Wednesday, December 27, 2006

If you understand,

things are just as they are;

If you do not understand,
things are just as they are.
- Zen proverb

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Streaming Beggars

Now that you have moved
into my heart, taken
the doors off their hinges and
removed the windows,
glass, sash and
beggars are coming from
everywhere for
your sweet embrace.

The beggars stream in from
every direction--walking, running, crawling,
rolling and being carried. The neighbors
have stopped
screaming about it. At first they had
plenty to say but after
weeks and weeks of this they
know there is no
helping it. This is beyond
city ordinances.

Soon they will be coming
themselves, dropping
rakes, dog leashes, clothespins,
leaving cars running
in the street, for a glimpse
of your holy face.

What am I to do but

watch in awe at the blessed
variety of your creation, the myriad wounds,
the incredible stories, the way they gather
around the door quivering
with the certain knowledge that finally
no one
will be turned away.

And stay in the house
making meals, and carrying
sheets up and down the stairs.

"Pull the bridle on the Unruly Self,
Ever hard-- Beware of the snares of the world's Faithless flowers;
Believing not in his holy garb,
Or his long string of prayer-beads,
Neither allying oneself with him;

Nor jointly riding hard with him."

--Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi
as translated by Idries Shah

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sufi Advaita

Here is an article from Sufi tradition that is about the "worthwhile" because it gives instruction and serves recognition of the Self or Truth, as can be seen in these quotes from the article below: "In all your outer activities remain inwardly free. Learn not to identify with anything whatsoever." ... "Remember that you belong Somewhere and your goal is to attain Reality."
What would the "impossible" nondual view look like from within the Sufi
tradition? The confessions of Ibn 'Arabi show us what the impossible looks
like. "He" stands for Allah, and could also mean Truth, Reality, God:

"He (Allah) is the First without anything before Him.
He is the Last without anything after Him.
He is Visible in all that is seen.
He is Known, clearly, in all that is hidden.
He is in all forms and images without any
relation to any appearance.
He is the secret and the appearance of the
first letter announcing the beginning of existence.
He is the presence of all the letters that belong
to the First and all the letters that belong to the
Last and is the presence in all the letters that
are visible and all the letters that are hidden."

That is pure confession. There is nothing worthwhile, as I've defined it,
since it is not instructing us in any way or trying to get us from one stage
of understanding to another. On its own it says there is only He. There
isn't even the one perceiving He. No one exists.

Jerry Katz
The Nondual Highlights
from Nonduality Salon

Friday, December 22, 2006

SOLSTICE 2006 Dec 21, 5:22 MST

You cannot describe it or draw it,
you cannot praise it enough, or perceive it.
no place can be found in which
to put my original face;
it will not disappear even
when the universe is destroyed.

— Mumon

(Thanks to Doris for the photo from her yard)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

If a blow comes to you from Heaven,

be alert to a gift of honor after it; for He is not the King to slap you without giving you a crown and a throne on which to rest. The whole world is worth only a gnat's wing, but a single slap may bring an infinite reward. Slip your neck nimbly out of this golden collar that is the world, and take the slaps that come from God. The prophets suffered those blows on the neck, and from that affliction they lifted their heads high. But always be present, attentive, and ready in yourself, youthful one, in order that He may find you at home. Otherwise He will take back His gift of honor, saying "I found no one there."

-- Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi
Mathnawi VI: 1638-1643
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Alan Watts: Great Teacher Come to the West

[...] you see, we are still talking about the same old problem but we have put it one step up. "How can I improve myself?", was the first problem, and the second problem is, "How can I accept grace?", but they are both the same problem because in each case you have got to make a move that will put yourself out of your own control into the control of a "better." And if you do not believe in the Christian kind of a God you can believe in the Hindu kind of a God who is your inner self. You have a lower self that you call your ego - that is that little scoundrelly fellow that is always out for "me." But behind the ego there is the atman, the inner self, or the inward light, as the Quakers call it; it is the real self, the spirit that is substantially identical with God. So you have to meditate in such a way that you identify with your higher self. But how do you do that? Well, you start by watching all of your thoughts very carefully. You watch your feelings, you watch your emotions, and you begin to build up a sense of separation between the watcher and what is watched. In this way, you are no longer carried away by your own stream of consciousness. You remain the witness, impassively, impartially suspending judgment and watching it all go on. Now, this seems to be something like progress - at least you are taking an objective view of what is happening, and you are beginning to be in a position to control it. But just wait a minute! Who is this self behind the self, the watching self? Can you watch that one? It is interesting if you do because you find out, of course, that the watching self, or the observing self, behind all your thoughts and feelings is itself a thought. That is to say, when the police enter a house in which there are thieves, the thieves go up from the ground floor to the first floor. When the police arrive on the first floor, the thieves have gone up to the second, and so on to the third and finally out onto the roof. Just so, when the ego is about to be unmasked, it immediately identifies with the higher self. It goes up a level, because the religious game version is simply a refined and high-brow version of the ordinary game "How can I outwit me?" So if I find, for example, that in the quest for pleasure, the ordinary pleasures of the world - food, sex, power, possessions - become a drag and I think, "No, it is not that," and then I go in for the arts, literature, poetry, and music, and I absorb myself in those pleasures, then after awhile I find that they are not the answer either. So then I go in for psychoanalysis, and I find out that is not the answer, and then I turn to religion, but I'm still seeking what I was seeking when I wanted candy bars! I want to get that goodie. Only I see now that it is not going to be a material goodie because all material goodies fall apart; but maybe there is a spiritual goodie that will not. Still, the spiritual quest is no different than the quest for the candy bar. Same old story, only you have refined the candy bar and made it abstract and holy and blessed and so on. So it is with the higher self. The higher self is your same old ego, but you sure hope it is eternal, indestructeble, and all-wise.

~Alan Watts
in The Way of Liberation

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I drink streamwater and the air
becomes clearer and everything I do.

I become a waterwheel,
turning and tasting you, as long
as water moves.

- Jelaluddin Rum

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Way "It" Is

What you really want is to have a profound experience of your own true nature. At the deepest level, you are compelled to seek out the true Source of "who" you really are. The irony, though, is that when you seemingly arrive at the very core of your Being, there will be nobody there to greet you. Who you think you are can't possibly survive your own awakening. Nobody can survive it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Mouse and the Frog

A mouse and a frog meet every morning on the riverbank.

They sit in a nook of the ground and talk.

Each morning, the second they see each other,
they open easily, telling stories and dreams and secrets,
empty of any fear or suspicious holding back.

To watch, and listen to those two is to understand how,
as it’s written, sometimes when two beings come together,
Christ becomes visible.

The mouse starts laughing out a story
he hasn’t thought of in five years,
and the telling might take five years!

There’s no blocking the speech flow
river-running-all-carrying momentum that true intimacy is.
Bitterness doesn’t have a chance with those two.

The God-messenger, Khidr, touches a roasted fish.
It leaps off the grill back into the water.

Friend sits by Friend, and the tablets appear.
They read the mysteries off each others foreheads.

But one day the mouse complains,

“There are times when I want conversation
and you’re out in the water, jumping around
where you can’t hear me.

We meet at this appointed time, but the text says,
Lovers pray constantly. Once a day, once a week,
five times an hour, is not enough.
Fish like we are need the ocean around us!”

Do camel bells say, “Let’s meet back here Thursday night?”

Ridiculous! They jingle together continuously,
talking while the camel walks.

Do you pay regular visits to yourself?
Don’t argue or answer rationally.

Let us die, and dying, reply.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded

Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed

Everybody knows that the war is over

Everybody knows the good guys lost

Everybody knows the fight was fixed

The poor stay poor, the rich get rich

Thats how it goes

Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking

Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling

Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates

And a long stem rose

Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do

Everybody knows that youve been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows youve been discreet

But there were so many people you just had to meet

Without your clothes

And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows

Thats how it goes

Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows

Thats how it goes

Everybody knows

And everybody knows that its now or never

Everybody knows that its me or you

And everybody knows that you live forever

Ah when youve done a line or two

Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old black joes still pickin cotton
For your ribbons and bows

And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the plague is coming

Everybody knows that its moving fast

Everybody knows that the naked man and woman

Are just a shining artifact of the past

Everybody knows the scene is dead

But theres gonna be a meter on your bed

That will disclose

What everybody knows

And everybody knows that youre in trouble

Everybody knows what youve been through

From the bloody cross on top of calvary

To the beach of malibu

Everybody knows its coming apart

Take one last look at this sacred heart

Before it blows

And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows

Thats how it goes

Everybody knows

Oh everybody knows, everybody knows

Thats how it goes

Everybody knows

Everybody knows

Leonard Cohen

Thursday, December 14, 2006

2 from Machado

In our soul everything moves guided by a mysterious hand: ununderstandable, not speaking, we know nothing of our own souls. The deepest words of the wise teach us the same as the whistle of the wind when it blows, or the sound of the water when it is flowing.


Corridors of the soul! The soul that is like a young woman!
You clear light and the brief history and the joy of a new life... Oh turn and be born again, and walk the road, and find once more the lost path! And turn and feel in our own hand the warmth of the good hand of our mother...And walk through life in dreams out of love of the hand that leads us.

Antonio Machado
translated by Robert Bly

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

No Water, No Moon

The nun Chiyono (Mugai Nyodai, 1223-1298) studied and meditated for years, most notably under the venerated Zen master Wu-hsueh Tsu-yuan (Bukko, 1226-1286, founder of Engakuji temple, on the ultimate question of existence, but was unable to reach the far shore. The more she longed for Enlightenment the further off it seemed. But one moonlit night she was carrying an old bucket filled with water from the well that eventually came to bear her name, and as she walked she noticed the full moon reflected in the pail of water. As she continued along the path the bamboo strip that held the pail staves broke. The pail began to come apart, the bottom broke through, and the water disappeared into the soil beneath her feet, the moon's reflection disappearing along with it. In that moment Chiyono realized that the moon she had been looking at was just a reflection of the real thing ... just as her whole life had been... she turned to look at the moon in all it's silent glory, and ...that was it. Chiyono herself disappeared. She was NOT ... and what IS, was. Afterwards she wrote the following: "This way and that way I tried to keep the pail of water together, hoping the weak bamboos would never break But suddenly the bottom fell out: no more water no more moon in the water and emptiness in my hand!"


Monday, December 04, 2006

True worship is effortless,

supreme meditation in the continuous,
unbroken aware
ness of the within, the
dwelling presence. It requires no effort
because there is
nothing in it to be
which one does not already possess.
Ramesh S. Balsekar

Friday, December 01, 2006

Seeker, espying an Enlightened be-robed bearded
Master in full lotus across a huge gulf of water:
“Master! Master! Please help me.
Tell me. How can I get to the other side?
Master suddenly waking up, bellows out:
“You are on the other side!”

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


When Emperor Wu asked the great monk Bodhidharma "What is the highest meaning of the holy truths?", he answered, "No holiness is clear like space." The dialogue continued with Emperor Wu asking "Who is facing me?" Bodhidarma answered with a resounding "DON'T KNOW." Bodhidharma's don't know has echoed down the ages from generation to generation, teaching us the truth of this very moment. Do you understand Bodhidharma's don't know? This don't know undercuts all our conceptual ideas about life. Everything is turned upside down, and we don't understand anything. This not understanding anything is fundamental to finding our true nature and helping all sentient beings. When we can let go of our habitual world view suddenly the truth of this very moment opens up before us. Our desires, opinions and ideas serve to blind us from seeing the truth of this moment. How often does anger prevent us from seeing a situation clearly? Doesn't desire stop us from honestly dealing with others? We live moment to moment trying to protect this thing we call I and to literally destroy anything that threatens it. Even when I thinks it is being compassionate this is usually just a strategy to get what it wants. Bodhidarma's don't know stops this process in its tracks. Don't know cuts off everything; ideas, opinions, conditions, knowledge and beliefs. Then, we can believe what we see in this moment. Then, our anger doesn't blind us to the needs of others. In this moment there is no I to protect and enhance. There is no I to horde or contract. Without making anything, helping all beings is possible. In this moment how to act and what to do is clear. So Bodhidarma has already mapped the way to liberation. We don't need to understand anything else. We don't need to become anything special or be any particular way. Our practices of bowing, chanting, sitting and kong-ans are designed to point us to this moment. Every day this practice helps us let go of our idea of self and perceive our true nature. Retreats help to intensify this practice and integrate don't know deeply into our life. This great effort is needed because our karma is so strong. For years and years we have built up this I. Great effort is needed to establish this don't know as the foundation of our lives.

Monday, November 27, 2006

For behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21)

You are all Buddhas. There is nothing you need to achieve.
Just open your eyes. (Siddhartha Gautama)

If you cannot find the truth right where you are where
else do you expect to find it? (Dogen Zenji)

Great knowledge sees all in one. Small knowledge breaks
down into the many. (Chuang Tzu)

Bell's theorem demonstrates that the universe is fundamentally
interconnected, interdependent, and inseparable.' (Fritjof Capra)

Tibetan Buddhism:
There is not a single state that is not this vast state of presence.

'In that glory is no 'I' or 'We' or 'Thou.' 'I,' 'We,'
'Thou,' and 'He' are all one thing.'(Hallaj)

Tat Tvam Asi - Thou Art That.

I am That I am.

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand,
you will see your parents and all generations
of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this
moment. Each is present in your body. You are
the continuation of each of thesepeople.
To be born means that something which did
not exist comes into existence. But the day
we are born is not our beginning. It is a day
of continuation. But that should not make us
less happy when we celebrate our Happy
Continuation Day. Since we are never born,
how can we cease to be?
This is what the Heart Sutra reveals to us.
When we have tangible experience of
non-birth and non-death, we know ourselves
beyond duality. The meditation on no separate
self is one way to pass through the gate of
birth and death.
Your hand proves that you
have never been born and you will never die.
The thread of life has never been interrup-
ted from time without beginning until now.
Previous generations, all the way back to
single cell beings, are present in your hand
at this moment. You can observe and exper-
ience this. Your hand is always available as
a subject for meditation.

--Thich Nhat Hanh, Present Moment, Wonderful

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Love After Love

The time will come
When, with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your own mirror,
And each will smile at the other's welcome

And say, sit here. Eat
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you
All your life, whom you have ignored
For another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life

Derek Walcott

Monday, November 20, 2006

If you hanker for
a zenith of felicity
on the bed of the Divine
begin by dusting off
the wings of wonder
on your local pillow
Lift your ineffable
out of the mundane
Aim for airborne
with the eye of the heart
as your sky pilot
and soar to glory

~ James Broughton ~

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What's In The Temple?

In the quiet spaces of my mind a thought lies still, but ready to spring.
It begs me to open the door so it can walk about.
The poets speak in obscure terms pointing madly at the unsayable.
The sages say nothing, but walk ahead patting their thigh calling for us to follow.
The monk sits pen in hand poised to explain the cloud of unknowing.
The seeker seeks, just around the corner from the truth.
If she stands still it will catch up with her.
Pause with us here a while.
Put your ear to the wall of your heart.
Listen for the whisper of knowing there.
Love will touch you if you are very still.
If I say the word God, people run away.
They've been frightened--sat on 'till the spirit cried "uncle."
Now they play hide and seek with somebody they can't name.
They know he's out there looking for them, and they want to be found,
But there is all this stuff in the way.
I can't talk about God and make any sense,
And I can't not talk about God and make any sense.
So we talk about the weather, and we are talking about God.
I miss the old temples where you could hang out with God.
Still, we have pet pounds where you can feel love draped in warm fur,
And sense the whole tragedy of life and death.
You see there the consequences of carelessness,
And you feel there the yapping urgency of life that wants to be lived.
The only things lacking are the frankincense and myrrh.
We don't build many temples anymore.
Maybe we learned that the sacred can't be contained.
Or maybe it can't be sustained inside a building.
Buildings crumble.
It's the spirit that lives on.
If you had a temple in the secret spaces of your heart,
What would you worship there?
What would you bring to sacrifice?
What would be behind the curtain in the holy of holies?
Go there now.
~ Tom Barrett ~

Saturday, November 11, 2006

"Self-surrender . . .

is the surrender of all self-concern.
It cannot be
done, it happens when
you realize your true nature.
self-surrender, even accompanied
by feeling is of little value and
down under stress."

~Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Slouching Towards Arunachala

Change is in the wind.
This humble blog has over the months
morphed into a repository for a classical/neo
advaita wisdom collection. And that's all
well and good.
Increasingly, say over dinner with a friend
last weekend when I launched into yet another
story of family craziness when asked "what's
new with you?", and at the end of yet another
family story, after the friends rictus mouth silently
mouthing a Craig Ferguson Scottish "Whaaa?",
after the "you gotta be kidding" and after the
"Oh my God!", then comes "thats just too good,
you gotta write this down", I came home and
started writing it down, and to my surprise what
developed wasn't a first person monologue at
all, but a dialogue between someone who calls
himself "Uncle Charlie", and someone from
beyond time and space named Toby. A
channeled entity.

AFarDistantHowl will continue as it is, with
this post, "Slouching Towards Arunachala"
remaining on top, and having additions and
and subtractions below the fold, but with the
Charlie/Toby dialogue being the focus at the
new blog.

For ...

Stories are medicine, small doses of what matters,
and it is the telling that releases the medicine, the telling
that soothes our pain and shares our joy. . . . It has
always been clear that the life of our expression and
the life of our stories are connected to our health.
Mark Nepo in The Exquisite Risk

Keep coming back for additions and if you find
yourself having an interest in some white
trash channeled explorations, those of my
family those of me, email me for my new
trailer house address at White Trash Lane.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

On Angels

All was taken away from you: white dresses,
wings, even existence.
Yet I believe you,

There, where the world is turned inside out,
a heavy fabric embroidered with stars and beasts,
you stroll, inspecting the trustworthy seems.

Short is your stay here:
now and then at a matinal hour, if the sky is clear,
in a melody repeated by a bird,
or in the smell of apples at close of day
when the light makes the orchards magic.

They say somebody has invented you
but to me this does not sound convincing
for the humans invented themselves as well.

The voice -- no doubt it is a valid proof,
as it can belong only to radiant creatures,
weightless and winged (after all, why not?),
girdled with the lightening.

I have heard that voice many a time when asleep
and, what is strange, I understood more or less
an order or an appeal in an unearthly tongue:

day draw near
another one
do what you can.

~Czeslaw Milosz

Monday, November 06, 2006

“May God steal from you all that steals you from Him.”

Spurred with the desire to gain publicity for himself, one day Hasan, seeing Rabia in a general congregation of saints, came to her and said, "Rabia, let us leave this congregation and sitting on the waters of the lake, hold our spiritual discussion there." He said this to display his miraculous power before others, for he had gained mastery over water as Christ had walked over water. Rabia remonstrated, "Hasah, put your vanity aside. If you are so determined to separate yourself from the general assembly of saints, why should we not both fly and hold our meeting there in the air?" Rabia said this as if she had that power. Hasan knew he could not do this and said as much, shamed by her words. Rabia said, "Know that what you can do fishes can also do-- easily. What I suggested was no more than what a fly does. Reality transcends this miracle-mongering. Seek humility."

Fariduddin Attar

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Three from Ramesh

True love of God means surrender to Him, wanting nothing - not even salvation.

A mind that can apprehend an object as it truly is will
know precisely nothing at all. Such is the whole-mind of the enlightened sage.

Human beings actually have no more
independence or autonomy in living their lives than do the characters in a dream. Neither do they have anything to do with the creation of the dream or anything in it. They are simply being lived along with everything else in this living dream of the manifested universe. The entire dream is unreal. Only the dreamer is real, and that is Consciousness itself.

For the upcoming election . . .


The birds they sang

At the break of day

Start again
I heard them say

Dont dwell on what
Has passed away

Or what is yet to be

The wars they will

Be fought again

The holy dove

Be caught again

Bought and sold

And bought again

The dove is never free

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

Thats how the light gets in

We asked for signs

The signs were sent

The birth betrayed

The marriage spent

The widowhood

Of every government

Signs for all to see

Cant run no more

With the lawless crowd

While the killers in high places

Say their prayers out loud

But theyve summoned up

A thundercloud

And theyre going to hear from me

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

Thats how the light gets in

You can add up the parts

But you wont have the sum

You can strike up the march

There is no drum
Every heart

To love will come

But like a refugee

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything

Thats how the light gets in
~Leonard Cohen

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile
~ e.e. cummings ~
(Complete Poems 1904-1962)
This is not to say "I am" or "I am not", it is to give no
thoughts to self but all to God. Let one say, "What would
God have me say, what would God have me think, what
would God have me do?" But even this is unnecessary for
there is always a feeling of ease if not of joy, when one
practices Darood -- to harmonize all action, speech and
thought with the breath. This is easy, simple and sufficient,
and for it no knowledge of metaphysics is necessary.

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

If it is not too dark,
Go for a walk, if it is not too dark.
Get some fresh air, try to smile.
Say something kind
To a safe-looking stranger, if one happens by.

Always exercise your heart's knowing.

You might as well attempt something real
Along this path:

Take your spouse or lover into your arms
The way you did when you first met.
Let tenderness pour from your eyes
The way the Sun gazes warmly on the earth.

Play a game with some children.
Extend yourself to a friend.
Sing a few ribald songs to your pets and plants -
Why not let them get drunk and wild!

Let's toast
Every rung we've climbed on Evolution's ladder.
Whisper, "I love you! I love you!"
To the whole mad world.

Let's stop reading about God -
We will never understand Him.

Jump to your feet, wave your fists,
Threaten and warn the whole Universe

That your heart can no longer live
Without real love!

~ Hafiz ~
(I Heard God Laughing - Renderings of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)

The Heat of Midnight Tears

By Mirabai
(1498 - 1565?)

English version by Robert Bly

Listen, my friend, this road is the heart opening,
Kissing his feet, resistance broken, tears all night.

If we could reach the Lord through immersion in water,
I would have asked to be born a fish in this life.
If we could reach Him through nothing but berries and wild nuts,
Then surely the saints would have been monkeys when they came from the womb!
If we could reach him by munching lettuce and dry leaves,
Then the goats would surely go to the Holy One before us!

If the worship of stone statues could bring us all the way,
I would have adored a granite mountain years ago.

Mirabai says: The heat of midnight tears will bring you to God.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"A prince who believes himself to be a beggar
can be convinced conclusively in one way only:
he must behave as a prince and see what happens.
Behave as if what I say is true and
judge by what actually happens."
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Thursday, October 19, 2006

There is neither up nor down nor inside nor outside
nor without nor
within. All there is is Consciousness.
And this manifestation is an
appearance within that
Consciousness. And even that appearance is
only an
objective expression of the same Consciousness. All
there is
is Consciousness.

We are merely an instrument through which Consciousness is functioning.

Ramesh S. Balsekar

You can always cope with the Now, but you can
never cope with the future - nor do you have to.
The answer, the strength, the right action, or the
resource will be there when you need it, not before,
not after.

Eckhart Tolle

It is a naïve man who thinks we are not engaged in a fierce battle.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~

(Words From Under the Words: Selected Poems)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

If someone remarks, "What an excellent man you are!"
and this pleases
you more than his saying, "What a
bad man you are!" know that you are
still a bad man.

Sufyan al-Thawri

Friday, October 13, 2006

"The realized man knows what others merely hear, but do not
experience. Intellectually they may seem convinced,
but in action
they betray their bondage."
~Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My merciful master teaches me to free-fall.
It smashes my fingers when I try to hold on.
Pete S.

Barn's burnt down


I can see

The moon


Wednesday, October 04, 2006


April 4, 1995 - October 4, 2004

By A. R. Ammons

(1926 - 2001)

I know if I find you I will have to leave the earth
and go on out
over the sea marshes and the brant in bays
and over the hills of tall hickory
and over the crater lakes and canyons
and on up through the spheres of diminishing air
past the blackset noctilucent clouds
where one wants to stop and look
way past all the light diffusions and bombardments
up farther than the loss of sight
into the unseasonal undifferentiated empty stark

And I know if I find you I will have to stay with the earth
inspecting with thin tools and ground eyes
trusting the microvilli sporangia and simplest
and praying for a nerve cell
with all the soul of my chemical reactions
and going right on down where the eye sees only traces

You are everywhere partial and entire
You are on the inside of everything and on the outside

I walk down the path down the hill where the sweetgum
has begun to ooze spring sap at the cut
and I see how the bark cracks and winds like no other bark
chasmal to my ant-soul running up and down
and if I find you I must go out deep into your
far resolutions
and if I find you I must stay here with the separate leaves

Isan said to Kyozan, "All of your Sutra studies are
useless, who is the one, who studies?"

Kyozan remained silent, and Isan yelled, "Get out,
and don't come back."

Kyozan gathered his belongings and was leaving
the temple, when Isan yelled, "Kyozan!"

When Kyozan turned his head, Isan said, "Who is this
who heard my call?"

On hearing this, Kyozan dropped his belongings and
walked away.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

There is a reality even prior to heaven and earth,
Indeed, it has no form, much less a name;
Eyes fail to see it; it has no voice for ears to detect;
To call it Mind or Buddha violates its nature,
For then it becomes like a visionary flower
in the air;
It is not Mind, nor Buddha;
Absolutely quiet, and yet illuminating
in a mysterious way,
It allows itself to be perceived only by
the clear-eyed.
It is Dharma truly beyond form and sound;
It is Tao having nothing to do with words.
Wishing to entice the blind,
The Buddha has playfully let words
escape his golden mouth;
Heaven and earth are ever since filled
with entangling briars.

O my good worthy friends gathered here,
If you desire to listen
to the thundrous voice of the Dharma,
Exhaust your words, empty your thoughts,
For then you may come to recognize this
One Essence.
-=-Dai O Kokushi

Monday, September 18, 2006

What has to be given up
is not the I, as most mystics suppose:
this I is indispensable for any relationship,
including the highest,
which always presupposes an I and You.

What has to be given up is not the I
but that drive for self-affirmation
which impels man to flee
from the unreliable, unsolid, unlasting,
unpredictable, dangerous world of relation
into the having of things."

Saturday, September 16, 2006

All you need is to keep quietly alert,
enquiring into the real

nature of yourself.
This is the only way to peace.
The real exists and is of the nature
of witness-consciousness.

Of course it is beyond the witness,
but to enter it one must first

realize the state of pure witnessing....
The witness is the
reflection of the real in all its purity....

The state of witnessing is full of power.

There are no conditions to fulfill.
There is nothing to be done,

nothing to be given up.
Just look and remember whatever you
is not you, nor yours.
It is there in the field of consciousness,

but you are not the field and its contents,
nor even the knower of
the field. It is your
idea that you have to do things that entangle

you in results of your efforts-the motive,
the desire, the failure
to achieve, the sense of
frustration- all this holds you back.

Simply look at whatever happens and know
that you are beyond it.

You need not get at it (Enlightenment),
for you are it. It will get
at you, if you give
it a chance. Let go your attachment to the

unreal and the real will swiftly and smoothly
slip into its own.

Stop imagining yourself being or doing this
or that and the
realization that you are the
source and heart of all will dawn upon

you. With this will come great love which is
not choice or
predilection, nor attachment,
but a power which makes all things
love - worthy
and lovable.

Discover all you are not. Body, feelings, thoughts,
ideas, time,
space, being and not being, this or
that - nothing concrete or
abstract you can point
out to is you. You must watch yourself

continuously - particularly your mind - moment
by moment, missing
nothing. This witnessing is
essential for the separation of the self
from the
not-self aware of that state which is only,

simply being, without being this or that or the other.

Thoughts on Awareness by Nisargadatta Maharaj

Sufis do not, by and large, work through a reincarnation model. But we do know where we go in deep sleep. We know exactly.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

one's not half two

one’s not half two. It’s two are halves of one:

which halves reintegrating, shall occur

no death and any quantity; but than

all numerable mosts the actual more

minds ignorant of stern miraculous this every truth

beware of heartless them

(given the scalpel, they dissect a kiss;

or, sold the reason, they undream a dream)

one is the song which fiends and angels sing;

all murdering lies by mortals told make two.

Let liars wilt, repaying life they’re loaned;

We (by a gift called dying born) must grow

deep in dark least ourselves remembering

love only rides his year.

All lose, whole find

e. e. cummings

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

No personal, individual effort can possibly
lead to enlightenment. On
the contrary, what
is necessary is to rest helpless in beingness,

knowing that we are nothing - to be in the
nothingness of the no-mind
state in which
all conceptualizing has subsided into passive

witnessing. In this state whatever happens
will be not our doing but
the pure universal
functioning to which we have relinquished
all control.

Ramesh S. Balsekar

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Place Where We Are Right

From the place where we are right
flowers will never grow
in the spring.
The place where we are right
is hard and trampled
like a yard.
But doubts and loves
dig up the world
like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
where the ruined
house once stood.

~ Yehuda Amichai

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The lover of nature is the true worshipper of God.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

A true worshipper of God sees His presence in all
forms, and thus in
respecting others he respects God.
It may even develop to such an
extent that the true
worshipper of God, the Omnipresent, walks gently

on the earth, bowing in his heart even to every tree
and plant, and
it is then that the worshipper forms
a communion with the Divine
Beloved at all times,
when he is awake and when he is asleep.

Anyone who has some knowledge of mysticism and
of the lives of the
mystics knows that what always
attracts the mystic most is nature.
Nature is his bread
and wine. Nature is his soul's nourishment.

Nature inspires him, uplifts him and gives him the
solitude for which
his soul continually longs. Every
soul born with a mystical tendency
is constantly
drawn towards nature; in nature that soul finds its

life's demand, as it is said in the Vadan, 'Art is dear
to my heart,
but nature is near to my soul'. ... Nature
does not teach the glory
of God; it need not teach
this as nature itself is the glory of God.
People wish
to study astrology and other subjects in order to

understand better, but if we study astrology then we
are sure to
arrive at an interpretation which is given
by a man, whereas what we
should read from nature
is what nature gives us and not what any book

There comes a time with the maturity of the soul when
every thing and
every being begins to reveal its nature
to us. We do not need to read
their lives. We do not
need to read their theories. We know then that
this wide
nature in its four aspects is ever-revealing and that one

can always communicate with it, but that in spite of this
it is not
the privilege of every soul to read it. Many souls
remain blind with
open eyes. They are in heaven, but not
allowed to look at heaven;
they are in paradise, but not
allowed to enjoy the beauties of
paradise. It is just like
a person sleeping on a pile of gems and
jewels. From the
moment man's eyes open and he begins to read the

book of nature he begins to live; and he continues to live

'There is One Holy Book, the sacred manuscript of nature,
the only
scripture which can enlighten the reader.' Most
people consider as
sacred scriptures only certain books
or scrolls written by the hand
of man, and carefully
preserved as holy, to be handed down to
posterity as
divinerevelation. Men have fought and disputed over the

authenticity of these books, have refused to accept any
other book of
similar character, and, clinging thus to the
book and losing the
sense of it have formed diverse sects.
The Sufi has in all ages
respected all such books, and has
traced in the Vedanta, Zend-Avesta,
Kabbala, Bible, Quran,
and all other sacred scriptures, the same
truth which he
reads in the incorruptible manuscript of nature, the
Holy Book, the perfect and living model that teaches the
law of life: all scriptures before nature's manuscript
are as little
pools of water before the ocean.

To the eye of the seer every leaf of the tree is a page of
the holy
book that contains divine revelation, and he is
inspired every moment
of his life by constantly reading
and understanding the holy script
of nature