Tuesday, October 31, 2017

I was sleeping before

An excerpt from the Dakshinamurti Stotram, a hymn to Shiva composed by Adi Shankara (Vedanta), a concise rendering of the teachings of the Vedas and an expression of gratitude to He who makes one realize these truths.

Mrityunjaya Stotram shloka six
Rāhugrasta-divākarendu-sadṛsho māyāsamācchādanātSanmātraḥ karaṇopasaṁharaṇato yo'bhūtsuṣuptaḥ pumān .Prāgasvāpsamiti prabodhasamaye yaḥ pratyabhijñāyateTasmai śrīgurumūrtaye nama idaṁ śrīdakṣiṇāmūrtaye .. 6..
Like the eclipsed sun and the moon, covered by Maya, one sleeps after withdrawing his senses into that self. To him who on awakening makes one realize that "I was sleeping before", to that Dakshinamurti, the teacher, I offer my salutations.

Adi Shankara was an early 8th century Indian philosopher and theologian who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. He is credited with unifying and establishing the main currents of thought in Hinduism. 
Wikipedia: wikipedia.org/wiki/Adi_Shankara

Thursday, October 26, 2017


The things that used to spin me around now melt beneath my languid gaze.

Photo of Lyda Borelli

Sunday, October 22, 2017

My "go to" contemplation

My "go to" dharana/dhyana. My focus and practice. My contemplation. 

My "go to" dhyana is to nudge myself out of multiplicity. I experience myself as formless, unlimited consciousness, the knower, and everything else a play of consciousness on the screen of life, the known. The play normally seems three-dimensional because of the magic of maya.

Inherent in this contemplation is acknowledging that the projection of maya cannot satisfy/protect me, or cause lack/harm me. Thinking otherwise is bondage. 

I want freedom. I see myself "unlatching" from the screen of the world going by. I let the illusion of satisfaction and lack slip away. It becomes a dance of light. And I choose freedom, the source. The real prize.

I can only do this because of the grace of my guru, because I have received shaktipat.

Step well

I also use my mind to slip out from the experience of multiplicity. When I am in this state, I experience Oneness, One without second. A singularity. My awareness resides in the great consciousness, the only Self. Immediately I am filled with great bliss.

I can reshape my consciousness like this for several moments at a time. 

An interesting aside is that my ability to shape my own consciousness was greatly improved by my years in Wicca, where "spells" are created by this containing and shaping of awareness, a discipline and practice that grows in effectiveness over time.

I also use this skill as a writer of fiction.

Swami Lakshmanjoo:

The word dhyana means “contemplation.” It is another mode in anavopaya (a means of enlightenment). Dhyana is contemplation on some point.  
There are different forms of dhyana. For example, you are practicing dhyana when you contemplate on the lotus in your heart, or on the meaning of some mantra such as the mantra “so’ham” or the mantra “Shiva.”  
This is a higher form of anavopaya because it is contemplation without any shape, without any form. If you were to contemplate on Lord Shiva as having a particular form, a particular shape, that is a lower form of anavopaya. It is contemplation with form.

Source: Kashmir Shaivism, The Secret Supreme, by Swami Lakshmanjoo
All Content is subject to Copyright © Universal Shaiva Fellowship, John Hughes.

Be the awareness

Realization isn't about getting from point A to point B, from now to the goal. I am ever traversing everything in between, all in an endlessly varied order. God's will is unfettered. 

Maya plays. All of this doesn't look like God because of the magic of maya.

To continue to (pursue illusion and) swim with or against the current, to strive to control or change this in one way or another, causes karma and pain.

Accept grace. Look at the known (objects that make up the play) with the knower's eyes. Be the awareness.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Shubh Diwali

Happiness is in the air...

Shubh Diwali 2017!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita, The Song of the Lord, is chanted from a Sanskrit text of 18 chapters and 700 slokas (verses). If you're new to the Gita, you might begin by listening to a chapter while you study, work or relax. You will notice at a certain point that your mind will become clear and steady, and your spirit will feel uplifted. Try listening to all of the Gita. Both of the renditions below include all 18 chapters. There are many more versions on YouTube, etc.

I enjoy listening to the Gita while I attend to the duties of my home life. My experience of devotion and my focus on my spiritual intentions are blessed and lifted up to a higher level of ease and joy. 

You may choose to study the Bhagavad Gita, in which Lord Krishna reveals the highest forms of Yoga to Arjuna--and all of his devotees. My personal favorite translation for study is Jnaneshwar's Gita, which includes the exquisite commentary by the beloved Marathi saint Jnaneshwar in the English translation by Swami Kripananda.
You may decide to learn how to chant the Gita. Chanting with a video offering clear and correct pronunciation of the Sanskrit will help. Any time spent, no matter the proficiency or lack thereof, will bear tremendous spiritual fruit.

The Gita contains loving and precious revelations from the Lord himself. Find the precious jewels waiting in the Bhagavad Gita for you!

Bhagavad Gita ~ Complete Sanskrit recitation (Isha/Sacred Verses
Very subtle musical changes in the background are helpful for the Western ear

Introductory mantrasMahamrityunjaya - Mangalacharan  
A prayer to Shiva, recited by Shubha Mudgal (Isha/Sacred Verses)

Click through to playlist on YouTube with links to download

The Bhagavad Gita recited by Kumari Vanisree and
Kumari Vijayalakshmi of Ramakrishna Mutt Bangalore

Click through to video on YouTube with links to download
 Main chant starts at 17:38

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra

ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात्

Om tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭivardhanam
urvārukamiva bandhanānmṛtyormukṣīya mā'mṛtāt

Mahamrityunjay Mantra 108 times by Anuradha Paudwal
Select HD Video, with subtitles and meaning
Main chant begins at 0:48

Mahamrityunjay Mantra 108 times By Shankar Sahney 
With subtitles
Main chant begins at 1:36

Adapted from Wikipedia: wikipedia.com/en/Mahamrityunjaya_Mantra

The Mahamritunjaya Mantra is found In the Vedas in three places: 1) the Rig veda VII.59.12, 2) the Yajur Veda III.60, and 3) the Atharva Veda XIV.1.17. The Vedas are generally agreed to have been completed sometime between the 12th to the 10th centuries BCE. If I understand correctly, this ancient, codified philosophy was memorized and passed on by Brahmin priests until writing was invented, when it was written down as scriptures still widely studied to this day.

ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात्

Om tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭivardhanam
urvārukamiva bandhanānmṛtyormukṣīya mā'mṛtāt

Literal Meaning of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra:

aum = is a sacred/mystical syllable in Sanatan Dharma or Hindu religions, i.e. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism & Sikhism.
त्र्यम्बकं tryambakam = the three-eyed one (accusative case),
त्रि + अम्बकम् = tri + ambakam = three + eye
यजामहे yajāmahe = We worship, adore, honour, revere,
सुगन्धिम् sugandhim = sweet fragrance, fragrant (accusative case),
पुष्टि puṣṭi = A well-nourished condition, thriving, prosperous, fullness of life,
वर्धनम् vardhanam = One who nourishes, strengthens, causes to increase (in health, wealth, well-being); who gladdens, exhilarates, and restores health; a good gardener,
पुष्टि-वर्धनम् = puṣṭi+vardhanam = पुष्टि: वर्धते अनेन तत् = puṣṭiḥ vardhate anena tat (samas)= The one who nourishes someone else and gives his life fullness.
उर्वारुकमिव urvārukam-iva = like the cucumber or melon (in the accusative case); or like a big peach.
Note: Some people have decomposed the compound urvārukam in this way: 'urva' means "vishal" or big and powerful or deadly; 'arukam' means 'disease'. But urva (उर्वा) does not mean 'vishal' in Sanskrit; Another way: uru: big, large; ārukam (in the accusative case): peach; iva: like.
बन्धनान् bandhanān = "from captivity" {i.e. from the stem of the cucumber} (of the gourd); (the ending is actually long a, then -t, which changes to n/anusvara because of sandhi)
Note: bandhanān means bound down. Thus, read with urvārukam iva, it means 'I am bound down just like a cucumber (to a vine)'. If you read it with mṛtyormukṣīya it means 'liberate from the bounds of death'
मृत्योर्मुक्षीय mṛtyormukṣīya = Free, liberate From death
मृत्यु: + मुक्षीय = mṛtyoḥ + mukṣīya= from death + free (Vedic usage)
माऽमृतात् mā'mṛtāt can be translated in a number of different ways:
1) मा + अमृतात् = mā + amṛtāt = not + immortality, nectar
Translation would be: (Free me from death but) not from immortality.
2) मा (माम) + अमृतात् = mā (short form of mām) + amṛtāt = myself + immortality
Translation would be: Give me some life rejuvenating nectar
3) मा (माम) + अमृतात् = mā (short form of mām) + amṛtāt = myself + sure, definitely
Translation would be: Free me from certain death.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The One who slept

Look! Wow!!

(A gentle hand). Be still. Smile. Find wholeness within.

Oh! Oh no! 

(A reassuring touch). Be still. Smile. Find contentment within. 

God is at play here.

The entirety of God is here. I find it inside. Always here for me.

At last I can catch myself at the start of the surge toward or away from. Soon after an instant in which I have travelled so far, and not at all.

My dharana: I look around with a new awareness, strengthened each day with practice.

There is only One here. 

My dharana: All of this, including me, is One. How peaceful it is to have no other. Endless, perfect solitude. This unity consciousness surges through me as great bliss.

How my Lord loves to be found, observed and known with the awakening gaze of one who has slept.

I awaken in Your arms.

How my Lord loves to be found, observed and known with the awakening gaze of one who has slept  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Become that

What about today? Now?

Yesterday I felt this immense experience and manifestation of grace. Yesterday.

How can I keep that going? How can I hold onto it, build on it, and not let it slip away? asks my mind. Am I losing what is precious, and missing a precious opportunity to have what I most want in this life? There will be devastating regret. So says my mind's mighty "fear of regret" samskara.

Thinking I have to build on grace is an attempt to add to what is divine and unlimited. No.

(Thinking of) yesterday happens only in my mind. Why hang out in my mind when all that I most want is already attained??

Lord Krishna looks on as Arjuna kneels to receive the
precious gift of bow and arrows from Lord Shiva

I help my mind. A dharana.

What about today? Now? What is the sadhana of my heart, where there is no "here" or "there," no limitations, outside of time?

Start here: Offering the fruits to Krishna is the beautiful pranam of my soul. He is always there with a playful, gentle surge of love. Play, he says. When Krishna shakes his curls, the play of the world surges with universal longing.

There is a most precious gift of grace in this moment. Become that.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The end of delusion

My mind keeps running around! Around!! GET BACK HERE.

My mind might run, but I'm the one who likes and believes in the feelings of gratification it seeks. I choose to pursue them.

Tiny little lights that sparkle and charm, that make me shimmy a little with excitement and release. In this way I miss out on the true treasure.

The Guru's feet symbolize a divine mystery, the place where Guru
and disciple meet as One in the ocean of divine consciousness

The place of action is to look at it, to put consciousness on it. What is this? Why do I pursue soimething that is not really there?? I believe over and over in gratification, and think I am achieving it, even if only for a moment. More pursuit. Repeat.

It's a sparkle!. A shimmer! A happy shimmy! No more. NO SUBSTANCE.

I want what is real.

I have disciplined my mind in key ways. This is next. I no longer believe in gratification.

"I don't believe in ________" is my playful way of saying _________ is an illusion."*

I don't believe in suffering. Suffering comes from wrong thinking. It is only consciousness. Nothing happens to me.

Now, I do not believe in gratification. Believing in it is followed closely by thinking I am experiencing lack, or frustration. None of these things are actually happening to me.

I don't want to fly on this mental swing, mistaken storymaking anymore.

Consciousness dissolves consciousness. 

The place at the Guru's feet is a place of surrender which transcends the physical.
The physical Guru offers service to Her disciples by accepting this worship of
Paramashiva, the Guru that is all. Worship at this place is beyond profound.

*In Kashmir Shaivism, everything is made of divine consciousness, which is real. This includes consciousness as delusion. Everything. It isn't things or consciousness that are not real. 
The beginning of delusion is to believe in something that is false. The experience of delusion is persisting in being mistaken.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

No doing it right

My mind: Do it right for Krisha.

Me: I am Krishna. I am his big toe. There is no doing it right for me.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

When I reach

There is no unity. No focus, none. I am undone. No boundaries around my consciousness. Free floating.

And yet, I find words.

Several times per hour. Several times per minute. I open inside to the bliss, the expanding place of sacred trust inside. Dare I say it?

It is always there when I reach for it. Then, bliss. Head falling forward, spontaneous meditation.

The play is made of fading, transparent movements on the walls of my consciousness. Thinking I am interacting with that is unhappy delusion and empty frustration.

I am this place inside. I am alone. I am One. 

I have chosen. No going back.

I am yours, dearest, sweetest Lord Krishna.

Hare Krishna . Hare Krishna . Krishna Krishna . Hare Hare

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