Too often, our minds are broken up, scattered about in bits and pieces. Our thoughts wander here and there. Our minds are often sloppy and unfocused. To master something truly one needs to have a single-pointed awareness during the process of doing. It requires patience in a world where everything is quick and fast. We are accustomed to expect speed, ease and comfort. Mastering is about making the effort, letting it come gradually, slowing down.
The Divine pervades everything and is the soul of everything. Yet He is beyond everything. One can understand this only when He wants us to.
In order to free oneself, one has to relax. To stop grasping. Don’t be affected or distracted. Let yourself be. Whatever happens, relax. Stop grasping. Don’t hold, let go.
What is the source of suffering? What if all your identities and belongings and relationships are taken away? What is your true identity other than these things? Do you wonder who you really are? Do you want to find out? Why are we doing what we do? What is happening? What happens when we die? The answer cannot come from knowledge or thought. It has to come from beyond…
We live inside our bodies and identify with them. We say: I’m itchy. I’m in pain. If we look more deeply, we see that “we” don’t experience pain. Our bodies do. Shift your awareness. Separate your identification of the body with the self. You will have less attachment to the body, and whatever happens to the body will be less affecting. The body ages, but it is not you that has aged. The body experiences discomfort, not you. Everything changes, including your body. Be patient. Relax. Don’t limit yourself by identifying yourself with the body.
To grow we need to stop competing with others, with ourselves, with time, with the expectation of the way life should go, with our sense of attainment or non-attainment, with wanting this experience or that experience, with everything. Recognize your competitive streak and let it go. What is inside of you does not really have to do with anyone else. It is a gift for everyone.
Breathe long and deep. Our breath expresses who we are. When we change the way we breathe, we change our lives. Loosen the breath. When our breath deepens and slows, understanding deepens. The breath is a manifestation of our inner state. Our character is reflected in our breath. When we take our time, our breath slows. When we’re shortsighted, our breath is shallow. Breathe deep and long and slow.
Holding and gripping are different. Holding is flexible, fluid and adaptable. Gripping is tense and forceful. One has to master effortless effort to go through the gateless gate. Try to find the gate and the gate is gone. It is everywhere and nowhere. Any point is the entry point.
Ask of everything that you saw, heard, tasted or touched: What is it? Go beyond form, beyond all appearances. Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.
Happiness and pleasure are often confused, although they have different qualities:
- Pleasure is short-lived.
- Pleasure is not sustainable.
- Pleasure does not fulfill us.
- Pleasure is empty of true substance or nourishment.
- Pleasure is ephemeral.
- Pleasure comes with a limited capacity and an inevitable saturation point.
- Pleasure just replaces one sensation with another.
- Pleasure is just physical stimulation.
- Pleasure does not give us complete and total satisfaction.
Joy comes from embracing what is, and from gratitude and is opposite to all that pleasure is.
Meditation is not for learning special powers. Meditation is to learn to cross from the vexations in your mind to the shore of serenity and wisdom. The shore is to be in the present moment, immersed in the Divine that pervades, aware of the Divine that is inside us and worship with devotion the Divine that is all this and beyond all this.
Learn to live with nonattachment and be aware of the impermanence that surrounds us. Every breath is a good breath. Every day is a good day. Every moment is a good moment. We can always learn and grow.
Tolerance is not about gritting your teeth and bearing it; it’s about being totally at ease and peaceful even while experiencing pain – even in the presence of death. It is being relaxed, no matter what the circumstances. When you are sick, it is your body that is sick. The mind can choose to be not sick. Being at peace does not mean that you are comfortable. Part of spiritual growth is developing tolerance.
There is no small thing. Everything is part of the whole and all of life is yoga. No good deed is so small that it is not worth doing, and even small transgressions of what we know inside ourselves to be right and true are damaging to who we are and what we want to be. We can be attentive to everything and the kind of attention we bring to anything makes our life joyful. Smile and breathe deeply.
Shouting signals you are far from me. Talking softly means that you are near. There is enough shouting in the world. Let your words be tender and kind.
Whereever the body is, the mind is there; whatever the body is doing, the mind is doing it too. Be aware.
Wisdom is pervasive, like the sun shining on everything. Knowledge is a narrow beam of light. Its focus and direction are limited. Keep coming back to the present moment. Body and mind together; then our awareness expands and we become wise.
The lamp is inside you, waiting to be lit. The rooms that has been dark for a thousand years is illuminated in an instant by a single light.
Stay in the present moment – each one is beyond price. When this moment goes, will it come back again. Cherish every breath, and reflect on the preciousness of human life. Treasure each and every breath.
Be friendly, embrace your life. Be kind to yourself. Accept yourself totally. Forgive yourself. Become your own friend. Welcome yourself in. Accept yourself without conditions.
We experience constant change from one moment to the next. It is ongoing and relentless. What goes in must come out, whether it is the breath or the food we take. In order to live there must be constant change. Constant movement. We cannot be still. We cannot hold to anything. This teaching is in all of life, yet we search for it.
When a problem arises, just solve the problem. Do not exhaust yourself with a lot of unnecessary worry.
Attachment to nonattachment is attachment. Let go of it and be in the present, experiencing everything and letting go of everything.
The past did exist. The future will exist. We cannot live in them, though. Live in the present, filled with the Divine and then maybe one can see the past in the present, present in the past, past in the future, future in the past, present in the future, future in the present. The whole is seen, and not the present, past or future which are the parts. Do not try to understand this. Let it seep inside you and transform you.