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The universal essence is also the essence of our being.
Developing inner stillness is an essential part of the process of awakening. We need to slow down and calm our mind to wake up-to transcend the layers of thought and emotion that cloud our consciousness. By learning how to be still, we come to realize that we are not our sensations, thoughts, and emotions. The inner emptiness creates space for inner fullness. We enter into a world far beyond the mind, beyond the ego. We experience oneness within and without, the universe within and the universe without. There is one stream of consciousness flowing.
There are no twos, there is only one, and that’s who we are. Dr. Dan Siegel describes this state of being as MWe. What obstructs us from being connected with the spiritual essence of the universe and our being? It is our powerful sense of ego with all its cravings, attachments and ambitions. It separates us from others. Spiritual practices help us transcend separateness and connect us with the Divine Spirit which is in all beings.
When we realize our true nature, our true identity, we experience fullness, self-sufficiency, deep contentment with what we have. There is no concern for worldly success, worldly possessions and personal ambitiousness and personal promotion. We get unaffected by praise or blame, approval or disapproval, pleasure or pain.
The lack of self interest leads to a high degree of empathy and compassion. Such a person has deep concern for the welfare of others. The other is really him. Life becomes an experience of something greater than oneself- a force flowing through oneself, wu wei, actionless activity, the Tao; an experience of being-sat, consciousness-chit, ananda-bliss-satchidananda. Self-realization is literally an awakening into bliss.
There are many pathways to awaken ourselves individually and collectively. All wisdom traditions offer the paths of liberation, self -transcendence, peace and harmony: meditation, prayer, selfless service, devotion, love, compassion and kindness. Paths are many, destination is one.We follow the path that suits us.
Life is a journey, a pilgrimage. We all are evolving, some slowly, some rapidly. Some take two steps forward and one step backward. Some fall down and rise again. Some may get stuck and may not rise again. Some wake up and remain awake. Some wake up and go back to sleep again. We all have the potential to awaken, get out of the cave of darkness and see the light. Some are blessed and do not go back to sleep and remain awakened for ever. Such awakened beings share their wisdom with others, guide them lovingly and let them go on the path of liberation, freeing oneself from the self-created bondage and help others.
We need to wake up individually and collectively. We need to join our hands to rise and invest our energy for a greater good. We need to create sanghas-spiritual communities- to follow the path of Dharma, that upholds us on a higher plane of harmony, compassion and peace. It is time for us to awaken spiritually and help our brothers and sisters to walk and move along.
Appa deepo bhava-Buddha, Be thy lamp unto you.
Fishing baskets are used to catch fish, but when the fish are got, the men forget the baskets; snares are employed to catch hares, but when the hares are got, men forget the snares; words are employed to convey ideas, but when ideas are grasped, men forget the words.-Chuang Tsu
There is a basic unity within and behind the apparent diversity. Existence, suchness-tathata-, Being-sat, Atman-the Self, Tao-the Way,the Word, Brahman-the all pervading spirit- is the essence of everything that exists. The cosmic web is interconnected and interwoven. The Supreme Being is transcendent, beyond all dualities. All phenomena in the world are nothing but the illusory manifestations of the mind and have no reality of their own-Ashvaghosha .One who knows this is free from avidya-ignorance, is no more under the spell of maya-illusion. The operation of the mind colors and distorts the awareness of the Self. When we identify the Self with our mind and body, we believe that we are a mind and we are a body.
This is delusion is the cause of human bondage and human suffering. The spiritual paths help us outgrow this delusion and liberate us from the self-created bondage.
Mind is the cause of human bondage and suffering. It is also the cause of inner freedom and bliss.-Bhagavad Gita Ego-centric self- conscious “gives you a feeling that you are the center of your being,,,and öthers are “other” and you are different from them... Yoga and all other methods of meditation are just to make you aware that separateness is false and no-separateness is real....You will be just a wave on the vast ocean.... A new being, a new energy has arisen as a result, The center of this new being is the universe, and with this transfer of the center, all your worries, all your anguish, all your hell disappears....They simply disappear....They are not solved.... they are simply no longer there. They cannot exist without ego.”-Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Every man is born as a seed. The ego is the outer covering: it protects the child, but it becomes so strong that it will not allow you, the inner being,to expand, to go beyond, to sprout. Ego is needed and ego transcendence is needed.-Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
Kakuan, the Zen mystic, uses the metaphor of the man looking for the ox he is riding.The ox is the symbol of the original nature, of the Buddha nature. Kakuan drew a series of ten pictures and added commentaries to each picture. In his commentary of the first picture, Kakuan says: “ The ox has never really gone astray, so why search for it? Having turned his back on this True-nature, the man cannot see it. Because of his defilement, he has lost sight of the ox.” His commentaries on the ninth and tenth pictures read: “ He (the man who realizes his original nature) observes the waxing and waning of life in the world while abiding...in a state of unshakable serenity.” This is the final stage: “ His mental panorama (concepts, opinions, and so forth) has finally disappeared. He goes his own way, making no attempt to follow the steps of earlier stages, Carrying a(wine) guard, he strolls into the market; leaning on his staff, he returns home. he leads innkeepers and fishmongers in the way of Buddha.”-Kapleau, Philip,ed, The Three Pillars of Zen
Before you study Zen, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers; while you are studying Zen, mountains are no longer mountains and rivers are no longer rivers; but once you had enlightenment, mountains are once again mountains and rivers are once again are rivers.-Zen saying
Rebirth is transformation. We become dwija-our second birth.
As is your vision-drushti- so is the world-shrushti.
Fragrance lies within you-Kabir
Mind is the forerunner of all activities. If our mind is defiled, suffering follows like the wheels of the cart following the pair of bullocks. If our mind is undisturbed, still and clean, then happiness follows like a shadow that never leaves the object. So one has to deal with one’s mind-Dhammapada.
If one is to explore the world of inner experiences, his thoughts, his emotions, and learn about himself, he must have some framework within which to do this, energy transformation. He must have a play room- a sort of workshop or a laboratory within which he can experiment with experiencing and expressing different aspects of his being and different reactions to the world. The framework provided by the centers of consciousness provides the student with a structured inner space in which he can play...He becomes more able to understand and put in perspective different aspects of personality and to grasp a first-hand way what goes on during the evolution of consciousness- Swami Rama, Rudolph Ballentine and Swami Ajaya.