Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HIS Camel Video

HIS (photos by Julie O'Neill)
HIS Camels and Fundraiser   (video link)

Feedback please.  The photos that Julie took are awesome!

Creative Resting spot

Kali and Lord Shiva

It is nice to be comic relief for Gurudev sometimes.  There is a new picture out that is very different than the others.  I thought it showed one of the Goddesses killing a man.  My ego was probably hoping that there was some wobble in the good behavior program and that maybe there was a feminist moment that women had payback for men's bad behavior.  Kali is the Goddess.  The dead man was only pretending to sleep (Lord Shiva), so his wife might come to her senses while she was killing everything.  He asked if I had noticed that the "man's arm" was bent to the side in a resting position on his head.  I said yes, but this is India so anything is possible. Oh well, nice try ego.  "The meek will inherit the Earth..."

Scored an amazing wool mat to put under my mattress, a can opener, and a supply of fiction reading.  Life is getting luxurious.  

The Lint Screen Shifted

What happens post shattering?  I am always curious how "life" is effected after an energetic metamorphosis.  It was if I had been a bottle in the depth of the ocean (transparent to some degree, but a definite structure in tact) and then the glass was pulverized.  I am still all of the pulverized pieces, but I have more surface contact to the ocean and the form has changed.  Energetically, it feels like I shed another layer.  Not unlike when I hung up my superego cape.  For the first time, I feel like I am the light.  Instead of doing, giving, or receiving, I am being.  The being is radiating the light into all other actions.  There are no attachments to the actions.  No need to receive if I give or give if I receive--just light.  There is more clarity around my ego, but this is fragile territory.  The light feels powerful and limitless, but the voice of the ego is still present. It feels so luxurious to have the time and grace of the ashram to digest all of these changes.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Next Door Wedding

Speaking of weddings and births, a big congratulations to Narayana Baba and Satva Gaby Gorey on their recent marriage and birth of a beautiful, healthy girl Laleshwari Eden Gorey!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shattering Process

Ashram flower

To go deeper into the next leg of the journey, I was questioning my meditation practice.  Yes, I am living with the process 24/7, practice and stillness, but is it enough?  If I am here dedicating myself to this practice, than I need to keep examining what I am doing.  I decided to run it by Gurudev--the truth test.  I had to giggle a bit over what it must have sounded like to a Spiritual Master.  He listened and actually told me to talk (a rare request), so he could better understand.  He okayed it, nothing to change.  Really, I thought.  How do I go deeper into something that is so unclear.  Does it happen by practice?  Or by grace?  I have been dedicated to a practice, since that is what method I have used to gain success in other areas of my life.  He agreed that a spiritual practice is much like a life practice, "The other side of the same coin."

So in a strange way there was moment of relief to put a check mark by the process I am using, but what about the elephant in the middle of the living room? Yes, a lot has already changed in a very short amount of time, but isn't that preliminary stuff for getting serious?  Now that I have touched the truth of reality and know that one can hang out there pain free, what about the physical world?  It doesn't appear to quietly just fold up and go away?  So do I wait for grace?  It is like being caught inside of a triangle. One side is death, but now I know that we don't ever die.  The second side is the world as I have lived in it and now I know that isn't ever going to be the same.  The final side is the new world and I am not sure if I am suppose to/can live in that either.

As I was sitting in the triangle examining my exits. it became unbearable.  I could make life as I have known it work, but you might as well tie me behind a pick-up truck and drive down the road.  Or do I asked to be returned to purusha to start over again.  It appears that the only option going forward is to finish getting over the wall, but is that presumptuous of me to think I can somehow effect that.  From what I understand, I need to take a number and wait in line.

My plan was to ask Gurudev about all of this, but somehow after I accidentally touched his foot with my forehead while pranaming to him in the driveway, an internal cracking was unleashed.  While sitting in front of Pahari Baba,  I felt the need to be shattered.  Mercilessly shattered, so I could exit the triangle or go insane.  The tears were streaming uncontrollably.  I reflected on my early experience at the Wishing Tree and offered myself beyond anything remotely recognizable.  I consciously put myself (and my ego) at the feet of the Divine and said, "Here, do as you please."

Not that I don't doubt that Gurudev knows everything that is going on, I shifted over to his seated area just to give it all a chance not to end up as the insanity option.  It felt like going through some sort of shape shifting experience.  All I can say is wow and have gratitude for all the continuous flow of daily energetic shifts.  I can appreciate how the body needs conditioning for this stuff just like running a marathon.  Since I am phobic of Gurudev's feet and there seemed to be a foot theme going on, why not add to the list.  There was a point that somehow my body went through his foot to merge into the world behind. There was a moment of doubt, but then I had to let go--completely and totally in a new way.

Not sure what happens next, but the intense desire for shattering is gone and inner peace has returned.  Another moment of grace layered on the practice?  Maybe the practice is an illusion and it is all grace!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small World and Big Universe

Simple elegance and I watched her navigate a hill/dirt path like this. 

At the ashram, very fun to meet a family from India who is now living in the US and following the blog from Stateside--small world.

Created a short spiritual outline of the big universe:

1.  God eternal  involution/evolution
2.  Prana (living force)  and Akasha (matter)
3.  Sankyas (forces)
     a.  Tamas
     b.  Rajas
     c.  Sattva
4.  Purusha-Atman (individual pure soul)
5.  Mahat (intelligence)-subconscious, conscious, and super conscious
6.  Ahamkara (ego) self conscious
7.  Manas-Buddi (mind)
8.  Senses
9.  Organs for senses

Something good that I hadn't considered before, when you are washing with a bucket, it doesn't matter when the power goes off--even in the dark.

HIS Fundraising Video

If you are willing to cry, please take a look at the following iMovie. Just as a heads up, I have cried every time that I have looked at it and I needed to watch it a lot while I made it.  I was asked to make an emotionally stirring video for a fundraiser.  Please be brave and let me know what happens.  It is only the truth.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Starting With A Single Stone

Religious temples can be developed from a single stone, I found out.  Someone places a sacred stone/statue in a location, people start gathering there to worship and pray.  A few more stones are added to enhance the site and so on until one day, there is a temple.  I am watching this development with a stone painted red that was on one of my walks.  Now the disciples have built a cement patio and house for the stones.
Phase One
Phase Two (I like phase one better-personally)
While I was walking in hollowness, I found a little Ganesha on the ground,  so I picked a place in a tree for it to be placed in honor.  Is this the beginning for a new sacred place?  One intention at a time. I see this in myself as I reflect upon the path.  As I explore this new field, it is in one moment of stillness at a time to watch the thoughts, actions, and reactions. My list of trigger points all appeared to help test the new zone--supervised hollowness was the watchdog.

As I went to leave the ashram, I met Gurudev in the shoe room.  More reflections on my past reactions of overwhelm, uncertainty, and shakti power surges.  There is always a moment of humility, stillness, and respect for the presence of this Divine Being, but this time (after pranam), I could look directly into his eyes and see the endless pool of love that he holds for us as a field and with an open invitation to join him.  Jai Guru!  A light full of love, wisdom, and truth that was otherworldly. He gently smiled and appeared to acknowledge the seeking of my "self" and moment of losing myself in the depth of his Being.  A powerful teaching and Divine grace.

Hollow Zone

New/First House Plant--bamboo

No pain in the hollow zone.  I was able to stay there and walk in the fire--pain free--no inner ripple or mental chatter.  Starting to understand that I can function "normally" in the hollow zone.  I will take it out for a test drive on the consciousness walk tomorrow.

(Here I am reducing myself into hollowness and now after playing with someone's new hi-tech camera, I am salivating over the remarkable upgrade in photo quality/range.... life on the playground continues.)

Marriage of Narayana Baba and Satva Gaby Ellert under the blessings of Amma

How amazing for the group at home to share in the marriage of Narayana Baba and Satva under the blessings of Amma

You are cordially invited to the marriage
Narayana Baba
Satva Gaby Ellert

On Saturday, the twenty sixth of November, 2011

To be officiated by Amma

The M.A. Center

10200 Crow Canyon Road.

Castro Valley, California

Festivities begin with Devi Bhava at 7:00pm on Friday, and end with the ceremony early Saturday morning.

You must arrive by 2:00am

Baba recommends coming early and getting an Amma hug, then waiting for the ceremony.

There will be 10 seats reserved near the stage for friends.

Amma is regarded by many to be an incarnation of the Divine Mother and is often referred to as the 'hugging saint". She has spent most of the past 25 years hugging anyone who approaches her. Often she will sit dispensing her love and her hugs for 8, 10, 12 hours and more without a break of any kind. In India, where she is quite well known, it is not uncommon for her to hug 10 to 20 thousand people in a single session. The fact that she does this most of the days of every week of every year, at first evades our notice. But when we try to imagine the amount of love and patience one would need to accomplish such a feet of compassion, we begin to be struck by the magnitude of it. No ordinary human being would have the inclination to spend their lives hugging, giving solace and encouragement, and wiping away tears. We have to ask ourselves why someone would do this. Amma asks nothing in return. No collection plate is passed. There is nothing to join or pledge allegiance to. There are no strings attached. She is simply a fountain - a river - that flows with unimaginable love and is available to anyone who wants to put in their cup and drink.

Amma encourages all major religions. She says that all religions are paths to God. Regardless of one's faith, be it Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, she will help in the fulfillment of that. She encourages practitioners of other faiths to remain where they are and work within those paths. Amma states that direct knowledge of the Self as the pure luminous all-pervading non-dual Reality is the goal and, that for most people, the path of love and devotion is the way to it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Diving Again And So Deep

The perceived darkness is part of the alchemy to uncover the light.  There is no real darkness.  Only shades/degrees of light.  The veil of the ego to obscure the depth and truth of lights limitlessness.  An outward incident motivated me once again to dive into the "darkness" and pain women are subjected to through physical and mental violence. There is a vibration that exists within me that is severely activated by this disrespect, violation, and unconsciousness.

While returning to examine what lies under this obscuration, I realized the vulnerability of the female vessel contains a powerful opening to hollowness and ultimately wisdom, love, and compassion.  I now understand the hidden strength of the vessel as a sacred opening to the Divine. Housing the potential for giving birth/light and receiving barbaric violation/darkness is the mystery.  How could both be one? The ultimate truth/nature of duality merging into unity--giving and receiving. Divine Mother, Durga, Kali....

14-year-old girl wins Pakistan's first peace prize -*

Afghan woman's choice: 12 years in jail or marry her rapist and risk death -*

Stepping Back Into Physical Reality

Nothing like a dose of life challenges and observing other lives having challenges to bring you into the other part of the path.  What is the balance?  Or is there nothing really to balance as one sees the minutia of this lifetime, understands the multitude of years to evolve consciousness, and the eventual turning back into itself.

Spent part of the day taking pictures of adoptable animals at Help In Suffering.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Will I Ever Get Use To The Quick Turnaround Time With The Answers?

The meditation started at the bottom of the ocean again, only I was clearly alone.  There was time to exam the aloneness before it turned into hollowness and then wholeness/limitlessness.  The ego's voice was present in the aloneness and then "The Voice" appeared in the other transitions. It fits with the lesson from yesterday.  During the transition to the limitless section, the thoughts of the kite and jumping off the ledge came back from past experiences.  My body wrestled with how to get from point A to B as it did when it was trying to find its way like a caterpillar out of a cocoon.  All familiar signposts that something was changing.  I could feel that my heart was stuck again, but this time it was a very small piercing area like a stem on a basketball.  My mind flashed on an umbilical cord out of the center of my heart--creative but there are never rules in these experiences.  It felt like that was going to be the key to a more complete merging into the new energetic field.  No expectations, but the withering of the cord transpired.  It changed the pressure in my heart chakra a lot, but I can feel there is more work to do.  When is there ever not more work to do?

The pattern to my learning appears to be experiencing something unknown, then I read it about it, and then I revisit the experience in some sort of "recognizable" form that I can articulate. Grace!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Aloneness Or Limitlessness

A Favorite Place To Contemplate On One Of My Walks

How alone are we really when we are a part of the limitlessness? Is it another ploy of the ego not willing to surrender that creates the feeling of aloneness?  Even though I am in a heavily populated country, it doesn't mean that I don't feel "alone."  Yes, I see hundreds, thousands of people daily, but I may have only moments that I speak or interact in some way.  How significant is this?  Is this part of going deeper into the Divine--one lets go of the attachment to humans in a conscious way?  What inspires people to interact? Interest? Guilt? Love? Does social media create so much abundance for interaction that we don't sense into the person or situation while typing?  Does the interaction become a burden instead of a joy? Another facet of the journey to turn in the light and examine.  

Part of a Walk

Depth Of The Ocean

Observing myself as I incorporate the new idea of yes, this is all really happening.  And no, there doesn't seem to be anymore excuses for the separation list.  Starting to get a better sense of my ego as a character/actor in the play.  It even has it's own voice.  I listened to the arguments and thanked it for the input.  The mind chewed through the layers until it reached the place behind the intellect where the earth became a playground. Now what?  The path has shown me to open and allow at these crossroads.  Everything internally was very still and then I found myself in the depth of the ocean.  The water provided the tension instead of gravity, so the ambience was different.  I have never deep sea dived, so I felt like I was reliving some aspect of prehistoric life before we took to the land.  From there it felt like I entered the involution/evolution of the cosmic soup, but it was different this time.  There was no picture, only the feel of energy streaming. 

I am starting to sink into these places amongst ashram traffic.  Interesting to watch the ego try and play the fear card at this new depth.  My Enneatype has fear as part of its intrinsic nature, so I may have it show up at every crossroad.  Although, my mind knows that "reality" lies behind what I see, so the fear card was connected to uncertainty more than actual fear.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Something To Consider

 The world needs more toilets -*

A street art exhibition by the German Toilet Organization in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2006.
  • Jenna Davis: 2.6 billion people do not have access to toilets, a global sanitation crisis
  • Every day more than 4,000 children die from sanitation-related illness, she says
  • Davis: A dedicated community is working to expand access to basic sanitation services
  • In the U.S., the prevailing urban sanitation model has changed little in 100 years, she says
Editor's note: Jenna Davis is a faculty member in Stanford University's Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, where her research and teaching focuses on water, sanitation and health. She served on the United Nations Millennium Task Force for Water and Sanitation and her research team, The Poop Group, has worked on water and sanitation issues in more than a dozen developing countries.
Palo Alto, CA (CNN) -- It does not make for pleasant dinner conversation. But we have a global sanitation crisis. More than 40% of the world's population does not have access to a toilet. These 2.6 billion people, most living in low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa, face the daily challenge of finding a bush, train track or empty lot where they can urinate and defecate in relative privacy.
Between 1990 and 2008, the share of the world's population that had access to basic sanitation increased only 7%, to 61% of the world's citizens. In many developing countries, mobile phone penetration is expanding at a faster rate than sanitation. In Tanzania, for example, half the country's citizens have mobile phones, but only 24% use an improved sanitation facility.
Saturday marks the 10th anniversary of World Toilet Day, a day set aside not simply as a celebration of this most venerable and useful of technologies, but as a way to draw attention to the crisis and some possible solutions.
This sanitation crisis is not only an affront to dignity. It results in the release of hundreds of tons of feces and urine each day directly into rivers, lakes, landfills and oceans, creating an immense human and environmental health hazard. Every day more than 4,000 young children die from sanitation-related illness. Fully half of the hospital beds in the developing world are occupied by people whose ailments can be traced to poor sanitation.
Jenna Davis
Jenna Davis
A small but dedicated community that includes governments, NGOs, donors and research institutions is working to expand access to basic sanitation services in developing countries. They employ a range of innovative strategies, including "naming and shaming" community members who defecate in the open, constructing public toilets operated by entrepreneurs, and providing subsidies to help households build their own facilities.
In most cases these sanitation champions promote or deliver "on-site" services such as a pit latrine or a toilet with septic tank. These facilities capture feces and urine in a chamber under or next to the users' dwelling. When adopted on a wide scale and maintained properly, these solutions can dramatically improve household and environmental sanitation.
On-site solutions are also popular because they cost less to build, and require much lower volumes of water than a conventional sewer system. In addition, some on-site sanitation facilities allow for the possibility of generating biogas for cooking and lighting, and for re-using composted excreta as fertilizer for agriculture.
Given all these benefits from improved sanitation, why has it proven so difficult to expand access to this essential service?
One answer may be that the kinds of sanitation facilities offered to developing country households are not terribly appealing. As sanitation guru Professor Sandy Cairncross of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine noted two decades ago, "For those accustomed to a contemplative squat in the open air in the cool of the early morning, who among them would choose a dark, damp, smelly and possibly precarious cubicle?"
Efforts to keep sanitation as low-cost as possible may also be part of the problem, at least for some consumers. Researchers from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill working recently in Southeast Asia found that households prefer and are willing to pay for higher quality toilets, particularly when they are marketed as a symbol of prestige and modernity, rather than just a preventive health measure.
This shift toward aspirational marketing is one important step toward generating greater household demand for improved sanitation services. In order to turn the tide on the global sanitation crisis, however, efforts are also needed to develop models for low- and no-water sanitation systems at scale, models to which municipal and national governments themselves can aspire.
In cities across the United States, the transition from outhouses and privies to sanitary sewers occurred more than a century ago, when metropolitan populations numbered in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Today there are more than a dozen cities in developing countries that have at least 5 million inhabitants, most of whom rely on latrines or toilets with septic tanks.
Municipalities with limited resources struggle to regulate, much less manage, the emptying and safe disposal of sludge from these facilities. It is estimated that only 15% of domestic waste in developing countries undergoes any form of treatment before being discharged to the environment.
In the United States, our prevailing urban sanitation model has changed little in the past century, with the typical American flushing more than 12,000 liters of potable water down the sewer every year. Despite declining per capita fresh water availability, increasing frequency of municipal water rationing and the need to replace a large share of the country's aging wastewater infrastructure, there is little discussion as to how domestically we might transition to a sustainable sanitation future that reduces freshwater requirements and lowers energy costs.
Waterless and composting toilets are niche technologies, marketed to "ultra-green" consumers and those living in remote locations. Indeed, the recycling of grey water, even for nonpotable uses such as watering landscapes, is still controversial in many places.
Certainly, most people don't want to talk about poop, much less debate whether and how it might be recycled in their communities. But it is precisely this debate that is needed. We need to trigger sanitation innovations that can benefit citizens of wealthy and poor countries, and also instigate systems that help protect the resource base they depend on for development.
Wouldn't that be something to celebrate?
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jenna Davis.

Longish Walk

Sheep with a tail
Made a 5 hour walking loop out the back area past the slums, over to the upscale high rise shopping mall, through the Pink City, and home.  I was asked to put together an emotionally powerful iMovie for the Help In Suffering fundraiser in March, so I was out snooping around. Most of the animals I saw looked happy and in good weight.

Actually, they looked like they were fairing better than some of the humans that I saw.  Practicing oneness along the way--all the Divine Spirit in one form or another.  I got three of the escalator monitors at the mall blowing their whistles for going too fast down the escalators--another first.  The chaos in the Pink City is always fun.

The vendors have great memories.  One stopped me to say hello from buying a shirt in March.  Bumped into another one who recently helped me with passport photos, music contacts, and offered his home for the visa rental.

Got a kick out of using a tire instead of a road cone for marking a pothole in the road.  Google Sky Maps just mapped a 50 acre tire dump, maybe they could take note from the Indians and start converting them into road cones.  Last but not least for the horse enthusiasts--check out the creative body clip on the camel.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Grace On The Accelerated Plan

Yesterday, Gurudev had said to come at noon to speak with the professor.  The universe squeezed in a homework assignment and than what a privilege to speak with an Indian who is in the thick of academia and spirituality.  I can tell, I am not on the Merry-Go-Round now; more like the Spinning Tea-Cups or something.  Fasten my seat belt comes to mind....  An IV of Divine Grace for my soul and now an IV of spiritual wisdom for my brain.

I have been considering whether or not I should stay in India, since I met my goals in 3 months instead of the 2 years or longer that I was prepared for.  I hadn't really thought about the after, since I wanted to be accepting and open to what unfolded.  Gurudev confirmed that I had reached the beginning of a new layer, but what does that actually translate to in practical living?  Maybe it is in the reading?  Maybe it is through living, continuing to notice the tendency for the ego to create separation, and redirecting the impulses?  Earlier in the week, I was having a pity party about my living situation, but when I thought it through,  I realized that wasn't a good enough reason to give in.  (The water heater, duvet, sprouts, sweet potatoes, and more showed up as support!)  But then the question of is it reasonable to want more  "spiritual moments" came up?

Pranam to the professor.  He graciously shared a lot, had answers that fit together with all the wisdom so far, and helped me look at the next leg of the journey.  (Gurudev is so pure (and humble) teaching from the inside and nurturing the experience of the spirit within.  I have been working on teaching people feel for riding, but the thought of teaching people feel for consciousness is mind boggling!)  He said that I should stop thinking that I am somehow unworthy of this teaching, because I am not Indian or live in India or whatever else that I am using to separate myself from believing that it is really happening.  He reminded me that it has been thousands of lifetimes and that it is by grace and work that the moment is now.  He confirmed that I am not going crazy and that one of the remarkable parts of my journey is that I want to understand and experience what "It" is.  I didn't realize that some people understand, some people have the experience, but not everyone does both.  He stressed to keep trusting my instincts and inner voice, because the Divine is leading me through them and in a seemingly productive way.  The question of looking at the ego regarding greediness of experience is a good one, but the next leg is deepening into this Cosmic Soup through meditation and getting lessons/tests from the outer world.  The intellect/books are not going to help me much now on this next section.  How we experience all of this is unique (7 billion versions and more added daily), but the experience of consciousness/formlessness is even less "tangible."

What a week!!!!  One of my major legs of support reminded me, "Don't forget that he can work on you in your sleep too, so the seat belt is a good idea."  The verdict is onward.  I may pop home at some point if it looks like I can change my visa in a reasonable amount of time, but otherwise, diving inward is the only path for now.

Look At The Similarities Instead Of The Differences

Ashram Garden
Getting back to digesting more of that "spiritual moment" and what it was:  experiencing the energetic unity of it all--oneness:  not one thing more important than another, I could function (walk, talk, and think) in that state, and there was a sense of peace (inner and outer.)  It was confirmed by a master spiritual being, so it was "real."  Since I am diligently chopping at ego tentacles (a lot like blackberry vines), I ask, is it okay to seek this experience again or do I just look at it as a moment of Divine grace?  The oneness is what I am seeking, so is there a greediness to wanting more of it?  Does it serve a purpose beyond my ego? Isn't the peace the point?  And for me, it is peace in life--not just in an ashram, cave, or monastery.

I gate crashed one of the weddings that happens across the road.  It was like Disneyland at a wedding!  Wow, yet another part of the zero to one hundred experience.  There was a feeding frenzy going on at the tables with people shoving and loading their plates up while the spotlight, fireworks, flashing/disco lights, and blaring rock music were setting the tone.  I was the only white person there, but no one took too much notice amongst the activities.  I did raid the popcorn stand, but the rest of the food looked like it could lead to 24 hours of food toxicity.  Another training wheels moment. I had just come from the oneness in the ashram, so I had to remind myself that there was no separation at this event--as unlikely as it felt, I was part of them.

The next morning at the ashram, that "spiritual moment" was part of the oneness I consciously wrestled with the night before.  How simple right?  Something switched in my brain--start looking at the similarities instead of the differences.  My next homework assignment.  I merged with the Divine Soup again--Gurudev looked up and gave me one of those long piercing stares that goes through you to a place that I am only starting to learn about. Starting to feel the formless, consciousness, spirit within...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Insanity Walk to Consciousness Walk

Thought I would look at my consciousness capacity by taking on my walk up the hill where last time I felt the need to yell obscenities after almost being struck by a vehicle three times.  Quite tranquil this morning--only one or two honks.  As one of the ashram disciples keeps reminding me, "India has 0 -100 available at any moment."  The walk started with these new statues appearing on the wall, but then there was also a tragic burn pile with one of the statues.  Symbolism?  Ritual?

Another Year Marked By A Birthday

Perfect morning of absolute silence in the ashram with only Gurudev reading his paper.  Secrets of Jaipur--thin crust pizza and killer latte.  Delightful birthday lunch and flowers--thank you!  Also found a hair stylist who could cut stylish short hair! More of the kaleidoscope.  And to sleep on a cloud again...

Education for women appears to be their hope for social freedom.  So much to be grateful for.

The soul of all is one soul, and the truth is one truth, under whatever religion it is hidden.
                        Bowl of Saki, November 18, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
With all the opposition to the Master at the time when the [chief priests] demanded his crucifixion, did those who were present sincerely think the Master was guilty? No, each one of them was more or less impressed by the truth of the message, yet torn by convention and custom, bound by laws, held fast by the religious authority that was in power. They could not express their sincere feelings, and so law governed instead of love. And this state of things has existed in all ages. Blinded by conventions and by the laws of his time and the customs of his people, man has ignored and opposed the truth. Yet at the same time the truth has never failed to make its impression upon the soul, because the soul of all is one soul, and truth is one truth under whatever religion it is hidden.

In reality there cannot be many religions; there is only one. There cannot be two truths; there cannot be two masters. As there is only one God and one religion, there is one master and there is one truth. And the weakness of man has been that only what he is accustomed to consider as truth he takes to be truth, and anything he has not been accustomed to hear or think frightens him. Just like a person in a strange land, away from home, the soul is a stranger to the nature of things it is not accustomed to. But the journey to perfection means rising above limitations, rising so high that not only the horizon of one country, of one continent, is seen, but that of the whole world. The higher we rise, the wider becomes the horizon of our view.

If we come face to face with truth, it is one and the same. One may look at it from the Christian, from the Buddhist, or from the Hindu point of view, but in reality it is one point of view. One can either be small or large, either be false or true, either not know or know. As long as a person says, 'When I look at the horizon from the top of the mountain I become dizzy. This immensity of space frightens me,' he should not look at it. But if it does not make one dizzy it is a great joy to look at life from above. And from that position a Christian, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist will all see the same immensity. It is not limited to those of any one faith or creed. Gradually, as they unfold themselves and give proof of their response to the immensity of the knowledge, they are asked to go forward, face to face with their Lord.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Living In The Kaleidoscope

How is a day more of a kaleidoscope than what one can experience in India? Morning walk to the gym with the assortment of animals and humans.  Going to the gym a little bit earlier, since their power outage is from 9-10am. While traveling through the Pink City in the auto rickshaw, there was a very poor woman on the side of the road with her two children trying to wake her up.  She looked like one of the men who have appeared dead.  It caught my attention.  It reminded me of seeing an animal dying in child birth and then you find the offspring nuzzling and prodding it's mother to "wake up."  Onto a luncheon meeting at a beautiful hotel where the hostess is the Managing Trustee for Help In Suffering (and the owner of the hotel) and several of the women where involved with this particular charity or others.  Very interesting to discuss the social/religious systems within India and what really is the best way to offer help.  Lots of corruption, so that was also an interesting point to add to the learning curve.  More facets of India.  There is an opportunity to present Selfseeds and see how it fits with the health interests of Indians, since exercise and nutrition are becoming more a part of their lifestyle. On to teach Nat a riding lesson which is always a joy.  (She gave me a duvet---life changing event to have a fluffy warm sleeping surface!!!!!) Finished the day at the ashram with a remarkable infusion of heart opening energy.

Interesting to be a spiritual seeker as a description of "Who I am."   Very different stories and questions than when I am a horse trainer.  Fun to have a beautifully prepared multi course meal (dessert too!), but I enjoyed the evening prashad just as much.  Did I miss or envy the lifestyle of the wealthy?  It was lovely to touch into it and be reminded of the beauty created from a different point of view, but no regrets for what I am experiencing and learning through my life in the cement room.  Yes, I will thoroughly enjoy sleeping on the duvet and no, sleeping on a horse hair blanket is not on my list.