April 16, 2014, 8:33 pm
Filed under: Poetry & Prose | Tags:

Farewell, my small but faithful following. This is my last post on The Black Buddha blog. I bow in deep love and appreciation to you all. May you arrive where you started and know that place as home.

~Grace Lambert

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.”

~ T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

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In your light…
April 12, 2014, 9:58 pm
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“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”
~ Rumi

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What it’s like…
March 2, 2014, 4:48 pm
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While folding laundry I hear birdsong and  look out the window to see a bird perched on a fencepost, singing its heart out. Time stands still as the song fills me, spills over –  I … am … the bird, the song, the half-folded towel in my hands.

Things I used to do, make sure got done, I no longer do … they don’t … get done. Papers pile up on the surface of a desk, dishes linger in the sink, unwashed, books that once held my interest remain half-read on the nightstand. I sit for long stretches of time in silence. If I was asked to describe what I am doing I might say, “Nothing.”

My heart contracts with grief as some past event, long buried, is brought into conscious awareness. Tears overflow as the pain burns a hole right through me – and yet there is no flinching. There is absolute amazement that that particular burden was carried all these years – and yet, it was. Now it has been set down and there is a sense of relief.

Utter chaos may reign within – or without – and yet, there is calm. Stillness. A sense of being ‘centered’. It is inexplicable. I don’t care that I could not for the life of me explain it to my own satisfaction, nor probably to anyone else’s.

Nothing seems very important. Just … this.

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Hitched to everything else…
February 19, 2014, 8:59 pm
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“When we try to pick out anything by itself,
we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
~John Muir

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100% of the time
February 17, 2014, 9:32 pm
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“When you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time.”
~ Byron Katie

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Jed McKenna Quotes
January 29, 2014, 9:26 pm
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This guy is ruthless; I love him. Here are some of his quotes:

Wake up first. Wake up, and then you can double back and perhaps be of some use to others if you still have the urge. Wake up first, with pure and unapologetic selfishness, or you’re just another shipwreck victim floundering in the ocean and all the compassion in the world is of absolutely no use to the other victims floundering around you.

Truth isn’t an idea or a concept. It’s not in libraries or the words of sages. It doesn’t come in a flash of insight or a peak experience. It’s not a feeling of bliss or ecstasy. It’s not a concept to be understood or a feeling to be experienced. It’s not in your heart or your mind. It’s further.

Spiritual awakening is about discovering what’s true. Anything that’s not about getting to the truth must be discarded. Truth isn’t about knowing things; you already know too much. It’s about unknowing. It’s not about becoming true; it’s about unbecoming false so that all that’s left is truth.

No belief is true. No. Belief. Is. True.


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Time and Death
December 29, 2013, 3:33 pm
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The Pale Blue Dot
November 8, 2013, 8:55 pm
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The Pale Blue Dot

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The Trouble is in Your Mind
October 17, 2013, 5:47 am
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Some teachers who attended the Teachers’ Guild meeting in the town came on a visit to the hall. One of them asked Sri Bhagavan: “I seem to be wandering in a forest because I do not find the way.”

M.: This idea of being in a forest must go. It is such ideas which are at the root of the trouble.

D.: But I do not find the way.

M.: Where is the forest and where is the way unless they are in you? You are as you are and yet you speak of a forest and ways.

D.: But I am obliged to move in society.

M.: Society is also an idea similar to that of the forest.

D.: I leave my home and go and mix in society.

M.: Who does it?

D.: The body moves and does all.

Ramana MaharshiM.: Quite so. Now that you identify yourself with the body you feel the trouble. The trouble is in your mind. You think that you are the body or that you are the mind. But there are occasions when you are free from both. For example in deep slumber, you create a body and a world in your dream. That represents your mental activities. In your waking state you think that you are the body and then the idea of forest and the rest arise. Now, consider the situation. You are an unchanging and continuous being who remains in all these states which are constantly changing and therefore transient. But you are always there. It follows that these fleeting objects are mere phenomena which appear on your being like pictures which move across a screen. The screen does not move when the picture moves. Similarly, you do not move from where you are even when the body leaves the home and mixes in society. Your body, the society, the forest and the ways are all in you; you are not in them. You are the body also but not this body only. If you remain as your pure Self, the body and its movements need not affect you.

D.: This can be realised only by the Grace of the master. I was reading Sri Bhagavata; it says that Bliss can be had only by the dust of the Master’s feet. I pray for Grace.

M.: What is Bliss but your own being? You are not apart from Being which is the same as Bliss. You are now thinking that you are the mind or the body which are both changing and transient. But you are unchanging and eternal. That is what you should know.

D.: It is darkness and I am ignorant.

M.: This ignorance must go. Again, who says `I am ignorant’? He must be the witness of ignorance. That is what you are. Socrates said, “I know that I do not know.” Can it be ignorance? It is wisdom.

~Ramana Maharshi

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The subtleties of resistance
September 30, 2013, 11:04 am
Filed under: Thought-Provoking Muses | Tags:

We are all familiar with resistance. In it’s most obvious form it is felt viscerally and expressed verbally as a firm “NO!” But resistance can be subtle. So much so that if we aren’t actually consciously looking for it – at it – it can easily be missed. It can be disguised as almost anything, including earnest and sincere seeking or spirituality.

With Eckhart Tolle’s teachings to bring attention back to the present moment becoming more popular, many of us have discovered just how much our attention has been caught up in thinking. Never before having realized how wrapped up in thoughts we have been, we begin to see how our awareness flits from one thought to another. It is amazing to start to become aware of this tendency, even though at first it feels like such an effort to “learn how to” bring attention back – to itself.

For those of us who hang in there and continue unraveling the ties that bind our attention to thoughts, the entire ‘process’ appears to become more and more refined. We become aware of the subtle tricks of the mind that seem to be taking us in the ‘right’ direction (into the present moment). One of these tricks comes about when we follow Eckhart’s suggestion, or (worded differently) the command that Gangaji suggests (having learned it from her teacher, Papaji) to “STOP!” When we follow this advice, and then feel (obviously or subtly) the resistance of “… because I should not be [doing… whatever]” then we have, in fact, continued giving in to the demanding mind which says, “This should not be.”

The ego/mind is so crafty! Until we are able to witness it in action, feel the effects of its processes in our body, inquire into all that is going on and remain perfectly still – STOPPED, as it were – we are resisting reality. This command to “STOP!” and the suggestion to “bring awareness into this moment” means to be with all that is. Fully and without compromise, including the subtle mind-tricks that arise to hook and entangle attention yet again (on something other than itself).

So often we hear that if we can just bring our attention to Now, if we can just STOP (thinking), then we will be at peace. We can all discover the truth of this for ourselves. But paradoxically, it is this kind of thinking the mind latches onto that keeps us chained to longing, seeking, chasing (the peace of) Enlightenment. If we cannot see this, we are still looking through a veil of thinking. It may be very subtle, but it’s not so subtle that we can’t see it. We just have to look, and be completely willing – open – to seeing reality as it is, which may include these subtleties of resistance.

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