Meditate and then don’t forget to crack the bottle

 

” You can empty a bottle, but the bottle is still there. When you try to bring your mind at ease, there is still the concept of mind. When you reach a peace-full moment of joy during your meditation, there is still a you around to invite the show. “

 

The most accepted buddhist figurine is without any doubt Buddha in meditation. The directness of Jesus hanging and suffering on a cross is more and more exchanged for this absolute peaceful symbol of the Buddha, when we go for a spiritual path. Meditation in the form of sitting in silence is perhaps the most accepted technic to get in touch with ourselves. We can call it Vipassana, Yoga, or one of the latest variations on awareness in action: Mindfulness.

 

Staring at a float for a fish to catch

 

I had periods in my life with a lot of meditation practice. At home I made a shrine, burned incense, some candle-light and tried to follow directions I got from several teachers. I enjoyed buddhist meditations also in one of their temples where 30 minutes of sitting in silence were alternated with short periods of meditative walking. We did this for days in a row. And yes, it all became very quiet between the ears.

 

Buddha, Kamakura, Japan

Buddha, Kamakura, Japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Then there were the endless variations Osho described in his Orange Meditation Book, From the silent Vipassana to the energy cooking Dynamic meditation. All of them brought tremendous feelings and pleasures. A bit like cycling a 100 miles, getting tired as hell, but at the same time enjoying a hardly to describe sensation of relief.

 

For some years I also practiced Yoga. Practicing a variation of asana’s and studying the ways of Iyengar and Saraswati. I learned a lot about the flows of energy. Although I think Yoga is not always suited for our more vast western bodies, I loved doing it with a fine group of students. A silent sensation I also encountered in watching the changing figures of the stock market indices for hours in a row, or staring at a float for a fish to catch wich I loved to do as a child.

 

Then of course there were the satsangs on Advaita Vedanta with my master Alexander Smit. Listening to him gave the same peace and bliss I had with all the other practices. But the encounter with Him gave me a sensation I had not tasted before in any other practice.

 

A sensation I had not tasted before in any other practice.

 

I have learned and practiced, but I have to be clear on one important part of the game. No matter how wonderful these ways of meditation are, there is only one that can help you go pass on all the moments of bliss you have enjoyed. And that is by meeting someone in real, who has followed the path all the way. By meeting our teacher or Guru like it is called in India, we meet ourself in an immediate way. Yoga, Vipassana, Satsang is only of greater value when we have met our teacher. Why?

 

English: Shri Gaudapada Statue Picture Categor...

English: Shri Gaudapada Statue Picture Category:Shri Gaudapadacharya Math (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Even when you enjoy wonderful moments of silence, peace, unity, bliss and even when your life starts to flow with love and joy one thing has to be done to make it all perfect. And that is meeting someone who has followed the road all the way to the end. In meeting him/her it is possible to take the final step that makes you realise there has never been a mind at all. Meeting is Knowing.

 

 

I will try to describe it. Let’s say you are about 12 years of age and friends start to talk about being in love. They start to act weird, become passionate about a boy or a girl and you don’t see or feel anything special about the girl/boy. They talk lyric as if they just had encountered some god/goddess. They seem to be possessed by feelings you would love to have, but you how? You start to read about it, talk about it with your friends. You even date a boy/girl, but somehow nothing happens. Then one day, at one sudden moment you are caught by surprise: you fell in love. Now you know. Meeting is Knowing.

 

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Ears and Eyes open. That is all.

This afternoon a billboard got my attention with the invitation: visit our ‘Fair on Spirituality’, for anyone interested to find a deeper self. Not that I crashed my car in total shock after reading this, but still.

A tweet today promised seven ways to give you spiritual power(?). Spiritual power, wow! It sounds like an advertisement from a new company hitting the jackpot by going to the stock-market. Just buy and see !

The swan is a symbol of purity and transcenden...

The swan is a symbol of purity and transcendence in Vedantic teaching. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is time to step up with a Tips and Trick part of the road to self-realisation

 

Ears and Eyes open. That is all.

 

1. With the word Spirituality everything that is beyond reason, is covered under the hood. From Religion to New Age, nothing excluded has gotten its place. In Religion you have to believe and for New Age you have to get into touch with your deepest feelings.

And for a deeper understanding of ‘ who YOU are ‘ well, neither believe nor deeper feelings will help you one single step. Perhaps it is me, but I always feel ambivalent working with the word spirituality. Truth is that I use it myself as well in communication, but Advaita Vedanta is as straightforward as it can be: no believe or feelings are needed to get full understanding of who YOU are. Ears and Eyes open. That is all.

 

Everything leads to Rome in the end.

 

2.You can’t do anything wrong on your search for deeper Knowledge. Everything leads to Rome in the end. And when you arrive, you know you never left home. Whatever inspires you is your way. You can do all forms of Yoga, learn eastern Massage or transform your House with the wonderful technic of Feng Shui. Enjoy it! Go for Tantra, a Vegetarian Lifestyle, or whatever it is in the catalogue of promising tools to learn.

Don’t get me wrong. I like working with the Tarot, Numerology and Astrology myself, but here it comes: to get an answer on the who am I question all these ancient skills get you near to nothing. On the contrary, they can give you a fake idea of being part of an exclusive group of so-called spiritual seekers.

 

Act accordingly and you will become more alert

 

3. Now and then Life is in a turmoil. It looks like we have to live on the clock. Our attention is needed on every aspect of our life. Then the way to handle this demanding period is enjoying the action. Sports, dancing and partying, playing music in a metal band, holidays with a lot of vibration, like rafting or biking and hiking are good to add to the calendar in hectic periods.

In other times we feel like living in a monastery. Every day we seem to follow the same easy pattern. No stress, no challenging situations. This is a natural pattern. Listen to that rhythm and enjoy the fact that the phone has stopped ringing and nothing urges your immediate attention. Then meditation in silent retreat, easy walks in isolated rural area’s, gardening, or vacations with your loved ones near the sea with lots of sand and sun relaxation are the best entertainment to go for.

Surf at Praia Grande. Porto Covo, Portugal

Surf at Praia Grande. Porto Covo, Portugal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Act accordingly and you will become more alert and open to the way Life unfolds itself in YOU. Surprisingly I often hear people talking about how they find themselves energetic persons and they need the action all the time. They say they easily get bored by giving up the fast changing action. This is so important, it needs another article from me to pay attention to boredom. This has to do with the need for change in scenery every moment of your life. Others cling to their peace and almost solitude lifestyle. They have forgotten to respond to waves full of sunburst. In both ways you have adjust yourself to the rhythm of the world of objects.

When you really want to get into a deeper understanding of who You are act like the rhythm of the weather: sometimes calm and peaceful, like a blizzard on other days. Learn to be in tune with the pace of Life, encounter with whatever is shown to you. It is the only and fastest                             way to reach full understanding.

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The Road of The Nobleman

Since the movie ‘ The Secret ‘, presented as a shocking statement that we all can create the world into our liking, the word abundance has become part of the spiritual vocabulary. Thousands or better millions of people have been trying to turn their lives into a more pleasant one, including material benefits. And although the ‘secret ‘ message wasn’t so secret at all, and in fact not about ‘ how to get rich ‘ in the first place, it was a big aid to get a better understanding of abundance itself.

 

And there is still work to be done.

 

I have met quite a few people who are convinced that poverty or a lack of material goods is a favorable condition for the spiritual traveler. Just have enough to survive and further more give up all earthly comfort. Often refered to the story of the Buddha living in solitude a while, or Ramana Maharshi living and meditating in a cave. It is true that for some seekers a time of solitude in harsh condition can be a purification. In general I wouldn’t recommend it. We are not used to solitude and our body isn’t fit to cut heavily on nutrition.

Having a lot of earthly goods: money, estates, companies, VIP-status is often seen as a curse as a part of some deeper karmic pay-back, before even being ready to jump on a spiritual train of joy and happiness. The way of the enlightened one living in a barrel or the way of the billionaire living in one of his mansions. Your ‘choice ‘: it is one way or the other. Somehow there seems no path in between. And if you would start to think you are different and could be living a dream life in the middle of luxury earthly goods, and still be leading a spiritual congregation, some priest or new age teacher would try to get you back on a more ‘ realistic ‘ path.

Six of Coins from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck

Six of Coins from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where there is a lot, it finds itself a way to disperse

I was around the age of 18 when I started to study The Tarot and I Ching both. Till today I still consider them both, including a deeper knowledge of astrology, to be very convenient to get a better understanding of the momentum of daily Life.

In the Tarot the meaning of the suit of Pentacles is all about the way the world of objects build and destroys itself. You as in one of the objects takes part in this dance. For instance when you raise a lot of material wealth in your life you are invited to share it with people who are less fortunate than you. Where there is a lot, it finds itself a way to disperse. We can see this mechanism everywhere in nature. The same we see in the I Ching where the road of the nobleman is a major part through out the book. The one who has been given it all has the obligation to share it the rest of his people.

As in realising awareness it is a nearly extinct path.

I hope you carefully understand that this has nothing to do with being a ‘ better person ‘. I am not advertising to persuade millionaires to become philanthropists. I am just explaining why living a life of increasing material wealth, brings its own natural obligations. And therefore its own magical possibility to know thyself. So it is very important to realise your circumstances when the money-train hits your Life.

This is the way of the nobleman. The world seems to have forgotten about this road. It is a tough one. Just like the road of the hermit meditating in a cave it asks a lot of courage. Every moment of his life the rich man has to realise that he has this gift to make material profit just for the benefit of others. The evolution of man tought us how to help our own species survive. The one having or getting it all took a huge responsibility and was therefore able to learn the lesson of matter. As in realising awareness it is a nearly extinct path. Forgotten over the ages.

With so many people exploring the path of abundance, seen in the light of the current flaws of our monetary system, I am sure the principle of the nobleman will become bigger than ever. In the coming time I will go deeper into this.

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