Dear Mrs Spencer,

                              the rosary is used by some Buddhists as an aid to recollection. For example, when reciting “om mani padme hum” will mask off each time it is repeated by touching a head. It is also used in counting the breathes. In itself it has no intrinsic value – but some people find it helps to concentrate by keeping the hands busy. The great thing to remember is that all these things are aids, to be used if found useful + put away when they are no longer needed.

I was re-reading Marco Pallis’ “Peaks + Lamas” (worth getting from the library). The first librarian he met impressed him because of his compassion which was completely detached, without emotion, indeed more intellectual in that it was based upon his views of the universe. I think sometimes we confuse non-attachment with indifference. So be non-attached is to be beyond any flavor of “liking or disliking”. Not so easy!

You’re on the way,

                     Martha Vaughen.

April 10


Dear Mrs Spencer,

                          Mr Gold has passed your letter to me for reply. I am wondering whether with further practice you have solved your difficulty. It is good that you have honestly seen this in yourself. Don’t worry about it – just look at it + walk on! At the highest point wisdom is compassion. The all-wise is the all-compassionate. With us compassion is largely emotional which is the reason that detachment + no compassion do not go together. But we cannot be compassionate unless we are impersonal for until we are impersonal we cannot really see another’s need. Emotion blinds and confuses us. Except in everyday neighborliness + friendliness, there is little we can do to help others. We are like people who cannot swim trying to help a drowning man.

Cultivate detachment which will help you un to a friendly approach to all whom you may meet – like the flowers which shed their perfume upon all passers – by alike. As the light that is now within you grows stronger in that you are cleaning away the obstacles which shadow it, so will you grow in compassion.

Write to me any time you wish + tell me if this not clear.

                                                                    Best wishes,

Martha Vaughan. (Mrs)