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Highlights #558

Click here to go to the next issue.


Friday December 8, 2000


Christmas thought

By Pieter S. Samara
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
---


The Non-Dual Teachings of Christ:

"I am the Light of the world: he that
followeth Me shall not walk in
darkness, but shall have the Light of
Life." John 8: 12

"All things were made by him, and
without him was not anything made that
was
made." John I: 3

'In him was life, and the life was the light of men." John I: 4

"And the light (Christ) shineth in the darkness; and the darkness
comprehendeth it not." John I: 5

"That (Christ) was the true Light, which lighteth every man that is born into
this world." John I: 9

Christ to John in Revelations, Ch I: 8: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the
beginning and the ending" sayeth the Lord, "which is, and which was, and
which is to come, the Almighty."

"These things I have spoken to you that in me you might have peace. In the
world you shall have tribulations: But be of good cheer; I have overcome
(conquered) the world." John 16: 33

"I give you a commandment: Love one another." John 15: 12, 17


"For I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, he gave me a
commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know his
commandment is life everlasting." John 12: 49

One might think from reading these passages that Christ always speaks as the
Atman and of the Father as Brahman, or as the Self realized being One in
relation to the All pervasive and timeless Self. Just as Krishna tells Arjuna
that he taught Aditia (the Sun), Christ states:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM." John 8: 58

One can see from the way Christ always refers to the Father ("I AM THAT I AM"
Ex 3:14), as the doer of the miracles and all that He says, that regardless
of His apparent actions, that He has no sense of being a doer, that all He
says and does just happens, because He abides in the Father. Consider the
following passage, where Jesus is speaking to the Apostles in John Ch 14:


"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: No man cometh to the Father but by
Me. (vs 6)

If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from hence
forth you know him and have seen him. (verse 7)

"Philip said to Jesus, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for
us.' (verse 8)

"To which Jesus replied:

"Have I been so long with you, yet you have still not known me, Philip? He
that has seen me has seen the Father; therefore, how do you say, 'Show us the
Father'? (verse 9)

"Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words I
speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me He
does the works. (vs 11)

"Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, or else believe me
for the very works' sake." (verse 12)

Probably, the most profoundly direct instruction Christ gave concerning the
teaching of non-dualism is from


"The light of the body is the eye: Therefore, when thine eye is single, your
whole body will be filled with light...." (Luke 11: 34)
This non-dual teaching is easily paraphrased as follows: The part of you that
sees (the seer, one's Self) is your true light. Therefore, if you hold to
(i.e., abide as) the seer (subject-"I") singlely or exclusively (i.e.,
relinquishing attention to thoughts) you will have illumination - or what
some call the "enlightenment of the whole body". This is the exact
instruction given in the non-dualVedanta tradition, with the same described
outcome, as related above.

See the the Non-Dual Christ Consciousness described in the Vedic Verse and
Avadhut Gita verse below, very similar to the above records:


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
---
Vedic Verse
In the highest golden sheath is the Godhead, unsullied, indivisible;
pure is it, the Light of lights. He who knows the Self knows it. Neither
sun nor moon nor stars shine there. Neither lightning nor fire finds
there a place. With the radiance of that Light alone all things shine.
That radiance illumines all this world.

Atharva Veda, Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.9
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Song of the Ever free
Avadhuta Gita

Chapter 7 Verse 4

In this state of realization, how can the Avadhuta
consider whether he has a body or not,
or whether he has attachment or not?
He himself is the immaculate, immovable, innate Reality
-infinite as space.

__________________________________________________________


today is a very sacred day for white wolfe as a Catholic. it is the Feast
Day of the Immaculate Conception. Mary is one of the images of the divine in
whose arms i take continuous personal refuge. She is one of those icons whose
mystical, numinal power comes from the outside but resides at the
center...today i celebrate her...^^~~~

further up and further in,

white wolfe
---------------

Two Colors of the Beloved

(snipped)
and say, just this


You are the last blue lupine to gently, coolly sway

in the final mountain wind drifting down form heaven,

down to the deep, rich fertile valley which is the earth.

But then again you are the first scarlet columbine

of the original spring to send its sweet fragrance floating,

warmly upward, on the first valley breath wafting to heaven



You are, for me, the first blossom and last flower.

Or, if you prefer, I am for you, the last breeze and first breath.

Together we are, were, will be, or always have been

the first, last, present spring, the everlasting spring

that has only a middle for it has no beginning nor end.

The spring that is the alpha and the omega of being.



When I sing to you I cannot remember, comprehend, understand

where you begin and I end, where I am and you are.

When you sing to me, words lose meaning and become

the sweet music, the food of love, the sound that is love

I live in a dream that is life, a life that is a dream

Because I am full with a banquet that has never been served.



I would touch your deep heart's core with my toys and tools

these fragile words, these shards of a broken mirror

These mere words that will not stay still and convey,

translate, the shadow of feelings I have for you into reality

a reality fresh and new, and rich and old, visible and hidden,

A reality that has no discernable order to we who are ghosts

The only way I can find to say this just now is to say

There are only two colors in the world when I talk to you

One is cool, the other is hot, rather, one is hot the other is cool.



You are the burning star in my dark universe.



Holy Mary, Queen of Heaven, Lady Royal Blue

Sweet Mary, Empress of Earth, Lady Crimson Red

Pray for us who have recourse to Thee.



Mark Christopher Valentine

________________________________________________________

dear nds:

...white wolfe has been asked offline by a member who prefers to remain in
the shadows about Lectio Divina? he thinks there might be others interested
in this ancient practice of the Benedictines...here is the correspondence...

> Greetings White Wolf.
>
> I hear what you say about not being a teacher. I don't consider myself a
> teacher, either, although I do believe we are all both teacher and student
> depending on the situation.
>
> I am interested in your practice. You mentioned Lectio Divina the other
day
> on NDS. I know that it has to do with contemplating Bible passages, but
that
> is about all I know. I recently read the book Open Mind, Open Heart by
> Father Thomas Keating and discovered I have been doing Centering Prayer
for
> the past 3 years without knowing it...so I wonder if you could tell me
about it.?

dear brother:

your email almost got lost in the all the junk mail in my box...Lectio
Divina is a fourfold form of Contemplative Prayer as practiced by the
Benedictines designed to bring us in direct communion with the Godhead
through the use of sacred scriptures/writings....it consists of
Lectio...reading out loud a passage of sacred text until a certain phrase
calls itself to our attention...Meditatio...the silent ruminating upon or
repetition of the phrase...Oratio...the experiencing of the text in our
consciousness, in our minds and in our hearts...Contemplatio...the
realization that the text has lead us to the Godhead itself....when
practiced faithfully it is an invaluable tool to bring the mind to silence
and the heart to stillness so that we are ready to receive the
infinite...^^~~~~

further up and further in,

white wolfe

_________________________________________________________

Safari

Silence is a giraffe,
whose head stretches
to eat the leaves
of Unknowness.

Presence is a gazelle,
who leaps without
touching the ground.

Reality is a lion,
who's roar immediately
hits the totality of
one's being without
any possible defense.

Stillness is a river,
nourishing all animals
in the savannah.

Space is a gift,
giving all their lives
and movments, without
ever itself living or
moving.

Love,
Dan

______________________________________________

On 12/9/00 at 6:53 AM Pieter Schoonheim Samara wrote:
From: c s shah <

This destruction of the ego/mind complex while yet alive in the body is
realization. It happens naturally at death and samskaras which are yet to
fructify cause us assume yet other bodies.

JAN BARENDRECHT

Such a definition reminds of an early post
http://www.egroups.com/message/NondualitySalon/156
(thanks for the reminder Tim) and here the issue would be "define the
ego/mind complex" before defining "realization".

For some the "ego" is but the sense of "I" whereas the potential to perceive
and respond can rightfully be defined as "ego" too.
Both perceptiveness and responsiveness require mind and in a "realized one"
certainly thoughts will arise when required (as a response).

Hence, a more "modern" description of "realized" would mention the fact that
no entity is left to express itself (emotionally) in a sense of "I did..., I
saw, I enjoyed, I suffered etc."; such an expression would only be used for
the sake of purposely indicating a distinction that otherwise can't be made.
Also would be mentioned that no new emotional impressions can be made:
whatever emotion is experienced, it is "now" and leaves behind in memory only
events; memory without tags like "warm" or "cold" as "warm" and "cold" are
stored as events of interpretation, without the possibility to "revive" any
feeling.

Without an entity that can enjoy/suffer/act (feel itself a "target" with the
illusion that it can react), the remaining samskaras serve the purpose of
leading a happy life,the issue nirvana/samsara, bondage/liberation being moot
and upon death of the mind-body, nothing really happens.

It is also possible that body-consciousness disappears altogether and in that
case, it is no longer possible to feel hunger, thirst, pain etc.
The Buddha also made these distinctions and called them "nirvana with
substratum remaining" (body-consciousness present),and "nirvana without
substratum remaining" (body-consciousness absent). Needless to say, the
Buddha was "familiar" with both :)

Love,
Jan

___________________________________________________________________


Hi List,

You know, reflecting on this first NDS list message of Jerry's
(below), it reminds me of the first radio transmissions... a
single "dit-dit-dit..." in an ocean of radio static.

Think about it - "This is a test message. Thank you."

Doesn't it bring up an image of a lone operator keying a spark-gap
transmitter, a lone voice in the wilderness, a quiet "beep-beep-beep"
in an empty universe? Look at what's occurred since that
simple "This is a test" posting -- *FORTY SEVEN THOUSAND MESSAGES* in
a two-year period, with an exponential growth curve.

Consciousness seeks a vehicle for expression and manifestation, and
it seems to differentiate *exponentially* once begun.

Where was this list prior to its creation? It was first created "in
a particular mind" of course, before it was expressed "outwardly" as
a mailing list. But the messages *are* the list. It makes no sense
to say "this list contains messages."

***

A universe absolutely silent and empty, not yet even existing.

A telephone is lifted... there is only static, no dial tone. A radio
is switched on, and on every band, nothing but a soft "hiss."

This is "I AM." Beingness is that soft "hiss" that is us. The
borderline between beingness (consciousness) and... what?

Bless you, Jerry, for that test message. It would have been more
than enough.

Love,

Omkara

> ----------------------------------------
> From: Jerry <[email protected]>
> Date: Sun Aug 16, 1998 00:42am
> Subject: Test
>
>
> This is a test message. Thank you.
>
> Jerry
> ----------------------------------------

__________________________________________________________

Buddha's Enlightenment Day

( Ed. note: This date is a Japanese custom, not a universal one.)

dharma talk
What Is Rohatsu?

Japanese for 'December 8,' Rohatsu marks the morning Buddha achieved
realization. Every year, we have the same chance.
By Shodo Harada Roshi

Every year when December approaches, monks everywhere tremble in
anticipation of the arrival of the rohatsu sesshin [intensive meditation
retreat]. In Zen dojos [practice halls] everywhere, people intensify their
training energy in preparation for this sesshin held from the first to the
eighth of December. The rohatsu sesshin is the consummation of a year's
training, a time when everyone faces the final reckoning of a year of
practice.

The Buddha was enlightened on the eighth of December when he looked up at the
morning star, the planet we call Venus. The brightness of this planet was
seen by Buddha from the depths of one week of samadhi [deep awareness]. The
Buddha received that brightness with the same eyes of zazen [sitting
meditation] that enable us to realize perfect enlightenment.

One week straight of this deepest possible samadhi was burst through by the
billiance of that morning star. A whole week's experience of that world burst
the brightness of the morning star, plunging into the Buddha's eyes and
giving rebirth to the Buddha's consciousness.

He cried:
That's it! That's it! That's it. That's me! That's me that's shining so
brilliantly!

How deeply he was moved and what wonder he felt. From this comes all of the
Buddha's dharma. From within this state of mind the Buddha said:

How wondrous, how woundrous! All beings are endowed with this pure nature!
What a wondrous, astonishing thing has been realized! All the ten thousand
things, all the flowers, all the trees, all the rocks, all things everywhere
are shining brilliantly! What an amazing thing! It's the same landscape, but
how brilliantly it is illuminated! What freshness is everything!


From within this deep illumination of the mind of the Buddha, all the
Buddha's
wisdom was born. All of Zen is held within the deep impression of the
Buddha's mind at that moment.


People vow to experience this very same experience of the Buddha as they
approach the rohatsu sesshin. In every single Zen dojo, people put their
lives on the line to be able to experience the exact same state of mind, on
the eighth of December, as that of the Buddha. This is the firm vow with
which they come to the rohatsu sesshin.

---------------------------

Excerpted with permission from "Morning Dewdrops of the Mind: Teachings of a
Contemporary Zen Master" (published by North Atlantic Books/Frog, Ltd.).

Shodo Harada Roshi is a Rinzai Zen master who teaches in Japan, Europe, and
at the One Drop Zendo in Seattle, Wash.
_________________________________________________________

(Ed. note: This is long. Still it is rare to have posted here the thoughts of
a sixteen year old, tho one obviously wise beyond her years. It is an
important message.)


white wolfe will share with you the gift of his daughter (dawn child), who
is sixteen years old, who is already taking college credit course work, a
child who is the Secretary of the the Cabinet of the Junior Statesmen of
America and President of her local Chapter...a speech she wrote to her
peers...,


Elisa Valentine

Being Green
A celebrated and lovable frog once said, "It's not easy being green." Anyone
who is familiar with Jim Henson's Muppets knows that the narrator of this
quote is Kermit the Frog. As one may recall, Kermie, sang of the burdens of
"being green," i.e., a member of an ethnic or racial minority. According to
a recent newscast on National Public Radio, Kermie and all amphibians like
him may soon be an endangered or even extinct species. It was reported that
leading biologists around the world have noticed that frog populations, in
particular, are suffering severe environmental shock. Global frog
populations are experiencing significant declines. A factor that heightens
this particular concern is that these biologists cannot find any immediately
apparent reason for these population declines, a fact that erodes the myth
that science can find a cure for all the ills it creates. The solution to
this and many other environmental problems plaguing society as we enter a new
century is to be found in adopting a new global political philosophy, that
is, in becoming like Kermit and "being green." The connotative meaning
behind the phrase "being green," however, has more universal significance
than Kermit's embroidered physical condition suggests. The idea of "being
green" goes beyond mere social considerations to encompass the global
political arena. "Being green' is a controversial political philosophy that
has arisen as a political movement to confront U.S. capitalistic consumerism
and American society's ambivalent attitude toward world environmental issues
as was noted by NPR News Commentator Jedediah Purdy when commenting on this
years presidential election. "Being green' is a new political philosophy for
a new century and one which we fail to embrace immediately upon our peril.



At a recent convention of the Summit on Global Warming held by the United
Nations, the U.S. presence was felt as a notable absence. What made this
particular convention distinct from its predecessors was the fact that for
the first time the youth of the world were in attendance. Not surprisingly,
even among the youth of the world, a United States presence was not
noticeable. This absence, while deplorable, was predictable as the United
States is the leading contributor among all nations to factors creating
global warming More arresting than the US absence was the startling news
release from the Summit that scientists have now discovered and confirmed
that in addition to the growing ozone hole at the North Pole, there is now a
new and second hole at the South Pole. NPR Radio considers this news so
startling that it has sent a special correspondent Richard Harris to both
poles for detailed investigation. Scientific data like the above underscores
the comments made by Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, in his article
in Wired magazine. Joy caused a sensation with his estimate that humanity
would be extinct within 100 to 200 years. Scientists he quoted estimate that
between 30% and 50% of humanity will not even survive this century. Ken
Wilbur, founder of the Integral Institute in Boulder Colorado, and his
colleagues there who represent the best minds in all the major scientific and
scholarly disciplines agree with these projections. The above information is
a wake-up call to us, as Americans, that we must change; we must start "being
green." Unlike the cause for the global declines in the frog populations,
scientists know the principal cause of the holes in the ozone layer. As
Americans we must be willing to 'bite the bullet' and begin to put our luxury
and convenience items aside. The leading cause of the ozone holes in mother
earth's atmosphere is the American citizen's personal automobile. The
consequence for our failure to start "being green" can be stated more
bluntly: Humanity could be extinct in 100 years. It is time for we as
American consumers to awaken to the fact that our self-indulgent materialism
is destroying the world we love and cherish. Our failure as Americans to
take seriously the responsibility of "being green" can be attributed to the
fact that the present US economic world dominance is based upon the
relentless exploitation of human and natural resources in the Third World.
If we fail to start "being green," our Third World neighbors will soon find
themselves, as will we, with the cold comfort that they have tried to awaken
the slumbering giant who is the United States.



It is a fact that most of Americans are oblivious to environmental problems,
but there is always a militant minority. As a young person, I am proud to
say that included in this minority are the Junior Statesmen of America, our
future leaders. In the most recent Northern California Convention held by
this mock student government, the youth of the Assembly of the Northern State
passed an Ozone Protection Resolution stating "it is resolved. that the use
of aerosol cans containing CFC's should be limited to heavy industry." It is
guaranteed that all Resolutions and Bills passed by JSA are to be considered
by the adults of California State Legislature. It is also true, however,
that the pragmatic politicians who run the state government usually dismiss
the idealist concerns of the JSA Assembly as not worthy of serious
consideration. Even though the legislation passed by JSA is the product of
the consensus of selected and conscientious students and soon to be
registered voters, our values are not taken seriously by today's leaders.
Why is that? Who, then, will the government listen to, if not the most
intellectual students of their state? And were, at one point in their youth,
these same state officials not concerned with the same issues, issues that
have been lost in the footnotes to corporate and personal financial
statements?



It is a fact that corporate American businesses have only one prevailing
purpose and concern, ever increasing profits at whatever the cost. A trip to
the local grocery store illustrates this fact. Pak 'N' Save Foods recently
switched its bagging system from paper to plastic. The obvious motive for
doing so was, of course, the fact that the move will increase profit. Never
mind the depredations of plastic to the environment. The convenience of the
customer was not even a consideration as the choice to choose paper over
plastic was eliminated. The fact that plastic bag is of insufficient
strength to hold more than a few items and is not biodegradable is of no
concern to Safeway, Inc., the parent corporation of Pak n' Sav. The
decision makers of the company were obviously listening to the demands of its
shareholders for dividends rather than for responsible business practices.
If the shareholders who own the company are only interested in green returns
on their investments rather than a green environment, is it any wonder that
corporations themselves are not interested in "being green" either? One
wonders what Safeway, Inc. will do when its profits are eliminated by a soon
to be rapidly shrinking customer base? Faced with unrecoverable financial
losses, what will its investors demand then?



These leaders of corporate America, like our politicians, like the majority
of our citizens have turned deaf ears to what they know is right in favor of
what will produce the most profit, what is most popular and what is most
convenient in the present without proper consideration of the future
consequences of present actions. As Americans, we must stop sacrificing our
ideals for economic security; we must start sacrificing our economic security
for our ideals. We must abandon environmentally destructive technologies at
whatever cost it is to our personal convenience. What is the value of
economic security or personal convenience when balanced against environmental
disaster, against death itself? Somebody famous once said, "It's not easy
being green." As individuals, as a culture, as a race, as a society, as a
nation, as a species, we must start "being green." We could be extinct in
100 years if we cannot, do not, and will not. Are we to leave these issues,
which have arisen as a result of our own mistakes, for our innocent children,
I dare not say grandchildren, to confront? We must address the environmental
issues before us now if humanity, if life itself as we know it on our planet
is to survive. What will happen to humanity when there are no more frogs?



To be green in America today is to adopt and adhere to religious, social and
political values that are held by a tragically small percentage of the voting
public, less than five percent. Being green means to be compassionate
stewards rather than greedy exploiters of our world's environment and
resources. Being green means to be compassionate neighbors of the
under-privileged poor at home and abroad. Being green means to value
international concerns and issues higher than merely domestic ones. The
reason that "being green" is controversial is because the core values of what
it means to be green confront the material success and dominance of U.S.
capitalism in the world market with its callous exploitation of our world
environment and third world peoples. Now is the time to begin to listen to
your conscience. Now is the time to begin to be compassionate individuals and
citizens. Now is the time for Americans and America to arise and become the
good steward of that with which we have been entrusted, our mother earth.
Now is the time to begin "being green".

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