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#3335 - Wednesday, October 29, 2008 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Nonduality Highlights

         On Samsara and the World

by Papaji in Godman’s Nothing Ever Happened


 I was once driving from Bangalore to our mining camp in the forest.  I stopped by a lake on the way because I needed to put some

water in the radiator of my jeep.  As I was walking down to the shoreline I saw an unusual sight: a snake, its rear portion immersed in a hole, had a frog in its mouth.  The front half of the frog was still visible.  It was alive, and it was still trying to catch flies to eat.  It didn’t seem to be struggling; it was just carrying on with its usual business of catching flies and eating them.  The snake was eating the frog and the frog was eating the flies.

          My first thought was, ‘I should rescue this frog because it is still alive,’ but then another thought occurred to me.  ‘This snake also needs to live.  If I deprive it of its food, what will it do?  And what about the flies?  Don’t they also deserve to be saved?  They are also being eaten.  But if I save the flies by waving them away, the frog will get angry with me.’

          I watched this little drama for a few moments before coming to a conclusion:  ‘Leave them alone.  None of this is your business.  Don’t try to interfere in matters that don’t concern you.  If you get involved with the affairs of the world, you always cause trouble to someone.  It’s better to leave the world alone and let it take care of itself.’

          Then another thought came:  ‘This is how samsara works.  Everyone is already in the jaws of death.  No escape is possible, but who struggles?  Who cares?  No one.  Everyone carries on eating as if nothing has happened.’

          There is something inside us that death cannot reach.  Snakes cannot bite it and swallow it.  Once you know who you really are, death can never touch you again.  The body can be eaten up, but once you have the knowledge that you are not the body, how can death affect you?  When you reject your identity with the body and instead identify with what is real and permanent, the body will go on functioning, but its final disappearance will not trouble or affect you.  Discarding an old shirt does not affect who you are because you know you are not the shirt.  Once you stop believing that you are the body, you can let it die with the knowledge that your real nature is not going to be changed in any way.  Don’t become attached to anything that is not permanent—that is the secret of eternal life.  Discard everything that appears and disappears within time and hold on to that which is timeless.


contributed by Robert Burke



There's a lot of joy as your burden begins to lessen, and it comes from doing anything that begins to change the pattern of fearing and wanting to resist what's unpleasant. Resistance is really what causes the pain; more than the anger itself, or the jealousy itself, it's resistance that causes the pain. Anything that begins to lighten up that resistance helps us to relax and open and celebrate.

Sooner or later you will find yourself in a situation where you can't change the outer circumstances at all, and you realize it all comes down to how you relate to things - whether you continue to struggle against everything that's coming at you or you begin to work with things. "Always maintain only a joyful mind" can be very helpful to remember in such a situation.

Anything that helps us not to be so desperate about pleasure and not to fear its transitory nature is also introducing us to being at home in our world and being able to help other people. In popular songs you hear lines like "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose" or "I've got plenty of nothing and nothing's plenty for me."  "Great bliss arising from the experience of emptiness" is how it's described in traditional Tibetan texts, which sounds somewhat remote from personal experience. However, all these words are saying the same thing: we practice and we live in order to be able to relax and lighten up and not make such a big deal about everything that happens-the successes and the failures, the rewards and the punishments.

Start Where You Are 
by Pema Chodron


Adyashanti - Omega 2007

You know it can often have this effect because as we see through something that's not the truth as we may have thought it was, as it dissolves, there's no guarantee that simultaneously a deeper truth is going to arise.  Very often is doesn't work that way.  Often we have a dissolving of something, some things we really want to dissolve, right? Pain, sufferings, discord, but some things that dissolve we really didn't want to go away.  That comes as a shock. Seeing through illusion is seeing through illusion and some illusions we have got ourselves convinced are really good.  It's like a good fantasy. And we think spirituality is just getting rid of the bad fantasies.  But you will come upon some of the really really good ones you really want to hold on to and they'll start to dissolve through your fingertips.  And you may not want them to dissolve at all. You may have thought this is only about getting rid of what obviously hurts.  All illusion ultimately causes pain but it may not be seen that way initially. And as it dissolves, as something you deeply treasure dissolves right in front of your consciousness, the deeper truth may not immediately arise.  What love really is may not present itself during the dissolving. It may arise at a totally different time.  It would be nice if it was like a see-saw.  As illusion disappears the other spontaneously arose.  But it's not like that .  One can totally disappear and totally leave you in no man's land wondering what in the hell just happened and where am I, totally disoriented and it might leave you there for awhile until you stop resisting being disoriented. That's why I said it's going to get a lot weirder. But something in you at some point just starts to go, "yeah, that's just the way it is." And eventually the deeper truth will come out. As one thing dies, the deeper truth of it can emerge.  But it has to die.  And our ideas of what love are, are one of those things that are going to die in order for what love really is to emerge.  And I give you a hint if you haven't already seen it, it has nothing to do with what we've been taught love is. What we've been taught love is a complete fabricated piece of trivial, dribbling nonsense. Sticky to its egoic dramatic core. And we've been taught to cherish it and hold it and chase it and grasp it and wrap it all around ourselves and eventually it's just going to collapse as the illusion that it is.  As the painful, overly dramatic illusion that it is.  And the deeper truth of what love really is, unconditional love may not immediately present itself. Sometimes something has to really really die for the deeper truth to arise. But in retrospect you always know when all is said and done, the truth as opposed to the illusion, even if it was an illusion you cherished, there is no comparison. Once you've seen the reality of something , the reality let's say in this case of love, once you've seen the reality of it, you'll never go back.  Even if it was really hard to let go of what you let go of, your idea of it, once you see the real thing, never, never would you go back.

posted to Wisdom-l by Mark Scorelle

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