Monday, March 31, 2014

Navratra Day One

(short video below)
The video is not listed as public, so please let me know if there are any viewing complications. You can try both links below, photo and link in blue.

1 April 2014 5:56

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Trying Out Devotion Consciously

After sitting inwardly for an hour with some sort of energetic mantle rearranging, I thought I might consciously dip into the devotional path. Zero to one hundred. Opening my eyes out of this new, refined state of my spiritual heart, looking at Gurudev, and picturing/hearing the words of Ramakrishna as a three part overlay was almost too much. The flood of uncontrollable tears and a fall to your knees moment if I wasn't already sitting down were unleashed. It took some serious effort to find my way back out of that remarkable experience to "normalcy." When I am walking and this happens, it can take an hour or two to recover, plus there was no sense of blacking out this time. It instantly answered my questions as to what has been happening periodically over the past 3 years.  Devotion has been part of my path, but since I don't prescribe to a particular religion or faith, I hadn't considered it as part of the equation. The inner construction has been in place and now I am just adding the outer awareness from the human perspective.  I had always equated devotion to a form and now I understand that it is the state of being as the formless. The pull, the drowning in bliss, and the inner depth of who I am.  I didn't have to ask (inquiry), I just had to be transparent enough to experience the truth under the veils.  I might need to put my seatbelt on for the next 8 days...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Walking Both Paths

The pre-cracking sensation is coming on and no idea what is next or what is trying to dismantle other than the obvious of my ego. Enjoying rereading two of the Ramakrishna books. Remarkable written history.  The "only for sale in India" versions have a lot more details than the ones I read before (and Gurudev mentioned the ones written in Bengali even have more details.)  Nice timing for adding to understanding the madness timeline from the Master of all Master's perspective.

There is no reason I cannot walk both the devotional and inquiry path, (fact check.)  Gurudev quoted Ramakrishna as saying there is no reason not to move straight between the two and with his lovely hand gestures.  Rereading another version of the BG too and asked about some of the key principles of path walking, but Gurudev clarified that some is according to grace of the Dvine if one can walk in the truth of those principles. Interesting in contemplating obscurations and the evolution to where the directions can be applied and followed consciously.  Hmmm--so much to learn.  The more I learn, the more I am aware of how much I don't know. Onward.

Tomorrow begins Navratra. Schedule in place and based on astronomy guidelines. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Continued Sampling of Devotional Hilltops

On top of a hill, on top of a temple, looking up. (One of my favorite photos to date.)  
The sense of quiet and freedom was lovely.  No attendant. Just me, the pigeons, the ants, and Source.

Amer and Amber Fort in the distance
Thank you--back to walking.
Human #3:  Nice adaption for going downhill and reducing speed on a bicycle loaded with steel--drag a tire with a piece of cement. 
Walking partner part way. Waited while I took photos.
Growth of a bird sanctuary
I could probably give walking tours in Jaipur/Amer now--grab your hiking shoes. Only fitness required.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Prefer Hilltops to Canyons

The canyon experience was different, but I definitely prefer hilltops.  Scoping out a lot of new walks within a 2-3 hour time frame.  Continue to be mind boggled by just walking and bumping into all of the shrines, temples, and more.

Human photo #2. Does it count if he is asleep?

Checked on the need to read the Bible, since so many white people quote it and refer to it who go to church. Ramakrishna is still my favorite and so practical.  Nope, ok to stick with the focus I am following. The headlining spiritual books all lead to the same point as Ramakrishna showed.  Spotted a Muslim "church" that I want to check out.  Appears to be stress between the Hindus and the Muslims, so I would like to understand that better.

I have decided to show Gurudev some of the flower pictures instead of killing the flower to put them on his feet or buying dead flowers.  I respect the devotional offerings of others, but I haven't been able to wrap my head around putting something dead on holy feet.

Remarkable what one finds in nature!
Found myself on the ledge of a skyscraper mentally when I was contemplating how to get out of the selfishness loop as a human. Despair was the outcome.  Even walking down the street to sit at the feet of Gurudev involves selfishness on my part.  He talked me off the ledge, but the Earth Plan is sure messy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Remarkable Courage

Twenty-first Century and this is still part of the Earth Plan. Remarkable courage!

(video below--take the time to listen with your heart and mind.)

Ziauddin Yousafzai: My daughter, Malala
by TED
Pakistani educator Ziauddin Yousafzai reminds the world of a simple truth that many don't want to hear: Women and men deserve equal opportunities for education, autonomy, an independent identity. He tells stories from his own life and the life of his daughter, Malala, who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 simply for daring to go to school. "Why is my daughter so strong?" Yousafzai asks. "Because I didn't clip her wings."

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Simplicity in Being While Walking

Spotting the destination
Passed the goat herders
Never sure of activity level from a distance
Inhabited and he was sweeping.
Nice that two such different beings can meet on the top of a desolate hill and be in acceptance. I treasure these daily adventures. Plus, I discovered a new, rustic loop.

Feeding the elephant was a highlight. Feeling that trunk wrap around and so gently grasp the bananas was awesome! Part of my outer community: the elephant people, the camel people, the cows, the exercise people, the dogs, the pigs, the peacocks, the local workers on the walls/roads, and more... Interesting what develops with a routine.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Beauty of Hilltop Views, Amer

Amber Fort and fortress walls from yet another hilltop
Only access was to scale to hilltop.
Bright contrast to desert background--amazing nature!
Soft spot for goats

Mega walk today. While resting my feet, these kids stopped by to talk.
Met some spiritual people who were covered in ashes and had interesting hair.  They introduced me to their Guru and invited me for lunch and dinner. I didn't stay, but it was nice to have a conversation without any real thought of our differences.  I like the photo of the children, so I might start branching out to humans.  Humans are still the biggest source of pain for me, but maybe looking for the beauty in humanity like I do animals and nature would be a good exercise. The ultimate answer/solution is inward, but while I am moving about in the form, the photo exercise could be useful.

(short video below)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ramakrishna Temple Installation March 20, 2014

How amazing to spend a morning with a herd of orange robed beings who are devotional and blessing the opening of a new, beautiful temple.  I am still not religious, but Ramakrishna was one of the most remarkable Spiritual Masters to ever grace the planet.  At one point, I had looked into joining the Ramakrishna group, but they have an age limit. In hindsight, I am so fortunate to be where I am at the feet of a living Master who can help me with a personalized path instead of an institutionalized path. Grace.

(short video below)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Marveling At The Design

What a remarkable design. A path with no end point (eternity), the focus is to know the Self (Who Am I?), the ego preferably is not included, and the objective is to operate from an inward place of tranquility.  By default, everyone is on the path, but it is the relationship to the path that is changing for me. Simplicity at yet another level as more of the unneeded scaffolding is removed.

The gratitude and humility even to touch this path, be allowed an opportunity to learn and understand, and to witness a living Master who explains that he is at the level of mud is often confusing and overwhelming as the mystery unfolds.  Observing devotion, selflessness, and kindness from the two-legged world has also been humbling and heartfelt. Who are we all and what are our stories along this path?

Glad I Asked...

Before I went to India, the outer world was pushing. After I went to the ashram, the inner world was pulling. Fact check, normal. The inner pull has far surpassed the outer push and there are long sections of time that I could be completely submerged by the inner pull. Fact check, normal for this path. When I mentioned that this happens while I am walking, there was a caution to be careful while climbing on the walls not to fall of while experiencing these states. When I mentioned that I had already fallen under an elephant learning this, we both had a good laugh. Homework was assigned. 

Holi Festival and Morning Walk

Fruit Stand Man in the spirit of Holi Festival
Street vendors for the paint dust

Walking in the morning... diversity.

Nice to see a shiny, fat horse.