Concentration and contemplation are great things; but no contemplation is greater than the life we have about us every day.
Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
As one goes further in the soul's unfoldment one finally arrives at the stage of revelation. Life begins to reveal itself, the whole of life, each soul becomes communicative -- not only living beings but each thing. They say that the twelve apostles knew all languages. It does not mean that they knew English, French and Italian, but that they knew every soul's language, as every soul has its own separate language. They began to perceive vibrations and so every evolved soul will feel the vibrations of every other soul, and every condition, every soul, every object in the world will reveal its nature and character to him. Sa'di, the Persian poet, has said, 'Once a soul has begun to read, every leaf of the tree becomes as a page of the sacred book of life'.
A keen observation of life in time awakens us to the fact that when once the light is thrown upon life, life begins to reveal itself. As Sa'adi has said, 'Even the leaves of the tree become as pages of the sacred book once the eyes of the heart are open.'
Anyone who has some knowledge of mysticism and of the lives of the mystics knows that what always attracts the mystic most is nature. Nature is his bread and wine. Nature is his soul's nourishment. Nature inspires him, uplifts him and gives him the solitude for which his soul continually longs. Every soul born with a mystical tendency is constantly drawn towards nature. In nature that soul finds its life's demand, as it is said in the Vadan, 'Art is dear to my heart, but nature is near to my soul.'...
From the moment man's eyes open and he begins to read the book of nature he begins to live; and he continues to live forever.
Ever since I stepped out of imagination
and into the Heart of things
I have become so much less spiritual.
Heaven, hell and earth
hold no meaning for me anymore.
For I am neither coming
nor staying put.
All I do is notice all the various ways
that Light weaves itself into dreams.
When someone asks me who they are
or what God is
I smile inside and whisper to the Light:
‘There you go again pretending …..’
The journey from ego to enlightenment consists of one step taken countless times. You step out of your ego and into the light. But wait, hold on. The emptiness is too much for you to bear. There is no glare, only total darkness. For enlightenment begins there. The ego has it all wrong.
The ego is wrongness now facing itself for the first time. There is no brass band. Just the sheer horror of facing yourself without a mirror. No one to say they love you or will save you if you just play the game for one more day.
Where is God? He is definitely not in this first step toward Him. Do you think He would welcome you home without a test to see if you were worthy?
He is watching to see what you will do next. And He knows you will turn and run back to the supposed comfort of your ego. And so that is what you do.
But He is still with you, still watching you. Your flimsy ego is not too much for Him to take. But He cannot interfere with the process of homecoming.
Now you are hating yourself. Doubting yourself. Trying to pull yourself together to face the rest of the day in total fakery. You do it so well.
In the afternoon of that first day, you take that one step into the light half a dozen times. God is watching you.
You fall asleep on the sidewalk with drool coming out of your mouth. Your specialness has evaporated and night is coming.
Someone walks by and sees you. They take compassion on you and help you up. You are screaming no. You refuse to go back to your ego.
You look at the stranger in fury. "Leave me alone. Leave me alone." And so they do. And you stagger into the arms of God. He couldn't welcome you home until you saw how far you had fallen. How your sins outweighed your so-called good behavior.
This will go on until the day you die. Mea culpa becomes your favorite two words. God has become so intimate with you that He just smiles as you say those two words. He hears them as "I love you." And He, of course, has always loved you back. The journey from ego to enlightenment has always been His little joke on you.
Events in time and space - birth and death,
cause and effect - these may be taken as one;
but the body and the embodied are not of the
same order of reality.
The body exists in time
and space, transient and limited, while the
dweller is timeless and spaceless, eternal and
To identify the two is a grievous
mistake and the cause of endless suffering.
You can speak of the mind and body as one, but
the body-mind is not the underlying reality.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
"I Am That"
Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
The Acorn Press, 1973
If you wish to move in the One Way,
do not dislike the worlds of senses and ideas.
Indeed, to embrace them fully
is identical with true Enlightenment.
The wise person attaches to no goals
but the foolish person fetters himself or herself.
There is one Dharma, without differentiation.
Distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek Mind with the discriminating mind
is the greatest of mistakes.
- Seng-ts'an, Third Zen Patriarch
"“When thine eye is single,” said Jesus mysteriously, “thy whole body also is full of light.”
This single eye is surely identical with the precious Third Eye of Indian mysticism, which enables the seer simultaneously to look in at his Emptiness and out at what’s filling it.
And the same, also, as the priceless gem which (according to Eastern tradition) we search everywhere for but here on our foreheads, where we all wear it."
This mysterious experience seems also to have been known to Dionysius the Areopagite.
It is definitely an experience terminating the process of meditation, for the mystic can then go no higher and no deeper.
It is variously called the Nought in the West and Nirvikalpa Samadhi in the East.
Everything in the world vanishes and along with the world goes the personal ego; nothing indeed is left except Consciousness-in-itself.
If anything can burrow under the foundation of the ego and unsettle its present and future stability, it is this awesome event.
-- Notebooks Category 23: Advanced Contemplation >
Chapter 8: The Void As Contemplative Experience > # 88