A temple of ancient ceremonies

•August 4, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The body and mind are a temple with ancient ceremonies taking place in them. Every time a limited thought is replaced with simple awareness, every time our entanglement in thinking is replaced by the refulgence of pure, unbounded energy, a ritual is initiated.

The sounds of the ancients come alive, the deep lights of the heavenly bodies illuminate what is there in this body, the ethereal priests come in and do their work.

The body-mind is a temple of ancient ceremonies. The energies flow through it, upwards to the sky, the tremour and power of the energies shakes up the body-psyche, destroying the dull, allowing for the old to die, evoking new life.

In the temple of the body-mind, suffering is not fixed, suffering is not avoided, but suffering is the offering to the  sacred fire of awareness. In the innermost heart of this temple, this fire burns, quiet and refulgent, and receives the offering of sorrow, transmutes it into sacred energy, which is then offered to the universe. The regeneration of man and woman takes place in this innermost sanctum of the temple.

It is a temple in darkness, which the blinding lights of the world do not see. It is a temple seen by those who dare to be quiet, dare to be alone, not physically, but psychologically. Free from the influence of the world and thus, truly an individual.

When two persons meet with authenticity, openness, the temple’s ceremonies begin for the two of them. The ancient ritual comes alive. The priests function again and the celestial lights illuminate all.

The fragrance of the temple, the invisible temple, goes out to the world and heals our wounds. The wound of separation, the wound of being a separate individual who must reach somewhere, the wound of the noise and ugliness of the world. The wounds heal in this scent, as the ceremonies continue.

The temples are the only sanctuaries of the sacred in a world gone awry.

 

Children of the universe

•August 3, 2017 • Leave a Comment

tvameva mata ca pita tvameva

you alone are our mother, you alone are our father

We are children of the universe. Through its pulsating power, it brings us to life, our earthly parents only its final instruments in our manifestation.

We are children of the universe. From its silent depths, it manifests dazzling complexity. We are part of that complexity, yet holding the silent depths of the universe in our hearts, in the sacred recesses of our hearts.

We are children of the universe. Its ancient, billions of years old heritage is our legacy –  stardust, light, dark, silence, terror, beauty – they are our own experience, they reside and resonate in our own hearts, as they have resonated in outer space much before we were born.

As true inheritors of this legacy, we can bring our lives to resound with the order of the universe. To rise with dawn, the rest with darkness. To caress the beauty of twilight, to manifest our energies in the splendour of the sun.

Perhaps most of all, to adore the quiet, dark night, that cleanses all the disorder of the world.

The ancients were true children of the universe. They had not forgotten their real roots, where they came from. For them, the order of the universe was the order of their own lives. They called it rta, the cosmic order, which human beings are the final manifestation of.

As we go out into the world today, will we live as children of the universe? Or will we, having forgotten our spiritual home, live with the greed of modern man for more experience, for more work, for more achievement, forgetting the quit still spaces that we come from.

 

Living intensely

•August 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

If the entire universe is one thing – it is an intensity. The enormously vast spaces between the stars, lit dimly by star light, the comets raging through them, the utter silence of space where no sound can travel – it all going on for several billion years, an unimaginable time span, longer than there have been humans, longer than there has been this earth, this solar system – this enormous vastness is intensely alive.

The ancients knew this, and they discovered sounds which resonated with the silent sounds of this immensity called the universe. These sounds were the mantras.

Can we live with that intensity? Does that intensity appear in our consciousness, do we come, ever, in touch with it? When we live in this power and immensity we live like the stars, like the comets, like that sea of heavenly bodies called the milky way – all tremendously alive, awake, with its own light. We live fully, and then sorrow and joy are passing matters, our life is not controlled by them.

Our world pushes us to live in a way that is just the opposite. Our cars, our phones, our enclosed houses, they all push us away from the immensity of the universe, from the pristine purity of nature that carries that intensity. The intensity dulls, the energy becomes coagulated into physical matter. Surrounded by gadgets and hard matter, we become like matter itself – dull, thick, insensitive and far from blazingly alive. Scattered, functioning like automatic machines, repeating patterns of thought and feeling and activity, we forget the true stillness at the heart of our being, which is also the stillness at the heart of the being of the entire universe.

Perhaps that is the central challenge of our lives. Perhaps that is the central challenge of our times. For thousands of years, men and women lived outside what we call civilisation. They were in deep communion with nature, they made love to the sun, the were caressed by the moonlight. In our ambition to make more, and in our fear of uncertainty, we have made civilisations that sanitise us from the raw wildness of living, but also sap away the tremendously real, alive quality of a life lived in truth and harmony with the universe.

Living intensely is our destiny. If we don’t live intensely, we pursue intensity in things that can never give it to us – people, position, a secure space, objects. We are bound to run after them, not knowing that true intensity is in the heart that has no ambition, that wants nothing from the world, but just lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healing

•July 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

In the many lights in the skies, there was a particular light that his attention went towards. There were many stars, but one star seemed to speak. When he sat there in the night, quiet, wounded, the star spoke. Not in the words of human language. But in sounds that only the universe makes. The sounds of silence.

The light of the star was the light within. Beneath the skin, beneath the physical body, as if there was another body. It was the light of being alive – bright, silver, refulgent, but also quivering from the attacks it had suffered. The light of the star shone more brightly, as if breathing, expanding to a fullness one moment and shrinking to a concentrated brightness the next. The two lights connected, resonated. There was oneness.

The light body was then covered with a sheath of liquid, also in light. It was protection that the stars had sent. The cool, soft sheath spread over the body, keeping it safe from the harshness of the world. The tenderness flowed all over. The quivering stopped. Stillness arrived.

The communion with the heavens was complete. In the darkness of outer space, the stars shone, still, silent but refulgent. In the darkness of the night on earth, in the darkness of the room, the human body shone, still, silent, but refulgent. The wounds were purged away, there was flowering of the delicateness that makes the heart what it is. There was healing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

to be vulnerable

•July 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

dil hai ek parchhai hai lehraai si
aarzu meri hai ek angdaai si
ek tamanna hai kahin sharmaai si

saans bhi leti hain jo kathputliyaan
unki bhi thaame hai koi doriyaan
aansuon mein bheegi hain khaamoshiyaan

zindagi hai phir naye ek mod par
jaaye ab chaahe jahaan ye rehguzar
meri manzil to hai mera humsafar

– javed akhtar


To be vulnerable, is to be open to being wounded. It is to let another into one’s heart, to let down the walls that guard us from the brutalities of the world. In those inner recesses of the heart, a delicate flame is enkindled. It is the flame of love, and it is also the flame of sorrow.

As we gently cup our hands around this flame, we carry it to the other. We offer it to him, as a gift from our heart to him, for safekeeping. In this subtle sharing of something so elemental, so deep, our common humanity is touched. And two persons are then no more two, but one. Entwined together, souls burn together in the flame. Sorrow is sorrow, not my sorrow and yours. Joy is joy, not my joy and yours.

Vulnerability, then, opens up the greatest of gifts. Of real relating, of true connection, of seeing someone directly, rather than through the many veils that keep us apart. If each human  being is a centre of creation, of the manifestation of the vast beauties of the psychological world, then it is the fear of vulnerability that keeps this beauty away. It is a fear that keeps the quiet flame inside from burning, burning in the dignity and beauty of solitude, and burning and coming alive and aflame in sharing the fire of another human being.

Then one continues with the mediocrity of one’s life, the dependence on others, the fears that eat us up and make us hollow from within. We see old, elderly couples, and the many distances between them despite decades of having been together. It is the result of not being able to be vulnerable as one could, once. Of the hardening of a heart that is no longer alive, awake, aflame, burning in the refulgence of beauty, open to the pains of sorrow. A heart that is truly vulnerable.

Care

•July 17, 2017 • 2 Comments

The night is over, and the day has dawned. The world has awakened. The birds, awake, sit on their branches, chirping. The cars come out to the roads, making their disordered sounds, so different from the immense harmony between nature and the sounds of the birds. Men and women walk out of their houses, a thousand anguishes in their heart, a thousand ambitions in their minds, to live another day. A day of work, a day of conflict, a day of misery and tension. Their movements devoid of tranquility, their bodies devoid of dignity.

The night, in its silences, dissolves the chaos of the day. It brings quietness, and in its darkness all that emerges which the noise of the day drowned out. The stars shine bright, and our relationship to the universe becomes manifest in all its power, splendour.

In the day, can we take forward the rest, the quietness, the love that night blesses us with, and give that blessing to the world that is lost in its entanglements? In the day, the sun, the source of life for our little corner of the universe, shines bright, powerful, refulgent. As the night calls on us to rest and contemplate, the intensity of the sun, our father, calls on us to live. To live a life of true action. Action that is not attachment, action that is not ambition, action that is not escape from the reality of our being.

That is care. To be quietly, silently, deeply in touch with our own selves, and the immense flood of life that flows from the heart of all creation, to us, and through us. And to take that river of life forward to others. To meet human beings with real care, with true concern for who they are, for the innumerable sorrows they hide behind their hardened faces. To see the light that lies at the core of every face, however much it is hidden behind innumerable anxieties and traumas.

To work with matter – our cars, pens, computers, phones – with real care, with a real vision that sees them as a manifestation of the silence that is at the heart of the whole universe. To use them rightly, appropriately, and not get addicted to them, not get owned by them and the temptations and gratifications they offer.

To meet the brutality of the world. The people who don’t care. The spaces that are unpleasant. The noises that jar the senses. To meet them with care, for they are only the outer manifestation of the tremendous sorrow of the world. To see that behind that brutality is tremendous suffering, and there is escape from that suffering.

This is to care. To see the oneness of you and me and all of us as beings whose hearts are also the silent heart of the universe. Silent, yet refulgent with real beauty. With love.

 

 

 

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A sacred life

•July 14, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Quiet, quiet falls the night. The stars whisper to each other. The black sky darkens. The sun is behind us, on the other side of our earth. Beloved earth, our home, our protected, beautiful home in this vast, anonymous universe. The moon watches us in serenity. Quiet, quiet falls the night.

The cosmic world above me, the still passion in my heart, they are the same, a little voice tells me. Nothing can contain either. As the cosmos grows, expands, into new spaces every moment, into spaces that are not spaces, into nonbeing which becomes being. So the still passion in my heart grows more and more intense, reaching a power that no power can hold, taking a form that no form until today has been. The outer, the inner – the universe, the soul – they are both vast, infinite, limitless.

In this heart are all the sorrows of love, love lost. In this heart is the tremendous ecstasy of union. In this heart is the dying away of all intensity under the petty demands of the ‘me’. The universe too palpates with a sorrow. The still, tranquil sorrow of death. The death of a leaf, the death of a snail, squashed under the walker’s feet, the death of a star. The universe too palpates with ecstasy. The falling of evening light, the quiet softening of the green grass in that light, like the beloved placing her hand on your heart. The exploding star, the tremendous stillness of nothing but empty space, nothing, nowhere, just stillness.

The universe is sacred. The terrifying beauty of the sun, that ball of fire, the peaceful serenity of the moon, the vast distances, the eternal order of life and death. This heart is sacred. The rising of joy. The tears of beauty. The sorrow of dying away. The happiness of new birth. God created man and woman to reflect the universe in all its beauty and all its tragedy. When not lost in pettiness, one does just that.

In the silence of the night, a sacred life is born. The ugly noises of this world give way to the tremendous, exploding silences of the dark sky and what is beyond. The soul realises its oneness with the universe, the silences outside and the silences inside merge, a sacred life is born.

 

 

 

 

 
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