Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saint John of the Cross-The Dark Night

The Dark Night

One dark night,
fired with love's urgent longings
- ah, the sheer grace! -
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

In darkness, and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
- ah, the sheer grace! -
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.

On that glad night
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything
with no other light or guide
than the One that burned in my heart.

This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
- him I knew so well -
there in a place where no one appeared.

O guiding night!
O night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the Beloved into his Lover.

Upon my flowering breast,
which I kept wholly for him alone,
there he lay sleeping,
and I caressing him
there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.

Thomas Merton-In Silence

In Silence

Be still
Listen to the stones of the wall.
Be silent, they try
To speak your
To the living walls.
Who are you?
Are you? Whose
Silence are you?

Who (be quiet)
Are you (as these stones
Are quiet). Do not
Think of what you are
Still less of
What you may one day be.
Be what you are (but who?) be
The unthinkable one
You do not know.

O be still, while
You are still alive,
And all things live around you
Speaking (I do not hear)
To your own being,
Speaking by the Unknown
That is in you and in themselves.
“I will try, like them
To be my own silence:
And this is difficult. The whole
world is secretly on fire. The stones
Burn, even the stones
They burn me. How can a man be still or
Listen to all things burning? How can he dare
To sit with them when
All their silence
Is on fire?”

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nisagardatta Maharaj-All Search for Happiness Is Misery

 Questioner: I have come from England and I am on my way to Madras. There I shall meet my father and we shall go by car overland to London. I am to study psychology, but I do not yet know what I shall do when I get my degree. I may try industrial psychology, or psychotherapy. My father is a general physician. I may follow the same line.
    But this does not exhaust my interests. There are certain questions which do not change with time. I understand you have some answers to such questions and this made me come to see you.

Nisagardatta Maharaj: I wonder whether I am the right man to answer your questions. I know little about things and people. I know only that I am, and that much you also know. We are equals.

Q: Of course I know that I am. But I do not know what it means.

N: What you take to be the ‘I’ in the ‘I am’ is not you. To know that your are is natural, to know what you are is the result of much investigation. You will have to explore the entire field of consciousness and go beyond it. For this you must find the right teacher and create the conditions needed for discovery. Generally speaking, there are two ways: external and internal. Either you live with somebody who knows the Truth and submit yourself entirely to his guiding and molding influence, or you seek the inner guide and follow the inner light wherever it takes you. In both cases your personal desires and fears must be disregarded. You learn either by proximity or by investigation, the passive or the active way. You either let yourself be carried by the river of life and love represented by your Guru, or you make your own efforts, guided by your inner star. In both cases you must move on, you must be earnest. Rare are the people who are lucky to find somebody worthy of trust and love. Most of them must take the hard way, the way of intelligence and understanding, of discrimination and detachment (viveka-vairagya). This is the way open to all.

Q: I am lucky to have come here: though I am leaving tomorrow, one talk with you may affect my entire life.

N: Yes, once you say ‘I want to find Truth,’ all your life will be deeply affected by it. All your mental and physical habits, feelings and emotions, desires and fears, plans and decisions will undergo a most radical transformation.

Q: Once I have made up my mind to find The Reality, what do I do next?

N: It depends on your temperament. If you are earnest, whatever way you choose will take you to your goal. It is the earnestness that is the decisive factor.

Q: What is the source of earnestness?

N: It is the homing instinct, which makes the bird return to its nest and the fish to the mountain stream where it was born. The seed returns to the earth, when the fruit is ripe. Ripeness is all.

Q: And what will ripen me? Do I need experience?

N: You already have all the experience you need, otherwise you would not have come here. You need not gather any more, rather you must go beyond experience. Whatever effort you make, whatever method (sadhana) you follow, will merely generate more experience, but will not take you beyond. Nor will reading books help you. They will enrich your mind, but the person you are will remain intact. If you expect any benefits from your search, material, mental or spiritual, you have missed the point. Truth gives no advantage. It gives you no higher status, no power over others; all you get is truth and the freedom from the false.

Q: Surely truth gives you the power to help others.

N: This is mere imagination, however noble! In truth you do not help others, because there are no others. You divide people into noble and ignoble and ask the noble to help the ignoble. You separate, you evaluate, you judge and condemn – in the name of truth you destroy it. Your very desire to formulate truth denies it, because it cannot be contained in words. Truth can be expressed only by the denial of the false – in action. For this you must see the false as false (viveka) and reject it (vairagya). Renunciation of the false is liberating and energizing. It lays open the road to perfection.

Nisargadatta - I Am That

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Karl Renz - What is enlightenment

Interview (13-08-01)
What is enlightenment and your definition of it?

The spontaneous cognition to be prior to "Nothing and All". Entirely unprepared, in spite of and not because of the search for cognition. It is the revelation of the "Eternal Now". The absence of the "me", and thus the absence of all concepts, of separation or union, birth and death, God and world, coming and going, etc.

The ABSOLUTE is aware of ITSELF, and is thus that which is. Pure self-cognition, in cognizing that all that is cognizable is false. The absolute death of time and of all which is seemingly in time. That includes as well what I just said about enlightenment or truth etc.

These are pointers to that which doesn't require cognition or enlightenment to be that which is. And that is what "you" are. Absolute BEING in imperturbable harmony.

How did your search for enlightenment / truth begin? And what was your personal way or experience?

Already as a child I saw an absolute division in experiences. One moment I was completely detached and in perfect harmony with the world, the next moment I was in deepest depression with the wish for dissolution, to die. Heavenly happy - sad to death.

Naturally I only wanted to dwell in pleasant experience. So the search began for how to achieve this. You see, not truth or enlightenment, but unlimited happiness, the end of suffering, was the desire from the outset.

With this began the search for suitable means and tools in the world. First with sex, and the experience was that the so-called little death (orgasm) is a very fleeting fulfillment, dependant on a partner. Thus it wasn't a solution.

Then through drugs, which can create the state of freedom from suffering. But afterwards, when the effect is over, even more suffering prevails.

Affection or love, with friends, family or a partner also lost its meaning in the recognition that my wellbeing was not dependant on their behavior. This couldn't solve the problem either.

Then I began to read esoteric books, all about religions, shamans, magic etc., and for a long period I was fascinated by Castaneda and Don Juan and the idea of freedom.

Until the end of the 70's, when I became spontaneously aware in a dream, that I was dreaming. I remembered a Don Juan technique which was to observe one's own hands in a dream. So I lifted my hands and began to investigate them.

Suddenly something awoke in me that had seemingly slept and in this awakening first my hands and then my whole body began to dissolve.

I recognized death. And in this recognition sudden fear arose. I began to fight for my life as I had never fought for anything. An unexplainable force was about to extinguish me which seemed like an infinite black nothing in my perception. And although I woke up in the bed, the fight continued.

Then, after hours, there was a sudden accepting of this extinction and the former dark nothing became radiant light, with me being it. A light shining in itself.

After an eternity, slowly this light became again the normal perception of Karl and the world. Everything seemed to be as it was before this experience, but the perception was absolutely detached from what was perceived. A total distance and alienation towards the world.

This is not my home, was the only thought. The "my" lost itself in I-lessness.

With this awakening of cosmic consciousness the process of dissolution of the concept "Karl" had begun.

In the awareness of falsehood and dream-likeness of experiences, it was only a matter of time for the personal history, and with it the history of the universe, to be burned out by this fire of awareness.

This process from "individual to cosmic consciousness", from personal to impersonal consciousness, which is called enlightenment, is always unique and can neither be repeated nor imitated. Just as there is solely absolute Being, each experience is absolutely unique.

For a long time, about 15 years, this impersonal consciousness was my home. K.O. (koma) had become O.K. (amok). I was a wandering NOTHING. Absolutely identified with this NOTHING.

The owner of NOTHING. The little "I" had become very big, an overdimensional NOTHING. The background considering the foreground as an illusion. One illusion viewing another illusion. The so-called "witness". The wisdom which says "I am NOTHING".

There was seemingly something which considered this "not being" an advantage, and consequently, there was a subliminal fear to lose this advantage of clarity.

Until, the middle of the 90's, from now to now, the absolute cognition came, as a simple insight, a little aha, of being that which is. Being that which can never be anything else, nor ever was, than the "Self".

The Self is and nothing but the Self is, and that is Absolute Acceptance which was there forever. That which is the Self-cognition or the realization of the "Self".

The Absolute "IS", in the personal as in the impersonal experience, always the Absolute Self and it never has the necessity of any enlightenment.

The Self is ever realized and what appears as consciousness in the realization (implementation of reality) will never realize itself. In that sense there was never any unenlightened one, and consequently, no necessity of enlightenment.

Did anything change in your life since the discovery of truth?

The fundamental is that there is no MY or YOUR life nor has there ever been. That which solely is neither lives nor lives not.

The so-called life changes continuously. The dream and its dreamlike states are subject to constant change. So changes the body that appears in the dream, the world and the conduct in it.

But however it shows itself, it was, is, and will always be that which is. In endless variations, in an eternal realization of the "Real". Undisturbed peace of being. And I am that.

Did you have a teacher? Is it important to have a teacher / Guru? What is the relationship between teacher and disciple? Do you have disciples?

No, I didn't have a personal teacher. And for that which is not in time to become aware of itself, nothing is required which is in time. It is always a spontaneous awakening, out of no necessity. It is also called the divine accident. It cognizes itself, not because of, but in spite of everything which comes and goes. The question about important or unimportant is therefore obliterated.

The Self is the only Master I know. It realizes itself in losing and in finding. In this sense it is teacher and disciple and always gives itself absolute lessons.

The Self reveals itself to itself, in its Omnipresence, in the eternal Now. A disciple co-appears with a teacher like a question implies its answer. Out of desirelessness a desire arises in time and dissolves itself in its fulfillment, just as every question finds redemption through an answer. This is the karmic law of consciousness. So, no teacher and no students, only questions and answers.

Is there any necessity of inner work or development (for instance to work with the dark side, etc.)? Some teachers say there is none, you are entirely free, nothing needs to be done. What does that mean?

Yes, for being what you are no work or development is required. All concepts, of way, development and even cognition, appear with the first I-thought. This first idea creates time, space and thus the entire universe. And as long as this I-thought appears to be real, which means separation (twoness, suffering), there appears the desire for unity and herewith the longing for a way out, for an end of suffering.

The first false idea, the one of "I", conditions everything false which follows it. Therefore only the absolute cognition of being prior to the I-thought, and thus recognizing the false as false and removing hereby the root of all problems, is to be what one is.

By being what you are, or better, as you are, absolute, prior to all and nothing, all concepts are destroyed.

Can you say something about the relationship between man and woman? It seems to promise so much but contains so much pain. Is there any possibility of a true liberation through relationships?

The question is: Is there one who has a relationship and the necessity of liberation? The desire for every union (oneness) is based on the idea of separation. Can something which originates from a lie lead to truth? Can that which is dependent, by its nature dead, subject to time, make you what you are? Where the idea of oneness arises, there is twoness; by uniting is separated, and all comes and goes with something false, the "I". So, back to the root, to the question: To whom or in what does this "I" appear?

Do you have a teaching, and which one?

Recognize everything as a lie, specially the one who recognizes everything as a lie.

Why are you giving these talks?

They are part or aspect of being. No-one is talking and no-one is listening. Without sense and reason. For the question of why there is only one answer: why not?

How can we integrate this in our daily life?

That which is requires no integration, and that which is not will never be integrated. Recognize the perfect realization of Reality and be what you are. Everything is exactly the way it is, because Being has manifested itself this way and not otherwise.

Can you say something about death, some say "die before you die"?

The only possible death is the death of the ego (the idea of separation). And the question is, how can something die which is not? How can that die which is appearance and only presents itself in perception as sensation? By what can the lie of being separate disappear? For what or for whom has to go "What Is Not"?

Only in the absolute Self-cognition of being that which is, and thus nothing is but inseparable Being, Truth and nothing but Truth, the Self and nothing but the Self.

Where Truth perceives only itself in perception, where only that is what you are, where dream and dreamer are one in the Absolute.

For the Absolute, nothing has to go because the Absolute is the only reality. Recognizing the ego as fleeting shadow in the eternal Now voids its apparent reality.

     Karl Renz

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ameeta - Undeniable Willingness

Undeniable Willingness

Grace is apparent
in the choicelessness
of the spiritual quest

There comes a point
when we can see
that we are being led
and there is no turning back

Mind may continue
to look back
and lean back
and feel frustrated
because it is unable
to follow its backward leaning

And grace holds
the space for this

Mind may totter
and teeter
like a child unsure
of its hold
on the ground

And grace holds
the space for this

Sooner or later
we learn to stand
where we are
and look forward
instead of backwards

Then what we can see
of the road ahead
may look empty
very empty

What we may live
on the road ahead
may seem empty
very empty

And so we fall
into despair
or depression
ito boredom
or restlessness
secretly hoping
maybe openly praying
for something
to come rescue us
maybe the same choicelessness
that led us here

And grace holds
the space for this

But everything that arises
feels half-hearted
neither choiceless enough
nor a choice without doubt
We feel stuck
and the grace that led us
seems to be in hiding

What if the grace
is not in hiding
but only different
from when we met it first?
Quieter, softer
less insistent
more subtle
drawing us deeper in
the last remnants
of the separate self?

What if the grace
is opening us
into deeper surrender?
What if it is pointing us
to the choice inside
- the choice to surrender?

It is a subtle thing
this choice to surrender
It does not hit us
on the backs of our head
but beckons us softly
and we can feel it
in the heart
and in the belly

This is what we dread
to be given a choice
to have to make a choice
We would rather
be clubbed awake
and have a great story to tell

But there is a time for that
and a time for this
There is choicelessness
and there is choice
If we cling to one
or the other
we feel half-hearted
and we lose the big picture

Surrender is not
passive non-doing
waiting for grace
to hammer us awake
and hold us there;
waiting for teachers
and teachings
to crack us open
and keep us there;
that is laziness

Surrender is
active engagement
with one's very being
dynamic livingof what has been realized
staying awake
in the midst
of drowsiness
not from the force of will
but enabled by the grace
of our own
ultimately undeniable willingness

Ameeta in dialogue with Scott Kiloby Listen here (right click/save link as/to download)

Ameeta's blog

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Peter Marjason-The Trouble with Advaita

The trouble with Advaita
You can't prove it's Wrong
The trouble with Advaita
It doesn't say what to do
The trouble with Advaita
There's nothing to know
The trouble with Advaita
It doesn't change anything
The trouble with Advaita
It doesn't stop anything changing
The trouble with Advaita
There are no rules
The trouble with Advaita
It doesn't make me better
The trouble with Advaita
It's probably right
The trouble with Advaita
It accepts the bad stuff
The trouble with Advaita
There's no pay off
The trouble with Advaita
You can't tell your friends
The trouble with Advaita
It's too simple
The trouble with Advaita
It's so obvious
The trouble with Advaita
Where's the bliss?
The trouble with Advaita
You can't dress up
The trouble with Advaita
It's not even necessary
The trouble with Advaita
It already applies
The trouble with Advaita
Who wants nothing?
The trouble with Advaita
You accept yourself as you are
The trouble with Advaita
You forgive others for being
The trouble with Advaita
You forgive the world for being
What is
The trouble with Advaita
You can't get it
The trouble with Advaita
It chooses you