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#4174 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights

Thanks to all who wrote in response to "connections", Saved all
your sweet notes in my Valentine box. Feeling a bit giddy and
silly, so this is what you get next. ~Gloria


Take the whole kit
with the caboodle
Experience life
don't deplore it
Shake hands with time
don't kill it
Open a lookout
Dance on a brink
Run with your wildfire
You are closer to glory
leaping an abyss
than upholstering a rut

~ James Broughton ~

(Little Sermons of the Big Joy)

Web version:


It sings

Came up to shake the shining drops

and plunged again into the cold –

a leaping fish

rain phoenix

ancient child

wild boy of the waters

half-heard echo

unheard shout

Grey hair dripping

dance of the wild bone

tears of hilarity

Worn boots grin, gap-toed

content to drowse

in the spring grass

old head nodding

Murmurs of ancient dirt

texture of mossy stones

Silence singing to itself

~George Jisho Robertson on Facebook


Start a huge, foolish, project, like Noah. It makes absolutely no
difference what people think of you.

~Jellaluddin Rumi

by Tommy McFerran on Facebook


Benjamin Smythe holds up a sign in front of Sather Gate in an
attempt to fulfill his personal quota of making one person smile
every day.

Adam Romero/Photo

You're perfect.

At least that is what Berkeley resident Benjamin Smythe tells
people every day - and he believes it.

Since August, Smythe, 35, has sat on the bridge by Sather Gate
on the UC Berkeley campus, holding his cardboard sign and
smiling at passersby.. He has no agenda, only a quota of making
one person smile every day.

The idea came to him eight years ago from a homeless man in
Laguna Beach who told everyone who walked by that they were
perfect. Smythe never forgot that man, and when he was having a
bad day five years later, he decided to deliver the message
himself by holding a sign reading "you're perfect" while

"It just felt so great to tell the truth," he said.

Smythe, who spent his childhood in the suburbs in Connecticut,
said he has not always had confidence in himself. But through any
struggles he has faced, he has remembered how his mother, his
role model, raised him to believe he could not only do whatever
he wants, but that he deserves to be happy.

"She told me that my whole life, so I don't really have any doubt,"
he said. "I'm a normal person, I go through ups and downs, but
this is my life, too."

Smythe admits holding the sign did - and still does - make him
feel vulnerable, but he has learned to embrace the uncertainty of
how others will react.

"I got to burn through all kinds of judgments and stereotypes," he
said. "I never know who's going to say something or smile. I look
at somebody now, and I just see them."

Smythe does not limit himself to campus. In fact, nearly each day
he goes around the city and sits on street corners, often holding
his sign beside rush hour traffic because that's when "the
message makes the most sense." [...]

For the next year, Smythe is taking a yearlong break from work -
previous jobs include working as a yoga instructor, a teacher and
a cook - to go on tour after he posted a video saying he would
visit anyone who paid for his travel expenses. Within 24 hours,
Smythe said he had to turn down offers.

He plans to spend the year in various cities in the United States,
Australia and countries across Europe, spending a week with
each family, and together they will hold his sign.

Smythe explains his outlook on life with an analogy: Everyone
jumped out of a plane when they were born. There is no
parachute, and everyone will hit the ground, when they die.

"I can either laugh the whole way down, or I can cry the whole way
down," Smythe said. "I think that loving myself is part of that
laughing the whole way down."

By Mary Susman
Daily Cal Staff Writer
Thursday, February 24, 2011

Meet Benjamin

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