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!”