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 *

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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, ..next 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!

And suddenly your universe is red!

What does it mean: we are living an IDEA? Today I will go deeper into this. As long as there is a sense of  I am,  there is the manifest, and it will create itself impressions or idea’s based  upon earlier identifications.  Idea’s that will possibly turn themselves into manifestations.  A bit like the ‘ Your wish is my command’  principle: what you identify with is what you get. Sounds reasonable. I, Idea, Identification, Manifestation, I, Identification, and so on.

But still within the making of idea’s  there seems to be a separate control centre where  idea’s are made. And that in favour of idea’s that turn the universe into your liking. True? To some extend, yes but, as in Truth, no.

As long as there is this idea of a soul or some  spiritual part of ourself hidden behind an ego (forget that word now please),  a somehow ‘ individual ‘  part that remains unchanged and  untouched by  life and death itself, we trick ourself into a fantasy-world. And yes, that is the creation of another Idea.

N-universe illustration

N-universe illustration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Q: Can you explain to me what you mean by living an IDEA? I made the observation that in one way or the other I always end up having Idea’s. I start to realise that it is impossible to stop having them as long as I am living, because all objects like you say, including my own body are already expression of an Idea. It confuses me.

A: Good question, because everything part of this manifestation, no exception, is Idea itself.

Q: So we are always part of  a manifestation made out of  idea’s?

A: As in manifestation: yes, because it is an idea into form. As in what you really are , non-manifested, or awareness itself: no. I will tell you a story and you will understand.

On your path to self-realisation you suddenly notice that you have a red body, wearing red clothes. You eat red food in a fully red world. Everything is red. There are no exceptions: all there is, is red. It is like the colour scheme has changed and everything is showing red to you. And it has always been like that!  Red in just one variety! Thoughts, feelings, all your senses…red it is.

Now you suddenly are fully aware of this you try to talk about it with your friends but, even your loved-ones are not aware of the fact that everything is   ‘red’. They don’t bother, because they are not aware of it. They just don’t see everything, including themselves as one and the same: red.

Q: So you mean  by whatever I want to change in my life it will always be…..red?

A: YES, slow down, but you get it. Now you will be able to understand! Within this process of you observing everything, nothing excluded, fully aware of its redness, you start to realise that YOU, this awareness, this I AM THIS, has created itself a red manifest, now. At the same moment you realise YOU are more than just red, you are everything and beyond all colours. For the first time you are able to see the manifest and all there is just as it  is:  now as in the fact that YOU has shown itself in a fully red-only manifestation.  And you will love it!

Q: And I AM that where red appears into!

A: Correct. You are the red manifest and where it appears into at the same time. But now you realise this! Will this knowledge make it possible to see other colours? What do you think?

Life is a precious gift. Don't waste it being ...

Life is a precious gift. Don’t waste it.

Q: Yes, because I AM everything.

A: Nice answer, but I have to disappoint you. As long as this creation into form, your body and therefore everything that exists from thoughts, feelings to the most distant stars in the universe, will be seen into form, …they will be red. And knows no time, no space, no condition at all. It is just red. Now you realise that this all happens into YOU. And there is nothing left that will interfere. Now you will relax.

Q: Now what happens when you realise all this? You first have to die to create another manifest in  other colours?

A: See what your mind is tricking you into? It still thinks there is another, perhaps better existence, possibly in a new body in a new form. This is what holding you back from self-realisation. You don’t have to give up your red coloured life. You just have to be aware that it is all red, no matter what you do, and that YOU are unaffected by all this, because this manifest is what you are!  This awareness and that YOU are the creator and also the  created universe both at the same time is enough to know. There is nothing more to know even. That is all, and already this can take a long time to understand, to have absorbed it. Take your time.

Silence, Inner Peace and Beach – Relaxation!

Last week I stumbled upon some stories of people that had taken a so-called re-trait. Just a few days away from work and family for a weekend of spiritual rest and relaxation. You also could go to a warm and sunny holiday – destination along the Mediterranean but, no a re-trait is something with a more deeper meaning than some profound beach-relaxation. Often the advertising words are ‘ silence ‘ and ‘ serene ‘ with the hope to uncover some long forgotten  parts of yourself. But more often silence, quietness, inner-peace,  are words included as beneficial parts of the journey to get to know your true self. True, or still perhaps a stubborn Identification with silence and inner-peace?

Q: I have done quite a few re-traits in wonderful ashrams. On that spots I did a lot of  meditation and yoga. For a long time for me meditating within the boundaries of a group with the same interest was an important part of my process to self-realisation. What is your opinion about it?

A: If this is part of your life, and you enjoy the relaxation, just to be able to handle modern busy life, I would say: give it a try. Why not!

Q: And the meditation, yoga, mantra-singing?

This Statue of Shiva is Approximately 65 feet ...

This Statue of Shiva

A: I know where you want to trick me into but, I am sorry, I am not rejecting what you prefer to do in life. When it comes to relaxation, it just can be wonderful to visit these spiritual re-traits. I mention spiritual, because that is often the context of these breaks from daily life. But what is really your question?

Q: I have a few hesitations…I..

A: Hold on, I know. I have been doing enough  meditation myself, years ago. I even have done Yoga  with my western body, and that all at very silent peaceful places. I can tell you, I became very relaxed and I loved to do it, but as in a part of my road to self-realisation, it has brought me not what I was hoping for. 

Little Exercise

I give you a little exercise. During the next weeks, three times a day at 9.00, 14.00 and 19.00, where ever and with whom you are, you hold with everything you do. At that moment, and it doesn’t matter where you are, on your work, at the mall, in your house, the car, you stop the clock ticking. For a short period you just observe: what do you see, is it a silent beach or the platform of a crowded subway-station? What are the thoughts that are passing by and how do you feel? Are you with company or alone. Were you in a conversation or just listening to music? Are you jogging or, sitting on the coach, having sex (yes, even then), or whatever comes to you. Include everything. The good and the bad. When you were in a bad mood, just experience that. Don’t change the impulse.

 

Raven, with her hood down, meditating.

Raven, with her hood down, meditating.

And don’t close your eyes. Leave them open. What you see, smell, touch, feel, taste, think, include everything and than take in the one that is watching all this. The observer is always part of the observation. Therefore the observer is the observation and that what is being observed at the same time. Yes at the same time, because don’t forget to include the idea of time. This is the moment, everything and all.

When some sort of activity comes up, include it also. Go on with observing without interfering as long as you like. Now within all this, the realisation will be there that this is it.  This and all there is, is what you are and only exists because you are all this and you have invited it to be. This is beyond silence and peace. It includes everything and all.

After a while you realise that the one observing the observer and that what is being  observed never leaves. It is always there. I am alive.   

You finally start to Love yourself!

Becoming a better person. To be kind for your loved-ones. To help others. And this in the most generous ways. It is easy to make this list much longer with numerous views on how to behave like a compassionate person, all caring and sharing. And indeed you don’t have to search the internet for a long time to find quite a few teachers, offering courses how to discover your most inner feelings. All with the invitation to be part of a happening full  of Tender, Love and Care. 

Nothing more, nothing less. But is it automatically a guarantee that you will win the Mother Theresa award one day?

Q: For you living THE HEART is living your TRUE Nature. Now that you realise this Heart, does it automatically mean that you will always be  compassionate and helpful towards others?

A: Some sort of saint?

Q: Open and understanding, loveable?

English: The assumed location of a former cloi...

A: Long time ago I was cleaning a bathroom. A spider was in a corner, probably ready to build a web. I picked up the little creature and took it outside the house. At that moment I realised something had changed. As a young boy I surely had been catching flies, spiders and all kinds of insects that crossed my path. Just like little boys can act with a sudden rage to kill.

Now what had changed is, that I had realised there is nothing outside ME. I am everything and all there is. Without ME nothing even would be there. In other words, that spider was part of ME. Just like you and every other living being that appears into ME is part of ME at that very same moment. And why should I kill MYself?

Q: Was helping the spider a result of greater awareness?

A: I am sure it was.

Q: Well there you admit that  living the Heart, will make you a ‘ better ‘ person.

A: No worries, I know what you mean with a ‘ better person ‘.  Listen, religions have turned it all around. In Christianity we have the ten commandments and numerous other rules and regulations that will help you towards the Kingdom of Heaven. In Buddhism you will soon learn about the eight-folded path and you will try to practice that. In religion we learn how to look, to speak, to act, to meditate, to remember, to eat, and many more. All in a greater benefit towards Heaven or Enlightenment.

I will never encourage you to act according  rules and the morality of a self-chosen order. Acting is living the life of an actor. It lets you live within the boundaries of a group, but you are not the group.The group appears into YOU. Rules always have the purpose to regulate. And in regulation we give up freedom.

Q: Yeah well, perhaps not rules but, you also give us tools to be  more aware of who we truly are!

A: Look. That is all. Truly Look and experience. When you feel down, feel down. When you sing of joy, sing of joy. For some silent meditation is good, some practice yoga, others visit satsangs. Here in the west, people paint, ride bikes, go fishing, do needlework to relax. Do it with attention, be the witness and your true nature will unfold itself to you. Exclude nothing. Please no rules and regulations.

Q: Still it doesn’t give answer to the ‘ better person ‘ you will become?

 

Tender 柔

Tender 柔 (Photo credit: kingmagic)

A: Religion teaches you the other way around. First practice endless rules and regulations. When you do this with full attention, it  will get you deeper towards entering  the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever your religion is promising you.

I invite  you  to take immediately  your spot in your Kingdom of Heaven. No rules and regulations needed. Not tomorrow, not next week. Now! There is no waiting. There is nothing to be done to realise that. Just watch and act accordingly. Be  like the ‘ watcher on the hill ‘; At the same time you act and be the one watching yourself acting. Soon enough the acting and the actor become one. You will notice this change of perspective. Invite everything and all that is asking your attention. Now within the Realisation of THE HEART,  Life will present itself accordingly. Everything becomes clear as it is. When this means, that people start to like the new you, invite this as a great gift. It is the sign you finally start to love YOURself.

Don’t turn your Life into Hell

Purification is an important part of a the journey to uncover ‘ yourself ‘ . A few weeks ago I used that quote on my twitter-account. A question I got invited me instantly to describe what I mean by this process. Please don’t turn your Life into Hell just because you want to whip yourself. The more pain and suffering you seek, the closer you will get towards Heaven. This has nothing to do with Purification. It is just pure masochism.

Q: Does Purification mean that you need to withstand suffering to be able to get self-realisation?

A: Purification, YES. Suffering, NO

Q: A few years ago I lost my husband due to a long-lasting illness. Although it is still not easy to bear this, it has made me stronger. At first my feelings were peaking up and down like a rollercoaster. All I could do is watching how pain took control over me. Now time is doing its work and I feel purified. I guess now I know what you mean with purification.

Castle Island.

Castle Island. (Photo credit: B4bees)

A: I know your story and I agree you went through a time of pain. Just like a long dark winter is letting you forget how warm the sun can be, you forgot for a while how full of joy and pleasure Life also can show itself.

You were shocked by a life-event that let you feel deep and dark emotions full of isolation and dispar. Now you notice the emotions come to rest and you feel purified. yes I can agree that this was a process of purification.

Q: But I suffered a lot as well. So?

A: Lets go back to Identification. Consciousness needs the manifest to know itself and is therefore one and the same. Consciousness creates itself into manifestation, over and over. So your body, the body, is consciousness in manifestation. It is like the lamp looking into its own light. Soon enough the lamp wants to protect itself against the objects it is making alive by shining its own light on it. This is the circle of manifestation. This is you, the idea of a non-existing person into a non-existing world. And as long as you take this stand, suffering will be the main course of your daily routine.

Q: Main course?

A: Yes, because living the life of a separated person, safeguarded in your self made castle, with a world of objects on the outskirts, is THE invitation to an army of invaders to knock on your protection. Sometimes the enemy takes a break, giving you a nice and welcome relief, but all the time they are waiting in front of the gates, ready to take over your city. Now meet the people who are knocked down by Life. Their parents, ex-husbands, government, environment, work, even their children, all are part of the army invading their protected cities.

Q: I understand your talks, but it is so hard to realise who I am during direct emotional times.

A: This is so true, and I don’t urge anyone to avoid pain, on the contrary. When pain knocks on your door, it is there and not to avoid. I can assure you when one of my beloved ones suffers or even passes away, I will cry without hesitation. Emotions are direct in connection with the body. ruling its own world of pleasures and pains. But, I don’t suffer!

Heaven

Heaven (Photo credit: adyyflickr)

Purification is inviting you to meet the enemy inside your castle. In fact they are not your enemy at all. They invite you to feel their presence with an intensity you never have felt before. The pain is so true, so alive, so real, that it wipes out everything else for a while. Now that you have invited them into your castle you start to meet them as good companion, it enriches your life. When this is fully realised, a next time you will even have no defenses set; the gates to your castle will be open. Walls will be no longer in need. I am very glad for you.

That you still miss your husband is very natural. It is part of this manifest, this bodily experience. As long as the body is there, all bodily experiences will remain. When Life knocks on your door, invite it immediately. Without hesitation. Too bad most people are just building up their walls, but they will never be strong enough to keep Life out of it. One day they take over your city leaving you with a feeling of suppression, or you just invite Life as your friend. This is purification.

Give up All and Everything. Enjoy Life!

With the best motivation, love and understanding you sit in front of your teacher. Now the moment is there to find out everything on who YOU are. Open and fresh, nothing to lose. Or better said, most willingly to give up everything and all. Rather sooner or later your head will become a mumbo-jumbo of Idea’s, Thoughts, Concepts. And exactly this is the brick wall holding you back from everything to know.

Q: I have given up desires like building a career to make money, because I want to spend all of my time on my spiritual search for true knowledge . Lately I really got confused, because you told us: just follow your Heart’s desires, even when this is making money. Did I make the wrong choices? What can I do?

A: You sit here voluntarily. You can go whenever you want to go.

Q: No, this is where I want to be. There is hardly any single moment I am not busy with the subject ‘ who am I ‘. At the other hand I am considering taking classes to become a teacher. It will need hours of study and attention next to my current job. I even would have less time to visit you?

A: I have to send you home. Pick up your studies and become a wonderful teacher.

Q: Really? I don’t want to go. This is where I want to be!

Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine

Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine

A: It is you who puts up the question? Should I go for my career, or a spiritual Life? I never urged you to favor one of the other? I never asked you to drop your career? Are you insane? You are a very intelligent social person; you would do it very well working with children. And what is wrong with having a bit more money? All the exiting things you could do or buy?

Q: I can’t. The world and his material matters seem so the opposite of my spiritual interests. I am really, really very confused.

A: What is there for you in this being with me?

Q: I feel released, at peace. It all becomes so silent. No thoughts. I love it. And still when I return to my world of work….it is…, challenge and competition. Really it all feels so hard to live with. What to do?

A: Give up all concepts on a so-called spiritual life

Q: I did!

A: No, than you would enjoy becoming a teacher. No matter what. You made the separation. Why? You still try to seek a safety spot. A place to hide. Like you had one as a child. A place in the house, your garden or the neighbourhood. You even kept some ‘ secret ‘ stuff there. Nobody else would know about your very own hide-away. Now you do the same with your so-called ‘spiritual’ life.

Teacher in primary school in northern Laos

Teacher in primary school in northern Laos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Try to find out how ” spiritual” concepts made changes to your life. Have you become a vegetarian, an environmentalist, anti-globalist, eating just whole-food. A bit like the parents from Dharma in’ Dharma and Greg ‘. They live in their own self-created spiritual world. This is what you have done already by questioning Life. Your Life.

For selfrealisation I exclude nothing. What I mean is: don’t invite parts of a new life-style because it makes the world, your life acceptable. Just do what your Heart is telling you to do. And when this is making the word ‘ a better place ‘ according to your standards; So be it. But not as part of a spiritual world. There is no such thing! Really. Again, don’t make any concept. Your body is the concept, the world is a concept. There is no escape. Just watch and enjoy. No boundaries.