11/30/2010

Commit Revolutionary Acts


What is revolutionary action today?

To chain oneself to the White House fence and get arrested? To shout angry protests in the street? To join a Tea Party? To hold sit-ins and sing peace songs in front of banks, shutting down commerce? To overthrow the government and spill the blood of the rich? These are hardly acts of revolution, for they have all been done before.

What is radical action now?

To slow down (this is advancement). To subtract (this is abundance). To say thank you without words to a hummingbird or flower (this is healing the earth). To savor one breath (not the last one or the next one, but this one). To welcome a distraction (this may be the gateway to a new world). And just for a moment, to be rather than to do (this drops a seed of Eternity into the earth).

True acts of revolution are radical acts of prayer. 

Painting by Floy Zittin (www.floyzittin.com)

11/29/2010

Give Yourself 10,000 Breaks


Awakening is momentous because it is momentary. True constancy is letting this moment die. The Way is pathless.

Momentary awakenings infuse Eternal Life into the energy-field of each bodily cell. An instant of non-clinging awareness accomplishes this infusion more effectively than any sustained effort to hold onto God or maintain mindfulness for hours on end. Grace is never enforced as a regimen of remembrance.

Do we not burden ourselves with a false hope in continuity? Just observe: is there continuity? Or is continuity a fabrication of thought?

In the name of spiritual practice, we may attempt to super-impose a continuous mental watcher. But this is an artifice. Such discipline will only distance us from life: it will not transform the 'I'. The disciplined 'I' is just the same as the undisciplined 'I,' but heavier, because it carries the weight of discipline. A mental watcher is just the old egoic do-er wearing a blank mask.

True Self-Awareness is spontaneous, marvelous and, like space, impossible to hold. Liberation happens not in hours of continuous practice, but at points of discontinuity and instantaneous surrender. Don't give yourself a break today: give yourself ten thousand breaks! One infinitesimal moment of grace is worth more than five hours of concentration. It is the precious seed of wu wei, of sunya, the grain of mustard seed that Jesus spoke of.

Stop, look, listen, and let go. The very letting go of the seed plants it deeper, shedding the husk of I. From this momentous momentary awakening springs the eternal Am.

"I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces abundant fruit." (John 12:24)

Jai Guru Dev.

11/28/2010

Relax Into Your Work


Some are called to be peace makers, some are called to be warriors. Some are called to be saviors of the poor, and some are called to be investors who promote the growth of commerce. Some are called to be artists or poets, some are called to be scientists or scholars. Some are called to be mothers, and some are simply called to Be.

Abandoning all comparison, relax into your own work. Your calling is neither inferior nor superior to the work of another. This universe would never be the same without you and your infinitesimal stitch of thread, whose effect on the eternal beauty of the whole cannot be gauged by anyone living today.

"Greater to do thine own work, however humble, than to attempt the work of another, however noble." - Bhagavad Gita 18:47 

11/27/2010

Whom Shall I Blame?

 Let's see, whom shall I blame for my world's misery today? Capitalists? Socialists? The Military? The Muslims? And whom shall I thank for my world's beauty today? Jesus? Krishna? The Goddess? The Brain of Science? Can I not see that every wave of blame or love arises from the Self and returns to the Self? No one has created these conditions but I.

No, I do not create the world, but I create the way I see the world. And that is the world I act on.

Worry About Everthing or Nothing

"Don't worry." (Lord Jesus, Matthew 6)
"Don't worry." (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita 18)

We either have nothing to worry about, or everything to worry about. Worry is not selective. Once we become a worrier, we worry about everything, from the collapse of civilization to a smudge on our collar. Worry becomes our way of life, our identity. If we can't find a problem to worry about, we invent one.

So much of our mental energy invested in worry! But we can choose to put this energy into observing the worry rather than feeding it. Thus we create a space that is far more vast than anything we could worry about, and this vasteness is the awareness of the Witness. 


Shifting energy from the content of worry to its observation, awareness grows clear and sharp, and the worry becomes a mere sensation in the body. Try it and see. 

It is impossible to simply stop worrying or suppress it: that leads to inner warfare and stress. But if we become aware of our worry and watch it, as a mother watches over her crying children, then the energy of the mind resolves into clarity, a clarity overflowing with compassion. Compassion cannot worry.

At the end of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says, Don't worry (18:66).
And in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6, Jesus says it over and over again: don't worry. Don't worry about what you will eat... Don't worry about what you will wear... Don't worry about tomorrow. Instead, he tells us, we  might live as flowers in the field and birds in the air, utterly natural in the present moment, free of worry. That is real faith.

To worry is to be unnatural, tangled in the past and future. The past and future do not exist in nature. The past and future only exist in the mind. The mind is unnatural.

Don't take it from me: take it from Jesus and Krishna! There is no need to worry about anything, not even death. Once we go down the path of worry, fastening the mind onto one tiny problem, we worry about everything! We search for problems and catastrophize every situation. Worry becomes our food.

The cure for worry is surrender of the mind to God. Until that happens, we can practice self-observation: keep observing the worry and it will diminish. The witness will expand in silence, and the negative thoughts will lose their power, for we see that they are only stresses dissolving in the brain. 


Observation is the bridge between suffering and surrender. When the mind is afflicted with the ten thousand doubts of human life, be a Yogi and observe this mind. Then when you are ready, be a Bhakti and surrender this mind.

Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih.

11/26/2010

The final discipline is to embrace whatever happens with an open heart. This is not passivity: it is response ability.

Sutra


 
"Form is emptiness, emptiness is form." (Buddhism, Heart Sutra)

"Ano raniyan, mahato mahiyan. One atom of the smallest is vaster than the greatest." (Upanshads)

I need look no further than physics to confirm the Buddha's words. Vast empty space permeates my body. Compared to the scintillating substance of their atoms, bodies are nearly all void, empty. As the opening verse of the Bible describes it, "In the beginning place, where God is creating the universe, the earth is a formless void."

The so-called "particles" in an atom have no real substance. They are little balls of "matter," for matter does not exist. Each supposed "particle of matter" is an all-pervading field of radiance, at the center of which a fleeting wave of pure mathematical intelligence flares. "Particles" are glittering equations written in the vacuum. Have you ever written your name with your finger in the air? Did it have any substance? Was it really "there"?

Particles of matter appear and dissolve instantaneously as unbalanced mathematical equations, teetering on the graceful edge of chaos. And this imbalance of equations, this loss of mathematical symmetry, is the dance of creation. I cherish the random sub-nuclear frolic of imperfection: for if these wave-equations ever solved themselves, the universe would vanish into the stillness of perfect symmetry.

Blessed be the creativity of chaos.

How spacious is my body? I make room for several galaxies in a molecule of my fingertip. Each nerve is a tunnel of stars. My flesh is filled with clear skies. And in the heart of every atom is a vast luminous trembling silence, an asymmetrical vacuum ever whispering, "Be light, weave yourself from sourceless beams, and dance!"

11/21/2010

My Soul Mate Is My Soul

  

Do I know the Light in the mind that the mind cannot know, shining before knowledge? Can I taste the Light that satisfies every kind of hunger - for wine, caresses, or God? Have I met the Light who is the one Companion in every relationship, who waits for me in me, more intimate than
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I?

Have I gazed into the face of Christ, of Krishna, of Buddha, of Mother Divine, and seen that they are rays of my own unborn countenance?

I spend lifetimes searching for a soul mate, moving from lover to lover and guru to guru - which is the same quest - looking for the right person. Yet the right person was dwelling all along in the core of my heart, patiently waiting for my homecoming, longing for my longing to remember its source, and whispering in a thousand hints a day, "Dissolve your search in the unconditional astonished embrace of Me!" My soul mate is my soul.

By being Two, we never become One. By being One, we radiate All.

Most relationships are simply needs. One may feel, I need you. Or, I need to be needed. But needing is not love. Love happens when need drowns in the ocean of the heart, pressed out and overflowing with the nectar of awareness, the radiance of the Self who creates this universe in a burst of splendor, gifting the world from the center of silence.

"For the God who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts with the light of the knowledge of divine glory, shining in the face of Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)

11/17/2010

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Comfort's in heaven and we are on the earth,
Where nothing lives but crosses, cares and grief. 
(Shakespeare, Richard II, Act 2)

How could there be a God if suffering is permitted? Why would any God allow it? This is the perennial question of seekers.

God allows suffering so that we may see through it.

If God did not permit suffering, then we would be stuck in an incomplete and hungry happiness defined by mere pleasure. So from time to time, the Almighty permits us to take on as much as we can bear. Precisely in that unbearable moment, we see through the pain, and our vision becomes truly vast. When we see through pain, we see That which is ever the same in both suffering and joy. That is Samadhi, which in Sanskrit means sameness of vision.

In the realm of the gods, where all is pleasure, Samadhi cannot become permanent. Gods must be reborn as human beings on earth to gain liberation. You may be one of them.

Gods must be crucified. Samadhi becomes permanent only in a world where suffering is possible, demanding a vision that grows so laser-like it makes our pain transparent. In the concentrated Now of suffering, see through your pain into the vastness of Being.

Have you not noticed? Those who have suffered carry a depth, an expansion in their eyes. When they look at you, you fall into it.

Good Morning Every Body


This Sunday morning I am fully alive in my body.

I have no wish to be elsewhere, for my flesh is radiant with Presence. Like a flame around a wick, the glow of Presence infuses each ligament of me, awakens each sleepy fiber, oils every aching joint, expands the atom with miraculous breath, and juices my thirsting cells with delight. Every single electron of my body is a portal to one infinite Sun. This is God's body, a gift.

I relinquish every teaching that says, "You are not this body." Such teachings do not help me, for I dwell on earth. I Am this body. I embrace this body as the matrix of a boundless Self, condensed into particles of bliss.

Our American culture has become a mass out-of-body experience, millions of us hypnotized by ideas, marching down city streets to get somewhere ideal, somewhere else. But where is else? Has anyone ever been there? Were we there when we arrived?

The root of every political and economic problem is that we are not present to our own eyes, our skin, our breath, our souls touching the ground. This mind is displaced from its beating heart. This spirit is in exile from its land of living flesh.

Why do we so unflinchingly support governments that exploit the poor and make war on human bodies? Because too many teachers have convinced us that, in the service of Prophets or Profits, bodies are expendable.

Bodies matter. Matter matters. Jesus, Buddha and all avatars demonstrate that God takes human incarnation: not just in their bodies but in your body, my body, and the body of each newborn child. Bodies are sacred.

There's no getting around, above, or out of the body. We must go through it, every vibration of it's pleasure and pain. The word vibration has the same linguistic root as the word fiber.

Matter is not an obstacle to Consciousness. Matter is the doorway to Consciousness. Matter matters.

To transcend the body, embrace it. To embrace is to glorify. To glorify is to expand. To expand is to dissolve. Honor God in your body. This is the bread of life.

11/15/2010

Instructions for Stepping Through the Portal


First, agree to be here, weighted
and wedded to this place.
Breathe out, sinking from head
to heart space. Rooted
by your body's warmth, surrender
what was and will be:
excess electricity in your brain.
Now rest at the radiant Door
between heartbeats. No need
to knock. It was never closed.
Inhale. Step through, Breather of Light.
Hear the un-struck gong of the Source,
harmony's new Heaven, new Earth,
drenched with longing and suffused
with luminous blossoms that once
were your prayers. Practice this
as a mother-to-be rehearses
breathing before birth pangs.
When the moment comes,
will you stand with me here,
in the heart?
__________________________

There is nothing to fear for those who rest in the heart...

I did not write this as a poem. I wrote it as a practical instruction, which I share because it may be useful in the moment of global energy transition.

Our survival value no longer lies in monetary wealth, weapons of war, technology or science, but in the practice of the presence of God. Truth is not about economics or political change any more: it's about Dimensional Shift.

Of course, we are in the midst of that shift now. The vibrational frequency of this so-called "physical" world accelerates daily, at an increasing rate. To those whose minds resist transformation, clinging to old patterns of understanding, looking to old institutions for knowledge, this incremental vibration-shift causes anxiety, depression, disorientation, and mysterious bodily illnesses with no cure. On the other hand, those who prepare their vehicles for dimensional shift through regular meditation, a pure natural diet, cleansing breath, and physical exercise such as yoga and tai chi, now feel more freedom and lightness within, even as the world around them seems to fall apart.

Incremental though this change appears to us now, there will come a final crescendo, a Moment of Transition. The materialist will experience this moment as panic and collapse. The intuitive will experience this moment as confirmation: longed-for enlightenment in a flood of Radiance.

The Radiance begins in the depths of the heart, on the abstract level of feeling. But very quickly, in a matter of seconds, it explodes to engulph the external world, infusing every perception with that which was, in the previous age, a "Light Within." We used to see creatures as separate physical objects. Now we see the Radiance as foreground and objects as background, suspended, dissolved in an ocean of all-pervading Spirit. For the light we behold in the new vibration is the very light of our own consciousness, animating the world around us - each leaf, each berry, each clod of earth, sparkling with the awareness that perceives it! Scripture calls this the "New Creation," a "new Heaven and a new Earth."

The whole purpose for stepping into this next phase of human evolution is to merge the subject and object, fusing but not confusing our consciousness with the Earth. As the light of consciousness explodes from within to without, scriptural language describes it radiating from "East" to "West." This is symbology. Our inward subjective nature is the "East." The external realm of our sensory perception is the "West."  The light from the East will fill the West.

Thus Jesus describes our transformation as a blinding flare of light, moving from East to West. He tells us not to panic, but to stand in the heart, "the Holy Place."
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place: whoever reads this, let him understand... For as the lightning comes out of the East, and shines even unto the West, so shall be the coming of the Son of man." (Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 24)
In that moment of transfiguration, you are the new and cosmic child of God: you are the "Son of Man." The "Holy Place" is not the sanctuary in a temple or on a mountain top, but your deepest meditative silence, centered in the heart-space. Jesus makes it clear that "the kingdom of heaven is within you." (Luke, chapter 17) "The time is coming and now is here when the true worshipers will worship the father in Spirit and in Truth." (John, chapter 4)

Today, many of us worry about the coming change. We fear for our property and the safety of our flesh. We burden ourselves with anxious preparation for an apocalypse. Even those who claim not to believe in such things, and will not talk about them, feel the tension of dread in the air.

But there is nothing to fear for those who rest in the heart. When that moment comes, our salvation won't be found in wearing survivalist gear, or hoarding fuel and water. Our salvation won't be found in the backyard garden we've so carefully cultivated, our solar-heated off-grid home, or our bomb shelter. 

If we have cultivated our inner garden, through the habit of resting the mind in the heart, we will find salvation in a simple effortless shift of attention. Through the heart, we will gracefully surrender I  to Am. We will step through the portal to a realm of more luminous vibration. We will step into Paradise. And our bodies will come too.


Kiesha in Zurich from kedarvideo on Vimeo.

My Yoga


My favorite asana is not the continuous motion
of clouds on a summer evening,
not the sky in its Posture of Perfect Emptiness,
nor the motion of the Cobra, the Locust, the Lion.
To each a yoga, ancient as its innocence.
Mine the Fallen Angel Pose: whatever
my body is doing just now, like November leaves
finally touching the Earth, mere matter
rooted by the rolling world in the mystery
of weight, inevitably sacred.

Photo: 'The Palouse, Eastern Washington,' by Kevin McNeal

11/10/2010

Phoenix

When an empire falls, it doesn't happen gradually. Everything collapses at once. The web of politics, economics, technology, education and spiritual life cannot suffer incremental or partial decline: it all comes apart with astonishing rapidity. From these ashes, already scattered around us, what terrible phoenix of beauty will arise? Creatives don't wait for others to tell them. The end-time begins now. There's no script. Your breath is the only prophecy. You are the phoenix.

11/09/2010

Willy's Sight


 "My work is love. My discipline is love. Love is my pathless way. I also like to chew on underpants." -Willy

"Not to realize anything is sleep.
To realize something is a dream.
To realize that there is nothing to realize is awakening.
I just realized that my new dog food sucks."   - Willy

"I became Dog-Realized when I gave up worrying about food, drink, shelter, and what tomorrow would bring, and just surrendered my heart to the master." - Willy

11/07/2010

The Path to Peace is Not a Straight Line

Tolerance is not enough.

Tolerance implies that my view is central and superior, while yours, though suspect, is permitted at the fringe of reality. We need to go beyond tolerance, to celebration.

Celebrating our differences means rejoicing in a world where people and cultures are delightfully and divinely “we,” instead of the God-forsaken world where everyone mirrors “me.”

Gandhi loved his Hindu heritage. He also devoted his life to enacting the teachings of Jesus, whom he loved as well. When asked if he was Hindu or Christian, Gandhi replied, “I am a Hindu, I am Christian, I am a Muslim, I am a Jew.” Gandhi was not confused: He saw truth shining laser-like through many faces, many traditions. Gandhi was a patriotic citizen of the whole earth.

When we enter the ecstatic heart of our own religion, we transcend our religion, and discover the ecstatic heart of all religions.

The way to peace is not a straight line. It opens in all directions, like a flower.
_______________

This short editorial letter which I published in The Olympian, Olympia WA, on October 3 was chosen by the editorial staff as their 'Letter of the Month.' It was a response to the bigotry faced by Muslim Americans.

11/02/2010

Beyond Tolerance

Tolerance is not enough.

Tolerance implies that my view is central and superior, while yours, though suspect, is permitted at the fringe of reality. We need to go beyond tolerance, to celebration.

Celebrating our differences means rejoicing in a world where people and cultures are delightfully and divinely “we,” instead of the God-forsaken world where everyone mirrors “me.”

Gandhi loved his Hindu heritage. He also devoted his life to enacting the teachings of Jesus, whom he loved as well. When asked if he was Hindu or Christian, Gandhi replied, “I am a Hindu, I am Christian, I am a Muslim, I am a Jew.” Gandhi was not confused: He saw truth shining laser-like through many faces, many traditions. Gandhi was a patriotic citizen of the whole earth.

When we enter the ecstatic heart of our own religion, we transcend our religion, and discover the ecstatic heart of all religions.

The way to peace is not a straight line. It opens in all directions, like a flower.
_______________

This short editorial letter which I published in The Olympian, Olympia WA, on October 3 was chosen by the editorial staff as their 'Letter of the Month' for October. It was a response to the bigotry faced by Muslim Americans.