Karma or the Monastic Life

Krishna and Arjuna – Photo by thesandiegomuseumofartcollection on Foter.com

O fool, right action does not lie
in observing fasts and ceremonial rites.
O fool, right action does not lie
in providing for bodily comfort and ease.
In contemplation of the Self alone
is right action and right counsel for you
.” 
~ Lal Ded (14th Century)

 

Politeness, wanting to be good, to do the right thing has tremendous power. It binds the world together. In spite of all the suffering, the hardship that exist in society, it is remarkable to notice to what degree people, all over the world, manage to lead a quite responsible life, searching to act in ways that are right, respectful. I used to work in a spiritual community where we would employ, for specific tasks, some people that were outside the community, people that wouldn’t give a thought about spiritual matters. There was a joke that ran amongst us, which was to notice how these people were always acting in ways that were so balanced and good. We were talking about it endlessly, but they were the enlightened ones! The same could be applied to our old parents, to simple, humble people all around the world. How come? It could be argued that this driving force comes from the fear of god, the concern about other people’s judgement, about society’s or life’s punishment. But it comes nowhere near a plausible explanation. Is it that there is something incredibly meaningful, powerful, hidden behind right action, behind right behaviour, kindness, goodness, all the expressions of what is judged to be the timeless qualities of man? But how do we know that? How come it has such a binding force? Where does that wisdom come from? What are the hidden meanings behind ethics in the context of spirituality, or nonduality? And what are the mechanisms hidden in not behaving in ways that are loving or respectful of others and indeed of ourselves? […]

To delve into the concept of Karma and right action… (READ MORE…)

 

 

Change the Lighting

‘The edge of a Heath by moonlight’ – John Constable, 1810 – WikiArt

 

If you can’t change yourself, after all
the efforts, change the light
by which you read your story.
Exchange overhead for something softer –
a lamp, a candle, a vine of shining 
holiday lights – and feel yourself 
become hugged by the fabric of shadows.
You see the darkness here has wisdom too.
You see these objects around become related 
by the pregnant emptiness that holds them,
and you. Let this light reveal the rapture
of being just this. Then, further still, try
moonlight, or no light, until, at last,
this open, sourceless incandescence 
which you are
no matter who you think you are
will follow you from the inside 
wherever you may go, however 
you may change, or not.

 

~~~

Poem by Brooke McNamara
(excerpted from her book ‘Feed your Vow’)

Painting by John Constable (1776-1837)

~~~

 

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F319A9CC-4291-4FDC-91C5-986DA4372F6AOn her website, Brooke McNamara presents herself as a poet, performer, zen mama, and monk. She has practiced Zen meditation and is now a teacher in this tradition. She has also danced professionally for over a decade and toured internationally. She offers online classes in mindfulness, creative awakening, as well as movement education. She is a poet and published her first book ‘Feed your Vow’, in 2015. She lives with her husband and two sons in Boulder, CO.

Bibliography:
– ‘Feed Your Vow: poems for falling into fullness’ – by Brooke McNamara – (Performance Integral Édition)

Website:
Brooke McNamara
John Constable (Wikipedia)

 

Khetwadi Lane

The small village of Kandalgaon had just woken to a new day. The heat was slowly gathering in strength, and a few columns of smoke were the signs that another working day was on its way. “Maruti! Maruti!” Parvati Bai was once again calling her son. She was always worried about her six children, especially the last one, so unsettled, always running around. They came here to cultivate the land after having lived in Bombay, where Maruti was born in 1897. Shivrampant Kambli and his wife were deeply religious parents, and had named their last son Maruti after the god Hanuman, whose festival was taking place when he came into the world. Maruti loved the many works in the farm, tending the cattle, helping in the fields. He had a good mind, intent, curious, and loved to listen to his father’s Brahmin friend Vishnu Haribhau Gore, when he came home. He found him to be such a wise man, and so kind! 

In the land, life was running its course, year after year. When Maruti reached the age of eighteen, his father died. He had to follow his elder brother to Bombay, to support the family, accepting various little jobs. Eventually, he ended up running a little shop of beedis, these small hand-rolled country cigarettes. While raising his small enterprise to stability, he got married with Sumatibai. Once again, life had settled for Maruti. His business was working well — he had now eight little shops, he had a family with four children, and he seemed to be destined to a quiet shopkeeper life in this corner of the busy, tentacular Bombay. So be it!… But life had more in stock for the little Bombay beedi seller. One day, when he was 36, he was invited by his friend Yashwantrao Bagkar to go and visit the guru Siddharameshwar Maharaj. From this moment on, everything changed. The words of this guru were a blessing for Maruti’s simple, eager, one-pointed mind. As he later recalled: “I abided in one thing only: the words of my Guru…”

I simply followed his instruction, which was to focus the mind on pure being, ‘I am’, and stay in it. I used to sit for hours together, with nothing but the ‘I am’ in my mind and soon the peace and joy and deep all-embracing love became my normal state. In it all disappeared — myself, my guru, the life I lived, the world around me. Only peace remained, and unfathomable silence.”

[…]

Continue reading this homage to Nisargadatta Maharaj… (READ MORE…)

 

Love Says…

The mind is busy, talkative, restless. Love is vast, silent, unconcerned. I share here an imagined dialogue between love and the mind, written by Tiger Singleton…

~

Love seems to hurt, because love is incredibly honest.

The mind screams… “I want your love.”

Love says… “I’m sorry, but you can’t, because in order to want me, you think I’m not already here. So you deny yourself, by looking for me where I am not. Demanding, I show up in ways that say you are more important than everything else I touch.

The mind cries, and says… “But don’t you love me?”

Love whispers back… “No, It’s not like that, my love isn’t personal, my Love IS. You want to be special, rather than being what is, which is where I Am.”

The mind… “I don’t understand.”

Love… “You never will. To think you understand me, is to define me, which is to restrict my flow, saying some are worthy and some are not and you desperately want to be the worthy one. You want me to come to you, rather than you, falling into what I already am”

The mind… “How can I surrender into you?”

Love… “You can’t, because I’ve already surrendered, everything, including you. You are free, it’s already done.”

The mind… “What should I do?”

Love… “It doesn’t matter, I love you regardless, I support you regardless, I am always with the present moment, so rest here. Feel me. And then see what happens. In this space, you simply cannot go wrong.”

The mind… 🙏🏽

 

~~~

Text by Tigmonk

Photo by Alain Joly

~~~

 

Tiger Singleton (Tigmonk), founder of InLight Connect, is an inspirational public speaker, satsang facilitator, and author who shares wisdom and insight from the heart. With an open heart, Tiger holds space for a profound exploration into the art of being (you). 

Bibliography:
– ‘An Explosion of Love: The Color of All Things Beautiful’ – by Tigmonk – (The Blooming Heart Center)
– ‘Intimacy, with the Silent Nothing that is Everything’ – by Tigmonk – (The Blooming Heart Center)

Websites:
Inlight Connect (the art of being)
Tigmonk (All… is Incredibly Well)
Already Done (The Poetic Life of Being)

 

A Secret Love Affair with Life

‘Interior’ – Konstantin Korovin, 1913 – WikiArt

Jeff Foster is my newly invited guest on ‘The Dawn Within’. After studying Astrophysics at Cambridge University, and belonging to no tradition or lineage, Jeff embarked on an intensive spiritual quest for the ultimate truth of existence. After the recognition of his true nature dawned on him, Jeff began sharing his understanding and became an author and a teacher. He now holds meetings and retreats around the world, and has published several  books in over 15 languages. You will find ample informations about Jeff in his website ‘Life Without a Centre.

I like Jeff Foster’s simple and compassionate approach to truth, and the quality, the poetry of his writing. I have chosen to share here one of his texts called ‘A Secret Love Affair with Life’. I liked this story full of wit and humour, where one is invited to see how life, in its most simple, humble expressions, holds at its core qualities such as eternity, humility, intimacy, spontaneity, gratitude, play, celebration. I have added the following piece by Jeff on gratitude, which seemed to be the perfect introduction to his text. I hope you enjoy…

~

This moment is sacred, 
because it’s all there is.

Memories of moments gone 
and the dream of moments to come 
both arise in this moment, 
held in an unconditional embrace
beyond mind.

Never forget 
that this moment 
is the source, the wellspring, 
the place where life happens,
the origin and the destination
of your pounding heart.

Breathe into the sacredness,
celebrate the aliveness of things,
and go about your day.

It is never too late
for gratitude
.”

~ Jeff Foster

~~~

A Secret Love Affair With Life

Part I – Doing The Dishes

I’m at home. The washing up is being done. All that exists in the universe is the chinking of plates, the glistening of bubbles, and the whoooossshhh of water as it shoots out of the tap. The washing of dishes fills all available space.

This bowl is particularly dirty. It’s covered in dried breakfast cereal and will take ages to clean.

The phone rings. The bowl is put down, rubber gloves are removed, and kitchen is replaced by living room. Kitchen sink and dirty dishes are replaced by sofa and table and phone. “Hello?” […]

Continue reading Jeff Foster’s text on the intimacy of life… (READ MORE…)

 

The Paradox

“You run into this amazingly beautiful paradox 
that there is no ‘I’ at all and ‘I’ is everywhere, 
and both of those are true simultaneously. 
It’s about as much fun as you could possibly have. 
There isn’t an ‘I’, and 
the only thing that exists is one big ‘I’
shining out of everything.”

~ Adyashanti 

 

~~~

Photograph by Jerry Katz

Quote by Adyashanti

~~~

 

Read ‘Jerry Katz: Let the Scene See You’ on Paula Marvelly’s blog ‘The Culturium’.

F73D470C-C4EC-42C3-A2BB-BBAC3CBF363CJERRY KATZ has been interested in human consciousness since childhood, and has investigated many spiritual teachings. He is also a landscape photographer. For him, “photography is a journey toward honesty, beauty and self-discovery.” Jerry is the creator of the website ‘Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression’. He also founded ‘Nonduality Salon’, a forum that recognizes and welcomes both the ‘impossible’ and the ‘worthwhile’ expressions of nonduality. Since 1998, Jerry has published a free daily email letter, ‘The Nondual Highlights’. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Bibliography:
– ‘One: Essential Writings on Nonduality’ – by Jerry Katz – (1st Sentient Publications Ed)
– ‘Emptiness Dancing’ – by Adyashanti – (Sounds True Inc.)

Websites:
Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression (Jerry Katz’s website)
Nonduality Salon (Jerry’s group on Facebook)
Adyashanti

 

Be Still and Know

This was our last retreat there. In the old mansion that we so dearly loved. Amongst the rolling hills of Wales. Here we have listened and felt. Here we have known what needs to be known. We have felt our heart sing and thrive beyond measure. 

Here we sang together for the last time. A small improvised choir. A last song that is like a hymn for future days. Its lovely tune I cannot convey to you. But the words. Oh the words… Only listen and feel the heart of it. It goes:

Be still and know that I am God
And there is none besides me

The first injonction is ‘be still’. It’s a call. There is a wild world out there. Don’t run after every seducing thought. Don’t follow every glitter of experience. Be disinterested for once. Turn your head away. Say: I don’t want you! Try it.

Don’t let the world eat you. If anything, swallow it yourself! But do it softly. Let it go and disappear of its own accord. Be gentle. We don’t want to upset it. It needs to tell you more. Wait a little longer. You will be surprised.

Put yourself together. Find the place of togetherness in you. Stay there. See how good it feels. Be reunited with your own self. Make it happy. Make yours its sweet presence. Hear its heartfelt cry resonating. You’re here. At last! […]

Continue unraveling these verses from a song… (READ MORE…)