|What Am I? Galen Sharp
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#1615 - Thursday, November 13, 2003 - Editor: Jerry
Sam Pasiencier, Nonduality Salon list member on vacation.
Joyce Spiritual Friends
"My uncle Alex Vonnegut taught me something very important. He said
that when things are going really well we should be sure to notice
it. He was talking about simple occasions, not great victories: maybe
drinking lemonade on a hot afternoon in the shade, or smelling the
aroma of a nearby bakery, or fishing and not caring if we catch
anything, or hearing somebody all alone playing a piano really well
in the house next door. Uncle Alex urged me to say this out loud
during such epiphanies: `If this isn't nice, what is?'"
~ Kurt Vonnegut ~
There are two kinds of intelligence.
One is like that acquired by a child at school,
from books and teachers, new ideas and memorization.
Your intelligence may become superior to others,
but retaining all that knowledge is a heavy load.
You who are occupied in searching for knowledge
are a preserving tablet,
but the preserved tablet is the one who has gone beyond all this.
For the other kind of intelligence is the gift of God:
its fountain is in the midst of the soul.
When the water of God-given knowledge gushes from the breast,
it doesn't become fetid or impure.
And if its way to the outside is blocked, what harm is there?
For it gushes continually from the house of the heart.
The acquired intelligence is like the conduits
which run into the house from the streets:
If those pipes become blocked, the house is bereft of water.
Seek the fountain from within yourself.
~Rumi, Mathnawi IV, 1960-68
Translated by Camille and Kabir Helminski
Maybe 20 years ago
my father visited me
in my apartment in Las Vegas.
My father and I
were sitting on the couch.
My father was looking at
the books on my bookshelf.
He noticed the four volumes of
the Encyclopedia of Philosophy
were not in the usual order
but were in some other order
such as 3,1,4,2.
My father said those books are out of order.
I said to my father:
Actually, after you have read those books,
that is the best you can do.
"Another powerful method of healing in Tibetan Buddhism
meditate on the teachings known as thought transformation.
These methods allow a person to see the problem or sickness
as something positive rather than negative. A problem is only
a problem if we label it a problem. If we look at a problem
differently, we can see it as an opportunity to grow or to
practice, and regard it as something positive. We can think
that having this problem now ripens our previous karma, which
does not then have to be experienced in the future. If
someone gets angry at us, we can choose to be angry in return
or to be thankful to them for giving us the chance to
practice patience and purify this particular karma. It takes
a lot of practice to master these methods, but it can be
"It is our concepts, which often bring the greatest suffering
and fear. For example, due to a set of signs and symptoms,
the doctor gives the label 'AIDS' or 'cancer'. This can cause
great distress in a person's mind, because they forget that
it is only a label, that there is no truly existent,
permanent AIDS or cancer. 'Death' is another label that can
generate a lot of fear. But in reality 'death' is only a
label for what happens when the consciousness separates from
the body, and there is no real death from its own side. This
also relates to our concept of 'I' and of all other
phenomena. They are all just labels and have no true,
~Ven. Pende Hawter
From the web site, "The Karuna Hospice Service,"
compiled by Ven. Pende Hawter,
plagued with problems. Why?"
"I am only a man, Don Juan."
"You think about yourself too much. And that gives you a strange fatigue that makes you shut off the world around you and cling to your arguments. Therefore, all you have is problems. I'm only a man too, but I don't mean that the way you do."
"How do you mean it?"
"I've vanquished my problems. Too bad my life is so short that I can't grab onto all the things I would like to. But that's not an issue; it's only a pity."
from A Separate Reality by Carlos Castaneda
from Haiku Enlightenment, by Gabriel Rosenstock
Creation is presence - and absence too
Autumn - I look at the moon
without a child
on my knee
They've cut down the willow -
don't come anymore
(Trans. Burton Watson)
It is meeting, and parting
I have got to know
but now we must part
It is music older than time
It is not
any one thing, but many things
together in strange harmonic fusion which the haikuist intuits, 'the
music of things that happen', as we read in classical Irish legend:
behind the mountain -
It is fierce
the autumn squall
blows the eagle
over the edge of the crag
It is gentle
mist about the grass,
It is holy
putting his hands together -
reciting a poem
Hopeful, graceful, determined
an uplifted skirt glides
through tall brush
It can be found everywhere
note what Mircea Eliade says in
his Diary: 'In his book, Zen in Japanese Art, Hasumi noticed that art represents
the way to the Absolute. Tea ceremony, as well as the other "ways" (do)
- painting, poetry, ikebana, calligraphy, archery - form a spiritual
technique, as its aim is obtaining "the Nirvana experience" in everyday
life.' Good! Haiku is part of everyday life. Nothing, apart from a little
notebook, distinguishes the haikuist from anybody else you may pass on
the street. He or she may have had a Nirvana experience that morning -
or is about to have one now, this instant! But no alarms are going of;
there is nothing untoward. Everything is normal.
Many non-haikuists can show us, in the immediacy of their
with Nature, what joy awaits us on the haiku path. Environmentalist and
primate specialist Jane Goodall is a fine witness to these experiences:
' the air was filled with a feathered symphony, the evensong of birds
' This is a typical, passive activity among haikuists, to listen to
birdsong. With time, the ability to listen increases naturally and the
concomitant pleasure. Goodall continues: 'I heard new frequencies in
their music and also in the singing insects' voices - notes so high and
sweet I was amazed.' This is what can happen on the haiku path. It is
not magical or exceptional in any way. It is perfectly natural. And she
says: 'Never had I been so intensely aware of the shape, the colour of
individual leaves, the varied patterns of the veins that made each one
unique. Scents were clear as well, easily identifiable: fermenting,
overripe fruit; waterlogged earth; cold, wet bark, the damp odour of
chimpanzee hair ' (Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey, Warner,
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|What Am I? Galen Sharp