You can experience reincarnation and Heaven and Hell,
You can astral travel and go beyond the beyond the beyond,
You can feel the most ecstatic states of consciousness...
But no matter what you experience or do not,
No matter what exalted states you inhabit or leave,
You will always be haunted by the question:
"Who am I? Who is the one experiencing all this?"
That question will get 'you' in the end.
~ Jeff Foster ~
This is a story Mooji shared during the 2012 Silent Retreat in Tiruvannamalai. Enjoy....
"It was this story that papa[papaji] told me, I say like this, about one girl, and she was just about to get married, no, and she was, the next day, she’s getting married the next day, and she’s been planning everything for this wedding, because it’s a traditional place. And in this place, you don’t get to be with your beloved in any intimate way, until you are married. So, tomorrow is the wedding, no, tomorrow is the wedding day, yes, and so today, she must make the final arrangement. And this girl lives in the forest. She lives in the forest and she’s, now today, final arrangements, she has a few appointments. First I must go to the cake maker. And after the cake maker, I must see the dressmaker. After the dressmaker I must go and see the priest, to go through my vows. And then finally at the end of the day I will see my beloved, and we’ll have a cup of tea together, look forward to tomorrow, and then tomorrow I’ll be, we’ll be in each other’s arms, oh wonderful! And she’s full of the joys of Spring. And she’s walking out in the forest to go to see the cake maker, first appointment on the list. And after a few steps, right in front of her, steps a lion. Face to face, like this. Hungry lion also. And she can feel it’s breath….like this. Then in that instant, you see, the cake maker’s appointment is gone. Then the dressmaker, not there. The priest, not there. Only the beloved, also not there. In this moment, absolutely alone. No time, no future, no intention, no past, no identity. So the master says, “welcome the lion on your path”. Because until then, you are planning a tomorrow you don’t have, a next week that nobody promise and all of this. And our minds are full of the noise of otherness. What will bring you to this instant this moment? When will you spend one moment to be just you? Not carrying some message for tomorrow or something. You see? And it’s the habit that all of us, we have it. And so we are full of noise, claustrophobic with noise. What will strip you back to that place? Beyond time and intention, you see. How far are you from this place now? What’s left to do? What unfinished business is left to do? Before you can simply be your being, be yourself. Because the mind is not going to have a holiday. There is something that is not in the next moment, not in the past moment, also. Don’t look anywhere to find it. Even your very search to find it is already arising in it. We are missing the obvious. Don’t seek help from your mind….."
Our Common Ancestor
Recently I saw an interview on television with Jane Goodall who in 1960 began studying chimpanzees in East Africa. Her mentor, the archaeologist and anthropologist Louis Leakey, was interested in whether chimpanzees and humans exhibit similar kinds of behaviour. If they do, this would support archaeological evidence indicating we share a common ancestor. During the interview Goodall spoke about an occasion when she was walking through the bush with one of the chimpanzees she was studying and getting to know. After a while they stopped and she offered the chimpanzee a piece of fruit. Looking her in the eyes he took the fruit, dropped it, then squeezed her hand - then got up and carried on down the path. Goodall was so astonished she just sat there for a while, taking in what had happened. It seemed obvious that although he had refused the food, he wanted her to know he was grateful. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings. It was just how a human being might have responded.
She then described another scene. Some evenings the chimpanzees would gather by a waterfall. They didn’t go there for any practical reason – they weren’t going there to drink or eat or sleep. It seemed they were simply going to look. As they looked they swayed from foot to foot, as if they were dancing. Jane imagined that for them the water cascading down was a mysterious, awe-inspiring thing for “it was always flowing in, always flowing out, and always there”. In the face of this magical vision, what did they do?
Her picture of the waterfall is a perfect description of the present moment – things are always flowing in to this timeless awareness, always flowing out of it, and always present in it. Though what is in the emptiness is always changing, yet there’s always something in it. How amazing.
What is your (human!) response to the miracle of this moment, the miracle of sounds, colours, sensations and all the rest, flowing into and out of this timeless emptiness?
I love to dance!
For information about Jane Goodall: http://www.janegoodall.orghttp://www.wic.org/bio/jgoodall.htm
Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I am not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will live as one.
- John Lennon
The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the Truth, then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning of things is not understood, the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
The Way is perfect like vast space, where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept and reject that we do not see the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things, nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things, and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity, your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other, you will never know Oneness.
Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and passivity,
assertion and denial.
To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality.
The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth.
Stop talking and thinking, and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
To return to the root is to find the meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss their source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment there is a going beyond appearances and emptiness.
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our
Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.
Do not remain in the dualistic state; avoid such pursuits carefully.
If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong the mind essence will be lost in confusion.
Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attracted even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.
When no distinguishing thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.
Things are objects because of the subject [mind].
the mind [subject] is such because of things [object].
Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable, and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between course and fine, you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.
To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute:
the faster they hurry, the slower they go, and clinging [attachment] cannot be limited;
even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray.
Just let things be in their own way, and there will be neither coming nor going.
Obey the nature of things [your own nature], and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden, for everything becomes murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separations?
If you wish to move in the One Way, do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with full enlightenment.
The wise man strives to no goals, but the foolish man fetters himself.
There is one Dharma, not many; distinctions arise from the clinging need of the ignorant.
To seek mind with the [discriminating] mind is the greatest of all mistakes.
Rest and unrest derive from illusion; with enlightenment there is no liking and no disliking.
All dualities come from ignorant inference.
They are like dreams or flowers in air: foolish to try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong: such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.
If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no discriminations, the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence.
To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements.
When all things are seen equally, the timeless Self-essence is reached.
No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state.
Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion, both movement and rest disappear.
When such dualities cease to exist, Oneness itself cannot exist.
To this ultimate finality no laws or description applies.
For the unified mind in accordance with the Way all self centered striving ceases.
Doubts and irresolutions vanish, and life in true faith is possible.
With a single stroke we are freed from bondage; nothing clings to us, and we hold to nothing.
All is empty, clear and self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind’s power.
Here thoughts, feelings, knowledge and imagination are of no value. In this world of Suchness there is neither self nor other-than-self.
Scientists tell us that when time began, fourteen billion years ago, something came from nothing. When you awaken to the ground of all Being, in a deep meditative state, you realize that when something came from nothing, the nothing didn't disappear. That unmanifest, unborn dimension is the ever-present ground out of which everything is still arising in every moment. It is what the Buddha called "the deathless," and what others call "eternity consciousness." When you awaken to this dimension in your own awareness, you will find yourself always already resting in the eternal moment before time began. This is the recognition that liberates: Prior to everything, I already am. The experience of this recognition is not one of becoming liberated. It is of being already liberated. What you realize when you awaken to that ground is that there is a part of each and every one of us that is already free—from everything. That part of yourself, which is the ground of Being, has never been bound, trapped, or limited in any way. That's the part of yourself that I want you to discover. It's not the part of yourself that needs to become free. It is already free, right now.
- Andrew Cohen
Must I say in words what I would sooner cherish in the secret sacred stillness of my heart - what Gurudev means to me? And if I must, how shall I do it? How does anyone ever express the transcendental? What can I express with words, words that are all fury and no achievement, words that are mere pygmies from the petty kingdom of Sound, gnawing ineffectually at the towering mountain of Silence? I think there are words in some deep recess within me that are yet unknown to language, even unknown to sound.... I feel their embryonic flutter as I struggle for expression…
I sit upon the bank and watch the river flow by, carrying in its flood an endless variety of shapes and forms. Some struggle and cry in fear “Let me live, let me live” but they go under, a faint ripple marking momentarily the end of their pilgrimage on earth. Before long, even that passes away, and the smooth waters glide unconcerned with deceptive serenity. Some go laughing by, happy and playful, till they and their laughter recede beyond the horizon, and the sudden silence leaves in ominous doubt whether they and their laughter have already ceased, or have yet a little way to go. Some float by too lost in stupor to know their fate, much less to care, and they sink here or yonder, it matters not. Once in a rare while, mercifully not oftener, there passes the gnarled countenance of one who grabs a weak victim and suffocates him as though he decides who alone will survive, but a moment later that one too vainly seeks desperate protection as the derisive waters part and unite, and a glossy innocence hides another secret.
I watch this dismal awesome unending procession, and suddenly wonder why I am not a part of it. I realize then that my body is wet and the water is dripping from my hair. I must have been drifting all too recently in the river myself. How was I saved?
I turn around and look up. I look into the face of Benevolence. Therein is a tenderness like the soft light of a candle. Therein is a radiance like that of the eastern sky at dawn. Therein is a fragrance like that of a dew-kissed rose.
I cling to His feet, and He smiles. He smiles for the dead and the living. He smiles for the saved and the lost. He smiles for the river and the bank. Nothing is said. Nothing remains unsaid.
Gurudev, I know not what you are. I know but a thousandth part of Thy Grace. Tears in the eyes must speak for me, not words upon the lips.
From Paada Pooja by V. Dwaraknath Reddy
You haven't dared yet lose faith ~ so how can faith grow in you?
You haven't dared yet risk your heart ~ to what can you see of reality?
You're obsessed ~ still! ~ with the carnal screams of your life.
How do you hope to step into the Mystery of the King?
You are a sea of gnosis hidden in a drop of dew,
You are a whole universe hidden in a sack of blood.
What are all this world's pleasures and joys
That you keep grasping at them to make you alive?
Does the sun borrow light from a mote of dust?
Does Venus look for wine from a cracked jug?- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi
(Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi)
Namaskar means Salutation,
It means Greetings,
It means Good Morning,
It means Good Afternoon,
It means Good Evening,
It means Good Night,
It means Welcome,
It means We, not I,
It means I bow down before you,
It means you are my teacher,
It means I have learned a lot from you,
It means you are wonderful,
It means I enjoyed your company,
It means participation,
It means learning,
It means CCA, Complete Change in Attitude,
It means Everything that is and positive,
It means May I help you,
It means We shall do wonderful things together,
It means We shall do things differently,
It means We shall be friends,
It means It is a beautiful world,
It means we shall meet again,
It means we shall be friends forever,
It means Thank You.
A Welcome sign in a hotel in India
If anyone asks you
how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,
If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is,
or what "God’s fragrance" means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.
When someone quotes the old poetic image
about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.
If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
don’t try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.
Like this. Like this.
When someone asks what it means
to "die for love," point
If someone asks how tall I am, frown
and measure with your fingers the space
between the creases on your forehead.
The soul sometimes leaves the body, the returns.
When someone doesn’t believe that,
walk back into my house.
When lovers moan,
they’re telling our story.
I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret.
When someone asks what there is to do,
light the candle in his hand.
How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob?
How did Jacob’s sight return?
A little wind cleans the eyes.
When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
he’ll put just his head around the edge
of the door to surprise us
From ‘The Essential Rumi’
by Coleman Barks with John Moyne