September 15, 2016

You don’t win if you don’t fight.

– Nancy Pelosi


Seeing and Being

September 12, 2016

You see a world and the Jivanmukta also sees it, but he sees it differently from what you see it because of the difference of the instrument of perception. For him an instrument does not exist. He himself is the instrument and he himself is the object seen. He has become that which he is seeing and so it cannot be called seeing, but it is rather ‘being’.

Swami Krishnananda

Accept All

September 10, 2016

“A real Master teaches you to accept everything that happens in life. He helps you to be thankful for both good and bad, right and wrong, enemy and friend, those who harm you and those who help you, those who cage you and those who release you from the cage. The Master helps you forget about the dark past and the bright future full of a thousand promises. He helps you live life in the present moment with all its fullness. He lets you know that the whole of nature – everything, everybody, even your enemy is helping you evolve and attain perfection.”

– Amma

Hui Neng

September 8, 2016

I ran across more categories of opposites in rereading the Sutra of Huineng in the Cleary translation (on page 71.)

Huineng said, “If you know how to apply these 36 pairs, this is the Way, pervading all the teachings of the scriptures. Exiting and entering, merging and detaching, on both sides, inherent nature actively functions.”

“When you talk with people, outwardly be unattached to appearances while in the midst of appearances; inwardly be unattached to emptiness while in the midst of emptiness. If you totally fixate on appearances, then you increase false views; if you totally cling to emptiness, then you increase ignorance.

The 36 opposites from Huineng:

In the external world of relative objects:
1. Sky and earth,
2. Sun and moon
3. Light and dark
4. Yin and yang
5. Water and fire

In characteristics of phenomena and language, there are 12 pairs of opposites:
1. Words and things
2. Being and nonbeing
3. Physical and nonphysical
4. Perceptible and imperceptible
5. Contaminated and uncontaminated
6. Matter and emptiness
7. Motion and stillness
8. Purity and pollution
9. Ordinary and holy
10. Clergy and lay
11. Old and young
12. Great and small

Our essential nature produces functions in nineteen pairs of opposites:
1. Strengths and weaknesses
2. Perversion and rectitude
3. Ignorance and insight,
4. Folly and wisdom
5. Disorder and stability
6. Kindness and viciousness
7. Morality and wrongdoing
8. Honesty and crookedness
9. Truth and falsehood
10. Bias and fairness
11. Affliction and malevolence
12. Permanence and impermanence
13. Compassion and malevolence
14. Delight and anger
15. Generosity and stinginess
16. Progress and regression
17. Origination and destruction
18. Reality body and the physical body
19. Projection body and the reward body

Can we possible have the fluidity of a pearl in a bowl? The pearl moves without resistance along the sides of the bowl following the movement of the bowl. Can I radically accept the moment as it is? All the while, my reaction to the moment tries to plant wholesome seeds for the future. Even the smallest mustard seed of patience will do.


September 7, 2016

There are two things in the world which attract immensely – the beautiful and the sublime. Nothing else can attract.

The full moon is beautiful; a blossomed lotus or rose is beautiful. Our mind goes to it, and we look at it again and again.

Even the face of a newborn baby is beautiful. Whether it is the baby of a king or of a beggar, it makes no difference; it is attractive. On seeing a little child, we cannot know whether it is a king’s child or a beggar’s child. One becomes a king and another a beggar later on, due to social and other types of circumstance.

Apart from that which is called beautiful, there is another thing called sublime, which attracts by grandeur, majesty, power, force, magnificence – like the elephant or ocean. In the same way as we would not like to turn our eyes away from a beautiful full moon in a blue sky, we would also like to go on looking at an elephant if we are actually aware of what happens to us when we see it.

There is a total difference between the manner in which a beautiful thing attracts and a sublime thing attracts. The elephant and the ocean also attract us, due to their terrible vastness and majesty and power. Before the majesty and the power of the elephant and the vast ocean, we look very small. Our importance is brought down to a very low level and the ego, which is usually prominent in a human being, diminishes almost to the point of abolition.

We admire and enjoy a thing only when the ego ceases to operate.This is how the sublime attracts; but beauty is a different thing. We can admire an elephant, but we cannot love it. We can be overjoyed by the majesty of the vast, turbulent ocean, but we cannot embrace it, hug it or love it.

A high-valued currency note attracts not because of the material out of which it is made, but because of the meaning that it has within itself. It embodies power.

We cannot love, from our heart, a bulldozer which has great strength, though we know its utility. Our sense of admiration may go to it, but our heart will not go.

But, God’s joy, the ananda that the Absolute Being is, is not of that nature.What is God made of? What is the substance? Inscrutable is this great question before us. God is made up of that capacity to inundate us and drown us in the uttermost conceivable joy, almost to self-annihilation.

God is an object of love for a devotee; God is not merely an object of admiration. In the Bhakti Sastra two types of devotion are described. One is known as aishwarya pradhana bhakti; another is known as madhurya pradhana bhakti.

Unfortunately for us human beings, men or women, we cannot imagine that God is a beautiful presentation before us. We mostly think God is like a judge, like a disciplinarian, a hard taskmaster, a parent who admonishes and perhaps even threatens with dire consequences if anyone goes against their laws.

Usually, religions describe God as a Father in heaven, keeping Him far, far, at a distance from the dust of the earth – at a frightening distance, almost. Unapproachable greatness is attributed to God Almighty, but we cannot love such a God. Rarely can we imagine that God is beautiful.

Nobody can love God unless one believes that God is everything. If there is a suspicious attitude towards God, a possibility of getting something and also a possibility of not getting something else, then God will recede from us like the horizon.

More at

The Ego Just Wants To Live

September 6, 2016

The more we say “I” the more the ego lives.

Every time we say “I” we are setting ourselves up for misery.

Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, “Stop thinking about yourself. Do this for me. This is my play.” [paraphrased]

When we follow our inspiration – our swadharma – then we don’t use “I” and “mine” and we do it regardless of what others say. Better to follow your inspirations and live on the street than not follow it and live in a mansion.

– Ernst Wilhelm