It is a great honour to sit with discomfort, for all the mysteries of the universe lie within. As you sit with discomfort, you also meet discomfort’s best friend – the urge to escape that discomfort! Is there enough room in you for both discomfort AND the urge to escape discomfort? Of course – who you are is vast and spacious enough to hold anything. This is true meditation – no longer resisting discomfort and trying to escape to a future comfort, but discovering the ever-present, unconditional Comfort that you are, the perfect calm in the midst of the storm.
— Jeff Foster
Enlightenment could be defined as the absence of resistance to what is, the total intimacy with whatever is taking place without any desire to reject or replace it; so intimate that there is no room for a self to separate itself out from the whole, to stand apart and look at the situation from the outside, to judge it as worthy or not worthy, good or bad, right or wrong, desirable or undesirable; so intimate that there is no room, nor any time, in which a separate self could take refuge inside the body and so finds itself without boundaries or borders pervading the whole field of experience; so intimate that there is no ‘me’ on the inside and no object or other on the outside, but only seamless intimate experiencing; so intimate that there is no room for a ‘self’ and an ‘other’, a ‘me’ and a ‘you’, a ‘this’ and a ‘that’, a ‘now’ and a ‘then’. So utterly now and here that there is no time for time and no place for distance or space.
— Rupert Spira – Presence: The Art of Peace and Happiness
Go not to the temple to put flowers upon the feet of God,
First fill your own house with the Fragrance of love…
Go not to the temple to light candles before the altar of God,
First remove the darkness of sin from your heart…
Go not to the temple to bow down your head in prayer,
First learn to bow in humility before your fellowmen…
Go not to the temple to pray on bended knees,
First bend down to lift someone who is down-trodden…
Go not to the temple to ask for forgiveness for your sins,
First forgive from your heart those who have sinned against you.
— Rabindranath Tagore – Go not to the temple
It is only when the mind, which has taken shelter behind the walls of self-protection, frees itself from its own creations that there can be that exquisite reality. After all, these walls of self-protection are the creations of the mind which, conscious of its insufficiency, builds these walls of protection, and behind them takes shelter. One has built up these barriers unconsciously or consciously, and one’s mind is so crippled, bound, held, that action brings greater conflict, further disturbances. So the mere search for the solution of your problems is not going to free the mind from creating further problems. As long as this centre of self-protectiveness, born of insufficiency, exists, there must be disturbances, tremendous sorrow and pain; and you cannot free the mind of sorrow by disciplining it not to be insufficient. That is, you cannot discipline yourself, or be influenced by conditions and environment, in order not to be shallow. You say to yourself, “I am shallow; I recognize the fact, and how am I going to get rid of it?” I say, do not seek to get rid of it, which is merely a process of substitution, but become conscious, become aware of what is causing this insufficiency. You cannot compel it; you cannot force it; it cannot be influenced by an ideal, by a fear, by the pursuit of enjoyment and powers. You can find out the cause of insufficiency only through awareness. That is, by looking into environment and piercing into its significance there will be revealed the cunning subtleties of selfprotection.
— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Ojai 12th Public Talk 1st July, 1934
You have heard much of this world,
Yet what have you seen of this world?
What is its form and substance?
What is Simurgh, and what is Mount Kaf?
What is Hades and what is Heaven and Hell?
What is that unseen world
A day of which equals a year of this?
Come and hear the meaning.
You are asleep, and your vision is a dream,
All you are seeing is a mirage.
When you wake up on the morn of the last day
You will know all this to be Fancy’s illusion;
When you have ceased to see double,
Earth and Heaven will become transformed;
When the real sun unveils his face to you,
The moon, the stars, and Venus will disappear;
If a ray shines on the hard rock
Like wool of many colours, it drops to pieces.
— Sa’d Ud Din Mahmud Shabistari – The Secret Rose Garden – Part V – Time and this Dream-World (The Dream of Life)
Whether you are going or staying or sitting or lying down,
The whole world is your own self.
You must find out
Whether the mountains, rivers, grass, and forests
Exist in your own mind or exist outside it.
Analyze the ten thousand things,
Dissect them minutely,
And when you take this to the limit
You will come to the limitless.
When you search into it you come to the end of search.
Where thinking goes no further and distinctions vanish.
When you smash the citadel of doubt,
then the Buddha is simply yourself.
We carry on like machines with our tiresome daily routine. How eagerly the mind accepts a pattern of existence, and how tenaciously it clings to it! As by a driven nail, the mind is held together by idea, and around the idea it lives and has its being. The mind is never free, pliable, for it is always anchored; it moves within the radius, narrow or wide, of its own center. From its center it dare not wander; and when it does, it is lost in fear. Fear is not of the unknown, but of the loss of the known. The unknown does not incite fear, but dependence on the known does. Fear is always with desire, the desire for the more or for the less. The mind, with its incessant weaving of patterns, is the maker of time; and with time there is fear, hope and death.
— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Book of Life
“I” and “you” are but the lattices,
in the niches of a lamp,
through which the One Light shines.
“I” and “you” are the veil
between heaven and earth;
lift this veil and you will see
no longer the bonds of sects and creeds.
When “I” and “you” do not exist,
what is mosque, what is synagogue?
What is the Temple of Fire?
—Sa’d Ud Din Mahmud Shabistari – The Secret Rose Garden – Part IX – Man: His Capabilities and his Destiny (p. 64)
The moon has become a dancer
at this festival of love.
This dance of light,
This sacred blessing,
This divine love,
to a world beyond
only lovers can see
with their eyes of fiery passion.
They are the chosen ones
who have surrendered.
Once they were particles of light
now they are the radiant sun.
They have left behind
the world of deceitful games.
They are the privileged lovers
who create a new world
with their eyes of fiery passion.
— Jalalud’din Rumi – The Privileged Lovers
Chasing after the world
Allowing it all to come to me
— Zen Gatha
(many thanks to Jennifer for drawing my attention to Gathas with her wonderful article.)