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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3288, Saturday, September 13, 2008, Editor: Mark 

Happiness is our real nature and we shall never rest until we find it. But rarely do we know where to seek it. Once you have understood that the world is but a mistaken view of reality, and it is not what it appears to be, you are free of its obsessions.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to ANetofJewels

When it comes to hurricanes and storms of the mind, all we can do is hang on to something that won't move. We get to high ground or take refuge in a hotel during a hurricane, but where do we go in the mind? Fear, doubt, confusion, anger, these are the winds of the mind and they can attack with hurricane force. Too bad we can't measure their velocity like we record wind. We can say they are pretty strong when we require medication or end up in the headlines for some bizarre behavior. Is there such a place as a refuge from a mind storm? We need to turn within to find out, you would think.

You can try this yourself right now. As you read this there is a knower that is like a background awareness that is witnessing your reading and thinking about this piece. You can't turn and see this knower like you would if you suddenly sensed someone looking over your shoulder. When you are very still you can sense there is two of you, a thinker with its story and a knower who knows you are thinking.

Whn a mind storm hits the coast of your self and sweeps you up in the winds of anxiety, the knower is the background or space that is prior to the storm, remains still during the storm, and is there undistsurbed after the storm leaves. Hurricanes have an eye and so does our mind. Without the eye the hurricane and the mind cannot exist. And yet the mind does not disturb the eye because the eye has no form. The eye is empty. So what is mind? Mind is form, thought form. Who is the knower of the mind? Pure consciousness, space, is the witness of the content of the mind. Without content there is no mind, but there is still the knower that says I AM.

Forms are impermanent, but the I AM is changeless. Thought is in time, but the I AM is timeless because it is prior to thought. Our I exists before thought and after thought is gone. When we die, thought goes, but not the I AM. Meditation is learning how to strengthen the I AM and weaken the storm. We should take refuge in that.

- Ed Conley, posted to TheNow2

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it - always.

- Mahatma Gandhi, posted to AlongTheWay

Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race. This will affect every aspect of your life and close relationships in particular. Never before have relationships been as problematic and conflict ridden as they are now. As you may have noticed, they are not here to make you happy or fulfilled. If you continue to pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again. But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer you salvation, and you will be aligning yourself with the higher consciousness that wants to be born into this world. For those who hold on to the old patterns, there will be increasing pain, violence, confusion, and madness.

Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, posted to The_Now2

Through this, the Buddha's wish-granting prayer,
When aggressive hatred erupts
Neither inhibiting nor indulging it
But relaxing and releasing the stress,
May Awareness resume its natural primacy.
May all the six types of beings
Attain the Awareness of Radiant Clarity.

- Shakbar, from The Flight of the Garuda, translated by Keith Dowman

Hey! It is OK to feel anger! There is no difference between anger and love - they are emotions, waves on the ocean of Being; it is only when we grab onto them and strut around like they are real or something, that the suffering begins. If we just sit back, relax, release them into the depths from which they arose, watch out! Radiant Clarity knocks you outta your socks!

- dg, posted to DailyDharma

Have you ever fought with reality? Consider a day where things didn't go your way. You're running late, you open the fridge to grab something and that something spills all over your shirt. You get into the car and there's only traffic and red lights. Each apparent obstacle piling up in a heap of "this shouldn't be the way it is!" I shouldn't be late, I shouldn't be wearing a shirt with stains, there shouldn't be traffic. This is the innocent yet delusional habit of the mind to carry an idea about how things should be and then go to war with things as they are. It's as if we say to the Holy, "Your world is screwed up, it's not going my way. What's wrong with you? What's wrong with this world? It's not conforming to my idea of ease and rightness." We sit in a puffed up prideful place of "I actually know better than all that is how things should be going." What usually follows is "And I'm going to attempt to bend things to this tiny will." And as nothing bends to suit you, it's painful.

There's move in there that's kind of like breaking one's own back, or like laying down, that says: "Alright. I have salad dressing on my blouse. Alright, I'm 10 minutes late and getting later. Alright traffic. Alright." What has to die then? The one who is neat, the one who is on time, the one who is respectable, right, in control. To return to things as they are is a great reckoning as we break down all those "It should be different" places and we fall to the ground in humility, fall to the ground of things as they are. Reality as it is, is constantly inviting us out of identification through the reminder of pain.

And we don't have control over letting go either; we cannot will surrender. It's an invitation for humility that even inside our own bodies, we can't make it go the way we want it to go. This is not a mistake; it's supposed to hurt to fight reality. Delusion hurts. And the delusion that we're actually in charge hurts. To fight the nature of things sends us right into noticing how helpless we are And helpless is exactly the relationship between something that's convinced it's separate and the Whole. The small self IS helpless.

This great reckoning is like a great undoing, an undoing of delusion and illusion - and we fight it! It is a sanding down to the ground, a cleaning out, a purification. When it has really begun to take us over, we can spend time in a stunned place, all of our coping strategies taken from us if we're lucky. We enter a clueless place, maybe a dark place, and we're being remade. We don't yet know how to hold that beautiful instrument of our heart and actually play it, we've been focused on coping so long. And now it's handed to us in the dark.

To be prepared to sing the holy song we've come here to sing, we have to be entirely emptied out so that our flute is so clear, so empty, so offered, so filled with nothing, that the beautiful breath of God can blow through it and there's not a single distortion. Just a wide open portal that's done fighting for its own way, one fighting for how it thinks it should be, or how it learned it should be, how it read things should be or how its friends say it should be.

So maybe we can enter into the mystery of what's here. Maybe we can stop calling what-is names because it doesn't fit into the stale brainwashed menu in our heads. Things as they are, are just as they are meant to be. Every moment and every flavor of every moment, a gift straight from the Holy, the Holy's touch on your face. We can be so nothing that no matter what shows up we can say, "Thank you, sweetheart, Holiness, for another moment. Another chance to serve you, to serve the glory of this love that you are and that I am."

A lovely woman came to an event in Taos a couple weeks ago and she said she used to go to an ashram in India and it would be time to find out what her seva would be, so she would go and look at all the available tasks and pick the one she wanted to do. After a good grinding down by life, this last time she went to the ashram's sea office and simply said, "Give me any task." This is what happens in this great grinding down where we move from, what is my fulfillment, to, what else can I give to glorify You? Put another homeless man in my path so that I can give away my last $20 bill, because all I want to do with my life is say, "You are so beautiful."

- Jeannie Zandi

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