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Highlights #188

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Good evening succulent Infinite

As I light my two candles tonight, I
do so with immense peacefilled
gratitude for the richness of birth
day gift received.

This week I reflect upon the Nature
kingdom.. the beauty of It's gift,
offering food and shelter, also on
it's reflection in the creation of my
body. I note with awe the fibonacci
patterns in branch systems of trees,
pine cones, as well as in my brain and
nervous system; the geometry of
patterning of flowers; and the
chemical substances arising from the
earth to maintain this body.

I honor what is deeply rooted in our human experience, while
simultaneously gently releasing those roots which are gravity bound.

I light this candle honoring the roots of our vast Tree!
Over Thanksgiving weekend at Satsang, Gangaji asked a woman to sing this
song.. it has been purring in my Background ever since. So simple... so
clean. I chant it here with you.

Lord, please make me,
a Sanctuary,
pure and holy,
strong and true.

And in Thanksgiving,
I'll be a living,
for You.



this morning i am thinking about my brother, Doug, who is in a federal
as they say, Doug and i go "way back." he has known me since i got
here. we have had our brother-sister highs and lows but share an
unbreakable bond. we have always gravitated toward each other.
he's a very special person to me, and to the world, and now i am
learning from him. about patience. about being where you be. here i
share a poem he just sent to me:

"watercolor sunshine,
smudging clouds across the sky.
carousel world
mountains rise and fall like painted horses,
diversions and distractions
keep you off the center of gravity,
shouts and yells and laughter
echo forever in and out of time
this brief engagement like my time here
a finger snap to the creator,
he spins circles in the aire
patterns and amusements,
tests and hardships do reveal,
a singularity of all the wonderous
things made for you and me;
the greatest show on earth. .."
--Douglas Diehl

Hi everyone!
Thanks for tolerating my going on about my brother this morning. It's
just that I really care about him, as i do about each of you. I know
that that is incredibly non-dual, and that is quite alright with me.
I want to share with you a holiday fantasy I have -- and I am asking for
your help. I would love it if Doug was swamped with holiday greeting
cards. He is a great guy, who just happens to be in prison. He has
shown me more about unconditional love these past weeks than I can tell

Anyway, if anyone would care to send a holiday card to my brother, Doug,
I have posted his address under "files" at one list. (link below) It's
titled "care bears-gen." I will happily e-mail you with it privately if
the link doesn't work. (dummie here: pc mac web tv, you name it!)

Thanks and I Love You
just for being here and reading this!

email: bshanti@webtv.net (ed.)



Poem by Kabir

Friend, please tell me what I can do about this mud world
I keep spinning out of myself!

I gave up expensive clothes and bought a robe
But I noticed one day the cloth was well-woven.

So I bought some burlap but I still
Throw it elegantly over my left shoulder.

I stopped being a sexual elephant,
And now I discover I'm angry a lot.

I finally gave up anger, and now I notice
That I'm greedy all day.

I worked hard at dissolving the greed,
And now I am proud of myself.

When the mind wants to break its link with the world
It still holds on to one thing.

Yesterday Larry asked this question. (about what if any formal practises
people engage in, see yesterday's highlights--ed.) No one has responded.
I think it is an important question, even if difficult to answer. It
seems that concepts like 'practice' and 'method' tend to be considered a
bit verboten here, and given the appearance of that tendency, I
especially appreciated Jerry's invocation 'think only of God' and what
that meant to him.

We live in bodies, in time and time is 'spent' all kinds of ways. I
suspect this is true whether one has had experience of transcendence or
not. We all, to use Jerry's wonderful metaphor, slip into the Intervals.
I am an ice skater.. it takes a lot of precise awareness to master an

Gene has said that spontaneity is automatic, Knowing can be automatic,
but response-ability (respond-ability) is not automatic. Integrity
requires impeccability. (hoping that I'm quoting you more or less
accurately Gene).

So.. knowing that NDS eschews 'to do' lists, I nonetheless would like to
join Larry in asking if a few of you can share how you maintain pristine

thank you..


Hi larry,

The unsought breakthrough came, when living up to the unknown dictum:
those having 'died' can know what is worth both dying and living for".


Can you expand on this. It sounds pretty juicy. And what
about now? Any spiritual routine?

The dictum means that when having given up both pleasure and
pain, it will have consequences both in attitude and behavior.
The attitude becomes equanimity under all circumstances and
the behavior doesn't take "I" as the center of the universe;
instead, one considers each situation in its entirety. It is
like an uninterrupted practice of being the
"witness_in_action"; when having to take a decision, one can
remain witness because "me" is left out of it.

This is rather radical and destroys conditioning; in the
course of events there will be a situation where enough
conditioning has been stripped off for the "sudden flash" of
recognition. But even if this doesn't happen, something else

I didn't seek this as a practice; there was no choice left as
I had become pretty sure of the fact that "just" worldly life
isn't able to bring true happiness and the avenues of life
that hadn't been experienced could be reasoned out as
"bringing nothing". Anyway, whether called practice or
non-practice, surrender or witness_in_action, in my case it
"worked", there was a "bright flash" and it didn't take long
until it made all practice, even the thought of it,


I've meditated since I was a teenager, going on 30 years on and off,
more formal disciplined zazen in the early years, looser and freer
lately. I like what Krishnamurti has to say about meditation in the
piece I posted a while ago (highlights27Nov). I don't really know what
effect meditation
has had on the way I am now, I don't know what I would be like if I
hadn't. Now I meditate for its own sake, meditation is very beautiful.
It's not a means toward an end for me, but a part of life like sleeping
or eating. With your vajrayana background you know about the potential
problems and errors in meditation, like the dead vacuous state one can
fall into, or the possibility of autohypnosis. I didn't have a teacher
so I struggled through that stuff on my own. I also don't think
meditation is restricted to formal sitting, it's also being attentive
through the day.
To me the important thing about meditation is that in it the habitual
way of consciousness falls away. Everybody's different, but that's my
personal story about formal practise.

love, andrew

Speaking for myself, the answer is simple. I have no pristine awareness
to maintain. Nothing gained, nothing lost. Christiana's
point is well taken, that most of us have to do something. It reminds me
of a joke told by my master, a master of
A man comes home unexpectedly in the afternoon to find his wife naked in
bed and obviously unnerved by his sudden
appearance. He goes to the closet and flings the door open to find his
best friend George cowering there, also naked.
"George!" he roars, "What are you doing here?"
"Well, I have to be somewhere, don't I?"

Love, Sarlo


Tuesday, April 7, 1998

a story
...today i decided to analyze my actual morning using dream analysis. .

i wake up and it's raining. obviously, i think, this sybolizes a need
to find some kind of balance between aspects of my inner and outer life.
i stumble downstairs to the kitchen (the second of three floors which
represents, of course, my conscious mind) then one more flight down into
the living room (my subconscious) in order to get the morning paper.

by this action, i am apparently seeking important information which is
right outside the door or within my grasp. ..

the newspaper is soaking wet, so i deduce that this must represent
information in my subconscious which i cannot access due to some
psychological defect or weakness, or perhaps my repressed anger at
having been born to die, or my continual feeling of angst about NOT
having been born a duck.

i return to my kitchen, wring out the paper, and open the window (an
obvious sexual gesture). i begin making coffee and carefully slice a
bagel, having remembered that i read somewhere that 60% of all kitchen
injuries in hospital ER's are bagel related. while slicing, i notice a
spider atop the toaster oven, evidently symbolizing my overly protetive
mother. distracted by guilt of this association, i cut myself with the
bread knife. which i inherited from mom. more guilt.

the kniife is of couse a phallic symbol, which explains in one fell
swoop both my injury, my unnatural devotion to my father, and my

i run upstairs to the third floor--the spiritual aspect of my mind-- for
a band aid (which is a symbol for the healing aspects of
mother-father-sky-god. it may also convey my need to hide scars from
those slings and arrows that i'm heir to.

at this point, i note that all of this stair climbling is really just
about sex. bandaged, but not yet healed, i return to the kitchen for
breakfast. i eat my cold bagel, thereby avoiding the spider, and forgo
the usual breakfast banana as i'm analyzing all of my actions and i
suddenly feel quite self conscious. . .

i pick up the book i was reading last night but can't find my glasses.
my inability to read the text, which squirms before my eyes like a
millon snakes, ads me to believe that i must work on my ability to focus
and concentrate while in my daily dream life. or it may mean that i
have repressed heterosexual tendencies which were completely sublimated
by an encounter with my high school gym teacher.

nah. i decide to go back to bed. i dream that i am a spider watching a
crazy woman try to slice a bagel and analyze the shite out of

boring! i dream, so i go back to my web and dream that i wake up and
it's raining. i'm a spider. it'll be okay. it's only rain.

i love you!

heart sister

An assemblage of several posts between Skye and Mira:

How refreshing to hear someone question this self
annihilation which constitutes a subtle body of
indoctrination within a nondual perspective to which no
objection is allowed to consistently be raised.

I don't know what observation originates this statement skye, but from
what I have seen, read and experienced on this list, ALL objections to
any kind of statement are allowed here.

Allowed to be posted yes, but often angrily and
belittlingly rejected. To me there *is* a subtle
indoctrination going on. 'Indoctrination' is defined in the
websters dictionary as; that which constitutes a subtle body
of indoctrination to which no objection is allowed to
consistently be raised. Open debate is unacceptable by most
religions, i see no real variation from that here. To me
there is a an unmistakable objection on this list to
considering the self as anything other than emptiness and
some even curse it a worthless good for nothing!

Hm. I just really don't know what the self is. I am not joking. I really
don't have a clue. I don't know. But it doesn't seem to make one bit of
difference to know or not know, in order to be. Because still I am. What
I am? Skye, I don't know. At times I may refer to it as emptiness, or as
absolute, or as nothing, or words of a similar nature, but this is only
for lack of a better expression. It is the mind trying to formulate a
word for something it is unable to know.
How would you define self? How would you describe what you are? What
words come to you, when trying to describe this self? I am really
interested. Perhaps I may borrow one of your suggestions?

They are for one simple reason: the fact that they do emerge.

skye: For the same simple reason then, that the manifested
self also emerges, can we *allow that as a fact* too.

Yes of course! Now please inspire me with your description of this
manifested self. What is it to you, and where does it emerge from?
(I am not looking for *right* or *wrong* answers here, just wishing to
hear your expression or version of it).

They are mostly followed by some deeper examination and inquiry into
their intrinsic truth however. So of course, any annihilation, is always
an annihilation of a Something (in this case, something called self). As
long as we speak of Somethings like 'a self', it can always be affirmed,
annihilated, rejected, accepted, whatevered. In my experience this is
the very beauty of these interactions. To see, time and again, that
which IS, when nothing is left to either affirm or annihilate. That, (to
me?) is truth. Because there is no one, nothing, left to either affirm
or annihilate it.

skye: I myself see no need for haughtily casting aside or
annihilating anything, as if it were some low life, left
over, 'somethings'! simply because we can speak of it.

So no casting aside of any annihilation either. Thanks.

Its my mission to not religiously adhere to any perspective, be it dual
or nondual, for they all characterize the same indoctrination via the
usual indignation and dismissal of any intelligence daring to question
or survive within it.

If it is a mission, there may be effort involved.

skye: and we'll have no effort involved here, if you don't
mind! ;-) I originally began that sentence with; "I too
(bob) have no intention of adhering to any religion". but i
was curious to see who would jump on the band wagon and
invalidate the alternative "it is my mission" with their
nondual perspective, interesting the connection with
*effort*. Indoctrination seems a bit like a chess game, to
some, doesn't it.

I hope I didn't invalidate your mission. I have no intention of
invalidating anything. I am only suggesting that turning it into a
mission, sounds like 'working toward a certain objective' to me. Which
is fine, if that's what you like doing. I trust that you do not overlook
that which is there, regardless of you adhering or not adhering to a
religion, or nondual perspective, or ideas about effort, or whatever I
say that is utterly unimportant.

Correct me if I am wrong,

right? wrong? what for?

right because I respect you, because I love you, because if there is
anything I would like to share with you, it's the *right* thing.

just a civil and respectful allowing of a variety of
viewpoints is fine. To me all is valid, nothing is negated.
But i do avoid the company of beings who validate their
viewpoints with heavy-handed cursing.

Yep, I agree. But I found that exposure of my viewpoints to some
heavy-handed cursing can be quite refreshing at times. I do not evade
it. If I'd start doing that again, I would be locking myself into that
protective state of 'me' again. Where 'I' have to be right, and the
others are wrong. Of course, there is no need for such company on a
continuous basis. But then, if that would be the case on this list, I
can always 'consider the alternative' and unsub.

Not you mirror :-)

but that which bears no characteristics, and accepts all questions,
embraces all persepectives, is effortless. That effortlessness I am.

skye: sure, and so am i, but to me that which 'bears' both
effortlessness and effort *is* a *characteristic* woven into
the cosmos.

Questioning, is the arrow of the mind. Once fired, it pierces into
infinity. And it is this living questioning ability, that I cherish as
my greatest ally. Be it my own questions, be it your questions, they
always pierce, ever deeper, into the fathomless answer.

To me questioning is the ever opening of the mind and
most of us are not mentally open or mature enough to ask
deeply penetrating questions, but those we do ask are the
scaffolding in preparation for deeper questions and
understandings. Whereas an *arrow* seeks only to meet its
mark, does not embrace all perspectives, but ignores all
other possibilities.

Where will the *arrow* find its mark within infinity?

Now if as *you say* there is no one,
nothing, left to either affirm or annihilate it, then how to
question, with what?.

I question with that which seeks to define itself. The apparent world is
a continous flux, trying to define itself. Yet, once known and
established, it rejects those definitions as ultimately not acceptable,
and transforms its definitions again, in a renewed attempt, to define
itself. To me, the apparent world is the ongoing answer to every
possible question it has about itself.
As a human being, I experience this as an urge. A faint longing for
contentment, for fulfillment. I look for this fulfillment in
Place that contentment in some future circumstance, when the situation
will be defined as desired. This longing for complete contentment, did
not let me rest, until it's core was uncovered. Then the core was
revealed to be this
very contentment. However, the experience of being a living human being
did not end (yet, ha ha). So now there is an opportunity, to actually
freely live this flux of definitions. To *be* all those definitions, and
reject them again (in favor of yet another one?), without ever once
being able to define myself (because when I can, I can also reject it

It helps me to consider the *possibility* of the life
of the self as one message leaping across the nerve cells of
a multidimensional structure....just an analogy only, for we
are more than a message passing through the vast reaches of
a superself. There is a lapse while massages leap the nerve
ends and this is analogous to a moment of self reflection by
the greater being in whom we live and move and have our
being. We have an intimate interdependent relationship with
all reality and are never lost in the universe.

How could I be lost, in that which I am entirely?
I haven't found a place where I am not.

But you have just said "There is no one, nothing, left
to either affirm or annihilate." now in the next breath, you
say you are in every place? sounds lost and confusing to

Reminds me of Harsha's list, a couple of months ago we were invited to
post our favorite quotes. I remember someone (I believe Bruce or Gene)
posted: "wherever you go, there you are". I believe that quite covers
it. I really haven't ever found a place where I was not.
And about the no one to either affirm or annihilate, I took a deep
and looked AGAIN to find who (or what) this one is that I call me. This
'me' that so apparently affirms or annihilates everything. Well, I found
that I am given two options:
1) I can affirm myself, 2) I can annihilate myself. Now what happens
when I opt for both of them?

I hope this post didn't get too loooong.
I guess I am really enjoying myself here with you,

>Looking forward to you piercing arrows,
with love and appreciation back,

and i also, looking forward to your open mind,
much love, skye



Many people talk of traditions and scripture and the right way to
understand Vedanta as they see it and interpret it. Fine. Yet there have
been living Sages whose experiential knowledge and realization gives
life to scriptures and traditions. Surely their words constitute the
scriptures. Is there any substitute for understanding the nature of
awareness? Is there any substitute for looking within? Is there any
substitute for looking at the looker. How could there be? We continue
now with Sri Ramana's Forty Verses on Reality. Verses 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
are given below.

4. If one has form oneself, the world and God also will appear to have
form, but if one is formless, who is it that sees those forms, and how?
Without the eye can any object be seen? The seeing Self is the Eye, and
that Eye is the Eye of Infinity.

5. The body is a form composed of the five-fold sheath; therefore, all
the five sheaths are implied in the term, body. Apart from the body does
the world exist? Has anyone seen the world without the body?

6. The world is nothing more than an embodiment of the objects perceived
by the five sense-organs. Since, through these five sense-organs, a
single mind perceives the world, the world is nothing but the mind.
Apart from the mind can there be a world?

7. Although the world and knowledge thereof rise and set together it is
by knowledge alone that the world is made apparent. That Perfection
wherein the world and knowledge thereof rise and set, and which shines
without rising and setting, is alone the Reality.

8. Under whatever name and form one may worship the Absolute Reality, it
is only a means for realizing It without name and form. That alone is
true realization, wherein one knows oneself in relation to that Reality,
attains peace and realizes one's identity with it.

9. The duality of subject and object and trinity of seer, sight, and
seen can exist only if supported by the One. If one turns inward in
search of that One Reality they fall away. Those who see this are those
who see Wisdom. They are never in doubt.

Hi Bob,

Welcome to the NDS.

You wrote this:

>It is just as true and enlightening that
>there is no Now as that there is only the Now.
>It is just as true and beneficial to realize
>that "the One" is only a human conception
>as to realize that all is One.
>Unless--you've seen it all before.
>Painted yourself into the corner of
>the nonexistant now and oneness
>leaving no air even for the
>squirrels to breathe
>with your imperious
>and stifling

Hi Bob,

You painted a picture so well, it was
not difficult for me to touch that space
you described....that 'stifling bloodless love'.

I know the face of this woman who can
be so smug in her 'knowingness' that she
could rob herself and others of the
wonderment of life.

I have worn the face of this woman who
can be so detached in her 'truths' that
she can stand by, with 'bloodless'
compassion and simply watch another
crying in pain, and yet never reach out
a helping hand. Why? Because 'that'
wasn't 'real'. Because "I" and "you"
don't exist!! Ha!

Yes to life! Yes to bloody life!

It is, and yet it isn't.

To 'breathe' life so completely
with all of its wonder,

affirming it
even as we say, 'neti neti"....

embracing it
as we simply observe it.....

dancing it
as we sing the music,

as we *are* the music,

as we become the dance

and the dancehall

and still,

nothing at all.

(Is this what you've been saying, skye?)

Welcome, Bob.


The following was sent by Petros:

I attended one of Ram Tzu's (Wayne Liquormans') advaita
talks in Hermosa Beach on Monday afternoon (Dec. 6). He is
here in the L.A. area for about a week or two, and is
holding quite a few talks. He prefers to call them "advaita
talks" rather than satsangs as he feels the term satsang has
been overused in the past year or two and may be becoming

Wayne made mention of the popularity that advaita seems to
be enjoying of late, and how this popularity is in many
cases not for "advaita" itself, but for the same new-age
philosophy that in previous years managed to co-opt the
terms "zen" and then "tao" in the name of making a buck.
Eventually people's interest will move on to something else.

Wayne reiterated the same message as always. The "teaching"
(of nondoership) is, in itself, perfectly useless. It
cannot be "used" by the mind for anything in particular.
The teaching is *descriptive*, not *prescriptive*; that is
to say, it can describe the situation as it exists in
reality, but you cannot derive from this description any
specific, guaranteed "plan of action" or behavior out of
it. I (Petros) noted that, quite simply, "Description
arises" -- it is a phenomenon that occurs among other
phemonema. Wayne clarified and extended this by noting that
"description arises out of a response to questions." When
there are no questions, there is no "teaching." As long as
there are questions, there is a teaching that arises in
response to those questions.

The teaching is quite simple. It is, that there is no
"doer." There is merely the one motion of what Wayne
(followng the lead of his guru Ramesh Balsekar) calls
"Totality," and which others may call God, Source, Reality,
Truth, and whatnot. And that the *subjective* experience of
this fact of nature is what primarily constitutes
realization, rather than a merely intellectual comprehension
of it.

Ramana's atma vichara (method of inquiry, viz. "Who Am I")
is not a method intended to elicit a specific "answer" (such
as "I am That.") It is intended to eventually defeat
itself, or to cancel itself out. Petros noted that the
putative answers to the inquiry are always different ("I am
that," "I am not this," "I am all," "I am none," etc.) and
that, being mere chains of words, none of them is
"correct." Wayne noted that there can be no answer, period.

I asked a question about wordless transmission, and Wayne
reaffirmed its role in creating the resonance (as he calls
it) between teacher and student, as in the case of himself
and his teacher Ramesh. This was not understood by my mind,
I must admit, but it was felt somehow.

Another question was asked about the time that may be
required to learn how to bring the teaching to others. I
felt that it could takes a great length of time just
learning how to deal with individual people's needs and
levels of understanding, but Wayne said this belief was just
a mental construct. I didn't quite believe this right away,
but a few minutes later I listened as Wayne answered someone
else's question about a totally different topic, then he
quipped, "There, how many years did I practice that
answer?" Then his earlier answer became clear to me. As
the teaching is not a body of knowledge, nor a technique,
but merely a point-of-view about reality, it arises
naturally and automatically as one responds to specific

The knowledge is right there when it is needed.


Today NASA, the U.S. government agency in charge of moving machines thru
space, said it was receiving only Silence from its Mars Polar Lander.
An innocent bystander remarked, "That's me." It is unknown who this
person is or even what "who" is. His wife said, "I"m a doer." The
couple appeared to be on vacation. Silence continues...

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