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#2790 - Monday, April 16, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

Nondual Highlights      

It's all I have to bring today (26)

It's all I have to bring today—
This, and my heart beside—
This, and my heart, and all the fields—
And all the meadows wide—
Be sure you count—should I forget—
Some one the sum could tell—
This, and my heart, and all the Bee
Which in the Clover dwell.

  --Emily Dickinson    

For the young lives lost and dreams unfulfilled - may we honor them by making good use of the days we are given, for it might be otherwise....   --Joe Riley on Panhala  

Web version:
image with Ramana Maharshi quote
From Bob O'Hearn on Garden Mystics  

I have been participating in a thread on a Zen Buddhist forum on the topic of koans, passing koans, and awakening, and I thought to share my responses here:     Everything is originally just as it is. When we say "originally", it is really just right now. Right now, everything is complete, perfect, self-evident -- just as it is, just as we are. However, because we are the way we are, we often find ourselves in conflict with events, circumstances, or relations.

This sense of conflict will manifest in all sorts of ways, but at the core, it is characterized by dis-ease, a stress in the being, which is habitually superimposed on original suchness by the mind of doubt. So, OK -- in koan study, we take this doubt and delve deeply into it. Is it true, are we inherently some suffering critter, or is it more of a case in which our beliefs and notions stand in opposition to reality?

When we see through these conditional beliefs and notions through practice, we can notice that everything is originally just as it is. Koans are expedient ways to probe into our doubt, rather than ignoring or supressing. The biggest doubt is ourselves, and so the koan is actually all about us. We are the koan. When we are sitting, we are the koan. When we are standing, walking, lying down, we are the koan. When we wake up in the morning, here is the koan -- us.

Passing a koan is like removing a phantom limb. It was never there in the first place. Nothing is changed. We made up this sense of doubt, cherished and coddled it, and then it is no longer there. Cheers! Everything is still just as it is. Should we be congratulated or elevated because we got rid of what we never really had? Someone has a dream in which they are chased by a gorilla. When they wake up, do they ask if the gorilla has also awakened?   Now, on the one hand, consider this: there is no one who is not already awake. How can one awaken then if they are already awake? The biggest delusion is that one is not already awake. In reality, there is only awakeness. This is the source of some real humor, that we run around trying to awaken when it has always been the case. Nor can one evade their own awakeness, so we might as well relax. It's like they say, "eyes are horizontal, nose is vertical".

On the other hand, it is obvious that there is suffering. Clearly, a component of consciousness is stress, yearning, disappointment. The trouble is, we separate happiness and sorrow, seeking for one and avoiding the other, and thus go around divided in our being. This division arises in consciousness as a play of opposites, one de facto necessary for the other.

Consequently, we can investigate this consciousness, and see if that is what we truly are. Are we this consciousness? Most say so, but is it true, or more like an identity we assume in a stage drama? Well, it's fun to find out, as Mr. Rodgers would assure us, and indeed, there's an invitation there that some hearts find irresistible.

Friends, there's an old Persian poet, Hafiz, who claimed that all a sane man can ever care about is giving love. What a remarkable statement! He doesn't talk about awakeness, he doesn't talk about consciousness, he just loves. Gives love. Gives and gives and gives. When one is dedicated in their heart to giving, there is no time to be happy or sad, awake or asleep, enlightened or deluded. There is just giving, and what is this giving? It is forgetting the self, always exceeding the self-position, always surrendered, always practicing. It is not Buddhist or Hindu, Christian or Muslim. It is not a belief or identity, it is just action. We are alive, we must do something. What is there to do? What will we do? Well now, there's a koan!


  Good morning group, friends,

Today something special, the teachings by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
As far as I am concerned, the two pictures are already the teachings.
The depth of his realisation shines through his smile, posture and natural kindness.
It is an effortless mudra: a direct pointer to the natural state of man, reality.

Love and regards,


PS For more information go here
That is also the place where I got these teachings from.  


Consider all phenomena as a dream:

This precious human body, supreme instrument though it is for the attainment of enlightenment, is itself a transient phenomenon. No one knows when, or how, death will come. Bubbles form on the surface of the water, but the next instant they are gone; they do not stay. It is just the same with this precious human body that we have managed to find. We take all the time in the world before engaging in spiritual practice, but who knows when this life of ours will simply cease to be? And once our precious human body is lost, our mindstream, continuing its existence, will take birth perhaps among the animals, or in one of the hells or god realms where spiritual development is impossible.

At present, the outer universe—earth, stones, mountains, rocks and cliffs—seem to the perception of our senses to be permanent and stable, like the houses built of reinforced concrete that we think will last for generations. In fact, there is nothing solid to it at all; it is nothing but a city of dreams…

Take an example from the recent past. Before the arrival of the Chinese Communists, how many monasteries were there in what used to be called Tibet, the Land of Snow? How many temples and monasteries were there, like those in Lhasa, at Samye and Trandruk? How many precious objects were there, representations of the Buddha’s Body, Speech and Mind? Now not even a statue remains. All that is left of Samye is something the size of this tent, hardly bigger than a stupa. Everything was looted, broken or scattered, and all the great images were destroyed. These things have happened and this demonstrates impermanence…

If we have an understanding of impermanence, we will be able to practice the sacred teachings. But if we continue to think that everything will remain as it is, then it will be just like rich people still discussing their business projects on their deathbeds! Such people never talk about the next life, do they? It goes to show that an appreciation of the certainty of death has never touched their hearts. That is their mistake, their delusion.  

The Mind:

…What shall we say about these so-called thoughts? At this moment, while I am teaching Dharma, let us consider the mental experience, or thought, which you have, of listening carefully to me. Does this have a shape or color? Is it to be found in the upper or lower part of the body, in the eyes or ears? What we call the mind is not really there at all. If it is really a thing, it must have characteristics, such as color. It must be white, yellow and so one. Or it must have shape, like a pillar or vase. It must be big or small, old or young, and so on. You can find out whether the mind exists solidly or not by just turning inwards and reflecting carefully. You will see that the mind does not begin, or end, or stay, anywhere; that it has no color or form and is to be found neither insider nor outside the body. And when you see that it does not exist as a thing, you should stay in that experience without any attempt to label or define it.

All suffering comes through not recognising ego-clinging as our enemy. When we are hit by a stick or a stone, it hurts; when someone calls us a thief or a liar, we become angry. Why is this? It is because we feel great esteem and attachment for what we think of as our selves, and we think, “I am being attacked.” Clinging to the “I” is the real obstacle to the attainment of liberation and enlightenment… It is from within that the trouble comes. It is due to fixation on “I” that we think: “I am so unhappy, I can’t get anything to eat, I have no clothes, lots of people are against me and I don’t have any friends.” It is thoughts like these that keep us so busy—and all so uselessly! This is the reason why we are not on the path to liberation and Buddhahood. Throughout the entire succession of our lives, from beginningless time until the present, we have been taking birth in one or other of the six realms. How long we have been labouring in the three worlds of samsara, slaves to our ego-clinging!   ..............    

The source of all phenomena of samsara and nirvana
Is the nature of mind void, luminous,
All-encompassing, vast as the sky.

When in that state of sky-like vastness,
Relax into its openness; stay in that very openness,
Merge with that sky-like state:
Naturally, it will become more and more relaxed

If you become accomplished
In this method of integrating mind with view,
Your realization will naturally become vast.
And just as the sun shines freely throughout space,
Your compassion cannot fail to shine on all unrealized beings.

The mind, dividing experience into subject and object, first identifies with the subject, 'I,' then with the idea of 'mine,' and starts to cling to 'my body,' 'my mind' and 'my name.' As our attachment to these three notions grows stronger and stronger, we become more and more exclusively concerned with our own well-being. All our striving for comfort, our intolerance of life's annoying circumstances, our preoccupation with pleasure and pain, wealth and poverty, fame and obscurity, praise and blame, are due to this idea of 'I.'

We are usually so obsessed with ourselves that we hardly ever even think about the welfare of others in fact, we are no more interested in others than a tiger is interested in eating grass. This is completely the opposite of the outlook of the Bodhisattva. The ego is really just a fabrication of thought, and when you realize that both the object grasped and the mind that grasps are void, it is easy to see that others are not different from yourself. All the energy we normally put into looking after ourselves, Bodhisattvas put into looking after others. If a Bodhisattva sees that by plunging into the fires of hell he can help even a single being, he does it without an instant of hesitation, like a swan entering a cool lake.

Translated by Matthieu Ricard
From “Rabsel” Issue 5
Shechen Publications

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