Flower The Symbol Of The Soul – Inspirational

flower photos by eve

flower photos by eve

There is one school of thought that we already are just a state of consciousness, just with part of that state in material form. If our bodies are aspects of consciousness, just dense ones, then we are better understood as being half-beings, made up of manifest (material) and unmanifest (non-material) consciousness. Here in this excerpt from Blossoming Of The Rose, we read how the flower is a symbol of Spirit. 

    


“The flower has been regarded and used as a symbol of the Soul, of the spiritual Self, of Divinity in both the East and West. China adopted the image of the ‘Golden Flower’, while India and Tibet adopted the lotus, which has its roots in the earth, its stem in the water and its petals in the air, where they open under the rays of the sun. In Persia and Europe, the rose has been extensively used. Examples are to be found in the ‘Roman de la Rose’ of the Troubadours, the mystical rose exquisitely described by Dante in the ‘Paradisio’ and the rose at the centre of the cross that forms the symbol of some religious orders. Usually it has been the already open flower that has served as a symbol of the Spirit, and, although this is a static representation, its visualisation can be very stimulating and evocative. But even more effective in stimulating psychospiritual processes is the dynamic visualisation of a flower, that is, of its transition and development from the closed bud to the fully open bloom.

Such a dynamic symbol, conveying the idea of development, corresponds to a profound reality, to a fundamental law of life that governs the functions of the human mind as well as the processes of nature. Our spiritual being, the Self, which is the essential and most real part of us, is concealed, confined and ‘enveloped’ first by the physical body with its sense impressions, then by the multiplicity of the emotions and the different drives (fears, desires, attractions and repulsions) and finally by the restless activity of the mind. The liberation of the consciousness from the entanglements is an indispensable prelude to the revelation of the spiritual Centre. The agency for achieving it – and this applies in nature as much as in the realm of the mind – is the wonderful and mysterious action of the intrinsic value of ‘livingness’, both biological and psychological, that works with irresistible pressure from within.”

– Roberto Assgioli, MD, ‘Psychosynthesis: A Collection of Basic Writings’

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Your Mission Has Come To An End – Sathya Sai Memories

Isaac's Krishna with flowers

Isaac’s Krishna with flowers

After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.  Gen.3.24

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On my visit to Puttaparthi this year, I noticed so many changes. Gone were most of the small cafés I’d enjoyed eating in. Gone too was the prettiness of the ashram. The huge concrete buildings were in need of a lick of paint, the pathways that meandered around the darshan area, all were in need of repair. It was noisy. I remember one day a young seva dal worker walked up and down the walkway in East Prashanthi, with a placard that read: “Please be quite.” There seemed to be such a lack of awareness that this was supposed to be a place of peace, quiet, and reverence.

I opted out of sitting in the darhan hall this year, preferring to sit in the gardens at the back of the Ashram. They were beautiful and cool. The Bougainvillea and other tropical plants painted the landscape brightly while providing shade. The statues all around the garden, freshly painted, were a reminder of times gone by when everything had been spick and span. I used to sit there on the stone bench under one of the Neem trees, watching exquisite black and red butterflies dancing from branch to branch. The Neem trees were in full bloom while I was there, and as the tiny blossoms reached out toward the sun, all kinds of insects came to settle. My! the chirping sounds of those insects added a sense of the sublime to the whole scene. The birds too chirped their mantras and whooped, often it seemed, keeping time with the Vedas being chanted in the darshan hall some five hundred feet away.

The bench under the Neem tree was my favourite place to sit. The gardeners watered the area in the early morning, leaving everything wet. A smell of fresh earth embraced us.  The temperatures also dropped sharply after the thorough watering. It was simply the best place in the ashram to stay cool.

Isaac Tigrett’s ‘Krishna’ status stood directly under his 4th floor apt. It, too, had received a fresh coat of paint. The dark blue colour shone in the sunlight, and if one looked sideways at the statue, it appeared to have an aura. I am not sure what optical illusion made this appear so. Anyway it was enchanting to the eye.

Isaac’s apt was high up, in full view of the canopy of the Neem trees. How I envied him that special place. I never saw him in or around the ashram but sensed he enjoyed his apt. and its spectacular view! But he is no longer there now. He was told to give up his residency this June. Apparently his “Mission” had ended.

Isaac outside the ashram gate on Guru-Pournima celebrations this year.

Isaac outside the ashram gate on Guru-Pournima celebrations this year.

He’d lived there for seven or more years. On Tuesdays and Fridays, he’d held early morning bhajans there in his apt. I attended only twice in 2008. Isaac at that time was pretty overwhelmed by the amount of ladies attending. Obviously the famous former owner of the Hard Rock Cafe was centre of attention – that is after Sai Baba. He had not expected on his arrival, he could create such a stir. But human nature being what it is he was very much in demand. It was like everyone wanted a piece of him, and he later retaliated by withdrawing.

Isaac had gone through many up and downs during his stay in Prashanthi Nilayam. He arrived a few years before Swami’s demise, and had weathered all the political storms that were to come later. Although respected and admired on his arrival, he had difficulty with the staff. The inevitable clashes with the CT had not made his life easy.  He simply was too cavalier for them.

I’d not known Isaac personally and, after 2008, I hardly saw him. He’d told people he had no friend’s there. I am not sure that was altogether true, but perhaps he felt that it was. He’d hired young men to run errands or to assist him with his projects. I was told that even his assistant had been less than loyal and had been let go. Yet, he was generous in supporting the local villages, and was well-liked by those who lived outside of Puttaparthi.

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I remember seeing him two years ago in the Mandir hall. He’d looked much older. His hair once dyed black now was white, his untrimmed beard didn’t help his appearance. I guess he’d ceased to care much about his looks, once under the influence of Sai Baba. Gone also, I thought to myself, was the image of the chic entrepreneur of the famous Hard Rock Cafe. He looked somewhat awkward and out of place. I watched while he did his pranams to Swami, then as he got up, he glanced over at the ladies in an embarrassed way, and slowly walked out. It was around that time he stopped visiting the Mandir. I had a strange feeling at that time, his days there were numbered.

Isaac’s leaving the ashram marks the end of an era. I arrived just after he’d given a huge cheque for the SS hospital to be built in 1991. Everyone was talking about him. They all said that with the building of the hospital, things would be great for Sai Baba. And weren’t we the lucky ones to be there with Him at this time?

Well, in my opinion, that was an unlikely truth. The ashram had certainly changed with the great influx of money though not altogether for the better. Now that he has gone, will things settle down to the slow pace of life that the ashram enjoyed before Isaac’s mission? I suppose so, but Isaac Tigrett will never be forgotten. He left his mark there and as for the hospital? No one can erase his memory from that. What a sad ending…

To end on one of his quotes from his website:

“I believe we’re all born to serve… and I guess I’m the Lord’s late night representative.” ~ Isaac Tigrett 

Bamboo in the garden. The garden is the heart of the Ashram in Puttparthi

Bamboo in the garden. The garden is the heart of the Ashram in Puttparthi

In the garden after the rain

In the garden after the rain

Ashram Gardens

Ashram Gardens


Finally, Why am I writing this piece? I believe all sorts of rumours will rage on and on about the leaving of a celeb. from the Ashram in Puttaparthi. I just want the truth to be known for the good of all. thanks.

Love Poems – Jalad ad-Din Rumi video

Creating  videos is hard work but thoroughly enjoyable. I made this one today. It is hot off the press or should I say off the computer. I do hope you spend a few mins. (Two actually,) watching this you tube.  Made with all my love, joy and  much happiness for the gift of inspiration from those enchanting words of  Rumi.

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The ecstatic poems of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a Persian poet and Sufi master born 807 years ago in 1207, have sold millions of copies in recent years, making him the most popular poet in the US. Globally, his fans are legion.

“He’s this compelling figure in all cultures,” says Brad Gooch, who is writing a biography of Rumi to follow his critically acclaimed books on Frank O’Hara and Flannery O’Connor. “The map of Rumi’s life covers 2,500 miles,” says Gooch, who has traveled from Rumi’s birthplace in Vakhsh, a small village in what is now Tajikistan, to Samarkand in Uzbekistan, to Iran and to Syria, where Rumi studied at Damascus and Aleppo in his twenties. His final stop was Konya, in Turkey, where Rumi spent the last 50 years of his life. Today Rumi’s tomb draws reverent followers and heads of state each year for a whirling dervish ceremony on 17 December, the anniversary of his death.

The transformative moment in Rumi’s life came in 1244, when he met a wandering mystic known as Shams of Tabriz. “Rumi was 37, a traditional Muslim preacher and scholar, as his father and grandfather had been,” says Gooch. “The two of them have this electric friendship for three years – lover and beloved [or] disciple and sheikh, it’s never clear.” Rumi became a mystic. After three years Shams disappeared – “possibly murdered by a jealous son of Rumi, possibly teaching Rumi an important lesson in separation.”  Rumi coped by writing poetry. “Most of the poetry we have comes from age 37 to 67. He wrote 3,000 [love songs] to Shams, the prophet Muhammad and God. He wrote 2,000 rubayat, four-line quatrains. He wrote in couplets a six-volume spiritual epic, The Masnavi.”

During these years, Rumi incorporated poetry, music and dance into religious practice. “Rumi would whirl while he was meditating and while composing poetry, which he dictated,” said Gooch. “That was codified after his death into elegant meditative dance.” Or, as Rumi wrote, in Ghazal 2,351: “I used to recite prayers. Now I recite rhymes and poems and songs.” Centuries after his death, Rumi’s work is recited, chanted, set to music and used as inspiration for novels, poems, music, films, YouTube videos and tweets (Gooch tweets his translations @RumiSecrets). Why does Rumi’s work endure?

The inward eye

“He’s a poet of joy and of love,” says Gooch. “His work comes out of dealing with the separation from Shams and from love and the source of creation, and out of facing death. Rumi’s message cuts through and communicates. I saw a bumper sticker once, with a line from Rumi: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

“Rumi is a very mysterious and provocative poet and figure for our time, as we grapple with understanding the Sufi tradition [and] understanding the nature of ecstasy and devotion and the power of poetry,” says the poet Anne Waldman, co-founder with Allen Ginsberg of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, where she is a professor of poetics. “And the homoerotic tradition as well, consummated or not. He is in a long tradition of ecstatic seers from Sappho to Walt Whitman.”

~courtesy of Culture BBC

We Are Owed Dollars Ten Point Seven Trillion! Yep! Take Note!

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Hope you all tune in on the 29th July to hear Bernie Sanders. :)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bernie-sanders-says-july-29-is-the-most-important-day-of-his-campaign/2015/07/17/b20680e6-2c9f-11e5-a5ea-cf74396e59ec_story.html

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“We should all be far better off!”  Of course Bernie Sanders is right. Why on earth didn’t we see it for ourselves? Are we all blind, deaf and dumb? No, but we are easily distracted by meaningless stimuli of a world preoccupied with meaningless things, and while we played musical chairs to a pied-piper’s tune, the elite stole our wealth!  We have forfeited the present generation’s wealth too and they are going to want answers. We are like a dog running after its own tail, endlessly chasing that what can’t be had, that is a fair share of the world’s wealth as was promised, if we worked hard. And what is more, we have been brought to our knees with austerity measures that hit hard anyone on a fixed income or those who want to save.

We should have smelled the “foul rat” years ago when interest rates were reduced to where they became  “extinct” – like a well-loved animal in the wild becomes extinct. Did you know there are less than five white rhinos left? Do we care? Likewise,  those that would rob us of our wild-life are also robbing us of life altogether. Now, about those interest rates that have dropped off the radar.

For all my young years, interest rates ran between 8 -19 percent. We struggled to pay the mortgage and struggled even harder to put money away for a pension, thinking we would live well as senior citizens. Well no we aren’t living well!  We struggle and I bet most of you are struggling too. Pension cuts, (Our American pension was cut in half because we have a small British one.) Low interest rates or none, cut-backs in services, all leads to one thing – a break-down in society – a class-war where only those with relatively high incomes can survive. The world is in chaos. The likes of which we’ve never  experienced before. It will take a Bernie Sanders, and more, a well educated public, to bring us back to a meaningful way of living. A way of living that gives all of us a dignified way of life. Oh! and let’s look out for the White Rhino too and other endangered species, before they are all wiped out, along with the poor, the disabled, the disenfranchised.

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The mandarins that maintain this trickle-down myth system cannot respond rationally in our time of crisis. They are trained only to make the system of exploitation work. They are blinded by their insatiable greed and neoliberal ideology, which posits that controlling inflation, privatizing public assets and removing trade barriers are the sole economic priorities. They are steering us over a cliff. We will not return to a rational economy or restore democracy until these global speculators are stripped of power. This will happen only if the streets of major cities in Europe and the United States are convulsed with mass protests. The tyranny of these financial elites knows no limits. They will impose ever greater suffering and repression until we submit or revolt. I prefer the latter. But we don’t have much time.–Chris Hedges

Words Of A Rose – Inspirational

tiny french roses

tiny french roses

“If you would look at a flower, any thought about that flower prevents you from looking at it. The words the rose, the violet, it is this flower, that flower, it is that species keep you from observing. To look there must be no interference of the word, which is the objectifying of thought. There must be freedom from the word, and to look there must be silence; otherwise you can’t look. If you look at your wife or husband, all the memories that you have had, either of pleasure or pain, interfere with looking. It is only when you look without the image that there is a relationship. Your verbal image and the verbal image of the other have no relationship at all. They are nonexistent.”

—Jiddu Krishnamurti.


abstract in flowers

abstract in flowers

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Photos July 2015

Photos July 2015

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Evil & Good Selfishness – Sri Yogananda

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During the past 4 weeks we have watched Greece battle with the IMF, The German and French Banks, the politicians and finance ministers for a better deal. They have not succeeded. Even with their brave determination at a solid “No” vote in last Sunday’s referendum, they still look like they will be worse off than before.  And no matter what we might think of Greece,  as being irresponsible, the ordinary people who probably were never in a position to be other than what they are today, continue to suffer horrendously, under austerity measures that are ruining expectations in Europe for any reasonable recovery.  Banks, it seems, can be bailed out. People can’t.  Greed has given way to a new lower goal that beggars belief.  It’s called Evil  Selfishness.


Sri Yogananda, wrote often about human greed. He called it Evil Selfishness. This is how he describes it.

Evil selfishness is that which actuates a man to seek his own comfort by destroying the comforts of others. To be rich at the cost of another’s loss is ignorance, and is against the interests of the higher individual Self of the persons who engages in such selfishness. To delight in hurting others’ feelings by carping criticism is also evil selfishness. Evil Selfishness carries a huge karmic debt, that has to be paid back. (Bankers included.) :)

True and good selfishness motivates a man to seek his own comfort, prosperity, and happiness by also making others more prosperous and happy. Evil selfishness hides its many destructive teeth of inevitable suffering beneath the apparently innocent looks of temporary comfort-assurances. Evil selfishness encloses one in a small circle and shuts out the rest of humanity. Good selfishness takes everybody along with one’s own self into the circle of brotherhood. Good selfishness brings many harvests – return services from others, self-expansion, divine  sympathy, lasting happiness, and Self-realization.

To avoid the pitfalls of evil selfishness, one should first follow and establish himself in the pattern of good selfishness, wherein one thinks of his family and those whom he serves as part of himself. From that attainment, one can then advance to a practice of Sacred selfishness, or unselfishness in which one sees all the universe as himself.”

Now is this black and white to you? :)

Meetings With Ramana Maharshi – Inspirational

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 “Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.”  ~Ramana Maharshi
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After spending about twelve years in personal attendance on Bhagavan, I began to feel an urge to devote myself entirely to sadhana . However, I could not easily reconcile myself to giving up my personal service to Bhagavan. I had been debating the matter for some days when the answer came in a strange way.

As I entered the hall one day I heard Bhagavan explaining to others who were there that real service to him did not mean attending to his physical needs but following the essence of his teaching: that is concentrating on realizing the Self. Needless to say, that automatically cleared my doubts.

I therefore gave up my Ashrama duties, but I then found it hard to decide how, in fact, I should spend the entire day in search of Realization. I referred the matter to Bhagavan and he advised me to make Self-enquiry my final aim but to practise Self-enquiry, meditation, japa and recitation of scripture turn by turn, changing over from one to another as and when I found the one I was doing irksome or difficult. In course of time, he said, the sadhana would become stabilized in Self-enquiry or pure Consciousness or Realization.

Before recommending any path to an aspirant Bhagavan would first find out from him what aspect or form or path he was naturally drawn to and then recommend the person to follow it. He would sometimes endorse the traditional stages of sadhana , advancing from worship ( puja ) to incantation ( japa), then to meditation
( dhyana ), and finally to Self-enquiry ( vichara ). However, he also use to say that continuous and rigorous practice of any one of these methods was adequate in itself to lead to Realization.

– Kunju Swami
“As I Saw Him”

 

 

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World In Crisis – Sri Yogananda

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Perhaps you will agree with me that the world is facing a crisis. What is the cause of it, and what will be the remedy? Will there be a Golden Age any time soon? I am not sure there will be a Golden Age in my life-time, although I want to be proved wrong on that point. Chris Hedges in his book,  Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, wrote the following:

Sadism dominates the culture. It runs like an electric current through reality television and trash-talk programs, is at the core of pornography, and fuels the compliant, corporate collective. Corporatism is about crushing the capacity for moral choice and diminishing the individual to force him or her into an ostensibly harmonious collective. This hypermasculinity has its logical fruition in Abu Ghraib, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our lack of compassion for our homeless, our poor, the mentally ill, the unemployed, and the sick. … We accept the system handed to us and seek to find a comfortable place within it. We retreat into the narrow, confined ghettos created for us and shut our eyes to the deadly superstructure of the corporate state.” 


No kidding! – How and why do we allow societies to fall into such destruction?   Here is an interesting and probably the most true explanation there is from the late, great Sri Yogananda.

Sri Yogananda quotes from Sri Yukteswar Giri

“All nations have to follow the influence of the ascending and descending yugas. The present world crisis is due to the up-ward climb of Dwapara Yuga; in order for the world to become better, evil must be expunged. The forces of evil will cause their own destruction, thus assuring survival of the righteous nations. The conflict between good and evil has been going on since the dawn of history. But as the world is moving upward through the Dwapara Yuga, the electrical or atomic age, there is greater potential not only for good, but also for destruction through the misuse of technology by those who are greedy and desire power.

In keeping with the influence of Dwapara Yuga, technology is rapidly moving the general populance to higher levels of achievement. But this progress also creates a greater gap between the achievers and non-achievers. This foments jealousies and social, economic, and political troubles.”

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The Hindu scriptures teach that the earth goes through repeated cycles of evolution and devolution. These world cycles consist of 24,000 years each, and are divided into four yugas or ages – 12,000 years of ascending through these yugas to increasing enlightenment, and then 12,000 years of descending through the yugas to increasing ignorance and materialism. Each half-cycle consists of Kali Yuga, the dark or Materialistic age; Dwapara Yuga, the electrical or atomic age; Treta Yuga, the mental age; and Satya Yuga, the age of truth or enlightenment.

http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/DMisraB6.php