Saturday, January 25, 2014

Robert Wolfe - about Fear

The primary barrier to spiritual discovery is fear. Where it cannot be dissolved, it will be impassable. This is elemental.

Specifically, the fear which dominates is that of the future (or, conversely, the fear of not maintaining a future). Fear and any idea of future time are unmistakably wedded. This irremediable relationship has likely been the immediate insight of every saint who has come to the confrontation with risk. Fear is insurmountable, as long as the future gapes around it.
This pivotal recognition propels the adventurer into a seminal contemplation of the alleged property of time. The only prospect for surpassing the limitations of fear is to somehow transcend the bondage of time. And this is precisely what each spiritual discoverer has indicated. Fear does not die in the future, it dies with the future—as the future is laid to rest.
To pierce the heart of the dragon of time is the real function of “sitting quietly, doing nothing.” Stillness, utter stillness, is the antidote to the compulsion of volition, to the bondage of chronic activity. It is to permit one’s future to wither and die of neglect, as alarming as that may seem. A sudden unanticipated (even unintended) lurch, and the chain falls aside. Buddha arises from under the Bo tree, Jesus arrives on the shores of Galilee, Maharshi sits outside the temple, Krishnamurti lights his parting bonfire at the Order of the Star.
Not everyone finds themselves prepared to turn their face toward the immaterial and their back on the material. We each do what we do. But the dissolution of conflict is to see choice through to its ending, to be unequivocally consistent in one’s interpretation of truth. It is only in this way that truth can be interpreted. And only the firmament of truth is worthy of our exploration. In this, too, our mentors concur.

Padma Lingpa's Dzogchen Song

The emptiness in the seeing which is called Vision
Transcends definition as something or nothing;
When seeing, is there nothing there?
But if there is an object of sight, there is no Vision.

The profundity that is called Meditation
Lies beyond the presence or absence of mental images;
When there is no mental image there is no object of meditation,
And when there is a point of reference there is no act of

He whose moral action is called spontaneous activity
Has gone beyond the possibility of choice;
When there is no bias or discrimination, there is no perfect action,
And when there is no accepting or rejecting, where is moral

Pema Chodron - No Man's Land

"To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, (...No Mind’s Land.. :-)to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again."

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hakim Sanai - Naked in the Bee-House

Being humble is right for you now.
Don't thrash around showing your strength.

You're naked in the bee-house!
It doesn't matter how powerful
your arms and legs are.

To God, that is more of a lie
than your weakness is.

In his doorway your prestige
and your physical energy are just dust
on your face. Be helpless
and completely poor.

And don't try to meet his eye!
That's like signing a paper
that honors yourself.

If you can take care of things, do so!
But when you're living at home with God,
you neither sew the world together
with desires nor tear it apart
with disappointments.

In that place existence itself
is illusion. All that is, is one.

Lost in that, your personal form
becomes a vast, empty mosque.

When you hold on to yourself,
you're a fire-worshipping temple.
Dissolve, and let everything get done.
When you don't, you're an untrained colt,
full of erratic loving and biting.
Loyal sometimes, then treacherous.

Be more like the servant who owns nothing
and is neither hungry nor satisfied,
who has no hopes for anything,
and no fear of anyone.

An owl living near the king's palace
is considered a bird of misfortune,
ragged and ominous. But off in the woods,
sitting alone, its feathers grow splendid
and sleek like the Phoenix restored.

Musk should not be kept near water or heat.
The dampness and the dryness spoil
its fragrance. But when the musk is at home
in the musk bladder, fire and wetness
mean nothing. In God's doorway your guilt
and your virtue don't count.

Whether you're Muslim, or Christian, or
fire-worshipper, the categories disappear.

You're seeking, and God is what is
sought, the essence beyond any cause.

External theological learning moves like a moon
and fades when the sun of experience rises.

We are here for a week, or less.
We arrive and leave almost simultaneously.

To be is not to be.

The Qur'an says, "They go hastening,
with the Light running on before them."

Clear the way! Muhammed says, "How fine!"
A sigh goes out, and there is union.

Forget how you came to this gate, your history.
Let that be as if it had not been.

Do you think the day plans its course
by what the rooster says?

God does not depend on any of his creatures.
Your existence or non-existence is insignificant.
Many like you have come here before.

When the fountain of light is pouring,
there's no need to urge it on!
That's like a handful of straw
trying to help the sun. "This way!
Please, let this light through!"

The sun doesn't need an announcer.
The lamp you carry is your self-reliance.
The sun is something else!

Half a sneeze might extinguish your lantern,
whereas all a winter's windiness
cannot put That out.

The road you must take has no particular name.
It's the one composed of your own sighing
and giving up. What you've been doing
is not devotion. Your hoping and worrying
are like donkeys wandering loose,
sometimes docile, or suddenly mean.

Your face looks wise at times,
and ashamed at others.

There is another way, a pure blankness
where those are one expression.

Omar once saw a group of boys on the road
challenging each other to wrestle.
They were all claiming to be champions,
but when Omar, the fierce and accomplished
warrior, came near, they scattered.

All but one, Abdullah Zubair.
Omar asked, "Why didn't you run?"

"Why should I? You are not a tyrant,
and I am not guilty."

When someone knows his own inner value,
he doesn't care about being accepted
or rejected by anyone else.

The prince here is strong and just.
Stand wondering in his presence.
There is nothing but That.

    -- from The Hand of Poetry: Five Mystic Poets of Persia, with Lectures by Inayat Khan, Translated by Coleman Barks

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Nisargadatta Maharaj - concrete


    Questioner: You keep on saying that I was never born and will never die. If so, how is it that I see the world as one which has been born and will surely die?

    Maharaj: You believe so because you have never questioned your belief that you are the body which, obviously, is born and dies.

    While alive, it attracts attention and fascinates so completely that rarely does one perceive one’s real nature. It is like seeing the surface of the ocean and completely forgetting the immensity beneath.

    The world is but the surface of the mind and the mind is infinite. What we call thoughts are just ripples in the mind. When the mind is quiet it reflects reality. When it is motionless through and through, it dissolves and only reality remains.

    This reality is so concrete, so actual, so much more tangible than mind and matter, that compared to it even diamond is soft like butter.

    This overwhelming actuality makes the world dreamlike, misty, irrelevant…

    I AM THAT”

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jane Goodall - Windows

There are many windows through
which we can look out into the
world, searching for meaning …

…Most of us, when we ponder on the
meaning of our existence,
peer through but one of these
windows onto the world.
And even that one is often misted over
by the breath of our finite humanity.

We clear a tiny peephole and stare through.

No wonder we are confused by the
tiny fraction of a whole that we see.

It is, after all, like trying to
comprehend the panorama of the
desert or the sea through
a rolled-up newspaper.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rabindranath Tagore - Gitanjali (song offerings)

I had gone a-begging from door to door in the village path, when
thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream
and I wondered who was this king of all kings!
My hopes rose high and methought my evil days were at an end,
and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth
scattered on all sides in the dust.
The chariot stopped where I stood. Thy glance fell on me and
thou camest down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had
come at last. Then of a sudden thou didst hold thy right hand and
say “What hast thou to give to me?”
Ah, what a kingly jest it was to open thy palm to a beggar to
beg! I was confused and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I
slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave it to thee.
But how great was my surprise when at the day’s end I emptied
the bag on the floor to find the least little grain of gold among the
poor heap. I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all.

Nisargadatta Maharaj - Quiet mind

“A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness inner energies wake up and work miracles without effort on your part.

The mind craves for formulations and definitions, always eager to squeeze reality into a verbal shape. The unchangeable can only be realized in silence. Once realised, it will deeply affect the changeable, itself remaining unaffected. To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking.”

Jacopone da Todi – Love beyond all telling

Love beyond all telling,
Goodness beyond imagining,
Light of infinite intensity
Glows in my heart.

I once thought that reason
Had led me to You,
And that through feeling
I sensed Your presence,
Caught a glimpse of You in similitudes,
Knew You in Your perfection.
I know now that I was wrong,
That that truth was flawed.

Light beyond metaphor,
Why did You deign to come into this darkness?
Your light does not illumine those who think they see You
And believe they sound Your depths.
Night, I know now, is day,
Virtue no more to be found.
He who witnesses Your splendor
Can never describe it.

On achieving their desired end
Human powers cease to function,
And the soul sees that what it thought was right
Was wrong. A new exchange occurs
At that point where all light disappears;
A new and unsought state is needed:
The soul has what it did not love,
And is stripped of all it possessed, no matter how dear.

In God the spiritual faculties
Come to their desired end,
Lose all sense of self and self-consciousness,
And are swept into infinity.
The soul, made new again,
Marveling to find itself
In that immensity, drowns.
How this comes about it does not know.

(from Self-Annihilation and Charity Lead the Soul…)
Jacopone da Todi (Jacopone Benedetti)
Italy (1230 - 1306)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rumi - Master Alchemist

You come to us from another world;
From beyond the stars and a void of space

Transcendent, pure – of unimaginable beauty.
Bringing with You the essence of Love.

You transform all who are touched by You
Mundane concerns, troubles and sorrows dissolve in Your presence
Bringing joy to ruler & ruled, to peasants and kings.

You bewilder us with Your grace;
All evil is transformed into goodness.
You are the Master Alchemist!

You light the fire of Love in earth & sky,
In heart & soul of every being.

Through Your loving,
existence & non-existence merge

All opposites unite
All that is profane becomes sacred again.

Pablo Neruda - A fragrance alive

pic JanneO

This means that we have barely
disembarked into life,
that we've only just now been born,
let's not fill our mouths
with so many uncertain names,
with so many sad labels,
with so many pompous letters,
with so much yours and mine,
with so much signing of papers.

I intend to confuse things,
to unite them, make them new-born
intermingle them, undress them,
until the light of the world
has the unity of the ocean,
a generous wholeness,
a fragrance alive and crackling.