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
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.
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
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
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
“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
The ego has to sacrifice itself so that man’s divine nature can manifest itself. “Mine” is death;’not mine’ is immortality. Renunciation results in peace. The golden key of non – attachment opens the lock which keeps the door to heaven shut. Wise words from Sathya Sai Baba. ~ The symbol of a door is huge in every language and every culture. Nothing is more adventurous as a new door opening in our lives. And remember it takes only a very little key to open a very heavy door. Remember too for cowards, all doors are locked but for the curious among us all doors are open! So be an opener of doors!
“I found myself all at once on the brink of panic. This, I suddenly felt, was going too far. Too far, even though the going was into intenser beauty, deeper significance. The fear, as I analyze it in retrospect, was of being overwhelmed, of disintegrating under a pressure of reality greater than a mind, accustomed to living most of the time in a cosy world of symbols, could possibly bear. The literature of religious experience abounds in references to the pains and terrors overwhelming those who have come, too suddenly, face to face with some manifestation of the Mysterium tremendum. In theological language, this fear is due to the in-compatibility between man’s egotism and the divine purity, between man’s self-aggravated separateness and the infinity of God. Following Boehme and William Law, we may say that, by unregenerate souls, the divine Light at its full blaze can be apprehended only as a burning, purgatorial fire. An almost identical doctrine is to be found in Perception.” Door of Perception ~ Aldous Huxley
“I climb the door instead of a tree Just to crawl with myself walking free What if I’m a lizard beneath my skin Changing my colours of the human I’ve been” ~ munia Khan
A Jesuit priest and paleontologist, Teilhard was one of the first evolutionary mystics to popularize the term “noosphere”.
You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.
We are one, after all, you and I. Together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.
The world is round so that friendship may encircle it.
Ever since the Big Bang, our universe has gradually grown in complexity. From an initial point of intensely concentrated and homogeneous matter, we see the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies, and planets as the primordial ball of plasma expanded, cooled, and formed structures of ever-increasing complexity. In the case of Earth, we also see the development of biological life with its even more complex forms of matter. These organic structures are actually containers of sorts-densely packed with information. The more information an object carries in a given volume, the more complex it is. A strand of DNA is not only smaller than a grain of sand, it is also considerably more complex because it contains more information than the silicon in the grain of sand.
The densest collection of complex information we know of thus far is the human being, and human activity gives rise to even greater complexity. Teilhard states that this reflective consciousness is “the specific effect of organized complexity,” and that it follows that some sort of intensification of human consciousness is the next step of human evolution. In other words, a massive amount of information is building up within the relatively small confines of the planet Earth. This, Teilhard believed, will result in the blossoming of the noosphere into some form of super-consciousness, once the amount of information it contains reaches a critical density.
Teihard de Chardin first used the term noosphere in approximately 1927, but the intellectual concept was first developed during Teilhard’s service in the trenches of World War I.
Quote from T.D.C.s writings:
The atmosphere of ‘the Front’: it was, I am quite sure, from having plunged into that atmosphere—from having been soaked in it for months and months on end—and precisely where it was at its most dense and heavily charged, that I ceased to notice any break (if not any difference) between ‘physical’ and ‘moral’, between natural’ and ‘artificial’. The ‘Human-million’, with its psychic temperature and its internal energy, became for me a magnitude as evolutionary, and therefore as biologically, real as a giant molecule of protein. I was later to be astonished on many occasions to find in my own circle that those who could not agree with me suffered from a complete inability to understand that precisely because the individual human being represents a corpuscular magnitude he must be subject to the same development as every other species of corpuscles in the World: that means that he must coalesce into physical relationships and groupings that belong to a higher order than his. It is, of course, quite impossible for him to apprehend these groupings directly as such . . . but there are many indications that enable him to recognize perfectly well their existence and the influences they exercise. . . I have no doubt at all (as I said earlier) that it was the experience of the War that brought me this awareness and developed it in me as a sixth sense.
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (1980-07-23). Heart Of Matter
and following on:
The concept of a universal connection of human consciousness is very old and forms the heart of the Christian tradition. Teilhard’s contribution was to take this concept put place in within the scope of recent knowledge of the universe being a work in progress from the Big Bang, through the development of individual human consciousness, through the future convergence of collective human consciousness and unification with the Cosmic Christ or Omega Point. As Teilhard described our current evolutionary state:
Quote From Teilhard’s writings:
“[H]ow can we fail to see that the process of convergence from which we emerged, body and soul, is continuing to envelop us more closely than ever, to grip us, in the form of—under the folds of, we might say—a gigantic planetary contraction?
The irresistible ‘setting’ or cementing together of a thinking mass (Mankind) which is continually more compressed upon itself by the simultaneous multiplication and expansion of its individual elements: there is not one of us, surely, who is not almost agonizingly aware of this, in the very fibre of his being. This is one of the things that no one today would even try to deny: we can all see the fantastic anatomical structure of a vast phylum whose branches, instead of diverging as they normally do, are ceaselessly folding in upon one another ever more closely, like some monstrous inflorescence—like, indeed, an enormous flower folding-in upon itself; the literally global physiology of an organism in which production, nutrition, the machine, research, and the legacy of heredity are, beyond any doubt, building up to planetary dimensions; the increasing impossibility of the individual’s attaining economic and intellectual self-sufficiency”
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (1980-07-23). Heart Of Matter (Kindle Locations 499-510). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
Excerpted from a blog-post on Teilhard de Chardin by W. Ockham
“About Fr. Bede Griffiths. The first thing he taught me was that the true Christ path is terrifyingly humble. He would never claim enlightenment. He would never claim to be a master. He would never claim to be a guru. He absolutely loathed hierarchy and separation” ~ A.H.
Hari Dass, a yoga teacher in India, once wrote on his chalkboard: If a pickpocket meets a saint, all he sees are his pockets.
For those folks reading this, we all understand we are on a spiritual journey. We may also understand that, from within the illusion of our separateness, what we perceive is relative reality, what in India is called maya, the projected illusion of subject and objects. All around us, there are various levels of relative reality. When we begin to awaken to our predicament that we are trapped in illusion, we begin to see through the dreamlike quality of the veils of illusion. Everything we thought was real we now see as maya or (illusion.) So when we polish the mirror of illusion, we find staring back at us is our own habitual desires, created by our perceptual universe. In that sense we can say our reality is a projection of how we identify ourselves. Hari Dass, a yoga teacher in India, once wrote on his chalkboard: If a pickpocket meets a saint, all he sees are his pockets.” – how true is that? A good teacher will be one filled with light and humility who does not see seperation. One who will dust our Self-Mirror and redirect us towards the light, the truth and away from our own false habitual mind.
From the writings of Andrew Harvey
And it was then that I met the man who changed my life. In 1993, when he was eighty-six, I met Father Bede Griffiths, and that brought everything that I had hitherto experienced together, because here was a being at the very highest level of awareness, who married the Eastern traditions with the Western traditions, who came from England, who had been to Oxford, but who was living out this utterly brave, naked, evolutionary life in the middle of India, fifty miles from the place where I was born. So I believe that we were destined to meet. I was destined to be at the feet of this transcendent and holy and beautiful man, and he was destined to break my heart, and to break my heart open, and to teach me by his presence three things.
The first thing he taught me was that the true Christ path is terrifyingly humble. He would never claim enlightenment. He would never claim to be a master. He would never claim to be a guru. He absolutely loathed hierarchy and separation. For him, Jesus had communicated in the tenderness of ecstatic friendship, and that was the way this great truth of the divinity of human beings was to be exchanged.
The second thing that he communicated to me was that the relationship with Jesus and the Cosmic Christ—Jesus, both Jesus the being and Jesus the archetypal face of the Cosmic Christ— that relationship that Mechtild of Magdeburg ecstasized over, that relationship that drove the whole life of Theresa of Avila, that relationship that gave the Cure of Ars the power to go and heal day after day after day in his tiny parish, that relationship that drove Francis into the arms of a divine love that enabled him to re-experience the crucifixion—that relationship was not some poetic, tender fiction. That relationship was the relationship that was clearly transfiguring this holy man, and it was something to him more naked and more real than anything else. And so it became so for me.
And the third thing that Bede communicated to me—and this is the key of the key of the mystery that is coming through the Christ path, I believe—the third thing that Bede communicated to me was the revelation that was coming to him in his eighties of what in the Greek Orthodox tradition is called theosis. And theosis means transfiguration. And from St. Macarius onwards in the fourth century to Romanian priests(?) in our current century and to Bede himself, we have had examples that have been celebrated and noted of human beings who so adored the revelation of love and wisdom in Jesus and in the exploding vision of the Cosmic Christ, that through intense discipline and intense love they transformed their minds, they illumined their hearts, and they also progressively became so flooded in their bodies by divine light that their bodies began to be transfigured by light.
Bede knew that he was living this holiest of mysteries. And for him, he would say the first big bang began the universe creation; the resurrection was the second big bang that began the creation of a divine humanity; and the radiation of that resurrection power and force is what the humble lover and servant of the Cosmic Christ, if they love enough and if they are rigorous and disciplined and purified enough, can access for a total transformation of the total being.
You Tube with Father Bede speaking about the Black Madonna
I find myself every once in a while, searching through quotations for something to inspire and to light up my day. Here’s several such quotations from Schelling. I hope you enjoy them. Photos are from this Fall, and what an enchanting Fall it was too.
Schelling’s, – “CLARA”
One of the characters in this book says:
Oh, the true ruins are not those of ancient human splendor which the curious seek out in Persian or Indian deserts; the whole Earth is One great ruin, where animals live as ghosts and humans as spirits and where many hidden powers and treasures are locked away, as if by an invisible strength or by a magician’s spell.
Even in your own opinion nature is suffering from a hidden poison that she would like to overcome or reject, but cannot. Doesn’t she mourn with us? We are able to complain, but she suffers in silence and can talk to us only through signs and miens. What a quiet wistfulness lies in so many flowers, the mourning dew and in the evening’s fading colors.
“Certainly one who could write completely the history of their own life would also have, in a small epitome, concurrently grasped the history of the cosmos. Most people turn away from what is concealed within themselves just as they turn away from the depths of the great life and shy away from the glance into the abysses of that past which are still in one just as much as the present.”
“I now need friends who are not strangers to the real seriousness of pain and who feel that the single right and happy state of the soul is the divine mourning in which all earthly pain is immersed.”
Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph
“A tree that draws strength, life, and substance into itself from the earth may hope to drive its topmost branches hanging with blossom right up to heaven. However, the thoughts of those who think from the beginning that they can separate themselves from nature, even when they are truly spiritually and mentally gifted, are only like those delicate threads that float in the air in late summer and that are as incapable of touching heaven as they are of being pulled to the ground by their own weight.”
Can anyone tell me: Does Word Press have an automatic “like” button feature anywhere? I am beginning to feel there has to be one, judging by the fast speed of the first few likes on each and every post, sometimes before I have published! ...
spend a few minutes being mesmerized by the Hummers
I just love Hummingbirds. Their dazzling wings and swift movements remind me of gloriously clad angels. And like angels they appeal to the spiritual side of my nature. I can’t cease to wonder at the beauty of nature and all it has to offer. Who can doubt there’s a divine plan for ourselves and all creatures, when watching a tiny humming bird. They are so tiny, so exquisite that we are simply mesmerized by them. We need to wake up and fall in love with Earth’s creatures before we lose them forever. Yes, even the tiny hummingbirds we can lose if we destroy their habitat. We’ve been homo sapiens for a long time. Now it’s time to become homo conscious.
Our love and admiration for the Earth and her beauty has the power to unite us and remove all boundaries, separation and discrimination. We have all suffered, for too long, centuries of individualism and competition that have brought about tremendous destruction and alienation for other creatures and the Earth itself. We need to re-establish true communication–true communion–with ourselves, with the Earth, and with one another as children of the same mother.