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#2656 - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee

The Nondual Highlights


The Fist  

There are days
when the sun goes down
like a fist,
though of course

if you see anything
in the heavens this way
you had better get

your eyes checked
or, better still,
your diminished spirit.
The heavens

have no fist,
or wouldn't they have been
shaking it
for a thousand years now,

and even
longer than that,
at the dull, brutish
ways of mankind -

heaven's own
Instead: such patience!
Such willingness

to let us continue!
To hear,
little by little,
the voices -

only, so far, in
pockets of the world -
suggesting the possibilities

of peace?  

Keep looking.
Behold, how the fist opens
with invitation.

~ Mary Oliver ~   


Web version:  

Web archive of Panhala postings:    

      'Peace of mind is such an elusive prize.'   

'There is only one way to be totally at ease in every 
  condition of life. I will repeat that in different 
  words. There is a certain state of mind which
  gives  you complete command of everything that
  happens to  you.' 

'You make us eager to know what it is.'   

'It is a state of mind in which you never need to
  prove  you are right.'" 

--Vernon Howard    

    The near enemies are qualities that arise in the
mind and masquerade as genuine spiritual
realization, when in fact they are only an imitation,
serving to separate us from true feeling rather than
connecting us to it.

The near enemy of loving-kindness is attachment. At
first, attachment may feel like love, but as it grows
it becomes more clearly the opposite, characterized
by clinging, controlling and fear.

The near enemy of compassion is pity, and this also
separates us. Pity feels sorry for that poor person
over here, as if he were somehow different from

The near enemy of sympathetic joy (the joy in the
happiness of others) is comparison, which looks to
see if we have more of, the same as, or less than

The near enemy of equanimity is indifference. True
equanimity is balance in the midst of experience,
whereas indifference is withdrawal and not caring,
based on fear.

If we do not recognize and understand the near
enemies, they will deaden our spiritual practice. The
compartments they make cannot shield us for long
from the pain and unpredictability of life, but they
will surely stifle the joy and open connectedness of
true relationships.

--Jack Kornfield, in A Path with Heart

    Good Evening, Friends!

This afternoon at the nutrition shop where I work,
a middle-aged woman approached me, nominally in
search of some supplement to help assuage
traumatic stress. She said she was drawn to
working with natural remedies. I inquired first into
the source of the discomfort.

She informed me that it was her daughter who had
been abducted and found later, raped and
murdered. It apparently had been a big local story
just before I moved to this area a year ago. As she
spoke, we both tried to hold back tears, but
unsuccessfully. She had just been notified that her
son was now terminal with leukemia, and she was on
her way to Colorado to be with him. During the time
his sister had been missing, he developed the
disease, and then let it take him down when her
body was found. He is angry at the world, and wants
out. Meanwhile, her husband is collapsing, can't
deal with it anymore.

I asked what kind of support she was receiving, and
she said that everyone has been so kind, and they
were working with the police chaplain. She
expressed faith in re-uniting with her family in
heaven. She shared that what has emerged from all
this is the realization of how fragile life is, and
how the love we share with each other is all that
really matters. We considered these notions, and
finally agreed that trying to figure things out just
adds more stress, but were able to settle on an
herbal formula that could help sooth her husband
in his sleepless despair.

I praised her for her efforts in remaining sane in
the midst of this, and as we looked each other in
the eye for one long moment, I could have pointed
and said, "Here, here it is right here", but there
was really no need to say it, it was already plain and

Bob O'Hearn on Garden Mystics

    Last year, I admired wines. This,
I'm wandering inside the red world.
Last year, I gazed at the fire.
This year I'm burnt kabob.
Thirst drove me down to the water
where I drank the moon's reflection.
Now I am a lion staring up totally
lost in love with the thing itself.
Don't ask questions about longing.
Look in my face.
Soul drunk, body ruined, these two
sit helpless in a wrecked wagon.
Neither knows how to fix it.
And my heart, I'd say it was more
like a donkey sunk in a mudhole,
struggling and miring deeper.
But listen to me: for one moment,
quit being sad. Hear blessings
dropping their blossoms
around you.
~ Rumi
Mazie Lane on Garden Mystics    

  Alan Larus photos 

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