Friday, May 30, 2014

Andal - A thousand elephants followed

A thousand elephants followed
as Narana Nampi walked in state.
The town was adorned
with flags and banners,
at every threshold
stood a blessed golden urn---
I dreamt this dream, my friend.
Tomorrow, auspicious day,
the wedding will take place.
A great green awning stood
adorned with shoots of palm and areca.
Entered Madhava of leonine power
the ox-like youth, Govinda---
I dreamt this dream, my friend.
Indra and hosts of gods arrived,
they blest me,
chose me as bride.
The wedding garb
Durga draped upon me,
she decked me
with bridal garland---
I dreamt this dream, my friend...

from Antal and Her Path of Love: Poems of a Woman Saint from South India, Translated by Vidya Dehejia 

Andal - A Lady Saint of South India
Andal is an important saint of Bhakti, who practiced a new type of romantic relationship with the Lord.

Jacopone da Todi - Of Man's Perfection in Love

0 minstrel, raise thy plaintive melody,
and let thy song be tender to my soul:
upon the subtle ninefold modes of love
display the secrets of a lover's heart.
One moment parted from the Friend, I die:
revive my heart with thy life-giving stream
that I may come into the lovers' ring
and grace the lovers' circle. Let me pass
one moment from the world, and for an hour
I will not heed my selfhood: being lost
to this false being, let me swiftly move
to realms of drunkenness where, like the drunk,
I will commence the dance, and raise the cry
of yearning love - for truly I do yearn
for my Beloved - standing in the field
of high ambition. I will shake my wings
like sacrificial bird, and fly at last
from empty word to true reality.
Then will I tell in order, each by each,
the beauty of the Friend, the lover's love. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Jiddu Krishnamurti - Life is really very beautiful...

"Life is really very beautiful, it is not this ugly thing that we have made of it; and you can appreciate its richness, its depth, its extraordinary loveliness only when you revolt against everything - against organized religion, against tradition, against the present rotten society - so that you as a human being find out for yourself what is true. Not to imitate but to discover - that is education, is it not? It is very easy to conform to what your society or your parents and teachers tell you. That is a safe and easy way of existing; but that is not living, because in it there is fear, decay, death. To live is to find out for yourself what is true, and you can do this only when there is freedom, when there is continuous revolution inwardly, within yourself."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ramana Maharshi - Death experience

Can you describe your death experience?

"It was a sudden fear of death. The actual enquiry and ascertainment or discovery of 'Who am I' was over on that very day. Instinctively I held my breath and began to think or dive inward with my inquiry into my own nature. 'This body is going to die', I said to myself, referring to the gross physical body. I came to the conclusion that when it was dead and rigid (then it seemed to me that my body had actually become rigid  as I stretched myself like a corpse with rigor mortis, thinking this out), I was not dead. I was, on the other hand, conscious of being alive, in existence.

So, the question arose in me   'What is this l? Is it this body who calls himself the 'I'?  ' so I held my mouth shut, determined not to allow it to pronounce 'I' or any other syllable. 
Still I felt within myself the 'I' was there    the sound was there and the object calling or feeling itself 'I'was there.  What was that?  I felt that it was a force or current, a centre of energy playing on the body, working on despite the rigidity or activity of the body, though existing in connection with it. It was that current, force, or centre that constituted my personality, that kept me acting, moving, etc., as I came to know then  and only then. I had no idea whatever of my self before that. Once I reached that conclusion, the fear of death dropped off.  It had no place in my thoughts. 'I' being a subtle current had no death  to fear. So, further development or activity was issuing from the new life and not from any fear.
I had at that time no idea of the identity of that current, or about its relationship to Personal God,
or 'Iswara' as I used to term Him.. Later, when I was in the Arunachala temple, I learnt of the  identity of my personality with Brahman, and later with Absolute Brahman, which I had heard of  in 'Ribhu Gita' as underlying all. I was only feeling that everything was being done by the current and not by  me. Since I  wrote the parting chit, I had ceased to regard the current as my narrow 'I'.

That current or  'Avesam' was now felt as myself not a superimposition.The awakening gave me a continuous idea or feeling of my personality being a current, force, or Avesam, on which I  was perpetually absorbed whatever I did, read, or when I walked, spoke or rested.."

Jeff Foster - Everyday Enlightenment the root of a lifetime of seeking was always the assumption that life wasn't complete, that there was an individual separate from the Whole, that Oneness was out there and not here, that it existed in the so-called 'future'. And out of this assumption, in a million different ways the individual tried to reach completion, and turned to drink or drugs or meditation, but really it was all just a manifestation of the same desire: the desire to return to the Source. But of course the individual could never find the Source, because the individual was already a perfect expression of the Source. That's why the seeking can, and does, go on for a lifetime. 
What we're looking for is already staring us in the face, but we can't see it, because we're too busy looking for it! 
~ Jeff Foster 

From: 'Everyday Enlightenment: Seven Stories of Awakening' 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Eckhart Tolle - Ripples on the Surface of Being

An interview with Eckhart Tolle by Andrew Cohen

AC: What exactly do you mean when you say that the purpose of the world lies in the transcendence of it?
ET: The world promises fulfillment somewhere in time, and there is a continuous striving toward that fulfillment in time. Many times people feel, “Yes, now I have arrived,” and then they realize that, no, they haven’t arrived, and then the striving continues. It is expressed beautifully in A Course in Miracles, where it says that the dictum of the ego is “Seek but do not find.” People look to the future for salvation, but the future never arrives.
So ultimately, suffering arises through not finding. And that is the beginning of an awakening—when the realization dawns that “Perhaps this is not the way. Perhaps I will never get to where I am striving to reach; perhaps it’s not in the future at all.” After having been lost in the world, suddenly, through the pressure of suffering, the realization comes that the answers may not be found out there in worldly attainment and in the future.
That’s an important point for many people to reach. That sense of deep crisis — when the world as they have known it, and the sense of self that they have known that is identified with the world, become meaningless. That happened to me. I was just that close to suicide and then something else happened — a death of the sense of self that lived through identifications, identifications with my story, things around me, the world.
Something arose at that moment that was a sense of deep and intense stillness and aliveness, beingness. I later called it “presence.” I realized that beyond words, that is who I am. But this realization wasn’t a mental process. I realized that that vibrantly alive, deep stillness is who I am.
Years later, I called that stillness “pure consciousness,” whereas everything else is the conditioned consciousness. The human mind is the conditioned consciousness that has taken form as thought. The conditioned consciousness is the whole world that is created by the conditioned mind.
Everything is our conditioned consciousness; even objects are. Conditioned consciousness has taken birth as form and then that becomes the world. So to be lost in the conditioned seems to be necessary for humans. It seems to be part of their path to be lost in the world, to be lost in the mind, which is the conditioned consciousness.
Then, due to the suffering that arises out of being lost, one finds the unconditioned as oneself. And that is why we need the world to transcend the world. So I’m infinitely grateful for having been lost.
The purpose of the world is for you to be lost in it, ultimately. The purpose of the world is for you to suffer, to create the suffering that seems to be what is needed for the awakening to happen. And then once the awakening happens, with it comes the realization that suffering is unnecessary now. You have reached the end of suffering because you have transcended the world. It is the place that is free of suffering.
This seems to be everybody’s path. Perhaps it is not everybody’s path in this lifetime, but it seems to be a universal path. Even without a spiritual teaching or a spiritual teacher, I believe that everybody would get there eventually. But that could take time.
AC: A long time.
ET: Much longer. A spiritual teaching is there to save time. The basic message of the teaching is that you don’t need any more time, you don’t need any more suffering. I tell this to people who come to me: “You are ready to hear this because you are listening to it.
There are still millions of people out there who aren’t listening to it. They still need time. But I’m not talking to them. You are hearing that you don’t need time anymore and you don’t need to suffer anymore. You’ve been seeking in time and you’ve been seeking further suffering.” And to suddenly hear that “You don’t need that anymore — for some, that can be the moment of transformation.
So the beauty of the spiritual teaching is that it saves lifetimes of –
AC: Unnecessary suffering.
ET: Yes, so it’s good that people are lost in the world. I enjoy traveling to New York and Los Angeles, where it seems that people are totally involved. I was looking out of the window in New York. We were next to the Empire State Building, doing a group. And everybody was rushing around, almost running. Everybody seemed to be in a state of intense nervous tension, anxiety. It’s suffering, really, but it’s not recognized as suffering.
And I thought, where are they all running to? And of course, they are all running to the future. They are needing to get somewhere, which is not here. It is a point in time: not now — then. They are running to a then. They are suffering, but they don’t even know it. But to me, even watching that was joyful. I didn’t feel, “Oh, they should know better.” They are on their spiritual path. At the moment, that is their spiritual path, and it works beautifully.
AC: Often the word enlightenment is interpreted to mean the end of division within the self and the simultaneous discovery of a perspective or way of seeing that is whole, complete, or free from duality. Some who have experienced this perspective claim that the ultimate realization is that there is no difference between the world and God or the Absolute, between samsara and nirvana, between the manifest and the unmanifest.
But there are others who claim that, in fact, the ultimate realization is that the world doesn’t actually exist at all — that the world is only an illusion, completely empty of meaning, significance, or reality. So in your own experience, is the world real? Is the world unreal? Both?
ET: Even when I’m interacting with people or walking in a city, doing ordinary things, the way I perceive the world is like ripples on the surface of being. Underneath the world of sense perceptions and the world of mind activity, there’s the vastness of being. There’s a vast spaciousness. There’s a vast stillness and there’s a little ripple activity on the surface, which isn’t separate, just like the ripples are not separate from the ocean.
So there’s no separation in the way I perceive it. There’s no separation between being and the manifested world, between the manifested and the unmanifested. But the unmanifested is so much vaster, deeper, and greater than what happens in the manifested.
Every phenomenon in the manifested is so short-lived and so fleeting that, yes, one could almost say that from the perspective of the unmanifested, which is the timeless beingness or presence, all that happens in the manifested realm really seems like a play of shadows.
It seems like vapor or mist with continuously new forms arising and disappearing, arising and disappearing. So to the one who is deeply rooted in the unmanifested, the manifested could very easily be called unreal. I don’t call it unreal because I see it as not separate from anything.
AC: So it is real?
ET: All that is real is beingness itself. Consciousness is all there is, pure consciousness.



Sunday, May 25, 2014

Chuck Surface - The “Spiritual” Life

How unnatural,
It seems, at least to me,
This striving to lead a “spiritual” life.
To think all the time of “spiritual” things,
To speak all the time of “spiritual” things,
To read all the time of “spiritual” things.
Associating only with the “spiritual”.
I quit before graduating,
It all having become,
In the simplicity,
Of a very “normal” life,
I found all that I had sought so long,
In the extraordinary world of the “spiritual”.
Here, in the Horror and Ecstasy of embodiment,
In the dream of apparent objects and form.
Here, living as a blind drunkard,
Embracing Experience,
Loving Existence.

Alan Watts - The Secret of Life

"This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play."
Alan Wilson Watts

Ashtavakra Gita - Sit in your own awareness

"Earth, fire and water,
The wind and the sky -
You are none of these.

If you wish to be free,
Know you are the Self,

The witness of all these,
The heart of awareness.

Set your body aside.
Sit in your own awareness.

You will at once be happy,
Forever still,
Forever free.”

Continue reading   HERE