Friday 30 September 2011

To Be or Not To Be




Nacreous Clouds with Rainbow colours
Nacreous Clouds

It seems extraordinary,  that we so roundly ignore the very basis and cause of our EXISTENCE.

And yet we do.  We ignore it almost every moment of every day of our lives!

Like the example of those two fish, absorbed in their endless and equally worthless discussions and debates, while all the time,  we live and move and have our BEING in THAT...

Read more in;  Never Not Ever Here Now

Wednesday 28 September 2011

The Question that can Open your Mind

Courtesy of Interfacelift

If you ask yourself  
who am i? you ask yourself  a question that can not  be answered.

We can say things about what or who we 'think' we are but if we really look into the question we soon find that it is easier to say what we are not than what we are.

And yet we all know that we exist. This feeling is always present with us.  In fact it is the only true feeling that we have.  Without a sense of   we would merely be corpses.   Most of the time we identify completely with our sense of I never questioning what it is.  We simply take it for granted that  we are.

In fact the question who am i? is very powerful, it can open the mind.

It is like a portal.  It creates a moment in which what we call mind can become still.  Try it and see for yourself.  Ask yourself, who am i?.  If you can do this in the right way you may see  what i mean...

Read more in Never Not Ever Here Now

Tuesday 27 September 2011

So, Who Are You?

If you stop  and ask yourself, 'what is the most important question I can ever ask myself?'  you might come up with one of the following...

Who am I?   or  Why am I here?  or  What is Mind?

That is, if you really take the time to consider.  If you really stop everything for a moment, and just look... And if we press ourselves a little bit harder, we would probably find that the keystone of all questions can be condensed into 'who am i?'

Life is such an explosion of everything that can ever be imagined.

But what is it really?  Behind all of 'that' what is it that 'sees'...?

Read more in;  Never Not Ever Here Now

Saturday 24 September 2011

Nothing Ever Stays the Same

Himalayan Mountain
Photo Credit Sushma Mohar. Mount Kanchenjunga
A mantle of mist was shrouding the mountain of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. But there were stunning glimpses of its towering flanks in the moments when the mists would part.  On other mornings i could clearly see from my window, the huge, white peaks of the Mountain dominating the northern horizon.

Those  fine spring mornings with unimpeded views, inspire and uplift the heart.  One could see birds swooping up and down in the warm currents of air that were beginning to stir in the valleys between my vantage point and foothills of Sikkim just below the mountain...

Read more in Never Not Ever Here Now
Books by the Writer

Monday 19 September 2011

Do Not Be Distracted

Sunset clouds from a South Indian Temple
Adi Annamalai
Even in the very midst of the myriad demands of day to day life it is possible to find moments of peace.

We live in times that are  saturated by the media, instant communications and electromagnetic 'noise'.
Often we can feel that we are hurled along in a kind of vacuum over which it seems we have very little control.  This gives us the sense of constant and almost endless 'busyness'.  A feeling that life is rushing by and we are merely trying to stay abreast of events...

Excerpt from the book Never Not Ever Here Now

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Old Friends

Dilgo Khyentse and Kalu Rinpoche
Khyentse Rinpoche and Kalu Rinpoche
There are bonds of friendship and a likeness of mind and intention that can cross beyond the confines of a single life time.

In 1988 i visited BodhGaya during the winter months.  During that time both Khyentse Rinpoche and Kalu Rinpoche were there.

It was unforgettable to be in the presence of these two Masters, both of whom were living embodiment's of  the essence of the Buddha's teachings.

Khyentse Rinpoche was the living manifestation par excellence of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom.   He  who cuts through illusion and maya to reveal what is true and real.  Kalu Rinpoche on the other hand was an embodiment of Compassion,  an expression of the Lord Avalokitesvara, whose thousand arms stretch out in all the directions bestowing the gifts of the heart.

I took these photos when they were saying farewell to one another. It was to be the last time they were to meet on this earth and in those bodies.  I feel that these photos convey a certain quality that expresses something that is beyond words and beyond time.  They express the kind of friendship that is rarely seen, a friendship that is without any agendas what so ever.  Untainted by expectations of loss or gain, totally free and simple in its expression.

  Friendship in the truest sense of the word is beyond time and space...

Two Tibetan Lamas bidding their final farewells
They never met again in this life

Read more in Tibetan Tales and other True Stories
Books by the Writer

Friday 9 September 2011

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Tibetan Master, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Khyentse Rinpoche

The evenings at Shechen Monastery were, for me, rather special times.  Khyentse Rinpoche would be sitting in his wooden meditation box, usually with a group of Lamas and devotees around him, his vast form glowing in an almost unearthly radiance mixed with the soft rays of the sinking sun.  

Shafts of sunlight would filter in through the yellow curtains, casting a golden light across the room. Butter lamps flickered on the altar and the smoke of incense  wafted  about in the still air.  There was a silence in those evening, an ambiance of grace that permeated the whole atmosphere.  During those hours i always had a sense of absolute contentment. In his presence, nothing was missing, the world felt utterly complete.

The atmosphere around Khyentse Rinpoche was never static, it always felt  'full'  to the point of saturation and yet, at the same time, intensely charged and deeply silent.  

His 'presence' created a most unique and dynamic space into which all manner of people from many different walks of life could come and find solace.  He never turned anyone away.  From Kings to ordinary folk from the villages, from high Lamas to simple monks, visitors would stream into his rooms from the crack of dawn until often late at night, Rinpoche, all the while, would be there in his meditation box,  giving,  giving,  giving....

This flow of giving was natural, un-contrived, and inexhaustible.  It was like a bottomless spring that gushes forth into a parched desert, and the thirsty world came to drink from these pristine,  blessed waters.

I remember one evening, after the sun had  set and there were only a handful of visitors and a few Lamas milling about in the large ante room.  Rinpoche was, as usual, in his meditation box and perusing a text, a pair of small reading glasses delicately balanced on his nose.  The silence of that moment between day and night had permeated the place with a feeling of great peace.  

Suddenly the outer door to the waiting room opened and in streamed a large melee of Westerners.  Tall ones, fat ones, thin ones, and short ones.  A whole colorful variety, dressed in all the shades of the spectrum and in fashions from as many different countries around the globe as there were numbers among them.  It was odd to see such a confusion of types float into the room in such disciplined silence and with such a focused sense of purpose on their faces.  In fact it was very striking, quite apart from the contrast that all this sudden influx bought with it...

Read more in Shades of Awareness, Part 3, 
Masters, Mice and Men

Books by the Writer

Sunday 4 September 2011

Chadral Rinpoche

Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche
Chadral Rinpoche
It is not easy to know where to start when trying to describe someone like Chadral Rinpoche.   Imagine a Master, 98 years of age.  98 years of life experience!  He is like a living, walking, breathing encyclopaedia of knowledge. 

His areas of expertise cover fields from astrology and medicine right through to such mundane things as construction and masonry. 

In his younger years, he walked the length and breadth of Tibet in the days well before Chinese occupation and he did so in the simplest possible way, with little more than a flimsy tent, a pot for boiling water, a few bricks of tea, dried cheese and tsampa (barley flour). 

All I can really do is bow down in wonder and recall some of the multitudes of memories that come to mind and that so beautifully reflect the many facets of this amazing being. 

One morning Rinpoche, me and Rinpoche's daughter Tara Deva, were strolling about inside his temple compound at Salbari near Siliguri in West Bengal.  Rinpoche was stretching his legs and looking over some small construction jobs that were going on, when he suddenly turned to the gate and strode out towards the main road mentioning, almost as an afterthought, in his deep, booming voice that we would go and purchase such and such building materials from the market.

We had no time to grab a bag, or any money, nothing.  
When Rinpoche got an idea, he would just act on it spontaneously in that very moment.  Everything would happen around him in this way and could be very stressful for those of us who were attending him at any given time. One had to be constantly prepared for any possible eventuality!

Friday 2 September 2011


Dogs sleeping in the shape of a heart
Two Dogs Sleeping on Ladenla Road, Darjeeling

We sit together in the happy glow of friendship.
We are all just passing by

Like  motes of dust dancing in the golden bright,

Our friendship glitters in the evening light,

Effulgent moments,  reflective hours,

Amid  cool and leafy bowers,

Let us sing the song of friendship

With hearts unfettered and un contained

For friendship is surely one of life's greatest gifts,

In the silence,  in the unspoken,  it uplifts...

Two old men walking together arm in arm

Read more in 
Tibetan Tales and other True Stories