Sunday, 14 December 2014

Don't Forget to Look Up


Being distracted and preoccupied seems to be the norm in modern, high-tech societies and what a high price we have to pay for it!

Gone, our peace of mind, gone, our sense of ease, our health our happiness and in return for what? All the things that make life worth living fly out the window the more we fill ourselves with the values and business of a life that bases itself around the value of dollars and cents.

Yet, right above our heads is this incredible window into infinity. Many times i have looked up into the sky and felt an immediate shift. The sky is like a window which can convey the mind into a space where unimaginable mysteries exist. If anything can bring us into a state of instant perspective it is the 'sky view.'

However, despite this amazing 'view' which is free and readily available, it is easily and often overlooked and forgotten.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Natural Mind

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, with a friend. Photo by Matthieu Ricard
Late one afternoon, as the evening sun was sending its final shafts of golden light into the silent, incense filled air of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's room, i found myself alone with the great Master.

Even though I was some distance away, nearer to the farthest end of his long carpet filled shrine, Khyentse Rinpoche had such an enormous presence that it felt as though he filled the entire room.

I was quietly fingering some beads and basking in the tremendous silence and sanctity that permeated this blessed space. The atmosphere felt utterly charged and in it i felt complete and whole.

This particular evening there were very few visitors around, something which was rather unusual. However before long there was a rustle of activity in the outer guest waiting hall and i looked over just in time to see a well known Lama enter with a handful of his western students.

Soon they appeared before Khyentse Rinpoche, bowing and offering scarves of welcome as He greeted each one. They seated themselves before Him and all fell into an expectant silence.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

What can we Expect from an Authentic Guru?

I took this photo in 2010 when a cyclonic storm was closing in on
the Hill Arunachala
Some years ago my Master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, wrote down a verse in which he describes the qualities of a true Guru. I have not come across another writing that does this as well or with such poetic eloquence.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Re Claiming Our Inner Space





We are as wide as the sky...

Without limits, borders or endings...

All that we need to 're claim' the inner space that we
often feel we have lost, is to remember who and what we
really are.

We might think; 'how do we do this'?

But there is no how, no process, no distance between
who and what we really are and the actual 'being' of that...

People can hear and read these words and then think,
'how is it possible,' what do they mean, how is it done?

This is the great paradox of our existence.

We are every moment only 'that,' but the simplicity and
proximity of this confound us. Mind jumps in and stirs up
the still waters of our silent inner space and deludes us into
believing that we have to achieve, through some long and
drawn out process, what is already ours and inseparable from us.

May we swiftly re claim the inheritance of our un-contrived and natural awareness...

Polished Stainless Steel
David Harber


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Ahead of the Game

Leunig
Does this remind you of someone...?

The mind creates all sorts of thoughts and often the
body has a tough time keeping up.
If we hang tenaciously onto every thought, allowing it to
proliferate into a multitude of new thoughts we soon find ourselves in the never ending chambers of the mind.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Original Mind

I want to share with my readers a wonderful verse by the Poet
Gary Rosenthal. It is so lucidly written and so evocative of the simple awareness which is the true, but too often overlooked source of glory, peace and happiness within each and every one of us...

Sunrise


How many evenings 
have you turned away?
As if the life you really want
could only begin
once something else had happened, 
something else that was not yet here…

Thursday, 4 September 2014

What Dreams May Come


There is an old and well aired fable that is often told by Tibetan Lamas on various occasions. I always enjoy hearing it as it brings up rather clear visual associations and instantly helps to shift the perspective on things. Here i offer my own embellished version.

One evening, a farmer looked out over his fields as they shimmered in the golden sunshine. The gentle ripple of a breeze ruffled the laden bushels and cast a hazy sheen into the westering light.

The lone voice of a peasant rose and fell in the silent air. In that moment all felt well in the world and he was pleased; even joyful.

Looking out over his fields he knew that this season would be unusually good. He would have an ample harvest and there would be money and food to spare. 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

The More we Learn the Less we Know



I lived for a time with someone who did not function from the center of rational thinking.  This does not mean that He was incapable of rational thinking, quite the opposite. In fact i never met with anyone who was so practical, ingenious and down to earth, all in one. He tended to use rational thinking as a tool, He was not ruled by the rational mind. Someone who can live and function from an inner intuitive sense of spontaneous clarity will leave no footprints in the world and will move through life with spontaneous expressions of light and joy. Such a being lives with an intensity which is always fresh, completely un-contrived and uncompromisingly relevant.

To have had the chance to come within the orbit of someone who moves in complete harmony with the present moment is an extra ordinary privilege and something rare and beautiful to behold.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Mystery of Now

Photo Credit: Mandala Madness
In the early nineteen nineties, I met an aged Tibetan Lama in the Himalayan foothills of the Kathmandu Valley. Back then He was already well into His eighties.
He looked like something out of a Santa Claus play or some magical mystery novel.

He had pure white hair and a long grey beard that seemed to extend into the four directions like tiny antennas. He wore an interesting array of clothing that often consisted of bloomers or a lungi, Birkenstock s, long fur lined capes that reached all the way to His ankles, or, when duty called, red robes draped in an extensive white and red hand woven silk shawl.

Chadral Rinpoche, despite being a very venerable Lama, has absolutely no airs whatsoever about Him. He lives, breathes and moves in the ever fresh atmosphere of the present moment. And yes, i use the present tense because He is still alive and well and now crossed the venerable age of 100.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Perspective, Why it is so Important?


This is the reason why it is so important to take moments to stop and breath and by this i mean really letting go into the breath. This requires a certain letting things be. There is a natural rhythm in the cycle of our breathing which can easily convey us into a the place of silence.

Expand into the present moment which is un-contrived and effortless. This simple non-movement takes us instantly to the edge of infinity, the expanse of the true self.

We get so caught up in the little dramas going on in our lives and in our minds. When we stop for a moment and look up into the sky, be it day or night and let it touch us in that secret, silent place beyond thoughts and words, something happens...

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Why Not Be A Nobody

Leunig
Leunig has the magical and artist knack of being able to capture, with a single, simple drawing, the tragic self incarceration of individuals living in modern societies which revolve almost entirely around the attainment of money, goods and services.

Where there is no due consideration for the deep inner spiritual awareness and interconnection that permeates the entire fabric of life upon our planet, existence becomes artificial and meaningless.

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Mystery of Awareness

Snoopy Wisdom



If your awareness comes knocking, will you hear it and will you take heed of it's call?

When a friend of mine was very young, barely seven years old, the mystery of being jumped out right in front of him and looked him straight in the face. This moment of crisis; this merging into 'being,' was so utterly riveting and compelling that 'rediscovering it' shaped and molded his life for the next three decades.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Power of Listening



What is it that connects us consciously to all life?

Listening...

This is not something that we generally give much thought to, but it is crucial in all sorts of ways.

Listening is all about generosity.
The generosity that can enable us to let go of self clinging.
The generosity that can enable us to let be and allow the present moment to arise before our consciousness, just as it is...

The untapped and potential power inherent within the our capacity to just 'listen' is immense and usually completely unrecognized

Monday, 5 May 2014

Our Only Certainty in Life is Uncertainty



"That which is impermanent attracts compassion. That which is not provides wisdom."

Steven Levine


The Thank God Ledge. Yosemites


We may like to feel that we are in charge of our lives, that we are in full control, making our own decisions, going our own way. 

Yet that is all just a trick of the mind, a tweak of the ego. 

The only certainty we can ever have in this life, is uncertainty.

That may seem frightening to many and yet it is an unavoidable fact. We can run away and try to hide from this all too evident truth for a while, but we can never escape it and whether we acknowledge this fact or not, somewhere deep inside, we all know that this is what we live with every moment of our lives.

We are in fact standing on a narrow ledge...

Monday, 21 April 2014

Ordinary Happiness

Leunig
It has been said, often enough in 'spiritual' circles, that we create our own happiness or misery. As creatures of habit, locked into our 'perceptions' of 'reality', we can coast through an entire lifetime without ever stopping to question the premise upon which those 'perceptions' are based. If questioning does in fact arise, it is usually the direct result of some crisis; some confrontation with change and its associated loss or gain...