8/30/2014

One Breath



Perfectly at ease in a world of imperfections, Love feels no compunction to change what is constantly changing and dissolving anyway. This is all a net made of water.

At the instant when formless Beauty takes the form of a leaf, a pebble, or a human face, She whispers this secret verse: "Just as it is, just as it is..." Why not listen to that whisper? After all, it is your breath. Every moment, millions of parched lips press the rim of your heart-chalice, thirsty for what pours down from the fountain behind you eyes, overflowing into the world. Why not be the fermenter of darkness, the wine steward of Christ-Consciousness?

You are infinitely younger than your thoughts about time. If you drown in the unfathomable distance between one end of a raindrop and the other, you will hear the cries and songs of countless unborn children, whose bodies are like pollen suspended in sap. What can their tears tell you? How to float in a sea of wonder. What will you learn from their songs? How lucky you are to be on earth.

8/29/2014

Ganesh Chatirih, August 29



Happy birthday
to the chubby boy
with the wise old elephant's head
riding on a mouse
who nibbles everything in sight.
The world could be saved
by elder wisdom in a prankster,
guided by the tiny
energy of fur.

~ Have a blessed Ganesh Chaturtih

8/28/2014

New Moon

New Moon Meditation... Dark phase purity... Opalescence of perfect night... Only blackness gives birth to stars.

Confession: I gave up going to meditation and yoga courses at the ashram. Not because I gave up meditation and yoga - not at all. But because I grew weary with the Cult of the All-Obliterating Smile - the one you wear to let people know how "spiritual" you've become - and the tyranny of compulsive celebration.

 

There are times when I don't need to smile or celebrate. Times when a tear contains tomorrow's sun. There's a time for the rigor and nakedness of the budless twig. Otherwise, there could be no blossom. There's a time when I honor the Being of emptiness, deeper than joy.

At this very moment, golden alder leaves are falling...

If we're not at home with weariness and sorrow, not comfortable around uncertainty or grief, then we haven't arrived on Earth. Light's cotyledon in darkness, seed of crepuscule in Autumn sun. Don't fear phases. They are the faces of what doesn't change.

Because I can weep, I can smile.

Moths

Took these photos on a hike to one of my favorite secret shrines in nature, 
where the spirit of the mountain blessed me in the form of a white moth, 
and the goddess of beauty came in the form of a gold moth. 
Om Ma Tahomaya Namah!


 
 


Each wing a mountain
shimmering in emptiness,
white moth, blue aster.








Walked out in the alpine flowers to photograph this moth close up, 
but it fluttered away. So I returned to the path and stood still. 
The golden moth - was it the same one? - danced over to me, 
right up to the camera, and settled on the nearest flower next to 
my hand. Then she turned her back and posed her wings for me. 
Nature feels and responds to our appreciation of beauty. 
 

 
 


This vain golden moth
posed on the nearest flower
just to steal my heart...






8/25/2014

In The Beginning

In the beginning there were no temples, mosques or churches. Worship was never indoors. The sacred space was the garden, where the man and woman practiced rituals of holy agriculture, following the ceremony of the seasons.

They planted, sang seeds up, harvested, and danced the wine. Conceiving no difference between heaven and earth, they made no  sacrifices on an alter, but left generous portions of their harvest in the field for the poor and the wanderer. This was their offering.

The inner sanctum of their sacred space was the heart, and the most holy sacrament was breathing, poured into the flame of divine love. Each woman a priestess, and every man a priest, each home a temple, and every breath a prayer; so in each would be increased the mystery that was everywhere.

8/24/2014

Breathe Allah

                                                   I.
Let us breathe Allah instead of using the name of God to kill people.

In the Qu'ran, "Allah" is the same name of God found in the Jewish scriptures: "El'." For reasons never completely explained, the Biblical authors used the plural form, "Elohim." In fact, Elohim means "Gods." A Semitic Jew would pronounce the singular name for God in Hebrew as Allah is pronounced in Arabic. Jesus would not have recognized the Germanic word, "God."He would have recognized the Semitic word, "Allah."


We were meant to breathe the name of God, not to use it as an argument or a weapon. Like all divine names, "Allah" flows through our body with the breath, as a mantra. "Mantra" in Sanskrit means "mind-vehicle." The Indo-European roots are "mannas" (mind) and "tra" (vehicle), from which we have the English "mind" and the suffix "tron." As an electron is a vehicle for electricity, so a mantra is a vehicle for awareness: an impulse of sound that carries awareness back to the source of energy in divine silence.

All mantras arise through the breath from specific neural centers in our body. When breathed gracefully, a mantra settles back into the silence whence creation was first breathed forth. As the mantra vibrates into silence, it heals the nervous system, and enlivens the specific quality of consciousness governed by the neural center in the body where that particular sound arose.

When we use the Word of creation to make war, and fight over God's name, we demonstrate complete ignorance. May each of us breathe the divine name we love best. May we cease to dishonor God's name. May we taste the name of God on our lips for no other purpose but healing, blessing, and returning to Source.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم : "In the name of Allah the All-Merciful and Compassionate."

                                                                       II.
When I was a merchant marine seaman during my young roving years, I was in Lagos Nigeria one night after curfew, during the Ibo War of 1968. All lights out, no boats running, my ship a mile and a half away in the vast harbor, a lightless shadow barely visible: I had no way to return. A police officer in the dark street told me to go down under the pier and hire a "bum boat." I went down a rickety stairs to the beach, where there was offal and garbage strewn about the sand, tiny grass huts up along the embankment. There lived the men with their "bum boats," thin log canoes, mere tree trunks hollowed out for sitting.

I called out, "Bum boat?" and a thin middle aged man who spoke no English came out of the darkness, pushing his boat into the water. I pointed to the shadow in the distance and said, "Take me to that ship?" He nodded, "Ya ya, two buck." I gave him three American dollars and he started paddling me out into the choppy bay. The situation was precarious. No one in the world knew where I was. This fellow could have knocked me out with his paddle, thrown me overboard, and kept my wallet. What else could I do but trust, like a little child? There was no alternative but surrender. I leaned back and embraced the night, the stars, the water, the face of the man in the stern and welcomed this moment.

Being a little nuts, I often make up chants. In that surrendered now-ness, I suddenly felt so ecstatic that I spontaneously started singing with a big grin on my face, "La la la la la la la!" Spreading my arms, I shouted to the darkness. The boatman broke out in a wide grin, so bright it seemed to illuminate our way. Nodding and pointing up to heaven, he shouted, "Ya, OK, sing God like that: Ala' Ala' Ala." Recognizing this sound as the name of his God, he chanted along with me. He was Muslim. We both delighted in the sound of our divine innocence. That was a wild ride.

                                                                     III.
Nursery rhyme melodies often contain the refrain "la la la," one of the first sounds a child makes. Yet in Yoga tradition, the sound of "la" is the primordial bija-mantra for the root chakra, connecting the spine to the earth. And the sound of "Ahh" flows down from the throat chakra as the fountain of all alphabets, resonating with the Divine Mother's creative shakti. "Ahh" is the seed of language. So in the Muslim mystical tradition, Sufi's practice "Zikre," singing the name of Allah over and over for hours, not with pious heaviness, but with the energy of whirling children. This same sound vibrates through the central affirmation of Muslim faith, the Shahada: "La ila'ha il'allah," which means, "no God but God."

What a tragedy that the three Abrahamic faiths - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - have transformed the primordial energy of childhood into the heaviest, most warlike God ever invented by man.

Let us return to the breath of delight!

8/23/2014

Meditation Is A Forest Pool

To impose silence on the mind is not meditation, but a subtle form of violence. To control thoughts, force them to be still, or concentrate on one thought to the exclusion of others, is not meditation, but oppression. To repeat an affirmation over and over again is not grace, but control.

We pride ourselves in our "self-discipline." But self-discipline is the inward idol of the authoritarian mind. Who is the self that disciplines the self? Who disciplines that self? An infinite regression of selves, until one must surrender...

Meditation is the weary traveler who takes off her clothes and slips naked into a forest pool. She washes the journey from her glistening brown body. Just so, the mind slips off one veil of thought after another, sinking deeper into more luminous layers of silence, until she immerses in dark effervescent stillness, beyond thought. This stillness can only be discovered, never imposed by a "self." Here she joyfully drowns....

After a few minutes in the secret pool of eternity, she emerges into the sunlight, born from all mothering Wonder.


'The Young Martyr' by Paul Delarouche, at the Louvre

Intention & Meditation

My Higher Ego disciplines my Lower Ego under the angelic guidance of my Guardian Ego, and I have even had glimpses of liberation: the fully expanded Ego. Besides, I can always pray to my supreme Ego, whom I call God.... Ah Me!

How do I know that my spiritual practice makes me a better person? Is there something in silence that dissolves my negative tendencies and nurtures my positive ones? Or will a bank robber who meditates just become a calmer bank robber?

Surely the key is my intention. Intention is the link between the field of karma and the field of silence. 

As Patanjali points out in his Yoga Sutras, there is a subtle technique called samyama. Samyama means that my awareness can form an intention just before I dissolve into formless samadhi. It is like holding a seed, then dropping it into a dark furrow. Samyama is the link between moral and spiritual practice. This is why the eight limbs of Yoga include the Yamas and Niyamas, the do's and don'ts of ethical action. A spiritual practice disconnected from moral intention is as ignorant as having no spiritual practice at all.

Western religious traditions often over-emphasize moral action, to the exclusion of inner silence. But "Eastern" teachings as they are popularized in the New Age often overlook the moral precepts, embracing meditation alone. This was never originally true in the religions of Asia and India.

A gentle but firm intention before meditation, which can be in the form of a prayer, gives trajectory to formless silence. It is an impulse whose momentum carries over from the relative field to the absolute, like a current within the sea, or a fluctuation of probability within the vacuum.

Intention before meditation is pointing the arrow in a chosen direction before letting it go. First there is pointing, then release. There is no value in pointing the arrow if one doesn't let it go; but is there any value in letting go without pointing the arrow?

The space inside this drawn bow overflows with creative silence. Where do I point the arrow of my love?

No Affirmation

To make affirmations of abundance expresses lack. 
To pray for strength confesses weakness. 
To ask for healing is to be sick. 
Simply to embrace what is may be a deeper prayer....

I embrace 'poverty,' I expand into emptiness, I don't ask for 'more.' 

Is the universe not born from a boundless vacuum? 
Not fearing the void, I ripple with wealth.

I confess that I am powerless in utter surrender. 

To abandon striving is to discover pre-existent fullness, 
immoveable strength, nearer than the next breath...

I accept my dis-ease, I welcome brokenness, I hug this body. 

In non-resistance, unity; in unity, healing.

This very moment I refuse to generate conflict 

by changing suchness into 'should.'
I nestle into wholeness, 

and little things begin to happen majestically.

All that greens with nectar, all that buzzes with life, 

emerges from what Is.

Loss is the Door

Happiness and sorrow are ripples on the surface of existence. But the depth of Being is deeper than happiness, deeper than sorrow, beyond loss or gain. The ripples of loss and gain, happiness and sorrow, represent 0.00001% of existence. The rest is an ocean of silence.

We desperately expend most of our energy seeking gain and avoiding loss. Gain only brings loss, as the wave brings the trough. Gain is temporary, but loss is a portal to eternity. Gain is relative, but loss is the way to the absolute. The absolute is the bliss of silence.

Ananda, or bliss, is as distinct from joy as from sadness, though it may bubble up through either, as laughter or tears. Bliss is not a gain, an acquisition of anything. It is the embrace of no-thing. Bliss is the profundity of loss, abysmal and without hope of regaining what has been abandoned. Bliss abandons even the story called "me," with its past and future.

With the loss of "me," what sinks beneath the joy-sorrow ripples becomes stillness, the silence of the Divine. "I" no longer seek "God," for I Am that I Am.

Now loss is abundance. Silence is luminous. Stillness vibrates with wonder. Through the grace of loss, light shines in darkness, and the darkness cannot comprehend it.

8/22/2014

Living Truth Is Not Explained

From a distance, Truth may be defined and turned into a concept. But when actually lived, Truth is the radiance of subjectivity, the energy of Presence. Truth that can be explained is second-hand Truth. But living Truth,  first-hand Truth, is an incomprehensible explosion of transparency, shattering all concepts, precipitating particles of the universe as ashes of wonder. Better than any religious or political belief is to live at the center of that explosion, in the chaos of delight, beyond explanations. I hope that I have made this clear without giving you anything to believe in.

8/21/2014

One


For just a moment, let's breathe down and settle our awareness in this body, to experience our own atoms, photons and neutrinos. Who among us is not made out of the same sunlight, the same star stuff? Race, culture, sexuality, religion are significant waves playing on the surface of our life, but in the depths of the heart, humanity is one golden Radiance. This is not an esoteric secret. It is the experience of every child.

8/20/2014

Point of Perfection



Perfection is very small. Imperfection is vast. This is the dance.

When we feel anxious about the state of the world, it is because we look through too wide a lens. The universe is not painted with a large brush, but with the tip of a hair.

Usually they tell us to see the big picture. I say, break down the big picture into its tiniest pixels, and see perfection everywhere. Each moment, a thousand opportunities for small acts of kindness surround us, the sacraments of which a whole world may be composed.

The most infinitesimal photon, though existing for a fraction of an instant, is virtually infinite in charge. This is a fact of quantum energy. Your body is made from pure radiant dust-motes of infinity.

See the world as a Pointillist painting by a master Impressionist. When in doubt, reduce creation to the Ayn Soph, אין סוף, the dimensionless dot at the heart of every particle.

Look under a blade of grass into the kingdom of the ladybug. Gaze at a raindrop on the tip of a fern. Cut open a ripe pomegranate - the wounded whole a cornucopia that gushes delicious disorder, yet each tiny seed a spheric jewel of ruby sweetness.

Your body appears to be aging, bruised, wrinkled or broken in places. Yet every cell performs its allotted duty, packed with busy molecules that know their work, atoms obeying with precision the destiny of their chemical mass and charge.

Sink even deeper, beyond Planck's Constant: be in the wildering world of quantum uncertainty. Here is the most delightful order of all, the order of perfect chaos, where the milk-ocean of love churns its own vacuum with fluctuations of pure mathematical probability.

In this playful quintessence of the void, Shiva watches the dance of his beloved Shakti. She is the spontaneity of this moment, the quality of Nowness. Shiva's wonder is the very substance of matter.

We are only confused because we exist in the bedazzlement of their kiss.

Golden Age

There was no Golden Age in the past. There will be no Golden Age in the future. That is just a desperate mythology enabling us to live vicariously through our dreams. The wavering mind likes to wander into fantasies about time. The only age is Now. Our own awareness chooses whether to turn this moment into Gold or Stone.

Offended and Outraged

Very intelligent people spend a great deal of their lives feeling offended and outraged. They call this "politics." Could the world survive without my feeling offended? What would I do with my abundant energy and spacious heart if I simply dropped my outrage?

8/19/2014

Transmuting Anger Is True Alchemy

The heart is not just a blood pump, but an energy field whose center is this breath, whose circumference expands beyond the stars. Use it to embrace both beauty and conflict. Use it as a touchstone to transmute the lead of anger into the gold of love. This world needs the alchemy of your heart.

When anger flashes up, it is always in the present moment. I can choose to embrace it and erase it. I can taste its energy in my body, then let it go. Or I can upload my anger as a concept, a file in my mental hard drive.

In this instant, anger is a useful surge. Passing through my nerves, anger can be energize. The danger is not to feel anger. Even Jesus felt it flare up and dissolve. The danger is, to hold onto anger and nurture it.

When I feel it without resistance in the present moment, the pure smokeless flame of anger leaves no toxic residue. Anger converts to free energy, the clarity of awareness.

8/18/2014

Love Is Freedom From Images

Love arises when there is no self-image.

What is the image of yourself as you were yesterday? Is this what you are right now? What is the image of yourself as you were one year ago? Twenty years ago? One thousand years ago? One million years ago?

What is the image of yourself as you will be tomorrow? Is this who you are right now? What is the image of yourself as you will be one year from now? Twenty years from now? A million years from now?

Who are you when you drop all these images? Who are you in the present moment? The present moment has no image of itself. It simply Is. Images only exist in the mind as past or future.

When I am pure existence, without forming any image of myself, I can embrace everything as it arises, and welcome everyone I meet as an extension of the existence I Am. This is the imageless embrace of love.

Scripture says that the human being is created in the image of God. I say that Love is uncreated and has no image.

The power of Love is in direct proportion to the mind's capacity for dropping images and concepts, which is meditation. The power of Love is the power of a silent mind.

Meeting

The human was very disappointed with God, and God was quite disappointed with the human. So they decided to meet personally and work out their issues. This is the story of their meeting. It was person to person, but it lasted thousands of years. From our point of view, we call it "evolution."

The human was disappointed that God hadn't taken better care of her, and God was disappointed that the human hadn't shown more response-ability for herself. When they met, the human complained, talking constantly for several thousand years. This she called "prayer." God listened patiently to the prayer, but did not reply. Finally the human ran out of words, sighed deeply, and said, "OK, God, now I guess you can speak."

The human waited uncomfortably for centuries in silence, but God said nothing. Finally the truth dawned on the human, who exclaimed, "My God, you are mute! All this time we made up stories about your Word, your Gospel, your Good News. But you don't speak at all."

God just smiled and gazed into the human's heart. The human liked that. It felt good. She called it "meditation." For two thousand years she relaxed into this quietness, until she began to hear a kind of voice. Or was it music? Or just the still quiet murmur of a subterranean stream in the wilderness. Or a lullaby at the breast. Then she realized it was the sound of her own breathing. Yet the sound was so beautiful, it drew her into even deeper silence, into a radiant blue sky of pure Presence... The sound was like a note struck in the empty bell of darkness before creation, or a note never struck at all, just chiming in the wind of eternity. This immaculate sound lured her effortlessly toward a place inside where silence was no longer silent, emptiness was no longer empty, but a wellspring of joy, overflowing with inexpressible light.

"This is your voice, isn't it?" she finally asked God. "And it is you who breathe in me!" But God did not need to answer. God just kept filling her with the astonishing gift of inhalation, and she kept offering it back as an exhalation of gratitude. And so there was inside her own intimate body a never-ending Eucharist, a ceremony of gift and gratitude, recreation and return. It was a miracle, yet it was merely breathing.

"From now on," the human whispered, "This is how I pray. I breathe, I listen, I surrender to the gaze of silence."

The disappointment was over. The human no longer waited for angels of God to solve her problems for her. With the gift of divine breath, she could heal herself, and heal the earth. Rejoicing in her own breath as the very Spirit of creation, she felt sure-hearted, strong and generous, able to respond to any challenge. And her independence pleased God deeply.

She tried to say, "Thank you." But she found that she couldn't speak any more than her creator could. They were both mute with wonder at each others beauty. How could gratitude be contained in words? After all, the two sounds "thank you" are just the out-breath and in-breath. Do they need to be spoken? We breathe out our thanks. And when we breathe in, we receive God's "You" as our own Being. What could be simpler?

And here is the greatest wonder of all. In the empty space between the words, where out-breath offers itself to in-breath, there is a secret, silent, divine, dimensionless point - the Ayin Soph in Hebrew, the Bindu in Sanskrit - infinitesimally small yet containing all galaxies, all past and future worlds. Here the Lover merges with the Beloved. We carry this place wherever we are. It is called the Heart.

"Now, just to breathe is my worship," whispered the human. And God smiled.

"Fly!"



My words rendered visually by Klaus Ostendorf. Thank you, Klaus.

Free On Earth

The gleam of every smile is refracted through a tear, yet every tear reflects the light of countless suns. This is the mystery of Earth dwelling.

Earth is a plane where energy vibrates midway between heaven and hell, light and darkness, joy and sorrow, where the balance of opposites offers constant opportunities to awaken and choose. Gods wait for aeons to be born here as human beings, for earth is the only plane that offers liberation from the bondage of clinging to one extreme or the other.

Here I walk the razor's edge, free to decide with each breath whether to fill my hearts with love or anger, compassion or despair. Here I participate in the radical revolution, the revolution that happens when I realize that just one person is responsible for my misery, just one person is responsible for my happiness. And my happiness, or my misery, is a drop that flavors the whole ocean of the world.


The crisis of earthly existence forces me to give up waiting for a savior, or blaming a scapegoat. Here on earth, I can't wait. I must choose. This very moment, in the midst of apparent catastrophe, ten thousand acts of kindness are possible. 

My destiny is always Now. Will my heart choose violence or beauty? I taste the berry on my tongue this instant, or never.

8/15/2014

Why So Many Reject Transcendental Meditation

Given the opportunity to practice the effortless and graceful technique of transcendental meditation, many spiritual seekers try it and reject it, not because it fails to work, but because it works so well.

We are tempted to reject TM because it is too impersonal. By this, we really mean that we do not want to transcend our mind completely. We are afraid to transcend all thinking. We wish to settle down into a comfortable rest, but at the same time hold on to our most delicious thoughts.

Yet it is the total transcendence of all thought that opens our awareness to the Infinite Being. If we hold onto even the most delicate tissue of thought, the floodgate of Being will not open, and we will still remain attached to the relative. We won't surrender and plunge into the Absolute.

Other meditation practices cling to some faint thought, some remnant of relative mind. It may be the thought of one's Guru, the feeling of devotion, the name and form of our favorite deity, or simply the sense that I am meditating, I am becoming peaceful. At the quietest level of mental activity, thought can be radiant and lovely. Yet it is precisely this subtle contemplative thought or feeling that we must let go if we are to transcend. Otherwise, our awareness is still bound. And bondage in soft threads of gold is just as bound as bondage in iron chains.

Why cling to artificial pearls when you can have the priceless diamond of God's boundless absolute Being? But for this, we must give up even the faintest thought of God, for God is not an idol of thought created by the mind. We must let go the faintest feeling of devotion, even the faintest sense of relationship to the master. For the true master is not relationship, but pure Presence.

When all relationship, even to the master, dissolves into the grace of Being, only then does the drop become the ocean, and the ocean become the drop.

There is a cost for everything in this life. Nothing is free, not even grace. The price of grace is surrender.

8/14/2014

The Truth that Sets Us Free

My argumentative, reactive, karmic mind resists the truth that sets me free. At my core is Being: eternal, self-luminous, untainted by external circumstance. Whatever happens, Being remains boundless, immaculate and free. The nature of this Being is pure love. Truly, the world is 0.000001% activity: the rest is stillness. Opening my awareness to the stillness of Being is the most crucial step I can take to save my world from disaster. I need not travel anywhere to find it, for Being is nearer than my next breath, blossoming in divine silence before I think one thought. Even before 'I' am, the fullness of Being is.


https://www.facebook.com/TMmeditation?hc_location=timeline

8/12/2014

Full Moon Party

Even though the people are in mourning, Hafiz wanted us to keep this tavern open all night long.
 

I've come to teach your wolves how to howl; I've come to teach screeching and frolicking to your alley cat souls.
 

I've come bearing loss in a full cup - drink it down.
 

We stumble on a body at the tip of every shadow in this brief world; 

Some die of pain, some of ecstasy; it's the choice we make, the reason we are here.
 

Lord I love this bee-mused vine-tangled abandonment land of berry cobbler topped with a scoop of vanilla moon.
 

I was already drunk when I arrived, but I still care who takes me home.
 

Have you been saving your seven bottles of love wine just for tonight? 
We can handle them, dear, if we work together.
 

You're thirsty, I'm thirsty, God is thirsty too; but it's all one Thirst.

8/11/2014

Advice Not Taken From A Gnat


The gnat said to the caterpillar, "Don't waste time in a cocoon. Teach yourself to fly like me."

But the caterpillar felt a strange longing: the cry of imaginal cells from her womb. So she wove a cocoon of weeping and faith, then sank deep into the mystery of silence. The gnat said, "She's doing nothing in there." Then the gnat curled up and died in the frost on a withered weed.

After a timeless swim through the void, a quiver arose on the tip of a twig, an ugly bundle of hardened mucus cracked and burst like an old wound, and a double rainbow of glistening April unfurled its pure idea of flight. She awoke wondering, "Who is moving, these wings or the sky?"


She imagined her translucent body as the world, and so it was. She imagined the world as her translucent body, and so it was. And so it is.

Never say that nothing happens in the deep cocoon of meditation. Silence is infinite transformation. But when you come out, you must not forget to use your rainbow wings.
__________________
 

LINK: Scientist Lincoln Brower describers the 'biological miracle' of the imaginal cells in a butterfly's cocoon.

Labyrinth

When my path wanders away from the center, doubling back to where I've been before, and I gaze with mysterious compassion at the one walking beside me in the opposite direction, just for a moment, before the Way sweeps me off into aloneness again, to be infinitely near and infinitely far from You, then I remember that everywhere I go is a detour, every detour is a perfect spiral, and every footfall lands at the center of this flowering omnipresent heart. All my walking, then, is the gentle breath of
Presence, step by step dissolving any
notion of a path, into the space where I Am,
always already here with you.

Move the World


I offer whatever I do, and let it go. Letting it go is what turns the world. Not the effort, but dropping the effort in the action, like a finger writing on water.

I do not know if what I do could move the world, or change anything, or if the world is a great circle, ever returning. I do know that each of us is a butterfly wing, moving a breath of air that lifts a wisp of pollen and blows it away, to fall on its dust-mote-mate in a distant meadow, spawning a flower that will be given to a lady, who will glance into a pair of longing eyes and reconsider his soul, 
and fall in love, conceiving an infant who 
will grow up into a farmer, whose wheat will
nourish a poet who will inspire a teacher to 
empower a child to become a doctor who will save 
a baby's life, that she might grow into a spiritual 
teacher, who could move the world a little closer 
to its heart.

Continuous Revelation


What is written in tongues of fire cannot be burned.

The tragedy of every great religion is mistaking the Word of God for a book. In truth, the divine Word is never written on paper or scroll. What is written is only a shadow of the Word, and what is translated from the ancient language is but the blurred reflection of a shadow.

The real Book of Life is the luminous vibration of consciousness in its own eternal silence. And to comprehend true scripture, we must take our awareness to the Spirit that inspired it.

Hidden in the mystical teachings of all great religions is the knowledge that the real revelation of scripture is not found in any book, but is written in the fiery silence of the void before anything is created. In Christianity, this Word is the pre-existent Logos, eternally vibrating in the ocean of consciousness before God speaks, "Let there be light." This Word may become flesh in Jesus, then in us. The Bible itself says that the image of God on earth is implanted in each human being. But nowhere does the Bible say that the image of God on earth is a book.

Talmudic Rabbis taught similarly about the Jewish scripture, the Torah, which already existed before its earthly revelation: it was written in flames of black fire on white fire. (Jerusalem Talmud, Shek. 6:1, 49d)

Yogis in India teach a similar vision of the Word concerning the Vedic scriptures. Vedic Sanskrit mantras were never composed on paper, for they are eternal pulsations of consciousness. Ancient rishis cognized these mantras in deep meditation. Only later were they written down.

Modern quantum physics reflects this ancient view of a pre-existent pattern or formula for creation. Matter arises from abstract fluctuations in the vacuum of space. The substance of these vibrations is not physical but mathematical, existing as pure intelligence. Thus, founding quantum physicist Sir Arthur Eddington wrote,
"I assert that the nature of all reality is spiritual, not material, nor a dualism of matter and spirit... I contemplate a spiritual domain underlying the physical world."
The great physicist Max Planck declared:
"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter."  
This "matrix of all matter" is the Word, expressing the universe through the all-pervading creative intelligence of natural law. From the viewpoint of modern physics, we can accurately state that the universe pre-exists as a blue print of sound-waves in silence. Before creation, there was a mantra for creation...

Whether we call it the Word, the Book of Life or the Quantum Field of Pure Creative Intelligence, we have direct access to this first scripture, not by opening a book, but by resting our attention in the silent depths of our own consciousness. For at its basis, our consciousness is the field of pure universal intelligence, and each of our individual minds is but a wave of that ocean.

When this inner Word inspires a prophet, a scientist, an artist or a poet-seer, their works sparkle with the glow of divine creativity. Certainly we find echoes of this primordial Word in the Vedas, the Torah, the Qu'ran and the Gospels. But we hear these same echoes in the sacred stories and oral traditions of tribal people. We hear them too in the poems of Hafiz and Rumi, Basho, Mira, Emily Dickenson and Keats, Neruda, Rilke and Whitman. No less do we read holy scripture in the wings of a monarch butterfly, or the blue firmament contained so briefly in a morning glory.

Since the Word ever sings beneath the veil of creation, its revelation is continuous. No book could possibly contain or exhaust it all.

Therefor, let us honor all the world's scriptures as our birthright, but hold none of them as the final Word. And if you must burn someone's scriptures, burn your own in the fire of seeing!

8/05/2014

War Is the Collective Manifestation of Stress in the Body


We could end war by dissolving the tension, the enmity in our own nervous system, that we project onto others, turning them into the "enemy." This message from Maharishi is meant not for the defenders, but for the aggressors. It is the aggressors who are the most fearful, stressed and unhappy of people.

A stress-free nervous system acts spontaneously in harmony with the laws of nature, and in harmony with the environment. Then mind is clear and unclouded as a mountain stream, with no extraneous thoughts. But stress in the nervous system clouds and distorts thinking in the mind, which is projected onto the world as "enemies" and "barriers." Our world is as our consciousness is. The world is filled with projections of our fear and aggression because our nervous systems have become weak and stressed. The aggression of Israel and the U.S. arms merchants is a sign of their weakness, not strength.

Harmonious nervous system reflects clear self-luminous consciousness. Without purifying the actual neurophysics of the vehicle, all our talk of consciousness is just "magical thinking" and mood-making.

This rediscovery of the link between physiology and consciousness is the precious gift of Maharishi to the world. It is not a belief system: it can be verified by practice and direct experience. Jai Guru Dev.

"The enemy has no strength of his own. The enemy advances on the road that the people of this country provide him. And the road on which the enemy advances is built on the tensions of the individuals.
"If you want to cut-off the roads and stop the enemy from advancing, release the tensions of your own nation. Cease to be the generators of tension and, instead, become the generators of peaceful and harmonious influence in the surroundings. The enmity of the enemy will be lost!

"The enemy will not be required to be killed. And you will save the danger of being killed by the enemy. It is the enmity of the enemy that is the root of war. It’s not the person, not the nation, not the enemy – but the enmity! And the enmity is provoked in the enemy by the collective atmosphere of tension.

"When we go into scientific investigation of war and peace we come to the conclusion that it’s not the enemy that is at fault. It is the cause which has provoked the enmity in the enemy. And the cause lies on THIS side!”  ~Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

8/04/2014

Choose

The nature of mind is this: there is only one thing happening in the world, and it is a bad problem. The nature of reality is this: there are an infinite number of things happening in the world, some are problems, some are moments of great beauty....

But for the most part, all over the earth, people are performing their daily tasks in peace. Mothers are nursing babies. Kids are kicking soccer balls. Birds are singing in forests. Families are gathering to pray and eat and laugh. Young scientists are inventing new sustainable energy technologies. And billions of creatures are sleeping under the silent stars.

Despite the constant barrage of terror generated by the images of corporate media, the vast majority of places on earth are bathed in the light of the ordinary, and at any given moment are at peace. At this instant, a thousand possibilities for kindness surround each of us. Yet, due to the nature of mind, we focus on our toothache, and magnify it, sharing our suffering instead of our love.

Why not say a word of encouragement, give a caress of sympathy, or perform a small task that uplifts someone? Tiny sacraments of beauty are everywhere, but they must be noticed by a quiet mind, and unfolded by hands that choose to love. One act of care in the daylight of the Monday morning world, dispels the mind's endless night.

I am the creator of this moment. I choose beauty.

8/03/2014

Allah-Elohim: One Breath for Jews and Muslims


Could the solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict be something so simple that it does not demand governments or political treaties? Could it merely be our willingness to sit in a circle on the sacred land, which belongs to both peoples, and breathe together? Breathe the same breath, the same Spirit. Breathe the name of God, "Allah-Elohim."

Not a gathering to argue, but to listen in silence to the Spirit-song, the breath of the heart, cleansing past and future trauma through intense Presence.

When there is conflict, we have three choices. We can ignore the conflict. We can identify with the conflict, taking one side or the other, and fueling the fire. Or we can choose a third way: Embrace the conflict.

When we embrace the conflict, we hold both sides in one light, the light of the heart. Then we become the field of conscious energy that diffuses the polarity.

The choice of the third way is always available. But too often, we don't want to do this work of healing. We choose not to diffuse our violent energy, because our mind is so identified with the conflict that it derives a terrible delicious joy out of hating or blaming the other side, the "enemy." Our anger actually feels "good" to us, feels "right" to us, because we have no sense of what peace feels like.

So even though we have the solution at our fingertips, nearer than our next breath, we pretend to be helpless. We look to governments tor resolve the conflict. But governments will never resolve it, because the conflict is our own mind, and we have chosen to feed it.

At any moment we can choose to breathe peace instead of war. This solution is available in the hearts of ordinary people, not saints. In fact, the conflict can only be solved here, in the heart of an ordinary person. Don't wait for a savior or avatar to do it!

Especially is this true in the conflict of Israel-Palestine, where one generation passes on its pain and anger to the next. If we do not release the trauma through the breath of the heart, the abused tend to become the abusers. Today, Zionists pass on the pain of the Nazi Holocaust to the people of Palestine. Tomorrow, the pain of young Palestinians will traumatize and abuse another generation.

Therefor it is essential to break the cycle now, essential for the whole earth that we resolve this conflict by the practice of the third way: not by ignoring it, not by taking sides, but by the alchemy of breathing.

Some will say this is magical thinking. But magical thinking, like insanity, is doing something over and over again, and expecting a different result. Magical thinking is war and politics. The way of the healing breath has not been tried at all. And it does not depend on thinking at all. It is pure practice.

We gather in healing circles - Jews, Muslims and Christians, Israelis and Palestinians. Gaze into each others' eyes, which is the real confrontation, not hiding behind guns! Breathe in the darkness of each others' trauma. Breathe this pain into our soul and body, tasting its dark, heavy, tortured energy as a living sensation in our very cells. Then offer it, offer the whole mess, on the marble of the heart. Pour the world into the emptiness of despair. Yes, let this very emptiness become the space that receives its own offering: depth crying unto depth, hollow striking spark upon hollow...

From this unconditional embrace of pain, if we have the courage to rest there, light is born. Even if the heart is flint and breath is stone, they strike fire. In dynamic silence we feel the breath consume and dissolve generations of trauma, right down through the molecules of our DNA. This breath heals our ancestors, and bathes our unborn children with forgiveness. Breathe in darkness, let darkness melt into light. This is the natural alchemy of grace. The darkness we breathe in is the precious fertilizer of the light that blossoms in the heart.

In all three Abrahamic religions, Breath and Spirit are the same energy, the same word. The Hebrew word for Breath and Spriit is "Ruach," whose cognate is the Arabic, "Rhu."

Likewise, in these sister Semitic languages, the name of God is also has the same sound. In the Hebrew Bible, God is called "Elohim." This is the plural form of the word "El," God. You will have to ask a Rabbi why the Bible uses the plural. The Hebrew "El' ",is "Al' " in the Koran. Jesus would have used this name for God in Aramaic. He would not have recognized the word "God" because it is Germanic. Jesus would have called the Lord, "Av'allah," Father God. The sounds are crucial. They are mantras. They are the sounds of the breath, enlivened as healing energy in the human nervous system.

The name " El' " or " Al' " is pronounced with two syllables, because it is the sound of exhalation and inhalation. The "Ah" sound begins every alphabet, divine creative energy in the individual body. We breathe out "Ah" from the crown of the head to the throat, the heart, the belly, through the base of the spine, where it's stream of power pours down into the earth. We offer our whole body in this breath, surrendering to the Mother. This is the grounding power of exhalation.

When it has poured all the way out, the "Ah"-breath ends in a deep silence. This silence may seem to last but a moment, yet it is boundless and eternal. It is not the silence of sleep, but the silence of fully awakened awareness without thought. This dynamic void that is the well of healing and new life, the silence before God said, "Let there be light." It is creation's womb.

As exhalation merges with this stillness, our mouth closes and the tongue gently touches the palate. Tongue on palate produces the "L" sound. Thus the sound of "Ah" becomes "La." In the science of Yoga, "La" is the seed syllable of the root chakra, at the base of the spine. In this root, the breath sinks from sky to earth and we offer ourselves to the Mother. Then the breath rises back up through the body, from earth to sky, gently opening the flowering petals of attention in the forehead and crown, where we offer ourselves to the Father. These two movements, sky to ground and ground to sky, unite heaven and earth in the human body, through breathing. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Healing Breath. Through this practice, the human form becomes the Tree of Life at the center of the garden, and the land of Israel-Palestine becomes Eden again.

May Palestinians and Jews sit together, not in any attempt to forgive, to justify, or to understand, but merely opening to Presence, gazing and breathing, allowing whatever comes up have its way with the breath, then letting it go. After a little while, close the eyes and continue this healing breath.

Welcome even anger into this breath. Anger becomes precious when we truly feel it, instead acting it out. When we throw our anger into action, we are escaping from it. But when we truly feel the sensation of our anger in our body, it gets transformed into energetic power. The value of anger is that it brings up the stuff we need to let go of. As we let go of it, the anger is replaced by vital healing energy. But if we don't let go of the anger, it becomes toxic. No one was ever healed by holding on to their anger.

So just keep breathing in the pain of the dear earth, and see how, in the temple of your heart, that very pain becomes the healing of the planet, transmuted into light.

This process of transformation is not an accomplishment of thinking. It is not an ideology. It is self-emptying. In self-emptiness, we become truly present. We can return to basic trust, surrendering every breath to the ground of the Great Mother.

When the heart opens, it becomes fearlessness, and when there is fearlessness, there is non-violence. Then we can afford to be generous. Generosity simply means leaving plenty for others by not taking more than one needs. See how the healing breath directly leads to a new political awareness, and new economics, and land reform policies, quite spontaneously? generosity of heart is the basis of a healthy economy. Economy comes from the Greek, "ecos" and "nomos," "home" and "law." The natural law of the home, the healing of the homeland.

Through open-heartedness, releasing trauma through the healing breath, and becoming truly present to one another, Jews and Muslims will discover that they can dwell in the same nation, on the same holy ground, sharing one linguistic tradition, one heritage of story-telling, and one God.

May we all practice this healing. Breathe in the darkness of each others' pain. Let it smoulder and turn to love in the heart. Then breathe out peace. This work we do for ourselves, and for each other. This intimate breath-work we do before any other task - social, political, or economic. This work of the present moment we do wherever we are: yet the radiance of the healing breath fills all time and space.

Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih, Allah Elohim.

Healing Comes