July 20, 2014

Outside is Inside

As clouds are blown away by the wind, 
the thirst for material pleasures will be driven away 
by the utterance of the Lord's name.

High above the clouds things aren't always what they seem. The sufferings of life appear non existent here... if only for a few moments. Up here... it is absolutely quiet and peaceful. A state of brightness, stillness and light temporarily transcends time and space. We seem to be softly floating, weightless and without worries. Suddenly a moment of clarity and the audible hum of OM tranquility, or maybe that's the planes engines. Our ears seem to be plugged and we swallow to equalize them. Much too soon our time above the clouds is over and the airplane begins to descend. Looking out the window we say goodbye to the peaceful heavenly cloud display. Back to earth, back to our daily responsibilities and material pleasures. The three levels of our personality: gross (material body), subtle (mind, intellect, ego) and the causal body are essentially cloud coverings that separate us from the divine. The seat of pure consciousness is present in all the waking, sleeping and dreaming states we experience in this life. Learning to open up our awareness to the divine and lift the clouds of life requires a daily practice of centering ourselves in God's love and wisdom. The highest creed is Oneness. I am so-and-so is a limited idea, not true of the real ‘I’. I am the universal; stand upon that and ever worship the Highest through the highest form, for God is Spirit and should be worshipped in spirit and in truth.

The sky can accommodate anything
Birds cut through the sky
Or a plane
The sky comes back
It is as it is
Effortless, whole
Volcanoes erupt
Forests burn
The sky is not burned
Nothing added
Taken away
Boundless and vast
Tornados, hurricanes, typhoons
Planets collide
The sky accommodates
Sun and moon
The countless stars
Bodhisattva of the great earth!
Bodhisattva of sky!
Widen our reach
To embrace and put our arms around.

- Chan Master Guo Jun

July 4, 2014

Is God's Book Finished?

Swami Vivekananda had this to say about the harmony of the worlds religions...
"I accept all religions that were in the past, and worship with them all; I worship God with every one of them, in whatever form they worship Him…. Is God’s book finished? Or is it still a continuous revelation going on? It is a marvelous book–these spiritual revelations of the world. The Bible, the Vedas, the Koran, and all other sacred books are but so many pages and an infinite number of pages remain yet to be unfolded. I would leave it open for all of them. We stand in the present, but open ourselves to the infinite future. We take in all that has been in the past, enjoy the light of the present, and open every window of the heart for all that will come in the future. Salutations to all the prophets of the past, to all the great ones of the present, and to all that are to come in the future!"