Monday, September 29, 2008

Liberation of Even the Antidote

In case you thought you understood "Examine the nature of unborn awareness," let go even of that understanding, that poise, that security, that sense of ground. Let go even of the idea of emptiness, of openness, of whenever you come up with a solid conclusion, let the rug be pulled out. You can pull out your own rug, and you can also let life pull it out for you.

So if you think that everything is solid, that's one trap, and if you change that for a different belief system, that's another trap. We have to pull out the rug from under our belief systems altogether. We can do that by letting go of our beliefs, and also our sense of what is right and wrong, by just going back to the simplicity and the immediacy of our present experience, resting in the nature of alaya.

~Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

Intimate Hymn

By Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
(1907 - 1972)

English version by Rabbi Zalman M. Schacter-Shalomi

From word to word I roam, from dawn to dusk.
Dream in, dream out -- I pass myself and towns,
A human satellite.

I wait, am hopeful, as one who waits at the rock
For the spring to well forth and ever well on.
I feel as bright as if I tented somewhere in the Milky Way.
To urge the world to feel I walk through lonesome solitudes.

All around me lightning explodes sparks from my glance
To reveal all light, unveil faces everywhere.
Godward, onward to the final weighing
overcoming heavy weight with thirst.
Constantly, the longings of all born call out, "Is anyone around?"
I know each one is HE, but in my heart there writhes a tear;
When of men and rocks and trees I hear;
All plead "Feel us"
All beg "See us"
God! Lend me your eyes!

I came to be, to sow the seed of sight in the world,
To unmask the God who disguised Himself as world--
And yes, I wait to be the first to announce "The Dawn."

- from "Human, God's Ineffable Name," by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, freely rendered by Rabbi Zalman M. Schacter-Shalomi. Available from the Reb Zalman Legacy Project

Saturday, September 27, 2008


All effort at controlling thoughts, appetites and desires cannot but strengthen them along with the ego. Whatever has to go must fall off by itself. All that you are concerned with, all that you are, is the impersonal functioning of understanding. So let that understanding work through witnessing without judgement, knowing that there is nothing else that you can do. Meditation and all such methods and efforts are distractions from simply abiding in the natural state which is one's limitless, real being.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


In honor of the 10-year anniversary of DMX’s classic 1998 debut It’s Dark and Hell Is HotXXL tracked down the elusive Dark Man X in Arizona to discuss what it was like making the album (that story in the May issue, on stands now). We also got the scoop on his present state of mind. In December 2007, having been released from his Sony contract earlier in the year, X inked a deal with Bodog Music, a division of the Canadian online gaming company Bodog Entertainment. Due later this year, his next projects are two separate albums called Walk With Me Now and You’ll Fly With Me Later. The former disc will be devoted to straight rap, while the latter is X’s first gospel-rap endeavor, which comes as no surprise given his spiritual background. Both feature production by his longtime collaborators Swizz Beatz, PK and Davine Bars. In the last week of January we caught up with the Yonkers MC and chatted about the status of his current project, the shape rap is in, and some guy named Obama.

There’s talk of a new album for you. When’s that coming out, like what’s up with that? Can you tell me what stage you’re at as far as recording?
Well, I’m bout to start working on the gospel album.

Yeah, the gospel album. It’s like a double album right?

It’s two different albums. Two albums, separate albums. I got a couple more tracks to do on it and that’s done. It’s the first time anybody did anything like this—two separate albums on the same day.

What made you want to release a gospel album now?
I’ve done gospel songs on every album. I figured I’d just dedicate a whole album to it.

Right. Can you tell me signing to Bodog, how that came about?
I don’t even really remember how it came about. Some real shit, I don’t remember who did what about what. I remember when I met ‘em it was in Miami.

You met who?
I met, you know, the people from Bodog in Miami and we had dinner and it was just a good vibe, good energy.

When was that? Do you remember?

But you were still signed to Sony at the time?
Nah, I had already gotten a release.

What happened with the situation at Sony? You weren’t happy there, right?
Nah, they did my whole shit—they just fucked my whole project up.

As far as marketing and stuff?
Every way. Every possible way.

So as far as this album, what should people expect from this album? What’s your mind state? What kind of songs are you doing?
Banging joints, just like the last album. Just banging joints. I’ll have a couple of ’em on my MySpace page in a couple days.

Okay, you’re on MySpace now?
I been there.

How do you feel about the digital—like, everything going through the Internet as far as…
I don’t even think about it. I don’t even think about it.

The music business is pretty much going in that direction.
I don’t know. That’s just… that’s probably not… People want the actual CDs not no shit that’s disposable.

It’s like the ringtone rappers are the guys that are selling right now.
Good for them, good for them. I’m glad they eating right now.

You don’t feel a certain way about that.
Nah, I don’t even think about it, for real. I mean, it’s a waste of energy to think about what somebody else is doing and how they doing it. I’ma just do what I do. All that shit is a headache.

What do you think about where the rap game is right now? Do you think it’s in a good space? ’Cause rap sales are down.
We’re coming around to a good space. Quietly, a good position.

Sales are down, though.
It goes in cycles.

Right, but do you think there’s a reason that rap isn’t selling like it was in your day?
Yeah ’cause niggas ain’t saying nothing. People ain’t saying nothing. Ain’t but so many people… Some people buy records just to dance to ’em. Some people buy records to listen to the radio. And there’s people that buy records ’cause they listen to every song. They not feeding the people properly.

You mean the artists?
Yeah, the artists. It’s the same ole bullshit. That’s how it get. There has to be some fuckin’ substance.

Do you think it’s a good thing that Southern music is pretty much dominating the game? There’s no cats from New York, you know. It seems like there hasn’t been in awhile. What do you think about that?
What do I think about Southern music?

I really don’t think about it.

You don’t think about it?

I really don’t care for it. To focus on other shit is a fuckin’ headache.

Right. So what artists are you listening to right now?

Same ones I been listening to—Nas and Scarface.

Nas and Scarface?
Yep, Nas and Scarface.

Have you recorded any songs for the new album?
Yeah, half the album is pretty much done, the gospel album.

Can you tell me about some of the songs, a couple of the songs that you did?
Like, what do you wanna know?

What was the first song…
The single is a joint called “All Ready.”

What were you doing in between—from the last album to this one, that whole time? What have you been up to?

Life. I been up to that. It’s been crazy. Fuckin’ police keep on fuckin’ raiding my house and shit for nothing. They took all my fuckin’ guns. All they did is take is take my guns. All they fuckin’ do is fuck my house up and take my guns. That’s all they did. Straight robbed me—that’s what they did.

Are you happy with how your last two albums did as far as sales?
Oh yeah, I’m happy. I’m happy with whatever they do.

Would you ever think about becoming the president of a label, like running your own label?
Yeah, probably.

There was a video on the Internet recently, I don’t know if you saw it, like with you in the studio.
Nah, didn’t see it.

It was like you in the studio and I guess some other producer and you were recording some songs and you were talking about some random stuff. Do you remember that?

Yeah, I think so.

People were really concerned about you or whatever.
That was a while ago. I didn’t see it.

Do you remember when you were in the studio?

Vaguely. I’d just flown in or something. I know I was tired as a muthafucka.

Tired from recording? 
I just flew in. I just flew in.

Do you worry about people getting the wrong perception of you?
No, I really don’t. People could say what they want. I don’t really care. I don’t give a fuck.

Clearly, yeah.

Anything that’s not positive, I don’t have the energy to focus on it. Anything that’s not going in the right direction I don’t have the time or the energy. If somebody step to my face, I’ma take care of ’em, that’s something different. What people think, I don’t give a fuck about none of that shit ’cause they ain’t putting money in my pocket. They ain’t taking no money out of my pocket. They all suck dick when they see me so it really doesn’t matter.

Are you following the presidential race?
Not at all.

You’re not? You know there’s a Black guy running, Barack Obama and then there’s Hillary Clinton.
His name is Barack?!

Barack Obama, yeah.


What the fuck is a Barack?! Barack Obama. Where he from, Africa?

Yeah, his dad is from Kenya.
Barack Obama?

What the fuck?! That ain’t no fuckin’ name, yo. That ain’t that nigga’s name. You can’t be serious. Barack Obama. Get the fuck outta here.

You’re telling me you haven’t heard about him before.
I ain’t really paying much attention.

I mean, it’s pretty big if a Black…
Wow, Barack! The nigga’s name is Barack. Barack? Nigga named Barack Obama. What the fuck, man?! Is he serious? That ain’t his fuckin’ name. Ima tell this nigga when I see him, “Stop that bullshit. Stop that bullshit” [laughs] “That ain’t your fuckin’ name.” Your momma ain’t name you no damn Barack.

So you’re not following the race. You can’t vote right?

Is that why you’re not following it?
No, because it’s just—it doesn’t matter. They’re gonna do what they’re gonna do. It doesn’t really make a difference. These are the last years.

But it would be pretty big if we had a first Black president. That would be huge.
I mean, I guess…. What, they gon’ give a dog a bone? There you go. Ooh, we have a Black president now. They should’ve done that shit a long time ago, we wouldn’t be in the fuckin’ position we in now. With world war coming up right now. They done fucked this shit up then give it to the Black people, “Here you take it. Take my mess.”

Right, exactly.
It’s all a fuckin’ setup. It’s all a setup. All fuckin’ bullshit. All bullshit. I don’t give a fuck about none of that.

We could have a female president also, Hillary Clinton.
I mean, either way it doesn’t matter. I don’t care. No one person is directly affected by which president, you know, so what does it matter.

Yeah, but the country is.
I guess. The president is a puppet anyway. The president don’t make no damn decisions.

The president…they don’t have that much authority basically?
Nah, never.

But Bush pretty much…
You think Bush is making fuckin’ decisions?

He did, yeah, he fucked up the country.
He act like he making decisions. He could barely speak! He could barely fuckin’ speak!
Can’t be serious. He ain’t making no damn decisions.

Well Barack has a good chance of winning so that might be something.
Good for him, good for him.

How’s your family and your kids?

They’re good. My son is rapping now.

Did he see you? I’m sure he was inspired by you.
Yeah, yeah. all that. Took him to shows and everything.

What does your wife Tashera think about him rapping?
She likes it. She’s the one who told me. She told me.

Did you talk to him? What do you tell him about the industry? Do you give him advice about the industry?

He knows it, he knows all that shit. Ah, man. I give him some advice.

What kind of advice do you give him? Like, watch out for, you know…
Advice about life, advice about girls, whatever a father would tell his son. Everything. Advice about everything. Everything. Advice about everything.

Do you think you’ve been a good father up ’til now?
[Pauses] I don’t know. I’ve done the best that I could.

I guess you never know, right?

They’re all well mannered. I hope I instilled something positive in ’em.

Would you ever do a second—like, your reality show again? ’Cause the first one did pretty well.
Yeah, I will.

After that Snoop had a show and Irv Gotti so it kind of kicked off the reality shows after you did it. Right?
Yeah I guess. Good for them. Everybody’s doing it big.

What do you think about Lil Wayne? People think he’s the hottest rapper.
He is nowhere near the hottest nothing right now. You can’t be serious.

Why do you say that? He’s on like every song.
He has to do that.

Is there anybody that you’re excited about? Are there any new rappers that you’re excited about?
No. No.

What was the last time you got excited about a new rapper? When was the last time that you really liked somebody that was coming out?
I don’t recall being excited about a new rapper ever.

Is it that bad?
No it’s not that bad. I just don’t, I’m real picky about what I fuck with.

Right, you don’t really listen to other people?
Nah, not really.

All right, well is there anything else that I missed? Anything that you’re working on?
Working on life.

Working on life.
Yeah, working on life.

Are you happy right now?
I don’t wanna be happy.

Why not?

’Cause when you happy you get locked in sleep. You get sleepy happy. I always wanna be on point. I always wanna be aware.

Right, ’cause when you’re happy you think you’re safe and you don’t…
Yeah, you get sleepy happy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Dear Lord Krishna

Love Sonnet XI
I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.
I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.
Pablo Neruda

Monday, September 15, 2008

"Your own self is your ultimate teacher. The outer teacher is merely
a milestone. It is only your inner teacher that will walk with you to
the goal, for he is the goal."
   ~Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Enraptured by Nothing

When people become very concentrated, they can often find themselves fascinated by just being still and focusing upon absolutely nothing at all. When you discover the empty ground of all being, which is not an object, you can find yourself in a state of rapture. It's like there's something you can't take your eyes off of, but that something is actually nothing at all. What is it that's so compelling about nothing at all? It's very mysterious. Why is it that when you discover this empty ground, there's a sense that "I could stay here forever"?

When the sense or awareness of time disappears, there's an expansion of consciousness. The quality of reality itself seems to deepen. Most of us live within the confines of our emotional and psychological world. So when we transcend the experience of time, the experience of reality deepens because our attention is no longer trapped or distracted by time, thought, and feeling. So when time, thought, and feeling are no longer objects of our attention, but the infinite empty ground of our own being becomes the object of our attention, what's so compelling is that because the doors of perception have opened, new dimensions in every direction seem to appear.

~Andrew Cohen

The Scripture of the Golden Eternity

Did I create that sky? Yes, for, if it was anything other than a conception in my mind I wouldnt have said "Sky"-That is why I am the golden eternity. There are not two of us here, reader and writer, but one, one golden eternity, One-Which-It-Is, That-Which- Everything-Is.

The awakened Buddha to show the way, the chosen Messiah to die in the degradation of sentience, is the golden eternity. One that is what is, the golden eternity, or, God, or, Tathagata-the name. The Named One. The human God. Sentient Godhood. Animate Divine. The Deified One. The Verified One. The Free One. The Liberator. The Still One. The settled One. The Established One. Golden Eternity. All is Well. The Empty One. The Ready One. The Quitter. The Sitter. The Justified One. The Happy One.

That sky, if it was anything other than an illusion of my mortal mind I wouldnt have said "that sky." Thus I made that sky, I am the golden eternity. I am Mortal Golden Eternity.

I was awakened to show the way, chosen to die in the degradation of life, because I am Mortal Golden Eternity.

I am the golden eternity in mortal animate form.

Strictly speaking, there is no me, because all is emptiness. I am empty, I am non-existent. All is bliss.

This truth law has no more reality than the world.

You are the golden eternity because there is no me and no you, only one golden eternity.

The Realizer. Entertain no imaginations whatever, for the thing is a no-thing. Knowing this then is Human Godhood.

This world is the movie of what everything is, it is one movie, made of the same stuff throughout, belonging to nobody, which is what everything is.

If we were not all the golden eternity we wouldnt be here. Because we are here we cant help being pure. To tell man to be pure on account of the punishing angel that punishes the bad and the rewarding angel that rewards the good would be like telling the water "Be Wet"-Never the less, all things depend on supreme reality, which is already established as the record of Karma earned-fate.

God is not outside us but is just us, the living and the dead, the never-lived and never-died. That we should learn it only now, is supreme reality, it was written a long time ago in the archives of universal mind, it is already done, there's no more to do.

This is the knowledge that sees the golden eternity in all things, which is us, you, me, and which is no longer us, you, me.

What name shall we give it which hath no name, the common eternal matter of the mind? If we were to call it essence, some might think it meant perfume, or gold, or honey. It is not even mind. It is not even discussible, groupable into words; it is not even endless, in fact it is not even mysterious or inscrutably inexplicable; it is what is; it is that; it is this. We could easily call the golden eternity "This." But "what's in a name?" asked Shakespeare. The golden eternity by another name would be as sweet. A Tathagata, a God, a Buddha by another name, an Allah, a Sri Krishna, a Coyote, a Brahma, a Mazda, a Messiah, an Amida, an Aremedeia, a Maitreya, a Palalakonuh, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 would be as sweet. The golden eternity is X, the golden eternity is A, the golden eternity is /\, the golden eternity is O, the golden eternity is [ ], the golden eternity is t-h-e-g-o-l-d-e-n-e-t-e-r- n-i-t-y. In the beginning was the word; before the beginning, in the beginningless infinite neverendingness, was the essence. Both the word "god" and the essence of the word, are emptiness. The form of emptiness which is emptiness having taken the form of form, is what you see and hear and feel right now, and what you taste and smell and think as you read this. Wait awhile, close your eyes, let your breathing stop three seconds or so, listen to the inside silence in the womb of the world, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, re-recognize the bliss you forgot, the emptiness and essence and ecstasy of ever having been and ever to be the golden eternity. This is the lesson you forgot.

The lesson was taught long ago in the other world systems that have naturally changed into the empty and awake, and are here now smiling in our smile and scowling in our scowl. It is only like the golden eternity pretending to be smiling and scowling to itself; like a ripple on the smooth ocean of knowing. The fate of humanity is to vanish into the golden eternity, return pouring into its hands which are not hands. The navel shall receive, invert, and take back what'd issued forth; the ring of flesh shall close; the personalities of long dead heroes are blank dirt.

The point is we're waiting, not how comfortable we are while waiting. Paleolithic man waited by caves for the realization of why he was there, and hunted; modern men wait in beautified homes and try to forget death and birth. We're waiting for the realization that this is the golden eternity.

It came on time.

There is a blessedness surely to be believed, and that is that everything abides in eternal ecstasy, now and forever.

Mother Kali eats herself back. All things but come to go. All these holy forms, unmanifest, not even forms, truebodies of blank bright ecstasy, abiding in a trance, "in emptiness and silence' as it is pointed out in the Diamond-cutter, asked to be only what they are: GLAD.

The secret God-grin in the trees and in the teapot, in ashes and fronds, fire and brick, flesh and mental human hope. All things, far from yearning to be re-united with God, had never left themselves and here they are, Dharmakaya, the body of the truth law, the universal Thisness.

"Beyond the reach of change and fear, beyond all praise and blame," the Lankavatara Scripture knows to say, is he who is what he is in time and time-less-ness, in ego and in ego-less-ness, in self and in self-less-ness.

Stare deep into the world before you as if it were the void: innumerable holy ghosts, buddhies, and savior gods there hide, smiling. All the atoms emitting light inside wavehood, there is no personal separation of any of it. A hummingbird can come into a house and a hawk will not: so rest and be assured. While looking for the light, you may suddenly be devoured by the darkness and find the true light.

Things dont tire of going and coming. The flies end up with the delicate viands.

The cause of the world's woe is birth, The cure of the world's woe is a bent stick.

Though it is everything, strictly speaking there is no golden eternity because everything is nothing: there are no things and no goings and comings: for all is emptiness, and emptiness is these forms, emptiness is this one formhood.

All these selfnesses have already vanished. Einstein measured that this present universe is an expanding bubble, and you know what that means.

Discard such definite imaginations of phenomena as your own self, thou human being, thou'rt a numberless mass of sun-motes: each mote a shrine. The same as to your shyness of other selves, selfness as divided into infinite numbers of beings, or selfness as identified as one self existing eternally. Be obliging and noble, be generous with your time and help and possessions, and be kind, because the emptiness of this little place of flesh you carry around and call your soul, your entity, is the same emptiness in every direction of space unmeasurable emptiness, the same, one, and holy emptiness everywhere: why be selfy and unfree, Man God, in your dream? Wake up, thou'rt selfless and free. "Even and upright your mind abides nowhere," states Hui Neng of China. We're all in heaven now.

Roaring dreams take place in a perfectly silent mind. Now that we know this, throw the raft away.

Are you tightwad and are you mean, those are the true sins, and sin is only a conception of ours, due to long habit. Are you generous and are you kind, those are the true virtues, and they're only conceptions. The golden eternity rests beyond sin and virtue, is attached to neither, is attached to nothing, is unattached, because the golden eternity is Alone. The mold has rills but it is one mold. The field has curves but it is one field. All things are different forms of the same thing. I call it the golden eternity-what do you call it, brother? for the blessing and merit of virtue, and the punishment and bad fate of sin, are alike just so many words.

Sociability is a big smile, and a big smile is nothing but teeth. Rest and be kind.

There's no need to deny that evil thing called GOOGOO, which doesnt exist, just as there's no need to deny that evil thing called Sex and Rebirth, which also doesn't exist, as it is only a form of emptiness. The bead of semen comes from a long line of awakened natures that were your parent, a holy flow, a succession of saviors pouring from the womb of the dark void and back into it, fantastic magic imagination of the lightning, flash, plays, dreams, not even plays, dreams.

"The womb of exuberant fertility," Ashvhaghosha called it, radiating forms out of its womb of exuberant emptiness. In emptiness there is no Why, no knowledge of Why, no ignorance of Why, no asking and no answering of Why, and no significance attached to this.

A disturbed and frightened man is like the golden eternity experimentally pretending at feeling the disturbed-and-frightened mood; a calm and joyous man, is like the golden eternity pretending at experimenting with that experience; a man experiencing his Sentient Being, is like the golden eternity pretending at trying that out too; a man who has no thoughts, is like the golden eternity pretending at being itself; because the emptiness of everything has no beginning and no end and at present is infinite.

"Love is all in all," said Sainte Therese, choosing Love for her vocation and pouring out her happiness, from her garden by the gate, with a gentle smile, pouring roses on the earth, so that the beggar in the thunderbolt received of the endless offering of her dark void. Man goes a-beggaring into nothingness. "Ignorance is the father, Habit-Energy is the Mother." Opposites are not the same for the same reason they are the same.

The words "atoms of dust" and "the great universes" are only words. The idea that they imply is only an idea. The belief that we live here in this existence, divided into various beings, passing food in and out of ourselves, and casting off husks of bodies one after another with no cessation and no definite or particular discrimination, is only an idea. The seat of our Immortal Intelligence can be seen in that beating light between the eyes the Wisdom Eye of the ancients: we know what we're doing: we're not disturbed: because we're like the golden eternity pretending at playing the magic cardgame and making believe it's real, it's a big dream, a joyous ecstasy of words and ideas and flesh, an ethereal flower unfolding a folding back, a movie, an exuberant bunch of lines bounding emptiness, the womb of Avalokitesvara, a vast secret silence, springtime in the Void, happy young gods talking and drinking on a cloud. Our 32,000 chillicosms bear all the marks of excellence. Blind milky light fills our night; and the morning is crystal.

Give a gift to your brother, but there's no gift to compare with the giving of assurance that he is the golden eternity. The true understanding of this would bring tears to your eyes. The other shore is right here, forgive and forget, protect and reassure. Your tormenters will be purified. Raise thy diamond hand. Have faith and wait. The course of your days is a river rumbling over your rocky back. You're sitting at the bottom of the world with a head of iron. Religion is thy sad heart. You're the golden eternity and it must be done by you. And means one thing: Nothing-Ever-Happened. This is the golden eternity.

When the Prince of the Kalinga severed the flesh from the limbs and body of Buddha, even then the Buddha was free from any such ideas as his own self, other self, living beings divided into many selves, or living beings united and identified into one eternal self. The golden eternity isnt "me." Before you can know that you're dreaming you'll wake up, Atman. Had the Buddha, the Awakened One, cherished any of these imaginary judgments of and about things, he would have fallen into impatience and hatred in his suffering. Instead, like Jesus on the Cross he saw the light and died kind, loving all living things.

The world was spun out of a blade of grass: the world was spun out of a mind. Heaven was spun out of a blade of grass: heaven was spun out of a mind. Neither will do you much good, neither will do you much harm. The Oriental imperturbed, is the golden eternity.

He is called a Yogi, his is called a Priest, a Minister, a Brahmin, a Parson, a Chaplain, a Roshi, a Laoshih, a Master, a Patriarch, a Pope, a Spiritual Commissar, a Counselor, and Adviser, a Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, an Old Man, a Saint, a Shaman, a Leader, who thinks nothing of himself as separate from another self, not higher nor lower, no stages and no definite attainments, no mysterious stigmata or secret holyhood, no wild dark knowledge and no venerable authoritativeness, nay a giggling sage sweeping out of the kitchen with a broom. After supper, a silent smoke. Because there is no definite teaching: the world is undisciplined. Nature endlessly in every direction inward to your body and outward into space.

Meditate outdoors. The dark trees at night are not really the dark trees at night, it's only the golden eternity.

A mosquito as big as Mount Everest is much bigger than you think: a horse's hoof is more delicate than it looks. An altar consecrated to the golden eternity, filled with roses and lotuses and diamonds, is the cell of the humble prisoner, the cell so cold and dreary. Boethius kissed the Robe of the Mother Truth in a Roman dungeon.

Do you think the emptiness of the sky will ever crumble away? Every little child knows that everybody will go to heaven. Knowing that nothing ever happened is not really knowing that nothing ever happened, it's the golden eternity. In other words, nothing can compare with telling your brother and your sister that what happened, what is happening, and what will happen, never really happened, is not really happening and never will happen, it is only the golden eternity. Nothing was ever born, nothing will ever die. Indeed, it didnt even happen that you heard about golden eternity through the accidental reading of this scripture. The thing is easily false. There are no warnings whatever issuing from the golden eternity: do what you want.

Even in dreams be kind, because anyway there is no time, no space, no mind. "It's all not-born," said Bankei of Japan, whose mother heard this from her son did what we call "died happy." And even if she had died unhappy, dying unhappy is not really dying unhappy, it's the golden eternity. It's impossible to exist, it's impossible to be persecuted, it's impossible to miss your reward.

Eight hundred and four thousand myriads of Awakened Ones throughout numberless swirls of epochs appeared to work hard to save a grain of sand, and it was only the golden eternity. And their combined reward will be no greater and no lesser than what will be won by a piece of dried turd. It's a reward beyond thought.

When you've understood this scripture, throw it away. If you cant understand this scripture, throw it away. I insist on your freedom.

O everlasting Eternity, all things and all truth laws are no- things, in three ways, which is the same way: AS THINGS OF TIME they dont exist because there is no furthest atom than can be found or weighed or grasped, it is emptiness through and through, matter and empty space too. AS THINGS OF MIND they dont exist, because the mind that conceives and makes them out does so by seeing, hearing touching, smelling, tasting, and mentally-noticing and without this mind they would not be seen or heard or felt or smelled or tasted or mentally-noticed, they are discriminated that which they're not necessarily by imaginary judgments of the mind, they are actually dependent on the mind that makes them out, by themselves they are no-things, they are really mental, seen only of the mind, they are really empty visions of the mind, heaven is a vision, everything is a vision. What does it mean that I am in this endless universe thinking I'm a man sitting under the stars on the terrace of earth, but actually empty and awake throughout the emptiness and awakedness of everything? It means that I am empty and awake, knowing that I am empty and awake, and that there's no difference between me and anything else. It means that I have attained to that which everything is.

The-Attainer-To-That-Which-Everything-Is, the Sanskrit Tathagata, has no ideas whatever but abides in essence identically with the essence of all things, which is what it is, in emptiness and silence. Imaginary meaning stretched to make mountains and as far as the germ is concerned it stretched even further to make molehills. A million souls dropped through hell but nobody saw them or counted them. A lot of large people isnt really a lot of large people, it's only the golden eternity. When St. Francis went to heaven he did not add to heaven nor detract from earth. Locate silence, possess space, spot me the ego. "From the beginning," said the Sixth Patriarch of the China School, "not a thing is."

He who loves all life with his pity and intelligence isnt really he who loves all life with his pity and intelligence, it's only natural. The universe is fully known because it is ignored. Enlightenment comes when you dont care. This is a good tree stump I'm sitting on. You cant even grasp your own pain let alone your eternal reward. I love you because you're me. I love you because there's nothing else to do. It's just the natural golden eternity.

What does it mean that those trees and mountains are magic and unreal?- It means that those trees and mountains are magic and unreal. What does it mean that those trees and mountains are not magic but real?- it means that those trees and mountains are not magic but real. Men are just making imaginary judgments both ways, and all the time it's just the same natural golden eternity.

If the golden eternity was anything other than mere words, you could not have said "golden eternity." This means that the words are used to point at the endless nothingness of reality. If the endless nothingness of reality was anything other than mere words, you could not have said "endless nothingness of reality," you could not have said it. This means that the golden eternity is out of our word-reach, it refuses steadfastly to be described, it runs away from us and leads us in. The name is not really the name. The same way, you could not have said "this world" if this world was anything other than mere words. There's nothing there but just that. They've long known that there's nothing to life but just the living of it. It Is What It Is and That's All It Is.

There's no system of teaching and no reward for teaching the golden eternity, because nothing has happened. In the golden eternity teaching and reward havent even vanished let alone appeared. The golden eternity doesnt even have to be perfect. It is very silly of me to talk about it. I talk about it simply because here I am dreaming that I talk about it in a dream already ended, ages ago, from which I'm already awake, and it was only an empty dreaming, in fact nothing whatever, in fact nothing ever happened at all. The beauty of attaining the golden eternity is that nothing will be acquired, at last.

Kindness and sympathy, understanding and encouragement, these give: they are better than just presents and gifts: no reason in the world why not. Anyhow, be nice. Remember the golden eternity is yourself. "If someone will simply practice kindness," said Gotama to Subhuti, "he will soon attain highest perfect wisdom." Then he added: "Kindness after all is only a word and it should be done on the spot without thought of kindness." By practicing kindness all over with everyone you will soon come into the holy trance, infinite distinctions of personalities will become what they really mysteriously are, our common and eternal blissstuff, the pureness of everything forever, the great bright essence of mind, even and one thing everywhere the holy eternal milky love, the white light everywhere everything, emptybliss, svaha, shining, ready, and awake, the compassion in the sound of silence, the swarming myriad trillionaire you are.

Everything's alright, form is emptiness and emptiness is form, and we're here forever, in one form or another, which is empty. Everything's alright, we're not here, there, or anywhere. Everything's alright, cats sleep.

The everlasting and tranquil essence, look around and see the smiling essence everywhere. How wily was the world made, Maya, not-even-made.

There's the world in the daylight. If it was completely dark you wouldnt see it but it would still be there. If you close your eyes you really see what it's like: mysterious particle-swarming emptiness. On the moon big mosquitos of straw know this in the kindness of their hearts. Truly speaking, unrecognizably sweet it all is. Don't worry about nothing.

Imaginary judgments about things, in the Nothing-Ever-Happened wonderful void, you dont even have to reject them, let alone accept them. "That looks like a tree, let's call it a tree," said Coyote to Earthmaker at the beginning, and they walked around the rootdrinker patting their bellies.

Perfectly selfless, the beauty of it, the butterfly doesnt take it as a personal achievement, he just disappears through the trees. You too, kind and humble and not-even-here, it wasnt in a greedy mood that you saw the light that belongs to everybody.

Look at your little finger, the emptiness of it is no different than the emptiness of infinity.

Cats yawn because they realize that there's nothing to do.

Up in heaven you wont remember all these tricks of yours. You wont even sigh "Why?" Whether as atomic dust or as great cities, what's the difference in all this stuff. A tree is still only a rootdrinker. The puma's twisted face continues to look at the blue sky with sightless eyes, Ah sweet divine and indescribable verdurous paradise planted in mid-air! Caitanya, it's only consciousness. Not with thoughts of your mind, but in the believing sweetness of your heart, you snap the link and open the golden door and disappear into the bright room, the everlasting ecstasy, eternal Now. Soldier, follow me! - there never was a war. Arjuna, dont fight! - why fight over nothing? Bless and sit down.

I remember that I'm supposed to be a man and consciousness and I focus my eyes and the print reappears and the words of the poor book are saying, "The world, as God has made it" and there are no words in my pitying heart to express the knowless loveliness of the trance there was before I read those words, I had no such idea that there was a world.

This world has no marks, signs, or evidence of existence, nor the noises in it, like accident of wind or voices or heehawing animals, yet listen closely the eternal hush of silence goes on and on throughout all this, and has been gong on, and will go on and on. This is because the world is nothing but a dream and is just thought of and the everlasting eternity pays no attention to it. At night under the moon, or in a quiet room, hush now, the secret music of the Unborn goes on and on, beyond conception, awake beyond existence. Properly speaking, awake is not really awake because the golden eternity never went to sleep; you can tell by the constant sound of Silence which cuts through this world like a magic diamond through the trick of your not realizing that your mind caused the world.

The God of the American Plateau Indian was Coyote. He says: "Earth! those beings living on your surface, none of them disappearing, will all be transformed. When I have spoken to them, when they have spoken to me, from that moment on, their words and their bodies which they usually use to move about with, will all change. I will not have heard them."

I was smelling flowers in the yard, and when I stood up I took a deep breath and the blood all rushed to my brain and I woke up dead on my back in the grass. I had apparently fainted, or died, for about sixty seconds. My neighbor saw me but he thought I had just suddenly thrown myself on the grass to enjoy the sun. During that timeless moment of unconsciousness I saw the golden eternity. I saw heaven. In it nothing had ever happened, the events of a million years ago were just as phantom and ungraspable as the events of now, or the events of the next ten minutes. It was perfect, the golden solitude, the golden emptiness, Something-Or- Other, something surely humble. There was a rapturous ring of silence abiding perfectly. There was no question of being alive or not being alive, of likes and dislikes, of near or far, no question of giving or gratitude, no question of mercy or judgment, or of suffering or its opposite or anything. It was the womb itself, aloneness, alaya vijnana the universal store, the Great Free Treasure, the Great Victory, infinite completion, the joyful mysterious essence of Arrangement. It seemed like one smiling smile, one adorable adoration, one gracious and adorable charity, everlasting safety, refreshing afternoon, roses, infinite brilliant immaterial gold ash, the Golden Age. The "golden" came from the sun in my eyelids, and the "eternity" from my sudden instant realization as I woke up that I had just been where it all came from and where it was all returning, the everlasting So, and so never coming or going; therefore I call it the golden eternity but you can call it anything you want. As I regained consciousness I felt so sorry I had a body and a mind suddenly realizing I didn't even have a body and a mind and nothing had ever happened and everything is alright forever and forever and forever, O thank you thank you thank you.

This is the first teaching from the golden eternity.

The second teaching from the golden eternity is that there never was a first teaching from the golden eternity. So be sure.

This Amazing Opportunity

Let's remember why we're here at retreat: for this amazing opportunity to really look into the core of our own existence, the core of life itself that is so easy to overlook. It's so easy not to pay attention to it, because it's not noisy and it's not clamoring for attention like all the other aspects of the human mind. Egoic consciousness is always pretending to be the most important thing that is happening.

And yet there's this thread, this sense of something other than, deeper than, more real than, more essential than this scattered and divided noise that so many human beings live in, in their minds. And right in the midst of all that, there is a presence, there is an awareness, an unconditioned awareness, an unconditioned consciousness. Right in the middle of this conditioned mind, conditioned consciousness, is this shining, unconditioned essence. Essence doesn't mean a little part hidden somewhere in us, the little teeny kernel of essence. Essence means the totality, the whole thing. Essence means the truth of you as opposed to the untruth of you.

Essence isn't a small thing, essence is an immense thing. The essence of you is everything you ever see, taste, touch, and experience. Everywhere you go, every step you take, every breath you take is actually happening by the essence, of the essence, in the essence, and to the essence. All the rest is noise and chatter.

So we come here to give our attention, our affection, our time. Our most highly prized commodity is our time. Anything or anyone you give your time to shows immediately what is most important. And I want to remind everyone that what you really are, what the person next to you is, what the children in Africa scraping up the little grains of rice are, this timeless essence, is not hidden. It's not hidden at all. It's in plain view. Everywhere you look, that's the essence. And the mind would say, "Where? Where? I don't see it. All I see is a car, a billboard, a tree, the person in front of me, the funny man on the stage. Where is this essence?"

It's easy to grasp for it, isn't it? "Where is it? What is it? I want to understand it. I want to know about it. How can it work for me? How can I utilize it?" But it doesn't come upon us through the grasping of it, through the striving for it, and through the struggling for it. There's no merit gained through wasted effort, through excess struggle. There are no merit points for the people who drove themselves the craziest along the way to self-realization. For most people it's so obscure that it seems very intuitive to grasp and to struggle instead of relaxing, not grasping, letting something come to you, letting the truth of your being reveal itself to you on its terms, in its way, letting it happen. 

It will happen. It's always happening. It's always trying to show itself.

- Adyashanti

Sunday, September 14, 2008


When it comes to hurricanes and storms of the mind, all we can do is hang on to something that won't move. We get to high ground or take refuge in a hotel during a hurricane, but where do we go in the mind? Fear, doubt, confusion, anger, these are the winds of the mind and they can attack with hurricane force. Too bad we can't measure their velocity like we record wind. We can say they are pretty strong when we require medication or end up in the headlines for some bizarre behavior. Is there such a place as a refuge from a mind storm? We need to turn within to find out, you would think.

You can try this yourself right now. As you read this there is a knower that is like a background awareness that is witnessing your reading and thinking about this piece. You can't turn and see this knower like you would if you suddenly sensed someone looking over your shoulder. When you are very still you can sense there is two of you, a thinker with its story and a knower who knows you are thinking.

When a mind storm hits the coast of your self and sweeps you up in the winds of anxiety, the knower is the background or space that is prior to the storm, remains still during the storm, and is there undistsurbed after the storm leaves. Hurricanes have an eye and so does our mind. Without the eye the hurricane and the mind cannot exist. And yet the mind does not disturb the eye because the eye has no form. The eye is empty. So what is mind? Mind is form, thought form. Who is the knower of the mind? Pure consciousness, space, is the witness of the content of the mind. Without content there is no mind, but there is still the knower that says I AM.

Forms are impermanent, but the I AM is changeless. Thought is in time, but the I AM is timeless because it is prior to thought. Our I exists before thought and after thought is gone. When we die, thought goes, but not the I AM. Meditation is learning how to strengthen the I AM and weaken the storm. We should take refuge in that.

- Ed Conley
Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race. This will affect every aspect of your life and close relationships in particular. Never before have relationships been as problematic and conflict ridden as they are now. As you may have noticed, they are not here to make you happy or fulfilled. If you continue to pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again. But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer you salvation, and you will be aligning yourself with the higher consciousness that wants to be born into this world. For those who hold on to the old patterns, there will be increasing pain, violence, confusion, and madness.
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Monday, September 08, 2008

Things to Think

Think in ways you've never thought before.
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you've ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
Has risen out of the lake, and he's carrying on his antlers
A child of your own whom you've never seen.

When someone knocks on the door,
Think that he's about
To give you something large: tell you you're forgiven,
Or that it's not necessary to work all the time,
Or that it's been decided that if you lie down no one will die.
~ Robert Bly ~

No personal, individual effort

can possibly lead to enlightenment. On
the contrary, what is necessary is to rest helpless in beingness,
knowing that we are nothing - to be in the nothingness of the no-mind
state in which all conceptualizing has subsided into passive
witnessing. In this state whatever happens will be not our doing but the pure universal functioning to which we have relinquished all control.
Ramesh S. Balsekar

God's Unity

What does it mean to learn the knowledge of
God's Unity? To consume yourself in the
presence of the One. If you wish to shine like
day, burn up the night of self-existence.
Dissolve in the Being who is everything.
You grabbed hold of "I" and "we,"
and this dualism is your ruin.
- Rumi, Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski, from Rumi: Daylight

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Drawing Jesus

The first patient drew Jesus as a tall, slender
man with three smiling heads, one eye in the
center of each. Another sketched him as a stick
figure wearing a yellow hat. The teenage girl
from Alabama drew a white vulture with a halo
above its head. At the table by the window the
Hungarian immigrant whose language no one
understood drew a face with a scar running
down his cheek, a ragged red beard, and the
kind of wild eyes that frighten children. The
old woman who has lived half-a-centuary in
the asylum painted a picture of a dozen orange
boxes and asked me to guess which one Jesus
was hiding in. I pointed to the box with the
bulge in the middle. The Hungarian started
laughing. Then they all joined in.

-David Shumate, from Gulf Coast