Thursday, July 11, 2019

Jack Kornfield describes his encounter with Nisargadatta Maharaj

Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield describes his encounter with Nisargadatta Maharaj in "The Eightfold Path for the Householder."

"There's something in us, in our nature, which compels us to discover. I remember a very powerful moment with the old guru who I studied with, Nisargadatta Maharaj, who taught the way of Nisarga Yoga. "Nisarga" means natural. The basic translation of his name was "Mr. Natural". He was this 80-year old cigarette-smoking man. He had a little cigarette stand. He was kind of a combination like Krishnamurti and Fritz Perls. He would put you on the hot seat when you came in and ask you about your spiritual life.

One day we were in a room about this big.

People were coming in and asking questions. Somebody came in and asked a question and was a little bit dissatisfied and left. And another person raised their hand and said, "Maharaj, what will happen to that person who came and asked that question and left? Is it all over for them in this life? They didn't stay here. You are a great guru, and they weren't interested, and they went home." And he twinkled at that moment, he really lit up, and he said,

"It's too late. Even the fact that they put their foot in this room, even if they hadn't asked the question, means that somewhere in there there's a seed of really knowing who we are and what this life is about. Not what you were taught in elementary school or what's on TV or the newspapers, but a deep seed of knowing our true nature, that wants to discover; it's like coming home. The fact that he just walked in the room means that that seed has started to sprout. And no matter if he tries to forget it and goes back and gets lost, sooner or later that will manifest in awakening.

...I'll read you a passage from Nisargadatta Maharaj, the old bidi wallah who I studied with in Bombay; wonderful old teacher. He sold little Indian cigarettes on the street corner, and he was fully enlightened somehow at the same time. He had these classes. He died a couple of years ago. He was a wonderful old man.

Someone asks:

What can truth or reality gain by all our practice?

He uses truth and love interchangeably. He says:

"Nothing whatsoever, of course. But it is in the nature of truth or love, cosmic consciousness, whatever you want to call it, to express itself, to affirm itself, to overcome difficulties. Once
you've understood that the world is love in action, consciousness or love in action, you will look at it quite differently. But first your attitude to suffering must change. Suffering is primarily a call for attention, which itself is a movement of love. More than happiness, love wants growth, the widening and deepening of awareness and consciousness and being. Whatever prevents that becomes a cause of pain, and love does not shirk from pain."

-- The Eightfold Path for the Householder:
Ten talks by Jack Kornfield,
transcribed from audio tape

Sri Anandamayi Ma - Samadhi

"During samadhi Her face lost all freshness of life; the body appeared to be very frail and weak and in Her general appearance there was no expession whatever of either joy or pain. In that state it took Her much longer to recover Her normal self. In 1930, when She came to Ramna Ashram, She often appeared to have lost all signs of life during samadhi and passed four or five days together without response to any outer stimulus. During the whole phase, from the beginning of the samadhi to its end, there was no indication that She was alive or could ever become alive. Her body became as cold as ice and remained cold for a long time after consciousness returned. . . On inquiry we learned from Her later that while She was in that condition She would feel a fine threadlike upward current of life flowing from the lower end of the spinal cord right up to the topmost centre in the brain, and along with it a thrill of joy would run through every fibre of Her body and even through the pores of Her hair. She would feel at that time that every particle of Her physical frame danced, as it were, with infinite ripples of bliss. Whatever She touched or saw appeared to Her to be a vital part of Herself. Her physical body gradually ceased to function.
At that time, if Her backbone was massaged or the joints of Her body were rubbed for a long time, She would remain quiet for a while and recover Her normal condition. It was at this stage that She was found to be brimming over with heavenly joy and Her looks had all the indications of one lost in Universal Love. . . .
One evening, just at dusk, Sri Ma was lying in a state of samadhi. Our Didima (Mataji's mother) was on the bed by Her side. Pitaji was also in the room. At about 2 A.M. I was seated on the verandah meditating on Mother's lotus feet. I felt a thrilling sensation in my heart produced by the sound of Her footsteps. I opened my eyes but could not notice anything. I heard some feeble sound inside the room. When I left my seat I noticed two tiny footprints of Mataji's wet feet.
On entering the room I found Sri Ma in bed. I inquired from Didima if Ma had gone out. The reply was 'no'. The night passed. Next morning She was on the plane of physical consciousness for a brief interval. Though She recovered Her sense on the following day, it took three or four days more to regain Her normal ways of life.
A few days later I said to Mataji: 'I have heard that during samadhi it is not possible for anybody to move about in his physical body. How was it that I noticed your footprints on the floor last night?' Sri Ma said: 'Is it possible for man to explain all things in words?' and resumed silence."

~Bhaiji (Jyotish Chandra Ray), from his book "Mother As Revealed To Me", pages 63-66, 1983 edition printed by Shree Shree Anandamayee Charitable Society, Calcutta, India

Thanks to  Ccarol Grayson

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mystic Meandering - The Sanctuary of Silence

Sitting in the Sanctuary
of Silence,
the deep space of
keeps pulling me in,
enticing me to


In this space of Pure Awareness,
beyond thought,
I can feel the intimacy of Silence
once again;
The organic Rhythm,
immersed in its Quiet Flow...
Out of which all movement arises
and takes form...

Not two - yet not one;
not either/or
The Ineffable Mystery

I sometimes call it "The Beloved",
sometimes now "The Unmanifest."
It has many names -
this Aware Silence,
this Hush of the Mystery
that we are,
that we emerged from,
Life ItSelf;
and is no-name as well...

The Unknown...

In this Sea of Silence
I remember the feel of
Its Rhythm;
the transparency and
of its endless S p a c i o u s n e s s
that Just IS...

The Mystery of Life living ItSelf
the vast
pulse of Living Silence...

recognizing ItSelf as "me",
and "me" recognizing It
as my

I had forgotten
this Sacred Silence
that knows us intimately
as ItSelf...

Our pain, sorrow, grief;
our laughter and joy,
are inexplicably
ITs own


It knows our shadow
and embraces
all darkness
as ITs own -
IT is -
ITs own


that knows
no darkness

The grief, the loss,
the sadness, the suffering,
the woundings...

ALL ITs own;
feeling what we feel,
experiencing what we experience
as ItSelf...

to all experience

Not a cold, conceptual
hollow vacuum of Nothingness...

But the V a s t n e s s of Life ItSelf,
intimately living ItSelf...
OM-ing pre-Existence into Existence...
Breathing ItSelf into Life -
into every wound of pain
and suffering
with ITs soft caress...

Aware Living Silence
knows our Hearts
as ITs own,
and dances with

I had forgotten THIS...
The feel of this deep intimacy
in ITs complete and utter Embrace;
Its total enfoldment;
Its inclusiveness
of all that we are;
forgotten the once known
innocence of
being touched
by the


Mystic Meandering
April 11, 2015