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Group: NDhighlights Message: 5060 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-10-20
Subject: #5060 - Saturday, October 19, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5060 - Saturday, October 19, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz 


you know when you're a kid and you go into a house or apartment you've never been in before? 

you don't know the nature of architecture or home plans
you don't know the room you're in is called the kitchen
or the pantry
you don't know
how far the living room
or what lies beyond it
when it turns toward to the left in the distance

maybe it's a large glass room on an ocean without waves

not that you think about that or wonder about that when you're a kid
because that's already exactly where you are

the glass room is the dream of poets

-Jerry Katz


Here is your Highlights editor drumming during the Solidarity gathering to protest fracking and bring awareness to the value of water (photo by Mandee Labelle):

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photo: Jerry Katz is leftmost drummer. Drum handmade and painted by Mandee. Learn more about our experience and this solidarity on our next Nonduality Network Talk Radio show this Wednesday at 12:30pm EST on 

The following is an article from pertaining what is happening in New Brunswick, Canada:

For over two weeks now, a coalition of people including local Mi'kmaq residents, and anglophone and Acadian settlers, have blockaded the road leading to an equipment compound leased to South Western Energy or SWN.

SWN is a Texas based energy company, that has been attempting to conduct natural gas exploration in the area's shale formations. It is believed that if significant deposits of gas are found, SWN would then employ the controversial extraction method of hydraulic fracturing or fracking. But since this past summer, protests, direct actions and sabotage have thwarted their work, and have turned public opinion on the side of the protesters.

Throughout the summer, police arrested dozens of people conducting non-violent civil disobedience. But since the arrival of members of the Mi'kmaq warrior society, the police have not been as keen to come near protesters.

The blockade is preventing SWN from operating thumper trucks, massive vehicles that gather seismic data to determine the location of natural gas.

During my short stay here I've witnessed the co-operation between natives and settlers, a partnership that has kept this blockade fully stocked and operational. Food, wood, hot coffee, tents and other supplies keep streaming all the while SWN berates the police in the media for not arresting the protesters.

In two days time, several people named in a court injuction are due to appear before a judge. In the meantime supporters keep arriving, but the warriors have also issued a callout for further support.

~ ~ ~


Tony Cartledge

It is such a primal pleasure to speak the truth. And a great relief. Not the truth of a certain belief, but the truth as it accords with your moment-to-moment experience. It brings the lightness of travelling with no excess baggage, and the clarity of seeing without filters. It is life's primal joy. 

The truth is 99.999% 'I don't know.' The rest is, 'there is no I that doesn't know' and 'that's the only thing I do know.'

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5061 From: Dustin LindenSmith Date: 2013-10-21
Subject: #5061 - Sunday, October 20, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith
#5061 - Sunday, October 20, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

The Nonduality Highlights •

Politics needs to be the implementation of certain spiritual principles: oneness, togetherness, tolerance of one another and making sure that people are taken care of.

-- Russell Brand

The political events in the US this week and during the past few months have finally broken my addiction to following political news. I'm surprised it took me this long, but it really happened. I've finally stopped caring about what any political pundit has to say about the shutdown, the debt ceiling, the Tea Party and its highjacking of the GOP, or the Affordable Care Act. I just don't care anymore.

I do, however, have a yen for deeper kinds of political discourse. Surprisingly once more, my new celebrity buddy Russell Brand has some excellent things to say on the topic. Jerry linked to this video earlier in the week and I found myself immediately drawn in:

Alex Jones can certainly be an obstreperous wretch in interview, but I think he did a passable job with this one that he did with Russell Brand backstage. I hope that some of might you enjoy these highlights I transcribed from Brand's responses:

I suppose where our beliefs intersect, Alex, is that I think of contemporary bi-partisan politics as a meaningless spectacle, designed to distract you from where power truthfully dwells.

For me, I don't have a view on Democrats, Republicans, I just sort of think of it as an interchangeable spectacle drawn across reality.

On how politics could work differently than it does now:

Politics just needs to be the administration of certain spiritual principles. For me, the principles that are important are that we are all one, we are all together, and every individual's rights need to be respected. Politics needs to be the administration and distribution of those ideas. Politics needs to be the implementation of certain spiritual principles: oneness, togetherness, tolerance of one another and making sure that people are taken care of. 

But we need a spiritual revolution more than a political or social revolution.

When Jones asked him what is veritas, the "real truth," Brand replied:

I suppose the ultimate truth is oneness, that this is a temporary illusion, that we temporarily occupy these flesh puppets… We believe so much in our identities, we believe in our individualism, and we talk in a sort of egotistical manner, like 'Look at my hair, these bracelets, these ridiculous boots.' 

I'm a person who believes in my own individualism and my own identity, but on a deeper level, I recognize that all these things are transient, and what's important, what's defining, are the things that we all share: love, unity, togetherness. As long as we have a cultural narrative that eschews these ideas, that suppresses these ideas in favour of negative human traits like greed, selfishness, lust, as long as these ideas are promoted, we'll exist in opposition to one another and we'll be exploitable by corporations who prey on these negative facets of humanity.

I don't care if it's too idealistic to be moved by sentiments like these expressed in public by mainstream celebrities. I appreciate Brand's efforts here at bringing a nondualistic point of view into broader discourse.

Via the PBS series "Closer to Truth" comes this interesting excerpt from an interview with theoretical physicist Sean Carroll:

When physicists say that ‘time might not be real,’ they mean that time is not fundamental. That is to say that when we dig down into the laws of physics, we realize that time is not one of the crucial concepts that we require to make sense of reality.

Carroll goes on to define two different concepts for time: one being the measured time that we use to calibrate our watches and calendars, with the other being on a more cosmic sort of scale, relating to how long ago The Big Bang was, and so on. He was then asked about the difference between the past, present and future:

...That's a bigger puzzle that we're still working on. We think we understand the basics of it; we think it boils down to NOT the fundamental laws of physics, but the particular configuration the universe is in right now.

On the seeming conflict between the relativist concept of time and the quantum mechanics concept of time, Carroll replies: "Time can be both things. It can be both existent equally well in the past, present and future; and it can have the appearance to us of becoming."

On how to explain the sensation that as humans, we can make choices that seemingly alter future outcomes -- as well as the feeling that we are flowing through time -- Carroll points to The Second Law of Thermodynamics: the fact that entropy increases as the universe ages: 

Entropy is a measure of the disorganization and the disorderliness of the universe. In the past, things were more orderly; in the future, things are becoming more disorderly. This is a well-known feature of how the world works [i.e. things get messier over time if left alone, versus cleaner].

What does this mean in terms of our concept of time?

What it means is that the apparent intrinsic difference between past and future is only apparent. We treat the past differently from the future, but the laws of physics don't. The answer is not that we don't understand the laws of physics, but rather that we live in a particular universe. We don't live in any old universe, we live in one that started very very orderly.

If the universe had started in a state of maximal disorder, then there would truly be no distinction between past and future. But what that means is there could be no free will, there could be no choice, there could be no memory, there could be no metabolism, no aging, no evolution, there could be no living beings capable of conscious thought.

This is all tantamount to nothing, I suppose, except that I do relish the idea of scientists eventually coming up with some definitive and convincing way of saying that our entire human experience is purely subjective.


Group: NDhighlights Message: 5062 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-10-22
Subject: #5062 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5062 - Monday,В October 21, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

The discovery that peace, happiness and love are ever-present within our own Being, and completely available at every moment of experience, under all conditions, is the most important discovery that anyone can make.

Dear Friend,

Many of you have been eagerly awaiting the publication of Rupert's new book, The Ashes of Love, a collection sayings on the essence of Non-Duality, gathered from many conversations with friends. I'm pleased to announce that it is now available for purchase online.

Rupert will be at the SAND conference in California this week, and for those of you that are unable to attend, his meetings will be streamed live – please see
here for details.

With love,


© Rupert Spira


Some of what we love
we stumble upon —
a purse of gold thrown on the road,
a poem, a friend, a great song.
And more
discloses itself to us —
a well among green hazels,
a nut thicket —
when we are worn out searching
for something quite different.
And more
comes to us, carried
as carefully
as a bright cup of water,
as new bread.
~ Moya Cannon
(The Parchment Boat)
Panhala Poetry


"Let your identity be a giant question mark.
Celebrate your glorious indefinability.
Be an ever-deepening mystery to yourself.
Sing your crazy song of joy and sorrow.
Forget your plans of fabulous perfection.
Dance without rules in the vast field of the Unknown."

~Jeff Foster
via Daily Dharma by Amrita Nadi


St. Francis is supposed to have said, “What we are looking for is what is looking” and
Meister Eckhart wrote,

"The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye
and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love."

That’s the mystery… That’s why it is forbidden (and impossible) to make a graven
image of God. Nevertheless, the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament
shows his handywork (Psalm 19:1). And we live and move and have our being in the
Divine ‘image’ which is the light of the world…

Have you noticed what’s noticing?В 

Listen to this song by John Astin and/or scroll down if you’d like to read the lyrics:

[Ed. Note: If you do nothing, more songs will continue to play.]

Have you noticed…
That something is here…
You can’t see it…
But it’s nearer than near…

Have you noticed…
What is noticing…
And listened…
But it’s nearer than near…

Oh, what you’re searching for
Is what is searching…
And what you’re looking for…
Is what is looking…

Have you noticed…
That something is here…
You can’t see it…
But it’s nearer than near…

Have you noticed…
What is noticing…
Have you listened…
To what is listening…

Oh, what you’re searching for…
Is what is searching…
And what you’re looking for…
Is what is looking…

Have you noticed…
That something is here…
You can’t see it…
But it’s nearer than near…

Have you noticed…
What is noticing…
And listened…
To what is listening…

You’ve been searching for the truth…
And all the time…
The One you’re looking for…
Is seeing through your eyes…

Have you noticed…
something is here…
You can’t see it…
But it’s nearer than near…

Have you noticed…
What is noticing…
And listened…
To what is listening…

Have you tasted…
What is tasting…
And remembered…
What’s remembering…

Have you noticed…
What is noticing…
And listened…
To what is listening…

–> What Is Awareness?

Sent by Wayne Ferguson


Group: NDhighlights Message: 5063 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-10-23
Subject: #5063 - Tuesday/Wednesday, October 22-23, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5063 - Tuesday/Wednesday, October 22-23, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz 
The Nonduality Highlights 


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photo: Billy Lewis

, Wednesday Oct 23, 2013, at 12:30PM EST:
Special In-Studio Guest, Billy Lewis, Mi'kmaq Native Elder will join us on 
Nonduality Network Talk Radio on CKDU 88.1fm in Halifax, with Jerry Katz and Mandee Labelle 

Tune in to hear us speak with Billy about our experiences having attended one of the Solidarity events, led by the Native community, in support of the protection of clean water from the effects hydraulic fracturing. Billy has been an inspiring leader and spokesperson for mother earth and the Native communities since 1969. We'll also take the opportunity to ask Billy about Native Spirituality, as well as how it might relate to nonduality. Furthermore, since Billy was one of the speakers at a recent conference on Spiritual Diversity, we'd like to ask him about spiritual diversity within oneness.

To LISTEN live online : 
For the show archives :

This show is global in its relevance because we will be talking to Billy from a wide perspective, interrelatedness, the contemplation of meditation in action, inclusive awareness, living and being an activist from the "don't know" mind. 

Lots to talk about today. We may or may not have time to take calls at the end if you would like to ask Billy a question. But either way, we hope you tune in, sit back, and enjoy.


Here is a quote regarding m'sit nogama -- 'all my relations' -- a Mi'kmaq term used before and after any action during a sacred native ritual.

" of the guiding values that works for me is the notion of “Msit Nogama” which comes from Mi’kmaq First Nation language, meaning “All My Relations.” Many other tribes in North America have this saying in different forms. In my translation and understanding of the term, it means All is One (Mmm, or Emm). This oneness relates to personal identity which cannot be separated from relationship – Msit – All is One Within My Being – in this moment All is As it Is. This is a form of collective and individual identity, a deeply cosmological sensibility, and a philosophy of relation. “Nogama” meaning relations, family, inter-dependence, relying on each other, and knowing who we are as family."



"Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention." -Deepak Chopra

posted by John Stibbs


"In movements for justice we engage in creating a human society that embodies our interconnection and honors the sacred dignity of every individual. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “It really boils down to this, that all life is interrelated.” Our oneness calls us to incisive awareness and tireless action to remove all systems of injustice, oppression, exploitation, and violence. The full realization of nonduality should lead to a civilization of peace, compassion and justice." -Drew Dellinger


As T. S. Eliot put it, "Ours is in the trying. The rest is not our business." The bodhisattva's job is to do the best one can, without knowing what the consequences will be. Have we already passed ecological tipping-points and human civilization is doomed? We don't know. Yet, rather than being intimidated, the bodhisattva embraces "don't know mind," because Buddhist practice opens us up to the awesome mystery of an impermanent world where everything is changing, whether or not we notice it. I grew up in a world defined by a "cold war" between the USA and the Soviet Union we all took for granted -- until communism suddenly collapsed. The same thing occurred with South African apartheid. If we don't really know what's happening, how do we really know what's possible, until we try? -David Loy


"We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced." -Malala


"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive." -Dalai Lama 


Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.
-Marianne Williamson 

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5064 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-10-23
Subject: #5064 - Tuesday/Wednesday, October 22-23, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5064 - Tuesday/Wednesday, October 22-23, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz 


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photo: Billy Lewis at home, with Eagle Feather

Seventy-eight year old Mi'qmaq elder Billy Lewis, a local and national activist for Mother Earth and native causes since 1969, was our in-studio guest for Nonduality Network Talk Radio with hosts Mandee Labelle and Jerry Katz.

The show may be heard at 

Here are the topics:

Jerry, Mandee, and Billy discuss the recent Solidarity events aimed at raising awareness and bringing attention to proposed hydraulic fracturing in New Brunswick, Canada. 
The Mi'kmaq nation and other indigenous nations in Canada and South America. 

"The best learning takes place in the middle of struggle for justice." Taking a stand forces an issue to become clear.  

The meaning of real consultation in terms of self-determination. Ecuador giving rights to Mother Earth.

The struggle for freedom is an ongoing process.

Injunction to break up the camp protesting fracking.

"The three raisin's."

Seeing and acting beyond duality of politics and native spirituality as a limited view.

The original prayer: "Thank you." Tobacco as an offering of gratitude. Expressing gratitude without expecting anything as a result.

The Creator as all of creation.

What is enlightenment according to native spirituality?

Discussion of the book, The Language of This Land, Mi’kma’ki, by Trudy Sable and Bernie Francis.

Taoism as expressing indigenous spirituality. Philosophy "as a way of seeing, a way of being in the world."

"There's a time to move and do something, and there's a time to not do something."

Behaviour of youthful warriors compared to older and elder warriors. Going beyond chaos to the quiet spot within.

Nature of treaties going back to the 1700s up to today, and relation to water.

Taking a stand in our heart. Right relations is not just a problem of Native people. One heart, one mind, one spirit, one body.

Invitation for listeners to be involved in these issues. The Water Walk is being held in places through Canada and the U.S. as well as other countries. on or around Mothers Day.

Water is the blood of Mother Earth.

"All my relations."

~ ~ ~

To hear the show, click below:

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5065 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-10-25
Subject: #5065 - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5065 - Thursday,В October 24, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
This magnificent refuge is inside you.
Enter. Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorwayÂ…
Be bold. Be humble.
Put away the incense and forget
the incantations they taught you.
Ask no permission from the authorities.
Close your eyes and follow your breath
to the still place that leads to the
invisible path that leads you home.
~ St. Theresa of Avila
via Daily Dharma by Robert Cooper

So many droplets in the sea, in bread so many grains
By Angelus Silesius
(1624 - 1677)
English version by Gabriel Rosenstock
So many droplets in the sea, in bread so many grains;
So too of our multiplicity, nothing but God remains.

Don't waste your time in arguments and discussion
attempting to grasp the ungraspable.
Each thing reveals the One,
the One manifests as all things.
To live in this Realization
is not to worry about perfection or non-perfection.
To put your trust in the Heart-Mind is to live without separation,
and in this non-duality you are one with your Life-Source.

Hsin Hsin Ming
Translated by Richard B. Clarke

"What I am really saying is that you donÂ’t need to do anything, because if you see
yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomena of nature
as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement
of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing
wrong with you at all."
~Alan Watts, source unknown
via Daily Dharma by Amrita Nadi

There are no subtler bodies than This. There are no higher states than This. There is
no other world but This. When the Buddha revealed Four Dignities of Supreme
Enlightenment, he did not reveal anything but Walking, Standing, Sitting, Lying Down
in this body. When saints and rishis entered the heavens to behold celestial kingdoms
of light, they passed through the portals of their marrow, the brow, throat, chest and
belly. Where do Bodhisattvas dwell, gods and devas, Seraphim and Cherubim, the
realms of the ancestors, the circles of purgatory, Elysian soul-fields of those who
wait to be born? Do they not inhabit the hills and valleys of your flesh? Do they not
reside in the atoms of your earth-umber hand? Heavenly hosts rent rooms in your
molecules. O Radha, wild green tendrils of Vrindavan entwine this heart, and the flute
song of Gopal rises and falls with each breath, heaving your breasts under the veil, no
subtler body, no subtler body than yours.
~ Fred LaMotte

В  Identity
By A. R. Ammons
(1926 - 2001)
1) An individual spider web
identifies a species:
an order of instinct prevails
В В В В В В В В В  through all accidents of circumstance,
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В  though possibility is
high along the peripheries of
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 В В В В В  webs:
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 В В В В В  you can go all
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  around the fringing attachments
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  and find
disorder ripe,
entropy rich, high levels of random,
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В  numerous occasions of accident:
2) the possible settings
of a web are infinite:
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В  how does
the spider keep
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  identity
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В  while creating the web
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В  in a particular place?
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В  how and to what extent
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  and by what modes of chemistry
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  and control?
it is
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В  how things work: I will tell you
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 В В В В В  about it
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 В В В В В  because
it is interesting
and because whatever is
moves in weeds
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В  and stars and spider webs
and known
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 В В В В В  is loved:
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  in that love,
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  each of us knowing it,
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  I love you,
for it moves within and beyond us,
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  sizzles in
to winter grasses, darts and hangs with bumblebees
by summer windowsills:
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  I will show you
the underlying that takes no image to itself,
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В  cannot be shown or said,
but weaves in and out of moons and bladderweeds,
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  is all and
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В  beyond destruction
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В  because created fully in no
particular form:
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 В В В В В  if the web were perfectly pre-set,
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 В В В В В  the spider could
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  never find
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  a perfect place to set it in: and
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  if the web were
perfectly adaptable,
if freedom and possibility were without limit,
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 В В В В В  the web would
lose its special identity:
В В В В В В В В В  the row-strung garden web
keeps order at the center
where space is freest (intersecting that the freest
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  "medium" should
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  accept the firmest order)
and that
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 В В В В В  diminishes toward the
В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В В  allowing at the points of contact
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  entropy equal to entropy.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5066 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-10-25
Subject: #5066 - Friday, October 25, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5066 - Friday, October 25, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz 
The Nonduality Highlights 


These are things I wrote on Facebook in the last day or two


Received an awesome letter from a reader of a book I edited. The writer says,

"Just wanted to say thanks for publishing One [Essential Writings on Nonduality]. While reading [the chapter] The One Alone all thought and sense of self ceased and I cried tears of joy. Years of alienation and despair ended in that ONE moment on September 9, 2013. I had been nothing but the One, God, the whole time."

I thanked the writer for his letter and told him it was my favorite chapter too and I pointed him to a video of the publisher who gave me permission to publish that chapter. She's a great and accomplished woman named Gray Henry, owner of Fons Vitae Press. Here's the video:

"Years of alienation and despair ended in that ONE moment." I think that's what a lot of people want to see happen on nationalistic and global levels.


We are on the cusp of a gathering that will make Woodstock look like five kids in a sand box. No one knows where, when, or how, but we know who and what. It's going to make the Science and Nonduality Conference look like twelve people at an Eckhart Tolle discussion group. It's going to grind the gears of Facebook. It's going to be like Sharpie permanent marker leaked over a map of America. I don't know any details, but I see it like a ripe pear about to fall from its tree.


My one word teaching is "nonduality."
My two word teaching is "I am."
The three word teaching is "Experience is awareness."


In December 2010 I was contacted by a James Carson. I'll leave it to James to reveal the unfolding of our connection some day, if he wants to. I'm only here to tell you where his work stands right now.

James writes, “The vision came in two parts: I would travel around the earth, and then build a cabin to create my music. My goal was to play the whole piano at once, but to do it in a way that was also harmonious and tranquil—in the same way that a single breeze can cause all the leaves of a forest to dance and tremble in unison.”


Nonduality: paradigm shift work.


"Eventually you arrive—as you've heard many times in many different ways—at where you have never left. For me it was the low wall where there was only awareness loving awareness as experience without separation of awareness and experience."

Read the rest of this article I wrote by subscribing to One The Magazine:


Watch SAND live at:


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Group: NDhighlights Message: 5067 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-10-26
Subject: #5067 - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5067 - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights


In this issue I'm adding some notes and audio files that were relevant to, but not all included in our last Nonduality Network Talk Radio. To remind you, the show was a follow-up to Mandee's and my participation in a Solidarity march bringing attention to proposed hydraulic fracturing in New Brunswick, Canada. Here are the details and link to the radio show:

October 23, 2013 Seventy-eight year old Mi'qmaq elder Billy Lewis, a local and national activist for Mother Earth and native causes since 1969, was our in-studio guest. Jerry, Mandee, and Billy discuss the recent Solidarity events aimed at raising awareness and bringing attention to proposed hydraulic fracturing in New Brunswick, Canada. Topics include the Mi'kmaq nation and other indigenous nations in Canada and South America. ... "The best learning takes place in the middle of struggle for justice." Taking a stand forces an issue to become clear. ... The meaning of real consultation in terms of self-determination. Ecuador giving rights to Mother Earth. ... The struggle for freedom is an ongoing process. ... and many more topics.

The show may be heard at

Here are notes and audio recordings in chronological order, most of which we did not get a chance to include in the radio show:

TERRY CHOYCE: I asked Terry why she was at the rally. "What draws me is that the land and water are being treated as commodities rather than the sacred lifeblood. We have to pull together, people from all over Canada and all over the planet to protect the water, to protect the land, and to protect the people that are being affected by this kind of abuse of resources and of heritage. This is sacred stuff."

Terry Choyce is a volunteer staff member of She also guides the meditation-inspiration gathering, Going Deeper at Bedford United Church (BUC) in Nova Scotia, Thursdays at 7:00pm. And she coordinates INSPIRED LEARNING, a spirit-based education opportunity at BUC. Listen to her Mondays from 3:30pm to 5:30pm AST on 88.1fm ( for live and archived show). [email protected]

The following audio files are brief:

SCOTTBARBER - An ally of the Mi'qmak people. Part 1.

Listen here:

Some of what Scott said was inaudible. It is printed below:

"When I came her almost 25 years ago, I came because I was invited by a Mi'qmaw elder to participate in a walk against uranium mining, and during that walk the elder died and his widow invited us to live with her. My son was born in Mi'qmaw territory and we were guests of Mi'qmaw people who, like my ancestors, were helped to survive through our arrival here in the Maritimes."

"Let us honor the place we gather. ... I believe we're all related whether we're people, animals, the earth, the air, the sky, everything is related. I'm really happy to see that so many people from so many different nations are coming together to fight to protect our mother earth."

This was the chant at the beginning of the march:

Ardath Wynacht is an activist for social causes including native people's concerns; as well as an award winning spoken poetry performer. She was one of the speakers at the gathering preceding the march up Robie Street.

During the march, I asked Ardath, “What's going through your heart and mind right now as we're marching?” Here is her response:

In the middle of a major intersection where five roads meet. Mi'qmak warrior song:

MANDEEJERRYCHATTING, walking home after the march, giving our impressions:


We meet Scottie on the way back home and he explains why he stayed behind and didn't go on the march and we talk about what's next for him and the solidarity:

~ ~ ~

Background on this solidarity march is available here:
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5068 From: dustin999 Date: 2013-10-27
Subject: #5068 - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith
#5068 - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

The Nonduality Highlights •

Another video interview with Russell Brand has gone viral this week, to the point that even my own national Canadian newspaper, The Globe And Mail, has had one of its columnists, Elizabeth Renzetti, write about it in this piece called “Revolution may be a tired word, but Russell Brand has struck a chord”:

Renzetti correctly points out that if you’re above a certain age, you may not be likely to have seen the video in question, but that if you’re below a certain age, Brand’s comments strike directly at the heart of how disenfranchised, disillusioned, and excluded people feel from the current geo-political system.В 

She quotes an illustrative recent statistic that only 19% of Americans trust their federal government most of the time, compared with 75% fifty years ago. It would seem that most of us aside from the moneyed few — the 1% of the 1% especially — are completely dillusioned with the current system as it now stands. Comedian and political satirist Jon Stewart has won a poll as the most respected news source in America, and for one of the first times in my memory as a young 40-year-old, I am now seeing celebrities like Brand express opinions that used to be publicly held only by far left-wing environmental and social activists or spiritual teachers.В 

What I’ve noticed in the discussions that have ensued on my own Facebook posts on this topic is that people over a certain age have been quick to dismiss Brand’s ideas because they appear (to them) to lack specificity, concrete purpose or planning. But our friend Wayne Ferguson correctly pointed out the following in a recent dialogue he had with Jerry Katz:

It's unseemly [to say the least! --ed.] that we would spend a trillion dollars devastating the lives of people in Iraq and Afghanistan and we aren't willing to fund a single-payer health-care system in this country.

Russell Brand doesn't exactly know how this is going to unfold, but it is clear that the status quo won't do. He is much more aware of and sensitive to reality than the power elite that are only concerned with preserving and augmenting their well feathered nests.В 

Brand’s interview with UK journalist Jeremy Paxman is here, and it’s worth watching in its entirety:

I have literally been moved to tears by several of the sentiments expressed in this interview, and also in the editorial piece that Brand has written for The New Statesman that inspired this interview in the first place. To wit:

The Agricultural Revolution took thousands of years, the Industrial Revolution took hundreds of years, the Technological Revolution took tens, the Spiritual Revolution has come and we have only an instant to act.

Now is the time to continue the great legacy of the left, in harmony with its implicit spiritual principles. Time may only be a human concept and therefore ultimately unreal, but what is irrefutably real is that this is the time for us to wake up.

The revolution of consciousness is a decision, decisions take a moment. In my mind the revolution has already begun.

Brand had the opportunity to expand on these ideas in his piece in The New Statesman, below:

From the preceding, here are just a few highlights:

Capitalism is not real; it is an idea. America is not real; it is an idea that someone had ages ago. Britain, Christianity, Islam, karate, Wednesdays are all just ideas that we choose to believe in and very nice ideas they are, too, when they serve a purpose. These concepts, though, cannot be served to the detriment of actual reality.

The reality is we have a spherical ecosystem, suspended in, as far as we know, infinite space upon which there are billions of carbon-based life forms, of which we presume ourselves to be the most important, and a limited amount of resources.

The only systems we can afford to employ are those that rationally serve the planet first, then all humanity. Not out of some woolly, bullshit tree-hugging piffle but because we live on it, currently without alternatives. This is why I believe we need a unifying and inclusive spiritual ideology: atheism and materialism atomise us and anchor us to one frequency of consciousness and inhibit necessary co-operation.В 

Brand also writes eloquently on the much broader historical context of our current paradigm:

Suffering of this magnitude affects us all. We have become prisoners of comfort in the absence of meaning. A people without a unifying myth.

Joseph Campbell, the comparative mythologist, says our global problems are all due to the lack of relevant myths. That we are trying to sustain social cohesion using redundant ideologies devised for a population that lived in deserts millennia ago. What does it matter if 2,000 years ago Christ died on the cross and was resurrected if we are not constantly resurrected to the truth, anew, moment to moment? How is his transcendence relevant if we do not resurrect our consciousness from the deceased, moribund mind of our obsolete ideologies and align with our conditions?

The model of pre-Christian man has fulfilled its simian objectives. We have survived, we have created agriculture and cities. Now this version of man must be sacrificed that we can evolve beyond the reaches of the ape. These stories contain great clues to our survival when we release ourselves from literalism and superstition. What are ideologies other than a guide for life? Throughout paganism one finds stories that integrate our species with our environment to the benefit of both. The function and benefits of these belief matrixes have been lost, with good reason. They were socialist, egalitarian and integrated. If like the Celtic people we revered the rivers we would prioritise this sacred knowledge and curtail the attempts of any that sought to pollute the rivers. If like the Nordic people we believed the souls of our ancestors lived in the trees, this connection would make mass deforestation anathema. If like the native people of America we believed God was in the soil what would our intuitive response be to the implementation of fracking?
I find those last sentiments to be truly moving, and the reason why I highlight them in this issue of The Nonduality Highlights is because they attempt to transcend the status-quo narrative that so many individuals in the broader society are (perhaps mindlessly?) entrenched in.В 

Looking beyond "the story" to the unified nature of our reality is perhaps the most concrete "action" we can take in actualizing the nondual perspective. I continue to appreciate deeply such lucid and articulate expressions of this insight in the mainstream.В 

Proof that the message is getting out there is that Paxman's interview with Brand had just over a half-million views when I first watched it earlier this week, and it's now approaching 7 million.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5069 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-10-28
Subject: #5069 - Monday, October 28, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5069 - Monday,В October 28, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

Be taught now, among the trees and rocks,
how the discarded is woven into shelter,
learn the way things hidden and unspoken
slowly proclaim their voice in the world.
Find that far inward symmetry
to all outward appearances, apprentice
yourself to yourself, begin to welcome back
all you sent away, be a new annunciation,
make yourself a door through which
to be hospitable, even to the stranger in you.

Excerpt from Г‚вЂ˜ColemanÂ’s BedÂ’ in Г‚вЂ˜River Flow:
New and Selected PoemsÂ’
©David Whyte and Many Rivers Press
Photo: © DW. Ruined Chapel, ColemanÂ’s Bed. Ireland.

See with every turning day,
how each season wants to make
a child of you again, wants you to become
a seeker after rainfall and birdsong,
watch how it weathers you to a testing
in the tried and true, tells you
with each falling leaf, to leave and slip away,
even from the branch that held you,
to go when you need to, to be courageous,
to be like a last word youÂ’d want to say
before you leave the world.
Excerpt from Г‚вЂ˜ColemanÂ’s BedÂ’ in Г‚вЂ˜River Flow:
New and Selected PoemsÂ’
©David Whyte and Many Rivers Press
Photo: © DW. Dawn on the Isis, Oxford, England.

The Opening of Eyes

That day I saw beneath dark clouds,
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before,
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.

It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing,
speaking out loud in the clear air.

It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.

From River Flow: New and Selected Poems. ©David Whyte

Photo © DW, Figures on Beach, La Jolla.California


But tired of land, we open ourselves to oceans, tired of time
we give back all that weÂ’ve taken, tired of ourselves
we open ourselves to ourselves at last, sensing the waves
and great abyss of the sea beyond,
the ocean stretching on sand
and the long view on the still sea that leads to another life.

From Г‚вЂ˜Time Left AloneÂ’ Г‚вЂ˜River Flow: New and Selected PoemsÂ’
©David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

Photo: © DW. Evening Light, Isabela Island, Galapagos.

We are here essentially to risk ourselves in the world; we are a form of
invitation to others and to otherness, we are meant to hazard ourselves for the
right thing, for the right woman or the right man, for a son or a daughter, for
the right work or for a gift given against all the odds, and to allow ourselves to
be happy may be the greatest, most courageous act of all.
- David Whyte from Readers' Circle Essay, "Longing" ©2011 David Whyte
Photo © Sonya Jasinski: Daring to be Happy
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5070 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-10-30
Subject: #5070 - Tuesday/Wednesday, October 29-30, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5070 - Tuesday/Wednesday, October 29-30, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz


Wednesday, October 30, on Nonduality Network Talk Radio our in-studio guest will again be Mi'qmaq elder Billy Lewis. This time Mandee, Billy, and I will be talking about spiritual diversity. I'm offering that the term "interspirituality" is appropriate for this topic, but I'm only assuming that Billy will agree with that.

More specifically we'll be talking about the Pachamama Alliance.

This issue of the Highlights consists of notes I've taken in preparation for the radio show.

Tune in at 12:30PM EST at

You may also call-in. Contact info is at


Pachamama Alliance

The following notes are from the above two sources:


Our mission is to empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world.

Company Overview

The Pachamama Alliance is a not-for-profit organization that was born out of a relationship developed between a group of people from the modern world and the leaders of remote indigenous groups in the Amazon region of Ecuador for the preservation of life itself. 


Imagine your government came into your home and said oil companies were allowed to tear up your floors with dynamite and start exploring for oil – and they told everyone you said it was okay, even though you didn’t. 

This is what’s happening to thousands of indigenous families in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest right now


The indigenous warriors are taking a stand for the world.

Rain forests:
The Amazon rainforest produces one-fifth of the world’s oxygen and counteracts greenhouse gases to keep our global climate stable.
Over two-thirds of the world’s fresh water is found in the Amazon rainforest basin, an irreplaceable part of the global water cycle.
The 10 million acres under threat in Ecuador are among the most biodiverse in the world, a source of important medicines and foods.
Indigenous peoples of the Amazon hold vital wisdom about co-existing with the Earth that the modern world has only begun to understand.


The Pachamama Alliance and our sister organization in Ecuador, FundaciГѓВіn Pachamama, have partnered with indigenous peoples in the Amazon basin for over 15 years. We’ll leverage your gift for maximum impact using a multi-point approach:

Trainings and organizing for indigenous communities

Legal action on indigenous rights and Rights of Nature

Public relations campaigns in Ecuador and worldwide

Indigenous-owned economic alternatives to oil


Rory McEntee and Adam Bucko

Interspiritual Revolution: How the Occupy Generation Is Re-Envisioning Spirituality and [New]Monasticism


The Coming Interspiritual Age" (Namaste Publishing 2013), Dr. Kurt Johnson, a former Anglican monk and evolutionary biologist, together with David Robert Ord, trace the history of the interspiritual movement. They make a powerful argument for seeing the history of the world's spiritual and religious traditions as one movement, all contributing to the maturation of our species.

Br. Wayne Teasdale: "The religion of humankind can be said to be spirituality itself, because mystical spirituality is the origin of all the religions. If this is so, and I believe it is, we might say that interspirituality -- the sharing of ultimate experiences across traditions -- is the religion of the third millennium. Interspirituality is the foundation that can prepare the way for a planet-wide enlightened culture..."

The truth is there is a revolution happening among us. People are waking up to the emptiness of their consumer-driven and materialistic worlds, and are beginning to re-evaluate what matters.

While the unity of the human race must be championed tirelessly by Interspirituality, we must also leave ample room for the messy complexity, the blood and marrow, that diversity demands. 

We must also acknowledge different ways of being interspiritual

If elders are willing to open their lives in a life-giving dialogical relationship with the young, they will find youth who are open to their wisdom and experience. Rather than focusing on passing on their religious traditions and theologies, elders should aim to pass on the lived experience of where their tradition has taken them.

This more subtle understanding of interspirituality puts a premium on the creation of intimate circles of dialogue and community.

We are ready to move into a unity that is full, that welcomes all textures.
Do we, the readers of this page, have something to contribute to this discussion? Do we have the courage to cultivate our contemplative lives, to share our unfolding with others? Do we have the wisdom to receive the revelations of others, and be changed by them?


Ed Bastian:

Develop a sustainable contemplative practice, benefit from the wisdom of various traditions, and create a community of people from many spiritual perspectives to solve the challenges of our time

InterSpiritual Meditation is a universal process drawn from the world’s spiritual traditions. It is designed to help each individual to develop a practice of contemplation and meditation for health, happiness, gratitude, transformation, love, compassion, tranquility, focus, wisdom, and service in the world. Its seven-step process enables people of diverse spiritual practices to create engaged contemplative communities based on empathy, understanding, shared contemplative intentions, and compassionate service for the common good.

The 12 Steps of InterSpiritual Meditation

(1) May I Be Happy & Healthy
(2) May I Be Grateful
(3) May I Be Transformed
(4) May I Be Loving & Compassionate
(5) May I Be Mindful through my Breathing
(6) May I Become Wise through my Meditation
(7) May I Be in Service to All Beings.

The goals of [our offered] course are to help participants to:

Cultivate and refine our own contemplative practice.
Integrate contemplative process and insights from diverse traditions.
Mentor individuals and groups in the process of InterSpiritual Meditation.
Bring together a community of people of diverse contemplative practices.
Experience a shared consciousness beating at the heart of many traditions.


By Alan S. Kesselheim
The Daily Climate

Here's something Native elders understand: Without respect for natural laws, no amount of technology will get us out of this mess. Why can't we hear that message?

 Not long ago I had a conversation with a man in my community who has worked for decades with Indian people in North America. His name is Bob Staffanson. He founded the American Indian Institute, which has been working for more than 40 years to keep the spiritual traditions of Indian people alive. How he goes about that is another story. But here's what he said that got me thinking:

"What frustrates Indian spiritual leaders to no end is that they aren't taken seriously," he said. "They are put into this mystical category, lumped in with woo-woo, New Age malarkey that serves to discount them, and pushes them to the fringe where their message can be ignored."

Nothing could be further from the truth, he continued. They are very clear about their understanding of current reality, and it is completely practical. 

"Their message is this. You cannot treat the Earth with disrespect and not expect consequences," Staffanson said. "You cannot poison the soil, pollute the air, dirty the water, kill other forms of life, and not have problems. Those consequences are already manifest. They are all around us."


An elder I spoke to shared an experience that captures the disconnect. He is from Greenland. He conducts ceremonies around the world. People know him as "Uncle," a man of unquestioned poise and power. His given name is Angaangaq. He told me about being in New York City, performing a ceremony. 

"It was very hot," he said. "It was the end of a long day. The Hudson River was nearby, and I suggested going for a swim. I started running toward the river to dive in. People got all upset and called for me to stop. 'You can't swim there,' they said. 'It's polluted.'

"I turned to them, perplexed. I just read a story in the morning paper today," he said he told them. "It boasted that New York City has the highest percentage of college graduates of any major city on Earth. You are the most educated population in the world, and you're telling me that you can't swim in your river? I don't understand."


If these writings interest you, join elder Billy Lewis on Nonduality Network Talk Radio at 12:30pm EST, at

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5071 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-10-31
Subject: #5071 - Tuesday/Wednesday, October 29-30, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5071 - Tuesday/Wednesday, October 29-30, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz


Nonduality Network Talk Radio

Inline image 1

Our most recent show featured the delightful and wise Mi'qmaq elder Billy Lewis as our in-studio guest. Robin Arthur and Terry Choyce were our on-phone guests. ... Diversity and unity. ... Recent oneness conferences in Nova Scotia. ... Bringing everyone together to protect the earth and to protect ourselves: that's what all this oneness movement is about. ... Unity as acceptance of differences. ... Distortion of indigenous teachings. ... The Red Renaissance. ... Robin Arthur on the phone, organizer of the Spiritual Diversity Conference held in Halifax recently. Details about the conference and its implications, as well as Robin's work in general. ... Value of individual spiritual practices and living spiritual diversity. ... Terry Choyce on the phone talking about all the oneness activities in October in Nova Scotia. ... The organization around an idea being confused with an idea. ... Mandee's birthday. ... The quantum way of seeing. ... Billy's early life and spiritual breakthroughs. ... Knowings beyond the mind. ... The law of certitude. ... Defending separation of church and state. Working with Madalyn Murray O'Hare. ... Movement from the heart vs movement from fear. ... Random chat about Rumi and local events.



A letter:

Hi Jerry, 

I'm new to your site, and relatively new to non-duality (6 months or 
so).  I believe I understand who we are, as this over-riding idea has come to me 
in several ways now.  As you can imagine, my mind is constantly evaluating this 
new-found recognition.  So, in my mind state, I am frequently reading and 
listening to teachers, for a hope of other insight into this.  Most 
specifically, I am looking for advice on how this new-found recognition 
reconciles to my physical-life.  Ultimately, I want to continue to know and 
learn God, even though I am God, and what this means for my daily activity.  
Even further, I have some questions about physical death.  I am hopeful that you 
can point-out some material to help me on this quest, or any other general 
advice for me.  I see there are a plethora of authors, each with their own 
books, so I don't know how to choose which teacher to choose. 


Welcome to the world of nonduality! I don't like to give too much advice 
because it might distract you from your own natural path. The greatest teacher 
is your own natural knowing and the desire to know more, the desire to 
understand. That itself is the energy of the inner guru. If one pays attention 
to that desire, if there is absolute openness to the urge to know, then you will 
be led to where you need to be. That desire or urge that I'm hearing in your 
letter is its own intelligence and if you turn to it, it will lead you. Be still 
and let that lead you and don't try too hard. I would not want to pretend that 
my recommendation of a book or teacher is greater than that! So good luck and 
stay in touch. 
All the best, 


Hi Jerry, that was such a kind email. Thank you. Indeed, I have come to the same 
conclusion. I appreciate your contact and good will. 


From the article "Silence Heals" in OneTheMagazine, by Yolande Duran-Serrano

"It happened in August 2003.  The day had started like any other summer’s day.  My son had gone out.  I was at home alone, doing this and that.  Then, suddenly, I noticed there was a silence in my head.  It was strange . . . where had my thoughts gone?  There was a space, an interval between my thoughts that made them seem as if they were in the background, as if they no longer belonged to me, or at least no longer had any hold over me.  I felt a lightness, a well-being.  I felt in tune with and connected to myself like never before.  Connected to something that I could not explain nor find words for: a silence . . .

I wondered what had happened to me.  And then I started to take note.  It felt as if my inner mode of functioning had changed.  Suddenly—like being struck by lightening—something had come upon me, and it had taken hold of me unawares.  This thing that words cannot describe had taken over everything, and I had not seen it coming . . ."

The full article can be found at


Charlie Engel

Feeling Less Than Adequate 

I woke up yesterday morning feeling less than adequate.  After all, friends and I have been working on Union reform issues for nearly two decades now.  I can think of many instances when I (we) could have done more.  I could have uploaded more deposition transcripts to the Internet.  I could have assisted more on creating a Web Page. I could have paid more attention to details.  I could have recruited more friends and coworkers to help out.  I could have written more letters and pursued the network of amazing activists that I have met.   The “I could have’s” are never ending.  Regardless of what I do, the “I could have’s” have a tendency to lurk in the shadows. 

Nearly two decades ago a trusted friend, by the name of Bob Swanson, encouraged coworkers and I to address problems in an unconventional yet intuitive manner.  We defined and pursued our rights as workers to the extent that the system allowed.  Bob was a voice of reason and potential while friends and I explored our rights as American workers. We were fortunate to be working in one of the most liberal counties in California. 

Bob laughed when I expressed my frustrations.  After all, coworkers and I had put together and shared thousands of pages of documents.  An amazing and widely read web page was created.  We eventually initiated a lawsuit that resulted in a $78 million dollar settlement against United Parcel Service while approximately 20,000 drivers benefitted in California.  We were told that the settlement resulted in national changes, costing U.P.S. an additional million dollars a day in California alone.  Other States, with labor laws similar to those in California, were affected.  Still, I feel less than adequate and Bob continues to laugh.  

The stories coming out of Fukushima are a wake up call and a reminder of situations that can and will manifest when the whistle blower is not protected.  As the world teeters on the brink of an unimaginable disaster, the workers at Fukushima continue to be exploited and lied to.  It is easy to imagine how this situation could take place when we read about the realities of working for TEPCO.  One needn’t look far in order to find additional companies representing the unrepentant face of corporate greed. 

How long will it take for the value of integrity to be recognized in the corporate paradigm?  When will civilization wake up to the nightmare of parasitic corporate greed? 

It is not up to any one person or any group of people to solve the problems of the world.  The play of consciousness is unfolding as it should.  It is time for the “next generation” to run with the baton.  A combination of examples, good and poor, will inspire them to do so. 

Charlie Engel
Join friends and I on Facebook @
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5072 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-11-01
Subject: #5072 - Thursday, October 31, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5072 - Thursday,В October 31, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

The true nature of phenomena – suchness – has no beginning, middle or end.
This state of infinite evenness, equal to space and pure by nature, has no beginning or end.
It is beyond any time frame.
It is unborn, unceasing, and has no substance or characteristics.
It neither comes nor goes and cannot be characterized as some "thing."
It involves no effort or achievement or anything needing to be done.
The ground of suchness itself has no periphery or center.
Since it has no reference and is non-ceasing, it is the expanse of oneness.
~Longchenpa, from “The Basic Space of Phenomena”
via Daily Dharma by Amrita Nadi

Stop trying to have someone else's experience.
Stop chasing freedom or happiness, or even spiritual enlightenment.
Stand in your own shoes
and examine closely what's happening right here and right now.


I am having a conversation.
I used to talk to sunlight. I would whisper in his ear. Sweet nothings. And he would
whisper back about the migration route of arctic wolves, the secretmost intimations
of krill, the giggling of school girls.
I spoke with the ocean shore. I stamped out syntax and word with my bare feet,
Leapt high for an exclamation, opened arms wide for interrogative. The shore spoke
with pounding crashing of surf and the sighs of wave and sandÂ’s relentless union.
I spoke with the grass and it told me of its seduction of poets. It gossiped about the
secret life of ants. It imparted the secrets of Abulafia. The ant carried my message
deep into the earth and minerals sent telegrams with encouragement and advice.
“Who you choose to spend time with speaks everything about your love. stop. Thorn
thicket people. Glass bottle people. Fashion magazine people. The people called
Encouragers of Waste Â… andÂ….. Self Protective Imaginings. stop
Do not stay three days in the house of anyone who does not fear the movement of the
clockÂ’s hands. Do not be fooled by JosephÂ’s torn coat or listen to negative gossips
about Manjun. Instead, go ask the baby how it knows to suckle the breast. Go ask the
sunflower how it knows to turn toward the brightness. Go ask the Lover of Truth why
her heart and mind race toward the teacher.” stop
And so I did. The baby said “Listen.” So I closed my mouth. The sunflower said
“Deeper still.” So I closed my eyes and ears and heard the sound of the stars
movement, the golden mean, the first letter. The Lovers of Truth said “This is only a
beginning.” So I sealed up mind wanderings and stood alone in the nothing. Â…Â…Â…..
an ant crawled along the edge of creation and void and dropped a telegram from deep
in the earth. It said:
Listening is fruitless unless it becomes a fire. Fire burns away the dross; sunlight is
all that is left. If you want to know what fire is then go and speak to Manjnun. stop –
It was signed Gold.
I went to Manjnun to ask him of the secret of this silent fire but merely the sight of
his face and my Heart burst into flame. The meaning of their names tore open my
confusions and the Love Bird flew into the sky.
I died. And all that remained was heaven.
Now I am having a conversation. I have become the ink on the telegram.
An invitation to Night. - t.k.
Traktung KhepaВ on Facebook

Why Buddhism and the West Need Each Other
Buddhism has come to the West and the West has come to Buddhism. Every time
Buddhism spreads to a new culture, the cultures interact with each other. One
result in the West has been the development of socially engaged Buddhism. This
does not mean that Buddhism is merely incorporating a concern for social justice;
Buddhism offers a different perspective on social suffering (dukkha). Our
obsessions with entertainment, money, and fame are more than individual
problems: they reveal where our society is stuck.
The 'three poisons' that the Buddha identified have become institutionalized and
taken on a life of their own:
Our economic system institutionalized greed.
Racism and militarism institutionalize ill will.
The corporate media institutionalized delusion.
Any personal awakening we may experience remains incomplete until it is
supplemented by a “social awakening” that realizes the importance of responding
to these institutionalized causes of widespread suffering.

"Our collective sense of separation from the rest of the biosphere lies at the
heart of the ecological crisis."
This is the first time in history that Buddhism does not need to align itself with
feudal power structures: Buddhism has arrived in a modern/post-modern society,
and because of these social freedoms there is the possibility of a real social
Healing Ecology: A Buddhist Perspective on the Eco-crisis
Does Buddhism offer any special perspective on the ecological crisis? Do its
teachings imply a different way of understanding the biosphere, and our
relationship to it, which can really help us at this critical time in history when
we are doing so much to destroy it?
There are reasons to doubt it: after all, Sakyamuni Buddha lived in a very
different time and place, Iron Age India. But the Buddha did know about
dukkha, the term usually translated as “suffering” yet to be understood in the
broadest sense: dissatisfaction, discontent, anxiety—basically, our manifest
inability to be happy, which does not mean that life is always miserable but that
even those who are wealthy and healthy experience a disease that keeps gnawing.
That we find life frustrating, one damn problem after another, is not accidental,
because it is the nature of an unawakened mind to be bothered about something.
What, if anything, does that imply about the ecological crisis?
There are precise and profound parallels between our usual individual
predicament, according to Buddhism, and the present situation of human
civilization. This suggests that the eco-crisis is as much a spiritual challenge as a
technological and economic one. Does this mean that there is also a parallel
between the two solutions? Does the Buddhist response to our personal
predicament also point the way to resolving our collective one? ...

The text of this lecture is available online.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5073 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-11-01
Subject: #5073 - Friday, November 1, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5073 - Friday, November 1, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights


Guruphiliac posted the following in Facebook:

Is the old Guru model now crumbling fast?
Posted on October 31, 2013

An important new book is out called “Evolving Dharma” by Jay Michaelson and therein is included a chronicling of how the “dharma” is essentially entering deeply into mainstream places (like schools, the military, psychiatry, medicine, commercial outlets, essentially everywhere). The meditation practices from the earliest of Buddhist teachings are in particular what is “infiltrating” our western culture in a more big way. For more about this new book, which does include a great examination of the two basic aspects of meditation, calm abiding (with expansive energy and bliss) through one pointed concentration and clear seeing/insight through mindfulness, see the following page:

Also just now coming out is a new book of memoirs by a woman serving Ammachi for two decades. For a few years or more it seems that more and more peeks behind the curtain at the Ammachi scene in Kerala have suggested very disturbing things going on in the “background” of that scene. For more information, go here:

These two books, coming out at this time, seem to add to the other signs (see the Andrew Cohen and Kalu Rinpoche stories here, for example) of an unfolding trend or development showing a dying Guru model that essentially took shape around 1200-1300 years ago. (During the development of the Tantric movements, the rise of “deity worship”, and the adoption of “initiation” practices.)

Jay Michaelson’s new book chronicles what is replacing that dying model. Gail Tredwell’s new book shows why that old model is now just barely hanging on.

The company of mature practitioners and stably Realized persons is good. Listening to what they have to say is good. And, moving on is apparently the key in waking up and easing into a free condition.


Tim Gerchmez

To lose one's ego is for everyone to lose their ego. One can still see hints in people's speech that 'ego' may be there but you see a purely technical mirroring of opposites, like Neo in 'the matrix' seeing the computer coding in the walls. There is no self there to react to it, and there is compassion instead.


"The now is the ultimate security." J. Krishnamurti

Watch Krishnamurti speak on the now:

(thanks to James Traverse)
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5074 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-11-03
Subject: #5074 - Saturday, November 2, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

#5074 - Saturday, November 2, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz  

The Nonduality Highlights 


Chani, one of the organizers of our Nonduality Satsang group, wrote from India wishing us Happy Diwali! I admit I had to look up what that holiday is about

Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.

The name "Diwali" or "Divali" is a contraction of deepavali which translates into "row of lamps". Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. These lamps are kept on during the night and one's house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. Firecrackers are burst because it is believed that it drives away evil spirits. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.

While Diwali is popularly known as the "festival of lights", the most significant spiritual meaning behind it is "the awareness of the inner light". Central to Hindu philosophy (primarily the Yoga, Vedanta, and Samkhya schools of Hindu philosophy) is the belief that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman. The celebration of Diwali as the "victory of good over evil", refers to the light of higher knowledge dispelling all ignorance, the ignorance that masks one's true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality. With this awakening comes compassion and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings ananda (joy or peace). Just as we celebrate the birth of our physical being, Diwali is the celebration of this Inner Light.

While the story behind Diwali and the manner of celebration varies from region to region (festive fireworks, worship, lights, sharing of sweets), the essence is the same – to rejoice in the Inner Light (Atman) or the underlying Reality of all things (Brahman).

~ ~ ~

Further details on events, celebrations, significance, local ways of celebrating are at

I couldn't find one picture showing the cities, the fireworks, the people all dressed up, the sweets, the lights .... so please take a look at this page of photos:

Happy Diwali!


Witnessing, Experience and ‘The Spiritual’

by Colin Drake

Here is an e-mail exchange I had with a reader of my books recently his comments are indented and mine are in italics:

After regular meditation at the beach I came to the realization that my “silent observer,” an aspect I had nurtured for years , and believed it to be my “non ego aspect” , my “safety blanket”, the dissolver of inner critique, was yet another aspect of my ego, an entity, therefore still dualistic.

This is the witnessing aspect of the mind but, as you say, still mind (or ego). The thoughts/sensations come and go, appear and disappear, on the screen of Pure Awareness where they are seen by the mind and focussed upon. When the mind sees these but does not 'do' anything with them then this is the 'witness' that various traditions urge one to develop. This is one step removed from Pure Awareness which never 'does' anything with them, but is the nearest that the mind can come to mimicking 'This' (Pure Awareness). Whether there is anything to be gained by this activity is a moot point, but they do say that 'imitation' is the sincerest form of flattery; and it could be argued that this mimicking can enable the mind to come to a limited understanding of 'This'. 1

It was though thousands of words had taken me to the “threshold” and no more words or concepts could take me further. So I knew ”I” had to let go. Although I had fully understood Nonduality conceptually and had practiced your technique of “being pure awareness” and experiencing sensations come and go, I was still the “observer”. This time the sensation felt different, empty, expansive, no-one, nothing but pure open-ness to the natural beauty that was there. Can’t explain. Lose myself and yet gain All - what an amazing trade off!!! Now I can see why it’s such a struggle due to the fear of letting go. Isn’t it the greatest paradox of all!!!

As you say, one finally has to let go of the mind and all concepts including its attempts to mimic Pure Awareness. This occurs when one experientially sees that all thoughts/sensations arise in, exist in and subside back into This and in This there is indeed no separation. To quote from one of my poems:

When we ask ‘who am I?’

We discover by and by,

Absolutely nothing there,

Radiant, pristine, ever aware.

That by which our minds can know

Thoughts and sensations as they flow.

In which objects perceived are seen

Without which we wouldn’t know they’ve been …

Prior to this experience I realized I had been on the inner journey - the so called “Hero’s journey” as coined by renowned author Joseph Campbell and had come to the conclusion that I did not exist at the deepest level of my being. I had searched and found memories , feelings, desires, aspirations but no entity as such , just energy appearing in awareness . Also I regularly visit my favorite childhood places in nature to recapture my feelings back then. As others have said the final step has to be experiential, and no one arrives and there is no one there to have the experience or to take credit. So it’s very hard to talk about and celebrate. I have not told anyone in any detail – except alluded to a couple of “spiritual” friends that some kind of awakening had “happened”– and they appeared quite cynical, so I didn’t elaborate. I also sensed some jealousy. I realize that this is a sensitive subject to some and also ego can take over and mess things up. Have you found similar reaction from others to your experience?

I must admit that I very rarely talk about my direct experiences unless I am sure that the person is genuinely sympathetic and interested. Although I have exposed all in my writing as I feel that others may find them interesting and I am also not exposed to any cynicism that may result. I must admit that I myself would have been sceptical if I had read about them before they occurred!!

It appears that the experience was profound and my yearning to know more has subsided. My desire to keep reading and searching has waned, which also tells me something. My experience is a glimpse and a knowing, it is not continuous which leads me to my 3 questions to you below -

I have realised that I am unable to stay in a Nondual state if I go about my everyday business in the physical – Dual- world , but I have a knowing awareness that it is there and I can easily just be and see the illusion . So I can “flip flop” between the 2. One view is the spiritual and one view is the physical. Is it possible to stay in the “spiritual” all the time and still function in the everyday world of duality?

Nonduality is not a state, for all states come and go, but a world-view that informs our actions and the way we relate to others and the world. There is actually no division between the spiritual and the physical for all is just consciousness the former being associated with This when at rest (Pure Awareness) and the latter being identified with this when in motion, or manifesting as cosmic energy of which matter is a form. So there is no need to 'stay' in any state as one can never leave That which is (and we are) of which all is a manifestation. It may appear that we need to flip flop but this itself is just a (necessary) illusion caused by consciousness using our mind/bodies as instruments through which it can sense, contemplate, experience, engage with, interact in, enjoy and love its own manifestation. For all engagement and interaction requires (an appearance of) multiplicity, but the knowing (of Pure Awareness) allows this to be enjoyed as the play of consciousness without being deluded by it. Sure there are times when one will 'nod off' and temporarily overlook this 'knowing' but luckily this invariably leads to mental suffering ... a sure sign that we need to wake up again by instantly seeing that this has occurred in Pure Awareness itself!

Recently I heard that Sri Ramakrishna had stated that self realisation or enlightenment is permanent. And that with true enlightenment you can be in the everyday dualistic world and see only Nonduality, that is, only oneness and everything connected. How could this be if I do not exist? And how can I function in the everyday world if I do not exist? From the various writers I had read they say stay mindful, be aware. So is it more like “flip flopping” between the 2 aspects of the same thing, than a permanent state of oneness? I recall you describe absence of awareness as “nodding off.”

I agree that once one has truly become self-realized then this is a permanent background that informs one's being, but temporary 'nodding off' is still possible. As far as you 'not existing' is concerned you still inhabit a unique mind/body which is a wonderful individual manifestation of Consciousness through which That can enjoy its own manifestation ... and that mind can still 'nod off' from time to time! It is true that at the essential level of Pure Awareness there is no separation but even then you exist as That!! The enjoyment of life through the body/mind is not to be denigrated for this is how That can enjoy, and know, Itself

Surely “consciousness” is the divine? There does not appear to be anything else. Surely this is Brahman and Atman?

All true but it exists in every form of multiplicity, variety and manifestation that can possibly be imagined ... and beyond! And we as wonderful examples of That endowed with sense bodies and amazing minds (when not identified with them) are enjoined to appreciate this amazing creation so that That may also...

Many thanks Colin for taking time to read “my story” and for your inspirational prose and poetry. There aren’t many people I can share this experience with, only those that know.

Best wishes, XXXX

To complete this exchange here is his reply:

Hi Colin

Thanks very much for your reply -   and now it is clear .    

Also many thanks for your prose and poetry which helped me on my journey.   

Sorry I didn’t respond sooner – as I’ve been on holidays.

More than happy to share our exchange with others and inspire

It’s wonderful how questions from your readers can inspire in you a response – like a feedback synergy loop.

Best wishes, XXXX

1 When I talk about ‘witnessing’ things, in my articles and poems, I do not mean noticing them but not doing anything with them; rather staying identified as the Pure Awareness in which they (the ephemeral flow of objects) come and go. In this case the mind also is unaffected by them and does not ‘do’ anything with them but due to correct identification this is effortless and does not require the mind to adopt a certain ‘stance’ or activity. The problem with the latter is there could still be identification with a separate I (the mind) that is ‘witnessing’.

Colin Drake's books are available at


*From the article "Pursuing the 'I Am' and Beyond" in OneTheMagazine, by Jerry Katz*

Awesome Spiritual Experiences Are Not Necessary

These are the kinds of experiences you have when existence is trying to shake you out of your sleep.  They may be viewed as indicators that one is missing the obvious reality that awareness and experience are not separate.

Awesome spiritual experiences aren’t necessary.  They are the universe’s way of saying, “What the heck do I have to do to wake you up?”

Everything I had to know regarding reality happened at the age of two on the low wall, while seeing the coloured water, and on some level also seeing that the only “me” was a lover of itself, a lover of what I am, which is awareness and experience undivided.  Another way to put it: awareness/experience in the form of me, loved the awareness/experience in the form of what was being perceived.  There were no inner or outer aspects to awareness/experience, so the experience was known by non-separation or nonduality . . ."

*The full article can be found at*

Shanti Einolander


Group: NDhighlights Message: 5075 From: Dustin LindenSmith Date: 2013-11-03
Subject: #5075 - Sunday, November 3, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith
#5075 - Sunday, November 3, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

The Nonduality Highlights •

My opening piece today comes from Mark Otter via a post he made on Facebook that illustrates a perception error so common among us:

Whole versus Hole – the Holy Cloth Metaphor

Imagine a huge black cloth, with billions of very tiny holes in it, a light source and a wall on which to shine light and play with shadows. We see the patterns of light and dark on the wall as if we were just one of the dots of light on the wall, and each being in the Universe is another dot on the wall and the dots are all separate, distinct from each other. We feel alone because we are immediately surrounded by dark. We don’t see our own light very well, but we see these other lights and can be jealous of their beauty, afraid of their brightness, angry at them for the way they appear to us, or a variety of other “interpersonal” light show effects. We even defend our spot on the wall from other dots of light that might get too close either benevolently or not because we think that they might outshine us and we would lose our existence, because we think we need the contrast of shadow around us to stand out as the light we know we are. We insist on our individual identity. But this limitedness, this apparent separation arises because we’ve identified ourselves with a particular hole in the cloth – a sort of filter.

We believe we can only see and be aware through the filter of our own body, mind, set of emotions. But the sages tell us to let go of our identification with the body, mind and emotions because who we really are is the light itself. When we are simply the light, we exist on both sides of the Holy Cloth, and so we can partake of both the total connectedness, Oneness of the source, and the fascinating identification with form on the other side of the cloth. Of course, this is a metaphor and there is no cloth. There’s just the unified formless and the manifestation of form. But the point is that if we can disidentify with the body, mind and emotions, we can rediscover our original unity in the formlessness and lose our fear of separation and possible future annihilation as form. We are not the hole, we are the Whole. 

My next piece comes from another Facebook post, but this time by Jeannie McGillivray in the UK. It spoke to me directly, and provided me with some useful pointers I was able to offer someone at a recent satsang in Halifax who was struggling with the idea of what happens to your self when you discover your Self.

Self Realisation reveals that the sense of separate person with internal highs and lows going about struggling in a world of other separate things was created by habit, assumption, and belief in our psychology, emotions and body to be the sum total of what we are.

Upon Self Realisation, the sense of person (thoughts, sensations, emotions, perceptions etc.), are still experienced and are utterly included in the Self, but it's no longer believed to be a separate limited self; these experiences are no longer believed to be the sum total of how existence is experienced or of what I am.

Self Realisation doesn't, however, reduce these experiences to an illusion or a dream with the Self being something other, rather it illuminates that the totality of life, the totality of experience and the knower of all experience is the Self, is what I am; that there is no experience and knower of experience, no witness, no inside and outside, no me and not me and nothing that I am not. There is the Self alone.

Jeannie’s articulation of self-realization dovetails nicely into something I read on Cameron Reilly’s Facebook group for The Three Illusions. Cameron is a long-time friend and student of Sailor Bob Adamson in Australia, and he is currently in the research stages for a new book he’s writing on politics. In his readings, he came across a famous bit of writing by Spinoza on God which Einstein was referring to when he said that if he HAD to believe in a god, it would be the god of Spinoza:

“PROP. XIV. Besides God no substance can be granted or conceived.
Proof.—As God is a being absolutely infinite, of whom no attribute that expresses the essence of substance can be denied (by Def. vi.), and he necessarily exists (by Prop. xi.) ; if any substance besides God were granted, it would have to be explained by some attribute of God, and thus two substances with the same attribute would exist, which (by Prop. v.) is absurd ; therefore, besides God no substance can be granted, or, consequently, be conceived. If it could be conceived, it would necessarily have to be conceived as existent ; but this (by the first part of this proof) is absurd. Therefore, besides God no substance can be granted or conceived. Q.E.D.
Corollary I.—Clearly, therefore : 1. God is one, that is (by Def. vi.) only one substance can be granted in the universe, and that substance is absolutely infinite, as we have already indicated (in the note to Prop. x.).”

So, according to Spinoza, there can only be one substance in the universe and that is God and we are that.

With all of the preceding in mind, you may have recently heard that the author of A Course in Miracles, Marianne Williamson, has decided to run as an Independent against Democrat Henry Waxman in California’s 33rd Congressional District. That district stretches from Malibu to Beverly Hills, through Santa Monica, Hermosa Beach, and south to Rancho Palos Verdes. I have to admit that I was dubious when I heard the news, but then I watched this interview she had with Larry King and I suddenly became interested in what she had to say and the way she said it.

If you happen to follow US politics, it’s also worth listening to the portion with Ben Stein, who is an economist, a comedian and a former speechwriter for Presidents Nixon and Ford. I had always assumed Ben Stein was a straightforward, conservative white male, but he surprised me near the end of his interview with what he thinks are the most important domestic issues in the US right now. (Spoiler alert: they don’t involve cutting taxes for the rich or being tougher on crime!)

Stein thought what Williamson had to say in her interview with Larry King was the absolute height of comedy, but I felt that several of her themes were trying to cut through some of the deep political materialism that permeates the system right now. It’s impossible for me to know if a valuing of the nondual undergirds these themes for her personally, but I like to think that it does. Here are some examples:

A motivation to highlight a conversation that’s happening amongst regular people that hasn’t been able to crash through the ramparts of the current political system

Identifying that the thoughts which dominate our politics are calcified thought-forms that don’t allow the sort of thinking that’s necessary to move us forward, and that this has resulted in a diminishing democratic franchise

Identifying the need to hear the voices of ordinary American people, unfiltered by the chokehold the two parties have on the speech and policies of their own candidates

A platform rooted in commonly-shared concerns over the environment, the corruption of our food supply, income inequality, high mass incarceration rates, and high child poverty, with an acknowledgement that these problems are all exacerbated by a political system that is completely corrupted by those with undue financial leverage who wield an amount of geopolitical influence hugely disproportionate to that which the average American citizen can wield

The suggestion that this profound financial corruption in the political system has led to a crisis of democracy itself, with a call for no less than a constitutional amendment to entrench public funding of government

A feeling that the government has lost its ethical centre; that it has lost sight of the fact that there are some things more important than money

A suggestion that the organizing principle of short-term economic gain may work fine for certain aspects of business functioning, but that it should not be the bottom line in running a country—as long you put economic values in front of humanitarian values, you’ve lost your ethical centre

Like my new buddy and erstwhile punk-rock political scientist Russell Brand, Williamson will likely be criticized for not putting forward "concrete enough solutions" for how to address these problems. Ideas like these can indeed come across as trite, simple-minded, empty rhetoric. But if I use my imagination, I can visualize the logjam being cleared by a paradigm shift in thinking like the one (I hope) she’s describing: namely, to move beyond the current system of entrenched bi-partisan politics which does little but reinforce the illusory sense of separateness that pervades our culture. There’s no question that governing in this way has left a huge majority of the population (not to mention our environment) without any voice. Maybe a simple shift in thinking could change that. Don’t most of the people reading these words now just automatically feel that way?


PS: The Jeremy Paxman interview with Russell Brand that I discussed last week has jumped from nearly 7 million views to nearly 9 million views in the past seven days. Were it to continue thus, what might happen to the character of the discussion? Would it indeed mean anything?
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5076 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-11-05
Subject: #5076 - Monday, November 4, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5076 - Monday,В November 4, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Come into animal presence
by Denise Levertov
Come into animal presence
No man is so guileless as
the serpent. The lonely white
rabbit on the roof is a star
twitching its ears at the rain.
The llama intricately
folding its hind legs to be seated
not disdains but mildly
disregards human approval.
What joy when the insouciant
armadillo glances at us and doesn't
quicken his trotting
across the track and into the palm brush.
What is this joy? That no animal
falters, but knows what it must do?
That the snake has no blemish,
that the rabbit inspects his strange surroundings
in white star-silence? The llama
rests in dignity, the armadillo
has some intention to pursue in the palm-forest.
Those who were sacred have remained so,
holiness does not dissolve, it is a presence
of bronze, only the sight that saw it
faltered and turned from it.
An old joy returns in holy presence.
from Poems: 1960-1967. © New Directions, 1983.

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.
~ St. John of the Cross)

If you talk to the animals they will talk with you
and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them
you will not know them, and what you do not know
you will fear. What one fears one destroys.
~ Chief Dan George

The Poetry Teacher
by Mary Oliver

The university gave me a new, elegant
classroom to teach in. Only one thing,
they said. You can't bring your dog.
It's in my contract, I said. (I had
made sure of that.)
We bargained and I moved to an old
classroom in an old building. Propped
the door open. Kept a bowl of water
in the room. I could hear Ben among
other voices barking, howling in the
distance. Then they would all arrive—
Ben, his pals, maybe an unknown dog
or two, all of them thirsty and happy.
They drank, they flung themselves down
among the students. The students loved
it. They all wrote thirsty, happy poems.
from Dog Songs. © Penguin, 2013.

"Amos" by Mazie Lane and Bob O'Hearn

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
~ David Wagoner
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Group: NDhighlights Message: 5077 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-11-06
Subject: #5077 - Tuesday/Wednesday, November 5-6, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5077 - Tuesday/Wednesday, November 5-6, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz


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Robert Saltzman

"When we maintain awareness, whether we know it or not, healing is taking place...a door that has been shut begins to open...As the door opens, we see that the present is absolute and that, in a sense, the whole universe begins right now, in each second. And the healing of life is in that second of simple awareness...Healing is always just being here, with a simple mind."
--- Charlotte Joko Beck


Advaita Academy

Know more about Karma yoga and lead a stress free life everyday!

Assorted talks by Swamini Svatmavidyananda


Marianne Williamson

"Those who make peaceful evolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable." 
--- President John F. Kennedy


David Rivers

Another day of deep pain, yet I know I am more than this pain, even tho it causes me to lay down and rest, I use that rest to meditate and pray, I often think of all the suffering in our world, and that my own is but a tiny fragment of that totality of human suffering. Then I can pray for others, which creates a different relationship to my own suffering. 

I also know that pain, if we can hold it gently in our awareness, while recognising that we are much more than that which we are aware of, can be a doorway or a rite of passage. I feel that perhaps it's God's way of calling me to be more grounded, to feel more and think less.

Yet, it's far, far easier to say such lofty things than it is to practice them. However, I am gentle on myself, even if I only practice acceptance and deep feeling into the pain for a short while in the day and distract myself from the pain the rest of the day, I celebrate those moments when I was able to be with the pain, accepting it, embracing it.
Yet not being "identified" with it, being "aware" of the pain, feeling it, and also recognising that "awareness" is far, far more than anything it contains. 

After 22 or so years of being involved in spiritual practice, I am still a beginner. Not because I "heard" that beginners mind is good but because it's a truth. Every moment is fresh, and so in every moment, I have a chance to create a new relationship to what is! Even more than that, I am graced to be aware that I have much to learn. As I can "see", by "watching my own mind", that I have a lot of growth yet ahead of me.

I am a fumbling beginner, often way of track, but with awareness and self honesty and a deep desire to truly grow, to mature both spiritually and as a human being. I "see" and catch my mind in the act, when it takes me off track. (out of the Now) I then thank grace for giving me the awareness and strength to see my mistake and can correct it.

By simply letting go of the mind's stories, or whatever I am using to distract myself from the pain, or some feeling, or whatever it may be that I am "unconsciously avoiding" and simply come back to Presence, back home, to the Now, to Presence, Awareness. 

I feel deeply that this is the "true medicine", the simple power of Awareness and Presence! Being fully Here, Present to whatever is arising, be it pain and illness, or joy and celebration. In this way, "everything" becomes our teacher. 

Even when we falter, if we can "see" that we are faltering, we can watch and learn about our egoic-mind's ways, which always seek to take us away from the Now. 

I am a beginner in this, even after 22 years, I make mistakes and falter often, yet grace always enters in, and from her I learn, again and again that everything that happens, be it good or bad (from the minds point of view) happens for the best.


Fernando Rozas

"Just be simple and genuine. The mind cannot dominate if the energy stays with the seeing. The mind will empty itself. The true nature of mind is emptiness. Years of habit give it a seeming power but it has no power at all. The nature of what reveals itself is very subtle. We are used to the grossness of belief in thought. The thinker is just another thought. Witness the disappearance of the 'I am the thinker' thought and notice that there is a natural open space – pure cognition."
~Gilbert Schultz~

"Tan sГѓВіlo sГѓВ© simple y genuino. La mente no puede dominar si la energГѓВ­a permanece con el ver. La mente se vaciarГѓВЎ a sГѓВ­ misma. La verdadera naturaleza de la mente es vacuidad. AГѓВ±os de hГѓВЎbito le dan un aparente poder, pero no tiene ningГѓВєn poder en lo absoluto. La naturaleza de lo que se revela por sГѓВ­ mismo es muy sutil. Estamos habituados a lo grosero de la creencia en el pensamiento. El pensador es sГѓВіlo otro pensamiento. Presencia la desapariciГѓВіn del pensamiento 'yo soy el pensador' y nota que hay un natural espacio abierto – pura cogniciГѓВіn."


Scott Kiloby

Traveling around the country. Asking simple questions that are not for the intellect. Long-held beliefs dissolving quickly. Freedom and joy are no longer things we just read about. See you in Silver Spring, Maryland this weekend.


Tim Gerchmez

Nonduality: one for the price of two!


Nonduality: the word alone is a game changer, a one word teaching, a red pill. 

If you ever want to leave a comment to an online article or posting, consider typing-in that one word. If someone looks up its meaning, it could be like pointing the Hubble telescope toward apparently empty space. A trillion new galaxies come into view.

Group: NDhighlights Message: 5078 From: Jerry Katz Date: 2013-11-07
Subject: #5078 - Tuesday/Wednesday, November 5-6, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#5078 - Tuesday/Wednesday, November 5-6, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights


Our most recent Nonduality Network Talk Radio show may be heard at

Featured is a clip from a talk by Adyashanti: "We are in our essence unborn." Meditation as a death, and opening the eyes to experience as "a display of the unseen." Realizing our purpose.

Also a live interview with Adyashakti (Mark Canter), author of the newly published Awakening to the Obvious. "In short, nothing about me as a personality could be called extraordinary. Yet this does not detract from the matter at hand: I do understand my original nature, as described in Buddhist and other mystical teachings of the past twenty-five centuries. I have seen beyond the limits of conventional identity, into the open nature (free capacity) of consciousness itself. This book offers no special doctrine the reader can adhere to. 'The Great Way has no back,' said the Chinese sage Lao Tzu. 'Thus, it cannot be followed.' However, the essays herein may help you to reconcile with the inherent mystery of life as it is, and thus be one with (no longer at odds with) the Great Way.


Here is an excerpt from the beginning of...

My Awakening to the Obvious

by Adyaskakti (Mark Canter)

When I was nineteen, I was blessed with a wonderful mystical vision: I experienced the light of God. That is, I experienced what Tibetan Buddhists call Osel (or “Primordial Clear Light”), and Hindu yogis describe as Sahasradala Padma (“Thousand-Petal Lotus of Light”). Chinese Taoists call it Ming (“Transcendent Luminosity”). Sioux Indians name it Wakan Tonka (“Great Spirit”). Muslims refer to it as Noor (“Divine Resplendence”). It is also Kavod (“Eternal Flame”) that shines at the altar of Judaism; the same radiance of which Jesus said, “If your eye is single, your whole body will be filled with light.”

The word light is not used here as a figure of speech (symbolizing a brighter, sunnier, higher aspect of ourselves and the cosmos). All these names and images refer to actual light: self-luminous, all-pervading energy. It is the living force—radiant consciousness—ablaze with bliss. Communion with this holy light, absorption in it is unspeakably pleasurable. Yet in my case, the event of drowning in the ocean of brightness left a great disturbance in its wake that took decades to resolve.

Let me tell you my story.

In 1972 I was a sophomore at Boston University, a teen-age son of 20th-century America, who listened to Led Zeppelin cranked up loud enough to vibrate my teeth. I was not exactly preparing body and mind for a direct encounter with the divine. My Jewish religious training had consisted of attending Sabbath services and Sunday school as a boy, which felt like sitting for several hours a week in front of an unplugged radio. Until the age of about nine, I had believed in and prayed to the Judeo-Christian Deity, but by the time I was ten or so, I began to aggressively disbelieve in an anthropomorphic Father-God. Natural science and science fiction became far more inspiring, meaningful and beautiful to me than conventional religious dogma. At age eleven, I had quit attending the synagogue.

Even so, there was a mystical streak in me that I had noticed from my earliest memories. It showed itself as a keenly felt sense of the mystery of the natural world and human life. This feeling of wonder or awe would sometimes rise in me as a bodily thrill until I had to laugh or shout.

As a college freshman I took a world religions course because I intuited something fundamental to the religious urge in people, something prior to arguing over the different notions of God, something primitive, below the abstract verbal mind that has created all the historical schisms of exoteric beliefs. I wanted to find this most basic truth at the root of all faiths. I longed to be like a lover—a naked beginner in the embrace of Living Nature. I personally wanted to know “It”—the real God—for I somehow understood “It” to be the depth and ground of my own heart. Thus, I sought contact with my deepest heart, from which I was seemingly in exile.

The next year, as a sophomore, I took an excellent class on Eastern philosophy. We read the Heart Sutra of Buddha and essays on Zen by D.T. Suzuki; Psychotherapy East and West, by Alan Watts and Modern Man in Search of a Soul, by Carl Jung; the principal Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita of the Hindus; the Tao Teh Ching of Lao Tzu; the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. I began to have grand insights into my own condition, though I understood only a fraction of what I read.

Then some classmates invited me to their apartment for a dinner discussion of the profound teachings we were studying. Steve had been a Theravada Buddhist monk in Thailand for two years, meditating seventeen hours a day; John was an avid student of yoga and Vedanta; and Sean had deserted the French Army and walked through India for three years, meeting holy persons. In contrast, I had neither meditated, nor done yoga, nor spent time in the company of anyone who was especially wise and free.

After dinner, riding the crest of the moment, everyone but Sean took LSD together. It was my sixth psychedelic trip. We took turns reading aloud from the Old Testament’s Genesis and from Be Here Now, a primer on Hindu mysticism. After a while, Steve read to us from The Psychedelic Experience, a “trip manual” by Timothy Leary and Ralph Metzner, based on the Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation (also called Tibetan Book of the Dead).

Early on in the six-hour LSD high, I began to feel the same deep awe that I’d enjoyed as a boy, only stronger now than ever. The emotion seemed to expand and fill body, mind and room as a tangible presence: a sphere of invincible energy and happiness. I was sitting on a ratty carpet on the living room floor of a cheap apartment in Cambridge, immersed in a force field of great joy. I looked at Steve with drunken love and said, “The Holy Spirit is upon us.”

But I began to notice an apparent limit to the spirit, like a knot or cramp within the otherwise boundless force and presence. It gradually became obvious that the knot was “me”—or everything I held onto as “myself”. I saw that the whole melodrama of “me” (as a separated or independent and limited identity) was based on this unconscious habit of withholding (contracting, recoiling from whole and infinite being). “Me” was only a construct, not ultimately real (not a real entity or identity), but merely an act (like a fictional stage character) within Free and Total Being. And mistakenly (ridiculously!), the sense of identity had been bound to this mere role, this temporary personality, this psycho-physical ego (as if Life and Consciousness were an isolated self that is born to change and die). Such phony (separate) identity was the cause of all fear—the refusal to love and shine completely; the resistance to change and death, and thus, to all of life and relationship.
Within Consciousness, the dream of “me” was suddenly released. In that instant, came the deep heart of understanding: The totality of conscious being is the real and living “Person”, the all-inclusive Identity of everyone and everything. As the sages have put it, “There is only God.”

I fell onto my back in tears with the overwhelming relief of this realization of transcendental (unlimited) life. I surrendered utterly to my felt-intuition of the Great One. Rapidly, a marvelous change occurred. Layers of subtler self-holding fell away and I melted into the heart of God. I did not just watch this self-transcendence occur, as if from the bleachers. Ego-“I” dissolved in the all-effacing light of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.

To the extent the experience can be described, it was something like this: In the first few seconds of self-surrender, a glorious golden light filled mind and body and all of space. Mind (or attention) was captured by the light and drawn inward and upward toward an infinite locus above. Outer awareness disappeared as attention, body and world were resolved into the unity of the light-source—like an iris blossom refolding and returning to its bud. Just at the brink of ego-death there was an instant of fear, but I knew there was no turning back, no stopping this expansion beyond all limit. And I knew that whatever this sacrifice led to, it simply was Reality.

Therefore, I silently prayed, “Have mercy on me,” and in the next instant the light became so supremely attractive it absorbed the fear along with everything else into its dazzling singularity. As the last bit of self-hold evaporated, the golden light increased to “white,” or rather, it became perfectly clear, pure, unqualified, original. There was no more expansion, no more ascent; indeed there was no more “up” or “down,” “in” or “out,” but all of existence was radically equal and whole—the same absolutely bright fullness (or emptiness).

I was conscious as limitless radiant being, identical with the Self or Source of the universe. I don’t know how long I remained consumed in that domain of ecstasy, but it was utterly familiar, not new or shocking. It was Home, eternally. That Which IS (or the One I AM).

Of course, I came down. With a splat!

Crashed, as they say; and back again from the ego-centered point of view of a white, middle-class American kid who had grasped only a fraction of what he had read from the Oriental mystics, the experience of the light was not only incomprehensible, it was terrifying. By the following afternoon, I felt so upset, I was pale and shaky. After all, what was so attractive about the dissolution of ego, the death of “me”? I had developed a painful case of psychic indigestion.

At first I tried to resist the revelation of the light, the divine intrusion on my independent, private life. I wanted to say, “Go away, I’m not ready for this. I just want to be me. I want to stay me.”
Lost and scared, I compulsively tried to secure the threatened ego, reinforce its boundaries and make it solid, immune to change. It didn’t work. There is no way to go on as an isolated self once you’ve tumbled into the heart of infinite life, even if only for a timeless instant. (As the Muslim poet Kabir said, “I saw that for thirty seconds, and it has made me a devotee all my life.”)

I did.

I began to study the teachings of the Eastern and Western mystics in earnest. (It is noteworthy that all of them warn not to delve into mystical experience without proper preparation and a guide who knows the territory.)

It took time, more than a decade, but gradually my anxiety and confusion waned and was replaced by a growing understanding. Along the way I discovered scores of historical sources in which ego-loss in the radiant, transcendental being is described. Classical yoga provides a Sanskrit term for the experience: nirvikalpa samadhi. 1Many teachers quickened my awakening; not the least among them my wife and our two sons.

This does not mean I fitted the revelation of the divine to my everyday life—like pocketing a shiny new coin and then continuing on my private way. No. The divine is senior to self and world and will not be owned. Therefore, I did the reverse: I submitted my life to the divine; I became a devotee of God. Not the Almighty Absent Parent who never speaks through the dead radio, but the same wonderful, living Source and starry Process that a naturalist can love with awe.

Also, I began to meditate. I practiced a simple technique of focusing on the in and out of my breath while sitting quietly. After fifteen years of this simple practice, I experienced a “return” to the light. While deeply in tune with the breath, my attention spontaneously became focused in the mid-brain, between and behind the eyes. Thus my “eye” became “single.” My whole body was filled with light, as Jesus promised. I sat in a swoon and received the golden light into all my parts. At the time, I wrote an essay proclaiming: “Holy light is not a metaphor. Dazzlingly alive is the eternal spirit.”
But I was still afraid.

I was afraid of madness—the utter sacrifice of self and all limit. No knowing. No controlling. No “me.” I was afraid of drowning in infinity.

Six years later, in February 1993, a turning point arrived. I stood on my balcony in a contemplative mood, feeling into life, and I recalled a line a friend had told me years before about “meeting God halfway.” That notion now seemed absurd, as I saw that God Is Here, already all the way present. Nothing is hidden or withheld. I said aloud a motto that summed this up: “The gift is always given.” It was a beautiful, religious sense of being lived and loved and breathed by God.

Suddenly, a tremendous Force pressed down from above my head, through my brain and nervous system, with such mighty light and bliss that I fell to my knees and was pinned, overwhelmed bodily by the tangible brightness, as one might be overwhelmed by a terribly powerful orgasm. I gasped and sobbed from the potency of the joy. The God-pleasure—the saturating fullness and Touch of the light—became so intense I felt my bones might crack.

When I stood up, I had changed physically.

And my meditations changed. For several years, I’d been aware of powerful, “electrical” surges in my nervous system during meditation. I had focused on the breath and ignored these stirrings of the kundalini. But now my meditation sessions became sheer energy work-outs. Even so simple a practice as following the breath now felt like contrived self-effort. My method of meditation had been rendered obsolete. Instead, I would sit and the kundalini would flame through my head and eyes and spine and toss me around like a mad dancer. I laughed and cried. I growled. I shouted. I made spontaneous chant-like intonations. I saw archetypal visions.

It was painful and blissful—indescribable. I was suffering, but unable to budge a finger; afraid, but unable to make a single response. I was being meditated.

I became constantly aware of the tension around my heart, the tension of “me”—of holding on to myself. The presence of spirit had become a great current and my misery was my resistance to it. But I was reluctant to sacrifice “my life” completely.

Eight months later, in October 1993, I had grown so exhausted with the effort of preventing my own death, that I lay down on my bed and said, Okay, I give up. Take me insanity, or take me God, or take me whatever you are, mighty river. Sweep me to my destiny.

Abruptly, I began to lose “face.” Panic came on strong. I cramped up in a ball like a fetus. I became an electric buzzing cloud and then everything dissolved and I entered the light and bliss and freedom of ego-death; beyond the golden light into the clear light of void. No self. No thing. No bounds. The rapture only lasted a few seconds, but it was enough to see that all was okay. I had allowed death to occur, and it was not annihilation. It was only the loss of an imaginary limit—a phony identity.

The next day, I spontaneously entered nirvikalpa samadhi again, while soaking in the bathtub. The episode lasted several minutes and was completely free of fear from the beginning. The bright pleasure simply increased until the separate “I”-sense was overwhelmed in light.

From October on, each time I sat to meditate, I entered the shining void (at times remaining in samadhi for an hour or more). It is like entering deep sleep while remaining wide awake. It is luminous clarity: dreamless awakeness—pure consciousness without content other than its own uncreated bliss.

After a couple months of this, I dreamed one dawn in January 1994 that I was on a stage before an audience. A coffin was displayed on a stand and I was lying in it, facedown and naked. An emcee was on stage, and it was clear that I was to perform a Houdini-like escape act: I was supposed to free myself and emerge from the coffin.

I began to chuckle. What was the big deal? I was already free. The coffin lid was open, and I had no chains or shackles on me in the first place. I simply stood up.

Next, I was holding beautiful blue pearls in my hand, and the emcee told me to string them together as fast as I could. I started slipping the blue pearls onto a string, as a timer with TV-game show music ticked in the background. The emcee shouted, “Hurry, get as many beads on the string as you can!” For a few seconds I rapidly strung pearls, but then I stopped and looked across at the emcee. Why do I need to do this? I thought. This is your game, not mine. I gazed at the audience and all eyes were upon me. I smiled at the people as I stepped off the stage and began handing out the blue pearls, one to each person.

Then I woke up. It was a sunny winter morning in Tallahassee, Florida. I went downstairs and sat to meditate . . . and . . .

There was nowhere to go.

I strolled outdoors into the woods around my home. I saw no dilemma at all, within or without. No thing to seek. No experience to shed. No limit. I was not a something that could travel to someplace. I could not go deeper or higher through any means.

I burst out laughing from down in my belly. THIS IS IT. What a punch line! I thought the moment of satori would never end. But by the afternoon, when I went to pick up my sons from elementary school, I realized that satori, too, is only a state. It comes and goes. Nothing lasts.

And guess what? I don’t care in the least. I am not dismayed when ego appears, or when it disappears. I am no longer at war with ego or void. They are twin aspects of consciousness itself. I don’t take sides at all.

Reality is not samadhi, the extinguishing of all forms. Reality is not even satori, the natural mode of egolessness. Reality is no special state at all; no special condition. Reality is the IS of all possible states, their origin and unqualified basis, perfectly open and unbounded; pure capacity. Fundamentally, nothing has changed or ever will, and what I’ve come to understand was already only so: Just this.

From a certain perspective it can seem a big deal: I’ve grokked my own essence, and it is reality (or Buddha-nature). Or, as the Persian poet, Omar Khayam, put it: “I am myself, Heaven and Hell.”
But on the other hand, Buddha-nature and a buck will buy me a buck’s worth of groceries. No big deal. No special status. Nothing special at all.

These days, I sometimes meditate for pleasure and refreshment, like drinking a delicious tea. And I occasionally enter spontaneous mystic states during meditation. Even so, not any of it is necessary; and none of it is greater than simple happiness. Samadhi or no samadhi, satori or no satori, ego or no ego—there is no limit, already. No dilemma.

Nothing is more than wonderful. This moment is wonderful. Nothing is more than whole. This moment is complete. THIS is as God as it gets.

Truth (or joy) is not exclusive, not hidden, not vague or abstract, not elsewhere, not different than the stream of life. Birth and change and death are aspects of a single process, the only event: the activity of (or within) Reality. Nothing exists but Bright Mystery, which forever flows as all the possibilities of life in all the worlds. As Lao Tzu put it: “The Way that can be deviated from is not the Great Way.”

It is not that I am now at every moment floating along in a mood of blissful clarity, or that my neuroses have utterly evaporated. “After enlightenment,” I still at times feel frustrated, angry, and so forth. I also feel saddened by the intense sufferings of our human world family. But I do not resist any of it. Whether pleasure or pain is arising, I understand the empty and inherently free nature of the stream of endless changes, and I see there is no escape, nowhere else to go. I can only be whole (without alternative), abiding as the Heart.

It took twenty-two years of spiritual searching from the moment I first encountered the “clear light mind” to finally accept the wholeness that I am, the same totality that is true of everyone.
Friend, hear what I say: The Divine you seek is your own identity, before all ego-dilemma. Therefore, be already at ease. Relax into your own life-process. Trust in happiness, luminous and clear. Reality is Wholly Spirit, the Light that, while transcending every personality, also shines as all our life stories. In the midst of experience we are fundamentally free, beyond words and beyond worlds.

~ ~ ~

Order Awakening to the Obvious at
Group: NDhighlights Message: 5079 From: Gloria Lee Date: 2013-11-08
Subject: #5079 - Thursday, November 8, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

#5079 - Thursday,В November 8, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee

"I've looked at life from both sides now,
from win and lose, and still somehow
it's life's illusions I recall....

I really don't know life at all."
Alan LarusВ Photography

“Do not sit at home, do not go to the forest,
But recognize mind wherever you are.
When one abides in complete and perfect enlightenment,
Where is Samsara and where is Nirvana?
Г‚вЂ˜This is myself and this is another.Â’
Be free of this bond which encompasses you about,
And your own self is thereby released.
Do not err in this matter of self and other.
Everything is Buddha without exception.
Here is that immaculate and final stage,
Where thought is pure in its true nature.
The fair tree of thought that knows no duality,
Spreads through the triple world.
It bears the flower and fruit of compassion,
And its name is service of others.
The fair tree of the Void abounds with flowers,
Acts of compassion of many kinds,
And fruit for others appearing spontaneously,
For this joy has no actual thought of anotherÂ…"
~Saraha, from "The Royal Song"
translated by Keith Dowman
Via Amrita Nadi on Facebook
Yasar Koç Photography

..What is humility?
The Sages recommend humility as an important pathway of the road to God. But
what IS humility? I (whoever THAT isÂ…) believe itÂ’s the willingness to, when we
have done so, to admit “IÂ’ve made a mistake.” I recently saw a news report,
where a fossil set of footprints was found, in which a dinosaur lost its footing
and slipped down a slope. Ooops. DidnÂ’t dig its feet in deeply enough. ThatÂ’s a
mistake. I donÂ’t know whether it learned from this mistake and dug its feet in
more deeply the next time it climbed a slope, but IÂ’ll bet it was more likely to
survive if it did so, than if it didnÂ’t.В 
I chose a career that made me miserable. Oops. That was a mistake. Perhaps you
or someone you know married someone with whom you were incompatible. Oops,
that might have been a mistake. If so, I hope you found a mutually acceptable
solution. We all make mistakes. As near as I can tell, making mistakes is part and
parcel of being human.В 
Actually, thatÂ’s how we learn. As near as I can tell, itÂ’s not terribly common to
get through our lives by accepting the wisdom of others, and thereby making no
mistakes of our own. More commonly, we doubt the wisdom of our elders and
peers, and repeat the very mistakes they have warned us of.В 
It seems to be that experience is a more valuable teacher than hearsay. The
problem for some of us is that we donÂ’t even learn from our own experience. So
humility is the willingness to admit the mistake and to learn from it, and therein
lies itÂ’s value. If weÂ’ve truly learned from a mistake, weÂ’re much less likely to
repeat it. I say this in spite of my own sure conviction that I am the overlord of
the Universe and that you should bow down to me and acknowledge my
Oh wait, that would be a mistakeÂ…
Mark Otter on Facebook

Most of our heartbreak comes from attempting to name who we love or what we
love or the way we love far too early in the journey of discovery. We can never
know to begin with, in giving ourselves to a person, to a work, to a marriage or to
a cause, exactly what kind of love we are involved with. When we demand a
certain specific kind of reciprocation before the revelation ha...s flowered
completely we almost always find ourselves bereft and in that grief miss the
particular form of love that is actually possible but that did not meet our initial
and too specific expectations. Feeling bereft we take our identity as one who is
disappointed in love, our almost proud sense of disillusionment preventing us
from seeing the lack of reciprocation from the person or the situation as simply
a difficult invitation into a deeper and as yet unrecognizable form of affection.
Loving it seems, always becomes a path of humble apprenticeship, not only in
following its difficult way and discovering its different forms of humility and
beautiful abasement but strangely, through its fierce introduction to its many
astonishing and different forms, where we are asked continually and against our
will, to give in so many different ways, without knowing exactly, in what way, or
even when, the gift will be returned.
November Thoughts ©David Whyte 2013
Photo: © DW. Writing Desk, Mathern, Wales

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