Monday, 19 May 2014

The buddha is your real body, your original mind. 
This mind has no form or characteristics, no cause or effect, no tendons or bones.
It's like space. You can't hold it. 
All motion is the mind's motion. Motion is its function. Apart from motion, there's no mind. 
Apart from the mind, there's no motion. Even so, the mind neither moves nor functions.
Because the essence of its function is emptiness. And emptiness is essentially motionless. 


Friday, 16 May 2014

The Law of Detachment: In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty . . . in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning. And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe. 

I will put the Law of Detachment into effect by making a commitment to take the following steps:

1. Today I will commit myself to detachment. I will allow myself and those around me the freedom to be as they are. I will not rigidly impose my idea of how things should be. I will not force solutions on problems, thereby creating new problems. I will participate in everything with detached involvement.

2. Today I will factor in uncertainty as an essential ingredient of my experience. In my willingness to accept uncertainty, solutions will spontaneously emerge out of the problem, out of the confusion, order and chaos. The more uncertain things seem to be, the more secure I will feel, because uncertainty is my path to freedom. Through the wisdom of uncertainty, I will find my security.

3. I will step into the field of all possibilities and anticipate the excitement that can occur when I remain open to an infinity of choices. When I step into the field of all possibilities, I will experience all the fun, adventure, magic and mystery of life.

In India, the 27 patriarchs only transmitted the imprint of the mind. And the only reason I've come to China is to transmit the instantaneous teaching of the Mahayana: This mind is the buddha.
I don't talk about precepts, devotions or ascetic practices, like immersing yourself in water and fire, treading a wheel of knives, eating one meal a day or never lying down. These are fanatical provisional teachings.
Once you recognize your moving, miraculously aware nature, yours is the mind of all buddhas. Buddhas of the past and future only talk about transmitting the mind. They teach nothing else.
If someone understands this teaching, even if he's illiterate, he's a buddha. If you don't see your own miraculously aware nature, you'll never find a buddha, even is you break your body into atoms.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Like the empty sky it has no boundaries,
Yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear.
When you seek to know it, you cannot see it.
You cannot take hold of it,
But you cannot lose it.
In not being able to get it, you get it.
When you are silent, it speaks;
When you speak, it is silent.
The great gate is wide open to bestow alms,
And no crowd is blocking the way.

Cheng-tao Ke

Long seeking it through others,
I was far from reaching it.
Now I go by myself;
I meet it everywhere.
It is just I myself,
And I am not itself.
Understanding this way,
I can be as I am. 


A life-time is not what's between,
The moments of birth and death.
A life-time is one moment,
Between my two little breaths. 

The present, the here, the now,
That's all the life I get,
I live each moment in full,
In kindness, in peace, without regret.

Chade Meng

"When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego,
and when we escape
like squirrels in the cage of our personality
and get into the forest again, we shall shiver
with cold and fright.
But things will happen to us
so that we don't know ourselves.
Cool, unlying life will rush in,
and passion will make our
bodies taut with power.
We shall laugh, and
institutions will curl up
like burnt paper."

D. H. Lawrence, Escape 

Once you suddenly smash through, 
and go on to make the leap beyond, 
you will find that everything 
around you and all that you do, 
whether active or at rest, 
is the scenery of the 
fundamental ground, 
the original Mind. 
There will be not a hairsbreadth 
of difference between you 
and other things; 
there will be no other thing. 


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The soil in which the meditative mind can begin is the soil of everyday life, the strife, the pain, and the fleeting joy. It must begin there, and bring order, and from there move endlessly. But if you are concerned only with making order, then that very order will bring about its own limitation, and the mind will be its prisoner. In all this movement you must somehow begin from the other end, from the other shore, and not always be concerned with this shore or how to cross the river. You must take a plunge into the water, not knowing how to swim. And the beauty of meditation is that you never know where you are, where you are going, what the end is. 

Jiddu Krishnamurti

“It is never too late to turn on the light. Your ability to break an unhealthy habit or turn off an old tape doesn't depend on how long it has been running; a shift in perspective doesn't depend on how long you've held on to the old view. When you flip the switch in that attic, it doesn't matter whether its been dark for ten minutes, ten years or ten decades. The light still illuminates the room and banishes the murkiness, letting you see the things you couldn't see before. Its never too late to take a moment to look.” 

Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

Continue practicing until you see yourself in the cruelest person on Earth, in the child starving, in the political prisoner. Practice until you recognize yourself in everyone in the supermarket, on the street corner, in a concentration camp, on a leaf, in a dewdrop. Meditate until you see yourself in a speck of dust in a distant galaxy. See and listen with the whole of your being.

If you are fully present, the rain of Dharma will water the deepest seeds in your consciousness, and tomorrow, while you are washing the dishes or looking at the blue sky, that seed will spring forth, and love and understanding will appear as a beautiful flower.

Thich Nhat Hanh

The ultimate Truth is beyond words. Doctrines are words. They're not the Way. 
The Way is wordless. Words are illusions.
They're no different from things that appear in your dreams at night, be they palaces or carriages, forested parks or lakeside pavilions. 


Who is man?
The reflection of the Eternal Light.

What is the world?
A wave on the Everlasting Sea.

How could the reflection
be cut off from the Light?

How could the wave
be separate from the Sea?

Know that this reflection and this wave
are that very Light and Sea.


Lucky is the one who realizes the secret of being nobody
for no one gets anywhere by being somebody

whatever is not about desirelessness and detachment
is a delusion and will but lead to disillusion

there is a light on your face
which whispers of the Divine Flame
as God is my witness you have issued from the same

for the caged bird to reach the perfumed garden
it has to pass through the realm of imagination

you have to rise above that
which you think human destiny
to fulfill your destiny
for you covenant is not with man
but with God

should you be not allowed yet
to join the Beloved’s caravan
be content if you hear its bells from a distance

in the realm of hearts none but our King rules
the One who by day is the Ruler
and by night the Life bestowing Thief!


By letting it go it all gets done.
The world is won by those who let it go.
But when you try and try.
The world is beyond the winning.

Lao Tzu

Meditation is not meant to help us avoid problems or run away from difficulties. It is meant to allow positive healing to take place. To meditate is to learn how to stop - to stop being carried away by our regrets about the past, our anger or despair in the present, or our worries about the future.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

See Life as a Game

Today let us do a small exercise.
Look at the person sitting next to you and tell them, 'I do not trust you at all'. What did you all feel? Did you see that it is so difficult to even say that to someone else? You feel hesitant to say something like this. I am not saying that you tell the other person, 'I trust you so much'. Instead I am telling you to say, 'I do not trust you at all'. But we are feeling so uncomfortable in even saying that. Isn’t it so?
So today, you all did something that you have never done before. You told another person that you do not trust him or her. And what happened? The moment you said that, you started laughing and the other person started laughing as well. Has something like this ever happened in life earlier? No, it has not. Why is this so? It is because you all took this as a game, nothing more. In the same way, you should also see all of life as a game. That is why we have the word Leela (meaning the pastimes or games of the Divine). When you see all of life as a leela, then nothing in this world can shake you, or bring any sort of negativity. When you have this feeling, then nothing will ever be able to dim the light within you.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The afterlife is like a gramophone; man's mind brings the records; if they are harsh, the instrument produces harsh notes, if beautiful then it will sing beautiful songs. It will produce the same records that man has experienced in this life.“ Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

One characteristic of the mind is that it is like a gramophone record: whatever is impressed upon it, it is able to reproduce. And another characteristic of the mind is that it does not only reproduce something, but it creates what is impressed upon it. If ugliness is recorded, it will produce disagreement, disharmony. The learning of concentration clears the record, makes it produce what we like, not what comes automatically.

There is a story of a murshid and a mureed. The mureed said, 'O, Teacher, I should like to see heaven.' The teacher said, 'Yes, this is the way you should meditate in order to see heaven.' So the mureed went and did so; but the vision of heaven which he had was not as described in the scriptures, a place where one enjoys nothing but comfort and luxury, milk and honey, marble halls and white robes, beautiful gems and jewels, garlands of flowers, and the waving of palms. He could not see any of these, and he asked himself, 'Has the murshid perhaps shown me a wrong heaven, or have the prophets given a wrong message in the scriptures?'

So he went back to his teacher saying, 'Now I should like to see hell.' The murshid said, 'Yes, this is the way you should meditate in order to see hell.' And then the mureed did this, and he saw in a trance that there was certainly such a place, but there was no fire or snakes or serpents or thorns or tortures or imps or flames such as have been described to people throughout the ages. So he could not understand whether his vision was right or wrong; and he went back to the teacher, and said, 'I have seen in this way: I have not seen in heaven the things that are promised, nor have I seen in hell the things which are foretold as being there.' 'O,' the teacher said, 'all the things promised for the hereafter you will have to take there from here. They are not kept ready for you; you will have to bring them with you. If you take sorrows with you, you will find them there; if you take hatred, you will find it there. Your mind is like a gramophone record, and if you use a harsh voice, the instrument produces a harsh note; if beautiful words and tones, it will sing beautiful words and tones. It will produce the same record that you have experienced in life. Indeed you have not to wait till after death in order to experience it; you are experiencing it even now.'

Everything is reproduced before us now, if we would only listen to it and perceive it. Every good or bad word or deed is reproduced before us, though it seems as in a dream.

If we watched life keenly, we should see how true this is. Joy, sorrow, love, all depend on our thought, on the activity of our mind. If we are depressed, if we are in despair, it is still the work of our mind; our mind has prepared that for us. If we are joyful and happy, and all things are pleasant, that also has been prepared for us by our mind.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

"Unity in realization is far greater than unity in variety." 
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

What keeps the soul in perplexity is the threefold aspect of manifestation, and as long as the soul remains puzzled by this, it cannot arrive at the knowledge of the One. These three aspects are the seer, sight, and the seen; the knower, knowledge, and the known. In point of fact these are three aspects of life. One aspect is the person who sees; the second aspect is the sight, or the eyes, by the help of which he sees; and the third aspect is that which he sees. That is why one cannot readily accept the idea that what one sees is the same as oneself, nor can one believe for a moment that the medium by which one sees is oneself, for these three aspects seem to be separate and to be looking at one another's faces, as the first person, second person, and third person of Brahma.

When this riddle is solved by the realization that the three are one, then the purpose of the God-ideal is fulfilled. For then the three veils which cover the One are lifted, then they no longer remain three, and then they are found to be One, the Only Being. As Abdul Karim al Jili, the fifteenth-century mystic, says, 'If you believe in one God, you are right; if you believe in two Gods, that is true; but if you believe in three Gods, that is right also, for the nature of unity is realized by variety.'

Man's thought has a great power. And when he comes to the realization that everything comes from one source and that everything is developing towards one goal, he begins to see that the source and the goal are God. Then the world of variety is no longer variety to him but unity; it is one.

The power is in unity, but is lost in variety. Thus, for instance, if we hold a thing in our hand, we can hold it with strength, because all five fingers have united to hold the object. But if we try to lift it by one finger, this one finger may drop it, even though the finger belongs to the same hand. In all aspects of life unity is power. All religions show that power is in unity. This is the secret of philosophy.

There are two aspects of unity: firstly, the unity of variety; secondly, unity realizing itself. One is earthly, the other is heavenly. One cannot serve two masters. Unity is the only source of happiness. Unity in realization is far greater than unity in variety.

'When two hearts unite, they can break even mountains.' As two fuse in love, the more does intuition grow, the more does one understand whether the other is happy, or pleased, or displeased, whatever distance may separate them. This is nothing but just the unity of the one person with the other. It is clairvoyance. The mother knows the condition of her son at the battlefront. She can see him in her dreams. Hearts, which are united in love, perceive the state of mind of the loved ones. They do not have to study mysticism or concentration, for they have natural concentration. The mother does not pretend to meditate; love teaches her more meditation than a person who pretends to study it can attain.

Monday, 5 May 2014

"Those who have given deep thoughts to the world are those who have controlled the activity of their minds." Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

He is thoughtful whose mind is directed by his will, whose mind fulfills his intentions, whose mind is under the control of his intention. ... Only those who have controlled the activity of their minds have given deep thoughts to the world. Those whose minds are working mechanically like a machine, or just reflecting the activity of those around them, may appear to be living beings, but the mystic would say differently; for it is not till a person has gained mastery over his mind, till he is above this activity, that he is a ruling power, a true person.

When we think about it, we find that all the things that are accomplished in this world are accomplished by the power of mind. ... Whatever man creates in science, in art, in phenomena or wonder making, in poetry, in music, in pictures, in everything that he brings into being, is all achieved by the power of mind. ... If he does not control his mind, he is not a master but a slave. It lies with his own mind whether he shall be master, or whether he shall be slave. He is slave when he neglects to be master; he is master if he cares to be master.

Mastery lies not merely in stilling the mind, but in directing it towards whatever point we desire, in allowing it to be active as far as we wish, in using it to fulfill our purpose, in causing it to be still when we want to still it. He who has come to this has created his heaven within himself; he has no need to wait for a heaven in the hereafter, for he has produced it within his own mind now.

People pursue spirituality with their brain: that is where they are mistaken. Spirituality is attained through the heart. What do I mean by the heart? Is it the nervous center in the midst of the breast, the small piece of flesh that doctors call the heart? No, the definition of the heart is that it is the depth of the mind, the mind being the surface of the heart. That in us which feels is the heart, that which thinks is the mind. It is the same thing which thinks and feels, but the direction is different: feeling comes from the depth, thought from the surface. When thought is not linked with feeling it is just like a plant rising up from the earth, the root of which has not gone deep. A thought without feeling is a powerless thought; it is just like a plant without a deep root. A tree the root of which has gone deep into the earth is stronger, more reliable, and so the thought deeply rooted in the heart has greater power.

painting credit: Valerie Graniou Cook

Rest of mind is as necessary as rest of body, and yet we always keep the former in action.“ Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

Imagine, after having toiled for the whole day, how much the body stands in need of rest; how much more then must the mind stand in need of rest! The mind works much faster than the body. Naturally the mind is much more tired than the body. And not every person knows how to rest his mind and therefore the mind never has a rest. And then what happens after a while is that the mind becomes feeble. It loses memory, the power of action. It loses reason. The worst effects are mostly brought about by not giving the mind proper repose. If such infirmities as doubt and fear happen to enter the mind, then a person becomes restless, he can never find rest. For at night the mind continues on the track of the same impressions. Simple as it seems to be, very few know the resting of the mind and how wonderful it is in itself. And what power, what inspiration, comes as a reaction from it, and what peace one experiences by it, and how it helps the body and mind! The spirit is renewed once the mind has had its rest.

The first step towards the resting of the mind is the relaxation of the body. If one is able to relax one's muscular and nervous system at will, then the mind is automatically refreshed. Besides that, one must be able to cast away anxiety, worries, doubts, and fears by the power of will, putting oneself in a restful state. This will be accomplished by the help of proper breathing.

We usually rest our body at will whenever circumstances allow us to; we recline on a couch or in an armchair after coming back from the office or work and at night we rest and go to sleep; but when do we give the mind a rest? Rest for the mind is as necessary as rest for the body, and yet we always keep the mind in action. It is constantly at work even if our body is resting. ...

All this shows the great practical need for the mind to be at rest, for the mind to be stilled. Those who make it a principle that work is always an advisable thing are one-sided. Balance lies in perceiving that work and rest are equally necessary for good health, both physical and mental.

The work of the body is sometimes kept under a man's control, but he does not keep the work of the mind under his control. This is not because he cannot do so; it is because he never thinks about it.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

"No man should allow his mind to be a vehicle for others to use; he who does not direct his own mind lacks mastery."   Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

Our minds need to be dusted and swept just as much as our houses, and this we do by meditation and concentration, which wipe away all wrong impressions. We must be masters of our own minds as well as our houses, and not allow them to be like a furniture warehouse with all the furniture mixed up together. We must direct where everything is to be placed, so that complete order may reign therein.

The more the mind is allowed to go on without purpose, the more likely it is to become a vehicle or machine which all manner of influences around it of other human beings or spirit obsessions will employ instead of its owner. If the user of that mind is a sensible person, then it may perhaps act properly, but otherwise the work of the mind is wasted. In any case it would not be a fulfillment of the purpose of his life. This purpose is to learn mastery, not to be a vehicle for others to use. He who does not direct his own mind lacks mastery. ...

Man is his mind, is the product of his mind, and is also the controller of the activity of mind. If he does not control his mind, he is not a master but a slave. It lies with his own mind whether he shall be master, or whether he shall be slave. He is slave when he neglects to be master; he is master if he cares to be master. ... A man with a perfectly stilled, comforted, and rested mind will at once raise up another who is going through distress, or restlessness, or pain, or ill-temper, or worry, or anxiety. The very presence of one whose mind is stilled gives such hope, such inspiration, such sympathy, such power and life. All the heavenly properties flow so smoothly and freely from the person whose mind is stilled that his words, his voice, his presence, all react upon the mind of others; and as he stills his mind, so his very presence becomes healing.

Friday, 2 May 2014

"The truth need not be veiled, for it veils itself from the eyes of the ignorant."   Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

The soul, absorbed in its child-like fancies in things that it values and to which it gives importance, and in the beings to which it attaches itself, blinds itself by the veils of its illusion. Thus it covers with a thousand veils its own truth from its own eyes.

Truth is vaster than any frame we can make to put it in. Besides, no matter what frame we make for truth to be presented in, an unawakened soul will never see it, but will only see the frame.

With still another step further there comes the realization which may be called revelation. When the soul is tuned to that state, then the eyes and the ears of the heart are open to see and hear the word that comes from all sides. In point of fact every atom of this world, either in heaven or earth, speaks and speaks aloud. It is the deaf ears of the heart and the closed eyes of the soul which prevent man from seeing and hearing it. There is a verse of a Hindustani poet which says:

  0' self, it is not the fault of the divine Beloved
     that you do not see Him, that you do not hear Him.
  He is continually before you and He is continually speaking to you.
     If you do not hear it and if you do not see it, it is your own fault.

It is for this purpose that every soul has been created and it is in the fulfillment of this that man fulfills the object of God. When the spark that is to be found in every heart, the spark that may be called the divine spark in man, is blown upon and the flame arises, the whole life becomes illuminated and man hears and sees and knows, and he understands. A Sufi poet says that every leaf of the tree becomes like a page of the sacred book when the heart is open to read it and when the soul has opened its eyes.
We may ask ourselves, 'Who is another?' Then we realize that in the true sense of being there is but One. When the veil of ignorance is raised there is no longer any 'I' and 'you', but only the One exists. This is the teaching of the Bible and of all scriptures.

Man is the most egoistic being in creation. He keeps himself veiled from God, the perfect Self within, by the veil of his imperfect self, which has formed his false ego. ... and when the ego is absolutely crushed, then God remains within and without, in both planes, and none exists save He.