The Heart of the Matter

Standing on a beach, looking over the vast ocean, you ask yourself the question: what can you do with all the water, as far as your eyes can reach and beyond. You immediately start to use buckets in all shapes an seizes to lift the water out of the ocean. And how many buckets you will use during your life-time, the ocean will keep the same shape. This is what you do while building up your life out of a thousand ever-changing forms. You are constantly in the process of reshaping. A little bit of this, and a little bit of that. And yet the water in your buckets remains the same, unchanged, a whole life long.

One day, busy collecting your buckets with water, tired and fed up you suddenly give up on it. At that moment you start to look at the ocean as it is. No need to lift up your buckets with water any more. Till then…..buckets…..with water.

Q: I am feeling uncomfortable reading your last article* where you write about that we all look for some sort of special moment. A moment where we reach a definite point of understanding. Like we call it reaching enlightenment or self-realisation. Just to find out there is not really such an ultimate moment and, still there is at the same time.

A: Why did it make you feel uncomfortable?

Someone's going to get a wet surprise.

Someone’s going to get a wet surprise. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Q: Because it makes me realise I am still looking for definite answers on ‘who I am’. For me it is like getting deeper and deeper into the matter, every moment of my life. My life is build on this quest and some day when I have realised the answers, there will be a sudden understanding. It was a kind of road with an end and now you make me feel the road has no end.

A: The road is a circle. Look at your uncomfortable feeling. Go deeper into it.

Q: It puts me on hold. What to do next when there is no special moment to be reached? At least not as in an ultimate goal to be reached.

A: You are used to work with goals. Look at your life. As a little child from the moment on you started to see yourself as Karin*, a little girl in a big world full with other people, you already unconsciously had started to set up defences. This being a person was and is the defense. It looks like a comfort-zone. A place where you can stash all your toys, feelings and idea’s. All safely set into a structured life. This all gave you a profession, a partner, a house, a pension-plan. And then so around the age of 35 all of a sudden you ask yourself: is this all there is? which on itself is a happy moment but, again you make it part of your safe and structured Life. Now enlightenment has become a goal. A new toy to desire for. Hopefully Santa will deliver it this Christmas.

Q: What is wrong with that? Like 24/7 this quest is putting a spell over my life. Everything I do in my life is build upon this quest. I am full of it. And now you say I am just asking for my present?

A: My last article made you feel uncomfortable? Well, happy I am. In our tradition* confrontation is a blessing. You tell me that it made you stand still on your path?

Q: Yes. I mean…hmm, so I am just busy walking in circles? Still I can’t say I give up on my search to get a final realisation of who I am. I can’t.

English: Saint Petersburg woman carrying bucke...

English: Saint Petersburg woman carrying buckets of water on a yoke, near Leningrad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A: No you can’t because, you realise that this whole life, build upon the survival of the persona is making you feel miserable in the end, no matter how much new buckets with water you pull out of the ocean to decorate your life. On itself there is nothing wrong with a good bucket of water but, it will never give you the ultimate satisfaction you are looking for.

To make this clear to you  I will tell you more about the struggle for life I have been through till I finally dropped the last bucket of my shoulders. It will give you clarity*




* This will be in my next weeks article *Karin is a fake name *Advaita Vedanta *


Living the Ultimate Truth? NOW Please!

Instant Self realisation.  Isn’t this what every spiritual seeker is going for? The stories of the ongoing meditating Buddha, Ramana Maharshi for years in his cave or even Jesus on his cross, these all are stories of sacrifice, purification and tremendous courage to get ‘the job’ done. It makes ‘self-realisation’ something beyond imagination. It seems easier to win the Olympics  than to realise your true Nature. But as long as you keep looking at the horizon you will never touch your nose.

Q: You once said there is not such a thing as a spiritual path but, at least for me there seems to be an order of space and time that at least gives me the idea of a slow unfolding spiritual path.

A: Realising you true nature is  instant ‘Knowing’. It is like I once said about ‘ being in Love’ : you will realise immediately how this feels when you are in Love. Till that moment you just can read about it, listen to the stories of others and build romantic idea’s of an everlasting moment of happiness.

Q: Is it an everlasting moment of happiness?

Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879 – 1950)

Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879 – 1950) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A: You ARE an everlasting moment of happiness already! You even can’t reach  any other moment. The wonderful stories about great Eastern Guru’s work on your imagination. I remember when I began to practice Raja Yoga. I was full determinate to become a Yogi first class. I was reading some books from Iyengar, an example for anyone that starts the path of the Yogi. He told for instance that first after 25 years of hard labour I probably would be able to master one Siddhi. With my more western style body, tall and overweight, I knew Yoga would be fun, but I had to forget the Olympic medal. Now I know we all already have the gold but, most of us keep it safely stashed in some hidden closet.

Q: But it still unfolds itself within time and space?

A: As long as there is the body, there will be the rhythm of the heart and lungs. This will create a sense of time and space, witnessed by you. But like I told you before: don’t bother about it. Leave all bodily functions to the body itself.

Q: So I have to leave time and space out of it?

A: This ‘I’ is part of the time and space-experience as well. So again, leave it there, don’t bother. Just don’t pay attention to all sort of Idea’s about time and space. Drop them.

Q: How?

A: This is why stories about great Guru’s have such an impact. Make it into a hard and long path and you will never get there. To much work for one Lifetime I often hear. Buddha? Yes, he could. Osho? Yes, sure. Jesus? Of course, what a sacrifice. Time, space, harsh circumferences and dedication. First then. Me? No way, life, perhaps. ‘ They say ‘ at least a thousand Life’s are needed to understand, so why bother? But have you ever realised that you are in the last one of the thousand Life’s? ALWAYS?

Q: So it is always now or never!


English: Painting of the parinirvana of Gautam...

English: Painting of the parinirvana of Gautama Buddha. Sanskrit Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra manuscript written in the Ranjana script. Nalanda, Bihar, India. Circa 700-1100 CE. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A: Now and always, indeed! Look at your child and her birthday. A few weeks before the big day you mention her the upcoming birthday. Immediately she  lets you know what presents  she dies for, the candy she wants to share with their friends at school, the party at home. Balloons! And she can’t wait. To her the birthday is now! Not in a few weeks? What are weeks anyhow. You tell her to sleep 14 nights. What is 14? How long is that? I want it NOW she cries. And she probably will act more like this the days to come. Why wait? I want my present. I want it now!

A: He-he. It is exactly like this. The same with our holidays to come and other fun-stuff she loves.

Q: Yes it is. I want it NOW. For children there is no tomorrow. Often-times we call them spoiled and we learn them to be patient. But patience is not easy to learn. It is not natural. You first have to create yourself into space and time. When you burn your fingers, you can’t wait to pull them of the stove. It is instant. As an adult you already adapted live in time and space. You live according the clock. Your electronic agenda will let you know what to do next. Animals in the wild have no time-scales. Action-reaction it is and none in between. Oh how convenient would it be for you to take a long and hard study, given a certain time and in the end: the big bang occurs. That is how you look at life. That is how you look at self-realisation. That would make you feel comfortable. Realise this. There is no tomorrow.

Be like your little girl. You want it now. Why wait for a birthday when you already have your present available? It is like giving up smoking. NOW! Living the ultimate Truth? NOW Please!