The Lake Under The Moon – Metta Teachings

Winter is behind us now. This brings a feeling of light, hope and openness. We can look out of the window at trees and see them forming leaves. Golden Daffodils adorn our gardens once more. The snowdrops and crocuses are also bountiful. This year more than most! I like to think it is not only a new beginning but  also a time to ponder on what lies ahead. Although in the quiet moments  of a Spring day, reflection on what has past is often more on our minds.  Dare we expect more from this new year than the last?  In the old Pali dialect, the language of the Buddha (upanijjhāna),  “reflection” has the self-same meaning that it does in English—it means to be like a mirror or the surface of a deep pond, to receive an impression and hold it without adding anything else. It also means to contemplate or consciously consider. To listen to the inner voice of reason.

Years ago, at Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, New York, Bhikkhu Bodhi spoke of this, and of the Buddha’s advice to his 7-year-old son Rahula. The Buddha told his son about the importance of honesty, telling young Rahula to practice reflection—to reflect on the inner and outer consequences before, during, and after doing something. Please consider trying this. The results are subtle but quite amazing. Consider how you feel before you perform an act of generosity, during, and after. Also consider how it feels to do something less than noble or not do something. Let’s say, not to eat or drink too much or be angry or stingy, to un-grasp the hand of lifelong habits. What is amazing is that this type of practice of reflecting on the quality and consequence of our lives is a way to expand time by opening and deepening and enriching the time we have to spare.

In meditation or just being  alone with our thoughts , we allow ourselves to reflect on something that has already happened. We can allow a memory or experience to arise within us, and like the surface of a deep pond, reflecting the moon without fighting it or fleeing from it or freezing it or adding anything at all. Remember that the ancient root of the word, “understand” means to stand under, to allow the truth of something to soak in. It also suggests holding and supporting, standing under our own experience, receiving it. Think of the lake under the moon.

Crocuses in the garden

Re-written from an article published in Parabola magazine.

Might be a good idea to subscribe. They need supporting.

Seeking And Finding, The “Get Real” Factor

If you dream of finding a great Teacher, a Master, the operative advice is, “get real.” Great teachers may appear once in a hundred years. Masters require great sacrifice of those willing to follow them … and as we are not prepared to pay the price, it’s best to start exactly where we find ourselves with the help that is within reach. More likely I can find a guide, someone who knows the way but is still in the process of becoming. A useful guide is one who will help me to connect to my authentic self, that self that is connected to God. No shame, no blame, no fear, marks this journey, where every inner movement needs to be seen without judgment.  – His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

inevitably, sooner or later the teacher dies.

We will hear his voice no more.
It is the end of an era.
You, you mourn.
With the spiritual parent gone, you are no longer the child.
What is a pupil to do?
To find another teacher seems necessary, but wait— What did he or she teach you?  The source of  “I Am” is within.

Richard Gere inspired by the Dalai Lama

George Harrison and Ravi Shankar inspired

by The Hari Krishnas and Sathya Sai Baba

Deva Premal and Miten Inspired by Osho

FINDING

The wise say I can learn from everyone I meet.  But exactly what is it that is being learned? What can I glean from some rough lout, some timid or repressed soul, some crazy?  Surely they have nothing to teach an educated person like me. But there is no better teacher than the mirror, and every person can be my mirror, reflecting back to me some aspect of myself, particularly when it is something I dislike. I contain multitudes, as Walt Whitman put it. There is nothing I can see in another that I do not also contain to some degree—cheat, murderer, martyr, hero, and much more. Looking closely I discover that fundamentally we are all alike—all subject to the same passions and hopes, and this touches a feeling of compassion in me that does not otherwise appear.

My deepest guilty secret is gradually revealed to me: I believe that at least in some respect, I am better than everyone else. Only a penetrating view of my inner world dispels this pernicious illusion.
Books are helpful—reading prepares the mind and books are available where a living guide is not to be found. But eventually we need the human connection. A book cannot look back at me and hear my tone of voice. It cannot remind me to release the tension in my shoulders. It does not know when I am ready for the next step.

https://parabola.org/2014/07/26/how-to-find-a-spiritual-teacher/

On Reaching The Sixth Anniversary Of the Passing Of Sathya Sai Baba – Make Yourself A Light!

Swami in his 40’s

“I need only one ‘Mandir’ – Your Hearts!

Preserve the purity of your hearts, so that SAI may reside therein

….

We are coming up to the sixth anniversary of the passing of Sathya Sai Baba. To honour his most sapient teaching, I have written a small article called  “The Source.” It is posted below.  Sai Baba may have been the most high-lighted guru of his day, but his message is no different from other distinguised Teachers who have lived, taught and left a remarkable legacy of a time-honoured practise to go within. He always stressed the need for inner reflection. He stressed that spiritual practises can only be done with the help of the body. All education obtained is through the body. Everything we are is due to the facility of the body. Both our merit and demerit are the result of  actions performed with the help of our bodies. And that all important incessant search for peace is a heartfelt attempt to find the God Source inside our own bodies. Let’s make no mistake about it. – Moi

WHY FIGHT OVER BODY PARTS? – THE SOURCE IS WITHIN.

Someone said something extraordinary to me the other day, while we were discussing Sathya Sai baba and the Muddenahalli splinter group. The now infamous group who have forged ahead in Sai Baba’s name. They said why be attached to body parts when you can seek the Source within? True, why do we hang onto body parts or a body form, when the wisest teachers tell us clearly we are not a body. The source of wisdom is love and that is something we can all find within ourselves. All spiritual teachers speak with one voice, when they say that a flesh and blood temporary body is just a vehicle to be used while on Earth. We are all just body-parts with the potential of finding the eternal truth within us. Best to focus and find that sacred place in our hearts where the in-dweller resides. Yes, it takes a lot of determination and dedication but it is not without merit, that we eventually find out that our spiritual teacher’s guidance is both wise and compassionate. But as always in cases of well-known spiritual teachers, once they pass from this world, those pivotal devotees who once held positions or power within their late teachers setup, struggle over the right to carry his/her name on in their own chosen way. They claim power and possession over their late teacher’s movement and cause confusion and division among followers. Power struggles are part of every religion and almost all sects. Such power struggle are normal in this ego-centric world, often going against everything their late teacher had taught. When hard nosed egos decides they are the one and only “Source of Light and Knowledge,” and they are the chosen ones, they literally go out of their way to be deliberately spiteful and vengeful to others, who do not see them as the “new mouth-piece” for their late teacher.


SO LISTEN TO THE WISDOM OF THE TEACHER AND DON’T ALLOW BODY PARTS TO INTERFERE WITH YOUR SEARCH FOR THE INNER SOURCE.

 

 

The early days in the old Mandir

 

 

Here’s a you tube from last years visit to California, USA, by the Muddenahalli representatives with Madhusudan who appears here to have morphed into Sai Baba, himself! He no longer mentions the “Light Body” nor denies he is  “Swami.” To my way of thinking this is totally against the real teachings of the late Sathya Sai Baba. It belittles his name, his memory and his legacy. Perhaps those representatives from Muddenahalli should think about a new name for their new “Swami.”  Why not Madhu Baba? – At least by using his own name, he is not mis-representing the name of the original Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi.  

 

And to end: What was it that Sathya Sai Baba said so well ?

“You are not the body.” “Drop all attachments to the body and its desires.”  I feel that includes all physical attachment to Sai Baba’s form also. ~  Now ain’t that the hardest thing for people to do!!!  More importantly He said and I quote: 

“At first, name and form are essential, that is the reason why Avatars come, so that God can be loved, adored, worshiped, listened to and followed, and finally realized as nameless and formless.” – 

Sai Ram

The Meaning Of MahaSamadhi Or Shrine – Sathya Sai Baba

I am in your hearts,

You are in Mine.

Don’t be misled

I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added luster. Sai Baba

You cannot see Me, but I am the Light you see by.
You cannot hear Me, but I am the Sound you hear by.
You cannot know Me, but I am the Truth by which you live. Sai Baba

Isaac Tigrett’s Krishna with flowers – beneath his flat in the ashram. The flat is now vacant. He has joined the Muddenahalli Group.

Sai Baba giving darshan during the 1980s under the old tree in Whitefield

Remembering Sai Baba during darshan

The term guru means one who dispels the darkness of ignorance. Gu means one who is beyond attributes (gunas), ru implies one who is beyond forms (rupas). This refers only to God. That is why the guru is hailed as Brahma, Vishnu, or Siva. Only God is the true guru. All others are merely teachers, like the teachers of different subjects in a college. Guru is the one who reveals the guri (target) to the disciple. Guri here refers to the Aathmic Principle. Picture taken on Gurupoornima late afternoon 2011 – just months after Sai Baba passed.  Notice two rainbows in the sky – they appeared after a storm about 5 p.m. that evening.

By the tree where many seekers sit to reflect on  the memory of Sai Baba – Prashanthi Nilayam 


What is the Significance of Sathya Sai Baba’s Samadhi? ~ We learned from Swami all the  important practises of an aspirant and how to achieve the highest from our practise.  One of the most important spiritual practises that one can incorporate into regular puja is daily worship at the  “jeeva samadhi tomb or shrine.” (Samadhi) The reason being that the guru’s presence is still alive, although not seen, but still conveying energy to all who seek. The shakti energy remains forever in the Shrine of a powerful teacher – much  the same as it did during his life-time. That is to say his energy radiated out to seekers through the  body while he was alive, but now the “same energy” radiates to all from His Shrine. Sai Baba is still working through his vibration,  much as he had done over the decades while alive. Today, Sai Baba’s Samadhi  has a concentrated energy force that permeates all areas of his ashram. Very much like  a vortex of a storm, this energy or shakti is far-reaching.  The uplifting vibrations are  apparent in and around the Shine, embedded as they are, in every nook and cranny of the immediate area of the Samadhi. The guru’s shakti has now become a forceful tool for enlightenment. For those who come to the Shrine to worship and practise, there’s nothing better than the vibrations of the late Sai Baba.

The jeeva samadhi shrines/samadhi of any great gurus can lead aspirants further toward their chosen spiritual goal. The most important first step in all of spiritual life is  awareness, thus the guru is the very one to point that out. Every human-being has the In-dweller source, it is the guru’s job to seek out our very own In-dweller, the liberator of our souls.  Often it takes someone with a powerful shakti to drive us inward to where the source of our being is waiting to be discovered. Our own In-dweller lays dormant until  we are awakened by the forceful shakhi of a true guru/spiritual director. Thus, the search for the In-dweller, the one without a second, is the quest of all living beings.

Of course, for seekers of material gain and those with desires, worship at the jeeva samadhi of their chosen guru can help take away their need to fulfil their desires, for they will focus on the inner life through daily practice. Thus the “material minded” may get what they seek for a while, but  are transformed over time into true seekers. There are “humbug” seekers always, and once the guru is gone, they will leave the ashram, due to lack of interest in  “inner work.” Spiritual awareness and worship at the Shrine/Samadhi is very helpful in turning our minds away from all worldly desires and soon brings peace and a true sense of fulfilment to those seekers who are determined. This is the importance of darshan at the Shrine/Samadhi of a great guru like Sai Baba, or others like Ramana Maharshi  Eve

 Madhusudan mimicking Sai Baba in his new C-ashram

Rumi, Thief Of Sleep And Other Poems, You Tube

 

 

“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”  Jalaluddin Rumi.

 

 

Hot of the press my new YouTube dedicated to all great Teachers of Truth. Like Rumi says, come, come, come whoever you are, come!  Life is short and there’s so much to learn about love. So Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come! (I like that. 😉 ) eve   

 

In 1976 the poet Robert Bly handed Coleman Barks a copy of Cambridge don AJ Arberry’s translation of Rumi and said, “These poems need to be released from their cages.” Barks transformed them from stiff academic language into American-style free verse.  Since then, Barks’ translations have yielded 22 volumes in 33 years, including The Essential Rumi, A Year with Rumi, Rumi: The Big Red Book and Rumi’s father’s spiritual diary, The Drowned Book, all published by HarperOne.  They have sold more than 2m copies worldwide and have been translated into 23 languages.

A new volume is due in autumn. Rumi: Soul-fury and Kindness, the Friendship of Rumi and Shams Tabriz features Barks’ new translations of Rumi’s short poems (rubai), and some work on the Notebooks of Shams Tabriz, sometimes called The Sayings of Shams Tabriz.  “Like the Sayings of Jesus (The Gospel of Thomas), they have been hidden away for centuries,” Barks notes, “not in a red urn buried in Egypt, but in the dervish communities and libraries of Turkey and Iran. Over recent years scholars have begun to organise them and translate them into English.”

800 years ahead of the times

“Just now,” Barks says, “I feel there is a strong global movement, an impulse that wants to dissolve the boundaries that religions have put up and end the sectarian violence.  It is said that people of all religions came to Rumi’s funeral in 1273. Because, they said, he deepens our faith wherever we are.  This is a powerful element in his appeal now.”

“Rumi was an experimental innovator among the Persian poets and he was a Sufi master,” says Jawid Mojaddedi, a scholar of early and medieval Sufism at Rutgers University and an award-winning Rumi translator. “This combination of mystical richness and bold adaptations of poetic forms is the key to his popularity today.”

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20140414-americas-best-selling-poet

Keeping Photographs Near To Our Hearts! – Rumi

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With the passing of Sathya Sai Baba, the pleasure of remembering those early days has been taken from me, because there is no longer anyone to remember with. Those ashram days are all but over for most of us that visited.  It feels like losing my  co-rememberer and like losing the memory itself, as if the things we’d done, back then, were less real and important to what the day holds for us now. I began the blog with my memories of Sathya Sai Baba, taking notes from my memory and writings to post on to this blog. I eagerly waited for each visit to come around, so I could jot down more experiences and events as they unfolded in his ashram.  Mostly, I was lucky enough to have many stories to pass on to others with  like-minds and who had shared experiences. Now Sai has gone, I’ve turned  to creating YouTubes of  Rumi poems, to add to my list of hobbies. Through Rumi poems and my photography, I’m able to create Youtubes that will keep both photos and the poems I love, alive and at my reach.

This is my first You Tube this year. I hope some of you will visit and take a few minutes to watch.

Thank you. Eve

The Dance Of The Soul – Khan, (Mesmerizing Visual Journey Inside Mosques)

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Jameh’s mosque in Esfahan, Iran, 900 years old

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Shahe-Cheragh’s mosque in Shiraz, Iran

Making this my day of seeking spiritual beauty and soul searching. I am hypnotized by the beauty of Sufi poetry,  that so speaks to the heart. Also, I have added for eye-candy purposes only,  amazing images of Mosques in Iran, most of which are centuries old. I cannot think of a better offering than stunning architecture and  the beauty of these priceless Mosque’ ceilings. ~Eve

For more ceilings:

http://www.boredpanda.com/mosque-ceilings/

….

“I have loved in life and I have been loved.
I have drunk the bowl of poison from the hands of love as nectar,
and have been raised above life’s joy and sorrow.
My heart, aflame in love, set afire every heart that came in touch with it.
My heart has been rent and joined again;
My heart has been broken and again made whole;
My heart has been wounded and healed again;
A thousand deaths my heart has died, and thanks be to love, it lives yet.
I went through hell and saw there love’s raging fire,
and I entered heaven illumined with the light of love.


I wept in love and made all weep with me;
I mourned in love and pierced the hearts of men;
And when my fiery glance fell on the rocks, the rocks burst forth as volcanoes.
The whole world sank in the flood caused by my one tear;
With my deep sigh the earth trembled, and when I cried aloud the name of my beloved,
I shook the throne of God in heaven.
I bowed my head low in humility, and on my knees I begged of love,
“Disclose to me, I pray thee, O love, thy secret.”
She took me gently by my arms and lifted me above the earth, and spoke softly in my ear,
“My dear one, thou thyself art love, art lover,
and thyself art the beloved whom thou hast adored.” ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan,The Dance of the Soul

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Continue reading “The Dance Of The Soul – Khan, (Mesmerizing Visual Journey Inside Mosques)”

The Dark In the Light

the pool
the pool

“When the sun rises and shines,
Not all the lotus buds in the lakes and ponds bloom,
Only those that are ready, do.
The rest have to bide their time,
But all are destined to bloom,
All have to fulfill that destiny.
There is no need to despair.”

~ Sathya Sai Baba

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This is the dark time before the light. The light of Spring  hovers but not quite here yet.  We are now through the month of the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day when the North Pole is tilted farthest from the sun. Our ancient ancestors observed this event by watching the stars and the shortening days carefully  chronicling the movement of the sun. They learned that the darkest day is followed by a little more light and warmth when a new cycle of life struggles to emerge into the fullness of the new season.

When we are left to our own devices, our thinking mind tends towards a certain pessimism that all will be dark forever. The light will never return, our minds tells us; it is always darkest before it is pitch black: that is the kind of doom and gloom prediction that often dominate us most during the grimness of the winter months. A perpetual  gloom that descends and refuses to let go.  Our minds are that way. We see only the dark and the cold. Educated as we may be, we are wired to a reptile mind that wants to flee from the gloom and freeze and to return to the light and the warmth. When we imagine only the dark, nothing anyone can tell us will make it otherwise. It is not until we enter the world of fresh observations, sensations and possibilities, that there is a shift in thought. When we sit down to meditate or spend time in nature, or just taking photographs as I have done here, that we rejoin the living world.

Early Spring Primroses

growing in an old stone pot

whitecrocus

Under the Weeping Ash Tree
Under the Weeping Ash Tree

crocous7

crocuses7

asnowdrops3

daffs8