The Little Monsters

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:

Just experience the raw sensation, for example of fear, without thought, without the labelling. Instead of covering it up, turn around and face it. Let the feeling come totally to you. Face it, keep living with it, keep opening yourself to it so fully, until there is not the slightest resistance to it. Ask yourself: Can I live with this feeling for ever? You have to be able to answer ‘yes’ to that question. Then see what remains of it. Be very careful not to turn this into a practice that you undertake in order to get rid of unpleasant feelings. Make it just a loving contemplation to discover the truth of your being, the dissolution of this feeling being a side-effect, a by-product…’

~~~

Further exploring on the subject:

Observation is like a flame which is attention, 
and with that capacity of observation, 
the wound, the feeling of hurt, the hate, 
all that, is burnt away, gone
.”
~ J. Krishnamurti 

~

Fall in love with this secret humanity. Know that darkness is NOT darkness, only scared fragments longing to come into the light, beings who want love, and attention, and breath, and inclusion in the larger picture of Self. […] Illuminate. Radiate. Make it safe for the little monsters to come out of hiding. Let them know they are beautiful. And worthy. And not monsters at all.”
~ Jeff Foster

~

In simple openness which is welcoming you will come to accept and get to know your negative feelings, desires and fears. Once welcomed in non-directed attention these feelings will burn themselves up, leaving only silence.”
~ Jean Klein (‘I Am’)

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You never remain with any feeling, pure and simple, but always surround it with the paraphernalia of words. The word distorts it; thought, whirling round it, throws it into shadow, overpower it with mountainous fears and longings. You never remain with a feeling, and with nothing else: with hate, or with that strange feeling of beauty.” […] Try to remain with a feeling, and see what happens. You will find it amazingly difficult. Your mind will not leave the feeling alone; it comes rushing in with its remembrances, its associations, its do’s and don’ts, its everlasting chatter. […] Can you look without the movement of the mind? Can you live with the feeling behind the word, without the feeling that the word builds up? If you can, then you will discover an extraordinary thing, a movement beyond the measure of time, a spring that knows no summer.” 
~ J. Krishnamurti (Commentaries on Living, Series III – Chapter 37 – ‘Aloneness Beyond Loneliness’)

~

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each 
has been sent as a guide from the beyond
.”
~ Rumi

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The photo is by Alain Joly

Bibliography:
– ‘Presence’, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘Commentaries on Living, I, II & III’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Quest Books,U.S.)
– ‘The Way of Rest: Finding the Courage to Hold Everything in Love’ – by Jeff Foster – (Sounds True)
– ‘I Am’ – by Jean Klein – (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘The Essential Rumi’ – Translated by Coleman Barks – (HarperOne)

Websites:
Rupert Spira
J. Krishnamurti
Jean Klein (Wikipedia)
Jeff Foster
Rumi (Wikipedia)

Suggestions:
Fleeing to God (other pointers from the blog)
A Day at Brockwood Park (Homage to J. Krishnamurti)
Rumi (Homage to Rumi)
A Secret Love Affair with Life (text by Jeff Foster)

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The Tail of the Tiger

Here is a reminder from Robert Adams. 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:

You’ve got to realize you are greater than you think, and you’ve got the same power within you as everybody else does. It may appear to be asleep, but as you work on yourself, work on yourself, work on yourself, you will awaken it, and one day it will become stronger than you are and take you over completely and you’ll be free. But you’ve got to keep on working on yourself, and stop putting yourself down. That’s the worst thing you can do is to put yourself down. That’s blasphemy because you’re putting God down. Think of yourself as a higher person, love yourself, worship yourself, bow to yourself. You are greater than you think.”

~~~

Further exploring on the subject:

Increase and widen your desires till nothing but reality can fulfil them. It is not desire that is wrong, but its narrowness and smallness. Desire is devotion. By all means be devoted to the real, the infinite, the eternal heart of being. Transform desire into love. All you want is to be happy. All your desires, whatever they may be, are expressions of your longing for happiness. Basically, you wish yourself well.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Hold on to the tail of the tiger, don’t let it go, because you will see if you hold on, you will enter into quite, totally a different dimension. But if you let go, you know it is like coming back to living in the beastly life of struggle and conflict and battle with each other.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

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I think the best way to live in this world, the most important thing, is to explore and to recognise who we essentially are. And having recognised who we essentially are, or as we are engaged in this exploration, to think and feel in a way that is consistent with our understanding of ourself. And to act in a way that is consistent with those thoughts and feelings. In other words, our knowledge of ourself, our understanding of ourself, is the most important aspect of life, because everything we do, everything we think, all the relationships we engage in, we think and feel and act and relate on behalf of ourself. And therefore, everything depends on our understanding of ourself.”
~ Rupert Spira

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O soul, seek the Beloved, O friend, seek the Friend,
O watchman, be wakeful: it behoves not a watchman to sleep
.”
~ Rumi

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You always have two choices. One choice is the familiar one: to sacrifice this mysterious awakeness for something else. The second choice is not to sacrifice this that’s awake and present, whatever you happen to be. You can choose not to sacrifice this for the next promise of a better moment, a better event, or a better experience. This is your choice — to be true to what’s true or not. And this is the Fire of Truth. This that is awake now, as you, in you, reveals the utter irrelevance of every other argument, whatever that may be. This that is awake to itself renders everything that is not true irrelevant. This silence burns the grasping for anything else and frees the life that you are, to live itself without negotiation. Feel the immediate visceral invitation of this that is awake, to put down everything else. The invitation asks you to cease bargaining with life, with the moment, yourself, your teacher, your friend, your mate. Just stop. This fire is unseen and unknown, and yet it burns everything other than itself.”
~ Adyashanti

 

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The picture is by Susann Mielke / Pixabay

Bibliography:
– ‘Silence of the Heart’ – by Robert Adams – (Infinity Institute)
– ‘Being Aware of Being Aware’, – by Rupert Spira – (Sahaja Publications)
– ‘I Am That‘ – by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘Krishnamurti’s Notebook’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Krishnamurti Publications of America, US)
– ‘The Essential Rumi’ – Translated by Coleman Barks – (HarperOne)
– ‘Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering’ – by Adyashanti – (Sounds True Inc)

Websites:
Robert Adams (Wikipedia)
Rupert Spira
Nisargadatta Maharaj (Wikipedia)
J. Krishnamurti 
– Rumi (Wikipedia)
Adyashanti

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

 

Rumi

“We are all returning.”
~ The Koran

 

“On the seeker’s path, wise men and fools are one.
In His love, brothers and strangers are one.
Go on! Drink the wine of the Beloved!
In that faith, Muslims and pagans are one
.”
~ Rumi, Quatrain 305

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در راه طلب عاقل و دیوانه یکی است
در شیوه‌ی عشق خویش و بیگانه یکی است
آن را که شراب وصل جانان دادند
در مذهب او کعبه و بتخانه یکی است

 

Rumi is a giant. Somebody whose words resonate with the perfume of truth, but about whom we paradoxically know very little. At least I didn’t. Quoted far beyond the small circle of spiritual seekers, he is taken for granted, like a distant angular stone of spirituality. His verses are shared, loved as so many gems of human history, but without showing off. And yet, what depth of understanding they convey! In what subtle and intricate ways they describe the torturous alleys of spiritual endeavour! And with what simplicity!

 

Why do you stay in prison
When the door is so wide open?
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.
Flow down and down in always 
widening rings of being
.”
~ ’The Essential Rumi’ (Translated by Coleman Barks)

 

Rumi was a Sufi. He was born Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, in 1207, in Balkh in present day Afghanistan, in a family of Sufi tradition. Sufism, which could be defined as ‘the inward dimension of Islam’, has its origins shrouded in mystery. How did it suddenly grow, nobody knows. The word comes from ‘sūf’ which refers to the woollen garment worn by the first mystics who broke away from the mainstream Islamic religion. Sufism didn’t grow in opposition to Islam, the religion that gave it birth around the 9th century, but as a deepening, a going back to the very source and meaning behind traditional Muslim orthodoxy. The Sufi devotee wanted to feel, to know God as the true presence in the heart, not putting an illusory figure at a distance to be worshipped. That’s how Sufism placed love, the love of god, at the centre and expressed it in the most exquisite poetry. That’s how music and dance were allowed and praised. Sufism is understanding and living this primary statement of faith in Islamic religion: ‘There is no god but god.”

Immerse yourself in Rumi’s path of divine love and poetry… (READ MORE…)

 

Fragrance

Prayer is our one link with the real 
– if by ‘prayer’ we mean simply an attention 
both extreme and careless of any result, 
an attention so pure that the one who practises it 
is not even aware of doing so
.”
~ Christian Bobin

 

The other day, I found the old, beautifully handmade prayer book of my grandmother, and skimmed through it. Prayer has always been to me something of a difficulty and I think the time has come to seriously address it. I’m intending to share prayers on this blog, making it the subject of a new category. 

There seems to be two habitual ways of praying. The main one is to beg, implore, request – positively or negatively, asking for something objective, however refined this object can be. The second way is devotional, contemplative, but often turns out to be a repetitive, compelled form of recitation. Both forms are unsatisfactory, ranging from being naive, belief-based, self-concerned, to just lacking efficacy. 

A good prayer is a totally non-objective one, at least in spirit if not in words. Rupert Spira says: “The turning of the mind away from the objective content of experience towards the source or essence from which it has arisen is the essence of meditation or prayer.” And Meister Eckhart says nothing different when stressing that the most powerful form of prayer is “the outcome of a quiet mind” or that there should only be “a pure going out of what is our own.” And such a mind, in his own words, is one that “is forever immersed in God’s most precious will, having left its own.” A prayer is an invitation to rest or abide in what is most essential in our being, and in that it can be equated with meditation, which is originally the Hindu or Buddhist form of prayer, or with the koan of zen. 

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. Rupert Spira sums it up in a beautiful way: “Let what you become be an expression of the source.” Love is all, and love is prayer.

~

In the existence of your love, 
I become non-existent. 
This non-existence linked to you 
is better than anything 
I ever found in existence.

~ Rumi

~

 

Here is a beautiful prayer that I heard from Francis Bennett. It was originally composed by John Henry Newman, a 19th century poet and theologian, and is known as the ‘Fragrance Prayer’:

Dear Presence so divine 
Help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly,
That my life may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me, and be so in me 
That every soul I come in contact with 
May feel your presence in my soul 
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only You!

Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine,
So to shine as to be a light to others;
The light, O Lord, will be all from You; none of it will be mine;
It will be you, shining on others through me.

Let me thus praise You the way You love best, by shining on those around me.
Let me preach You without preaching, not by words but by my example,
By the catching force of the sympathetic influence of what I do,
The evident fullness of the love my heart bears to You.

Amen.

 

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Introductory text and photo by Alain Joly

Prayer by John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
(Adapted by Francis Bennett)

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This article is the first that appears in a new category called ‘Fragrance of Love’. This is the place to share a prayer or meditation – this fragrance of ourselves – as the main feature.

Suggestion:
The Quiet Mind (Meister Eckhart)
– Watch Francis Bennett’s video on YouTube: Integrating Humanity with Divinity, a Science and Nonduality Conference…

Bibliography:
– ‘Conversations with Meister Eckhart’ – by Meister Eckhart & Simon Parke – (White Crow Books Ltd)
– ‘The Very Lowly: A Meditation on Francis of Assisi’ – by Christian Bobin – (New Seeds)

Websites:
John Henry Newman (Wikipedia)
Francis Bennett (finding grace at the center)
Rupert Spira
Meister Eckhart (Wikipedia)
Rumi (Wikipedia)
Christian Bobin (Wikipedia)

 

Le carillon de Bénarès

I’m sharing here a new page for the people speaking French only. If you are bilingual, you can check it too, since a few articles have not been shared on the main blog in English…

Voici une nouvelle page de la section En Français, où textes, poésies, citations vous sont proposés comme autant de mises en abîme de l’Être. Voici l’une d’elles:

 

A Bénarès, il est une rue qui descend doucement en serpentant,
Une artère où se répète chaque jour un événement extraordinaire.
Le soir venu, à l’heure où la nuit se pose, où la lumière des échoppes
Fait briller bracelets, pans de soie, et ustensiles,
Les habitants de la cité rentrent chez eux, empruntant
Les nombreux rickshaws qui descendent le long de cette avenue.
Les vélo-rickshaws de Bénarès ont une particularité étonnante,
Une sonnette placée sur la roue qui, par l’effet des rayons venant la frapper,
Produit quand on l’active une sonnerie continue et harmonieuse.
Du flot incessant des conducteurs de rickshaws avertissant de leur présence
Se répandait alors un carillon qui inondait la nuit de sa pureté,
Et remplissait la rue d’une atmosphère sonore féerique à nulle autre pareille.
Là, dans cette rue tout près du Gange sacré,
Des hommes simples, parmi les plus pauvres,
Nous offraient par le simple fait de pédaler
Une nuée de sons, cascades et tintinnabulements,
Composant une symphonie
Dont la splendeur ravive encore aujourd’hui ma mémoire endormie.
La musique céleste des rickshaws-wallahs de Bénarès.

 

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Texte et photo de Alain Joly

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Les autres articles présentés :
– ‘Prompt comme l’oiseau’ (texte court)
– ‘La solitude de l’Être’ (citations)
– ‘Les passants de l’abîme’ (poésie)

Quatre mises en abîme de l’Être… (LIRE LA SUITE)

 

The Whirling World

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A secret turning in us
makes the universe turn.
Head unaware of feet,
and feet head. Neither cares.
They keep turning.”

~ Rumi

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“What is the significance of this dance? See that if you experiment yourself, turning and turning around in circles, you may realize that it is the world that rotates while you stand still. Here, in our center, and for ever, is the Immobility. When Rumi turned and turned, he must have seen around him the trees, the ground, his disciples, the sun, the moon and the stars. He must have seen his body, his arms stretched out, his feet, all moving. But closer than that, there was Immobility, Silence, Peace. While he was turning and turning, while he let go of the turning world, his sense of oneness with the Source probably got deeper. The depth, the jewel and the mystery of Immobility must have swallowed him and washed him wave after wave. In this Ocean of Love where he drowned, he dissolved until only the Ocean remained. While Immobility lies in the center of the whirling world, without anything that neither comes nor goes, like a rock that is always present and sure, joy sprung forth everywhere around, and so did the ecstasy of the dance. In the midst of the fuzzy world, spinning again and again, he had capitulated, drunk with the beauty, the wisdom and the love of the Beloved.”

.

~~~

Text by Ergin Ergül – ‘La sagesse de Rumi’
(Translated from French by Alain Joly)

Painting from Iranien artist Hossein Irandoust

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Bibliography:
– ‘365 Days With Rûmî’ – Ergin Ergül

Website:
– Rumi (Wikipedia)

Suggestions:
Other articles from the same category ‘Shreds of Infinity
Rumi (Homage to Rumi)

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Suffering Leads to Joy

This is the first of a series of texts or essays that will be presented in the future. Different subjects of spiritual interest will be explored in turn. Writing this text started with answering a simple question: ‘How did it all begin for me?’…

 

“Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times.
Come, yet again, come! come!”

~ Rumi

 

How did it all begin for me? This. This deep interest in finding out what life is about. This love of Truth. This spiritual search. In what cradle did it come to existence, in what fertile soil did it come to grow? I remember how acute the desire for change was as a young man. For this was all there was to it at the time. A big, raw, sincere desire to change, to be different. I was unhappy, dissatisfied with what I was. Surely it was the first seed, the primary cause of this journey. The path leading to that change in myself I had no idea about. I had to feel my way along, through random books, exotic places. Except for one intuition though, that there was something more to life than finding happiness solely through acquisitions, through changing the person that I happened to be. Otherwise I would have gone for it in a more acute way. Instead, I turned towards some kind of spiritual call, knowing nothing of it. I rushed into a tunnel of unknowing.

An essay on the subject of suffering. (READ MORE…)