Psychic Sleep...

"Psychic sleep is the cause of every human problem and disaster. It is sleeping people who suffer from heartache and loneliness, from fear and violence. Only self- awakening can end these sorrows. However – and please emphasize this point in your mind – man does not know he is asleep. So deep is his immersion in psychic hypnosis, that he instantly denies his actual condition. In other words, he does not know that he does not know. He spends his entire life under the gigantic illusion of being happy and productive, never once facing the terror in which he lives. Man huddles fearfully in a haunted house which he calls a castle. Have you ever been in a room full of people when someone behaved foolishly or childishly? You sensed that he did not know how he appeared to others. In fact, he may have believed he was behaving cleverly or courageously. Everyone in the room saw him as he really was, except the man himself. That is a perfect example of human hypnosis, of psychic unawareness. The ancient philosopher, Socrates, provided a classic illustration of man’s mental sleep. He told about a group of men who were huddled together in a deep cave. Their only light was a fire that blazed in the center of the cavern. The fire cast strange shadows against the wall of the cave, frightening the prisoners. So the men sat there in terror and confusion. One of the prisoners made up his mind to explore the cave. When doing so, he found a secret tunnel. Following it all the way, he finally found himself in the outer world of sunshine and beauty.

"We will now look at a chief characteristic of spiritual sleep. When this is under- stood, all the pieces of life fall into place, revealing the whole picture. Man has a false idea of who he is. He has an illusory sense of identity. This false self is manufactured out of self-flattering imaginations and out of self-pleasing labels. He labels himself as a successful man, or as an intelligent thinker, or as a human being with lofty motives. But these are mere ideas he has about himself and he is not these ideas. We can easily prove this. Whenever a man feels depressed or irritated, it is simply because his false identity seems not to be confirmed. Both these reactions are false, so man is their slave. Have you ever noticed how nervous people get when their pet ideas are challenged? Let this be a clue for you. By patient self-investigation we discover who we are not, and that ends the anxiety of not knowing who we are. To summarize this vital point, man wrongly believes that he possesses a separate self, an individual ego. This false idea causes fear, loneliness, neurosis. It throws him into conflict with other people who are also under the illusion of having separate selves. No man is apart from the whole, from the all. Man is one with the universe. Human beings are like dozens of ponds, each reflecting the light from the same moon. This is not philosophy, this is fact." (from The Esoteric Path to a New Life )
......Vernon Howard

Hiding Reality...

Name and form hide Reality: This is the Teaching.
Giving name and form is an obstacle to Freedom because
then the Substratum, Consciousness, cannot be seen.
Call it a statue of a horse and the granite is hidden,
see a ring and you won't see the gold.
Name and form can never leave Consciousness,
as the ring can never leave the gold.
Even space is in this because only Self is.

- Papaji

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This quotation is from:
"The Truth Is"
Sri H.W.L. Poonja
Yudhishtara, 1995

Perception of Time...

It is not the present which is fleeting past us
with sickening speed. The present moment
is indeed eternal. It is our imperfect perception
that creates the horizontal succession in time.
Sequential duration is a consequence of the
single-track verbalization of our split-mind,
which does not grasp the outer world instan-
taneously but interprets it perversely by
extracting bits and pieces and calling them
things and events.

- Ramesh S. Balsekar

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"A Net of Jewels"
Ramesh S. Balsekar
Advaita Press, 1966

The Spirit of God...

Non-ego is the Spirit of God.. Since, there is only God and everything else
is a projection of Thought from God.. The creation of ego is our own creation
of thoughts and memories and the teaching of others that we have mistaken to be
Us..Therefore, when we have Realized this mistaken belief in ego and the
separation that ego defines, we begin to dissolve this thought pattern that
controls our mind and begin to Recognize the Real Mind of God that we are part
of.. This Divine Consciousness of Complete Unity is called Love..This is the
reason that with each step of ego extinction ,you take a step within the energy
of Love and Recognize Your Self.......namaste, thomas

Overcoming self...

Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self......
Saint Francis of Assisi

To Awaken...

To awaken to the absolute view is profound and transformative, but to awaken from all fixed points of view is the birth of true nonduality.
Enlightenment means the end of all division. It is not simply having an occasional experience of unity beyond all division, it is actually being undivided. This is what nonduality truly means. It means there is just One Self, without a difference or gap between the profound revelation of Oneness and the way it is perceived and lived every moment of life. Nonduality means that the inner revelation and the outer expression of the personality are one and the same. So few seem to be interested in the greater implication contained within profound spiritual experiences, because it is the contemplation of these implications which quickly brings to awareness the inner divisions existing within most seekers........Adyashanti

One Problem...

When a man comes to his real senses, he will recognize that he has only one problem: "How can I come into awareness of, and oneness with, my true being?" For it is to lead him to this final question that other questions and problems have staged the road of his whole life. This answered, the way to answer all the other ones which beset him, be they physical or financial, intellectual or familiar, will open up. Hence Jesus' statements: "Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all these things shall be added unto you," and "To him that hath [enlightenment] shall be given [what he personally needs]."

— Notebooks Category 1: Overview of the Quest > Chapter 1: What the Quest Is > # 130.....Paul Brunton

The Jarring Effect of Life on the Ego...

"It is a science and an art to understand the nature of
the human ego and to train it. One can understand
the nature of the human ego by a study of human
nature; but one can learn the way of training it by
training one's own ego. Man can train his ego by
being patient with all around him that has a jarring
effect upon him. For every jar upon the soul irritates
the ego. When man expresses his irritation he develops
a disagreeable nature; when he controls it and does
not express it, then he becomes crushed inwardly.
The idea is to rise above all such irritations.

"Life has a jarring effect by its very nature which every
sensitive soul can feel. If a person wishes to keep away
from all jarring influences, he had better not try to live,
for life is a constant jarring. Life is motion, and it is the
nature of motion to strike against something. It does
not require strength to stand against the jarring influences
of life – there is no wall of stone or of iron that can always
stand against the waves of the ocean – but a small piece
of wood, little and light, can always rise and fall with the
waves, yet always above them, uninjured and safe. The
lighter and the littler man's ego becomes, the more power
of endurance he has. It is two strong egos that strike against
one another. The little ego, the light ego, just slips over
when a powerful wave of a strong ego comes for it to knock
over itself against a stronger wall that may throw it over.

"The art of dealing with egos of different grades of evolution
is to learn gentleness, tolerance, and forgiveness, which all
come from charity of heart. When man stands on the same
plane as the other, then he is subject to the influence of the
other ego. But if he rises above it, then every effort of the
other ego falls flat. There is a poem in Hindustani, the verse
of Ghalib: 'the world seems to me a playground of children.
How constantly busy the infants seem with their toys!'

"Verily the secret of peace is hidden under the cover of the ego."
~ Hz. Inayat Khan

Be with those who help your being...

Be with those who help your being.
Don't sit with indifferent people, whose breath
comes cold out of their mouths.
Not these visible forms, your work is deeper.

A chunk of dirt thrown in the air breaks to pieces.
If you don't try to fly,
and so break yourself apart,
you will be broken open by death,
when it's too late for all you could become.

Leaves get yellow. The tree puts out fresh roots
and makes them green.
Why are you so content with a love that turns you yellow?

Ode 2865 Trans. Coleman Barks....... Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Pure Awareness...

Non-dual realization is often considered to be the recognition of emptiness (also called pure awareness, space, formlessness or nothingness). That emptiness is your true nature in the deepest sense. The recognition of it is vital to realization.

However, emptiness isn't the whole story. Emptiness can easily turn into a denial of form. It's a trap. As necessary as the recognition of emptiness is, emptiness is moving as, and not independent of, every thought, emotion, experience, and state. This is when the emptiness is seen as totally full.

This is when form and formlessness collapse, when the boundary between them is seen as purely conceptual, and all that is left is life living itself simply, naturally, and compassionately through you. This is when enlightenment is not about escaping. It's about seeing that your true nature is "not of this world" which paradoxically allows you to be totally "in this world" in a new way.

Emptiness is the essence of all form. The experience of "nothing arising" is merely a passing, temporary state. Realization is not about fixating in the idea of emptiness, absence, or "no self" or about maintaining a space free of the happenings of everyday life.

Non-duality is everyday life. This book is an invitation first to the recognition of emptiness as the source and then to the seeing that this source is appearing as everything. This is life, vitally full, alive, loving, and free.

~ From: Reflections of the One Life, by Scott Kiloby

Emptiness, Inner Silence, Nonduality and Meditation...

By Remez Sasson

Regular practice of meditation can lead to experiencing brief flashes of inner silence, or as some spiritual traditions call it, emptiness. As one progresses with meditation, and meditation gets steadier and deeper, these brief moments, which may last for split seconds in the beginning, get longer and deeper. In time, the inner silence or sense of inner emptiness can be experienced not only while meditating, but also in everyday life too.

The state of inner silence - emptiness requires some clarification. It is not a morbid state of indifference, numbness and lack of energy. It is not a state of lack of life force, zest and confidence and of feeling worthless. It is not the emptiness and silence of nothingness or darkness, but the majestic emptiness and vastness of endless and limitless space, full of life and light.

It is an uplifting and blissful experience, brought about when the mind and the thinking process slow down or stop their restless and erratic activity, without losing consciousness or awareness. In this state you are completely conscious and alive, blissful and peaceful, without thoughts, boundaries or limitations.

At these moments you experience a sense of expanded consciousness-awareness and nonduality. There are no thoughts such as "I am not thinking now", "My mind is silent" or "I am experiencing emptiness". You just feel peaceful and blissful, forgetting about your personality-ego and just BE.

This inner experience is accompanied by a sense of bliss, inner peace and inner silence. You feel as if you have awakened from sleep and feel very alive. It is a great feeling of freedom, and you will want it to stay, but the moment you start thinking about it or trying to force it to continue, you are out of it. This is because when you start thinking you shift your awareness back to your thoughts, ego and external world, and snap yourself out of this inner experience. Thoughts are like clouds that hide this inner state, existing beyond the mind.

It is not so simple to explain this emptiness - inner silence in words. The mind does not participate in this experience, actually, it is a condition that it slows down or stops its activity, so how can the mind explain something it cannot experience? Words can only point the direction, give an approximate understanding and use comparisons. The best way to know and realize what Emptiness - Silence - Nonduality means is to experience it.

At first, when thoughts calm down for just a split second, the experience of inner emptiness - inner silence - bliss is short, irregular and rare, but as your ability to silence your mind grows, the depth, duration and frequency grows. Well-advanced people can even live in this sense of inner peace, inner silence and blissful emptiness, even while living their day-to-day life. This inner experience turns into a habit, and becomes their usual everyday consciousness, without interfering with their day-to-day life, work, activities and relationships with other people.

Learn to calm down the restless activity of your mind through concentration exercises and by practicing meditation, and little by little, as your ability to silence your mind grows, you will discover and experience the bliss, happiness, inner peace and nonduality that comes through inner silence - emptiness.

Peace of Mind in Daily Life
The guide for everyone, for gaining the habit inner peace and bliss in everyday life.

Beyond Enlightenment...

Osho – Maneesha, beyond enlightenment is only beyondness. Enlightenment is the last host. Beyond it, all boundaries disappear, all experiences disappear. Experience comes to its utmost in enlightenment; it is the very peak of all that is beautiful, of all that is immortal, of all that is blissful — but it is an experience.

Beyond enlightenment there is no experience at all, because the experiencer has disappeared. Enlightenment is not only the peak of experience, it is also the finest definition of your being. Beyond it, there is only nothingness; you will not come again to a point which has to be transcended.

Experience, the experiencer, enlightenment — all have been left behind. You are part of the tremendous nothingness that is infinite. This is the nothingness out of which the whole existence comes, the womb; and this is the nothingness in which all the existence disappears.

Science has something parallel; there is bound to be something parallel. The spiritual experience is of the interior world, and science is the exploration of the exterior. But both are wings of the same existence — the inwardness and the outwardness — they always have similar points.

Scientists have come to a strange conclusion in this century, that a few stars suddenly disappear… and stars are not small things; they are not so small as they look to you. They look small because they are so far away, millions of light years away, but they are huge.

Our sun is a star, but of a mediocre size, medium size. In comparison to the earth it is vast, but in comparison to other stars it is a small, medium-sized star. There are stars which are a thousand times bigger than the sun.

And in this century, for the first time we had the instruments of observation and we were very much puzzled: suddenly a star disappears, not even leaving a trace behind of where it has gone. Such a huge phenomenon, and not even footprints — in what direction has it gone? It has just moved simply into nothingness. This was happening continually.

It took almost twenty years to figure out this new phenomenon: that in existence there are black holes. You cannot see them, but they have tremendous gravitation. Even the biggest star, if it comes within their radius of magnetism, will be pulled in. And once it is pulled into a black hole, it disappears. It is the ultimate death. We can only see the effect; we cannot see the black hole, we only see that one star is disappearing.

After the black hole was almost an established theory, scientists started thinking that there must be something like a white hole — there has to be. If it is possible that in a certain gravitation, magnetic force, a big star simply disappears out of existence…. We have been aware that every day stars are born. From where are they coming? — nobody has asked it before.

In fact, birth we always take for granted; nobody asks from where the babies are coming. Death we never accept, because we are so much afraid of it. There is not a single philosophy in the whole history of man which thinks about where the babies come from, but there are philosophies and philosophies thinking about what is dead, where people go on disappearing to, what happens after death.

In my whole life I have come across millions of people, and not a single person has asked what happens before birth — and thousands have asked what happens after death. I have always been thinking, why is birth taken without any question? Why is death not taken in the same way?

We were aware for centuries, almost three centuries, that stars are being born every day — big stars, huge stars — and nobody raised the question, “From where are these stars coming?” But when we came to know about the black holes and we saw the stars disappearing, then the second question became almost an absolute necessity. If black holes can take stars into nothingness, then there must be something like white holes where things… stars come out of nothingness.

I am reminded…. Mulla Nasruddin had applied for a post on a ship. He was interviewed. The captain and the high officials of the ship were sitting in a room. Mulla entered. The captain asked, “If the seas are in a turmoil, winds are strong, waves are huge and mountainous, what are you going to do to save the ship? It is tossed from here to there….”
Mulla Nasruddin said, “It is not much of a problem: I will just drop a huge anchor to keep the ship stable against the winds, against the waves. It is not much of a problem.”
The captain again said, “Suppose another mountainous wave comes and the ship is going to be drowned; what are you going to do?”
He said, “Nothing — another huge anchor.”
The captain looked at him and asked a third time, “Suppose it is a great typhoon and it is impossible to save the ship. What are you going to do?”
He said, “Nothing, the same — a huge anchor.”
The captain said, “From where are you getting these huge anchors?”
He said, “From the same place. From where are you getting these great, mountainous waves, strong winds? — from the same place. You go on getting them, I will go on getting bigger and bigger anchors.”

If there are holes in existence where things simply disappear into non-existence, then there must be holes from where things appear from nothingness — and just a little imagination is needed. Scientists have not worked on it yet.

My suggestion is that a black hole is like a door: from one side it is a black door, a black hole — things go into it and disappear into nothingness. And from the other side of the tunnel — it is the same door, just from the other side — it is a white hole; things are born again, renewed. It is the same womb.

Beyond enlightenment you enter into nothingness.
Experience disappears, experiencer disappears.
Just pure nothingness remains, utter silence.

Perhaps this is the destiny of every human being, sooner or later to be achieved. We don’t know yet whether there is a white hole or not — there must be.

Just as you enter beyond enlightenment into nothingness, there must be a possibility of coming out of nothingness back into form, back into existence — renewed, refreshed, luminous — on a totally different plane. Because nothing is destroyed, things can only go into a dormant state; things can go only into deep sleep. Then in the morning they wake up again. This is how the existence goes on.

In the West, this idea has never happened in the two thousand years’ history of philosophy. They only think of this creation: “Who created this?” and they get into troubles because whatever the answer is, it is going to create more questions.

In the East we have a conception of circles of existence and non-existence, just like day and night. Creation is followed by de-creation, everything goes into nothingness, just as day is followed by night and everything goes into darkness. And the period is going to be the same: as long as the creation is, so is the resting period going to be; and again there will be a creation of a higher order.

And this will go on from eternity to eternity — creation, de-creation, creation, again de-creation — but each time the morning is more beautiful. Each dawn is more colorful, more alive; the birds are singing better, the flowers are bigger, with more fragrance.

And the East has a tremendous courage of accepting the idea that this will go on forever and forever. There has never been any beginning, and there will be no end.

After enlightenment, you have to disappear. The world is left behind, the body is left behind, the mind is left behind; just your consciousness, as individuality, is still there.

To go beyond enlightenment is to go beyond individuality and to become universal. This way, each individual will go on moving into nothingness. And one day, the whole existence moves into nothingness and a great peace, a great night, a deep, dark womb, a great awaiting for the dawn…. And it has been happening always, and each time you are always born on a higher level of consciousness.
Enlightenment is the goal of human beings. But those who are enlightened cannot remain static; they will have to move, they will have to change. And now they have only one thing to lose — themselves.

They have enjoyed everything. They have enjoyed the purity of individuality; now they have to enjoy the disappearing of individuality. They have seen the beauty of individuality; now they have to see the disappearance and its beauty, and the silence that follows, that abysmal serenity that follows.

Source – from Osho Book “Beyond Enlightenment”


What if you let go of every bit of control and every urge that you have, right down to the most infinitesimal urge to control anything, anywhere, including anything that may be happening with you at this moment? If you were able to give up control absolutely, totally, and completely, then you would be a spiritually free being.


Self-realized people do not see "others"...

Self-realized people do not see "others." The
question of others does not arise. They will
see one thing everywhere; the others are also
included in that vision of the One. When you see
the ocean, you have seen all the waters. There is
no need of seeing different drops. The "other
people" question will not arise, because they will
be merged together with that Universal Being.

- Swami
.... Have we reached the stage where we can see only the Spirit within the
human?.. Can we see God hiding behind the veil?.. This is our mission in this
world.. To see Reality when others see only Illusion.......namaste, thomas


"To speak metaphorically, God is in the center of a circle, the circumference of
which is the universe. The various radii from the circumference to the center
are the various religions. The points on the radii near the circumference are
distinctly and widely apart from each other; but as they approach the center,
they come increasingly close to each other.

"In the same way, the more a person becomes spiritually minded or advances
towards God, the more tolerant he becomes and the less differentiation he sees."

Meher Baba
in _Sparks Of The Truth_, Compiled by Dr. C. D. Deshmukh, p. 91

For the Lovers...

For the lovers,* there is no seeking (done) by themselves,
(for) there is no additional seeker in the world other than Him.*
This world and the next are a single substance; in reality,
there is no unbelief, religion or faith.*
O you whose breath (is like that of) Jesus!* Don't breath from
(such) a distance! I am the admirer* of the one who is not far thinking.*
If you say, "I'll go behind," Don't go! (There's) no behind.
(And) if you say, "[I'll go] ahead," No! There's no way ahead.*
Open (your) hand [and be generous], (and) grab (the hem of) your
own robe* [and be merciful]. (For) there is no bandage for this
wound except this garment.*
All good and bad (qualities) are parts of the dervishes;* whoever is
not like this, is not a dervish.
Whoever has gone beyond "place," his (only) place is the heart --
such a heart* for which there is no place in the world!

-- Ghazal 425
Translated from the Persian

Self Realization...

Without self-realization no virtue is genuine.
It is only when you arrive at the deepest
conviction that the same life flows through
everything, and that you ARE that life, that
you can begin to love naturally and spon-

- Ramesh S. Balsekar

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"A Net of Jewels"
Ramesh S. Balsekar
Advaita Press, 1966


Seekers continue to practice all kinds of self-torture without realizing that such 'spiritual practice' is a reinforcement of the very ego that prevents them from their natural, free state.........
Ramesh Balsekar


Do not think that enlightenment is going to make you special, it’s not. If you feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not occurred. I meet a lot of people who think they are enlightened and awake simply because they have had a very moving spiritual experience. They wear their enlightenment on their sleeve like a badge of honor. They sit among friends and talk about how awake they are while sipping coffee at a cafe. The funny thing about enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there is no one to claim it. Enlightenment is very ordinary; it is nothing special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and innocence. Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but when you are enlightened the whole notion of enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the word enlightenment all the time; not to point you toward it but to point you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment.”

“An ordinary man seeks freedom through enlightenment. An enlightened man expresses freedom through being ordinary.”

Rupert Spira from The Transparency of Things ...

This is also the moment at which the traditional spiritual path of
renunciation becomes the tantric path of embrace and inclusion. It is
the moment at which the full spectrum of experience is welcomed,
explored and celebrated for what it truly is.

It is the transition from,“I am nothing” to “I am everything,” from
the path of discrimination to the path of Love.

It is the moment when the emptiness of Consciousness recognises
itself as the fullness of experience.

It is the moment at which Consciousness recognises that it projects
the world within itself, rather than from or out of itself.

We no longer feel that we are an entity located here and now, in
the sense of being inside the body at a particular moment of time.

Rather we come to understand the ‘now’ as timeless Presence, not a
moment in time, and the ‘here’ as placeless Presence, not a location
in space.

The mind, the body and the world are understood to be expressions
of Consciousness rather than distractions from it.

Beyond the Mind...

The beginning of freedom is the realization
that you are not the possessing entity - the
thinker. Knowing this enables you to observe
the entity. The moment you start watching the
thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes

You then being to realize that there is a vast realm
of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only
a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize
that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love,
creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the

You begin to awaken.

- Eckhart Tolle

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"Practicing the Power of Now"
Eckhart Tolle
New World Library, 2001

A Cosmic Dream...

There is nothing like you and I. What are you
seeing? You are seeing a part of the mind
only. You are not seeing a person. Just as
you see a wall in dream, you see another wall
here. It stands in the same relation to the
cosmic mind as the dream wall in relation to
the waking mind. This world is a cosmic
dream. When you wake up you will not see
the world. Just as you do not see the dream-
world now.

- Swami Krishnananda

Between Matter and Spirit...

Remembering your self is virtue, forgetting your
self is sin. It all boils down to the mental
or psychological link between the spirit and
matter. We may call the link psyche (antahkarana).
When the psyche is raw, undeveloped, quite primitive,
it is subject to gross illusions. As it grows in
breadth and sensitivity, it becomes a perfect link
between pure matter and pure spirit and gives meaning
to matter and expression to spirit.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
"I Am That"
Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
The Acorn Press, 1973

We have created the ego...

The teaching that the ego does not exist--repeated so often in so parrot-like a way--can help no one, can only create intellectual confusion and thus harm the search for truth. But the teaching that the ego is only an idea--however strongly held by the mind--and as such does exist, can help everyone in the struggle for self-mastery and can throw intellectual light on the search for truth.

— Notebooks Category 8: The Ego > Chapter 2: I-thought > # 27.......Paul Brunton

The Beloved...

I came to take you by the hand
To deprive you of your heart and your self and settle you
In the Heart and in the Soul.
I came in the midst of a beautiful spring, O rosebush!
To surround you with my arms and hold you.
I came to invest you, in this abode, with splendor,
I am carrying you to the heights of the heavens,
Like the prayer of all the Beloved.

~ Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi
Translation by Eva de Vitray-Meyerovitch

Karma, Reincarnation, Nonduality and Spirit ...

Karma means that the individual's actions determine his fate, whether in this or in a successive life. Every action has to be balanced in some way, in this or another life. It is not punishment. By doing certain actions, certain energies are set in motion, which bring certain effects. There is a tendency towards balance in the Universe, and karma is the law that restores this balance.

Reincarnation is the rebirth of the soul in a new body. Karma affects the new body and determines the circumstances into which it is born. Both of them can explain a lot of things in each one's life. A life of comfort and success means that the person performed good deeds in a previous life, and a life of difficulties, failure and adversities is a retribution for negative past actions.

In the East they say that there are three kinds of karma. The first is the one, which a person is paying and undergoing now, in this life, and which is the result of his past actions. The second kind is that which waiting in store, and will come out in a future life. The third is that which a person is creating right now, with his present actions.

Who is it that reincarnates? Is it the physical body? The physical body does not reincarnate, but it is the body that undergoes the effects of karma.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network

Are you your thoughts and feelings, and do they reincarnate? They are passing visitors. One moment certain thoughts and feelings may pass through your mind, and the next moment you may be aware of different ones. This means that you are not your thoughts, neither your feelings. You are their host for a little while. They affect your karma and reincarnation, but are not a definite entity which goes through them.

Who are you then, and who is it that undergoes reincarnations and is affected by karma?

Most people will say that it is the soul that reincarnates, but what is the soul? It is an ambiguous term. If someone says, "my soul reincarnates" or "my soul is eternal", he is actually saying that there are two different entities. There is he, and there is his soul, which means that he is not the soul. Excuse me for the comparison, but it is like saying, "I have a pair of shoes", "I have a car" and "I have a soul". It is regarded as a possession. This means that it is possible to be "with a soul" and "without a soul". Does this sound reasonable to you?

If a soul is a "possession", then who is the owner? He must be more important then the soul.

I would like to introduce you to a perspective that comes from the Eastern nonduality tradition. It says that there is just one kind of energy, power or spirit filling the whole Universe. This power "playfully" expresses itself through myriads of forms it has created from itself. Each form erroneously considers itself as a separate entity, and passes through various experiences. It is one and indivisible power seeing the world through the eyes of the many forms it has created.

Each entity feels that it is living a unique life with past present and future. The mind that is attached to each entity builds all kinds of theories about life, evolution and fate. Are these theories real? If we accept the nonduality philosophy, we have to accept that there is just One Spirit, not many, and that this Spirit never actually reincarnates, and the karma it undergoes is illusory. Then who is it that experiences karma and reincarnation?
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network

The practical conclusion is that though we encounter various situations, and live in different circumstances, deep down we are all the same One Spirit. This Spirit is not touched by any situation or circumstances. If you wake up to the awareness of this Spirit, where is then karma and reincarnation?

When the consciousness of the Spirit is directed towards itself, through concentration and meditation, and not towards the body and the surrounding world, one realizes that he is an integral part of the eternal and undivided Spirit. He experiences a spiritual awakening, and then both reincarnation and karma lose their meaning, power and reality.

Didn't I Tell You...

Didn't I tell you
Do not leave me for I am your only Friend,
I am the spring of life.
Even if you leave in anger for thousands of years
You will come back to me for I am your goal and your end.
Didn't I tell you
not to be seduced by this colorful world
for I am the Ultimate Painter.
Didn't I tell you
you are a fish do not go to dry land
for I am the deep Sea.
Didn't I tell you
not to fall in the net like birds
for I am your wings and the power of light.
Didn't I tell you
not to let them change your mind and turn you to ice
for I am your fire and warmth.
Didn't I tell you
they will corrupt you and make you forget
that I am the Spring of all virtues.
Didn't I tell you
not to question my actions
for everything falls into order, I am the Creator.
Didn't I tell you
your heart can guide you home
because it knows that I am your Master.

- Rumi

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

Rumi: Hidden Music
Translation by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001

The Study of Life...

A study of life is the greatest of all religions, and there is no greater or
more interesting study.

Bowl of Saki, July 21, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

There are two ways in which we may attain control over our activity. The first
is confidence in the power of our own will; to know that if we have failed
today, tomorrow we will not do so. The second is to have our eyes wide open, and
to watch keenly our activity in all aspects of life. It is in the dark that we
fall, but in the light we can see where we are going.

So it is in life: we should have our eyes wide open to see where we walk. We
should study life, and seek to know why we say a thing, and why we act as we do.
We have failed perhaps hitherto because we have not been wide awake. We have
fallen, and felt sorry, and have forgotten all about it, and perhaps may have
fallen again. This is because we have not studied life. A study of life is the
greatest of all religions, and there is no greater and more interesting study.
Those who have mastered all grades of activity, they above all experience life
in all its aspects. They are like swimmers in the sea who float on the water of
life and do not sink.

If we only knew how much the study of life can tell us! One could go into the
British Museum and read every book in the building, and yet not obtain
satisfaction. It is not study, it is not research, it is not inquiry which gives
this knowledge; it is actually going through the experiences of life, witnessing
life in its different aspects and in its different phases or spheres; that is
what reveals the ideal of life. ... Look not on life as a person would watch a
play on the stage. Rather look upon it as a student who is learning at college.

It is not a passing show; it is not a place of amusement in which to fool our
life away. It is a place for study, in which every sorrow, every heartbreak
brings a precious lesson. It is a place in which to learn by one's own
suffering, by the study of the suffering of others; to learn from the people who
have been kind to us as well as from the people who have been unkind. It is a
place in which all experiences, be they disappointments, struggles, and pains,
or joys, pleasures, and comforts, contribute to the understanding of what life
is, and the realization what it is. Then do we awake to the religion of nature,
which is the only religion. And the more we understand it, the greater our life
becomes, and the more of a blessing will our life be for others.

Nisargadatta Maharaj - I Am That...

You must realize first of all that you are the proof of
everything, including yourself. None can prove your existence,
because his existence must be confirmed by you first. Your
being and knowing you owe nobody. Remember, you are en-
tirely on your own. You do not come from somewhere, you do
not go anywhere. You are timeless being and awareness.

ch. 37

Love Itself...

Let your will burn in this fire so that it takes you
nowhere else. Let your self be burned in this
fire of eternity, love and peace. Don't be afraid
of this fire, it is love itself. This desire for freedom
is the fire of love!

- Papaji

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
"The Truth Is"
Sri H.W.L. Poonja
Yudhishtara, 1995

Ngakpa tradition...

Caplan (2009: p. 163), with an indirect quotation, conveys her understanding of the view of a contemporary Ngakpa who holds duality and nonduality to be nondual:

"Ngakpa Chögyam, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher from Wales, offers a perspective on nonduality that includes all of life as a direct expression of the nondual core of truth. He explains that nonduality, or emptiness, has two facets: one is the empty, or nondual, and the other is form, or duality. Therefore, duality is not illusory but is instead one aspect of nonduality. Like the two sides of a coin, the formless reality has two dimensions -- one is form, the other is formless. When we perceive duality as separate from nonduality (or nonduality as separate from duality), we do not engage the world of manifestation from a perspective of oneness, and thereby we fall into an erroneous relationship with it. From this perspective it is not "life" or duality that is maya, or illusion; rather, it is our relationship to the world that is illusory.......from Wikipedia


Do you realize the unimaginable greatness, the holiness of what you so casually call 'consciousness'? It is the unmanifest Absolute aware of its awareness through the manifestation, of which your mind-body is presently a part..........Nisargadatta Maharaj

The Mystic Shakespeare...

The Advaita poet William Shakespeare wrote: “The heavens themselves, the planets, and this centre observe degree, priority, and place. Insisture, course, proportion, season, form, office, and custom, in all line of order.” The Nisarga Yoga approach offers a direct route to the understanding that results in a natural way of AS IF living (that is, a natural way of functioning). That means living/functioning spontaneously for the remainder of the manifestation, knowing that the "world" is illusory but living as if any of "all this" matters. (Thus, employment can happen even without the assumption of an "employee" persona.) Natural living recognizes that the laws of nature have the right of "insisture": either (a) life is lived naturally according to the “customs” of the universe or (b) persons violating the natural “order” will collapse and self-destruct. The Realized move through the relative existence in a manner that is fixed by nature even though they appear to be moving as they please. Rather than trying to exert any force, they accept that happenings happen. Among the Realized, nature has “priority” over efforts to control or manipulate. The Realized abide within the framework of the natural laws that have “insisture,” understanding that all is to happen per the natural order and understanding that all is to happen in “proportion.” Persons, on the other hand, seek to control and manipulate so they will not have to accept “proportion.” They work to accumulate and to have more and to appear to be greater than what is proportional. They imagine that they have an actual need for more than is proportional or necessary. The Realized move along lines that are “customary” rather than along paths that are unnatural or supernatural. To think supernaturally is to think magically, and magical thinking is delusional.

Jesus Speaks...

Do not reject my love

Jesus: Our Father has given you free will, and he has made it a law in heaven that no one is allowed to violate the free will of a human being. I love my Father, and I respect his will. Therefore, I respect your will.

I love you, and I desire you to experience the fullness of my love for you. Yet, if you choose to reject me and to reject my love, then I must simply wait until you make a better decision.

However, I do not have to wait in silence. I have the option of speaking through those who have chosen not to reject me. I am the open door which no human can shut. No human being can turn off the still small voice that speaks in the heart. No one can completely silence my voice. Therefore, if someone decides to listen to his or her inner voice and to acknowledge where that voice comes from, I can speak through that person and describe another facet of the unlimited being of God.

Some people choose to ignore the inner voice, to deny that voice or to make themselves so busy with the things of this world that they have no attention left over for me. Some people have ignored their inner voice for so long that they think they can no longer hear me. Therefore, I must speak to these people through an outer voice that they can hear and read.

This is not the way I desire it to be. I want to speak to you directly in your own heart, and I want you to be able to hear my voice. I want to have a direct, personal communion with you that no human person or institution can limit or distort.

Therefore, you must not allow these teachings to replace your inner voice. You must use these teachings only as an inspiration, not as a doctrine. You must let these teachings help you realize that by tuning in to your inner voice, you can hear me directly.

You can commune with me

So many people have allowed themselves to believe that they cannot know or experience me directly and that they must go through some outer organization or doctrine. I am not here to condemn or find fault with any organization or doctrine. Yet, I must point out to you that you have the capacity to commune with me in your heart.

An outer organization or teaching has one purpose and one purpose only, namely to help you rise to a level of consciousness where you can commune directly with me, your Jesus. If the organization fulfills that purpose, all is well. If it does not, then it has shut me out, and therefore it can have no part with me.

Human beings have fallen into a lower state of consciousness, and they need help to get back on their spiritual feet. A person who has fallen and broken a leg might need a set of crutches to learn how to walk again. Before you have learned to walk on your own, you can gain great help and support from using crutches. Yet, when you have grown strong and learned to hold your balance, you must decide to take that first step without the crutches. If you insist on holding on to the crutches, you will limit your ability to walk in the light of my Presence.

There is a way that seems right onto a human, but the end thereof is the way of death. The false way is the belief that you can reach me only through someone or something outside yourself.

There is also a straight and narrow way that leads to eternal life. The true way is an inner walk with me. These teachings (as any other teaching about me) are not the way. They are meant to point you towards the inner path of the heart. Open your mind and heart to me, and I will show you the true path. Follow that path, and you will make it back home to our Father’s kingdom, where I am waiting for you with open arms and a heart that overflows with a very personal love for you.

The key to salvation

So many people think that salvation is a process over which they have little or no influence. They think it can only happen through grace or some kind of miracle. I am not saying that salvation does not involve grace. Yet, you must understand that because of the Law of Free Will no human being can be saved against his or her will. If you are to be saved, you must decide that you are willing to be saved. You must decide that you are worthy to be saved.

Neither God, nor I, can or will make that decision for you.
However, I can attempt to inspire you to make that decision, and that is precisely why I am bringing forth these teachings.

William Shakespeare (one of my many mouthpieces) wrote a timeless play about the Prince of Denmark. Hamlet’s most famous remark is: “To be, or not to be, that is the question.” The inner meaning of that question is that you must choose whether to be who you are or not to be who you are. I hope you will absorb the following teachings and allow them to help you discover who you truly are. I also hope that in the end you will choose more wisely than Prince Hamlet. After all, what is the death of a fictional prince compared to the death of a real soul?

In his image and likeness

Many people have read the statement in Scripture that human beings were created in the image and likeness of God. Few people have the courage to consider what this statement truly means.

The barrier to a deeper understanding of this statement is that people tend to reason backwards. They have become self-centered instead of God-centered. They imagine that if God created them in his image, then God must be like the human beings they presently know. Most people fail to realize that this is not so.

You were originally created in the image and likeness of God, but you are not presently expressing that image. You have, by using your free will in a way that was not intended by God, created a human being that is different from the spiritual being that God created.

What does it truly mean that you were originally created in the image and likeness of God?
God is the creator. To create, you must have two qualities:

•You must have the ability to envision or imagine what you can create. You must be able to imagine your options.

•You must have the ability to choose which one of the options you want to manifest.
God creates by taking his own formless being and giving it form. God can envision many different forms, but to create anything God must choose one particular option. God can create a universe in which planets are flat, and God can create a universe in which planets are round. However, even God cannot create a universe in which planets are flat and round at the same time, because one form excludes the other.

When God created you in his image and likeness, he gave you his own qualities. He gave you imagination and free will. After endowing you with these qualities, God sent you into this particular universe as an extension of himself/herself.

It is extremely important for you to understand that you are not sent here against your free will. You are here because you chose to come here. You are here because your soul desired to be a part of God’s creation and to express the qualities of God here on this planet.

Unfortunately, many people have forgotten that original desire, that original decision, of their souls. That loss of memory is the only real problem on planet earth!

If you want to escape the prison represented by the limitations of this world, then you must restore your original memory of who you are. When you regain that memory, you must decide to express your true identity. However, you cannot express something that you do not know, because no one, not God and not a son or daughter of God, can create that which they cannot envision.

I am a spiritual teacher, and I have chosen to remain with this planet out of love for you and your brothers and sisters in spirit. It is my deepest desire to see you recognize the fullness of who you are as a spiritual being instead of the limited, mortal being that you currently think you are.

Rise above mortality!

How can I possibly help you escape the limited, mortal state of consciousness that is presently entrapping your mind? I must somehow inspire you to look beyond that state of consciousness. Perhaps it might help you to understand why you find yourself in that state of consciousness?
Let us consider how a spiritual being, created in the image and likeness of God, could possibly descend into the state of consciousness that is currently dominating life on planet earth.

To understand this mystery of mysteries, you only need to recognize that God gave you imagination and free will and that God did not limit his gifts. God gave you the ability to imagine anything, even things that are different from or in opposition to God’s original vision for this universe. God also gave you the ability to choose to believe and create anything you want, even things that are different from or in opposition to God’s original vision or will for this universe.

In other words, God gave you the ability to create your own reality, even a reality that is different from what God originally envisioned for you.

Many devoutly religious people, be they Christians on non-Christians, look at the atrocities happening all over this planet and find it difficult to understand how God could possibly have created a world like the one they live in. Yet, because they are afraid to look beyond a particular outer doctrine, their only option is to reason that God must have willed it so.

Some people accept the will of God, while others reject God and anything related to God. My beloved hearts, both of these reactions are based on an incomplete understanding of reality. This is another example of human beings using their present state of consciousness to reason backwards and thereby project human qualities onto God.

I am an unlimited cosmic being.
I reside in my Father’s kingdom.
I know my Father, and I know his original vision for this creation. God did not desire to have you experience a life dominated by misery, limitations and suffering. When God created planet earth, God envisioned a perfect planet in which souls could grow in understanding of their individuality and in which they could express their creative abilities in a way that did not limit themselves or harm others.

Yet, you must understand that God respects his own laws. He gave you unlimited imagination and unlimited free will. You have the capacity to imagine that which is limited, that which is not based on love even that which is dark or evil. You have the ability to choose to focus your attention on imperfection. Yet, it is a law of God that you will create what you allow your attention to dwell upon. If you focus your attention on imperfect forms, then you will inevitably begin to create those imperfect forms. The reason being that you create through the power of your imagination and attention.

When God created this universe, the first act of creation was the statement: “Let there be light!” Light is the basic substance from which everything in this universe is created. God’s light is like a lump of clay. God creates by shaping the formless clay into a particular form. God creates by envisioning a particular image and then allowing his light to flow into that image until the light manifests as a material form.

You are created in the image and likeness of God. You do not yet have the full creative abilities of God, yet you create in the same way that God does. You create by allowing your attention to focus on a particular image. God’s light is constantly flowing through your consciousness (or you would not be alive). God’s light obediently takes on the form of whatever image your mind is focused upon. If you hold your attention on a particular form for a sufficient period of time, you will manifest that form in your outer world. Hold your image on mortality, limitation and suffering, and you will experience those things in your life. Hold your attention on any imperfect image, and you will manifest imperfection in your life.

The dilemma expressed by Hamlet is meant to illustrate the basic fact that you can never stop creating. Hamlet did not want to act, yet by not acting, he brought about his own death. In their present state of consciousness, many people do not want to create. Yet, whether you create consciously or unconsciously, you are still creating. God gave you free will, and you cannot turn off that gift; you cannot stop making choices. If you ignore or deny your ability to create perfection, you are still making a choice.

Therefore, choose life.
Choose the perfection of God over the imperfection of the lower consciousness. You cannot stop creating, but you can choose what to create.

God did not create imperfection

The basic fact about life on planet earth is that God has not created evil and God has not created imperfection, limitations and suffering. These things were created by human beings. These things manifested in the material world because human beings made the choice to focus their attention on imperfection.

For many people, this statement might seem brutal, but it only seems so to those who are not willing to take responsibility for their own lives. Throughout history, so many people have desired to blame someone else for their misery.

So many people seek to blame other people, be it their parents or the leaders of society, for their situation. The tendency to blame others for your personal situation is nothing more than an attempt to escape personal responsibility and accountability. It is an attempt to justify an unwillingness to change your attitude towards and your understanding of life.

What is the ultimate escape from accountability? It is to place blame upon someone that you believe to be completely beyond your influence. It is to blame an authority figure that you believe is far above yourself. If the authority figure has created your present situation, and if you have no influence over that authority figure, then you cannot possibly have any personal responsibility for your situation, can you? So what is the ultimate authority figure upon which human beings can place blame? It is, naturally, God himself.

If God was the one who created your misery, then you have no personal accountability, and there is nothing you can personally do to change the situation. Therefore, you do not have to change your beliefs or your attitude towards life. You can simply continue to live in the illusion that there is nothing you could possibly do to change yourself, your personal situation or your world.

So many people prefer to think that God has created their misery. They do not want to admit that their situation is self-created and that only they can uncreate it. They do not want to admit this because they do not want to change themselves. It is a fundamental law that you cannot change your world without changing yourself. If you are serious about improving your outer situation, you must begin by changing your inner situation. You must change your understanding of life, your beliefs about life and your attitude towards life.

It is my sincere and loving hope that these teachings will inspire you to go through that personal transformation. If you will allow me to help you, it will be my supreme joy to do so. However, I can only help you if you are willing to let go of ideas and beliefs that are out of touch with reality.

Tough love

I am fully aware that some people have accepted an image of me that will cause them to feel that the real Jesus could not possibly be this direct and outspoken. They have accepted a touchy-feely image of me that has little to do with the real Jesus. I have several comments on this false image.

Over 2,000 years ago, I gave my life to bring forth the same teachings that I have just given you. Those teachings have systematically been distorted and destroyed. If even a small number of people had heeded my original teachings, this planet would have been a much different place today. After having waited for 2,000 years, I simply don’t have time for niceties. I do not have time to beat around the bush. This is the time to face reality, and therefore I must give people the truth about their situation.

I am indeed a master of love, yet I have mastered all qualities of love, even tough love. Would it be truly loving to allow people to remain in ignorance and thereby lose their souls?
I think not!

I might remind you that 2,000 years ago I said: “I came not to bring peace, but a sword.” The sword that I came to bring 2,000 years ago, and that I come to bring again today, is the sword of truth which cleaves the real from the unreal.

The ultimate lie found on this planet is the belief that human beings have not created their own situation. The ultimate truth is that the conditions found on this planet are entirely the creation of human beings. Therefore, the only way that circumstances could possibly improve is that human beings take responsibility for their own actions and decide that they will begin to create perfection instead of continuing to create imperfection.

God never desired to see the misery and suffering found on this planet. God does not desire to see the present conditions continue indefinitely. God desires to see drastic and positive change on this planet. Yet, God has given you and everyone else free will, and therefore God cannot bring about positive change unless you decide that you are willing to be the instrument for bringing about that change by focusing your attention on God’s perfection instead of continuing to focus your attention on human imperfection.

You cannot serve two masters.
You cannot serve God and mammon.
You cannot serve God and the Prince of this world.
God is perfection and nothing but perfection.
Nothing imperfect ever originated from God.

Therefore, the current state of imperfection on earth did not originate from God. God did not create your misery, and therefore you cannot expect that God will somehow whisk it away through some miracle or a mysterious thing called grace. Your personal misery, and all of the imperfections found on this planet, can only be removed by those who created it. It can only be removed when you, and a critical mass of other people, decide to take their attention off imperfection and put it on the perfection of God.

How can you focus on the perfection of God? You must ascend to a higher level of consciousness than the relative, mortal, limited, carnal state of consciousness in which most people have allowed themselves to descend.

I am here to call you up higher. The message I am giving today is the same message I gave 2,000 years ago. The reason why I am giving the same message today is that you and most other people have not heeded my original message. This is largely due to the fact that my original message was never made available to the general population. Yet times have changed, and my original message can no longer remain hidden.

What is most amazing about human beings?

If you were to ask me what I find most amazing about human beings, I would have to say that it is their ability to accept a completely false idea and to believe that it represents an unquestionable truth. Human beings have an ability to believe the unbelievable that surprises even God. As for me, one of the most ridiculous ideas held by human beings is that they could possibly kill the son of God or destroy his teachings.

Oh yes, they did kill my body 2,000 years ago. Oh yes, they have removed my original teachings from the written account of my life. Yet, even the fragmented accounts found in the Bible contain elements of my true teachings and of the true, timeless teachings of God. The Bible states that God has written his law in your inward parts. I too have written my true teachings in the inward parts of your soul, and what I am presenting on this site is simply a reminder of what you already know deep within your soul.

I am the open door which no human can shut.
I am the voice of truth that will not forever be silenced or denied.
My truth, my true teaching, has been present in the collective consciousness of humankind for more than 2,000 years. Regardless of the outer appearances, the living truth that I brought to this planet has been working behind the scenes. It has been working its way through the many layers of consciousness, and it is now ready to burst forth on the screen of humankind’s conscious awareness.

The powers of this world think that they have somehow thwarted my purpose for coming to this planet. In reality, they have simply delayed the widespread acceptance of my true teachings, and they have done so on a very temporary basis (as measured with God’s sense of time).

If you are reading this, you belong to a group of people who have the true teachings of Jesus Christ written in their souls. You only need to bring those teachings into your outer memory and awareness. This site is nothing but a reminder. This site can tell you nothing which you do not already know at some level of your being. If it did, you would not be able to grasp or accept it.

Simply recognize and accept the fact that you have the ability, an inherent God-given ability as old as your soul, to know truth. You do not need an outer authority figure or organization to define truth for you. My truth is a living truth that cannot be confined to any doctrine or belief system found on this planet. My truth is larger than life, at least larger than the form of life known by most human beings in their present state of consciousness.

Allow yourself to recognize that you have the ability to know truth inside your own heart. Allow yourself to recognize and accept that you have the true teachings of Jesus Christ written in your soul.

Make a decision that you will strive to bring that truth into your outer awareness. As you begin to see that forgotten truth, accept it and have the courage to act upon it.

I am Jesus Christ.
I desire to see you rise above the limitations you have come to accept.
I desire to see you free from mortality and suffering.
I desire to see you accept your true identity as an unlimited spiritual being who can as easily create God’s perfection as you can create the human imperfection that you currently experience.

Allow me to take you on a journey from your present level of consciousness to a full recognition of your true identity.
I promise you that it will be the journey of a lifetime.


To Know...

"If we are to know God, it must be without the slightest means. When we do see
God in His light, it happens in private, safe from the slightest intrusion of
creaturely things. Then we have immediate knowledge of eternal life."

Meister Eckhart
in Franz Pfeiffer
_Meister Eckhart_
(Leipzig, 1857)
Translated by C. de B. Evans
London: John M. Watkins, 1956, vol. 1, p. 63

Jesus and Non-Duality...

Probably, the most profoundly direct instruction Christ gave concerning the teaching of non-dualism is from

"The light of the body is the eye: Therefore, when thine eye is single, your whole body will be filled with light...." (Luke 11: 34)

This non-dual teaching is easily paraphrased as follows: The part of you that sees (the seer, one's Self) is your true light. Therefore, if you hold to (i.e., abide as) the seer (subject-"I") singlely or exclusively (i.e., relinquishing attention to thoughts) you will have illumination - or what some call the "enlightenment of the whole body". This is the exact instruction given in the non-dual Vedanta tradition, with the same described outcome, as related above.

See the the Non-Dual Christ Consciousness described in the Vedic Verse
and Avadhut Gita verse below, very similar to the above records:

Vedic Verse -- Atharva Veda, Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.9:

In the highest golden sheath is the Godhead, unsullied, indivisible; pure is it, the Light of lights. He who knows the Self knows it. Neither sun nor moon nor stars shine there. Neither lightning nor fire finds there a place. With the radiance of that Light alone all things shine. That radiance illumines all this world.

Song of the Ever free -- Avadhuta Gita (Chapter 7 Verse 4):

In this state of realization, how can the Avadhuta
consider whether he has a body or not,
or whether he has attachment or not?
He himself is the immaculate, immovable, innate Reality
-infinite as space.

Pieter Schoonheim Samara is author of The Self, Maya, and the Heart: The Fundamentals of Non-Dualism

The Two in One...

Look, the Source is one and all that is;
But It has imaged forth a second, this cosmic array.
Eternally the one great Mind exists alone;
Its universal picture-show comes and goes,
An image on the screen of time.

Eternally, even as the stars play out their birth and death,
The One is undiminished, undivided, undismayed.
For, since the universal drama exists within the one great Mind,
There is no separation, no duality at all.

And yet, while we live and dance in time and space,
We inhabit an imaginary bubble of non-eternity,
Of transient bodies and volitional activities,
A secondary world, unreal.

Once freed of duality’s deception,
We realize we’ve never left eternity’s bliss.
We’re one eternal Self, unbound, unsnared forever,
Complete in the completion of the boundless One,
A “we”, an “I” that stands triumphantly free, beyond imagined time.

~ Swami Abhayananda


Oneness is like the clear blue sky - everything arises, unfolds, and subsides within its all-compassionate love... Everything is an aspect of Oneness. And our quest to know this comes from Oneness.....


As regards the quietude of the sage, he is not
quiet because quietness is said to be good. He
is quiet because the multitude of things cannot
disturb his quietude. When water is still, one's
beard and eyebrows are reflected in it. A skilled
carpenter uses it in a level to obtain measurement.
If still water is so clear, how much more are the
mental faculties! The mind of a sage is the mirror
of heaven and earth in which all things are reflected.

- Chuang-Tzu


"Leave God alone. Speak for yourself.
You do not know God. He is only what
you think of Him. Is He apart from you?
He is that Pure Consciousness in which
all ideas are formed. You are that Consciousness."

-from Talks with Ramana Maharshi-


Meditation is a deliberate attempt to pierce into the higher states of
consciousness and finally go beyond it. The art of meditation is the
art of shifting the focus of attention to ever subtler levels, without
losing one's grip on the levels left behind. The final stage of
meditation is reached when the sense of identity goes beyond the "I-am-
so-and-so", beyond "so-I-am", beyond "I-am-the-witness-only",
beyond "there-is", beyond all ideas into the impersonally personal
pure being. But you must be energetic when you take to meditation. It
is definitely not a part-time occupation. Limit your interests and
activities to what is needed for you and your dependents' barest
needs. Save all your energies and time for breaking the wall your mind
had built around you. Believe me, you will not regret.
(p.413 I Am That).....Nisargadatta Maharaj

Nafs Kushi...

We should be careful to take away from ourselves any thorns that prick us in the
personality of others.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

We frequently say, 'I dislike him,' 'I wish to avoid her,' but if we examine
this carefully, we find it is the same element in all that we dislike, the ego.
And when we turn to ourselves to see if we have it in us, we find it is there
too. We should forget it, therefore, in other people, and first turn our
attention to crushing it within ourselves. We should determine to have our house
clean even if other people neglect theirs. We should be careful to take away
from ourselves any thorns that prick us in the personality of others. There is a
verse in the Quran, which says, 'Arise in the midst of the night, and commune
with thy Lord... Bear patiently what others say.' This is not only a command to
rise in the night and pray, but it also means that by rising in the night we
crush the ego, for the ego demands its rest and comfort, and when denied, is
crushed. The mystics fast for the same reason. The Sufi's base the whole of
their teaching on the crushing of the ego which they term Nafs-kushi, for
therein lies all magnetism and power.

For every soul there are four stages to pass through in order to come to the
culmination of the ego, which means to reach the stage of the rose. The first
stage is that a person is rough, thoughtless and inconsiderate. He is interested
in what he wants and in what he likes; as such he is naturally blind to the
needs and wants of others. In the second stage a man is decent and good as long
as his interests are concerned. As long as he can get his wish fulfilled he is
pleasant and kind and good and harmonious; but if he cannot get his wish and
cannot have his way, then he becomes rough and crude and changes completely. And
there is a third stage, when someone is more concerned with another person's
wish and desire, and less with himself; when his whole heart is seeking for what
he can do for another. In his thought the other person comes first and he comes
afterwards. That is the beginning of turning into the rose. It is only a
rosebud, but then in the fourth stage this rosebud blooms in the person who
entirely forgets himself in doing kind deeds for others. In Sufi terms the
crushing of the ego is called Nafs Kushi.

Love and Aloneness – Unravelling the ego and pride...

There is a most bizarre word the media and the psychologists have begun to use to describe loneliness in our societies: they say it has become an epidemic. An epidemic! A description normally reserved for extremely prevalent and widespread diseases – that is what this state of mind has become.

And the statistics back it up. A third of the citizens of many civilized countries admit to suffering from extreme loneliness. And the impact on our physical health – one study reported that isolated men were 25% more likely to die than those in a relationship, and the women 33% more likely.

Why is loneliness so painful? There are many reasons – but there is one in particular I’m starting to notice. Loneliness is a curse because we don’t know who we are – and that is our basic anxiety. When you are alone, all your self knowledge, your identity, your personality – your ego begins to unravel. The deeper into your aloneness you go, the more you see all your self-knowledge as they are – false.

And it is scary – what you have known your entire life – false! It is so scary that much of our culture is based around this fear. Social clubs, associations, political parties, and even cafés – they all exist for one thing: so one can avoid being alone. And what if we are by ourselves? Then we turn to music, alcohol, the television, the Internet – all to avoid being in our own company.

But the strange thing is – losing our false identity, it is a blessing. It can be scary, yes, but when we turn around and face it – when we turn our loneliness into aloneness –that is when we begin to experience what is real.

When you are alone, everything that you have disowned, everything that you refuse to accept or acknowledge – they begin to arise. We begin to truly know ourselves, to see the genuine. And that is not something that can be told – it has to be experienced.

Comparison – the unravelling of the self
The first thing we have to know is – when we are in a crowd, we think we know who we are. You are American, Vietnamese, Indian. Why? Because you look around and there are people who look different. Everyone calls you by your name, so that is who you are. Everyone acknowledges your title, your job description – they call you Mister, Missus, Madam, Doctor, Reverend, and that is what you think you are.

You are beautiful, because those around you are ugly. You are tall, because your neighbours are short. You are poor, because they live in mansions. You are rich, because some live in cardboard boxes.

But who you are, is not any of these. As Osho said – your heart is neither European nor African, tall nor short, poor nor rich. Who you are is beyond these little labels.

And when you are completely alone, there is no one to compare to. There is no false standard to measure yourself by – and that is when all these labels and false layers start to unravel. Your identity, your very personality, begins to disappear.

And all our lives, that is who we think we are. Our identity card, our driver’s license, and our passport. Our history, our descriptions, and our reputations. Our jobs and our accomplishments. And when that falls away…some people feel it a form of death. And in a way, it is.

What is left? The genuine. I can’t describe it – I haven’t gone there yet. But the deeper I have gone, the more I realise how beautiful it is. To go completely into aloneness, to find the real – I can’t think of anything I’d want more.

So, go and be alone. Not lonely, just alone. Accept and heal whatever bubbles to the front. Throw away all your masks and your false faces. Go away from society. Stop being afraid of loneliness, and just be alone. Let it become your mirror, the perfect mirror, to see who you really are.

And one day – when you feel ready, when you can say that you have known yourself, taken delight and found Love in yourself. That is when your butterfly comes out of the chrysalis. And this process is different for everyone. How long does it take? I’ve been alone for close to a year – and there is still so much to find!

The proud and the egotistical
And comparison leads us perfectly to a question that I have been pondering for a long time: What of those who are so proud and egotistical? What is the difference between being selfish, and of being self loving?

Love for oneself, for one’s totality – the heart, body, and soul – is perhaps the biggest accomplishment one can ever achieve. Someone who has such Love becomes joyful, peaceful, and content. It is impossible for one who knows Love to be hurtful. I know a few such people – they are the most humble women and men one can ever meet.

And just as someone who loves their garden will spend hours planting roses, picking out weeds, and smelling the fragrances – so, too will such people take pleasure in who they are.

And this is the source of much confusion. There are so many people who seem to be strong, confident, but there is something wrong. You must have met such people before – outwardly strong and powerful, but when they left, they left you feeling drained or weak. What is the difference between the two?

If you look carefully, and you know what to look for, the difference is there for you to see.

I once heard: There is no neutrality in life; there is either love or hate. There is no zero in which you are simply empty. What we think of as neutrality hides a quiet contempt, a let-them-burn attitude. If you don’t love, you hate. It might be a subtle hatred or a cool dislike, but it is hatred nonetheless.

Such people exude an indistinct anger and hatred. They make themselves feel better at the expense of those they come into contact with. They have boosted themselves by trampling on you. They spit on others – “I must be higher than they are if I can spit downwards” – that is their rationale. Everything they have – all their self worth and power – is based on judgement and comparison, based on having someone underneath them!

Vanity, egotism, and pride – they all hide a subtle unhappiness, a cleverly disguised animosity. All hatred is self-hatred – and this lies hidden underneath their actions. And that is why they belittle others. Some of the overt ones rage, or yell – and it is all just an externalisation of their internal self-violence. All their strength, their confidence – just a flimsy façade.

The vain and selfish
And the second thing: their worth is based on comparison. In fact, if taken to an extreme, pride becomes a form of personality disorder – narcissism. And this is the parable that Osho used to explain perfectly. All I can do is use the same story.

The story of Narcissus is a well known one – a young man who was so beautiful that he fell in love with his own reflection in the water. And there lies the difference. A humble man falls in love with himself; a vain man falls in love with his reflection.

And in that reflection – the comparison we’ve been discussing. The psychology manuals list the traits of the personality disorder concretely: A modern day Narcissus believes he is special, that he is more beautiful than others, that he deserves more. She is arrogant; she demands attention and constant admiration. She takes advantage of others, with total disregard for their feelings.

How egotistical! And that’s exactly what it is – pride stems from the ego. Comparison strengthens it. Take them away from the crowd, give them no one to compare to, and their pride and their façade falls apart. When they have no one to trample on and sneer at, the truth is revealed, the ugliness in them arises.

I remember a few beautiful women; they spent hours on their make-up and clothes, and they constantly belittled other women. They seemed to have unshakeable self confidence – but when I got to know them better, all their insecurities – often about their looks! – rose to the fore. And it didn’t make sense initially – many women would kill to look like them, most men couldn’t take their eyes off them. Such empty egoistic pride – it doesn’t stand up to the test of aloneness.

Love is totally different. I have heard: In Love, there is no split, there is no other. The lover and the loved all melt into one. Narcissus – he was split. His object of affection wasn’t himself, it was his reflection.

Fake love rejects – when there is perceived imperfection, fake love kicks away. Real Love knows no comparison. When there is perceived imperfection, real love deepens. It holds even tighter.

Know Love – ego and pride, are the opposites of Love. Cultivate Love, and watch as they dissolve.

Starving the Ego...

A confrontation person is seeking food for the ego.. The ego can only exist by
the constant acknowledgement of its' false existence.. Just as the normal
Unawake person constantly thinks from and makes decisions from the ego,the
person seeking confrontation wants you to acknowledge their ego, by posting
often and stating that you are wrong in your findings without even delving into
and trying to understand your statements.. Even after you have stated your
reasons for your opinions, the attacking ego will refuse to accept your
conclusions and will just repeat what they have memorized from their own
opinions.. This is the false ego trying to continue to exist.. Stop feeding the
ego.. Do not reply to the attacking ego.. The ego will then become smaller and
humility will come forward.. Humility is the seed of Love.. Love is
God.........namaste, thomas

Running Away...

Each soul runs from poverty and destruction.
How sad! It is running away from happiness
and joy. No one can triumph before being
destroyed. O Beloved! Reconcile me with

- Rumi

Christ-Consciousness and Advaitic Experience...

Fr. Jacques Dupuis, SJ
from Bulletin 7, February 1980
This article is an extract from a paper given at the Abhishiktananda Seminar, Shantivanam Ashram, in southern India in 1977. It was subsequently published in Jesus Christ and His Spirit. The author is on the staff of Vidyajyoti Catholic Quarterly, New Delhi.
Jesus’ religious life is entirely centered on the person of the Father. As he prays and adores, as he entreats and implores, the Father-centeredness of his human soul is so deep as to seem to have roots beyond the human sphere. Jesus’ sense of total dependence upon the Father seems a human echo of an even deeper origin from him.

Advaita Experience
Before a dialogue can be established between the two experiences of God (Christian and Hindu), Advaita experience must first be exposed for its own sake, at best in broad outline: traditionally, two expressions are understood to express the core of advaita experience, both of which are found in the Upanishads: aham brahmasmi (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1,4,10), and tattvamasi (Chandogya Upanishad 6,8,7), the second belonging to the instruction of Svetakatu by his father:

In the beginning this (universe) was Brahman alone, and he truly knew (him) self (atman), saying: I am Brahman. And so he became the all. Whichever of the gods became aware of this, also became the (all); so too with seers and men. . . .This is true even now. Who thus knows that he is Brahman becomes this whole (universe). Even the gods have not the power to cause him to un-be, for he becomes their own self. . . . (Brhad. Up. 1,4,10).

My dearest child, all these creatures (here) have being as their root, being as their resting place, being as their foundation. My dear boy, I have already told you how each of these substances (devata) (itself) becomes threefold when it enters into the sphere of man.

My dear boy, when a man dies, his voice is absorbed (sampad) into the mind, his mind into breath, breath into light, heat and light, and heat into the highest substance. This finest essence—the whole universe has it as its Self; that is the Real: that is the Self: That you are, Svetaketu! (Chand. Up. 6,8,7).

At the root of advaita experience is a relentless inward search for self-awakening. . . . The advaita experience to which man’s relentless quest for inner Self leads can, perhaps, be described as entering, or rather being assumed, into the knowledge which the Absolute has of itself, thus literally seeing all things from the point of view of the Absolute. From the vantage point of absolute awareness all duality vanishes, for only the Absolute is absolutely, one-without-a-second (ekam advithivam). From that point of view the world and history have no absolute significance; their existence belongs to the real of the relative, the lila of God. In the wake of the advaita experience the ontological consistency of the finite seer himself vanishes under his feet. His awakening to absolute awareness leaves no room for a subjective consciousness of the self as a finite knower; what remains is the “Aham” consciousness of the Absolute in the epiphenomenon of a sarira: aham brahmasmi.

If this description is correct, it will have become clear that Advaita experience implies a drastic evanescence of all that is not the absolute: as the awareness of the absolute Aham emerges in the knower, the knower is submerged in it. “Who knows and who is known”, asks the Upanishad. There no longer is a finite ego who, facing God and being faced by him, contemplates him and addresses him in prayer. What there is is the awakening of the knower to the subjective awareness of the Absolute itself, not an objective knowledge of the Absolute by a finite self. In the process of enlightenment, therefore, the human self gives way to the divine Aham. Such is the radical demand of Advaita.

Jesus’ Ego and Advaita Aham
That the distinction between Jesus and the Father is an irreducible component of experience is certain, but so is his unity with the Father—a unity due not to Jesus’ mission, but in the last analysis based on being: Jesus and the Father, advaita, non-duality.

Paradoxical as it may seem, the Upanishadic Aham Brahmasmi finds in Jesus its truest application: in him the saying becomes literally true and takes on a new meaning: it enunciates Jesus’ union with the Father, which has its roots beyond the human condition. More exactly it expresses Jesus’ personal consciousness of belonging with the Father to the sphere of the Godhead. Applied to Jesus, Aham Brahmasmi seems then to correspond to Jesus’ “absolute” Ego Eimi sayings in St. John’s Gospel (Cf. Jn. 8,24,28; 2,58; 13,19).

. . . . Perhaps we shall have to say that Jesus’ human consciousness solves an unsurmountable antinomy to which Advaita experience otherwise would lead: between the values of the absolute unity and of personal communion. Or at least that Jesus’ awareness of his relationship with the Father is the supreme realization of advaita in the human condition—a realization, indeed, unforeseen and unexpressed by the Upanishadic seers. . . .While insisting that Jesus’ awareness brings the Advaita experience to an unexpected fulfillment, we must equally stress the fact that the absolute demands of advaita help us to purify our understanding of the communion of Jesus with the Father, which can never be reduced to the measure of our interpersonal relationships between men. Jesus’ consciousness of his union with the Father is human, but it is the human awareness of a communion in the Godhead. Thus, while it finds in the mystery of Christ its fullest realization, the Advaita experience also helps to discover new depths in the same mystery. It is in this sense that Swami Abhishiktananda could truly say that the reading of the Upanishads helps us to penetrate more deeply into the mystery of the Lord as revealed in St. John’s Gospel.

Christian Consciousness and Advaita Experience
The Christian experiences God not only through but in the human countenance of Jesus whose face is the human face of God . . . . If . . . Jesus’ religious experience consists . . . in his human awareness of being one with the Father, if moreover, the Christian is called to share in this awareness, advaita has a place in the Christian experience as in that of Jesus himself: the Christian shares in Jesus’ awareness of his advaita with the Father. This is Christian advaita.

A Primer on Advaita...

Advaita is a sanskrit word that literally means "not two". Synonyms of Advaita are non-duality (nonduality, non duality). Advaita is not a philosophy or a religion. Non-duality is an experience in which there is no separation between subject and object; a "me" and the rest of the universe; a "me" and God. It is the experience of consciousness, our true nature, which reveals itself as absolute happiness, love and beauty. Consciousness is defined as that, whatever that is, which is aware of these very words right here, right now.

A sage is one who knowingly lives as consciousness. Since awareness is impersonal and universal, there is only one sage beyond the apparent distinctions of race, gender, age, etc. A sage is not necessarily a spiritual teacher, and a spiritual teacher is not necessarily a sage. Ramana Maharshi, Krishna Menon and Jean Klein were such sages who taught in the 20th century. Ramana Maharshi used the self inquiry method with his less advanced disciples. The student who practices self inquiry keeps his attention focused onto the source of the I-thoughts and I-feelings, whenever they arise. Once enlightenment has taken place, the process of self inquiry continues effortlessly. The attention spontaneously reverts to the source at the end of each thought and feeling and there is no need to focus the attention any longer. More advanced students can be taken directly to the experience of their true self by hearing the truth from the lips of the guru and/ or through his silent presence. This is called the direct path, the path used, among others, by Ramana Maharshi, Krishna Menon and Jean Klein. The process of self realization continues spontaneously until the body-mind-world firmly abides in peace and happiness. Everything that can be said about the experience of non duality is, at best, a pale approximation at the level of concepts, a mere pointer. Zen Buddhism uses the metaphor of a finger pointing to the moon: although the finger points to the moon, the finger and the moon belong to two different worlds.

Advaita transcends all religions, philosophies and nationalities. It doesn't divide, but rather unites. Fanatic members of different religions can never agree about their concepts of God, but sages from different backgrounds can never disagree about their shared experience of non duality. The founders of all great religions were sages. Nonduality is at the core of Hinduism, Sufism, Zen Buddhism, Kashmeeri Shaivism and of the teachings of Christ:

Hinduism: "That which is not (the objects as separate from the Self) never comes into being, and that which is (The Self) never ceases to be". (BaghavadGita)

Hinduism, Kashmeeri Shaivism: "Oh Marvel! This illusion, although expressed in multiplicity, is no other than consciousness-without-a-second. Ha, all is but pure essence aware of itself." (Abhinavagupta)

Sufism: "There is nothing but God" Zen Buddhism: "Question: When a sound ceases, does awareness cease?Answer: Awareness never ceases" (HuiHai)

Hinduism, Kashmeeri Shaivism: "The universe awakens when You awaken and vanishes when You withdraw. Therefore the totality of existence and non-existence is one with You." (Abhinavagupta)

Christianity: "Jesus said: "I" is the light (of awareness) that shines upon all things. "I" is the All from which everything emanates and to which everything returns." (Thomas, 186)

Enlightenment is the sudden recognition that non-duality is, has always been, and will always be the reality of our experience. Duality is an illusion. Consciousness is not private and personal, but impersonal, universal, and eternal. There is no limited personal entity, no conscious ego. The ego is a perceived object, not the all perceiving awareness.

Self realization is the subsequent stabilization in the peace, happiness and freedom of our natural state. The world, seen in the light of impersonal awareness, reveals itself as a permanent miracle, a divine display that celebrates its invisible source.

A living guru (spiritual teacher) is, in most cases, necessary to facilitate both enlightenment and self realization. Although the karana guru (the guru whose role is to help the disciple trough the last stages of realization) appears to the disciple as a seemingly separate human being, he or she is knowingly established as universal consciousness. He sees the disciple as his own Self. Consciousness in the disciple, being recognized for what it truly is, resonates with the silent presence of the guru. The mind of the disciple becomes gradually and mysteriously quiet, with or without the use of words, until the student has a glimpse of the causeless joy of his natural state. A relationship of love, freedom and friendliness that leads to the eventual spontaneous stabilization of the disciple in happiness and peace gets established.

A true karana guru never sees himself as superior or inferior to anybody, nor does he or she take himself or anybody for a sage or an ignorant, for a spiritual teacher or a disciple. This impersonal attitude creates an unmistakable perfume of friendship and freedom that is a prerequisite for the success of the final stages of the self realization process......... Francis Lucille


My body caught fire like an ember,
as I brought the syllable OM,
the one that says "You are That,"
into me. I moved through
the six chakra centers
that urge human beings to action
and out into the lightedness
where Lalla lives now.

- Lalla
14th Century North Indian mystic


Chapter 1

One day, the Buddha sat down in the shade of a tree and noticed how beautiful the countryside was. Flowers were blooming and trees were putting on bright new leaves, but among all this beauty, he saw much unhappiness. A farmer beat his ox in the field. A bird pecked at an earthworm, and then an eagle swooped down on the bird. Deeply troubled, he asked, "Why does the farmer beat his ox? Why must one creature eat another to live?"

During his enlightenment, the Buddha found the answer to these questions. He discovered three great truths. He explained these truths in a simple way so that everyone could understand them.

1. Nothing is lost in the universe

The first truth is that nothing is lost in the universe. Matter turns into energy, energy turns into matter. A dead leaf turns into soil. A seed sprouts and becomes a new plant. Old solar systems disintegrate and turn into cosmic rays. We are born of our parents, our children are born of us.

We are the same as plants, as trees, as other people, as the rain that falls. We consist of that which is around us, we are the same as everything. If we destroy something around us, we destroy ourselves. If we cheat another, we cheat ourselves. Understanding this truth, the Buddha and his disciples never killed any animal.

2. Everything Changes

The second universal truth of the Buddha is that everything is continuously changing. Life is like a river flowing on and on, ever-changing. Sometimes it flows slowly and sometimes swiftly. It is smooth and gentle in some places, but later on snags and rocks crop up out of nowhere. As soon as we think we are safe, something unexpected happens.

Once dinosaurs, mammoths, and saber-toothed tigers roamed this earth. They all died out, yet this was not the end of life. Other life forms like smaller mammals appeared, and eventually humans, too. Now we can even see the Earth from space and understand the changes that have taken place on this planet. Our ideas about life also change. People once believed that the world was flat, but now we know that it is round.

3. Law of Cause and Effect

The third universal truth explained by the Buddha is that there is continuous changes due to the law of cause and effect. This is the same law of cause and effect found in every modern science textbook. In this way, science and Buddhism are alike.

The law of cause and effect is known as karma. Nothing ever happens to us unless we deserves it. We receive exactly what we earn, whether it is good or bad. We are the way we are now due to the things we have done in the past. Our thoughts and actions determine the kind of life we can have. If we do good things, in the future good things will happen to us. If we do bad things, in the future bad things will happen to us. Every moment we create new karma by what we say, do, and think. If we understand this, we do not need to fear karma. It becomes our friend. It teaches us to create a bright future.
The Buddha said,

"The kind of seed sown
will produce that kind of fruit.
Those who do good will reap good results.
Those who do evil will reap evil results.
If you carefully plant a good seed,
You will joyfully gather good fruit."

Chapter 2
Once there was a woman named Kisagotami, whose first-born son died. She was so stricken with grief that she roamed the streets carrying the dead body and asking for help to bring her son back to life. A kind and wise man took her to the Buddha.

The Buddha told her, "Fetch me a handful of mustard seeds and I will bring your child back to life." Joyfully Kisagotami started off to get them. Then the Buddha added, "But the seeds must come from a family that has not known death."

Kisagotami went from door to door in the whole village asking for the mustard seeds, but everyone said, "Oh, there have been many deaths here", "I lost my father", I lost my sister". She could not find a single household that had not been visited by death. Finally Kisagotami returned to the Buddha and said, "There is death in every family. Everyone dies. Now I understand your teaching."

The Buddha said, "No one can escape death and unhappiness. If people expect only happiness in life, they will be disappointed."

Things are not always the way we want them to be, but we can learn to understand them. When we get sick, we go to a doctor and ask:

What's wrong with me?
Why am I sick?
What will cure me?
What do I have to do get well?
The Buddha is like a good doctor. First a good doctor diagnoses the illness. Next he finds out what has caused it. Then he decides what the cure is. Finally he prescribes the medicine or gives the treatment that will make the patient well again.

The Four Noble Truths
1. There is Suffering Suffering is common to all.
2. Cause of Suffering We are the cause of our suffering.
3. End of Suffering Stop doing what causes suffering.
4. Path to end Suffering Everyone can be enlightened.

1. Suffering: Everyone suffers from these thing
Birth- When we are born, we cry.
Sickness- When we are sick, we are miserable.
Old age- When old, we will have ache and pains and find it hard to get around.
Death- None of us wants to die. We feel deep sorrow when someone dies.

Other things we suffer from are:
Being with those we dislike,
Being apart from those we love,
Not getting what we want,
All kinds of problems and disappointments that are unavoidable.

The Buddha did not deny that there is happiness in life, but he pointed out it does not last forever. Eventually everyone meets with some kind of suffering. He said:
"There is happiness in life,
happiness in friendship,
happiness of a family,
happiness in a healthy body and mind,
...but when one loses them, there is suffering."

2. The cause of suffering
The Buddha explained that people live in a sea of suffering because of ignorance and greed. They are ignorant of the law of karma and are greedy for the wrong kind of pleasures. They do things that are harmful to their bodies and peace of mind, so they can not be satisfied or enjoy life.

For example, once children have had a taste of candy, they want more. When they can't have it, they get upset. Even if children get all the candy they want, they soon get tired of it and want something else. Although, they get a stomach-ache from eating too much candy, they still want more. The things people want most cause them the most suffering. Of course, there are basic things that all people should have, like adequate food, shelter, and clothing. Everyone deserve a good home, loving parents, and good friends. They should enjoy life and cherish their possessions without becoming greedy.

3. The end of suffering
To end suffering, one must cut off greed and ignorance. This means changing one's views and living in a more natural and peaceful way. It is like blowing out a candle. The flame of suffering is put out for good. Buddhists call the state in which all suffering is ended Nirvana. Nirvana is an everlasting state of great joy and peace. The Buddha said, "The extinction of desire is Nirvana." This is the ultimate goal in Buddhism. Everyone can realize it with the help of the Buddha's teachings. It can be experienced in this very life.

4. The path to the end of suffering: The path to end suffering is known as the Noble Eightfold Path. It is also known as the Middle Way.

Chapter 3

When the Buddha gave his first sermon in the Deer Park, he began the 'Turning of the Dharma Wheel'. He chose the beautiful symbol of the wheel with its eight spokes to represent the Noble Eightfold Path. The Buddha's teaching goes round and round like a great wheel that never stops, leading to the central point of the wheel, the only point which is fixed, Nirvana. The eight spokes on the wheel represent the eight parts of the Noble Eightfold Path. Just as every spoke is needed for the wheel to keep turning, we need to follow each step of the path.

1. Right View. The right way to think about life is to see the world through the eyes of the Buddha--with wisdom and compassion.

2. Right Thought. We are what we think. Clear and kind thoughts build good, strong characters.

3. Right Speech. By speaking kind and helpful words, we are respected and trusted by everyone.

4. Right Conduct. No matter what we say, others know us from the way we behave. Before we criticize others, we should first see what we do ourselves.

5. Right Livelihood. This means choosing a job that does not hurt others. The Buddha said, "Do not earn your living by harming others. Do not seek happiness by making others unhappy."

6. Right Effort. A worthwhile life means doing our best at all times and having good will toward others. This also means not wasting effort on things that harm ourselves and others.

7. Right Mindfulness. This means being aware of our thoughts, words, and deeds.

8. Right Concentration. Focus on one thought or object at a time. By doing this, we can be quiet and attain true peace of mind.

Following the Noble Eightfold Path can be compared to cultivating a garden, but in Buddhism one cultivates one's wisdom. The mind is the ground and thoughts are seeds. Deeds are ways one cares for the garden. Our faults are weeds. Pulling them out is like weeding a garden. The harvest is real and lasting happiness.