Sunday, July 23, 2006

Zen holds

that there is no god outside the universe that created it and created man. God - if I may borrow that word for a moment - the universe and man are one indivisible existence, one total whole. Only THIS - is. Anything and everything that appears to us as an individual entity or phenomenon, whether it be a planet or an atom, a mouse or a man, is but a temporary manifestation of THIS in form; every activity that takes place, whether it be birth or death, loving or eating breakfast, it is but a temporary manifestation of THIS in activity. Each one of us is but a cell, as it were, in the body of the Great Self. Having come into being, this cell performs its functions, and passes away, transformed into another manifestation.

Ruth Fuller Sasaki, Zen: a method for religious awakening

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The final truth

There is neither creation nor destruction,
neither destiny nor free will,
neither path nor achievement;
this is the final truth.

- Ramana Maharshi

If you could get rid of yourself

just once,
The secret of secrets
Would open to you.
The face of the unknown,
Hidden beyond the universe
Would appear on the
Mirror of your perception.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Say I Am You

I am dust particles in sunlight.
I am the round sun.

To the bits of dust I say, "Stay".
To the sun, "Keep moving." 

I am morning mist,
and the breathing of evening. 

I am wind in the top of a grove,
and surf on the cliff. 

Mast, rudder, helmsman, and keel,
I am also the coral reef they founder on. 

I am a tree with a trained parrot in its branches.
Silence, thought, and voice. 

The musical air coming through a flute,
a spark of stone, a flickering
in metal. Both candle
and the moth crazy around it. 

Rose, and the nightingale
lost in the fragrance. 

I am all orders of being, the circling galaxy,
the evolutionary intelligence, the lift,

and the falling away. What is,
and what isn't. You who know, 

Jelaluddin, You the one
in all, say who
I am. Say I
am you. 

Rumi, from The Essential Rumi, Coleman Barks
Nondual Highlights 2520

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What could be one’s kinship with all of nature?

It must be a common reality that nature expresses everywhere, including our personalities. If one could understand such a reality, it would be nature's source of life, and ours as well. On this basis, one could recognize our physical and mental actions as natural phenomena: which show us nature's expression of underlying reality. And one could see that inherent expression as our natural motivation: which inspires all our faculties from within, beneath their outward objectives. That would be our underlying source of value, the same source that motivates all happenings in the world.

Ananda Wood, Nature and Consciousness

No outside, no inside

Those who investigate reality
describe it as the ‘changeless’.

It is not coarse, not yet refined;
it is not long or short.

No flame of passion colours it;
no fond affection is involved.
In it, no shadow brings obscurity;
there’s no obstruction to be cleared.

It is not ‘air’, nor ‘ether’.
Connection and relationship
do not apply to it. Nor do
any qualities, like taste and smell.

It has no eyes, no ears, no speech,
no mind; it is not sharp, nor has it
vital energy, nor any face, nor measure.

Nor does it consume, nor is consumed. from
It has no outside, no inside.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
in AnandaWood, Nature and Consciousness

The symbolism of the swan

The swan is particularly symbolic in Advaita. Its ability to move through water without wetting its feathers alludes to the life of the realized man living his life totally unaffected by the world. In its flight it represents the supreme spirit escaping the bondage of saMsAra. The Sanskrit for swan is haMsa and the title parama haMsa is given to the highest ascetics, as in Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. If the word ‘haMso’ is repeated as a mantra, it mutates into ‘soham’, meaning ‘I am he’. Since ‘aham brahmAsmi’ – I am Brahman – haMsa also stands for the non-dual reality, Brahman.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Truth comes at a cost

If I was to translate the enlightened state down into human terms, I'd have to describe it as contentment. Being nobody, going nowhere, needing no reason to exist. To the ego, that probably sounds a little boring and of course to an ego it is. But then again, there's really nothing for the ego in enlightenment. In enlightenment, the egoic false self is rendered an irrelevant illusion, a mask, a character that nothingness wears while pretending to be human.

Not only is there nothing in enlightenment for the ego, the ego is really nothing but a defense against enlightenment. I'm not saying that ego is bad or evil because it's not. I'm saying that ego is a social and personal construct and therefore an illusion. But there's nothing wrong with an illusion. A painting is an illusion; a movie is an illusion; a good novel is an illusion. The problem isn't with illusion; the problem is with the emotional attachments and addictions of ego.

To most people “attachment” is a very abstract word that they think they understand. People in spiritual circles think of attachments in terms of things that they are attached to. They identify the things attached to and endeavor to let go of them, but this misses the whole point of what attachment really is. Attachment isn't about things attached to; it's about emotion in the form of a magnetic energy of attraction. That energy is how you know who you are as an ego. That energy is who you are as an ego. Ego defines itself by what it does and does not like. There is no ego outside of this emotional energy of attraction and repulsion—better known as love and hate, like and dislike, good and bad, right and wrong, us and them, me and you. Without emotional investment in the ego's points of view, what's left of ego but a hollow shell with a little personality mixed in?

You breathe life into your ego in the form of emotional addictions. Emotion is the very life-force of ego. So the point of detachment isn't to detach from things, but to detach from your emotional bonds with things. And you don't simply let go of emotional bonds; you burn through them with investigative awareness. You see them for what they are: prisons, false structures holding you in spiritual infancy. You may think that I am being a bit harsh—which I am, but awakening to truth is a harsh business. Bottom line is “What do you want more: to feel better or to realize the truth?” Sure, truth realization feels really good, but no one gets there whose driving motivation is simply to feel good. Feeling really good is a byproduct of the awakened state; it is not the state itself. The state itself is reality, and it's won at the hands of unreality. Simply put, ultimate truth comes at a cost, and the cost is everything in you and about you that is unreal. The end result is freedom, happiness, peace, and no longer viewing life through the veils of illusion. 

- Adyashanti
Nondual Highlights 2513

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Mind or simultaneous arising?

Aakara-vijnana-vada (the doctrine of substantive consciousness) claims that although external objects do not independently exist, the mind itself (cittamatra) does exist as such. This view, which we know as Mind-only, presents Mind as ultimate reality.

Nirakara-vijnana-vada (the doctrine of non-substantive consciousness) is based on asserting the emptiness (sunyata) of both external objects and consciousness. This outlook asserts that observer and observed, or in other words, consciousness and external objects, are bound together in an indissoluble union impossible of splitting apart. Nevertheless, both lack credible claim to independent ontological existence. The term that describes this union is "simultaneous arising", which means that consciousness and its object arise, and can only arise, in immediate proximity. Or, in other words, one cannot come into being without the other.

Adapted from: