The Guard and the Prison Breaker

‘The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’ (part) – Caspar David Friedrich, 1818 – WikiArt

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Without freedom there is no self-knowing 
and without self-knowing there is no meditation
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~ J. Krishnamurti 

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Few sensations are as boisterously exhilarating as freedom is. Freedom is something that we all love to feel. To be freed! Freed from all weights and limitations. Freed from everything that bullies us and pins us down. But most of the time, this feeling is experienced from the vantage point of the little thought in our head that thinks it runs the show. This entity thinks that its freedom comes from being separate, and from its capacity to do what it wants. This is what being free means to most people. But is this really what freedom is, where freedom lies? In expressing all that comes from the lack and desperation of a limited, vindicative little self? If that is so, then this freedom takes us nowhere but in the already known boundaries of our self. How could that account for the power and magnitude of this feeling? Freedom cannot be so small and contrived. What is it then? Where is true freedom to be found? 

Freedom can never be fully felt within the conglomerate of our thoughts, feelings and perceptions, between the four walls of our prison cell. We may feel some occasional bursts of pleasure but this is not the real deal. If you search for freedom through that portion of yourself that is fleeting, fragile, untrue, you will by definition prevent the advent of any meaningful freedom. You will have limited freedom, something to be achieved, something to be added that becomes just another object, another aim in view. And don’t forget that this limited freedom can never be achieved anyway, for we in truth can never do what we want. And of what advantage would it be to follow the clumsy, limited, fanciful ideas of a mind that stands on false premises. Because of this impossible claim, we feel bitter, sad, violent, jealous, regretful. Let’s move away from such dangerous idea. 

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An inquiry into the question of freedom… (READ MORE…)

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A Thing of Beauty

‘Saint Peter’s Basilica’ – Rome (Vatican)

Isn’t the world the most extraordinary place? I’ll explain. Take a tree. A single tree, with its roots spreading and fiddling deep into the soil. And its erected trunk that divides itself into branches, and a thousand twigs, and a whole foliage of leaves. The shadow it gives. The home that it is for birds and little animals. And the shelter. And a thing of beauty. To be admired, listened to, touched, felt. The roughness of its bark under your fingers. And the presence. There are millions — most certainly trillions — of such trees that spread over the world to form groves and vast forests. Extending their sheltering embrace to countless beings. And to you too, today. A tree! The strangest thing there is. To look at one is to be taken into a well of wonder. Feel that amazement. See where it takes you. You will be surprised.

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A reflection and meditation on the beautiful world that we are… (READ MORE…)

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An Unnoticed Pathology

In our relationship to truth, we often find ourselves in the position of somebody who, on waking up, tries to remember his dream. Any searching, any effort to remember, the slightest doing towards that goal, is pushing the dream away, dislocating it irremediably.

The problem is that we want something. This is our state. Our unnoticed pathology. One that we have inherited from society, and that we have integrated to the point of being it — this wanting, craving, searching. We mind what happens and want to control it. Fair enough. But we should do it from a position of truth, of relaxation, of not minding. We should let the story go, the one that tells us that we are incomplete, not enough, needy of a thousand things, and that prevents us from seeing clearly this presence that we are now and of all eternity. 

We cannot even say that we will let go of all seeking and just sit down doing nothing, for our ‘not doing anything’ is already a cathedral of doing that we have patiently and methodically put together over the years. As the French philosopher Blaise Pascal once noticed, “all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” 

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Some thoughts on our unfortunate propensity for seeking… (READ MORE…)

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The Householder Sage

Photo by lensnmatter on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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Objectivity, in any form, is the only obstacle to Truth.”
~ Atmananda Krishna Menon

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It really is a remarkable thing that some of the clearest expressions of modern day non-duality have come from simple Indian men who lived simple lives in society. Atmananda Krishna Menon, married and a father of three children, a police inspector, was one such man. He became, along with Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, an essential pillar of the non-dual understanding in India, giving voice to a new approach called the Direct Path, and becoming a guiding light for many seekers of truth in the West. 

Krishna Menon was born in 1883 in Kerala. He grew up in a well educated Brahmin family — some of his relatives were poets or scholars — and had a happy childhood. He was endowed with a good and curious mind, that allowed him to find pathways towards understanding that are clear, simple and effective. Krishna Menon had the highest respect for the function of a true guru. His encounter with his teacher was simple and eloquent. Walking by the roadside, he met in 1919 a swami and sannyasin from Calcutta named Yogananda. It was a short, transforming and unforgettable meeting that lasted only one night but touched him to his very soul. “This paralyzed my ego.” did he say. He realised his true self in just a few years and began teaching. His impeccable logic and clarity drew many a student around him. 

The Truth goes into you undressed,
not through language at all
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~ Atmananda Krishna Menon

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Discover the life and teaching of Atmananda Krishna Menon… (READ MORE…)

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What is Sought

“You are what needs to be found –
you are not the finder of anything –
the truth is in back of us,
not in front of us.
That’s why it can never be reached,
it can never be understood,
it can never be felt,
it can never be sensed —
because we are what needs
to be sensed, felt and seen.
We are not the seeker, 
we are what is sought.”

~ Eric Baret

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Quote by Eric Baret

Photo by Alain Joly

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The quote is excerpted from an interview in ‘Science & Nonduality’ entitled ‘What is Truth?’…

Bibliography:
– ‘Let the Moon Be Free: Conversations on Kashmiri Tantra’ – by Eric Baret (translation by Jeanric Meller) – (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)

Website:
Eric Baret (in French) 
Eric Baret (YouTube Channel) 

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Other quotes from the category Beauty in Essence

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One Rock-like Reality

‘Mont Sainte Victoire’ – Paul Cezanne, 1902-1906 – WikiArt

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If we think we are just a little body in a world, that very thought will put us in a position of extreme fragility. No wonder we are depressed, insecure, frightful, for ever claiming, hoping, dreaming, desiring, expecting. No wonder we feel we have to do something to sustain ourself, to make us viable, to give us consistency. I mean, what a depressing view to see ourself lodged in a little corner of a vast world. What poor little thing that makes us. And we go along with it. We bump our heads against that made up reality of ours, that was passed on to us like a poisoned gift. Have we only looked at it thoroughly? I mean outside any believed cultural or spiritual constraints. Have we only looked at it seriously, intently, to actually find the truth of it? There must be a truth hiding here. Maybe it is even in full view. That we only have to look wholeheartedly at what we are. If we look at anything with that kind of intensity, the false is bound to crack up, recede, and break down into a puny heap of sand. For truth is standing like a rock. It won’t budge whatever we do. It cannot be harmed. But the untruth is fragile, precarious, forever modifying itself. What a poor thing to rely on. So for once I looked. For once I didn’t let my eyes drift nonchalantly in another thought invented direction. For once I let my eyes stare at the matter as if it was a question of life and death. And suddenly it jumped onto my face. I mean this reality. This immensity that is staring me in the face. And that I pretended was so hidden that it needed, to be uncovered, a task Herculean, an appetite gargantuan, and a time in infinite amount. No. God, oh no! It is waiting for a sign from you like an enamoured lover is. She is waiting for your letting go, your total abandon. Your resisting will put her off. Your postponing will make him turn his back on you. But the back is of your own making. It is made out of all that is acquired and fleeting in you, of all that is believed and resisting, all that doesn’t wish to open itself, that is shy and hesitant, untrustful, and therefore untrustworthy of your own majestic self and presence. So don’t pursue it through time or space. Don’t expect your understanding to dawn in some future day, some future place. That will prevent it. Why should you feel that this moment is not ripe, not quite the time for it to be revealed? That it should be postponed, waited for, prayed about. That it can’t be now. It can’t be here. I’m not ready, give me some more time. This now is not the now that I need. I’d rather drop it for now, and catch up with it at some future, more suitable occasion. Don’t do that. For you yourself are the very occasion that you need. You yourself are the very moment you need. You yourself are the only one thing there is, and ever will be. Don’t run away. Abandon yourself. You-are-now-here-it. And see how our own little frightened self has suddenly grown to infinite proportions. Rest in this Self. Don’t move. Any movement will make you separate from it. Will make you miss her rock-like vulnerability. So give up moving too. Be the very love you were seeking to acquire. For what is expected is already here. Made only of you. And now just see what happened. Becoming has receded into Being. Amen.

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Text by Alain Joly

Painting by Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)

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Website:
Paul Cezanne (Wikipedia)

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This is Meister Eckhart

‘Trinity’ – Andrei Rublev, 1410-1420 – WikiArt

 

The eye wherein I see God 
is the same eye wherein God sees me; 
my eye and God’s eye are one eye, 
one vision, one knowing, one love
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~ Meister Eckhart

 

In the Middle Ages, in the heart of Europe and of the Christian faith, rose a voice of such richness and profusion, of such dumbfounding wisdom and precision of thought, that it is a duty for all serious seekers to be reminded of it. The name shines with a polish of spiritual mastery and authority: Meister Eckhart. Eckhart von Hochheim OP was born in 1260 near Gotha in central Germany. OP stands in Latin for Order of Preachers, which is a mendicant order of the Catholic Church — better known as the Dominican Order — of which Meister Eckhart was a monk and a leader. His teaching and sermons left a deep impression but he was so ahead of his time and of the general understanding of his pairs, that his work went into oblivion only to reappear in the 19th century. His voice and light could not possibly be left unnoticed. He is now accepted as one of the most profound and eminent theologians, philosophers, and mystics of all times.

Little is known about his family and early life. From 1295 onwards, he held many posts of responsibility in various states of central Germany, and as far as Cologne or Strasbourg. Among others, he was a Prior of the Dominicans, managing tens of convents, and was later made Provincial of Saxony. He also travelled around Europe and more specifically to Paris where he studied Aristotle and the Platonists. With the degree of Master of Arts, he later on became a professor of theology at the school of Dominicans in the French capital and was invited as a magister — equal to the doctorate — for two consecutive years. At this time in Europe, during the Avignon Papacy, Christianity was prey to many tensions and confusion, the Inquisition was blowing a wind of suspicion and terror, as a result of which many new groups and movements were forming in search of new avenues of practice and understanding. It goes without saying that Meister Eckhart was a coveted source of wise counsel in these times of darkness. 

Let’s say it plainly: Meister Eckhart was a scholar, but it is as a preacher that he is most remembered. His sermons in the vernacular German were highly unusual for the time and took many a liberties with the conventional church rituals and dogmas. He stated: “When I preach, I usually speak of detachment and say that a man should be empty of self and all things.” […]

 

Blessed, supremely blessed, are they who are installed in the eternal now, 
transcending time and place and form and matter, 
unmoved by weal or woe or wealth or want, 
for in so far as things are motionless they are like eternity
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~ Sermon 16 

 

An exploration into the teachings of Meister Eckhart… (READ MORE…)