7/31/2012

Information & Unformation


Information is overrated.

Information tires me, and I encounter entirely too much of it. What interests me is Unformation.

Is there something prior to form, prior to thought, prior to the sound-byte of God's word?

Aristotle called it a tabla erasa. But Aristotle did not practice meditation. Otherwise he would have seen that what exists before this universe of information is not a blank tablet, but an abysmal majesty of Silence, a churning sea of possibility, a womb of magic.

Physics tells us that the vacuum is alive with vibration. Every photon and every galaxy that will ever be formed preexists in the formless as a virtual particle, a fluctuation of the vacuum. The void is a democracy. Whether, in the random grace of chaos, a vibration spills forth as a nutrino or a cosmos, is unknown until the blossoming.

It is fear of the void that drives all science, all religion, and all philosophy. We are afraid of emptiness because we imagine it to be nothing. But no-thing is not nothing.

If for an instant you have the courage to abandon your science, your religion, your philosophy, swim out beyond the shoals of thought into the uncreated abyss, and drown in the uncharted beatitude of eternal Silence - then, a moment hence, you might float back to the surface anointed, a Christ, and all creation unspeakably new.

Embracing Our Chaos


To transcend chaos, embrace it.

What embraces chaos is not contained in the chaos it embraces.

Chaos may be stressful, but the space that embraces chaos is instantly peaceful, still and clear.

And when empty space awakens, it is no longer empty. Awakened space overflows with compassion.

Awakened space absorbs everything without being disturbed or diminished. Awakened space offers no resistance, yet nothing overcomes it. Space is invincible.

Invincible awakened space is immediately available: just agree to rest as who you already are.

Humanity will keep suffering through religious, political and economic peril, until we finally surrender our effort to control the chaos, and rest as awakened space.

Being is Grace.

Purity


Forgive your food its impurity, and your food will forgive you for eating it.

Likewise, forgive what you imbibe through your eyes, your ears, your breath, your skin. 


Transcend the pure and impure. In muddy water, a perfect lotus blooms. 

And in the midst of this muddy fallen world, gazing on the lotus-eyed Lord of your heart, you instantly gain inner and outer purity.

Be Christ to One Another


What keeps us from blossoming?

What keeps many of us from blossoming is, we lack faith...

You might assume I am going to say, "faith in God," or "faith in Jesus," or "faith in our Guru." No, we lack faith in the authority of our own awareness.

We reject the divinity of the I Am within us. We deny that our consciousness is Christ.

Does this sound heretical? In fact, it is the very essence of what Jesus taught: "You are the light of the world. The kingdom of heaven is within You."

When we deny the divinity of our awareness, we insist that God must be an Other. This is the real sin: choosing to see ourselves as separate from the Divine.

The beginning of all idolatry is making God into an Other.

Insisting that we are separate from God, we identify with the old story, the story that tells us we are weak and fallen sinners, exiled from our garden home. By affirming that story, we invalidate our true Selves. We validate our deepest anxieties instead, and thus become the weak fallen sinners we fear that we are.

O friend, let us no longer whisper the truth of I Am in fear and trembling. Speak it aloud in dignity, with boundless Self-respect. Say it with me now:

"My own awareness is authority.  My own being is the good, the pure, the infinite. My own awareness is divine. I am Buddha. I am Krishna. I am Christ." 

"My own awareness is authority." When we speak of awareness, we are not talking about thoughts. Thought is just a clutter of images filling the space of awareness. Awareness is the silence between thoughts, the space around thoughts, the silent witness of thoughts. Awareness pervades thought as the ocean pervades a wave, yet is not contained by it. Awareness is never a memory or an image, but the formless imageless Self.

Pure Self-awareness is the Am beneath the I. That space is not only mine, but yours. The Am includes We. 

"I am Buddha. I am Krishna. I am Christ."

 Buddha means awakened. Who in this world can be Buddha until I am Buddha? For if I am not awake, the world is not real.
 
Krishna means irresistibly attractive. Whenever I hear great music, or taste sweetness, or feel a loving caress, what happens? I close my eyes and sink inward for a moment. The pleasures of the external world are just hints and shadows of the bliss deep within. That bliss is Krishna: perfect beauty at the center of my soul.

And Christ? Christ means anointed. How can I see Christ in another until my own eyes are anointed with Christ-Consciousness?

I share this message not to offend Christians, but to awaken Christ in you, the hope of glory (1 Cor. 12:17). Awakening Christ in you is the Second Coming. It happens now.

Time to cease looking for the Christ, and start looking from the Christ, the Christ within. Time to be the Christ for one another.

"At a distance you only see my light. Come closer and know that I am You.” ~Rumi

7/30/2012

Birth



Human birth is the highest initiation a spiritual seeker can receive.

At birth, we were given three precious jewels of spiritual practice: the breath, the heart, and the present moment. They take us directly to God, more quickly than could be achieved in any angelic paradise.

Agreeing to be fully Present, here and nowhere else, just breathe, resting awareness in your human heart. This is the grace for which the gods wait aeons to be born.

7/29/2012

Food


'Laborers in the Red Vineyard,' the only painting Van Gogh ever sold

We need to forgive each other for what we eat, just as what we eat forgives us. Everyone has a food story. Here's mine....

When I was five years old, I had a theory that the earth was food. We could eat the ground. We could just spoon dirt right into our mouths, and it would taste like fresh baked bread.

Intuitively I sensed how this would end human sorrow, my parents' economic woes, and all world conflicts, which are essentially over the economics of food.

People had somehow overlooked what was right in front of them: the abundant sweetness of the earth. But I would tell them about it, bringing a golden age of fulfillment. I didn't have the words to express these feelings, but I definitely felt them.

First, I had to prove it to myself. Then I could share the secret. So I waited until my mother went upstairs with the laundry, then sneaked into the kitchen to steal a large tablespoon out of the top drawer. I ran outside into the clear summer day, afraid that I might be about to commit a transgression against all the principalities and powers that would keep mankind affixed to its cross of suffering, yet ecstatic about my rebellion, and my discovery of limitless supply.

Venturing out beyond the woodpile, to the edge of the wheat field, I sat down in the middle of a dirt road, where old farmer John had just driven by in his green Allis Chalmers tractor. With a deep breath, I plunged the spoon into the cindery soil. Then I closed my eyes and gently deposited the spoonful of dirt in my mouth. I had done it: I had eaten the ground. No one had ever tried this before!

Something was terribly wrong. My heart awoke as from a dream, shocked into a new awareness, a sense of the Tragic, by the cold metallic taste of the Inedible, and the revelation of the Alien, the Otherness of the world, so incommensurable with the Bliss of my inner paradise.

My heart broke. I became Man in Exile. A sense of grief overwhelmed me as I realized how humans must toil and till for every morsel on this earth, through seasons of slow planting, harvesting, vying for property, spending and selling, raising beets and cabbage, corn and wheat, lambs for the Passover, turkeys for the slaughter of Thanksgiving!

Yet I also understood how, in the burden of all our labor, we would need compassion for each other. We would need to forgive each other for what we eat. Above all, we would have to share it. Life would be hard. And over all our food there must ever be both sorrow and celebration.

7/28/2012

Sabbath


She creates the heavens and the earth in six breaths. First, quazars and inter-galactic clouds; then the brilliant sun, the coy moon; then green forests, sparkling waves; then flying, creeping, swimming creatures; then four-legged leapers, grazers, prancers; then this two-legged I Am, and you, my Love....

How shall we name it all? Where shall we go for dinner tonight? Under what tree shall we lie down and dream?

When we turn to Her, in the turning called prayer, we discover that our Creator is also amazed. She is even more dazed by creation than we are.

"I don't know how all this happened!" She cries. "It just spilled out of my heart, one breath after another. Oh yes, I created this, but I don't know where it comes from, what it means, or what its name is.

"You name it! Name it with your love. You find out where it comes from. Give it whatever meaning you choose. I must rest now. I too will lie down under a tree, and dream."

God breathes her seventh breath now, the Breath of Surrender. God surrenders to wonder and bewilderment.

Painting by Ule Ritgen

7/27/2012

Syzygy


"Two great sexes animate the world." ~John Milton, 'Paradise Lost'

The absolute uncreated Godhead may be beyond gender. But this entire relative creation, on every plane of manifestation, is ecstatically polarized in male-female syzygies.

How Can I Serve?

7/25/2012

Padikka-Samupaddha


"When the electron vibrates, the whole universe shakes."
~Sir Arthur Eddington, founder of quantum physics

"Every neutron contains all the information in the universe." ~Particle physicist Nassim Haramein

"Ano raniyan, mahato mahiyan: One atom of the smallest is greater than the greatest." ~Upanishads

"When I get fleas, everybody gets fleas." ~Willy

7/24/2012

The Self is a Diverse Population


Every moment we pulsate between an infinitesimal point and a pointless radiance. That point is our passion. That radiance is our compassion.

Our passion makes us an individual human person. Our compassion is the infinite circle that includes all other possible points, and all other individuals. Our compassion makes us divine.

We expand from the subatomic to the cosmic, and contract from the cosmic to the subatomic, all in an instant. Expanding in pointless compassion sets us free. Contracting in a point of passion concentrates our juiciness and flavor.

If we do not dissolve our point of view in expansion, we get locked into ego. If we do not contract into a point, we get lost in space.

This principle in physics is known as Bell's Theorum. Each particle is a localized vibration of the entire field. Each point contains the whole, as a wave's base includes the sea. In the words of founding quantum physicist, Sir Arthur Eddington, "When the electron vibrates, the whole universe shakes."

In Ancient Indian philosophy, this same principle is called spanda, the root of the English word "expand." Spanda is pulsation, vibration, uniting individual and cosmos. The atom pulsates, the galaxies pulsate, consciousness pulsates.

You can be passionate about your point without being contained and trapped in it. You can have your point of passion, yet be simultaneously pointless, compassionate, all-inclusive. Every other point, even your opposite, has room to pulsate in your infinite circumference. Remember that you are not only an "I." You are the "Am" in which every other "I" pulsates.

We live in a marvelous wilderness of opposites, teeming with diversity. How wonderful that there are people who are passionate about things that don't concern you at all! How wonderful that you are passionate about things that don't concern others in the least! Each leaf and berry in the forest has its passionate advocate!

No one is compelled to be passionate about your passion, and you are not compelled to be passionate about theirs. No one has to agree about anything, as long as we expand and include each other, no matter how different we are.

The Self is a diverse population. The cup is so deep, and everyone pours into it, each crushed grape crying, "I!"

7/23/2012

St. Theresa in Ecstasy


Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, 1647-1652,  Santa Maria della Vittoria alter piece, Rome
"Beside me on the left appeared an angel in bodily form . . . He was not tall but short, and very beautiful; and his face was so aflame that he appeared to be one of the highest ranks of angels, who seem to be all on fire . . . In his hands I saw a great golden spear, and at the iron tip there appeared to be a point of fire. This he plunged into my heart several times so that it penetrated my entrails. When he pulled it out I felt that he took them with it, and left me utterly consumed by the great love of God. The pain was so severe that it made me utter several moans. The sweetness caused by this intense pain is so extreme that one can not possibly wish it to cease, nor is one’s soul content with anything but God. This is not a physical but a spiritual pain, though the body has some share in it — even a considerable share." [Teresa of Avila, Autobiography, Chapter 29]
Although Bernini's sublime masterpiece in marble precisely expresses the details of St. Theresa's vision, he was criticized for its apparent sexuality by those who fail to comprehend the inner vocabulary of mystical love.

Cook


If things taste too raw,
turn up the flame inside you
and cook the whole world.

7/22/2012

Waking


Characters in a dream are not influenced nearly so much by the heroic action of a fellow character, as by the consciousness of the dreamer.

Sometimes we think that the sign of being awake is that we can change our dream. We battle dream images and try to replace the terrifying ones with sweeter ones. But this is the sign that we are still asleep. The mother of all ignorance is believing that we can improve the dream.

Don't try to change the dream, just awaken! Waking up means seeing that the dream is a dream, and it's all OK. We don't need to battle dream imagery: we just need to add the quality of consciousness. Consciousness is all it takes to change the heavy weight of a nightmare into the profundity of a wisdom-myth.

Let the boundless clarity of pure awareness shine through your dream, just as blue sky shines through a mirage. Then see if you need to battle the mirage.

7/20/2012

Metta


"As a mother comforts her only child, let us embrace the whole world with boundless compassion." (Buddha, Metta Sutta).

""Can a mother forget the infant at her breast? So I will never forget you." (Isaiah 49)

Friend, your heart may be a tiny spring, but an ocean of Light flows through it.

You Also Say I Am


In Gita 10:32 Krishna says, "I am the beginning and the end." In Revelations 22:13 Jesus says, "I am the beginning and the end."

Are they the same voice, the same Am speaking through different faces?

You also say I Am.

Who is Christ, who is Krishna, if not the soul of your soul, the heart of your heart, the silent Am who witnesses your I, just as the still unfathomable ocean rests inside each wave?

7/19/2012

Compassion


The highest form of intelligence is compassion. It cannot be tested or graded in any classroom.

Compassion is never a means to an end. It is not a spiritual practice. It cannot be imposed by a religious commandment.

Compassion arises like a tear welling up from inside. It happens when the heart is silent, and the mind is silence itself.

When there is no demand, when the breath of creation arises by its own mysterious power, without any imposition of mind, without any compulsion for "self-improvement" or "salvation," "justice" or "progress," "enlightenment" or "spirituality" -- then compassion awakens as one's own graceful nature.

Compassion is neither a technique nor a teaching. One catches it, the way one catches a disease, by contact. But compassion is an ease, not a disease. By being in the presence of compassion, one catches the ease of compassion. Compassion lives only by example.

Our work is not to save humanity, or to save the earth, but to spread the ease of compassion by simply being who we really are.

Yet our mind gets in the way. Isn't that the real problem? We think that we have to DO something. From this thought, "I must DO something," arises all the mischief, stress and injustice of human civilization.

Animals don't have this thought, "I have to DO something." They simply do what they are doing, and nature works her infinite design through their organic spontaneity. Only humans impose mind - the little "me" of self-will - between nature and action.

You are called to be a blessed animal: an animal blessed with awareness. But in order to be blessed with awareness, you have to let go of thoughts. A life of compassion cannot be lived through the mind clinging to the concept of "compassion."

The life of compassion is only possible through the ease of an awakened animal body, freed from every belief. A body of awareness.

Painting by Bruce Yung

7/18/2012

"There Is No God"

The voice that cries, "There is no God, Jesus was not real, all gurus are fake!" comes from a very deep place in the heart, and indicates that the center of the soul has awakened. It is crying because it needs to be fed.

7/16/2012

I Belong to You


Americans fiercely defend the individualism of "I." Perhaps this is why there is such suspicion about the Guru. Many assume that bhakti (devotion) is blind obedience or worship, in which "I" am annihilated.

But relationship with a real Guru is simply love, freely given, freely accepted.

The Guru is neither Deity nor Lord, but Friend. Such blessed friendship is one of the deepest mysteries of human existence: far more profound than the mystery of who "I" am.

The secret is: "I belong to you, you belong to me." The magic is: once ignited by the living Guru, the Guru-Tattva, or Guru principle, is omnipresent. It melts into every possible friendship, even our friendship with a little golden dog.

7/15/2012

Milkweed


Where did you come from?
From the One who becomes two
by longing for the taste of friendship.

Why are you here? 
To be your Friend.

Where are you going? 

Back to the One, yet neither as one nor two.

Then as...?

Milkweed bursting into galaxies of golden seed.


Photo from Quiet Paths, by Matthew

Goddess Craft


God creates each imperfection quite intentionally, so that we have no alternative but to choose compassion. The only mistake you can make is to reject perfect suchness.

Card by Rashani Rea with words by moi.

7/13/2012

Just Start Praising

What nourishes the earth and the heart more: vibrations of praise or criticism? "People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character," wrote Emerson, echoing the vision of Vedanta: ""First realize that your world is only a reflection of yourself and stop finding fault with the reflection." (Nisargadatta)

When you feel the need to criticize others, just start praising! Say, "For one minute I will praise what is good, what is beautiful. Then I'll get back to criticism."

After one minute of praising the ordinary little miracles all around you, see if the need to criticize is still there.

The Silence


When we refrain from speaking the word 'Love,' we can hear wings descending through the silence. When we refrain from using the word 'God,' these wings settle on our mouths, like a kiss. That is the kiss that the Silent One gives us Now.

(Arabic Translation by Dana Chamseddine)
عندما نمتنع عن التفوّه بكلمة "الحب"، نسمع أجنحة تحلق من خلال هذا الصمت. عندما نمتنع عن التفوّه بكلمة "الله"، تستقرّ تلك الأجنحة على أفواهنا، مثل قبلة. هي قبلة الواحد الساكن يمنحنا إياها الآن

Birthday Card to My Daughter



You came into the world without hesitation or pain,
certain that this is where you want to be.
Your mother hardly had time to move into the birthing room.
You came powerfully, quietly, brightly.
Your eyes were as wise and full of ancient grace
as they are today, radiating peace.
I knew I was blessed, and my heart broke with love.
Now you are just like that,
not one moment old, eternally You.

7/11/2012

Offer It In The Fire

  When I give myself to the one task that, for me, is not a distraction, the one task that is never boring or tiresome, though for others it would feel like "work," the one task that nourishes all the secret rivers of my humanity, for it is the one task that I must do to be me, then "I" am not the do-er at all. The universe blossoms through my hands and heart. "I" am the voice who doubts it and whispers, "You are just being selfish." But really, how else could I transcend the limits of this little self except by offering my body and mind into the fire of what I love?
In some small way, following even the tiniest thread, start doing what you love now.

7/10/2012

Thank You, Amma


This is the only world.
This is not the only world.
This is the only world.
This is not the only world...
I offer red petals to the dark-eyed Mother.
The folds of her golden sari
are like sunrise on the hills of Uttar Pradesh.
One foot folded under her,
the other foot touching the ground,

she dwells in heaven, she dwells on earth.
The curve of her smile is the nectar of the moon,
her half closed eyes, the shining of night,
mystery pierced by luminous silence.
Her skin is brown and soft

as the floor of a sandlewood forest.
One hand follows jade beads, Ganesh, Ganesh,
the other moves subtly to the song I sing -

Thank you, Mother, I love you. 
This is the only world.
This is not the only world.
This is the only world.
This is not the only world...

I offer red petals to the dark-eyed Devi.
She dwells in heaven, she dwells on earth.
_____________________
* July 8, 2012, Vedic Homa to Lakshmi (Fire Ceremony) at Lake Sammamish, Seattle.

7/09/2012

The Essence of Scripture is Meditation

The central command of both Bible and Koran is this. Cease following idols and false gods: adore the one true Spirit.

These idols and false gods are inside us, our very thoughts and beliefs. The Spirit is our own pure consciousness, free from mental images.

Therefor, the essential teaching of our scripture is meditation. Transcend the thinking mind and realize true Source as self-luminous unbounded Awareness. This is "salvation."

7/08/2012

Politics and Abundance

When Jesus said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive,' he was not teaching self-denial, but the law of abundance.

Abundance cannot be acquired, only given. With a mind in the mode of acquisition, even the wealthiest person feels lack. There is never enough. But with a mind in the mode of giving, even the poorest person feels wealthy.

In Third World cultures of hospitality, the poorest village will throw a feast for a visiting stranger. Somehow, it is truly a feast, because when everyone shares, there is plenty. This is the real meaning of Christ's "miracle of the loaves and fishes." The story is not about supernatural power, but the miracle of human community.

It's easy to be liberal when we're being liberal with other people's money. And it's easy to be conservative when we're conserving everything for ourselves. But the beloved community is based on mutual abundance. What is acquired is multiplied by giving. Everyone participates. Those who do not give do not receive. But to those who give, more will be given. "Give and it will be given to you." (Luke 6:38)

Economies based on the acquisition of personal wealth are doomed to failure. Economies based on shared wealth are destined for success.

As we decide which political candidate to support in the coming election, the rubric is simple: which candidate represents an ethic of personal acquisition, and which candidate represents an ethic of shared abundance?

7/07/2012

e. e. cummings poem

if there are any heavens my mother will (all by herself) have one.
It will not be a pansy heaven nor
a fragile heaven of lilies-of-the-valley but
it will be a heaven of blackred roses

my father will be (deep like a rose tall like a rose)

standing near (swaying over her silent)
with eyes which are really petals and see
nothing with the face of a poet really which
is a flower and not a face with hands
which whisper
This is my beloved my (suddenly in sunlight

he will bow,

& the whole garden will bow...
 
- e. e. cummings

7/05/2012

Roots

 No matter how rational or scientific we pretend to be, the ancient Gods, their stories, their myths and symbols, live on and dance through our speech, vibrating in the roots of each syllable in our language.
 The child singing "La la la la la" is chanting the name of 'Allah. Before you even think, your body says, "Pheuw!"  "Heh!" "Gah!" "Mmm!"  "Hah!" "Yo!" All ancient bija mantras, seeds of energizing meditation and names of the devas. Two such common ejaculations form the unutterable divine Name of the Bible, which for centuries was mistaken as "Jehovah." No one says "Jehovah" in their gut: but everyone says "Yah!" and "Huu!"  "Shhhh" is the sound of silence; "wow!" is the expression of wonder in every language. Put them together and they form the name of Shiva.
Now break your own name down into seed syllabus, and see whats gods and goddesses flow through your nerves and capillaries.

7/03/2012

Break


Break your silence like bread
and feed it to me now.
Pour my yearning, like a stream of diamonds,
into the wine glass of your heart
until it shatters, it shatters!
Yearning breaks everything 
-cups, hearts, mirrors, vows- 
so that the stillness of what doesn't break 
might glisten, our love, 
this sobriety, this 
fasting 
from every ecstasy but One.