Sunday, October 29, 2006

Q & A

Hi Leo, after reading every conceivable book on Advaita, I feel I keep running into a wall, or it feels like I am trying to catch my shadow. Something just does not give way.

Question 1: Since the moment I wake up and till I go to sleep (and if I get up in the middle of the night), thoughts are constantly there - thoughts centered around "me". Self is often compared to Sun and thoughts to clouds. If clouds are constantly there, how can Sun manifest itself even though it is always there?

Answer: It is the sun that makes the clouds visible. Even when they obscure the sun, seeing them is evidence for the presence of this unseen light source in which the clouds are lit up. And is it not the sun who heats the waters and causes the clouds to form?

All thoughts, including the 'me thought' is self arising thought 'stirred up' by the One only. The idea that there is a you that wakes and goes to sleep, a you that is plagued by thought, or a 'me' around which thoughts center, is only thought. Here is another thought appearing out of no-thing: "Don't worry, be happy, and let it be."

Question 2: It is often said by most Advaita teachers that things are going to happen the way they are supposed to happen, there is nothing you can do about it. What causes things to happen in a particular way -- is it many factors that contribute to it? Is it a pre-determination caused by karma if there is such a thing? Why one person's child gets killed, another one's goes to jail, a third one's ends up being a successful entrepreneur, to give an example?

Answer: Things are not really going to happen the way they're supposed to happen; they are simply happening -as-they-do presently. No need to bring in 'supposed' or 'going to.' All apparent 'reasons' for the way things happen, are themselves part of what is happening right now.

Question 3: Reading "I am That", Maharaj often proclaims that he is "Parabrahman" or the Absolute, or the Supreme Self. We often associate Supreme Self with the power that is running the show in the universe. But you don't see any such power in someone who has become Self-realized. Is there something I am missing here. Please clarify.

Answer: Such power does not reside IN anybody or anything, There is only One/Power appearing AS everything and everyone, and no one is more IT than anyone else. We could indeed say that, when Maharaj says such things, he speaks as "Parabrahman." We could compare this to 'speaking as' the invisible electricity -made visible as light- rather then as the lamp. But whether there is the appearance of 'self realization' or not makes no difference to THAT what appears as both.

What seems to be happening here is that -as part of this manifestation- you believe yourself to be a temporal 'light bulb.' Around you, you may see brighter (more enlightened) as well as more subdued lights. From this you may conclude that the 'brighter ones' have something 'special', but the smallest light bulb runs on exactly the same power as the strongest search light. You are the single electricity beyond all differences. It is the Livingness of 'your own' undeniable Being, which expresses via the mind as the thought 'I AM.' Closer than close you ARE THAT what enlivens all temporal occurrences.

Like the light that cannot shine upon itself 'you' will never know this, as this Knowing-Livingness is what YOU ARE.

Question 4: So many people are running after self-realization, including myself. I think they are all unhappy people or are troubled by a mind which is not healthy, or are introverted people. At least this is my case. I don't see practical people well-adjusted in society having their aim as making money running after Advaita stuff. At the most they may see it as an opportunity to become self-styled gurus making a quick buck. What I am trying to ask is -- Is there any benefit in pursuing this path - not a material benefit but some sort of intangible benefit? Or to put it another way, were people like Ramana Maharshi and others were somehow better off being these sages? Or, is it just human nature that we are programmed like this that we end up showing reverence to the people whom we call sages just because we think they have realized the self or may be we are afraid, or may be we think some kind of benefit/blessing will come to us if we bow to them?

Answer: How would you know that someone is a sage unless 'his/her wisdom' is 'your own?' I mean, if there is an expression recognized as 'wisdom', you must 'know' it as wisdom, to be able to recognize it as such.

Both, the ones chasing after money and the ones chasing after enlightenment, are chasing fulfillment in different guises. To see that You ARE the Ever-Fulfilled-One is neither a benefit nor is it a detriment, because You ARE Fulfillment ItSelf right now.

Already being Complete Fulfillment itself, what benefit could there be needed? What benefit could there be to the Single Source of all that is seen as benefit? You ARE Source right now, appearing as 'sages' and 'fulfillment seekers' and no realization will make this more or less so.

ATTD News Letter Number 92   Sunday, October 29, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

Once you realize that the road is the goal

and that you are always on the road,
not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom,
life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple,
in itself an ecstasy.

-Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The revelation of the Self

will occur only when you do not interfere.

~ Papaji, The Truth Is

Right where it belongs

See the animal in his cage that you built,
Are you sure what side you're on?
Better not look him too closely in the eye,
Are you sure what side of the glass you are on?
See the safety of the life you have built,
Everything where it belongs
Feel the hollowness inside your heart,
And it's all...right where it belongs

What if everything around you,
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
If you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks,
Would you find yourself...find yourself afraid to see?

What if all the world's inside of your head?
Just creations of your own
The devils and your gods all the living and the dead
And you're really all alone
Well you can live in this illusion,
You can choose to believe.
You keep on looking but you can't find the woods,
While you're hiding in the trees

What if everything around you,
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you used to know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks,
Would you find yourself...find yourself afraid to see?

Trent Reznor / Nine Inch Nails

Last songs

~ Spring ~

In dusky graveyards
I dreamed long
of your trees and blue skies,
of your scent and your birdsong.

Now you lie uncovered
glittering and ornamented
bathed in light
like a jewel before me.

You recognize me,
you entice me gently,
A shudder runs through my body
your blissful presence.

~ September ~

The garden grieves
cool sinks the rain into the flowers
The summer shivers
quietly at the prospect of its end.

Golden drop the leaves slowly
from the tall acacia trees,
Summer smiles faintly and in surprise
in the dying dream of the garden.

For a long time it lingers,
upon the roses, longing for rest
Slowly it crosses its great
now weary eyes.

~ Upon Going to Sleep ~

Made tired by the day now,
my passionate longing
shall welcome the starry night
like a tired child.

Hands, leave all your activity,
brow, forget all thought,
for all my senses
are about to go to sleep.

And my soul, unguarded,
will float freely,
in order to live in the magic circle of the night
deep and a thousand fold.

~ Hermann Hesse


Just before she flew off like a swan
to her wealthy parents' summer home,
Bruce's college girlfriend asked him
to improve his expertise at oral sex,
and offered him some technical advice:

Use nothing but his tonguetip
to flick the light switch in his room
on and off a hundred times a day
until he grew fluent at the nuances
of force and latitude.

Imagine him at practice every evening,
more inspired than he ever was at algebra,
beads of sweat sprouting on his brow,
thinking, thirty-seven, thirty-eight,
seeing, in the tunnel vision of his mind's eye,
the quadratic equation of her climax
yield to the logic
of his simple math.

Maybe he unscrewed
the bulb from his apartment ceiling
so that passersby would not believe
a giant firefly was pulsing
its electric abdomen in 13 B.

Maybe, as he stood
two inches from the wall,
in darkness, fogging the old plaster
with his breath, he visualized the future
as a mansion standing on the shore
that he was rowing to
with his tongue's exhausted oar.

Of course, the girlfriend dumped him:
met someone, apres-ski, who,
using nothing but his nose
could identify the vintage of a Cabernet.

Sometimes we are asked
to get good at something we have
no talent for,
or we excel at something we will never
have the opportunity to prove.

Often we ask ourselves
to make absolute sense
out of what just happens,
and in this way, what we are practicing

is suffering,
which everybody practices,
but strangely few of us
grow graceful in.

The climaxes of suffering are complex,
costly, beautiful, but secret.
Bruce never played the light switch again.

So the avenues we walk down,
full of bodies wearing faces,
are full of hidden talent:
enough to make pianos moan,
sidewalks split,
streetlights deliriously flicker.

-- Tony Hoagland

Monday, October 09, 2006

The key

to the phrase 'one's own true nature' is in the phrase 'Being- consciousness', which is unfortunately the best possible English translation of the tamil word 'Iruppunarvu' or the 'feeling of being alive' 'consciousness that one is present' or the 'clear knowledge that I am present here now'.

The only knowledge that one can be absolutely sure of is this awareness. 'I exist here now'. Every other thought or even feeling that I am this, I am that, or I am like this, my character etc etc, are all secondary and so contaminated.

The entire task of Self enquiry and the goal of self realization is to separate out 'I am here now' from the limited feeling 'I am here now as so-and-so'

- Ravi, posted to atma_vichara
NonDual Highlights 2607

Sunday, October 01, 2006

One who has realized the Self

can never inflict pain on other.

Self Knowledge and Self Realization

For see!

The Self is in all beings,
And all beings are in the Self.
Know you are free,
Free of 'I',
Free of 'mine.'
Be happy.

The Ashtavakra Gita (15-6) ~
Translated by Thomas Byrom
ATTD Newsletter 90