The Path

A monk asked: 
« What is the true path on earth? » 
Fayan said: 
« Not a single path on earth is true. » 

~ Fayan Wenyi

 

I’d like to tell you a story, a parabolic tale I wrote long ago. It’s a story that has already been posted here on its own. It is called ‘The Truth Seeker’, but could have been called ‘The Path’, as it exposes, describes some of the stages we find along the spiritual path. This expression has been used, overused in spiritual circles. There seems to be so many paths, so many avenues of understanding. The Christian path, the Sufi path, the Advaita path, the tantric path, the direct path, the progressive path. The story that I’m about to tell you was written in Madras, on the grounds of the Theosophical Society, where the young Krishnamurti was ‘discovered’. Twenty years later, he rejected all organisations built around him and pronounced these famous words: “I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect.” So what is this path we so often hear about? What is its reality? The title ‘The Truth Seeker’ gives us a clue. It would be reasonable to say that a path, spiritually speaking, is everything that results from the activity of seeking truth. That’s one way of seeing it, but in that case, as seeking can be endless and so often leading nowhere, such a path is really not a path at all. Let’s see what our story has to say: 

     « A man, Admita, was living in a harsh and hostile desert. Surrounded by sand and swirling winds, he led a life of wandering without help or hope. He has well heard of stories that described places of lush greenery and great beauty, where valleys, forests, meadows, rushing streams and great rivers were home for countless animals, where mountains stood above deep blue seas, where the sun was warm and the air filled with a gentle breeze. He did not believe that such places really existed, but in front of so much loneliness and adversity, he could not help thinking about it and hoping to discover this wonderful land. » …

A playful exploration into the nature of the spiritual path (READ MORE…)

 

 

Beauty in Essence

Without experiencing the essence there is no beauty. 
Beauty is not merely in the outward things 
or in inward thoughts, feelings and ideas; 
there is beauty beyond this thought and feeling. 
It’s this essence that is beauty.

~ J. Krishnamurti 

 

~~~

The quote is from Krishnamurti’s Notebook

Photo by Alain Joly

~~~

 

This article is the first that appears in a new category called ‘Beauty in Essence’. This is the place to share a photo or a work of art as the main feature. A very short poem or quote will be accompanying it…

Bibliography :
– ‘Krishnamurti’s Notebook’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Krishnamurti Publications of America, US)

Website:
J. Krishnamurti

 

The Fleeting Entity

Here is a reminder inspired from the words of Rupert Spira. The ‘fleeting entity’ is an expression he used to describe the separate self. 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:

Keep on looking in what way almost all your thoughts, feelings, activities, are based upon the belief that you are going to die… See that underneath all of that is your fear of disappearing…

~~~

Further exploring on the subject:

This imaginary identification of our self with an object, the body, creates the apparently separate self. … This apparently separate self, being made out of an intermittent object, is, by definition, unstable, always threatened with change, decay and disappearance. Hence the fear of disappearance that resides at its heart and its natural corollary, seeking.”
~ Rupert Spira

~

Addiction of any sort, be it to inappropriate sexual behaviour, alcohol, drugs, smoking or any milder form of behaviour, almost always has its origin in the belief and, more importantly, the feeling of being a separate, limited, located self.”
~ Rupert Spira

~

Fear and seeking manifest in the most innocuous forms of behaviour, the most common of which is unnecessary thinking, the almost constant mental chatter or commentary that most of us are familiar with. This innocuous commentary is the simplest form of the ‘resistance to what is’. It is the repetitive background chatter that ensures that attention is almost always diverted away from the immediacy, intimacy and simplicity of ‘what is’. This is the primal addiction.”
~ Rupert Spira

~

Between living and death there is time. Time, that interval between what actually is and something which we call death, of which we are afraid. This interval between life and death is brought about by thought. Of course there is actual dying: the physical organism, through disease, accident, through usage, dies. But there is fear of death and the sorrow of death as a psychological ending. So there is not only the fear of physical dying, but also the fear of losing all the things that one has learnt, the memories, the experiences, the affections, the family, the hopes, the works, the character, all that one has developed, cultivated, nourished – fear of their coming to an end.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

~

We cling when we fear that without identifying with something or as something, “myself” will lack substance entirely, rendering ordinary life devoid of meaning. Even a glimmer of the possibility of emptiness and meaninglessness can feel terrifying—like glimpsing a bottomless void into which one might fall forever. And of course we fear death which, although many attempt to hold it at bay with religion and spirituality, will mean the end of the entire self-centered production called ‘my life’.”
~ Robert Saltzman

~

It all begins with ‘I, the body’,

That is the root of all suffering,

which our addictions seek to alleviate.”

~ Rupert Spira

 

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– Artwork by Daniel B. Holeman

Bibliography:
– ‘Presence’, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘The First and Last Freedom’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Rider Publishing)
– ‘The Ten Thousand Things’ – by Robert Saltzman – (Non-Duality Press)

Websites:
Rupert Spira
J. Krishnamurti
Robert Saltzman

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

 

And There was Life…

I’d like to share a particular side in Krishnamurti’s writing: his exquisite descriptions of nature. You find them in ‘Krishnamurti’s Notebook’ and in the three series of ‘Commentaries on Living’. They usually start a chapter, and are an opening to his inner observations. They are a testimony to his looking at the world in a way that is always new and fresh, uncontaminated by thoughts, by the past. They are an exemple of a non-duel apprehension of life, of nature, and of the thousands happenings.

~

Again, it has been a clear, sunny day, with long shadows and sparkling leaves; the mountains were serene, solid and close; the sky was of an extraordinary blue, spotless and gentle. Shadows filled the earth; it was a morning for shadows, the little ones and the big ones, the long, lean ones and the fat satisfied ones, the squat homely one and the joyful, spritely ones. The roof-tops of the farms and the chalets shone like polished marble, the new and the old. There seemed to be a great rejoicing and shouting among the trees and meadows; they existed for each other and above them was heaven, not the man-made, with its tortures and hopes. And there was life, vast, splendid, throbbing and stretching in all directions. It was life, always young and always dangerous; life that never stayed, that wandered through the earth, indifferent, never leaving a mark, never asking or calling for anything.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

~~

Then, far away, came dawn. In the east there was spreading light, so young and pale, so quiet and timid; it came past those distant hills and it touched the towering mountains and the peaks. In groups and singly, the trees stood still, the aspen began to wake up and the stream shouted with joy. That white wall of a farm-house, facing west, became very white. Slowly, peacefully, almost begging it came and filled the land. Then the snow peaks began to glow, bright rose and the noises of the early morning began. Three crows flew across the sky, silently, all in the same direction; from far came the sound of a bell on a cow and still there was quiet. Then a car was coming up the hill and day began.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

~~

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky as the sun went down behind the hills; the air was still and not a leaf moved. Everything seemed held tight, in the light of a cloudless sky. The reflection of the evening light on a little stretch of water by the roadside was full of ecstatic energy and a little wildflower, by the wayside, was all life. There is a hill that looks like one of those ancient and ageless temples; it was purple, darker than violet, intense and vastly unconcerned; it was alive with an inward light, without shadow, and every rock and bush was shouting with joy.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

~~

DFE5DEB5-6291-454D-8BDE-1A3A2DF98897Demand is born out of duality: ’I am unhappy and I must be happy’. In that very demand that I must be happy is unhappiness. When one makes an effort to be good, in that very goodness is evil. Everything affirmed contains its own opposite, and effort to overcome strengthens that against which it strives. When you demand an experience of truth or reality, that very demand is born out of your discontent with what is, and therefore the demand creates the opposite. And in the opposite there is what has been. So one must be free of this incessant demand, otherwise there will be no end to the corridor of duality. This means knowing yourself so completely that the mind is no longer seeking.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

 

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Head picture from Alain Joly

Bibliography:
– ‘Krishnamurti’s Notebook’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Krishnamurti Publications of America,US)
– ‘Commentaries on Living, I, II & III’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Quest Books,U.S.)

Websites:
J. krishsnamurti
Krishnamurti Foundation Trust

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

 

This Moment…

Here is a reminder from Joan Tollifson. 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:

What is happening in this bodymind right now? Reading words on a computer screen, hearing sounds, seeing shapes and colors, breathing. And what else is going on? Is there expectation, curiosity, excitement, boredom, restlessness? Can we take a moment to pause and be aware of how it is right now, without trying to modify or correct it in any way, but simply being awake to the bare actuality of this moment, just as it is?
~ Joan Tollifson

~~~

Further exploring on the subject:

It is extremely difficult to be aware of dullness, to be aware of greed, to be aware of ill-will, ambition, and so on. The very fact of being aware of ‘what is’ is truth. It is truth that liberates, not your striving to be free. Thus, reality is not far, but we place it far away because we try to use it as a means of self-continuity. It is here, now, in the immediate. The eternal or the timeless is now and the now cannot be understood by a man who is caught in the net of time.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

~

Happiness is the absence of resistance to what is.
It is the highest spiritual practice.
However, it is not a practice of the mind;
it is the ever-present nature of Myself, Awareness
.”
~ Rupert Spira

~

You must leave behind you the idea of improving. There is nothing to be found, nothing to achieve. Searching and wanting to achieve something are the fuel for the entity you believe yourself to be. Don’t project an idea of reality, of freedom. Be simply aware of the facts of your existence without wanting change. Seeing things in this way will bring you a state of deep relaxation both physical and psychological. Even this state becomes an object of perception and dissolves in your observation where there is no longer observer or state observed. …
The only way out is to simply observe
.”
~ Jean Klein

~

Traffic sounds, bird songs, an airplane flying over, wind rustling the leaves, a television in another room, children’s voices, a dog barking. Shapes, colors. The movement of breathing, the sensation of contact with the chair, a cool breeze gently touching the skin, a tingling in the feet, maybe an uneasiness in the belly or a tightness in the throat, perhaps a vague sense of anxiety or discontent, these words registering in the mind.

Does this present happening take effort, or is it all happening effortlessly by itself?

This moment is utterly simple and straightforward, totally obvious, completely unavoidable, effortlessly being just exactly the way it is, however that is. It may be painful or unpleasant, but there is nothing confusing about the present moment until we start thinking.”
~ Joan Tollifson

 

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Joan Tollifson’s reminders are from her essay: ‘How Simple Can This Be?

The picture is from: Sasin Tipchai / Pixabay

Bibliography:
– ‘Nothing to Grasp’ – by Joan Tollifson – (Nonduality Press)
– ‘The First and Last Freedom’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Rider Publishing)
– ‘Presence’, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘The Book of Listening’ – by Jean Klein – (Non-Duality Press)

Websites:
– Joan Tollifson
J. Krishnamurti
Rupert Spira
Jean Klein

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

 

Blown Out

We continue our series of texts or essays on different subjects of spiritual interest. The question here is about ‘having a spiritual experience’, and delving into the nature of what is called ‘awakening’…

 

There is a safe place in view of all, but difficult of approach,
where there is no old age nor death, no pain nor disease.
It is what is called nirvāṇa, or freedom from pain, or perfection;
it is the safe, happy, and quiet place which the great sages reach.
That is the eternal place, in view of all, but difficult of approach.

~ Uttaradhyana Sutra, 81-4 (Buddhism)

 

Nothing much, really. Something just like peeking out of the window. But let’s not be overly disdainful, for this can bend the course of a life and change it in a profound way. To have a spiritual experience is a blessing, a call, maybe a rehearsal for the final dissolution. It leaves you puzzled, wanting to understand, and above all, searching to have it again in the future. It can be just a flavour suddenly lingering at the back of your mind, or a spectacular awakening, or anything in between. In all cases, you meet something new, that is outside any known experience, and yet has a familiar flame, like an old forgotten memory. Above all, peace, love, and happiness are attached to it. It is the DNA of any genuine experience, its vital core, and what makes it so desirable. After all, do we want anything in life but a lasting happiness? It can last for seconds, minutes, or days. It comes as a grace, unexpected, uninvited. One important characteristic is that it fades away, finally disappears. Otherwise we wouldn’t call it an ‘experience’. A spiritual experience is an awakening that failed.

An essay to delve into the nature of Awakening (READ MORE…)

 

The Aloneness of Being

‘The Aloneness of being’ is a phrase borrowed from Krishnamurti. Here are a few quotes to celebrate Aloneness…

 

Aloneness is the purgation of all motives,
of all pursuits of desire,
of all ends.

~ J. Krishnamurti

 

We walked up the steep bank of the river and took a path that skirted the green wheat-fields. This path was a very ancient way; many thousands had trodden it, and it was rich in tradition and silence. It wandered among fields and mangoes, tamarinds and deserted shrines. There were large patches of garden, sweet peas deliciously scenting the air. The birds were settling down for the night, and a large pond was beginning to reflect the stars. Nature was not communicative that evening. The trees were aloof; they had withdrawn into their silence and darkness. A few chattering villagers passed by on their bicycles, and once again there was deep silence and that peace which comes when all things are alone.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

~

One must be willing to stand alone — in the unknown, with no reference to the known or the past or any of one’s conditioning. One must stand where no one has stood before in complete nakedness, innocence, and humility. One must stand in that dark light, in that groundless embrace, unwavering and true to the reality beyond all self — not just for a moment, but forever without end. For then that which is sacred, undivided, and whole is born within consciousness and begins to express itself.
~ Adyashanti

~

Aloneness is indivisible and loneliness is separation. That which is alone is pliable and so enduring. Only the alone can commune with that which is causeless, the immeasurable. To the alone, life is eternal; to the alone there is no death. The alone can never cease to be.
~ J. Krishnamurti

~

Walking, surrounded by these violet, bare, rocky mountains, suddenly there was solitude. Complete solitude. Everywhere, there was solitude; it had great, unfathomable richness; it had that beauty which is beyond thought and feeling. It was not still; it was living, moving, filling every nook and corner. The high rocky mountain top was aglow with the setting sun and that very light and colour filled the heavens with solitude.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

 

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– J. Krishnamurti’s excerpts are from ‘Krishnamurti’s Notebook’ and ‘Commentaries on Living: First Series’.

– Adyashanti’s excerpt is from: ‘An Inner Revolution’, by Adyashanti

– Picture by Alain Joly

Bibliography:
– ‘Commentaries on Living: First Series’, by J. Krishnamurti – (Quest Books,U.S.)
– ‘Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering’, by Adyashanti – (Sounds True Inc)

Websites:
J. Krishnamurti
Adyashanti

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