Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A True Seeker

* The date shown above is incorrect. The correct date of this posting is June 7, 2009


Before I ever traveled the daring road less traveled, or in other words, before I "knew" I was on a spiritual path, I had to let go of of my beliefs about the world as I perceived it and who I thought I was. I believed I was a a separate self (a psuedo self) who had many labels and identities attached to it. Some of those labels I used in the past were: my name - Diane; my gender - female; my early religious upbringing - Baptist; birthplace - Louisiana; marital status - married; siblings - one; mother of three grown children; parents - deceased.........and so on and so on. Later in life, I added the label of agnostic to describe myself, and finally I attached the label atheist to myself. I also subscribed to the philosophy, "I think, therefore I am", and I was quite proud of myself for that which I perceived as being an individual entity, unconnected to the "others" who were different than myself.

The labels, thoughts, and beliefs of who I thought I was were all suspended one day when my very spirit, or soul, was called out of its deep sleep. A certain passage I read in a book blew me away, as if it were tailor-made for me. The words I read were from the book, "A New Earth", by Eckhart Tolle. There I was, standing in a store, reading from that book, and something within me transcended from the ordinary reality to the non-ordinary reality. My consciousness was forever altered on that seemingly very ordinary day. The non-ordinary reality I entered into was one in which something within me interacted with, saw it, touched it, heard it, felt it, and smelled it. The essence of my real self was responding in a way it had never done before. The "I Am" , or me, was awakening.

Although you may not perceive these following words as anything meaningful to you, I'll present them for you to ponder. The passage which transformed my life and is so sacred to me still to this day is as follows:

"Since time immemorial, flowers, crystals, precious stones, and birds have held special significance for the human spirit. Like all life-forms, they are, of course, temporary manifestations of the underlying one Life, one Consciousness. Their special significance and the reason why humans feel such fascination for the affinity with them can be attributed to their ethereal quality."

I have no way of knowing if those words are stirring your soul to awaken as they did mine. I do know that not many people want to come out of their sleep, not many want to give up their false self. When and if you are ready, you could become awakened anywhere or at any time. Your awakening moment will be tailor-made for YOU, and like me, you will be suspended like a bridge between this world and the next.

After an awakening experience, if you do not go to sleep again (and please don't go to sleep, as you may never pass this way again) the labels and identifying words you've used previously to describe your-self, meaning your false egoic self, will no longer be needed. You will no longer need to justify your existence when someone asks you, "...and what do you do?" You won't allow any person, including yourself, to put you into a box of society's making. You won't play the game of "let's measure, judge, and decide if you are part of the club", no matter how politely the question "what do you do?" is asked of you. It will no longer matter to you what another person "does" or how they spend their time. But, what you will want to know about someone whom you meet is who they think they are. "Who are you, really?" or "Do you know who you are?" or "Why are you here?" will be the questions you'll want answers of from others.

Once awakened, I began searching for others who were also awakened, or who are on the razor's edge of becoming awakened. I keep my radar out for the ones who have laid down their egos at the door, the ones who have no use for their "weapons of defense", the ones who have no need to live in their story, their drama, their right doing, their wrong doing and excuses. I watch and wait for the ones who KNOW who they are, or who they are awakening to - Spirit.

We find each other, we who are coming out of our sleep, we who are an intense, alert presence. We are the ones who have dropped our swords and shields at the door.

The following quote describes what a true seeker is:

Beyond the Boundaries of Already Knowing

To become a true seeker requires the heroic willingness to suspend, at a fundamental level, our most cherished beliefs. I'm not speaking about suspending our good judgment, discerning intellect, or common sense, but I am saying that we have to be willing to let go, even if only temporarily, of whatever our deepest convictions are about the nature of life, love, purpose, and the meaning—or meaninglessness—of existence.

Perennial enlightenment teachings tell us that we have to make room for the unknown. And to make this more specific, I always say that to seek in earnest means that we have to ceaselessly make the effort to peer beyond what we already know. It is only beyond the boundaries of already knowing that we come upon that miraculous domain of unmanifest creative potential and higher knowledge that always liberates and is ever new. And in an evolving world, this will always be the case, because there will always be infinitely more development at every level, more knowledge, and ever-deepening enlightenment to unfold within us.

- by Andrew Cohen

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Poem by Thich Naht Hahn




A Teacher Looking For His Disciple

I have been looking for you, my child,
Since the time when rivers and mountains still lay in obscurity.
I was looking for you when you were still in a deep sleep
Although the conch had many times echoed in the ten directions.
Without leaving our ancient mountain I looked at distant lands
And recognized your steps on so many different paths.
Where are you going, my child?
There have been times when the mist has come
And enveloped the remote village but you are still
Wandering in far away lands.
I have called your name with each breath,
Confident that even though you have lost your
Way over there you will finally find a way back to me.
Sometimes I manifest myself right on the path
You are treading but you still look at me as if I were a stranger
You cannot see the connection between us in our
Former lives you cannot remember the old vow you made.
You have not recognized me
Because your mind is caught up in images concerning a distant future.
In former lifetimes you have often taken my hand
and we have enjoyed walking together.
We have sat together for a longtime at the foot of old pine trees.
We have stood side by side in silence for hours
Listening to the sound of the wind softly calling us
And looking up at the while clouds floating by.
You have picked up and given to me the firstred autumn leaf
And I have taken you through forests deep in snow.
But wherever we go we always return to our
Ancient mountain to be near to the moon and stars
To invite the big bell every morning to sound,
And help living beings to wake up.

We have sat quietly on the An Tu mountain' with the
Great Bamboo Forest Master
Alongside the frangipani trees in blossom.
We have taken boats out to sea to rescue the boat people as they drift.
We have helped Master Van Hanh design the Thang
Long capital we have built together a thatched hermitage,
And stretched out the net to rescue the nun Trac Tuyen When!
The sound of The rising tide was deafening
On the banks of The Tien Duong river.
Together we have opened the way and stepped
Into the immense space outside of space.

After many years of working to tear asunder the net of time.
We have saved up the light of shooting stars
And made a torch helping those who want to go home
After decades of wandering in distant places.
But still there have been times when the
Seeds of a vagabond in you have come back to life
you have left your teacher, your brothers and sisters
Alone you go...


I look at you with compassion
Although I know that this is not a true separation
(Because I am already in each cell of your body)
And that you may need once more to play the prodigal son.
That is why I promise I shall be there for you
Any time you are in danger.

Sometimes you have lain unconscious on the hot sands of frontier deserts.
I have manifested myself as a cloud to bring you cool shade.
Late at night the cloud became the dew
And the compassionate nectar falls drop by drop for you to drink.
Sometimes you sit in a deep abyss of darkness
Completely alienated from you true home.
I have manifested Myself as a long ladder and
Lightly thrown myself down
So that you can climb up to the area where there is light
To discover again the blue of the sky and the
Sounds of the brook and the birds.

Sometimes I recognised you in Birmingham,
In the Do Linh district or New England.
I have sometimes met you in Hang Chau, Xiamen, or Shanghai
I have sometimes found you in St. Petersburg or East Berlin.
Sometimes, though only five years old, I have
Seen you and recognized you.

Because of the seed of bodhchita, you carry in your tender heart.
Wherever I have seen you, I have always raised
My hand and made a signal to you,
Whether it be in the delta of the North, Saigon or the Thuan An Seaport.
Sometimes you were the golden full moon hanging
Over the summit of The Kim Son Mountain,
Or the little bird flying over the Dai Laoforest during a winter night.
Often I have seen you
But you have not seen me,
Though while walking in the evening mist your clothes have been soaked.
But finally you have always come home.

You have come home and sat at my feet on our ancient mountain
Listening to the birds calling and the monkeys
Screeching and the morning chanting echoing from the Buddha Hall.
You have come back to me determined not to be a vagabond any longer.
This morning the birds of the mountain joyfully welcome the bright sun.
Do you know, my child, that the white clouds
Are still floating in the vault of the sky?
Where are you now?

The ancient mountain is still there in this
Place of the present moment.
Although the white-crested wave still wants to
Go in the other direction,
Look again, you will see me in you and in every leaf and flower bud.
If you call my name, you will see me right away.
Where are you going?

The old frangipani tree offers its fragrant flowers this morning.
You and I have never really been apart. Spring has come.
The pines have put out new shining green needles
And on the edge of the forest, the wild Plum
Trees have burst into flower.


- Thich Naht Hahn

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Becoming Fully Conscious



Wouldn't it be lovely to be totally at peace with yourself or with any other human you encounter in your life? Imagine being a person who never begins an argument or who is not drawn into one when someone else tries pull you into conflict? A Course of Miracles states, "No one who is at one with himself can even conceive of conflict." Ahhh........what a refreshing thought, to not even conceive of conflict.

It's sometimes perplexing to observe humans who appear to be in love with conflict or drama in their lives. Whether they admit to it or not, the drama is self-created. The strategies used are defense, attack, resistance, control, power, and greed. Even someone living alone can create their own drama. Whether its feeling sorry for oneself, feeling guilty, or feeling anxious - these are all forms of conflict within oneself. I can imagine hearing someone right now saying, "My feelings are uncontrollable, and they are perfectly justified!"

And in a way, you'd be right. You're entitled to feel whatever you feel. You are entitled to defend your position when you perceive you're being unfairly attacked, and you're absolutely entitled to create any drama you choose when you perceive it's justified. One can hardly be happy, though, by engaging in these behaviours or dramas. I know I wasn't when I indulged in dramas of my own in the past. So, why continue doing it when there is a way out of the misery?

Many of us didn't know how to find the escape door from conflict to peace. Some, even when they're shown the path to peace, won't take it because their whole sense of self is wrapped up in their particular life drama. The little self, or the egoic self, wants to thrive and grow. In order for it to continue living, it must feed on something, and that something is conflict. The little "me" says, "I am a victim of such and such. I am mistreated, misunderstood, and life is unfair to me." Or when the little "me" has worn out the victim role for a while, he or she reverses the strategy and inflicts suffering on others by lashing out verbally, emotionally, or physically, and usually believes or pretends to believe it's all justified. The ego has to thrive, remember, at all costs. Ego thinks it is "you" and feels threatened and literally is scared to death. The ego, or you, will die if it ceases to grow or to feed off of conflict. Many people will never give up ego, because it is their personality, (although, a false personality) and it's what makes them who they are, or so they believe. They will not become fully conscious, or awakened, unless the decision is made to drop the ego.

For those on the path to enlightenment, or to being fully conscious, only one escape route exists and it is this: know that when you are in conflict with something or someone, you are creating a time problem, or psychological time, as the spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, says. You have stepped out of the present moment, and have created either the past or the future. It's that simple. Become present, honor the present moment by allowing it to be and no drama or conflict is possible.

Tolle says, "When you live in complete acceptance of what is, that is the end of all drama in your life. Nobody can even have an argument with you, no matter how hard he or she tries. You cannot have an argument with a fully conscious person."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Finding Beauty in a Broken World


This picture is from the Spring/Summer edition of Kosmos magazine.

Terry Tempest Williams was interviewed about her book, Finding Beauty in a Broken World, and this is a segment of that interview:
"I watched prairie dogs every day rise before the sun, stand with their paws pressed together facing the rising sun in total stillness for up to 30 minutes. And then I watched them at the end of the day take that same gesture 30 minutes before the sun goes down. They would press their palms together in perfect stillness. I don't mean to anthropomorphize, but when you look at a creature that has survived over the millennium begin and end each day in that kind of stance, it causes one to think about one's own life and the speed and rapidity in which we live."

Saturday, May 9, 2009

"Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates" - The Kabalion



Many people want to resist the idea that the universe is illusionary. We see, hear, smell, touch, and taste what we believe is real all around us, don't we? The universe is viewed through these five human senses simply because we are human.

When you pick up a heavy stone, notice it has a weight to it, it feels solid and dense, smooth perhaps, or it might even feel cool or warm to the touch, depending upon where it had been lying around, such as in the cool shade or out in the hot sunlight. Your brain perceives the stone as a very real object, a form of matter. But, think of your hands that hold the form. They're just another form of matter, just as your human brain is.

The scientific truth is that all matter is vibrating, even the stone you were holding. All matter not only vibrates, it is ever-changing, and it is transitory, including your human body. The body you are inhabiting seems real, and yet it is a mirage.

Why do we call it a mirage? Why is it an illusion? The truth is that every atom in your body, and every atom in everything is composed of more than 99.999% empty space, or quantum space. That sounds scary, empty and cold, but it's not. This wonderful, miraculous space that is within every atom is full of Intelligence, or Spirit. This Intelligence connects everything in the universe like an invisible web.

The physicist Sir James Jeans once said, "When an electron vibrates, the universe shakes." It takes only one teeny tiny flicker of any activity in any of your cells to go across the entire quantum field. One little brain cell vibrates and moves across everything that exists!

Humans perceive that our material earth plane is real, and as far as we are concerned, we must live and act as if all matter is real. There is nothing to fear, though, when we accept the fact that what seems to be real is always changing, always transitory. As Eckhart Tolle has said, "even the sun will die". When you know that who you are is Spirit manifesting itself in a seemingly physical body, you will know that Spirit, or the great Infinite Mind, holds us firmly. Own this knowledge, and nothing will feel threatening to you ever.

Why must everything be an illusion? Will this illusionary universe we live in ever seem not real to us? The Kybalion (translated by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D.)has an answer to these questions: "Only when The All finally withdraws us into itself will the illusion actually vanish.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

BIRTH ---- DEATH



"The day you were born
a ladder was set up to help you
escape from this world."

-Rumi

Saturday, May 2, 2009

One Without a Second


Dr. Russ Meier is contributing to this blog today:

To say that "All is God, or God is All" is not a logical proposition which contains some mental information about the universe. This "thinking" leads to the reduction of all multiplicity to uniform and unchanging mush, or a "vast grayness". We must remember that God is beyond all words or symbols. We can only use words and symbols to point to the Truth. In other words (and the very phrase "in other words" is itself an ironic use of words), God or Spirit must be seen through the special eye of contemplation, not through the eye of reason or logic.

God is not One opposed to a second (such as evil or satan), nor One outside of a second, nor over, above, or beyond a second - but One without a second. Nothing is outside of Spirit, including the universe and each one of us. We can only say, "Not-Two".

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Abilene, Texas, United States
One day life no longer made any sense. I began enquiring, "Who am I", What am I", and "What's the purpose of this life?"

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