false-imaginations and speculations is stirred into mirage-like waves by the winds of birth, growth and destruction. It is like the magician Pisaca, who by means of his spells makes a wooden image or a dead body to throb with life, though it has no power of its own. In the same way the ignorant and the simple­minded, committing themselves to erroneous philo­sophical views become thoroughly devoted to the ideas of oneness and otherness, but their confidence is not well grounded. For this reason, Mahamati, you and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should cast off all dis­criminations leading to the notions of birth, abiding and destructions, of oneness and otherness, of bothness and not-bothness, of being and non-being and thus get­ting free of the bondage of habit-energy become able to attain the reality realisable within yourselves of Noble Wisdom.   *  

THEN SAID MAHAMATI to the Blessed One: Why is it that the ignorant are given up to discrimination and the wise are not?

  The Blessed One replied: It is because the ignorant cling to names, signs and ideas; as their minds move along these channels they feed on multiplicities of objects and fall into the notion of an ego-soul and what belongs to it; they make discriminations of good and bad among appearances and cling to the agreeable. As they thus cling there is a reversion to ignorance, and karma born of greed, anger and folly, is accumulated. As the accumulation of karma goes on they become imprisoned in a cocoon of discrimination and are thenceforth unable to free themselves from the round of birth and death.  

Because of folly they do not understand that all things are like maya, like the reflection of the moon in water, that there is no self-substance to be imagined as an ego-soul and its belongings, and that all their de­finitive ideas rise from their false discriminations of what exists only as it is seen of the mind itself. They do not realise that things have nothing to do with qual­ified and qualifying, nor with the course of birth, abiding and destruction, and instead they assert that they are born of a creator, of time, of atoms, of some celestial spirit. It is because the ignorant are given up to discrimination that they move along with the stream of appearances, but it is not so with the wise.

The Lankavatara Sutra:

Jackie Mason on speaking Spanish  

There may be those among you who support including Spanish in our national language. I for one am 110% against this!

We must preserve the exclusivity and above all, the purity of the English language.

To all the shlemiels, shlemazels, nebbishes, nudniks, klutzes, putzes, shlubs, shmoes, shmucks, nogoodniks, and momzers that are out there pushing Spanish, I just want to say that I, for one, believe that English and only English deserves linguistic prominence in our American culture.

To tell the truth, it makes me so farklempt, I'm fit to plotz.
This whole Spanish schmeer gets me broyges, specially when I hear these erstwhile mavens and luftmenschen kvetching about needing to learn Spanish. What chutzpah!

These shmegeges can tout their shlock about the cultural and linguistic diversity of our country, but I, for one, am not buying their shtick. It's all so much dreck, as far as I'm concerned.

I exhort you all to be menshen about this and stand up to their fardrayte arguments and meshugganah, farshtunkene assertions.

It wouldn't be kosher to do anything else.
Remember, when all is said and done, we have English and they've got bubkes!

The whole mynseh is a pain in my tuchas !

~ ~ ~  

More of the reality of Jackie Mason:  

After you watch this video go back and read the Lankavatara Sutra and you'll read it as though the Buddha is talking like Jackie Mason.

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