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Group: NDhighlights Message: 4760 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-11-16
Subject: #4760 - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee


#4760 -В Thursday, November 15, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
В 
В 
В 
The heart is comforted by true words,
just as a thirsty man is comforted by water.
В 
~ Rumi
В 
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
via Along The Way

В 

В 
В 
Bright but hidden, the Self dwells in the heart.
Everything that moves, breathes, opens and closes, lives in the Self.
This is the source of Love, and may be known through Love, but not through
thought alone.
В 
~ Mundaka Upanishad
В 

В 
Self is the indweller of all Beings,
so love of others is Love of Self, your Self.
Self is the greatest Love and the dearest of all lovers.
Love is the attraction of Self to Self in Self.
There is nothing besides this Love, this source of Joy.
See your own beauty and you are this Indweller, this Love
and the beauty itself.
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В 
~ Papaji
В 

В 
"Innately, another form of wisdom--gnosis, transcendence, and wise
unselfishness--is within us all. The ultimate form of wisdom is not something we
do; it is our true nature and being. It isn't just knowledge, but it is more like
our luminous pure authentic inner being. Can we tune into that? Can we trust
that? That awareness is transcendental wisdom. We may or may not have a
formal religious or spiritual affiliation. Most religious groups have only been
around a few thousand years. But being itself--that mystical sacrament, that
mysterious and sacred space, or infinite expanse of spirit--has been around much
longer. Primordial being is what we call it in the Dzogchen tradition."
В 
~ Lama Surya Das
В 
From "Awakening the Buddha Within," published by Broadway Books.
В 

В 

One is all; all are one.
When you realize this,
what reason for holiness or wisdom?
В 
Xinxin Ming
В 

В 
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them,
whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.
They do not preach learning and precepts,
they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.
В 
~ Hermann HesseВ 
by Alan Larus
В 

В 
"We could learn to stop when the sun goes down and when the sun comes up. We
could learn to listen to the wind; we could learn to notice that itÂ’s raining or
snowing or hailing or calm. We could reconnect with the weather that is ourselves,
and we could realize that itÂ’s sad. The sadder it is, and the vaster it is, the more
our heart opens. We can stop thinking that good practice is when itÂ’s smooth and
calm, and bad practice is when itÂ’s rough and dark. If we can hold it all in our
hearts, then we can make a proper cup of tea."
В 
~ Pema Chodron
В 
by Alan Larus

В 


Ride on love and donÂ’t worry about the road!
Because the steed of love has the smoothest ride.
В 
~ Rumi
В 
В 


It is LOVE
that holds everything together,
and it is the everything also.
В 
~ Rumi
В 
В 
В 
В 

В 
Meeting the Light Completely
В 

Even the long-beloved
was once
an unrecognized stranger.
В 
Just so,
the chipped lip
of a blue-glazed cup,
blown field
of a yellow curtain,
might also,
flooding and falling,
ruin your heart.
В 
A table painted with roses.
An empty clothesline.
В 
Each time,
the found world surprises—
that is its nature.
В 
And then
what is said by all lovers:
"What fools we were, not to have seen."
В 
by Jane Hirshfield,
from The October Palace. © Harper Perennial, 1994.
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4761 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-11-17
Subject: #4761 - Friday, November 16, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4761 - Friday, November 16, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В 
В 
В 

В 
Ramesam Vemuri writes:
В 
Did you see this agony and ecstasy of 'seeking' -- such a beautiful piece of Advaita, but the authoress (a Fellow Canadian?) seems to be blissfully not knowing!
В 
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/05/big-spiders/
В 
NOVEMBER 5, 2012,В 7:00 AM

Big Spiders

ByВ MARGIT HESTHAMMAR

I've been feeling freshly conscious of an aspect of being human that's so constant and fundamental it seems weird to me that it isn't a subject of everyday conversation. It's simply this: that at the background of all my activities and interactions, behind all the containers I pour myself into from moment to moment, is my awareness of the boundless ocean of awareness itself.

I feel it as an amoeba-like latency, an unruly sea of infinite possibility, lurking in the back room - exciting, ominous, darkly beckoning. It conjures up the image Jonathan Franzen uses in his novel "The Corrections" of an impending thunderstorm: "big spiders in a little jar." Only the jar in this case is infinitely vast, the spiders correspondingly enormous. They huddle in the back room, waiting for the lid to come off. Waiting to leak or seep or sneak through some hidden cat-door and flood the room I live in.

With it is the chronic background anxiety that if I don't pour myself into this or that (read my book, clean the house, or at the very least think a bunch of thoughts), I'll fall into this ocean of shapelessness and lose all sense of definition. I'll be ejected from the safe confines of my predictable foreground world, where all the familiar experiences live: the sensations and tastes and textures that confirm my sense of who I am.

I live in this foreground world. I depend on it for my orientation, my ability to navigate through a day. It supports my belief that I am a separate, cohesive individual.

But I'm haunted by the knowledge that foreground can't exist without background, any more than weather can exist without sky. The existence of the one necessarily implies the existence of the other. Despite this, I restrict my attention to the foreground. I keep my settings on "busy."

Still, I'm haunted by implications. Something whispers that I'm only living half a life. And the half I'm living is coming way too fast. I'm on the down escalator trying to run up, but no matter how fast I run, I stay in the same spot - always a little agitated, a little lost, a little hungry.

What to do? The logical solution would be to check out the background. Be adventurous, explore this vastness that breathes so continually down my neck.

Easily said. Unhappily, when I do stray, accidentally or intentionally, into this formless background, I recall all too quickly what the foreground commotion is doing for me.

~ ~ ~

Read the rest of the article here:

В 

(Anxiety welcomes submissions atВ [email protected]. Unfortunately, we can only notify writers whose articles have been accepted for publication.)

Margit Hesthammar is a writer, career advisor and teacher in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is the author of the forthcoming book, "Choosing Work (Before Work Chooses You)."


Group: NDhighlights Message: 4762 From: Mark Date: 2012-11-19
Subject: #4762 - Sunday, November 18, 2012
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm

Nonduality Highlights Issue #4762, Sunday, November 18, 2012





Is humanity ready for a transformation of consciousness, an inner flowering so radical and profound that compared to it the flowering of plants, no matter how beautiful, is only a pale reflection?

Can human beings lose the density of their conditioned mind structures and become like crystals or precious stones, so to speak, transparent to the light of consciousness?

Can they defy the gravitational pull of materialism and materiality and rise above identification with form that keeps the ego in place and condemns them to imprisonment within their own personality?

The possibility of such a transformation has been the central message of the great wisdom teachings of humankind. The messengers - Buddha, Jesus, and others, not all of them known - were humanity's early flowers.

They were precursors, rare and precious beings. A widespread flowering was not yet possible at that time, and their message became largely misunderstood and often greatly distorted. It certainly did not transform human behavior, except in a small minority of people.

Is humanity more ready now than at the time of those early teachers? Why should this be so? What can you do, if anything, to bring about or accelerate this inner shift? What is it that characterizes the old egoic state of consciousness, and by what signs is the new emerging consciousness recognized?

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth, posted to The_Now2




The Question of Being

Above the entrance to the Oracle at Delphi were written the words, "Know Thyself." Jesus came along and added a sense of urgency and consequence to the ancient idea when he said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

What Jesus is saying is that spirituality is serious business, with serious consequences. Your life hangs precariously in the balance, teetering between a state of unconscious sleepwalking and eyes-wide-open spiritual enlightenment. The fact that most people do not see life this way testifies to how deeply asleep and in denial they truly are.

Within each of our forms lies the existential mystery of being. Apart from one's physical appearance, personality, gender, history, occupation, hopes and dreams, comings and goings, there lies an eerie silence, an abyss of stillness charged with an etheric presence. For all of our anxious business and obsession with triviality, we cannot completely deny this phantasmal essence at our core. And yet we do everything we can to avoid its stillness, its silence, its utter emptiness and intimate embrace.

To remain unconscious of being is to be trapped within an ego-driven wasteland of conflict, strife, and fear that only seems customary because we have been brainwashed into a state of suspended disbelief where a shocking amount of hate, dishonesty, ignorance, and greed are viewed as normal and sane. But it is not sane, not even close to being sane. Nor is it based in reality. In fact, nothing could be less real than what we human beings call reality.

By clinging to the mind in the form of memory and thought, we are held captive by the movement of our conditioned thinking and imagination, all the while believing that we are perfectly rational and sane. We therefore continue to justify the reality of what causes us, as well as others, immeasurable amounts of pain and suffering.

Deep down we all suspect that something is very wrong with the way we perceive life but we try very, very hard not to notice it. And the way we remain blind to our frightful condition is through an obsessive and pathological denial of being - as if some dreadful fate would overcome us if we were to face the pure light of truth and lay bare our fearful clinging to illusion.

The question of being is everything. Nothing could be more important or consequential - nothing where the stakes run so high. To remain unconscious of being is to remain asleep to our own reality and therefore asleep to reality at large. The choice is simple: awaken to being or sleep an endless sleep.

- Adyashanti



Group: NDhighlights Message: 4763 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-11-20
Subject: #4763 - Monday, November 19, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4763 -В Monday, November 19, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
В 
В 
В 
Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns
it calls me on and on across the universe.В 
В 
~ John Lennon
В 
В 

В 
This issue is in memory of my precious dog, Willow, who passed quietly in her
sleep at the foot of my bed early Saturday morning. She was pure sweetness and
love every moment of her life. She welcomed the next door neighbor children
home from school every day. Willow made nightly calls on another neighbor after
her dog died and only stopped a year later when she got a new puppy. She just
knew such things, she was that sensitive.They all came byВ here to say tearful
goodbyes on her last day Friday.В 
В 
Willow naturally had good manners and looked for ways to be helpful. When sheВ 
noticed I didn't want the cat clawing at my desk chair, she would rise and putВ 
herself between the cat and my chair, every time, how ever many times it wasВ 
needed, but gently. Nothing pleased her more than our walks down the hillВ to the
garden. Well maybe a dip in the pond. Or a car ride to get ice creamВ  cones, she
liked vanilla best. Just to be with us was her happiness. There wasВ  never a trace
of agression in her, she chased the deer just to the end of ourВ yard, never on
into the woods. Willow even loved all my cats and put up with theВ one who liked
to lick her ears. Actually, we only found that Moses cat as a lostВ kitten because
Willow heard his faint cries in the ditch on our walk. I think it was aВ happy life
for her. One can say a lot about loving animals in general, butВ this particular
being will live forever in my heart.В 
В 
В 
Willow, 2004- 2012


В 
No Sense of Difference
by Ramana Maharshi
В 
D.: Does one who has realized the Self lose the sense of Г‚вЂ˜IÂ’?
В 
R.: Absolutely.
В 
D.: Then there is not difference between yourself and myself, that man over there, my servant. Are all the same?
В 
R.: All are the same, including those monkeys.
В 
D.: But the monkeys are not people. Are they not different?
В 
R.: They are exactly the same as people. All are the same in One Consciousness.
В 
В 

В 
"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring-- it was peace."
В 
~ Milan Kundera
В 
Puppy Willow
В 
"Sometimes; said Pooh, the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
В 
~ A.A. MilneВ 
В 

В 
If you have men who will exclude any of GodÂ’s creatures from the shelter of
compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow
men.В 
В 
~ Saint Francis of AssisiВ 
В 

В 
Love animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled.
Do not trouble their joy, don't harrass them, don't deprive them of their
happiness, don't work against God's intent. Man, do not pride yourself on
superiority to animals; they are without sin, and you, with your greatness, defile
the earth by your appearance on it, and leave the traces of your foulness after
you - alas, it is true of almost every one of us!
В 
~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
(1821-1881)

В 
В 
В 
В 

He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear
above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told
me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests
against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he
shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with
worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to
forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is
joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags.
Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty
itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret
comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I
was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my
side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised
to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will -
as I always have. He is just my dog.
В 
~ Gene Hill
В 
В 
В 
В 
В 

В 
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4764 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-11-20
Subject: #4764 - Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4764 - Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В 
В 
В 

В 
В 
В 
Wayne Ferguson sends the link for this very beautiful poem/film:
В 
В 
I think if you watch this you'll agree it's enough for any Highlights issue.
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4765 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-11-21
Subject: #4765 - Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4765 - Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В 
The Nonduality Highlights
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/
В 
В 

В 

Laura Burke
В 

Nonetheless, your hope in reading this blog, was probably that I provide you with some hope.В  Sadly, I think IÂ’ve failed. My story is not of one of hope; it is a story of realizing that life is workable, it is a testament to the brilliance of possibility in the present moment. What does happen when you let go of fear and hope, or at least hold them with some degree of scrutiny, is that you can work with yourself without being caught up in the shame of not meeting your expectations.В  And this does not create laziness.В  Absence of hope and fear is where we stop projecting ourselves into the past and future and can be in the thick of it, where real work, real healing, can happen.В  I had a therapist tell me recently that only in letting go of hoping for something to be different and being with ourselves and our ugliness, our chaos, our true experience of the world, can people expect to improve from mental illness, because ironically, letting go of this desire for escaping our present into the future actually precipitates profound change.В  Right here, right now.В  Change can only happen in the present.В  Some things, itÂ’s best to plan for, but psychological change – IÂ’m afraid that IÂ’ve found it doesnÂ’t work that way. В В So, what does this change process look like, in my case?

Over time, I simply allowed and gently accepted who and where I was, and then in time, after letting go of the self-directed aggression of aspiration, my heart opened, and gradually, it became apparent that more important than my desire to be an artist of significance, was to help others.В  When you start directly working with your sense of equanimity, of unconditional acceptance of yourself, then it just happens.В  Surprise!В  When you part the clouds, there you are, beautifully imperfect and you donÂ’t even care about your own plight, so much anymore because the focus has shifted, and itÂ’s no longer all about you!В  And the world, theyÂ’re not perfect either, but because you no longer judge yourself so harshly, you naturally have compassion for them, thus taking healing to a higher level and moving it into the greater world.В  Suddenly, for me, after years of tumultuous emotions, and a few more of having none at all, I now feel something that is worth opening my heart for.В  And the more you open your heart, the more you leap into the abyss of not knowing how others will react or if you are going to get hurt, but the more alive and human you will become.В 

~ ~ ~

Read Laura Burke's blog:

http://lcburke.wordpress.com/

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4766 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-11-22
Subject: #4766 - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4766 -В Thursday, November 22, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
В 
В 
В 
There is a morning inside you waiting to burst open into light.
В 
~ Rumi
В 

В 
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sentВ 
as a guide from beyond.В 
В 
~ RumiВ 
В 
In Berg en Dal, Gelderland.
by John Devitt
from Nonduality Highlights on Facebook
В 

В 
В 
When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation,
we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.
В 
~В Joseph Campbell
В 

В 
What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?
via Tao & Zen on Facebook
В 

В 
In Engaged Buddhism, Peace Begins with You
By John Malkin
В 
Thich Nhat Hanh, who originated Engaged Buddhism, in an interview with John Malkin.
Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by
Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1967, after playing a central role in the Vietnamese
peace movement.
В 
В 
Excerpt:
В 
John Malkin: Many people have the view that happiness and enlightenment are
things that happen only in the future, and that maybe only a few people are
capable of experiencing them. Enlightenment can seem like a very unattainable
thing.
В 
Thich Nhat Hanh: Happiness and enlightenment are living things and they can
grow. It is possible to feed them every day. If you don't feed your
enlightenment, your enlightenment will die. If you don't feed your happiness,
your happiness will die. If you don't feed your love, your love will die. If you
continue to feed your anger, your hatred, your fear, they will grow. The Buddha
said that nothing can survive without food. That applies to enlightenment, to
happiness, to sorrow, to suffering.
В 
First of all, enlightenment is enlightenment about something. Suppose you are
drinking some tea and you are aware that you are drinking some tea. That kind
of mindfulness of drinking is a form of enlightenment. There have been many
times that you've been drinking but you didn't know it, because you are
absorbed in worries. So mindfulness of drinking is already one kind of
enlightenment.
В 
If you can focus your mind on the act of drinking, then happiness can come while
you have some tea. You are capable of enjoying that tea in the here and now. But
if you don't know how to drink your tea in mindfulness and concentration, you
are not really drinking tea. You are drinking your sorrow, your fear, your
anger—and happiness is not possible.
В 
Insight is also enlightenment. To be aware that you are still alive, that you are
walking on this beautiful planet—that is a form of enlightenment. That does not
come just by itself. You have to be mindful in order to enjoy every step. And
again, you have to preserve that enlightenment in order for happiness to
continue. If you walk like someone who is running, happiness will stop.
В 
Small enlightenments have to succeed each other. And they have to be fed all the
time, in order for a great enlightenment to be possible. So a moment of living in
mindfulness is already a moment of enlightenment. If you train yourself to live in
such a way, happiness and enlightenment will continue to grow.
В 
В 
EntireВ interview may be read at:
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4767 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-11-24
Subject: #4767 - Friday, November 23, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В 
#4767 - Friday, November 23, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В 
В 
В 

В 
В 

With regard to the following text from issue 4758В http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/message/4758В ...

g.. Realise enlightenment is impossible. If you could be unenlightened one moment, and enlightened the next, then enlightenment would be bound by time, would be given substance by its opposite, would be dual, would be some 'thing' to be attained. You do not need to be something more. Forget the need and hope. Awake is what you are, not what you become.

h.. Be willing to notice. Look at the stars, the wind, the romp of birds through the sky. Be willing to be free. Forget the sutras, the wise sayings, the path, the seriousness, the pain, the wars, the relationships, the imagined problems. Forget your objections. Hush for a moment; gently, with arms wide and open, notice the absence of anything but Life.

i.. Be. Realize that only the ego wants to awaken. And be done with it.

Dennis Waite comments...

This sort of stuff is misleading lots of readers. Enlightenment IS in time, IS of the mind, IS something that the ego wants. Of course it is! The point is that who-you-really-are is not the ego! Who-you-really-are is already unlimited, immortal, free etc. The problem is that the mind does not realize this. So it IS something to be attained. But it is not gaining anything at all. On the contrary. It is losing something – self-ignorance! This is why enlightenment is also called Г‚вЂ˜realizationÂ’.В 

В 
В 

В 
В 
Vicki Woodyard
В 
I am steeping myself in introversion today, for it is my natural state. I have come to see silence as the great awakener, the key to embracing the mystery of it all.

I eat a bowl of cereal and drink tea. I know that peace is here and now.

I see the newspaper inside its protective wrapper lying in the driveway. Golden wet leaves are piled softly around it. The news can wait.

The trees are now on autumnal fire and each leaf drifts into rustling dresses that bid me gaze upon them. The old-fashioned rake has gone the way of the Selectric Typewriter. I see leaves now as Post-It notes falling from GodÂ’s Calendar of Days. (The Man has a busy schedule.)

Squirrels are bonking people on the head with nuts, trying to get their attention.

These days people bow their heads, not in prayer, but over their iPhones or androids. Deliver us from inattention. Bonk!

God says, “You were dying from senseless distraction. I sent holy golden leaves, hard-shelled acorns....and still you didnÂ’t get it. Look up. Look up!

And so I do. I look up and cast my gaze around this littered dining table at which I write. God knows I could use a good bonk!

Vicki Woodyard
http://www.amazon.com/LIFE-HOLE-Thats-Wisdom-Awakened/dp/1609102770/ref=la_B0045534S6_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353635100&sr=1-1
В 

В 
В 
David Spero
В 

Questioner: David, what is Bliss? Ramana Maharishi spoke of the “Bliss of the Self.” What did He mean by this term?

David Spero:

Bliss is of the nature of Reality Itself. It is what is Ultimately Real -- not an attribute or discreet experience of the Real.

Given this state of affairs, what Bliss is goes beyond knowledge and thus its meaning is intuited, rather than known.

The satisfaction Bliss gives to the mind is in directly Knowing It -- and thus cannot be said to be either "happy" or "blissful," to a separate mind.

You could say: It's the rock-hard sensation that one is the Unborn Self and that it would simply be impossible for this to be otherwise.

Or, It is Knowing Itself, not what is known.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4768 From: Mark Date: 2012-11-26
Subject: #4768, Sunday, November 25, 2012
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm

Nonduality Highlights Issue #4768, Sunday, November 25, 2012





Nothing stands in the way of your liberation and it can happen here and now, but for your being more interested in other things. And you cannot fight with your interests. You must go with them, see through them and watch them reveal themselves as mere errors of judgments and appreciation.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj from I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to AlongTheWay




Leave your existence to existence, stop caring for yourself so much and let the universe care for you; it is the best mother. There has to be some trust, not just belief, because trust is intimate... something lets go to this invitation to stop holding yourself and let's go to existence instead. The very letting go will be observed in your presence.

- Mooji, posted to AlongTheWay




The purpose of Buddhist practice is not to 'renounce' our families or community, but to shed habits of self-protective clinging that prevent us from loving them more unconditionally, powerfully, enjoyably.

~ Lama John Mandansky, posted to DailyDharma




Nasrudin was telling one of his incredible stories.
"We do not believe you," said the listeners.
"I do not believe myself," said the Mullah,
". . . but try telling that in a story . . ."

- posted to Nasrudin



Group: NDhighlights Message: 4769 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-11-27
Subject: #4769 - Monday, November 26, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4769 -В Monday, November 26, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
В 
В 
В 
If I told you truth about God,
you might think I was an idiot.
В 
If I lied to you about the Beautiful One
you might parade me through the streets shouting,
В 
"This guy is a genius!“
В 
This world has its pants on backwards.
Most carry their values and knowledge in a jug
that has a big hole in it.
В 
Thus having a clear grasp of the situation
if I am asked anything these days
I Just laugh!
В 
~ Kabir
В 

В 
В 
via Tao & Zen on Facebook
В 

В 
He is here to teach You
who We are,
not who He is.
When You worship the Guru,
He has failed.
~ Fred LaMotte
В 

В 
via Tao & Zen on Facebook
В 
В 

В 
via Tao & Zen on Facebook
В 

В 
Bob O'Hearn, a reader and past contributor to NDH, just sent me an article heВ 
wrote about spiritual teachers and sexual misconduct. Unlike someВ  commentary
on these incidents, Bob has spoken to the real source of theseВ  problems - our
conflicted attitudes surrounding sexuality and spirituality. This also raises
questions about how much cultural baggage any religion brings with it.
В 
Bob wrote:
I have recently weighed in on a big scandal in the Zen world involving my old
teacher Joshu Sasaki Roshi, the latest in a steady stream of Roshis and
Rinpoches outed for sexual misconduct. See http://www.sasakiarchive.com/
В 
I wrote an essay that might qualify for your Highlights newsletter, since I feel
it addresses the issue beyond the usual condemnations and calls for more
regulations, and explores the root of this persistent problem:
http://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/zen-and-the-emotionalsexual-contraction/
В 
В 
Zen and the Emotional/Sexual Contraction
Posted on November 23, 2012
В 
On Thanksgiving Week of 2012, one of his former students revealed in an
internet message that Joshu Saskai Roshi, the venerable 105 year old founder
and Zen Master of Rinzai-ji (a prominent Zen Buddhist Community in America),
had been involved in extensive sexual misconduct with his female students. This
particular Japanese monk has been most popularly known as the teacher of the
famous singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. He arrived in California from Japan
half a century ago, and proceeded to establish many Zen Buddhist practice
centers across the country.
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4770 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-11-27
Subject: #4770 - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4770 - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
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В 
"...it is as though [Berit Ellingsen] is inventing a new narrative space all her own, where her deadpan, controlled language meets her concern with identity, metamorphosis, and non-duality. At its best her work attains the spiritual, but in a way that is unexpected and rare." -David Hodges
This issue features a freshly published reviewВ by David Hodges of Berit Ellingsen'sВ new fictional work, Beneath the Liquid Skin.
В 
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There are some odd, alien, repulsive, nightmarish, sly, funny, fabulous, fairytale-ilike images in Berit Ellingsen's new collection of stories, "Beneath the Liquid Skin". This book sets up and detonates little depth-charges of meaning. You can't resist being pulled into Ellingsen's unique and vital imagination.

Ellingsen doesn't practice the art of the short story, she explodes the accepted state of the short story and mines its shards. Each of these stories, some no more than brief vignettes or prose poems, is so different from the others that you feel that Ellingsen is re-inventing the story genre with each with each and every outing. Like her artistic forbears Kafka and Borges, she is exploring new possibilities in fiction writing and showing more conventional authors the way it can be. She doesn't keep coming back and re-ploughing the same earth the way some writers do, nor is she forcing each piece into the kind of shape that a New Yorker editor would love. Rather, she is letting each story stand on its own as a work of art and as an expression that was the result of a successful quest to find a new form.

And yet, as different as each story is, the constant behind them all is her narrative voice. It is controlled, vivid, accurately descriptive, and packed with surprising images. Her imagery comes from the biological world, cityscapes, Cold War defections and online games, nightmares and dreams. Her voice gets in your head and you want more of it. This is especially true in "A June Defection", which could have become a full-length novel. "A June Defection" is as close as she comes to New Yorker short stories with their little epiphanies. But it carries her own special twist, as the ending is prepared like a trap that is sprung in the last sentences.

In other stories, like "The Glory of Glormosel" or "The Love Decay has for the Living", the authorial voice is very tongue in cheek. There is a sly humor that easily conveys the bizarre logic of dreams. On the other hand, the stories "The Astronomer and the King" and "The Tale that Wrote Itself" read like fables, and the narrator is the tale-spinner, who delights in entertaining and confounding the reader. And "Autumn Story" is a sad evocation of loss, told by a somewhat removed narrator who follows the character in the story who, much like the one in Ellingsen's novel "The Empty City", gradually empties out and seems to be fading away into nothingness.

If there is a theme that unites many of these stories, it is that of Identity. It is as if, after the collapse of the post-modern ironic consciousness in the wake of 9/11, a new kind of identity arose, which she explores in this book. This new kind of identity is more fluid, less rigid, quite apt to metamorphosize. Everything is mutable, including the self of an Antarctic researcher, the body of a Chef's lover, and the man whose lover turns into a shark. In "Sexual Dimorphism - A Nightmare Transcribed From the Sanskrit", a "female self" decides to change into a "male self", with strange results, but with a haunting refrain that reminds us of the mutability of the gods themselves. Again, as in "The Empty City", she treats notions of the Self and Identity not as fixed structures to be explored, but as notions that are liquid, flowing, ephemeral, and made to be deconstructed, melted down, re-formed into something bigger, wilder, more open to crazy possibilities.

It is impossible to pigeonhole Ellingsen's work into a genre or an influence.

You find modernism, sci-fi, fantasy, surrealism, magic realism, and straight short story art. At times it seems that she is verging on post-modernist meta-fiction, but her sensibility is too close to the bone to undercut her own narratives in that way. Yet it is as though she is inventing a new narrative space all her own, where her deadpan, controlled language meets her concern with identity, metamorphosis, and non-duality. At its best her work is attains the spiritual, but in a way that is unexpected and rare.

This is nowhere more evident than in her final story, "Anthropocene", and another story, "A Catalog of Planets". The latter story starts with the statement, "this planet reminds your atoms and molecules that they are mostly empty space". In very brief paragraphs, she presents the various ways that people are in prisons of their own making, and ends with a vision of true freedom.

The story "Anthropocene" takes a similar planetary perspective, but starts from the viewpoint of geology. I didn't really understand this story until I looked up the meaning of the title word. The Anthropocene is a scientific neologism for the human epoch on earth and its effect on the planet's ecology. This story is ostensibly about geology and a possible future if humankind continues down its current path. The constant refrain, as the narrator moves through time past to time future, is about a poison ore at the heart of the earth. The final lines jump to a statement that both sums up the entire book, and explains what the poison ore is:

"'You' and 'I' denote no one and no thing. They are simply chalk marks on the blackboard or letters on the page."

Ellingsen takes us on quite a journey through the stories in this book. Open it at any page and start reading and you will be enthralled. And wanting more.
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~ ~ ~
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Find out more and order here:
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Group: NDhighlights Message: 4771 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-11-28
Subject: #4771 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4771 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
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В 
В 
Kelly Kilrea
В 
В 

writes in Facebook,
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What an incredible, exacting, and inspired description of who we are. This is one of the very best presentations I have ever seen.
В 

TED talk from Thandie Newton:
В 
В 

Here are some quotations:
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"How many times would my self have to die before I realized it was not real in the first place?"
В 
"That nagging dread of self-hurt didn't exist when I was dancing. I'd literally lose my self."
В 
"I still believed my self was all there was. ... Look at the industry for self-image andВ  the jobs it creates. ... The self is a projection which our clever brains create in order to cheat ourselves from the reality of death."
В 
"I honestly believe the key to my success as an actor and my very progress as a person has been the very lack of self that used to make me feel so anxious and insecure."
В 
"Here's a note to self: The cracks have started to show in our constructed world."
В 
"We're not living with each other. Our crazy selves are living with each other and perpetuating an epidemic of disconnection. ... Let's not be freaked out by our bountiful nothingness."
В 

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Group: NDhighlights Message: 4772 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-11-30
Subject: #4772 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4772 -В Thursday, November 29, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
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"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” 
В 
~ Pablo Picasso
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В 
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Wherever the Footprint is found,
that handful of dust holds
the oneness of worlds.
This earth, burnished
by hearing the Name,
is so certain of Love
В 
That the sky bends
unceasingly down,
to greet its own
light.
В 
~ Ghalib
В 
photo by Alan Larus
В 

В 
Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist."
В 
~ RenГѓВ© Magritte
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RenГѓВ© Magritte. "The False Mirror." 1928
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В 

В 
You use a glass mirror to see your face ; you use works of art to see your soul.В 
В 
~ G B Shaw
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В 
"Nobody sees a flower... it is so small it takes time... to see takes time, like to
have a friend takes time."В 
В 
~ Georgia O'KeeffeВ 
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"It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for
lack of what is found there."
В 
~ William Carlos Williams
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В 
В 
a birdsong can even, for a moment,
make the whole world into a sky within us,
В 
because we feel that the bird does not distinguish between
its heart and the worldÂ’s.
В 
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
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В 
That is why the bird sings its songs into the world as though
it were singing into its inner self,
В 
thatÂ’s why we take a birdsong into our own inner selves so easily,
В 
it seems to us that we translate it fully, with no remainder,
into our feelings;
В 
a birdsong can even, for a moment,
make the whole world into a sky within us,
В 
because we feel that the bird does not distinguish between
its heart and the worldÂ’s.
В 
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

В 

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4773 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-01
Subject: #4773 - Friday, November 30, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4773 - Friday,В November 30, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
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Jeff Warren is dedicated to disseminating the teaching of nonduality itself and nondual perspectives through writings in mainstream publications and speaking at various gatherings and conferences.
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Here is his brief bio:
В 
JEFF WARREN is an award-winning writer and public speaker. His primary subject is the mind – the neurobiological mind, the meditative mind, the technological mind, the animal mind. He even has a philosophical position: “radically fun empiricist,” not unlike William James, except with more jokes and fewer smart parts. He is the author ofВ The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of ConsciousnessВ (Random House 2007), an acclaimed travel guide through sleeping, dreaming and waking consciousness that critics called “exhilarating,” “audacious,” “hilarious,” and even “visionary,” (though perhaps that was a typo). HisВ pieceВ on the fashionable jungle psychedelic ayahuasca recently won Gold at the National Magazine Awards. Jeff is also the self-appointed President of The Consciousness Explorers Club, a weekly pan-contemplative meditation adventure group he hosts out of his home in Toronto. He wears a pith helmet during all meditation sits and advises his students to do the same. For more info, seeВ www.jeffwarren.org.
В 
Here are selections from Jeff's just-published article in Psychology Tomorrow:
В 

Enlightenment: Is Science Ready to Take it Seriously?

Jeff WarrenВ |В November 2012 - Issue 3 |В 17 Comments
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IÂ’m not given to making grand predictions, but in this case I canÂ’t resist: the very real spiritual transformation at the heart of mysticism is about to explode into the secular mainstream, and the consequences may just revolutionize our scientific understanding of the mind.
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...
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YouÂ’ll never read about spiritual enlightenment in a Malcolm Gladwell book, or the pages of The New York Review of Books. This is true even in most Western Buddhist books, where enlightenment may be mentioned as a general principle or orientation, but almost never as a tangible transformation that happens to real 21st-century human beings.
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...
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The majority of old-guard U.S. Buddhist teachers erred on the side of caution; as a consequence most of their books are filled with sensible soft-dharma insights gently shaped to fit our general Western model of psychotherapy. There are exceptions, and those exceptions, IÂ’d like to argue, are about to become the new rule.
В 
...
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Mindfulness in large doses is called vipassana; it rewires the brain and extirpates the sense of a separate self. Come for the raisin, stay for the perspective-shuddering cosmic U-turn.В What starts subtle can grow, and,В as the brilliant Buddhist teacher Shinzen Young says, “subtle is significant.”
В 
...
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In the multidisciplinary world of consciousness studies, the buzzword is nonduality, a translation of Advaita (literally “not two”), an ancient branch of Hindu philosophy. IÂ’ve presented at two Г‚вЂ˜Toward a Science of ConsciousnessÂ’ meetings, a terrific annual assembly of the biggest names in neuroscience and philosophy of mind, among them Antonio Damasio, David Chalmers, Wolf Singer, Susan Greenfield, Stuart Hameroff and others. For the past few years nonduality has been a popular subject of discussion. There is evenВ a dedicated Г‚вЂ˜Science and NondualityÂ’ conferenceВ - now in its fourth year – that features some of the same speakers, many of them offering straight-to-the-bone “Direct Path” instruction in books and DVDs and weekend workshops.

The Internet is the great culprit in all of this. Where once you had to climb a mountain in Tibet to get answers to spiritual questions, you can now find them on Wikipedia, or an easily-arranged Skype call. Enlightenment is the Internet subject par excellence – vague, contradictory, fiercely blogged about by ill-credentialed authorities. ItÂ’s no small irony that the very medium that is hopelessly fragmenting human attention is simultaneously offering up some of the necessary tools to heal us – that is, if you can separate the wheat from the chaff.

...

People IÂ’ve known for years tell me about their enlightenment experiences and I believe them. I believe them because my curiosity about what may be happening in the mind is greater than my allegiance to an outdated and uninformed scientific consensus. Western psychology is still outgrowing a reactive skepticism towards the subjective anecdote that it inherited from behaviorism. Fortunately, this is changing.В 

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Read the entire article and the commentsВ here:
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Group: NDhighlights Message: 4774 From: Mark Date: 2012-12-02
Subject: #4774 - Saturday, December 1, 2012
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm

Nonduality Highlights Issue #4774, Saturday, December 1, 2012





Self stands as a wall between man and God.

Bowl of Saki, November 1, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

God speaks to everyone, not only to the messengers and teachers. He speaks to the ears of every heart, but it is not every heart which hears it. His voice is louder than the thunder, and His light is clearer than the sun -- if one could only see it, if one could only hear it. In order to see it and in order to hear it man should remove this wall, this barrier which he has made of the self. Then he becomes the flute upon which the divine Player may play the music of Orpheus which can charm even the hearts of stone; then he rises from the cross into the life everlasting.

Our limited self is like a wall separating us from the Self of God. God is as far away from us as that wall is thick. The wisdom and justice of God are within us, and yet they are far away under the covering of the veil of the limited self.

Humility is the principal thing that must be learnt in the path of training the ego. It is the constant effort of effacing the ego that prepares man for the greater journey. This principle of humility can be practiced by forgetting one's personality in every thought and action and in every dealing with another. No doubt it is difficult and may not seem very practicable in everyday life, though in the end it will prove to be the successful way, not only in one's spiritual life but in one's everyday affairs. The general tendency is to bring one's personality forward, which builds a wall between two souls whose destiny and happiness lies in unity. In business, in profession, in all aspects of life it is necessary that one should unite with the other in this unity, in which the purpose of life is fulfilled.

- posted to SufiMystic




KHENPO TSULTRIM GYAMSTO RINPOCHE and MILAREPA

A SONG FOR YOU

The song "Profound Definitive Meaning Sung on the Snowy Range" was one that Milarepa sang to his disciples and his patrons after he had been in retreat for six months. At that time he was snowed in completely. There was so much snow that the roads were blocked and neither he nor anyone else was able to come in or out...

Normally we would think of that as a very difficult situation, a negative condition for practice. But for him it wasn't at all. He was able to turn a negative situation into an aid to his practice. In the same way, when we're confronted with difficult situations, we should turn them into positive ones by bringing them onto the path of practice.

MILAREPA'S SONG:
The Profound Definitive Meaning Sung On the Snowy Range

Sung on the Snowy Range

Supreme guru, I bow down at your feet
The siddhis of blessings come straight from the dakinis
Samaya's nectar is the most nourishing drink

Your offering of faith has kept me so healthy
This way of gathering merit, it works quite well

For the mind that masters view, the emptiness dawns
In the content seen, not even an atom exists
A seer and seen, refined until they're gone
This way of realizing view, it works quite well

When meditation is clear light river flow
There is no need to confine it to sessions and breaks
Meditator and object, refined until they're gone
This heart bone of meditation, it beats quite well

When you're sure that conduct's work is luminous light
And you're sure that interdependence is emptiness
A doer and deed, refined until they're gone
This way of working with conduct, it works quite well

When biased thinking has vanished into space
No phony facades, eight dharmas, nor hopes and fears,
A keeper and kept, refined until they're gone
This way of keeping samaya, it works quite well

When you've finally discovered your mind is dharmakaya
And you're really doing yourself and others good
A winner and won, refined until they're gone
This way of winning results, it works quite well

Oh faithful students, to answer your request
This old man is singing a song of happiness
The snow fell and sealed me in my retreat
Where the dakinis gave me all I need

The pure snow water was so delicious
With nobody practicing, practice was glorious
Without ever working, the harvest was perfectly reaped
Without accumulating wealth, the treasure chest was filled

Looking at mind, I see everything
By staying low, I have come to seize the throne
I have reached the highest peak—that's the guru's kindness to me
Now sons and daughters, students gathered here

In answer to your faithful service
I sing this song, teaching you the true Dharma
My benefactors, may it fill your hearts with joy
May all your hearts be filled with joy!

- Under the guidance of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinooche, translated and arranged by Jim Scott. The first two and last four verses translated by Ari Goldfield. From the Tibetan text at pages 222-3. Translation copyright 2012, Jim Scott and Ari Goldfield, posted to Facebook by Amrita Nadi




Editor's note: Last Sunday, in issue #4768, I misattributed a quote to Lama John Mandansky, which I should have attributed to Lama John Makransky. I apologize for the mistake, and here's another insightful quote from him:

Devotion is not our devotion to the buddhas, but our willingness to acknowledge how devoted the buddhas are to us in our very being, to acknowledge that so deeply that our sense of separation from the buddhas melts away, and we find that our deepest devotion, like the buddhas, is to everyone in their very being.

- Lama John Makransky (thanks to Bob Morrison for the correction)



Group: NDhighlights Message: 4775 From: Mark Date: 2012-12-02
Subject: #4775 - Sunday, December 2, 2012
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm

Nonduality Highlights Issue #4775, Sunday, December 2, 2012





There You Are

You're inside every kindness. When
a sick person feels better, you're

that, and the onset of disease too.
You're sudden, terrible screaming.

Some problems require we go for help:
when we knock on a stranger's door,

you sent us. Nobody answers: it's
you! When work feels necessary, you

are the way workers move in rhythm.
You are what is: the field, the players,

the ball, those watching. Someone
claims to have evidence that you do

not exist. You're the one who brings
the evidence in, and the evidence

itself. You are inside the soul's
great fear, every natural pleasure,

every vicious cruelty. You are in
every difference and irritation.

Someone loves something; someone else
hates the same. There you are.

Whatever eyes see, what anyone wants
or not: political power, injustice,

material possessions, those are your
script, the handwriting we study.

Body, soul, shadow. Whether reckless
or careful, you are what we do. It's

absurd to ask your pardon. You're
inside repentance, and sin! The wonder

of various jewels, agate, emerald.
How we are during a day, then at night,

you are those moods and qualities.
The pure compassion we feel for each

other. Every encampment has a tent
where the leader is and also the wide
truth of your imperial tent overall.

- Rumi, Ghazal 2778, version by Coleman Barks from The Soul of Rumi, posted to Sunlight




A Goat Kneels!

The inner being of a human being
is a jungle. Sometimes wolves dominate,
sometimes wild hogs. Be wary when you breathe!

At one moment gentle, generous qualities,
like Joseph's, pass from one nature to another.
The next moment vicious qualities
move in hidden ways.

Wisdom slips for a while into an ox!
A restless, recalcitrant horse suddenly
becomes obedient and smooth-gaited.

A bear begins to dance.
A goat kneels!

Human consciousness goes into a dog,
and that dog becomes a shepherd,
or a hunter.

In the Cave of the Seven Sleepers
even the dogs were seekers.

At every moment a new species rises in the chest -
now a demon, now an angel, now a wild animal.

There are also those in this amazing jungle
who can absorb you into their own surrender.

If you have to stalk and steal something,
steal from them!

- Rumi, Mathnawi II: 1416-1429, version by Coleman Barks from Delicious Laughter, posted to Sunlight




O You who have transmuted one clod of earth into gold,
and another into the Father of mankind,
Your generous work is the transmutation of essences;
my work is mostly forgetfulness and mistakes.
Transmute my mistakes and forgetfulness into knowledge:
With my imperfect nature, turn me into patience and forbearance.

- Rumi Mathnawi V: 780-782, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski from Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance, posted to Sunlight




On the way to God the difficulties
feel like being ground by a millstone,
like night coming at noon, like
lightning through the clouds.

But don't worry!
What must come, comes.
Face everything with love,
as your mind dissolves in God.

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




Poem of the One World

This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to

where everything
sooner or later
is a part of everything else

which thought made me feel
for a little while
quite beautiful myself.

- Mary Oliver, posted to The_Now2



Group: NDhighlights Message: 4776 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-12-04
Subject: #4776 - Monday, December 3, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4776 -В Monday, December 3, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
В 
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В 
We rarely hear the inward music, but we're all dancing to it nevertheless.
В 
~ Rumi
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В 
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth
find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
В 
~ Rachel Carson
В 
photo by Alan Larus

В 

В 
I am a book of snow,
a spacious hand, an open meadow,
a circle that waits.
I belong to the Earth & its winter.
В 
~ Pablo Neruda (1904 - 1973)
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В 

Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to Dharma see no Dharma in everyday actions.
They have not yet discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of Dharma.

~ Dogen Zenji (1200-1253)

via Daily Dharma by Robert Cooper

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В 

How long has it been since I came to this place?
With no one to tend them, the grounds have run wild
My begging bag and bowl just sit gathering dust
A solitary lantern lights the bare walls
Evening rain patters on my lonely door

Every detail is complete
Ah! What else is there that I need?

- Ryokan


via Zen Poems, Haiku & Writings on Facebook

В 

В 

I have long believed that we have incredibly interesting readers, and once in a
while one will prove me right. Gail Storey has videos, a blog, and books linking
nonduality with nature. She sent a fantastic video of her recent adventures.

From her blog:

Hiking the 2,663-mile Pacific Crest Trail, Porter and I were shaken to the core
by how everything is in constant flux– weather, terrain, our bodies, feelings,
thoughts, the trail itself.

Later, paragliding in New Zealand, we gave ourselves over to the winds of
change.

See how in our video:

http://video214.com/play/c4e3nLgOu0HhQXOCOXuCDQ/s/dark

В 

"Our digital technologies, from devices to social media, reflect our longing to
connect. TheyÂ’re not an end but a means to relatedness with each other and the
world. For a direct connection unmediated by technology, listen to the wind, feel
the bark of a tree, look into the sky or into the eyes of another. Fall silent.
ThatÂ’s nature."

I Promise Not To Suffer
A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail

You can pre-order I PROMISE NOT TO SUFFER: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail here:

http://www.mountaineersbooks.org/I-Promise-Not-To-Suffer-P1108.aspx

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4777 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-05
Subject: #4777 - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4777 - Tuesday,В December 4, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
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В 
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Beyond Recovery: Nonduality and the Twelve Steps

by Fred Davis

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Reviewed by Jerry Katz

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5.0 out of 5 starsВ Beyond Fred,В  December 5, 2012
ByВ 
Jerry Katz "Nonduality.com"В (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) -В See all my reviews
В 
This review is from:В Beyond Recovery: Nonduality and the Twelve Steps (Paperback)
В 
Beyond Recovery is intended for people who are abstinent or currently in a 12-step program, though it is not a replacement for such a program. However, Rupert Spira says in the foreword that "most of us are addicts to compulsive thinking." Others have said, "We're all in recovery." Those statements help those who have never had gross addictions, understand those who have. But let's look at AA for what it is.

What Alcoholics Anonymous is

Alcoholics Anonymous is a program of recovery from alcoholism and the restoration of responsibility so that one may function effectively in the world, or, as Adyashanti might say, "Dream well." Dreaming well could mean that one lives well, lives a good life, is a fine citizen, family person, and member of the community, and that life includes remaining sober, taking on-going personal inventory, and yielding to the will of a higher power.

Enter nonduality

However, the culture of AA does not include a teaching that would look into the dream or the dreamer. Fred calls the addiction to the dream, or to compulsive thinking, or to our small self, our "secret addiction." Nonduality takes care of that. He writes, "We're trying to find out the truth about ourselves; to unloose blind patterns; to unravel and unwind our story; and to begin dismantling the dream of me-ness from within the dream itself."

A cultural shift

So this book by Fred Davis extends the culture of AA and contributes to the current shift in Western civilization which is one from attending to religion, philosophy, art, history, music, and science as pointers to our true nature, to true nature itself. In other words, it is a shift toward attending to attention, or to the one attending, rather than to the creative outcomes of that kind of attention.

Science and the liberal arts do not lose attention, significance, or importance in this shift. Rather, they become enhanced as people have less need to defend, protect, and therefore distort and stifle them. That is, identification with a creative work is released as attention turns and moves toward the one identifying. While AA restores responsibility, nonduality looks at the one who would be responsible.

Fred is a player in this shift. He knows what's happening and writes, "The greatest change in history is happening right now, in our lifetimes."

Hallmark of a good nonduality book

Fred has achieved the hallmark of a good nonduality book, which is that it communicates the essential teaching of nonduality to just about any reader regardless of the book's dominant perspective. That hallmark is evident in works whose dominant themes are quantum theory, neuroscience, ecology, acting, education, psychotherapy, Western philosophy, art, yoga, aikido, haiku, ecofeminism, film, and religious studies.

As a collector and organizer of nondual perspectives, allow me to announce that with this small flurry of books on recovery by Fred Davis, Scott Kiloby, and the upcoming one from Gary Nixon (and there are others prior to this flurry), we now have an official new nondual perspective, the one of recovery.

Effectiveness and grace

The bottom line, though, is how effective is this nondual take on the 12-step program of AA? Fred writes, "I do know that what I present here is effective in helping others. This is not mere theory; it is field proven." It better be. Like others with severe addiction to alcohol, Fred's life was hellish for a long time and he describes it in detail.

Yet, he says, "Becoming addicted, in a bizarre way, is the greatest thing most of us ever did." ... "[Recovery] has primed us for approaching enlightenment. Recovery has given us one new life already, and now we discover that it has readied us for another! Who could imagine that people such as we could come into such great bounty and beauty? Who could imagine such grace as this?"

Beyond recovery

Fred says, "Nonduality could be called the philosophy of not asking the universe to do anything it's not already doing. In this tradition we're not applying for change. We're applying only for awareness and acceptance."

However, he says, "I don't recommend Nonduality for getting people clean and sober and abstinent, and I don't recommend recovery as the best path to awakening. ... Addiction is a closed, self-affirming system. But recovery can become something of a closed system as well; it's quite circular. That's not a criticism, it's an observation. Addiction and recovery are yin and yang, two sides of the very same coin. Our goal here is to move our view beyond all opposites, including those two."

Fred Davis opens a big gate door with this book, so that brave ones from the world of recovery may further pursue their adventure of inquiry within a thoroughly described context of nonduality.
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~ ~ ~
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Order through Amazon.com:
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Group: NDhighlights Message: 4778 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-06
Subject: #4778 - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4778 - Wednesday,В December 5, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
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Douwe Tiemersma
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Ever since his radical encounter with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in 1980, Douwe has been helping people recognize non-dual openness as the ground of their own existence. Due to his background in yoga he encourages a relaxed, integrated bodily recognition. As such, he offers meditation, pranayama, hathayoga and chakra yoga to compliment the weekly satsangs which take place at the Advaita Center located in Gouda. The Advaita Posts published here on this blog comprise his ongoing teaching in the form of a bi-weekly ezine. If you are interested just click the Follow button at the bottom of this page to put yourself on the mailing list.
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Currently retired, Douwe was a Biology professor for many years, also later becoming senior lecturer in Philosophical anthropology and Intercultural philosophy at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. As an advaita teacher, he seamlessly integrates many aspects of both Eastern and Western arts and sciences in order to focus on a very practical being-recognition of non-duality.
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Douwe was a co-founder and for many years the principal editor of the Dutch language magazine InZicht: wegen van radicaal zelf-onderzoek (InSight: Paths of radical self-inquiry). He has authored or co-authored over 20 books in the Dutch language, chief among them are Naar de Openheid, Openingen naar de Openheid, Non-Dualiteit, de grondeloze openheid, Verdwijnende scheidingen, Psychotherapie en Non-Dualiteit, Management en Non-Dualiteit, De elf grote Upanishaden, Mediteren leren, Chakrayoga and Pranayama. The English langauage translation of his book Non-Duality, the groundless openness has now been published by John Hunt Publishing under their Mantra imprint.
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Selections from Douwe Tiemersma
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The Sanskrit word advaita means Г‚вЂ˜the absence of two-nessÂ’ or Г‚вЂ˜non-dualityÂ’ (a-dvaita).В  In experience, that which you experience is not different from you who experiences it. You are pure being-consciousness-bliss which coincides with everything and everyone in the Inexpressible. As vision, non-duality is a human and worldview. Within it the boundaries and separations between me and the other, body and mind, micro- and macrocosm, subject and object, man and God are understood to be acquired and relative. In practice, the creating of separations is the cause of many problems, in both the individual as well as collective situation.В The solution then lies in making the separations radically relative, and in the being-experience of a greater whole in which everything and everyone are included. In that whole the differences persist, but they don't destroy the unity. Is there a path to non-duality? Everyone experiences and knows himself in a direct manner, without mediation. There is no distance between yourself and your own essence. Thus, there is no path to non-duality.
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We all want to live together in a good way, everyone agrees with that. What does this Г‚вЂ˜goodÂ’ mean for co-existence? It means that there is a feeling for each other and a togetherness. On a certain level there are no separations, there is a non-duality. DonÂ’t focus on all the many details in which we differ, but focus increasingly on this non-duality. Then you will feel contact with it and the sphere will become steadily stronger. This non-duality doesnÂ’t mean that everything is the same but rather that there is a unity which carries everything along. This unity, which is also goodness, becomes very evident when you relinquish your position as the observer.
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If you keep everything open, both as regards to the expansion of self-being as well as to the return to the Absolute, everything will continue to develop in a good way. Stay alert and you will see how it works on every level, including the level of the emotions. If there is a certain feeling, then you recognize it as your feeling, and that is a positive affirmation. But immediately there is also the sense: it is certainly my feeling, but am I completely that? This recurs on every level. I have this identity in the world. Now am I that or am I not that? Partially yes, and in another sense not at all. Ultimately, you are everything. You are the Self of everything, because there is no border to the self-being. But here too: are you really that? No, because there is no person there who has anything to do with it. These two aspects always go together. And that is wonderful. Myself, I am everything, there is no border to my self-being, it is infinite. And yet I am not that: all that appears is finite and limited; it appears and disappears once again. So the ultimate is inexpressibly open.

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There is also now a blog
http://www.thegroundlessopenness.wordpress.com containing all ofВ Douwe's translated teaching materialВ since 2008. (Scroll to the bottom of the page for the archived writings.)
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4779 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-12-07
Subject: #4779 - Thursday, December 6, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4779 -В Thursday, December 6, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
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However deep your
Knowledge of the scriptures,
It is no more than a strand of hair
In the vastness of space;
However important appears
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Your worldly experience,
It is but a drop of water in a deep ravine.
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~ Tokusan
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via Zen Poems, Haiku, and Writings on Facebook
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6. Anyone who seeks total Enlightenment should discard not only all
conceptions of their own selfhood, of other selves, or of a universal self,
but they should also discard all notions of the non-existence of such
concepts.
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When the Buddha explains these things using such concepts and ideas,
people should remember the unreality of all such concepts and ideas.
They should recall that in teaching spiritual truths the Buddha always
uses these concepts and ideas in the way that a raft is used to cross a
river. Once the river has been crossed over, the raft is of no more use,
and should be discarded. These arbitrary concepts and ideas about
spiritual things need to be explained to us as we seek to attain
Enlightenment. However, ultimately these arbitrary conceptions can be
discarded. Think Subhuti, isn't it even more obvious that we should also
give up our conceptions of non-existent things?
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(Diamond Sutra)
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Doing, or not doing,
Both come from not knowing.
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Knowing this fully,
I am here.
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Thinking
Of what is beyond thinking
Is still thinking.
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I gave up thinking,
And I am here.
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Whoever fulfills this
Fulfills his own nature
And is indeed fulfilled.
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~ Ashtavakra Gita (12.6-8)
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photo by Alan Larus
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The perfume of true life
is right in your nose.
There is nothing you can do
to perceive it
and yet you must do something.
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I say:
Rest and be taken.
Rest and be taken.
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~ Adyashanti, from 'My Secret is Silence'
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photo by Alan Larus
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What is it to be admitted to a museum, to see a myriad of particular things,
compared with being shown some starÂ’s surface, some hard matter in its home! I
stand in awe of my body, this matter to which I am bound has become so strange
to meÂ…Talk of mysteries!–Think of our life in nature,–daily to be shown matter,
to come in contact with it, rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! The solid earth! The
actual world! The common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? Where are we?
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~ Henry David Thoreau
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photo by Alan Larus
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