Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:

Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nonduality Highlights each day

How to submit material to the Highlights

#3283 - Monday, September 8, 2008 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Nonduality Highlights

A poem from Monk Ryokan ( ‰› )




    Yo no naka wa

    nani ni tatoen

    yamabiko no

    kotauru koe no

    munashiki ga goto



    Our life in this world -

    to what shall I compare it?

    Its like an echo

    resounding through the mountains

    and off into the empty sky.



Translation by Steven D. Carter:


posted to Wisdom-l


Half Empty of What?

If I am holding a cup of water and I ask you, "Is this cup empty?" you will say, "No, it is full of water." But if I pour out the water and ask you again, you may say, "Yes, it is empty." But, empty of what? . . . My cup is empty of water, but it is not empty of air. To be empty is to be empty of something. . . . When Avalokita [Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion] says that the five skandhas are equally empty, to help him be precise we must ask, "Mr. Avalokita, empty of what?"

The five skandhas, which may be translated into English as five heaps, or five aggregates, are the five elements that comprise a human being. . . . In fact, these are really five rivers flowing together in us: the river of form, which means our body, the river of feelings, the river of perceptions, the river of mental formations, and the river of consciousness. They are always flowing in us. . . .

Avalokita looked deeply into the five skandhas . . . and he discovered that none of them can be by itself alone. . . . Form is empty of a separate self, but it is full of everything in the cosmos. The same is true with feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness.

--Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of Understanding


Awake awhile.  

It does not have to be
Right now.  

One step upon the Sky's soft skirt
Would be enough.  

Awake awhile.
Just one True moment of Love
Will last for days.  

Rest all your elaborate plans and tactics
For Knowing Him,
For they are all just frozen spring buds
So far from Summer's Divine Gold.  

Awake, my dear.
Be kind to your sleeping heart.
Take it out into the vast fields of Light
And let it breathe.  

Give me back my wings.
Lift me,
Lift me nearer."  

Say to the sun and moon,
Say to our dear Friend,  

"I will take You up now, Beloved,
On that wonderful Dance You promised."  

~ Hafiz ~      

(I Heard God Laughing - Renderings of Hafiz -- Daniel Ladinsky)      

Web archive of Panhala postings:    

"I think the key is intent. If a seeker's intent is to become the Truth at all costs, then it will
happen. All the reading and practices we involve ourselves with are useful only to the extent
that they build intent. If a burning desire for enlightenment is not present, no amount of
meditation and practices will help. If it is present, no meditation or practices are necessary.
Paradoxically, this burning desire for Truth can't be a reaction against a life we object to and
are dissatisfied with. It must be in conjunction with an immense gratitude for what we have
been given, with a "surrender" that asks for no divine rescue or special mercies. When a
person who wants Truth more than life falls in love with what is, it happens."

Bart Marshall, TAT, September 2008

The September issue of the TAT Forum is now on-line at .   This Month's Contents: Ultimate Between-ness (Part 2) by Bart Marshall | A Poem by Art Ticknor | The Ties That Bind by Bob Fergeson | Words of Wisdom | Video - Robert Bly Reads Antonio Machado | Humor

top of page