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Jerry Katz
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Go Anywhere, Do Nothing, Love Everybody
by OH

Three Answers Origin

Grace and Kundalini

The Debate

Zen Bamboo Warning Stick

Advice to Jerry

Just This

Three Answers Origin
by OH

One evening, Neem Karoli Baba came to call. He gave me one of his famous bear hugs....ummmm, so delicious! Was all snuggled up in his arms, but knew i had only a few moments with him, so quickly began to ask some questions. Was considering moving to California, so asked him, "Where should i go?" And he said, "Go anywhere!"

Was thinking of quitting my job, so rushed on, "Well, what should i do?" And he answered, "Do nothing!"

Thought i would get some advice about my love life, so asked, "Who should i love, Rob or Fred?" And he answered, "Love Everybody!"

So i call this, The Three Answers:

"Go Anywhere!
Do Nothing!
Love Everybody!"

Grace and Kundalini
by OH

This thread on Grace and Kundalini reminds me of the last darshan of Muktananda before he left the United States for India (where he passed away. )

The meditation hall was jammed with over 500 people with a huge overflow watching by remote in the dining area. There had been various offerings of poems and Hindi songs by Baba's swamis, and then Baba came out to give a talk about Shakti and Her "Grace." When he was finished, a swami came up to the microphone and told us that a devotee of Baba's was going to sing for him. And she just wanted to be called, Roberta.

So, Roberta Flack came up on the little stage pushing a keyboard followed by a drummer and guitarist. She sang Killing Me Softly directly to Baba, he put a white scarf around her neck, and she then sang, The First Time Ever I saw Your Face. It was like being in the Twilight Zone - you sorta couldn't believe what you were seeing (Roberta Flack was big recording star back then.)

And then she had us all clap our hands as she played and sang an old time spiritual. It was funny because Baba started shouting something out, and his interpreter, Malti, said, "Baba says, this is not a night club!" That didn't stop us for a minute. We were having a Shakti ball.

Then, Roberta quieted us down and said she was going to sing a song that we could all sing with her, to Muktananda, to Nityananda, to the Divine Feminine who had blessed us all. And she played and sang, Amazing Grace, and we all joined her - 500 strong and the whole dining hall, too. i bet there was not a dry eye in the house.

When we got to the line, "I was blind, but now I see,," Malti (now Swami Chidvilasananda who succeeded Muktananda), whispered in Baba's ear what the words meant, and he nodded and muttered happily, "Ah, yes, good, good."

The hall was filled with so many devotees who had sung so often the Hindu songs, sometimes haltingly, trying to understand, to get with it, but now, here was a song we had all grown up with, that we really "knew", and everyone put their heart and soul into it (well, heart and soul that's another song, Roberta didn't play that one.,^)).

Anyway, it was a time to remember. So, thanks for bringing back the memory. Yes, old woman here, has always considered Grace and Kundalini one and the same. Amazing!

The Debate
by OH

Talking about teachers:

A few years ago, I read about a formal debate that two contemporary Buddhist teachers had (i forget their specific names, i will call them Zen Master and Rinpoche). It seems the followers of the Japanese Zen Master and the followers of a Tibetan lama (Rinpoche), had been arguing about which of their teachers knew more Dharma, so the teachers agreed to this debate to answer the question (Dharma debate is an acceptable and highly respected practice in Buddhism).

The day of the debate, the Japanese Zen Master comes into the room with his large entourage, and then the Tibetan lama follows with only his interpreter. They sit across from each other, each on a little dais prepared for them, about ten feet apart .

They have pulled straws to see who begins, and the Zen Master has won. He reaches into a bowl of fruit that is next to him, selects an orange and holding it up, says to the Tibetan lama, "What is this?"

Rinpoche and his interpreter whisper back and forth for a few minutes, and then look blankly at the Zen Master. The Zen Master, still holding the orange in front of him, repeats,"What is this?" But, Rinpoche whispers to his interpreter, shakes his head a few times, and still says nothing.

The Zen Master has a triumphant look upon his face. Holding the orange even higher, he says, "Can you tell me what this is? Look at what I am holding! What is this?"

The Tibetan Lama whispers some more to his interpreter, and finally the interpreter says,"Rinpoche wants to know if this guy is crazy, always asking what that is. Don't they have oranges in Japan?"

The Zen Master stands up, bows to the Tibetan lama, and walks out of the hall, followed by his entourage.

The Tibetan lama and his interpreter smile to each other, and on his way out, Rinpoche picks up the orange, and begins to peel it, to take a bite.

Zen Bamboo Warning Stick
by OH

Mirror: "Do teachers actually whack their students on the head with a stick?"

Hello, Mirror dear: This whacking by teachers is only in Zen Buddhism, not in the other schools (Theravada, Vajrayana (Tibetan), Pure Land, etc.). It is part of the
Zen tradition, and has been used for hundreds of years as a means to "wake up" the student, or at the least, to urge them on, in their sitting (it is primarily used when a student is meditating (zazen). The old masters used all kinds of "violent" methods to jolt their students out of their delusions - whacking them seemed the primary one - it reportedly produced many enlightened beings. (The book Skye quoted from is over 20 years old, i believe, and the dialogue is from a monastery in Japan.)

This practice has not been accepted too freely in the West, it seems - i think probably because we associate whacking with abusive parents rather than loving teachers. ,^)) hmm...of course, there were the

The Zen monastery that i stayed in in the U.S. (ZMM) modified the practice to a monitor walking up and down behind the meditators. Here is their definition: "The kyosaku (long flat stick carried by zendo monitors during periods of zazen) is used only when a sitter explicitly requests it for relief of shoulder, back or neck tension. Its use is an expression of compassion. To request the kyosaku, put your hands in gassho as the monitor approaches your seat. When the monitor stops in front or behind you, the two of you gassho, together. Offer one shoulder by bending your head to the side, and then offer the other. After the monitor has struck both acupressure points, bow again and the monitor will move on. The use of the kyosaku serves to keep the atmosphere in the zendo crisp and awake."

i was a bit leery of staying there initially because of the"stick", but soon got used to hearing it - there was no feeling of violence connected to it any time. There was this constant urgency to wake up, very often with verbal reminders. "Keep going - you can do it! This is the most important time of your life!" etc. The last week of every month (sesshin), one sits zazen from 5AM until 10 PM every day, (with teachings, interviews, walking meditation, morning and evening rituals as breaks), and this encouragement is welcomed.

The call of Zen Buddhism is a sense of urgency to use every moment of our lives, in this, the greatest endeavor a human being can undertake. Every evening, in a Zen monastery, the head monk recites this gatha: "Let me respectfully remind you, life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by, and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken, awaken, take heed....(here he goes up an octave)...Do not squander your life."

After my stay at the Zen monastery, i went immediately over to the Tibetan Buddhist monastery where i usually visit. They welcomed me with knowing smiles, telling me that they are often a haven for those who have survived the Zen stay.
"Everyone from ZMM comes here for a little R & R." The contrast was obvious: at the Zen monastery, everything is immaculate, impeccable, and a tight schedule is followed every minute.

At the Tibetan monastery, there are teaching and chanting schedules and you can go or not - your whole routine is up to you. At the Zen monastery, they have meals that are ritualized, so even your eating is a meditation - quite beautiful actually for a hundred people to eat in silence, in unison, in the zendo.

The Tibetan center lays out a sumptuous buffet, and you take what you want - seconds fine, and eat out on a patio overlooking distant mountains, with deer chomping away on the green slope before you. If flies swarm, you just brush them away, and talking to one another is fine.

i would imagine that each tradition serves it purpose for particular student's needs. i was more familiar with the Tibetan, and with Hindu ashrams, so going to the Zen monastery was an excellent opportunity to see if i had the balls or not ,^)). As someone mentioned, rather like basic training. Rough while going through it, but a sense of accomplishment afterwards. And even more importantly, for some of us indulgent, spoiled Westerners, like old woman, a source of self discipline.

One of the things i learned in the Zen monastery was how to clean something. Hoboy! You are set a "chore" for 4 hours a day. A monk monitors your work. For example, five of us were assigned to clean the kitchen for the 4 hours. i would scrub the countertop - my assigned section - diligently, making sure it was as clean as could be, and bow before the monk when i thought it was done. She would come over and inspect, and point out all the crevices and cracks i had missed. When as a group we felt we were finished, she might stand there, survey our work, and then say, "you know, i think it might be a good idea to take everything out of the cabinets, clean the surfaces, wash and dry everything, and
put it back." And off we would go.... So, anyway, i have looked at straightening up my garbage pile a lot differently since then.,^))

Well, i have been rambling. Hope some of this is helpful.

All of above is just reporting. For old woman, only whacking she does is in her dreams when Richard (Gere) visits pile.

love, oh

"....Within light there is darkness, but do not try to understand the darkness. Within darkness there is light, but do not look for the light. ...the absolute works together with the relative like two arrows meeting in mid-air. Reading words, you should grasp the great reality. Do not judge by any standards. If you do not see the Way, you do not see it even as you walk it. When you walk the Way, it is not near, it is not far. If you are deluded, you are mountains and rivers away from it. I respectfully say to those who wish to be enlightened: Do not waste your time by day or night."

From Idenity of Relative and Absolute, chanted in some Zen rituals

Advice to Jerry
by OH

Jerry had written: Kundalini visited last night. It is a powerful force. I simply thought of God and it presented itself as a mansion of power and force in the base of my spine, too massive to move upward, it would have caused disentegration. Had it moved, it would have killed me. It would have blown me to bits. I asked God to speak to me, and the third eye became many lights and I heard music straining to come forth from the crown and the mansion straining toward skyscraper-hood, yet nothing moved beyond the straining. It was all too massive, yet one message I received, and I tell you all this as one who has met the power: Think only of God.

OH responded: Jerry dear: You say "had it moved, it (Kundalini) would have killed me. It would have blown me to bits." Sounds like good news to me.

Perhaps, dear, the only blowing to bits She may do is of your THINKING that she is going to blow you to bits! Put on your warrior suit and face her, strip her naked, ride her with wild abandon, and Blow to Bits together! She will be around to pick up the pieces.

"She is in the Form of Moon, Sun, and Fire; Her Body, a string of blooming Dhustura flowers, extends from the Middle of the Kanda to the Head, and the Vajra inside Her extends, shining, from the Medhra to the Head."

She is on her way up the Hill, Arunachalam, and wants to take you along...scramble, scratch, claw, cling, pull, dig, get up there, whatever way you can, then fall exhausted, before His Fire and let Her have Her way with you... "O lord white as jasmine, your love's blade stabbed and broken in my flesh, I writhe." Mahadeviyakna

"Inside her is Chitrini, who is lustrous with the lustre of the Pranava and subtle as a spider's thread, and pierces all the Lotuses which are placed within the backbone, and is pure intelligence."

This Pure Intelligence, this Knowing, Slithering, Brilliant Beauty is going to KILL you! What a way to go! Fasten your seatbelt, darlin' - you're in for a bumpiferous
ride! "And the power of the Holy Ghost seizes the very highest and purest, the spark of the soul, and carries it up in a Light flame of Love!" Eckhart

Let go any fear. Fear is dear ego's saw too many Bond movies - thinks all those special effects are real. No room for fear in the rumble seat of this rocket - kick him out!

"She is beautiful by reason of these Lotuses which are strung on her. Inside Her is the Brahma-nadi, which extends from the orifice of the mouth of Hara to the place beyond, where Adi-deva is."

Yep, Only you two on way to Orgy with the always wanted a menage de trois? This is your chance!!

"She is beautiful like a chain of lightning and fine like a lotus fibre, and shines in the minds of the sages. She is extremely subtle; the awakener of pure knowledge; the embodiment of all Bliss, whose true nature is pure Consciousness. The Brahmadvara shines in her mouth. This place is the entrance to the region sprinkled by ambrosia, and is called the Knot as also the mouth of Sushumna."

Coffee, Tea, or Me? She offers the Ultimate Amenity on this flight, bud - the Nectar of Immortal Bliss! Sip, Gulp, let the amrita ooze through your being, then let the goldern plane crash!

It is over the Referenceless Ocean, the destination every mystic longs for.... "I remained, lost in oblivion; My face I reclined on the Beloved. All ceased and I abandoned myself, Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies." St. John of the Cross

Yes, your intimate companion of all these years will KILL you, Jerry dear! You are condemned. Dead man walking! Dead man walking!

"When Truth has overwhelmed a human heart, it empties it of all that is not Truth. When God loves a being, He kills everything that is not Him." al-Hallaj

Dead man waking! Dead man waking!

"How can you face light without being blinded, How can one arrest the secret of secrets without being dumbfounded and perplexed? How can one undergo transformation without being SHATTERED?" Bastami

Why have you waited so long, my dear? She has been so patient. Is it not time to do Her bidding? To release any remnants of reluctance, raise your arms, and Embrace Annihilation!!!! Perhaps it IS your time. Boarding at Gate....

....and you think you will be blown to bits! That is the best god-damn news I heard all week!

Yep, She will be around, to pick up the pieces. And all three of you can have a smoke afterwards.

much love, oh

Just This

Hello, dears:

I have sat at the table and blessed the bird, Thanked the Unknown for fortune great and small. I laughed with the children, Snoozed off the mashed potatoes, And even sat on the balmy beach for a couple hours. The waves lapped my feet.

Do you want to know what has been since the beginning of time?
Just THIS! Just THIS!
None else my soul hath known,
None else is it rejoicing.

Hope you all have had fine holiday!

Like the morning sun that has risen over the horizon, the dawn of Divine Awareness has risen in my heart. And it will never set.

Thanks for the invite, sweetie pie. Stop by pile sometime, share pot of Onetruth Tea - freshly brewed, very delicious, just for you.

Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: