Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rûmi - Looking For Your Face

From the beginning of my life
I have been looking for your face
but today I have seen it
Today I have seen
the charm, the beauty,
the unfathomable grace
of the face
that I was looking for Today I have found you
and those who laughed
and scorned me yesterday
are sorry that they were not looking
as I did I am bewildered by the magnificence
of your beauty
and wish to see you
with a hundred eyes My heart has burned with passion
and has searched forever
for this wondrous beauty
that I now behold I am ashamed
to call this love human
and afraid of God
to call it divine Your fragrant breath
like the morning breeze
has come to the stillness of the garden
You have breathed new life into me
I have become your sunshine
and also your shadow My soul is screaming in ecstacy
Every fiber of my being
is in love with you Your efflugence
has lit a fire in my heart
for me
the earth and sky My arrow of love
has arrived at the target
I am in the house of mercy
and my heart
is a place of prayer

Friday, July 26, 2013

Kena Upanishad - Not Knowing is Knowing

If you think that you know well in truth of Brahman, know that you know little. What you think to be Brahman in your self, or what you think to be Brahman in the gods--that is not Brahman. What is indeed the truth of Brahman you must therefore learn.

I cannot say that I know Brahman fully. Nor can I say that I know him not. He among us knows him best who understand the spirit of the words: "Nor do I know that I know not."

He truly knows Brahman who knows him as beyond knowledge; he who thinks that he knows knows not. The ignorant think that Brahman is known, but the wise know him to be beyond knowledge.

He who realizes the existence of Brahman behind every activity of his being--whether sensing, perceiving, or thinking--he alone gains immortality.

Through knowledge of Brahman comes power. Through knowledge of Brahman comes victory over death. Blessed is the man who while he yet lives realizes Brahman. The man who realizes him not suffers his greatest loss.

When they depart this life, the wise, who have realized Brahman as the Self in all beings, become immortal.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chuck Surface - Bliss

 Advaita only rarely mentions Bliss, and this, in my view, is its great misfortune. If it is mentioned, it is often only in precautionary terms in the context of sadhana, and usually only fleetingly when describing the liberated experience of being. I understand that advaita teachers don't want their students to become attached to transient “states” or “objects” of perception, but rather to feel themselves as That within which all states and objects arise and vanish. Thus, for advaita students, “Bliss” is often portrayed as a dangerous trap, and samadhi, as my teacher Jean Klein once said, "A dangerous sweet." The lack of descriptions of Bliss in the post-liberation experience of being is probably due to the notion that once one is Free, one will know for one's self the nature of that condition, and therefore there's no need to elevate such distractions for those still seeking.

With these advaitic pedagogical stances, I stand in respectful disagreement.

You may occasionally hear some mention of peace, stillness, or happiness, but very rarely a fleeting mention of Bliss; and generally, Ecstasy is right out. Because Bliss is mentioned so fleetingly, one is left wondering what is meant by the word. Ramana Maharshi spoke about “the current”, and Jean Klein said that satsang and all that it entails is merely a pretext for sitting together in Silence. He clearly didn't mean Silence as “quietness” in relation to sound. So… what was the "current" Ramana spoke of, and what was this Silence Jean spoke of, and what was the value of sitting “in” it?

My experience when I saw Jean Klein was filled with Bliss; a palpable, visceral, extremely pleasurable yet unlocatable ecstasy that both permeated and was inseparable from the entire Experience of Being. It was, for lack of any better term in relativity, a feeling of orgasmic ecstasy that, being “everywhere”, transcended physicality or any of the other vast and varied aspects of manifest form, and yet… everything existed both “in” and “as” it. Impossible... I know. To the extent one was able, in Jean's presence one became the Silence that he was speaking of. For me, it was not just a matter of "understanding" or following the advaitic "thread". I can only say that it was Mystical. It… just… happened. It was Grace. And for me, the impact of residing in and as that Silence was this Blissfulness I'm struggling to describe.

Did the contradiction between my Blissful relationship with my advaitic guru, and to advaita in general, and the "Neti, Neti", negationist stance of advaita throw me for a loop? Yes, initially. But then... no. For over the years I've come to see myself not as an advaitan, so much as a Kashmir Shaivite, or a Sufi. For in my experience then, and in my experience now... Bliss, Anandam, is the Very Heart of Being.

When I met Jean, I already knew not to grasp after the "experience" of Bliss, Ananda. I had been given this Great Teaching by Bliss itself. For it only arose when the acute "outer" focus of Attention relaxed "inward", dissolving into its Oceanic nature as Unlocatable Aliveness. Then Attention, in that instant of inward-turning, was greeted by, and vanished into, effortlessly-arising Bliss. Shakti fell back... into the arms of Shiva, and the Ecstasy of their embrace became an inherent aspect of the Experience of Being, like wetness to water, or heat to fire. If Attention grasped after the somatic "experience" of Blissfulness, as it reflexively did… Bliss vanished. This was my teaching, and Bliss itself the Sat Guru.

My experience over 26 years of sadhana, and of eight years of living in Freedom, is that Bliss is the very fragrance of Pure Being (Consciousness, Awareness, whatever one calls Formless, Unlocatable Aliveness). Again, it is to Pure Being as wetness is to water. Prior to Liberation, it was the fragrance that drew me into Stillness, that taught me the “secret” of non-grasping and abiding, open-minded and open-hearted, as Blissful, Unlocatable Aliveness, Serene Emptiness. It was then, and is now, an effortless, inherent aspect of self-identity having vanished from the Experience of Being. It is the embrace of Shiva and Shakti in union as Shiva-Shakti, a union in which both vanish, in which all duality vanishes, even as manifestation arises. Impossible, I know; but so.



Jiddu Krishnamurti - Meditations

pdf download  here

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Noumena: Consciousness without an Object

Just who are we?
That which we are is consciousness. Sometimes referred to as awareness, presence, the natural state, the unconditioned mind, the Self or the unborn, consciousness is simply that which perceives the words on this page, that which hears the spoken word, that which perceives, right now, the “world”, the “body” and the “mind”.
We have a tendency to complicate this issue. We tend to believe that “awareness” is something mysterious, something that must be obtained. Somehow, we have decided that consciousness is something that must be sought through a difficult path of inquiry and practice. But, this is simply not true.
Consciousness is directly under our noses. It allows us to perceive everything that is, allows us to experience all of the objects of awareness.
Are you conscious? Of course you are. So, now you have it: you are consciousness. Your awareness of being conscious is what we refer to when we talk of “consciousness becoming aware of itself”. Pretty simple and, as it turns out, pretty profound. 

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj - Neither ignorance nor illusion

Neither ignorance nor illusion
Ever happened to you.
Find the self to which you ascribe
Ignorance and illusion
And your question will be answered.
You talk as if you know the self
And see it to be under the sway of
Ignorance and illusion.
But, in fact, you do not know the self,
Nor are you aware of ignorance.

By all means,
Become aware,
This will bring you to the self
And you will realize that there is neither
Ignorance nor delusion in it.

It is like saying:
If there is sun, how can darkness be?
As under a stone there will be darkness,
However strong the sunlight,
So in the shadow of the
‘I-am-the-body’ consciousness
There must be ignorance and illusion.
Don’t ask ‘why’ and ‘how’.
It is in the nature of creative imagination
To identify itself with its creations.
You can stop it any moment by
Switching off attention.
Or through investigation.


Watch your mind, how it comes into being, how it operates.
As you watch your mind, you discover your self as the watcher.
When you stand motionless, only watching, you discover your self as the light behind the watcher.
The source of light is dark, unknown is the source of knowledge.
That source alone is.
Go back to that source and abide there.

Dennis Waite - Direct Path Teachings

Extracts from the Book

The term 'Direct Path' comes from the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, the first to proclaim that the traditional long-haul spiritual disciplines, over many lifetimes, were not necessary in order to realise the truth. The phrase that is used in relation to his teaching is ArjavamArga (Arjava - honest, sincere, directness; mArga - track of a wild animal, any road or path) and it is contrasted with what might be termed the more traditional 'progressive' path. This latter term covers the yogas dealt with earlier (bhakti, jnana etc), the four-fold practice of Shankara to purify the mind in preparation and techniques such as meditation. Direct Path is, of course, not really a path at all. This is not to say that this (non-) path is easy, however. Indeed, in a sense it is the others that are easy, because specific tasks can be set and carried out without difficulty. Initially these may be automatic or impeded by too much thinking or feeling but at least there is something clear to be done. In the case of Direct Path, the instructions are less obvious and, with more recent teachers, there is much emphasis on the fact that you cannot actually do anything and there is nothing to be achieved anyway - all potentially very confusing for the 'beginner' in these ideas.
Having presumably read what has gone before, the logic of Direct Path must now be inescapable to the reader. If the Reality is that there is only One, then this must be eternal and permanent, i.e. 'we' must already be it. Therefore, nothing needs to be done or can be done; we just need to acquire the knowledge and then have the direct experience that this is indeed the case. What seems to happen, however, is that our present state of ignorance is such that all of our conditioning and prior experience means that we are unable to come to terms with this immediately. Instead we must follow such 'paths' as have been described earlier, in order to prepare our minds and intellect for the simple acceptance that there is truly nothing to be done. In a sense it is an 'unlearning', a return to innocence, which is why paths such as bhakti - worshipping a non-existent God - can work. It requires a surrendering of all of our claims that we are autonomous individuals, able to make decisions, to act and to enjoy the results of those actions. Not until all such notions have been given up do we become 'ripe' to acknowledge the truth and drop our mistaken notions of separate existence.
It is therefore the case that, practically speaking, Direct Path tends to be for those who have already been through much of the progressive 'stuff', acknowledged that they are not actually getting anywhere but also arrived at the intellectual conviction that there is, indeed, only the Self. When this is genuinely believed, but still not intuitively realised, there is really not much more that can be done, not that anything could ever be done in the first place. In principle we simply give up trying, knowing that it could only ever be the ego that was doing this. Instead, we endeavour to live our lives fully in the knowledge we now have and allow the opportunity for the 'final truth' to be revealed through all of our experience. It is only when you have 'done' all that you can, that you realise as a fact that you cannot really do anything at all.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Jeff Foster - A quiet revolution in spirituality

picture source  here

Jesus said to them:
“When you make the two one,
And when you make the inside like the outside
And the outside like the inside,
Then will you enter the Kingdom.”
- Gospel of Thomas 

A quiet revolution in spirituality is taking place. There is a growing sense that freedom cannot be found in philosophies, religions, ideologies; that it cannot be located in books, or reached through lifetimes of intense spiritual practice; that it cannot be passed on by enlightened or awakened spiritual masters; that it cannot be owned, cannot be taught, cannot be captured.
There is a growing sense that freedom is all there is, that it goes right to the heart of what you are, that it is constantly available and costs nothing. And that’s what this message, which I call Life Without A Centre, points to: the absolute freedom right at the heart of life. It’s a radical message, to be sure. And yet it is as soft and gentle as a kiss from a loved one.
This book is about is the possibility that the spiritual search, and indeed all the seeking of the mind, can come to an end, once and for all. And in the absence of that search, there can be a clear seeing that all there is, is Oneness. And in the clarity of Oneness, life loses its heaviness, and what is is always enough. Some people have called this “spiritual awakening”. But it’s not something complicated. It’s not reserved for the lucky few. It’s an awakening as simple and obvious as the sound of the rain splish-splashing up on the roof. It’s a bit like having a dream, and getting lost in it, and then waking up, and opening your eyes, and looking around and realising that yes, of course, it was just a dream…
There is no condemnation of seeking here, or of any religion or belief system. Seeking is nothing more or less than a longing for Home, a desperation to remember who you really are, beyond name and form, beyond thoughts, beyond concepts, beyond all beyonds. And the search plays itself out, as it must. This is not to condemn the seeking, but to point to the possibility that it can fall away, to reveal something far more explosive than the teachings of the world ever promised.
This is not a new set of beliefs, a fresh collection of ideas for the mind to chew on. No, this communication uses words to go beyond words, to point something that cannot really be spoken of. It is not a teaching, not a communication from individual to individual, but a sharing, from Oneness to Oneness. A sharing that ends in a revelation which completely transcends the dream of “me-and-you”.
And on some level, no more words are really necessary: it is already complete. Oneness is already perfectly whole, arising presently as the chair, the floor, the table, the body, the eyes, the nose, the arms, the legs, the heart beating, the breathing. All of this is Oneness, and nothing is out of place. And yet, for the individual, perhaps this cannot yet be seen. For the individual, there may be more reading, more effort, more going to spiritual meetings, and meditating, and trying to understand all of this. And that’s exactly as it must be. The teachings of nonduality will appear to be relevant as long as there is an individual there trying to grasp them. That is the only purpose of these words: to be there, in friendship and love, for that individual. To meet them exactly where they are.
But when that individual dissolves into clarity, when the search unravels, these pointers to the ineffable will fall away too, and there will only be the immediacy of what is, with nobody there to know it. There will be a robin singing in the tree, a car whooshing past on the road, a cup of tea in your hand, and it will all be the divine Mystery: you will never look for anything else ever again, and there will be a complete release from the burden of individuality. A perfectly ordinary life will be lived, but nobody will be living it. And, in joy and clarity, it will be seen that there has only ever been this freedom, and that all the seeking and suffering of a lifetime played out in absolute innocence. 

This is Part 1 of extracts from Jeff's book 'The Revelation of Oneness: Dialogues on Nonduality and Spiritual Awakening'.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Sayings of Lao-Tzu - The doctrine of inaction


THE Sage occupies himself with inaction, and conveys instruction without words. Is it not by neglecting self-interest that one will be able to achieve it?

Purge yourself of your profound intelligence, and you can still be free from blemish. Cherish the people and order the kingdom, and you can still do without meddlesome action.

Who is there that can make muddy water clear? But if allowed to remain still, it will gradually become clear of itself. Who is there that can secure a state of absolute repose? But let time go on, and the state of repose will gradually arise.

Be sparing of speech, and things will come right of themselves.

A violent wind does not outlast the morning; a squall of rain does not outlast the day. Such is the course of Nature. And if Nature herself cannot sustain her efforts long, how much less can man!

Attain complete vacuity, and sedulously preserve a state of repose.

Tao is eternally inactive, and yet it leaves nothing undone. If kings and princes could but hold fast to this principle, all things would work
out their own reformation. If, having reformed, they still desired to act, I would have them restrained by the simplicity of the Nameless Tao. The simplicity of the Nameless Tao brings about an absence of desire. The absence of desire gives tranquillity. And thus the Empire will rectify itself.

The softest things in the world override the hardest. That which has no substance enters where there is no crevice. Hence I know the advantage of inaction.

Conveying lessons without words, reaping profit without action,--there are few in the world who can attain to this!

Activity conquers cold, but stillness conquers heat. Purity and stillness are the correct principles for mankind.

Without going out of doors one may know the whole world; without looking out of the window, one may see the Way of Heaven. The further one travels, the less one may know. Thus it is that without moving you shall know; without looking you shall see; without doing you shall achieve.

The pursuit of book-learning brings about daily increase. The practice of Tao brings about daily loss. Repeat this loss again and again, and you arrive at inaction. Practise inaction, and there is nothing which cannot be done.

The Empire has ever been won by letting things take their course. He who must always be doing is unfit to obtain the Empire.

Keep the mouth shut, close the gateways of sense, and as long as you live you will have no trouble. Open your lips and push your affairs,
and you will not be safe to the end of your days.

Practise inaction, occupy yourself with doing nothing.

Desire not to desire, and you will not value things difficult to obtain. Learn not to learn, and

you will revert to a condition which mankind in general has lost.

Leave all things to take their natural course, and do not interfere.