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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

India: A brutal rape and murder has awakened a nation

Mourning the death of Delhi Braveheart

from Daily Mail article regarding uprising


"Police say the victim and a male friend were attacked after boarding a bus on December 16 as they tried to return home after watching a movie. The six men, the only occupants of the private bus, beat the man with a metal bar, raped the woman and used the bar to inflict massive injuries to her during an hour-long ordeal, police say. The victims were dumped naked on the roadside, and the woman died from her injuries two weeks later in a Singapore hospital. The brutal attack set off nationwide protests, sparking a debate about the treatment of women in India and highlighting the inability of law enforcement agencies to protect them."

Protesters at India Gate in New Delhi


from कल आज और कल blog by Vivek Kumar


"In all this, there was absolute silence from top politicians. Nobody walked into the crowd, held a megaphone and shared the grief of the people. Nobody came out to explain that the government would indeed take the required action to fast track conviction of the vile rapists and beef up security across the city; that it would make its people feel safe. Instead, politicians and bureaucrats hid behind their many-layered security walls. The irony was there for all to see. The disgust grew.  To make amends, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her heir Rahul Gandhi decided to meet a few “representatives” to convince them of government’s intent. But the fact is that this “movement”—for want of another word—has no representatives. It is leaderless. It is just a collection of people brought together by a common anger. They needed to talk to all, not some."



my response to New Delhi uprising


The culture of rape in India is so prevalent, so endemic that women who are raped do not go to the police for fear they will be raped by the police. A woman who has been raped is seen as having provoked the rape. She is blamed for it and seen as "damaged goods." She is likely to be ostracized and penalized for the rest of her life.

Prayer vigil in New Delhi
Indians, men and women, will never be safe until the culture of rape that pervades much of India is rejected and destroyed. Women will never be safe. Men will never feel that their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters will be safe. The light is shining at last on the high cost of ignoring the culture of rape. How will India progress if this evil is not taken from the shoulders of women and placed only on the shoulders and conscience of those men who tolerate and participate in the hatred and destruction of women?

Mourning the death of Delhi Braveheart
 The young people of India have allowed themselves to feel hope that the culture of violence and rape can be successfully challenged and removed. They have allowed themselves the full measure of outrage that goes with the horror and brutality of one woman's ordeal and death at the hands of hatred and savagery. For those in government to "respond" with violence and suppression is a concrete demonstration that the culture of rape isolates and renders powerless those who live in fear and shame.

Protesters in New Delhi
Let us all have hope that this can change. Let us all take action to create the environment of safety all people of a nation and the world must have to progress in democracy. We call on politicians and police, judges and local magistrates. We call on each other. Reject the culture of rape. Create safety for all people. Come forward. Stand up. Say, "no longer." The time is now. India is waiting. The world is waiting.

~Jnana Shiva 

Boundless bewilderment




Rameshwar Jha


"This is my boundlessness
That I am seen in multiple forms
And look at this bewilderment
Consciousness is expressed as inanimate things"
~Shiv Yogi शिव योगी - Mahamahopadhyaya Acharya Rameshwar Jha 



When I first moved to the ashram, I attended a satsang the night before the Weeklong Course was to begin. I enjoyed the satsang which included chanting, and when it ended I looked around... and everything was suddenly transformed. I looked around with the eyes of complete attainment, though I didn't know what to think of it or call it then. (I certainly wasn't thinking on that level!)

I was filled with an exquisite, constant and living bliss, my being. Everything was so entertaining as to cause constant bubbling of laughter to rise up through my being.

I saw everything as One, and consciousness. It all looked the same as before, except it was chaitanyaalive, and I knew of what it was made, which was my Self, the Self of all.  
 

(The essence of this profoundly delicious experience was pratyabhijñā, or recognition (of Self). A divine satsang of One, the constant delight of My Lord).

Bade Baba's temple on the
 cover of Darshan magazine


I wandered about in this state, looking at everything at Anugraha in amazement. I walked down the little hall to the lower floor, (with Darshan magazine covers framed on the wall), and when I turned the corner, there was a row of old-fashioned, sit down, closed door phone booths, with people inside of them talking away!! Oh, my silent laughter crashed through me like waves of joy! It was so funny!! God... as a phone booth?? God, as someone who required a phone booth to talk to Himself?!? It was all so funny!!


I found the masquerade just as funny as could possibly be.


I know now that this experience, as are all spiritual experiences I have or have had, was a gift of grace from my guruji (thank you...).

During my three years at the ashram, whenever I visited Anugraha and the downstairs hall I jokingly called "Darshan" (with the Darshan magazine covers hanging in it), I would as I walked down it be more immersed with each step again and again in this precious spiritual experience, a priceless treasure my guru has given to me through her grace (thank you...).



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ma Jnanananda on women's realization

From Feminism: Walking on the Path with Women, by Deepti Priya Mehrotra, as published by Life Positive

Ma Jnanananda, a well-known south Indian guru, commenting on the tradition which regards women as unsuitable candidates for spiritual initiation or leadership, dismisses such ideas as "foolish and wrong. Of course, there are emotional differences between men and women, but these do not relate to self-realization".
Sadhini girl
Photo by Velovotee on Flickr
Creative Commons License

Did she feel that men and women are exactly equal in spiritual characteristics? "Have you ever seen the image of Shiva as Ardhanarishwara?" she responded. "He is depicted in two sexes but one body. It is primarily at the gross physical level that we must perceive precise distinctions. When the male and female elements are completely developed and complement each other in the same individual, the soul is fully realized. For myself I no longer feel that I inhabit the body of a particular gender."


My mother, Preet Vanti Mehrotra, who grew up in Dayalbagh, center of the Radhasoami Satsang faith near Agra, comments: "I have strong faith in my religion. I have grown up with it, studied it. Although I accept all the tenets, there is one that I question: women in our faith cannot be sant-satgurus.

"The sant-satguru has to be a man. If men and women are equal, why this ban? I have asked those senior to me, consulted the texts. Women, they say, can be aspirants, in the same way as men, that's good! But a woman has to go through further births: it is only as a man that the param dham (final destination) can be reached. I reject this!"

Through the centuries of patriarchal control, women have negotiated many layers and levels of existence, working out forms of resistance that are often unnoticed and subtle, though subliminally and powerfully effective. Women's articulation is often at odds with the dominant male voice.

Women need to speak in their own way, define their own truths, in voices that revision society and polity, relationships and religion. Bahena Bai's voice echoes through the corridors of time, poignant in its appeal to acknowledge the common humanity and spiritual unity of women and men, an appeal still relevant. More than ever today.

~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~


Students at Eden Girls' College in Dhaka, Bangladesh
(originally founded as a school for Brahmo girls in 1873)

The Vedas Cry Aloud

The Vedas cry aloud, the Puranas shout,
"No good may come to woman"
I was born with a woman's body
How am I to attain Truth?
"They are foolish, seductive, deceptive—
Any connection with a woman is disastrous."
Bahina says, "If a woman's body is so harmful,
How in this world will I reach Truth?"

Bahena Bai, 17th century.
tr. from Marathi by Justin E. Abbot—Women's Writing in India

The lila that surrounds a Siddha (saint)

When I read this commentary by Michael James of Shri Ramana Maharishi's lack of attachment and concern about "bad" (and good) things that went on around him, I thought it so accurately describes the level of lila, a sort of crazy dance, that surrounds anyone in this world who attracts attention, power or money, realized or not.

Sri Ramana Maharishi
"Michael James: Whatever good or bad comes to a Sahaja Jnani, He remains Himself ever unaffected by them and unconcerned with them, since He knows Himself to be Self, which is other than the experiencer of the good or the bad. His state may be compared to a cinema screen, which is neither burnt by pictures of fire nor drenched by pictures of water, though it is the support of all those pictures. This completely unattached and unconcerned state of true knowledge (jnana) was well illustrated by the life of Sri Bhagavan. Though so many bad things went on around Him – though some bogus sadhus tried to pose as His guru, though because of jealousy they tried to kill Him by rolling boulders on Him, though some insincere devotees pretended to love Him but did mischief behind His back, though some people gave Him intoxicating drugs like bhang, though a will was made in His name, though court cases went on against Him, though an abusive book was written about Him, though some of His good devotees like Sri Muruganar were ill-treated and abused, though some so-called disciples even tried deliberately to misinterpret His teachings by mistranslating them and by writing false commentaries on them, and so on – and though so many good things went on around Him – though sincere devotees came to Him and praised Him as the Supreme Lord, though His Jayanti, Golden Jubilee and other functions were celebrated on such a grand scale, though His name and fame spread all over the world, and so on – He ever remained as a mere witness, unconcerned with all these things."
From Guru Vachaka Kovai by Shri Ramana Maharshi, commentary by Michael James

I have witnessed and unwittingly participated in such lilas at times around my own guruji.

I have also heard of something once said which contradicts something else now said, and witnessed how yogis struggle to reconcile what has been with what comes up now. All of this, to me, indicates how different a guru's communications are (from "non-gurus"), how a guru is filled with the divine shakti of that moment, a shakti which determines what words are chosen and especially how the words affect those who hear them, a transformative power which is always equally (and sometimes more) important than the concept being addressed.

The teachings are different. They are immutable. A guru would never weaken the teachings. This is part of the definition of a teaching, i.e. as something greater than the guru or her role as the source of the grace and transformative power to support the unfolding consciousness of the devotee.

To protect the teachings is to protect the shakti of the (guru's) lineage.

Jnana Guru

Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950)
"Jnana is [knowledge] given neither from outside nor from another person. It can be realized by each and everyone in his own Heart. The jnana Guru of everyone is only the Supreme Self that is always revealing its own truth in every Heart through the being-consciousness 'I am, I am.' The granting of true knowledge by him is initiation into jnana. The grace of the Guru is only that Self-awareness that is one's own true nature. It is the inner consciousness by which he is unceasingly revealing his existence. This divine upadesa [guidance] is always going on naturally in everyone."

~Sri Ramana Maharshi



While yet I am bound



Not my way of salvation,
To reject the world!
Rather for me the
Taste of Infinite Freedom
While yet I am bound
By a thousand bonds
To the wheel.

~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~

But we have this faith - that a lifetime's bliss
will appear any minute, with a smile upon its lips.

~Rabindranath Tagore

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dear one




Oh, dear one let me rest my fingers in your hair,
my breath to lift and play amongst your fragrant locks,
I curl against your cooling warmth, our fire divine, 
receive your strong caresses, made from only love.

I am only yours.


~for My Beloved, who is Shiva~

Moksha

Pure grace...  I can set my "work" down at any time...
and be with My Beloved

Creating a beautiful blog that is an outlet for my tapas and soul-expression as a writer is one thing...

But what do you want to do, Jana? What do you want to be?

A Yogini, or a blogmaster??

What do you want to attain?

Perfection, or perfection (moksha)??

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Suffering


The problem isn't that there is suffering in this world. The problem is that the various sources of suffering are not equally distributed.

In other words...

If life was fair, there might still be suffering in the world, but the sources of suffering would be much more equally distributed.



“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest… Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both.

Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction.

On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose–you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple.

Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.” 

~Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chödrön

Renunciation

I renounce creating and building relationships with other people. I have tried to do this my whole life, it rarely worked and when it did it was usually dishonest, and fell apart when my latest "truth" changed. I am very very selfish. That is the truth. I have no cohesive true self to share with others.

Lonely
Photo by Vanessa Shakesheff
(used by permission)
I have been profoundly isolated my entire life. I believe I have a form of high-functioning autism. But really, I believe I have taken this birth after not completing my sadhana in a past life. And so, no matter how hard I have tried to have a "life in the same land as others," it has never happened.

Not for one minute.

Amazing to keep trying until almost 55. I am so glad to still have enough time left to focus on my true purpose.

I give it up! I renounce more than basic connection with others. There is no overlap between their world and mine. To act as if this is not so is dishonest, profoundly dishonest to myself.

I am alone at last. My true life and purpose as a sadhini now begins.

The only truth I have found in this life, that doesn't give out after a few months or a few years, is the truth which I find inside, the divine Self which is Paramashiva, which is everything.

Renunciation

I renounce portraying myself as an expert on anything. I renounce portraying myself as especially knowledgeable, that any knowledge I possess is a reflection of any special status in relation to others. I possess only knowledge I have received through the grace of another, my creator and my sadguru, and the resplendent grace of my guru. Any knowledge I may have received the grace to be able to offer to another, I can only impart again through grace, which is not my own.

Vishnu's completely captivating incarnation as Lord Krishna
Knowledge is not my own. Grace is not my own. I (small "I") am the vessel.

I (big "I") am all knowledge. I am all grace. I am the soul of all, Paramashiva. I worship my Self as grace and knowledge  (consciousness).

My Beloved Paramashiva, in His human form as the Supreme Person, Lord Krishna, has breathed the true knowledge, the true state of supreme bliss, that of the One who fully knows everything again and again, and delights in the ever-unfolding play, as His divine breath into my right ear.


~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~




Lord Krishna leaned down and blew His intoxicating breath into my ear in Muktananda Mandir, August 1999 when I first moved to the ashram. I attended a preparation for the Shaktipat Intensive. The swami's exercise was to ask a divine question, and see what answer we may receive. With my eyes closed, the Lord delighted in bending down as though to whisper the answer in my ear. Then, my little world fell away and became the universe, and I knew His home and vantage from the divine playground of stars and the endless magical night of the One, all with the sweet and mighty mirth, the laughing profoundly divine sound of "haaaaauuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhh..." as he breathed His Love and State of Endless Delight into my ear. (I heard tinkly divine nada afterwards).


Wow.


"The world rests as the lotus in the palm of my hand, the cosmos revolves around my finger like a discus. I blow the music of life through my conch and wield my mace to protect all creatures." ~Lord Vishnu (Krsna Upanishad ~ emphasis mine)

Lord Vishnu's conch symbolizes the primordial creative voice in the form of the sacred sound OM, which is said to be the breath of Vishnu, pervading all space. Krishna's flute is also the vehicle of this breath, through which he creates the irresistible melody that each soul hears as our own personal call to return to Him. (adapted from Nitin Kumar of Exotic India Arts).



Maha-Vishnu holds the conch and the lotus, the discus and the mace,
symbolic of His powers, He who sustains the universe.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Mantra

lotus seed mala
Somehow repeating the mantra in my mind, with or without my beloved lotus seed mala, has become much easier. It arises spontaneously sometimes, and continues spontaneously. Quite often I can choose to have the experience of the mantra having the qualities of movement (spanda) purifying my mind and being while I am completely still and identifying with Paramashiva. (Enough silly ego!!)

I read on our website that the sangham is focusing on the practice of the mantra this year. The guru is supporting us, and we are supporting each other.

I feel as though a (somehow) cool, golden fire of great tapas purifies me all aglow.... as my mind is bathed in the cooling nectar of endless blooming blossoms, each a repetition of My Beloved's most beautiful name.

Klimt: Roses Under the Tree detail
Klimt: Roses Under the Trees, detail

Steadiness of mind

The five-headed cobra represents the mind as it constantly roils about and constantly hisses through its five heads, which are the five sense organs.

Lord Vishnu stands on the serpent. There is no struggle. 

The senses are arranged as His mind, around His head. The senses are still, serving Him. He is in control of His mind.

It is a profound image.

I didn't like Vishnu's images, I wasn't sure why. He seemed stiff and blank faced, with a more primitive drawing style.

Now I know why Vishnu has that look on His face, and why he stands that way. To a yogi, he is impassive, a divine quality. To the devotee, He is the sustainer, and holds up the universe. He stands straight and strong.



The multi-headed cobra represents various passions or modifications of mind, such as: Kama (lust), Krodh (anger), Lobh (greed), Moh (attachment), Ahankar (ego) and Matsarya (envy). 

Lord Vishnu reclines on the serpent, completely relaxed, completely in control of His mind and its passions.










In Buddhism, a seven-headed serpent-being called a "naga" protected the Buddha from the elements after his enlightenment.








Thursday, February 21, 2013

Effervescence

When I meditate, my mind keeps trying to pull away. "This is boring." "We're done now."

This makes meditating seem hard, but now it is somewhat easier, because I use this challenging discomfort as very hot fuel to offer to the fire. It is a burn that I worship and treasure, the best use of my time, the best practice for my sadhana.

While meditating today, I focused on the golden tinkly ear nada. Lately I notice that it has a sound sort of like the effervescing of many tiny bubbles (like the tiny bubbly "burps" I sometimes get). I thought, "nada communicates regarding the nature of the divine." Immediately I saw a few very big blue _____s in succession, a strong yes made from consciousness. 

The divine is effervescing, tiny bubbles popping through, coming up... each tiny pop! a tiny bit of ego burst and consciousness freed, released as the freshest and newest of all of the free air.

(Of course, only someone with the very highest attainment would know this.)

PS Sometimes during meditation there are incredibly bright flashes of light on my closed eyelids. I've never had this before.

PPS When I was watching a YouTube video of Muktananda giving shaktipat, (I could hear Mukti's voice leading the chant), my computer browser suddenly and spontaneously changed to a tab with an image of Vishnu on it. I laughed...and laughed...!!

PPPS Later I was meditating and my computer monitor was suddenly awakened from blank screen to... the image of Lord Vishnu. I thought, hmm, meditation is good but it seems the creative and spirited shakti points to the steady mind of Vishnu as important for me, as in the practice of holding my mind steady also when I am not sitting in meditation.

You are the lamp


"You are as the yellow leaf.
The messengers of death are at hand.
You are to travel far away.
What will you take with you?
You are the lamp
To lighten the way.
Then hurry, hurry.
When your light shines
Without impurity of desire
You will come into the boundless country.
Your life is falling away.
Death is at hand.
Where will you rest on the way?
What have you taken with you?
You are the lamp
To lighten the way.
Then hurry, hurry.
When your light shines purely
You will not be born
And you will not die."

~Guatama Buddha
 (from Meditation Quotes)

Tagore ~ Gitanjali



Rabindranath Tagore Gitanjali poem 57

Light, my light, the world-filling light, the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light! Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the centre of my life; the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love; the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth. The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light. Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light. The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling, and it scatters gems in profusion. Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling, and gladness without measure. The heaven's river has drowned its banks and the flood of joy is abroad.











I celebrate my 100th post. 




Today I learned about Jñāna yoga, Śūnyatā ("the void") and Pratītyasamutpāda ("dependent origination") in Buddhism, ahimsa and anekantavada in Jainism, Ghandi (his mother was a Jain, which explains his close familiarity with these two philosophical concepts), Satyajit Ray (urged by Jean Renoir to become a filmmaker, influenced by the neo-realistic film The Bicycle Thief), and Rabindranath Tagore (Bengali, love love his poems).

Kriyas

My kriyas are very soft, different. It is as though the sweet Kundalini is taking my head in her hands and moving it very slowly and slightly in a small little infinity pattern.

The effect is for me to notice my entire body and to soften any places which are held or braced for action, for goal-directed behavior.

In letting go of these places I am also practicing letting go of goal-directed behavior.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Meditation

When the heavy dhyana feeling started, I tried meditating here on the couch in an informal position instead of cocooning in bed. It was hard at first. My mind didn't want to go on vacation. It wants all the exciting changes to be about it.

I chose slipping deep into spontaneous meditation as a discipline, just in that moment, to slip into being with no other pursuit or story. I am that. 

(The cat kept gently bumping me with his little head, a lot more than he ever has in the past. He loved the meditation.)

This level of meditation is an amazing gift that is being offered to me over and over each day, often with sweet kriyas that open up my neck and back areas. I hope to choose it from now on.


PS My mind is very centered and still. Even more so after the meditation. Unwavering bliss.

PPS Obviously my centered and still mind is a sign to my ego of our very great attainment. Also that I have kriyas, and especially sweet and gentle kriyas, are a sign of my mighty attainment!

PPPS Another round of heavy dhyana, I went to sleep and awoke at one in the morning. Lately this cocooning sleep is accompanied by intricate dreams I can only sort of remember. (Obviously heavy dhyana is a sign of very high attainment).

Mantras

God offers, God is offered, God is offered to
I tell myself that I have two mantras: Om Nama Shivaya, and There is only ONE.

When I am not repeating the first, I do well to focus on the second, if nothing else but to watch as my ego is busily volunteering as the undisputed source of all this, and to have had nothing whatsoever to do with all of that. (Which is simply and perfectly consciousness, either way).

I seem to be struggling more with my ego. I remembered that one of the certain trials of a yogi is not to become preoccupied with siddhis (such as nada and kriya). 

As I am becoming more confident that my "attainment" isn't a fluke and isn't going to suddenly go away, my ego steps up ready to take the credit... for everything.

My guess is not to fight with ego, though I am continually flabbergasted by it taking credit for things solely due to the grace of my guru(!!) Better to see it as consciousness. I can scold it and laugh at it being a perfect little ego, then also bring in discrimination and mental discipline to recognize and identify with Shiva, Shiva Parvati, Paramashiva, and see my ego as a contracted mala.

And of course, my ego thinks this splendid plan is so smart and proves a very high attainment!

I guess I'll start busting my ego at the end of every post.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Karmapa

The shakti of the Karmapa lineage has had a role in my spiritual development. I knew next to nothing about Buddhism when I visited the Tibetan Monastery at Woodstock, and brought back a photo of the Karmapa and a little card with the reproduction of a thangka of White Tara on it. 

Whenever I thought of the Karmapa, my mind immediately stopped and became very empty and still, like a (good) darkness falling over it. I framed the photo of Ogyen Trinley Dorje and made a little altar for the beautiful photo on my desk at the ashram (I still have it on my altar at home).

I dismissed the possibility that I had more than one guru. If I were to meet HH the 17th Karmapa, I would first tell him that my guru is Chidvilasananda.

Anyway. The two lineages, one Hindu (Kashmir Shaivism) and one Tibetan Buddhism (Karma Kagyu), seemed unrelated and quite distant. 

Then I am reading on a website Nityananda the Living Tradition that the Karmapa in his 16th incarnation met and knew Muktananda:


HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa
Rangjung Rigpe Dorje
(1924-1981) 
"Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924-1981) The spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He visited Baba at his Ganeshpuri ashram and also met with him at the Ann Arbor ashram in 1974. The two had great love for each other."

I shrieked and laughed and laughed and shrieked when I read this! Oh, life is delicious, the shakti is delicious, the highly creative Shaktiji at play!! 

The cat came running over, his eyes huge, as though he wanted to play too. "What is it?" his eyes said. "Me too!!"


~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~


I remember that the (image of the) 16th Karmapa seemed familiar to me right away. Perhaps pratyabhijna recognition, or from a past life as a Karma Kagyu devotee, or through our common link of Muktananda. The shakti transmitted to me through the lineage perhaps mingled with some of the Karma Kagyu shakti. The shakti is one. All is one. There are no rules when it comes to Paramashiva and his highly creative shakti devi side. In this way, God can create the most fun and enjoyment for Himself.

I didn't realize there were two 17th Karmapas at first, and when I did, I thought I had chosen the other one (I had confused one for the other). 



HH the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa 
Ogyen Trinley Dorje


*I do not mean to sound insensitive to the high duty of those who are meant to identify and protect the Karmapa lineage. At the same time, I know that Shiva would have no trouble being the same being in two lives "at the same time." Both are receiving the transmission of the highest teachings and living a life of service. The Karmapa lineage has had such difficulties in the distant past. My own guru's lineage has "scandals." 

Raja Yoga

I didn't know, how could I know, that all I had to do was turn away from the world and my stake in maya, and immediately I would be purified and find moksha in every moment.
"Raja Yoga is the place of indivisible monism. If you enter the ONE you lose sight of the MANY." ~Bhagavan Nityananda

O my mind, take thy rest. 
I love it, it's huge, and it's coming right at me!
Photographing a C-130 Hercules transport plane
(I wish I had a credit for this picture)

Stop, stop trying to compare and take credit, stop.

It is a gift, all is a gift.

To have a guru is a gift. To have shaktipat is a gift.

To have the divine shakti move and purify my body with kriyas is a gift.

To have the divine shakti present in my hearing as nadas is a gift.

This bliss, this infatuation with everything, which is My Beloved, is all a gift. There isn't enough merit in all of the world for me to buy this gift from my guru, and it wouldn't work if there was.

Bade Baba story

Bhagawan Nityananda,
"Bade Baba"
When I lived at the ashram, and worked in the "Bookstore," (the fulfillment of online and phone orders for meditation supplies, etc.), we occasionally ordered a special item for sale. Something new: a bunch of "cute" little one-piece brass lingams. I walked into the warehouse area, and just couldn't help myself. "That's a whole lotta lingams," I observed.

Okay while we're talking so-called funny stories about brass items, another time I picked up a bunch of small (about 3 inches tall) brass Bade Baba (Nityananda) murtis that had been created for us in Rhode Island. The metal craftsman, of course, were hardy East Coast sons-of-immigrants who watched The Sopranos on HBO (as did I). They were all laughing and I soon found out why. "Bada Bing!" they gestured to the little army of cross-legged Bade Babas ready for transport. 

They called the Bade Babas "Bada Bing!" I laughed!! I was sure Bade Baba was laughing too. The fact that the "Bada Bing" was a strip-club on The Sopranos only made it more funny.

PS I was just thinking they likely had some blissful, intoxicating darshan of Bade Baba while creating the beautiful murtis.


Nityananda's shakti
Muktananda's shakti
Chidvilasananda's shakti
My shaktipat diksha
A priceless gift
Thank you

Another Bade Baba story (my favorite)



Shiva Lingam Mandala


Shiva Lingam Mandala
by j.q. gaines

Drawn with OM (Vedic, Sanskrit and English) 
and the mantra "OM Namah Shivaya" 

(Use by Creative Commons License)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Everything

My mind runs all over, convincing me I've lost all attainment and it was an illusion, it was mania, it was my only chance and now I've lost it blah blah blah blah blah blah........ 

Heart Chakra Mandala
Mandala Art by Timea Varga
(used by permission)

Part of what is so different right now is my mind is as impure as ever, but I don't believe it, at least part of the time I don't. My mind holds the memory that I am this little limited "this," and I believe it, most of the time. But so what. 

Attainment is NOW. In any second, if I recognize Shiva, and realize the truth, then that is as good as it gets, that's everything.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The broken place

BACKSTORY: "My story" has had this amazing broken place in it. I tried all my life to find a fix, so I could find my way to others. I finally gave up, and have chosen to be alone. This has transformed my life, and I have written about it in the last few weeks. In this post I remember some of the elements to the story of the broken place.



I just remembered how much I hated trying to jam musically with other musicians when I was younger. I couldn't wait to stop, couldn't wait for it to be over. Every second was excrutiating. I wanted to RUN! away.

Also, when I took dancing lessons with my friend from church, I hated dancing with someone else. Same feeling, couldn't wait for it to stop and be over with.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
It occurs to me that these are concrete ways my inability to get close to others manifests. There is a line, and no one gets over it. No one. This feels like a permanent feature of who I am, not something I could ever change (though God could, of course).

I have noticed on occasion that if someone got too close, I would unconsciously push them back, (or stop the occasion somehow). Because it wasn't an "integrated" part of me, it often was cold or rude, in effect.

This has made me feel there is a part of me that is running things from out of sight. She lets me run the show until I threaten her, then she steps in and takes control for a moment. She is very smart. She can control all of me whenever she wants. She doesn't speak. Her language is action.

I tried to make up for this part of me by going to college for seven years. I tried a lot of different jobs, a lot of different places to make my home, crazy things. Destructive things.

When I was terrified as a teenager of leaving home and working, I think it was more than hating the adult world and how it made me feel. It was also a realistic assessment of my own capabilities that ran short of working and self-support.

The process of getting through that to a job I could tolerate (parts driver) was so painful.

All these elements came into focus at the same time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The magic moment





The magic moment is that in which a 'yes' or a 'no' may change the whole of our existence. 
~Paulo Coehlo








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