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Showing posts from 2007

Stephanie's Exciting Non-Attachment Game

Here is Stephanie Mallard's exciting party game that promotes non-attachment. Especially great for Seekers:

When all the guests have arrived you count the number of gifts or guests, assuming every person has brought a gift to exchange. Then you put as many slips of paper with numbers on them as there are gifts, 30 gifts = 30 slips of paper with the numbers 1 to 30. Before opening the gifts every person draws a number. #1 starts by selecting a gift from under the tree. All participants watch as #1 unwraps their gift and displays it for all to see. Then #2 has the option of taking #1's gift or selecting a new gift from under the tree. If #2 selects a new gift than they unwrap it and display it for all to see. #3 then has the option of taking from #1 or #2's gift or selecting a gift from under the tree. The fun begins when one brave soul decides to take an already opened gift rather than an unwrapped gift. If #3 takes #1's or #2's gift than whomever has handed over the…

The art of giving and taking

Some are comfortable taking but not giving.
Others are comfortable giving but not taking.
Only a few, so very few are wholeheartedly easy
With giving as well as taking
Not letting either leave any residue.

The Way of the Holy Ones

Don't speak of your suffering - He is speaking.
Don't look for Him everywhere - He's looking for you.

An ant's foot touches a leaf, He senses it;
A pebble shifts in a streambed, He knows it.

If there's a worm hidden deep in a rock,
He'll know its body, tinier than an atom,

The sound of its praise, its secret ecstasy -
All this He knows by divine knowing.

He has given the tiniest worm its food;
He has opened to you the Way of the Holy Ones.

= Sanai

Echoes from Neem Karoli Baba

Samarth Guru Ram Das was guru to King Shivaji in the 1600s. The name Samarth meant “all-powerful” and there are many stories of his miraculous powers. He lived in a mud hut next to the king’s palace. The king was highly regarded for his concern for his subjects and for his generous feeding of the poor, but apparently now and then his ego got the best of him. When this happened the guru would do things like splitting a rock in which there were many tiny bugs and asking the king, Who was feeding these bugs? The realization of the triviality of his own efforts would again humble the king.

***

One day the king (Shivaji) came out of the palace and did obeisance to the guru (Samarth Guru Ram Das). Then the king handed him a scroll in which he had bequeathed all his kingdom to the guru. The guru took the scroll, read it, accepted it, and then said to the king, “Now you run it for me!”

***

I am in the world but not concerned with the world. I am going through the marketplace, but not as a purchas…

Irresistible attraction

When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited.

- Ramakrishna Paramhaunsa

Why be afraid?

O Kabir, why be afraid of anyone
When the Lord Himself protects you?
What does it matter if
A thousand dogs bark fiercely
When you are seated on an elephant?

- Kabir

Faith is antidote for doubt

Whatever may be Guru - he may be a lunatic or any common person. Once you have accepted him, he is the Lord of the Lords.

- Neem Karoli Baba

The spiritual barter

I give them what they want, so they will want what I give.

- Shirdi Sai Baba

Flaunt it, lose it

You should not talk about your wealth, wife or sadhana or they will go away.

- Neem Karoli Baba

What is Happiness?

Simpler than you think

What does a Self-realised sage do when he has a headache?

He takes a headache pill.

A Tale of Two Boatmen

Kewat, the boatman, was waiting eagerly.

He had heard that Lord Ram was likely to pass his way. He had cleaned up his humble boat till it was spick ‘n’ span, he had anchored his boat at a convenient spot, and he had polished a copper vessel, filled it with fresh water from the river and kept it ready. And now he was waiting patiently and confidently. The Lord would soon come.

Sure enough, a while later he saw three people emerge from the forest cover and walk towards the river. He immediately identified Lord Ram from his serene radiance, the grace of his walk and by the way Lakshman and Sita walked in his presence. At the mere sight of the three, Kewat got goose bumps and felt a tingling charge run down his spine. Just then, a fresh breeze wafted across the river and Kewat felt it pass right through him as if he was not solid at all but a mere conglomeration of vibrating energy.

When the three stood before him, Kewat bowed to Lord Ram, who said, “We need to cross the river. Will you tak…

How we convert Art into Science

The art of medicine of a century ago is now a science of medicine, with much loss both to patient and practitioner alike. The art of seamanship has become the science of navigation with every mechanical aid and the true sailor has almost disappeared. And the art of being a man is becoming a science, too, and men will disappear from the face of the planet as have other species whose development became one-sided and ended in a cul-de-sac.

- Lobzang Jivaka in The Life of Milarepa

Done in by a dream?

Ramana Maharshi was taking about the dream and waking states.

"Let us say that tonight when we go to sleep we are chased by a dream tiger. In spite of all our study and analysis of the waking and dream state, we will run for our life. Why? Because the knowledge that it is only a dream will not be available to us during the dream. If we knew the 'I' was but a dream, we could stand still and allow the dream tiger to attack our dream body. What would we lose if our dream body is killed or mutilated?"

Ramesh Balsekar points out that we wake up from the personal dream into the waking dream. And the sage, he has woken up from the waking dream.

The Truth according to Puppetji

Words on the watch list

Here is a suggestion.

Put these three words on your watch list: Could, Would and Should.

'He could have done this...', 'If only I would have done that...', 'You should do this...'

Notice how these three wistful 'mind' words steer you away from the What-Is?

If you wish to stay in the Here and Now, become alert the minute these words pop up in your mind or conversation.

The Seeking runs its own course

Understand this: No one ever gets up one day and says, I am going to start "seeking" from tomorrow. Seeking happens.

And understand this too: once seeking begins, it takes its own course.

Though every seeker is led up his own individual path, it has been observed that seeking, by and large, follows a similar pattern for a similar category of seekers. For instance, there is a broadly discernible pattern for seekers who are of contemplative nature (the jnana marg). Though one cannot generalize, it has been observed that for people who are contemplative, the seeking broadly goes through the following stages:

First Step. There is the sense that some other force (other than oneself) has the final word on what happens. To begin with, the seeker starts out by thinking, “I am in charge most of the time but sometimes the other 'force' dictates the course of events - whether I like it or not.”

Second Step. The seeker sees how each action happens: the mechanism of thought-vocalisat…

Advaita's very own Knock Knock joke

Konck, knock.

Who's there?

The one who asked that question!

Haiku Serenity

The leaves never know
Which leaf
Will be first to fall...
Does the wind know?

- Soseki


From watching the moon
I turned
And my friendly old
Shadow led me home

- Shiki


When a nightingale
Sang out
The sparrow flew off
To a further tree

- Jurin


Poppy petals fall
Softly quietly
Calmly
When they are ready

- Etsujin


Hello! Light the fire!
I'll bring inside
A lovely
Bright ball of snow!

- Basho

Take it easy...

It doesn't hurt to take a hard look at yourself from time to time and this should help get you started.

During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criterion was which defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.

"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub."

"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

"No," said the Director, "a normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?"

Lucky Mosquito

This morning there was a mosquito in my bathroom.

It buzzed around frantically from here to there, from one light in the bathroom to another. A couple of times it went to the reflections of the lights in the mirror. It was looking for a way out but was trapped by its fondness for bright lights. It was probably subconsciously seeking the brightest light of all, the sunlight, but in the captivity of the bathroom it did not know this and couldn't seem to find a way to fulfill this deep, primordial search.

I watched this all. I could see that the large louvered window was just inches away, if only the mosquito would stop to look instead of expending itself on frenzied activity.

After a while, the mosquito perched himself on the basin mirror, almost as if looking at himself, reassessing the situation and probably coming to the conclusion that all his effort was getting him nowhere. He was still stuck where he was and there wasn't anything he could do to get where he, for some unknown…

Sage Tulsidas' Advice

Sage Tulsidas offers this advice in Ramayana:

Je bid rakhe Ram, te bid rahiyo

Translation: Whatever the circumstance Existence places you in, accept graciously.

Inspired translation: Accept the What-is.

Zen via Geometry

If I was asked to define Zen, I would point to it using this theorem from geometry:

The smallest arc of a circle is a straight line.

Sage Sri Ramakrishna on Free Will

Vaidyanath: Sir, I have a doubt. People speak of free will. They say that a man can do either good or evil according to his will. Is it true? Are we really free to do whatever we like?

Sri Ramakrishna: Everything depends on the will of God. The world is His play. He has created all these different things - great and small, strong and weak, good and bad, virtuous and vicious. This is all His maya, His sport. You must have observed that all the trees in a garden are not of the same kind.

As long as a man has not realized God, he thinks he is free. It is God Himself who keeps this error in man. Otherwise sin would have multiplied. Man would not have been afraid of sin, and there would have been no punishment for it.

But do you know the attitude of one who has realized God? He feels: 'I am the machine, and Thou, O Lord, art the Operator. I am the house and Thou art the Indweller. I am the chariot and Thou art the Driver. I move as Thou movest me; I speak as Thou makest me speak.*

- Exc…

Buddhist discussion on Row, Row, Row The Boat...

Check out the a fascinating (bizarre?!) Buddhist discussion on the nursery rhyme-mantra Row, Row, Row The Boat!

Also, shunyayogi recommends you contemplate on an earlier posting, Nursery Mantra.

How we get disconnected from the Source

The purpose of life is to remain connected to the Self, the Source.
You are connected to the Self when you do whatever you feel like
doing in a given situation, without any regrets about the past,
without any complaints about the present, and without any
expectations in the future.

You get disconnected as soon as you blame and condemn anyone for
anything – either yourself or the other. As soon as there is
awareness of this fact, without any recrimination, you get
reconnected.

You get disconnected when you pursue a preference or desire, and you
remain disconnected during the entire process. Your sudden awareness
of what had happened reconnects you with the Self.

You get disconnected when your thinking mind asks useless questions
and gets you involved into conceptualizing and objectivizing. A
sudden awareness of this fact gets you reconnected to the Self.

You get disconnected when a psychological pain, instead of remaining
in the present moment, drags itself into horizontal involvement –
like grief, tur…

Where are you headed?

If you do not change direction, you will end up where you are headed.

- Lao Tzu

The Wise 'Doer'

Know this:
What is, is

Knowing this,
Do whatever needs
To be done.

Then,
Accept the consequences
With equanimity.