Saturday, March 25, 2017

Joan Tollifson - How to awaken?



How to awaken? Stop thinking about it. Stop trying to get it. Stop trying to have (or not have) any particular experience. Relax into the pure experiencing of right here, right now, just as it is. Listen to the sounds, feel the sensations, see the colors and shapes (the pure visual sensations before the labels). Be quiet. Be still. Listen. Sense. Simply BE, effortlessly, simply.

Be aware of being aware. You can’t see awareness or grasp it, but there can be a simple noticing that awareness is here, an awareness of being aware. Feel the sense of presence, of being present. Feel the spaciousness, the openness, the aliveness of this awaring presence. Notice that whatever time of day it is, it is always Now, and that whatever location shows up, it always shows up Here. Feel (sense) into the vastness, the boundlessness of Here / Now, this timeless immediacy. Notice that Here / Now (awareness itself) has no beginning or end, no edges, no limits, no place where it is not.

Feel into the deepest core of what you mean when you refer to “I”—prior to thought and memory, prior to everything learned second-hand (such as your name, gender, age, occupation, nationality, life story, and so on), before all that, what are you? You know without a doubt that you are here. Feel deeply into that knowingness that I AM. In your direct experience, is that awaring presence encapsulated inside a body? Does it have any limits or any particular form? Feel the vibrancy, the aliveness, the spaciousness, the present-ness, the no-thing-ness that I AM.

Ask yourself, what is beholding ALL of this, even the most subtle sense of presence? Don’t try to come up with an answer. Instead, allow this question to invite a direct exploration, feeling into this without seeking any result. What is being pointed out with this question is not something you will see or “get” as an object. Nor is it some flashy new experience. In fact, you won’t find any-thing at all. (And if you do find or experience something, ask yourself, what is beholding that?). We can call what is being pointed out by many names: Primordial Awareness, the Ultimate Subject, the Self, True Self, God, emptiness, no-thing-ness, Unicity, Zero. But the actuality of it is prior to any name we put on it. It is more subtle than anything perceivable, conceivable or experienceable. It is ever-present, and it is the very Heart of your being, so if you are looking for it, you are actually looking out of it. And although it is nothing perceivable or conceivable, at the same time, there is nothing you can see or experience that is not it.

Thoughts may pop up (they probably will), storylines may arise (they probably will), the fog of emotion-thought may thicken and the pull of re-identifying as the separate self may be very strong at times. I am reminded in such moments of that scene in Homer’s Odyssey when Odysseus has his men plug their ears and tie him to the mast as they pass by the island of the Sirens—those creatures whose mesmerizing voices were known to lure sailors to shipwreck on the rocky coast of the island. Our stories, beliefs, old habit patterns and identities are like those Siren songs, and they can be very strong, sometimes irresistible. It’s as if we fall briefly under a hypnotic spell. Consciousness, it seems, is easily entranced by its own creations. What to do?

Start by not doing anything. Simply allow everything to be as it is in this moment. Don’t resist what shows up or chase after something else. See the thoughts that pop up for the habitual, conditioned movements of mind that they are—don’t believe them or mistake them for an objective report on reality. See if it is possible to hear them without getting hypnotized by the storylines they spin, to hear them the same way you might hear traffic sounds or bird songs. And if you do get temporarily hypnotized and caught up in these storylines, when waking up happens, as it does naturally by itself, don’t judge yourself for having been caught up, don’t take it personally, don’t hold onto it or give it meaning—simply let it go and gently return to simply being present as awake awareness: hearing the traffic or the barking dog, feeling the breathing, feeling sensations in the body, being aware of being aware, sensing the spaciousness of boundless presence, BEING the listening silence that you always already are.

Awakening is simply a shift in attention from thoughts to presence, from separation to wholeness. It involves a relaxing (or opening) of attention, allowing the narrow, hard focus of seeking, resisting, controlling and grasping to soften and let go, surrendering everything, falling into the arms of the Beloved, dissolving into the Beloved, being no-thing at all.

And from this open, relaxed, awake presence, action can happen as needed. Focused attention can return and narrow as needed, but without hardening, grasping or fixating. And however the attention moves, it doesn’t ever actually disturb the vastness in any way. That open, spacious field of awareness is ever-present. It is the groundless ground of every experience. Don’t take that as a belief, but stop and check at any moment—is awareness here? You’ll find that it always is. Here / Now is ever-present. And just as the movie screen is never burned by the fire in the movie, it can be noticed that awareness (Here / Now) is never damaged by anything that appears in the movie of waking life. The focus of attention will shift or narrow or expand as it needs to, and experiencing will feel different in different moments—you talk to children, teach a class, do your taxes, perform surgery, work on the computer, drive a bus, visit a friend, care for an aging parent, organize a protest march, talk things out with a spouse or a housemate, attend a business meeting, plan for the future and learn from the past in appropriate and functional ways, and so on. All of this is the Self functioning. It is the movie on the screen, the movie of waking life, the dance of emptiness, the expression of the Absolute in form. It is not other than the Absolute, but the Absolute is not trapped in the movie. The Absolute dances freely as the movie.

I find it immensely helpful to make time every day to sit quietly doing nothing, just being. I recommend this. And then throughout the day, when it occurs to you and the opportunity arises, simply pause for a moment and listen to the sounds, feel the sensations, be aware of awareness, be knowingly present as the boundless awaring presence that you are. This can happen anywhere—at work, on the city bus, while walking or eating a meal. Even as you are talking to someone, both as you talk and as you listen, see if it’s possible to also be aware of sounds, sensations in the body, breathing, the sense of presence, the listening silence, the stillness, the whole happening of the moment. You may find that this changes how you talk and how you listen.

And don’t be caught in some idea that you “should” or “must” do this “all the time” or perfectly. Don’t evaluate how well you’re doing it. Actually, you (as the separate self) are not doing anything—you don’t actually exist! Those thoughts about progress and success or failure are all coming from the perspective of that imaginary separate self. Awakening is about waking up from the dream of being that little, separate, encapsulated me. So, don’t compare this illusory phantom self with other illusory phantom selves. That is a waste of time! And if these movements of the habitual thinking mind do pop up, simply see them for what they are—conditioned habits—and let them go. Relax back into simple being.

The most important realization you can have is that it is always Now. Awakening is never about yesterday or tomorrow or once-and-for-all or forever-after or the next moment or the last moment. It’s always NOW. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t (relatively speaking) a kind of evolutionary process involved, a gradual unfolding over time, a deepening or stabilizing or embodying that occurs, but that process only happens Now.

Waking up is the dissolution of the sense of separation and encapsulation and the mistaken identity as a separate self. That doesn’t mean you forget your name or lose the functional sense of boundaries and location that are needed to survive, but your true identity is with the boundless awareness in which all of this comes and goes. Awakening is never about the separate “me” achieving something or becoming an improved, enlightened or awakened “somebody” in “The Story of My Life.” That is all a kind of delusion. Being awake is about being no-thing at all. And paradoxically, when there is no thought-sense of being somebody, the person is set free to be the truest, most genuine expression it can be.

There is no distance at all between you right here, right now and boundless awareness, the True Self. Here / Now is what “I” truly is. You can never actually leave Here / Now. You can only imagine that you have left, that you are lost or lacking. All of that drama is in the movie.

The more clearly that is seen, and the more we explore and feel into the open spaciousness of presence-awareness, the more deeply realized and embodied this all becomes and the less alluring the Siren songs of old habit are. There is no end to this awakening journey. There is no such thing as after Now or before Now—there is only Now, and yet, there are ever new subtleties, ever new discoveries, ever new challenges. Every moment is new and fresh—it has never been here before.

 

Khalil Gibran - Only when...



"Only when you drink from the river of Silence
shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top,
then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs,
then shall you truly dance."

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pádraig Ó Tuama - Hello to you all!



“Neither I nor the poets I love found the keys to the kingdom of prayer and we cannot force God to stumble over us where we sit. But I know that it’s a good idea to sit anyway. So every morning I sit, I kneel, waiting, making friends with the habit of listening, hoping that I’m being listened to. There, I greet God in my own disorder. I say hello to my chaos, my unmade decisions, my unmade bed, my desire and my trouble. I say hello to distraction and privilege, I greet the day and I greet my beloved and bewildering Jesus. I recognise and greet my burdens, my luck, my controlled and uncontrollable story. I greet my untold stories, my unfolding story, my unloved body, my own love, my own body. I greet the things I think will happen and I say hello to everything I do not know about the day. I greet my own small world and I hope that I can meet the bigger world that day. I greet my story and hope that I can forget my story during the day, and hope that I can hear some stories, and greet some surprising stories during the long day ahead. I greet God, and I greet the God who is more God than the God I greet. / Hello to you all, I say, as the sun rises above the chimneys of North Belfast. / Hello.”

is a theologian and poet, and the author of an incandescent memoir, In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World
Thanks to 
 

MysticSaint Sadiq Alam - Uncertainty Paradox



 You told me, there is so much uncertainty!
replied i, uncertainty is part of this reality.

Master of Great Silence whispers within:
follow the path diligently
that leads to deeper and unknown trails
into the Universe of Uncertainty.

take hand of the Master of Uncertainty
Who will lead you to the deepest forest,
leaving you totally bewildered and lost.

immersed in total uncertainty
look nowhere to find a way out, but
leave all to Him Who brought you here
in the first place. There is no other way.

for a split second, let not your heart sway.
be baffled but hold fast with total trust.

behold the mystical paradox that says:
only (realizing) Total Uncertainty (within)
will take you to the point of Total Certainty.

In remembrance of the Great Beloved Who brings inspiration & illumination into the inner heart
 
 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tim Freke - The Deep Awake Life


How we experience life depends on how conscious we are. When we only pay attention to the surface of life we're only superficially awake. But when we look deeper we can become deep awake.

This feels like waking up from a semi-conscious trance and remembering we are alive. We become conscious that there is much more to life than we had realized.

We feel present in the moment and filled with wonder. We start to see into the deeper levels of our own identity and become conscious of being the ‘I of awareness’ that is witnessing the play of life.

Then, if we really immerse ourselves in the deep awake state, life becomes WOW! There’s an awe-inspiring oneness with the universe, which feels like being immersed in an ocean of love.

There is a silent knowing, so deep it must be felt not thought, which fills us with an unshakeable confidence that life is good and death is safe. Despite all the suffering there is an unquenchable faith that this bittersweet journey of life is profoundly meaningful.

Becoming deep awake is a life-changing experience that is traditionally called 'spiritual awakening', but you don't need to think of yourself as 'spiritual' to experience it. 
It is natural and available to all of us.

After a lifetime spent exploring the deep awake state and studying the world's wisdom traditions I have created a fresh approach to awakening called 'The Deep Awake Life' 
and I now want to share it with you.

Video & audio on The Deep Awake Life HERE


 
How we experience life depends on how conscious we are. When we only pay attention to the surface of life we're only superficially awake. But when we look deeper we can become deep awake.
This feels like waking up from a semi-conscious trance and remembering we are alive. We become conscious that there is much more to life than we had realized.
We feel present in the moment and filled with wonder. We start to see into the deeper levels of our own identity and become conscious of being the ‘I of awareness’ that is witnessing the play of life.
Then, if we really immerse ourselves in the deep awake state, life becomes WOW! There’s an awe-inspiring oneness with the universe, which feels like being immersed in an ocean of love.
There is a silent knowing, so deep it must be felt not thought, which fills us with an unshakeable confidence that life is good and death is safe. Despite all the suffering there is an unquenchable faith that this bittersweet journey of life is profoundly meaningful.
Becoming deep awake is a life-changing experience that is traditionally called 'spiritual awakening', but you don't need to think of yourself as 'spiritual' to experience it. It is natural and available to all of us.
After a lifetime spent exploring the deep awake state and studying the world's wisdom traditions I have created a fresh approach to awakening called 'The Deep Awake Life' and I now want to share it with you.
Video & audio on The Deep Awake Life here
- See more at: http://timfreke.com/The-Deep-Awake-Life.aspx#sthash.pszIEXso.dpuf

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Shah Nematollah Vali - One step beyond yourself



Take one step beyond yourself --
the whole path lasts no longer than a step.
Beg alms from yourself -- don't go wandering --
outside yourself the Way cannot be found.
If it's love you're after, naught yourself;
only the lover minus self knows love.
In the hope of His union suffer
the weight of separation all your life.
A rose without thorns cannot be found —
there is no gathering of roses without shedding blood.
Seek His pearl-secret from the ocean-hearted dervish —
there is no diver in His ocean but the dervish heart.
Speak not of infidelity or faith
no, be sacrificed in the way of love;
for in His presence there is no room, no time
for dogma, infidelity or faith.
Seeker, no one attains to love
without rising above yesterday and tomorrow.
The day is today. No lover
knows care for the future!
Speak no more of silver and gold with Nimatullah
this lovely gold of yours is nothing but a jaundiced corpse.



Robert Adams - "Be still and know that I am God."



Ramana Maharshi said to me,
"The only spiritual life you need is not to react."
To be calm is the greatest asset in the world.
It's the greatest siddhi, the greatest power you can have.
If you can only learn to be calm you will solve every problem.
This is something you must remember.
When you are perfectly calm, time stops.
There is no time, karma stops, samskaras stop.
Everything becomes null and void.
For when you are calm you are one with the entire energy of the universe
and everything will go well with you.
To be calm means you are in control.
You're not worried about the situation, the outcome.
What is going to happen tomorrow.
To be calm means everything is alright.
There is nothing to worry about, nothing to fret over.
This is also the meaning of the biblical saying,
"Be still and know that I am God."
To be calm is to be still.

 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Robert Rabbin - Silence



From the time I was 11 years old, I needed to know one thing above and before all else: Who am I?
 I traveled for a long time and throughout the world in search of answers.

One day, as if I had lived alone for many years in the deep desert, I was taken by a stunning stillness, and without resistance I disappeared into Silence. It was more than an epiphany, more than grace, more than mystical union: It was my soul’s homecoming, my heart’s overflowing love, and my mind’s eternal peace.

In Silence, I felt my core identity, my essential nature, as a unity-in-love with all creation. I experienced freedom clarity, and joy as my true Self. I realized I was of time and eternity in equal measure. I was composed of physical matter and spiritual energy in equal measure. I was born in New York City at the same instant I appeared 20 billion years ago, unfathomably and impossibly far away. as a sibling to trillions of suns.

This Self, this Silence, belongs to all of us — it is who we are; it is what we are. If we are to experience and embody authentic peace and love, if we are going to bring true healing to our wildly violent and endangered world, we are going to have to learn to live within this essence which joins us together as brothers and sisters.

Please remember the Silence beyond words, the Silence of mystery and magic, the Silence of the soul, of the heart, the Silence in which lovers give themselves to a greater loving, a selfless loving, the Silence which knows only this moment, this present moment, this incredible instant of pure life when time suddenly stops, when we breathe the high-altitude air we call love. I want to remind you of these ways of Silence knowing and being, which you know, which you are.

Silence is within our very genes. It wind around and binds together the strands of our DNA. It is the essence of who we are. It is within our breath. It is there like music between our thoughts. It is the light within our eyes. It is the high arc of birds we long to follow home to their secret nests. It is in the rhythm of waves, the innocence of children, the deep feelings within the heart that have no cause, when the heart is pierced without warning and our eyes fill with teas. It is within the kindness of one person to another. It is within the stillness of nights, and peace of early mornings. It is there when you see the one you love coming towards you, and your pulse pounds and races with delight and you move with her in a twilight not of this world, but of the spirit world, the world of our deeper knowing.

In Silence, we open to life and life opens to us, life reaches towards us and touches us in the center of our heart. Our heart breaks open and another heart is revealed. This is the true heart, the one that knows how to meet life with open arms. Silence knows that thoughts about life are not life itself. If we touch life through Silence, life touches us back, intimately, sensually, erotically. We become one with life itself, abandoning all thoughts about life. And then the mystery of life, the wonder of life, the beauty of life, the sanctity of life, become our life. Everything but wonderment falls away; the anger and fear and violence disappear as if they never existed.

Knowing Silence is knowing ourselves for the first time; we see the world for the first time. We only have to be still, to be still, until that Silence comes forth from within us, to surround us, to illuminate us. This Silence is the real teacher, the real teaching, the real path. This Silence is what we seek above all else, for it is who we are. It is our own Self. It is restores us to love and redeems us in love.

Knowing Silence is knowing your Self. Knowing your Self is freedom. In Silence, you are the very embodiment of joy, the very expression of love. All this is true right now, in this moment. Just enter your Self fully and deeply. You will find this Silence, and in Silence you will know your own beauty, your own power, your own magnificence — it is the same for all! As the embodiment of Silence you are perfection itself. You are a treasure to the world, a treasure to the world which the world needs now, right now, right now, not later or tomorrow, but right now the world needs you to be your true Self, the world needs the healing power of your heart, and of your Silence.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Rumi ♡ It simply is


 

Make everything in you an ear,
each atom of being,
and you will hear
at every moment
what the Source
is whispering
to you...

You are the beloved
of The Beloved...

and in every moment,
in every event of your life,
The Beloved
is whispering to you
exactly what you need
to hear and know.

Who can ever explain this miracle?
It simply is.


 

Jiddu Krishnamurti - The book of life