Osho : Gurdjieff Sacred Dances

Gurdjieff has prepared a group of dancers. The dancers created such a meditative energy, such a great wave of energy, that those who had come just to see the dance, suddenly forgot the dance completely. Something else was there by the side, a door opened through it.

GURDJIEFF created many dances for such techniques. He was working on this technique. All the dances he was using in his school were, really, swaying in circles. All the dances were in circles – just whirling but remaining aware inside, by and by making the circles smaller and smaller. A time comes when the body stops, but the mind inside goes on moving, moving, moving. If you have been traveling in a train for twenty hours, after you have come home, after you have left the train, if you close your eyes you will feel that you are still traveling. Still you are traveling. The body has stopped, but the mind is still feeling the vehicle.

So just do this technique. Gurdjieff created phenomenal dances, very beautiful. In this century he worked miracles – not miracles like Satya Sai Baba. Those are not miracles; any street magician can do them. But Gurdjieff really created miracles. He prepared a group of a hundred people for meditative dancing, and he was showing that dance to an audience in New York for the first time. A hundred dancers were on the stage whirling. Those who were in the audience, even their minds began whirling. There were a hundred white-robed dancers just whirling. When he indicated with his hand, they would whirl, and the moment he would say, “Stop,” there would be dead silence.

That was a stop for the audience, but not for the dancers – because the body can stop immediately, but the mind then takes the movement inside; it goes on and on. It was beautiful even to look at, because a hundred persons suddenly became dead statues. It created a sudden shock in the audience also, because a hundred movements – beautiful movements, rhythmical movements – suddenly stopped. You would be looking at them moving, whirling, dancing, and suddenly the dancers stopped. Then your thought would also stop. Many in New York felt that it was a weird phenomenon: their thoughts stopped immediately.

But for the dancers, the dance continued inside, and the inside whirling circles became smaller and smaller until they became centered. One day it happened that they were coming just to the edge of the stage, dancing. It was expected, supposed, that Gurdjieff would stop them just before they danced down the stage onto the audience. A hundred dancers were just on the edge of the stage. One step more and they would all fall down into the hall. The whole hall was expecting that suddenly Gurdjieff would say stop, but he turned his back to light his cigar.

He turned his back to the dancers to light his cigar, and the whole group of a hundred dancers fell down from the stage upon the floor – on a naked stone floor. The whole audience stood up. They were screaming, shouting, and they were thinking that many must have broken their bones – it was such a crash. But not a single one was hurt; not even a single bruise was there.They asked Gurdjieff what had happened. No one had been hurt, and the crash was such that it seemed impossible. The reason was only this: they were really not in their bodies at that moment. They were slowing down their inner circling.

And when Gurdjieff saw that now they were completely oblivious of their bodies, he allowed them to fall down.If you are completely oblivious of your body, there is no resistance. A bone is broken because of resistance. If you are falling down, you resist: you go against the pull of gravity. That going against, that resistance, is the problem – not gravity. If you can fall down with gravity, if you can cooperate with it, then no possibility of being hurt will arise.

Source : “Gurdjieff created phenomenal dances” from “Vigyan Bhairav Tantra Vol. 1″ – Osho
www.osho.com

“Sai Baba” and “the Sai Baba Movement”

If you Google the name “Sai Baba”, of the (alleged) 2,360,000 references instantly computed, the majority of the first hundred refer to (Sathya) Sai Baba. (A Yahoo search offers the even more mind-boggling total of 6,610,000 items.) If, however, you type the URLs http://www.saibaba.org or http://www.saibaba.com into your Internet browser, you will be referred to two sites belonging to the Organisation and the devotees of Sai Baba of Shirdi (or Shirdi Sai Baba, or Shirdi Sai). This original bearer of the name “Sai Baba” was a Muslim / Hindu holy man or saint who died in 1918 and has a widespread Indian and international (but mainly ethnic Indian) Organisation. In India his followers are most numerous in the northern half, down to the latitude of Mumbai but he is also well known in the south. His dual Muslim-Hindu characteristics are reflected in his name: ‘Sai’, from a Persian word for ‘saint’ and ‘Baba’, a common respectful Indian term for ‘father’.

The Internet results also reveal interesting differences between the two major Search engines, Yahoo and Google. (Food for thought.)

On Yahoo (1 December 2008) the first item on the search list for ‘Sai Baba’ is – i.e. the Shirdi Sai Baba Organisation (in Chicago).
Number two is , an unofficial and apparently out of date Sathya Sai Baba website.
Number three on the list is (Shirdi Sai Baba).
Fourth is (one of several official Sathya Sai websites).

The Google search offers a different mix:
1. (Sathya Sai, official)
2. the Wikipedia article on Sathya Sai Baba (a controversial and incomplete offering)
3. (Shirdi Sai, in Chicago)
4. (critical of Sathya Sai Baba)

‘Sathya Sai’ (like ‘Sai’) is an alternative devotee name for Sathya Sai Baba, reportedly born in 1926 as Sathya Narayana Raju, in or near the remote southern Indian village of Puttaparthi in the state of Andhra Pradesh. According to his official biography, in 1940 [read: 1943], following a traumatic seizure or illness, Sathya Narayana declared himself to be the reincarnation of [Shirdi] Sai Baba and rapidly became famous locally for his healing, exorcisms, and other miracles. Charismatic Sathya went on to claim full avatarhood and divine powers and, eventually, to become the most famous living Indian guru in the world. In the past quarter of a century the fame of Sathya, vigorously promoted by his transnational charitable Organisation and his millions of devotees, especially those from outside India, has become far better known internationally (though not throughout the whole of India) than the original bearer of the Sai Baba title. This explains why he is identified by most “Westerners” and the Google machines (whose logarithms operate on the rather crude but practical basis of quantity of references or links to a given word or term) as “Sai Baba”. His Organisation and devotees also refer to him simply as ‘Sai’ (which he has always boldly told them means ‘Divine Mother’, despite the obvious etymological inaccuracy).

While the theologically dual nature of Shirdi Sai (Baba) as Muslim fakir and Hindu miracle-making saint has attracted both hagiographical and academic interest, the indisputably charismatic Sathya Sai (Baba) has attracted a massive amount of hagiographical writing and some critical attention but, until very recently, only minor scholarly interest (a lacuna possibly explained by Sathya’s strident and reiterated claims of Divinity, his alleged miracles – and academic Haraldsson’s failure to disprove them – as well as his enigmatic and flamboyant reputation).

A further factor in the story of the two Sai Babas is that, after sixty years of self promotion and unparalleled adoration and worship as God on Earth (or Avatar) by (possibly) millions of followers, the background murmurs of doubt and denial of Sathya Sai’s Divine claims have been growing in volume and geographical extension, particularly since the appearance and wide diffusion of major new Internet postings beginning in 2000 and followed in 2006 by many blogs. Therefore, when media and Internet allegations, analyses, revelations, headlines and emotional controversy are directed at “Sai Baba” rather than “Sathya Sai Baba”, followers of Shirdi Sai Baba have a right to feel aggrieved and although the name Sai Baba is now firmly established in current use by devotees of both of these spiritual icons and by the public, it would surely be a courtesy to Shirdi Sai Baba and his devotees if, as often as possible, people (especially academic writers and journalists) were to refer to the ‘junior Sai Baba’, as Sathya Sai Baba, or Sathya Sai.

Sai Baba Movement

As for the term ‘Sai Baba Movement’, used by academics and a few other writers, it is either ambiguous or misleading, depending on the context in which it is used. The two Sai Baba Organisations, regardless of the prominent worship of Shirdi Sai in Sathya Sai ashrams because of Sathya Sai’s specific reincarnation claims and supposed identity, have always been completely separate, one based in the state of Marathi-speaking Maharashtra, the other further south in Sathya Sai’s Telugu homeland, Andhra Pradesh.

Especially misleading, and easily avoidable, is the use of ‘Sai Baba Movement’ when used as a variant for ‘Sathya Sai Baba Movement’ (sometimes on the same page). As explained above, there are two independent Sai Baba Movements and, for disambiguation purposes, they should therefore be referred to as the Shirdi Sai Baba Movement and the Sathya Sai Baba Movement. (It seems unlikely, after so many years of silence, that the ‘senior’ organisation would ever wish to press its prior claim to the Sai Baba title.)

One of the first to use the term ‘Sai Baba Movement’ seems to have been an academic, Professor Charles S. J. White, in his pioneering 1972 plea for scholars of religion to “consider seriously the nature of Indian sainthood and more particularly the so-called ‘living saints’”.
(See ‘The Sai Baba Movement: Approaches to the Study of Indian Saints’, Journal of Asian Studies, XXXI, No. 4 (August 1972), 863-878. Reprinted in Ruhela and Robinson (eds.), Sai Baba and His Message, 1976, pp. 40-66.)

Professor White wrote his research study about a group of living saints who had resided in the Poona and Bangalore areas and whom he considered homogeneous enough to be called “The Sāi Bābā Movement” (p. 863). He is referring to (Shirdi) Sai Baba, Upasani Baba, Mata Godavari, and Sathya Sai Baba. Since this spontaneous christening by White, other scholars seem to have simply adopted the abbreviated label without question. (A notable scholarly dissident here is Kevin R. D. Shepherd.)

Much more surprising is that the following misleading assertion accompanied by the flimsiest evidence imaginable has not received critical attention from White’s peers and successors:
“The competence of Sathya Sai Baba to serve as the successor of Shirdi Sai Baba is increasingly recognized in the Sai Baba cult. For instance in one of Shirdi Sai Baba’s shrines in Madras, Sathya Sai Baba’s photograph was prominently displayed and I was told that Sathya Sai Baba had attended the dedication of the temple a few years back”(p. 874).

It is no secret outside Andhra Pradesh that most followers of Shirdi Sai have never accepted Sathya’s incarnation claims and, as a curious bibliographical consequence of this divide, there is a dichotomous Shirdi Sai Baba literature: on the one side, the bulk of the books, written by the majority of his followers and, on the other side, those few written by devotees of Sathya Sai Baba who have also become devotees of Shirdi. In the former, readers will find no trace of the alleged new information about Shirdi Sai occasionally ‘omnisciently’ revealed in Sathya Sai’s discourses (notably in 1990 and, with his trademark discrepancies, in 1992); in the latter category of Shirdi books this questionable ‘new’ information is presented as fact – as is anything that Sathya Sai chooses to say in public.

For further background, see Shirdi Essay.

 

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Poetry of Sathya Sai Baba

Once a Buddha, always a Buddha – Kadampa Life

4.5 mins read 

Sometimes people get discouraged with their Tantric practice, thinking it’s beyond them and they should stick to Sutra. But I think Tantra can be pretty straightforward, especially if we can read and follow the instructions of the modern-day Vajra Master Geshe Kelsang who, like Je Tsongkhapa, is known for his ability to reveal Buddha’s wisdom and Tantric teachings in a clear and profound, yet totally accessible, way.

Carrying on from this last article about Tantra.

If we’re used to identifying with our Buddha nature from a Sutra point of view, then we do this now from a Tantric point of view, bringing the result into the path – which makes our progress smooth, joyful, and rapid.

And, remember, we are not plopping an inherently existent ordinary miserable me onto Vajrayogini. There is no such real me — our me or I is mere label, thank goodness. So we are generating some purity in our mind and labelling it with our mere I, Vajrayogini, and growing it from there. Try it and see!

Then we keep coming back to divine pride and clear appearance in very practical, usable ways, both in meditation and throughout our day. This way we transform our life into a very rapid path to enlightenment, which is what Tantra is all about.

As mentioned here, normally we believe the self we normally perceive, the one around which all our problems revolve, and we cherish this self and protect it at all costs. But we slowly come to understand that it is time to stop doing that — I don’t want to do that anymore! It is painful. It is also a ginormous waste of time.

As we get going in our Tantric practice, for a long time we move back and forth between generating as a Deity and identifying as an ordinary being. This is normal, so there’s no need to entertain discouraged thoughts such as: “I thought I had this! I felt so blissful – I can’t believe I got all neurotic and graspy and sad again!”

Subtle impermanence and the emptiness of time

And here is a profound contemplation that I have always found enormously encouraging in this regard, and hope you might too.

When we appear as Vajrayogini or Heruka, we remember that we dissolved away all ordinary appearances, including their time, ie, including the pasts and futures of all ordinary appearances.

Past and future are mere name, mere appearance, now disappeared – so when we arise as Vajrayogini, we have always been Vajrayogini. Our previous identity has dissolved into emptiness, disappeared entirely, and we, Vajrayogini, have never been that person.

Remembering subtle impermanence is invaluable – always, but especially in Tantra. For the present moment to arise, the previous moment has to go out of existence, completely. Yesterday has gone, or where is it?! It had to go for today to arise. Everything before this moment in time has completely disappeared. By the same token, everything after this moment doesn’t exist yet because this moment has to disappear first.

In this article I talk about this incredibly useful teaching from Geshe Kelsang:

In reality we do not remain the same for one moment without changing, let alone for one life. Without the I of the previous moment ceasing, the I of the next moment could not arise. The I of one moment is the cause of the I of the next moment, and a cause and its effect cannot exist at the same time. A sprout, for example, can develop only when its cause, the seed, disintegrates. ~ How to Understand the Mind, page 134

When we arise in bliss and emptiness as a Buddha, the whole past is transformed because there is no past, only pasts of things (as explained in Ocean of Nectar), and Buddha’s past is bliss and emptiness. In that moment the whole future is transformed too, as there are only futures of things.

How long is a dream?

To help us understand this, we can consider our dreams. Dreams arise fully and all at once – they are mere projection of mind, and always present, unravelling moment by moment; but when we meet people in our dreams they have a past and a future, do they not? They were born in Clapham and they are going to die who knows where. All that is part of them in the present moment because this is the only moment there is.

The me of this present moment has a past and a future – so if I am ordinary I have an ordinary & suffering past and future and if I am Vajrayogini I have a pure & blissful past and future.

Wild, huh?! But true.

How old are you?

I was at the Grand Canyon recently, thinking about these rocks. They are, mind-bogglingly enough, millions of years old! Yet at the same time they are a momentary arising, an appearance to mind that is completely new in this moment. In this moment, which I am sharing with this rock, the rock has a past of millions of years whereas I only have a past of three (ahem) decades. 

So once you are Buddha Vajrayogini, you have always been Vajrayogini. And always will be.

Yes, we may forget this due to lacking effort, mindfulness, and familiarity, and the ordinary person might reappear with an ordinary past and future, just like another dream. But it doesn’t invalidate the pure dream of being Vajrayogini; and at the next available opportunity we can dissolve away all the ordinariness and hallucination and go back to the Pure Land.

Eventually we can stay here  24/7, which is liberation. And then guide everyone else to this reality by helping them drop their self-grasping and ordinary appearances as well.

Check out these articles on subtle impermanence for a better idea of all this. And I have a bit more to say on the subject later.

Meantime, the Kadampa Summer Festival in the English Lake District (or Keajra Pure Land), offering the Highest Yoga Tantra empowerments and teachings, starts this Friday! Talk about a life-changing experience. Hope to see some of you there.

Subtle impermanence 

How to be enlightened right now per Tantra

Tantra is not as hard as you may think

Then again people choose Yoga over Gurdjieff….

Greetings,

While exchanging posts with an enigmatic and very well read Zero Hedgian, going by the Handle Gully Foyle, he said this:

Then again people choose Yoga over Gurdjieff….

Really got me thinking.

What is all this choice con-fronting us for? Con-front is “with” front. In your face. And why is it such a mantra, a must have, a right, by god, give me choice….

Yoga over Gurdjieff  is a topic for a book. Especially if you have read his master tome and other books. Beelzbub’s Tales to his grandson. A must read. A mind-twisting attempt at “perfect” literature, perfectively objective that is. Possibly the best I’ve read, and I’ve read a lot.

So choice. Talked about it before, Choice = Cognitive Dissonance.

Choice enables the splitting of our personae. What a great argument for simplicity. The less you have, the less you know you need. That is the virtuous cycle inverse of the current mantra….the more you have, the more you need to have.

Look where they end up….. Spare and alive vs. bloated and barely so.

The line that brought me here is multi-contextual for me, so please  forgive the meandering.

Yoga is the most completely mis-understood exercise form of this time. Why? First, occam’s razor and Cui bono…. who wants you to be healthy? Does a healthy person benefit the Pharmaco-government complex?

The dominant trend-setters of this version of Mother Culture’s dystopia are all life-negative archetypes. The sportsperson, the actor, the politician, the banker, the industrialist. And they all espouse Yoga. Big red flag.

You see, the rub and the nub and the hub of the issue is that Yoga was never about exercise. Yoga was/is all about self-restraint. Fractal self restraint. The focus on strength inverts the very foundation of Yoga, physical Yoga that is.

It was always meant to be a way in, not a builder of muscles or fine physiques.

Also, the topic of my short exchange with Gully was about Science fiction becoming science fact.

If I look at the world around me today, the Solution Set that leaps out at me would have all of the terminology and naming from Dune, the mind-bending work of Frank Herbert.

Also, so much happening since the Stairwell Sigtar dot joining exercise of a week or so ago.

The bird and fish deaths continued unabated, though were neatly kept off the mainstream press after a brief ratings surge. Un-abated. Please goole the phrase and check. Massive fish kill off Maryland, 2 million (how do they count two million fish? makes me suspicious of their counting methodology).

And a twin cyclone system bears down on flood ravaged queensland. I hope the significance of Queen’s Land being flooded is obvious. What does it foretell for London?

And what of those poor Queenslanders, all prepared for Centuries of Global Warming induced droughts, now caught in flooding of biblical proportions. Australia rapes it’s land on a massive scale, especially in the resource rich Queensland State (Coal is the big one, also wheat)…. we are going to learn, faster and faster what the payback for 4 centuries of scorched earth capitalism will look like. May I suggest that it is going to be a little harsh?

Egypt is afire. Or so main stream and alternative media will have us believe. Live pictures tell no lies. The people are furious. But mis-directed anger, righteous especially, is such a huge waste of human energy. And no one knows what the game is, for this North African/Middle East Crisis is engineered. Food shortages soon to add to the tinder-box. Israel, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Saudi Arabia….

And flooding in Saudi Arabia? Hmmmmm……

And in the interesting parallism, fractalism that is life, I’m reading a book called Inhuman Architecture by Hugo Kukelhaus.

Brilliant work, making a strong case for why these buildings of hard lines, bland surfaces and poor ventilation and lighting, robbing us of everything we need, to grow… have been harsh prisons for our nurturing, not wombs, but prisons.

He said >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

So true and yet we consume out of convenience and consumptive compulsion……think about how closely food is tied to culture and then look at the focus on food in today’s times (form over function, in food…truly a bizarre world) and how much we all over-eat.

What drives us to this un-natural state of dis-ease. Look around. We are soft and round while our manufactured world is hard and straight.

And since we cannot be hard and straight on the outside, try as we might, we become hard and stiff on the inside. Unbending minds in yoga-flexible bodies.

Such a paradox and such a sign of these times.

Fascinating…

For today’s visual shocker… Chinese Oil Inferno…

For the rest, please see:  Chinese Oil Inferno Pictures on Rense.com

And then, the Ship on which I’d done my training in the Indian Navy, INS Vindhyagiri, hit a merchant vessel in Mumbai Harbour and is sitting on the bottom, listing, aflame.

Thanks for reading, definitely strange days…..

By the way, I’ve discovered that it’s perfectly okay to be serious.

Seriously!

?

Osho Book of Secrets Meditations – Sat Sangha Salon

Below you will find links to recordings that were compiled for Meditation. These files have not been created for entertainment but specifically for use in meditation.  And they are not intended to be used commercially in any way.  They are approximately one hour in length. They are made up of Osho’s spoken words and periods of silence and close with three bells. All of Osho’s words are from the The Book of Secrets discourse series which vary in original recording quality. You can either play the files from here or download them by “right clicking” and choosing “save file as.” Enjoy!

*  Best original recording quality

Between Two Breaths (Book of Secrets #3-1&2) *

Whenever In-Breath and Out-Breath Fuse (Book of Secrets #3-3) *

Attention Between Eyebrows (Book of Secrets #5-1)

See Your Inner Being in Detail (Book of Secrets #21-1)

Remember You Are (Book of Secrets #35-1) *

Wherever Your Mind is Wandering (Book of Secrets #39-2) *

Feel- My Thought (Book of Secrets #55-1)

Before Desire and Before Knowing (Book of Secrets #55-2)

You Are Everywhere (Book of Secrets #57-1)

Thinking No Thing (Book of Secrets #57-2)

Contemplate Something Beyond Perception (Book of Secrets #59-1)*

Perceive One Being as Knower and Known (Book of Secrets #61-1)

Put Mindstuff in Such Inexpressible Fineness (Book of Secrets #65-1)

He Remains in the Subjective (Book of Secrets #73-1)

Each Particular Perception is Limited (Book of Secrets #75-3)

This Consciousness Exists as Each Being (Book of Secrets #77-2

Suppose Your Passive Form to be an Empty Room (Book of Secrets #79-1)

Enter Space, Supportless, Eternal, Still (Book of Secrets #79-4)

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

MP3 audio files of these discourses can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

The Book of Secrets which contain 112 meditation techniques is currently available from Amazon.

On Death and Dying: Words of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

On Death and Dying: Words of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Bhagavan Ramana as a youth

The devotees know that Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi had an intense experience of death in his seventeenth year. After the experience ended, he was established in the realisation of his true Self and the illusion of death died forever.

Here is in part Bhagavan’s description of what happened:

“The shock of the fear of death drove my mind inwards and I said to myself mentally, without actually framing the words: ‘Now that death has come; what does it mean? What is it that is dying? This body dies . . . But with the death of the body am I dead? Is the body I? . . . The body dies but the Spirit that transcends it cannot be touched by death. That means I am the deathless Spirit.’ All this was not dull thought; it flashed through me vividly as living truth which I perceived directly. . . From that moment onwards the ‘I’ or Self focused attention on itself by a powerful fascination. Fear of death had vanished once and for all. Absorption in the Self continued unbroken from that time on.”

Shortly after that experience, Bhagavan left for the holy hill of Arunachala and spent the next 53 years in that vicinity.

In those years, people often asked him questions about death.

Here, as recorded in the book  “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi”, are a few words he spoke, from the depth of his experience, on death and dying.

MOURNING IS NOT the index of true love. It betrays love of the object, of its shape only. That is not love. True love is shown by the certainty that the object of love is in the Self and that it can never become non-existent. There will be no pain if the physical outlook is given up and if the person exists as the Self.

There is no death nor birth. That which is born is only the body. The body is the creation of the ego. But the ego is not ordinarily perceived without the body. It is always identified with the body.

If a man considers he is born he cannot avoid the fear of death. Let him find out if he has been born or if the Self has any birth. He will discover that the Self always exists, that the body which is born resolves itself into thought and that the emergence of thought is the root of all mischief.

Find where from thoughts emerge. Then you will abide in the ever-present inmost Self and be free from the idea of birth or the fear of death.

Recall the state of sleep. Were you aware of anything happening? If the son or the world be real, should they not be present with you in sleep?

You cannot deny your existence in sleep. Nor can you deny you were happy then. You are now the same person speaking and raising doubts. You are not happy according to you. But you were happy in sleep. What has transpired in the meantime that happiness of sleep has broken down? It is the rise of the ego. That is the new arrival in the jagrat (waking) state. There was no ego in sleep.

The birth of the ego is called the birth of the person. There is no other kind of birth. Whatever is born, is bound to die. Kill the ego: there is no fear of recurring death for what is once dead. The Self remains even after the death of the ego. That is Bliss – that is immortality.

Training the mind helps one to bear sorrows and bereavements with courage. But the loss of one’s offspring is said to be the worst of all griefs. Still it is true, pain on such occasions can be assuaged by association with the wise.

Sri Ramana Maharshi


Source: “Talks with Ramana Maharshi”

Maharshi Newsletter May / Jun 1991, Vol.1 No.3

STOP! A Meditation by OSHO – Canadian Society of Questers

Editor’s Note:  This meditation by Osho comes from his famous,”Book of Secrets”, and was a wonderful tool to help me become more mindful.  I hope that you try this meditation and practice it for the next several weeks.  –  Judith

STOP! A Meditation by OSHO

Just as you have the impulse to do something, stop.

You can try it anywhere. You are taking your bath ― suddenly order yourself to “Stop!” and stop. Even if it is only for a single moment, you will feel a different phenomenon happening within you. You are thrown to the center and suddenly everything stops ― not only the body. When the body stops totally, your mind stops also.

When you say, “Stop!” do not breathe then. Let everything stop…no breathing, no body movement. For a single moment remain in this stop, and you will feel you have penetrated suddenly, at rocket speed, to the center. And even a glimpse is miraculous, revolutionary. It changes you, and by and by you can have more clear glimpses of the center. That is why inactivity is not to be practiced. Use it suddenly, when you are unaware.

For example, you were going to drink a glass of water. You have touched the water, the glass ― suddenly stop. Let the hand be there, let the desire to drink, the thirst be there inside, but you stop completely. The glass is outside, the thirst is inside; the hand is on the glass, the eyes are on the glass ― stop suddenly. No breathing, no movement, as if you have become dead. The very impulse, the thirst, will release energy, and that energy is used for going to the center. You will be thrown to the center. Why? Because any impulse is a movement outward. Energy is always in movement ― either going out or coming in. Energy can never be static.

Remember three things…. One, try it only when a real impulse is there. Secondly, do not think about stopping, just stop. And thirdly, wait! When you have stopped, no breathing, no movement ― wait and see what happens. When I say stop, it means stop totally, fully. Nothing is moving, as if the whole time has stopped. There is no movement ― simply you are! In that simple existence, suddenly the center explodes.

~~~Osho: Excerpted from The Book of Secrets

The Unknowable Self – Osho – Sat Sangha Salon

The deepest mystery of existence is the phenomenon of knowledge. You can know everything except your own self. The knower cannot be known because to know something means to reduce it to an object. The very process of knowledge depends on duality. I can know you because I am here, inside, and you are there, outside. You become an object. But I cannot know my self because I cannot make my self an object. I cannot encounter my self in any objective way. I cannot put my self in front of me. And if I could put my self in front of me then that which is put in front of me would not be my self. How can that which can be put in front of me be my self? Really, the inner one which will look at it will remain my self.

Self is subjective and this subjectivity cannot be made objective. Hence, the paradox: that which knows all cannot know itself; that which is the source of all knowledge remains unknowable. If you can understand this, then this sutra will reveal much. This is one of the most profound sutras. It goes deeper than all that the mystics have said. It says self-knowledge is impossible. You have heard, it has been preached, it has been told everywhere, “Know thyself.” But how can you know your self?  You can know everything other than you. One point will always remain unknown, unknowable. That point is you.

The word self-knowledge is not good at all. Knowledge of the self is not possible. But this may create a deep pessimism in you. If knowledge of the self is not possible, then the whole of religion becomes absurd because this is what religion is meant to do – to give you self-knowledge. Then there must be some other meaning to the word self-knowledge. Then there must be something, a hidden dimension, through which you can know the self and still not make it an object. Knowledge must be possible in an altogether different sense.

In the world, whatsoever we know is objective and the subject remains unknowable, the knower remains unknowable. But can this knower be known? This is the basic question, the basic problem. If there is only one way of knowing – that is objective knowledge – then it cannot be known. Hence, all the scientific thinkers will deny that the self exists. Their denial is meaningful. All those who are trained to think in terms of object, of objectivity, they will say there is no self.

Their saying this means that they cannot conceive of another type of knowing. They think that there is only one type of knowing and that is objective. The self cannot be made objective; hence, it cannot be known. And that which cannot be known cannot be said to exist. How can you say that it exists? The moment you say that it exists you have said that you have known it. You cannot assert its existence. If it is not known, not only not known but also unknowable, then how can you say that it exists?

Scientists go on saying that there is no self, that man is a mechanism and the consciousness that appears is just an epiphenomenon, a by-product. They say that there is no self, there is no center – that the consciousness comes into existence just through chemical phenomena and when the body withers away, consciousness disappears.

So for science, death is total death; nothing remains after it. Consciousness is not substantial; it is a by-product. It cannot exist without the body. It is part of the body, just a combination of many material things. It comes into being; it is not elementary. It is a compound, a combination, a synthesis, something which depends on other things. There is no self. Science says there is no self because the self cannot be known.

The very word science means knowledge. And if something is unknowable, science will not approve of it, science will not agree to it. Science means that which can be known. Only then science is not mystical. It cannot fall into absurdities. For science, the very word self-knowledge is absurd. But still, religion is meaningful because there is another dimension of knowing.

Try to understand that dimension of knowing where the known is not reduced to an object. For instance, if a lamp is burning in a dark room, everything in the room is lighted, is known through the light of the lamp. But the lamp is also known by its own light. Everything else – chairs, furniture, the walls, paintings on the walls – they are known through the light. But through what is the light itself known?

The light is self-enlightening: just by its presence it reveals others and it reveals itself also. But these two revelations are different. When the chair is known through the light, the chair is an object. The light falls on it and if the light disappears the chair cannot be known. The knowledge of the chair depends on the light but the knowledge of the light itself doesn’t depend on the chair. If you remove everything the light will still be light. There will be nothing to reveal but it will go on revealing itself. The revelation of the light is self-revelation.

Similar is the case with the inner phenomenon, the inner self. Everything is known through it but it itself is known not by anything else – it is a self-revealing phenomenon. It reveals itself. Self-knowledge doesn’t mean that the self is known by someone else because then the someone else will be the self. So whatsoever is known in an objective way cannot be the self. Always the knower will be the self. But how can this self be known? The self is a self-evident, self-revealing phenomenon; nothing else is needed to know it. You need not reduce it to an object.

Really, when all objects are removed from the mind, when all the furniture is removed from the mind, suddenly the self reveals itself. It is self-revealing. Really, that is the difference between matter and consciousness: matter is not self-revealing and consciousness is self-revealing; matter has to be known by someone else and consciousness knows itself. That is the basic difference between matter and consciousness. There are trees but if there is no conscious being they cannot be revealed; they need someone’s consciousness so that they can be revealed.

There are rocks, beautiful rocks, but if there is no consciousness they will not be beautiful because then no one will become aware that they are there. Their existence will be mute. Even those rocks will not be able to know that they exist. Existence will be there but there will be no revelation of it.

A small child comes playing near the rock: suddenly the rock is revealed. Now it is not a mute existence. Through the child the rock has become assertive. Now the tree is revealed. Now everything around the child becomes alive in a new meaning. The child has become a source of revelation. Everything around him becomes alive. Hence, the deeper your consciousness, the deeper you reveal existence.

When a buddha is born the whole existence celebrates in him because of such a deep consciousness. All that is hidden in matter becomes manifest. It was never known before. Just by the presence of an enlightened person, the whole existence around him is enlightened. Everything becomes alive, feels through him. Consciousness reveals others, but there is no need to reveal it for another consciousness. It is self-revelatory.

Take it from another angle: everything needs proof because everything can be doubted. But you cannot doubt the self; therefore the self never needs any proof. Can you doubt the self? One of the great Western thinkers, Descartes, used doubt as a method to know. He started his journey of knowledge through doubt – very penetrating doubt. He decided that he would doubt everything unless he stumbled upon a fact which could not be doubted. And unless there is a basic fact which cannot be doubted, you cannot build the palace of knowledge because there is no foundation stone to make it. If everything can be doubted and has to be proved, then the whole edifice is just logical. Something deep down must be indubitable, which does not need any proof.

God is not indubitable. Remember this: God is not indubitable. He can be doubted – not only doubted, he can be disproved. And really, when someone doubts God you cannot prove his existence. You can only convince those who are already convinced, but you cannot convert a new man; that is impossible. Not a single atheist can be converted because he needs proof and you cannot prove God.

God is not indubitable. He can be doubted, rejected. The whole hypothesis can be said to be false. There is no proof that can help. So Descartes goes on discussing, inquiring, and he says that unless he comes to a point, to something in existence that is indubitable…. Not that it can be proved – no. Rather, it cannot be doubted. And ultimately he comes to the self and says that the self is a greater reality than God. It is, because the self cannot be doubted. Can you doubt it? Even to doubt it you will have to have it.

For example, if you are in the house and someone comes and asks whether you are in the house or not and you say, “I am not,” the very fact that you say “I am not” will prove that you are there. You cannot deny yourself. The very fact that you say, “I am not” shows that you are there. The denial becomes the proof. There is no need not to affirm it; even denial becomes the proof. When even denial is a proof, the fact is indubitable. How can you doubt it?

You cannot say, “I do not know whether I am or not” – or can you? Even to be in such confusion, you need to be there. How can there be confusion without you? You cannot say, ”I don’t believe that I am,” because even not to believe, someone is needed to be there. There is no way to deny that you exist, that the I exists.

This self is the only indubitable fact in the world; everything else has been doubted. There have been skeptics who have doubted everything, even ordinary things of which you cannot conceive how they can be doubted. You are here but the English philosopher Berkeley says, “I cannot believe that you are here. You may be just a dream. And there is no way to prove that you are not a dream, because when I dream, I dream of people such as you.” And this is one of the essential qualities of a dream: in a dream the dream appears real.

So if you are appearing real, Berkeley says that does not prove anything, because in every dream the dream appears real. Can you doubt while you are dreaming? You cannot: the dream appears real. Even a very absurd dream appears real. It is just illogical, irrelevant, but still it appears real while it is there. So Berkeley says that there is no way to prove whether you are real or not. You can be doubted, everything can be doubted.

One of the greatest Indian mystics, Nagarjuna, has doubted everything – EVERYTHING! He says nothing is real because everything can be doubted. But there is only one point which he goes on avoiding: he never talks about the self because then his whole edifice, his whole philosophy, would fall down – because that cannot be doubted. It can be asked of Nagarjuna, ”Okay! The whole world is illusory and everything can be doubted, but who is this doubter? Do you doubt it – this doubter who denies the whole world?” The self is indubitable because it is self-evident. No proof is needed, no argument is needed. It is self-evident.

Mahavira denied God: he said there is no God. But he couldn’t say there is no self. Then the very self became divine for him. He said, “Only the self is God.” And that is true: in you, the self is the nearest thing to divine existence. That is why it cannot be doubted. It is self-evident, self-revealing, self-enlightening.

This is the second way of knowing. The scientific way is to know a thing as an object. The religious way is to know the subject as the subject. In a scientific way, knowledge has three parts: the knower, the known and the knowledge. The knowledge is just a bridge between the knower and the known. But the religious knowing does not have three parts. The knower is the known and the knower is the knowledge. This knowing is not divided into three. It is one, it is undivided.

-Osho

Excerpted from The Supreme Doctrine, Chapter 4.

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Both audio and pdf files can be downloaded from Osho World.

Subhash Ghai to produce Osho biopic with Navala Productions

By: Express Web Desk |

osho biopic by subhash ghai Subhash Ghai’s Osho biopic will cast its main characters within the next month.

Subhash Ghai is all set to produce a biopic on controversial godman Osho in collaboration with Rome based production company Navala Productions, reported Variety. The project is tentatively titled Osho: Lord of the Full Moon and was announced yesterday at the Cannes Film Festival. Osho, also called Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, was recently the subject of Netflix’s critically acclaimed six-part documentary Wild Wild Country.

According to Variety, Lakshen Sucameli will direct the biopic from a screenplay by Sucameli and Kamlesh Pandey. Casting and international distributor names will be announced soon. Fabio Cianchetti, known for Eva Greene starrer The Dreamers, is the makers’ choice for director of photography.

Osho: Lord of the Full Moon will begin from the time of Indian independence. Apart from Osho, there would be another main character, a female journalist who puts her career in danger when she tries to investigate if the Guru is a fraud or a genius like his fans believed.

Osho died in 1990 but has been a contentious figure in popular imagination especially in the United States, where he was active in the first half of the 1980s. It was this relatively short duration of his life that became the most well-known because of the utopian Oregon community he established. That community was called Rajneeshpuram and was populated by Rajneeshees, as his devotees were called.

The establishment of Rajneeshpuram was protested by the locals. The tensions finally culminated in 1984 when Rajneeshees decided they were few in number and could not hope to win in the upcoming Wasco County elections. They allegedly indulged in bioterror when they poisoned half the voters by pouring salmonella-laced liquid on food items. Osho’s most trusted follower Ma Sheela pleaded guilty in 1985. US authorities also discovered evidence of the largest wire-tapping and bugging operation.

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The Leshan Giant Buddha: Largest Stone Buddha in the World

Not far from the city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province, China, sits the Leshan Giant Buddha statue. Carved into the side of Mt. Lingyun, the colossal statue is over 1,300-years-old and is considered to be the largest stone Buddha in the world, and by far the tallest pre-modern statue. The site attracts millions of people every year, including Buddhist pilgrims, making it something of a sacred destination and an ancient wonder of the world.

A statue honoring Maitreya

The Leshan Giant Buddha statue (also known as Dafo), is located to the east of Leshan City and sits at the junction of three rivers; the Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River.  It faces the sacred Mount Emei with the rivers flowing below its feet and depicts a stout, smiling monk, calmly sitting, resting his hands upon his knees with heavy-lidded eyes gazing across the river. The statue is believed to be Maitreya, a Buddha and disciple of Sakyamuni, who is thought to have been the founder of Buddhism, symbolizing brightness and happiness.

Worshiping Maitreya was especially popular between the 4th and 7th Centuries.  Today, images of him can still be found in many Buddhist temples throughout China and the Leshan statue is considered the most inspiring of them all.

The Paradise of Maitreya, Zhu Haogu and Zhang Boyuan, 1320 ( )

The architecture of the Leshan Giant Buddha

The appeal of the Buddha lies not only in its size but in its architectural craftsmanship.  The entire statue is made of stone, except for the ears which were crafted out of wood, then affixed, and covered with clay. The Buddha’s hair is arranged in special spiraled curls with 1,021 twists that have been skillfully embedded in the head.

The statue is ten stories high, and if the statue stood upright, it would be almost eye to eye with the Statue of Liberty. The Buddha is so enormous that it is alleged that 100 monks could sit on one foot. Measuring 71 meters tall (233 feet), the statue has a symmetrical posture, creating a gracefully relaxed image. Its head is 15 meters (50 feet) high, its shoulders 28 meters (92 feet) wide, and its smallest toenail can accommodate a seated person.  Each eyebrow alone is 5.5 meters (18 feet) while its nose is 6 meters (20 feet) long. A large pair of ears, measuring seven meters (23 feet), is capable of holding two people inside.

The ingenious system of water drainage

Several drainage passages hidden inside the Buddha’s hair, collar, chest, and back of the ears, have prevented the statue from serious erosion and weathering over the millennia. The drainage system of the Giant Buddha is a complex system made up of hidden gutters and channels, which carry away rainwater and keep the inner parts dry. This is why the great Buddha has survived intact up until modern times. Compared to when it was initially completed, the statue looks quite different from how it looks today. It once sat in a grand 13-story wooden pavilion which protected the carving from erosion. However, the pavilion was eventually destroyed at the end of the Ming Dynasty, exposing the statue to the elements.

The Origins of Dafo

The Leshan Giant Buddha statue is said to have been built to calm the turbulent waters that plagued passing boats and killed many people each year. So, in the Tang Dynasty, a monk named Hai Tong, decided to carve a giant statue beside the river, hoping it would appease the river gods and save more local people’s lives. With this belief, the Hai Tong Monk begged for 20 years to acquire enough funds to begin his work.  According to legend, when some local government officials wanted to get large amounts of money from Hai Tong, he said they could have his eyeball but not the money raised for the Buddha statue. When government funding for the project was threatened, the monk is said to have gouged out his own eyes to show his sincerity and devotion to the cause. The officials were scared away, and Hai Tong saved the money and started the project in 713 AD. The project was half finished when he passed away and two of his disciples were left to continue the work. The project was finally completed 90 years later by the local governor in 803 AD. Since so much stone was removed from the cliff face and deposited into the river below during the construction, the currents of the rivers were, in fact, altered by the statue, making the waters safe for passing ships.

The Leshan Giant Buddha: A Museum of Buddhist Carvings

As the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world, Dafo is featured in Chinese poetry, song and story. For the ancient Chinese, building a statue of this size and stature was a way of thanking their gods. Even after its completion, people continued to carve Buddhas, small ones, all around this massive statue. On the cliffs beside the Giant Buddha, there are two carved stone warriors in battle robes, holding a halberd (a combined spear and battle-ax).  Besides the Giant Buddha, are thousands of other carved Buddhas, making the mountain a museum of Buddhist carvings. Han Dynasty cliff tombs have also been found at the site and there is an onsite temple and shrine dedicated to Hai Tong near the Buddha. Mortuary artifacts have been found here as well making this area particularly important for archaeologists.

UNESCO grants Dafo World Heritage Status

Today, erosion is the biggest threat to the Leshan Giant Buddha’s survival. The statue was nearly destroyed by the erosion of wind and rain before 1963, when the Chinese government began repair work and protection. In 1996, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO inscribed the Mount Emei Scenic area and the Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area on their World Heritage List as a mixed cultural and natural property of the world. Since 2001, it has been rumored that the equivalent of over 40 million U.S. dollars has been spent to keep it intact.

Crowds Flock to the Giant Buddha

At the start of the Lunar New Year, tens of thousands of Chinese people flock to the Leshan Giant Buddha to pay their respects and pray for good fortune. The queues that slowly creep up the 250 steps to the top of the Buddha’s head can take hours, and upon reaching the top, it is almost impossible to move as each person tries to get a closer look at the Buddha. Others opt for a boat ride to see the Buddha, crowding the waters, as everyone wants their chance to burn some incense and hope the Buddha will grant them good luck in the year ahead. 

Top Image: Leshan Giant Buddha is the world’s largest stone-carved Buddha ( Wikimedia Commons )

Source

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Osho loves to go fast


Another excerpt from Deva Peter’s successful book, ’93 Rolls-Royces’.

Being with Osho on the ride is an example of my total trust in him. Much of the ride takes place on narrow, two-lane, low-speed-limit mountain roads. Osho loves to go fast and often crosses into the opposite lane, passing the driver in front of him, going around blind curves.

I make the conscious choice to follow him no matter what; to trust his knowing whether or not it is safe to pass. To trust whether he can sense whether another vehicle is coming the other way on the two-lane road. Often he is not able to physically see what is around the bend.

Approaching many of the blind curves, he does not pass – and there would often be a car coming the other way.

For me, being with Osho is always about the teaching, rather than the event itself. I am aware that it doesn’t really have to do with us being out there driving like crazies. It’s a teaching in trusting my inner knowing, regardless of the circumstances. The Master Sosan says, “Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing you will not be able to know.”

After leaving the Ranch, Osho takes the two-lane highway to the nearby town of Madras. On that road, he can really push the Rolls to the max. At one point we had a communication code between his car and the chase car using CB radios. I once got into trouble because I couldn’t use the existing code we had developed for telling him how fast he was going. Why? Because he was going faster than the code allowed – it was over 85, for sure.

I think the speedometer on the GMC only went to 85 in those days. He was burying the speedometer on the Rolls and I couldn’t say how fast he was going. So I said that over the air and got into hot water.

On another ride, I’ve got Harry (a cop with “real world” experience) in the car with me. He has a speed gun aimed on the Rolls to measure Osho’s speed, but throws it in the back seat, saying, “It’s the wrong instrument” for this job. I love Harry – a very cool guy.

One time the trunk opens on the ride. Osho stops at a stop sign and the trunk lid is bobbing up and down. I am in the chase car, so I radio ahead and say, “Wait there for a minute. I’m going to have to come up and close the trunk.”

The reason the trunk is open is because the battery is in the trunk. With so many Rollses, each car sits for quite a while before it comes up in the rotation. So, Avesh and Anandadas need to recharge the battery before a car is used. When they serviced the battery that day, they forgot to close the trunk lid securely. That’s why it’s bobbing up and down.

Only after the Ranch do I learn that the battery put in the cars at the factory is a “slave battery.” It’s the dealer’s responsibility to put a larger amperage battery in before delivery to the customer. For some reason – maybe because the Ranch wants the cars so quickly – that upgrade never happens.

Not only does the battery need to be charged from sitting, but it’s so small it requires constant recharging by the alternator. The alternator does not operate when the car is idling at low rpm, like when Osho drives slowly, greeting his disciples along the road. Occasionally, especially during the summer when Osho uses the air conditioning, the car stalls.

That happens during one summer festival, when there are thousands of visitors greeting Osho along the side of the road during his drive-by. I am up at the garages when the call comes in asking me to bring Osho another car. The car’s battery has died!

When I arrive on the scene, Osho emerges from his car and stands among a throng of his disciples, grinning, his arms raised, encouraging his people to continue singing and dancing. Talk about a security nightmare! Finally he makes his way to the replacement car and continues along his way.

Avesh deals with the problem by setting the idle higher. However, that means Osho has to ride his brakes, causing them to squeak. The easy solution would be to requisition larger batteries for the cars. It doesn’t happen. Why? I dunno. It’s not my business.

An even more frightening incident happens one day when Osho is in Madras. This time, Anandadas is in the chase car when Osho pulls away from the curb after stopping to have a snack in his car. He darts from his parking space across two lanes into traffic.

Because Anandadas can’t get behind him fast enough, a pickup truck pulls in behind Osho and has to slam on his brakes to avoid ass-ending the Rolls. Can you imagine if Osho had gotten ass-ended?

Osho realizes how scary that incident has been for Anandadas. Back at the Ranch, Osho asks Avesh and me to meet with him in his room. He gives us a bottle of wine to give to Anandadas along with a message for him “not to worry” about Osho getting hurt on the ride.

Then Osho relates a story about a time when he was in India and his driver went off the road and the car rolled onto its side. Osho was in the back seat and could smell gasoline. He nudged the driver and told him to get out of the car, saying, “The car’s going to explode.” The driver said, “I can’t. I’m dead!” Osho said, “You’re not dead. If you were dead, you wouldn’t be able to hear me!”

Finally, the driver got out and was able to help Osho out. Osho tells Avesh and me to “tell Anandadas, ‘If I was going to die in a car accident, I would have died then.’ So, not to worry about me on the ride.” To me, it’s another example of Osho’s profound compassion for a disciple.

On another occasion, on one of the back roads, I am the driver for the chase car and Bob, one of the original Ranch property managers, is riding with me. He is not armed. We are stopped by two carloads of goofy teenage kids, one in front of us, one behind us, and they slow down to the point Osho has to stop.

We are pinned in. They jeer and give him the finger. Just being goofs, but to me it is very disturbing, to say the least, that helpless kind of feeling. Osho doesn’t seem disturbed, but Vivek looks quite upset. We are helpless to do anything about it.

After about ten minutes or so, after blowing off steam, the teenagers pull away and let us move on. To me it is totally unacceptable to be in a situation like that. So I go to Vidya, complaining that the ride is unsafe and not properly equipped to deal with such an episode, or worse.

I go with a list of complaints and an ultimatum that I would quit unless they follow my recommendations, such as having an armed person on the ride, a camera with telephoto lens, binoculars. They don’t adopt my recommendations fast enough, plus nobody is taking my advice on things, so I quit the ride.

Later they do implement my recommendations, but they go totally overboard: to having three chase cars, to Osho being wired to a machine reading out his vital signs, to having a car with not only a doctor but also a lawyer. Three cars on the ride, one for security, one for medical, one for legal.

By that time I am long finished with the ride and just focused on my painting work. At first going on the ride was fun – like an escape from the Ranch. But eventually it got so intense that it wasn’t fun anymore. As time went on, and Osho’s safety was more threatened, I was glad to be done with it. I wasn’t on the ride more than ten times.

Anyway, by the end it is decided Osho won’t go outside the Ranch on his rides. Sannyasin crews develop the pine forest road for him, so our Master can speed around the Ranch without getting hassled!

After all is said and done, I like to think I have a positive impact on Osho’s safety on the ride, through my bitching and moaning. To say the least, I am really a pain in the ass to all the powers that be on the Ranch. This I know. The real issue is the safety of our Master. It is something of a miracle that he emerges from his driving adventures unscathed!

Read the review by Roshani: Appealing to the Eye and Easily Devoured!

Available to order via Peter – phaykus (at) outlook.com

Born in 1945, Deva Peter was raised in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He trained and worked as a professional auto mechanic, welder, boat builder and custom car painter. He took sannyas in Poona, in February 1981 and was invited to the Ranch that year. Osho’s Rolls-Royces were the most extraordinary custom paint jobs Peter completed. He currently enjoys retired life with Avalon (Ma Devagarbha) in Colorado, living close to their daughter, her husband, and two granddaughters, who are the light of his life. phaykus (at) outlook.com

The Essenes on Darkness – Osho Rajneesh

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​There has been one very old esoteric school known as the school of Essenes. Jesus was taught in that school; he belonged to the Essenes group. That Essenes group is the only group all over the world who thinks of God as absolute darkness. The Koran says God is light, the Upanishads say God is light, the Bible says God is light. The Essenes group is the only tradition in the world which says that God is absolute blackness, absolute darkness, just an infinite black night.

This is very beautiful; strange, but very beautiful — and very meaningful. You must understand the meaning, then this technique will be very helpful, because this is the technique used by the Essenes to enter darkness, to become one with it. Reflect. Why has God been symbolized everywhere as light? Not because God is light, but because man is afraid of darkness. This is human fear — we like light and we are afraid of darkness, so we cannot conceive God as darkness, as blackness. This is human conception. We conceive God as light because we are afraid of darkness. Our gods are created out of our fear. We give them shape and form. That shape and form is given by us — it shows something about us, not about our gods. They are our creations. We are afraid in darkness, so God is light. But these techniques belong to the other school.

Essenes say that God is darkness, and there is something in it. One thing: darkness is eternal. Light comes and goes and darkness remains. In the morning the sun will rise and there will be light; in the evening the sun will set and there will be darkness. For darkness nothing will rise — it is always there. It never rises and never sets. Light comes and goes; darkness remains. Light always has some source; darkness is without source. That which has some source cannot be infinite; only that which is sourceless can be infinite and eternal.

Light has a certain disturbance; that’s why you cannot sleep in light. It creates a tension. Darkness is relaxation, total relaxation. But why are we afraid of darkness? Because light appears to us as life — it is; and darkness appears to be death — it is. Life comes through light, and when you die it appears you have fallen into eternal darkness. That’s why we paint death as black, and black has become a color for mourning. God is light, and death is black. But these are our fears projected. Actually, darkness has infinity; light is limited. Darkness seems to be the womb out of which everything arises and into which everything falls.

Essenes took this standpoint. It is very beautiful and very helpful also, because if you can love darkness you will become unafraid of death. If you can enter into darkness — and you can enter only when there is no fear — you will achieve total relaxation. If you can become one with darkness, you are dissolved, it is a surrender. Now there is no fear, because if you have become one with darkness, you have become one with death. You cannot die now. You have become deathless. Darkness is deathless. Light is born and dies; darkness simply is. It is deathless.

We Meet Monsieur Gurdjieff – Motus Mentis

I’ve alluded rather obliquely in some of my posts to various schools of inner development, without going into a lot of detail. I’d like to begin to talk about one such system with which I have had various levels of contact all of my life. The ideas in question are those brought to the West by the Greek/Armenian teacher G.I. Gurdjieff.

Here is a very brief synopsis of G.’s life, from the Gurdjieff Foundation of New York’s website:

G.I. Gurdjieff was born in Alexandropol, close to the frontiers of Russia and Turkey, circa 1866. Finding that neither science nor religion answered his questions about the meaning of man’s life, he became convinced that an ancient knowledge must exist and could still be found on Earth. After twenty years of search in remote parts of Central Asia and the Near East, he returned to Russia in 1912. Settling near Paris in 1922, he established the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man at Fontainebleau. In 1924, he made the first of a series of visits to America. In 1929, he moved from Fontainebleau to Paris where he continued writing and working with a small number of students until his death in 1949.

I first noticed the name when I was a child, on the spines of some rather musty old books in my father’s study.

My father grew up in London, and after a stint as a medic in the Royal Navy during the Second World War returned to London to continue his medical education at Imperial College and St. George’s Hospital. There he became acquainted with a number of intellectually curious physicians and scientists, among them one Dr. Kenneth Walker. Dr. Walker was involved with a group that met on occasion to discuss some rather unusual ideas about human psychology and development, and invited my father to join him.

At this time M. Gurdjieff, who had settled in France in the 1920s, and who rode out the war in Paris, was near the end of his life. But he still worked with small groups in Paris, and occasionally crossed the Channel to London as well. It was one of these meetings that my father was invited to attend.

I wish to be clear that my father is not a credulous or superstitious man, and as a scientist he has a skeptical and questioning mind. But he sensed at once that there was something quite extraordinary about Gurdjieff, and said that he immediately formed the same impression that so many others have reported: that when you met him he looked right through you, that one felt one had no secrets in his presence.

My father was intrigued by both the remarkable personality of the man himself and by the system of ideas and methods he presented, and became a regular member of the London groups. He also traveled to Paris on several occasions to meet and work with groups there, and assisted Dr. Walker as he treated Gurdjieff in his final illness.

Much of the Gurdjieff work involves music, movement, and the effect of impressions of various sorts on the human organism. One of the earliest and most vivid experiences my father recalls from the London meetings was of Gurdjieff making a demonstration of the effects of musical tones.

For this meeting, which was held in a London townhouse, Gurdjieff had asked his hosts if he might tune the piano in a special way. Having spent the time to adjust it to his liking, he asked the group to gather round. He explained that the tempered scale used in Western music was a compromise, and that although such a tuning made it possible to play in many keys, and to move between keys on the same instrument, certain essential properties of musical vibration, known since ancient times, could not be achieved on an instrument tuned in this way. So he had adjusted the piano in such a way as to make these effects possible.

He asked for a small glass of water, and placed it on the piano. He then began to play an odd melody, punctuated by loud, sharp chords. All present later described the effect of these chords in the same way – as being similar to an electric shock passing though their bodies. It was as if the music was causing a direct, objective effect in each of them, and my father said the experience was quite unlike anything he had ever encountered before.

When he had finished playing, M. Gurdjieff raised the glass of water. It was frozen.

There is a very great deal I would like to say about all of this, but I must be very, very careful to say it all in the right way, and not to overreach myself to the detriment of all. Gurdjieff’s system is not a small topic, worthy of a diverting post or two, but is rather an ancient, immense and interconnected web of ideas, some very difficult. I won’t be rushing through it, and there may be long stretches between posts, but I will write what I can as I feel I am able.

Papaji & Verse 1 of DaoDeJing – PriorToConsciousness 不生不灭

From – The Truth Is ~ Papaji

Yet there is a sacred secret beyond even this. This sacred secret must be asked for in secret and followed sacredly.

Constantly go to the Source. Don’t even land in the Source, but forever go deeper. Still beyond It Is.

You have to take the last half step from Peace-Awareness-Bliss into the Mystery beyond the mind.

Do you still progress in this final stage of evolution where you are now?

This is a very good question. Many people will say that this is the final stage and that everything is finished with no more progress or evolution to experience. This is what everybody will say. I still have something more to do in this direction which is not mentioned in any book. There is no end to understanding. As long as there is very pure intention there is still something to be done after complete and final Realization.

That I don’t speak of and I have never spoken. It is not mentioned in any book. Those who know it cannot express it because it is beyond intellectual grasp. I want to tell what it is.

It is a sacred secret, as Krishna says to Arjuna, “The Knowledge I give you is sacred Knowledge, it is not to be retold to anyone.” I know a Mystery so rare and sacred and secret. It has no oral description, but yet I will “tell” it to some people that I like.

There are some people in the West. I am not hiding this, it is just that I cannot speak it. Perhaps the time will come when I speak. It is very subtle and can only be understood by the supreme intellect. Even if I did speak it nobody would understand. It is not what is transmitted by look, touch or word. It is something beyond that.

Could you speak something of the Mystery?

If I could speak of the Mystery how could it be a Mystery? It could be a history. You can speak about history, not about the Mystery. Nobody knows what this Wisdom is. Those who go there never return.

It seems like self and Being rise from Mystery. Everything arises from the Mystery so you are not describing Mystery, but the Self.

Everything that can be seen and felt has for its origin Mystery. Mystery cannot be seen.

Mystery is beyond Self?

Yes.

Is creation arising due to Self exploring the Mystery within Self?

There is no inside or outside for the Mystery. Inside and outside arises from thought.

Where does this thought arise from?

Go toward where the thought rises from, this is a mysterious place where no one has touched and where no one can speak about. Even gods and existence comes from the Mystery. Nobody knows that the Mystery is behind creation and the creator. Maybe it is only a mystery that we even see a creation and it may not even be there at all because it is mysterious.

Just as you dream you see so many things like rivers and forests, men, animals and birds, but when you wake up nothing is there, nor was it ever. So it was a mystery that in your short nap you see so many things. Then you wake up and nothing is there.

When you wake up you realize that nothing has ever existed.

To see the Mystery you must wake up from the sleep of forms and names. If you don’t see any forms or names then that is not describable.

DaoDeJing Verse 1

Sentence 1: 道可道,非常道。名可名,非常名。

The arbitrarily named Dao (see verse 25) is already perfectly so even before language-ing about it. It is the human dilemma to language and label, in other words to think or to thing, which is the same. This turns out to be a blessed curse, so to speak. (Notice that language-ing is happening now) So the human talks about the unspeakable Dao and names the unname-able, quite helplessly身不由己;that’s the human condition.

Sentence 2: 无,名天地之始。有,名万物之母。

The label – 无, nothingness or no-thingness, names into existence root duality of heaven & earth. The label – 有,somethingness names and births into existence ten thousand things (namarupa).

Sentence 3: 故常无,欲以观其秒。故常有,欲以观其缴。

When attention abides in nothingness, the original unbound mystery is perceived. When attention abides in somethingness, then only demarcated mystery is perceived. In other words the original complete wholeness is dropped from view.

Sentence 4: 此两者,同出而异名,同谓之玄。

This YinYang couple arise mutually yet are given different names. Seen together they secretly point to the original mystery prior to labeling.

Sentence 5:玄之又玄,众妙之门。

Outwardly layers of relative mysteries pile upon one another. And yet it is also the door/key/pointer inwardly back to the original mysterious perfection.

 

A Whole Throbbing – Osho – Sat Sangha Salon

The world is there because of you – you create it, you are a creator. Every single being creates a world around himself, it depends on his mind. The mind may be illusory, but it is creative – it creates dreams. And it is up to you to create a hell or heaven.

If you leave this world you will not be able to leave it. Wherever you go you will create the same world again, because the world is constantly coming out of you just as leaves are coming out of the tree.

You don’t live in the same world; you cannot because you don’t have similar minds. Just by the side of you somebody may be living in heaven, and you may be living in hell – and you feel that you are living in the same world? How can you live in the same world when minds differ?

So the first thing to be understood is that you cannot leave the world unless the mind disappears. They are related, they depend on each other, they make a vicious circle. If the mind is there… And a mind is always a particular mind. When the mind is no more a particular mind, when it becomes a Mind with a capital M it is no more mind, it has become consciousness. A mind is always a particular mind and it carries a particular aroma around it – that is your world.

The mind creates the world and then the world creates the mind, helps the mind to remain the same. This is the vicious circle. But the source is in the mind; the world is just a by-product. The mind is substantial; the world is just the shadow of it. And you cannot destroy the shadow, but everybody tries to destroy it.

If this wife doesn’t suit you, you think another wife will. You are trying to change the world, and you are the same. You will just turn the next wife into an exact replica of the old. You will again create, because the wife will be just a screen.

And you will be surprised: people who have married many times, their experience is really strange. A person who has been married ten times recognizes the fact that ”How does it happen? In such a wide and big world I always stumble upon the same type of woman? Even by accident it seems impossible! Again and again!”

The problem is not the woman, the problem is the mind. The mind is again attracted to the same type of woman, again creates the same relationship, again finds the same mess and the same hell.

And the same happens in everything you do. Do you think you will live happily in a palace? You are wrong! Who is going to live in the palace? You will live there. If you are not happy in your hut, you will not be happy in your palace. Who will live in the palace? Palaces don’t exist outside you.

If you can live happily in a hut, you can live happily in a palace, because you create the world around you. Otherwise, as the hut pinches you the palace will pinch – even more so because it is a bigger thing. It will be a hell, just the same – more decorated, but a decorated hell is not a heaven. And even if you are forcibly thrown into heaven you will try to find an exit, or you will create your hell there.

I have heard about one man, a great businessman, a dress manufacturer. He died. Somehow, by some technical mistake, he entered heaven. He met his old partner there. The old partner was as sad as he was on this earth. So the businessman said, “What does it mean? You are in heaven, and so unhappy?”

The partner said, “It is okay, but personally I prefer Miami.”

And the other also came to the same conclusion within days. They again became partners there, and they wanted to start a business firm to manufacture dresses.

The same is going to happen wherever you go, because you are the world. You create a world around you, then the world helps the mind which has created it. The son helps the father, the son helps the mother, your shadow helps the substance – then the mind is strengthened more, then again you create the same world on the same lines. From where to start a transformation? How to change?

If you look, the first look will say to change the world, because it is so apparent around you. Change it! And that’s what you have been doing for many lives: continuously changing the world, changing this and that, changing houses, bodies, wives, husbands, friends – changing, but never looking to the fact that you remain the same, so how can you change the world?

That’s why a false tradition of renunciation came into existence all over the world. Escape from the house and go to the monastery. Escape from the market, go to the Himalayas. Escape from the world! To the Himalayas you can go easily, but how can you escape from yourself? You will create the same world there – the same! It may be a miniature world, it may not be so vast, but you will do the same. You are the same – how can you do anything else?

Deeper insight reveals that: change the mind, then the world changes. Then wherever you are a different world is revealed. You go deeper, and then you understand that if you want to be really without the world around you…. Because howsoever beautiful the world is, sooner or later it will become a boredom and you will be fed up. Even if it is a heaven you will start longing for the hell, because the mind needs change. It cannot live in the eternal, it cannot live in the non-changing, because the mind hankers for some new curiosity, some new sensation, some new excitement. It is not possible for the mind to stop time and to remain timelessly.

That’s why the mind cannot live in the now, the here, because now is not a part of time. It never changes, it is eternal. You cannot say it is unchanging, it is not permanent, it eternal. It is simply as it is. Nothing happens there. It is emptiness.

Buddha has called it shunyata – absolutely empty. Nothing happens there, nobody comes, nobody goes. There is nobody, because if somebody is there then something or other will happen.

Mind cannot live in the eternal now. Mind wants change and goes on hoping, and goes on hoping against all hope. The whole situation is hopeless, but mind goes on hoping.

I have heard:

Mulla Nasruddin remained unemployed for many, many years because he wanted to be an actor and he had no talent. But every day, religiously, he would go to the agent. Hopefully he would knock at the door, enter the office, and inquire, “Has something happened? Am I booked somewhere?”

And the agent would say always the same: “I cannot do anything, nothing is possible.”

Days passed, weeks passed, then years passed and the Mulla’s knocking became a routine. Whatsoever the season, the climate, good or bad, but one thing was certain for the agent – that Mulla would come. And he would again ask hopefully, and the man would again say the same thing: “Nasruddin, I cannot do anything, nothing is possible.”

Then one day the knock was different, a little sad. And when Mulla came in, even the agent was surprised: “Why is he so sad?”

Mulla said, “Listen, for two weeks don’t book me anywhere because I’m going for a vacation.”

This is how mind functions – goes on hoping, not for many years; but for many lives! You knock on the same door with the same inquiry and desire, and it is always no. What have you gained through mind except nos?

Yes has never come that way, it cannot come. Mind is a futile effort. It is desert like, nothing grows on it, nothing can grow. But it goes on hoping. Even a desert dreams, and dreams of beautiful gardens, rivers flowing, brooks and waterfalls. Even a desert dreams… and that is the dream of the mind.

One has to be alert. There is no need to waste any more time – no need to knock on the agent’s door. Enough you have lived with the mind. Nothing have you achieved through it. Is it not the right time to be alert and aware?

Of course you have gathered many miseries and many hells – if you call them achievements then it is okay – anguish, frustration. And wherever you move with the mind something goes wrong, because mind is the mechanism of the wrong. You look: something goes wrong.

Mulla Nasruddin’s son was entered into the school. The teacher was talking about geography and she talked and explained the shape of the earth and everything. And then she asked Mulla Nasruddin’s son, “What is the shape of the earth?”

He remained silent, so just to provoke his answer she said, “Is it flat?”

The son said, “No.”

She became more hopeful; she said, “Then is it a globe, round-shaped?”

Nasruddin’s son said, “No.”

Then she was surprised. She said, “Only two are the possibilities: either it is flat or it is global, and you say no to both. So what is your idea?”

The son said, “My Dad said it is crooked!”

For the mind everything is crooked, not because everything is crooked – the way the mind looks, anything that penetrates the medium of the mind becomes crooked. Just as you put a straight thing into water, a straight staff, and suddenly you see the medium of the water has done something; it is no more straight. You bring it out of the water; it is again straight. Put it in again…

And you know that the staff remains straight even in water, but your eyes still say that it is not straight. A hundred times you can bring it out and put it in. Even if you know well that the staff remains straight, the medium will again give you the false information that it is no more straight.

You have known many, many times that the misery is created by the mind, but again you fall a victim. Mind creates misery. It cannot create anything else because it cannot encounter reality. It can only dream – that is the only capacity for the mind. It can only dream. And dreams cannot fulfill, because whenever they come against the reality they are shattered.

You live in a house of glass, you cannot face reality. Whenever reality comes your house is shattered, and many houses you have lived in are shattered. You carry their ruins in the mind, the anguish that resulted. And that has made you very sour, very bitter.

Taste anybody and you will taste him bitter. And that is the experience of others about you also:  everybody tastes bitter. Come closer and everything goes bitter; remain distant, everything looks beautiful. Come closer, everything goes bitter – because when you come closer, minds penetrate each other and everything is crooked, then nothing is straight.

This has to be realized as your experience, not as a theory from me or Sosan. Sosan can’t help, neither can I. It must become your own experienced phenomenon. Experienced, it becomes a truth – and then many things start changing, then you drop the mind.

And when the mind drops, all worlds disappear. When the mind drops, objects disappear; then they are no more objects. Then you don’t know where you end and where things start, then there are no boundaries. Boundaries disappear.

In the beginning you feel as if everything has gone blurred, but by and by you settle in the new phenomenon which is of no-mind. Then stars are there, but they are part of you, no more objects. Flowers and trees are there but they flower in you, no more outside. Then you live with the totality.

The barrier is broken – the barrier was your mind. Then for the first time there is no world, because world means the totality of objects. For the first time there is a universe, and universe means one. Remember the word ‘uni.’ This you call a universe? Wrongly. Don’t call it a universe, for you it is a multiverse. Many worlds, no more one, it is not yet.

But when the mind drops, worlds disappear. There are no objects. Boundaries mingle and meet into each other. The tree becomes the rock, the rock becomes the sun, the sun becomes the star, the star becomes the woman you love, and everything is meeting and mingling into each other. And you are not there, separate. You are in it throbbing at the very heart, pulsating. Then it is a universe.

Mind drops, objects disappear – the source of dream has disappeared. What have you been doing? You have been trying to get a better dream, to no avail of course. But the whole effort of the mind is to get a better dream. Don’t think that mind can give you a better dream – a dream is a dream. Even if better, it will not be a satisfactory thing, it cannot give you a deep contentment. A dream is a dream!

If you are feeling thirsty you need real water, not dream water. If you are hungry you need real, substantial bread, not dream bread. For a few moments you may be able to deceive yourself, but how long?

Every night it happens: you are hungry, the mind creates a dream – you are eating, you are eating delicious things. For a few minutes it is okay even for a few hours it is okay, but how long? Can you stay in this dream forever and ever?

It helps sleep, you don’t get disturbed. Otherwise hunger will disturb you, you will have to get up and go to the fridge. It helps: you can go on sleeping, feeling that you are eating; there is no need to go anywhere. But by the morning you will know that your mind deceived you.

Your whole life is just like a dream, and you are substituting dream objects for the reality. So every day everything is shattered, every day you are shocked into reality, because the reality goes on bumping from here and there. You cannot avoid it! A dream is a very fragile thing; the reality goes on bumping in and breaking.

And it is good, it is for your good, that the reality breaks your dreams, shatters them to pieces. But you again start collecting those pieces and creating other dreams. Drop it! Enough you have done that. Nothing has been achieved. Now no more of it!

Once you understand that dreaming has to be stopped, the world of objects disappears. The world will be there, but not of objects. Then everything becomes alive, everything becomes subjective.

That is the meaning of religious people who say that everything is God. What are they saying? God is just a metaphor. There is nobody sitting somewhere in heaven, controlling, managing, engineering. God is just a metaphor – the metaphor that the things in the world are not like things, they are persons. Deep inside a subjectivity is there. Everything is alive and throbbing. And this throbbing is not a fragmented process, this throbbing is a whole throbbing.

Of course you feel the beat of the heart near the heart, at the heart. But you think it is only in the heart? Then you are wrong – the whole body is throbbing. The heart only indicates, the whole body is throbbing. That’s why when the heart stops, the body is dead. It was not the heart really that was throbbing, the whole body was throbbing through the heart; the heart was just an indicator.

You are throbbing, but the whole is throbbing through you – you are just an indicator, a heart. The universe throbs and beats through you. You are not, the universe is.

And the universe is not a totality of objects, it is a subjectivity. It exists as a person. It is alive, conscious. It is not a mechanical arrangement. It is an organic unity.

-Osho

From Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Chapter Five

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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Ramana Maharshi: The Master of Silent Teaching: By Gabriele Ebert

Ramana Maharshi: The Master of Silent Teaching: By Gabriele Ebert

Editor’s note: Because Gabriele Ebert’s native tongue is German, I had to edit the article. If there are any mistakes in the article, I accept complete responsibility. Please bring any such errors to my attention and these will be corrected right away.

Master and Disciple

The characteristics of a spiritual master is that he leads his disciple toward experience of the eternal truth by way of teaching. In Hinduism this is called upadesa (spiritual teaching, spiritual instruction). But master and disciple have to harmonize with each other, i.e. the master must be able to transmit his teaching whereas the disciple must be ready to grasp it and put it into practice. Otherwise, the relationship of master and disciple will bring no fruit.

In giving instructions to the student, medium of speech normally plays an important role. However, in spiritual instruction and transmission to the prepared student, according to Sri Ramana, speech is not the most potent means. Indeed, the sage of Arunachala is known as the great master of silent teaching.

A visitor said: “Bhagavan says, ‘The influence of the Jnani (Self-Realized one)steals into the devotee in silence.’ Bhagavan also says ‘Contact with great men, exalted souls, is one efficacious means of realising one’s true being.”

Ramana responded: “Contact with them is good. They will work through silence. By speaking, their power is reduced. Silence is most powerful. Speech is always less powerful than silence. So mental contact is the best.”

And on another occasion Ramana pointed out the potency of such teachings outside the verbal medium: “Such mouna [silence] is not inertness but great activity. It is the most powerful speech.”

Silent Teachings – Heart to Heart Instructions

The silence (mouna) Ramana talks about is not just absence of speech. It is when the mind/ego becomes silent, free from thought, and comes to rest in the Self.

If the ego/mind is fully absorbed in the Self, it will not appear anymore and assert itself as a separate identity. Such a one in whom the ego has been fully vanquished is called a Jnani. He will stay in the Self and will no more return to an ego-centered state. The ‘I’ working through him/herself is no more the little ego-I, but the Self of God. In his booklet “Who am I?” Ramana says: “It is this state, where there is not the slightest trace of the ‘I’-thought, that is the true Being of oneself. And that is called Quiescence or Mouna (Silence).”

Only who rests permanently in this silence can also transmit his teaching in silence. The disciple is not yet in this state, but he yearns for it above all. Through the silence of his teacher he is guided into his own heart, the source of the ego, to that ‘place’ from where this impermanent ego-I arises and submerges again.

In the beginning, the disciple will become silent, and enter for a short in the same state in which his master permanently rests. In this state, he finally experiences his own true nature. In this silence he starts to understand the truth. This is the Heart to Heart instruction.

This is a different path than the one of eloquent speeches and lectures of popular swamis and gurus.  This is the direct path of experience. This is the pathless path, and only suitable for mature seekers. Ramana states that for most seekers verbal instruction is needed.

“Silence is the best Upadesa (spiritual teachings), but it is suited only for advanced students. Others are unable to draw full inspiration from it, therefore they need words to explain the Truth. But Truth is beyond words. It does not admit of explanations. Lectures may entertain individuals for a few hours without having an effect upon them, whereas the result of silence is permanent and benefits all. Even though it is not understood, that does not matter. Oral lectures are not so eloquent as silence. It is unceasing eloquence. The primal master Dakshinamurti is the ideal and he taught in silence.”

Ramana and Dakshinamurti

Ramana was often identified with Dakshinamurti, who is the youthful Siva and represents his ascetic aspect. He is considered as the Guru of all Gurus, sitting under a Banyan-tree in silence. The four disciples, who seek his guidance, are “old”, i.e. they are ripe and Dakshinamurti teaches them in silence alone.

Ramana writes in his two verses on Dakshinamurti:

“Who is the youthful guru beneath the banyan tree?

Very old are the pupils who seek him.

The handsome teacher’s speech is silence.

Cleared are all the pupils’ doubts.

Under the wonderful banyan tree shines the youthful

guru. Aged pupils come to him. Silence is this teacher’s

speech. Gone are the doubts in the pupils’ minds.”

The following episode from Sundaresa Iyer’s reminiscences illustrates Ramana’s way of silent teaching:

“It was a Sivaratri Day. The evening worship at the Mother’s shrine was over. The devotees had their dinner with Sri Bhagavan, who was now on His seat, the devotees at His feet sitting around Him.

At 8 p.m. one of the Sadhus stood up, did pranam (offered obeisance), and with folded hands prayed: ‘Today is Sivaratri Day; we should be highly blessed by Sri Bhagavan expounding to us the meaning of the Hymn to Dakshinamurti (stotra).’ Says Bhagavan: ‘Yes, sit down.’

The Sadhu sat, and all eagerly looked at Sri Bhagavan and Sri Bhagavan looked at them. Sri Bhagavan sat and sat in His usual pose, no, poise. No words, no movement, and all was stillness! He sat still, and all sat still, waiting. The clock went on striking, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, one, two and three. Sri Bhagavan sat and they sat. Stillness, calmness, motionlessness – not conscious of the body, of space or time.

Thus eight hours were passed in Peace, in Silence, in Being, as It is. Thus was the Divine Reality taught through the speech of Silence by Bhagavan Sri Ramana-Dakshinamurthi.

At the stroke of 4 a.m. Sri Bhagavan quietly said: ‘And now have you known the essence of Dakshinamurti Hymn?’”

Ramana’s own Spiritual Experience

Ramana’s way of teaching in silence arose from his own spiritual experience. At the age of 16 he suddenly had a kind of death-experience, through which he spontaneously realized the Self.

One day, when he was all alone at home, unexpectedly and without reason an unmistakable fear of death caught hold of Ramana. But instead of seeking help from outside he turned within and asked, who was it, that is going to die and if death of the body means also death of himself. Suddenly the shell of the ego dropped off forever. From then on, he was certain, that in truth he was the Self (Atman, God, the Absolute, or whatever name one might like to give it). His attitude towards the world changed completely. Ramana had become silent in the deepest sense of the word.

Soon after he left his home in Madurai and went to the holy hill Arunachala, which he venerated since childhood. He settled down and stayed there until his death.

In the first few years at Arunachala Ramana was silent and completely absorbed in this truth, which was his inner most and real Being. Withdrawn from the world, Ramana remained in perpetual samadhi while the insects fed on his body. His body was kept alive by a few people who by the grace of God happened to be around and noticed this teenager doing what they believed was intense tapas (spiritual practice).

Ramana did not start teaching of his own accord. If people would not have noticed him and sought his company or advice, he perhaps never would have become known. But the spiritual seekers who came within his orbit felt instintcively that he was a great sage, a rishi, a Maharishi, the One, who was a great seer and who lived the truth and was completely authentic.

Sincere people started to come to Ramana with their questions. The silent Sage answered them, at first only by writing down his answers. But slowly in response to the aspirations of those around, Ramana returned gradually to speech, and using words to teach.

Ramana always emphasized that the highest teaching is transmitted in silence. Ramana never called himself a guru or Maharishi. In His view there were no master and disciples. However, the students who gathered around him were overwhelmed by the brillaint luster and the peaceful radiance of the great sage of Arunachala. Ganapati Muni, one of most powerful intellect and spiritual personalities of the time was the first to call Ramana a Maharishi (Great Seer).

As Ramana adapted to his surroundings, he  gradually became more and more open to talks.  In the Hall, where he could be met days and nights, philosophical topics were vividly discussed. Pundits came with their questions. His followers like Ganapati Muni, were superb adepts of the holy Hindu-scriptures – and the answers which Ramana gave fill many volumes. At times the Hall was also a workshop of artful peotry. Politics and themes of everyday life were discussed as well.

Though Sri Ramana was a master of silent teaching and silence (mouna) is seen as an important means in Hinduism, he dissuaded his devotees from taking a vow of silence. Nevertheless Major Chadwick, one of the Western devotees of Ramana made plans to do so.

This amusing story is found in Major Chadwick’s reminiscences: “During the war I decided that I would like to do so, chiefly to protect myself from the jibes of others. I went and asked Bhagavan’s permission. He was not enthusiastic and told me that it was useless to keep the tongue still but to continue to write messages on bits of paper which so many so-called Maunis (silent ones) continue to do. In this way only the tongue had a rest but the mind continued just as before. I said that I had no intention of doing this but would throw my pencil and paper away. I felt that I had obtained a reluctant consent as Bhagavan agreed that people were worrying me. So I made the necessary arrangements, installed a bell from my room to the kitchen so I should not have to call my servant, and fixed a lucky day to begin.

The night before I was to start, a friend of mine brought up the subject in the Hall after the evening meal when only a few of us were present. Bhagavan immediately showed his disapproval and said it was unnecessary and in fact not a good thing at all. I did not talk much anyhow. It was better to speak only when it was necessary, that it actually did no good to observe silence, that if one did so for twelve years one became dumb and might obtain some thaumaturgic powers, but who wanted them? Speech acted as a safety valve. Naturally after this talk I gave up the idea.”

The Power Of Silent Look (Darshan)

Many people came to be in Ramana’s silent presence, without asking him questions or talk to him. His look was extraordinary intense and penetrating directly into the hearts. The cook Shantamma reports the following example:

“One morning a European came in a horse carriage to the Ashram and went straight to Bhagavan. He wrote something on a piece of paper and showed it to Bhagavan. Bhagavan did not answer; instead he gazed at the stranger with unwinking eyes. The stranger was staring back at him. Then Bhagavan closed his eyes and the stranger also closed his. They stayed without moving. At mealtime the meals were served but Bhagavan would not open his eyes. Madhavaswami, the attendant, got Bhagavan’s water pot and stood ready to lead Bhagavan out of the Hall. Bhagavan would not stir. We felt afraid to go near, such was the intensity around him. His face was glowing with a strange light. The guests in the dining hall were waiting and the food before them was getting cold. Chinnaswami was talking loudly to attract Bhagavan’s attention. Even vessels were banged about, but all in vain. When the clock was striking twelve Bhagavan opened his eyes. They were glowing very brightly. Madhavaswami took up the water jug; the European got into the carriage and went away. It was the last we saw of him. We did not even get his name.”

Silence is the Eternal Stream of Speech

In “Talks” many quotes of the Maharshi can be found, which make clear, that silence is the actual, direct and eternal speech, which flows heart to heart.

“Silence is ever-speaking; it is a perennial flow of language; it is interrupted by speaking. These words obstruct that mute language. There is electricity flowing in a wire. With resistance to its passage, it glows as a lamp or revolves as a fan. In the wire it remains as electric energy. Similarly also, silence is the eternal flow of language, obstructed by words. What one fails to know by conversation extending to several years can be known in a trice in Silence, or in front of Silence – e.g., Dakshinamurti, and his four disciples.

That is the highest and most effective language.”

Elsewhere it is stated: “Silence is never-ending speech. Vocal speech obstructs the other speech of silence. In silence one is in intimate contact with the surroundings. The silence of Dakshinamurti removed the doubts of the four sages. Mouna vyakhya prakatita tatvam (Truth expounded by silence). Silence is said to be exposition. Silence is so potent.

For vocal speech, organs of speech are necessary and they precede speech. But the other speech lies even beyond thought. It is in short transcendent speech or unspoken word, para vak.”

On 20th July 1936 Ramana had the following talk:

A visitor asked: “What is mouna (silence)?”

M.: “Mouna is not closing the mouth. It is eternal speech.”

D.: “I do not understand.”

M.: “That state wich transcends speech and thought is mouna.”

D.: “How to achieve it?”

M.: “Hold some concept firmly and trace it back. By such concentration silence results. When practice becomes natural it will end in silence. Meditation without mental activity is silence. Subjugation of the mind is meditation. Deep meditation is eternal speech.”

D.: “How will worldly transaction go on if one observes silence?”

M.: “When women walk with water pots on their heads and chat with their companions they remain very careful, their thoughts concentrated on the loads of their heads. Similarly when a sage engages in activities, these do not distrub him because his mind abides in Brahman.”

Major Chadwick reports the following episode: “A gentleman from Kashmir came to the Ashram with his servant who could not speak a word of any other language except his native Kashmiri. One night when the Hall was almost dark except for the pale glimmer of a single hurricane lantern, the servant came into the Hall and stood before Bhagavan in a respectful manner jabbering something rapidly in his own language. Bhagavan said nothing, but lay quietly gazing at him. After a while the servant saluted and left the Hall. Next morning his master came to Bhagavan and complained, ‘Bhagavan, you never told me you could speak Kashmiri, was it fair?’

‘Why, what do you mean?’ asked Bhagavan. ‘I know not a single word of your language.’

Bhagavan aksed the gentleman how he had got hold of this absurd idea and the latter explained: ‘Last night my servant came to you and asked you several questions in his language. He tells me that you answered him in the same language and cleared his doubts.’

‘But I never opened my mouth,’ Bhagavan replied.”

Another story: “When Bhagavan Sri Ramana was staying in the Virupaksha Cave, a District Collector and a Deputy Collector went there for his darshan. After prostrations to Sri Bhagavan, the Collector began to speak, narrating at length all that he had read and done by way of sadhana [spiritual practice], and at the end confessed that in spite of all that, peace was as far from him as ever before. No sooner had he finished than the Deputy Collector started to tell his story and stopped only after saying all that he had to say. These two conversations took quite a long time, but Sri Bhagavan did not interrupt them even once, observing strict silence all throughout.

Seeing that neither of them got any reply from Sri Ramana, the Collector once again delivered a long harangue and stopped only when he was at the end of his resources. Yet not a word passed from the mouth of Sri Ramana. The Collector was a little put out at this, and drawled out: ‘We have been speaking to you since long, but you don’t open your lips at all! Will you please tell us something at least?”

Then, Sri Bhagavan spoke: ‘All the while I have been speaking in my own language. What can I do when you won’t listen to it?’

The Collector was intelligent and he caught the meaning of Sri Ramana’s cryptical reply. He was overpowered with devotion and fell down at the feet of Sri Bhagavan, chanting the following (Sanskrit) verse: ‘Strange (sight) under the banyan tree! The disciples are all old and the Guru is youthful; he expounds (the Truth) in Silence and the disciples are freed from doubts!’

Then both of them sat before Sri Bhagavan in silent meditation. They got the peace they were in search of and departed fully satisfied at the outcome of their visit.”

Silence and Inspiration

This silence of the Heart is no dead silence, but also the source of all inspiration. Sri Ramana inspired Ganapati Muni in his writing of the last part of his major poem ‘Uma Sahasram’ just by silently sitting with him. Sundaresa Iyer reports the story in detail:

“Sri Kavyakanta [Ganapati Muni] had composed 700 stanzas of Uma in some thirty different meters, and had announced to his devotees in various parts of the country that this poem would be dedicated on a certain Friday in the Shrine of Sri Uma in the great Temple of Sri Arunachaleswara. Over a hundered persons gathered at the Pachaiamman Temple so as to be present on the occasion. … At about 8 p.m. on the evening before the dedication day, after supper, Sri Maharshi asked Sri Kavyakanta whether the dedication would have to be postponed to some other Friday, as 300 verses were still to be composed to complete the thousand. But Sri Kavyakanta assured Bhagavan that he would complete the poem immediately.

The scene that followed can hardly be believed by one who did not actually witness it. Sri Maharshi sat silent and in deep meditation like the silent Lord Dakshinamurty. The eager disciples watched in tense admiration the sweet flow of divine music in Sanskrit verse as it came from the lips of the great and magnetic personality of Sri Kavyakanta. He stood there delivering the verses in an unbroken stream while disciples eagerly gathered the words and wrote them down. … The ‘Sahasram’ was finished in several meters. … For a while the disciples present enjoyed the deep ecstasy of the silence pervading the atmosphere, as Sri Kavyakanta concluded with the normal type of colophon. Then Sri Bhagavan opened His eyes and asked, ‘Nayana, has all that I said been taken down?’ From Sri Ganapati Muni came the ready and grateful response ‘Bhagavan, all that Bhagavan inspired in me has been taken down!’

Silence and Self-Inquiry (Atma Vichara)

Sri Ramana taught self-inquiry (atma vichara) as the most effective spiritual practice. For the spiritual practitioner both – atma vichara and silence – belong inseparably together. Atma vichara is the active spiritual practice, which leads – together with the influence of the guru, to this silence. Ideally both complement each other (practice and influence of the guru) – as is the case with devotees of Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Ramana has described the method of atma vichara in his booklet “Nan Yar?” (“Who am I?”). The I in the question relates to the original I-feeling of the human being. Ramana says, that this I is the first thought, on which all other thoughts and feelings are based.

But this I-feeling is no continuous entity, as there are also times, when it is absent, so for example in deep-sleep. Ramana explains, that the mind, i.e. this I-feeling arises from the Heart and submerges therein again. With the question “Who am i?” the mind turns to its own origin. But no answer, which the intellect might give can be accepted. Ramana assures us, that with continuous practice the ego will dissolve in the Self – though this is no more in the hands of the practitioner. One day the ego will be rooted out and just drop away. Ramana has repeatedly pointed out this path as the most effective among all.

Teaching in Silence is not bound to Time and Space

One might ask, if with the bodily death of the Maharshi his silent teaching of the Heart to Heart transmission as well came to an end. Does this kind of contact with Him continue or have we to go on search for another master?

Before his death Ramana said: “I am not going away, I am here!” Again and again he assured his devotees, that the body is not the guru and that it does not matter for the jnani, if he is in the body or not. So his bodily death did not end his spiritual guidance.

When in 1950 Sri Ramana died of cancer, his devotees scattered to the four winds. The Ashram was deserted, so that even in daylight thieves could break in and loot. Only slowly the truth of Ramana’s words dawned on the devotees. The power of the Silent Truth and transmission again brought the devotees together to Ramanashram.

This continues today. People are still drawn towards Ramana Maharshi and open themselves to his silent guidance and to self-inquiry as taught by him.

Sources

This article is the translation of: Ebert, Gabriele: Ramana Maharshi: Der Meister der schweigenden Belehrung, in: Wege der Stille, Hamburg 2008)

Iyer, T.K. Sundaresa: At the Feet of Bhagavan. – Tiruvannamalai, 1980

Mudaliar, A Devaraja: Day by Day with Bhagavan. – 3rd repint. – Tiruvannamalai, 1989

Ramana Maharshi: Collected Works. – 9th ed. – Tiruvannamalai, 2004

Ramana Maharshi: Words of Grace (Who am I?, Self-Enquiry, Spiritual Instruction) . – 3rd ed. – Tiruvannamalai, 1996

Ramana Smrti Souvenir: Ramana Maharshi Birth Centenary Offering 1980. – 1.ed. – Tiruvannamalai, 1980

Sadhu Arunachala (A.W. Chadwick): A Sadhus Raminiscences of Ramana Maharshi. – 4th ed. – Tiruvannamalai, 1994

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. – 9th ed. – Tiruvannamalai, 1994


Mudaliar: Day by Day, 9.3.1946

dto., 29.4.1946

Words of Grace, p. 4

Sadhu Arunachala: A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi, pp. 63f

Miracle of Dakshinamurit, in: Collected Works, p. 148

the „night of Siva“, high Siva-feast

Iyer: At the Feet of Bhagavan, pp. 29f

Sadhu Arunachala: A Sadhu’s Reminiscences, pp. 91f

Shantamma: Eternal Bhagavan in: Ramana Smrti, 1.ed., Ramanasram [p. 83]

from Talk 246

from Talk 68

Talk 231

Sadhu Arunachala: A Sadhu’s Reminiscences, p. 65

Silent Speech in: The Mountain path, 1995, p. 37

Recent Books by Gabriele Ebert are:

Ramana Maharshi: Sein Leben, Stuttgart, 2003

Sadhu Arunachala: Erinnerungen eines Sadhus, Berlin, 2004 (German transl.)

Both books are available at amazon.de and can be ordered from each German book-shop.

Gabriele Ebert is a well known  Ramana devotee. Gabriele is a German librarian, scholar, and a painter. Please go to the following link to see her beautiful article on icon paintings full of inspiring pictures.

https://luthar.com/icon-painting-as-a-spiritual-path-by-gabriele-ebert

Gabriele is a long term member of HarshaSatsangh (Harshasatsangh@yahoogroups.com) which is the largest Ramana Maharshi Internet Group on the web. Gabriele has been active in Sri Ramana groups for many years. She has served as an inspiration and a role model for all of us with her dedication to the interfaith approach to spirituality.

Han Shan and Buddha Nature

This is a passage from a teaching by Master Han Shan called “The Maxims.”

Our true nature is always there, beneath the surface. The concept of Buddha nature is the idea that we have awakening at our core. Your true self is enlightened and luminous and free. It’s only obscured by delusion, that’s why you don’t feel enlightened all the time.

Here’s a story:

In ancient times there was a place that they called The Temple of the Golden Buddha. This temple had a giant Buddha statue that was made out of gold. People from all over came to this temple to see the statue.

One day, the country was being invaded. Invaders were attacking neighboring villages and robbing the temples and news came that they were headed for the Temple of the Golden Buddha. The monks were very worried. They said, “What will we do? They’re going to smash our golden Buddha!” And to them, smashing the golden Buddha would be sacrilege, a horrible crime. 

A young novice monk had an idea. He said they should gather mud and rocks and cover the Buddha, disguising it as an ugly stone statue. They thought it was worth a try, so all the monks in the temple went out gathering mud and rocks. They covered the statue completely, so none of the gold could be seen. They finished just in time. 

The invaders came to the temple and saw nothing of value. There was nothing for them to steal. They walked right by the disguised statue. They didn’t even notice it. The invaders left and the monks were relieved. But they knew they had to leave the statue covered in case the invaders returned. 

Years and years went by. Generations of monks came and went. A time came when no one remembered the true nature of the statue. When the temple was no longer in danger, no one was left to remember that the statue was gold underneath. 

One day, a monk was meditating by the statue and noticed a glint. He pulled and some of the dirt and rocks and saw the gold underneath. He ran and grabbed all the other monks. They uncovered the statue and looked on it with wonder. 

So, the point of this story is that the statue was gold underneath, but it was obscured by dirt and rocks. In the same way, our true nature is good and pure, but it’s obscured by delusion. Enlightenment isn’t something we’re trying to get to, we’re just trying to uncover it. It’s there beneath our delusion.

Sometimes spiritual practice is called “recollection”. This is because we’re trying to remember who we really are, to re-awaken our Buddha Nature.

Osho in Jalandhar, 1967 – 1968

 

A series of unpublished photos taken during Osho’s early travels, from Satish’s precious photo album. They were scanned in by Anuragi for us to share.

 

Osho used to travel extensively, and tirelessly, across India to give talks. In these photos we see the then Acharya Rajneesh arrive at Jalandhar (in those days known as Jullundur), where he gave lectures in various settings, including intimate talks at Satish’s home where Osho stayed each time he was in town.

Last August I was in Pune and a friend mentioned that someone had rare, unpublished photos of Osho. Since I am archiving the works of Osho and collecting objects related to the Master, he knew that I would be more than happy to see them.

We went to meet Satish in his office – he ran a property consulting company in Koregaon Park. He took me to his home, which was just above his office, and brought out a blue album. These were photos of the Master when he visited Jalandhar in 1967 and 1968. They were indeed precious, and he was aware that he had something rare.

Satish, though, would not part with them so easily. Only when Ma Bhagwati (of Pune) and Ma Dharm Jyoti confirmed that I was involved in the preservation of items related to Osho, did he agree to hand the pictures over to me. Bhagwati called me up, I travelled from Delhi to Pune and, when we met, he immediately got out the album and gave it to me.

This happened on 18 November 2017. After that, I visited Pune twice and always made it a point to go and see him over a cup of tea. He had become a close friend in a very short time.

During one of our chats he told me a beautiful story: When he met Osho for the first time, something special kept pulling him towards Osho. He did not consider him as one of those so-called religious men who roamed around his house. Satish’s father was known to host many religious men in their 35-room mansion, and so Osho was also invited to stay with them the two times he visited Jalandhar. The young Satish felt it was a nuisance that so many people of various religious sects stayed at their house, and so often. He told this to Osho, to which he replied that after that day no one would come any longer. And that’s what happened.

Satish also mentioned that Osho’s discourses in Jalandhar were recorded and that he was trying to retrieve the spools. The family home got sold a few years back and he did not know where they were! He was planning to go back to his home town to try and find them. He was supposed to come to New Delhi on 14 February and then continue his trip to Jalandhar, with that mission in mind. However, Satish fell ill and died in Inlakh Hospital on 8 February 2018.

With these beautiful photos, Satish has left behind a beautiful gift for all Osho lovers.

Osho No-Mind Meditations – Sat Sangha Salon

These no-mind meditations are compiled from the no-minds which were done in Osho’s presence. The gibberish stage has been lengthened and silent spaces have been added within Osho’s guided meditations. The links to the meditations are at the bottom of this page. You can either left click and listen online or right click and “save link as” to download to your computer.

For those of you who are not familiar with no-mind meditation here are the instructions:

No-Mind Meditation

First Stage: Gibberish or conscious craziness

Standing or sitting, close your eyes and begin to say nonsense sounds – gibberish. Make any sounds you like, but do not speak in a language, or use words that you know. Allow yourself to express whatever needs to be expressed within you. Throw everything out, go totally mad. Go consciously crazy. The mind thinks in terms of words. Gibberish helps to break up this pattern of continuous verbalization. Without suppressing your thoughts, you can throw them out in this gibberish. Everything is allowed: sing, cry, shout, scream, mumble talk. Let your body do whatever it wants: jump, lie down, pace, sit, kick and so on. Do not let empty spaces happen. If you cannot find sounds to gibber with, just say la, la, la, la, but don’t remain silent.

If you do this meditation with other people, do not relate or interfere with them in any way. Just stay with what is happening to you, and don’t bother about what others are doing.

Second Stage: Witnessing

After the gibberish, sit absolutely still, silent and relaxed, gathering your energy inwards, letting your thoughts drift further and further away from you, allowing yourself to fall into the deep silence and peacefulness that is at your center. You may sit on the floor or use a chair. Your head and back should be straight, your body relaxed, your eyes closed and your breathing natural.

Be aware, be totally in the present moment. Become like a watcher on the hills, witnessing whatever passes by. Your thoughts will try to race to the future or back to the past. Just watch them from a distance – don’t judge them, don’t get caught up in them. Just stay in the present watching. It is the process of watching which is the meditation, what you are watching is not important. Remember not to become identified with or lost in whatever comes by: thoughts, feelings, body sensations, judgments.

Third Stage: Let-Go

Gibberish is to get rid of the active mind, silence is to get rid of the inactive mind, and Let-Go is to enter into the transcendental.

After the witnessing, allow your body to fall back to the ground without any effort or control. Lying back, continue witnessing, being aware that you are not the body nor the mind, that you are something separate from both.

As you travel deeper and deeper inside, you will eventually come to your center. – Osho

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Papaji – Who is the [Real] Witness – PriorToConsciousness 不生不灭

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ6qyWNaah4 Papaji – Who is the [Real] Witness Witness – Who is the witness of all the activities, individual activities you have acted from morning to night. This is individual activities. [Position #3] Then universal activities, sun shining, moon, stars, earth revolving, waves rising from the ocean, air moving; activity. Who is the witness of…

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Check out: Kapil Sharma visits the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple

Check out: Kapil Sharma visits the Shirdi Sai Baba TempleTo seek blessing for his upcoming film Firangi

Earlier this year Kapil Sharma made headlines after his inflight tussle with fellow comedians. Well, since then, there has been plenty of tumult in the TV comedian and actor, Kapil Sharma’s life. However, putting things behind him recently at the launch of the trailer of his film Firangi, Kapil finally broke his silence and responded to a variety of questions. In fact, at the event Kapil also spoke about the depression he faced and his long path to recovery.

Continuing with the same, though his schedule still remains rather hectic, Kapil was recently snapped at the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple. Apparently Kapil Sharma visited the holy place to seek blessing before the release of his upcoming film Firangi.

Back on the film front, Firangi that also features Ginni Chatrath and is directed by Rajiev Dhingra is slated to release on November 24, 2017.

 

 

 

Other News Today

The Historic Sai Baba Temple

The Sai Baba Temple is named after a popular Indian saint, Shirdi Sai Baba.  Sai Baba was regarded as a famous yogi and guru in India.  Many Muslim and Hindu devotees believe that he was Lord Krishna’s incarnation.  Others regard him as the incarnation of Dattatreya.  Based on public records, there was no information found regarding his birth but his death was dated on October 15, 1918.

The origin of Sai Baba starts when Sai Baba came to Shirdi when he was a child.  No one knew where he came from and the reason of his visit.  Devotees of the saint believe that he was placed on this earth to spread the message of joy and love in the world.  He regarded everyone as equal in his eyes.  He looked beyond color, religion and social standing.  The Sai Baba temple was then built in honor of his memory and teachings.

The Sai Baba Temple is a holy place of worship for devotees of the Indian saint.  The temple is located in Shirdi, a small town in Maharashtra.  The temple can be accessed from anywhere in India with an easy train ride.  Visitors should then get off at Manmad which is the nearest railway station.  From there, ask locals around to find your way to the temple. Buses and taxis are also available to go to the temple.

Everyone is welcome to visit the temple no matter their religious beliefs.  The body of Sai Baba is buried in the main shrine called the Samadhi Temple.  The Sai Baba Temple also contains a marble image and likeness of the Indian guru in a sitting position.  The image of Sai Baba is praised as a beautiful piece of religious art.  It was made by a famous sculptor, Sri Talini of Mumbai.

The Samadhi Mandir was previously owned by a well-known millionaire devotee who wanted to keep an image of the guru to himself.  Sai Baba’s Samadhi was encased in white marble stone.  A railing was then built around the Samadhi and adorned with intricate ornaments.  Two pillars made of silver stand guard before the Samadhi which are also embellished in decorative art.  Behind the Samadhi is a statue of Sai Baba which was made by the late artist, Balaji Vasant.

For visitors to get a closer look at Sai Baba, his image can be seen by going through the hall’s main entrance.  Once inside, visitors can view photos of the guru along with his many devotees through the years.  There is also a room nearby where people can see the things used by Sai Baba in his daily routine.

A short distance away is the Chavadi of the Sai Baba.  It has been told that the late guru used to sleep in that very place every other day.  The Chavadi contains two areas with one area devoted to a large Baba portrait.  This part of the Chavadi also contains a white wooden chair and bed that used to belong to Baba.

The historic Sai Baba Temple is a religious shrine visited many devotees from around the world.  For visitors who want to see the resting place of India’s revered guru and saint, the Sai Baba Temple is open to anyone curious about the life of the famous Indian guru.

Sarah Cruz

Marketing Lead and Blogger at Cush Travel

Sarah loves traveling the world. She started with a simple domestic trip and the rest was history, including her savings. She has been living around South East Asia for the past years and another continent looks to be her next destination.

11 Practical Formulas Of Life By Osho

Philosophy of Osho – Understanding Osho and his thoughts are not easy, it needs you to be intellect and have a matured mind.

Choosing some precious value from Osho’s voice is as easy as it is, even harder.

Take anything from the bottomless ocean of his speech, from anywhere, every sentence is like a treatise. Thus, by adopting the Philosophy of Osho mentioned below, anyone can make their practical life a success.

 

The Philosophy of Osho

1 – The first formula says that humans tend to live either in their past or is in the future worries. He remains unhappy in both of these situations. Osho says that real life is in the present. It does not belong to any past or coming tomorrow. The one who is presently alive remains happy.

 

2 – The second formula of Osho’s philosophy is that we always run away from our sorrows and responsibilities and always find excuses to escape from them. We always blame others for our mistakes and failures. We can never be happy by going away from reality. Osho says that human beings should not run away from their circumstances. Be it good or bad we should always face reality.

3 – In the third formula, Osho has explained that the reason for the misery of human is that he does not accept anything or person as much as it is. Instead, we connect our thoughts in everything, due to which he misses from becoming his part and thus he becomes miserable. Osho says that whatever is happening, let it be, there should be no obstruction in it.

4 – The fourth thread says that human beings are always in tension. The possibility of wandering and aggressive in it always remains hidden. He is not happy and happy. Osho says that human is an energy. If we suppress that energy then it will appear somewhere else in some other way, so we should not be repressed instead oriented towards creation.

5 – In the fifth case, Osho does not complain about God but says thanks to him. Osho questions that is there any human whose mind is not filled with complaints! Whether at home or office, god or relationship, we always do complaining. We always look at what we did not get. Osho says that we should always think that what we get and should stay happy in that.

6 – In the sixth formula, Osho has shown utility of meditation in our life. People have always been praying for the fulfillment of their desires, have given priority to various rituals. People find meditation as a dull or gloomy task, and often question that what benefits do you get from meditation? Osho has told meditation the most important thing in life. He considered meditation as the basis of life.

7 – The seventh formula emphasizes to change yourself not others. Actually the major reason behind every problem is our nature of blaming others. Osho says that we have the same attitude with our circumstances.

8 – The eighth formula teaches not to encroach but balance in life. Osho says that the desire for happiness is the root of all sorrows. Happiness also brings sorrow to you. According to Osho, if there is no happiness in getting anything then there will be pain of losing it, this state is called renunciation.

9 – This formula does not support religion but righteousness. Humans have linked their identity to their particular religions. He says classification of humans on religious basis only increases the difference in various groups of society. The result was that today religion is first, man and his humanity secondary. Osho says happiness is the nature of man, and there is no caste or religions of happiness.

10 – Tenth formula talks about to accept instead of tolerating. Since childhood, we are taught to endure. Tolerance is said to be a good quality. It has been repeated over the years that if everyone becomes tolerant then there can be peace on the earth not only on personal but also on global scale. But today’s result is in front of everyone. Osho is in favor of understanding but not in favor.

11 – In his Eleventh formula of Philosophy, Osho says that man is very strange, he believes and worships the things made of humanity, but never sees himself by lifting his eyes on the creation of God and nature in it. The truth is that to believe in God means ‘Yes’ for everything, it is a complete acceptance and this life is its living-awakened proof.

This is Philosophy of Osho – So, these were the eleven golden formulas of leading a happy life.

 

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I just flew in to Chicago to see my Mom. She turned 80 on Friday. Five years ago, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was given five years to live. Now my Dad is telling me, “I hope you have a suit and tie back in New York. You’re gonna have to come back […]

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POEMS BY GEORGE CASSIDY PAYNE: The Way of Zen, Storytellers, Sensual Machine, The Plantation, Passing Through


The Way of Zen is to climb the flattest place on earth. To become a geologic paradox. To crack into the Earth, like a creative carving of erosion. The way of Zen is when fire meets ice, like a thundering waterfall made quiet by the sacred nature of rocks.   Storytellers You know we can […]

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How To Live ‘Heaven On Earth’: Purpose, Dreams And Love


You are all Kings and Queens of your world and living your version of paradise is your birthright. It is as natural to you as your breath. “Heaven” is not only a state of mind neither an abstract representation of some godly paradise located somewhere in the sky and the achievement of “Heaven on Earth” is definitely not a utopian idea. Heaven on Earth is, in fact, a very real and vivid way of living and creating a life for yourself and for those around you. In this post, I will give you a general picture of what living in “Heaven” looks like and show you the ways to get “there”. Three paths that if you commit to them, will lead you without the slightest question to your piece of paradise, making you live and experience your version of Heaven on Earth.

SEE ALSO: The Nature Of Suffering, According To Buddha

Living Heaven on Earth

Imagine waking up, opening your eyes and automatically an indescribable feeling of unconditional Love fills you up from within.  Every little cell of your body lightens up by this all-pervasive good feeling energy of Love, making you can feel a deep-rooted perfection and an undeniable knowing that “All is well” translated by your senses as a mixture of joy, peace, freedom, and the sensation of being right where you belong, of truly being Home.

In half of a second, the pervasiveness of that Love invades your mind, putting it at ease, massaging it, harmonizing it, aligning every single one of your thoughts, every single one of your perceptions, and all that you can think and see are thoughts of Love and perceptions of beauty.

“The human perception of this energy first begins with a heightened sensitivity to beauty.” – James Redfield

As you get up and walk through your surroundings, you get fascinated by every single portion of your environment.

The colors are more vivid and everything is highlighted with beauty. Every corner, every plant, every flower, every animal, every tree, every building, every piece of floor you step on, and every detail in every place, is magical, is special, is alive, has this beautiful energy and you can feel it.  It is your own energy, the energy of harmonized Love and perfection being reflected back to you at every step you take.

Your days unfold in a natural flow of ease, with a greater intelligence taking command and you are effortlessly lead to everything you need to do, to everywhere you need to be, to everyone you need to meet in a magical sequence of ever-unfolding synchronicities. And from your perspective it all looks like a continuous flow of fun, joy, inspiration, and excitement, generating moment after moment, event after event, place after place, connection after connection.

You always feel the King or Queen of your world and in raw truth; you are. And as the King or Queen you know yourself to be, you naturally see each and every person you meet as another amazing King or Queen. As you recognize your perfect and divine essence, you cannot escape but to recognize theirs. For, in truth, there is no “you” and there is no “them”. You are one and the same, and in that recognition, harmony is created and Love rules.

Your relationships are amazing, truly matches made in heaven; friends from the soul and lovers from the heart. What you see as soulmates and twin flames are with you, for they are the ones in this planet that resonate closer to your frequency and together, you become a portal of high frequencies of Love that are both present and channeled by you in every single one of your interactions. You are one with those you love and everywhere you go Heaven goes with you. In everything you do Heaven is reflected, and the world around you is uplifted by your mere presence, such is the power of true unity (unity consciousness).

The concepts of “hardship” and “work” have long been replaced by “purpose” and “passion”, as you live immersed in an ever-going stream of fun, expression, and creativity, connected to an infinite flow of abundance that takes care of every single one of your needs and desires for you. You feel bliss in every portion of your body, mind, and soul. You feel in Heaven all the time. It is like being constantly in love with everything and seeing that love reflected in your outside world, mirrored by the circumstances you find yourself in, in the places you visit, in the people you find yourself with, and in all the interactions and ways you choose to express yourself in.

Love, happiness, peace, joy, freedom, confidence, courage, power, passion, excitement, inspiration and perfection are the only feelings you now know. You live your dreams, you live your purpose and you live from the heart. And those are the 3 gateways that will lead you towards living the manifested reality of your personal Heaven on Earth.

(Note: I am not referring to any figurative or religious version of Heaven. I’m talking about the real experience of living your dreams, with unconditional love, in harmony, and with a real sense of purpose in your life.)

Live Your Purpose

Your life’s purpose is the intention out of which your life was created, the reason why you were born and the answer the deep question “Why am I here?” A lot of times your purpose can also be referred to as your “calling”. With different aspects and nuances, you are here to bring Heaven to Earth. Or in other words, your purpose is to create with your unique gifts and skills your unique version of what Heaven on Earth looks like. The life’s purpose is unique and specific to each person, like a perfect piece of a larger and perfect puzzle. By finding your life’s purpose (or calling) and living for and by it, you are walking the path that you came here to walk, you are doing what you came here to do, create Heaven on Earth.

Follow Your Dreams

“Perhaps the dream is more real than this reality we are living in now”, Timmy Trumpet – World Class DJ

Your dreams, not the ones you have when you are sleeping, but those that keep you awake! Awake with such joy and excitement that makes you want to quit your life and live only in your imagination are real. Yes, that vision you have for yourself and for your life that you call your dream is real. It is your Heaven on Earth and in another portion of your consciousness (Higher Self) you are already living it. So, to follow your dreams is to walk the direct path that will lead you to that vision, to that piece of Heaven that is yours by right.

“Dreams come from beyond you not right between your eyes. You have to every day of your life be ready to hear what whispers in your ear…If you can listen to the whisper and if it tickles your heart and It’s something you think you want to do for the rest of your life then that is going to be what you do for the rest of your life and we will benefit from everything you do. ” – Steven Spielberg

Listen to your dreams, pay attention to what they inspire you to become, follow that guidance day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, moment by moment and almost without realizing, one day you wake up and your dreams will be all around you. You will wake up in your Heaven on Earth. Become your dreams, follow their guidance and you will create heaven.

Follow Your Heart

“You heart stays with you forever, so you better listen to what is as to say.” – Alexandra Michelle

In short terms, to follow your heart is to follow that unique resonance of love you have within you. Whatever it is that you love, not just enjoy, or like, but that truly makes your heart sing, is for you, is your truth and your gateway to your Heaven on Earth. Whatever it is that touches your heart and that you are passionate about is the way for you to be and the way for you to go. From people to places, to activities, to teachings, to anything, do more of and be more with what you love.

“Do what you Love, drop what you don’t.” – Bentinho Massaro

To live from the heart also means to trust and have faith in your heart. This love that I speak of, is a form of universal energy that is also a source of infinite intelligence, so to follow your heart you must trust your heart, and by that I mean to trust that inner guidance, your intuition, that loving essence and knowing that exists within you and is prior to your thinking mind (the ego). For your thinking mind is very limited in its perceptions and more times than not, what your heart guides you into makes no sense to the linear thought based thinking mind.

“When in doubt take your attention away from your mind an into your heart.” – Alexandra Michelle

In your Heaven on Earth you will be surrounded by Love from all angles and sides, in all areas and aspects of yourself and your life, so it makes perfect sense to start following your heart and the path of Love. Everything that you embark upon you amplifies, everything that you create you double, everything you follow you will get more of, to whatever you give energy to you will attract. Follow your heart and embark on the journey of Love with a deep certainty that Heaven on Earth will be your destiny.

In Conclusion

Your purpose, your dreams and the path of your heart are three ways of the same road. All of them contain the others and all of them will lead you towards the same destination, Heaven on Earth. By living your purpose, you will make your wildest dreams come true and you will live every second of your life surrounded with infinite and unconditional love. By following your dreams, you will be automatically be living your purpose and following the path of everything you Love. By following your heart, you will be lead towards the manifestation of all your dreams, for they are keystones of your purpose and of your journey towards the pure Love that you are and that you were born to create in life.

In truth, those three gateways or paths to Heaven on Earth, are in other words, three ways of being You! Three seemingly different facets of the same diamond and you are the diamond itself. You cannot separate one from the others in the same way you cannot separate water from its liquidity and wetness. Your purpose, your dreams, and your heart will change you, shape you, polish you like the diamond you are in all aspects of your being and in all areas of your life. You will grow, you will learn, you will change, and as you do, life will follow and become each and every time an exact reflection of who you are and what you need to create your Heaven on Earth. It’s quite a journey, a superhero one and the only journey that is worth living!

If not for your dreams, for Love and for the purpose of creating an amazing heaven-like world for everyone to live in, what is your life for? Heaven on Earth is the birthright of every single being walking on our planet and it is up to you to create your piece of it. And together, we will combine all of our pieces of heaven creating a world of true love, harmony, and unity; the world that we deep down know we are here to wake up to, Gaia – the new earth.

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What Should You Look For in a Meditation Teacher?


For people looking to learn meditation, there are plenty of ways to be introduced to the practice, ranging from meditation teachers to online courses. Whether it’s a guided meditation on Youtube, a mindfulness app like Headspace or simple breathing exercises, technology and greater knowledge of meditation’s benefits have conspired to […]

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Their Lives In My Hands, My Life In Their Hands


I remember being a teenager and listening to the rap song from Notorious BIG ‘Mo Money Mo Problems’.  The chorus of the song is: “I don’t know what they want from me.  It’s like the more money we come across, the more problems we see.” Yes, this is the point at which it shocks everyone that a spiritual figure (me) doesn’t only listen to ambient spiritual music and Indian flute.  In fact, I love rap.  I love rap played at full blast on a subwoofer.  I blame the fact that I have the same birthday as 2 Pac for this ? Anyway, I remember considering this idea that success; (especially fame in this case) had a downside.  But as a teenager, it was abstract for me at that time.  It was someone else expressing their struggle with the pressures of success.  This week, I caught myself carrying out the multiplicity of errands I had to run (every one of them caused by the complications of fame) with these lyrics running through my head on repeat.  This time, I had a whole new personal understanding of those lyrics. 
fame-Background-1024x514.jpgFame is an insurmountable pressure.  There are SO many problems that come with fame that it is no surprise that stars end up committing suicide or visiting rehab centers.  Problems like:

  • Never knowing for sure if someone is a friend of yours or just someone pretending to be, so as to catapult their own self-esteem or career manipulatively with your fame as the springboard.
  • Betrayal everywhere you look.  Never being able to fully trust people and being terrified to let anyone too close for fear that the second there is any conflict with them (an inevitability in relationships) they will run to the press or to your hate groups with the intimate things you trusted them with. 
  • Being a huge target for inevitable law suits carried out simply because people want to bring you down or because they want to blackmail you into paying them just so you can avoid a public scandal splashed all over the media.  Opposition of you is how they get a sense of significance and fame.
  • People provoking you in horrific ways just so they can get the headline they want.
  • Everything you say being taken out of context so as to paint the picture a specific journalist wants to paint of you.
  • Everything gets magnified.  If a normal person gets mad, it’s a person getting mad… which people do.  If someone famous gets mad, because of the social power they hold, they are seen as a nightmare.  This is even truer if they are a spiritual figure and therefore expected to be the example of non-reactivity.
  • Damned if you do damned if you don’t scenarios at every turn.  For example, if you don’t expose your personal life, they say you aren’t relatable.  If you do expose your personal life and become relatable, they discredit you as an authority and begin to give you advice.
  • Once you get big enough to hire a team of people, you now have the pressure of tons of other people on your shoulders.  You experience things like company politics, taking the fall for other people on the team making mistakes, managing people, expenses rising with every extra dollar you make, bringing with it the pressure to keep up with those expenses.  Not being able to grow at all unless those expenses are paid and therefore having to stay successful enough and in favor enough with fans to support not just you, but the lives of several other individuals and their families (just to name a few things).
  • corporate-security.jpgHaving to worry about security and have bodyguards because of the incredible amount of unstable personalities that become obsessed or haters, both of which are willing to kill if they are unstable enough.  
  • Because of the power that comes with fame, you become the projection of every person’s relationship to authority.  This especially means being the recipient of everyone’s displaced issues with, and unmet needs relative to, mom and dad.
  • You stop being seen and treated as human.  People say whatever they want about you and do whatever they want to you as if you were an object.  If you have feelings about it, people tell you “what do you expect?  This is what comes with fame.”
  • The ‘crab in the bucket’ syndrome is no joke.  When you get success, you meet with incredible opposition.  People with low self-esteem either idolize you, in which case it is impossible not to disappoint them one day.  Or they dedicate themselves to trying to knock you down and find fault with you so they can feel better about themselves in comparison to you.  If these people find validation through other people looking to do the same, you have a recipe for a whole hate group dedicated to taking you down in any way they can.  And this makes the world become very predatory. 
  • Being judged for being successful and people hating you for making money even more so than being judged for not being successful.  
  • Not being included by or treated as if you belong with people who you knew before you got famous.
  • Your kids growing up with totally abnormal lives and feeling intensely guilty for this.  This includes having their parent traveling all the time, having to hear everyone’s opinions about their parent, being condemned by virtue of association and having to grow up worrying about whether their parent is going to die.  This means people who have read bad press on the internet calling the police and child protective services to check up on your child.  This means all the parents at your kid’s school not allowing their kids to come play at your house and raising hell with the principal just in case what they read on the internet is true.  This means having to get security for your child due to threats you receive not just against you, but against your kids.
  • People assuming all kinds of things about you and your relationships that are absurdly and totally untrue.  They misinterpret things as well.  In many cases, you have no way to set the record straight.  Or you are in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t position relative to responding.  If you do set the record straight, you will spend your life answering to opposition instead of doing your job and people will condemn you for being defensive.  Or people take your lack of response as confirmation that what was assumed and stated is true.    
  • Slander works.  As if it isn’t hard enough to succeed without opposition, you will be faced with trying to succeed in spite of everyone else.  Honestly think back to standing in line at the grocery store.  When you see the headline “Angelina Cheats on Brad, The Babysitter Tells All”, either you buy the whole story hook line and sinker. After all it is someone close to the family (the babysitter) that said so.  Or you wonder whether it is true or not. It plants a seed.  Either way, it does affect the way you feel about the person because you now see them through the filter of that slander.  When you are famous, your reputation precedes you, whether it is true or not.  And you get to feel the tension of that filter that precedes you meeting with people all the time.     
  • Press and people who were close but decide to turn against you either intimately know or have a 6th sense for what hurts the most, your greatest weak spots and what you are the most sensitive about.  It is always that place that they choose to attack you.    
  • gallery_benedict-cumberbatch.jpgUnless you are in the mood to be ‘on stage’ and have every move you make or thing you wear scrutinized, you become a hermit.  
  • Fame is intensely, intensely isolating.  Your chance at having successful relationships goes down like crazy.  It is nearly impossible to find someone who is actually compatible to you because no one cares whether or not you are compatible to them.  So many people are with you simply because of the image they hold in their head of who they think you are and what they can get from you.  You become an accessory to someone else’s sense of self.  And worse than that, so many people who would be good friends or partners cannot handle the many pressures that come with fame and also the way it isolates you and they do not choose that kind of exposed and limited lifestyle for themselves, so they distance themselves from you.  It becomes too hard for a multitude of reasons to be friends with people who don’t understand and can’t handle the business and reality of fame.  As a result, you end up for self-preservation sake, having to associate primarily with other super successful and famous people, who are also isolating, distrusting and insanely busy.     

This is a very short list of some of the problems that come with fame.  And they are so painful it is ineffable.  As so many of the people around me in my close circle can tell you personally, it is something you only really get when you are on this side of it.  
spotlight.jpgTo be totally authentic, this last three years has been a real struggle for me in terms of the problems that come with fame.  The music and movie stars get their relationships and characters shredded.  But spiritual figures, much like politicians, are famous for their opinions.  This means not only will our relationships and characters be shredded; we will also be targeted and shredded for whether we help or harm people in general.  This not only destroyed my personal life, it also led to a rash of periodicals in places like The Guardian and Daily Mail that have created a level of controversy surrounding me that is so intense, many people are afraid to even associate with me at all.  

Way back in the day, when I was still seeing individual clients, I saw a woman named Leslie Wangsgaard whenever she felt the need for a visit.  I was very close to Leslie.  She was not only seeing me for help, she was also simultaneously under the care of a psychiatrist and on medication for anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.  I had a trip planned to go into the desert for a solar eclipse.  It was my first vacation in 4 years.  But in a heart crushing turn, that was the exact time that Leslie went into crisis and ended up killing herself.  When I got back into cell phone range, I had a few voicemails.  The first few were distress messages from both Leslie and her husband asking for a session with me at my earliest convenience.  Then, a desperate message from Leslie’s husband informing me that Leslie had killed herself with her prescription medication.  It was the first time I had ever been in a ‘mentor/guide’ position relative to someone that had committed suicide.  I had been told by psychologists that I knew before that time, that the day inevitably comes in every therapist’s career that someone you worked with will commit suicide and it makes you doubt the choice to become a therapist.  I am not a psychologist.  But I found out first hand exactly what they were taking about.  For three days, I fell into a career/purpose crisis.  Just like everyone else around Leslie, I searched for how I could have done something to prevent it.  I felt guilty that I hadn’t been there when she needed me.  I was very attached to her as a person and to her husband as well.

Unfortunately at that time, we had taken on a very unstable volunteer named Cameron Clark.  When the entire team decided Cameron was a liability because of her divisive and antagonistic, mentally disturbed behavior and needed to be sent home, Cameron turned against me and became one of my principal haters.  She went straight to anyone with a following who publicly attacked spiritual teachers looking for help to take me down.  She found assistance.  Unfortunately, the two weeks she stayed in the community was exactly during the time that Leslie committed suicide.  Cameron was in close enough vicinity to me to see me cry about Leslie’s death and express my regret that I had not been there when she went into crisis.  And so the first thing she did, going straight for my weak spot, was to create slander flyers that said “Leslie Ann Wangsgaard (birth date and death date)…  Goes to Teal for a session and commits suicide…  What would you think?”  This was where the slander rumor that equated me to a person that causes people to commit suicide began.  

teal swan.jpgOne hate article led to two and three, all of which took this same provocative angle.  When I addressed these claims, I went public with my opinions on suicide in general.  I went public not only as a spiritual mentor, but also having been someone who attempted suicide myself as a teen.  Pretty soon, regardless of the fact that I never intended for suicide to be my career focus, I developed a reputation for being a person who is specializing (and apparently in a controversial way) in suicide. Regardless of the fact that it is complete fallacy, people started treating me like an accessory to suicide.  


teal swan m.jpgBecause suicide is such a juicy headline, this has become a situation that has been the focus of nearly every interview.  Earlier this year, a writer for Gizmodo Media Group (which is operated by the Media group that bought out Gawker when it went into bankruptcy losing a law suit for its slander against Hulk Hogan) posed as a neutral journalist looking to cover my story.  Instead, this writer wrote an investigative piece and several podcasts that were so biased against me that I had other journalists contacting me to apologize for the lack of professional journalism of their colleague and to request interviews to do more balanced periodicals.  He did interviews with several experts, such as doctors involved with The Completion Process, in which out of the hours of positive things they had to say, he would extract the one thing they would say that could cast doubt in people’s minds and include that alone in the podcast.  Our team trusted him and gave him all the information and access he asked for.  While he pretended to be an ally, it was all spun against me in the end.  To put it mildly, if I first heard about me from his podcast, I would think I was a monster.  But the most important thing to know about this journalist is that he too chose the juicy angle of posing the idea that I harm people because of my approach to suicide.  What has happened in the wake of this article has led to a situation that has shocked every member of our team. 


suicide.jpgNo one wants to talk about controversial things like suicide.  It is easier to just wash your hands clean of things and refer people to a suicide hotline.  But I have talked about it.  I talked about it in response to this chain reaction that started with Cameron Clark’s absurd strategy to take me down with what would really hurt years ago.  I talked about it not only for the sake of my own career, but also because people who are suicidal have no advocates and we are approaching suicidal ideation in the wrong way precisely because people do not understand suicidal people and therefore do not understand how to approach them.  Getting a degree in psychology or psychiatry from a classroom in a college does not mean that someone can understand the mental and emotional state of someone who is suicidal.  As a result, the approaches to suicide prevention that exist in the world today are not adequate.  Unfortunately, I had to find this out personally back when I was trying to get help for it and literally kept running into either no help or ‘professionals’ making it worse no matter how much they meant well.  Now, I am facing three problems.

  1. My haters have seen this as a great leverage tool to take me down.   The media craze around me and suicide specifically has created a situation where now on a weekly basis, we receive threats that people will kill themselves so as to take me down. 
  2. My very manipulative fans who are partial to victim control drama are using it now as a way to force me into doing what they want.  They are threatening that if I don’t let them stay at my retreat center Philia or solve their problems, they will commit suicide, so I have to help them personally or do what they want if I don’t want more bad press relative to suicide and blood on my hands.
  3. I am one of the only people in the field of health and wellness being associated with suicide and directly addressing it with my opinion on how it should be approached.  As a result, now suicidal people who are actually in need of help are flocking to my workshops and retreats in droves.  I both love this because I do want to help people who are struggling with suicidal ideation and hate this because of the insane liability it poses.  What happens if someone who was suicidal comes to me for help but commits suicide?  Am I to be blamed for it?  It quite literally feels like I have been made responsible for people’s lives and deaths.  

What-to-Do-With-Unengaged-Subscribers.jpgThe honest truth that no one wants to admit is that no one in the mainstream mental health field knows what to do with suicidal people and it is an epidemic in the world today.  It is such a problem that even the government is trying to figure out what to do.  If you drug suicidal people, it doesn’t deal with the underlying problem and so many of the people who commit suicide are on prescribed mental health medication already.  So the medication itself isn’t the solution.

If someone goes into the hospital when they are suicidal, it costs them an arm and a leg financially (at least in America) so people are looking at an even worse life on the other side of being released than before they went in.  It may get someone past a crisis.  But no one can turn the underlying issues creating suicidal ideation around in a day or a week stay in a hospital.  So inevitably, they return.  On top of that, so many of the people who commit suicide never say a thing to anyone about it and simply kill themselves.  Those who try to get help for it are not wanting to die.  They are wanting help to get out of pain, which they feel totally powerless to do.

On top of that, so few crisis hotline interventionists and psychologists have dealt with being suicidal or tried to commit suicide themselves.  As a result, they approach suicidal mentality from the outside looking in.  This does not work.  For example, there is nothing worse than hearing words of hope from someone when you are suicidal.  Telling someone who is suicidal that there is a good reason to live or that suicide is the easy way out or reminding them that it destroys people around them is a death sentence. 
I so badly want to change the way that the mental health field approaches suicidal individuals.  I so badly want to help people who are in this space that I was in.  But I do not want my entire mission brought down because someone who came to me for help decides to commit suicide.  I would love for someone to see me as a key factor for why they did not commit suicide.  But is it fair to make someone, whether it is a psychologist or psychiatrist or life coach or spiritual leader  responsible for whether someone decides to take their own life?
authority-vs-responsibility1.jpgIn the 1980s, some of Osho’s disciples established Rancho Rajneesh.  It was essentially an intentional community of his, consisting of people who followed his teachings, in Oregon.  The local community was really upset by the idea of a religious community, which they saw as a cult, moving into the area.  Some tolerated it, others were absolutely up in arms determined to prevent the commune from establishing itself there.  Multiple legal battles ensued.  Some of his unstable followers decided in response to frustration regarding the opposition they were met with, to carry out a biological attack in 1984, the year I was born.  They deliberately contaminated the salad bars at several local restaurants in order to incapacitate the people who would vote against them so their own candidates would win the Wasco County Elections.  751 people were infected.  That was meant to be simply a trial run before infecting the entire water system.  Because of their association with Osho, Osho was placed under investigation for the crime and faced being charged with the crime.  Because there was no evidence to prove he knew about any of it, he was not arrested for the poisoning.  Instead, he was arrested for immigration violation.  For people, like myself, who are leading a spiritual movement, we live in terror of situations like Osho got himself into.  We live in terror of being unable to control what other people in our following do and don’t do, but being made responsible for it.

As a result of this press campaign against me, I live in fear of being unable to control whether someone ultimately decides to take their life, but being made responsible for it.  I live in fear that I will be blamed for not being able to prevent it.  I live in fear that I will be accused of somehow contributing to someone’s decision to do it, even though my aim is to help someone want to live.  I live in fear that a hater of mine, or someone who turns against me, will try to take down my career in this insanely aggressive move to “kill two birds with one stone” (what the last person who threatened us actually threatened to do).  I live in fear that someone will kill themselves if I don’t do what they want me to do, which is to take them into my retreat center as an act of charity/implied duty.  They want me to be totally responsible for them financially and emotionally, which is something I cannot do.  I cannot afford to take in suicidal people as if they were stray cats or orphaned children as much as I wish there were somewhere in the world that could do this.  I also know that when I refer them to the hospital or suicide crisis hotline (which I do if someone is actively threatening in a crisis to commit suicide, as opposed to trying to get help with their chronic suicidal thoughts or feelings) it solves nothing long term and usually traumatizes them further.  This is an issue that no one really has a good solution for.  But I am curious if anyone has any thoughts to share in the comments below this blog. 
taboo.jpg

While all of this terrifies me (and the whole team to be honest), it has also inspired me.  The unexpected avalanche of focus on suicidality in general has made me aware of just how much this issue needs to be talked about and needs to cease to become taboo.  It is a serious subject.  But if it continues to be taboo, and continues to be a subject we all want to avoid in order to stay safe and emotionally clean, the people who so desperately need help with it will never get the help they need.  Metaphorically speaking, the blood will be on all of our hands.  For this reason, I will continue to speak about it.  I will continue to speak about it, hoping that people will see that I am an advocate of a life worth living for those who feel like I once felt… That all life is, is suffering. 

winston-churchill-make-life-worth-living-qu-on-the-key-to-immortality-is-first-living-a-life-worth-rememberi.jpg



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