8/31/2013

Contradict Thyself


Scholars in Egypt recently discovered a transcription of the original stone tablet given to Moses on the Holy Mountain. The tablet contained the first commandment: "Contradict Thyself." But since humans were not ready for this, Moses shattered the stone. Here is the complete transcription:
Contradict Thyself.
Be foolish and wise, joyful and sad, 
immaculate and sensuous.
Be radiant blackness, empty and full.
Less than an atom, encompass the universe.
Be the fallen Virgin and the youthful Crone.
Be the Mother and the Son.
Rebel, surrender, have faith and believe in nothing.
Be still in the fury of the dance, find power in helplessness,
gentle as a warrior, wrathful as a dove defending her nest.
Enlighten your heart through un-knowing.
Discover wisdom through laughter.
Make work your play.
Remember that the opposite is also true: this stops the mind.
Let God be a pebble, let a pebble be God:
this is why you have a body.
Celebrate dying, be unborn.
Gaze into the smallest flower and become the sky.
ناقض نفسك
اكتشف علماء الحفريات في مصر مؤخراً نسخة عن اللوح الحجري الأصلي للوصايا التي نزلت على موسى في الجبل المقدس. وتبيّن في النسخة أن اللوح كان يتضمن وصية واحدة فقط، هي الأولى والأخيرة: "ناقض نفسك." غير أن موسى لاحظ أن البشر ليسوا على استعداد بعد لتقبل هذه الوصية، فحطم الحجر. ها هنا النص الكامل للوصية كما وُجدت:

"ناقض نفسك.
كن أحمقاً وحكيماً، بهيجاً وحزيناً، طاهراً وحسيّاً.
كن سواداً مشعّاً، فارغاً وملآن.
كن أصغر من ذرة، وكبيراً سعة الكون.
كن العذراء الساقطة، والحيزبون الشابة.
كن الأم والولد.
كن متمرداً ومستسلماً، مؤمناً وملحداً.
كن ساكناً في حمأة الرقص، وجِد قوة في عجزك.
كن لطيفاً كمحارب، حانقاً كحمامة تدافع عن عشها.
أنِر قلبك باللامعرفة.
واكتشف الحكمة في الضحك.
واجعل العمل ألعوبتك.
تذكر أن النقيض صحيح أيضا: هكذا يتوقّف فكرك.
دع الإله يصير تراباً، دع التراب يصير إلهاً:
لذا قد وُهبتَ جسداً.
احتفل بالموت، فإنك لن تبلغ من العمر لحظة.
حدّق بأصغر زهرة وكن السماء ".

Translated by Dana; Photo credit, Aviel 8

8/30/2013



Despite all violence, confusion, cynicism 
and despair, Love remains the all-pervading 
power that unifies, gently and gracefully, 
without great effort.

Be Without Self-Image


Why try to improve your self-image? Just repose in the Self, where there is no self-image, no ego, only the ocean of astonishment.

We derive our self-image from the forms of the outer world, the realm of comparison, competition, craving and limited relationship. But deep within is the image-less Self, overflowing with innocence, delight, and loving-kindness.

Self-images hide us from the Self, the all-pervading Shiva Tattva. But those who dissolve self-image in the Self create no limitation for themselves.
 

The doorway to the Self is the heart. Rest here. The Grace of the Master allows it to happen effortlessly, and this is Meditation.

Creaception

  

It may be that perception is not a passive act, but a radically creative act of participation in world-making...

Not that subject and object are annihilated in seeinghearingsmellingtouch, but that the radiance of sensation generates the perceiver and perceived as two poles of one event-field...

Our senses the alters of the Goddess whose sacrament we enact when our awareness inflames the wick of matter that we manifest by perceiving it...

Subject and object flaring from bewilderment, the positive and negative charges in a unified field of pure delight, as Shiva Shakti, Christ and Magdalena, the nostril and its flower...

embracing, immolating the universe, as Eyesearstongueskin, the fire of Consciousness creating its fuel.

Avatar of Innocence


You are perfectly innocent and there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot even pretend to be a sinner.

The next incarnation of the avatar is immanent. God will appear as a giant baby weighing 108,000 pounds, performing exuberant miracles of beauty and destruction. The religious people of the world will not accept this. Many will leap over cliffs of self-fulfilling prophecy into nothingness.

The survivors? Those already driven insane by the fragrance of roses, the color of sunsets, the taste of plums just fallen from the twig. Embrace the Radiance beyond judgment, beyond belief. Unfold diaphanous wings of wonder. Step through a portal of chaos into the kingdom of love.

8/27/2013

Opinion


Is it necessary to have an opinion?

When I simply watch opinions forming in the mind, I become the crystal clear space of the watcher. This crystal space is not an opinion. It is freedom from all judgments, and all stories that ascribe blame. Just Being that crystal space, without any ideology at all, brings deep peace into the world.

8/22/2013

Love's Moonlight


With warm invisible breath-fingered currents of pearl over oceans of consciousness beaming to touch what is nearer than One, love exiles its sigh, so that inhalation may seek itself in prayer. You are a sea away, a sky from me, and only the full moon, embracing her darkest sun, can fathom my desire. Beloved, our longing itself is light!

8/16/2013

Be Careful



There is nothing uptight about being careful.

Being careful means paying attention to the ordinary. This word "pay" is interesting. It is an economic term, and the root of economy in Greek is "eco," home, and "nomos," law. Economy is the law of our home. Earth is our home, and our business here is paying attention to little things. Careful attention is the "pay" creation requires of us for the joy of our participation. Paying attention is our rent for the privilege of being on earth.

Carefulness makes a sacrament of the commonplace. It is essential mindfulness: minding our breath, our hands, our daily work, our research. It is discrimination between truth and rumor, between significant events and popular spectacles. The art of being careful may require turning off the news as much as turning it on.

Only when we are careful can we can truly rest, because we are here, and there's nowhere else to be. I wish I could be more careful!

Some of us new age folks imagine that being careful, practicing scholarship, or transmitting the teaching of the master with great precision, makes people uptight and dogmatic. But this is false understanding.

Being careful is Samatta, the beginning of meditation: quieting the mind with the energy of Presence. A clear but silent focus develops into Sattipatana, insight. Deepening our insight through carefulness not only sharpens the intellect, but finally dissolves the intellect into bliss. There is no bliss, no samadhi, without being careful. And there is no conflict between a sharp intellect and a silent mind. In samadhi, the crystal clear intellect is immersed in boundless silence, like a sunbeam in a mountain lake.

Whether you practice meditation, quote the scriptures, build a cabin, or throw a pot, do it carefully. You will not have to do it over again, and your clarity will bring peace to the environment. Clarity of awareness is not just you alone: it is the field.

Let us not confuse clarity with concentration. Concentration may be the result, but it can never be the cause of true clarity. Concentration as an effort means forcing the mind, which only wearies us. Concentration develops spontaneously with carefulness. Carefulness is just another name for devotion. It is to love what you are doing.

In caring, quietness deepens, and the mind enters the heart.

8/14/2013

Chain

     William Blake, 'Urizen in Chains'

I've been following a chain of thoughts under the assumption that it would lead to a conclusion called "the truth." Then I might finally "know" something.

The chain of my thoughts has stretched over half a century, and so far hasn't led me to any conclusion. But I have found Truth during those moments when I unlocked the chain of thought and stepped out of it completely, free-falling into the boundless silence of now.

During these moments in eternity, I can see quite clearly that chains of thinking shackle the politics, religion, psychology and education of our so-called "civilization." The spacious freedom of Being is not valued.

Any civilization chained in thought dooms itself to the endless repetition of the past, for thinking is a circle of ghostly links that can only repeat mental images of what is already known, what is already over. As long as we are trapped in this ghostly realm of thought, we are constantly one step, one link away, from the living Radiance of the green earth.

Let us step out of our chains and meet one another in wordless wonder!

Then we can use thought, when needed, without being enchained by it.

8/13/2013

Sudarshan Kriya


Beloved, if we are awake,
merely breathing is prayer.
Inhaling, my heart expands;
exhaling, my heart smiles.

Inhaling, my heart blossoms;
exhaling, my heart grieves
for all who suffer tonight.
Beloved, if we are awake,
if we are truly awake,

All colors are one clarity,
all flavors are one bittersweet delight,
all action and silence one Shakti,
 
all pain and joy one
healing breath.

Beyond Compare


The moment I gazed into this
periwinkle,
I forgot the rose.
The moment I tasted the snow melt
mountain stream,
I forgot wine.
The moment you compared your life
with another,
you crushed the boundless beauty
of your royal Self...

8/12/2013

Our Economic Sickness is a Spiritual Sickness

(Published in Olympian, Olympia WA, 8/23/13)

 
One would think that a president who wins the Nobel Peace Prize would have the conscience to speak truth to power and say, "No more shipments of arms to Egypt.” When American weapons overthrow democratically elected leaders and murder citizens in the streets of Cairo, America loses the moral credibility to condemn regimes like Iran and Syria.

But Obama cannot speak truth to the power of the weapons manufacturers because they dominate our economy. U.S. weapons sales top the next 10 leading arms-selling nations combined.

In 1961, Republican President Eisenhower warned, "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence... by the military-industrial complex.” We were once the breadbasket of the world. Now the web of weapons contractors extends through Boeing, GE, Raytheon, Honeywell, ITT Corp, much of the Fortune 500, half the research universities in the nation, and countless small electronics firms. (See Link 1, 2)

If what Jesus said be true - that those who live by the sword shall die by the sword - then what fate awaits our nation, whose economic livelihood chiefly consists in supplying the world with instruments of war?

8/11/2013

Choose Chaos


If everyone is right, there is chaos. If no one is right, there is ignorance. If one is right and others are wrong, there is authority. I choose chaos.

8/10/2013

Conscious Capitalism

We don't need to destroy capitalism, we need to evolve it. In an enlightened economy, Left and Right will combine their best qualities: sound regulation of corporate excess with the creativity of the business entrepreneur.

After all, what is the alternative? Anarchy? Socialism?

Even in the midst of anarchy, people will need to eat, build shelter, find warmth and fuel. People will make things and trade them. Markets will arise. A means of exchange will develop. And primordial capitalism will start again. If you are an anarchist, or a child of the Left, you may believe that you can't live with capitalism. But you will soon find that you can't live without it.

In fact, as a truly free market regulated by the people's government to prevent corporate monopoly, there is no more egalitarian economy than capitalism, and no more effective way to raise human beings permanently out of poverty.

The other alternative is the gray cloud of the centralized socialist state. Do you really want to live under the hand of a federal bureaucracy which prevents you from freely marketing your skills, selling your craft, or start your own business? Is it healthy to live in a nation where the vast majority of the population forfeits its creativity for dependance on centralized authority? That compromise may tempt us with the promise of security; but in exchange, we sacrifice our spirit, and settle for the mediocrity of the flock. Socialism is just the secular version of a monolithic Church.

Economic freedom means freedom for creativity, and is only possible with a thriving middle class. We need a government that gives us the freedom to buy, sell and hire, promoting and not depressing the market. The role of government is not to control the economy, but to regulate corporate power.  The role of government is to break down mega-cartels and monopolies, stimulating the growth of small business. Ironically, good government keeps free markets free, maintaining a dynamic balance between regulation and capital growth. Consumers rights must be protected: but producers must be free to produce.

Socialism cannot lift workers into the middle class, because it suppresses the energy of capital growth. What we need from government is not redistribution of wealth, but redistribution of markets. We need to stimulate people out of poverty by funding entrepreneurs with low-interest seed-loans, promoting jobs in depressed areas, both rural and urban.

Redistribution of wealth without the stimulation of markets only results in fiscal entropy: everyone becomes equally poor. You may end up with a classless society, but it will be a lower class.

This was demonstrated by the now-defunct socialist economies of Eastern Europe. The socialist economies of Western Europe fared better, not because they were socialist, but because they combined socialism with free markets. Yet in Western Europe too, the socialist model now sags under the weight of its cost. Greece, Spain and Italy are collapsing, and France may soon follow. There are even riots in the streets of Sweden.

Capitalism is the only viable solution. But it must evolve into a more conscious capitalism. What would conscious capitalism look like? Here are a few elements:

* Invest to Grow Markets
Smart long-term investors invest not just in their own profits, but in new markets. Investment becomes seva, service to society, when we invest in growing the market instead of growing only our profit. And this ultimately brings greater benefit to the investor. Conscious investors know that there is no future in profit alone, for profit soon cannibalizes itself, ruining the environment and making workers too poor to buy anything.

Workers are not mere laborers in the market: they are the market. When our corporations offer only minimum wage jobs without healthcare and pension benefits, they choke their future to death, since their workers are also their markets. Henry Ford not only wanted workers to make cars, he wanted every worker to own one, and he invented the two-day weekend so that workers would do more driving.

Conscious capitalism sees that workers must share in profits and become prosperous middle class consumers. Any corporation that widens the disparity between investor profits and worker wages has no future. Conscious capitalists invest in corporations that are sustainable, both for environment and labor. This is not just doable, it is necessary for our survival.

*Invest in Worker-Owned Corporations
The most sustainable model for business is a company owned by workers, not investors. Follow the example of the Mondragon Corporation in Spain (http://tiny.cc/yjuz0w). Worker-owned corporations are not socialist, because they are not owned by the government. They are private enterprises owned and administered by their workers. Investors can still invest in them, but cannot own them.

* Replace Mega-Banks & The Federal Reserve with Publicly Franchised Credit Unions
Local credit unions operate within their means, reflecting the wealth and labor of their own bio-regions, without professional speculators or debt-leveraging schemes that cheat workers out of their savings. These local credit unions can link in a network that draws on mutual resources. They must be publicly franchised: executives will be well-paid public servants, but not post-industrial feudalists. Under this system, receiving a line of credit to start a new business will be a basic human right.

* Replace Competition with Cooperation by Forming Business Collectives
Whether they be artist/artisan cooperatives, organic farm cooperatives, or collective grids of local energy producers, we can replace the intrusion of the mega-corporation into our business with a network of cooperative local enterprises, where entrepreneurs communicate, share resources, and empower each other through collective action. The small business collective will become the alternative to the corporate cartel.

* Defund the Military Economy: Invest in Peace
Transition to a healthy economy is directly related to our concern for world peace. However, peace movements will only succeed when they cease acting as mere mouthpieces of protest and become economic movements, investing in new markets. In a Market Peace Movement, peace-makers will transfer wealth out of the weapons industry into sustainable, green, local production. It is not enough to march in the streets waving "Peace Now" signs. We must educate conscious buyers, who purchase products that sustain the environment and nourish non-violence. We must boycott corporations that contribute to war. People don't really protest with their signs and shouts, they protest with their pocketbooks.

Conclusion
In the 20th century, we evolved from the concept of national economy to global economy. Now we must evolve from the global to the local. This may sound like devolution, but it is evolution. The local is far more humane, efficient, sustainable, and spiritually nourishing than the global.

Global corporations grew at the expense of local markets, creating a devastating post-industrial corporate feudalism that robbed local workers of dignity and opportunity. Now it is time to replace global corporations with a network of local markets. The world economy will be one grid, one collective, of small businesses. Grass roots.

Solution


Isn't the solution to most of our problems just to simplify our lives? To reduce wants to needs, until ordinary things become sacraments? This is real economics. To take a breath is the sweetest nectar. Who needs wine? The human body is a palace. Who needs a mansion? Nakedness is the most beautiful garment ever woven. Sit gracefully, stand mindfully, walk barefoot in wet grass: this is nobility. Gaze into another's eyes: receive wealth. We cannot possess such jewels, we can only offer them!

8/08/2013

Awareness & It's Vehicle


"Is not life more than food?" ~Jesus, Mat. 6:25

I am not what I eat. I am not my weight or my age. I am not my physical ability or disability. Not my gender, my race, my clan or my genotype. Defining myself by any of these attributes is just a choice my mind makes; it is only a belief. But I am not my mind either.

Awakened awareness is not restricted  to its vehicle, any more than boundless silence is contained in a word.  Awareness can rest in its vehicle as lightly as a bubble on a feather's tip.

After Creation

After creating the universe,
You were a little weary
and needed a resting place.
That is why you made my heart.
Come to me, O Lord, You
who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give You rest.

8/05/2013

Dance

After eternity, perfection gets a little boring. So She covers herself in seven veils of imperfection, all illusory, and invites us to dance with her through unendurable eons of time, removing one by one these garments of Maya, until we whirl at the center of one bright nakedness.... Therefore, brothers and sisters, we dance, we dissolve, we merge with perfection again and again, to discover there was never anything else, and never any moment but this.


8/03/2013

Things



Things that awaken me...
* fur
* the suddenness of the apple blossom
* a blueberry bursting in my teeth
* up-whirling song of a Swainson's thrush
* memory of the fragrance of your hair on my shoulder so dark in the lost golden afternoon
* the light years in a single atom between our fingertips  
* barefoot starlight in wet grass
* the sky in a raindrop
* luminous breath brushing the hollow alvioli in my chest
* perfect weight of the fallen body
* gravity's grace
* awareness seeing it's own
* clarity

Be Incomparable

Choose to be incomparable. You can't compare yourself to someone and love them at the same time. Impossible! Leap beyond first and second, beyond comparison, and fall into Love.

8/02/2013

Begin at the Mountain Top



Through the grace of meditation, we don't end at the mountaintop, we begin at the mountaintop.

On the highest peak, there is a dense pack of pure white snow, resting in absolute stillness. No warmth, movement or vibrancy manifests. But in that dense snow pack, the vitality of the earth is stored as unmanifest silent power.

The vitality of flora, fauna, humanity, and the entire ecosystem of forests, rivers, fields and valleys below, depend on the melting streams that flow from the white silence at the top of the mountain.

When we begin our day with deep meditation, we are like that mountaintop, crowned with diamond Light in utter stillness, immersed in densely packed silence. The life-energy that will nourish and guide our whole day flows down from the inmost peak of pure consciousness.

Photo: Mount Rainier at Sunrise