Saturday, December 16, 2017

Jjiddu Krishnamurti - Out of silence look and listen

Out of silence look and listen. Silence is not the ending of noise; the incessant clamour of the mind and heart does not end in silence; it is not a product, a result of desire, nor is it put together by will.

The whole of consciousness is a restless, noisy movement within the borders of its own making. Within this border silence or stillness is but the momentary ending of the chatter; it is the silence touched by time. Time is memory and to it silence is short or long; it can measure. Give to it space and continuity, and then it becomes another toy.

But this is not silence. Everything put together by thought is within the area of noise, and thought in no way can make itself still. It can build an image of silence and conform to it, worshipping it, as it does with so many other images it has made, but its formula of silence is the very negation of it; its symbols are the very denial of reality.

Thought itself must be still for silence to be. Silence is always now, as thought is not. Thought, always being old, cannot possibly enter into that silence which is always new. The new becomes the old when thought touches it.

Out of this silence, look and talk.

The true anonymity is out of this silence and there is no other humility. The vain are always vain, though they put on the garment of humility, which makes them harsh and brittle.

But out of this silence the word ‘love’ has a wholly different meaning. This silence is not out there but it is where the noise of the total observer is not.

(taken from Bulletin 4, 1969)


Friday, December 15, 2017

Adyashanti - For once in your life

“Time to cash in your chips
put your ideas and beliefs on the table.

See who has the bigger hand
you or the Mystery that pervades you.

Time to scrape the mind’s shit
off your shoes
undo the laces
that hold your prison together
and dangle your toes into emptiness.

Once you’ve put everything
on the table
once all of your currency is gone
and your pockets are full of air
all you’ve got left to gamble with
is yourself.

Go ahead, climb up onto the velvet top
of the highest stakes table.
Place yourself as the bet.
Look God in the eyes
and finally
for once in your life

Brian Thompson - Leave the I behind

Transcend the duality,
of your imagined personal self.

Quit self-identifying,
with that which you are not.

Abide mindfully in no-mind,
in the non-duality of pure presence,
in the emptiness of undistracted awareness.

No longer tolerate the mind's distractions;
you are not the I it presumes itself to be.

Abide in the infinite spacious expanse,
of the noticing presence that you have always been,
the nothingness in which the I and all that is attached to it,
is peacefully observed—and know that you are not it.

Leave the I behind.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Eknath Easwaran - Abiding joy

  The question we may well ask is,
“If we are to have neither
pleasure nor pain in life,
are we not likely to become
insensitive to the joy of life?” …
This doubt arises from a wrong assumption,
that there is only pleasure and pain
and nothing else… Always cutting things up
into two classes –everything must be either this or that–
is one of the fatal weaknesses of the intellect.
Because of this dualistic trap,
we find it difficult to understand
that the rare person who is able
to receive good fortune without getting excited,
and bad fortune without getting depressed,
lives in abiding joy…

about Eknath Easwaran


Monday, December 11, 2017

Prasanna - Two the Love Story of One

In the Ocean of Love
There are no separate waves
…… There is just the Ocean, waving

  In the beginning……….

When nothing had begun yet,

there was neither darkness nor light.

That was IT.

IT was just the awareness that “IT IS.”

There was nothing.


IT was IT.

IT was like the deep sleep while awake

— without any thoughts, without any


IT was like the night during the day.

Light and darkness were One

— in Love.

Source text here


Lalleshwari - Naked song

Enlightenment absorbs this universe of qualities.
When that merging occurs, there is nothing
but God. This is the only doctrine.

There is no word for it, no mind
to understand it with, no categories
of transcendence or non-transcendence,
no vow of silence, no mystical attitude.

There is no Shiva and no Shakti
in enlightenment, and if there is something
that remains, that whatever-it-is
is the only teaching.

HERE  Poems of  Lalla (PDF)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Danna Faulds - Allow

There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado.
Dam a stream and it will create a new channel.
Resist, and the tide will sweep you off your feet.

Allow, and grace will carry you to higher ground.
The only safety lies in letting it all in
the wild and the weak; fear, fantasies, failures and success.

When loss rips off the doors of the heart,
or sadness veils your vision with despair,
practice becomes simply bearing the truth.

In the choice to let go of your known way of being,
the whole world is revealed to your new eyes.

more on the author here

Friday, December 8, 2017

Jean Dunn - Find Out Who You Are

Jean Dunn speaks about life with Nisargadatta Maharaj. This interview was recorded by Malcolm Tillis in 1981, while Jean was living in Bombay, India.

Jean Dunn: I am just a normal person of fifty-nine who has been searching all her life until, ten years ago, she heard of Ramana Maharshi. She visited his ashram, went back to the States, then returned to India, where she has been living for the past four years. Two years ago she met Nisargadatta Maharaj, and he became her guru.

Did he give you some form of initiation?
He gave me a mantra and initiation.

How did you first hear about him?
At Ramana Maharshi’s ashram. Many people come to see him; ­there seems to be a tie.

Is it because of the similarity of Self-Inquiry?
It’s no longer that. Maharaj has had cancer of the throat for the past year, so his teachings have been polished; he is saying he’s no longer the consciousness, he observes the consciousness—he’s the Absolute. His teachings are now on that line.

Can you tell me something about his book, I Am That?
It’s in the form of questions and answers. The fifth edition is just coming out. It came out in two volumes in 1973, having been collected and edited by Maurice Frydman, who in late life became a disciple of Maharaj. There has been no further book published. Last year I asked Maharaj—I had been recording all his question and answer periods—if he wanted me to put them together for a book. He said yes. So Seeds of Consciousness will come out this year. Another volume will appear later: Beyond Consciousness.

In spite of his illness he gives darshan every day?
He is in much pain at times but manages to talk twice a day. He is one of the hidden saints, so he only draws a few people at a time. His teachings aren’t for the general public—we are blessed to listen to him.

How does he usually teach?
Up until his illness, it was by questions and answers. Now he will no longer teach the ABCs—he doesn’t have the physical strength; ­ he tells us the position, then it’s up to us.

He seemed to insist that I ask questions.
He wants questions to come out; then there will be silence so that remaining questions will be answered within yourself.

His following is mainly Western, by what I saw.
Westerners are in predominance; thousands have seen him—some for a few days, some stay for months. Some he makes leave at once. He says he doesn’t know why he sends people away, although they want to stay.

Are you living in India on a permanent basis?
Yes, I have a residency permit. I have finished work on the second book; the work is complete. Everything he has to say has been said.

Do you ever miss Western society, your home life?

Can you say something about your personal relationship to your guru?
There are no words to describe that . . .

Do you have an aim in life? For instance, to become one with him?
My aim in life is to lose an aim in life—that’s his teaching. There’s no purpose to this life; it’s just entertainment. That’s all.

That sounds rather Krishnamurthi-esque.
Many of Krishnamurthi’s followers come here—ten came recently.

How did Maharaj attain enlightenment?
You will find that in the first part of I Am That. I can tell you this: the first time he met his guru— his friend insisted on taking him; he even had to buy the garland to present to the guru—he never wanted to go.

Was he very young then?
He was in his thirties. The bidi (Indian cigarette) shop at the corner belongs to him; his son runs it. He had eight shops, but when his guru died, he left everything—his family and business. He wandered for months all over India, until he met a fellow disciple who convinced him it was better to live in the world. He returned to Bombay, but all the shops had gone except this one. He didn’t want anything; all worldly ambition had gone. When people started coming to him, he built that upstairs room.

It’s minute. What are the dimensions?
Oh, about nine by twelve. I’ve seen that room crowded, mostly by Westerners. He says Indians are not ready for his teachings.

Do you think it was because he didn’t want personal publicity that he appeared to be annoyed with me?
That’s correct. I feel sure that was the idea. He doesn’t want disciples—if they come, it’s fine; if not, that’s also fine. He gains nothing. He has reached the peak because he isn’t enamored of any­thing the world can offer.

Does he ever talk about other gurus and their methods?
He talks about the self-styled gurus who propagate their own con­cepts; but there’s nothing wrong with that at that level.

Does he admire any living teachers?
As far as I know, J. Krishnamurti. In the past, Ramana Maharshi. The other day he said, “Krishnamurti, Ramana and myself are one.”

Does he advocate a vegetarian diet?
That pertains to the body; he doesn’t teach anything to do with that. All he wants you to do is find out who you are.

His followers can drink and indulge in free relationships?
Whatever comes naturally to each person, he should do.

He gives no ethical guidance?
No. As long as you think you are a person and this world is real, then you live by certain rules. Once you understand the complete thing, your life lives itself … There are no rules, no good, no bad—I should do this, I shouldn’t do that. If you think about it, all this is taking place in this life span, in this span of consciousness, and when this consciousness goes, what difference does it make?

Does he not advise detachment from worldly activities?
This comes naturally. The main and only thing he teaches is to find out who you are. The closer you come to this, the more detached you become from the world; that will happen naturally. You can’t do anything to make that happen. This idea of doing something is an ego idea “I” can accomplish. Maharaj says the consciousness drags you there by the ear because it wants to know about itself, your true nature.

What has he said about leaving the body at physical death?
For him, it will be a great festival— he’s looking forward to it. For those thinking they are the body, it will be a traumatic experience. For an enlightened person, it’s a joyous time.

When he gives you meditation, does he ask what you see inside?
There has to be somebody to see something! (laughter) . . . No, he doesn’t. Visions and experiences take place in consciousness; they have no meaning whatsoever. Before you were born, did you know anything about this world? When you die—will you know anything about this world? You didn’t know you existed—you exist as the Absolute, but you aren’t aware of your existence. When this con­sciousness comes, spontaneously, you know “I am.” You grab a body and become identified with that. He wants you to go back, back, away from this into your true nature. Right now it’s consciousness; the longer we abide in that consciousness only and observe it, we see that everything we see is not ours—there’s a “you” seeing this.

But what does he teach about God?
Without me, there’s no God.


And he’s teaching that?
Yes. Was there a God before you were? Without you, is there a God?

What brought me back into this body?
Do you remember a previous body?

Many people have that recollection. Are you saying we have never taken birth before?
There’s no “we”; there’s no entity; there is universal consciousness, which is continually expressing itself through these bodies.

Maharaj doesn’t believe in karma and reincarnation?

Ramana Maharshi taught that, surely?
They will talk to you on this level if this is your level. But if you un­derstand what I’m saying—there’s only universal consciousness ex­pressing itself; there’s no individual—then he will bring you there. He will no longer speak of this. If you die with concepts, these concepts take another form, but they will not be you— you don’t know what that form will be. Concepts will come again until they are all gone.

What does Maharaj teach about selfless service, helping others?
On their level, it’s good. But his teaching is that there are no others, no individual entities; everything happens spontaneously; there’s no doer. He teaches: Let this life live itself and understand you are not this.

We are not “this”— then we are “that.” What is “that”?
“That” is consciousness right now.

Right now? What will it be when we leave the body?
The Absolute.

Then what comes back?
Consciousness is continually renewing itself. You throw a piece of food into a corner; within a few days, worms will come—life, con­sciousness. The same consciousness in that worm is in you. It’s not “my” consciousness, “your” consciousness; it’s one universal con­sciousness, and that universal consciousness is you.

At our level of understanding, aren’t all these concepts? Didn’t you find these theories confusing at first?

The first day I came to Maharaj, he said, “My beingness is a product of food . . .  and the same consciousness in the donkey was in Sri Krishna.” I went to get a reservation back home; none was available, so as something inside knew this was true, I went back. He had jerked the rug from under my feet, and he kept on doing this until I lost any place to put my feet. He forces you to let go of all concepts.

Does he often send people away who come to see him?
Often. He never knows why, though. Every moment watching him is like a spectacular movie; every person’s need is taken care of­. I’ve watched that happen. You can sit quietly, but questions you have inside will be answered. Everything happens according to your need. There’s no him; he has no purpose of his own: that’s why this can happen. There’s no ego there to bump against.

Living so close to an enlightened being can’t be easy.
It’s not easy if you have any ego left.

Can you say something about the positive side?
There are no words for it; everything is taken care of automatically. There’s no “you” to thank God for anything anymore. You let go of everything. There’s no you, no separate entity; everything is hap­pening spontaneously. It’s like there’s a quiet space where you are, yet everything is happening around you.

What work did you do in America?
I worked on newspapers.

Is there a reason why people get involved with imperfect teachers?
We as human beings think there’s a reason for everything; there are no reasons, no causes—it’s a causeless happening. As long as we are on this human level and think there’s a cause, we will be able to come up with one. If some people are taken for a ride by false gurus, you can say this is happening to them to get rid of something­—whatever happens is perfect. We are just to understand there’s no personal consciousness; everything is impersonal, you see.

But when we meet a perfect teacher, it’s our consciousness which recognizes that, surely?

Then our lives change.

That’s the new life?

That’s part of the divine plan requiring no effort?
No effort.

To round off, could you say what are the benefits gained from coming into contact with your guru.
I’ve gotten rid of the idea there’s somebody going to benefit from something . . . (much laughter)

source text here


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Karen Richards - My Nature is Silence

Oh what can possibly be uttered,
Of that beyond all time?
Which apparently asks for nothing,
Nor questions as to why?

Life, the greatest mystery,
Oh what does it all mean?
Is there something lying beneath,
The surface of all that’s seen?

Amidst the suffering and chaos,
There lies the greatest gift.
To live life anchored in the Self,
No longer seemingly adrift.

In this crazy world of opposites,
Is it possible to simply see,
That experience is but a mirror,
And that there is no you nor me…?

Deep dissatisfaction and striving,
A symptom of forgetting,
The truth of who you ARE –
The source of all the fretting.

Suffering is the great awakener,
Although it can be hard to tell,
That there is a deeper reality,
Beyond mind’s living hell.

What if it was suggested,
You are not what you think.
Would this ease your troubles,
Or take the mind to the brink?

For once the beloved calls,
From beyond even a name,
Nothing remains but silence,
All seeking is in vain.

Diving off the cliff of false identity,
Beyond all ideas and sense of Self,
Beyond the image of a ‘me’,
Outside of conceptual thought and time,

Lies hidden – seemingly from view,
The truth of who you ARE,
Something you always really knew.
Although it seemed so far –

Instantly into life’s heart ‘you’ melt,
Without a sight or sense or sound,
Sweet clarity abounds –
And, what was forgotten – simply found.

My nature is silence,
No words can explain,
To speak of apparent paradox,
Is to re-enter the illusion game.

Upon the deepest letting go,
It’s all so very clear,
That life is forever simply ‘this’
All that ever was, just ‘here’.

Love reigns on ‘earth’ right here, right now,
Impossible to miss,
Ruthlessly ending the search for peace,
Revealing life’s eternal kiss…

“Being anchored at the seat of yourself is paradoxically like total freefall with nothing to understand & no place to land. Nothing to do but respond here now to what is happening without knowing why, nowhere to go but where life appears to be inviting you to go this moment – without there ever be-ing an escape from HERE. A continuous flowering of infinate petals from a centre-less centre.”

Matt Kahn - Abiding in consciousness

 “Before attempting to abide in consciousness, first investigate consciousness directly to see if there is anything else to abide in. After close examination, which might not take you more than a few seconds of inquiry, you may realize a few important things.

You may see for yourself how you cannot abide in thoughts. Thoughts appear in consciousness. You are the witness, abiding in consciousness, conscious of however thoughts momentarily appear.

You cannot abide in reactions. Reactions appear in consciousness. You are the witness, abiding in consciousness, conscious of however reactions momentarily appear.

You cannot abide in body. Body appears in consciousness. You are the witness, abiding in consciousness, conscious of however body momentarily appears.

You cannot abide in the world. The world appears in consciousness. You are the witness, abiding in consciousness, conscious of however the world momentarily appears.

When you realize there is nothing but consciousness to abide in, you’ll realize how consciousness is always effortlessly abiding in the vastness of itself. Inevitably, the teaching of abiding in consciousness is recognized, not as a formal instruction, or a repetitive practice, but a reminder of what is already so. As this insight dawns upon you, abiding in consciousness will be recognized as everyone’s reality and nobody’s spiritual practice.”


Bob O’Hearn - Lovers’ Pantoum

White light infiltrates me as I expand into it.
The interpermeation of self and supreme —
there are no words with which to say this.
I am the one who writes down words.

The interpermeation of self and supreme —
you are the one who makes up words, I am
the one who writes down words. You asked,
“Who is there?” I replied, “Your Darling!”

You are the one who makes up words, you
wanted to know what I wanted most, I said
“Everything, nothing. I am your Darling!”
Somewhere, a softly glowing silence.

You wanted to know what I wanted most.
I responded, “To see you happy!”
Somewhere, a softly glowing silence.
I claimed an unconditional love.

I said, “I wanted to see you happy!”
We whispered as lovers across the pillow.
I claimed an unconditional love.
One love was playing as if two.

We whispered as lovers across the pillow.
I had no patience for a waiting game.
One love was playing as if two.
You wanted to know where I had been.

I had no patience for the waiting game.
I replied, “I have been within you!”
when you asked me where I had been.
What did I see there? “Only God!”

I have always been here, within you.
There has never been a speck of distance.
What do I see there? “Only God!” I say.
You replied, “Then why is it so empty?”

There has never been a speck of distance.
This is the essence of our timeless truth.
You inquired, “Then why is it so empty?”
I answered, “Only to reveal our truth!”

This is the essence of our timeless truth: pristine
feeling to infinity, boundlessly expanding space.
This is how I would answer to reveal our truth.
You asked, “Can it be done?” I answered, “No.”

Feeling to infinity, boundlessly expanding space —
“Where can one safely live then?” You asked.
You wanted to know if it could be done.
“Only in that silence.” I replied.

“How can one safely live then?” You asked.
“Only by resorting to the guidance of the Heart,
Beloved, only in that silence.” I replied.
“Where can such silence be found?”

Only by resorting to the guidance of the Heart,
can one transcend any threat of disaster.
You asked, “Where can such silence be found?”
Only by relinquishing any resistance to the Heart.

One can transcend any threat of disaster, by seeing
the uncontrived presence of things as they are.
Only by relinquishing any resistance to the Heart,
can the truth of everyone and everything be revealed.

The uncontrived presence of things as they are
is the effortless state of our own true nature, where
the truth of everyone and everything is revealed.
After this, words themselves could go no further.

The effortless state is our own true nature.
There are no words with which to say this.
After this, words themselves can go no further.
White light infiltrates me as I expand into it.

If I tried to say more, listeners would hear
their own heartbeat . . . there would be
no flesh, no bone, nor any limit.
Amen, Amen, Amen.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Paul Goldman - Straitjacket of Belief

With my arms tightly bound,
that which I cling to ensnares me.

The harder I try to escape,
the more entangled and trapped

I become.

As I let go of the serious need
to struggle, Houdini enters

the scene and that which binds me
comes free. I cannot know what

I do not know. Keeping my mind
open, I am in possession of the

magician’s secret tools needed to
break free of all chains, that I imagine

confine me.  In truth, to the degree
that I implode all belief within me,

and simply settle into what is going
on in the sanctity of this serene

uncomplicated moment, I am unbound
from the straitjacket of belief.


Hafiz - Roof of this world

I saw you dancing last night
on the roof of your house
all alone.
I felt your heart longing for the Friend.
I saw you whirling
beneath the soft bright rose
that hung from an invisible stem in the sky.

So I began to change into my best clothes
in hopes of joining you,
even though I live a thousand miles away.

And if you had spun like an immaculate sphere
just two more times,
then bowed again so sweetly to the east,
you would have found God and me
standing so near
and lifting you into our arms.

I saw you dancing last night
near the roof of this world.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Rumi - The reality of Love

If you have illusions about heaven,
lose them.
The soul heard of one attribute of Love
and came to earth.
A hundred attributes of heaven
could never charm her back.
It is here the soul discovers
the reality of LOVE.

Courtney A. Walsh - Dear Human


Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong.
You didn’t come here to master unconditional love.
That is where you came from and where you’ll return.
You came here to learn personal love.
Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love.
Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love.
Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling.
Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often.
You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are.
You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous.
And then to rise again into remembering.
But unconditional love? Stop telling that story.
Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives.
It doesn’t require modifiers.
It doesn’t require the condition of perfection.
It only asks that you show up. And do your best.
That you stay present and feel fully.
That you shine and fly and laugh and cry
and hurt and heal and fall and get back up
and play and work and live and die as YOU.
It’s enough. It’s Plenty. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Joan Tollifson - Groundlessness

It’s raining lightly as I type. Wonderful, delicious sounds. And really, that’s what life is, these ordinary happenings like the sounds of rain pattering on the roof, and these words forming, and the taste of tea, and the beauty of bare, rain-soaked branches, and the mulchy smells of the balmy November air, and maybe also a burning pain somewhere in the body. Just this—this vivid aliveness.

In our mental world, we worry about the meaning or meaninglessness of life, we wonder about our purpose, we judge and evaluate ourselves and compare ourselves to others, we seek escape from the vulnerability and the pain and the heartache that life inevitably brings, and we seek exciting and pleasurable experiences that will thrill us and maybe also enhance our self-image in our own eyes or in the eyes of others. We go on long journeys, sometimes for decades, searching for enlightenment, or the perfect partner, or the perfect place to live, or the perfect career, or the perfect friends.

But meanwhile, here-now we always are, and right here, there is the utter simplicity and wonder of life itself—the sounds of rain, the freshness of the air, the ache of grief, the taste and texture of this moment, just exactly as it is. And it never stays the same, for everything is always changing. The universe literally begins anew in each moment. And really, this moment is all we have. But we so often ignore this vital reality, overlook or dismiss it. We don’t really notice the wonder and the beauty of it, even the wonder and beauty in its sharper, darker, more bitter and challenging forms. We want something else, something bigger and better, more exciting or more pleasurable, or simply different.

As many of you know, I’m working on a fifth book now, a book that explores death and growing old. But it has another aspect now as well, namely the end of my long search for transcendence, and the embrace of groundlessness and not knowing—waking up to the simplicity of being just this moment, exactly as it is. Not knowing what all this is or why it’s happening or what will happen next. Living in groundlessness, rather than desperately trying to find ground in some transcendent metaphysical ideology—e.g., that I am the Ultimate Subject, or that Consciousness is all there is, or that Consciousness precedes the brain and Mind precedes matter, or that awareness is ever-present even after death, or that I am boundless awareness and not a person, or whatever that transcendent ideology might be.

I could always see quite clearly that these were all actually beliefs and not verifiable facts. But sometimes, when self-doubt is a deeply engrained psychological pattern, we override our own intelligence and insight and doubts again and again and swallow what others who seem more enlightened are telling us. And sometimes, even when we tell ourselves (and others) that our search has ended, we are actually still seeking.

Yes, I can feel a sense of boundless awaring presence, the spacious openness of here-now that has no center and no boundaries. I can feel this vast listening silence, and the emptiness at the core of everything. I can see that there is only here-now. When I look, it is obvious that we can never experience anything outside of consciousness, and that every experience is an experience in and of consciousness. But there’s a metaphysical leap, some teachers call it “higher reasoning,” that moves from these direct insights into the metaphysical conclusions I mentioned (e.g., Consciousness is all there is, Consciousness precedes the brain, I am awareness and not a person, and so on).

I can even sense into being the Ultimate Subject, that which remains beyond everything perceivable and conceivable. These were never just intellectual ideas in my head, they were felt experiences, intuitive realities. So, they seemed real. And they were real as experiences. But that’s all they were: sensations, intuitions, experiences. And when mixed together with metaphysical ideas that I was imbibing from the Advaita world, it was easy enough to arrive at the conclusion that I am boundless awareness, infinite consciousness, impersonal presence or the Ultimate Subject beyond all experiences—and it was easy to overlook the fact that I had taken a leap from direct experiencing into metaphysical belief.  And I’m not saying any of these beliefs are false, only that they are based on what is actually simply another experience, another sensation, another intuition, another idea. They have, through “higher reasoning,” reached a philosophical conclusion that is in no way verifiable as Ultimate Truth. But we cling to these conclusions in our search to avoid groundlessness, uncertainty, vulnerability, lack of control, and the reality of not knowing. We turn them into Ultimate Truth.

Of course, when I was dispensing this kind of teaching, I would have insisted that it wasn’t “just another experience, another sensation, another intuition or another idea.” I would have insisted that it was That in which all experiences appeared and disappeared. It was the unchanging, ever-present, ground of being. And I could easily experience it that way. After all, everything appears in awareness. It’s truly easy to hypnotize ourselves or to be hypnotized by teachers, and it’s so easy to slide over from direct insight and experiencing into metaphysical conclusions and beliefs. It’s a subtle line we cross, and we don’t always see it, especially when we are surrounded by a whole subculture that is reinforcing the belief system and the assumption that some metaphysical idea is actually Truth.

In such transcendent teachings as Advaita, which come out of Hinduism, one is no longer a mere mortal or a person, no longer a vulnerable body or a vulnerable human mind, but instead, one is boundless awareness, infinite consciousness, the Ultimate Subject, God—unconditioned, indestructible, imperishable, free. Again, I’m not saying this is all untrue. In fact, I feel such teachings do point to certain realities about life—that there is something right here that is open and free and unconditioned, and that the universe (or whatever this is) is infinite and eternal (i.e. here-now), and that we are a momentary expression of something much larger. Death may be the end of “me” and “my story” and my particular movie of waking life—I assume it will be—but it’s not the end of this larger wholeness of which “Joan” is a momentary and ever-changing movement, like a wave on the ocean. The fear of death comes from being exclusively identified as the wave, and imagining the wave to be a solid, fixed, independent, separate thing rather than a flowing movement of the ocean.

But if we go to the opposite extreme and deny the reality and the preciousness of this body-mind-person, this unique and unrepeatable wave that will never happen again in exactly the same way, and if we try to identify exclusively as the whole ocean and not the wave, we miss something very important. We miss the actual living reality of our life—the taste of tea, the sounds of rain, the smell of garbage, a burning pain in the gut, the bright red fire truck streaking past, the joyous companionship of a good friend or a beloved dog and the grief when they die. We miss the actual life of this moment.

Many of us have given up alcohol and drugs only to become spiritual junkies. I’m not saying we should throw the baby out with the bathwater and renounce all of spirituality as worthless. I’m not saying we should give up meditating if we enjoy it, or that we should stop going on silent retreats—I think spending time in silence is beautiful and enlightening and wondrous. I’m not saying we should renounce all teachers and throw away all spiritual books and never use the word “spirituality” again. There is something real in spirituality, at the very heart of it. But what is it? Is it some belief system, some set of answers and explanations for how the universe works, some metaphysical certainty about life that gives us a feeling of security? Is it some transcendent experience where we leave this life of flesh and blood far, far behind? 
Or is it the raw, unmediated aliveness of this very moment, just as it is?  

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Thomas Merton - Already One

And the deepest level of communication
is not communication,
but communion. It is wordless.
It is beyond words,
and it is beyond speech,
and it is beyond
Not that we discover a new unity.
We discover an older unity.
My dear brothers, we are already one.
But we imagine that we are not.
And what we have to recover is our original unity.
What we have to be is what we are.
~ Thomas Merton
from his Asian journal

Samana - The Heart has no location

Suffering is simply a label, and in the midst of suffering, that's the last thing you want to hear, but not unlike other labels it cannot be found. And even if it was to be sought in inquiry, it's elusive. It will just keep evading and moving out of the way, expecting the next question. It has no location. So this suffering that's a label, that is completely determined by conditioning. With this internal dialogue, there's a personal sphere that gets believed. It is the separate self. And that separate self is imagined. And by the mere removing of the label of suffering, separation starts to dissolve.

So comparing this to trying to connect to the heart, the conditioned sense is that heart is here, heart is in the center of the chest, of the body, but that's a label too if you investigate, if you really go inward and try to find its source, it does not have location. And as such, what gets clear, is that heart which appeared to be within the body, that the body is actually within the heart. This heart that is unconditional.

So, what does unconditional mean? It's another word that gets used a lot. Unconditional is simply that which has not been conditioned. When you explore from those words, it's really clear, because it's so easy even saying 'unconditional love',... there's some label, there’s some conceptual notion, that it's another object, it's a broader knowing of love than the other 'idea label concept' of love. But unconditioned love, love without conditions, that means there's nothing attached to it, that means there's no desire, there is no goal, and that is what the heart is.

The heart has no distance. This one that perceives, arises from that which is recognized as the heart. And just to repeat, the body arises of the heart. The body does not own the heart, control the heart, possess the heart, determine the heart, put boundaries around the heart, limit the heart, all of that is illusory. It's all the belief from the point of view of the label of suffering.

The heart has no location, there's no location at all. So if the heart has no location, if it's not this conditioned notion that it is this, in the center or left center of the chest, then where is the one in that? The idea of who you are arises of the heart. The heart is not in the one, the body itself is arising of Awareness, is arising of love. The body is not the container of Awareness and love, it’s been reversed, it's hypnotic, it's a trick, it's deception. You’re at no distance from what is. Never are, never were, never could be. It's almost as if there is a conditioned choice to suffer as a means of avoiding the heart. This is the belief. There's a fear of the heart. And, who is this one that could possibly fear the heart, when this one is arising of the heart?

That we are so conditioned that love seems like an object, love seems like an agitation, love seems like an activity, love seems like doing, love seems like possessing, God seems separate, God is taught to be separate, everything is external, everything is external and determined by other, determined by reflection of object and so nothing nothing nothing, freedom, God, love, nothing is ever here. All these words like freedom only are present because the opposite is what is lived, conditioned, believed. There is really no need for the word freedom that can be seen anywhere, it's only if one feels that they are confined separate and isolated that the word would need to even arise. Everything appears to be somewhere and there is no distance. There is no distance to anything. You are everything, you are anything and everything, there is no distance to anything, there is nowhere to go, nothing to do, nothing to get, nothing to have. There's nothing here but freedom, but love. When the gap gets closed, and the bubble pops, where does the bubble go? 


Sunday, November 26, 2017

D.T. Suzuki - Zen

Zen in its essence is the art of seeing into the nature of one’s own being, and it points the way from bondage to freedom.
By making us drink right from the fountain of life, it liberates us from all the yokes under which we finite beings are usually suffering in this world.
We can say that Zen liberates all the energies properly and naturally stored in each of us, which are in ordinary circumstances cramped and distorted so that they find no adequate channel for activity.
This body of ours is something like an electric battery in which a mysterious power latently lies.
When this power is not properly brought into operation, it either grows mouldy and withers away or is warped and expresses itself abnormally.
It is the object of Zen, therefore, to save us from going crazy or being crippled.
This is what I mean by freedom, giving free play to all the creative and benevolent impulses inherently lying in our hearts.
Generally, we are blind to this fact, that we are in possession of all the necessary faculties that will make us happy and loving towards one another.
All the struggles that we see around us come from this ignorance.
Zen, therefore, wants us to open a “third eye,” as Buddhists call it, to the hitherto undreamed-of-region shut away from us through ignorance.
When the cloud of ignorance disappears, the infinity of the heavens is manifested, where we see for the first time into the nature of our own being. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Adyashanti - Naming the Unnamable

The great spiritual teacher Krishnamurti once said, 
“When you teach a child that a bird is named ‘bird,’ the child will never see the bird again.” 
What they’ll see is the word “bird.” 
That’s what they’ll see and feel, and when they look up in the sky 
and see that strange, winged being take flight, 
they’ll forget that what is actually there is a great mystery. 
They’ll forget that they really don’t know what it is. 
They’ll forget that the thing flying through the sky is the beyond all words, 
that it’s an expression of the immensity of life. 
It’s actually an extraordinary and wondrous thing that flies through the sky. 
But as soon as we name it, we think we know what it is. 
We see “bird,” and we almost discount it. 
A “bird,” “cat,” “dog,” “human,” “cup,” “chair,” “house,” “forest”
–all of these things have been given names, 
and all of these things lose some of their natural aliveness 
once we name them.

Mark Nepo - Sitting on a bench

It was a sunny day
and I went to the park
and sat on a bench. I was
one of many coming out
from under our rocks
to warm and lengthen.

He was two benches down,
a gentle older man
staring off into the place
between things, beyond
any simple past, staring
into the beginning or the end,
it was hard to say.

When he came up
our eyes met
and he knew I’d seen him
journey there and back.

There was no point in looking away.
And so, he shuffled over
and sat beside me. The sun
moved behind the one cloud
and he finally said
in half a quiver, “How
can we go there together?”

I searched my small mind
for an answer. At this,
he looked away and the sun came out
and I realized this is what the lonely
sages of China were talking about,
what the moon has whispered
before turning full for centuries,
what dancers leap for, what violinists
dream after fevering their last note.

But I was awkward and unsure.
He stared, as if to search my will,
and after several minutes,
he just patted my knee
and left.

I watched him
darken and brighten in the sun,
and vowed to look
in the folds of every cry
for a way through,
and hope someday
to meet him there.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Yolande Duran - ‘The Power of Silence’

"My experience is that Silence
is the power that makes us and everything else move.
It is pure Energy that cannot be comprehended,
felt or looked at.
It is that marvelous intensity of love that makes us love.
It is perfection.
It is the light that gives life to darkness.
It is the shapeless void,
the nothingness that contains it all.
It is the Stillness that contemplates movement;
the Witness that contemplates the world.
That is Silence for me.
That is what I am and what we all are.
It is the only existing Reality."

Silence heals PDF

What has changed in Yolande is not what she sees. Yolande still sees the contents of the world just like any other individual holding on to their belief of being a person. What has changed in Yolande is her point of view. Her look is no longer focused through her physical eyes or through the limited sense perception based on fear of pain and search for pleasure. Yolande looks out from eternity, free from time and space, from birth and death.

As the Presence – the Witness – that I am, I see that the world, and all that it contains, spinning around to the beat of day and night, night and day, and I see how Yolande’s body appears in it. I watch Yolande eating, working, and resting. I see her getting happy or sad. I see her thinking or feeling moved. I see her rising in the morning, sleeping and dreaming, but I don’t move – I am just that witness watching. My experience is that the wake, sleep and dream states are just part of a great dream – the dream of life.

Just as the different levels of sound are nothing but expressions of Silence, the multiple, more or less subtle manifestations of global Awareness spring from and subside in Nothingness.

I am pure Energy. I am both Silence and the dot of light that illumines movement. I don’t perceive through my sense organs – I am perception itself. I don’t look out through my eyes – I am that looking. I am the Witness, the light that brings life into all names and forms, but I am beyond seeing and witnessing.

Each one of us believes themselves to be an individual isolated in their physical body and limited by their mind. But the truth is that we are all part of one single act of looking. We are the audience in life’s movie theater, watching the film of our lives. However, simultaneously, we are also that light that makes it possible for the movie to be seen on the screen.

From that one View, from that Light that we all are, what I see is this supreme balance between dynamic energy and Silence happening in a natural way. When the situation calls for action, action itself takes place. It’s no use trying to control or direct our lives – life lives itself.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Marguerite Porete - He is, and I am not

Leonardo da Vinci  Annunciazione

Thought is no longer of worth to me,
nor work, nor speech.
Love draws me so high
(thought is no longer of worth to me)
with her divine gaze,
that I have no intent.
Thought is no longer of worth to me,
nor work nor speech.
Love has made me find by nobility
these verses of a song.
It is [of] the Deity pure,
about whom Reason knows not how to speak,
and of a Lover,
which I have without a mother,
who is the issue
of God the Father
and of God the Son also.
His name is Holy Spirit,
from whom I possess such joining in the he art,
that He causes joy to remain in me.
It is the peace of the nourishment
which the Lover gives in loving.
I wish to ask nothing of Him,
to do so would be too wretched of me.
Instead I owe Him total faith
in loving such a Lover.
O Lover of gentle nature,
you are to be much prized:
generous, courteous without measure,
sum of all goodness,
you do not will to do anything,
Lover, without my will.
and thus I must not hold silence
about your beauty and goodness.
Powerful you are for my sake, and wise;
such I cannot hide.
Ah, but to whom will I say it?
Seraphim know not how to speak of it

Lover, you have grasped me in your love,
to give me your great treasure,
that is, the gift of your own self,
which is divine goodness.
heart cannot express this,
but willing pure nothingness purifies [the heart],
which makes me climb so high,
by union in concordance,
which I ought never to reveal.

I used to be enclosed in the servitude of captivity,
When desire imprisoned me in the will of affection.
There the light of ardor from divine love found me,
Who quickly killed my desire, my will and affection,
which impeded in me the enterprise of the fullness of divine love.

Now has Divine Light delivered me from captivity,
and joined me by gentility to the divine will of Love,
there where the Trinity gives me the delight of His love.
This gift no human understands, As long as he serves any Virtue whatever,
or any feeling from nature, through practice of reason.
O my Lover, what will Beguines say and religious types,
when they hear the excellence of your divine song?
Beguines say I err, priests, clerics, and Preachers,
Augustinians, Carmelites, and the Friars Minor,
Because I wrote about the being of the one purified by love.
I do not make Reason safe for them, who makes them say this to me.
Desire, Will, and Fear surely take from them the understanding,
the out-flowing, and the union of the highest Light
of the ardor of divine love.
Truth declares to my heart
that I am loved by One alone,
and she says that it is without return
that He has given me His love.
This gift kills my thought
by the delight of His love,
which delight lifts me and transforms me throughout union
Into eternal joy of the being of divine Love.
And Divine Love tells me that she has entered within me,
a nd so she can do whatever she wills,
such strength she has given me,
from One Lover whom I possess in love
to whom I am betrothed,
who wills that He loves,
and for this I will love Him.
I have said that I will love Him.
I lie, for I am not.
it is He alone who loves me:
He is, and I am not;
and nothing more is necessary to me
than what he wills,
and that He is worthy.
He is fullness,
and by this am I impregnated.
This is the divine seed and Loyal Love.

The mirror of simple souls 

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