Monday, December 31, 2018

Mirabai Starr - In praise of Longing...



   

At night on my bed I longed
for my only love.
I sought him, but did not find him.
I must rise and go about the city,
the narrow streets and squares, till I find
my only love.
I sought him everywhere
but I could not find him.
(From The Song of Songs)


Love-longing is one of the casualties of the Post-Modern Age. We seem to have come to some kind of corporate decision that relegates spiritual passion to the psychological trash basket of romantic delusion. It’s the same thing we say when two people fall in love: “She is infatuated with an idea,” we declare, “not a real person.” (We learned this in Psych 101, and it explains a lot about our own history of romantic disasters.) Or: “She is a blank screen onto which he projects his own hopes and dreams of love. It has nothing to do with her.”

The conclusion of this line of reasoning is that one day the lovers will wake up, the scales will drop from their eyes, and they will see each other truly. That, we assert, is when the real work of relationship begins. And that’s when many lovers bail and bolt, only to run the same delusional story on someone else.

Maybe. Or perhaps falling in love is more like what Leonard Cohen said in an interview I read in Interview Magazine while pumping my quads on the Stair-Stepper at the gym years ago. It’s not falling in love that’s the illusion (I’m paraphrasing here); it’s falling out of love. When that intoxicating feeling of awe and connectedness washes over us and penetrates our consciousness, that’s when the shroud lifts and we see that person for who she truly is: a being of exquisite beauty and pure goodness. When we fall out of love, the veil drops once again over our eyes, and we stop seeing our beloved as the holy creature he is.

I believe the same principal is operating with spiritual longing. Many of us start on a spiritual path at a young age, crazed with desire for God. We fast and pray, meditate till we can’t stand up, read and re-read the Gospel of Thomas and the Tao Te Ching, chant kirtan and sing hymns and memorize Rumi poems — all in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Numinous, which has become the object of everything we have ever wanted. And then some well-meaning elder, who has been cultivating wisdom for way longer than we have and has graduated from such sophomoric inclinations, suggests that perhaps what we think is spiritual desire is actually just a case of raging hormones directed at the idea of God, and that we need to let go of attachment and get grounded.

“Don’t worry,” they reassure us. “It’s a perfectly natural developmental phase. You’ll grow out of it.”

Maybe we’re not supposed to grow out of it. What if the Bride in the Song of Songs represents the very highest state of the human spirit, and when she rushes from her bed (where she has been smoldering in agony all through the night) and onto the streets and plazas in search of the One who has set the blaze, she is forging a direct path to mystical union. A path of fire.

This longing you express
is the return message.
The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness that wants help
is the secret cup.
(Rumi, from Love Dogs)


It is true that religion has its limitations, some of which can be harmful (divisive dogma, antiquated rituals, abuses of authority), but the longing of the soul for union with the Divine transcends formal religious boundaries and leaves belief systems in the dust. At the core of every one of the world’s major spiritual traditions lies a heart that burns with yearning for a Presence that cannot be defined by membership in any particular mythic system and cannot be explained by the most precise theology. Longing for God is a trans-religious phenomenon, and so lends itself beautifully to the inter-spiritual quest.

What do I mean by inter-spiritual? I mean an experience of the presence of the sacred anywhere and everywhere we can find it. I mean an Episcopal priest singing the Kol Nidre with her Jewish neighbor and finding the gates of heaven blown open by the ancient Hebrew liturgy and the light of Christ come streaming through. And then the following week there sits the Jew in a pew on an ordinary Sunday morning and when she is invited up to receive communion she overrides her instinctual panic and stands to receive the body and blood of one of the greatest prophets her people has ever known, and then she returns to kneel at the altar rail, her eyes streaming, the taste of love alive on her tongue. I mean an agnostic chanting zikr in a circle of Sufis — Allah Hu — and watching in awe as every preconception he has ever harbored about Muslims being perilous wackos falls away and his spirit soars in remembrance of the One, who is the embodiment of Mercy and Compassion. By inter-spiritual I mean the cultivation of radical humility, and a spiritual thirst so powerful it drives us into the arms of the Beloved wherever we think she may be hiding, even in unfamiliar holy houses. It means being vulnerable enough to be transformed by our encounter with the other.

It means saying yes to love.

O Lord, you Supreme Trickster! What subtle artfulness you use to do your work in this slave of yours. You hide yourself from me and afflict me with your love. You deliver such a delicious death that my soul would never dream of trying to avoid it.
(Teresa of Avila, from The Book of My Life)


Longing is a key that opens the door to the garden where the Beloved is waiting, and has been waiting all along. Stop trying to grow up and grow out of it. Instead, descend. Sink the roots of your love deep into the Ground of Being. This is incarnational spirituality. It is not about ascending some kind of spirit ladder up and away from this messy world into a pure land of equanimity. It’s about fully inhabiting this place, and picking up the tools that come with the package: these glorious, riotous, ravaged hearts that want to praise and burn, these fecund, holy souls that long to see and be seen, these complex minds whose highest task may well be to unlearn everything they think they know, and rest in the mystery of love.





Thursday, December 27, 2018

Rumi - Let me roast in Perfection!



O incomparable Giver of life, cut reason loose at last!
Let it wander grey-eyed from vanity to vanity.
Shatter open my skull, pour in it the wine of madness!
Let me be mad, as You; mad with You, with us.
Beyond the sanity of fools is a burning desert
Where Your sun is whirling in every atom:
Beloved, drag me there, let me roast in Perfection!


 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Aisha Salem - The primordial Silence



The primordial Silence as the vastness of Pure Mind is Absolute Peace in and as Total Absence.
Out of unborn stillness rises the Heart essence as Enlightened Intent. With no ownership and no conceptually rooted purpose, it moves like water on stone – endlessly affecting and timelessly marking its Silence through its ever clearer expression.

The mind, which is surrendered to the vibration of Being as pure Space, doesn’t only find itself to be peace and silence, but is granted the brilliancy of Pure Knowing as its seat and origin, due to the revelation of pure Mind – the Absolute Reality, which rests beneath our usual attention directed into or at Existence.

This origin cannot be personalized nor owned, but only be surrendered to in terms of agreement with non-existence and the Full Emptiness, in which pure knowledge is recognized to be the background, silence and solidity of pure Being.

As the peace of Primordial Silence is discovered, surrendered to and realized, it becomes the purifying instance of all of existence. Existence is thereby recognized as Heart and whole, through which Pure Knowing becomes the case. It happens as an elimination of all beliefs, all limits – in agreement with Truth of Space and existential transparency to Space.

Pure Mind reveals as That beyond identification, beyond identity and beyond Movement of mind, as the result of the emptying out- and elimination of the otherwise solidly founded “I”, which usually inhabits the headspace and brain as un-enlightened matter.

Out of this Silence, All is born. As waves of oceanic movement, Life is the still born into Being. The Absolute Silence reflecting Absence into Presence. Movement appearing and disappearing from the Source, rising and ceasing with no intent, no purpose, no distinction.

All phenomena is born of the same equanimity – of which Enlightened Expression is all of it. The sameness of every form – every part of existence in all of its diversity – is indeed the Natural Displ - y of Silence. Despite a seeming movement, a transformation and a never-ending purification, there is no right or even distinguishable expression other than the display of every single occurrence.

Heart is thereby not a particular expression, but an embrace of All of Existence in its every twist and turn, beyond distinction or judgment, but which allows all qualities of being to carry the same value and be equally contained in its unfolding. In attaining infinite rest as Absolute Peace, nothing reaches outside itself and all of Life is contained but unmoving and invisible as anything but Power itself, within the Vast Expanse of Pure Mind.

In Silence everything comes to rest as equal – in sameness. Staying as rest, solidifies this Silence to the extent of Infinitely Immovable. Inexhaustable.

The Primordial Silence leaves not a single instance visible apart from any other. Nothing to be done or dealt with and neither does it leave any states nor shifts visible within the field of perception.

The rest with- and as the Primordial Silence is the realization of/as Pure Awareness. Awareness which is not aware of anything – neither subject nor object remains. All is recognized as itself to the degree of being its own Silence as Absolute intensity of immovable wakefulness.

Resting as that Silence overrules every need and passes every distinction or difference between anything to the extent of every concept and mind-created field of perception disappearing. There is no home – and yet everything is home. There is no difference between being alone or surrounded by people. There is fundamentally no difference between being asleep or awake, while none of these states represent anything other than a change on a level of existence, which in itself is invisible from and as Awareness itself.

Resting as Pure Awareness means a peace so fundamental, that it surpasses every angle of Existence to the extent of sheer Invisible Brilliancy inverted by and as itself, through the very point of existence – a portal found in the very center of the head-space.

Deeply surrendered to The Absolute we are left only with the peace of pure Mind, which has no reference to anything but recognition as Being – the ground of Basic Space itself. In the deepest of Respect and Love for what is Ultimately True, the embrace of Silence through our every movement, in our every way, is the growing Love for- and surrender to Reality.

The hardships of letting go of emotional ties, the emotional pain of living according to individuality based on wishes, hopes and dreams – none of it exists nor carries any validity in the deepest relaxation into and realization of the Primordial Silence. Therefore none of it carries any importance in Ultimate Reality either.

Meeting The Absolute with this Level of Directness requires Absolute Surrender. Anything but absolute surrender to reality, will make a partial recognition and Trouble for the remaining somebodiness. Ultimate Surrender will in turn, however, become a Natural and Unceasing Fire, that Burns Everything within Ones Being.

The Eminence of Silence is pristine and untouched. It is not a place of hiding, escaping nor of salvation. It is Liberation – beyond anyone in need of a hide-out, needing to escape or needing savior. In other words – there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

To truly wake up, One realizes- and comes to peace with Ones own non-existence. Passing the fear of death by simply dying to non-existence by cessation of Self. 



continue reading Here

 

Monday, December 24, 2018

Balthazar - Infinite thirst



I have an infinite thirst
And I would not satisfy it even if it could be quenched.
For it is a thirst which satisfies itself by being unfulfillable.
It is the infinite that I long for
And not the thirst.

An infinite thirst,
and a thirst for the infinite.

This is the hunger that gnaws in the deepest pit of every man’s gut.
And the thirst which no earthly substance can ultimately fulfill within all women.

A thirst that would swallow the sea.
And a hunger that would devour the sun.

This infinite thirst for life and the experience of the fulness and totality of life.
For the deepest pleasure, the purest beauty.
The thirst for the infinite.

It screams and it whispers:
“Everything is not enough,
and nothing is too much to bear.”


The thirst itself is the expression of the immensity of life longing to experience itself.
Of infinity reaching out for itself.

You will consume many liquids before you discover the waters of life.
You will taste many flavors before you learn to recognize the one taste.
You will imbibe many false substances before you learn the secret of making the Elixir of Life

Seek not to quench thy thirst,
but to drown oneself in it.

Walk the plank and be lost at sea.
Become the longing…
and by and by the longing becomes you.



 Source 





Sunday, December 23, 2018

Dada Gavand - The Beauty of Silence



Silence is the gate to go beyond.

We are missing the aesthetic beauty of silence, the fragrance of quietude and inner peace, because the mind has become overgrown and overactive. It has captured us and the whole energy of life, going on and on ceaselessly, continuing with its mechanical momentum in time.

Your education and culture demand that you be engaged by the mind constantly. In the present culture of competitive commercial society there seems to be no room for silence.

We just continue in time, through hope, hopping and running around with pursuits of thought, and that is what we call our civilized living. But what is life without peace and freedom? We are compelled, bound by thought, by desire, by emotion. Now we need to discover a new way, a way of freedom, a way of creativity, which brings wisdom, happiness and peace in living. Then we will experience a unique energy, and the state of freedom, of liberation, which is the highest state of living.

Then there will be no craving by thought and no struggle to reach anywhere. You will be fully in the silence of the moment, entrenched in profound peace of the present. In silence alone can one capture the eternal moment. This moment is the beginning and end of time, the trickle of eternity.

Watch your talkative mind. You will see the futility of its constant activity—thinking, talking, ceaselessly through thought. Then you will wonder over thought. You will realize the limitation and ignorance of thought. You will no longer be enamoured by thought. You will not like to be carried away by thought. You will realize the necessity of non-thought.

Quietude and silence are not the negation of life, but the regeneration of it. Silence is the means to elevate life energy to a timeless dimension.

Only in the present is the energy quiet and balanced, uncontaminated and vibrantly alive, sensitive enough to receive the unknown.

We have got to find this unknown dimension of life. We need it very much right now. The whole world is in desperate need of a new-dimensional consciousness, so that human beings can live intelligently, creatively, spontaneously and lovingly, and not just follow the ego pursuits mechanically.

When one begins to realize the limitation of all thought activity and ego drives the attachment and excitement drops. The sensational pursuits stop. One is left with a deep, profound silence.

Silence becomes eloquent and active. Silence becomes intelligent and positive. Action that springs from the depth of silence is spontaneous, truthful and universal. It is immaculate, timeless and spiritual.

Silence is the means and silence is the end. Creative silence is the ultimate challenge.

Silence is the sap that rejuvenates life. Silence is the source of eternal life.





 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Rumi ♡ The Dancing Cry Of The Soul



 

Love is the dancing cry of the soul, calling the body to worship
Like a shining whirlpool, or a spinning mayfly
So is love among the skies.

I leap across the mountaintops, madly singing the song of all songs
I float through the ether, intoxicated, thrilled
I think only of your love, your calling to me
And I dance the thousand dances of love, all returning to you.

It is not the play of children, nor the detached unity of wise sages
Unreal! Unnecessary!
Where is the beauty?

When I, like a glowing comet, may flash around your sun
Laughing, singing, with the joy of loving you!

Wine makes drunk the mind and body
But it is love which thrills the soul
When I approach you, I feel the mad pounding of love
The singing wonder
The joy which opens blossoms on the trees of the world.

Come to me, and I shall dance with you
In the temples, on the beaches, through the crowded streets
Be you man or woman, plant or animal, slave or free
I shall show you the brilliant crystal fires, shining within
I shall show you the beauty deep within your soul
I shall show the path beyond Heaven.

Only dance, and your illusions will blow in the wind
Dance, and make joyous the love around you
Dance, and your veils which hide the Light
Shall swirl in a heap at your feet. 


 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Joan Ruvinsky - In praise of silence



In praise of silence, the less said the better.

However.....let it be said that this is it.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing extraordinary.

The it that this is may be decorated differently moment to moment, now as the furnishings provided by the senses, now as the furnishings provided by the mind.  But the decorations themselves are simply hung on the invisible fabric of this that is all there is.

Perhaps keeping silence is better -  but it must be said that we LOVE the decorations - even to the exclusion of this that makes them visible.  Just the other day I was captivated by.....  And then there was.....   What is captivating now?

Perhaps the less said the better, so we become captivated by silence, ever present in spite of the words, in spite of the story, in spite of ourselves  - silence that interpenetrates all noise and its absence, all image, all sensation - silence that underlies not only the presence of content but the absence of content as well, even presence itself swallowed by silence.....

.....in praise of silence.  That's all.

~~~





 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Rumi - Wedding Night



The day I've died, my pall is moving on -
But do not think my heart is still on earth!
Don't weep and pity me: "Oh woe, how awful!"
You fall in devil's snare - woe, that is awful!
Don't cry "Woe, parted!" at my burial -
For me this is the time of joyful meeting!
Don't say "Farewell!" when I'm put in the grave -
A curtin is it for eternal bliss.
You saw "descending" - now look at the rising!
Is setting dangerous for sun and moon?
To you it looks like setting, but it's rising;
The coffin seems a jail, yet it means freedom.
Which seed fell in the earth that did not grow there?
Why do you doubt the fate of human seed?
What bucket came not filled from out the cistern?
Why should the Yusaf "Soul" then fear this well?
Close here your mouth and open it on that side.
So that your hymns may sound in Where-no-place!




 Rumi’s Wedding Night – December 17th, 1273

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

On December 17th, 1273 AD, Mevlana Jalal al-din Rumi died at Konya. The 17th of December is thus called Sheb-i Arus, meaning ‘Bride’s Night” or ‘Nuptial Night’ or ‘Wedding Night,’ because of the union of Mevlana with God. As Rumi’s epitaph states:

‘When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men.’

Rumi was a universally loved genius, one of the greatest servants of humanity, founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Brotherhood, his poetry and doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness and charity, and awareness through love. Looking with the same eye on Muslim, Jew and Christian alike, his peaceful and tolerant teaching has reached men of all sects and creeds.


 

John Roger Barrie - The Deepest Silence

Alphonse Osbert (1857-1939) Au coucher du soleil, 1894


The eloquence of the deepest silence echoes from the eternal. Originating there and reverberating through the ripples of time and space, it bursts forth in shimmering waves, forming light and color, shadow, and dimension. But it remains unchanged. Never affected by the slightest permutation of outer phenomenon, silence interweaves the temporal but is forever untouched by it.

Ever abiding within and without, overlaid with the mutable patchwork garment we know as this visible universe, silence forms the woof and warp of all things seen and unseen. Yet at any instant it is immanent and accessible. To the mystic, silence is the ground, the core of reality. All else relates to and emanates from it.

The deeper elements in all religions point to this silence. It is God, it is Buddha; it is Allah. But, to paraphrase Lao Tzu, to name it is to elude its essence. It can only be experienced. The fifteenth century Muslim born saint Kabir wittily observed, “I laugh when I hear the fish in the water is thirsty.” This paradox, which asserts that we are forever surrounded by silence yet all the while occluded to its existence, forms the key dilemma in spirituality.

How can we not experience that which always envelops and permeates us? Merely affirming its existence will not garner for us its experiential realization. It is spiritual practice that provides us with the means to fine tune our faculties so that we perceive it for ourselves. Such practice enables us, in due course, to experience a blistering, conscious realization of silence that suffuses the core of our being.

By embarking on the spiritual path, an aspirant is attempting to encounter silence firsthand. This is the quintessential journey in life—the inner sojourn. It is returning to a source long ago forgotten but often glimpsed at moment unawares. Recapturing that which flitters on the periphery of awareness is the goal of the mystic. Firmly abiding in the thundering silence that invisibly drenches us is the teleological aim of life according to philosopher Gerald Heard (1889-1971).The mystic consciously dives into silence, at first unfelt. With repeated practice it becomes a living, palpable Presence filled with immeasurable vitality and boundless, nondual continuity. But what causes this gradual revelation?

First we need to discover why we do not experience silence. The simplest answer is that we are habituated to noise. We are addicted to novelty, sensation, to ourselves. Fuss and commotion, mental chattering, and outer stimulation occupy our minds from dawn to dusk. The twentieth-century Japanese Zen master Nan-in rightly noted that we are overflowing with our own ideas and opinions; to learn Zen we must first empty our minds. But there is no room for such emptiness. When one is clattering away on a keyboard sixteen hours every day, the capacious pockets of silence are kept well at bay. We thereby deafen ourselves to the underlying silence we would otherwise clearly hear.

By intentionally quieting our restless minds and calling a temporary halt to the random noise—inner and outer—to which we are subject, we create an environment conducive to the manifestations of silence. Welling up from within, this silence subtly engulfs us, drowning out all the noise of existence. The Jewish mystics refer to God as ayin, nothingness. When we quell the somethingness of our lives, this nothingness emerges. But as long as we dwell in the realm of substance, it remains elusive.

When constantly engaged at the forefront of our minds, our awareness restlessly flutters about from thought to thought, sensation to sensation, thus pushing out silence. The effort—tapas—required to break through the surface waves of the mind forges an inward path to the deeper levels of silence. When deliberately sustained via committed, ongoing spiritual practice, this inner drilling displaces the obfuscatory debris that clutters the mind with a matrix of noise. When all mental ruminations are at last exhausted, genuine silence emerges.

There are many different means to contact this silence. The devotee stirs up, then propels affective emotions toward it, transcending the self en route. The intellectual discerns silence from noise, then expels the latter from his mental field. The contemplative eradicates thought and invites silence to fill the ensuing gap. The active infuse their actions with a selfless intent that serendipitously chisels through the boundaries of the ego. All four eventually lose themselves in a borderless existence. All effectively dispatch wandering thoughts and narcissistic mentations into a cauldron of deep tranquility, which is the fruit of ripening silence. As the Chinese sage further counsels, “Become empty of yourself and realize inner silence.”

But many prefer the comfort of noise, the bustling crowds, the constant engagement of new thoughts and interesting repartee. To embrace silence means splicing off a certain arena of the familiar and venturing into heretofore uncharted territories. While one may fruitfully participate in communal spiritual activities, quite often the deeper stages of this voyage are undertaken by oneself. It is, as Plotinus maintains, “The flight of the alone to the Alone.” To keep the mind occupied with external concerns is to point the inner compass in an outward direction. This is the most subtle trap to which the feeble mind continually succumbs. For to interact constantly with the objects of the senses is to eclipse entirely the realm of silence, which is first experienced within. When repeatedly accessed, the decibel level of true silence will deafen the resolute mystic.

Ever elusive yet all pervading, silence is known by those who take the leap. The adventuresome hiker seeks areas untrampled by the masses. The successful inner voyager treks to the precipice, and then, having encountered the Unknowable, brazenly discards map and compass and boldly treads onward. The yearning heart echoes the cry that seized the Psalmist: “Be still and know that I am God.” The knowing mystic, seized with a searing nondual vision, confidently answers back, “Be silent and know that you, too, are God.”




 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Amoda Maa - Empty yourself.



Empty your mind of unexamined beliefs, passed down through generations, inherited without question .. they do not belong to you.

Empty your heart of accumulated grievances, held onto regrets and resentments, hardened into a story of ‘poor me’ .. this is not who you are.

Empty your cells of undigested memories, toxic emotions, calcified into lethargy and short-sightedness .. it’s not how life is meant to be.

Remove the blinkers from your eyes. They kept you safe for a while, but now only serve as a prison to keep you locked into the matrix of conditioning. Allow the glaring truth of direct experience – untainted by fear and hope – to pierce your retinas and purify your sight .. be blinded by the light.

Rip off the band-aid, air your wounds, feel the searing pain. Be raw, be vulnerable, be tenderly naked. Throw away the should’s and shouldn’ts, dump them in the garbage bin, burn them in the funeral pyre of freedom. Do what it takes to drop the baggage .. let it go.

Scream, shake, shout. Get in touch with an ancient rage, a primal fear, an existential terror. It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t have to be reasonable. For once, let go of equanimity and trying to keep it cool. Let loose, abandon yourself. Let the fire of irreverent passion swirl through every fiber of your being, every ounce of your body. Dive into a dark underworld of fury, be consumed by an untamed grief, fall into the abyss of unspeakable aloneness. Let hot tears run like torrential rain, flooding your eyes, carving rivers in your skin … let yourself drown.

Scream, shake, whirl, dance. Do what it takes to go deeper than thinking, deeper than feeling, deeper than memory. Go so deep you touch the groundless ground. Go so deep you no longer exist .. become empty of self.
In emptiness, mind dissolves into sky, heart is uncontainable, and body is permeable. In emptiness, there is space inside .. and now the light can filter in. Now life can flow through you, unimpeded by self-imposed obstructions.

My friend, be unconcerned with awakening as the remedy for your pain. Be unconcerned with enlightenment as the perfect destination. Instead, be willing to open so wide that nothing is denied or suppressed or hidden in the shadows. Be willing to empty yourself of every vestige of resistance, even if it means digging so deep into the encrusted mechanism of self-preservation that it rips you apart. Be willing to bear the unbearable and be broken open.

My friend, be concerned only with emptiness .. because only an empty vessel can be filled with God.





Friday, December 14, 2018

Franklin Merrell-Wolff - The supreme adventure

picture Matt Gergyek


 At long last the forest lay behind,
Before stretched a desert, bleak and empty,
Beyond, a mountain, dim in the dancing haze,
Reaching upward, defeating all measure.
I sat resting in the shade of the forest-rim,
The last cool stream at my feet.
Deeply I drank refreshment and pondered:
Long had the journey been and weary
In the maze and the dark of the forest,
Oft had I drifted down false lanes,
Oft had courage been shaken,
Yet I never quite failed to try again
And at last the dim trails were finished.
Behind lay desires, vain and incomplete,
Ambitions inadequate, yearnings now stilled;
Before, reaching all but endlessly,
A dreary waste, trail-less and void of sign.
It seemed I beheld the Goal, dim in the distance,
But, again, It seemed not there.
Was uncertain possibility worth the effort?
Could anything be worth the cost
Paid, and yet remaining to be paid?
Oh I for the rest without ending,
If not the rest of Victory,
Then the surcease of defeat,
But in any case rest.
Thus I pondered while a new strength grew
And resolution again was born
Of the ashes of burned desires and yearnings.
Methought: “Better onward continue,
Else all this effort uncompleted
Useless would lie in the void of vain endeavor.
If thought of achievement thrills no longer,
Yet ‘twere better to complete the half-finished.
Behind lie values exhausted and lost,
No longer potent to ‘rouse the soul
That, in vision, a Beyond hath glimpsed.
Onward alone lieth hope
To fill the void.”
At last I arose, resolution firm,
Gathered my staff and compass ̶
Sole possessions of the final hour ̶
And strode me forth beyond visible trail.
Ere long the forest behind me vanished,
Consumed in refracting desert haze;
Then all about the emptiness of burning waste.
On I journeyed in time-expanding void,
Unafraid, but weary with the seeming endlessness;
On I journeyed o’er rock and sand and thorn,
Alone in the stillness that is not Peace;
On I journeyed, thirsting ever more and more
For refreshing waters of the forest past recall;
Yet on I journeyed as thirst grew numb,
The mountain, haze consumed, as the forest.
And time, my tread less resolute became;
The void without became likewise a void within,
All endeavor unavailing.
I sank me down upon a rock,
Caring nought, accepting what might be.
Then spoke the VOICE,
In accents strong, cheering, comforting,
Calling from out the Beyond,
Telling of the Glory There,
Recalling the need of forest wanderers.
Within me a new courage grew, a new determination.
Once more I ‘rose, onward moving,
Feeling more clear, though not yet seeing
The ancient Mount of untellable Majesty.
The desert journey, all but finished,
Now lay behind.
Already the slopes, mounting in steeper gradient,
Promise of final fulfillment offered.
Steeper grew the Way, but easier,
Strange paradox of a World, inverting former values.
Quickly I ascended, filled with strength
Born downward from Beyond.
The haze grew thin and vanished.
Then, before me, immeasurable Largeness,
Buttresses of the ancient Mountain;
Height rising on height, beyond all vision.
Filled anew with cheer and rich assurance,
Fast I climbed, until at last
Above me stretched the awful cliff,
Transcending the final reach of thought.
Here I lingered but briefest hour,
Extracting from thought its inmost core,
Seeking the Power above all powers.
Success crowned effort beyond all hope
And, as it were, in Time’s briefest instant,
Outreaching time and space and cause, I rose
To unthinkable heights beyond unthinkable heights,
Finding at last the ancient Home,
Long forgotten, yet Known so well.
Gone was the forest-world, a new World mine;
Joy untellable, Knowledge all-consuming,
Eternity stretching everywhere;
Not anywhere aught but I
Sustaining all universes,
Their origin and consummation.
Darkness of ineffable LIGHT
Enveloping all.

II

Darkness, Silence, Voidness, utter,
At once, Fullness in every sense;
Deeps beyond seeing, beyond feeling, beyond thought;
At the inmost Core of all I AM,
Sustaining all, not different from all.
Untellable ages, a moment of time,
All time, but one moment there.
From the inmost Core, descending ̶ downward, outward ̶
Distances immeasurable I came,
‘Till finding the Thought unutterable,
Here, lingering, I dwelt for a season,
Thinking what I could not say,
Understanding transcending human conceiving,
Pure Meaning close-packed and o1erflowing,
Containing of libraries the substance all
and more, ne’er told.
Filled to the brim, I descended, down through the haze,
Which, ever enclosing the world below,
Holds dispart the Mountain Top
From the nether world of outer life.
Gone was the desert and forest-maze,
Scenes of age-old wanderings.
The Way to Heights ineffable a mystery no more,
A new mystery spread below.
Seething multitudes rushing to and fro
O’er far-reaching plane;
Bent over, searching the earth,
Grubbing here and there, ne’er still,
Driven as slaves, joyless and dull,
Seeking the Gold, finding dross.
One here, one there, standing in pause
Looking upward, eyes dim with pain,
Yearning, questioning, searching,
Not Knowing, yet hungering.
These, aliens all in a foreign land;
“Thou would’st of this harvest share,
Of souls drawn Home to Peace and Joy?
Then seek again the way
In yon fields below.
None knows the final secret of human soul,
So ever We try and try again,
In every way, old memory to ‘rouse.
Go forth and try thy way.”
So again I pondered the trails I knew,
The effort wasted, endeavor fruitless,
The final Success, the Key thereto.
Methought:
“‘Tis needless, the journey so hard should be.
A little turn here, another there,
And many a barrier and morass deep,
Easily surmounted will be.
I shall tell of the Way
Which at last I found,
That others in a clearer Light may See.”
So I drew a chart, the best I knew,
And here it is for all
Who, wandering in forest and desert drear,
Wish that a clearer Way might revealed be.




 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Sant Jnaneshvar - The Nectar of Mystical Experience



Just as a nose might become a fragrance,
Or ears might give out a melody
For their own enjoyment,
Or the eyes might produce a mirror
In order to see themselves;

Or flowers might take the form of a bee,
A lovely young girl might become a young man,
Or a sleepy man might become
A bed on which to lie;

As the blossoms of a mango tree
Might become a cuckoo bird,
Or one’s skin might become
Malayan breezes,
Or tongues might become flavors;

Or as a slab of gold might become
Articles of jewelry
For the sake of beauty;
Just so, the one pure Consciousness becomes
The enjoyer and the object of enjoyment,
The seer and the object of vision,
Without disturbing Its unity.

A Shevanti flower bursts forth
With a thousand petals;
Yet it does not become anything
But a Shevanti flower.

Similarly, the auspicious drums
Of ever new experiences
May be sounding,
But in the kingdom of Stillness,
Nothing is heard.

All of the senses may rush simultaneously
Toward the multitude of sense objects,
But—just as, in a mirror,
One’s vision only meets one’s vision—
The rushing senses only meet themselves.

One may purchase a necklace,
Earrings, or a bracelet;
But it is only gold,
Whichever one receives.

One may gather a handful of ripples,
But it is only water in the hand.

To the hand, camphor is touch,
To the eye, it’s a white object,
To the nose it is fragrance;
Nonetheless, it is camphor, and nothing but camphor.

Likewise, the sensible universe
Is only the vibration of the Self.

The various senses attempt to catch
Their objects in their hands-
For example, the ears
Try to catch the words;

But as soon as the senses
Touch their objects,
The objects disappear as objects.
There’s no object for one to touch;
For all is the Self.

The juice of the sugarcane
Is part of the sugarcane;
The light of the full moon
Belongs to the full moon.

The meeting of the senses and their objects
Is like moonlight falling on the moon,
Or like water sprinkling on the sea.

One who has attained this wisdom
May say whatever he likes;
The silence of his contemplation
Remains undisturbed.

His state of actionlessness
Remains unaffected,
Even though he performs countless actions.

Stretching out the arms of desire,
One’s eyesight embraces
The objects she sees;
But, in fact, nothing at all is gained.

It is like the Sun
Stretching out the thousand arms
Of his rays in order to grasp darkness.
He remains only light, as before;

Just as a person, awakening to
Enjoy the activity of a dream,
Finds himself suddenly alone.

Even one who has attained wisdom
May appear to become the enjoyer
Of the sense objects before him;
But we do not know
What his enjoyment is like.

If the moon gathers moonlight,
What is gathered by whom?
It is only a fruitless
And meaningless dream.

There is really no action or inaction;
Everything that is happening
Is the sport of the Self.

The undivided One
Enters the courtyard of duality
Of His own accord.
Unity only becomes strengthened
By the expansion of diversity.

Sweeter even than the bliss of liberation
Is the enjoyment of sense-objects
To one who has attained wisdom.
In the house of bhakti (devotional love),
That lover and his God
Experience their sweet union.

Whether he walks in the streets
Or remains sitting quietly,
He is always in his own home.

He may perform actions,
But he has no goal to attain.
Do not imagine
That, if he did nothing,
He would miss his goal.

He does not allow room
For either remembering or forgetting;
For this reason,
His behavior is not like that of others.

His rule of conduct is his own sweet will.
His meditation is whatever
He happens to be doing.

The glory of liberation
Serves as an asana (seat cushion)
To one in such a state.

God Himself is the devotee;
The goal is the path.
The whole universe is one solitary Being.

It is He who becomes a God,
And He who becomes a devotee.
In Himself,
He enjoys the kingdom of Stillness.

The temple itself is merged
In the all-pervasive God;
The motion of time
And the vastness of space
Are no more.

Everything is contained in the Being of God.
If a desire
For the Master-disciple relationship arises,
It is God alone who must supply both out of Himself.

Even the devotional practices,
Such as japa (repetition of God’s name), faith and
meditation,
Are not different from God.

Therefore, God must worship God
With God, in one way or another.

The temple, the idol, and the priests-
All are carved out of the same stone mountain.
Why, then, should there be devotional worship?
[Or why shouldn’t there be devotional worship?]

A tree spreads its foliage,
And produces flowers and fruits,
Even though it has no objective
Outside of itself.

What does it matter if a dumb person
Observes a vow of silence or not?
The wise remain steadfast in their own divinity
Whether they worship or not.

Will the flame of a lamp
Remain without light
If we do not ask her to wear
The garment of light?

Is not the moon bathed in light
Even though we do not ask her
To wear the moonlight?

Fire is naturally hot;
Why should we consider heating it?

A wise person is aware
That he, himself, is the Lord;
Therefore, even when he is not worshiping,
He is worshiping.

Now the lamps of action and inaction
Have both been snuffed out,
And worshiping and not worshiping
Are sitting in the same seat,
And eating from the same bowl.

In such a state,
The sacred scriptures are the same as censure,
And censure itself
Is the same as a sweet hymn of praise.

Both praise and censure
Are, in fact, reduced to silence;
Even though there is speech,
It is silence.

No matter where he goes,
That sage is making pilgrimage to God;
And, if he attains to God,
That attainment is non-attainment.

. How amazing
That in such a state,
Moving about on foot
And remaining seated in one place
Are the same!

No matter what his eyes fall upon
At any time,
He always enjoys the vision of God.

If God Himself appears before him,
It is as if he has seen nothing;
For God and His devotee
Are on the same level.

Of its own nature,
A ball falls to the ground,
And bounces up again,
Enraptured in its own bliss.

If ever we could watch
The play of a ball,
We might be able to say something
About the behavior of the sage.

This spontaneous, natural devotion
Cannot be touched by the hand of action,
Nor can knowledge penetrate it.

It goes on without end,
In communion with itself.
What bliss can be compared to this?

This natural devotion is a wonderful secret;
It is the place in which meditation
And knowledge become merged.

O blissful and almighty Lord!
You have made us the sole sovereign
In the kingdom of perfect bliss.

How wonderful
That You have awakened the wakeful,
Laid to rest those who are sleeping,
And made us to realize
Our own Self!

We are Yours entirely!
Out of love,
You include us as Your own,
As is befitting Your greatness.

You do not receive anything from anyone,
Nor do You give anything of Yourself to anyone else.
We do not know how You enjoy your greatness.

O noble One!
It is Your pleasure
To become our nearest and dearest
By taking away from us
Our sense of difference from You.


 from Chapter Nine of his Amritanubhav, “The Nectar of Mystical Experience”



 download the book by Swami Abhayananda:
Jnaneshvar:  The Life and Works of the Celebrated Thirteenth Century Indian Mystic-Poet

Sant Jnaneshvar - Nothing but the Self



...When it is always only the one pure Consciousness seeing itself,
why postulate the necessity of a superimposition?
Does one superimpose the sparkle on a jewel?
Does gold need to superimpose shininess on itself? 
A lamp that is lit does not need the superimposition of light;
it is resplendent with light.
Likewise, the one pure Consciousness is resplendent with radiance.
Therefore, without obligation to anything else, He easily perceives Himself.

… Whatever form appears, appears because of Him.
There is nothing here but the Self.
It is the gold itself which shines in the form of a necklace or a coin;
They, themselves, are nothing but gold.
In the current of the river or the waves of the sea, there is nothing but water.
Similarly, in the universe, nothing exists
or is brought into existence that is other than the Self.
Whether appearing as the seen, or perceiving as the seer,
nothing else exists besides the Self.


 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Naomi Stone - The rivering wine of love...



I could write until the end of time
and never touch
the beauty of what I feel

I couldn’t breathe
I thought my heart would stop
I had to run and seek consolation
in the darkness
where the only light
was glowing
in my heart

I had become
a human candle
burning in a longing vigil
that has flickered for
a million years

something set my heart
on fire
and burned away the shielding veil
and everything
was refined
into a river of wine
that would flow forever
and destiny was a forgotten word
in the cosmic winds of time

What beats my heart
who gives me life
and why am I here
were no longer questions I would ask
no answers would I seek
for I lost my breath and name
as was drawn under
the rising and falling waves
of the flow
of the beloved

Life is ever changing
ever new
while Love is always true
when formed
in you

When the curtain of Shams
was consumed
in flames
the scrolls of thousands of names
fell into ruin
and when the nightingale
fell in love with the rose
I knew the singing would never end

Love that never dies
erases all the lies
obliterates illusion
ends confusion
and
the beloved
opens the garden gate
to hearts
that have learned
to create

A single moment changed the world
and dissolved time
suspending all endings
making each moment a first
creating a thirst
for the wine of beauty
that only love
can give

never intrusive
and always inclusive
a kiss
from the beloved claims
the heart
forever
beneath a Sun that contains
every heart
in One

 

 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Rupert Spira - The Most Precious Gift



I am reading, I am sitting, I am thinking, I am young, I am hungry, I am tired, I am dreaming, I am English, I am in love, I am excited, I am sad, I am lonely, I am tall, I am thirty seven, I am happy, I am sick, I am healthy, I am wealthy, I am studying…….it goes on and on, ad infinitum.

What is it that remains present throughout all experience?

Obviously the I-amness that I am. And this I-amness that I am is not buried deep behind or within experience, just as the screen is not buried behind the image, or sunlight is not buried deep within nature. The I-amness that I am is shining in the midst of all experience.

And how is it that we can assert, “I am reading, I am sitting, I am thinking, I am young, etc.”? Obviously, because we know the experience to which we are referring. “I know that I am reading, sitting, thinking etc.” And if I know that I am reading, sitting, thinking, etc., I must know the I am that runs throughout all these experiences.

And what is it that knows the I am that I am? It is I that knows that I am. And obviously the I that knows I am is the same I that I am. That is, it knows itself. This knowing of our own being is the only element of experience that is ever-present; it is thus the only ‘thing’ (that is not a thing) that is worthy of the name ‘I’.

This knowing of our own being – the knowing of the I am that I am – is the fundamental element of all experience, and it never ceases to be and know itself. In fact, all that it seems to know that is other than itself, is simply a modulation of its knowing of itself.

All that is required is to give the I am, that knows itself to be, the attention it deserves. But who would give it attention and what would the attention be that would be given to it? It is already the source and substance of all attention.

This I am, that knows itself to be, can only shine the light of its attention on something that is seemingly other than itself. It is too close to itself to shine its light on itself, just as the sun cannot shine on itself. Thus to attend to itself, it only has to relax the focus of its attention from things that are seeming other than itself – such as the experiences of reading, sitting, thinking, being young, hungry, tired, English, in love, excited, sad, etc., all of which are extraneous to itself – and allow its attention to fall back itself.

This falling back into itself, the knowing of our own being, is itself the experience of peace or happiness. It is the heart of all spiritual knowledge and practice. It is what is meant by meditation, self-enquiry, self-remembering, the practice of the presence of God, sinking the mind into the heart, etc.

‘I am’ is the first name of Christ. “Before Abraham was, I am”. Christmas is the Mass of Christ, that is, the remembrance and celebration of the I am that I am, and that knows itself to be. Instead of stories of children, mangers and sheep, it is this I am that I am, and that knows itself to be, that should be proclaimed from our churches. To know the peace that passeth understanding and the unconditional happiness that accompanies it, it is only necessary to know our own being – the I am that I am, and that knows itself to be – as it is.
To indicate that is the most precious gift that anyone can impart or receive.

Happy Christmas! That is, be happy in the remembrance and celebration of your own being – its knowing of itself. 

Thanks to Amaya
 



 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Ron Rolheiser - In praise of Silence



Meister Eckhart, the German philosopher, mystic and theologian said, 

“There is nothing in the world that resembles God as much as silence.”

    In essence, Eckhart is saying this: Silence is a privileged entry into the realm of God and into eternal life.  There is a huge silence inside each of us that beckons us into itself, and the recovery of our own silence can begin to teach us the language of heaven.

    What is meant by this?

    Silence is a language that is infinitely deeper, more far-reaching, more understanding, more compassionate, and more eternal than any other language. In heaven, it seems, there will be no languages, no words. Silence will speak. We will wholly, intimately, and ecstatically hold each other in silence, in perfect understanding.

    Words, for all their value, are part of the reason why we can’t do this already. They divide as much as they unite. There is a deeper connection available in silence. Lovers already know this, as do the Quakers whose liturgy tries to imitate the silence of heaven, and as do those who practice contemplative prayer. John of the Cross expresses this in a wonderfully cryptic line: “Learn to understand more by not understanding than by understanding.”

    Silence does speak louder than words, and more deeply. We experience this already now in different ways: When we are separated by distance or death from loved ones, we can still be with them in silence; when we are divided from other sincere persons through misunderstanding, silence can provide the place where we can still be together; when we stand helpless before another’s suffering, silence can be the best way of expressing our empathy; and when we have sinned and have no words to restore things to their previous wholeness, in silence a deeper word can speak and let us know that, in the end, all will be well and every manner of being will be well.

    “There is nothing in the world that resembles God as much as silence.” It’s the language of heaven and it is already deep inside of us, beckoning us, inviting us to deeper intimacy with everything.





 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Chuck Hillig - The Great Paradox



The Great Paradox: There’s nothing that’s you
and, at the very same time there’s nothing that’s not you.
Here’s the height of spiritual irony:
The Teacher points directly to the Truth, but then the student
begins worshipping the Teacher.
Or, even worse, the student begins to worship
the pointer that the Teacher was using!
But, as Consciousness, Itself, you are really the
ultimate source of all of the great teachers.
You are really the ultimate Source of all of their
spiritual teachings.
You only created them in your personal drama
to remind you, again and again, about what you’re pretending to forget.
The teachers and their teachings both appear
…..and disappear…within the heart of who you are.




Sunday, December 2, 2018

John O’Donohue - The invisible world



 When you enter the world, you come to live on the threshold between the visible and invisible. You bring with you a sense of belonging to the invisible that you can never lose or finally cancel. There is always some magnet that draws your eyes to the horizon or invites you to explore behind things and seek out the concealed depths. You know that the real nature of things is hidden deep within them.

When you become aware of the invisible as a live background, you notice how your own body is woven around your invisible soul, how the invisible lives behind the faces of those you love, and how it is always there between you. The invisible is one of the most powerful forms of the unknown. It envelopes our every movement. It is the region out of which we emerged and the state we are destined for, yet we never see it.


Excerpt from Eternal echoes


 


 


 

Mark McCloskey - Just this, just here, just now





Just this, just here, just now. There is nothing else. There is nowhere else. There is nothing more. 
This is all.

All the seeking, all the words, the journey, the lies and the truths, the visions, all point back to 
just this, just here, just now.

Convincing me or coercing you has no meaning. Negating all else fails, I can just breath, simple, free and the light is switched on, the echo is dimmed, the fabric is torn and then mended again and again, 

just this, just here, just now.

Grande discourses on existential blissing out moves me further away and many miracles linger obsessing again and again, furtive reconnections with paradise gained and regained.

Dancer or human, both and neither, sameness and itsy bitsy differentiation or a method to maneuver mournfully away from the mess I have created and you have swallowed, the red pill or was it blue?

Commandment? Nope! Visage? So what!  Italics, a bold cavern of labels and tears, jumbled together into a nightmare of trying to expect IT to happen but no way, the buck stops here: 
just this, just here, just now.

Are we done now, or undone? Yes, that is closer to the glory: undone but not undead. Will to go on, looking under wraps, ropes and rips and avoiding all the whips and wisps of gentle beckoning
-just do it man!

I am the Way, just This, I am the Truth, just Here, I am the Life, just Now. I Am. Are you?





Saturday, December 1, 2018

Rabindranath Tagore - Gratification



 The moment when tears flooded mine eyes in a monsoon of sorrow,
Before the threshold of my heart stopped the chariot of my friend.
By handing over to Him the chalice of union that was brimming 
With separation and pain, I have no more regrets, regrets none.
Gathering secretly in my mind, a hope, neglected for years...
That thirst for a touch was quenched in a twinkling of eye.
I knew at last for whom I shed all my tears :
Blessed be this awakening, blessed these tears, blessed all. 

 


Friday, November 30, 2018

John McIntosh - Love is always there



 When we are deeply immersed in the dream of life, the stories we navigate between become ‘very real’ and when love [in any form] shows up then leaves … in no matter what way, we often feel we cannot go on living, at least in the same way. You witness this in the songs, the books and the movies over and over how one person’s life is so tied to another’s so powerfully that forever their life is changed and usually the feeling of ‘loss’ pervades these stories.

The essence of ‘victim’ and ‘martyr’ swirls around these scenarios like merit badges often heralding the one who has lost as a hero.

When seen from a loftier view these same ‘relationships’ repeat themselves lifetime after lifetime with the roles reversed or entangled in different versions of the same story, always with heart-ache touching one or both characters. But these are just stories in the grand play of LIFE and as wonderful and terrible as they often seem the LOVE is ‘always’ there. The perpetrator or the so-called victim and in some cases both victims have never NOT been ONE in LOVE with and ‘as’ each other since LOVE is ONE-ness and is never NOT present.

In the energy of time and space the love was at most a ‘reflection’ of True Love since time and space is the definition of ‘separation’ and separation always carries with it - ‘neediness’, due to the false sense of ‘lack’. In the energy of NOW the sense of ‘need’ dissolves and Love is expressed freely without attachments or expectations as one’s life is NOT defined by another person. There is a Free-Flow of Love between people and all of creation. This is the way LOVE exists beyond the veil of temporary manifestations of people, worlds and universes where ‘the Love is always there’.