The Distant Lord

Obedience makes us submissive
to all persons on earth,
nor just to humankind
but to all animals
and wild beasts, too,
that they may do as they please with us
as far as God so permits them
.”
~ St Francis of Assisi

 

In 1990, I visited Corbett National Park, one of the largest and most famous wildlife sanctuaries in India. My dream: to see a wild tiger. When the bus that took me there had crossed the entrance of the park, and while I was already scanning the jungle in an irrational hope, a burst of flamboyant colors vanished into the canopy. It was a peacock! I had already seen hundreds of peacocks in India, on the outskirts of towns and villages, but this peacock was not one of them. He had vibrant colors, and a vitality that testified to the precariousness of his life. This bird could end up in the claws of a tiger, and that made all the difference. Starting my journey to Corbett with the sight of a beautiful wild peacock was auspicious. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better beginning. …

An insightful meeting in the depth of the Indian jungle (READ MORE…)

 

Grace

“If you seek the grace of God
with your whole heart,
then you may be assured
that the grace of God
is also seeking you.”

~ Ramana Maharshi

 

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Quote by Ramana Maharshi (1879 – 1950)

Photo by Alain Joly

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Bibliography:
– ‘The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi’ – (Sophia Perennis et Universalis)
– ‘Be As You Are’ – by Ramana Maharshi (Edited by David Godman) – (Penguin Books)

Website:
Ramana Maharshi (Wikipedia)

Suggestion:
Rendezvous with Ramana, Part I (by Paula Marvelly)

 

A Day at Brockwood Park

Homage to J. Krishnamurti

 

Surely,
freedom
from the self
…is the true function 
of man
.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

 

Seated on the back seat of the car, I was scrutinising the landscape. Although we were driving through one of these English narrow roads, squeezed between two tall edges, the place was nevertheless growing in familiarity. Twenty-two years! Twenty-two years that I hadn’t been here! Now the landscape and the roads were known by me, my heart was throbbing and I was seized by an unavoidable emotion. We passed in front of the school’s gate, another hundred meters, and there it was, on the right. It said on a sign: “Krishnamurti Centre”. We parked and came out of the car. No building was yet in view, I was standing and felt overwhelmed by something warm and familiar, as if all the trees, and the pebbles under my feet, and the trembling leaves, and the few sounds around, and the presence – Oh yes, the presence! – were all presented to me like one big sensation, one big knowing and remembering of something I have dearly loved. I was shaken with tears. I lived and worked here for more than four years. A big part of my personal identity still belongs to this place, even decades later, and my apprehension of the spiritual journey comes from these years spent in the aura of Krishnamurti’s teaching. …

Join me for a day spent in the aura of Krishnamurti’s Teaching (READ MORE…)

 

Dear God

A prayer comes from the heart, and points to something that is beyond words and meaning. Its only function is to throw you back to yourself, to silence. It must be devoid of demands, which can only be objective and an expression of separation. In prayer, the result precedes the wish. Tiger Singleton gives us here two different versions of a prayer:

~

The confused prayer

Dear God, please help me put my illusions back together. All this uncertainty of tomorrow really makes it difficult to hide, and pretend to know what I’m doing.

Dear God, help me hold on, and please make other people change so I don’t have to see the truth I’m afraid of. If you would just give me what I want, it would be so much easier to love and trust you.

Dear God, how can I still protect the image of myself and worship you in everything? They say you are everywhere all the time, but that makes it really difficult to find myself.

Dear God, everything I trust in that’s not you, keeps failing. Why? Wouldn’t life be easier if everything just did what I wanted? By the way, I have plans this weekend so it’s better for all (really for myself) if it doesn’t rain.

Dear God, mosquitoes are stupid, please kill them all. It would be much better for everyone (really myself). Except maybe for nature, clearly though nature is confused about how to do things.

Dear God!! Hello?! Are you listening?! I want to be God. It’s not going so well. Please help.

~

The Sincere Prayer

Dear God, thank you. May you continue to help me see what actually is, rather than looking for what I want.

Dear God, thank you. Your ways are mysterious, yet it’s because of your ways, that this breath flows. I may not always understand, but I always end up seeing a gratitude.

Dear God, thank you. Somehow the rain falls perfectly on time, Im so grateful it’s not up to me. I have a hard enough time managing my own calendar.

Dear God, thank you. You keep showing me it’s okay to let go, no matter how stubborn I might be. Your patience is infinite, and in this I feel your Love.

Dear God, thank you. I feel in some way you are always smiling, not laughing at me, but comforting my impossible fears. As if the sun only pretends not to shine.

Dear God, thank you. I’m so humbled by you. I see it’s a constant invitation for me to relax and let you do what you do. Allowing me an opportunity to return to love.

Dear God, thank you; not for this or for that, but for everything. I see your fingerprints everywhere.”

 

~~~

Text by Tigmonk

Mandala by Elsebet Barner

~~~

 

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)

Suggestion:
Fragrance (on the role and nature of prayer)

 

The Churches of Rome

This is the end of my old ways, dear Christ!
Now I will hear Your voice at last
And leave the frosts (that is: the fears) of my December.
And though You kill me, (as You must) more, more I’ll trust in you.
For though the darkness and the furious waters of that planting
Seep down and eat my life away
Yet my dark night both eats and feeds me,
‘Til I begin to know what new life, green life springs within my bones
.”
~ Thomas Merton

 

Ah the churches of Rome! Here I am, trodding for the second time the worn, disjointed, unsettled paved streets of the eternal city, with one thing in mind: visiting and admiring some of its most beautiful basilicas, churches, chapels, oratories… It is said that there are about 900 churches in Rome, so the choice is wide and elegant. One thing to remember here: this place is the cradle of Christianity and hosts the Holy See of Catholicism, a religion to more than a billion people in the world. The sheer number of tourists and pilgrims is huge and many want to see the Vatican in their lifetime, with its most famous Sistine Chapel, the Coliseum of the ancient Roman Empire, or the Trevi Fountain. I have just come from a retreat in the mountains of Umbria, and I wonder what will touch me here, after this week of thinking and meditating on the non-dual nature of experience. 

I am the light of the world.”
[John 8:12]

What strikes me most here, is not the gigantism and wealth of the most famous basilicas, nor the beautiful art that you will find hidden in the innermost corners of many churches: Raphael, Caravaggio, the Baldacchino and Ecstacy of Saint Teresa of Bernini, the Pietà and Moses of Michelangelo, the frescoes of Gaulli and Pozzo. No, something else touches me profoundly. …

An essay on the churches of Rome and their deeper meanings (READ MORE…)

 

Kissing the Toad

Here is a reminder inspired from the words of Rupert Spira. It is necessary and terribly efficient to look into these matters for ourselves. This is why I like to share here the parts of a spiritual teaching that sounds like ‘something to do’, something to experiment and verify for ourselves:

See that you never really meet your uncomfortable feelings, that you are always avoiding them by activities, thinking… Try to be brave, turn around, and face the feeling. Welcome it, invite it in, be interested, get to know it… Experience for yourself the power of courage and avoidance… See how the avoiding of the fear, or of anything, is worse than the fear, or the thing itself… See how the facing of any uncomfortable feeling that you have has a releasing effect…

~~~

Further exploring on the subject:

The instrument of your torture, the thing which once threatened to break your spirit, eventually becomes your salvation, even wakes you up, to presence, to gratitude, to the miracle of creation. When we turn to fearlessly face apparent darkness we may discover only undivided light, find a part of ourselves longing for love. Freedom lies not in escaping into the Absolute but in affirming life as it is – in consummating our marriage to our humanity, including all its trials and tribulations, and knowing God as the unbreakable principle present even in our pain, that which holds us even when we cannot hold ourselves.” 
~ Jeff Foster

~

Just trace your feelings back to their counterpart in the body as sensation, and then trace these sensations back to this luminous empty knowing. It’s all that’s there. This luminous empty knowing, the stuff out of which these sensations is made, to know that, to touch that – THAT is the experience of happiness, or peace. The happiness we seek lives at the heart of our deepest, darkest feelings. We don’t find happiness by avoiding our deepest, darkest feelings and trying to replace them with another kind of feeling. We do the opposite, we trace our way back deeper and deeper and deeper, to go right to the heart of the feeling where we expect to find the monster – the one that is really responsible for our feelings. We never find the monster. If it recurs, then meet these recurring feelings with this recurring exploration. In other words, meet it with your experience. Your feelings cannot stand the truth of your experience. In the end, they have to bow down. They will in time bow down.” 
~ Rupert Spira

~

Eventually, it occurs to me to stop trying to do (or not do) anything, to give up the search for a solution or a distraction, to simply be present, to allow everything to be just exactly as it is. Suddenly it becomes possible to completely surrender to the actuality of Here / Now, to resist nothing, not even the compulsive biting of my fingers if that is what is happening. Instantly, I feel the heart open. This is the end of grasping and seeking, the end of resisting and avoiding, the end of trying to fix myself and be somebody else, the end of trying to figure it all out or get the right conceptual map nailed down. This is not knowing anything and not needing to know. Suddenly there is no problem anymore. There is no me. There is only this undivided, spacious presence that includes everything, just as it is. Everything is okay, even fingerbiting or feelings of uneasiness or anxiety. Nothing needs to be other than how it is, and when there is complete openness to how it is, I find it is no particular way at all. Everything is moving and changing and dissolving. There is a huge sense of relief. The problem was imaginary.”
~ Joan Tollifson

~

If we trace our suffering back far enough,
there, right at its heart, right at its origin,
we find the experience of peace and happiness
which we were previously seeking
by avoiding the suffering.
The moment we kiss the toad,
it turns into the prince.”
~ Rupert Spira

 

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The picture is by Helena Cuerva/Pixabay

Bibliography:
– ‘Presence’, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘The Way of Rest: Finding the Courage to Hold Everything in Love’ – by Jeff Foster – (Sounds True)
– ‘Nothing to Grasp’ – by Joan Tollifson – (Nonduality Press)

Websites:
Rupert Spira
Joan Tollifson
Jeff Foster

Suggestion:
Fleeing to God (other pointers from the blog)

 

I will Trust your Ways

Meeting with you is always so pleasant 
I love being reunited again
How wonderful it is to feel you
In me, once more
I thought you had been upset
By my late silly ramblings
You know how the ways of life
Can make me forget
And wander far remote
From your loving gaze
And embrace.
So I thank you
For your faithful presence 

I will trust your ways
Dear friend
Trust that you are never far away
And make the effort
To come to you
And hug you dearly
Every day
After all
What best friend do I have
Other than
Your very being
Your so solid shoulder
And sweet tender heart

I will trust your ways
Dear friend
And know that behind
All that is fragile in me
Inconsistent and fearful
Just here, hidden
Mingled with my clouds
Dancing with my being
You stand firm and generous
Supporting everything 
Giving your substance
To what is happening 

I will trust your ways
Dear friend
And not be an obstacle
To you – the sun
Making a shadow
Of your presence
But let you be the one
That governs my world 
Let the light that you are 
Fill my body to the brim
And spill over to be like
A perfume 
Investing every corner of my being

I will trust your ways
Dear friend
And let you be
Just be
Here 
Now
Not interfering
And when you have taken over
I will be showing 
My way
For it is you
Not me
That stands behind it

 

~~~

Text and photo by Alain Joly

~~~

 

Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)