|DR. ROBERT PUFF|
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#1109 Wednesday, June 19, 2002
Editor: Gloria Lee
Bob Rose of the Meditation Society of America --
announces the following free
classes for people in the Philadelphia area:
Summer Meditation Classes
We have just firmed up the dates for our summer classes.
They will be from 12:30 to 2pm, July 13 and August 24
at the Easttown Library in Berwyn, PA. This is on
Lancaster Pike (Rt 30) on Philly's Main Line. For all
of you who have gone to our summer sessions at the
library in previous years, please be aware that they
have moved into a new building. If you are going to be
in the Philly area on these dates, please consider
attending the classes. Books, CD's, TV shows, etc., are
all fine, but the opportunity to interact live-in-person
is a very beneficial way to learn and experience what
meditation is all about. I hope to see you in class!
Peace and blessings,
PS: The classes are free.
Those in Berkeley, California, might want to join cee as she opens her
Satsang hall this Saturday, June 22. Write me for her address and phone
number. Meditation on Saturday mornings and videos on Wednesday
cee says, "no entertainment here. just people who are done with getting
a hit and are ready to quit."
Do you mean, those kinds of experiences
don't arise here? or over there?
or that they don't arise anywhere at all?
How do you know if one of them isn't
What I mean is this, which I hope matches the sense of
Kristi's question about this stuff: In the way of speaking
where there is said to be a very gentle core, a subtle "one"
to whom things arise. In some cases, this "one" will no
longer experience these particular kinds of separated-type
thoughts/feelings/sensations. This "one" will no longer
experience themselves as separated or cut off from people,
objects, life, or time. They will no longer be plagued by
experiences that scream out "I'm separate, cut off, left
out!" So it's a very subtle locale in which these kinds of
arising don't happen. But this very subtle core locale itself
doesn't feel separate. That might come later ! :-) Other
locales might experience things as cut off, but some do
not. How would I know that? In the same conventional way
I might be said to know that some people enjoy seeing
Tom Cruise enjoy Tom Cruise's latest movie, but other folks
think he can't act.
That's what I mean.
What I don't mean is this: That gentle core is itself an
implied separation. Any arising at all bespeaks locality
and separateness. As Yogi Berra might say if he sat
through a nondualism class, "There's nonlocality, and it's
everywhere!" Events are time and place-bound. That's why
they're called events. So, nonarising can't be happening in
some places and not others. In this way of speaking, it
makes as little sense to speak of places and cores and
"ones" as it does to speak of arisings.
I wasn't saying anything like that!
Love from nowhere,
Nice clarification -- thanks. And yes, looking
into the sense of separation at a locale
can be worthwhile, I agree, particularly in light
of feeling/perception/thoughts of rejection, victimization,
loneliness, and so on. Ah, and we walk
right along the razor's edge here, for
is there a perceiver of the experience
who can know whether or not that experience
involves a sense of separation (without
that perceiver separating)? ...
And of course, this sense at a locale is relative,
and it can only lead to a continuum of comparison --
relatively nonseparate here, relatively separate
there -- and the evaluation would differ depending
on how the contrast is made. I might be nonseparate
compared with Joe's experience, but separate compared with Amy's
experience. I might be separate compared with yesterday's
experience, but nonseparate compared with the day before.
So, to be the reality "nonseparation" is the nonarising
of which you speak in the last paragraph --
If I'm not arising, then what for me could be considered
as arising? There is now only this "experience-whole"
not divided into Joe's version, Nancy's version,
my version yesterday - hence, no possibility
of separation arising. And what is contentless experience
without a perceiver? Not even one hand clapping.
Yogi Berra might say, "If you know whether
or not you feel separate, you separated."
Indeed, as you say: when we're
talking about what's arising, we're
involved in contrasting one phenomenon
with another, which means that we've separated
this from that and we're referencing locales
of experiencing. Which we do, when we're
looking at what I'm experiencing and whether
or not I feel separated, rejected, unfairly
victimized, etc. And this is what we work
with, at this locale.
Which might be like saying, the one of no illusion
is able to work effortlessly to relieve illusion,
without any sense that there is something of
which to be relieved.
Yes, looking into the locale-centered sense of separation
can be worthwhile. As a "sense," it's an abstraction, a way
of referring to these thoughts, feelings and sensations
we've been speaking about. A person might have been
feeling cut off and left out without having articulated it in
just this way, without knowing that all this stuff has a
name and is something that's talked about in paths and
e-mail lists. There are techniques or yogas to address each
And sometimes it happens in offices. Sometimes in
looking into this sense of separation, therapies can help. If
a goal is to weaken or loosen the sense of separation, it
might be helpful to strengthen it first. To integrate it and
pull it together so that it can be better seen and
recognized. It's like in Madhyamika meditation. When
learning to see the emptiness of the "I", the student is first
taught to generate the sense of "I" as clearly and strongly
as possible. Like remembering the worst insults and
criticisms one has received, or imagining walking very
close to the edge of a cliff with someone who just might at
any time push you off. Bring up this sense of "I" very
clearly. And so sometimes this clarification process can
take months before the student gets to the emptiness
exercises. But at that point, the sense of "I" will be
practiced, clear, easy to see. Then its emptiness will also
be easier to see.
The integration of the sense of separation is also kind of
like those green gopher games at the county fair. You pays
your money and gets a plastic hammer. You go over to a
table with a lot of holes. Inside the holes are green plastic
gophers. The game starts. A gopher pops out of a hole for a
second and then ducks back in. Then another one pops
out of another hole, and ducks back in. And another. You
don't know where the next one is coming from. You're
supposed to hit the gopher with the hammer before it
ducks back into the hole. But they're quick and they don't
stay long in any one place. These gophers are like the
sense of separation. "If that danged thing would only stay
in one place, then I could get it!"
The relative sense of separation implies its own lack, as
well as a locus and time in which to appear. And all this is
phenomenal and relative in the way you mention. A lack
here, a presence there. If it's someone's goal to get rid of it,
then they might just keep at till it seems good enough.
Being an abstraction, it might mean they keep at it till the
overall feeling state feels good enough, all things
considered, for the person to turn to some other endeavor.
"Good enough for government work!"
But the nonseparation in the last paragraphs in our
messages -- this is nonlocalized, nontemporal and
nonarising. It can't happen to anyone. If there were a
someone to whom it happened, then it wouldn't be
nonseparation. It is a fait accompli which never actually
happened, and doesn't have anything to do with cliffs,
insults or gophers!
Popping out for lunch,
JOSEPH RILEY on Hafiz
THE MULE GOT DRUNK AND
LOST IN HEAVEN
Mind is ever a tourist
Wanting to touch and buy new things
Then toss them into an already
So I craft my words into those guides
That will offer you something fresh
From the Hiddens Tavern.
Few things are stronger than
The minds need for diverse
I am glad
Not many men or women can remain
Faithful lovers to the unreal.
There is a kind of adultery
That God encourages:
Your spirit needs to leave the bed
The gross, the subtle, the mental worlds
Become as a worthless husband.
To utilize their superior intelligence
So that their hours legacy
Can make us all stronger and more clement.
Sometimes a poem happens like this one:
The mule I sit on while I recite
Starts off in one direction
But then gets drunk
And lost in
(The Gift versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)
Top Ten Existential Thingies
10 'All of this' is a construct in consciousness
constructed of components which are resident
9 Memory is the record of a person who never
8 This construct finds it much more 'convenient'
to maintain the illusion of time and space, than to
collapse into primal nothingness; yet, in the effort
of holding space and time, the reality of nothingness
is never questioned, and thus the work of holding
space and time, is seemingly vindicated.
7 The ongoing nature of this nonexistent person
is maintained by connecting interpretations of what
is now happening, such interpretations being based
upon resident memories of a nonexistent person
8 What is now happening is the maintenance of
the illusion of a person who is existing, by the means
of associating memory with interpretations of what
is happening now, which is the act of maintaining
the illusion of a person who is happening to remember
anything but what is actually happening.
7 To remember what is actually happening is called
'anamnesis', or the 'loss of amnesia'. This event of
remembering dispels the illusion of a person (which
is) based upon memories of events which never occurred.
6 Upon the event of 'anamnesis', the workings of the
universe are clearly perceived. One of these 'workings'
is the system of compiling memories in a manner which
seems to coherently portray an actual person existing.
5 Upon seeing this tendency to compile memories into
a virtual person, all issues of personhood are reduced
to a system of rules which apply strictly to the assumptions
of such illusory persons; and within the community of
illusory persons, there are nonpersons who impersonally
state to the receptors of those who hold the illusion of
personhood to be actual, the actual truth of Being.
4 Central to the transmissions of truth directed to
illusory persons, is the knowledge of the nonpolar;
that is, that there are no real persons and no false
persons... there is only what is, and it has no opposite.
3 Being without opposite acknowledges the reality
of the nonpolar (also called nondual); that what does
not exist (nonBeing), having no existence, cannot come
into actual play, and thus only the nonpolar (Being)
2 Existing Being is the only self; it has experienced
everything that has ever happened, and thus is devoid
of individuality, aside from that which can be attributed
to a singularity (existing Being) to which there can be
no comparison, because only 'it' exists.
1 Existing Being, as all of what is, and having no
opposite, understands that within itself, are the
separated and compartmentalized clusters of memory
which act as though they have a life of their own;
knowing this, and understanding that this also is
an aspect of existing Being, compassion is born.
Note for the NDS archives:
Every once in a while, people ask about this book. It is long
out of print. Copies are available on amazon.com and in
the second-hand book trade. The price has gone way up. I
have one copy somewhere, and a friend of mine here in
NYC has 2 copies left, which he would let someone come
over and read if they ask very nicely!
But an update has been done. It is now available as a
5-volume set called _HAPPINESS IS FREE - AND EASIER
THAN YOU THINK!_. I myself haven't read this newer
edition, but it has the endorsements of those who love the
older book and who knew Lester Levenson personally. The new
5-volume book is available online (and it's not cheap
either) from www.sedona.com.
ALAN LARUS on HarshaSatsangh
Between the palms and cactus figs
a man is opening his cafe.
The boxer on his morning jog
crossing footprints of night refugees
as he is closing in on
Africa on the horizon.
The azure sky
The navy sea
Children picking pretty stones
on the shores below the mountains.
Emerald pines form small forests
along the narrow road
disappearing in the heat
like a black snake.
leading to the birthplace of the matador,
a headquarter of inquisition,
where I saw her on the wall,
in the small church
with the old lady at the door.
A red triangle holding her child,
a golden triangle
both inside a ring of fire.
As the night arrives
I see them both coming to life in the dark church.
The mother holding the child in front of her
like she wants to say:
Look at my precious child.
If you want to share a secret
I am giving it away.
BOBBY G on HarshaSatsangh
Last Resting Place
Grandeur is fleeting!
Sitting under blossom shade,
nothing left to do.
I have been driving by the wrecking yard there for the last year and
a half and always looked at that old Caddy. My dad had a 49 Caddy
that he used to drive me to school on rainy days. He drove me to
school in the ninth grade one rainy winter day and died an hour later.
I saw that old hulk there three days ago with the Mimosa blossoms and
it looked so comfortable there I went back to paint it. I guess I
saw it in a different "light".
I know myself as an old person now and I wonder what I was like in my
heyday. To be honest I feel like exactly the same person.
|DR. ROBERT PUFF|