Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tapasya of the mind

I hold my mind when I am visited by shakti, intelligence as warmth, as bliss. 

I feel a warmth emanating through me, head to toes.

I feel it. I notice it. 

Going against a lifetime of seeking, I stop my mind.

I hold my mind the very second I notice it stirring, surging. I stop my mind when the action of thinking begins; tasting, then starting to talk about a surge of bliss. 

Stop. Hold.

I do not make up a story about my experience, or decide what it means. 

 Hardest of all, I do not to try to augment and shape the event through mental action.

All I know is that these thoughts have enchanted me, have enslaved me. And this moment of stopping, of self-control, becomes a sacrifice, an offering. The fire of tapasya burns without the outer appearance of sadhana.

My sadhana is the tapasya of the mind.

I am simply alive. I have no agenda. My spiritual apparatus has stopped, settled. It seeks nothing.

No process. No language. Only the immense freedom of holding my being, holding my mind.

My mind is mystified, concerned, skeptical.

My sadhana isn't about making me better at control, analysis, pushing ahead to the ultimate goal. I am over the spiritual tantrum I recently had about this. That is when all action stopped.

I no longer indulge in the sadhana of action. Now. One-pointedness. No wandering. I often forgo the mantra--silence is my mantra.

I challenge myself, and my fears. "This is a big risk," offers my mind, the expert I built up and leaned on all of my life. "Might we waste a human birth if we are passive about our sadhana?" 

I stop these thoughts.

I do not know. I do not know. Freedom.

I hold my mind.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thursday, July 27, 2017

No poking and prodding

Anandamayi Ma

My story enters and occupies my consciousness, the feelings and flow of then, unimpeded by now.

The perspective is changed. I don't always burn. I don't always ignite as an offering, standing in the fire of my identification and pain.

Memories are like a very dark cinema, and I am the light.

No poking and prodding.

Always perched nearby

I don't have to let this upset me. I don't have to let it affect me.

I am the fullest feeling of my own true nature, this: a silent stillness that scintillates with bliss.

My mind is not involved, though it is always perched nearby, thinking it is everything.

I find it challenging to blog about my experience, for it is by default understood by most readers as a choice--things and my reaction to things that happens because I want them to. This is understood as reality, everything that becomes in each moment. But I am so much greater, infinitely greater.

What if it all comes, then floats by? If I do not fight or follow, it is no longer about me. I no longer store up debts of consequences.

For my limited mind is not involved with my true nature, though it is always nearby, perched within it... thinking it is everything.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The essence of my sadhana is one-pointedness

Swami Lakshmanjoo commentary: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6, verses 17-18

INTRODUCTION: "This is my new commentary on this Bhagavad Gītā." Swami Lakshmanjoo exclaims, as he tells us what we should do when eating and while experiencing śabda (sound), sparśa (touch), rupa (form) . . . all of the sensual pleasures.
In sensual pleasures, what should you do?

video of Swami Lakshmanjoo
DVD 6.2 (23:22)

Source: Bhagavad Gita, in the Light of Kashmir Shaivism, revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo
All Content subject to copyright © John Hughes
Permission for reprint granted
Emphasis mine
Permission for reprint pending

युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु ।
युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दुःखहा ॥१८॥
yuktāhāravihārasya yuktaceṣṭasya karmasu /
yuktasvapnāvabodhasya yogo bhavati duhkhahā //18//

Although this verse of the Bhagavad Gītā by Vyāsa is complete,186 but Abhinavagupta has not commentated upon it as I would commentate upon this śloka. I will tell you his commentary, his first commentary, [which he gave] in his first life.

Āhāra means āhriyamāṇeṣu viṣayeṣu [comm.], when you will go here and there–this is āhāra. Yuktāhāra does not [only] mean eating. Yuktāhāra means śabda (sound),sparśa (touch), rupa (form) . . . all of the sensual pleasures.

In sensual pleasures, what should you do?

Keep it on one side, vihāra. Vihāra means vihāraḥ upa-bhogāya pravṛttiḥ; vihāra means to enjoy sensual objects. This was Abhinavagupta’s first commentary.

Tasyāśca yuktatvaṁ. Yukta means, na ātyantā saktiḥ na ātyanta parivarjanam, you should not be a slave to those enjoyments. Neither should you become a slave nor should you renounce them. Renunciation is also not good and to be a slave to those enjoyments, that is also not good. That is yukta, yuktatva.

Evaṁ sarvatra, in this way you should commentate upon these ślokas of Vyāsa. This is Abhinavagupta’s first commentary. But I don't appreciate this kind of [explanation]. 

Yuktāhāra. Yuktāhāra means take food! Go on taking food, as much food as you can take, go on taking it but keep awareness in it. While taking food, offer it to your own God–that is yuktāhāra. Yuktāhāra means when you eat food, go on eating it with awareness, go on focusing on its taste. Which taste? The taste of whatever you eat . . . and there will be one-pointedness. Maintain one-pointedness while eating. Maintain one-pointedness–it is my commentary, my amendment–maintain one-pointedness in sleeping. You can sleep but maintain one-pointedness in sleeping, be aware while sleeping. If you sleep, be aware! Don’t be just like a sluggish bear sleeping. Put the trick of yoga into it.

This is my new commentary on this Bhagavad Gītā.

Yuktāhāra vihārasya yuktaceṣṭasya karmasu. When you have to do activities of the daily routine of your life, do all of the daily routine of life, but don’t lose your internal yoga. At the same time, you [should] go on practicing inside.

You mean watching your breath.

Watching your breath and don’t be taken by these activities of life, the daily routine of life.

In sensual pleasures, what should you do? (in Kashmir Shaivism) ~Swami Lakshmanjoo

Yukta svapnā, and when you dream, go into dreams with awareness. When you dream, you will enter into samādhi at the time of dreaming state; you won’t go into the dreaming state. At that time, you will go into samādhi while dreaming.

Yukta svapna āvabodhasya, and when you are awake, be awake with yoga. Yogo bhavati duḥkha, then yoga is very easy; everywhere yoga is available to you. This is my commentary, new commentary. And this is Abhinavagupta’s new commentary. You should know that. So I had to [make an] amendment on this commentary.

yogo’sti naivātyaśato na caikāntamanaśnataḥ /
na cātisvapnaśīlasya nātijāgarato’rjuna
//17// [repeated]

Yukta means yujaryoge. According to Pāṇini’s grammar, yukta means “with yoga”. Attach yoga to all of your activities of the daily routine of life and yoga will be very easily achieved. Yoga cannot be achieved [by remaining] in one corner. If you lock your door from the outside and sit, you will just be wasting your time inside. You will be . . . “idles workshop is demons . . .” what?

DENISE: Idle mind is devil’s workshop?

JONATHAN: Devil’s playground. Idle workshop is devil’s playground.

SWAMIJI: Yes. Don't do like that. Come out in the field and see yoga!

186 “Then who is the real yogī then? Yuktāhāravihārasya, you should take food in less quantity. You should do your worldly activity, [but] very little activity. Don’t become victim of your business. Yuktaceṣṭasya karmasu, don’t think too much. Think very little. Not thinking at all, anything, that is not [advisable either]–yoga won’t take place. Think a little. Think of something, but not too much. Yuktasvapnāvabodhasya, and go to dreaming state also, but not always. Yogo bhavati duhkha, for that person, yogabecomes successful and very easy to be obtained. Those actions should be done in moderate way. Don’t see pictures day and night, always. See pictures after a fortnight. That is good, that will lead you to yoga. But [if you are] not seeing pictures at all, [then] those pictures will leak in your mind then, and you will be filled with pictures in your mind. So do something, but very little, in moderation. Don’t be too much attached to it [and] don’t be detached to it at the same time. Detachment [and] attachment should be done moderately, in a moderate way.” Ibid.

Bhagavad Gita, in the Light of Kashmir Shaivism, revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo
All Content subject to copyright © John Hughes
Permission for reprint granted

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I don't believe in doing

Krishna Radha
I am not what I do. I observe the parts of the play that I think of as me.

Yoga, meditation and other "do's" hamper me, chain me.

Do whatever comes with this form. To liberate myself from bondage is my dharma. To choose freedom in this way is supreme bliss.

To live this way is to "do" without creating karma.

I don't believe in doing.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

In the beginning you run

Question: Guruji, whenever I see You, I start running after You. Is this devotion or lack of self respect?

Guruji: In the beginning you run, it is ok. But then you should learn to stop and look within. Dive deep within yourself. Then I will run after you and the whole world will run after you.

The Art of Living Blog: A teaching from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Portrait by Nitin Rai

Monday, May 15, 2017

From before

When you look around with eyes closed
what do you see?

When you feel more is near, somehow,

Presence.  Flow.

No words. No names. From before.

Nothing that can be more new to me,

But together, we are so very old.

Someday it will happen to me

When will I find my Beloved? When will my Beloved find me?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Completely alone

There is no "do." Except to breathe.

When all is pulled away, everything, a previously unknown "place."

Just be, just feel. Don't push, or pull.

Don't reach out to others, that always throws me way off. Be smart about it. Don't throw myself onto that fire, the one that burns me without be burnt. Endless pain.

Why do I go there? Stop.

Being completely alone is better.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Hold the mind

Don't think about it. Feel it.

Sometimes I think my sadhana is worthless, my Guru is contemptuous.

Sometimes a beautiful play of loving bliss is lifting through my being; there when I reach for it.

(Sometimes I feel my Guru right behind me, her hand on my shoulder. I have that prickly feeling you have when an unseen someone is in the room).

Hold the mind still. Who cares what this means to my mind. For God's sake, don't let the mind get its hands on it!

I have practiced for years. Hold the mind still when self-pity arises, negative thoughts, fear and making stories. Stop these thoughts on a dime. Holding my mind when good feelings arise is the new challenge.

Hold still. Hold, my mind. Still. Just feel it.

Life doesn't need any help.


Sweet Surprise 2017

Forever and ever...

...closer than close.