|Dr. Robert Puff|
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Issue #1343 - Friday, February 7, 2003 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Why are you so afraid of silence,
silence is the root of everything.
If you spiral into its void
a hundred voices will thunder messages
you long to hear.
(Rumi - 'Hidden Music' - Maryam Mafi & Azima Melita Kolin)
from Sufi Poetry
My work is to carry this love
as comfort for those who long for You;
to go everywhere You've walked
and gaze at the pressed-down dirt.
What I most want
is to spring out of this personality,
then to sit apart from that leaping.
I've lived too long where I can be reached.
Who says the eternal being does not exist?
Who says the sun has gone out?
Someone who climbs up on the roof,
and closes his eyes tight, and says,
--I don't see anything.
......With one silent laugh
You tilted the night
and the garden ran with stars.
from 'UNSEEN RAIN' Coleman Barks and John Moyne
Anaand Supraath Sufi Mystic
The present is almost always a hell:
you can prolong this hell only because of the hope
that you have projected into the future. You can live today because of the tomorrow. You
are hoping something is going to happen tomorrow -- some doors of paradise will open
tomorrow. They never open today, and when tomorrow will come it will not come as
tomorrow, it will come as today, but by that time your mind has moved again. You go on
moving ahead of you: this is what dreaming means. You are not one with the real, that
which is nearby, that which is here and now, you are somewhere else -- moving ahead,
And that tomorrow, that future, you
have named it in so many ways. People call it
heaven, some people call it moksha, but it is always in the future. Somebody is thinking
in terms of wealth, but that wealth is going to be in the future. And somebody is thinking
in terms of paradise, and that paradise is going to be after you are dead -- far away in the
future. You waste your present for that which is not: this is what dreaming means. You
cannot be here and now. To be just in the moment seems to be arduous.
You can be in the past, because
again that is dreaming -- memories, remembrance of
things which are no more -- or you can be in the future, which is projection, which again
is creating something out of the past. The future is nothing but the past projected again --
more colorful, more beautiful, more pleasant, but it is the past refined.
You cannot think anything other than
the past: the future is nothing but the past projected
again -- and both are not. The present is, but you are never in the present. This is what
dreaming means. And Nietzsche is right when he says that man cannot live with the truth.
He needs lies, he lives through lies. Nietzsche says that we go on saying that we want
the truth, but no one wants it. Our so-called truths are nothing but lies, beautiful lies. No
one is ready to see the naked reality.
This mind cannot enter on the path
of Yoga because Yoga means a methodology to
reveal the truth. Yoga is a method to come to a non-dreaming mind. Yoga is the science
to be in the here and now. Yoga means now you are ready not to move into the future.
Yoga means now you are ready not to hope, not to jump ahead of your being .
Dear Fellow Reader:
The February TAT Forum is now available at
http://www.tatfoundation..org/forum.htm This month's contents include:
The Path (part 4) by Richard Rose | What Are You Looking For? by Bob Cergol |
Both by Thought and Feeling by Franklin Merrell-Wolff | The Boundless Empty
Field by Gary Harmon | Words... or Experience? by Bob Fergeson | Poems by Shawn
Nevins | The Ultimate Career by Shawn Nevins | Humor | Reader Commentary
Good reading wishes to you,
The Forum staff
Terry Murphy Sufi Mystic
Do not seek fame. Do not make
Do not be absorbed by activities. Do
not think that you know. Be aware of
all that is and dwell in the infinite.
Wander where there is no path. Be all
that heaven gave you, but act as though
you have received nothing. Be empty,
that is all.
The mind of a perfect man is like
a mirror. It grasps nothing. It expects
nothing. It reflects but does not hold.
Therefore, the perfect man can act
from "Chuang-tzu: Inner Chapters" (feng/english)
Our Dear fellow poet and Zen friend, Michael Garofalo,
has put the website up with the entire complete and edited versions
of the 300 Missing Poems of Han Shan that b and i have been working
on for many months now. If you'd like to take a peek, go to -
We hope you enjoy!
Mazie & b
Han Shan and
Painting by Tensho Shubun
Han Shan was a Chinese hermit who lived in a world called Cold Mountain in the T'ien-t'ai Range that spans the coast of Chekiang Province, south of the Bay of Hangchow, in the late eighth or early ninth century. Mostly what we know of him originates from a mysterious intuition that is shared by that which is Free in all of us, and from a preface, written by a T'ang Dynasty official named Lu-ch'iu Yin, for Han Shan's collected Cold Mountain Poems:
"He looked like a tramp. His body and face were old and beat. Yet in every word he breathed was a meaning in line with the subtle principles of things, if only you thought of it deeply. Everything he said had a feeling of the Tao in it, profound and arcane secrets. His hat was made of birch bark, his clothes were ragged and worn out, and his shoes were wood. Thus men who have made it hide their tracks: unifying categories and interpenetrating things."
Lu-ch'iu Yin sent clean clothes and incense to Kuo-ch'ing Temple, near Cold Mountain, asking that the gifts be delivered to Han Shan and his friend Shih Teh. But on the approach of the messenger, Han Shan disappeared inside a mountain cave. Shih Teh vanished too. Lu-ch'iu Yin then asked the monks to collect any of the poems they left behind.
Many claim that Han Shan was the incarnation of the Bodhisattva Manjusri. People say a lot of things, but Han Shan paid little mind to the opinions of dreamers and interpretations of myth-makers.
Of his own poems he wrote:
"Some might laugh at my poems, yet they are fine and fun! They need no commentary, nor any signatory.
Why care if anybody reads them or not?
I don't follow word laws, yet these poems have some light."
- Han Shan, Transliteration by Robert O'Hearn.
Mary Bianco NDS News
Spirituality and Art
By Jean Macleod le
Page 1 of 2
Being inspired: it's something we've all tasted and want more of. It's "the touch of spirit on the body, a kiss we want with our whole lives," according to an ancient Persian song. Different traditions describe it in different ways: a moment of freedom, seeing more clearly, peace in the midst of a chaotic world. Whatever it is, it's a mystery that intrigues, tantalizes, and maybe even scares us.
Every year artists in various media visit Hollyhock Centre, north of Vancouver, to practise their art in the company of others, while sharing some of its secrets and drawing inspiration from the beauty of the place. We met with several of these artists-a photographer, a dancer and storyteller, a musician, a Zen painter, and a singer--to discuss what spirit and art means to them.
Opening the Path of
Bruce Langhorne, or Brother Bru Bru as he's known on his hot sauce label, is an extraordinary musician, composer, and creator of Hollywood film scores. He assisted drummer Gordy Ryan at his workshop this year. Langhorne's recording credits since the 60s read like a who's who of North American music. He's perhaps best known for being the inspiration for Bob Dylan's classic "Mr Tambourine Man."
"I have fingers missing on my right hand, which is a mixed blessing because it meant I had to find things to play that didn't rely on flash," says Langhorne. "That really helped me; it taught me the lesson that you're only partially your body. There's something inside, call it spirit, that transcends your vessel. When you open the path of love, whatever walks down that path for you, that's spirit."
Al Larus TrueVision
The Blazing Pile
This is everything I had within.
Creeping and crawling
under my skin.
Cobwebs and dust,
all swallowed by darkness.
Its welcome did come.
This is written in the light
of the pale pile gone.
Now no smoke is here
under a shining sun
What is left is what is.
It can be read by none.
"It is very important to
experience the complete
negation of yourself, which brings you to the other
side of nothing. People experience that in many ways.
You go the other side of nothing, and you are held by
the hand of the absolute. You see yourself as part of
the absolute, so you have no more insistence of self
as yourself. You can speak of self as no-self upon the
absolute. Only real existence is absolute."
~Kobun Chino Otokawa Roshi.
From the article, "Earthquakes and Blossoms Appear,"
published in "Buddhadharma," Winter 2002.
Jerry Katz NDS News
NDS News may have arisen out of a discovered, but unarticulated resonance with the journalistic trend described in the following story. In the story below, McBride says, "As daunting as this may seem, there is great value in examining the religious beliefs of the individuals at the center of dramatic events. Through these people, we glimpse a universe endowed with meaning, waiting to be discovered." However, just as a degree from a school of journalism will not create a 'nose for news', a formal education in religious studies will not give a journalist an eye for the ineffable. Hence there could be value in the 'nondual journalist'. That is the one comfortable trekking in the intricate forests of religious traditions and practices, the one at home in the nondual core of major religions.
There is a spiritual/religious side to news stories that is reported, and topics in religion and spirituality are reported as news. However, journalists could go deeper, which religious/spiritual study and practice would allow. On this list we bring the spiritual side of news stories to light, with a dose of humor and irony. In this way we make a contribution to the development of spiritual journalism. Going further, I feel it would be valuable to submit articles on spiritual journalism. A Google search using keywords 'spiritual journalism' finds relevant links. These are all worth at least scanning: http://www.transformedia.org/forum/articles/integrit.htm http://www.scripps.com/foundation/news/newsrelease/97jun06.html http://www.scripps.com/foundation/programs/specialgrants/focusreligion.html http://www.csmonitor.com/monitortalk/events/transcripts/pastevents/1213chatLog.html http://www.wisdommedia.com/index.asp
Thanks for being here, Jerry
|Seven Faiths Exploring religion in breaking news stories|
|By Kelly McBride|
Over the last decade,
religion and spirituality have gained a new foothold in American
There is an element of faith in almost every news story and reporters are getting better every year at articulating this realm of life. When done well, there is great validity in this journalistic exploration. It invites the readers and viewers to chew on the themes of diversity, tolerance, collaboration, race, ethnicity and nationality. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seven Faiths" read the
headline. It was a simple piece of journalism, from a
non-traditional news source, Beliefnet.
It said so much. It gave equal time to the religious lives of each of the crew members who died on the Columbia. It documented that, in addition to the four Christians from four different traditions, there was a Hindu, a Unitarian Universalist and a Jew. It blended small details about each of the traveler's religious practices with a bit of theology from his or her religion.
It was no surprise that journalists discovered the spiritual side of the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster early in the news cycle.
Over the last decade, religion and spirituality have gained a new foothold in American newsrooms.
There is an element of faith in almost every news story and reporters are getting better every year at articulating this realm of life. When done well, there is great validity in this journalistic exploration. It invites the readers and viewers to chew on the themes of diversity, tolerance, collaboration, race, ethnicity and nationality. In a world often divided by these differences, they tell the story of seven people brought together for a common purpose.
Religion is after all a human quest for understanding. Although it is many other things, journalism too seeks to create understanding.
When merely mediocre, stories about
religion ring hollow in the public ear. When we misrepresent
theology, generalize across varying sects, or paint with a broad
brush when detail work is in order, we compromise our
There is a temptation to gloss over the differences among the astronauts. It takes a particular skill with the language to accurately reflect the beliefs and practices of an individual or a faith community.
While many journalists have the desire to delve into religious themes, they lack a basic understanding of how faith is practiced in everyday life. Likewise, journalists are lured into simplistic and inaccurate reporting on religious themes by the desire to create a world where differences -- rooted in ethnicity, gender and faith -- don't matter. That world doesn't exist.
The astronauts didn't leave their differences behind as they boarded the shuttle. They brought them along in the concrete form of artifacts, special diets and religious mementoes, as well as in their very DNA.
As daunting as this may seem, there is great value in examining the religious beliefs of the individuals at the center of dramatic events. Through these people, we glimpse a universe endowed with meaning, waiting to be discovered.
Embedded in the saga of the Columbia and its seven doomed astronauts are themes as old as civilization itself, the pursuit of knowledge, the journey into the unknown and home again, the human aspiration to be close to God and the pride that accompanies accomplishment. Think of Eve and the apple, Icarus and his wings, the Tower of Babel, the Iliad and the Odyssey.
Religion is after all a human quest for understanding. Although it is many other things, journalism too seeks to create understanding. By telling stories, we provoke our readers and viewers to see information in a new light, to ask new questions, to tolerate the ambiguity that comes with real life. We give the journey a name. We make it possible to join the travelers in their desire for enlightenment.
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|Dr. Robert Puff|