Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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Highlights #435

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Wednesday, August 9

from Petros-Truth list:

"The personality sitting in a chair is not the Guru. The
Guru is the Divine Manisfestation, the process that can
include you and rip you out of all the garbage that you
value. None of this has any value and none of it is
anything but God."

-- Da Free John



beloved bhakti,

Love. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace.
And the brook would lose its song if we removed the rocks.



dear phil you live in the nicest place in texas, but...
sigh-- a mentally retarded man is dying tonite how many
does this make now for dubya? which reminds me--at the
retreat greg was giving away away great bumper stickers
from the Advaita society "Prochoicelessness" Being a bumper
sticker person, i immediately affixed one. Last week my
daughter the Poet affixed one right next to it that she
assured me she had chosen for me with the greatest of care

" dubya dubya dubya"

Aaaargh!!(its a real web site BTW) nora



Hi all,

Just to demonstrate that time is a hoax, I am speaking to
most of you in the future, now, and particularly to Mark.
Hello Mark. It is actually quite incredible that I can
speak into the future like this. But it is just illusory.
Interestingly enough, this future will manifest itself as a
ripple cascade effect in the ever florishing existence.
Each one of you converts a piece of the future into now as
you read this, just as we do in everday life with

This post however, remains in the future for some, although
it has gone into the past for others. Where it actually is
in time is where it's always been, a fleeting focus in

Travelling, Dave



Gloria, nice job! The pictures are great. My heart warms
when I muse over that heavenly retreat and all you
magnificent souls that graced it. It really is a re-treat.
With fond memories and appreciation for your energetic and
caring involvement.

In this empty space, the abyss of light comforts like
mother's warm arms.

Gloria, you are the light and the warm arms.



Awww, what a warm heart-hug that was, Mary. The way you so
warmly embraced all of us that you had never met before
(even online!) was beyond kind tho. You reminded us, once
again, that truly there are no strangers. It's easy to see
why Mark must love you so, but hey, while he's out of
town...what do you see in this guy? LOL




GREG GOODE: For me, my devotion is towards Amitabha Buddha,
and I pay respects to Him every day with chanting, incense,
circumambulation and other offerings, etc.

Amitabha's main story is told in two Mahayana sutras from
the Pure Land School of Buddhism -- the Shorter and Longer
Sukhavati-vyuha Sutras (the sutras on the Display of the
World of Bliss).

Briefly, these sutras are narrated by Shakyamuni Buddha and
tell of the grace and saving power of Amitabha Buddha (the
Buddha of Infinite Light and Infinite Life). Eons ago,
before Amitabha was a buddha, he was Bodhisattva
Dharmakara. With the help of a buddha of the distant past
(Buddha Lokeshvararaja), Dharmakara was inspired to
practice for the salvation not only of himself, but of all
beings. He practiced for eons and created a "Buddha-field"
called the Western Pure Land, where all beings can practice
to perfection, and will not retrogress into samsara unless
they choose to do so from a Bodhisattva vow to save all
beings. Dharmakara made a series of 47 vows on his path to
Buddhahood. These vows amount to Dharmakara's refusal of
Buddhahood for himself until all those who desire
unsurpassable awakening and remember his name are reborn in
his Pure Land.

To me, this is a magnificent set of vows and wonderful
movement of Grace. The vows' fulfillment is also
magnificent. Because of Amitabha's effort and the grace of
previous buddhas, Dharmakara is now Buddha Amitabha.
Therefore, according to the sutras, all his if-then
statements have been fulfilled. So it is NOW the case that
all who have faith in these vows and sincerely desire
unsurpassed awakening are able to achieve it, without fail!
That is, through Amitabha's grace, our awakening is
guaranteed, actually already the case. The Pure Land,
according to one's interpretation of the sutras and
commentaries, can be interpreted either as noumenon, or a
land of phenomenal bliss of all kinds.



Dear Greg,

Thank you for sharing this beautiful example of bhakti. The
stories of Budddhas and Bodhisattvas are very inspirational
whether one happens to consider oneself part of that
religion or any religion. On the retreat, you gave us a
beautiful experience of this walking and singing chant, and
it reminded me of how the sense of worship and awe is
missed when we lack a fellowship that supports this
activity, however it may be expressed. As a child, my heart
became devoted to Jesus mostly thru singing, and no matter
whatever has changed my thinking and views of religion,
that devotion remains unchanged. To me, Jesus was calling
for this Pure Land when he asked that "Thy will be done on
earth as it is in heaven." There are so many ways and thru
so many forms that Grace does touch us, indeed this very
company of the sages here is one of them. Another way
bhakti may be described is simply, "Whatever you love, you


Dear Gloria,

Thank you for sharing on the beauty of this devotional way.
I agree, the coming together in love and shared activity is
a beautiful, powerful thing. "Together-action!," like the
Rev. Seung Sahn used to say (he, the abbot of our retreat

When future retreats happen, I look forward in partaking of
yours and others' sharing!


You are always looking to be happy. What you call 'happy'
is not what I call "Happy". What you call 'happy' is a
superficial, amused, immune state. All of us here are dying
and you must Realize the Source of it. To do that, to
Realize that Sublimity, you must understand yourself, and
that means you cannot make life out of being consoled by
sex, the world, the news, the pleasures of life, technology
- anything. You must be free of consolation. You must be
unconsolable, beyond repair of the heart. This is not what
you are involved in. You are full of complaints,
imaginings, agreements, rules, ideals. I cannot relate to
it. I am bereft of those possibilities, empty of them. I
cannot be consoled. God is not a consolation. God is what
you realize in the unconsolable state. God is the Obvious
when the self contraction is released.

You all want to keep yourselves orderly. Neat shirt and
pants, something orderly to do every day, an order of
remarks to make - look how bored you are!

How about NOT being bored? How about transcending boredom,
doubt, discomfort? How about getting real? How about
suffering? How about being broken-hearted? How about being
exaggerated? How about being unconventional? In your daily
life you should exist in the agony of confrontation with
the ego. You must have more nerve to practice this Way of

I wish you would begin Spiritual life. I wish you would put
yourself on the line. You have read the biographies of
those who have made great Spiritual attainments. Their
lives were about struggle, about intimacy with reality.
They were not orderly, middle-class people. They were
utterly incapable of mediocrity. Does anybody know what I
am talking about?

You must be a renunciate to practice this Way that I teach.
You all have too damned much to lose, too much you depend
on for consolation, too much bullshit you need to share
with one another. I am glad that I could Interfere with

***** Da, from the Knee of Listening



There is a disturbance, a feeling of disatisfaction, some
sensation that motivates a person to go to a teacher, read
a book about philosophy, believe something, or do some
conventional form of Yoga. What people ordinarily think of
as Spirituality or religion is a search to get free of that
sensation, that suffering that is motivating them. So all
the usual paths - Yogic methods, beliefs, religion, and so
on - are forms of seeking, grown out of this sensation,
this subtle suffering. Ultimately, all the usual paths are
attempting to get free of that sensation. That is the
traditional goal. Indeed, *all* human beings are seeking,
whether or not they are very sophisticated about it, or
using very specific methods of Yoga, philosophy, religion
and so on.

As long as the individual is simply seeking, and has all
kinds of motivation, fascination with the search, this is
not understanding - this is dilemma itself. But where this
dilemma is understood, there is the re-cognition of a
structure in the living consciousness, a separation. And
when that separation is observed more and more directly,
one begins to see that what one is suffering is not
something happening *to* one but it is one's own action. It
is as if you are pinching yourself, without bieng aware of
it. Then one sees that the entire motivation of life is
based on a subtle activity in the living consciousness.
That activity is avoidance, separation, a contraction as
the root, the origin, the *place* of the living

There is first the periodic awareness of that sensation,
then the awareness of it as a continuous experience, then
the observation of its actual structure, the knowing of it
all as your own activity, a deliberate, present activity
that *is* your suffering, that *is* your illusion. The
final penetration of that present, deliberate activity is
what I have called "understanding".

***** Da - Method of the Siddhas


KNOWLEDGE, FAITH, BELIEF (from HarshaSatsangh)

During my travels in India during the early summer, I spent
sometime at Hrishikesh at KailAsa Ashram. I had the darshan
of the ManDaleshwar and we spent some time discussing the
Isha upanishad. One general advice he gave me is: improve
your knowledge of sanskrit and study the shankara-bhAShyAs
in the original. The english or other language translations
for some of the sanskrit words can lead you astray.

I think it is a very valuable advice.

Regards Gummuluru Murthy


Namaste Murthyji.

Thank you for your many enlightening posts and sharing of
wisdom. Sanskrit is indeed a beautiful, precise, and a
profound language in which to communicate deep wisdom and
truth. It is quite likely indeed that some or even much
meaning is lost at times in translations from Sanskrit to
English. The advice to learn Sanskrit is valuable advice
for those who wish to learn Sanskrit and understand the
original texts. Many Self-Realized Sages of the past used
Sanskrit as a medium of their expression. So the advice of
the ManDaleshwar seems appropriate.

Still, any impression that leads one to believe that
learning Sanskrit is necessary for spiritual growth and
Realization is quite misleading.

Learning Sanskrit has nothing to do with Self-Realization.

To communicate profound truths any language will do!
English is quite adequate for the job! Where there is the
experience of Truth and Self, the words follow like
obedient servants. In fact, for those seeking intensely to
Know and Realize their true and original and primal state,
the advice to learn Sanskrit might be quite irrelevant.
Sanskrit, or any other language must be mastered through
the mind. The Self is Realized by seeing the unreality of
the mind, by absorbing the mind into the Heart and
Realization of Self as Pure Consciousness. When the mind
disappears, so does Sanskrit or any other language, the
culture one is born into as well as any and all
conditioning and identification. The whole universe appears
as a shadow of the Self, so what can be said of a
particular language, culture, etc. These are shadows of
even shadows. How much importance should we give them on
the spiritual path. Well, perhaps the answer is, "As much
as you like - it is up to you."

Let us be clear about this. No particular language,
cultural heritage, religious background, reading of certain
scriptures, or texts is *required* for Self-Realization.
What is needed always is the Direct Knowledge of the Self
through meditation, self-enquiry, and Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
Language and culture themselves are layers from which
identification eventually is withdrawn. All these things
appear in consciousness. Therefore to see the pure state
prior to all language and thought is simplest. Thank you.

Love to all Harsha



Some writings I found in a journal I kept in 1996:

What is real has nothing to do with a thing valued.


Devastation and death are always near. And when they strike
are still always near.


neti-neti is the sphere of action in which enlightenment
expands itself.


The Middle Path is a point at first, then a corridor, then
the universe, then Grace.


Attend to the suchness of everything.

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