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#2642 - Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee

The Nondual Highlights    

Listen to the sound of water. Listen to the water running through chasms and rocks. It is the minor streams that make a loud noise; the great waters flow silently.

The hollow resounds and the full is still. Foolishness is like a half-filled pot; the wise man is a lake full of water.

-Sutta Nipata  


Gone Again to Gaze on the Cascade

By Yuan Mei
(1716 - 1798)

English version by J. P. Seaton

A whole life without speaking,
                                        "a thunderous silence"
that was Wei-ma's Way.
And here is a place where no monk can preach.
I understand now what T'ao Ch'ien, enlightened,
said, he couldn't say.
It's so clear, here, this water
                                        my teacher.

-- from A Drifting Boat: Chinese Zen Poetry, Edited by J. P. Seaton / Edited by Dennis Maloney

Poetry Chaikhana Home

    The sun wasn't up yet; you could see the morning star
  through the trees. There was a silence that was really
  extraordinary. Not the silence between two noises or
  between two notes, but the silence that has no reason
  whatsoever the silence that must have been at the
  beginning of the world. It filled the whole valley and
  the hills.

  The two big owls, calling to each other, never
  disturbed that silence, and a distant dog barking at
  the late moon was part of this immensity. The dew was
  especially heavy, and as the sun came up over the hill
  it was sparkling with many colours and with the glow
  that comes with the sun's first rays.

  "The delicate leaves of the jacaranda were heavy with
  dew, and birds came to have their morning baths,
  fluttering their wings so the dew on those delicate
  leaves filled their feathers. The crows were
  particularly persistent; they would hop from one
  branch to another, pushing their heads through the
  leaves, fluttering their wings, and preening
  themselves. There were about half-a-dozen of them on
  that one heavy branch, and there were many other
  birds, scattered all over the tree, taking their
  morning bath.

  "And this silence spread, and seemed to go beyond the
  hills. There were the usual noises of children
  shouting, and laughter; and the farm began to wake up.

  "It was going to be a cool day, and now the hills were
  taking on the light of the sun. They were very old
  hills probably the oldest in the world with oddly
  shaped rocks that seemed to be carved out with great
  care, balanced one on top of the other; but no wind or
  touch could loosen them from this balance.

  "It was a valley far removed from towns, and the road
  through it led to another village. The road was rough
  and there were no cars or buses to disturb the ancient
  quietness of this valley. There were bullock carts,
  but their movement was a part of the hills. There was
  a dry river bed that only flowed with water after
  heavy rains, and the colour was a mixture of red,
  yellow and brown; and it, too, seemed to move with the
  hills. And the villagers who walked silently by were
  like the rocks.

  "The day wore on and towards the end of the evening,
  as the sun was setting over the western hills, the
  silence came in from afar, over the hills, through the
  trees, covering the little bushes and the ancient
  banyan. And as the stars became brilliant, so the
  silence grew into great intensity; you could hardly
  bear it.

  "The little lamps of the village were put out, and
  with sleep the intensity of that silence grew deeper,
  wider and incredibly over-powering. Even the hills
  became more quiet, for they, too, had stopped their
  whisperings, their movement, and seemed to lose their
  immense weight...

  "Silence has many qualities. There is the silence
  between two noises, the silence between two notes and
  the widening silence in the interval between two
  thoughts. There is that peculiar, quiet, pervading
  silence that comes of an evening in the country; there
  is the silence through which you hear the bark of a
  dog in the distance or the whistle of a train as it
  comes up a steep grade; the silence in a house when
  everybody has gone to sleep, and its peculiar emphasis
  when you wake up in the middle of the night and listen
  to an own hooting in the valley; and there is that
  silence before the owl's mate answers. There is the
  silence of an old deserted house, and the silence of a
  mountain; the silence between two human beings when
  they have seen the same thing, felt the same thing,
  and acted.

  "That night, particularly in that distant valley with
  the most ancient hills with their peculiar shaped
  boulders, the silence was as real as the wall you
  touched. And you looked out of the window at the
  brilliant stars. It was not a self-generated silence;
  it was not that the earth was quiet and the villagers
  asleep but it came from everywhere - from the distant
  stars, from those dark hills and from your own mind
  and heart. This silence seemed to cover everything
  from the tiniest grain of sand in the river-bed -
  which only knew running water when it rained - to the
  tall, spreading banyan tree and a slight breeze that
  was now beginning. There is the silence of the mind
  which is never touched by any noise, by any thought or
  by the passing wind of experience. It is this silence
  that is innocent, and so endless. When there is this
  silence of the mind action springs from it, and this
  action does not cause confusion or misery.

  "The meditation of a mind that is utterly silent is
  the benediction that man is ever seeking. In this
  silence every quality of silence is."

  ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti ~ "The Only Revolution"


  "Silence is our real nature. What we are fundamentally
  is only silence. Silence is free from beginning and
  end. It was before the beginning of all things. It is
  causeless. Its greatness lies in the fact that it
  simple is. In silence all objects have their home
  ground. It is the light that gives objects their shape
  and form. All movement, all activity is harmonized by
  silence.Silence has no opposite in noise. It is beyond
  positive and negative. Silence dissolves all objects.
  It is not related to any counterpart which belongs to
  the mind. Silence has nothing to do with mind. It
  cannot be defined but it can be felt directly because
  it is our nearness. Silence is freedom without
  restriction or centre. It is our wholeness, neither
  inside nor outside the body. Silence is joyful, not
  pleasurable. It is not psychological. It is feeling
  without a feeler. Silence needs no intermediary.
  Silence is holy. It is healing. There is no fear in
  silence. Silence is autonomous like love and beauty.
  It is untouched by time. Silence is meditation, free
  from any intention, free from anyone who meditates.
  Silence is the absence of oneself. Or rather, silence
  is the absence of absence. Sound which comes from
  silence is music. All activity is creative when it
  comes from silence. It is constantly a new beginning.
  Silence precedes speech and poetry and music and all
  art. Silence is the home ground of all creative
  activity. What is truly creative is the word, is
  Truth. Silence is the word. Silence is Truth.The one
  established in silence lives in constant offering, in
  prayer without asking, in thankfulness, in continual
  love. "

  ~ Jean Klein ~

 Pete on Advaita to Zen

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