Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing,

there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.

 

When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

 

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other

doesn’t make any sense.

From Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks

Have you ever stopped to reflect on the fact that we get exactly what we ask for? All desire for experience, every answer to every question is given freely. What questions are you asking? What are asking for in your life?

The Buddha said that all desire leads to suffering. Why? All desire draws us deeper into the dense world of materiality and the relative perspective of the personality.

So what is our real job here in this world? What is the solution? I suggest it is to reach that point where we stop asking. And when we do this, everything is given. When we rest in the stillness of the Absolute, there is nothing that is not possible. Mountains can be moved; waters can be parted. Whole worlds can be created.

But do we need to do that? No. We then rest so deeply there is absolutely nothing to do. This is, by definition, the Absolute. There is no desire to gather experience or knowledge. There is certainly no desire to gather things. There is only rest, only silence, only stillness. From that immeasurable, infinitesimally tiny point we call the Absolute, our perspective is transformed. Now, we are able to give from a place of stillness and rest. This giving is huge. It is unquantifiable. It is the embodiment of infinite love. It is why we are here. Now, truly, all things are possible and magic is inevitable.

I urge you to find this place of unconditional giving. All other experience pales in comparison with it.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.

 

You must ask for what you really want.

Don’t go back to sleep.

 

People are going back and forth across the doors

where the two worlds touch.

 

The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.

From Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks

Rumi

Jelaluddin Rumi, the 13th century mystic poet, was truly one of the most passionate and profound poets in history.  Now, today his presence still remains strong, due in part to how his words seem to drip of the divine, and startle a profound remembrance that links all back to the Soul-Essence.  Born in what is present day Afghanistan in 1207, he produced his master work the Masnawi which consists of over 60,000 poems before he died in 1273.  The best way to fully say in words his impact, is that he has the ability to describe the

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

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Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

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Your thoughts speak so loudly you can hardly hear the call of your soul.

This morning, as always, we finished my wife Lucia’s yoga class with a shared meditation. At the end of this period of silence, while our eyes were still closed, Lucia asked one question: “Which part of your body do you love most?”

For me, two voices spoke. First I heard the one which said, “Of course you love all parts of your body, or at least you should.” Let’s call this the ‘should’ or the ‘must’ voice which speaks for the ego and reflects all the experiences and memories of your life, for better or worse, both positive and negative.

There was also a still but quietly insistent voice which seemed to emanate from the centre of my being. It simply said, “Your heart.”

It is this still, calm voice which, when listened to, guides us unerringly and effortlessly through life. This voice is always there, but is often drowned out by the cacophony of noisy thoughts within us.

In being present, truly present, that avalanche of noisy thoughts begins to dissolve, allowing us to hear the calm, guiding presence that is always with us, patiently waiting for our attention.

Listen, deeply listen. Your soul is gently calling with infinite patience. Isn’t it time to heed that call?

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life. 

White-faced Heron

White-faced Heron

 

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

Henry David Thoreau

 

 

Late yesterday afternoon I received a call from my sister in Canada saying my mother was dying. I had just returned from a swim with Asha and I was planting seeds in trays on the front deck. Symbolic somehow.

 

My mother only entered the hospital one and a half weeks ago complaining of some abdominal pain near where she’s had an operation for a hernia in the top of her stomach in December. She’d been healthy until then. The only pills she was taking when I visited her last September were calcium tablets for osteoporosis. She is 77.

 

At 2.00am I called the hospital. It was 8.00am there and my sister was able to hold the telephone receiver by my mother’s oxygen-mask-covered face. Her voice was weak but she was lucid. We were each able to say the three most important words I know, “I love you.” When I called at 6.00am she was sleeping, but I was able to speak with my sister, who had spent the night by my mother’s side. I indicated that I would not, at this point, attempt to get flights for the 27 hour journey from New Zealand to Ontario. It’s a tough call, but I have been connecting consciously with my mother each night for the last two weeks. Part of me has known something was up.

 

And now I sit here at 9.30am. The sun is shining, burning off the last of the morning mist. I’ve been for my walk to the Pa (the lookout) and along the beach. I’ve rescued a crab which was stranded on low tide, returning it to the wet sand at water’s edge where it quickly burrowed in. A White-faced Heron had stalked the shallows of the estuary, in search of breakfast. kingfisher-in-flightA kingfisher dive-bombed a passing dog. I returned to the garden to stake some tomatoes and Jerusalem artichokes toppled by a recent storm. I am happy. Nature is my balm. I feel and know I am connected with all beings. I see my mother’s imminent passing as part of the continuum of life, as an essential part of the vast tapestry of existence. And I am grateful for the technology that allows me to remain connected by voice with ones I love who are physically so far away.

 

Excuse me. I’ve got go and use that technology, the telephone, so that I can once again utter that essential three word phrase, “I love you.”

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stillness-boat-the-art-of-living-blog-1

When we wake up; when we gain the realization of Reality; when we experience the Absolute we experience the Stillness, we experience ourselves, we know who we are. In the Stillness there is no limitation, there is no space or time, no thought and no mind, nothing ever existed; there are no problems, no distinctions between you and me or us and them; there is only unity.

 

This experience of Reality may be gifted to you, as it was to me, or it may be something you find through true meditation, through the deliberate creation of stillness. When you accept everything as it is; when you neither accept nor reject anything that occurs; when you make no distinctions even though the mind continues to make distinctions; when you assume no relationship to what you are experiencing, there is a great and profound liberation; there is an understanding of the Absolute.

 

Absolute is not spelled with a capital for nothing. It is unlimited. It is immense. It is unimaginable. It is unknowable. Yet when it is experienced there is a profound feeling of peace.

 

So this waking up is important. Finding out who we are is one of the great reasons for being here. But, there is more to the equation of being fully human. Life is not just Stillness. There is also volition, there is activity. The art of living is bringing the awareness of Stillness, of the Absolute, of who we are, into our lives.

 

How do we bring this experience of reality into our lives? How do we bring the awareness of unlimitedness, of the realization that there are no distinctions, into this world of distinctions, into this world of light and dark, of hot and cold, of you and me?

 

This truly is the art of living, of being fully human.

 

Suggested reading:

 

The Yoga of the Christ, Murdo MacDonald-Bayne

The Challenge of Enlightenment, Andrew Cohen

The Divine Possibilities in Man, Gopi Krishna