Saturday, May 4, 2013

Alan Watts - What if money didn't matter

Bonnie Greenwell - Nothing


Nothing can be said about awakening,
There is nothing in it for the mind.
Pack the mind in a suitcase
And send it on a trip,
Sit at the station and wait
With attention on what remains.
If you are lucky the conductor will wander by
And take your pass.
Give up all hope of knowing
What will happen,
Or if or when,
But sit anyway.
It is ok to feel longing
As long as you long for nothing.

Sit still long enough,
You may fall through the secret door
Into the lap of God.
She will gently
Split you open and spill you out into endless
Ocean, chanting
“Be all that is.”
Every bubble arising here
Plays in an empty stream of light.
Love and joy too intense
For a human to grasp.

When you are drunk on love
And spilled forth like a newborn
Into the world of empty illusion,
Every step seem fresh
And soon you see
That every other speck of illusion
Is only God pretending to be something,
And looking at herself
With wonder and laughter

God dances through the eyes and laughter of the world
And bears all the suffering
The illusion brings forth
In the name of life.

Break free
Once you have taken this empty journey
You will hope your mind never returns.
Its uses are undone.
Now the heart can lead.
Hope that your baggage never returns.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Rupert Spira - Time and Death

Be like an open window that allows the view to be seen. The open window is just an empty space; it is on account of that empty space that the view is seen.

Be the open, empty space of Awareness, which allows all experience to come into existence. Just as the sun, relatively speaking, makes all objects in nature visible, so it is our open, empty, luminous presence that makes all experience knowable.

Just as all objects in nature, relatively speaking, are saturated with the sun’s light, so all experience is saturated with the light of Knowing or Awareness.

In fact, just as all we really see in nature are modulations of the same light – the light of the sun – so all we actually know in experience are modulations of this same, luminous, empty Knowing.

It knows itself alone.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Joan Tollifson - Choice/Nochoice

An illusion or a mirage cannot have any real power. It can only APPEAR to have power. As the imaginary separate fragment, the mirage-like executive-self who is supposedly the author of my thoughts, the maker of my choices and the doer of my deeds, I have no power at all, for this “I” has no actual reality. Watch closely and carefully, and you may discover that every thought, every urge, every desire, every intention, every interest, every ability, and every action happens with no one in command. You don’t know what your next thought will be, or your next urge, or your next impulse.

We have the IDEA, the belief, that we are the thinker who is authoring our thoughts, the decider who is making our decisions, the executive who is at the helm steering our bodymind through life, choosing which way to go. This is what we’ve learned, what we’ve been taught to believe, what the society around us endlessly asserts and affirms, and by adulthood, this idea is so deeply ingrained and so ubiquitous that it SEEMS like our actual experience. But can this executive, this author, this choice-maker actually be found? Does it really exist? If you watch closely, you may find that there is no thinker behind the thoughts. Experientially, each thought simply appears out of nowhere. And when we look for the source, we find no one back there authoring it. Thought is arising out of the whole universe as a function of consciousness. The phantom author is nothing but another thought, a mental image, an idea, a concept, a fictional character in a fictional story.

Let’s say the thought arises, “I want another piece of cake.” That thought immediately materializes (in the imagination) the mirage-like “I” who wants the cake. Then another thought arises, “You shouldn’t eat anymore cake, it’s bad for your health.” This thought seems to confirm the reality of the mirage-like self who wants cake but knows better. Then another thought, “One piece of cake won’t make the difference between life and death.” Then another thought, “That’s the addictive voice talking—you know it’s a slippery slope—every piece you eat makes a difference.” Then another thought, “Who cares? I’m tired of being a good girl. I just want some cake.” Then another thought, “You’ll get fat and die of heart disease. Is that what you want?” As this succession of thoughts unfold, it seems as if “I” am talking to “myself,” as if different parts of “me” are having a debate, a struggle for control of “me.” Sometimes the “real me” seems to be the voice of restraint (the good girl), and at other times “the real me” seems to be the one who wants to indulge (the bad girl).

But look closely, and you’ll see that ALL these thoughts arise unbidden. There is no actual author behind any of these thoughts who is deciding to think them or making them appear. The “good girl” is a mental image as is the “bad girl.” And no one is in control of whether we end up eating another piece of cake or resisting the temptation. Whichever happens is the happening of the entire universe, and it happens the way it does because everything in the entire universe is the way it is. But typically, thought will pop up and take personal credit or blame either way, accompanied by either guilt or pride. And that thought claiming responsibility also happens automatically, compulsively, unbidden. No one is deciding to think it. Like every other thought, it happens as a movement of the entire universe.

If we imagine that we actually ARE this separate self encapsulated inside the body trying to steer our ship on a successful course through life, then this absence of control sounds very scary and disturbing, as if “I” am nothing but a helpless robot! But is this phantom executive, this separate self, really here in the first place to be either in or out of control? Or could this fear of being a robot be just another flat-earth problem, another example of living in terror over what might happen if I fall off the (nonexistent) edge of the earth? If we imagine ourselves as a vulnerable separate fragment hurling down the rushing rapids amidst the sharp rocks, we will feel terror. If we recognize ourselves as the whole event (water, rocks, movement, awareness beholding it all – all one whole, undivided happening), there will be a natural ease of being in the realization that no separate thing is ever formed in the first place. Death is an imaginary problem like the edge of the flat earth or the boogeyman.

Am I saying we “shouldn’t” feel terror, or that we “shouldn’t” try to eat in a healthy way or recover from addictions and break free of unhealthy compulsions? No, I’m not saying ANY of that. The illusion of separation and the subsequent terror it triggers are all part of this undivided happening—it’s not personal; it’s a happening of the One Mind—and when we’re in pain, it’s natural to want relief—it’s part of our human nature to identify and solve problems, to explore and extend ourselves in various ways. So if we are moved to go on a diet or take up yoga or work out at a gym or join NASA and plan a trip to Mars—that’s all part of the happening of life. I’m not in ANY way saying we “shouldn’t” do these things. What I’m saying is that we have no choice in the way we think we do about whether these things happen or what outcomes they bring. Whether the urge and the interest arises to do one of these things, whether the means to do so are available—the money, the time, the resources, the physical health and stamina, the necessary mental and emotional stability and intelligence—whether the ability is there to follow through, and then what outcomes show up—ALL of this is the result of infinite causes and conditions going back to the Big Bang and including every microscopic and astronomical event in the entire universe. There is no central executive apart from this boundlessness running the show—no God up in heaven and no “me” encapsulated inside the body.

Everything is one whole undivided happening, from the Big Bang to the urge for a piece of cake. When this is recognized, there is still discernment and the ability to differentiate and make distinctions, but the dualistic notion that “I” am in control of these abilities or that “I” can stand apart from the flow of life and “decide” to have only one side of the coin without the other is absent. There is variety and diversity in reality, but not any actual separation or any independent part with an autonomous free will.

So whether we are a yoga master or a heroin addict, none of it is personal or meaningful in the way we think it is—it’s not personally (or divinely) caused; there is no separate God and no separate self behind it all. It’s ALL God, we could say. There is only this all-inclusive dance of life, the seamless totality from which nothing stands apart. From the perspective of the totality, I am the Whole Show—the heroin addict and the yoga master, the tall tree and the short tree, the stormy sea and the calm sea, the Tsarnaev brothers and the legless bombing victims—and ALL of it is one whole, undivided happening—appearing and disappearing (forming and unforming) like clouds or smoke or waving movements of the ocean. Some of what shows up may be relatively more or less desirable from our human perspective, but ALL of it is an activity of the Whole.

Some New Age teachers say we choose everything. If we get cancer, it’s because we chose to get cancer. Other teachers say we don’t always choose the CIRCUMSTANCES of our life (like whether we get cancer), but they insist that we can always choose how we RESPOND to those circumstances. And then some teachers say that we have only one choice, and that is whether to pay attention here and now, whether to wake up from the trance of thoughts and stories and be fully present in the Now.

I would say, there is no choice about ANY of this and nobody to have such a choice, but there is APPARENT choice as part of how life is functioning. But rather than believing one view or another, I would suggest watching closely and carefully as apparent choices and decisions unfold, whether it is the little ones like getting up from a chair you’ve been sitting in for awhile, or the big ones like getting married or taking a new job. Watch what happens as you “decide” whether to take the new job, or as you struggle with whether to have another piece of cake or not. I’m not saying to THINK about this and try to figure it out with reason and logic, but rather, to actually WATCH with awareness as it unfolds. See if you can find the source of your thoughts, or the source of your impulses, or the source of your actions, or if you can catch the decisive moment or say how it happens, or if you can pin down what prompts your attention to move from one place to another. See if you can find anyone in control.

You may discover there is nothing to grasp. As they say, the eye cannot see itself, the fire cannot burn itself, the sword cannot cut itself. It takes a subtle thought to divide what is indivisible and conjure up the mirage-like separate self—the thinker, the doer, the chooser, the author of my life—the one who is in or out of control. Control always implies separation, as does choice.

When the seamlessness of being is realized, suffering ends. This is freedom—not the freedom to do whatever we want, but rather, the freedom to be exactly as we are.

But when we believe there is a choice about ANY of these things, then we are forever striving to improve ourselves and the world, and anyone who “makes the choice” to blow up a marathon, or to be addicted to heroin, or to be lost in misery-provoking stories, or to be clinically depressed, or to have a borderline personality disorder and murder their ex-boyfriend, or to not “be here now,” is obviously either an irresponsible idiot or an evil scum who has only themselves to blame. This view naturally generates the desire for punishment, retribution and vengeance. When we see how it really is, we don’t have to condone the marathon bombing or the addictive behavior, and we may still be moved by life to heal wounds and seek solutions to problems, but we have a natural compassion for all of it being exactly the way it is.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Chuck Surface - This Sankalpa

This Sankalpa

My desire is for your Happiness,
Whatever your state,
Whatever your understanding,
Whatever the view du jour.

This desire, this… Sankalpa,
Transcends conditionality,
All else being simply…
Dream Chatter.

There have forever been,
And will forever be,
A thousand voices,
Saying a thousand things.

A thousand teachers,
Teaching a thousand paths,
Gaining attention, for a time,
As you meander the marketplace.

A thousand views expressed,
A thousand descriptions offered,
A thousand ways pointed,
With certitude and authority.

Listen, don't listen,
Follow, don't follow,
I care not.
This Sankalpa remains.

Agree, disagree,
Hold this view, hold that,
Come or go,
This Sankalpa endures.

Wander far,
Taking warmth in counsel fires,
Of a thousand tribes,
This sankalpa follows.

My words,
My View,
My Way,
Have nothing to do with “Truth”.

Take them only,
As a Drunken Friend's slurring,
With one intention only…

This Sankalpa.

Monday, April 29, 2013

An Interview with H.L. Poonjaji by Catherine Ingram

Plunge Into Eternity

 Poonjaji, what is freedom?

Freedom is to know your own fundamental nature, your own Self. Nothing else. Easiest of all, without your thinking, is freedom.

And what is that Self?

This is indescribable. It is not intellectual, not even transcendental. Think of one without even the concept of two. Now drop the concept of one.

You often speak of surrender. Surrender to what?

To that Source through which you speak, through which you see, through which you breathe, through which you taste and touch, through which this Earth revolves and the sun shines, through which you have asked this question itself. Everything happens through that consciousness in which even emptiness is housed. That supreme power which is beyond the beyond—your own Self—to that you have to surrender.

Is the consciousness of which you speak eternal—unborn and undying?

Consciousness is beyond the concepts of birth and death, beyond even any concept of eternity or emptiness or space. That which accommodates the space or emptiness or eternity is called consciousness, within which everything is existing.

Yet there is the appearance of birth and death.

You see, existences and destructions happen ceaselessly. All these manifestations are like bubbles and waves in the ocean; let them happen. The ocean doesn't find that they are separate. The bubbles, the eddies, the waves—they may appear to themselves as separate, but the ocean itself has no trouble with them. Let them move on it, let them have different shapes and different names, coming and going. This body will be the food of worms and ants. From earth it came and to earth it will return. You are that which shines through it. The consciousness is untouched.

Do you propose that we identify, with the ocean—that Source—instead of with the waves?

No, you need not identify with anything. You only need to get rid of your notions. Do not identify with any name or form which is not real, and no name or form is real. Now to reject name and form you need not make any effort or employ any kind of thinking or identification. You have been identifying with names and forms which have caused you to feel separate from the fundamental nature which you always are, so you have to disidentify with something which is not true. No need to identify with the ocean or Source. You are the Source. When your identification with the unreal has vanished, then you will be what you have been, what you are, and what you will be.

What is mind?

Never mind! [Laughing] Show me the mind. You have used the word "mind." No one has seen what the mind is. Mind is thought existing as subjects and objects. The first wave is "I," then "I am," then "I am this, I am that," and "This belongs to me." Here the mind begins. Now you keep quiet, and do not allow any desire to arise from the Source. Just for this instant of time, don't give rise to any desire. You will find you have no mind and you will also see that you are somewhere indescribable, in tremendous happiness. And then you will see who you really are.

So when you inquire "Who am I?", this will take you home. First reject the "who," then reject the "am," then you are left with the "I." When this "I" thought plunges to its source, it ceases to exist and finds Being itself. There you can very well live without mind. If you do it practically, you will find that something else will take care of all your activity more wisely than the mind is doing for people who are using mind. We can see today what the result is of using the mind, how the world is behaving by using the mind. I believe that if you keep quiet and let the supreme power take charge of all activities, then you will see how to live with all beings. The one who knows himself will know what it is to be animals, plants, rocks, everything that exists. If you miss realization of your own Self, you have not known anything.

People who are spiritually oriented struggle with what is called the "ego."

Let us see where the ego is rising from. Ego has to rise from somewhere to become ego. The ego arises, then mind, then senses—seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing, touching. There must be "I" before ego arises. This notion of "I" is the root cause of ego, the mind, manifestation, happiness, and unhappiness—samsara. Now return to "I" and question what this "I" is. Where does it rise from? Let us try.

I have done this many times, but…

You may have done it, but now don't do it. Just land into it. Nothing to do. When you see the process of doing, you must return back again. Ego, mind, senses—this is called doing. What I am talking about requires no doing at all, just intelligence. You have only to be watchful, vigilant, attentive, serious. No doing, no thinking, no effort, no notions, no intentions. You leave everything aside, simply keep quiet, and wait for the result.

This results happens now with you, but...

Yes, then you start now from this happening. With this happening you have broken at least this process of ego, mind, senses, and manifestation. Now you return from the happening. You can also step out of this, but you do so as a king when he rises from his throne and goes to the garden. He is not a gardener; he is still the king. You are this happening.

The Buddha spoke about practicing this awareness. He taught a meditation practice to enable people to taste this.

I have not found any results from these practices, but they are going on. I don't give you any practice. I just remove your old burdens. Don't expect that I will give you something new. If you gain something new, its nature is not eternal, and you will lose it. Freedom cannot be the effect of any cause. You already have everything. You are an emperor. Throw away the begging bowl.

Practice is needed when you have some destination, something to attain. Abandon this concept of gaining something at a later date. What is eternal is here and now. If you find freedom after 30 years of practice, it will still be only here and now. Why wait 30 years?

Just sit with a cool mind and see where you have to go and where you are now. Question yourself: What do I practice for? For practice you need somebody to practice and some intention for practicing. What is that through which you practice? Through what do you derive this energy to put anything into practice? Do you get my point? If you want to go somewhere, you have to stand up and walk to reach the destination, so there must be some energy to stand and walk to the destination. What makes you stand up?

Some desire.

Yes, but where is the desire rising from? Who makes the desire arise and from where? People are doing practices for freedom, so I want you to see—here and now, before going to the destination—what you want. If you want freedom, then find out what is the bondage, where are the chains, what are the fetters. Sit down calmly, patiently, and question, How I am bound? What binds you except these notions, concepts, perceptions? Forget about all these things. Don't give rise to any notion, any intention, or any idea. Just for a second. Get rid of these notions, instantly. Now who is seeking freedom? The seeker himself is not yet tackled.

There's a saying, "What you are looking for is what is seeking."

Yes, find out who the seeker is, or Who am I. You have not to move anywhere because it is here and now. It has always been here and now. You are already here and you are already free. You think or have a notion that you have to search for something, to meditate. You have been told this many times. Now just for a short while, sit quietly and do not activate a single thought. You will discover that what you were searching for through methods or sadhanas was already there. It was what was prompting you to meditate. The desire for freedom arises from freedom itself.

Most meditation is only mind working on mind. You are somewhere where the mind cannot trespass. The real meditation is simply to know that you are already free.

Yet thoughts come uninvited, as unwelcome guests. And it seems that through meditation practice there is a lessening of thoughts. By systematically keeping quiet, in a calm place, thoughts slow down and even go away altogether...

Then you have a tug of war with the thoughts. So long as you are powerful and you are checking, they are not there. When you don't check, the thoughts come again. Don't worry about the thoughts. Let them come and play with you as the waves play with the ocean. When the waves disturb the tranquility of the ocean, it doesn't mind. Let the thoughts arise, but don't allow them landing space.

So much emphasis is placed on getting rid of the thoughts, as though a mind without thoughts is tantamount to an awakened state.

No, no, no. Let the thoughts come. If you reject them, they will invade forcibly through your door. Remove the door. Remove the wall itself. Who will come in now? In and out is due to wall, and this wall is I am separate from consciousness." Let the thoughts come: they are not different from the waves of the ocean. It is better to be at peace with thought. ego. the mind. the senses, and manifestation. Let us not fight with anything. Let us be one. You will see your own face in everything. You can speak to plants. You can speak to rocks, and you are the hardness of the rock itself. You are the twittering ot the birds. You have to see. I am the twittering of the birds. I am the shining of the stars,

Isn't a still, silent mind more conducive to this depth?

There is no depth. It is immaculate emptiness. No inside, no outside, no surface, no depth. No place to go. Everywhere you go is here. Just look around and tell me the limits of this moment. Go as far as you can go. How is it measured? Its length? Breadth? Width? This moment has nothing to do with time or depth.

Is it really so simple?

Yes. When you know it, you will laugh! People go to mountain caves for 30 years just to find Being itself. Being is just here and now. It is like searching for your glasses while wearing them. What you have been searching for is nearer than your own breath. You are always in the Source. Whatever you are doing, you are doing it in the Source.

Poonjaji, religions always promise some afterlife. Is this Source that you speak of a promise of everlasting Beingness?

I don't believe in these promises which will happen after death. This experience I am speaking of is here and now. What is not here and now is not worth attempting or attaining. To enjoy this here and now is to get rid of notions that you are not here and now.

Truth must be simple. Complication is in falsehood. Where there are two, there is fear and there is falsehood.

Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, and even the Buddha referred to this life as a dream. Why?

Because it is not permanent. Nothing has been permanent. Therefore they don't differentiate between this waking state and the dream state. In a dream you are seeing mountains, rivers, and trees which appear real. It is only when you wake up that you say, "I had a dream." Upon awakening, those things are seen as transitory, and you call them a dream. The state you have woken up into now seems real, permanent, and continuous when compared to that dream. Like this, when we wake up into consciousness itself, then this so-called waking state also appears to be a dream.

What is the function of the guru or teacher?

The word "guru" means "that which removes ignorance, that which dispels darkness" the darkness of "I am the body," "I am the mind," "I am the senses," and "I am the objects and manifestation." That person who has known the truth himself and is able to impart this knowledge somehow to one who needs some help—I don't use the word student; we all are one—that person who gives his experience is called guru

Many people think of you as their guru.

They are speaking of the body, then. Guru sees only Self unto Self. You are my very own Self. I am your very own Self. This relationship is no relationship. Your Self and my Self, what is the difference? I am speaking to that Self which you truly are. I am speaking to my Self.

Others may be preachers of some sect, some dogma, but a guru gives you his own experience, and this experience is timeless consciousness, nothing else. Guru does not give you any teachings, method, or anything that is destructible, impermanent. That is not guru. You are not to follow anyone. You are a lion, and where a lion goes, it cuts its own path.

There are many Osho [Raineesh] students here in Lucknow with you and more coming everyday. As you probably know, he was a very controversial teacher with a bad reputation. What are the differences between you and Osho?

I don't indulge in any kinds of differences. The divine is playing. Whatever it is doing, it is being done by the commands of that supreme source. All are my own Self, having different roles to play, and it is being beautifully played.

You say that this divine is playing itself out, but let's look at the suffering on this planet. For instance, there is an ecological destruction that is creating a living hell for people and other beings who are not awake in this dream, as we can easily see here in India. We are creating a desert of this Earth and poisoning our land, waters, and air. Many more people will face starvation and live in degraded circumstances. Worldwide tensions will increase, and so on. People who are primarily interested in spiritual matters, at this particular point in history, are sometimes accused of being selfish. What do you feel about rendering service to the world, and from where does the passion arise for service if this manifestation is seen as a dream?

Having known the supreme state, our own Self, from inside there arises compassion. Automatically we are compelled. It's not service. Service has to do with somebody else. When the command is compassion, there's no one doing any service for anybody else, as when you are hungry you eat. You are not in service to the stomach, nor are the hands the servant when they are putting food into the mouth. Like this we should live in the world. Service is the responsibility of the Self. Otherwise who is doing this service? When the action is coming from the ego, there is hypocrisy, jealousy, crisis. When the doer is not there, then compassion arises. If a person is realized, then all his actions are beautiful.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Adyashanti & Loch Kelly-"The Journey After Awakening"

 So welcome everyone.

 We can continue to enjoy the silence, which includes all of that movement as well. The deep silence, the silence of who we are is similar to the silence of the body or the mind. When we discover who we really are as this vast silent awakeness, the body and mind may also feel the effect. The mind and the body may relax, the rest that we’ve been looking for may be found to be who we are and that it has always been here. So that rest, or that silence, is not just the absence of activity, movement or sound. It’s really an opportunity in a place like this, in the middle of a city, to really see what real silence is. When you go off to the country you can hang out in relative silence and your body and mind get some good quality rest. Then you come back and start again. But this silence that’s here, that’s always here, isn’t about un-including anything. Everything is included and nothing is pushed away. Nothing is opposed and we begin to sense or hear or see directly without looking through the mind, without looking to belief, from belief. We come back to our senses and include thought as just one of the senses and include thinking as a movement, as a natural part of this form, of this body-mind. We don’t look through the eyes of our mind. We just sense what these thoughts are appearing in, just for one second. Just notice that little movement of awareness to allow however your mind is now, whether it’s agitated or sleepy or trying to understand or find. Then just notice what these thoughts are appearing in. Just move your awareness to the space in which sound is coming and going, in which sensations are moving. Not trying to change your body or any part of the world, but just letting it be as it is. Allowing attention to stop or drop or open, look to the openness that’s looking through the eyes. What do you notice? In some ways you can say it’s just moving from normal to ordinary, that that’s what awakening is. That’s it. We’re not looking for the special effects, not looking to get rid of the experiences of our body and minds, to change them—initially—at all. But really just unhooking awareness from where it usually has been trained to go—to the functioning mind, to thought—just letting it stop and let the train of thought just continue. Get off and just wave. Not judging it; not making it the enemy, just seeing the subway pass. Letting the functioning mind operate just like the heart, it beats. Just like sounds come to the ears. Like the ears are open, letting the mind be open. Usually there is an experience, then of some kind of not knowing, something that isn’t connected to the usual way of knowing. Anyone have a sense of that? There can be a quality with it as it comes into form—peace, stillness. Anyone want to say a word when you check in and see what it’s like? What would you say? Acceptance? Yes. Something that’s here that doesn’t have to try to accept. But when it’s noticed, when there is a stopping or an unhooking or a dropping or a taking a half step back or noticing the space in which everything is coming and going, including that. Not an either-or, but a both-and; both the body and the mind. And this which knows in a different way, which sees without going to the mind, without looking through thought, but looks prior to thought and feels more like its knowing from the heart. So it’s almost like dropping your awareness below your neck and checking to see what that’s like. What’s here? What do you notice? Anyone? A word or sense of who you are? What’s here? 

 Loch Kelly