Saturday, December 21, 2013

Chuck Surface - Sojourn


As my Experience of Being has unfolded
Over what is quickly becoming a long life,
The mind has dragged me into the “villages” of the Great Traditions
In search of those things it so desperately cherishes;
Knowledge, understanding, and guidance.

For it is utterly confounded by what happened
When I “died”, when I and the world vanished,
When subject and object vanished,
When absolutely everything vanished,
And only Unalloyed Ecstasy remained.


     I frown… troubled…     
     For the word “Ecstasy” can never hope to express,     
     The Experience, not the place,     
     Of Heaven.     
     There are simply no metaphors in manifest experience.

Poor mind is utterly confounded, as well,
By the Sun of Bliss that shone thereafter in the locus of the Heart,
Effortlessly ever-present, here in manifest form,
In this world of time, space, and all that appears;
A Wellspring from which the waters of that Ocean of Formless Ecstasy
Flows into manifest experience.

What do I call that death unto Life;
How can I interpret, understand, or explain,
To myself, much less anyone else?
And what is this Blissful Radiance of the Heart that remains;
Perfection shining within this wounded and broken vessel.

In the village of each Tradition,
The mind has run like a starving vagrant
To the temples of knowledge,
Has sat with the “enlightened” ones,
Gorging voraciously on interpretations and descriptions,
Grasping desperately at understanding…
While the Heart reveled in Bliss,
Sipping Amrita at the Tavern of the Beloved.

And in time, in the village of each tradition,
The mind has arrived at the Tavern door,
Exhausted, and ignorant as ever,
And, joining the Heart at the bar,
Has sobbed to all who would listen,
Its tale of woe.

And in time, again and again,
The two staggering drunkards push open the village gate,
And wander out;
The Heart into Sublimity,
The mind…
Into the crushing immensity of The Great Mystery.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Mata Amritanandamayi - Where there is Love

"Where there is Love, there is no effort."



Sri H. W. L. Poonja - Find out what it is.

What is not stable and permanent, let go.
There is only one thing left.
Worlds and gods will disappear, but This will not.
When you are reminded of this keep your eye on it,
not with the intention of having it, but just to BE it!

All the things you want are in the “let go” category:
House, wife, body, parents, gods, let go.

What is left? What cannot go? That you ARE!
You cannot go because you have never come
and anything that comes must go.

Find out what it is.

~ Sri H. W. L. Poonja (Papaji)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rumi - Hidden music

With love you cannot bargain
there, the choice is not yours.
Love is a mirror, it reflects
only your essence, if you have the
courage to look in its face.

To the parched lips of those who
are willing to surrender
Love will bring the wine that
changes darkness into vision,
cruelty into compassion and dust
into precious incense.

Love means to reach for the sky
and with every breath to tear a
hundred veils. Love means to step
away from the ego, to open the eyes
of inner vision and not to take this
world so seriously.

Like a thief, reason sneaked in and
sat amongst the lovers
eager to give them advice.
They were unwilling to listen, so
reason kissed their feet
and went on its way.

When you plant a tree
every leaf that grows will tell
you, what you sow will bear fruit.
So if you have any sense my friend,
don’t plant anything but love, you
show your worth by what you seek.
Water flows to those who want
purity. Wash your hands of all
desires and come to the table of love.

If you can’t smell the fragrance
don’t come into the garden of Love.
if you are unwilling to undress
don’t enter into the stream of
Truth. Stay where you are, don’t
come our way.

From the heart of the lovers, blood
flows like a vast river. Our body is
the windmill, and love, the water.
Without water the mill cannot turn.

Can the essence and the scent
be separate?
Whisper to me intimately, like a
lover for tenderness is rare in this
It is difficult to convey the magic of
love to those who are made of dust.

When you see the face of anger
look behind it and you will see the
face of pride. Bring anger and pride
under your feet, turn them into a
ladder and climb higher. There is
no peace until you become their
master. Let go of anger. It may taste
sweet but it kills. Don’t become it’s
victim, you need humility to climb to

There is a thread from the heart to
the lips where the secret of life is
woven. Words tear the thread
but in silence the secrets speak.

Do you want me to tell you a
secret? The flowers attract the most
beautiful lover with their sweet
smile and scent.

To find a pearl dive deep into the
ocean, don’t look in the fountains.
To find a pearl you must emerge from
the water of life always thirsty.

Do not be flattered by reason,
reason is only the child of the
mind. But true friendship
in born out of love and is the water
of life.

My dear heart, never think you are
better than others. Listen to their
sorrows with compassion. If you
want peace, don’t harbour bad
thoughts, do not gossip and
don’t teach what you do not know.

Those who think the heart is only
in the chest take two or three steps
and are content. The rosary, the
prayer rug, and repentance are
paths that they mistake for the

Seek the wisdom that will untie
your knot. Seek the path
that demands your whole being.
Leave that which is not, but
appears to be, seek that which is,
but is not apparent.

You are searching the world for
treasure but the real treasure is
yourself. If you are tempted by
bread, you will find only bread.
What you seek for you become.

Your earthly lover can be very
charming and coquettish but never
very faithful. The true lover is the
one who on your final day
opens a thousand doors.

First, lay down your head,
then one by one let go of all
distractions. Embrace the light and
let it guide you beyond the winds of
desire. There you will find a spring
and nourished by its sweet waters
like a tree you will bear fruit

Why are you so afraid of silence,
silence is the root of everything.
If you spiral into its void
a hundred voices will thunder
messages you long to hear.

You have woken up late,
lost and perplexed
but don’t rush to your books
looking for knowledge.
Pick up a flute instead and
let your heart play.

Do not look back my friend,
no one knows how the world ever
began. Do not fear the future,
nothing lasts forever. If you dwell
on the past or the future you will
miss the moment.

 translated by Maryam Mafi & Azima Malita

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Anonymous - The Cloud of Unknowing

The Cloud of Unknowing is an anonymously written 14th Century mystical text.  Standing in the line of St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Meister Eckhart, and drawing on Dionysius the Areopagite, its author aims to instruct souls in the way of contemplation.

It will blow your mind.

In this first excerpt, our author describes “How contemplation shall be done, and its excellence over all other works”…

“This is what you are to do: lift your heart up to the Lord, with a gentle stirring of love desiring him for his own sake and not for his gifts.  Center all your attention and desire on him and let this be the sole concern of your mind and heart.  Do all in your power to forget everything else, keeping your thoughts and desires free from any involvement with any of God’s creatures or their affairs whether in general or particular.  Perhaps this will seem like an irresponsible attitude, but I tell you, let them all be; pay no attention to them.

What I am describing here is the contemplative work of the spirit.  It is this which gives God the greatest delight.  For when you fix your love on him, forgetting all else, the saints and angels rejoice and hasten to assist you in every way – though the devils will rage and ceaselessly conspire to thwart you.   Your fellow men are marvelously enriched by this work of yours, even if you may not fully understand how; the souls in purgatory are touched, for their suffering is eased by the effects of this work; and, of course, your own spirit is purified and strengthened by this contemplative work more than by all others put together.  Yet for all this, when God’s grace arouses you to enthusiasm, it becomes the lightest sort of work there is and one most willingly done.  Without his grace, however, it is very difficult and almost, I should say, quite beyond you.

And so diligently persevere until you feel joy in it.  For in the beginning it is usual to feel nothing but a kind of darkness about your mind, or as it were, a cloud of unknowing.  You will seem to know nothing and to feel nothing except a naked intent toward God in the depths of your being.  Try as you might, this darkness and this cloud will remIan between you and your God. You will feel frustrated, for your mind will be unable to grasp him, and your heart will not relish the delight of his love.  But learn to be at home in this darkness.  Return to it as often as you can, letting your spirit cry out to him whom you love.  For if, in this life, you hope to feel and see God as he is in himself it must be within this darkness and this cloud.  But if you strive to fix your love on him forgetting all else, which is the work of contemplation I have urged you to begin, I am confident that God in his goodness will bring you to a deep experience of himself.”

- The Cloud of Unknowing, Chapter III


Monday, December 16, 2013

Nirmala - Awake presence


Awareness is a fundamental quality of our Being. Awareness is always here in everything and in every experience. We need to be aware in order to experience. If you could turn off your awareness, then the world, your body, your thoughts, and everything else would simply disappear. Since we are constantly having experiences, it must be true that awareness is always here.
And yet, what a mystery this awareness is. Why is it we have this capacity to register and notice what happens? Where does this capacity come from? Does it come from our brain and
nervous system or from something beyond our physical form? Are you aware of anything at all in this moment? What is that awareness like? How do you know you are aware right now? And
what if the source of awareness is also the source of everything else? Because spiritual seekers seek expanded awareness, they often overlook the mystery of the awareness that is already here. Just as a single drop of water is wet, the awareness that is reading
these words has all of the qualities of your true nature as pure awareness. Does the part of you that is already awake need to wake up, or is it already profoundly and mysteriously aware? Just
for a moment, instead of seeking more awareness, find out more about the awareness that is already here.
The awareness that is here in this moment is alive, spacious, discriminating, and full of love.
Everything that really matters is found in this awareness. Love, peace, and joy flow from within us to the experiences we have of the world. Seeking the source of peace or love in the world is
like looking for the source of the water in the puddle that forms under a water faucet. Not only is the source here within us, but it is flowing right now as the simple awareness that is reading these words.

Q: How can I become aware?
A: You can’t become something you already are. I invite you to explore the awareness that is already here. What is it that is reading these words? Are you aware right now of the words on
this page? What is that awareness like? Where does awareness come from in this very moment?
Everything that really matters, including peace, joy, and fulfillment, is found in this everpresent,simple awareness. We  tend to overlook awareness because it is so ordinary, and yet awareness is actually a profound mystery. Many mistakenly think that awareness is something they need to seek or become. Awareness is something we can explore and recognize more fully,
but to do that, no seeking or becoming is required. In fact, seeking gets in the way because when we are seeking, we tend to overlook the experience of awareness that is already here.
Awareness is not an object, and it doesn’t come from an object: Awareness is a capacity of empty space or alive Presence, which is not a thing or a person. So when you explore awareness,
you can become “spacey” or disoriented. It is normal to feel spacey when you are exploring space! We aren’t used to directing our attention to emptiness, or the nothingness behind our eyes.
So we may look away and go looking for something else instead. But what happens right now if you simply pay attention to the space behind your eyes? What happens if you pay attention to the
empty silence your thoughts are appearing in? What happens if you pay attention to your aliveness?
There is no right or wrong experience of awareness. There are many different flavors, or qualities, of awareness, or aliveness. You have always been experiencing some quality of your
true nature. Since awareness is what experiences every experience, you have been exploring your capacity for awareness all along, in every experience you have ever had. And yet, there is always more to discover about this capacity to be aware.
The one thing you can be sure of is that your experience of awareness will never be the same way twice. The nature of Presence, or Being, is that it never has the same experience twice. So you will never be done exploring the limitless capacities of your nature as awareness, even though you don’t need to go anywhere or seek anything to find it. Awareness is always showing you a new face, a new disguise, a new possibility. The only question is: Will you acknowledge and savor the unique flavor that awareness has right now?

Exploring the Aware Presence
At the Heart of All Life


Miriam Louisa - Awakening is as simple as this

if you endlessly ponder
your seeming lack of enlightenment
(the proof of;  the reasons for;  the need to overcome)
your life appears to be unenlightened
and is experienced accordingly
if, for one instant, you stop your pondering
the Real is found to be already and always there
(luminous;  changeless;  already perfect)
and your life, in that instant, IS enlightenment
and is experienced accordingly
you don’t need to seek or strive or supplicate
you don’t even need to understand or accept or believe
you just need to slow down
get really quiet
and stop
how cool is that?

in this now place, here
is as simple as this:
look and look again
for the self you take yourself to be
find every self’s substance
to be a reflection
in the mirror-light of looking
and at last
on knees of awe and gratitude
see your True Face

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Ten Oxherding Pictures

From The Manual of Zen Buddhism, D.T. Suzuki

By Shubun (15th Century)

1. Undisciplined

With his horns fiercely projected in the air the beast snorts,
Madly running over the mountain paths, farther and farther he goes astray!
A dark cloud is spread across the entrance of the valley,
And who knows how much of the fine fresh herb is trampled under his wild hoofs!

2. Discipline Begun

I am in possession of a straw rope, and I pass it through his nose,
For once he makes a frantic attempt to run away, but he is severely whipped and whipped;
The beast resists the training with all the power there is in a nature wild and ungoverned,
But the rustic oxherd never relaxes his pulling tether and ever-ready whip.

3. In Harness

Gradually getting into harness the beast is now content to be led by the nose,
Crossing the stream, walking along the mountain path, he follows every step of the leader;
The leader holds the rope tightly in his hand never letting it go,
All day long he is on the alert almost unconscious of what fatigue is.

4. Faced Round

After long days of training the result begins to tell and the beast is faced round,
A nature so wild and ungoverned is finally broken, he has become gentler;
But the tender has not yet given him his full confidence,
He still keeps his straw rope with which the ox is now tied to a tree.

5. Tamed

Under the green willow tree and by the ancient mountain stream,
The ox is set at liberty to pursue his own pleasures;
At the eventide when a grey mist descends on the pasture,
The boy wends his homeward way with the animal quietly following.

6. Unimpeded

On the verdant field the beast contentedly lies idling his time away,
No whip is needed now, nor any kind of restraint;
The boy too sits leisurely under the pine tree,
Playing a tune of peace, overflowing with joy.

7. Laissez Faire

The spring stream in the evening sun flows languidly along the willow-lined bank,
In the hazy atmosphere the meadow grass is seen growing thick;
When hungry he grazes, when thirsty he quaffs, as time sweetly slides,
While the boy on the rock dozes for hours not noticing anything that goes on about him.

8. All Forgotten

The beast all in white now is surrounded by the white clouds,
The man is perfectly at his ease and care-free, so is his companion;
The white clouds penetrated by the moon-light cast their white shadows below,
The white clouds and the bright moon-light-each following its course of movement.

9. The Solitary Moon

Nowhere is the beast, and the oxherd is master of his time,
He is a solitary cloud wafting lightly along the mountain peaks;
Clapping his hands he sings joyfully in the moon-light,
But remember a last wall is still left barring his homeward walk.

10. Both Vanished

Both the man and the animal have disappeared, no traces are left,
The bright moon-light is empty and shadowless with all the ten-thousand objects in it;
If anyone should ask the meaning of this,
Behold the lilies of the field and its fresh sweet-scented verdure.

 This Link
Ox-Herding Pictures
Guo-an Shi-yuan