Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

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

#3440 - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights -         

Take a look at the new Zen Forum - just open a few days and already off to the races.    


Jon Kabat-Zinn on talking about meditation

If you do decide to start meditating, there's no need to tell other people about it, or talk about why you are doing it or what it's doing for you. In fact, there is no better way to waste your nascent energy and enthusiasm for practice and thwart your efforts so they will be unable to gather momentum. Best to meditate without advertising it.

Every time you get a strong impulse to talk about meditation and how wonderful it is, or how hard it is, or what it's doing for you these days, or what it's not, or you want to convince someone else how wonderful it would be for them, just look at it as more thinking and go meditate some more. The impulse will pass and everybody will be better off--especially you.

--Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are


  Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

As human beings, we are all the same. So there is no need to build
some kind of artificial barrier between us. At least my own experience
is that if you have this kind of attitude, there is no barrier.
Whatever I feel, I can express; I can call you 'my old friend'. There
is nothing to hide, and no need to say things in a way that is not
straightforward. So this gives me a kind of space in my mind, with the
result that I do not have to be suspicious of others all the time. And
this really gives me inner satisfaction, and inner peace.

So I call this feeling a 'genuine realization of the oneness of the
whole of humanity'. We are all members of one human family. I think
that this understanding is very important, especially now that the
world is becoming smaller and smaller. In ancient times, even in a
small village, people were able to exist more or less independently.
There was not so much need for others' co-operation. These days, the
economic structure has completely changed, so that modern economies,
relying on industry, are totally different. We are heavily dependent
on one another, and also as a result of mass communication, the
barriers of the past are greatly reduced. Today, because of the
complexity of interdependence, every crisis on this planet is
essentially related with every other, like a chain reaction.
Consequently it is worthwhile taking every crisis as a global one.
Here barriers such as 'this nation' or 'that nation', 'this
continent', or 'that continent' are simply obstacles. Therefore today,
for the future of the human race, it is more important than ever
before that we develop a genuine sense of brotherhood and sisterhood.
I usually call this a sense of 'universal responsibility'.

--from Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection by the
Dalai Lama, translated by Thupten Jinpa and Richard Barron, Foreword
by Sogyal Rinpoche, edited by Patrick Gaffney, published by Snow Lion

gill eardley


The man who is fluent and articulate makes a better teacher so far as communication is concerned; but the man who has had divine experience, who knows what he is talking about, is still the best teacher of all.

— Notebooks Category 1: Overview of the Quest > Chapter 6: Student-Teacher > # 423

posted by Mark Scorelle to Wisdom-l  

Tim Smith writes some observations from his time with Paul Brunton, the author of A Search in Secret India. This was the first book about Ramana Maharshi to appear in the West. Brunton's own extensive Notebooks were published posthumously, and Tim Smith was one of the editors of this material. point PB made was that in the "good old days" the community and religious hierarchy saw to the welfare of teachers.  Nowadays we are neither supported nor bound to such limitations.  Hence teachers, as everyone else in the body, need to live somehow.  It would shock me, however, if there weren't people who heard the exact opposite from him.  

PB made his living from his books, which allowed him the physical freedom to travel the world both in learning and in service to humankind.  Anthony didn't accept money for classes, but absolutely accepted donations and support from those whose circumstances made that possible.  That said, selling spirituality is nuts, while being realistic about living in this world is not--in my view, anyway.   

I can tell you what PB might have done with a computer: blow it up!  His mere vicinity had a tendency to burst light bulbs, melt toasters and demagnetize things; I had an early computer with me when I visited him and offered to show it to him; he demurred until the last day of our visit.  When he walked into the room the thing smoked out its ears and never breathed again!  but I imagine that if he could have gotten that minor detail, that like all modernizations he would have studied it carefully and used it wisely.  

Regarding the minor--and major--contradictions in his paras; I asked him about that, and he said two things:  First, that he avoided consistency and standardized use of his terms such as Overself. 

"You must learn to think for yourself, and to read for contextual understanding" he said.  Second, he said that while his viewpoint had not changed in many many years, his views did.  In putting together the Notebooks we made every effort to represent the range of views he had on a topic, all the more so since dating the paras was largely impossible.  

Finally, I think that the oft-referenced paradox of the sage is in play here; views that do not merely appear but undoubtedly are contrary to one another when regarded from the linear mind of reflective consciousness interact to reveal a multidimensional vision when seen from deeper mind.

top of page