Wednesday, February 1, 2017

From ‘Grist for the Mill. Awakening to oneness’ by Ram Dass. With Stephen Levine

In India when we meet and part we often say, “Namaste,” which means: I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides; I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth, of peace. I honor the place within you where, if you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.

……….to receive this transmission requires much more than the mind. It requires a desire in us – to use this birth in order to become who, in truth, we are. It requires a desire to become free of the kinds of clinging and attachment that keep distorting and narrowing our vision. It requires that we truly desire to know what we are doing here, what our function is here on Earth.

Meditation is a way of listening more and more deeply, so we hear from a more profound space, exactly how it is. To hear how it is, we must be open to it, thus the open heart.

……the Sixth Zen Patriarch reiterates, “Develop a mind which clings to naught.”

In Japan when a person is dying, a screen is placed at the foot of the bed showing the Pure Land of the Buddha. He can focus on that screen, so that as death occurs, the last thoughts are about reaching out.

In the Eastern tradition, the state of your consciousness at the last moment of life is so crucial that you spend your whole life preparing for that moment. ……….There is a story about an old Zen monk who was dying, who had finished everything and was about to get off the wheel. He was just floating away, free and in his pure Buddha-mind, when a thought passed by of a beautiful deer he had once seen in a field. And he held on to that thought for just a second because of its beauty, and immediately he took birth again as a deer. It’s as subtle as that.

As we get more disciplined, we keep the energy moving toward that point where form and formless meet. Were we to stay in the formless, our bodies – which we left behind – would disintegrate, for there would be no consciousness to keep them going. There are all gradations, and some beings are 99 percent in that ocean of formlessness and leave behind just a thread in form. There was a being walled up in a cave for twenty years; every year devotees would go to see him and have darshan with what was a skeleton, except the hair and the nails kept growing. He just left a thread behind to give darshan to the devotees.

How do you interpret dreams?
In general, I’m inclined to suggest we shouldn’t do too much analytic work in this dance, because our minds play too many tricks. If the dream has an immediate significance that affects you emotionally, work with it……… Don’t sit and analyze or wonder or get preoccupied with it. It all has meaning. It’s all work you’re doing on other planes. It is significant spiritually, but you don’t always have to understand it. ……….its all just more stuff. Go for broke, awake totally.

The process of purification is preparing ourselves as containers to handle more and more energy, more and more love – and for that we need quieter and quieter minds, and stronger bodies, and more open hearts.

How do you open your heart?
A good exercise is to do deep breathing in and out of the heart as though it had nostrils, right in and out of the heart. You can use that breath to ferret out those places in you where there is a deep sadness or some deep attachments that are slowing your progress.

What part does diet play in spiritual work?
… different stages of our sadhana, different diets are indicated. We start to be pulled toward them. These are not based on morality. They are based on what vibratory rates we can ingest and transmute. And there are stages where we can’t handle meat because of the vibratory rate, the rajasic, active quality of it, the hot intense passion of the stuff. We can’t get calm through it. So our diet starts to lighten up, to fish and eggs, and vegetables and grains, dairy products and fruit. When we can’t handle that, pretty soon we might get down to grains and dairy products, vegetables and fruit. Then there are times when we can’t handle anything but fruit. And then we may go through a stage where we are so connected and clear and beyond it that we can eat anything again.
Certain diets will help purify the system……….. Simple vegetarian diets often help. But don’t get into a good-and-evil trip about it. ……..I must honestly tell you that people have been liberated eating anything, so the game is clearly not going to be that simple.

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