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#3685 - Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - Editor: Gloria Lee

The Nonduality Highlights

When you see a pearl on the bottom,
you reach through the foam and broken sticks
on the surface.  When the sun comes up, you forget
about locating the constellation of Scorpio.

When you see the splendor of union,
the attractions of duality seem poignant
and lovely, but much less interesting.

   - Rumi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

Version by Coleman Barks
"Open Secret"
posted to Along The Way  


Love Is All Around

Recognizing the unconditional love in our lives. Includes two guided meditations.

By John Makransky  

My root spiritual teacher, Nyoshul Khenpo, once said that a moment of enlightenment is a moment when we realize “the blessings that are always pouring forth.” We are, by nature, endowed with qualities of absolute goodness—purest love, compassion, wisdom, and tranquility. Those radiant qualities are intrinsic to our being. They are among the “blessings” to which Khenpo refers. A moment of enlightenment is a moment in which we newly notice such “blessings” as having been all around us, and within us, from the beginning. Whenever we are ready to notice, we can sense their healing, liberating energy pouring forth right here, right now.

One such radiant quality is unconditional love, the kind of love that doesn’t care what someone has thought or done but simply wishes him or her deep well-being and joy. It’s like the unconditional and unreserved love that a wise, devoted parent has for a child. That capacity for love is within each of us and has been active all around us, pervading our world from the moment we were born.

The claim that love pervades this world may not sound real to you but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Most of us just haven’t learned to pay much attention to the countless moments of love, kindness, and care that surround us each day: a child at the store reaching for her mother’s hand, an elderly stranger at the park who smiles upon a young family, a grocery clerk who beams at you as she hands you your change.

The “blessings that are always pouring forth” include the love that has permeated our lives, peeking at us through many eyes. Think, for example, of someone you loved to be near when you were a child: a parent or grandparent, a special aunt or uncle, a family friend or teacher—someone it felt wonderful to be with. Why did you like to be near that person so much? Probably because she radiated a wish of love to you through the quality of her presence, her words, her play with you, or simply through her smiling eyes when you came near. Try to remember someone like that from your childhood right now. Hold that person in your mind for a moment and recall how it felt to be near her. That’s what it is like to receive the love that simply wishes for your happiness. We like to be near people like that because we have a deep need to receive their unspoken love, to drink up its life-giving goodness. [...]

As we grow older, we learn to pay attention to things that society considers more real and significant than the loving care of all those people. According to the social discourse around us, it seems much more important to identify those whom we should hate, fear, or compete with for affirmation, power, and wealth. Meanwhile, television news and magazines focus our communal attention each day on the horrible things that some people have done to others, as if that is all that happened in the world that day.

Much of our discourse is spent propping up this negative worldview: “Oh, yes, I know what you mean, my relatives are horrible too.” “I can’t stand that politician either.” “Can you believe how stupid those people are?” We have become so smug in our cultural cynicism we don’t notice that even the people we generally look down upon have had moments of integrity and kindness. [...]

Our society provides no curriculum or schooling on how to notice love or to recognize the many people who have transmitted its life-giving power. Most of us haven’t been taught that to receive love deeply and transmit it wholeheartedly is a real human possibility, that it can be learned, and that to do so is the key to our deepest well-being, our spiritual life, and our capacity to bring more goodness into this world.

So as adults, we need to become newly aware of the love that has infused our lives all along, to turn our attention to it afresh with the eyes of a child. To do so is to become conscious of the tremendous capacity for love that even now permeates our being - to open to it, to be healed by its life-giving energy, and to participate in its power to renew our world. We can awaken to the deepest goodness in ourselves and others. We can learn to recognize and commune with the blessings that have always been pouring forth.


Prizing Peace



Posted: October 14, 2009 09:22 AM   In my view, the emanation of peace by any one person is a boon to us all. When that person is the leader of the most powerful and sometimes the most dangerous nation in the world, that boon is magnified exponentially.   I happen to like President Obama and I support most of his policies, even if I veer toward a more progressive agenda than he seems beholden to. But liking the man, or even agreeing with his policies, isn't the issue here. There are a number of politicians I agree with, but at this moment I can't think of another one that emanates peace.  

That the emanation of peace is recognized and saluted by one of the most prestigious organizations in the world is a cause for celebration. That it occurs before specific and quantifiable actions occur, is specific and hearty encouragement for such actions to occur.

That peace is even prized is an invitation to us all to investigate what we prize in our leaders and ourselves. We know as humans, and as humans subject to our government as well as to the actions of all other governments in our small world, that we want to prize peace. But do we value peace?

What do we value? We value the power to rule ourselves as we see fit. As a result we prize democracy, and we are extremely privileged to live in one. We value the need and the willingness to defend our democracy. We value the freedom to speak and think and worship as we please. We value being able to love freely. We value the sacrifices earlier generations made that have brought us to this point of even being able to consider this question.

This point is the point. With all the prior and present sacrifices and privileges, here we are. Now what do we value? Peace? That is the possibility.

Were the just and not-so-just-wars from our past fought just so we could demonize one another? Were the battles of the Revolutionary and Civil wars fought so that we could just keep on flexing our muscles and jaws, or so that we could live in peace together?

We know what sacrifices and scars war demands, but what does peace demand? Since President Barack Obama is the prizewinner, we can look to him to receive what he emanates. If you are willing to look at him, rather than at any particular policy he stands for, you will see that in fact he does emanate peace.

His strength isn't required for this emanation. His winning an argument or debate isn't required for this emanation. Even his happiness isn't required for this emanation.

What is required is his deep commitment to the value of peace. He is willing to be an emissary of peace even when vile hatred is being hurled at him. Most importantly, he is required to keep his mind and his heart open to emanate peace.

He has been awarded so that we can all benefit. So that we ourselves as well as our children can see what we still value even when we profoundly disagree. So that we can recognize the capacity within ourselves as individuals and as a planetary citizens to keep our minds and hearts open.

We can receive this award in our willingness to find the source of peace inside ourselves. We can extend this award by offering it all.

My beloved teacher Papaji always ended his meetings with the Sanskrit phrase, Om Shanti: peace for all.

Found on Facebook, with thanks to George Blondin at:

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