Four Awake Teachers on Video

Culadasa, author of The Mind Illuminated shares 5 insights into the nondual / awake life. I have met Culadasa many times, including at his home, the last time in 2016 at the Toward A Science of Consciousness Conference in Tucson, AZ.

He strikes me as an amazing, intelligent and very humble teacher.

Byron Katie, inventor of the inquiry process known as “The Work”, walks an intrepid inquirer through the process of confronting her fears. Love and wisdom in action.

Shinzen Young briefly explains Dzogchen and why practice it in clear, direct language.

Tsultrim Allione on the “Feeding Your Demons” practice. I have practiced this on retreat and found it wonderfully penetrating.

Posted in Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

transpersonal

transpersonal
by dominic724

 

meeting apparent others

across

far scattered time zones
views and traditions
locations of mind

bearing witness

to

pain of experience
subtle confusion
distinct imbalances

of

vision, emotion, and body

each in turn
standing naked
speaking bare-hearted

simple, plain

unencumbered
by self-image

allowing love

as

ground of meeting
medicine for therapy
solvent of dissolution

love

dissolves
affirms
energizes
heals

love appears
from a placeless place
where it already lives

to a placeless place
in the lived moment
of each life

we are

touched
dissolved
melted

integral
whole
un-seperate

in

flourish of spiraling color
flash of fire’s geometric dance
prismatic waves of energy

all

enriching, transforming
mind, mood, emotion
rapt, brilliant, ecstatic

Self healing It-Self

of wounds
that never
happened

seeing-knowing

Self
in the other

as

Self
in the self

transpersonal

crossing

every
intimate
imaginary
boundary

more vivid power
than cold images
can capture

more impact
than whatever dream
here appears

more joy
than surprise
ever needed

losing utter track
of who I
and they
are supposed
to be

what’s left
when we are
what we are

accepted
empowered
free

****************************************************

Dedicated with deep gratitude to Lester Levenson, to all who draw inspiration from him, in particular the Wednesday Night EC Lester Levenson group, without who it could not have been written. Love to all.

Posted in Poetry & Free Verse | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The Rafting Trip

The Rafting Trip
by Peter Tjeerdsma

Life has been
a whitewater rafting trip
for the personality I wear
at this time.

Restful pools of chilling depth . . .
relaxing . . .
just long enough
to dump me

over another fall
through an uncontrollable attachment

I cling to my raft,
my identity
that bouys me up.

Nothing works
no goal
but to get through

hands slipping
on my ego-paddle

I push away
from a huge rock
rearing up in my path
only to slam backwards
into a small one.

Dazed,
I recall
I am not alone
in this raft.

The guide says,
“Relax,
keep your oars in the water,
look downstream,
and simply steer.”

***********************************************************

The Rafting Trip is an original expression of Peter Tjeerdsma,
first posted in the Buddhist forum on The Well in 1994.

The Rafting Trip is Peter Tjeerdsma’s initial contribution to SIOF;
many thanks to him for it.

Posted in Poetry & Free Verse | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

whatever has an explanation

whatever has an explanation
by David Kennedy

 

whatever has

an explanation

is not love

 

words

don’t apply

in the love reality

 

breaking

grammatical rules

to flip the mind

out of ordinary logic

 

shared consciousness

breaks down

false barriers

reveals the consciousness

that’s there

 

 

*******************************************************

Many thanks to David Kennedy for sharing this previously unpublished poetry.

This is the first time David Kennedy’s expressions have appeared on SIOF.

Posted in Poetry & Free Verse, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Shaktipat: Leaving Room for Grace

maxresdefault.jpg

His name is Ramaji.

Ramaji does a kind of energetic transmission called RASA .

It felt amazing – unlike anything else.

*

A friend of mine had told me about Ramaji.

You never know what friends are into.

A group of us went in together on the Ramaji invitation.

Ramaji works on Skype and other meeting apps.

The apps allow for seeing others in the ” room ” –  over 30 attendees from countries across the globe.

Ramaji explained that this would not not require anything beyond our participation, and that, once any questions were answered, he would begin. After about half an hour of Q & A, it was time.

We were to close our eyes and relax.

* *

During the years involved with Buddhism,
I had heard warnings about ” shaktipat gurus “,
how they operate like drug dealers,
how people get hooked on the bliss energy,
and how it doesn’t “lead anywhere”.

Real practice comes from “you”, not from someone else.
Real practice happens through time and effort.
No one else can “do it for you “.

It all made sense.

No room left for grace.

On the organizational level, some of the shaktipat lineages come through unsavory
(or at best questionable ) organizations, plagued by lawsuits
and rocked by scandals and allegations of criminal activity.

So I Googled Ramaji.
He came up clean.

Ramaji is a one man operation.
His organization: nonexistent – not even a secretary.
Living by his own efficacy and example.

Fair enough.

* * **

I had tried some things like this before – sort of.

Braco, the Croatian guy who blesses people through his gaze, and
Abdy Electriciteh – who knocks people down with his touch. Also received the Deeksha-Oneness Blessing, which felt pleasant for a moment, then quickly faded.

To be fair, these may or may not be categorized as shaktipat, but their energetic transmissions were the closest thing I had encountered, until now.

At least here, they felt like harmless curiosities.

Your mileage may vary.

Categories aside, everything is its own thing.

* * ** ***

What does the end of the path look like ?
How do we know that we have arrived ?

A variety of maps are available.
Most are fairly inscrutable.

After research, more meditation, etc.
am left sitting in the dark,
feeling not quite “done”,
wondering which way leads to deepening.

According to Ramaji, RASA moves the recipient further along the path.

In this heart, participation in the RASA left the door open for grace,
without waiting for anything at all.

hqdefault

* * ** *** *****

The afternoon warmed to 75 degrees, broad sunbeams generously spilled through the West windows.

RASA began.

In a city hundreds of miles away, Ramaji bowed his head and moved his hands through the air, while here in my living room distinct somatic responses started happening.

With eyes closed, both hands immediately turned ice-cold.

In mind, some old, unloved thought-forms took visible shape in technicolor, and then left, as if flushed away on a gentle cleansing current.

Checking later, those pernicious unloved thought-forms (old unhealed painful memories) had disappeared for good, leaving spaciousness and peace in their wake.

* * ** *** ***** ********

The first RASA felt like a gentle stream of flowing water.

Two weeks later, the second RASA impacted with the force of Thor’s hammer,
scouring out whatever impediments remained to clarity, openheartedness and
deep peace.

The time since has been filled with a vividness, a joy and clarity not previously experienced.

I do not understand how this works, only that it does.

The power of RASA helped to heal old scars and release an effervescence almost as transformative as the awakening event itself.

Just as on that strange day almost 6 years ago,
another energetic tsunami swept the mind,
awestruck and bereft, into timeless, naked silence.

maxresdefault1

* * ** *** ***** ******** **************

RASA (acronym):  Ramaji Advaita Shaktipat Attunement

For more info about Ramaji, http://www.ramaji.org/

For more about RASA, http://www.ramaji.org/rasa-via-skype-from-ramaji/

 

Other references:

Photos from here: Lead Photo of Ramaji , RASA , RASA art

Braco, http://braco-tv.me/pages/_index.jsp

Abdy Electriciteh, https://abdy.info/

Thor’s Hammer : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mjolnir_(comics)

Posted in Shaktipat | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Four Points of Dzogchen

“The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen is encapsulated by these four points: ▪ When one past thought has ceased and a future thought has not yet risen, in that gap, in between, isn’t there a consciousness of the present moment; fresh, virgin, unaltered by even a hair’s breadth of a concept, a luminous, naked […]

via The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen — Zen Flash

Posted in Dzogchen | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Awakening is More than Seeing No self

[ The following guest post comes to you courtesy of Andrew White of the liberationdiaries here at wordpress.com . Many thanks to him for it. – d ]

 Awakening vs. no-self

When you get right down to it all spiritual paths are about awakening; awakening to this, seeing the truth that is the present moment with clarity.

I know de-mystifying it in that way may not appeal to all, but fundamentally there is no mystery to solve, no hidden truth to uncover and in fact you could say that even labels such as ‘spiritual’ are not necessary.

Awakening is not a process that needs any baggage, in fact it’s about shedding all of the mental clutter and baggage that stop us seeing things clearly. Now, arguably the biggest and most troublesome piece of mental baggage we carry around is the belief in a separate self.

We can’t help it, for most people it feels like there’s a ‘me’. We don’t really remember when the feeling started, but the idea that we might reach a place of clarity were that sense of self isn’t present is quite a stretch of the imagination.

No wonder we feel compelled to travel half way round the world to sit at the feet of a guru or teacher, let alone read 50 books a year on the subject. It feels like it’s a big challenge and if it was easy then everyone would do it, right?

But there’s a problem right at the heart of this. The problem is this: we can never find ‘no self’. That’s not possible. Realizing there’s no self doesn’t come about by seeing what’s not there, it comes about by seeing how it really is. You can’t find what’s not there. But you can realize a mistaken belief by finding truth; by realizing reality.

shadows

That’s why most teachers and guides emphasize the path of realizing truth, not seeing through the sense of self.

As we awaken, tuning in more and more to the present,
to the way it is,
seeing through the conditioning of culture and upbringing and identification, the sense of self, the belief in a separate ‘me’ falls over. It can’t be sustained and it evaporates.

That’s the path, seeing how it is.

It might be through mindfulness
or meditation
or loving kindness
or generosity
or humility
or most likely a combination of a number of factors like these
but they all flow the same way,
realizing the truth of this simple moment,
just as it is.

No one knows when the sense of self will fall away, and sometimes it happens quickly with a shift or a pop and sometimes it’s a slow and gradual fading.

For some they see it all of a sudden but it doesn’t quite stick so they still have some sort of sense of self but now they know it’s not real.

For others the sense of self is seen through but the feeling sticks around,
it still feels like there’s a ‘me’ but it’s no longer believed in.

For still others, the shift stays shifted and the sense of self never returns, it stays gone.

But because this losing of the sense of self of self, in whatever way, happens at range of different points on the spectrum of awakening, we can’t ever say one person is ‘further on’ than another.

So someone might have a full awakening fairly early because the sense of self became too traumatic or unbearable, but they still have a lot of conditioning and baggage to process to see clearly.

For others, even when most of that has dropped away, there can still be the clinging feeling of a self in the background; once beautifully described as the aroma of a self, in the same way that clean washing, even though it’s spotless still has the aroma of washing about it.

So what is awakening then? If it’s not just about seeing there’s no self, what is it? Awakening is when we’re not simply locked into a thought created world but we are fully aware and present.

Any time you say, ‘I can see myself reacting in this way but I still do it’; even then, you’re in a more awakened state than if you simply reacted.

And it’s a spectrum,
we move from seeing how our conditioning creates responses and reaction
to becoming more aware of the spacious presence of the ‘seeing’ in which the response tries to arise
to being grounded in the seeing as nothing
as simply the presence that isn’t identified with whatever comes up
and at that point
with no energy or belief behind them
things come up rarely and faintly.

I’m not sure we ever fully awaken,
I’m not sure there’s a point we reach where no response arises at all and we’re simply pure presence all of the time.

It seems to me that awakening looks more like the graph they use to describe the way radioactive particles decay.
The point at which they lose all their energy is too far off to calculate so instead we measure their half-life,
the point at which they lose half of their energy.

In the same way when we reach the point where whatever arises no longer has the potential to fool us,
to drag us into the story of how it appears to be, then that’s a very awakened state.

For everyone on this journey,
and really that means all of us,
we’re somewhere on that spectrum.
So it’s true, there isn’t a self undertaking this journey,
there never was,
but the point at which the sense of self falls over
isn’t the actual point of awakening.
It’s much bigger than that.

Being grounded in the formless,
in the flow of the moment,
open and naked as undefined presence of what is;
that’s something worth experiencing.
Accessible to all,
no special gifts or talents required,
just be now,
bring it all back to now.

As Marcus Aurelius said,
“Confine yourself to the present.”

* * ** *** ***** ******** ********** **********************

Guest post entirely from here.

Marcus Aurelius statuary from here.

Editing for spacing, punctuation and American/ English spelling divergences only.

Posted in Uncategorized

Earth Day 2016 – A Contemplation

Earth From Space Wallpaper-704282

[ In honor of the Earth for Earth Day; Monday  April 22, 2016.
This post is written to be read out loud.]

Every moment,

the Earth supports all life upon it.

The Earth provides everything we need.

I cannot make even the smallest part
of what this fragile life utterly needs .

From before birth until our death and decomposition,
the Earth sustains and nourishes us.

 

This body is composed of the solid elements of the Earth, water, air and energy.

I shall see how from birth through death, moment by moment
Life is completely dependent on and
perpetually supported by the Earth.

The solid elements of the Earth

Without the Earth, there is no life.

This body is constructed of the elements of the Earth’s crust.
Without these elements, no body can exist.

No humans, no animals, no plants, no rocks.

Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Hydrogen, Calcium and Phosphorous
99% of the body is made of these
( the last 1% is trace elements )

I can do nothing to create a single atom of this body
All the building blocks were here long before I was born
Before my grandparents were born
Before the first humans walked upon the ancient Earth.

Water

This body is 60 to 70 % water.
Without water, in a few days I will die.

Drinking, bathing, washing, flushing, swimming, and growing crops.
Water lies at the center of human life

Life begins in water
For nine months we live in the water of the amnion,
protected by water,
nourished through water.
Water courses through the body with every heartbeat,
and falls away with each tear.

I can do nothing to create a single drop of water,
no matter how great my thirst.
Water does not belong to me or anyone
The water was here before I was born
Before my grandparents were born
Before the first humans swam in the ancient seas.

Air

We breath about 12 times a minute, more that 6 million times every year.
Without air, we lose consciousness in moments, and quickly perish.

The Earth’s atmosphere filters the sun,
carries the clouds,
and connects us with everything that breaths
and transpires.

The breath I breath in now
just breathed out by someone else,
by the trees and green plants outside,
by every other human,
green plant
and animal
that ever lived.

I can do nothing to create a single lungful of air
Air does not belong to me or to anyone.
The air was all here long before I was born
Before my grandparents were born,
Before the first humans breathed the fresh air of the ancient Earth.

Energy

Without energy there is no life.

The Earth flying through space
Orbits the Sun in a very narrow path,
Earth’s temperate climate
Depends critically on it’s distance to the Sun.

The energy of the Sun,
Comes to us as heat,
as light,
through food,
through fuel.

Our body receives the energy,
So we live, move, and function.
Energy changes endlessly
from one form to another,
Continuing as long as we live.


I can do nothing to make a single joule of energy,
no matter how great my wish.
Energy does not belong to me or anyone,
passing through life, changing form.
The sun has allowed life, supported life, renewed life
Before the first humans gazed upon an ancient African savannah’s dawn.

The elements of the body,
Water of the body,
Air in the breath,
Energy itself
All are on loan from the Earth.

How many generations have been born,
lived taking what they needed,
then died,
Giving everything back that was on loan from the Earth
Since the first humans appeared ?

I see that everything that permits life,
Everything that supports life,
Everything that promotes life,
This life,
The life of my parents
my grandparents,
my friends,
my children,
The life of every living thing
the entire biotic world
from the highest reaches of the atmosphere
to the deepest ocean depths
lives on the Earth,
depends on the Earth.

For just this moment,
I shall remember my home world
with deep gratitude,
I shall recall with humble awe
The beauty these eyes see,
The delight this body knows,
Every experience that ever transpired,
Came through
the unqualified
unconditional
generosity
of the Earth
And the cornucopia of life
sustained by the Earth.

* * ** *** ***** ******** ************* *********************

Earth photo courtesy of here.

Four elements from here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Pain Haze

At a day-long class almost an hour’s drive from home, the level of physical pain rose inexorably all morning. When attention for objects other than the pain faded into the background, the class ( and most everything else ) fell crashing down the pyramid of the Needs Hierarchy to rest in a steaming, jumbled heap on the ground.

Fortunately, the physical body maintained verticality long enough to excuse itself and reach the car. Once in the driver’s seat, the mere act of guiding the vehicle safely home demanded virtually all available physical energy.

This is what I found from that experience:

Pain may reduce physical options; mental options not so much.
The roads that led to my house sprouted a convenience store or gas station every mile, any of which would sell the standard over-the-counter pain pills. To stop, get out of the car, interact, get back into the car, etc., presented an unimaginable effort. Per William James, a ” dead option”.

Still, attention made itself available to explore the pain.

Where is it , exactly ?
Where are its boundaries ?
What are its qualities ?
Increasing or decreasing ?
Moving or still ?
Aching or sharp ?
Where is it not ?
What still feels good ?

How is the breath ?
Is it smooth and free ?
Can more relaxation be found in the breath ?
How ?

Exploring the pain with an attitude of relaxed curiosity showed that the pain was not what it seemed.
The boundary of this pain spilled and blurred all over the body core.
It had no definite center, nor even a central area that did not shift moment to moment.
Intensity waxed and waned in different regions at different times.
The more relaxing around the pain, the less intense it felt.

Wishing love for others reduces pain.
At some point, tried the lovingkindness practice of wishing happiness to anyone who came to mind. The teacher of the class. People I knew. My dog.  Any being whatsoever.
Pain level decreased.
Was the decrease from mere distraction ? Or does other-centeredness reduce the intensity of physical pain beyond mere distraction therapy ?

Pain is like a force of nature.
As a thunderstorm roils and crashes, pain creates effects within attention affecting experience.
Just as a thunderstorm changes from instant to instant, so did this interior weather change inner experience.
No intentionality.
Just happening.

Unowned pain hurts less, because fear is missing.
This pain was not happening to anyone. This was seen. So the relationship with pain was void of the fear of continuance.
No chilling thoughts of a future “me” arose, plagued by the unrelenting presence of this harsh energy.
“Just this”, as in, this instant.
“Just this” made exceptional company that day !


Enough pain changes the values of the moment.

Other than what is described here, little else occupied this attention for the ride home, save safe driving habits.
No thoughts of non-duality, no thoughts of politics, no desires other than described.
Almost everything in the mental world vanished in the presence of pain.
This experience only lasted a few hours on one day.
Some people have to bear repeating patterns of pain for extended periods, even for years.

When pain leaves, it’s as if it was never there. Almost.
After the pain was quelled, what remained ?

* * ** *** ***** ******** *********** *********************

More on pain meditation here, here, and here. Also here.

Maslow’s Heirarchy Pyramid from here.

Thunderstorm from here.

Posted in Human Experience | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Old Photo

Old photo

seeing my parents

before we were born

 .

young and happy

full of energy

before they knew

 .

disappointment

from themselves

from their kids

from each other

 .

It’s hard to believe

they  ever looked

quite so young

so hopeful

or that good looking

 .

23750564284_213c1efba1_z

 

** *** *****     ********        ***********             ***********************

Original photo from : https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/23750564284

Posted in Off the Wall, Poetry & Free Verse | Tagged , , , , , ,