A World of Delight

If the doors of perception were cleansed, 
everything would appear to man as it is: infinite
.”
~ William Blake

 

I have borrowed the words of the title to another of William Blake’s poems. It points to the realisation that our true nature is intimately married to the world, and that the expression of this understanding is pure, unconditional delight or happiness. This is the Tantric view: in Rupert Spira’s words, “the intimate knowing that Consciousness, what we truly are, is the substance of Reality, that there is only one thing, that there is only Being.” I have gathered here many quotes and pointers on this subject, from various spiritual teachers. They will tell you the story of the world…

 

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Tantrism aims to allow man to achieve liberation without renouncing the world, to achieve the paradoxical coincidence of manifestation and divinity.”
~ André Padoux

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Take the mind away from the world. What remains? You can neither say that it exists or that it does not exist. So you alone remain. Therefore, the world is only a thought.” 
~ Atmananda Krishna Menon

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An object exists because we think about it; we don’t think about it because it exists.”
~ Rupert Spira

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In tantra, sadhakas look upon this world as the manifestation of Shakti, the Divine Mother. It is real — not absolutely real, of course. But consider this comparison: Vedanta says, ‘Get away from maya, get out!’ Tantra says: ‘No, no, worship maya. Don’t get out; don’t throw it away; don’t discard it.’ This is the beauty of tantra. It doesn’t deny the world; it says, ‘The world is beautiful; it is true; it is the playground of the Divine Mother, and we are all her playmates.’ According to tantra, we have to realise Brahman through this world, not by negating this world. People are often confused by and fearful of the world, but God did not create the world to frighten people. There must be a purpose of this creation. What is the purpose? Play.” 
~ Swami Chetanananda

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We do not perceive a world outside Consciousness. 
The world is our perception of the world. 
There is no evidence that there is a world
outside the perception of it, 
outside Consciousness
.”
~ Rupert Spira

~

Discover more of this inner intimacy with the world… (READ MORE…)

 

‘I’ is the Goal

Here is a reminder from Nisargadatta Maharaj. 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:

Try to be, only to be. … All you need is to be aware of being, not as a verbal statement, but as an ever-present fact. The awareness that you are will open your eyes to what you are. It is all very simple. First of all, establish a constant contact with your self, be with yourself all the time. Into self-awareness all blessings flow. Begin as a centre of observation, deliberate cognisance, and grow into a centre of love in action. ‘I am’ is a tiny seed which will grow into a mighty tree — quite naturally, without a trace of effort.’

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Further exploring on the subject:

Ask yourself the question: ‘Am I aware?’, and look inside for the answer, stay there until you can genuinely answer ‘yes’ to the question. Use also ‘I am’. Or ‘What is it that knows or is aware of my experience?’. I am nothing that can be thought, felt, sensed or perceived; that is, I am nothing, not a thing or any kind of objective experience. I am the ever-present witness of experience, but am not myself an object of experience.”
~ Rupert Spira

~

Every perception, thought or feeling is known by you. You are the knower of the world through the sense organs; of the sense organs through the generic mind; and of the mind – with its activity or passivity – by your self alone. In all these different activities, you stand out as the one knower. Actions, perceptions, thoughts and feelings all come and go. But knowingness does not part with you, even for a moment. You are therefore always the knower. How then can you ever be the doer or the enjoyer?
After understanding the ‘I’-principle as pure Consciousness and happiness, always use the word ‘I’ or ‘knower’ to denote the goal of your retreat. The ‘I’ always brings subjectivity with it. It is this ultimate, subjective principle ‘I’ – divested of even that subjectivity – that is the goal
.”
~ Atmananda Krishna Menon 

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Pay no attention [to your thoughts]. Don’t fight them. Just do nothing about them, let them be, whatever they are. Your very fighting them gives them life. Just disregard. Look through. Remember to remember: ‘whatever happens — happens because I am’. All reminds you that you are. Take full advantage of the fact that to experience you must be.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Self-Enquiry becomes very useful. You simply allow thoughts to come to you and you enquire in a gentle way, ‘To whom do these thoughts come? Who is thinking these thoughts? I am.’ You wait and you enquire sincerely, ‘Who am I? What is the source of this I?’ When I say you have to dive within yourself, that’s how you dive within yourself. People often ask me, ‘How do you dive within yourself?’ That’s how you do it. You enquire, ‘Where does the I come from?’ The I is deep, deep within yourself. ‘What is the source of the I?’ Then thoughts will come to you again and you repeat the same thing over again. ‘To whom do these thoughts come? They come to me. Who is this me? What is the source of me?’ Me and I are synonymous. ‘Where does the me come from?’ You do it over, and over, and over again…”
~ Robert Adams

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The Prophet said, Whoever knows their self, knows their Lord.
He did not say, Whoever annihilates their self, knows their Lord
.”
~ Awhad al-din Balyani

 

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The picture is by brenkee / Pixabay

Bibliography:
– ‘Being Aware of Being Aware’, – by Rupert Spira – (Sahaja Publications)
– ‘I Am That‘ – by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘Silence of the Heart’ – by Robert Adams – (Infinity Institute)
– ‘Know Yourself’ – by Awhad al-din Balyani – (Beshara Publications)

Websites:
Rupert Spira
Nisargadatta Maharaj (Wikipedia)
Robert Adams (Wikipedia)
Atmananda Krishna Menon (Wikipedia)

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

 

The Deepest Acceptance

It is truth that liberates, 
not your effort to be free
.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

The question of ‘surrender’ is one that is often misunderstood. Surrender implies, in everyday language, something that the mind does, even remotely, in order to give itself to a reality that seems inescapable. It often comes down to a form of resignation, a giving up, something passive at its core, which brings more delusion and suffering. So what is true ‘surrender’, in a non-dual context? I have gathered here many quotes and pointers on this subject, from various spiritual teachers and poets of the eternal and the infinite. I hope that this will bring some clarity into that which Jeff Foster calls the deepest acceptance…

 

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People often think that surrender means to renounce wealth, sexuality, or objects. Such a renunciation might be useful but it could also be a hindrance. Real surrender takes place when we cease to take ourself for a separate entity, an object. This renunciation seems, at first sight, limited in scope and too simple, but it is, in fact, the ultimate surrender. Such a giving up has no purpose, it comes from the deep understanding that our true nature, consciousness, is free from all limitations. From this perspective, surrender means to see the limitations for what they are: mere concepts superimposed onto our real being, which is limitless.”
~ Francis Lucille (‘Eternity Now’)

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You may discover that when there is no resistance to totally being in hell, that heaven opens up and samsara reveals its true nature as nirvana. But the catch is, if you are embracing hell as a strategy to get you to heaven, that doesn’t work. Only the complete absence of wanting what is to be different in any way pops the imaginary bubble of separation. No one can do this. It is like dying or falling asleep. It is the absence of any doing, the absence of control, the absence of effort, the absence of any concern about what happens. It is a letting go, a dissolving, a relaxing. This letting go begins with letting go even of the need to let go, for the need to fall asleep keeps us awake, just as the imperative to surrender is a form of holding on and seeking control. True surrender is the absence of resistance even to holding on if that is how life is showing up in this moment. Surrender is the absence of trying to surrender.”
~ Joan Tollifson

Continue the exploration on the question of ‘surrender’ (READ MORE…)

 

The Flame of Sorrow

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:

Try to see in what way the function of most thoughts in our life is to deflect our attention away from the feeling of emptiness and sorrow and lack… Try to feel the very first impulse of the now being insufficient, not quite enough, and the very beginning of the indulging in an activity, or a thought pattern such as daydreaming… Try to notice the very start of it and do not move, stay where you are right now… See how the mind will be upset by your not moving…

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Further exploring on the subject:

There are various ways of escape but there is only one way of meeting sorrow. The escapes with which we are all familiar are really the ways of avoiding the greatness of sorrow. You see, we use explanations to meet sorrow but these explanations do not answer the question. The only way to meet sorrow is to be without any resistance, to be without any movement away from sorrow, outwardly or inwardly, to remain totally with sorrow, without wanting to go beyond it. … When there is no movement of escape from sorrow then love is. Passion is the flame of sorrow and that flame can only be awakened when there is no escape, no resistance.”
~ J. Krishnamurti (Dialogue 1 – New Delhi, 12th December 1970 )

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The apparently separate self is made out of the resistance to the Now. There is only one place the separate self cannot stand, and that is Now. In fact, the separate self is not an entity that resists the Now; it is simply the activity of resisting the Now. … See clearly how many of our thoughts contain this imaginary entity at their origin, and how this imaginary entity ventures into a past or future in order to avoid the Now.”
~ Rupert Spira (The Light of Pure Knowing, Meditation 8)

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We miss the real by lack of attention,
and create the unreal by excess of imagination
.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

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At certain moments, when alone, we feel a great lack deep within ourselves. This lack is the central one giving rise to all the others. The need to fill this lack, quench this thirst, urges us to think and act. Without even questioning it, we run away from this insufficiency. We try to fill it first with one object then with another, then, disappointed, we go from one compensation to another, from failure to failure, from one source of suffering to another, from one war to another.”
~ Jean Klein

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No matter what state dawns at this moment, can there be just that? Not a movement away, an escape into something that will provide what this state does not provide, or doesn’t seem to provide: energy, zest, inspiration, joy, happiness, whatever. Just completely, unconditionally listening to what’s here now, is that possible?
~ Toni Packer

 

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The picture is  by Nick_H / Pixabay

Bibliography:
– ‘Presence’, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘The First and Last Freedom’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Rider Publishing)
– ‘Who Am I‘ – by Jean Klein – (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘The Silent Question: Meditating in the Stillness of Not-Knowing’ – by Toni Packer – (Shambhala)

Websites:
Rupert Spira
J. Krishnamurti
Jean Klein (Wikipedia)
Toni Packer

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

 

The Serene Background

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 try to feel or sense this same inherent, serene, peaceful background in all your daily agitated experiences, be it thoughts, bodily activities, or external circumstances like noise… In any circumstances, at any moment, see that you can ask yourself the question: “Is awareness present? Is my knowing of my own being, its knowing of itself, veiled in any way whatsoever by the current appearance of the mind, the body, or the world?…’

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Further exploring on the subject:

We always feel essentially the same whole, indivisible, consistently present person, only we mistake the essential nature of that person. Although innumerable thoughts, feelings, sensations and perceptions are added to us and subsequently removed from us during the course of our lives, the person or self that we essentially are remains always the same. That is, pure knowing, the essence of mind, ‘I’, always remains in the same pristine condition.”
~ Rupert Spira

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When the Sufis say ‘La ilaha illa la’ – ‘There is no God but God’ – they do not mean that their God, Allah, is the only true God as opposed to all the other religions’ Gods, as is commonly supposed. Rather, they mean that no mind, person, self, object or world ever actually comes into existence. No thing is a thing unto itself. No thing has its own being. The apparent existence of all objects and selves is borrowed from God’s infinite, self-aware being, infinite awareness, our very own intimate, impersonal self, from whose point of view there is nothing other than itself. That being shines in the mind as the knowledge ‘I am’ and in the world as the experience ‘it is’. The amness of the self is the isness of things.”
~ Rupert Spira

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The personality is nothing other than a projection, a habit created by memory and nourished by desire. Ask yourself the question ‘Who am I?’ and lucidly observe that the questioner, thinker, doer, sufferer are all forms that appear and disappear within the consciousness of ‘I am,’ the ever-living background. They have no reality in themselves. What we call the person is due to a mistake. Thoughts, feelings and actions appear and disappear indefinitely, creating an illusion of continuity. The idea of being a person, an ego, is nothing other than an image held together by memory.”
~ Jean Klein

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The self must cease through awareness of its own limitation, the falseness of its own existence. However deep, wide, and extensive it may become, the self is always limited, and until it is abandoned, the mind can never be free. The mere perception of that fact is the ending of the self, and only then is it possible for that which is the real to come into being.”
~ J. Krishnamurti 

 

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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)
– ‘Who Am I‘ – by Jean Klein – (Non-Duality Press)

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

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

 

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…

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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

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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

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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

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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)

 

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.

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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

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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)