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Group: NDhighlights Message: 4780 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-08
Subject: #4780 - Friday, December 7, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

#4780 - Friday, December 7, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/

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Creativity, Nonduality, Inspiration

Posted onВ  2012-12-04В byВ Cologero
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I will let the artists speak for themselves. First we haveВ Mozart:

All this fires my soul and, provided I am not disturbed, my subject enlarges itself, becomes methodized and defined, and the whole, though it be long, stands almost complete and finished in my mind, so that I can survey it, like a fine picture or a beautiful statue, at a glance Â… All this inventing, this producing, takes place in a pleasing, lively dream.

David LoyВ points out that the subject enlarges or creates itself and it is dreamlike because there is no “thinker” or directing ego.В TchaikovskyÂ’s experience is similar:

Generally speaking, the germ of a future composition comes suddenly and unexpectedly Â… It takes root with extraordinary force and rapidity, shoots up through the earth, puts forth branches and leaves, and finally blossoms.

Some composers relate this to a religious experience.В PucciniВ says:

The music of this opera [Madam Butterfly] was dictated to me by God; I was merely instrumental in putting it on paper and communicating it to the public.

WagnerÂ’s experience is that:

There are universal currents of Divine Thought vibrating the ether everywhere Â… I feel that I am one with this vibrating force.

Finally, we need to hear whatВ NietzscheВ had to say:

Has anyone at the end of the nineteenth century any distinct notion of what poets of a stronger age understood by the word inspiration?В  If not, I will describe it.В  If you had the slightest residue of superstition left in you it would hardly be possible to completely disregard the idea that one is the mere incarnation, a mouthpiece or a medium of an almighty power.В  The idea of revelation in the sense of something which profoundly moves and provokes, becoming suddenly visible and audible with indescribable certainty and accuracy—is a simple description.В  You hear—you do not seek; you take—and do not ask who gives: a thought suddenly flashes up like lightning, it comes as a necessity, without hesitation—I have never had any choice in the matter.В  There is an ecstasy so great that the immense strain of it is sometimes relaxed by a flood of tears during which one does not know whether one is coming or going.В  There is the feeling of completely being outside of oneself, with the very distinct consciousness of endless delicate shivers right down to oneÂ’s toes;—there is a depth of happiness in which the most painful and gloomy parts do not detract from the whole but are produced and required as necessary shades of colour amidst such an overflow of light.В  There is an instinct for rhythmical relationships which embrace a whole world of forms: length, the need of an all-embracing rhythm, is almost the measure of the force of inspiration, a kind of compensation for its pressure and tension.

Everything happens quite involuntarily as if in a tempestuous outburst of freedom of absolute power and divinity.В  The involuntary nature of the images and similes is the most remarkable thing; one loses all perception of what is imagery and metaphor; everything seems to present itself in the readiest, the truest and simplest means of expression.В  It actually seems, to use one of ZarathustraÂ’s own phrases, as if all things came together and offered themselves as images

Loy mentions several other poets, writers, and even mathematicians who have had similar experiences. Although LoyÂ’s primary focus is on nonduality as understood in Taoism, the Vedanta, and Buddhism, he does show how this is the same as intellectual intuition as understood byВ Plotinus,В Meister Eckhart,Nicolas of Cusa, andВ Boehme.

~ ~ ~

Read the full article here:

http://www.gornahoor.net/?p=5381&cpage=1

Find out about David Loy's classic book, Nonduality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1573923591/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1573923591&linkCode=as2&tag=nondualitysal-20

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Group: NDhighlights Message: 4781 From: Mark Date: 2012-12-10
Subject: #4781 - Saturday/Sunday, December 8/9, 2012
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm

Nonduality Highlights Issue #4781, Saturday/Sunday, December 8/9, 2012





All of us are watchers - of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway - -but few are observers. Everyone is looking, not many are seeing.

- Peter M. Leschak, posted to SufiMystic




To be aware is to be awake. Unaware means asleep. You are aware anyhow, you need not try to be. What you need is to be aware of being aware. Be aware deliberately and consciously, broaden and deepen the field of awareness. You are always conscious of the mind, but you are not aware of yourself as being conscious.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to ANetofJewels




'I' was the same 'I' fifty years ago or five hundred years ago or even before time ever was, and 'I' shall be the same fifty years hence or five hundred years hence or even after time ceases to be. While time passes by, 'I' am forever unchanged.

- Ramesh Balsekar, posted to ANetofJewels




Don't think.
Don't get lost in your thoughts.
Your thoughts are a veil on the face of the Moon.
That Moon is your heart,
and those thoughts cover your heart.
So let them go.
Just let them fall into the water.

- Rumi Quatrain 83, version by Jonathan Star and Shahram Shiva from A Garden Beyond Paradise, posted to Sunlight



Group: NDhighlights Message: 4782 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-12-11
Subject: #4782 - Monday, December 10, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4782 -В Monday, December 10, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
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Love itself describes its own perfection.
Be speechless and listen.
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~ Rumi
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"Love is the voice beneath all silences."
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~ e. e. cummings

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"There is a light that shines beyond all,
beyond Earth, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest.
This is the light that shines in our heart."
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~ Chandogya Upanishad
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"First realize that your world is only a reflection of yourself
and stop finding fault with the reflection."
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~ Nisargadatta
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"People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world
is a confession of character."
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~ Emerson

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One day there will be like an explosion, and the 'I' will blow itself to pieces.
And you'll see light, tremendous light. You'll become light. The light of a
thousand suns. But that's not the answer. You have to go through the light, into
emptiness, into nirvana, into absolute reality, which is called Parabrahman,
nothingness. That nothingness becomes everything.
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~ Robert Adams
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"Remember the clear light, the pure clear white light from which everything in
the universe comes, to which everything in the universe returns; the original
nature of your own mind. The natural state of the universe unmanifest. Let go
into the clear light, trust it, merge with it. It is your own true nature, it is
home."
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from Bardo Thodol
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Group: NDhighlights Message: 4783 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-11
Subject: #4783 - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4783 - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
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Gabriel Rosenstock sends the following:
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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2008

Remembering Fr. Thomas Hand


Many years ago, a spiritual friend of mine, Dr. Vickie Dendinger recommended that I meet Fr. Tom Hand. I had the great privilege of sitting a few retreats with this great teacher at the Joseph and Mary Retreat Center in Rancho Palos Verdes which was a converted Convent located in the Southern California South Bay.
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For those of you unfamiliar with Thomas Hand, S.J., he spent twenty nine years in Japan and was one of the first Western Catholic monks to practice Zen meditation under the direction of Koun Yamada Roshi of the Sanbo Kyodon. His dept of understanding of religious experience was moving and helpful to me in my early days of exploration and unfortunately he passed away in 2005. During one of my precious interviews with him, he gave me a book of letters from a Russian Rabbi and one of his American flock that was written in the early twentieth century.

This is one of the letters and it struck me so deeply, but my comments will remain my own. I would rather hear from all of you, this is a brilliant and concise work of spiritual understanding.

Reb Yerachmiel ben Yisrael
19 Tevet 5636

My Dear Aaron Hershel,

You ask me of God: to define the Nameless to place in your palm the ultimate secret. Do not imagine that this is hidden someВ­where far from you. The ultimate secret is the most open one. Here it is: God is All.

I am tempted to stop with this-to close this letter, sign my name and leave you with this simple truth. Yet I fear you will not understand. Know from the first that all that follows is but an elaboration on the simple fact that God is All.

What does it mean to be All? God is Reality. God is the Source and Substance of all things and nothing. There is no thing or feelВ­ing or thought that is not God, even the idea that there is no God! For this is what it is to be All: God must embrace even God's own negation.
Listen again carefully: God is the Source and Substance of everything. There is nothing outside of God. Thus we read: “I am God and there is none else [am od]” (Isaiah 45:5). Read not simply “none else,” but rather “nothing else”-not that there is no other god but God, but that there is nothing else but God.

Let me illustrate. It rained heavily during the night, and the street is thick with mud. I walked to the Bet Midrash (House of Learning) this morning and stopped to watch a group of little children playing with the mud. Oblivious to the damp, they made dozens of mud figures: houses, animals, towers. From their talk, it was clear that they imagined an identity for each. They gave the figures names and told their stories. For a while, the mud figures took on an independent existence. But they were all just mud. Mud was their source and mud was their substance. From the perspective of the children, their mud creations had separate selves. From the mud's point of view, it is clear such independence was an illusion-the creations were all just mud.

It is the same with us and God: “Adonal alone is God in heaven above and on earth below, there is none else” (Deuteronomy 4:39). There is none else, meaning there is nothing else in heaven or on earth but God.

Can this be? When I look at the world, I do not see God. I see trees of various kinds, people of all types, houses, fields, lakes, cows, horses, chickens, and on and on. In this I am like the chilВ­dren at play, seeing real figures and not simply mud.

Where in all this is God? The question itself is misleading. God is not “in” this; God is this.
Think carefully about what I have said. It is the key to all the secrets of life.

B'Shalom
this could have been written by a Zen Master or a Sufi Master; yet this is a Jewish Master in a small community in Russia who understands the truth.
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4784 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-12
Subject: #4784 - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4784 - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
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Ravi Shankar died Tuesday, December 11, 2012, at age 92. You'll come across many obituaries and articles, but I don't know how many of them will strike the chord of nonduality. I tried to approach that in this August 23, 2005 issue of the Highlights:
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It is reprinted here, but you might want to click on the link above and read the more colorful original version with photos.
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~ ~ ~

This issue features a selection fromВ Raga Mala: The Autobiography of Ravi Shankar.В The material was typed from the book and appears nowhere else.В В В 

The followingВ Amazon review says whatВ I would have said about the beauty of the book'sВ design. The book overflows with photographs and is highlighted with gold: gold endpages,В gold lettering for chapter headings, and several gold pages within the book.В В 

"Raga Mala is the autobiography of pandit Ravi Shankar, told in story, profusely illustrated [some in color], beautifully bound [with luxurious endpapers], on high quality, beautiful papers. It tells his story [introduced by George Harrison] from his early childhood, stage [as a dancer in his brothers famous troupe] to his study of sitar and Hindustani music with a master[Khan], to his gradual emergence in the west. I had no idea, that he had performed at Carnegie hall in the 1930's, that John Coltrane's son Ravi was named after him, or that he was well known BEFORE the Monterey pop or woodstock concerts [he called woodstock "terrifying']. This is a wonderful book, it tells the ENTIRE ARC of the life of pandit Ravi Shankar [including his apparent heir and pupil, his daughter Anoushka], and does so with such a well put together volume. The papers, the binding, the photographic reproductions are exquisite. The publisher has done a remarkable job. A classic book, both in form and content."В В В В 

You may order the book atВ http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1566492173/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1566492173&linkCode=as2&tag=nondualitysal-20

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Our tradition teaches us that sound is God – Nada Brahma. That is, musical sound and the musical experience are steps to the realization of the self. We view music as a kind of spiritual discipline that raises oneÂ’s inner being to divine peacefulness and bliss. We are taught that one of the fundamental goals a Hindu works toward in his lifetime is a knowledge of the true meaning of the universe – its unchanging, eternal essence – and this is realized first by a complete knowledge of oneÂ’s self and oneÂ’s own nature. The highest aim of our music is to reveal the essence of the universe it reflects, and the ragasВ are among the means by which this essence can be apprehended. Thus, through music, one can reach God.В 
– RaviВ Shankar

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Being a Brahmin, I learnt some mantras from gurus as a child, and still repeat them in my mind as often as I can today. I do firmly believe that they have tremendous power. For a few years in the late Fifties and early Sixties, I regularly practiced hatha yoga, but gradually the pace of my life made it impossible to continue with it (although I still maintain my regular morning meditations, plus one before giving a recital). Many times in my life I have been attracted with great surges of love and bhakti (reverence or devotion) to some godly persons I have known, such as Tat Baba, Ma Anandamayi, Satya Sai Baba and the late Shankaracharya of Kanchi. Some I never saw have also exerted a strong pull on me, such as Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Lahiri Mahasai, Trailange Swami, Babaji and Swami Vivekananda. But in oneÂ’s daily life and existence it is hard to attain cosmic consciousness. Most of the time the only self-realisation states one is aware of are physical and mundane ones. I am sure many of you have felt this too.

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But MUSIC – that is the thing for me! Mostly it has been when deeply immersed in my music that I have felt that surge of joy, merging into the indefinable Г‚вЂ˜drunken with beautyÂ’ moment. Especially when I become attuned to my sitar, that is the route for me to touch the heart and the God within myself, and within my millions of listeners over the years.

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The spiritual element in Indian music is absolutely essential. From the very beginning our music was handed down by the yogis, and musicians were invariably great saintly people, leading a very religious life. Many of the old songs were philosophical and devotional in nature, written in praise of our gods like Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha and Saraswati, and the most popular character in the songs,В  Krishna , who is treated more like a human being, going through all the different phases of life. He is loved not only for his miraculous feats but for his childhood pranks, his adventures with his friends as he is growing up, his flirting and erotically-charged encounters with the gopis (milkmaids), and then his great teachings to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra which constitutes the Bhagavad Gita. Our songs and poetry beautifully convey his charm and eroticism, and tell of his pranks and special love for Radha. Having in my childhood all this background and the whole atmosphere of priestly living (as a Brahmin), I could grasp and feel the spirituality in music much more quickly than most.

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Sometimes I feel blindfolded, completely susceptible to spiritual atmosphere and prepared to believe whatever I am told, like a simple village person. Whenever I visit Balaji, the temple to Lord Venkateshwar in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, my heart is thrown completely open to the power of the spiritual forces that seem to be present. I feel the same innocent openness when I think of Saraswati,В  Krishna , Buddha or Jesus Christ, or when I go to church, synagogue or House of God of any other religion. That blind faith is part of my tradition. It is in my heart and mind. I know I am someone who likes and often needs to depend on someone or something.

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But then at times I ask myself why I should depend on anyone. God is in me, not in these figures. These are supports which are there for when we need them; true religious experience is to be found in oneÂ’s own heart. This comes back to the age-old philosophical questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? I believe I am both the atman (soul) and the paramatman (supersoul). Within me there is both the seeker and the one I seek.

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Meeting George Harrison

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I met George Harrison for the first time in June 1966, one evening in a friendÂ’s house inВ  London . At that time, although I had heard of The Beatles, I knew only that they were an extremely popular group. Something clicked from the very beginning with George. The other three I met on different occasions through the years, and Ringo especially was very warm and friendly, but I never really had anything much to do with any of them.

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From the moment we met George was asking questions, and I felt he was genuinely interested in Indian music and religion. He appeared to be a sweet, straightforward young man. I said I had been told he used the sitar, although I had not heard the song “Norwegian Wood.” He seemed quite embarrassed, and it transpired that he had only had a few sittings with an Indian chap who was in London (a student of the late Motiram, my disciple in Delhi) to see how the instrument should be held and to learn the basics of playing. “Norwegian Wood” was supposedly causing so much brouhaha, but when I eventually heard the song I thought it was a strange sound that had been produced on the sitar! As a result, though, young fans of The Beatles everywhere had become fascinated by the instrument.

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Then George expressed his desire to learn the sitar from me. I told him that to play sitar is like learning Western classical music on the violin or cello. It is not merely a matter of learning how to hold the instrument and play a few strokes and chords, after which (with sufficient talent) you can prosper on your own, as is common with the guitar in Western pop music. I told him this nicely, getting him to understand the seriousness of Indian music.

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I said, “I have given so many years of my life to sitar, and by GodÂ’s grace I have become very well known – but still I know in my heart of hearts that I have a long way to go. ThereÂ’s no end to it. It is not only the technical mastery of the sitar – you have to learn the whole complex system of music properly and get deeply into it. Moreover itÂ’s not just fixed pieces that you play – there is improvisation. And those improvisations are not just letting yourself go, as in jazz – you have to adhere to the discipline of the ragas and the talas without any notation in front of you. Being an oral tradition, it takes many more years.

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“And there is more to it than exciting the senses of the listeners with virtuosity and loud crash-bang effects. My goal has always been to take the audience along with me deep inside, as in meditation, to feel the sweet pain of trying to reach out for the supreme, to bring tears to the eyes, and to feel totally peaceful and cleansed.”

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Then I asked him if he could give time and total energy to work hard on it. He said he would do his best, and we arranged a date then and there. It was not practical for him to come to my hotel, so he invited me to visit his house inВ  EsherВ soon afterwards. I went twice within a week or so. Initially I gave him some basic instruction – how to hold the sitar properly, the correct fingering for both hands, and some exercises. I also wrote down the names of all the notes in the sargam (the Indian solfeggio) to make him familiar with them. That was all. We fixed it that he would come toВ  IndiaВ for a couple of months to learn in more depth.

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I felt strongly that there was a beautiful soul in him, and recognized one quality which I always have valued enormously and which is considered the principal one in our culture – humility. Considering that he was so famous – part of the most popular group in the world ever! – he was nevertheless quite humble, with a childlike quality which he has retained to this day.

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George Harrison writes:В  RaviВ was very friendly and easy to communicate with. By this time The Beatles had met so many people – prime ministers, celebrities, royalty – but I got to a point where I thought, “IÂ’d like to meet somebody who could really impress me.” And that was when I metВ  Ravi . He was the first person who impressed me in a way that was beyond just being a famous celebrity.В  RaviВ was my link into the Vedic world.В  RaviВ plugged me into the whole of Reality. I mean, I met Elvis – Elvis impressed me when I was a kid, and impressed me when I met him because of the buzz of meeting Elvis – but you couldnÂ’t later on go round to him and say, “Elvis, whatÂ’s happening in the universe?”

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RaviВ came to my house inВ  Esher , and then he had arranged that we should sit in the afternoon for an hour or two, and he showed me how to get started on the sitar. After that heÂ’d arranged for Alla Rakha to come, and they were going to give a little concert, so John and Ringo came, and they played for us for an hour and a half. It was really nice.

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The moment we started, the feelings I got were of his patience, compassion and humility. The fact that he could do one of his five-hour concerts, but at the same time he could sit down and teach somebody from scratch the very basics: how to hold the sitar, how to sit in the correct position, how to wear the pick on your finger, how to begin playing. We did that and he started me going on the scales. And he enjoyed it – he wasnÂ’t grudging at all, and he wasnÂ’t flash about it either.

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One thing he said was, “Do you read music?” I said, “No,” and my heart sank – IВ В thought, “I probably donÂ’t even deserve to waste his time.” But he said, “Good – it will only confuse you anyway.”
...
RaviВ also gave me the book “Autobiography of a Yogi.” The moment I looked at that picture of Yogananda on the front of the book, his eyes went right through me and zapped me, and to this day I have been under the spell of Yogananda. ItÂ’s a fantastic great truth.

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When we were on the houseboat inВ  Kashmir , owned by a little old guy with a white beard called Mr. Butt, it was really cold in the night because it was on a lake right up in theВ  Himalayas . Mr. Butt would wake us up early in the morning and give us tea and biscuits and IÂ’d sit in bed with my scarf and pullover on, listening toВ  Ravi , who would be in the next little room doing his sitar practice – that was such a privileged position to be in.

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What IÂ’m getting at is that pure essence ofВ  India . You could easily be diverted inВ  IndiaВ by the smell or the dirt or the poverty, but I was fortunate to haveВ  RaviВ as my friend. The Indians I saw were the ones who got up early in the morning, had a bath and put their clean doti on, did their prayers, and then practiced their music for a couple of hours before they had their breakfast. The ones who had all the respect for the past. The temples and the incense and the music, the whole thing – it was like I got the privileged tour. All the people I met were the best musicians, and I didnÂ’t have to go through the rubbish to find the gems. That in itself was worth a few years of saved time. And thatÂ’s what a guru is, anyway – the word “guru” means “dispeller of darkness.”

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4785 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-12-14
Subject: #4785 - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee


#4785 -В Thursday, December 13, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
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One instant is eternity;
eternity is the now.
When you see through this one instant,
you see through the one who sees.
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~ Wu Men
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via Kia Pierce on Facebook
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"We must not complain that all things be fleeting.
That which is most transient, if it really touches us,
awakens within us something that is lasting."
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~ Friedrich Hebbel
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Russian photographer Andrew Osokin is a master of winter macro photography.
Among his most impressive shots are photographs of individual snowflakes that
have fallen upon the ground and are in the process of melting away. More:
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How do you let go of attachments to things? Don't even try. It's impossible.
Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find
yourself in them.
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~ Eckart Tolle
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В 
Passion Fruit Flower
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When mortals are alive, they worry about death.
When they're full, they worry about hunger.
Theirs is the Great Uncertainty.
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But sages don't consider the past.
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And they don't worry about the future.
Nor do they cling to the present.
And from moment to moment they follow the Way.
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~ Bodhidharma
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Zen Poems, Haiku & Writings on Facebook
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When we begin to see that black mud and white snow are neither ugly
nor beautiful, when we can see them without discrimination or duality,
then we begin to grasp Great Compassion.
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~ Thich Nhat Hanh
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About twenty years ago, a close friend and I drove to southern Virginia to
attend a retreat led by Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. At the closing
ceremony, he asked us to choose a partner — I turned to face my friend — and
bow to each other. He then instructed us to hug our partner while taking three
conscious and full in-breaths and out-breaths. With the first breath, he said to
reflect: “IÂ’m going to die”; with the second, “YouÂ’re going to die”; and with the
third, “And we have just these precious moments.” After slowly releasing our
embrace, my friend and I looked at each other through our tears. Thich Nhat
Hanh had, in a beautiful way, turned us toward the refuge of truth.
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~ Tara Brach
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В 
Mind Wanting More
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Only a beige slat of sun
above the horizon, like a shade pulled
not quite down.В  Otherwise,
clouds.В  Sea rippled here and
there.В  Birds reluctant to fly.
The mind wants a shaft of sun to
stir the grey porridge of clouds,
an osprey to stitch sea to sky
with its barred wings, some dramatic
music: a symphony, perhaps
a Chinese gong.
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But the mind always
wants more than it has --
one more bright day of sun,
one more clear night in bed
with the moon; one more hour
to get the words right; one
more chance for the heart in hiding
to emerge from its thicket
in dried grasses -- as if this quiet day
with its tentative light weren't enough,
as if joy weren't strewn all around.
В 
~ Holly HughesВ 
В 
(American Zen A Gathering of Poets)
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В Web version: www.panhala.net/Archive/MInd_Wanting_More.html
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Group: NDhighlights Message: 4786 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-15
Subject: #4786 - Friday, December 14, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4786 - Friday, December 14, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
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A couple of people, Quillian and Ellen Davis, have informed of the correct author behind the quotation given in issue #4783. I'll give the quote again and the explanation of who the author is. But first here's the letter I received from Ellen:
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Hi Jerry,
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The letter that you shared below is from a book called Open Secrets by the brilliant Rabbi Rami M Shapiro (who is from North America, as far as I know and who used to live and teach in CA).В  It is one of my most favorite little books - and feels sacred or jnanic to me.В  On the last page of the book he says, "This book is a fictional collection of letters from "Reb Yerachmiel ben Yisrael" to my great grandfather Aaron Herschel. The rebbe is a composite of several genuine Hasidic rebbes, and my Zayde (great grandfather), was quite real."В 
В 
Rami Shapiro was first introduced to me several years ago as a satsang teacher by a student of Papaji. I saw him teach at that time at a Jewish learning center that he directed in WLA. Indeed, he embodied and shared undivided awareness, and the depth of his references within the context of Judaism or Jewish mysticism, (to my view), could also be or resonate with the depths within the Zen or Sufi wisdom traditions, as you said.В В  I just googled him and found that he blogged as recently as today and will paste this bio which also appears recent:
В 
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award winning author, poet, essayist, and educator whose poems have been anthologized in over a dozen volumes, and whose prayers are used in prayer books around the world. Rami received rabbinical ordination from the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and holds both Ph.d. and D.D. degrees. A congregational rabbi for 20 years, Rabbi Rami is currently Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at Middle Tennessee State University. In addition to writing books, Rami writes a regular column for Spirituality and Health magazine called "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler" and he has a blog.[Beyond Religion with Rabbi Rami]. His most recent book is "Recovery,the Sacred Art."
(Skylight Paths). He can be reached via his website.
В 
Love and namaste,
В 
Ellen Davis
В 
~ ~ ~
В 
Here is the letter composed by Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro for his book Open Secrets and which appeared in issue #4783:
В 
Reb Yerachmiel ben Yisrael
19 Tevet 5636
В 
My Dear Aaron Hershel,
В 
You ask me of God: to define the Nameless to place in your palm the ultimate secret. Do not imagine that this is hidden someВ­where far from you. The ultimate secret is the most open one. Here it is: God is All.
В 
I am tempted to stop with this-to close this letter, sign my name and leave you with this simple truth. Yet I fear you will not understand. Know from the first that all that follows is but an elaboration on the simple fact that God is All.
В 
What does it mean to be All? God is Reality. God is the Source and Substance of all things and nothing. There is no thing or feelВ­ing or thought that is not God, even the idea that there is no God! For this is what it is to be All: God must embrace even God's own negation.
В 
Listen again carefully: God is the Source and Substance of everything. There is nothing outside of God. Thus we read: “I am God and there is none else [am od]” (Isaiah 45:5). Read not simply “none else,” but rather “nothing else”-not that there is no other god but God, but that there is nothing else but God.
В 
Let me illustrate. It rained heavily during the night, and the street is thick with mud. I walked to the Bet Midrash (House of Learning) this morning and stopped to watch a group of little children playing with the mud. Oblivious to the damp, they made dozens of mud figures: houses, animals, towers. From their talk, it was clear that they imagined an identity for each. They gave the figures names and told their stories. For a while, the mud figures took on an independent existence. But they were all just mud. Mud was their source and mud was their substance. From the perspective of the children, their mud creations had separate selves. From the mud's point of view, it is clear such independence was an illusion-the creations were all just mud.
В 
It is the same with us and God: “Adonal alone is God in heaven above and on earth below, there is none else” (Deuteronomy 4:39). There is none else, meaning there is nothing else in heaven or on earth but God.
В 
Can this be? When I look at the world, I do not see God. I see trees of various kinds, people of all types, houses, fields, lakes, cows, horses, chickens, and on and on. In this I am like the chilВ­dren at play, seeing real figures and not simply mud.
В 
Where in all this is God? The question itself is misleading. God is not “in” this; God is this.
Think carefully about what I have said. It is the key to all the secrets of life.
В 
B'Shalom
В 

~ ~ ~
В 

Here is the link to Open Secrets, from which the above letter was unwittingly extracted, on Amazon.com.В 
В 
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4787 From: Mark Date: 2012-12-16
Subject: #4787 - Saturday, December 15, 2012
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm

Nonduality Highlights Issue #4787, Saturday, December 15, 2012





A LAYPERSON'S PRAYER TO CHENREZIG
Including the Prayer of St. Francis

Bodhisattva Avalokiteshavara, Chenrezig,
Great Lord of Compassion, hear my ardent plea:

See me in my lowliness. How can I help others?
I can barely take care of my family, or myself.
How can I relieve the suffering of the world?

With your aid, perhaps I can begin simply
With each person I meet.

Make me, then, an instrument of your
Compassion, a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love.

Let my love be indiscriminate, for even
Those who do me harm, or threaten the
Stability of my world.

Where there is injury, let me sow pardon.
Help me to let go of ill-will against any "enemy"
Who is someone who wants to be happy and
Avoid pain, just as I do.

O Lord of Loving-Kindness, where there is Darkness,
Let me bring light. I cannot
Destroy the evil in the world, but with
Your help, may I lighten the dark of any
Sorrow I see. Where there is sadness,
May I bring joy!

I ask you, O Lord of Love, to please help me
Think of others more than myself:

May I not so much seek to be consoled,
As to console; To be understood,
As to understand; To be loved, as to love.

In your Great Compassion, please open
My heart so I will truly know:

It is in giving, that we receive;
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned, and
It is in dying to self, that we realize the Deathless.

O Embodiment of the Compassion of All the Buddhas,
Whose 1,000 arms dredge the depths of samsara
Tirelessly bringing solace to All who call your name,
May I realize that in our True Nature, there is no
Difference between us.

Then, from the depths of my lowly being,
May I join the great Bodhisattvas to offer
This final prayer:

May I remain in samsara until my loved ones,
My friends, my enemies, until all sentient beings
Have been relieved of suffering, and know
Your Unchanging Peace.

Om Mani Padme Hum!
Om Mani Padme Hum!
Om Mani Padme Hum.

- dharma grandmother, posted to DailyDharma



Group: NDhighlights Message: 4788 From: Mark Date: 2012-12-17
Subject: #4788, Sunday - December 16, 2012
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm

Nonduality Highlights Issue #4788, Sunday, December 16, 2012





It is intellectual conceptualization that raises various unnecessary issues, gets the individual trapped in its net, and makes him forget the fundamental question as to who and what the questioner himself really is.

- Ramesh Balsekar, posted to ANetofJewels




Ram Tzu knows this . . .

It's not your fault.
How could it be?

A shadow is not responsible
For its movements.

A knife cannot
Be tried for murder.

You have been filled
With your self.

You believe what
You are meant to believe.
You go where
You are supposed to go.

Ram Tzu does not offer advice . . .

Who would he offer it to?

- Ram Tzu, No Way for the Spiritually "Advanced", Wayne Liquorman aka Ram Tzu, posted to AlongTheWay




Meet your own self. Be with your own self, listen to it, obey it, cherish it, keep it in mind ceaselessly. You need no other guide. As long as your urge for truth affects your daily life, all is well with you. Live your life without hurting anybody. Harmlessness is a most powerful form of Yoga and it will take you speedily to your goal. This is what I call nisarga yoga, the Natural yoga. It is the art of living in peace and harmony, in friendliness and love. The fruit of it is happiness, uncaused and endless.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to AlongTheWay




Self-enquiry is a passive rather than an active process. Mind is allowed to subside into its source even while engaged in normal activity, which then becomes an undercurrent of witnessing that gradually extends throughout all waking hours and begins to pervade all one's activities without intruding on them or interfering with them.

- Ramesh Balsekar, posted to ANetofJewels





Tranquility comes only in the utter absence of resistance to the experience of the present moment and therefore has nothing to do with idealistic intellectual commitments to either action or non-action or to any other conceivable aspect of idealized behavior.

- Ramesh Balsekar, posted to ANetofJewels




forgiveness

just having the occasional wayward ramble
which may hold some wonderful truths
or simply be the product of a febrile imagination
... I can never be quite sure

when I harbour a grudge
or a deep dislike for someone
exactly what is going on in me?

however much I may imagine
that the foci of this distaste are external to me
are they not also in my own tissue?
I carry an idea in my mind of that person
and my venom is aimed at that idea
which is in the tissue of my mind

in effect am I not damaging that tissue
with the feeling of negation permeating it?
feels to me like I'm isolating a part of my mind
ring-fencing it so that it doesn't interfere
with other processes going on, as though
any part can be abandoned for the good of the whole

if a part of my mind is isolated,
left unfed, ostracised from the whole community
do I not myself become unwhole, unholy?

when I worked in Libya in the eighties
I sometimes came across their map of the world
and within the borders of Israel, the map was a blackness,
representing a refusal to acknowledge anything about it
... except an active dislike, enmity, ill-will, malevolence

and so I consider the map of my mind
how there may be many of these dark areas and how,
unloved, starved of a free flow of energy running through them
they may start to ferment in their darkness

we know the characteristic smell of a poorly aerated compost heap

who knows what diseases may spring from such deprivation?

I harbour this notion that all ideas have their part in the body,
the favourite places in which they dwell, and if they're not
invited to participate in the function of the whole
will they not just do their own sweet thing,
a cancerous growth, unloved, multiplying from its own
little isolated centre without regard for the whole
... in the total body economy it's simply intelligently reflecting
the privative attitude with which it has itself been excluded

accounts say that a chap who was around roughly 2000 years ago
was suffering extreme hardship when he uttered the words
"forgive them for they know not what they do"

anything that is cut off from the whole is in a state called sin
whether I do it to myself, cutting myself off from the Now
or I do it to these parts of my mind
that are fed with ill-will instead of healthy, whole-hearted love

well, we take any extract as we will,
but I take this one to be urging me to practice
what he was demonstrating
... forgiveness

apologies for the excessive rambling

Love,
John

- posted to the Now_2




To follow one's own desires is to flee from God
and to spill the blood of spirituality
in the presence of His justice.

This world is a trap, and desire its bait:
escape the traps, and quickly
turn your face toward God.

When you have followed this Way,
you have enjoyed a hundred blessings.
When you have gone the opposite way, you have fared ill.

So the Prophet said, "Consult your own hearts,
even though the religious judge
advises you about worldy affairs."

Abandon desire, and so reveal His Mercy:
you've learned by experience
the sacrifice He requires.

Since you can't escape, be His servant,
and go from His prison into His rose garden.
When you continually keep watch over your thoughts and actions,

you are always seeing the Justice and the Judge,
though heedlessness may shut your eyes,
still, that doesn't stop the sun from shining.

-Rumi, Mathnawi VI: 377-384, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski, Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance, posted to Sunlight



Group: NDhighlights Message: 4789 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-19
Subject: #4789 - Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4789 - Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В 
The Nonduality HighlightsВ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/
В 
В 

В 
В 
Jeff Warren, the unofficial journalistВ for nonduality, published the following article in the New York Times Opinion section online on December 17, 2012:

The Anxiety of the Long-Distance Meditator

By JEFF WARREN
В 
Excerpts from the article: To see how the retreat ended, read the full article with over 80 comments here:
В 
В 
...
В 
В 
The only way to know for sure was to see for myself. I knew that [Dan] Ingram had hosted a single meditator at his home the past couple of summers. I contacted him and he agreed. The retreat would be entirely self-policed, based on a rigorous Burmese monastic schedule: up at 4:30 a.m., to bed at 10:30 p.m. Alternately sit for an hour, and then walk for an hour. Thirty minutes for breakfast, an hour for lunch, no dinner. No writing, no reading, no leaving the house except for a lunchtime shower. Eighteen hours of practice a day. I would get out of it what I put into it.
В 
...
В 
My schedule collapsed. I couldnÂ’t sit, and the prospect of walking around the room pretending to be a wonder-struck bionic ninja was agonizing and ridiculous. Instead, feeling guilty, I went for long walks in the 100-degree heat, accompanied by the sinister hum of cicadas. People went on retreats for months — years even —- yet the thought of being confined for three more weeks terrified me. There was a Greyhound station in Huntsville, a 20-mile hike. Filled with self-loathing, I decided to leave the next day at dawn... .
В 
...
В 

More long days passed and I persevered. Eventually on about day twelve, a strong equilibrium overtook me. This too was on the map — “knowledge of equanimity.” Everything was clean and undramatic. I could sit for hours now, my heartbeat slowed way down. Concentration was easy, almost unnecessary. There was only the world, the view from the window, my own breath so silky smooth and consoling in in its ordinariness. I stared at my face in the bathroom mirror, shining now like a newbornÂ’s. Nothing needed to be any different than it was.
В 
Ingram was excited. “YouÂ’re on the verge of stream entry,” he said. “The danger is youÂ’ll get complacent. This is the equanimity trap. Keep noticing — notice the way everything changes, the slight tension in things, the way each sensation is devoid of any “thing” called a self. Notice and let go.”
В 
How do you notice and let go? A low-level anxiety returned. Occasionally I felt as though I were sliding into a kind of inversion, but as soon as I did my journalist mind seized on the moment with nerdy analytic curiosity. My equanimity ebbed.
В 
...
В 
Days passed and I lost all sense of progress. I became stressed, obsessed; instead of meditating I dug out my meditation books and guiltily read them in the corner of the room, pouring over the maps, looking for clues, trying to organize my vacillating experience. At this point Ingram was checking in almost every day. I engaged him relentlessly in intellectual discussions, recording each talk. He indulged me, but it was clear he was losing faith in my abilities as a meditator. “You think too much,” he said, “youÂ’re more interested in writing about your experiences than having them. If you donÂ’t stop strategizing youÂ’ll blow this opportunity.”
В 
But I couldnÂ’t let go. I wanted to problem-solve my own liberation and the more I did the further away it got. I cycled up and down more wildly than ever, one moment beatifically clear, the next confused.
В 
...
В 
Before I went on retreat I asked another Buddhist teacher — a friend of IngramÂ’s named Hokai Sobol — how he would describe the stages of contemplative development. He paused for a long time, because unlike Ingram, he didnÂ’t think that progress was quite so linear or predictable. When he finally answered he said he had noticed 3 flavors. The first flavor, he said, is bitter — the bitterness of effort, of beginning to recognize the depth of the contraction and the alienation and the subsequent struggle to address it. If you are sincere, he said, then you are rewarded with a second flavor: a sweetness. The sweetness of surrender, of opening. A new tenderness. This is what most spiritual practitioners crave, and it is delicious when we find it.
В 
But ultimately, even this doesnÂ’t last. The final flavor, he said, is bittersweet. It is marked by a recognition that both effort and surrender are ways of re-tracing the basic illusion, the first that there is a self that need to get somewhere, the second that there is some “other” to surrender to. True devotion, he said, is not having faith in something or someone. It is a vehicle of questioning, and in that questioning our consolations are impossible to sustain.
В 
~ ~ ~
В 
I left out many entire paragraphs from this article, and I have short-changed Warren's description. I have only meant give a taste. Please read the full article with over 80 comments here:
В 
В 
The comments are as significant as the article and they expand the article into a community. Here are a few:
В 
ejpiskoLakeland, FL
The whole concept of meditating to accomplish something is a bit flawed. From my perspective as a meditator for 15 years, I would say that you can use meditation to lessen anxiety but that induces a certain self hypnosis state in which you can shut down certain thoughts and feelings. Meditation ultimately is not about shutting down, but opening up. Eventually one lives in total awareness. Problems don't go away and we are who we are. But there is a delightful beauty to living in awareness.
В 
-------------
В 
BarryBoulder

Great article! The fact that it is right here in the New York Times and a point of disscussion for people with obvious insight and genuine experience is a very hopeful point in a world where little of the news is hopeful in any way. Thanks for your practice. Maybe there is a larger purpose and meaning.
В 
--------------
В 
Mike MarksOrleans

...The best path to enlightenment is to simply realize and accept that it's not all about you.
В 
--------------
В 

LanceAustin,Texas
I'm about to do a 10 day retreat. What a privilege. To sit for 12 hours a day and , well sit for 12 hours a day, and observe everything including my resistance. Very cool.
В 
---------------
В 
MushoNew York City

Dear Jeff. Thanks for the honesty and courage contained in this article. You did everything right, and discovered everything that needs to be discovered. The process is ongoing. The most wonderful and sublime quality of meditation is that it has no purpose. It takes a lot of meditation to discover this. It's a radical concept. We live in a unrelenting world of right and wrong, success and failure, causes and cures, and judgements of all kinds. During meditation we may see all this in our minds, or just be wondering about lunch, but we do nothing. Just sit there. Incredible! Doing nothing, and getting nothing out of it! It's wonderful. The question quickly arises, why would anyone sit for hours doing nothing while there is so much to be done it this world. Why meditate? If it doesn't help us to improve ourselves or to improve the world for others, why do it? This question is the dragon's gate of the infinite field of all Buddhas of the past present and future. It's a question that one can only answer from personal experience. You passed through that gate as a lion.
В 
Promoters of meditation may offer paths to enlightenment, bliss or at least an ease to anxiety, but these are only expedient means to get you try meditation. Beware if their offers are promises. When you meet a true zen master, they will probably promise nothing, smile and then ask you to do the dishes.

В 
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4790 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-20
Subject: #4790 - Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4790 - Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В 
The Nonduality HighlightsВ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/
В 
В 

В 
В 
Here is an interview I did with Dan aka Braying Jack Cass the other day:
В 
В 
or use the audio player here:
В 
В 
В 
~ ~ ~
В 
В 
Have you seen Dan's nondual humorВ videos?
В 
В 
They're good.
В 
The guy who makes them goes by Braying Jack Cass on Facebook:
В 
В 
~ ~ ~
В 
Here are some of his writings:
В 
Rest in awareness often. Allow whatever is arising to happen without resistance. Dog is attacking; allow the dog to attack without hindrance. Missed your turnoff; let the car go over the cliff effortlessly. House is on fire; let it burn down. A burnt house is a small price to pay for a spiritual insight.
В 
~ from "A Pile of Wisdom, the Collected Droppings of Braying Jack Cass"
В 
~ ~ ~
В 
I was watching a Byron Katie video and it struck me how useful her “Work” is for pointing out the irrational manner of our thoughts and how these make us miserable. Of course this a very useful process. But it seems as though the vast majority of spiritual gurus are simply playing the role of a psychotherapist for people. What they end up doing then is help to keep a person's thoughts neat and orderly and rational. Which is a great service if a person is suffering because of irrational thoughts.

Of course, there are several problems with this.В 

For one thing, almost none of these spiritual gurus have the training or licensing to treat people with psychological issues, making the possibility of creating lasting damage very great. Also, the seekers build a dependence on the spiritual teachers to fix their problems. When thoughts gets messy and out of control and unbearable, they click on the latest satsang video or crack open the latest spirituality book.В 

If you think of the analogy of the body/mind as a house, and the thoughts as the furniture, what a spiritual guru ends up doing is coming into your house to help arrange and clean the furniture. Which leaves you with a neat and tidy house for the time being, but then life goes on and the furniture slowly but surely gets dirty and out of place. Which necessitates another visit from the spiritual maid.

So, basically, these followers have signed up for a cleaning service. Just as a house continues to be lived in, thoughts continue to “get messy” and need to be cleaned and re-arranged.

For as much talk as there is about how life is an illusion and how thoughts are all lies, thereÂ’s a lot of effort in making the illusion tidier and neater and having a more preferable set of lies. If my previous lies were that IÂ’m an incomplete, imperfect being thatÂ’s a failure, does a new set of lies telling me that IÂ’m NOT those things but instead Oneness and Awareness and Perfection really help in the long run? WonÂ’t those new lies also begin to get messy and out of order and also need to have a spiritual cleaning?
В 
~ ~ ~
В 
"Your hallucinations and delusions about the world are wholly inadequate and unacceptable. Please listen to and accept my hallucinations and delusions about the world."
В 
Said every spiritual teacher, ever.
В 
~ ~ ~
В 
  • Learn how to end the spiritual search in a 6-week retreat with Moo Ji. Reserve your stall now. BYOS (bring your own straw)
В 
В 
В 
В 
В 
В 
В 
If you're a frustrated spiritual seeker, learn how to end the search in my 6-week retreat. My retreats are so effective that many of the same people have attended year after year. The popularity only grows. Don't wait and reserve your stall now. Hay will be provided during breaks.
В 
~ ~ ~
В 
Listen to the conversation between me and Dan:
В 
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4791 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-12-21
Subject: #4791 - Thursday, December 20, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
#4791 -В Thursday, December 20, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
В 
В 
В 
There is a stillness
simpler than silence
a peace deeper than calm.
There is a shimmering
in the dark soil,
В 
shades of trees,
in old moss, and the twisted
forms of branches,
that hold us, carry us
and nurture us.
In the flash of the eye,
laughter, or a tear.
No effort needed, no self to seek,
just grace remains.
В 
~Svein Myreng (Plum Poems)
В 
via Effortless Peace on Facebook
В 

В 
The world has billions of people
and no two faces alike
I wonder about the reason
behind such variation
and all with similar views
В 
debating who is right and wrong
just correct yourself
and stop maligning others
В 
~В Shih-te [Pickup]
В 
via Zen Poems, Haiku & Writings
В 

В 
В 
Our job is to love others without stopping
to inquire whether or not they are worthy.
That is not our business and,
in fact, it is nobody's business.
What we are asked to do is to love,
В 
and this love itself will render both ourselves
and our neighbors worthy, if anything can.
В 
~ Thomas Merton
via Tao & Zen on Facebook
В 

В 
"The more you practice zazen, the more you will be interested in your daily life.
This is to observe your situation accurately, to clear your mind and begin from
your original starting point."
В 
~ Shunryu Suzuki, Not Always So
В 

В 
Yes, IÂ’m truly a dunce
Living among trees and plants.
Please donÂ’t question me about illusion and enlightenment
This old fellow just likes to smile to himself.
I wade across streams with bony legs,
В 
And carry a bag about in fine spring weather.
ThatÂ’s my life,
And the world owes me nothing.
В 
~ Ryokan
В 
via Zen Poems, Haiku & Writings
В 

В 
В 
One day, music will take its rightful place
as the true religion of Mankind.
В 
~ Inayat Khan
В 
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4792 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-22
Subject: #4792 - Friday, December 21, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4792 - Friday, December 21, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В 
The Nonduality Highlights
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/
В 
В 

В 

Julian Noyce writes in his newsletter for Non-Duality Press:
В 
Welcome to our December update! The focus of this newsletter is a new DVD entitled Explorations with Darryl Bailey which we have just added to our website.
В 
Darryl lives a modest life with a day job in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. His writing and dialogues have a grounded liveliness and simplicity. His experience and depth have given him the reputation of being the teachers's teacher.
В 
The dialogues and talks featured in this new DVD were filmed at Darryl's meetings in London last year. You can watch a sample from the DVD on our YouTube channel, here
В 
В 
Darryl's books are available here
В 
В 
and here
В 
В 
Julian Noyce
В 
Non-Duality PressВ 
В 
В 

В 
В 
I've invited Darryl to do an audio interview with me and we hope to conduct that in early January.
В 
I hope to conduct a lot of interviews with people speaking from many different angles from within the world of nonduality. My most recent interview was with Gary Falk who has a reputation as an over-poster. He was thrown out of the Guru Ratings group for posting too much. I've tried to calm him down in this interview in which he talks about coming to the end of the spiritual seach while in Candice O'Denver's group, which he calls a cult. Lots of humor in this conversation, allВ in an attempt to get something truthful spoken. I think we succeeded, although in the attempt what often takes shape is moreВ  performance art thanВ interview, but that's fine with me.
В 
Here's the interview with Gary Falk:
В 
В 
My other interviews are at http://nonduality.com/nondualitystreet.htm

В 
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4793 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-24
Subject: #4793 - Saturday/Sunday, December 22-23, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4793 - Saturday/Sunday, December 22-23, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В 
В 
В 

В 
В 
В 
"...we were only talking confusedly."
В 
"Almost nobody has been making linguistic mistakes about almost nothing. By and large, this is the only thing that has ever happened."
В 
"One has breathed a new air, become free of a new country. It may be a country you cannot live in, but you now know why the natives love it. You will henceforward see all systems a little differently because you have been inside that one."
В 
В 
The Empty Universe
В 
In our climate of naturalistic presuppositions in science, the following essay from C.S. Lewis is fitting, and worth quoting in full. The following essay is from "Present Concerns: A Compelling Collection of Timely, Journalistic Essays" (London, 1986).
В 
This essay was first published as a Preface to D.E. Harding's The Hierarchy of Heaven and Earth: A New Diagram of Man in the Universe (London, 1952).
В 
"This book is, I believe, the first attempt to reverse a movement of thought which has been going on since the beginning of philosophy.
В 
The process whereby man has come to know the universe is from one point of view extremely complicated; from another it is alarmingly simple. We can observe a single one-way progression. At the outset the universe appears packed with will, intelligence, life and positive qualities; every tree is a nymph and every planet a god. Man himself is akin to the gods. The advance of knowledge gradually empties this rich and genial universe: first of its gods, then of its colors, smells, sounds and tastes, finally of solidity itself as solidity was originally imagined. As these items are taken from the world, they are transfered to the subjective side of the account: classified as our sensations, thoughts, images or emotions. The Subject becomes gorged, inflated, at the expense of the Object.
В 
But the matter does not rest here. The same method which has emptied the world now proceeds to empty ourselves. The masters of the method soon announce that we were just as mistaken (and mistaken in much the same way) when we attributed "souls", or "selves" or "minds" to human organisms, as when we attributed Dryads to the trees. Animism, apparently, begins at home. We, who have personified all other things, turn out to be ourselves mere personifications. Man is indeed akin to the gods: that is, he is no less phantasmal than they. Just as the Dryad is a "ghost", an abbreviated symbol for all the facts we know about the tree foolishly mistaken for a mysterious entity over and above the facts, so the man's "mind" or "consciousness" is an abbreviated symbol for certain verifiable facts about his behaviour: a symbol mistaken for a thing. And just as we have been broken of our bad habit of personifying trees, so we must now be broken of our bad habit of personifying men: a reform already effected in the political field. There never was a Subjective account into which we could transfer the items into which the Object had lost. There is no "consciousness" to contain, as images or private experiences, all the lost gods, colours, and concepts. Consciousness is "not the sort of noun that can be used that way".
В 
For we are given to understand that our mistake was a linguistic one. All our previous theologies, metaphysics, and psychologies were a by-product of our bad grammer. Max Muller's formula (Mythology is a disease of language) from "The Science of Language", 1864, thus returns with a wider scope than he ever dreamed of. We were not even imagining these things, we were only talking confusedly. All the questions which humanity has hitherto asked with deepest concern for the answer turn out to be unanswerable; not because the answers are hidden from us like "goddes privitee" from Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales", but because they are nonsense questions like "How far is it from London Bridge to Christmas Day?" What we thought we were loving when we loved a woman or a friend was not even a phantom like the phantom sail which starving sailors think they see on the horizon. It was something more like a pun or a sophisma per figuram dictionis (sophism disguised as language). It is though a man, deceived by the linguistic similarity between "myself" and "my spectacles", should start looking round for his "self" to put in his pocket before he left his bedroom in the morning: he might want it during the course of the day. If we lament the discovery that our friends have no "selves" in the old sense, we shall be behaving like a man who shed bitter tears at being unable to find his "self" anywhere on the dressing-table or even underneath it.
В 
And thus we arrive at a result uncommonly like zero. While we were reducing the world to almost nothing we deceived ourselves with the fancy that all its lost qualities were being kept safe (if in a somewhat humbled condition) as "things in our own mind". Apparently we had no mind of the sort required. The Subject is as empty as the Object. Almost nobody has been making linguistic mistakes about almost nothing. By and large, this is the only thing that has ever happened.
В 
Now the trouble about this conclusion is not simply that it is unwelcome to our emotions. It is not unwelcome at all times or in all people. This philosophy, like every other, has its pleasures. And it will, I fancy, prove very congenial to government. The old "liberty-talk" was very much mixed up with the idea that , as inside the ruler, so inside the subject, there was a whole world, to him the centre of all worlds, capacious of endless suffering and delight. But now, of course, he has no "inside", except the sort you can find by cutting him open. If I had to burn a man alive, I think I should find this doctrine comfortable. The real difficulty for most of us is more like a physical difficulty: we find it impossible to keep our minds, even for ten seconds at a stretch, twisted into the shape that this philosophy demands. And, to do him justice, Hume (who is its great ancestor) warned us not to try. He recommended backgammon instead; and freely admitted that when, after a suitable dose, we returned to our theory, we should find it "cold and strained and ridiculous" in "A Treatise of Human Nature", Book I, Part iv, section vii. And obviously, if we really must accept nihilism, that is how we shall have to live: just as, if we have diabetes, we must take insulin. But one would rather not have diabetes and do without the insulin. If there should, after all, turn out to be any alternative to a philosophy that can be supported only by repeated (and presumably increasing) doses of backgammon, I suppose that most people would be glad to hear of it.

There is indeed (or so I am told) one way of living under this philosophy without the backgammon, but it is not one a man would like to try. I have heard that there are states of insanity in which such a nihilistic doctrine becomes really credible: that is, as Dr. I.A. Richards would say, "belief feelings" are attached to it, in his book Principles of Literary Criticism, 1924. The patient has the experience of being nobody in a world of nobodies and nothings. Those who return from this condition describe it as highly disagreeable.
В 
Now there is of course nothing new in the attempt to arrest the process that has led us from the living universe where man meets the gods to the final void where almost-nobody discovers his mistakes about almost-nothing. Every step in that process has been contested. Many rear guard actions have been fought: some are being fought at the moment. But is has only been a question of arresting, not of reversing, the movement. That is what makes Mr. Harding's book so important. If it "works", then we shall have seen the beginning of a reversal: not a stand here, or a stand there, but a kind of thought which attempts to reopen the whole question. And we feel sure in advance that only thought of this type can help. The fatal slip which has led us to nihilism must have occured at the very beginning.
В 
There is of course no question of returning to Animism as Animism was before the "rot" began. No one supposes that the beliefs of pre-philosophic humanity, just as they stood before they were criticized, can or should be restored. The question is whether the first thinkers in modifying (and rightly modifying) them under the criticism, did not make some rash and unneccesary concession. It was certainly not their intention to commit us to the absurd consequence that have actually followed. This sort of error is of course very common in debate or even in solitary thought. We start with a view which contains a good deal of truth, though in a confused or exaggerated form. Objections are then suggested and we withdraw it. But hours later we discover that we have emptied the baby out with the bath water and that the original view must have contained certain truths for lack of which we are now tangled in absurdities. So here. In emptying out the Dryads and the gods (which, admittedly, "would not do" just as they stood) we appear to have thrown out the whole universe, ourselves included. We must go back and begin over again: this time with a better chance of success, for of course we can now use all particular truths and all improvements of method which our argument may have thrown up as by-products in its otherwise ruinous course.
В 
It would be affectation to pretend that I know whether Mr. Harding's attempt, in its present form, will work. Very possibly not. One hardly expects the first, or the twenty-first rocket to the moon to make a good landing. But it is a beginning. If it should turn out to have been even the remote ancestor of some system which will give us again a credible universe inhabited by credible agents and observers, this will still have been a very important book indeed.
В 
It has also given me that bracing and satifying experience which, in certain books of theory, seems to be partially independent of our final agreement or disagreement. It is an experience most easily disengaged by remembering what has happened to us whenever we turned from the inferior exponents of a system, even a system we reject, to its great doctors. I have had it on turning from common "Existentialists" to M. Sartre himself, from Calvinists to the Institutio, from "Transcendentalists" to Emerson, from books about "Renaissance Platonism" to Ficino. One may still disagree (I disagree heartily with all the authors I have just named) but one now sees for the first time why anyone ever did agree. One has breathed a new air, become free of a new country. It may be a country you cannot live in, but you now know why the natives love it. You will henceforward see all systems a little differently because you have been inside that one. From this point of view philosophies have some of the same qualities as works of art. I am not referring at all to the literary art with which they may or may not be expressed. It is the ipseitas, the peculiar unity of effect produced by a special balancing and patterning of thought and classes of thoughts: a delight very like that which would be given by Hesse's Glasperlenspiel (in the book of that name) if it could really exist. I owe a new experience of that kind to Mr. Harding."
В 
~ ~ ~
В 
Thanks to Wayne Ferguson for sending this. Wayne also writes,
В 
Douglas Harding and "The Headless Way" have been gradually growing on me (as a nonreligious, non-sectarian way of talking about this). В  Richard Lang has recently uploaded a really extraordinary video about him-- and about seeing --to YouTube.В  A must see for anyone who is at all curious about who/what they really are--enjoy!В  :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q3VacEvh8MВ 
В 
[This is a fascinating, beautiful,В useful video. It reveals more about the correspondence between Lewis and Harding. Fact is, Lewis wasn't interested in the experience of headlessness and so Harding was without Lewis's support in promoting that teaching. Yet it could later beВ declared,В "A society of seers was being born." Headlessness exercises are included as well as footage of Harding speaking.В -jk]
В 
Harding provides the pushВ over the edge ofВ the imaginary self, into what is.
В 
For a page on Amazon.com listing Harding's books Click here.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4794 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-12-25
Subject: #4794 - Monday, December 24, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4794 -В Monday, December 24, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
В 
В 
В 
"We are celebrating the feast of the Eternal Birth which God the Father has
borne and never ceases to bear in all eternity... But if it takes not place in me,
what avails it? Everything lies in this, that it should take place in me."
В 
~ Meister Eckhart
В 
В 
Love so vast, love the sky cannot contain. How does all this fit inside my heart?
~ Rumi
В 
via Wayne Ferguson on Facebook
В 

В 
"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(First Letter of John).
В 
via Harsha Luther on Facebook
В 

В 
In this moment – for you, right now – there is a clear
light of awareness in which everything is appearing.
It is what you are. You are that! It is free, totally
unobscured, full and complete. Christ said, 'I am the
light of the world'. You, as that awareness, can say
the same thing. Separation from that is a total illusion.
It never happened, except in imagination. It is based
on a 'me' that never existed. It is just a wrong idea.
В 
~В John Wheeler
В 
Awakening to the Natural State
via Along The Way
В 

В 
"This place where you are right now, God circled
В 
on a map for you,
В 
the Beloved bowed there knowing you were coming.
В 
I could tell you a priceless secret
В 
about your real worth, dear seeker,
В 
but any unkindness to yourself, any confusion
В 
about others, will keep one from accepting the grace,
В 
the love, the sublime freedom Divine Knowledge
В 
always offers you.
В 
I have already clearly woven a resplendent lock of
В 
His tresses as a remarkable gift in this verse for you.
В 
This place where you are right now, God circled
В 
on a map. And the Beloved bowed there knowing,
В 
knowing you were coming."
В 
В 
В 
— Hafiz/ Ladinsky

В 
Nativity
В 
By Li-Young Lee
(1957 - )
В 
В 
В 
In the dark, a child might ask, What is the world?
just to hear his sister
promise, An unfinished wing of heaven,
just to hear his brother say,
A house inside a house,
but most of all to hear his mother answer,
One more song, then you go to sleep.
В 
How could anyone in that bed guess
the question finds its beginning
in the answer long growing
inside the one who asked, that restless boy,
the night's darling?
В 
Later, a man lying awake,
he might ask it again,
just to hear the silence
charge him, This night
arching over your sleepless wondering,
В 
this night, the near ground
every reaching-out-to overreaches,
В 
just to remind himself
out of what little earth and duration,
out of what immense good-bye,
В 
each must make a safe place of his heart,
before so strange and wild a guest
as God approaches.
В 
В 
-- from Book of My Nights, by Li-Young Lee
В 

В 
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4795 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-25
Subject: #4795 - Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4795 - Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В 
В 
В 

В 
Merry Christmas!

The following is extracted from the Wikipedia article on nondualism:
В 

Christianity
Jesus himself utters deep nondual statements, such as this, from John 17:11(kjv)— Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. . .14b . . . because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. . . 21 That they may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us[.] And this, from Luke 11:34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.
В 
The Cloud of Unknowing an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in Middle English in the latter half of the 14th century advocates a nondual relationship with God. The text describes a spiritual union with God through the heart. The author of the text advocates centering prayer, a form of inner silence. According to the text God can not be known through knowledge or from intellection. It is only by emptying the mind of all created images and thoughts that we can arrive to experience God. According to the text God is completely unknowable by the mind. God is not known through the intellect but through intense contemplation, motivated by love, and stripped of all thought.
В 
Christian Science has been described as nondual. In a glossary of terms written by the founder, Mary Baker Eddy, matter is defined as illusion, and when defining 'I, or Ego' as the divine in relationship with individual identity, she writes "There is but one I, or Us, but one divine Principle, or Mind, governing all existence" – continuing – ". . .whatever reflects not this one Mind, is false and erroneous, even the belief that life, substance, and intelligence are both mental and material."
В 
Bede Griffiths' (1906–1993) form of Vedanta-inspired or nondual Christianity, coming from the Christian Ashram Movement, has inspired papers by Bruno Barnhart discussing 'Wisdom Christianity' or 'Sapiential Christianity'. Barnhart (1999: p. 238) explores Christian nondual experience in a dedicated volume and states that he gives it the gloss of "unitive" experience and "perennial philosophy". Further, Barnhart (2009) holds that:
В 
It is quite possible that nonduality will emerge as the theological principle of a rebirth of sapiential Christianity ('wisdom Christianity') in our time."

Nondual statements can also be found in the work of the Christian mystic Joel S. Goldsmith who founded The Infinite Way. Joel wrote that:
В 
There is nothing that you know about God that is God. There is no idea of God that you can entertain that is God. There is no possible thought that you can have about God that is God. It makes no difference what your idea may be or what your concept may be, it remains an idea or a concept, and an idea or a concept is not God. And so every student must eventually realize that he has to rise above all his concepts of God before he can have an experience of God.
В 
According to the teachings of The Infinite Way, God is a non-dual experience, Joel wrote that thought and ideas in the mind take people away from the realization of God. To experience God, Joel recommended meditation and for the subject to tune into the present moment so duality of the subject disappears.
~ ~ ~
В 
В 
В 
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4796 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-26
Subject: #4796 - Wednesday, December 26, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4796 - Wednesday, December 26, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В 
В 
В 

В 
В 
Haiku (Never Published)В 
В 
by Allen Ginsberg
Drinking my tea
Without sugar-
No difference.

The sparrow shits
upside down
--ah! my brain & eggs

Mayan head in a
Pacific driftwood bole
--Someday I'll live in N.Y.

Looking over my shoulder
my behind was covered
with cherry blossoms.

Winter Haiku
I didn't know the namesВ 
of the flowers--now
my garden is gone.

I slapped the mosquito
and missed.
What made me do that?

Reading haiku
I am unhappy,
longing for the Nameless.

A frog floatingВ 
in the drugstore jar:
summer rain on grey pavements.
(after Shiki)

On the porch
in my shorts;
auto lights in the rain.

Another year
has past-the world
is no different.

The first thing I looked forВ 
in my old garden was
The Cherry Tree.

My old desk:
the first thing I looked for
in my house.

My early journal:
the first thing I found
in my old desk.

My mother's ghost:
the first thing I found
in the living room.

I quit shaving
but the eyes that glanced at me
remained in the mirror.

The madmanВ 
emerges from the movies:
the street at lunchtime.

Cities of boys
are in their graves,
and in this town...

Lying on my side
in the void:
the breath in my nose.

On the fifteenth floor
the dog chews a bone-
Screech of taxicabs.

A hardon in New York,
a boy
in San Fransisco.

The moon over the roof,
worms in the garden.
I rent this house.


[Haiku composed in the backyard cottage at 1624
Milvia Street, Berkeley 1955, while reading R.H.В 
Blyth's 4 volumes, "Haiku."]
~ ~ ~
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4797 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2012-12-28
Subject: #4797 - Thursday, December 27, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#4797 -В Thursday, December 27, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
В 
В 
The sun is simply bright. It does not correct anyone.
Because it shines, the whole world is full of light.
В 
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
В 

В 
Thy sunshine smiles upon the winter days of my heart,
never doubting of its spring flowers.
В 
~ Tagore
В 
by Alan Larus
В 

В 
В 
If we remove all the rubbish, all the thoughts, from our minds,
the peace will become manifest. That which is obstructing the
peace has to be removed. Peace is the only reality.
В 
~ Ramana Maharshi
В 

В 
В 
When you look at what is happening to our world—and it is hard to look at what
is happening to our water, our air, our trees, our fellow species—it becomes
clear that unless you have some roots in a spiritual practice that holds life
sacred and encourages joyful communion with all your fellow beings, facing the
enormous challenges ahead becomes nearly impossible.
В 
~ Joanna Macy: World as Lover, World as Self

В 

В 
When you expand your vision and awareness, you see that you are a part of
everybody. If people around you are suffering, you do not simply shut your eyes
and say, 'I'll be really happy.' The subtler you go and the more refined you are,
you feel for everyone in the world. You start feeling for trees, animals and
plants as well. You begin to care for the environment."
В 
~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar)
В 

В 
В 

В 
We must never permit the voice of humanity within us to be silenced.
It is man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him truly a man.
В 
~ Albert Schweitzer
В 
В 

В 
Dogs emanate a goodness that people respond to. One of the joys of walking your
dog is often people come up to you and immediately their hearts open. They are
not interested in you, of course. They want to pat your dog.
В 
~ Eckhart Tolle, Guardians of Being
В 
В 
The hope for the animals of tomorrow is to be found in a human culture which
learns to feel beyond itself. We must learn empathy, we must learn to see into
the eyes of an animal and feel that its life has value because it is alive. Nothing
else will do.
В 
~ Kenneth White
В 

В 
В 

В 

I was sad one day and went for a walk; I sat in a field. A rabbit noticed my
condition and came near. It often does not take more than that to help: just to
be close to creatures who are so full of knowing, so full of love that they don't
chat, they just gaze with their marvelous understanding.
В 
~ St. John of the Cross
В 

В 
"Every single creature is full of God, and is a book about God. Every creature
is a word of God. If I spend enough time with the tiniest creature, even a
caterpillar, I would never have to prepare a sermon, so full of God is every
creature."
В 
~ Meister Eckhart, 14th C .Christian mystic
В 

В 
Group: NDhighlights Message: 4798 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2012-12-28
Subject: #4798 - Friday, December 28, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

#4798 - Friday, December 28, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
В 
В 

В 
Mark your calendar. Mandee and I will be hosting a radio show this Sunday, December 30,В from 1:00PM EST to as late as 4:00PM.
You may listen at http://ckdu.ca
В 
We might be taking calls from listeners if the technology allows us to. Updates will be posted to my Facebook page:
В 
What will talk about? We'll play clips from sages and interviews, music, talk about whatever. It'll beВ a free spirited nonduality show.
В 


В 

John Prendergast's latest issue of Undivided Journal is amazingly rich. Take a look, or visit the Journal here:

Volume 1, Number 3: Table of Contents


В 

В 

Here's a selection from

Bringing Our Togetherness Back to Life

By Jeannie Zandi

In nondual circles we talk a lot about our “conditioning,” but what is it? In psychology, it is “a process of changing behavior by rewarding or punishing a subject each time an act is performed until the subject associates the action with pleasure or distress.” (dictionary.reference.com) What we are left with after the completion of our extensive social conditioning process is large areas where our behavior is unconsciously seeking pleasure or avoiding distress instead of expressing the truth of our being. And despite its occasional and generally short-term benefits (getting pats or avoiding whacks), it turns out the result of this behavior is suffering, as we get further and further away from leading simple, present-centered, truth-filled lives from our natural state, and become more and more unconsciously invested in our pleasure-seeking/distress-avoiding strategies, while we watch them fail.

We donÂ’t suffer because of our relationships – we suffer because of our disconnection from the Real. And there is nothing better to distract us from the search for the Real than the promise that some object out there is finally going to make us happy. As long as we are living predominantly through unconscious concepts and the acquisition of objects, we are putting our attention on conditioned pseudo-reality versus actual reality, and perpetuating our suffering. Attempting to relate to another human being through oneÂ’s relationship concept is a dead-end street in terms of joy, fulfillment and intimacy.

~ ~ ~

Read the full article here: http://undividedjournal.com/?p=912&preview=true


Sneak preview of interview with AnamikaВ just uploadedВ here:

http://nonduality.com/street.htm

We talk about very little. Unknowing. Untalking. What enlightenment is. The cheese made in Auroville, where she lives. The nature of interviews, teachers and teaching.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 4799 From: Mark Date: 2012-12-29
Subject: #4799 - Saturday, December 29, 2012
Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm

Nonduality Highlights Issue #4799, Saturday, December 29, 2012





When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change

~ Thich Nhat Hanh. posted to DailyDharma




There is nothing like you and I. What are you seeing? You are seeing a part of the mind only. You are not seeing a person. Just as you see a wall in dream, you see another wall here. It stands in the same relation to the cosmic mind as the dream wall in relation to the waking mind. This world is a cosmic dream. When you wake up you will not see the world. Just as you do not see the dream- world now.

- Swami Krishnananda, from Facets of Spirituality, compiled by S. Bhagyalakshmi, posted to AlongTheWay




When Realization dawns, then what happens? You are no longer 'you'. You remain established in the inner silence and freedom without any concern for your welfare, content with whatever comes along - and life goes on in perfect effortlessness.

- Ramesh Balsekar, posted to ANetofJewels




Be fully aware of your own being and you will be in bliss consciously. Because you take your mind off yourself and make it dwell on what you are not, you lose your sense of well-being.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to ANetofJewels




The one who regards the foam explains the mystery,
while the one who regards the Sea is bewildered.
The one who regards the foam forms intentions,
while the one who has known the Sea makes her heart one with the Sea.
The one who regards the froth calculates and reckons,
while the one who regards the Sea is without conscious volition.
The one who regards the froth is continually in motion,
while the one who regards the Sea is free of hypocrisy.

- Rumi Mathnawi V: 2908-2911, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski from Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance, posted to Sunlight




Why is the sea king of a hundred streams?
Because it lies below them. Therefore it is
the king of a hundred streams.

If the sage would guide the people, he must
serve with humility. If he would lead them, he
must follow behind. In this way when the sage
rules, the people will not feel oppressed. When
he stands before them, they will not be harmed.
The whole world will support him and will not
tire of him.

Because he does not compete, he does not
meet competition.

- Lao-tzu from Tao Te Ching, translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English, posted to AlongTheWay

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