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Group: NDhighlights Message: 4490 From: Mark Date: 2012-01-23
Subject: #4490 - Sunday, January 22, 2012
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4490, Sunday, January 22, 2012

Yesterday at dawn, my Friend said, How long
will this unconsciousness go on?

You fill yourself with the sharp pain of Love,
rather than its fulfuillment.

I said, "But I can't get to You!
You are the whole dark night,
and I am a single candle.

My life is upsidedown
because of You!"

The Friend replied, I am your deepest being.
Quit talking about wanting Me!

I said, "Then what is this

The Friend, Does a drop
stay still in the Ocean?

Move with the Entirety,
and with the tiniest particular.

Be the moisture in an oyster
that helps to form one pearl.

- Rumi, Ghazal 1022, from Diwan-e Shams, version by Coleman Barks, posted to Sunlight

When thought, discipline and experience have done their utmost and finally accept utter defeat, they then cease to function altogether. That state is beyond both words and silence. It is neither one thing nor another. The Absolute noumenon cannot be experienced. To know it is to BE it.

- Ramesh Balsekar, posted to ANetofJewels

The body trembles,
The tongue falters,
The mind is weary.

Forsaking them all,
I pursue my purpose happily.

Knowing I do nothing,
I do whatever comes my way,
And I am happy.

- Ashtavakra Gita 13:2-3, translation by Thomas Byrom, posted to AlongTheWay

Searching For The Dharma

You've travelled up ten thousand steps in search of the Dharma.
So many long days in the archives, copying, copying.
The gravity of the Tang and the profundity of the Sung
make heavy baggage.
Here! I've picked you a bunch of wildflowers.
Their meaning is the same
but they're much easier to carry.

- Hsu Yun, from Poems of Awakening by Betsy Small, posted to Allspirit


Today there have been lovely things
I never saw before;
Sunlight through a jar of marmalade;
A blue gate;
A rainbow
In soapsuds on dishwater;
Candlelight on butter;
The crinkled smile of a little girl
Who had new shoes with tassels;
A chickadee on a thornapple;
Empurpled mud under a willow,
Where white geese slept;
White ruffled curtains sifting moonlight
On the scrubbed kitchen floor;
The under side of a white-oak leaf;
Ruts in the road at sunset;
An egg yolk in a blue bowl.

My love kissed my eyes last night.

- May Theilgaard Watts from Poems of Awakening by Betsy Small, posted to Allspirit

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4491 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-01-23
Subject: #4491 - Monday, January 23, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4491 - Monday, January 23, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights -В В 
Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.
~Emily Dickinson

Inner Directions Gathering
Friday, April 20, 2012 - Sunday, April 22, 2012
Jeff FosterВ  ·  Jac O'KeeffeВ  ·  Karl RenzВ  ·  Francis Lucille
Pamela WilsonВ  ·  Rupert SpiraВ  ·  Peter Fenner ·  Matthew Greenblatt (Host)
Stephen and Ondrea Levine (via Broadband)
Dave Stringer (Kirtan & Bhajan)В  ·  Kirtana (Guitar & Vocals)

Be more interested in your inner state in any given situation than
what is happening in the outer situation. What is my inner state at
THIS moment is always primary. Dealing with external situations,
the outcome of this situation or that situation or this person agrees
with me or does not agree with me… all these are secondary
~Eckhart Tolle


"Words that come from experiential understanding, rather than
philosophical debate or belief, somehow have the capacity within
them to evoke the understanding towards which they are pointing.
In other words, words are more than pointers. They are missiles!
If they come from silence, they are pregnant with it. They don’t
simply point towards silence. They deliver it!"
~Rupert Spira

by Alan Larus
That inner Self, as the primeval spirit, eternal, ever effulgent, full
and infinite Bliss, single, indivisible, whole and living, shines in
everyone as the witnessing awareness. That Self in its splendour,
shining in the cavity of the Heart as the subtle, pervasive yet
unmanifest ether, illumines this universe like the sun.
~Ramana Maharshi
The final obstacle in meditation is ecstasy; you feel great bliss and
happiness and want to stay in that ecstasy. Do not yield to it but
pass on to the next stage which is great calm. The calm is higher
than ecstasy and it merges into samadhi.
~Ramana Maharshi

by Alan Larus
"There is language going on out there- the language of the wild.
Roars, snorts, trumpets, squeals, whoops, and chirps all have
meaning derived over eons of expression... We have yet to become
fluent in the language -and music- of the wild."
~Boyd Norton, Serengeti: The Eternal Beginning

When you listen without being aggressive or resisting, your whole
body becomes this listening. Everything surrounding you is
included in this listening, and ultimately there is total listening.
There is no longer a listener and something listened to. You are
then on the threshold of non-duality. You have left conceptual
patterns behind. YOU must live this experience for yourself. "I am"
points towards ultimate reality.
~Jean Klein

by Alan Larus
"In the end it’s all very simple. Either we give ourselves to Silence
or we don't."
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4492 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-01-24
Subject: #4492 - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4492 - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights -В В 

Quotations by Ramana Maharshi from

In the waking or dream state in which things appear, and in the sleep state in which we see nothing, there is always the light of Consciousness or Self, like the hall lamp which is always burning. The thing to do is to concentrate on the seer and not on the seen, not on the objects, but on the Light which reveals them.
God illumines the mind and shines within it. One cannot know God by means of the mind. One can but turn the mind inwards and merge it in God.
If the mind having gone in comes out again, it is only practice for knowledge is abiding experience.
On scrutiny as to what remains after eliminating all thoughts, it will be found that there is no such thing as mind apart from thought. So then, thoughts themselves constitute the mind.
It is impossible for anyone to get established in the experience of reality, being-consciousness, except through the power of Grace.
The reality is only mauna ( SIlence ).
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4493 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-01-26
Subject: #4493 - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4493 - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights -В 
Salient points from the article
The Social Construction of Mental Illness
and its Implications for the Recovery Model
Michael T. Walker, Ph.D.
The vocabularies of the medical and psychological models, indeed the idea of “mental illness” itself, are social constructions – THEYÂ’RE MADE UP.В 
Furthermore, they are vocabularies that describe disease and deficit.В  They view a human being as something that can be “assessed”, “diagnosed”, and “treated” much like a machine – hence comes the obsession with “compliance.”  These models make distinctions between “normal” and “pathological.”  They position practitioner as expert and client as more or less passive recipient of “treatment.”  The focus of “treatment” is on the elimination of “symptoms.”  As will be discussed later, the recovery model is a state of partial transformation:В  it is truly client-centered; however, it is contextually “weighed down” by the vestigial and anachronistic use of the medical and psychological vocabularies.В  These vocabularies invisibly and insidiously support the old paternalistic roles.
From a postmodern perspective these medical and psychological vocabularies are not representing reality, but, in fact, creating a “reality” or perspective.В  The fact is that words simply “carve up” our undifferentiated sensory experience leading to many possible interpretations of the human condition.
When we create words and concepts describing aspects of ourselves or of our environment (also know as making distinctions) they appear as “truths” and, consequently, they dictate our actions.В 
The word “schizophrenia”, and the next, “mental illness”, only exist through consensus and only persist by convention. Even if the correlations of defining symptoms was perfect (which it is far from), in light of the linguistic paradigm we have to ask ourselves whether using a pathologizing, deficit-based vocabulary is useful in helping people improve the quality of their lives.
~ ~ ~
I am not trying to disqualify the use of chemicals (aka medications) to help people improve the quality of their lives.В  I am saying that psychiatry will have to recognize that it is an art to be applied in a highly individualistic, non-pathologizing, collaborative way – perhaps something akin to how the East practices herbal medicine.В 
~ ~ ~
Mindfulness is one of the perspectives and practices that will eventually replace the old medicalization of experience
~ ~ ~
In light of neuroplasticity, rigid abstractions such as “chemical imbalance”, “mental illness” and psychiatric diagnoses, such as “borderline personality disorder”, are linguistic “balls and chains” when it comes to helping people become self-determining.
~ ~ ~
Mental health professionals may be creating much (being conservative) of that which they are trying to cure.
When we speak as if someone has a diagnosis or has a “mental illness” we are unwittingly creating a reality – a reality in which human beings are transformed into the “mentally ill”.В  When we use words such as “mental illness”, “schizophrenia”, “symptoms”, “tangential speech”, “clinical this or that”, “treatment plan”, “assessment” – we are unwittingly bringing forth the entire context, the hierarchical and paternalistic role relationship together with the sticky morass of pathological and deficit-based perspectives.В  Jill Freedman and Gene Combs (1996) write:
"Speaking isnÂ’t neutral or passive.В  Every time we speak, we bring forth a reality.В  Each time we share words we give legitimacy to the distinctions that those words bring forth.”  (p. 29)
~ ~ ~
We know not what we do.В  By seeing the medical and psychological vocabularies as truths (as opposed to perspectives) we cannot see the profoundly destructive consequences of them.В  These vocabularies comprise closed conceptual systems in which everything can be explained within them (not unlike a so-called “delusional” system).
~ ~ ~
When you have a receptive audience, I suggest you present our message of hope: You don't have a disease, you are not powerless.В  By staying focused on what is most important to you (which might be a higher power, but could be all sorts of things), you can gain full control of your behavior, and learn to lead a wonderful life!”  (p.3)
~ ~ ~
This paper is calling for nothing less than a total transformation in education in the mental health profession.В  The labeling has disconnected both professional and client from humanity.В 
~ ~ ~
If insurance reimbursement requires psychiatric diagnoses we simply remember that weÂ’re changing focus (i.e. to that of “symptoms”) and using different abstractions (i.e. those of diagnoses) to make summary statements.В  Insurance companies “believe in” (i.e. see them as essential “truths” or “entities”) these reified linguistic constructs only as a result of their having been sanctioned by the medical profession.В  The profession can certainly establish the need for services or benefits based on behaviors, without resorting to making up “fictive diseases.”
Remember from the old scientific-reductionist rigidly held perspective holding two contradictory points of view is impossible – because, as you will recall, the point is to reduce things to some unique essence.В  From the linguistic paradigm weÂ’re looking for words and perspectives that will help us solve a problem.В  To receive insurance reimbursement and to establish disability benefits simply requires an occasional translation from one language to another.В  Words are tools, not truths.
~ ~ ~
The recovery model as it currently exists is an incomplete transformation of the mental health profession.В  We are finally helping clients get what they want, taking them seriously, having high expectations of them, and eliminating barriers to employment, housing, financial stability, and relationship.В  The basis of our helping interactions has to be freed from the vocabularies of medicine and psychology.
~ ~ ~
The cultural pluralism in our country has led to an emphasis on “cultural competency” in the profession.В  Gays won their freedom from the DSM in the 80Â’s; various non-dominant-culture-specific practices did so in the 90Â’s.В  There doesnÂ’t seem to be any pride in membership in the DSM.В  IÂ’m advocating freedom for all.
Finally free from the chains of the medical and psychological vocabularies, many people would immediately fit into society with a little extra help.В  Others would blend in immediately into artist studios, universities, and musician & literary communities.В  19th century Paris was the mecca for such creative people.В В  Bohemian was the term for the artists and intellectuals that didnÂ’t “fit in.”  Avant-garde referred to those who didnÂ’t “fit in” and led the rest of us.В  Something to think about.
Read the entire paper at
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4494 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-01-27
Subject: #4494 - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
#4494 - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights -В В 
My continuing passion is to part a curtain, that invisible veil of
indifference that falls between us and that blinds us to each other's
presence, each other's wonder, each other's human plight.
~Eudora Welty

Fear is the cheapest room in the house.
I would like to see you living
In better conditions.

Don't flail about like a man wearing a blindfold.
Believe me, He's in here.
Come in and see for yourself.
You'll stop hunting for Him all over.
By Lalla
(14th Century)
English version by Ranjit Hoskote

Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was
going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and
then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it
~Joseph Campbell
In meditating, meditate on your own divinity. The goal of life is to
be a vehicle for something higher. Keep your eyes up there
between the world of opposites watching your 'play' in the
world. Let the world be as it is and learn to rock with the waves.
~Joseph Campbell, in A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on
The Art of Living

Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the
stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole
existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for
no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or
presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will
never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers - for no reason.
It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.
photo by Mehmet Karaca

This silence, this moment, every moment, if it's genuinely inside you, brings what you need.
There's nothing to believe. Only when I stopped believing in myself did I come into this beauty.
Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say, 'Be more silent.'
Die and be quiet.
Quietness is the surest sign that you've died.
Your old life was a frantic running from silence.
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.
~ Rumi
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4495 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-01-27
Subject: #4495 - Friday, January 27, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

#4495 - Friday, January 27, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights -В В 



This issue features responses to issue #4494 which featured selections from the article The Social Construction of Mental Illness
and its Implications for the Recovery Model, by Michael T. Walker, Ph.D.

Unlike psychotherapy and the issues of anxiety, depression, and addiction,В the issues of psychosis, psychiatry, and the drug industry have not been much addressed by the nonduality movement, as far as I know, except in the context of entheogens.В 

I've withheld the names of people who wrote me privately. They are regular Highlights readers over the years.


Hello Jerry,

This article confirmed my own observations. I am retired and come from a corporate working environment. For the past 3 years I have been teaching part time in a local community college. It was quite a shock to find that so many students have been labeled for mental problems. Labels range from attention disorders to Schizophrenia and Asperger. These students are heavily medicated. I had one young woman 19 years old who told me that she was depressed (not suicidal) at 14. For the past 5 years she has been taking 7 different medications which make her ill, listless, overweight and sleeping 14+ hrs. a day. She cannot focus for more than an hour. These medications have been prescribed by her psychiatrist and cost hundreds of dollars per month. ItÂ’s hard to fathom how a professional can be so negligent. В 

The sad thing is that students buy into the labels and act as if disempowered. A couple of days ago, I received an email from the higher ups stating that enrollment of students with mental illness has substantially increased over the last year urging teachers to make curriculum revisions and accommodations for these students. So, at the administrative level, the problem is not dealt with and the “sickness” reinforced. I have observed that students with a “diagnosed” attention disorder problems are quite adept at focusing their attention on text messaging and social networks – good motor skills but underdeveloped cognitive skills. В I just wish that this information would get out to the mainstream. В 

I appreciate your daily emails,

name withheld



Thanks Jerry, for sharing these excerpts on " The Social Construction of Mental IllnessВ and its Implications for the Recovery ModelВ "

In my personal experience of relating to those I know or have known who have been officially diagnosed as being mentally ill, I've always been struck by how "undifferent" they are than myself. Sure, they may exhibit what might be termed as 'odd' behaviour, but in talking about their problem, suffering or difficulty they can exhibit keen intelligence, coherence and lucidity....and as already mentioned it all sounds like pretty much familiar territory to me.

The crux of the biscuit as I see it is that the 'story' is related as if it were concerning a third party. Of course, the first person singular is used when relating the story, but in actual fact it's a believed in mental construction which , as clearly pointed out in this paper, is strengthened and confirmed by the medical 'experts' called in to help solve the problem. В These are strategies which we're all familiar with of course, not just those who may be suffering in extreme through their misplaced identification.

The problem very often is that once this identification with the labelling has taken place, the "sufferer" has found him/herself a socially recognised В and accepted 'hiding place' and may vehemently oppose any attempt to "blow their cover" so to speak. (Not that any of us like it when that happens!),

So what needs to happen for an opening to take place? Who can say?

On another vein: I'm reading Michael Foley's 'The Age of Absurdity - why modern life make it hard to be happy' at the moment. Perhaps you've read and reviewed it already, if not I'd recommend it as a worthwhile read. The author doesn't profess to be a 'nondualist', at least not yet (I still haven't finished the book ), but I like his В humorous approach.

name withheld


T:Thanks Jerry.
A very pertinent article that I have read before.

If the notion of 'Mental Illness' is chucked into the rubbish tin along with other fictitious made up ludicrous notions of the past such as there being witches wizards and so forth then so too does the notion of "recovery" have to go.


If Mental Illnesses are made up then there is nothing to recover from and nothing to be treated.

What then remains?

What remains are the enormous social and political issues, relationship abuse, violence, grief, childhood sexual and emotional abuse, poverty, unemployment, job loss physical illness, drug abuse lack of education, that arise with inevitable certitude once the diagnostic label is removed.

Psychiatric diagnoses are convenient labels that society uses to conceal such issues by hiding them from view and at the same time make a profit by feeding folk tons and tons of drugs in the vain hope of treating these fictitious metaphorical illness.

What the drugs do of course (in the guise of treatment) is to anesthetize folk from the effects of the social circumstances of their plight.

The outcome.

Their plight remains the same. (Folk are so drugged out that they stop complaining.)
The social circumstances remain the same.

Treatment must be for life.

Folk are happier because they think they are being treated.

A lot of folk are making an awful lot of money.

An alternative is in the last paragraph of the previous post.




"Diagnoses don't speak about the repercussions of
abuse, loss, illnesses, war, manipulations, judgments."

Who is it, now, that speaks of these?

Right now, there is no "they" to diagnose ...
nor even to explain "the way things really are" to.

Now what is the proper diagnosis for this state?


Group: NDhighlights Message: 4496 From: Mark Date: 2012-01-30
Subject: #4496 - Saturday, January 28, 2011
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4496, Saturday, January 28, 2011

With repeated meditation practice
the expanse of the visible universe
with all its qualities dissolves
to nothing, to where there is
only health and great joy.

- Lalla, from Naked Song, version by Coleman Barks, posted to AlongTheWay

Leave all worries behind and make your
heart totally pure, like the face of a mirror
with no image or design. Once your heart
is cleansed of all images, it will contain
them all.

- Rumi, version by Muriel Maufroy, from Breathing Truth - Quotations from Jalaluddin Rumi,, posted to AlongTheWay


What if the winds gusted at hurricane force?
What if part of our neighbor's house
crashed two stories to the driveway?
What if a few nights back his son's truck
had been parked right where it hit?
What if the wind shook our vent tube loose
What if our roof took to leaking?
What if a man climbed a ladder to cement
the leak in rain raging so hard he had to
keep emptying his sleeves?

What if sugar is the real gateway drug
& we're all addicts before
we even learn there's words for sweet?
What if measured in words exhaled
I'm only inclined to lend an ear to whatever
implies something I would like to believe?
What if we go on arguing about the futility
of argument as a form of communication?
What if it`s not pretty?
What if it's never pretty?

What if people would rather speculate
about the end of the world
than consider their own passing?
What if green is green
blue is blue & love is in flower?
What if we didn't invent language
but elevated its usage?
What if there`s another loud noise tonight?
What if there's nothing to hide
& you leave me no choice?

- Steve Toth, posted to Distillation

When you express gentleness and precision in your environment, then real brilliance and power descend onto that situation. If you try to manufacture that presence out of your own ego, it will never happen. You cannot own the power and the magic of this world. It is always available, but it does not belong to anyone.

- Chogyam Trungpa, from The Sacred Path of the Warrior, posted to DailyDharma

come and see me
today i am away
out of this world

hidden away
from me and i

i grabbed a dagger
made slices of
me from myself
since i belong
not to me
not to anyone

i am so sorry
for not having done
this cutting away before
it was my soul's mind
and not mine

i have no idea
how my inner fire
is burning today
my tongue
is on a different flame

i see myself
with a hundred faces
and to each one
i swear it is me

surely i must have
a hundred faces
i confess none is mine
i have no face

- Rumi, Ghazal 1519, translation by Nader Khalili, from Rumi, Fountain of Fire, posted to Sunlight

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4497 From: Mark Date: 2012-01-30
Subject: #4497 - Sunday, January 29, 2012
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4497, Sunday, January 29, 2012

When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.

- Buddha, posted to DailyDharma

To be anxious is to wear oneself out. To seek power or to use force is to overstrain one's system.

- Ramesh Balsekar, posted to ANetofJewels

After all, there is no such thing as mind apart from thoughts which come and go obeying their own laws, not yours. They dominate you only because you are interested in them. It is exactly as Christ said "Resist not evil." By resisting evil, you merely strengthen it.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to ANetofJewels

The eyes of a saint are always concentrated on the supreme Self. The minute his is aware of himself, sainthood is lost.

- Neem Karoli Baba, from Miracle of Love,by Ram Dass


Pain comes from seeing how arrogant you've been, and
pain brings you out of this

conceit. A child cannot be born until the mother has pain.
You are pregnant with real

trust. The words of the prophets and saints are midwives
that help, but first you must feel

pain. To be without pain is to use the first person wrongly.
"I" am this. "I" am that.

"I" am God, like al-Hallaj, who waited till that was true to
say it. "I" at the wrong

time brings a curse. "I" at the right time gives a blessing.
If a rooster crows early,

when it's still dark, he must have his head cut off. What is
this beheading? As one might

extract a scorpion's sting to save it, or a snake's venom to
keep it from being stoned,

headlessness comes from your cleansing connection to
a teacher. Hold to

a true sheikh. Strength will come. Your strength is his
gathering you closer. Soul

of the soul of the soul, moment to moment, hope to draw breath
from that one. No matter

how long you've been apart. That presence has no separation
in it. Do you want to understand more about this friendship?
Read the sura called Daybreak.

- Rumi, Mathnawi II: 2817-43, version by Coleman Barks, from The Soul of Rumi, posted to Sunlight


On the tidal mud, just before sunset,
dozens of starfishes
were creeping. It was
as though the mud were a sky
and enormous, imperfect stars
moved across it as slowly
as the actual stars cross heaven.
All at once they stopped,
and, as if they had simply
increased their receptivity
to gravity, they sank down
into the mud, faded down
into it and lay still, and by the time
pink of sunset broke across them
they were as invisible
as the true stars at daybreak.

- Galway Kinnell

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4498 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-01-30
Subject: #4498 - Monday, January 30, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4498 - Monday, January 30, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights -В В 
Who would dare to go nameless in so secure a universe? Yet, to tell
the truth, only the nameless are at home in it.
They bear with them in the center of nowhere the unborn flower of
nothing: This is the paradise tree. It must remain unseen until
words end and arguments are silent.
~Thomas Merton

You say that you love flowers and you cut their tail, you say that
you love dogs and you put them on a leash, you say that you love
birds and you put them in a cage, you say that you love me and
that fills me with fear."
~Jean Cocteau
photo by Alan Larus

Deny the reality of things
and you miss their reality;
assert the emptiness of things
and you miss their reality.
The more you talk and think about it
the further you wander from the truth.
So cease attachment to talking and thinking,
and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
~Hsin Hsin Ming

Silence, you are the diamond in me, the jewel of my real wealth.
From your soft earth grow thousands of rose gardens whose
perfume drowns me in my own Heart.
~ Rumi

Stunning nature video....
The Beauty of Pollination
We are all dependent to each other. Taken from TEDTalks
8 million views

"We can’t see others because of our own pain."
When we're all caught up in ourselves, we can't see anyone else's
faces, we can't even hear somebody else talking to us, we're IN,
and then something happens, there's this basic wonderfulness, or
beauty or space or freshness or sense of humor that was always
there. The sky was always there, the ocean was always there, the
coldness of the air was always there. But we get in this darkness,
selfishness, this self involvement, this aggression towards
ourselves...we just want to protect ourselves. Our sense of kindness,
our sense of caring for other people is numbed out. But then
something comes along and suddenly we remember the goodness
of life. It's accessible, it's here. It's found in appreciation. Whatever
this is, it's basically that sense of opening up your eyes and your
ears and being able to see the world around you in a very fresh
and un-self-involved way.
~Venerable Ani Pema Chodron

Listen says fox it is music to run
over the hills to lick
dew from the leaves to nose along
the edges of the ponds to smell the fat
ducks in their bright feathers but
far out, safe in their rafts of
sleep. It is like
music to visit the orchard, to find
the vole sucking the sweet of the apple, or the
rabbit with his fast-beating heart. Death itself
is a music. Nobody has ever come close to
writing it down, awake or in a dream. It cannot
be told. It is flesh and bones
changing shape and with good cause, mercy
is a little child beside such an invention. It is
music to wander the black back roads
outside of town no one awake or wondering
if anything miraculous is ever going to
happen, totally dumb to the fact of every
moment's miracle. Don't think I haven't
peeked into windows. I see you in all your seasons
making love, arguing, talking about God
as if he were an idea instead of the grass,
instead of the stars, the rabbit caught
in one good teeth-whacking hit and brought
home to the den. What I am, and I know it, is
responsible, joyful, thankful. I would not
give my life for a thousand of yours.
~ Mary Oliver
(Red Bird)

Cesar Millan with Eckhart Tolle
Each part is 7-8 minutes.
ВВ В В В  part 3

Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment
GATE Encourages Conscious Transformation
of Entertainment, Media and the Arts
by Michael Jeffreys
My article in "Awareness Magazine" on GATE2 in Los Angeles, Feb.
4, 2012. Eckhart Tolle, Jim Carrey, Chris Hebard and a host of other
conscious Hollywood movers and shakers will be attending:

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4499 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-02-01
Subject: #4499 - Tuesday, January 30, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

#4499 - Tuesday, January 30, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights -В В 



Here's an announcement of free live streaming ofВ two interesting events.
Jerry Katz

Global Alliance for Transformational EntertainmentГ‚в„ў

"All the things that truly matter — beauty, love, creativity, joy,

inner peace — arise from beyond the mind." -Eckhart Tolle

On February 4, 2012, one of todayÂ’s most anticipated events will take place at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. GATE 2 will feature in person: Eckhart Tolle, Jim Carrey, Don Miguel Ruiz, Marianne Williamson, Jean Houston, Jane Carrey, Louie Anderson, Edward James Olmos, Frances Fisher, Fred Alan Wolf, John Raatz and many more transformational luminaries who support transformational entertainment and media.

WeÂ’re pleased to make this programming available to your online community as part of our mission to expand the role of GATE in Transforming the World by Transforming Entertainment and MediaГ‚в„ў.

And the best part -- itÂ’s absolutely FREE!

The live events begin at 9:00 AM, Saturday, February 4th with --

Daytime Event

GATE Transformational Story Conference

“Awakening Spirit Through Transformation”

9 AM to 5 PM PT

And then, in the evening, the GATE 2 celebration begins at 6:30 PM --

Evening Event

GATE 2: “Only a New Seed Will Yield a New Crop --

A Celebration of Transformational Entertainment, Media and Arts”

6:30 to 11:00 PM PT


Note: Remember, the web event is FREE, however, for those of your subscribers who would like to attend the event in person, please let them know that we are happy to offer a 20% discount off the price simply by using the promo code: TRANSFORM (scroll down to payment button at bottom of this link):


Here is the LiveStream link from which the events can be viewed (and which includes a real time commenting)

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, beginning 9AM PST:

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4500 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-02-01
Subject: #4500 - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

#4500 - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights -В В 



Co-editors:В  Tomas Sander and Tamara Vyshkina


В В В В  "Emptiness teachings are widely held to be liberating. The purpose of this site
В В В В  is to present the wide variety of these teachings in a way that will help make
В В В В  them accessible and relevant. We will feature scholarly, experiential and popular
В В В В  approaches to the emptiness teachings, and we will honor the diversity of traditions
В В В В  from which they flow. Our goal is to highlight the power and appeal of these
В В В В  teachings so that they may do their work."

This may be the first site of its kind — it presents approaches to emptiness realization form Western sources as well as Buddhist sources.В  Because emptiness is broadly defined lack of self, lack of essence, lack of inherent existence, there turn out to be many ways to realize emptiness.В  We will try to showcase many of these approaches.В 

The site is just getting started and there's a lot of content that we are working on adding.В  We plan to include writings, art, audios, videos, classes and more.В  But so far, you can find:


* "Coming from the Advaitic/Awareness teachings?В  Special Pointers"
* "5 Buddhist Books to Start With"
* "Intro to Emptiness"

Emptiness and Joyful Freedom with practical pointers, tips and meditations.В  This book uses Western insights and sources.

Announcement of a class by Greg Goode and Tomas Sadner in New York City on Feb. 25th, entitled "Experiencing Emptiness in Everyday Life."
Information and an e-book from "Emptiness and Joyful Freedom," a popular class given in several formats since 2009.
More to come

Written specifically for, they include:
* "Perspective Taking" by Scott Kiloby
* "A Night in Emptiness" by Dawid Dahl
* Articles forthcoming from Vicki Woodyard and Susan Kahn

* Interviews
* Meditations
* Article called "5 Western Books to Start With"
* List of places to study emptiness
* Profiles of various Western approoaches to emptiness, including "Pyrrhonism" "anti-dualism," "social construction," "deconstruction," and more!

On-topic submissions gladly welcomed!В  They can be art, photography, audio, video, poetry or prose!

For more information, write to Greg at [email protected].



SAND Europe 2012


Rupert Spira writes:


"Many of you will have heard of the Science and Non-Duality Conference - SAND - that now takes place regularly in Northern California every October. It is coming to Europe (Amsterdam) for the first time in early June this year. The Buddhist teacherВ Thich Nhat Hanh predicted recently that the next Buddha would be the community. SAND is the embodiment of this prediction, providing a dialogue between a wide diversity of non-dual teachers and traditions and many of the leading scientific researchers in this field.


However, anyone who has attended SAND will know that it is much more than a conventional conference, albeit on an unconventional subject. It is part seminar, part festival, part celebration, part satsang, and promises to bring a new and exciting forum for Non-Duality to Europe. PleaseВ click belowВ for more details."



I'm glad to be speaking at the conference. I'll probably tie-in my grandfather's stay in Amsterdam a hundred years earlier where he was aВ  social revolutionary.В I might talk about how nonduality is called an inner revolution by J. KrishnamurtiВ , a revolution of the heart by Jeannie Zandi, or love's quiet revolution by Scott Kiloby. Others use the term revolution in relation to nondual understanding. Somehow I'll bring stories about my grandfather into my talk, so I think it'll be fun and interesting.


Also I'll either be moderating or a panelist on a panel whose subject is The Business of Nonduality. Julian Noyce, publisher of Non-Duality Press will be on the panel as well.


But bigger than the talks and panels -- because we've all heard it all, and we all have access to it all -- is the sum of the parts, as Rupert writes about above. It's worth experiencing. What Maurizio and Zaya fashion with each SAND Conference is blissful and magical, and part of it is nothing less than their presence. If they didn't show up, it wouldn't be the same!


So ... try to get to a SAND Conference, whether the upcoming one in the Netherlands, or in San Rafael, California in October, or some future one.







The message about the SAND Conference was taken from the newsletter of Non-Duality Press. In the current issue you'll read about Gabriel Rosenstock's new book, The Pleasantries of KrishnamurphyВ , as well as someone I'd never heard of before, Morgan Caraway.


You may read the entire newsletter (and subscribe to it) here:



I recommend subscribing.




Group: NDhighlights Message: 4501 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-02-03
Subject: #4501 - Thursday, February 2, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4501 - Thursday, February 2, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights -В В 
Nature does not hurry ..
Yet everything is accomplished.
~Lao Tzu
"Awareness" is...when senses are alert...visual...hearing...even in
silence nature can help you be more aware.
~Eckhart Tolle, "A New Earth"


Be true to your own self, love your self absolutely. Do not pretend
that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as
one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don't pretend to be what
you are not, don't refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is
the result of self-knowledge, not its cause. Without self-realization,
no virtue is genuine. When you know beyond all doubting that the
same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love
all naturally and spontaneously.
~Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


"There are always flowers for those who want to see them."
~Henri Matisse

If you take a flower in your hand and really look at's your
world for a moment.
~Georgia O'Keeffe

Earth and sky...woods and fields...lakes and rivers...are excellent
schoolmasters and teach some of us more than we can ever learn
from books.
~John Lubbock

There must be always remaining in every life, some place for the
singing of angels, some place for that which in itself is breathless
and beautiful.
~Howard Thurman

The mind can go in a thousand directions..but on this beautiful
path...I walk in peace...with each step the wind blows...with each
step a flower blooms.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Time is in the is in the mind...In reality...all is here
and now and all is one.
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

All this is full.В  All that is full.
From fullness, fullness comes.
When fullness is taken from fullness,
Fullness still remains.
Om Shanti shanti shanti
В Isha Upanishad

All photos are from a community page in Facebook called "A Gentle Way".
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4502 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-02-04
Subject: #4502 - Friday, February 3, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В #4502 - Friday, February 3, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights -В В 


Vicki Woodyard

I fell asleep and begin having a nightmare. I was listening to yet another neoadvaitic interview on Whatchagotformeinthewayofenlightenmenttoday? The enlightened speaker of the day is saying:


 Â“I woke up. I had an experience of unity. Now I feel such peace. I donÂ’t discriminate between me, myself and I or you, yourself and you or them, themselves and they. Got it? I got it. And I can give it to you if you only give me twenty sweet minutes of your time. Shall we begin?"


Begin? This is like riding the baggage carousel at Hartfield. The same piece of nondual baggage keeps going around and around and around. Reely. I kid you not.


God must be having a giggle fit up there looking down on what is known as What Is. He В must be choking back laughter from the hereafter. He is sitting on His Throne waiting for the latest incarnation of Himself to enlighten the crowd. Some of them are stud muffins. I prefer those. LetÂ’s face it; being telegenic is more important than ever. These days gurus need a good face for high-def. Makeup! Where is Milton Berle when you need him?


The latest interviewee is Г‚вЂ˜splainin hisself or herself to the interviewer, being modestly contained while hinting of his cornucopia of utopia where no one ever sheds a tear or goes to detox or has a spare tire or anything even vaguely human. God is laughing for He knows who is about to take their trip through hell in a handcart.


In my dream I am having coffee and a Danish and itÂ’s like buttah. Literally. I buttahed the Danish. So at the middle of the interview I am nodding off and there are crumbs in my lap and the one talking is sounding vaguely familiar. “I donÂ’t know how to say this, because itÂ’s beyond words....”


Yeah, I get it, I thought. I finally get it. I can turn off the interview. Work a crossword puzzle. Oh, wait, God just handed down a new tablet, two of them. ItÂ’s Aleve for my advaitic hangover. В Thank you, Jesus. Another long and dawdling interview has come to an end. The unwashed unenlightened will just have to scan the dial for another interview on what it is “like” to wake up. Because there is no one there to ever actually know.


Vicki Woodyard









Drummer Drumming: Resonation by Skin

Drummer DrummingВ  only Silence is the drumstick,
only Nothing is
the skin of the drum,
only Emptiness is the infinite Song
~Jan Barendrecht


Hark to the unstruck bells and drums!
It is the music of the meeting of soul with soul;
It is the music of the forgetting of sorrows;
It is the music that transcends all coming in and all going forth.


This consciousness I am is beating a drum; everyone is carried away by the noise of the drum.
Who looks for the drummer?
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

I'm looking at places where psychiatry meets or invites a bridging with nonduality and am preparing to propose a Psychiatry and Nonduality session for the Science and Nonduality Conference. Here is a relevant article:
Guidelines for Empathic Therapy
by Peter R. Breggin, MD
International Director
Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, Education & Living
With guidance from Executive Director Ginger Breggin and Members of the Advisory Council
including Bart Billings PhD, Doug Bower PhD, Joanne Cacciatore PhD, Mathy Downing, Thomas Cushman PhD, Dorothy Cassidy MEd, Nadine De Santo EdS, Pamela Glasner, Howard Glasser MA, Adrianne Johnson PhD, Jennifer Kinzie LMHC, Jodi Mullen PhD, Wendy West Pidkaminy LCSW, Gerald Porter PhD, Michael Shaw MD, Stuart Shipko MD, Doug Smith MD, Tony Stanton MD, Sarton Weinraub PhD, Piet Westdijk MD and Charles Whitfield MD.
The Guidelines for Empathic Therapy apply to every human relationship. In therapy they are codified and then applied with care by the therapist under the special conditions of therapy. Therapy is as complex and subtle as life itself. You donÂ’t have to accept every one of the Guidelines for Empathic Therapy to belong to the Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, Education and Living. Each of us must find our own particular understanding of these principles, emphasize one or another, and perhaps modify some. We welcome an open and continuing dialogue about these guidelines and plan to include new ideas.
The Guidelines
As Empathic Therapists –
(1) We treasure those who seek our help and we view therapy as a sacred and inviolable trust. With humility and gratitude, we honor the privilege of being therapists.
(2) We rely upon relationships built on trust, honesty, caring, genuine engagement and mutual respect.
(3) We bring out the best in ourselves in order to bring out the best in others.
(4) We create a safe space for self-exploration and honest communication by holding ourselves to the highest ethical standards, including honesty, informed consent, confidentiality, professional boundaries, and respect for personal freedom, autonomy and individuality.
(5) We encourage overcoming psychological helplessness and taking responsibility for emotions, thoughts and actions—and ultimately for living a self-determined life.
(6) We offer empathic understanding and, when useful, we build on that understanding to offer new perspectives and guidance for the further fulfillment of personal goals and freely chosen values.
(7) When useful, we help to identify self-defeating patterns learned in childhood and adulthood in order to promote the development of more effective choice-making and conduct.
(8) We do not treat people against their will or in any way use coercion, threats, manipulation or authoritarianism.
(9) We do not reduce others to diagnostic categories or labels—a process that diminishes personal identity, over-simplifies life, instills dependency on authority, and impedes posttraumatic growth. Instead, we encourage people to understand and to embrace the depth, richness and complexity of their unique emotional and intellectual lives.
(10) We do not falsely attribute emotional suffering and personal difficulties to genetics and biochemistry. Instead, we focus on each personÂ’s capacity to take responsibility and to determine the course of his or her own life.
(11) We recognize that a drug-free mind is best suited to personal growth and to facing critical life issues. Psychiatric drugs cloud the mind, impair judgment and insight, suppress emotions and spirituality, inhibit relationships and love, and reduce will power and autonomy. They are anti-therapeutic.
В (12) We apply the Guidelines for Empathic Therapy to all therapeutic relationships, including persons who suffer from brain injuries or from the most profound emotional disturbances.В  Individuals who are mentally, emotionally and physically fragile are especially vulnerable to injury from psychiatric drugs and authoritarian therapies, and are in need of the best we have to offer as empathic therapists.
(13) Because children are among our most vulnerable and treasured citizens, we especially need to protect them from psychiatric diagnoses and drugs. We need to offer them the family life, education and moral and spiritual guidance that will help them to fulfill their potential as children and adults.
(14) Because personal failure and suffering cannot be separated from the ethics and values that guide our conduct, we promote basic human values including personal responsibility, freedom, gratitude, love, and the courage to honestly self-evaluate and to grow.
(15) Because human beings thrive when living by their highest ideals, individuals may wish to explore their most important personal values, including spiritual beliefs or religious faith, and to integrate them into their therapy and their personal growth.
Copyright Peter R. Breggin, MD 2011
Find out more and even attend the Empathic Therapy Conference this April:
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4503 From: Mark Date: 2012-02-05
Subject: #4503 - Saturday, February 4, 2011
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4503, Saturday, February 4, 2011

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

- Mary Oliver

Warrior II

Here there is nothing to fight
except wilfulness.
Some lean to far
into the past.
Others stretch way out
into the future.
The true warrior
stays in the moment,
burning deeper
into whatever comes,
or sometimes with
even more difficulty,
what doesn't.

- Virabhadrasana II, posted to Allspirit

Perhaps not to be is to be without your being.

Perhaps not to be is to be without your being,
without your going, that cuts noon light
like a blue flower, without your passing
later through fog and stones,
without the torch you lift in your hand
that others may not see as golden,
that perhaps no one believed blossomed
the glowing origin of the rose,
without, in the end, your being, your coming
suddenly, inspiringly, to know my life,
blaze of the rose-tree, wheat of the breeze:
and it follows that I am, because you are:
it follows from `you are', that I am, and we:
and, because of love, you will, I will,
We will, come to be.

- Pablo Neruda

A Riddle Song

THAT which eludes this verse and any verse,
Unheard by sharpest ear, unform'd in clearest eye or cunningest min
d, Nor lore nor fame, nor happiness nor wealth,
And yet the pulse of every heart and life throughout the world
Which you and I and all pursuing ever ever miss,
Open but still a secret, the real of the real, an illusion,
Costless, vouchsafed to each, yet never man the owner,
Which poets vainly seek to put in rhyme, historians in prose,
Which sculptor never chisel'd yet, nor painter painted,
Which vocalist never sung, nor orator nor actor ever utter'd,
Invoking here and now I challenge for my song.

Indifferently, 'mid public, private haunts, in solitude,
Behind the mountain and the wood,
Companion of the city's busiest streets, through the assemblage,
It and its radiations constantly glide.

In looks of fair unconscious babes,
Or strangely in the coffin'd dead,
Or show of breaking dawn or stars by night,
As some dissolving delicate film of dreams,
Hiding yet lingering.

Two little breaths of words comprising it.
Two words, yet all from first to last comprised in it.

How ardently for it!
How many ships have sail'd and sunk for it!
How many travelers started from their homes and ne'er return'd!
How much of genius boldly staked and lost for it!
What countless stores of beauty, love, ventur'd for it!
How all superbest deeds since Time began are traceable to it--and
shall be to the end!
How all heroic martyrdoms to it!
How, justified by it, the horrors, evils, battles of the earth!
How the bright fascinating lambent flames of it, in every age and
land, have drawn men's eyes,
Rich as a sunset on the Norway coast, the sky, the islands, and the
Or midnight's silent glowing northern lights unreachable.

Haply God's riddle it, so vague and yet so certain,
The soul for it, and all the visible universe for it,
And heaven at last for it.

- Walt Whitman

A Brave and Startling Truth

We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

If we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls.

Love costs all we are and will ever be.
Yet it is only love which sets us free.
A Brave and Startling Truth.

It is possible and imperative that we discover
A brave and startling truth.

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
And without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonders of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

- Maya Angelou

Again and Again

Again and again, however we know the landscape of love
and the little churchyard there, with its sorrowing names,
and the frighteningly silent abyss into which the others
fall: again and again the two of us walk out together
under the ancient trees, lie down again and again
among the flowers, face to face with the sky.

- Rainer Maria Rilke

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4504 From: Mark Date: 2012-02-06
Subject: #4504 - Sunday, February 5, 2012
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4504, Sunday, February 5, 2012

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Others are my main concern. When I notice something of mine, I steal it and give it to others.

- Shantideva, posted to DailyDharma

Whatever pain you feel, take it in, wishing for all beings to be free of it. Whatever pleasure you feel, send it out to others. In this way, our personal problems and delights become a stepping-stone for understanding the suffering and happiness of all beings.

- Pema Chodron, from Always Maintain a Joyful Mind, posted to DailyDharma

Hold the sadness and pain of samsara in your heart and at the same time the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. Then the warrior can make a proper cup of tea.

- ChГѓВΆgyam Trungpa

Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Each Note

Advice doesn't help lovers!
They're not the kind of mountain stream
you can build a dam across.

An intellectual doesn't know
what the drunk is feeling!

Don't try to figure
what those lost inside love
will do next!

Someone in charge would give up all his power,
if he caught one whiff of the wine-musk
from the room where the lovers
are doing who-knows-what!

One of them tries to dig a hole through a mountain.
One flees from academic honors.
One laughs at famous mustaches!

Life freezes if it doesn't get a taste
of this almond cake.

The stars come up spinning
every night, bewildered in love.

They'd grow tired
with that revolving, if they weren't.
They'd say,

"How long do we have to do this!"

God picks up the reed-flute world and blows.
Each note is a need coming through one of us,
a passion, a longing-pain.

Remember the lips
where the wind-breath originated,
and let your note be clear.
Don't try to end it.
Be your note.
I'll show you how it's enough.

Go up on the roof at night
in this city of the soul.

Let everyone climb on their roofs
and sing their notes!

Sing loud!

- Rumi, Ghazal 532, version by Coleman Barks from The Essential Rumi,

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4505 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-02-07
Subject: #4505 - Monday, February 6, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
#4505 - Monday, February 6, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights -В В 
How do we nurture the soul? By revering our own life. By learning
to love it all, not only the joys and the victories, but also the pain
and the struggles.
~ Nathaniel Branden


Happiness is not a matter of intensity...but of balance, rhythm, and
~ Thomas Merton
photo by Eric Chaffee

Picnic, Lightning
It is possible to be struck by a
meteor or a single-engine plane while
reading in a chair at home. Pedestrians
are flattened by safes falling from
rooftops mostly within the panels of
the comics, but still, we know it is
possible, as well as the flash of
summer lightning, the thermos toppling
over, spilling out on the grass.
And we know the message can be
delivered from within. The heart, no
valentine, decides to quit after
lunch, the power shut off like a
switch, or a tiny dark ship is
unmoored into the flow of the body's
rivers, the brain a monastery,
defenseless on the shore. This is
what I think about when I shovel
compost into a wheelbarrow, and when
I fill the long flower boxes, then
press into rows the limp roots of red
impatiens -- the instant hand of Death
always ready to burst forth from the
sleeve of his voluminous cloak. Then
the soil is full of marvels, bits of
leaf like flakes off a fresco,
red-brown pine needles, a beetle quick
to burrow back under the loam. Then
the wheelbarrow is a wilder blue, the
clouds a brighter white, and all I
hear is the rasp of the steel edge
against a round stone, the small
plants singing with lifted faces, and
the click of the sundial as one hour
sweeps into the next.
~ Billy Collins

So the way to understand yourself is not by understanding yourself
objectively or gathering information from various sources. If people
say you are crazy - "Okay, I am crazy!" If people say you are a bad
student, it may be so. "I am a bad student, but I am trying pretty
hard." That is enough. When you sit in that way, you accept
yourself and accept everything together with yourself. When you
are involved in various silly problems, you sit with the problem you
have. This is you at that time. When you try to get out of your
problems, that is already wrong practice.
~ Shinryu Suzuki

I see life as a ballet of the soul. In spite of crisis, boredom, ennui,
tragedy, grace of the soul is being danced across the ages. It is an
eternal rhythm that is subtly experienced. Believe it or not, this
dance is not done by anyone that we know ourselves to be. It is the
part of us that is immanent and transcendent. It knows nothing of
sweat or toil. It’s only job is to express what IT is. And what it is is
grace beyond measure.
We sit at the table drinking coffee and ruing what we did or didn’t
do. We go to sleep and wake with aching heads and remember
bad dreams. We don’t know how we got here or when we will
leave. And the dance is happening. We work and rest and act the
part we have been given to play. And the dance changes step and
rhythm and lifts us up over the fog and lets us see the stars.
And when the dance needs a partner it finds one. And then it may
leave that partner at the altar or by some violent act. And we
denounce the dance. Indeed the mystery of the dance is that it is
anonymous. No one there can claim to be anything but a dancer of
what is the dance of life. And all too soon a silence falls upon the
floor. And then it is that the dance begins on another stage in
another universe. We sigh and go on. And then once again we find
ourselves taken up by a new rhythm. And the dance finds us a new
partner. And so it goes.
Vicki Woodyard
author, LIFE WITH A HOLE IN IT: That's How The Light Gets in

Final Reckonings, a Tuneful Fedora and Forgiveness

Leonard Cohen Reckons With God in 'Old Ideas'
www.nytimes.comВ  EXCERPTS:
Leonard Cohen, at 77, says mortality is very much on his mind and
is reflected in many songs on his new album, "Old Ideas."
Where was he when the album’s opening song, "Going Home,"
was written? "In trouble," he replied.
Asked to analyze the album, he said, "It's probably not a good idea
to do an autopsy on a living thing."
Afterward, in a dressing room, Mr. Cohen said mortality was very
much on his mind and in his songs. "I think it's in all of them now,"
he said. "I think it manifests itself as an unwillingness to screw
around, and an unwillingness to be heavy-handed. You don’t want
to do that, because I think there’s something about cheerfulness
and dignity that are indicated."В  (...)
In many of the songs, true to ancient traditions of mystical poetry,
the singer could be speaking to a lover or to God. The lyrics often
build associations around a repeated phrase. In "Amen" — a slow
shuffle with a banjo tickling at its fringes — Mr. Cohen sings, "Tell
me again/When I’ve been to the river/And I’ve taken the edge off
my thirst/Tell me again/We’re alone and I’m listening/I’m listening
so hard that it hurts." (...)
Mr. Cohen didn’t mention retirement. He said he had written, but
not recorded, enough songs for another album. As some songs on
"Old Ideas" clearly suggest, he has been listening extensively to the
blues: music that grapples, tersely and eloquently, with "loss and
death," he said. Reflecting on his deadline, he summoned a
Memphis Slim song: "When it all comes down,' he said. "You’ve
got to go back to Mother Earth."

Nonduality Network is the home of honest, thoughtful discussion
about the mystery of life.
A growing community sharing the timeless message of Nonduality
(or Advaita), we welcome a variety of speakers and authors who
clearly and directly point to this truth. Search for and advertise
meetings in your area, download audio dialogues, and join a
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Group: NDhighlights Message: 4506 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-02-08
Subject: #4506 - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4506 - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights -В 


Orva Schrock is one of those authors that makes me want to write books. I read his stuff and say to myself, "I canВ write like that." Of course I can't. At least not without great efforts. Featured is an Amazon review of Orva's new book, Worthless Boy: A Memoir.

I've also included my review of his first book, Grandpa's Notebooks: Evolution of an Amish Soul.

If you've read Grandpa's Notebooks, you'll want to read Worthless Boy in order to round out your connection with Orva.


Worthless Boy: A Memoir, by Orva Schrock

Worthless Boy - But Not a Worthless Story, February 4, 2012

Reviewed By Shannon L. Yarbrough

This review is from: Worthless Boy: A Memoir (Hardcover)

Imagine being the outsider amongst a dozen siblings. You are the one who is eager to fit in and be a good worker like your older brothers, but you are labeled "worthless" by your father. You yearn for the attention of your mother, but she is too busy raising your younger siblings and attending to the family household.

Imagine being this child in an Amish household, eager for the attention that a young blossoming mind deserves, but lost in a world of religious stronghold and misunderstanding.

This was the childhood of Orva Schrock, and this book, Worthless Boy, is his memoir. Divided into 2 parts consisting of just seven chapters over 81 pages, Schrock wastes not a word painting a picture of a troubled and disturbed childhood, a boy yearning for the attention of his parents but getting most persecution instead.

The book begins with this sentence: I was born as fuel for hell, or so was the deepest metaphysical understanding I was capable of.

Part 1 of the book begins when Orva is three and traces several concrete moments throughout his childhood and teen years. He longed for the attention of his father, but got mostly verbal and physical abuse which resulted in quite a bit of mental anguish which led to Orva becoming quite the young rowdy boy who acts out for attention.

Add to this the "hardcore" religious beliefs of his Amish upbringing and the move of his large family for better work to keep the family fed. Part 1 ends at his ninth grade year of school, which was also the end of his formal education.

Part 2 is a quick glimpse into the 50 years that have passed as Orva reflects on the death of his father, and spends one whole chapter quoting from various books he has read and which made him a stronger man.

Though the book is very heart wrenching, and impeccably polished when it comes to editing and formatting, it is more of a long essay and carries quite a hefty price for a book that is under 100 pages and hard cover. But, our stories are not always full of detail with long drawn out pictures. Such is the joy of self-publishing, and this is Orva's story.



Grandpa's Notebooks: Evolution of an Amish Soul, by Orva Schrock

Review by Jerry Katz, written in 2007:

Orva Schrock lives on "5 mostly wooded acres in northern Indiana." He claims these as his interests: Wife and kids, grandkids, friends, peace, solitude, Gaia; the earth and mother nature, good books, Jnana yoga, Advaita Vedanta, nondualism, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi..."What better life than this? Sitting quietly by my window, i watch the leaves fall and the flowers bloom as the seasons come and go".-Seccho-

Grandpa's Notebooks: The Evolution of an Amish Soul, is dedicated to the author's grandchildren. The book is a gift to them. The book is also written in a way that is clearly pleasing to the author: you can tell by the way it is freely but logically constructed. There is no sense of
imitation. Orva is writing and building a book in the way that pleases himself.

These are two important qualities for a book or creative work to possess: that it be a gift and that it be pleasing to the author or artist. Grandpa's Notebooks contains these two elements. Of course there are other qualities necessary for a successful work. In the case of a book, it has to be well written. This book is written plainly, consistently, coherently, literary by virtue of not trying to be literary.

Thus the book "breathes," vibrates with life, feels real and authentic, and allows the inner light of the author to shine through. These elements of gifting and self-pleasing -- and you need to have both happening -- exist in the book as a whole and within each chapter. Some chapters may be gifts to God, to an unknown reader, to a specific email recipient, to people interested in nondual spirituality. Orva probably has his own inner sense of what this gifting is.

Also, this book is beautifully designed and printed on high quality paper and in hardback. The book is a pleasure to hold, read, and page through. It is a very high quality publication, which goes along with good gift giving.

The purpose of this book, then, is to present a gift.What is being given? The author is giving himself fully, fully enough to offer confessions of Truth. Truth can't be given; it can be confessed:

"I did survive and get away from my oppressive home of origin. I did have wonderful children to love. I did find an interesting and successful career in business. A great light did finally dawn on me. Every worry was for naught, because there was always a greater hand guiding mine. A greater purpose seemed to surge ahead of my own feeble reasoning and efforts."

"The Self doesn't know the truth. It IS the truth. And 'life' goes on as it should, in spite of our efforts and not because of them."

This book ends with the wordless knowing of love, being, acceptance, gratitude. It begins and carries through with themes of questioning, doubt, insight, loss of insight, pain, suffering, struggle, pleading to God. This is a human story, autobiographical, told in short chapters of no more than a page or so. The chapters are poems, short stories, short essays about his life and family, book reviews, emails, some quotation of other authors.

Schrock takes the point of view of ongoing inquiry into life itself at every point of his life. In a 1973 journal entry, he wrote: "We need to search within for truth, and follow the path wherever it leads. If the search is sincere, honest, and a work of love, we can only ascend." The book proceeds chronologically. Schrock reveals a hard life built on the fractured foundation of physical and mental abuse by his Bible thumping preacher father. The book ends in 2004. We see that the statement above holds up throughout the book. Ultimately, Schrock can say, "Not only am 'I' not a damned sinner destined for hell but instead I am God in disguise playing out a dream in maya."

At its core, nondual literature consists of confessions of the nature of reality as nondual. These take the forms of scripture from major traditions, scriptural-like writings by legendary and great writers, transcribed talks of recognized saints, Masters, gurus, teachers; popular writings by people such as Alan Watts, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, and several others; and semi-popular or little known writings by so-called ordinary people who take advantage of available publication and marketing opportunities. Of course these "ordinary" people are no less enlightened or self-realized than anyone who composed scriptural texts. However, they may not have the extremely rare gift to write stuff that will last a thousand years. Then again, maybe they do. Who knows?

While the confession of the nature of nondual reality is the core of the genre, there are other kinds of writings that serve to define the genre. At some point these other forms of nondual literature will often include writings which are confessional: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, novels, autobiography, how to, book reviews, emails, journals and notebooks and blogs, essays, articles, question and answer books, anthologies. That is, every form of the written word finds its way into the genre of nondual literature. However, the hallmark of nondual literature is the confession of the nature of reality as nondual.

We can also describe nondual literature in terms of how extreme it is. Neo-Advaita is perhaps the most extreme teaching, which says you don't exist and there is nothing you can do. It is a zero-point teaching. What I have said about Neo-Advaita is not and cannot be what it is, because it is nothing. Less extreme teachings within nondual literature speak of directly experiencing reality. They may say there is nothing you can do to directly experience reality other than see it. Other teachings expressed in nondual literature advise practice, surrender to God, meditation, awareness of various levels of consciousness. I have tried to give a broad sense of the genre of nondual literature.

Where does Orva Schrock's book fit in? As demonstrated above, the book contains the hallmark of nondual literature: confession of the nature of reality as nondual. The book as a whole is autobiographical, showing the evolution of the author's awareness of truth. Most interestingly, the author uses a variety of literary forms, noted above, to achieve wholeness. Because of the overall quality of the book and the mix of literary forms, this book is unique in the genre of nondual literature. That makes this book important and a must to own.

During my ten year online involvement in nonduality, I have tried to make the teaching of nonduality accessible and encourage people to be active participants within that process. I would like to encourage people to write books. Anyone who has written some poetry, emails, book reviews, a story here and there, an article, an essay, can construct a book. It is not easy! It's a very hard thing to do. You have to compile your works and make sense of them, as Orva has done. You have to put some money into the endeavor. You have to sell the book knowing you may never break even.

Orva's book is important because it serves as a model for what others can do. The elements of a book like Orva's get written in the course of living and spending time online, writing about spiritual life, living life, figuring things out, seeing the truth and confessing it over and over again in a unique way.

Orva Schrock has made a significant contribution to the culture of nonduality. This book is powerful and inspiring reading. If you have a lot of writings and don't know what to do with them but you feel they could be made into a book, get this book to inspire and guide you.

There are two essential teachings within this book that are not separate from the spiritual or nondual: (1) make your writing a gift -- a gift to God, perhaps -- and (2) write your book so that you are pleased.

A couple of things to mention:

I think my favorite writings in this book are the chapters where Orva talks about his job and the workplace. I wish there was more. I hope Orva writes another book.

This book has two excellent appendices. One is a 4-page reprint from the book, Seven Words That Can Change the World, A New Understanding of Sacredness, by Joseph R. Simonetta. It is a stunning cosmological statement which finishes off the book nicely. The second appendix is a solid list of 25 recommended books for further reading. There is also a helpful index, which most books in the genre lack. As well, the Table of Contents is over 5 pages long and serves as its own readable chapter.


I like Orva's voice. He's a regular guy talking about a rare knowledge, a rare process of development. Reading the book, it sounds like he's barbequeing while talking to you. He has the easy, everything's-under-control voice, even at times when the coals are too hot, too cold, the kids are teasing the dog, the mosquitos are thick, or -- God forbid -- your veggie burger has fallen through the grating. There's a sense of calm and real-ness throughout this book.

Grandpa's Notebooks: The Evolution of an Amish Soul is a successful work. Orva Schrock accomplished what he intended: to create a gift for his grandchildren. On many levels, it is a gift for the world.

Jerry Katz


Group: NDhighlights Message: 4507 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-02-08
Subject: #4507 - Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4507 - Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights -В 



Bulleh Shah said in Punjabi, what our prophet had said in Arabic, that everybody is equal, regardless of caste, color, religion, nationality, economic status, gender, ancestry etc. There are no chosen people, no people superior just because they are the children of a great man or different God. Bullah raised the status of a dancing girl? to that of the richest lady. Bullah should be taught in every school of Pakistan , India and all other countries (after proper translation).



Scott Kiloby
What does it mean to really feel and let the heart open?В  During talks and sessions, I sometimes hear people say,В  "I don't want to feel.В  I feel too much already.В  That's been the problem my whole life."В  But what are they really saying?В  Does FEELING mean thinking about feelings, thinking about one's story...or is it something much more basic?В В  I found that minds tend to overcompensate.В  Overcompensation is a way of deflecting away from actually feeling emotional energy in the body directly.В  I did this deflecting in many ways, through drugs, finding someone to cover up the pain in relationship, overintellectualizing life, going back into story, and relying on past, memorizes spiritual phrases.В  What a cover up job all of that is.В 
В For me, to really feel means to stop overcompensating, even if only for a brief moment, and to actually face the raw energy arising.В  Once the overcompensation is put aside, long enough, for the energy within to arise freely, without strategizing to get it to go away, the heart can't help but open.В  It has no more protections.В  This is what the Unfindable Inquiry is designed to reveal in the most basic sense. If you notice, each time you think a thought is you, feelings are arising.В  This is why the invitation is always to sit with the pain, without trying to overcompensate in the usual, habitual ways.В  You don't have to use the unfindable inquiry.В  If you can allow thoughts to rest long enough to do nothing with emotions except let them arise freely, THAT'S it.В  But if you can't do that, there may be some overcompensating happening.В  And that's where the UI comes in.В  It clears away thoughts long enough to actually feel pain that has been there for a long time, but protected by the myriad of ways the mind tries to escape.В  And seeking, of course, is one of the number one ways.

Vincent Androsiglio
Whatever happens is meant to Be.You may need what you get. Whatever happens can't be otherwise. All is a Gift and All is Always Now. True Joy does not depend upon what happens. This is my passion:to realize this reality-Trust in the Interconnected Oneness of Life.
I had a Psychotherapy practice in NY-NJ for 25 years. Taught psychiatrists Family Systems theory and therapy at New York Medical College., as Clinical Professor of Psychiatry. Received "Professor of the Year Award."
Published Family therapy articles in numerous national magazines and newspapers --Parents , Glamour, syndicated newspapers.TV talk show interviews
Developed the Test for Pursuing- Distancing Scale for couples. Published in Journal of Personality Assessment. It was my Phd dissertation.
Faculty: Postgraduate Center for Mental Health,NYC; Postgraduate Family institute, New Rochelle, NY, affl., Einstein Medical school, Doctoral program in Clinical Psy, Fairleigh, Dickinson Univ.
Now I teach " Using Meditation to Work with Emotions" at International Academy of Interfaith Studies.
I was a monk at St. Lawrence Monastery in New York for seven years.
I have lived in Nepal for 6 years writing about Nepali culture for newspapers.Worked there with Drug Addicts trying to introduce Family Therapy ( not so successfully) and with victims of torture during the war introducing Dream work
I lived in Thailand for two years , and did meditation retreats at Suan Mokkha Buddhist Monastery for the last ten years.
I have just completed my first Book: A How To/ Spiritual Memoir "Butterfly on the Wrist: Life is out to Heal Us" It will be published Oct. , 2011. Available on
From his Wall:
Vincent Androsiglio
The most serious mental disorder in our society is that we actually feel comfortable ( have no anxiety) with some people starving while others have more than they need.
Like · · Share · Sunday at 2:14pm ·
В В В  18 people like this.
В В В В В В В  Vida Cropas Marchildon
В В В В В В В  Yes... We are secondary psychopaths who need to realize that starvation, for the most part, is man-made...Why are countries that produce: coffee, tea, cocoa, spices, exotic fruit, rice, cotton, rubber, gold, diamonds, silver etc. "poor"??...Why is child slave labour -by OUR manufacturers- still tolerated? Why do we still vote for presidents who do not hesitate to launch million dollar missiles -each- to murder civilians in the name of "democracy"?...The world is insane and we are all -yes I am including myself- enablers.
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4508 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-02-09
Subject: #4508 - Thursday, February 9, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4508 - Thursday, February 9, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nonduality Highlights -В В 
"To love is to recognize yourself in another."
~ Eckhart Tolle

A stupid or simple person is always ready to see
the wrong in another and ready to form an opinion
and to judge. But you will find a wise person
expressing his opinion of others quite differently,
always trying to tolerate and always trying to forgive
still more. The present is the reflection of the past,
and the future will be the echo of the present; this
saying will always prove true.
~В Hazrat Inayat Khan
via Along The Way

What we speak becomes the house we live in.
~ Hafiz

Make peace with the universe.
Take joy in it.
It will turn to gold.
Resurrection will be now.
Every moment
a new beauty.
~ Rumi

photo by Alan Larus
There Is An Opening
Several years have passed in this way, not doing anything but
coping with caregiving and writing as I can find time. I am no
less sorrowful about my husband’s diagnosis but I have
incorporated it into my life. It is a life that belongs fully to me.
If I grieve, it is my grief. Growth is a concentric thing and
following the labyrinth of my life is a good thing for me to do.
Living a spiritual life requires a lot of admitting that one is not
living a spiritual life. Peter Matthiessen, in Nine-Headed
Dragon River, says this of Dogen, Having met with his own
Buddha-nature, Dogen seems to have become less judgmental,
less demanding. Asked what he had learned abroad, he said,
“Not much except a tender spirit.”
The tender spirit can only be a witness to what is not tender, is
yet insensitive and hypocritical. When I catch myself
wondering what these ancient Zen masters have to do with me, I
am just being tough on myself once again. Buddha-nature
knows this.
“In my visits to my teacher I noticed
a change many years ago.
Her house has always been silent.
Now the silence began to rip every illusion apart.”
(Alan Larus)
Copyright © 2010 Vicki Woodyard
Her book, "LIFE WITH A HOLE IN IT, That's How the Light Gets In,"В is available at and on

I vow to be healed by the next person I meet.
I will bathe in the radiance of humanity.
In the pathless way, the sign of progress is that we're not as
perfect as we were yesterday. Make sacraments of your
imperfections. Turn your wounds into eyes.
"When the bud breaks, it becomes a flower.
When the heart breaks it becomes divine."
~ Shri Shri
To be a spiritual warrior, one must have a broken heart; without a
broken heart and the sense of tenderness and vulnerability, your
warriorship is untrustworthy.
~ ChГѓВΆgyam Trungpa
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4509 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-02-10
Subject: #4509 - Friday, February 10, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4509 - Friday, February 10, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights -В 


Wayne Ferguson sent the following upon seeing the blurb about Bullah Shah in issue 4507:
There's a nice story of Bullah Shah about 2/3 down the page on this site:


In the life of Bullah Shah, the great saint of Punjab, one reads a most instructive account of his early training when he was sent to school with boys of his own age. The teacher taught him Alif, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. The other boys in his class finished the whole alphabet while he was mastering the same letter. When weeks had passed, and the teacher saw that the child did not advance any further than the first letter Alif, he thought that he must be deficient and sent him home to his parents, saying, 'Your boy is deficient, I cannot teach him.'

The parents did all in their power for him, placing him under the tuition of various teachers, but he made no progress. They were disappointed, and the boy in the end escaped from home, so that he should no longer be a burden to his own people. He then lived in the forest and saw the manifestation of Alif which has taken form in the forest as the grass, the leaf, the tree, branch, fruit, and flower; and the same Alif was manifested as the mountain and hill, the stones and rocks. He witnessed the same as a germ, insect, bird and beast, and the same Alif in himself and others. He thought of one, saw one, felt one, realized one, and none else besides.

After mastering this lesson thoroughly he returned to pay his respects to his old teacher who had expelled him from school. The teacher, absorbed in the vision of variety, had long ago forgotten him; but Bullah Shah could not forget his old teacher who had taught him his first and most inspiring lesson which had occupied almost all his life. He bowed most humbly before the teacher and said, 'I have prepared the lesson you so kindly taught me; will you teach me anything more there may be to learn?' The teacher laughed at him and thought to himself, 'After all this time this simpleton has remembered me.' Bullah Shah asked permission to write the lesson, and the teacher replied in jest, 'Write on this wall.' He then made the sign of Alif in the wall, and it [the wall] divided into two parts [making the sign of Alif]. The teacher was astounded at this wonderful miracle and said, 'Thou art my teacher! That which thou hast learnt in the one letter Alif, I have not been able to master with all my learning,' and Bullah Shah sang this song:

Oh! friend now quit thy learning,
One Alif is all thou dost need.
By learning thou hast loaded my mind,
With books thou hast filled up thy room.
But the true knowledge was lost by pursuing the false,
So quit now, oh friend, the pursuit of thy learning.

Every form seems to be derived from another, all figures being derived from Alif which is originally derived from a dot and represents zero, nothingness 2. It is that nothingness which creates the first form Alif. It is natural for everyone when writing to make a dot as soon as the pen touches the paper, and the letters forming the words hide the origin. In like manner the origin of the One Being is hidden in His manifestation. That is why Allah, whose name comes from Alif, is hidden under His own manifestation. The same form of Alif is the figure one in English, and in both aspects this form reveals its meaning. This meaning in its various forms is seen in all aspects of nature. As Omar Khayyam says.

A hair perhaps divides the false and true;
Yes, and a single Alif were the clue,

Could you but find it – to the treasure house,
And, peradventure, to the Master too.

My soul said, 'I desire the mystic knowledge:
Teach me if it be in thy power.'

I said, 'Alif.' She answered, 'Say no more;
If one is at home, a single letter is enough.'

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