The benefits of letting go of our fear of death – Cynthia Bourgeault

Listen as Cynthia Bourgeault, modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, and Center for Action and Contemplation faculty member, names a fear of death as the true source of the scapegoating, hoarding, and other destructive human forces stemming from the COVID-19 crisis. We must seek out the courage and wisdom to adjust to global change or the planet will do it for us.

To watch the video go HERE –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2gBJOCyxG4&t=55s

Photo Unsplash Joshua Earle@joshuaearle

Abdu’l-Baha and Rumi on on the real world and the illusory dream world – how we are existent and non-existent

This place is a dream.

Only a sleeper considers it real.

Then death comes like dawn,
and you wake up laughing
at what you thought was your grief………

……..

Humankind is being led along an evolving course,
through this migration of intelligences,
and though we seem to be sleeping,
there is an inner wakefulness
that directs the dream,

rumi inner wakefulness

and that will eventually startle us back
to the truth of who we are.

~~ Rumi To read the full Rumi article go to StillnessSpeaks HERE

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Abdu’l-Baha one of our great spiritual teachers says;

Certain sophists think that existence is an illusion, that each being is an absolute illusion which has no existence—in other words, that the existence of beings is like a mirage, or like the reflection of an image in water or in a mirror, which is only an appearance having in itself no principle, foundation or reality.

This theory is erroneous; for though the existence of beings in relation to the existence of God is an illusion, nevertheless, in the condition of being it has a real and certain existence. It is futile to deny this. For example, the existence of the mineral in comparison with that of man is nonexistence, for when man is apparently annihilated, his body becomes mineral; but the mineral has existence in the mineral world. Therefore, it is evident that earth, in relation to the existence of man, is nonexistent, and its existence is illusory; but in relation to the mineral it exists.

In the same manner the existence of beings in comparison with the existence of God is but illusion and nothingness; it is an appearance, like the image reflected in a mirror. But though an image which is seen in a mirror is an illusion, the source and the reality of that illusory image is the person reflected, whose face appears in the mirror. Briefly, the reflection in relation to the person reflected is an illusion.

Then it is evident that although beings in relation to the existence of God have no existence, but are like the mirage or the reflections in the mirror, yet in their own degree they exist.

That is why those who were heedless and denied God were said by Christ to be dead, although they were apparently living; in relation to the people of faith they were dead, blind, deaf and dumb. This is what Christ meant when He said, “Let the dead bury their dead.” 1

1. Matt. 8:22.

Abdu’l-Baha (Some Answered Questions, pp 278-279)

SOURCE

When sublime gifts come to us

Q. How sublime it is when gifts come to us that show the mystic oneness that is the only way Unity will come – is it not the case?

"Beware of confining yourself to a particular belief and denying all else, for much good would elude you – indeed, the knowledge of reality would elude you.

Be in yourself a matter of all forms of belief, for God is too vast and tremendous to be restricted to one belief rather than another.

The ignorant one does not see his ignorance as he basks in its darkness; nor does the knowledgeable one see his own knowledge, for he basks in its light.

I am in love with no other than myself and my very separation is my union…I am my beloved and my lover; I am my knight and my maiden."

~ Ibn Arabi

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A modern application is here;

https://en.qantara.de/content/interview-with-james-morris-ibn-arabis-vision-for-a-fully-human-global-civilisation?nopaging=1

Keats and Abdu’l-Baha and kirtan singer Krishna Das

Joy gives us wings

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

The English poet John Keats (31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821) says in a long poem

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

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1 A man living with his thoughts in this Kingdom knows perpetual joy. The ills all flesh is heir to do not pass him by, but they only touch the surface of his life, the depths are calm and serene. – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 109

2 Joy gives us wings! In times of joy our strength is more vital, our intellect keener, and our understanding less clouded. We seem better able to cope with the world and to find our sphere of usefulness. – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 109

3 Joy is the best cure for your illness. Joy is better than a hundred thousand medicines for a sick person. If there is a sick person and one wishes to cure him, let one cause joy and happiness in his heart. – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 417

4 When a man has found the joy of life in one place, he returns to that same spot to find more joy. When a man has found gold in a mine, he returns again to that mine to dig for more gold. This shows the internal force and natural instinct which God has given to man, and the power of vital energy which is born in him. – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 33

Kirtan Singer Krishna Das https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTc8X37oJBE

Helping the penny drop about Now-ness

Thanks to WP

I love how great spiritual teachers say the same thing in slightly different ways.

Leonard Jacobson says;

“The journey is from here to here and the only time you can arrive is Now.”

Rupert Spira says;

There is no separate entity present that gets into the ‘nowness’ of Consciousness. Consciousness is always ‘now,’ that is, it is ever-present. So ‘now’ is not a moment in time nor even a present moment. There is no present moment. There is the ‘nowness,’ the timeless, ever-presence of Consciousness, IN WHICH the idea of time appears ‘from time to time.’


Each has special virtues. Both are brilliant.

Inter-faith Fireside No1. Love, finding God, and revealing your true Self

WP

LOVE: What has love got to do with it?

Many people accept the idea that God is Love. Here is an extraordinary Baha’i teaching by Abdu’l-Baha about love. Below there are some relevant teachings by Ken Wilber.

1 Love is the secret of God’s holy Dispensation, the manifestation of the All-Merciful, the fountain of spiritual outpourings.

2 Love is heaven’s kindly light, the Holy Spirit’s eternal breath that vivifieth the human soul.

3 Love is the cause of God’s revelation unto man, the vital bond inherent, in accordance with the divine creation, in the realities of things.

4 Love is the one means that ensureth true felicity both in this world and the next.

5 Love is the light that guideth in darkness, the living link that uniteth God with man, that assureth the progress of every illumined soul.

6 Love is the most great law that ruleth this mighty and heavenly cycle, the unique power that bindeth together the diverse elements of this material world, the supreme magnetic force that directeth the movements of the spheres in the celestial realms.

7 Love revealeth with unfailing and limitless power the mysteries latent in the universe. (Abdu’l-Baha – from Baha’i writings) -0- https://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/SAB/sab-13.html

Q. Where do we find go to find God?
Divinity has one ultimate secret, which it will also whisper in your ear if your mind becomes quieter than the fog at sunset: the God of this world is found within, and you know it is found within: in those hushed silent times when the mind becomes still, the body relaxes into infinity, the senses expand to become one with the world- in those glistening times, a subtle luminosity, a serene radiance, a brilliantly transparent clarity shimmers as the true nature of all manifestation, erupting every now and then in a compassionate Radiance before whom all idols retreat, a love so fierce it adoringly embraces both light and dark, both good and evil, both pleasure and pain equally…. – Ken Wilber

Q. What is our true Self?
The Self doesn’t live forever in time, it lives in the timeless present prior to time, prior to history, change, succession. The Self is present as Pure Presence, not as everlasting duration, a rather horrible notion. – Ken Wilber

Q. What insights can you see having these three teachings set together?

“every time I enter creation I withdraw from God”

Because of the plague the creation spiritual vision of such people as Hildegard of Bingen, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, Mechthild of Magdeburg, and Meister Eckhart over the previous 150 years was practically abandoned in favor of Thomas a Kempis (“every time I enter creation I withdraw from God”) and other more introverted thinkers. Julian clearly represents the last and the best of this lineage of creation spirituality mystics—even though she lived through a harrowing time of pandemic.

Enjor Matthew Fox’s brilliant daily Creation Spirituality bloghttps://dailymeditationswithmatthewfox.org/2020/05/01/contextualizing-julian-of-norwichs-spiritual-genius/

THINKING MATTERS – OR IS IT OVERRATED?


The Thinker by Rodin (1840–1917), in the garden of the Musée Rodin

This week for the Inter-faith Fireside-Dialogue I’m lucky enough to talk with Prof Stephen Quinn who for a long time has been a journalist and writer and is a Professor of MOJO at Scandinavian university.

You no doubt will want me to ask what a MOJO specialist does – I will!

We both wonder what place ‘thinking’ has in our spiritual lives. In thinking do we have a ‘chattering monkey’ or ‘the greatest gift’ life has given us?

Do Take a look at the 1 min 48 secs Youtube video about thinking and the chattering monkey mind by Buddhist monk Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche – HERE – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PkrhH-bkpk

We also take a look at what is meant by Non-duality and how thinking fits in – or doesn’t.

Hope you can be with us🙏😊

The brilliance of spiritual teacher Leonard Jacobson’s 2-step path of awakening

WP

Leonard Jacobson honed his teaching over decades and now teaches a very simple two step path of awakening;

The first step involves is to learn the art of being present. The second involves becoming a master of your mind and ego.

Both steps are necessary for true awakening.

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Two of my favourite quotations are;

You want to know God, you will
have to give up your belief in God – p102 of his ‘Words from Silence.’

and

To awaken from mind to Being
is your responsibility.
No one can do it for you.
It is not difficult.
It can be done, provided you know the way.
I can show you the way.
But I cannot walk the path for you.
If you are sincere, honest, authentic,
and act with integrity,
and if you are total in your commitment,
you will awaken from mind to Being.
It is your birthright.
It is your destiny.
And you will be fulfilled completely,
in this lifetime.
But to awaken from the level of Being
to the Eternal is another matter.
This you cannot do.
The Eternal descends.
It is a question of grace.
A benediction.
You cannot hold onto it.
It will come and go.
It is not up to you.
All you can do is be an invitation.”

― Leonard Jacobson, Words from Silence: An Invitation to Spiritual Awakening

‘Loneliness, aloneness and at-one-ness’ – defining loneliness

An article named Milk Shake by Mary Ruefle begins
I am never lonely and never bored. Except when I bore myself, which is my definition of loneliness—to bore oneself. ……. – from The Paris Review ISSUE 216, SPRING 2016

I wish I’d had that definition when I was teaching children!

The strange case of St Francis of Assisi & the Quaker Friends

A prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is discord, union;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light; and

where there is sadness, joy.

"O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love;

for it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life." Amen.

Interesting note from – https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/A_prayer_of_St._Francis_of_Assisi

Although commonly attributed to Francis of Assisi (1181/2-1226 A.D.), the prayer itself cannot be traced back later than 1912 when it appeared in a French magazine entitled, La Clochette (The Little Bell). Further arguing against its Franciscan authenticity is the fact that it does not appear anywhere in the Omnibus of Sources, an extensive compilation of the writings of Francis and his companions.

The earliest English translation, reproduced below, was printed anonymously in the Quaker periodical Friends’ Intelligencer [1] (1927).

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MY PREFERRED DEFINITION OF NAMASTE:
“I honor the place in you
in which the entire Universe dwells.
I honor the place in you which is of Love,
of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace.
When you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
we are One.”

Our true self is Awareness

…..

PHOTO SOURCE – https://unsplash.com/@ishrak_sunny

A disciple once complained to a Zen master that he was unsettled in his mind. The master said: ‘All right, give me your mind and I will settle it for you.’ The disciple’s helplessness to pick up his mind and hand it over to somebody else gave him some idea of the nature of his ‘problems.’ ……” – Thomas Merton (1915 – 1968)

Art via hot air balloons – I loved it!

The YouTube notes include’

Sky Orchestra, the brainchild of acclaimed artist Luke Jerram, saw seven hot air balloons take off across the city at 6.30am, each attached with its own sound system to create a unique soundscape for residents below and spectacular aerial views of the city. This was all part of Music City!

Music and Meditation

Very Interesting article on music and meditation by Andrew Glencross, associate art director, Lion’s Roar magazine. Check out Lion’s Roar magazine it’s great.

02.21.2020
MUSICAL MEDITATIONS
I happen to be a musician in my spare time, so take what I’m about to say with a grain of salt. But of all art forms, there’s something especially sacred — even Buddhist — to me about music.

It’s got something to do with the way music manipulates time, each note highlighting the present moment as it moves steadily through the environment of past and future. Electronic composer Éliane Radigue compares that environment to a river, through which her slowly evolving tones meander, always different, always the same.

Immersion in an awareness of that river can lead to a loss of ego, because ego is built on past and future narratives. Jazz legend John Coltrane believed that in seeing through those false narratives, musicians can give “the best of what we are.” On A Love Supreme, his watershed reimagining of modal jazz, he managed to achieve that aspiration for 33 minutes and 2 seconds.

A particular kind of music, often called “minimalism,” seeks to disrupt our normal way of listening, intentionally producing these transcendent moments. Though it’s debatable whether Coltrane could be lumped under that umbrella, Philip Glass is essentially a spokesperson for the genre. I remember being excited as a teenager by this sentence from his own liner notes to Music in 12 Parts:

“[W]hen it becomes apparent that nothing ‘happens’ in the usual sense… [listeners] can perhaps discover another mode of listening — one in which neither memory nor anticipation… have a place in sustaining the texture, quality, or reality of the musical experience.”

That sounds a lot like what Laurie Anderson has jokingly called “difficult listening.” And in fact, Glass admits that this kind of music can be more of a challenge to its audience than to its performers. But make no mistake, this music is made for an audience, as he himself argues.

All three of the musicians featured here consider(ed) themselves deliverers of liberation from ego, transmitting dharma/grace/awareness received directly, through their very performance, to any audience brave enough to listen. In that way, they are all bodhisattvas.

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Stillness and Focus – an inter-spiritual perspective

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few. – Shunruyu Suzuki Roshi.

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So long as the thoughts of an individual are scattered he will achieve no results, but if his thinking be concentrated on a single point wonderful will be the fruits thereof. One cannot obtain the full force of the sunlight when it is cast on a flat mirror, but once the sun shineth upon a concave mirror, or on a lens that is convex, all its heat will be concentrated on a single point, and that one point will burn the hottest. Thus is it necessary to focus one’s thinking on a single point so that it will become an effective force. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections From the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 111. -0-

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Abdul-Baha’s brief definition of ‘faith “By faith is meant, first, conscious knowledge, and second, the practice of good deeds.”

Jaroslav Pelikan on types of faith, – (A) scholar of religion, Jaroslav Pelikan, has enumerated some of the ways that faith is a response to the transcendent. He offers the following: 1) faith as faithfulness, that is, as loyalty and devotion to someone or something; 2) faith as obedience, either in terms of carrying out moral law or in terms of following correct ritual action; 3) faith as works, that is, faith must be expressed in goodly deeds, otherwise such faith is "dead" (New Testament, James 2:20); 4) faith as trust; 5) faith as dependence and submission, that is, faith as a response to the recognition that one is dependent on an all-powerful and sovereign God; 6) faith as experience of the Divine; 7) faith as involvement in the community; 8 ) faith expressed as prayer and worship; 9) faith expressed in adherence to credos (statements of faith); 10) faith expressed in creative adoption and adaptation of the religious tradition; 11) faith as a way of knowing truth. – From ‘Faith & Belief’ by Robert Stockman – https://bahai-library.com/stockman_faith_belief

‘One Garden’ Winter-into-Spring – going deeper, deeper, deeper & arriving back home here Now

If you only have the time to watch one movie before Thursday please watch ‘Blue’ – see below.

Hi Everyone

Thanks to everyone who helped make 2019 such a One Garden success!

Marion and I would like to wish everyone that is face to face members of One Garden and those who connect up in the Garden of Oneness via the virtual world. I will be communicating via … so please click the ‘follow’ button so that you can comment

It’s impossible to describe the treasury of treasuries that has sprung up before me over the few days since our final One Garden session of 2019.

On 2nd Jan 2020 we will weave the first tapestry – 10AM please and RSVP email or text. For winter-into-spring I have the working title of Plato’s Cave & ‘Skin, Flesh, Bones & Marrow’

SO WHAT ARE SOME OF THE UPCOMING TEXTS?

TEXT 1 At present you can see the filmic masterpiece Three Colours Blue, White & Red on MUBI. You can join MUBI here – https://mubi.com/ – free for one month or buy a copy on Amazon or elsewhere.

To read a bit about the trilogy here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Colours_trilogy

The films are about Liberté, fraternité, égalité, – In the trilogy, "Blue" is the anti-tragedy, "White" is the anti-comedy, and "Red" is the anti-romance. All three films hook us with immediate narrative interest. They are metaphysical through example, not theory: Kieslowski tells the parable but doesn’t preach the lesson. – From the great film critic Roger Ebert’s review – https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-three-colors-trilogy-blue-white-red

NB I have the film script of ‘Blue’ which I will send you once you’ve watched the film.

TEXT 2: The Essential Dogen book here

TEXT 3: John Henry Newman – quote John Henry Newman – quotes – “God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. – https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/24706.John_Henry_Newman

TEXT 4: Plato’s Cave Allegory: 3 min video The Cave: An Adaptation of Plato’s Allegory in Clay

TEXT 5: The last two handouts from 2019.

TEXT 5: The Two Popes – free if you have Netflix – a masterpiece including with brilliant witty writing – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ut9ZAIggas

See also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGHjcHilc1A

It’s a salve to the disease that is destroying us.

When terrible things happen I go back to the eternal truth-tellers – Jewish, Buddhist, Sufi, Hindu, Christian, Baha’i, Taoist

When terrible things happen I go back to the eternal truth-tellers that matter most in the long run.

PHOTO is from Unsplash (Can’t find photographer’s name)

1 FROM JEWISH TEACHINGS: The great Jewish poet, philosopher & activist Rebbe Abraham Joshua Heschel describes the two worlds exquisitely ;

“The Search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding.

Neither of them is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore, and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh.

We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore.

Citizens of two realms, we all must sustain a dual allegiance: we sense the ineffable in one realm, we name and exploit reality in another. Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap.

They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel, in Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion.

A simpler way of presenting the key idea is to be found in this metaphor: “The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of mystery.” Notice that even reason stops at the shoreline of mystery. The key is this – to realize Nondual Reality we have to surrender to the impossibility that language, words, concepts, even mind and reason can play a part. We either feel the Nondual whole or we don’t. But the good news is that we can clear away the inner clutter that comes with the ‘dual world’ and find that our true Self is there all the time. This is Awareness, but Awareness is us only when we have stopped ‘selfing’. Then, relatively, we sense that God is closer to us than our life-vein as in We are closer to him than (his) jugular vein.” (Qur’an 50:16). As in the one set of footsteps in the sand God carries us, even when we are not fulfilling our covenantal obligation. To transcend we have to get our false egoic self sufficiently surrendered to allow our true Self to be reflected from our heart.

2 FROM BUDDHIST TEACHINGS: – The two realms are pointed to in this ancient Zen teaching telling us that the great Master Dogen taught, “To study the Buddha Way is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self, and to forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.”……… To be enlightened by the 10,000 things is to recognize the unity of the self and the 10,000 things. Elsewhere it is said with the greatest brevity, ”No self – no problem.”

3 FROM SUFI ISLAMIC TEACHINGS: Rumi in one of his poems says; “Not Christian or Jew or Muslim. Not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen. Not any religion or cultural system. I am not from the east or the west. Not out of the ocean or up from the ground. Not natural or ethereal. Not composed of elements at all. I do not exist. Am not an entity in this world or the next. Did not descend from Adam & Eve or any origin story. My place is the placeless, a trace of the traceless – neither body or soul. I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one & that one call to & know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath, breathing, human, being.” – Rumi – 13thC Sufi mystic – (C Barks).

4 FROM HINDU TEACHINGS:

“Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the

individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the

self same tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree;

the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes.

“The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the

divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he

recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his

glory, he grieves no more.” -0- SOURCE This trans. is in ‘The Upanishads, Breath of the Eternal’, by Swami Prabhavananda.

5 FROM CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS:

Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.” The Gospel of Thomas HERE

Fr. Richard Rohr comments; “Western Judeo-Christians are often uncomfortable with the word “nonduality.” They often associate it (negatively) with Eastern religions. I am convinced, however, that Jesus was the first nondual religious teacher of the West, and one reason we have failed to understand so much of his teaching, much less follow it, is because we tried to understand it with a dualistic mind.” – Fr. Richard Rohr, in The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See.

6 FROM BAHA’I TEACHINGS: “The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence. To this most excellent aim, this supreme objective, all the heavenly Books and the divinely-revealed and weighty Scriptures unequivocally bear witness. Whoso hath recognized the Day Spring of Divine guidance and entered His holy court hath drawn nigh unto God and attained His Presence, a Presence which is the real Paradise, and of which the loftiest mansions of heaven are but a symbol.” – Bahá’u’lláh – Gleanings XXIX

The goal for the individual is to become free of ‘egoic-self’; “Free thyself from the fetters of this world, and loose thy soul from the prison of self. Seize thy chance, for it will come to thee no more.” – Bahá’u’lláh – Persian Hidden Word No 40

7 FROM TAOIST TEACHINGS: The first chapter of the Tao Te Ching says;

The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery & manifestations arise from the same source…..

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Two meditations for Tomorrow’s ‘One Garden’ session

NB Please sign up to https://sunwalked.wordpress.com/ to stay in touch.

Tomorrow we will be doing Meditation Part 3

TEXT 1:
Thich Nhat Hanh

“Bhikkhus, the teaching is merely a vehicle to describe the truth. Don’t mistake it for the truth itself. A finger pointing at the moon is not
the moon. The finger is needed to know where to look for the moon, but if you mistake the finger for the moon itself, you will never know
the real moon.
The teaching is like a raft that carries you to the other shore. The raft is needed, but the raft is not the other shore. An intelligent person
would not carry the raft around on his head after making it across to the other shore. Bhikkhus, my teaching is the raft which can help you
cross to the other shore beyond birth and death. Use the raft to cross to the other shore, but don’t hang onto it as your property. Do not
become caught in the teaching. You must be able to let it go. – Thich Nhat Hanh, Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha

Greg Rakozy @grakozy

TEXT 1 We should discipline ourselves in the realization and patient acceptance of the truths of the emptiness, un-bornness, no self-natureness, and the nonduality of all things. This teaching is found in all the sutras of all the Buddhas and is presented to meet the varied dispositions of all beings, but it is not the Truth itself.

These teachings are only a finger pointing toward Noble Wisdom. They are like a mirage with its springs of water which the deer take to be real and chase after. So with the teachings in all the sutras: They are intended for the consideration and guidance of the discriminating minds of all people, but they are not the Truth itself, which can only be self-realized within one’s deepest consciousness. – The Lankavatara Sutra, (milieu Ve siècle), Buddhism, Mahayana SOURCE ‘One Little Angel’.

How shall we get justice for women?

This is about the Tahirih Centre in the USA and how it is inspired by the life of the heroine-martyr Tahirih and the spiritual teaching that says;
The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.
See the wonderful things below this picture;

Photo by Joel & Jasmin @theforestbirds

What is the Tahirih Justice Center – see here https://www.tahirih.org/

Who Was Tahirih?

Illustration by Ivan Lloyd from "Tahirih: A Poetic Vision"

Illustration by Ivan Lloyd from “Tahirih: A Poetic Vision”

THIS IS WHAT THE TAHRIH CENTRE SAYS: Tahirih Justice Center is named after a prominent figure in 19th century Middle Eastern history and the persecuted Bahá’í faith. Born in 1814, Tahirih (TAH-heh-ray) was an exemplar of women’s strength in Persia, at a time when most women were kept illiterate and hidden from the public sphere.

Tahirih is remembered for her renowned skill as a poet, her theological insights, her leadership as one of the earliest Bahá’ís, and her ability to organize and inspire women to reject their oppressed status. In a particularly dramatic display of her leadership, Tahirih appeared unveiled before an assemblage of men and gave an eloquent speech about the need to reject old patterns of society. The act was so shocking to the audience that one man stood up and slit his own throat at the sight of her face.*

In 1852, at the age of 38, Tahirih was executed for her beliefs and activities. Her last recorded words were, “You can kill me as soon as you like, but you will never stop the emancipation of women.”

Like Tahirih, our clients have decided for themselves to refuse the violence and oppression imposed upon them. By the time they arrive at our doors, in the legacy of our namesake, they are already heroes.

*Please note: We take no position on veiling and support our clients in their decisions regarding their manner of dress.

To find out more go here https://www.tahirih.org/

Your vision will become clear

"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." Carl Jung

Photo by Bruno on Unsplash

We each are a ‘Buddha’ – if we let go sufficently of ‘the mud of accumulated negatives’ so that our True Self can flower.

See my book;

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daily-Soul-Food-Mindfulness-knowing/dp/1097415694/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Daily Soul Food: mindfulness ways for knowing your true Self (DSF). Knowing your Self was never so simple or so profound. Practice-based DSF can help us see our hurts and negatives as challenges to transform spiritual stress & anxiety through deeper experiences of realizing Oneness. DSF is for those ‘independent seekers’ who feel themselves ‘spiritual but not religious’ and those who are sick of what degenerate forms of religion have been doing but who still appreciate the Perennial Wisdom found in Baha’í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Sufi-Islamic, Taoist & other sources.This unique book shows the way to recover & restore what got de-tuned in us through hurts & other negative stuff. It uses the wisdom of great teachers, as you walk your own personal ‘Inter-spiritual Way’ to inspire heart, head & soul. At its core is learning to rest the mind in Nondual Presence. When you gaze at a star-filled night sky, or sit in front of a beautiful landscape, or get captured by the smile of a baby or young child, you can lose all sense of your ‘self’. But as time goes on the mirror of our heart-mind gathers veils of dust. As John Lennon said; ‘Creativity is a gift. It doesn’t come through if the air is cluttered.’ With your copy of DSF you can practice inner-decluttering. The many meditations in the book bring together the spiritual practices and wisdom of many of the world’s most outstanding spiritual teachers, focused on your uniqueness. DSF is a self-help bridge into teachings that are easy to apply, as we practice and study mindfulness in our day-to-day lives. Oneness-based living, rooted in Perennial Wisdom, can take us to our True Self. The journey is into Nondual being.

How many reasons can you find to be grateful and therefore happy today?

Here are one or two of mine;

I love the fact that Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh says , "Invite the bell to speak." (Instead of "Bang the bowl.")

I love that I have found out that Tathātā is variously translated as "thusness" or "suchness".

I love this photograph by Kyle on Unsplash https://unsplash.com/s/photos/creation

”’

Are you in the ‘One Garden’ state?

o9Q089qxEnGJYY5uIh7vekPZHcDqCgMZ85DT_DAAjtWFwodh8OdMP8jDIAwXZXDc9JknWOfrQQcKEF6LX-0MkprU3JUj36jn6WRsagx52Th2nmCRtGM2Joa9oHUrbcPHeSoiTJ4IPHOTO: Simon Abrams on Unsplash

Are you in the One Garden state?

The One Garden in addition to being face-to-face meetings and online-meetings is ‘the state of being’ in which a small percentage of people around the globe see, experience, respect and explore the Oneness at the heart of all the great Traditions.

The key is mystical Oneness. All mystics teach the same; all theologians argue (that’s how they manage to keep a feeling of separate identity)

In Baha’i Teachings the key is seen deep in The Seven Valleys, The Hidden Words etc.

In today’s world there are man spiritual teachers who have generated traesure troves of wonderful teachings. On such is Joan Toliffson. https://www.joantollifson.com/

This is how Joan puts it;

Here-Now: Infinite, Eternal, Ever-Present, Ever-changing

Spirituality as I mean it is a perspective that sees all of life as sacred, and by sacred, I mean worthy of devotion, full of wonder, inconceivable and ungraspable. This kind of spirituality is about direct experience, not belief or dogma. It is focused on Here-Now, not on some imaginary future. Everywhere is a sacred space—the traffic jam, the office, the toilet—and everything is the Holy Reality.

This kind of spiritual path is pathless and immediate (Here-Now). It is about seeing all the ways we grasp, seek, resist, defend, judge, compare, try to control—the ways we imagine separation and try to achieve invulnerability. It is about realizing our interdependence with the whole universe, and discovering that nothing that appears has the solidity, continuity, or independent existence that it seems to have. In this kind of path, we’re not trying to get somewhere or get rid of anything that shows up. We’re simply beholding (being and awaring) the whole show. In being just this moment, there is no inside and outside. Everything is myself. Everything is sacred.

Rather than finding some Ultimate Ground upon which to stand, or with which to merge or identify, this is about letting go into groundlessness, into unresolvability, into not knowing. It is finding freedom in limitation, perfection in imperfection, the extraordinary in the ordinary, and joy in the full range of our human experience.

Go Joan – and thanks so much for your wonderful teachings!

Namaste!

MY PREFERRED DEFINITION OF NAMASTE:

“I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One.”

Interspecies inner talk

Perhaps you have already seen;

The incredible story of how leopard Diabolo became Spirit – Anna Breytenbach, “animal communicator”.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvwHHMEDdT0

Rick Archer on Batgap (Buddha at the Gas Pump – 500+ interviews) has done an interview with Anna – if you have limited time just watch the first approx. 20 minutes until Anna mentions the word’ physics’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7oEAmp20B0&t=5051s

Rick’s BATGAP site is here – https://batgap.com/anna-breytenbach/

Ways not to define ourselves 1

Ways not to define ourselves 1 – "I know who I am because I know who I hate."

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Photo Jon Tyson on Unsplash

What is the deepest form of spirituality?

In The Mystic Heart (2001), Wayne Teasdale says, “The real religion of humankind can be said to be spirituality itself, because mystical spirituality is the origin of all the world religions. If this is so, and I believe it is, we might also say that inter-spirituality – the sharing of ultimate experiences across traditions – is the religion of the third millennium.” (Teasdale, p. 26)

Teasdale explains, “Inter-spirituality is the foundation that can prepare the way for a planet-wide enlightened culture, and a continuing community among the religions that is substantial, vital, and creative” (p. 26).

He proclaims, “The fully formed mystic or contemplative is the new cultural hero who guides humankind to its maturity” (p. 192).

Matthew Fox affirms in ‘The Coming of the Cosmic Christ’ (Fox, 1988, p. 44), “The mystic lies deep in every person. … The reason human civilization is tired, depressed, unimaginative in dealing with unemployment, pollution, youth despair, injustice, and inequality is that we ‘do not even know who we are’” (p. 43-44).

Photo by Kyle Cottrell on Unsplash

For more about Wayne Teasdale see – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Teasdale

For more about Matthew Fox see – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Fox_(priest)