Friday, July 5, 2013

Ibn 'Arabi - Listen, O dearly beloved

What follows is not a poem in the Arabic, but part of a chapter from the Kitab al-Tajalliyat. However, since it was translated in the form of a poem by Henry Corbin in Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi, it has become deservedly famous.

Listen, O dearly beloved!
I am the reality of the world, the centre of the circumference,
I am the parts and the whole.
I am the will established between Heaven and Earth,
I have created perception in you only in order to be the
object of my perception.
If then you perceive me, you perceive yourself.
But you cannot perceive me through yourself,
It is through my eyes that you see me and see yourself,
Through your eyes you cannot see me.

Dearly beloved!
I have called you so often and you have not heard me
I have shown myself to you so often and you have not
seen me.
I have made myself fragrance so often, and you have
not smelled me.
Savorous food, and you have not tasted me.
Why can you not reach me through the object you touch
Or breathe me through sweet perfumes?
Why do you not see me? Why do you not hear me?
Why? Why? Why?

Kabir - Drunken with the sight of this All

 The light of the sun, the moon, and the stars shines bright:
 The melody of love swells forth, and the rhythm of love's detachment beats the time.
 Day and night, the chorus of music fills the heavens; and Kabir says
 "My Beloved One gleams like the lightning flash in the sky."

Do you know how the moments perform their adoration?
 Waving its row of lamps, the universe sings in worship day and night,
 There are the hidden banner and the secret canopy:
 There the sound of the unseen bells is heard.
 Kabir says: "There adoration never ceases; there the Lord of the Universe sitteth on His throne."
 The whole world does its works and commits its errors: but few are the lovers who know the Beloved.
 The devout seeker is he who mingles in his heart the double currents of love and detachment, like the mingling of the streams of Ganges and Jumna;
 In his heart the sacred water flows day and night; and thus the round of births and deaths is brought to an end.

Behold what wonderful rest is in the Supreme Spirit! and he enjoys it, who makes himself meet for it.
 Held by the cords of love, the swing of the Ocean of Joy sways to and fro; and a mighty sound breaks forth in song.
 See what a lotus blooms there without water! and Kabir says
 "My heart's bee drinks its nectar."
 What a wonderful lotus it is, that blooms at the heart of the spinning wheel of the universe! Only a few pure souls know of its true delight.
 Music is all around it, and there the heart partakes of the joy of the Infinite Sea.
 Kabir says: "Dive thou into that Ocean of sweetness: thus let all errors of life and of death flee away."

Behold how the thirst of the five senses is quenched there! and the three forms of misery are no more!
 Kabir says: "It is the sport of the Unattainable One: look within, and behold how the moon-beams of that Hidden One shine in you."
 There falls the rhythmic beat of life and death:
 Rapture wells forth, and all space is radiant with light.
 There the Unstruck Music is sounded; it is the music of the love of the three worlds.
 There millions of lamps of sun and of moon are burning;
 There the drum beats, and the lover swings in play.
 There love-songs resound, and light rains in showers; and the worshipper is entranced in the taste of the heavenly nectar.
 Look upon life and death; there is no separation between them,
 The right hand and the left hand are one and the same.
 Kabir says: "There the wise man is speechless; for this truth may never be found in Vadas or in books."

I have had my Seat on the Self-poised One,
 I have drunk of the Cup of the Ineffable,
 I have found the Key of the Mystery,
 I have reached the Root of Union.
 Travelling by no track, I have come to the Sorrowless Land: very easily has the mercy of the great Lord come upon me.
 They have sung of Him as infinite and unattainable: but I in my meditations have seen Him without sight.
 That is indeed the sorrowless land, and none know the path that leads there:
 Only he who is on that path has surely transcended all sorrow.
 Wonderful is that land of rest, to which no merit can win;
 It is the wise who has seen it, it is the wise who has sung of it.
 This is the Ultimate Word: but can any express its marvellous savour?
 He who has savoured it once, he knows what joy it can give.
 Kabir says: "Knowing it, the ignorant man becomes wise, and the wise man becomes speechless and silent,
 The worshipper is utterly inebriated,
 His wisdom and his detachment are made perfect;
 He drinks from the cup of the inbreathings and the outbreathings of love."

There the whole sky is filled with sound, and there that music is made without fingers and without strings;
 There the game of pleasure and pain does not cease.
 Kabir says: "If you merge your life in the Ocean of Life, you will find your life in the Supreme Land of Bliss."

What a frenzy of ecstasy there is in every hour! and the worshipper is pressing out and drinking the essence of the hours: he lives in the life of Brahma.
 I speak truth, for I have accepted truth in life; I am now attached to truth, I have swept all tinsel away.
 Kabir says: "Thus is the worshipper set free from fear; thus have all errors of life and of death left him."

There the sky is filled with music:
 There it rains nectar:
 There the harp-strings jingle, and there the drums beat.
 What a secret splendour is there, in the mansion of the sky!
 There no mention is made of the rising and the setting of the sun;
 In the ocean of manifestation, which is the light of love, day and night are felt to be one.
 Joy for ever, no sorrow,--no struggle!
 There have I seen joy filled to the brim, perfection of joy;
 No place for error is there.
 Kabir says: "There have I witnessed the sport of One Bliss!"

I have known in my body the sport of the universe: I have escaped from the error of this world..
 The inward and the outward are become as one sky, the Infinite and the finite are united: I am drunken with the sight of this All!
 This Light of Thine fulfils the universe: the lamp of love that burns on the salver of knowledge.
 Kabir says: "There error cannot enter, and the conflict of life and death is felt no more."

from The Songs of Kabir, tr. by Rabindranath Tagore download here

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Dorothy Hunt - What Can Be Said About Love?

What can be said about love?
Nothing, really.
We are either being love
or we're talking about it.
Talk is cheap; love can't be bought.

It is not about flowery words,
or the agony or ecstasy of emotion.
It is not even about relationship,
or merging union with the Divine.
Where are there two?

And yet . . . and yet . . .
This wordless pull of connection--
even when the mind
wants no connection.
What is that unsought warmth?

That melting of resistance,
the fire that makes
even iron turn to liquid,
or a caterpillar dissolve
before wings emerge?

Love's only true language is Being.
Demand love, and it will flee.
Bargain with love, and you will lose.
Eventually, you will rejoice in defeat;
Love refuses all separation.

Love moves, responds, touches,
returns the unwanted pieces of your life
back to wholeness. Its language is truth,
and truth speaks love, but these are words,
and not alive, until your heart opens.

Every moment love is gently knocking
from inside, longing to flow out;
but we are busy looking elsewhere,
searching in the market place of "me's"
to fill the emptiness that is, itself, vast love.

What can be said about love?
Nothing, really. These words fail.
We are either being love
or we're talking about it.
Choose the former, if you have a choice,
for love alone transforms.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Stephan Bodian - a lovely session

art source Miya Ando

Just had a lovely session with a woman this morning who said she longed to awaken to the truth because she felt strongly motivated to put an end to her anxiety and depression. I invited her to rest here, in this moment, and welcome whatever arises. Right now, I said, without consulting your mind, does anything need to be different from the way it is? Is anything missing, even enlightenment? No, no…t at all, she said, after a pause. Now ask yourself, who is experiencing this moment right now? Anything you experience is just an object of experience–but who is the experiencer? She sat with this question in silence for a long time, then finally said, I don’t know. Then rest in this not knowing, I offered. What is it like? Again, after a long pause, she said, it’s limitless and silent; it has no edges. Then she started to cry, with tears of gratitude and wonder. I can’t believe it, she said. I can’t believe this is what I am–this vast mystery. Yes, I said, this is it. Just rest as you are, and let everything arise in you. This is the enlightenment you’ve been seeking.

Mooji: Advaita and Neo-Advaita

Interview with Mooji: Advaita and Neo-Advaita from Mooji on Vimeo.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sri Ramana Maharshi - Five Verses on the Self


These are the last verses composed by Bhagavan. They
were written at the instance of a devotee, Suri Nagamma,
the author of Letters from Sri Ramanasramam. He wrote them
first in Telugu, but to a Tamil metrical form called venba, and
then translated them into Tamil. Since there was already a
composition of Shankaracharya called the Atma Panchakam,
Bhagavan decided to call his composition Ekatma Panchakam.

1.   When, forgetting the Self, one thinks
That the body is oneself and goes
Through innumerable births
And in the end remembers and becomes
The Self, know this is only like
Awaking from a dream wherein
One has wandered over all the world.

2.   One ever is the Self. To ask oneself
`Who and whereabouts am I?'
Is like the drunken man's enquiring
`Who am I?' and `Where am I?'

3.   The body is within the Self. And yet
One thinks one is inside the inert body,
Like some spectator who supposes
That the screen on which the picture is thrown
Is within the picture.

4.   Does an ornament of gold exist
Apart from the gold? Can the body exist
Apart from the Self?
The ignorant one thinks `I am the body';
The enlightened knows `I am the Self'.

5.   The Self alone, the Sole Reality,
Exists for ever.
If of yore the First of Teachers
Revealed it through unbroken silence
Say who can reveal it in spoken words?

(Translated by Prof. K. Swaminathan)

Jeff Foster - Deep Acceptance: The Loving Heart of Spirituality

As all the authentic spiritual teachers throughout the ages have been reminding us, in reality you’re not a separate individual, not an individual ‘self’, not the story of ‘a person in a world’, but a vast ocean of consciousness in which every little manifest wave of experience — every thought, sensation, image, sound, feeling — arises and dissolves in this moment.
You’re not limited in space and time — you’re the loving capacity for life itself. You’re the wide open expanse of awareness in which the manifest world appears and disappears, leaving no trace. The non-separation of self and world — this is where all religious and spiritual teachings point in the end, and it’s now being confirmed by modern science too.
Everyone knows this Oneness, deep down. Yes, there’s something here, and call it what you will — for not being an ‘it’, it’s truly unnameable — right in the depths of present experience; something that doesn’t come and go, something that cannot break or rot or shatter, even in the midst of extreme sadness or pain or fear.
It’s a place that’s always deeply okay, even when things on the surface don’t seem okay. Being beyond the opposites, being beyond the dualistic world of thought and language, it’s beyond the cycle of birth and death. It was never born and cannot die. It’s life itself. It’s what you are.
Don’t just believe me — look for yourself. When you bring your attention right back to the present moment, to what’s actually happening right now, what do you find? Do you find a fixed, unchanging, solid entity called a ‘self’? Or do you find that everything here is constantly changing, moving, from moment to moment? Do you find solidity, or do you find a cosmic dance?
Thoughts appear and disappear, all by themselves. Images, memories, ideas all ‘pop’ into awareness, linger for a while, and then disappear. Thoughts of the past, thoughts of the future. Stories about what you should be doing, about what you should have done, about things you need to do tomorrow. Thoughts about what should and shouldn’t happen in the world.
All sorts of feelings come and go — sadness, boredom, frustration, anger, fear. Sensations happen all over the body. Sounds appear out of nowhere — traffic outside, a television buzzing, a door opening, the sound of breathing, a bird chirping, tweet tweet!
Everything that appears in what you are, we could call a wave of experience. And so, this thought is a wave. This sensation is a wave. This sound is a wave. This feeling is a wave. Present experience is the ocean of consciousness waving, dancing, playing.
Can you recognise that present experience is always simply this present-moment dance of waves, all happening in the vast ocean that you are? And for ‘ocean’, you can read the word ‘Consciousness’ or ‘Awareness’ or ‘Being’ or ‘Spirit’ or ‘Source’ or ‘Eenergy’ — or whatever word feels right to you. It’s all beyond words, anyway…
From the perspective of who you really are, as the vast ocean of consciousness, although all the waves (thoughts, sensations, sounds, feelings) are different in appearance, they’re the same in essence. They’re all water. The strong, violent, painful waves as much as the soft, gentle waves — they’re all made of the same ‘stuff’ as you. Thoughts, sounds, pain, sadness, fear — everything is made of consciousness. In this sense, everything that appears in present experience is deeply intimate with what you are.
Therefore, on the deepest level, who you really are doesn’t have a problem with any of the waves that appear. None of the waves can threaten who you really are. How can water threaten water? And so you could say that on the deepest level, who you really are accepts every wave — every thought, every sensation, every feeling.
The ocean doesn’t accept some waves and reject others — the unconditional inseparability of the ocean and the waves is the acceptance that I’m talking about. The ocean has no choice but to accept the waves — it is the waves! Acceptance is ‘built-in’ to your present experience!
A question asked by every spiritual seeker: “How can I, a separate person, accept the present moment as it is?” Well, now we see that it’s not a question of you trying to do this deepest acceptance — this acceptance isn’t a doing. In a sense, if you’re trying to accept, you’re already too late, because this acceptance has already been done. Every wave, if it’s appearing, has already been accepted into what you are.
In a sense, you have already accepted the present moment, exactly as it is. What you are has already said YES to these thoughts, these sensations, these sounds, these feelings — otherwise they wouldn’t be appearing like this. The floodgates are open — this moment has already been allowed in, in its totality.
And so, in my teaching, when I talk about acceptance, I’m not using the word in the way we’ve been conditioned to use it. I’m using the word in this new way, that points to this deepest acceptance of life itself, an acceptance, an allowing, that has already been done.
And so, when I suggest that you ‘accept’ or ‘allow’ what is – it’s a shorthand way of asking you to simply, gently, effortlessly notice what is present. To notice that in this moment, these thoughts and feelings have already been allowed in.

Eckhart Tolle - The Voice in the Head

The single most important step in your journey toward enlightenment is to learn to dis-identify from your thinking mind.

The thinking mind is a very busy component of our consciousness. It’s constantly labeling, judging, defining, conceptualizing, covering the world up with words rather than allowing you to experience the world directly through presence.

The thinking mind is a chatterbox that is constantly making commentary on every little detail of our experience, robbing us of a still and receptive state of being that experiences life with an open curiosity that makes the world a living reality that is miraculous and magnificent.

When we are identified with our thinking mind, our experience of life is constricted and limited to an opaque screen of words, images, concepts and labels – second-hand representations of life that might as well be a movie on a screen.

When you create even a momentary gap in the incessant thinking and chatter taking place in your mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger. The world around you becomes more vibrant and real.

Your experience of life is direct and alive, you are present in your experience, and thus you are able to touch life directly. This is called direct experience. Experience without words or labels.

Make a practice to create these momentary gaps in thinking as many times a day as you can. It doesn’t matter of your gap is long. One minute is good enough. It’s the number of times you cease the chatter and noise of the thinking mind that matters. The more you do this, the more you dis-identify.

One day you may even find yourself smiling at this voice in your head as though it were a child misbehaving. This is good, it means you are taking the content of your mind less seriously. And you are recognizing that the content of your mind is not you.

You don’t depend on it for your sense of self. You are beginning to identify with something else within your consciousness, with your source and essence, with the presence of your being.

This is the state we wish to cultivate.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sri Aurobindo - Ocean Oneness

Silence is round me, wideness ineffable;
White birds on the ocean diving and wandering;
A soundless sea on a voiceless heaven,
Azure on azure, is mutely gazing.

Identified with silence and boundlessness
My spirit widens clasping the universe
Till all that seemed becomes the Real,
One in a mighty and single vastness.

Someone broods there nameless and bodiless,
Conscious and lonely, deathless and infinite,
And, sole in a still eternal rapture,
Gathers all things to his heart for ever.


Jiddu Krishnamurti - The world is in confusion and misery


The world is in confusion and misery, and every nation, including
India, is looking for a way out of this conflict, this mounting
sorrow. Though India has gained so-called freedom, she is caught
in the turmoil of exploitation, like every other people; communal
and caste antagonisms are rife, and though she is not as advanced
as the West in technological matters, yet she is faced like the rest
of the world with problems that no politician, no economist or
reformer, however great, is able to solve. She seems to be so
completely overwhelmed by the unexpected problems confronting
her, that she is willing to sacrifice, for immediate ends, the
essential values and the cumulative understanding of man's
struggle. India is giving her heart over to the glittering and
glamorous pomp of a modern State. Surely this is not freedom.
India's problem is the world problem, and merely to look to the
world for the solution of her problem is to avoid the understanding
of the problem itself. Though India has been, in ancient times, a
source of great action, merely to look to that past, to breathe the
dead air of things that have been, does not bring about creative
understanding of the present. Till we understand this aching
present there can be no resolution of any human problem, and
merely to escape into the past or into the future is utterly vain.
The present crisis, which is obviously unprecedented, demands
an entirely new approach to the problem of our existence.
Throughout the world man is frustrated and in sorrow, for all the
avenues through which he has sought fulfilment have failed him.
So, far, the diagnosis and the remedy of this problem have been left
to the specialists, and all specialization denies integrated action.
We have divided life into departments, and each department has its
own expert; and to these experts we have handed over our life, to
be shaped according to the pattern of their choice. We have
therefore lost all sense of individual responsibility, and this
irresponsibility denies self-confidence. The lack of confidence in
oneself is the outcome of fear, and we try to cover up this fear
through so-called collective action, through the search for
immediate results, or through the sacrifice of the present for a
future Utopia. Confidence comes with action which is fully thought
out and felt out.
Because we have allowed ourselves to become irresponsible, we
have bred confusion, and out of our confusion we have chosen
leaders who are themselves confused. This has led us to despair, to
a deep and aching frustration; it has emptied our hearts, which do
not respond eagerly and swiftly, and therefore we never find a new
approach to our problems. All that we seem able to do,
unfortunately, is to follow some leader, old or new, who promises
to take us to another world of hope. Instead of understanding our
own irresponsibility, we turn to some ideology or to some easily
recognizable social activity. It requires intelligence to perceive
clearly that the problem of existence is relationship, which must be
approached directly and simply. Because we do not understand
relationship, whether with the one or with the many, we look to the
expert for the solution of our problems; but it is vain to rely on the
specialists, for they cam only think within the pattern of their
conditioning. For the solution of this crisis, you and I must look to
ourselves - not as of the East or of the West, with a special culture
of our own, but as human beings.
Now, we are challenged by war, by race and class, and by
technology; and if our response to this challenge is not creatively
adequate, we shall have to face greater disaster and greater sorrow.
Our real difficulty is that we are so conditioned by our Eastern or
Western outlook, or by some cunning ideology, that it has become
almost impossible for us to think of the problem anew. You are
either an Englishman, an Indian, a Russian, or an American; and
you try to answer this challenge according to the pattern in which
you have been brought up. But these problems cannot be
adequately met as long as you are not free from your national,
social and political background or ideology; they can never be
solved according to any system, whether of the left or of the right.
The many human problems can be solved only, when you and I
understand our relationship to each other, and to the collective -
which is society. Nothing can live in isolation. To be, is to be
related; and because we refuse to see the truth of this our
relationships fraught with conflict and pain. We have avoided the
challenge by escaping into the abstraction called the mass. This
escape has no true significance, for the mass is you and I. It is a
fallacy to think in terms of the mass, for the mass is yourself in
relationship with another; and if you do not understand this
relationship, you become an amorphous entity exploited by the
politician, the priest, and the expert.
The ideological warfare that is going on at the present time has
its roots in the confusion which exists in your relationship with
another. War is obviously the spectacular and bloody expression of
your daily life. You create a society that represents you, and your
governments are the reflection of your own confusion and lack of
integration. Being unaware of this, you try to solve the problem of
war merely on the economic or the ideological level. War will exist
as long as there are nationalistic states with their sovereign
governments and frontiers. The gathering round a table of the
various national re- presentatives will in no way end war; for how
can there be goodwill as long as you cling to organized dogmas
called religion, as long as you remain nationalistic, with particular
ideologies backed up by fully armed sovereign governments? Until
you see these things as a hindrance to peace and realize their
cultivated falsehood, there can be no freedom from conflict,
confusion and antagonism; on the contrary, whatever you say or do
will contribute directly to war.
The class and racial divisions which are destroying man are the
outcome of the desire to be secure. Now, any kind of security,
except the physiological, is really insecurity. That is, the pursuit of
psychological security destroys physical security; and as long as
we seek psychological security, which creates an acquisitive
society, the needs of man can never be sanely and effectively
organized. The effective organization of man's needs is the real
function of technology; but when used for our psychological
security, technology becomes a curse. Technological knowledge is
intended for the use of man; but when the means have lost their
true significance and are misapplied, then they ride the man - the
machine becomes the master.
In this present civilization, man's happiness is lost because
technological knowledge is being used for the psychological
glorification of power. Power is the new religion, with its national
and political ideologies; and this new religion, the worship of the
State, has its own dogmas, priests and inquisitions. In this process,
the freedom and the happiness of man are completely denied, for
the means have become a way of postponing the end. But the
means are the end, the two cannot be separated; and because we
have separated them, we inevitably create a contradiction between
the means and the end.
As long as we use technological knowledge for the
advancement and glorification of the individual or of the group, the
needs of man can never be sanely and effectively organized. It is
this desire for psychological security through technological
advancement that is destroying the physical security of man. There
is sufficient scientific knowledge to feed, clothe and shelter man;
but the proper use of this knowledge is denied as long as there are
separative nationalities with their sovereign governments and
frontiers - which in turn give rise to class and racial strife. So, you
are responsible for the continuance of this conflict between man
and man. As long as you, the individual, are nationalistic and
patriotic, as long as you hold to political and social ideologies, you
are responsible for war, because your relationship with another can
only breed confusion and antagonism. Seeing the false as the false
is the beginning of wisdom, and it is this truth alone that can bring
happiness to you and so to the world.
As you are responsible for war, you must be responsible for
peace. Those who creatively feel this responsibility, must first free
themselves psychologically from the causes of war, and not merely
plunge into organizing political peace groups - which will only
breed further division and opposition.
Peace is not an idea opposed to war. Peace is a way of life; for
there can be peace only when everyday living is understood. It is
only this way of life that can effectively meet the challenge of war,
of class, and of everincreasing technological advancement. This
way of life is not the way of the intellect. The worship of the
intellect in opposition to life has led us all to our present
frustration, with its innumerable escapes. These escapes have
become far more important than the understanding of the problem
itself. The present crisis has come into being because of the
worship of the intellect, and it is the intellect that has divided life
into a series of opposing and contradictory actions; it is the
intellect that has denied the unifying factor which is love. The
intellect has filled the empty heart with the things of the mind; and
it is only when the mind is aware of its own reasoning and is able
to go beyond itself, that there can be the enrichment of the heart.
Only the incorruptible enrichment of the heart can bring peace to
this mad and battling world.

November 6, 1948

Jiddu Krishnamurti - The book of life