Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hymns of Adi Shankaracharya


Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda. Oh fool! Rules of Grammar will not save you at the time of your death.

Uncertain is the life of man as rain drops on a lotus leaf. Know that the whole world remains a prey to disease, ego and grief.

So long as a man is fit and able to support his family, see the affection all those around him show. But no one at home cares to even have a word with him when his body totters due to old age.

When one is alive, his family members enquire kindly about his welfare. But when the soul departs from the body, even his wife runs away in fear of the corpse.

Who is your wife? Who is your son? Strange is this samsara. Of whom are you? Where have you come from? Brother, ponder over these truths.

Do not boast of wealth, friends, and youth. Each one of these are destroyed within a minute. Free yourself from the illusion of the world of Maya and attain the timeless Truth.

Oh mad man! Why this engrossment in thoughts of wealth? Is there no one to guide you? There is only one thing in three worlds that can save you from the ocean from samsara. Get into that boat of satsangha quickly.

  There are many who go with matted locks, many who have clean shaven heads, many whose hairs have been plucked out; some are clothed in saffron, yet others in various colors — all just for a livelihood. Seeing truth revealed before them, still the foolish ones see it not.

Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, Oh fool! Other than chanting the Lord’s names, there is no other way to cross the life’s ocean.



Read more of Shankara's Shlokas HERE

Charles Bukowski - The Laughing Heart



 your life is your life
    don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
    be on the watch.
    there are ways out.
    there is a light somewhere.
    it may not be much light but
    it beats the darkness.
    be on the watch.
    the gods will offer you chances.
    know them.
    take them.
    you can’t beat death but
    you can beat death in life, sometimes.
    and the more often you learn to do it,
    the more light there will be.
    your life is your life.
    know it while you have it.
    you are marvelous
    the gods wait to delight
    in you.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Hafiz - Cast all your votes for dancing



I know the voice of depression
Still calls to you.
I know those habits that can ruin your life
Still send their invitations.

But you are with the Friend now
And look so much stronger.
You can stay that way
And even bloom!

Keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions’ beautiful laughter.

Keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From the sacred hands and glance of your Beloved
And, my dear,
From the most insignificant movements
Of your own holy body.

Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins
That may buy you a moment of pleasure,
But then drag you for days
Like a broken man
Behind a farting camel.

You are with the Friend now.
Learn what actions of yours delight Him,
What actions of yours bring freedom

And Love.

Whenever you say God’s name, dear pilgrim,
My ears wish my head was missing
So they could finally kiss each other

And applaud all your nourishing wisdom!

O keep squeezing the drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions’ beautiful laughter
And from the most insignificant movements
Of your own holy body.

Now, sweet one,
Be wise,
Cast all your votes for Dancing!




Hafiz - There is only one flesh


"I wish others, there, in the middle east, right now,  would hear this as well..."


 I have come into this world to see this: the sword drop from men's hands even at the height of their arc of anger because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound and it is the Beloved's.
I have come into this world to see this: all creatures hold hands as we pass through this miraculous existence we share on the way to an even greater being of soul, a being of just ecstatic light, forever entwined and at play with Him.
I have come into this world to hear this: every song the earth has sung since it was conceived in the Divine's womb and began spinning from His wish, every song by wing and fin and hoof, every song by hill and field and tree and woman and child, every song of stream and rock, every song of tool and lyre and flute, every song of gold and emerald and fire, every song the heart should cry with magnificent dignity to know itself as God: for all other knowledge will leave us again in want and aching - only imbibing the glorious Sun will complete us. 
I have come into this world to experience this: men so true to love they would rather die before speaking an unkind word, men so true their lives are His covenant - the promise of hope.
I have come into this world to see this: the sword drop from men's hands even at the height of their arc of rage because we have finally realized there is just one flesh we can wound.





Rumi - Moon



Let the water settle; 
you will see the moon and stars 
mirrored in your being
 
 
 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rupert Spira - Knowledge and Love


True knowledge is the experiential understanding that there is only ever-present, unlimited Awareness or Knowing. Nothing other than this is ever known even when it seems that a mind, body and world are known. This ever-present, unlimited Awareness, which is simply the intimacy of our own being, is the fundamental nature of the apparently inside self and its corollary, the apparently outside object, other or world.

All religions are founded upon this understanding. In Christianity it is expressed as, "I and my Father are one." That is, I, Awareness, and the ultimate reality of the universe are one and the same reality. In Buddhism, "Nirvana and Samsara are identical." That is, the transparent, open, empty light of Awareness which is not made out of any kind of a thing - nothing - is the substance of all appearances - everything. Nothing taking the shape of everything. In Hinduism, "Atman and Param-Atman are one." That is, the individual self, when divested of superimposed beliefs and feelings of limitation, stands revealed as the true and only self of eternal, infinite Awareness. And in Sufism, "Wherever the eye falls, there is the face of God." All that is seen is God's face and it is God that sees it.

All these phrases are conditioned by the culture in which they appeared but they all point towards the same unconditional truth - the reality of all experience.

The realization of this truth dissolves the beliefs in distance, separation and otherness. The common name we give to this absence of distance, separation and otherness is love and beauty. It is that for which everyone longs - not just those of us that are interested in non-duality but all seven billion of us. 

In this realization true knowledge and love are revealed to be one and the same - the experiential realization that the true nature of the apparently inside self and the apparently outside world are one single reality made out of the transparent light of Awareness, that is, made out of the intimacy of our own being.

This revelation of understanding and love strikes at the heart of the fundamental presumption upon which our world culture is founded, the presumption of duality - I, the separate inside self, and you or it, the separate outside object, other or world. All conflicts within ourselves and between individuals, communities and nations are based upon this presumption alone and all psychological suffering proceeds from it.

Any approach to these conflicts that does not go to the heart of the matter will postpone but not solve the problem of conflict and suffering. Sooner or later as individuals and as a culture we have to have the courage, the humility, the honesty and the love to face this fact.

The highest purpose of all art, philosophy, religion and science is to reveal this truth in an experiential manner although all these disciplines have temporarily forgotten this in our culture. However, it may not be long. As the painter Paul Cezanne said, "A time is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will trigger a revolution".

This is the only true revolution, the revolution in which our view of reality is turned upside down. Awareness - pure Knowing - is not just the witness of experience. It is its substance, its very nature. Everything changes when we begin to live from this point of view. We realize that what we have always longed for in life was present all along in the depths of our own being. It is always available, never truly veiled. To begin with it is often felt as peace in the background of experience but it cannot be contained and before long it begins to flow out into the world as joy, freedom, love and creativity.



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Yahia Lababidi - Encounter



I stirred in the small hours of the morning. Sensing a presence, I did not return to sleep, but ventured into the living room, apprehensively.
There, by the balcony, sat a familiar figure — cross-legged and reading in the semi-dark, with just the milky moonlight for company.
I do not know how I knew, but I did. I recognized the intruder, at once, with a mixture of dread and affection.
“I’m sorry,” were the only words to leave my lips. “I’m sorry, too,” replied my longed-for-self, with a sigh of infinite kindness and pity.
He did not rise to greet me and, somehow, spoke without words, transmitting what was needed.
Catching his glistening eye, the caring made me cry. “You’ve taken every detour to avoid me,” he gently reproached. “For every step I’ve taken towards you, you’ve taken back two”.
I did not know what to say in my defense (how could I protest against myself?) “I missed you,” he said, and feared you’d forgotten me.”
His admonishment was tender as a kiss. “I visit from time to time, and hope you’ll ask me to stay.” I knew what he said was true, and felt that way, too.
“I worried,” he continued, “if I postponed this visit, we might never meet, in this life… and so I came to sharpen your appetite.”
He rose and moved towards me. “There’s no need to speak, return to sleep. But when you rise, try to remember me. And to keep awake.”

source text

Tony Titshall - Silent Heart



If I could say it, I would, but how can I begin,
when there is no beginning.
How can I speak of what words can but hint
at the shadow of,
without losing the perfection of it.
I know not whether to laugh or cry.
I know not how to begin to see it as totally
as I know it was,
as it IS.
Let go, for it is still here,
absolute grace, purity of motive,
the opening of a flower that in a moment feared
the coming of Dawn.
Never could the rightness of it be judged
or spoken of, for who can know the blessing
but those graced by the touch of its tender hand,
soothed in the light of its warming smile,
forgiven in the shine of its gracious eye,
bathed in the Peace of its gentle Presence.
As a lily will rise out of the mire,
so out of the darkness of doubt opened the perfection
of the Flower of Light.
I feel the need somehow to say “Thank You!”
but how and to whom?
I gave myself to “You,” knowing the safety of Your “Arms,”
not realizing at first who the “You” was.
When You raised me up I knew who You were,
appearing as my experience in this way,
Thy Love flowing into and as
the moment of
Oneness.
Speechless am I in the face of that moment,
which still IS.
How beautiful the glow; how radiant the Light;
how soothing the smile; how loving the touch of that
Silent Heart.

~ From: The Day of Awakening, by Tony Titshall

Kabir - The Simple Union




Oh, Sadhu! the simple union is best.
Since the day when I met with my Lord,
there has been no end to the sport of our love.
I shut not my eyes, I close not my ears,
I do not mortify my body;
I see with my eyes open and smile, and
behold His beauty everywhere;
I utter His Name and whatever I see
it reminds me of HIm,
whatever I do, it becomes His worship.
The rising and the setting are one to me;
all contradictions are resolved.
Wherever I go, I revolve around Him,
All I achieve is His service:
When I lie down, I lie prostrate at His feet.
… I am immersed in that one great bliss
which transcends all pleasure and pain.

~ Kabir. In Ram Dass: Journey of Awakening: A Meditator’s Guidebook, 1990 (1978), p. 68


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sundance Burke - Awareness Anonymous (AA Meeting ~ Speaking at an Awareness Anonymous meeting)



Hi, my name is Sundance and I am a non-thinker.

I used to over-think unconsciously every day. I was a slave to my mind.

Now that I am conscious and aware, I no longer think.

In fact, it’s been 5 minutes & 32 seconds since I had my last thought.

Today, I stay thought-free, one second at a time.

When I was thinking, I was addicted to the past. For me, one thought simply led to the next. I just couldn’t stop thinking, because I thought I needed it to be who I am. Yet, every time I thought too much, I’d end up suffering. After several years of hard core thinking, I began to hallucinate. I thought that I was seeing separate people, places and things. I felt completely isolated and lonely. I tried to possess and hold onto the images as if they were real. I was constantly paranoid. I felt like everyone was leaving me or after me. I projected the cause for all my problems onto the illusion of others. My vision got blurry and I started seeing double. I would reach out for things that weren’t there. I was constantly dissatisfied and afraid. I began to believe that an imaginary future held my salvation and I lost all contact with the present moment. I felt divided, lost and constantly threatened. I didn’t know it then, but I was about to wake up in a gutter of my own making. Because of this experience, I now realize that I cannot have a single thought without the risk of falling back into my addiction.

By these meetings, I have come to realize that thinking is a dis-ease and so I shouldn’t feel guilty. I now know that I am not responsible for the thoughts that I think. I am merely unconscious when I am thinking, and so, I don’t know what I am thinking or how much.

I used to feel that I couldn’t live without thinking and that I was powerless to stop. The truth is, I used to over-think everyday. I guess you could have labeled me a Maintenance Thinker. I just couldn’t do anything without thinking about it first. I’d think a lot before going to bed at night.  I’d also think in the morning as I was getting ready for work. I’d even think on the job and then I’d bring my thinking home with me. All the while, I didn’t feel like my thinking habit was a problem. I thought that I could think and get away with it. Often, I would hide my thinking from my family and friends. I didn’t want anyone to know how much I was thinking. So I wouldn’t reveal anything I thought. I would just keep my thinking to myself and think alone. You see, I became a closet thinker. However, sometimes a friend would suspect that I was thinking alone and ask, “What are you thinking?” I’d say “nothing,” hoping to hide the fact that I had been thinking all the time. Occasionally, I’d be honest and own up to my thinking and tell them just what I thought. Unconsciously, I probably knew that my thinking was a problem and that I needed help.  

It’s a fact that I experienced a tremendous number of problems while I was still thinking about one thing after another. In the beginning, it seemed that I could think socially. However, I soon found out that 2 thoughts were never enough for me. I just couldn’t stop at “I am.” With me, 2 thoughts became 3 and 3 became 4… “I am…I am so…I am so angry,” I’d think. Next, I’d be pounding down one thought after another until I was completely unconscious and unhappy. “I am so angry… at… you… for…leaving…me… and…running…off…with…my…best…friend.” I’d go on like this until I blacked out and lost all consciousness. My thinking was completely out of control and I hurt myself, my family and friends. I also created a lot of enemies.

I also used to think positive thoughts to get high, but after thinking too many thoughts my thinking would invariably turn negative and then I’d suffer. When I wasn’t thinking anything at all, I felt so bad that I desired to start thinking again, just to get high again. This cycle of up and down thinking would repeat itself endlessly. Eventually, I thought my life was hopeless and I thought about ending my thinking altogether.

Only by grace, I discovered Awareness Anonymous and attended my first meeting. These meetings were dry, and so, no thinking was allowed anywhere in the hall. The anonymity in the group name comes from no thinking. However, each anonymous member of the group used to be an over-thinker just like me. To maintain our anonymity, we hang out with other non-thinkers and try to avoid places where there’s a lot of thinking going on. Someday I hope that I’ll be able to be around thinkers without thinking like they do. Until then, I’ll just stay with the program and not think. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be here anonymously.


Maitreya - The Coming Buddha



I am Maitreya, the buddha of the sun
I shine with equal love upon all
I am called the coming Buddha not because I will manifest in physical form
But because I come to those at advanced stages of the spiritual path
and say: "Be blessed friends, and give blessings". **
I am called the buddha of friendship
For I take all beings as equals
And do not accept the hierarchies of institutions.

My love shines equally upon persons, groups, cultures, and worlds
I call them to live in universal love and compassion
I am white and golden, harmonious and full of richness
Like a symphony, I unite the competing themes in the universe.

I am found in optimism, in hope, and in faith
And in those who look for a better tomorrow
I bless the discouraged and the lonely
The fearful and the mournful
I give them a way out of the prisons of their hearts
I liberate beings from confinement
And show a brilliant and infinite future.

There are many forms of liberation within the universe
In the vast galaxy of changing forms
Each moment of insight, each movement of growth
Each turning away from the past
Is a kind of liberation.
To turn away from identity entirely is a rare blessing
Those who do this do not look to me.
Those who seek me need strength and determination, in life and in meditation
They need hope and encouragement, and this I give them.

Knowing that there is a more perfect world
Allows them to improve this one
Knowing that there are buddhas and bodhisattvas
Allows them to strive for more perfect awareness
Knowing that there is something to look forward to
Allows the bondage of the past to fall away.

I am the buddha of hope, and of striving
So that transient beings may improve the world for other transients
Though the universe grows and disintegrates and comes back again in glory
I shall stay to bless the crowds who strive towards truth. 


e. e. cummings - Let it go


photo Elena Bovo


let it go – the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise – let it go it
was sworn to
go
 
let them go – the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers – you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go – the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things – let all go
dear
so comes love



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Wei Wu Wei - Seek what is seeking



Cease listening to what is being heard,
Listen to what is hearing instead!
Then listening will become what is hearing,
And hearing will be what is heard.

Cease looking at what is being seen,
Look at what is seeing instead!
Then looking will become what is seeing,
And seeing will be what is seen.

Cease seeking the sought of the seeker,
Seek what is seeking instead!
Then seeking will become what is searching,
And searching will be what is sought.

Cease cognising what is objective,
Turn sentience back on itself!
Cognising will become what is cognising,
And perceiving will be the perceived.



Dzogchen - Path of Self-Liberation/Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche




...The particular method of Dzogchen is called the Path of Self-Liberation, and to apply it nothing need be renounced, purified, or transformed. Whatever arises as one's karmic vision is used as the path. The great master Pha Tampa Sangye [South Indian Yogin of the 11 century (ed.)] once said: It is not the circumstances which arise as one's karmic vision that condition a person into the dualistic state; it is a person's own attachment that enables what arises to condition him. If this attachment is to be cut through in the most rapid and effective way, the mind's spontaneous capacity to self-liberate must be brought into play. The term self-liberation should not, however, be taken as implying that there is some 'self' or ego there to be liberated. It is a fundamental assumption...at the Dzogchen level, that all phenomena are void of self-nature. 'Self -Liberation', in the Dzogchen sense, means that whatever manifests in the field of experience of the practitioner is allowed to arise just as it is, without judgement of it as good or bad, beautiful or ugly. And in that same moment, if there is no clinging, or attachment, without effort, or even volition, whatever it is that arises, whether as a thought or as a seemingly external event, automatically liberates itself, by itself, and of itself. Practicing in this way the seeds of the poison tree of dualistic vision never even get a chance to sprout, much less to take root and grow.(p33)
So the practitioner lives his or her life in an ordinary way, without needing any rules other than one's own awareness, always remaining in the primordial state through integrating that state with whatever arises as part of experience -- with absolutely nothing to be seen outwardly to show that one is practicing. This is what is meant by self-liberation, this is what is meant by the name Dzogchen - which means Great Perfection - and this is what is meant by non-dual contemplation, or simply contemplation....


~ Dzogchen teacher, Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
 
 

Udāna - "inspired utterances"


Ancient Teachings on Nonabiding

This principle of nonabiding is also contained within the ancient
Theravada teachings. It wasn’t just Ajahn Chah’s personal insight
or the legacy of some stray Nyingmapa lama who wandered
over the mountains and fetched up in northeast Thailand 100
years ago. Right in the Pali Canon, the Buddha points directly
to this. In the Udana (the collection of “Inspired Utterances”
of the Buddha), he says:

There is that sphere of being where there is no earth,
no water, no fire, nor wind; no experience of infinity
of space, of infinity of consciousness, of no-thingness,
or even of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; here
there is neither this world nor another world, neither
moon nor sun; this sphere of being I call neither a coming
nor a going nor a staying still, neither a dying nor
a reappearance; it has no basis, no evolution, and no
support: it is the end of dukkha. (ud. 8.1)

Rigpa, nondual awareness, is the direct knowing of this. It’s
the quality of mind that knows, while abiding nowhere.

Another teaching from the same collection recounts
the story of a wanderer named Bahiya. He stopped the Buddha on the
street in Savatthi and said, “Venerable Sir, you are the Samana
Gotama. Your Dharma is famous throughout the land. Please
teach me that I may understand the truth.”

The Buddha replied, “We’re on our almsround, Bahiya. This is
not the right time.”

“Life is uncertain, Venerable Sir. We never know when we are
going to die; please teach me the Dharma.”

This dialogue repeats itself three times. Three times over, the
Buddha says the same thing, and Bahiya responds in the same
way. Finally, the Buddha says, “When a Tathagata is pressed
three times, he has to answer. Listen carefully, Bahiya, and
attend to what I say:

In the seen, there is only the seen,
in the heard, there is only the heard,
in the sensed, there is only the sensed,
in the cognized, there is only the cognized.
Thus you should see that
indeed there is no thing here;
this, Bahiya, is how you should train yourself.
Since, Bahiya, there is for you
in the seen, only the seen,
in the heard, only the heard,
in the sensed, only the sensed,
in the cognized, only the cognized,
and you see that there is no thing here,
you will therefore see that
indeed there is no thing there.
As you see that there is no thing there,
you will see that
you are therefore located neither in the world of this,
nor in the world of that,
nor in any place
betwixt the two.
This alone is the end of suffering.” (ud. 1.10)


Download  Udāna: Exclamations PDF HERE