Friday, April 3, 2015

Love the discipline you know, and let it support you. Entrust yourself willingly to the divine, and then make your way through life- no one's master and no one's slave.

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 4.31

Monday, March 30, 2015

St Isaac of Syria: The Kingdom of God is Within (with some "commentary" from Ramana Maharshi)

The spiritual country of the person who is pure in soul is within. 

The sun which shines within them is the light of the holy trinity. The air which the inhabitants of that realm breathe is the strengthening and all holy spirit. The holy and bodiless beings make their abode within them.

Christ, the light of the Father's light, is their life, joy and happiness. Such a person is gladdened at every moment by their soul's contemplation, and he is held in wonder at the beauty which lies within, a beauty which is truly a hundred times more resplendent than the brilliance of the sun itself.

This is Jerusalem and the Kingdom of God, lying hidden within us, as the Master says (Luke 17:21). This country is the cloud of God's glory which only the pure of heart may enter, so as to behold the face of their Master, having their minds enlightened by the rays of his light.

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The silence of the serene is prayer, as one of those clothed in Christ says, for their thoughts are divine stirrings.

The stirring of a pure mind constitutes still utterances, by means of which such people sing in a hidden way to God. 

-Daily Readings with St Isaac of Syria, Sebastian Brock (translation altered for clarity, gender and punctuation). P. 52, 53.  

Ramana Maharshi: "That state which transcends speech and thought is mauna (silence). Subjugation of the mind is meditation; deep meditation is eternal speech. Silence is ever-speaking; it is the perennial flow of 'language'. Lectures may entertain individuals for hours without improving them. Silence, on the other hand, is permanent and benfits the whole of humanity...by silence, eloquence is meant. Oral lectures are not so eloquent as silence. Silence is unceasing eloquence...it is the best language." (Maharshi's Gospel, Sri Ramanashram)

Friday, March 27, 2015

"Those colours which have no name...are the real foundation of everything."

-Vincent Van Gogh 

(quoted in Pat Schneider, "How The Light Gets In", p. 3)

Five Ways of Sustaining The Essence

Elevate your experience and remain wide open like the sky.

Expand your mindfulness and remain pervasive like the earth.

Steady your attention and remain unshakeable like a mountain.

Brighten your awareness and remain shining like a flame.

Clear your thought free wakefulness and remain lucid like a crystal.

-Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, "Clarifying the Natural State".

Effort and Effortlessness

Do not think, "I will practice later." That attitude makes it never: our time simply runs out . Time will not wait for us. The ultimate practice is undistracted nonmeditation, which obliterates the root of confusion. It totally and permanently obliterates all karma, dusturbing emotions, and habitual tendencies.

To begin with, we need some method, some techniques to lead us to the ultimate. The best method is of course effortlessness, but effortlessness cannot be taught or striven after. Even if we try- especially if we try- we can't become automatically effortless. Though effortlessness just does not seem to spontaneously take place, yet it is a fact that confused experience will fall apart the moment we simply let be in a nondualistic state. Right now, for most of us, every moment of ordinary experience is governed by conditioning. Our present habit is deliberate effort. Therefore, we have no choice but to use our present habit of deliberate effort to arrive at effortlessness. Once we are accustomed to effortful meditation, we can make the leap to the effortless state.

- Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, "Present Fresh Wakefulness" 

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Spiritual Friend

Friends, until you attain awakening, you need a
teacher, so follow your spiritual friend.
Until you realize the natural state, you need to learn,
so listen to his or her instructions.

Atisha (980-1054)

(from "Jewels of Enlightenment", Erik Pema Kunsang
modified for gender neutrality).