The Diamond Sutra and The Work [Random Viewpoints]

We’ve never featured ‘The Work’ of Byron Katie on NDA before and I am not sure why as she has been helping folks for years! The following excerpt is from her latest newsletter, which someone recently passed along to us. I liked the fact that they featured the Diamond Sutra. Below this you will find her commentary.

If you are new to ‘The Work’ or like what you read here, then please check out her site and many resources.



The Diamond Sūtra is a Mahāyāna (Buddhist) sūtra from the Prajñāpāramitā


Diamond Sutra

Chapter 6

Subhuti said, “Sir, will there always be mature people who, when they hear these words, have a clear insight into the truth?”

The Buddha said, “Of course there will, Subhuti! Even thousands of years from now, there will many people who penetrate into the truth just by hearing these words and contemplating them. People like this, though they may not be aware of it, have not cultivated mental clarity as disciples of only one buddha; they have cultivated mental clarity as disciples of hundreds of thousands of buddhas. When they hear these words and contemplate them, they will see reality in a single moment, clearly, just as it is. Subhuti, the Buddha fully knows and appreciates these people as they wake up to their own true nature.

“How do they do this? Once they see reality clearly, these people never again attach to concepts of self or other. Nor do they attach to concepts of truth or non-truth. If these people’s minds attach to concepts of separate things, they will attach to concepts of self and other. If they deny the existence of things, they will still be attaching to concepts of self and other. So you should not attach to concepts of separate things, and you should not attach to the denial of separate things.

“That is why I tell people, ‘My teaching is like a raft.’ A raft is meant to get you across the sea; once you have crossed the sea, you leave the raft behind on the shore. If even correct teachings must be left behind, how much more so incorrect teachings!”


Commentary [Byron Katie]

The Buddha says that mature people will “see reality in a single moment, clearly, just as it is.” When they see reality just as it is, they immediately realize that there is no such thing as a past or a future. So the hundreds of thousands of buddhas they have studied with all exist in the present moment; these buddhas are the hundreds of thousands of unquestioned thoughts they have noticed and are noticing in their own minds. Each thought is itself; each thought is the Buddha, showing you where not to go. Love meets these illusions, these figments of the imagination, and sings the song of “Not this, not that.” That’s why a mature disciple bows in reverence to every thought as it returns to the nothingness it came from.

The Buddha’s communication in this sutra is impeccable. It is so accurate and fine-tuned that any other words are unnecessary. As I listen to Stephen reading his version to me, I find myself sitting at the Buddha’s feet. I also sit at the feet of anyone who comes to me, and I sit at the feet of a blade of grass, an ant, a speck of dust. When you realize that you are the Buddha sitting at the feet of the Buddha, you find freedom from it all. This clear mind is exquisite. There’s nothing to add or subtract. It’s always here for the student who resides within the Buddha, without a way of residing.

It’s true that there is no self or other. It’s true that there is no truth or non-truth. There are no separate things, and there are no non-separate things. There is no world outside you, and also no world inside you, because until you think there’s a “you,” you haven’t created a world. If you believe there’s a world, you have two: you and the world, and if you believe there’s no world outside yourself, you still have two. But there aren’t two. Two is a creation of the confused mind. There’s only one, and not even that. No world, no self, no substance, only awareness without a name.

There aren’t any truths. There’s just the thing that is true for you in the moment. And if you investigated that, you would lose it too. If you honor the thing that’s true for you in the moment, you live a life without problems. If you don’t honor it, you’re a walking disease. Honoring the truth is a simply matter of keeping to your own integrity.

So-called universal truths fall away too. There aren’t any of those either. The last truth (I call it the last judgment) is “God is everything, God is good.” (I use the word God as a synonym for reality, because reality rules.) You could also say, “Mind is everything, mind is good.” Keep that one, if you like, and have a wonderful life. Anything that opposes it hurts. It’s like a compass that always points toward the center.


byron katie

Photo credit: Rick Rusing


The Buddha compares his teaching to a raft that brings people from the shore of suffering to the shore of freedom. He says that that’s its only purpose. When you reach the other shore, you leave the raft behind; it would be ridiculous to strap it onto your back and carry it around as you walk. It’s the same with teachings, he says, even the clearest of them, even this sutra. I love how the Buddha undercuts his own words and leaves you with no ground to stand on.

The Work too is a raft. The four questions and the turnarounds help you move from confusion to clarity. Eventually, through practice, you no longer impose your thinking onto reality, and you can experience everything as it really is: as pure grace. At that point the questions themselves become unnecessary. They are replaced by a wordless questioning that undoes every stressful thought as it arises. It’s a way of meeting the mind with understanding. The raft has been left behind. You have become the questions; they’ve become as natural as breathing, so there’s no longer any need to ask them.

When we reach the other shore, we realize that we have never left the shore we started out from. There’s only one shore, and we are all there, though some may not have realized it yet. We think that we need to get from here to there, but there turns out to be here. It was here all along. When you sit in the state of contemplation, seeing what actually exists, excluding everything remembered or anticipated, the Buddha mind becomes apparent, and you wake up as the unborn. Peace is beyond life and death. If you really want peace, if you understand that self-inquiry goes beyond life and death, then your practice will leave you on the other shore, which turns out not to be the other but the only shore. Thoughts of a different shore were imagination, and when you recognize this, you realize that you have always been on the shore that the Buddha points to.

No raft is needed.

True Happiness – Ilie Cioara [Poetical Writings]


True Happiness

The moment we encounter true Happiness, we are in fact outside time and space. The “ego” – with its intrinsic duality – has completely disappeared.

In that moment, the Sacred within us, also existent in the whole universe, becomes one “Whole” and a Unique movement, in a permanent renewal.

Do we truly experience this union, or do we merely understand it intellectually? You alone can answer this question.

Each human being – from the moment of birth until the moment of the so-called death – persistently searches for this mysterious Happiness. Unfortunately, most people make the mistake of searching for it with the thinking mind.

Because Happiness has no motivations, It is not part of the limited world. Its nature is infinite; therefore the knowing mind cannot encounter It, or understand It, or imagine It.

Happiness comes to us by Itself, and It envelops our whole being when the mind becomes humble and silent, as it has understood its inability to encounter the Unknown.

Lucid Attention – with Its flashes – dissipates all the darkness, as well as the baggage of the dysfunctional mind.

In the empty space of peace or no-mind, our being is extended into Infinity; in that moment, the Divinity within us reveals we are one with the Source of the Sacred. In conclusion, let us add that in the environment of “Pure Consciousness”, Happiness is present as a natural fulfillment and It is unlike anything that can be found in this perishable world.

~Ilie Cioara

ilie_cioaraIlie Cioara was an [almost unknown] Romanian mystic who lived much of his life under Soviet occupation. As a result, his practice was solitary and hidden. He began his spiritual life as a Christian mystic, but at some point switched over to mantra meditation. After 20 years of practice, one day he felt an intuitive impulse to drop the mantra, and just practice the silence of the mind, by listening to the noises on the street, in the now.

Much of his teachings were stowed away prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990. He taught quietly from that time until his death in 2004 (aged 88).

Ilie Cioara’s message is original and unique, as he never traveled to India and never belonged to any traditional school. In his 16 published books, Cioara wrote on awareness, silencing the mind, meditation, and enlightenment. The Silence of the Mind, The Wondrous Journey, Life is Eternal Newness and I Am Boundlessness is a tetralogy.

Life Is Eternal Newness

Being present, awake, open…

—Joan Tollifson

“Spiritual practice (the pathless path from here to here) boils down to something very simple.

Being present, awake, open.

Resting in the simplicity of what is.

Being what we cannot not be: the happening of this moment, just as it is.

This is the end of grasping and seeking, the end of resisting and avoiding, the end of trying to fix myself and be somebody else, the end of trying to figure it all out or get the right conceptual map nailed down.

This is not knowing anything and not needing to know.”

We hope you’re enjoying your Summer! ~CMK


Andrés Segovia – The Variety of Tone and Harmonic Possibilities [DVD/FILM]

Segovia_guitarThis DVD is a celebration of one of the truly unique achievements in the history of Western music: the extraordinary quest of Andrés Segovia.

The Andalusian par excellence, who, in his youth, fell in love with the melancholy voices of the Spanish guitar, taught himself the instrument, revolutionized the technique and succeeded in winning acceptance for it on the international concert platform, worldwide.


Andrés Segovia at Los Olivos

Fritz Kreisler once said that the two greatest performing musicians of the twentieth century were Pablo Casals and Andrés Segovia. He had two prime reasons:

  • First, their extraordinary artistic spirits.
  • Second, that both elevated their chosen instrument to unprecedented levels on the international concert platform.


“My life has been an ascending line, slowly, but ascending line. It came, everything came, but I was not to be distracted, not to answer another call. In that consists the miracle of my will, in persisting in the road I had taken. The rest was in the mysterious stars of my firmament.”

~Andrés Segovia


In Western classical music, the achievement of Andrés Segovia is unique. As a boy in Granada, he was captivated by the variety of tone colors and the wealth of harmonic possibilities of the Spanish guitar and he saw a future for it that nobody had previously even dreamed of. On those seemingly slender beginnings, he set out on a remarkable quest.

Playing the music written by Fernando Sor and Francisco Tarrega in the nineteenth century and adding the compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach, he began to build, not only a career for himself, but to lay the foundations of modern guitar technique and the present-day international popularity of the Spanish guitar as a serious musical instrument, an instrument capable of musical expression at the very highest level.

Within twenty years, Andrés Segovia had taught himself the instrument, revolutionized the technique and won acceptance for it on the concert platforms of Europe. He spent the next fifty years giving concerts in almost every part of the world and was at various times a resident of Spain, The United States, Switzerland and Argentina.

At the age of 75, he returned to his native Andalusia with his young wife, Emilita, to build a new home, Los Olivos, on the Costa del Sol as close as he could to Granada where he spent his childhood.

Segovia at Los Olivos is made in the relaxed atmosphere of his new home and in Jaen and Granada where he spent his formative years.

The idea is very simple: to give a great man an opportunity to look back on sixty years of concert life and one of the most astonishing contributions to Western music made by any performing musician in the last hundred years.




Andres Segovia(1893-1987)

“Among God’s creations, two, the dog and the guitar, have taken all the sizes and all the shapes in order not to be separated from the man.”


The Song of the Guitar

Andrés Segovia had one of the longest and most distinguished careers in the history of Western music. He gave his first concert in Granada in 1909 at the age of 16 and his last in Miami 78 years later only a few weeks before he died, on the 2nd June 1987, at the age of 94.

His achievement is unique in the history of Western music, a fact acknowledged many years ago by Fritz Kreisler among others.

As an instrumentalist, Segovia did for the guitar what Casals did for the cello, but he did it with an instrument that had never been taken seriously as a concert instrument. Within his own lifetime, Segovia taught himself the instrument, revolutionized the technique and elevated a folk instrument to the highest levels of the international concert platform. As a musician, he has come to be recognized as one of the most refined and profound of his time.

THE SONG OF THE GUITAR is a tribute to the maestro by Christopher Nupen, who knew him well for more than twenty-five years. It is shot in the Palaces of the Alhambra and in Granada, where Segovia spent his childhood and where, as he says in the film, he opened his eyes to beauty and the Lord put the seed of music in his soul. He often described the Alhambra as the Leitmotif of his life. And so the setting is as legitimate as it is glorious.

As a teenager, Segovia often played to his friends in the Alhambra until the early hours of the morning and he returned there regularly to perform at the Granada Festival.


The Alhambra is one of the architectural wonders of the world and its visual splendors formed an ideal setting to film the grand master playing works associated with his extraordinary career.

Between the pieces Segovia’s voice is heard, out of vision, recalling his childhood and the spirit in which he set out on his extraordinary quest.



DVD Extra features

  • New personal introductions by Christopher Nupen
  • Music only option
  • New improved restored image quality
  • Extensive 24-page booklet with photos
  • Allegro Molto: an Allegro Films compilation

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