Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
For meditation to happen, calm and auspicious conditions have to be created. Before we have mastery over our minds, we need first to calm their environment.
At the moment, our minds are like a candle flame: unstable, flickering, constantly changing, fanned by the violent winds of our thoughts and emotions. The flame will burn steadily only when we can calm the air around it; so we can only begin to glimpse and rest in the nature of mind when we have stilled the turbulence of our thoughts and emotions. On the other hand, once we have found a stability in our meditation, noises and disturbances of every kind will have far less impact.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
It is this sobering knowledge that makes Buddhists consider that future lives are more important even than this one, because there are many more that await us in the future. This long-term vision governs how they live. They know if we were to sacrifice the whole of eternity for this life, it would be like spending our entire life savings on one drink, madly ignoring the consequences.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Life, as Buddha told us, is as brief as a lightning flash; yet, as Wordsworth said: “The world is too much with us: Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.” It is that laying waste of our powers—that betrayal of our essence, that abandonment of the miraculous chance that this life, the natural bardo, gives us of knowing and embodying our enlightened nature—that is perhaps the most heartbreaking thing about human life. What the masters are essentially telling us is to stop fooling ourselves: What will we have learned, if at the moment of death we do not know who we really are?
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Making mistakes is a part of life ... at least it is a consistent part of my life! Yet I'm always shocked when I see how easily I don't pay enough attention to what I'm doing. So I felt I would use this is an opportunity to share some of the thoughts that arise for me when this happens.
Getting the dates wrong on an email newsletter is a relatively minor mistake, but I still feel annoyed with myself. I prefer it when I'm pleased myself, of course. Yet I also feel there is something precious in the humility that arises when I see my innate fallibility ... with both the big and little things in my life.
Humbly embracing my flawed humanity has been a theme of my life in recent years, and is a major element in my new book that is coming out next year. For a long time my spiritual journey was about waking up to the deep self and the oneness of life, and this remains an on-going adventure. But now I find myself also focusing on coming to terms with the limitations of 'Tim' that show no signs of miraculously disappearing!
As I get older I am struck by how 'Tim' still stumbles and falls. Humility and embarrassment seem like old friends. And there is a vulnerability and authenticity that arises from the recognition of my human fallibility that I'm learning to appreciate. Connecting with each other and with life from the deep self is a wonderful experience. Yet embracing each other in our vulnerable, fragile, tender humanity is equally important.
It seems to me that I'm profoundly paradoxical. On the one hand so big and on the other so small. Within me are unfathomable depths, yet 'Tim' is also necessarily limited and imperfect. On my spiritual journey I once believed that I could one day perfect 'Tim' into some sort of enlightened being who was always at his best. Now it feels to me that the journey is about embracing all that I am.
This means both awakening to the deep self and humbly accepting my human limitations. It's when I'm able to do both that I'm truly authentic. And then something beautiful and tender happens. There's this unconditionally love of myself just as I am ... a love of others just as they are ... a love of life just as it is ... a deep love of being.
~ by Tim Frele www.timothyFreke.com
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
This Winter Solstice on December 21 provides clarity for new visions.
May you meditate on world and collective PEACE to manifest worldwide.
LGHT SHINE - DARK COMFORT!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Standing in Your Own Two Shoes
The real search isn't a search into tomorrow, or to anywhere other than now. It's starting to look into the very nature of this moment. In order to do that, you have to "stand in your own two shoes,” as my teacher used to say. What she meant by "standing in your own two shoes" is you have to look clearly into your own experience.
Stop trying to have someone else's experience. Stop chasing freedom or happiness, or even spiritual enlightenment. Stand in your own shoes, and examine closely: What's happening right here and right now? Is it possible to let go of trying to make anything happen? Even in this moment, there may be some suffering, there may be some unhappiness, but even if there is, is it possible to no longer push against it, to try to get rid of it, to try to get somewhere else?
I understand that our instinct is to move away from what’s not comfortable, to try to get somewhere better, but as my teacher used to say, "You need to take the backward step, not the forward step." The forward step is always moving ahead, always trying to attain what you want, whether it’s a material possession or inner peace. The forward step is very familiar: seeking and more seeking, striving and more striving, always looking for peace, always looking for happiness, looking for love.
To take the backward step means to just turn around, reverse the whole process of looking for satisfaction on the outside, and look at precisely the place where you are standing. See if what you are looking for isn't already present in your experience.
So, again, to lay the groundwork for awakening, we must first let go of struggling. You let go by acknowledging that the end of struggle is actually present in your experience now. The end of struggle is peace. Even if your ego is struggling, even if you're trying to figure this out and "do it right," if you really look, you might just see that struggle is happening within a greater context of peace, within an inner stillness. But if you try to make stillness happen, you'll miss it. If you try to make peace happen, you'll miss it. This is more like a process of recognition, giving recognition to a stillness that is naturally present.
We’re not bringing struggle to an end. We're not trying to not struggle anymore. We're just noticing that there is a whole other dimension to consciousness that, in this very moment, isn't struggling, isn’t resentful, isn't trying to get somewhere. You can literally feel it in your body. You can't think your way to not struggling. There isn't a three-point plan of how not to struggle. It's really a one-point plan: Notice that the peace, this end of struggling, is actually already present.
The process is therefore one of recognition. We recognize that there is peace now, even if your mind is confused. You may see that even when you touch upon peace now, the mind is so conditioned to move away from it that it will try to argue with the basic fact of peace's existence within you: "I can't be at peace yet because I have to do this, or that, or this question hasn't been answered, or that question hasn't been answered, or so-and-so hasn't apologized to me."
There are all sorts of ways that the egoic mind can insist that something needs to happen, something needs to change, in order for you to be at peace. But this is part of the dream of the mind. We're all taught that something needs to change for us to experience true peace and freedom.
Just imagine for a moment that this isn't true. Even though you may believe that it's true, just imagine for a moment: What would it be like if you didn't need to struggle, if you didn't need to make an effort to find peace and happiness? What would that feel like now? And just take a moment to be quiet and see if peace or stillness is with you in this moment.
~ From: Falling Into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering, by Adyashanti
Monday, December 19, 2011
The more sincerity is developed, the greater share of truth you will have. And however much sincerity a person may have, there is always a gap to fill, for we live in the midst of falsehood, and we are always apt to be carried away by this world of falsehood. Therefore we must never think we are sincere enough, and we must always be on our guard against influences which may carry us away from that sincerity which is the bridge between ourselves and our ideal. No study, no meditation is more helpful than sincerity itself.
~~~ "Classes for Mureeds I, Attitude Toward the Sacred Readings ", by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)
Sunday, December 18, 2011
The Way of the Intelligent Heart:
From all sides at each moment, the summons to Love rushes to us. 'Do you want to come with us?'
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
Very few realize what power sincerity carries. A false man, however physically strong he is or however great is his will power, is kept down by his falsehood; it never allows him to rise. It eats into him because it is rust. Those who have done great things in life, in whatever walk of life it be, have done them by the power of truth, the power of sincerity, of earnestness, of conviction; when that is lacking, power is lacking.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Our true nature could be compared to the sky, and the confusion of the ordinary mind to clouds. Some days the sky is completely obscured by clouds. When we are down on the ground, looking up, it is very difficult to believe that there is anything else there but clouds. Yet we have only to fly in a plane to discover above the clouds a limitless expanse of clear blue sky. From up there, the clouds we assumed were everything seem so small and so far away down below.
We should always try to remember: The clouds are not the sky and do not “belong” to it. They only hang there and pass by in their slightly ridiculous and nondependent fashion. And they can never stain or mark the sky in any way.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
"When we have prayed and aspired and hungered for the truth for a long time, for many, many lives, and when our karma has become sufficiently purified, a kind of miracle takes place. And this miracle, if we can understand and use it, can lead to the ending of ignorance forever: The inner teacher, who has been with us always, manifests in the form of the “outer teacher,” who, almost as if by magic, we actually encounter. This is the most important encounter of any lifetime."
"remember the view"
Friday, December 09, 2011
There is an Arabic saying, 'If you wish to know God, you must know yourself.' How little man knows while he is in the intoxication of individualism! ... We are connected with one another. Our lives are tied together, and there is a link in which we can see one current running through all. There are many globes and lamps, and yet one current is running through all.
The mystic seeks to realize this constantly and to impress it on his mind in whatever he may see. What, for him, are the waves of the sea? Are they not the sea itself? ... Therein lies the whole of religion. The mystic's prayer is to that beauty, and his work is to forget the self, to lose himself like a bubble in the water. The wave realizes, 'I am the sea', and by falling into the sea prostrates itself before its God.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
The original "six degrees" finding, published in 1967 by the psychologist Stanley Milgram, was drawn from 296 volunteers who were asked to send a message by postcard, through friends and then friends of friends, to a specific person in a Boston suburb. The new research used a slightly bigger cohort: 721 million Facebook users, more than one-tenth of the world's population. The findings were posted on Facebook's site Monday night.
The experiment took one month. The researchers used a set of algorithms developed at the University of Milan to calculate the average distance between any two people by computing a vast number of sample paths among Facebook users. They found that the average number of links from one arbitrarily selected person to another was 4.74. In the United States, where more than half of people over 13 are on Facebook, it was just 4.37.
"When considering even the most distant Facebook user in the Siberian tundra or the Peruvian rain forest," the company wrote on its blog, "a friend of your friend probably knows a friend of their friend."
I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and WE are ALL together ...
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Voices whispering a few last words,
Mind watching a final memory glide past:
When will that drama come for you?
H.H. the DALAI LAMA
Monday, December 05, 2011
The teachings show us precisely what will happen if we prepare for death and what will happen if we do not. The choice could not be clearer. If we refuse to accept death now, while we are still alive, we will pay dearly throughout our lives, at the moment of death, and thereafter. The effects of this refusal will ravage this life and all the lives to come.
We will not be able to live our lives fully; we will remain imprisoned in the very aspect of ourselves that has to die. This ignorance will rob us of the basis of the journey to enlightenment, and trap us endlessly in the realm of illusion, the uncontrolled cycle of birth and death, that ocean of suffering that Buddhists call “samsara.”
Sunday, December 04, 2011
To be today friendly and tomorrow unfriendly cannot for one moment be called friendship; the value of friendship is in its constancy. Forbearance, patience, and tolerance are the only conditions which keep two individual hearts united. There is a saying in Hindu philosophy on friendship, 'Stand by your friend in his time of need, like the reed on the bank of the river.' When a man is sinking in the water and catches hold of a reed, it will save him if it is strong; and if not, it will sink along with him.
Saturday, December 03, 2011
Friday, December 02, 2011
Late in the afternoon, as the sun sank toward the far horizon,
I became aware of a shining path, stretching o'er the distant waters,
Beckoning, it seemed, to something more than sea-weed, sand and anemones.
I suddenly longed to follow that Luminous Way but did not know how
Nor even if it were possible … for one set in earthbound-rock, as I was.
Then, as the tide rose, a few small wavelets washed o'er my rocky rim and into me.
I welcomed these infusions from the great immensity beyond and longed for more.
The tide rose higher and soon I was overflowing with its cool, translucent freshness.
How blessed, I thought, was I to receive of the ocean's bounty.
But still, relentless in its high purpose, the tide came on, and on.
Till I was quite overwhelmed and submerged beneath the all-filling, all-embracing sea.
The deepening waters above and around became evermore still and silent.
Even the once-welcomed waves were now strangers to this tranquil realm.
And then the gnosis gleamed ... and shone ... more radiantly than any sun,
Revealing … that in truth, I was not in this luminous ocean, nor it in me,
But something far more wondrous -- much more than I'd ever imagined,
Verily, there was only the omnipresent ocean -- always ... nothing else!
It was the realm of Beingness, a formless Self long forgotten by a form.
Nothing had been lost ... except someone's idea of being just a rock-pool.
~ Peter Stafford Sumner
Thursday, December 01, 2011
he sadhana of love is a very high sadhana. Love is also called bhakti, or devotion. Love is a dynamic and inspiring throbbing of the heart. Love is the very nature of God, whom the scriptural authors have called supreme Bliss, and Satchidananda. It exists in its fullness within man. Even if he does not experience it, it is nonetheless there. A blind man who has never seen the light may say when he hears others talk about it, "There is no light. I have never seen it. I don't know anything about it." Yet the light exists; it is only that he has no eyes. Similarly there is love, whether or not it is experienced. If you have not followed the path of love, if you have not tried to find it, how can it be attained?
Love is nectar. Love is immortal. Through love alone, the gopis of Gokul found God. Love is a glimpse of the secret inner cave. Love that dwells within flows out through the different sense organs. When it flows to the eyes, it makes forms beautiful; when it flows to the ears, it makes sounds melodious; when it rises to the tongue, it makes tastes sweet and pleasing. Love is the blissful Self whose outward expression makes sensuous objects enjoyable. If this outpouring throb of love was to stop, the senses would become lifeless, joyless, useless, just as zeros without a digit in front are meaningless, and nothing but zeros.
In your ordinary life, learn to love. This love should be pure, unattached, and given for its own sake. If it contains any demands, it just a commercial exchange - the motions of love, but not love itself. Real love contains no demands, no "mine and yours", no selfishness. Love is just love.
-Swami Muktananda in his autobiography Play of Consciousness
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