Friday, November 30, 2012

there is no spoon...

do not try to bend the spoon, that would be impossible...
 instead realize the truth....
that there is no spoon...
that the only thing that needs to bend is the mind...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The second ritual is to meditate daily

Picture Buddha Sprit kindly provided by h.koppdelaney
The second ritual is to meditate daily. My mentor once said, you don't meditate because you have to, you meditate because you draw strength from it.

Quoting space4zen blog strength lies within:
in the absence of yourself,
in the absence of the world,
in the absence of time,
in the absence of thought,
one finds peace,
one finds strength,
like diving into a deep reservoir,
only the water does not drown you,
rather it nourishes you
leaving you stronger when you come out,
ready to take on whatever the world will throw at you,
with a smile, with humility, with joy,
for one knows that all is temporary,
all that is going to happen, has already happened
all that is required is an effort to do what is right, what is just, what is out of love
see the strength lies within,
but only regular deep dives are required to gain it
just keep steady in your faith, 
in your compassion, 
and in your discipline

Meditation replenishes you, it gives true peace to the mind and releases the valves off the emotional pressure cooker.  It is a wonder that such a gift is present within us, and yet many of us don't even know it.

Meditation however is just like any other skill that needs to be learnt, it is not something that you can master overnight, in fact it is so simple, yet so impossible to do at the same time, but it is not foreign to us.  See we use the mind every day, but our use is much like a water spray gun, where in meditation the mind is used more like a rifle. 

The problem with us, is that we cannot stay still long enough, forget about the mind staying still, even staying still physically is a problem for most people.  When we are sitting, we want to get up, when we are standing up, we want to sit down, when we lie down we want to get up, when we are talking to someone, we are somewhere else...Is this how we are really meant to function?

Meditation is basically a direction of attention, and keeping it there through a technique of some sort.  All meditation techniques have a focusing mechanism, where they bring the mind back to a focal point in some manner, once the mind attention centers, the mind disappears, and what is left, is not of the mind but beyond it.

Training in meditation, in effect trains the mind to listen to your most subtle whispers of positive intentions, guiding the mind with golden silk threads attached to the spirit , moving it to the rhythm of love, compassion and truth, planting seeds of nothing, but good karma along the way...Nothing but joy, resilience, and goodness comes from meditation, it is an endeavor that all humans can do, and should do, for their own peace of mind.

The only difference with us and those who can meditate, is that those who can meditate have trained their mind to listen.  There is an old Sikh saying from the Guru Granth Sahib, which says that a person who has mastered the mind has mastered the universe...

There are many forms of meditation, one should try to find a suitable teacher for instruction, as it is difficult to learn anything particularly well, without proper guidance and instructions.  Our ignorance and our pride usually stops us from seeking proper guidance in the first place.  There much to say about to having a beginner mind attitude to learn anything new.

As most people are not used to meditating, that the easiest path to start may be with a moving meditation, based on Yoga or Qi Gong/Tai Chi, these are great preparation for more stiller forms of meditation, and many accessible teachers should be available.  Try to find the one who bring the mental and spiritual aspects into play when doing Yoga.  Qi Gong does not work without this mental aspect, all great Qi Gong teachers will teach this, as focusing the mind, directs Chi.  Qi Gong is a very accessible way to start meditation, and also very complimentary to stiller forms of meditation.

Also the practice of mindfulness is a great way to begin meditation, which also develops a great attitude to life.  Jon Kabat Zinn has got some fantastic books on the subject.  The Art of Living also offers some great breathing based meditation techniques which are apparently quite life changing, and offers a great positive company of people to associate with.  The resources section of space4zen, has other links too, to look at, find the one that resonates with you.

Establish a daily 30 minute ritual based on a meditation technique of your choice that you have learnt under guidance.  Keep a daily routine, do it at least once a day, the more you do it the more calmer you will be, the more clearer your mind will be, the more happier you will be.

Meditation only goes so far though, because meditation requires your mind to relax and still naturally, it is difficult to do this, if you are always worried about being caught out. So meditation is based on a solid base of moral conduct and non-violence which leads to the next daily ritual, of always contemplating if what you are doing is what is right.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The first ritual, keep company of the enlightened ones

Picture 'Terton' kindly provided by h.koppdelaney
Quoting space4zen blog 'The lion that thought it was a sheep', it tells a story of of a lion cub who lost his way and forgot his real nature.  Its interesting that the common theme of amnesia pops up many time in story lines and movies, its almost that we know we have forgotten, and the plot resonates with us.

There once was a lion cub which was lost, and found some sheep.   The sheep raised the lion as one of them.  The lion forgot that it was a lion, and acted just like the sheep, until one day another lion came about.  The other lion said to "sheep lion", what are you doing?  You are just like me. 

The "sheep lion" was afraid, and tried to run away.  The lion did not give up, and followed, he got hold of the sheep lion and said, ok, "lets look at our reflections in the pool of water on the other side of hukamba mountain", after that I will let you be.

The sheep lion agreed to leave the comfort of his current reality.  As they walked the Lion talked about their heritage, their ancestors, their strengths and their struggles, and their war with the Hyenas.  The sheep lion was inspired, and by the time they got to the water, the sheep lion was afraid no more.

They stood next to each other.  The sheep lion looked in the pool of water, and saw the resemblance to the other lion, they looked almost identical.  The other lion told him to drink the water, as the sheep lion drank the water, he flashed back 25 years ago, where he was in the exact same spot with the same lion next to him, only he was a cub. 

He remember the lion saying "Son, I love you very much, we are very proud of you, always know that you are the king of the Jungle, don't ever forget that".  As this was happening, the lake was being ambushed by a bunch of hyenas.  Dad caught hold of me and flug me across into the water on the other side of the lake, then raced towards the advancing hyenas.   I remember being scared, running frantically until I found a place to rest.  When I woke up I was scared, and terrified, and did not know where I was, the sheeps found me and looked after me, slowly I forgot about my heritage"

He turned around and looked at his dad, tears wept down his cheeks, as he embraced him and said "Dad, I am so sorry I forgot, I just got too distracted, I got too comfortable, I got too lazy". Dad replied "I am just glad to have you back Son, you do will now value the Gift of being a Lion, as you are able to know what a lion is not, most Lions take this for granted, this is a valuable lesson, it will make you the best King there ever was". 

Both lions went to the top of Mount Hakambu, and roared.  The whole jungle shook with fear, as they knew that a new King had arrived.

Just like the father lion was able to remind his son of his heritage, the enlightened ones know that they are but living in a world of dreams and reality is something else while for us, we think that they are the dreamers.  They however have lifted the veils of this creation through raising their consciousness,  and have peaked at the truth, and they know that nothing compares to it.  Having this experience, they are in a position to lead others.  Having this experience, they know that the ego is nothing but a temporary facade, only a means to an end on this worldly plane, and have quenched their worldly desires.

We their keep their company, we watch them, to learn from them, to be reminded by them.  Their words and behaviors stick in your mind, and they ring like bells in your mind even as years go by.

They enact out humility, service, love, compassion, sobriety, simplicity, moral conduct, discipline and meditation.  Watching them you feel inspired, you feel a sense of awe, that how come a person who has no ego, can be so radiant, so loving, so compassionate.

But I say that this is actually nothing other than the real you, when you look at their faces, you look into a mirror of your pasta distant faint memory of what one was, and what can be again,  reminded of your original true natureforgotten long ago... forgotten by following the madness of the world.

The enlightened ones have a unique insight into the mysteries of the mind, they view the mind as nothing more than another layer, to be used, to survive in this worldly world sort of like an astronaut needs his space suit to survive in space.  They however make their minds work for them, and are not slaves to their mind, but masters of it.  How to they do this? one must it even possible?

They say that the secret is just in the attention, controlling the attention is controlling the mind.  The mind is engaged in a meditation technique or it is totally engaged in the current moment, not allowed to wander...their mind are like laser guided missiles with clear intention and clear purpose, guiding it at all times.  The mastery comes through extended practice of meditation, which is nothing more than a direction of attention and keeping it there.

To incorporate this as a ritual, identify your positive role models, what behaviors you want to model, and set aside a time daily to read, reflect or research on them daily.  With your mind you can be anywhere you want to be, however some physical presence cannot be never replaced and is fundamental.  Plan ahead weekly, monthly, yearly to meet them or people who like to do the same.

 This leads to the 2nd Ritual which is of meditation.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the 7 rituals of highly spiritual people

Picture 'Buddha' kindly provided by h.koppdelaney
Let me  just start by saying that everyone is but spiritual only, its just a case of remembering it and letting this spiritual shine through in our daily lives through our actions.

There is a saying that we are not human being trying to have a spiritual experience we are but spiritual beings having a human experience.

The question arises if we are spiritual beings, why does the most of the world don't show it? 

Quoting space4zen 'Counterfeit Pleasures' blog post:
where was this lost? when was this lost? why was this lost?
you lost it when you left the company of the spirit and took company of the mind and its counterfeit pleasures...

The world is caught in a tail spin of chasing counterfeit pleasures (probably because of much media and peer modeling), covering it with the dark clouds of confusion,  dulling our natural insight, drowning our inner golden compass of the conscience.  

Quoting space4zen 'Scribe in Stone, the person you will become' blog post:
as you scramble to cover your back
what truths do you bury?
as you profit from the suffering of others
what inner conscious do you drown?
why cry when suffering comes?
when you laughed when planting the seed
the short term result is temporary and gratifying
the long term is permanent and mortifying
see the actions that you take
scribe in stone, the person you will become...
no-one escapes the ramifications of their negative intent, emotions and actions...

We see that we make ourselves, through dwelling on certain thoughts, letting these fuel our emotions, and then enacting this out, we are in fact writing out the programs that will take controls of our lives leading us to either misery or happiness, depending on the quality of the seeding thoughts, fueling emotions and concreting actions.

In the Sikh region, it says that we are either 'manmukhs' or 'gurumukh', that is we are followers of the mind or we are followers of the guru.  That is we follow the whims or our minds ('man'/mind much/follow) or we follow the example of self discipline set by those who themselves have gotten control over their minds (guru 'mukh'/follow)

Thus the first ritual is to keep those positive role models in front of us...
so their positive influence can rub off on ourselves, 
so that we are inspired to make a change and keep on making a change in ourselves,
so that we have someone to model ourselves on,

More on the first ritual in my next post...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

our limited perceptions of happiness

Om mani padme hum
Picture Om Mani Padme Hum kindly provided by h.koppdelaney
why is life, but a sad state of affairs for most people?
it seems that one only just gets by,
always only by the skin of one's teeth...

is this telling us something?
should we always be so stressed about it,
should we always be so worried about it?

things have their own path anyway,
whether we like it or not...
maybe it just we have to do our best and then let go,
what path will follow, will follow its own path anyway...

maybe it is only our attachment to things,
that is the root of our suffering...

don't die trying to grasp thin air all the time,
don't die trying to find the pot at the end of the rainbow all the time...
as that is an illusion,
so is our limited perceptions of happiness...

Friday, November 16, 2012

the path of true character is always that which flows upstream

Spirit + Nature
Picture Sprit + Nature kindly provided by h.koppdelaney
it seems life has its own plans for you,
it works in mysterious ways

circumstances chisel out your character,
it tests you to the limits of your endurance

circumstances changes you for the better or for the worst,
for one person it makes more beautiful, even where no comforts are there...
for another it leads to destruction, even when all comforts are there

the difference is the choices made,
for the path of true character is always that which flows upstream...
that turns away from what everyone turns to...lust, anger, ego
that turns to what everyone else turns away, forgiveness, meditation...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

we live, but in a world of mirrors...

Buddha Mind
Picture Bhudda Mind kndly provided by h.koppdelaney
if you would know that you mirror the world around you and the world mirrors you,
you would know the secret of happiness itself

you mirror the world,
because whatever you surround yourself with you become...
does this not worry you?
that you surround yourself with images of violence, lust & greed...
does this not worry you?
of what you might become...

the world mirrors you,
no amount of wealth can buy you happiness or peace of mind,
what good is a castle if you cannot stand those in it, including yourself?
what good is wealth when you are constantly worried about losing it?
when you are at peace with yourself, the world is at peace with you, no matter what the external circumstances...
when you smile at the world, the world smiles back
when you live the truth, the world reflects truth back to you

we live, but in a world of mirrors...
if we know that, we know the mirrors are but a reflection of something else
something timeless, something beautiful, something unbelievable
and this something else is accessible only when you look behind the mirrors of the thoughts

Saturday, November 10, 2012

always stay present in the eye of the storm

Buddha Quote 92
Picture kindly provided by h.koppdelaney

when hearts break and nothing seems to be going right,
there is power in staying in the moment
without retaliation, without anger, without reaction
move towards the eye of the storm, stay present there,
rather than running away from it or fighting it
for in the eye of the storm,
nothing can hurt you
like the calm in the center of the storm,
there is calm in the center of your being
let these two merge

in this calmness, you can truly observe what is going on,
and penetrate the heart of it, with your awareness, with your presence
without being entangled in the storm itself

the storms are but to be expected,
for this is the nature of the world and the play of karma
but to survive the storms,
always stay present in the eye of the storm

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

just shift the attention and hold it there...

In the Beginning there is Fog
Picture "In the Beginning there is Fog" kindly provided by h.koppdelaney
why do you doubt yourself?
when the only thing to doubt, is whether you should be doubting yourself in the first place...
its not a matter of whether you can do it or not,
its a matter of focus and time...

your attention is like the torch in the night,
it illuminates the darkness of knowledge,
it nourishes the space with the intelligence of the soul...
like the seed that need constant watering to grow,
the seed of experience, needs constant effort to grow
you will fall and fall again, but I say falling is but expected,
in this falling, is the hard-wiring of real learning, of real mastery...

given focus and time
nothing is impossible, absolutely nothing...
so don't doubt yourself, 
just shift the attention and hold it there...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

scribe in stone, the person you will become

Heart Chakra Energy
Picture 'Heart Chakra Energy' kindly provided by h.koppdelaney
as you scramble to cover your back
what truths do you bury?
as you profit from the suffering of others
what inner conscious do you drown?
why cry when suffering comes?
when you laughed when planting the seed
the short term result is temporary and gratifying
the long term is permanent and mortifying
see the actions that you take
scribe in stone, the person you will become...
no-one escapes the ramifications of their negative intent, emotions and actions...