Friday, May 2, 2014

Sogyal Rinpoche - Impermanence

The fear that impermanence awakens in us,
that nothing is real and nothing lasts,
is, we come to discover, our greatest friend because it drives us to ask:

If everything dies and changes, then what is really true?
Is there something behind the appearances?
Is there something in fact we can depend on,
that does survive what we call death?
Allowing these questions to occupy us urgently, and reflecting on them,
we slowly find ourselves making a profound shift in the way we view everything.
We come to uncover in ourselves “something”
that we begin to realize lies behind all the changes and deaths of the world.
As this happens, we catch repeated
and glowing glimpses of the vast implications behind the truth of impermanence.
We come to uncover a depth of peace,
joy, and confidence in ourselves that fills us with wonder,
and breeds in us gradually a certainty that there is in us “something” that nothing destroys,
that nothing alters, and that cannot die.

Francis Lucille - First glimpse of reality

The Awakening of Francis Lucille

How did you discover your real nature?

You are asking about the specifics in my case. Before I give you the details, I have to forewarn you that this is not a one-size-fits-all path to the truth. The way to the discovery of our true nature varies from one seeker to another. It may be a sudden and dramatic experience or a subtle, seemingly gradual path. The touchstone, in all cases, is the peace and understanding that prevails at the end of the road.

Although a first glimpse of reality is an event of cosmic proportions, it may remain unnoticed at first and work its way in the background of the mind until the egoistic structure collapses, just as a building severely damaged by an earthquake remains stand- ing for some time and collapses a few months later, gradually or suddenly. This effect is due to the fact that the glimpse does not belong to the mind. The mind, which until now was the slave of the ego, becomes the servant and lover of the eternal splendor that illuminates thoughts and perceptions. As a slave of the ego, the mind was the warden of the jail of time, space and causation; as a servant of the highest intelligence and a lover of the supreme beauty, it becomes the instrument of our liberation.

The glimpse that ignited my interest for the truth occurred while I was reading a book by J. Krishnamurti. It was the point of departure of an intense quest that became the central and exclusive focus in my life. I read Krishnamurti’s books again and again, along with the main texts of Advaita Vedanta and Zen Buddhism. I made important changes in my life in order to live in accordance with my spiritual understanding. I renounced what many people would call an excellent career, because it implied my involvement as a scientist with the design and development of sophisticated weapons for the French military.

Two years after the first glimpse, I had achieved a good intellectual understanding of the nondual perspective, although a few questions still remained unanswered. I knew from experience that any attempt to fulfill my desires was doomed to failure. It had become clear to me that I was consciousness, rather than my body or my mind. This knowledge was not a purely intellectual one, a mere concept, but seemed to somehow originate from experience, a particular kind of experience devoid of any objectivity. I had experienced, on several occasions, states in which perceptions were surrounded and permeated by bliss, light and silence. Physical objects seemed more remote from me, more unreal, as if reality had moved away from them and shifted toward that light and that silence which was at the center of the stage. Along with it came the feeling that everything was all right, just as it should be, and, as a matter of fact, just as it had always been. However, I still believed that awareness was subject to the same limitations as the mind, that it was of a personal, rather than universal, nature.

Sometimes, I had a foretaste of its limitlessness, usually while reading Ch’an or Advaita texts or while thinking deeply about the nondual perspective. Due to my upbringing by materialistic and antireligious parents and to my training in Mathematics and Physics, I was both reluctant to adopt any religious belief and suspicious of any nonlogically or nonscientifically validated hypothesis. An unlimited, universal awareness seemed to me to be such a belief or hypothesis, but I was open to explore this possibility. The perfume of this limitlessness had, in fact, been the determining factor that sustained my search for the truth. Two years after the first glimpse, this possibility had taken a center stage position.

That is when the radical change, the “Copernican shift,” happened. This event, or, more precisely, this nonevent, stands alone, uncaused. The certainty that flows from it has an absolute strength, a strength independent from any event, object or person. It can only be compared to our immediate certainty to be conscious.

I was sitting in silence, meditating in my living room with two friends. It was too early to fix dinner, our next activity. Having nothing to do, expecting nothing, I was available. My mind was free of dynamism, my body relaxed and sensitive, although I could feel some discomfort in my back and in my neck.

After some time, one of my friends unexpectedly began to chant a traditional incantation in Sanskrit, the Gayatri Mantra. The sacred syllables entered mysteriously in resonance with my silent presence which seemed to become intensely alive. I felt a deep longing in me, but at the same time a resistance was preventing me from living the current situation to the fullest, from responding with all my being to this invitation from the now, and from merging with it. As the attraction toward the beauty heralded by the chant increased, so did the resistance, revealing itself as a growing fear that transformed into an intense terror.

At this point, I felt that my death was imminent, and that this horrendous event would surely be triggered by any further letting go on my behalf, by any further welcoming of that beauty. I had reached a crucial point in my life. As a result of my spiritual search, the world and its objects had lost their attraction. I didn’t really expect anything substantial from them. I was exclusively in love with the Absolute, and this love gave me the boldness to jump into the great void of death, to die for the sake of that beauty, now so close, that beauty which was calling me beyond the Sanskrit words.

As a result of this abandon, the intense terror which had been holding me instantaneously released its grip and changed into a flow of bodily sensations and thoughts which rapidly converged toward a single thought, the I-thought, just as the roots and the branches of a tree converge toward its single trunk. In an almost simultaneous apperception, the personal entity with which I was identifying revealed itself in its totality. I saw its superstructure, the thoughts originating from the I-concept and its infrastructure, the traces of my fears and desires at the physical level. Now the entire tree was contemplated by an impersonal eye, and both the superstructure of thoughts and the infrastructure of bodily sensations rapidly vanished, leaving the I-thought alone in the field of consciousness. For a few moments, the pure I-thought seemed to vacillate, just as the flame of an oil lamp running out of fuel, then vanished.

At that precise moment, the immortal background of Presence revealed itself in all its splendor.

Excerpt from Eternity Now, by Francis Lucille

Symeon the New Theologian - Light

The following meditation is a ‘Hymn to God’ which came to St. Symeon as light from his appreciative heart. Symeon was a tenth-century Christian, who came to be known as The New Theologian. He wrote about his inner experiences more freely than any previous Christian known to us. He also wrote with great love about his spiritual master, Symeon, the Pious, whom Symeon, the New Theologian, acknowledged as the essential key to his own enlightenment.

“Then as I was meditating, Master, on these things, suddenly you appeared from above, much greater than the sun and you shone brilliantly from the heavens down into my heart:

O what intoxication of Light,
O what movements of Fire,
Oh, what swirling of the flame in me,
miserable one that I am.
Coming from you and your Glory!…
I fall in adoration before You…
You appeared as light, illuminating me
completely from your Light,
and I become Light in the night.
I who was found in the midst of darkness.
There was poured into my soul in unutterable fashion
a great spiritual joy and perception.
And a sweetness surpassing every taste of visible objects.
Together with a freedom and forgetfulness’
of all thoughts pertaining to this life…
Thus all the perceptions of my mind and my soul
were wholly concentrated on the ineffable joy
of that Light.”

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Baroque Interlude 2 - Crystal tears

Miriam Louisa - the blessing

emelle says

I found the unassailable
rock of refuge

I found the treasure
that can’t be bought or sold
exhausted and ill
I found healing
in that which is ever whole

I found delight
in every uninvited chore

I found my tribe:
the wild wideawake
whose only muse
is this nameless name
and whose only beacon
is this unlit light

Source this unlit light

Adyashanti - Serving the One

Serving the One

The revelation of Oneness brings a great peace and rest at the center of our being. But it also opens up an opportunity and an impulse to live and express that revelation in the world of duality. To transcend the world of time and space is not the end of spirituality but rather the beginning.To express the timeless within the world of time is to fulfill our true potential.

Only in our love of Truth does the heart break open, and we finally stop asking, “How can I hold onto this Truth? How can I maintain this realization?” We don’t look at it that way anymore. We only look at it as “How can I serve this realization?” There’s no more interest in holding on, finding safety or satisfaction.

When the real heart breaks open, the question becomes, “How can one serve the One?” How can one be this Truth?” And there’s no final answer to that kind of question. It’s always in the moment, at every moment, to be it now—not “How can I be it?” in some image, but just to be it now. We discover that we’re no longer a gatherer of beauty, a gatherer of bliss, a gatherer of peace. We’re not a hoarder. We’re its servant, you and I.
You can’t lose what you serve. That’s the secret. What you serve, you can’t lose. What you don’t serve and what you try to hold onto, you can’t hold onto. It’s always slipping out of your fingers.

That’s why you can never separate wisdom or insight or realization from love or devotion. One has to find in their heart the devotion to serve the Truth that’s found, moment to moment. That’s an act of love, to serve. It gets us out of the last vestige of self-centered relationship with our experience.
When you touch into real love, the farthest thing from your mind is “How can you serve me?” It’s just not there anymore, not in the true spiritual heart. It’s not there in the heart that’s broken open by realization. Then we’re not looking at that Truth for what it can do for me, even though it does for you and for me, over and over, constantly giving itself.

This is an open secret, an obvious secret to living in Oneness: you have to serve it—not because anybody said so, because you don’t have to serve it if you don’t want to. But you don’t get to live it all the time unless you serve it all the time.

When I say serve it, I don’t mean anything that might even be really obvious. I don’t mean serve it in a way that might even be noticeable. It doesn’t have to be served with career, life meaning, goals, and all that. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about each moment, each moment, each moment. Is Oneness being served, or is it not? Is it being embodied, or is it not?

After 15 years of Zen practice and a series of ever-deepening realizations, Adyashanti’s Zen teacher asked him to teach. Since then, many spiritual seekers have awakened to their true nature while spending time with Adyashanti. Adyashanti’s unique expression of the living truth emerges spontaneously from emptiness, free of any tradition or ideology. His teachings have been compared to those of the early Chan (Zen) masters and to the nondual Indian wisdom teachings of Advaita Vedanta. Adyashanti lives with his wife, Annie, in his native San Francisco Bay Area and teaches throughout the Western United States and Canada.

© 2004 Adyashanti. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Nisargadatta Maharaj - Know yourself as you are

"See the person you imagine yourself to be as a part of the world you perceive within your mind and look at the mind from the outside, for you are not the mind. After all, your only problem is the eager self-identification with whatever you perceive. Give up this habit, remember that you are not what you perceive, use your power of alert aloofness. See yourself in all that lives and your behavior will express your vision. Once you realize that there is nothing in this world, which you can call your own, you look at it from the outside as you look at a play on the stage, or a picture on the screen, admiring and enjoying, but really unmoved. As long as you imagine yourself to be something tangible and solid, a thing among things, actually existing in time and space, short-lived and vulnerable, naturally you will be anxious to survive and increase. But when you know yourself as beyond space and time — in contact with them only at the point of here and now, otherwise all-pervading and all-containing, unapproachable, unassailable, invulnerable — you will be afraid no longer. Know yourself as you are — against fear there is no other remedy."



Monday, April 28, 2014

Roy Melvyn - Seeking the End of Seeking

“Pursuit of Becoming.
What is this? Its three components are:
1. Ignoring what you innately are
2. Erroneously believing what you are not
3. Chasing some future attainment to correct #2.
This is ignorance. When I speak of ignorance,
I don’t refer to an absence of knowledge or to stupidity.
I refer to a condition of ignoring.
As such, when we ignore what is closer to us than our next thought,
we are ignorant.
All efforts toward becoming are movements away from what already is present. In which direction must you walk to get to Here?
What is the distance ?
How much time is required to get to Now?
As one begins to see that one is constantly reinforcing the image of being something in particular, a movement away from the reinforcing is initiated.
You begin to understand that you cannot live in full presence
while planning for some future arrival.
How can we talk about your arrival when, in fact, you are the destination? Movement then begins back from the periphery, with its particular point of view, towards the center and clarity.”

Roy Melvyn  Here

Ralph Marston - At peace in this moment

At peace in this moment

By selflessness you fulfill yourself. By generously giving you gather riches.
Resentment costs you much and gives you nothing. Forgiveness costs you nothing and sets you free.
Fighting against something gives it added strength and influence. Whatever you accept, you’re able to control.
When there’s no one telling you what to do is when you truly learn. When your thoughts are still, you gain great insight.
By being flexible you can remain firm. By knowing your limitations you’re able to transcend them.
Though some of life is bad, all of life is good. Be at peace in this moment, and you will always be.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Chuck Surface - The word “I” Is like the word “sky”

The word “I”
Is like the word “sky”.
Both point to things which
Cannot be located as “things” in themselves.

Sky, the Infinite Vastness,
Within which the Heavens appear… and vanish.
Empty, itself, as a thing,
Yet... holding everything.

I, the Formless Aliveness,
Within which, as which...
All manifestation, even the Beloved Sky, appears.
Empty of form, myself, yet Full of all that is.

And Full, as well, before form ever arises,
Of the Unalloyed Ecstasy,
Of Unmanifest Pure Being...

Not a thing, alive...
But Life, Itself.

Rumi - Like a mirror

"Be clear like a mirror
reflecting nothing.

Be clean of pictures and the worry
that comes with images.

Gaze into what is not ashamed
or afraid of any truth.

Contain all human faces in your own
without any judgment of them.

Be pure emptiness.
What is inside that? you ask.
Silence is all I can say."