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Chögyam Trungpa April 7, 2009

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Q:  In each lecture you describe some seemingly inescapable situation in which we are all trapped, in which we have already become enmeshed.  I just wonder if you can ever mean to imply that there is a way out?

A:  You see, the whole point is that if we are speaking of a way out all the time, then we are dealing in fantasy, the dream of escape, salvation, enlightenment.  We need to be practical.  We must examine what is here, now, our neurotic mind.  Once we are completely familiar with the negative aspects of the state of our being, then we know the “way out” automatically.  But if we talk about how beautiful and joyous our attainment of the goal will be, then we become extremely sincere and romantic; and this approach becomes an obstacle.

Q:   When I see the ugliness in myself, I do not know how to accept it.  I try to avoid it or change it rather than accept it.

A: Well, you do not have to hide it.  You do not have to change it.  Investigate it further.  When you see the ugliness in yourself, that is just a preconception.  You see it as ugliness, which is still connected with the ideas of “good” and “bad.”  But you have to transcencd even those words, “good” and “bad.”  You have to get beyond words and conceptualized ideas and just get into what you are, deeper and deeper.  The first glimpse is not quite enough: you have to examine the details without judging, without using words and concepts.  Opening to onself fully is opening to the world.

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The Impact of Awakening January 17, 2009

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 awakening

“Love is a flame that burns everything other than itself. It is the destruction of all that is false and the fulfillment of all that is true….

True Love is far greater than anything that could be called personal. True Love is a non-personal miracle. It is the nature of reality itself. It is the natural and spontaneous expression of the undivided self……

Intuition of this degree of Love magnetically draws the individual toward it, and at the same time, causes fear to arise. This Love is seeking the dissolution of all separateness, all me-ness, all self concern…..

Love cares not for the me, it cares only for that which is true, undivided and whole.When the me dissolves, when it surrenders itself to a unity far greater than anything the mind can comprehend, that is Love…..

Non-personal Love is not a feeling, yet within it there can be, and there is, feeling and emotion. But the feeling and emotion are not derived from a personal me. The feeling and emotion are derived from the absence of a personal me…..

‘There is profound responsibility in being Love,’ …more than the mind could imagine or hold up under. If most human beings truly realized the impact that they have on the whole, they’d be crushed by the realization of it.”

— Adyashanti
“The Impact of Awakening”

ramana-maharshi

‘That inner Self, as the primeval Spirit,

Eternal, ever effulgent, full and infinite Bliss,
Single, indivisible, whole and living,
Shines in everyone as the witnessing awareness.
That self in its splendour, shining in the cavity of the heart
This self is neither born nor dies,
Neither grows nor decays, 
Nor does it suffer any change.
When a pot is broken, the space within it is not, 
And similarly, when the body dies the Self in it remains eternal.”
– Ramana Maharshi

This Amazing Opportunity

by Adyashanti

Let’s remember why we’re here at retreat: for this amazing opportunity to really look into the core of our own existence, the core of life itself that is so easy to overlook. It’s so easy not to pay attention to it, because it’s not noisy and it’s not clamoring for attention like all the other aspects of the human mind. Egoic consciousness is always pretending to be the most important thing that is happening.

 

And yet there’s this thread, this sense of something other than, deeper than, more real than, more essential than this scattered and divided noise that so many human beings live in, in their minds. And right in the midst of all that, there is a presence, there is an awareness, an unconditioned awareness, an unconditioned consciousness. Right in the middle of this conditioned mind, conditioned consciousness, is this shining, unconditioned essence. Essence doesn’t mean a little part hidden somewhere in us, the little teeny kernel of essence. Essence means the totality, the whole thing. Essence means the truth of you as opposed to the untruth of you.

 

Essence isn’t a small thing, essence is an immense thing. The essence of you is everything you ever see, taste, touch, and experience. Everywhere you go, every step you take, every breath you take is actually happening by the essence, of the essence, in the essence, and to the essence. All the rest is noise and chatter.

 

So we come here to give our attention, our affection, our time. Our most highly prized commodity is our time. Anything or anyone you give your time to shows immediately what is most important. And I want to remind everyone that what you really are, what the person next to you is, what the children in Africa scraping up the little grains of rice are, this timeless essence, is not hidden. It’s not hidden at all. It’s in plain view. Everywhere you look, that’s the essence. And the mind would say, “Where? Where? I don’t see it. All I see is a car, a billboard, a tree, the person in front of me, the funny man on the stage. Where is this essence?”

 

It’s easy to grasp for it, isn’t it? “Where is it? What is it? I want to understand it. I want to know about it. How can it work for me? How can I utilize it?” But it doesn’t come upon us through the grasping of it, through the striving for it, and through the struggling for it. There’s no merit gained through wasted effort, through excess struggle. There are no merit points for the people who drove themselves the craziest along the way to self-realization. For most people it’s so obscure that it seems very intuitive to grasp and to struggle instead of relaxing, not grasping, letting something come to you, letting the truth of your being reveal itself to you on its terms, in its way, letting it happen.

 

It will happen. It’s always happening. It’s always trying to show itself.

The Impersonal Life January 6, 2009

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To you who read, I speak. To you, who, through long years and much running to and fro, have been eagerly seeking, in books and teachings, in philosophy and religion, for you know not what —Truth, Happiness, Freedom, God;To you whose Soul is weary and discouraged and almost destitute of hope;

To you, who many times have obtained a glimpse of that “Truth” only to find, when you followed and tried to reach it, that it disappeared in the beyond, and was but the mirage of the desert;

To you, who thought you had found it in some great teacher, who was perhaps the acknowledged head of some Society, Fraternity or Religion, and who appeared to you to be a “Master,” so marvelous was the wisdom he taught and the works he performed; — only to awaken later to the realization that that “Master” was but a human personality, with faults and weaknesses, and secret sins, the same as you, even though that personality may have been a channel through which were voiced many beautiful teachings, which seemed to you the highest “Truth;”

And here you are, Soul aweary and enhungered, and not knowing where to turn —

To you, I AM come.

Jean Klein December 22, 2008

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I Am

Don’t project an idea of reality, of freedom, be simply aware of the facts of your existence without wanting change. Seeing things in this way will bring you to a state of deep relaxation both physical and psychological.

Being it is proof. But I can tell you how to discover it. So trust me! It will be secondhand information at first but don’t remain in belief. Make it your own.
You will become aware of a host of energies never dreamed of before. Your relationship with those around you will be perfectly harmonious and you will no longer be seeking a result or expecting anything in return.

There is nothing passive in the not-doing. It is supremely alert, a mental and physical readiness, a whole-hearted welcoming of life as it comes to you.

Be knowingly silent as often as you can and you will no longer fall prey to the desire to be this or that. You will discover in the everyday events of life the meaning behind the fulfillment of the whole, for the ego is totally absent.

Sooner or later, this clarified ego must resort into its essence and homeground which is lucid presence. It only appears when called for and never again steals life for itself.

If the ego is in the slightest way separated from its source, it yearns to find it again. This search comes from the remembrance of unity and plenitude. As every experience emanates from the non-experience which is our real being, the me also bears the scent of its source. This remembering is awakened through those moments of desirelessness and in deep sleep.

“The ego is thus in permanent conflict, at once longing for its own oblivion in oneness and at the same time habitually fighting for its very existence.”

Unity December 12, 2008

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Man’s eyes are dazzled by the bright play of the colors of multiformity, and under the glittering surface he does not see the hidden kernel of the one-ness of all that exists. This multiformity is so real that its single modes approach him from all sides – some by way of logical deduction and philosophy, others by way or faith and feeling. From the most ancient times down to our own epoch, throughout the ages of its life, humanity as a whole has been yearning for a knowledge of this one-ness and seeking for it, pouring itself out into various philosophies and religions which remain, as it were, monuments on the path of these searches for the Path, leading to the knowledge of unity. These searches radiate to the Path just as the radii of a circle join at the center, getting closer into contact with each other the nearer they get to the center. The goal itself determines the direction of the paths and brings the wanderers on the paths to a knowledge of the one-ness which reaches the depths where that knowledge becomes a reality to the knower and cannot be communicated to another who has not reached the same stage of development. The words and notions of conversational language become dead and empty, conveying nothing to him who does not carry such knowledge within himself. In the same way as the sensation of tooth-ache cannot be impartial to one who has not experienced it, and just as the difference of colors cannot be conveyed to one blind from birth, and the wealth of auditory sensation cannot be communicated to the deaf, similarly you cannot tell or relate in words the depth of knowledge which has become part of a man’s being. The words and notions of different epochs change according to conditions of place and time; unity is eternal and immutable.

 BUT OBJECTIVE KNOWLEDGE, THE IDEA OF UNITY INCLUDED, belongs to objective consciousness. The forms which express this knowledge when perceived by subjective consciousness are inevitably distorted and, instead of truth, they create more and more delusions. With objective consciousness it is possible to see and feel the unity of everything. But for subjective consciousness the world is split up into millions of separate and unconnected phenomena. Attempts to connect these phenomena into some sort of system in a scientific or philosophical way lead to nothing because man cannot reconstruct the idea of the whole starting from separate facts and they cannot divine the principles of the division of the whole without knowing the laws upon which this division is based.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

 

 

Translating Enlightenment December 10, 2008

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Truth Comes at a Cost

By Adyashanti

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. The 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.

creative_mind

I AM December 10, 2008

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What prevents the insight into one’s true nature is the weakness and obtuseness of the mind and its tendency to skip the subtle and focus on the gross only. When you follow my advice and try to keep your mind on the notion of “I am” only, you become fully aware of your mind and its vagaries. Awareness, being lucid harmony (satva) in action, dissolves dullness and quietens the restlessness of the mind, and gently but steadily changes its very substance. This change need not be spectacular; it may be hardly noticeable; yet it is a deep and fundamental shift from darkness into light, from inadvertence to awareness. For this, keep steadily in the focus of consciousness the only clue you have: your certainty of being. Be with it, play with it, ponder over it, delve deeply into it, till the shell of ignorance breaks open and you emerge into the realm of reality.

– Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

i-am-that

 

The person merges into the witness, the witness into awareness, awareness into pure being, yet identity is not lost, only its limitations are lost. It is transfigured and becomes the real Self, the sadguru, the eternal friend and guide. You cannot approach it in worship. No external activity can reach the inner self; worship and prayers remain on the surface only; to do deeper meditation is essential, the striving to go beyond the states of sleep, dream and waking. In the beginning the attempts are irregular, then they recur more often, become regular, then continuous and intense, until all obstacles are conquered.

 

 

Daily Progress December 7, 2008

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With all the reverence of your soul invoke God’s presence, for He is the essence of everything.  Ignorant or wise, we are His children.  Pray to Him to make you realize that you are immortal.  Follow the highway of meditative communion that leads to Him.  Live each day in reverent accord with God’s laws, and He who guides the destiny of the world – including your own destiny – will plan your tomorrow for you according to your acts of today.  Work for the establishment of one universal law, one freedom, one brotherhood, and communion with the one God.  Make each day a step upward on the ladder of your realization of His infinite wisdom and joy.

– Paramahansa Yogananda

The Doors of Perception November 5, 2008

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The Beatific Vision, Sat Chit Ananda, Being-Awareness-Bliss, for the first time I understood, not on the verbal level, not by inchoate hints or at a distance, but precisely and completely what those prodigious syllables referred to. And then I remembered a passage I had read in one of Suzuki’s essays. “What is the Dharma-Body of the Buddha?” (‘”the Dharma-Body of the Buddha” is another way of saying Mind, Suchness, the Void, the Godhead.) The question is asked in a Zen monastery by an earnest and bewildered novice. And with the prompt irrelevance of one of the Marx Brothers, the Master answers, “The hedge at the bottom of the garden.” “And the man who realizes this truth,” the novice dubiously inquires, ‘”what, may I ask, is he?” Groucho gives him a whack over the shoulders with his staff and answers, “A golden-haired lion.”

It had been, when I read it, only a vaguely pregnant piece of nonsense. Now it was all as clear as day, as evident as Euclid. Of course the Dharma-Body of the Buddha was the hedge at the bottom of the garden. At the same time, and no less obviously, it was these flowers, it was anything that I – or rather the blessed Not-I, released for a moment from my throttling embrace – cared to look at. The books, for example, with which my study walls were lined. Like the flowers, they glowed, when I looked at them, with brighter colors, a profounder significance. Red books, like rubies; emerald books; books bound in white jade; books of agate; of aquamarine, of yellow topaz; lapis lazuli books whose color was so intense, so intrinsically meaningful, that they seemed to be on the point of leaving the shelves to thrust themselves more insistently on my attention.

– The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley

buddha


The idea of enlightenment is of utmost importance. Just to know that there is such possibility changes one’s entire outlook. It acts like a burning match in a heap of saw dust. A spark of truth can burn up a mountain of lies. The very hearing of it is a promise of enlightenment.

– Nisargadatta Maharaj

A talk with Gurdjieff November 5, 2008

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I recollect that the talks which followed that evening struck me by the fact that many people heard something entirely different to what G. said; others only paid attention to G.’s secondary and nonessential remarks and remembered only these. The fundamental principles in what G. said escaped most of them. Only very few asked questions on the essential things he said. One of these questions has remained in my memory.
“In what way can one evoke the struggle between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in oneself?” someone asked.
“Sacrifice is necessary,” said G. “If nothing is sacrificed nothing is obtained. And it is necessary to sacrifice something precious at the moment, to sacrifice for a long time and to sacrifice a great deal. But still, not forever. This must be understood because often it is not understood. Sacrifice is necessary only while the process of crystallization is going on. When crystallization is achieved, renunciations, privations, and sacrifices are no longer necessary. Then a man may have everything he wants. There are no longer any laws for him, he is a law unto himself.”

“Fusion, inner unity, is obtained by means of ‘friction,’ by the struggle between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in man. If a man lives without inner struggle, if everything happens in him without opposition, if he goes wherever he is drawn or wherever the wind blows, he will remain such as he is. But if a struggle begins in him, and particularly if there is a definite line in this struggle, then, gradually, permanent traits begin to form themselves, he begins to ‘crystallize.’ But crystallization is possible on a right foundation
and it is possible on a wrong foundation. ‘Friction,’ the struggle between ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ can easily take place on a wrong foundation. For instance, a fanatical belief in some or other idea, or the ‘fear of sin,’ can evoke a terribly intense struggle between ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ and a man may crystallize on these foundations. But this would be a wrong, incomplete crystallization. Such a man will not possess the possibility of further development.”

“As a rule, when people realize that they do not understand a thing they try to find a name for what they do not ‘understand,’ and when they find a name they say they ‘understand.’ But to ‘find a name’ does not mean to ‘understand.’ Unfortunately, people are usually satisfied with names. A man who knows a great many names, that is, a great many words, is deemed to understand a great deal—again excepting, of course, any sphere of practical activity wherein his ignorance very soon becomes evident.”

The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm. In existing criminology there are concepts: a criminal man, a criminal profession, a criminal society, a criminal sect, and a criminal tribe, but there is no concept of a criminal state, or a criminal government, or criminal legislation. Consequently, the biggest crimes actually escape being called crimes.

-P.D. Ouspenky