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Jul 28, 2005

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Romy

"A saffron California poppy struck me dumb. I saw the violet thistles and wild oats rustling through the field.

I am shattered to learn I regularly run past the same type of terrain, the same wild oats, the same poppies on my regular running route in Rancho San Antonio. So where have I been?"

Chogyam Trungpa said, "Awareness does not mean beware, be careful, ward off danger, you might step into a puddle, so beware. That is not the kind of awareness we are talking about. We are talking about unconditional presence which is not expected to be there all the time. In fact, in order to be completely aware, you have to disown the experience of awareness. It cannot be regarded as yours - it is just there and you do not try to hold it. Then, somehow, a general clarity takes place. So awareness is a glimpse rather than a continuous state. If you hold onto awareness, it becomes self-consciousness rather than awareness. Awareness has to be unmanufactured, if it has to be a natural state". (from his book "The Sanity We Are Born With: A Buddhist Approach to Psychology")

Chogyam wrote a resonant idea in his other book "The Art of Calligraphy": "There is such a thing as unconditional expression that does not come from the self or other. It manifests out of nowhere like mushrooms in a meadow, like hailstones, like thundershowers".

A modern Zen story:

E. : I am shattered to learn I regularly run past the same type of terrain, the same wild oats, the same poppies on my regular running route in Rancho San Antonio. So where have I been?

Master: Should there have been another place and another you and another poppy for that single encounter than those that were then there at Spiritrock?

Whack! The master's bamboo stick came upon E. out of nowhere like a flash of lightning. For a moment, all that she was aware of was the here and now of the pain.

Master: "Always the beautiful answer who asks the more beautiful question".

E. : OK. I kinda prepared myself for this. I have heard that Zen masters used to beat their students and you look old-school to me. But no Zen monk has ever quoted eecummings to me BEFORE.

A trace of sadness and dismay ran across the master's face. But it was quickly replaced by a sly and knowing smile.

Master : That is the same old question as BEFORE!

Whack!

A moment of silence passed.

E. : How could you say that I who am sitting before you NOW is asking you the same old question as BEFORE?

E. stood up and whacked the master with his stick.

Then, there was nobody in the sunlit room but the laughter.

Marilyn

"[Voicelessness] is the inability to write or speak our central concerns."

I speak. I write. I share. I reveal. But unless I include my 'central concerns' it is all, I fear, for naught.

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