Monday, December 31, 2007

Spiritual REAL-ization

Many people talk of spiritual realization - seek it, treasure it, even speak as if they have 'achieved' it, but often it is not REAL-ization, but rather a form of spiritual MENTAL-ization or INTELLECTUAL-ization. The key facet of REALization is the word REAL. It is a concrete recognition, not simply a mental or intellectual understanding. Now, I am not demeaning a mental or intellectual understanding of spirituality or Truth, but only wish to make the distinction clear.

Let me give a couple of my common examples. First, nearly anyone who has ever had a child knows that there is a HUGE difference between thinking about having a child and actually conceiving and giving birth to one. When you look down at your own child, lying there, alive, virtually helpless, and squiggling, you know...YOU KNOW... that your life will NEVER again be the same!

Or, going to India. Many people know far more about India than I do. They can name every sacred site, teacher, language spoken, etc. They can even relate to you about Indian tastes, smells, congestion, traffic, pollution, politics, etc. But until you have been there, until you have deeply inhaled the smells and tasted the flavors, seen the garbage and the drab and the brilliant colors, it is only a mental picture. You have not LIVED it.

Spirituality is the same. A mental or intellectual understanding of spirituality, while a wonderful thing, basically comes down to what my spiritual master called, "armchair philosophy," or what many would today refer to as being "Unable to walk the talk."

The importance of making this distinction can be clearly expressed in the first lines of the Tao Te Ching - "The Tao that can be spoken of is NOT the eternal Tao." Now, that doesn't mean that one stops talking about it. The Tao te Ching, after saying this, goes on for 81 verses describing the Tao, what the 'superior' man or woman is, their symptoms, and so forth. But even memorizing the entire Tao in the original language won't guarantee that you will make it REAL or live it.

The sad result of only a mental or intellectual understanding is that a person often stops 'doing'anything to really understand and recognize the Truth. It's a sort of "Been there...done that" approach, and so they go on to look for other things to take up their time and entertain them, hoping that Realization will drop on them like a ripe fruit (which it could, but don't hold your breath).

In India, the term for spiritual practice is sadhana. The root is sadh which means to go straight to any goal or aim, to accomplish, to succeed, as well as to MASTER, SUBDUE, CONQUER. This is not always pleasant work, and the very ‘yogic term’ tapas, or tapasya, which comes from the word “to heat” suggests the nature of it. Burning away one’s impurities and karmas is not necessarily always pleasant. While it’s true one can have a path ‘with heart’, that doesn’t always mean (and generally DOESN’T mean) that it will be easy. Burning off all that crap can be a difficult and messy affair, but what are the alternatives?

It is a fine line…Often it feels like you shouldn’t try “too hard”, that realization should be a natural thing, which it is. But on the other hand, if you don’t ‘do’ anything, nothing happens. The main thing to remember is that it is NOT so much a doing, as a shift in Awareness, a perceptual shift, a turning attention “inward” or “heart-ward” or God-ward. And then KEEPING it there, as much and as continuously as possible. Spiritual mastery is about actually making that shift, making spirituality REAL, and not just mental or intellectual. Moment by moment… hour by hour… day by day, until “YOU” are no longer practicing. IT is simply happening. That’s the key.

And by the way...Have a great switch from one arbitrarily created time frame to another
(i.e. Happy New Year!)

Infinite Love & Blessings!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I Have VS. I AM

The other day it came to my attention, when a friend cried out, "I have Power!" that this is part of the fundamental problem, particularly when it comes to some of the new age and alternative thinking. It is the basic distinction of Having versus Being: like I 'have' prosperity' rather than I 'am' properity; or I 'have' enlightenment, rather than I 'am' enlightenment. (Also note the distinction 0f I am enlightenMENT versus I am EnlightenED.) The I "Have" creates a duality that is less subtle even than I Am. I AM is a doorway; I HAVE is a very definite 'me' and 'not me'.

Let's get into grammar for a moment. In Sanskrit (and a number of other languages) there is actually not a verb for 'to have'. You can 'be with' something, like 'I am with this car' or 'this car is being with me' or even 'it is my car,' but not I have this car. (I know, subtle distinction.) But it does say something about the language, which works in subtle ways. For instance, you would tend to say, I am consciousness, rather than I have consciousness. It is as if you recognize something as 'Being' intrinsically who and/or what you are, rather than something thata 'YOU' possess.

Another example, the Ashtavakra Samhita says "If you consider yourself Free you are free and if you consider yourself bound you're bound." And, "Where there is an I there is bondage and where there is no I there is freedom." Our tendency is to think in terms of our western language set up of, which has a tendency for maintaining an individuated "I". This is less common in many other languages. For instance, I have heard that in many native languages there are no nouns, per se, but rather all verbs. A house is not a house, but a 'housing'; a person is a 'personing'. In other words, everything is a movement, an arising of what is in that moment. You don't exist as a concrete thing, but rather a momentary apparency in the ocean of potentiality. Therefore, how can you have something?

Another distinction is that you either are or are not something, and often you can reccognize that you not only ARE this attribute, but have never not been it. To have something, has more of a tendency to allow for not having it. Today I have it, but tomorrow I may not have it, (or vice versa) as opposed to I am, have always been and will always BE consciousness, light, love, this-ness, divinity, whatever. Energetically, you can feel the difference. Try saying, "I have power," and then "I AM power." Or, "I have peace," and then "I AM peace". "I have love," and then, "I AM love." Just see how they feel. Does one FEEL more real? Is one experienced more as a recognition of what is true, rather than a sort of hopeful affirmation of what might be true?

Explore the possibility of "I AM" versus "I Have" and 'be' fun.

Blessings!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Right Here, Right Now & Buckaroo Banzai

Aja: So imagine for a moment, that you have heard about this great place, Puddletown, and it sounds like a really great place, where everyone is happy and peaceful, and blissful, and there's no problems there. Puddletown is the place to be.  It's filled with people and everything is wonderful. So what's the first thing you do? What would you do?

Student: Be skeptical.

Aja: Be skeptical? Good! What else would you do?

Student: Find out what they're eating.

Aja: Find out what they're eating?  Okay. Well, that wasn't exactly where I was going, but along those lines. But yes, you'd start studying it, researching it, finding out what you could about it. Now, as you did that you'd start finding out a lot about Puddletown and you would start to believe in this place called Puddletown. You'd even know their diet. You'd probably start eating like a Puddletonian. Then you start trying to figure out how to get there. But the problem is that the information you'd find would disagree with other information you'd find. Some information would say you take a plane, some that you would take a bus, and you'd never quite get clear on how to get there or where it is. Some would say it's over here and others that it is over there. They'd say that it looks like this or it looks like that. All you know is that it sounds like a really great place and you want to get there, but you don't have any clue how to get there.

And then one day, someone comes along and says, "Puddletown. That's just another name for Portland. You're in Portland!" And you say, "What? No." And your skepticism arises again and you think it couldn't possibly be the same because you're in it and you're miserable. Now what do you do? What happens then? You continue studying and researching and you start to believe that Portland and Puddletown are the same thing. But so deeply entrenched that you're in Portland and NOT Puddletown, you have no idea of how to erase that. And that's exactly what has to be done.

It's the same thing here. Enlightenment, Nirvana is nothing other than what's present right now. What's standing in the way is this deeply entrenched viewpoint that there's somewhere else to go. And most of this has been foisted upon us by this idea that there's someplace to get to, and that there's any problem with what's just here right now, by all the cultural and other blockages that keep you from totally experiencing what's right here and right now, totally allowing us to be who we are. It tells us that we should be all these other things.

The bottom line is that there is no place to get to other than what's here, and it's all about the removing all of the ideas that think this is not perfection right now - that this is not it: removing divisiveness, removing divisions of inside and outside, the difference between spiritual life and material life. But there is no spiritual life and material life. It's all just life. It's all just Presence. You can call it anything you want. You can call it all God, it's all freedom, it's all the Absolute, it's all Consciousness, it's all awareness, it's all power, it's all heart, it's all love. It's all of those things and a million more, and none of them. But THIS is it. This is it, and as long as you are looking for something else, you will absolutely never find it. Because it's not something to be found. Right?

To what extent can you recognize, right now, this is it...I am it? I am that Buddhahood, that Godhood that I am looking for. How many times do you have to be told, "You're it, you're what you are looking for. You're what you are seeking?" What is so hard to believe about that? Just recognize who you are and recognize that you are that which you are looking for. Stop looking and ask, "Okay, Who is looking?" Right now, you're looking at me. Now be the looker. Just switch and ask, "Who is it that is looking out these eyes? Who is the presence that is here? "Hello! Who's home?" So as you simply sit and ask, you recognize, 'This is Me here.' And in this 'Me' there is a body and thoughts, there's a world, there's vision. If I close my eyes, do I go away? Have I gotten bigger or littler? And then you open your eyes and see, "Okay, I didn't go anywhere." Who wrote that line, "Wherever you go there you are?"

Student: Buckaroo Banzai.

Aja: All right, Buckaroo. What more enlightened statement can you make? "Wherever you go, there you are." So what I want you to consider and examine is, what is it that stands in the way of this recognition? Or, what is it that isn't right about it that makes something else evidently more appealing? Or what are the doubts, what are the divisions, what is it that is arising in the moment that makes you say, "No, this isn't it"?

Student: So that's not just a rhetorical question?

Aja: No. That's not a rhetorical question.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

You are a D.I.O.D or "Be as You Are - part 3"

Everyone knows what a diode is. Well, actually, I have no idea what a
diode is - some electrically thing. But forget that. You are a
DIOD. So what is a DIOD? Let me explain:

Part 1. There are two basic ways of looking at the universe,
Existence, All of THIS: one is that it is a totally mechanical
spontaneous arising, of elements that randomly came together much
like the pieces of a watch that just happened to fall together into
Watchness, or the thousand monkeys on typewriters ultimately coming
up with Shakespeare,
OR
There is intelligence behind all of this, a God/Dess, Isness, a great
Singularity of Intelligence, Cosmic Beingness, Wisdom, Creator,
Creatress, Creatrix, Network, Hoo Haa, Divine Wow, Big Bangaroonie,
that Expressed, Imagined, created, manifested the 100 trillion stars
and 100 trillion cells of you and everything else perfectly, OUT OF
HIM/HER/IT-SELF.

Now, we're not saying that the first group is dummies, but....duh!
Which makes more sense? Which feels right? Which do even most
intelligent philosophers, scientists, and nearly every living being
on the planet uphold (#2 in some variation).

Part 2. Okay, so there is this one GREAT THING, creating and
recreating itself out of itself at every second out of the only thing
handy...Itself. The Ocean manifests as Waves. They just are the
ocean. The rays of sunlight are the manifestations of the sun. And so
on and so on. You are the manifestation of that ONE thing. The
formless becomes the form. The earth is not just the chunk of dirt,
but everything that comes from it...the mountains, valleys, trees,
bushes, flowers, people, animals, squishy bugs, et al. They are all
the manifestations of earth. They are the Functions.

Part 3. YOU are not different from the Divine Thing. You are a
FUNCTION of the Divine thing. This is the meaning of LILA - the
divine play, the cosmic dance. THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE. In a dance,
there is a twirl here and a dip there. You are a twirl or a dip.
(I've been called a dip on more than one occasion.) You are an
expression of that divine dance. The personality is the mask. It's
perfect. Each role in the play, each twirl and dip in the dance, is
what gives it its fullness, its mystery, its diversity, its
interest. You are a Function of the Absolute. So put the Fun back
into the Function.

Part 4. Thus you are a D.I.O.D. You are a Divine Input Output
Device. Each thing that you experience and each thing you express is
your function as an input and output device for the Absolute. Shiva
is silent...Shakti Dances. As a DIOD, it is not your place to do as
little as possible, (unless that is absolutely your function), but
rather to experience and express as much as possible. Don't second
guess everything. This is Divine Desire. You nose is the Divine nose.
What your nose knows, the divine nose knows. Every moment is God
experiencing God. How else is it gonna be done?

So, get out there and Express, Experience, and Be the DIOD that you are.

Yippie Ki Yay!!!