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Waking Up in the Now

Turning Away From The Now In the egoic state of consciousness, we continually turn our attention away from the fullness of the moment to the products of the egoic mind: thoughts, desires, and feelings. The ego is entranced by its thoughts and desires and the feelings that arise from them, and it has little interest in anything else. And yet, who we really are is not the ego but something more all-inclusive that includes the ego and its servant, the mind, and allows the ego to do what it does. Because the Self is so allowing, when we are identified with the egoic mind, reality outside the egoic mind doesn’t seem to exist. Reality becomes what the ego thinks it…

Relaxing into Sublime Stillness

When we let go of striving and goal seeking as we realize that there is nowhere to go, and nothing to do, we can relax into the cosmic simultaneity of it all. Here a person can just embrace existence, let go and be one with all. Here one sees that there is nobody higher or lower: all of existence the minerals and rocks, the trees and flowers, the animals and people are all part of this vast existence. Comparison is not needed; all is embraced. And with the relaxation of goals and desires, a person simply slows down, for there is no place to go. Life is now here. And in this place of now here, a new world reveals…

Everything Comes from the Mind

Everything comes from our own mind. Since everything is merely imputed and all imputation comes from our mind, everything comes from our mind. All appearances happen by labeling; whatever appears to us happens by labeling. Again, all the appearances of life come from our mind. The appearance of a friend comes from our mind. Before we label “friend,” there’s no appearance of friend. Because someone loves us or does something good for us, we label her “friend” and she then appears to us as a friend; because another person doesn’t love us or harms us, we label him “enemy” and he then appears to us as an enemy. These appearances come from our own mind. When our enemy appears, an…

What Do You Know?

I know what I know. The knowledge is 24 karat. It is elemental, every atom of it like every other. It is cut with nothing, diluted with nothing. It is seen not through any lens. There is nothing in me that is not knowing. I am not separate from knowing. There is not a knower and a known. I do not know anything that you do not also know. Here is the difference: Everything that used to obscure the knowing has gone from me. All I used to believe myself to be has fallen away like overcooked meat from a bone. There are many kinds of knowledge, only one of them worth everything, only one of them not subject to…

What Is This “I”?

“Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thought like the relentless fury of the pounding waves in the infinite ocean of samsara.” —Nyoshel Kempo Rinpoche This Person Called “I” When we meditate, doing the relatively simple task of noticing the sensations that arise from breathing, uninvited, an incredible display occurs. At times this mindscape is beautiful and harmonious, at other times chaotic or anxious or full of fear. Sometimes our experience is rapturous and wonderful and we are captivated by it. Other times we are so sensitive and vulnerable that we feel as if we have no skin. We become overwhelmed and want everything to stop. But whatever the feeling, the flow of…

Spiritual Maturity

Until the last century, the theoretical framework of Advaita Vedanta was preserved and presented mainly within the esoteric spiritual teachings of India. Traditionally, these non-dual teachings were not imparted freely. An apprenticeship of twelve years’ service to a spiritual teacher or guru was customary, after which the guru determined if the student was ripe to be introduced to the non-dual perspective. While this might seem extreme in this current freedom-of-information era, the practice nevertheless did contain its own wisdom. The pointers of non-duality are of little use to the immature mind and, in most cases, have an adverse effect and actually delay maturation. It is essential to work from the level of consciousness at which one has stabilised. Immature seekers…

The Art of Enjoying Life

The higher spiritual teachings are often more vertical than linear. They invite us to be enlightened right now rather than pointing to a goal in the distant future. The Eastern tradition of sitting meditation goes back thousands of years. The purpose of it is to stop our linear mind, which is constantly going in all directions, and to initiate a vertical ascension, and immediate transcendence. Basically, it signifies enlightenment right there and then, not as a means for an imaginary future attainment. This is a critical point, which can easily be missed. Right there liberation will knock on your door, before you even have a chance to search for it. There is nothing mystical about it, because it is the…

The Art of Non-doing

If we look carefully, we can see that everything in existence is in motion, besotted with the will to become. This is particularly true for human consciousness. The human mind has become a reflection, even a caricature, of universal movement. While to be endowed with active intelligence is natural and positive, when we become subjugated by our own compulsive thinking, we lose our connection to the basic goodness of being and the silence essential to our spiritual sanity. We cannot experience reality outside of the individual consciousness that constitutes our unique angle of perception. Our mind is the only tool we have to recognize existence; but at the very same time, the mind is the veil that separates us from…

I Am Therefore I Am

Expansiveness When I was a child, I would sit in bed at night and contemplate how the universe could be infinite. How can something go on forever? I would envision how there might be a brick wall in space where the universe would end, but then I would ask what was behind the wall. I would have to stop thinking about the whole idea because it would literally blow my mind. This concept of expansiveness, the concept that God is everywhere, without end, is unable to be understood and processed by a mind which is functioning in a body. The mind sees separation, and its perception is that time and space are fixed, but quantum physics has shown that they…

The Question of Effort

In Light of the Teachings of Ramana Maharshi Is the Self, is it ever attained?” . . . “Can you ‘realize’ the Self?” . . . “All are Self-Realized” . . . “Be as you are” . . . “Be Still and Know that you are God.” These statements were made on different occasions by the sage Ramana Maharshi. At other times the Maharshi has said, “Grace is always there but what is needed is practice” . . . “The solution is practice” . . . “It is necessary for you to strive and wait for the Guru to help” . . . “As soon as people come they want to be jnanis (self-realized persons)” . . . “They ignore…

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