Understanding comes first.

    Friday, June 12, 2009, 7:25 AM [General]

    Life is very wise and subtle. Look at a tree and its leaves and fruits. The ripe leaves fall. The falling of these ripe leaves causes the tree no pain. The unripe leaves do not fall. Similarly, the ripe fruit falls by itself from the tree, while the unripe does not fall, If you apply force and pluck or pull the leaves or the fruit, you will hurt the tree, and you will cause pain to the tree, in the same time the fruit will not taste nice, it may even hurt you if you eat it.

    A man on the path to the Divine is exactly like the tree and its leaves and fruits. This man thinks to himself, I have to get rid of my attachments, my possessions, my arrogance and so forth. He starts renouncing, he forces himself, he prevents himself, he disciplines himself, and he looks for methods and techniques. All this is nonsense, the leaves of attachments and the fruits of possessions are unripe. Therefore to pluck them will not bring peace, it will only bring pain and arid emptiness, never peace and harmony. Understanding the attachments, understanding possessions, understanding the ego is the key to become mature. When you become mature through understanding, deep comprehensive understanding, not mere intellectualization, and the leaves of attachments will mature and drop by themselves, the fruits of possessions will also mature and drop alone and even the ego will simply lie still and falls dead. This is true renunciation; it is peaceful, harmonious and final. Therefore understanding comes first.      

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    God Will Catch you.

    Thursday, May 21, 2009, 7:49 AM [General]

    Saad, the disciple of Abu Naiem -the Sufi Master- was always using his mind. Whenever the subject of living without the ego is raised, Saad would ask "How am I going to live without my ego?" Abu Naiem would answer "God will catch you, do not worry about that, and just drop your ego."

    Years passed, and then Abu Naeim sends Saad to a village at the top of a mountain to deliver a very important letter. To reach that village Saad, had to climb and travelled through a narrow strip of land on the side of the mountain. It was getting dark and the wind was blowing hard. Saad, said to himself, "I am almost there a few more minutes and I will reach that village, so push on." Saad pushed on; then it got pretty dark and he could not see how to proceed. Saad, lit a torch and continued his climb. All of a sudden, it rained, the torch went off and the road became very slippery and Saad slipped and rolled to the side of the road and fell from the narrow strip to the side of the mountain. Saad stretched his arms and caught a few dry branches, while his body was dangling down. He looked down, it was bitch dark. Saad said to himself, "I will soon loose my strength and fall down from the mountain and surely die." Saad, kept on hanging and trying to lift himself up, but it was raining and slippery. Finally, Saad said to himself "All is finished; I am going to fall and die". Then Saad remembered, what Abu Naiem used to answer him "God will catch you do not worry." His arms grew numb and he let go. In a second he found his feet on the ground standing up, safe and sound. Saad was only two feet away from a small ledge on the side of the mountain. He remained there till the morning until people passing down from the village saw him and helped Saad up.

    When Saad reached the village he was a transformed man, he understood what Abu Naiem told him. Saad never depended on his ego again.   

     

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    God's guidance, Meditation, insight vs. views and the Master.

    Thursday, April 16, 2009, 3:50 AM [General]

    What guides Man to God, is God Himself, provided that this Man has a genuine and sincere wish to leave his present worldly residence and travel to God's Kingdom. How does God guide Man? Man's heart or insight is the instrument that God has given to Man, so that God can communicate with Man and guide him. Man's mind is always clouded by his own desires, hopes, achievements, attachments and so forth. When Man develops a sincere longing to leave this world -due to his sensitivity towards the pains of his fellow Man- he looks for a way out from this world that is full of pain, misery and fears. Then this Man turns to become meditative.

    What is meditation? Meditation is not a practice or a posture or a technique; meditation is to develop a meditative attitude towards your everyday life.

    Meditation is not a discipline that you impose on yourself. That is why the great Zen Master Rinzai said "There are bald-headed and blind monks who, after satisfying their hunger, immediately sit in meditation to look into their mental activities and arrest their thoughts so that the latter cannot arise again. These people hate disturbance and seek quiet; this is the way of the heretics."  Unfortunately, Man today looks at meditation as a technique to calm the torrent of his thoughts, a tranquilizer pill or a tablet of valium, at the most to take him to another dimension of consciousness where everything disappears and a state of ecstasy or unsurpassed bliss is experienced. What the advaitans describe as a type of Samadhi.

    Meditation has to happen to you; meditation becomes an indispensible growth in your being. Meditation has to occur due to a deep transformation in your own being. Meditation cannot be added to your being while you are still as you are. A metamorphosis in your inner configuration has to happen by which you are transformed into a meditative human, the highest type of human beings.

    What is this metamorphosis, what is this transformation that has to happen before Man becomes meditative? It is a deeper transformation in Man's heart. Man has to know what he is. Man is a practitioner of worldly life, a follower of the worldly conventional ways of dealing with his everyday life, an automaton, a robot that simply follows the convention, a robot that works through buttons; the button is called conditioning.

    Do we remember the Great Russian scientist Pavlov and his discovery of the conditioned reactions of dogs and other animals? Pavlov designed an experiment which he calls "sham feeding of dogs". Every time he rings a bell, he gives the dog something to eat. After repeating this method many times, Pavlov rings the bell and does not give the dog food; the dog starts salivating. This is the conditioned reflex in animals. This is Man's conditioning. This conditioning of Man's mind, made the mind run in fixed grooves; just like the grooves of a plastic musical record and the stylus. Man does not stop and question his conditioning; is it right or is it wrong. Man simply follows. This is what Man is.

    Why does meditation become an indispensible growth? Why can't Man learn how to meditate? No one can learn how to meditate; it has to spring from your deep most core, and it has to erupt like a volcano upon your discovery of your own ignorance. You discover your own utter ignorance from your contact with your everyday living. A discovery that we are always avoiding, a discovery that we all evade in order not to appear in our own eyes as ignorant, as stupid and dull witted.  I do not want to change my own idea about myself; I wish to remain as people think about what I am. I want always to be the clever one. Upon the discovery of my own ignorance, the volcano erupts. I am not clever, maybe I am also not the good guy that I think myself to be, maybe I am not the good father, the good husband and so forth. Only then, meditation becomes an indispensible growth, a must, because without it you are lost, you cannot live your life. You need meditation to continue living.

    Now, the need to have a meditative attitude has been created in your heart. But what is this inner metamorphosis, inner change of your configuration? This inner mutation, inner transformation, I wish to name it inner metamorphosis from being the Mr. know it all to Mr. Dumb. This maturity, this revelation that I am Mr. Dumb cannot be added to Mr. know it all. Mr. know it all has to go, to be replaced by Mr. Dumb. This new Mr. Dumb will be my intimate friend for ever. This is the transformation and the mutation. I cannot be at times Mr. know it all and at other times Mr. Dumb.

    This meditative attitude, this inward metamorphosis in the configuration of Man, will flower into the spiritual insight, an insight that will guide him to God's kingdom. This insight has always been with Man. It is an essential component of his original nature, but Man neglected it and used his mind instead.

    When meditation starts, God's guidance occurs in the form of revelations and inspirations. This happens to the mature Man. Moreover, to the less mature Man, God will speak to him in symbols, in signs and in his dreams. In either case God guides this Man. Whatever this Man understands from the inspirations, revelation, signs and so forth, he follows immediately and put this new understanding in effect in his daily life in place of his old conventional understanding. These new revelations might be expressed in words, either to himself or his friends. Once these revelations are expressed to others, they could be viewed by people of the world as views, points of view, ideas, illusory concepts and they give themselves the liberty to put these revelations that were expressed on equal footing and equal grounds as their own dusty views and ideas they live by. That is because these mortals -people of the world- had never developed a meditative attitude, nor has their insight been revived.

    That is why an earnest seeker needs a guide, a Master in order to tell him - at least in the beginning of the blossoming of his insight- that what he had recently understood is a revelation, not another concept or idea or a view from his rotten mind. This guidance by the guide -Murshid in Sufism- or Master will continue until the seeker is able to differentiate between a revelation and a silly mental concept, view or idea. This relationship between the Master and the disciple -later on- will not remain as such, but they will be as two seekers holding each other's hand flying to God's kingdom, with the former disciple always grateful and appreciating his previous Master.

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    What is a Master or a sage or a prophet?

    Thursday, March 19, 2009, 3:57 AM [General]

     

    Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?"

    Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John; 14:5-6)

    The Master, the Sage or the Prophet is your way to the Divine, your gate to the infinite, your way to God, and your way to the Father. The Master is the bridge between the absolute and the relative. Man cannot reach to the other shore except by living with a Master. Not necessarily being physically with him, but loving him, love will suffice to be the in close unison with the Master. Man might be a million kilometer away from his Master, but loving the Master bridges the distance, loving the Master makes you one with him. What is meant by loving your Master or your Prophet? Simply you wish and aspire to be like him, you look at him as an example to be copied inwardly and outwardly. Loving your Master entails your absolute trust in the truth of what he says and what he does.  That is how the Master becomes your door to the Lord.

    Your Master is the only living expression of the Truth in your world. Your entire world is false. False because of Man's ignorance. Man's world is a lie. The Master is the only representative of God in your worshiped world. The Master is the only representative of truth in your world of lies. In Romans 1; 24-25 it is said:

    "24Wherefore also God did give them up, in the desires of their hearts, to uncleanness, to dishonor their bodies among themselves;   25who did change the truth of God into a falsehood, and did honor and serve the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed to the ages. Amen."

    Your Master is life. The Master is no longer an ego, no longer a person, no longer an object. The Master is not an ego that claims the signs for life, to him. He is no longer an ego that claims life to him. The Master no longer attributes the five senses nor his mind or body to himself. These five senses and his body are a direct expression, a direct manifestation of the Divine. A direct expression and manifestation of the Father. The Master inwardly cannot be differentiated from the other signs of life around him. The Master is life. The Master is not an ego that has divided the experience into animate and inanimate, living and non-living and attributed the living part and the animate aspect to him. The Master is no longer here. The Master sees, hears and moves with the Divine and by the Father. The Divine is the Father; Life is a manifestation of the Father. This is the Master, the Prophet or the Sage.  

     

     

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    Guard your mind

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009, 10:20 AM [General]

     

    Guard Your Mind: By Dr. Mourad Rashad

    Posted by: mouradrashad • Feb 28th, 2009

    Chuang Tzu said: "The beggar who guards his mind and fears the waywardness of his thoughts, burns through every bond with the fire of his vigilance. The beggar who guards his mind and fears his own confusion cannot fall. He has found the way to peace".

    In the above saying, a beggar is a man who has not considered himself rich in anything. Therefore he never thinks nor behaves as if he is superior to anyone. A beggar is a man who never claims anything to himself. A beggar is a man who receives everything that life offers and never considers that he is either the owner of what he receives, or that he deserves what he receives. With such a manner, with such a way of seeing and experiencing his earthly and worldly existence he transforms this earthly and worldly existence into Divine Graces. Divine Graces are by definition undeserved favors and unmerited assistance. That is why Jesus Christ said "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (Mathew 5:3)

    The man who lives in such a manner is ego-less or nothing or a big fat zero or is no longer the center of life experiences. This man experiences genuine peace. A genuine peace, because he has experienced the Kingdom of Heaven, here and now on this earth.

    This man has come to understand that there is no need of him to be at the center of any experience, he is always in the background, happy by just contemplating and watching. Even when he takes a role -either for himself or for others- he attributes nothing to himself, but only contemplates and watches the Majesty and Magnificence of the overall panorama of the experience. He is always submerged in the Divine Graces of the Kingdom of Heaven. This overall panorama will guide his actions. The Lord will guide his steps.

    He has known that it is his own way of thinking -agreed upon by everyone- that convinces him that he is needed to live and function and all the rest of his "worldly" activities in a fixed particular way.

    This beggar has discovered the simple truth that says "there is no Need of me, I am out of the way, I am no longer at the center in any way whatsoever and therefore the experience is Majestic, Magnificent and Peaceful".

    He needs nothing and he desires nothing and everything is fulfilled on its own accord. Perfection surrounds him, because he is in the Kingdom of Heaven. Whenever a need is created in the experience either for him or anyone else, he never worries or feels burdened, because he knows it will be fulfilled without anyone's help -but does not know how. The Lord will fulfill it.

    Nevertheless, he is not always in this state. Unless he guards his mind it might stray again in the old habitual way where it convinces him that he needs to do something. That is how he falls back again on his knees and is delivered into confusion once more as it was before, and returns to the center of the experience due to his old worldly mode of thinking.

    Abu Bakr Al Shibly -the Sufi master- said:" I guarded my mind for twenty years, then my mind guarded me for another twenty, then a state came where my mind and I were guarded forever".

    Continuously guarding his mind and whenever he comes in contact with a worldly incident that might trigger the old habit, the beggar  immediately reminds himself of the fact that he is not needed and how Majestic, Magnificent and Peaceful the Experience is, for he is in the Kingdom of Heaven, where Perfection reigns.

    When this happens, he takes a step or two back and leaves the panorama once more empty of him and become contented by just contemplating again the whole scene. Accordingly, everything takes care of everything, The Lord takes care.  Majesty, Magnificence and Peace are re-established once more. The Divine Graces shower again. That is how by being vigilant he faces life.

    Therefore, he starts appreciating and cultivating Faith in the fact of not being needed, together with the concomitant Experience of the Majesty, Magnificence and Peace .Until one day he will cultivate enough Faith in the fact of not being needed for anything, then this Majestic, Magnificent and Peaceful experience will be Permanent as it was before he has created his ego and its world. Even the disappearance of his body by death will not touch this Majestic Experience. Why death will not affect this Experience? Because nothing of him is needed for this Magnificent Experience, not even his physical body. Hence Ramana Maharshi's  last words: "I am not going away. Where could I go? I am here."

     

     

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    Amusement and mystical conversations

    Monday, February 9, 2009, 9:30 AM [General]

     

    One could not help notice that mystical conversations could provide an unlimited flow of supply of amusement!  Very strange! One would wonder has the ego became so dominant in one’s life to the extent that even mysticism and spirituality became an amusement park? An amusement park in which one enjoys ego friction. What is ego friction? It is simply proving yourself –in whichever way- through contact with people. Proving one’s self establishes and glues in one’s heart the idea that “I exist”, “I am here”. It is one of the avenues of “I exist”.

     Amusement means that I have taken a step or two to become on stage performing some theatricals scene, but where are the audience? The audiences are my converser as well as the inner audience that applaud me when expounding what I know and feeling amused and contented by their applause. Then how to carry on a mystical conversation? Do not attempt to prove yourself and consider what you say as if it does not represent you and always remind yourself of how ignorant is I and a bridge awaits that needs to be crossed lest I would perish here.   

     

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    The Only True Love

    Monday, January 26, 2009, 3:42 PM [General]

    If you love a person, you start seeing things which are not there. No woman is as beautiful as you think when you love her, because you project. You have a dream girl in the mind and that dream girl is projected. Some how the real girl functions only as a screen on which you project your dream girl.

    That is why every love comes to a frustrating point sooner or later, because how can the girl go on playing the screen? She is a real person; she will assert, she will say, “I am not a screen!” How long can she go on fitting in with your projection? Eventually, you feel things do not fit. In the beginning, she yielded, in the beginning you yielded. You were a projection screen for her; she was a projection screen for you.

    Nobody can play a screen for you forever and nothing can remain a screen for you forever, because it is uncomfortable and un-natural. How can somebody adjust to your dream? How can anything adjust to your dream? Everything has his own reality, and the reality asserts and shows itself.

    If you love a person, you project things, which are not there. If you hate a person, again you project things, which are not there. In love, the person becomes a god. In hate, the person becomes a devil — and the person is neither god nor devil. The person is simply himself or herself. These devils and gods are projections.

    Similarly, you love your world; the real world is a screen for you, a screen for the beautiful world in your own mind, which you project. You see things in your loved world, which are not there; you imagine that they are there. That is why your loved world frustrates you, betrays you, annoys you and finally you die, your loved world kills you.

    The real world cannot remain a screen for you. It has to show you what it is made of, and it has to show you its truth. You cannot see its truth unless you stop projecting your dream world, you stop loving the world in your mind, and you stop loving your ego, which is the world, stored up as mind.

    If you love, you cannot see clearly. If you hate, you cannot see clearly.  When there is no liking, no disliking, your eyes are clear, you have clarity. Then you see the other as he is or as she is, you see the world stored up in your mind, which is projected, or you see your ego as it is.

    Moreover, when you have clarity of consciousness, I say clarity of consciousness not clarity of mind. The mind or ego can never be clear. The mind or ego are only consciousness transformed through our preferences, desires and conditioning. I say when you have clarity of consciousness, which means you are no longer an ego, you are no longer a mind, but you are the clarity, the light, and the purity of consciousness. Then, the whole existence reveals its reality to you. The whole world unravels its identity to you.

    That reality and that identity is God, that identity is the Divine, that reality is the Sublime Truth. You come to discover that your ego, your mind, your projected world was hiding and transforming the Original Divine Existence.

    One can say, when man’s consciousness regains its liberty from the influence of the ego or mind, it returns to the original unity. Unity of man’s consciousness and this Divine Existence. Where man’s consciousness mirrors faithfully the immediate experience and functions as an integral part of this Divine Existence, and follows it without any separation, any division or any cleavage.

    This is the state of Love, this is The Divinity, this is the Ultimate and this is the Sahaja-Samadhi. This is seeing, experiencing and living without your mind, without your projections, without your ego, this is the state of Egolessness, this is Sahaja-Samadhi.

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    The Perfect Man

    Sunday, January 18, 2009, 3:09 PM [General]

    If a man is crossing a river and an empty boat collides with his own skiff, even though he be a bad-tempered man he will not become very angry.
    But if he sees a man in the boat, he will shout at him to steer clear.
    If the shout is not heard, he will shout again, and yet again, and begin cursing.
    And all because there is somebody in the boat.
    Yet, if the boat were empty, he would not be shouting, and not angry.

    If you can empty your own boat crossing the river of the world,
    no one will oppose you; no one will seek to harm you....
    Who can free himself from achievement, and from fame, descend and be lost amid the masses of men?
    He will flow like Tao, unseen; he will go about like Life itself with no name and no home.
    Simple is he, without distinction. To all appearances, he is a fool.
    His steps leave no trace. He has no power. He achieves nothing, has no reputation.
    Since he judges no one, no one judges him.
    Such is the perfect man:
    His boat is empty.
    (Quotation from Chuang Tzu 20:2, 4, pp. 168-171)

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    On Mysticism

    Sunday, January 11, 2009, 8:03 AM [General]

    Humans think that there is a difference between mysticism in variuos religions. Feuds arise, I am a Sufi and you are a Christian Mystic and you are a Zen Buddhist.

    Accordingly, I posted this post in that group, and I thought to myself why not post it here. 

    Jesus Christ is a sufi, using his own language -Aramic- according to his cultural background and era. The Prophet Mohamed is zen buddhist, using his own language -Arabic- also according to his cultural background and era. Following to the same line of thought we can say that  Sakyamouni Buddha is a Christian and Al Junaid is Advatic and so on. All these great men can be called Sufis  or Zen Buddhists or Christian Mystics at heart, because inwardly they see and experience the Oneness of God. Mysticism, whether Sufism, Christian Mysticism and so forth  is a journey from Multiplicity to Oneness.

    Humans who speak of thought systems and belifs, doctorines and teachings are speaking from their minds. Mysticism is the language of the heart, it is a universal language, Buddha can speak Sufism and Jesus Christ can speak Zen Buddhism.

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    A Parable: The Strong Man.

    Sunday, January 4, 2009, 10:08 AM [General]

     THE STRONG MAN          

    "But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house."(Mark: 3:27) 

    What does that parable means? What is the strong man’s house?The parable is a warning for the mature seeker, who has recently seen things as they are. In other words he has seen and experienced the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, while still alive, here and now. This mature seeker has finally found his true abode or his true house, instead of his old mediocre residence in his egoistic world. An egoistic world where man is the center and everything else revolves around him. An impermanent residence where death will shock its foundations.This mature seeker has found his treasure, his birth right treasure, his true home or house. The problem is that his treasure or his abode or his home is only for him; no one else shares it with him, not even his immediate close family. Why does this become a problem? It is a problem because he is in continuous contact with others who cannot see that he is not standing with them. Physically he is with them, outwardly, he is with them, but inwardly he is not. Inwardly he is in his home. Therefore, through contininious contact they might drag him to their world. 

    Now, who is the thief that is going to rob his house? What ties his hands? Inattention is the thief, unawareness is the thief. A thief that is going to steel his home from him and kick him out of his house. The question now is how this happens.  It happens either due to laxity or due to   indulgence in some worldly track, as in both cases he becomes quite   incapable   of defending his house as if both his hands were tied up. 

    What is the inner laxity that results from inattention or unawareness?

    The ordinary man –not the strong man- gives himself the liberty to get detached from his environment in order to retain his inner   slackness   of intellect and feelings.  A slackness where his ego is used to delight and indulge in its reveries. Where he can enjoy and assert his egoistic worldly values and views.  Man's pretext to assume this attitude is that he wants to preserve his composedness   from being disturbed by the stupidities of his senseless material world.  When that man realizes the Kingdom of Heaven his new appreciative view   converts   him to quite the opposite attitude, through which he sees all that is going on in the newly discovered Divine Kingdom with deep reverential awe, and considers that it deserves his utmost prompt awareness and response of feelings, otherwise he will be blaspheming that Divine Manifestation or Kingdom.  This newly acquired   attitude demands a full taut intellect with its accompanying feelings while any reversion back to the old habit of laxity costs him the loss of the Kingdom of Heaven. 

    Next, what is this indulgence in a worldly track?   

    Man thinks and believes that his   material world is an objective thing that can be left or depart from.  In reality, it is   not so, it is not a place that can be left or abandoned.  Actually, what man considers to be his   material world is seen and experienced as such due to our ignorant perspective. This ignorant perspective transforms the Kingdom to what man calls my material world. Now, What I mean by not indulging in a worldly track is that, after realizing the Kingdom, man should not revert to his old ways of handling affairs through the old ego/world notions. Man has to consider that now he is in the Kingdom of God and should never think again in the same old manner, where he used to imagine that he is an individual, communicating and dealing with other individuals and his sole concern is to assert his own identity and his own existence using his capabilities. Instead, man should observe strictly the newly discovered ways of handling affairs that conforms to his evolving insight and understanding. Namely, those affairs should be handled just through his witnessing of the Manifestation or the Kingdom of God with full awareness and prompt response of feelings. Moreover, to be always in prayerful hope for the realization of the objects of his feelings while drowned in deep devout gratitude.  

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