Thursday, April 26, 2012
Lately, I have been awakening more and more for that beauty that my uncle was talking about as I listen, observe and feel intently everything around me. Everything sometimes seems amazing beautiful and I cannot put into words that conspicuous beauty. It is simply amazing. You hear, observe and feel that beauty everywhere be it in the birds, in the trees, in the clouds in the sky and even in people when one of them happens to cross your vision from afar in this retreat.
I have been struck particularly sometimes by the banana tree that only survives to bear its fruit and then it dies. It seems that the banana tree purpose established by its nature is simply that and it exert all its power and its intelligence to accomplish that goal perfectly. I have had many in the backwards over these three years and the later one bore its fruit now although it has been there for quite a while. It is one of the oldest here and only now it bore its fruit. Its bark is tilted to the side what makes it odd to bear its long bunch of bananas which when they are almost ripe, they can be very heavy for the tree to handle. So this tree took all this time to bear fruit, I notice that perhaps it took all this time because it was building up its bark as strong as possible, I guess, to support its bunch of bananas. Isn’t this amazing? It is some kind of intelligence demonstrated by that banana tree that I have never noticed it before in nature which I believe is full of it. This to me is so beautiful, that intelligence and perhaps some wisdom from an unknown nature to accomplish its purpose the best way that its possible for that tree in this moment in time, in this place and in that odd position. I believe only human beings can have wisdom but who knows and my mind is open for something that we don’t know.
Other aspect of nature that amazes me are the birds mainly when they give birth to their offspring and have to take care of them until they are full grown to defend for themselves. It is a tremendous work they do day and night to take care of those youngsters mainly when they are out of the nest and wants to fly everywhere. Their parents are all around them protecting them against predators and feeding them constantly and the younger they are, the more they request from their parents.
I notice one day a whole phenomena happening, a whole scenario happening in my backward with the Bentivis. They had two youngsters of the same age and they would spend their whole time feeding them initially. Then the time came for the parents to teach them to feed themselves. I observed this around the swimming pool. The adult Bentivi is the only bird that I know which has the habit of feeding themselves out of the insects that fall in the pool. This to me makes them more resourceful than other birds because they can feed themselves in the pool, on the ground, on the fruit trees and on the air where they catch flying flies. So one parent had two offspring with it and they were around the edge of the swimming pool. The parent would observe the pool intensely and dive to catch something which I believe to be an insect and would come back to the edge of pool. The two youngsters quickly would come to it trying to get food but they would get none. The parent continued looking at the water, diving in it and getting its food, I believe, showing the offspring how to do it. This happened until one of offspring decided to look for the food in the water and take the dive. It was successful at first but took more water on the wings than normal. As time went on little by little it could manage it better. Its sibling took more time to try it but finally did it and it was ok. So the parent continued to show them how to do it as the learning was slow but the parent seemed not in any hurry and they stayed there doing this for quite some time. This learning process took some days and they always wanted food when the parent would dive to show them how to do it but the parent would not give to them. They had to do it themselves. It was really captivating and fascinating to observe this teaching lesson attentively without anything else in the mind.
The intelligence of the banana tree and the intelligence of Bentivis seemed to be so beautiful, so in place, so ordered and so complete that those things stayed with me for days. The Bentivis can teach a lot of parents of today how to raise the children in this exquisite way teaching them like no other to survive the daily life. Anyway I cannot put in words why I found these things so beautiful and perhaps when you observe something with your mind fresh, clean and clear having a one mind dedication to what you are observing, this kind of beauty that I am talking about just happens in relationship to the most simple happenings around you, and takes over your whole being in that exquisite and conspicuous moment. When you observe like this, everything seems so perfect and ordered happening in the right place and at the right time because you are not judging, evaluating or comparing things. It is marvelous to observe in this way without adding or taking anything from what is being observed. What is there is there and nothing else. Even if there is something not quite right about that experience, it continues to be ordered and perfect in your mind.
Yoga teaches that there are three concepts working in nature which is called the Gunas, which are the strands that permeates everything happening in nature. The Gunas are light, fire and darkness and they are always active with one of them sometime being predominant over the others until another takes a predominant role. Light is the grace of life that brings happiness and joy, fire is the intense activity of life that brings stress, pain and sickness and darkness is the inertia of life that brings fruitless activity, ignorance and disaster. When we are in the moments I have talked about, even the activity of the fire of life that produces pain and the inertia of life that produces nothing substantial teaches us in a profound way while the light of life opens our minds for the beauty and the wisdom within. If the banana tree falls because the bunch is too heavy or if it does not produce good and well formed fruits, we learn from it, if the offspring of the Bentivi takes more water than necessary to feed itself or is slow in learning, we learn from this. However, if the banana tree is successful in producing beautiful fruits and the parent Bentivi is successful in his teaching of the offspring, your heart and your mind simply become mesmerized, happy, full of energy and amazed by what is happening.
When we, humans, are part of nature being moved by the tree Gunas in the wheel of life moving from light to fire and from fire to darkness back to light, our lives are like a script of a movie that is already written like the script of the banana tree going from birth, growth, development, producing its fruit to decaying and death. According to Buddhism, we are the only species capable of enlightenment and therefore able to break out of the cycle of birth and death. If that is so, we are the only ones capable of stepping out of the Guna cycle, out of the script written for us or that we wrote for us and then go into the beauty of life where, if we work enough at it, we can navigate beyond the ocean of life and death as we know it into a real life. When my uncle entered that state of observing, seeing and experiencing so much beauty around him although he was sick there was no awareness of sickness at all and he seemed more health and alive than ever. This reminds me of a piano player who had arthritis in the hands and fingers but when she was playing that arthritis seemed to disappear and she could play beautifully. I know that this is a big jump but perhaps that beauty was a slice of heaven where we become immortal and sickness and death does not affect us at all as it did not seem to affect my uncle at that moment.
I know now more than ever before that the beauty was inside my uncle as I have been realizing that it is inside of me being expressed in these exquisite moments of life. However, when you are living it, it does not matter if it is inside or outside and what matters is that you are living it. It did not matter much if the beauty was inside or outside my uncle and what really mattered was that he felt it, expressed it to me and I was profoundly affected and engulfed by his expression of it that sparkled my own experiencing of what was happening at that moment. What took us into it as what took me into the experiencing with the Bentivis and the banana tree, it is not easy to discern or realize. Was is it the silence or was it the presence or is it the encounter between two entities? I really don’t know at this point and I am not confident that I will ever know intellectually although inside of me beyond the words I have a feeling that I know it. However, I am still discovering more about it each day. Perhaps it is not one thing, not one factor, but a series of things or factors that move us to jump into the beauty moments of life.
We suffer so much when Yama, the lord of death, plays a visit be his visits real or imagined. When our fears overtake the visit, we normally think and feel tormented by all kinds of thoughts that for some people are demons. When we have no fear experiencing the beauty of life, Yama hardly come by. However, if he comes by he is received with a gentle laughter because we know that it is just another kind of illusion who has no real effect on the truth that we really are. The beauty of life seems to make Yama ineffective as it did for my uncle. So if we are blessed to experience the beauty of life in moments of sickness or death, I guess we will have no awareness of the sickness and no fear of the sickness and death and, the Angels of Light will just guide us to wherever we are going.
It is incredible how we are losing this side of life, these conspicuous moments of life by being so busy hand and foot all day long without taking time to just sit for one quiet moment without judging, evaluating or comparing anything but just sitting there and observing what is around us experiencing the moment without any objective or goal at all and not even with the intent to experience these moments that I am talking about. This can be done so easily be it in your desk at work, be it in the park, be it in a crowded street or whatever place we can find ourselves in the moment that we remember to go into this quiet place in our minds. I believe few people in the world do this naturally in relationship of the billions of people alive today although when we do it, we come back refreshed, full of real energy and creative to face the demands of our busy lives. I hope this will inspire the ones who read this to start spending a quiet moment and with it perhaps to open a new life for themselves and for the world around them where the beauty of life often goes unnoticed because our busy eyes are blind although there is nothing wrong with them, our busy ears are deaf although there is nothing wrong with them and our busy feelings makes us insensitive although all our senses are working fine.
Open your eyes, your ears and place aside insensitivity my friend and in a quiet moment let the beauty of life manifest itself bringing in its wing the Glory of a real life that lives beyond words and that no word can express. Give this gift to yourself and to others because this is the most valuable gift that you can give yourself or someone else.
God Bless all of us,
Monday, December 19, 2011
What a journey my friends, going many times from the depths and valleys of hell to the mountains’ heights of Heaven, we have travelled a unknown road and when we approach the end, mainly at the time of Christmas, there is nothing else more important to talk or to think about but God because you realize there is nothing else worthwhile your time and energy. God is Truth and Truth is God. God is not an entity but an immeasurable ocean of peace and light. Call God Truth, Christ’s nature or Buddha’s nature or any other name, a variety of names but which in the end when all your senses are wide open foster a quite similar experience.This really has been an unbelievable journey and after almost three years it is difficult to believe that we are in the vertex of a new beginning. Many have given their contributions for the success of this journey and without this support I believe that the directions of this journey would have been a very different one. The support, love, care, gentleness, determination and perseverance of the ones who helped me directly and indirectly were without value. I cannot put in words how important was the participation of everyone in this life project and in the summit of this phase of the journey I am sure that our lives will continue together more than ever illuminating the path of many people around us. My determination is stronger than ever to continue this line of work in the next phase of our journey because we have a lot to contribute to this world which is very much in need due to the enormous changes that it is going through and it will continue go through in decades to come. The speed of deep transformations is very fast at the moment and we have to adjust our internal clock having one hand of the clock in God’s direction and the other pointing to the earth to follow these changes for the benefit of all living beings.
God is the first name that comes to mind when we think of Christmas being you religious, spiritual not. It is this conspicuous word that has given solace to millions of people around the world in times of necessity in this global village. Even if we believe that millions of people around the globed are deluded by believing in God, as some people ascertain, this word and the experience that it fosters has helped and continues to help many in the most strenuous circumstances as demonstrated by psychological research and observations.
The experience connected with God is becoming more and more familiar as one of peace, harmony, happiness, joy, silence, light, love, compassion and wisdom. The names are many but in the end the experience is one or very, very similar, and if you are emanating one of these attributes truly, you are emanating them all. It does not matter if you are Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or have any other religions or spiritual orientation or even if you don’t believe in God, you cannot but bough to this experience as the most important single thing in life whatever tag you place in this experience be it Love, Light, Compassion, Silence, Wisdom and so on. A name is an empty word without the experience that it fosters because the name is just a tag for an experience. To know the name God, to preach about God and to say the name God only as an intellectual exercise is not the same as to have full knowledge of God and to experience the name God in the form of one of these attributes mentioned emanating their perfume to others.
The importance of Jesus Christ in relationship to God came out through his words, through his actions, through his simplicity, through his respect for life, through his goodness, gentleness and loveliness. It came through his detachment for things of the world being free of them instead of accumulating things that he did not need although he did not despise them. In a way Jesus combined perfectly the theory and practice of Plato and Aristotle because he had his mind in God but his feet on the ground enjoying good food and wine without indulging on them. And also his importance came through his willingness to help anyone (poor, rich, religious or non religious, gentiles and so on) in spite of any difference, and through his detachment from worldly power, status and the rest facing them without any sign of fear even in the imminence of his own death. Jesus’ aura of peace and lack of fear was so strong that even the animals was said to become calm in his presence. Even if you don’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God, as it is ascertain in Christianity, or a prophet as it is ascertain in Islamism, you cannot but have reference for him as someone with great wisdom, love and compassion beyond the ordinary world who practiced what he preached and live it to the fullest of his word up to the end of his life in this planet. Like Socrates and others, Jesus did not corrupt his ideas and his beliefs even when exposed to the destruction of his own body. People with such a strength and power are most needed in this modern global village so that we all can share in the best life possible where everyone’s need for shelter, clothes, food and a good life are met.
When the world is confronted with someone like Jesus Christ who does not want anything from it, who is not pursuing any worldly goals, who is not after his own personal interests, who does not react but acts, who is gentle and peaceful beyond belief, and who is there just to help the ones who are in need and suffering, the world does not know what to do with such human being like Cesar did not know what to do with Jesus although feeling threatened by his Presence without being in his Presence because in his Presence even the high priests felled silent in awe of his wisdom e peaceful nature as Cesar, I believe, would have to.
Why is the world or why anyone involved deeply in the world affairs are threatened by peace, goodness, gentleness, loveliness simplicity, love, harmony, wisdom and so on, names that can be resumed in one name: love? This is a question with manifold answers and one of them was provided by Jesus in A Course in Miracles when he said: The world must therefore despise and reject me, because the world is the belief that love is impossible. (T-8.IV.3:7) War and violence are everywhere in the world because they are an ego game to prove that not only love but all attributes mentioned above are impossible. This is the source of all our troubles with the word Jesus Christ because Jesus is the symbol of the dissolution of the ego and we live most of our times in our egos. Jesus demonstrates that love is not only possible but also love is our protection even in the most conspicuous hour of our lives, the hour of our own death.
Another more specific answer based on this one that my mind could come up for the above question so far has been that all the experience fostered by these names does not support the world affairs objectives and most of them seem even contrary to them because all worldly’ objectives have in their nature personal interests which Jesus had none. Psychologically we then can say that all worldly’ objectives and goals when ego directed are an instrument for our egos to become bigger and bigger. In this way our egos were threatened by Jesus because Jesus and whoever followed his word not only intellectually but in mind and deed such as Thomas More, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and many others, spent their lives promoting and demonstrating goodness, non violence, loveliness, peace, simplicity, honesty, love, harmony and so on as way to resolve the problems of this world. When this happens as it happened in the actions of these people, the world cannot but react unable to halt the inevitable changes brought by their actions because their actions has intrinsic in them endurance, strength and power that comes from beyond this world which Jesus said was coming from God.
Every Christmas has become in many ways for many people around this global village a time of celebrating the Light and renewing their resolve, their vows, their commitment to goodness, peace, love, happiness, joy, non violence, gentleness and the cultivation of silence and wisdom even if they are not Christians or religious. This renewing started not now but thousands of years ago perhaps even before the Buddha, Confucius, Socrates and other great minds that made their journey through this planet. It had a high mark in that cold and freezing Christmas’ dawn when German and allied soldiers placed aside their guns and shook hands and celebrated in what was called Christmas truce of 1914. This is a high mark in human history because it showed the world that even in the middle of the worst world’s catastrophes peace, gentleness, goodness, non violence, happiness and joy could break in and manifest their ways unexpectedly into the mind and hearts of man at any instant bringing healing and shining away their ignorance and brutality. Let’s emanate the real spirit of Christmas to all, the spirit of union instead of separateness, placing aside our misconceptions about and our animosities with our family members, neighbors, friends and even our enemies embracing the Truth in them without naiveté but sincerely knowing that by embracing the Truth in them, we are in the end embracing the Truth in our selves. Why to embrace instead of attacking the other? There is simple psychological answer and that is: every time we attack someone we feel guilty because we are really attacking ourselves as in the moment of attacking the other we inevitably lose our peace of mind. To lose our peace of mind is the most common and unrecognized form of self attack.
My hope is that we all in this global village can stop being sophists and become more Socratics, being less fearful of meaningless predictions and superstitions about the future and renewing our commitment and our resolve to diligently pursue all actions leading to freedom, equality and fraternity for all in this exact moment of our lives. Such actions are necessary and essential to recreate a humanity that reflects in action what Jesus Christ stood and stands for even if you do not have any belief at all in God or Jesus. In reality Jesus Christ is our Self, our true self, as says Ramana Maharshi one of the great sages and saints of our times. This is the meaning of Jesus’ teaching in A Course in Miracles saying: Teach not that I died in vain. Teach rather that I did not die by demonstrating that I live in you. (T-11.VI.7:3-4).
Our global village is much in need of such demonstration of love in action but let’s start small, let’s start in our own homes with our family members, our parents, our children, our brothers and sisters, our spouses, our neighbors and so on emanating to them our peace, joy, happiness, love, compassion and wisdom. Let’s celebrate this conspicuous time of the year being really happy, joyful, loving, peaceful and compassionate and this is the best gift we can give to ourselves and others because this gift cannot stolen, will never rotten, will never be taxed and it will never rust. It will shine forever in our hearts and in our minds of those who give them and of those who receive them for how long we shall be alive.
God Bless us all
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
I am no Borges but I have been inspired by his stories today. I was minding my own business at home without much to do and left my bed room to go to the computer. I walked slowly and suddenly I saw someone sitting at my computer with his back towards me. I was caught by surprise and hesitated for some moments without deciding to go on or stop my walk.
The computer room is across from my bedroom and it is just a short walk. I realized that I was alone and how could someone be at my computer. I did not want to call him because I did not know who to call and by what name. So finally I decided to slowly to walk to my computer and sometimes it seemed it was taking forever to walk eight to ten feet and at the same time it seemed it was not taking time at all. I seemed unafraid and I did not feel that the person sitting in my computer was dangerous at all.
However, by the fact that I walked slowly showed that there was some caution on my part although I was not aware of any fear as I said. The caution maybe was because I felt that something very important was about to happen and I did not know what. I had no idea about what was about to happen but I had a sense that it would be tremendously important to my life and perhaps for the life of that person I was about the meet.
So as I walked many thoughts crossed my mind and what was supposedly to be a second had taken almost a life time, I felt. The person seems so concentrated in what he was doing and did not seem to see me approaching.
I was at that moment walking on my toes and everything seemed so silent that you could hear an ant walking if one happen to pass by. In such state of silence one almost get lost as if he is not himself anymore. I was as if I was walking on air without touching the ground and no wonder, I thought, when I realized it, that the person in front of me had not heard my footsteps.
By this time I was very close to him and undecided to touch his shoulder or not. He looked so familiar that I began to think if there was another version of me running around this house without me knowing it. What I thought and I said to myself was how could another me be walking around this house and sitting at my computer, a computer I felt was not exclusively mine anymore because there was someone using it when I was not around. Even if it was me I did not know that me.
It was really odd, I thought. However I don’t have any secrets in the computer so I don’t mind anyone working on it and even going through my stuff. I guess lately I have been losing interest in secrets and in my own possessions. What bother me a bit was that he was doing something in my computer without my permission and that brought the attachment to my possessions as if they belonged to me when in reality nothing belongs to us although we very often think so. We are delusional with thoughts of ownership which only distract us because everything of the world belongs to the world and to no oneself. As Jesus said give to Caesar what belongs Caesar and give to God what belongs to God. No wonder Jesus walked this planet with no fear whatsoever and even his body he gave to Caesar.
I realized finally with all this I was just delaying for some unknown reason the inevitable meeting that was about to happen at that exact moment. All this time that person never looked back or made a move to look back in my direction in any form or shape. I wondered if he was deaf and could not hear all the voices which I finally realized was only in my head and for sure could not be heard by him. But then I realized if he was me or one part of me, he should have heard by now all the dialogue in my head.
As there was no pressure and no hurry in my part, I began to be more aware of what was going on. I began to realize again and again that I was traveling out of time and space floating in a vacuo beyond my imagination. It was an interesting sensation and could go on forever and I could perhaps never meet the person in front of me.
However that was not my objective because I wanted to know who was finally sitting on my desk, in front of my computer and seemly working on it. I was still undecided when my left hand rose slowly towards the shoulder of that person and stopped in mid air.
I realized then that I had lost control of my body and that there was someone else moving it and he was not myself either. Now things really got strange because there was three of us in the room and I only knew one to be myself something I began to doubt at this point. Did I really know myself? It was a question that came in a flash and passed by quickly with no definitive answer.
So three questions came to mind immediately who is the one moving me? who is myself? and who is the one sitting in front of me? I seemed to have answer for only one question which at that moment, as I said I begin to doubt although until that moment I thought I knew myself well. So with one question partially answered about knowing myself, I had two to answer and it was mind boggling.
Then I thought that the one moving me perhaps was some unknown part of myself until that moment who had done that before I remembered. As this was going on I thought there was a riddle to the whole thing and it was with the person sitting in front of me and I had to turn him around and see who was it.
Finally then my left hand touches his shoulder I thought with such a care and tenderness that I thought he had not felt my touching at all because in reality I am right handed and should have touched his shoulder with my right hand, I thought. So he did not turn around immediately. In these few seconds I thought If I should press my hand strongly upon his shoulder or just wait for him to respond. It took a few seconds before I felt that he was about to move and turn around to allow me finally to look at him in the eyes. At this moment I realized I was anticipating all that was about to happen. I was right I guess he was just taking his time as much as I had taken mine. However those few seconds outside time and space are not the same as the second in time lived in it at all. The best way I can explain it is to say that outside time and space it can take longer or no time at all for something to happen. This seems to be a contradiction but when you are living it, it is not.
When he finally turn around slowly and with no hurry or pressure, I could not believe who I was looking at and I guess you would not believe either. It was with an unsurmountable surprise that I finally realized that the person siting in my computer was myself and that I was looking at my own self in body, mind and everything else. I did not know what to think or what to say. However I thought if this is me, who is me and who is the one moving my body. In that moment everything went pitch black and everything disappeared and left me speechless and without any thoughts or words. There was only a scrap of thought questioning was this real and I could attest to it in flesh as I touched and felt the touch to the shoulder of this person who is supposedly me. So I begin to doubt what is real and what is not although intellectually I can grasp at what is real for question of seconds. However to this day I have no clue what is really real or not. Do you?
Some thoughts came to mind about all this business of what is real and what is not real. If we do know what is real or not and we are sure of it and believe that we do know not only intellectually, there are two possibilities or we are a sage, completely enlightened, or we are in the darkest of our ignorance. If we don’t what is real or not, there are three possibilities: if we don’t know what is real or not, one possibility is that we are out of our minds and lost in delusions like some kind of schizophrenic human wondering without direction asking: Who is me? If we don’t know what is real or not and we don’t know that we know, we are lost with a light on our hands and don’t know we can use it or we don’t know how to use it. One way or another we are lost. If we don’t know what is real and knowing that we don’t know, we do something about it, we are two steps ahead of the pack.
God Bless You,
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Let the light of love shine upon thee
Walk the path that leads to the high lands of truth
Swim in the ocean of eternal life
Run the miles of happiness, silence and peace
Let there be born the wisdom of hope
And when the time comes let the showers of purity wash your heart and mind
Live freely within the prisoners who walk aimlessly this lonely planet
Look and see beyond the walls of hate, despair and fear
Awake to the shining star that lights the world within
Never stop flying in the wings of the present silent moment
Remember yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not here yet
Why to worry about tomorrow when today is not even finished yet
So create and recreate your life being a traveler of travelers
The seed is there within my friend
Let it sprout with the warmth of the morning sun
And life will be the most marvelous journey of all
Open up my friend
Love is knocking unheard on your front close door
Open the door and let it enter
And when it enters your little house open all the windows
This way it will not be blocked and locked inside of fear’s misery
Blessing all around you with its unmatched perfume
Only then you can say that you are alive and living the highest life of all.
God Bless You,
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
It does not matter how evil or destructive you have been that the True music is always playing on the background
You can never, ever, put away the Light of Truth
You can never, ever, lose your mind’s Wisdom
You can never, ever, finish entirely with your inner Peace
You can forget It, make as if It does not exist or take a long time to find It
And It does not matter the darkness that surrounds It, It always will be there shining forever within you
A place where your worldly thoughts can never reach
Where your cries of fear, depression, anxiety and sadness can never reach
Where your temper tantrums of anger, violence and malevolence can never reach
It was not made by you, but it was a Gift of God to you
You can give God many names Truth, Brahman, Jehovah or Allah
The name is not important because the Gift is the same
This Beauty inside you shines forever and ever in the Heart of Our Beloved
Our Beloved Who lives inside each one independent of differences and prejudices of any kind
Cultivate It and don’t put It aside even for a second
And life will shine as never before
Share it with your family, friends, neighbors, employees and even your enemies
And life will shine as never before
Make It your daily bread, your daily prayer, every second of your life
And life will shine as never before
Open your heart my friend and let the stream of Love flow
Open your mind my friend and let Fountain of wisdom to pour
Open your being my friend and let Peace engulf everyone and everything
Open your mind my friend and let silence and stillness reveal the Truth to you
This is life at its best
Here the winds of the world cannot move the leaves, flowers and divine petals of life
Only when you forsake this Truth that life will depart from you
Misery will follow you in every corner as your shadow in the darkest night
Accept It, cultivate It and give It freely away to everyone
And happiness beyond your imagination
Will make you dance under the sounds of the most divine music
You can call this Truth, Christ, the Buddha, Krishna, Shiva or simply Self
The names are many but the experience is One that unites us all
You can call It Love, Wisdom, Happiness, Joy, Peace or simply Silence
The names are many but the experience unites us all
Say It, sing It, hear It, smell It and taste It every second of your life in the most simple things
And nothing, nothing, in this world, without denial of your feelings, will have the power do make you unhappy
Nothing, nothing, in this world, without denial of your feelings, will have the power to make you fearful, angry or sad
Nothing, nothing, in this world, without denial of your feelings, will have the power to make you greedy and violent and in this way you will close all the doors to hell
Nothing, nothing, in this world, without denial of your feelings, will have the power to instill the burning desire for lust in you, and through this you will recognize that gold has the same value as coal living a simple and free life
Nothing in this world, not even your worst nightmare, without denial of your feelings, will have the power to move your being
This is life at its best
When this permeates every second of your whole life your way to Heaven is open
Only then life will be worth living because it will have a profound meaning helping you to bring Light and Wisdom to every situation that you will face
Only then one can bring real changes thinking about the well being of all and not only about oneself and close associates
Don’t think that this is a far away dream my friend, because it is not
It is closer than you think inside the Core of you
But don’t forget that it requires much work to place aside the rest and to reach the perfect balance
So don’t wait and just begin your journey if you have not yet began
Continue if you have began and the end is certain as day and night, and as the flower is certain at the harvest when it was cared well and its soil has been well nourished
Arriving at the end the Highest Wisdom will be there to help you through
And beyond this, words are meaningless and unspoken, and the being becomes silent
God bless us all
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
There is an opening out of those partially heavy clouds.
It is like a painting that someone just finished painting.
There are no words to describe what you see and experience.
There is only silence, observation and appreciation
of the beauty that lies before you.
Words are so limited to describe what is limitless.
It is such a marvelous sight that you fly in the wings of peace.
There is such a space inside that fills the infinite.
Oh! Dear Lord what did the being do to deserve such a sight.
The being feels humble and like fallen on his knees.
It is Your reflection the being knows that washes the soul
of all the dirty that was here just few seconds gone.
And now the being can contemplate
what only Your Love shines within.
It is beyond imagination and beyond all that has gone before.
The heart pounds with joy and love and peace beyond comprehension.
The mind is so still and quiet that nothing can move it.
Everything else but this beauty lies within it
untouched by anything else.
The colors, the shapes and the space beyond them arrest the mind.
Where has the being been all this time lost in the trivialities of time.
Missing all this all along which is necessary only to look up to see.
Give the being the grace not to lose this anymore
although he knows he will.
But the future is not here yet and the being can take
infinite joy in the moment
Just being in this moment which will last to eternity is grace given.
You have conquered his heart, mind and soul forever
not now, but long ago.
However only now the being is really rediscovering that
You went nowhere.
He needs just to look up to find
You, Your Beauty, Your Joy and Your Silence.
Because below the mind is trapped in everything
the senses can touch upon senselessly.
But the heart, mind and soul is now employed
only to remember You completely.
The being will work until the end of his days to remember You always.
He knows that many times he is going to fail but it does not matter
because he knows that Your Heart will always be open.
And there allow the being to lie gently in Your infinite Arms
from where he has never left.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
So much has gone under the bridge of life here, my friends, and everything is happening so fast that the conscious mind has a hard time keeping up with what is really going on. Tomorrow June 7 it will be a year since the beginning of this retreat. What I work, I can tell you, has been this year and I cannot put a value on it because it is invaluable. Life is shining more than ever before and you just want to go on and see what the next two years will bring.
The last time we were exploring the possibilities of death and how I came out of my bed one day and did not know literally if I was alive or dead. This feeling really brings you home and gives you an urgency to do what is most dear to your heart and mind. So after that I have been working harder and constant to undo the ego and to uncover the Light of the Self participating in a different life which spreads light, happiness, joy and wisdom instead of hate, greed, violence, attachment, and misery. By the grace of our Lord my work is paying off and the Light shines here more then ever before.
This last year I have been to the Hades and back. I have never shaken the hands and hugged so many dead people in my life during my dreams. I believe that a great part of me have died and that there was a resurrection, using a Christian language, justly during the Holy week. It was an experience that I will never forget but it will need a separate venue where I can tell you the whole story. With this happening all the dreams about death have come to an end.
This last month, mainly, I have been close to physical death many times and I was saved in what seemed to be the last minute. Mentally something has died inside of me and all those feelings of death is behind although they come once in a while in my mind. However, they are not so prevalent as before and when they come I dialogue with my mind saying that if I die, I die mainly after everything that I have been through. As soon as I dialogue with my mind that way the thoughts of death disappear.
From my religions upbringing through Catholicism I was trained to be believe that we have to be good and confess to our sins if we want to go to heaven and not hell. It seems to me, through my limited knowledge of the religions, that Christianity, Judaism and Islam have a similar position that we have to achieve certain level o goodness to go to heaven or we are going to hell.
During the time I was going through the most critical moments dealing with physical and mental possibilities of dying I delved into serious thinking about death and search for some light about it on some texts and some theories that I know such as The Bardo Todol, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, the theories of Spiritism brought about by the Frenchman Allan Kardec, as well as A Course in Miracles, The Bhagavad Gita and the Gospel of the Buddha.
Some believe that you don’t die although they all seem to recognize that this body will disappear into the dust that it came at some point in time. Who and what survives then? Nobody really knows for certainty. Science has been hit hard in their proof that when the heart and brain stops there will be no memory left. Some doctors in different hospitals working in the frontier of life and death has found that when the person is clinically dead and come back they relate facts of being out of the body and seeing everything that was going on in the operating room plus a light to which there were attracted to. The only explanation science can give is that perhaps after all the consciousness lives on after the body expires. However if you subscribe to certain belief systems that believe in some kind of spiritual orientation that addresses this issue, it will be no surprise to you such experiences related by people who have clinically died. People who believe in these spiritual systems are sure that there is a Self, some say soul, that survives after the body disappears.
I have always been fascinated and impressed by the life of Socrates, the great Greek philosopher. In the book The Last Days of Socrates, he is shown teaching and playing with his students even minutes before he had to take cicuta virosa, some kind of hemlock, the poison that ended the life of his body. Socrates, according to the reports, showed no fear whatsoever of his body death because he believed if you apply yourself rightly to philosophy, it prepares you for the moment of your body death. One of Socrates students asked how they should dispose of his body and he just laughed and commented saying that his students was worried about the nonessential and that Socrates was not that body that would lying down in a few minutes after he took the poison. To him what they did with his dead body did not matter, but what matter the most was his teachings to them. I want to be in that place that Socrates was when my time comes because I think that there is nothing more beautiful, powerful and fulfilling in life than to be prepared that way having no fear of anything including death.
The Bardo Todol, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, based on Buddhist philosophy says that we never die and that when our body dies, we go through what it calls the Bardo, which is an intermediate state between the moment that the body dies and the moment that we are illuminated, if our karma has been worked out enough, or the moment of rebirth into a new life.
During the Bardo you have many opportunities to be illuminated by retaining your awareness the light of Darmakaya, the Supreme Light of all, which they describe as the most beautiful moment someone has ever dreamed off. However, if you fail to hold this Light in your awareness, you will fall and be reborn again to face more suffering until the next time. Some advanced beings can chose to be reborn and come back to this planet to help and in this case they did not fail to hold the light. Those beings are called the Avatars. It also says that those who does not hold the light has much work to do yet and those are really the bad ones whose karma is really dirty. Who knows who the dirty ones are and they could be a hard core criminal in jail, a drug dealer, a common thief that steals and sometimes kill just for a shirt, they can be a blue collar work doing rotten deals, or they can be one of us who lives a normal life, but attack, deceive and lie to our partner, the children and other family members as well as to friends, coworkers, the government and so on. However, we all have some dirty behind because we all have an ego. We cannot deny that some egos are dirtier than others as there are people who are more destructive than helpful to themselves and their fellow beings than others. It is also important to remember that to the sage a speck of dirt in a clean mirror function as if the whole mirror is dirty and, therefore, there is no difference for the sage if there is only one speck of dirty or if the whole mirror is dirty because they are the same.
The Bardo Todol also says that when you are going through the Bardo after the body death if you are not illuminated immediately, as I said before, you are going to be offered many chances to free yourself from the cycle of birth and death. During this time comes all kinds of experiences through images some bad, really bad, and some good, and these experiences are just a distraction being good or bad, and a production of our own imagination. To reach the Light we need to stir ourselves away from them.
There are other systems that also believe in reincarnation. Spiritism is one example, some kind of religion very popular in Brazil. The spiritualists, people who believe in this system, teaches that this system is a combination of science, religion and philosophy. It is based on the belief of God’s existence, the soul being immortal, reincarnation, plurality of different worlds being inhabited, and on communication with Spirits. For the Spirit Doctrine, the soul or spirit is one of the intelligent beings that lives in the invisible world who temporarily assume a carnal wrapper, the body, with the objective of purifying themselves. The human soul or Spirit incarnated is defined as a being that little by little goes on purifying itself until it becomes a pure Spirit. When incarnated, our bodies is moved by this vital energy or vital fluid, the basic element of life which characterizes itself by the phenomena of birth, growth, reproduction and death. Death happens when the quantity of vital fluid is finished.
According to this system in the moment of death, the soul becomes again Spirit, which means to go back to the world of Spirits, from where it separated from after incarnation in a body, which is short period. As Spirit the soul preserves its individuality never losing it. In the moment of death of the body we go through a confusing period until we adapt to this new situation and begin to know this new self. Immediately after death we are like a person who woke up from a deep sleep and tries to adapt to the waking situation. To Spiritism the time that lasts this disruption after the death of the body is variable and it depends on the level of evolution of each being. If we are already purified we immediately recognized our real self as spirit that has no body because we freed ourselves from matter long before the life of the body ended. However when we are very much connected to the flesh, when our consciousness is not pure, we hold for a long time the impressions caused by matter, impressions left by a body life, in our consciousness. This illusion persists until we are completed free and only then we recognize our true self as spirit and understand that we do not belong anymore the world of the living beings in the body.
For Spiritism the feelings of being a just human, having a pure soul, while facing death is great and therefore we experience no guilt, one of the sources of misery. If we practice bad deeds we are going to face the torments and suffering born out of our own conscience. This suffering, teach the spiritualists, are all moral anxieties that torture us more than any physical suffering. If we are not developed enough, we can stay connected for a period to the Threshold (Umbral) a region situated at the earth crust, a place of shadows, built and cultivated by our own mind when it is sick, according to the teachings of Andre Luis, a spirit manifested through Chico Xavier, a very well known Brazilian medium. The Threshold (Umbral) functions in a region proper for us to finish the mental residues and deterioration of illusions which we acquired throughout our lives. As much as we insist to persist in the illusion and in our errors, more time we are going to spend in this region. In the moment that we awake from these illusions and mistakes, we go to one of the treatment colonies where we can program our reincarnation to complete our learnings and to progress to more advanced stages in our path or from there we can go on to a more advanced stage.
From the point of view of the non dualistic philosophy represented by Advaita Vedanta, an Indian philosophic system and A Course in Miracles which see this world as an illusion, like a dream, build by the Maya according to Advaita or by the ego according to A Course in Miracles life as we know it is just a dream. Thus, life in this body is simply an illusion and also everything else connected with it including this world. So if everything here is an illusion, we made everything up, our egos made everything up, including our bodies like we make everything in our dreams. In this way there is no death and A Course in Miracles states it very clearly in one of its lesson. The Course also says that if there is no death, there is no birth either being both an illusion. Without death and birth reincarnation does not exist either. The Course explains that although there is no reincarnation the term can be helpful if we use it to attest that life is eternal. Life, for the Course, only exists in God and outside God there is no such thing as life. The Course teaches that everything in this world including our bodies was made by our egos as a hiding place from God because in God’s presence the ego is dissolved or transformed. In this way the fear of death is an ego fear of being destroyed and that when we approach our true self, our Self, the fear increases because the ego is afraid of being destroyed. Once we dissolve or transform the ego, this fear will disappear completely. When this fear disappears, when we fear no death, to be in this body or not does not play a central role in our consciousness and we walk this earth like the Son of God Who fears no evil including the evil of death. Not believing in birth and death the Course does not talk about what happen after the body dies but through the Course’s philosophy we can conclude that if we do not wake up when the body dies, we will continue dreaming until this happen and where and when does not matter because time and space, for the Course, are an illusion. Who knows perhaps we go to a parallel universe to continue dreaming.
In Yoga death is seen as a transition from one dimension to another, from one life to another, and from this other life we reemerge again until our cycle is completed. Some yogis describe it as taking off an old garment and put a new one. There is an emphasis on dying consciously and yoga can be a preparation for it. Swami Rama talks about certain yogis who have drop their body consciously and have come back to it. So in yoga when you prepare yourself in the right way, similar to Socrates preparations with philosophy, you lose all fear of death like you have no fear of taking off your old clothes and put new ones on. In this line of thinking we have control over death and cast off the old body, go to another dimension and then when we desire we will come back to a new body to complete the cycle that we need to complete. In yoga also we go through an intermediate state where we have to get acquainted with a new body, which is not so dense as the one we had before we died.
The philosophy of the Bardo Todol, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Spiritism and Yoga have some things in common. To them reincarnation is a fact and, after the death of our bodies we immediately go through an intermediate state which serves as preparation for a life in a different body. Depending on our level of progress in our life cycles we can go to a different stage perhaps superior or reincarnate in a new body on earth.
When I was going through the most difficult parts of my fear of dying, it helped me a lot to think on the manner spoken by the non dualist philosophy that everything is a dream, that there is no death and that as you approach the Self the fear of death increases. To imagine the clear light spoken on the Bardo Todol, the Tibetan Book of Dead was also very helpful maybe because I was reading it. It took my mind into silence and gave peace to imagine this clear light as clear as I could in my mind’s eye.
Death is a fact of this body so this is not the question. The question then is what will happen next and we saw above many different ways of thinking about what happens next. As we saw above some described a period of transition for which we need to prepare for before death come if we want to have a good passage. I am coming to the conclusion that whatever you really believe in the last moment of your body existence, it is what is going to happen. If you believe like some scientists that life ends with your last breath that is what is going to happen. If you believe like in the Tibetan Book of Dead or in Spiritism or in Yoga that you are going to go through a transition before a new life beyond or before reincarnating that is what is going to happen. If you believe like in A Course in Miracles or in Advaita Vedanta that this life is a dream and that when you drop off your ignorance, your ego, you are just going to wake up that is what is going to happen. Belief is a powerful thing mainly when belief it is coupled with experiencing and we have no idea how powerful it really is until we experience deeply what we believe. In this moment what we believe becomes a certainty that cannot be refuted.
As we can see above each one tells your own story and we can believe in it or not or we can discover our own. Independent of our own story which is a result of our education and conditioning, Love, the Self, the Divine Light in us is prevalent over everything else. Therefore what is most important in spite of what we believe is my deep love and compassion towards my fellow being and this is what all these spiritual systems mean by being really advanced.
A Course In Miracles teaches that it is important to question everything that we believe if we want real freedom. Besides this questioning, it is important to delve deep into our minds and to dissolve or transform the ego to free ourselves from all fear, and to free ourselves from these beliefs and values which was most often taught to us since we were a child and we accepted them without any questioning. Free at last we can accept what came before but now consciously and in a new light or we can make our own story. This freedom is the most beautiful thing in the world and I hope I have inspired you to look for it and to look at death seriously and question your beliefs and values about it because we all have our beliefs and values about it consciously or unconsciously, wanting it or not.
My hope one day is that all of us will be completely free of all the fear of death because when that happens my friends our lives will be free of violence, the need to attack or defend ourselves, guilt, jealousy, envy, hate, anger, fear and all the rest that our egos stand for. Our lives will be full of happiness, joy, bliss, compassion, love, light and wisdom. Then and only then our lives will have real meaning and will shine like a beautiful red rose under the light of the sun and its perfume excited by the light will spread to all the hearts around us and beyond, a perfume that was never smelled before by us, a perfume whose home is not in this aching world of our egos but belongs to the house of the Lord or whatever name you give to the Truth within you.
God Bless you all,
Obs.: It was incorporated contribution from Dr. Ligia MN Souza about Spiritism