How Life becomes Love: my story , part 1

The World around often seems so hard, so cruel. While at the same time we feel so gentle, so humble, ready to share our love with everything that visits our Life. I agree that sickness, poverty, unemployment, bankruptcy, divorces and death are not the life-experiences we prefer but, at the same time, we all get our fine share of crisis while being on planet earth. What can we do about it? Or better, do we need to do something about it? It is a question I often get. A quest of Life I remember myself so well. I have been there. All the way. Nearly all of us invite confrontation in life, and then we ask ourselves this question: why is this world not more to my liking, not more how I would have wished it for? Why can it be so harsh at moments?

The good part is: there is an explanation to everything. Let us start where we all start to live our problems. Yes, we all because we all learn to act in this world like being a person in a body, called whatever is our name. When we are at the age of 2 or 3, in the short period when we have learned the words ‘yes’ and ‘no’, we also know our name, speaking it out loudly while pointing at our chest. From here we find our-self as a separated person in the form of a body as part of the world in which we live. Basically this is the identification where most of us will stay till death ends this manifestation. In fact our name, and this yes or no, are the result of identification. An identification that will come up as the setup for our defenses to survive in an outside world that, acts unexpected and not always in our favor.

Worlds Apart

Worlds Apart (Photo credit: Sony200boy)

We go to school, learn skills, get jobs, a career, a partner, children, a house, health-insurance and a pension-plan: from children-playground to huge castles with sometimes even an empire. The bigger our castle, the better defense we have, the more power we think we need to withstand Life. It sounds harsh but, mainly this is what we do. This is our life: we just want to survive in a world that can and will bring us unexpected disasters.

We might be lucky and build up a castle with the best defenses of the world. Somehow there never even shows up an enemy near the gates. Life begins and ends like a field of flowers. It happens. We all know one or two like that. Unfortunately its just for the happy few of us because, usually our invaders are stronger and more cunning than we are. They exactly know how to take down our defenses. They exactly know how to press the button to open the gate. Just one single event in a split of a second and our defenses will go down. We usually immediately start to repair our walls and canons. Now even stronger with more escape-routes. We take other jobs, other partners and everything that we need to feel ourselves more comfortable with. We even sometimes invite a more spiritual path to understand the meaning of Life. Again unfortunately we just start to check that same invading world that, a moment ago has taken down our walls. While first we now should ask ourselves the question: why did we build that castle in the first place? The realisation that our bodily appearance, as an object in the middle of a world of other objects, is already our biggest defensive castle. It is still one giant step too far at that moment. And here we rebuild again and, again.

Green life

No, first we try to become friends with the world. We invite the world in our life. From problems we learn, we call them challenges and so we start to refurbish our houses with furniture from which we secretly hope it will last a life-time. We give them names like feelings, heart, blessing and connection. All pondered with affection. From now on we share our power with the world. Our new defenses we call love and acceptance. We have given up the power trip by not fighting every unwanted phenomena that enters our life. We have found a new way to deal with life-events, to embrace them. Good? Yes but, just for some.

Sometimes we get struck by lightning and there seems no escape. Nowhere to go and nowhere to come. No escape? Is there really nothing at that very moment of loss. No there is not. Better, this having no escape, no tools left to rebuild our castle, is our  freedom! Our loss can become the beginning of a new adventure. THE best adventure of our live is ready to embark now.

PART 2 in a few weeks.

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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!

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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This second is the only thing you have left!

Now it is time to realise ‘who’ you are. In fact now it is the only moment you have. This is the opportunity to realise who you are, every split second of your life! Not next year. Now. It is on the tip of your nose. And still many of you follow a road in time to get somewhere: waiting for some spiritual big bang to happen. . First you have to work hard, then you might get what you want to have. If you need more time, no worries. There will be a ‘ next life ‘ with again plenty of time to finnish the quest for Life. This time-related thinking is a huge trap all seeker will have to face and challenge.

 

A: How do you see your progress towards your enlightenment? Getting there?

Osho („Rajneesh“ Chandra Mohan Jain)

Osho (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Q: I know you try to catch me into something.

 

A: Why should I? I mean it serious. I want to know how you think about your own progression!

Q: Every time I think it’s getting clear ‘who I am’ there seems more left to discover. At least it feels that way. For instance I still keep making endless unwanted Identifications with my life. Its is too hard to realise myself all the time. Permanent I mean. Somehow I know, that’s for sure, but it seems not enough to make a final ‘jump’.

A: This is really enough to know who you are. I agree that it is very hard to leave the position of the person, or the idea of an ego behind. The mind is cunning, even when there is no mind. :.)). It is you, the Idea itself that creates a you struggling to become enlightened in timeline.

When I put the question to the table: how are you doing on ‘your ‘ path to enlightenment you all try to explain me that there are still many things left to find out. We love to read and talk about great masters, like Buddha or Osho. I see more quotes of them both then you yourself have spoken words in your entire life. True, these great masters were wonderful, but they are gone. They are dead. I understand why you love to read them, but at the same time you idolize them when it comes to a spiritual Life. You often adore them so much that you use them to create new obstacles to instant realisation. I am more interested in the person who sends the quotes around than the teachers themselves.

 

Q: Still I am looking up to them, They are such good examples of great teachers. I still love to listen to the great talks of Osho. They inspire me. It is like I feel so much more at the point of coming home when I hear him talking.

A: Put all books and tapes aside and start realising yourself: now. You all act like hikers going for the horizon. It is always far away, but one day. You will never ever get there. There always will be a horizon. There always will be a new opportunity, a next life probably. You surely will need a hundred lives to reach the status of the great Teachers. It s always in the future. So let me ask you again: do you realise now who you are?

Q: Hmm, yes, but….

A: Stop walking!

 

Q: How?

A: This moment, this very second is all you have. Everything has gone. Just this very moment is present. Realise that. No time, no space, no Idea’s. Leave them out. be silent for a while and tell me what you see now.

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)

Q: I feel happy and silent.

A: Great. wonderful. Stay like that. This silence is still seen by you. This inner-peace is still felt by you. There is still a feeling of someone watching over all your non-actions. Go more into that. Take in the position of the watcher. Be the watcher and then become active. Grab this with whole of your heart. Get drunk into this active watching. There will be a moment you will stop running and you give up on looking. You will realise into awareness that YOU are awareness.

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