not a man,
not a woman,
not a race,
not an ethnicity.
not even a person,
merely roles to put on
like a hat or a coat
or a body-mind identity,
confusing life by day
with society’s roles.
But in deep sleep,
one’s true nature arises.

Moving on from India, we travel North to Tibet where we find the land of Tibetan Buddhism and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, a Vajrayana master, scholar, and poet and recognized as one of the greatest realized masters. He was head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism from 1988 to 1991.

“It is always beneficial to be near a spiritual teacher. These masters are like gardens or medicinal plants, sanctuaries of wisdom. In the presence of a realized master, you will rapidly attain enlightenment. In the presence of an erudite scholar, you will acquire great knowledge. In the presence of a great meditator, spiritual experience will dawn in your mind. In the presence of a bodhisattva, your compassion will expand, just as an ordinary log placed next to a log of sandalwood becomes saturated, little by little, with its fragrance.”
― Dilgo Khyentse, “The Hundred Verses of Advice: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on What Matters Most”

It would be difficult to argue with Dilgo Khyentse’s point. The benefits of having a spiritual teacher and being in the presence of a realized master, regardless of sect or lineage, cannot be overstated.

Today’s Video: “Glimpses of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche”


don’t look left or right,
don’t look up or down,
don’t look ahead or behind,
look within,
for you are what you are
looking for.

Let’s have one more quote from Paramahansa Yogananda because I really like this one. It’s something most of us are missing…

“Make up your mind that you will be happy whether you are rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy, happily married or unhappily married, young or old, smiling or crying. Don’t wait for yourself, your family, or your surroundings to change before you can be happy within yourself. Make up your mind to be happy within yourself, right now, whatever you are, or wherever you are.” – Paramahansa Yogananda

Why is it so hard for most of us to be happy? Because we are too busy looking for happiness. Where? In objects, of course. What we don’t realizze is the fact that we are happiness. It’s our natural birthright. So give up the notion of finding it out there in objects of all kinds, including people. They cannot bring you happiness because happiness is what you are – your true nature.

Today’s Video: What Happens When You Die Unenlightened? | Sri Paramahansa Yogananda


to be…or not to be?
Observe closely.
Not a question of being…
or not being.
Both must vanish,
leaving the double absence,
the absence of absence.
Thus arises being the being,
a being beyond being and non-being.

Today we look at another Hindu guru and mystic, who not only brought meditation to America but kriya yoga as well. Paramahansa Yogananda introduced millions to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his organization the Self-Realization Fellowship and Yogoda Satsanga Society of India.

“Every day try to help uplift physically, mentally, or spiritually suffering people, as you would help yourself or your family. If, instead of living in the misery-making selfish way, you live according to the laws of God, then, no matter what small part you may be playing on the stage of life, you will know that you have been playing your part correctly, as directed by the Stage Manager of all our destinies. Your part, however small, is just as important as the biggest parts in contributing to the success of the Drama of Souls on the Stage of Life. Make a little money and be satisfied with it by living a simple life and expressing your ideals, rather than make lots of money and have worries without end.”
– Yogananda

Simple advice: live simply and do simple things to help others. If all of us followed this simple advice what a remarkable place this world would be.

Today’s Video: “Solve all your Problems Easily by Developing your Intuition”


nothing to attain,
nothing to achieve,
nothing to become,
nothing to know,
no knower to know it.
nowhere to go,
nothing to do,
no doer to do it.

More from Vivekananda, the founder of the Ramakrishna Mission. In fact, we have two quotes, both insightfully powerful.

“All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. You can do any thing and everything, without even the guidance of any one. Stand up and express the divinity within you.”
― Swami Vivekananda, Lectures from Colombo to Almora

“All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore love for love’s sake, because it is the only law of life, just as you breathe to live.”
― Swami Vivekananda , Letters of Swami Vivekananda

If you put both quotes together, you get…”the power of love is within you. It is expansive and can do anything and everything. Believe in love, the only law of life and then you can do anything and everything just as you breathe to live. Stand up and express the divinity within you that is Love, pure love.”

Today’s Video: TRY THIS Simple Mind Control Method if You Cannot Control Your Mind Directly | Swami Vivekananda


never free,
never still,
never available,
always seeking,
always choosing,
always grasping,
never content, always stressed,
the mind without a clue.

Last week we looked at the Zen monks who brought Zen Buddhism to the West and specifically to America.Today we look at the the Hindu monk who brought Advaita Vedanta to America – Swami Vivekananda.

“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, no one can make you spiritual.
There is no other teacher but your own soul.”
― Swami Vivekananda

A disciple of the Indian mystic, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda founded the spiritual order named after his teacher, Ramakrishna Mission.

Today’s Video: Enlightenment Experience – How Swami Vivekananda Attained Enlightenment? (As Explained by Himself)


is there any other reason
for just sitting?
does it have to matter?
become another goal?
can I just enjoy
the quiet peace
it brings?
enjoy the peace,
enjoy the joy.

I want to conclude our look at Zen Buddhist quotes on aspects of enlightenment with a quote from my former Zen teacher and visual artist, John Daido Loori.

“Serene illumination, or just sitting, is not a technique, or a means to some resulting higher state of consciousness, or any particular state of being. Just sitting, one simply meets the immediate present. Desiring some flashy experience, or anything more or other than ‘this’ is mere worldly vanity and craving.”
– John Daido Loori, “The Art of Just Sitting: Essential Writings on the Zen Practice of Shikantaza”

The idea of sitting meditation as something we do that has been taught across many traditions promoted by unqualified or lower level teachers is undeniably incorrect. This fact has also been stated across many traditions by qualified spiritual teachers like Daido, who tell us to sit just for the pure joy of it. Don’t turn sitting into another object or goal to achieve.

Today’s Video: “Zen Buddhism: The Nature of the Self”


silence is waiting.
don’t try to grasp it.
just leave the door open
and put out a welcome mat.
it will come when it’s ready.

Maezumi Roshi was another prominent Japanese Zen Buddhist who help to establish Zen Buddhism in America, especially on the West Coast. He was the founding teacher of Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center and the Zen Center of Los Angeles.

“We do not make harmony. We do not achieve it or gain it. It is there all the time. Here we are, in the midst of this perfect way, and our practice is simply to realize it and then to actualize it in our everyday life.”
― Maezumi Roshi

Like most aspects that pertain to enlightenment – silence, stilling the mind, non-doing, non-thinking – harmony is something we seek or try to obtain because we look at enlightenement and all of its aspects and modalities – love, beauty, truth – as objects because the mind can only recognize objects. Harmony like all these the other modalities of our True Nature cannot be sought, gained or achieved because they are who we really are, and, as Maezumi Roshi tells us, they are here all the time – we are it!

Today’s Video: Lineage: Hakuyū Taizan Maezumi


without absence,
there is no presence.
when I am absent
there is presence.
in the absence of myself,
comes spontaneity.

Shunryu Suzuki, the monk that brought Japanese Zen Buddhism to America, is such an interesting spiritual teacher with tremendous insights that we can gain much from looking at more of his quotes. Today he has very practicial advice on trying to control others.

“Even though you try to put people under control, it is impossible. You cannot do it. The best way to control people is to encourage them to be mischievous. Then they will be in control in a wider sense. To give your sheep or cow a large spacious meadow is the way to control him. So it is with people: first let them do what they want, and watch them. This is the best policy. To ignore them is not good. That is the worst policy. The second worst is trying to control them. The best one is to watch them, just to watch them, without trying to control them.”
— Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice)

Most of us do just the opposite.

Today’s Video: “Breathing (ZEN: Right Practice) by Shunryu Suzuki”


doing without a doer,
no reference to the I.
potentiality waits urgently
for actualization.
Let it come up
by getting out of the way.
your true nature rises.

We started the week with a quote from the ancient Zen Master Dogen. Today we celebrate the contemporary monk who brought Zen to America, Shunryu Suzuki. He established the first Zen Buddhist monastary outside of Asia at the San Francisco Zen Center and one of th emost popular books on Zen Buddhism is a collection of his sayings entitled “Zen Mind, Beginners Mind.”

“If enlightenment comes first, before thinking, before practice, your thinking and your practice will not be self-centered. By enlightenment I mean believing in nothing, believing in something which has no form or no color, which is ready to take form or color. This enlightenment is the immutable truth. It is on this orginal truth that our activity, our thinking, and our practice should be based.” – Shunryu Suzuki

There you have it. All you need to know about enlightenment. Actually, it is all we can know. Quite different, indeed, from the idea of Heaven, conditioned in many of us from early childhood, with God sitting on a throne surrounded by adoring angels, an idea profusely propagated by many of our politicians today trying to striaght-jacket the population into accepting their extremist values.

Today’s Video: ♡ Shunryu Suzuki Roshi ♡ Zen Buddhism ♡ Meditation Instruction ♡ Sound and Noise ♡


emerald green rows
winding up circular slopes,
piercing the morning clouds
misting the young tender leaves
at the top of each plant,
that will nourish
not only one’s body,
but warm the soul.

We start off the week in Japan and an enlightening quote from the great Zen master, Dogen the founder of the Soto School of Zen Buddhism. Even thought this is an ancient quote from the 13th-Century, it points to the very nature of our divisiveness and hostility to those with differing political, social or spiritual ideologies.

“Do not be concerned with the faults of other persons. Do not see others’ faults with a hateful mind. There is an old saying that if you stop seeing others’ faults, then naturally seniors and venerated and juniors are revered. Do not imitate others’ faults; just cultivate virtue. Buddha prohibited unwholesome actions, but did not tell us to hate those who practice unwholesome actions.”
― Zen Master Dogen

Why then did the Buddha prohibit these unwholesom actions but did not tell us to hate those who propagated them? A true enlightened master realizes that evil does not exist just as good does not exist. These are both human thought-concepts based on faulty thinking. What exists are wisdom or clarity and ignorance. We need to see that those world leaders and politicians that so often aggravate us are not evil but ignorant. Berate their ignorant actions but not the person

Today’s Video: Zen Master Dōgen Zenji: Four Lessons About Genuine Enlightenment


the sound that vibrates each organ
and energizes the body-mind
is the same sound that vibrates
the cosmos,
energizes the stars,
and orbits their planets.
Can you hear it, not with your ears
but your whole body?
your whole silent body?

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we look at not one but three quotes from an Irishj guru and spiritual teacher of sorts, actually he is a literary genius, Janes Joyce.

“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.”
― James Joyce, Ulysses

“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”
― James Joyce, Ulysses

“You made me confess the fears that I have. But I will tell you also what I do not fear. I do not fear to be alone or to be spurned for another or to leave whatever I have to leave. And I am not afraid to make a mistake, even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake and perhaps as long as eternity too.”
― James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Today’s Viceo: LITERATURE – James Joyce


streaming from the beauty, peace and love
of the Self,
the Life Force empowers and uses
the body-mind
to perceive the beauty, peace and love
in the grandeur of the cosmos.

There’s a quote from Black Elk, the Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, that reminds one of quotes from the Tao de Ching with regards to innocence and returning to the purity of a young child. Here is a comparison.

“He who possesses Virtue in abundance is like a newly born infant.
Poisonous insects will not sting him;
Wild beasts will not seize him;
Birds of prey will not attack him.
His bones are soft, his muscles weak, but his grasp is strong.” – Lao Tzu, Tao de Ching, Ch. 55

“Be like a channel for the world’s waters;
Open and flowing, like the mind of a child.
Full of virtue, harmony and excellence.” – Lao Tzu, Tao de Ching, Ch. 28

“Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of the little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.”― Black Elk

And the Great Spirit or the Dao or Reality and its Grace will show us many things if we can return to the early state of innocence.

Today’s Video: “Black Elk (Heȟáka Sápa) – Selected Wisdoms for Meditation “


In the beginning is stillness.
In the ending is stillness.
Its beginning is its ending,
its ending the beginning.
It moves in circles
and returns in circles.
In its movement there is stillness.
In its stillness there is movement.
In its fullness there is emptiness,
in its emptiness fullness.

Continuing with Native American spiritual leaders, today we focus on Black Elk, the Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux. Black Elk is best known for his interviews with poet John Neihardt, where he discussed his religious views, visions, and events from his life published in Neihardt’s book Black Elk Speaks in 1932. Years later he was interviewed by American ethnologist Joseph Epes Brown for his 1947 book The Sacred Pipe. Black Elk eventually converted to Catholicism, becoming a catechist, but he also continued to practice Lakota ceremonies and care for his people, especially the children and the elderly.

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”
― Black Elk

“The Holy Land is everywhere”
― Black Elk

I don’t think any spiritual leader from any tradition, ancient or modern, could have said it any better: “… at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”

Today’s Video: “Dakota Life: Black Elk Speaks”


the trees are silent,
their leaves motionless
the air is still,
not stirring the branches
or rustling the leaves.
nature is in meditation
as the mourning doves
recite their mantra.

Today we cross the Great Pond as many of our ancestors did back in the 17th and 18th centuries to build what we now call the United States. Our quote today comes from a true American, a native of this land, Tenskwatawa, (Open Door) the younger brother of the famous Shawnee Chief Tecumseh. Known as the Prophet, Tenskwatawa was the spiritual leader of the Shawnee people, who after a vision he had, urged his people not to follow the ways of the white man but to return to their ancient ways. Here is an excerpt of his plea to his people.

“Our Creator put us on this wide, rich land, and told us we were free to go where the game was, where the soil was good for planting. That was our state of true happiness. We did not have to beg for anything. Our Creator had taught us how to find and make everything we needed, from trees and plants and animals and stone. We lived in bark, and we wore only the skins of animals. Our Creator taught us how to use fire, in living, and in sacred ceremonies. She taught us how to heal with barks and roots, and how to make sweet foods with berries and fruits, with papaws and the water of the maple tree. Our Creator gave us tobacco, and said, Send your prayers up to me on its fragrant smoke. Our Creator taught us how to enjoy loving our mates, and gave us laws to live by, so that we would not bother each other, but help each other. Our Creator sang to us in the wind and the running water, in the bird songs, in children’s laughter, and taught us music. And we listened, and our stomachs were never dirty and never troubled us. Thus were we created. Thus we lived for a long time, proud and happy.” – Tenskwatawa (Open Door)

The Open Door, isn’t that what a guru, a true spiritual teacher is? An Open Door to Enlightenment. Furthermore, was Tenskwatawa’s message any different from the likes of Laozi, Zhuangzi, Atmananda, Ramana Maharshi, Anandamayi ma, and others who remind us to give up worldly desires and their addictive behaviors and follow the Dao, the way of Nature and thus return to your true nature?

Today’s Video: Sacred Vision of Tenskwatawa, the Open Door & Tacumseh


so gentle is the mist
enshrouding the hillside,
lush green foliage
peeking through the grey mantle,
narrow rivulets snake downhill,
refreshing, nourishing.
precious droplets soaking into the soil
renewing the roots below.
so too the divine current
misting the world with its grace,
refreshing the body,
renewing the spirit.
can you feel it awakening within?

Today we start off the new week by crossing the Channel, leaving our French spiritual teachers and authors for an English spiritual teacher, poet and yogi, an Advaita disciple of Jean Klein and a teacher of Yoga in the Kashmir Tradition, Billy Doyle. He has a couple of poetry books in the spirit of nonduality, “Mirage of Separation” and “Ocean of Silence.” Here are two selections from the latter.

“look out at the open landscape
or imagine one spreading endlessly in front of you
enter into it
touch it, embrace it with your whole being
let it absorb you
there are not two” – Billy Doyle, “Ocean of Silence”

“this very moment
have you ever dived into its depth
or are you forever taken by the waves of your mind
here, now, the whole universe is open to you
singing its song
but if you’re not quiet
all you will hear is your own echo” – Billy Doyle, “Ocean of Silence”

I picked these two verses not only for their imagery but because they are also instructive. Here Doyle shows us how to sit quietly and contemplate are true nature. The first is a visual method, looking out at an open landscape or imagining one. The second is an auditory method, diving into the depth of silence, listening for the song of the universe.

Today’s Video: “Relaxation and the Energetic Body – Guided Meditation – Billy Doyle (Part 1)”


Mantras are not to be
interpreted nor understood
verbally or conceptually.
Their virtue is in the sound.
Each organ, each cell
responds to certain frequencies.
Thus the sound, not the words,
harmonizes the body and soul.

Today we have two French spiritual teachers tell us about – what else that the French are famous for besides wine and cheese but – love. Here is Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Jean Klein on love…

“Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves. All we need is to imagine our ability to love developing until it embraces the totality of men and the earth.” – Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

“If there were no internal propensity to unite, even at a prodigiously rudimentary level — indeed in the molecule itself — it would be physically impossible for love to appear higher up, with us, in hominized form…. Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being.” – Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

“You want me to talk about love, to give you a hold, something to feel, to admire or obtain. I will not give you a straw to grasp, and in this emptiness you will be taken by yourself. You are love so don’t try to be a lover.” – Jean Klein

Before loving your surroundings you must first love yourself. Not, of course, the image you have of yourself, but your real self. When you look at things from this higher principle we call love, all things become lovable. Things appear constantly according to hour point of view. Love must become your nearest. It is your nearest and your dearest. Be in identity with it. In love, there is no place for somebody. Love is not a state which you go in and out of. It is the principle which is our permanence. – Jean Klein, “Beyond Knowledge”

Have a loving weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Today’s Video: “Phenomenon of Man and the Evolution of LOVE – Teilhard de Chardin”


Openness is Life, itself.
One cannot understand Life.
Only Life can understand Life.
Receive Life
by being open to Life.

Jean Klein has so many instructive quotes on Self-Cultivation that I wanted us to review one more vital one.

“In silent surrender there is bliss and prayer without request or demand. There is no doer, experiencer, lover or beloved. There is only a divine current. You see that the very act of welcoming is itself the solution to the problem and the action which follows your comprehension is very straightforward. When you become familiar with the act of surrender, truth will solicit you unsought.” – Jean Klein

This is so important. Silent surrender is pure prayer, itself, without any requests or supplications. And there is no doer who prays or a beloved that one prays to. There is only a divine current, like the flow of Life, rthe flow of the Dao. Thus we completely surrender to that current and remain open and welcome whatever it might bring, trusting that absolute presence of the moment.

Today’s Video: “Jean Klein on courage, being a Truth Seeker, and apathy towards work (3/3)”


This body-mind,
this unique instrument
we are not,
but that which gives it life
and empowers it
to perceive
the grandeur of creation.

Today we have a most vital quote as we continue with the words of Jean Klein, a French author, doctor, musicologist and a teacher of Advaita-Vedanta. For some of us this may be a life-changing advice that will save us both time and effort on our quest for Self-Cultivation and Fulfillment.

“Discipline is of no use whatsoever, since things are naturally eliminated by discernment without it being necessary for us to treat them brutally. Even in the course of the technique known as “letting-go”, a faint shadow of discipline is implied, for letting-go of an object implies a certain discipline. Only an effortless and choiceless, I repeat choiceless reaction, is the hallmark of liberation.” – Jean Klein

Got that? If you don’t understand, read it several times. Make it your own as if those are your very words. Not as a mantra – God no! But as a very deep understanding, a natural discernment.

Today’s Video: “Silence Beyond a Quiet Mind: The First Time Francis (Lucille) Met his Teacher, Jean Klein”


Seek not,
Want not,
Fear not,
You are the Life Force.

Unlike Teilhard de Chardin, Jean Klein was not a French esoteric Christian author and spiritual teachcer. Instead he followed the Hindu teachings of Advaita Vedanta in the tradition of Ramana Maharshi and Atmananda Krishna Menon. He was trained as a medical doctor and a musicologist before traveling to India where he met his guru. As it turned out, Jean Klein was my teacher’s teacher.

“When you become responsive to the solicitations of silence, you may be called to explore the invitation. This exploration is a kind of laboratory. You may sit and observe the coming and going of perceptions. You remain present to them but do not follow them. Following a thought is what maintains it. If you remain present without becoming an accomplice, agitation slows down through lack of fuel. In the absence of agitation you are taken by the resonance of stillness.” – Jean Klein

Like my teacher, Jean Klein often mentioned invitations and being invited. It’s Life, itself, that invites you to discover your true nature. You need to be open and welcome the invitation in order to receive a glimpse of what you truly are.

Today’s Video: “Our True Nature – Jean Klein (Advaita Vedanta)”


Insight happens.
One cannot force it.
It is a gift from Heaven
in communion
with the Universe.

As it would happen, Teilhard de Chardin was in communion with the Universe, a Wholly Communion. In his “Hymn to the Universe,” it begins with “The Mass on the World,” where he actually performs an entire mass as a meditation that celebrates the Eucharist of Christ in the Ordos Desert of Inner Mongolia, China, where Teilhard found himself on the feast day of the Transfiguration. Here is an excerpt from the “Offering” of that mass.

“—I call before me the whole vast anonymous army of living humanity; those who surround me and support me though I do not know them; those
who come, and those who go; above all, those
who in office, laboratory and factory, through their
vision of truth or despite their error, truly believe
in the progress of earthly reality and who today
will take up again their impassioned pursuit of the
This restless multitude, confused or orderly, the
immensity of which terrifies us; this ocean of humanity
whose slow, monotonous wave-flows trouble
the hearts even of those whose faith is most firm: it
is to this deep that I thus desire all the fibers of my
being should respond. All the things in the world to
which this day will bring increase; all those that
will diminish; all those too that will die: all of
them, Lord, I try to gather into my arms, so as to
hold them out to you in offering. This is the material
of my sacrifice; the only material you desire.”

And so we see Teihard’s deep connection with all of humanity as he does not feel himself, like many of us do, as a separate and distinct entity with little or no connection to the multitudes. Regardless of one’s religious or spiritual background this is a major hurdle that must be cleared in the process of Self-Cultivation and Realization.

Today’s Video: “Teilhard de Chardin’s Mass on the World”


Live with your questions.
Seek not to understand.
There is no one there,
No one to find understanding.
Be open, be available.
Let understanding find you.

We ended last week with a quote from Pierre Teihard de Chardin, whom I find most interesting. So, continuing with quotes on enlightenment from the esoteric Christian tradition, here is a special one that refers to you and I and most of humanity and our relation to the Cosmos.

“Humanity has been sleeping-and still sleeps-lulled within the narrowly confining joys of its little closed loves. In the depths of the human multitude there slumbers an immense spiritual power which will manifest itself only when we have learnt how to break through the dividing walls of our egoism and raise ourselves up to an entirely new perspective, so that habitually and in a practical fashion we fix our gaze on the universal realities.”
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Those dividing walls are the fictitious boundaries of our bodies engendered by our egoism and acquired conditioning that hide us from the universal reality that we are not separate entities but are that spiritual power that unities us all – the Life Force – call it Dao or God or Brahman or Buddhahood.

Today’s Video:


Like breathing,
like the heart beating,
Understanding is effortless.
No need to seek it.
Like the rain that comes and goes,
washing away the dust of ignorance.
Seek not,
Want not,
Worry not,
And there is understanding.

Continuing our view of Enlightenment in the Christian esoteric tradition, today we have a quote from Teilhard de Chardin, a French Jesuit paleontologist, scientist, philosopher and theologian. Yesterday we looked at the American Trappist monk, Thomas Merton. Whereas Merton’s work is suggestive of Bhakti, Enlightenment through love for God or the Divine Spirit, Teilhard de Chardin’s work had more of a Jnana approach, that is Enlightenment through observation and knowledge of ourselves as it relates to the Ultimate.

“Remain true to yourself, but move ever upward toward greater consciousness and greater love! At the summit you will find yourselves united with all those who, from every direction, have made the same ascent. For everything that rises must converge.”
― Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

That convergence later in de Chardin’s work became known as the Omega Point and the emergence of the Noosphere (the thinking or mind sphere which transcended the Biosphere and in turn the Physiosphere).

Today’s Video: “Why Humanity is Special – de Chardin and the Birth of the Noosphere”


When the mind and the body
are happening in me
and not me in them,
that is tai chi.

Today we are viewing Enlightenment from the Christian esoteric tradition with one of the 20th-Century’s famous Christian mystics, Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk, author of over 50 books and a leader in exploring the Interfaith movement with prominent spiritual leaders of Eastern religions.

“What is “grace”? It is God’s own life, shared by us. God’s life is love. Deus caritas est. By grace we are able to share in the infinitely selfless love of Him Who is such pure actuality that He needs nothing and therefore cannot conceivably exploit anything for selfish ends. Indeed, outside of Him there is nothing, and whatever exists exists by His free gift of its being, so that one of the notions that is absolutely contradictory to the perfection of God is selfishness.”

One will notice from this quote and others that, unlike many of the prominent Eastern spiritual teachers that Merton had spoken with, he still maintained his Christian vision of a personal God, an omniscient, omnipresent Supreme Being. In Eastern religions like socme sects of Hinduism, Buddhism and Daoism, the idea of a Supreme Being or God is of a more nebulous mature.

Today’s Video:


When we expect without expecting
all that arises is available to us.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the author of “Paul Revere’s Ride” and “The Song of Hiawatha,” and the first American translator of Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” was the most popular poet in 19th-Century America. As for Enlightenment, the one thing we can deduce from his work is that he definitely believed in an afterlife. Here are a few examples.

“Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream! For the soul is dead that slumbers, and things are not what they seem. Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art; to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul.” – Henry Wadsorth Longfellow

“Death is the chillness that precedes the dawn; We shudder for a moment, then awake In the broad sunshine of the other life.” – Henry Wadworth Longfellow

“The grave itself is but a covered bridge, Leading from light to light, through a brief darkness!” – Henry Wadworth Longfellow

Today’s Video: “The life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow”


The peace that knows itself
emerges without seeking it.
A cloud unfolding above
allowing sunlight to shine through.

We ended February with Verse #32 from “Song of Myself” from Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” and we shall kick off March with Whitman’s tribute to the Hindu concept of Maya…

“Are you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with, take warning – I am surely far different from what you suppose;
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?
Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy’d satisfaction?
Do you think I am trusty and faithful?
Do you see no further than this façade—this smooth and tolerant manner of me?
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man?
Have you no thought, O dreamer, that it may be all maya, illusion?”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

At least consider the possibility that all you perceive is Maya, an illusion, whether it be a person, an object or even a thought, consider that on the phenominal level all is an illusion.

Before Whitman there was Longfellow. We shall take a look at some Longfellow’s enlightened work tomorrow.

Today’s Video: “O Me! O Life! – Walt Whitman”

he amused laughter of a child,
an innocent sense of awe,
the piqued gaze of wonderment,
forgotten long ago, burried
by the ponderous task of mindfulness.

We close out February with an excerpt of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” from his epic work “Leaves of Grass.” How do you feel about animals? Do you think they may be enlightened? Here’s how Whitman felt…

“I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d, I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass: The Death-Bed Edition

Today’s Video: “Whitman, from Song of Myself, #6


How can you find emptiness
when you are full of the Self?

As I mentioned this past weekend, we will spend a few days reading what one of America’s greatest poets, essayists and philosophers, the Father of Free Verse, Walt Whitman, has to say about leading an enlightened life. Here’s what he feels we should do…

“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, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
― Walt Whitman

You may not agree with every one of Whitman’s points, but certainly there are a few that are worthy of your cultivation, especially those that encourage service and taking an active role with regards to our fellow beings whether they be wealthy, poor, educated or not, and human or not. More from Uncle Walt tomorrow.

Today’s Video: “Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman | Song of Myself”


You will find the Truth
of your Reality
when you stop seeking it.

Today we venture to America and its first truly great poet and, I dare say, saint, the Father of Free Verse, Walt Whitman. His work combined both Transcendentalism and Realism, and there are so many rays of spiritual light emanating throughout his works that we will spend the better part of next week looking at a few major ones. Here’s an example from his epic work “Leaves of Grass.”

“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Here Whitman is true on both accounts: no one else can travel that road for you and you have been on it since birth but, like most of us, did not realize it.

We will return to Whitman next week. Enjoy your weekend and keep practicing.

Today’s Video: Song of the Open Road – Walt Whitman (Powerful Life Poetry)


Trying to become or be
what you already are is futile.
Allow it to arise
in the openness of your heart.

Today’s quote is from Atmananda Krishna Menon, whose spiritual teachings set the foundation for what has been called the Direct Path. Sri Atmananda was known as the Sage of Higher Reasoning. Today’s quote is Note #120 from “Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda,” taken by NITYA TRIPTA, entitled “TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE WITNESS’ AND ‘TO BE A WITNESS.” It is of such importance to anyone wishing to study the Direct Path that I have included the Note in its entirety.

“TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE WITNESS’ AND ‘TO BE A WITNESS.’ These are entirely different things. But you should not try to know that you are the knower. Both together are impossible. Your knowership is objectless and can never be objectified.

You are always the witness. But you need not attempt deliberately to take the role of a witness. Only take note of the fact that you are always the witness.

You are asked to strengthen the conviction that you are the knower, in order to counteract the old samskaras that you are the doer, enjoyer etc. Though the substance of doership and enjoyership is effaced, the samskaras might still remain as shadows.

You are only to argue in your mind how you are always the real knower, and repeat the arguments over and over again. The time will come when the arguments will become unnecessary, and a mere thought will take you to the conclusion. Gradually, you will find that even when you do not think about the Truth, and whether you are engaged or not engaged in activities, you will feel without feeling that you are always the witness and that you are not affected by any activity or inactivity of the mind and senses in the relative sphere.

Witnessing is silent awareness. Do not try to make it active in any way. Consciousness never takes any responsibility for proving the existence or the non-existence of an object.” – Atmananda Krishna Menon, (NOTE 120, 6th April 1951, from “Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda,” taken by NITYA TRIPTA

The point of Note 120 is simply what I have stated in my opening verse at the top of this page: For one to try to become or be the witness is futile because one is already the witness. And as Sri Atmananda states: “You are alway the witness. But you need not attempt deliberately to take the role of a witness. Only take note of the fact that you are always the witness.” I would add that since witnessing is silent awareness, it is not an object and therefore cannot be objectified.

Today’s Video: Atmananda Krishnamenon – Spiritual Discourse on Traffic Noise & Pure Consciousness


What is it that I am?
A human, a man,
or a child
dreaming he is a man?
Am I in this world
or is this world in me?
To know what I know
makes little difference.
But to know that I don’t know
brings absolute freedom.

Today’s quote is from the Ceylonese-born pioneer historian of Indian art and foremost interpreter of Indian culture to the West, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy.

“All that is best for us comes of itself into our hands-but if we strive to overtake it, it perpetually eludes us.”
― Ananda Coomaraswamy

This meaning here is much like that of the famous Chuang Tzu quote: “Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.” To Coomaraswamy, ignorance is thinking that you can actually force outcomes when the wise sage knows that only the flow of grace or nature can bring them into our lives.

Today’s Video: Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Reading List


The gentle child-like innocence of not knowing
shines with a warm presence
that reliance on one’s acquired knowledge
can never attain.

Yesterday we posted a quote from Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Today we look at a verse from a close friend of Goethe, Friedrich Von Schiller.

“There are three lessons I would write-
Three words, as with a burning pen,
In tracings of eternal light,
Upon the heart of men.

Have hope! though clouds environ round,
And gladness hides her face in scorn,
Put thou the shadow from thy brow,
No night but hath its morn.

Have love! not love alone for one,
But man as man thy brother call,
And scatter like the circling sun,
Thy charities on all.”
― Friedrich Von Schiller

Here Schiller is calling on us to have hope though gladness hides her face in scorn and not to fret and worry over our problems but to remember disappointments cannot last forever as suredly as a new day will dawn. Most importantly, we must express charity to all not just a select few for all are our brothers and sisters. For Schiller these were the keys to leading an enlightened life. It would do us good as well to heed Schiller’s advice.

Today’s Video: “Do you Know Friedrich Schiller?”


the new frontier, really?
and the old frontier,
the one we live in,
walk in, drive in, fly in,
the one we pile on
with concrete, steel, cement,
the one we pollute,
fill with trash, garbage, toxins
and greenhouse gases?
Humans fill Space with artificiality;
Nature fills it with Life.

Today we journey back to Europe as the Industrial Era was plodding along, and one Johann Wolfgang Goethe emerged as one of Germany’s foremost poets, authors, and philosophers.

“At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Of all the myriad quotes of Goethe, I chose this short, simple one because of its prime importance. When you truly commit to the Path, the Universe in the form of grace truly conspires to assist you in every way possible.
But committment, though extremely vital, it is also confusing and frightening. Which path is the right path? Which one should I take? What will happen to me if I choose the wrong path? It’s doubts like these that have prevented so many from discovering their true nature.

Today’s Video: LITERATURE – Goethe


sensations run freely,
spilling everywhere
bursting from this bag of skin
split open by a Cosmic Breath.
Perceptions no longer matter,
only the intimacy between
inside and outside,
unbinding one
from this self-made prison.

To all my U.S. friends, Happy President’s Day. And a special Happy President’s day to my friend, President Joe Biden.

As we begin this new week, we turn again to another English author, William Wordsworth. and his enlightened poem “It is a Beauteous Evening.”

” It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility;
The gentleness of heaven broods o’er the Sea:
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder—everlastingly.
Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouched by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham’s bosom all the year;
And worship’st at the Temple’s inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.”
– by William Wordsworth

“A Beauteous Evening” is indeed a beauteous poem and, even more so, an enlightened poem. Wordsworth is telling us that even if we are not praying (“solemn thought”), the Divine is still with us, and we are with the Divine, lying “in Abraham’s bosom all the year.” When we are in solemn thought (prayer), we are worshipping “at the Temple’s inner shrine (our heart). He concludes by affirming that God is with us even if we don’t realize it.

Today’s Video: “Introduction to William Wordsworth”


Be like the Earth
that nurtures us as we grow,
that sustains us throughout life,
that supports and grounds us
in all we do.
Be the Earth to all beings.

Rounding out this week’s quotations on Music and Enlightenment, we return to William Shakespeare and the closing lines from his play, “The Merchant of Venice, Act V, Scene 1.

“The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not mov’d with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus;
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.”
– The Merchant of Venice; Act V, Scene 1
by Willliam Shakespeare

So, get some music in your life and have a great weekend. If you’re in the U.S., it’s a 3-day weekend. Keep practicing and I’ll see you Monday.

Today’s Video: “The Enlightenment of William Shakespeare”


Trust your body.
It is your friend.
Relating intimately
as though a close friend.
Trust it,
Be intimate,
But don’t identify with it.
The body is not who your are.

Again we look at the harmony between Music and Enlightenment, today with the Indian musicologist, singer, philosopher and spiritual teacher who established Sufism in the West. Hazrat Inayat Khan.

“Sound is the force of creation, the true whole. Music then, becomes the voice of the great cosmic oneness and therefore the optimal way to reach this final state of healing.” – Hazrat Inayat Khan

This one short quote out of hundreds, epitomizes Hazrat Inayat Khan’s main philosophy and approach to reaching enlightenment – it is in the music – the voice of the great cosmic oneness.

Today’s Video: Hazrat Inayat Khan


Suspended in stillness,
one waits uncertainly,
while Life strips away
the molting layers
of separateness until
Stark naked,
one is enwrapped
in an envirobody of sentience,
a chrysalis of borderless vibration,
an ever-expanding metamorphosis
evolving in an Holistic Communion.

Continuing with our study of the relationship between Enlightenment and Music, today the focus is on a contemporary artists from Sicily, Laura Inserra, a sound alchemist. What is a sound alchemist? An artists who works with and blends all sorts of vibrations. Check out more on her website.

“The essence of the Universe is vibration,
quenchless energy in motion, e-motion.
My work is about experiencing the Source and its manifestation
through sound, emotions, and body awareness.” ~ Laura Inserra

Laura believes that her work with sound and vibration can heal as well as lead one to a higher source.

Today’s Video: Lullabies for the Soul


In Meditating, there’s
no breathing,
Only breath,
no stilling thoughts,
Only mind,
no perceiving,
Only perceptions
no Meditator,
only Meditation

Today we continue with our study of the relationship between Enlightenment and Music with yet another German author, this one a theoretic physicist by the name of Albert Einstein.

“We are slowed down sound and light waves,
a walking bundle of frequencies tuned into the cosmos.
We are souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play their music.” ~ Albert Einstein

Yes, even Einstein had something to say about Music and Enlightenment addressing us as “souls dressed up in sacred bochemical garments and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play their music.”
Notice that Einstein addressed us as “souls” not “bodies.” He did not consider the body as a part of us but as tools or instruments which we as souls use to play our music, namely our experiences and reactions to them.

Today’s Video: Albert Einstein “Quotes you should know before you get old.”


In true surrender,
No one surrenders.
In ending the effort
of seeming to be separate,
we are surrendered
by Life, itself, into
the arms of Infinite Oneness.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. My Love to each of you. Today’s quote is a follow up to yesterday’s quote on the power of music by Schopenhaur. This one is from a fellow German philosopher,

“God has given us music so that above all it can lead us upwards. Music unites all qualities: it can exalt us, divert us, cheer us up, or break the hardest of hearts with the softest of its melancholy tones. But its principal task is to lead our thoughts to higher things, to elevate, even to make us tremble… The musical art often speaks in sounds more penetrating than the words of poetry, and takes hold of the most hidden crevices of the heart… Song elevates our being and leads us to the good and the true. If, however, music serves only as a diversion or as a kind of vain ostentation it is sinful and harmful.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

As I mentioned yesterday, and Nietzsche reaffirms today that music has an uplifting quality and leads our thoughts to higher things. Thus, we can understand why it is an integral part of religious worship, spanning many cultures and many religions.

Today’s Video: PHILOSOPHY – Nietzsche


Sweet Surrender,
Sweet Giving Up,
The Fear and Resistance vanished
like the ghosts they are;
leaving an openness
infused with the nectar of freedom.

Today’s quote on Enlightenment or Noumenality comes from the 19th-Century German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhaur, whose book, “The World as Will and Representation,” characterizes the phenominal world as a product of a blind noumenal Will and music as the one art that seemed to Schopenhaur as an embodiement of that Will, that is, besides Buddhism and Schopenhaur’s beloved Buddha.

“Music … stands quite apart from all the [other arts]. In it we do not recognize the copy, the repetition, of any Idea of the inner nature of the world. Yet it is such a great and exceedingly fine art, its effect on man’s innermost nature is so powerful, and it is so completely and profoundly understood by him in his innermost being as an entirely universal language, whose distinctness surpasses even that of the world of perception itself, that in it we certainly have to look for more than that exercitium arithmeticae occultum nescientis se numerare animi [“an unconscious exercise in arithmetic in which the mind does not know it is counting”] which Leibniz took it to be… We must attribute to music a far more serious and profound significance that refers to the innermost being of the world and of our own self.” – Arthur Schopenhaur, “The World as Will and Representation”

This would seem to explain why so many of the world’s religions incorporate music into their ritual worship with chorals, hymns and chants, thus bringing us away from the phenominal objects of our outerworld into the noumenal world of our innermost being and our true self.

Today’s Video: PHILOSOPHY – Schopenhauer


Opening of the heart
Welcoming whatever Grace brings,
be it good or not.
Allowing life to decide
how it will flow,
not the limited knowledge
of the conditioned mind.
Opening, Welcoming, Allowing,
this is meditation.

A few days ago, we posted a quote from the 20th-Century Indian guru and mystic, Nasargadatta Maharaj. Today’s quote on approaching Enlightenment is from Nasargadatta’s disciple, H. W. L. Poonja, affectionately called “Papaji.”

“If there is peace in your mind you will find peace with everybody. If your mind is agitated you will find agitation everywhere. So first find peace within and you will see this inner peace reflected everywhere else. You are this peace!” – H.W.L. Poonja Poonjaji or Papaji

So how do we find this peace? We don’t. No, it’s the other way around. Peace must find us. So, how does that happen? By Opening the heart. By welcoming whatever Grace brings, whether positive or negative. Accept it. Allow it to flow on its own accord. Allow it to change you without interference. In other words, just be open, welcoming and allowing, and Grace will one day bring you to the Peace that you are.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! And keep Practicing!

Today’s Video: “PAPAJI – Neither Inside or Outside”


to slow the breath
to ease bodily sensations
to calm the mind
and stop thoughts
is not meditation.
to stop striving
is still Striving, not meditation

We remain in England but move forward in time from Shakespeare’s England to the Romantic Era and a poem by William Wordsworth that illustrates the A-ha! moment.

“My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky.
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The child is father of the man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.” – The Rainbow, William Wordsworth

While true realization happens in a flash, it is usually built upon these little break-throughs, these A-ha moments of grace over the years that connect to one another growing deeper and deeper until finally one realizes one’s true nature. It may be a startling, explosive moment or one quietly sensitive and evoking. But it is the connected of these moments, like beholding a rainbow, over time that, should that connection not exist, Wordsworth cries out “let me die!”

Today’s Video: Wordsworth Documentary


Enlightenment doesn’t have a calendar.
It happens when it happens.
Grace doesn’t run on a timetable.
A Guru cannot say
when the next measure will be through.

Today we return to Western ideas on Enlightenment and journey back to the Renaissance and Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the home of the Bard, William Shakespeare, and his Sonnet #62.

“Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
And all my soul, and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
No shape so true, no truth of such account;
And for myself mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glass shows me myself indeed
Beated and chopp’d with tanned antiquity,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;
Self so self-loving were iniquity.
‘Tis thee, myself, that for myself I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.”
– Sonnet #62, William Shakespeare

The sonnet starts with Shakespeare seemingly chastizing himself for the sin of self-love. If it were truly himself, William Shakespeare,the man, that he loved so deeply, it would be a sin of the highest magnitude. But then he informs us that it is not the “self,” which he actually holds far less than dearly, “Beated and chopp’d with tanned antiquity,” Instead it is the Self, his true nature, the “beloved,” as rumi often calls it, that he holds so near and dear. The Sonnet can be construed as a Western Renaissance model of Bhakti.

Today’s Video: “Shakespeare’s Sonnet 62”


Breath in, It is full.
Breath out, It is empty.
In fullness, it is empty.
In emptiness, it is full.

Twentieith-Century India was a prime time and place for spirituality and mystics like Ramana Maharshi, Anandamayi Ma, Atmananda Krishna Menon and many more. Nisargadatta Maharaj, a contemporary of Ramana Maharshi, was one of the most prominent.

“Do not be afraid of freedom from desire and fear. It enables you to live a life so different from all you know, so much more intense and interesting that, truly, by losing all you gain all.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Here, in this quote, Nisargadatta hit the realization nail squarely on the head. It is fear of our total freedom that keeps us from realizing our true nature. It is our egoic mind that clings to desires for the fear that it will be lost forever by giving up worldly objects and ambitions. It would rather be bound to objects and desires rather than be lost in freedom.

Today’s Video: “I am only the Self – Nisargadatta Maharaj”


Allowed to Be
I am thankful,
Allowed to Breathe,
I am thankful,
Allowed to thank

Today’s word on Enlightenment comes from one of the strongest yet gentlest voices ever heard in the search for realization and Self-Cultivation, the Bengali saint and prominent mystic of the last century, Sri Anandamayi Ma.

“Enquire: ‘Who am I?’ and you will find the answer. Look at a tree: from one seed arises a huge tree; from it comes numerous seeds, each one of which in its turn grows into a tree. No two fruits are alike. Yet it is one life that throbs in every particle of the tree. So, it is the same Atman everywhere.
All creation is that. There is beauty in the birds and in the animals. They too eat and drink like us, mate and multiply; but there is this difference: we can realize our true nature, the Atman. Having been born as human beings, we must not waste this opportunity. At least for a few seconds every day, we must enquire as to who we are. It is no use taking a return ticket over and over again. From birth to death, and death to birth is samsara. But really we have no birth and death. We must realize that.” – Sri Anandamayi Ma

Anything I could add to the words of Sri Anandamayi Ma would only detract from them.

Today’s Video: Guru Ganesh Singh – Snatam Kaur – Ma – Anandamayi Ma


The individual sees himself
as a separate entity interacting
with other separate entities;
Sages see themselves
interacting with their self.

We ended last week’s quotes on Enlightenment with Chuang-Tzu, and we will start this week with another of his quotes. Although not a famous one, it is nonetheless, one of Cjuang-Tzu’s most important…

“The effect of life in society is to complicate and confuse our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not.” – Chuang-Tzu

This is called ignorance. Society has conditioned us to turn away or ignore the most important aspect of our life – our inner spiritual cultivation – while teaching us to accept what should be igonored, namely, phenominal worldly objects and ambitions, all of which lead to bondage.

Today’s Video: Serenity – Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi)


The Beholder that beholds
is not Itself a beholding
The Beholder and not the beheld
is that which is the Beloved.

Yesterday we looked at a quote on Enlightenment from Confucius. Today it is Confucius’ best known critic and my favorite Daoist sage, Chaung-Tzu, who gives us his thought on Enlightenment.

“When a man does not dwell in self, then things will of themselves reveal their forms to him. His movement is like that of water, his stillness like that of a mirror, his responses like those of an echo.” – Chuang-Tzu (Zhuangzi)

Simple, huh? Then why can’t we do it? Because we think we are the self, which we have been told over and over again from our earliest days. But if we realize that we have no actual proof that we are a separate entity like we have been told and we can drop this idea altogether, then Grace in time will reveal our True Nature.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and keep up the practice!

Today’s Video: Chuang-Tzu – The Great Awakening


Grace like a steady rain
that washes the dust from the air
washes away the ignorance
that clouds the mind.

Today we return to China for our next quote on Enlightenment. This is a short but important quote from one of the most influential of all ancient Chinese philosophers, Kungfuzi (Confucius).

“The superior man is universally minded and no partisan. The inferior man is a partisan and not universal.” – Confucius.

In this brief two-short sentence quote, Confucius illumines a vital point in striving for Self-Cultivation. Our attitude toward life must be one of openness. To be universally-minded means to feel that everything is connected and that we are not separate entities. The inferior man, on the other hand, feels that he has a separate human existence and thus will have partisan biases, prejudices, likes and dislikes, even outright hatred toward other humans, both individuals and groups.

Today’s Video: Who was Confucius? – Bryan W. Van Norden


The space within and the space without
are not different.
Dissolve the borders
and there is oneness.

Today’s quote on Enlightenment is from the Lebanese-American poet and author, Kahlil Gibran, author of “The Prophet.”

“And my heart bled within me; for you can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you, and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fullfilment. you should be free indeed when your days are not without care nor your nights without a word and a grief, but rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked unbound.”

Gibran’s lesson here is two-fold. First, you cannot seek freedom or Self-realization. That desire will bind you rather than free you. It cannot be your goal or something you are trying to achieve. This alludes to the Daoist principal of wu-wei, uncontrived, ungoverned action. The attitude must be one of openness to whatever life brings. Welcome it into your life. This, in turn, leads to Gibran’s second point. What life brings may seem painful, obstructive. Life has brought it so you can “Rise Above” it, naked and unbound.

Today’s Video: “Defeat – Kahlil Gibran”


The Reality that perceives
is not a perception.
The flame that sautes
is not the meal.

Keeping with Indian poets and mystics on Enlightenment, today we feature a quote from Rabindranath Tagore

“Only those of tranquil minds, and none else, can attain abiding joy, by realizing within their souls the Being who manifests one essence in a multiplicity of forms.” – Rabindranath Tagore

Here Tagore points to the Universal Truth, that within and throughout the multiplicity of forms that we see, there is but one essence, known by a multiplicity of names: Reality, Consciousness, Awareness, Truth, Love, Brahman, God, Dao, Oneness.

Today’s Video: No Fear – Rabindranath Tagore