Friday, December 30, 2005
"I can fast an entire week. You would droop after just one day."
"Every single day I meditate in the lotus position for three hours."
"I have done four spiritual workshops of seven days each."
"I chant my japa 1008 times every single day, at 4.30 every morning."
"I have moved to Level 2 of the meditation group. He is still struggling with the first one."
"Not everybody can sit with a straight back in padmaasan for two hours every day."
"I gave up eating non-veg...like this (snap of a finger)!"
"I have read every single book ever written on the Upanishads."
"My problem is I don't know what to do with all the love pouring out of me."
"I took him to my Guru...but if he wants to live in darkness, too bad!"
Monday, December 26, 2005
And it is God who becomes
Desireless in you.
This is total acceptance.
It is God who is a passion in you
And it is God who becomes
Enlightenment in you.
It is God who is anger in you
And it is God who becomes
Compassion in you.
There is nothing to choose at all.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Thursday, September 08, 2005
- Carl Sagan in Cosmos
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Your mouth starts salivating.
Are you drooling at the printed image? Most certainly not. You are drooling at the prospect of the real thing.
Much in the same way, no one bows to the stone idol. One bows to the Lord.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
- Hung Tzu-ch'eng in Discourses on Vegetable Roots
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Monday, August 15, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
Remember, “open-ended”. Meditation is not an exercise in concentration, or of rigid straight backs for that matter.
The mind has this habit of either dwelling on the past or jumping to the future. It hates staying in the present moment. It normally revels in the gamut of “could”, “would” and “should”. It hates being in the What Is.
Simply put, Meditation is what gets the mind to stay in the What Is. In the beginning there is a meditator who is doing the meditation to achieve an objective. As the meditation progresses, there is no meditator, no objective…just the meditating.
Two things more to contemplate upon.
First, do you remember the geometry theorem we all learnt in school? “The smallest arc of a circle is a straight line.” The present moment is the smallest arc of this circle of life. If this present moment can be perfect, and the next moment, then the moment after that…life becomes a straight line in contrast to the violently rocking boat it is right now. This is what meditation facilitates.
Second, think about this. The body feeds on food, but what does the mind feed on? The mind feeds on “mind stuff” – what the Buddha would refer to as vikars, the knots formed by the mind because of its cravings and aversions, because of its habit of ceaselessly judging the past and restlessly extrapolating into the future, most often at the cost of the present moment.
What happens when the body fasts? The body accesses stored food (fat) to survive. And what would happen if the mind were to “fast” – i.e. stay strictly in the present moment? It begins to dig up and voraciously feed on stored “knots” of mind food. No wonder, after a stint of meditation meditators report feeling “lighter”, “cleaner”.
In the final analysis, the ultimate purpose of meditation is to discover just one answer: Who is it that meditates?
Monday, August 08, 2005
Thursday, August 04, 2005
… [seen: flooded road] God, when will the waters clear?! Wonder how they get into the shops by the road? …
… [seen: drug store sign] I need to buy some Laviest. All those antibiotics have screwed up my system …
… [bending to bow as the Krishna Temple is seen approaching] I really like this, the way they light up the deity with diyas instead of those ghastly light bulbs …
… [heard: a sharp horn and a shriek of brakes] F***k! That was close! He was just inches away. Ass****!
… [seen: a roadside cart with pineapples] They look so fresh. But look at that filthy plastic on the cut slices. So many flies! Eat this and you’ll shit to death! …
… [leaning forward to check out the ATM] Thank God, it’s working again after the floods. I don’t have to go to the one three blocks away …
… [seen: a cropped view through the auto’s hood of a tight rainbow-coloured tanktop on a very slim girl] Must be anorexic. What do these girls eat these days? You've to pay a price for all extremes …
… [seen: a fork in the road revealing the spot where an old man was crushed under a bus last week] Don’t look there! Can’t forget the white Gandhi cap amidst the thick dark pool of blood …
The chanting ended soon after.
The flood waters were rising fast and the villagers were evacuating and they told the rabbi, “Rabbi, let’s go. We have organized a bus for all of us. The water’s already up to the knees and rising really fast.” The wise old rabbi shook his head and smiled benignly: “The good Lord shall take care of me.”
A while later the flood waters reached the waist. The remaining villagers came in a boat to pick up the rabbi. The rabbi’s faith was strong and he refused to leave, saying: “The good Lord shall take care of me.”
Two hours later the water was touching the chin and a helicopter droned in above the rabbi’s head. The last of the villagers dropped down a ladder: “Rabbi, climb on. You are the only one left. The waters will be above your head in no time.” The rabbi waved them off. “The good Lord shall take care of me.”
The rabbi drowned and when he faced the good Lord, he grumbled bitterly: “You let me down! I trusted you so completely!”
The Lord protested: “I did my best by you. I sent you a bus, then I sent you a boat and finally I sent you a helicopter… but gosh you were so stubborn! You just wouldn’t heed!”
Monday, July 18, 2005
No me, no you
Nor this, nor that
Nor good, nor bad.
No path, no goal
No seeker, nothing sought.
No doer, nothing ‘done’
No plan made, which wasn’t made for us.
No choice, no volition
All there is, is Consciousness.
All that is seen, heard and tasted
Smelt, felt and thought
All of it, yes, all of it
Is mere stirred up Consciousness.
Five elements, three attributes
Chosen parents, specific conditioning
A catalyst thought
Consciousness ‘gets’ its way.
No volition, yet no non-action
An amazing play!
All there is, is Consciousness.
(at the feet of my Master)
Thursday, June 16, 2005
You wish you could tell the persevering bee, "You are so close. You're just inches away from freedom."
This advice isn't about ego. It's compassion.
Monday, June 13, 2005
Saturday, June 11, 2005
The first is the monkey. Have you ever seen a monkey that isn’t restless? If a monkey is happily perched on a branch, will it sit still? No way. It will scratch furiously, or jump from branch to branch or prance around wondering what to do next.
Now take the mind. Here this moment, there the next. Restless, working itself into a frenzy with What Was or What Could Be. Dipping into the past, projecting into the future.
Both, the monkey and the mind, share one problem: they cannot remain in the What Is.
There is one more aspect in existence that is by nature as restless. The Wind. Here this moment, there the next.
In Hindu mythology, the monkey is the symbol of the thinking mind.
Now do you understand why the “Monkey God” Hanuman is significantly the son of the Wind God? His very name reveals it all. Hanu (subtle)-Man (mind) is that unique "monkey" (mind) that has become calm, non-restless, ever settled in the What Is.
A rare phenomenon indeed, worthy of worship.
They said Bhakti is surrender
Advaita is acceptance.
They said ‘Insha’Allah’ and
‘Thy Will Be Done.’
They read out the Commandments
They held out the threats
Of the after-life.
They talked of karmic bank balance
And the rebirth penalty of overdraft.
They debated Atma, Paramatma
Free Will, Responsibility.
They raised their voices
They chased their tails
They defended forts
They themselves had claimed a while ago
To be Maya.
Amidst all the churning
The Heart stood still
Anchored in peace
And the song it hummed was serene:
Hoyee hai woh jo Ram rachi raakha
Ko kar tark bhadawey shaakha?! *
* A postscript on the concluding verse:
This is a couplet from the Hindu epic Ramayana by the sage Tulsidas.
The first line is direct, to the point, having the unambiguous authority of an axiom: All that happens is already written.
The second line is a compassionate adjunct.
The thinking mind is akin to a tree: each branch (shakha) branching into branches, each of which branching again into other branches, ad nauseam. Basically, the thinking mind can debate, doubt and question endlessly.
So the second line says: Knowing that all that happens is already written, why do you pointlessly proliferate branches of your thinking mind by your endless debating (tark)?
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
The deer is trapped by the sound of music and bells and the male elephant by the proximity of the female. The fish gets caught by the sense of taste. The moth destroys itself by being attracted by the sight of the flame. The bee, attracted by the perfume of the flower, gets trapped in it and dies. Each of them perish because of only one craving, but you have subjected yourself to all of the five temptations. How can you possibly find true happiness?
— Ramesh S. Balsekar in The Final Truth
I'd ask you to sit down, but you're not going to anyway. And don't worry about the vase.
He turns to look around and his elbow knocks a VASE from the table. It BREAKS against the linoleum floor.
Shit, I'm sorry.
She pulls out a tray of chocolate chip cookies and turns. She is an older woman, wearing big oven mitts, comfortable slacks and a print blouse. She looks like someone's grandma.
I said don't worry about it. I'll get one of my kids to fix it.
How did you know...?
She sets the cookie tray on a wooden hot pad.
What's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything.
- From the film The Matrix
Monday, June 06, 2005
What Pavlov did was very simple. He put a dog alone in a room and, whenever it was meal time, he would first ring a bell and then give the dog his food. The procedure was repeated day after day. Finally a point came when the dog would start drooling at the mere sound of the bell.
Now see how the wise men, of every hue, deployed this as a device.
The moment you light a candle or a lamp, the moment the aroma of incense sticks impacts your nose, the moment you lay down your meditation mat, the moment the sound of church and temple bells strikes your ears… some minds become ready for prayer.
Friday, June 03, 2005
1. Did you decide when you will be born?
2. Did you decide to whom you will be born?
3. Did you decide your hardware?
[Did you decide what your DNA will be? What your body type will be? Scientists concur the DNA decides 85% of your life - even things like, will you be gay, a pscychopath, obese...]
4. Did you decide your software?
[Did you decide the ‘programming’ you would get? Your mom told you taking someone’s pencil was stealing, your dad taught you killing for sport was sin, your teacher told you the finest way to judge right and wrong was to step into the other person’s shoes…]
5. Can you decide the precise moment of your death?
[You may decide to take a cyanide pill at 11:05 hours but there may be an earthquake, a sneeze, a doorbell; you may decide to jump off the roof but you may break a leg and survive…]
6. Do you have any control over what may impact which of your senses at any given time?
[The sound of car brakes, a whiff of the neighbour’s cooking, the sight of a falling star, the roughness of the escalator handrail…]
7. Can you stop a thought from arising?
[Once it arises, you may be able to slam it down, but can you prevent it from arising?]
Now think about it:
You have no control over the beginning and the end.
You have no control over your hardware and your software.
You have no control over the inputs.
And you seriously think you can have absolute control over the output? You still think you are the doer of your actions?
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Friday, May 20, 2005
Nature ensures that every desire carries within itself its own poison sting. Greater the desire, deadlier the sting.
The desire for Enlightenment is also a desire. But just look at the magnitude, the sheer audacity, of this particular desire: notionally, nothing less than eternal bliss will do.
No wonder these fellows are referred to as “miserable” seekers.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Of insanity, wanting to know reasons,
Knocking on a door. It opens,
I’ve been knocking from the inside!
Do you think I know what I’m doing?
That for one breath or half-breath I belong to myself?
As much as a pen knows what it’s writing,
Or the ball can guess where it’s going next.
Beyond our ideas of
Wrongdoing and rightdoing
There lies a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase 'each other'
doesn’t make any sense.
Praise to the emptiness that blanks out existence.
This place made from our love for that emptiness!
Yet somehow comes emptiness,
this existence goes.
Praise to that happening, over and over!
For years I pulled my own existence out of emptiness.
Then one swoop, one swing of the arm,
that work is over.
Free of who I was, free of presence, free of
dangerous fear, hope,
free of mountainous wanting.
The here-and-now mountain is a tiny piece of a
Piece of straw
blown off into emptiness.
When sublime music flows out from it, the Flute says: I created the music. And you shake your head and explain compassionately: No flautist, no music.
The breath of consciousness, the reed of body. Sublime potential.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
And in the cool winter night scented with the heady fragrance of green grass, this is what he heard Swamiji say:
Unhappiness is Desires divided by Desires Fulfilled.
Monday, May 16, 2005
There is the waking state. That’s you awake during the day. Working, loving, hating, happy, sad.
And there is the dream state. Mountains and springs and forests arising instantaneously. Old men and infants, births and deaths. Everything and everyone seeming so real in time and space that if I were to enter your dream and say, hey, wake up, this is unreal, you would fight me - in the dream - saying, “No, dammit, this is real!”
And then, of course, there is deep sleep. Sleep so deep that you - as a name and form, as John, Mary, Ramesh or whatever - don’t exist. In fact, the entire manifestation doesn’t exist.
The fourth state is what the Indian sages call turiya - the awakened state when you see the living dream for what it is. You know what they say: you wake up from the personal dream into this living dream; and it is only when you wake up from the living dream that finally Reality is witnessed…in the waking state.
Suppose you get up in the morning after deep sleep. Which means you did not dream, did not know “you” existed. You did not even know if manifestation existed. No dreams, no “me”, no parents, no religion, no wife, no child, no girl friend, no boss. Nothing.Yet you get up in the morning and say, “I slept well.”
Now, think about it: who (or if you like, what) was awake when you were in deep sleep?
And when the computer is turned off I am the Reality of dreamless-sleep called Samadhi until the computer is turned on again. And then I wake up to be Mr. Anderson, again.
- posted by Gene Polotas at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rameshbalsekar
Saturday, May 14, 2005
In the midst of the chanting, a thought suddenly pops up: what if somebody was to walk away with my rucksack at a traffic signal?
Now this isn’t as simple as it sounds. You know what they say: Trust in God but tie your camel.
So does that mean I must thread my arm round the strap, even as I chant, to prevent the rucksack from being stolen? What about my trust in Existence?
This leads to the thought that I can only go with one of two possibilities:
If my trust in Existence or God is complete it really won’t matter if the rucksack is stolen or not; both will be accepted as the What Is at the moment. However, if my trust is semi-baked, I had better cling tight to my belonging.
Wisdom dictates that if you are shaky on trust, shore up on pragmatism.
Psst: What do you think I did?
As it arises, the Wave says, “I Am, I Am, I AM”.
Then the Wave melts back into the ocean, its identity merged back into the ocean where it came from in the first place.
Then, once again, the wind of Cause affects the ocean, making another wave to arise.
And the nascent Wave says, “I Am, I Am, I Am”. There goes the whole game all over again.
Existence has ordained this:
The ‘Me’ of the Wave shall always return to the ‘I’ of the Ocean.
… the Buddha had no background to seeking, no guiding hand, no Guru, no one at all to tell him what to do, where to go to seek the answers he sought. So he wandered like a mendicant, making his own path. The prevailing trend among fellow seekers laid great store by denial, on austerities. On denying comforts and courting pain. Hardening the soul as it were. So the Buddha put himself through the greatest austerities, courted extreme pain.
Then, one day something happened that changed his entire life.
He was in a forest, exhausted by his austerities. Broken in his body, weary in his spirit. He had done everything he had been told to do but he was nowhere near his goal. Then, a couple of musicians walked into that part of the forest. They settled down a distance away, unaware of the Buddha’s presence. The older musician said to his younger companion, "If you haven’t understood one thing, you will get nowhere. Leave the strings loose and there’s no music. Tighten them too much and the strings will break. All music is born out of balance."
For a Buddha, that was enough.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Stand up, take a stand
Sign up, join now
Coin a slogan, wave a flag
Fight, set right all wrongs
Oh the world’s doing so horribly
You’re too easy
Speak your mind, make a choice
This isn’t okay, that is fine
Pink and blue aren’t the same
Take your pick, leave a print
On the sands of time
You’re too easy
Stand out, leave a mark
Make a name, blaze a trail
Stir up, work up froth
Don’t you want to bequeath
How will you get anywhere
If you’re too easy
He sighed and said:
I concede, I accept
I am bother-less, I am choiceless
I have been terribly spoilt
By the ease of being easy
What do I tell you
How do I begin to explain
Life’s been teaching me
A whole new game
The middle path is wisdom, not compromise
Flexibility is strength, not frailty
Acceptance takes more grit than kneejerk action
And, believe it or not
Resilience comes naturally
To those who truly understand
So I let life live me
And as I weather those storms
I never let myself forget
The bamboo that bows
Stands taller much after
The rigid oak is down
I am still, not stagnant
I am content, not complacent
I have finally experienced
The exquisite poise
(Thank you, Chemistry)
Of dynamic equilibrium
I have no flags to flaunt
No forts to defend
No isms to lie down for
No desire at all
To leave behind my bust
For pigeons or posterity
Thank God, he said,
I am finally easy.
An intrinsic part of his programming creates the delusion that he is an individual entity and the doer of his actions.
It so happens that some of the programmed instruments are programmed to seek power, some others to seek glory and yet others to seek pleasure. Some of the programmed instruments are programmed to seek their source code.