Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Communicating from the Soul

There are different levels of communication. You can communicate from the soul or you can communicate simply from the mind. If communication is only from the mind, if it's merely cognitive, it becomes just a form of entertainment. But when the soul dimension is present, everything changes. In that kind of conversation, you have to be careful what you say because inherent in that dimension is a shared recognition that you have to back it up, you have to live it. Otherwise, even a discussion of the most profound and subtle spiritual matters is just sophisticated conceptual entertainment. It may be fascinating, intriguing, even inspiring, but it lacks the weight of obligation. The nature of any discussion about serious things is going to be radically different when inherent in it is the knowledge that you have to back it up. That makes it very real. So if you are communicating with that level of attention and are listening to others with that kind of seriousness, you are literally creating a new moral context. You are communicating in the presence of a higher consciousness and a higher conscience that is not just your own. The words are not free. It's not a one-night-stand kind of conversation.

Andrew Cohen

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Visit from the Buddha

Why did I visit the Magic Monastery? Well, I'm a monk myself, and the strangest thing happened in my monastery. We had a visit from the Buddha.
We prepared for it, and gave him a very warm, though solemn, welcome. He stayed overnight, but he slipped away very early in the morning. When the monks work up, they found grafitti all over the cloister walls. Imagine! And do you know what he wrote? One word...TRIVIA...TRIVIA...TRIVIA...all over the place.

Well, we were in a rage. But then when I quited down I looked about and realized, "yes, it is true." So much of what I saw was trivia, and most of what I heard. But what is worse, when I closed my eyes, all inside was trivia. For several weeks this was my experience, and my very efforts to rectify it just made it worse. I left my monastery and headed for the Magic Monastery.

The Brother showed me around. First, the Hall of Laughter. Everything fed the flame of laughter, big things and small, scared, solemn, inconsequential. Only laughter there. Next, the Room of sorrow. The very essence of bitter tears-those of the breaved mother, the lonely, the depressed. only sorrow here.

Now the Hall of Words. Words upon words, spoken and written Alone they must have had some sense, but all together-total confusion. I cried out. "Stop! Stop!" but I was only adding words to words.

Next the great Hall of Silence. Here there is no time.

He took me finally to the Hall of Treasures. "Take anything you want," he wispered.

I chose the heart of Jesus, and with it I am heading back to my monastery.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


"The University of Miami found two free protein building
amino-acids, glycin and alanin, in lunar rocks brought back
by the crew of Apollo X1. Actualy man, who so dislikes being
alone, ought to be very happy about these scientific proofs
which assure him that he is not alone in the cosmos,
and that on the contrary probably lots of clever playfellows
are waiting there for him to pick up the traces of their former
visits that they left behind.
For according to the present state of knowledge we should accept
the folowing facts: All matter in the universe was originally
united in one primordial atom. The chemical perquisites for life
exist on other stars in our galaxy.
But where is there room for the "good God" in this fantastic
theoretical structure erected by science? The personification of
the force that must have existed before the big bang as God,
and the conceptions of this kindly old man produced for the
faithful by the cathechists simply blindfold us.
The original prodigious force which existed before the
beginning of all being was a neutrum.

IT existed before the big bang.

IT unleased the great destruction.

IT caused all the worlds in the universe to originate from the explosion.

IT, incorporeal primordial force, the decisive primordial command, became

matter and IT knew the result of the great explosion.

IT wanted to reach the stage of lived experience.

In all places where men gather together to praise the
creator, they feel a beneficent strengthening togetherness.
As if roused by the note of a tuning fork, the shared sense
of something transcendent echoes silently through the interior.
Temples and churches are places for contemplation, spaces
for the communal praise of the indefinable, of IT,
which for want of a better word we have learned to call God.
The places of assembly are necessary, but the rest is superfluous.

Excerpts from 'The Gold of the Gods' (final chapter)

by Erich Von Daniken

The most compassionate and helpful thing we can do 
is to make room for our own hurt so that we do not
have to look away when we see it in the eyes of another.

--Scott Morrison
Hat tip-Ana

Satsang for Sunday

The Audacity of Humility
I walked up to an old, old monk and asked him,
"what is the audacity of humility?" This man
had never met me before, but do you know what
his answer was? "To be the first to say 'I love you.'"

Theophane The Monk
Hat tip-Ana

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Start seeing everything as God
But keep it a secret
Become like a man who is awestruck
and nourished, listening to a golden nightingale
sing in a beautiful foreign language
while god nests invisibly upon it's tongue.
Hafiz, who can you tell in this world
That when a dog runs up to you
wagging it's ecstatic tail,
you bend down and whisper in it's ear
'Beloved, I am so glad that you are happy to see me,
Beloved, I am so glad, so very glad, that you have come.


Friday, February 24, 2006


The pot is a God. The winnowing
fan is a God. The stone in the
street is a God. The comb is a
God. The bowstring is also a
God. The bushel is a God and the
spouted cup is a God.

Gods, gods, there are so many
there’s no place left
for a foot.
There is only
one God. He is our Lord
of the Meeting Rivers.

By Basavanna
(1106 - 1167)

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have engineered a strain of pond scum that could, with further refinements, produce vast amounts of hydrogen through photosynthesis.

The work, led by plant physiologist Tasios Melis, is so far unpublished. But if it proves correct, it would mean a major breakthrough in using algae as an industrial factory, not only for hydrogen, but for a wide range of products, from biodiesel to cosmetics.

Read on...
"Egos clash. That's the nature of egos.
Treat these outbursts as sneezing fits."

~Hugh Prather in Spiritual Notes to Myself

In the market, in the cloister--only God I saw.

In the market, in the cloister--only God I saw.
In the valley and on the mountain--only God I saw.
Him I have seen beside me oft in tribulation;
In favour and in fortune--only God I saw.
In prayer and fasting, in praise and contemplation,
In the religion of the Prophet--only God I saw.
Neither soul nor body, accident nor substance,
Qualities nor causes--only God I saw.
I opened mine eyes and by the light of His face around me
In all the eye discovered--only God I saw.
Like a candle I was melting in His fire:
Amidst the flames outflashing--only God I saw.
Myself with mine own eyes I saw most clearly,
But when I looked with God's eyes--only God I saw.
I passed away into nothingness, I vanished,
And lo, I was the All-living--only God I saw.

By Baba Kuhi of Shiraz
(980? - 1050)

English version by Reynold A. Nicholson

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

In the physical world, you are here
and everything else is without you.
You are contained in space.
In the dream, all that you see
is contained within you.

Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
From: A Meditation Theme for Each Day
Selected and arranged by Hazrat Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan


We were talking about magic
as we drove along a crowded
Sunday highway
when the whirl of wings
made me turn
and a flock of geese
flew over our car
so low I could see
their feet tucked under them.
For a moment the rustle
of their presence over our heads
obscured everything
and as they disappeared
you said,
"I see what you mean."
~ Jenifer Nostrand ~

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Imaginary Career

At first a childhood, limitless and free
of any goals. Ah sweet unconsciousness.
Then the sudden terror, schoolrooms, slavery,
the plunge into temptation and deep loss.

Defiance. The child bent becomes the bender,
inflicts on others what he once went through.
Loved, feared, rescuer, wrestler, victor,
he takes his vengeance, blow by blow.

And now in vast, cold, empty space, alone.
Yet hidden deep within the grown-up heart,
a longing for the first world, the ancient one...

Then, from His place of ambush, God leapt out.

--Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Bonfire at Midnight

A shout comes out of my room
where I've been cooped up.
After all my lust and dead living I can still live with you.
You want me to.
You fix and bring me food.
You forget the way I've been.

The ocean moves and surges in the heat
of the middle of the day,
in the heat of this thought I'm having.
Why aren't all human resistances burning up with this thought?

It's a drum and arms waving.
It'a a bonfire at midnight on the top edge of a hill,
this meeting again with you.

Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi
Coleman Barks version
"Don't look for help from someone other
than yourself. The remedy for your wound
is the wound itself."

~ RumiMuriel Maufroy, from:
"Breathing Truth - Quotations from Jalaluddin Rumi"

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I have a feeling that my boat
has struck, down there in the depths,
against a great thing.
And nothing
happens! Nothing...Silence...Waves...

--Nothing happens? Or has everything happened,
and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?

Juan Ramon Jimenez
English version by Robert Bly

"Most people ignore most poetry / because / most poetry ignores most people."

- Adrian Mitchell

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


The Beer Bottle

The Pepsi Cartons Stacked Upside Down on the

The Canvas Tote Bag

A Truck Backing Up

The Aquarium

Post-it Note with Advertisement on Books

Pringles Hot & Spicy

The path of forgiveness is the Path of Freedom.

Forgiveness is a rebellion
against the ego’s self-importance.
After many births the wise seek refuge in me, seeing me everywhere and in everything. Such great souls are very rare. There are others whose discrimination is misled by many desires. Following their own nature, they worship lower gods, practicing various rites.

-Bhagavad Gita 7:19-20

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Those who don't feel this Love
pulling them like a river,
those who don't drink dawn
like a cup of spring water
or take in sunset like supper,
those who don't want to change,

Let them sleep.

This Love is beyond the study of theology,
that old trickery and hypocrisy,

If you want to improve your mind that way,

sleep on.

I've given up on my brain,
Ive torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.

If you're not completely naked,
wrap your beautiful robe of words
around you,

and sleep.

--Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Be the captive of Love in order that you may be truly
free--free from
coldness and the worship of self.
Thousands have passed who were wise
and learned but
who were strangers to Love.
No name is left to them,
nothing to proclaim their fame and
dignity or to relate their history
in the march of time.
Although you may attempt to do a hundred things
in this
world, only Love will give you release from the bondage

Leave everything and cleave to love! Turn your heart from all else;

feel love in your whole being! Take love as your guide to the land of
being so that you may reach the True Beloved, enter the Paradise of
God's essence, behold the beauty of the Friend, gather roses of the
garden of Union. In the way of love, the lover sacrifices himself but
finds the dear one. All the saints who have drunk of the wine of love
have sacrificed thenselves thus in the way of love.
--Sheikh Muzaffer

There is no salvation for the soul

But to fall in Love.
It has to creep and crawl
Among the Lovers first.

Only Lovers can escape
From these two worlds.
This was written in creation.

Only from the Heart
Can you reach the sky.
The rose of Glory
Can only be raised in the Heart.

--Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Monday, February 13, 2006

Master Yourself

Love yourself and watch -
Today, tomorrow, always.

First establish yourself in the way,
Then teach,
And so defeat sorrow.

To straighten the crooked
You must first do a harder thing -
Straighten yourself.

You are your only master.
Who else ?
Subdue yourself,
And discover your master.

Willfully you have fed
Your own mischief.
Soon it will crush you
As the diamond crushes stone.

By your own folly
You will be brought as low
As your worst enemy wishes.
So the creeper chokes the tree.

How hard it is to serve yourself,
How easy to lose yourself
In mischief and folly.

The kashta reed dies when it bears fruit.
So the fool,
Scorning the teachings of the awakened ,
Spurning those who follow the law,
Perishes when his folly flowers.

Mischief is yours.
Sorrow is yours.
But virtue also is yours,
And purity.

You are the source
Of all purity and all impurity.

No one purifies another.

Never neglect your work
For another's,
However great his need.

Your work is to discover your work
And then with all your heart
To give yourself to it.

Lord Buddha

Adapted from the Dhammapada
Translated by Thomas Byrom

In one salutation to thee, my God (from Gitanjali)

In one salutation to thee, my God, let all my senses spread out and touch this world at thy feet.
Like a rain-cloud of July hung low with its burden of unshed showers let all my mind bend down at thy door in one salutation to thee.
Let all my songs gather together their diverse strains into a single current and flow to a sea of silence in one salutation to thee.
Like a flock of homesick cranes flying night and day back to their mountain nests let all my life take its voyage to its eternal home in one salutation to thee.

By Rabindranath Tagore
(1861 - 1941)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Mindfulness is not just a word or a discourse by the Buddha, but a meaningful state of mind. It means we have to be here now, in this very moment, and we have to know what is happening internally and externally. It means being alert to our motives and learning to change unwholesome thoughts and emotions into wholesome ones. Mindfulness is a mental activity that in due course eliminates all suffering.

-Ayya Khema, "Be an Island"

Saturday, February 11, 2006

"Everything in the universe is made of one element which is a note, a single Note. Atoms are really vibrations which are extentions of the Big Note. Everything is one Note, everything. Even the ponies. The Note, however, is the Ultimate Power. But, see, the pigs don't know that; the ponies don't know that."
"You mean just we know that?"
--Frank Zappa, Lumpy Gravy

Monday, February 06, 2006


It is a sign of spiritual maturity when the individual experiences for him- or herself a powerful urgency to evolve. As you begin to transcend the ego and awaken to the authentic self, which is the first cause or creative impulse becoming conscious of itself in the human heart and mind, you will have the often shocking recognition that there is literally no time to waste—not because some external authority has told you so but because the internal God-principle awakening within you makes it apparent as an intuitive recognition or absolute knowing. In that recognition, you become aware of the absolute dimension of life and death, and you also realize the precariousness of your presence on this planet as a vulnerable biological organism supported by a delicate balance of countless factors.
So a sign of maturity, in a spiritual context, is knowing how precious every moment actually is—on one hand because of your human frailty, and on the other hand because you appreciate the miraculous nature of the self-reflective capacity that has taken billions of years to emerge in this evolving organism and recognize its profound implications for our particular moment in history. You begin to see that this extraordinary human form that is you makes all things possible, and at the same time you become painfully aware of its inherent limitations. This dual recognition creates a sense of urgency, purpose, and meaning that is overwhelming. And the degree to which you awaken to this is the degree to which you will feel compelled to drop your identification with the endless fears and desires of the ego. Why? Because there is no time to waste. In light of the overwhelming significance and precariousness of our presence here, the ego's concerns become absolutely irrelevant. You will find the willingness to nobly struggle in whatever way is needed, so your own ego will never be an obstacle to the evolution of consciousness itself. Indeed, if you are authentically engaged with the evolution of consciousness, there is literally no difference between your own effort and intention to participate in the process and the actual development of that process itself. What could be more exciting than that? Then God's thrill becomes your thrill, and the ecstatic urgency of the evolutionary impulse becomes your very own reason to be.

Andrew Cohen
January 29, 2006

There is a community of the spirit.

Join it, and feel the delight
of walking in the noisy street
and being the noise.

Drink all your passion
and be a disgrace.

Close both eyes
to see with the other eye.

Open your hands,
if you want to be held.

Sit down in this circle.

Quit acting like a wolf, and feel
the shepherd's love filling you.

At night, your beloved wanders.
Don't accept consolations.

Close your mouth against food.
Taste the lover's mouth in yours.

You moan, "She left me." "He left me."
Twenty more will come.

Be empty of worrying.
Think who created thought!

Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?

Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.

Flow down and down in always
widening rings of being.
~ Rumi ~

Saturday, February 04, 2006

If God Invited You to a Party

And said,

In the ballroom tonight
Will be my special

How would you then treat them
When you

Indeed, indeed!

And Hafiz knows
There is no one in this world

Is not upon
His Jeweled Dance

( The Gift versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)

What will happen?

What happens when your soul
Begins to awaken
Your eyes
And your heart
And the cells of your body
To the great Journey of Love?

First there is wonderful laughter
And probably precious tears

And a hundred sweet promises
And those heroic vows
No one can ever keep.

But still God is delighted and amused
You once tried to be a saint.

What happens when your soul
Begins to awake in this world

To our deep need to love
And serve the Friend?

O the Beloved
Will send you
One of His wonderful,
wild companions
like Hafiz.

(I Heard God Laughing versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

There is a candle in your heart,

ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul,
ready to be filled.
You feel it, don't you?
You feel the separation
from the Beloved.
Invite Him to fill you up,
embrace the fire.
Remind those who tell you otherwise that
comes to you of its own accord,
and the yearning for it
cannot be learned in any school.

From: 'Hush Don't Say Anything to God:
Passionate Poems of Rumi'
Translated by Sharam Shiva

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

First He pampered me with a hundred favors,

Then He melted me with the fires of sorrows.
After He sealed me with the seal of Love,
I became Him.
Then, He threw my self out of me.

--Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi