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#1462 - Sunday, June 15, 2003 - Editor: Gloria

This entire issue is the work of Mazie & b from AdyashantiSatsang

True happiness is uncaused and this cannot
disappear for lack of stimulation. It is not
the opposite of sorrow, it includes all sorrow
and suffering.

~Nisargadatta Maharaj

While the mind is centered in the body and
consciousness is centered in the mind,
awareness is unattached and unshaken. It
is lucid, silent, peaceful, alert and unafraid,
without desire and fear. Meditate on it as
your true being and try to be it in your daily
life, and you shall realize it in its fullness.

Mind is interested in what happens, while
awareness is interested in the mind itself.
The child is after the toy, but the mother
watches the child, not the toy.

~Nisargadatta Maharaj

It is not the worship of a person that is
crucial, but the steadiness and depth of
your devotion to the task. Life itself is
the Supreme Guru; be attentive to its
lessons and obedient to its commands.
When you personalize their source, you
have an outer Guru; when you take them
from life directly, the Guru is within.

~Nisargadatta Maharaj

Between the banks of pain and pleasure
the river of life flows. It is only when
the mind refuses to flow with life, and
gets stuck at the banks, that it becomes
a problem. By flowing with life, I mean
acceptance - letting come what comes
and go what goes. Desire not, fear not,
observe the actual, as and when it
happens, for you are not what happens,
you are to whom it happens. Ultimately
even the observer you are not.

~Nisargadatta Maharaj

When you demand nothing of the world,
nor of God, when you want nothing, seek
nothing, expect nothing then the Supreme
State will come to you uninvited and

~Nisargadatta Maharaj

Which God are you talking about? What is God?
Is he not the very light by which you ask the
question? 'I am"' itself is God. The seeking
itself is God. In seeking you discover that you
are neither the body nor mind, and the love of
self in you is for the self in all. The two are one.
The consciousness in you and the consciousness
in me, apparently two, really one, seek unity and
that is love.

~Nisargadatta Maharaj

A study of animal communities has this advantage: they are merely
what they are, for anyone to see who will and can look clearly;
they cannot complicate the picture by worded idealisms, by saying
one thing and being another; here the struggle is unmasked and
the beauty is unmasked.

~John Steinbeck's friend Ed Ricketts, from Cannery Row.

Long Beach to Lake Shrine


"Spiritual seekers are some of the most superstitious people on the planet. Most people come to spiritual teachers and teachings with a host of hidden beliefs, ideas, and assumptions that they unconsciously seek to be confirmed. And if they are willing to question these beliefs they almost always replace the old concepts with new more spiritual ones thinking that these new concepts are far more real than the old ones. Even those who have had deep spiritual experiences and awakenings beyond the mind will in most cases continue to cling to superstitious ideas and beliefs in an unconscious effort to grasp for the security of the known, the accepted, or the expected. It is this grasping for security in all its inward and outward forms which limit the perspective of enlightenment and maintain an inwardly divided condition which is the cause of all suffering and confusion. You must want to know the truth more than you want to feel secure in order to fully awaken to the fact that you are nothing but Awakeness itself. Shortly after I began teaching I noticed that almost everyone coming to see me held a tremendous number of superstitious ideas and beliefs that were distorting their perceptions and limiting their scope of spiritual inquiry. What was most surprising was that in almost all cases, even those who had deep and profound experiences of spiritual awakening continued to hold onto superstitious ideas and beliefs which severally limited the depth of experience and expression of true awakening. Over time I began to see how delicate and challenging it was for most seekers to find the courage to question any and all ideas and beliefs about the true nature of themselves, the world, others, and even enlightenment itself. In almost every person, every religion, every group, every teaching and every teacher; there are ideas, beliefs, and assumptions, that are overtly or covertly not open to question. Often these unquestioned beliefs hide superstitions which are protecting something which is untrue, contradictory, or being used as justification for behavior which is less than enlightened. The challenge of enlightenment is not simply to glimpse the awakened conditioned, nor even to continually experience it, but to be and express it as your self in the way you move in this world. In order to do this you must come out of hiding behind any superstitious beliefs and find the courage to question everything, otherwise you will continue to hold onto superstitions which distort your perception and expression of that which is only ever AWAKE."



It was to be my last career business convention, and months ago Mazie and I had decided to combine the trip to Long Beach with a retreat to Lake Shrine, the beloved sanctuary of her Guru, Paramahansa Yogananda. Since my own birthday would fall on the first full day of our visit there, it seemed all the more propitious. We were preparing to sever ties with the conventional life, having recently purchased 5 acres of remote property deep in the Redwood forests of Humboldt County, Northern California, and so this trip promised to be a graceful turning point.

I had spent the last 30 years developing Natural Food programs across the nation, and had played a significant role in the emergence of what had initially been a fringe fad into the vibrant and dynamic force for conscious living it has become. At the Trade Show in Long Beach, I was going to be cementing the foundations of the Natural Food movement into the mainstream soil of the conventional Western Supermarket Industry, and it seemed a fitting way to end a career of service embarked upon for the positive evolution of society.

The last 10 days leading up to this trip had been filled with preparatory illnesses. It felt as if we were being literally scoured, mentally and physically, in order to be ready, in order to be able to stand empty and humbled to receive and conduct a more compelling force we both intuited burning with increasing urgency into form.

First Mazie underwent a life-threatening bout with a virulent infection that wreaked havoc on her already compromised immune system, followed by a hard-hitting pneumonia-like virus that left her hacking and coughing to the point of ear-curdling abandon. Still, she was not going to have all the fun.

I ingeniuosly suffered a series of heart contractions that suggested an immediate visit to the Emergency Room, and then on to a series of interesting cardiac tests, and upon sharing Mazie’s virus, I was granted the same violent coughing, and a recurring fever that threatened to cancel the trip. The physical graces proved an excellent opportunity for mutual inquiry, and there can be much benefit from paying attention, as many in similar circumstances discover, so why wait until your lungs are bursting before taking one sweet breath of air and just exhaling? Really, it is enough.

On Tuesday Morning, after a night of considerable delerium, we found ourselves on Jet Blue, which featured free TV on the back of every seat, and so we both followed the crime story of Bambi from Milwaukee (notorious for the Run, Bambi, Run! fervor of the Beer City not long ago). Soon we found ourselves in the hotel room near the Long Beach Convention Center, enjoying a fine sense of disorientation. I needed to set up my booth at the hall, so we had lunch at the Rock Bottom, and she went back to the room to have a good cough.

But in this process, you must get rid of the identity itself. If you
really find out what you are, you will see that you are not an
individual, you are not a person, you are not a body. And people who
cling to their body identity are not fit for this knowledge.

~Nisargadatta Maharaj


Wednesday morning the Exposition began, and Mazie visited the marvelous Aquarium, home to many fascinating creatures that were also being visited simultaneously by most of the 6 year old children of Southern California.

By noon, my fever had jumped up to its old tricks, and so I yielded my seat to an associate, stumbled back to the room, and collapsed. Mazie soon followed, full of fish stories and phlegm.

Later, while she took a hot bath to relax her back, I garnered convincing proof from the History Channel that something curious indeed had transpired in Roswell, New Mexico, some time ago.

Mazie had previously researched the available Indian Cuisine proximities (perhaps to get in the mood for Lake Shrine at an intestinal level), and so we ordered some "Monsoon" take-out that served Beloved’s humor in the form of a premonition of things to come. The meal proved to be such that Indian Food itself slipped to second place in Mazie’s hierarchy of ethnic culinary attraction.


"When you don't require anything from the world and nothing from God, when you don't desire anything, when you don't strive for anything, don't expect anything, the divine will enter you, unasked and unexpected.

The wish for truth is the best of all wishes, but it's still a wish. All
wishes must be given up, that the truth can enter your life."

~Nisargadatta Maharaj


We turned in a bit early, but I woke in the middle of the night and was quietly slipped over to a chair in the darkened room and drawn into a silent, luminous space of palpable presence. When I rose and gently parted the curtains, a glorious full moon swam in mid-sail over the Pacific Ocean. A drunken conventioneer staggered down the alley below our balcony, walking straight into a heavy chain bearing the sign "DO NOT ENTER" about waist-high, and gave a perfect display of dis-identification with the body.

Why can't I remember always that I am not the body?"

"Because you haven't had enough of it." Ramana smiled.


As I stood enshrouded by the moonlight, the Devil of Poetry struck a match and lit one up:


Clouds pillowing this full moon,

Summer sky’s lone light –

what’s awake

remains awake.

What sleeps and dreams

sleeps and dreams.

Looking out through each one’s eyes,

the same one here tonight.

Was there ever really any other one?

Such questions

dissolve in moonlight.

The source of this night

is not a prayer.

Everything participates

to its ultimate, without

ever being any less.

This is the way it has always been,

yet who bothers to notice?

Whether anyone notices or not,

it maintains the view.

It is this view, but

as soon as you notice

it’s not.

What’s left to say?

Someone will think of something.

It will seem like a prayer.

Thursday Morning we packed early, I finished my business adventure without second thoughts, and by 1 PM we were on our way towards the Coast Highway leading to Pacific Pallisades and Yogananda’s Lake Shrine. Before we entered the compound, we found it somehow necessary to add to our growing intestinal distress by stopping to lunch at a Taqueria shack at the bottom of the hill that apparently had not been visited in recent times by the local health authorities.

Heavy security measures required us to employ several computer codes to gain entrance to the compound, dominated by the gleaming white Indian architecture of the golden lotus-topped Temple of the Church of the Self-Realization Fellowship. We were greeted by a smiling young novitiate who toured us through the facilities and on to our rooms – everybody gets a single bed in a separate room (ours conveniently divided by a joint bathroom). Of course, the set-up was: in a place that is consistently booked out months in advance, we happened to be the only retreatants there on our first night.

After we settled in, Mazie (who had retreated there 3 years ago) suggested a walk down the several hundred steps to the Yogananda-designed Lake for which the Ashram was named.

Liberation is our nature.

It is another name for us.
Our wanting Liberation is a very funny thing.

It is like a man who is in the shade, voluntarily leaving the shade, going into the sun, feeling the severity of the heat there, making great efforts to get back to the shade and then rejoicing,

"How sweet is the shade!
I have reached the shade at last!"

We are all doing exactly the same.

We are not separate from the reality.

We imagine we are separate, that is, we create the feeling of separation and then undergo great spiritual practices to get rid of the sense of separation and realize the oneness.

Why imagine or create separation and then destroy it?

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi


The Lake was really more like a lovely sunken pond, embraced on all sides by landscaped slopes of lush floral and arbor delights. At the far end of the deep-green pond Yogananda’s houseboat rested, and when making the original reservations for our 4-day stay, I had requested to be allowed to spend a moment of meditation inside. Mazie had remarked at the time that this was unlikely, since non-members were never allowed on the vessel that had been the Guru’s private residence. Nevertheless, there was a note for us on our arrival promising a tour of the houseboat the very next morning -- Friday the 13th, my birthday.

As we made our way down the zig-zagging stairway leading from the Temple to the pond below, the first structure to catch the eye was a large Hindu palladium with golden lotus columns, which Mazie noted housed a portion of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi. She added that scoring the only piece of the Peace Man’s remains outside of his Indian burial site surely demonstrated her Guru’s clout, since Gandhi had been a Kriya Yoga initiate.

The next stop on the path around the pond was the Krishna Waterfall, which had either dried up or been turned off for our benefit. In classic pose with crossed ankles and flute to lips, a statue of the Love God beamed down on us, underscored by a short quote from the Gita that would flood back to me in less than 24 hours.

We wandered past a lifeless Buddha next, before coming to a bench near the houseboat. We paused to rest for a moment – both of us still totally exhausted from the physical strains of recent days. I gathered my legs up to secure a more comfortable position, while Mazie wandered over to greet the fleet of white swans approaching us. The slogan over the small pier near the vessel read: "Be still, and know I am God."

I was immediately submerged in a potent depth of the inquiry that had been pressing itself with such force into my very cellular structure, into all that I have habitually assumed myself to be, now matter-of-factly revealed as utterly empty, devoid of any individual personality, and wherever attention falls, on whatever arises, there is simple recognition, and the humbleness of it, and then the sly subtle pride of egomind in this recognition, and the humility of seeing that, and it gradually dawning that this is what egomind does – there is no praise or blame – it is merely a function to reflect the sense of self. The goof lies in taking any of it to be an actual self, somehow independent from the functioning, the simple functioning, and now the acknowledgement, and then the joy in this recognition, and then the subtle effort to cling to the joy of this freedom, and then the spontaneous relinquishment of that -- freedom from freedom -- and then the unutterable silence, and then the subtle effort to cling to that. Light flashes from mirror to mirror, and so it proceeds, faster and faster, like the computer program in the movie "War Games", until the rock bottom stalemate is approached, the pause as mind submits to its source, not even a hint of a smile any longer at this humor, just tacit awareness, not as if "I" have disappeared (who is there to say "I" have vanished?), and yet feeling still moved to share this recognition, followed by the coup de grace– "With whom?" at the obviousness of …. I am alone. "Be still, and know I am God."

"You want something like around-the-clock ecstasy. Ecstasies come and go, necessarily, for the human brain cannot stand the tension for a long time. A prolonged ecstasy will burn out your brain, unless it is extremely pure and subtle. When I say: "Remember 'I am' all the time,"

I mean:
"Come back to it repeatedly."
No particular thought can be the mind's natural state, only silence...
When the mind is in its natural state, it reverts to silence
spontaneously after every experience, or, rather, every experience
happens against the background of silence. "

~Nisargadatta Maharaj

When the eyes fluttered open, Mazie was beckoning me to come and see the huge multi-colored carp attending to the houseboat’s keel. As we leaned over to commune with these gentle beings, Mazie indicated a looming "boiling" in her spine, and so we headed back up the stairway, with my right hand rubbing the small of her back as we climbed to the Temple and back to our rooms.

After resting awhile, Mazie popped a tape of a rare recorded Yogananda lecture into the supplied machine and donned the headphones to listen, while I opened a book about Yogananda’s chief disciple Rajarsi (James Lynn) Janakananda. I randomly flipped some pages, stopping at Mr. Lynn’s first correspondence with his Guru in the early ‘30s. Upon their first encounter in Kansas City, Yogananda confirmed that Lynn had "touched Christ Consciousness". In a letter of gratitude, Lynn notes: "My spine boils."

About mid-way through the tape, Mazie turned to me with uncharacteristic alarm spreading across her usual blissful countenance. Apparently, "Master" had made an assertion that stopped her in her tracks, and she expressed a sudden fear that she pleaded with me to resolve. In the course of the lecture, Yogananda boasted, "This method (Kriya Yoga) is the greatest path ever to Realization, surpassing any other for all time." Hearing this claim, a fault-line along the egg-shell wall of her devotion had appeared, a schism that threatened to plunge her into a state of doubt right at the very sanctuary where she had come to worship.

My first reaction could have been to allay her fears by noting that one should always consider the context in which Sages speak, and the particular conditioning filters of both speaker and audience. On the other hand, there was the tempting impulse to engage in a deconstruction of the claim, but I could sense that this might be ill-timed, and result in an eyeball-rolling reaction apropos to one of the smug Yahoo pseudo-advaitin pronouncements that mimic some kind of knowledgeable understanding.

Before we were able to really investigate the matter, the dinner gong sounded and we found ourselves seated at a table overlooking the blue Pacfic in the late afternoon. We were alone, but since it was supposed to be a silent retreat, we were left with our own thoughts while munching on "pigs in a blanket", which happened to be indigestible soy hot dogs wrapped in an under-cooked crust – the final assault on any possibility of gastro-intestinal equanimity. Nevertheless, when the server approached and leaned to remove my plate, I gazed up at her lovely smile and burst into weeping at the gesture. I was simply and utterly broken open at the heart, and hot tears splashed on my shirt as Mazie reached to squeeze my hand.

  • When you speak of a path, where are you now? And where do
    you want to go? If these are known, then we can talk of a path.

    Know first where you are and what you are. There is nothing to
    be reached. There is no goal to be reached. There is nothing to be
    attained. The conception that there is a goal and a path to it is
    wrong. We are the goal or peace always. You are the Self. You
    exist always.

    If there is a goal to be reached it cannot be permanent. The goal
    must already be there. We seek to reach the goal with the ego,
    but the goal exists before the ego. What is in the goal is even
    prior to our birth, that is, to the birth of the ego. Because we
    exist the ego appears to exist too.

    There is no reaching the Self. If Self were to be reached, it would
    mean that the Self is not here and now and that is yet to be
    obtained. What is got afresh will also be lost. So it will be

    ~Ramana Maharshi


    After dinner, we returned to our rooms to dress for the Thursday night lecture by one of the visiting senior SRF’ers. It was open to the public, and we entered the Temple with about 4 dozen apparently regular church-goers.

    The atmosphere bore an uncanny resemblance to a mortuary, with portraits of the deceased Gurus of the Kriya Lineage softly lit behind a lecture podium. I was not surprised when creepy organ music preceeded the appearance of a Liberace-look-alike from Austria – Brother Wolfgang, who began with the usual opening announcements, mostly regarding the need for volunteers to serve the various organizational functions. Then he warmed to the subject, noting the coincidence that his talk tonight was about "Seva" (Service).

    The main gist of his argument boiled down to the view that Seva is performed so we will feel better, but it should be done without trying to do it to feel better – sort of like Yossarian’s famous maxim translated into religious logic -- and if we’re successful it just might result in "Cosmic Consciousness", because doing Seva is like taking a pick axe and opening up little spurting springs of hidden Divinity. It is all part of the "Plan for Our Salvation". At that point, I surveyed the room and noted a general agreement, and so restrained myself, as Wolfgang went on to share a story about buying a burrito and offering it to a homeless person, who refused it, and so he offered it to another homeless person, who gratefully accepted it, and wasn’t that just the mysterious way God works, to demonstrate the value of Seva? Prompted by the burrito tale, I contemplated our stop for lunch at the Taqueria, and the Soy Dog Revenge, and the mysterious way God was working on my guts, and how soon I was going to need to relieve myself.

    Before long, the collection platters were being passed, and I remembered from my déjà vu Catholic days that this meant the event was getting ready to wrap up. The closing prayer involved somehow projecting ourselves into the Light (from exactly which position conceptually divided from the light in the first place was not elucidated), and then sending out healing vibrations by rapidly rotating our hands in the manner of Popeye beating on Brutus after a nice can of spinach, and then flinging the accumulated energies out into the universe of suffering burrito-seekers.

    Conveniently, rest rooms were located next to the Gift Shop, and as Mazie browsed the Spiritual porn after the lecture, I was finally able to pursue a more physical imperative.


    Ramana: Reality is simply the loss of the ego. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity. Because the ego is no entity it will automatically vanish and Reality will shine forth by itself. This is the direct method. Whereas all other methods are done, only retaining the ego. In those paths there arise so many doubts and the eternal question remains to be tackled finally. But in this method the final question is the only one and it is raised from the very beginning. No sadhanas [spiritual practices] are necessary for engaging in this quest.
    There is no greater mystery than this -- viz., ourselves being the Reality, we seek to gain reality. We think that there is something hiding our Reality and that it must be destroyed before the Reality is gained. It is ridiculous. A day will dawn when you will yourself laugh at your past efforts. That which will be on the day you laugh is also here and now.
    Question: So it is a great game of pretending?
    Ramana: Yes.

    As we eventually exited the Temple, the cooling night air felt wonderful, especially after the stuffiness of the previous hour. Mazie asked how I had liked it, hopeful on one hand that I would confirm the "goodness" of these dear souls dedicated to God, but secretly suspecting (she knows me better than anyone) that I was about to exacerbate her crisis of belief.

    "It was …. hmmm …. nice," I offered congenially, but knew immediately that a long night was looming ahead when I added, "but it’s not my cup of tea."

    We repaired to the dining hall for tea and inquiry.

    What was at stake? What is always at stake? An image of the past believed in need of preserving; in this case, over 2 decades of investment in the story of Mazie the loving yogini, now in throes of losing her religion, facing her own Bodhidharma wall, confronting the ridiculousness of the effort to "serve oneself free", the collapse of the whole house of cards: that there is any server actually serving, that freedom can be obtained by some strategy, that truth is an object of conditional acquisition, that freedom is dependent on deeds and aspirations…..

    And so the investigation proceeded, one after another comforting blanket of lies dropping away until all that was left were her tears, and they would not cease, and then the restlessness of a truly dark night, the soul’s turmoil as the foundation of an old identity roasted over the fire pit of slash ‘n burn.

    As we huddled together in her single bed, I whispered that the Grace of Beloved removes all illusions, even the illusion of Itself, yielding at last the ordinariness of everything just as it is, not in the past, the present, or the future.

    "The future isn’t what it used to be."

    ~Louis Cypher, Angel Heart

    She had half-hoped that I could somehow help bandage the crack in the egg that she already suspected was Humpty Dumpty, the egg of SRF, the egg of Guru Idealization, the romance with core past beliefs now confronted by an intuition that was shattering them one by one, the Grace of the True Guru, Kali brandishing the sword that severs all threads to the dreaminess of independent doership …. and in the midst, the absolute perfection, even the perfection of the yoga search – the cry of God for God – all now submitted to the relentless inquiry that has dominated our union since we resumed our play a year ago.


    The nature of awareness is:
    existence - consciousness - bliss.
    Awareness is Self-knowledge,
    Self-knowledge is wisdom.
    Wisdom is eternal and natural.
    Awareness which already exists within
    everyone, everywhere, is imperishable and changeless.
    Everyone is aware "I am". Leaving aside that awareness one goes
    about searching for God.
    Only one's own awareness is direct knowledge and that is the
    common experience of one and all. No aids are needed to know
    one's own Self.
    You are awareness. Awareness is another name for you. Since
    you are Awareness there is no need to attain or cultivate it. All
    that you have to do is to give up being aware of other things, that
    is of not-Self. If one gives up being aware of them then pure
    awareness alone remains, and that is the Self.
    Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real nature.
    Men love existence because it is eternal awareness which is their
    own Self. Why not then hold on to pure awareness right now,
    while in the body and be free?
    Be yourself and nothing more!

    ~Ramana Maharshi


    The next morning, after my Birthday breakfast, Mazie looked at me with the most mournful eyes and cried: "I want to go home, Honey." I immediately packed, offered my apologies (with my "donation") to the front desk and, in a fine tribute to the Road Runner, beat it on down the hill in a whirlwind of Mazie & b retreating from retreating.

    As soon as we left the grounds, Mazie experienced an instant alleviation of her excruciating back pain, followed by a recognition that had been pushing to the surface in the midst of this crisis -- a dropping off attachment to obsolete yogic strategies and nostalgia for the old ecstasies of superimposed bliss. We were as delighted as two kids embarking on summer vacation, but the relief we felt was only a temporary respite from the pressure cooker this inquiry had in store for us.

    It was Friday, which meant a heavy commute day between Los Angeles and Oakland at Southwest Airlines, and we prepared ourselves for the possibility of not being able to exchange our Sunday tickets for hours, if at all. The crush of passengers at the baggage check-in seemed to confirm our suspicions, and we overheard one of the attendants moaning that this was an unusually busy Friday, even for Southwest. When we finally approached a window, however, we were told that we just happened to get the last two tickets available for the day, and that the plane was leaving in about an hour.

    Mazie’s metal hips sounding the bomb alarm required an extra delay at the security station, but eventually we found ourselves seated together at the gate. We were both thoroughly spent, and I closed my eyes for an instant until a profound silence enveloped me, blocking out all the busy airport noise. In the midst of this stillness, I suddenly heard the clickety-clack of somebody’s suitcase on wheels rolling down the corridor, accompanied by a voice that burned itself into my consciousness. Beneath the Lake Shrine statue of Lord Krishna was the quote from the Gita that now repeated itself over and over:

  • "Who sees Me in all,

    and sees all in Me,

    for him I am not lost,

    and he is not lost for Me."


    Tears once again flowed down my cheeks, and as I opened my eyes I recognized every passing person as Krishna, every stitch in the fabric of the carpet, every fractal of light blazing through the windows, every molecule of that airport as none other than the very Lord, not superconsciously transformed at all, but just appearing as It is, as He Is, as This! Amazing! So completely ordinary, behold your Lord! You Are That!

    And then Mazie pointed out that the men gathered in front of us, waiting for their plane, were none other than the rock group Los Lobos, and clearly they were God too! What a wonderful God! How ingenious – right here, minding His own business!


    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. It is nothing but the personalization of the impersonal Consciousness as individual identity that constitutes the infamous 'ignorance' from which liberation is sought. And liberation, or true knowledge, is the realization that this identity is merely an illusion, a temporary aberration, like the shadow of a passing cloud.

    ~ Ramesh Balsekar

    Upon our return to Martinez, we decided to celebrate my birthday dinner at a small local Japanese restaurant called Arigato (Thank You). The simple but exquisite meal prompted Mazie to promote Japanese cuisine to the front of the class, supplanting her old favorite, Indian, and the metaphor of course did not escape us. After dinner we went down to the pond to watch the passing trains, and the new baby geese, and we found ourselves laughing and laughing.


    The spiritual ego is subtle, cunning, superior, inferior and secretive. The spiritual ego develops because ego has to live somewhere until it dissolves.
    If you are a seeker of truth, the ego identifies with your quest and can become serious and secretly superior.
    The inner reality of seekers is never quite as beautiful as the ideals of their tradition and they decorate their ego so that it looks a little nicer.
    This is a common trap for many seekers and one from which it is difficult to escape. Authenticity and playfulness are the antidote. For this you will need support from those who are already living in this way. When the ideal is authenticity, not purity, you are free to be yourself. Authenticity and playfulness give you the space to face yourself as you are and to confront your darkness consciously. This conscious self-encounter brings purity indirectly, without the hypocritical burden of a spiritually pure ego.

    ~ Maitreya Ishwara

    Saturday morning found Mazie feeling flat and listless, as if some essential font of joy had shriveled up, leaving her with the taste of dust. We inquired into this condition, which I recognized as a form of the Primal boredom, when the old toys of experience no longer satisfy. I suggested that this was actually a mature condition of availability – this resting in the ashes. Having had a taste of these ashes, most will try to flee back to some consolation they imagined represented happiness, only to discover that the candy once used to stop children’s tears was actually just more junk food. Beloved will give you all the time in the world to play with His toys, but eventually that must end, if we cherish the truth above all distraction.

  • "Letting everything end" means to stand in the moment completely naked of attachment to any and all ideas, concepts, hopes, preferences, and experiences. Simply put, it means to stop strategizing, controlling, manipulating, and running away from yourself--and to simply be. Finally you must let everything end and be still. In letting everything end, all seeking and striving stops. All effort to be someone or to find some extraordinary state of being ceases. This ceasing is essential. It is true spiritual maturity. By ceasing to follow the mind's tendency to always want 'more', 'different', or 'better', one encounters the opportunity to be still. In being still, a perspective is revealed which is free from all ignorance and bondage to suffering. From that perspective, eternal Self is realized. The eternal Self, the Seer, is recognized to be one's true nature, one's very own Self. Freedom is a state of complete and absolute insecurity and not knowing. So, in seeking security and safety, you actually distance yourself from the Freedom you want. There is no security in Freedom, at least not in the sense that we normally think of it. This is, of course, why it is so free; there's nothing there to grab hold of.



    As we allowed this arrow of inquiry to hit its mark at the heart, something suddenly snapped in my Darling, and her smile once again filled our home with its radiance. We spent the rest of the day in our own silly giggly happiness, and late in the evening ventured out for a walk through the neighborhood. The full moon was cresting the horizon, and the sky over Martinez was filling with stars. Though we knew that nothing is more or less sacred than anything else, our thoughts were turning towards Carlotta, and the star fields glittering over the Redwoods.

    "And for this the Prophet said: "Whoever knows oneself knows his Lord." And he said : "I know my Lord by my Lord."

    The Prophet points out that you art not you: you are He, without you;

    not He entering into you, nor you entering into Him, nor He proceeding
    forth from you, nor you proceeding forth from Him. And it is not
    meant by that, that you are all that exists or your attributes all
    that exists, but it is meant by it that you never were nor will be, whether by yourself or through Him or in Him or along with Him. You are neither ceasing to be nor still existing. You are He, without one of these limitations. Then if you know your existence thus, then you know God; and if not, then not."

    ~Ibn El’ Arabi


    Mazie & b

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