Tag Archives: spirituality

Seeking Realization

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The Seeker

Realization is not an action somebody accomplishes. The idea of realizing the self implies a path from an unrealized self to a realized self. Realization of the self as a goal cannot be permanent. Something permanent has no beginning and no end. Hence the goal is already there, the self is always realized. The intention to realize the Self is itself a hindrance. Our nature is always free but we are making huge efforts to become free. Who is making these efforts and trying to realize the self? It is the I-thought that has wrongly identified itself with the mind that veils our happiness and makes realization of the self a goal. This implies two selves. A non realized self and a goal, a realized self. And here starts the whole process of searching. Going to a guru, performing rituals, reciting mantras, doing prostrations, meditating, reading books and taking all kinds of hardships upon us to walk firmly on the path towards realization hoping to reach our goal in this life. The irony in all this striving for realization is that we have never been separated from our true self. We falsely believe it to be found somewhere, to experience it, to realize it, because we search with our mind and the mind can only exist in duality. So, our task is to find the real nature of the mind. We will discover that there is no such thing as a mind. It is in understanding that we are not the body, neither the mind that we will unveil our true self and the I-thought will be transcended eventually. We already know this freedom. If we wouldn’t know it, why would we spend our lives searching for it? But we must take care not to use wrong tools. It lies in the palm of our hands. It is beauty and love in its purest essence. We are that, lets embrace it in silence and cut those chains that hold us prisoners.

Love,

Shanti

Impermanence

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Die! Die!
Cut off those chains
that hold you prisoner
to the world of attachment

— Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī (Rumi) – Love Poems of Rumi (edited by Deepak Chopra) – Excerpt of Dying to Love

Time has come to say goodbye. I have been thinking seriously over the last month about the future of this blog. As you might have read in the “About the Author and this Blog” menu, this blog was initially intended to be a 365 day project for me. The question recently came up what would be the future of the blog after this period of time. I have seriously taken into consideration to continue this blog with text I would have written from my own experience and how I live my spirituality. It is now a year that has passed since I started to put one quote a day and this was not easy at all. I remember running down the stairways of the Shechen Monastery Guesthouse in Nepal to ask Tashi, may he blessed, to start the WiFi connection at 4 o’clock in the morning, just to put my article online on time.

Yes, all this has been a challenge I have decided to take up. After several years of spiritual practice I decided to dedicate one year to cultivate only positive thoughts every day and shape my mind constantly towards virtue, to do positive deeds and to spend as much as possible of my time reading what other lineages, religions and spiritual teachers have written. My root lama once told me to study other spiritual texts to broaden my view, and I think that was a good idea. And this has been fulfilled this year. It has brought me a lot of good and I hope that the readers of this blog have found some interesting meditations here too.

For due to acquaintance with what is wholesome,
The force of my faith may for a short while
increase because of these (words).
If, however, these (words) are seen by others
Equal in fortune to myself, it may be
meaningful (for them).

— Shantideva – The Bodhicharyavatara – Chapter I – 3

Now, the day has come that this project is over. I think that this is the best teaching about impermanence I personally could receive and give to those people reading the quotes posted here day by day. I don’t pretend to be enlightened and I don’t pretend to have deep knowledge about spirituality, but I know that we have to let go this body one day. We die every moment and every day. Death permeates our existence but we avoid to look at it or understand it. Keeping in mind that death is but a step away, we will certainly understand the urge to abandon worldly concerns and turn towards virtue and spirituality in order to free ourselves from the bondage of our false self. The deathless is always in the palm of our hand and we just have to grasp it instead of grasping to concepts and living in ignorance and illusion.

During the time I maintained this 365-day-project, I have made many friends and discovered many different blogs about spirituality. I went personally through a lot of hardships on my spiritual path during the last years, knowing that truth is a pathless land. But to reach this land I had to tame the elephant that is my mind. I did a lot of meditation and purification practices to prepare my mind to stay in the light of awareness and abide in it like one of the pillars of Ashoka. The mind is like a monkey that needs to be hold tightly by the rope of mindfulness. I guess I am a very bad disciple because I have discovered some people through WordPress blogs that have attained perfect enlightenment without taming their minds and without the guidance of a true spiritual master. Today everything seems to go quicker and instantly and so it seems to be with spirituality too. I’d call it “Instant Enlightenment” (like the coffee)  and it will probably be sold in tin cans in a couple of years. Neo-Advaita teachers spring up like mushrooms with always the same message… “there is nothing to do”. The only message I personally would like to leave here is that there is a lot more to do than to understand that there is no such thing as a separate “I”, an observer, observing the “outside world”, grasping, rejecting and putting labels on it and hence seeing it through the veil of ignorance. Theory is not enlightening. Most of us need a certain preparation before we will be able to bring those teachings into practice and fruition. This preparation is consisting of preliminary practices to purify and tame the restless mind. Mind being conditioned and agitated for ages will not be tamed only by intellectually understanding that duality is ignorance and that there is only one divine non-dual reality. This knowledge is a nice point of entry to spirituality, but it is not a means to its end. So, always beware of thinking that you may have reached enlightenment because this could cut you straight from the path of spiritual evolution. Truth is a pathless land, but there is a path that should be followed to unveil truth, no matter what tradition you are into. There are very interesting articles on the Internet about this issue and the traps and pitfalls in the “Neo-Advaita” or “Pseudo-Advaita”. You may want to read the article on www.enlightened-spirituality.org.

But anyhow, I have met a lot of very interesting people through WordPress. There were a lot of true seekers and some true enlightened beings. I will continue to read the blogs I have subscribed to and this blog will be kept up, at least as long as the domain name is still active. I’ll leave it to the ‘now’ whether I’ll continue to put new posts from time to time or not, but my daily updates are definitively over now.

Meanwhile I would like to thank all the readers and give all of you great hugs with lots of love. May all of you attain timeless happiness and love.

Metta,

JC

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Lamps burn in every house, O blind
one! and you cannot see them.
One day your eyes shall suddenly be
opened, and you shall see: and
the fetters of death will fall from
you.
There is nothing to say or to hear,
there is nothing to do : it is he who
is living, yet dead, who shall never
die again.

Because he lives in solitude, therefore
the Yogi says that his home is far
away.
Your Lord is near : yet you are climb-
ing the palm-tree to seek Him.
The Brahman priest goes from house
to house and initiates people into
faith:
Alas! the true fountain of life is
beside you, and you have set up a
stone to worship.
Kabir says: “I may never express
how sweet my Lord is. Yoga and
the telling of beads, virtue and
vice – these are naught to Him.”

— Kabir – One Hundred Poems of Kabir (translated by Rabindranath Tagore) – XXI

Lamps burn in every house

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Man has invented various spiritual disciplines and religious faiths in his pursuit of God. The versatility of man’s mind has devised diverse pathways to God, as if God had his abode on some inaccessible mountain-top far far away, and the seeker has to undertake a long and arduous journey to reach him. A pathway has a starting point and a destination point to which it leads. Now, there cannot be a pathway to God, because God is omnipresent. He exists everywhere. He is existence itself, not an existent as such.

— Sudhakar S. Dikshit – I Am All – The Inner Way

No Path!

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Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep. They’re born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence. You know — all mystics — Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion — are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.

— Anthony de Mello – Approaching God – How to Pray

Though everything is a mess, all is well!?

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Out of my deeper heart a bird rose and flew skywards.

Higher and higher did it rise, yet larger and larger did it grow.

At first it was but like a swallow, then a lark, then an eagle, then as a vast spring cloud, and then it filled the starry heavens.

Out of my heart a bird flew skywards. And it waxed larger as it grew. Yet it left not my heart.

O my faith, my untamed knowledge, how shall I fly to your height and see with you man’s larger self pencilled upon the sky?

How shall I turn this sea within me into mist, and move with you in space immeasurable?

How can a prisoner within the temple behold its golden domes?

How shall the heart of a fruit be stretched to envelop the fruit also?

O my faith, I am in chains behind these bars of silver and ebony, and I cannot fly with you.

Yet out of my heart you rise skyward, and it is my heart that holds you, and I shall be content.

— Khalil Gibran – Out of my deeper Heart – The Forerunner

Out of my deeper Heart