Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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Highlights #426

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Monday July 31

"To know that you are a prisoner of your own mind, that you live in an
imaginary world of your own creation is the dawn of wisdom."
Nisargadatta Maharaj


There is no this, no that; no not-this, no not-that. You
are Standing Free. Light and Clear. There is no composing
of these sentences. No one knows the words. You are Standing
Free. There is no knowledge. Why are people squirming and
jumping as though on a hot pan? There are no deep
secrets. You do not know the mantra. You cannot utter it.
You do not know the intoner of the mantra. You cannot bow
to the Guru. You are the Guru, the mantra. How can music
hear itself? You are Truth. You cannot hear, know or intone
Truth. You are Standing Free. You write that you are
existent and nonexistent; you write that you are the
infinite and the eternal, the changeless, the All, the
silence of Guru. You sit and write and cannot be found. Do
not subscribe to anything; there is nothing to subscribe
to. There is nothing manifest. There is nothing deep or
wonderful. No purpose to anything. No secrets.
No sevens. You are Standing Free, you are clear, light,
untainted, neither deep nor thin, neither with nor without
dimension; Standing Free has only been said to be like the
silence of the Guru, the quiet core of the mantra; but all
those are the mirage. You are Standing Free. You have never
turned your head or bowed at the waist. The Guru never
spoke. You are neither bound nor unbound nor free. You are
Standing Free.



Stories from childhood, Jerry, Michael, andrew:


I've always been interested in awareness and consciousness
stuff. This is something that happened at age two:

It was 1952 and I was in Washington, D.C. with my parents.
I was still two years old. They'd come to see the cherry
trees alive with blossoms!

There was darkness and then there was light, for suddenly I
was sitting alongside a small fountain upon which shone
blue and red lights. It was as though I'd been asleep and
in an instant awakened to the colored water.

Without having the words, I gained several levels of

that I was having my first experience;
that a memory was being formed;
that the experience was the memory;
that the experience was for all time.

Thus began a fascination with awareness. I consider it an
experience not of initiation, but of pre-initiation in
which the nature of reality is revealed but the nature of
the experiencer remains unknown. By initiation I mean an
introduction to I Am. There are other kinds of initiations.

There could be no initiation at that time for there was no
one to be initiated. However, introductions or initiations
to I Am occurred in later years.



Here's one that I shared at the retreat.

My childhood from about the age of six on was often hard. Before
that age I percieved the world as light mostly. When my parents
marriage fell aprt, my first strong memory is of them pounding
the crap out of each other.

My siblings and I were raised mostly by Mother. She was psychotic.
Her mood swings were colossal. Without going into a lot of detail
here, let's just say that life was unpredicatable at best. There
may or may not be food on the table and we may or may not have our
heads bashed against the refridgerator. We may be told we were
loved or we may be told that we should have been drowned at birth!

At the age of 15 I was granted a transformative experience. I stayed
up late one night trying to figure things out. I started asking
why my life was so fucked up. This 'presence' gently encouraged me
to ask a bigger question. (This presence has been with me always. It
is the Self - but that's one to the other story.) So, I asked why the
world was the way is was. Again I was encouraged to ask a bigger
question. Finally I was reduced to asking why. Just why does anything
exist at all?

This became like a mantra, even though I didn't know what a mantra
was back then (36 years ago). I just kept focused on asking why, why
why, why, why..... Around dawn an answer was sent.

The sweetist trickle of music just flowed through me! And the sense of
the answer was and still remains - 'for the joy and beauty of this.'

Of course, I felt the deepest sense of relief and gratitude. And,
of course, I went right ahead and did all the dumb-ass things that
teenage boys do!


Peace - that's a story and I'm sticking to it - Michael


The summer I was 8 or 9 years old my father was summer replacement pastor at the
Anglican church at a place in northern Ontario called Whitefish Falls on
Island. It is the perfect summer of my life. I became best friends with an
Ojibwe boy
named Sam, he was the youngest of about 15 kids, we ran wild in the woods, swam,
played at hunting with bows one of his brothers made us, he showed me different
berries and plants, my first experience of the extraordinary astringency of
chokecherries. That summer I suddenly became unable to tell left from right,
I didn't know the difference between a printed 'd' and 'b' or which way the
tail went
on an 'L'. To this day I use a trick I invented to tell left from right, which
is to
look at my hands, then physically, now just mentally, I know the difference
One hot afternoon I was walking through dappled shade along the path by the
heading for the store to buy a popsicle. I recall the smell of dust, the
smell of spruce trees in the heat. In one hand I had an empty quart pop bottle
I was
going to return to pay for my popsicle with the deposit. In the other hand I
had a
stone I was going to throw into the water. I threw the bottle not the stone. I
there in shock and despair, watching the bottle on its side slowly fill, then
upright then up and down once, twice, losing bubbles each time, then it was
gone. A
last bubble rose and I stood transfixed, the whole scene merged into a solid
sunlight brightness, the background summer sounds of grasshoppers water birds
outboard motor disappeared there was stillness, silence, time ceased, I
To this day I am still that boy, I still stand on that riverbank dissolved
in the
glowing silence.





Ah, stories to collect.

Yes, there
are a lot of stories
to be collected here.

And it's just the same
story: death and rebirth.

Many masks, one story.

The story of One Moment,
no history.
The story that is its
own ending as Beginning.

After you've collected it,
let your story collection die ...
After you've collected
the story of your body,
let it die...

And be reborn ;-)

-- D.

I collect round stones.
For a long time whenever I would find a rounder stone than the one in my
collection I
would discard the previous round stone and replace it with the new one. Thus the
ongoing collection always only consisted of one stone. Then one day I found a
which was exactly as round as the one already in my collection. Then there were
It happened again and there were three. Now I keep them all, or give them away.



Dave M. and Gene Poole:

Dave: I spoke with a girl for an hour and a half yesterday
morning, someone who was interested in consciousness and
enlightenment. I travelled 120 Km. to talk to her. I
explained what consciousness is. I explained that everyone
sees things in a different way, and that previous
experiences have a lot to do with how one sees and reacts
to things, all the while the "actual reality" is there in
front of our face and practically has nothing to do with
our impression of it.

She seemed to be following. I explained that consciousness
is perception and for the normal person it is highly
focused in "personal falsehoods". Mmm, I can see that she
said. I said one must open their vision, try to look
beyond their personal impressions. What IS the reality
that is NOT colored by our personal feelings. On various
ocasions I gave her little excercizes to help "defocus"
her consciousness, to see things, through eyes of other or
to imagine how reality is "actually".

Finally after everything, we were saying good-byes and I
said OK, now remember your excersizes. "What excersizes?",
she said. "Looking at the world through different eyes,
seeing reality", I said. "Oh yeah" she said, I'll try.

Gene: I am (somewhat uncomfortably) familiar with what you describe here.

It is hard to say this clearly, but, to advocate seeing the
distortions as being vital information, is a high and good service.
It is the personal reality which is the readout of the deeply held
assumptions which form the template which moment to moment, distorts

Most important, is what Buddha pointed to as being the actual cause
of suffering, the "assumption of incompleteness" (Dukkha).

It is the 'assumption of incompleteness' which Ramana alluded to in
his admonitions to seekers. Specifically, he indicated that it is the
assumption that one is not enlightened (or aware enough), which
initiates the sadness and the search.

So very many people carry unspoken, but otherwise expressed, the
assumption that they are not 'good enough'. Striving and seeking are
prime symptoms of the 'assumption of incompleteness', and are also
socially virtuous in the reality of the world-dream.

Seeing our own assumptions, may be difficult if we never say them in
words; this is why the distortions in our personal-dream are of such
high value. Our actions speak louder than our words; our enacted
lives explain our conditioning better than our words possibly can.

Passing this on is a good thing to do.

And never underestimate the power of denial.

Dave: The problem is, that the stuff that we all talk about
here, "is not real". Our problems are real, our feelings
are real. We meditate, the idea is expand the boundaries,
open consciusness, not focus in "me". Gene gave us the
answer. go find that.

We must believe that "all of this does not exist in the
way we think it does".

Gene: Again, the 'way we think it does' is not to be thrown out like
yesterday's bathwater; rather, it can be savored like the finest of
champagnes. It certainly is more expensive than champagne!

Dave: There are techniques, yes, but the techniques are always
pointing to how to get to reality. Use the techniques to
see the reality that is NOT colored by your personal view.

And that's my opinion, Dave

Gene: Thanks, Dave.

I advocate walking right into the inverter, now that I see that it is
harmless, if not painless.

==Gene Poole==

PS: It is the stand-up comic, who masters the art of turning piss into wine.


This is Mine

All that is seen
Even in imagination
Is Mine.

The mighty do I set up
The lowly as well
Oh mind, put judgement aside
These are Mine.

Trials I give as love
Rewards are but ashes
All that is is Mine,
There is no Other.

Children and drunkards see me
The vain do not.
I hide my ever present Face
And play the game of Seek.

One flick of my finger
The world is put Aright;
The world in steeped in Darkness.
Drink in the sun and laugh!

No one escapes Me!
Nothing moves without Me!

Rare are those who drink my Wine!
They are Me.

Even those who seek me not
Yeah, they are Me!

Every scrap of dung
I Transform
This is Mine!
Yeah, you are Me!

Rejoice in Me;
Though I place you in the Dung
I hold you in My Hand!

Om. Shallah. Tat.
The secret tongue
Is known by all

I set the worlds afire!

From the Awakening Heart - Mu


There is one Person here,
although many names have been
given to that nameless One.

If people would drop ideas
about what a realized such-and-such
is like, along with ideas about
who they are and who they must be,
if they could be empty
of preconceptions, that One
might be "re-membered".

Of course, this "re-membering"
would not necessarily be considered
a "helpful" development by the
"powers-that-be" in the world.
(Just ask Jesus.) "The world"
tends to maintain status
quo based on the past,
and this is seen East and
West alike.

Blessed be,


I have no name.
I am not the ideal,
am simply "what is"
as is.
I am not "this one or
that one" who came
and went in the past,
or who is born and
dies today.

If you reach to touch This,
I remain ungraspable;
As you strive to make This
tangible, I am invisible.
With no particular body, I can't
be identified.

The past doesn't touch Me,
neither do your images.
In your worshipful images,
I see only the projection
of your own imagined
significance, your
desire keep an
existence embedded
in feelings and concepts
you carry.

-- Dan


Marcia and Mark's dialogue continues:

Hi Mark,

I appreciate talking with you.

I am in a state of unknowing which actually is confusing
but feels better than thinking I know it all. :-)

Anyway, a few years ago I did some breathwork with Stan
Grof. And also I had a shock where I realized or saw that
I had been making it all about "me." I was doing all the
things I was making "all about me" i.e. taking care of a dying
mother and a feeble dad, running a small struggling bottling
company, raising two then nine and ten year olds plus having
a teenage son, dealing with a husband in a mid-life crisis <s>
BUT I was making it all about "me." I would see a friend and
I would tell them all the things I, I, I, I was dealing with. After
all it was my mother who was dying and I was getting a real
good salary for taking care of someone else's business and
blah, blah, blah. I began to get a real feel for "my" story i.e.
everything I, I, I, I do for everyone else and boy, oh boy, they
had better appreciate Marcia cause if they didn't she was
going to feel real sorry for herself.

So I begin to say quietly to myself that this might not be
about "me" after all. It was a freeing inner statement.

Yesterday my daughter says..."You care more about that
computer than you do about me." I watched myself want
to make that "all about me." After all I was on the computer
writing about her. I started to go through the looking glass
(my new favorite saying) and down the rabbit hole when
I just stopped. Yes, I said to myself, this may not be about
"me." This is her perception of "me" and it may have some
validity but I don't have to make it all about "me." I can
respond to her.

In another sense, it is all about "me." Keeping the focus
on myself is one way of it being all about me but another
way is to take responsibility for "me" and respond. Kind
of like getting behind "me" with "me" in front and with"me"
kicking and screaming just not paying too much attention
to little ole me. :-) What cha think?


Hi Marcia,

You asked "What cha think?" I think it is about me, and it isn't about
me, and that I have a choice about which to focus on, whenever I can
retain awareness of this duality. (let's not get tangled in nonduality
for a moment, I'm talking about personalities and what they do. There
is enough freedom here to do that for a bit. Let the nondualists be
empty for a bit.) When your daughter is complaining about you being
more fond of the computer than her, she is doing two things. She's
pointing out that in that particular space, you were talking about her,
not to her, but to others. So if that is a message that you would
benefit from, by hearing her expressed need for direct encounter, use
it. She also was telling you that she is stuck worrying about "her".
She interprets your personal time (you attending to you) as evidence
about her worthlessness. Bleah. I think you are entitled to put
yourself on the list of folks you care for. (but watch out for
short-listing) It's a balance. So, by accusing you of playing a
"me-script", she is playing a "me-script". Now, what do you do with

If I may project all over the place, let me suggest how it might look
from here if I were in your shoes. I would have some of my attention on
a feeling of unfairness because she is stepping on my "me" script, and
after all why does my "me" script exist? because the universe is always
stepping on my me script. Jeez, I'm running it all the time, and it's
always getting stepped on because all of humanity is busy being jerks
running some sort of "me" scripts. Can't they see that by running me
scripts, they are raining on my parade? (now, be clear, I am speaking
of Mark's dilemma because I'm running my me script right now, so don't
think that I am suggesting you do any of this. I don't care what you do
I only care about Mark and Mark's problems -see? that's Mark's me
script. No, not completely true. I care about you, but that is at least
partly Mark's me script too - I'm a caring person after all. I choose
that me script. It's still a script, so I hope the nondualists are
still off in some empty space because I don't like being flamed.
Hopefully they are in Samadhi, which is near Haiti, so they are swimming
and.... oh never mind. Just Mark's cleverness script.)

Hmmm... what else might pop up? Well, I might see my daughter's script
and run over to hold her because I feel the pain of scriptedness. (I
probably would because right now I am feeling the pain of the Mark
script, and I need a hug. Now some folks also recognize a need for a
hug and I am enough of a liar to convince them that I am hugging them,
and they like it, so we get close and glow for awhile.) I like that and
recommend it. I especially recommend it when it's true and I receive the
hug. the danger of the lie that I use to get others to hug me is that I
believe the lie, and I don't receive the hug I've been so clever to go
give. Yes, this is helpful to say this. I think I will just accept hugs
from now on because hugs have a wonderful way of being nondual. If both
huggers receive, the hug works perfectly. I'm big fan of this one.
But, it is quite possible that your daughter will be playing her script
so skillfully that she will consider a hug to be a betrayal of the game
that you two are playing. She could get really angry, and if she's
successful with this gambit, you will turn your me script back on and
get offended and everything will be alright again because you will have
both maintained the me-scripts that you have slowly, over many years,
made bargains to play. How to change this? Slowly and persistently, in
a long series of slightly modified agreements, or radically, by
completely breaking the agreement. Some choose the former, some choose
the latter and bail on the game (offending the people in their lives by
and large), most continue the bargains to death and then wonder what
went wrong. You see, the scripts themselves are wonderfully two-way
also. If you and I agree to defend ourselves from each other, we will
have plenty of stuff to defend ourselves against. If we agree to not
defend ourselves against each other, we will have lots of love to
share. the problem is if we are running scripts, and we want to lower
the defenses, who goes first?? Whoever does is gonna get blasted if
there is any "script-behavior" left. Getting honest and open is scary
shit. It's worth it though. I can see that even from here, where there
is considerable play-acting still going on. (or so I think).

I have a new quote about myself - makes me chuckle. "I rushed in where
even fools fear to tread." Hee, hee.

Well, I need to do some work on my job agreements, so that's all I will
explore for now. thank you for engaging in this conversation. that's
what the essentials of the game look like from here. how do they look

LOve, Mark


Marcia and Dan: (possibly Dan's longest post to NDS ever, except for another
longer one he sent today wich isn't included here only because the highlights
pretty long already today :))

I am working at expressing something and not making
it clear; perhaps because it is not clear to me.
Let me try again. We have these stories that we are
writing. A giant weaving cause stories blend together
and come apart and so forth. Therapy fixes the story
so that it works better. In some cases this has to
happen otherwise the story will end or be very dysfunctional
and disrupt the larger dreambody. But in no way can
working from within the story ever get a person outside
the story. That is like trying to pick up the board you are
standing on. Therapy is like tuning up the car or changing
the spark plugs but it will never tell you what direction to
go or how to drive the car. You can't be whole by fixing
the parts. You get out of the story and you are whole.


You raise some worthwhile
points here, Marcia.

Reminds me of this:
"Be in the world but not of the

You won't get beyond the story
by identifying with a story,
which includes fixing a story.
However, there can be catalyzing
that appears "within" the story
that opens to That which is
beyond the story. Whether this
involves therapy or not, who can
say, as it doesn't necessarily
occur in any fixed or predictable

As you describe,
therapy often tends to be
about "fixing the story".
Therapy itself has a story,
and that story connects
with counseling done
prior to modern industrialized
society in the context of religion,
healing, or village "elders".

Receiving wise counsel generally has
the agenda of improving a situation,
relieving stress, finding balance,
enhancing effectiveness,
promoting healing, etc., etc. And none
of this necessarily is "being beyond any story".
In Buddhism, this is referred to as using a raft,
then leaving the raft behind.
A raft involves story, leaving it behind is to
to go beyond story.
The Buddha went beyond anything to do with "Buddhism".
A therapy client can go beyond anything to do with

Reality indeed is beyond description,
so description of the world needs
to end for Reality to be *known*
as one's Being.

Therapy is focused on language,
hence on description, and
on a process judged by improving
someone's situation. Reality isn't
description, nor a process, and
can't be formulated according
to improvement in a situation.
Reality is, therefore, far more
than "therapeutic construction."

I can say, from personal
experience, that there
are some therapists who don't subscribe
to "therapy is about fixing the story."
Therapy may be opening *from* the story
rather than being about being fixed in the story.
Therapy isn't necessarily "one thing",
it depends on who's doing it,
how, and awareness.

It may be a catalyst, but *really*,
however catalyzation occurs (whether it's
therapy, Gurdjeiff, Krishnamurti, Ramana,
Byron Katie, walking by the ocean, hearing a bird singing)
it is You catalyzing You.

It has been said, "to know
Reality, one loses the world."

And indeed, therapy tends to
be about worldly effectiveness
and success, not about "losing
one's world." To "lose one's world" one
moves beyond therapy's format and goals.

Therapy depends on the assumption
that a person "brings" a problem with
them. Reality doesn't involve
bringing anything. Reality is
the end of "therapy", of role,
and is the end of "knowledge and the past".

Therapy can't make you into
what you already are.
Nothing can do that.

Therapeutic work can occur
from a place of being present,
knowing Being as not story-dependent.

Therapy can be a challenging
of illusions taken as
"true beliefs", questioning
assumptions and presumptions, can be a
dropping of the limited view of self
based on the past.

Therapy involves questioning
the belief system and the projection
of emotions and beliefs. It can
be an opening of awareness.

Not necessarily the construction of
a new story, there can be opening
to "the unknown" of oneself and one's being.
How quickly will one decide to
impose a new story line in place
of the old one? Or will one
be open, not putting
anything new as a "fix" for
the old that was dropped?
This depends more on the
individual than anything else.

Therapy involves "work" and much
of the "work" is bringing
energy and awareness to what
previously was avoided,
denied, or misperceived in ways
that fit preconceptions.
To call it "work" is to say it
can involve discomfort,
upsetting the apple cart,
not sticking with what was
"fixed and familiar".

Such "work" can be impeded by
a therapist's projected views and
beliefs, a client's desire to
stick with views and beliefs, or
by generating a "quick fix" (which
our society and HMO's today tend to promote).

So, let therapy be a catalyst to
awareness, not a substitute
for awareness, and let awareness
open beyond therapy.
Awareness isn't a fix, a final
word, or a process with a goal.

Of course, most clients are happy
when they're functioning
better, enjoying themselves
more, having better relationships,
feeling better about who they are.
And they may have glimpses of Wholeness
through their therapeutic work, stated
for example as "I realize I am free to be
who I am," or "I'm really more o.k.
than I thought I was," etc.

Generally, clients aren't doing therapy to
"see/be Reality" and "lose the world."
But that's okay.
Nothing is out of place,
it's *all* always
Awareness! ;-)



Melody wrote:

How that you've created
a win, win situation for yourself :

If a person gets happy being with you, it's
because of what you did. But if they don't,
it's because of their own limitations?

that's just it. it IS. It's either a win win situation, a win lose
situation, or a lose lose situation. those are the options. Pick the one
you like. You can only choose your side of it though. the other player
has the same freedom. Choose winning, and hunt for the winningness of
each situation. Get good at it, and it will come naturally. Choose
losing and hunt for the losingness of each situation. Get good at it,
and lose everything in the process. Either way, when the game becomes
just that - a game, you've really won. now have fun playing. We chose
this sandbox, and here we are. there are proponents of both directions
who will fight to the death to say their way is the only way. if it is
the only way it has happened for them, then it is the only way...

LOve, Mark

You only think you're picking. What one denies....
a person's what does the picking.

The conscious mind is but a flea on a tail of a
dog thinking it's wagging the dog.


You may be perfectly correct about this statement of fact, but that's
okay. I can still use my conscious mind to do what it does do, which is
to make conscious decisions. If you have a tool, why not practice with
it until you are comfortable using it? I was just chatting with my boss
today about how much time we spent as kids practicing skills. (I used to
play catch for hours on end to get the hang of how things move in
Earth's gravitational field and how to use my body effectively. I never
really got into using that skill for the obvious task of being a
baseball player, but I sure enjoyed the catch game. And I sure enjoy
being able to use my hands to catch things and throw things now. It's a
great pleasure to catch an apple as it rolls off the table. I don't
catch them all though. Should I not also practice using my mind? It's
part of the gift. I'm more often seeing things from a clear perspective
lately because I've been practicing it. I don't always catch the mental
apple though either. Also, I've been having a lot of dreams lately that
are consistent with my intent to play the game of life from a stance of
love, not fear. So who is wagging whom? I dunno, but the wag is an
expression of pleasure. THAT I know.

LOve, Mark



The text of "Self-Liberation Through Seeing with Naked Awareness" .. a Dzogchen
by Guru Padmasabhava is available at this site.

A sample:

As for this sparkling awareness which is called mind, even though one says that
exists, it does not actually exist.

(On the other hand) as a source, it is the origin of the diversity of all the
of Nirvana and all of the sorrow of Samsara.

And as for its being something desirable, it is cherished alike in the Eleven

With respect to its having a name, the various names that are applied to it are
inconceivable (in their numbers).

Some call it the nature of the mind or mind itself.

Some Tirthikas call it by the name Atman or the Self.

The Sravakas call it the doctrine of Anatman or the absence of a self.

The Chittamatrins call it by the name Chitta or the Mind.

Some call it the Prajnaparamita or the Perfection of Wisdom.

Some call it the name Tathagatagarbha or the embryo of Buddhahood.

Some call it by the name Mahamudra or the Great Symbol.

Some call it by by the name the Unique Sphere.

Some call it by the name Dharmadhatu or the dimension of Reality.

Some call it by the name Alaya or the basis of everything.

And some simply call it by the name ordinary awareness.

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