Dao of Donato

Introduction to the Dao of Donato

by Sunfleur

I never knew Donato nor did I have any direct interaction with him while he was alive. Had a few dreams that included him but I don’t know that I can say if it was really him or not. Who can?

Most who have made their presence known to ex-morninglanders.com hold Donato in very high esteem, specifically those who knew him. When the Morningland leadership is attacked, 99% of the time, these attacks are leveled at Sri Patricia.

I question this a bit. Donato was married to Sri, and while there are stories of how he could control her rants, there are others where he did nothing to question her visions, even those that are now considered textbook cult mentality fear manipulations such as the gopis’ threat of walking 10,000 years on the astral planes should they fail in their mission of bringing the Holy Father to planet earth. While this threat is nothing compared to the Quark Threat of 2029 (LONG story), memories of Donato continue to remain somewhat untarnished by Sri’s paranoid rants.

Donato was a nice guy. I got that. However there are lots of nice guys but precious few who are actually wise. What I want to do in this forum is examine Donato’s wisdom. I do not look up to him as the Avatar for the Aquarian age, but I’m willing to look at his teachings and when they hold water with their wisdom, I’m going to support them by pulling them out of the hippy-dippy 70′s jargon in which they were originally spoken.

Those who still hold fast to his teachings, especially those who came on-board after his passing may see this as what Sri called “perversion of the teachings”. I don’t even know how to address this issue it is so ridiculous. Donato’s teachings are already caught in time due to his reliance on culturally specific references that have fallen out of favor in common usage. Still, some of his quotes are reasonably workable from a self-development point of view and I want to celebrate that fact in this forum.

I also want to question those teachings that really don’t work for me of which there are quite a few. Of course, this is an open document, with comments allowed.

My own perspective is heavily influenced by Taoism (AKA Daoism) and Zen Buddhism and so much of my interpretations of his words will be using the yardsticks of these two spiritual paths as well as others to which I feel an affinity. Feel free to disagree all you want, but should your post become an insane rant, it will be removed. Try and think calmly and rationally, and we’ll all benefit from the footprints that Donato left behind.

Can your master be on the other side?

Question: Can your Master be on the other side, and if so, how can you know if he is on the other side?

Donato: If you look hard enough, you’ll find me in your dreams.

Okay, there are three items that I’d like to address in this teaching.

  • I’ve seen many examples of weird editing in Morningland publications in which Donato appears to never actually answer a question. I don’t understand how seeing Donato in your dreams can enable you to know that he is on the other side. I’ll write this off to inexperienced editors.
  • “The other side” is a term that needs better definition too. I’m assuming that Donato means having passed through the transition of death as opposed to Sri’s use of “the other side” in the same context as the opposing party in a legal matter (i.e. “the dark forces are the other side”).
  • So, how do you know if Donato has made it to the other side? By seeing him in your dreams? Seems like going to his funeral would pretty much cement this fact in my mind.

Moving on…

My main issue with this teaching is that it really isn’t teaching anything. There is no wisdom here, but perhaps how to nourish an attachment to someone. Do we really need to see Donato in our dreams?

Appearing at will in your dreams might help to prove that Donato is someone special, but that is only because proof is needed.

In Morningland, we spend a lot of time and energy maintaining a specific world view. If we were okay with the world as it is, we wouldn’t have to constantly seek proof of our reality.  -SunfleurComments to this post from previous website

Seeing It As It Is

Sri Patricia: SEEING: As It Is.

That is prophecy; that is telepathy. If you see it as it drifts on down through the astral planes, and you’re not clear, you’re going to see it as you want to see it and you will sift out what you don’t like.

You call it just as it is. Something that sends you reeling still has to be reported just as it is. You can’t be a critic; you just relate the film as it is. It would be like describing a film to a blind person. Prophecy is to help those whose vision is clouded because they are not developed yet.

This is one of the more confounding positions of Sri as she attempted to teach us how to rant and rave just like she – all in the name of Vision.

On one hand, “As It Is” should be a rather simple concept to teach. There is stuff, phenomena, what is, but then Sri adds all these other words about information drifting in from the astral planes. Prophecy, telepathy, vision, the spiritual weight of these words crushed our little friend As It Is.

This is why I used to think that seeing it As It Is was to read between the lines of life to unravel some sort of mystery. However, now I understand that this is flirting with illusion. Seeing it As It Is requires no additional software but rather the uninstalling of the constant commentary provided by the conscious mind. In this context, the conscious mind can be defined as the mind that thinks in words.

There is a higher mind too, though I’m not so crazy about the word “higher”. Taoism actually likes the word “host” (along with the conscious mind, the “guest”). The host sees it As It Is, but there is no requirement for any visionary experience, just turn off the audio channel in your brain and what is left is What Is.

Animals are pretty well in tune with What Is. When you raise your hand with a rolled up newspaper, your dog doesn’t have to wrestle with thoughts regarding your intent. It knows. It is obvious. What Is is always the obvious. Nothing is hidden. When we’re sent off looking for what is hidden, we are taken away from What Is and we run headlong into What Isn’t, into fantasy, into illusion.

Those in my life whom I consider to be true masters all limit their vision to what is right in front of them. There is no attempt to unveil the hidden, rather there is an attempt to accept what is without any further processing.

When we go looking for God in visions, we miss the manifestation of God in the now. Just spend a few moments per day turning off the constant commentary in your head. Limit your awareness to what remains when you are silent in your mind. What is left in front of you is What Is.

Don’t Be Upset About Not Seeing Something


This quote comes from the June 1978 edition of As It Is. In this edition, Gopi Morningstaar shares some of Donato’s thoughts on the mind. Or perhaps he pays some mind to thoughts. Either one. : )

“Thoughts” as a topic of conversation can be pretty screwy from the very beginning. Sri’s use of statements such as “its all mind” and so forth can end up a little bit like looking into a mirror reflecting a mirror. To this day, I’m not quite certain whether Morningland doctrine teaches that the mind is the problem or that it is the solution.

As for me, I would apply Donato’s teaching here to the benefits of watching your thoughts to gain insight into yourself.

If you’re ever feeling a low level anxiety in life and you don’t know why, watch your fantasies, they’ll tell you what you’re dealing with. Whether its telling off a boss or co-worker, or being a hero and saving the life of the girl who snubbed you, watching your fantasies is a sure fire way to get clear on what’s upsetting you.

You don’t need profound spiritual vision to know what’s going on inside of you, just watch your thoughts and they’ll tell you exactly where you’re at.

Beyond a sort of language and sometimes visually based barometer of your feelings, I don’t know that the talky mind inside of our heads is all that beneficial to the big picture. The sooner it shuts up the more likely one will come into the now and witness life as it is.

All Good Things Never Come to a Bad End

All good things never come to a bad end – all good things always come to a good end. It is you who create all the obstacles.

I agree with Donato that it is we who create the obstacles, but the only real obstacle we create is the craving for good things or the aversion to bad.

We decide if we want to see the glass half empty or half full. We decide if winning a million dollars is a good thing because we’ve never had that much money, or a bad thing, because we’re already wealthy and this only puts us into the next higher tax bracket. It can most certainly go either way, and it is always our own perceptions that color otherwise neutral circumstances good or bad.

Morningland was very fond of the saying “as it is” and rightly so, it is a beautiful expression of acceptance of the present circumstances without comparison to prior expectations, so there is no good or bad about it. When circumstances give us physical/emotional sensations that we crave, we say that things are “good”. When circumstances give us physical/emotional sensations to which we have an aversion, we call them “bad”. But it is only our reactions to what is, not what is that we’re actually calling good or bad.

Some of us were sent away from Morningland amidst great cries of anguish and gnashing of teeth. Others were sent away with a deep sigh and the sensation of a great weight having been lifted off of our shoulders. Same exact experience, two very different perceptions.

Probably Donato’s best teaching of them all said that if you have no expectations, you’ll have complete fulfillment. Expecting good things to always come to a good end is a rather dramatic departure from the wisdom of having no expectations, and this teaching about good things is in my opinion barking up the wrong tree.

If you insist on seeking out the good and/or avoiding the bad, you’ll be destined to live a life of twoness, not oneness.

Never Confront a Liar

Never confront a liar, he’ll only lie more until he convinces you he is telling the truth.

This statement was followed up in the February 1978 edition of As It Is with a bit about how a liar has to build up a whole series of lies to support the initial lie when examined more closely. In this context, I have no problem with this teaching. There is some truth to what Donato has said about liars continually needing to support their lies with further stories to support the original inaccurate statement.

However, there is some question as to the statements of Donato and Sri in regards to many other things as well, which smack of “lies” to me.

When Donato mentioned that a liar will only lie more until he convinces you that he is telling the truth, I am reminded of the instructions we received in Morningland that favored the constant recognition that we were developing into the Diamond Telepathic Mind of Christ or Oneness or whatever the lofty spiritual goal d’jour was.

Visions, auras, thoughts from above, thoughts from others in the room; these were all taking place all the time, and continue to do so, however in Morningland we had to constantly take these very human experiences and use them as proof of the truth of Morningland, that we were developing and were generally pretty cool folks.

Since leaving Morningland and presumably losing everything that I gained in the arena of spiritual development, I have seen no change in my abilities to perceive extra-sensory stimuli or thoughts from others. These things have not changed at all. Sometimes I am more in tune with these things, sometimes I’m less in tune with them. The only difference between being in Morningland and now is that I don’t have to constantly point it out when something like this happens.

That was the lie. It was not Donato, it was not Sri. It was us! One who remains in Morningland would never know this.

All a liar will do is convince you that they’re not telling a lie. Over and over we had to “gosh” and “by golly” whenever something happened as if to somehow convince ourselves that this could only happen with the help of Donato. The liar continues to convince you that they’re telling the truth, even when we’re the liar.

Definition of Time

According to Morningstaar in the December, 1977 edition of As It Is, Donato defined time as:

When two people get together and make three.

Hmmm. Don’t quite know what to say about this one. I would expect time to be defined as something to do with motion, movement, or space.

“When two people get together and make three” would be a good definition for sex.

We Take No Credit

We take no credit, We take no blame.

This is really one of the better teachings. It speaks of humility and detachment. However it also smacks of not taking responsibility for one’s actions.

Humility is the recognition that you’re nothing special. Spiritual teachers tend to exemplify this quality. It comes from accepting your own humanity, and the recognition that you’re not the center of the universe.

Post-Donato Morningland built its ranks firstly by telling us that we were special, that we were integral to saving the planet from certain doom, that we 120,000 lightbearers were more important to God than the remaining four billion on the planet. We spent the remainder of our time in Morningland working hard to maintain that emotional possession.

Take no credit nor blame versus taking responsibility for your actions is not an issue that I can easily rectify. I guess this comes down to how you want to live your life. There is the Yin style of accepting everything and allowing it all to pass while we just go with what happens, or the Yang style of accepting everything that happens and using that to direct circumstances toward your own aims.

I’ve found that taking responsibility for what happens in our lives is the first step in steering it toward what you want rather than what you get.

We own our lives.
We can take responsibility for our actions.
We can learn from our mistakes.

Humility arises from recognizing and learning from our mistakes. Humility isn’t necessarily the result of learning, but from recognizing that the learning never ends.

Take no credit and take no blame. Take responsibility for your every action.

How do you live both?

Just Take the Ball and Run With It

Just take the ball and run with it. Everything is all right, just go with it.”

I’m not sure that I agree with the feel-good 70′s approach to everything being alright. Sometimes, things are all wrong, but I do agree that doing what is right in front of you is the only thing that you can do.

People are often focused on things out of their hands and not enough on what is in their hands. Focusing on things that we can’t change can make anybody a little crazy.

Focusing on those things that we can change makes one feel empowered and in their own little way, contributing to righting a world or at least doing one’s own job in it.
I guess its a Virgo thing, I think we all have a job, and while that may not include saving souls or healing the world’s wounds, it most certainly can be applied to whatever it is that you do that makes you feel proud of a job well done.

In the book “Beyond Success and Failure”, authors Willard and Marguerite Beecher suggest that we live by what they call the “grazing principle”. A horse, they write, will get from one end of a field to the other inside of one day. But the horse never has to plan it, they just nuzzle at the clump of grass in front of them. By repeating this process, progress is made easily and without undo drama.

Perhaps Donato’s thoughts have already been further distilled by the marketing department of a shoe manufacturer when they say: Just Do It.