Sunday, September 30, 2012


"The Guru is puja for the Divine."  I enjoyed these sentiments from one of the Pandits.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Escalator Stopped For A Moment

Upon finishing the spiritual path manual, I felt like the escalator stopped for the first time in my life.  I could see the blueprint.  I don't know the details, but I could see the foundation. All is the Divine, every  detail of living as a human being is to move towards nonduality, and once enough details are sorted through, we are liberated.

I happened to be reading in one of the smaller meditation rooms, so I felt the overwhelming desire to pranam, thank God for being, for getting me to this point of clarity, for leading me to the feet of a Spiritual Master, and for uncovering the unwavering, inner knowing that there is a path.  The tears were on hand and I felt such a relief to finally understand what I was committing to even if I didn't know how it was going to manifest.

The escalator has been an underlying, movement that has been silently and blindly stewarding me along   a hidden path.  There was no stopping, but where was it going?  A question I have asked for almost 30 years.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Do I Qualify?

We were discussing sensing Spiritual Beings through imagery, voices, and, vibrations when Gurudev mentioned that serious seekers meditate early in the morning, since it is a time of spiritual activity. As he said the words "serious seekers," a small, dark bolt of energy moved through me--doubt.  I felt as if I had been seen at the depth of my inner self.  Do I qualify?  I am still not sure.  I have almost finished the Yogananda Manual and it makes sense, nothing encouraging me to drop out of the program, and I am hoping to go deeper. Is that enough?  Or am I still standing on the other side of the fence, examining it all?   If there is any indication of my past endeavors for serious seeking, I will probably need to be God Realized before I think I am serious. And how would I know that either, come to think about it.  Does the Divine Genealogy hand out badges or have identifying name tags? No worries there with how many lifetimes ahead...

The past few days, I have been told that I am "looking serious." I have been trying to stay in my inner state while moving about in the outer world. I have been trying that for 3 years now, but the bar keeps going up and I find that I still need to concentrate.  I will take on the homework assignment and see what happens.

With Or Without The Feet Level Homework

It is possible to feel the same intense vibration of Gurudev or the others without sitting in their physical presence, (fact check.)  I can feel them, but not "at the feet" level--yet.  More obscurations and layers to dissolve. 

Streaming Humans

Watching all the incarnated souls streaming by, knowing that each one has a story, and each one has a path.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Receiving Judgements

Pure thoughtfulness?

As I work on my stop judging list, I start to notice the judgements that I receive as part of the judgement pool.  Examining how a simple statement offered to me could add to my lint screen.  I have been single pointedly working on the lint that I have already accumulated and trying not to add to other's lint screens,  but now to observe the primordial birth of lint--not too dissimilar to the beginning of thought.  "Oh, you look....?"  "Why did you...?"  "When are you...?"  As humans, we so easily offer our thoughts, feelings, and observations.  While recognizing the far reaching effects of those vibration's, it hastens me along in the work to include consciousness for each word, action, or sound that is expelled through my form.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Moment Of Cross Pollination (1 of 3)

Selfseeds:  Stationary Bike and Integrative "I" Band  Exercises 

Points To Consider From A Living Master

1.  Yes, the deep welling up of tears is often a point of contact to the Divine.

2.  Yes, we are so, so, so small relative to the Divine.

3.  Yes, one of the challenges is to keep following one's own path and not the path of others.

4.   Yes, all of the path's look different.

5.  Yes, we can learn from reading, listening to teachers, etc. but it is important to keep the information in the appropriate perspective relative to one's own path.

6. Yes, it is a challenge to get beyond the materialistic and ego based decision making.

7.  Yes, the Rolodex from one's life experience wants to show up in remarkable variations while meditating.

Humility As The Sacred Womb

Hard at work sweeping the street--and no safety cones.

It feels like a giant relief to be small, humble, and "nothing" in a place so vibrationally undisturbed.  Thank goodness (Thank God!) that I can be me within every square inch of it and still experience pure Truth and Love.  The vastness of what lies outside that smallness could be overwhelming; like going to see the Grand Canyon and thinking it looks like a gopher hole.  Instead, it feels like a sacred womb with no limits and Gurudev is the Master Teacher who helps unfold these points of awareness.  I was almost in tears walking in my incinerator/insanity walk as I stayed with this new found freedom.  I didn't look up while walking because I needed to avoid disturbances, but out of the recognition of my minuteness--how simple.  If called upon to interact, then to do so out of a place of humility and consciousness.

Another understanding of the scratchiness and how the ego has encouraged pretending, masking, and inventing a story to hold onto.  The questioning of myself and my teachers has been to unknowingly get to this Absolute Pure place of being in awe of the bigger, grander, invisible truth.

Gurudev shared a story of Rama Krishna picking up a melon and tapping it to check for quality and content.  He told his disciple Vivekenanda to keep doing the same to his (Rama Krishna's) head.  Gurudev was kind in inviting me to do the same.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chalkboard Adjustment: Observing Without Judgement

Noticing that in not forgiving and allowing, a lot of extra lint is potentially left on the screen.  Who am I to judge if someone has changed, is in the process of changing, or what that might look like from my limited perspective.  Part of the discipline of training horses was to get on with awareness, but with a clean chalkboard so change could be observed and encouraged.  I need to install that chalkboard the minute I wake up in the morning.  Walking in it requires more capacity for allowing, forgiving, and staying neutral--being in the gap and offering a gap to others.

Gurudev keeps encouraging me to listen from within.  While meditating, the chalkboard adjustment reduced restlessness and created an outpouring of tears and gratitude from a very deep realm.  The desire not to be in conflict is immense and how to keep working towards that is the self discipline.

At times, I have still wondered if focusing on the Divine is self-centered or selfish in some way, but these lessons keep scrubbing that stain of doubt away as well.

Humility Strand

Devotion is still a bit of an unknown for me, at least from the point of view that my mind creates. I see different physical offerings that would appear to fit into this category, but can one have it silently, inwardly, and as an offering unseen?  My threads of respect and fear were slightly tangled as I asked Gurudev if having such an enormous amount of respect for him and beyond could it limit my capacity for love if part of the weave had fear involved.  We had discussed this a year ago and he felt that it showed a very deep alignment to the process, but since I am reactivating my trail to the surrender pile, I wanted to check in.   The entanglement hadn't diminished, but had come into clearer focus with the growing understanding of the whole.  He paused and appeared to search interiorly and came up with the observation of humility.  The respect and fear were tied together in the act of preserving humility.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ran Across This Timeless Poem

/ Photo by AlicePopkorn /
Please Call Me by My True Names
Thich Nhat Hanh, Thich Nhat Hanh poetry, Buddhist, Buddhist poetry, Zen / Chan poetry, [TRADITION SUB2] poetry,  poetryby Thich Nhat Hanh
(1929 - ) Timeline
Original LanguageEnglish
Buddhist : Zen / Chan

Don't say that I will depart tomorrow --
even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his "debt of blood" to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart
can be left open,
the door of compassion.


-- from Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh, by Thich Nhat Hanh      

Absorbing the world at the same time:

 Orphaned girl starts university in Zimbabwe at 14 -*

 Ancient site needs saving not destroying -*

In Niger, child marriage on rise due to hunger - Yahoo! News
Each day before the reaping, the 11-year-old girl walked between the stunted stalks of millet with a sense of mounting dread.

For India's Children, Philanthropy Isn't Enough 

Respect, Humility, Fear, and Love

Examining the three threads of respect, humility, and fear; how they apply to humans, nature, animals, and the Divine.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Radha!



Pahari Baba

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Compassionate Detachment

Ashram flower

My internal process kept questioning how letting go could deepen my presence in the One and satisfy my physical presence in the material world.

Compassionate detachment is the capacity builder. The detachment allows the space and the infinite available presence of Absolute Love is the "space holder."

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Insatiable, Irrational Pull

The materialistic world is present at every pause, turn, breath, question, and disturbance; but so is this mystical world.  I keep wondering when will this insatiable, irrational pull inward abate?  I cannot read spiritual books quick enough. I cannot go deep enough.  The materialistic world becomes less satisfying--there are no answers.  The irrational becomes the materialistic, but few appear to notice. Inward.

Good Morning...

Good Morning--elephants on one side of my room and a parade on the other side.

On the way to work

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Are There Different Rules?

Ashram Rose

The ego wants to jump in at every opportunity.  As I ask how to open more and go deeper, it wants to know if there are different rules for loving an Infinite Being vs. a finite being.  

The Privilege To Witness This Daily

The teachings watching Gurudev move through his daily process.

One thing is true: although the teacher cannot give the knowledge, he can kindle the light if the oil is in the lamp.
                        Bowl of Saki, September 20, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
No one can give spiritual knowledge to another, for this is something that is within every heart. What the teacher can do is to kindle the light which is hidden in the heart of the disciple. If the light is not there, it is not the fault of the teacher. There is a verse by Hafiz in which he says, 'However great be the teacher, he is helpless with the one whose heart is closed.' ...

In ancient times, the disciples of the great teachers learned by a quite different method, not an academic method or a way of study. The way was an open heart. With perfect confidence and trust they watched every attitude of the teacher, both towards friends and towards people who looked at him with contempt. They watched their teacher in times of trouble and pain, how he endured it all. They said how patient and wise he had been in discussing with those who did not understand, answering everyone gently in his own language. He showed the mother-spirit, the father-spirit, the brother-spirit, the child-spirit, the friend-spirit, forgiving kindness, an ever-tolerant nature, respect for the aged, compassion for all, the thorough understanding of human nature. This, also, the disciples learned, that no discussion or books on metaphysics can ever teach all the thoughts and philosophy that arise in the heart of man. A person may either study for a thousand years, or he may get to the source and see if he can touch the root of all wisdom and all knowledge. In the center of the emblem of the Sufis there is a heart; it is the sign that from the heart a stream rises, the stream of divine knowledge.

Sufis have no set belief or disbelief. Divine light is the only sustenance of their soul, and through this light they see their path clear, and what they see in this light they believe, and what they do not see they do not blindly believe. Yet they do not interfere with another person's belief or disbelief, thinking that perhaps a greater portion of light has kindled his heart, and so he sees and believes that the Sufi cannot see or believe. Or, perhaps a lesser portion of light has kept his sight dim and he cannot see and believe as the Sufi believes. Therefore Sufis leave belief and disbelief to the grade of evolution of every individual soul. The Murshid's work is to kindle the fire of the heart, and to light the torch of the soul of his mureed, and to let the mureed believe and disbelieve as he chooses, while journeying through the path of evolution.

It is not that a Murshid gives his knowledge to someone else. It is not possible to give one's knowledge that way, so the Murshid does not profess to be able to do this or that. His work is to help another person to find out for himself, to discover for himself what is true and what is not. There are no doctrines to impart, there are no principles to lay down, and there are no tenets according to which his pupils must order their lives. He is just a guide along the path. He is the one who kindles the light that is already in the pupil.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fact Checking

Flowering tree at the ashram

Is it reasonable that I stay in the awareness of the Divine while I walk to the gym, sit with foreigners, read about the atrocities of the material world, hear about friends at home challenged by large obstacles, and...?
Gurudev appeared surprised that I was able to combine the two, but positive that it is a good practice. 
(I thought that was the point, but he said many forget one while in the other.)

Should I give up as much of the outer world as possible while I sit in India with the inner teachings? No need if I am not attached to any of it.

Should I be meditating 8 or more hours a day?  Why he asked, if one is living with the presence of the Divine 24/7.

Is it reasonable to say that I cannot function in the material world while I am in a very deep meditative place?  Yes, there are only rare individuals who can do this and sometimes they are considered insane. 

More stories, more thoughts, more experiences were shared, but at the end he said, "Keep asking questions," and a short story about Rama Krishna and his disciple Vivekenanda followed. 

Thank You

Living Tree 

When I left for South Africa in early 2011, people said,"Take lots of pictures." I hadn't handled a camera much before then, but with my pocket camera strapped to my waist, I set about photographing the animals in the game reserve from horseback. Looking through the lens has generated a daily assignment to observe beauty, composition, and interesting juxtapositions from the earth realm--plus, something to share as an offering. Some days are challenging emotionally and photographically, but "look deeper" inspires me to not give up.  I have uncovered a new facet of seeing encouraged by the blog population, so as as I continue with the photography, I would like to say "Thank you."