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Nondual Highlights Issue #2474, Wednesday, May 17, 2006, Editor: Mark


For all of us there comes a time when we finally get down to brass tacks, living and being the Spiritual Life. Usually, adversity of some sort, health, business, grief, loneliness or boredom, drives us to this decision. Oftentimes it is fear of one kind or another. Perhaps we simply yield to the prodding of others, or to the urge of an intangible feeling within--the "divine discontent"; but whatever the reasons for our action, one fact is certain: the decision that brings it about is very personal. It is an alone experience that takes place within. You know this is a fact.

All have discovered that, from the moment we act on the decision to discover Reality, we begin to find it. The moment we sincerely begin a determination of the Absolute, it continues of its own accord until Reality is disclosed! The acted-upon decision to determine fact from fiction is somewhat like pushing a canoe into a river where it is quickly caught up in the silent and effortless flow to a happy and Infinite awakening. It is like putting seed in fertile ground. . "Mr. Samuel, be specific! Exactly what action is required? Church activity? Prayer? Healing? Self-immolation?" . Here is the answer: our first action is the effortless turning within to the Self to listen to the Heart. This is it. This is all!

Is this a disappointing oversimplification? Did your erudite nature expect a profound revelation, a metaphysical pronouncement of reason and logic to shake the intellect? So you, like so many, expect Reality to come forth only from blinding flashes of Light and ecstatic Illumination? . Here is the unadorned Truth, stripped of the ego's covering of abstruseness and intellectualism. Truth is simple. It is always simple. The Truth is easy and uncomplicated. It is tender and effortlessly available. Its location is not limited to the great libraries, nor to universities, temples and cathedrals. Truth, and the honest statements about it, are simplicity itself. It is found with the heart, with the Self, here and now.

For years we have gone outside to teachers, leaders, and holy books, when the entire universe of Truth has been within us all the while. Its confirmation is found nowhere else. Where? Within the Heart! Here! Now! REALITY IS EASILY COMPREHENDED inevitably, Intellectual mankind complicates everything and makes a mystery of truth. In intellectual circles the idea is prevalent that Reality is relative at best and can never really be known; that all we can do is get closer to it--and that, say the ministers, philosophers, theologians, and educators, takes years of study, prayer, self-immolation, self-denial, suffering, toil and perhaps a death or two thrown in for good measure. Malarkey!

Reality is real, not relative, and it can be discovered without labor! Instead of effort, it is the tenderest labor of love; it is happiness beyond belief; it is reward that hasn't even been dreamt of! . Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. For this proof, the first action is simply, quietly to turn within to one's Self, there to listen to the Heart, where Truth is and where the answers are!

THE ANSWER IS HERE One's own Heart is here, consequently the Truth is here. It is comforting to desist from the rat race for a moment and acknowledge that Truth is at hand. Truth is the solution to all that seems untrue, hence unreal. How wonderful to realize, no matter what the apparent problem, that one is never any farther from the Happiness, Peace and Tranquillity he may think he needs than himself. "Himself" is right here, this very now, closer than breathing. . My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them forever-more; Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

- Excerpt from
A Guide To Awareness And Tranquillity, by William Samuel

The body is like a letter:
look into it and see whether it's worthy to be read by the King.
Go into a corner, open the letter, and read what is in it,
see whether its words are suitable for royalty.
If it isn't suitable, tear it to pieces,
write another letter, and remedy the fault.
But don't think it's easy to open the letter of the body;
otherwise everyone would readily discover the secret of the heart.
How difficult it is to open that letter!
It's only for the strong, not for those playing games.

- Rumi, from the
Mathnawi, IV:1564-1568, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski, Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance, posted to Sunlight

In all that is done in the universe, the Divine through his Shakti is behind all action but he is veiled by his Yoga Maya and works through the ego of the Jiva in the lower nature.

In Yoga also it is the Divine who is the Sadhaka and the Sadhana; it is his Shakti with her light, power, knowledge, consciousness, Ananda, acting upon the Adhara and, when it is opened to her, pouring into it with these divine forces that makes the Sadhana possible. But so long as the lower nature is active the effort of the Sadhaka becomes necessary.

The personal effort required is a triple labour of aspiration, rejection and surrender,

(1) an aspiration vigilant, constant, unceasing
- the mind's will, the hearts seeking, the assent of the vital being, the will to open and make plastic the physical consciousness and nature;

(2) rejection of the movements of lower nature
- rejection of the mind's ideas, opinions, preferences, habits, constructions, so that the true knowledge may find free room in a silent mind, - rejection of the vital nature's desires, demands, cravings, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hostility to Truth, so that the true power and joy may pour from above into a calm, large, strong and consecrated vital being, - rejection of the physical nature's stupidity, doubt, disbelief, obscurity, obstinacy, pettiness, laziness, unwillingness to change, so that the true stability of Light, Power, Ananda may establish itself in a body growing always more divine;

(3) surrender of oneself and all one is and has and every plane of the consciousness and every movement to the Divine Shakti.

In proportion as the surrender and self-consecration progress the Sadhaka becomes conscious of the Divine Shakti doing the Sadhana, pouring into him more and more of herself, founding in him the freedom and perfection of the Divine Nature. The more this conscious process replaces his own effort, the more rapid and true becomes his progress.

But it cannot completely replace the necessity of personal effort until the surrender and consecration are pure and complete from top to bottom.

Note that a tamasic surrender refusing to fulfill the conditions and calling on the God to do everything and save one all the trouble and struggle is a deception and does not lead to freedom and perfection.

- Sri Aurobindo, In SABCL, volume 25, "The Mother and Letters on the Mother"

Some folks begin with inquiry and some have
the nature for devotion, but in the end all have it all in
surrendering to That.

- Ramana Maharshi, posted to SufiMystic

When I gave birth, I had the experience of feeling that I was the All, and the All was me, and that we were in this ecstatic dance together. I was the created and the creator at the same time, the dreamer and the dreamed, the breather and the breathed. There was no question about "where" my spirituality was; it was not in the sky, it was in the body. It took every ounce of "great pure effort" -- a buddhist teaching of what it takes to achieve enlightenment -- to show up for the process that was moving through me.

If I chose to spend time complaining, the birthing energy reflected that. It was immediate cause and effect. It was not that I had to deny pain, but I was supremely challenged to frame it in a way that would allow safe passage for my baby. I was asked by the Goddess to surrender completely to the experience, and let it take over. When I felt the energy of birthing kundalini as painful, my midwives compassionately guided me to interpret it in a different way, where I could integrate it as something that would take great courage and strength, but that I had it in me to open to it and take it in.

My midwives were mothers too, and had been through the experience. They knew what they were talking about. This made a big difference in how I could create a safe passage for my child. To have compassionate mirrors telling me I could do this made it possible for me to do it. I trusted them. I had to learn to feel the energy of creation as intense rather than painful, and trust that my body was capable of handling this intensity.

In giving birth, I also learned about the nature of surrender.

Many spiritual teachings tell us that surrendering is essential to spiritual well-being. We need to learn that we are not the center of the universe, and to be open to outcome. When a woman gives conscious birth, she experiences this teaching directly. I did not know if I was going to live or die, nor did I know if my baby would live or die. Entering the unknown in full surrender, the mother is in a deeply spiritual relationship with the All.

excerpt from an essay entitled "Birthing As Shamanic Experience," by Leslie McIntyre

THE Lord is in me, the Lord is in you, as life is in every seed. O servant! put false pride away, and seek for Him within you.
A million suns are ablaze with light,
The sea of blue spreads in the sky,
The fever of life is stilled, and all stains are washed away; when I sit in the midst of that world.
Hark to the unstruck bells and drums! Take your delight in love!
Rains pour down without water, and the rivers are streams of light.
One Love it is that pervades the whole world, few there are who know it fully:
They are blind who hope to see it by the light of reason, that reason which is the cause of separation-
The House of Reason is very far away!
How blessed is Kabīr, that amidst this great joy he sings within his own vessel.
It is the music of the meeting of soul with soul;
It is the music of the forgetting of sorrows;
It is the music that transcends all coming in and all going forth.

- Kabir


"Nightmares" by Helena Nelson-Reed, by kind permission

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