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Highlights #881

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Wednesday, November 7

SHANKAR (from the I Am list)

Long Live the Feet of the One (Sri Ramana) who 'sounds' that all is of the
Form of the Work of God.
Long Live the Feet of the One (Sri Ramana) who 'abides lying down',
that only the inner (ego) and nothing else is 'marked as the place' (for the
Work of God).

Translation of Lines 11 and 12
of the Five Jewels (in praise) of the Feet of Sri Ramana
by Sri Siva Prakasam Pillai

_______________________________________________________________________

MICHAEL READ

THE ART OF BEING

Within each of us everything exists. All the evil
and all of the good can be found in every one of
us. For most folk the conditioning from childhood
on and our basic instincts are for the good. We are
taught and trained that there are bad things,
people, places, food and so on. These things, we
learn, are to be avoided or overcome. Thus, we are
not only born into duality, we are trained for it.

We are also born with another instinct. We
naturally feel a movement towards wholeness. We
feel at home on this planet. Even if only deep
down, layered over with a world of concepts, we
feel right about being alive. It seems 'correct'
somehow to just be alive.

The so called spiritual seeker is born somewhere
between the correctness of being alive and the
fears, horrors and injustices of the world. Folks
who seek are looking for something that will
explain, integrate and make sense of their lives.
From this seeking we know that religions and
philosophies have been created as systems to
explain it all - or, at least try to.

Seekers will do almost anything to find whatever it
is they seek. They could be seeking god,
understanding, money, or whatever. Seekers will go
all over the world, if they have to, to find the
object they want. In the early stages of seeking
the thing sought is often treated as just another
object. The thing that will give the ultimate
reward - albeit riches, sex, fame, personal growth,
enlightenment, even god.

When the seeking is turned outward, so many things
are found. We find gurus, practices, religions,
[money, fame, sex (sometimes :-)]. These things
seem to satisfy us, at least for a time. The
seeking can actually stop when these things are
fulfilled or seem to be fulfilled in our lives.

If they are not, or we lose our enchantment with
them, the seeking continues. Having explored the
'outer' world we have no place left to look except
the 'inner' world. This is terra incognita - the
unknown land - for most if not all seekers. And it
can be a very scary place.

Everything about being human is there inside of us.
All the murder, mayhem, and cruelty as well as all
of the compassion, love, and respect.

Sometimes we see the things that we are in a
logical and somewhat detached way. Other times we
will experience directly the things we find inside
of us. And, there are times when we experience them
in an imaginative and at times playful way.

What is seeking anyway? If we consider seeking as a
natural process, we could consider it as growth and
integration. Or, we could see it as personal
development, the path, exploration and so many
other terms.

When the process of seeking turns inward we can
find so many things about ourselves. Some of them
are pleasant and some not so pleasant. The things
discovered can rock a person's world off of its oh
so comfortable foundations.

We can and do have visions, samadhis, kundalini,
and great highs. This is due in large part to the
phenomena and feelings of openness that often
accompanies seeking. When the fruits of our seeking
are sweet we may feel that we are really making
progress.

Seeking also has a dark side to it. Perhaps it is
because we had some real sincerity that we are also
shown this dark side. The seeker can have times
when he or she feels so disconnected from god, the
truth, and life itself. Seekers can be thrown into
extreme states of fear, paranoia, depression,
anxiety and aloneness. And, it isn't fun anymore.

Why these extremes of pure bliss and screaming
fear? The bouncing around from sweet reason to
gibbering insanity has a function. Remember,
seeking (as defined here) is a process of
integration. When the seeking takes one into the
extremes sometimes it seems as if seeking just
can't be endured. The joy can be too much as can
the fear.

The purpose and the reason the seeker goes through
the extremes is so that he or she can know what it
feels like in a direct and experiential way. At
some point the realization comes that you have
survived it all - I hope. You have learned so much
but, the question remains - who are you?

As your friend, my advice is to find out.

------------------------------------------------------------

RASHMI

The art of being. Beautiful. Could there be a better way of being
able to say it. Thanks Michael. On this point Maharaj Nisargadatta
says that inspite of whatever he said, we continue to seek and sort
of what Michael said we're trained to do just that. Here are 2 tips
that Maharaj gives us in the book "Pointers from Nisargadatta
Maharaj" to gladden our hearts if we really are apt on continuing
our `self-improvement' course.

1.Make it a habit to think and speak in the passive tense. Instead
of `I see something' or `I hear something', why not think the passive
way: `something is seen' or `something is heard.'? The perception
will then be not on the basis of an action by the phenomenal entity,
but on the basis of an event or occurrence. In due course, the pseudo-
entity `I' will recede into the background.

2.Before going to sleep at night, spend about ten minutes sitting
relaxed both in body and mind, taking your stand that you are not the
body-mind construct but the animating consciousness, so that this
idea will impregnate your being throughout the period of your sleep.

----------------------------------------------

JAMES TRAVERSE

Thanks for the tips. There is something similar in
the yoga form I practice...

The approach is like one scientist repeating the
experiment of another, where the one conducting the
experiment is advised by the other to adopt the
premise: 'everything manifests from/in the ocean of
Seeing'

So thoughts, emotions, feelings, the body, flow of
the breath, all objects are waves that arise
from/in the ocean of Seeing. ~~~

The application of this follows a four stage
process that mirrors the four part cycle of
breathing - inspiration,pause,expiration,pause...

The inspiration is the idea, the intellectual
understanding of the experinemnt. The pause after
inspiration is the Seeing which is still associated
with the intellect-the seer. The expiration is the
ending of the seer. Seeing reveals the limitations
of the seer, thus the seer relaxes and is absorbed
in the Seeing, like a wave releasing into the
ocean. The pause after expiration is the
'realization' - as in to 'make real'. This is
'living understanding' or 'living yoga' - all
movements appear in the the Stillness of the Seeing
Itself. ~~~

The Truth of this is instantaneous and yet the
residue of the I-entity may take some time to fully
dissolve.

________________________________________________________________

Those of you in North Carolina might want to contact Joshua:

name:Joshua
email:joshua1@nc.rr.com
Your Location:Fuquay-Varina, NC
text:Always interested in meeting/meditating with anyone else drawn by
the Perennial Philosophy in any of it's pure aspects.

-----------------------

Folks in San Diego might want to contact this gentleman:

name:Michael Adamson
email:Ad
amson@san.rr.com
Your Location:San Diego, California
text:Yes, I'm open to meeting other nondualists. I live between Poway
and Rancho Bernardo just off I-15.

___________________________________________________________________

MARK OTTER

your post reminds me of a story Gangaji tells about
Papaji's teaching. (I think I have the right
characters...I'm telling this from memory, so I
hope all concerned will forgive if I totally mangle
it.) A man came to Papaji one day, very distraught
and begged him for advice. Papaji wouldn't listen
right away, but had his students come to listen
too. When all were assembled, he let the man tell
his story, which was that he was having a terrible
time. Apparently, he lived over a car repair place
and the car repair work went on all night long,
with considerable noise, banging, small explosions
and whatnot. He was having a terrible time sleeping
and was in danger of losing his job and he wanted
Papaji to tell him how to deal with the situation.
Papaji had his students give their opinions, and
Gangaji tried very hard to get it right, so she
suggested learning meditation so that the man could
find peace in the midst of chaos. Papaji laughed
and told the man to move to an apartment that was
not over a car repair place.

I think both approaches are helpful (and
complimentary). I have for most of my life lived in
quiet places, and when I used to visit my
girlfriend and sleep over, I was always annoyed by
the condo noises, television sets, walking
overhead, loud conversations and had trouble
sleeping. Later I moved to a place near a highway,
and I was very concerned that the traffic noise
would bother me, but you know? I got used to it. I
very rarely notice it anymore. I'm not sure why,
but I think I accepted its presence and once I did
that, it faded away as an irritant. It may well be
that if we accept the presence of unfairness, it
will fade out as an irritant. I've been doing
tonglen awhile now, breathing in the pain and
suffering of the world and breathing out peace,
like I'm a filter that can help clean the air of
unhappiness. I recommend that you do tonglen for
your neighbor, and use the sound of her shoes on
the ceiling to remind yourself to do it. Each time
you hear her and feel aggravation arising, accept
it, welcome it in with the intent to take her
suffering on yourself and return to her some peace
and love. It's quite surprising what happens. You
become peaceful and loving. Try it. It's the
coolest thing! Really feel the suffering on the in
breath and really feel the peace and goodwill on
the outbreath. With practice, you will become
accomplished at turning the one into the other and
irritating stimuli will automatically start the
practice, bringing on a peaceful feeling. (well,
it's worth a try and it's fun to do in your spare
time. I haven't generated any cash by doing it, but
then I don't seem to generate cash doing much of
anything. so send cash. that's my real message,
send Mark cash. yeah, that's it... back to normal.
whew!)

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