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Friday, June 12, 2009, 7:25 AM
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.
Thursday, May 21, 2009, 7:49 AM
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.
Thursday, April 16, 2009, 3:50 AM
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.
Thursday, March 19, 2009, 3:57 AM
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.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009, 10:20 AM
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."