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#3131 - Wednesday, April 9, 2008 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Nonduality Highlights -        

"I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment,
it is for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment"

--The Buddha

posted by Tom McFerran  

Buddha the Baker
Buddha was not interested in the elements comprising human beings, nor in metaphysical theories of existence. He was more concerned about how he himself existed in this moment. That was his point. Bread is made from flour. How flour becomes bread when put in the oven was for Buddha the most important thing. How we become enlightened was his main interest. The enlightened person is some perfect, desirable character, for himself and for others. Buddha wanted to find out how human beings develop this ideal character--how various sages in the past became sages. In order to find out how dough became perfect bread, he made it over and over again, until he became quite successful.  

That was his practice.  

--Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind  

From 'The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching'
Thich Nhat Hanh

Relatively speaking, there are right views and there are wrong views. But if we look more deeply, we see that all views are wrong views. No view can ever be the truth. It is just from one point; that is why it is called a "point of view." If we go to another point, we will see things differently and realize that our first view was not entirely right. Buddhism is not a collection of views. It is a practice to help us eliminate wrong views. The quality of our views can always be improved. From the viewpoint of ultimate reality, Right View is the absence of all views.
  When we begin the practice, our view is a vague idea about the teachings. But conceptual knowledge is never enough. The seeds of Right View, the seed of Buddhahood, are in us, but they are obscured by so many layers of ignorance, sorrow, and disappointment. We have to put our views into practice. In the process of learning, reflecting, and practicing, our view becomes increasingly wise, based on our real experience. When we practice Right Mindfulness, we see the seed of Buddhahood in everyone, including ourselves. This is Right View. Sometimes it is described as the Mother of All Buddhas (prajna paramita), the energy of love and understanding that has the power to free us. When we practice mindful living, our Right View will blossom, and all the other elements of the path in us will flower, also.

posted to Wisdom-l by Mark Scorelle  

We may argue about everything except Truth. Even the very best argument can produce only another thought at the end. For Truth can be expressed in words, spoken or written, only by bringing it down to the level of intellect, whereas on its own level as being knowledge of the Real it transcends intellect. Any thought of the Real merely makes an object of it, one among a multitude of other objects, and hence fails to arrive at it.  

-- Paul Brunton
   — Notebooks Category 28: The Alone > Chapter 2: Our Relation To the Absolute > # 1
posted to Wisdom-l by Mark Scorelle  

  "Tranquility is stillness; Flowing is wisdom.
We practice meditation to calm the mind
and make it still; then it can flow."

-- Ajahn Chah

From the book, "Everything is Teaching Us,"
published by Vimokkharam Forest Hermitage,
posted to DailyDharma

Hi Gloria,           

For the first time I want to recommend  a book to you and your colleagues and indeed to every one who reads and is interested in understanding life as it is. The title is, rather absurdly,  " The Wisdom of Donkeys: Finding Tranquility in a Chaotic World " by Andy Merrifield.  I stumbled upon this while browsing in the new books section of our library.         

Despite a rather cute title, this is an absorbing book written by a man of great depth of knowledge in philosophy, music and the importance of sheer being. He is the only author I have encountered who actually make Heidegger almost intelligible to us.         

Merrifield is a Brit from the working class who amazingly got through Oxford and later taught  geography ( of all things ) in various British and American universities. He is now retired from teaching ( though only 48 ) and living in the Auvergne region of France with his wife and daughter.         

This book is truly a work of wisdom. There are few books that have attained this level of communication without being ponderous or pretentious.         

Donkeys are usually thought of as sort of fun figures, I think, who seem to evoke smiles wherever they appear, as even the author concedes. He goes on an extended walking tour with his rented donkey which is the foundation of this book. He is no fool, however, and despite his title he does not paint his donkey in an anthropomorphic or jokey way.         

I believe that the great depths of this book will have a real impact upon anyone who reads it. It is lucid, easy to read, and  it never lectures or hectors us. But it does inform us. For example, he speaks of the folly of setting goals believing their attainment will bring happiness. Having seen that, he settles happily in a spot where  he was " cast by accident " and which he makes no demands of, and of course is truly happy.         

I don't want to impose further on your time so I leave you with the  strong suggestion that you expand  and delight yourself by reading this triumph. Publishing being what it is you are unlikely to hear elsewhere of this little work.         

Earl McHugh  

from Amazon review:
“The demon of speed is often associated with forgetting, with avoidance…and slowness with memory and confronting,” observes Milan Kundera in his novel Slowness. With that purpose in mind—a search for slowness and tranquility—Andy Merrifield set out on a journey of the soul with a friend’s donkey, to walk amid the ruins and spectacular vistas of southern France’s Haute-Auvergne. The purposeful pace of the journey and the understated nobility of Gribouille, his humble donkey companion, allowed him to confront himself as well as to consider the larger mysteries of life—insight he now shares in his enchanting book, The Wisdom of Donkeys. As Merrifield contemplates literature, science, truth and beauty, and the universality of nature amid the French countryside, Gribouille surprises him with his subtle wisdom, reminding him time and again that enlightenment is all around us if we but seek it. Traveling with Andy Merrifield and Gribouille, we’re reminded of the contemplative and exquisite benefits of nature, passive adventuring, and wild spaces.

Kabir poem set with photo montage by Bob O'Hearn  

"The inward and the outward are become as one sky, the Infinite and the finite are united." 

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