6/29/2015

Solve Me, Dissolve Me


I can never solve my problems, because the root problem is
the perennial discomfort of the I. Nor does it help to simply
drop my problems, because no matter how many problems
I drop, the weight of I still remains.

But while it is difficult to drop my problems, it is easy to drop
me. The ancient Rishi Ashtavkra summed up books of spiritual
instruction in two words: Layam vraja, "Dissolve now!'
(The Ashtavakra Gita)

Through the grace of the Master comes initiation into meditation.
Through meditation, "I" gracefully dissolve. Then there is a dance
of celebration. And in celebration, problems solve themselves.
It is a most beautiful path, because it is pathless.

Jai Guru Dev.

6/28/2015

If Buddha Were Here

 

If Gautama Buddha were here today, he wouldn't talk about Dukkha, Anicca, or the Four Noble Truths. He wouldn't make us sit in the lotus chanting the Heart Sutra. No glamorous, hypnotic antiquated gobbledegook. No robes. And his name wouldn't be "Buddha." It would be Howard or Raymond Something.

He would invite us to a gathering. We'd sit silently for fifteen minutes, until we got very restless. Then Buddha would say, "Let's cut the bullshit. None of you are really happy. You try hard, but its all pretend. Right?"

No one replies.

"If you want a workshop in How to Call Your Guardian Angels, or Finding the Wisdom of Past Lives, or Using the Law of Attraction for Abundance, then go somewhere else," he says.

Looking at our iWatches, half of us leave. 

More quiet sitting. Minutes pass. Then Buddha says, "I'm not here to discuss your tribal politics either. If you want to blame the rich for the problems of the poor, or blame one race for the problems of another, or blame the military industrial complex, then you should go to a peace demonstration, though you won't find much peace there. Because blame only isolates the mind, and the more you blame, the lonelier you get.

About half the remaining people become very indignant and walk out. 

When the ruffled atmosphere settles down, he says, "I'll level with you. None of that stuff interests me, because none of it makes anyone free. I'm only here to discuss one thing: how to be free right here, right now."

More silence. Finally someone says, "Sir, are we supposed to be doing something?"

"No," replies Howard the Buddha. Another exodus, more silence, and now only a few guests remain.

He says, "Who can add one moment to life by worrying about it? So let's just sit in no particular posture and watch this breath." After a few minutes he adds, "Observe this breath entering your nostrils, your throat, your chest. Is it you who makes breathing happen? Did you create this breath? Or is it just given? What did you do to deserve it?" More silence.

"Your breath is a gift," he says. "Notice this and be thankful." More silence.

"Perhaps your mind is trying to 'do' something now. Observe how that is. See the humor and absurdity of it. Then come home to your breath. Take this breath and smile deeply. Gratefulness is all you can give back."

Over the next ten minutes, almost all the remaining guests walk out. Maybe twelve are left, a remnant. None of them are scholars.

Then the Buddha stands. He says, "When you leave here, I only ask you to watch and to be. Observe that this world is not transformed by thinking. This world is not transformed by doing. This world is transformed by Being. I don't tell you, Go and shine the light. I tell you, Go and be the light."

He is dressed in an old Isod golf shirt, blue genes, and sneakers. Yet his presence is like a sunlight cloud on a mountain. Flowing like a river, he moves quietly around the room. Ever so gently, he touches each person with two fingers of his right hand, keeping the left hand over his heart.

Some of us he touches between the eyebrows. We barely feel it on our skin. But inside, a cool breeze of emptiness.

Others he touches on the chest, soft as a feather. Deep between heartbeats, sinking through an ocean of silence.

And some he touches on the top of the head. It feels like a drop of dew, melting upward into the sky.

With this touch, you hear the voices of all flowers on earth as they open in the morning. With this touch, you see in the core of your chest ten thousand golden suns silently birthed from the center of a galaxy. With this touch, you taste the inebriating nectar of clarity. And you fall. You fall through no distance into the groundless immeasurable beauty that you Are.