Sunday, August 31, 2008

All freedom

Knowing what I am
I choose to be another

Knowing what I am
I choose to not know what I am
Freedom of delusion

Not knowing what I am
I believe myself to be another
Delusion of freedom

Not knowing what I am
What knows me frees itself of me

All is knowing what I am
All is freedom

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Point of It

What is the point of this?
Bird singing

What is the point of this?
Bud blooming

What is the point of this?
Sun shining

Stars twinkling
Moon glowing
Girl laughing
Ball bouncing

Boundless miracles
Only gratitude, gratitude, gratitude

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beyond intellectual understanding

Sometimes on the spiritual search we come to a point, where our experience is that we have understood what is being pointed to, at an intellectual level, but it has not sunk deeper than that. The mind is still busy and we can still get easily lost in trance. This can be puzzling and frustrating.

At the same time, we also experience a deep knowing that what is being pointed to is true. Is it not? Indeed this knowing is what keeps us on the path even when we are frustrated and don't seem to 'get' it.

So first let's take this moment to acknowledge that which keeps bringing us back to our desire for truth. The mind may spin in all directions, and then something calls us back to the awareness of the spinning mind. At the moment that we are aware, the spinning mind has ceased, and is now a memory. Let's take this moment to celebrate this grace that reminds us again and again of the awareness that we are. In this acknowledgement we open to the grace more and more.

Now when the thought arises that I have not yet got enlightenment, we can see that thought itself. See how it spawns a whole belief system about yourself. It may even masquerade as an honest thought - I haven't got it can seem like the honest truth. And it is real for you, until it isn't.

So stay with the thought with the attitude of a curious scientist. In other words, see if you can observe your whole experience with this thought, simply with a desire to know what is really going on. Notice if other thoughts arise; perhaps fear, perhaps boredom? Discover for yourself.

When something inside us resonates with truth very strongly, the mind must work smarter to cover it up, not because mind is evil, but because that is mind's job. So we can simply notice the hard-working mind, and its efforts. This seeing of our entire experience around a thought is at once the seeing through it.

Often the mind deploys boredom and fear very effectively. Our great fear is that without thoughts to engage us, life would be very boring and completely empty. Again this seems like an honest and innocent thought, and yet, if this is believed then it can give rise to a plethora of other thoughts to keep us enmeshed in the trance. So watch if this thought arises and see if you are believing it. If so, ask yourself - Is it true that there is boring emptiness without thoughts to engage me? Is it really true?

Even just asking this question means that we have opened up to a different possibility.

When we believe our thoughts strongly, we become those beliefs and we look at life from those beliefs. Then it becomes difficult to separate out those beliefs from us, and we assume that the beliefs are true. So questioning our beliefs is very powerful. The answers don't matter. The questions do all the work!

By its very nature a belief militates against the truth. When we believe something, the mind must work to keep it 'true' in time. This is contrary to the freedom of truth which is totally free to be something new every moment. As soon as I have a belief, I have invested in a future in which this belief will be 'true' for me. This is exactly how the mind veers away from ever-changing reality - by insisting on 'permanence' over time, by investing in a future.

So beliefs are like the wall that the mind uses to bounce thoughts off, like balls. So long as the wall exists, we are captivated by the surface reality of bouncing balls. When the wall collapses, the thoughts surrender to gravity and stop their furious and quite pointless activity. What happens then? This fear of what happens when the bouncing stops, is the wall of last resort that restores the trance.

Recognize the fear for what it is and discover what lies inderneath.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back from India

I am just back from India. What a wonderful time!

Order among chaos. Small joys within ordinary existence. Contentment amidst great difficulty.

Driving down a chaotic high-traffic road is a reminder of what holds us up. For it surely is not the the efficient roadway or the great traffic control system at work. The mind, used to American infrastructure, can panic and freeze, - aghast at the myriad possible ways in which accidents could occur! Miraculously the moment passes safely for the entire street of cars and people and life, as far as the eye can see. And another safe moment and another and another.....Miracles abound!

A dirty urchin, not more than 10 years old, polishes shoes for a living. Speaking in good English, learned in a few years at school, he boasts about the daily earnings that keep his siblings fed, after the death of their father. His refusal to take money without delivering its worth in services shatters automatic conclusions about the relationship of poverty to a lack of dignity. His mother will beat him for begging, he tells me with a grin on his face.

Not that any of these aspects of India are new to me - I grew up in India. But going back provides a new perspective each time.

And no perspective by itself is the truth. The same one is looking from all the perspectives. The same one is different in different situations. The same one is experiencing life in so many amazing ways. The same one is beyond everything and in it at the same time.