“What it was really,” he says, “I had been waiting as long as I could remember for an appropriate way to thank God. Simple as that. I wanted to say thanks for life and creation for being here and I didn’t know how to do it. It sounds pretty basic but as I prayed for the first time, I felt an overwhelming sense that this was what I had needed: to put my head down on the ground and feel I had submitted to something greater than me.”
To stop searching for meaning?
“To stop using my brain for thinking and to start using it for reflecting.”—
“Be silent, for this tongue of yours is the enemy of the soul. Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation. In silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.”—Rumi (via oceanofmind)
“He takes himself very seriously, and then again he can break into cosmic laughter over his seeming lapse of divine stature. He assumes the role of a fool who can be tricked at dice, but he is the omniscient, all-powerful lord of creation who, by a single intention, can plunge the universe into nothingness. Judged by mortal standards, Shiva is an impossibility. But, then, Shiva is not subject to mortality or human-made standards. He is all possibilities of life at once. He is life. As such Shiva is an instructive symbol for the spiritual practitioner who senses that one can embrace a discipline of self-transcendence without having to turn one’s back on life.”—Feuerstein (2003: 335)
One night when I was young we walked a slanted beach together. Old friends caught in the dawn somewhere between dusk and dreaming. We laughed like birds and greeted the sun from lifeguard towers. Footprints in the sand were really words all along and they had ancient stories for us. The words were blurred but we knew their secrets. Do you remember those things, “days and nights” ? I spend my years now decoding the songs that you never wrote. I miss you brother, but I know that we’ll meet again. We’ll laugh like birds. We’ll greet the sun. Sometimes we’ll meet as strangers. Always as old friends.
in the last twenty-four hours I’ve explored two places I didn’t think I would, on this journey at least: a hare krishna temple, and a haute hot yoga studio.
the studio I usually attend does not tamper with the temperature - besides the occasional open window to prevent stuffiness and let in the breeze off the hills and the bay - and the students and teachers are diverse in the beautiful ways that humans are. we chant aum and are one. we lie in savasana and descend into the void for the bliss there that will carry us home and into the rest of our days.
not haute! I’ve never gone to yoga for fitness. if I did, I’d love hot yoga. you sweat! you push! you count down (or, your instructor does) until you can leave the posture! you get to look at yourself in the mirror! you get to stop & rehydrate! you look damn good in the mirror with sweat and taut muscles and all!
it’s something else, anyway, than what I’m seeking.
I feel the same about krishna kirtan, actually. the gita is truth, I know this. and the tabla is cool. and chanting is awesome. and the food is really good! (one of the monks gave us a cookbook, after.) I truly believe in chant & be happy. it left me feeling strangely blank, though, and I didn’t feel like I had connected, like anything had broken through.
haute yoga’s given me a free week, and of course the monks invited us to return. and of course I will accept what is given, always, but really I think what I’m seeking I already have. it’s just right here, inside, waiting in patient bliss to be loved.
“Kirtan helps the mind become quiet, and when the mind quiets, we can begin to perceive the mystical things, the sacred experiences, that are around us always. In the silence between the songs, when the song stops, you can feel something. And that something is you. There is no greater experience than the experience of one’s Self. And that vibration is always within you, that vibration is you. That’s the beauty of any chant experience- with little or no effort we can experience and enjoy the vibrations of peace, energy, healing and inspiration that are always within us.”—Ragani
“Jagat (world) means ceaseless movement, and obviously there can be no rest in movement. How could there be peace in perpetual coming and going? Peace reigns where no coming exists and no going, no melting and no burning. Reverse your course, advance towards Him, then there will be hope of peace.”—Sri Anandamayi Ma
what are your best-laid plans this spring? I am trying haute yoga this week, and attending my first KIRTAN on thursday, in a small yellow house next to the krishna temple in pacific beach. I feel anew that I have so, so much to learn in this life -
We need a shift in our understanding of “nature”. It is difficult to conceptualize and articulate what is missing from inside of the paradigm we inherited. It has something to do with relation, wholeness, spirit. We have lost part of the hoop of wisdom and it is hard to know what is still recoverable.
It’s not just that science needs to look at different things; we need a whole new approach to understanding our world. Scientists are the priests of the current religion of the world elite and have so narrowed their means of understanding that they are now missing the whole. It is not only that science is currently under the employ of capitalism; it is that science has discovered how to manipulate parts of nature but is woefully ignorant of the depth of the Weaving of Life. This is the web of life unraveling. To understand it we need to know ourselves as part of this whole and embrace the mystery as integral. The science that believes itself to be objective and rational leaves out poetry, magic and beauty and cannot lead us to the reweaving we need to survive.
“O King of Gods. I have known the dreadful dissolution of the universe. I have seen all perish, again and again, at the end of every cycle. At that terrible time, every single atom dissolves into the primal pure waters of eternity, whence originally all arose. Everything then goes back into the fathomless, wild infinity of the ocean, which is covered with utter darkness and is empty of every sign of animate being. Ah, who will count the universes that have passed away, or the creations that have risen afresh, again and again, from the formless abyss of the vast waters? Who will number the passing ages of the world, as they follow each other endlessly? And who will search through the wide infinities of space to count the universes side by side, each containing its Brahma, its Vishnu, and its Shiva?”—
Puranas (Ancient Mystical Hindu Texts on Cosmology) (via chirag)
“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people … re-examine all you have been told … dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem.”—Walt Whitman
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”—
(my first yoga teacher showed me this the spring I first discovered yoga. RISE AND SHINE!)