8/28/2005

Kabir (1440-1518) : Think While You Are Alive

"Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive. Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think...and think...while you are alive.
What you call "salvation" belongs to the time before death.

If you don't break your ropes while you're alive,
do you think ghosts
will do it after?

The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten-
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now,
you will have the face of satisfied desire.
So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
believe in the Great Sound!
Kabir says this: When the Guest is being searched for, it is the
intensity of the longing for the Guest that does all the work.
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity."

Translated by Robert Bly, in The Winged Energy of Delight

8/21/2005

Albert Einstein

" The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery day. Never lose a holy curiosity."

8/20/2005

RABIA of BASRA: Die Before You Die

"Ironic, but one of the most most intimate acts
of our body is
death.

So beautiful appeared my death-knowing who then I would kiss,
I died a thousand times before I died.

' Die before you die,' said the Prophet Muhammad.

Have wings that feared ever
touched the Sun?

I was born when all I once
feared-I could
love.

from Love Poems From God, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

RABIA of BASRA (c. 717-801): In My Soul

"In my soul

there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church

where I kneel.

Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or names exist.

Is there not a region of love where the sovereignty is illumined nothing,

where ecstasy gets poured into itself and becomes lost,

where the wing is fully alive

but has no mind or body?

In my soul,

there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church

that dissolve, that dissolve in God."

from Love Poems From God, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

l

8/13/2005

The Light that shines in your heart

" There is a Light that shines beyond all things on Earth
beyond the highest, very highest heavens.
This is the Light that shines in your heart."

Chandogya Upanishad

JOY

" From Joy all beings are born
By Joy they are all sustained,
And into Joy they again return."

Taittiriya Upanishad

T.S. Eliot

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end to all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

Four Quartets

8/09/2005

A Genuine Path of Practice

" As we follow a genuine path of practice our sufferings may seem to increase because we no longer hide from them or from ourselves. When we do not follow the old habits of fantasy and escape, we are left facing the actual problems and contradictions of our life.

A genuine spiritual path does not avoid difficulties or mistakes but leads us to the art of making mistakes wakefully, bringing them to the transformative power of our heart. When we set out to love, to awaken, to become free, we are inevitably confronted with our own limitations. As we look into ourselves we see more clearly our unexamined conflicts and fears, our frailties and confusion. To witness this can be difficult. Lama Trungpa Rinpoche described spiritual progress from the ego's point of view as 'one insult after another.'

In this way, our life may appear as a series of mistakes. One could call them 'problems' or 'challenges,' but in some ways 'mistakes' is better. One famous Zen master actually described spiritual practice as 'one mistake after another,' which is to say one opportunity after another to learn. It is from 'difficulties, mistakes and errors' that we actually learn. To live life is to make a succession of errors. Understanding this can bring us greater ease and forgiveness for ourselves and others - we are at ease with the difficulties of life.....

But what is our usual response? When difficulties arise in our life we meet them with blame, frustration, or a sense of failure, and then we try to get over these feelings, to get rid of them as soon as possible, to get back to something more pleasant.

As we quiet ourselves in meditation, our process of reacting to difficulties will become even more apparent. But instead of responding with automatic blame, we now have an opportunity to see our difficulties and how they arise. There are two kinds of difficulties. Some are clearly problems to solve, situations that call for compassionate action and direct response. Many more are problems we create for ourselves by struggling to make life different than it is or by becoming so caught up in our own point of view that we lose sight of a larger, wiser perspective....

The Tibetan Buddhist tradition instructs all beginning students in a practice called Making Difficulties into the Path. This involves consciously taking our unwanted sufferings, the sorrows of our life, the struggles within us and the world outside, and using them as a ground for the nourishment of our patience and compassion, the place to develop greater freedom and our true Buddha nature.....

To practice with [these difficulties] entails great courage of spirit and heart. Don Juan calls this becoming a spiritual warrior and states that: 'Only as a [spiritual] warrior can one withstand the path of knowledge.... [This] life is an endless challenge..... The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.'....

In difficulties, we can learn the true strength of our practice. At these times, the wisdom we have cultivated and the depth of our love and forgiveness is our chief resource. To meditate, to pray, to practice, at such times can be like pouring soothing balm onto the aches of our heart. The great forces of greed, hatred, fear, and ignorance that we encounter can be met by the equally great courage of our heart."

Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

The Mother, of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram

" Why do men cling to a religion? Religions are based on creeds which are spiritual experiences brought down to a level where they can become more easy to grasp, but at the cost of their integral purity and truth. The time of religions is over. We have entered the age of universal spirituality, of spiritual experience in its initial purity."

Sri Aurobindo: A Greater Evolution is the Real Goal of Humanity

"The coming of a spiritual age must be preceded by the appearance of an increasing number of individuals who are no longer satisfied with the normal intellectual, vital, and physical existence of man, but perceive that a greater evolution is the real goal of humanity and attempt to effect it in themselves, to lead others to it, and to make it the recognized goal of the race. In proportion as they succeed and to the degree to which they carry this evolution, the unrealized potentiality which they represent will become an actual possibility of the future."

Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle

8/06/2005

Mahatma Gandhi

" God has no religion."

8/03/2005

Kabir

"Wherever you are is the entry point."