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/

Welcome To The Path Of The Heart

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I say welcome to the path of the heart! The journey within you! Believe it or not, this can be your reality. To love unconditionally and to come alive as never before! This path of love doesn’t go anywhere, although it is an adventure all the same. It just brings you more here and now into the present moment; to be in touch with every second that life gives you. To bring you into the reality of who you already are. This path takes you out of your suffering mind and back into your heart centre where the journey began long ago. There are countless ways of bringing you back to your heart and life without a doubt teaches you that.

 

my photo taken this year in the garden of rocks where there are several wonderful painted rocks. Here is one of Sai Baba. the garland, I could not quite place over the rock as I would have liked.

LIFE always gives us
exactly the teacher we need
at every moment.
This includes every mosquito,
every misfortune,
every red light,
every traffic jam,
every obnoxious supervisor
(or employee),
every illness, every loss,
every moment of joy or depression,
every addiction,
every piece of garbage,
every breath.

Every moment is the guru

Charlotte Joko Beck

God Alone Is Real, Al Drucker – Early Devotees

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Here’s an interesting article from Al Drucker recently published on his website. (link provided.) I will provide more information on this post at a later date when I have the time. I am still away in India, this being my last week. I found here at the ashram as always, a sublime peace that  permeated everything, and everywhere. The vibes in the Mandir, hall and surrounding area remain as blissful as ever.


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The Highest Teachings of the Non-dual Vedanta

God alone is real. Besides the One God (who is also known as Brahman or Atma) nothing else exists. A world without God is utter illusion. Such a world can never exist. From the standpoint of Reality, a God-less world is nothing. No matter how real it may appear, it is totally illusory, a momentary perturbation in Eternity, signifying nothing.

On the other hand, when you see the world and yourself as firmly implanted in God Awareness, vitalized and governed by God Presence, your perception radically changes. As you become filled with God you become subsumed in God, and you, as you previously knew yourself within, disappear. Though you may continue for a time as a body, your separate identity as an individual in the world dissolves, and you shine forth as the unchanging God Awareness, the one universal person masquerading as the many.

As long as you live your whole life in the deluded state of separation, unaware of your non-dual Reality, you will see a world of variety, a world of many separate objects, countless beings and things outside of you. In your curiosity you ask the question, “Who created all this multiplicity, who caused this world of variety to spring forth?” You will hear stories of creation which attempt to answer that, and they may satisfy you for a moment. But they cannot give an enduring, believable, uncontroversial answer to your question. Why? Because your question makes no sense! Your question, “Who created all this variety?” is meaningless – precisely because there never was, is, or will be, any multiplicity in Truth. No being, force, circumstance or accident, produced a world of multiplicity. How could it have arisen? Where would it have come from?

The most likely candidate to spin out such a separative world is the egoic, dream-making wizardry of the human mind! But, despite its creation stories, multiplicity can never occur. The One remains as One. It’s just that you mistook It and spun it into the many.

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God, the Supreme Reality, did not change into a relative world, just as at dusk, a rope lying on the path did not suddenly change into a snake. In the twilight, you imagine the rope to be a frightful snake, and convince yourself the snake is really there, threatening you. But the rope is still a rope, and remains a rope. It’s just that you mistook it to be a snake.

In a similar way, God is God forever, but your ignorance of this fact made you see God as a world of many. In your deluded perception, you look on the One God, but unable to identify It, you concoct an illusory world in which you unknowingly label God by all the myriad worldly names and forms that you give meaning to. You believe all these to be real, but they are unreal, for no separate objects can exist in Reality. Only God exists.

You think you see an objective world outside of you, but there is nothing outside of you. What you see is always only what you yourself made up and projected to appear to be outside. Wherever you look, you always see only yourself. You see either your True Self, which is one with God, or your false self, which appears in the form of the objects and beings of the illusory world of separation. This latter path, driven by false perceptions, will keep you bound.

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Don’t subject yourself to that suffering! Correct your vision! Remove your delusion! Focus and dwell on God, who alone is real!

The world stands on one leg, Maya, namely, illusion. Kick down that leg and the whole world falls. Maya is not real. It is nothing. It disappears when you give it no further support and stop feeding it with your energy and belief.

You now experience the absence of this multiplicity, the disappearance of this world based on illusion, every day in deep sleep. But when you return to waking consciousness you do not hold on to that experience. That is a great tragedy! When you are deep asleep, what happens to your world? Where does all that multiplicity disappear to? What is the source of joy that sound sleep brings? Deep sleep keeps a tiny trace of the ego as a seed, a memento of the false world. When you awaken, you grab hold of that seed, and the next instant you again find yourself to be the same deluded individual you were before you fell asleep, again pestered by creatures of your own fantasies, imaginary boogeyman that you yourself made up!

Sathya Sai baba as I remember him
Sathya Sai Baba as I remember him

Sai Baba said, “I often tell you not to identify me with just this particular physical build-up; but you do not understand. You call me by only one name and believe I have only one form. But, there is no name I do not bear and there is no form that is not mine. And what is true for me is equally true for you.

You are God, you are the Atma, you are the One Self. You are not this temporary body or the separate personality it has identified with in the world. You are not an individual in a world of illusion. Correct your perception. It is said, ‘Dust if you think, dust you are; God if you think, God you are.’ Be the God you truly are! Nothing is ever outside of you. You, your Self, are God! Realize It and be happy!

– Based on a talk given by Sai Baba 11/24/62, and expanded on by Al Drucker, 4/1/15

Brahman Alone is Real – Early Devotees

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Thoughts are boomerangs, returning with precision to their source. Choose wisely which ones you throw. ~ Author Unknown ~

Brahman Alone Is Real

Do believe that there can be anything other than Brahman (the eternal Absolute), is sheer ignorance. This ignorance is the cause of every possible sorrow. But ignorance is not real. In fact, every teaching and every sadhana (spiritual practice) deals only with dream activities, which, ultimately, are just illusory mind concoctions. In Truth, every being is already free and forever remains free, equal to Brahman in every way and not different from Brahman in any way. There is neither bondage nor ignorance which must be removed, or can be removed by spiritual practice. Every teaching and every sadhana is just a dream effort, much like taking dream water to slake dream thirst. Its purpose within the dream is to remove the mistaken notion which obsesses the dream character, that he is anything other than the ever-pure and unchanging Brahman. Sadhana dehypnotizes him from the hypnotic idea that there can ever be anything other than Brahman, that there can be a world or individuals that are real. But separate individuals are not real and were never real.

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 All efforts and teachings within the dream have relative value only for relative beings. They have no real value in Truth, because the ever-free, ever-awake Atma (the true Self) is not affected by any dream effort, and the illusory, asleep, dream character will not transcend the dream as a result of it. Along with the awakening, when it plays out within a dream of awakening, the story takes on the character of spiritual awareness and spiritual effort. In such a dream, awakening and sadhana are linked to each other, with sadhana appearing to be the cause of the awakening. But in Reality there is no such connection, because these activities have no real existence, and therefore, nothing is happening. It is just that in the story playing out within the dream, the heightened spiritual effort and awareness engaged in by the individual appear to be the cause of awakening. But, though sadhana and awakening seem to be related, they are much like a crow landing on a coconut palm just as a coconut happens to fall. There is no causal connection between them. They are coincidental happenings within an illusory story, appearing to be causally related.

 In Reality neither sadhana nor awakening has any effect or any meaning. There is ever only one meaning to everything, and that is Brahman. Reality has nothing to do with dreams of awakening, or of individuals and their experiences, or of a world in which they exist separate from Brahman. Reality is Brahman alone. There is nothing else. Brahman is not the cause of anything. It does not create. It does not transform Itself into unreality. It does not become something else. It ever is all there is. Illusory dreams may play out for a moment, appear and disappear like passing clouds. You may believe you are an individual and that you and others inhabit a world extending all around you. But that is total delusion. It cannot be. All there ever is is Brahman and only Brahman. It alone is who you are. It is the One Self, the Atma, which is another name for Brahman, and therefore, exactly the same as Brahman. Atma has nothing at all to do with individuals, bodies, minds, or circumstances. It is you, the real you. You cannot not be It. You cannot be anything else. You were never born. You’ll never die. You remain as Brahman alone. Unchanging. Unchangeable. And that is all there is. Ever.

Many thanks to  Al Drucker’s summary of commentaries by Shankara, Gaudapada and Nikhilananda on the Mandukya Upanishad: