Archive for the ‘Excerpts from Books’ Category

Grief is a natural emotion. It’s that part of you which allows you to say goodbye when you don’t want to say goodbye; to express—push out, propel—the sadness within you at the experience of any kind of loss. It could be the loss of a loved one, or the loss of a contact lens.

When you are allowed to express your grief, you get rid of it. Children who are allowed to be sad when they are sad feel very healthy about sadness when they are adults, and therefore usually move through their sadness very quickly.

Children who are told, “There, there, don’t cry,” have a hard time crying as adults. After all, they’ve been told all their life not to do that. So they repress their grief.

Grief that is continually repressed becomes chronic depression, a very unnatural emotion.

People have killed because of chronic depression. Wars have started, nations have fallen.

Anger is a natural emotion. It is the tool you have which allows you to say, “No, thank you.” It does not have to be abusive, and it never has to be damaging to another.

When children are allowed to express their anger, they bring a very healthy attitude about it to their adult years, and therefore usually move through their anger very quickly.

Children who are made to feel that their anger is not okay—that it is wrong to express it, and in fact, that they shouldn’t even experience it—will have a difficult time appropriately dealing with their anger as adults.

Anger that is continually repressed becomes rage, a very unnatural emotion.

People have killed because of rage. Wars have started, nation have fallen.

Envy is a natural emotion. It is the emotion that makes a five-year-old wish he could reach the doorknob the way his sister can—or ride that bike. Envy is the natural emotion that makes you want to do it again; to try harder; to continue striving until you succeed. It is very healthy to be envious, very natural. When children are allowed to express their envy, they bring a very healthy attitude about it to their adult years, and therefore usually move through their envy very quickly.

Children who are made to feel that envy is not okay—that it is wrong to express it, and, in fact, that they shouldn’t even experience it—will have a difficult time appropriately dealing with their envy as adults.

Envy that is continually repressed becomes jealousy, a very unnatural emotion.

People have killed because of jealousy. Wars have started, nations have fallen.

Fear is a natural emotion. All babies are born with only two fears: the fears of falling, and the fear of loud noises. All other fears are learned responses, brought to the child by its environment, taught to the child by its parents. The purpose of natural fear is to build in a bit of caution. Caution is a tool that helps keep the body alive. It is an outgrowth of love. Love of Self.

Children who are made to feel that fear is not okay—that it is wrong to express it, and in fact, that they shouldn’t even experience it—will have a difficult time appropriately dealing with their fear as adults.

Fear that is continually repressed becomes panic, a very unnatural emotion.

People have killed because of panic. Wars have started, nations have fallen.

Love is a natural emotion. When it is allowed to be expressed, and received, by a child, normally and naturally without limitation or condition, inhibition or embarrassment, it does not require anything more. For the joy of love expressed and received in this way is sufficient unto itself. Yet love which has been conditioned, limited, warped by rules and regulations, rituals and restrictions, controlled, manipulated, and withheld, becomes unnatural.

Children who are made to feel that their natural love is not okay—that it is wrong to express it, and in fact, that they shouldn’t even experience it—will have a difficult time appropriately dealing with love as adults.

Love that is continually repressed becomes possessiveness, a very unnatural emotion.

People have killed because of possessiveness. Wars have started, nations have fallen.

And so it is that the natural emotions, when repressed, product unnatural reactions and responses. And most natural emotions are repressed in most people. Yet these are your friends. There are your gifts. These are your divine tools, with which to craft your experience.

You are given these tools at birth. They are to help you negotiate life.

~ Excerpts from Conversations with God, Book Three by Neale Donald Walsch ~

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(extracted from The Mathnawi Rumi)

The Prince of Bokhara had a Vakil who, through fear of punishment for an offence he had committed, ran away and remained concealed in Kuhistan and the desert for the space of ten years. At the end of that time, being unable to endure absence from his lord and his home any longer, he determined to return to Bokhara and throw himself at his lord’s feet, and endure whatever punishment his lord might be pleased to inflict upon him. His friends did all they could to dissuade him, assuring him that the Prince’s wrath was still hot against him, and that if he appeared at Bokhara he would be put to death, or at least imprisoned for the rest of his life. He replied, “O advisers, be silent, for the force of the love which is drawing me to Bokhara is stronger than the force of prudent counsels. When love pulls one way all the wisdom of Abu Hanifa and Ash-Shafi’i is impotent to withstand it. If it shall please my lord to slay me, I will yield up my life without reluctance, for this life of estrangement from him which I am now leading is the same as death, and release from it will be eternal happiness. I will return to Bokhara and throw myself at my lord’s feet, and say to him, ‘Deal with me as thou wilt, for I can no longer bear absence from thee, and life or death at thy hands is all the same to me!’” Accordingly, he journeyed back to Bokhara, counting the very toils and discomforts of the road sweet and delightful, because they were steps in his homeward course. When he reached Bokhara his friends and relations all warned him not to show himself, as the Price was still mindful of his offence and bent on punishing him; but he replied to them as to his other advisers, that he was utterly regardless of his life, and was resolved to commit himself to his lord’s good pleasure. He then went to the court and threw himself at his lord’s feet and swooned away. The Prince, seeing the strong affection borne to him by his repentant servant, conceived a similar affection towards him, and descended from his throne and graciously raised him from the ground, and pardoned his offence. Thus it is that eternal life is gained by utter abandonment of one’s own life. When God appears to His ardent lover the lover is absorbed in Him, and not so much as a hair of the lover remains. True lovers are as shadows, and when the sun shines in glory the shadows vanish away. He is a true lover of God to whom God says, “I am thine, and thou art mine!”

The answer of the Vakil to those who advised him
not to court death by yielding himself up to his lord

He said, “I am a drawer of water; water attracts me,
Even though I know water may be my death.
No drawer of water flees from water,
Even though it may cause him a hundred deaths.
Though it may make my hand and belly dropsical,
My love for water will never be lessened.
I should say, when they asked me about my belly,
‘Would that the ocean might flow into it!’
Though the bottle of my belly were burst with water,
And though I should die, my death would be acceptable.
Wheresoever I see one seeking water, I envy him,
And cry, ‘Would I were in his place!’
My hand is a tabor and my belly a drum,
Like the rose I beat the drum of love of water.
Like the earth or like a foetus I devour blood,
Since I became a lover this is my occupation.
If that ‘Faithful Spirit’ should shed my blood,
I would drink it up drop by drop like the earth.
At night I boil on the fire like a cooking-pot,
From morn till eve I drink blood like the sand.
It repents me that I planned a stratagem,
And that I fled from before his wrath.
Tell him to sate his wrath on my poor life,
He is the ‘Feast of Sacrifice,’ and I his loving cow.
The cow, whether it eats or sleeps,
Thinking of naught but sacrificing itself.
Know me to be that cow of Moses which gave its life,
Each part of me gives life to the righteous.
The cow of Moses was made a sacrifice,
And its least part became a source of life.
That murdered man leapt up from his deadness
At the words, ‘Strike the corpse with part of her.’
O pious ones, slay the cow (of lust),
If ye desire true life of soul and spirit!
I died as inanimate matter and arose a plant,
I died as a plant and rose again an animal.
I died as an animal and arose a man.
Why then should I fear to become less by dying?
I shall die once again as a man
To rise an angel perfect from head to foot!
Again when I suffer dissolution as an angel,
I shall become what passes the conception of man!
Let me then become non-existent, for non-existence
Sings to me in organ tones, ‘To him shall we return.’
Know death to be the gathering together of the people,
The water of life is hidden in the land of darkness.
Like a water-lily seek life there!
Yea, like that drawer of water, at the risk of life,
Water will be his death, yet he still seeks water,
And still drinks on, – and God knows what is right.
O lover, cold hearted and void of loyalty,
Who from fear for your life shun the beloved!
O base one, behold a hundred thousand souls
Dancing towards the deadly sword of his love:
Behold water in a pitcher; pour it out;
Will that water run away from the stream?
When that water joins the water of the stream
It is lost therein, and becomes itself the stream.
Its individuality is lost, but its essence remains,
And hereby it becomes not less nor inferior.
I will hand myself upon my lord’s palm-tree
In excuse for having fled away from him!”
Even as a ball rolling along on head and face,
He fell at the feet of the Prince with streaming eyes.
The people were all on the alert, expecting
That the Prince would burn him or hang him,
Saying, “Moth-like he has seen the blaze of the light,
And fool-like has plunged therein and lost his life.”
But the touch of love is not like that torch,
‘Tis light, light in the midst of light,
‘Tis the reverse of torches of fire,
It appears to be fire, but is all sweetness.

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Ashin Tejaniya said…

Lobha (greed, any kind of craving or liking) is more difficult, more subtle — and moha (delusion, ignorance, not understanding, not seeing reality) is hardest. The point I was making the other day was that we should better not use the word suffering when we talk about dukkha. Most yogis don’t understand the truth of dukkha but they understand suffering. Usually the only kind of suffering they understand is ‘feeling’ suffering (dukkha vedanā) and this interpretation of suffering will lead to aversion. Understanding dukkha is very different.

Many yogis have been told that because things are impermanent they are suffering. They also know that arising and passing away is a sign of impermanence. Because they are eager for progress, they also tend to try to see arising and passing away. When they do this, they will of course remember all the information they were given, and they will interpret whatever they see coming and going as suffering. Because they see this as a sign of progress, their minds will then start to lean towards suffering and they become fearful. Fear is passive dosa. Sometimes yogis become so frightened that they break down and cry.

The meaning of the word dukkha is much wider and deeper than just the experience of physical or mental suffering. Any kind of suffering, from the most obvious manifestations of pain or grief to the most subtle notions of discontent, uncertainty, unsatisfactoriness, unreliability, unpredictability, ambiguity, insecurity etc. All just refer to the grossest level of dukkha. According to Buddhist tradition, this level is called dukkha-dukkha. The pain of birth, getting sick, ageing and death as well as any emotional sorrow like anger, fear, despair, disappointment, anxiety, getting separated from loved ones, having to be with unpleasant people, not getting what we want or getting what we don’t want — all this is traditionally listed under the first level of dukkha.

The next level is called vipariṇāma-dukkha (the suffering in change). This is more subtle, more difficult to see. Any kind of sensual pleasure or mental rapture, in fact any kind of happiness whatsoever — however subtle and long-lasting — will sooner or later end. Doing something over and over again or trying to achieve something also belongs to this category of dukkha. You might be experiencing a lot of samādhi (calmness, stillness or stability of mind), pīti (joyful interest, enthusiasm, rapture), and passaddhi (tranquillity) every time you meditate but this too won’t last. Experiencing such states is also dukkha. Most people find it very difficult to understand that all happiness is dukkha.

The third and last level of dukkha is called saṅkhāra-dukkha (the unsatisfactory nature of all existence, of all conditioned phenomena), also referred to as existential dukkha. Nāma-rūpa (mental and physical processes) is dukkha; the sheer fact that we exist is dukkha.

It is really important to understand the difference between experiencing dukkha and understanding it. Physical or mental suffering – however gross or subtle – automatically comes with some form of aversion; dukkha vedanā or domanassa (any kind of unplesant mental feeling, mentally painful feeling) always arise together with dosa. All such experiences will lead to unwholesome states of mind and therefore to more suffering.

Understanding dukkha does not mean mental suffering. Understanding dukkha is very different; it is a wholesome quality of mind, a liberating and life transforming experience. Every little understanding of dukkha enables the mind to let go and therefore to experience more freedom. Understanding dukkha will lead to more wholesome states of mind; it will make the mind stronger.

In order to be able to understand dukkha we not only need to have this right information but we also need right thinking. The Buddha said that the one thing that keeps us trapped in this endless cycle of existence is not seeing and not understanding dukkha. If we don’t understand dukkha, we will keep hoping for better times and we will keep getting disappointed. Most people waste a lot of time trying to fight dukkha, trying to manipulate their world. This resistance to dukkha is not only exhausting but it also creates even more dukkha. Right thinking is accepting and acknowledging dukkha. Seeing and accepting dukkha means seeing and accepting how things are, and such a state of mind will free up a lot of energy which we can use to practise.

When we become more and more skilled at recognizing dukkha we will also more often see whenever we ‘create’ new dukkha. My teacher used to say that only when we understand the dukkha in becoming (jāti-dukkha), will the mind really strive towards Nibbāna. Everything that comes into existence is dukkha — and its passing away is dukkha too. It is because we don’t understand jāti-dukkha that we want to get something or to get rid of something. A mind that understands dukkha will neither want happiness nor will it resist anything it is experiencing; it will be completely at peace with whatever is happening.

All beings experience dukkha but only those who recognize dukkha can work towards freeing themselves from it. Clearly recognizing and accepting dukkha will lead to inner freedom. The Buddha said that those who see dukkha also see the end of dukkha. Only if dukkha is really understood, will striving for Nibbāna be seen as the only worthwhile thing to do.

~ Excepts from,

Awareness Alone is Not Enough, Questions & Answers with Ashin Tejaniya ~

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“So learn from Me now, friend, as I briefly profile the qualities that make the loving yogi one with Me, Brahman, the Godhead. There is no higher achievement in life.

“Cultivate a pure intellect. Free your mind and heart of delusion. Be self-restrained. Give up the ego. Subdue your senses through steady will. Abandon the sights, tastes, and noises of the world. Put aside with no regret the likes and dislikes so burdensome in life.

“Seek solitude, eat but little, lead a simple, self-reliant life, curbing your thoughts, speech, and actions. Be detached, impersonal. Engage your mind always in concentration, contemplation, and meditation on the Godhead.

“Cast from yourself all egotism, violence, arrogance, desire, anger, and attachment. Turn your back on luxuries and property. Possess very little, and shed any sense of ‘mine.’ Be calm, at peace with yourself and all others. Enter into the supreme state of unity with Me – I who am Truth, Consciousness, and Bliss.

“Thus united with Me, tranquil of mind and heart, neither craving nor grieving anything or anyone, accept all people equally and serve Me, Divinity, in every living creature. Love Me most dearly.

“Be very clear about the crucial importance of love. To love is to know Me. The act itself of loving is indeed the experience of really knowing Me, for I am Love, Arjuna! To love is to know My innermost nature, the Truth that I am. It is through this sacred and deep knowing that you gain access to Me and become one with My own Self. Loving is knowing God! As a deep knower of the Godhead you actually become the Godhead.

“Do not renounce action itself but only the sense of doership. Thus, even while engaging in worldly actions be but an instrument of the Divine. When you surrender there is no weariness in your work. As you are fully concentrated on Me, you will come home to Me in eternity.

“Mentally cast every thought and act onto Me. Know I am your best friend and only refuge. Be solely devoted to Me. Fix your mind and intellect on Me. Once you recognise that your mind, senses, and body – and all activities performed by them – are Divinity, then sense of doership, of ‘I’ and ‘mine,’ leaves you. When that happens, you have no concern but to do Divinity’s work for Its sake only. Your only interest should be to merge in God. It is by loving God that you rise from the human to the Divine.

“The one with his or her mind thus fixed on Me can, through My grace, overcome all obstacles. I know, Arjuna, that you are a good devotee and a beloved friend, but if you stay caught in your egoism and do not heed My words, you are lost and you will perish. If, in your vanity you think, ‘I will not fight,’ that misguided resolve will be in vain, because your very nature will drive you to do it.

“You can do no greater harm than fail to follow your inner truth! You have been nurtured in the duties of a warrior-leader. Your aptitudes, temperament, and disposition are such that you must oppose wrongdoing in the world. Facing this righteous fight you cannot simply decide on impulse to practice renunciation and quietism. This ego-driven decision of yours creates a conflict in your personality. Your inner nature will prevail in spite of your ego. Do not yield to this egoism and disgrace yourself.

“A man is not different from his nature, Arjuna, and is obliged to act in conformity with it. You yourself have created the tendencies that bind you now. The law of karma is more powerful than your ego. Even if in your delusion you think that you do not want to fight, your own nature will force you to. Following one’s nature is the only way to work out one’s karma.

“God dwells in the very heart of every creature and whirls them around and around as though mounted on a revolving machine. It is as if dancing puppets imagine that they are the dancers rather than merely puppets, and because of this illusion they become increasingly entangled in the strings.

“The yogi, however, changes this basic attitude and holds the conviction that all actions are in the Divine One’s hands. In this way the yogi lives life as the willing instrument of Divinity.

“Seek refuge only in the Divine, beloved friend. Always remember the illustrious truth that you have neither existence nor individuality independent of God. Attune your whole life to this truth. Take refuge in Me and experience great peace of mind. Those who do not come fully to Me continue to bring agitation and a stressful life upon themselves.”

~ Excerpts from Chapter 18, Liberation Through Knowing, Acting, and Loving (Moksha Sanyasa Yoga), the Bhagavad Gita, A Walkthough for Westerners by Jack Hawley ~

= The Gita documents the inner battle and struggles for the mind, heart, body and spirit which directs us to turn inwards and upwards to the True Self Within. =

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in its simplest essence,
is derived from
experience analysed,
knowledge gained,
intuitive thought,
introspective comtemplataion,
intellectual enquiry ,
genuine inquiry,*
exhaustive persistence
driven by a burning desire,
guided by a force within.

*added by GG

~ Excerpts from In the Sphere of Silence by Vijay Eswaran ~

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Description of Love

A true lover is proved such by his pain of heart;
No sickness is there like sickness of heart.
The lover’s ailment is different from all ailments;
Love is the astrolabe of God’s mysteries.
A lover may hanker after this love or that love,
But at the last he is drawn to the KING of love.
However much we describe and explain love,
When we fall in love we are ashamed of our words.
Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear,
But love unexplained is clearer.
When pen hasted to write,
On reaching the subject of love it split in twain.
When the discourse touched on the matter of love,
Pen was broken and paper torn.
In explaining it Reason sticks fast, as an ass in mire;
Naught but Love itself can explain love and lovers!
None but the sun can display the sun,
If you would see it displayed, turn not away from it.
Shadows induce slumber, like evening talks,
But when the sun arises the “moon is split asunder.”
In the world there is naught so wondrous as the sun,
Though the material sun is unique and single,
We can conceive similar suns like to it.
But the Sun of the soul, beyond this firmament,–
No like thereof is seen in concrete or abstract.
Where is there room in conception for HIS essence,
So that similitudes of HIM should be conceivable?

~ The Mathnawi, The Spiritual Couplets of Maulana Jalalu-d-din Muhammad I Rumi ~

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The voice within is what I honour. It’s what I’m married to. This life doesn’t belong to me. The voice says, “Brush your teeth.” Okay. I don’t know what for, I just move on through. It says, “Walk.” Okay. I just keep moving. Someone says, “Will you come do The Work with us?” Okay. I’m just following orders. The beautiful thing about this is that it’s fun. If I don’t follow the order, it’s okay too. This is a game about where it will take me if I do follow.

For forty three years I was at war in the story. And then one day, in a moment of clarity, I found my way back home. And that’s what inquiry is all about. It comes from source, and it returns to source. It’s such a gift. I was always merging into my stories, into my insanity. And then, one day, when I heard “Brush your teeth,” it started coming back, and there was a receiver. And it opened, like a womb. It opened into that allowing into the mystery. Each moment – new! “Brush your teeth.” It doesn’t sound very spiritual to me, but that’s all it said. “Walk.” It just opens and it becomes more of a listener. All marriage is nothing more than a metaphor of that marriage. And if I don’t follow, if I tell it, “Later,” I don’t feel very comfortable. And then I come back and I brush my teeth. It becomes a thing that’s timeless, because when you’re opening to that, there’s no time and space in it. It’s just a “Yes. Yes. Yes.” That’s why I say, “Boundaries are an act of selfishness.” I don’t have any. When it says, “Jump,” I jump. Because where I jump, I have nothing to lose. There’s nothing more fun than following such an insane thing and saying “Yes” to it. You don’t have anything to lose. You’re dead already. You can afford to be a fool.

~ Quotations from Byron Katie ~

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Hearken to the reed-flute, how it complains,
Lamenting its banishment from its home:-
“Ever since they tore me from my osier bed,
My plaintive notes have moved men and women to tears.
I burst my breast, striving to give vent to sighs,
And to express the pangs of my yearning for my home.
He who abides far away from his home
Is ever longing for the day he shall return.
My wailing is heard in every throng,
In concert with them that rejoice and them that weep.
Each interprets my notes in harmony with his own feelings,
But not one fathoms the secrets of my heart.
My secrets are not alien from my plaintive notes,
Yet they are no manifest to the sensual eye and ear.
Body is not veiled from soul, neither soul from body,
Yet no man hath ever seen a soul.”
This plaint of the flute is fire, not mere air.
Let him who lacks this fire be accounted dead!
‘Tis the fire of love that inspires the flute,
‘Tis the ferment of love that possesses the wine.
The flute is the confidant of all unhappy lovers;
Yea, its strains lay bare my inmost secrets.
Who hath seen a poison and an antidote like the flute?
Who hath seen a sympathetic consoler like the flute?
The flute tells the tale of love’s bloodstained path,
It recounts the story of Majnun’s love toils.
None is privy to these feelings save one distracted,
As ear inclines to the whispers of the tongue.
Through grief my days are as labour and sorrow,
My days move on, hand in hand on anguish.
Yet, though my days vanish thus, ‘tis no matter,
Do thou abide, O Incomparable Pure One!
But all who are not fishes are soon tired of water;
And they who lack daily bread find the day very long;
So the “Raw” comprehend not the state of the “Ripe;”
Therefore it behoves me to shorten my discourse.
Arise, O son! Burst thy bonds and be free!
How long wilt thou be captive to silver and gold?
Though thou pour the ocean into thy pitcher,
It can hold no more than one day’s store.
The pitcher of the desire of the covetous never fills,
The oyster-shell fills not with pearls till it is content;
Only he whose garment is rent by the violence of love
Is wholly pure from covetousness and sin.
Hail to thee, then, O LOVE, sweet madness!
Thou who healest all our infirmities!
Who art the physician of our pride and self-conceit!
Who art out Plato and our Galen!
Love exalts our earthy bodies to heaven,
And makes the very hills to dance with joy!
O lover, ‘twas love that gave life to Mount Sinai,
When “it quaked, and Moses fell down in a swoon.”
Did my Beloved only touch me with his lips,
I too, like the flute, would burst out in melody.
But he who is parted from them that speak his tongue,
Though he possess a hundred voices, is perforce dumb.
When the rose has faded and the garden is withered,
The song of the nightingale is no longer to be heard.
The BELOVED is all in all, the lover only veils Him,
The BELOVED is all that lives, the lover a dead thing.
When the lover feels no longer LOVE’S quickening,
He becomes like a bird who has lost its wings. Alas!
How can I retain my sense about me,
When the BELOVED shows not the light of His countenance?
LOVE desires that this secret should be revealed,
For if a mirror reflects not, of what use is it?
Knowest thou why thy mirror reflects not?
Because the rust has not been scoured from its face.
If it were purified from all rust and defilement,
It would reflect the shining of the SUN of GOD.
O friends, ye have now heard this tale,
Which sets forth the very essence of my case.

~ The Mathnawi, The Spiritual Couplets of Maulana Jalalu-d-din Muhammad I Rumi ~

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A tear can be ego and anger can be compassion.

Anger can be ego and tears can be compassion.

It depends on where it arises from.

~ if not now, when?, Chapter 03 Peace + Anger, Tsem Tulku Rinpoche  

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As long as the ego runs your life, most of your thoughts, emotions, and actions arise from desire and fear. In relationships you then either want or fear something from the other person.

What you want from them may be pleasure or material gain, recognition, praise or attention, or a strengthening of your sense of self through comparison and through establishing that you are, have or know more than they. What you fear is that the opposite may be the case, and they may diminish your sense of self in some way.

When you make the present moment the focal point of your attention – instead of using it as a means to an end – you go beyond the ego and beyond the unconscious compulson to use people as a means to an end, the end being self-enhancement at the cost of others. When you give your fullest attention to whoever you are interacting with, you take past and future out of the relationship, except for practical matters. When you are fully present with everyone you meet, you relinquish the conceptual identify you made for them – your interpretation of who they are and what they did in the past – and are able to interact without the egoic movements of desire and fear. Attention, which is alert stillness, is the key.

How wonderful to go beyond wanting and fearing in your relationships. Love does not want or fear anything.

– Stillness Speaks, Relationships, Eckhart Tolle

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