How enriching, how superabundant, how elegantly simple it is to have an infinite Friend, a Friend who is omnipresent as pure space, yet so intimate, so near; a Beloved who dwells in your chest as very Self, yet marvelously personal and uniquely playful; who breathes with your breath and beats divine music to your pulse, yet does not bind you in any way, but bestows ever-expanding freedom.
This is the mystery of the Master. It is the supreme gift, which has nothing to do with authority and everything to do with Grace. All that is required to receive it is gratitude. Ah, but there's the secret! First the gratitude, then the gift.
P.S. I love to listen to my Guru give guided meditations in Hindi. I don't understand a word of Hindi.... Meditation is about imbibing grace, not instruction. Words are only vessels to pour out the nectar of silence. Jai Guru Dev.
"Guided meditation" is hot merchandise in New Age media, and no doubt provides relaxing benefits. But can "guided" meditation ever reveal the heart of samadhi? Who is being "guided"? And where?
As soon as there is guidance, there is authority. Where there is authority, there is control. And where there is control, even on the subtlest level, meditation cannot happen.
To be "guided," we must assume that there is somewhere to go, and that someone can take us there. These assumptions are subtle obstacles, thoughts in the mind that prevent the flowering of awareness, which is beyond thought.
The only useful instruction that a "guide" could give you is an invitation to annihilate the concept of the guide, the guidance, and the journey. Don't be guided. Don't go anywhere. Agree to be right here.
Surrender every effort to control your thoughts, your mood, your breath - including this instruction to "surrender." Even if 10,000 thoughts clutter the mind, you are already free, because you are the space where thoughts arise and dissolve. This space is not moved by a thought, not contained by a thought, not "guided" somewhere, any more than the sky is guided by the clouds that float through it.
Do you need to look for a "higher" plane in mind or soul when infinite space already fills each cell, each atom of your body, permeating every wave in a proton's quark? Your body is made of boundless space. And space is awake. Your body is the very deepest meditation, just as it is. Your molecules overflow with starlight. Your flesh incarnates distances beyond the furthest galaxy.
Resting right here, you are the energy field of wholeness that irradiates the cosmos. And what is the flavor of your boundlessness? Compassion.
But through thinking, we fabricate distinctions such as body vs. soul, soul vs. mind, the physical plane vs "higher" planes. Through thinking, we fragment our wholeness and cease to feel at home in the unified field.
What is real meditation? To abandon thought and rest in wholeness. Real meditation is nearer than the next breath, no deeper than a heartbeat, yet incomprehensibly profound and marvelous. It may happen while sitting, or in the midst of dynamic activity, if we are 100% surrendered to the present moment.
As soon as your unboundedness becomes a concept, a belief, or a philosophy, it is gone. There is no "teaching" of non-duality. There is simply non-duality. You may taste it immediately, prior to thought, as the sweet savor of Awareness.
Just as any image can be 'photo-shopped,' any news can be 'info-shopped.' The time is coming soon when intelligent people will no longer trust any information they see on the internet, and certainly not anything they see on network tv. Then where will they get the 'news'? When that crisis comes, great numbers of people will turn off the stream of external noise and turn to the heart-stream of inner Silence. That is how they will get in-formation.
It's very stressful living in a world where everyone is always right. Actually, it's hell. Want to know what heaven is? This same world, full of people with the courage to smile from the heart and say, "I don't know. I truly don't know."
I discovered these Autumn crocuses on a walk today.
"Liberation" is no different than ordinary experience, except that the ordinary experience has an incomprehensibly vast, ever-expanding stillness around it.
We too often think of stillness as "within": small, hidden, secret, like a treasured pearl, "the still small voice of quietness." But this very contraction, this flight into the secret and interior, is not stillness at all. When we contract and go "within," separating the inner from the outer, we are engaging in the ruin of stillness.
Find stillness all around you, in the space between the stars and the space between the atoms. Find stillness pervading every particle, every cell, every wave of action.
Stillness is not interior or secret. Stillness permeates all, contains all, and dissolves all.
There is no 'news' today, and there will be no 'news' tomorrow. What we call the 'news' is just the ever-repeating stream of karmic reaction. The 'news' is always in the past. If you think some 'news' is important, just follow it for awhile until you see that it's the same old story. We need to wake up from the dream that there is any 'news.' The only thing New is the present moment, right where you are.
Some say that the cultivation of Presence is a passive escape from the work of social justice and political activism. Quite the contrary. When sufficient numbers of ordinary people learn to rest their hearts in the radiant jewel of their own Buddha nature, needs are few. With nothing to feed the flame of greed, exploitation ceases, anger dissolves. Each sees quite clearly, without the constraint of any commandment, that to injure another is to injure one's own body. Without the slightest need for politicians or priests, peace awakens spontaneously on earth, through the grace of conscious breathing.
A wave of living silence in your heart is worth more than a thousand correct opinions. Wield the ruthless sword of compassion and cut off the thinker's skull.
Sever the chain of cause and effect forever with the razor of a gentle inhalation. Let fertile seeds fall from your broken rosary. Let wine spill from the lotus in your hand, inebriating the earth with angels' blood.
The cosmos groaned 10 billion years to create you for the task of this breath. There is no need to remember the Goddess or to repeat her name, for with every beat of your heart she is remembering you.
This drum is hollow and silent inside, but it makes the world dance. Don't fall asleep tonight. Fall into the ecstasy of the dream watcher.
Is there a 'me' beyond information? Or am I just the information that I 'know'? If I am just information, why can't someone else become 'me' by hacking into my knowledge and stealing it? If I am beyond knowledge, then how can I know myself?
To answer this most basic inquiry, the ancient rishis gave us a technique of meditation for transcending all information, even the subtlest 'I'-dentity. A means of directly experiencing who we are, beyond any subject-object relationship of 'knowing.' A means of awakening to boundless self-effulgent ananda - bliss consciousness - just a taste of which is freedom. Jai Guru Dev.
There is no story about who I Am.
Stories are never in the present, and there is no Presence in stories.
Like insects in amber, stories bind us in time. How shall we fly? We are only alive and only have wings for Now.
Certainly we have sacred memories, but we can honor them without turning them into stories.
Some counselors tell us to "invent a new story." But if we are truly alive and truly present, why do we need any story at all?
No one has ever been liberated by a story.
Freedom is waking up from the mind-told tale. No story, only silence, expresses this awakening.
The religions of the world are all stories, full of angels and demons, beggars and kings, saviors and victims of sacrifice.
But spirituality has no story. Spirituality is ceaseless awakening into Presence.
Ask a child to point to it. Ask a Zen master to point to it. Ask an indigenous shaman to point to the heart. They will all point... to the heart.
This bloody fruit at the center of the body, just this, no new-age hip-hop chakra jazz.
We who thirst for life know that heart means heart. It’s beauty lies in physiology, not metaphysics.
My heart a meaty twin-chambered cabbage of duality: diastole and systole, arterial in, venous out, bright scarlet to deep purple, glowing green.
My heart a rough shuddering blast site of anxiety and yearning, rage and unspeakable sorrow, well of tears in love’s desolation.
My heart a cosmos of atoms in the darkest cavern of Adam's ribs, infra-red magnetic resonance with the lion in the jungle and the prisoner on death row.
My heart the reggae vibration of a field outdistancing its cruciform, yet deeply embodied in sacred mass.
My heart a hologram where all hearts conspire to be mine, locus among bones, mingling rays of inter-galactic information.
A black hole in each beat generating stars, alien races longing to become human in my pulse.
Heart the sinew of sound in “Let there be Light"; "Ya Hi Or” a portal to the first Word, the embryonic Son, floating in wombs of sea lymph and mountain marrow.
Organ of mere blood, the rainbow spectrum of whose power is rooted in gravity, yet widens to the white empyrean, beyond the elements.
Ringing with the quintessential music of the unstruck bell, chiming each proton out of its star.
This hungering love, this open wound, this sacrament, my heart…
It's almost sunset, evening meditation time. Why not make the earth dance with your stillness!
At any instant, in any situation, beyond the gray clouds of thought, beyond anxiety for the future or regret for the past, a limitless blue sky fills the space of the Heart with eternal silence.
Just to float here on a feather of breath is Prayer, watching your own soul shine like the full moon, holding in perfect clarity your highest purpose, deepest skill, and purest joy: to polish that pearl, then toss it away, letting it dissolve in the abyss!
This prayer is deeper than otherness, unfathomable unity more intimate than love itself, for it is the seed of love, hidden in darkness.
One wordless moment of this prayer contains the wisdom of all scriptures, and the gentlest tremor of this silence shakes the whole planet.