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July 2019 / More

TAT Foundation News

It's all about "ladder work" – helping and being helped

Downloadable/rental versions of the Mister Rose video and of April TAT talks Remembering Your True Desire:

"You don't know anything until you know Everything...."

Mister Rose is an intimate look at a West Virginia native many people called a Zen Master because of the depth of his wisdom and the spiritual system he conveyed to his students. Profound and profane, Richard Rose was not the kind of man most people picture when they think of mystics or spiritual teachers. Yet, he was the truest of teachers, one who had "been there," one who had the cataclysmic experience of spiritual enlightenment.

Filmed in the spring of 1991, the extraordinary documentary follows Mr. Rose from a radio interview, to a university lecture and back to his farm, as he talks about his experience, his philosophy and the details of his life.

Whether you find him charming or offensive, fatherly or fearsome, you will not forget him, and never again will you think about yourself, reality, or life after death in quite the same way.

3+ hours total. Rent or buy at tatfoundation.vhx.tv/.


2012 April TAT Meeting – Remembering Your True Desire

Includes all the speakers from the April 2012 TAT meeting: Art Ticknor, Bob Fergeson, Shawn Nevins and Heather Saunders.

1) Remembering Your True Desire ... and Acting on It, by Art Ticknor
Spiritual action is like diving for the Pearl beyond Price. What do you do when you don't know what to do or how to do it? An informal discussion centered around the question: "What prevents effective spiritual action?"

2) Swimming in the Inner Ocean: Trips to the Beach, by Bob Fergeson
A discussion of the varied ways we can use in order to hear the voice of our inner ocean, the heart of our true desires.

3) A Wider and Wilder Vision, by Shawn Nevins
Notes on assumptions, beliefs, and perspectives that bind and free us.

4) Make Your Whole Life a Prayer, by Heather Saunders
An intriguing look into a feeling-oriented approach to life.

5+ hours total. Rent or buy at tatfoundation.vhx.tv/.


Local Group News

Update from the Central Ohio Non-Duality Group:
The Columbus group operated under the name OSU Self-Inquiry Group and met for many years in a church next to The Ohio State University. After attendance dropped off, the venue was changed to a local Panera restaurant, and the name changed to Central Ohio Non-Duality Group. The group has exposure to seekers through Meetup, but has only occasional visitors outside a core group of 4 people.
     Due to schedules, we have met infrequently the past semester, and in deference to an effort to try to do other things, like rapport sittings, in private meetings.
     Meeting format is a discussion format on topics of interest to seekers, and often bridges from the concerns, questions and interests of the core members in attendance into the topic which we intend to discuss.
     Unlike the public meetings, we are able to sit in rapport in the private meetings.
     One recent topic included a discussion of Invisible Forces: Physical (gravity, electromagnetic waves, light, laws of nature as exhibited by physical reactions like wind, rain, erosion, stress, strain, chemical reactions, nuclear reactions, etc.), Mental (intelligence in living organisms, thought, memory, belief, emotion, desires/drives) and Spiritual (rapport, creation, life, love, awareness), with the questions/prompts:
- Did man create any of these?
- Does man control any of these?
- Does man possess any of these? If so, how is man defined?
- Which of these do we observe as "outside" the mind and are witnessed by others?
- Which of these do we experience "internally" that cannot be shared by others?
- Which of these is understood by becoming?
     Another was a series of rather over-used questions, but with some additional prompts:
- Are you what you eat? Then are you a chicken, cow, lamb, pig, leafy plant, vegetable or the proteins, molecules or minerals resulting from digestion, or the atoms, electrons, protons and subatomic particles conceived by man as the ever smaller and smaller units of matter?
- Are you what you feel? Then are you as ephemeral as a feeling which changes as quickly as the songs on a radio, first a madman, a hater, then a lover, and in turn a reflective person…?
- Are you a thought? Then are you the insanity of your thoughts, wildly changing your form throughout the day and night, changing the paradigm in which you exist?
- Are you what you believe yourself to be? Then are you the creature of your imagination? Are you an entrepreneur, a father, a grandfather, a seeker, a savior, a story-teller if you believe yourself to be so? Are you defined by your own insistence on self-affirmation? Are you the beautiful baby your parents loved, or a grizzled animal you see in the mirror? Have others affirmed you to be either or neither?
- What proves itself to be real? The physical body? Feelings? Thoughts? Beliefs? Reflections? Is the power of observation found in the mind? Is the mind found in a location in space and time? If time and space are concepts, and what is real is beyond the mind, what finds? What realizes?
     Some of the added prompts were targeted to stir the core members.
     We continue to meet on Monday evenings at Panera across from The Ohio State University. ~ For further information, contact or . We're also on Facebook.

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Inspiration & Irritation

Irritation moves us; inspiration provides a direction

Auntie Poldi's Natural Koan


"The fruits of the Lord … Poldi couldn't get the phrase out of her head. It got caught up in her thoughts like an autumn leaf under a windscreen wiper, and it was beginning to get on her nerves.

"But things that annoy us, Poldi once told me, are simply messages sent to us by life and ought to draw our attention to something. And my aunt knew a thing or two about life's messages.

"The only question was, what was life—in its peculiar, inarticulate way—trying to convey to her this time? Poldi sometimes imagined herself to be a plump, sweet grape on a vine, waiting in the sun, wind and weather for the wine grower to pick her and transform her into something delicious. Sometimes she thought of Padre Paolo's admonitory parable about Noah's drunken stupor. Sometimes she thought of Avola, who was a wine grower and possibly a murderer. And sometimes the whole of life, which could end so swiftly and abruptly, seemed to her like a vine that could be killed off by a single hailstorm. And the way in which the Almighty treated his noblest fruit sent my Auntie Poldi into a towering Bavarian rage that made her forget all about her heartache and hangover, swept away her doubts and cleared her head. In short, my auntie was back in the zone. She was a ruthless investigative machine…."

Lunch intervenes:

"It was only a brief interruption, though, because leisurely meals partaken of by extended Sicilian families seated beneath orange or olive trees are as much of a modern myth as uproarious Italian weddings celebrated to the strains of massed mandolins. They really take the following course: hours-long preparations entailing the utmost care and the largest possible quantities of the finest raw materials available, then everything onto the table at the same time, then some ten minutes' lip-smacking carnage and dissection worthy of a school of sharks running riot in a shoal of tuna, then a brief, contented 'Che buono!', a friendly, knowledgeable debate as to whether the spigola could have been a trifle fresher, the vinegar for the agrodolce a trifle sourer, the onions a trifle sweeter, and whether it is permissible to tenderise octopus. (Absolutely not!) To end with, perhaps, a ripe peach or a mocha gelato. Cigarettes and coffee, then quickly back in front of the TV to watch Formula One or take a little nap. Whoever coined the phrase 'Keep calm and carry on,' it certainly wasn't a Sicilian. There was more enjoyment and appreciation to be had from this headlong dive into the trough than from many a celebrated six-course dinner complete with the chef's compliments, palate-cleansing sorbets and matching wines.

"At my aunts' table, everyone knows full well that what they're eating is the freshest and most delicious food a person can cook, and they to it justice by bolting it in silence, immersing themselves in its divinity, becoming one with the universe, and gaining enlightenment from pasta al nero, spigola in agrodolce, pepata di cozze, lumache in salsa di pomodoro, calamaretti fritti, insalata di arance e finocchio selvatico, caponata siliciana and parmgiana alla Teresa. The duration of the collision is as unimportant as it is in love and in particle physics, because enjoyment—as we all know—bends space-time…."

"Take a route no one else sees. Obey your intuition. Don't search, find."

"That sounded nice and flattering, but it was easier said than done. Poldi had to admit she didn't have a clue how to proceed. And, as ever when she didn't have a clue—when something obstructed the flux of her intuition and had to be blown away, when nothing made sense any more and there was no signpost anywhere in sight—Poldi drew on her subconscious.

"And made a list.

"With a flourish, she opened the notebook Uncle Mattino had given her, picked up her pencil and shut her eyes. This time, without thinking for long, she wrote down a series of questions that either occurred to her spontaneously or had been going through her head for quite some time:

WHY DID RUSSO TELL ME ALL THAT?
WHAT DOES AN AURA LOOK LIKE?
WHAT DOES AN ALGA THINK?
HAS EVERYBODY BEEN LYING TO ME THE WHOLE TIME?
SHOULD I TELL VITO I'M SORRY?
CAN MEN HAVE MULTIPLE ORGASMS?
DO I NEED A CLIPBOARD?
WHY WAS MADAME SAHARA'S HOUSE TRASHED LIKE THAT?
WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE DORIS ALWAYS MAKE ME FEEL SO SMALL?
WAS PAPA EVER PROUD OF ME?
HAVE I EVER BEEN PROUD OF MYSELF?
SHOULD I KEEP MY TRAP SHUT MORE OFTEN?
SHOULD I REVERT TO DRINKING MORE?
WHAT DID DAVID BOWIE WRITE ON MY HAND THAT TIME?
WHAT'S JOHN DOING AT THIS MOMENT?
DID I TURN THE STOVE OFF?

"My Auntie Poldi treated her lists as Paul Klee treated his pictures. She had read once that the painter continued to work on a picture until it 'looked at' him. Well, the list was now 'looking at' her.

'Voilà.'

'Will you read it to me?' asked Valérie, who had seen that the list was written in German. She listened intently as Poldi read it out. 'Not bad. If you ever find out about multiple orgasms, I'd be interested. But why the clipboard?'

'No idea. It merely occurred to me when I thought of death.'

'No, it's not all pointless, Poldi. On the contrary! And by the way, I'm very proud of you, just so you know. I'm sure your papa was too, and we're certainly not the only ones. You could keep your trap shut occasionally, of course, but it's no big deal if you don't. You must explain that bit about the Dorises to me sometime. Hey, did David Bowie really write something on your hand?'

'A prophecy, he said it was. With his fingernail, back in the day in Berlin. He was absolutely shitfaced, but always so polite and kind. A dear fellow. We wrote to each other for years.'

'Mon dieu! And who's John?'

'No one. I don't know why I wrote that.'

"Poldi stared peevishly at her subconscious laid out in black and white, and Valérie asked no more questions. Silence reigned until, all at once, the penny dropped. 'Well, tickle my ass with a feather!' Poldi said."

*

~ From Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna a novel by Mario Giordano.

The word koan comes from Chinese gōngàn "official business." The term applied to weighty court cases in the Tang Dynasty and was used by some Ch'an masters as paradoxes to unsettle their students' minds. A "natural koan" is one that finds its way to the seeker's mind seemingly by accident. See "The Natural Koan article by Shawn Nevins.



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