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Compassion and Transformation
Book of Wisdom by
all sentient beings enjoy happiness and may they cause the
root of happiness.
they be free from suffering and may they not cause the root
May they not be separated from the great happiness devoid
May they obtain all-embracing, unconditional compassion,
and may they dwell in the great equanimity free from passion, aggression, and
IN SENDING, JOINING, AND TAKING TOGETHER. DO THIS BY RIDING
being compassionate. And the method is, when you breathe in
- listen carefully, it is one of the greatest methods - when
you breathe in, think that you are breathing in all the miseries
of all the people in the world. All the darkness, all the negativity,
all the hell that exists anywhere, you are breathing it in..
And let it be absorbed into your heart. When you breathe in,
breathe in all the misery and suffering of all the beings of
the world - past, present and future. And when you breathe out,
breathe out all the joy you have, all the blissfulness that
you have, all the benediction that you have. Breathe out, pour
yourself into existence. This is the method of compassion: drink
in all the suffering and pour out all the blessings.
you will be surprised if you do it. The moment you take all
the sufferings of the world inside you, they are no longer sufferings.
The heart immediately transforms the energy. The heart is a
transforming force: drink in misery, and it is transformed into
blissfulness... then pour it out.
you have learned that your heart can do this magic, this miracle,
you would like to do it again and again. Try it. It is one of
the most practical methods - simple, and it brings immediate
results. Do it today, and see.
THREE OBJECTS, THREE
POISONS, THREE BASES OF VIRTUE
are three objects which can either function as three poisons
or can become three bases of infinite virtue.He is talking of
the inner alchemy. The poison can be transformed into nectar,
the baser metal can be transformed into gold.
are these three objects? The first is aversion, the second is
attachment, and the third is indifference. This is how the mind
functions. You feel aversion to whatsoever you dislike, you
feel attachment to whatever you like, and you feel indifferent
to things which you neither dislike nor like.
watch your mind, this is how your mind functions. It is always
saying "I like this, I don't like that, and I am indifferent
to the third." These are the three ways the mind goes on
moving. This is the rut, the routine.
says: These are the three poisons, but they can become the three
bases of virtue. How can they become the three bases of great
virtue? - if you bring in the quality of compassion...If you
learn the art of absorbing suffering, as if all the suffering
of the world is coming riding on the breath, then how can you
be repulsed? How can you dislike anything and how can you be
indifferent to anything? If you are unconditionally taking in
all the suffering of the world, drinking it, absorbing it into
your heart, and then instead of it pouring blessings on the
whole of existence - UNCONDITIONALLY; not to someone in particular,
remember; not only to man but to all; to all beings, trees and
rocks and birds and animals, to the whole existence - material,
immaterial - when you are pouring out blessings unconditionally,
how can you be attached?
aversion, indifference; all disappear with this small technique.
And with their disappearance the poison is transformed into
nectar, and the bondage becomes freedom, and the hell is no
more a hell, it is heaven.
BEGIN THE DEVELOPMENT
OF TAKING WITH YOURSELF
cannot do anything with others that you have not done in the
first place with yourself. you can hurt others if you have hurt
yourself, you will be a pain in the neck to others if you are
a pain in the neck to yourself, you can be a blessing to others
only if you are a blessing to yourself.
than starting by taking the whole misery of the world and absorbing
it into your heart, start with your own misery. Don't go into
the deep sea so fast; learn swimming in shallow water... You
can say to yourself "Yes, I am taking the misery of the
whole world" - but what do you know of the misery of the
whole world? You have not experienced even your own misery.
go on avoiding our own misery. If you feel miserable, you put
on the radio or the TV and you become engaged. You start reading
the newspaper so that you can forget your misery, or you go
to the movies, or you go to your woman or your man...just somehow
to keep yourself away from yourself, so that you need not look
at how much it hurts within.
you have to begin with yourself. If you are feeling miserable,
let it become a meditation. Sit silently, close the doors. First
feel the misery with as much intensity as possible. Feel the
hurt. Somebody has insulted you: now, the best way to avoid
the hurt is to go and insult him, so that you become occupied
with him. This is not meditation.
somebody has insulted you, feel thankful to him that he has
given you the opportunity to feel a deep wound...Just close
the room, sit silently, with no anger for the person but with
total awareness of the feeling that is arising in you - the
hurt feeling that you have been rejected, that you have been
insulted. And then you will be surprised that not only is this
man there: all the people who have ever insulted you will start
moving in your memory... Stop all occupation, because that too
is a subtle drug. Just be silent, utterly alone. Don't even
pray, because that again is a drug, you are becoming occupied,
you start talking to God, you start praying, you escape from
is saying: just be yourself. Whatsoever the pain of it and whatsoever
the suffering of it, just let it be so. First experience it
in its total intensity. It will be difficult, it will be heart-rending:
you may start crying like a child, you may start rolling on
the ground in deep pain, your body may go through contortions.
You may suddenly become aware that the pain is not only in the
heart, it is all over the body - that it is aching all over,
that it is painful all over, that the body is nothing but pain.
you can experience it - this is of tremendous importance - then
start absorbing it...Absorb it, drink it, accept it, welcome
it, feel grateful to it. It may take a few days for you to be
able to digest it, but the day it happens, you have stumbled
upon a door which will take you really far away. A new journey
has started in your life, you are moving into a new kind of
being - because immediately, the moment you accept the pain
with no rejection anywhere, its energy and its quality changes.
It is no longer pain.
fact one is simply surprised, one cannot believe it, it is so
incredible. One cannot believe that suffering can be transformed
into ecstasy, that pain can become joy.
anything is total it transforms into its opposite. This is a
great secret to be remembered...You will not believe it when
it happens the first time, that your own suffering absorbed
willingly, welcomingly, becomes a great blessing. The same energy
that becomes hate becomes love, the same energy that becomes
pain becomes pleasure, the same energy that becomes suffering
on the incoming breath and your small heart is bigger than the
whole universe, if you know what miracles it can do... Then
let blessings go riding on the outgoing breath to all the nooks
and corners of existence.
says: This is compassion. Compassion is to become a transforming
force in existence - transforming the ugly into the beautiful,
kissing the frog and transforming it into a prince, transforming
darkness into light. To become such a medium of transformation
TRAIN WITH PHRASES
IN EVERY MODE OF BEHAVIOR
is not an escapist. He does not teach escapism, he does not
teach you to escape from situations which are not to your liking.
He says: you have to learn to function in , in Buddha-consciousness,
in all kinds of situations - in the marketplace, in the monastery;
with people or alone in a cave; with friends or with enemies;
with family, familiar people, and with strangers; with men and
with animals. In all kinds of situations, you have to learn
to function in compassion, in meditation - because all these
experiences of different situations will make your more and
escape from any situation - if you escape, then something will
remain missing in you. Then your will not be that ripe, will
not be that rich. Live life in its multi-dimensionality.
is a science in the sense that it is the purest knowing. ...It
is the greatest adventure there is. It is a call and a challenge
to all those who have any courage, any guts, any intelligence.
ALWAYS OBSERVE THE
THREE GENERAL POINTS
are the three general points? The first is: regularity of meditativeness.
Remember, it is very difficult to create meditation, it is very
easy to lose it. Anything higher takes much arduous effort to
create, but it can disappear within a moment. To lose contact
with it is very easy.
is one of the qualities of the higher. It is like growing a
rose flower: just a little hard wind and the rose has withered
and the petals have fallen, or some animal has entered the garden
and the rose is eaten. And whenever there is a conflict between
the higher and the lower, always remember, the lower wins easily.
If you clash a rose flower with a rock, the rose flower is going
to die, not the rock.
Your whole past is full of rocks, and when you start growing
a rose of awareness in you, there are a thousand and one possibilities
of it being destroyed by your old rocks - habits, mechanical
habits. You will have to be very watchful and careful. You will
have to walk like a woman who is pregnant... It has to be as
regular as sleep, as food, as exercise, as breathing.
second general point is: don't waste your time with the non-essential.
Don't fool around... The man who wants to be a Buddha has to
drop the non-essential more and more, so that more energy is
available for the essential. Take a look at your life, how many
non-essential things you are doing - and for what? And how long
have you done them, and what have you gained? Are you going
to repeat the same stupid pattern the whole of your life? Enough
is enough!.. All that is great comes only when you have extra
energy. If your whole life is wasted on the mundane, then the
sacred will never be contacted.
the third general point is: Don't rationalize your errors and
mistakes. The mind tends to rationalize. If you commit some
mistake, the mind says "It had to be so, there were reasons
for it. I am not responsible, the very situation made this happen."
And the mind is very clever at rationalizing everything.
rationalizing your own errors and mistakes, because if you rationalize
you protect them. Then they will be repeated... Reasoning is
one thing, rationalization is totally another... And you will
be able to find that when you are rationalizing, you can deceive
others but you cannot deceive yourself. You KNOW that you have
fallen: rather than wasting time in rationalizing and convincing
yourself that nothing is wrong, put the whole energy into being
ABANDON ALL HOPES
ego is result-oriented, the mind always hankers after results.
The mind is never interested in the act itself, its interest
is in the result. "What am I going to gain out of it?"
If the mind can manage to gain, without going through any action,
then it will choose the shortcut.
why educated people become very cunning, because they are able
to find shortcuts. The educated person becomes cunning. He does
not become wise, he simply becomes clever...
mind, the ego, are all result-oriented. The being in not result-oriented.
And how can the non-being ever be result-oriented? It is not
there at all in the first place.
happens only to those who are not result-oriented.. And then
there is no need to go anywhere. God will come to you. Deep
down, say "I give up." And silence descends, benediction
over these sutras, they are meant only for meditators. is not
a philosopher, he is a , a Buddha. What he is saying is not
some speculation. These are clear-cut instructions given only
to those who are ready to travel, to go on the pilgrimage into
DON'T BACK THE FAVORITE
just, be fair, don't decide through or prejudices, your likes
and dislikes. Just decide the case on its merit, and your will
the beauty of trust, your life will have the strength of truth.
AT THE HEART
says: criticize people's minds, criticize their ideologies,
criticize their systems of thought, criticize everything - but
never criticize anybody's love, never criticize anybody's trust.
Why? Because love is so valuable, trust is so immensely valuable.
To destroy it, to criticize it, is the greatest harm one can
do to anybody.
Logic is blind: criticize it! Love has eyes: ONLY love has eyes,
because only love can see God. Criticize beliefs, because beliefs
are nothing but doubts hidden behind beautiful words. Criticize
beliefs, but don't criticize anybody's trust.
whenever you see somebody in love, somebody in trust, avoid
the temptation to criticize. It is easy to criticize, it is
easy to throw poison at somebody's love affair. But you don't
know that you have been destructive, you don't know that you
have destroyed something of immense beauty. You have thrown
a rock on a rose flower.
DON'T FALL FOR
THE CELESTIAL DEMON
ego is called the "celestial demon." Remember constantly,
each moment of your life has to become a constant remembrance,
that the ego is very subtle and it has very cunning ways to
come back again and again. It follows you to the very last,
it hopes that you will be trapped. Beware of it.
ego is called in Christian, Mohammedan and Judaic scriptures
"the devil." It is your own mind, the very center
of your own mind.
the beginning, just try for a few moments to live without any
"I."... Taking a shower, just let the water fall on
you, but don't be there as an "I." Relax, forget the
"I", and you will be surprised: the shower is not
only cooling your body, it cools your innermost core too.
if you search, you will find so many moments in ordinary life
when the ego can be put aside. And the joy is so great that
once you have tasted it you can do it again and again. And slowly
slowly, you become capable of putting it off until it is absolutely
then that day of blessing also comes when you know that it is
not necessary at all. You say the final good-bye to it. The
day when your ego dies, you have reached the point of no-self.
That is your real being.
is your real being. Not to be is to be for the first time.
DON'T HAVE WRONG
views are wrong. Life should be lived without views, life should
be lived in immediate contact with reality. But if it is not
possible, then at least don't have wrong views. What are wrong
views? Views which are rooted in prejudice, hate, anger, greed,
you cannot do something beautiful in the world, at least don't
do something ugly. The highest possibility is to live without
any views, to just live, just be. The second best is to at least
drop the negative part and follow the positive. And slowly,
slowly, you will see that if you can drop the negative, the
positive can also be dropped. In fact the negative is more difficult
to drop than the positive.
CHANGE YOUR INCLINATION
AND THEN MAINTAIN IT
your inclination from the mind to the heart. That is the first
change. Think less, feel more. Intellectualize less, intuit
more. Thinking is a very deceptive process, it makes you feel
you are doing great things. But you are simply making castles
in the air. Thoughts are nothing but castles in the air... Thinking
about love is not going to help, but feeling love is bound to
change you. Thinking is very much beloved by the ego, because
the ego feeds on fictions... Change from the mind to the heart,
from thinking to feeling, from logic to love.
the second change is from the heart to the being - because there
is a still deeper layer in you where even feelings cannot reach.
Remember these three words - mind, heart, being. Remember these
three words: mind, heart, being. The being is your true nature...Thinking
is far away from being but feeling is a little closer; it reflects
some of the glory of being. It is just as in the sunset the
sun is reflected by the clouds and the clouds start having beautiful
colors. They themselves are not the sun, but they are reflecting
the light of the sun.
But one has to go beyond feelings too... Feeling is half, and
no half can ever satisfy you. Thinking and feeling are both
halves and you will remain divided. Being is total, and only
the total can bring contentment.
the fourth, the ultimate change, is from being to non-being...
Light is, delight is, but there is nobody who is delighted.
: neither this nor that, neither existence nor non-existence
- this is the ultimate state. is slowly slowly taking his disciples
DON'T WAIT FOR AN
the opportunity is now, the opportunity is here... Don't say
"Tomorrow I will meditate, tomorrow I will love, tomorrow
I will have a dancing relationship with existence." Why
tomorrow? Tomorrow never comes. Why not now? Why postpone? Postponement
is a trick of the mind: it keeps you hoping, and meanwhile the
opportunity is slipping by. And in the end you will come to
the cul-de-sac - death - and there will be no more opportunity
DON'T THINK ABOUT
ANYTHING THAT CONCERNS OTHERS
that's what you go on thinking. Ninety-nine percent of the things
that you think about concern others. Drop them - drop them immediately!
life is short, and your life is slipping out of your fingers.
Each moment you are less, each day you are less, and each day
you are less alive and more dead! Each birthday is a death day:
one more year is gone from your hands. Be a little more intelligent
WORK ON YOUR GREATEST
used to say to his disciples - the first thing, the very first
thing: "Find out what your greatest characteristic is,
your greatest undoing, your central characteristic of unconsciousness."
Each one's is different. Somebody is sex-obsessed... somebody
is obsessed with anger, and somebody else is obsessed with greed.
You have to watch which is your basic obsession.
first find the main characteristic upon which your whole ego
rests. And then be constantly aware of it, because it can only
exist if you are unaware. It is burnt in the fire of awareness
remember, remember always, that you are not to cultivate the
opposite of it... People move from one thing to the opposite.
That is not the way of transformation. It is the same pendulum,
moving from left to right, from right to left. And that's how
your life has been moving for centuries, it is the same pendulum.
pendulum has to be stopped in the middle. And that's the miracle
of awareness. Just be aware that "This is my chief pitfall,
this is the place where I stumble again and again, this is the
root of my unconsciousness." Don't try to cultivate the
opposite of it, but pour your whole awareness into it. Create
a great bonfire of awareness, and it will be burned. And then
the pendulum stops in the middle.
with the stopping of the pendulum, time stops. You suddenly
enter into the world of timelessness, deathlessness, eternity.
EXAMINE THE NATURE
OF UNBORN AWARENESS
into it, look deep into it. shake yourself into as full awareness
as possible. Wake up and see! and you will start laughing -
because now you will see there has never been a birth, and there
is never going to be a death.
is unborn and undying consciousness. It has always been here.
It is eternal, it is timeless. And how afraid you were of death,
and how afraid you were of old age, and how afraid you were
of a thousand and one things! And nothing has ever happened:
all was a dream.
this, one smiles, one laughs. Your whole life up to now has
been ridiculous, absurd. You were unnecessarily afraid, unnecessarily
greedy, unnecessarily suffering. You were living in a nightmare
and it was your own creation.
WORK WITH "FIVE
first force is totality, intensity. If you really want to have
a transformed life, if you really want to be a light unto yourself,
if you really want to know the ultimate mystery of existence
and the ultimate joy of being alive, then the first force is
intensity, totality. Don't be lousy, don't be lazy, don't be
If you dance, dance so totally that the dancer disappears and
only the dance remains, and it will be a transformation. If
you love, love so totally that there is no lover found. That
which you are holding back becomes the lover. If you are holding
back, that which you are holding back becomes the dancer, the
singer. If you are totally in the dance, in the song, in the
love, who is left behind to say "I am the lover, I am the
dancer?" Nothing is left.
totality transforms. It is only at one hundred degrees intensity
that one evaporates from the material into the spiritual, from
the earth to the sky, from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
second force is familiarization: do and be what you really want
to do and be. Life is lived according to gestalts that you have
created around yourself. If you really want to be something
else, then familiarize yourself with it. If you want to play
the guitar, practice. If you want to dance, practice. If you
want anything to happen in your life, imbibe more and more of
it and drop all that is against it.
third force is the force of white seeds. "White seeds"
is a metaphor. means: drop all that is black. Don't go on cultivating
the black seeds of anger, jealousy, hatred, possessiveness,
domination. Even if they arise, watch, absorb them into your
heart, and they will become white seeds. And what are the white
seeds? Love, compassion, service, sincerity, sensitivity, awareness:
these are the white seeds. If one day you want to have white
flowers in your life, you will have to sow white seeds.
the fourth force is reproach - to completely abjure ego-oriented
thoughts. Watch - whatsoever arises out of the ego, whatsoever
is an ego trip, immediately disconnect yourself from it. Even
to linger with it for a while is dangerous, because lingering
will give it energy. The moment you know it is an ego trip,
immediately disconnect yourself... whenever pride arises, whenever
the ego raises its head, you know it. Cut that head immediately
with a single blow.
the fifth force is the force of the dedication of all virtue
to the welfare of others. Whatsoever good happens to you, immediately
share it. This is one of the most fundamental things in Buddhism.
If love has arisen, share it, shower it. If you cannot find
people, shower it on the trees, the rocks, but shower it. Don't
hoard it - because if you hoard it, it turns into poison; if
you hoard it, it goes sour and bitter. Share it.... Give, and
you will have it; give more, and you will have more of it.
GRASP THE PRINCIPLE
OF THE TWO WITNESSES
first meaning: there are two kinds of witnesses. One kind is
the people that surround you. You are constantly aware that
you are being watched, witnessed. With so many eyes watching
you, you are reduced to an object... And you are afraid because
they may not appreciate you. They may not feed your ego, they
may not like you, they may reject you. Now you are in their
second kind of witnessing is totally different. It is not that
you hanker for others' attention: on the contrary, you start
paying attention to yourself. You become a witness to your own
being. You start watching your thoughts, desires, dreams, motives,
greeds and jealousies. You create a new kind of awareness within
you. You become a center, a silent center which goes on watching
whatsoever is happening. You are angry, and you watch it. You
are not just angry, a new element is introduced into it: you
are watching it. And the miracle is that if you can watch anger,
the anger disappears without being repressed.
the second is: witness the witness itself - and... the ultimate
ecstasy is created. The first leads to the second. Start watching
your thoughts but don't stop there... One more thing has to
done, one more step: now watch the watcher... Nothing else is
left, only you are. By watching the mind, the mind disappears.
By watching the witness, the witness expands and becomes universal.
ALWAYS RELY ON JUST
A HAPPY FRAME OF MIND
you are unhappy, that simply means that you have learned tricks
for being unhappy, and nothing else.
world is absolutely neutral. It has thorns, it has roses, it
has nights, it has days... Now it depends on you as to what
to choose. If you have decided to choose only the wrong, you
will live in a wrong kind of world, because you will live in
your own chosen world. That's how people create hell and heaven
on the same earth. It looks very unbelievable that Buddha lived
on earth with the came kind of people, and lived in paradise.
And you also live on the same earth with the same kind of people,
and you live in hell.
Once you have learned this happy frame of mind, this positive
vision of life, you will be surprised that the whole existence
starts functioning in a totally different way. It starts mothering
you. It starts helping you in every possible way, it becomes
a great friend... And to know this is to know God...
EVEN THOUGH YOU
ARE DISTRACTED, IF YOU CAN DO IT, IT IS STILL MIND TRAINING
does he mean by 'if you can do it?' This is of great importance.
If you can be attentive to your inattention, if you can be aware
that you have fallen into the trap of the negative, it is still
meditation, it is still mind training, you are still growing.
many times you will fall, it is natural. And many times you
will forget, it is natural. And many times you will be trapped
and it will take time for you to remember. But the moment you
remember, remember TOTALLY. Wake up totally and say "I
see the difference: If you ask the ordinary religious person
he will say "Repent- punish yourself." But is saying:
if you are attentive, that's enough. Be attentive to your inattention,
be aware that you have not been aware, that's all. No repentance
is needed... To fall many times is not something to feel guilty
about. To commit errors, to go astray, is part of our human
frailty and limitations. So there is no need to repent.
is ugly. It is like playing with your wound, fingering your
wound. It is unnecessary, and not only unnecessary but harmful
- the wound may become septic, and fingering the wound is not
going to help it heal either.
you have fallen, just know that you have fallen, with no guilt,
with no repentance. There is no need to go anywhere to confess
it, just knowing it is enough. And knowing it, you are helping
your awareness to grow. Less and less will you fall, because
knowing will become more and more strong in you.
body needs physical food: without it, it will start withering
away. This is how it survives; it contains nothing but physical
mind contains memories, thoughts, desires, jealousies, power
trips, and a thousand and one subtle things. All that is also
food; on a little more subtle plane it is food. Thought is food.
The mind is nothing but the inner side of the body; hence what
you eat affects your mind. If you eat non-vegetarian food you
will have one kind of mind; if you eat vegetarian food you will
certainly have a different kind of mind.
watch what you allow into your mind. People are completely unaware;
they go on reading everything and anything, they go on looking
at the TV, any silly stupid thing... Avoid situations where
you unnecessarily burden yourselves with rubbish. You already
have too much as it is. And you go on collecting as if it is
Leave a few gaps in your mind unoccupied. Those moments are
the first glimpses of meditation, the first penetrations of
the beyond, the first glimpses of no-mind. And then if you can
manage to do this, the other thing is to choose physical food
which does not help aggression and violence, which is not poisonous.
Now even scientists agree on this, that when you kill an animal,
out of fear he releases all kinds of poisons... And on the mental
plane things are more complicated. If you think you are a Hindu,
you are poisoned; if you think you are a Mohammedan, you are
poisoned...You have been spoon-fed since the very first day;
from your mother's breast, you have been poisoned. To think
of oneself as German, as Chinese, is to think of oneself in
opposition to humanity; is to think in terms of enmity, not
of yourself only as a human being. And when your intelligence
grows a little more you will even drop the adjective "human."
You will think of yourself only as a being. And the being includes
all - the trees and the rivers and the stars and the birds and
the animals. Become bigger, become huge. Why are you living
in tunnels? Why are you creeping into small, dark holes?...
No idea is great enough to contain a human being; being-hood
cannot be contained in any concept. All concepts cripple and
be a Catholic and don't be a communist, just be a human being.
These are all poisons, these are all prejudices. And down the
ages you have been hypnotized by these prejudices. They have
become part of your blood, your bones, your very marrow. You
will have to be very alert to get rid of all this poisoning.
your physiological body be pure of all poisons and toxins, and
let your mind be unburdened from all kinds of rubbish and junk.
And let your soul be free from the idea of self. When the soul
is free from the idea of "I", you have arrived at
that inner space called no-self, ANATTA. You have come home.
Now there is nowhere to go; now you can settle, rest and relax.
now you can enjoy the millions of joys that are being showered
upon you by existence.
DON'T TRANSFER THE
COW'S LOAD TO THE BULL
are always finding scapegoats. Because they cannot answer the
strong person, they take revenge on the weak.
husband has been humiliated by the boss and he comes home and
is angry at the wife for no reason at all. Or maybe he finds
a reason; a reason can always be found, they are so simple to
find. He will find a reason, and he will convince himself that
he is angry because of this reason. The reality is that he is
angry at his boss. But the boss is a powerful man: to say anything
could be dangerous, he might lose his job.
Atisha is saying: please don't shift things. Otherwise your
whole life will be just shifting and shifting. Take the responsibility,
take the risk. Respond to the situation, whatever the cost.
THE PURPOSE OF ALL
IS CONTAINED IN ONE POINT
point is the ego. The ego is false: if you live according to
the false ego, your whole life will remain false. If you live
without the ego your whole life will have the flavor of reality,
truth and authenticity.
This meditation is available
on CD 1001