Thursday, July 30, 2009
an unending fountain of talent; this is hula hoop(ing) like you have never seen
it! Just beautiful.
Alegria Hula Hoops, Cirque du Soleil
Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The real issue here is how to win over anya. Anya in Sanskrit means the tendency of proliferating otherness. We are disturbed only because of this anya, this otherness. Wherever otherness comes it interacts (reacts) with the 'I' in us, affecting our balance. If the 'other' is not there, our 'I' has nothing to fight with. The cancellation of the 'other' and the ego brings peace.
And how can we cancel out the effect of the 'other'? The 'I' and the 'other' must be unified. By knowing that what constitutes the 'I' is the same reality as that which constitutes the 'other' brings unification. We can also know that this 'I' is a fantasized modification of consciousness and the 'other' is a fantasized projection of consciousness. Both are false. Once we know (or see) that neither the 'I' nor the 'other' exist, there is no trouble. But it is not as easy as it sounds.
The ultimate thing is to become saumya, which means finding the quietness within you. It is by attaining sama, sameness, that you become quiet inside. This is to be cultivated throughout. Each day begins a new series of encounters. Each encounter is to be taken as a challenge to reestablish your inner serenity, inner quietness, inner sense of sameness through an act of adoration, an attitude of worship and a sense of the sublime.
There is no need for you to win all the time. Your greater victory lies in your acceptance of defeat, allowing the other to win. You may be in an argument. What does it matter if you win or not? Give the other person the chance to win. Even if he uses some falsehood, when you allow him to win he rethinks the situation. In his heart of hearts he knows he did not deserve the victory. He knows the truth of your silence. You do not become egoistic and you don't make the other person egoistic either. It will chastise him as well as purify him.
Thus, through the cultivation of silence, sameness and serenity, you come to a unitive understanding from within. This brings peace and harmony. Where there is peace and harmony, love spontaneously comes. When you give yourself into the hands of grace, the hands of the Divine, things which are difficult to attain become abundantly possible. Then you can say you have attained the discrimination of the unbroken, by which every 'this' is brought under the spell of the universal sameness.
From Atmopadesa Satakam, by Narayana & Nitya Chaitanya Yati Vs 37, in Gurukulam magazine, Spring 2009.
Community Through Visionary Art." Erik will lead a discussion with four
pioneering characters about how art and performance inspire and delight,
while transforming one's quality of engagement with the world and helping to
create community. Conversations will explore the visions of those being
interviewed, as well as practical steps that anyone can take today on the
personal, local, and planetary levels.
Thursday, July 30 at 6:00 pm PST:
Founder of Burning Man, Larry Harvey (see http://tinyurl.com/aof5mg )
Saturday, July 31 at 1:00 pm PST:
Visionary painter, Alex Grey (see http://www.alexgrey.com )
Monday, August 2 at 6:00 pm PST:
Neo-tribal festival producer, Jen Zariat (see http://tinyurl.com/lawr6l )
Wednesday, August 3 at 6:00 pm PST:
Ritualist and filmmaker, Antero Alli (see http://www.paratheatrical.com )
Each session will be roughly 90 minutes. After an introductory interview and
discussion, there will be ample time for direct questions. Cost for the
four-session seminar is $50. To learn more, see
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Enjoying this beauty is a tricky thing because of one simple, yet profound concept: possessiveness.
Because we forget who the real owner is of everything here, the limited Self tries to possess something beautiful for itself - then the trouble starts. On a deeper soul level, this entire creation is ours and in fact is us. But on that soul level there is no possession, just sharing and an inner appreciation that turns to love (for our beloved) and devotion (to all of creation). Once we feel this love and devotion we willingly compromise our individual/ego desires in order to please the object of our appreciation and love.
This miraculous transformation of our selfish drives to our deeper, unselfish nature is driven by Venus. The engine of that transformation is the beauty and appreciation of life and the desires that become awakened once our heart becomes captivated by something beautiful.
But as was said, we have to be careful with the objects of our affection and the desire to possess. Because really, we own nothing here. We have to give it all back at some point. In this way I often say, "do you own it or does it own you?" - or "do you have those ideas or do those ideas have you?"
Venus entered Gemini on July 26 and will be there until August 20. The transit of Venus through Gemini is powerful. This is quite a strong sign for Venus to occupy - an Air sign - probably the best element for Venus. Air is related to freedom and movement and as was said, the less we try to possess the objects of our affection, the better.
Air is the sign of intelligence and ideas. When planets occupy air signs, they activate our intelligence. We try to figure them out intellectually - rather than become attached to them emotionally (water) - possess them (Earth) or act upon them (fire).
We have to be playful, light and intelligent in order to navigate the minefield of our desires and not have them own us. Few things in life feel worse than to be objectified through possessiveness and jealousy. We have all felt this and done this to others.
Between now and August 20 is a good time to ponder the nature of desires and the cycle of attachment based on the desire to possess. Gemini is the sign of intelligence, inquiry, playfulness and flexibility. This is a time to consider all forms of beauty, including things that might at first seem repulsive - including ideas. This is also a time for new romances, flirtations and attractions.
AUM SHUM SHUKRAYE NAMAHA AUM
Monday, July 27, 2009
Everything is Consciousness everything. When you ask what is Consciousness, there is no valid answer. When someone asks me to write a book or give a lecture, then I have to explain Consciousness in about fifty different words, and each word has another fifty words to explain that, then those words have another fifty words. So your volume of the book is written.
What does it say? "Everything is Consciousness." I could have written one page. And in the middle of that page I would say: "Everything is Consciousness," and the rest would be blank. This is the reason why I do not write books, because there is nothing to say. See how confusing it is? You read so many books during the week. Usually you do not remember what you read, and if you do, it's intellectual. You are using somebody else's words and not having your own experience.
I don't know what Consciousness is, but I am That. If I knew what Consciousness was, it wouldn't be That, because I would be voicing a word and the word would be limited by the very voicing of the word. So Consciousness is a no-thing. It's nothing you can pin down. It's nothing you can describe. It's nothing you can write a book about. Consciousness is Silence. Sometimes I'm saying Consciousness is Absolute Reality, which is more words, and I have to explain Absolute Reality.
Consciousness is Ultimate Oneness, Pure Intelligence. Consciousness is all of those things. But what are those things? Again they are just words. Sometimes I say Consciousness is Love, Bliss, Sat-Chit-Ananda, Knowledge, Being, Existence. Those are just words. And you get a good feeling from the words, but the feeling doesn't last too long, for you have not digested the words. You have not become a living embodiment of Consciousness.
You are an asset to the human race, an asset to your Self, an asset to God. You are a wonderful person just the way you are. Just the way you are! Do not judge by appearances. Do not even judge yourself. You are a beautiful person just the way you are.
When I say just the way you are, I am referring to your real Self, Consciousness. You are beautiful just the way you are. Not what you think you are. Not what you appear to be. Not what the world shows you, but just the way you are right now.
Stand up tall. Do not be afraid any longer. There is nothing that can hurt you. There is nothing in this world that can actually do anything to you. You are free ! You are the substratum of all existence. Everything is an image on Consciousness. The whole universe, all the planets, all the galaxies, are all images on Consciousness. And you are Consciousness. Know yourself and be free!
From the book: Silence of the Heart, by Robert Adams
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Two great gurus in nature are the Sun and the tree. The Sun is always giving us energy, 24 hours a day. But does it ever present us with a heating bill? No! So the Sun sets a good example for everyone - always be giving, 24 hours a day. It also gives to everyone, whether they are good or bad by nature.
In the same way, a tree provides shade to all as long as it lives. Even when a man with an axe comes to cut it down, the tree will provide him shade as long as it stands.
AUM HRIM HRIM SURYAYA NAMAHA AUM
LABASA, FIJI, July 23, 2009: More than 4000 people gathered last night to listen to spiritual words delivered by the Sant Sri Rameshbhai Oza, a priest who is well known worldwide.
Sant Oza said he was attracted by the purity of the people and the environment; he said that he could feel that Labasa was closer to God in nature. People’s emotions are very much pure and they are more dedicated to God, he said. I would like to tell everybody in this island to remain with nature and to see God all the time. The best thing is to get away from all the bad habits; stay pure.
Local priest Kamlesh Maharaj expressed how important the sant’s visit was to the people, who had been listening to him preach on the radio for years. “We learn many basics of philosophy of Hinduism and moral values that we need to practice in our society today. He also helps us to develop our spiritual growth, which is a very important part of life.”
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Friday, July 24, 2009
The rose has in its heart its seeds, and so the developed souls have in their heart that seed of development which produces many roses. The rose comes and fades away, but the essence that is taken from the rose lives and keeps the fragrance that it had in its full bloom. Personalities who touch that plane of development may live on the earth for a limited time, but the essence which is left by them will live for thousands and thousands of years, ever keeping the same fragrance and giving the same pleasure that once the rose gave.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown,
faith is knowing one of two things will happen:
either you will be given something solid to stand on
or you will be taught how to fly.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
cycle. Deep feelings surface and try to block out or eclipse the light of
our inner being. If you move out into darkness, greater darkness will
result. If you surround yourself with weaker people or those who are up
to no good, then no goodness will come out of it. You will be challenged
to listen to your inner voice rather than the call of your senses or
thoughts. If you can silence your thoughts at the moment of an eclipse,
profound repercussions will result. If you do not, less than profound
repercussions will result. It is your choice. Can you affirm the will to
goodness and light when the darkness is strongest. Within this
darkness lies great sensitivity.
Monday, July 20, 2009
This year there will be 6 eclipses. Eclipses are symbols of negation, blotting out our attachment to the material aspect of life, and enhancing our spiritual awareness. Life has a way of tugging at our security blankets in order to get us to let go of materialism and look for security within. Although eclipses occur each year, 6 eclipses in a single year is more uncommon. The last time we had 6 eclipses in one year was in 2000. The fact that we are having so many eclipses during 2009 is simply a reflection of the current challenging and uncertain times.
There will be two eclipses in July and one in August. The eclipses on July 7th and August 6th are lunar eclipses and are very weak. They are not expected to produce a significant impact astrologically. The total solar eclipse on July 22nd will be seen by millions of people in China and Southeast Asia, and will be very significant astrologically.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Even if the whole world were against him, he will get such a power that he can hold on to his object against anything. He will get such a patience that when he is on the way to his object no misfortune will discourage him. There is no doubt that as long as he has not found it he will go from one thing to another, and again to another; and he will think that life is against him. Then he will begin to find fault with individuals, conditions, plans, the climate, with everything. Thus what is called fortunate or successful is really having the right object. When a person is wearing clothes which were not made for him, he says they are too wide or too short, but when they are his clothes he feels comfortable in them. Everyone should therefore be given freedom to choose his object in life. And if he finds his object one knows that he is on the right path.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Beautiful Bolivia Music and Images
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
CHANDIGARH, INDIA, July 12, 2009: 1.4 million pilgrims from various parts of the country and abroad are expected to take a holy dip in the Sarovar waters at Kurukshetra during the solar eclipse fair on July 22.
This will be the longest duration eclipse of the 21st century. We are expecting more than a million pilgrims to visit Kurukshetra and we have made all arrangements so that people can take the holy dip there from 5:30 a.m. to 7:25 a.m. on that day,
Haryanas Tourism Minister Kiran Choudhry said at a press conference here today.
It is going to be a rare event, second in the series of three eclipses one after the other. First there was lunar eclipse on July 6, and there will be another lunar eclipse on August 6, she said.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The human mind, in its desire to know, understand, and control, mistakes its opinions and viewpoints for the truth. It says: this is how it is.
You have to be larger than thought to realize that however you interpret "your life" or someone else's life or behavior, however you judge any situation, it is no more than a viewpoint, one of many possible perspectives. It is no more than a bundle of thoughts.
But reality is one unified whole, in which all things are interwoven, where nothing exists in and by itself. Thinking fragments reality -- it cuts it up into conceptual bits and pieces.
The thinking mind is a useful and powerful tool, but it is also very limiting when it takes over your life completely, when you don't realize that it is only a small aspect of the consciousness that you are.
From: Stillness Speaks, by Eckhart Tolle.
By Paul Hawken, YES! Magazine excerpt:
"Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn't ask for a better boss”
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
This is truly SPECTACULAR!!!
Read the paragraphs below FIRST before you watch the video
There is an awesome dance, called the Thousand-Hand Kuan Yin, which is making the rounds across the net. Considering the tight coordination required, their accomplishment is nothing short of amazing, even if they were not all deaf. Yes, you read correctly. All 21 of the dancers are complete deaf-mutes. Relying only on signals from trainers at the four corners of the stage, these extraordinary dancers deliver a visual spectacle that is at once intricate and stirring.
Its first major international debut was in Athens at the closing ceremonies for the 2004 Paralympics. But it had long been in the repertoire of the Chinese Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe and had traveled to more than 40 countries.
Its lead dancer is 29 year old Tai Lihua, who has a BA from the Hubei Fine Arts Institute. The video was recorded in Beijing during the Spring Festival this year.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
trunk, branches, birds, stars. Sing until the dream engenders the spring at
which you may drink and recognize yourself and recover."
Friday, July 10, 2009
Adyashanti's latest book and CD set, The End of Your World -- Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment is probably one of the best and clearest books I've ever read on living the awakened life.
More and more people are "waking up" spiritually. And for most of them, the question becomes: now what? "Information about life after awakening is usually not made public," explains Adya. "It's most often shared only between teachers and their students." The End of Your World is his response to a growing need for direction on the spiritual path. Consider this book Adya's personal welcome to "a new world, a state of oneness."
"Full awakening comes when you sincerely look at yourself, deeper than you've imagined, and question everything," teaches Adya. The End of Your World is your invitation to join Adya for an honest investigation of what you really are -- and how to live once you discover it. For full details about the book and CD versions of this spiritual classic:
Thursday, July 09, 2009
~ Douglas Harding - Sydney workshop
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Often, for me, when I feel worried, fearful, anxious, I back up and look again. I return to The Source. I look for the one thing that always brings me peace. The one thing that I cannot deny; I cannot deny that I am aware. That is a fact. Then, with the return to that insight, it becomes clear to me that everything is within this awareness, and not the other way around;there is no thing, and nothing outside of this awareness. That is a soothing note.
The fact that everything is within awareness, that, right there, is a big relief. This one little insight alone brings me peace. I can rest in this small glimmer of Truth; that nothing is ever outside of awareness -- and furthermore, this awareness belongs to Godhead, Divine Light, All Knowing, All Loving Living Presence. Realizing that I am not outside of awareness and no one else is either, I let go of my fears. I am back with The Grace of God's Light that is being All That Is. I rest in this fact of Life.
If all things are within awareness then time and space are not outside of awareness, therefore all our loved ones, past present and future, all things that ever were or will be, must be here in awareness, in and as This Living Truth I Am. Life Eternal Am I since I am this awareness which is the awareness of God's and not 'mine'. This Awareness encompasses, includes and Is being all those I love and all things I love. Nothing is lost or gone from This Awareness, ever.
Or as William Samuel writes: "Are you not aware of being right now? Of course you are. You are aware of these words. Is not this very Awareness all inclusive to you? Have you ever been outside it? Have you ever seen a sight that did not come to you as this very Awareness? Certainly not. Does not this Awareness include the mountains, the oceans, the microcosm and the macrocosm, the Pleiades and all the galaxies? This Awareness really is alone and all to you, is it not? Honesty, total honesty, will not allow you to answer otherwise.
"The Awareness that reads these words is infinite. It is alone. It is all. It is the Divine Awareness of Existence. It is God's knowledge of Himself. It is God's knowledge of being God. It does not belong to 'another'. It is not contained nor possessed by 'another'. It is not beholden to 'another' called Bill or Mary or John. This Awareness, this very Awareness, that is aware right here, right now, is God's Awareness of being all that God is. The 'responsibility' is God's. The 'burden' is God's.
"This Awareness is free. Awareness has never really been bound to a body called Bill, Mary of John, nor judged by any of their judgments, nor limited by these limitations. Awareness says to those who are weary and heavy laden, Leave the separate sense of self and return to me and I will give you rest."
I know that acknowledging and then living this Absolute Fact, in some strange and mystical way, makes all things new and creates perfect outcomes. The heart and mind at peace seems to manifest Itself in a tangible way. You will literally see that what you were concerned or worried about, will turn out just fine. Knowing this is true, sometimes it is even helpful to say "Thank You Father" before you see the manifestation of This Goodness and Light done. Watch and see.
The peace you find and the claming rest in your heart will manifest in miraculous and joyfully wonderful and positive results. Understanding 'who you are' and clearly knowing the Facts of Life, the Truth of God's Allness and Grace; the realization of Truth and Its Knowing does indeed bring you the actual proof that All Is Well. I have witnessed this well being and Its tangible evidence every time I 'Let go and let God' in my life -- I have seen the Living Power of Love and Grace work in my life.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Gu means darkness, Ru means Dispel, eliminate. Guru means the one who dispels the darkness of ignorance. Guru is the spiritual teacher who shows the aspirant the path to higher knowledge. He brings light to his disciple by showing them the means to find the eternal light. Spiritual gurus are seen as a link between the individual and the divine and therefore given great importance in the Vedic philosophy. Gurus open the eyes of the aspirant to their higher self and show them the divine light where they, the aspirants may have been struggling in darkness. Gurus are considered the living form of God. Therefore honoured and respected for centuries more than any other person as only the Guru can show the aspirant a path back to the divine and bring them from darkness to light.
Guru Purnima is the day on which one expresses ones gratitude to ones Guru. In India for thousands of years the Full moon in Ashadha Nakshatra is celebrated in honour of the divine gurus. Ved Vyasa is regarded as the Guru of all Gurus and the Guru purnima is dedicated to him. Vyasa edited the four Vedas, wrote the 18 Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavata. He also taught Dattatreya, who spread Vyasa?s knowledge to the other gurus.
Mantra to the Guru
GururBrahma GururVishnu, GururDevo Maheshvaraha,
GururSakshaat Param Brahma, Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning of the Mantra:
The enlightened Guru is no other than Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the destroyer.
Guru is truly the Almighty Brahaman; our salutations to Him, the Divine Spiritual Master.
Monday, July 06, 2009
From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let Light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to Earth.
From the center where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men,
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the center which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out.
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
"Many religions believe in a World Teacher or Saviour, knowing him under such names as the Christ, the Lord Maitreya, the Imam Mahdi, the Bodhisattva, and the Messiah, and these terms are used in some of the Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish versions of the Great Invocation.
Men and women of goodwill throughout the world are using this Invocation in their own language. Will you join them in using the Invocation every day - with thought and dedication?
By using the Invocation and encouraging others to use it, no particular group or organisation is sponsored. It belongs to all humanity."
—from the Lucis Trust website
While the King had been out hunting, one of his servants had been arranging the royal bedroom. He starting making the bed. All of a sudden, a great tiredness came over him. He thought to himself "I will just lay down on the bed for a few moments - no one will know, and I will feel refreshed afterwards." He immediately fell asleep.
That night, knowing that the King was gone hunting, the Queen worked very late. When she finally came to bed, it was completely dark in the room. She saw what she thought was the King lying in the bed. She lay down in the bed and fell asleep. Meanwhile, it took a long time for the King to return to the palace. He arrived in the very early morning, just when it was getting light. He walked into the chamber, and found his queen lying in the bed with one of the servants! This infuriated the King. He drew his sword, as he decided to kill both of them then and there, even while they slept.
When the King drew his sword, the message from the saint popped out onto the floor. The King reached to grab it, and when he did so, the scroll unfurled itself. In the dim light, he read the words "Haste makes mistakes. Do not be in a hurry." The King decided that maybe killing the Queen and servant without waking them first was a hasty decision. He made his presence known. The queen woke up and saw the King. Then she saw the man sleeping next to her. She said "You are not the King, who are you!?!. The servant awoke, with an angry Queen and King staring at him. When the servant saw the King there, with sword drawn, his eyes got very big! He fell to the floor, crawling to the feet of the King and begging forgiveness, saying the King should punish him in any way he sat fit. He said he fell asleep on the soft comfortable bed. The Queen was crying! "When I came to bed, it was very late, and very dark, and I assumed the man sleeping in the bed was you!" she said.
The King reassured her that all was alright, and was thankful for the timely words of the saint. If he had made a hasty decision, he would have done a great injustice to his servant and queen.
Sudden anger is one of our worst enemies. A forest may take 100 years to grow, but a blazing fire can destroy it in a few minutes. In the same way, a fit of anger can destroy friendships and relationships of many years in just a few moments. Avoid anger at all costs, as well as hasty decisions based on anger.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
The lover shows kindness and beneficence to the beloved. He does whatever he can for the beloved in the way of help, service, sacrifice, kindness, or rescue, and hides it from the world and even from the beloved. If the beloved does anything for him he exaggerates it, idealizes it, makes it into a mountain from a molehill. He takes poison from the hands of the beloved as sugar, and love's pain in the wound of his heart is his only joy. By magnifying and idealizing whatever the beloved does for him and by diminishing and forgetting whatever he himself does for the beloved, he first develops his own gratitude, which creates all goodness in his life.
The moral is this: Love another and do not depend upon his love; and: Do good to another and do not depend upon receiving good from him; serve another and do not look for service from him. All you do for another out of your love and kindness, you should think that you do, not to that person, but to God. And if the person returns love for love, goodness for goodness, service for service, so much the better. If he does not return it, then pity him for what he loses; for his gain is much less than his loss.
Do not look for thanks or appreciation for all the good you do to others, nor use it as a means to stimulate your vanity. Do all that you consider good for the sake of goodness, not even for a return of that from God.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
As love is the source of creation and the real sustenance of all beings, so, if man knows how to give it to the world around him as sympathy, as kindness, as service, he supplies to all the food for which every soul hungers. If man knew this secret of life he would win the whole world, without any doubt.
Love can always be discerned in the thought, speech, and action of the lover, for in his every expression there is a charm which shows as a beauty, tenderness, and delicacy. A heart burning in love's fire has a tendency to melt every heart with which it comes in contact. ... Love is like the fire; its glow is devotion, its flame is wisdom, its smoke is attachment, and its ashes detachment. Flame rises from glow, so it is with wisdom, which rises from devotion. When love's fire produces its flame it illuminates the devotee's path in life like a torch, and all darkness vanishes.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
At a recent retreat with a group of people interested in living freely, unencumbered by past definitions of themselves, a revealing exercise was discovered. When a person said their own name and then said what that name meant to them, self-definitions from childhood were exposed. Usually, if not always, these definitions of themselves were negative to at least some degree. Even if names had been changed, the old name still had hidden power, and hidden power is the most insidious.
Many of these intelligent, bright, aware adults were carrying old burdens of negative self-identification within them. When a friend repeated the question, "What is your name and what does it mean?" layers of excess mental and emotional baggage could be recognized and dropped.
Naming is an extremely useful aspect of human intelligence. With naming we are able to make important distinctions. Distinctions are necessary for our survival, as well as mental and emotional growth and well being. With more sophisticated naming we develop more subtle and sophisticated distinctions. But great powers often come with a high cost. As we develop our ability to make distinctions and generate names, we usually lose sight of the connection between things.
And this is a tragic loss, a loss that generates dissatisfaction, restlessness and worse.
Names accumulate meanings associated with their owners. Over time, derogatory meanings can become embedded in our self-identification. We begin to believe that we are what our names, or labels, say we are. Even if we rebel against them, our names can seem like a kind of map of our persona, a map that defines how we are separate from others.
In the willingness to inquire into one's own name, and with that inquiry the willingness to face unpleasant feelings, there arises the possibility to see through the name. We can see that the name has no substance by itself. We can see the unreality of the name per se, while the reality of oneself remains constant.
How burdensome these labels and distinctions are finally. All along didn't you know your name didn't describe who you are? And yet we spend much of life trying to accept a name as the symbol of our identity, or rebelling against one name and taking another in hopes that perhaps the new name will be a true description of ourselves. Some of us take animal spirit names, we accept names from our gurus (I did), and we have secret, special lover-given names that feel more like a fit for us.
But if we tell the truth, no name can contain our true identity. Once we stop trying to name ourselves, and others, there is an obvious yet thrilling discovery. We are not actually discrete from one another, or from the "mountain" or "the ocean" or "the sky" or any other part of our universe. What were important distinctions for survival and power aren't needed at all in self-reflection.
As Alfred Korzybski pointed out eighty years ago, "The map is not the territory." If you only know the map you won't experience the territory. If we try to fit ourselves, and others, into maps and labels, we will miss the essential thrill of being aware of ourselves as inseparable from all life forms.
Why not try this game with a friend? One of you asks the other, "What is your name and what does it mean." Repeat this question for ten minutes or so before switching roles. When you are asking the question, be sure to include nicknames, and even hateful names you have been called. You can discover for yourself if you want to keep carrying around any old heavy baggage associated with any name at all.
by Gangaji --
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