The Hidden Splendour

A person who meditates sincerely generates tremendous energy within and around him.  Existence blesses him with healing powers that are also felt by others.  The same could happen to a devotee whose prayers originate from his heart and is not a mechanical ritual taught by priests.  Authenticity is needed in both the cases.  The healing with the meditator or the devotee is not something of his own, but a blessing from the divine or God’s grace.  When the flower blooms it has the fragrance that spreads around.
The flower does not go into an ego trip.  In one of his discourses on THE HIDDEMeditation dhyanaN SPLENDOUR, Osho makes this point with a Sufi story :  A Sufi mystic was so full of love and joy  —- his life was filled with laughter, music and dancing.  So God became very interested in because he never asked for anything, he never prayed.  He never went to the mosque, he never even uttered the name of God.
God became intrigued with the mystic and came to the Sufi and said, “I am immensely happy because that is how I want people to be.  I don’t want them to pray for an hour and do the opposite in the remaining 23 hours.  I don’t want them to become pious once they enter the mosque, and when they go back, they leave their piety in the mosque and are just their own selves : angry, jealous, full of anxiety and violence.  I have watched you and I have loved you.  That is why you have become the prayer.  You are, right now, my only argument in the world that something more than man exists —– although you have never argued, you have not even uttered my name, but you live, you love, you are so full of joy that there is no need for any language, your very presence becomes the argument for my existence.  I want to give you a blessing.  You can ask for anything.”
The Sufi said, “But I don’t need anything.  Forgive me, I cannot ask, because I really don’t need anything.  You are generous, you are loving, you are compassionate, but I am so full, there is no space within me for anything else.”  God said, “I knew you would not ask for anything.  Don’t ask for yourself, but you can ask for others, because there are millions of people who are miserable and sick, and have never known anything for which they can be grateful.  I can give you powers to do miracles, and you can change the lives of all these people.”
Yoga meditationThe Sufi said, “If you insist, then I can accept your gift under one condition.”  God said, “Condition ? You are really strange.  What is the condition ?”  The Sufi said, ” My condition is that I should not become aware of what is happening through me, by you.  It should happen behind my back.  It should happen through my shadow.  I may be passing and my shadow may fall on a dead tree, and the tree may become alive again, but I should not know it, because I don’t want to fall back.  If I know it —– that I have done it, or even that God has chosen me as the instrument to do it —– it is dangerous.  So my condition is : a blind man might start seeing, but neither should he know that it is because of me, nor should I know that it is because of me.  My shadow behind my back will do all the miracles.”
And it is said that God said to him, ” You are not only strange, you are unique and rare.  And this will be so : You will never know what things are happening around you.  Miracles will happen.  And I will remember your condition.”
————- Swami Chaitanya Keerti.
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The soul is layered

Once there were two frogs who lived in a well.  One day one of the frogs jumped out of the well and disappeared.  He was gone for several days, and when he returned, the other frog asked him where he had been.

“There is such a whole big world out there beyond the well”, said the first frog, and he began to describe all the sights and sounds he had heard. ” You must be making all this up”, said the second frog.  “There is nothing but this well.  You are imagining all the things you have told me.  If there were all those things you describe, then surely they would be here in the well.  I have not seen them.  They cannot possibly exist”.

human soul


Often we are like the second frog  We my think that because we have not seen all there is to see, that nothing else exists.  We close our mind like the frog in the well.  There was a time when people believed that the world was flat, until an explorer proved it was round  There was a time when scientists believed that the Earth was the centre of the Universe and the Sun revolved around it, until they discovered this to be false.  Throughout the ages, there have been visionaries who discovered their soul.  They left behind accounts of their experiences in the form of scriptures and oral traditions, which were then recorded by their students.  We are their beneficiaries and we can try these techniques for ourselves.  We some practice, we can expand our inner vision.

We need a burning desire to find out who we really are.  When we want something intensely, we become so focussed that we block out other distractions.  When we desire to awaken our soul, it responds and its faint call can be heard.  Its own power starts to stir and our attention can no longer ignore it.  The stronger the cry, the more our attention is drawn to it.  With time, the call of the world can become more and more faint as our attention is pulled irresistibly towards love, music and bliss of our soul.

——–Sant Rajinder Singhji.

Take it easy

Yogi


A Yogi walked around the room bare-footed, wearing his white robe.  He was in stark contrast to his audience, who were all executives from a large corporate.

The Yogi looked at his audience benevolently and then took out a stone from his bag.  He asked his audience how heavy they thought the stone is.  The room rang with answers ranging from 2kgs to 8kgs.  A few people asked to hold the stone before they could answer the question.
The Yogi smiled and said they are all correct as the absolute weight of the stone does not matter.  He said,” If I hold it for a minute, it is weightless.  But if I were to hold it for 10 mins, my hand will ache.  If I held for a day, maybe my hand will go numb.”  He then continued, ” The stress that you have is just like that stone.  Think about it for a short while and nothing will happen.  However, if you cling to it all day long, you will go numb and won’t be bale to do anything.  Remember to put that stone down before you go home.”
Yogi meditating paintingThis Yogi’s word rings true for all of us as well.  Stress may be a fact of life, but being stressed is not.  Stress can not only impact you mentally, but can have an effect on your physical well-being.  Eliminating stress from your life is a matter of choice and the good part is, you get to choose.
Effective management of stress requires balancing between work, rest and exercising.  While we do rest to recover from the fatigue, we forget the importance of exercise.  Being physically active reduces the stress hormones and increases your endorphin levels.  Cycling, running, yoga or a work-out in a gym  ——– just choose your favourite activity and get busy.
Practise relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation.  Consciously and progressively work through your body to tense every muscle for ten seconds and then release.  Take your mind to a nice and happy place.  Think about happy thoughts.
Whenever you get extra tensed, remember ———– THIS TOO SHALL PASS. 
—— William James.

The enemy within

introspection


There is a very meaningful Sufi story : A man was very worried because every night someone would enter his garden and destroy all his plants.  He did everything that could be done to protect it.  He posted guards along the boundary, bur never was anybody seen entering the garden at night.  Yet, every morning, the garden would be trashed.  He then went to a Sufi Master, in the hope that the Master would be able to see things he and the guards could not.  The Master closed his eyes and said, “Do one thing, fix the alarm on your clock for two o’clock in the night.”  “How is this going to help ?  My guards are continuously watching and patrolling around the house.”  The Master said, “There is no need to argue.  Just do what I say.  Fix the alarm for two o’clock.  Then come the next day and tell me what happened.”

He was not convinced but he tried.  At two o’clock, when the alarm went off, he woke up.  He was standing in his own garden, wrecking havoc on his plants.  He was a “somnambulist”  ——- a sleepwalker.
 If we look deep within ourselves, we will see that in some way or the other, we are all sleepwalkers.  We sow the seeds of our misdeeds in the deep sleep of unconsciousness, and then wonder why our lives are so miserable.  When we love another person, we often end up taking things for granted in the name of love.  
Osho suggests : Remain a “watcher”, remain a “witness”.  Remind yourself continuously.  Sadness has come.  It has happened to you ——- it is not you.  The moment you remember this, suddenly you will see a distance arising between you and the sadness.  It does not affect you any longer.  When you lose awareness, there is a distance.  The more your awareness rises, the more the distance increases.  A moment comes when you see so far away from your sadness, that it is as if it is not there at all.  The same has to be done with happiness too.  It will be difficult, because one wants to cling to happiness.  But, by clinging to happiness, you are sowing the seeds of your sorrow.  That is how this parable is of tremendous importance.
The master himself —- in his sleep, in his unawareness —- came to the field, the wheat field and sowed the seeds of weeds.  In deep sleep, he was a sleepwalker.  In the morning, he started asking, “Who has done this ?”  You are responsible for the wrongs in your life.  You have brought them upon yourself.  But, in the morning, when you wake up, you ask, “Who has done this ?” and start searching for the wrongdoer.  THE ENEMY IS WITHIN.  The enemy is hidden deep within your consciousness.
————– Swami Chaitanya Keerti. 

Meditating without a cat

A great Zen Master, in charge of the monastery of MAYU KAGI, owned a cat, who was the real love of is life.  During meditation classes, he always kept the cat by his side, in order to enjoy its company as much as possible.
One morning, the master, who was already quite old, was found dead.  The oldest disciple took his place.  “What shall we do zen monasterywith the cat ?” asked the other monks.  In homage to the memory of his former teacher, the new master decided to allow the cat to continue attending the classes on Zen Buddhism.
Some disciples from neighbouring monasteries, who travelled widely in the region, discovered that in one of the most famous temples in the area, a cat took part in the meditations.  The story began to spread.
Many years passed. The cat died, but the students at the monastery were so used to its presence that they acquired another cat.  Meanwhile, the other temples began introducing cats into their meditation classes, they believed that the cat was the one actually responsible for MAYU KAGI’s fame and for the quality of his teaching, forgetting what an excellent teacher the former master had been.
A generation passed, and technical treatises on the importance of the cat in Zen Meditation began to e published.  A University Professor developed a thesis, accepted by the academic community, that the cat had the ability to increase human concentration and to eliminate negative energy.
Paulo CoelhoAnd, thus for a century, the cat was considered to be an essential part of the study of Zen Buddhism in that region.  Then a master arrived who was allergic to cat hair, and he decided to remove the cat from his daily practices with the students.  Everyone protested, but the master insisted.  Since he was a gifted teacher, the students continued to make progress, despite the cat’s absence.
Gradually, monasteries  —— always in search of new ideas and weary of having to feed so may cats ——- began to remove cats from the classroom.  Over the next 20 years, revolutionary new theses were written, bearing persuasive titles  ———- “The Importance of Meditating Without A Cat”.” Balancing the Zen Universe by the power of one’s mind alone and without the aid of animals”.
Another century passed, and the cat vanished completely from the Zen Meditation Ritual.  But it took 200 years for everything to return to normal, and all because, during that time, no one thought to ask why the cat was there.
A writer who learned of this story centuries later, wrote in his diary : “And how many of us, in our own lives, ever dare to ask : why do I behave in such and such a way ?  In what we do, how far are we too using futile “cats” that we do not have the courage to get rid of because we were told that the “cats” were important in keeping everything running smoothly ?”
—————– Paulo Coelho.

Absent-minded?

Absence of mind doesn’t mean you are careless or lacking in focus, it just means the mind is meandering through fascinating labyrinths invisible to the open eye.
All of us have moments when we lose track of the present, traipsing off into another world.  Scientists, poets philosophers and creative people are most notorious for their absentminded ways, hence the “absent-minded professor” syndrome.  Several mindlessnessanecdotes revolve around Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton due to their scattered, forgetful ways.  Einstein once called the University he worked at to ask for his own address.  Newton would forgetfully keep visitors waiting for hours, and had to be reminded to eat.  Einstein, too, needed reminders to eat and take his classes.  GK Chesterton once kept trying to open his door with a cock screw he borrowed from neighbours, rather than the latchkey in his other hand.
With multifarious distractions and mind-boggling technology today, the “absent-minded professor” syndrome strikes in newer ways.  Forgetting where you kept your car keys, having that panicky moment when you think you misplaced your cell phone, before you realise you are talking on it, forgetting why you walked into a room or why you opened the refrigerator, or forgetting why you called when someone takes the call ——- are commonplace.
Once a colleague reported trying to open his house door by swiping his I-card.  Another kept trying to use her cell phone to increase the TV volume.  To a mind focussed on the here and now, absent-mindedness may seem a negative that holds you back from worldly success.  Children are reprimanded for daydreaming and taught the virtues of staying focussed.  But, wait a minute, being absent-minded is not to lack in focus.  Sometimes we are focussed on something else that is not of this world —— an elusive element that we seek to chase, understand, grasp and perhaps bring back into this world as poetry, writing, a sketch, a unique thought or a great discovery.  It points to a “mindlessness” that allows us to soak up experiences and knowledge that too much mindfulness of the present reality cannot give us.
In THE LAST SAMURAI, Nobutada, son of the leader of the Samurai rebellion tells Tom Cruise, “Forgive me, too many minds…..” and counsels him that to be a Samurai, he must seek a “stillness of the mind” “No mind, no mind…” he advises.
meditation BuddhaWhen the mind phases out and floats away, it takes away with it any sense of ego.  “I” ceases to exist and you float in “mindlessness”, like an empty cauldron ready for new, unique experiences.  We no longer see the world so lucidly, though we see more clearly facts and truths hidden from us earlier.  Sufis say that in order to reach God in this life, we need to die before we die.  Rumi says that in order to open the doors of Heaven on earth, we need to melt down ego.  “FANA” is to melt down the consciousness of “I” and to be reborn here and now, in the consciousness of the Divine.  And from such Divinity, flows great beauty.
Rumi says mindlessness helps you unite with the Divine.  For Rembrandt, Paul Gauguin, Turner or Bach, mindlessness united them with their work.  For Einstein or Newton, it fetched unique concepts.  So the “creator” and the “created” become one.  How can you separate the “dancer” from the “dance” ?  When you become mindless, you unite with the Universal flow, allowing the “right brain” to take over.  You are in a unique position where you absorb, understand, discover, become One and create.
So, what’s wrong with being absent-minded ?  Far from being a “negative”, it is a desirable state that everyone can, or even should, aspire to.
——- vinitadawra.nangia@timesgroup.com.  

Anger is not your enemy

“Don’t try to destroy your anger, transform it into constructive energy,” says THICH NHAT HANH. 
To sit is not enough.  We have ‘to be’ at the same time.  To be what ?  To be is to be a something, you cannot be a nothing.  To eat, you have to eat something, you just cannot nothing.  To be aware is to be aware of something.  To be angry is to be angry at something.  So, to be is to be something, and that something is what is going on : in your body, in your mind, in your feelings and in the world.
THICH NHAT HANHWhile sitting, you sit and you are.  You are what ?  You are the breathing.  It is like a television set of 1 million channels.  When you turn the breathing on, you are the breathing.  When you turn the irritation on, you are the irritation.  You are one with it.  Irritation and breathing are not things outside of you.  You contemplate them in them, because you are one with them.
If I have a feeling of anger, how would I meditate on that ?  How would I deal with it ?  I have to deal with my anger, with love and tenderness, with non-violence.  In Buddhism, we do not consider anger, hate, greed as enemies we have to fight, to destroy, to annihilate.  If we annihilate anger, we annihilate ourselves.  If we deal with anger in that way, we would be like transforming ourselves into a battlefield, tearing ourselves into parts, one part taking the side of Buddha and the other part taking the side of Mara.  If you cannot be compassionate to yourself, you will not be able to be compassionate to others.  When we get angry, we have to produce awareness.
THICH NHAT HANH imageIn the case of a minor irritation, the recognition of the presence of the irritation, along with a smile and a few breaths will usually be enough to transform the irritation into something more positive, like forgiveness, understanding and love. Irritation is a destructive energy.  We cannot destroy the energy, we can only convert it into a more constructive energy.  Forgiveness is a constructive energy.  Understanding is a constructive energy.  Suppose you are in a desert, and you only have one glass of muddy water.  You have to transform the muddy water into clear water to drink, you cannot just throw it away.  So you let it settle for a while, and clear water will appear.  In the same way, we to convert anger into some kind of energy that is more constructive, because anger is you.  Without anger, you have nothing left.  That is the work of meditation.
Here is an example : A big brother gets angry at his little sister at first, and later finds that se has a fever and he becomes concerned, and he tries to help her.  So the destructive energy of anger is transformed into the energy of love.  Meditation on your anger is first of all to produce awareness of anger, I AM THE ANGER, and then to look deeply into the nature of anger.  Anger is born from ignorance, and is a strong ally of ignorance.
————————THICH NHAT HANH