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Highlights #338

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MU sends:
I found this on the hundredmountain.com site. May you find something
of worth in it, or not, as you will!

ACCORDING TO THE
Franciscan priest Richard Rohr,
spirituality is not for people who are trying to avoid hell; it is for
people who have been through hell. In many ways, spirituality is about
what we do with our pain. And the truth is, if we don't transform
it, we will transmit it.

-- Al Gustafson
from "The Outbox," a column
in The Works magazine, Winter 2000
_________________________________________________

TIM G

"Enlightenment"

(or)

"How to become what you already are in one easy step."

(1) Stop moving away from what you are.

Q: "How do I do that?"

A: Simply asking the question is already a movement away. I've got a
better idea:

* Let's think about how to achieve an empty mind.
* Let's do something about realizing we're not the doer.
* Let's really try to reach the effortless reality.
* Let's ask a guru how to end all questions.
* Let's gradually discover timelessness.
* Let's go to India to discover we are not located somewhere.
* Let's sit in the full lotus position to realize we're not the body.
* Let's think hard to realize that we're not the mind.
* Let's you and I meditate to discover there is no meditator.
* Let's be proud of our egolessness.
* Let's ask someone how to realize our independence.
* Let's work together to realize there's no subject/object.
* Let's argue the importance of dispassion.
* Let's gather in groups to ponder our total aloneness.
* Let's scream and yell about how loveless the world is.
* Let's be miserable that we're not experiencing bliss.

Maybe if we bang our heads against the wall hard enough,
we can become what we already are. Maybe if we strive
and strain to be what we are, we'll become what we are.

Gosh, it's so hard to be what I've always been. I have
to keep trying. If I just try long enough and hard enough,
I can be what I am. Maybe if I engage in endless sadhanas,
meditations and prayers, I can become what I already am.
There's just *got* to be something I can do to be what I
am! It makes no sense! It's so *hard* to become what I
am!
_______________________________________________________

DAN


The assumptions made by this body-mind, the questions asked,
and the experiences 'had' are inextricably
intertwined.

>I asked you, Dan, to talk to me as if I'm a child. I don't have the
>AHA! yet. Am I getting close?

What is being a child before there is the conception
that one is a child?
What is innocence before there is the concept that
there is innocence and knowledge?

When you say I don't have the AHA, are you talking
about an image of an AHA that you've formulated?
What else could it be that you believe you lack, besides
an image formulated from others' words, your perceptions
of others' experiences, your imagination,
or your own past experience?

You will never be any closer than you are
this moment. Just forget the idea that
there is such a thing as being distant
from It.

Love,
Dan
________________________________________________________

More DAN

oneness is not instead of twoness
but includes twoness as twoness.
Peace is not static rest, but
involvement and movement.

There is a perspective where
affirmation actually *is* negation
and negation and affirmation *is*
reconciliation. Each leads into
and requires the other. But to
see this requires a no-position position
that is, to see from and as no-thingness.
Otherwise, one is caught up in affirming,
denying, or reconciling and isn't able
to "see/be the Whole".

The concept of the positive, negative,
and reconciling (thesis, antithesis,
and higher level synthesis) is basic
to Qabala as well.
The "divine name" YHVH has three letters
forming a four-lettered word.
This word suggests a universal triadic
pattern able to repeat in infinite
subpatterns, generating life with/within/upon
life, awareness with/within/upon awareness.

In Qabala, the no-thing emanates a point from
which a polarity is manifested
and subsequently reconciled.
Spiritual awareness is two-way:
to go out and return.
The return takes the polarity
back to the root singularity
then to no-thingness.

It's intriguing that any
of the "three forces"
you mention imply
the other two.
So positive means negative
means reconciling means
positive ... etc.

What is left out of this
trinity: positive, negative,
reconciling - is no-thingness.
No-thingness contains it all,
begins it all, and ends
it all.

All yours,
Love,
Dan
_________________________________________________

It is only the ego I that is composed of thought. Thought is a tiny
fraction of who you really are.

neo
___________________________________________________

THE JOURNEY

Tim : < (...) This suggests to me that "realization"
> > lies not in any particular destination, but in the
> > journey. The journey is the goal. >
>
> Are you suggesting that realization is a process, a
> journey? Whose journey?
> Who or what is it that journeys?
>
> Just curious to know.
>
> Miguel-Angel
>

Tim, Miguel-Angel,

In responding to Mary Salequi today, I was reminded that
what we never separated from is "all this", but that
"all this" is as complicated as it is simple.

Some of us know that there is no one among us who IS to
be journeying, but until we make the journey we can not see
that.

That last sentence can produce one of three basic reactions:

1)- Get so confused that you don't even bother looking at it.
2)- Look at it as a key to how to complete the journey
3)- Understand it enough that you don't even bother looking at it.

1. is before journey
2. is in journey
3. is "after journey".

Nothing actually changes from 1 to 3, it just looks different.
The purpose is the opportunity to make the journey.
You do or you don't.

Manchine
__________________________________________


~ When does the journey begin?
When end?
That first instant of individual awareness
birthed unique points of view
Began the journey of a droplet of consciousness
splashed from the boundless ocean of being
Rising into air

It seemed that stories began and evolved
charactered with other droplets
dramas and pastorals, tragedies and farces.
At apex the scene changes
the grave pull of origin begining to be felt
And falling back becomes another story
of understanding, seeking, striving for
Inevitable reunion.

xan
____________________________________________

MARCIA and XAN


Marcia: We can only hear the higher emotional
center and the higher intellectual center when the
lower centers are balanced, or, to put it another
way, when we are awake in all three of them.
That makes the conscious connection which
allows for reception from the higher centers.

~ Gosh, Marcia, whoever told you that?
Can't believe everything you hear.

M:> Grace is another word for higher emotional center.

~ Not in my life it ain't.
Grace is not emotion.
Period.

> Have you never fallen to your knees in tears because
you *received* emotionally?

~ I have had passionately emotional responses
to that which is entirely beyond emotion.

It would be a mistake to project the understanding
of systems of human consciousness and experience
onto what is entirely systemless.

xan
___________________________________________________

LARRY

The story about Gertrude Stein I read somewhere. She was on her death
bed; a group of friends were gathered around; everyone knew it was
near
the end. Gertrude sighed and said "What is the answer?" Everyone
froze,
they didn't know what to say. So she laughed and said. "In that case,
what is the question?"
_____________________________________________________

GREG

>This is the first I've heard of Buddhayana. Please try to explain
the
>term. I am very interested.

I did a quick Altavista search, came up with this. 375 hits. Seems
to be
a syncretic form. According to the Buddhayana Centre Netherlands, it
means
"The Vehicle of the Buddha." Here's an excerpt from their web page:

http://www.buddhayana.nl/buddhism.html#buddhayana

Now that Buddhism has gained more public awareness
during the last years it is possible for those who are
interested to study the different Buddhist schools and
traditions. For an outsider the many streams and outwardly
diverse forms in which Buddhism manifests itself can be
confusing. Some can no longer see the Dhamma through
the streams! They may be deterred because they were
looking for unity in a world where sects and divisions are
rampant. Mislead by the emphasis placed on a particular
sect, such as "my school is better or higher than your
school", they can miss the value of the Dhamma. The
Buddha teaches different gates to Enlightenment (bodhi)
and every one of them is equally valuable, otherwise the
Buddha would not have taught them. We could call this the
Vehicle of the Buddha (Buddhayana). Important
characteristics in the Teachings are Loving Kindness
(metta), Compassion (karuna) and Wisdom (panna).
These are central in every school of Buddhism.
_________________________________________________

LARRY & PHIL

(after a flurry of posts debating does causation exist)

& Phil wrote:
& The trouble with concepts of causation is that If there is one
cause,
& then everything causes everything else. This is the Buddha's
& co-origination teaching it seems. -------------------------------

Larry wrote
& I'm afraid the Buddha would give you a stern look here Phil. His
idea of
& dependent origination was that one thing lead to another in a linear
& circle. This to him was good news because it meant there was a
& possibility of stopping causation/suffering by reversing the flow.

Phil:
But what would *cause* the Buddha to give me a stern look? Then what
would *cause the cause* of the stern look? I think we were discussing
the
notion of causation in the context of naive linear causes. In other
words, naively it seems: "I am causing this e-mail to be written."
But
then again *you* are causing it to be written. Further, the e-mail is
causing the events preceding it. The whole of prehistory and history
leads to this e-mail. And then perhaps back again to the beginning
...

But...
(repeat above three times as needed...)
_______________________________________________________

OOOOOOH!!!

I have a request. Does anyone have an audio tape of Bart Simpson
saying
"Don't have a COW, man" They used to use that so much, it got tired,
and then they retired it and now I never hear it anymore. I've been
taping Simpsons shows for years now, looking for it. I heard a lovely
story told by Thich Nhat Hanh about the Buddha.

It seems the Buddha was teaching a small group of monks in the woods
one
day when a man rushed up to them lamenting "Oh my, I am the most
unhappy
man... I used to be so rich. I had three wonderful cows, who gave me
their milk and it was so lovely, and now I am so unhappy because my
cows
have run away. Have you seen my cows?" the Buddha told the farmer
that
they had not seen the cows and suggested he look elsewhere. When the
distraught farmer had left, the Buddha turned to his monks and said
"Now
aren't you glad you have no cows?" I want so much to make a tape with
that story followed by Bart saying...

(let go of it Mark, let go... be calm. Don't have a tape, man....)

whew,
Mark
_________________________________________________________


Skye, as i see it (my 2 + 2 cents worth, the 2 additonal cents being
my
hughe *me*) nobody can be anybody else than what he is and that *you*
of
course includes what you have said here below. If the way *you are*
includes
saving the world.......... many tried before but nobody succeeded yet,
but
who knows :) In my very very important opinion, letting go does not
mean at
all that you sit back and do nothing. this entirely depends on how
your
genes are put together (or not). letting go, as i understand it,
simply
means that you do not try to be someone else than what you are. I
think it
is that simple (or complex). End of story:) next one please.

Love,
Hans
_______________________________________________________

ROGER sends the url and many quotes from the "Notebooks" of Paul
Brunton
some samples:

"If causality were not a practical working truth we should plant grass
seed
in the hope of getting grapefruit."

"We must get our minds quite clear about this position. It is all a
matter
of standpoint. From a practical standpoint the world is composed of
many
entities affecting and inter-reacting with each other in a causal
manner.
>From the ultimate standpoint the world is Mind-essence, and this
being the
only existence cannot change its nature and come into a second birth;
it
cannot fall into the duality of cause and effect. But the Mind's
finite
productions, ideas, can do so."

"Therefore it is admitted that causality fully reigns in the realm of
ordinary experience. But when we seek to understand Mind in itself we
seek
to transcend
ordinary experience. Mind in itself is not subject to causality."

Larson Publications http://www.lightlink.com/larson
____________________________________________________________
GREG & ROGER

G:I'm not sure what Brunton means by cause. Interpretations like
Bruntons
about all experience coming through the mind are an intermediary
teaching
to help people see that external events are not self-sufficient or
independent. What these interpretations cannot account for is that
the
mind itself arises in experience.

R:>It seems to me what we are really talking about here is
experiential. Does
>one experience oneself as a volitional being, a doer involved with
>causality? Or is one free? If one is NOT free, then no amount of
>philosophical agrumentation seems capable of removing the illusion
that one
>is a doer. As long as one has a body/brain and while the senses are
turned
>outward, the causal world is there. This can't be denied?

G: This is the crux of the matter!! Who cares what theory A says
about
causality versus theory B? If one is not free and wants freedom, then
the
world really does seem to be Out There, and perhaps the mind seems
really
to be In Here. There is no ultimate value to philosophy of any kind.
For
one wanting freedom, if it were possible, one would gladly trade any
philosophy whatsoever for freedom! And from the perspective of
freedom, no
philosophy is believed any longer. But for a few people, however,
philosophical argumentation is effective as a thorn to remove a thorn.
It
is a part of formal advaita vedanta, and Madhyamika Buddhism, perhaps
Dzogchen as well. The aspirants seem to feel a thorn, associated with
certain beliefs about the world. They respect argumentation and
respect
their teacher, so when they are shown how their belief makes no sense,
it
falls away. For most people, however, this philosophy stuff ain't no
help
at all!
__________________________________________________________

HARSHA

Tim Gerchmez wrote:

> I've seen Buddhists who sneer at Vedanta, Advaitins who sneer at
> Buddhism, Buddhists who sneer at different sects of Buddhism...

So true, even in nondual traditions. We can see it in the
conversations here
as well sometimes. Blatant sneering, sophisticated sneering, subtle
sneering, and the ultimate sneering through claims of non sneering,
etc.

Since sneering at others appears to be common to most spiritual
traditions,
and seems to be a natural tendency of humans, perhaps enlightenment
can be
simply defined as a permanent state of continuous sneering at others.
Instead of Sahaja Samadhi, we then have the wonderful equivalent of
the
Sahaja Sneer. The beauty of this approach is that it is truly nondual
and
not something that we need to attain. We are already there! (:--).

With love and smiles
Harsha
____________________________________________________________

TIM (answers I forget who..but it sounds like neo)

> Thought requires energy. If the energy is not given to thought it
> just coalesces back into being. It is not so much a matter of
> stopping thought but not giving it the energy to arise.
>
> Does this help?

Yes, that seems *much* better. As Jean Klein puts it, "Thought is
reabsorbed into the Self." Thought has no say *whatsoever* in this
process -- and that's what so many have difficulty grasping.

We are conditioned from birth to believe that in order to achieve
something, we have to do something to get it. "Realization" goes
against everything we have been taught, because there is nothing to
achieve and nothing to do (not to mention, nobody to do it). We are
what we are always. In simply surrendering, "relaxing into clear
seeing" as Arjuna puts it, the mind is transcended. None of it is
done by us, it is a process of Grace or the Self. The best we can do
is to make sure not to interfere, or to stop moving away from who we
really are.

I've read so many posts here... I've been here since January, 1999.
So many... saying, "There MUST be something I can do. Some subtle
effort, some assistance." No. *ABSOLUTELY NOTHING*. Once this is
accepted, some miracles may start to happen.
____________________________________________________________

MARK sends "a poem for nothing at all"


Walking through the burning oil deserts
skin peeling black and crispy
no use to anyone
sand laughing
sky biting
wind mocking

water of my heart,
I release you
turn to steam
flow upward
if you must
gravity and need will
bring you back

And how do you feel?
I will stand at the gates
and remind them
stand in between as I must
no closing
we've seen closing
and have refused
that invitation

come home, fire
come home destruction
come home rage
come home
let me cool you
i have water in abundance
and I shall stand beside you
in the burning desert
waiting
to
welcome
you
home.

waiting
to
welcome
you
home.


Love, Mark
Know the title, anyone?

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